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This broadcast was recorded in one, 60-minute segment .
Introduction: This is the eleventh of a planned long series of interviews with Jim DiEugenio about his triumphal analysis of President Kennedy’s assassination and New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s heroic investigation of the killing.
(Listeners can order Destiny Betrayed  and Jim’s other books, as well as supplementing those volumes with articles about this country’s political assassinations at his website Kennedys and King . Jim is also a regular guest and expert commentator on Black Op Radio .)
In this broadcast, we explore the association of David Ferrie and Clay Shaw in the context of the planning of assassination plots against JFK, as well as Shaw’s involvement with the intelligence community.
NB: In our previous interview, Mr. Emory mistakenly linked “The Bomb” to Clay Shaw and to a plot to assassinate JFK. Shaw was, according to credible testimony involved with Ferrie in another, probably connected, association to discuss killing Kennedy.
David Ferrie had a desk in the office of C. Wray Gill, a lawyer for Carlos Marcello. When another of Gill’s clients–a woman named Clara Gay–was in the office, she witnessed another Ferrie assassination schematic on November 26, 1963:
. . . . Clara looked over at Ferrie’s desk and she saw what looked like a diagram of Dealey Plaza: it was a drawing of a car from the perspective of an angle from above, the car was surrounded by high buildings, reminiscent of Dealey Plaza. After the secretary threw it out, Clara retrieved it. She said it should be given to the FBI or Secret Service. The secretary took it back and a pulling contest ensued. The secretary eventually won, but not before Clara saw the words “Elm Street” on the diagram. She later reconstructed this experience for Garrison. She said she came forward because she considered herself a good citizen, and Ferrie must have been something evil . . . .
After discussion of the Ferrie Dealey Plaza assassination schematic, the discussion turns to a conversation witnessed by Perry Russo, one of Garrison’s most important witnesses.
Key points of information about what Russo witnessed:
- Present at the meeting where the discussion took place were: Clay Shaw, David Ferrie, Lee Harvey Oswald and several Cubans.
- Shaw was using one of his most common aliases–“Clay Bertrand.”
- Ferrie became increasingly agitated and highlighted “triangulation of crossfire” as necessary to assure a kill shot on Kennedy.
- Ferrie and Shaw discussed the necessity of being somewhere else, to give themselves “cover.” This led Russo to conclude that the plans were concrete not theoretical.
- Ferrie said he would be in Hammond, LA., on the campus of Southeastern Louisiana. He was, in fact, there on the day of the assassination.
- Shaw said that he would be on the West Coast. He was, in fact, at the San Francisco Trade Mart, where he was to give a talk. When news of of the assassination reached Shaw and his host, Shaw seemed remarkably detached. When asked if he thought the talk should go forward in light of the news, Shaw said yes. This struck those around him at that time as curious.
The issue of Shaw’s aliases is an important one. The day after the assassination of JFK, New Orleans attorney Dean Andrews got a call from “Clay Bertrand,” requesting that he represent Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas. Andrews had previously encountered Shaw using the same alias when seeking legal representation for some gay Latinos.
Key aspects of Andrews’ contact with Shaw/Bertrand:
- Andrews feared for his life if this came to light. He claimed to have been told, after calling Washington D.C., that he might get a bullet in the head if he talked.
- After Andrews changed his testimony, Garrison charged him with perjury, eventually gaining a conviction.
- Andrews’ statements about Shaw/Bertrand were bolstered by someone at the VIP lounge at the Eastern Airlines terminal at New Orleans airport, who knew Shaw to sign in under that alias.
- Numerous people in bars and bistros–particularly in the French Quarter–knew that Shaw used that alias. Because of Garrison’s crackdown on organized crime-related operations in New Orleans, his potential informants remained silent.
- When being booked, Shaw actually stated that he used the alias “Clay Bertrand.”
Shaw was booked by a New Orleans police officer named Aloysius Habighorst–who had an excellent record. When being booked, Shaw stated that he used the alias “Clay Shaw.” Before testifying at Shaw’s trial, Habighorst’s car was rammed by a yellow truck, and he was injured.
At Shaw’s trial, Judge Haggerty refused to admit Shaw’s admitted alias as evidence.
The concluding portion of the broadcast deals with Clay Shaw’s intelligence connections. Key points of information in that regard:
- Shaw’s intelligence connections date to World War II, when he worked as a aide-de-camp to General Charles Thrasher. This placed him in the Special Operations Section, a branch of military intelligence and one which was involved with recruiting some of the Paperclip personnel to work for the U.S.
- After the war, he became involved with International House, a Rockefeller-linked operation deeply involved with the transnational corporate community.
- His work for the International Trade Mart followed logically on the heels of his work for International House.
- Shaw also worked with the Mississippi Shipping Company, which did a lot of work with the CIA.
- His “Y” file indicated that Shaw’s work for CIA involved conferring with the agency before traveling to Latin America, not after he returned as was the case for most informants.
- At least one of Shaw’s files with the CIA was destroyed.
One of the most important elements of Shaw’s intelligence career was uncovered by researcher Peter Vea, whose disclosures were supplemented by some interesting commentary by Victor Marchetti.
. . . . Peter Vea discovered a very important document while at the National Archives in 1994. Attached to a listing of Shaw’s numerous contacts with the Domestic Contact service, a listing was attached which stated that Shaw had a covert security approval in the Project QKENCHANT. This was in 1967 and the present tense was used, meaning that Shaw was an active covert operator for the CIA while Garrison was investigating him. When William Davy took this document to former CIA officer Victor Marchetti, an interesting conversation ensued. As Marchetti looked at the document, he said, “That’s interesting . . . . He was . . . He was doing something there.” He then said that Shaw would not need a covert security clearance for domestic contacts service. He then added, “This was something else. This would imply that he was doing some kind of work for the Clandestine Services.” When Davy asked what branch of Clandestine Services would that be, Marchetti replied, “The DOD (Domestic Operations Division). It was one of the most secret divisions within the Clandestine Services. This was Tracey Barnes’s old outfit. They were getting into things . . . Uh . . . exactly what, I don’t know. But they were getting into some pretty risky areas. And this is what E. Howard Hunt was working for at the time.” And in fact, Howard Hunt did have such a covert clearance issued to him in 1970 while he was working at the White House. . . .