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FTR #1046 Interview #15 with Jim DiEugenio About “Destiny Betrayed”

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This broadcast was recorded in one, 60-minute segment.

CIA’s Expert on the JFK Assassination Ray Rocca: ” . . . . Garrison would indeed obtain a conviction of Shaw for conspiring to assassinate President Kennedy. . . .”

House Select Committee on Assassinations Assistant Counsel Jonathan Blackmer: “. . . . ‘We have reason to believe Shaw was heavily involved in the Anti-Castro efforts in New Orleans in the 1960s and [was] possibly one of the high level planners or ‘cut out’ to the planners of the assassination.’ . . . .”

Introduction: This is the fifteenth 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 KingJim is also a regular guest and expert commentator on Black Op Radio.)

This interview begins with an excerpt from the book that encapsulates the synthesis of the intelligence agencies, infiltrators into Garrison’s investigation, media hatchet men designated to destroy Garrison’s reputation and Clay Shaw’s defense team.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; pp. 228-229.

. . . . About Oswald, [Bernardo] DeTorres said he knew he had not killed Kennedy because DeTorres knew the people who were actually involved–and they were talking about it before it happened.

I have detailed the DeTorres penetration at length since it is important in order to understand what really happened to Jim Garrison. And also to reveal just how much was at stake for suspects like Bernardo DeTorres and his allies. As [HSCA investigator Gaeton] Fonzi notes in his book, as the author found out from an interview, when Victor Marchetti was executive assistant to CIA Director Richard Helms, Helms would run staff meetings about Agency operations. During these meetings, Marchetti would take the official notes. At times, Helms would indicate he wanted certain things not taken down. At other times, something would come up, and Helms would cut off any follow-up by waving his hand. He then would add that this subject would be pursued further in his office, with Marchetti not there to take notes. Marchetti said that the Garrison inquiry and the Shaw trial came up more than once. Each time, Helms would ask what they were doing to help the defense. Fonzi later found out that DeTorres’s penetration was only the inception of the CIA’s effort to torpedo Garrison. For the HSCA later discovered through CIA documents that there were nine undercover agents at one time or another in Garrrison’s office. So, in addition to what Mr. King had warned Garrison about, that is the negativity of the media which would now plague him until the end, there was something that King left unsaid. But after he left, assistant Andrew Sciambra noted it to Garrison. He said, “Well, they offered you the carrot, and you turned it down. You know what’s coming next don’t you?”

Clay Shaw

What we are about to describe in this chapter and the next is something that neither Garrison nor Sciambra could have likely imagined at the time. But with the aid of extensive interviews, plus declassified documents, for the first time we will now outline a three stage program to deconstruct Garrison’s case and to make sure Shaw would be acquitted. This first stage began very early with DeTorres, a man who–while working with Mitch Werbell–may have been involved with Kennedy’s murder. But it will continue with certain other “singleton” penetrations by people like William Gurvich and Gordon Novel. The second stage of the effort will center around the wider efforts of former National Security Agency officer Walter Sheridan in alliance with the CIA and NBC. That effort was coupled with the work of intelligence assets/journalists James Phelan and Hugh Aynesworth. When Garrison would still not give up, a third phase set in with two prongs to it. James Angleton’s office took over in September of 1967, and, as we have previewed, Angleton’s endeavor was then allied to, and expanded all the way up to Director Richard Helms in 1968 and 1969. With operations that could even be discussed in public or for the record. But which, as we shall see, HSCA Deputy Counsel Bob Tanenbaum saw certain documents about. . . .

Continuing and overlapping analysis from the last program, we return to the subject of veteran intelligence operative Gordon Novel, whom we have spoken of in past interviews. In FTR #1044, we synopsized Novel’s activities as a spook and as an infiltrator into Garrison’s investigation: “One of the most important infiltrators was Gordon Novel, a veteran CIA officer, brilliant electronics expert and operational associate of many of the people involved in Garrison’s probe. Novel had been involved with the Bay of Pigs and an arms burglary at a Schlumberger facility, some of the loot from which was stored at a racing business owned in part by Novel. Operating at the direction of Allen Dulles, he infiltrated Garrison’s investigation and bugged his office for the Agency. He also networked with the FBI to monitor Garrison’s probe. Novel also used his position inside Garrison’s probe to smear Garrison in public statements to the media. Novel was able to draw on large financial reserves, the source of which is–technically speaking–opaque. At one point, he had five attorneys working on his behalf. That, in and of itself, would have required more money than Novel appeared to have at his disposal. Most significantly, Novel worked in tandem with Walter Sheridan, a veteran intelligence operative who produced an altogether “special” for NBC about the Garrison investigation. . . .”

In this program, we noted Novel’s work with the FBI, as well as CIA. Noting a bunch of apparent “hangers-on” around his residence, Novel realized that they were FBI. They were interested in having him monitor Garrison for the bureau, which he did. Jim notes that the Wackenhut Corporation (formerly Southern Research) was also monitoring Garrison’s communications. It was an outgrowth of the FBI.

Supplementing analysis of CIA Garrison infiltrator William Martin (also highlighted in FTR #1044), we set forth Martin’s work for Guy Banister.

An important part of the discussion features expanded analysis of both Hugh Aynesworth and James Phelan, both of whom were prominent media hatchet men who helped defame Garrison.  (They, too, were highlighted in FTR #1044.)

“Life” magazine cover featuring Oswald, two Communist magazines and the weapons he supposedly used to slay JFK and officer Tippitt.

Key points of discussion about Aynesworth.

  1. Prior to the assassination of President Kennedy, Aynesworth had networked with J. Walton Moore, in charge of CIA operations in Dallas, Texas. Aynesworth was applying for membership in the assassination.
  2. He was involved with attempted sale of Oswald’s “diary.”
  3. Was networked with Marina Oswald, helping to disseminate the official lie about the assassination, and concocting a preposterous story about Marina saying Oswald had planned to kill Nixon.
  4. Worked with people associated with CIA’s anti-Castro Cuban milieu in conjunction with Life Magazine’s “re-investigation” of the JFK assassination. Henry Luce’s Life and other publications had a history of working with the intelligence community.
  5. Disseminated disinformation about Garrison/JFK for Newsweek.
  6. He informed for both the FBI and Lyndon Johnson about Garrison’s inquest.
  7. Disseminated disinformation about David Ferrie’s associate Alvin Beauboeuf. This disinformation ran parallel to Walter Sheridan’s disinformation efforts in this regard.
  8. Was instrumental in frustrating Garrison’s attempts at interviewing CIA Cuban operative Sergio Arcacha Smith.
  9. Aynesworth networked with Clay Shaw’s defense team.

Key points of discussion about Phelan include:

  1. Review of his hit piece on Garrison published by The Saturday Evening Post.
  2. His networking with intelligence agencies in conjunction with his journalistic activities.
  3. His professional association with Robert Loomis, who had a long career publishing disinformation books covering-up this country’s major assassinations. (Gerald Posner’s notorious Case Closed is a prominent example.
  4. Phelan also networked with Clay Shaw’s defense team, helping to introduce into the trial testimony the preposterous “jet effect” syndrome with regard to the head shot that sealed Kennedy’s fate. This preposterous concoction maintains that the violent tossing of JFK’s body to the back and to the left by the fatal head shot was because the shot (supposedly from behind) created a tunnel in JFK’s head which, when it channeled the blood and flesh torn from Kennedy by the bullet, created a “jet” that propelled Kennedy backward.

The program concludes with a partial reading of a 2016 Huffington Post story based, in part on Phelan’s disingenuous reporting on the JFK assassination. One of the features of the article is that it casually dismisses Jim Garrison’s investigation as baseless, and suggests that Garrison felt the homosexual Shaw was involved with the assassination as part of a “homosexual thrill killing.”





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