Wire Taps Anyone that visited my house during more than 30 years that we lived above the hospital in Tazewell had to see the picture of my brother, George Edward Payne, with the headset beside a globe of the world.  The headset, as many also knew, were from a wiretap machine.  The picture was taken while Eddie was with the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and was during his time in the late 1950's working as an undercover agent, guarding the public against such forces as illicit gambling, sex and drugs.  He mistakenly left at home several reels of wire taps and my sister and myself had the pleasure of listening to several "drug deals" on our home recorder.  This along with his stories were always something I looked forward to hearing when my "big brother" came home.

After leaving the F.B.N. he worked for a while with executive protection guarding such notables as John Glenn and then in 1959, after getting married began working for the Department of State, Department of Security.  One story he liked to tell was his sitting overnight the night of President Kennedy's inauguration in October 1960 with Kennedy's Secretary of State, Dean Rusk.  The head of the Office of Security before 1963 was a man named Otto Otepka.  Some interesting stories have recently surfaced regarding the time and circumstances of Mr. Otepka's removal from the U.S. State Department that I find most interesting. (The picture to the left comes from another interesting article that was found in the Saturday Evening Post 6-6-1964 - Big Brother is Listening- The Government's nasty, nervous habit of spying on itself with telephone taps and hidden microphones has encouraged a nationwide invasion of privacy. By Ben H. Bagdikian.) My brother began his career as a Foreign Service Officer by traveling to Karachi, Pakistan in 1962 where he brought his family in early 1963 on the Good Ship U.S.S. Excalibur where he was assigned as Chief of Protocol at the U.S. Embassy there.

A lady by the name of Joan Mellon has interviewed Mr. Otepka and has written an online book regarding the reasons that Otto Otepka left the Department of State under pressure of the Kennedy administration.  The essay entitled Otto Otepka, Robert F. Kennedy, Walter Sheridan, and Lee Oswald.

Much of it has to do with the investigation of Lee Harvey Oswald.  I have found in the files of Miss Frances Knight much regarding that particular subject and the people at the Passport Office, some that I knew, whose job it was to mark the record of Lee Harvey Oswald with a card called a Lookout Card and referred to in some instances on my site here.  From my estimation the fact that Oswald was not blocked from traveling as he did was totally unbelievable to Robert Kennedy, after the assassination of his brother, someone had to fall.  J. Edgar Hoover would not let Miss Frances G. Knight fall (see J. Edgar Hoover leaves the State Department) so it looks to me like Mr. Otto Otepka bowed under the wielding sword of the Kennedy family. (See this excerpt from the book "The Ordeal of Otto Otepka" by Gill, Chapter XVI Open Sesame) It may have been the best as it seemed to have at least satisfied some of the enormous concerns regarding the use of technology that would soon become ancient and antiquated. The use of what I always called PUNCH CARDS, that were familiar to my sister and I as early as 1959 when my oldest brother brought them home from the Atomic Energy Commission K-25 plant for us to play with.  Just before his retirement, and after installing the Cray Super computer system having worked for 38 years in the computer maintenance department at K-25, oldest brother, Robert (Phil) Payne was one of the delegates in 1989 sent by his department to upgrade the new super computer system, installed with what was called the "Dooms Day Tapes" with bar-coding that would be considered "fail safe" in the event of a nuclear attack.  The old PUNCH CARDS from the early days came from the first large IBM mainframe computer system, the 1401 Data Processing System.    I myself used these cards at the U.S. Passport Office, that were generated by the General Services Administration as late as 1972 to keep track of supplies from the GSA supply houses located all over the D.C. area, primarily the Navy Yard.

In 1962, John Francis Reilly took control of SY.  

What Did Otto Otepka Know About Oswald and the CIA?
By Lisa Pease

Otto Otepka began noticing trouble on his phone line. Chatter could be heard sometimes, other times calls wouldn't go through, and sometimes there would be an amplification effect. Otepka was being bugged. And not just though the phone. Listening devices were installed in his office.

At the end of July 1963, the other shoe dropped. Otepka was informed by the FBI that he was being formally charged with espionage. Years later, it was discovered this move was ordered by Rusk himself, and the order hand-delivered by Reilly to the Department of Justice. This, for turning documents over to a Senate subcommittee. He was also charged with having clipped security classifications from documents, something Otepka did not do. On November 5, 1963, Otto Otepka was finally formally ousted from the State Department. Just seventeen days later, John F. Kennedy would be assassinated.


Otto Otepka, Robert F. Kennedy, Walter Sheridan, and Lee Oswald

by Joan Mellen, 4 Sep 2007

On behalf of Robert Kennedy, Sheridan, aided by a group of loyalists planted in the Office of Security, successfully drummed Otepka out of the State Department, abruptly ending his nineteen year career. Before it was over, Otepka had concluded that his ruin was based not on his having denied security clearances to some Kennedy appointees, as first seemed to be the case. Rather, his ordeal was based upon his development of a file relating to one “Lee Oswald, tourist,” a name on a list of “defectors.” The quotation marks were added by the CIA for an October 24, 1960 document that marks the beginning of Otto Otepka’s investigation of Lee Harvey Oswald.

Damnit Otto you were framed by Ole Reilly.

The workings of an office such as State Department Office of Security would not have done this should there not have been very good cause for suspecting something very wrong had been done by Mr. Otepka. One fact against Otto Otepka is that he has been accused of using John Birch Society funds to sue the State Department. A New York Times article accuses him of this but Joan Mellen who interviewed Mr. Otepka just recently says that is untrue. JBS of course is an organization that has been known to be subversive.

Smiling broadly, [Reilly] asked, “Where’s your rabbit’s foot?” Mystified, Otepka raised his eyebrows in question. Reilly laughed and, maintaining his air of benevolent affability, he explained that Otepka had just been selected to attend the National War College. This was an honor usually reserved for Foreign Service officers marked for higher things. Being human, Otepka was naturally pleased. Reilly seemed genuinely delighted that such good fortune had befallen a member of his staff and just for a moment, Otepka was taken in. He accepted the appointment with thanks, and perhaps with a sense of relief that he could escape, at least temporarily, from the strained atmosphere that prevailed in SY. Reilly shrewdly asked him to put his acceptance in writing.

That same day, May 7, Otepka wrote Reilly a memorandum formally expressing his willingness to attend the War College for ten months beginning in August. However, he could not resist adding, tongue in cheek, that the appointment had come as something of a surprise to him because the State Department had repeatedly assured him, the Congress, and the public that he would be kept in a responsible position in the Office of Security. Reilly returned this memo with the request that Otepka delete his comments on the Department’s premises. Otepka complied.16

Reilly, however, overplayed his hand. His overdone praise made Otepka a bit uneasy, and he decided to do a little checking on his own. What he found was that his appointment had not been entered with the regular nominations, but was entered as a last minute emergency-type nomination. Otepka then asked Reilly if by accepting, he would still be able to return to his post at State. Reilly admitted he would have to fill Otepka’s spot, and there would be no place to which Otepka could return. With that, Otepka rejected this “honor” and chose to remain in place.

The State Department in its belief that it can handle the Passport situation never formally accepted the fact that Passport applications "adjudication" could be handled by the U.S. Postal Department more efficiently. Although, and God bless her soul, Miss Frances G. Knight made repeated attempts to block the Post Office from handling application "adjudication" and I even was responsible for one of the larger recommendations that helped alleviate the paperwork and time involved in Clerks of Courts receiving the applications, we should now see that the "adjudication" process is suffering from this lack of cooperation with other departments of the U.S. Government. The kind of work that postal employees do is much more in line with the "adjudication" processes that are required for applicants for U.S. Passports. Of course the background investigations should, by now, be mostly technology oriented. Most of the "leg work" needed should be done by offices such as State Department SY or DS field agents.

I know that retired agents thrive on this background work and should be given full charge, having knowledge of security issues both home and especially abroad. I accompanied my brother, George Payne on several interviews, remaining in the car, on one such interview near Phenoix, Arizona. But, I really think that keeping "end of line" agents busy should not be the primary reason of assigning these checks to DS or SY agents and not agents of other agencies. If not available then why not allow seasoned agents from other agencies to conduct these background checks. This issue as to who should conduct background checks should not be the reason for backlogs and lapses in security that in the end could cause more important issues, such as terrorist getting access to official passports that may be manufactured in other countries such as Thailand and allowed to travel at will.

I am afraid that the State Department may have mistaken my leaving their auspices way back a long time ago to work for the U.S. Post Office my way of saying this inadvertently. Well, ya never know.



Oswald and the CIA: The Documented Truth about the Unknown Relationship ... By John Newman

Robert L. Bannerman - Deputy Director of Security in 1959 - Office of Security (OS). Bannerman had a close working relationship with Otto Fred Otepka of the State Department Security Office (SY). (1959-1960) Bannerman dissuaded his staff (OS) from doing research on one Lee Harvey Oswald.

  • Oswald and the CIA
  • George E. Payne August 1991 oral interview of Robert L. Bannerman.
  • Chief Special Agent in Washington was created in 1916, Joseph "Bill" Nye was appointed the first chief special agent. Nye, who also held the title of special assistant to the Secretary of State, reported directly to Secretary of State, Robert Lansing. Robert C. Bannerman, a former Postal Inspector, replaced Nye in 1920. The accomplishments through the turbulent years of 1920 - 1940 were carried out by a minimal staff of special agents; at times no more than six. In 1936, when Robert L. Bannerman entered on duty with the Office of the Chief Special Agent in New York City, the New York office had a special agent-in-charge and four special agents. The Washington office consisted of his father and four clerks; no agents were assigned there.
    Robert B. Bannerman, son of Robert L. Bannerman and grandson of Robert C. Bannerman becomes an RSO. (Always in the MIDDLE OF SOMETHING)

    2011-12-07 History of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security - Chapter 1

    "The Robert C. [sic] Bannerman Interview," conducted by George Payne, 20 August 1991, Folder - Diplomatic Security History, Box Archives H-N, Bureau of Diplomatic Security Training Center, Dunn Loring, Virginia. Hereafter cited as DS TRACEN. Although this is marked as the "Robert C. Bannerman interview," Payne interviewed Robert L. Bannerman ([h]ereafter cited as "The Robert [L.] Bannerman Interview"). NCIX, A Counterintelligence Reader, 94. Lansing, War Memoirs, 325. (Was he really confussed? Comme ci, comme ca)

    RESEARCH NOTES

  • PDF FIles: Miami News - November 6, 1963 Otto F. Otepka - Unemployable / The New York Times - March 20, 1969 Wrong Man, Wrong Agency
  • Open Government in the USA: Some Recent Statutory Developments - JOHN D. LEES - Public Administration 1979 57:3 333
    Dr. Lees is Reader in American Studies at the University of Keele.
  • J. EDGAR HOOVER LEAVES THE STATE DEPARTMENT by Sanford J. Ungar
    Sanford Ungar accesses Hoover's controversial personal archives. What motivated Frances Knight to become the Director and what was her "revenge" campaign composed of? The man credited with (or blamed for) doing in Frances Knight is Richard M. Moose, who is Richard M. Moose?
    Jimmy Carter- Finding more and more regarding Jimmy Carter's administration that I can't understand. Was he the man that I thought he was when I met him during a governors conference in Atlanta in 1972?

    Threre were two Moose's and both were appointed as ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR AFRICAN AFFAIRS by the last two Democratic Presidents.

  • GEORGE E. MOOSE - Appointed by Bill Clinton in 1993
  • AND
  • RICHARD M. MOOSE, who is linked below. Were they related? Richard M. Moose, whose job it was before becoming an
      Undersecretary
    of State was to decide budgets. Evidently since he was buddies with Carter and became influential enough to travel abroad with his secretary he got what some call the "big head" and got himself in all kinds of trouble. The mayor of Knoxville, Tennessee, Douglas Michael Ragsdale seems to have done something similar. Why is it that people with such disrespect for those they serve seem to be able to fool everyone?

  • NOMINATIONS SUBMITTED TO THE SENATE Week Ending Friday,June 3rd, 1977
    The following list does not include promotions of members of the Uniformed Services, nominations to the Service Academies, or nominations of Foreign Service officers.
    Submitted June 3, 1977
    RICHARD M. MOOSE, of Arkansas, to be an Assistant Secretary of State.
    June 10, 1996 - Richard M. Moose - Foreign policy challenges in a changing world
    August 26, 1996 - Richard M. Moose resigned as undersecretary of state for management to head a study at the Council on Foreign Relations on the impact of declining U.S. government foreign policy spending, the State Department announced.
    State Department officials said Sunday that Moose decided to step down after acknowledging a consensual relationship with a member of his immediate staff.

    His decision came after the State Department inspector general began an investigation into allegation contained in an anonymous letter that Moose had increased his routine overseas travel accompanied by a woman on his immediate staff with whom he was alleged to be having an affair.
  • In the meantime Richard M. Moose, who I imagine draws a full State Department government pension, has succumbed to becoming an environmental advocate as seen in his commentaries from Arlington, Virginia on "Mirant's Potomac River Plant" and the evils of coal fired power plants to the environment. Yes, beats arsenic, the bi-product that harms the river the most.