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.)