Home/ Resources / Projects / CIA Pseudonyms / pseudonym: TRANGER_GEORGE

Pseudonym: Tranger, George

Return to Main Pseudos Page

George L. Tranger was 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.
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 Earle Bannister.

George L. Tranger put his name to a dispatch in November of 1967 from the Chief, Western Hemisphere Division. The dispatch was contained in the AMSCROLL (UR, also known as Unidad Revolucionaria) files, and was addressed to the COS, JMWAVE. AMFRAME-1 (Rafael Rivas Vasquez) and AMSCROLL-3 were mentioned in it.


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..."


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."


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 been 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..."


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 (CIA's Guatemalan covert operations headquarters, a forward base in Florida), 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 (probably John Doherty)."

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.


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 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."


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'..."


11/03/67: Dispatch from Chief, Western Hemisphere Division to COS, JMWAVE: Subject: Administrative/TYPIC/Amendment of MOC's: "1. Action on the Reference A (AMFRAME-1) and Reference B (AMSCROLL-3) requests for amendment of MOC's is being held in abeyance pending receipt of your comments on the AMFRAME activity as requested in Reference C. 2. In the meantime we would appreciate information explaining compensation for AMSCROLL-3. Reference A adequately explained the increase for AMFRAME-1 (Rafael Rivas Vasquez), but Reference B contained none of the comments normally submitted with this type of request. George L. Tranger." - - - Page 7 of this file has a very faded document which contains the name of George L. Tranger at the very bottom of the page: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=160793#relPageId=7

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

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

John Prados • Nicholas Cullather • Gavin McDonald • Bill Simpich

© Mary Ferrell Foundation. All Rights Reserved. |Site Map |MFF Policies |Contact Us