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Pseudonym: Saroyan, Chester E.

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Definition:
Charles Wiley, contract agent of the CIA's Office of Security. Wiley's contract states that he was not an employee of the US government and not entitled to any benefits - he provided documents on domestic figures, primarily in the Communist Party, USA.
Category:
pseudonym
Status:
Documented
Sources:

157-10011-10121: REPORT

"James McCord was the first representative of the Office of Security to have contact with Wiley and was undoubtedly the driving force behind the agency's funding of the Daily Worker index. McCord was Wiley's primary case officer from 1956 through January 1962 and during this period guided and was more or less responsible for Wiley's direction and control. The nature of McCord's contacts with Wiley after 1962 are not exactly known since McCord left SRS in January 1962 for other positions inside the Office of Security...the presumption is that Wiley at the direction of McCord may have reported and photographed anti-Vietnam War demonstrations in Washington DC during (the May-June 1969) period and gave the results of his work to McCord who retired from CIA on 31 August 1970... ...(about 6/6/69, McCord gave Cecil G Tighe of SRS) photographs from Wiley that were 'entrusted' to Wiley 'many years ago' by Morse Allen. The photographs had the following names on the back: Vianamin Belitsky, Fred Borodin, Michel Reschal, and Deak Zoltan...(during Feb. 1971) McCord okayed what REDACTED (note: maybe officer Joseph Smith?) wanted to include in his chapter on 'Mexican operations.' (p. 100 of 102): "On 28 June 1972, Wiley telephoned Louis W. Vasaly at SRS and remarked that he, Wiley, was really surprised at the depth the FBI must be covering this, i.e., Watergate, as he had already been approached and reviewed by a couple of FBI agents based on several long distance calls Jim, i.e., McCord had made to him. Wiley further stated that he only told them, i.e., FBI, Jim was an old friend and occasionally solicited information from him, just like the FBI did. On 9 April 1973, Wiley called Louis W. Vasaly to inform him that his wife, Tina, had taken her life. Wiley suggested that Ruth and Jim McCord, Lee Pennington, Morse Allen, Cliff Carrico and Paul Gaynor be advised. Mr. Vasaly called Lee Pennington who in turn would advise Ruth McCord on the afternoon of April 9."

157-10011-10123: CIA REPORT

4/17/74 memo to Chief, RB/CD from Louis W. Vasaly, RB/CD (last page of memo at p. 9 of 41) "Wiley is a contract agent of the Office of Security...effective 1 July 1959...Nowhere does it specifcally refer to or even contemplate the utilization of such a financial accounting device as a "SAROYAN" fund. "Chester E. Saroyan" is the pseudonym furnished by the Agency Pseudonym Register for use in the covert handling of Wiley's records. The contract preamble states that the US government contracts with Wiley as an independent contractor for the submission of certain information and related services of a confidential nature. In the paragraph on Status, Wiley is advised that he is not an employee of the US government under this agreement and is not entitled to any benefits normally incident to an employee status.

157-10011-10121: REPORT

A summary report was prepared in 1974 by CIA cover employee John Vasaly on Charles Wiley. His OS overt file was #343 589 and his covert file was 127958 and 13 volumes of Security Research Staff operational files.

157-10011-10121: REPORT

(unredacted in an earlier version): Charles William Wiley, lecturer, photographer and free lance journalist, was born REDACTED at Flushing, New York, of American born parents...The son of a professional actor, Wiley was...a child actor on stage and radio from 1931-1941...He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served honorably from November 1944 to July 1946...from 1949-1954 he attended night school at NYU and earned a B.S. degree in journalism...Charles W. Wiley first came to the official attention of the Office of Security (OS) on 9 September 1955, when REDACTED (probably Dick Heney) (Executive Officer, OS) forwarded a letter written by Wiley to Ermal Geiss (Chief, Personnel Security Division, OS) who in turn directed the letter to James W. McCord (Security Research Staff of the Office of Security)...the letter was recorded in the Executive Registry under number 6-9881. The Wiley letter is dated 4/27/55, gives Wiley's address and telephone number, and Wiley advised he was working on an index of the Daily Worker for the years 1933-1945 'and thought that perhaps you might be interested in specific information that I might be likely to find.' On 9/10/55, James W. McCord contacted Wiley in Flushing, New York...Wiley explained in the nature of the index of the Daily Worker for the years 1934-1945, by stating that he was preparing the index under a grant from the American Legion Americanism Committee, headed by Lee Pennington (a former employee of the FBI). Wiley started the index in November, 1954...the results of McCord's interview with Miley were brought to the attention of Robert Bannerman, Director of Security, by 21 November 1955, when Bannerman opined, 'This may be valuable.' McCord met next with Wiley in Washington, DC, for two days, ending on 1 December 1955. By that time Wiley had indexed 150,000 names of the Daily Worker covering 1/34 through 6/36. Wiley stated that the FBI in NYC and the American Legion...making extensive use of the index cards."

157-10011-10121: REPORT

"...the writer (McCord) recommends that we encourage the continuation of Wiley's index project in any way in which we are able to further such work...The above was brought to the attention of Harlan Westrell (Chief, Counterintelligence Branch, SRS) who in turn brought the matter to the attention of Sheffield Edwards, Director of Security, circa early December 1955. Via a memorandum dated 19 December 1955, McCord informed Westrell...'The index may give us the one clue necessary to detect (Communist) penetration existing within the Agency. The value in protecting the Agency thereby is of course inestimable.'...(at p. 12): Concurrent with McCord's interest in Wiley, he and Morse Allen were working on (see ref args 148206-12) Operation Recovery, a project set up in 1953 whose objective is REDACTED. (Back to the present version): Attendant to this operation, by April 1956 Wiley at the request of McCord had completed" a summary of the following cases: Vladimir Asaturov, Robert Osman, Robert G. Switz, Mary Martin espionage case, Michael Gorin espionage case. On 21 June 1957, Harlan A. Westrell, Chief, SRS, requested the Director of Security for authorization to continue the Daily Worker indexing project for one year which had yielded approximately 500,000 names in the index. On 22 August 1957, Sheffield Edwards, Director of Security, requested and received such authorization for about $10,000 from the Deputy Director of Support. During this period (1956-1959), Wiley worked with Herbert Philbrick on a book which Philbrick was preparing entitled, 'The Most Dangerous Group in the World'. (see ref args 148206-14). He also was 'building his cover' as a newspaperman and had numerous contacts with Earl Browder (ex-chairman of the CPUSA)."

157-10011-10121: REPORT

"From 5-19 January 1959, Wiley made a fact-finding trip through the Mid-West and Southeastern states of the US, contacting newspapers, 'conservative' individuals, police agencies and information repositories to determine the extent of their information concerning Communism and the Communist movement... (see ref args 148206-15): On 8 December 1958, Wiley prepared a report on a contact with Colonel Aharon Yariv, an Israeli Embassy official. On 3 March 1959, this report was sent by (return to the present document) Helene Finan to James McCord and Clifton Carrico. (see ref args 148206-15): On 19 April 1959, Wiley prepared a report covering his introduction to Haviv Shabir, General Secretary of the Anti-Communist League of Israel. There is a notation on the report Wiley was going to give the information also to the FBI. (back to present document, p. 16): On 1 July 1959 this Agency entered into a contract with Wiley, as an independent contractor...officers of the SRS continued to pay Wiley his salary either in cash or through bank money orders..."

104-10218-10047: (ASSET) (LIHUFF) OPERATIONS.

Charles Wiley was an employee of SRS and colleague of James McCord: "On 12 April 1963, SRS prepared two final reports based (on) Wiley's information concerning J. M. Hernandez, aka: Manolin, and the Comite Latino Americano de Informacion (Latin American Information Center)." (Note: This Center is known as ZRAWARD.)

Contributors:
Robert Ward Montengro • Bill Simpich

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