by David Guyatt
It’s official. CIA banker, Brig. General Erle Cocke
exist and never did. This is now the official view of the go get ’em record searchers of the Central
Following an appeal to an earlier Freedom of Information request to
release information, the CIA categorically state that they have
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
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.
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
He also arranged a White House meeting for Admiral Yates and
Frank Nugan in a plan that involved salvaging US military
equipment, and that his "old friend" Admiral Yates, President of Nugan Hand, in a letter instructed Frank Hand to pay Cocke $2000 a
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
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.
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
Records not responsive, records not identified. Whoops. Is this a
Does "not identified" mean, for example, "Hey Joe, don’t look over
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?
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
Maybe Brigadier General Erle Cocke Jr., was a lot
more important than I thought, and to be frank, I
thought he was really very, very important, anyway.
But if the foregoing strikes
you as slightly odd, then the statement made by former
Citibank CEO & Chairman, John Reed really does take the
In a December 2000 affidavit, 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 Cocke
said of Reed in his 67-page deposition dated 13th April
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 "recognized"
General Cocke’s name defies belief.
But then, Reed also
couldn’t recognize or remember any project by the
name of Hammer either.