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Cryptonym: BINAURAL

Definition:
CIA officer Anthony Sileo, aka Antonio Silio, also known as Keith Bongirno, who prepared the monthly CRC propaganda activities progress report for several months in 1962, a one man watchdog committee for the Station to make sure funds were used properly. Also known as "'Richardo Belfort." and "Mr. Johns".
Status:
Probable
Discussion:
BINAURAL means "stereo" - using both ears?. It's even used in a CIA document describing dual microphones. See 124-10338-10137, an FBI memo discusses a tap as a "binaural source". 104-10192-10265, 5/29/62 memo, states: "BINAURAL reported following which (emanating?) from Salvador Lew, CRC radio adviser and local radio commentator..." BINAURAL was a propaganda and PW asset of the CIA. An early 1963 document here states that CIA officer "Newby"/George E. Joannides worked through BINAURAL and Salvador Lew to apparently implement a declaration from Jose Miro Cardona. A cable on November 22, 1963, described BINAURAL as "a reliable Western observer with good connections in Latin American sporting circles." John Newman also identifies Sileo as "George Scorgory" - case officer to AMIRE-1/Emilio Rodriguez in late 1960 while Sileo was still the assistant attache in the US Embassy - see 104-10180-10215.
Sources:

104-10192-10280: CABLE: SITREP ON AFFILIATES POSITIONS ON AMBUD

11/09/61, Cable from JMWAVE to Director: Slugline JMZIP KUCAGE: Sitrep on affiliates positions on AMBUD: 1. DMR was urged strongly by BINAURAL to offer support to AMBUD-1 by seeking representation on AMBUD. DMR unwilling until they received word from their clandestine leadership within Cuba which should be forthcoming in approximately ten days. 2. Alabau Trelles reported to BINAURAL that AMCORE-2 concilliatory move toward AMBUD was AMCORE-2's idea without approval of either Garceran Alabau, that AMCORE-2 sympathizes with Garceran but wishes to keep one foot in AMBUD for financial reasons. Detailed report on AFJ position as explained 8 Nov to BINAURAL being forwarded separate cable..." See 104-10297-10238, 11/10/61: AFJ-Garceran position re AMBUD in words of Alabau Trelles: 1. Opposed to any reconciliation AMBUD while AMBUD-1 is head giving him two months before he is forced out by groups such as 30 Nov, DRE, etc. 2. Believe groups stick with AMBUD-1 only because of U.S. financial aid. 3. Garceran group presently attempting unify all military groups within Cuba...7. Alabau asked (REDACTION)NAURAL-1 not to reveal that several Latin American ambassadors plan meet with Pres Kennedy in near future to warn him that stubborn support AMBUD-1 endangering U.S. prestige and delaying solution Cuban problem." See 104-10233-10128, 11/29/61, Memorandum for Phil (probably Kent): "(Miro) said Belfort made hit with Conte (AMCORE-2) and he is of the opinion that Belfort, with adroit handling, can get Conte to see things his way...suggested that Belfort tell (covert action) 'let's keep del Cerro, Plinado, etc. in propaganda and use their valuable services.'"

104-10244-10018: STATION ASSET REPORT

Circa 1962: Undated CIA document on AMCORE-2, with Robert Trouchard/William Kent as his case officer: Page 5: ...."f. Knowledge of KUBARK (CIA) and other case officers:...Knows BINAURAL as 'Richardo Belfort' and William R. Wilbalda under true name." - - - 01/12/62: Memo from Philip Toomey to Chief, Ops: Subject: CRC Elements Reachable through the PW Section. Reference: COPS Memo dated 10 January 1962. "Following is a list of Agent Candidates available through the PW Section: Ross Crozier, (REDACTION), Adeline Pieper, Angel Del Cerro, FORD - Pascasio Limeras, CFC - Ana Tomeu de Miller, DRE - Jose Ma. Lasa, CFC - Ana Tomeu de Miller. Philip Toomey: Directorio Magisterial Revolucionario through BINAURAL. Jose Miro Cardona through Theodore F. Passavoy. Luis Conte Aguero through BINAURAL and Wilkinson. Enrique Huerta through BINAURAL. Directorio Revolucionario Estudiantil through AMCRACKLE-1 and AMPALM-1 and 4. Movimiento Democrata Cristiano (Jose Ignacio Rasco element) through AMCRACKLE-1..." https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=161120&relPageId=1&search=

104-10235-10183: MEMO-DR. MIRO THINKS IT WOULD BE VERY DESIRABLE, NOW ESTABLISH CONTACT WITH JOSE IGNACIO LASAGA

2/20/62 "memo to Phil" (William Kent) by T.F.P. (Theodore F. Passavoy/Col. Wendell Johnson): "Dr. Miro thinks it would be very desirable to have Belfort now establish contact with Jose Ignacio Lasaga, now secretary of doctrine and propaganda at CRC...Lasaga will have overall control of prop as director. Has talked to Del Cerro and told him that he will be director of the Bulletin but that he (Lasaga) has overall direction. Del Cerro accepted this situation. Salvador Lew will handle radio matters..."

104-10228-10405: AMBUD COMMISSION OF DOCTRINE AND PROPAGANDA

05/02/62, CIA document: "c. AMBUD Commission of Doctrine and Propaganda: See Separate Cover Attachment B for a description of the activities of this group. Keith Bongirno acts as a one man 'watch dog' committee for the Station to make certain that the funds given to this group are spent in accordance with an agreed upon program. In order to do this, Bongirno is in direct contact with the Chairman of the Commission, a post held until two months ago by AMCORE-2 and, until 29 April 1962, by Subject of UFGA-3803 who has now resigned. Concurrently, Bongirno maintains direct informal (but more effective) contact with 201-277590 (See 104-10298-10069): Probably 201 number for Angel del Cerro, director of the CRC's monthly periodical Cuba Nueva, as well as "Crisis") who is personally loyal to Bongirno, alerts him to deviations when imminent and accepts KUCAGE guidance for the semi-monthly publications. - - Transmittal Slip: To: File CRC Publicity: "Remarks: Sample of CRC Doctrine & Propaganda activity received under separate cover with UFGA-3957, 2 May 62, 201-(REDACTION) (REDACTION)NAURAL)." Assuming that WH/4/PM/Ops is the same man as BINAURAL and Keith Bongorino, it makes sense that a PM officer "would take guidance" from a KUCAGE/PW operative.

104-10299-10150: DISPATCH: GYROSE/KUCAGE/OPERATIONAL/CRC PROPAGANDA COMMISSION 1-31 MAY ACTIVITIES

06/11/62, Dispatch from COS, JMWAVE to Chief, Task Force W (Originating Officer: Walter D. Newby, PW, Coordinating Officer: Robert K. Trouchard, C/PW, Releasing Officer: Andrew K. Reuteman, ACOS): REF: UFGA-3957 (Attachment B), 2 May 1962: "1. Attached hereto is a monthly progress report for May 1962 in the activities of the Commission of Doctrine and Propaganda of the Revolutionary Council of Cuba (CRC), prepared by Keith G. Bongirno. We also attach copies of the semi-monthly publications Cuba Nueva (with a summary in English of the articles contained therein) and copies of its information bulletin Hoja Informativa..." At the bottom left hand side of the dispatch, below "Attachments" and "Distribution" is ..."1 - BINAURAL (First three letters are redacted)/OPS..." Also see 104-10229-10241: 7/23/62 dispatch shows Bongirno preparing the June monthly progress report as well.

104-10235-10142: CABLE-AMCORE-2 TOLD THAT HE GOT IN CONVERSATION WITH ANTONIO SILIO, SECY OF AMBUD

6/23/62: Antonio Silio was in charge of CRC propaganda as of June 1962. Also see 104-10171-10025, a 6/4/61 memo by WH/4/PM/Ops Anthony Sileo where using the alias "Tony Sanders" talked with Isidro Borja/AMHINT-5 about a possible commando mission to rescue Alberto Muller/AMHINT-1..

104-10235-10044: CABLE: FOLL ARE REACTIONS TO DATE ON AMBUD-1 SPEECH AS REQUESTED

08/03/62, Cable from JMWAVE to Director: "FOLL are reactions to date on AMBUD-1 speech as requested Ref A: A. Source AMBLAB-1: Interviewed six Cubans WAVE area with result that two not know of speech and other four read it in Diario. Three thought it good, but not have much faith in AMBUD-1. The fourth criticized AMBUD-1 openly. Seems their criticism against speaker rather than contents speech. B. Source AMCUTLER-1: Interviewed 25 to 30 Cubans WAVE area. Very few heard speech on radio, most read it in Diario. Only 3 or 4 not know of speech. Generally not understand why something not done about critical situation prisoners in Isle of Pines, and others, feel something should be done through Red Cross, Commission on Human Rights, etc. Some believe AMBUD-1 exaggerating prisoner conditions (they know prisoners who have received food packages from relatives, etc). Although they all agree conditions (unintelligible) and inhuman. Source says it seems these individuals interviewed not have much faith anymore in what AMBUD-1 says. C. BINAURAL survey Cuban sources reveals mildly approving reactions."

104-10164-10324: DISPATCH: DR. ORLANDO BOSCH AVILA

09/19/62, Dispatch from COS, JMWAVE to Chief, Task Force W: "3. The following information was received through BINAURAL-1 from AMBASAL-1 on 11 September 1962: Subject began his activities in Santa Clara, the capital of Las Villas Province, where he was born. He is an M.D. He was a friend of Plinio Prieto, the Autentico Party leader who was shot at Las Campanas for opposition to Castro. Subject organized an anti-Castro organization called Movimiento Insurrecional Revolucionario which later became Ejercito Cubano Anticomunista Frente Escambray. Subject was the secretary general of the latter organization, other top posts being held by Dr. Gonzalo Lage and Evelio Duque, 'the fighting Comandante' who lived in Spain for many years under the name Marcelino Garcia. Lage recently became disgusted with Subject and left the group. Although in October 1961 Subject's organization made a pro forma declaration of support to Julio Garceran's claim of the presidency, it is not connected with the Constitutional Thesis group and acts independently in all things. Subject resides at 2019 NW Flagler Terrace, Miami. His telephone number is PR 4-8348".. For 1963, see 104-10165-10314, p. 2: Undated CIA document on AMCORE-2: ..."6. Method of contact: Through BINAURAL..." Officer's comment: "Heads production of Dr. Miro's (CRC/AMBUD). Future plans are to have him replaced with a propaganda man with his feet on the ground...His production is mostly self-glorification. His forte is rabble-rousing public addresses. He is irresponsible...This man (AMCORE-2) is a liability."

104-10227-10098: DISPATCH:PROGRESS REPORT ON AMBUD FOR AUGUST 1962

9/22/62 dispatch from Chief of Station, JMWAVE to Chief, TFW: "...the usual monthly report on AMBUD Prop Activities which was previously prepared by BINAURAL will now be prepared, beginning September, by AMBUD since BINAURAL did not have contact with Angel del Carro's replacement." See 104-10231-10337, p. 7: As late as March 1963, Antonio Silio served as the secretary to Miro Cardona/AMBUD-1 - he had his own secretaries and his own assistant while he worked alongside Cardona.

104-10235-10012: NAME LIST IMPLEMENTATION OF MIRO DECLARATION.

Circa March-April 1963, a CIA document titled: "IMPLEMENTATION OF MIRO DECLARATION: After Receipt of Cable from SANJ:... WMIE program (Voz del Pueblo (Sat. & Sun. night): Newby thru BINAURAL and Salvador Lew. Office home - 865-9632..." Sileo is on the same level of Cuban PW and PM ops as Gordon Biniaris/James O'Malia, Newby/Joannides, Kiggins/Wall, Smeryage/Clines, Hewitt/Gneiting, and the others referred to in this memo.

104-10229-10030: CABLE: FOLLOWING JMWAVE ACTION TO GIVE FULLEST PLAY AMBUD-1

07/12/63, Cable from JMWAVE to Director: "1. Following JMWAVE action taken to give fullest play AMBUD-1 statement made Costa Rica 9 June: A. First AMBUD WRUL program 2100-2130 hours 10 June: Due technical reasons not able add AMBUD-1 statement to prerecorded tape this program from WAVE area. However, AMIGGY-1/Espino Lopez Rieto, Director AMBUD WRUL program, contacted AMBUD NY rep Ernesto Aragon who had wire service cable his possession. He took it WRUL NY studio and station cut in on program following AMBUD broadcast to announce AMBUD-message. B. Through (REDACTION)NAURAL: La Voz del Pueblo program WMIE 11 June 2200-2230 hours (Salvador Lew) will contain news item AMBUD-1 statement and supporting editorial comment. Cuba Lucha, WMIE, 2030-2045 hours 11 June (Angel del Cerro) will contain news item and favorable editorial comment. Also 13 June WMIE 2230-2245 hours the DMR will give favorable comments its portion of Voz del Pueblo program."

104-10075-10136: JMWAVE CABLE RE POSSIBLE ATTEMPT TO CENSURE U.S./CUBA POLICY THROUGH THE ((ILLEGIBLE)).

11/22/63. Cable from JMWAVE to Director: "SUPDATA: BINAURAL from Alberto Joffre Causido (UDCL), do not use Joffre true name, from Salvio Uriarte of CE...COUNTRY: CUBA...SOURCE: A reliable Western observer with good connections in Latin American sporting circles. The information is from a Cuban journalist in exile from Salvio Uriarte, member of Corporaciones Economicas."

Contributors:
John Newman • Gavin McDonald • Bill Simpich • Dr. Juan B. Giusti

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