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Pseudonym: Damer, Ben

Definition:
Ben Damer was a pseudonym used by CIA operative Gerald R. Lapsley. It is unclear whether Lapsley was a true name or a pseudonym or alias.
Category:
pseudonym
Status:
Documented
Discussion:
A cable on April 22, 1964, stated that "Lapsley should identify self at initial meet as Ben Damer, friend of Bill Thompson." This cable and a memorandum the following day stated that Lapsley was in Geneva and was involved in UNCTAD (probably U.N. Trade and Development Conference) activities.

A memo on November 4, 1963, stated that Lapsley met Doctor Orlando Bosch using the pseudonym F. Benton Damer, a small tweak on Ben Damer.

Gerald R. Lapsley also used the alias of Carl Teels when meeting Augustin Guitart in 1963.
Sources:

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000923924.pdf

01/19/54: Memorandum from Jacob D. Esterline to Chief, WHD (Attention: Withheld): Subject: The PBSUCCESS Operational Support Plan: "The attached plan was submitted by LINCOLN 19 January 1954 via telecon for action and/or approval. It has been prepared in draft so that the appropriate people in WHD may review, revise, and/or comment on the plan before it is finalized and submitted to Chief of Operations and the DD/P in a final form." - - - Pages 2-5: "Limitations on discussion of operational support plan. Lapsley urgently needs copy of proposed unit equipment kits prior to discussing packaging needs via KURIOT (CIA Technical Services Division). Cannot locate rough draft HQs...Other than discussion on kits and requisitions to be drawn up plus general nature of KUHOOK (CIA Paramilitary Operations Staff) plans Lapsley unacquainted details nor possesses draft to date...3..A. Pre D-day underground supply kits, water proofed and made single man transportable by Lapsley and support team between 25 Feb and 12 March, for transport from ROBOLO (Fort Clayton, Panama) to airfield near staging areas Honduras and Salvador by black flight, from airfield to staging areas by Seekford arranged black flight...Equipment inspected and repacked by Lapsley and support team between 12 March and 1 April...Packing for airdrop with sterile (if possible, French cargo chutes. This matter to be discussed Cadick-AMB in proposed Jan 26 meeting) equipment...for delivery ROBALO approx 25 Feb are as Lapsley's list except following...B. Also submitted by Lapsley will be packing material necessary for Category A equipment...2. Lapsley complete the packing equipment survey and required requisitions be submitted and approved by C/WHD and handed to (REDACTION) with same requirements as above..."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000913590.pdf

02/09/54: Memorandum from Jerome C. Dunbar to Chief, DTROBALO: Subject: Operational: Logistical Support Plans PBSUCCESS insofar as Support by ROBALO is Concerned: "1. Headquarters tentatively intends to base Logistical Support of PBSUCCESS at ROBALO (Fort Clayton, Panama). 2. On approximately 15 February 1954 (REDACTION) as Head of Support Activities, will arrive to fully brief Chief of Station, ROBALO on support needs. Accompanying Lapsley will be an experienced packer who will be interested in surveying available working-space and storage facilities. Both will arrive on tourist's cards and will reside at (REDACTION) Hotel until contacted for pick-up. A cable notification of true names and ETA (REDACTION) will be sent. 3. On approximately 20 February an experienced airborne packer will arrive under same circumstances. 4. Between 20 February and 25 February approximately ten cleared laborers will arrive in small groups under similar circumstances unless your station advises more secure method of arrival. 4. Between 20 February and 25 February approximately ten cleared laborers will arrive in small groups under similar circumstances unless your station advises more secure method of arrival. 5. Approximately 25 February thirty (30) tons of additional material, along with air-drop and sterile packing for burial equipment, will arrive (REDACTION) via black flight. Headquarters will provide all black flight arrangements and responsibility. 6. Packing of the material will be the responsibility of Lapsley and assistants. Loading onto planes for transport to dispersal points from (REDACTION) will be the responsibility of Lapsley and assistants..."

104-10164-10294: MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD: MEETING WITH DOCTOR ORLANDO BOSCH AVILA 201-299292

11/04/63: Memorandum for the record from Gerald R. Lapsley: DATE: 31 October 1963 and 1 November 1963: PLACE: The St. Moritz Hotel, New York City: PRESENT: Doctor Bosch, Gerald R. Lapsley as F. Benton Damer, and AMPROVE-2: "1. This report will combine two meetings which were held with Doctor Bosch on Thursday and Friday of last week. AMPROVE-2 participated in the first meeting and, although he was not present for the second meeting, was briefed on what transpired since it was necessary for him to serve as the liaison between Doctor Bosch and ourselves. 2...AMPROVE introduced me to Bosch as Benton Damer, the legal counsel and executive secretary for one of the members of the group offering the financial backing which Doctor Bosch was interested. It was explained to Bosch that these gentlemen were concerned over the legal aspects of their providing funds for this activity. Specifically they were desirous of insuring that their support would in no way serve to be embarrassing to them..."

104-10077-10167: DIRECTOR CABLE RE TELECON

11/27/63: Cable from Director to JMWAVE: Slugline RYBAT YOBITE TYPIC AMCANOE: ..."2...After receipt WAVE 8115 which reflected either misreading or garble of Ref C, Lapsley called Manganello to ensure that WAVE correctly informed in regard who originating call. Para four Ref B also opened door for WAVE discuss second AMCANOE-3 (Antonio Jose Ramirez Mendez aka Tony Ramallo) phone call with AMCANOE-2 before call was made..."

104-10517-10119: CABLE: AMWHIP/1 DUE ARRIVE PARI 26 APRIL

04/22/64: Cable from Director to Geneva, Bern: Slugline RYBAT TYPIC MHFREEZE AMWHIP/1: REF DIR 15094* "AMWHIP/1 (Carlos Tepedino Gonzalez) due arrive PARI 26 April. Due GNVA about 30 April. Briefed New York re GNVA contact instructions per para 2, GNVA 6495 (IN 63875). Lapsley should identify self at initial meet as 'Ben Damer, friend of Bill Thompson.' FYI, it determined recent meet A/1 does not know any UNCTAD delegates personally, but feels can be of some use through ploy of 'mutual' friends. Most willing do what able. Please emphasize A/1 he to do nothing to compromise his 'apolitical' posture vis-a-vis Castroites. (FYI, this posture has recently proved most useful in giving A/1 entre to Cuban Embassy circles Paris). C/S Comment: *AMWHIP/1 unable leave New York prior 24-25 April."

104-10183-10235: AMWHIP/1 MEETING, NEW YORK CITY, 21 APRIL 1964

04/23/64: Memorandum for the record from Withheld, WH/SA/EOB, C/O: Page 3: ..."e. A/1 was requested to spend the minimum time necessary in Paris to accomplish the above missions, then fly to Geneva to assist Lapsley at the UNCTAD activities..."

104-10183-10226: AMWHIP/1 STATED THAT IDEN REMARKED THAT CUBAN SUGAR CROP WOULD BE "IN EXCESS OF FOUR MILLION TONS"

05/09/64: Cable from Geneva to Director: Slugline TYPIC AMWHIP: "1. AMWHIP/1 (Carlos Tepedino Gonzalez) stated that IDEN remarked during one of their conversations held PARI circa 1 May that Cuban sugar crop would be 'in excess of four million tons.' 2. AMWHIP/1 plans see IDEN PARI after 12 May when IDEN returns PARI from Havana. Lapsley requested AMWHIP/1 to try develop additional info on sugar and report it to PARI Station contact."

Contributors:
Gavin McDonald

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