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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.

Repost: FTR #268 Americans Thought They Were Free

2000 “elec­tion” as a right-wing/­fas­cist coup. Bush views gov­ern­ing style as cor­po­rate board chair­man, trusts oth­ers to work out the details.

FTR #579 Gimme a Break! — Reflections on the Death of Gerald Ford

Ger­ald Ford’s role in aid­ing the cov­er-up of Water­gate and, by exten­sion, the assas­si­na­tion of Pres­i­dent Kennedy.

God’s Senator

Who would Jesus vote for? Meet Sam Brown­back At the Vet­er­ans Day parade in Empo­ria, Kansas Nobody in this lit­tle church just off Times Square in Man­hat­tan thinks of them­selves as polit­i­cal. They’re spir­i­tu­al — actors and ath­letes and pret­ty young things who believe that every word of the Bible is inerrant dic­ta­tion from God. […]

FTR #297 Going to the Dogs

The inves­ti­ga­tion of the death of Diane Whip­ple reveals a num­ber of strange and dis­turb­ing details.

FTR #268 Americans Thought They Were Free

2000 “elec­tion” as a right-wing/­fas­cist coup. Bush view’s gov­ern­ing style as cor­po­rate board chair­man, trusts oth­ers to work out the details.

FTR #253 Rewind — The Watergate Tapes Revisited

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. (The flash dri­ve includes the anti-fas­­cist books avail­able on this site.) Lis­ten: MP3 Side 1 | Side 2 RealAu­dio NB: Years after this pro­gram was record­ed, Gor­don Nov­el­’s actu­al rai­son d’e­tre for being on Gar­rison’s staff came to light: The Dev­il’s […]

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