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Mitchell WerBell III: Wikis


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Mitchell Livingston WerBell III, (1918 – 1983), was a noted OSS and CIA operative, mercenary, firearms engineer, and arms dealer.



WerBell was born in Philadelphia, the son of a Czarist cavalry officer in the Imperial Army of Russia. As a guerrilla operative during the Second World War he carried out a secret mission for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) under the command of Paul Helliwell with E. Howard Hunt, Lucien Conein, John K. Singlaub and Ray Cline.[1][2][3] They were paid with five-pound sacks of opium.[4]


Project Nassau

In 1966 he helped plan an invasion of Haiti by Cuban and Haitian exiles against "Papa Doc" François Duvalier called Project Nassau (but internally referred to as Operation Istanbul). The mission, which (according to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Special Subcommittee on Investigations of the House Commerce Committee) was financially subsidized, and to be filmed by CBS news, was aborted when the participants were arrested by the FBI. WerBell was released without being charged.[5]

Abaco Islands

In 1972 WerBell was approached by the Abaco Independence Movement (AIM) from the Abaco Islands a region of the Bahamas who were worried about the direction the Bahamas were taking and were considering independence or to remain a separate Commonwealth nation under the Crown in case of the Bahamas gaining independence (which they did in 1973). The AIM collapsed into internal bickering before a coup by Werbell could be carried out.[6]

In 1973 WerBell was asked to assist with a coup d'état against Omar Torrijos of Panama, according to CIA documents released in 1993. WerBell sought clearance from the CIA which denied getting involved in coups. The plan was not implemented, though Trujillo died in a place crash five years later.[7]

Business activities

In the 1960s WerBell incorporated SIONICS to design silencers for the M-16 rifle. The name was an acronym for "Studies In the Operational Negation of Insurgents and Counter-Subversion". This name was later adopted for a military training school that he operated. Through SIONICS he developed a low cost, efficient silencer for machine guns.

In 1967 he partnered with Gordon B. Ingram inventor of the MAC-10 sub machine gun. They added WerBell's silencer to Ingram's machinegun and attempted to market it to the U.S. military as "Whispering Death" for use in the Vietnam war.[8]

To obtain capital for manufacturing, WerBell obtained 29 investors of 7 million dollars each into a holding company called Quantum Ordnance Bankers. They created a manufacturing corporation called Military Arms (MAC), and merged it with Quantum and SIONICS.

Other exploits

Other exploits include an alleged, but unsubstantiated presence at Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963, spearheading the 1965 Invasion of the Dominican Republic, being tried and acquitted on charges of conspiracy to marijuana smuggling,[9] reportedly in association with Gerry Patrick Hemming, and at the acquiescence of Lucien Conein; and providing physical security services and training for Lyndon LaRouche security forces.

In 1988, Sheriff Sherman Block of Los Angeles announced that Hustler publisher Larry Flynt had paid WerBell $1 million in 1983 to kill Hugh Hefner, Bob Guccione, Walter Annenberg, and Frank Sinatra. WerBell died in Los Angeles a month after receiving the check.[10][11]

See also


  1. ^ The Iran-Contra Connection Secret Teams And Covert Operations In The Reagan Era, P. 64, Peter Dale Scott, South End Pr, 1987, ISBN 0-89608-291-1
  2. ^ Undercover: Memoirs of an American Secret Agent,E. Howard Hunt, Berkley Pub. Corp, ISBN 978-0399114465
  3. ^ John Mintz, Staff Writer, Washington Post, January 14, 1985
  4. ^ Wall Street Journal, April 18, 1980
  5. ^
  6. ^ Naylor, Robin T Wages of Crime:Black Markets, Illegal Finance and the Underworld Economy Cornell University Press (2002)
  7. ^ Corn, David (November 29, 1993). "Secrets from the C.I.A. Archives.". The Nation 257 (18): p. 656.  
  8. ^ Long, Duncan (1989). Terrifying Three: Uzi, Ingram And Intratec Weapons Families. Boulder, Colorado: Paladin Press. pp. 25-31. ISBN 978-0873645232.  
  9. ^ The Law Offices of Edwin Marger - Drug Trial
  10. ^ "Alleged Flynt Plot to Have Sinatra, Others Killed Reported". Los Angeles Times: p. 3. October 27, 1988.  
  11. ^ Stern, Gary (October 27, 1988). "Sheriff: Flynt offered $1M for slayings". USA TODAY (McLean, Va.): p. 03.A.  

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