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Not so much an outbreak of the Big Swingin' Dick but more a case of the Lost Cocke
By David Guyatt
It's official. CIA banker, Brig. General Erle Cocke Jr., doesn't exist and never did. This is now the official view of the go get 'em record searchers of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Following an appeal to an earlier Freedom of Information request to release information, the CIA categorically state that they have no records on General Cocke Jr.
This is despite Cocke's known involvement in the CIA's "black arts" Nugan Hand Bank that laundered money, helped wealthy clients evade tax, launder gold stolen in WWII and who generally dealt in guns and drugs and murder and, well… almost anything illegal you'd care to name.
The late Wall Street Journal reporter and author, Jonathan Kwitny, nailed Erle Cocke in his book Crimes of Patriots , by revealing that Cocke was registered at the US Treasury Department as being the "Washington office" of the CIA Nugan Hand Bank. Cocke told Kwitny that he had visited Nugan Hand's Hong Kong office. He also confirmed he had a deposit account in the sum of $30,000 with Nugan Hand Bank. He also welcomed Frank Nugan, former Green Beret Mike Hand, and mysterious CIA type, Bernie Houghton, to Washington on a business trip. He also arranged a White House meeting for Admiral Yates and Frank Nugan in a plan that involved salvaging US militarty equipment, and that his "old friend" Admiral Yates, President of Nugan Hand, in a letter instructed Frank Hand to pay Cocke $2000 a month. Despite all this however, Cocke told Kwitny he denied any involvement with Nugan Hand Bank,
In a 67-page sworn deposition given in April 2000, just a few days before his death from cancer, General Cocke stated for the record that he used to be debriefed by the CIA following his overseas business trips.
But the good old record recovery boys from Virginia say they don't have any records about General Cocke. None at all. Not about his involvement with Nugan Hand Bank, nor any of his debriefing notes. Nothing. Zilch.
Well, they don't say that exactly… not e x a c t l y.
What they say exactly is that "no records responsive to your request were identified."
Records not responsive, records not identified. Whoops. Is this a word game?
Does "not identified" mean, for example, "Hey Joe, don't look over there...?"
Could it be that the searcher who sadly couldn't be respondent to my FOIA appeal looked carefully to the left but not to the right? Did they forget to wear those all too essential fish-bowl spectacles at the time (you can't identify something you can't see, right) and amble right past the door with the flashing neon sign saying:
"The Erle Cocke Jr. Memorial Lost Records Centre
50 years of criminal banking and covert finance in residence
Maybe it's "now in denial" rather than in residence? Could be I guess. But we'll never know.
General Erle Cocke Jr., was a lot more important than I thought,
and to be frank, I thought he was really very, veryimportant, anyway.
View CIA LETTER
But if the foregoing strikes you as slightly odd, then the statement made by former Citibank CEO & Chairman, John Reed realy does take the cake. In a December 2000 affadavit, Reed swore under oath that he had "... no recognition or knowledge of any persons named Erle Cocke Jr..." It is hard to see how this statement can be accurate in view of what Ciocke said of Reed in his 67-page deposition dated 13th April 2000.
Moreover, Cocke was a significant figure in American and international banking circles. Firstly, he was once an Alternate Executive Director of the World Bank and a former US delegate to the 14th & 15th General Assemblies of the United Nations, where he held the rank and pay of a US Ambassador.
Cocke also came from a distinguished family of bankers. His great grandfather founded a bank in 1867, and his grandfather followed suit by founding another in 1890. His father was President of the Fulton National Bank - which became part of Bank of America - and was later President of the American Bankers Association. He later served as Chairman of the FDIC. Not least, Erle Cocke senior conducted special work for the US government during WWII in regards to certain matters connected with China. For John Reed to not have "recognised" General Cocke's name defies belief. But then, Reed also couldn't recognise or remember any project by the name of Hammer either.
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