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FTR #1054, FTR #1055 and FTR #1056 Interviews #23, #24 and #25 with Jim DiEugenio about “Destiny Betrayed”

These are the twenty-third, twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth (and concluding program) in a 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.

The first interview begins with a telling editorial written for “The Washington Post” by former President Harry Truman.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; pp. 378-379.

. . . . On December 22, 1963, Harry Truman wrote an editorial that was published in the Washington Post. The former President wrote that he had become “disturbed by the way the CIA had become diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of government.” He wrote that he never dreamed that this would happen when he signed the National Security Act. he thought it would be used for intelligence analysis, not “peacetime cloak and dagger operations.” He complained that the CIA had now become “so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue–and a subject for Cold War enemy propaganda.” Truman went as far as suggesting its operational arm be eliminated. He concluded with the warning that Americans have grown up learning respect for “our free institutions and for our ability to maintain a free and open society. There is something about the way the CIA has been functioning that is casting a shadow over out historic position and I feel hat we need to correct it.” . . . .

Former CIA Director (and then Warren Commission member) Allen Dulles visited Truman and attempted to get him to retract the statement. He dissembled about then CIA chief John McCone’s view of the editorial.

The focal point of the first two programs is the dramatic changes in U.S. foreign policy that occurred because of JFK’s assassination. Analysis in FTR #1056 continues the analysis of Kennedy’s foreign policy and concludes with riveting discussion of the striking policy undertakings of the Kennedy administration in the area of civil rights. Jim has written a marvelous, 4-part analysis of JFK’s civil rights policy.

Discussion of JFK’s foreign policy and how his murder changed that builds on, and supplements analysis of this in FTR #1031, FTR #1032 and FTR #1033.

Lyndon Baines Johnson reversed JFK’s foreign policy initiatives in a number of important ways.

When the United States reneged on its commitment to pursue independence for the colonial territories of its European allies at the end of the Second World War, the stage was set for those nations’ desire for freedom to be cast as incipient Marxists/Communists. This development was the foundation for epic bloodshed and calamity.

Jim details then Congressman John F. Kennedy’s 1951 fact-finding trip to Saigon to gain an understanding of the French war to retain their colony of Indochina. (Vietnam was part of that colony.)

In speaking with career diplomat Edmund Gullion, Kennedy came to the realization that not only would the French lose the war, but that Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh guerrillas enjoyed great popular support among the Vietnamese people.

This awareness guided JFK’s Vietnam policy, in which he not only resisted tremendous pressure to commit U.S. combat troops to Vietnam, but planned a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Vietnam.

Perhaps the most important change made after JFK’s assassination was Johnson’s negation of Kennedy’s plans to withdraw from Vietnam.

LBJ cancelled Kennedy’s scheduled troop withdrawal, scheduled personnel increases and implemented the 34A program of covert operations against North Vietnam. Executed by South Vietnamese naval commandos using small, American-made patrol boats, these raids were supported by U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin, which were electronically “fingerprinting” North Vietnamese radar installations.

The electronic fingerprinting of North Vietnamese radar was in anticipation of a pre-planned air war, a fundamental part of a plan by LBJ to involve the United States in a full-scale war in Southeast Asia.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; pp. 368-371.

. . . . Clearly now that the withdrawal was imminent, Kennedy was going to try and get the rest of his administration on board to his way of thinking. Not only did this not happen once Kennedy was dead, but the first meeting on Vietnam afterwards was a strong indication that things were now going to be cast in a sharply different tone. This meeting took place at 3:00 p.m. on November 24. . . . Johnson’s intent was clear to McNamara. He was breaking with the previous policy. The goal now was to win the war. LBJ then issued a strong warning: He wanted no more dissension or division over policy. Any person who did not conform would be removed. (This would later be demonstrated by his banning of Hubert Humphrey from Vietnam meetings when Humphrey advised Johnson to rethink his policy of military commitment to Vietnam.) . . . . The reader should recall, this meeting took place just forty-eight hours after Kennedy was killed. . . .

. . . . Therefore, on March 2, 1964, the Joint Chiefs passed a new war proposal to the White House. This was even more ambitious than the January version. It included bombing, the mining of North Vietnamese harbors, a naval blockade, and possible use of tactical atomic weapons in case China intervened. Johnson was now drawing up a full scale battle plan for Vietnam. In other words, what Kennedy did not do in three years, LBJ had done in three months.

Johnson said he was not ready for this proposal since he did not have congress yet as a partner and trustee. But he did order the preparation of NSAM 288, which was based on this proposal. It was essentially a target list of bombing sites that eventually reached 94 possibilities. By May 25, with Richard Nixon and Barry Goldwater clamoring for bombing of the north, LBJ had made the decision that the U.S. would directly attack North Vietnam at an unspecified point in the future. But it is important to note that even before the Tonkin Gulf incident, Johnson had ordered the drawing up of a congressional resolution. This had been finalized by William Bundy, McGeorge Bundy’s brother. Therefore in June of 1964, Johnson began lobbying certain people for its passage in congress. . . .

National Security Memorandum 263

. . . . Johnson seized upon the hazy and controversial events in the Gulf of Tonkin during the first week of August to begin he air war planned in NSAM 288. Yet the Tonkin Gulf incident had been prepared by Johnson himself. After Kennedy’s death, President Johnson made a few alterations in the draft of NSAM 273. An order which Kennedy had never seen but was drafted by McGeorge Bundy after a meeting in Honolulu, a meeting which took place while Kennedy was visiting Texas. . . .

. . . . On August 2, the destroyer Maddox was attacked by three North Vietnamese torpedo boats. Although torpedoes were launched, none hit. The total damage to the Maddox
was one bullet through the hull. Both Johnson and the Defense Department misrepresented this incident to congress and the press. They said the North Vietnamese fired first, that the USA had no role in the patrol boat raids, that the ships were in international waters, and there was no hot pursuit by the Maddox. These were all wrong. Yet Johnson used this overblown reporting, plus a non-existent attack two nights later on the destroyer Turner Joy to begin to push his war resolution through Congress. He then took out the target list assembled for NSAM 288 [from March of 1964–D.E] and ordered air strikes that very day. . . .

. . . . For on August 7, Johnson sent a message to General Maxwell Taylor. He wanted a whole gamut of possible operations presented to him for direct American attacks against the North. The target date for the systematic air war was set for January 1965. This was called operation Rolling Thunder and it ended up being the largest bombing campaign in military history. The reader should note: the January target date was the month Johnson would be inaugurated after his re-election. As John Newman noted in his masterful book JFK and Vietnam, Kennedy was disguising his withdrawal plan around his re-election; Johnson was disguising his escalation plan around his re-election. . . .

In addition to noting that Hubert Humphrey, contrary to popular misconception, was an opponent of Johnson’s war strategy, we note that Robert McNamara was also opposed to it, although he went along with the Commander in Chief’s policies.

After detailed discussion of the human and environmental damage inflicted on Vietnam and the strategy implemented by LBJ after Kennedy’s assassination, the discussion turns to Johnson’s reversal of Kennedy’s policy with regard to Laos.

The fledgling nation of Laos was also part of French Indochina, and Jim notes how outgoing President Eisenhower coached President-Elect Kennedy on the necessity of committing U.S. combat forces to Laos.

Again, Kennedy refused to commit U.S. ground forces and engineered a policy of neutrality for Laos.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 54.

. . . . At his first press conference, Kennedy said that he hoped to establish Laos as a “peaceful country–an independent country not dominated by either side.” He appointed a task force to study the problem, was in regular communication with it and the Laotian ambassador, and decided by February that Laos must have a coalition government, the likes of which Eisenhower had rejected out of hand. Kennedy also had little interest in a military solution. He could not understand sending American troops to fight for a country whose people did not care to fight for themselves. . . . He therefore worked to get the Russians to push the Pathet Lao into a cease-fire agreement. This included a maneuver on Kennedy’s part to indicate military pressure if the Russians did not intervene strongly enough with the Pathet Lao. The maneuver worked, and in May of 1961, a truce was called. A few days later, a conference convened in Geneva to hammer out conditions for a neutral Laos. By July of 1962, a new government, which included the Pathet Lao, had been hammered out. . . .

Whereas JFK had implemented a policy affording neutrality to Laos–against the wishes of the Joint Chiefs, CIA and many of his own cabinet, LBJ scrapped the neutralist policy in favor of a CIA-implemented strategy of employing “narco-militias” such as the Hmong tribesmen as combatants against the Pathet Lao. This counter-insurgency warfare was complemented by a massive aerial bombing campaign.

One of the many outgrowths of LBJ’s reversal of JFK’s Southeast policy was a wave of CIA-assisted heroin addicting both GI’s in Vietnam and American civilians at home.

LBJ also reversed JFK’s policy toward Indonesia.

In 1955, Sukarno hosted a conference of non-aligned nations that formalized and concretized a “Third Way” between East and West. This, along with Sukarno’s nationalism of some Dutch industrial properties, led the U.S. to try and overthrow Sukharno, which was attempted in 1958.

Kennedy understood Sukarno’s point of view, and had planned a trip to Indonesia in 1964 to forge a more constructive relationship with Sukharno. Obviously, his murder in 1963 precluded the trip.

In 1965, Sukarno was deposed in a bloody, CIA-aided coup in which as many as a million people were killed.

Of particular interest in connection with Indonesia, is the disposition of Freeport Sulphur, a company that had enlisted the services of both Clay Shaw and David Ferrie in an effort to circumvent limitations on its operations imposed by Castro’s Cuba:

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; pp. 208-209.

. . . . In Chapter 1, the author introduced Freeport Sulphur and its subsidiaries Moa Bay Mining and Nicaro Nickel. These companies all had large investments in Cuba prior to Castro’s revolution. And this ended up being one of the ways that Garrison connected Clay Shaw and David Ferrie. This came about for two reasons. First, with Castro taking over their operations in Cuba, Freeport was attempting to investigate bringing in nickel ore from Cuba, through Canada, which still had trade relations with Cuba. The ore would then be refined in Louisiana, either at a plant already in New Orleans or at another plant in Braithwaite. Shaw, an impressario of international trade, was on this exploratory team for Freeport. And he and two other men had been flown to Canada by Ferrie as part of this effort. More evidence of this connection through Freeport was found during their investigation of Guy Banister. Banister apparently knew about another flight taken by Shaw with an official of Freeport, likely Charles Wight, to Cuba. Again the pilot was David Ferrie. Another reason this Freeport connection was important to Garrison is that he found a witness named James Plaine in Houston who said that Mr. Wight of Freeport Sulphur had contacted him in regards to an assassination plot against Castro. Considering the amount of money Freeport was about to lose in Cuba, plus the number of Eastern Establishment luminaries associated with the company–such as Jock Whitney, Jean Mauze and Godfrey Rockefeller–it is not surprising that such a thing was contemplated within their ranks. . . .

LBJ reversed Kennedy’s policy vis a vis Sukarno. It should be noted that Freeport had set its corporate sights on a very lucrative pair of mountains in Indonesia, both of which had enormous deposits of minerals, iron, copper, silver and gold in particular.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; pp. 374-375.

. . . . Shortly after, his aid bill landed on Johnson’s desk. The new president refused to sign it. . . .

. . . . In return for not signing the aid bill, in 1964, LBJ received support from Both Augustus Long and Jock Whitney of Freeport Sulphur in his race against Barry Goldwater. In fact, Long established a group called the National Independent Committee for Johnson. This group of wealthy businessmen included Robert Lehman of Lehman Brothers and Thomas Cabot, Michael Paine’s cousin. . . . Then, in early 1965, Augustus Long was rewarded for helping Johnson get elected. LBJ app[ointed him to the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. This is a small group of wealthy private citizens who advises the president on intelligence matters. The members of this group can approve and suggest covert activities abroad. This appointment is notable for what was about to occur. For with Sukarno now unprotected by President Kennedy, the writing was on the wall. The Central Intelligence Agency now bean to send into Indonesia its so called “first team.” . . . .

. . . . Suharto now began to sell off Indonesia’s riches to the highest bidder. Including Freeport Sulphur, which opened what were perhaps the largest copper and gold mines in the world there. . . . Freeport, along with several other companies, now harvested billions from the Suharto regime. . . .

Yet another area in which JFK’s policy outlook ran afoul of the prevailing wisdom of the Cold War was with regard to the Congo. A Belgian colony which was the victim of genocidal policies of King Leopold (estimates of the dead run as high as 8 million), the diamond and mineral-rich Congo gained a fragile independence.

In Africa, as well, Kennedy understood the struggle of emerging nations seeking freedom from colonial domination as falling outside of and transcending stereotyped Cold War dynamics.

In the Congo, the brutally administered Belgian rule had spawned a vigorous independence movement crystallized around the charismatic Patrice Lumumba. Understanding of, and sympathetic to Lumumba and the ideology and political forces embodied in him, Kennedy opposed the reactionary status quo favored by both European allies like the United Kingdom and Belgium, as well as the Eisenhower/Dulles axis in the United States.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; pp. 28-29.

. . . . By 1960, a native revolutionary leader named Patrice Lumumba had galvanized the nationalist feeling of the country. Belgium decided to pull out. But they did so rapidly, knowing that tumult would ensue and they could return to colonize the country again. After Lumumba was appointed prime minister, tumult did ensue. The Belgians and the British backed a rival who had Lumumba dismissed. They then urged the breaking away of the Katanga province because of its enormous mineral wealth. Lumumba looked to the United Nations for help, and also the USA. The former decided to help, . The United States did not. In fact, when Lumumba visited Washington July of 1960, Eisenhower deliberately fled to Rhode Island. Rebuffed by Eisenhower, Lumumba now turned to the Russians for help in expelling the Belgians from Katanga. This sealed his fate in the eyes of Eisenhower and Allen Dulles. The president now authorized a series of assassination plots by the CIA to kill Lumumba. These plots finally succeeded on January 17, 1961, three days before Kennedy was inaugurated.

His first week in office, Kennedy requested a full review of the Eisenhower/Dulles policy in Congo. The American ambassador to that important African nation heard of this review and phoned Allen Dulles to alert him that President Kennedy was about to overturn previous policy there. Kennedy did overturn this policy on February 2, 1961. Unlike Eisenhower and Allen Dulles, Kennedy announced he would begin full cooperation with Secretary Dag Hammarskjold at the United Nations on this thorny issue in order to bring all the armies in that war-torn nation under control. He would also attempt top neutralize the country so there would be no East/West Cold War competition. Third, all political prisoners being held should be freed. Not knowing he was dead, this part was aimed at former prime minister Lumumba, who had been captured by his enemies. (There is evidence that, knowing Kennedy would favor Lumumba, Dulles had him killed before JFK was inaugurated.) Finally, Kennedy opposed the secession of mineral-rich Katanga province. . . . Thus began Kennedy’s nearly three year long struggle to see Congo not fall back under the claw of European imperialism. . . . ”

In the Congo, as in Indonesia, LBJ reversed JFK’s policy stance, and the corporate looting of the Congo resulted under General Joseph Mobutu, himself a beneficiary of the piracy.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; pp. 372-373.

. . . . But in October and November [of 1963], things began to fall apart. Kennedy wanted Colonel Michael Greene, an African expert, to train the Congolese army in order

to subdue a leftist rebellion. But General Joseph Mobutu, with the backing of the Pentagon, managed to resist this training, which the United Nations backed. In 1964, the communist rebellion picked up steam and began taking whole provinces. The White House did something Kennedy never seriously contemplated: unilateral action by the USA. Johnson and McGeorge Bundy had the CIA fly sorties with Cuban pilots to halt the communist advance. Without Kennedy, the UN now withdrew. America now became an ally of Belgium and intervened with arms, airplanes and advisers. Mobutu now invited Tshombe back into the government. Tshombe, perhaps at the request of the CIA, now said that the rebellion was part of a Chinese plot to take over Congo. Kennedy had called in Edmund Gullion to supervise the attempt to make the Congo government into a moderate coalition, avoiding the extremes of left and right. But with the Tshombe/Mobutu alliance, that was now dashed. Rightwing South Africans and Rhodesians were now allowed to join the Congolese army in a war on the “Chinese-inspired left.” And with the United Nations gone, this was all done under the auspices of the United States. The rightward tilt now continued unabated. By 1965, Mobutu had gained complete power. And in 1966, he installed himself as military dictator. . . . Mobutu now allowed his country to be opened up to loads of outside investment. The riches of the Congo were mined by huge Western corporations. Their owners and officers grew wealthy while Mobutu’s subjects were mired in poverty. Mobutu also stifled political dissent. And he now became one of the richest men in Africa, perhaps the world. . . .

In FTR #1033, we examined JFK’s attempts at normalizing relations with Cuba. That, of course, vanished with his assassination and the deepening of Cold War hostility between the U.S. and the Island nation, with a thaw of sorts coming under Barack Obama a few years ago.

There is no more striking area in which JFK’s murder reversed what would have been historic changes in America’s foreign policy than U.S.-Soviet relations.

JFK had implemented a ban on atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons, bitterly opposed by the Pentagon, In a June, 1963 speech at American University, JFK called for re-evaluating America’s relationship to the Soviet Union, and cited the U.S.S.R’s decisive role in defeating Nazi Germany during World War II.

JFK was also proposing joint space exploration with the Soviet Union, which would have appeared to be nothing less than treasonous to the Pentagon and NASA at the time. After JFK’s assassination, the Kennedy family used a backchannel diplomatic conduit to the Soviet leadership to communicate their view that the Soviet Union, and its Cuban ally, had been blameless in the assassination and that powerful right-wing forces in the United States had been behind the assassination.

Perhaps JFK’s greatest contribution was one that has received scant notice. In 1961, the Joint Chiefs were pushing for a first strike on the Soviet Union–a decision to initiate nuclear war. JFK refused, walking out of the discussion with the disgusted observation that “We call ourselves the human race.”

In FTR #’s 876, 926 and 1051, we examined the creation of the meme that Oswald had been networking with the Cubans and Soviets in the run-up to the assassination. In particular, Oswald was supposedly meeting with Valery Kostikov, a KGB official in charge of assassinations in the Western Hemisphere.

This created the pretext for blaming JFK’s assassination on the Soviet Union and/or Cuba. There are indications that JFK’s assassination may well have been intended as a pretext for a nuclear first strike on the Soviet Union.

JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters by James W. Douglass; Touchstone Books [SC]; Copyright 2008 by James W. Douglas; ISBN 978-1-4391-9388-4; pp. 242-243.

. . . . As JFK may have recalled from the National Security Council meeting he walked out of in July 1961, the first Net Evaluation Subcommittee report had focused precisely on “a surprise attack in late 1963, preceded by a period of heightened tensions.” Kennedy was a keen reader and listener. In the second preemptive-war report, he may also have noticed the slight but significant discrepancy between its overall time frame, 1963-1968, and the extent of its relatively reassuring conclusion, which covered only 1964 through 1968. . . .

. . . . In his cat-and-mouse questioning of his military chiefs, President Kennedy had built upon the report’s apparently reassuring conclusion in such a way as to discourage preemptive-war ambitions. However, given the “late 1963” focus in the first Net Report that that was the most threatening time for a preemptive strike, Kennedy had little reason to be reassured by a second report that implicitly confirmed that time as the one of maximum danger. The personally fatal fall JFK was about to enter, in late 1963, was the same time his military commanders may have considered their last chance to “win” (in their terms) a preemptive war against the Soviet Union. In terms of their second Net Report to the President, which passed over the perilous meaning of late 1963, the cat-and-mouse game had been reversed. It was the generals who were the cats, and JFK the mouse in their midst.

The explicit assumption of the first Net Report was “a surprise attack in late 1963, preceded by a period of heightened tensions.” The focus of that first-strike scenario corresponded to the Kennedy assassination scenario. When President Kennedy was murdered in late 1963, the Soviet Union had been set up as the major scapegoat in the plot. If the tactic had been successful in scapegoating the Russians for the crime of the century, there is little doubt that it would have resulted in “a period of heightened tensions” between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Those who designed the plot to kill Kennedy were familiar with the inner sanctum of our national security state. Their attempt to scapegoat the Soviets for the President’s murder reflected one side of the secret struggle between JFK and his military leaders over a preemptive strike against the Soviet Union. The assassins’ purpose seems to have encompassed not only killing a President determined to make peace with the enemy, but also using his murder as the impetus for a possible nuclear first strike against that same enemy. . . .

With the GOP and Trump administration openly suppressing voting rights of minorities, African-Americans in particular, the stellar efforts of JFK and the Justice Department in the area of civil rights is striking. JFK’s civil rights policy was exponentially greater than what had preceded him, and much of what followed.

The conclusion of the discussion in FTR #1056 consists of Jim’s discussion of his marvelous, 4-part analysis of JFK’s civil rights policy.


FTR #1043 Interview #12 with Jim DiEugenio About Destiny Betrayed

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.’ . . . .”

This is the twelfth 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.

In this program, we continue with analysis of Clay Shaw’s intelligence connection, beginning with review of his work for the Domestic Operations Division.

A fascinating intelligence involvement of Shaw’s is his work with Permindex.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; pp. 385-386.

. . . . The next step in the CIA ladder after his high-level overseas informant service was his work with the strange company called Permindex. When the announcement for Permindex was first made in Switzerland in late 1956, its principal backing was to come from a local banker named Hans Seligman. But as more investigation by the local papers was done, it became clear that the real backer was J. Henry Schroder Corporation. This information was quite revealing. Schroder’s had been closely associated with Allen Dulles and the CIA for years. Allen Dulles’s connections to the Schroder banking family went back to the thirties when his law firm, Sullivan and Cromwell, first began representing them through him. Later, Dulles was the bank’s General Counsel. In fact, when Dulles became CIA director, Schroder’s was a repository for a fifty million dollar contingency fund that Dulles personally controlled. Schroder’s was a welcome conduit because the bank benefited from previous CIA overthrows in Guatemala and Iran. Another reason that there began to be a furor over Permindex in Switzerland was the fact that the bank’s founder, Baron Kurt von Schroder, was associated with the Third Reich, specifically Heinrich Himmler. The project now became stalled in Switzerland. It now moved to Rome. In a September 1069 interview Shaw did for Penthouse Magazine, he told James Phelan that he only grew interested in the project when it moved to Italy. Which was in October 1958. Yet a State Department cable dated April 9 of that year says that Shaw showed great interest in Permindex from the outset.

One can see why. The board of directors as made up of bankers who had been tied up with fascist governments, people who worked the Jewish refugee racket during World War II, a former member of Mussolini’s cabinet, and the son-in-law of Hjalmar Schacht, the economic wizard behind the Third Reich, who was a friend of Shaw’s. These people would all appeal to the conservative Shaw. There were at least four international newspapers that exposed the bizarre activities of Permindex when it was in Rome. One problem was the mysterious source of funding: no one knew where it was coming from. Another was that its activities reportedly included assassination attempts on French Premier Charles De Gaulle. Which would make sense since the founding member of Permindex, Ferenc Nagy, was a close friend of Jacques Soustelle. Soustelle was a leader of the OAS, a group of former French officers who broke with De Gaulle over his Algerian policy. They later made several attempts on De Gaulle’s life, which the CIA was privy to. Again, this mysterious source of funding, plus the rightwing, neo-Fascist directors created another wave of controversy. One newspaper wrote that the organization may have been “a creature of the CIA . . . set up as a cove for the transfer of CIA . . . funds in Italy for legal political-espionage activities.” The Schroder connection would certainly suggest that. . . .

His involvement with Permindex places him in the transnational corporate milieu that spawned fascism and Nazism. Key observations about Permindex and Shaw’s participation in it:

1.–Shaw was part of the deep political orbit of the Dulles brothers and Sullivan & Cromwell.
2.–The Permindex operational link to the Schroder Bank places it in the same milieu as the Himmler Kreis, the industrialists and financiers who financed the workings of the SS through an account in the Schroder Bank.
3.–Shaw was a friend of Hjalmar Horace Greeley Schacht, who became the finance minister of the Third Reich and was very close to the Dulles brothers.
4.–Permindex was apparently involved with the OAS efforts to assassinate De Gaulle. This places Shaw in a network including: Banister investigator Maurice Brooks Gatlin, who boasted of having transferred money to the OAS from the CIA; Rene Souetre–an OAS operative who was expelled from Dallas/Ft. Worth the day of the assassination of JFK.
5.–As discussed in FTR #’s 1031 and 1032, JFK was an early critic of the French policy in Algeria, criticizing it on the floor of the Senate in 1957.

The conclusion of the broadcast focuses largely on the CIA’s intense interest in the Garrison investigation. This interest was manifested through an agency conclave informally named “The Garrison Group.”

“Destiny Betrayed” by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 270.

. . . . Helms wanted the group to “consider the possible implications for the Agency” of what Garrison was doing in “New Orleans before, during, and after the trial of Clay Shaw. It is crucial to keep in mind the phrase: before, during, and after. As we will see, the effective administrator Helms was thinking not just of some short term fix, but of formulating a strategy for the long haul. According to the very sketchy memo about this meeting, [CIA General Counsel Lawrence] Houston discussed his dealings with the Justice Department and the desire of Shaw’s defense to meet with the CIA directly. [Ray] Rocca then said something quite ominous. He said that he felt “that Garrison would indeed obtain a conviction of Shaw for conspiring to assassinate President Kennedy.” This must have had some impact on the meeting. Since everyone must have known that Rocca had developed, by bar, the largest database on Garrison’s inquiry at CIA. . . .

We note that House Select Committee on Assassinations assistant counsel Jonathan Blackmer wrote the following:

“Destiny Betrayed” by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 332.

. . . . “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.” . . . .

The program concludes with analysis of Clay Shaw’s close relationship to the Stern family of WDSU. In addition to carrying staged interviews between Oswald and Carlos Bringuier, the broadcast outlet pilloried Jim Garrison and his trial of Clay Shaw.


FTR #1042 Interview #11 with Jim DiEugenio about “Destiny Betrayed”

This is the eleventh 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.

In this broadcast, we explore the association of David Ferrie and Clay Shaw in the context of the planning of assassination plots against JFK, as well as Shaw’s involvement with the intelligence community.

NB: In our previous interview, Mr. Emory mistakenly linked “The Bomb” to Clay Shaw and to a plot to assassinate JFK. Shaw was, according to credible testimony involved with Ferrie in another, probably connected, association to discuss killing Kennedy.

David Ferrie had a desk in the  office of C. Wray Gill, a lawyer for Carlos Marcello. When another of Gill’s clients–a woman named Clara Gay–was in the office, she witnessed another Ferrie assassination schematic on November 26, 1963:

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 217.

. . . . Clara looked  over at Ferrie’s desk and she saw what looked like a diagram of Dealey Plaza: it was a drawing of a car from the perspective of an angle from above, the car was surrounded by high buildings, reminiscent of Dealey Plaza. After the secretary threw it out, Clara  retrieved it. She said it should be given to the FBI or Secret Service. The secretary took it back and a pulling contest ensued. The secretary eventually won, but not before Clara saw the words “Elm Street” on the diagram. She later reconstructed this experience for Garrison. She said she came forward because she considered herself a good citizen, and Ferrie must  have been  something evil . . . .

After discussion of the Ferrie Dealey Plaza assassination schematic, the discussion turns to a conversation witnessed by Perry Russo, one of Garrison’s most important witnesses.

Key points of information about what Russo witnessed:

1.–Present at the meeting where the discussion took place were: Clay Shaw, David Ferrie, Lee Harvey Oswald and several Cubans.
2.–Shaw was using one of his most common aliases–“Clay Bertrand.”
3.–Ferrie became increasingly agitated and highlighted “triangulation of crossfire” as necessary to assure a kill shot on Kennedy.
4.–Ferrie and Shaw discussed the necessity of being somewhere else, to give themselves “cover.” This led Russo to conclude that the plans were concrete not theoretical.
5.–Ferrie said he would be in Hammond, LA., on the campus of Southeastern Louisiana. He was, in fact, there on the day of the assassination.
6.–Shaw said that he would be on the West Coast. He was, in fact, at the San Francisco Trade Mart, where he was to give a talk. When news of of the assassination reached Shaw and his host, Shaw seemed remarkably detached. When asked if he thought the talk should go forward in light of the news, Shaw said yes. This struck those around him at that time  as  curious.

The issue of Shaw’s aliases is an important one. The day after the assassination of JFK, New Orleans attorney Dean Andrews got a call from “Clay Bertrand,” requesting that he represent Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas. Andrews had previously encountered Shaw using the same alias when seeking legal representation for some gay Latinos.

Key aspects of Andrews’ contact with Shaw/Bertrand:

1.–Andrews feared for his life if this came to light. He claimed to have been told, after calling Washington D.C., that he might get a bullet in the head if he talked.
2.–After Andrews changed his testimony, Garrison charged him with perjury, eventually gaining a conviction.
3.–Andrews’ statements about Shaw/Bertrand were bolstered by someone at the VIP lounge at the Eastern Airlines terminal at New Orleans airport, who knew Shaw to sign in under that alias.
4.–Numerous people in bars and bistros–particularly in the French Quarter–knew that Shaw used that alias. Because of Garrison’s crackdown on organized crime-related operations in New Orleans, his potential informants remained silent.

When being booked, Shaw actually stated that he used the alias “Clay Bertrand.”

Shaw was booked by a New Orleans police officer named Aloysius Habighorst–who had an excellent record. When being booked, Shaw stated that he used the alias “Clay Shaw.” Before testifying at Shaw’s trial, Habighorst’s car was rammed by a yellow truck, and he was injured.

At Shaw’s trial, Judge Haggerty refused to admit Shaw’s admitted alias as evidence.

The concluding portion of the broadcast deals with Clay Shaw’s intelligence connections. Key points of information in that regard:

1.–Shaw’s intelligence connections date to World War II, when he worked as a aide-de-camp to General Charles Thrasher. This placed him in the Special Operations Section, a branch of military intelligence and one which was involved with recruiting some of the Paperclip personnel to work for the U.S.
2.–After the war, he became involved with International House, a Rockefeller-linked operation deeply involved with the transnational corporate community.
3.–His work for the International Trade Mart followed logically on the heels of his work for International House.
4.–Shaw also worked with the  Mississippi Shipping Company, which did a lot of work with the CIA.
5.–His “Y” file indicated that Shaw’s work for CIA involved conferring with the agency before traveling to Latin America, not after he returned as was the case for most informants.
6.–At least one of Shaw’s files with the CIA was destroyed.

One of the most important elements of Shaw’s intelligence career was uncovered by researcher Peter Vea, whose disclosures were supplemented by some interesting commentary by Victor Marchetti.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 385.

. . . . Peter Vea discovered a very important document while at the National Archives in 1994. Attached to a listing of Shaw’s numerous contacts with the Domestic Contact service, a listing was attached which stated that Shaw had a covert security approval in the Project QKENCHANT. This was in 1967 and the present tense was used, meaning that Shaw  was an active covert operator for the CIA while Garrison was investigating him. When William Davy took this document to former CIA officer Victor Marchetti, an interesting conversation ensued. As Marchetti looked at the document, he said, “That’s interesting . . . . He was . . . He was doing something there.” He then said that Shaw would not need a covert security clearance for domestic contacts service. He then added, “This was something else. This would imply that he was doing some kind of work for the  Clandestine Services.” When Davy asked what branch of Clandestine Services would that be, Marchetti replied, “The DOD (Domestic Operations Division). It was one of the most secret divisions within the Clandestine Services. This was Tracey Barnes’s old outfit. They were getting into things . . . Uh . . . exactly what, I don’t know. But they were getting into some pretty risky areas. And this is what E. Howard Hunt was working for at the time.” And in fact, Howard Hunt did have such a covert clearance issued to him in 1970 while he was working at the White House. . . .


FTR #1041 Interview #10 with Jim DiEugenio about “Destiny Betrayed”

The tenth 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.

In this broadcast, we delve into operational links between U.S. intelligence agent David Ferrie–the first target of Garrison’s investigation–and Clay Shaw, who was tried by Garrison.

One of the operations in which Ferrie and Shaw participated was an effort to bolster Freeport Sulphur.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; pp. 208-209.

. . . . In Chapter 1, the author introduced Freeport Sulphur and its subsidiaries Moa Bay Mining and Nicaro Nickel. These companies all had large investments in Cuba prior to Castro’s revolution. And this ended up being one of the ways that Garrison connected Clay Shaw and David Ferrie. This came about for two reasons. First, with Castro taking over their operations in Cuba, Freeport was attempting to investigate bringing in nickel ore from Cuba, through Canada, which still had trade relations with Cuba. The ore would then be refined in Louisiana, either at a plant already in New Orleans or at another plant in Braithwaite. Shaw, an impressario of international trade, was on this exploratory team for Freeport. And he and two other men had been flown to Canada by Ferrie as part of this effort. More evidence of this connection through Freeport was found during their investigation of Guy Banister. Banister apparently knew about another flight taken by Shaw with an official of Freeport, likely Charles Wight, to Cuba. Again the pilot was David Ferrie. Another reason this Freeport connection was important to Garrison is that he found a witness named James Plaine in Houston who said that Mr. Wight of Freeport Sulphur had contacted him in regards to an assassination plot against Castro. Considering the amount of money Freeport was about to lose in Cuba, plus the number of Eastern Establishment luminaries associated with the company–such as Jock Whitney, Jean Mauze and Godfrey Rockefeller–it is not surprising that such a thing was contemplated within their ranks. . . .

One of the most important, compelling links between Ferrie and Shaw was their appearance with Lee Harvey Oswald in Clinton, Louisiana. Key points of information about this event:

1.–The three men–Ferrie, Shaw and Oswald–were in Clinton to register Oswald to vote.
2.–In the event, their arrival placed them in the middle of a large voter-registration drive for local African-Americans, part of the civil rights movement of the early ’60’s.
3.–The three men were very conspicuous at this event, not only because of their race, but because the large, black Cadillac driven by Shaw attracted considerable attention.
4.–Many of those in attendance at the voter registration drive, as well as the local sheriff, identified the three men.
5.–Ferrie, in particular, manifested a striking appearance. He was afflicted with an ailment that caused all of the hair on his body that to fall out. To cover up his affliction, Ferrie wore a garish red wig and matching, penciled-on eyebrows.
6.–Oswald was apparently at the voter registration event to register to vote in that area, in order to gain employment at the nearby East Louisiana State Hospital, an institution with strong links to Tulane Medical Center and Alton Ochsner, as well as to the MK Ultra experiments going on at that time.
7.–Two people Oswald apparently cited as references were Malcolm Pierson and Frank Silva. Not only did both men work at the hospital, but they both had interesting CV’s.

Of the back grounds of Pierson and Silva, Jim writes:

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 93.

. . . . The obvious question then becomes: How did Oswald know the names of these men? Or if he did not, how did Shaw or Ferrie know them? One possibility is this: According to Cuban intelligence, Silva was active in the anti-Castro cause in the New Orleans area. Silva was Cuban-born and from an upper-class family. He was actually associated with Tulane Medical Center at the time. Tulane was located in New Orleans. Dr. Alton Ochsner, who was on the board of, and Chief of Surgery at, Tulane Medical School, was a friend of both Shaw and Banister. In fact, at the New Orleans Public Library, there is a photo of Shaw sitting at a small table with Ochsner.

Another way that Oswald could have known these names was through a mutual acquaintance of Shaw and Ferrie, Sergio Arcacha Smith. Both Cuban intelligence and Garrison’s investigators discovered that there was a connection between the two Cuban refugees. Dr. Robert Heath, Chairman of Tulane University Medical School’s Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, became infamous for using LSD and electrode implantation in his research. Many of the people he worked on came from East Louisiana State Hospital, where an entire ward was dedicated to his work. East doctor Alfred Butterworth (whom this author interviewed shortly before his death) told the author that he had seen both Ochsner and Silva while he was there. Butterworth also revealed that Tulane University had a special psychiatric unit at the hospital, where they secretly administered LSD. This is important background to the following information. During his inquiry, Jim Garrison came across a witness who had attended a gathering at Dr. Heath’s home. Thee, the following event occurred: Dr. Silva introduced the man to the former local representative of Howard Hunt’s CRC, Sergio Arcacha Smith. Pierson was a former narcotics offender, who, according to HSCA subpoenaed records, listed Silva as a reference in his job application. It is hard to believe that, left to his own devices, Oswald would have known that either of these men worked at the hospital. If either of these more logical options is accurate, it gives the incident even more scope and depth. . . .

The program concludes with discussion of what a Garrison investigator called “The Bomb”–an apparent plan, with detailed schematics, to assassinate JFK. NB: Mr. Emory mistakenly links Clay Shaw to “The Bomb.” Shaw was, according to credible testimony involved with Ferrie in another, probably connected, association to discuss killing Kennedy.

“The Bomb” will be analyzed at the beginning of our next interview.


FTR #1040 Interview #9 with Jim DiEugenio about “Destiny Betrayed”

The ninth of a planned long series of interviews with Jim DiEugenio about his triumphal analysis of President Kennedy’s assassination and New Orleans DA Jim Garrison’s heroic investigation of the killing.

In this interview, we proceed into the substance of New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s investigation into the JFK assassination. Garrison’s inquiry began immediately after the assassination when former Guy Banister investigator Jack Martin gave information to him about one of his cronies in the “detective agency.”

David Ferrie was a veteran intelligence officer with a long CV. Ferrie’s intelligence resume and behavior with regard the JFK assassination includes:

1.–His work with a Civil Air Patrol unit that included Lee Harvey Oswald, as well as Barry Seal, another future CIA operative who became a major player in the Iran-Contra drug traffic.
2.–Ferrie’s CAP unit’s profound relationship with the military, permitting his unit to operate at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi and to fly on military aircraft. This indicates strong gravitas on Ferrie’s part within the national security establishment.
3.–His strange trip to Texas on the day of the assassination, driving all night through a heavy rainstorm to–take your pick–go ice skating and/or go goose hunting. The manager of the skating rink stated that Ferrie did not go ice skating but stayed by a pay phone all of the time he spent there. His companions stated that they did not bring guns on the trip. Ferrie spent his time in Galveston (a Texas port city) in a hotel overlooking the sea.
4.–Ferrie marketing his untenable ice skating/goose hunting story to the FBI–an act of perjury on his part.
5.–Ferrie also stated that he didn’t know how to fire a rifle, a claim fundamentally at odds with Ferrie’s work as a paramilitary commando trainer at the CIA camps at LaCombe, Louisiana.
6.–Immediately after the assassination, Ferrie frantically sought to recover any photographs of him with Lee Harvey Oswald in his CAP unit.
7.–Immediately after the assassination, Ferrie worried that his library card might be in Oswald’s possession. Oswald knew about “microdots,” a technique developed by German intelligence in World War II permitting the reduction of an intelligence communication to microscopic size, thus enabling its insertion into a period or comma in a sentence. Some researchers have opined that the library card may have involved some use of microdot technology in the Ferrie/Oswald intelligence relationship.
8.–Ferrie, Oswald and Guy Banister were all deeply involved with the CIA’s anti-Castro Cuban effort in New Orleans. Banister’s office was a front for many of the weapons used by Ferrie and company at the LaCombe camp and other facilities. As discussed previously, Oswald’s one man Fair Play For Cuba Committee (New Orleans chapter) was housed in the same Newman building that housed Banister’s operation.
9.–Ferrie had operational connections with both Eladio Del Valle and Sergio Arcacha Smith, two of the CIA’s primary anti-Castro Cuban operatives.
10.–Against the background of JFK’s Cuban policy, including JFK’s actions vis a vis the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, his impending diplomatic rapprochement with Castro and the Justice Department’s closing down of the LaCombe camp and others like it, Ferrie began making increasingly violent statements about JFK.
11.–Ferrie began openly talking about killing Kennedy. His violent anti-JFK statements were one of the reasons he was dismissed from Eastern Airlines, for whom he worked as a pilot.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 116.

. . . . As Mongoose began to dwindle down, Ferrie, and others, now grew even more resentful of Kennedy. For the first time, Ferrie mentioned to a young protege a design to do away with JFK. But he never included himself in the plans. He talked about it in the second or third person. Sometimes, he went further and said that Kennedy “ought to be shot.” This was also echoed by Guy Banister who had been a CIA conduit of funds for the training camps. In 1963, Banister bitterly complained to a colleague that “someone should do away with Kennedy.” Banister’s fascist ideology was conducive  to such things. . . .

After Garrison indicted him, Ferrie began publicly attacking Garrison’s credibility, ridiculing any notion of his own guilt in the assassination. In private, Ferrie began expressing fear for his life. As it developed, Ferrie’s fears were well founded. His naked corpse was found in his apartment, allegedly felled by a berry aneurism at the base of his brain. A sheet was pulled up over his face, and there were two typed suicide notes, with his name typed, not signed.

There are a number of considerations in connection with Ferrie’s death:

1.–If his death was natural, why were there two typed suicide notes?
2.–If it was suicide, how did he die?
3.–There were marks in Ferrie’s mouth, clearly revealed in autopsy photos. Might they have indicated that drugs been forced down his throat? Ferrie had been taking proloid, which might well have produced the lethal reaction Ferrie experienced in the event of an overdose. He had ordered thyroid pills, which were gone when his body was discovered.
4.–Journalist George Lardner had interviewed Ferrie, and claims he was with Ferrie until 4am, the last possible time that Ferrie’s death could have occurred. If Lardner was right, the killers must have entered within minutes of his departure.
5.–Decades later, Lardner, working for the CIA-linked Washington Post, went to Dallas to shadow Oliver Stone’s filming of “JFK,” based on Garrison’s book On the Trail of the Assassins. Lardner then wrote a hit piece on Stone’s film before it was released.

The contents of Ferrie’s apartment were unusual. Recall that he had stated that he didn’t know how to fire a rifle.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 225.

. . . . The contents of Ferrie’s apartment at the time of his death were unusual for a private investigator. They included a blue, 100-pound aerial bomb, a Springfield private investigator. They included a blue, 100-pound aerial bomb, a Springfield rifle, a Remington rifle, an altered-stock, .22 rifle, 20 shotgun shells, two Army Signal Corps telephones, one bayonet, one flare gun, a radio transmitter unit, a radio receiver unit, 32 rifle cartridges, 22 blanks, several cameras, and three rolls of film. . . . 

Shortly after Ferrie’s death, his close associate Eladio Del Valle was found murdered, near the apartment of Bernardo De Torres, Bay of Pigs veteran and U.S. intelligence veteran. Del Valle had been tortured, shot through the heart and his head had been split open with a machete.


FTR #1036 Interview #6 with Jim DiEugenio about “Destiny Betrayed”

The sixth of a planned long series of interviews with Jim DiEugenio about his triumphal analysis of President Kennedy’s assassination and New Orleans DA Jim Garrison’s heroic investigation of the killing, this program continues analysis of the development of the legend (intelligence cover) of Lee Harvey Oswald.

(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 King. Jim is also a regular guest and expert commentator on Black Op Radio.)

In FTR #1035, we set forth the suspicious circumstances surrounding Oswald’s “defection” to the Soviet Union:

• A number of aspects of his tenure the Soviet Union suggest that, not only was he there as a spook, but the Soviets knew that he was there to spy. Among the noteworthy aspects of his Soviet sojourn that are set forth in this program:
• Oswald was given a hardship discharge with just a few months remaining on his enlistment tour. He got this in an inordinately short amount of time. He was supposed to take care of his mother, and yet his brother Robert was there to care for her, making Lee’s presence there unnecessary.
• Oswald booked his steamship passage from the International Trade Mart in New Orleans, headed up by Clay Shaw, who was the focal point of Jim Garrison’s trial.
• Oswald ostensibly was going to Europe to attend Albert Schweitzer College, an obscure Swiss institution that the Swiss police required two months to locate.
• He defected to the Soviet Union from Helsinki, Finland. His stay there raises several questions, including the fact that he stayed at the Torni Hotel, a five-star, luxury hotel.
• After leaving the Torni Hotel, he stayed at the Hotel Klaus Kurki, another high-end institution. How Oswald was able to pay for his stay at these institutions is a mystery–he did not have enough money in his Marine Corps pay checks to do this.
• His selection of Helsinki is significant, also, because the Soviet Embassy there was the only one that could issue a travel visa to the Soviet Union in a little more than a week. It was the only Embassy that could do this. How did Oswald come to know this?
After reviewing the curious aspects of the beginning Oswald’s “defection” to the Soviet Union, the program notes many aspects of his stay in the U.S.S.R. that strongly suggest he was there as an undercover intelligence operative.
After leaving from the curiously convenient departure point of Helsinki, Finland, Oswald met an agent from Intourist, the Soviet state travel agency. Once again, the circumstances surrounding Oswald’s stay in the Soviet Union are suggestive of an intelligence cover, a “legend.”

1. Meeting with his Intourist guide, Oswald indicated that he had secret information about U.S. air operations that he wished to share with Soviet intelligence.
2. After being denied residence in the U.S.S.R. Oswald was involved in an apparently “phony” suicide attempt, which was almost certainly an attempt to remain in the U.S.S.R. longer than his travel visa would have permitted. Were the Soviets on to him? It seems altogether probable.
3. Oswald was housed at the Metropole Hotel, which Soviet intelligence outfitted with sophisticated surveillance technology, indicating suspicion on their part.
4. Oswald was interviewed by U.S. Embassy officer Richard Snyder, who had strong links to U.S. intelligence, including a program at Harvard to vet students for intelligence-connected travel to the U.S.S.R. One of the students he oversaw was Zbigniew Brzezinski.
5. Snyder appears to have “handled” Oswald in such a way that he would never cease being a U.S. citizen. Once again, Oswald repeated his intent to give secret intelligence about U.S. air operations to Soviet intelligence, most likely a reference to the U-2 project.
6. Oswald was sent to Minsk, where he was put to work in a radio factory, after being afforded more-than-comfortable living circumstances by Soviet authorities.
7. Oswald submitted a detailed, 30-page paper on the radio factory that appears to have been an intelligence report on the installation.
8. Also while in the U.S.S.R., Oswald gave interviews to journalists, including Priscilla Johnson MacMillan, who was a “willing CIA asset.” In that interview, Oswald gave a performance which could only be described as a hackneyed manifestation of a stereotyped Marxist/Communist.
9. The handling of Oswald’s files in the corridors of U.S. intelligence are more than a little strange. Despite having threatened to open a treasonous breach in the security of U.S. air operations, no 201 file was opened on Oswald, and his documentation at Langley was routed to James Angleton’s files on the false defector program. This was unthinkable. As we will see in future discussion, the circumstances surrounding the FBI’s FLASH classification on Oswald–which would have sounded an alert upon this ostensible traitor’s re-entry into the U.S.–is also out of the ordinary. Recall the unusual treatment afforded State Department officer Otto Otepka in connection with inquiries into Oswald and the false defector program. This was highlighted in FTR #1035.
10. While in the U.S.S.R. he met Marina Prusakova (later Marina “Oswald”), who may very well have been a Soviet intelligence agent.
11. Marina lived with her uncle, who was an officer with the MVD, the Soviet equivalent of the FBI.
12. Marina interacted with Robert Webster, another apparent “phony” defector from the U.S. to the U.S.S.R. Webster had worked for the CIA-linked RAND corporation. It is highly unlikely that she would have interacted with both Oswald and Webster as a matter of coincidence.
13. Marina also discussed having entertained Afghanistan’s ambassador to the Soviet Union, again, indicative of a probable intelligence link on Marina’s part.
14. Further burnishing Marina’s probable intelligence connections is the fact that she was proficient in the English language, both spoken and written. The notion that she would have needed an interpreter, as she is alleged to have required in post-assassination inquiries.
15. Marina’s probable intelligence connection and the probability that she was assigned to Oswald dovetails with the situation of Richard Case Nagell. While in Japan, Oswald came in contact with Richard Case Nagell, a deep-cover intelligence officer assigned to play a double agent. Eventually, Nagell was assigned by his [ostensible] Soviet handlers to kill Oswald, whom they felt was going to be a fall guy for a plot to kill JFK, and use that as pretext for a war either against the U.S.S.R. and/or Cuba. Unable to talk Oswald out of engaging in the associations with which he was connected, Nagell–who had infiltrated the New Orleans anti-Castro Cuban milieu in which Oswald was entrenched, shot up a Texas bank in order to get himself put in prison, saying he did not want to become a traitor. Nagell is the focal point of the remarkable book The Man Who Knew Too Much by Dick Russell, who was interviewed in FTR #54.
16. The rapidity and ease with which Oswald and Marina were granted permission to leave the Soviet Union together also suggests that she may have been performing an intelligence function. Normally, it might have taken some years for a Soviet woman who had married an American to obtain permission to emigrate.

After getting back to the United States, the connections and activities of the Oswalds continue to be “passing strange,” IF one takes the legend of the so-called assassin at face value.

Having threatened to commit treason by disclosing classified information about U.S. air operations, (the U-2 being the salient item), Oswald is met not by the CIA, not by the FBI, but by Spas T. Raikin, the Secretary General of the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations. Originally called the Committee of Subjugated Nations when it was formed by Adolf Hitler in 1943, the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations became, in turn, an integral part of the Reinhard Gehlen spy outfit, a key element of the former World Anti-Communist League, and an important part of the Republican Party. It is unthinkable that he would not have been de-briefed by U.S. intelligence and the FBI. In fact, Jim mentions that a former CIA officer Donald Deneselya told the House Select Committee on Assassinations that the CIA did, in all likelihood, debrief Oswald. The Agency, however, sought to distance itself from the JFK assassination fall guy.

When the supposed Marxist traitor returned to the U.S., he was embraced by the virulently anti-Communist White Russian community in the Dallas/Fort Worth are, themselves with close links to the Gehlen milieu.
Among the people with which the Oswalds networked in Texas were:

1. Max Clark and his Wife, the former Princess Sherbatov, a member of the Romanov Royal family!
2. Peter Gregory.
3. George Bouhe, who will figure prominently in our next program.
4. George de Mohrenschildt, who we will examine at length in our next interview. De Mohrenschildt was part of the family that manged the Nobel Oil Fields for the Czar; was the cousin of Baron Konstantin Maydell, in charge of Abwehr operations in the United States for a time (Abwehr was German military intelligence); an associate of George H.W. Bush; a longtime CIA asset; a petroleum geologist.


FTR #1035 Interview #5 with Jim DiEugenio about “Destiny Betrayed”

The fifth of a planned long series of interviews with Jim DiEugenio about his triumphal analysis of President Kennedy’s assassination and New Orleans DA Jim Garrison’s heroic investigation of the killing, this program begins analysis of the development of the legend (intelligence cover) of Lee Harvey Oswald.

(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 King. Jim is also a regular guest and expert commentator on Black Op Radio.)

This week’s discussion begins with a synopsis of the career of James Jesus Angleton, the long-time CIA chief of counterintelligence. Long pre-occupied with the matter of defectors from the Soviet Union, Angleton undertook a program of running false defectors to the U.S.S.R. in order to gain better intelligence about that nation.

The number of “defectors” to the Soviet Union expanded exponentially, leading State Department officer Otto Otepka to query the CIA as to which of them were genuine defectors, and which were actually left-cover spooks. One of the defectors about which he inquired was Lee Harvey Oswald, and a CIA reply about Oswald was marked “SECRET.”

Otepka’s career nosedived after this.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; pp. 164-165.
. . . . He was first taken off of sensitive cases. Stories began to appear in the press that his job could be eliminated. He was asked to take another position in State but he declined. He was then called before a Senate Committee to explain his methods for issuing security clearances. This happened four times in less than three years. He still would not resign or suspend his defector investigation. Spies, phone taps, and listening devices were then planted in his office. His office started to be searched after hours and his trash was scoured for any of his notes. Even his house was being surveilled. Otepka could not understand what was happening to him. He could only conclude that the sensitive study of American defectors hidden in his safe was behind it all. That safe was later drilled into after he was thrown out of his original office and reassigned. Whoever drilled it then used a tiny mirror to determine the combination. The safecracker then removed its contents. On November 5, 1963 Otepka was formally removed from his job at State. Later on, author Jim Hougan asked him if he had been able to figure out if Oswald was a real or false defector. Otepka replied, “We had not made up our minds when my safe was drilled and we were thrown out of the office.” Just two and a half weeks after his forcible departure from State, Oswald, the man he had studied for months on end, was accused of killing President Kennedy. . . .

Against the background of the false defector program, we begin analysis of Oswald, the Marxist Marine.

As we have discussed in other programs and posts, in his teens, Oswald was part of a Civil Air Patrol unit commanded by David Ferrie, the long-time intelligence officer and the first focal point of Jim Garrison’s investigation. (As chronicled by Daniel Hopsicker, that same unit also contained Barry Seal, the longtime CIA pilot and a key player in the Iran-Contra related drug trafficking.)

Interestingly and significantly, as Oswald and his fellow CAP cadets were gaining operational access to military bases–suggesting some significant connections to military and CIA by leader Ferrie–Oswald began to express and pursue alleged Communist/Marxist/Soviet inclinations to some high school peers. At the same time, he was also giving voice to a desire to join the military.

Eventually, Oswald joined the Marines. During his tenure in the Marine Corps, his pro-Marxist/pro-Soviet leanings and his security status both escalated:

1. Training at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi, Oswald got a Security Clearance.
2. He eventually was stationed at Atsugi Air Force Base in Japan, from which the CIA-connected U-2 spy plane flew. Bear in mind that Oswald’s Marxist/Communist professions continued apace during this time.
3. Oswald was actually in charge of physical security for the U-2 at one point in his tour of duty at Atsugi–remarkable for a self-professed Marxist.
4. While in Japan, he came in contact with Richard Case Nagell, a deep-cover intelligence officer assigned to play a double agent. Eventually, Nagell was assigned by his [ostensible] Soviet handlers to kill Oswald, whom they felt was going to be a fall guy for a plot to kill JFK, and use that as pretext for a war either against the U.S.S.R. and/or Cuba. Nagell is the focal point of the remarkable book The Man Who Knew Too Much by Dick Russell, who was interviewed in FTR #54.
5. CIA officer, anti-Castro lynchpin and future Watergate burglar E. Howard Hunt also turned up in Japan at the same time as Oswald, operating in close proximity to the U-2 operations.
6. During his Marine Corps tenure, Oswald stated to associate David Bucknell that he would go to the Soviet Union on an undercover intelligence operation and return a hero. Bucknell stated that Oswald was no Communist.
7. Another Marine associate of Oswald’s–Jim Botelho–also said Oswald was no Communist and that, if he had been, Botelho would have taken violent action against him.
8. Oswald had access to sensitive radar information pertaining to the U-2 project and also knew the radio codes for his base. After his “defection” to the U.S.S.R., he was the talk of the base. Nonetheless, the radio codes were not changed.
9. The lone associate of Oswald who corroborated his dubious Marxist credentials–Kerry Thornley–turned up later in New Orleans, networking with Oswald and the other players in Oswald’s apparent pro-Castro activities. We will cover this in future broadcasts.
10. While in the Marines, Oswald developed a proficient command of the Russian language–a difficult tongue to master. He appears to have attended the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California.
11. Oswald was a lousy shot in a branch of the service–the Marines–that placed a premium on marksmanship. Labeled a “shitbird” by his fellow Marines for his lack of proficiency with a rifle, Oswald lacked the extraordinary marksmanship required to do what he allegedly did in Dallas.

The circumstances of Oswald’s “defection” to the Soviet Union are suspicious as well:

1. Oswald was given a hardship discharge with just a few months remaining on his enlistment tour. He got this in an inordinately short amount of time. He was supposed to take care of his mother, and yet his brother Robert was there to care for her, making Lee’s presence there unnecessary.
2. Oswald booked his steamship passage from the International Trade Mart in New Orleans, headed up by Clay Shaw, who was the focal point of Jim Garrison’s trial.
3. Oswald ostensibly was going to Europe to attend Albert Schweitzer College, an obscure Swiss institution that the Swiss police required two months to locate.
4. He defected to the Soviet Union from Helsinki, Finland. His stay there raises several questions, including the fact that he stayed at the Torni Hotel, a five-star, luxury hotel.
5. After leaving the Torni Hotel, he stayed at the Hotel Klaus Kurki, another high-end institution. How Oswald was able to pay for his stay at these institutions is a mystery–he did not have enough money in his Marine Corps pay checks to do this.
6. His selection of Helsinki is significant, also, because the Soviet Embassy there was the only one that could issue a travel visa to the Soviet Union in a little more than a week. It was the only Embassy that could do this. How did Oswald come to know this?


FTR #1034 Interview #4 with Jim DiEugenio about “Destiny Betrayed”

The fourth of a planned long series of interviews with Jim DiEugenio about his triumphal analysis of President Kennedy’s assassination and New Orleans DA Jim Garrison’s heroic investigation of the killing, this program continues with discussion of the cast of characters that figure in Garrison’s investigation and their relationship to anti-Castro Cuban intrigue.

(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 King. Jim is also a regular guest and expert commentator on Black Op Radio.)

Continuing discussion from FTR #1033, the program highlights activities of Bay of Pigs and Watergate participant E. Howard Hunt. One of the primary CIA officers in the abortive Bay of Pigs, Hunt loathed Kennedy, helped ghost-write the Charles Murphy apologia for Allen Dulles & Company in Fortune magazine (see FTR #1032), and may have been involved with the JFK assassination.

E. Howard Hunt was also present in Dallas, Texas on 11/22/1963, as revealed in a memo crafted by James Angleton.

A subject that will be discussed at greater length in future conversations with Jim is the manifestations of Kerry Thornley:

1.–One of the Marine Corps buddies of Oswald the Marxist Marine.
2.–Reinforced the Oswald the Commie meme.
3.–Was involved with Oswald’s alleged pro-Castro leafleting originating from Guy Banister’s office.
4.–Was apparently involved with most of Oswald’s associates in the New Orleans area.
5.–Wrote two contradictory books about Oswald decades apart.
6.–Supplementing discussion of Gordon Novel from FTR #1033, the program foreshadows future discussion of infiltrators into Garrison’s investigation. An electronics expert involved with CIA and the Bay of Pigs operation, Novel was involved with infiltrating Garrison’s office and supplying information to Garrison’s enemies.

Also carrying over from FTR #1033, the program highlights Guy Banister’s so-called “detective agency,” from which Oswald operated his one-man New Orleans chapter of the Fair Play For Cuba Committee. Sam Newman–the owner of the Newman building which housed that operation, was evasive about Oswald operating from an office there. Newman’s statements in that regard are contradictory. Oswald’s presence there has been substantively confirmed.

Of significance is the fact that Corliss Lamont of the pro-Castro FPCC authored a pamphlet for the organization in 1961, while Oswald was in the Soviet Union. It was the 1961 edition of the pamphlet that Oswald was handing out when he had his altercation with Carlos Bringuier. This suggests that Oswald got his edition of the pamphlet from the CIA. (Recall that David Phillips and James McCord headed the CIA’s anti-FPCC effort.)

Program Highlights Include:

1.–Review of JFK’s stripping of Charles Murphy of his Air Force Reserve commission and Murphy’s statement that he didn’t mind because his real allegiance was to Dulles.
2.–Discussion of Guy Banister’s detective agency as a far right/fascist intelligence service, infiltrating liberal and leftist political milieux.
3.–Richard Nixon’s presence in Dallas on 11/22/1963 and the profound connections between Watergate and the JFK assassination.


FTR #1033 Interview #3 with Jim DiEugenio about “Destiny Betrayed”

The third of a planned long series of interviews with Jim DiEugenio about his triumphal analysis of President Kennedy’s assassination and New Orleans DA Jim Garrison’s heroic investigation of the killing, this program continues with discussion of Cuba and JFK’s policy with regard to Castro.

(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 King. Jim is also a regular guest and expert commentator on Black Op Radio.)

After reviewing discussion from FTR #1032, the program highlights the Cuban Missile Crisis. The best known of JFK’s actions with regard to Cuba, the “Thirteen Days” exemplifies how Kennedy stood against the Cold War political establishment and what President Eisenhower called “The Military-Industrial Complex,” earning the hatred of key players on the U.S. political stage at the time.

Once it became clear that the Soviets had placed offensive intermediate range ballistic missiles in Cuba, plans were drawn up for both air strikes to take out the missiles and a military invasion of Cuba as a whole. Kennedy was excoriated for taking a more thoughtful tack.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 63.

. . . . On October 9, Kennedy had a meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Kennedy got into a back and forth with the hawkish Air Force General Curtis LeMay. . . . LeMay frowned upon the blockade option. . . . “If we don’t do anything in Cuba, then they’re going to push on Berlin and push real hard because they’ve got us on the run.” LeMay, who was never one to mince words, then went even further. To  show his utter  disdain for the blockade concept, the World War II veteran actually brought up something rather bizarre. He said, “The blockade and political action, I see leading into war. . . . This is almost as bad as the appeasement at Munich.” LeMay was now comparing Kennedy’s preference for the blockade with Neville Chamberlain’s giving away the Sudetenland to the Nazis, which encouraged Hitler to invade Poland. Although not expressing themselves in such extreme figures of speech, the rest of the chiefs of staff agreed with LeMay. . . .  

Thinking that the Soviet buildup may have been a gambit to oblige the U.S. to forgo support for West Berlin in exchange for withdrawal of the nuclear forces in Cuba, Kennedy sought other alternatives. (Younger listeners should bear in mind that West Berlin was the Western-aligned half of Berlin, which was itself located deep in East Germany.)

Ultimately, Kennedy and Soviet premier Nikita Khruschev drew down hostilities, after Kennedy instituted a naval blockade of Soviet maritime shipments of military materiel to Cuba. Jim presents the altogether formidable order of battle in Cuba, indicating the strong possibility that, had the more aggressive U.S. contingency plans been implemented, it would have led to a Third World War and the end of our  civilization.

As the elder Von Moltke observed: “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.” Something would not have gone according to plan in the proposed military adventures against the Soviet presence in Cuba. When that happened, there would have been World War III.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 66.

. . . . The deployment included 40 land based ballistic launchers, including 60 missiles in five missile regiments. The medium range missiles had a range of 1,200 miles, the long-range ones, 2,400 miles. In addition, there were to be 140 air-defense missile launchers to protect the sites. Accompanying then would be a Russian army of 45,000 men with four motorized rifle regiments and over 250 units of armor. There would also be a wing of MIG-21 fighters, with 40 nuclear armed IL-28 bombers. Finally, there was to be a submarine missile base with an initial deployment of eleven submarines, seven of them capable of launching one megaton nuclear warheads. In addition, there were low-yield tactical nuclear weapons for coastal defense in case of an invasion. . . . 

Following the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy sought to woo Castro away from the Soviet Union with a diplomatic rapprochement between Cuba and the U.S.

Using U.S. diplomat William Atwood, French journalist Jean Daniel and American journalist Lisa Howard as intermediaries, JFK was seeking to normalize U.S./Cuban relations.

The CIA and its anti-Castro Cuban contingent learned of the negotiations, and undertook a number of covert operations, such as the Pawley/Bayo/Martino raid to break up the negotiations.

Program Highlights Include:

The roles of many of the “Dramatis Personae” who figure in Jim Garrison’s investigation into the JFK assassination in anti-Castro Cuban intrigue, including:

1.–David Ferrie’s work as a paramilitary trainer at camps used to train anti-Castro guerrillas and as a pilot on various “ops” against Castro.
2.–Clay Shaw’s work organizing CIA anti-Castro Cuban activities, particularly in the New Orleans area.
3.–Guy Banister’s “detective agency,” which served as a front for paramilitary operations against Castro’s Cuba and also as a cover for Lee Harvey Oswald’s role as a faux Castro supporter and Fair Play For Cuba member.
4.–Bernardo de Torres’ participation in the Bay of Pigs and subsequent anti-Castro activities, as well as his work with silenced weapons developer Mitchell WerBell and as an infiltrator into Garrison’s office.
5.–Eladio Del Valle’s work with David Ferrie, among others, and his brutal murder.
6.-Sergio Arcacha Smith’s role as a key official of the CIA front organization CRC and his links to many other figures in Garrison’s investigation.
7.–CIA officer David Atlee Phillips and his work against Castro, as well as against the U.S. Castro support group Fair Play For Cuba. In a 1988 conversation with his estranged brother shortly before his death, Phillips admitted having been in Dallas when Kennedy was killed.
8.–Future Watergate burglar James McCord’s work with Phillips against the FPCC.
9.–Antonio Veciana’s work with Alpha 66, arguably the most militant of the anti-Castro exile groups and his mysterious control officer “Maurice Bishop,” who appears to have been David Atlee Phillips.
10.–Future Watergate Burglar E. Howard Hunt’s collaboration with Allen Dulles and Charles Murphy on the anti-Kennedy Fortune Magazine article, as well as his work on the Bay of Pigs operation.


The Crusade For Freedom and the Assassination of President Kennedy

We have spoken for years about The Crusade For Freedom, a covert operation with both foreign and domestic venues. Abroad, the CFF was a vehicle for financing the use of Eastern European Third Reich alumni as “fascist freedom fighters” in paramilitary operations in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Domestically, the CFF spawned a Nazi branch of the Republican Party, with roots in the Third Reich and the Reinhard Gehlen spy organization. Many of CFF’s members figure in the milieu of the JFK assassination:
” . . . . Members of the Texas Crusade for Freedom would become a who’s who of Texans connected to the events surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy. In addition to Neil Mallon, members included [Paul] Raigorodsky, Lewis W. MacNaughton, Everette De Golyer, and Dallas mayor Earle Cabell, brother of Charles Cabell, who was Allen Dulles’s deputy CIA director [fired by JFK for his conduct in the Bay of Pigs operation along with Dulles himself]. Another member was D. Harold Byrd, who owned the building in downtown Dallas that would become known as the Texas School Book Depository. Another member was E.M. “Ted” Dealey, publisher of “The Dallas Morning News,” who was a harsh critic of Kennedy. . . .”