Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.
The tag 'LBJ' is associated with 23 posts.

Nuremberg Redux: The Deep Political Context of the Texas Court of Inquiry

In Mis­cel­la­neous Archive Show M31, we exam­ined the mil­i­tary inquiry into the killing of Wehrma­cht Cor­po­ral Johannes Kun­ze, whose anti-Nazi sen­ti­ments were pun­ished by his fel­low pris­on­ers with mur­der. In the inquest, it became clear that Amer­i­can offi­cers had per­mit­ted their Ger­man POW coun­ter­parts to screen the mail of their fel­low pris­on­ers, which pro­vid­ed them the means to iden­ti­fy and kill cor­po­ral Kun­ze. The mil­i­tary pros­e­cu­tor in the case–future Water­gate and Kore­a­gate “Spe­cial Pros­e­cu­tor” Leon Jaworski–exercised what was polite­ly termed judi­cial restraint, and did not inves­ti­gate the U.S. offi­cers whose con­duct led direct­ly to the mur­der of Kun­ze. Jawors­ki lat­er par­tic­i­pat­ed in tri­als of Third Reich alum­ni accused of war crimes, includ­ing the tri­al of Dachau med­ical per­son­nel. “. . . . Col. Leon Jawors­ki, who will be in charge of the tri­al, esti­mates that at least 5,000 Jews died at Dachau from ordi­nary mis­treat­ment and tor­ture, while any­where between 1,000 and 3,000 died as a result of med­ical exper­i­ments per­formed upon them. . . .” The grue­some Dachau med­ical exper­i­ments: 1) Were per­formed by five doc­tors who were on the Project Paper­clip pay­roll by the time Jawors­ki again man­i­fest­ed judi­cial restraint: ” . . . . Five doc­tors work­ing at the cen­ter start­ing in the fall of 1945 were on the list: Theodor Ben­zinger, Siegried Ruff, Kon­rad Schafer, Her­mann Beck­er-Frey­seng, and Oskar Schroder. Instead of fir­ing these physi­cians sus­pect­ed of heinous war crimes, the cen­ter kept the doc­tors in its employ and the list was clas­si­fied. . . .” 2) Involved tri­als by four of the Paper­clip recruits of two process­es aimed at puri­fy­ing sea­wa­ter for drink­ing, with grue­some results for the Dachau “Unter­men­schen”: “. . . . Dr. Oskar Schroder, head of the Luft­waffe Med­ical Corps, was thrilled. Kon­rad Schafer had ‘devel­oped a process which actu­al­ly pre­cip­i­tat­ed the salts from the sea water,’ Schroder lat­er tes­ti­fied. . . . The effec­tive­ness of both the Schafer process and the Berka method would be test­ed on the Unter­men­schen at Dachau. A Luft­waffe physi­cian named Her­mann Beck­er-Frey­seng was assigned to assist Dr. Schafer, and to coau­thor with him a paper doc­u­ment­ing the results of the con­test. The senior doc­tor advis­ing Beck­er-Frey­seng and Schafer in their work was Dr. Siegfried Ruff. . . .” 3) Were filmed and screened for SS chief Hein­rich Himm­ler by the fifth Paper­clip recruit, Dr. Theodor Ben­zinger: ” . . . .This was the same Dr. Ben­zinger who had over­seen for Himm­ler the film screen­ing at the Reich Air Min­istry, in Berlin, of Dachau pris­on­ers being mur­dered in med­ical exper­i­ments. . . .” 4) Became part of an exper­i­men­tal con­tin­u­um, in which the Nazi research on Aeromed­ical Med­i­cine per­formed at the Kaiser Wil­helm Insti­tute pro­ceed­ed unin­ter­rupt­ed under U.S. Army Air Force com­mand: ” . . . . The Army Air Forces Aero Med­ical Cen­ter in Hei­del­berg  . . . only a few months pri­or . . .  had been the Kaiser Wil­helm Insti­tute for Med­ical Research, a bas­tion of Nazi sci­ence where chemists and physi­cists worked on projects for the Reich’s war machine. At its front entrance, the Reich’s flag came down and the U.S. Flag went up. Pho­tographs of Hitler were pulled from the walls and replaced by framed pho­tographs of Army Air Forces gen­er­als in mil­i­tary pose. Most of the fur­ni­ture stayed the same. In the din­ing room, Ger­man wait­ers in white servers’ coats pro­vid­ed table ser­vice at meal­times. A sin­gle 5” X 8” req­ui­si­tion receipt, dat­ed Sep­tem­ber 14, 1945, made the tran­si­tion offi­cial: ‘This prop­er­ty is need­ed by U.S. Forces, and the req­ui­si­tion is in pro­por­tion to the resources of the coun­try.’ Again, then Colonel Jawors­ki appar­ent­ly exer­cised “judi­cial restraint.” Fol­low­ing Pres­i­dent Kennedy’s assas­si­na­tion, Jawors­ki became both a War­ren Com­mis­sion coun­sel and, with Judge Robert Storey, head­ed the Texas Court of Inquiry, the Texas judi­cial body charged with inves­ti­gat­ing JFK’s mur­der. As dis­cussed in the linked Guns of Novem­ber, Part 3, Jawors­ki sat on the board of direc­tors of the M.D. Ander­son Fund, a doc­u­ment­ed CIA domes­tic fund­ing con­duit. In an ear­li­er pro­fes­sion­al incar­na­tion, Storey–as Colonel Robert Storey (above, right)–passed along the word that the de-Naz­i­fi­ca­tion edict was to be “relaxed” dur­ing the Nurem­berg tri­als. ” . . . . Colonel Robert Storey, the U.S. exec­u­tive tri­al coun­sel at the Inter­na­tion­al Mil­i­tary Tri­bunal and a senior aide to Robert Jack­son, has ‘passed the word down that the denaz­i­fi­ca­tion direc­tive was to be relaxed,’ . . . .” It seems prob­a­ble that the selec­tion of the com­po­si­tion of both the War­ren Com­mis­sion and the Texas Court of Inquiry was shaped, in part, by the per­ceived neces­si­ty of con­ceal­ing the many Nazis under the Amer­i­can bed.


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 #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. . . .


Important Link Between JFK and MLK Assassinations and a Fateful Meeting on 11/21/1963

In FTR #962, we high­light­ed an alleged meet­ing at the Dal­las home of Texas oil man Clint Murchi­son, on 11/21/1963. In his recent book “The Plot to Kill King,” William Pep­per flesh­es out details con­cern­ing those in atten­dance: Osten­si­bly, it was an event to hon­or J. Edgar Hoover, who was a close friend of Murchi­son, H.l, Hunt, and the oth­er Texas oil giants. The guest list includ­ed John McCloy, chair­man of Chase Man­hat­tan Bank [and a future mem­ber of the War­ren Commission–D.E.] ; Richard Nixon, George Brown, of the Brown and Root Con­struc­tion Com­pa­ny; R.L. Thorn­ton, pres­i­dent of the Mer­can­tile Bank; and Dal­las may­or Ear­le Cabell, broth­er of Gen­er­al Charles Cabell, for­mer Deputy Direc­tor of the CIA, who was fired by Pres­i­dent Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs. Pep­per also informs us of paper­work found by a for­mer FBI agent in a car linked to the assas­si­na­tion of Mar­tin Luther King that con­nects James Earl Ray’s han­dler “Raul” with Jack Ruby, H.L. Hunt and [pos­si­bly] the Atlanta office of the FBI: ” . . . One piece came from a 1963 Dal­las, Texas, tele­phone direc­to­ry. It was part of a page that had been torn out. The tele­phone num­bers on the page includ­ed those of the fam­i­ly of H.L. Hunt, but more sig­nif­i­cant­ly, in hand­writ­ing at the top of the page, was the name “Raul,” the let­ter “J” and a Dal­las tele­phone num­ber, of a club in Dal­las which at the time was run by Jack Ruby, the killer of Lee Har­vey Oswald. The sec­ond piece of paper con­tained sev­er­al names; along­side of each were sums of mon­ey. It appeared to be some sort of pay­off list, and at the bot­tom was Raul’s name and date for pay­ment. Wil­son also said that he recov­ered a third piece of paper, on which was writ­ten the tele­phone num­ber and exten­sion of the Atlanta FBI field office. . . .”


Ramsey Clark: Godfather of CIA’s CHAOS and FBI’s COINTELPRO Programs

For decades, we have point­ed out the doc­u­ment­ed fact that much of the so-called pro­gres­sive sec­tor drools and slob­bers over a great many obvi­ous, heinous wolves-in-sheep­’s cloth­ing. One of those is for­mer Attor­ney Gen­er­al of the Unit­ed States Ram­sey Clark, who con­tin­ues to enjoy a rep­u­ta­tion as a liberal/progressive icon. Noth­ing could be fur­ther from the truth. In addi­tion to cov­er­ing up the assas­si­na­tions of both Mar­tin Luther King and Robert Kennedy–whose mur­ders occurred dur­ing his tenure as A.G.–Clark frus­trat­ed New Orleans Dis­trict Attor­ney Jim Gar­rison’s inves­ti­ga­tion of the JFK assas­si­na­tion. He also mid-wived the evo­lu­tion of our present-day counter-ter­ror­ism insti­tu­tions. ” . . . . Ram­sey Clark, formed the Inter­de­part­men­tal Intel­li­gence Unit (IDIU) with­in the Depart­ment of Jus­tice. The IDI­U’s job was to coor­di­nate the ele­ments of the CIA, FBI and mil­i­tary that were inves­ti­gat­ing dis­senters. . . . The Phoenix pro­gram was cre­at­ed simul­ta­ne­ous­ly in 1967 and did the same thing in Viet­nam; it brought togeth­er 25 agen­cies and aimed them at civil­ians in the insur­gency. . . . Start­ing in 1967, White House polit­i­cal cadres, through the IDIU in the Jus­tice Depart­ment, coor­di­nat­ed the CIA’s Chaos pro­gram, the FBI’s COINTELPRO Pro­gram, and the mil­i­tary’s domes­tic spy­ing pro­grams. . . .”


FTR #963 Watergate and the Assassination of President Kennedy, Part 3

As com­par­isons between the Water­gate scan­dal and “Rus­sia-gate” sat­u­rate the media (in the sum­mer of 2017), the pro­gram reviews infor­ma­tion about con­nec­tions between the Water­gate scan­dal and the assas­si­na­tion of Pres­i­dent Kennedy. Nixon told aides that he did­n’t want to release the White House tape record­ings because he was afraid “the whole Bay of Pigs thing” might come out. Nixon aide H.R. Halde­man said in his book “The Ends of Pow­er” that “the whole Bay of Pigs thing” was a code word in the Nixon White House for the assas­si­na­tion of Pres­i­dent Kennedy. (It should be remem­bered that Nixon was in Dal­las on 11/22/63, yet he told the FBI in Feb­ru­ary of 1964 that he had left Dal­las two days pri­or to Kennedy’s assas­si­na­tion.)

When inter­viewed by the War­ren Com­mis­sion, Jack Ruby indi­cat­ed that he had been part of a con­spir­a­cy to kill Kennedy and that he feared for his life. The War­ren Com­mis­sion turned a deaf ear to his desire to go to Wash­ing­ton and “spill the beans.” Ger­ald Ford (who suc­ceed­ed Nixon as Pres­i­dent and par­doned him of all crimes com­mit­ted), Leon Jawors­ki (a War­ren Com­mis­sion coun­sel who was a direc­tor of a CIA domes­tic fund­ing con­duit and who was select­ed by Nixon to be Water­gate Spe­cial Pros­e­cu­tor) and Arlen Specter (anoth­er War­ren Com­mis­sion coun­sel who was Nixon’s first choice as his per­son­al defense attor­ney in the Water­gate affair) were present at Ruby’s de fac­to con­fes­sion.

War­ren Com­mis­sion Coun­sel J. Lee Rankin is also present at this inter­view. Nixon first select­ed J. Lee Rankin to serve as Water­gate Spe­cial Pros­e­cu­tor. Rankin was sub­se­quent­ly tabbed to review the Water­gate tapes and deter­mine which would be released. Rankin was the War­ren Com­mis­sion’s liai­son between the com­mis­sion and both the CIA and the FBI. Rankin was a key pro­po­nent of the so-called “Mag­ic Bul­let The­o­ry.”

It is inter­est­ing to con­tem­plate the text of a let­ter that Jack Ruby smug­gled out of prison. In the let­ter, Ruby hints that Nazis and Japan­ese fas­cists par­tic­i­pat­ed in the assas­si­na­tion of Pres­i­dent Kennedy. Cer­tain­ly, ele­ments of what were to become the World Anti-Com­mu­nist League (includ­ing the Asian Peo­ples Anti-Com­mu­nist League) were involved.

” . . . Don’t believe the War­ren [Com­mis­sion] Report, that was only put out to make me look inno­cent. . . . I’m going to die a hor­ri­ble death any­way, so what would I have to gain by writ­ing all this. So you must believe me. . . . that [sic] is only one kind of peo­ple that would do such a thing, that would have to be the Naz­i’s [sic], and that is who is in pow­er in this coun­try right now. . . . Japan is also in on the deal, but the old war lords are going to come back. South Amer­i­ca is also full of these Naz­i’s [sic]. . . . if those peo­ple were so deter­mined to frame me then you must be con­vinced that they had an ulte­ri­or motive for doing same. There is only one kind of peo­ple that would go to such extremes, and that would be the Mas­ter Race. . . .”

The late inves­tiga­tive reporter and “What’s My Line” pan­elist Dorothy Kil­gallen pub­lished Ruby’s War­ren Com­mis­sion Tes­ti­mo­ny and had told asso­ciates she would “break this case wide open.” Short­ly after­ward, she was found dead of alco­hol and bar­bi­tu­rate poisoning–suicide and acci­den­tal death have both been put for­ward as rea­sons for her demise. Her wid­ow­er refused pub­lic com­men­tary on her death and even­tu­al­ly “com­mit­ted sui­cide” him­self.

We excerpt The Guns of Novem­ber, Part 2, high­light­ing Kil­gal­len’s death. Inter­est­ing­ly and sig­nif­i­cant­ly, “What’s My Line” host and mod­er­a­tor John Charles Daly was Earl War­ren’s son-in-law, as dis­cussed in FTR #190. Did Daly pur­pose­ful­ly or inad­ver­tent­ly con­vey infor­ma­tion to War­ren about Kil­gal­len’s inves­ti­ga­tion? Was that in any way con­nect­ed with her death?

On the Daly/Warren in-law relationship–note that Daly worked as a White House cor­re­spon­dent and globe-trav­el­ing reporter for CBS radio news, a vice-pres­i­den­cy at ABC in charge of news and also head­ed the Voice of Amer­i­ca, which had strong links to the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty. Those jour­nal­is­tic posi­tions, as well as his role as direc­tor of VOA may well have brought him into the fold of the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty.

The late inves­tiga­tive reporter and “What’s My Line” pan­elist Dorothy Kil­gallen pub­lished Ruby’s War­ren Com­mis­sion Tes­ti­mo­ny and had told asso­ciates she would “break this case wide open.” Short­ly after­ward, she was found dead of alco­hol and bar­bi­tu­rate poisoning–suicide and acci­den­tal death have both been put for­ward as rea­sons for her demise. Her wid­ow­er refused pub­lic com­men­tary on her death and even­tu­al­ly “com­mit­ted sui­cide” him­self.

Next, the pro­gram excerpts FTR #253, fea­tur­ing an intrigu­ing com­men­tary by the late, vet­er­an CIA offi­cer Gor­don Nov­el. High­lights of that pro­gram include:

1. The broad­cast high­lights the con­tro­ver­sy sur­round­ing Richard Nixon’s White House tapes. These tape record­ings were, ulti­mate­ly, the vehi­cle for forc­ing his exit from the White House. That event was the cul­mi­na­tion of the Water­gate affair. There was dis­cus­sion in the fall of 2000 among elec­tron­ics experts con­cern­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ty of uti­liz­ing advanced, high-tech equip­ment to recov­er mate­r­i­al from a famous 18 ½ minute era­sure on one of the tapes.
(The San Fran­cis­co Exam­in­er; 9/22/2000; p. A2.)
2. The sub­ject of whether or not the era­sure had been delib­er­ate was a sig­nif­i­cant ele­ment of con­tro­ver­sy dur­ing the Water­gate affair. (Nixon’s sec­re­tary, Rose Mary Woods, claimed that she “acci­den­tal­ly” erased the tape. Most experts reject­ed her ver­sion of events. Inter­est­ing­ly, the tape that was erased was a record­ing of a con­ver­sa­tion between White House aide H.R. Halde­man and Nixon. In an auto­bi­og­ra­phy about the Water­gate affair, Halde­man wrote that “the whole Bay of Pigs thing” was a code word with­in the Nixon White House for the JFK assas­si­na­tion. Nixon refused to release the Water­gate tapes for fear that release would lead to expo­sure of “the whole Bay of Pigs thing.”
3. Much of the pro­gram con­sists of excerpts from oth­er broad­casts. In an excerpt from G‑3, the broad­cast high­lights a vet­er­an covert intel­li­gence oper­a­tive and pri­vate inves­ti­ga­tor named Gor­don Nov­el. Among Novel’s many tal­ents is elec­tron­ic coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence. His name crops up in the con­text of both the JFK case and the Water­gate scan­dal. Nov­el was the source for an impor­tant piece of infor­ma­tion that fig­ured in the Jim Gar­ri­son inves­ti­ga­tion. That report con­cerned a raid on a muni­tions cache to obtain arms for anti-Cas­tro activ­i­ties, the CIA’s Bay of Pigs inva­sion, in par­tic­u­lar.
(“Coin­ci­dence or Con­spir­a­cy?”; Bernard Fen­ster­wald and the Com­mit­tee to Inves­ti­gate Assas­si­na­tions; copy­right 1976 by Zebra Books, a divi­sion of Kens­ing­ton Pub­lish­ers.)
4. This oper­a­tion alleged­ly involved David Fer­rie and Guy Ban­nis­ter, two of the key fig­ures in Garrison’s inves­ti­ga­tion. Nov­el was lat­er con­sult­ed by White House aide Charles Col­son con­cern­ing the fea­si­bil­i­ty of elec­tron­i­cal­ly eras­ing the tapes. (Coin­ci­dence or Con­spir­a­cy?)
5. Novel’s tan­gen­tial involve­ment in the Water­gate inves­ti­ga­tion sur­faced in a mag­a­zine called Tech­nol­o­gy Illus­trat­ed. In 1983, the mag­a­zine ran an arti­cle about Novel’s pres­ence at a gath­er­ing of vet­er­an covert intel­li­gence oper­a­tives, includ­ing con­vict­ed Water­gate bur­glar G. Gor­don Lid­dy.
(“Tech­nol­o­gy Illus­trat­ed”; 4/83.)
6. In a let­ter to the edi­tor, Mr. Nov­el took issue to some of the com­ments about him in the April issue.
(Tech­nol­o­gy Illus­trat­ed; 7/83.)
7. In that let­ter, Nov­el made ref­er­ence to his ultra high tech­nol­o­gy role “to erase the Water­gate tapes.” (Idem.)
In 1984, Mr. Emory was a guest on a late-night com­mer­cial talk show and Mr. Nov­el phoned in, tak­ing issue with Mr. Emory’s descrip­tion of his posi­tion in Garrison’s inves­ti­ga­tion.
(The Express Way show with Lar­ry John­son on KOME-FM in San Jose, Cal­i­for­nia; 10/29/1984.)
8. Most of the sec­ond side of this pro­gram con­sists of an excerpt­ing of the con­ver­sa­tion with the late, for­mi­da­ble Nov­el. In his con­ver­sa­tion with Mr. Emory, Nov­el denied any involve­ment in Kennedy’s assas­si­na­tion and crit­i­cized Garrison’s inves­ti­ga­tion. (Idem.)
9. When the sub­ject of Water­gate came up, Mr. Emory asked Mr. Nov­el if he denied actu­al­ly hav­ing erased the Water­gate tapes. Nov­el replied “only because they didn’t pay me.” (Idem.)
When pressed fur­ther, Nov­el clar­i­fied his state­ment, say­ing he didn’t erase any por­tions of the Water­gate tapes. He did state that he was one of a pan­el of experts who ana­lyzed the 18 ½‑minute gap and stat­ed that it could have been made acci­den­tal­ly. (Idem.)
10. Intrigu­ing­ly, Nov­el added that he was also on the pan­el of elec­tron­ics experts that tes­ti­fied that the Dic­ta­phone record­ing from a Dal­las police motor­cy­cle was accu­rate in its reveal­ing of a fourth shot–which neu­tral­ized the sin­gle bul­let the­o­ry.
11. In FTR #190, Nov­el con­firmed his role in the bur­glary of the Schlum­berg­er facil­i­ty and main­tained that he was involved with a plan to give anti-Cas­tro Cubans [Cas­tro] army uni­forms to wear while attack­ing the U.S. Marines at Guan­tanamo, there­by trig­ger­ing a U.S. inva­sion of Cuba.
12. After Mr. Nov­el­’s death, it emerged that he was serv­ing as a mole in Jim Gar­rison’s inves­ti­ga­tion, fun­nel­ing infor­ma­tion to Allen Dulles.


FTR #962 Watergate and the Assassination of President Kennedy, Part 2

This broad­cast con­tin­ues our review of the pro­found con­nec­tions between the Water­gate scan­dal and the assas­si­na­tion of Pres­i­dent Kennedy. For pur­pos­es of con­ve­nience and con­ti­nu­ity, we recap an overview of some of these links from the descrip­tion of FTR #961:

With Water­gate being bruit­ed about by our media in con­junc­tion with the “inves­ti­ga­tions” into Trump and “Rus­sia-gate,” we are tak­ing time to dig into the archives and recap infor­ma­tion about one of the fac­tors that under­lay the Water­gate scandal–the Assas­si­na­tion of JFK.

The first of these pro­grams excerpts The Guns of Novem­ber, Part 3 (record­ed on 11/15/1983) at length. From the descrip­tion for that pro­gram:

Richard Nixon’s polit­i­cal demise came through the Water­gate scan­dal. Nixon ini­ti­at­ed the Water­gate cov­er-up because he feared that “the whole Bay of Pigs thing” would come out. In his polit­i­cal mem­oir The Ends of Pow­er, Nixon aide H.R. Halde­man wrote that the phrase “Bay of Pigs” was a code-word with­in the Nixon White House for the Kennedy assas­si­na­tion.

The pro­gram doc­u­ments many of the areas of over­lap between the Water­gate and Kennedy inves­ti­ga­tions.

Nixon him­self was in Dal­las on Novem­ber 22, 1963, as a lawyer for Pep­si­co (the par­ent com­pa­ny of Pep­si Cola.) Fly­ing out of Dal­las rough­ly two hours before Kennedy was slain, Nixon told the FBI in Feb­ru­ary of 1964 that the only time he had been in Dal­las in 1963 had been “two days pri­or to the assas­si­na­tion.” This bla­tant lie is negat­ed by a wire ser­vice inter­view Nixon gave in Dal­las on Novem­ber 21. Text of the inter­view ran in the New York Times and oth­er major news­pa­pers.

(A Pep­si Cola exec­u­tive said that Nixon was present in Dal­las at a com­pa­ny meet­ing when the announce­ment came that Pres­i­dent Kennedy had been killed.)

Water­gate Spe­cial Pros­e­cu­tor Leon Jawors­ki was select­ed by Nixon to replace the ille­gal­ly fired Archibald Cox. Jawors­ki had pre­vi­ous­ly served as a War­ren Com­mis­sion Coun­sel, while at the same time serv­ing as direc­tor of a CIA domes­tic fund­ing con­duit.

Nixon named for­mer War­ren Com­mis­sion mem­ber Ger­ald Ford to replace Vice Pres­i­dent Agnew. Ford then replaced Nixon as Pres­i­dent and par­doned him of all crimes he may have com­mit­ted. . . .

. . . . The pro­gram dis­cuss­es evi­den­tiary trib­u­taries con­nect­ing numer­ous oth­er fig­ures to the both inves­ti­ga­tions, includ­ing Water­gate Judge John Sir­i­ca and Water­gate bur­glar Frank Stur­gis.

To attempt selec­tive era­sure of the all-impor­tant Water­gate tapes, Nixon sought the assis­tance of Gor­don Nov­el, a vet­er­an intel­li­gence agent, elec­tron­ics expert, anti-Cas­tro vet­er­an and a fig­ure in Jim Gar­rison’s inves­ti­ga­tion in New Orleans. At least one key tape was par­tial­ly erased (the famous 18 1/2 minute gap), though no cul­prit was ever iden­ti­fied.

In this sec­ond broad­cast of the series, we draw on Mis­cel­la­neous Archive Show M59–Richard Nixon’s Great­est Hits: High­lights of Richard Nixon’s Polit­i­cal Career. In that pro­gram (record­ed on 5/1/1994), we reviewed an adden­dum to the orig­i­nal The Guns of Novem­ber, Part 3. That addendum–recorded in June of 1972 (the 20th anniver­sary of the orig­i­nal Water­gate break-in)–builds on the infor­ma­tion from FTR #961.

After review­ing infor­ma­tion about Nixon’s pres­ence in Dal­las, Texas on 11/22/1963, the pro­gram presents research by the late Penn Jones that main­tains that Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover, among oth­ers, were present at a gath­er­ing at oil­man Clint Muchison’s home the evening before the assassination–a meet­ing Jones felt was a plan­ning ses­sion for the JFK assas­si­na­tion.

The bulk of this pro­gram is gleaned from Bernard J. Fen­ster­wald’s Coin­ci­dence or Con­spir­a­cy. (Fen­ster­wald was Water­gate Bur­glar James McCord’s chief defense attor­ney.)

Among the many links between Water­gate and the JFK assas­si­na­tion are the War­ren Com­mis­sion mem­bers and coun­sels who were tabbed by Nixon and/or oth­er fig­ures in the inves­ti­ga­tion to serve in var­i­ous capac­i­ties:

a) Nixon first select­ed J. Lee Rankin to serve as Water­gate Spe­cial Pros­e­cu­tor. Rankin was sub­se­quent­ly tabbed to review the Water­gate tapes and deter­mine which would be released. Rankin was the War­ren Com­mis­sion’s liai­son between the com­mis­sion and both the CIA and the FBI. Rankin was a key pro­po­nent of the so-called “Mag­ic Bul­let The­o­ry.”
b) War­ren Com­mis­sion coun­sel Arlen Specter, the author of the “Mag­ic Bul­let Theory”–was Nixon’s first choice as his per­son­al defense attor­ney in the Water­gate case.
c) Nixon also attempt­ed to req­ui­si­tion War­ren Com­mis­sion mem­ber John J. McCloy as Water­gate Spe­cial Pros­e­cu­tor.
d) For­mer War­ren Com­mis­sion coun­sel Albert Jen­ner was Nixon’s first choice to serve as the GOP’s minor­i­ty coun­sel before the Sen­ate Judi­cia­ry Com­mit­tee. Jen­ner lat­er with­drew from that posi­tion.
e) John Dean select­ed for­mer War­ren Com­mis­sion coun­sel Charles Shaf­fer as his attor­ney.
f) White House aide John Ehrlich­mann tabbed for­mer War­ren Com­mis­sion coun­sel Joseph Ball to rep­re­sent him.
g) Nixon’s sec­re­tary Rose Marie Woods select­ed for­mer War­ren Com­mis­sion coun­sel Charles Rhyne to rep­re­sent her in a pos­si­ble inves­ti­ga­tion of the famous 18 1/2 minute gap in one of the tapes.
h) Nixon Trea­sury Sec­re­tary John Con­nal­ly’s obstruc­tion of Jim Gar­rison’s extra­di­tion request for Ser­gio Archacha Smith.

Pro­gram High­lights Include:

1.The Nixon White House­’s inter­est in the assas­si­na­tion attempt on George Wal­lace, which elim­i­nat­ed the Alaba­ma Gov­er­nor as a pos­si­ble third-par­ty threat to Nixon’s so-called “South­ern Strat­e­gy.” Exact­ly who shot Wal­lace remains a mys­tery, but it was most assured­ly NOT Arthur Bre­mer.
2. Two long-time Nixon friends and polit­i­cal asso­ciates’ spon­sor­ship of the fam­i­ly of Sirhan Sirhan into the Unit­ed States. Sirhan did NOT kill Robert F. Kennedy, how­ev­er the cre­ation of the false cov­er sto­ry to set up the pat­sy is impor­tant. Nixon, of course, won the 1968 elec­tion, after Robert Kennedy’s mur­der elim­i­nat­ed him as a front run­ner.
3. The role of for­mer Lock­heed direc­tor of secu­ri­ty James Gold­en as chief of secu­ri­ty for Nixon’s 1968 cam­paign. Many researchers of the RFK assas­si­na­tion believe that the actu­al shoot­er of Robert Kennedy was Amer­i­can Nazi Thane Eugene Cae­sar, who was employed at Lock­heed’s Bur­bank facil­i­ty, in an area involved with the U‑2 spy plane project. (Oswald was also involved with the U‑2.)
4. A ver­i­ta­ble trove of War­ren Com­mis­sion let­ter and mem­o­ran­da per­tain­ing to the above fig­ures involved in the War­ren Com­mis­sion and tabbed by the Nixon team for roles in Water­gate that were miss­ing from the Nation­al Archives.


FTR #961 Watergate and the Assassination of President Kennedy, Part 1

With Water­gate being bruit­ed about by our media in con­junc­tion with the “inves­ti­ga­tions” into Trump and “Rus­sia-gate,” we are tak­ing time to dig into the archives and recap infor­ma­tion about one of the fac­tors that under­lay the Water­gate scandal–the Assas­si­na­tion of JFK.

The first of the pro­grams excerpts The Guns of Novem­ber, Part 3 (record­ed on 11/15/1983) at length. From the descrip­tion for the pro­gram:

“Richard Nixon’s polit­i­cal demise came through the Water­gate scan­dal. Nixon ini­ti­at­ed the Water­gate cov­er-up because he feared that “the whole Bay of Pigs thing” would come out. In his polit­i­cal mem­oir “The Ends of Pow­er,” Nixon aide H.R. Halde­man wrote that the phrase “Bay of Pigs” was a code-word with­in the Nixon White House for the Kennedy assas­si­na­tion.

The pro­gram doc­u­ments many of the areas of over­lap between the Water­gate and Kennedy inves­ti­ga­tions.

Nixon him­self was in Dal­las on Novem­ber 22, 1963, as a lawyer for Pep­si­co (the par­ent com­pa­ny of Pep­si Cola.) Fly­ing out of Dal­las rough­ly two hours before Kennedy was slain, Nixon told the FBI in Feb­ru­ary of 1964 that the only time he had been in Dal­las in 1963 had been “two days pri­or to the assas­si­na­tion.” This bla­tant lie is negat­ed by a wire ser­vice inter­view Nixon gave in Dal­las on Novem­ber 21. Text of the inter­view ran in the New York Times and oth­er major news­pa­pers.

Water­gate Spe­cial Pros­e­cu­tor Leon Jawors­ki was select­ed by Nixon to replace the ille­gal­ly fired Archibald Cox. Jawors­ki had pre­vi­ous­ly served as a War­ren Com­mis­sion Coun­sel, while at the same time serv­ing as direc­tor of a CIA domes­tic fund­ing con­duit.

Nixon named for­mer War­ren Com­mis­sion mem­ber Ger­ald Ford to replace Vice Pres­i­dent Agnew. Ford then replaced Nixon as Pres­i­dent and par­doned him of all crimes he may have com­mit­ted. . . .

. . . . The pro­gram dis­cuss­es evi­den­tiary trib­u­taries con­nect­ing numer­ous oth­er fig­ures to the both inves­ti­ga­tions, includ­ing Water­gate Judge John Sir­i­ca and Water­gate bur­glar Frank Stur­gis (aka Frank Fior­i­ni).

To attempt selec­tive era­sure of the all-impor­tant Water­gate tapes, Nixon sought the assis­tance of Gor­don Nov­el, a vet­er­an intel­li­gencer, elec­tron­ics expert, anti-Cas­tro vet­er­an and a fig­ure in Jim Gar­rison’s inves­ti­ga­tion in New Orleans. At least one key tape was par­tial­ly erased (the famous 18 1/2 minute gap), though no cul­prit was ever iden­ti­fied.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Leon Jaworski’s role as Kore­a­gate Spe­cial Pros­e­cu­tor, which per­mit­ted the eclips­ing of the Moon orga­ni­za­tion’s links to the CIA; the role of the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church–the Moon organization–in gen­er­at­ing sup­port for Nixon dur­ing Water­gate; Jude Sarah Hugh­es’s involve­ment with a CIA domes­tic fund­ing con­duit; Hugh­es’s admin­is­tra­tion of the oath of office to LBJ on the plane fly­ing back to Wash­ing­ton DC; Judge Sir­i­ca’s elec­toral sup­port for Richard Nixon (“Max­i­mum John” Sir­i­ca was the Judge in the Water­gate case); the fact that the suit by JFK researcher Harold Weis­berg and attor­ney James Lesar sought infor­ma­tion from the War­ren Com­mis­sion, part of the exec­u­tive branch of gov­ern­ment; that body was a Pres­i­den­tial fact-find­ing com­mis­sion with no legal sta­tus what­so­ev­er; Sir­i­ca’s rul­ing against the plain­tiffs was a con­tra­ven­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion; Jaworski’s role as one of two heads of the Texas Court of Inquiry, the body formed by the state of Texas in order to inves­ti­gate the assassination;“ex” CIA offi­cer James McCord’s deci­sive role in both betray­ing the Water­gate bur­glars and in see­ing to it that the inves­ti­ga­tion would go for­ward; Frank Stur­gis and his role (as Frank Fior­i­ni) in run­ning the Mob’s casi­nos in Cuba pre-Cas­tro; Stur­gis’s role in gen­er­at­ing dis­in­for­ma­tion point­ing toward Cas­tro as the archi­tect of the assas­si­na­tion; an arti­cle from a 1983 tech­nol­o­gy pub­li­ca­tion in which Gor­don Nov­el dis­cuss­es his ultra high-tech­nol­o­gy role “to erase the Water­gate tapes” (this will be dis­cussed at greater length in future pro­grams.)