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Cryptonym: QKENCHANT

Definition:
"Agency project used to provide security approvals on non-Agency personnel and facilities.....to discuss proposed projects, activities, and possible relationships."
Status:
Documented
Discussion:
Project QKENCHANT's participants included such notables as E. Howard Hunt, Peter and Robert Maheu, and figures associated with Clay Shaw. The crypt has been of particular interest to many because of the Clay Shaw connection, written about in Bill Davy's "Let Justice Be Done."

References below document some of the individuals cleared for QKENCHANT. Note that not all participants were witting. QKENCHANT Description File: http://www.foia.cia.gov/sites/default/files/document_conversions/89801/DOC_0000904662.pdf QKENCHANT membership: Robert and Peter Maheu: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=27004#relPageId=2 https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=53706&search=234529_Peter+Maheu#relPageId=4&tab=page Benjamin Sonnenberg: http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=8296&search=QKENCHANT#relPageId=3&tab=page Guy P. Johnson: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=4857&relPageId=2 J. Monroe Sullivan: http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=14623&search=Monroe_sullivan#relPageId=2&tab=page https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=40191#relPageId=2 E. Howard Hunt: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=103901#relPageId=82 Leo Cherne: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=13730#relPageId=2 Hugh McDonald: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=14936#relPageId=2&tab=page
Sources:

Document CIA-IR-06 available on CIA's FOIA website

See http://www.foia.cia.gov/sites/default/files/document_conversions/89801/DOC_0000904662.pdf for the definition of QKENCHANT quoted above (page 5). The document on page 2 elaborates: "QKENCHANT was a project for obtaining clearances, that is, Provisional Covert Security Approvals (PCSA), with the Office of Security in connection with the acquisition of [REDACTED]. Regarding Clay Shaw, this document states that "he received a 'five-agency' clearance on 23 March 1949. Our records indicate the QKENCHANT project did not begin until sometime in 1952, therefore, Shaw in all probability was not cleared by the QKENCHANT program."

104-10255-10016: SULLIVAN, MONROE J. (J. MONROE) SUBJECT CLAIMED TO BE WITH CLAY SHAW IN SAN FRANCISCO ALL DAY ON 22 NOVEMBER 1963

This Garrison-era memo comments on J. Monroe Sullivan, Clay Shaw's superior at the International Trade Mart and his "alibi" for 11/22/63: "Subject was granted a Provisional Security Approval for use under Project QKENCHANT on an unwitting basis on 10 December 1962." It elaborates: "At the time of the clearance Subject was Executive Director, World Trade Center Authority, Ferry Bldg., San Francisco, California.....Subject's utilization was primarily and strictly as a source of information to identify individuals and/or firms in the state of California that have the potential to support cover requirements."

104-10195-10007: MEMORANDUM: SUBJECT - CLAY L. SHAW

This document has been cited to show Clay Shaw's approval under QKENCHANT, but it is actually at best ambiguous. It states: "...J. Monroe Sullivan, #280207, was granted a covert security approval on 10 December 1962 so that he could be used in Project QKENCHANT. SHAW has #402897-A." It does not specifically state that Shaw was cleared for QKENCHANT, and the 402897-A number is a general file number for Shaw (search for 402897 on this website to see many references re: Shaw).

104-10119-10323: MEMO: HUNT WORKING FOR PUBLISHING COMPANY

Legendary CIA officer and Watergate burglar E. Howard Hunt was cleared for QKENCHANT after he left official employment with the Agency. This document requests QKENCHANT approval as it was necessary for him to become witting of the relationship between CIA and Hunt's new employer, the Robert Mullen publishing company; the CIA FOIA document first referenced states outright: "Hunt was cleared for QKENCHANT."

104-10121-10355: CENTRAL COVER STAFF REQUESTED AN EXPEDITE QKENCHANT CLEARANCES

This document notes that "5 February 1969 Central Cover Staff has requested an expedite QKENCHANT clearance for Peter Maheu.....son of Robert A. Maheu." The father, Robert, was the initial contact in the so-called CIA-Mafia plots to assassinate Fidel Castro. This document also notes a request for QKENCHANT clearance of another employee of Robert Maheu (name redacted). Robert Maheu himself is not specifically noted one way or the other as having QKENCHANT clearance, though it does state that in 1954 he was similarly cleared for a project named LPHIDDEN.

104-10120-10595: HUGH CHISHOLM MCDONALD'S BOOK " APPOINTMENT IN DALLAS: THE FINAL SOLUTION TO THE ASSASSINATION OF JFK" ALLEGING CIA INVOLVEMENT

The Central Cover Staff in 1969 "evidenced interest in Mr. McDonald under Project QKENCHANT", but "Office of Security files do not reflect the outcome...". Hugh McDonald in 1975 published the book "Appointment in Dallas."

104-10418-10424: THE OSWALD CASE - JOHNSON, GUY PERSAC #11483 (C)

Guy Persac Johnson, one of Clay Shaw's attorneys, was possibly the nephew of a Guy Johnson who was cleared for QKENCHANT in 1954, according to this document.

Other references

Use RIF search page to find there further documents related to individuals and QKENCHANT: 104-10109-10027 (Leo Cherne), 104-10435-10002 (Benjamin Sonnenberg).

Contributors:
Carmine Savastano • Jerry Shinley • MFF

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