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Pseudonym: Sims, Joseph

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Definition:
Joseph Sims was an alias used by Joseph Smith when he was introduced to Robert Maheu in Project HARPSTAR in the 1950's.
Category:
alias
Status:
Documented
Discussion:
Joseph Smith was the author of a book published in the 1970's titled Portrait of a Cold Warrior: Second Thoughts of a Top CIA Agent. Furthermore, Smith told the HSCA that the Mexico City station found a photograph of Lee Harvey Oswald.
Sources:

104-10122-10346: PROJECT HARPSTAR AND PROJECT NORFOLK.

06/20/66: CIA document: Project HARPSTAR: Page 2: "7. August 27 (note: 1956) - Joseph Smith, FE Division, introduced to Maheu as Joseph Sims. 8. Smith emphasized need for a solid cover story and backstopping. Maheu suggests, in view of (REDACTION) close relationship with movie colony, may induce (REDACTION), who represents several movie interests, to set up an arrangement that would also include necessary funding mechanisms...12. September 23 (afternoon) - Maheu introduced 'Sims' to (REDACTION). Was given a gradual briefing on assignment, determining at various points whether she was still interested. She indicated she understood exactly what was expected of her and could leave country in 15 days. 13. September 21 - 'Sims' again met with (REDACTION) at which time she was told she would be accompanied by a female traveling companion, (REDACTION) GS-12). Would ostensibly be her secretary, but would be, in fact, the person she would look to for direction."

180-10107-10127:

11/02/77: HSCA memo from Dan Hardway to Gary Cornwell: Re: Supplement to form V of interview with Joseph B. Smith: ..."We next asked Smith about what motivated CIA personnel. He said that it differed with people but that it was usually: 1) professional anti-communism; 2) super patriotism; 3) ideological/personal (exiles); 4) pay and excitement; or 5) a combination of any and/or all of the above. Smith said that the CIA was a coherent entity...Smith said he never really believed that Oswald had acted alone. He said that from his vantage point in Argentina that the story 'just didn't ring true.' At the time he suspected the Texas right wing but he now wonders about the Cubans...He doubted that the CIA was involved because Kennedy was 'backing and depending on the CIA.' When asked if Kennedy had support throughout the Agency, he said that the people involved in the Bay of Pigs were very angry with Kennedy and 'people like Hunt are strange people.' He also thought that it was possible that Kennedy's handling of the missile crisis was considered treasonous. Still speaking about the Agency's response to the assassination Smith said that the Mexico City Station was very proud of finding the picture of Oswald...Smith said that the JMWAVE operation was considered very important, so important, in fact, that Des FitzGerald, brought in the CIA's best black operators, Shackley and Bill Harvey, from Europe to run it. He said that there was a certain amount of fanaticism among the officers at JMWAVE and Castro was generally perceived as a 'monster.' The JMWAVE leaders wanted to do a crack job. They ran a lot of projects: 'There was an awful lot of wheel spinnin' goin' on.' In 1962 they were running nightly raids on Cuba. The problem was that, in spite of the wheel spinning and good intentions, they were ineffective..."

180-10070-10404: INTERVIEW WITH JOSEPH BURKHOLDER SMITH

05/08/78: Memo from Gaeton Fonzi to G. Robert Blakey: Re: Interview with Joseph Burkholder Smith: "Background: Joseph Burkholder Smith is a retired officer who served 22 years as a covert action specialist in the Clandestine Services of the Central Intelligence Agency. His duties included service in the Far East Division, stationed in Singapore and Manila, and on the Malaysian desk. He also served in the Western Hemisphere Division as desk chief for Venezuela, as a covert operations officer in Argentina and as chief of the Propaganda Guidance Section of the Covert Action Staff, where he directed David Phillips, chief of the Propaganda Branch of the Cuban task force for the Bay of Pigs operation. Smith has published a book titled: Portrait of a Cold Warrior, subtitled 'Second Thoughts of a Top CIA Agent'...As far as the Kennedy assassination goes, said Smith, 'The only thing I can say now, and, again I'm quoting Colby, there could have been operations that Angleton staff was running that he wouldn't even tell the Director. Angleton did, however, have a special relationship with Allen Dulles when he was running the Agency'...'I know, said Smith, 'that the Counter Intelligence staff was very interested in the Fair Play for Cuba Committee and getting a penetration into it would have been a high priority effort.' Smith was asked if he knew anything relative to the fact that the leaflets Oswald distributed in New Orleans had the address of a building that appeared to house some kind of intelligence operation run by Guy Banister, a former FBI agent. Smith said he didn't know anything specific, but there were a lot of former FBI men on Angleton's staff and in the old WH Division, run by J.C. King." (CONTINUED BELOW)

180-10070-10404: INTERVIEW WITH JOSEPH BURKHOLDER SMITH

"Smith was asked about his reference in his book to J.C. King's relationship to 'old Batista interests' and 'business interests,' and whether there was a possibility that the New Orleans intelligence operation headed by Banister was funded by right-wing groups through J.C. King. Smith said: 'Oh yes, I should think so. And I do known that the WH Division did have some activities operating out of New Orleans and I think some of these were used as fronts for funding. King's friends were mostly right-wing, certainly'...Smith said that many of the CIA officers with right-wing political leanings, men such as J.C. King and Howard Hunt, were truly very bitter over the Bay of Pigs operation, even though they may have a part of the responsibility for its failure...Smith was asked about the relationship between King, Phillips and CIA station chief in Cuba, Bill Caldwell. Did they fit in the same mold? 'Yeah,' said Smith. 'I guess so.' Smith said the last he heard of Caldwell was that he was in Florida and perhaps involved in some business with the Tandy Company. Besides being chief of station in Cuba at one time, said Smith, Caldwell had also been deputy chief of the WH Division under J.C. King. He was known as 'one of J.C.'s guys.' He said King, Phillips and Caldwell were all fairly close...Smith was shown the sketch of Maurice Bishop and asked if it reminded him of anyone. He said: 'Well, the nose is too thin, but otherwise it reminds me of Dave Phillips. The eyes are definitely Dave's, and the mouth.' Smith was asked about his recollection during the previous interview when he mentioned a women who found the photo of Oswald. He said he doesn't recall when he heard the story, whether it was when he got to Mexico City or when he was still in Argentina. He does recall that the discovery of the picture was supposed to have greatly pleased President Johnson and made Mexico City station chief Win Scott 'his number one boy'"...

104-10291-10001: OP FILES. JOSEPH B. SMITH

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