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Pseudonym: Ashmead, Hugh

Definition:
Hugh Ashmead was a pseudonym used by CIA Counterintelligence Chief (CI), James Jesus Angleton.
Category:
pseudonym
Status:
Documented
Sources:

104-10172-10236: CABLE: STORY OF SOVIET DEFECTOR CURRENTLY IN UK CARRIED BY ALL PRINCIPAL LOND PAPERS MORNING 12 JULY

07/12/63, Cable from London to Director: Slugline RYBAT KUDESK AELADLE (REDACTION): FOR ASHMEAD: "1. Story of Soviet defector currently in UK carried by all principal LOND papers morning 12 July. Longest story was carried by Telegraph and contained some accurate facts but many inaccuracies such as the defector made 'contact with Americans after revelation which followed Penkovsky/Wynne trial in Moscow in May.' Pouching clips to Winston R. Gagarin...C/S Comment: **Daily Telegraph representative has stated that they 'had heard from their U.S. contacts that a Russian had stayed behind in the U.S. and defected there and had later come over to the United Kingdom.' (REDACTION) can only assume that Telegraph talking about AELAIDE (Anatoliy Golitsyn) (7)."

104-10068-10025: DISPATCH: LEE HARVEY OSWALD

09/10/64, Dispatch from Chief, KUDESK, via Chief, WH, to COS, Mexico City (Attention: Willard C. Curtis): "The attached documents and translation, provided by ODACID (U.S. State Department), are for your information. The Warren Commission has decided not to confront Mrs. Duran with the copy of Oswald's visa application, therefore, no action by Mexico City Station with respect to the paper is desired at this time. (REDACTION). Hugh N. Ashmead. (Handwritten note: CC of dispatch (Info ATTS) sent to Sylvia Duran (P-) files."

104-10007-10034: DISPATCH: ITALIAN PRESS COVERAGE - WARREN COMMISSION REPORT ON PRESIDENT'S ASSASSINATION

10/01/64, Dispatch from COS, Rome to Chief, WE (For Hugh N. Ashmead): "1. On 28 September 1964, Clarkson was requested by IDENTITY to obtain clippings of the various Italian newspapers reporting on the findings of the Warren Commission. 2. Since the American wire services for the most part have provided summaries of the foreign press here in Italy, we are not attempting to read every article and summarize it. However, we are including below brief comments on several articles which appeared in the Rome press. a. Il Messaggero, a responsible independent Rome daily, reported the basic conclusions of the Warren Report in clear-cut fashion. b. L'Unita', official organ of the Italian Communist Party, stated that since Oswald was dead he could not defend himself, therefore, there was valid reason to suspect a conspiracy. L'Unita' advanced the idea that this was the consensus among different strata of public opinion. c. Il Popolo, official mouthpiece of the Christian Democratic Party, gave the report excellent, straight coverage, stating that Oswald was the killer of President Kennedy and the crime was committed without the assistance of foreign or domestic conspirators. d. Rome's crypto-Communist afternoon daily, Paese Sera, said that in studying the report there appeared to be many contradictions and omissions, and concealment of testimony, and that the Commission had arrived at arbitrary facts and conclusions. e. The Right-of-Center Il Tempo concluded that Oswald's Marxist convictions and beliefs were the cause of the assassination. 3. Clarkson will send a similar report to ODFOAM (U.S. Secret Service). The Station is also providing copies of the newspaper articles to the local ODENVY (FBI) representative. Daniel M. Presland."

104-10414-10185: CABLE: CORRECT THAT COVERAGE SOV EMBASSY VISITORS SAME AS PAST (LIMITED AND LILYRIC)

06/08/65, Cable from Mexico City to HQs (Orig: G.F. Gestetner): Sluglines RYBAT ZRTAFFY: ASHMEAD FROM CURTIS: REF HQS 146: "1. Correct that coverage Sov Embassy visitors same as past (LIMITED and LILYRIC). Correct that U.S. visitors now rare. 2. Suggest comment to FBI evidence that word has gotten around that PBSWING (U.S. Embassy or official installation) Mexico aware identities U.S. visitors to Sov Embassy, which probable deterrent to all but extremely naive. 3. Curtis believes wide distribution Warren Commission Report on Oswald case could have caused a decrease in visitors."

104-10419-10042: DISPATCH: GUIDANCE RELATING TO RESPONSIBILITIES FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE PRESIDENT WHILE TRAVELING ABROAD

11/18/69, Dispatch from Chief, WOMUSE to Chief of Certain Stations and Bases: Lengthy dispatch from Hugh N. Ashmead/James Angleton.

104-10129-10097: CABLE RE DEATH BENEFITS FOR MRS. CURTIS.

04/29/71, Cable to Director: Sluglines RYBAT JMSPUR: FOR LUSBY AND ASHMEAD: "1. To summarize, Ashmead called on Mrs Curtis (hereafter 'she') afternoon of 28 April to talk to her of regret of Director and friends in organization of Curtis’ death and discussed briefly and generally the benefits to which she is entitled, noting that our current information tentative. Ashmead spoke of seeing that competent staff member legal counsel’s office made available to advise her of on these matters and to see that she gets every advantage for herself and children from these benefits. She then not sure of existence or validity or status of will nor sure who lawyer or executor might be and agreed to talk to CCS in meantime of these questions. 2. Ashmead turned to planned Curtis trip to see Director of which she aware and covered chief parts of manuscript of which she aware but which she said she had not seen. (She told Kingman on 29 April that she and other have heard much talk of manuscript from Curtis. For example, Burnell Goodrich claims to have read one chapter. She thinks Dempster may have helped with SMORANGE parts. This discussion of manuscript by Curtis, although not clear who all may have read it, means it is well known and, according to her, looked for with some anticipation by friends in his U. S. circle here). Ashmead warned her against reading manuscript, as it discusses in open way intimate matters of previous marriage. Importantly, Ashmead pointed out, information therein would violate two different secrecy agreements (REDACTION) and U. S.) as well as doing great damage to our relationship with other governments. The information is, as it were, U. S. Government property and Ashmead said that the publication would dismay Curtis’ friends and harm his reputation and memory. She seemed appalled at idea of publishing manuscript, saying that she realized when Curtis told her of visit to Director that something was wrong..."

104-10129-10098: CABLE RE WILL AND DOCUMENTS.

05/03/71, Cable from Withheld to Director: Slugline RYBAT JMSPUR: FOR LUSBY AND ASHMEAD: "1. On legal front, appears there is no valid will, although two different unsigned documents have been found. Kingman will talk to lawyer Goodrich to get interpretation of what this means: lay and general opinion is that it means fifty percent goes to widow and remaining fifty percent of estate goes to children under Mexican law. 2. On 30 April, Mrs Curtis turned over further classified papers to Kingman along with small arsenal of weapons which we shall take care of disposing of probably through GOM authorities. Mrs Curtis this week continues cooperative with station in every way and hope we can give her word soon on arrival our lawyer. 3. Kingman has personally gone through documents obtained from Mrs Curtis and read nearly all of them. In view interest in manuscript which consists of number of drafts and copies, will pouch this material to you for your examination. Will sent inventory with documents with special notes where pertinent. As we want to get materials out of Mexico, in case questions arise later, will pouch five file boxes 7 May directed to Ernest A. Lusby. GP-1"

David C. Martin, Wilderness of Mirrors (1980),

Note 2018 edition, Page 206: ..."All CIA officers adopted an alias for communications between headquarters and the field - Angleton's was Hugh Ashmead - but when he traveled abroad he carried a private set of code pads in his belt to give his cables to headquarters even greater security..."

http://www.nytimes.com/1987/05/12/obituaries/james-angleton-counterintelligence-figure-dies.html

05/12/87, Obituary of James Angleton by Stephen Engelberg in The New York Times: Headlined: James Angleton, Counterintelligence Figure, Dies: "WASHINGTON, May 11 - James Angleton, the erudite Central Intelligence Agency officer whose search for Soviet agents inside the Government stirred an uproar in the murky worlds of intelligence for a generation, died here this morning of lung cancer. He was 69 years old, Mr. Angleton, who joined the C.I.A. at its inception in 1947, served for more than 20 years as head of its counterintelligence office. He was forced to resign his post in 1974 by William E. Colby, then Director of Central Intelligence, who had become convinced that Mr. Angleton's efforts were harming the agency. The tall, donnish intelligence official remains one of the most fascinating figures in the history of the C.I.A. His counterintelligence office was considered one of the most secret in the agency, and the problems it analyzed resembled the multidimensional chess games depicted in the best espionage fiction. With his departure, the agency cut the counterintelligence staff to 80 from 300, and turned away from some of the techniques he had pioneered. Today, some intelligence officials and members of Congress say this may have been an overreaction. They say that the recent disclosures about highly damaging Soviet espionage operations suggest that Mr. Angleton was more accurate in his suspicions than was once believed. (Distrust of Soviet Motives) Counterintelligence is one of the most thankless jobs in spy craft. Its practitioners think the unthinkable, examining each operation, recruit or defector for the possibility that it may be a deception. Counterintelligence agents also try to recruit agents who work for hostile intelligence services, hoping to confuse opponents with cleverly packaged false information. Friends and associates agree that Mr. Angleton, who wore glasses and had a pronounced stoop, was ideally suited for his life's work..."

Jefferson Morley, The Ghost: The Secret Life of CIA Spymaster James Jesus Angleton (2017), p. 215

"John Horton returned to 16 Rio Escondido the next day. He spent several hours behind the locked door of Win Scott's study. 'I was amazed at what I found,' Horton wrote in a memo. (27) Scott's office was a mine of precious intelligence: stacks of secret files, as well as tapes and photos of Oswald, and several copies of the unpublished memoir. When no one was looking, Horton lugged three large cartons and four suitcases to an unmarked truck parked at the curb. The packages were shipped by plane back to Angleton's office. 'We have retrieved all papers or will soon have done so,' Horton wrote to Langley. He referred to Angleton by his cryptonym, 'Hugh Ashmead,' and to Janet Scott by Win Scott's cryptonym, 'Willard Curtis.' '(I) think worst has been avoided, through Ashmead's persuasiveness and Mrs. Curtis' good spirit,' Horton said." (28) Sources: Part IV: LEGEND: Page 308: (27) "ARRB collection, National Archives. Horton wrote this in a memo to the CIA in 1992, and it was obtained by the Assassination Records Review Board." (28) "Cable re Death Benefits for Mrs. Curtis."

Contributors:
David C. Martin • Jefferson Morley • MFF

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