Home/ Resources / Projects / CIA Pseudonyms / pseudonym: CORNISH_JOHN

Pseudonym: Cornish, John

Return to Main Pseudos Page

John N. Cornish was probably a pseudonym used by Raford W. Herbert, Acting Chief of Western Hemisphere Division in early 1965.
Cornish approved a report made by Paula K. Thyfault in 1961 from Santiago, Chile.

Two dispatches in February and March of 1965 were from the Chief of the Western Hemisphere Division (WHD) to the Chief of Station (COS), Mexico City. Both were signed by John Cornish. The Originating Officer for the dispatch in February was Charlotte Bustos-Videla of WH/1, the Coordinating Officer was Grace LNU of WH/PO/A, and the Releasing Officer was Raford W. Herbert as AC (Acting Chief), WHD (although Spera was handwritten in above Herbert's name). The dispatch in March's Originating Officer was Jane Zerance of WH/1, and the Releasing Officer was Raford W. Herbert as AC/WHD.

A memo in May of 1964 was from Herbert as Deputy Chief, WHD. Philip Agee, in his book, Inside the Company, CIA Diary, also mentioned that Ray Herbert was Deputy Chief, WHD, at around this time.


01/01/61: CIA document from Santiago, Chile. Report made by: Paula K. Thyfault. Approved by: John N. Cornish. Source Cryptonym: FUBREEZY from FUBREEZY-1: "Source, operational data, and comments: 1. References to Ahumada and Quintana are to be found in HCS-3659. 2. References to Chonohol are contained in TLB-1528 and TLB-1580, as well as in HCHA-372. 3. There are numerous references to persons by the name of Carlos Matos in the files. One Carlos Matus was connected with Atlas and worked in behalf of the six Peronist refugees who were imprisoned in Chile in 1957. Another Carlos Matus was active in labor union affairs in the Confederacion de Trabajadores de Chile and is now connected with the OUTCh. 4. The source who furnished the prontuarial data on Chonohol was not identified in the files." - - - Some of the people mentioned in the report above also were included in this report from Chile on November 20, 1959: https://www.archives.gov/files/research/jfk/releases/2021/docid-32412725.pdf


Inside the Company, CIA Diary (1975) by Philip Agee: Page 273: ..."In WH Division the big news is that Colonel J. C. King is finally on his way out as Division Chief. His power has gradually been chipped away since the Bay of Pigs invasion by separating Cuban affairs from regular Division decision-making and by surrounding King with various advisers such as Dave McLean, who was Acting Chief of Station in Quito when the junta took over, and Bill Hood, who has had the newly created job of Chief of Operations for the past year. King is being replaced as Division Chief by one of the senior officers who were brought into the Division after the Bay of Pigs from the Far East Division. He is Desmond FitzGerald, Deputy Chief of WH Division for Cuban Affairs — also a newly created job after the Cuban invasion. The regular Deputy Division Chief, Ray Herbert, continues to handle personnel assignments and matters not related directly to operations against Cuba..." - - - Pages 327-28: ..."Montevideo 15 July 1964: The coup rumours have subsided since the general strike last month but several strikes have continued. Headquarters sent down a strange dispatch that Holman believes is a prelude to getting back into political-action operations. According to him the dispatch, although signed as usual by the Division Chief, was actually written by Ray Herbert who is Deputy Division Chief and an old colleague of Holman's from their days in the FBI. In rather ambiguous terms this dispatch instructs us to expand our contacts in the political field to obtain intelligence about political stability, government policy concerning activities of the extreme left, and possible solutions to current problems such as constitutional reform. Holman believes that Herbert deliberately did not mentioned political- action operations (as opposed to political-intelligence collection) but that the message to prepare for renewal of these operations was was clearly implied..."


Inside the Company, CIA Diary (1975) by Philip Agee: Page 339: ..."Holman is not only determined to keep operations to a minimum. At night or on week-ends when priority cables are received or have to be sent Holman refuses to go to the station to take action. He either sends O'Grady in to bring the cable out to his house in Carrasco — against all the rules of security — or he has the communications officer bring it out to him. If another officer has to take action he simply calls that officer to his house. I'm not sure what to do since I'm the only officer Holman thinks is doing a good job — nothing to be proud of, it could even be the kiss of death. Warren Dean told me before leaving Quito that Holman isn't considered one of the more outstanding Chiefs of Station in the Division, but he's apparently protected by Ray Herbert, the Deputy Division Chief, who is Holman's best friend..." - - - Page 350: ..."Apparently certain powers in headquarters are not entirely pleased with the station's performance, particularly in the area of Soviet operations, and Holman is to be transferred in about six months to Guatemala. His replacement as Chief of Station will be a man named John Horton, who came to WH Division from the Far East Division along with so many others after the Bay of Pigs invasion. Holman has-only just got official notification but he heard the change was coming, some time ago from his protector Ray Herbert, the Deputy Division Chief. Although Herbert was able to salvage the situation somewhat by arranging Holman's reassignment to Guatemala, Holman's bitterness keeps growing. Russ Phipps, the Soviet operation officer, is now almost up to O'Grady's level on Holman's list of persons to blame, but Riefe was attacked because he's obviously part of the new crew being assembled by Horton. Clearly Holman resents being edged aside by newcomers from FE Division because his days in Latin America go back to World War II..."


05/08/64: Memorandum from Raford W. Herbert, DC/WH to Deputy Director for Plans: Subject: U-2 Message to Fidel Castro:


02/08/65: Dispatch from Chief, WH Division to COS, Mexico City: Subject: LIEMPTY Project Renewal: "1. The LIEMPTY (note: umbrella surveillance project in Mexico City, formerly code-named LIPSTICK. Included a variety of sub-projects under it) Project Renewal request forwarded in reference, was approved on 29 January 1965 for the period 1 December 1964 through 30 November 1965 for a total of $45,300; $27,675 for FY 1965 and $17,625 for FY 1966. 2. At the time of approval, Assistant KUDOVE (Clandestine services of CIA) stated he expects this project to live within the sum authorized for the year, and that there will be no amendment for additional funds. 3. As you were informed in HMMW 13282 in the dispatch on the LIEMBRACE (note: a Mexico City-based surveillance project, under the umbrella LIPSTICK project. LIEMBRACE included a surveillance team, a radio repairman, and a phototruck team) Project Renewal, KUTUBE (Foreign Intelligence - FI - division of CIA) is interested in the problem of hostile monitoring of any radio communications from LIMITED (note: one of three photo surveillance sites under the LIEMPTY umbrella project. LIMITED was a fixed site right across the street from the front gate of the Soviet Embassy. The other two photo sites were LILYRIC and LICALLA). You should remain alert to this problem, and inform us if Headquarters can be of any assistance in helping you maintain communications security. 4. You are reminded that the LIEMPTY Project, as approved, only covers the salary for Oliver G. Scantling (Juan Nepomuseno Frias Ramirez) through 31 May 1963. It is suggested that a separate project be written to cover Scantling if his new duties do not fall entirely under any other approved project. John N. Cornish." Originating Officer: C. Bustos-Videla, WH/1. Coordinating Officer: (Handwritten: Grace), WH/PO/A. Releasing Officer: Raford W. Herbert (handwritten: Spera), AC/WHD.

104-10188-10016: ( )AFGHAN PRODUCTION.

03/11/65: Dispatch from Chief, WH Division to COS, Mexico City: Subject: LIONION/American Car at PBRUMEN Embassy: "1. Texas license plate number JU-2410 was assigned to a 1959 Chevrolet station wagon owned by Ana S. de Morales Coello, Reina 46-A, Mexico 20, D.F., Mexico, c/o Crockett Hotel, San Antonio, Texas. 2. There were no identifiable Headquarters traces on her. 3. Permission is granted to pass information on this case to ODENVY (FBI). John N. Cornish." Originating Officer: J. Zerance, WH/1. Releasing Officer: Raford W. Herbert, AC/WHD.


Inside the Company, CIA Diary (1975) by Philip Agee: Page 396: ..."We have had a short visit from the new Deputy Chief of WH Division, Jake Esterline. He has replaced Ray Herbert who is retiring. He told me that I won't be able to return to Washington in three months as I had planned because my replacement will be delayed some six months. A disappointment as the situation at home is difficult, but I agreed to stay on as long as necessary. Horton gave a buffet supper for Esterline and all the station personnel. During a heated conversation on why Holman was sent to a trouble-spot like Guatemala, Esterline admitted that he had tried to change Holman's assignment because news of Holman's incompetence in Montevideo had gradually gotten back to headquarters. However, Des FitzGerald who took over as DDP from Helms, was reluctant to change the assignment because agreement had already been obtained from the State Department. Esterline added, however, that he and the new Chief of WH Division, Bill Broe, are making sure that Holman's criticism of station officers is offset by special memoranda for the personnel files. I would have liked to talk to Esterline about matters of principle related to counter-insurgency — such as how we can justify our operations to support the police and beat down the PCU, FEUU and other leftists when this only serves to strengthen this miserable, corrupt and ineffectual Uruguayan government. If we in the CIA, and the other US programmes as well, seek to strengthen this and other similarly clique-serving governments only because they are anti-communists, then we're reduced to promoting one type of injustice in order to avoid another..."

See Also:
Gavin McDonald • Philip Agee

© Mary Ferrell Foundation. All Rights Reserved. |Site Map |MFF Policies |Contact Us