Tag Archives: JFK assassination

A Patsy Speaks

THE LAST WORDS OF LEE HARVEY OSWALD

Compiled by Mae Brussell

the following is taken from The People’s Almanac #2,
by David Wallechinsky and Irving Wallace, Bantam Books, 1978, pp. 47-52.

Did Lee Harvey Oswald act alone in shooting Pres. John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963, or did he conspire with others? Was he serving as an agent of Cuba’s Fidel Castro, himself the target of American assassins? Or in squeezing the trigger of his carbine was he undertaking some super “dirty trick” for a CIA anxious to rid itself of a president whose faith in the “company” had evaporated in the wake of the Bay of Pigs fiasco? Or was he representing a group of Cuban exiles, the Teamsters Union, the Mafia? Indeed, was it Lee Harvey Oswald at all who killed JFK? Or was there a double impersonating Oswald? These questions continue to nag many people more than a decade and a half after that dreadful day in Dallas, in spite of the 26 volumes of hearings and exhibits served up by the Warren Commission, the congressional investigations, the release of heretofore classified FBI documents.

Almost everyone, it seems, has been heard from on the Kennedy assassination and on Lee Harvey Oswald’s guilt or innocence, except one person — Lee Harvey Oswald himself. From the time of Oswald’s arrest to his own assassination at the hands of Jack Ruby, no formal transcript or record was kept of statements made by the alleged killer. It was said that no tape recordings were made of Oswald’s remarks, and many notes taken of his statements were destroyed.

Determined to learn Oswald’s last words, his only testimony, “The People’s Almanac” assigned one of the leading authorities on the Kennedy assassination, Mae Brussell, to compile every known statement or remark made by Oswald between his arrest and death. The quotes, edited for space and clarity, are based on the recollections of a variety of witnesses present at different times and are not verbatim transcripts. “After 14 years of research on the JFK assassination,” Mae Brussell concludes, “I am of the opinion that Lee Harvey Oswald was telling the truth about his role in the assassination during these interrogations.”

12:30 P.M., CST, NOV. 22, 1963
Pres. John F. Kennedy Assassinated

12:33 P.M.

          Lee Harvey Oswald left work, entered a bus, and said, “Transfer, please.”

12:40 – 12:45 P.M.

          Oswald got off the bus, entered a cab, and said, “May I have this cab?” A woman approached, wanting a cab, and Oswald said, “I will let you have this one. . . . 500 North Beckley Street [instructions to William Whaley, driver of another cab]. . . . This will be fine.” Oswald departed cab and walked a few blocks.

1:15 P.M.   Officer J. D. Tippit Murdered

1:45 P.M.   Arrest at the Texas Theater

          “This is it” or “Well, it’s all over now.” Oswald arrested. (Patrolman M. N. McDonald heard these remarks. Other officers who were at the scene did not hear them.) “I don’t know why you are treating me like this. The only thing I have done is carry a pistol into a movie. . . . I don’t see why you handcuffed me. . . . Why should I hide my face? I haven’t done anything to be ashamed of. . . . I want a lawyer. . . . I am not resisting arrest. . . . I didn’t kill anybody. . . . I haven’t shot anybody. . . . I protest this police brutality. . . . I fought back there, but I know I wasn’t supposed to be carrying a gun. . . . What is this all about?”

2:00 – 2:15 P.M.   Drive to Police Dept.

          “What is this all about? . . . I know my rights. . . . A police officer has been killed? . . . I hear they burn for murder. Well, they say it just takes a second to die. . . . All I did was carry a gun. . . . No, Hidell is not my real name. . . . I have been in the Marine Corps, have a dishonorable discharge, and went to Russia. . . . I had some trouble with police in New Orleans for passing out pro-Castro literature. . . . Why are you treating me this way? . . . I am not being handled right. . . . I demand my rights.”

2:15 P.M.   Taken into Police Dept.

2:15 – 2:20 P.M.

          “Talked to” by officers Guy F. Rose and Richard S. Stovall. No notes.

2:25 – 4:04 P.M.   Interrogation of Oswald, Office of Capt Will Fritz

          “My name is Lee Harvey Oswald. . . . I work at the Texas School Book Depository Building. . . . I lived in Minsk and in Moscow. . . . I worked in a factory. . . . I liked everything over there except the weather. . . . I have a wife and some children. . . . My residence is 1026 North Beckley, Dallas, Tex.” Oswald recognized FBI agent James Hosty and said, “You have been at my home two or three times talking to my wife. I don’t appreciate your coming out there when I was not there. . . . I was never in Mexico City. I have been in Tijuana. . . . Please take the handcuffs from behind me, behind my back. . . . I observed a rifle in the Texas School Book Depository where I work, on Nov. 20, 1963. . . . Mr. Roy Truly, the supervisor, displayed the rifle to individuals in his office on the first floor. . . . I never owned a rifle myself. . . . I resided in the Soviet Union for three years, where I have many friends and relatives of my wife. . . . I was secretary of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in New Orleans a few months ago. . . .

While in the Marines, I received an award for marksmanship as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps. . . . While living on Beckley Street, I used the name 0. H. Lee. . . . I was present in the Texas School Book Depository Building, I have been employed there since Oct. 15, 1963. . . . As a laborer, I have access to the entire building. . . . My usual place of work is on the first floor. However, I frequently use the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh floors to get books. I was on all floors this morning. . . . Because of all the confusion, I figured there would be no work performed that afternoon so I decided to go home. . . . I changed my clothing and went to a movie. . . . I carried a pistol with me to the movie because I felt like it, for no other reason. . . . I fought the Dallas Police who arrested me in the movie theater where I received a cut and a bump. . . . I didn’t shoot Pres. John F. Kennedy or Officer J. D. Tippit. . . . An officer struck me, causing the marks on my left eye, after I had struck him. . . . I just had them in there,” when asked why he had bullets in his pocket.

3:54 P.M.

          NBC newsman Bill Ryan announced on national television that “Lee Oswald seems to be the prime suspect in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.”

4:45 P.M.   At a Lineup for Helen Markham, Witness to Tippit Murder

          “It isn’t right to put me in line with these teenagers. . . . You know what you are doing, and you are trying to railroad me. . . . I want my lawyer. . . . You are doing me an injustice by putting me out there dressed different than these other men. . . . I am out there, the only one with a bruise on his head. . . . I don t believe the lineup is fair, and I desire to put on a jacket similar to those worn by some of the other individuals in the lineup. . . . All of you have a shirt on, and I have a T-shirt on. I want a shirt or something. . . . This T-shirt is unfair.”

4:45 – 6:30 P.M.   Second Interrogation of Oswald, Captain Fritz’s Office

          “When I left the Texas School Book Depository, I went to my room, where I changed my trousers, got a pistol, and went to a picture show. . . . You know how boys do when they have a gun, they carry it. . . . Yes, I had written the Russian Embassy. (On Nov. 9, 1963, Oswald had written to the Russian Embassy that FBI agent James Hosty was making some kind of deals with Marina, and he didn’t trust “the notorious FBI.”) . . . Mr. Hosty, you have been accosting my wife. You mistreated her on two different occasions when you talked with her. . . . I know you. Well, he threatened her. He practically told her she would have to go back to Russia. You know, I can’t use a phone. . . . I want that attorney in New York, Mr. Abt. I don’t know him personally but I know about a case that he handled some years ago, where he represented the people who had violated the Smith Act, [which made it illegal to teach or advocate the violent overthrow of the U.S. government] . . . I don’t know him personally, but that is the attorney I want. . . . If I can’t get him, then I may get the American Civil Liberties Union to send me an attorney.”

“I went to school in New York and in Fort Worth, Tex. . . . After getting into the Marines, I finished my high school education. . . . I support the Castro revolution. . . . My landlady didn’t understand my name correctly, so it was her idea to call me 0. H. Lee. . . . I want to talk with Mr. Abt, a New York attorney. . . . The only package I brought to work was my lunch. . . . I never had a card to the Communist party. . . . I am a Marxist, but not a Leninist-Marxist. . . . I bought a pistol in Fort Worth several months ago. . . . I refuse to tell you where the pistol was purchased. . . . I never ordered any guns. . . . I am not malcontent. Nothing irritated me about the President.” When Capt. Will Fritz asked Oswald, “Do you believe in a deity?” Oswald replied, “I don’t care to discuss that.” “How can I afford a rifle on the Book Depository salary of $1.25 an hour? . . . John Kennedy had a nice family. . . .” (Sheriff Roger Craig saw Oswald enter a white station wagon 15 minutes after the assassination. Oswald confirmed this in Captain Fritz’s office. A man impersonating Oswald in Dallas just prior to the assassination could have been on the bus and in the taxicab.) “That station wagon belongs to Mrs. Ruth Paine. Don’t try to tie her into this. She had nothing to do with it. I told you people I did. . . . Everybody will know who I am now.”

“Can I get an attorney?. . . I have not been given the opportunity to have counsel. . . . As I said, the Fair Play for Cuba Committee has definitely been investigated, that is very true. . . . The results of that investigation were zero. The Fair Play for Cuba Committee is not now on the attorney general’s subversive list.”

6:30 P.M.   Lineup for Witnesses Cecil J. McWatters, Sam Guinyard, and Ted Callaway

          “I didn’t shoot anyone,” Oswald yelled in the halls to reporters. . . . “I want to get in touch with a lawyer, Mr. Abt, in New York City. . . . I never killed anybody.”

7:10 P.M.   Arraignment: State of Texas v. Lee Harvey Oswald for Murder with Malice of Officer J. D. Tippit of the Dallas Police Dept.

          “I insist upon my constitutional rights. . . . The way you are treating me, I might as well be in Russia. . . . I was not granted my request to put on a jacket similar to those worn by other individuals in some previous lineups.”

7:50 P.M.   Lineup for Witness J. D. Davis

          “I have been dressed differently than the other three. . . . Don’t you know the difference? I still have on the same clothes I was arrested in. The other two were prisoners, already in jail.” Seth Kantor, reporter, heard Oswald yell, “I am only a patsy.”

7:55 P.M.   Third Interrogation, Captain Fritz’s Office

          “I think I have talked long enough. I don’t have anything else to say. . . . What started out to be a short interrogation turned out to be rather lengthy. . . . I don’t care to talk anymore. . . . I am waiting for someone to come forward to give me legal assistance. . . . It wasn’t actually true as to how I got home. I took a bus, but due to a traffic jam, I left the bus and got a taxicab, by which means I actually arrived at my residence.”

8:55 P.M.   Fingerprints, Identification Paraffin Tests — All in Fritz’s Office

          “I will not sign the fingerprint card until I talk to my attorney. [Oswald’s name is on the card anyway.] . . . What are you trying to prove with this paraffin test, that I fired a gun? . . . You are wasting your time. I don’t know anything about what you are accusing me.”

11:00 – 11:20 P.M.   “Talked To” by Police Officer John Adamcik and FBI Agent M. Clements

          “I was in Russia two years and liked it in Russia. . . . I am 5 ft. 9 in., weigh 140 lb., have brown hair, blue-gray eyes, and have no tattoos or permanent scars.”

(Oswald had mastoidectomy scars and left upper-arm scars, both noted in Marine records. “Warren Report,” pp. 614-618, lists information from Oswald obtained during this interview about members of his family, past employment, past residences.)

11:20 – 11:25 P.M.   Lineup for Press Conference; Jack Ruby Present

          When newsmen asked Oswald about his black eye, he answered, “A cop hit me.” When asked about the earlier arraignment, Oswald said “Well, I was questioned by Judge Johnston. However, I protested at that time that I was not allowed legal representation during that very short and sweet hearing. I really don’t know what the situation is about. Nobody has told me anything except that I am accused of murdering a policeman. I know nothing more than that, and I do request someone to come forward to give me legal assistance.” When asked, “Did you kill the President?” Oswald replied, “No. I have not been charged with that. In fact, nobody has said that to me yet. The first thing I heard about it was when the newspaper reporters in the hall asked me that question. . . . I did not do it. I did not do it. . . . I did not shoot anyone.”

12:23 A.M., NOV. 23, 1963   Placed in Jail Cell

12:35 A.M.   Released by Jailer

          Oswald complained, “This is the third set of fingerprints, photographs being taken.”

1:10 A.M.   Back in Jail Cell

1:35 A.M.   Arraignment: State of Texas v. Lee Harvey Oswald for the Murder with Malice of John F. Kennedy

          “Well, sir, I guess this is the trial. . . . I want to contact my lawyer, Mr. Abt, in New York City. I would like to have this gentleman. He is with the American Civil Liberties Union.” (John J. Abt now in private practice in New York, was the general counsel for the Senate Sub-Committee on Civil Liberties from 1935-1937, and later served as legal adviser for the Progressive party from 1948-1951. Mr. Abt has never been a member of the ACLU.)

10:30 A.M.-1:10 P.M.   Interrogation, Capt. Will Fritz’s Office

          “I said I wanted to contact Attorney Abt, New York. He defended the Smith Act cases in 1949, 1950, but I don’t know his address, except that it is in New York. . . . I never owned a rifle. . . . Michael Paine owned a car, Ruth Paine owned two cars. . . . Robert Oswald, my brother, lives in Fort Worth. He and the Paines were closest friends in town. . . . The FBI has thoroughly interrogated me at various other times. . . . They have used their hard and soft approach to me, and they use the buddy system. . . . I am familiar with all types of questioning and have no intention of making any statements. . . . In the past three weeks the FBI has talked to my wife. They were abusive and impolite. They frightened my wife, and I consider their activities obnoxious.”

(When arrested, Oswald had FBI Agent James Hosty’s home phone and office phone numbers and car license number in his possession.)

“I was arrested in New Orleans for disturbing the peace and paid a $10 fine for demonstrating for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. I had a fight with some anti-Castro refugees and they were released while I was fined. . . . I refuse to take a polygraph. It has always been my practice not to agree to take a polygraph . . . The FBI has overstepped their bounds in using various tactics in interviewing me. . . . I didn’t shoot John Kennedy. . . . I didn’t even know Gov. John Connally had been shot. . . . I don’t own a rifle. . . . I didn’t tell Buell Wesley Frazier anything about bringing back some curtain rods. . . . My wife lives with Mrs. Ruth Paine. She [Mrs. Paine] was learning Russian. They needed help with the young baby, so it made a nice arrangement for both of them. . . . I don’t know Mrs. Paine very well, but Mr. Paine and his wife were separated a great deal of the time.”

(Michael Paine worked at Bell Aerospace as a scientific engineer. His boss, Walter Dornberger, was a Nazi war criminal. The first call, the “tipoff,” on Oswald, came from Bell Aerospace.)

“The garage at the Paines’ house has some seabags that have a lot of my personal belongings. I left them after coming back from New Orleans in September. . . . The name Alek Hidell was picked up while working in New Orleans in the Fair Play for Cuba organization. . . . I speak Russian, correspond with people in Russia, and receive newspapers from Russia. . . . I don’t own a rifle at all. . . . I did have a small rifle some years in the past. You can’t buy a rifle in Russia, you can only buy shotguns. I had a shotgun in Russia and hunted some while there. I didn’t bring the rifle from New Orleans. . . . I am not a member of the Communist party. . . . I belong to the Civil Liberties Union. . . . I did carry a package to the Texas School Book Depository. I carried my lunch, a sandwich and fruit, which I made at Paine’s house. . . . I had nothing personal against John Kennedy.”

1:10 – 1:30 P.M.   Lee Harvey Oswald Visited by Mother, Marguerite Oswald, and Wife, Marina Oswald

          (To his Mother.) “No, there is nothing you can do. Everything is fine. I know my rights, and I will have an attorney. I already requested to get in touch with Attorney Abt, I think is his name. Don’t worry about a thing.”
(To his Wife.) “Oh, no, they have not been beating me. They are treating me fine. . . . You’re not to worry about that. Did you bring June and Rachel? . . . Of course we can speak about absolutely anything at all. . . . It’s a mistake. I’m not guilty. There are people who will help me. There is a lawyer in New York on whom I am counting for help. . . . Don’t cry. There is nothing to cry about. Try not to think about it. . . . Everything is going to be all right. If they ask you anything, you have a right not to answer. You have a right to refuse. Do you understand? . . . You are not to worry. You have friends. They’ll help you. If it comes to that, you can ask the Red Cross for help. You mustn’t worry about me. Kiss Junie and Rachel for me. I love you. . . . Be sure to buy shoes for June.”

2:15 P.M.   Lineup for Witnesses William W. Scoggins and William Whaley

          “I refuse to answer questions. I have my T-shirt on, the other men are dressed differently. . . . Everybody’s got a shirt and everything, and I’ve got a T-shirt on. . . . This is unfair.”

3:30 – 3:40 P.M.   Robert Oswald, Brother, in Ten-Minute Visit

          “I cannot or would not say anything, because the line is apparently tapped. [They were talking through telephones.] . . . I got these bruises in the theater. They haven’t bothered me since. They are treating me all right. . . . What do you think of the baby? Well, it was a girl, and I wanted a boy, but you know how that goes. . . . I don’t know what is going on. I just don’t know what they are talking about. . . . Don’t believe all the so-called evidence.” When Robert Oswald looked into Lee’s eyes for some clue, Lee said to him, “Brother, you won’t find anything there. . . . My friends will take care of Marina and the two children.” When Robert Oswald stated that he didn’t believe the Paines were friends of Lee’s, he answered back, “Yes, they are. . . . Junie needs a new pair of shoes.”

(Robert Oswald told the Warren Commission, “To me his answers were mechanical, and I was not talking to the Lee I knew.”)

3:40 P.M.   Lee Harvey Oswald Calls Mrs. Ruth Paine

          “This is Lee. Would you please call John Abt in New York for me after 6:00 P.M. The number for his office is ___________, and his residence is _______________ . . . . Thank you for your concern.”

5:30 – 5:35 P.M.   Visit with H. Louis Nichols, President of the Dallas Bar Association

          “Well, I really don’t know what this is all about, that I have been kept incarcerated and kept incommunicado. . . . Do you know a lawyer in New York named John Abt? I believe in New York City. I would like to have him represent me. That is the man I would like. Do you know any lawyers who are members of the American Civil Liberties Union? I am a member of that organization, and I would like to have somebody who is a member of that organization represent me.” Mr. Nichols offered to help find a lawyer, but Oswald said, “No, not now. You might come back next week, and if I don’t get some of these other people to assist me, I might ask you to get somebody to represent me.”

6:00 – 6:30 P.M.   Interrogation, Captain Fritz’s Office

          “In time I will be able to show you that this is not my picture, but I don’t want to answer any more questions. . . . I will not discuss this photograph [which was used on the cover of Feb. 21, 1964 Life magazine] without advice of an attorney. . . . There was another rifle in the building. I have seen it. Warren Caster had two rifles, a 30.06 Mauser and a .22 for his son. . . . That picture is not mine, but the face is mine. The picture has been made by superimposing my face. The other part of the picture is not me at all, and I have never seen this picture before. I understand photography real well, and that, in time, I will be able to show you that is not my picture and that it has been made by someone else. . . . It was entirely possible that the Police Dept. has superimposed this part of the photograph over the body of someone else. . . . The Dallas Police were the culprits. . . . The small picture was reduced from the larger one, made by some persons unknown to me. . . . Since I have been photographed at City Hall, with people taking my picture while being transferred from the office to the jail door, someone has been able to get a picture of my face, and with that, they have made this picture. . . . I never kept a rifle at Mrs. Paine’s garage at Irving, Tex. . . . We had no visitors at our apartment on North Beckley. . . . I have no receipts for purchase of any gun, and I have never ordered any guns. I do not own a rifle, never possessed a rifle. . . . I will not say who wrote A. J. Hidell on my Selective Service card. [It was later confirmed that Marina Oswald wrote in the name Hidell.] . . . I will not tell you the purpose of carrying the card or the use I made of it. . . . The address book in my possession has the names of Russian immigrants in Dallas, Tex., whom I have visited.”

9:30 P.M.   Lee Harvey Oswald Calls His Wife, Marina, at Mrs. Paine’s Home

          “Marina, please. Would you try to locate her?” (Marina had moved.)

10:00 P.M.   Office of Captain Fritz

          “Life is better for the colored people in Russia than it is in the U.S.”

9:30 – 11:15 A.M., SUNDAY MORNING, NOV. 24,1963   Interrogation in Capt. Will Fritz’s Office

          “After the assassination, a policeman or some man came rushing into the School Book Depository Building and said, `Where is your telephone?’ He showed me some kind of credential and identified himself, so he might not have been a police officer. . . . `Right there,’ I answered, pointing to the phone. . . . `Yes, I can eat lunch with you,’ I told my co-worker, `but I can’t go right now. You go and take the elevator, but send the elevator back up.’ [The elevator in the building was broken.] . . . After all this commotion started, I just went downstairs and started to see what it was all about. A police officer and my superintendent of the place stepped up and told officers that I am one of the employees in the building. . . . If you ask me about the shooting of Tippit, I don’t know what you are talking about. . . . The only thing I am here for is because I popped a policeman in the nose in the theater on Jefferson Avenue, which I readily admit I did, because I was protecting myself. . . . I learned about the job vacancy at the Texas School Book Depository from people in Mrs. Paine’s neighborhood. . . . I visited my wife Thursday night, Nov. 21, whereas I normally visited her over the weekend, because Mrs. Paine was giving a party for the children on the weekend. They were having a houseful of neighborhood children. I didn’t want to be around at such a time. . . . Therefore, my weekly visit was on Thursday night instead of on the weekend. . . . It didn’t cost much to go to Mexico. It cost me some $26, a small, ridiculous amount to eat, and another ridiculous small amount to stay all night. . . . I went to the Mexican Embassy to try to get this permission to go to Russia by way of Cuba. . . . I went to the Mexican Consulate in Mexico City. I went to the Russian Embassy to go to Russia by way of Cuba. They told me to come back in `thirty days.’ . . . I don’t recall the shape, it may have been a small sack, or a large sack; you don’t always find one that just fits your sandwiches. . . . The sack was in the car, beside me, on my lap, as it always is. . . . I didn’t get it crushed. It was not on the back seat. Mr. Frazier must have been mistaken or else thinking about the other time when he picked me up. . . . The Fair Play for Cuba Committee was a loosely organized thing and we had no officers. Probably you can call me the secretary of it because I did collect money. [Oswald was the only member in New Orleans.] . . . In New York City they have a well-organized, or a better, organization. . . . No, not at all: I didn’t intend to organize here in Dallas; I was too busy trying to get a job. . . . If anyone else was entitled to get mail in P.O. Box 6525 at the Terminal Annex in New Orleans, the answer is no. . . . The rental application said Fair Play for Cuba Committee and the American Civil Liberties Union. Maybe I put them on there. . . . It is possible that on rare occasions I may have handed one of the keys to my wife to get my mail, but certainly nobody else. . . . I never ordered a rifle under the name of Hidell, Oswald, or any other name. . . . I never permitted anyone else to order a rifle to be received in this box. . . . I never ordered any rifle by mail order or bought any money order for the purpose of paying for such a rifle. . . . I didn’t own any rifle. I have not practiced or shot with a rifle. . . . I subscribe to two publications from Russia, one being a hometown paper published in Minsk, where I met and married my wife. . . . We moved around so much that it was more practical to simply rent post office boxes and have mail forwarded from one box to the next rather than going through the process of furnishing changes of address to the publishers. . . . Marina Oswald and A. J. Hidell were listed under the caption of persons entitled to receive mail through my box in New Orleans. . . . I don’t recall anything about the A. J. Hidell being on the post office card. . . . I presume you have reference to a map I had in my room with some X’s on it. I have no automobile. I have no means of conveyance. I have to walk from where I am going most of the time. I had my applications with the Texas Employment Commission. They furnished me names and addresses of places that had openings like I might fill, and neighborhood people had furnished me information on jobs I might get. . . . I was seeking a job, and I would put these markings on this map so I could plan my itinerary around with less walking. Each one of these X’s represented a place where I went and interviewed for a job. . . . You can check each one of them out if you want to. . . . The X on the intersection of Elm and Houston is the location of the Texas School Book Depository. I did go there and interview for a job. In fact, I got the job there. That is all the map amounts to. [Ruth Paine later stated she had marked Lee’s map.] . . . What religion am I? I have no faith, I suppose you mean, in the Bible. I have read the Bible. It is fair reading, but not very interesting. As a matter of fact, I am a student of philosophy and I don’t consider the Bible as even a reasonable or intelligent philosophy. I don’t think of it. . . . I told you I haven’t shot a rifle since the Marines, possibly a small bore, maybe a .22, but not anything larger since I have left the Marine Corps. . . . I never received a package sent to me through the mailbox in Dallas, Box No. 2915, under the name of Alek Hidell, absolutely not. . . . Maybe my wife, but I couldn’t say for sure whether my wife ever got this mail, but it is possible she could have.” Oswald was told that an attorney offered to assist him, and he answered, “I don’t particularly want him, but I will take him if I can’t do any better, and will contact him at a later date. . . . I have been a student of Marxism since the age of 14. . . . American people will soon forget the President was shot, but I didn’t shoot him. . . . Since the President was killed, someone else would take his place, perhaps Vice-President Johnson. His views about Cuba would probably be largely the same as those of President Kennedy. . . . I never lived on Neely Street. These people are mistaken about visiting there, because I never lived there. . . . It might not be proper to answer further questions, because what I say might be construed in a different light than what I actually meant it to be. . . . When the head of any government dies, or is killed, there is always a second in command who would take over. . . . I did not kill President Kennedy or Officer Tippit. If you want me to cop out to hitting or pleading guilty to hitting a cop in the mouth when I was arrested, yeah, I plead guilty to that. But I do deny shooting both the President and Tippit.”

11:10 A.M.   Preparation for Oswald’s Transfer to County Jail

          “I would like to have a shirt from clothing that was brought to the office to wear over the T-shirt I am wearing. . . . I prefer wearing a black Ivy League-type shirt, which might be a little warmer. I don’t want a hat. . . . I will just take one of those sweaters, the black one.”

11:15 A.M.   Inspector Thomas J. Kelley, U.S. Secret Service, Has Final Conversation with Lee Harvey Oswald

          Kelley approached Oswald, out of the hearing of others, except perhaps Captain Fritz’s men, and said that as a Secret Service agent, he was anxious to talk with him as soon as he secured counsel, because Oswald was charged with the assassination of the President but had denied it. Oswald said, “I will be glad to discuss this proposition with my attorney, and that after I talk with one, we could either discuss it with him or discuss it with my attorney, if the attorney thinks it is a wise thing to do, but at the present time I have nothing more to say to you.”

11:21 A.M. Lee Harvey Oswald Was Fatally Wounded by Jack Ruby

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Garrison Remembered

Jim Garrison’s Playboy Interview

Playboy Magazine, Vol. 14 No. 10 — October 1967

Jim Garrison (1921-1995)

Born November 20, 1921, in Knoxville, Iowa, Earling Carothers Garrison — known as “Jim” to friends and family — was raised in New Orleans. At age 19, one year before Pearl Harbor, he joined the army. In 1942, he was sent to Europe, where he volunteered to fly spotter planes over the front lines. Following the war, he attended law school at Tulare, joined the FBI, and served as a special agent in Seattle and Tacoma. After growing bored with his agency assignments, he returned to New Orleans to practice law. He served as an assistant district attorney from 1954 to 1958.

In 1961, Garrison decided to run for district attorney on a platform openly hostile to then-New Orleans Mayor Victor Schiro. To the surprise of many, he was elected without any major political backing. He was 43 years old and had been district attorney for less than two years when Kennedy was killed. “I was an old-fashioned patriot,” he writes in On the Trail of the Assassins, (Sheridan Square Press, NY), “a product of my family, my military experience, and my years in the legal profession. I could not imagine then that the government would ever deceive the citizens of this country.”

PLAYBOY: You have been accused — by the National Broadcasting Company, Newsweek, the New Orleans Metropolitan Crime Commission and your own former investigative aide William Gurvich — of attempts to intimidate witnesses, of engaging in criminal conspiracy and of inciting to such felonies as perjury, criminal defamation and public bribery. How do you respond to these charges?

GARRISON: I’ve stopped beating my wife. All the charges you enumerate have been made with one purpose in mind — to place our office on the defensive and make us waste valuable time answering allegations that have no basis in fact. Also involved is a psychological by-product valuable to those who don’t want the truth about Kennedy’s assassination to become known: The very repetition of a charge lends it a certain credibility, since people have a tendency to believe that where there’s smoke, there’s fire — although I find it difficult to believe that the public will put much credence in most of the dastardly deeds I’ve been accused of in the past few months. Just recently, for example, the rumor went around that my staff was peddling marijuana to high school students and that one of our major witnesses had just confessed that his testimony was based on a dream induced by an overdose of LSD. We’ve also been accused of planning an attack on the local FBI office with guns loaded with red pepper, having stolen money from our own investigative files and having threatened to shoot one witness in the derriere with an exotic gun propelling truth-serum darts. I just hope they never find out about my involvement in the Boston Brinks robbery.

I must admit, however, that I’m beginning to worry about the cumulative effect of this propaganda blitzkrieg on potential jurors for the trial of Clay Shaw. I don’t know how long they can withstand the drumbeat obbligato of charges exonerating the defendant and convicting the prosecutor. For months now, the establishment’s artillery units have been pounding away at the two themes NBC focused on — that my office uses “improper methods” with regard to witnesses and that we don’t really have a case against Mr. Shaw and he should never be brought to trial. I hope you’ll give me the chance to answer each of these charges in detail; but first, let me elaborate a bit on the methods we employ in this or any other investigation.

My office has been one of the most scrupulous in the country with regard to the protection of individual rights. I’ve been on record for years in law journals and books as championing the rights of the individual against the oppressive power of the state. My office moved in and prevented police seizure from bookstores of books arbitrarily labeled “obscene.” I intervened and managed to persuade the Louisiana legislature to remove a provision from its new code of criminal procedure that would allow judges to reach out from the bench and cite newsmen for contempt if they penned anything embarrassing to the judges. My office has investigated cases where we had already obtained convictions; and on discovering new evidence indicating that the defendant was not guilty, we’ve obtained a reversal of the verdict. In over five years of office, I have never had a single case reversed because of the use of improper methods — a record I’ll match with any other D. A. in the country.

In this particular case, I’ve taken unusual steps to protect the rights of the defendant and assure him a fair trial. Before we introduced the testimony of our witnesses, we made them undergo independent verifying tests, including polygraph examination, truth serum and hypnosis. We thought this would be hailed as an unprecedented step in jurisprudence; instead, the press turned around and hinted that we had drugged our witnesses or given them posthypnotic suggestions to testify falsely. After arresting Mr. Shaw, we filed a motion for a preliminary hearing — a proceeding that essentially operates in the defendant’s favor. Such a hearing is generally requested by the defense, and it was virtually unheard of that the motion be filed by the state, which under the law has the right to charge a defendant outright, without any evaluation by a judge of the pending charges. But I felt that because of the enormity of this accusation, we should lean over backward and give the defendant every chance. A three-judge panel heard our evidence against Mr. Shaw and his attorneys’ rebuttals and ordered him indicted for conspiracy to assassinate the President.

And I might add here that it’s a matter of record that my relationship with the judiciary of our fair city is not a Damon-Pythias camaraderie. Once the judges had handed down their decision, we could have immediately filed a charge against the defendant just by signing it and depositing it with the city clerk — the customary method of charging a defendant. Nevertheless, out of concern for Mr. Shaw’s rights, we voluntarily presented the case to a blue-ribbon grand jury. If this grand jury had failed to indict Mr. Shaw, our case would have been dead as a doornail. But the grand jury, composed of 12 eminent New Orleans citizens, heard our evidence and indicted the defendant for participation in a conspiracy to assassinate John Kennedy. In a further effort to protect the rights of the defendant, and in the face of the endlessly reiterated accusation that we have no case against him — despite the unanimous verdict of the grand jury and the judges at the preliminary hearing — I have studiously refrained from making any public statement critical of the defendant or prejudging his guilt. Of course, this puts me at a considerable disadvantage when the press claims I have no case against him, because the only way I could convince them of the strength of my case is to throw open our files and let them examine the testimony of all our witnesses. Apart from the injustice such an act would do Mr. Shaw, it could get our whole case thrown out of court on the grounds that we had prejudiced the defendant’s rights by pretrial publicity. So I won’t fall into that particular trap, whatever the provocation.

I only wish the press would allow our case to stand or fall on its merits in court. It appears that certain elements of the mass media have an active interest in preventing this case from ever coming to trial at all and find it necessary to employ against me every smear device in the book. To read the press accounts of my investigation — my “circus,” I should say — I’m a cross between Al Capone and Attila the Hun, ruthlessly hounding innocent men, trampling their legal rights, bribing and threatening witnesses and in general violating every canon of legal ethics. My God, anybody who employs the kind of methods that elements of the news media attribute to me should not only not be a district attorney, he should be disbarred. This case has taught me the difference between image and reality, and the power of the mythmakers. But I know I’ve done everything possible to conduct this investigation with honesty and integrity and with full respect for the civil rights of the defendant. But a blanket denial of charges against me isn’t going to convince anyone, so why don’t we consider them one by one?

PLAYBOY: All right. The May 15th issue of Newsweek charged that two of your investigators offered David Ferrie’s former roommate, Alvin Beauboeuf, $3000 and an airline job if he would help substantiate your charges against Clay Shaw. How do you answer this accusation?

GARRISON: Mr. Beauboeuf was one of the two men who accompanied David Ferrie on a mysterious trip from New Orleans to Texas on the day of the assassination, so naturally we were interested in him from the very start of our investigation. At first he showed every willingness to cooperate with our office; but after Ferrie’s death, somebody gave him a free trip to Washington. From that moment on, a change came over Beauboeuf; he refused to cooperate with us any further and he made the charges against my investigators to which you refer.

Fortunately, Beauboeuf had signed an affidavit on April 12th — well after the alleged bribe offer was supposed to have been made — affirming that “no representative of the New Orleans Parish district attorney’s office has ever asked me to do anything but to tell the truth. Any inference or statement by anyone to the contrary has no basis in fact.” As soon as his attorney began broadcasting his charges, we asked the New Orleans police department to thoroughly investigate the matter. And on June 12th, the police department — which is not, believe me, in the pocket of the district attorney’s office — released a report concluding that exhaustive investigation by the police intelligence branch had cleared my staff of any attempt to bribe or threaten Beauboeuf into giving untrue testimony. There was no mention of this report, predictably enough, in Newsweek.

Let me make one thing clear, though: Like every police department and district attorney’s office across the country, we have sums set aside to pay informers for valuable information — but we would never suborn perjury. This isn’t because we’re saints — short cuts like that could be awfully tempting in a frustrating case — but because we’re realistic enough to know that any witness who can be bought by us can also be bought by the other side. So it’s rather naive, apart from being ethically objectionable, to assume that our investigators travel around the country with bags of money trying to bribe witnesses to lie on the witness stand. We just don’t operate that way.

PLAYBOY: On an NBC television special, “The J.F.K. Conspiracy: The Case of Jim Garrison,” a former Turkish-bathhouse operator in New Orleans, Fred Leemans, claimed that one of your aides offered him money to testify that Clay Shaw had frequented his establishment with Lee Harvey Oswald. Do you also deny this charge?

GARRISON: Yes; and it’s a perfect illustration of the point I was just making about how easy it is for the other side to buy witnesses and then charge us with its own misconduct. Mr. Leemans came to us in early May, volunteering testimony to the effect that he had often seen a man named Clay Bertrand in his bathhouse, sometimes accompanied by men he described as “Latins.” In a sworn affidavit, Leemans said he had also seen a young man called Lee with Bertrand on four or five occasions — a man who fits the description of Lee Harvey Oswald. Leemans also identified the Clay Bertrand who had frequented his establishment as Clay Shaw. Now, this was important testimony, and initially we were favorably impressed with Mr. Leemans. But then we started receiving calls from him demanding money.

Well, I’ve told you our policy on this, and the answer was a flat no. He was quiet for a while and then he called and asked if we would approve if he sold his story to a magazine, since he badly needed money. We refused to give him such approval. Apparently, the National Broadcasting Company was able to establish a warmer relationship with Mr. Leemans. In any case, he now says that he didn’t really lie to us; he just “told us what he thought we wanted to hear.” I’m sure he was equally cooperative with NBC — although he’s beginning to spread his favors around. When a reporter asked him for more information after the broadcast, Leemans refused, explaining that he was saving himself for the Associated Press, “since I want to make something out of this.” I would like to make one personal remark about Mr. Leemans. I don’t know if he was lying to us initially or not — though I suspect from other evidence in my possession that his statement as he first gave it was accurate — but anybody, no matter what his financial straits, who tries to make a fast buck off the assassination of John Kennedy is several rungs below the anthropoid ape on the evolutionary scale.

PLAYBOY: On this same NBC show, newsman Frank McGee claimed that NBC investigators had discovered that your two key witnesses against Clay Shaw — Perry Russo and Vernon Bundy — both failed polygraph tests prior to their testimony before the grand jury. In the case of Russo, who claimed to have attended a meeting at David Ferrie’s apartment where Shaw, Oswald and Ferrie plotted the assassination, NBC said that “Russo’s answers to a series of questions indicate, in the language of the polygraph operator, ‘deception criteria.’ He was asked if he knew Clay Shaw. He was asked if he knew Lee Harvey Oswald. His ‘yes’ answer to both of these questions indicated ‘deception criteria.'” Did Bundy and Russo fail their lie-detector tests?

GARRISON: No, and NBC’s allegations in this area are about as credible as its other charges. The men who administered both polygraph tests flatly deny that Russo and Bundy failed the test. I’ll offer right now to make Russo’s and Bundy’s polygraph tests accessible to any reputable investigator or reporter the day Clay Shaw’s trial begins; I can’t do it before that, because I’m restrained from releasing material pertaining to Shaw’s guilt or innocence. Just for your information, though, the veracity of Bundy and Russo has been affirmed not only through polygraph tests but through hypnosis and the administration of sodium amytal — truth serum.

I want to make a proposition to the president of NBC: If this charge is true, then I will resign as district attorney of New Orleans. If it’s untrue, however, then the president of NBC should resign. Just in case he thinks I’m kidding, I’m ready to meet with him at any time to select a mutually acceptable committee to determine once and for all the truth or falsehood of this charge. In all fairness, however, I must add that the fact Bundy and Russo passed their polygraph tests is not, in and of itself, irrefutable proof that they were telling the truth; that’s why we administered the other tests. The lie detector isn’t a foolproof technique. A man well rehearsed and in complete control of himself can master those reactions that would register on the polygraph as deception criteria and get away with blatant lies, while someone who is extremely nervous and anxiety-ridden could tell the truth and have it register as a lie. Much also depends on who administers the test, since it can easily be rigged. For example, Jack Ruby took a lie-detector test for the Warren Commission and told lie after outright lie — even little lies that could be easily checked — and yet the Warren Commission concluded that he passed the test. So the polygraph is only one weapon in the arsenal we use to verify a witness’ testimony, and we have never considered it conclusive; we have abundant documentation to corroborate their stories.

PLAYBOY: Two convicts, Miguel Torres and John Cancler, told NBC that Vernon Bundy admitted having lied in his testimony linking Clay Shaw to Lee Oswald. Do you dismiss this as just another NBC fabrication?

GARRISON: Messrs. Cancler and Torres were both convicted by my office, as were almost half the men in the state penitentiary, and I’m sure the great majority of them have little love for the man who sent them up. I don’t know if they fabricated their stories in collusion with NBC or on their own for motives of revenge, but I’m convinced from what I know of Vernon Bundy that his testimony was truthful. NBC manipulated the statements of Cancler and Torres to give the impression to the viewer that he was watching a trial on television — my trial — and that these “objective” witnesses were saying exactly what they would say in a court of law. Actually — and NBC scrupulously avoided revealing this to its audience — their “testimony” was not under oath, there was no opportunity for cross-examination or the presentation of rebuttal witnesses, and the statements of Cancler, Torres and all the rest of NBC’s road company were edited so that the public would hear only those elements of their story that would damage our case. The rules of evidence and adversary procedure, I might add, have been developed over many years precisely to prevent this kind of phony side show.

Of course, these two convicts have been used against my office in variety of respects. Miguel Torres also claims I offered him a full pardon, a vacation in Florida and an ounce of heroin if he would testify that Clay Shaw had made homosexual overtures to him on the street. What on earth that would have established relevant to this case I still don’t know, but that’s his story. I think it was actually rather cheap of me to offer Torres only an ounce of heroin; that wouldn’t have lasted out his vacation. A kilo would be more like it. After all, I’m not stingy. Torres’ friend John Cancler, a burglar, has also charged that one of my investigators tried to induce him to burglarize Clay Shaw’s house and plant false evidence there, but he refused because he would not have such a heinous sin on his conscience. I suppose that’s why Cancler’s prison nickname is “John the Baptist.” I can assure you, if we ever wanted to burglarize Shaw’s home — which we never did — John the Baptist would be the last man on earth we’d pick for the job. By the way, Mr. Cancler was called before the grand jury and asked if he had told the truth to NBC. He replied; “I refuse to answer on the grounds that my answer might incriminate me” — and was promptly sentenced to six months in prison and a $500 fine for contempt of court.

PLAYBOY: The NBC special also claimed to have discovered that “Clay, or Clem, Bertrand does exist. Clem Bertrand is not his real name. It is a pseudonym used by a homosexual in New Orleans. For his protection, we will not disclose the real name of the man known as Clem Bertrand. His real name has been given to the Department of Justice. He is not Clay Shaw.” Doesn’t this undermine your entire case against Shaw?

GARRISON: Your faith in NBC’s veracity is touching and indicates that the Age of Innocence is not yet over. NBC does not have the real Clay Bertrand; the man whose name NBC so melodramatically turned over to the Justice Department is that of Eugene Davis, a New Orleans bar owner, who has firmly denied under oath that he has ever used the name Clay, or Clem, Bertrand. We know from incontrovertible evidence in our possession who the real Clay Bertrand is — and we will prove it in court.

But to make this whole thing a little clearer, let me tell you the genesis of the whole “Clay Bertrand” story. A New Orleans lawyer, Dean Andrews, told the Warren Commission that a few months before the assassination of President Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald and a group of “gay Mexicanos” came to his office and requested Andrews’ aid in having Oswald’s Marine Corps undesirable discharge changed to an honorable discharge; Oswald subsequently returned alone with other legal problems.

Andrews further testified that the day after President Kennedy was assassinated, he received a call from Clay Bertrand, who asked him to rush to Dallas to represent Oswald. Andrews claims he subsequently saw Bertrand in a New Orleans bar, but Bertrand fled when Andrews approached him. This was intriguing testimony, although the Warren Commission dismissed it out of hand; and in 1964, Mark Lane traveled to New Orleans to speak to Andrews. He found him visibly frightened. “I’ll take you to dinner,” Andrews told Lane, “but I can’t talk about the case. I called Washington and they told me that if I said anything, I might get a bullet in the head.” For the same reason, he has refused to cooperate with my office in this investigation. The New York Times reported on February 26th that “Mr. Andrews said he had not talked to Mr. Garrison because such talk might be dangerous, but added that he believed he was being ‘tailed.'” Andrews told our grand jury that he could not say Clay Shaw was Clay Bertrand and he could not say he wasn’t. But the day after NBC’s special, Andrews broke his silence and said, yes, Clay Shaw is not Clem Bertrand and identified the real Clay Bertrand as Eugene Davis. The only trouble is, Andrews and Davis have known each other for years and have been seen frequently in each other’s company. Andrews has lied so often and about so many aspects of this case that the New Orleans Parish grand jury has indicted him for perjury. I feel sorry for him, since he’s afraid of getting a bullet in his head, but he’s going to have to go to trial for perjury. [Andrews has since been convicted.]

PLAYBOY: You expressed your reaction to the NBC show in concrete terms on July seventh, when you formally charged Walter Sheridan, the network’s special investigator for the broadcast, with attempting to bribe your witness Perry Russo. Do you really have a case against Sheridan, or is this just a form of harassment?

GARRISON: The reason we haven’t lost a major case in over five years in office is that we do not charge a man unless we can make it stick in court. And I’m not in the business of harassing anybody. Sheridan was charged because evidence was brought to us indicating that he attempted to bribe Perry Russo by offering him free transportation to California, free lodgings and a job once there, payment of all legal fees in any extradition proceedings and immunity from my office. Mr. Russo has stated that Sheridan asked his help “to wreck the Garrison investigation” and “offered to set me up in California, protect my job and guarantee that Garrison would never get me extradited.” According to Russo, Sheridan added that both NBC and the CIA were out to scuttle my case.

I think it’s significant that the chief investigator for this ostensibly objective broadcast starts telling people the day he arrives in town that he is going to “destroy Garrison” —this at the same time he is unctuously assuring me that NBC wanted only the truth and he had an entirely open mind on my case. Let me tell you something about Walter Sheridan’s background, and maybe you’ll understand his true role in all this. Sheridan was one of the bright, hard young investigators who entered the Justice Department under Bobby Kennedy. He was assigned to nail Jimmy Hoffa. Sheridan employed a wide variety of highly questionable tactics in the Justice Department’s relentless drive against Hoffa; he was recently subpoenaed to testify in connection with charges that he wire-tapped the offices of Hoffa’s associates and then played back incriminating tapes to them, warning that unless they testified for the Government, they would be destroyed along with Hoffa.

A few years ago, Sheridan left the Justice Department — officially, at least — and went to work for NBC. No honest reporter out for a story would have so completely prejudged the situation and been willing to employ such tactics. I think it’s likely that in his zeal to destroy my case, he exceeded the authority granted him by NBC’s executives in New York. I get the impression that the majority of NBC executives probably thought Sheridan’s team came down here in an uncompromising search for the truth. When Sheridan overstepped himself and it became obvious that the broadcast was, to say the least, not objective, NBC realized it was in a touchy position. Cooler heads prevailed and I was allowed to present our case to the American people. For that, at least, I’m singularly grateful to Walter Sheridan.

PLAYBOY: How do you respond to the charge of your critics — including NBC — that you launched this probe for political reasons, hoping the attendant publicity would be a springboard to a Senate seat or to the governorship?

GARRISON: I’d have to be a terribly cynical and corrupt man to place another human being on trial for conspiracy to murder the President of the United States just to gratify my political ambition. But I guess there are a lot of people around the country, especially after NBC’s attack, who think that’s just the kind of man I am. That rather saddens me. I’m no Albert Schweitzer, but I could never do a thing like that. I derive no pleasure from prosecuting a man, even though I know he’s guilty; do you think I could sleep at night or look at myself in the mirror in the morning if I hounded an innocent man?

You know, I always received much more satisfaction as a defense attorney in obtaining an acquittal for a client than I ever have as a D.A. in obtaining a conviction. All my interests and sympathies tend to be on the side of the individual as opposed to the state. So this is really the worst charge that anyone could make against me — that in order to get my name in the paper, or to advance politically, I would destroy another human being. This kind of charge reveals a good deal about the personality of the people who make it; to impute such motives to another man is to imply you’re harboring them yourself.

But to look at a different aspect of your question, I’m inclined to challenge the whole premise that launching an investigation like this holds any political advantages for me. A politically ambitious man would hardly be likely to challenge the massed power of the Federal Government and criticize so many honorable figures and distinguished agencies. Actually, this charge is an argument in favor of my investigation: Would such a slimy type, eager to profiteer on the assassination, jeopardize his political ambitions if he didn’t have an ironclad case? If I were really the ambitious monster they paint me, why would I climb out on such a limb and then saw it off? Unless he had the facts, it would be the last thing a politically ambitious man would do. I was perfectly aware that I might have signed my political death warrant the moment I launched this case — but I couldn’t care less as long as I can shed some light on John Kennedy’s assassination. As a matter of fact, after this last murderous year, I find myself thinking more and more about returning to private life and having time to read again, to get out in the sun and hit a golf ball. But before I do that, I’m going to break this case and let the public know the truth. I won’t quit before that day. I wouldn’t give the bastards the satisfaction.

PLAYBOY: According to your own former chief investigator, William Gurvich, the truth about the assassination has already been published in the Warren Report. After leaving your staff last June, he announced, “If there is any truth to any of Garrison’s charges about there being a conspiracy, I haven’t been able to find it.” When members of your own staff have no faith in your case, how do you expect the public to be impressed?

GARRISON: First of all, I won’t deny for a minute that for at least three months I trusted Bill Gurvich implicitly. He was never my “chief investigator” — that’s his own terminology — because there was no such position on my staff while he worked for me. But two days before Christmas 1966, Gurvich, who operates a private detective agency, visited my office and told me he’d heard of my investigation and thought I was doing a wonderful job. He presented me with a beautiful color-TV set and asked if he could be of use in any capacity.

Well, right then and there, I should have sat back and asked myself a few searching questions — like how he had heard of my probe in the first place, since only the people we were questioning and a few of my staff, as far as I knew, were aware of what was going on at that time. We had been under way for only five weeks, remember. And I should also have recalled the old adage about Greeks bearing gifts. But I was desperately understaffed — I had only six aides available to work on the assassination inquiry full time — and here comes a trained private investigator offering his services free of charge. It was like a gift from the gods.

So I set Gurvich to work; and for the next couple of months, he did an adequate job of talking to witnesses, taking photographs, etc. But then, around March, I learned that he had been seeing Walter Sheridan of NBC. Well, this didn’t bother me at first, because I didn’t know then the role Sheridan was playing in this whole affair. But after word got back to me from my witnesses about Sheridan’s threats and harassment, I began keeping a closer eye on Bill. I still didn’t really think he was any kind of a double agent, but I couldn’t help wondering why he was rubbing elbows with people like that.

Now, don’t forget that Gurvich claims he became totally disgusted with our investigation at the time of Clay Shaw’s arrest — yet for several months afterward he continued to wax enthusiastic about every aspect of our case, and I have a dozen witnesses who will testify to that effect. I guess this was something that should have tipped me off about Bill: He was always enthusiastic, never doubtful or cautionary, even when I or one of my staff threw out a hypothesis that on reflection we realized was wrong. And I began to notice how he would pick my mind for every scrap of fact pertaining to the case. So I grew suspicious and took him off the sensitive areas of the investigation and relegated him to chauffeuring and routine clerical duties.

This seemed to really bother him, and every day he would come into my office and pump me for information, complaining that he wasn’t being told enough about the case. I still had nothing concrete against him and I didn’t want to be unjust, but I guess my manner must have cooled perceptibly, because one day about two months before he surfaced in Washington, Bill just vanished from our sight. And with him, I’m sorry to confess, vanished a copy of our master file.

How do you explain such behavior? It’s possible that Bill joined us initially for reasons of opportunism, seeing a chance to get in at the beginning of an earth-shaking case, and subsequently chickened out when he saw the implacable determination of some powerful agencies to destroy our investigation and discredit everyone associated with it. But I really don’t believe Bill is that much of a coward. It’s also possible that those who want to prevent an investigation learned early what we were doing and made a decision to plant somebody on the inside of the investigation. Let me stress that I have no secret documents or monitored telephone calls to support this hypothesis; it just seems to me the most logical explanation for Bill’s behavior. Let me put it this way: If you were in charge of the CIA and willing to spend scores of millions of dollars on such relatively penny-ante projects as infiltrating the National Students Association, wouldn’t you make an effort to infiltrate an investigation that could seriously damage the prestige of your agency?

PLAYBOY: How could your probe damage the prestige of the CIA and cause them to take countermeasures against you?

GARRISON: For the simple reason that a number of the men who killed the President were former employees of the CIA involved in its anti-Castro underground activities in and around New Orleans. The CIA knows their identity. So do I — and our investigation has established this without the shadow of a doubt. Let me stress one thing, however: We have no evidence that any official of the CIA was involved with the conspiracy that led to the President’s death.

PLAYBOY: Do you lend no credence, then, to the charges of a former CIA agent, J. Garrett Underhill, that there was a conspiracy within the CIA to assassinate Kennedy?

GARRISON: I’ve become familiar with the case of Gary Underhill, and I’ve been able to ascertain that he was not the type of man to make wild or unsubstantiated charges. Underhill was an intelligence agent in World War Two and an expert on military affairs whom the Pentagon considered one of the country’s top authorities on limited warfare. He was on good personal terms with the top brass in the Defense Department and the ranking officials in the CIA. He wasn’t a full-time CIA agent, but he occasionally performed “special assignments” for the Agency. Several days after the President’s assassination, Underhill appeared at the home of friends in New Jersey, apparently badly shaken, and charged that Kennedy was killed by a small group within the CIA. He told friends he believed his own life was in danger. We can’t learn any more from Underhill, I’m afraid, because shortly afterward, he was found shot to death in his Washington apartment. The coroner ruled suicide, but he had been shot behind the left ear and the pistol was found under his left side — and Underhill was right-handed.

PLAYBOY: Do you believe Underhill was murdered to silence him?

GARRISON: I don’t believe it and I don’t disbelieve it. All I know is that witnesses with vital evidence in this case are certainly bad insurance risks. In the absence of further and much more conclusive evidence to the contrary, however, we must assume that the plotters were acting on their own rather than on CIA orders when they killed the President. As far as we have been able to determine, they were not in the pay of the CIA at the time of the assassination — and this is one of the reasons the President was murdered: I’ll explain later what I mean by that. But the CIA could not face up to the American people and admit that its former employees had conspired to assassinate the President; so from the moment Kennedy’s heart stopped beating, the Agency attempted to sweep the whole conspiracy under the rug. The CIA has spared neither time nor the taxpayers’ money in its efforts to hide the truth about the assassination from the American people. In this respect, it has become an accessory after the fact in the assassination.

PLAYBOY: Do you have any conclusive evidence to support these accusations?

GARRISON: I’ve never revealed this before, but for at least six months, my office and home telephones — and those of every member of my staff — have been monitored. If there is as little substance to this investigation as the press and the Government allege, why would anyone go to all that trouble? I leave it to your judgment if the monitoring of our phones is the work of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union or the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce.

PLAYBOY: That’s hardly conclusive evidence.

GARRISON: I’d need a book to list all the indications. But let’s start with the fact that most of the attorneys for the hostile witnesses and defendants were hired by the CIA —through one or another of its covers. For example, a New Orleans lawyer representing Alvin Beauboeuf, who has charged me with every kind of unethical practice except child molesting — I expect that allegation to come shortly before Shaw’s trial — flew with Beauboeuf to Washington immediately after my office subpoenaed him, where Beauboeuf was questioned by a “retired” intelligence officer in the offices of the Justice Department. This trip was paid for, as are the lawyer’s legal fees, by the CIA — in other words, with our tax dollars.

Another lawyer, Stephen Plotkin, who represents Gordon Novel [another of Garrison’s key witnesses], has admitted he is paid by the CIA — and has also admitted his client is a CIA agent; you may have seen that story on page 96 of The New York Times, next to ship departures. Plotkin, incidentally, sued me for $10,000,000 for defaming his client and sued a group of New Orleans businessmen financing my investigation for $50,000,000 — which meant, in effect, that the CIA was suing us. As if they need the money. But my attorney filed a motion for a deposition to be taken from Novel, which meant that he would have to return to my jurisdiction to file his suit and thus be liable for questioning in the conspiracy case. Rather than come down to New Orleans and face the music, Novel dropped his suit and sacrificed a possible $60,000,000 judgment. Now, there’s a man of principle; he knows there are some things more important than money.

PLAYBOY: Do you also believe Clay Shaw’s lawyers are being paid by the CIA?

GARRISON: I can’t comment directly on that, since it relates to Shaw’s trial. But I think the clincher, as far as Washington’s obstruction of our probe goes, is the consistent refusal of the Federal Government to make accessible to us any information about the roles of the CIA, anti-Castro Cuban exiles and the para-military right in the assassination. There is, without doubt, a conspiracy by elements of the Federal Government to keep the facts of this case from ever becoming known — a conspiracy that is the logical extension of the initial conspiracy by the CIA to conceal vital evidence from the Warren Commission.

PLAYBOY: What “vital evidence” did the CIA withhold from the Warren Commission?

GARRISON: A good example is Commission Exhibit number 237. This is a photograph of a stocky, balding, middle-aged man published without explanation or identification in the 26 volumes of the Warren Report. There’s a significant story behind Exhibit number 237. Throughout the late summer and fall of 1963, Lee Oswald was shepherded in Dallas and New Orleans by a CIA “baby sitter” who watched over Oswald’s activities and stayed with him. My office knows who he is and what he looks like.

PLAYBOY: Are you implying that Oswald was working for the CIA?

GARRISON: Let me finish and you can decide for yourself. When Oswald went to Mexico City in an effort to obtain a visa for travel to Cuba, this CIA agent accompanied him. Now, at this particular time, Mexico was the only Latin-American nation maintaining diplomatic ties with Cuba, and leftists and Communists from all over the hemisphere traveled to the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City for visas to Cuba. The CIA, quite properly, had placed a hidden movie camera in a building across the street from the embassy and filmed everyone coming and going. The Warren Commission, knowing this, had an assistant legal counsel ask the FBI for a picture of Oswald and his companion on the steps of the embassy, and the FBI, in turn, filed an affidavit saying they had obtained the photo in question from the CIA. The only trouble is that the CIA supplied the Warren Commission with a phony photograph. The photograph of an “unidentified man” published in the 26 volumes is not the man who was filmed with Oswald on the steps of the Cuban Embassy, as alleged by the CIA. It’s perfectly clear that the actual picture of Oswald and his companion was suppressed and a fake photo substituted because the second man in the picture was working for the CIA in 1963, and his identification as a CIA agent would have opened up a whole can of worms about Oswald’s ties with the Agency. To prevent this, the CIA presented the Warren Commission with fraudulent evidence — a pattern that repeats itself whenever the CIA submits evidence relating to Oswald’s possible connection with any U.S. intelligence agency. The CIA lied to the Commission right down the line; and since the Warren Commission had no investigative staff of its own but had to rely on the FBI, the Secret Service and the CIA for its evidence, it’s understandable why the Commission concluded that Oswald had no ties with American intelligence agencies.

PLAYBOY: What was the nature of these ties?

GARRISON: That’s not altogether clear, at least insofar as his specific assignments are concerned; but we do have proof that Oswald was recruited by the CIA in his Marine Corps days, when he was mysteriously schooled in Russian and allowed to subscribe to Pravda. And shortly before his trip to the Soviet Union, we have learned, Oswald was trained as an intelligence agent at the CIA installation at Japan’s Atsugi Air Force Base —which may explain why no disciplinary action was taken against him when he returned to the U.S. from the Soviet Union, even though he had supposedly defected with top-secret information about our radar networks. The money he used to return to the U.S., incidentally, was advanced to him by the State Department.

PLAYBOY: In an article for Ramparts, ex-FBI agent William Turner indicated that White Russian refugee George De Mohrenschildt may have been Oswald’s CIA “baby sitter” in Dallas. Have you found any links between the CIA and De Mohrenschildt?

GARRISON: I can’t comment directly on that, but George De Mohrenschildt is certainly an enigmatic and intriguing character. Here you have a wealthy, cultured White Russian émigré who travels in the highest social circles — he was a personal friend of Mrs. Hugh Auchincloss, Jackie Kennedy’s mother — suddenly developing an intimate relationship with an impoverished ex-Marine like Lee Oswald. What did they discuss — last year’s season at Biarritz, or how to beat the bank at Monte Carlo?

And Mr. De Mohrenschildt has a penchant for popping up in the most interesting places at the most interesting times — for example, in Haiti just before a joint Cuban exile-CIA venture to topple Duvalier and use the island as a springboard for an invasion of Cuba; and in Guatemala, another CIA training ground, the day before the Bay of Pigs invasion. We have a good deal more information about Oswald’s CIA contacts in Dallas and New Orleans ù most of which we discovered by sheer chance — but there are still whole areas of inquiry blocked from us by the CIA’s refusal to cooperate with our investigation.

For public consumption, the CIA claims not to have been concerned with Oswald prior to the assassination. But one thing is certain: Despite these pious protestations, the CIA was very much aware of Oswald’s activities well before the President’s murder. In a notarized affidavit, State Department officer James D. Crowley states, “The first time I remember learning of Oswald’s existence was when I received copies of a telegraphic message from the Central Intelligence Agency dated October 10, 1963, which contained information pertaining to his current activities.” It would certainly be interesting to know what the CIA knew about Oswald six weeks before the assassination, but the contents of this particular message never reached the Warren Commission and remain a complete mystery.

There are also 51 CIA documents classified top secret in the National Archives pertaining to Lee Oswald and Jack Ruby. Technically, the members of the Commission had access to them; but in practice, any document the CIA wanted classified was shunted into the Archives without examination by the sleeping beauties on the Commission. Twenty-nine of these files are of particular interest, because their titles alone indicate that the CIA had extensive information on Oswald and Ruby before the assassination. A few of these documents are: CD 347, “Activity of Oswald in Mexico City”; CD 1054, “Information on Jack Ruby and Associates”; CD 692, “Reproduction of Official CIA Dossier on Oswald”; CD 1551, “Conversations Between Cuban President and Ambassador”; CD 698, “Reports of Travel and Activities of Oswald”; CD 943, “Allegations of Pfc. Eugene Dinkin re Assassination Plot”; and CD 971, “Telephone Calls to U.S. Embassy, Canberra, Australia, re Planned Assassination.”

The titles of these documents are all we have to go on, but they’re certainly intriguing. For example, the public has heard nothing about phone calls to the U.S. Embassy in Canberra, warning in advance of the assassination, nor have we been told anything about a Pfc. Dinkin who claims to have knowledge of an assassination plot. One of the top-secret files that most intrigues me is CD 931, which is entitled “Oswald’s Access to Information About the U-2.” I have 24 years of military experience behind me, on active duty and in the reserves, and I’ve never had any access to the U-2; in fact, I’ve never seen one. But apparently this “self-proclaimed Marxist,” Lee Harvey Oswald, who we’re assured had no ties to any Government agency, had access to information about the nation’s most secret high-altitude reconnaissance plane.

Of course, it may be that none of these CIA files reveals anything sinister about Lee Harvey Oswald or hints in any way that he was employed by our Government. But then, why are the 51 CIA documents classified top secret in the Archives and inaccessible to the public for 75 years? I’m 45, so there’s no hope for me, but I’m already training my eight-year-old son to keep himself physically fit so that on one glorious September morn in 2038 he can walk into the National Archives in Washington and find out what the CIA knew about Lee Harvey Oswald.

If there’s a further extension of the top-secret classification, this may become a generational affair, with questions passed down from father to son in the manner of the ancient runic bards. But someday, perhaps, we’ll find out what Oswald was doing messing around with the U-2.

Of course, there are some CIA documents we’ll never see. When the Warren Commission asked to see a secret CIA memo on Oswald’s activities in Russia that had been attached to a State Department letter on Oswald’s Russian stay, word came back that the Agency was terribly sorry, but the secret memo had been destroyed while being photocopied. This unfortunate accident took place on November 23, 1963, a day on which there must have occurred a great deal of spontaneous combustion around Washington.

PLAYBOY: John A. McCone, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, has said of Oswald: “The Agency never contacted him, interviewed him, talked with him or received or solicited any reports or information from him or communicated with him in any manner. Lee Harvey Oswald was never associated or connected directly or indirectly, in any way whatsoever, with the Agency.” Why do you refuse to accept McCone’s word?

GARRISON: The head of the CIA, it seems to me, would think long and hard before he admitted that former employees of his had been involved in the murder of the President of the United States — even if they weren’t acting on behalf of the Agency when they did it. In any case, the CIA’s past record hardly induces faith in the Agency’s veracity. CIA officials lied about their role in the overthrow of the Arbenz Guzman regime in Guatemala; they lied about their role in the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran; they lied about their role in the abortive military revolt against Sukarno in 1958; they lied about the U-2 incident; and they certainly lied about the Bay of Pigs. If the CIA is ready to lie even about its successes — as in Guatemala and Iran — do you seriously believe its director would tell the truth in a case as explosive as this? Of course, CIA officials grow so used to lying, so steeped in deceit, that after a while I think they really become incapable of distinguishing truth and falsehood. Or, in an Orwellian sense, perhaps they come to believe that truth is what contributes to national security, and falsehood is anything detrimental to national security. John McCone would swear he’s a Croatian dwarf if he thought it would advance the interests of the CIA — which he automatically equates with the national interest.

PLAYBOY: Let’s get down to the facts of the assassination, as you see them. When — and why — did you begin to doubt the conclusions of the Warren Report?

GARRISON: Until as recently as November of 1966, I had complete faith in the Warren Report. As a matter of fact, I viewed its most vocal critics with the same skepticism that much of the press now views me — which is why I can’t condemn the mass media too harshly for their cynical approach, except in the handful of cases where newsmen seem to be in active collusion with Washington to torpedo our investigation. Of course, my faith in the Report was grounded in ignorance, since I had never read it; as Mark Lane says, “The only way you can believe the Report is not to have read it.”

But then, in November, I visited New York City with Senator Russell Long; and when the subject of the assassination came up, he expressed grave doubts about the Warren Commission’s conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin. Now, this disturbed me, because here was the Majority Whip of the U.S. Senate speaking, not some publicity hound with an ideological ax to grind; and if at this late juncture he still entertained serious reservations about the Commission’s determinations, maybe there was more to the assassination than met the eye. So I began reading every book and magazine article on the assassination I could get my hands on — my tombstone may be inscribed “Curiosity Killed The D.A.” — and I found my own doubts growing. Finally, I put aside all other business and started to wade through the Warren Commission’s own 26 volumes of supportive evidence and testimony. That was the clincher. It’s impossible for anyone possessed of reasonable objectivity and a fair degree of intelligence to read those 26 volumes and not reach the conclusion that the Warren Commission was wrong in every one of its major conclusions pertaining to the assassination. For me, that was the end of innocence.

PLAYBOY: Do you mean to imply that the Warren Commission deliberately concealed or falsified the facts of the assassination?

GARRISON: No, you don’t need any explanation more sinister than incompetence to account for the Warren Report. Though I didn’t know it at the time, the Commission simply didn’t have all the facts, and many of those they had were fraudulent, as I’ve pointed out — thanks to the evidence withheld and manufactured by the CIA. If you add to this the fact that most of the Commission members had already presumed Oswald’s guilt and were merely looking for facts to confirm it — and in the process tranquilize the American public — you’ll realize why the Commission was such a dismal failure. But in the final analysis, it doesn’t make a damn bit of difference whether the Commission members were sincere patriots or mountebanks; the question is whether Lee Oswald killed the President alone and unaided; if the evidence doesn’t support that conclusion — and it doesn’t — a thousand honorable men sitting shoulder to shoulder along the banks of the Potomac won’t change the facts.

PLAYBOY: So you began your investigation of the President’s assassination on nothing stronger than you own doubts and the theories of the Commission’s critics?

GARRISON: No, please don’t put words in my mouth. The works of the critics —particularly Edward Epstein, Harold Weisberg and Mark Lane — sparked my general doubts about the assassination; but more importantly, they led me into specific areas of inquiry. After I realized that something was seriously wrong, I had no alternative but to face the fact that Oswald had arrived in Dallas only a short time before the assassination and that prior to that time he had lived in New Orleans for over six months. I became curious about what this alleged assassin was doing while under my jurisdiction, and my staff began an investigation of Oswald’s activities and contacts in the New Orleans area. We interviewed people the Warren Commission had never questioned, and a whole new world began opening up. As I studied Oswald’s movements in Dallas, my mind turned back to the aftermath of the assassination in 1963, when my office questioned three men — David Ferrie, Alvin Beauboeuf and Melvin Coffey — on suspicion of being involved in the assassination. I began to wonder if we hadn’t dismissed these three men too lightly, and we reopened our investigation into their activities.

PLAYBOY: Why did you become interested in Ferrie and his associates in November 1963?

GARRISON: To explain that, I’ll have to tell you something about the operation of our office. I believe we have one of the best district attorney’s offices in the country. We have no political appointments and, as a result, there’s a tremendous amount of esprit among our staff and an enthusiasm for looking into unanswered questions. That’s why we got together the day after the assassination and began examining our files and checking out every political extremist, religious fanatic and kook who had ever come to our attention. And one of the names that sprang into prominence was that of David Ferrie. When we checked him out, as we were doing with innumerable other suspicious characters, we discovered that on November 22nd he had traveled to Texas to go “duck hunting” and “ice skating.”

Well, naturally, this sparked our interest. We staked out his house and we questioned his friends, and when he came back — the first thing he did on his return, incidentally, was to contact a lawyer and then hide out for the night at a friend’s room in another town — we pulled him and his two companions in for questioning. The story of Ferrie’s activities that emerged was rather curious. He drove nine hours through a furious thunderstorm to Texas, then apparently gave up his plans to go duck hunting and instead went to an ice-skating rink in Houston and stood waiting beside a pay telephone for two hours; he never put the skates on. We felt his movements were suspicious enough to justify his arrest and that of his friends, and we took them into custody. When we alerted the FBI, they expressed interest and asked us to turn the three men over to them for questioning. We did, but Ferrie was released soon afterward and most of its report on him was classified top secret and secreted in the National Archives, where it will remain inaccessible to the public until September 2038 A.D. No one, including me, can see those pages.

PLAYBOY: Why do you believe the FBI report on Ferrie is classified?

GARRISON: For the same reason the President’s autopsy X rays and photos and other vital evidence in this case are classified — because they would indicate the existence of a conspiracy, involving former employees of the CIA, to kill the President.

PLAYBOY: When you resumed your investigation of Ferrie three years later, did you discover any new evidence?

GARRISON: We discovered a whole mare’s-nest of underground activity involving the CIA, elements of the paramilitary right and militant anti-Castro exile groups. We discovered links between David Ferrie, Lee Oswald and Jack Ruby. We discovered, in short, what I had hoped not to find, despite my doubts about the Warren Commission — the existence of a well-organized conspiracy to assassinate John Kennedy, a conspiracy that came to fruition in Dallas on November 22, 1963, and in which David Ferrie played a vital role.

PLAYBOY: Accepting for a moment your contention that there was a conspiracy to assassinate President John Kennedy, have you been able to discover who was involved — in addition to Ferrie — how it was done and why?

GARRISON: Yes, I have. President Kennedy was killed for one reason: because he was working for a reconciliation with the U.S.S.R. and Castro’s Cuba. His assassins were a group of fanatic anti-Communists with a fusion of interests in preventing Kennedy from achieving peaceful relations with the Communist world.

On the operative level of the conspiracy, you find anti-Castro Cuban exiles who never forgave Kennedy for failing to send in U.S. air cover at the Bay of Pigs and who feared that the thaw following the Missile Crisis in October 1962 augured the total frustration of their plans to liberate Cuba. They believed sincerely that Kennedy had sold them out to the Communists.

On a higher, control level, you find a number of people of ultra-right-wing persuasion — not simply conservatives, mind you, but people who could be described as neo-Nazi, including a small clique that had defected from the Minutemen because it considered the group “too liberal.” These elements had their canteens ready and their guns loaded; they lacked only a target. After Kennedy’s domestic moves toward racial integration and his attempts to forge a peaceful foreign policy, as exemplified by his signing of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, they found that target.

So both of these groups had a vital stake in changing U.S. foreign policy — ideological on the part of the paramilitary rightists and both ideological and personal with the anti-Castro exiles, many of whom felt they would never see their homes again if Kennedy’s policy of détente was allowed to succeed. The CIA was involved with both of these groups. In the New Orleans area, where the conspiracy was hatched, the CIA was training a mixed bag of Minutemen, Cuban exiles and other anti-Castro adventurers north of Lake Pontchartrain for a foray into Cuba and an assassination attempt on Fidel Castro. David Ferrie, who operated on the “command” level of the ultra-rightists, was deeply involved in this effort.

The CIA itself apparently did not take the détente too seriously until the late summer of 1963, because it maintained its financing and training of anti-Castro adventurers. There was, in fact, a triangulation of CIA-supported anti-Castro activity between Dallas — where Jack Ruby was involved in collecting guns and ammunition for the underground — and Miami and New Orleans, where most of the training was going on. But then, Kennedy, who had signed a secret agreement with Khrushchev after the Missile Crisis pledging not to invade Cuba if Russia would soft-pedal Castro’s subversive activities in the Americas, began to crackdown on CIA operations against Cuba. As a result, on July 31, 1963, the FBI raided the headquarters of the group of Cuban exiles and Minutemen training north of Lake Pontchartrain and confiscated all their guns and ammunition — despite the fact that the operation had the sanction of the CIA. This action may have sealed Kennedy’s fate.

By the early fall of 1963, Kennedy’s plan for a d&eactue;tente with Cuba was in high gear. Ambassador William Attwood, a close personal friend of the late President, recounts that a thaw in U.S.-Cuban relations was definitely in the works at this time and “the President more than the State Department was interested in exploring the [Cuban] overture.” One of the intermediaries between Castro and Kennedy was the late television commentator Lisa Howard, who met secretly with Ernesto Che Guevara to prepare peace terms between the U.S. and Castro. Miss Howard was arranging a conference between Bobby Kennedy and Guevara when the President was shot in Dallas. In a United Nations speech on October 7, 1963, Adlai Stevenson set forth the possibility of a termination of hostilities between the two countries, and on November 19th. Presidential aide McGeorge Bundy, who was acting as an intermediary in the secret discussions, told Ambassador Attwood that the President wanted to discuss his plans for a Cuban-American d&eactue;tente in depth with him right after “a brief trip to Dallas.” The rest is history. One of the two heads of state involved in negotiating that detente is now dead, but the survivor, Fidel Castro, said on November 23rd that the assassination was the work of “elements in the U.S. opposed to peace,” and the Cuban Foreign Ministry officially charged that “the Kennedy assassination was a provocation against world peace perfectly and minutely prepared by the most reactionary sectors of the United States.”

Most Americans at the time, myself included, thought this was just Communist propaganda. But Castro knew what he was talking about. A few weeks after the assassination, the Cuban ambassador to the UN, Dr. Carlos Lechuga, was instructed by Castro to begin “formal discussions” in the hope that Kennedy’s peace plan would be carried on by his successor. Ambassador Attwood writes that “I informed Bundy and later was told that the Cuban exercise would be put on ice for a while — which it was and where it has been ever since.” The assassins had achieved their aim.

PLAYBOY: This is interesting speculation, but isn’t that all it is — speculation?

GARRISON: No, because we know enough about the key individuals involved in the conspiracy — Latins and Americans alike — to know that this was their motive for the murder of John Kennedy.

First of all, you have to understand the mentality of these people. Take the Cuban exiles involved; here are men, some of whom survived the Bay of Pigs, who for years had been whipped up by the CIA into a frenzy of anti-Castro hatred and who had been solemnly assured by American intelligence agencies that they were going to liberate their homeland with American support. They had one disappointment after another —the Bay of Pigs debacle, the failure to invade Cuba during the Missile Crisis, the effective crushing of their underground in Cuba by Castro’s secret police. But they kept on hoping, and the CIA kept fanning their hopes.

Then they listened to Kennedy’s famous speech at American University on June 10, 1963, where he really kicked off the new drive for a d&eactue;tente, and they heard the President of the country in which they’d placed all their hope saying we must make peace with the Communists, since “we both breathe the same air.” Well, this worries them, but the CIA continues financing and training their underground cadres, so there is still hope. And then suddenly, in the late summer of 1963, the CIA is forced by Presidential pressure to withdraw all funds and assistance from the Cuban exiles. Think of the impact of this, particularly on the group here in New Orleans, which had been trained for months to make an assassination attempt on Castro and then found itself coolly jettisoned by its benefactors in Washington. These adventurers were worked up to a fever pitch; and when the CIA withdrew its support and they couldn’t fight Castro, they picked their next victim — John F. Kennedy. That, in a nutshell, is the genesis of the assassination. President Kennedy died because he wanted peace.

PLAYBOY: How many people do you claim were involved in this alleged conspiracy?

GARRISON: Too many for their own security. If they had let fewer men in on the plot, we might never have stumbled onto it. But let me add one additional point here: The brief account I’ve just given you shouldn’t be construed to indicate that any of the legitimate anti-Castro organizations were involved in the assassination — or that all Minutemen were implicated. Nor should the fact that there was a conspiracy from the paramilitary right be used to start a witch-hunt against conservatives in general, any more than Oswald’s phony pro-Communist record should have been used to purge leftists from our national life. In this case, the very terminology of “right” and “left,” which is essentially an economic definition, has little validity as a description of those fanatic war lovers who were ready to assassinate a President because he worked for peace. If you go far enough to either extreme of the political spectrum, Communist or
fascist, you’ll find hard-eyed men with guns who believe that anybody who doesn’t think as they do should be incarcerated or exterminated. The assassination was less an ideological exercise than the frenzied revenge of a sick element in our society on a man who exemplified health and decency.

PLAYBOY: You’ve outlined the genesis of the alleged conspiracy as you see it. Will you now tell us how it was carried out — and by whom?

GARRISON: I won’t be able to name names in all instances, because we’re building cases against a number of the individuals involved. But I’ll give you a brief sketch of how the conspiracy was organized, and then point by point we can go into the participants we know about so far and the role we believe each played. Let me stress at the outset that what I’m going to tell you is not idle speculation; we have facts, documents and reliable eyewitness testimony to corroborate much of it — though I can’t lay all this evidence before you without jeopardizing the investigation. But there are many pieces of the jigsaw puzzle still missing.

Not one of the conspirators has confessed his guilt, so we don’t yet have an “inside” view of all the pre-assassination planning. In order to fill in these gaps for you, I’ll have to indulge in a bit of informed deduction and surmise.

It may sound melodramatic, but you can best envisage the plot as a spider’s web. At the center sit the organizers of the operation, men with close ties to U.S. and western-European intelligence agencies. One of them is a former associate of Jack Ruby in gun-smuggling activities and a dedicated neo-Nazi in close contact with neo-fascist movements in Great Britain, Germany, France and Italy.

Radiating out from these key men, the strands of the web include a motley group of political adventurers united only in their detestation of Kennedy and their dedication to the reversal of his foreign policy. One such man was David Ferrie. Another member of this group is an individual who deliberately impersonated Lee Oswald before the assassination in order to incriminate him: we believe we know his identity. Several others, about whom we have evidence indicating that they helped supply weapons to the plotters, were the right-wing extremists I mentioned earlier who broke off from a fanatic paramilitary group because it was becoming “too liberal.”

Also involved is a band of anti-Castro adventurers who functioned on the second, or “operative,” level of the conspiracy. These men include two Cuban exiles, one of whom failed a lie-detector test when he denied knowing in advance that Kennedy was going to be killed or having seen the weapons to be used in the assassination — and a number of men who fired at the President from three directions on November 22nd. The link between the “command” level and the Cuban exiles was an amorphous group called the Free Cuba Committee, which with CIA sanction had begun training north of Lake Pontchartrain for an assassination attempt on Fidel Castro, as I mentioned earlier. It was this group that was raided by the FBI on July 31st, 1963, and temporarily put out of commission. Our information indicates that it was shortly after this setback that the group switched direction and decided to assassinate John Kennedy instead of Fidel Castro, after the “betrayal” of the Bay of Pigs disaster.

That’s it in a nutshell, but I think the development of the conspiracy will become clearer if you ask me one by one about the individuals involved.

PLAYBOY: All right, let’s begin with Clay Shaw. What was his role in the alleged conspiracy?

GARRISON: I’m afraid I can’t comment even inferentially on anything pertaining to the evidence against Mr. Shaw, since he’s facing trial in my jurisdiction.

PLAYBOY: Can you answer a charge about your case against him? On March second of this year, shortly after Shaw’s arrest, Attorney General Ramsey Clark announced that Shaw “was included in an investigation in November and December of 1963 and on the evidence that the FBI has, there was no connection found between Shaw and the President’s assassination.” Why do you challenge the Attorney General’s statement?

GARRISON: Because it was not true. The FBI did not clear Clay Shaw after the assassination. You don’t have to take my word for it; The New York Times reported on June third that “The Justice Department said today that Clay Shaw. New Orleans businessman, was not investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation … The statement contradicted Attorney General Ramsey Clark … A Justice Department spokesman said that Mr. Clark’s statement last March second was in error.”

Now, the Attorney General’s attempt to whitewash Shaw via the FBI, as you pointed out, was made immediately after our office arrested him, and it really constituted the first salvo of the propaganda barrage laid down against us. The natural reaction of many people across the country to Clark’s statement, which was carried prominently on TV and in the press was, “Well, if the FBI cleared him, there can’t be anything to this whole conspiracy business.” Most defendants have to wait for trial before they’re allowed to produce character witnesses. When, three months later, the Justice Department finally admitted Clark was “in error,” the story appeared in only a few newspapers and wasn’t picked up by the radio or TV networks. But what was even more significant about the Justice Department’s attempt to bail out Shaw was the fact that the day after Clark’s statement, The New York Times’ Washington correspondent. Robert B. Semple, Jr., reported that he had been told by an unnamed Justice Department spokesman that his agency was convinced “that Mr. Bertrand and Mr. Shaw were the same man” — and that was the reason Clark released his untrue story about the FBI’s having cleared Shaw! In other words, knowing that our case was based on fact, the Justice Department deliberately dragged a red herring across the trail.

PLAYBOY: Are you free to discuss Oswald’s role in the conspiracy?

GARRISON: Yes, but before you can understand Oswald’s role in the plot, you’ve got to jettison the image of him as a “self-proclaimed Marxist” that the mass media inculcated in the public consciousness after his arrest on November 22nd. Oswald’s professed Marxist sympathies were just a cover for his real activities. I don’t believe there are any serious students of the assassination who don’t recognize that Oswald’s actual political orientation was extreme right wing. His associates in Dallas and New Orleans — apart from his CIA contacts — were exclusively right wing, some covert, others overt: in fact, our office has positively identified a number of his associates as neo-Nazis. Oswald would have been more at home with Mein Kampf than Das Kapital.

PLAYBOY: If Oswald wasn’t a leftist, what motivation would he have had for shooting at another right-winger, Major General Edwin Walker, eight months before the assassination

GARRISON: If he did it, his motive — which is to say the motive of those behind him — was a simple one: to ensure that after the assassination, people would ask this very question and assume that because Oswald had shot at General Walker, he must have been a left-winger. It was just another part of Oswald’s cover; if you defect to Russia, pass out pro-Castro leaflets on street corners and take a pot shot at General Walker, who on earth would doubt you’re a Communist?

Of course, if you really look deeply into this incident, there is no real proof that Oswald was the man who did it; the whole charge rests on the unsupported testimony of Marina Oswald, after she had been threatened with deportation if she didn’t “cooperate.” It makes little difference, though, whether this incident was prepared in advance to create a cover for Oswald or fabricated after the assassination to strengthen his public image as a Marxist.

But we’ve gotten ahead of ourselves. Let’s backtrack a bit to fill in the background of Oswald’s involvement in the conspiracy. After “defecting” to Russia, where he served as an agent for the CIA — perhaps this is where his knowledge about the U-2 becomes relevant — he returned to this country in June 1962, lived in Fort Worth and Dallas until April 1963, and then went to New Orleans, where he resumed his friendship with David Ferrie, whom he had met several years before when he belonged to a Civil Air Patrol unit led by Ferrie. We have evidence that Oswald maintained his CIA contracts throughout this period and that Ferrie was also employed by the CIA. In this regard, we will present in court a witness — formerly a CIA courier — who met both Ferrie and Oswald officially in their CIA connection. Parenthetically, Ferrie gave his name as Ferris to this witness — a name recorded without further explanation in Jack Ruby’s address book.

In 1963, Ferrie and Oswald worked together closely. They were two of the organizers of the group of anti-Castro exiles and Minutemen who trained north of Lake Pontchartrain for a foray into Cuba to assassinate Castro — the venture that changed direction in the summer of 1963 and chose John Kennedy as its new victim. Toward this end — for reasons that will become clear — it became Oswald’s role to establish his public identity as a Marxist. It appears that it was with this plan in mind that Oswald was sent to Mexico City in order to get a visa for travel to Cuba, where he planned to solidify his Marxist image, perhaps by making himself conspicuous with a few incendiary anti-Kennedy speeches, and then return to Dallas in time for the assassination. However, this end of the plot was frustrated because the Soviet and Cuban intelligence services apparently had Oswald pegged as an intelligence agent, and he was refused visas at both embassies.

Another way in which Oswald tried to establish his procommunism was by setting up a letterhead Fair Play for Cuba Committee — of which he was the only member — and distributing on street corners leaflets praising Castro. He made two blunders here, however. First, one of the men helping him hand out leaflets was a fanatic anti-Castro Cuban exile whom we’ve subsequently identified from TV footage of a street incident. Second, Oswald “blew his cover” by using the wrong address for his phony New Orleans Fair Play for Cuba Committee.

PLAYBOY: Will you elaborate on this second point?

GARRISON: Yes, because this incident ties together some of the strands of the spider’s web. At the time Oswald started his so-called Fair Play for Cuba Committee, two men —Hugh Ward and Guy Banister — operated a private investigative agency at 544 Camp Street in downtown New Orleans. There are some intriguing aspects to their operation. For one thing, Guy Banister was one of the most militant right-wing anti-Communists in New Orleans. He was a former FBI official and his headquarters at 544 Camp Street was a clearinghouse for Cuban exile and paramilitary right-wing activities. Specifically, he allowed his office to be used as a mail drop for the anti-Castro Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front; police intelligence records at the time reported that this group was “legitimate in nature and presumably had the unofficial sanction of the Central Intelligence Agency.” It did.

Banister also published a newsletter for his clients that included virulent anti-Kennedy polemics. My office also has evidence that Banister had intimate ties with the Office of Naval Intelligence and the CIA. Both Banister and Ward were deeply involved in covert anti-Castro exile activities in New Orleans. Banister in particular seemed to have had an almost messianic drive to fight communism in every country in Latin America; and he was naturally of value to Cuban exiles because of his intimate connections with American intelligence agencies.

In the Ramparts article you mentioned earlier, ex-FBI agent Bill Turner revealed that both Banister and Ward were listed in secret Minutemen files as members of the Minutemen and operatives of a group called the Anti-Communism League of the Caribbean, which was allegedly used by the CIA in the overthrow of the Guatemalan government in 1954. So, in other words, these are the last guys in the world you’d expect to find tied up with left-wing or pro-Castro activities. Right? And yet, when Lee Harvey Oswald set up his fictitious branch of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in New Orleans, he distributed leaflets giving the committee’s address as 544 Camp Street —Guy Banister’s office! Somebody must have pointed out to Oswald shortly afterward that he was endangering his cover by using this address, because he subsequently changed it to 4907 Magazine Street. But it’s certainly significant that at the inception of his public role as a pro-Castro activist, Oswald was utilizing the mailbox of the most militantly conservative and anti-Communist outfit in the city.

I might add that we have several witnesses who will testify in court that they saw Oswald hanging out at 544 Camp Street. I want to stress, however, that I have no evidence that Banister and Ward were involved in the plot to kill Kennedy. Their office was a kind of way station for anti-Castro and right-wing extremists passing through New Orleans, and it’s perfectly possible that they were completely unaware of the conspiracy being hatched by men like Ferrie and Oswald.

PLAYBOY: Were any of the other figures in the alleged conspiracy connected with Banister?

GARRISON: Yes, David Ferrie was a paid investigator for Banister, and the two men knew each other very well. During 1962 and 1963, Ferrie spent a good deal of time at 544 Camp Street and he made a series of mysterious long-distance phone calls to Central America from Banister’s office. We have a record of those calls.

PLAYBOY: Where are Banister and Ward now?

GARRISON: Both have died since the assassination — Banister of a heart attack in 1964 and Ward when the plane he was piloting for New Orleans Mayor De Lesseps Morrison crashed in Mexico in 1964. De Lesseps Morrison, as it happened, had introduced Clay Shaw to President Kennedy on an airplane flight in 1963.

PLAYBOY: Do you believe there was anything sinister about the crash that killed both Morrison and Ward?

GARRISON: I have no reason to believe there was anything sinister about the crash, though rumors always spring up in a case like this. The only thing I will say is that witnesses in this case do have a habit of dying at the most inconvenient times. I understand a London insurance firm has prepared an actuarial chart on the likelihood of 20 of the people involved in this case dying within three years of the assassination —and found the odds 30 trillion to one. But I’m sure NBC will shortly discover that one of my investigators bribed the computer.

PLAYBOY: Was Oswald involved with paramilitary activists and anti-Castro Cuban exiles in Dallas, as well as in New Orleans?

GARRISON: Oh, God, yes. In fact, many of his New Orleans contacts overlap with those in Dallas. Jack Ruby, who played a key role in smuggling guns to the anti-Castro underground — on behalf of the CIA — was one of Oswald’s contacts in Dallas. Furthermore, Oswald was virtually surrounded by White Russians in Dallas, some of whom were CIA employees.

Moreover, some of Oswald’s anti-Castro friends from Miami and New Orleans showed up in Dallas in October of 1963. In a “Supplementary Investigation Report” filed on November 23, 1963, by Dallas policeman Buddy Walthers, an aide to Sheriff Bill Decker, Walthers stated: “I talked to Sorrels, the head of the Dallas Secret Service, I was advised that for the past few months at a house at 3128 Harlandale, some Cubans had been having meetings on the weekends and were possibly connected with the Freedom for Cuba Party of which Oswald was a member.”

No attention was paid to Walther’s report, and on November 26th, he complained: “I don’t know what action the Secret Service has taken, but I learned today that some time between seven days before the President was shot and the day after he was shot, these Cubans moved from this house. My informant stated that subject Oswald had been to this house before.” This was the last that was ever heard of the mysterious Cubans at 3128 Harlandale. A significant point in Walthers’ report is his mention of the Freedom for Cuba Party. This appears to be a corruption of the anti-Castro Free Cuba Committee of which Oswald, Ferrie and a small cadre of neo-Nazis — including the man we believe was the “second Oswald” — were members. You may remember that on the night of the assassination, Dallas D.A. Henry Wade called a press conference and at one point referred to Oswald as a member of the “Free Cuba Committee” instead of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. Jack Ruby, who just happened to be there, promptly chimed in to correct him. Ruby was obviously in the jail that night on a dry run prior to his successful murder of Oswald on Sunday — a possibility the Warren Commission never bothered to consider — and could hardly have been eager to draw attention to himself. However, he must have been afraid that if the press reported Oswald was a member of the “Free Cuba Committee,” somebody might begin an investigation of that group and discover its anti-Castro and ultra-right-wing orientation. And so he risked his cover to set the record straight and protect his fellow conspirators.

PLAYBOY: In regard to Oswald’s role in the conspiracy, you have said that “he was a decoy at first and then he was a patsy and then he was a victim.” Would you explain what you meant by that?

GARRISON: Oswald’s role in the proposed assassination of Kennedy, as far as he seems to have known, was strictly political: not to fire a gun but — for reasons that may not have been explained to him by his superiors at their planning sessions — to establish his left-wing bona fides so unshakably that after the assassination, quite possibly unbeknownst to him, the President’s murder would appear to be the work of a sharpshooting left-wing fanatic and thus allow the other plotters, including the men who actually shot Kennedy, to escape police attention and flee Dallas. Though he may not have known why he was instructed to do so, this was undoubtedly why he got the job at the Texas School Book Depository Building; we’ve learned that one of the members of the conspiracy was in a position to learn from perfectly innocent Dallas business contacts the route of the Presidential motorcade more than a month before Kennedy’s visit. The conspirators — more than probably not including Oswald — knew this would place him on the scene and convince the world that a demented Marxist was the real assassin.

PLAYBOY: Even if Oswald was unaware of his role as a decoy, didn’t he suspect that he might be double-crossed by his co-conspirators?

GARRISON: We have uncovered substantial evidence that he was influenced and manipulated rather easily by his older and more sophisticated superiors in the conspiracy, and it’s probable that he trusted them more than he distrusted them. But even if the opposite were true, I think he would have done what he was told.

PLAYBOY: Even if he suspected that he might be arrested and convicted as the President’s assassin?

GARRISON: As I said, I don’t think it’s likely that he was aware of his role as a decoy. But even if he was, it’s probable that he would have been given some cock-and-bull assurances about being richly rewarded and smuggled out of the country after Kennedy’s death. But it’s even more probable, in my opinion — if he did know the true nature of his role — that he wouldn’t have felt the necessity to escape. He would have known that no jury in the world — even in Dallas — would have been able to find him guilty of the assassination on the strength of such transparently contrived circumstantial evidence.

PLAYBOY: That’s debatable. But even if Oswald had been brought to trial for and acquitted of the assassination, what reason would he have had to believe that he would also be exonerated of involvement in the conspiracy — which you’ve admitted yourself?

GARRISON: I don’t want to evade your question, but I can’t answer it without compromising my investigation of a crucial new area of the conspiracy. I’m afraid I can’t discuss it until we’ve built a solid case. I can say, however, that whatever his knowledge of his role as a decoy, he definitely didn’t know about his role as a patsy until after the assassination. At 12:45 P.M. on November 22nd, the Dallas police had broadcast a wanted bulletin for Oswald — over a half hour before Tippit was shot and at a time when there was absolutely no evidence linking Oswald to the assassination. The Dallas police have never been able to explain who transmitted this wanted notice or on what evidence it was based; and the Warren Commission brushed aside the whole matter as unimportant. I think it’s obvious that the conspirators tipped off the police, probably anonymously, in the hope — subsequently realized — that all attention would henceforth be focused on Oswald and the heat would be taken off other members of the plot. We have evidence that the plan was to have him shot as a cop killer in the Texas Theater “while resisting arrest.”

I can’t go into all the details on this, but the murder of Tippit, which I am convinced Oswald didn’t commit, was clearly designed to set the stage for Oswald’s liquidation in the Texas Theater after another anonymous tip-off. But here the plotters miscalculated, and Oswald was not shot to death but was merely roughed up and rushed off to the Dallas jail — where, you may remember, he shouted to reporters as the police dragged him through the corridors on November 22nd: “I didn’t kill anyone — I’m being made a patsy.” The conspiracy had gone seriously awry and the plotters were in danger of exposure by Oswald. Enter Jack Ruby — and exit Oswald. So first Oswald was a decoy, next a patsy and finally — in the basement of the Dallas jail on November 24, 1963 — a victim.

PLAYBOY: Even if Oswald was a scapegoat in the alleged conspiracy, why do you believe he couldn’t also have been one of those who shot at the President?

GARRISON: If there’s one thing the Warren Commission and its 26 volumes of supportive evidence demonstrate conclusively, it’s that Lee Harvey Oswald did not shoot John Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Of course, the Commission concluded not only that Oswald fired at the President but that he was a marksman, that he had enough time to “fire three shots, with two hits, within 4.8 and 5.6 seconds,” that his Mannlicher-Carcano was an accurate rifle, etc. — but all these conclusions are actually in direct contradiction of the evidence within the Commission’s own 26 volumes. By culling and coordinating that evidence, the leading critics of the Commission have proved that Oswald was a mediocre shot; that the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle he allegedly used was about the crummiest weapon on the market today; that its telescopic sight was loose and had to be realigned before Commission experts could fire it; that the 20-year-old ammunition he would have had to use could not have been relied on to fire accurately, if at all; that the rifle quite possibly was taken from Oswald’s home after the assassination and planted in the Depository; that the Commission’s own chronology of Oswald’s movements made it highly implausible for him to fire three shots, wipe the rifle clear of fingerprints — there were none found on it — hide the rifle under a stack of books and rush down four flights of stairs to the second floor, all in the few seconds it took Roy Truly and Officer Marrion Baker to rush in from the street after the shots and encounter Oswald standing beside the vending machine in the employees’ cafeteria.

I could cite additional evidence proving that Oswald didn’t fire a rifle from the sixth floor of the Depository, but it would just be a recapitulation of the excellent books of the critics, to which I refer your readers. There are a number of factors that we’ve examined independently during the course of our investigation that also prove Oswald didn’t shoot at the President. For one thing, the nitrate test administered to Oswald on the day of the assassination clearly exonerated him of having fired a rifle within the past 24 hours. He had nitrates on both hands, but no nitrates on his cheek — which means it was impossible for him to have fired a rifle. The fact that he had nitrates on both hands is regarded in the nitrate test as a sign of innocence; it’s the same as having nitrates on neither hand. This is because so many ordinary objects leave traces of nitrate on the hands. You’re smoking a cigar, for example — tobacco contains nitrate; so if you were tested right now, you’d have nitrate on your right hand but not on your left. I’m smoking a pipe, which I interchange between my hands, so I’ll have traces of nitrate on both hands but not on my cheeks. The morning of the assassination, Oswald was moving crates in a newly painted room, which was likely to have left traces of nitrate on both his hands.

Now, of course, if the nitrate test had proved positive, and Oswald did have nitrate on one hand and on his cheek, that would still not constitute proof positive that he’d fired a gun, because the nitrates could have been left by a substance other than gunpowder. But the fact that he had no nitrate whatsoever on his cheek is ineluctable proof that he never fired a rifle that day. If he had washed his face to remove the nitrate before the test was administered, there would have been none on his hands either — unless he was in the habit of washing with gloves on.

This was a sticky problem for the Warren Commission, but they resolved it with their customary aplomb. An expert was dug up who testified that in a Mannlicher-Carcano rifle, the chamber is so tight that no nitrates are emitted upon firing; and the Commission used this testimony to dismiss the whole subject. However, the inventor of the nitrate test subsequently tested the Mannlicher-Carcano and found that it did leave nitrate traces. He was not called to testify by the Warren Commission. So the nitrate test alone is incontrovertible proof that Oswald did not fire a rifle on November 22nd.

We’ve also found some new evidence that shows that Oswald’s Mannlicher-Carcano was not the only weapon discovered in the Depository Building after the assassination. I recently traveled to New York for a conference with Richard Sprague, a brilliant man who’s been independently researching technical aspects of the assassination, and he showed me a hitherto unpublicized collection of film clips from a motion picture taken of the assassination and its aftermath. Part of the film, shot shortly after one P.M., shows the Dallas police carrying the assassination weapon out of the Book Depository. They stop for the photographers and an officer holds the rifle up above his head so that the inquisitive crowd can look at it. There’s just one little flaw here: This rifle does not have a telescopic sight, and thus cannot be Oswald’s rifle. This weapon was taken from the building approximately 20 minutes before Oswald’s Mannlicher-Carcano was “discovered” — or planted — on the premises.

To sum up: Oswald was involved in the conspiracy; shots were fired at Kennedy from the Depository but also from the grassy knoll and apparently from the Dal-Tex Building as well — but not one of them was fired by Lee Harvey Oswald, and not one of them from his Mannlicher-Carcano.

PLAYBOY: If Oswald didn’t shoot President Kennedy from the sixth-floor window of the Book Depository, who did?

GARRISON: Our office has developed evidence that the President was assassinated by a precision guerrilla team of at least seven men, including anti-Castro adventurers and members of the paramilitary right. Of course, the Ministry of Truth concluded — by scrupulously ignoring the most compelling evidence and carefully selecting only those facts that conformed to its preconceived thesis of a lone assassin — that “no credible evidence suggests that the shots were fired from … any place other than the Texas School Book Depository Building.” But anyone who takes the time to read the Warren Report will find that of the witnesses in Dealey Plaza who were able to assess the origin of the shots, almost two thirds said they came from the grassy-knoll area in front and to the right of the Presidential limousine and not from the Book Depository, which was to the rear of the President. A number of reliable witnesses testified that they heard shots ring out from behind the picket fence and saw a puff of smoke drift into the air.

Additional evidence supporting this can be found in the Zapruder film published in Life, which reveals that the President was slammed backward by the impact of a bullet; unless you abrogate Newton’s third law of motion, this means the President was shot from the front. Also — though they were contradicted later — several of the doctors at Parkland Hospital who examined the President’s neck wound contended it was an entrance wound, which would certainly tend to indicate that Kennedy was shot from the front.

In the course of our investigation, we’ve uncovered additional evidence establishing absolutely that there were at least four men on the grassy knoll, at least two behind the picket fence and two or more behind a small stone wall to the right of the fence. As I reconstruct it from the still-incomplete evidence in our possession, one man fired at the President from each location, while the role of his companion was to snatch up the cartridges as they were ejected. Parenthetically, a book on firearms characteristics was found in Ferrie’s apartment. It was filled with underlining and marginal notations, and the most heavily annotated section was one describing the direction and distance a cartridge travels from a rifle after ejection. Scribbled on a bookmark in this section, in Ferrie’s handwriting, were the figures, not mentioned in the text, “50° and 11 feet” —which indicates the possibility that Ferrie had test-fired a rifle and plotted the distance from the gunman to where the ejected cartridges would fall.

But to return to the scene of the crime, it seems virtually certain that the cartridges, along with the rifles, were then thrown into the trunk of a car — parked directly behind the picket fence — which was driven from the scene some hours after the assassination. If there had been a thorough search of all vehicles in the vicinity of the grassy knoll immediately after the assassination, this incriminating evidence might have been uncovered — along with the real authors of the President’s murder. In addition to the assassins on the grassy knoll, at least two other men fired from behind the President, one from the Book Depository Building — not Oswald — and one, in all probability, from the Dal-Tex Building. As it happens, a man was arrested right after the assassination as he left the Dal-Tex Building and was taken away in a patrol car, but like the three other men detained after the assassination — one in the railroad yard behind the grassy knoll, one on the railroad overpass farther down the parade route, and one in front of the Book Depository Building — he then dropped out of sight completely. All of these suspects taken into custody after the assassination remain as anonymous as if they’d been detained for throwing a candy wrapper on the sidewalk.

We have also located another man — in green combat fatigues — who was not involved in the shooting but created a diversionary action in order to distract people’s attention from the snipers. This individual screamed, fell to the ground and simulated an epileptic fit, drawing people away from the vicinity of the knoll just before the President’s motorcade reached the ambush point. So you have at least seven people involved, with four firing at the President and catching him in a crossfire — just as the assassins had planned at the meeting in David Ferrie’s apartment in September. It was a precision operation and was carried out coolly and with excellent coordination; the assassins even kept in contact by radio. The President, of course, had no chance. It was an overkill operation.

As far as the actual sequence of shots goes, you’ll remember that the Warren Commission concluded that only three bullets were fired at the President — one that hit just below the back of his neck, exited through his throat and then passed through Governor Connally’s body; one that missed; and one that blew off a portion of the President’s skull and killed him. Like most of the other conclusions of the Commission, this one contradicts both the evidence and the testimony of eyewitnesses.

The initial shot hit the President in the front of the neck, as the Parkland Hospital doctors recognized — though they were later contradicted by the military physicians at the Bethesda autopsy, and by the Warren Report. The second shot struck the President in the back; the location of this wound can be verified not by consulting the official autopsy report — on which the Commission based its conclusion that this bullet hit Kennedy in the back of the neck and exited from his throat — but by perusing the reports filed by two FBI agents who were present at the President’s autopsy in Bethesda, Maryland. Both stated unequivocally that the bullet in question entered President Kennedy’s back and did not continue through his body.

I also refer you to a photograph of the President’s shirt taken by the FBI, and to a drawing of the President’s back wound made by one of the examining physicians at Bethesda; the location of the wound in both cases corresponds exactly — more than three inches below the President’s neck. Yet the Commission concluded that this wound occurred in this neck. This, of course, was to make it more believable that the same bullet had exited from the President’s throat and slanted on down through Governor Connally. Even if this bullet had entered where the Commission claims and then exited from the President’s throat, it would have been possible for it to enter Governor Connally’s upper back at a downward angle, exit from his lower chest and lodge finally in his thigh — fired, as the Commission says it was, from the elevation of the sixth-floor window of the Book Depository — only if Connally had been sitting in the President’s lap or if the bullet had described two 90-degree turns on its way from President Kennedy’s throat to Governor Connally’s back. Clearly, the President’s throat wound was caused by the first shot, this one from the grassy knoll in front of the limousine; and his back wound came from the rear. I’ve already given you my reasons for reaching this conclusion.

PLAYBOY: If the first bullet was fired from the front, why wasn’t it found in the President’s body, or somewhere in the Presidential limousine?

GARRISON: The exact nature of the President’s wounds, as well as the disposition of the bullets or bullet fragments, are among the many concealed items in this case. I told you earlier about the men on the grassy knoll whose sole function we believe was to catch the cartridges as they were ejected from the assassins’ rifles. We also have reason to suspect that other members of the conspiracy may have been assigned the job of removing other evidence — such as traceable bullet fragments — that might betray the assassins. In the chaos of November 22nd, this would not have been as difficult as it sounds. We know that a bullet, designated Exhibit number 399 by the Warren Commission, was planted on a stretcher in Parkland Hospital to incriminate Oswald. The Commission concluded that this bullet allegedly hit both Kennedy and Governor Connally, causing seven wounds and breaking three bones — and emerged without a dent! In subsequent ballistics tests with the same gun, every bullet was squashed completely out of shape from impact with various simulated human targets. So, if the conspirators could fabricate a bullet, they could easily conceal one.

But to return to the sequence of shots: Governor Connally was struck by a third bullet — as he himself insisted, not the one that struck Kennedy in the back — also fired from the rear. A fourth shot missed the Presidential limousine completely and struck the curb along the south side of Main Street, disintegrating into fragments; the trajectory of this bullet has been plotted backward to a point of origin in the Dal-Tex Building. The fifth shot, which struck the President in the right temple, tore off the top of his skull and snapped him back into his seat — a point overlooked by the Warren Commission — had to have been fired from the grassy knoll.

There is also medical evidence indicating the likelihood that an additional head shot may have been fired. The report of Dr. Robert McClelland at Parkland Hospital, for example, states that “the cause of death was due to massive head and brain injury from a gunshot wound of the left temple.” And yet another shot may also have been fired; frames 208 to 211 of the Zapruder film, which were deleted from the Warren Report —presumably as irrelevant — reveal signs of stress appearing suddenly on the back of a street sign momentarily obstructing the view between the grassy knoll and the President’s car. These stress signs may very well have been caused by the impact of a stray bullet on the sign. We’ll never be sure about this, however, because the day after the assassination, the sign was removed and no one in Dallas seems to know what became of it.

Some of the gunmen appear to have used frangible bullets, a variant of the dumdum bullet that is forbidden by the Geneva Treaty. Frangible bullets explode on impact into tiny fragments, as did the bullet that caused the fatal wound in the President’s head. Of course, frangible bullets are ideal in a political assassination, because they almost guarantee massive damage and assure that no tangible evidence will remain that ballistics experts could use to trace the murder weapon. I might also mention that frangible bullets cannot be fired from a Mannlicher-Carcano, such as the Commission concludes Oswald used to kill the President. Also parenthetically, this type of bullet was issued by the CIA for use in anti-Castro-exile raids on Cuba.

In summation, there were at least five or six shots fired at the President from front and rear by at least four gunmen, assisted by several accomplices, two of whom probably picked up the cartridges and one of whom created a diversion to draw people’s eyes away from the grassy knoll. At this stage of events, Lee Harvey Oswald was no more than a spectator to the assassination — perhaps in a very literal sense. As the first shot rang out, Associated Press photographer James Altgens snapped a picture of the motorcade that shows a man with a remarkable resemblance to Lee Harvey Oswald —same hairline, same face shape — standing in the doorway of the Book Depository Building. Somehow or other, the Warren Commission concluded that this man was actually Billy Nolan Lovelady, an employee of the Depository, who looked very little like Oswald.

Furthermore, on the day of the assassination, Oswald was wearing a white T-shirt under a long-sleeved dark shirt opened halfway to his waist — the same outfit worn by the man in the doorway — but Lovelady said that on November 22nd he was wearing a short-sleeved, red-and-white-striped sport shirt buttoned near the neck. The Altgens photograph indicates the very real possibility that at the moment Oswald was supposed to have been crouching in the sixth-floor window of the Depository shooting Kennedy, he may actually have been standing outside the front door watching the Presidential motorcade.

PLAYBOY: Between June 25th and 29th, CBS telecast a series of four special shows revealing the findings of the network’s own seven-month investigation of the assassination. CBS agreed with the Warren Commission’s conclusion that Oswald was the assassin, that he acted alone and that only three shots were fired; but it theorized that the first shot was fired earlier than the Warren Commission believed, thus giving Oswald sufficient time to fire three well-aimed shots at the President with his Mannlicher-Carcano — and overcoming the implausibility of the Commission’s conclusion that he had scored two hits out of three shots in only 5.6 seconds. Don’t you consider this a logical explanation of the discrepancies in the Commission’s time sequence?

GARRISON: I’m afraid it’s neither logical nor an explanation.

In case your readers aren’t familiar with all the ramifications of this question, the Commission’s entire lone-assassin theory rests on the fact that all three shots were fired, as you point out, within a period of 5.6 seconds. Now, the film taken of the assassination by Abraham Zapruder proves that a maximum of 1.8 seconds elapsed between the time Kennedy was first hit and Governor Connally was hit — this is crystal clear from their own reactions — but it requires 2.3 seconds just to work the bolt on a Mannlicher-Carcano rifle. To escape this dilemma, the Commission produced the magical bullet, Exhibit 399, which I referred to earlier. Apart from the pristine condition of 399, the whole time sequence was the weakest link in the Commission’s shaky chain of evidence, and CBS seems to have taken it upon its shoulders to resolve the problem by inventing a new time sequence. What they did was to have a photo analyst, Charles Wyckoff, examine the Zapruder film and find that certain frames were blurred. Wyckoff arbitrarily decided that these blurs were caused by Zapruder’s physical reaction to the sound of shots ringing out — although by the same logic, Zapruder could just have sneezed.

Now, the Warren Commission had concluded that Kennedy would not have been visible to Oswald until Frame 210 of the Zapruder film; until then, he was obscured by an oak tree — and was first hit in Frame 222 or 223. But Wyckoff detected a blur in the vicinity of Frame 186; and on the basis of this, CBS speculated that Zapruder heard a shot at Frame 186 — the first shot in CBS’ revised time schedule — which Oswald allegedly fired at Kennedy through the branches of the oak tree. CBS even speculated that the bullet lodged in the trunk of the oak tree, and sent a team of men with metal detectors scurrying up it, but to no avail; the commentator explained that maybe someday more sophisticated detection devices would be developed and the bullet would be found. Sure.

This scenario, of course, gave Oswald several extra seconds in which to take careful aim and fire his subsequent shots — and thus let the Commission off the hook. The only trouble here is that the people who conducted the CBS study — like most defenders of the Warren Report — didn’t do all of their homework. They forgot, or chose to ignore, that by the Commission’s own admission, the bullet that missed Kennedy — the second bullet in the Commission’s sequence — hit the curb on Main Street near the railroad underpass 100 yards ahead of the limousine, shattering into fragments and causing superficial wounds on the face of a bystander, James Tague. But the trajectory of any bullet fired from the sixth floor of the Depository through the branches of the oak tree is such that it could not conceivably hit within a city block of the underpass. So please excuse me if I’m not overwhelmed by the ineluctable logic of CBS’ presentation.

And just let me add a footnote here: CBS made a great deal out of its assumption that the blurs on Zapruder’s film indicated a reflexive reaction to shots ringing out. But they never asked Zapruder about his statement to Secret Service agents after the assassination about the origin of the shots; along with the majority of the witnesses to the assassination, he said the shots came from the grassy knoll, on which he was standing — from behind the stone wall, which was only a few dozen feet from him, in the opposite direction from the Depository. Like the Warren Commission, CBS was scrupulously selective in its choice of evidence. Its broadcast wasn’t a hatchet job like the NBC show, but it was equally misleading and, however unintentionally, dishonest. I’m not imputing sinister motives to CBS; it appears that its greatest handicap was its own ignorance of the assassination.

PLAYBOY: To return to your own investigation of the assassination: Have you discovered the identity of any of the conspirators you say were involved in the actual shooting?

GARRISON: I don’t want to sound coy or evasive, but I’m afraid I can’t comment on that. All I can say is that this is an ongoing case and there will be more arrests.

PLAYBOY: Let’s move on to the events that followed the assassination. What reason do you have for believing that Oswald didn’t shoot Officer Tippit?

GARRISON: As I said earlier, the evidence we’ve uncovered leads us to suspect that two men, neither of whom was Oswald, were the real murderers of Tippit; we believe we have one of them identified. The critics of the Warren Report have pointed out that a number of the witnesses could not identify Oswald as the slayer, that several said the murderer was short and squat — Oswald was thin and medium height — and another said that two men were involved. The Warren Commission’s own chronology of Oswald’s movements also fails to allow him sufficient time to reach the scene of Tippit’s murder from the Book Depository Building.

The clincher, as far as I’m concerned, is that four cartridges were found at the scene of the slaying. Now, revolvers do not eject cartridges, so when someone is shot, you don’t later find gratuitous cartridges strewn over the sidewalk — unless the murderer deliberately takes the trouble to eject them. We suspect that cartridges had been previously obtained from Oswald’s .38 revolver and left at the murder site by the real killers as part of the setup to incriminate Oswald. However, somebody slipped up there. Of the four cartridges found at the scene, two were Winchesters and two were Remingtons — but of the four bullets found in Officer Tippit’s body, three were Winchesters and one was a Remington! The last time I looked, the Remington-Peters Manufacturing Company was not in the habit of slipping Winchester bullets into its cartridges, nor was the Winchester-Western Manufacturing Company putting Remington bullets into its cartridges.

I don’t believe that Oswald shot anybody on November 22nd — not the President and not Tippit. If our investigation in this area proves fruitful, I hope we will be able to produce in a court of law the two men who did kill Tippit.

PLAYBOY: How do you explain the fact that the Warren Commission concluded that the bullets in Officer Tippit’s body had all been fired from “the revolver in the possession of Oswald at the time of his arrest, to the exclusion of all other weapons”?

GARRISON: The Warren Commission’s conclusion was made in spite of the evidence and not because of it. To determine if Oswald’s gun had fired the bullets, it was necessary to call in a ballistics expert who would be able to tell if the lines and grooves on the bullets had a relation to the barrel of the revolver. The Commission called as its witness FBI ballistics expert Cortlandt Cunningham, and he testified, after an examination of the bullets taken from Tippit’s body, that it was impossible to determine whether or not these bullets had been fired from Oswald’s gun. Yet, on the basis of this expert testimony, the Warren Commission concluded with a straight face that the bullets were fired not only from Oswald’s gun but “to the exclusion of all other weapons.” They simply chose to ignore the fact that revolvers don’t eject cartridges and that the cartridges left so conveniently on the street didn’t match the bullets in Tippit’s body.

PLAYBOY: You mentioned earlier that a so-called “second Oswald” had impersonated the real Lee Harvey Oswald before the assassination in an attempt to incriminate him. What proof do you have of this?

GARRISON: I hesitate to use the words “second Oswald,” because they tend to lend an additional fictional quality to a case that already makes Dr. No and Goldfinger look like auditors’ reports. However, it is true that before the assassination, a calculated effort was made to implicate Oswald in the events to come. A young man approximating Oswald’s description and using Oswald’s name — we believe
we have discovered his identity — engaged in a variety of activities designed to create such a strong impression of Oswald’s instability and culpability in people’s minds that they would recall him as a suspicious character after the President was murdered.

In one instance, a man went to an auto salesroom, gave his name as Lee Oswald, test-drove a car at 80 miles an hour — Oswald couldn’t drive — and, after creating an ineradicable impression on the salesman by his speeding, gratuitously remarked that he might go back to the Soviet Union and was expecting to come into a large sum of money. Parenthetically, the salesman who described this “second Oswald” was subsequently beaten almost to death by unknown assailants outside his showroom. He later fled Dallas and last year was found dead; it was officially declared a suicide.

In another instance, this “second Oswald” visited a shooting range in Dallas and gave a virtuoso demonstration of marksmanship, hitting not only his own bull’s-eye but the bull’s-eyes of neighboring targets as well — thus leaving an unforgettable impression of his skill with a rifle. The real Oswald, of course, was a mediocre shot, and there is no evidence that he had fired a rifle since the day he left the Marines. Consequently, the fact that he couldn’t hit the side of a barn had to be offset, which accounts for the tableau at the rifle range.

I could go on and on recounting similar instances, but there is no doubt that there was indeed a “second Oswald.” Now, the Warren Commission recognized that the individual involved in all these activities could not be Lee Oswald; but they never took the next step and inquired why these incidents of impersonation occurred so systematically prior to the assassination. As it turned out, of course, the organizers of the conspiracy needn’t have bothered to go to all this trouble of laying a false trail incriminating Oswald. They should have realized, since Oswald was a “self-proclaimed Marxist,” that it wasn’t necessary to produce any additional evidence to convict him in the eyes of the mass media; any other facts would simply be redundant in the face of such a convincing confession of guilt.

PLAYBOY: You’ve given your reasons for believing that Oswald, despite his leftist “cover,” was involved with the conspirators and with the CIA. Do you have any evidence indicating that he was also connected with the FBI, as some critics of the Warren Report have alleged?

GARRISON: Let me preface my answer by saying that I believe the FBI was not given the full picture of Oswald’s CIA involvement. I have nothing but respect for the Bureau and feel that if it weren’t for the FBI reports still available in the Commission exhibits, the door would have been closed forever. While the CIA has behaved like a cross between the Gestapo and the NKVD, the FBI has worked assiduously in many different areas and gathered facts that have proved of great value to those interested in uncovering the truth about the assassination. It isn’t the FBI’s fault that dozens of its reports have been classified top secret in the Archives by order of certain officials in the Department of Justice. The trouble I face today is that, after four years, not only are these documents unavailable but the trail has grown cold in many areas. Ruby is dead. Ferrie is dead. Many other witnesses with valuable information have either been murdered or fled the country.

PLAYBOY: You still haven’t answered the question: Was Oswald involved with the FBI?

GARRISON: Well, I just wanted to phrase my reply in such a manner that it wouldn’t be misconstrued as a broadside against the entire FBI. Oswald may have been a petty informer for the Bureau, receiving small sums of money in return for information about left-wing activities in the Dallas-New Orleans area. But I must stress that there is no indication of any connection between Oswald and the FBI with regard to the assassination, and that his position with the FBI was in no way analogous to his position with the CIA; the FBI retains hundreds, perhaps thousands of such informants across the country and is no more responsible for their over-all pattern of political activity than the Internal Revenue Service is responsible for the behavior of its confidential informants on tax-evasion matters.

Oswald’s possible ties to the Bureau are never mentioned in the Warren Report, but a member of the Commission, Congressman Gerald Ford, revealed in his otherwise undistinguished book, Portrait of an Assassin, that the Commission was informed by Texas Attorney General Waggoner Carr and Dallas D.A. Henry Wade that Oswald had been employed by the FBI as an informant since September of 1962; his salary, they revealed, was $200 a month and his FBI code number was 179. The Warren Commission acted promptly on this information from two responsible Texas officials: Chief Counsel Rankin told the members of the Commission that “We have a dirty rumor that is very bad for the Commission … and it is very damaging to the agencies that are involved in it and it must be wiped out insofar as it is possible to do so by the Commission.”

The Commission then launched one of its typically thorough investigations: J. Edgar Hoover was asked if the alleged assassin of the President of the United States had been an employee of his; Mr. Hoover said “No”; and the Commission closed the case. If Congressman Ford hadn’t developed writer’s itch, we would never even have heard of the incident. Once again, the Commission made an unwise choice between tranquility and truth.

There is also other evidence linking Oswald to the FBI — though, again, not in any conspiratorial context. A Dallas police investigative report dated February 17, 1964, describes a police interview with Mrs. Teofil Meller, a White Russian émigrée in Dallas who had befriended Oswald and Marina. Mrs. Meller revealed, according to the report, that “she saw the book Kapital, which was written by Karl Marx, during one of these visits at Oswald’s house and became very worried about it. Subject [Mr. Meller] said he checked with the FBI and they told him that Oswald was all right.”

So here you have this “self-proclaimed Marxist,” who had defected to the Soviet Union, tried to renounce his American citizenship and was now allegedly active in pro-Castro activities, being given a clean bill of health by the FBI. It’s quite possible that this clean bill of health was originally issued by the State Department, which, in reply to an FBI request for information about Oswald’s activities in Russia — this was shortly after his “defection” — assured the Bureau that he was a solid citizen. So I don’t see anything sinister in all of this, at least as far as the FBI is concerned. The Bureau has to obtain information on subversion and it’s going to get what it needs not from Rhodes scholars and divinity students but from apparently marginal figures like Lee Oswald with an entree into the political underworld.

PLAYBOY: If you see nothing sinister in the FBI’s relationship with Oswald, why did you subpoena FBI agents Regis Kennedy and Warren De Brueys to testify before the New Orleans Parish grand jury?

GARRISON: Regis Kennedy is one of the FBI agents who interrogated David Ferrie in November 1963, and I hoped to learn from him what information the Bureau had elicited from Ferrie. But on the instructions of our old friend Attorney General Ramsey Clark, Kennedy refused to answer the questions put to him by the grand jury on the grounds of executive privilege. Warren De Brueys is a former FBI agent based in New Orleans who also questioned Ferrie in 1963. Between 1961 and 1963, De Brueys was involved with anti-Castro exile activities in New Orleans and was seen frequently at meetings of the right-wing Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front. I’d like to find out the exact nature of De Brueys’ relationship with Lee Oswald. As long as Oswald was in New Orleans, so was De Brueys. When Oswald moved to Dallas, De Brueys followed him. After the assassination, De Brueys returned to New Orleans. This may all be coincidence, but I find it interesting that De Brueys refuses to cooperate with our office — significant and frustrating, because I feel he could shed considerable light on Oswald’s ties to anti-Castro groups.

PLAYBOY: On March 23, 1967, you ordered the arrest of Gordon Novel as a material witness in the conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy, and you have subsequently sought his extradition from Ohio. What role do you believe Novel played in the alleged conspiracy?

GARRISON: I can’t go into all aspects of Novel’s activities, because we have a live case against him. Novel worked closely with David Ferrie and the anti-Castro Cuban exiles. In 1961, he raided a munitions bunker in Houma, Louisiana, with David Ferrie and a prominent anti-Castro exile leader, and the weapons seized were subsequently shipped by CIA agents to the counterrevolutionary underground in Cuba. He also worked for the Evergreen Advertising Agency in New Orleans, a CIA front that alerted anti-Castro agents to the date of the Bay of Pigs invasion by placing coded messages in radio commercials for Christmas trees.

Novel himself was a paid employee of the CIA. As I mentioned earlier, Novel’s own lawyer, Stephen Plotkin, has admitted that his client is a CIA agent. On May 23, 1967, Plotkin was quoted in the New Orleans States-Item as saying that “his client served as an intermediary between the CIA and anti-Castro Cubans in New Orleans and Miami prior to the April 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion.” And that same day, the Associated Press, which has hardly served as my press agent in this case, reported: “When Novel first fled from New Orleans, he headed straight for McLean, Virginia, which is the Central Intelligence Agency suburb. This is not surprising, because Gordon Novel was a CIA employee in the early Sixties.” There is no doubt that Gordon Novel was a CIA operative.

PLAYBOY: If the CIA, as you charge, not only refuses to cooperate with you but has actively obstructed your investigation, how are you in a position to know about Novel’s activities on behalf of the Agency?

GARRISON: The people of Louisiana pay my investigators to investigate. But in this specific instance, we’ve benefited by sheer luck. After Novel fled the city in March, my investigators and the city police both scoured his apartment for evidence, but Novel appeared to have covered his trail pretty effectively. I’m afraid, in this case, we weren’t as efficient as two young girls who moved into Novel’s apartment a few weeks later and, during a thorough house cleaning, found a penciled rough draft of a letter under a strip of linoleum on the kitchen-sink drainboard.

One of the girls gave it to her boyfriend, a student at Tulane University, and he in turn passed it on to one of his professors, who subsequently showed the letter to Hoke May, a reporter for the New Orleans States-Item. May had the letter examined by an independent handwriting analyst, Gilbert Fortier, who compared it with other samples of Novel’s writing and determined that the draft had been written by Novel — a fact that was confirmed by Novel’s attorney, who said that “everything in the letter as far as Novel is concerned is actually the truth.”

This letter makes fascinating reading. It is addressed to a Mr. Weiss, Novel’s apparent superior in the CIA. Novel tells Weiss: “I took the liberty of writing you direct and apprising you of current situation expecting you to forward this through appropriate channels. Our connection and activity of that period involved individuals presently about to be indicted as conspirators in Mr. Garrison’s investigation.”

Novel goes on to warn that my probe was in danger of exposing his ties to the Double-Chek Corporation in Miami, which the book The Invisible Government exposes as a CIA front that recruited pilots and saboteurs for the Bay of Pigs and subsequent anti-Castro adventures. Novel writes in the letter: “Mr. Garrison … is unaware of Double-Chek’s involvement in this matter but has strong suspicions.” He also adds that he lied to the FBI: “I have been questioned extensively by local FBI recently as to whether or not I was involved with Double-Chek’s parent holding corporation … My reply on five queries was negative. Bureau unaware of Double-Chek association in this matter.”

The letter indicates that Novel was growing edgy, because he complains: “We have temporarily avoided one subpoena not to reveal Double-Chek activities … We want out of this thing before Thursday, 3/— /67. Our attorneys have been told to expect another subpoena to appear and testify on this matter. The Fifth Amendment and/or immunity and legal tactics will not suffice.”

In case the CIA decided Novel was expendable, he seems to have taken out a kind of insurance policy: “Our attorneys and others are in possession of complete sealed files containing all information concerning this matter. In the event of our sudden departure, either accidental or otherwise, they are instructed to simultaneously release same for public scrutiny in different areas.”

Novel concludes his little billet-doux by urging the CIA to take “appropriate counteraction relative to Garrison’s inquisition concerning us through military channels, vis-a-vis the DIA man.” Interesting enough, the DIA is the abbreviation for the Defense Intelligence Agency, a top-secret group set up after the Bay of Pigs to supervise the CIA and ensure increased Administration control of CIA activities — a task at which it has proved spectacularly unsuccessful.

PLAYBOY: Novel subsequently fled New Orleans and took refuge in Ohio. Why were you unable to obtain his extradition?

GARRISON: The reason we were unable to obtain Novel’s extradition from Ohio — the reason we are unable to extradite anyone connected with this case — is that there are powerful forces in Washington who find it imperative to conceal from the American public the truth about the assassination. And as a result, terrific pressure has been brought to bear on the governors of the states involved to prevent them from signing the extradition papers and returning the defendants to stand trial. I’m sorry to say that in every case, these Jell-o-spined governors have caved in and “played the game” Washington’s way.

To give them the benefit of the doubt, I suppose it’s also possible that they just didn’t want to aid and abet an investigation that every official effort, overt and covert, has been made to discredit as irresponsible and unfounded. Whatever his motivation, Governor Rhodes of Ohio, to name one, has said that he would allow me to extradite Novel to stand trial on charges arising from the CIA-inspired burglary of the ammunitions bunker in Houma, Louisiana — but that I would not be allowed under the stipulations of the extradition agreement to question him about the assassination! In other words, it’s OK for me to send a man to jail on a burglary rap, but I mustn’t upset him by inquiring if he killed the President. I’m all in favor of protecting a defendant’s civil rights, but this is straight out of Alice in Wonderland.

PLAYBOY: The New Orleans States-Item of June 14, 1967, quoted Novel as saying that if he were granted immunity from the assassination investigation, he would be willing to testify on a number of points, including “international fraud, mysterious intelligence activities from November 1959 to date in the Southern quadrant of the U.S.A. and certain islands off Florida, seditious treason, hot war games and cold munitions transfers, ten 1950-model Canadian surplus Vampire jet supporter fighter aircraft and certain Cuban-Anglo-French sabotage affairs of early 1961.” Why did you reject his offer?

GARRISON: These are all intriguing aspects of Novel’s career as a U.S. intelligence agent, and I’d love to hear about them — especially his knowledge of seditious treason — but that isn’t the subject of my investigation.

PLAYBOY: Let’s move on from Gordon Novel to Jack Ruby, who you claim murdered Oswald to “silence” him. Do you have any evidence that Ruby and Oswald knew each other?

GARRISON: Though Ruby and the Warren Report denied it vehemently, there is simply no question about it. We didn’t even have to do a great deal of investigative digging; connections popped up everywhere we scratched the surface.

PLAYBOY: What evidence do you have to support your charge that Ruby was involved in anti-Castro exile activities with Oswald and Ferrie?

GARRISON: We have evidence linking Ruby not only to anti-Castro exile activities but, as with almost everyone else involved in this case, to the CIA itself. Never forget that the CIA maintains a great variety of curious alliances it feels serve its purposes. It may be hard to imagine Ruby in a trench coat, but he seems to have been as good an employee of the CIA as he was a pimp for the Dallas cops.

Just let me add parenthetically that I stress the word “employee” here as opposed to “agent.” The CIA employs many people in many different capacities, sometimes just on a retainer basis, and these individuals do not fall under the over-all authority of the CIA. I have solid evidence indicating that Ruby, Ferrie, Oswald and others involved in this case were all paid by the CIA to perform certain functions: Ruby to smuggle arms for Cuban exile groups, Ferrie to train them and to fly counterrevolutionary secret missions to Cuba, and Oswald to establish himself so convincingly as a Marxist that he would win the trust of American left-wing groups and also have freedom to travel as a spy in Communist countries, particularly Cuba.

But I have reason to believe that none of them was a salaried agent operating under a direct chain of command. In this particular case — though as with the others involved, it seems to have been unrelated to his CIA work — Ruby was up to his neck with the plotters. Our investigators have broken a code Oswald used and found Ruby’s private unlisted telephone number, as of 1963, written in Oswald’s notebook. The same coded number was found in the address book of another prominent figure in this case. We have further evidence linking Ruby to the conspiracy, but it involves testimony to be given in court in the future, so I can’t reveal it here.

On the broader point of Ruby’s involvement with anti-Castro exile activity, there can be no doubt whatsoever. Let me refer you here to the testimony of Nancy Perrin Rich before the Warren Commission. This lady arrived in Dallas in 1961 with her husband, Robert Perrin, a gun runner and one time narcotics smuggler and, through police intervention, secured a job as a bartender at Ruby’s Carousel Club.

She quit soon after and didn’t see Ruby again until one night when she and her husband, as she tells it, attended a conference of anti-Castro exiles presided over by a lieutenant colonel — an Army colonel, she thought. She testified that Robert Perrin was offered $10,000 if he would run guns to the underground in Cuba, and she haggled the sum up to $25,000. When Perrin demanded a cash retainer, a phone call was made and, shortly after, Mrs. Rich recounts, “I had the shock of my life … A knock comes on the door and who walks in but my little friend Jack Ruby … You could have knocked me over with a feather … and everybody looks like … here comes the Savior.” Ruby was the CIA bag man — or paymaster — for the operation, and he left immediately after handling over a large sum in cash to the colonel. Mrs. Rich and her husband subsequently bowed out of the gun-smuggling deal, because, in her words, “I smelled an element that I did not want to have any part of.”

Afraid of retaliation, she and Perrin fled from Dallas and hid out in several different cities, winding up finally in New Orleans. A year later, he was found dead of arsenic poisoning. Though it would be difficult to pick a slower and more excruciating way to kill yourself, it was officially declared a suicide. There are too many other instances of Ruby’s anti-Castro activity to go into here. Ruby appears to have been the CIA’s bag man for a wide variety of anti-Castro adventures. In this connection, let me point out that one of the documents classified top secret in the Archives is a CIA file entitled “The Activities of Jack Ruby.” Perhaps this will become a Book-of-the-Month Club selection in September 2038.

PLAYBOY: Even if Ruby was associated with certain Cuban exile groups, as you claim, couldn’t all of this be totally unrelated to the assassination?

GARRISON: It could be, but it isn’t. As a result of our investigation, I can say, with the same certitude that I can say the sun will rise in the east tomorrow morning, that Jack Ruby was involved in the conspiracy to kill John Kennedy. Much of the evidence we’ve uncovered about Ruby’s involvement relates to our court case against Clay Shaw, so the canon of legal ethics prevents me from broadcasting it before trial. But I will give you one bit of evidence, recently uncovered by our office, that links Ruby to the conspiracy.

Four days before the assassination, on November 18th, 1963, a young woman from Dallas named Rose Cheramie was thrown from a moving car on a highway outside Eunice, Louisiana. She was badly bruised and taken to the East Louisiana Hospital in Jackson, Louisiana. When she came out of sedation, on November 19th, she was distraught and sobbed that she had been thrown out of the car by associates of a man named Jack Ruby in Dallas. She claimed to have been sent by Ruby from Dallas to Miami to pick up a shipment of narcotics. When asked by a hospital attendant — who fortunately took notes of her remarks, in case the police had to be called in — why she had been hurled from the car, she replied that narcotics smuggling was one thing, but she drew the line at murder. The president, she said, was going to be killed in Dallas within a few days. At this point, sadly enough, the hospital authorities seemed to dismiss her as hysterical and lost interest in her story, although she repeated it in detail the next day. After the assassination, of course, people in the hospital became interested once more, but she had already checked out, leaving no forwarding address other than Dallas, Texas. There the story stood until a few months ago, when we began searching for Miss Cheramie, but it was too late. After the assassination, she was killed by a hit-and-run driver on a highway outside Dallas.

PLAYBOY: If Jack Ruby was really the sinister and cunning figure you paint him, why would he kill Oswald in the Dallas city jail, where his own apprehension and conviction for murder were inevitable? Wasn’t this more logically the act of a temporarily deranged man?

GARRISON: First of all, let me dispose of this concept of the “temporarily deranged man.” This is a catchall term, employed whenever the real motive of a crime can’t be nailed down. In the overwhelming majority of instances, the actions of human beings are the direct consequences of discernible motives.

This is the fatal flaw of the Warren Report — its conclusion that the assassination of President Kennedy was the act of a temporarily deranged man, that the murder of Officer Tippit was equally meaningless and, finally, that Jack Ruby’s murder of Oswald was another act of a temporarily deranged individual. It is, of course, wildly improbable that all three acts were coincidentally the aberrant acts of temporarily deranged men — although it’s most convenient to view them as such, because that judgment obviates the necessity of relentlessly investigating the possibility of a conspiracy.

In Jack Ruby’s case, his murder of Lee Oswald was the sanest act he ever committed; if Oswald had lived another day or so, he very probably would have named names, and Jack Ruby would have been convicted as a conspirator in the assassination plot. As it was, Ruby made the best of a bad situation by rubbing out Oswald in the Dallas city jail, since this act could be construed as an argument that he was “temporarily deranged.”

But I differ with the assumption of your question, because, while there could have [been] no doubt in Ruby’s mind that he would be arrested, he could very well have entertained hopes of escaping conviction. You’ve got to remember the atmosphere in Dallas and across the country at that time; when word was flashed to the crowd outside the jail that Oswald had been shot, they burst into wild applause. Ruby’s lawyer, Tom Howard, spoke for a sizable segment of public opinion when he said, “I think Ruby deserves a Congressional Medal,” and the largest-circulation newspaper in the country, the New York Daily News, editorialized after Oswald’s death that “the only good murderer is a dead murderer and the only good Communist a dead Communist.”

In the two days between his arrest and his liquidation, Oswald had been convicted by the mass media as the President’s assassin and as a Communist, and Ruby may well have felt that he would be acquitted for murdering such a universally despised figure. It turned out, of course, that he was wrong, and he became a prisoner of the Dallas police, forced over a year later to beg Earl Warren to take him back to Washington, because he wanted to tell the truth about “why my act was committed, but it can’t be said here … my life is in danger here.” But Ruby never got to Washington, and he’s joined the long list of witnesses with vital information who have shuffled off this mortal coil.

PLAYBOY: Penn Jones, Norman Mailer and others have charged that Ruby was injected with live cancer cells in order to silence him. Do you agree?

GARRISON: I can’t agree or disagree, since I have no evidence one way or the other. But we have discovered that David Ferrie had a rather curious hobby in addition to his study of cartridge trajectories: cancer research. He filled his apartment with white mice — at one point he had almost 2000, and neighbors complained — wrote a medical treatise on the subject and worked with a number of New Orleans doctors on means of inducing cancer in mice.

After the assassination, one of these physicians, Dr. Mary Sherman, was found hacked to death with a kitchen knife in her New Orleans apartment. Her murder is listed as unsolved. Ferrie’s experiments may have been purely theoretical and Dr. Sherman’s death completely unrelated to her association with Ferrie; but I do find it interesting that Jack Ruby died of cancer a few weeks after his conviction for murder had been overruled in appeals court and he was ordered to stand trial outside of Dallas — thus allowing him to speak freely if he so desired. I would also note that there was little hesitancy in killing Lee Harvey Oswald in order to prevent him from talking, so there is no reason to suspect that any more consideration would have been shown Jack Ruby if he had posed a threat to the architects of the conspiracy.

PLAYBOY: You’ve claimed that many of the people involved in the conspiracy were “neo-Nazi” in their political orientation. What would motivate Ruby, a Jew, to work with such people?

GARRISON: Money. As far as my office has been able to determine, Jack Ruby had no strong political views of his own. Historically, of course, there have been a number of self-hating Jews who abetted their own tormentors: Adolf Hitler’s mentor in Vienna, Karl Lueger, was born a Jew, and I understand that one of the leading pro-Nazis in New York City, a retired millionaire who finances anti-Jewish activity across the country, is the son of a rabbi.

But I don’t believe Jack Ruby falls into this category; he was just a hoodlum out for a buck. I will say — with the understanding that it’s pure speculation — it’s not impossible that Jack Ruby developed certain guilt feelings in prison over his role in the plot. Remember his repeated lament, “Now there will be pogroms. They will kill all the Jews.”? Most people assumed this was just the fantasy of a crumbling mind. But maybe Jack Ruby knew better than the rest of us what the master-racist authors of the assassination had in mind for the country.

PLAYBOY: Let’s move on from Jack Ruby to David Ferrie. Wesley Liebeler, the Warren Commission counsel who handled the New Orleans end of the inquiry, said Ferrie “was picked up shortly after the assassination and questioned by local officials of the FBI. I remember specifically doing up a substantial stack of FBI reports on Ferrie that we reviewed in order to make our determination.” He states that the FBI reports on Ferrie were not included in the Commission’s 26 volumes of evidence, “because it was so clear he wasn’t involved.” Why do you refuse to accept this explanation?

GARRISON: I think it’s a lovely explanation. Now perhaps Mr. Liebeler will intercede with the Department of Justice to release 25 pages of the FBI report on Ferrie that have been classified top secret in the Archives. Then we’ll all have a chance to see for ourselves how clear it is that Ferrie wasn’t involved. Every scrap of evidence we’ve uncovered — and it hasn’t been difficult to find — reveals not only the fact of his involvement but the reasons for it. His politics were ultra-right wing, as I indicated earlier, but we’ve been able to determine conclusively that his motivation was closer to that of the Cuban exiles on the “operative” level — a burning hatred of Fidel Castro.

When Castro was a guerrilla in the Sierra Maestra, Ferrie is reliably reported to have piloted guns for him. But in 1959, when Castro started to show his Marxist colors, Ferrie appears to have felt betrayed and reacted against Castro with all the bitterness of a suitor jilted by his girl. From that moment on, he dedicated himself to Castro’s overthrow and began working with exile groups such as the Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front and planning airborne missions against Castro’s military installations. He was reported to have been paid up to $1500 a mission by an ex-Batista official named Eladio del Valle. But I haven’t been able to check out Del Valle’s involvement with Ferrie, because on February 22, 1967, the same day Ferrie died in New Orleans, Del Valle’s head was split open by a hatchet and he was shot through the heart in Miami. His murder is listed as unsolved by the Miami police.

In any case, Ferrie was recruited by the CIA, which employed hundreds of such people in their network of anti-Castro exile activities. From the Bay of Pigs on, he hated Kennedy as much as he did Castro; he felt that J.F.K. had betrayed the invasion brigade by not sending in air cover. As the events I described earlier led to a détente between Russia and America, and as the FBI — under Kennedy’s orders — started cracking down on the CIA-supported anti-Castro underground, Ferrie’s hatred for Kennedy grew more and more obsessive.

Let me add here that this isn’t just speculation on my part; we have a number of reliable witnesses who were privy to Ferrie’s thoughts at this period and saw his hatred of Kennedy develop into a driving force. After the assassination, as a matter of fact, something psychologically curious happened to Ferrie: He dropped out of anti-Castro exile activities, left the pay of the CIA and drifted aimlessly while his emotional problems increased to the point where he was totally dependent on huge doses of tranquilizers and barbiturates. I don’t know if Ferrie ever experienced any guilt about the assassination itself; but in his last months, he was a tortured man.

PLAYBOY: After Ferrie’s death, you called it “an apparent suicide,” but the coroner announced that the autopsy showed death was due to a ruptured blood vessel at the base of the brain, which caused a fatal hemorrhage. Have you subsequently resolved the discrepancy in your points of view?

GARRISON: Dr. Nicholas Chetta is an excellent coroner, and inasmuch as he found a total absence of traceable poisons or barbiturates in Ferrie’s system, I would respect his opinion that it was a natural death. On the other hand, I can’t help but lend a certain weight to two suicide notes Ferrie left in his apartment, one of which said how sweet it was to finally leave this wretched life. I suppose it could just be a weird coincidence that the night Ferrie penned two suicide notes, he died of natural causes.

PLAYBOY: Your critics have charged that your relentless investigation of Ferrie and the publicity the press gave to your charges against him induced the state of hypertension that was said to have caused his fatal hemorrhage. Do you feel in any way responsible for Ferrie’s death?

GARRISON: I had nothing but pity for Dave Ferrie while he was alive, and I have nothing but pity for him now that he’s dead. Ferrie was a pathetic and tortured creature, a genuinely brilliant man whose twisted drives locked him into his own private hell. If I had been able to help Ferrie, I would have; but he was in too deep and he was terrified. From the moment he realized we had looked behind the facade and established that Lee Oswald was anything but a Communist, from the moment he knew we had discovered the role of the CIA and anti-Castro adventurers in the assassination, Ferrie began to crumble psychologically. So, to answer your question directly — yes, I suppose I may have been responsible for Ferrie’s death. If I had left this case alone, if I had allowed Kennedy’s murderers to continue to walk the streets of America unimpeded, Dave Ferrie would probably be alive today. I don’t feel personally guilty about Ferrie’s death, but I do feel terribly sorry for the waste of another human being.

In a deeper sense, though, Dave Ferrie died on November 22, 1963. From that moment on, he couldn’t save himself, and I couldn’t save him. Ferrie could have quoted as his epitaph the last words of the Serb partisan leader Draja Mikhailovitch before Tito shot him for collaboration: “I was swept up in the gales of history.”

PLAYBOY: Many of the professional critics of the Warren Commission appear to be prompted by political motives: Those on the left are anxious to prove Kennedy was murdered by a conspiracy within the establishment; and those on the right are eager to prove the assassination was an act of “the international Communist conspiracy.” Where would you place yourself on the political spectrum — right, left of center?

GARRISON: That’s a question I’ve asked myself frequently, especially since this investigation started and I found myself in an incongruous and disillusioning battle with agencies of my own Government. I can’t just sit down and add up my political beliefs like a mathematical sum, but I think, in balance, I’d turn up somewhere around the middle.

Over the years, I guess I’ve developed a somewhat conservative attitude — in the traditional libertarian sense of conservatism, as opposed to the thumbscrew-and-rack conservatism of the paramilitary right — particularly in regard to the importance of the individual as opposed to the state and the individual’s own responsibilities to humanity. I don’t think I’ve ever tried to formulate this into a coherent political philosophy, but at the root of my concern is the conviction that a human being is not a digit; he’s not a digit in regard to the state and he’s not a digit in the sense that he can ignore his fellow men and his obligations to society.

I was with the artillery supporting the division that took Dachau; I arrived there the day after it was taken, when bulldozers were making pyramids of human bodies outside the camp. What I saw there has haunted me ever since. Because the law is my profession, I’ve always wondered about the judges throughout Germany who sentenced men to jail for picking pockets at a time when their own government was jerking gold from the teeth of men murdered in gas chambers. I’m concerned about all of this because it isn’t a German phenomenon; it’s a human phenomenon. It can happen here, because there has been no change and there has been no progress and there has been no increase of understanding on the part of men for their fellow man.

What worries me deeply, and I have seen it exemplified in this case, is that we in America are in great danger of slowly evolving into a proto-fascist state. It will be a different kind of fascist state from the one of the Germans evolved; theirs grew out of depression and promised bread and work, while ours, curiously enough, seems to be emerging from prosperity. But in the final analysis, it’s based on power and on the inability to put human goals and human conscience above the dictates of the state. Its origins can be traced in the tremendous war machine we’ve built since 1945, the “military-industrial complex” that Eisenhower vainly warned us about, which now dominates every aspect of our life. The power of the states and Congress has gradually been abandoned to the Executive Department, because of war conditions; and we’ve seen the creation of an arrogant, swollen bureaucratic complex totally unfettered by the checks and balances of the Constitution.

In a very real and terrifying sense, our Government is the CIA and the Pentagon, with Congress reduced to a debating society. Of course, you can’t spot this trend to fascism by casually looking around. You can’t look for such familiar signs as the swastika, because they won’t be there. We won’t build Dachaus and Auschwitzes; the clever manipulation of the mass media is creating a concentration camp of the mind that promises to be far more effective in keeping the populace in line. We’re not going to wake up one morning and suddenly find ourselves in gray uniforms goose-stepping off to work. But this isn’t the test. The test is: What happens to the individual who dissents? In Nazi Germany, he was physically destroyed; here, the process is more subtle, but the end results can be the same.

I’ve learned enough about the machinations of the CIA in the past year to know that this is no longer the dreamworld America I once believed in. The imperatives of the population explosion, which almost inevitably will lessen our belief in the sanctity of the individual human life, combined with the awesome power of the CIA and the defense establishment, seem destined to seal the fate of the America I knew as a child and bring us into a new Orwellian world where the citizen exists for the state and where raw power justifies any and every immoral act. I’ve always had a kind of knee-jerk trust in my Government’s basic integrity, whatever political blunders it may make. But I’ve come to realize that in Washington, deceiving and manipulating the public are viewed by some as the natural prerogatives of office. Huey Long once said, “Fascism will come to America in the name of anti-fascism.” I’m afraid, based on my own experience, that fascism will come to America in the name of national security.

PLAYBOY: Considering all the criticism that has come your way, would you still launch your investigation into the assassination if you had it to do over again?

GARRISON: As long as the men who shot John Kennedy to death in Dallas are walking the streets of America, I will continue this investigation. I have no regrets about initiating it and I have no regrets about carrying it on to its conclusion. If it takes me 30 years to nail every one of the assassins, then I will continue this investigation for 30 years. I owe that not only to Jack Kennedy but to my country.

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Barry Seal

Inside The Octopus

Could Barry Seal be the man behind the JFK assassination, Air America, Watergate, Iran-Contra and just about every other major scandal in recent history?

Preston Peet, High Times, June 5, 2002

Who is really responsible for the JFK assassination, Air America, Watergate, Iran-Contra and just about every other major scandal in recent history? Could the Barry Seal story provide the answer? Does Seal’s sad saga provide a window on the Octopus that really rules America? 

Adler Berriman “Barry” Seal was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on July 16, 1939 to a typical American family. Barry, his two brothers, Benjy and Wendell, his mom, a homemaker, and his dad, a candy wholesaler, lived in a house on Lovers Lane. During his teens, Barry would bicycle to Ryan’s Field to watch airplanes in action. Seal’s first flight instructor, Eddie Duffard, told Dan Hopsicker that Barry was a skinny kid with a paper route, but he was always trying to prove something.

“That boy was first cousin to a bird,” recalled Duffard.

On July 16, 1955, his 16th birthday, Seal got his pilot’s license. Two weeks later, he boarded a U.S. Air Force plane for a two-week summer camp with the Civil Air Patrol at Barksdale Air Force Base in Shreveport, Louisiana. There he came under the command of David Ferrie, and met fellow cadet Lee Harvey Oswald, two principal figures in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

John Odom was a childhood friend. “One Friday, I got a call from Barry asking if I’d like to fly to Lacombe. We left about 5:30 AM,” says Odom. At the Lacombe airport, David Ferrie pointed out 50 boxes on the runway. Flying back to Baton Rouge, Seal told Odom the boxes were weapons, and Ferrie was paying him $400 a week — $2,500 a week in today’s dollars — to deliver them. “How’d you like to make that kind of money?” asked Seal, who was still a high-school senior.

Two years later, he was making $2,000 per flight, carrying weapons into Cuba for Fidel Castro’s revolution. Joe Nettles, his second flight instructor, believes Seal was the best pilot in the US at the time. One thing we know for sure: After falling into David Ferrie’s orbit, Seal suddenly became very secretive.

SECRET AGENT MAN

Ferrie had been an undercover operative for the Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the CIA, during World War II. He was also a failed priest, a self-trained cancer researcher, an avid hypnotist and an enthusiastic supporter of right-wing agendas. As commander of a Civil Air Patrol unit, he probably screened cadets for future roles in intelligence operations.

Eddie Shearer, one of Ferrie’s cadets, recalls this revealing incident: “This kid was twirling a ‘guidon,’ a metal pole with a fleur de lis, and it got away from him and cut his hand. Dave walks over to him and puts his hand out in front of the kid’s face, like he’s giving him a stiff-arm, and says, ‘You will feel sensation, but no pain.'” It became clear to Shearer that Ferrie had been hypnotizing some of the cadets for a long time.

In 1960, Seal asked his roommate, Jerry Chidgey, to help him empty out the Louisiana National Guard armory, using keys Seal had mysteriously obtained. They loaded weapons into an unmarked police van and drove to Hammond, Louisiana, “where the guns were loaded onto a DC-3 and flown to Guatemala.”

As we know today, Guatemala was a staging area for the CIA-sponsored Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in April 1961. Seal sent his mother a postcard from the Mayas Excelsior Hotel in Guatemala City, just three weeks before he flew a P-51 in the ill-fated invasion.

He then returned to the US and joined the US Army Special Forces Reserves. He was assigned to the 21st Special Forces Group and went to jump school in Ft. Benning, Georgia. On May 1, 1963, Seal was assigned to Company D, Special Ops Detachment of the 20th Special Forces Group-Spec Forces Group Airborne.

It is during this time, just before President Kennedy was killed, that an illuminating photograph was taken. A smiling 24-year-old Seal is seated at a nightclub table in Mexico City with Frank Sturgis, Felix Rodriguez and William Seymour, all members of the CIA’s assassination squad, Operation 40.

Louis Gaudin, an air-traffic controller at Redbird Airport, located south of Dallas, told the FBI he recalled observing three men in business suits board a Comanche-type aircraft hours after the assassination. Seal owned such a plane, and many believe he flew the plane that spirited the assassins to Canada.

In 1965, Seal went to work flying for the CIA-friendly, Howard Hughes-owned company, Trans World Airlines, becoming, at age 26, the youngest pilot certified to fly Boeing 707s. While “working” for TWA, Seal volunteered for hazardous duty to fly into battle zones in Vietnam with explosives and war material.

Theodore “The Blond Ghost” Shackley, had been in charge of the covert anti-Castro operations in Miami, but after the Bay of Pigs, he was moved to Southeast Asia, along with Felix Rodriguez, Ed Wilson, Oliver North, John Singlaub and Richard Secord.

Secord coordinated clandestine flights of supplies, personnel — and, some say, heroin and opium — to various points in Asia and Europe. Barry Seal was a pilot for some of those flights. Secord also helped plan bombing runs against Laotian opium warlord Vang Pao’s rivals, in exchange for Pao’s help in keeping the communist North Vietnamese out of Laos. Various pilots for Air America have alleged that they were flying opium deliveries that Shackley had personally authorized.

WATERGATE

Seal survived Vietnam and returned to the US. On July 1, 1972, while on “sick leave” from his job with TWA, he was arrested by US Customs agents and charged, along with Murray Kessler, a nephew of mob boss Carlo Gambino, in an attempt to smuggle 14,000 pounds of C-4 to anti-Castro forces in Mexico. His arrest was preceded and followed by some very unusual and interesting actions on the part of the Nixon administration and the CIA, not to mention the prosecutors.

According to Henrik Kruger in The Great Heroin Coup, on May 27, 1971, President Richard Nixon authorized the spending of $100 million on a “covert kidnapping and assassination program.” Just a few days later, Nixon created the Special Investigations Unit, the notorious “plumbers,” telling Charles Colson to hire CIA agent Howard Hunt to work with G. Gordon Liddy. He created the Drug Enforcement Administration on July 1, 1973. Author Dan Hopsicker believes Nixon was attempting to wrest control of global narcotics operations away from the CIA.

Two weeks before Seal’s bust, Frank Sturgis was arrested breaking into the Democratic Party’s national headquarters in the Watergate Hotel, along with Nixon’s head of campaign security and three other men with ties to the Bay of Pigs invasion. Liddy and Hunt, who ran the operation from a hotel room across the street, were also arrested. In a desperate attempt to insure their silence, Nixon scrambled to find $200,000 in “hush money.”

Pete Brewton, in his book, The Mafia, CIA, and George Bush, quotes a letter written by Seal during this period, stating that the Customs agent who busted him, Cesario Diosdado, “has proven to have been an ex-CIA agent who worked in the Bay of Pigs invasion and has been working both sides of the fence in the Miami area.” According to Brewton, the deal had been for 10,000 automatic weapons and C-4 explosives, in exchange for 25 kilos of heroin. Was this heroin going to be converted into the much-needed hush money? After delaying the proceedings for two years, the government presented tainted evidence, effectively sabotaging the case, which resulted in a mistrial for Seal. Six weeks later, Nixon resigned.

COCAINE COWBOYS

Seal lost his “cover job” with TWA, but continued working for the CIA, flying round trips to Latin America using the code name Ellis McKenzie. During one of these runs, a friend told Seal he was glad the C-4 never made it to Mexico. After all, think of the death and destruction it would have caused. Seal, now in his thirties, began weeping uncontrollably. His friend had to take over the controls. It was the first sign Seal was having trouble reconciling what the CIA was paying him to do.

Offering up a rationale for CIA involvement in drug dealing, covert operative Gerry Patrick Hemming told Hopsicker, “First of all, we figure, who’s using this dope? Leftists! You can’t allow that kind of capability to remain freelance. There’s too much money.” So the US government keeps its hands on the drug wheel, to keep control of the money.

Seal was arrested again in Honduras on Dec. 10, 1979, with a plane filled with Colombian cocaine. According to Seal’s wife, Debbie, the bust went down because he’d paid off the wrong people. It took nine months to “figure out who to bribe.”

According to Mara Leveritt in The Boys on the Tracks, Louisiana State Police Sergeant Jack Crittendon talked to Seal in 1982, telling him he was about to be indicted on a Quaalude charge, so why didn’t he work for them as an informant and avoid criminal prosecution? Seal said he would “have to talk to his people.” As Crittendon related to Leveritt, “At that point, Seal had more resources than the Louisiana State Police. We knew he wasn’t going to the leaders of the cartel in Colombia and ask them if they minded if he went ahead and informed on them. And we knew he wasn’t going to talk it over with the people who worked for him. So who were these people he was going to have to talk to?” Could it be his handlers at the CIA?

In April 1982, within weeks of this conversation, Seal moved his smuggling operation from Baton Rouge to Mena, Arkansas, a small mountain community with a population of 5,800. He opened Rich Mountain Aviation at the Mena airport. The life he was living was showing up in his appearance. He weighed close to 300 pounds, and his new nickname was “Thunder Thighs.” He was also dabbling in cocaine use.

Seal would fly weapons to Nicaraguan Contra bases in Costa Rica and Honduras for Oliver North and return with loads of cocaine, making airdrops into the surrounding areas around Mena. He was also training pilots and smugglers, even making his own training films, one of which shows a gleeful Seal picking up “the first daylight drug drop in US history.”

The operation Seal brought to Mena was not a small one. As Leveritt reports, Seal himself testified his enterprise consisted of “a Lear Jet, as well as helicopters, surplus military cargo planes, and several single- and twin-engine planes. He also had at his disposal two ships with sophisticated navigational and communications equipment — one of which boasted a helipad — and numerous cars and vans. Seal claimed he employed more than 60 people, coordinating their activities through state-of-the-art electronics. His communications equipment featured ultra high-frequency radios with scramblers, pocket-sized encoders for telephones and high-frequency satellite communications devices like those used on Air Force B-52s. For navigation, his pilots had night-vision goggles and other devices, which Seal once described as being of the same range and quality as those used on nuclear submarines.” He was also laundering money through the tiny banks of Mena, having accomplices who worked at the banks pass out money to tellers in slightly less than $10,000 amounts, to dodge IRS attention.

In March 1983, Seal was indicted by a Florida grand jury for smuggling 200,000 bogus Quaaludes, the same charge the Louisiana police warned him about a year earlier. Was this a real bust? Or perhaps an attempt to “sheep-dip” Seal into the role of a mob-connected drug trafficker? Or maybe just an attempt to maintain leverage on someone threatening to pull out of covert operations? The phony Quaaludes were so worthless Seal had dumped thousands into a river. Why would a bigtime cocaine smuggler take a risk for phony pills that couldn’t even be sold?

In October 1983, the FBI opened an investigation into Rich Mountain Aviation. The Colombian cocaine pipeline fueling the Contras’ war against Nicaragua’s leftist government was hemorrhaging money, as every link along the chain skimmed whatever they could steal. Much of the intense surveillance on Seal was probably designed to keep his pilfering down rather than stop his operation.

Seal was convicted on the Quaalude charge in February 1984, and faced up to 10 years in prison. Desperately looking for a deal to stay out of prison, he flew to Washington for a meeting with George Bush’s Vice-Presidential Drug Task Force, where he was recruited into a new operation. With CIA-mounted cameras hidden in the nose and cargo bay of Seal’s C-123K plane, Seal flew to Los Brasiles civilian airfield in Nicaragua on June 25, 1984.

The hidden cameras took a series of grainy photos in which Seal, top Medellin cartel leader Pablo Escobar, a mystery man known as Frederico Vaughn, and Seal’s co-pilot, Emile Camp, along with Nicaraguan soldiers, were caught loading 1,200 kilos of cocaine. Seal flew the plane back to Homestead Air Force Base in Florida, where the DEA took the cocaine and the CIA took the film. This operation was intended to “sheep-dip” the Sandinista government as cocaine smugglers.

Due to Seal’s cooperation in setting up this sting, a federal judge reduced his sentence to six months probation, praising Seal for his work against the Sandinistas and pointing out that when an informant puts his life on the line to help the forces of law and order, they deserve just compensation.

As early as June 27, 1984, reports were leaking out that the Reagan administration had “proof” of Sandinista drug running. That September, Sen. Paula Hawkins (R-FL) accused the Sandinistas of “being a brutal regime funded by the drug trade.” Though the photos weren’t released to the press, the story made front pages around the US.

Seal continued flying weapons and supplies for the Contra support efforts, and flying tons of drugs back into the US on the return. His operation suffered a real blow when Emile Camp flew into the side of a mountain just short of Mena. Flying helicopters, Seal and his brother Ben found the wreckage after a two-day search. Leveritt reports that Seal’s secretary at Rich Mountain Aviation, Deandra Seale, later testified that Seal and Camp had been planning on taking a trip to Baton Rouge, then on to Miami in Seal’s Lear Jet, but after finding the Lear stolen upon their arrival in Baton Rouge, Seal had Camp fly another of his planes back to Mena, while Seal took a commercial flight. Camp never made it. Many people in the area assumed foul play was involved and that Seal was the real target.

In December 1984, Seal was arrested in Louisiana flying in a load of marijuana. After paying $250,000 bond, Seal went back to work as an informant for the DEA, working to get a light sentence for both the pot and other charges involving masterminding the smuggling of massive amounts of drugs into Louisiana. Seal helped in an assortment of cases, helping the US government obtain 17 criminal convictions, including those of Norman Saunders, prime minister of the Turks and Caicos Islands, in March 1985, and three upper-level members of the Medellin cartel. Seal told investigators that between March 1984, and August 1985, he made a quarter-million dollars smuggling up to 15,000 kilos of cocaine while working for the DEA, and another $575,000 when the DEA let him keep the money from one shipment.

All this assistance didn’t help Seal in the Louisiana federal court, where he was sentenced Dec. 20, 1985 to six months supervised probation at a Salvation Army halfway house. Judge Frank Polozola barred him from carrying a gun or hiring armed guards. “They made me a clay pigeon,” said Seal.

On a cool twilight evening in Baton Rouge, February 19, 1986, Seal pulled into a Salvation Army parking lot in his white Cadillac. He sat for a moment, then saw several Colombian gunmen approaching his car. He covered his ears as bursts from MAC-10 machine guns shattered the evening calm.

KANGAROO COURT

Richard Sharpstein, defense attorney for one of Seal’s assassins, Miguel Velez, says: “All three Colombians who went on trial always said they were being directed, after they got into this country, on what to do and where to go by an ‘anonymous gringo,’ a US military officer, who they very quickly figured out was Oliver North,”

But none of this ever came out in court. All three killers volunteered the same information to their attorneys. All three were convicted of murder and are now serving life in Angola state prison. “Barry had gotten screwed on his deal down there in Baton Rouge,” says Sharpstein today.

“Seal’s lawyer, Lewis Unglesby, testified that when they told Barry he had to report to the halfway house, Barry told them it was a death warrant. Seal went back to Unglesby’s office, where they called George Bush directly, who was then both Vice President and coordinator of the Drug Task Force. Barry threatened to blow the whistle on the Contra guns-for-drugs deals. Barry had openly said to many people that he had hired and trained a lot of the pilots on that operation, and he had the goods on Bush and others. IRS agents showed up at his house, and claimed there was a $30 million lien on him because he’d made $60 million in the drug business. Barry told them to go to hell. He called Bush again and told him to get the IRS off his ass. He wouldn’t let the IRS agents in the house, so they came back with a warrant. He was burning things in the toilet. This testimony came from IRS agents in the sentencing phase when we were trying to prove the government was involved. Shortly before he was killed, they were threatening to take away his house.” The IRS was able to seize most of Seal’s aircraft, while his million-dollar offshore bank accounts were also mysteriously emptied out.

“An interesting thing came up from the local cops,” Sharpstein continues. “When it went out on the honk as to who it was that was killed at the halfway house, the FBI showed up and cleaned out Seal’s car. There was almost nothing left. We finally made them give us a couple of boxes. They claimed they gave us what they had, like a phony passport from Honduras, but nothing heavy.”

When HT pointed out that didn’t sound legal, seizing evidence from a murder scene under investigation, Sharpstein replied ruefully, “Right. But there were a lot of funny things that went on. The Colombians got a life sentence instead of the death penalty, because we showed government complicity.” The most important item retrieved from Seal’s car was George Bush’s private phone number.

Hopsicker is the first researcher to note there were other murders that same day, including top people in the Medellin cartel. Pablo Carrera, the number-two man, was gunned down in Colombia, as was Pablo Ochilla, the brother-in-law of Jorge Ochoa. The murders took place simultaneously in Colombia, Miami and Baton Rouge.

“Barry Seal wasn’t assassinated by the Medellin cartel,” says Hopsicker, who alleges that up to 30 cartel soldiers were also murdered that same evening. “Seal’s murder may have been the opening salvo in the cleanup of Operation Black Eagle, a network of 5,000 people who made possible the export of arms in the direction of Central America, and the import of drugs back.”

SCUTTLING THE INVESTIGATIONS

“I was working with an IRS criminal investigator and we were doing a straight-ahead law-enforcement investigation of a cocaine-smuggling operation,” former Arkansas State Police Lieutenant Russell Welch tells HT, describing his and IRS agent Bill Duncan’s investigation into Mena Airport. “As time went on it became more convoluted, issues came up, things from the Justice Department weren’t being handled the same as other investigations were being handled. This was creating problems for us, and ultimately led to a breakdown in the entire criminal-justice system as far as we were concerned, in that things were being handled differently from the prosecutorial and Justice Department ends.” Asked if he felt Seal was being protected, Welch answers, “Without a doubt.”

In Welch’s view of the U.S. government’s efforts to investigate, or not investigate, Seal’s operation at Mena, “Seal was running a very obvious cocaine-smuggling operation. We ran a successful investigation. Even the U.S. Attorney at the time for Mena, J. Michael Fitzhugh, three or four times said we’re going to prosecute these guys. He called meetings of all the agencies involved, and although the DEA and the FBI hung around and acted like they had an investigation going, it was clear to us they didn’t. We had subpoenaed Seal 30 days before he was killed. We had been trying for a year to get him to come to Arkansas to answer questions for us, then three days before Christmas we got a call to interview him in Louisiana, so we did. Then he was killed a month later.”

Bill Duncan, Welch’s partner in the investigation, was told by one secretary at Rich Mountain Aviation, who also happened to be the daughter of a high-ranking Colombian official, that Seal had paid a $450,000 bribe directly to Attorney General Edwin Meese, which might explain why federal investigations into Seal never materialized.

When Duncan was about to testify to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime in December 1987, which was trying to figure out why there had never been an indictment at Mena, two IRS attorneys assigned to “assist” him in preparing for his appearance told him not to say anything about either the bribe allegation or his belief that the investigation had been stymied due to interference from the U.S. Department of Justice. He later revealed that they were asking him to “perjure himself.” Duncan resigned in 1989 after 17 years with the IRS, disgusted with the way his investigation into Seal had been scuttled. Welch also resigned after surviving being infected with anthrax.

Within two weeks of Seal’s assassination, Louisiana Attorney General William J. Guste Jr. wrote an angry letter to Meese demanding to know why Seal had not been protected, when he obviously knew such a huge amount about international illegal drug trafficking, having, by Guste’s figures, brought between $3 and $5 billion worth of drugs into the US. There was no response to his query.

Leveritt quotes Joe Hardegree, the prosecuting attorney for Polk County, Arkansas, in a written statement explaining why there was no action taken in the Mena investigations: “I have good reason to believe that all federal law-enforcement agencies from the Justice Department down through the FBI to the DEA all received encouragement to downplay and de-emphasize any investigation or prosecution that might expose Seal’s activities and the national-security involvement in them. It was in this framework that the federal grand juries and law-enforcement authorities in Arkansas apparently stopped in their serious deliberations or investigations concerning Barry Seal’s activities and all of the surrounding circumstances. The really unfortunate aspect of this whole matter is the apparent fact that the federal investigation of drug trafficking in connection with the Mena airport came to be intricately involved with the internal politics and more particularly with the private wars conducted by the Reagan White House and so sensitive that no information concerning Seal’s activities could be released to the public. The ultimate result is that not only Seal but all his confederates and all those who worked with or assisted him in illicit drug trafficking were protected by the government.”

According to Leveritt, in 1988, two years after Seal was murdered, the Reagan White House “ordered the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency to refuse to turn over information sought by the General Accounting Office for its investigation into Mena.”

IN FROM THE COLD

Despite government roadblocks, investigations into Mena continue, led by “deep throat” informers from the world of black operations. The most fascinating of these spooks to come forward was Major Gene Duncan, also known as Doris Gene “Chip” Tatum.

Many years ago, Tatum posted a story on the Internet titled: “Who the Hell Is Ellis McKenzie?” It detailed a special assignment he conducted in Honduras after Seal’s death, involving a cocaine smuggler using Seal’s old alias. Tatum was arrested for treason and placed in jail. While incarcerated, he continued to orchestrate the posting of sensitive material about Seal on the Internet. Suddenly, he was unexpectedly released and immediately disappeared. He is assumed dead. Before he disappeared, Tatum posted a list of “Boss Hogs” reportedly given to him by Seal:

BARRY SEAL’s BOSS HOGS

William Casey, Director Central Intelligence

Clair Elroy George, Head of CIA’s Central American Task Force

Vice President George Bush

Dr. Henry Kissinger, Chairman, Kissinger Associates, former US Secretary of State; former National Security Adviser

General Alexander Haig, former Secretary of State

Donald Gregg, former National Security Adviser to VP Bush, Ambassador to Korea and alleged joint “Controller” of Panama’s Manuel Noriega, along with William Casey

Duane “Dewey” Claridge, CIA

Joseph Fernandez, CIA Costa Rica Station Chief

Lt. Col. Oliver North, National Security Council aide

John Singlaub, CIA covert operator

William Colby, Director Central Intelligence, 1973-76

Richard V. Secord

William Weld, head of Criminal Division, US Department of Justice

Felix Rodr”guez

General Peroot, Defense Intelligence Agency

Only one person would emerge to refute Tatum’s claims: William “Bear” Bottoms, a former Navy pilot, the brother of Seal’s first wife, and one of the pilots in Seal’s smuggling operations. After filling his Internet site with endless babble leading nowhere, Bottoms earned the reputation as the number-one disinformation specialist involving Mena.

Meanwhile, Seal’s favorite plane has turned up as part of a fleet of planes used by George W. Bush as the Governor of Texas. As Hopsicker reported in former LAPD narcotics officer Mike Ruppert’s newsletter, From the Wilderness, on Oct. 31, 1999, the 1982 Beechcraft King Air 200 (FAA registration number N6308F, serial number BB-1014), went through a convoluted path from Seal to Bush that brings one immediately back to the halcyon days of Iran-Contra.

“I followed the plane through the people who owned it between Seal and Bush, and guess what? They are some of the same people connected to some of the major financial fraud that went under the rubric of the Iran-Contra and savings and loan scandals, and they all had ties to the Bush family,” says Hopsicker.

“I heard tons of people tell me what a generous, warm spirit Seal was,” concludes Hopsicker. But by the end of his life, Seal showed signs of cocaine abuse, no longer charming and friendly, but just another desperate cocaine addict. One of Seal’s boyhood friends, John Prevost, told Seal’s wife shortly before the end, “You tell Barry, if he’s dealing drugs, he needs to die in a flaming car wreck.” Prevost told Hopsicker that Seal had really changed. He kept a gun under the seat of his car and was loud, boastful, arrogant. “It wasn’t the Barry I knew.”

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did nazis help kill jfk?

Mae Brussell is famed among conspiracy researchers and her work stands at the core of many other researchers’ books. Mae was essentially a radio personality and her writing style is not always easy to follow, but if you’re patient, you’ll discover she reveals links and connections that are generally ignored or overlooked.

The Nazi Connection to
the John F. Kennedy Assassination

by Mae Brussell (from The Rebel, November 22, 1983)

1940-1945: The Nazi Connection to Dallas: General Reinhard Gehlen

The sparrow-faced man in the battle uniform of an American general clambered down the steps of the U.S. Army transport plane upon its arrival at Washington National Airport. It was August 24, 1945, two weeks after the surrender of Japan, three months after the German capitulation. The general was hustled into a van with no windows and whisked to Fort Hunt outside the capital. There he was attended by white-jacketed orderlies and, the next morning, fitted with a dark-grey business suit from one of Washington’s swankiest men’s stores.

General Reinhard Gehlen was ready to cut a deal.

Reinhard Gehlen had been, up until the recent capitulation, Adolph Hitler’s chief intelligence officer against the Soviet Union. His American captors had decked him out in one of their uniforms to deceive the Russians, who were hunting him as a war criminal. Now U.S. intelligence was going to deploy Gehlen and his network of spies against the Russians. The Cold War was on.

This is a story of how key nazis, even as the Wehrmacht was still on the offensive, anticipated military disaster and laid plans to transplant nazism, intact but disguised, in havens in the West. It is the story of how honorable men, and some not so honorable, were so blinded by the Red menace that they fell into lockstep with nazi designs. It is the story of the Odd Couple Plus One: the mob, the CIA and fanatical exiles, each with its own reason for gunning for Kennedy. It is a story that climaxes in Dallas on November 22, 1963 when John Kennedy was struck down. And it is a story with an aftermath — America’s slide to the brink of fascism. As William L. Shirer, author of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, put it in speaking of the excesses of the Nixon administration, “We could become the first country to go fascist through free elections.”

Even Robert Ludlum would have been hard put to invent a more improbable espionage yam. In the eyes of the CIA Reinhard Gehlen was an “asset” of staggering potential. He was a professional spymaster, violently anti-Communist and, best of all, the controller of a vast underground network still in place inside Russian frontiers. His checkered past mattered not. “He’s on our side and that’s all that matters,” chuckled Allen Dulles, a U.S. intelligence officer during the war who later headed the CIA. “Besides, one need not ask a Gehlen to one’s club.”

Gehlen negotiated with his American “hosts” with the cool hand of a Las Vegas gambler. When the German collapse was at hand, he had looked to the future. He lugged all his files into the Bavarian Alps and cached them at a site called, appropriately, Misery Meadows. Then he buried his Wehrmacht uniform with the embroidered eagle and swastika, donned an Alpine coat, and turned himself in to the nearest U.S. Army detachment. When the advancing Russians searched his headquarters at Zossen, all they found were empty file cabinets and litter.

The deal Gehlen struck with the Americans was not, for obvious reasons, released to the Washington Post. As Heinz Hohne and Hermann Zolling phrased it in The General Was A Spy, the German general took his entire apparatus, “unpurged and without interruption, into the service of the American superpower.” There is no evidence that he ever renounced the Third Reich’s postwar plan, advanced by his own family’s publishing house, to colonize vast regions of Eastern Russia, create a huge famine for 40,000,000, and treat the remaining 50,000,000 “racially inferior Slavs as slaves.”
Allen Dulles may not have invited such a man to his club, but he did the next best thing: he funneled an aggregate of $200 million in CIA funds to the Gehlen Organization as it became known. Directing operations from a fortress-like nerve center in Bavaria, Gehlen reactivated his network inside Russia. Soon, news of the first Russian jet fighter, the MiG-15, was channeled back to the West. In 1949 the general scored an espionage coup when he turned up Soviet plans for the remilitarization of East Germany.

When Dulles spoke, Gehlen listened. The CIA chief was convinced, along with his brother, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, that the “captive nations” of the Soviet bloc would rise up if given sufficient encouragement. At his behest, Gehlen recruited and trained an exile mercenary force ready to rush in without involving American units. Also at Dulles’ direction, Gehlen tapped the ranks of his wartime Russian collaborators for a cadre of spies to be parachuted into the Soviet Union. Some of these spies were schooled at the CIA’s clandestine base at Atsugi, Japan, where, in 1957, a young Marine named Lee Harvey Oswald was posted to the U-2 spy plane operation there.

Atsugi was only one station on Oswald’s Far East intelligence route; he was also at the U-2 base at Subic Bay in the Philippines and, for a short while, at Ping-Tung. Taiwan In 1959 he was transferred to a Marine base at Santa Ana, California for instructions in radar surveillance. His training officer had graduated from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service, which had close Agency ties. In May, 1960, when President Eisenhower was planning a summit meeting with Soviet Premier Khrushchev, a U-2 was shot down over Russia and its pilot captured. The pilot, Francis Gary Powers, later blamed his demise on Lee Harvey Oswald. The U-2 affair effectively sabotaged Ike’s summit meeting.

In 1955, by pre-arrangement, the Gehlen Organization was transferred to the West German Government, becoming its first intelligence arm, the BND. The BND became a Siamese twin of the CIA a global operation. They had already worked well together, in Iran in 1953, where the country’s first democratic government was in power. Two years earlier Premier Mossadegh had rashly nationalized the oil industry. Dulles, with Gehlen’s help, engineered a coup that toppled Mossadegh and reestablished the Pahlevi family regime. The family patriarch, General Reza Pahlevi, had been banished from the country for his pro-nati activities during the war. Now his son, Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, ascended the Peacock Throne. The Shah of Iran became one of the CIA’s most faithful assets.

Gehlen pioneered the setting up of dummy fronts and cover companies to support his farflung covert operations. A major project was to form Eastern European emigre groups in the U.S. that could be used against the Soviets. Both the Tolstoy Foundation and the Union of Bishops of the Orthodox Church Outside Russia were funded by the CIA. When Lee and Marina Oswald arrived from the Soviet Union in June, 1962 they were befriended by some three dozen White Russians in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Many had identifiable nazi links; others were in the oil and defense industries. It was an improbable social set for a defector to the U.S.S.R. and his wife from Minsk.

By the time the Gehlen Organization became part of the West German state, Gehlen already had his agent-in-place in the United States. He was Otto Albrecht von Bolschwing, who had been a captain in Heinrich Himmler’s dreaded SS and Adolph Eichmann’s superior in Europe and Palestine. Von Bolschwing worked simultaneously for Dulles’ OSS. When he entered the U.S. in February, 1954, he cleverly concealed his nazi past. He was to take over Gehlen’s network not only in this country but in many corners of the globe. He became closely associated with the late Elmer Bobst of Warner-Lambert Pharmaceutical, a godfather of Richard Nixon’s political career, which brought him inside Nixon’s 1960 campaign for the presidency. In 1969 he showed up in California with a high-tech firm called TCI that held classified Defense Department contracts. His translator for German projects was Helene van Damme, Governor Ronald Reagan’s appointments secretary. Von Damme is currently U.S. Ambassador to Austria, next door to the nazi’s homeland.

In 1968 Reinhard Gehlen withdrew to his chalet in Bavaria. The chalet had been a gift from Allen Dulles.

Wild Bill Donovan of the OSS, Allen Dulles and the Vatican

Allen Dulles dubbed it Operation Sunrise. He mounted it from his walk-up office in Bern, Switzerland, where, since 1942, he had maintained contact with key nazis. Operation Sunrise was conceived when these nazis decided, in the face of defeat, that they preferred to surrender to the Americans and British. The agreement, which double-crossed the Russians, was signed April 29, 1945.|

The principle negotiator on the German side was SS Commander Karl Wolff, head of the Gestapo in Italy. Wolff acted with full authority, for he was formerly chief of Heinrich Himmler’s personal staff. Wolff’s relationship with Dulles spared him from the dock at Nuremberg, but when it was later discovered that he had dispatched “at least” 300,000 Jews to the Treblinka death camp he was handed a token sentence. In 1983 Wolff made the social pages when he and some of his old SS buddies sojourned on the late Hermann Goering’s yacht Carin II of Hamburg. The skipper was Gert Heidemann, an avowed Hamburg nazi. The yacht belonged to the widow, Emmy Goering, whose estate attorney was the celebrated Melvin Belli. Belli has always had an eclectic clientele. He represented Jack Ruby after he shot Oswald. And he represented actor Errol Flynn’s family interests. Flynn (once a close friend of Ronald Reagan) has been identified as having collaborated with the Gestapo.

John J. McCloy had a lengthy career riddled with Nazi sympathies

When Wolff hammered out the secret surrender terms with Dulles, he had in the back of his mind a safe diaspora for his nazi compatriots. This is where the OSS, William Donovan and the sovereign state of the Vatican came in. “Wild Bill” Donovan was top dog in the OSS. Shortly before the Germans overran Europe, Father Felix Morlion, a papal functionary, had set up a Vatican intelligence organization called Pro Deo in Lisbon. When the U.S. entered the war Donovan moved Morlion lock, stock and barrel to New York and opened a sizeable bank account for him to draw on. The priest founded the American Council for International Promotion of Democracy Under God, on 60th Street. In the same building is the office of William Taub, whose name popped up during the Watergate affair. Taub is well-known as a wide-ranging middleman for such powerful figures as Nixon, Howard Hughes, Aristotle Onassis and Jimmy Hoffa, and his behind-the-scenes maneuvers were invaluable to Nixon in his 1960 run at the presidency. Taub was especially close to Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviania of the Holy See, who arranged Mussolini’s 1929 “donation” of $89 million to the Vatican to ensure its neutrality with Mussolini and Hitler. The money went into a special fund in the Vatican Bank, and after the war part of it was entrusted to “God’s Banker” Michele Sindona for investment. Sindona channeled a good chunk of it to the Nixon campaign.

When Rome was liberated in 1944 Morlion and Pro Deo relocated there. In recognition of Donovan’s good works on behalf of Pro Deo, Pope Plus XII knighted him with the Grand Cross of the Order of St. Sylvester. And before he flew off to Washington to cut his deal with the CIA, Reinhard Gehlen received the Sovereign Military Order of Malta award from the Pontiff. So did James Jesus Angleton, a Donovan operative in Rome who became the CIA’s chief of counterintelligence.

For Dulles, Operation Sunset was a personal triumph, one that set in motion his rise to the top of the intelligence heap. In 1963, by virtue of that position, he became the CIA’s representative on the Warren Commission.

John J. McCloy and the Chase Manhattan

President Lyndon Johnson asked John J. McCloy to serve on the Warren Commission. No less than nine presidents had called on the Wall Street lawyer for special assignments, yet he was little known to the public. McCloy said he entered the investigation “thinking there was a conspiracy,” but left it convinced that Oswald acted alone. “I never saw a case that was more completely proven,” he asserted.

McCloy had long been involved in the murky world of espionage, intrigue and nazis. He spent the decade of the 1930s working out of Paris. Much of his time was spent on a law case stemming from German sabotage in World War I. His investigation took him to Berlin, where he shared a box with Hitler at the 1936 Olympics. He was in contact with Rudolph Hess before the Nazi leader made a mysterious flight to England in 1941.

Major General Charles A. Willoughby, “Our own Junker general.”

When the nazis occupied Europe, the banking exchanges between Britain and the U.S. on the one hand and Germany on the other carried on as usual. In Trading With the Enemy, Charles Higham documents the role of Standard Oil of New Jersey, owned by the Chase Manhattan Bank, and I.G. Farben’s Sterling Products with the Bank for International Settlements. Standard Oil tankers plied the sea lanes with fuel for the nazi war machine. Prior to the war McCloy was legal counsel to Farben, the German chemical monopoly.

As an assistant secretary in the War Department during the war:

o McCloy blocked the executions of nazi war criminals

o Forged a pact with the Vichy Regime of pro-nazi Admiral Darlan.

o Displaced Japanese-Americans in California to internment camps.

o Refused to recommend the bombing of nazi concentration camps to spare the inmates on grounds “the cost would be out of proportion to any possible benefits.”

o Refused Jewish refugees entry to the U.S.

When the curtain fell on the war, McCloy helped shield Klaus Barbie, the “butcher of Lyons,” from the French. Barbie and other vicious dogs from Hitler’s kennel were hidden out with the 370th Counter Intelligence Corps at Obergamergau. One of their keepers was Private Henry Kissinger, soon to enter Harvard as a McCloy protege.

In 1949 McCloy returned to Germany as American High Commissioner. He commuted the death sentences of a number of nazi war criminals, and gave early releases to others. One was Alfred Krupp, convicted of using slave labor in his armaments factories. Another was Hitler’s financial genius, Dr. Hjalmar Schacht, who subsequently went on the payroll of Aristotle Onassis.

In 1952 McCloy left a Germany that was prepared to re-arm to return to his law practice. He became president of the Chase Manhattan Bank, director of a dozen blue chip corporations, and legal counsel to the “Seven Sisters” of American oil. During this period he acquired a client, the Nobel oil firm, whose interests in Czarist Russia had been managed by the father of George de Mohrenschildt, Lee and Marina Oswald’s “best friend” in Dallas.

Busy as he was McCloy found time to supervise construction of the new Pentagon building. It was nicknamed “McCloy’s Folly.”

J. Edgar Hoover and Interpol

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover “mistrusted and disliked all three Kennedy brothers. President Johnson and Hoover had mutual fear and hatred for the Kennedys,” wrote the late William Sullivan, for many years an assistant FBI director. Hoover hated Robert Kennedy, who as Attorney General was his boss, and feared John. In turn the President distrusted Allen Dulles, easing him out as CIA director after the 1961 Bay of Pigs debacle. When JFK moved to lower the oil depletion allowance, he incurred the displeasure of John McCloy, whose clients’ profits would be trimmed.

Hoover, Dulles and McCloy did not belong to the Kennedy fan club. When the president was shot, Hoover controlled the field investigation, and Dulles and McCloy helped mold the final verdict of the Warren Commission.

As America stood on the threshold of World War II Hoover continued a friendly relationship with the nazis who dominated Interpol, the Berlin-based international secret police. He had been obsessed with the “Red menace” since 1919 when he became head of the Bureau’s General Intelligence Division. Heinrich Himmler, Reinhard Heydrich, Arthur Nebe and other fanatical nazis were active in Interpol. Even after Hitler occupied Czechoslovakia, Hoover ignored all evidence of nazi death squads and atrocities and cooperated with the boys in Berlin. As France fell, Hoover exchanged lists of wanted criminals, enclosing autographed photographs of himself. It was not until three days before Pearl Harbor that he called a halt — and then only because he feared his image might be tarnished.

When the war had been imminent Roosevelt charged Hoover with ferreting out nazi spies in the Western Hemisphere. Two escaped his notice. As early as 1933 Gestapo agent Dr. Hermann Friedrick Erben recruited Errol Flynn as an intelligence source. Erben went on to become a naturalized American citizen, but never abandoned his loyalty to Hitler. Flynn went on to make “Santa Fe Trail” in 1940, co-starring with Ronald Reagan, and the two paired up for “Desperate Journey” in 1942.

George de Mohrenschildt, the Oswalds’ genial host in Dallas, was tagged by Hoover’s FBI as a nazi spy during World War II.

G-men noted that his cousin, Baron Maydell, had nazi ties, and that his uncle distributed pro-nazi films. Their suspicions were confirmed when they trailed de Mohrenschildt from New York to Corpus Christi. On October 8, 1942 a “lookout” was placed in his file in case he applied for another passport.

J. Edgar Hoover: he kept alive the Nazi intelligence network INTERPOL

The parts left out of J. Edgar Hoover’s investigation before and after Kennedy was killed were the nazi associations de Mohrenschildt had while working for U.S. intelligence.

George’s cousin, the movie producer Baron Constantine Maydell, was one of the top German Abwehr agents in North America. Reinhard von Gehlen recruited Maydell in the post-war era to be in charge of the CIA’s Russian emigre programs.

Gehlen recruited veterans of Maydell’s Abwehr Group to work with East European emigre organizations inside the U.S.

Part of Lee and Marina’s red carpet treatment in the U.S. started with their arrival from the USSR. Spas T. Raigkin was the ex-Secretary General of a group such as Maydell’s. The AFABN, the American Friends of the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations, with CIA funding, assisted Lee and Marina to get settled.

J. Edgar Hoover was trained only to see if there were Communists around …the red menace. The Abwehr, Reinhard Gehlen and Maydell were overlooked by the FBI.

After the war Interpol ostensibly cleaned up its act, moved to Paris and installed the prestigious Hoover as vice president. Yet Interpol steadfastly refused to hunt for nazi war criminals, contending it was independent of politics. The excuse appeared a bit lame when, in the 1970s, former SS officer Paul Dickopf became president.

“Sir” Charles Willoughby — a Franco-German-American

He was a bull of a man who spoke with a German accent, wore a custom-tailored general’s uniform and affected a monocle. A fellow officer in the U.S. army under his true name of Adolph Charles Weidenbach, born in Heidelberg, March 8, 1892. But by the time he became Douglas MacArthur’s chief of intelligence for the war in the Pacific, he was Major General Charles A. Willoughby. Behind his back he was derisively tagged “Sir Charles.”

For a man of such Teutonic traits it was odd that Willoughby preferred his fascism with a Spanish accent. But this was an accident of geography. While serving as a military attache in Ecuador, he had received a decoration from Mussolini’s government — the Order of Saints Maurizio and Lazzaro. After delivering an impassioned paean to Spanish dictator Generalissimo Francisco Franco at a lunch in Madrid, he was toasted by the secretary general of the Falangist Party, “I am happy to know a fellow Falangist and reactionary.

MacArthur’s pre-war headquarters were in the Philippines, whose commerce was dominated by resident Spaniards. The Daddy Warbucks of this crowd was Andres Soriano, who owned an early-day conglomerate of airlines, mines, breweries (“Of course!”) and American distributorships. During the Spanish Civil War Soriano was one of Franco’s principal money-bags. When the Rising Sun flag was raised over the Philippines Soriano fled to Washington to become finance minister of the government-in-exile. But there was such a fuss over his fascist reputation that he flew off to Australia to become a colonel on MacArthur’s staff.

Willoughby accompanied the Supreme Commander to Tokyo for the occupation of Japan. His preferences remained the same; when military police shook down his hotel looking for a fugitive, they found Willoughby at dinner with the stranded Italian fascist ambassador to Japan and members of his staff. He became a heavy-handed censor, suppressing unfavorable news to the States. He delighted in falsely labeling correspondents who defied him as “Communists,” a tactic Senator McCarthy would adopt with enthusiasm. But the general’s priority project was a dressed-up history of the Pacific War in which MacArthur would be the towering hero. Willoughby brought in Japanese military brass for a view from the enemy side, a move that may have had an ulterior motive. The possibility existed that Willoughby was down-playing Japanese war crimes so that the perpetrators could be protected for use against the Soviets later. This was happening in Germany where the top nazis were writing the history of Malmedy. The tight security in which Willoughby wrapped the project only adds to this impression. One woman had a passkey, the wife of Dr. Mitsutaro Araki, a former exchange lecturer in Germany, who was closely tied in with high nazis in Tokyo and the Tojo clique.

Willoughby harbored another secret that only came to light last year. During the war, the Japanese conducted germ warfare experiments with human beings as guinea pigs (at least 3,000 died, including an undetermined number of captured U.S. military). The Pentagon decided that the biological research might prove handy against the Russians, and the Japanese responsible for the experiments were granted immunity from prosecution in return for their laboratory records. On December 12, 1947 the Pentagon acknowledged the “wholehearted cooperation” of Willoughby in arranging the examination of the “human pathological material which had been transferred to Japan from the biological warfare installations.”

As his final public gesture to Franco, Willoughby lobbied the U.S. Congress in August, 1952 to authorize $100 million for the anti-Communist dictator’s needs. Then he settled down in the U.S. to do battle with the domestic enemy. As Sir Charles and his right-wing allies saw it, Marxism wasn’t the real enemy, the Liberals were.

1952: The Travels of Klaus Barbie, Evita Peron, Otto Skorzeny, and Nicolae Malaxa

By 1952 Klaus Barbie had arrived in Bolivia via a stop in Argentina. He had been spirited out of Germany by the CIA, with a hand from the Vatican. Soon he teamed up with SS Major Otto Skorzeny, who now was affiliated with the CIA. Dr. Fritz Thyssen and Dr. Gustav Krupp, both beneficiaries of McCloy’s amnesty, bankrolled Skorzeny from the start. Barbie and Skorzeny were soon forming death squads such as the Angels of Death in Bolivia, the Anti-Communist Alliance in Argentina, and in Spain, with Stephen Della Chiaie, the Guerrillas of Christ the King.

In 1952 the nazi, Martin Bormann’s money was released. In Argentina, Evita Peron died of cancer at age 33. In her name was deposited, in 40 Swiss banks, the nazi money. There was $100 million cash, another $40 million in diamonds. Several hundred million more were set aside with Evita’s brother, Juan Duarte, as the courier. This led to three murders the following year:

o Juan Duarte was shot to death.

o Heinrich Dorge, an aide to Hjalmar Schacht, killed.

o Rudolf Feude, nazi banker who knew the locations of the money, was poisoned.

In 1952 Otto Skorzeny, who had been released from American custody in 1947, moved to Madrid. He created what is known as the International Fascista. The CIA and the Gehlen BND dispatched him to “trouble spots.” On his payroll were former SS agents, French OAS terrorists and secret police from Portugal’s PDID. PDID are the same initials as the Los Angeles police intelligence unit, Public Disorder Intelligence Division. The California PDID was exposed on May 24, 1983 as spying on law abiding citizens at an expense of $100,000, utilizing a computerized dossier system bought by the late Representative Larry McDonald’s “Western Goals.” (McDonald was a national leader of the John Birch Society, which was exceedingly active in Dallas preceding the Kennedy assassination. Western Goals has offices in Germany run by Eugene Wigner that feed data to the Gehlen BND.)

On the board of Western Goals are such Cold Warriors as Edward Teller, Admiral Thomas Moorer and Dr. Hans Senholt, once a Luftwaffe pilot.

SS Colonel Skorzeny’s CIA agents participated in terror campaigns waged by Operation 40 in Guatemala, Brazil and Argentina. Skorzeny was also in charge of the Paladin mercenaries, whose cover, M.C. Inc., was a Madrid export-import firm.

Dr. Gerhard Hartmut von Schubert, [formerly] of Joseph Goebbels’ propaganda ministry, was M.C. operating manager. The nerve center for Skorzeny’s operations was in Albufera, Spain. It was lodged in the same building as the Spanish intelligence agency SCOE under Colonel Eduardo Blanco and was also an office of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

The Albufera building was the kind of intelligence nest that was duplicated in New Orleans in 1963. That summer Lee Harvey Oswald handed out pro-Castro literature stamped with the address 544 Camp Street, a commercial building. This was a blunder, because Oswald actually was under the control of an anti-Castro operation headquartered there. His controller, W. Guy Banister, was connected with military intelligence, the CIA and a section of the World Anti-Communist League that had been set up by Willoughby and his Far Pacific intelligence unit in Taiwan.

In The Great Heroin Coup, Henrik Kruger disclosed that the International Fascist was “not only the first step toward fulfilling the dream of Skorzeny, but also of his close friends in Madrid, exile Jose Lopez Rega, Juan Peron’s grey eminence, and prince Justo Valerio Borghese, the Italian fascist money man who had been rescued from execution at the hands of the World War II Italian resistance by future CIA counterintelligence whiz James J. Angleton.”

A subcommittee on international operations of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee prepared a report “Latin America: Murder, Inc.” that is still classified. The title repeated Lyndon Johnson’s remark, three months before he died, “We were running a Murder, Inc. in the Caribbean.” The report concluded: “The United States had joint operations between Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. The joint operations were known as Operation Condor. These are special teams used to carry out ‘sanctions,’ the killing of enemies.”

Jack Anderson gave a few details in his column “Operation Condor, An Unholy Alliance” August 3, 1979:

“Assassination teams are centered in Chile. This international consortium is located in Colonia Dignidad, Chile. Founded by nazis from Hitler’s SS, headed by Franz Pfeiffer Richter, Adolf Hitler’s 1000-year Reich may not have perished. Children are cut up in front of their parents, suspects are asphyxiated in piles of excrement or rotated to death over barbecue pits.”

Otto Skorzeny code-named his assault on American soldiers in the Battle of the Bulge Operation Greif, the “Condor.” He continued Condor with his post-war special teams that imposed “sanctions,” meaning the assassination of enemies. Skorzeny’s father-in-law was Hjalmar Schacht, president of Hitler’s Reichsbank. Schacht guided Onassis’ shipyards in rebuilding the German and Japanese war fleets. In 1950 Onassis signed on Lars Anderson for his whaling ships on the hunt off Antarctica and Argentina. Anderson had belonged to Vidkum Quisling’s nazi collaborationist group in Norway during the war. Clay Shaw, who was charged by New Orleans D.A. Jim Garrison with complicity in the JFK assassination, was a close friend of Hjalmar Schacht.

Colonia Dignidad. Nobody comes, nobody goes

In 1952 Nicolae Malaxa moved from Whittier California to Argentina. Malaxa had belonged to Otto von Bolschwing’s Gestapo network, as did his associate, Viorel Trifia, who was living in Detroit. They were members of the Nazi Iron Guard in Romania, and had felt prosecution. They had one thing in common; they were friends of Richard Nixon.

Trifia had been brought to the U.S. by von Bolschwing. Malaxa had escaped from Europe with over $200 million in U.S. dollars. Upon arrival in New York he picked up another $200 million from Chase Manhattan Bank. The legal path for his entry was smoothed by the Sullivan & Cromwell law offices, the Dulles brothers firm. Undersecretary of State Adolph Berle, who had helped Nixon and star witness Whittaker Chambers convict Alger Hiss, personally testified on Malaxa’s behalf before a congressional subcommittee on immigration. In 1951 Senator Nixon introduced a private bill to allow Malaxa permanent residence. Arrangements for his relocation in Whittier were made by Nixon’s law office. The dummy front cover for Malaxa in Whittier was Western Tube. In 1946 Nixon had gotten a call from Herman L. Perry asking if he wanted to run for Congress against Rep. Jerry Voorhis. Perry later became president of Western Tube.

When Malaxa went to Argentina in 1952, he linked up with Juan Peron and Otto Skorzeny. Questions were raised at the time about J. Edgar Hoover, the Iron Guard, Malaxa and Vice President Nixon.

Richard M. Nixon: strange friends in strange places and occupations

1960 Elections: Richard Nixon vs. John F. Kennedy

Before the election of 1960, a group within the Christian Right plotted to kill John Kennedy in Van Nuys, California while he was still a candidate. The group was a meld of anti-Castro Cubans, Minutemen and home-grown nazis. Some were sought by Jim Garrison, following his arrest of Clay Shaw, for testimony before the New Orleans grand jury. When Garrison forwarded extradition papers for Edgar Eugene Bradley, a member of the group, Governor Ronald Reagan refused to sign them.

The leader of one of these groups, the Christian Defense League (CDL), was the Reverend William P. Gale. During the war Gale had been an Army colonel in the Philippines training guerilla bands. His superior officer was Willoughby. By the late 1950s Gale was recruiting veterans for his “Identity” group, which was financed by a wealthy Los Angeles man.

One of the CDL’s contacts was Captain Robert K. Brown, a special forces professional from Fort Benning, Georgia. Brown was working with anti-Castro Cubans, mercenaries similar to Skorzeny’s teams. Brown is now publisher of Soldier of Fortune magazine and paramilitary texts such as Silencers, Snipers, and Assassins. The book explains how Mitchell WerBell made special weapons for the CIA, Bay of Pigs assault squads and other customers. WerBell, son of a wealthy Czarist cavalry officer, perfected a silencer so effective a gun can be shot in one room and not heard in the next. It is ideal for assassinations.

There had been prolonged controversy about how many shots were fired the day Kennedy was killed. The President’s wounds, nicks on the limousine and curb, and other bullet evidence indicated quite a few. But the Warren Commission concluded there were only three. It took the testimony of spectators in Dealy Plaza who said they only heard three. It never considered the possibility that silencer-fitted guns were fired.

When Clay Shaw was arrested by Jim Garrison the news was of particular interest to the Italian newspaper Paesa Sera. It followed up with a story that Shaw belonged to a cover organization in Rome named Centro Mondiale Commerciale (CMC). Its location was frequently moved, its presidents rotated; its modus operandi altered. CMC included Italian fascists, elements of the European paramilitary right, the CIA, and the U.S. Defense Department. There were major shareholders with banks located in Switzerland, Miami, Basel and other major cities.

CMC had been formed in 1961, one year after Kennedy was elected. Its principals had worked with fascist networks established after World War II. The board of directors numbered Ferenc Nagy, a former Hungarian premier who led that country’s Anti-Communist Countrymen’s Party in exile. J. Edgar Hoover brought Nagy to the United States, where there were numerous Gehlen-supported emigre organizations. On August 18, 1951, the Saturday Evening Post pictured Nagy with Czech, Pole, Hungarian and Russian exiles under the heading: “They Want Us To Go to War Right Now.” On November 22, 1963 Nagy was living in Dallas.

CMC was actually a subsidiary of Swiss-based Permindex, whose president was Prince Gutierez de Spadafora, Italian industrialist and large landowner. Spadafora’s daughter-in-law was related to Hjalmar Schacht. Clay Shaw, who managed the New Orleans Intemational Trade Mart, was a director. Another was Giorgio Mantello, aka George Mandel, who would later move to New Orleans. Once convicted of “criminal activities” in Switzerland, Mantello worked closely with his fellow Hungarian Nagy. One of the goals of the CMC was that “Rome will recover once again her position as center of the civilized world.”

Major L. M. Bloomfield, a veteran of the OSS who resided in Montreal, was a suspect Garrison wanted to question. In Canada he reportedly controlled Credit Suisse, Heineken’s Breweries, Israel Continental Company, Grimaldo Siosa Lines and other international firms. Shaw’s name was found among eleven directors of a company in Montreal that actually was based in Rome. Who was giving the virtually unlimited money to CMC, and who was getting it? The answer might have been found in the huge amounts that flowed out of Evita Peron’s accounts.

Paesa Sera reported on March 4, 1967 that CMC was a creature of the CIA serving as a money conduit, and that Shaw and Bloomfield conducted illegal political espionage under its cover. In New Orleans, Shaw was the respected citizen who had helped restore the French Quarter. In Rome he was a vital member of the boards of twin companies dealing with fascists accused of European assassinations. Shaw’s address book contained the private number of Principessa Marcelle Borghese, now Duchessa de Bomartao, who is related to Prince Valerio Borghese. Called the “Black Prince” and “The New Duce,” Borghese was leader of the Movimento Sociale Italiano, a neo-fascist syndicate. The Black Prince, who was a decorated submarine captain in the First World War, was convicted of cooperating with the nazis in WW II and given 12 years in prison.

The Black Prince is the same Borghese rescued by the CIA’s James J. Angleton. No wonder Angleton was awarded the Sovereign Military Order of Malta by the Pope after the war. It might explain what Angleton was hinting at when questioned about the murder of JFK: “A mansion has many rooms; there were many things during the period; I’m not privy to who struck John.”

Clay Shaw’s affiliation with Permindex would plug in later to Argentina, Spain, Rome, New Orleans and Dallas. The international range of hit teams, using CIA money diverted overseas to cover companies set up by the Gehlen Organization, started coming together after Shaw’s arrest.

In November, 1960 it would be Nixon versus Kennedy. Frank Sinatra introduced Judith Exner to John Kennedy on the eve of the New Hampshire primary. A few weeks later Sinatra introduced Judith Exner to Chicago Mafia boss Sam Giancana. So Exner became involved, as William Safire put it, in a “dual affair with the nation’s most powerful mobster and the nation’s most powerful political leader.”

Giancana was busy with more than his love life; he was hired to form assassination teams to go after Fidel Castro. The man who retained him was Robert Maheu, a former FBI and CIA operative. It was a classic cutoff. Maheu never mentioned that the CIA was behind it. He intimated to Giancana that wealthy Cuban exiles were providing the funds. This sounded plausible, since Maheu was Howard Hughes’ right-hand man.

Giancana put his Los Angeles lieutenant, Johnny Roselli, in charge of the hit squads. In 1978 when the House Select Committee questioned him, Roselli hinted that his assignment was aimed at Kennedy as well as Castro. Shortly afterward, his body was found floating in an oil drum off the Florida coast. Giancana never got a chance to testify. He was shot to death in his Chicago home.

The Howard Hughes organization, used as a cover for the kill-Castro conspiracy, (Hughes thought it was a patriotic idea) has long retained Carl Byoir Associates as its public relations arm. Throughout the war Byoir represented nazi bankers and industrialists and the I.G. Farben interests. One of his clients was Ernest Schmitz, member of the I.G. Farben-Ilgner and the German American Board of Trade. His Information Services was subsidized by the nazi government. George Sylvester Viereck, editor of the German Library of Information, was also in business with Byoir. A lucrative Byoir client was the Frederick Flick Group. Flick, a Nuremberg defendant released by McCloy, was the single greatest power behind the nazi military muscle.

Frederick Flick’s son was close to the W.R. Grace Company, and invested over $400,000 in partnership with J. Peter Grace in the United States. During the war, WR. Grace was accused in a military report of protecting a certain nazi Colonel Brite in Bolivia. In 1951, when the CIA smuggled Barbie out of Germany, he was sent to join the same Colonel Brite. George de Mohrenschildt was a close associate of the company’s founder, William Grace.

De Mohrenschildt was a man of many faces. He befriended Lee and Marina Oswald, introducing them to the White Russian community. He made phone calls to obtain Lee jobs and housing. As he told it to the Warren Commission, he was fascinated with this strange couple just out of Russia. But at the Petroleum Club in Dallas, De Mohrenschildt sang the praises of Heinrich Himmler. His travels took him all over the world on missions identified with intelligence. In 1956 he was employed by Pantepec Oil Company owned by the family of William Buckley.

De Mohrenschildt often discussed Oswald with J. Walton Moore, the CIA’s Domestic Contacts Division resident in Dallas. In the spring of 1963, just after visiting the Oswalds, he went to Washington. There is a record of a phone call de Mohrenschildt made on May 7, 1963, to the Army Chief of Staff for intelligence. The same month he had a meeting in person with a member of that staff. His military connections seem to have been wide. One of the first persons de Mohrenschildt took the Oswalds to see in Dallas was retired Admiral Chester Burton.

Lee Harvey Oswald’s benefactor was Texas oil millionaire George de Mohrenschildt

Although De Mohrenschildt and his wife Jeanne testified at length before the Warren Commission, only attorney Albert Jenner and Pentagon historian Alfred Goldberg attended. One of Jenner’s clients was General Dynamics, maker of the F-lll fighter that would achieve fame in Vietnam. The chief of security for General Dynamics in Dallas, Max Clark, was another De Mohrenschildt associate donating money to help Marina while George got Lee his next job in Dallas. He found one at the graphics house of Jagger-Chiles-Stovall, which held classified military contracts.

Jeanne de Mohrenschildt was originally brought to the U.S. by a family member employed by the Howard Hughes organization. In 1977 George was found fatally shot, allegedly a suicide, on the day a House Select Committee investigator came by looking for him. Jeanne consented to a press interview. She said George had been a nazi spy.

The placement de Mohrenschildt got for Oswald allowed him to visit the Sol Bloom agency at least 40 times. It was this agency that later decided the motorcade route for Kennedy’s fatal visit.

Ruth Paine, whom Oswald met via George, had called Roy Truly and procured work for Oswald at the Texas School Book Depository.

If Maydell and the Gehlen agents were active in the U.S. they knew all the right moves to secure their patsy.

1960: Young Americans for Freedom

President Harry Truman warned about the CIA “Gestapo” he had created.

President Eisenhower left the White House fearing the new “military-industrial complex” he handed to us.

In 1960 candidate Richard Nixon was qualified for the job of President. A lot of influential people were sure he was the only choice.

Nixon was familiar with every red scare tactic. From his first campaign against Jerry Voorhis in 1946 for the House seat, or vs. Helen Douglas in the Senate, and working with Sen. Joe McCarthy, he knew it well. The prosecution of Alger Hiss, with such flimsy evidence, proved his value alone.

But Nixon had also accumulated strong connections with members of the crime syndicate, the Vatican hierarchy, defense industries and known nazis. He knew them all.

What if he lost after those seventeen years of preparation? Would there be a back-up team for the future? Could the Pentagon or Reinhard Gehlen visualize leaving the entire United States presidency to chance elections?

Remember what happened to Senator Robert Kennedy on the eve of his primary election in June, 1968? They can’t get that close to losing it again, you know. With both Kennedy’s gone, Nixon finally made it.

September, 1960, two months before the elections, William F. Buckley Jr. launched his YAF, Young Americans for Freedom, from the grounds on his Connecticut estate.

Prior to that date, Buckley’s career was one of the most conservative in the U.S. Following his graduation at Yale, mentor Frank Chodorov grabbed him for purposes related to his job with McCormick’s Chicago Tribune.

Buckley served the CIA in Japan from 1950 to 1954.

He also did a stint with CIA in Mexico with E. Howard Hunt.

Co-founder of YAF was Douglas Caddy, whose offices were used by the CIA and Howard Hughes organization, at the time of Watergate illegal entries and other dirty tricks.

After the CIA in Japan, Buckley was ready to publish his own magazine, The National Review. This was an unusual opportunity to bring together the world’s most conservative writers for publication and much propaganda accompanied by Buckley’s glib innuendos.

Once the publication was going, Buckley decided to bring Young Americans for Freedom to the campus; old ideas, old money, and young minds to mold. Behind the project were always the well-funded military masters, such as the YAF’s Tom Charles Huston and the Cointel-Program Nixon cooked up.

The selected advisory board for YAF was a Who’s Who of oldies even then: Senator Strom Thurmond, Senator John Tower, Mr. Ronald Reagan, Professor Lev Dobriansky, General Charles Willoughby, and Mr. Robert Morris are a sample.

Robert Morris may not be a household name. But William Buckley knew him well, and Morris, Nixon, and Senator Joe McCarthy were team players. Senator Joe McCarthy’s two strongest supporters for him to represent Wisconsin were Frank Seusenbrenner and Walter Harnisfeger. Both admired Adolf Hitler and made continuous trips to Germany.

Senator McCarthy obliged fast enough. Before he went after the Commies in the State Department, he had to release a few of Hitler’s elite nazis lingering in the Dachau prison camp. McCarthy beat John McCloy by about three years.

In 1949, during congressional hearings on the Malmedy Massacre, the bloody Battle of the Bulge, McCarthy invited himself to take over the entire testimony. He wasn’t satisfied until the prison doors flew open. The most detestable and ugly battle of World War II, an assault upon Americans and civilians in Belgium, was ignored. Hitler’s precious Generals Fritz Kraemer and Sepp Dietrick, along with Hermann Priess and many others, were free.

With that business finished, McCarthy took on Robert Morris as Chief Counsel for the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee. Morris’ earlier training in Navy Intelligence in charge of USSR counter-intelligence and psychological warfare could be utilized well by Senator Joe. Particularly the psychological warfare part.

After McCarthy died, Morris moved to Dallas, Texas. He was a judge, and became president of Dallas University.

In 1961, a year after Buckley founded YAF, another conservative organization was formed in Munich, Germany, calling itself CUSA, Conservatism USA. These were not students, but members of the U.S. army, soon to be mustered out, then to appear in Dallas, Texas, by November 1963. The host would be Robert Morris.

A correspondence between Larry Schmidt in Dallas, to Bernie Weissman in Munich, Germany, in preparation for their arrival, was published in the Warren Commission Hearings, Vol. XVIII.

Segments of the letters are as follows:

November 2, 1962: Dallas to Munich, Larry Schmidt:

“Gentlemen we got everything we wanted.”

“It saved the trouble of infiltration.”

“Met with Frank McGee … (president of the Dallas Council of World Affairs.)”

“Suggest Bernie convert to Christianity and I mean it.”

(Bernard Weissman, the only Jew, was brought all the way to Dallas on November 22, 1963, to lend his name to the “Wanted for Treason” fliers handed out to welcome JFK. He testified that the John Birch Society paid for the ads and “wanted a Jewish name at the bottom.”)

“We must all return to the church.”

“These people are religious bugs.”

“I think in terms of 300,000 members, $3,000,000.”

“The John Birch Society has a million members. Look for us to merge with them in 1964.”

“Arrangements are being made for me to meet the heads of the Dallas John Birch, General Walker, and H.L. Hunt, Texas oil millionaire.”

(General Walker had been retired from the military by John Kennedy for his compulsory Pro-Blud indoctrination.)

“I have already met the top editors of the Dallas Morning News, the country’s most conservative newspaper.”

“These people are radicals but there is a method in their madness. You see, they’re all after exactly what we’re after.”

“No liberal talk whatsoever, none.”

“Down here a Negro is a nigger.”

“I mean, no one is ever to say one kind word about niggers.”

“Liberals are our enemies.”

“The conservative isn’t against the Niggers, he just wants to keep him in his place for his own good.”

(Pres. John Kennedy and Atty. Gen. Robert Kennedy had waged a bitter battle from Sept. 30 to Oct. 3, 1962, at the University of Mississippi. The integration of one black student brought in the U.S. Army and caused Gen. Edwin Walker to be confined.)

January 4, 1963, Larry Schmidt to B. Weissman, Munich:

“I want big men … believe me if I had a dozen such men I can conquer the world.”

“I will go down in the history books as a great and noble man, or a tyrant.”

“I expect to see you here in Dallas, especially Norman and Larry.”

“If Jim Mosely is not here by Feb. 15, he is finished.”

“One thing had best be understood, I am not playing games here in Dallas and expect you not to play games in Munich.”

“I am not here in Dallas for my health or because I think Dallas is a wonderful place.”

“Continue to have regular meetings and try to get things back in order in preparation for the big meetings.”

February 2, 1963, Larry Schmidt:

“We have succeeded, the mission with which I was charged in Dallas has been achieved.”

“Friday night I attended a gathering of the top conservatives in Dallas.”

“The meeting was at the home of Dr. Robert Morris, President of the Defenders of American Liberty.”

“Present were Mr. George Ward, Detective for Dallas City Police, Mr. Ken Thompson, editorial writer for the Dallas Morning News, Mr. Clyde Moore, former PR man for H.L. Hunt, former UPI writer. (Eight others).”

“I told them exactly what I wanted.”

“Others suggested using an already existing movement, named the Young Americans for Freedom, with already 50,000 members.”

“CUSA, as set up in Munich, is now an established fact in Dallas, only we are calling it YAF. I think you catch on.”

“We are starting Munich chapters of YAF. To spread to Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Berlin, Kaiserslautern.”

“We are getting every top name in business, education, politics, and religion to endorse YAF.”

“The advisory board includes 37 congressmen . . . including Sen. Strom Thurmond, Sen. John Tower, and Sen. Barry Goldwater. There is Ronald Reagan, Gen. Mark Clark, Gen. Charles Willoughby, John Wayne, etc.”

“Change all your records to read YAF.”

“All those months in Munich were not wasted. I accomplished my task in Dallas. I need you here soon. I sold these people on each of you and they are expecting you to come to Dallas and play an important role.”

“The days of leisure are over.”

“We want to see you, Norman, Jim and Bill Burley back here in Dallas.”

“Sheila and my brother will be here in August; Ken Glazebrook in Sept.”

June 13, 1963, Larry Schmidt to B. Weissman in Munich, Germany:

“Warren Carroll, our only other recruit to CUSA, is already a PhD and two MS’s. Warren is a scriptwriter for Lifeline, the H.L. Hunt television and radio series. Hunt is the millionaire oilman.”

“Warren is 32, former CIA man. Don’t worry, he has been checked out.”

“Hunt checked him out.”

(This appears to be a military action, DIA. They have to check out the CIA man, using Hunt’s security).

After Jack Ruby was arrested for killing Oswald inside the Dallas jail, there were copies of Warren Carroll’s Lifeline on the seat of his car. The section was on “Heroism,” on how to become a “hero.” This is interesting because one of the first reasons Ruby gave for killing Oswald was, “I wanted to show them a Jew had guts.”

“We want to get Norman into the Republic National Bank … where we are building our credit like crazy for the day we need ready cash.”

(The Dallas Republic National Bank was identified by the Washington Post, February 26, 1967, as a conduit of CIA funds since 1958.)

(Connie Trammel, who worked at the Republic National Bank, accompanied Jack Ruby to the office of Lamar Hunt, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 1963, two days before Kennedy was assassinated.)

October 1, 1963, Larry Schmidt to Munich, Germany:

“I have a lot of contacts, bankers, insurance men, realtors.”

“My brother began working as an aide to General Walker. Paid full time.”

“National Indignation Committee will merge in the Fall of 1963, as soon as Bernie and Norman are in Dallas.”

“This is a top secret merger and is not to be discussed outside the movement.”

October 29, 1963, Larry Schmidt to Munich Germany:

“This town is a battleground and that is no joke. I am a hero to the right, a stormtrooper to the left.”

“I have worked out a deal with the chairman of YAF. The arrangements are always delicate, very delicate. If I don’t produce the bodies it is likely Dale (Davenport) will think me a phoney.”

“He needs our help now. Adlai Stevenson is scheduled here on the 24th.”

“Kennedy is scheduled in Dallas on November 24.”

“All big things are happening now.”

1963: A few connections in Dallas — Gen. Walter Dorberger, Michael and Ruth Paine

When George de Mohrenschildt was busy introducing Lee and Marina to the Dallas-Ft. Worth White Russian displaced Czarists, he managed to keep the social level equal with his American contacts.

One casual dinner in the company of Michael and Ruth Paine, and that was enough meeting to set the Oswalds’ course. George and Jeane didn’t have to meet with them again.

Ruth Paine would provide housing for Marina while Lee went to New Orleans. A few weeks later, she drove Marina to join Lee. After summer vacation at Wood’s Hole, Mass., Ruth returned and brought Marina to her home in Irving, Texas, while Lee was on the bus to Mexico with Albert Osborne/John Bowen, and four other Solidarists from the Russian network.

After Kennedy was murdered, the Dallas police rushed to the Paine’s home. From that garage and elsewhere, via the Paines, came most of the incriminating evidence against Oswald.

The alleged murder weapon never could be proven by the Warren Commission as ever having come from their garage.

The cropped photo that Life printed with Oswald holding a rifle came from a box removed from the garage, taken to the police department, then returned the next day, with nobody present to indicate where it came from.

Accessory after the fact, the letter was delivered to Marina in December undated and unsigned, to cover up General Walker’s anxiety to blame a “Communist,” Lee, for shooting at him in April and came from Ruth to Marina. It wasn’t in the home before then. The Warren Commission required planted evidence sometimes in order to divert from Lee Oswald’s links to the Defense Department, assisted by Ruth and Michael Paine.

Michael Paine’s occupation at Bell Aircraft is the Defense Department. This job requires security clearances, so what would the unlikely Oswalds be doing in his home? Oswald, the “defector?”

Paine’s boss at Bell Aircraft as Director of Research and Development, was none other than the noterious war criminal General Walter Dornberger.

Dornberger was supposed to be hanged at Nuremburg for his war crimes, slave labor and mass murders.

The British warned the U.S. not to let him live because even after the war he was conniving for another one. As stated, “Dornberger is a menace of the first order who is untrustworthy. His attitude will turn ally against ally and he would become a source of irritation and future unrest.” (Project Paperclip. Clarence Lasby.)

The very first call to authorities after the gun went off on November 22, 1963, was from an employee at Bell Helicopter who suggested “Oswald did it.” Police never located the source of both Oswald addresses that day.

Michael Paine took Lee to a meeting with General Edwin Walker shortly before the assassination. Soon Oswald would be charged with having shot Walker in April, and Walker would be calling his nazi cronies in Germany 24 hours after JFK was killed telling them he finally solved “who shot through his window” seven months earlier: the same Oswald.

Who were the Paines? To believe the Warren Commission and the CIA staff of lawyers, they were Mr. and Mrs. Good Neighbor, all heart, altruistic. Ruth simply wanted to learn more Russian from a native. For that price, she housed Marina, a two-year-old daughter, a new infant, with all the fuss and mess of three extras in a tiny house.

Michael Paine was a descendant of the Cabots on both sides. His cousin Thomas Dudley Cabot, former president of United Fruit, had offered their Gibraltar Steamship as a cover for the CIA during the Bay of Pigs. Another cousin was Alexander Cochrane Forbes, a director of United Fruit and trustee of Cabot, Cabot, and Forbes.

Both Allen Dulles and John J. McCloy were part of the United Fruit team. The Paine family had links with circles of the OSS and the CIA.

Ruth Hyde Paine maintained close ties with the Forbes families. Peter Dale Scott investigated the Paines, “the patrician Paine and Forbes families.” A far cry from anybody’s neighbor.

Michael’s education came as a tradition, third generation physicist at Harvard before working for Bell Helicopter.

The British were correct on the Dornberger evaluation.

Another clue to Albert Speer, the Reichmaster for Munitions and War Production, and General Dornberger, is their meeting as early as April, 1943.

When it was obvious to Hitler they would be losing the war against the USSR, all top Nazis made detailed plans for two years on how to proceed next.

Speer met with Dornberger, at Peenemunde, the missile and rocket factory run with Werner Von Braun, and instructed him in “the dispersion of functions throughout the Reich.”

Translated, that meant get ready to come to the U.S.

Lee Harvey Oswald, Albert Osborne

When Lee Harvey Oswald entered Mexico at Laredo, Texas, on Sept. 26, 1963, his companion on the Red Arrow bus was Albert Osborne, alias John Howard Bowen.

Bowen-Osborne had been running a school for highly professional marksmen in Oaxaca, Mexico, since 1934. The cover for the place was his particular mission, and he was the missionary.

The FBI records on Bowen go back to June 4, 1942, in Henderson Springs, Tennessee. He operated a camp for boys known as “Campfire Council.” Neighbors complained it was for pro-nazi activities with young fascists. Bowen vehemently opposed the U.S. going to war with nazi Germany. They stomped on the American flag.

Before that, Bowen worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority since 1933.

His dual citizenship between Great Britain and the U.S. took him over the entire globe. So did his use of multiple aliases.

After the Warren Commission published their report in September 1964, several attorneys in the Southwest recognized the name of Osborne.

September 8, 1952, Jake Floyd was murdered. The target was meant to be his father, District Judge Floyd. Two suspects were caught, one got away. Their testimony was about being hired by Osborne and how he ran the school for assassins.

Later investigation revealed Osborne’s connections to Division V of the FBI, and to Clay Shaw’s Centro Mondiale Commerciale, with funding coming from New Orleans for the CIA, Anti-Castro Cubans, and others.

Lee Harvey Oswald applied for a tourist card to enter Mexico while still in New Orleans on September 17, 1963.

Four other persons, having consecutive tourist numbers, departed nine days later, like Oswald, all to arrive at the same time, entering from several different cities. They were part of the White Russian Solidarists, the Gehlen emigre community that Lee and Marina mingled with.

This assassination team funded Maurice Brooks Gatlin, Guy Bannister, and the Miami office of Double Check Corporation.

J. Edgar Hoover’s Division V, Domestic Intelligence, working with the American Council of Christian Churches, had used this group from the Bowen-Osborne academy of assassins.

Volume XXV of the Hearings has many pages of interviews with people who had sent money to Jack Bowen. They never met him, and some like Mrs. Bessie White, Pikesville, Tenn., mailed “$35 a month to John Howard Bowen who she believed had been doing missionary work for 18 years in Mexico.” Osborne-Bowen had a mission.

Lee Harvey Oswald, agent from U.S. Defense Dept., had a team of doubles impersonating his behavior, leaving trails of anti-American frustration and meetings with various people.

While Oswald was in Mexico just prior to Kennedy’s murder, the purposes were concealed. Meanwhile, the CIA and various authorities led Oswald to the Cuban Embassy, the Soviet Embassy. When the face or voices didn’t match the authentic Oswald, it didn’t matter, given a difference of 40 to 50 pounds and shape. What came from all this was the conclusion that Oswald had really wanted to go to Cuba next. Which Oswald, and why?

This was to finalize with the illusion of an Oswald-Castro admiration just days before Kennedy would be killed.

Senator John Tower and Marina Oswald

One of the most consistent conservatives among Buckley’s YAF Advisory Board was Senator John Tower, Texas.

If there is anything he wouldn’t want in his back yard it was a defector and his allegedly Communist wife from Minsk.

Yet, two years after joining the YAF team in 1960, Tower was passing all waivers in order for Marina Oswald to get to the United States as soon as possible. Without his permission, this trip might never have taken place. Many wives from the USSR are not that lucky.

March 22, 1962, Senator Tower cooperated. “The sanctions imposed on immigration and nationality are hereby waived in behalf of Mrs. Oswald. The file check on Marina by the FBI, CIA, Dept. of Security Office, Division of biographical intelligence and passport office,” (Volume XXIV, 298).

George de Mohrenschildt testified in Volume IX, pages 228-229, “Marina Oswald’s father had been a Czarist officer of some kind. I don’t remember whether it was army or navy.”

Her real father was never identified by name in all of the testimony.

Between 1948 and 1950 over 200 Byelorussian nazis and their families were brought to New Jersey. Both George de Mohrenschildt and Marina had come from Minsk, part of the Byelorussian area.

The Gehlen nazi emigres were useful to every part of the Kennedy assassination cover-up.

John Tower knew Marina was a safe bet. Otherwise, why the hurry? Our CIA and the Defense Department knew all there was to know about both Oswalds. Therefore, Tower signed the immigration papers fast.

The Argentine Connections: Isaac Dan Levine and the Ziger Family

The Warren Report wasn’t published until September, 1964. Testimony of witnesses and exhibits were being collected up to the day of printing.

Yet as early as June 2, 1964, Isaac Don Levine, another arch-enemy of Communists and a so-called expert on the Soviet mind, was arranging with the Warren Commission staff to bring the daughters of Oswald’s boss, Alexander Ziger, from the Minsk Radio factory to Argentina. He suggested using CIA assistance.

What was that about?

“When the Oswalds left Russia they smuggled out a message to one of the relatives of the Zigers living in the U.S. They wanted help to get the Zigers’ daughters out of Russia. The daughters, having been born in Argentina, could claim Argentine citizenship. Levine suggested some confidential source in the American Government such as the CIA should contact the Argentine Government to set machinery in motion. (Memorandum from W. David Slauson: Conference with Mr. Isaac Don Levine, May 23, 1964).

January 21, 1964, John J. McCloy told Commission members, before any witness was yet called, “this fellow Levine is a contact with Marina to break the story up in a little more graphic manner and tie it into a Russian business, and it is with the thought and background of Russian connections, conspiracy concept.”

If there was a Russian conspiracy to kill President John Kennedy, John McCloy, Isaac Don Levine, Allen Dulles, and J. Edgar Hoover, not to speak of Nixon and others, would squeeze that out.

Remember Gary Powers strongly hinted at Oswald’s role in downing the U-2, breaking up the Eisenhower-Khrushchev meeting while Lee was employed at the Minsk Radio factory?

Nicolae Malaxa, Otto Skorzeny, and international CIA-DIA agents were thick in both Minsk and Argentina. It was Alexander Ziger and his family who introduced Lee to Marina Oswald. That same evening they were at the home of an unidentified woman just returned from the U.S.

The President of the U.S. had been murdered in 1963.

Six months later the CIA is supposed to assist the Ziger daughters?

One more connection to Richard Nixon.

When poor Whittaker Chambers almost collapsed from the strain of having to testify against Alger Hiss, it was Isaac Don Levine who took “Chambers by the arm, a reluctant Chambers, and arranged the meetings where he would begin to smear Hiss.” (Friendship and Fratricide, Meyer Zelig).

When Levine was searching for a Soviet connection to Kennedy’s death, he was also doing business with Marina’s new manager, James Martin. It was Martin who was selling the photo of Oswald posing with Communist literature and a rifle, the same evidence pulled from the Paine’s garage. Notice the similarity to the Whittaker Chambers pumpkin papers years earlier that launched Nixon’s political career and convicted Alger Hiss.

If the evidence didn’t fit the conclusions of the investigators, the one picture would sell the Oswald assassin story.

“Treason for My Daily Bread” — Argentina and Martin Bormann

In August 1971, a French paper headlined a news story, “Martin Bormann behind the Kennedy murders.” It listed an international band of killers that was located in Texas. They carried out the two assassinations at the German command.

Six years later, June 8, 1977, the London Guardian reported, “Bormann Linked with Kennedy Murder.” This story was based on a new book titled, Treason for My Daily Bread by Mikhail Lebedev.

Lebedev detailed how Martin Bonnann left Europe, established his current life in Paraguay, and how the fatal head shot to Kennedy was delivered by an agent paid by Bormann, alias of Zed.

Is any of this true?

Many of these allegations and names come together with both Paris Flammonde’s The Kennedy Conspiracy and the Nomenclature of an Assassination Cabal, known as the Torbitt Document.

“Zed” allegedly used a .45 for the final shot.

Buddy Walters, murdered January 10, 1969, picked up a .45 slug in Dealey Plaza and gave it to the Dallas Police.

There were two possible assassination teams in Dallas.

The military from Munich, Germany, that was to take over the YAF, with Robert Morris’ help, have yet to be identified or interviewed (Morris from U.S. intelligence, having to do with USSR covert work.) Gen. Edwin Walker’s arrangement with U.S. Military in Germany or, the arrival of such people for Nov. 22, 1963, is open to question.

Albert Osborne’s “mission” in Mexico, with direct links to Clay Shaw’s Centro Mondiale Commerciale, has never been touched. This was the international band of killers with the Borghese-James Angleton operations working throughout the world.

Otto Skorzeny’s CIA and Reinhard Gehlen death squads, with headquarters in Madrid, were funded by Martin Bormann when the Evita Peron funds were shared after 1952.

Lebedev mentions “Ruth,” David Ferrie, Clay Shaw, Guy Bannister, and Colonel Orlov.

The very first day George de Mohrenschildt visited Marina Oswald she was alone and Lee was working. He brought with him a “Colonel Orlov.”

The House Select Committee on Assassinations “investigated” the murder of President John F. Kennedy from 1976-1978. The information about Bormann was available from 1971. Treason for My Daily Bread was published while they were supposed to be finding the smoking gun.

G. Robert Blakey, Chief Consul for the Committee, refused to admit any research or documents on these subjects. He would hang up the telephone and even refused to say if he had ever seen the Torbitt Document.

Six million dollars was allotted by Congress to investigate the assassination of President Kennedy. Martin Bormann may have had his motives for his actions through the years. What were G. Robert Blakey’s? What form of prosecution should be suggested for committees paid to uncover the truth who continuously sweep under the rug?

In A Study of a Master Spy, published in London in 1961, Bob Edwards, a member of Parliament and Kenneth Dunne, presented documentary evidence that Allen Dulles of the CIA carried on secret conferences with representatives of Hitler’s SS Security Office in February and March 1943. They learned that “Official Washington knew Martin Bormann, Deputy Fuhrer of Hitler’s Germany, master-minded the international ‘Die Spinne’ (Spider) underground organization which is planning to revive nazism as soon as West Germany is adequately rearmed by the United States. Official Washington seems disinterested.”

With John J. McCloy, Allen Dulles and J. Edgar Hoover in control of the Kennedy assassination investigation, these nazi connections were buried.

The CIA’s Man: The Chronology of Helmet Streikher

1937: Trained for the Gestapo’s S.S Officers. A graduate of The University of Bonn Germany. Went to Military School at Blutordensberg, located at Vogelsang Castle.

1938: Assigned to Spain to join General Francisco Franco.

1939-1940: In the U.S. he learned English and American customs. His cover was as a German journalist working for Adolph Hitler.

1940-1941: Was with Reinhard Gehlen in Eastern Europe. He will join Gehlen when they are both working for Army intelligence.

1943-1945: Streikher worked with Skorzeny.

1945: May 7, 1945, Streikher surrenders to Allies and is cleared for intelligence, accepted for U.S. Army by October 1945.

1946-1947: He works for the OSS (Officers of Strategic Services) in Europe, Central Intelligence Group. CIG.

1948-1950: Streikher was stationed in Israel, Greece, Europe, Africa and Middle East. OSS becomes CIA.

1951-1957: CIA assigned back to General Gehlen, now in his German offices of the BND.

1958: In the U.S. Training Army Intelligence offices and CIA.

1958-1961: Helps plan Cuban Invasion. Active in the Bay of Pigs.

1961-1965: He was in Africa, Middle East, and United States on CIA assignment. On November 22, 1963, he said, “One of the worst kept secrets in the C, is the truth about the President’s murder. It wasn’t Castro or the Russians. The men who killed Mr. Kennedy were CIA contract agents.”

“John Kennedy’s murder was a two-part conspiracy murder. One was the action end with the killers; the other was the deeper part, the acceptance and protection of that murder by the Intelligence aparatus that controls the way the world operates.”

“It had to happen. The man was too independent for his own good.”

1968-1970: Senior Field Agent for CIA. Disguised as a writer.

1971-1973: Back in the United States. Langley, Virginia, training and making plans under assignment.

1974-1977: Under George Bush, director of CIA, Streikher sent to Africa and Middle East.

1978-1980: Contract agent on special assignment for CIA. June 15, 1980 he retired.

Other Known Aliases: U.S. Army officer Captain William Raine, also known as Ross Meyers, Hans Mollof, Karl Rolff, and Mark Schmidt. He had nine (9) other pieces of identification in other names and nationalities, some in the form of passports.

The Bunge Corporation, Argentina & Germany

The stock market dropped 24 points in 27 minutes when news of President Kennedy’s assassination was announced. 2.6 million shares were sold off. It was the greatest panic since 1929.

Somebody made a huge profit selling short in many markets.

Somebody made half a billion dollars in one day. Coincidentally, the Allied Crude Vegetable Oil Refining Corporation, headed by New Jersey commodities dealer Anthony De Angeles, crashed the same day, driving the market down.

Allied Crude was controlled by U.S. American Bunge Corporation and financially controlled by a group of share-holders headquartered in Argentina, known as “Bunge and Born, LDA.”

Business Week of October 19, 1963, one month before the Kennedy assassination, described the Born family in Argentina, the biggest shareholders for Bunge, as being from Europe, specifically Germany.

Everything about Bunge has German influence. They have a $2 billion annual business in 80 countries. There are over 110 offices, all linked by Telex and under-the-ocean telegraph channels. The Bunge Corporation is referred to as “the Octopus.”

The book Were We Controlled? detailed the relationship of the Bunge Corporation, the foreknowledge of Kennedy’s murder, and the Argentine-German connections.

General Edwin Walker and the Hitler Nazis

The Eagle’s Nest, now a mountain restaurant, was given to Adolf Hitler by nazi aide Martin Bormann for the fuhrer’s 50th birthday. It is not far from Hitler’s former summer home in Berchtesgaden.

Nearby is the Platterhof Hotel, built for guests when they came to pay their respects. The Platterhof has changed its name to the General Walker Hotel.

November 23, 1963, one day after Kennedy’s death, Gen. Edwin Walker called Munich, Germany, from Shreveport, La.

Walker’s important story, via transatlantic telephone, was to the nazi newspaper Deutsche National Zeitung un Soldaten-Zeitung. Walker couldn’t wait to tell them in Munich that Lee Harvey Oswald, the lone suspect in the Dallas murders, was the same person who shot through his window in April, 1963.

There was never one shred of evidence, or a reliable witness, that could make this connection Dallas police and FBI were taken by surprise.

In order to cover this over-exuberance of trying to link a Marxist assassin to this altercation, it became necessary to have Ruth Paine deliver that ridiculous letter to Marina Oswald on December 3, 1964. The delayed letter was to have been written the night Lee was out shooting in Walker’s home.

The only piece of bullet that remained in custody was never positively identified as coming from the 6.5 Mannlicher Carcano, and there is no proof Oswald even handled this rifle.

Why was General Walker in such a hurry to get his information printed in Germany before anybody in Dallas ever heard about it?

Kurt-George Kiesinger had just been installed as Chancellor of West Germany and Franz-Josef Straus as finance minister.

Kissinger entered the radio propaganda division of nazi Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop at age 36. He was then directing a world-wide radio propaganda apparatus with 195 specialists under his supervision during the war. He was the liaison officer, coordinating his department’s work with that of Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels.

Richard Nixon and Kurt-George Kiesinger were soon, or maybe before, to become pals. Nixon tried to hide his nazi past.

But General Walker, now home from military service in Munich, knew the importance of such propaganda. He was calling the same people who, under Hitler, published and controlled the newspapers.

There were two motives for this call.

First, it gave international attention to the fact that Oswald, the Marxist gunman, was shooting at Walker as well as the President.

General Walker knew too many people in the Defense Department and in the Dallas-Fort Worth area that could be part of this assassination. He made himself appear as a victim instead of a suspect.

The other reason, along with the expertise of Robert Morris’s counter-intelligence and psychological warfare training, was to create a profile for Lee Harvey Oswald.

No possible motive could explain why Oswald would really want to kill President Kennedy. By having Oswald appear to shoot the right-wing General Walker with his John Birch connections, his militant anti-communist stance, then shoot John Kennedy, the same Commie-symp Walker was accusing of treason, it would appear that Oswald was just nuts. He didn’t know right from left.

The Munich newspaper Walker called was linked to the World Movement for a Second Anti-Komintern, part of the Gehlen and U.S. right.

Some of Hitler’s ex-nazis and SS-men were on the Staff.

The editor, Gerhard Frey, was a close friend with various nazi members of the Witiko League. The Witiko League and the Sudetendeutch Landsmannscraft were organizations for displaced refugees. By the summer of 1948 they formed large organizations and by 1955 Dr. Walter Becher was elected to the executive board of the Witiko League. Becher was one of the kingpins of nazi front organizations.

Sen. Joe McCarthy, Charles Willoughby, Gen. Edwin Walker, and Robert Morris’ links to the German nazis converged when Dr. Walter Becher set up offices in Washington, D.C. in 1950.

By July 16, 1957, Becher, praised by American Opinion and other extreme right publications, started his policy of liberation. General Douglas MacArthur, Senator Joe McCarthy, General Willoughby, members of the U.S. Congress or public officials then started openly to meet with and cooperate with the nazi resurgence.

Dan Smooth, former Dallas FBI agent is the type of person who kept strong nazi ties with Dr. Becher in Munich, to Western Goals today. His printed sheets were identical to the Goebbels propaganda years ago, or to Walker’s disinformation one day after Kennedy was killed.

Volkmar Schmidt came from Munich, Germany, to work full time for General Walker. How long did he work, and where was he on November 23, 1963, when Walker made the call to the same city the CUSA imports came from?

The YAF crowd in Dallas was an interesting gang: Col. Charles Willoughby, intelligence Chief for S. Pacific, Robert Morris, U.S. counter-intelligence and psychological warfare, Gen Edwin Walker, brought home from Munich by JFK, William Buckley, CIA in Japan, Mexico, and elsewhere, Sen. John Tower, who gave the okay for Marina Oswald.

1964: The Warren Commission

President Lyndon Johnson was forced to select a commission to investigate the assassination of President Kennedy and the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby.

Texas authorities were supposed to do the original investigation.

There were too many suspicious people around the world who believed a conspiracy existed. Those rumors had to be squelched.

J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI never budged from its conclusion that Lee Harvey acted alone. Whatever evidence didn’t fit this decision was ignored.

Twenty-six volumes of witness testimony and exhibits were published. 8000 copies were sold. No more reprints. The contradiction between the conclusions of the Warren Report, and the abundance of discrepancies in the other volumes, makes fascinating reading.

Chief Justice Earl Warren, John J. McCloy, and Allen Dulles were the logical choices for LBJ.

President Kennedy didn’t trust Allen Dulles as CIA Director. Now JFK was dead and Dulles would be in charge of all possible “conspiracy” segments.

Richard Nixon, temporarily retired from politics for the first time since 1946, selected Rep. Gerald Ford to be on this Commission. Nixon selected Ford a second time when he ran home to escape impeachment during Watergate.

One of the first subjects for commission members to share in January, one month before witnesses were selected, was the matter of Lee Harvey Oswald being a government agent.

Gerald Ford was the only member of the group to write a book on the assassination. His book opened with the hushed and secret meeting where allegations had been received that Oswald worked for the FBI.

What Ford left out of his book, and the commissioners ignored in their Report, was that Oswald was also identified as working for the CIA. Commission Chairman Earl Warren and Commission Attorney Leon Jaworski knew about this. They stated that “Mr. Belli, attorney for Jack L. Ruby, was familiar with these allegations.”

Oswald’s informant number was Number 110669.

How was that for a starter?

The next move was to start building the myth about the deceased and ignore fact one, stated above. This grand commission would call in a doctor who never met Lee Oswald or Jack Ruby to assist them with their project, covering up.

Justice Warren suggested bringing in Dr. Overholser, who “of course is not a lawyer. He is a doctor from St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.” As the Chairman went on to explain, “we felt we ought to have someone who, in that field, could advise us on matters concerning the life of Oswald and possibly the life of Ruby also.”

The next order of business was who should write the Report for them? By January 21, 1964, that had to be decided.

Chairman Earl Warren said, “we consulted with the Defense Department, and they have offered to lend us one of their historians to do this job, and we think that it is quite essential to the work of the Commission.” Mr. Goldberg would assist from the Air Force. Mr. Cokery was from the Army.

“Mr. Winnaker recommended them,” Chief Counsel J. Lee Rankin offered. “We would work with them to try to anticipate all of the various historical aspects.”

“Who’s Who in the CIA” described “Mr. Winnaker” as having been born in Germany in 1904. His full name is Dr. Rudolph August Winnacker. He was an analyst for the OSS, historian in the War Department from 1945-1949, and then Chief of Historical Division of the Pentagon.”

Was Winnaker the ilk of Willoughby? Or Reinhard Gehlen? When did he come here from Germany? Where is he now?

Gehlen after the 1972 funeral of Wehrmacht Col. Gen. Franz Halder

Marina Oswald was the first witness to testify on February 3, 1964.

Warren wanted nothing more than to make her comfortable.

The first question dealt with the General Walker story because Walker had blown it by calling Munich so soon. That scandal had to be put to rest right away.

Warren asked Marina “if Exhibit 2 was familiar to her because it was a picture of General Walker’s house?”

Marina said, “no,” but that wasn’t good enough.

She was asked again, and once more said, “I didn’t see it, at least, taken from this view I can’t recognize it. I never saw the house itself at any time in my life.”

That wasn’t sufficient. She just couldn’t remember “this particular one.”

Chairman Warren was ready to go “off the record.” They had only just begun.

Chief Counsel Rankin suggested he show her “more pictures,” then maybe she would recognize the Walker home.

This time she was given a selection of a location in New Orleans, two snapshots from Leningrad, and the same shot of the Walker home. Because Walker wasn’t living in a castle in Leningrad, Marina assumed that house in Dallas must belong to “General Walker.”

Therefore this was admitted for identification.

The Defense Department history could then proceed. “Marina Oswald positively identified the photograph of General Walker’s home among Lee’s possessions.”

There are a lot of things that remain to be said about this commission and their phoney report.

Admission of an old card trick at the beginning set the tone for what was to follow. What was never supposed to come out was the use of Reinhard Gehlen agents surrounding Lee and Marina Oswald for the purposes of covering up the assassination conspiracy.

Two Lee Harvey Oswalds existed.

One memorized the Marine manual by age 17, went directly into radar and electronic work. He trained at U-2 bases, learned the Russian language, got himself into and out of the Soviet Union, wrote clear and literate letters. He was met, upon arriving home, by Government agents, provided with occupations, fathered two children, owed no debts, traveled around a great deal, met with interesting oil geologists, defense department and intelligence agents. Their social circle included the “Cabots and Lodges” from Czarist Russia, Admirals and some fancy folks.

The other Oswald was one developed by the Warren Commission to divert attention from the facts. Nobody ever saw the original “diary” that he couldn’t have possibly written.

Every Gehlen witness and emigre associated with the CIA, Tolstoy Foundation, or Greek Orthodox Church was directed towards the most ridiculous questions. From all that garbage the Defense Department wrote the history.

The last thing that should happen is for the warriors to interpret and define for us. The facts speak for themselves.

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