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Pseudonym: Tranger, George

Definition:
George L. Tranger was possibly a pseudonym used by CIA officer John Doherty. Historian John Prados believed that John Doherty replaced Birch O'Neil as Chief of Station (COS), Guatemala.
Category:
pseudonym
Status:
Documented
Discussion:
Nicholas Cullather in, Operation PBSUCCESS: The United States and Guatemala 1952-54, stated that Tranger himself was replaced as COS, Guatemala, in April/May of 1954. Doherty was probably also known as Franklin Mallek, who was Guatemala CIA chief of station in June 1954.
Sources:

https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000914712.pdf

11/23/53: Report Made By: Clara M. Heagey. Approved By: George L. Tranger. Source Cryptonym: ESCROW. Source: ESCROW from Alfonso Solorzano. Page 3: ..."Source: Individual with contacts in Communist circles..."

https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000913175.pdf

03/02/54: Air dispatch from COS, Guatemala to Lincoln: Subject: Reporting of Current Developments to Lincoln: Identities Running Memorandum No. 5: Reference: HGG-A-754: "The following are the identities appearing in the attachment to the reference: 1. (REDACTION) during the Ubico regime. Sources' father is now in exile in (REDACTION). Source is an applicant for an immigration visa to the U.S. 2. George L. Tranger. Clara M. Heagey."

https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000923850.pdf

03/10/54: Air dispatch from COS, Guatemala to Lincoln: Subject: Operational KUFIRE Tasks, PBSUCCESS: "1. In compliance with the instructions set forth in reference dispatch, there is being transmitted herewith in duplicate the first in a series of the 'Weekly KUFIRE (Intelligence) Operational Reports.' In order to meet pouch deadlines and to keep the last-minute rush on the pouches to a minimum, it has been decided locally to prepare this weekly operational report each Friday. Data set forth in each FT report will accordingly cover the period Friday morning through Thursday afternoon. 2. As will be noted, the name of the officer responsible for each FT has been noted on each FT. As additional FT's come to our attention, advice from your headquarters will be requested. Cyrus E. Burnette." - - - Page 2: "FT/1: ESCONSON Project: Responsible Officer - George L. Tranger: The principal agent (ESCONSON-2) has bene briefed regarding targets of interest and it is believed that he and his sub-agents can develop the desired coverage. It is noted, however, that ESCONSON-2 and his sub-agents do not have access to high level target personalities. Project agents are considered low and middle level operators and by reason of educational and social background are unlikely to develop high level contacts. Nonetheless, their contacts in other than top level echelons are believed to be valuable and will probably produce desired information. Principal contributors to coverage of targets will be ESCONSON-2, 3, and 7. ESCONSON-4 and 5 will continue to provide operational background information relating to travel, biographic data, etc...Security remains good; no contact /communications problems presently exist..." Increase in ESCONSON-4 salary. Page 3: FT/3: ESOTROPE: Responsible Officer - George L. Tranger: ESOTERIC was formerly known as ESCONSON and ESOTROPE was ESCONSON-1 before they withdrew from ESCONSON project in July 1953...

https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000916797.pdf

04/08/54: Air dispatch from COS, Guatemala, Withheld to Lincoln: Subject: General - KUGOWN. Specific - Review of ESSENCE Operations: "1. As I advised you when in Lincoln, I believe it is necessary for us to make a complete assessment of all plans and projects of this station. 2. Upon my return to Lincoln I discussed in detail with George L. Tranger and with Razmara the ESSENCE operation and encouraged Tranger and Razmara to make a complete assessment of this project. The attached assessment, prepared by Tranger on the basis of his detailed discussions with Razmara, was immeasurably aided by the material which Lincoln has recently forwarded to this station. 3. It is my opinion that this report, as prepared by George L. Tranger, faithfully reflects the actual situation of the ESSENCE project and clearly indicates that we must make substantial changes before this project will become a real asset to PBSUCCESS. (REDACTION) Earle N. Bannister."

104-10291-10014: BIRCH D. O'NEAL.

"December 1951 - April 1954 - (Birch O'Neal reports his time at) U. S. Department of State, Foreign Service Staff, Washington, D. C. During this period I served as Attaché, Political Officer, American Embassy, Guatemala City, Guatemala. In that capacity I gathered information concerning the legal system, laws, and enforcement thereof and counselled and advised the U. S. Ambassador on matters of a legal and political nature. In this work I employed legal knowledge and experience as related to the laws of the United States and the Republic of Guatemala. I resigned from this position in Guatemala to return to the U. S. for personal and family reasons..." 02/12/70: Supplementary Information.

https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000921958.pdf

06/15/54: Courier dispatch from COS, Guatemala, Withheld to Lincoln: Subject: General - KUGOWN Operational. Specific - Material for SHERWOOD Use: "1. Transmitted herewith are copies of a translation of a report regarding conflict between the Guatemalan Army and the communists. The report charges that President Arbenz is conniving with the communists to undermine the strength of the army which is the principal obstacle in the path of the communists in Guatemala. 2. The report was turned over to JMBLUG-1 (John S Peurifoy) by the chief of the ODIBEX (U.S. Army) mission who claims that it was placed under the door of his office in a sealed envelope. Source remarked that he believes it was written by a member of the General Staff. He also said that it is the second such article that he has received. JMBLUG-1 remarked that the ODIBEX mission chief probably knows the identity of the writer but is pledged to protect him. 3. The reason for transmitting this report for SHERWOOD (CIA radio broadcasting program based in Nicaragua begun on May 1, 1954) use is explained in the final paragraph by the writer himself: revelation of this information would be a blow to Arbenz because it would possibly demoralize him upon learning that the army is not secure. If used, it would be wise to paraphrase slightly. (REDACTION) George L. Tranger."

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954: Guatemala Current Section: 223. 6/22/54-Dispatch From the CIA Chief of Station in [place not declassified] to Operation PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida

06/22/54: Dispatch from the COS, Withheld to Operation PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida: Subject: General-Operational. Specific: Memo by ODACID Chief in re: General Miguel Ydigoras Fuentes: "1. The text below represents a memorandum dated 18 June 1954 from the local ODACID (U.S. State Department) Chief: 'The Honduran Ambassador told me President Osorio is somewhat cold to General Ydigoras Fuentes. He said that nevertheless, he and the Foreign Minister, Robert Canessa, are working on the President to obtain his backing for Ydigoras as they believe the latter to have sufficient popular support within Guatemala to head a possible government and to be the legal successor to the Presidency because Ydigoras polled a large number of votes despite the fact that he had to make a presidential campaign while in hiding. 'The Chief of Protocol, Ambassador Alvarez Vidaurre, said he personally believed Ydigoras to be intelligent and enterprising but that there were many people here who felt that he was more of a talker than a doer.' Franklin D. Mallek."

https://archive.org/stream/GuatemalaCoup/Guat01#page/n55/mode/2up

Nicholas Cullather: Operation PBSUCCESS: The United States and Guatemala 1952-54 (1994): Page 47: ..."Field officers also felt LINCOLN's schemes aimed at the wrong audience, targeting intellectuals, a constituency unlikely to be of much help. (REDACTION) aimed to 'attack the theoretical foundations of the enemy' on the grounds that 'the present state of things in the country is largely determined by intellectuals.' Tranger disparaged such appeals. The objective, he told (REDACTION) was to scare the Communists, not debate them. Propaganda 'should be designed to (1) intensify anti-Communist, anti-government sentiment and create a disposition to act; and (2) create dissension, confusion, and FEAR in the enemy camp.' With the backing of (REDACTION) Tranger won his point. Abandoning the 'lofty, lengthy tomes that appeal to the intellectual minority,' psychological efforts aimed, in his words, at 'the heart, the stomach and the liver (fear)'"... - - - Page 50: ..."By May (Note: 1954), (REDACTION) political program was in crisis...Reluctantly, he instructed (REDACTION) who replaced Tranger as Chief of Station in Guatemala in April) to look for an opportunity to make a cold approach..." https://archive.org/stream/GuatemalaCoup/Guat01#page/n57/mode/2up - - - _Page 64: ..."The Invasion...He had replaced Tranger as Chief of Guatemala Station in early May, right at the beginning of the rainy season..." https://archive.org/stream/GuatemalaCoup/Guat01#page/n71/mode/2up

John Prados, Safe for Democracy, The Secret Wars of the CIA (Ivan Dee, Chicago, 2006)

Page 110: ..."For Guatemala the CIA preferred a strong ambassador to work with the agency. Some also thought CIA station chief Birch O'Neil too cautious for a swashbuckling covert action, so pressure developed to transfer him also. Criticized as too ready to accept the ambassador's dictates, objecting to the use of propaganda created elsewhere, deficient in reporting on labor, and tolerating poor security, O'Neil's days were numbered. He would be replaced by John Doherty, cryptonym 'Tranger'..."

104-10194-10026: CIA OP FILES ON DAVID ATLEE PHILLIPS.

01/18/66: Dispatch from COS, Withheld to Chief, Western Hemisphere Division: Letter of Appreciation from Withheld: "1. Attached find an original and two copies of a letter of appreciation from (REDACTION) until 18 January. (REDACTION). 2. It is requested that the original be placed in the personnel file of Michael C. Choaden. The first copy, marked 'A' should be placed in the personnel file of Stewart R. Pataker. The second copy, marked 'B', should be passed to Franklyn D. Mallek for his information and disposition. (Note: REDACTIONS pointing at Pataker and Mallek's names). Michael C. Choaden."

https://adst.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Argentina.pdf - page 3 of 460.

1969-1973: John T. Doherty - Labor-political officer, Buenos Aires.

Contributors:
John Prados • Nicholas Cullather • Gavin McDonald • Bill Simpich

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