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Join date : 2021-09-09
The CIA just released the name of Kent's cover in New Orleans: The Christian Fellowship Fund:
However, the memo only specifies that Kent was in New Orleans in May '67, not '63, which is confirmed in his personnel file as his "official station" at that time.
The name on this report is redacted and Kent's is written above it, which is a strange but common thing in Kent's personnel file. One of Kent's aliases was Doug Gupton, but why would an alias be listed only in certain CIA "requests for personnel action", and why would a well-known alias be internally redacted (i.e. it looks like it was redacted prior to hitting the JFK Collection - so we'll never see it)?
Also, the name of the proprietary foundation in his fitness report looks too short to say "Christian Fellowship Fund", so I'm wondering if the Fund also went by a different name.
The Christian Fellowship Fund is the same cover used by James O'Mailia, who John Newman seems to have correctly identified as Antonio Veciana's case officer in Havana who went by the name Joe Melton. Melton operated out of an office in Havana that included a Berlitz Language School:
I haven't been able to find much info on the Christian Fellowship Fund in New Orleans, but I did find a source that confirms that it was there since at least 1957:
[url=https://books.google.com/books?id=4s_FGg0auM8C&pg=PA53&lpg=PA53&dq="christian+fellowship+fund"+orleans&source=bl&ots=boYYVVOuJ2&sig=ACfU3U07ujpRhykGds00jMyB1tKN2mok0Q&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiTi4P5ztf8AhXJmmoFHYJAD7gQ6AF6BAgdEAM#v=onepage&q="christian fellowship fund"]Google Books Link - 1957 Tax Exempt Orgs[/url]
Kent's personnel records seem to indicate that he was in New Orleans from August '66 to Sept '67, which coincides exactly with the first phase of the Garrison case.
According to Malcolm Blunt, Kent's activities in 1963 are a bit of a mystery, and he's right. Kent's personnel file indicates that up until 6/5/63, his "official station" was Washington DC as part of the DDP/WH/2 Uruguay/Paraguay desk. This record states that Kent was reassigned to DDP/WH Plans and Operation Staff/Section B on June 5th, then 15 days later he was given a promotion by the Uruguay/Paraguay desk.
What's interesting here though is that the June 5th reassignment document was not signed off until August. This is the ONLY reassignment record in Kent's entire personnel file that was not signed off within two weeks of the "date prepared".
Kent's fitness report covering the entire year of 1963 is where it really gets interesting. Here are Kent's specific duties for that time:
The report also gives Kent a glowing review:
...in that time has demonstrated an unusual ability to provide imaginative, timely and useful propaganda guidances for covert field use. He is very sensitive and perceptive to the capabilities of and limitations of WHD media operations and exploits their possibilities to the maximum. He has been particularly effective in the exploitation of leads provided by KUTUBE (Foreign Intelligence + Staff D) sources as the basis for "black" operations. In this regard he has shown great initiative, imagination and professional ability.
So it does look like Kent is a prime suspect for running Oswald against the FPCC in New Orleans - but so far we haven't seen any evidence that Kent was actually in New Orleans with Oswald. There is nothing in Kent's personnel file suggesting that he was in New Orleans at any time in 1963. Despite the sign-off date anomalies, the reassignment documents only state that Kent's "official station" in June '63 was Washington DC. There is however a mention of Kent identifying a Cuban arms cache in Venezuela in Nov. 1963, so it does looks like he was involved in Cuban operations.
Other than that, to my knowledge we have no record of any of Kent's actual operations from 1963. However, according to the ARRB, the board reviewed Kent's Office of Security file and determined that "selected portions" of it should be included in the JFK Collection.
If you scroll up you'll see a separate mention of Kent's personnel file - which is linked to in this thread - but I checked MFF and did a search on ALL the 104- series records in the NARA database and I can't find anything resembling an OS file for William Kent. If anyone sees this file anywhere please let me know.
I'll conclude with what I'm assuming is the main source for Kent's presence in New Orleans in 1963 - The RockCom Deposition of William Sturbitts. It seems pretty friggin' credible to me:
Q. ...it is possible that some of the same Cuban organizations which were being sponsored or funded by the Agency also had activities or operations in New Orleans?
A. I don't know if I can answer that, whether they had the same functions. I know that some funding arrangement for subsidizing the organizations in Miami was carried out through New Orleans.
Q. Well, can you be more specific about what you mean by that?
A. Well, in other words, to fund these organizations we were subsidizing there had to be some ostensible source of income for them to continue what they were doing. A great number -- well, not a great number, but a number of select people were -- well, they were selected and then they were talked to, to pose as trustees, if you would, or directors or whatever you might have of some of these organizations in order to get the funding through to the organizations. These people were normally prominent people and --
(Sound like anyone we know? Perhaps the sole delegate of the DRE in New Orleans who spontaneously got made delegate of that organization after working on the propaganda committee of the CRC?)
Q. And did they get funded by the Agency, then, through the medium of prominent and well-to-do people?
A. These well-to-do people ostensibly would call a friend of theirs that had been made trustee of another type of activity and say, you know, we are trying to assist these Cubans in this type of thing. Could your organization give us any money, and the guy on the other end would say, sure, we can probably lend you $25,000 or something like that, or donate $25,000. This is the way the funding went into the fronts.
Q. And was some of that funding arranged through people in New Orleans?
A. I would think so. I believe so.
Q. Were any of the people in New Orleans through whom that funding operation was effected people who turned out to be in the investigation of Jim Garrison?
A. Not to my knowledge.
Q. How about David Ferrie? Was he ever connected with the Agency in any manner at all in providing funds or assistance to Cubans or Cuban groups?
A. I couldn't say. I am just not familiar with -- we had a great many people that did this.
Q. How about Clay Shaw? Was Clay Shaw ever used as a funding source?
A. This I do not know either.
A. This I don't know.
BY MR. MANFREDI:
Q. Where would that information be available?
A. Well, we have a guy that used to work with me who was down in New Orleans at that time. He would probably know.
Q. Is he in the building?
Q. What is his name?
A. Bill Kent.
Q. Bill Kent?
I can't find any evidence that Kent was interviewed by RockCom.
That's about it. This is mostly to keep track of my own notes, and I know it's chaotic and long, but there does seem to be circumstantial evidence that Kent was conducting black propaganda operations in New Orleans in 1963.
As a side note, I'd bet my left nut that the Christian Fellowship Fund worked with the Cuban Catholic Center in New Orleans...
Thanks to Malcolm Blunt.
Re Kent's location or base of operations in 1963.
According to the HSCA, he was working for Philips who was based in DC. But he himself was at JMWAVE. Though this would have been confined to 1961-62 period, insofar as reporting to Phillips, I can see no reason why he could not have still been doing the same work out of JMWAVE in 1963. It is also possible I am completely wrong because I'm missing other information.
(179) The committee staff interviewed Doug Gupton on August 22, 1978, at
CIA headquarters.(187) Gupton said he worked for the CIA from December
1951 until his retirement.(188) Gupton confirmed that he was in charge of
a special operations staff at the Miami JM/WAVE station and that his
immediate superior was David Phillips. (189) Gupton acknowledged that Ron
Cross (cover name) was a case officer who worked for him and that he saw
Cross on a daily basis.(190) Gupton said he did not recall whether E.
Howard Hunt or David Phillips ever used the name of "Knight." (191) He
said he does not recall Phillips ever using the name of Maurice
Bishop.(192) When told about Cross' recollection of him referring to
Phillips as "Mr. Bishop," Gupton said: "Well, maybe I did. I don't
remember."(193) He also said, however, that he never heard the name of
Bishop while he was stationed in Miami.(194) When shown the sketch of
Bishop, he said it did not look like anyone he knew.(195)
(180) Explaining his working relationship with David Phillips, Gupton said
he was in contact with him regularly in Washington by telephone and cable,
and that Phillips visited Miami "quite often." (196) Gupton said, however,
that there were two sets of operations. His set of operations was run out
of Miami and he kept Phillips informed of them. Phillips ran another set
of operations personally out of Washington and, Gupton said, Phillips did
not keep him briefed about them.(197) Gupton also said he knew that
Phillips used many of his old contacts from Havana in his personal
Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise.
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
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