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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.)