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FTR #621 Interview with Paris Flammonde about the ‘Masques of New Orleans’ Part II

Record­ed Jan­u­ary 20, 2008
MP3: Side 1 [1] | Side 2 [2]
REALAUDIO [3]

Pen­e­trat­ing the pub­lic, offi­cial, and delib­er­ate­ly mis­lead­ing masques worn by many of the play­ers in the New Orleans phase of the assas­si­na­tion of Pres­i­dent Kennedy, this third of four inter­views with author and radio pro­duc­er Paris Flam­monde demon­strates how the “Lee Har­vey Oswald the Com­mu­nist” masque was suc­cess­ful­ly dis­played and how the fears stem­ming from that façade led many lib­er­als to opt for the “Oswald the lone nut” sce­nario because they feared a Third World War might result from the pub­lic per­cep­tion that a “com­mie” had killed the Pres­i­dent. Much of the first side of the pro­gram con­sists of a re-broad­cast of an inter­view that Oswald gave on WDSU in New Orleans in August of 1963. In this inter­view, Oswald express­es sym­pa­thy for Castro’s Cuba and dis­cuss­es his sojourn in the Sovi­et Union. To all out­ward appear­ances, Oswald looks like a com­mu­nist sym­pa­thiz­er. Oswald was the sole mem­ber of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee’s New Orleans chap­ter, which shared an address with Guy Bannister’s detec­tive agency, a front for var­i­ous right-wing activ­i­ties, includ­ing the [then] ongo­ing para­mil­i­tary efforts to oust Cas­tro. In addi­tion to the WDSU inter­view, the first side fea­tures discussion—excerpted from the “Guns of Novem­ber, Part I” from 11/1/1983—of the intel­li­gence con­nec­tions of Ed But­ler, whose Infor­ma­tion Coun­cil of the Amer­i­c­as arranged the Oswald inter­view. Butler’s INCA was lit­tle more than an intel­li­gence front, with close ties to Bannister’s detec­tive agency. The for­mer pro­duc­er of the “Long John Nebel Show,” Paris relates an inci­dent in the fall of 1963, in which Oswald con­tact­ed the show and asked to appear as a guest. In addi­tion, the pro­gram reviews the fact that Kennedy and Cas­tro were work­ing to nor­mal­ize diplo­mat­ic rela­tions. The sec­ond side of the pro­gram is large­ly devot­ed to dis­cus­sion of the media’s unfair assault on New Orleans Dis­trict Attor­ney Jim Garrison’s inves­ti­ga­tion.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Dis­cus­sion of NBC “jour­nal­ist” Wal­ter Sheridan’s attacks on Gar­ri­son; dis­cus­sion of Tonight Show host John­ny Carson’s smear­ing of Gar­ri­son; Oswald’s con­fronta­tion with CIA-linked anti-Cas­tro Cuban Car­los Bringuier; Bringuier’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the WDSU inter­view; review of a key point in the WDSU inter­view in which Oswald notes that, while in the Sovi­et Union, he “was at all times” under the “pro­tec­tion” of the U.S. gov­ern­ment.

1. Pen­e­trat­ing the pub­lic, offi­cial, and delib­er­ate­ly mis­lead­ing masques worn by many of the play­ers in the New Orleans phase of the assas­si­na­tion of Pres­i­dent Kennedy, this third of four inter­views with author and radio pro­duc­er Paris Flam­monde demon­strates how the “Lee Har­vey Oswald the Com­mu­nist” masque was suc­cess­ful­ly dis­played and how the fears stem­ming from that façade led many lib­er­als to opt for the “Oswald the lone nut” sce­nario because they feared a Third World War.

2. Much of the first side of the pro­gram con­sists of a re-broad­cast of an inter­view that Oswald gave on WDSU in New Orleans in August of 1963. In this inter­view, Oswald express­es sym­pa­thy for Castro’s Cuba and dis­cuss­es his sojourn in the Sovi­et Union. To all out­ward appear­ances, Oswald looks like a com­mu­nist sym­pa­thiz­er. Oswald was the sole mem­ber of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee’s New Orleans chap­ter, which shared an address with Guy Bannister’s detec­tive agency, a front for var­i­ous right-wing activ­i­ties, includ­ing the ongo­ing para­mil­i­tary efforts to oust Cas­tro. (For more about Guy Ban­nis­ter and his detec­tive agency, see—among oth­er programs—FTR#’s 619 [4], 620 [5].)

3. In addi­tion to the WDSU inter­view, the first side fea­tures discussion—excerpted from the “Guns of Novem­ber, Part I [6]” from 11/1/1983—of the intel­li­gence con­nec­tions of Ed But­ler, whose Infor­ma­tion Coun­cil of the Amer­i­c­as arranged the Oswald inter­view. Butler’s INCA was lit­tle more than an intel­li­gence front, with close ties to Bannister’s detec­tive agency.

4. The WDSU inter­view devel­oped in the wake of Oswald’s over­tures to Car­los Bringuier, an anti-Cas­tro Cuban with close ties to the CIA. After offer­ing to train some of Bringuier’s asso­ciates, Oswald was dis­cov­ered pass­ing out pro-Cas­tro lit­er­a­ture. The con­fronta­tion with the anti-Cas­tro, CIA-con­nect­ed Bringuier led direct­ly to the WDSU inter­view.

5. In the inter­view, Oswald notes that, while in the Sovi­et Union, he “was at all times” under the “pro­tec­tion” of the U.S. gov­ern­ment. After real­iz­ing his gaffe, he cor­rects him­self.

6. Car­los Bringuier tries to get Oswald to repeat state­ments hos­tile to Kennedy—remember that this inter­view was re-broad­cast all over the coun­try the night of the assas­si­na­tion, giv­ing the impres­sion that a com­mu­nist had killed the Pres­i­dent. Paris also points out that, at the time of his death, Kennedy was employ­ing jour­nal­ist Lisa Howard as a back­door diplo­mat­ic rep­re­sen­ta­tive to Fidel Cas­tro. Kennedy and Cas­tro were work­ing out a quid pro quo, in which Kennedy would accept respon­si­bil­i­ty for the Bat­tista dic­ta­tor­ship on the part of the Unit­ed States, and Cas­tro, in turn, would dis­tance him­self from the Sovi­et Union and the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­nists in his own cir­cle. (For more about this, see AFA#12 [7], avail­able from Spit­fire.)

7. The for­mer pro­duc­er of the “Long John Nebel Show,” Paris relates an inci­dent in the fall of 1963, in which Oswald con­tact­ed the show and asked to appear as a guest. This sug­gests that this was anoth­er attempt by Oswald to estab­lish his cre­den­tials as a left­ist, not real­iz­ing that he was going to be set up for the assas­si­na­tion of JFK.

8. Much of the sec­ond side of the pro­gram con­sists of an analy­sis of the media’s cease­less attacks on Jim Gar­ri­son. Chief among Garrison’s media detrac­tors was NBC’s Wal­ter Sheri­dan, who used that net­work as a bul­ly pul­pit to smear Gar­ri­son. Anoth­er NBC luminary—the late John­ny Car­son of “Tonight Show” fame—attacked Gar­ri­son in a most unfair man­ner. While appear­ing as a guest on the Nebel Show, Car­son opined that [Garrison’s] case would nev­er come to tri­al, and that if it did, he’d have Gar­ri­son on as a guest. When Garrison’s case did come to tri­al, Car­son reneged on his offer.

9. Paris’ four-vol­ume set can be obtained from

Scan­scryp­tion
Post Office Box 48
Scio­ta, PA 18354–0048

Vis­it the web­site at: www.assassinationofamerica.com [8]. Paris can be reached at: flammonde@assassinationofamerica.com [9].

10. Two video pro­duc­tions are being gen­er­at­ed by a cou­ple of doc­u­men­tary film­mak­ers. One is a DVD of a three-lec­ture series called “The First Refuge of a Scoundrel: The Rela­tion­ship Between Fas­cism and Reli­gion [10].” In addi­tion, there will soon be a doc­u­men­tary about Mr. Emory, titled “The Anti-Fas­cist.” For more about this project, vis­it TheAntiFascist.com [11].