December 12, 2009

Chapter 55: Back to Business

Despite being re-approved for covert activity in 1964, there is a dearth of CIA documents about Pawley over the next three years; yet, in 1965, the U.S. Marines invade the Dominican Republic and Air America expands its activities in Southeast Asia. Pawley becomes president and chairman of Talisman Sugar Corp., among the largest private properties in Central Florida, and names Mike Cervera, a Bay of Pigs invasion participant, the manager of Talisman. In 1966, William Pawley joins Florida National Bank & Trust Co. and becomes a director in the group of banks overseen by du Pont estate trustee Edward Ball who in turn invests in Pawley’s Talisman Sugar. An Iowa newspaper points out that Richard Nixon’s firm is the lobbyist for Talisman and that Pawley is providing heavy financial backing of Nixon as the 1968 Republican candidate. As the election approaches, Anna Chennault, widow of Flying Tiger leader, General Claire Chennault, advises a representative of the South Vietnamese government to stall the Paris Peace Talks until after Nixon is elected President, implying there will be a better outcome to the war with him in office. Nixon wins the election, but Pawley does not get a coveted State Department post. Pawley begins to write his memoir and tells a recent National Security Agency director that he greatly disapproves the potential admission of Red China to the United Nations.