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Pseudonym: Moschiano, Howard

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Howard O. Moschiano was probably a pseudonym for former Marine Corps Colonel, World War Two veteran, and CIA officer Philip C. Roettinger.
A cable on April 20, 1954, mentioned that Howard O. Moschiano had hand carried a message to HQ on April 17th.

Philip C. Roettinger wrote a memo to the PBSUCCESS Chief of Project on May 3, 1954, on his trip to El Salvador. The purpose was to decide on the most practicable method for the movement of arms into Guatemala. Roettinger mentioned JUNCTURE-1 in this memo. A dispatch a few months earlier stated that JUNCTURE-1 had reported that he was prepared to confer with Pivall (probably David Morales) upon his arrival in regard to arms smuggling.

A cable on June 14, 1954, was from Cadick (William Robertson) and Moschiano, and contained a situation report. A cable on June 15, 1954, for Whiting (Frank G. Wisner), stated that Ontrich (Nestor Sanchez) was being supported by Pivall and Moschiano, who were described as being "very experienced officers", while Ontrich also had Cadick with him as senior officer representing LINCOLN (CIA's Guatemalan covert operations headquarters, a forward base in Florida). A cable on June 23, 1954, once again mentioned Cadick and Moschiano.

An article by Roettinger in March of 1986 in the Los Angeles Times stated that he was a retired Marine Corps Colonel. The article mentioned that "as a CIA case officer, I trained Guatemalan exiles in Honduras to invade their own country and unseat the elected president, Jacobo Arbenz. Our liaison officer with the Honduran military was Nestor Sanchez, now an assistant secretary of defense and a key policy maker in the current war against Nicaragua."

A dispatch on December 8, 1955, stated that Howard O. Moschiano was picked up by LIPSTICK-14 on November 10, 1955, and instructed the latter on photographic technique. According to Anne Goodpasture's notes in February of 1977, Robert Melberg was replaced by Phil Roettinger, who resigned and remained in Mexico.


04/20/54: Cable from LINCOLN to Director: Slugline RYBAT/PBSUCCESS: RE: (REDACTION) 1187: "1. Rather than wait for distant, dubious OAS results, recommend pertinent evidence of LCPANGS (Costa Rica) complicity be released to ESQUIVEL thru ODACID (U.S. State Department), or to KUGOWN (Psychological and Paramilitary Staff) media in LCPANGS, in order attempt achieve result anticipated para 4 ref. 2. Believe Attachment A to (REDACTION) 237, handcarried to HQ 17 April by Howard O. Moschiano, should provide adequate material to accomplish above. 3. LCPANGS cabinet crisis would further isolate WSBURNT (Guatemala) and accentuate anti-commie trend in Central America."


05/03/54: Memo from Philip C. Roettinger to Chief of Project: Subject: Report of Trip to El Salvador, 28-30 April 1954: "1. Purpose of trip: A. Determine the most practicable method of arms ingress into Guatemala. B. Set up that method so that such ingress could be initiated at a suitable time with a minimum of further arranging. 2. Upon arrival in San Salvador contact was made with JUNCTURE-1 with whom the problem was discussed in more or less general terms. He was found to be most interested in accomplishing the task and was most cooperative...3. The following morning contact was made with (REDACTION) at which time a meeting was requested with JUBATE. It was reported that JUBATE was not in town and would not return until the following week. Upon a little questioning it was determined that JUBATE would probably be unable to help in this problem as his company has very little traffic to and from Guatemala. A suggestion had been made relative to the possibility of placing packages of arms within gasoline tank cars which go to and from Guatemala. It was this suggestion that led to the requested meeting with JUBATE. It was determined, however, that JUBATE's company does little of this sort of traffic, obtaining its bulk gasoline from the southwestern part of El Salvador at the terminal town of Cutuco..." - - - Note JUNCTURE 1 also mentioned here: 03/02/54: Air dispatch from Charles F. Rennell, Withheld to Chief, LINCOLN (Info: Chief, WHD): Subject: General - Operational Intelligence, KUHOOK. Specific - Border Crossings and Fincas. "1. JUNCTURE-1 reports he is prepared to confer with Pivall (probably David Morales) upon his arrival in regard arms smuggling. 2. JUNCTURE-1 stated the last and most successful venture consisted in placing items in a railroad car of grain and transporting it to the desired Guatemalan town..." https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000913168.pdf


06/14/54: Cable from Withheld to Director: Slugline RYBAT PBSUCCESS: FROM CADICK MOSCHIANO: SITUATION REPORT: "1. All organizers, sabotage leaders, launched. 2. Shock troops in position on four hour call. 3. TRO's arriving staging areas 14th. 4. New CAESAR (Quetzaltenango) RO going in via Contrervas (also RCVD Contrerfas) 14th. 5. SOMERSET briefed and prepared fly schedule as cabled you and as ground instructed. 6. Advance C.P. moving to point near HANK (Zacapa, Guatemalan base) staging area 14th. Coordinates follow. 7. FCP setting up in final location 14th."


06/15/54: Cable from LINCOLN to Director: Slugline RYBAT PBSUCCESS: REF: DIR 704732: FOR WHITING: IMMEDIATE ACTION: "1. Have considered ref carefully and feel that it would be mistake to add another officer at this time (REDACTION). 2. Ontrich (Nestor Sanchez) youth has been mentioned by WSHOOFS (Honduras) Pres relayed through SKILLET (Whiting Willauer, U.S. Ambassador to Honduras) and SACBUT but all our reports from other sources including Calligeris (Carlos Castillo Armas) and (REDACTION) have indicated Ontrich doing outstanding job both as to performance and command. 3. Moreover he is supported by Pivall (probably David Morales) and Moschiano both very experienced officers and has Cadick (William Robertson) with him as senior officer representing LINC. As you know Cadick is mature officer with unusual field experience and command ability. 4. Finally main decisions, such as movement shock troops, can only be made with LINCOLN (note: CIA's Guatemalan covert operations headquarters, a forward base in Florida) approval. Once shock troops move no one except Calligeris men will be in position make field decisions while decisions re support will require LINC approval. 5. As far as Calligeris talking concerned complete control in TEGU. Impossible by anyone. When he moves FCP this will be corrected." C. Tracy Barnes


06/23/54: Cable from LINCOLN to Director: Slugline RYBAT PBSUCCESS: COMMAND MSG FOR CADICK: Page 2: ..."3. Propose following as solution your air support problem. Send (REDACTION) SHERWOOD/SOMERSET as (REDACTION)/air ops coordinator. With teams requesting air support via special pads which held SHERWOOD (note: CIA radio broadcasting program based in Nicaragua begun on May 1, 1954), (REDACTION), who cognizant (REDACTION) requirements and problems can taken necessary action. Full use should be made lateral SHERWOOD-FCP commo for coordination Cadick (William Robertson)-Moschiano on reverse positions..."


12/08/55: Dispatch from COS, Mexico to Chief, WHD: Subject: General - Operational. Specific - LIPSTICK/LIMITED: "1. LIPSTICK-14 and his family occupied the LIPSTICK/LIMITED base house on 4 November 1955. On 10 November 1955 Howard O. Moschiano was picked up by LIPSTICK-14 in a rented car and driven into the base. Moschiano stayed with LIPSTICK-14 that entire day instructing him in photographic technique and taking approximately 200 pictures. The appearance of the house during this time of operation was checked by the undersigned and Chester D. Pollicove who were unable to discover any outward indications of the existence of the photographic surveillance...2. Initially all files were processed in the station so that Moschiano could process them to the fullest advantage and then critique them with LIPSTICK-14. Now the procedure employed is to have Pollicove pick up the films from LIPSTICK-14 and give them to James O. Aycall who processes them and returns them to Pollicove for transmittal to the office for identification, indexing and filing by Moschiano..."


02/10/77: CIA document: Source: Notes made by A. Goodpasture for John Leader, IG Staff: Page 4: ..."Liaison coverage was unreliable and insecure as characterized by the nature of the Mexican services at that time. The Mexican DFS (Direction of Federal Security) with which we dealt was a hip pocket group run out of the Ministry of Government. This Ministry spent a major part of its time on control of foreigners and political investigations. Their agents were vicious, venal, corrupt extortionists. Robert Melberg established contact with one of them, Jorge Levine De Leon (later LIFIRE group) in about 1950 or 51. He gave them some training (a group of about five surveillance types) in travel control working the airport as well as file searches of names from DFS Hqtrs where the files were poorly organized and often inaccurate. Now and then, however, some useful information was developed but it could not be depended upon. Melberg was replaced by Phil Roettinger (resigned and remained in Mexico), Mahoney, Thomas Hazlitt, and Robert Feldman, one after the other..."


03/16/86: Article in the Los Angeles Times by Philip C. Roettinger: Titled: "For a CIA Man, It's 1954 Again: PHILIP C. ROETTINGER IS A RETIRED MARINE CORPS COLONEL LIVING IN MEXICO. It is night time and we are encamped in a remote area along the Honduran border. A ragtag group of rebels is resting in anticipation of the fighting. They laugh at what they plan to do to the sons of bitches after they take over. They are driven by the prospect of power and wealth, not ideology. They are unaware that the President of the United States has described their mission as 'preventing the establishment of a communist beachhead in the Western Hemisphere.' They intend to overthrow the government, period. The scene is Honduras all right. But the year is 1954 and the President is Dwight D. Eisenhower. The rebels are Guatemalan, not Nicaraguan. Still, President Reagan...is repeating Eisenhower’s tragic error. As a CIA case officer, I trained Guatemalan exiles in Honduras to invade their own country and unseat the elected president, Jacobo Arbenz. Our liaison officer with the Honduran military was Nestor Sanchez, now an assistant secretary of defense and a key policy maker in the current war against Nicaragua. We enjoyed great secrecy, but in the final stages of our project, rumors prompted the Organization of American States to dispatch a delegation to Honduras to investigate. Warned by a cable from our Miami headquarters, we quickly dismantled our base and fled to Nicaragua to avoid exposure. It was there, in a Managua hotel, that I received the news: Arbenz was out. I now consider my involvement in the overthrow of Arbenz a terrible mistake..." (CONTINUED BELOW).


"In March, 1954, three months before we toppled Arbenz and installed our handpicked 'liberator,' Col. Carlos Castillo Armas, CIA Director Allan Dulles convened his Guatemalan operatives at Opa-Locka Marine Air Base in Miami for a pep talk...Dulles told us exactly the same thing that Reagan tells the American people now: that U.S. support for the rebels will foil the spread of communism. Later I learned that Dulles had lied to us. Communism was not the threat we were fighting at all; land reform was. Fulfilling his campaign pledge to transform Guatemala into a 'modern capitalist state,' Arbenz took over some unused land belonging to United Fruit. This angered the Boston-based company, which considered its rights in Guatemala superior to those of Guatemalans. So it asked the CIA to overthrow Arbenz and we complied, trumping up the same charge of 'spreading subversion' that the President now levels at Nicaragua...When I authorized Castillo Armas, then in a Tegucigalpa safehouse, to return to Guatemala and assume the presidency that we had prepared for him, I had no idea of the consequences of the CIA’s meddling. Our 'success' led to 31 years of repressive military rule and the deaths of more than 100,000 Guatemalans. Furthermore, the overthrow of the Arbenz government destroyed vital social and economic reforms, including land distribution, social security and trade-union rights...The coup that I helped engineer in 1954 inaugurated an unprecedented era of intransigent military rule in Central America...I am 70 years old now. I have lived and worked in Latin American for more than 30 years. Done with skulduggery, I devote my time to painting some of the region’s beautiful scenery. It’s painful to see my government repeat the mistake in which it engaged me 32 years ago. I’ve grown up. I only wish my government would as well."


01/12/89: Letter from Philip C. Roettinger, Colonel USMCR (ret.), President ad interim of Association of National Security Alumni (ANSA) to William Webster, Director of CIA: "Dear Mr. Webster: This is to inform you that a number of former officers of the CIA and related United States agencies and services have established the Association of National Security Alumni (ANSA). ANSA will work for development of an effective US intelligence system that will employ methods appropriate to a democratic nation. ANSA's main objective is to eliminate the use of covert operations, especially military and paramilitary operations, as a means for the United States to implement its foreign policy. Indeed, ANSA opposes the use of covert or clandestine operations by any nation. We of ANSA believe, and our belief is shared by many with long experience in intelligence and national security work (Clark Clifford, for example), that covert operations, with their attendant disinformation activities, have damaged the national security and corrupted the intelligence system which is essential to that security. Hence, we will work for strong legislation to prevent the misuse of the intelligence system in activities that violate national and international law and which are contrary to democratic principles..."


06/12/95: Article on the Third World Traveler website from In These Times magazine: Titled: "What goes around...The CIA in Guatemala by retired Marine Colonel and ex-CIA operative Philip Roettinger: 1995...One man who believes that this historical perspective should be filled in is Philip Roettinger, a retired U.S. Marine Corps colonel. Roettinger was among the handful of CIA operatives who in 1954 planned and executed the Guatemalan coup. In a remote CIA-built base along the Honduran border with Guatemala, Roettinger organized and trained a group of rebels, who as he has put it, were 'driven by the prospect of power and wealth, not ideology.' 'It was a classic operation that went off beautifully,' says the 80-year old Roettinger. 'There's never been another one like it, and I'm glad'...Roettinger, the son of a distinguished Cincinnati judge, graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University. He joined the Marines during World War II and fought in the Pacific Theater. An accomplished marksman, he was a member of the U.S. shooting team in the 1948 Olympics in London. For a time he ran a photography studio, which he abandoned when he was recruited by the CIA. For his good work in Guatemala, the CIA rewarded Roettinger with an assignment in Mexico City. But by the early '60s, disgusted with the agency's intervention in Mexican politics, he quit the CIA and settled in the central Mexican town of San Miguel Allende to devote his time to painting portraits and landscapes and raising his family...Roettinger, believing the CIA needed to be confronted, helped found the Association of National Security Alumni. Roettinger sees his work with the association as an obligation to set the record straight. It does this in part through a quarterly magazine, Unclassified. 'We have credibility. They have to believe us,' says Roettinger. The group, comprised of veterans of the national security establishment, helped Sen. Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) prepare a bill to abolish the CIA..."


This website stated that Roettinger's full name was Philip Clay Roettinger. Born: September 22, 1915 in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States. Died: January 7, 2002 (Aged 86) in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico. "Biography: Philip Roettinger graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University and later served as a US Marine colonel in the Pacific during World War II. After the war, Roettinger worked for a time as a photographer (note: see Mexico City dispatch below) and then joined the CIA as an operations officer. He was involved in the planning and execution of the 1954 overthrow of the left-wing Guatemalan government led by Jacobo Arbenz after it had threatened to nationalize property owned by the United Fruit Company. Roettinger later wrote of his mission that it was a mistake and he regretted it. After his retirement as a CIA operative, Roettinger moved to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico where he devoted his free time to painting portraits and landscapes." - - - Part of the dispatch on December 8, 1955, from COS, Mexico City, read: "On 10 November 1955 Howard O. Moschiano was picked up by LIPSTICK-14 in a rented car and driven into the base. Moschiano stayed with LIPSTICK-14 that entire day instructing him in photographic technique and taking approximately 200 pictures." https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=147768&relPageId=17

Gavin McDonald

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