Home/ Resources / Projects / CIA Cryptonyms / cryptonym: ZRJEWEL

Cryptonym: ZRJEWEL

Definition:
A paramilitary training program in 1961 that included Rip Robertson, Grayston Lynch, and Lucien Conein.
Status:
Documented
Sources:

Grayston Lynch, Decision for Disaster (Potomac Books, 2000)

"There were two Americans in Cochinos Bay (the Bay of Pigs) that night (in April 1961), whose mission was to act as American representatives to the 2506 Assault Brigade and as insurance against any mishap that might endanger the effort. Those two agents were William 'Rip' Robertson, a tall, rugged Texan who was to become a legend in the clandestine services, and me."

104-10224-10000 LYNCH, GRAYSON L., OP.

5/12/61 request for approval from CA/PMG (note: Covert Action/Paramilitary Group) to Security Support Division/Office of Security: Grayston Leroy Lynch listed as a member of "Project ZRJEWEL". His specific area of use: "To serve as a paramilitary specialist in any area that is needed." Full details of use: "To provide senior paramilitary support for Agency activity under Project ZRJEWEL." (p. 338): Lynch had been in the Army from 1938-1960, then joined CIA. (p. 318) He had served in Bay of Pigs as a contract agent, this new contract would make him a career agent. (pp. 341-342) Memo to Chief, WH/4 (Cuba) from Chief, CA/PMG: Rip Robertson and Grayston Lynch were working together after June 1961 in Project ZRJEWEL. "Under the terms of Project ZRJEWEL, CA/C/PMG is responsible initially for their selection and recruitment, and subsequently for their training and developmental assignments until they are transferred to an existing operational project under jurisdiction of an operating division...it is suggested that WH Division assume...(administrative) responsibilities for both Robertson and Lynch as of 1 June 1961." Chief, WH/4 also asked to protect the "deniable status" of Robertson and Lynch. (Note how p. 341 initially states "PRJEWEL", and p. 308 is identical letter except for typeface - "ZRJEWEL" - significance is that this letter was typed twice - why?)

1993.07.23.17:25:52:430590 REQUEST FOR APPROVAL OR INVESTIGATIVE ACTION

9/21/61 request for approval for CA/PMG to Security Support Division/Office of Security: Lou Conein. Specific area of use: "In any area that is needed." Full details of use: "To provide paramilitary skills in any area that is needed." Handwritten within is "career agent - CSC". Special limitations: "Priority on PCSA (preliminary covert security action) and CSA per conversation with CA/SG/PERS."

104-10224-10000 LYNCH, GRAYSON L., OP. (continued)

1/16/62 follow-up letter from Chief, CA/PMG to Chief, WH/4 - Robertson and Lynch working together; p. 272: In April 1963, one of the two men was transferred from the AMTABBY commando group to the AMLILAC commando group, while the other man remained with AMTABBY. (page 268). 4/30/63 appointed REDACTED as Chief of the AMLILAC team. Based on the file, it may be Lynch himself. (p. 291) Lynch was TFW in 1962. (p. 288) 9/62, Bill Harvey approved premium pay. (p. 274) In 1963, he was with SAS. (p. 294) 4/19/62 clarification sought of three employees assigned to JMDUSK. (p. 274) 11/26/63, Stanley Zamka/David Morales signs fitness report for REDACTED (probably Lynch), who has headed a commando team from 5/1/63-9/30/63. (p. 339) Lynch has an IQ of 130, team commander and combat experience.

Deposition of Lucien Conein: http://documents.theblackvault.com/documents/jfk/NARA-July2017/JFK-July_2017_Release-Formerly_released_in_part/DOCID-32423482.PDF

(p. 16): "I retired from the military in 1961 and returned to the CIA. I was sent to Vietnam in 1961 and I remained in Vietnam until 1967. I left the CIA in 1968, July the 15th, retired from CIA and military. I went into private business for a couple years and in 1971 I worked as a consultant for the White House for approximately four months, four or five months. I was then a consultant to the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs of the Department of Justice and I joined the DEA in 1973 and I am presently working for the DEA...(In the late 1961-early 1962 period) Mr. Colby had assigned me to work with the Minister of the Interior of the Government of Vietnam, and I was responsible to be the liaison between the CIA and the Ministry of the Interior on a program, on a project, which was called (the) Strategic Hamlet program."

104-10112-10093: PERSONAL HISTORY STATEMENT OF CONEIN, LUCIEN EMILE

(page 2 of 17): Nickname: Luigi. (page 5 of 17) Served in military in France (1944), China (1945), military-polit in Indochina (1945 and 56-59), intelligence in Germany (1946-53) and Iran (1959-61).

Ted Shackley, Spymaster (Potomac Books, Inc., Dulles, VA) 2005, pp. 55-56

"(In early 1962) it was decided to review what sabotage operations were being considered for implementation. This revealed that the team of Rip Robertson, Grayston Lynch and Mickey Kappes had been working for months planning an operation against the Matahambre copper mine complex in Pinar del Rio province, an important export earner and thus valuable to Castro...we completed the planning for the operation, got policy approval from the Special Group (Augmented), and launched it. The team got into the Matahambre complex as planned...we learned later that Cuban authorities had found the explosives (and) disarmed them...our Matahambre failure was not well received by Bobby Kennedy. His caustic tongue worked at full speed to let all and sundry know we were the new Keystone Kops. On October 20 the team was back at Matahambre. This time they were detected by Cuban security forces. A short firefight followed. Of the eight men on the team, six were captured. Castro broadcast his triumph over Havana radio. Heartburn was suffered in Washington, and of course the displeasure was conveyed to us in Miami with a series of biting and unflattering remarks."

Contributors:
Bill Simpich • Larry Hancock

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