Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #698 Echoes of Dealy Plaza (Update on the Assassination of President Kennedy)

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Sirhan SirhanIntro­duc­tion: The pro­gram begins with the mov­ing of Sirhan Sirhan (left) to a new prison. His coun­sel fears he may not be safe. Sirhan is, of course, the accused assas­sin of Robert F. Kennedy. There is abun­dant evi­dence that Sirhan was framed.

Jim GarrisonA for­mer FBI agent who wit­nessed the autop­sy on Pres­i­dent Kennedy’s body doubts the sin­gle bul­let the­o­ry and appears to feel there was a con­spir­a­cy. The essence of the War­ren Com­mis­sion’s unten­able the­sis, the sin­gle bul­let the­o­ry main­tains that all non-fatal wounds in both Pres­i­dent Kennedy and Texas Gov­er­nor John Con­nal­ly were made by a sin­gle bul­let. If more than one bul­let can be proved to have made those wounds, then there has to have been more than one shoot­er.

LBJ appar­ent­ly also thought there was a mas­sive con­spir­a­cy behind the death of Pres­i­dent Kennedy. On Air Force One–while the plane was still in Dallas–LBJ was appar­ent­ly cry­ing and say­ing that the con­spir­a­tors were going to kill “us all.”

Lee Harvey OswaldRound­ing out the show is a remark­able new devel­op­ment con­cern­ing the fact that George Joan­nides, who had served as CIA liai­son to the anti-Cas­tro Cuban groups involved in the decades-long effort at desta­bi­liz­ing Cuba was also the CIA’s liai­son to the House Select Com­mit­tee on Assas­si­na­tions.

Carlos Bringuier and Ed ButlerAmong the groups with which Joan­nides liaised was the DRE, the group to which Car­los Bringuier belonged. (Bringuier is pic­tured at right, along with Ed But­ler of INCA.) Bringuier was involved in an inter­view on WDSU with Oswald, in which Oswald under­scored his Marx­ist sym­pa­thies. In addi­tion to the DRE’s stew­ard­ship by the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency, there are numer­ous con­nec­tions between the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty and the milieu that gen­er­at­ed the inter­view.

The myth of “Lee Har­vey Oswald the Com­mu­nist” was suc­cess­ful­ly dis­played and stem­ming from that fic­tion 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 sec­ond side of the pro­gram con­sists of a re-broad­cast of the 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. (Ban­nis­ter is pic­tured at right.) In addi­tion to the WDSU inter­view, the sec­ond 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.

Clay ShawPro­gram High­lights Include: INCA’s Ed But­ler and his atten­dance at a press con­fer­ence fol­low­ing Robert Kennedy’s assas­si­na­tion, at which Sirhan was por­trayed as a com­mu­nist agent; review of the sin­gle bul­let the­o­ry; review of some of aspects of Robert Kennedy’s assas­si­na­tion; review of the House Select Com­mit­tee on Assas­si­na­tions’ de fac­to endorse­ment of New Orleans DA Jim Gar­rison’s inves­ti­ga­tion of the Kennedy assas­si­na­tion (Gar­ri­son is pic­tured at the top of this arti­cle at right); review of the HSCA’s focus on Gar­ri­son defen­dant Clay Shaw and David Fer­rie (Shaw is pic­tured at right and above and Fer­rie to the left, and below); review of the appar­ent theft David Ferrieof an incrim­i­nat­ing film from the HSCA’s files; review of intel­li­gence offi­cer Bernar­do de Tor­res’ appar­ent work as a dou­ble agent inside of Gar­rison’s inves­ti­ga­tion; review of de Tor­res’ alleged pres­ence in Dealey Plaza on 11/22/1963; review of de Tor­res’ appar­ent par­tic­i­pa­tion in the assas­si­na­tion of Orlan­do Lete­lier.

1. The pro­gram begins with the mov­ing of Sirhan Sirhan to a new prison. His coun­sel fears he may not be safe. Sirhan is, of course, the accused assas­sin of Robert F. Kennedy. There is abun­dant evi­dence that Sirhan was framed.

An attor­ney for the man who assas­si­nat­ed Robert F. Kennedy said Mon­day his client was trans­ferred from a prison that hous­es high-risk offend­ers to a new facil­i­ty where his life could be in dan­ger.

Attor­ney William F. Pep­per said Sirhan Sirhan opposed the move from the Cal­i­for­nia state prison in Cor­co­ran, which hous­es high-risk pris­on­ers such as Charles Man­son, to Pleas­ant Val­ley State Prison in Coalin­ga.

“Our main con­cern is for his safe­ty,” said Lau­rie Dusek, an asso­ciate of Pep­per. “We are not sure that Pleas­ant Val­ley has the abil­i­ty to pro­tect him. He is a tar­get.”

Oscar Hidal­go, a spokesman for the Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tions and Reha­bil­i­ta­tion, said Sirhan, 65, had request­ed the trans­fer and wants to stay in Pleas­ant Val­ley.

“After dis­cussing his hes­i­ta­tion with prison offi­cials at Pleas­ant Val­ley, Sirhan Sirhan indi­cat­ed he want­ed to stay at the new facil­i­ty after all,” Hidal­go said. “He can indi­cate if he feels unsafe at any point and the depart­ment will respond appro­pri­ate­ly.”

Sirhan is serv­ing a life sen­tence for the 1968 killing of Kennedy. He had been housed for years in the pro­tec­tive hous­ing unit at Cor­co­ran, one of the most iso­lat­ed units in the state prison sys­tem.

Pep­per said nei­ther he nor Sirhan had request­ed the move and nei­ther had received notice until Sirhan was actu­al­ly moved Thurs­day.

Hidal­go coun­tered in a writ­ten state­ment that the move fol­lowed numer­ous requests by Sirhan to be trans­ferred from Cor­co­ran.

“His move­ments there have been extreme­ly con­trolled and his expo­sure to oth­ers extreme­ly lim­it­ed,” Hidal­go said.

At Pleas­ant Val­ley, Sirhan will be housed in a cell by him­self. He will inter­act with a larg­er group of inmates in a larg­er yard but will not be min­gling with the gen­er­al pop­u­la­tion, Hidal­go said.

He said Sirhan’s lawyers were noti­fied of the move.

Dusek said she had con­tact­ed prison offi­cials, check­ing on a report from Sirhan’s broth­er that he might be moved. Author­i­ties denied any knowl­edge of such a change, she said.

Pep­per said he wrote to Gov. Arnold Schwarzeneg­ger protest­ing the trans­fer. The gov­er­nor’s office said it had not received any com­mu­ni­ca­tion on the mat­ter. . . .

“Robert F. Kennedy’s Killer Is Moved to New Site” by Lin­da Deutsch [AP]; spursreport.com; 11/2/2009.

2. A for­mer FBI agent who wit­nessed the autop­sy on Pres­i­dent Kennedy’s body doubts the sin­gle bul­let the­o­ry.

Jim Sib­ert has answered the ques­tions for 46 years, ever since the night he observed the autop­sy of Pres­i­dent John F. Kennedy. The evi­den­tiary foun­da­tion of the unten­able War­ren Com­mis­sion hypoth­e­sis, the sin­gle bul­let the­o­ry main­tains that all of the non-fatal wounds in Pres­i­dent Kennedy in for­mer Texas Gov­er­nor John Con­nal­ly were made by a sin­gle bul­let. If more than one bul­let can be proved to have made those wounds, the “lone assas­sin” the­o­ry goes out the win­dow.

Over the years, the for­mer FBI spe­cial agent has been inter­viewed for books and calls and ques­tions keep com­ing from teach­ers, authors and his­to­ri­ans. Now, as anoth­er anniver­sary of the assas­si­na­tion arrives, Sib­ert, 91, was asked again about that his­toric day, Nov. 22, 1963.

“It start­ed out like a nor­mal day,” Sib­ert said.

At the time, Sib­ert was a 45-year-old FBI spe­cial agent sta­tioned in Mary­land and only a year younger than Kennedy. Late in the day, the pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States lay dead in front of him with a hole in his head.

“It was a piece blown out of the skull,” Sib­ert said.

Sib­ert and anoth­er agent, Frances X. O’Neill, met the cas­ket at Andrews Air Force Base and accom­pa­nied it to Bethes­da Naval Hos­pi­tal. They were assigned to watch the autop­sy, stay with the body and, as Sib­ert and O’Neill not­ed in a report dic­tat­ed four days after the exam­i­na­tion, “to obtain bul­lets report­ed­ly in the pres­i­den­t’s body.”

When Kennedy’s body was removed from its cas­ket and white sheets were unwrapped from him, Sib­ert recalls how the one around his head was blood soaked.

“His eyes were fixed open,” Sib­ert recalled.

No cloth­ing came with the slain pres­i­dent. The suit Kennedy wore in the open-topped lim­ou­sine had been cut off in Dal­las, where he was gunned down.

More than a sin­gle bul­let?

What hap­pened in Dal­las that day remains con­test­ed with fac­tions still debat­ing whether Lee Har­vey Oswald was the only shoot­er or if he was part of a wide-rang­ing con­spir­a­cy.

“I don’t buy the sin­gle-bul­let the­o­ry,” Sib­ert said. “I won’t go as far as to say there was no con­spir­a­cy.” . . .

“Ex-FBI Agent who Watched JFK Autop­sy Reflects on Death” by Glenn Miller [Ft. Myers News-Press]; USA Today; 11/22/2009.

3. LBJ appar­ent­ly thought there was a mas­sive con­spir­a­cy behind the death of Pres­i­dent Kennedy. On Air Force One–while the plane was still in Dallas–LBJ was appar­ent­ly cry­ing and say­ing that the con­spir­a­tors were going to kill “us all.”

This is not the first indi­ca­tion that LBJ thought there was a con­spir­a­cy behind the killing.

This month will mark the 46th anniver­sary of the assas­si­na­tion of Pres­i­dent John F. Kennedy. A recent­ly declas­si­fied oral his­to­ry by Brigadier Gen­er­al God­frey McHugh, Pres­i­dent Kennedy’s mil­i­tary aide on the Dal­las trip, sheds new light on the crit­i­cal hours after the shoot­ing. McHugh makes star­tling claims about Lyn­don John­son’s behav­ior in the wake of the assas­si­na­tion.

The inter­view with McHugh, orig­i­nal­ly con­duct­ed for the John F. Kennedy Library in 1978, remained closed for 31 years. It was final­ly declas­si­fied in the spring of 2009. I just hap­pened to be work­ing at the Kennedy Library on the day the inter­view was opened to the pub­lic and have used it for the first time in my new book, The Kennedy Assas­si­na­tion — 24 Hours After.

After being informed at Park­land Hos­pi­tal that Kennedy was dead, John­son raced back to Air Force One, where he wait­ed for Mrs. Kennedy and the body of the slain pres­i­dent, and made prepa­ra­tions to take the Oath of Office. Back at the hos­pi­tal, the Kennedy group loaded the body into a cof­fin, forced their way past a local jus­tice of the peace, and hur­ried back to Love Field for the long ride back to Wash­ing­ton.

It was stan­dard prac­tice for the plane to take off as soon as the com­man­der-in-chief was onboard. Even after McHugh had ordered the pilot to take off, how­ev­er, “noth­ing hap­pened.” Accord­ing to the new­ly declas­si­fied tran­script, Mrs. Kennedy was becom­ing des­per­ate to leave. “Mrs. Kennedy was get­ting very warm, she had blood all over her hat, her coat...his brains were stick­ing on her hat. It was dread­ful,” McHugh said. She plead­ed with him to get the plane off the ground. “Please, let’s leave,” she said. McHugh jumped up and used the phone near the rear com­part­ment to call Cap­tain James Swin­dal. “Let’s leave,” he said. Swin­dal respond­ed: “I can’t do it. I have orders to wait.” Not want­i­ng to make a scene in front of Mrs. Kennedy, McHugh rushed to the front of the plane. “Swin­dal, what on earth is going on?” The pilot told him that “the Pres­i­dent wants to remain in this area.”

McHugh, like most mem­bers of the Kennedy entourage, did not know that John­son was onboard. They believed that the new pres­i­dent was on his own plane fly­ing back to Wash­ing­ton. If LBJ was on the plane, McHugh want­ed to see for him­self. Since he had not seen John­son in the aisle — and at 6′4″ John­son would be tough to miss — McHugh assumed that he must then be in the bed­room. When he checked there John­son was nowhere to be seen. The only place on the plane he had not inspect­ed was the bath­room in the pres­i­den­tial bed­room.

What McHugh claimed to have wit­nessed next was shock­ing. “I walked in the toi­let, in the pow­der room, and there he was hid­ing, with the cur­tain closed,” McHugh recalled. He claimed that LBJ was cry­ing, “They’re going to get us all. It’s a plot. It’s a plot. It’s going to get us all.’ ” Accord­ing to the Gen­er­al, John­son “was hys­ter­i­cal, sit­ting down on the john there alone in this thing.”

I soon dis­cov­ered that McHugh had told a sim­i­lar sto­ry when he spoke by phone with Mark Flana­gan, an inves­ti­ga­tor with the House Select Com­mit­tee on Assas­si­na­tions (HSCA). Iron­i­cal­ly, McHugh gave the inter­view to the HSCA a week before he sat down with the Kennedy Library in May 1978. “McHugh had encoun­tered dif­fi­cul­ty in locat­ing John­son but final­ly dis­cov­ered him alone,” Flana­gan wrote in his sum­ma­ry to the Com­mit­tee. Quot­ing McHugh, the inves­ti­ga­tor not­ed that the Gen­er­al found John­son “hid­ing in the toi­let in the bed­room com­part­ment and mut­ter­ing, ‘Con­spir­a­cy, con­spir­a­cy, they’re after all of us.’ ” . . .

“A New Wrin­kle in the JFK Assas­si­na­tion” by Steven M. Gillon; The Huff­in­g­ton Post; 10/30/2009.

4. A remark­able new devel­op­ment con­cerns the fact that George Joan­nides, who had served as CIA liai­son to the anti-Cas­tro Cuban groups involved in the decades-long effort at desta­bi­liz­ing Cuba was also the CIA’s liai­son to the House Select Com­mit­tee on Assas­si­na­tions.

Among the groups with which Joan­nides liaised was the DRE, the group to which Car­los Bringuier belonged. Bringuier was involved in an inter­view on WDSU with Oswald, in which Oswald under­scored his Marx­ist sym­pa­thies. In addi­tion to the DRE’s stew­ard­ship by the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency, there are numer­ous con­nec­tions between the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty and the milieu that gen­er­at­ed the inter­view.

The myth of “Lee Har­vey Oswald the Com­mu­nist” was suc­cess­ful­ly dis­played and stem­ming from that fic­tion 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 sec­ond side of the pro­gram con­sists of a re-broad­cast of the 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 sec­ond 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.

Inter­est­ing­ly and per­haps sig­nif­i­cant­ly, But­ler was also present in Los Ange­les in 1968 when an inter­view was staged in which par­tic­i­pants attempt­ed to link Sirhan Sirhan to Cas­tro.

Is the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency cov­er­ing up some dark secret about the assas­si­na­tion of John F. Kennedy?

Prob­a­bly not. But you would not know it from the C.I.A.’s behav­ior.

For six years, the agency has fought in fed­er­al court to keep secret hun­dreds of doc­u­ments from 1963, when an anti-Cas­tro Cuban group it paid clashed pub­licly with the soon-to-be assas­sin, Lee Har­vey Oswald. The C.I.A. says it is only pro­tect­ing legit­i­mate secrets. But because of the agency’s his­to­ry of stonewalling assas­si­na­tion inquiries, even researchers with no use for con­spir­a­cy think­ing ques­tion its stance.

The files in ques­tion, some released under direc­tion of the court and hun­dreds more that are still secret, involve the curi­ous career of George E. Joan­nides, the case offi­cer who over­saw the dis­si­dent Cubans in 1963. In 1978, the agency made Mr. Joan­nides the liai­son to the House Select Com­mit­tee on Assas­si­na­tions — but nev­er told the com­mit­tee of his ear­li­er role.

That con­ceal­ment has fueled sus­pi­cion that Mr. Joannides’s real assign­ment was to lim­it what the House com­mit­tee could learn about C.I.A. activ­i­ties. The agency’s decep­tion was first report­ed in 2001 by Jef­fer­son Mor­ley, who has dogged­ly pur­sued the files ever since, rep­re­sent­ed by James H. Lesar, a Wash­ing­ton lawyer spe­cial­iz­ing in Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion Act law­suits.

“The C.I.A.’s con­duct is mad­den­ing,” said Mr. Mor­ley, 51, a for­mer Wash­ing­ton Post reporter and the author of a 2008 biog­ra­phy of a for­mer C.I.A. sta­tion chief in Mex­i­co.

After years of metic­u­lous report­ing on Mr. Joan­nides, who died at age 68 in 1990, he is con­vinced that there is more to learn.

“I know there’s a sto­ry here,” Mr. Mor­ley said. “The con­fir­ma­tion is that the C.I.A. treats these doc­u­ments as extreme­ly sen­si­tive.”

Mr. Morley’s quest has gained promi­nent sup­port­ers, includ­ing John R. Tun­heim, a fed­er­al judge in Min­neso­ta who served in 1994 and 1995 as chair­man of the Assas­si­na­tion Records Review Board, cre­at­ed by Con­gress to unearth doc­u­ments relat­ed to the case.

“I think we were prob­a­bly mis­led by the agency,” Judge Tun­heim said, refer­ring to the Joan­nides records. “This mate­r­i­al should be released.” . . .

On the Kennedy assas­si­na­tion, the decep­tions began in 1964 with the War­ren Com­mis­sion. The C.I.A. hid its schemes to kill Fidel Cas­tro and its ties to the anti-Cas­tro Direc­to­rio Rev­olu­cionario Estu­dan­til, or Cuban Stu­dent Direc­torate, which received $50,000 a month in C.I.A. sup­port dur­ing 1963.

In August 1963, Oswald vis­it­ed a New Orleans shop owned by a direc­torate offi­cial, feign­ing sym­pa­thy with the group’s goal of oust­ing Mr. Cas­tro. A few days lat­er, direc­torate mem­bers found Oswald hand­ing out pro-Cas­tro pam­phlets and got into a brawl with him. Lat­er that month, he debat­ed the anti-Cas­tro Cubans on a local radio sta­tion.

In the years since Oswald was named as the assas­sin, spec­u­la­tion about who might have been behind him has nev­er end­ed, with var­i­ous the­o­ries focus­ing on Mr. Cas­tro, the mob, rogue gov­ern­ment agents or myr­i­ad com­bi­na­tions of the above. Mr. Mor­ley, one of many writ­ers to become entranced by the sto­ry, insists he has no the­o­ry and is seek­ing only the facts.

His law­suit has uncov­ered the cen­tral role in over­see­ing direc­torate activ­i­ties of Mr. Joan­nides, the deputy direc­tor for psy­cho­log­i­cal war­fare at the C.I.A.’s Mia­mi sta­tion, code-named JM/WAVE. He worked close­ly with direc­torate lead­ers, doc­u­ments show, cor­re­spond­ing with them under pseu­do­nyms, pay­ing their trav­el expens­es and achiev­ing an “impor­tant degree of con­trol” over the group, as a July 1963 agency fit­ness report put it.

Fif­teen years lat­er, Mr. Joan­nides turned up again as the agency’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the House assas­si­na­tions com­mit­tee. Dan Hard­way, then a law stu­dent work­ing for the com­mit­tee, recalled Mr. Joan­nides as “a cold fish,” who firm­ly lim­it­ed access to doc­u­ments. Once, Mr. Hard­way remem­bered, “he hand­ed me a thin file and just stood there. I blew up, and he said, ‘This is all you’re going to get.’ ”

But nei­ther Mr. Hard­way nor the committee’s staff direc­tor, G. Robert Blakey, had any idea that Mr. Joan­nides had played a role in the very anti-Cas­tro activ­i­ties from 1963 that the pan­el was scru­ti­niz­ing.

When Mr. Mor­ley first informed him about it a decade ago, Mr. Blakey was flab­ber­gast­ed. “If I’d known his role in 1963, I would have put Joan­nides under oath — he would have been a wit­ness, not a facil­i­ta­tor,” said Mr. Blakey, a law pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Notre Dame. “How do we know what he didn’t give us?” . . .

“C.I.A. Is Still Cagey About Oswald Mys­tery” by Scott Shane; The New York Times; 10/17/2009.

5. Most of the sec­ond side of the pro­gram con­sists of a re-broad­cast of the inter­view record­ed on WDSU.

6. Con­clud­ing with infor­ma­tion review­ing aspects of New Orleans Dis­trict Attor­ney Jim Gar­rison’s inves­ti­ga­tion of the Kennedy Assas­si­na­tion. The pro­gram high­lights parts of the HSCA’s inves­ti­ga­tion that sup­port Garrison’s the­sis.

HSCA Chief Coun­sel, G. Robert Blakey, once referred to the Committee’s work as ‘the last inves­ti­ga­tion.’ As such, it is only prop­er that the HSCA have the last word on Clay Shaw. On Sep­tem­ber 1, 1977, staff coun­sel Jonathan Black­mer, authored a 15-page mem­o­ran­dum addressed to Blakey, as well as staff mem­bers, Gary Corn­well, Ken Klein, and Cliff Fen­ton. Black­mer was the lead coun­sel for team 3, the HSCA team respon­si­ble for the New Orleans and Cuban angles of the inves­ti­ga­tion. After an inves­tiga­tive trip to New Orleans, Black­mer con­clud­ed in his memo: ‘We have rea­son to believe Shaw was heav­i­ly involved in the anti-Cas­tro efforts in New Orleans in the 1960’s and [was] pos­si­bly one of the high lev­el plan­ners or ‘cut out’ to the plan­ners of the assas­si­na­tion.’

Let Jus­tice Be Done by Bill Davy; Jor­dan Pub­lish­ing [SC] p. 202.

7. Clay Shaw was, of course, the indi­vid­ual tried by Gar­ri­son for Kennedy’s assas­si­na­tion. The first sus­pect inves­ti­gat­ed by Gar­ri­son was David Fer­rie. In its final report, the House Select Com­mit­tee also rec­om­mend­ed that the Depart­ment of Jus­tice inves­ti­gate Fer­rie and his anti-Cas­tro Cuban asso­ciates in the New Orleans area. Fer­rie had oper­at­ed as an inves­ti­ga­tor for Guy Banister’s detec­tive agency in New Orleans. The Ban­is­ter oper­a­tion, in turn, had served as an appar­ent intel­li­gence front for covert oper­a­tions against Cuba. Fer­rie was instru­men­tal in run­ning a train­ing facil­i­ty at Lake Pon­char­train (Louisiana), at which Cuban exiles received gueril­la train­ing for oper­a­tions against Cas­tro.

The House Select Com­mit­tee appears to have obtained a film of this facil­i­ty, which con­nects some very inter­est­ing peo­ple.

It is pos­si­ble that a film once exist­ed of this train­ing camp. The for­mer Deputy Chief Coun­sel of the House Select Com­mit­tee on Assas­si­na­tions, Robert Tan­nen­baum, recalled that the com­mit­tee viewed the film and to Tan­nen­baum it was a shock to the sys­tem. ‘The movie was shock­ing to me because it demon­strat­ed the notion that the CIA was train­ing, in Amer­i­ca, a sep­a­rate army,’ he said. ‘It was shock­ing to me because I’m a true believ­er in the sys­tem and yet there are noto­ri­ous char­ac­ters in the sys­tem, who are fund­ed by the sys­tem, who are absolute­ly un-Amer­i­can! And who knows what they would do, even­tu­al­ly. What if we send peo­ple to Wash­ing­ton who they can’t deal with? Out comes their secret army? So, I find that to be as con­trary to the Con­sti­tu­tion as you can get.’ What is even more shock­ing is what the film reveals. Accord­ing to Tan­nen­baum, depict­ed in the film among the Cuban exiles were Guy Ban­is­ter, David Atlee Philips and Lee Har­vey Oswald. Inex­plic­a­bly, the film would lat­er dis­ap­pear from the Committee’s files.

Ibid.; p. 30.

8. While inves­ti­gat­ing Ela­dio del Valle, Ferrie’s asso­ciate in covert oper­a­tions against Cuba, Garrison’s inves­ti­gat­ing team was infil­trat­ed by an anti-Cas­tro Cuban with strong ties to the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty. This oper­a­tive, Bernar­do de Tor­res, may well have been involved with the assas­si­na­tion itself. His name lat­er cropped up in con­nec­tion with the assas­si­na­tion of Orlan­do Lete­lier.

On the day Fer­rie died, del Valle was found bru­tal­ly mur­dered in his car in the park­ing lot of a Mia­mi shop­ping cen­ter. Pri­or to that, Gar­ri­son had sent a part-time inves­ti­ga­tor named Bernar­do de Tor­res to ques­tion del Valle. De Tor­res was a mil­i­tary coor­di­na­tor for the Brigade 2506 part of the exile land­ing force dur­ing the Bay of Pigs inva­sion. He was cap­tured by Castro’s forces and detained until Christ­mas Eve of 1962. He even­tu­al­ly found his way to New Orleans where, accord­ing to de Tor­res, he was approached by Sergeant Duffy of the NOPD and asked to join Garrison’s staff. As with many oth­er inves­ti­ga­tors and vol­un­teers at Tulane and Broad, de Tor­res’ bona fides are sus­pect. First of all, it was de Tor­res who showed up at the D.A.’s office in New Orleans very ear­ly in Garrison’s inves­ti­ga­tion claim­ing he had impor­tant infor­ma­tion. He said he was a pri­vate detec­tive who want­ed to help and dropped the name of Mia­mi D.A. Richard Ger­stein as an entrée. Short­ly after de Tor­res was giv­en the assign­ment to ques­tion del Valle, del Valle’s bru­tal­ized body was dis­cov­ered in the vicin­i­ty of de Tor­res’ Mia­mi apart­ment. It was lat­er deter­mined that de Tor­res was fil­ing reports on Gar­ri­son to the Mia­mi CIA sta­tion, JM/WAVE. Not long after he left Garrison’s staff, de Tor­res went to work for Mitch Werbell’s Mil­i­tary Arma­ment Cor­po­ra­tion, a large sup­pli­er of weapon­ry to the CIA. The HSCA devel­oped evi­dence that de Tor­res was actu­al­ly a CIA offi­cer with links to Mil­i­tary Intel­li­gence. A well con­nect­ed anti-Cas­tro Cuban, Arturo Cobos told the FBI that de Tor­res was ‘the man to call with con­tacts on a high lev­el with the CIA in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.’ The HSCA also came into pos­ses­sion of inves­tiga­tive infor­ma­tion, which indi­cat­ed that de Tor­res may have been in Dealey Plaza at the time of the assas­si­na­tion, and fur­ther, that he may have been involved in an assas­si­na­tion con­spir­a­cy, charges which de Tor­res denies. As for Gar­ri­son he lat­er came to believe that de Tor­res was one of his ear­li­est sources of mis­in­for­ma­tion and recalled that what­ev­er infor­ma­tion de Tor­res pro­vid­ed nev­er went any­where. In the late 1970’s, de Tor­res would be linked to the bomb­ing assas­si­na­tion of Chilean leader Orlan­do Lete­lier in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

Ibid.; pp. 148–149.

Discussion

2 comments for “FTR #698 Echoes of Dealy Plaza (Update on the Assassination of President Kennedy)”

  1. Have you seen the doc­u­men­tary “I Shot JFK”? See below.

    Doc­u­men­tary: Ton Rooze­boom and Jef­frey Rooze­boom, “I Shot JFK,” Crime Time Pro­duc­tions, 2006, http://vidbunker.com/i_shot_jfk

    Doc­u­men­tary: John Han­key, “JFK II: The Bush Con­nec­tion,” Alice in Arms, 2003, http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-9137354720737304741

    Book: David Tal­bot, Broth­ers: The Hid­den His­to­ry of the Kennedy Years (New York: Free Press, 2008).

    Book: James W. Dou­glass, JFK and the Unspeak­able: Why He Died and Why It Mat­ters (Mary­knoll: Orbis Books, 2008).

    Book: Lar­ry Han­cock, Some­one Would Have Talked: The Assas­si­na­tion of Pres­i­dent John F. Kennedy and the Con­spir­a­cy to Mis­lead His­to­ry (South­lake: JFK Lancer Pro­duc­tions & Pub­li­ca­tions, 2006).

    Book: Wim Dankbaar, Files on JFK (Bloom­ing­ton, Indi­ana: Traf­ford Pub­lish­ing, 2005).

    Posted by Bret | April 17, 2010, 3:46 pm
  2. LOL. GOP oper­a­tive Roger Stone has a new book com­ing out this year just in time for the 50th anniver­sary of the JFK assas­si­na­tion. LBJ did it.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 1, 2013, 10:37 am

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