Bernie Houghton

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Person.png Bernie Houghton   Sourcewatch SpartacusRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(arms dealer, spook)
File:Bernie Houghton
BornMaurice Bernard Houghton
25th July 1920
Texas, USA
Died2000 (Age 79)
Alma materSouthern Methodist University

Maurice Bernie Houghton was an arms dealer who spent his profits by setting up bars in Australia. He was a key operative in the Nugan Hand Bank. He is listed by John Simkin as under 'Disinformation'.[1]


He was son of an oil driller.


After working in the US military in World War II, Houghton had various jobs over the next 20 years.

Move to Australia

In January 1967 Houghton moved to Australia where he founded several bars in Kings Cross, New South Wales and the Bourbon and Beefsteak Bar and Restaurant in Sydney. He claimed that he met Michael Hand in the autumn of 1967. However, in one interview he admitted he had been told about Hand in 1964: "I had heard of Mike Hand's great combat exploits and courage, which was well-known in Vietnam."

In 1972 Houghton met Richard Secord, whom he would occasionally meet socially throughout the 1970s.[2]

Nugan Hand

Full article: Nugan Hand Bank

Houghton, closely connected to CIA officials, Ted Shackley and Thomas Clines, was important in the running up of the Nugan Hand Bank, set up in 1973 by lawyer Frank Nugan and Michael Hand.


On 7th January 1980, Robert Wilson (House of Representatives Armed Services Committee) and Richard Ichord (chairman of the Research and Development Subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee) dined with Bernie Houghton at the Bourbon and Beefsteak Bar.

On 27th January, 1980, Frank Nugan was found shot dead in his Mercedes Benz. With his body was a Bible that included a piece of paper on which were written the names "Bob Wilson" and "Bill Colby".

According to one witness, Thomas Clines helped Bernie Houghton escape. Michael Hand also left the country accompanied by James Oswald Spencer, a man who served with Ted Shackley in Laos. The two men traveled to America via Fiji and Vancouver.

Arms dealing

In 1981 Bernie Houghton was found selling arms to Egypt.[How?][By whom?] According to Jonathan Kwitny this was probably part of a deal organized by Shackley and Wilson to obtain $71.4 million from the U.S. Treasury in commissions as shipping agent for the sale of jets, tanks, missiles, and other weapons to the Egyptian government.[3]

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