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

Pseudonym: Langosch, Joseph

Definition:
Harold F. Swenson. Swenson was the CIA's Chief of Special Affairs Staff (SAS)/Counterintelligence (CI) in 1963.
Category:
pseudonym
Status:
Documented
Discussion:
Langosch debriefed AMMUG-1 (the Cuban intelligence officer, Vladimir Lahera Rodriguez) after his defection in 1964. In addition, Langosch/Swenson signed an affidavit in September, 1978, which contained his opinion that the AMLASH operation was insecure, prior to the assassination of President Kennedy. Furthermore, Langosch believed that the information which led him to doubt the security of the AMLASH operation was available to senior CIA officials before the assassination, including the Chief, Special Affairs Staff, Desmond FitzGerald.
Sources:

104-10234-10329: CABLE: ROBRENO USEFULNESS FOR CI AND FI NEED NOT INVOLVE AMLASH CASE

03/02/64, Cable from Brussels to Director: RYBAT TYPIC YOBITE AMNIP AMLASH AMAPRON: "1. Robreno usefulness for CI and FI need not involve AMLASH case. AMLASH mention was one of many items covered as indicated in Ref B. Problems seem following: A. Do AMWHIP-1 and Robreno have quick secure two way commo, has AMWHIP received info such as that in Ref B and had he reported Robreno travel to PARI and status there? If answers affirmative, no need for AMNIP-1 to see Robreno again. B. If answers are negative, it would appear best to arrange secure two way commo through AMNIP-1. Use of post office boxes might solve problem without risk of provocation or exposure of KUBARKER (CIAer). This could permit timely notice of Robreno travel, including to Cuba. Reports from him, levying requirements, and arranging future contact with CIAer if and when appropriate. 2. Immediate problem is travel of Langosch and AMNIP-1, probably HAGU and SAGO, and arrival SAGO in time to see target who has ETD 14 March. Unless advised to contrary Langosch and AMNIP will stop PARI after HAGU trip is resolved."

1994.04.19.14:29:41:680005: Reel 19, Folder J - AMMUG-1.

"AMMUG/1: Debriefed by Joseph P. Langosch, C/WH/SA/CI on 23 April 1964 following subject's voluntary defection. Langosch used the alias of Mr. Safely..."

104-10185-10319: MEMORANDUM: VISA APPLICATIONS FOR VLADIMIR RODRIGUEZ LAHERA

05/04/64, Memorandum for the record from Harold F. Swenson, Chief, WH/SA/CI: "1. Attached are copies of two United States forms which Langosch (p) filled out for Rodriguez on 24 April 1964 in Ottawa, Canada. The original of these forms were given to the Station at Ottawa so that arrangements could be made through the U.S. Consulate to arrange entry for Rodriguez into the U.S. as a resident. 2. At the time when Langosch and Rodriguez left Canada the U.S. Consul was not in Ottawa and our Chief of Station had the original forms in his possession, and was to make the necessary arrangements for visa application. File: 201-749651."

104-10051-10028: ESPINOSA ALLEGATIONS

Circa 1965, Memorandum from Harold Swenson, WH/C/SP to Chief, WHD for Cuba: Page 3: ..."Assassination, obviously, is a dangerous game, not merely to the plotters in a physical sense, but to a sponsoring government which may suffer severe political repercussions at home and abroad if its involvement is made known..." See the signed affidavit of Joseph H. Langosch on September 14, 1978.

104-10234-10365: CABLE: VICTOR ESPINOSA ON RETURN

06/08/65, Cable from Madrid to Director: RYBAT KEYWAY PBRUMEN UNSNAFU AMLASH: "1. For PARI: Victor Espinosa on return U.S. told ODURGE (U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and ODENVY (FBI) of AMLASH conspiracy; contacts with AMLASH-2 and 3, UNSNAFU-9, Mirrlees; criticism of KUBARK (CIA) staffers at MADR, including Growery; derogatory allegations on QUSPORT, QUSWIFT-1, AMWHIP-1; Mirrlees scare in accepting as serious joking recruitment by AMLASH-3 for SOVS; relationship at PARI among Bob, Dick, Maureen, Luis Fernandez, UNSNAFU-9; clumsy attempt use AMWHIP against UNSNAFU-19 who witting of AMWHIP ties with CIA; AMWHIP pocketing difference between CIA payments for jewelry and amounts given to UNSNAFU-19; generally inept handling of AMLASHES; needs of AMLASH-1 to vet prompt reply on CIA attitude toward him. Sabetay is aware of details above as told to Langosch by Espinosa."

124-10214-10259:

06/28/65, FBI memo from D. J. Brennan, Jr. to W. C. Sullivan: Subject: Plans to Assassinate Cuban Leaders, Internal Security - Cuba: "The Bureau previously has received information indicating that Cuban exiles have been plotting to assassinate Fidel Castro and other Cuban Government officials. Recently, one of these exiles, Victor D. Espinosa, arrived in the U.S. and informed us that it was necessary that he be placed in contact with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). On 6/25/65, Harold Swenson, CIA, informed the Liaison Agent that he handled the contact with Espinosa. Swenson furnished the following information. Espinosa informed Swenson that he was one of several exiles who were working out an elaborate plan to assassinate Castro and other Cuban Government officials. Espinosa came to CIA for support. Swenson listened to his story and asked several questions concerning the exiles involved. Swenson came to the very definite conclusion that these exiles have not planned anything very carefully; that the security employed was most amateurish; and that the reliability of the individuals involved is highly questionable. Swenson was convinced that any number of exiles must be talking about this plan and it would be ridiculous for the U.S. Government to become involved with the group. He did not give Espinosa any encouragement and, to the contrary, pointed out several defects which undoubtedly would preclude the U.S. Government from affording any support. Swenson subsequently conferred with his Headquarters and the Agency is officially taking the position with Espinosa that his information is being accepted but CIA is not saying any more one way or another. Swenson explained that CIA very definitely does not want to commit itself to any support because of the obvious adverse factors. Similarly, CIA does not want to officially turn down the request for assistance because exiles will be passing the story that CIA refuses to cooperate and is actually assisting Castro..."

1993.06.30.18:04:25:430330: AFFIDAVIT DATED 14 SEPTEMBER 1978 AND SIGNED BY JOSEPH H. LANGOSCH.

09/14/78, CIA document: Page 2: "That during the latter half of April 1964, in my capacity as the Chief of Counterintelligence for the Special Affairs Staff, I became acquainted with an intelligence officer of the Cuban Direccion General de Inteligencia (DGI). That the Cuban intelligence officer with whom I became acquainted had defected from the DGI while in Canada and subsequently entered the United States and maintained an operational relationship with the CIA under the cryptonym (REDACTION)..." - - Pages 3-4: ..."That during 1965 I prepared a memorandum for the Chief of the CIA's Western Hemisphere Division for Cuba, entitled '(REDACTION) Allegations', which concerned security problems with the AMLASH operation. That I prepared the following statement at page 3, paragraph 3A (3) of the memorandum entitled '(REDACTION) Allegations': 'Assassination, obviously, is a dangerous game, not merely to the plotters in a physical sense, but to a sponsoring government which may suffer severe political repercussions at home and abroad if its involvement is made known.' That the government referred to herein is the Government of the United States and that the plotters referred to herein were persons connected with the AMLASH operation. That the AMLASH operation was initiated and supported by the CIA. That when I prepared the memorandum entitled '(REDACTION) Allegations,' considered that the AMLASH operation well might have been an insecure operation prior to the assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963...it was highly possible that as of 1962 the Cuban Intelligence Services had knowledge of the CIA's association with persons involved in the AMLASH operation, including AMLASH-1...That the information which led me to doubt the security of the AMLASH operation prior to the assassination of President Kennedy was available to senior level CIA officials, including Desmond Fitzgerald..."

1993.08.10.11:06:23:710063: SANITIZATION AND DECLASSIFICATION OF AFFIDAVIT BY JOSEPH H. LANGOSCH

09/21/78, Memorandum for the record from S. D. Breckinridge: "1. Attached is an affidavit by Langosch (P) in classified form and in the sanitized and declassified form forwarded the HSCA for use in the Helms testimony on Friday, 22 September 1978. 2. This is simply to record both versions in one place."

1993.08.14.11:35:00:930028: LETTER TO HSCA TRANSMITTING AFFIDAVIT OF MR. LANGOSCH CONCERNING THE A

10/06/78, Letter from S. D. Breckinridge, Principal Coordinator, HSCA to G. Robert Blakey, Chief Counsel and Director HSCA: "Dear. Mr. Blakey: Forwarded herewith is an affidavit by an employee who served as Executive Officer for Desmond FitzGerald when Mr. FitzGerald was Chief of the Special Affairs Staff in the Agency. He has read the affidavit of Mr. Langosch in which Mr. Langosch says, inter alias, that the AMLASH operation was characterized in the Special Activities Staff, by Mr. FitzGerald and by other senior officers, as an assassination operation prior to the death of President Kennedy. The attached affidavit addresses that recollection and describes it as erroneous. You and your investigators have had access to the Agency's study on this subject. The central question is what the activity was, in what time frame, which determines the relevance of the quality of its security so far as your interests are concerned. The overwhelming evidence is that the relationship with AMLASH did not include any agreement to undertake an assassination during the life of President Kennedy. In fact, it had not yet developed any substance on other matters either. If you have doubts on the documentation on this matter I suggest that you review that portion of the 1977 CIA Task Force study that bears on this, and the documents on which it was based. Mr. Langosch's recollection must be judged as unreliable on this point."

1993.07.17.08:16:41:590410: CORRECTIONS FOR AMLASH ARTICLE

03/15/79, CIA document: ..."As for Langosch, he was not in charge of the component that was responsible for CIA operations against Cuba, as the sentence structure makes it appear. In fact he was neither responsible for nor familiar with the nature of the association with AMLASH, except peripherally. His views on the security aspects of the case, because of AMLASH/1's personality, are very different from what he knew about the actual nature of what was and was not going on. Langosch's lack of familiarity with the details of the operation is quickly apparent if one takes the time to review what he has said on the subject, and how it matches the facts. We have already commented elsewhere how his comments to you about use of the polygraph betray his unfamiliarity with the case. The following is also relevant: 1. In his testimony before the SSC in 1975, he stated that FitzGerald's meeting with AMLASH/1 had to do with Castro's assassination. Had he read the papers preceding the meeting, with the specific limitations decided upon, and the report of the actual meeting (with the basic rebuff given by FitzGerald, so far as support was concerned), followed by subsequent reports showing that AMLASH/1 had understood that he had been denied support, Langosch could have spoken differently than he did. As it is; he spoke in error, if quoted correctly in your draft. 2. Also, when testifying before the SSC in 1975, Langosch was unable to recall the time frame of developments in the AMLASH operation, a factor that is critical and central to any analysis and evaluation of what the operation was during the life of President Kennedy. This is directly relevant to your charter and the issue of the moment. The CIA Task Force Report documented this in detail. 3. And in 1975, when Langosch testified before the SSC, he was revealed as somewhat vague as to characterization of the AMLASH operation..."

John Newman, Oswald and the CIA (2008), p. 621

..."On October 2, while Oswald was still in Mexico City, an FBI letterhead memorandum detailing Oswald's Cuban escapades in New Orleans arrived in the CIA. On 4 October, this report found its way first - as did the previous Dallas report - to the desk of Jane Roman, the liaison officer for Angleton's Counterintelligence Staff. Four days later, Roman did not hand off this FBI report - as she had done the Dallas FBI report seven days earlier - to the counterintelligence operations section (CI/OPS). This time she handed it off to Austin Horn in the counterintelligence section of the Cuban affairs staff (SAS/CI). Among Horn's duties in SAS/CI was liaison work with the FBI. The cover sheet also indicates another person SAS/CI with the initials 'LD' saw the letterhead memorandum that day - 8 October. The initials of the SAS/CI chief, Harold Swenson, alias Joseph Langosch, are not on the cover sheet..."

https://www.history-matters.com/pds/DP3_Chapter5.htm

Deep Politics III by Peter Dale Scott: V. The Kennedy - CIA Divergence Over Cuba: ..."This meeting seems to have been designed to poison the informal Kennedy-Castro contacts already under way. For there was already anxiety within the Agency that Cubela, who had refused to be polygraphed in 1962, was reporting the substance of these contacts to Castro. We shall see that FitzGerald's own Counterintelligence Chief, Harold Swenson ('Joseph Langosch'), recommended with another CIA officer that FitzGerald not meet with Cubela.[9]...[9] Schweiker-Hart Report, 17n; Schorr, 165..."

Contributors:
John Newman • Peter Dale Scott • MFF • Bill Simpich

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