Near East Operations – #14A – Chief Agent Iraq – The ‘Dentist’ and The “Oil Man”


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This CIA declassified document was recovered from the internet archive. It was declassified in 2004.

This document is titled Near East #14. It is from:


Chief of Geographic Section – Gordon Loud

Project Officer – Wilson Thomas Moore Beale

Director David K.E. Bruce


From the document – the main ideas:


The Dentist –

The Dentist - Little Shop of Horrors
Steve Martin in Little Shop of Horrors as “The Dentist”.


I’m sorry, but I just couldn’t resist, this is just SO cheesy. Ok. Now I’ll be serious.


Maybe not.


Really though – a DENTIST as an OSS agent? Come on. These frickin’ guys must be high on LSD over there.

But, that is what this is, so let’s get to it.



1. To make arrangements for and to indoctrinate a chief agent now in Iraq.

2. To set up a system of secret informants resident in Iraq, which may be maintained after the departure of the agent and regardless of possible enemy occupation.

3. To restablish contact with prominent Iraqis in an effort to swing their support toward the American effort and away from the Axis.

4. To identify Axis agents now operating in Iraq and discover their methods of operation.


Under WAYS AND MEANS section –

“The agent will leave for the Near East as soon as he can complete the training at the S.A. Branch School. He goes to conduct a survey of dental needs in Iraq at the request of the American Dental Association and with the concurrence of the Office of the Surgeon General. The agent is himself a dentist with long experience in Iraq, Syria and Palestine, in all of which countries he has wide and valuable connections. he will be accompanied, or immediately followed, bu another American dentist of Syrian descent whose complete familiarity with the Arabic language and the area will be of great value both in making the dental survey and in laying the lines for the proposed information network. It is planned that this assistant agent may also receive training in the SA/B* school, though this may not be possible and is not absolutely essential.”


A word on the SA/B acronym.


When Donovan first set up undercover operations, he made a Special Activities branch of two divisions: A Special Intelligence Service – SI –  (which conducted “straight” espionage) and Special Operations – SO – which conducted sabotage, guerrilla warfare and subversion. Special Operations was roughly the same as the British SOE, Special Operations Executive.

  • Term “Special” meant “Secret”.

Abbreviations-wise SI was referred to as SA/B and SO was called SA/G, which the second letter after the slash in each term was chosen by using the last initial of the division chief at the time.

SA/B – where the B stood for David Kirk Estes Bruce, head of SI, and
SA/G – where the G stood for M. Preston Goodfellow, head of SO.

The first director of SI was Wallace P. Phillips, who was a “civilian assistant” to the Head of ONI  PULL ASTOR.

He was only there for six weeks, hence there never was a SA/P.



Back to this document –

This chief agent prospect, by the way, is AN OIL MAN.

The agent will probably proceed first to Haifa to secure permission from the oil company director there for the services of the oil man in Iraq whom it is expected will become chief agent for Iraq. Tris part of the project will subsequently be written up as Project No. 14.

[this is a reference to the Iraq Petroleum Company, and the The Mosul–Haifa oil pipeline – see a history of Oil down further in this article for full overview, but the simple history is that the pipeline was built by the Iraq Petroleum Company between 1932 and 1935, during which period most of the area through which the pipeline passed was under a British mandate approved by the League of Nations, the Arabs (who hated the British – began attacking this line during WWII.]

From Haifa the agent will proceed to Iraq where he will get in touch with the prospective chief agent and indoctrinate him in the methods and activities of A/B. He will also teach him the code provided for him by the SA/B training school.

A considerable number of the dentists of Iraq are either former students or collaborators of the agent in his previous work in the near East . He is confident that he can make use of them to establish a network of information centers with practically perfect cover, since no one is likely to be suspected of espionage for making an occasional call upon a dentist, particularly in the Near East. The agent has worked out a system of communication among these dentist agents, making use of a well-known form of nomenclature of dental instruments with which all of them are
readily familiar. The chief agent will also be informed of this system and will be put in touch with the information network which will report its findings to him for transmission to headquarters.


Oh God, this is too funny.


Now it’s not just one dentist, it’s a whole SPY RING of Dentists! Who use a “dental tools” code!


Dentistry in Iraq – where “hand me that drill” doesn’t mean what you think it does.

church lady pursed face.

“In his former years in Iraq the agent became very friendly with the leading family of the country which has been involved in anti-British uprisings and has for a long period been strongly anti-British.”


 Considering the gross crap the British have done in the Middle East?

They should be.


“The agent plans to reestablish his contact with this family and endeavor to influence them toward a pro-American attitude. It will not be possible to soften their anti-British bias but they may be led to an anti-Axis feeling if their attitude toward America is properly cultivated.”


The supplements to 14a, go into the “results” of this trip to Iraq.


Code name – Charles Wiley.


“Through the medium of the agent described in Number 14-a, a new agent for Syria was recruited whose code name is Charles Wiley. He is an important executive of an oil company which has operations in Syria, Palestine and Iraq, and he has complete mobility as regards those three countries.”

The agent is such a busy man and so frequently has to be away from Beirut that it has been necessary to secure for him a cipher clerk.
This clerk, whose code name is Wiley Shang, is an exceptionally efficient woman whose security was checked by a government agency which has employed her as their chief secretary in Beirut.

The information network activated by Number 14-a among the dentists of the Near East ties indirectly into the office of Wiley Shang . Information from this network is fed to another American secretary who knows Wiley Shang but does not know of her connection with our work. She passes the information on to Wiley Shang in the belief that it is to be forwarded to the agent of Number 14-a in his capacity as a dentist. She does not know that he was one of our agents. The dentists comprising the network do not know Wiley Shang at all and are in no position to expose our organization in case any of them should be uncovered.

Charles Wiley has exceptional contacts both in official, industrial and social circles throughout the area. He is capable of providing us with information which would be available to few other people.

2. Baghdad ·

Number 14-a was able to secure the services of the man described on page one of Project Number 14-a. This agent who has the code name Robert Craig is also an employee of the oil company and makes his headquarters in the Kirkuk area. He was indoctrinated by Number 14-a and was taught the cipher which Number 14-a took out for him . Communications have already been established and he has proven himself competent to handle the cipher.

…The agent is an expert on tribal conditions in northern Iraq and is in a position to provide us with exceptional information on matters pertaining to the tribes . He is also in a position to act as a contact man with the tribes if such a person is ever needed by us. The agent possesses an unrivaled experience in the geography of northern Iraq and has already provided us· with a magnificent report on the roads of the area together with detailed maps which had not hitherto been available in this country.


Let’s start with the oil men, and what company they worked for, which was The Iraq Petroleum Company.

Some history –

The forerunner of the Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC) was the Turkish Petroleum Company (TPC), which grew out of the growing belief, in the late 19th century, that Mesopotamia (now Iraq) contained substantial reservoirs of oil.

Since Mesopotamia was part of the Ottoman Empire, early negotiations for an oil concession centered on the capital of the empire, Constantinople, [now called Istanbul] where the Ottoman sultan and his government resided. The first interest was shown by German Empire banks and companies, who were already involved in the building of the Berlin-Baghdad railway, followed by British interests. In 1911, in an attempt to bring together competing British and German interests in the region, a British company known as African and Eastern Concession Ltd was formed.

In 1912, this company became the Turkish Petroleum Company (TPC), formed with the purpose of acquiring concessions from the Ottoman Empire to explore for oil in Mesopotamia. The owners were a group of large European companies – Deutsche Bank, the Anglo Saxon Oil Company (a subsidiary of Royal Dutch/Shell), the National Bank of Turkey (a British concern) – and Turkish-born Armenian businessman Calouste Gulbenkian. The driving force behind its creation was Gulbenkian, and the largest single shareholder was the British Government-controlled Anglo-Persian Oil Company, which by 1914 held 50% of the shares.

When the Ottoman Empire was broken up in the aftermath of the war, [ THE REAL TARGET OF WORLD WAR I ] the question of shareholding in TPC became a major issue at the 1920 San Remo conference, where the future of all non-Turkish and Arab-majority areas of the former Ottoman Empire were substantially decided.

In 1927 Oil was found in the Kirkuk district, which if you notice, is the location of one of the new OSS agents, who works for IPC.

On 31 July 1928 the shareholders signed a formal partnership agreement to include the Near East Development Corporation (NEDC).


A consortium of five large US oil companies that included Standard Oil of New Jersey (later Exxon, eventually ExxonMobil in 1999), Standard Oil Company of New York (Socony) (later Mobil, which eventually amalgamated to ExxonMobil), Gulf Oil (which later merged with Chevron in 1984), the Pan-American Petroleum and Transport Company, and Atlantic Richfield Co. (later ARCO; eventually acquired by BP in 1999). Shares were held in the following proportions: 23.75% each to the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (which in 1935 became the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) and in 1954 the British Petroleum Company, later BP), Royal Dutch/Shell, the Compagnie Française des Pétroles (CFP, which in 1991 became Total), and the NEDC; and the remaining 5% to Calouste Gulbenkian.


Since the 5 supposedly American-only Oil companies were actually dominated by various British interests, this effectively meant that Britain controlled almost 50 percent of THIS new agreement – as well.


TPC was to be organized as a nonprofit company, registered in Britain.

The agreement, known as Red Line Agreement after a red line was drawn around the former boundaries of the Ottoman Empire (with the exception of Kuwait), effectively bound the partners to act together within the red line. The Agreement lasted until 1948 when two of the American partners broke free. During the period, IPC monopolized oil exploration inside the Red Line; excluding Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, where ARAMCO ( formed in 1944 by renaming of the Saudi subsidiary of Standard Oil of California (Socal)) and Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO) respectively held controlling position.

In 1929 the TPC was renamed the Iraq Petroleum Company.

By 1934, the NEDC comprised only two shareholders, Standard Oil of New Jersey and Socony, which had merged with the Vacuum Oil Company to form Socony-Vacuum in 1931.


See? What’d I tell you. British Interests only.



Document details

DATE: signed no date


NAMES mentioned:

  • David K.E. Bruce – Director or Chief of the OSS SI (Special Intelligence) division 1942.
  • Wilson Thomas Moore Beale – Project Officer, 1943. Listed in the OSS Personnel Database p. 28 as a Lieutenant. His father was “Doctor” Wilson Thomas Moore Beale, of Philadelphia, attended Princeton in 1899. [Ref: Princeton University Catalogue By Princeton University] The son, the OSS man, graduated Princeton in 1931, and in 1954 he was the Officer in Charge, United Kingdom and Ireland Affairs at the Office of British Commonwealth and Northern European Affars in Washington D.C.
    Pics of his father Dr. Wilson T.M. Beale Sr. and 1954 article about the one in the OSS-
  • Gordon Loud – Chief of Geographic Section (Near East)


Other Images and People


David K.E. Bruce

Wilson Thomas Moore Beale Junior in 1954 –


Gordon Loud
OSS Gordon_Loud_-_1930


Images and PDF files


For those who don’t know – OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition and when that is done on images, it makes it so you can search the images for certain words or phrases that you are looking for.

Here is an OCR’d PDF file of all the pages of this document.

Near East Operations – #14 – Chief Agent Iraq – The ‘Dentist’ and The “Oil Man”


Following are the individual images of the document, for those who prefer to look at them that way.

(click to enlarge)

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Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. I am very impressed with your blog and how organized all these documents are! I feel like I have a lot more to learn about now. I never stop engaging my mind in very important topics, especially topics that include what the truth is behind the facade that most of society believes about our country and our whole world. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and experience.

  2. i have a question about the photos of wilson thomas moore beale: are they photos of his father wtmb sr or of wtmb jr (22 jul 1909-23 aug 1997)?

    • Hey, you’re right! Those are pics of the father, so just now I went and dug around and found a picture of the son (that was in the OSS) corrected this post plus added a little more information about the son. Thanks much for bringing my attention on this post so I could update it. – Virginia


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