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Cryptonym: MHCHAOS

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Program (1966-74) to gather intelligence on possible foreign connections of US protest organizations. To that end, it would gather and evaluate all available information about foreign links to racial, antiwar and other protest activity in the United States.

Church Committee: Book III - Supplemental Detailed Staff Reports on Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans

MHCHAOS was a "program to gather and evaluate all available information about foreign links to racial, antiwar and other protest activity in the United States." Richard Ober headed the program, and answered to DCI Richard Helms.

Verne Lyon, "Domestic Surveillance: The History of Operation CHAOS", Covert Action Information Bulletjin, Summer 1990: http://www.serendipity.li/cia/lyon.html

"(Richard) Helms became DCI in June 1966...by August 1967 the illegal collection of domestic surveillance had become so large and widespread that he was forced to create a Special Operations Group (SOG). The SOG was embedded in the DDP's counterintelligence division and provided data on the US peace movement to the Office of Current Intelligence on a regular basis." LBJ got the program started in 1965, and it ended in the midst of the Watergate era in 1973.


1966-1974: From a very useful finding aid, probably created by ARRB attorney Jeremy Gunn: CHAOS was a "CIA program (1966-74) to gather intelligence on possible foreign connections of US protest organizations."


1/20/69 from Win Scott, Chief of Station Mexico City to Director: "Forwarded for Headquarters information is a copy of a memorandum dated 14 January 1969 concerning the above-mentioned individuals. KAFFKE has been of prior MHCHAOS interest...Information on DOBKINS..." The 1/14/69 attachment mentions that KAFFKE and DOBKINS are active in the strike committee of SF State University; that DOBKINS in particular was accused by Oswald's mother as being involved in the assassination, and that they want to conduct a study about Oswald. See http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=109933&search=KAFFKE_AND+DOBKINS#relPageId=2&tab=page

Revolutionary Guerilla Training in Mexico

1/16/69 memo from Willard Curtis/Win Scott, Chief of Station Mexico City to Director. Revolutionary guerilla training in Mexico appears defined as MHCHAOS activity. On next page, a 10/29/68 report discusses Gerry Hemming and Roy Hargraves. As of that date, Hargraves was in jail for "dynamiting right wing organizations and also the headquarters of the Black Panthers in the Los Anges area. Hemming reportedly learned from Hargraves that he works for Jose Antonio Duarte Oropesa (AMBANG-3), a Cuban exile...(who) apparently wants racial warfare between these two groups and is promoting unrest." The final page says that "Hemming told the source that he was told by Hargraves that there were guerilla warfare camps in Mexico and that such groups as the Black Panthers and the Students for a Democratic Society send members to Mexico to receive guerilla warfare training. Hargraves claimed that Duarte said that he sent an American friend to Mexico to inspect these guerilla warfare camps and to report back to him (Duarte)...The source stated, however, that Hemming, while in a position to furnish information, frequently alters, distorts, and changes the information to suit his fancy."


11/4/69 memo, from Chief of Station REDACTED to Chief, WOMUSE: "We asked REDACTED to give us compiled information that they have on various MHCHAOS targets." At p. 4 shows a focus on Canadians: "Dr. Thomas Burton BOTTOMORE, a leading Marxist and author on Marxism as well as a British citizen, took up employment at SFU in 1965...he was responsible for the hiring of Katherine ABERLE, a British citizen, and of Thomas Harold BROSE, John William Carl LEGGETT, Nathan POPKIN and Martin NICOLAUS, all U.S. citizens." Also a focus on Mordecai BREIMBERG, Donald E. EPSTEIN, Norman STRAX, Leroy Roger BUTCHER, Sidney COONTZ, Laughlin Bernard CURRIE, Kennedy Jerome FREDERICK, Maurice HALPERIN (who was in the USSR from 1958-62, a defector at the same time as Oswald), and Alfred Alan HERZOG. Last page is a pretty thorough index.


July 1973: The slug line states RYBAT MHCURB MHCHAOS and the document relates a message from UNBOUND (France) reporting that four Black Panthers (George Edward Wright, George Brown, Jean Carol McNair, and Joyce Rillerson) arrived in Paris from Algiers and were being housed and trained by a Communist clandestine organization run by Henri Curiel. Brown and his companions reportedly sought to arrange plastic surgery and false documents to allow their secret return to the United States after having fled after Wright hijacked a plane and secured a one million dollar ransom for the dozens of passengers he took captive. https://www.archives.gov/files/research/jfk/releases/104-10063-10169.pdf

104-10301-10011: Extracts From CI History

"It had been the public expose of HTLINGUAL and the MHCHAOS program...by Seymour Hersh in the New York Times on 22 December 1974 that had precipitated Colby's decision to force Angleton's retirement."

Bill Simpich • Carmine Savastano

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