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FTR #1051 Interview #20 with Jim DiEugenio about “Destiny Betrayed”

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This broadcast was recorded in one, 60-minute segment [6]

[7]

[8]

LBJ and JFK

Introduction: This is the twentieth in 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 [9] 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 [10]Jim is also a regular guest and expert commentator on Black Op Radio [11].)

This program deals with Oswald in Mexico City [12], one of the most important elements in constructing the cover-up of the assassination.

The Mexico City gambit entails “Oswald” ostensibly traveling to Mexico City to visit the Cuban and Soviet embassies, the latter involving “Oswald’s” alleged contacts with Valery Kostikov, the KGB’s agent in charge of assassinations in the Western Hemisphere. When reports of this were circulated in the American media on the weekend of JFK’s assassination, it appeared to many that the Soviet Union and/or Cuba was behind the assassination.

Ultimately, the possibility of World War III and a nuclear holocaust breaking out as a result of the assassination were used by Lyndon Baines Johnson to engineer a cover-up.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 359. [9]

. . . . To say this deception about Oswald in Mexico worked well does not begin to do it justice. For at the first meeting of the Warren Commission, the former DA of Alameda County California, Earl Warren, came out meek as a lamb:

  1. He did not want the Commission to employ any of their own investigators.
  2. He did not want the Commission to gather evidence. Instead he wished for them to rely on reports made by other agencies like the FBI and Secret Service.
  3. He did not want their hearings to be public. He did not want to employ the power of subpoena.
  4. Incredibly, he did not even want to call any witnesses. He wanted to rely on interviews done by other agencies.
  5. He then made a very curious comment, “Meetings where witnesses would be brought in would retard rather than help our investigation.

In other words, as Johnson told [then Senator Richard] Russell, they were to ratify the FBI’s inquiry. There was to be no real investigation by anyone. The Mexico City charade, with its threat of atomic holocaust, had secured the cover up of Kennedy’s murder. . . .

Key elements of discussion and analysis on this topic include:

  1. Warren Commission counsels David Slawson and William Coleman relied on CIA and FBI liaison for their information. Specifically, they relied on counterintelligence chief James Jesus Angleton and and his aide Ray Rocca for their information. NB: Mr. Emory erred at one point in this interview, identifying Richard Helms a head of the CIA, he was Deputy Director of the Agency at this point in time.
  2. Slawson even considered joining the CIA at this point. We can but wonder if, in fact, he did just that.
  3. Richard Helms appointed Angleton to be the main liaison for the Agency to the Warren Commission. Recall that Angleton and Ray Rocca were in charge of the Oswald pre-assassination files.
  4. Angleton and the FBI’s William Sullivan coordinated their response concerning Oswald having ties to U.S. intelligence agencies, denying that that was, in fact, the case.
  5. A handful of CIA officers known as the SAS (not to be confused with the British commando organization with the same initials) developed an interest in Oswald weeks before the assassination.
  6. Slawson and Coleman relied on CIA station chief Winston Scott when in Mexico City.
  7. Sylvia Duran, employed at the Cuban embassy in Mexico City, reported [9] the “Lee Harvey Oswald” with whom she met as ” . . . being short, about five foot, six inches, blond and over thirty years old. Oswald was five foot, nine inches, dark haired, and twenty-four years old. . . .” (p. 349.)
  8. Duran noted that the procedure [9] used by the Oswald impostor to obtain a visa was suspicious: ” . . . . “They [U.S. communists, which “Oswald” allegedly was] usually followed a procedure, arranged for by the American Communist Party, which allowed them to obtain a visa in advance through the Cuban Communist Party. . . The fact that Oswald did not do this was revealing. It seemed to suggest that either Oswald was not a real communist, or that people inside the communist circles in America thought he was an agent provocateur. They therefore did not trust him. . . .” (pp. 349-350.)
  9. The phone calls [9] made to Sylvia Duran at the Cuban embassy contain significant discrepancies:  ” . . . . Duran stated firmly that after the twenty-seventh, when Oswald had failed to secure his special visa, he did not call her back. Again, someone embroidered this for the Commission. For in the Warren Report, she is quoted as saying ‘. . . . she does not recall whether or not Oswald later telephoned her at the Consulate number she gave him.’ This was an important discrepancy in testimony. Because, as we shall see, there was another call to the Russian consulate on Saturday the twenty-eighth [of September, 1963]. The CIA claims this call was by Duran, with Oswald also on the line. But if Duran’s recall is correct, then the CIA evidence is spurious. . . .” (p. 350.)
  10. When G. Robert Blakey and his associate Richard Billings assumed control over the HSCA, they made a significant concession [9]: ” . . . . In return for access to classified materials, members and employees f the committee signed agreements pledging not to disclose any information they garnered while doing their work. Then, when Blakey, Gary Cornwell, and Dick  billings edited the report and volumes, the agencies they made agreements that [the agencies] were allowed to veto what information was included in the published volumes. . ..” (p. 350.)
  11. While “Oswald” was supposedly in Mexico City, Sylvia Odio [9] was visited by three men, one whom was identified as “Leon Oswald,” an ex-Marine, an excellent shot, and someone who felt that JFK should be assassinated for failing to support the Bay of Pigs invasion. ” . . . . After reading the Warren Report, [HSCA’s first Chief Counsel Richard] Sprague wondered why the commission chose to discount the testimony of Silvia Odio. . . . When she first heard of Oswald’s involvement with the Kennedy assassination, she immediately recalled the visit of the three men. That afternoon she became very fearful, so much so that she fainted. She then met with her sister, ans and they had both been watching television with Oswald’s photo on the screen, they both realized he was the man who thought the Cubans should have killed Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs. . . .” (pp. 350-351.)
  12. The Odio incident created problems [9] for the Warren Commision: ” . . . . The third problem, the one that bothered Sprague, was that the dates of the visit clashed with the dates that Oswald was supposed to be going to Mexico. . . .” (p. 352.)
  13. To discredit Sylvia Odio, Warren Commission counsel Wesley Liebler [9] impugned her sexual mores: ” . . . . Odio described what happened next to Fonzi and the Church Committee: ‘Not only that, he invited me to his room upstairs to see some pictures. I did go, I went to his room. I wanted to see how far a government investigator would go and what they were trying to do to a witness. . . . He showed me pictures, he made advances, yes, but I told him he was crazy.’ Liebler wasn’t through. To show her what kind of operation the Commission really was, he told her that they had seen her picture and joked about it at the Warren Commission. They said things like what a pretty girl you are going to see Jim. . . . For HSCA staff lawyer Bill Triplett told this author that the reason that chairman Earl Warren did not believe Sylvia Odio is that she was some kind of a ‘loose woman.’ . . .” (pp. 352-353.)
  14. The linguistic capabilities of the “Oswald” [9] who allegedly was contacting the Cuban and Soviet embassies in Mexico City are contradictory: ” . . . . it has Oswald speaking fluent Spanish, which no one has ever said Oswald did. Further, the HSCA report says that Oswald spoke poor, broken Russian. Yet both Marina Oswald and George DeMohrenschildt said Oswald spoke Russian quite well upon his return to the United States. Further, professional translator Peter Gregory thought Oswald was fluent enough to give him a letter certifying Oswald’s ability to serve as a translator. . . .” (p. 353.)
  15. [13]

    “Oswald” in Mexico City.

    The “Oswald” photographed [9] in Mexico City was obviously an impostor: ” . . . . The CIA had multiple still cameras set up outside the Cuban embassy in Mexico City to catch everyone coming out of and going inside in order to secure a visa to Cuba. When, at the request of the Commission, the FBI asked the CIA for a photo of Oswald entering the consulate, they got Commission Exhibit 237. This is a picture of a husky six footer with a crew-cut. Obviously not Oswald. . . . In Owald’s combined five visits to the Cuban consulate and Soviet consulate, the battery of CIA cameras failed to get even one picture of him entering or leaving. In other words, they were zero for ten. And the camera right outside the Cuban consulate was pulse activated. . . . ” (pp. 353-354.)

  16. Both David Phillips and his assistant Anne Goodpasture were involved in multiple obfuscations [9] of the facts: ” . . . . Anne Goodpasture was in charge of the ‘daily take’ from both target embassies. That is the photographs taken from outside and the clandestine tape recordings made from inside the compounds. This is important because she then would have been the first person to see a photo of Oswald. Therefore, she should have sent for a photo of Oswald from Langley in a timely manner while Oswald was still in Mexico City. She did not. . . .” (p. 354.)
  17. Next, we highlight more of Phillips’s obstruction [9] of the investigation: ” . . . . Phillips said that they had no audio tapes because they ‘recycled their tapes every seven or eight days.’ The tapes were actually recycled every ten days. But they were held for a longer time if so requested. Further, if any American citizen spoke broken Russian inside the Soviet consulate, the tape would be sent to Washington. Because he would be considered of possible operational interest to the Soviets. . . . Phillips also told [HSCA counsel Robert] Tanenbaum that the reason the CIA did not have a photo of Oswald was because their camera was out that day. This appears to be another lie. First of all, Oswald went to the Soviet consulate on two different days, the twenty-seventh and twenty-eighth. So all three of the cameras covering the site would have had to have been out on both days. . . .” (p. 354.)
  18. Phillips also dissembled [9] concerning a cable sent to CIA headquarters: ” . . . . The surveillance of the Russian consulate revealed that by October 1, the CIA knew that “Oswald” was in direct contact with those who worked there, such as Valery Kostikov of the KGB. But yet, the cable alerting headquarters to this fact did not arrive until a week later, October 8, Phillips tried to explain this delay by blaming the translators. He then said he knew that this was the case since he signed off on the cable. Hardway and Lopez found out that Phillips did not sign off on the cable, since it did not deal in any way with Cuban matters. But even worse, he could not have signed off on it because he was not in Mexico City at the time. The likely reason the cable was sent out so late was to keep Oswald’s profile low while he was allegedly in Mexico City. . . .” (pp. 354-355.)
  19. Oswald’s file at CIA [9] began to be bifurcated: ” . . . . On or about September 23, Angleton began to bifurcate Oswald’s file.  the FBI reports on Oswald’s Fair Play for Cuba Committee activities in New Orleans went into a new operational file, separate from his 201 file. Therefore, the bizarre things Oswald was doing in New Orleans . . . .were all kept out of his 201 file. So when the late arriving cable finally did come into CIA HQ from Mexico City about Oswald in the Soviet consulate, this was kept separate from his New Orleans activities. Then two different cables were sent out on October 10. One was sent to the Bureau, the State Department, and the Navy, describing a man who doesn’t fit Oswald’s description: he is thirty-five years old, has an athletic build, and stands six feet tall. This description resembles the Mystery Man photo. . . .” (pp. 355-356.)
  20. An altogether remarkable and revealing [9] aspect of the “Oswald” in Mexico City gambit concerns the FBI’s “FLASH” notice on Oswald: ” . . . . Oswald was not placed on the FBI’s Security Index list which was passed on to the Secret Service in advance of Kennedy’s visit to Dallas. If he had been on that list, the Secret Service would have made sure he was not on the motorcade route, since he constituted a clear risk to President Kennedy. One reason he was not on the list is because the FBI “FLASH” on Oswald, which had been in effect since his defection in 1959 was removed. This warning required any information or inquiry on the subject to e immediately forwarded to the Espionage Section of Division Five, the Domestic Intelligence unit. Incredibly, the “FLASH” was canceled on October 9, 1963. In other words, after being attached to Oswald’s file for four years, it was removed just hours after he cable from Mexico City arrived in Washington reporting Oswald’s visit to the Soviet compound and meeting with Kostikov . . . .” (p. 356.)
  21. In light of Valery Kostikov’s identity [9], the FBI’s behavior is more than a little interesting: ” . . . . Kostikov’s true identity was revealed. His was the KGB unit responsible for assassinations in the Western Hemisphere. After being methodically lulled to sleep . . . this information must have felt like a hard punch to the jaw. Oswald had met with the KGB representative for assassination seven weeks before Kennedy arrived in Dallas. Yet, he was allowed to be in the building behind where the President’s limousine would be driving. And no one in the FBI or Secret Service did anything for nearly two months. The diabolical trap had been sprung. Hoover had no choice. He went into CYA overdrive. . . .” (p. 357.)
  22. In response to a telephoned question [9] from Lyndon Baines Johnson, Hoover revealed that his agents had heard the tapes of “Oswald” speaking and seen the photographs of “Oswald” visiting the Mexico City diplomatic posts, but that neither the calls, nor the picture was the real Lee Harvey Oswald. ” . . . . Hoover replied that this was all very confusing. He said that they had a tape and a photo of a man who was at the Soviet consulate using Oswald’s name. But, ‘That picture and the tape do not correspond to this man’s voice, nor to his appearance. In other words, it appears that there is a second person who was at the Soviet Embassy down there.’ On that same day, Hoover wrote a memorandum in which he said that two FBI agents who had been questioning Oswald heard this tape and concluded that the voice on the tape was not Oswald’s. . . .” (p. 357.)
  23. In order to resolve the contradictions that the FBI had highlighted about “Oswald” in Mexico City, the lie was generated that the tapes had been destroyed before the assassination. Yet, Stanley Watson [9] demonstrated otherwise: ” . . . . CIA officer and Deputy Station Chief Stanley Watson testified to the HSCA that at least one recording existed after the assassination. Further, the man who was first in charge of the CIA’s inquiry for the Warren Commission, John Whitten, wrote that while some tapes had been erased, some of ‘the actual tapes were also reviewed,’ and that another copy of the October 1 ‘intercept on Lee Oswald’ had been ‘discovered after the assassination. . . .” (p. 358.)
  24. In 1971, after the death of former Mexico City station chief Winston Scott, his widow [9] was threatened with removal of her survivor benefits if she did not permit CIA counterintelligence chief James Angleton access to her late husband’s safe: ” . . . . April 28, 1971 was the day after Janet Scott buried her husband Winston Scott. When she heard of Scott’s death, Anne Goodpasture told James Angleton about the contents of the former Mexico City station chief’s safe. On that day, on a mission approved by Richard Helms, James Angleton flew to Mexico City. He was in such a hurry that he forgot his passport. And if the recordings were of the same false Oswald’s voice on tape, it would endanger the cover story about those tapes being destroyed prior to the assassination. After entering the house, Angleton vaguely threatened Janet’s widow’s benefits. He then had scott’s safe emptied. The contents were shipped by plane to Langley, Virginia. The man most responsible for creating first, the Oswald legend, then the design of the doomsday scenario to the plot had now disposed of a last obstruction to his handiwork. . . .” (p. 361.)