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Message Bill Simpich
The CIA and Army Intelligence worked together to form the Caribbean Action Center for collecting intelligence from Cuban refugees, the home of the debriefing specialist Dorothe Matlack

Dorothe Matlack, a renowned figure known as a pioneer in the Army's use of human intelligence, has been described as the Pentagon's liaison to the CIA.  She was a specialist in the art of debriefing.  She spent many years as Assistant Chief of Staff of Intelligence for Army Intelligence, with much of her work in the Collections Division.  She organized and directed the debriefings of tens of thousands of people, with a particular emphasis on refugees from Hungary and Cuba.

In the sixties, the value of her work had risen even higher, and her section was reorganized into the "Exploitation Section. "  Her role with the Caribbean Action Center is major, illustrating the Center's role as a vacuum cleaner for swallowing up information about Cuba. In an interview, JMWAVE officer Tony Sforza described a building near an airport where debriefing reports would be typed, processed, and provided to the intelligence agency of Cuban exiles known as the "AMOTs".   150 Cubans were working for the Army and the CIA in this miniature agency .  More than twenty Cubans were among the actual debriefers, and the other Cubans worked in records, reports writing and similar tasks, all answering to US case officers.  

David Morales was ideally suited to help lead the work of the Caribbean Action Center (CAC), as he was the #2 man at the CIA forward operations base in Miami known as JMWAVE, and helped create the AMOTs.  Morales was also a military man who had been seconded to the CIA.    Morales was joined at the CAC by his loyal ally Tony Sforza.   While serving as a top official within the ACSI, Matlack and her colleague Colonel Sam Kail were also key supporting officers at the Carribean Action Center.   

Matlack also worked with the Interagency Defector Committee and the CIA's debriefing specialist Tony Czajkowski

After obtaining top secret clearances, Matlack joined the Interagency Defector Committee in 1953 and served for many years.    The agencies in the IDC were State, DIA, Army, Navy, Air Force, FBI and the CIA. She had worked with Tony Czajkowski of the CIA's Domestic Contacts Division off and on over the years.

Like Matlack, Czajkowski was also a debriefing specialist.  His work with the Domestic Contacts Division in "domestic exploitation" was identical with Matlack's.   Czajkowski wrote an article in 1959 entitled "Techniques of Domestic Intelligence Collection." It's a good discussion about how to get information from people such as Oswald or de Mohrenschildt.   

In 1953, Matlack was assigned to be a "liaison on defector matters and aliens of interest."  During the early 60s, Matlack worked closely with CIA Defector Coordinator George Aurell. Matlack also worked with the CIA in analyzing long lists of reports made by notorious defectors such as Anatoly Golitsyn. Odds are high that Matlack would have been intimately familiar with the story behind the re-defector Lee Oswald.

A CIA memo, probably written by Angleton's man John Mertz, told the Warren Commission that the IDC only handled "foreign persons who defect to the United States, rather than defectors from the United States to an iron curtain country."  Oswald, as a re-defector returning to the US from an iron curtain country, fit in neither category.  

Mike Sylwester, an Air Force major who served on the Interagency Defector Committee for ten years, believed that it wasn't clear whether the IDC or another CI agency would have jurisdiction for a re-defector such as Oswald:   "It might have been like two baseball players letting the ball drop between them because each one thought that the other one would catch it."   

Which agency was supposed to handle a re-defector like Oswald?
Which agency was supposed to handle a re-defector like Oswald?
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Sylwester concluded that "the CIA did attempt to collect information from Oswald in a clandestine manner, through George De Mohrenschildt, without Oswald's knowledge of De Mohrenschildt's intentions.   This is not a normal method of collecting information from defectors.   People who normally collect information from defectors are normally not qualified to use techniques of this kind, and they would not have been informed at all about this operation".  De Mohrenschildt may have been qualified to collect information from Oswald; or someone more experienced may have collected it from him.  As we will see, Matlack and Czajkowski spent some time with de Mohrenschildt before the assassination.

While trying to organize a coup of the Duvalier regime in Haiti, de Mohrenschildt finds himself being debriefed by Matlack and Czajkowski

Right about the time that Ruth and Marina became housemates, de Mohrenschildt left Dallas and never saw the Oswalds again.  De Mohrenschildt was now working with Clemard Charles, a Haitian banker and political leader.  De Mohrenschildt was touting Charles to his contacts as a possible new leader for Haiti that could effectively replace "Papa Doc" Francois Duvalier. 

According to an Army Intelligence memo, "(de Mohrenschidt,) a business associate of Vice President L. B. Johnson, traveled with Charles in 1963 when he visited various U.S. government officers, both in Washington and in New York...(de Mohrenschildt) appeared to have the close personal contacts that provided Charles with the opportunity to air his views and his intentions to the higher echelons of USI (US intelligence) and the U.S. government; on occasions it was either de Mohrenschildt or Charles who made direct telephone contact with USI, rather than vice versa.  How these telephone numbers were obtained is not known."

On 4/26/63, Gale Allen of the Domestic Operations Division requested an expedited check of sources on de Mohrenschildt while he was in Washington DC.  This may mark the beginning of a covert debriefing of de Mohrenschildt.  In a 2004 interview with author David Kaiser, Allen said that he had done this on behalf of someone else who had "plans" for de Mohrenschildt. 

This man with plans was apparently C. Frank Stone, also of the Domestic Operations Division, who asked Anna Panor to request more information on de Mohrenschildt.  Leo Dunn at the Personnel Security Division provided a summary of de Mohrenschildt's activities, which stated that certain derogatory information could be used to determine the right amount of contact with de Mohenschildt.

Anna Panor wrote a 5/9/63 memo to Stone, suggesting that more information could be obtained by contacting Thomas Schreyer, a high-level covert action officer in Meyer's office who had handled de Mohrenschildt's file in the past.

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Bill Simpich is a civil rights attorney and an antiwar activist in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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