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Maurice Bishop and łThe Spook˛ Hal Hendrix

Gaeton Fonzi has written a book that details his search for Maurice Bishop
called The Last Investigation. To Fonzi's detailed summary of reasons that
David Atlee Phillips was indeed the Maurice Bishop that Veciana saw with
Oswald, there is a more recent addition. In the back of his updated
paperback version of Conspiracy,  Anthony Summers tells of Jim Hougan's talk
with CIA agent Frank Terpil. Jim Hougan will be familiar to Probe readers
from our last issue. He's the author of the best book on Watergate, Secret

Hougan got to know Terpil rather well while making a PBS documentary about
him. In a tape-recorded interview, Hougan asked why Terpil was going on and
on about David Phillips and the AFIO. Among other things, Terpil alleged (as
have others) that Phillips' "retirement" from the CIA was phony, and that he
continued to work for the CIA through the AFIO. Hougan asked Terpil why he
kept talking about Phillips-was it personal, or political? Political, Terpil
replied. Hougan asked where Terpil and Phillips had met. Terpil's answer is
astonishing, and terribly important. Terpil had met him in Florida while
living there with Hal Hendrix's daughter. Really? Asked Hougan. Yeah, said
Terpil, Phillips used to come around with Hal Hendrix, but he wasn't using
his real name. He was using an alias. What alias? Bishop, Terpil said,
Something Bishop. Maurice Bishop? Hougan asked. Yeah, Terpil replied,
Maurice Bishop. Hougan wanted to be sure Terpil wasn't putting him on, but
came away convinced that Terpil did not understand the significance of what
he was saying and that Terpil was answering honestly. Hougan asked how
Terpil knew Bishop was Phillips. Terpil said he had run Bishop through the
agency's file system in the CIA's Miami headquarters to find out who this
Bishop character was. The name that came out: David Atlee Phillips.

When Probe asked Hougan about this incident, he responded, "Now, in my
opinion, Terpil was telling the truth about this-because, frankly, the
subject of David Phillips' background and alias would never have come up if
I hadn't grown irritated with Terpil's constant kvetching about the AFIO."
As a follow-up, Hougan contacted both Seth Kantor, who confirmed his call to
Hendrix, and Hendrix's daughter, who Hougan says "seems to be as big a spook
as her father was." She issued an "I'm afraid I don't remember" when queried
about having lived with Terpil, which, as Hougan noted, "is not a denial."

In 1975, Seth Kantor, a Scripps-Howard reporter and one of the first
journalists to report on Oswald's background immediately following the
assassination, noticed that one of the Warren Commission documents still
being suppressed from the public was a record of his own calls the afternoon
of the assassination. Kantor was curious what could have been so sensitive
among those calls to require such suppression, and starting actively seeking
the document. Listed in the FBI report he finally got released-but not
listed in the report of his calls published in the Warren Commission
volumes-was a call Kantor made, at the request of his managing editor in
Washington, to another reporter named Hal Hendrix, then working out of the
Miami office. Hendrix was about to leave for an assignment in Latin America
but had told the Washington office he had important background information
on Oswald to relay. Kantor received from Hendrix a detailed briefing of
Oswald's defection to the Soviet Union, his pro-Castro leafleting activities
and other such details. Kantor didn't think, at the time, to ask Hendrix
where he got his information. Years, later, he wished he had, as Hendrix was
quite an interesting character.

Hal Hendrix had a claim to fame for his insightful reporting on the Cuban
Missile Crisis in 1962. His efforts garnered him a Pulitzer Prize. It was
perhaps because of his deep sources that Hendrix was nicknamed "The Spook."
Or perhaps it was for his near clairvoyance. In a Scripps-Howard piece dated
September 23, 1963, Hendrix wrote a colorful article about the toppling of
the Dominican Republic's president Juan Bosch. The only problem was, the
coup didn't happen until a day later.

In 1976, Hendrix pleaded guilty to charges of withholding information when a
Senate Committee was looking into the corporate ties of ITT to the Chilean
coup. Hendrix had worked for ITT in Chile at the time ITT was working with
the CIA to bring about the fall of Chilean president Salvador Allende. David
Phillips was in charge of the CIA's end of that operation. It is therefore
of the greatest significance that Terpil puts Bishop/Phillips in the
presence of Hendrix, and that Veciana puts Bishop in the presence of Lee
Harvey Oswald. Add the new revelation that a "Mr. Phillips" was "running the
show" in conjunction with Sergio Arcacha Smith and Guy Banister in New
Orleans, and we know where the Assassination Records Review Board should be
devoting the utmost attention.  

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