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Pseudonym: Oberst, Paul E.

Definition:
WH/C/CA during the Bay of Pigs, probably involved in Guatemala coup of 1954. By 1967, he is identified as COG/CA (Cuban Operations Group/Covert Action).
Category:
pseudonym
Status:
Unknown
Discussion:
See 104-10437-10079: Oberst's boss as C/CA was J. Foster Collins. Also see 104-10213-10002.
Sources:

http://ncisahistory.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Operational-Intelligence-Bulletin-Post-War-Issue-No.-2-February-1948.pdf

1947-48: Oberst was during 1947-1948 in the 9th Naval District of the Office of Naval Intelligence (see last 2 pages)

104-10301-10004: OFFICIAL HISTORY OF THE BAY OF PIGS OPERATION, VOLUME III

1960: "Among those who worked in Phillips' Political and Psychological Section in WH/4 were William Kent, John Isaminger, Philip A. Toomey, Earnest I. Harrison, Paul Oberst, and Michael J. Maney." We know now that Toomey and Kent are one and the same, as are Phillips and Harrison.

Official History of the Bay of Pigs Operation, Volume III: Evolution of CIA's Anti-Castro Policies, 1959 - January 1961 Current Section: B. Forging the Tool

Re 3/31/60: "As attempts were being made to establish the parameters for the operations against Castro, a most prescient was directed to Chief, WH/4 from Paul Oberst, Chief, Covert Action, WH Division. Oberst had apparently been associated with PBSUCCESS, the project which resulted in the ouster of the Arbenz Government in Guatemala in 1954, and recalling some of 'the pitfalls and counter-productive aspects' of that particular operation, Oberst wrote as follows: 'I have the impression that our basic JMARC plan commits us to a rather firm timetable. In my judgment, we should have great flexibility in deciding the appropriate time for kicking off any paramilitary operations...to avoid or minimize Castro's counter propaganda, the paramilitary operations must appear to be an internal uprising by dissident elements within Cuba." endnote at p. 377.

104-10175-10183 DISPATCH REFERENCED DISPATCH A MEMORANDUM OF ORAL COMMITMENTS FOR LIHUFF-1 OBLIGATING A SALARY OF $500 PER MONTH FOR USE UNDER PROJECT LIHUFF

2/13/63 cable from Chief, WH/4 to Chief, Mexico City: C/WH/CA Oberst is coordinating officer on memo re oral commitments to LIHUFF-1.

104-10072-10120: TWO REQUESTS FOR INVESTIGATIVE ACTION AND FOLLOW-UP MEMO

11/4/63 memo to Chief, Covert Action staff granting 9/20/63 request to use Charles William Thomas as a covert security asset re the field of international labor.

104-10181-10113: MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD: POSSIBLE DRE ANIMUS TOWARDS PRESIDENT KENNEDY

4/3/67 Art Dooley summary: "The DRE was an anti-communist student organization funded covertly by CIA. It was known by the cryptonym AMSPELL. In the fall of 1962, the DRE organization in Cuba was penetrated and wrapped-up by the DGI...Lee Harvey Oswald approached Carlos Bringuier, the New Orleans delegate of the Cuban Student Directorate on 5 August 1963 and volunteered to join the organization and to help train Cubans to fight against Castro. Bringuier turned him down believing him to be either an FBI informant or Communist penetration agent...According to Paul Oberst, of the Cuban Operations Group (COG/CA) CIA did not fund this organization although we had contacts with some of its members. It is abundantly clear that the DRE had no part of the Kennedy assassination. Oswald was never a member of the DRE, which in fact rejected him." See 104-10226-10024 - in this Sept 67 memo, Oberst is referred to as C/WH/COG/CA.

180-10070-10404 INTERVIEW WITH JOSEPH BURKHOLDER SMITH

1968-71: Joseph Burkholder Smith said that Oberst was his real name; he served under David Phillips in 1968, and retired in 1970-71

104-10193-10092: FITNESS REPORT, ANN L GOODPASTURE

1970: As WH/Historical Officer, Oberst rates and compliments Ann Goodpasture for her work on the Mexico City "historical paper" that she has spent the last year engaged in "arduous research and writing". Oberst's superior agrees and comments that her review "ran to three volumes" - this work appears to be not her chronology that began in 1967, but rather the Mexico City Station History that she prepared in the late 1970s. HSCA counsel Robert Blakey asked to see "all three volumes" on the Mexico City Station in 1978, which provoked a big argument with the CIA. https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=60178&relPageId=2&search=%22mexico_city%20station%22%20and%20%22three%20volumes%22

Contributors:
Bill Simpich

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