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

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This broadcast was recorded in one, 60-minute segment.

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

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

(Listeners can order Destiny Betrayed and Jim’s other books, as well as supplementing those volumes with articles about this country’s political assassinations at his website Kennedys and KingJim is also a regular guest and expert commentator on Black Op Radio.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clay Shaw

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

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

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

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

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

Huey Long

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Key points of discussion and analysis about Connick:

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

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

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

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





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