Meier Sees First Hint of CIA at Hughes Enterprises

On August fifth, Maheu told Meier that a man named Michael Merhage, a new young Toolco executive, would be handling some business in South America. Meier was asked if he would use his contacts in Ecuador to open the right doors for Merhage. It was a routine request and Meier handled it in a routine way. Meier flew to Quito before Merhage arrived and explained to his friends in high government positions the importance of giving Merhage all the help he needed.

Robert Maheu oversaw Howard Hughes’ mafia-related businesses: boss of the Nevada Operations: casinos, real estate, mining properties. Thanks to him, many former CIA spooks found work with Hughes. Maheu was a CIA cut out operative. He hired many CIA operatives both into Hughes companies and his own security firm BMI, which was on retainer by the CIA for operations that they didn’t want to be caught a part of. Maheu’s staff consisted of former IRS, CIA, and FBI agents. Maheu hated John Meier.

The CIA Office of Security protects CIA assets, operations and secrets Reports directly to the director of CIA. The Director of security was James McCord, who was also CREEP’s security director. Through Maheu, the Office of Security recruited Maheu’s friends in the mafia for the planned Castro murder. McCord and the Office of Security set up Maheu’s company and the Mullen company as fronts.

E. Howard Hunt was the first chief of covert operations for the CIA’s mysterious Domestic Operations Division. Virgino Gonzales, soon doing surveillance on Meier, was part of that division.