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Pseudonym: Mastrocola, Bruce G.

Leo Cherne of the International Rescue Committee. Executive Director of the Research Institute of America, described as "the central intelligence agency of American business." He was considered an eminent authority on Cuba.
Cherne's alias was Leopold Chernetsky. See 104-10165-10410, p. 4

1993.08.02.10:18:48:900060: OFFICE OF SECURITY.FILE ON CHERNE, LEO

"By 1938, when the Research Institute of America was three years old, it occupied five floors of a Madison Avenue skyscraper, employed 150 lawyers, economists, editors, statisticians, salesmen, stenographers, tax and other experts...(had) 20,000 subscribers to its various services...taxes, of course, remain a central concern; RIA, in fact, is a prime authority on America's annual agony, and keeps members posted on how they can keep as much cash as possible from the grips of Uncle Sam...RIA's feat in forecasting Moscow's flip-flops throughout the Cold War...led a high government official to characterize it as 'the central intelligence agency of American business.' See April 1962: Carl Bakal, "All-Purpose Genius", True Magazine

104-10109-10027: LEO CHERNE

One of the leading lights in the International Rescue Center was Leo Cherne, a well-connected liberal that was extremely anti-communist, “of Agency interest since 1951,” and sometimes used for cover purposes. During the 1950s, Cherne had covert security clearances in two different CIA programs, BLANKET and QKENCHANT.


5/28/58 request, submitted by case officer Tim Cobb: "Will be asked to travel to Habana, Cuba, make contact with the highest officials in the Cuban government, and attempt to induce them to adopt courses of political action along lines suggested by CIA."

104-10222-10001: MASTROCOLA, BRUCE G.

6/1/59: CIA contract information and check list. Page 1 shows that his real name is Leo Cherne. Page 2 identifies "Bruce G. Mastrocola" as his pseudonym, hired as a contract agent to provide Headquarters support. His case officer was Tim Cobb. His duties were "high-level contacts with Cuban governmental officials for political action purposes (subsidiary FI-type reporting also expected from Subject)." Cherne's experience is described as "Eminent authority on government, taxes, business, foreign trade. High level contacts in Cuban government...executive director of a research institute (current employment). Member of International Rescue Committee."


5/17/60: Allen Dulles was unwilling to cut the expensive subsidy to Cherne's group, the IRC, even though he claimed that the CIA was getting out of the refugee business. The IRC was focusing on its work with refugees from Cuba and the Dominican Republic.

FBI 105-82555 Oswald HQ File, Section 44

12/05/63: Airtel from SAC, New York to Director: Subject: LEE HARVEY OSWALD, IS - R, (OO:DALLAS): "Reference is made to urgent teletype this date re Mr. WILLIAM J. VANDEN HEUVEL, President, International Rescue Committee (IRC), and Special Assistant to the Attorney General of the United States, furnishing the IRC file on LEE HARVEY OSWALD. Enclosed for the Bureau are zerox copies of four pertinent letters in IRC file."

David Miller, The JFK Conspiracy, p. 59

"On May 6, 1963, a 'new, non-partisan Citizens' Committee for a Free Cuba' was formed at Freedom House in New York City. Leo Cherne, a Freedom House official long associated with the CIA, was a member of the Committee, along with Christopher Emmet (an active member of the CIA-funded International Rescue Committee that was active in Vietnam), Clare Boothe Luce, Dr. Buell Gallagher (a member of the CIA-funded Foundation for Youth and Student Affairs), Dr. Edward Teller (a member of the John Birch Society Society-dominated Western Goals in the 1980s), and Ernest Cuneo (president of the North American Newspaper Alliance, which employed Patricia Johnson when she interviewed Lee Harvey Oswald in Moscow). The Citizens' Committee for a Free Cuba was clearly a CIA creation, designed to put pressure on President Kennedy." (A second citation of Gallagher as FYSA can be found in Sidney Blumenthal's Government by Gunplay, p. 163.)

Bill Simpich

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