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Our Man in Mexico

Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA

By Jefferson Morley

Publication Year: 2013

Includes a new preface that puts the CIA's connections to Oswald in a disturbing new light. Mexico City was the Casablanca of the Cold War-a hotbed of spies, revolutionaries, and assassins. The CIA's station there was the front line of the United States' fight against international communism, as important for Latin America as Berlin was for Europe. And its undisputed spymaster was Winston Mackinley Scott. Chief of the Mexico City station from 1956 to 1969, Win Scott occupied a key position in the founding generation of the Central Intelligence Agency, but until now he has remained a shadowy figure. Investigative reporter Jefferson Morley traces Scott's remarkable career from his humble origins in rural Alabama to wartime G-man to OSS London operative (and close friend of the notorious Kim Philby), to right-hand man of CIA Director Allen Dulles, to his remarkable reign for more than a decade as virtual proconsul in Mexico. Morley also follows the quest of Win Scott's son Michael to confront the reality of his father's life as a spy. He reveals how Scott ran hundreds of covert espionage operations from his headquarters in the U.S. Embassy while keeping three Mexican presidents on the agency's payroll, participating in the Bay of Pigs fiasco, and, most intriguingly, overseeing the surveillance of Lee Harvey Oswald during his visit to the Mexican capital just weeks before the assassination of President Kennedy. Morley reveals the previously unknown scope of the agency's interest in Oswald in late 1963, identifying for the first time the code names of Scott's surveillance programs that monitored Oswald's movements. He shows that CIA headquarters cut Scott out of the loop of the agency's latest reporting on Oswald before Kennedy was killed. He documents why Scott came to reject a key finding of the Warren Report on the assassination and how his disillusionment with the agency came to worry his longtime friend James Jesus Angleton, legendary chief of CIA counterintelligence. Angleton not only covered up the agency's interest in Oswald but also, after Scott died, absconded with the only copies of his unpublished memoir. Interweaving Win Scott's personal and professional lives, Morley has crafted a real-life thriller of Cold War intrigue-a compelling saga of espionage that uncovers another chapter in the CIA's history.

Published by: University Press of Kansas

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

Winston Scott was a legendary figure, one of our best intelligence warriors during the long Cold War with the Soviet Union. For those who worked closely with him, he was a hardworking, talented, and congenial colleague, who had climbed the ladder of success by dint of his own sweat and smarts to become a station chief in one of the ...

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pp. xi-xii

...ing the story of his father?s life made this book possible. He did an awesome amount of research before we ever met. I am grateful to him for trusting me with the story. Any errors of reporting are The original idea of writing an article about Michael?s efforts to obtain his father?s memoir came from his attorney Mark Zaid more ...

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Prologue: April 28, 1971

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pp. 1-9

Scott opened the front door of her house to find herself looking into the face of a man she loathed. James Jesus Angleton doffed his homburg and entered. He wore a black suit and a white shirt. An-liked him. He had been a longtime friend of Scottie, as she called her late husband. Like Scottie, Angleton was a big deal in the CIA, ...

Act 1. London

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pp. 11-25

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1. Up from Escatawpa

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pp. 13-23

...the epigram. They first met in London a few weeks after the end of each other?s style and remained close friends for the next twenty-five years as the CIA grew into a worldwide empire of violence, came from the educated elite, which was not quite the same as the New York, the son of a very middle-class Presbyterian minister in ...

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2. The Apprentice Puppet Masters

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pp. 24-34

September 4, 1944. At thirty-four years of age, Winston Scott, a junior grade navy lieutenant, stood six feet tall, weighed 185 pounds, and had blue eyes, brown hair, and a ruddy complexion. By his side mer track star from Northern Ireland. They had first met at the flat in Berkeley Square that Win shared with John Hadley, a gregarious ...

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3. His Friend Philby

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pp. 35-45

...sive. The satisfaction and the insights came from the accumulation of details, from finding the tangible stuff of family bonds, and from discovering himself in his father?s life. It was almost as if he was a spy, tracking down elusive leads and connecting dots of seemingly unrelated data. It took him many years, but in the late 1990s he fi-...

Act II: Washington

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pp. 47-61

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4. Spies on the Rise

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pp. 49-60

Angleton is evoked in an undated, scratched black-and-white pho-tograph that Michael found among his father?s personal effects. It in 1946 or 1947. Angleton was the chief of the Rome station of the newly created CIA. Win was the chief of the London station. In the legged, arms draped across his long legs while leaning a confiden-...

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5. Operation Success

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pp. 61-72

...when the clandestine life led his father and the country astray?They called it Operation Success at the CIA, an optimistic code name that belied the cynical nature of a venture that brought down pose a threat to the national security of the United States. The CIA?s civil war that cost some 200,000 people their lives. Win, Michael ...

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6. A New Life

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pp. 73-79

...father. In 1988 he was working as an associate producer on the TV show Unsolved Mysteries. He was thirty-three years old, had married his girlfriend, Barbara Fisher of Shaker Heights, Ohio, and was con-morning, and the receptionist said he had a letter from a relative in ?I don?t have any relatives in the South,? he laughed as he made ...

Act III: Mexico City

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pp. 81-95

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7. The American Proconsul

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pp. 83-100

...of Win Scott?s glory days in Mexico. She wrote the definitive his-tory of the CIA?s Mexico City station during his tenure as station 500-page tome?remains, a half century after the events it describes, mostly a state secret. It always impressed Michael how sensitive his father?s life story was. Somehow his long-forgotten deeds still mat-...

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pp. 101-110

...even after four years as station chief, Win still had a few things to Democratico, a loose coalition of Cuban political parties and civic comrades, were tracking, harassing, and arresting anyone who was cians, the CIGARs. It was an apt moniker for a group whose ambi-the runaway popularity of Castro?s revolution in Mexico and the ...

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9. Spy as Poet

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pp. 111-122

...story. The book, called My Love, told in a coded poetic way the story of Win?s most covert operation, falling in love with a woman not his wife. The book?s author, ?Ian Maxwell,? was actually Win him-self. His poetic muse, last active fifteen years earlier in war-torn means. In fact, some would say he was a terrible poet. His meters ...

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10. Knight

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pp. 123-132

...and Cuba was joined in the heart of Mexico City. After the embar-rassment of the Bay of Pigs, John Kennedy wanted to present his Alliance for Progress as the benign face of American power willing to help the people of Latin America. Win Scott was determined to in rural areas in early June 1962, ?believed provoked by the Com-...

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11. Darkness

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pp. 133-139

...father?s work. Win lived at the front lines of the Cold War. But leagues. He was not a theoretician of intelligence like Jim Angle-ton, who sought to discern fiendishly hidden threats in labyrinths of raw data. He was not an adventurer like Dave Phillips, who rel-ished operating under deep cover on the far side of the law. He was ...

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12. Wedding in Las Lomas

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pp. 140-150

...bers. Anne Goodpasture said she saw a man ?in deep distress.? In his memoirs, Dave Phillips later wrote that he sometimes saw his boss leaving the office ?carrying a bulging satchel of books and mail.? Win suffered insomnia and confided to Phillips that he en-dured it with intellectual stoicism. ?At night he would play bridge ...

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13. "You Might Have Had a Seven Days in May"

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pp. 151-167

Dave Phillips?s office and closed the door behind him. ?I?m going to tell you something which you must never tell anyone,? whispered ?I read a while back about a poetry competition in the States,? Win stammered. ?There?s a national prize for the best new volume Win, said Phillips, threw a manuscript onto his desk. He wanted ...

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14. A Blip Named Oswald

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pp. 168-190

...about the assassination of President Kennedy. He had debated con-spiracy theories in dorm rooms and at the dining room table, won-dering all the while what his father knew. He thought about his visit to CIA headquarters and the CIA?s admission that it had censored what his father wrote about Lee Harvey Oswald. But it was almost ...

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15. Out of the Loop

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pp. 191-202

...fall of 1963 as his father wrote cables about Lee Harvey Oswald, the ?We lived in a large home at Paseo de la Reforma 2035 in Mexico City which had expansive gardens and a roof top patio,? he recalled. when Janet married Win, had the privilege to roam the yard for the mained on the roof top patio. At around 2 p.M. there would be a ...

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16. "The Effect Was Electric"

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pp. 203-214

...the Greengates school. He then returned to the house at Reforma 2035 and took his boss to the embassy. At his desk, Win read a re-port on foreign businesses in Cuba. He arranged for a military iden-tification card swiped from a soldier in Cuba?s Revolutionary Armed Forces to be sent via pouch to Langley. Headquarters could use it ...

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17. "A Transparent Operation"

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pp. 215-231

...was heading toward a watershed in twentieth-century history. This was a time in which men of power in the United States of America diplomatic offices six weeks ago was a communist agent? A threat to the president? Was he a disturbed individual? Someone?s agent? Or a double agent? And why would someone kill him? That was the ...

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18. "I Share That Guilt"

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pp. 232-239

...nals of the CIA. The Mexico City station?s handling of the assassi-reputation in the upper reaches of the U.S. government. Kennedy?s murder had exposed the sorry state of the Secret Service, the Dallas police, and the FBI, all of which failed in their duties to protect the president. By contrast, the performance of the Mexico City station, ...

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19. An Anonymous Warning

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pp. 240-256

...tion, issued in late September 1964, found that Oswald alone and unaided had killed the president for reasons known only to himself. Privately, the commission members had been deeply divided on the interpretation of the bullet evidence. Commission counsel Arlen floor of the Book Depository, had fired a first shot that passed ...

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20. The Padrinos

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pp. 257-264

...tribution in the headlines of Excelsior, the New York Times, and ?Willard Curtis? and spoken of with admiration. His stewardship of the Mexico City station demonstrated almost daily how small developments could be turned into big victories for U.S. policy makers. His successes pleased presidents. His failures were unde-...

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21. Night of Tlatelolco

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pp. 265-271

...father. ?After we finished, we were walking back to the car when Scottie said, ?Look they have music down there,? ? Gregory remem-bered years later. ?We were passing by what they call a pe?a, a cof-fee shop type of place. He said, ?Let?s go listen.? I remember because I had just turned eighteen and it was the first time I?d been out to ...

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22. "The Sludge of Spies and Knaves"

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pp. 272-283

...ments about his adoption, he decided to seek out his biological a local prison. Michael could see the circumstances he would have yet again at the accident of his life. Martha, a warm and effusive woman, was overjoyed to meet her son and especially delighted to introduce him to her other son. His name, she said, beaming, was ...

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23. A Fall in the Garden

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pp. 284-287

Win?s sixty-second birthday at 16 Rio Escondido. Sixteen couples came for a buffet dinner featuring roast beef with mushroom sauce, plenty of Pouilly-Fuiss? and Chablis. The Scotts had much to cel-ebrate. Michael and George were finishing tenth grade at the Taft School in Connecticut. Diversified Corporate Services was doing ...

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pp. 289-292

Win Scott (?Willard Curtis?): Scott is buried in the Pante?n Americano in Paula Murray Scott: Win?s second wife is buried about fifty yards away.Kim Philby: The unrepentant communist spy lived in Moscow from 1963 on. He felt neglected by the Soviet government, which he had secretly Ray Leddy: Win?s former friend went on to serve as a deputy assistant sec-...


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pp. 293-345


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pp. 347-351


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pp. 353-371

Back Cover

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p. 385-385

E-ISBN-13: 9780700619726
Print-ISBN-13: 9780700617906

Page Count: 384
Illustrations: 30 photographs
Publication Year: 2013