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Cryptonym: ZRTAFFY

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Russian intelligence services overt information.
Another definition is provided by Malcolm Blunt: A closed channel internal CIA communication between Headquarters and some other CIA office of which only the principals (usually two) were cognizant. A single channel dissemination keeping information tight and secure.

ZRTAFFY usually seems to involve counterintelligence.

ZRTAFFY emerges again in the midst of the drama of the Mexico City station trying to figure out just who Oswald was.

On October 15, right after the two memos were sent by CIA HQ on October 10 that provided two different physical descriptions of “Lee Henry Oswald” to two different sub-sets of agencies, Mexico City asked HQ for a photo of Oswald.

On October 24, HQ asked the Navy to provide their most recent photo of Oswald. During the HSCA investigation, the Navy was asked to provide a list of all documents it received about Oswald from other agencies. There were only a relative handful. Ominously, the Navy failed to list this October 24 memo as one of the documents it received about Oswald. (To see the documents, visit http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/po-arm/id/6389/rec/4 – pages 8-9.)

The contents of the envelope sent from Win Scott to C/WHD J. C. King and directed to Richard Helms from October 25-30 of 1963 is of great importance. Despite a determined search by the HSCA, no one could come up with this "lost" envelope. http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=12248&relPageId=3

One of Jim Angleton's safes had a big stack of ZRTAFFY documents. Much of the contents of those safes was ultimately destroyed - did these ZRTAFFY documents have the same fate?


10/25/63: ZRTAFFY Envelope for Fletcher M. Knight only. From Scott to Chief, WH division, HMMA-22390. Attachment sent 10/30 to DDP by C/WHD. 15027. Even though document is to be "released in full" 201 number is redacted. See similar copy at: http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=29731#relPageId=2 Redacted copy: http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=106066#relPageId=2 A. J. Weberman offers an analysis: ANALYSIS - It could be the photo requested by the Mexico City station on 10/15 and 10/24. The CIA had OSWALD'S photograph in CIA file #593-252C, an article from the Washington Post dated November 16, 1959. When the CIA first released this article, the Xerox was done so that OSWALD'S picture was not visible. In November 1992 he became visible. William Stuckey obtained this article. [CIA 8-4] The CIA could have obtained a glossy photograph from The Washington Post. Because the CIA did not locate this article, OSWALD'S photograph was never sent to the Embassy, and it could not be compared to the surveillance photographs. The investigation of OSWALD by the Mexico City Station of the CIA was stalled. Had it received a photograph, it would have been obvious that of the men photographed entering the Embassy, none of them was OSWALD, and the investigation could have progressed. Did Jane Roman go to ANGLETON for this photograph? For more: http://docslide.us/documents/coup-detat-in-america-volume-five.html

104-10062-10227: DOCUMENT LISTINGS

An important clue is provided in this listing, which shows that the title of HMMW-12046, dated 10/31/63, is "ZRTAFFY/Unknown subj in Mexico was TS-187398-A". So this memo must have been written right after Helms received the ZRTAFFY envelope on October 30.

104-10135-10430: HSCA REQUEST OF 22 JUNE 1978 (OLC #78-2138)

Both the ZRTAFFY envelope of 10/30/63 and the 10/31/63 memo known as HMMW-12046 can't be found. But there are more clues. The top secret attachment referred to as "TS-187398-A" is described as "an FBI document, dated 2 October 1963." The subject of the document is described as "Unknown subject: Soviet agent who furnishes United States Army and Navy manuals to the Soviet/Espionage. No file number." The October 2 "unknown subject" may involve the FBI agent known as LAROB. That cryptonym should be cross-indexed to this ZRTAFFY program. When Helms is asked in 1978 what ZRTAFFY means, his response was that he could not recall. http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=31502#relPageId=88&tab=page


6/8/65: Slugline of the memo is ZRTAFFY. The focus of this short note appears to be photosurveillance. It says that it is "correct that coverage Sov embassy visitors same as past (LIMITED and LILYRIC)." Both of these cryptonyms refer to photosurveillance basehouses trained on the Soviet embassy. The memo then says "word has gotten out" which Americans are visiting the Soviet embassy.


9/10/63: ZRTAFFY slugline on a memo concerning distribution of a report that refers to Anatoly Golitsyn (Angleton's favorite defector). An early 1963 ZRTAFFY investigation in Mexico City was "of interest to KUDESK" KUDESK was Angleton's CI office. http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=4493#relPageId=3


2/18/71 dispatch from Chief WOMUSE to Chief REDACTED, Subject: ZRTAFFY/Russian Intelligence Service Overt Information...attached herewith are seven boxes and one envelope containing an updated set of the product of our overt machine input program on the RIS..."


1976: ZRTAFFY files and many other documents were held separately from the rest of the CIA's document system, and kept in Angleton's safes. When stacked up, these documents would measure about eight feet high. The file said these documents would be "reviewed and possibly processed". Pages 37-38 make it clear that ZRTAFFY is used by counterintelligence. A more redacted version is available at 104-10303-10000.

1994.05.18.13:21:49:440005: Reel 55, Folder K - LEE HARVEY OSWALD [DCD FILE].

2/20/76 memo from CIA officer Charles A. Briggs, Chief, Services Branch to Chief, Information and Privacy Branch. As seen below, Briggs worked on the internal handling of Angleton's files. By 1978, Briggs was Deputy Attorney General responding to HSCA requests for documents in the JFK investigation: https://maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=100414&search=mccord#relPageId=4&tab=page


"CHARLES A. BRIGGS: The former executive director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Briggs spent one year working on research for The Sixth Floor project in the Washington, D.C., offices of exhibition designers Bob Staples and Barbara Charles. Recorded February 16, 2009. Mr. Briggs passed away on November 4, 2015." The Sixth Floor project is part of the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, Texas, a place for the preservation of documents and other artifacts from the JFK assassination.

Larry Hancock, "Limits to Transparency" (MFF, January, 2016): https://www.maryferrell.org/pages/Essay_-_Limits_to_Transparency.html

"In 1976, following the dismissal of long-time Counter Intelligence chief James Angleton, Briggs inventoried and evaluated all CIA counter intelligence (CI) files including those held outside the standard CIA operational records system. Those records appear to have been assembled by former CI Chief Angleton. Angleton's materials contained information considered to be sensitive/compartmentalized - too sensitive to handle within the integrated filing system. In reading Briggs' report, it appears that such sensitive records would not have been available for search and release to the 1964 Warren Commission inquiry on the Kennedy assassination - the Presidential Commission to which Angleton himself served as CIA liaison. Briggs' memorandum on the processing of the Counter Intelligence files in question describes a body of documents of over four hundred feet in length. [10] The integration task was estimated to require three full time staff and a part time supervisor to evaluate the files. Overall almost twelve person-years would be required for the job, which actually took some four calendar years to perform. The work was only partially complete as of late 1979. Content which would be too sensitive to integrate into the headquarters filing system was described in an annex to Brigg's report; the circulation of that annex attachment was restricted even within the counter intelligence group. It seems reasonable to conclude that key information in Angleton's files remained beyond the view of any of the Congressional agency investigations of the 1970's - and restricted from any subsequent release requests."

104-10079-10049: SUBJECT CARD FILE

This card indicates communications from the HSCA trying to deduce the file numbers that relate to ZRTAFFY.

Malcolm Blunt • Bill Simpich • A. J. Weberman

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