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Cryptonym: STESCALADE

Definition:
The bugging or attempted bugging of the New China News Agency in Havana by David Christ and his Office of Technical Security colleagues in 1960.
Status:
Probable
Sources:

104-10271-10246: CABLE: FOLL VERBATIM REPORT RECEIVED FROM AMB ON 21 SEPT 60

9/22/60, Havana to Director: "...Subsequent emergency meetings requested by AMCONCERT-1 with case officer were called off on basis COS (chief of station) suggestion drop contact during period Cuban govt rolling up STESCALADE group."

104-10095-10272: JAMES MCCORD INVOLVEMENT IN CUBAN OPERATIONS

7/5/74, memo from Ted Shackley, Chief, East Asia Division to Deputy Director for Operations: "The name of the operation against NCNA Havana was STESCLADE." Shackley was asked if James McCord was involved, he said he had no proof but neither could it be ruled out.

104-10111-10078: SPECIAL COMMENDATION FOR THORNTON J. ANDERSON, JR. AND WALTER SAUMINSKI

1964 memo from Case Officer/ZRCHEST John Mertz to Chief, OPSER: "Upon the arrest of Messrs. (David Christ, Thornton J. Anderson, Jr. and Walter Szuminski) on 15 September 1960, the immediate damage assessment disclosed the extent and value of the operational knowledge possessed by the three men, particularly Mr. Christ...investigation disclosed that they were 'loyal' and that the roll-up and arrest were the direct result of certain operational and security deficiencies on the part of Mr. Christ and certain members of the Havana station."

104-10111-10013: Cable re (Deletion) Blown and Carswell, Trondky, Dandbrunt Under Detention

9/15/60 memo from Havana to Director: "ESCALADE blown and Carswell, Tronsky and Dandbrunt under detention,"

104-10066-10076: SUMMARY OF ESCALADE AUDIO OPERATION AGAINST THE NEW CHINA NEWS AGENCY IN HAVANA.

9/20/60 memo by Acting Chief/WH Rudolph E. Gomez to DCI Allen Dulles: Detailed description of how the operation was blown. Other documents include discussion by Scott Breckenridge of whether James McCord was involved - verdict is unknown. (page 2 of 10). Last few pages indicate a possible escape plan drawn up in 1962.

Contributors:
Malcolm Blunt • Bill Simpich

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