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Cryptonym: TWIXT

Definition:
Robert Maheu's first project with the CIA, assigning him to work against the interests of Greek industrialist Aristotle Onassis. Maheu was retained by the CIA to aid Onassis' competitor Stavros Nairchos after Onassis cut a deal to control 90% of Saudi Arabia's oil.
Status:
Documented
Discussion:
Onassis' prolonged battles with the CIA are described in the LPHIDDEN documents. Not much is known about Project TWIXT. Maheu's office was said to be the model for the television show "Mission Impossible".
Sources:

104-10219-10280: Operational Security Clearance for Mr. Robert Maheu

8/11/54 memo from Roger Goiran, Chief of Division of Near East and Africa to STC/SPB: Seeking operational security clearance for Maheu. He will not be fully briefed, nor will he receive any money. Maheu will be working in the US. The next page indicates that Maheu is assigned to a country in the "Near East" - which must be Saudi Arabia.

104-10122-10344: MAHEU, ROBERT A. [LONG COMMITTEE INTERESTED IN MAHEU BECAUSE INVESTIGATING WIRETAPPING ACTIVITIES]

Maheu was given a covert security clearance at the request of NE/2 to work on Project TWIXT...The only significant association the Agency had with Maheu during (1954-19550 involved the struggle between two Greek industrial giants, Stavros Niarchos and Aristotle Onassis." Maheu was retained to aid Nairchos after Onassis cut a deal to control 90% of Saudi Arabia's oil. The CIA allied with Niarchos. TWIXT was Maheu's first assignment, on or about 8/11/54. A similar project, LPHIDDEN, began a couple weeks later.

1993.07.21.08:58:07:430620: ROBERT A. MAHEU: OS/SAG FILES PROVIDED TO THE HSCA

8/17/76, memo from John S. Hunt, Security Analysis Group to Director of Security: "A thorough search of Office of Security files, including the file on Robert A. Maheu and Associates...failed to indicate that subject had ever signed a secrecy agreement with the Agency."

Thomas, Evan (1992). The Man to See. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 158.

Maheu's investigative agency was said to be the model for the television series, Mission Impossible.

157-10005-10225: TESTIMONY OF LAWRENCE HUSTON

Testimony of CIA general counsel Lawrence Huston, 8/12/75: "Niarchos and Onassis were competing for control of the tanker elements in the Middle East."

Jim Hougan, Spooks (Bantam, 1978), p. 275

"On January 20, 1954, (Aristotle Onassis) finalized a secret contract of such immense implications that it might, in the space of a few years, make him wealthier and more powerful than some nations. Called "the Jiddah Agreement", the contract permitted Onassis to establish and operate an Arabian maritime fleet that would be guaranteed the right to ship between 10 percent and 100 percent of all Arabian oil. As such, it was a direct threat to the International Petroleum Cartel (IPC), whose monopoly of world oil reserves depended on its members' absolute control over each and every process having to do with petroleum: its discovery, production, storage, refinement, shipment and local distribution. The workings of that integrated monopoly, in which seven multinational companies controlled virtually all of the world's energy supply, were as finely tuned as an Apollo launching."

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Contributors:
Bill Simpich

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