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FTR #1058, FTR #1059 and FTR #1060 The Christian West, Parts 1, 2 and 3: Contextual Foundation of the Jim DiEugenio Interviews

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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 #1053 Interview #22 with Jim DiEugenio about “Destiny Betrayed”

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 twenty-second in a planned long series of interviews with Jim DiEugenio about his triumphal analysis of President Kennedy’s assassination and New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s heroic investigation of the killing.

This program continues examination of the House Select Committee on Assassinations.

Eventually, the collaborationist mainstream media began an assault on Richard Sprague and the work of the committee. The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post began the assault, which quickly drew blood. . . .

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; pp. 333-334.

. . . . The only time he ever had his credentials questioned was during the six months he agreed to swerve as counsel to the HSCA. And that is simply because he was going to supervise a real investigation of the JFK case. Yet, the same thing happened to him as happened to Jim Garrison. In fact, like Garrison, Sprague was also even accused of being in bed with the Mafia. When the first press attacks began. HSCA staffer Chris Sharrett remembers thinking, ‘It’s Garrison all over again.’ Or, as Joe Rauh, who knew Sprague from Philadelphia and had a front row seat to the controversy in Washington said, ‘You know, I never thought the Kennedy case was a conspiracy until now. But if they can do that to Dick Sprague, it must have been.’ With Sprague’s resignation, the House Select Committee survived. The interim Chief Counsel was Tanenbaum with Al Lewis, a friend and colleague of Sprague’s as his deputy. . . .

In the interim, between Sprague’s resignation and the ascension of G. Robert Blakey to the Chief Counsel position, George DeMohrenschildt died of a shotgun wound to the head.

DeMohrenschildt: was part of the family that managed 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); was a suspected Nazi spy in World War II; was an associate of George H.W. Bush; was a longtime CIA asset; was a petroleum geologist.

DeMohrenschildt implemented the Oswalds’ introduction to the White Russian milieu in Dallas. Of particular significance for our purpose is the fact that he made contact with the couple at the suggestion of J. Walton Moore, who was the primary CIA officer in the Dallas area!

The White Russians appeared to be working to separate Marina and Lee, and were involved in handling Marina after the assassination.

A long-standing CIA asset, DeMohrenschildt had worked with the agency on numerous projects in Yugoslavia, Haiti and elsewhere. Suspected of having spied on the Aransas Pass Coast Guard Station (in Texas) for the Third Reich, DeMohrenschildt was the cousin of Baron Kontantin Maydell, who oversaw Abwehr operations in the U.S. for a time. (The Abwehr was German military intelligence.)

As discussed in FTR #712, we highlighted DeMohrenschildt’s links to former CIA director George H.W. Bush, for whom CIA headquarters is named. In that same program, we covered Bush’s involvement  in the JFK assassination. LIke DeMohrenschildt and many of the White Russians who associated with the Oswalds in the Dallas area, Bush had roots in the petroleum industry.

Noteworthy in the context of Oswald’s presence in Dallas, is that this alleged traitor was employed by Jaggars, Chiles and Stovall, a firm that did classified work for the military, including projects associated with the U-2 spy plane! That the “traitor” Oswald, who offered to disclose classified information about the U-2 and U.S. aviation operations to the Soviets could be employed by such a firm is unthinkable, IF we are to take the official version of Oswald at face value.

Ultimately, DeMohrenschildt handed the Oswalds–Lee and Marina–off to the “Quaker liberals” Michael and Ruth Paine.

DeMohrenschildt’s death was ruled a suicide, but the circumstances surrounding his demise are noteworthy.

At the time he died, DeMohrenschildt was networking with a Dutch journalist named Willem Oltmans, who began spreading disinformation after DeMohrenschildt’s demise. DeMohrenschildt was also networking with journalist Edward Epstein, who pressed the “Soviets did it” meme for a time and whose behavior vis a vis DeMohrenschildt is questionable.

Prior to his death, DeMohrenschildt was undergoing psychiatric treatment, apparently including electro-shock therapy, from a Dallas physician named Mendoza. DeMohrenschildt’s widow thinks the treatments may have had something to do with her husband’s death.

The physical evidence in connection with DeMohrenschildt’s death suggests the distinct possibility of foul play.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 337.

. . . . Even though a coroner’s inquest ruled his death as self-inflicted, there are some serious questions about DeMohrenschildt’s demise. First, according to the crime scene report and the autopsy, there was not any exit wound to the rear of the skull. Yet DeMohrenschildt allegedly placed a shotgun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. It’s true that shotgun shells disperse more quickly than jacketed bullets. But his shot was almost within contact distance. Neither the maid nor the cook heard the shotgun blast, even though both women were right below the room that DeMohrenschildt was in at the time. The police also had problems explaining the blood spatter on the wall. When a blood spurt hits a flat surface, it creates a different pattern than if it hits a surface that is perpendicular to it. In looking at photographs of the spatter pattern, it appears that the bathroom door was closed at the time the shooting took place, because the blood pattern looked continuous. But the police said this was not the case. The bathroom door was open at the time. The testifying officer demeaned the jurors for asking this question and then jumped to a new topic. But it would appear that someone altered the crime scene afterwards. The final oddity about the scene is the position of the weapon after death. It fell trigger side up, parallel to the chair DeMohrenschildt was in, with the barrel resting at his feet and the butt of the rifle away from him and to his left. The police had a problem with this issue and so did the inquest jurors. As author Jerry Rose has noted, this strange positioning of the rifle suggests it was “placed” by someone.

Ms. Tilton was not at home at the time of DeMohrenschildt’s death. But she had left strict instructions for the maid to record her favorite TV programs. The home had an alarm system which caused a quiet bell to ring, anytime an outside door or window was opened. During the hearing, the tape of the program was played. When it was the alarm bell went off and then the gun blast was heard. . . .

Subsequently, writer Jerry Policoff felt that Oltmans was threatening him and that the Dutch journalist was a malefactor.

An initial candidate to replace Richard Sprague was former Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, who had been JFK’s Secretary of Labor.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 339.

. . . . Former Justice of the Supreme Court Arthur Goldberg was one candidate who turned down the job. Al Lewis had talked Goldberg into filling the position. But Goldberg had one reservation. He wanted to know if the CIA would cooperate with him. Lewis suggested calling up Stansfield Turner, President Carter’s CIA Director. So Lewis called him and told him Goldberg wanted to talk with him. He put Goldberg on the line and the candidate asked Turner if he could guarantee the Agency would cooperate if he became Chief Counsel. A long silence ensued. It got so long and so quiet that Goldberg turned to Lewis and said, ‘I’m not sure if he’s there anymore.’ Lewis suggested that he say something. So Goldberg asked if he was still on the line and Turner said he was.  Goldberg asked him for an answer to his question. Turner said, ‘I though my silence was my answer.’ . . . .

Eventually, the HSCA settled on G. Robert Blakey as Chief Counsel and Richard (Dick) Billings as a key aide. Both had been involved with tarring Jim Garrison with the Mafia brush in a 1967 Life Magazine series.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 276.

. . . . But [David] Chandler’s most serious blast against Garrison and his inquiry was a two-part article written for Life in the fall of 1967. This appeared in the September 1 and September 8 issues of the magazine. The pieces masqueraded as an expose of Mafia influence in large cities in America at the time. But the real target of the piece was not the mob, but Garrison. The idea was to depict him as a corrupt New Orleans DA who had some kind of nebulous ties to the Mafia and Carlos Marcello. There were four principal participants in the pieces: Chandler, Sandy Smith, Dick Billings, and Robert Blakey. Smith was the actual billed writer. And since Smith was a long-time asset of the FBI, it is very likely that the Bureau was the Bureau was the originating force behind the magazine running the piece. . . .

. . . . It was the work of Chandler, a friend of both Clay Shaw and Kerry Thornley, which was the basis of the completely phony concept that Garrison was somehow in bed with the Mafia and his function was to steer attention from their killing of Kennedy. . . .

Blakey:

1.–Effectively eclipsed the New Orleans leads developed by Jim Garrison.
2.–Bought into the Magic Bullet Theory.
3.–Eclipsed evidence about “Oswald’s” sniper’s nest in the Texas School Book Depository.

Most importantly, Blakey gave the intelligence services the right to veto what information would go into the committee’s report.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 350.

” . . . . When Robert Blakey took charge of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, he agreed to do something that Richard Sprague would not. In return for access to classified materials, members and employees f the committee signed agreements pledging not to disclose any information they garnered while doing their work. Then, when Blakey, Gary Cornwell, and Dick Billings edited the report and volumes, the agencies they made agreements that [the agencies] were allowed to veto what information was included in the published volumes. This is the reason that the HSCA report on Mexico City–assembled by two law students of Blakey’s from Cornell–was not part of the published volumes in 1979. For when it came time to vet the report for release, Blakey, Ed Lopez and Dan Hardway met with the CIA representatives. The Agency made so many objections, it took four hours to get through the first two paragraphs. The report is over 300 pages long. It was therefore classified until the ARRB was created. And then it had to go through several reviews. But even today, an annex to the report, ‘Was Oswald an Agent of the CIA’ has not been released. This long classified report confirms that, as Garrison wrote in 1968, the Commission version of what happened in Mexico City was deliberately covered in mist. . . .

Near the end of his investigation, Blakey was on the receiving end of some questionable behavior from CIA liaison Regis Blahut:

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 340.

. . . . Toward the end, when CIA liaison Regis Blahut was caught mishandling Kennedy’s autopsy photos while they were secured in a safe, the Agency offered Blakey four ways to do an inquiry of what had happened. The main object being to see if Blahut was part of  a larger operation to undermine the HSCA. One option was to do the inquiry through the D.C. police, another was through the FBI, and the third was an internal HSCA inquiry. The last was to have the CIA do it. Even though the Agency officers at this meeting strongly encouraged Blakey not to choose them to do the investigation, he still did. The reporting officer, Haviland Smith, made the only conclusion he could from this meeting He wrote that his interpretation of what Blakey wanted was the Agency ‘to go ahead with the investigation of Blahut and that he expects us to come up with a clean bill of health for the CIA.’ Which, of course, they did despite the fact that Blahut flunked three polygraph tests. When the author talked to HSCA staffer Eddie Lopez about this matter, I told him that in reading these memoranda, I was struck by  how friendly Blakey was with these CIA officers. That is, what a  seemingly easy rapport he had with them. I said, ‘You know, Eddie he talks to them . . . “Lopez interrupted me in mid-sentence and completed the thought for me: ‘He talks to them like he’s one of them.’ . . . .”

We note that, during the early phase of the HSCA’s investigation, George H.W. Bush was in charge of the CIA. George Joannides, who managed the DRE for CIA, was the Agency’s main liaison to the HSCA.


FTR #1052 Interview #21 with Jim DiEugenio about “Destiny Betrayed”

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 twenty-first in a planned long series of interviews with Jim DiEugenio about his triumphal analysis of President Kennedy’s assassination and New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s heroic investigation of the killing.

This program undertakes examination of the House Select Committee on Assassinations.

The HSCA coalesced after a showing of the Zapruder film on television cued a dramatic increase in people who were interested in the JFK assassination. Representative Tom Downing of Virginia was instrumental in realizing the project.

Ultimately, respected Pennsylvania prosecutor Richard Sprague became the committee’s Chief Counsel, recruiting skilled aides like the late Gaeton Fonzi and Robert Tanenbaum. Networking with, among others, Pennsylvania Senator Richard Schweiker, Sprague, Tanenbaum, Fonzi et al quickly concluded that the Warren Commission was covering up the assassination and highlighted the ridiculous nature of CE399–the so-called “Magic Bullet,” which is the evidentiary core of the Warren Commission’s thesis.

Initially, the HSCA began doing some serious work, investigating and analyzing the New Orleans connections that Garrison investigated. In addition to the Shaw, Banister, Ferrie Oswald relationships, the role of David Phillips, aka “Maurice Bishop,” became a substantive focal point of their work.

Gaeton Fonzi’s work for the committee focused on:

1.–CIA officer Bernardo DeTorres’ professional career, including his work with Mitchell Werbell.
2.–David Phillips/”Maurice Bishop.”
3.–The Rose Cheramie foreshadowing of the assassination.
4.–Sergio Arcacha Smith’s numerous links to the assassination, including his possible work running guns with Jack Ruby and CIA contract agent Tomas Eli Davis.
5.–Freeport Sulphur, its networking with both Clay Shaw and David Ferrie and its ownership by the Eastern Elite.
6.–The role of Jock Whitney in Freeport Sulphur.
The publisher of The New York Herald Tribune, Whitney worked late into the evening of 11/22/1963, apparently on an editorial that featured the book The Assassins, which claimed that America’s assassinations were the work of “crazed individuals.” The book was later distributed to members of the Warren Commission by none other than Allen Dulles.

The program goes into the discovery made by researcher John Hunt of the handling of the Magic Bullet, CE399.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 345.

. . . . And the proof is that both the Warren Commission and the HSCA  signed onto the ludicrous Single Bullet Theory. A theory that has been rendered even more risible today than it was in the sixties and seventies. For researcher John Hunt has proven with declassified documents that the so-called Magic Bullet was at the FBI lab in Washington at 7:30 p.m. on the night of the twenty-second. But how could this be if that bullet was not turned over by the Secret Service to FBI agent Elmer Lee Todd until 8:50 p.m.? In other words, lab technician Robert Frazier had booked CE399 into his reords one hour and twenty minutes before it was given to him by agent Todd. But further, Todd’s initials were said by the FBI to be on this bullet he dropped off with Frazier that night. Hunt saw the blow up photos of the entire circumference of CE 399 at the National Archives. The FBI lied on this key issue. For Todd’s initials are not on the bullet.

All one needs to know about the efficacy of the HSCA is that it never took the time to do what John Hunt did. . . .

Eventually, the collaborationist mainstream media began an assault on Richard Sprague and the work of the committee. The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post began the assault, which quickly drew blood. . . .


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

This is the twentieth in a planned long series of interviews with Jim DiEugenio about his triumphal analysis of President Kennedy’s assassination and New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s heroic investigation of the killing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Key elements of discussion and analysis on this topic include:

1.–Warren Commission counsels David Slawson and William Coleman relied on CIA and FBI liaison for their information. Specifically, they relied on counterintelligence chief James Jesus Angleton and and his aide Ray Rocca for their information. NB: Mr. Emory erred at one point in this interview, identifying Richard Helms a head of the CIA, he was Deputy Director of the Agency at this point in time.
2.–Slawson even considered joining the CIA at this point. We can but wonder if, in fact, he did just that.
3.–Richard Helms appointed Angleton to be the main liaison for the Agency to the Warren Commission. Recall that Angleton and Ray Rocca were in charge of the Oswald pre-assassination files.
4.–Angleton and the FBI’s William Sullivan coordinated their response concerning Oswald having ties to U.S. intelligence agencies, denying that that was, in fact, the case.
5.–A handful of CIA officers known as the SAS (not to be confused with the British commando organization with the same initials) developed an interest in Oswald weeks before the assassination.
6.–Slawson and Coleman relied on CIA station chief Winston Scott when in Mexico City.
7.–Sylvia Duran, employed at the Cuban embassy in Mexico City, reported the “Lee Harvey Oswald” with whom she met as ” . . . being short, about five foot, six inches, blond and over thirty years old. Oswald was five foot, nine inches, dark haired, and twenty-four years old. . . .” (p. 349.)
8.–Duran noted that the procedure used by the Oswald impostor to obtain a visa was suspicious: ” . . . . “They [U.S. communists, which “Oswald” allegedly was] usually followed a procedure, arranged for by the American Communist Party, which allowed them to obtain a visa in advance through the Cuban Communist Party. . . The fact that Oswald did not do this was revealing. It seemed to suggest that either Oswald was not a real communist, or that people inside the communist circles in America thought he was an agent provocateur. They therefore did not trust him. . . .” (pp. 349-350.)
9.–The phone calls made to Sylvia Duran at the Cuban embassy contain significant discrepancies: ” . . . . Duran stated firmly that after the twenty-seventh, when Oswald had failed to secure his special visa, he did not call her back. Again, someone embroidered this for the Commission. For in the Warren Report, she is quoted as saying ” . . . . she does not recall whether or not Oswald later telephoned her at the Consulate number she gave him.” This was an important discrepancy in testimony. Because, as we shall see, there was another call to the Russian consulate on Saturday the twenty-eighth [of September, 1963]. The CIA claims this call was by Duran, with Oswald also on the line. But if Duran’s recall is correct, then the CIA evidence is spurious. . . .” (p. 350.)
10.–When G. Robert Blakey and his associate Richard Billings assumed control over the HSCA, they made a significant concession: ” . . . . In return for access to classified materials, members and employees f the committee signed agreements pledging not to disclose any information they garnered while doing their work. The, when Blakey, Gary Cornwell, and Dick billings edited the report and volumes, the agencies they made agreements that [the agencies] were allowed to veto what information was included in the published volumes. . ..” (p. 350.)
11.–While “Oswald” was supposedly in Mexico City, Sylvia Odio was visited by three men, one whom was identified as “Leon Oswald,” an ex-Marine, an excellent shot, and someone who felt that JFK should be assassinated for failing to support the Bay of Pigs invasion. ” . . . . After reading the Warren Report, [HSCA’s first Chief Counsel Richard] Sprague wondered why the commission chose to discount the testimony of Silvia Odio. . . . When she first heard of Oswald’s involvement with the Kennedy assassination, she immediately recalled the visit of the three men. That afternoon she became very fearful, so much so that she fainted. She then met with her sister, ans and they had both been watching television with Oswald’s photo on the screen, they both realized he was the man who thought the Cubans should have killed Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs. . . .” (pp. 350-351.)
12.–The Odio incident created problems for the Warren Commision: ” . . . . The third problem, the one that bothered Sprague, was that the dates of the visit clashed with the dates that Oswald was supposed to be going to Mexico. . . .” (p. 352.)
13.–To discredit Sylvia Odio, Warren Commission counsel Wesley Liebler impugned her sexual mores: ” . . . . Odio described what happened next to Fonzi and the Church Committee: ‘Not only that, he invited me to his room upstairs to see some pictures. I did go, I went to his room. I wanted to see how far a government investigator would go and what they were trying to do to a witness. . . . He showed me pictures, he made advances, yes, but I told him he was crazy.’ Liebler wasn’t through. To show her what kind of operation the Commission really was, he told her that they had seen her picture and joked about it at the Warren Commission. They said things like what a pretty girl you are going to see Jim. . . . For HSCA staff lawyer Bill Triplett told this author that the reason that chairman Earl Warren did not believe Sylvia Odio is that she was some kind of a ‘loose woman.’ . . .” (pp. 352-353.)
14.–The linguistic capabilities of the “Oswald” who allegedly was contacting the Cuban and Soviet embassies in Mexico City are contradictory: ” . . . . it has Oswald speaking fluent Spanish, which no one has ever said Oswald did. Further, the HSCA report says that Oswald spoke poor, broken Russian. Yet both Marina Oswald and George DeMohrenschildt said Oswald spoke Russian quite well upon his return to the United States. Further, professional translator Peter Gregory thought Oswald was fluent enough to give him a letter certifying Oswald’s ability to serve as a translator. . . .” (p. 353.)
15.–The “Oswald” photographed in Mexico City was obviously an impostor: ” . . . . The CIA had multiple still cameras set up outside the Cuban embassy in Mexico City to catch everyone coming out of and going inside in order to secure a visa to Cuba. When, at the request of the Commission, the FBI asked the CIA for a photo of Oswald entering the consulate, they got Commissin Exhibit 237. This is a picture of a husky six footer with a crew-cut. Obviously not Oswald. . . . In Owald’s combined five visits to the Cuban consulate and Soviet consulate, the battery of CIA cameras failed to get even one picture of him entering or leaving. In other words, they were zero for ten. And the camera right outside the Cuban consulate was pulse activated. . . . ” (pp. 353-354.)
16.–Both David Phillips and his assistant Anne Goodpasture were involved in multiple obfuscations of the facts: ” . . . . Anne Goodpasture was in charge of the ‘daily take’ from both target embassies. That is the photographs taken from outside and the clandestine tape recordings made from inside the compounds. This is important because she then would have been the first person to see a photo of Oswald. Therefore, she should have sent for a photo of Oswald from Langley in a timely manner while Oswald was still in Mexico City. She did not. . . .” (p. 354.)
17.–Next, we highlight more of Phillips’s obstruction of the investigation: ” . . . . Phillips said that they had no audio tapes because they ‘recycled their tapes every seven or eight days.’ The tapes were actually recycled every ten days. But they were held for a longer time if so requested. Further, if any American citizen spoke broken Russian inside the Soviet consulate, the tape would be sent to Washington. Because he would be considered of possible operational interest to the Soviets. . . . Phillips also told [HSCA counsel Robert] Tanenbaum that the reason the CIA did not have a photo of Oswald was because their camera was out that day. This appears to be another lie. First of all, Oswald went to the Soviet consulate on two different days, the twenty-seventh and twenty-eighth. So all three of the cameras covering the site would have had to have been out on both days. . . .” (p. 354.)
18.–Phillips also dissembled concerning a cable sent to CIA headquarters: ” . . . . The surveillance of the Russian consulate revealed that by October 1, the CIA knew that “Oswald” was in direct contact with those who worked there, such as Valery Kostikov of the KGB. But yet, the cable alerting headquarters to this fact did not arrive until a week later, October 8, Phillips tried to explain this delay by blaming the translators. He then said he knew that this was the case since he signed off on the cable. Hardway and Lopez found out that Phillips did not sign off on the cable, since it did not deal in any way with Cuban matters. But even worse, he could not have signed off on it because he was not in Mexico City at the time. The likely reason the cable was sent out so late was to keep Oswald’s profile low while he was allegedly in Mexico City. . . .” (pp. 354-355.)
19.–Oswald’s file at CIA began to be bifurcated: ” . . . . On or about September 23, Angleton began to bifurcate Oswald’s file. the FBI reports on Oswald’s Fair Play for Cuba Committee activities in New Orleans went into a new operational file, separate from his 201 file. Therefore, the bizarre things Oswald was doing in New Orleans . . . .were all kept out of his 201 file. So when the late arriving cable finally did come into CIA HQ from Mexico City about Oswald in the Soviet consulate, this was kept separate from his New Orleans activities. Then two different cables were sent out on October 10. One was sent to the Bureau, the State Department, and the Navy, describing a man who doesn’t fit Oswald’s description: he is thirty-five years old, has an athletic build, and stands six feet tall. This description resembles the Mystery Man photo. . . .” (pp. 355-356.)
20.–An altogether remarkable and revealing aspect of the “Oswald” in Mexico City gambit concerns the FBI’s “FLASH” notice on Oswald: ” . . . . Oswald was not placed on the FBI’s Security Index list which was passed on to the Secret Service in advance of Kennedy’s visit to Dallas. If he had been on that list, the Secret Service would have made sure he was not on the motorcade route, since he constituted a clear risk to President Kennedy. One reason he was not on the list is because the FBI “FLASH” on Oswald, which had been in effect since his defection in 1959 was removed. This warning required any information or inquiry on the subject to e immediately forwarded to the Espionage Section of Division Five, the Domestic Intelligence unit. Incredibly, the “FLASH” was canceled on October 9, 1963. In other words, after being attached to Oswald’s file for four years, it was removed just hours after he cable from Mexico City arrived in Washington reporting Oswald’s visit to the Soviet compound and meeting with Kostikov . . . .” (p. 356.)
21.–In light of Valery Kostikov’s identity, the FBI’s behavior is more than a little interesting: ” . . . . Kostikov’s true identity was revealed. His was the KGB unit responsible for assassinations in the Western Hemisphere. After being methodically lulled to sleep . . . this information must have felt like a hard punch to the jaw. Oswald had met with the KGB representative for assassination seven weeks before Kennedy arrived in Dallas. Yet, he was allowed to be in the building behind where the President’s limousine would be driving. And no one in the FBI or Secret Service did anything for nearly two months. The diabolical trap had been sprung. Hoover had no choice. He went into CYA overdrive. . . .” (p. 357.)
22.–In response to a telephoned question from Lyndon Baines Johnson, Hoover revealed that his agents had heard the tapes of “Oswald” speaking and seen the photographs of “Oswald” visiting the Mexico City diplomatic posts, but that neither the calls, nor the picture was the real Lee Harvey Oswald. ” . . . . Hoover replied that this was all very confusing. He said that they had a tape and a photo of a man who was at the Soviet consulate using Oswald’s name. But, ‘That picture and the tape do not correspond to this man’s voice, nor to his appearance. In other words, it appears that there is a second person who was at the Soviet Embassy down there.’ On that same day, Hoover wrote a memorandum in which he said that two FBI agents who had been questioning Oswald heard this tape and concluded that the voice on the tape was not Oswald’s. . . .” (p. 357.)
23.–In order to resolve the contradictions that the FBI had highlighted about “Oswald” in Mexico City, the lie was generated that the tapes had been destroyed before the assassination. Yet, Stanley Watson demonstrated otherwise: ” . . . . CIA officer and Deputy Station Chief Stanley Watson testified to the HSCA that at least one recording existed after the assassination. Further, the man who was first in charge of the CIA’s inquiry for the Warren Commission, John Whitten, wrote that while some tapes had been erased, some of ‘the actual tapes were also reviewed,’ and that another copy of the October 1 ‘intercept on Lee Oswald’ had been ‘discovered after the assassination. . . .” (p. 358.)
24.–In 1971, after the death of former Mexico City station chief Winston Scott, his widow was threatened with removal of her survivor benefits if she did not permit CIA counterintelligence chief James Angleton access to her late husband’s safe: ” . . . . April 28, 1971 was the day after Janet Scott buried her husband Winston Scott. When she heard of Scott’s death, Anne Goodpasture told James Angleton about the contents of the former Mexico City station chief’s safe. On that day, on a mission approved by Richard Helms, James Angleton flew to Mexico City. He was in such a hurry that he forgot his passport. And if the recordings were of the same false Oswald’s voice on tape, it would endanger the cover story about those tapes being destroyed prior to the assassination. After entering the house, Angleton vaguely threatened Janet’s widow’s benefits. He then had scott’s safe emptied. The contents were shipped by plane to Langley, Virginia. The man most responsible for creating first, the Oswald legend, then the design of the doomsday scenario to the plot had now disposed of a last obstruction to his handiwork. . . .” (p. 361.)


FTR #1050 Interview #19 with Jim DiEugenio about “Destiny Betrayed”

Guy Banister employee Tommy Baumler: ” . . . . whatever happens, the Shaw case will end without punishment for him [Shaw], because federal power will see to that.”

This is the nineteenth 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 the context of the then CIA director Richard Helms’ memo that Garrison’s should be neutralized before, during and after the Clay Shaw trial, we highlight the media attacks against Garrison that continued after the trial.

The media hit pieces continued during Garrison’s attempt at trying Clay Shaw for perjury.  Look magazine did a hit piece on Garrison featuring many of the “Usual Suspects,” including William  Gurvich, one of the infiltrators into Jim Garrison’s investigative trial who then collaborated with Shaw’s defense team.

Officially the piece was written by Warren Rogers, whose institutional affiliations bear relating:

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 313.

. . . . Rogers, like Phelan and Sandy Smith, was a reliable asset of the FBI. That is, he could be contacted to do favors for them when called upon. The public did not know this until the 1979 posthumous publication of William Sullivan’s book about the FBI called The Bureau. Sullivan had beena top echelon officer in the FBI for many years. In his book there is a chapter entitled “Flacking for the Bureau.” Listed as one of the reporters who would often write articles with information fed to them by the FBI was Warren Rogers. . . .

Hunter Leake–in charge of CIA operations in New Orleans–kept the teletype machine they had installed during Shaw’s criminal trial  in place until after the proposed perjury trial.

An altogether remarkable change of venue occurred, after Shaw’s lawyers had received copies of Garrison’s investigative documents for Shaw’s perjury trial! 

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 313.

. . . . After having been in receipt of Garrison’s briefing papers for the perjury trial, Shaw’s attorneys finally tried for a temporary restraining order to stop Garrison’s case from proceeding. This was initially denied. But then, on January 18, 1971, the day the state trial was to begin, a motion for emergency relief was granted. This was unusual because the federal judiciary does not often intervene in state prosecutions. But Shaw’s lawyers wrote that Shaw would suffer “grave and irreparable injury” as the result of the state perjury case which had been brought in “bad faith” and “in furtherance of Garrison’s scheme of harassment and intimidation.” A hearing on whether or not to grant the preliminary injunction was set for January 25, 1971, just one week after the state trial was to begin. In other words, Shaw’s lawyers needed almost no preparation time for the new venue and the new hearing, which they likely had been preparing for in advance, since they had an intimation that they would be successful in switching the venue.

They were counting on Herbert Christenberry. Christenberry was the federal judge who presided over this hearing. To understand what happened thee, one must understand who Christenberry was. . . .

In 1935, Louisiana governor Huey Long was assassinated, and Herbert Christenberry covered for the true conspirators, who were a group of operators from Standard Oil, who were plotting to take over the reigns of the Louisiana state government.

Christenberry and his wife Caroline were friends and supporters of Clay Shaw!

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; pp. 315-316.

. . . . The other piece of information that helps elucidate what Christenberry did was found in the National Archives as part of Shaw’s personal papers. It is a letter from Christenberry’s  wife Caroline to Shaw which was sent a week after his acquittal. It begins like this: “Our most sincere congratulations! We shared your anxieties over the past two outrageous years.” The reader should note the wife’s sentiments. Te note goes on with: “Should your case have eventually found its way to Federal Court and been allotted to my husband you most certainly would have had a fair trial. He felt we should not risk the possible of being considered ‘prejudiced’ in advance. This is our reason for not openly expressing these sentiments earlier.’ As if Shaw did not have a fair trial the first time around? The reader should note the quotes around the word prejudiced. That usage and the sentence’s meaning clearly denotes that Christenberry was ferociously biased for Shaw and against Garrison. But he did not want anyone to know that. . . . the fact that this was sent in 1969 clearly influenced his lawyers’ strategy for the perjury case. . . . .

. . . . The three day hearing might have been scripted by Hugh Aynesworth. . . . For example, William Gurvich was allowed to testify as to the fraudulence of Garrison’s investigation. . . . Garrison, not Shaw, was actually placed on the witness stand and asked to explain why he ever called in Shaw for questioning in the first place. In other words, at the Wegmanns’ request, Christenberry was asking the DA to give away his planned upcoming case against the defendant. . . .

After the foregone conclusion of the Shaw perjury trial, the Richard Helms/CIA directive to neutralize Garrison after the Clay Shaw trial continued to be manifested. Garrison was framed for allegedly taking kickbacks from an illegal payoff scheme from organized-crime linked pinball machine operators. Key points about this gambit:

1.–The recruiting by the government of Pershing Gervais to concoct phony “evidence” against Garrison.
2.–Garrison’s cross-examination of the pinball operators and the determination that the evidence against him was nonexistent. None of the operators testified to paying Garrrison and/or his assistants any money or even knowing him.
3.–Gervais was shipped to Canada and given a job at General Motors, as well as an annual stipend from the Justice Department!
4.–The tapes Gervais had allegedly made of Garrison while the former was wearing a wire were determined to be phony.
5.–The sums Gervais claimed to have moved from Garrison were not even consistent within the various accounts that he gave.
6.–Pershing eventually “rolled over” on the government, admitting that he was recruited in a criminal enterprise by the government to frame Garrison.

Perhaps the most effective, long-lasting element in the post-Shaw trial destruction of Jim Garrison was the election of Justice Department official Harry Connick to succeed Garrison as DA.

Key points of discussion and analysis about Connick:

1.–He was seemingly omnipresent in Clay Shaw’s criminal trial, operating to obstruct Garrison and aid Clay Shaw and the Federal Government for which he  worked.
2.–Station WDSU–very close to Clay Shaw and the vehicle for both the Walter Sheridan disinformation hit piece on Jim Garrison and the Ed Butler/Carlos Bringuier interview of the “Communist” Oswald–was active on behalf of Connick.
3.–The Gurvich brothers, who infiltrated Garrison’s investigation and networked with Clay Shaw’s defense team (with William appearing as a witness in the hearing on Shaw’s perjury trial), were active on behalf of Harry Connick.
4.–Clay Shaw himself, as well as DRE operative Carlos Bringuier contributed to Connick’s election campaign.
5.–In his second campaign to replace Garrison, Connick was successful.
6.–After becoming New Orleans DA, he burned many of Garrison’s files.

Eventually, the money Garrison supposedly garnered from the phony pinball operator kickback scheme led to an IRS charge of income tax evasion. Garrison was acquitted.

Clay Shaw filed a nuisance lawsuit against Garrison for slander/defamation, which was terminated by Clay Shaw’s death, despite the Wegmanns’ attempts at perpetuating it even after their client was deceased.

James Phelan’s protege James Kirkwood continued the media assault on Garrison with the publication of his book American Grotesque, which misrepresented the Garrison investigation.


FTR #1049 Interview #18 with Jim DiEugenio about “Destiny Betrayed”

Guy Banister employee Tommy Baumler: ” . . . . whatever happens, the Shaw case will end without punishment for him [Shaw], because federal power will see to that.”

This is the eighteenth 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.

This interview continues with the analysis of Clay Shaw’s trial.

Exemplifying the power that was marshaled on behalf of Clay Shaw was the treatment accorded FBI agent Regis Kennedy.

Not only did the Department of Justice intercede ahead of time to limit Kennedy’s testimony, but Nixon’s Attorney General John Mitchell “severely curtailed” his testimony “mid-trial.”

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 298.

. . . . The only witness that Garrison was able to produce to inquire into the official investigation of the assassination in New Orleans was FBI agent Regis Kennedy. And even then, by prior arrangement with the Justice Department, Kennedy would only testify about a certain area of his inquiry, namely his interview with Dean Andrews and his consequent search for Clay Bertrand. This limitation hurt the DA since Kennedy was a relevant witness to other aspects of the case. For instance, along with several others, he had been a member of the Friends of Democratic Cuba group set up by Guy Banister and William Dalzell. Further, there were witnesses who put Kennedy in Banister’s office. Therefore, what Kennedy could have told the court about Banister, Ferrie, their association with the Cubans–especially Sergio Artcacha Smith–and Oswald, was very likely considerable. But he was not allowed to testify about any of those important matters. Consequently, when Alcock asked him if he was involved with the investigation into President Kennedy’s death prior to his interview with Andrews, Kennedy said he was not sure if he could answer that question. The discussion then went inside the judge’s chambers. Connick then called Washington. After this, the jury was called back inside. Alcock then asked Kennedy if, prior to his interview with Andrews, had he been engaged in the inquiry into President Kennedy’s assassination. Kennedy replied in the affirmative. Alcock then was allowed to ask the follow-op question, which related to the first: Was Kennedy seeking Clay Bertrand in connection with his overall investigation into the assassination. Kennedy said that he was.

There was a code to all this that Alcock could not have known about. But it was part of the reason that Attorney General John Mitchell severely curtailed Regis Kennedy’s testimony in mid-trial. . . .

A major element in the testimony during Clay Shaw’s trial was the testimony of autopsy surgeon Army Lieutenant Colonel Pierre Finck. The autopsy was being controlled by one of the high-ranking military officers present at the procedure.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 300.

. . . . Finck replied that he was not running the autopsy, it was Commander James Humes. When Oser asked if Humes was actually in charge, Finck made a disclosure which literally changed the face of the autopsy evidence forever. And it should have rocked the news media if [media hatchet man James] Phelan had not been controlling it. Finck replied that Humes actually stopped and asked, “Who is in charge here?” Finck then said he heard an Army General say, “I am.” Finck then added, “You must understand that in those circumstances, there were law enforcement officials, military people with various ranks, and you have to coordinate the operations according to directions”. . . .

Then, Jim notes that Alvin Oser had to ask Finck eight times as to why Finck did not dissect the track of the neck wound. Finck’s response–that he was ordered not to do so by one of the high-ranking officers present, is proof of a conspiracy.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 302.

. . . . [Alvin] Oser then moved on to another key issue that exposed the pathologists as pawns. A very important point about the autopsy is its failure to convincingly prove directionality. That is, from which direction did the bullets enter the body? There have always been serious queries about whether the wound in Kennedy’s throat was an entrance or exit wound. If that wound was one of entrance, then Kennedy was shot at least once from the front. That shot could not have been from Oswald, therefore the murder was a conspiracy. What makes this possibility very real is that Malcolm Perry said during a televised press conference on November 22 that the throat wound was one of entrance. He repeated this three times that day. Since he did the tracheotomy right over that wound, he should certainly know. The best way to have proven this point once and for all was to have dissected the wound track. Amazingly, this was not done. When Oser tried to find out why it was not done, Finck used every evasion he could to avoid answering the question. Going over the transcript of this exchange is a bit startling. The reader will find that Oser had to pose the question eight separate times. It got so bad that Oser even had to request that the judge direct the witness to answer the question. Finck finally answered with, “As I recall I was told not to, but I don’t remember by whom.” Again, someone was controlling the pathology team in a way that prevented them from doing a full and correct autopsy. . . . Further, the fact that the doctors were ordered not to track the wound indicated the military brass may have been trying to cover this point up. . . .

One of Garrison’s strongest weapons in his counterattack against the forces running interference on behalf of Shaw and others involved in the assassination was the Zapruder film, which clearly shows Kennedy’s body being thrown back and to the left, indicating a shot from the front.

Media hatchet man James Phelan who, like Walter Sheridan and Hugh Aynesworth worked with the intelligence services, became a defense witness for Clay Shaw and also played what was, in effect, a supervisory/PR role in presiding over a consortium of journalists covering the Shaw trial.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; pp. 289-290.

. . . . That journalistic duo, Phelan and Ayneswoth, were both on the scene: Phelan as a witness for the defense and Aynesworth to help Shaw’s attorneys. An odd thing about this was that neither man had any ostensible writing assignment at the time. But it turned out that Phelan had a very special function for his backers. Most reporters in town to cover the proceedings rented a hotel room, but not Phelan. Phelan rented a house. Why would he do such a thing if he was not there to write a story? because his was a much bigger assignment. His job was to put the spin on each day’s testimony for the residing press corps, thereby controlling the entire national media reportage on the Shaw trial. How did he do such a thing? He would invite all the reporters over to his rented house at the end of each day. He would then serve them refreshments and snacks. He then would spell out the next day’s story on a chalkboard. This is how some of the most interesting and important testimony presented during the proceedings got covered up by the media. On the day the Zapruder film was shown, Phelan had his work cut out for him. For the repeated showing of the film was shown, Phelan had his work cut out for him. For the repeated showing of the film—depicting Kennedy’s body being violently knocked back—really shook up the press. It appeared Garrison was right, it was a conspiracy. But when they arrived at Phelan’s rented house, the reporter pulled a proverbial rabbit out of his hat. He took out his chalkboard, raised up his piece of chalk, and he began to outline the dynamics of the so-called “jet-effect” explanation for the action of the film. That is, if Oswald was firing from behind Kennedy, why does Kennedy’s body recoil with tremendous force to the rear of the car? What Phelan and the jet effect proffer is that somehow, the spurting of blood and brains served as a jet that drove Kennedy’s head backward with overpowering force. This is how determined Phelan was to keep a lid on what came out of the trial. . . .

In our previous program, we highlighted the attempt on booking officer Aloysius Habighorst’s life on the eve of his testimony in the Clay Shaw trial. When he testified, Judge Haggerty refused to allow his testimony into evidence.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; pp. 306-308.

. . . . When Shaw was first arrested in March of 1967, Habighorst had handled the booking. Before having him sign the fingerprint card, the officer had routinely asked if the defendant had ever used an alias. Apparently unsettled by his arrest, Shaw had replied “Clay Bertrand.” Habighorst typed this on the card and Shaw signed it. Alcock now wanted to admit both the card and the officer’s testimony as evidence into the trial. This seemed powerful, damning evidence because it came right out of Shaw’s mouth and hand. . . .The prosecution’s protestations fell on deaf ears. Judge Haggerty would not allow the evidence. . . .

Alcock leaped out of his chair. His face red and his voice cracked with emotion. “Your Honor. Are you ruling on the credibility of officer Habighorst?” . . . .

. . . . “The whole world can hear that I do not believe Officer Habighorst. . . . .”

“I demand a mistrial,” Alcock shouted. “A judge’s unsolicited comment on evidence . . . .”

“Denied,” said Haggerty. . . .

The program concludes with discussion of Harry Connick’s destruction of Garrison’s files and of the government’s efforts to discredit Garison. This will be taken up at greater length in our next program.


FTR #1048 Interview #17 with Jim DiEugenio about “Destiny Betrayed”

Guy Banister employee Tommy Baumler: ” . . . . whatever happens, the Shaw case will end without punishment for him [Shaw], because federal power will see to that.”

This is the seventeenth 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 proceed into New Orleans’ DA Jim Garrison’s actual trial of Clay Shaw.

Before going into the trial, per se, we highlight the “turning” of The New Orleans States-Item. This “turning” features one of the principal infiltrators into Garrison’s office, William Gurvich.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 275.

. . . . From this interview [with Tommy Baumler], what appears to have happened is that the CIA sent someone into New Orleans to impact public opinion about Garrison. This may have been occasioned by a letter forwarded to CIA HQ to Lloyd Ray of the local New Orleans office. . . . William Gurvich, now working with Shaw’s lawyers, visited the offices of The New Orleans States-Item. Ross Yockey and Hoke May had been seriously investigating the Shaw case. And they had been doing that in a fair and judicious manner. They had uncovered some interesting facts about how Gordon Novel’s lawyers were being paid. After Gurvich’s visit, the States-Item pulled Yockey and May from the Garrison beat. When this author interviewed Yockey in 1995, he said that after this, he was then assigned to covering high school football games. With the States-Item now neutralized, the coverage in New Orleans now became imbalanced. . . .

Jim titled the chapter dedicated to the trial “Anti-Climax.” It was indeed an anti-climax after Garrison was subjected to the irresistible engine of the synthesis of: the intelligence community, their lone-wolf operators infiltrating his office, those infiltrators’ networking with the intelligence community’s media hatchet men dedicated to smearing Garrison publicly, Clay Shaw’s defense team and the Justice Department.

Garrison’s investigation was subjected to an onslaught, including outright, state-sponsored terror directed at witnesses.

A synoptic overview of the witnesses and their significance:

1.–Richard Case Nagell–A U.S. intelligence operative infiltrated into Soviet intelligence, and then assigned by KGB to assassinate Oswald, whom they knew was to be a patsy in an assassination plot against JFK for which they would be blamed.
2.–Reverend Clyde Johnson–A right-wing activist who was witness to Clay Shaw and a “Jack Rubion” networking together against JFK.
3.–Aloysius Habighorst–A good New Orleans cop who was the booking officer for Clay Shaw, when Shaw volunteered that he used the alias “Clay Bertrand.”
4.–Edwin McGehee–One of the witnesses connecting Clay Shaw to Oswald and David Ferrie in Clinton, Louisiana.
5.–Reeves Morgan–Another of the witnesses connecting Clay Shaw to Oswald and David Ferrie in Clinton, Louisiana.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 294.

. . . . Before and during the trial, Garrison’s witnesses were being surveilled, harassed, and physically attacked. For instance, Richard Case Nagell had a grenade thrown at him from a speeding car in New York. Nagell brought the remains of the grenade to Garrison and told him he did not think it wise for him to testify at Shaw’s trial. Even though Garrison had spirited Clyde Johnson out of town and very few people knew where he was, the FBI’s total surveillance eventually paid off. He was brutally beaten on the eve of the trial and hospitalized. Aloysius Habighorst, the man who booked Shaw and heard him say his alias was Bertrand, was rammed by a truck the day before he testified. After he testified, Edwin McGehee found a prowler on his front lawn. he called the marshal, and the man was arrested. At the station, the man asked to make one phone call. The call he made was to the International Trade Mart. After he testified, Reeves Morgan had the windows shot out of his truck. What makes all this violent intimidation more startling is what Robert Tanenbaum stated to the author in an interview for Probe Magazine. He said that he had seen a set of documents that originated in the office of Richard Helms. They revealed that the CIA was monitoring and harassing Garrison’s witnesses. . . .

The violent harassment of the witnesses may be viewed against the backdrop of Tom Bethell and Sal Panzeca.

Shaw attorney Sal Panzeca received a list of Garrison witnesses from Garrison office infiltrator Tom Bethell.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 290.

. . . . Tom Bethell had been one of the DA’s key investigators and researchers . . . . Since Garrison had designated him as his chief archivist, he had access to and control of both Garrison’s files and his most recent witness list. . . . Secretly, he met with Sal Panzeca, one of Shaw’s attorneys, and gave him a witness list he had prepared, with summaries of each witness’s expected testimony for the prosecution. . . .

Exemplifying the effective neutralizing of witnesses is the drumbeat of discreditation and intimidation of Perry Russo, a witness to Shaw and Ferrie discussing plans to assassinate JFK. By the time of Clay Shaw’s trial, Russo relented and assented to the canard that the Shaw/Ferrie assassination planning was just a “bull session.”


FTR #1047 Interview #16 with Jim DiEugenio about “Destiny Betrayed”

This is the sixteenth 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.

The program opens with continuation of discussion of an unfortunate piece from The Huffington Post about Clay Shaw. In addition to parroting canards about Garrison’s case being baseless, Clay Shaw being a “Wilsonian/FDR liberal” and Garrison’s nonexistent stance that the JFK assassination was a “homosexual thrill killing” by Clay Shaw & company, the HP piece mentioned an appearance by Jim Garrison on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show.”

The actual story of Garrison’s appearance on Carson is important and interesting. When the brilliant comedian Mort Sahl was on Carson’s show, the subject of the Garrison investigation came up. Sahl asked the audience if they would like to have Garrison come on the show, and they responded with overwhelming enthusiasm.

Eventually, Garrison did appear on the show and Carson engaged in an openly confrontational discussion. Carson was so outraged that he told Mort Sahl that he would never appear on the program again. Mort did not appear on the “Tonight” show until Jay Leno succeeded Carson as the host.

In this regard, it is worth noting that NBC–the network that aired Walter Sheridan’s hit piece on Garrison–has profound connections to the intelligence community, as discussed in FTR #1045.

Jim also relates that, when in Los Angeles, Robert Kennedy was querying China Lee–Mort’s wife at the time–about what Garrison was doing in New Orleans. As we have seen in past programs–including FTR #’s 809, 892, 1005–Robert Kennedy was waiting until he got elected President before opening an investigation into his brother’s murder. Of course, he, too was killed before he could become President.

The program then turns to James Kirkwood, another of the designated media hatchet men who pilloried Garrison. Networked with James Phelan, he helped mint the canard that Garrison prosecuted Shaw in the context of what the DA supposedly saw as a “homosexual thrill killing.” Unfortunately, this nonsense has endured, as a Huffington Post article makes clear.

Another of the media hit men who defamed Garrison was David Chandler:

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 276.

. . . . But Chandler’s most serious blast against Garrison and his inquiry was a two-part article written for Life in the fall of 1967. This appeared in the September 1 and September 8 issues of the magazine. The pieces masqueraded as an expose of Mafia influence in large cities in America at the time. But the real target of the piece was not the mob, but Garrison. The idea was to depict him as a corrupt New Orleans DA who had some kind of nebulous ties to the Mafia and Carlos Marcello. There were four principal participants in the pieces: Chandler, Sandy Smith, Dick Billings, and Robert Blakey. Smith was the actual billed writer. And since Smith was a long-time asset of the FBI, it is very likely that the Bureau was the Bureau was the originating force behind the magazine running the piece. . . .

. . . . It was the work of Chandler, a friend of both Clay Shaw and Kerry Thornley, which was the basis of the completely phony concept that Garrison was somehow in bed with the Mafia and his function was to steer attention from their killing of Kennedy. . . .

The subject then turns to Clay Shaw’s defense team. It should never be forgotten that Shaw’s attorneys networked with: the infiltrators into Garrison’s office, the CIA and the media hatchet men who helped destroy Garrison’s public image.

We return briefly to Guy Johnson, initially a member of Shaw’s defense team. In this context, it is worth remembering what Banister investigator Tommy Baumler said:

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 274.

. . . . In the spring of 1968, Harold Weisberg interviewed Tommy Baumler. Baumler had formerly worked for Guy Banister as part of his corps of student infiltrators in the New Orleans area. Because of that experience, Baumler knew a lot about Banister’s operation. For instance, that Banister’s files were coded, and that Banister had blackmail material on the subjects he kept files on. He also knew the intelligence network in New Orleans was constructed through Banister, Clay Shaw, and Guy Johnson; how close Shaw and Banister were; and that “Oswald worked for Banister.” In Weisberg’s interview with Tommy, he would occasionally ask to go off the record by telling him to turn the tape recorder off. Clearly, there were things going on in New Orleans that Baumler considered too hot to be attributed to him.

At this time, April of 1968, Weisberg considered Baumler to be an “unabashed fascist.” He explained this further by saying that Baumler was ‘aware of the meaning of his beliefs and considers what he describes as his beliefs as proper.” He then explained to Weisberg the following, “that whatever happens, the Shaw case will end without punishment for him [Shaw], because federal power will see to that.” He further said that this would also happen to anyone else charged by Garrison. . . .

In addition to Johnson, Irv Dymond, another Shaw attorney, networked with the intelligence community, Walter Sheridan and the spook infiltrators into Garrion’s office. In FTR #1045, we noted that Fred Leemans claimed he was coerced, in part, directly by Irv Dymond in Dymond’s law office. Dymond worked directly with Hunter Leake of the CIA’s New Orleans office.

Shaw attorneys Edward and William Wegmann also networked with the intelligence community, employing Wackenhut, formerly Southern Research, an intelligence-connected private security outfit to monitor Garrison’s communications.

Another Shaw attorney–Sal Panzeca–received a list of Garrison witnesses from Garrison office infiltrator Tom Bethell.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 290.

. . . . Tom Bethell had been one of the DA’s key investigators and researchers . . . . Since Garrison had designated him as his chief archivist, he had access to and control of both Garrison’s files and his most recent witness list. . . . Secretly, he met with Sal Panzeca, one of Shaw’s attorneys, and gave him a witness list he had prepared, with summaries of each witness’s expected testimony for the prosecution. . . .

The program concludes with the obstructive efforts of then Attorney General Ramsey Clark.

Clark tried to dismiss Clay Shaw’s involvement inthe assassination by claiming that the FBI had cleared him back in 1963.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 261.

. . . . One point man for the Johnson Administration in damaging Garrison’s case was Ramsey Clark. In March of 1867, right after his confirmation as Attorney General by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Clark made an extraordinary intervention into the case: he told a group of reporters Garrison’s case was baseless. The FBI, he said, had already investigated Shaw in 1963 and found no connection between him and the events in Dallas. . . .

Clark also assisted with the quashing of subpoenas that Garrison served.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; pp. 272-273.

. . . . At around this time, Garrison issued subpoenas for both Richard Helms and any photographs of Oswald in Mexico City that the CIA held. . . . [CIA General Counsel Lawrence] Houston then wrote a letter to New Orleans judge Bernard Bagert who had signed the subpoena. He denied there were photos of Oswald in Mexico City. This reply was run by Attorney General Ramsey Clark and White House adviser Harry MacPherson. . . .

Finally, Clark denied Garrison proper access to autopsy photos and information about the assassination.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 287.

. . . . After the Attorney General had bungled his first attempt to discredit Garrison’s case, he secretly tried another method. Garrison had been trying to secure the original JFK autopsy photos and X-rays to exhibit at the trial. They would form an important part of his case, since, to prove a conspiracy, he had to present evidence against the Warren Report, which maintained there was no conspiracy and that Oswald had acted alone. In 1968, Clark convened a panel of experts–which did not include any of the doctors who had performed the original examinations–to review the autopsy photos and X-rays. In early 1969, just a few days before he left office and on the eve of the trial, Clark announced that this panel had endorsed the findings of the Warren Report. The panel released its findings, but none of the original evidence on which it was based. This was clearly meant to influence public opinion before Shaw’s trial began. . . .


FTR #1046 Interview #15 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 fifteenth 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.

This interview begins with an excerpt from the book that encapsulates the synthesis of the intelligence agencies, infiltrators into Garrison’s investigation, media hatchet men designated to destroy Garrison’s reputation and Clay Shaw’s defense team.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; pp. 228-229.

. . . . About Oswald, [Bernardo] DeTorres said he knew he had not killed Kennedy because DeTorres knew the people who were actually involved–and they were talking about it before it happened.

I have detailed the DeTorres penetration at length since it is important in order to understand what really happened to Jim Garrison. And also to reveal just how much was at stake for suspects like Bernardo DeTorres and his allies. As [HSCA investigator Gaeton] Fonzi notes in his book, as the author found out from an interview, when Victor Marchetti was executive assistant to CIA Director Richard Helms, Helms would run staff meetings about Agency operations. During these meetings, Marchetti would take the official notes. At times, Helms would indicate he wanted certain things not taken down. At other times, something would come up, and Helms would cut off any follow-up by waving his hand. He then would add that this subject would be pursued further in his office, with Marchetti not there to take notes. Marchetti said that the Garrison inquiry and the Shaw trial came up more than once. Each time, Helms would ask what they were doing to help the defense. Fonzi later found out that DeTorres’s penetration was only the inception of the CIA’s effort to torpedo Garrison. For the HSCA later discovered through CIA documents that there were nine undercover agents at one time or another in Garrrison’s office. So, in addition to what Mr. King had warned Garrison about, that is the negativity of the media which would now plague him until the end, there was something that King left unsaid. But after he left, assistant Andrew Sciambra noted it to Garrison. He said, “Well, they offered you the carrot, and you turned it down. You know what’s coming next don’t you?”

What we are about to describe in this chapter and the next is something that neither Garrison nor Sciambra could have likely imagined at the time. But with the aid of extensive interviews, plus declassified documents, for the first time we will now outline a three stage program to deconstruct Garrison’s case and to make sure Shaw would be acquitted. This first stage began very early with DeTorres, a man who–while working with Mitch Werbell–may have been involved with Kennedy’s murder. But it will continue with certain other “singleton” penetrations by people like William Gurvich and Gordon Novel. The second stage of the effort will center around the wider efforts of former National Security Agency officer Walter Sheridan in alliance with the CIA and NBC. That effort was coupled with the work of intelligence assets/journalists James Phelan and Hugh Aynesworth. When Garrison would still not give up, a third phase set in with two prongs to it. James Angleton’s office took over in September of 1967, and, as we have previewed, Angleton’s endeavor was then allied to, and expanded all the way up to Director Richard Helms in 1968 and 1969. With operations that could even be discussed in public or for the record. But which, as we shall see, HSCA Deputy Counsel Bob Tanenbaum saw certain documents about. . . .

Continuing and overlapping analysis from the last program, we return to the subject of veteran intelligence operative Gordon Novel, whom we have spoken of in past interviews. In FTR #1044, we synopsized Novel’s activities as a spook and as an infiltrator into Garrison’s investigation: “One of the most important infiltrators was Gordon Novel, a veteran CIA officer, brilliant electronics expert and operational associate of many of the people involved in Garrison’s probe. Novel had been involved with the Bay of Pigs and an arms burglary at a Schlumberger facility, some of the loot from which was stored at a racing business owned in part by Novel. Operating at the direction of Allen Dulles, he infiltrated Garrison’s investigation and bugged his office for the Agency. He also networked with the FBI to monitor Garrison’s probe. Novel also used his position inside Garrison’s probe to smear Garrison in public statements to the media. Novel was able to draw on large financial reserves, the source of which is–technically speaking–opaque. At one point, he had five attorneys working on his behalf. That, in and of itself, would have required more money than Novel appeared to have at his disposal. Most significantly, Novel worked in tandem with Walter Sheridan, a veteran intelligence operative who produced an altogether “special” for NBC about the Garrison investigation. . . .”

In this program, we noted Novel’s work with the FBI, as well as CIA. Noting a bunch of apparent “hangers-on” around his residence, Novel realized that they were FBI. They were interested in having him monitor Garrison for the bureau, which he did. Jim notes that the Wackenhut Corporation (formerly Southern Research) was also monitoring Garrison’s communications. It was an outgrowth of the FBI.

Supplementing analysis of CIA Garrison infiltrator William Martin (also highlighted in FTR #1044), we set forth Martin’s work for Guy Banister.

An important part of the discussion features expanded analysis of both Hugh Aynesworth and James Phelan, both of whom were prominent media hatchet men who helped defame Garrison.  (They, too, were highlighted in FTR #1044.)

Key points of discussion about Aynesworth.

1.–Prior to the assassination of President Kennedy, Aynesworth had networked with J. Walton Moore, in charge of CIA operations in Dallas, Texas. Aynesworth was applying for membership in the assassination.
2.-He was involved with attempted sale of Oswald’s “diary.”
3.–Was networked with Marina Oswald, helping to disseminate the official lie about the assassination, and concocting a preposterous story about Marina saying Oswald had planned to kill Nixon.
4.–Worked with people associated with CIA’s anti-Castro Cuban milieu in conjunction with Life Magazine’s “re-investigation” of the JFK assassination. Henry Luce’s Life and other publications had a history of working with the intelligence community.
5.–Disseminated disinformation about Garrison/JFK for “Newsweek.”
6.–He informed for both the FBI and Lyndon Johnson about Garrison’s inquest.
7.–Disseminated disinformation about David Ferrie’s associate Alvin Beauboeuf. This disinformation ran parallel to Walter Sheridan’s disinformation efforts in this regard.
8.–Was instrumental in frustrating Garrison’s attempts at interviewing CIA Cuban operative Sergio Arcacha Smith.
9.–Aynesworth networked with Clay Shaw’s defense team.

Key points of discussion about Phelan include:

1.–Review of his hit piece on Garrison published by The Saturday Evening Post.
2.–His networking with intelligence agencies in conjunction with his journalistic activities.
3.–His professional association with Robert Loomis, who had a long career publishing disinformation books covering-up this country’s major assassinations. (Gerald Posner’s notorious “Case Closed” is a prominent example.
4.–Phelan also networked with Clay Shaw’s defense team, helping to introduce into the trial testimony the preposterous “jet effect” syndrome with regard to the head shot that sealed Kennedy’s fate. This preposterous concoction maintains that the violent tossing of JFK’s body to the back and to the left by the fatal head shot was because the shot (supposedly from behind) created a tunnel in JFK’s head which, when it channeled the blood and flesh torn from Kennedy by the bullet, created a “jet” that propelled Kennedy backward.

The program concludes with a partial reading of a 2016 Huffington Post story based, in part on Phelan’s disingenuous reporting on the JFK assassination. One of the features of the article is that it casually dismisses Jim Garrison’s investigation as baseless, and suggests that Garrison felt the homosexual Shaw was involved with the assassination as part of a “homosexual thrill killing.”