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Cryptonym: LIONION

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Definition:
Photosurveillance project targeting Cuban Embassy in Mexico City, also referred to as LIERODE. The purported failure of the LIONION installation to capture a picture of Lee Oswald in late September 1963 was a matter of concern and some disbelief in the HSCA's investigation.
Status:
Documented
Discussion:
Later known as KDAFGHAN.
Sources:

104-10414-10124: MEXICO CITY STATION HISTORY, EXCERPTS

"In October of (1962) the station set up in an apartment just across the street from the front gate of the Cuban embassy a photographic surveillance project which provided photographs of visitors and license plates of automobiles of interest. By tracing license plates and showing photographs to penetration agents inside the embassy, the station identified most of the visitors and exploited some of them for intelligence purposes. This photographic surveillance project was identified by the cryptonym LIONION."

104-10413-10029: CRYPTS

"LIONION (KDAFGHAN) Cuban Embassy Photo Surveillance since 1962."

104-10088-10059: PROJECT LIONION

1/6/63 cable from Chief of Station, Mexico City to Chief, WH: "Attached by split transmission is an outline for Project LIONION covering the services of the two agents heretofore known as LIFEUD-22 (201-288248) and LIFEUD-23 (201-305604)...(at page 4 of 7) within hours of the arrival of a new Embassy staff member his photograph is in the hands of the Station."

104-10126-10059: LIONION PHOTOGRAPHIC OPERATION AGAINST CUBAN CONSULATE

Re 9/27/63: "Available records show that the VLS-2, an automatic camera device, was in the process of being installed at the LIONION basehouse on 27 September 1963." 7/25/78, Memorandum for the Record by Rodger S. Gabrielson.

104-10246-10032: PROGRESS REPORT FOR PERIOD 1 OCTOBER THROUGH 31 DECEMBER

1/12/71 dispatch from Chief of Station, Mexico City to Chief, WH: "Information came to light during this period which causes the Station to believe that KDAFGHAN may be under the control of, or known to, AMSTAFF...As Headquarters is aware, TYPIC operation at this station have been unproductive since early 1968. Consequently, the Chief of Station, the Deputy Chief of Station, and, more lately, the TYPIC Chief, have begun to plan and work TYPIC operations on the assumption that AMSTAFF is on to us..."

Oswald, the CIA, and Mexico City (aka "Lopez Report") Current Section: 6: Glossary of Terms Used in Report

LIONION: "CIA cryptonym for photographic surveillance operations aimed at the Cuban diplomatic compound in Mexico City after July, 1964."

See Also:
Contributors:
Jerry Ennis • Bill Simpich

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