THE REMOVAL OF JFK # 1 - # 41:

Knowing the truth about the Kennedy Assassination is understanding America today.

Moderators: Bob, Phil Dragoo, Dealey Joe, kenmurray, dankbaar

THE REMOVAL OF JFK # 1 - # 41:

Postby Bruce Patrick Brychek » Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:39 am



James Jesus Angleton and the Kennedy Assassination, Part 2:

From the September-October 2000 issue (Vol. 7 No. 6) of Probe:

Bobby knows so little about us. One night he began to talk of muffled suspicions and stifled half-certainties, and said to me, "I had my doubts about a few fellows in your agency, but I don't anymore. I can trust John McCone and I asked him if they had killed my brother, and I asked him in a way that he couldn't lie to me, and he said he had looked into it and they hadn't.

I told that story to Hugh. You know how rarely he laughs aloud. He actually struck his thigh. "Yes," he said, "McCone was just the man to ask."

"What," I asked him, "would you have answered?"

"I would have told Bobby that if the job was done properly, I would not be able to give a correct answer."

- From Norman Mailer's novel Harlot's Ghost. (The character of Hugh Montague (Harlot) is based on James Angleton):

The most consistently prominent players in the assassination saga continue to be James Jesus Angleton and his counterintelligence staff. They held a file on Oswald predating the assassination by at least three years. After the assassination, Angleton and his closest associate, Ray Rocca, served as the gateway between the Warren Commission and the CIA. If anyone was in a position to move Oswald around prior to the assassination and control the cover-up afterwards, it was Angleton.

The key associates of Angleton who show up frequently in the Oswald/JFK assassination story are Raymond G. "The Rock" Rocca, Ann Egerter, Scotty Miler, and Birch O'Neal. Rocca had been with Angleton since his OSS days in Italy, and would control the Warren Commission's relationship with the CIA. The latter three were members of the tiny CI/SIG unit. Egerter opened Oswald's 201 file under the name "Lee Henry Oswald." Scotty Miler controlled the watch list during the period when Oswald was placed on and taken off that list. Birch O'Neal controlled CI/SIG during the period of the building of Oswald's strange 201 file.

In Part I, we examined the likelihood that Oswald was directly involved with Angleton's counterintelligence unit in the CIA. When queried about this, Anne Goodpasture, who played a role in the Mexico City aspects of Oswald's story, did not deny a relationship between the two:

Q: Have you had any reason to believe that...CI staff had any role in respect to Oswald prior to the assassination?

A: I don't know.1

She was not asked if she had any knowledge, but if she had any "reason to believe." If she truly had no reason to believe this, her only possible response would have been "no." Her response indicates clearly that she does have some doubt about the matter, that she may indeed have had reason to believe this.

Another group that shows up in a few places in the assassination story is Army intelligence. It is worth noting that, during the interim between the ending of the OSS and the formation of the CIA, Angleton served as a major in the Army and helped organize Army Intelligence's efforts to track down German agents who were using false identity cards.2 Angleton was not one to lose a contact. Once made, he would continue to use contacts for life.

Other CIA people who show up often in this story include David Atlee Phillips of the Western Hemisphere division, who worked with Bill Harvey and later Des Fitzgerald on Cuban operations; Win Scott and his "right-hand man" Anne Goodpasture from the Mexico City station; John Whitten ("Scelso") of the Western Hemisphere, Division 3; Charlotte Bustos of the Mexico City desk at Headquarters; and Richard Helms and his deputy Thomas Karamessines, who play large roles in the pre- and post-assassination paper trail. We should also note that the entire Western Hemisphere was run by J. C. King, a man closely linked to Nelson Rockefeller. King himself had been involved in the CIA's assassination plots involving Castro and Trujillo.3

Interweaving Mexican Threads
There are strange connections that link these various players. Shortly before the assassination, Oswald's CI/SIG-held 201 file was transferred to the Mexico City Headquarters desk, responsible to John Whitten and supported by desk officer Charlotte Bustos. (Bustos is identified as Elsie Scaleti in the Lopez Report.4)

Bustos, Ann Egerter of Angleton's CI/SIG unit (the woman who opened the 201 file on "Lee Henry [sic] Oswald"), and Stephan Roll, Angleton's CI liaison to the SR (Soviet Russia) division, drafted the two now infamous communications that cause much suspicion of the CIA's involvement in the Kennedy assassination.5 Although the two communications were drafted at the same time, the cable to CIA in Mexico City describes Oswald as 5'10", 165 pounds, with light brown hair; whereas the teletype to the State Department, Navy and the FBI describes Oswald as being approximately 35 years old, 6' tall, with an athletic build and a receding hairline. Why would Angleton's people be collaborating with the Mexico City desk officer to mislead other agencies within the government unless they were in some measure trying to hide or protect Oswald's identity?

Immediately following the assassination, Bustos allegedly found a photo of Oswald from the CIA's Mexico City surveillance operations. Phil Agee, Joseph Burkholder Smith, Daniel Watson, and Joseph Piccolo, all CIA employees at some point, recalled hearing aboutóand in the latter two cases, actually viewingósuch a photo. According to Agee, Bustos found the photo within an hour or two of the President's assassination. John Whitten said of Bustos that she had a "fantastic memory" and yet, like E. Howard Hunt, Bustos cannot recall what she was doing the day of the assassination.6 But Anne Goodpasture is the person who supplied the photo the CIA showed to the FBI as a possible picture of "Oswald". (Curiously, Goodpasture said in an unsworn ARRB interview that headquarters refused to send a photo of Oswald to Mexico City, and she was never sure why.7 Of course we know from Oswald's CIA file that indeed news clippings from his defection with his photo were present, so the CIA did have a photo of Oswald to share, and could also have easily obtained more had they asked the Navy or FBI.)

If Bustos had found a photo, another question is raised. Was Bustos' picture a true picture of Oswald? Or was it a picture of just another person who was not Oswald? If Bustos' picture was of Oswald, for the CIA to have supplied Goodpasture's "Mystery Man" photo in place of the real photo suggests a deliberate effort to deceive. In that case, Bustos' picture would have to have been "disappeared" by the agency, lest the evidence of their deception come to light. And if Bustos' picture was not Oswald but another man who looked like him, that also suggests a deliberate effort to deceive, as the picture was shown to at least two others within the CIA as evidence that Oswald had been in Mexico City, a point which has never been fully proven. To date, the CIA has taken the only safe road available, claiming (despite multiple accounts to the contrary) that no such picture was ever found.

Anne Goodpasture told Jeremy Gunn of the ARRB that she had worked at one point during her CIA career for James Angleton as a counterintelligence officer, and that it was the CI group that sent her to Mexico City in 1957.8 Asked to explain the difference between CE (counterespionage) and CI (counterintelligence), Goodpasture replied, "Counterespionage was the activity and Counterintelligence was the product."9

From Mexico, Goodpasture had worked on the case of Rudolph Abel,10 a Soviet agent working in New York City and curiously, living one apartment below famed author, FPCC activist and latter-day CIA apologist Norman Mailer.11 Angleton said of Goodpasture, "I personally have had very little dealings with her but my men had had a lot of dealings with her. She was always in on very sensitive cases."12 Goodpasture was also involved with Staff D, which was seriously involved with several coup attempts and assassination plots. To the ARRB, Goodpasture downplayed her involvement in Staff D, claiming that she was simply involved in duplicating and distributing materials.13 However, according to Angleton, Goodpasture was "very close" to Bill Harvey.14

Goodpasture maintained that in 1963 her sole duty was to the Mexico City station and Win Scott.15 Goodpasture tells us that Win Scott was "very, very conservative. He was from Alabama and I think he was a supporter of George Wallace."16

Goodpasture was later to receive a career achievement award on the recommendation of David Atlee Phillips, who cited her for having discovered Oswald at the Cuban embassy. Goodpasture was responsible for delivering the "deep snow"17 photo of the Mexico "Mystery Man". Significantly for our purposes, Goodpasture was also the liaison and in most cases, the sole point of contact, outside of Win Scott, David Phillips, and Scott's deputy, Alan White, to the other agencies of the U.S. government regarding the Mexico City station's CIA operations.18 And like too many others in this small cadre of CIA employees, Goodpasture has trouble remembering the moment of Kennedy's assassination:

I think I heard about it from a phone call from our outside person on the phone tap operation, and I believe it was around lunchtime when there weren't too many people there and as they all filtered back in, there was office gossip, but I have tried to remember. I've heard so many people say I can remember, I was standing at the telephone or I was in the drugstore, or I was in church and I really don't remember who all were there at the time. Dave Phillips said that someone from the military attaché's office came up and told him about it and I don't remember that....I don't even remember him being in the station at that time.19

According to Eddie Lopez, Goodpasture, in addition to her duties for Scott, ran all of David Phillips' operations. When asked about Phillips' politics, Goodpasture tells a story that remains redacted, a fact especially disturbing when one considers the whole purpose of the ARRB was to release previously classified materials, not to add to the secrets. But from the nature of the testimony around the redacted portion, we can gather that she is giving us some indication that Phillips was not the liberal he painted himself to be. The redaction ends with Goodpasture saying,

...but there again, I hate for things like this to be published because there are 2,000 – over 2,000 books already been [sic] written. The thing that they are looking for is something of this type that they can put in the other book to come that will be just short of slander, and I feel that I shouldn't really comment on the personalities for that reason. I don't want my former co-workers or in Phillips' case, his family, to think that I'm trying to project him as a personality that was a show-off or something other than the very sincere wonderful man that they feel that he is....20

Phillips is the CIA man who most closely ties Angleton in the frequency of his appearance in the assassination story. Phillips appears to have been seen in the presence of Oswald by Antonio Veciana.21 And a "Mr. Phillips" who was running CIA operations against Cuba at a time when that was David Phillips' job was seen by Gordon Novel in the presence of Guy Banister and Sergio Arcacha Smith, who were themselves in turn seen with Oswald. Oswald even rented an office in Banister's building that had previously been rented by Sergio Arcacha Smith.22 When the HSCA investigators tracked down the many false "Castro did it" leads, they kept tracing back to assets run by Phillips.23 Dan Hardway, who had much documentation to support that allegation, told Gaeton Fonzi,

I'm firmly convinced now that he ran the red herring, disinformation aspects of the plot. The thing that got him so nervous was when I started mentioning all the anti-Castro Cubans who were in reports filed with the FBI for the Warren Commission and every one of them had a tie I could trace back to him. That's what got him very upset. He knew the whole thing could unravel.24

Angleton was close friends with Win Scott and ran operations with him. Scott, in turn, was so close to Phillips that he recommended Phillips be his deputy in the Mexico City station while waiting for the next Deputy, Alan White, to arrive.25 Phillips, in turn, connects to JM/WAVE.26 JM/WAVE is another key component in the assassination story, because JM/WAVE trained assassins and participated in some of the plots against Castro. The line between Des FitzGerald's Special Affairs Staff (the replacement for Harvey's Task Force W) and the actions of JM/Wave is blurred. The weekend of the Kennedy assassination, John McCone's executive assistant Walt Elder saw Fitzgerald, and FitzGerald told Elder he had met with Rolando Cubela. He did not tell him that he had given him a poison pen to be used against Castro, nor that he had pretended to be an emissary of Bobby Kennedy's (Helms had told him not to worry, that he would approve that lie). No mention of assassination was made. But Elder had the distinct impression that FitzGerald was particularly upset that weekend. Evan Thomas, in his book The Very Best Men, painted the following scene:

Elder was struck by FitzGerald's clear discomfort. "Des was normally imperturbable, but he was very disturbed about his involvement." The normally smooth operator was "shaking his head and wringing his hands. It was very uncharacteristic. That's why I remember it so clearly," Elder said in 1993. He thought FitzGerald was "distraught and overreacting."

Des Fitzgerald's wife told author Evan Thomas that the first and last time she ever saw her husband break down in tears was when Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby. Her husband had been upset from the moment of the assassination, and sat silently, watching the news along with millions of others around the globe. When Jack Ruby performed his deed, Fitzgerald began to cry, and said, somewhat cryptically, "Now we'll never know."27 Thomas evidently thinks this has something to do with Cubela. But does it? Cubela later turned out to be a double agent. But when was that known? Was the CIA trying to provoke Castro, knowing Cubela was his agent and planning a plot with him? Was the CIA engaging in a true assassination plot, or a deception they could later refer to in Castro-did-it scenarios?

Angleton's Back Channel ?:
If one was planning an assassination within CIA, wouldn't it make sense to take some precautions as to what was communicated, and through what channels? We saw in Part I of this article how Bill Harvey stressed, "never use the word 'assassination'" and that nothing should be put on paper. But some communications need to transpire nonetheless to pull an operation of that scale off. According to Anne Goodpasture, Angleton had a back channel to Mexico City, and possibly other stations as well:

Q: Could you describe the different kinds of channels of communication that Mexico City had with CIA headquarters, and by that I mean cables, dispatches and that sort of thing, if you needóif Mexico City station needed to communicate with headquarters, what would be the different methods that could be done?

A: Well, there would be cables, there would be dispatches, there would be intelligence reports, there would be attachments, I can't think of anything else.

Q: For cable communications, was there more than one channel of cables used by CIA to go to headquarters?

A: I can't really answer that but I think there was what they call back channel [sic], but I don't know the details of it. There again Mr. [Alan] White [, Scott's deputy in the Mexico City station] would be the more knowledgeable on that than I am or someone from communications.

Q: Have you heard, for example, that CI may have had a back channel, not just in Mexico City but in other stations as well?

A: Well, there's gossip that I think I have seen or have heard or I don't think I dreamed it, that they discussed things through the back channel, but I'm not sure what that was. You might checkóMr. Helms would be the person who would know.28

So Angleton appeared to have a private channel he could use with Scott and presumably other areas around the world to communicate traffic too sensitive to be seen even by other sworn CIA operatives. And Helms knew about these.


The rest of this article can be found in The Assassinations, edited by Jim DiEugenio and Lisa Pease:


1. Anne Goodpasture ARRB Deposition, December 15, 1995, p. 90.

2. Tom Mangold, Cold Warrior (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991), p. 41.

3. Gerard Colby and Charlotte Dennett, Thy Will Be Done (New York: HarperCollins, 1995), pp. 325, 348, 354, 738-740.

4. Compare the Mexico City Report by Eddie Lopez and Dan Hardway (hereafter called the Lopez Report), p. 109, with the quote from the deposition of "Scelso", now known to be John Whitten (hereafter known as the Whitten deposition), p. 31. In both she is described as "sort of the Major Domo of the Branch."

5. Bustos' involvement is related in the Lopez Report, and Roll's involvement is revealed in John Newman, Oswald and the CIA (New York: Carroll & Graf, 1995). Egerter's involvement is noted in both.

6. See "Who's Running the Country" by Lisa Pease in the Vol. 4 No. 2 (Jan-February, 1997) issue of Probe for sourcing. The allegation and investigation of Bustos' photo is investigated in the Lopez Report.

7. Anne Goodpasture ARRB Interview (unsworn, not her deposition), April 23, 1998, p. 9.

8. Goodpasture ARRB Deposition, pp. 9, 10.

9. Goodpasture ARRB deposition, p. 12.

10. Goodpasture ARRB deposition, p. 37.

11. Mark Riebling, Wedge (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994), p. 145-146.

12. James Angleton HSCA deposition, October 5, 1978, p. 157.

13. Goodpasture ARRB deposition, pp. 13, 15.

14. Angleton HSCA deposition, p. 157.

15. Goodpasture ARRB deposition, p. 22.

16. Goodpasture ARRB deposition, p. 57.

17. "Deep snow" was the term given to this photo by David Phillip's friend, the FBI Legal AttachÈ in Mexico City, Clark Anderson. See the FBI memo from SA W. R. Heitman to SAIC, Dallas, dated 11/22/63 (released in 1994).

18. Goodpasture ARRB Deposition, pp. 19-20.

19. Goodpasture ARRB Deposition, p. 28.

20. Goodpasture ARRB deposition, p. 59.

21. See Gaeton Fonzi, The Last Investigation (New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 1993) (much of the book is devoted to this topic), and Anthony Summers, Not In Your Lifetime (New York: Marlowe & Company, 1998), pp. 370-371.

22. Gordon Novel's Playboy deposition.

23. Fonzi, pp. 292-293.

24. Fonzi, p. 293.

25. Goodpasture ARRB deposition, p. 54.

26. Goodpasture ARRB deposition, p. 54. Goodpasture confirmed that Phillips had liaison between Mexico City and JMWAVE.

27. Evan Thomas, The Very Best Men (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995), p. 308.

28. Goodpasture ARRB deposition, pp. 39-40.

Last modified on Sunday, 16 October 2016 19:16

Published in John Fitzgerald Kennedy Tagged under JFK ASSASSINATION CIA JAMES ANGLETON LEE HARVEY OSWALD
Lisa Pease

Lisa Pease was co-editor with Jim DiEugenio of Probe Magazine and also edited with him The Assassinations. She has written a number of ground-breaking essays on the connections between Freeport Sulphur, the Eastern Establishment and the CIA, on James Angleton, and on Sirhan and the RFK assassination. Lisa is currently finishing her book on the latter subject, the product of more than two decades of research. She also runs a blogspot on recent history and current events.
Last edited by Bruce Patrick Brychek on Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:41 am, edited 21 times in total.
Bruce Patrick Brychek
Posts: 2565
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Re: THE REMOVAL OF JFK # 1 - # 41:

Postby Bruce Patrick Brychek » Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:01 am




Official website of Author and Temple University Professor Joan Mellen. Her twenty-two books, most recently "A Farewell To Justice," "Our Man In Haiti" and "The Great Game in Cuba," explore the history of the Central Intelligence Agency and its role in the planning and Cover-up of the Kennedy assassination.

9/11 AND 11/22

The Kennedy Assassination and the Current Political Moment:

JANUARY 28, 2007:

by Joan Mellen:

It happened going on forty-four years ago, and yet the murder of President Kennedy remains simultaneously a subject of fascination and yet is still taboo within mainstream discourse. You will not find a free exchange of views on the Kennedy assassination in the “New York Times” nor, to date, an acknowledgement of the unanswered questions arising from 9/11. This past November, I spoke at a Jewish Senior Center on the Upper West Side [in New York] where the director, Sara Tornay, remarked that the “Times” had listed the lecture the week before mine, and the lecture the week after. My talk on the Kennedy assassination had slipped down the memory hole. How come? she wondered.

So I’m grateful to the 92nd Street Y for the liberalism of outlook and independence of mind that made this evening possible. The Kennedy assassination will not go away, and I’ll try to explain why, heartened as I am by the fact that the former governor of Minnesota, Arne Carlson, gave a speech in November entitled “The JFK Assassination: Its Impact on America’s History.” That’s my subject as well: How the Kennedy assassination illuminates the present political moment.

The Kennedy assassination is present even in its absence in the recent film, “The Good Shepherd,” a movie about the CIA. Its central character, played by Matt Damon, is based largely on the late head of CIA Counter Intelligence, James Jesus Angleton. The distortions of “The Good Shepherd” return us to the meaning of the Kennedy assassination. James Angleton in real life was the mastermind not, as the film suggests, of the Bay of Pigs (that was Richard Bissell), but of a false defector program that sent spies into the Soviet Union. Among them was one Lee Harvey Oswald. I am basing this talk either on interviews I conducted for “A Farewell to Justice,” or on new interviews I’ve done since its publication a year or so ago. I am referring as well to some of the more than four million documents released under the JFK Records Collection Act and now residing in Maryland at the National Archives.

It was actually an FBI document that demonstrates that Oswald, indeed one of Angleton’s assets in the Soviet Union, communicated back to the CIA through a CIA asset at American Express named Michael Jelisavcic. One of my discoveries for “A Farewell to Justice” was the original of a note that Oswald, arrested in New Orleans for a street fight, handed to the police lieutenant who was questioning him, Francis Martello. One CIA document refers to an FBI “65” file, an espionage file, for Jelisavic, a reference inadvertently unredacted when CIA declassified the document.

This number clearly directs CIA to an espionage file. Oswald also had Jelisavcic’s name and room number in his possession. Angleton’s false defector program, not mentioned in “The Good Shepherd,” remains among CIA’s most closely guarded secrets, a secret necessary to preserve the fiction of the Warren Report.

The figure of Lee Harvey Oswald, and his peculiar biography as a low-level intelligence agent, continues to haunt those whose paths he crossed. After “A Farewell to Justice” was published, this was last April, I drove down Alligator Highway in Central Florida to interview a very interesting nonagenarian named Otto Otepka. Mr. Otepka was high up in State Department security under the Eisenhower administration and into the 1960s. Routinely, he came upon the names of people who had defected, and whom it was his job to investigate for security purposes.

Highly commended for his diligence, Mr. Otepka displayed to me, proudly, a wall filled with a display of framed commendations, including one signed by Secretary of State John Foster Dulles on behalf of President Eisenhower. (Certainly in these times President Eisenhower seems to be a bonafide liberal, not only for his prescient remark about the military industrial complex, but for another of his observations, that most of America has accepted the idea of the New Deal, but for a few oil millionaires in Texas).

Otepka saw at once that there was something unusual about Lee Oswald, “tourist.” As he placed this list of defectors into his security safe, Mr. Otepka planned to request that the CIA look into this individual, “Oswald.” A nighttime burglary, obviously an inside job, resulted in this file vanishing. Soon Otto Otepka was demoted to an inconsequential post, writing summaries of documents. Oswald’s “defection” was not to be scrutinized. Later I’ll explain whom Mr. Otepka believes was responsible for the burglary and the destruction of his career.

This all took place in the early sixties. In the year 2006, “The Good Shepherd” still could not mention Angleton’s false defector program which would have driven the film to the door of the Kennedy assassination. Instead the film conveniently closes in 1961 at the time of the Bay of Pigs.

That Oswald was an employee of the CIA I demonstrate in my book, a fact recently re-confirmed by a historian named Michael Kurtz. Professor Kurtz reports on an interview he did in 1981 with Hunter Leake, second in command at the New Orleans field office. Leake admitted that CIA used Oswald as a courier and that Oswald came to New Orleans in April 1963 because the CIA office there intended to use him for certain operations. Leake either was disaffected from the Agency, or, perhaps, was just an honest man. He admitted that he personally paid Oswald various sums of cash for his services. Oswald was on the CIA payroll, Leake knew. He himself paid Oswald’s CIA salary.

Leake also explained in this telephone interview with Professor Kurtz why there was no documentation on Oswald’s employment with CIA in New Orleans. After President Kennedy’s assassination, he drove the files personally to Langley, Virginia. They were so voluminous that he had to rent a trailer to transport them. Shouldn’t revelations from so credible a source have made the newspapers or CNN? I don’t know why Hunter Leake, who figures prominently in “A Farewell to Justice,” talked to Professor Kurtz, but I discovered that the original Hunter Leake family estate, in 1927, was sold to purchase Hammond Junior College, which became Southeastern Louisiana University – where Professor Kurtz teaches.

In “A Farewell to Justice,” I write for the first time that Oswald had also been enlisted by U.S. Customs in New Orleans, information I gleaned from the documents deposited at the National Archives by the Church Committee. Not a single newspaper or magazine or television program chose to notice this astonishing revelation. I show how the framing of Oswald in Louisiana by the CIA began even before the shooting in Dallas. I shall return to that subject.

As you study the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination, you discover repeatedly that the press relinquished its freedom more than forty years ago. The latest document I was sent came from the LBJ library in Austin. Dated 1967, it was a telegram from the “Newsweek” columnist, Hugh Aynesworth, to George Christian, Lyndon Johnson’s press secretary. Aynesworth was announcing that he was sending the President, in advance of publication, his latest attack on New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, the better for the President to take steps against Garrison’s investigation.

CIA releases, once marked “Secret,” are filled with revelations of how reporters, another was Al Burt, the Latin America editor of the “Miami Herald,” visited the CIA to be instructed on what was and was not in the Agency’s interest that he print. There are precedents for our present co-opted press, from FOX to CNN, its twin. Even Keith Olbermann on MSNBC seems unduly cautious.

In his forthcoming memoir, “American Spy: My Secret History in the CIA, Watergate & Beyond,” long time CIA operative, E. Howard Hunt, who died last Tuesday – as with Richard Helms, with his secrets intact – suggests that Lyndon Johnson should be viewed as the prime suspect in “having Kennedy liquidated.” It seems clear that Hunt, age 88, was still engaged in the business of drawing attention away from the massive evidence connecting CIA to the assassination. Lyndon Johnson, the direct beneficiary of the assassination, seemed to Hunt a likely target.

Hunt was far too clever to regurgitate J. Edgar Hoover’s disinformation that the Mafia planned and then covered up this crime. His obvious intention was to provide a false sponsor, someone other than the Agency. Even Hunt didn’t bother to revive the fantasy that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, or acted at all, in the assassination.

The young Warren Commission lawyers could find no motive for Oswald’s shooting of President Kennedy, even as they blamed him. You might well ask, what, then, was the CIA’s motive? Return to 1963 and the pressure by both the CIA’s clandestine service and the Pentagon for a full-scale invasion of Cuba. President Kennedy opposed an American invasion of Cuba as not in the national interest, just as he had no intention of embedding us in the quagmire of a ground war in Vietnam. That was the first Texas President who profited from John F. Kennedy’s murder, and who did the bidding of those forces John Kennedy opposed.

Look at Richard Reeves’ biography quoting President Kennedy’s fury at the sabotage of his presidency by the CIA. In the one true political moment in “The Good Shepherd,” Kennedy threatens to splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and cast them to the winds. “I’ll get those CIA bastards if it’s the last thing I do,” Kennedy said, famously, underestimating his adversaries. The CIA’s “Executive Action” (read murder) capability was in place by 1963. CIA had already been involved in the murder and/or attempted murders of various heads of state, efforts outlined in detail in the papers of the Church Committee.

Our mainstream press manages to avoid confronting those documents, writing about CIA as if it had no history, but was born in the aftermath of 9/11. They are particularly unwilling to connect our present political morass to past events. Foreign reporters have not been similarly restrained. On a recent fifteen minute magazine segment on BBC-2 this past November, came an extraordinary photograph connecting the assassination of John and Robert Kennedy. (You won’t find this information in that other Kennedy movie of this season, “Bobby”).

That press photograph was taken at the Ambassador Hotel on the evening of the assassination of Robert Kennedy where a crowd had gathered to celebrate his victory in the California primary. Pictured standing together were three high level CIA operatives. One was Gordon Campbell, the second in command at JMWAVE, the big CIA station in Miami, from which emanated plans for the sabotage of Cuba and the assassination of Fidel Castro.

With Campbell was a long-time CIA operative named David Sanchez Morales, who worked with CIA propaganda expert David Atlee Phillips, a figure I discuss at length in “A Farewell To Justice.” Morales had assisted Phillips in the 1954 coup against President Arbenz in Guatemala. Morales’ lawyer, Robert J. Walton, had quoted his client to the government investigator in Miami, Gaeton Fonzi: “I was in Dallas when we got the son of a bitch, and I was in Los Angeles when we got the little bastard.”

Morales was also close to a CIA operative named Felix Rodriguez, famously present at the murder of Che Guevara in Bolivia, so that he came away with Guevara’s wristwatch. Rodriguez was so close to George H. W. Bush that he included photographs with the Bushes in his autobiography. (Present in Dallas that November morning of the 22 nd were not only George H. W. Bush, shortly to depart for Tyler, then return that afternoon to Dallas, but also Richard Nixon. Neither Bush nor Nixon, of course, staged the shooting itself. But it does seem odd that they were in Dallas along with David Atlee Phillips.

The third unlikely well-wisher of Robert Kennedy in this trio was CIA psychological warfare specialist, George Joannides. Joannides was CIA handler in Miami for an anti-Castro group called DRE (Directorio Revolucionario Estudantil). Lee Oswald’s adversary in his street scuffle in New Orleans was a man named Carlos Bringuier, who claimed to be the DRE representative in New Orleans. Both were arrested. All trails lead to Lee Harvey Oswald.

That street fight was clearly staged, as I show in my book. I also discovered what Oswald actually said to Lieutenant Francis Martello, and which Martello chose not to share with the Warren Commission: “Call the FBI. Tell them you have Lee Oswald in custody.” Yet another recently declassified FBI document, again, once marked “Secret,” reveals information given to the Bureau by a CIA officer. Dated 11/23/63, it confirms that Oswald was indeed a shared agent of both agencies.

It may be (here I’ll speculate, I hope for the last time), that the street fight on Canal Street that established Oswald as pro-Castro, purveyor of leaflets for “Fair Play For Cuba,” was a propaganda victory by Joannides, whose specialty was psychological warfare. Five years later, there Joannides apparently stands, awaiting the impending murder of Robert F. Kennedy. The BBC documentarian, Shane O’Sullivan, tells me that he plans to release a full-length film on the anniversary of Robert Kennedy’s assassination in June. I hope he has added further identifications to that photograph. I’ll just add that there was a complete blackout in the U.S. media of O’Sullivan’s BBC segment. On the website of the London GUARDIAN newspaper, you can find a report entitled, “Did The CIA Kill Bobby Kennedy?”

I’m sure many in this audience are aware of the third recent moment at which the Kennedy assassination has surfaced. There are a few scant degrees of separation between

1. the two Bush presidents.

2. the role of the CIA in the Kennedy assassination.

3. Lee Harvey Oswald, the CIA asset.

This surprising invocation of the Kennedy assassination occurred on January 2 nd at the funeral of President Gerald Ford, the last surviving member of the Warren Commission. I’ll read this extraordinary revealing paragraph from George H. W. Bush’s eulogy for those who missed it:

“After a deluded gunman assassinated President Kennedy, our nation turned to Gerald Ford and a select handful of others to make sense of that madness – and a conspiracy theorist can say what they will – but the Warren Commission report will always have the final definitive say on this matter. Why ? Because Gerry Ford put his name on it and Gerry Ford’s word was always good.”

Allow me to add that when amendments were offered to the Freedom of Information Act, enlarging public access to affairs of state, Gerald Ford vetoed the bill, only for Congress to override his veto. Ford was no more a supporter of the truth than Mr. Bush’s son. George H. W. Bush’s own word was not always so good either. There are powerful reasons why George H. W. Bush was motivated to invoke the Warren Report, even, amazingly, to refer to a “conspiracy theorist,” as if that designation would at once banish some truths he does not want available. Only two degrees of separation separate George H. W. Bush from Oswald himself.

At his 1976 confirmation hearings for the post of Director of Central Intelligence, a post into which he was elevated by Gerald Ford, Bush denied that he had any prior connection to the CIA. This was a falsehood. At the National Archives, and on the Internet, is a CIA document directed to its clandestine service (Record Number 104-10310-10271) that reveals that when, in the 1950s, Bush founded Zapata Oil, his partner was one Thomas J. Devine, who was not only an oil wildcatter, but a long-time CIA staff employee. Thomas Devine’s name does not appear in the original papers of Zapata, but it does in the company Bush created shortly thereafter as “Zapata Offshore.”

This CIA document reveals that Thomas Devine had informed George Bush of a CIA project with the cryptonym WUBRINY/LPDICTUM. It involved CIA proprietary commercial operations in foreign countries. By 1963, Devine had become not a former CIA employee, but ‘a cleared and witting contact” in the investment banking firm which managed the proprietary corporation WUSALINE. WUBRINY involved Haitian operations, in which, the documents reveal, a participant was George de Mohrenshildt, the Dallas CIA hander of – Lee Oswald.

In late April 1963, in Haiti, de Mohrenshildt appeared to discuss investment possibilities. The CIA officer, the author of the document, named only as WUBRINY/1, had no idea of de Mohrenshildt’s already long-standing CIA connections, and in particular his role in shepherding Oswald in Dallas. De Mohrenshildt could safely pursue CIA interests in Haiti because it was that month, April 1963, that Lee Oswald, his charge, moved from Texas to New Orleans, on the orders of the CIA, with Oswald reporting to – Hunter Leake.

A May 22, 1963 CIA document has de Mohrenshildt admitting he had “obtained some Texas financial backing” and had visited interested people In Washington regarding the candidacy of one M. Clemard Joseph Charles for President of Haiti, “as soon as Duvalier can be gotten out.” So we are reminded of CIA’s efforts to influence the political configurations of other countries – an obvious example is CIA’s obliging British Petroleum – for a price – and overthrowing Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran, replacing him with the Shah.

To summarize: George Bush is linked in April 1963, seven months before the Kennedy assassination, to a CIA project involving Lee Oswald’s handler, Count Sergei Georges de Mohrenshildt through his own CIA partner, Thomas Devine. Bush and Devine later traveled to Vietnam together, a trip for which the Department of Defense issued Devine an interim “Top Secret” clearance. No surprise there: Devine obviously had never left the Agency.

On the day Gaeton Fonzi was to interview de Mohrenshildt for the House Select Committee on Assassinations, de Mohrenshildt was shot, his death ruled a suicide. Fonzi’s card was in his pocket. Let me refer you as well to Joseph McBride’s “Nation” magazine article where he exposed how George H. W. Bush was debriefed by the FBI about the Kennedy assassination on November 23 rd . The inadvertently released document refers to “Mr. George Bush of the Central Intelligence Agency.” It was a different George Bush, George William Bush, who worked for the Agency, Bush claimed. But it wasn’t so. George William came forward to say he was never debriefed by anyone.

Every road leads to the assassination of President Kennedy. What should also give us pause is that these documents about ZapataOffshore, which had offices on several continents, but never did much business, though the Offshore company most likely has received a suspicion business cash advance or two, as the CENTRO MONDIALE COMERCIALE in Rome, on whose board of director’s Garrison suspect Clay Shaw served, did little trade, and George Bush’s CIA partner, were released under the JFK Act as Kennedy assassination documents. So it is the Agency itself, not the dreaded “conspiracy theorists,” that links George H. W. Bush with the Kennedy assassination. Or: it’s the government that is the ultimate “conspiracy theorist.”

It is the task of the historian to examine on whose behalf the CIA murdered President Kennedy. Although President Kennedy threatened the very existence of the Agency, and had begun to reduce its powers, and to restrict the authority of the Director of Central Intelligence, the motive goes beyond that. When we examine who benefited from the assassination, whose interests were served, despite the latest puff of smoke blown by E. Howard Hunt, we also go beyond the first Texas president, Lyndon Johnson, to the second and third Texas Presidents. Certain Texas businesses, among them Halliburton, of course, and then independent Brown and Root, were not doing particularly well in 1962 and 1963.

Among those who benefited immediately from the removal of President Kennedy and the ascendancy of Lyndon Johnson was a fabulously successful wildcatter named David Harold, also known as D.H. for “dry hole” Byrd. (Not all the holes, of course, were dry). Byrd’s company LTV was about to go under. In early November, 1963, Byrd and a partner, James Ling, bought a sizable amount of outstanding LTV stock. Then LTV received the first defense contract from the Pentagon – for a fighter plane – accompanying the escalation of the war in Vietnam that was the direct result of the Kennedy assassination. Although that airplane was not ultimately built, LTV stock soared. As Byrd writes in his autobiography, “I’ve run fifty-two companies, many of them in no way connected with oil.” The man who brought George H. W. Bush west from Connecticut to Texas was named Neil Mallon, another of Byrd’s partners.

Other Texas companies saved by the Vietnam War were Halliburton and Brown and Root, which Halliburton had purchased in – 1962. The Browns, even Herman, who began by hating Lyndon’s New Deal tendencies, were Johnson’s primary financial benefactors, as Robert Caro has shown. It was through my own research into Jim Garrison’s New Orleans investigation that I found a 1967 CIA document revealing that George Brown was a CIA asset, and none of the historians have noticed that.

Other CIA documents list the executives of Texas petroleum companies who were CIA assets. The list is considerable. Although these documents were made available under the JFK Act, as with the story of George H. W. Bush and his CIA partner, the Kennedy assassination is not mentioned.

From the government’s own records, we find connected:

(1) the CIA angry about the Bay of Pigs, that CIA-sponsored invasion of Cuba whose code name, “Zapata,” returns us to George H. W. Bush and his CIA partner, Devine

(2) the military with its Vietnam defense contracts, and

(3) the Texas Presidents.

“Dry Hole” Byrd just happened to own the Texas School Book Depository, from which someone, not Lee Oswald, but someone, fired at the President on November 22 nd. Six weeks after the assassination of President Kennedy, when Byrd wanted a souvenir of this historical building, he chose the South Westernmost window of the sixth floor, not the window from which Oswald purportedly fired with his creaky rifle with its loose telescopic sight, that was the Southeast. No, Byrd took the window from which a Dealey Plaza witness and his wife told the Warren Commission they saw a man with a gun. It seems D. H. Byrd knew exactly which window was the souvenir, and, by inference, that Oswald was no shooter.

To contemplate the political context of the assassination, as Governor Carlson of Minnesota suggested that we do, we note that the President was shot down in front of a building owned by a Texas defense contractor who won the first defense contract of the escalated Vietnam War, an escalation possible only with the removal of President Kennedy. D. H. Byrd was a founding member of the Civil Air Patrol, that group which boasted a group in New Orleans led by one David Ferrie, Jim Garrison’s chief suspect, in which Lee Oswald participated as a teenager. Chronicling the CIA’s cover-up of the assassination, we must acknowledge that the Agency did not act in the assassination entirely on its own behalf.

I believe we can trace to that November day in 1963 an anarchism not visible in American society since the 19 th century when, rebelling against Mexico, for a time Texas operated without a government. It was that chaotic lawless moment in Texan history that seems to have been revisited upon us. Following the Patriot Act, and the Military Commissions Act, eroding the right to habeas corpus, 2006 closed with a Postal Reform Bill. This bill, passed by Congress, insisted that the government needed a warrant to open people’s mail. President Bush’s “signing statement,” asserting his personal interpretation of the law, insisted that under “exigent circumstances,” the President can, in fact, open mail “otherwise sealed against inspection” without a warrant.

This particular engorgement of Presidential power recalls to us once more “The Good Shepherd” and James Angleton. A particular Angleton project was the CIA’s opening of the mail of American citizens. During the first half of 1960, at least two hundred people were on the CIA’s list world-wide to have their mail opened. Lee Harvey Oswald’s name was among them.

“A Farewell to Justice” was published a year ago. In the intervening time, new documents have emerged that corroborate my view that the Central Intelligence Agency planned, supervised and implemented the assassination of President Kennedy. Those who claim that we will never know what happened to President Kennedy would do well to spend some time at the National Archives.

Among the lessons Philip Zelikow, former Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission learned, he admitted on National Public Radio, was that he would not make the same mistake the Warren Commission did. He would not make the papers of the 9/11 Commission available to the public. In this era of authoritarian government secrecy – witness today’s “New York Times” editorial on how the Department of Justice, against the Constitution is refusing to make public its briefs in the case involving illegal government surveillance – we owe also a debt of gratitude to the Congress of the early 1990s for passing the JFK Act. My op ed piece, “9/11 and 11/22,” remains on my web site, . Zelikow, who resigned this past November from the staff of Condeleeza Rice, was the person assigned to supervise the transcription of President Kennedy’s office tapes, suggesting we had better cast a critical eye on those transcriptions.

CIA’s Counter Intelligence component always claimed that Oswald was never debriefed after his return from the Soviet Union. Yet in a CIA document released in December 2005 a person who fits the precise description of Oswald – it could be no one else – was debriefed in New York, where Oswald on his return from the Soviet Union did disembark. This man had reported to the CIA details about the radio factory where he worked in Minsk.

“A Farewell to Justice” chronicles how “Fair Play For Cuba,” for which Oswald handed out leaflets in New Orleans, was heavily infiltrated by CIA through its master propagandist, David Atlee Phillips. New documents confirm CIA’s involvement. The co-director of Fair Play, Richard Gibson, it turns out, had a PRQ from the CIA, indicating his employment with them.

Also released was a July 1962 letter where Gibson requests that the CIA employ him. Another “Secret” CIA document lists five CIA cables from “sensitive source” in Operations, regarding Gibson’s connections with Lee Harvey Oswald, whom Gibson refers to, coyly, as “Lee Bowmont.” When the Swiss Federal Police wiretapped Gibson’s hotel room, and provided the FBI with transcripts of these “overhears,” Gibson was not so coy. He referred to “Oswald” as “Oswald.”

Part III:

As I wrote “A Farewell to Justice,” I had to decide not only what documents like these meant, but which witnesses were credible. I borrowed from lawyers: a witness gained in credibility to the degree that he spoke against his own interest. If he would gain nothing from talking to me, but might even damage himself, I took him seriously. If notoriety was anathema to the person, and he had demonstrated that, I took him more seriously.

I chose to believe a man named Thomas Edward Beckham, whom I discuss in the book as an alternative patsy. Beckham told me that Oliver Stone’s staff had managed to find his cell phone number and call him. He denied his identity. “I don’t know anyone by that name, ma’am,” Beckham told the caller. Stone paid his witnesses and consultants, so Beckham could have enjoyed both fame and fortune should he have signed on to the film, “JFK.”

Beckham also took the risk of my discovering that not only had he been a con man over the years – it was what saved his life because his scams rendered him impeachable – but he continued in certain dubious practices while he was talking to me. Con men are no more or less likely to tell the truth than white collar ENRON types. As I learned during the process of writing a biography of Lillian Hellman, liars don’t always lie.

In 1963 in New Orleans, Beckham was a young man tapped by the CIA to be trained at a Virginia facility. He was to be an alternative patsy and take the blame for the assassination should Oswald vanish into the night.

Tom Beckham was not informed of the purpose of his CIA training that spring of 1963. The same was true for Lee Oswald, who was instructed by his New Orleans CIA handlers, David Ferrie, and a CIA operative named Clay Shaw, the managing director of the International Trade Mart. Oswald was ordered to apply for a job at the East Louisiana State Hospital at Jackson. Ferrie and Shaw drove Oswald up to Jackson from New Orleans.

The hospital application form inquired whether you were a registered voter in East Feliciana Parish. Ferrie and Shaw then drove Oswald to Clinton, the county seat, to register Oswald to vote in order to facilitate his being hired by a mental hospital, a good place from which a crazed lone assassin might escape only to wind up arrested in Dallas. No operation is without glitches. How could Ferrie and Shaw imagine that on the very day they were taking Oswald to register, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) would be holding a huge voter registration drive?

The whole town became witnesses to Oswald being in the company of those two CIA operatives. A good number of people, both African American and Caucasian, came forward to tell what they had seen. Oswald, in fact, did register. Jim Garrison’s investigators, Anne Dischler and Francis Fruge, got to Clinton and discovered that fact. The following day the entire registration book at Clinton had disappeared without a trace.

Arrested by Jim Garrison, Clay Shaw denied he knew David Ferrie, no matter that the whole town saw them together – he counted on the CIA to protect him. Yet I was able to find a witness to a loan document Ferrie had taken out so that he could rent an airplane to fly to Dallas the week before the assassination. Ferrie later told both the FBI and the Secret Service that he hadn’t been in Dallas for eight to ten years, clearly a lie. The co-signer of that note was…Clay Shaw! Jim Garrison, defamed over the years, was prescient and right and is owed a posthumous apology.

Thomas Edward Beckham also handed me the original of a government document describing his CIA training and why CIA had concluded he could be useful to them. This document had been given to him years earlier by his CIA handler, a man named Fred Lee Crisman, as an explanation of how CIA had utilized him. Its letterhead is not “CIA,” but “UNITED STATES ARMY AIR DEFENSE COMMAND” out of Colorado Springs, and, yes, such an outfit does exist.

Beckham told me that his original handler in New Orleans was a strange character named Jack Martin. You don’t find identity cards confirming that someone is CIA, just as you didn’t find Communist Party membership cards. Jim Garrison’s investigation inspired CIA to conduct a trace search on Jack Martin, only for them to decide that their employee “Joseph John Martin” was not the New Orleans Jack Martin, although the documents reveal a bushel of similarities between the two. One CIA document refers to the name “Jack Martin” as “generic,” suggesting that as such the name “Jack Martin” was in use by CIA.

What does all this mean? This past fall, I hired an attorney to request of the CIA all its records on this New Orleans Jack Martin, particularly his Security file, a suit that is still in progress. We requested all records related to Jack S. Martin, aka Jack Martin, aka John J. Martin, aka Jack M. Martin, aka Lawrence J. Martin, aka John M. Martin, aka Edward Suggs, as well as Joseph James Martin. For good measure, we threw in Beckham’s other CIA handler, Fred Lee Crisman.

CIA acknowledged that they had three separate “Jack Martin” files, representing three different people, all with different middle initials. Each bore an AINS or “Agency Identification Number,” which is used when you want to claim later that the person never “worked” for the Agency. According to CIA, there was no significance to an AIN, unlike EINs, which are rock-solid employees or contractors.

Jack Martin in New Orleans in one document describes as CIA assets people who “were either crazy, ex-convicts, jail-birds, or even worse.” These categories apply both to himself and to Beckham. Of the three Martins the Agency acknowledges, CIA omits its openly acknowledged Joseph James as its former employee. Meanwhile Jack Martin of New Orleans used terminology like “operational penetration of these groups” and “legitimate front, such as an intelligence unit, for its cover,” clearly suggesting his intelligence background.

In the batch of CIA documents came an interesting letter. It demonstrates, and is the only internal document to do so, that Fred Lee Crisman, Beckham’s lifetime handler, was, indeed CIA. This letter refers to “documents” identifying Crisman’s Agency connections obtained by the sender, whose name is obliterated. This anonymous individual worked for a section of the Agency different from Crisman’s. He managed to obtain Crisman’s file through his own internal connections.

Now he urges that it be made known that Crisman served “only a part of the CIA” and that Crisman’s Agency activities even be made public. The document is dated September 13, 1969. It reveals internal conflict within the CIA that matches President Kennedy’s own battle with the clandestine service. So not everyone knew about the utilization of Oswald, or Beckham; not every component was in on the plot to murder President Kennedy.

Without subpoena power, or the power to charge someone with perjury, this research is expensive and exhausting. Results, when they come, are often as fragmentary as this extraordinary letter about Fred Lee Crisman. Meanwhile every few years a CIA inspired book appears insisting that it was the Mafia that accomplished this murder, no matter that they could never have engineered the massive cover-up, the better that the public throw up its collective hands and conclude that we will never know the truth.

The Warren Commission chose not to investigate a visit to an anti-Castro Cuban activist named Sylvia Odio in late September 1963 in Dallas by Oswald and two Cubans. As her Warren Commission testimony reveals, a day or so later, one of those Cubans telephoned Mrs. Odio to say that “Leon Oswald” had talked about how someone should kill President Kennedy over how he betrayed the Bay of Pigs operation.

“A Farewell to Justice” identified those Cubans for the first time. One was Angelo Murgado, who worked closely with Bobby Kennedy in his anti-Castro operations on which he collaborated with General Edward Lansdale. The other was a fellow veteran of the Bay of Pigs, the aforementioned Bernardo de Torres, the man who telephoned Mrs. Odio implicating Lee Oswald.

My primary source was Mr. Murgado, who, when he became an American citizen, he told me, changed his name to “Angelo Kennedy” in homage to Bobby Kennedy, a person he continues to admire. After the President was assassinated, and their relationship came to a close, Robert Kennedy asked Mr. Murgado if he needed anything. Mr. Murgado said “no.” He did not want to profit from political work in which he believed. He came away poor.

This enhanced his credibility for me. I believed Angelo Kennedy because he sought no notoriety, had never talked about the Odio incident before, did not court “assassination buffs,” and spoke against his own interest. These were painful memories. On November 22 nd , Mr. Murgado told me, he vomited when he realized that the murderer of President Kennedy, as far as he knew, was the man he met at Sylvia Odio’s. Ostensibly that man, called “Oswald,” was just another volunteer in their anti-Castro operations.

The implications of this evidence, which I published for the first time, are enormous. Bernardo de Torres, the CIA releases reveal, was a CIA operative. If he was involved in framing Oswald, it was on behalf of the CIA. A multitude of sources place de Torres as Oswald’s Dallas CIA hander, keeping Oswald under constant surveillance.

It was deeply moving to watch on CNN earlier this month Senator Edward Kennedy compare the Iraq War with Vietnam during his speech at the National Press Club. It was the day before George Bush’s Iraq troop acceleration, or “surge,” was announced. Kennedy read out quotations about “staying the course” and the need for “more people,” and then told the audience, no, this was not George Bush speaking. It was Lyndon Johnson, forty years ago. The spirit of John F. Kennedy hovered near.

It was a great disappointment to New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison that Robert Kennedy did not assist him in his investigation. Instead, Robert Kennedy actively attempted to thwart his efforts. He sent Walter Sheridan, his “confidential assistant,” Sheridan’s job description, to New Orleans to discredit Garrison. As a historian of Jim Garrison’s investigation, I too have pondered why Bobby Kennedy remained aloof, and I have concluded that it could only have been because he did not want his own part in the assassination attempts on the life of Fidel Castro, during which Oswald came to his attention, to emerge.

I located a document from the CIA’s own Secret History, in which the CIA’s History Staff is interviewing a CIA officer named Sam Halpern. Halpern reveals his own incredulity that Bobby Kennedy should be working with the Mafia in attempts on the life of Castro at the very same time that he was trying to send other Mafia figures to jail. A CIA operative named Charley Ford, alias Charley Fiscalini, was assigned by Bobby Kennedy to make contact with Mafia types in this country and Canada for the purpose of murdering Castro.

To all this, Charley Ford testified under oath before the Church Committee. That Bobby Kennedy repeatedly attempted to enlist anti-Castro Cubans for these assassination attempts against Castro I learned first-hand from Isidro Borja, of the DRE. “I know Bobby Kennedy was behind it,” he told me indignantly, “because his people approached ME!” Borja told me Bobby’s people did succeed in recruiting his good friend Rafael Quintero Ibaria, also known as “Chi Chi.”

Even after “A Farewell to Justice” was published, I continued to attempt to confirm a lead I was given that Robert Kennedy gave a talk at Homestead Air Force base in Florida to a group of anti-Castro people, with Lee Oswald supposedly in the crowd. It was summer of 1963. I was able to confirm that Oswald was in Miami at the time. A fellow writer claimed he had a source, an aging documentary filmmaker, to whom Robert Kennedy personally revealed that when he spoke at Homestead Air Force base, Oswald in the audience. When I asked the writer to return to the source, he did, only for the source to become evasive.

To give you an idea of how difficult this work is, to confirm this information, if it was information, I interviewed a slew of documentary filmmakers. I located Robert Kennedy associates: John Nolan; Peter Edelman; John Seigenthaler; press secretaries Frank Mankiewicz and Ed Guthman; Robert Kennedy’s daughter, Kathleen; his cousin Joey Gargan; and George Stevens, Jr.

I moved on to soldiers of fortune like Ed Kolby, whose name appears in Lee Oswald’s address book; Mr. Borja; and a mercenary living among Cuban exiles in Australia named James Richards. Richards told me that a group of Cubans who feared they might be implicated in the assassination had migrated to Australia. Richards added that Bernardo de Torres admitted to him that he had been in Dallas on the day of the assassination. Perhaps the story about Homestead had been invented by someone who knew Robert Kennedy was aware of Oswald (this fact I confirmed with Angelo Kennedy), to underline the point.

John Seigenthaler suggested that I consult the appointment books of Robert Kennedy’s secretary, Angie Novello, for 1963. These reside at the Kennedy Library. When I did, I was informed that the appointment book for 1963 was missing. In no uncertain terms, I was told not to inquire again. “The curators have no idea as to its disposition,” the librarian told me.

There is another unanswered question that has bedeviled me. In April of 1963, Lee Oswald took shots at General Edwin Walker in Dallas. Walker believed to his dying day that the Department of Justice sent word to the Dallas police not to pursue Oswald “for reasons of state.” The relevant police file, #F48156, is missing from the Dallas police files, like the 1963 appointment book of Robert Kennedy.

By the mid 1970s, the FBI was still instructing Dallas police Chief Jesse Curry to remain silent about the “handling” of the Oswald evidence. Dutifully, Curry denied he had ever heard of Oswald before the assassination. The missing document purportedly connects Oswald with his own assassin, Jack Ruby, an association made to seem outlandish by the Warren Commission, except that I discovered for “A Farewell to Justice” that Ruby and Oswald were very well known to each other.

The seeming Justice Department directive, alternately described as a CIA order transmitted by the Justice Department, demanding that Oswald be left alone, returns us to the story of poor Otto Otepka, and his being fired from his high position in State Department security. Mr. Otepka told me he believed Walter Sheridan (he kept a huge file on Sheridan at his home) and Bobby Kennedy were behind his being hounded from his job, that Sheridan was behind that theft of the defector files from his office safe. Who, in a very high place, because it wasn’t easy to break into those high risk files, was protecting Oswald, and why ?

What sounded alarms in all kinds of places was Mr. Otepka’s innocent request of the CIA that they check into Oswald, a routine request he made when the name of someone he was investigating raised questions. The fact that, before the assassination of President Kennedy, Oswald was known to Robert Kennedy, as he was to CIA, the FBI, and Customs, accounts in no small measure for why Robert Kennedy remained silent about who was responsible for his brother’s death. Kennedy loyalists, Ted Sorensen and Arthur Schlesinger, have been similarly silent. It has been an anomaly of the Kennedy assassination that, to borrow the terminology of Cormac McCarthy’s latest novel, “The Road,” both the “good guys” and the “bad guys” have conspired to keep the truth from us.

I’ll close with the quotation from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” engraved on the National Archives building in Washington, D.C. It asks that we connect the murder of President Kennedy, and the motives for that crime, with the increasingly unrecognizable America in which we find ourselves living today:

“The past is prologue.”

Joan Mellen

Substantially updated (100 new pages) with a section of CIA documents in a new appendix.
The text has also been revised.


Joan MellenJOAN MELLEN is the bestselling author of twenty books, including A Farewell to Justice, her biographical study of Jim Garrison’s New Orleans investigation of the Kennedy assassination. She has written for a variety of publications, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Baltimore Sun. Mellen is a professor of English and creative writing at Temple University in Philadelphia.

In 2004, she was awarded one of Temple University's coveted “Great Teacher” awards for outstanding achievement, in particular in the graduate program in creative writing.

Joan Mellen lives in Pennington, New Jersey.


Faustian Bargains

The Great Game In Cuba

The Great Game in Cuba: How the CIA Sabotaged Its Own Plot to Unseat Fidel Castro (Hardcover)


Our Man in Haiti: George de Mohrenschildt and the CIA in the Nightmare Republic (Paperback)


A Farewell to Justice: Jim Garrison, JFK's Assassination, and the Case That Should Have Changed History (Paperback)

Jim Garrison: His Life and Times, The Early Years (Paperback)


“Faustian Bargains” Review: American History Magazine
Joan Mellen Discusses New Book “Faustian Bargains” at “November In Dallas”
Review of “Faustian Bargains” by James DiEugenio
Praise for “Faustian Bargains” at Amazon
Interview on Bob Wilson’s ANTENNAE RADIO September 19, 2016

"The Power Hour"

Genesis Communications Network
Thursday, March 5, 2015



This unforgettable event features 'The Garrison Tapes'...the definitive documentary on the horror that changed America and the world...followed by a fascinating panel of the most knowledgeable, brilliant writers in the field: Jim Marrs, Joan Mellen and Dick Russell. Along with Host and Garrison film executive producer, John Barbour.
Last edited by Bruce Patrick Brychek on Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:41 am, edited 20 times in total.
Bruce Patrick Brychek
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Re: THE REMOVAL OF JFK # 1 - # 41:

Postby Bruce Patrick Brychek » Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:26 am





James Jesus Angleton In the 1960's was known around Langley by his CIA code name: Kingfisher:

It’s probably not a good idea to take on an exalted title like that unless you have some real power to wield and as the director of counterintelligence, Angleton was responsible for a lot of the dirty tricks at CIA during his reign. He’s become the subject of dozens of books and movies, most recently The Good Shepherd, although his multiple connections to the JFK hit never seem to surface in the mainstream media.

Angleton got his powerful post after serving as the Vatican’s OSS liaison during WWII, working closely with Allen Dulles to shield important Nazis who were given new jobs working for US interests after the war. According to Angleton, before getting his promotion, he had to promise Dulles never to put him or any of his Wall Street-connected cronies on lie detectors in order to question them about financial relations with Germany during the war. You see, many US corporations employed neutral countries to trade with the enemy, including Standard Oil, a company owned by Dulles’ cousin by marriage David Rockefeller. If you want to get really rich during war, sell to both sides.

Not only did Angleton remain in charge of the important CIA-Vatican connection, he also became the strategic CIA link to Israel and their efficient Mossad, an intelligence agency not hampered by red tape.

The sad reality is that after he got his post, Angleton was swiftly compromised by British double agent Kim Philby, who gleaned many secrets before departing back to England. Philby had spent many nights plying the chain-smoking Angleton with liquor so they could talk shop. The main subject of conversation was the suspected mole inside British intelligence who kept the KGB one step ahead of Angleton, and who might that mole be ? Before long, a nest of Soviet spies (the Cambridge 5) was uncovered and a few revealed, although Philby was exonerated and Victor Rothschild never seriously investigated. Philby began working as a journalist covering the Middle East, while secretly reporting to MI6. But in 1961, Anatoliy Golitsyn, a KGB major, defected to the West and established his bona fides by offering up Philby as KGB and part of the Cambridge ring that had been operating since before WWII.

CIA spook William Buckley would write the first major book on how Angleton went crazy after Philby was unmasked. Buckley is Skull & Bones and card carrying member of the oligarchy, just like Angleton, only maybe a little higher on the pecking order. But Golitsyn was a fake defector seeding disinfo. His major thrust was that many highly placed people in Western power were really KGB, just like Philby. Golitsyn even claimed British Prime Minister Harold Wilson was a KGB spy. And he also claimed there was another KGB spy was very high up in the US government as well. Obviously, these rabbit holes served mostly to amp up Angleton’s paranoia. He’d spend the next few years hunting for an imaginary highly-placed mole in Washington DC, and at one point accused just about everyone in power. Did Golitsuyn also finger JFK as well as Wilson? I think this seems pretty likely. Strangely, Golitsyn became an Honorary Commander of the British Empire. And what do you think would have happened if Angleton had written a report saying JFK was a Soviet spy? Would that have justified a national security project to remove JFK from power ?

But after JFK was assassinated, along came a real Soviet defector name Yuri Nosenko, who arrived in 1964. Since Nosenko did not concur with much of anything Golitsyn had been saying, and, in fact, was more highly situated and knew more than Golitsyn, Nosenko was held prisoner for four years and tortured continuously and fed LSD and other drugs in an attempt to break him down. And the entire time Angleton kept telling everyone Nosenko was a fake whose only mission was to discredit Golitsyn.

In retrospect Angleton seems borderline incompetent since he’d been played by Philby and Golitsyn. One wonders how Angleton kept his job so long, although keep in mind his files were probably more explosive than J. Edgar Hoover’s.

And then, of course, there’s Angleton’s vast connections to the JFK assassination cover-up. It’s no accident Angleton was named CIA liason with the Warren Commission and swiftly replaced John Whitten as official CIA investigator of the incident. Moves like that are made when a fox is needed to watch the hen house.

The dead bodies piled up pretty quick around Angleton, especially his wife’s best friend Mary Meyer and his former friend Win Scott, the Mexico City CIA station chief who launched his own private investigation into JFK’s assassination, something Angleton seemed desperate to shut down before it got started.

Since the assassination was organized through the CIA’s JM/WAVE station and William Harvey played a key role, it’s critical to consider Angleton’s role in shielding Harvey after JFK ordered him fired. Angleton moved Harvey to Rome and then likely brought him back for the operation. Ted Shackley was running JM/WAVE so he had to know what was going on, as did Richard Helms obviously because he went on to become CIA director. In fact, if you want to know who was involved in some aspect of this coup, just consider who assumes great power in later years. Certainly the Bush family could owe a portion of its rise to prominence through a hidden connection to the coup. Shackley went on to run the Phoenix program in Vietnam with William Colby and that became the largest CIA assassination program in history. I talked to one of the key players involved a few years ago, and he told me that he’d gone back to Vietnam after the war only to discover the man in charge of providing many of the names of those who needed to be assassinated turned out to be a double agent. He later became an important figure in the Vietnamese government. If that’s true, then the people getting assassinated by Phoenix were probably just moderate tribal leaders because once you wipe out the true alphas of any tribe, it leaves the door open to put some corrupt stooges in their place.

Maybe if you connect enough of these dots you realize why the burnt-out shell called Communism was propped in place to justify those incredible military expenditures on both sides ? And why was it so easy for the CIA to whack their President but so impossible to whack Fidel Castro ? Since JFK and RFK started working for world peace in 1963, one wonders if they even understood the nature of the game they were involved in. You can pick either side of the managed dialectic, but peace is never an option when your nation is run by the National Security State.
Last edited by Bruce Patrick Brychek on Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:42 am, edited 20 times in total.
Bruce Patrick Brychek
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Re: THE REMOVAL OF JFK # 1 - # 41:

Postby Bruce Patrick Brychek » Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:10 pm



March 19, 1975
Washington, DC


I first met James Jesus Angleton in the dining room of the Madison Hotel in Washington. Several months earlier he had been fired as the chief of the counterintelligence staff at the CIA. On the phone, he insisted on a particular table in the corner for "security reasons."

I knew nothing then about his secret world of counterintelligence, but I thought he might be able to help with the book I was writing on Lee Harvey Oswald. The missing piece in Oswald's career was the nearly two years that he had spent in the Soviet Union before he returned to the United States and moved to Dallas. What had happened to Oswald during this period ? Had he had any connection with Soviet intelligence during this period ? Had the KGB sponsored his return to the U.S? Had he been given any mission ? The Warren Commission, which had been given the responsibility of investigating the assassination, had been unable to answer these question when it wrote its report in 1964.

I had completed six hour of interviews with Nosenko, but I found several of the assertions he made about the KGB's treatment of Oswald inconsistent with other evidence furnished the Warren Commission. To be sure, Jamie Jamieson, his CIA handler, had assured me that he was utterly reliable. Yet, I was not completely satisfied. For example, his insistence that the KGB had never contacted Oswald during his stay in the Soviet Union seemed implausible since Oswald had loudly advertised on his arrival that he had some secret information of special interest to the Soviet Union.

My doubts were further stirred by a lunch I had with a Soviet diplomat in Washington earlier that week. Igor Agou had informed me that my request for visa to go to Russia to find out about Oswald's stay there was unnecessary. "There is no need for you to go to Russia. The best source on Oswald's visit there is in America... Yuri Nosenko". I found it curious that the Soviet Embassy would recommend that I see a Soviet traitor: indeed, the same traitor the CIA had also recommended to me.

I then went back to see Jamieson. I asked him why the Warren Commission had not used this Nosenko as a witness. After all, his defection was known to the KGB, as was his access to the Oswald file. He could have filled an important gap.

He then told me, for the first time, that there had been some "minor problem" with Nosenko at the time. He assured me that now it was cleared up, which was why I was permitted to see Nosenko.

When I asked further about the nature of the "problem," he said that it was "too sensitive" to be discussed. He closed the issue by saying "in any case, it is not relevant to your book".

I decided that I needed to know more about Nosenko. Since current CIA officers wouldn't talk about the "problem," I began looking for ex-officers. Angleton fit the bill: he had been fired after the New York Times revealed that he had been involved in illegal counterintelligence operations in the United States.

Angleton arrived in a black homburg, looking like someone that central casting in Hollywood might have chosen for the part of a master spy. Even though he was six feet tall, he shuffled down the hall with a stoop that made him seem shorter— and older, He was ghostly-thin , with finely sculptured facial features set off by arched eyebrows. Throughout the evening, he drank vintage wine, chain-smoked Virginia Slims and coughed as if had consumption. A quarter of a century in counterintelligence had extracted some toll.

Angleton told me a little about his extraordinary life— the little he wanted me to know. He was born in 1917 in Idaho. During a punitive raid on Mexico the year before, his father, William Angleton, cavalry officer in the Idaho national guard, courted and married his mother, a seventeen year old Mexican beauty. The family then moved to Italy, where his father worked for the National Cash Register Company. Living in a magnificent villa overlooking Rome, he became quickly accustomed to the wines and cuisine of Europe. He attended school at Malvern, an elite public school in England. In 1937, with war tensions building in Europe, he returned to America and enrolled at Yale. While there, he founded and edited "Furioso", a quarterly devoted to original poetry. To write for it, he recruited a number of world renown poets including Ezra Pound, Archibald MacLeish, and E.E Cummings. After he graduated in 1941, he went on to Harvard Law School. A year later, both he and his father volunteered for service in the OSS -- America's socially exclusive espionage service (nicknamed Oh-So-Social"). His intelligence career began in England. He was one of a small grouped of promising recruits who were handpicked to learn the secrets of the most arcane part of espionage--counterintelligence. After being trained by English counterintelligence experts who had long experience in running double-agents in what became known as the Double Cross System, Angleton went on to Rome. As the war came to an end, he so excelled at finding his way through the labyrinth of Italian -- and Vatican-- politics, that he was singled out by the William Donovan, the Director of the OSS, as its "most professional counterintelligence officer."

When the OSS was dissolved in 1945, Angleton elected to remain in secret intelligence as part of a minute unit, called the "Central Intelligence Group." His job involved maintaining three by fives cards in the registry on possible recruits-- all that remained of the once sprawling memory of an all but defunct intelligence service. With the rapid deterioration of the Soviet-American relations, he assumed it was only a matter of time before Congress authorized a new espionage service. This came about in 1947 with the creation of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Angleton then, at the age of thirty, had come to so personify the art of intelligence that the CIA briefly considered using his profile as its official logo-- though the idea was rejected. He returned to Washington in 1949 to take over as the liaison with other allied intelligence services. Since the CIA still relied heavily on the British, French, German and other "partners" to do much of the dirty work in post-war espionage in Europe, such as setting up agent networks in Eastern Europe to spy on the Russians, he was in a very central position in the inner circle of western intelligence. It also brought him into direct contact with the leading anti-Soviet specialists in the European intelligence services, H.A.R. "Kim" Philby.

Angleton was far more circumspect about this dangerous liaison. Philby had arrived in Washington, a few months after Angleton's return, as the liaison between MI-6, the British secret service, and the CIA. He was, if anything, overqualified for the job. Clever and quick-witted, Philby had distinguished himself academically at Cambridge University, before joining British Intelligence in 1938. where he had a meteoric career.. After having worked against German diplomats in Spain-- and cultivating among them a number of sources for MI-6, he was transferred to the Anti-Soviet section, which targeted Soviet diplomats as prospects to be approached and, if possible, subverted into working for the British. Then, in 1944 , he was promoted to being the head of this section. As such, he directed all the operations aimed at recruiting Russians to spy on the Soviet Union-- which was still an ally of Britain and the United States. As the Cold War heated up, his section became the most important element in MI-6. His transfer to Washington thus was more than a routine assignment. British intelligence, with its half-century experience in espionage, was the senior partner in the Anglo-American alliance; and Philby's mission was to lay the ground work for future cooperation between it and the CIA in the secret war. As Angleton and other top CIA officials were told by the British, Philby was slated to head the British Secret Service on his return to London.

On this basis, Angleton entered into what he admitted was an eventually disastrous, working relationship with Philby. They had much in common. Philby's intelligence career had roughly paralleled his own. They both also had similar literary and epicurean tastes. About once a week, they dined together at Harvey's restaurant in downtown Washington. It was called "The Kim and Jim Show"; two dedicated intelligence officers, the reputed best and brightest of their services, discussing, as Angleton put it, "Cabbages and kings". ( Philby later noted that Angleton "He was one of the thinnest men I ever met, and one of the biggest eaters".)

Angleton couldn't help being impressed by Philby's cynical view of world politics or amused by his waspish humor. At these, and more formal meetings, Philby eventually got down to business. He presented long list of questions. As CIA liaison, it was Angleton's job to furnish it-- unless, as in a few rare cases, the information was specifically embargoed from the British. For some eighteen months, he responded to Philby's questions. These talked about everything from CIA plans for the recruitment of Russian agents to more general evaluations of secret information received from behind the Iron Curtain.

It emerged in the spring of 1951, however, that British intelligence was not the recipient-- or at least the exclusive recipient of this secret information. The CIA learned through a break of the Soviet diplomatic code that some of it was passing into the hands of Soviet intelligence. Two British diplomats, Guy Burgess, and Donald Maclean, were identified as possible sources for some of the data; both, however, defected to Moscow before the mystery could be clarified. U.S. intelligence remained convinced by the intercepted coded messages proved that there was a third man, and by August, the cross hairs of the investigation intersected on Kim Philby. It appeared virtually certain that at least some of what Angleton told Philby was getting to Moscow. Although there was no legally admissible evidence against Philby, caution was the better part of valor. Philby was recalled to London and secretly cashiered from MI-6. As Angleton observed, intelligence services do not "relish in exposing their own weaknesses."

He was fascinated with the irony that he unwittingly had been the CIA's liaison with Soviet intelligence. The problem was what he termed "the vulnerability of the intelligence-gathering system" itself. Espionage services, as he explained it, must depend ultimately for their prized commodity-- secrets-- on sources inside the enemy camp. Individuals, who are betraying their country, or, hidden microphones. And either can be detected by the enemy. If they are, information, true or false, can be placed in their path that will mislead.

From this perspective, and with the advantage of hindsight, Angleton set out to reconstruct Philby's career. He found that all the early successes against both the Germans and Russians in the 1940s came from Philby having available to him secret information unavailable to other British intelligence officers. He concluded that it had been probably provided by his contacts Soviet intelligence which had been stage-managing his rise in British intelligence. If so, his promotions first to being head of anti-Soviet operations and then Washington liaison were no accident, but part of a Soviet design. Moreover, if Philby could be moved into such positions by Soviet intelligence, so could other of their agents.

He spent the next three years working on the problem. The solution went beyond. ferreting out individual agents (who, he pointed out would then be replaced by unknown ones.) What was necessary was somehow thinking like the KGB and anticipating its targets. Angleton proposed creating a small "think tank" that would literally enter the mind of the enemy. It would piece together a mosaic from all the separate contacts that Soviet intelligence had with western intelligence services, a mosaic that would yield a picture of the enemy's thinking.

Allan Dulles, the Director of Central Intelligence in 1953, bought the idea. He attached the new unit, Angleton's "counterintelligence staff," directly to the office of the Deputy Director for Plans, who was in charge of running the clandestine side of the CIA.

Initially, according to Angleton, it was so secretive that not even executive officers in the CIA knew its true function. It had two main functions, liaison with other services, and record-keeping. Through the liaison function, Angleton held the strings in his hand that connected with other American intelligence services, including the FBI and National Security Agency, as well as with the British, French, Germans, Italian and Israelis intelligence. He was through these liaisons able to trade and exchange information, available to none of the other divisions of the CIA, about intelligence activities around the world. This network eventually gave Angleton great power within the CIA.

Angleton was also given the responsibility for keeping, and updating, the CIA's central registry of foreign agents. These sources had been recruited and operated by case officers in the six geographic divisions of the CIA. These were the Soviet Russia Division, the Western European Division, the Eastern European Division, The Middle East Division, The Far East Division and the Western Hemisphere Division. The Soviet Russia Division, which had over half the clandestine personnel of the CIA in it, would, for example, maintain contact with Soviet sources, mainly diplomats, military attaches and KGB officers, who supplied information to the CIA. The responsibility that Angleton assumed in updating their records in the registry was determining which of the double-agents were "bona fide" sources. If an agent was labeled "bona fide" it meant that he was under the control of the CIA (and therefore had not been detected by the KGB). If he did not receive this stamp from Angleton, it meant that the agent could still be under the control of the KGB. From this vantage point, Angleton played a key role in the spy war for the next two decades.

Since Angleton's counterintelligence staff had the responsibility for evaluating information supplied by KGB defectors, I assumed that he would be in a position to clarify what Nosenko had been telling me about Oswald and the KGB. I had no idea then that Nosenko had been the subject of a bitter ten-year debate inside the CIA that had destroyed a half-dozen careers, and which helped precipitate the downfall of Angleton himself. Not knowing the mare's-nest of issues surrounding this case, I expected a simple answer when I asked him "Was there any problem with Nosenko's veracity?"

Angleton answered, with a thin smile, suggesting a deliberate understatement, "Truth is always complicated when its comes to defectors". He then added that the case was "still sensitive" and he could not discuss it. With that, he abruptly cut off the conversation about Nosenko, and moved on to a subject of which I had no understanding at all: Orchids. Ordering another bottle of vintage wine, he went into elaborate detail about the pollinating conditions for Dendrobian, Phalaenopsis, Cattyleas, Cymbidian and other tribes of orchids, especially their deceptive qualities. He explained it had not been the fittest but the most deceptive orchid that had survived. The perpetuation of most species of orchids depend on their ability to misrepresent themselves to insects. Having no food to offer the insects, they had to deceive them into landing on them and carrying their pollen to another orchid in the tribe. Orchids are too dispersed in nature to depend on the wind to carry their pollen.

To accomplish this deception, orchids use color, shape and odor to mimic something that attracts insects to their pods of pollen. Some orchids play on the sexual instincts of insects. The tricocerus orchid, for example, so perfectly mimics in three-dimensional the underside of a female fly, downs to the hairs and smell, that they trigger mating response from passing male flies. Seeing what he thinks is a female fly, the male fly swoops down on the orchid, and attempts to have sex with it-- a process called psuedo-copulation. In doing so, the motion causes the fly to hit the pollen pod, which attaches itself to his underside. The fly thus becomes an unwitting carrier. When the fly then passes another tricocerus orchid, and repeat the frustrating process, it pollinate that orchid.

It gradually became clear that he was not only talking about an insect being manipulated through deception but an intelligence service being similarly duped, seduced, provoked, blinded, lured down false trails and used by an enemy.

The last waiter was waiting for us to leave. It was almost 1 a.m. Angleton seemed drunk and I was disappointed. I had learned more than I ever wanted to know about botany but nothing about the subject at hand. As he got up to leave, I made a final try to get back to Nosenko. "But can Nosenko be believed about the assassination ?" I asked.

He was silent for a long moment, obviously disappointed that I had not grasped the meaning of his orchid discourse. "I told you I could not discuss cases," he said. "But you might want to buy orchids for your greenhouse..."

"I don't have a greenhouse, but Nosenko..."

He cut me off. Why don't you come with me to Kensington Orchids next time I go."

January 26, 1976, Kensington, Maryland:

The high humidity in Kensington Orchid house so fogged my glasses that I hardly see Angleton. He was examining a long, spiny orchid with a flash light. "See this oncidium orchid," he said, as I approached through the corridor of plants. "It has an almost exact replica of a bee's head on its petals." He meticulously traced the upside-down bee's head for me with his flashlight. "Here's the illusionary foe— the killer bee." Unable to distinguish the simulcrum from the real bee, the wasp is triggered to attack. When it plunges its stinger through the petal, the orchid's pollen pod adheres to it. The wasp then flies away and, if it sees another similar orchid, attacks again. But this time its stinger deposits the pollenate from the first orchid on the second. Angleton explains, " provocation is the means by which this species survives". Such deceptions work in nature, Angleton explains, because the deceived does not have the differentiate the real from the fake.

I asked if the CIA possesses that ability.

"It had counterintelligence," he said, speaking in the past tense.

"So did they know if Nosenko was real or fake."

Without answering, he proceeded on to a nearby odontoglossum orchid. He explained it blinded its carrier through deception. Its nectar odor lured moisquitos into its the coils of its fleshy tubes. When the moisquito pushes around a bend it runs into a spike of pollen pod, which jams into its eye. When it then back out of the tube, it is temporarily blinded. So it flies around until it smells a similar nectar and, again, following the trail of odor into a tube, it runs into another spike, which it willy-nilly pollinates with the pollen in its eye. "Did you come to buy orchids?" he asked.

"I came to Washington for a second interview with Nosenko, tomorrow? " Angleton drove me back to the Madison hotel in his silver Mercedes. On the way back, he played a cassette of an Israel violenist he said he had had privately recorded, Evidently, Angleton's private world extendend to even his music. After several brandies in the Madison bar, he asked me what I planned to ask Nosenko.

"Any suggestions ?" I replied.

He then dictated, with precision I had never heard before from anyone, thirteen questions. (see Missing Pieces) They contained names and aliases I had never heard before— Rumyanstev, General Rodin, Shitov, Colonel Semonov and Corevan, for example, as well as KGB units like the 13th Department of the First Chief Directorate (which was rumored to handle assassinations abroad). I wote them down and asked if he could further elaborate.

"I can't do that. I would be revealing secrets. All you need to know-- and all I can tell you is that Nosenko never got his bona fides-- not while I was at the CIA."

Last edited by Bruce Patrick Brychek on Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:42 am, edited 18 times in total.
Bruce Patrick Brychek
Posts: 2565
Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 9:09 am

THE REMOVAL OF JFK # 1 - # 41:

Postby Bruce Patrick Brychek » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:26 pm



SPECIAL NOTE: Kim Philby had an excellent background, and developmental history of leadership and responsibility at MI6, the British Version of our CIA. During this time Philby was a close, constant confident of James Jesus Angleton who had been working with the early OSS in Britain and other countries.

Angleton had been asked over his career of past secrets that he possessed, all the way from MI6, OSS, CIG, and CIA. Angleton never discussed past or present secrets, let alone future plans.

Angleton often said the Secrets of the Past Telescope into the Future, and the Secrets of the Future, or Present, Telescope into the Past.

Philby, to the utter shock and dismay of everybody in the British and American Intelligence Community, defected to Russia, and the KGB. Angleton never commented although opinions ran from how Angleton had been fooled by his best friend, to Angleton knew everything, but as usual would never comment or talk.

Over time it came to be believed by some that Philby, with Angleton's "assistance," was in fact NOT A REAL DEFECTOR, NOR A DOUBLE SPY. RATHER PHILBY WAS A TRIPLE SPY.



Kim Philby and Lee Harvey Oswald:
By Ron Rosenbaum:

Ron Rosenbaum is the author of The Shakespeare Wars, Explaining Hitler, and How the End Begins: The Road to a Nuclear World War III.

“The Lone Gunman” and “the Third Man.” We’re still haunted by the legacy of these spectral figures, their legacy of doubling and doubt—and, yes, the shadowy counterspy linked to both. At least I am. You should be too, since you live in a world of uncertainties they helped create.

Not just from their overt acts—Philby, long-term, high-level KGB mole inside British secret intelligence service (MI6), a double—or was it triple ?—agent shaping the origins of Cold War paranoia. Oswald, leaving a legacy of mystery, paranoia and conspiracy theory around himself, of the sort that has come to shroud so much alleged certainty about historical truths ever after. Is there any major event that now doesn’t come with its penumbra of YouTube conspiracy fantasies ? The more you look the less (undisputed) truth you see.

The two of them (and the shadowy third whose identity I will disclose, I promise) exemplify a century of double agents, double dealing, double meaning, doubly ambiguous doubt about the public narrative of history, ambiguities that cloud or complexify conventional wisdom about the accepted narrative and suggest we are lost in “a wilderness of mirrors.” And every once in a while something new turns up, a new twist, a declassified document, an overlooked defector, a forgotten witness.

As it has recently with both these enigmatic figures. A half-century after their defining moments on the stage of history, two new books have disclosed unexpected perspectives worth exploring.

1963: Fifty years ago, the year Kim Philby defected to Moscow, purportedly erasing any doubts he was a KGB mole. Although, in fact, the doubts persist in some circles, mainly in the form of theories that he was a triple, not a double, agent. That is, who was he really working for all those years, us or them ? More piquantly: Is it possible even he didn’t know—that he had been set up and used ? Questions too about exactly how he distorted the “facts” he communicated to both sides at the origin of the Cold War, thus shaping or misshaping history.

1963: Fifty years ago, Lee Harvey Oswald does something in Dallas, the president’s head explodes, and soon Oswald is dead too. According to polls, more than half the nation still believes that if Oswald was involved at all in the shooting (not just, as he claimed, “a patsy”) he was part of a conspiracy involving two shooters, even “two Oswald’s” or an “Oswald impersonator” or two. But the true locus of mystery and generator of conspiratorial doubt is Oswald’s mind, that lonely labyrinth in which even he may have been lost. Whose side was he really on, was he a double agent, was he a player on his own stage, or was he being played ? By whom ?

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time exploring both enigmas. I thought that in my 12,000-word Philby investigation for the New York Times Magazine some time ago, I had exhausted the number of mysteries Philby set afoot with his double (or triple ?) dealing. And I’ve written frequently on JFK theories, recurrently changing my mind on that morass of mystification; to my current belief Oswald was a shooter, though not ruling out the possibility of a second one, or silent confederates egging Oswald on to do the deed. But what an amazing legacy of paranoia he’s left us, what a vast spectrum of theories that seems to keep growing, concatenating.

Things seemed to have slowed down on that front, the high tide of conspiracy books receding (though not ceasing), the two camps—lone gunman vs. conspiracy—fortified in their opposing certainties with little or no new evidence on the crime itself emerging. I basically gave up thinking there would be anything new to emerge despite the likelihood that (as Jefferson Morley’s valuable investigative lawsuit claims) there are a large number of important documents on the case still classified.

But in the course of one week this winter I came upon two recent books that made me think the two cases deserve further thought.

A coincidence no doubt—as is the fact that the names of the authors of the two books—Lattel and Littell—are so similar (and end in the syllable for “tell”). In this game one has to learn to distinguish between the meaningful and the meaningless coincidences.

The Oswald-related book, Castro’s Secrets, is by Brian Latell, a former top-level CIA agent charged with the debriefing of a high-ranking defector from Fidel Castro’s highly secretive intelligence agency, the DGI. The defector who came in from the cold in Vienna in 1987, a guy named Florentino Aspillaga, offered some remarkable inside DGI information about Oswald, the DGI, and Fidel that, if true, argues for a paradigm shift in Kennedy assassination theories. He also discloses substantiating material from a previous defector—information that was new to me.

Young Philby, by Robert Littell:

The Philby book—Young Philby—is a unique (and strangely overlooked) historically-based spy novel by well-respected espionage writer Robert Littell (The Company and The Once and Future Spy among others, many of which suggest contacts within the intelligence community). It seeks to substantiate the possibility that Philby was more than a KGB mole, that in fact he may have served as a knowing or unknowing channel of information (and disinformation) for MI6 and the CIA—a theory I wrote about (and called “unlikely”) in my investigation, but which Littell—no naif in these matters—clearly seems to believe. And he says he has a smoking gun to prove it.

Maybe we should start from the beginning. Harold Adrian Russell “Kim” Philby, the Cambridge-educated scion of the British establishment, was the son of the once-famed Arabian explorer St. John Philby. According to most accounts, an Austrian sexologist and Soviet agent named Arnold Deutsch recruited Kim as a Soviet operative after he had left the leafy glades of Cambridge to consort with Austrian Communists (and marry one) during the 1934 street battles with fascists in Vienna. Philby’s mission: disguise himself as a right-winger and work his way up the old-boy network of the British ruing class on behalf of the NKVD (predecessor to the KGB). Kim was joined by a quartet of other like-minded college fellows later to be known as the “Cambridge Five.” If you’ve read your le Carré, you’ll recognize Kim as a good match in character at least for the mole, Bill Haydon, in Tinker, Tailor.

And boy did he succeed, getting recruited by an apparently oblivious (or were they ?) MI6 as the second world war began, ending up after the war as the head of MI6’s Russian Division, thus making him the grand pivot man in the genesis of the Cold War—confirming Stalin’s belief in the evil plotting of the West, feeding the West a careful diet of disinformation about what the Soviets were up to. Or was it the other way around? Who got the info and who got the disinfo ? Should we credit Philby and his other moles with preventing World War III—giving Stalin the security that his most paranoid fears (of a surprise nuclear attack) were unfounded, because he would have known from his moles if something was up ? Or did both sides get what Philby chose to weave out of his own history-making imagination? (“Espionage,” le Carré once wrote, “is the secret theatre of our society.”)

Ultimately Philby was on the verge of becoming head of MI6—as I believe I was the first to confirm from a highly placed source—when the “Third Man” affair fatefully killed his chances. Two of the Cambridge Five defected to Moscow in 1951, fearing they were about to be arrested, and suspicion fell on Philby for being the “Third Man” who tipped them off. Philby was forced to resign and consigned himself to a purgatorial limbo in the Middle East where, under the watchful eyes of MI6, the KGB, and the CIA, he wrote for the U.K. Observer (and the New Republic, which was owned until 1956 by another former Soviet mole Michael Straight, not yet exposed). It should be noted that the famous Orson Welles-starring film The Third Man was written by Graham Greene and released in 1949, two years before Philby was named “Third Man.”

Finally in 1963, MI6 felt it had enough evidence Philby had been a mole to confront him in Beirut. In what is still one of the most debated episodes in his career, he managed to—or was allowed to—escape to Moscow, where he lived until his death in 1988. Still, even in Moscow he was never fully trusted, according to former KGB colleagues I interviewed. As far back as 1948, an NKVD agent was compiling a dossier on Philby, attempting to prove that he was really a plant — not a double but a triple agent actually working for MI6 to deceive the Soviets into thinking he was their mole. One ex-KGB source called this 1948 hellhound on Philby’s trail “Madame Modrjkskaj,” said to be head of the NKVD’s British division, who “came to the conclusion that Kim was a plant of the MI6 and working very actively and in a very subtle British way.”

Here’s where Robert Littell’s new novel takes up the case. The somewhat misleadingly titled Young Philby tells the Philby story in part from the point of view of a female NKVD analyst whose name Littell spells “Modinskaya.” (I think the spelling is just a variant, not an attempt to fictionalize her.) And basically Littell’s novel concludes that she was right: that, yes Kim—encouraged by his scheming father, St. John Philby—was playing the triple-agent game on behalf of MI6. Littell (who did not respond to an email sent through his publisher to his residence in France) portrays Madame M. as being executed by Stalin for her suspicions of his prized mole, although I don’t know if this is historically based. But if she died, suspicions of Philby never did, and they haunted him even in his post-defection home in Moscow.

But what makes Littell’s book more a than just another twisty spy fantasy is the nonfiction epilogue, in which Littell tells of a fascinating encounter he had with Teddy Kollek, a figure most well-known as longtime mayor of Jerusalem, but who knew Kim as a young communist sympathizer in Vienna in 1934. And here’s where we meet our mysterious third figure: in a 1983 Harper’s piece I wrote about the way there were some who believed U.S. counterintelligence guru James Jesus Angleton had not been fooled by Philby, because Angleton had been tipped off by Kollek and—here’s yet another way of looking at the case—had deliberately fed Philby disinformation. Philby was then the dupe of Angleton, not the other way around. An unwitting triple agent.

People are prepared to believe that of Angleton because of his mythic reputation within the intel community as the Master of the Game—a reputation he guarded jealously. If Philby was, as many have called him, the spy of the century, James Jesus Angleton was the counterspy of the century. Legendary for having learned the complexities of the game from the study of “seven types of ambiguity” as a Yale English literature scholar—he published High Modernists such as William Carlos Williams and Ezra Pound in his undergraduate literary magazine—he was notorious for pursuing suspicious ambiguities in the backstories of many defectors he believed were actually KGB plants. He would want to have people believe he was outfoxing Philby, not the other way around.

James Jesus Angleton, former Chief of Counterintelligence at the Central Intelligence Agency:

James Jesus Angleton, former chief of counterintelligence at the CIA, testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee in 1975:

Of course that whole line of thought could have been disinformation spread by Angleton to discredit Philby with Moscow and make himself look like the Master of the Game, when most (including myself and Cleveland Cram, the CIA’s official historian of the mole war within the agency) believe that Philby’s deception drove Angleton crazy with paranoia about potential moles, so crazy that he tore the CIA apart and discredited legitimate suspicion of moles—thereby allowing the real damaging one, Aldrich Ames—who joined after Angleton left—free rein. Are you with me ? Don’t worry, I find that even getting lost in this bewildering thicket is illuminating about the way this world works.

In his nonfiction epilogue to Young Philby Littell focuses on a story Teddy Kollek told him about Philby and Angleton shortly before he died in 2007. A significantly more detailed story of a Kollek tip-off than has been seen before, a story about how before the “Third Man” accusation in 1951 Kollek visited Angleton at CIA headquarters in Washington.

Philby was then serving as MI6’s liaison to the CIA, downloading all its secrets to the KGB via an unknowing Angleton, a regular lunch companion of Kim. Or was he ? Here’s the money quote from Kollek, according to Littell:

“I was walking towards Angleton’s office ... when suddenly I spotted a familiar face at the other end of the hallway ... I burst into Angleton’s office and said ‘Jim, you’ll never guess who I saw in the hallway. It was Kim Philby!’ And I told him about Vienna ... and the suspicion that Philby may been recruited ... as a Soviet agent. ... And I said ‘Once a Communist, always a Communist.’ ”

Littell says he asked Kollek how Angleton reacted. “No, Jim never reacted to anything. The subject was dropped and never raised again.”

Wow. This is a great moment on the stage of the secret theater. Did Angleton know and pretend he didn’t know ? Did he not know and pretend he did ? Or did he not believe and pretend he did or ... well you figure out the permutations. Angleton must have run through them at warp speed and decided to leave Kollek—and the rest of us—in eternal doubt. Because if he knew and let on to anyone he did then he couldn’t be sure he could play Philby the way he might have wanted to.

I believe, as they say, the truth is out there. I don’t believe truth is relative or perspective-dependent or that there’s more than one truth. But I also believe the truth is sometimes elusive, terminally ungraspable. Now that we know Angleton heard Kollek’s direct suspicion of Philby, we know he had to have made a decision. But we may never know what that decision was. It might have been something he led certain acolytes to believe after Philby’s defection, to maintain his reputation as all-knowing counterspy. Or it may have been too explosive a truth to trust to anyone but himself. But maybe not. Our chances of knowing it may have died when Angleton did in 1987. The truth is out there, but it may be buried forever.

Angleton’s silence and apparent failure to act: Was it a failure of judgment, a dereliction of duty, or evidence he was playing a deeper game? One CIA analyst even wrote a massive report suggesting Angleton himself was a mole. If you leave aside for a moment the fact that people died because of Philby’s treachery—whichever side he was on—it’s all so deliciously complicated, way beyond le Carré.

And there he is again, Angleton, who, turns out, plays a crucial role in Brian Latell’s new Castro/Oswald book as well. Because while Castro’s Secrets centers on Latell’s firsthand account of debriefing Aspillaga, the 1987 DGI defector (whom he interviewed in depth), Lattel also has dug up files on a previous defector who was inside the Castro’s DGI at the time of the Kennedy assassination and defected in early 1964, while the Warren Report—which concluded that Oswald acted alone—was being written. According to Latell, the 1964 defector claimed the DGI had significant contacts with Oswald, but that Angleton mysteriously suppressed the defector’s report on what Castro might have known, denying the Warren Commission any knowledge of it.

Castro's Secrets: The CIA and Cuba's Intelligence Machine, by Brian Latell.

Castro's Secrets by Brian Latell:

Both of the previously undisclosed DGI defector reports center on a highly contentious episode two months before the assassination of JFK, when Oswald visited the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City and demanded a visa to Cuba—supposedly to fight for the Cuban Revolution then under threat from invasion and assassination plots orchestrated by JFK and his brother Bobby. Or was it an Oswald impersonator who visited the Cuban Embassy ? The notorious “second Oswald,” or one of the second Oswald’s as conspiracy theorists have argued ? The conspiracy paradigm, which has guided skeptics of the “lone gunman” theory for a half-century, has it that we ought never to take Oswald at his word that he was a fanatic follower of Castro; instead we must believe this image of Oswald was made up or set up (by an impersonator) so that the JFK kill could be pinned on a Commie—thus justifying for anti-Castro Cubans or the Mafia or the CIA (or whoever really did the hit) a retaliatory final invasion to overthrow Fidel.

Latell’s new information undermines this farfetched-sounding but widely accepted view. Latell’s view is such heresy that one of the most intelligent and knowledgeable lone-gunman skeptics I know told me he refused to read Latell’s book. He said he’d caught Latell in a misquotation in some review of the book and that was enough for him.

I probably don’t have to fill you in much about Oswald. The sociological obverse of Philby: No Cambridge grad, Oswald was New Orleans born and spent a difficult youth in the Bronx. The only salient detail we know about his youth is that he liked to watch the TV show I Led Three Lives, about an FBI man who goes undercover to investigate Red subversion plots. A mole! As a Marine, Oswald just happened to be stationed at a U-2 base in Japan; he subsequently defected to the Soviet Union, declaring himself a true believer in Communism. The defection has long been a source of much speculation: Had he been “planted” there by our side? The way Philby was suspected of being a plant ?

Oswald’s usually portrayed as a dumb patsy, loon, or tool, but he was onto the whole mole game from the get-go from that TV show. A subject of conspiracy theories, yes, but maybe a deliberate manipulator of the mystification that would surround him. Smarter than most give him credit for, in his black sweater he looked and sometimes sounded like a twisted Lenny Bruce.

The KGB had its doubts about Oswald, or so it appears: They settled him in out-of-the-way Minsk, where he married a young Russian named Marina. They bugged his apartment for years. (Norman Mailer and Larry Schiller got the tapes which are, alas, fairly mundane.)

Then he decided to re-defect to the U.S. (Was he going back because he was disillusioned by Communism, or because the KGB sent him on a mission ?) He settled in Dallas, but in the summer of ’63 moved on his own to New Orleans, where he advertised himself as a pro-Castro activist and got into fights with anti-Castro Cubans. (Was he making himself conspicuous as a Communist in order to pin the forthcoming crime on Castro or the Russians ?)

It was Oswald’s trip that fall to Mexico City that is the hot center of Lee Harvey conspiracy theory. And Latell now comes forward with two defectors from the DGI to say Oswald had extensive contacts with Fidel’s intel men in Mexico City, even cites a report Oswald vowed to kill Kennedy, and that Fidel knew of those contacts.

In other words Fidel may have had—Latell is not definitive but strongly suggestive of it—foreknowledge of Oswald’s motives, if not complicity in the Dallas hit. Latell’s attention-getting revelation: According to DGI defector Aspillaga, on the morning of Nov. 22, 1963, the DGI was ordered to shift radio surveillance from South Florida, where the Cuba exiles were habitually scheming, to Texas, where JFK was touring in an open car. You do the math.

I did, and it still doesn’t quite add up to me: I don’t consider this shift in surveillance decisive because Castro or the DGI may just have wanted to make sure they didn’t miss a word JFK had to say at this high point in tensions between Cuba and the U.S. Daggers were drawn: That very morning in Paris, Nov. 22, a top-level CIA agent was handing a poison fountain pen to a man he thought was a CIA mole. The man, part of Castro’s entourage, was supposed to use it to inject Fidel with a deadly toxin. I’m not making this up, and it makes sense when put in the light of the almost unbroken record of CIA blunders to this day. Because the fountain pen assassin was actually a triple agent (see, they exist!) working for Fidel and the DGI and told them all about this idiot murder plot. A fact long-rumored but substantiated by Aspillaga, Latell’s defector. And—according to Latell—a putative motive for Castro to hit JFK or allow a hit plan to go forward. Though Fidel denied it, repeatedly, Aspillaga insists Castro was lying at the very least about his knowledge of Oswald activity at the Cuban Embassy, and his pro-Castro allegiance.

And in the midst of all this we once again find James Jesus Angleton, whose counterintelligence staff in the aftermath of the assassination was sending questions to the 1964 DGI defector who claimed the DGI had extensive contacts with Oswald “before, during, and after” his Mexico City trip. But Angleton never shared this potentially crucial information with the Warren Commission.

Which leaves the question: Why did Angleton withhold this potentially crucial information from the Warren Commission investigators ? Was he thinking where it might lead ? The big fear among many, including new president Lyndon Johnson and Chief Justice Earl Warren, was that we would discover an explosively dangerous truth, a truth that could lead to a third world war. Latell comes out and echoes that fear, which was not out of the question. If it had been found out then that the KGB or the DGI was complicit in the Kennedy kill, we may well have been provoked to invade Cuba, leading—Latell speculates—to a clash with the Russian troops still stationed there, leading to ... who knows. If it were true, nobody, including apparently Angleton, wanted it known. The price of revenge might be too high.

Nonetheless, over the years the Angleton loyalists in the intelligence community and the press have leaked provocative bits from the Master suggesting the KGB or the DGI was behind the JFK assassination. Indeed, Edward J. Epstein, whose reporting on Angleton has been the most extensive of anyone, comes out and declares, in his new book The Annals of Unsolved Crimes, that “my own assessment is that Cuban intelligence had influenced, if not directed, Oswald’s actions”—a judgment based in part based on Latell’s revelations. “We now know,” Epstein writes, “that Castro had the most powerful of all motives: self-preservation. … Castro ascertained that the CIA was actively planning to assassinate him [and that] the plot appeared to have the backing of JFK himself.” I don’t believe the evidence available allows such a definitive conclusion, but it is a thought-provoking heresy.

Will the Latell book (and Epstein’s conclusion) cause a rethink of the dominant assassination conspiracy paradigm ? I wish I could say or Latell could tell, or Littell will tell. I think Angleton knew more than he would tell. (He knew about the poison fountain pen plot, for instance.) But both stories point to crucial unresolved questions that still trouble our national soul, inflection points in the Cold War politics that got us where we are but could have led to nuclear conflagration.

Angleton himself once said something typically cryptic to me along those lines in a telephone call. When I asked him to discuss details of the past after he’d left the CIA, he told me he couldn’t because “the past telescopes into the future.” Or was it the future telescopes into the past ? Now I’m not so sure.
Last edited by Bruce Patrick Brychek on Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:42 am, edited 18 times in total.
Bruce Patrick Brychek
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THE REMOVAL OF JFK # 1 - # 41:

Postby Bruce Patrick Brychek » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:28 pm



SPECIAL NOTE: (A Good Overview and Simple Road Map of Theodore "Ted - The Blond Ghost" Shackley's life, and some related Subject Matters. Remember that it is said that Shackley was the first, and only CIA Agent, to comment that JFK's coffin was empty, and JFK's remains had been dumped into the ocean. Many wonder to this day why JFK's remains have never been exhumed. Perhaps the Records know what Shackley represented years earlier. 01.09.2017. BB.)

412 pages, 1994, Simon and Schuster:

Blond Ghost is a biography of Ted Shackley, who in his twenty eight year career with the Central Intelligence Agency, rose to be the Associate Deputy Director for Operations, one of the top positions at the CIA. Shackley was involved in many of the central events of the cold war and its aftermath. His intelligence career started in Berlin, at the beginning of the cold war, before the Berlin wall went up. Shackley later served as CIA station chief in Miami, Laos and Saigon. In the 1970s he was the head of the CIA's Western Hemisphere Division during the CIA's campaign to over throw Allende in Argentina. After Shackley left the CIA in 1979, he became associated with the Iran-Contra scandal in the 1980s. Shackley's connection to so many important events in the history of the CIA and the United States makes him an interesting figure. His career also reflects, to a remarkable degree, the fortunes and nature of the CIA itself.

I read Blond Ghost because Ted Shackley was the CIA Station Chief in Laos during a critical period, when the secret war (secret from the American people, that is) was escalated. After reading David Warner's book Back Fire, I became curious about the accuracy of his reporting. Warner believes that the CIA men were "honorable men", fighting the good fight, but somehow it went horribly wrong. Given Warner's amazingly brief biography on the book jacket, and his views on the virtues of the CIA's employees, I came to wonder if Warner himself actually had CIA connections. David Corn, the author of Blond Ghost, is the Washington editor of The Nation, which is famous for its leftist views. I thought that Blond Ghost might provide another perspective on the events in Laos. In Blond Ghost, David Corn has written an extremely well researched and balanced account of Ted Shackley's career and the history of the CIA (much more balanced than many articles I have read in The Nation).

In the epilogue of Blonde Ghost, David Corn quotes a CIA officer who was responsible for one of the provincial regions in Vietnam and who was later operations chief of the CIA's Western Hemisphere Division.

It's hard for people to understand who have not been there. Its easy for people -- especially people of another generation -- to view what we did with their own perspective. I fought the communists for twenty-eight years. I did a lot of bad things for my country. But I loved my country and did what I thought best.

The world of this cold warrior is indeed gone. The cold war was born out of the rubble of the Second World War, when the United States was the only industrial economy that had not been ravaged by war. As soon as the war in Europe ended, the cold war against the Soviet Union began. Having defeated the fascists in Europe and Asia, the US was confident in its self appointed role as the leader of the free world.

When Ted Shackley joined the Army, in October 1945, the Allies had triumphed in Europe, but the cold war was starting to get under way. The Army sent him to occupied Germany, to work with the counter Intelligence Corps. At the time, Army Intelligence needed people who could speak Slavic languages and Shackley was fluent in Polish. (Ted Shackley's mother was a Polish immigrant, who left her husband, Theodore Shackley, when Ted was two and a half. Ted went to live with a Polish woman, who may have been his grandmother, until he was in his early teens. From her he learned Polish.) The Intelligence bureaucracy seemed to agree with Shackley and after his Army enlistment, rather than pursuing a law degree, as he had planned, he joined the CIA.

The CIA assigned Shackley first to Nuremberg and later to Berlin in the 1950s. This was a time of growth for the CIA and Shackley's career prospered with that growth. Shackley was the perfect organizational man. He had a "can do" attitude and was adept at self promotion. Shackley was also a part of a "new breed" of manager at the CIA, that was replacing the OSS "old guard" as the CIA grew. He did not have an Ivy League degree and was not part of the east coast intellectual elite, personified by intelligence mandarins like Allen Dulles (an early director of the CIA). Shackley did not think deeply on the issues he was confronted with. His rise in the agency was aided by his ability to give slick presentations with charts and graphs that reduced the complexities of the world to the simple abstractions that his bosses felt comfortable with. Although those above him thought of Shackley as someone who "got things done", to some of his colleagues he became known as a self promoter, whose accomplishments were more on paper than in reality (of course this could be said for the CIA as a whole).

In 1962, almost a year after the Bay of Pigs debacle, Bill Harvey the head of the Berlin station brought Shackley to Miami, first as deputy chief of station and later as station chief. Shackley was thirty four at the time and was heading the largest CIA operation in the world.

Although the Bay of Pigs invasion was a failure, the Kennedy administration was determined to overthrow Castro by any means short of invasion. Various schemes were undertaken to assassinate Castro. The CIA plotted to poison his food in a Havana restaurant and schemed to slip him poisoned cigars. There was even a plan to give Castro LSD before one of his speeches, in an attempt to discredit him (given the long and rambling nature of Castro's speeches, his listeners might not have noticed that he was on acid).

As the Miami station chief, Shackley was responsible for a large paramilitary operation that was infiltrating agents and arms caches into Cuba. He was also responsible for gathering intelligence and recruiting spies in the Cuba communist party. Although they occasionally blew up a Cuban factory, the CIA's paramilitary efforts had little success and probably succeeded in maintaining popular support for the Castro regime they were attempting to undermine. Most of the anti-Castro Cubans that the CIA managed to infiltrate into Cuba were captured and either imprisoned or executed. Although the CIA had little success against Castro, they trained and paid thousand anti-Castro Cubans in secret bases throughout Florida. When the anti-Castro campaign finally shut down, some of these out of work "freedom fighters" found employment as drug smugglers in south Florida.

The Miami station under Shackley had no more success gathering intelligence and running spies, than it did in its paramilitary campaign. Despite later claims to the contrary, the Miami station did not warn Washington about the missiles that the Russians were basing in Cuba (this intelligence was gathered by U2 spy planes) and they had few recruits who provided useful information about the Cuban communist party. This might suggest that Shackley was an incompetent station chief. In fact, this was not true. The demands made on him were impossible to fulfill. The Kennedy administration wanted to overthrow Castro without having any publicly traceable trail leading back to the United States. They wanted high level spies, and they wanted them fast. But developing spies is something that happens over many years and in many cases is a matter of luck. No matter how "can do" a spy master is, the process cannot be hurried. Given the impatience of US politicians and the inability of the CIA to undertake long term intelligence campaigns (except, perhaps, against the Soviet Union), it is not surprising that US intelligence has come to rely heavily on intelligence gathering by "technical" means (satellites and communications interception). The CIA is also hobbled by the fact that it is a bureaucratic organization, viewing the world through its own political biases. The CIA rarely reports information that reflects badly on itself, its mission or on the views of the politician it serves. For example, CIA did not predict the collapse of the Soviet Union and as an organization would be unlikely to do so, since this would conflict with its mission of opposing the Soviets. The CIA has been equally poor at reporting other political developments, like the overthrow of the Shah of Iran and the invasion of Kuwait.

Perhaps because many of the tasks the CIA undertook were impossible to achieve, how a CIA employee did his job became more important than what was accomplished. And Ted Shackley did his job well. He regularly went to Langley to report on the activities of the Miami station and was adept at portraying these efforts in the best possible light. Under Shackley, a CIA station produced reams of reports, even though much of the information reported was of little value.

When John Kennedy was assassinated, the driving force behind the build-up of the Miami station and its campaign against Castro disappeared. After winding down the secret war in Miami, Shackley was appointed station chief in Laos, in 1966. The CIA had been involved in Laos for over ten years, since 1954, when the French withdrew. The USAID organization helped to build schools and advised farmers on better agricultural techniques and soil management. The CIA provided World War II vintage arms to the Hmong tribesmen, who waged a guerrilla war against Vietnamese who encroached on their territory. The CIA personnel of this era spoke the local languages and understood the local culture. They served US interests, but they also believed that they were helping the local people. The sleepy "country store" nature of the CIA operations in Laos came to an end with the arrival of Ted Shackley. The war in Vietnam was staring to heat up. Soon after Shackley became station chief, vast amounts of money became available, and Shackley was not shy about using it to build an empire and escalate the war in Laos.

Before Shackley arrived, the CIA operation in Laos was run by Bill Lair and Pat Landry, who worked for Douglas Blaufarb, the CIA station chief in Laos during the early 1960s. Unlike Lair and Landry, Shackley knew nothing of the Laoatian language and culture. Shackley was in Laos to support US interests, regardless of the local impact. At the time, US interests in Laos involved stopping the North Vietnamese from using the section of the Ho Chi Minh Trail that went through Laos. Shackley started a program that formed Laotian tribesman into watch teams that kept an eye on the supply convoys that moved down the Ho Chi Minh Trail. When a convoy was spotted, air strikes would be called in. Shackley also provided modern arms, including artillery and a few propeller driven bombers to Vang Pao, a Hmong warlord. Vang Pao's military ambitions were encouraged and the CIA moved the Laotian tribesmen from an irregular guerrilla force to a force that attempted to directly confront the North Vietnamese. The tribal forces were decimated as a result and, in the end, Hmong tribal culture was largely destroyed. At the present time, many of the Hmong tribes people are refugees in Thailand and some, including Vang Pao, have immigrated to the United States.

Once again Shackley's performance as station chief in Laos impressed his superiors at the CIA's headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Although the Hmong tribes people would eventually pay a terrible price for allying themselves with the United States, they had tied up the North Vietnamese military forces needed to protect the Ho Chi Minh trail and made supply of the Viet Cong forces in South Vietnam more difficult. This saved American lives, which was Washington's objective. In October of 1968, Shackley left Laos to become the Station Chief in Saigon, South Vietnam. Although Shackley had overseen a large scale escalation of the war in Laos, Vietnam was where the real action was.

In theory, the primary mission of the Central Intelligence Agency is the collection and analysis of information to aid American Policy and decision making. Like the OSS before it, the CIA has, to various degrees, also become involved in covert actions that attempt to change events, not just gather information about them. In Vietnam the CIA moved away from intelligence gathering and toward covert action aimed at helping the Saigon government and defeating the North Vietnamese. Although some intelligence was gathered, any analysis that contradicted the view that the United States would prevail was ignored. During the early 1960's William Colby, who later became director of the CIA, was the Saigon station chief. Under Colby the CIA became involved in "pacification" programs, that attempted to track down the Viet Cong and their sympathizers in South Vietnam. In 1968, when Shackley became station chief, Colby was on leave from the CIA to head "operation phoenix", which became infamous as an assassination program responsible for killing those suspected of aiding the Viet Cong. The CIA also established Provincial Reconnaissance Units (PRU) and Provincial Interrogation Centers (PIC), all staffed by South Vietnamese, who became known for their brutality.

Under Shackley, the Saigon station churned out intelligence reports. These were all reviewed by Shackley, who rejected any report without the proper positive "can do" tone. Although the United States had been involved in Vietnam since the mid-1950s, few agents had been developed and little real intelligence was reported. Much of the information that was forwarded to Langley came from interrogations from the PRUs. Most of this information was useless and the CIA failed to report the major build-up of North Vietnamese forces in preparation for the Tet Offensive in 1968. One intelligence analyst, commenting on the intelligence from Operation Phoenix stated:

I got disgusted when I tried to find out how they authenticated their information. They captured people. And how did they determine what kind of enemy they were ? The provincial police would say so-and-so is a secret Viet Cong and we have to neutralize. Well, how did they know ? We couldn't get authentication. It was a rampant problem throughout the war. By mid-1969, a lot of innocent people were being captured by South Vietnamese security and disposed of.

On one occasion, while visiting a police station, Orrin DeForest, who was chief of interrogation for a Vietnamese province, saw four Vietnamese Special Branch officers torturing a young girl. DeForest later wrote that he did not think that the "brass" in Saigon had any idea of what went on the field. Whether this ignorance of the brutal details of the United States' allies was a result of studied ignorance or the bureaucratic nature of the CIA, is unclear. However, it was quite clear to DeForest and his colleagues that the "brass" did not appreciate reports that did not square with the official view of events. Despite this, not all of the CIA's intelligence was inaccurate. Officers like Frank Snepp, who later wrote Decent Interval, were bitter that their reports were buried by their superiors.

The fight against communism was used to justify terrible atrocities and the United States government and the CIA lost its moral compass in Vietnam. The CIA in Vietnam naturally selected for people who would pursue the cold war fight without question. It is not surprising that the same people went on to do terrible things in South America during the 1970s and during the "Contra war" in the 1980s.

Shackley arrived in Vietnam after the Tet Offensive, when the pace of the war had slowed down. He increased the number of reports generated by the station and damped down the chaos that reined at the Saigon station during the war. When he left Vietnam in early 1972, it was a good time to leave. In Washington they still believed that the United States would be able to preserve South Vietnam and extricate itself "with honor".

When Shackley was recalled to Langley, in February of 1972, he was put in charge of the CIA's Western Hemisphere Division. One of Shackley's most important projects was to stop Philip Agee, an ex-CIA officer who was writing a book on the CIA. Ironically, to get close to Agee, who was living in Paris and was broke, a CIA agent gave Agee money. Although this allowed the CIA to see parts of the manuscript before it was printed, Agee later said that without the money he might not have been able to finish Inside the Company, his expose on the CIA. In addition to the covert operation against Agee, Shackley also inherited an operation that was funneling money to right wing opponents of Salvador Allende, in Chile. Eventually Allende was overthrown.

Salvador Allende died during the coup. When the smoke cleared, General Augusto Pinochet, the head of a military junta, was in dictatorial control. Political parties, including Langley's favored Christian Democrats, were banned. [The Chilean] Congress was closed. Elections were suspended. The press was censored. Allende supporters and opponents of the junta were jailed. Torture centers were established. Executions replaced soccer matches in Santiago's stadiums. Bodies floated down the Mapocho river. Due in part to the hard work of Shackley and dozens of other Agency bureaucrats and operatives, Chile was free of the socialists.

After serving as director of the Western Hemisphere Division, Shackley was promoted to the position of Associate Deputy Director for Operations, the number three position at the CIA. This was to be his last promotion. Shackley was a friend of Edwin Wilson, an ex-CIA contractor, who became an arms dealer. Wilson was jailed for shipping plastic explosive (C4) and detonators to Libya. Admiral Stansfield Turner, who was head of the CIA during the Carter administration, never forgave Shackley for his association with Wilson. He transferred Shackley to the bureaucratic equivalent of Siberia and Shackley left the Agency in 1979.

After leaving the CIA Shackley worked briefly for Thomas Clines, who had worked for Shackley in Laos and Vietnam. Clines had left the CIA before Shackley, in 1978. Using money loaned to him by Edwin Wilson, Clines incorporated International Research and Trade, which became involved in shipping arms purchased in the United States to Egypt. The cost of shipping the arms was billed to the Defense Department, which later claimed that Clines and his associates had illegally inflated their billings. Shackley later left Clines' firm and formed his own company, Research Associates International, which specialized in providing intelligence to business. The loose fraternity of ex-CIA employees kept in touch with each other and with the United States government. During the Reagan administration, both Shackley and Clines became involved in the Iran-Contra affair, along with an associate from their days in Laos, Richard Secord. Clines was later convicted of under reporting income from his Iran-Contra dealings by at least $260,000 and served several months in a prison as a result. Shackley's involvement in the Iran-Contra affair is more difficult to discern.

In writing Blond Ghost, David Corn interviewed many of those involved with the CIA, including Shackley. David Corn also did extensive research (the book includes sixty nine pages of notes on sources). The Vietnam war and the activities of the CIA in South America are starting to fade from popular memory in the United States. Blond Ghost serves as a reminder of these dark times and is an invaluable resource for anyone who wants to study them in the future. Blond Ghost would have been improved by an appendix listing the acronym's used in the book and a thumb nail sketch of the various divisions of the CIA and their responsibilities.
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Bruce Patrick Brychek
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THE REMOVAL OF JFK # 1 - # 41:

Postby Bruce Patrick Brychek » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:29 pm



Controversial Issues in History: JFK Assassination Debate: TED SHACKLEY AND THE SECRET TEAM.

SPECIAL NOTE: John Simkin's analytical, brilliant combined report about TED SHACKLEY AHD THE SECRET TEAM. Short of reading all of the articles, books, and reviews by yourself, you would be well served to seriously read and study John Simkin's work if this Subject Matter appeals to you. 01.09.2017. BB.)

John Simkin:
Ted Shackley and the Secret Team:
December 10, 2005.

In the past I have argued that there are connections between the JFK assassination and Watergate. Recent research has suggested that there are a series of events that are linked together. The key figure in this seems to be Ted Shackley and what has been called his “Secret Team”.

The start of this story begins before JFK took power. On 11th December, 1959, Colonel J. C. King, chief of CIA's Western Hemisphere Division, sent a confidential memorandum to Allen W. Dulles, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency. King argued that in Cuba there existed a "far-left dictatorship, which if allowed to remain will encourage similar actions against U.S. holdings in other Latin American countries."

As a result of this memorandum Dulles established Operation 40. It obtained this name because originally there were 40 agents involved in the operation. Later this was expanded to 70 agents. The group was presided over by Richard Nixon, the vice president at the time. Tracy Barnes became Operating Officer of what was also called the Cuban Task Force. The first meeting chaired by Barnes took place in his office on 18th January, 1960, and was attended by David Atlee Phillips, E. Howard Hunt, Jack Esterline, and Frank Bender (Gerry Droller).

On 4th March, 1960, La Coubre, a ship flying a Belgian flag, exploded in Havana Bay. It was loaded with arms and ammunition that had been sent to help defend Cuba's revolution from its enemies. The explosion killed 75 people and over 200 were injured. Fabian Escalante, an officer of the Department of State Security (G-2), later claimed that this was the first successful act carried out by Operation 40.

Operation 40 was not only involved in sabotage operations. In fact, it evolved into a team of assassins. One member, Frank Sturgis, claimed: "this assassination group (Operation 40) would upon orders, naturally, assassinate either members of the military or the political parties of the foreign country that you were going to infiltrate, and if necessary some of your own members who were suspected of being foreign agents... We were concentrating strictly in Cuba at that particular time."

Over the next few years Operation 40 worked closely with several anti-Castro Cuban organizations including Alpha 66. CIA officials and freelance agents such as William Harvey, Porter Goss, Gerry Hemming, E. Howard Hunt, David Morales, Carl E. Jenkins, Thomas Clines, Bernard L. Barker, Barry Seal, Frank Sturgis, Tosh Plumlee, and William C. Bishop also joined the project.

Cuban figures used by Operation 40 included Antonio Veciana, Luis Posada, Orlando Bosch, Raphael Quintero, Roland Masferrer, Eladio del Valle, Guillermo Novo, Carlos Bringuier, Eugenio Martinez, Antonio Cuesta, Hermino Diaz Garcia, Barry Seal, Felix Ismael Rodriguez, Juan Manuel Salvat, Ricardo Morales Navarrete, Isidro Borjas, Virgilio Paz, Jose Dionisio Suarez, Felipe Rivero, Gaspar Jimenez Escobedo, Nazario Sargent, Pedro Luis Diaz Lanz, Jose Basulto, and Paulino Sierra.

After the Bay of Pigs disaster JFK created a committee (SGA) charged with overthrowing Castro's government. The SGA, chaired by Robert F. Kennedy (Attorney General), included John McCone (CIA Director), McGeorge Bundy (National Security Adviser), Alexis Johnson (State Department), Roswell Gilpatric (Defence Department), General Lyman Lemnitzer (Joint Chiefs of Staff) and General Maxwell Taylor. Although not officially members, Dean Rusk (Secretary of State) and Robert S. McNamara (Secretary of Defence) also attended meetings.

At a meeting of this committee at the White House on 4th November, 1961, it was decided to call this covert action program for sabotage and subversion against Cuba, Operation Mongoose. Robert F. Kennedy also decided that General Edward Lansdale (Staff Member of the President's Committee on Military Assistance) should be placed in charge of the operation.

The CIA JM/WAVE station in Miami served as operational headquarters for Operation Mongoose. One of Lansdale's first decisions was to appoint William Harvey as head of Task Force W. Harvey's brief was to organize a broad range of activities that would help to bring down Castro's government. This of course included the assassination of Castro and other leaders of his government.

In early 1962 Harvey brought Ted Shackley into the project as deputy chief of JM WAVE. In April, 1962, Shackley was involved in delivering supplies to Johnny Roselli as part of the plan to assassinate Fidel Castro. Later that year he became head of the station that served as operational headquarters for Operation Mongoose. In doing so, he gained control over Operation 40 or what some now called Shackley’s Secret Team.

In 1963 Shackley and Carl Jenkins were using members of Operation 40/Secret Team in attempts to kill Castro. According to the interview he gave in 2005 Gene Wheaton, it was Jenkins who redirected this team to kill JFK. However, it is unlikely that Shackley would have been unaware of this decision. In fact, when Wheaton and Jenkins were informing Daniel Sheehan about this in 1986 they were naming Shackley as the man in charge of the operation.

According to AMWORLD documents it would seem that Shackley and Jenkins continued to use the “Secret Team” against Castro. In his book, The Crimes of a President, Joel Bainerman argues that during this period “Theodore Shackley headed a program of raids and sabotage against Cuba. Working under Shackley was Thomas Clines, Rafael Quintero, Luis Posada Carriles, Rafael and Raul Villaverde, Frank Sturges, Felix Rodriguez and Edwin Wilson.” This operation was closed down in 1965 and several of its participants became involved with smuggling narcotics from Cuba into the United States (New York Times, 4th January, 1975).

In 1966 Shackley was placed in charge of CIA secret war in Laos. He appointed Thomas G. Clines as his deputy. He also took Carl Jenkins, David Morales, Rafael Quintero, Felix Rodriguez and Edwin Wilson with him to Laos. It was at this point that Shackley and his gang became involved in the drug trade. They did this via General Vang Pao, the leader of the anti-communist forces in Laos. Vang Pao was a major figure in the opium trade in Laos. To help him Shackley used his CIA officials and assets to sabotage the competitors.

Eventually Vang Pao had a monopoly over the heroin trade in Laos (Edith Holleman and Andrew Love, Inside the Shadow Government). In 1967 Shackley and Clines helped Vang Pao to obtain financial backing to form his own airline, Zieng Khouang Air Transport Company, to transport opium and heroin between Long Tieng and Vientiane. The following year Shackley and Clines arranged a meeting in Saigon between Santo Trafficante and Vang Pao to establish a heroin-smuggling operation from Southeast Asia to the United States (Alfred W. McCoy, The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade).

Shackley also used Quintero and Rodriguez to train men to kill rival opium warlords and supporters of the Pathet Lao (Edith Holleman and Andrew Love, Inside the Shadow Government).

In 1969 Shackley and Clines were posted to Saigon. They took charge of Operation Phoenix, a program that was based on what Shackley had been doing in Laos. This involved the killing of non-combatant Vietnamese civilians suspected of collaborating with the National Liberation Front. In a two year period, Operation Phoenix murdered 28,978 civilians (Fred Banfman, South Vietnam’s Police and Prison System: The US Connection).

Shackley also brought others into his operation. This included Richard Armitage, a US Navy official based in Saigon's US office of Naval Operations by the name of Richard Armitage and Major General Richard Secord. According to Daniel Sheehan: “From late 1973 until April of 1975, Theodore Shackley, Thomas Clines and Richard Armitage disbursed, from the secret, Laotian-based, Vang Pao opium fund, vastly more money than was required to finance even the highly intensified Phoenix Project in Vietnam. The money in excess of that used in Vietnam was secretly smuggled out of Vietnam in large suitcases, by Richard Secord and Thomas Clines and carried into Australia, where it was deposited in a secret, personal bank account (privately accessible to Theodore Shackley, Thomas Clines and Richard Secord). During this same period of time between 1973 and 1975, Theodore Shackley and Thomas Clines caused thousands of tons of US weapons, ammunition, and explosives to be secretly taken from Vietnam and stored at a secret "cache" hidden inside Thailand. (Daniel P. Sheehan’s affidavit).

This money, with the help of Chi Chi Quintero, found its way into the Nugan Hand Bank in Sydney. The bank was founded by Michael Hand, a CIA operative in Laos and Frank Nugan an Australian businessman.

Saigon fell to the NLF in April, 1975. The Vietnam War was over. Richard Armitage was dispatched by Shackley and Clines, from Vietnam to Tehran, Iran. In Iran, Armitage, set up a secret "financial conduit" inside Iran, into which secret Vang Pao drug funds could be deposited from Southeast Asia. According to Sheehan: “The purpose of this conduit was to serve as the vehicle for secret funding by Shackley's "Secret Team," of a private, non-CIA authorized "Black" operations inside Iran, disposed to seek out, identify, and assassinate socialist and communist sympathizers, who were viewed by Shackley and his "Secret Team" members to be "potential terrorists" against the Shah of Iran`s government in Iran. In late 1975 and early 1976, Theodore Shackley and Thomas Clines retained Edwin Wilson to travel to Tehran, Iran to head up the "Secret Team" covert "anti-terrorist" assassination program in Iran.”

Richard Helms, as head of CIA covert operations, must have been aware of the activities of the “Secret Team”. However, during the Watergate Scandal, he came under considerable pressure from Richard Nixon to help with the cover-up. It is possible that Nixon knew about the activities of Shackley’s Secret Team. After all, he had chaired the early Operation 40 meetings. Going by the messages that Nixon sent to Helms via H. R. Haldeman suggested that he knew about the CIA involvement in the assassination of JFK.

Helms refused to help Nixon and was sacked in February, 1973. James Schlesinger now became the new director of the CIA. Schlesinger was heard to say: “The clandestine service was Helms’s Praetorian Guard. It had too much influence in the Agency and was too powerful within the government. I am going to cut it down to size.” This he did and over the next three months over 7 per cent of CIA officers lost their jobs.

On 9th May, 1973, James Schlesinger issued a directive to all CIA employees: “I have ordered all senior operating officials of this Agency to report to me immediately on any activities now going on, or might have gone on in the past, which might be considered to be outside the legislative charter of this Agency. I hereby direct every person presently employed by CIA to report to me on any such activities of which he has knowledge. I invite all ex-employees to do the same. Anyone who has such information should call my secretary and say that he wishes to talk to me about “activities outside the CIA’s charter”.

This posed a serious threat to all those involved in illegal activities. Nixon and Schlesinger had to be removed as quickly as possible. This was done via Deep Throat (Richard Ober/Robert Bennett) and CIA assets, Bob Woodward and Ben Bradlee. The new director of the CIA was William Colby. Once again the CIA had someone from covert operations as head of the service.

After Nixon resigned Gerald Ford brought in George H. W. Bush as Director of the CIA. This was followed by Shackley being appointed as Deputy Director of Operations. He therefore became second-in-command of all CIA covert activity.

Shackley was hoping to eventually replace Bush as director of the CIA. However, the election of Jimmy Carter was a severe blow to his chances. Carter appointed an outsider, Stansfield Turner, as head of the CIA. He immediately carried out an investigation of into CIA covert activities. Turner eventually found out about Shackley’s “Secret Team”. He was especially worried about the activities of Edwin Wilson and the Nugan Hand Bank. Shackley was called in to explain what was going on. His explanation was not satisfactory and it was made clear that his career at the CIA had come to an end (David Corn, Blond Ghost).

Shackley now left the CIA and joined other former mates in the arms trade. Thomas Clines, Raphael Quintero, and Ricardo Chavez (another former CIA operative) had established API Distributors. According to David Corn (Blond Ghost) Edwin Wilson provided Clines with "half a million dollars to get his business empire going". Shackley also freelanced with API but found it difficult taking orders from his former subordinate, Clines. Shackley also established his own company, Research Associates International, which specialized in providing intelligence to business (in other words he sold them classified information from CIA files). He also formed another company, TGS International.

According to Daniel Sheehan: “In 1976, Richard Secord moved to Tehran, Iran and became the Deputy Assistant Secretary of defense in Iran, in charge of the Middle Eastern Division of the Defense Security Assistance Administration. In this capacity, Secord functioned as the chief operations officer for the U.S. Defense Department in the Middle East in charge of foreign military sales of U.S. aircraft, weapons and military equipment to Middle Eastern nations allied to the U.S. Secord's immediate superior was Eric Van Marbad, the former 40 Committee liaison officer to Theodore Shackley's Phoenix program in Vietnam from 1973 to 1975.”

From 1977 until 1979, Richard Armitage operated a business named The Far East Trading Company. This company was, in fact, from 1977 to 1979, merely a "front" for Armitage's secret operations conducting Vang Pao opium money out of Southeast Asia to Tehran and the Nugen-Hand Bank in Australia to fund the ultra right-wing, private anti-communist "anti-terrorist" assassination program and "unconventional warfare" operation of Theodore Shackley's and Thomas Cline's "Secret Team". (Daniel P. Sheehan’s affidavit).

The Secret Team still used the Nugan Hand Bank to hide their illegal profits from drugs and arms. The President of the Nugan Hand Bank was Admiral Earl F. Yates, former Chief of Staff for Strategic Planning of US Forces in Asia. Other directors of the bank included Dale Holmgree (also worked for Civil Air Transport, a CIA proprietary company) and General Edwin F. Black, (commander of U.S. troops in Thailand during the Vietnam War). George Farris (a CIA operative in Vietnam) ran the Washington office of the Nugan Hand Bank and the bank’s legal counsel was William Colby (Joel Bainerman, The Crimes of a President).

The bank grew and had offices or affiliates in 13 countries. However, the bank did little banking. What it did do was to amass, move, collect and disburse great sums of money (Jonathan Kwitny, Dope, Dirty Money, and the CIA, Crimes of Patriots).

However, in 1980 Frank Nugan was found dead in his car. His co-founder, Michael Hand had disappeared at the same time. The Australian authorities were forced to investigate the bank. They discovered that Ricardo Chavez, the former CIA operative who was co-owner of API Distributors with Thomas Clines and Raphael Quintero. The Corporate Affairs Commission of New South Wales came to the conclusion that Chavez was working on behalf of Clines, Quintero and Wilson. They blocked the move but they were unable or unwilling to explore the connections between the CIA and the Nugan Hand Bank.

The Secret Team (Shackley, Clines, Secord, Chavez, Quintero, Hakim, Wilson, and Armitage set up several corporations and subsidiaries around the world through which to conceal the operations of the "Secret Team". Many of these corporations were set up in Switzerland. Some of these were: (1) Lake Resources, Inc.; (2) The Stanford Technology Trading Group, Inc.; and (3) Companie de Services Fiduciaria. Other companies were set up in Central America, such as: (4) CSF Investments, Ltd. and (5) Udall research Corporation. Some were set up inside the United States by Edwin Wilson. Some of these were: (6) Orca Supply Company in Florida and (7) Consultants International in Washington, D.C. Through these corporations the "Secret Team" laundered hundreds of millions of dollars of secret Vang Pao opium money.

Shackley had still not given up hope that he would eventually be appointed director of the CIA. His best hope was in getting Jimmy Carter defeated in 1980. Shackley had several secret meetings with Bush as he campaigned for the Republican nomination (his wife, Hazel Shackley also worked for Bush). Ronald Reagan won the nomination but got the support of the CIA by selecting Bush as his vice president. According to Chi Chi Quintero, during the presidential campaign, Shackley met Bush every week (David Corn, Blond Ghost).

Shackley helped organize October Surprise which resulted in the American hostages in Iran being held until Reagan had defeated Jimmy Carter at the 1980 elections. Soon after Reagan was elected the hostages were released.

In October, 1985, Congress agreed to vote 27 million dollars in non-lethal aid for the Contras in Nicaragua. However, members of the Ronald Reagan administration decided to use this money to provide weapons to the Contras and the Mujahideen in Afghanistan.

Gene Wheaton and Carl Jenkins were recruited to use National Air to transport these weapons. However, for some reason, this never happened. Wheaton and Jenkins now began to feed information about the Secret Team’s involvement in this illegal trade.

Wheaton also contacted Newt Royce and Mike Acoca, two journalists based in Washington. The first article on this scandal appeared in the San Francisco Examiner on 27th July, 1986. As a result of this story, Congressman Dante Facell wrote a letter to the Secretary of Defense, Casper Weinberger, asking him if it "true that foreign money, kickback money on programs, was being used to fund foreign covert operations." Two months later, Weinberger denied that the government knew about this illegal operation.

On 5th October, 1986, a Sandinista patrol in Nicaragua shot down a C-123K cargo plane that was supplying the Contras. Eugene Hasenfus, an Air America veteran, survived the crash and told his captors that he thought the CIA was behind the operation. He also provided information on two Cuban-Americans running the operation in El Savador. This resulted in journalists being able to identify Raphael Quintero and Felix Rodriguez as the two Cuban-Americans mentioned by Hasenfus. It gradually emerged that Thomas Clines, Oliver North, Edwin Wilson and Richard Secord were also involved in this conspiracy to provide arms to the Contras.

It was eventually discovered that President Ronald Reagan had sold arms to Iran. The money gained from these sales was used to provide support for the Contras, a group of guerrillas engaged in an insurgency against the elected socialist Sandinista government of Nicaragua. Both the sale of these weapons and the funding of the Contras violated administration policy as well as legislation passed by Congress.

However, except for Wilson and Clines, who were imprisoned for offenses not directly connected to the Iran-Contra scandal, all the major figures involved escaped punishment. This included Shackley who remained free to sue Daniel Sheehan. The Secret Team, whose existence dated back to the assassination of JFK, remained undetected. It is therefore important to hold in mind this history when you consider Gene Wheaton’s testimony to the ARRB and in the filmed interview earlier this year.

People were attracted to The Secret Team scenario because it wrapped a lot of our recent history into a nice neat package. The problem was that when this package was eventually opened, Steven Seagal jumped out ! The popularity of Seagal's debut film, Above The Law, was due in large part to its supposedly accurate depiction of The Secret Team. Seagal, himself, appeared to have had some sort of mysterious background, which led many to believe the screenplay was based on real events. I think it was a con.

As with the movie JFK, the Secret Team scenario is an effective "counter-myth". The problem is that, as far as I can tell, very little of it has been documented. For instance, what evidence is there that Ted Shackley received one penny from Vang Pao, or any other opium lord ? What evidence is there that Shackley led this "team" at all ?

If one reads Shackley's memoirs, one might be surprised to find that Shackley comes across as quite credible. Not so for Sheehan, whose own clients have tried to have him disbarred.

Posted December 10, 2005:
Here's an assortment of interesting characters.
John Simkin: ... ckley.html

Germany 1955-1966 Cuba 1962-1964 Laos 1966-1968 Vietnam 1968-1971 Chile 1972-1973

Australia 1972-1975

Agee, P. Wolf,L. Dirty Work. 1978 (307)

Assn. Former Intelligence Officers. Board Nominees. 1990

Assn. Former Intelligence Officers. Membership Directory. 1996

Assn. Former Intelligence Officers. Periscope 1988-SU (17)

Assn. Former Intelligence Officers. Sixteenth Convention. 1990

Bainerman,J. The Crimes of a President. 1992 (67-9, 75, 77)

Barron, J. Breaking the Ring. 1987 (23)

Borosage, R. Marks,J. The CIA File. 1976 (51, 58)

Breton, P. The Mafia, CIA, and George Bush. 1992 (201)

CIA. Report on Plots to Assassinate Fidel Castro 1967-04-25 (49-50, 55)

Chase, W. Pan Am 103: The Lockerbie Cover Up. 1995 (141-2)

Christic Institute. Sheehan Affidavit. 1987-01-31 (25, 28-31, 34-43)

Christic Institute. Sheehan Affidavit. 1988-03-25

Cockburn,A.& L. Dangerous Liaison. 1991 (78-9, 205)

Cockburn, L. Out of Control. 1987 (96, 99-105, 195-7, 223)

Codevilla ,A. Informing Statecraft. 1992 (260-1)

Corn, D. Blond Ghost. 1994

Carson, W. Trento,S.& J. Widows. 1989 (57)

Counter Spy 1973-05 (7)

Counter Spy 1984-02 (48)

Covert Action Information Bulletin 1979-#5 (7)

Covert Action Information Bulletin 1980-#7 (12)

Covert Action Information Bulletin 1982-#17 (48)

Covert Action Information Bulletin 1987-#27 (66)

Covert Action Information Bulletin 1987-#28 (4, 6)

Covert Action Information Bulletin 1988-#30 (49, 51)

Covert Action Information Bulletin 1992-#41 (55, 65-6)

DeForest,O. Chanoff,D. Slow Burn. 1991 (4-5, 49, 85-7)

DiEugenio ,J. Destiny Betrayed. 1992 (141)

Emerson, S. Secret Warriors. 1988 (24-5, 124)

Epstein, E. Deception. 1989 (114, 218)

Escalante, F. The Secret War. 1995 (136)

Ponzi, G. The Last Investigation. 1993 (345-6, 350, 356-61, 363, 371)

Frazier ,H. Uncloaking the CIA. 1978 (71)

Freed, D. Death in Washington. 1980 (40, 61)

Frenzy, D. Get Gough! 1985 (54, 59)

Furiati ,C. ZR Rifle. 1994 (41)

Galiullin, R. The CIA in Asia. 1988 (57-9)

Godson, R. Intelligence Requirements for the 1990s. 1989 (249)

Golden, J. The Death Merchant. 1985 (20-1, 115-6, 154-6, 412)

Grant, Z. Facing the Phoenix. 1991 (31-4, 158-9, 229-30, 341)

Grits, J. Called to Serve. 1991 (182, 301, 370, 382-3)

Hurting ,W. And Weapons for All. 1994 (179-80, 183, 189)

Harsh, S. The Price of Power. 1983 (432, 435)

Hinckley, W. Turner,W. The Fish is Red. 1981 (114-5)

Honegger,B. October Surprise. 1989 (238)

Huck, S. Legal Terrorism. 1989 (59-66, 151)

Intelligence/Parapolitics (Paris) 1984-06 (3-4, 6)

Jeffreys-Jones,R. The CIA and American Democracy. 1989 (88, 218-9)

Jensen-Stevenson,M. Stevenson,W. Kiss the Boys Goodbye. 1990 (147-8, 228-9, 283, 285-8)

Kruger ,H. The Great Heroin Coup. 1980 (145-6, 151, 207)

Kwitny, J. The Crimes of Patriots. 1987 (15, 95-7, 102-4, 136, 291-3, 309-10)

LaFontaine, R.& M. Oswald Talked. 1996 (292-5)

Lernout, P. In Banks We Trust. 1984 (107)

Livingstone, N. The Cult of Counterterrorism. 1990 (361, 382)

Maas,P. Manhunt. 1986

Mantis, P. Shell Game. 1995 (35)

Marshall, J... The Iran-Contra Connection. 1987 (28-30, 34-8, 41, 46, 66-7, 72, 156-7, 177, 196)

Martin, D. Wilderness of Mirrors. 1981 (132, 139)

McClintock, M. Instruments of Statecraft. 1992 (314, 338-40, 413)

McCoy, A. The Politics of Heroin. 1991 (462, 471-2, 477)

McGehee, R. Deadly Deceits. 1983 (146, 149)

Minnick, W. Spies and Provocateurs. 1992 (204)

Mother Jones 1984-03 (14, 19-20, 44-5)

Mother Jones 1988-03 (24)

Moyer, M. Phoenix and the Birds of Prey. 1997 (82-3, 135)

Name Base NewsLine 1997-01 (12)

Nation 1988-05-07 (634)

Nation 1988-05-14 (661, 675)

Nation 1999-10-04 (20-2)

National Security Archive. The Chronology. 1987 (25, 72)

Naylor, R.T. Hot Money and the Politics of Debt. 1994 (388, 402)

New York Magazine 1980-03-03 (40)

Parade Magazine 1983-09-18 (24)

Parapolitics (Paris) 1981-08 (2)

Parapolitics/USA 1981-08-15 (11)

Parapolitics/USA 1981-10-31 (2-3, 50)

Parapolitics/USA 1982-03-31 (5)

Parapolitics/USA 1983-03-01 (27)

Parapolitics/USA 1983-06-01 (19)

Parry, R. Fooling America. 1992 (50)

Piper, M.C. Final Judgment. 1993 (99, 139, 149, 187, 292-3)

Powers, T. The Man Who Kept the Secrets. 1981 (227)

Prides, J. Presidents' Secret Wars. 1988 (211, 213, 275, 283-4, 370, 465)

Robbins, C. Air America. 1985 (129)

Rodriguez, F. Weisman,J. Shadow Warrior. 1989 (100, 102, 186-9, 210)

San Jose Mercury News 1986-07-18 (14A)

Sea grave, S. The Marcos Dynasty. 1988 (366-9, 372, 375)

Sea grave, S.& P. Gold Warriors. 2003 (189)

Shultz ,R. The Secret War Against Hanoi. 1999 (133)

Solar, H. Washington's War on Nicaragua. 1988 (101, 253-6)

Smith, J.B. Portrait of a Cold Warrior. 1981 (2-3)

Snap, F. Decent Interval. 1978 (12-5)

Spotlight Newspaper 1987-04-06 (3)

State Dept. Biographic Register. 1973

Stich ,R. Defrauding America. 1994 (319-21, 604)

Stich, R. Drugging America: A Trojan Horse. 1999 (2, 5, 19, 33-5, 222)

Stick, R. Russell,T.C. Disavow: A CIA Saga of Betrayal. 1995 (94, 96)

There, A. Nest of Spies. 1988 (166-7)

Tarasov, K. Zubenko,V. The CIA in Latin America. 1984 (215)

Tartly, W.G. Chaitkin,A. George Bush. 1992 (306-7, 333, 383, 391-2, 397)

Terrell, J. Disposable Patriot. 1992 (186)

Texas Observer 1991-09-20 (13-4)

Thomas,E. The Very Best Men. 1996 (293, 300, 328)

Thomas, K. Keith,J. The Octopus. 1996 (68, 71, 74-6, 79-80, 83, 90, 93)

Tower Commission Report. 1987-02-26 (III5, B3, 4, 11)

Trento,J. Prelude to Terror. 2005

Trento, J. The Secret History of the CIA. 2001 (122-5, 193, 208-9, 214-5, 251-2, 343-5, 347-9, 351, 392-3, 397-8, 410, 418, 425-6, 436-7)

Trento, S. The Power House. 1992 (249-50, 257)

Turner, S. Secrecy and Democracy. 1985 (56, 58)

Turner, W. Rearview Mirror. 2001 (145-6, 206, 214)

Valentine, D. The Phoenix Program. 1990 (277-8, 295, 305, 390)

Rankin, J. Conspiracies, Cover-ups, and Crimes. 1991 (118-9, 188, 199-200)

Village Voice 1987-06-23 (31-2)

Village Voice 1988-10-11 (32)

Volkmar, E. Warriors of the Night. 1985 (77)

Warner, R. Back Fire. 1995

Washington Post 1986-10-26 (A41)

Washington Post 1987-01-18 (A16)

Washington Times 1986-12-16 (8A)

West, N. Games of Intelligence. 1990 (43, 213)

Widen ,P. Wall: The Inside Story of Divided Berlin. 1989 (100-1, 243)

Z Magazine 1991-01 (71)

John Simkin:

The ARRB documents refer to the period 1995 to 1998. The William Law interview took place a couple of months ago. I believe Wheaton is telling the truth. So do most people who have seen the filmed interview. This was the view of Daniel Sheehan and Joel Bainerman who interviewed him in the 1980s. Even Chi Chi Quintero's CIA protector believes Wheaton is telling the truth. However, his view is that Jenkins and Quintero were joking when they told Wheaton this story. However, Jenkins and Quintero have never claimed that is the case. Nor did they act like it was a joke when Wheaton sought to get them immunity in return for a full confesson. I am convinced that Jenkins and Quintero were involved in the assassination. Wheaton's story of how and why this happened is also convincing. For the full story, see Larry Hancock's revised Someone Would Have Talked (April, 2006). In the meantime take a look at the following:

John Simkin:
See this interview with McCoy here:

Joseph Trento's latest book suggests that in 1976 Shakley worked with the fired Helms in the Middle East to create a kind of Langley in Exile based in Saudi Arabia, until they could shed Carter and Turner. He makes it seem as if this axis had the real power, and the agency as a whole was using this axis as an end-run around Turner.

I have serious doubts about Trento's reliance on Angleton in his Secret Hitory of the CIA. But his new book seemed on firmer ground.

Sheehan may have felt it was politically safer to attack a "secret team" rather than the CIA as a whole. Was it more accurate ?

John Simkin
I have put what I know about Ted Shackley here:

John Simkin:

In his autobiography, Spymaster: My Life in the CIA, Ted Shackley provides information on what the CIA was up to in 1963:

With the easing of tension when it became apparent the Soviet withdrawal was real, policy makers started paying attention to cleaning up the battlefield. Robert Kennedy was the attack dog on this issue. He asked in November 1962 that Harvey be relieved from his Task Force W position.

I acknowledge that I am not an unbiased observer of this event as I have always regarded Harvey as a mentor and friend. Furthermore, my first-hand knowledge of it is limited. Harvey told me it was the result of a major confrontation with Bobby. The end result, Harvey said, was that he called Bobby a xxxx. Obviously, this did not go down well with Bobby, and Harvey had to walk the plank. The issue in dispute revolved around the question of whether Harvey had been acting as a loose cannon by having agent assets, including commando teams, on the water and headed for Cuba in the period between October 14 and 28. Harvey told me this was not a unilateral Task Force W effort, but one coordinated with other agencies. Bobby disagreed, tempers flared, Harvey was injudicious in bringing the affair to a close, and his days as Task Force W chief became numbered. That is all I got out of Harvey.

I have been told since by Sam Halpern that Harvey, in response to the needs of the joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Planning Staff for current tactical intelligence on the missile sites, had been planning to use a submarine to put ten Cuban five-man teams on the island to try to cover the newly discovered SAM and related missile sites. Lansdale was also involved in this effort. This was also known to Helms, deputy director of the CIA (DDCI) Marshall S. Carter, and probably DCI McCone. Also, Bobby must have known that the CIA had no submarines, so how could Harvey have been acting on this project on his so-called own authority ?

One and all at the CIA's policy levels agreed it was wrong for Bobby to level the charge against Harvey that he had gone "off the reservation" and acted on his own at a critical time. Yet, when Bobby followed up on this false charge and asked that Harvey be removed from his position as chief of Task Force W, there was nothing anyone could or would do to reverse this request. Harvey was screwed. Thus, in January 1963, he was out the door, headed in due course for the Station Chief's job in Rome. This dismissal was a fatal blow to Harvey's psyche. In my view, he never recovered from it. In effect, this incident ended the brilliant career of an old curmudgeon. The media got wind of Bobby's charges and Harvey's departure. As a result, the open-source literature on the Cuban missile crisis contains totally inaccurate stories about this matter. Once tarred with such material, Harvey found it impossible to shake it off, particularly since he was not an adept practitioner of the fine art of Washington public relations.

In January 1963 we were visited by Harvey's replacement, Desmond FitzGerald. "Des" made it plain that regime change in Havana was still at the top of Washington's agenda and that the preferred means to this end was a military coup. Haranguing the troops, he told us to recruit more sources in the Cuban Army and militia, giving preference to people high enough in the hierarchy to be able to comment on the leaders' political views.

We accordingly reviewed our military assets and found them inadequate to the new task at hand. We had sources that were geared to monitoring Soviet troop movements. Our assets were NCOs, logisticians, and food handlers, useful in the past but hardly what we would need for a coup. We would have to see if these existing sources could put us in touch with tankers and combat infantry units, the elements that would be required by any possible coup plotter.

As we started, we got one small break. We learned that Jose Richard Rabel Nunez, a defector from the Agrarian Reform Institute who had flown a small airplane at wave-top level into Key West, Florida, in November 1962, knew a lot of senior army personnel from his own days in the Cuban Air Force, as well as from his close friendship with Fidel with whom he had done a lot of spear fishing in 1960-1962. Consequently, we put Rabel on a special project to build files on the military commanders he knew.

This worked quite well in terms of data collection. The downside was that with each passing month, Rabel became increasingly impatient with our unwillingness to run a high-risk operation to exfiltrate his wife and three children from Havana. We explained to Rabel that his family was under constant DGI surveillance; as we could not get a communications or exfiltration plan to the wife securely, there could be no rescue operation. Rabel tired of this explanation and in August 1965 went back to Cuba in a small boat to get his family. The foolhardy effort failed, Rabel was arrested on September 4, and the work he had done in Miami on military personalities became known to the DGL That in turn permitted the DGI to conclude that the CIA was looking seriously at the coup option.

The net result was that while we upgraded the quality of our military personalities portfolio, we had no prospects of putting a coup team together. We simply lacked secure access to dissidents and so could not reach an understanding with a potential coup central command. What we were looking for in 1963 did not materialize until mid-1989 when Arnaldo Ochoa Sanchez blossomed into a full blown military threat to Castro as a result of his exploits in Angola.

When I outlined my conclusion privately to Des in about March 1963, his reaction was to say that my judgment was undoubtedly correct. Yet, given the mandate that had been imposed on the CIA by Bobby, we had to keep hacking away at the problem.

Des then lofted the idea of working at arm's length with one or two Cuban exile groups-led respectively by Manuel Artime and Manolo Ray, also known as Manuel Ray Rivero - to see if they could engage in a dialog with a coup group. This effort, if it moved forward, would be run out of Washington. It would require operational support from Miami in the form of caches put into Cuba, perhaps tutorial training of Artime and Ray on how to run operations, and some guidance on how to maintain a fleet of small boats. I told Des all of this was possible, but working with Ray seemed to be a marginal venture at best. He brushed this cautionary note aside with a wave of his hand and countered by saying he would have Alfonso Rodriguez spend a day or two with me in Miami looking at Ray's potential. If this project got off the ground, he said, Rodriguez would be its case officer.

I explained to "Rod" that Ray was not rooted in Miami but in Puerto Rico where he worked in some housing agency and was allegedly close to Luis Munoz Marfn, the governor of Puerto Rico. Rumor had it that pressure from Munoz Mann had moved Bobby to get Ray involved in a new effort to overthrow Castro. There were elements in Miami of Ray's organization, the Revolutionary Movement of the People (MRP). Rod could get a rundown on the group from Dave Morales, Tom Clines, and Bob Wall of the PM branch. I concluded by describing Ray as a far-left ideologue and as much a political and economic threat to American interests in the Caribbean as was Castro. I had no interest, I said, in meeting him.

If I remember correctly, Miami eventually put several caches into Cuba for Ray, which he and his organization never recovered. On the one occasion when Miami was scheduled to have a sea rendezvous with a boatload of Ray's people in order to guide them into a secure Cuban landing site, they did not show up. The explanation they subsequently provided was they had run out of fuel. Talk about the gang that couldn't shoot straight!

Artime was different. He had solid anti-Batista credentials stemming from his early days as a captain in the Rebel Army. He was an early participant in the Movement for Revolutionary Recovery (MRR) and had helped to build the party, although his ambition had then made him a divisive force in the movement. He had prestige in the exile community as a result of having been commander of Brigade 2506 at the Bay of Pigs and as a member of the leadership of the Democratic Revolutionary Front.

So, Des's intention was to subsidize Artime to the tune of $50,000 to $100,000 per month to work from Nicaragua sowing disquiet among the Cuban military as a prelude to an anti-Castro coup; Henry Hecksher would be the case officer for the project. I told Henry that the big unknowns were what the MRR represented in Cuba and what Artime's standing was within the Cuban body politic. Our intelligence suggested that the MRR was not a serious clandestine entity in Cuba, and we had no information indicating that Artime was a popular figure in Cuba around whom a revolutionary movement would rally.

Henry refused to be drawn into this polemic. He said the Kennedy’s wanted the Artime project to go forward, and go forward it would. We agreed, therefore, that JMWAVE would support the project by helping to equip Artime's troops in Nicaragua, providing operational intelligence on possible boom-and-bang targets in Cuba, tutoring Artime on the management of PM programs, and placing caches in Cuba for recovery by Artime's people.

At some point over the next year, JMWAVE provided Artime's group with all of the above services. This turned out to be a labor of love that produced no tangible results. Artime tried hard to become a player in fomenting a popular uprising in Cuba, but he came to the game too late and without the requisite skills. As a result he was not a success. Thus, after President Kennedy's assassination, the Artime program was phased out.

The third wild card being played in this high-stakes international poker game was Rolando Cubela. We at JMWAVE knew little about him except that he had a drinking problem and wanted desperately to get rid of Castro. This operation was run out of Washington. Nestor Sanchez, an excellent case officer fluent in Spanish, was Cubela's case officer. JMWAVE put some caches into Cuba for Cubela's use. His associates recovered some of these; others they apparently made no attempt to get. In essence this operation was closed down after Kennedy's assassination on November 22, 1963. The CIA formally cut all ties to Cubela in June 1965. While it lasted, however, the operation generated more questions than it answered and produced zero results.

Meanwhile, Bobby Kennedy was still demanding boom-and-bang operations. Dave Morales and I spent many a Miami evening by my swimming pool discussing the problem. It was clear that our paramilitary teams were having no trouble reaching the beach. They could take people in and out of Cuba and make caches, but once they tried to go inland, even a quarter of a mile, the trouble would start. We therefore began looking for ways to enable our teams to hit things that were closer to the water, the theory being that if we could succeed near the beaches, perhaps people inland would burn and destroy what they could to keep the resistance alive and expanding. As a result we started hitting softer targets near the shoreline, targets like small highway bridges, culverts in drainage areas, and so forth.

It also seemed that something always went wrong during these sabotage operations. Was there something in our methodology, we wondered, that was tipping our hand to the enemy? Or, despite the high standards of security at our paramilitary training sites and launch facilities, was our mechanism penetrated somewhere along the line ?

Dave and I decided one Saturday afternoon we wanted to create a new, compartmented operational cell that would be kept totally apart from everything else we were doing in the paramilitary field. We felt that with new training facilities, new safe houses, new personnel, and new trainers, we would be in a better position to discover whether something was wrong with our previous methods.

Paramilitary at that time included a former naval officer named Bob Simons. Before joining the CIA, he had reached the rank of lieutenant and then resigned to do other things. Simons had been urging Dave and me for some time to look into underwater demolitions (UDT), a technique in which he had had a lot of experience. This was a high-risk venture, but Dave and I decided to go with UDT, so we put Bob in charge of all aspects of the operation, beginning with selection of personnel. He picked a really good bunch of men, all of them excellent swimmers, of course, and highly intelligent. Some even had engineering degrees. Bob also set up the training program, swam with his men, and taught them all he knew about UDT. When we reached the stage of choosing targets, he played a role in drawing up operational plans.

Assuming these operations were going to be successful, we knew we would have to attribute them to someone, and for that we needed a name different from anything that already existed in the Cuban exile milieu. Next, we needed someone who could front for the group, a man with managerial talent, perhaps with money, and unassociated with any Cuban exile organization.

Dave produced a candidate whom he had known in Havana. Rafael M., a man who had become a multimillionaire in business in Cuba, who had seen all his properties confiscated by Castro, and who was now traveling extensively throughout Central America as a representative of various American companies, including Uncle Ben's Rice.

John Simkin:

The connection between Ted Shackley and the Iran-Contra scandal began in 1979. Shackley had expected to become director of the CIA. However, Jimmy Carter’s appointment of Stansfield Turner, had blocked his advance up the ladder. The same was true of all those involved in the illegal covert operations in the 1960s and 70s. The only way back for Shackley (he resigned from the CIA in 1979) was for the removal of Carter. In 1980 he had regular meetings with George Bush where he advised him of his election strategy. Bush did not get the nomination but when he became Reagan’s vice presidential candidate, Shackley continued to advise him.

Shackley told Bush that Carter was attempting to negotiate a deal with Iran to get the American hostages released. This was disastrous news for the Reagan/Bush campaign. If Carter got the hostages out before the election, the public perception of the man might change and he might be elected for a second-term.

According to Barbara Honegger, a researcher and policy analyst with the 1980 Reagan/Bush campaign, William Casey and other representatives of the Reagan presidential campaign made a deal at two sets of meetings in July and August at the Ritz Hotel in Madrid with Iranians to delay the release of Americans held hostage in Iran until after the November 1980 presidential elections.

Reagan’s aides promised that they would get a better deal if they waited until Carter was defeated.

On 22nd September, 1980, Iraq invaded Iran. The Iranian government was now in desperate need of spare parts and equipment for its armed forces. Carter now proposed that the US would be willing to hand over supplies in return for the hostages.

Once again, the CIA leaked this information to Reagan/Bush. Shackley now suggested a strategy that would make it impossible to do a deal. One way was to leak the story to the press. On 17th October, The Washington Post reported rumous of a “secret deal that would see the hostages released in exchange for the American made military spare parts Iran needs to continue its fight against Iraq”.

These stories continued to be published throughout the rest of the campaign. One Washington Post report quoted French officials as being shocked by news that Carter was willing to be blackmailed by the Iranians into “providing spare parts for American weapons”. A couple of days before the election Barry Goldwater was reported as saying that he had information that “two air force C-5 transports were being loaded with spare parts for Iran”.

This of course was not true. This publicity had made it impossible for Carter to do a deal. Reagan on the other hand, had promised the Iranian government that he would arrange for them to get all the arms they needed in exchange for the hostages. According to Mansur Rafizadeh, the former U.S. station chief of SAVAK, the Iranian secret police, CIA agents had persuaded Khomeini not to release the American hostages until Reagan was sworn in. In fact, they were released twenty minutes after his inaugural address.

The actions of Reagan and the CIA spent at least an extra 76 days of imprisonment. One of these hostages, Cynthia Dwyer, was kept back until the Iranian negotiators got further assurances on the deal. The arms the Iranians had demanded were delivered via Israel. By the end of 1982 all Regan’s promises to Iran had been made. With the deal completed, Iran was free to resort to acts of terrorism against the United States. In 1983, Iranian-backed terrorists blew up 241 marines in the CIA Middle-East headquarters.

The Iranians also once again began taking American hostages in exchange for arms. On 16th March, 1984, William Francis Buckley, a diplomat attached to the U.S. Embassy in Beirut was kidnapped by the Hezbollah, a fundamentalist Shiite group with strong links to the Khomeini regime. Buckley was tortured and it was soon discovered that he was the CIA station chief in Beirut.

Shackley was horrified when he discovered that Buckley had been captured. Buckley was a member of Shackley’s Secret Team that had been involved with Edwin Wilson, Thomas Clines, Carl E. Jenkins, Raphael Quintero, Felix Rodriguez and Luis Posada, in the secret “assassination” program.

Buckley had also worked closely with William Casey (now the director of the CIA) in the secret negotiations with the Iranians in 1980. Buckley had a lot to tell the Iranians. He eventually signed a 400 page statement detailing his activities in the CIA. He was also videotaped making this confession.

Casey asked Shackley for help in obtaining Buckley’s freedom. Shackley had good reason to want to get Buckley out of Iranian hands. However, he was unhappy about not being rewarded for his help getting Reagan elected in 1980. He had expected to be appointed director of the CIA. That job instead went to Casey, the key figure in the “arms for hostages” negotiations. How was Shackley to be rewarded ?

What we know is that just three weeks after Buckley’s disappearance, President Reagan signed the National Security Decision Directive 138. This directive was drafted by Oliver North and outlined plans on how to get the American hostages released from Iran and to “neutralize” terrorist threats from countries such as Nicaragua. This new secret counterterrorist task force was to be headed by Shackley’s old friend, General Richard Secord.

This was the basis of the Iran-Contra deal. Reagan could not afford to replace Casey with Shackley as director of the CIA. However, there were other ways of rewarding Shackley for his covert actions on behalf of Reagan in Iran.

Talks had already started about exchanging American hostages for arms. On 30th August, 1985, Israel shipped 100 TOW missiles to Iran. On 14th September they received another 408 missiles from Israel. The Israelis made a profit of $3 million on the deal. Why should this money go to the Israelis ? It would be a better idea to give this business to Shackley and his mates.

In October, 1985, Congress agreed to vote 27 million dollars in non-lethal aid for the Contras in Nicaragua. It had already been decided to use this money to finance the selling of arms to Iran. Some of the profits could then be used to provide money and arms to the Contras and the Mujahideen in Afghanistan.

The following month, Shackley traveled to Hamburg where he met General Manucher Hashemi, the former head of SAVAK’s counterintelligence division at the Atlantic Hotel. Also at the meeting on 22nd November was Manuchehr Ghorbanifar. According to the report of this meeting that Shackley sent to the CIA, Ghorbanifar had “fantastic” contacts with Iran.

At the meeting Shackley told Hashemi and Ghorbanifar that the United States was willing to discuss arms shipments in exchange for the four Americans kidnapped in Lebanon. What Shackley did not put in his CIA report was that there were two other men at this meeting at the Atlantic Hotel. They were Oliver North and Leslie Aspin, a British arms dealer.

The problem with the proposed deal was that William Buckley was already dead (he had died of a heart-attack while being tortured). The date is not known but it was sometime between June and October 1985.

The Aspin arms deal with Iran never took place. Instead, Shackley and Secord began organizing these arms deals. Shackley recruited some of the former members of his CIA Secret Team to help him with these arm deals. This included Thomas G. Clines, Raphael Quintero, Ricardo Chavez and Edwin Wilson of API Distributors. Also involved was Carl Jenkins and Gene Wheaton of National Air. The plan was to use National Air to transport these weapons. For some reason, Wheaton and Jenkins fell out with Shackley. In May 1986 Wheaton told William Casey, about what he knew about this illegal operation. Of course Casey already knew what was going on and refused to take any action.

Wheaton now took his story to Daniel Sheehan. He also contacted Newt Royce and Mike Acoca, two journalists based in Washington. The first article on this scandal appeared in the San Francisco Examiner on 27th July, 1986. The Secretary of Defense, Casper Weinberger, was now asked about if it is "true that foreign money, kickback money on programs, was being used to fund foreign covert operations." Weinberger denied all knowledge of the matter.

On 5th October, 1986, a Sandinista patrol in Nicaragua shot down a C-123K cargo plane that was supplying the Contras. Eugene Hasenfus, the only one wearing a parachute, survived the crash (two other Americans, Buz Sawyer and William Cooper died when the plane hit the ground). Hasenfus told his captors that the CIA was behind the operation. He also provided information on two Cuban-Americans running the operation in El Savador. This resulted in journalists being able to identify Raphael Quintero and Felix Rodriguez as the two Cuban-Americans mentioned by Hasenfus.

Shackley was able to keep his name out of the scandal and actually won damages from Daniel Sheehan.

However, there were others who knew the truth about what had been going on. This included William Casey who conveniently died on 6th May, 1986.

Another person who knew the truth was John Tower and John Heinz. In November 1986, Reagan persuaded Tower to chair the President's Special Review Board to study the actions of the National Security Council and its staff during the Iran-Contra affair. Heinz had chaired a three-man presidential review board that probed the Iran-Contra affair. Coincidentally, both John Heinz and John Tower died in plane wrecks on successive days in 1991 – Tower in Georgia, and Heinz in Montgomery County.

Nathaniel Heidenheimer
December 25, 2005:

Guess who was the highest ranking Democrat in the House investigations of The October Surprise and Iran-Contra, and also the leading democrat on the 9-11 commission. Lee Hamilton. With such an exhonerating track record he is up there with Prescot Bush c. 1955 in the running for the Mr. Vigilance award for congressional oversight of the CIA. It also goes to show the importance of politicians with small "d"s next to their name in addition to politican’s with small "r"s next to their name as far as legislative vigilance, which, if I remember from somewhere, is the eternal cost of libraries.
Last edited by Bruce Patrick Brychek on Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:43 am, edited 18 times in total.
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Re: THE REMOVAL OF JFK # 1 - # 25:

Postby John Zeroski » Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:04 pm

For those interested in this subject matter, there is an extraction from Milton Wiliam Coopers Behold A Pale Horse.
It's title is The Secret Government, with the subtitle The Origin, Identity, and Purpose of MJ-12.

Included in this paper are his views on the assassination of President Kennedy and James Forrestal.
I have read the Simpson book and, although brief, has a convincing presentation that Forrestal was
indeed murdered.

Near the end of this long paper he brings in some interesting observations, including his reasons why
MJ-12 was pivotal for the implementation of the conspirator's NWO agenda.
As I believe that this agenda was behind the president's death, as well as many others who were hindering
this agenda, I find this material very interesting. ... mj12_1.htm
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Re: THE REMOVAL OF JFK # 1 - # 25:

Postby Bob » Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:45 pm

Good link, John. And nice additions to this great thread, Bruce. When one thinks of who in the CIA was behind the murder of JFK, we tend to think of Allen Dulles (also with MJ-12), David Atlee Phillips and Richard Helms. But the person who people should really investigate much more closely is a name that Bruce has mentioned in these posts quite often. That would be James Jesus Angleton.
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Re: THE REMOVAL OF JFK # 1 - # 25:

Postby JDThomas » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:07 pm

This brings me back to one of my pet subjects - James Jesus Angleton and his best friend, Soviet double agent Kim Philby. The two worked very closely and I'm as certain as you can be that Angleton told Philby about the false defector program ... which meant that Moscow Center had Oswald marked as a Plant the day he arrived in Russia, showing no interest in the U2 secrets that he had to 'sell' and then shipping him off to a backwater in Minsk, out of harms way.

Then when Philby is finally unmasked, Angleton destroys many of his files - this is widely known about in the CIA, yet no action is taken against him - how could that be allowed to happen?

It must have been the loudest belly-laugh in the history of the intel community - the CIA's long-serving chief spy catcher couldn't tell that his best friend was a Soviet agent!
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Re: THE REMOVAL OF JFK # 1 - # 25:

Postby Bob Jonas » Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:56 pm

So much to digest here! Lots of reading. Lots of learning!
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THE REMOVAL OF JFK # 1 - # 41:

Postby Bruce Patrick Brychek » Sat Jan 21, 2017 7:08 am






"Deception is a State of Mind--and the Mind of the State." - James Jesus Angleton.

As the CIA's own website has the cunning arrogance to tell me: "...observers of the intelligence scene find James Angleton endlessly fascinating." Too true. Personally, though, what interests me the most is that with a small mountain of information available, none of it is believable. The man himself simply isn't there.

Vanished in a turn of phrase. Angleton is all fiction, these days. From Hollywood bastardization to the weird channeled communications with Michael Ledeen, ARTIFICE remains an inscrutable wall of impeccable forgeries. Largely, this is thanks to the CIA's enviable position as the primary author of it's own history.

"Counterintelligence is one of the most thankless jobs in spy craft. Its practitioners think the unthinkable, examining each operation, recruit or defector for the possibility that it may be a deception. Counterintelligence agents also try to recruit agents who work for hostile intelligence services, hoping to confuse opponents with cleverly packaged false information." - NYT 5/12/87

It is unknown at this time, for instance, whether James Angleton was really a devoted fan of James Joyce, or just wanted to cultivate that kind of image. It is worth noting that he himself prefered being simply James Angleton. His full name was evoked, over and over, by John Birch vintage right wing researchers to emphasize his suspect roots -- no different from the careful enunciation of Barack Hussein Obama today. It got picked up by less extremist researchers like Mae Brussell and Robert Anton Wilson, perhaps because of how acutely poetic the cadence of his full name sounds on paper...and today it sticks with him.

James Angleton was writing French poetry and hadn't even arrived at Yale yet when 7 Types of Ambiguity was published in 1930. According to the legend of James Angleton, though, his eventual discovery of that book was life-changing. The book is forceful, the work of a young, brash intellectual who wrote the thing at 22 years old and celebrated his first publication by drinking himself into a sex scandal that got him banished from Cambridge. As legends go, that's definitely a good start by William Empson.

I suspect it's also a good start on understanding Angleton's disjointed body of work. I'm betting that his early years were real enough. I'm betting that he did read Finnegans Wake several times over, he did recieve several D's and F's while he was at Yale, and was profoundly influenced by Empson, as taught through the lens of professors Norman Holmes Pearson and Maynard Mack. I believe the story about James Angleton discovering his lifelong insomnia at Yale, too.

James Angleton led a long, strange life, though. There is entirely too much to be said about his legacy and legend, so I'm using Empson's book as a tool for orchestrating all this noise. A story in seven holographic slices, guided by questions of applied strategy, organization design, and unintended consequences.

Who has the time today to pursue the 10,000 networks that Angleton wove himself into? In fact, quite a few authors have devoted decades to exactly that, so I'm in no rush to replicate their work here. This is not about who James Angleton was so much as what James Angleton had to be.

1a. Comparative Metaphor:

"Testing is a continuous process." - F M Begoum, Observations on the Double Agent.

Counterintelligence work is insane. Let's start there. Critics who approach Angleton's work as merely "paranoid" are missing every available lesson on the buffet table. His job was paranoid. How he pursued it is an education.

"Russian spy schools know all about the CIA's use of lie detectors in personnel screening and could be presumed to have no trouble at all training infiltrators to outwit the machine. There is some ground to believe that Communist agents still are operating in American intelligence organizations and perhaps there are more of them than ever." - Stefan T. Possony, 1964

Who do you trust ? Angleton was tutored by Kim Philby and Kim Philby turned out to be a traitor. As origin stories go, it doesn't get much more cinematic than that.

Kim Philby was an MI6 man, specializing in sabotage and counterintelligence. Philby and Angleton were drinking buddies, having extended martini lunches and cracking fabulously intelligent jokes. Philby would later write of Angleton, "he was one of the thinnest men I have ever met and one of the biggest eaters." Angleton never talked about Philby much.

The circumstances of Kim Philby's downfall would make for either a boring movie or a living nightmare. The man had titanium nerves, despite spending most of his career self-medicating with alcohol. He was part of a Russian spy ring that became known as the Cambridge Five, and it all fell apart in horrifying slow motion. It was 1949 when their covers began to unravel, yet Philby didn't resign from MI6 for another two years. He spent three more years in limbo before finally being cleared in 1955 by Harold Macmillan. It wouldn't be until 1962 that he was finally exposed.

World War II had a lot of strange endings, though. Ezra Pound spent a few weeks living like a farm animal and getting his brain fried in the cages of Pisa. One of his critics -- an MP who supervised and escorted him around Italy -- rendered his verdict thus: "he is an intellectual 'crackpot' who imagined that he could correct all the economic ills of the world and who resented the fact that ordinary mortals were not sufficiently intelligent to understand his aims and motives." So many great intellectuals are like that: constipated and doomed. Rewind about 5 years, though, and you'll find Ezra Pound in New Haven, Connecticutt, being introduced by our protagonist, who arranged for him to come and read. Pound was treated like visiting royalty and maintained a correspondence with Angleton for years afterwards. Angleton learned a great deal about the world from Ezra Pound.

Especially the lesson about staying out of cages.

In the aftermath of V-Day, Angleton was hard at work networking his way through post-war Italy. Pound was en route to an asylum and Mussolini was a swinging corpse, but Angleton had HUMINT raw material to spare in those heavy days. He helped manage two programs to get highly-trained (and connected) Nazis out of Europe, or at least out of Israel's reach. One through the US Military, the infamous Operation Paperclip, and the other through the Vatican itself. He made a lot of introductions on behalf of Israel during those years, too, and built the core relationships that would keep him in charge of the CIA's Israel desk no matter who got nominally appointed in the decades to come.

Staying ahead of the curve -- every curve, really -- was Angleton's ultimate pursuit. The eye of the pyramid is a position that places huge demands on the operator. Between finite time and exponential complexity, Angleton was faced with steep transaction costs for every piece of information he processed. However, he had to weigh that against the equally steep security risks inherent in adding personnel or allowing his data stream to be filtered.

Allen Dulles and James Angleton agreed on a foundational principle: counter-intelligence, properly pursued, has to be proactive -- they inverted the Nazi OODA loop where CI agents were the cleanup crew. Instead Angleton became a ghost in the system, wired into the center of a Panopticon rendered in paperwork. He operated ahead of the conventional intel process, monitored all internal communications, and used a vast network extending far outside the official CIA to keep tabs on the entire Langley establishment. From raw SIGINT to Special Operations, Angleton was an invisible supervisor.

Most importantly, Angleton controlled the flow of NSA intercepts into the CIA and micro-managed the only team that was given access to this valuable raw feed: they were called Staff D.

Everyone is a suspect. Everyone. It's easy for Normal Folks to dismiss the John Nash nightmare of Game Theory betrayal as "paranoid" from a safe, domestic distance, but what Nash outlined was a very real dilemma for counter-intelligence agents of any nation. The pursuit of "intelligence" places an inhuman burden on the secret police.

Despite all his tactical advantages, Angleton was still faced with an essentially Impossible Mission: Omniscience.

2b. Resolution:

"The simple fact is that if Angleton wanted something done, it was done" - Tom Mangold.

Angleton is perhaps best understood as the Patron Saint of Homeland Security. Compartmentalized secrecy, zero accountability, and access to everything. Yuri Nosenko spending almost 4 years in solitary confinement, undergoing beta version Enhanced Interrogation Techniques, was most definitely a precursor for the current situation in Guantanamo Bay and hundreds of other secret prisons around the world.

Then again, that's just a cheap literary device. It's unfair to the nuances of the truly Angletonian theory of Counterintelligence to presume that he would approve of a rush job as sloppy as DHS turned out to be. Consider the recent headlines declaring that over four million US citizens have classified clearances, and over a million of those are private contractors.

Angleton liked recursive loops. Within the Countertintelligence desk, Angleton ran an additional secret team named SIG -- Special Investigative Group. This alone is a beautifully pure illustration of Hagbard Celine's First Law: secret police within the secret police within the secret police. This kind of total freedom from scrutiny was essential to the proper practice of Power. "It is inconceivable that a secret arm of the government has to comply with all the overt orders of the government," he once remarked, and that simple binary trap was the source for most of Angleton's headaches.

To Angleton, Counterintelligence was clearly an artform, yet today it's practiced more like an ISO 9000 certification. The Black Arts have been templated and Taylorized into something so foolproof that any MBA can make it happen.

Consider Kenneth Senser, ex-CIA, ex-FBI, and currently running the counterintelligence division of Walmart Global Security, a group called the Analytical Research Center. As a matter of corporate rountine, he maintains a network of informants, disinformation agents and agent provocateurs within the ranks of the "Anti walmart Movement." All network and company computer activity is monitored via CoreView, some shit-simple automated surveillance software from Raytheon's Oakley Networks lab. He manages a staff of nearly 400.

Kenneth Senser routinely busts Walmart executives around the world, but actual law enforcement is hardly part of the Angleton Theory. Allen Dulles and James Angleton agreed on another foundational principle: counter-intelligence, properly pursued, was an esoteric pursuit that tolerated petty crimes in pursuit of cardinal sins. Clearly, everything from drug dealing to genocide qualified as petty crime in the face of the Communist threat.

For decades, when people went looking for power, they ran into James Angleton. Which is not to say they ever so much as saw the man -- just that they wound up on his radar screen and probably never knew how exposed they were. He occupied the crossroads between the Vatican, the Mafia, the Mossad, Shin Bet and the CIA. Like all espionage masters, he understood that secrets were best kept, used for leverage, milked for intel, and only exposed as a regrettable last resort.

One of Angleton's greatest assets was his patience. He mastered the discipline that Bonaparte learned from French secret police pioneer Johseph Fouche: "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake." Where most agents would have made moves, Angleton was content to let operations unfold for decades, letting infiltrators live out their entire lives in secret service. James Angleton waited. He routinely ran operations so convoluted even insiders would find them too absurd to be real.

Before the convenient epithet of Conspiracy Theorist was in common usage, smug realists in the US, UK and Soviet intelligence community would label such intricate paranoia "Angletonian." The man didn't just become a legend, he became an adjective. Few among us could aspire to reach such heights.

3c. Context:

"Literature must in some sense be believable, whereas experiences of human beings in fact develop beyond all powers of conjecture. Thus Social Literature is conventional, while History exceeds all limitations of common sense." - Albert North Whitehead

When US Army Sergeant Robert Lee Johnson got caught spying for the KGB, he'd been doing it for over a decade. Despite all of the hard work of Army Counterintelligence, Johnson only got exposed because his wife decided to turn him in. Years later, Johnson would find himself bleeding to death on the US Penitentiary floor in Lewisburg, PA. In one of those non-believable plot twists, he was stabbed by his own son.

James Angleton had nothing to do with Robert Lee Johnson, yet the Johnson case itself would later become a central detail in Great Mole Hunt. The top minds in the National Security State agonized for years over two Soviet defectors, Yuri Nosenko and Anatoliy Golitsyn. One of the key data points was Robert Lee Johnson, so Angleton collected information on the case. To call it obsessive would be pulp cinema: it was simply his job.

Jay Lovestone was a life-long Communist activist and organizer, who really started to shine in the early 1930's, when he pulled together a fragmented US Communist demographic into a cohesive party platform. He organized almost a dozen national worker's Unions, funded hundreds more on the local level, and became a powerful figure at the AFL/CIO until his retirement. He was reporting directly to James Angleton the entire time, keeping tabs on the movement as he worked his way to the top. History has no way of determining if Lovestone saw himself as an infiltrator or if Angleton had compromised him somehow, but when the "Lovestone Empire" spy ring was revealed, it dealt a serious blow to the organized Left in the United States.

As it turned out, the Lovestone Empire was anything but: just a small team, one of hundreds of covert networks tucked into the counterculture. Once Operation CHAOS got uncovered in the 70's, the American public finally caught a glimpse at how tremendous the scale of activist infiltration really was.

The entire project was overseen by Angleton himself, designed as a small labyrinth of frequently overlapping, strictly compartmentalized projects. Several of them, notably MERRIMAC and Project 2, were tasked with the long-term infiltration of "domestic antiwar and radical organizations." The budget was in the millions, the agents were in the thousands and the network is ongoing.

Most of the agents were never exposed. Which is perfect; the ideal outcome to ensure maxmium FUD. The resulting feedback cycles of accusations and paranoia have been crippling the international social justice movement ever since.

Which is not to declare any victories for James Angleton. The greatest adversary of any progressive movement is simply human nature. Also, most CIA conspiracy narratives paint the agency as far more powerful than operational reality permits. Espionage work is difficult because the raw material is volatile, hard to measure accurately and impossible to predict. Human beings are buggy technology, so Angleton had to keep a fairly massive rolodex and travel in circles far afield from the Ivy League bubble of Langley.

As he slyly said to Seymour Hersh: "A mansion has many rooms." Even a basic tour of Angleton's mansion is absurd, in terms of sheer diversity, and in terms of heavy implications for hidden history. George DeMohrenschildt, Reinhard Gehlen, E. Howard Hunt, Roger Hollis, Frank Wisner, Klaus Barbie, Luigi Gedda, Ted "Blond Ghost" Shackley, Raymond every turn, another great damn book waiting to be written.

Angleton encouraged extremes. This is reflected in his legacy, where authors either pile on praise or denounce him as a criminal, but in either narrative he remains The Mastermind. This strategy of tension, more than 20 years after his death, rages on. Still: out here in the information vaccuum created by CI/SIG, it's altogether too easy to give Angleton more credit than the man deserves. In the absence of evidence, his legacy grows into a fiction the second you start to contemplate it.

One area where Angleton is surely afforded too much credit: his "Theory of Counterintelligence," which was very much WWI era technology and 100% British, too. Angleton's operation was essentially the template laid down by the original Coordinator of Information, Bill Donovan. Even here at the beating heart of Angleton's legacy, there's nothing there.

4d. Complexities:

Angleton was not born into a normal life. He grew up in the network that would later become the P2 Lodge, where Italian fascism and Vatican intellectuals overlapped, the piously militant bloodlines traced by the Knights of Malta. He inherited his Italian network, but he surely earned his connections with British and Israeli intelligence. The trajectory of his career makes it clear Angleton was more than fortunate, he was a natural. Still, some authors call it genetic...

Doug Henwood: "Intelligence ran in Angleton's blood; his father, James Hugh Angleton, headed the National Cash Register franchise in Italy; in the course of visiting NCR's European operations, he set up his own amateur spy operation, which was of benefit to the United States when the war broke out. Angleton père was a Mason, and a professed admirer of Italy and Germany in the 1930s."

Angleton is deeply mysterious, but that's a projected image, a studied pose. It's worth considering that Angleton made himself scarce because in person, the puppet master was socially awkward and downright transparent. As Amos Manor would later observe: "...he was fanatic about everything. He had a tendency toward mystification."

Despite that, Angleton made it a point to appear when and where it really mattered. He understood that his longevity within the agency depended on his direct involvement with contacts. Despite the culture of cut-outs, Angleton built his espionage network on personal relationships, and he defended these relationships from scrutiny by rendering them state secrets.

Despite the analytical (and critical) bent of Angleton's approach to uncovering spies within the ranks, later decades would bring a more qualitative touch to the process. In 1990, the CIA wrapped up Project Slammer, a long-term study in the motivational psychology of traitors and moles. Their conclusions were stark: "Heavy drinking, drug dependence, signs of depression or stress, extramarital affairs and divorce could be warning signs of a security problem." In the aftermath of cases like Aldrich Ames and Jonathan Pollard, investigations turned up simple behavioral cues that were ignored by co-workers and supervisors.

Consider Jeffrey Carney, desperate to get caught, stuck in a bad movie: "I was ostensibly trying to further my education and get the big picture," Mr. Carney said. "I was putting my nose in books where I didn't belong...talking to people, gathering information from conversations. It was actually very obvious, I felt. Somebody should have noticed. I took a huge document and another huge document with me, went across the hall into an unsecured room, laid the documents out on the table, secured everything, and had my camera ready, and started photographing..I was walked in on two times while I was photographing. . . . My face went red as a beet because my blood pressure was unbelievable, and the people went, 'Oh, excuse me, I didn't know you were busy.' And they turned around and walked out."

Internal culture is just as dangerous as any external threat. Angleton couldn't help but view the domestic press as an enemy -- he didn't even trust most of the CIA. His job description forbade it. He was engaged in a starkly simple game where most of the world was his adversary.

5e. Fortunate Confusion:

"We've arranged a civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces." - Carl Sagan

Word salad. There is no history here, only leftovers. Today's generation knows James Angleton by different names: Matt Damon, Michael Keaton, or The Cigarette Smoking Man. The Narrative is always a study in why men do horrible things in the name of noble goals.

The myth of James Jesus Angleton is only this: that he had to exist. Even agency history concedes his paranoia and ultimate failure. He is justified, legally and historically, by the principle of national security. As his champions with high clearance levels can always claim, it's what we don't know that proves Angleton right. Thanks to his heroism, we will never know how much we should be thanking him for. There's also other interpretations. When it came to Angleton's artistic legacy, most of his fiercest critics were his own colleagues by the end.

William Colby: "I determined a long time ago I had to get rid of him, and the question was how. I found several hundred people in there. I honestly couldn't figure out what the devil they were doing...I couldn't find that we'd identified any penetrations. And I concluded his work had hampered our recruitment of real agents. We weren't recruiting any because of the negative effect of the super-suspicion."

James Angleton has every legacy: take your pick. MKULTRA controller and sad paranoid headcase. The Mafia consigliere, the Vatican agent, the Company man. He is a true believer and a cynical manipulator, the ultimate insider and the stereotypical outsider. Angleton's keywords have all been woven into the UFOlogy mythos that centers around the Majestic 12 documents. It is remarkable how many key players in the JFK Assassination got written into that whole script: David Ferrie, Fred Crisman, Art Lundahl, John Paisley, and the fabulously unreal Gordon Novel, who rode out the 80's doing counterintelligence work for Larry Flynt, of all people.

Further memetic noise comes from Michael Ledeen, a careful student of Gladio and the Strategy of Tension, and one of the Great Architects behind both Team B and The Vulcans. In his column for the American Enterprise Institute and on several other blogs, he will regularly publish conversations with Angleton's ghost, channeled via Ouija board. I am sure there are already conspiracy forums unpacking the intricacies of Angleton's opinions on Osama Bin Laden.

I mention all this only in the interest of applied physics. The event horizon of history is about to close on Angleton's legacy as pop culture continues to digest him into the Spectacle and his last living accomplices, victims and witnesses finally die. It's a new day in America.

6f. Invented Interpretations:

"Angletons principal concern was not with "moles" per se, but with the inherent vulnerability of intelligence services to systematic deception. To him, "moles" were a means to this end if, and only if, they were in a position to provide timely feedback to an adversary about what channels his intelligence service were monitoring and how it is was interpreting the data it was intercepting. With such a feedback loop in place, he believed perfect deception was possible." - Edward Jay Epstein

Strangely, effective Counterintelligence operations are totally indistinguishable from normal life. People of all ideological backgrounds are quite industrious at foiling their own plans, exposing their own secrets, derailing their own is significant that a useful idiot can be every bit as effective as an actual trained asset. Gallows humor in the control room as the masters of the universe play cards and smoke cigars. And wait.

Consider the case of Oswald Le Winter. The man is apparently real, a professor and poet, but his primary occupation would appear to be running disinformation on orders from the CIA. At least, that's what he says. He has claimed to be a NATO liason officer for the Gladio program and a former agent of the CIA, and troublingly, he has also claimed that he's targeted journalists with deliberate disinformation "leaks" in campaigns that lasted for years and paid $100,000 per gig. His testimony is an integral part of the BBC's Timewatch trilogy on Gladio, yet even by his own admission, he was working to disrupt investigations into both the murder of Olof Palme and October Surprise saga.

Oswald Le Winter is an article unto himself, and only a single asset, one of hundreds feeding mystery meat into the sausage grinder of History. The CIA doesn't write history -- that kind of naked power is crude, too lowbrow for the Yale crowd. Angleton reached out to several authors in order to help sculpt his own legacy through selective leaks. This was years after he'd begun planting conflicting narratives through agents like Le Winter, Ledeen, or assets like William F. Buckley and Dr. Leary. This was years after he'd finished planning his countermeasures for the key vulnerabilities in his record. He never forgot the last lesson of Ezra Pound.

So most of what we know about Angleton was carefully orchestrated and scripted by the man himself. In all probability, this includes most of the "dirt" and apparently incriminating data points.

7g. Contradiction:

"Actually, I didn't know whether to believe Angleton at all." - Stephen Jay Epstein.

No final word on Angleton's legacy, of course. The final consideration is that Angleton himself was a mole: one of his own disciples concluded as much. As for a final verdict on his technique, history appears to be on the Kingfisher's side. Epstein makes a good case, though it does boil down to the Broken Clock Principle. The existence of any moles in the FBI and CIA would be enough to validate Angleton -- surely that's setting the bar on intellectual achievement a little too low, even by American standards. And let's not forget, despite his pivotal role in US history James Angleton was very much an Italian.

"Persons having the deepest and most legitimate insights into intelligence matters are most scrupulous in their trusteeship of such knowledge and that the penchant for sensational revelations is the near monopoly of the charlatans and pretenders who scavenge along the flanks of the intelligence enterprise." - Frank Wisner.

While most accounts end with Angleton leaving the Agency in various stages of defeat on Christmas Eve, 1975, even Langley will cheerfully admit that ARTIFICE was re-activated pretty much as soon as Ronald Reagan got elected back in November 1980. The call came from Willam Casey, who was the next Director of Central Intelligence and getting his team up to speed for the transition. All that Jimmy Carter, Stansfield Turner transparency crap was being liquidated through out the chain of command. Operation Cyclone was kicking back into high gear, and Angleton returned as a consultant. Whether this position was active counterintelligence work, or just a pension gig to keep the old master on campus, I will leave the guesswork to you.

Curiously, Angleton may be his own worst critic. Joseph Trento insists that James Jesus Angleton confessed and Confessed and I haven't seen these quotes disputed yet. If genuine, they're fucking remarkable:

"You know how I got to be in charge of counterintelligence? I agreed not to polygraph or require detailed background checks on Allen Dulles and 60 of his closest friends. They were afraid that their own business dealings with Hitler's pals would come out. They were too arrogant to believe that the Russians would discover it all. You know, the CIA got tens of thousands of brave people killed. We played with lives as if we owned them. We gave false hope. We - I - so misjudged what happened."

"Fundamentally, the founding fathers of U.S. intelligence were liars. The better you lied and the more you betrayed, the more likely you would be promoted. These people attracted and promoted each other. Outside of their duplicity, the only thing they had in common was a desire for absolute power. I did things that, in looking back on my life, I regret. But I was part of it and I loved being in it... Allen Dulles, Richard Helms, Carmel Offie, and Frank Wisner were the grand masters. If you were in a room with them you were in a room full of people that you had to believe would deservedly end up in hell. I guess I will see them there soon."

"...the poem is not good in spite of but especially because of its moral confusions, which ought to be clear in our mind when you are feeling its power. I think it horrible and wonderful; I regard it as like Aztec or Benin sculpture, or to come nearer home the novels of Kafka, and am rather suspicious of any critic who claims not to feel anything so obvious." - William Empson, Milton's God.
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THE REMOVAL OF JFK # 1 - # 41:

Postby Bruce Patrick Brychek » Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:17 pm





As November 22 comes around again on 11.22.2017, THE 54th YEAR AFTER THE REMOVAL OF JFK, the memory of John F. Kennedy's assassination seems to be fading in America's collective consciousness, save among aging Baby Boomers like myself. Few people younger than me (I'm 54) have any memory of the day it actually happened. 09.11.2001 has replaced 11.22.1963 as the date stamp of catastrophic angst.

Yet that doesn't mean people have stopped looking for answers. There is of course still a broad cultural awareness of the assassination and the unanswered questions that surround it -- which has been amplified recently by the release of Jackie Kennedy's private conversations and the buzz surrounding the release of Tom Hanks' upcoming movie Parkland. Two years ago on this site, I tried to answer the question "What Do We Really Know About JFK ?" With the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination approaching next year, the time for conspiracy theories has passed and the time for accountability is coming. Now is the time to ask, "What can we do about JFK's assassination ?"

For one thing, we can use the Internet. The Web has birthed many conspiracy theories (most of them easily debunked), but it has also made the historical record of JFK's murder available to millions of people outside of Washington and the federal government for the first time. I have to believe this diffusion of historical knowledge will slowly clarify the JFK story for everybody.

For now, though, American journalists and historians tend still to ignore the widely available facts. Earlier this year, in an exchange with sports columnist Bill Simmons, Malcolm Gladwell endorsed baseball statistician Bill James' theory that the fatal shot was fired by one of Kennedy's own Secret Service men. "When you have lots of trigger-happy people and lots of guns and lots of excitement all situated in the same place at the same time," Gladwell wrote, unburdened by evidence, "sometimes stupid and tragic accidents happen."

We can likewise treat with skepticism the CIA's latest interpretation of Kennedy's murder, proposed by Brian Latell, a former Cuba specialist at the Agency. In a new book, Latell has updated and modified the unconvincing "Fidel Castro did it" theory that was that was first put forward by the CIA within hours of JFK's death and is still believed by some.

Latell now argues that Castro knew (via his DGI intelligence service) that Oswald posed a threat to JFK, but he did nothing. The heartless Cuban communist, he says, played a "passive but knowing" role in JFK's murder. As I reported in Salon last spring, the most basic corroboration for these claims is lacking, as even an otherwise approving reviewer had to acknowledge in the CIA's Studies in Intelligence publication.

Latell is on firmer ground when he suggests that the media's obsession with "conspiracy" obscures other more nuanced explanations of JFK's death. But his allegations advertently highlight a truth that the CIA and my friends in the Washington press corps prefer not to acknowledge: There is a lot more evidence of CIA negligence in JFK's assassination than Cuban complicity.

The record available online confirms that Oswald was well known to the CIA shortly before JFK was killed -- so well known, in fact, that a group of senior officials collaborated on a security review of him in October 1963. And these officials assured colleagues and the FBI that Oswald, far from being a dangerous Castroite, was actually "maturing" and thus becoming less of a threat.

Read this CIA cable (not declassified until 1993) from beginning to end. You will see that Oswald's travels, politics, intentions, and state of mind were known to six senior CIA officers as of October 10, 1963. At that date, JFK and Jackie were just beginning to think about their upcoming political trip to Dallas.

Because the CIA is so often caricatured in JFK discussions, some background is helpful in understanding who wrote this document and why.

In the fall of 1963, Oswald, a 23-year old ex-Marine, traveled from his hometown of New Orleans to Mexico City. There he contacted the Cuban and Soviet Embassies, seeking a visa to travel to both countries. A CIA wiretap picked up his telephone calls, which indicated he had been referred to a Soviet consular officer suspected of being a KGB assassination specialist. Win Scott, the respected chief of the CIA station in Mexico, was concerned. He sent a query to headquarters: Who is this guy Oswald ?

Scott's question was referred to the agency's counterintelligence (CI) staff. The CI staff was responsible for detecting threats to the secrecy of agency operations. Its senior members had been closely monitoring Oswald ever since he had defected to the Soviet Union in October 1959. Oswald had lived there two years, married a Russian woman, and then returned to the United States in June 1962.

Jane Roman a senior member of the CI staff retrieved the agency's fat file on Oswald. It included some three dozen documents, including family correspondence, State Department cables, and a recent FBI report stating said Oswald was an active pro-Castro leftist who had recently been arrested for fighting with anti-Castro exiles in New Orleans.

Roman and the CI staff drafted a response to the Mexico City station, which said, in effect, Don't worry. Ignoring the FBI report, the cable stated the "latest HQS info" on Oswald was a 16-month old message from a diplomat in Moscow concluding that Oswald's marriage and two year residence in the Soviet Union had a "maturing effect" on him. This inaccurate and optimistic message was reviewed and endorsed by five senior CIA officers, identified on the last page of the cable.

The CIA would kept the names of these highly-regarded officers -- Tom Karamessines, Bill Hood, John Whitten ("John Scelso"), Jane Roman, and Betty Egeter -- secret for thirty years. Why ? Because the officers most knowledgeable about Oswald reported to two of the most powerful men in the CIA: Deputy Director Richard Helms and Counterintelligence Chief James Jesus Angleton.

These high-level aides could have -- and should have -- flagged Oswald for special attention. All five were anti-communists, well-versed in running covert operations and experienced in detecting threats to U.S. national security.

Karamessines, a trusted deputy to Helms, was a former beat cop who had served as a prosecutor in New York City before joining the CIA and becoming Athens station chief. Bill Hood was a former Berlin hand who oversaw all covert operations in the Western Hemisphere (and would later co-author Dick Helms' posthumous memoir). John Whitten, dogged and curmudgeonly, had built a reputation in the agency with his pioneering use of the polygraph.

Their complacent assessment of Oswald had real-world consequences.

In Mexico City, Win Scott never learned about Oswald's recent arrest or the fact that he gone public with his support for Castro. He stopped investigating Oswald. In Washington, a senior FBI official, Marvin Gheesling, responded to the CIA's benign assessment by taking Oswald off an "alert" list of people of special interest to the Bureau. When it came to the erratic and provocative Oswald, the CIA and the FBI were standing down.

Conspiracy or not, the CIA blew it. Oswald had been calling attention to himself. He had clashed with anti-Castro students in New Orleans, then contacted a suspected KGB operative to arrange an illegal trip to Cuba. By standard agency procedures of the day, he should have gotten closer attention. Instead, he got a pass from Helms and Angleton's staffers. Oswald returned from Mexico to Dallas where he rented a room in a boarding house under an assumed name.

Six weeks later JFK was shot dead, and the allegedly "maturing" Oswald was arrested.

After the assassination, Helms and Angleton stayed mum about their failure to identify Oswald as a threat. So did the agency hands who had vetted the accused assassin. The honorable exception was John Whitten, one of the few CIA operatives in the JFK assassination story who acted admirably. In 1963, Whitten served as chief of the Mexico Desk. He was a "good spy," specializing in counterespionage investigations to determine a suspect's ultimate allegiances. That was exactly the kind of information the U.S. government needed about Oswald after JFK was killed.

Whitten tried to mount an internal investigation of the accused assassin, drawing particularly on his contacts with pro-and anti-Castro Cubans in New Orleans and Miami. As Whitten later recounted in secret testimony to Congress, he was blocked by Angleton and then effectively fired by Helms.

His career over, Whitten retired and moved to Europe, telling his story only to those who had been cleared to hear it. He died in a Pennsylvania nursing home in 2001, his efforts to pursue the truth about Oswald concealed by his employer and forgotten by his country.

What did Helms and Angleton want to hide in 1963 ? Probably the same thing that the CIA and "Castro did it" conspiracy theorists hope to obscure today: U.S. intelligence failures contributed to JFK's wrongful death.

Neither Richard Helms or James Angleton was ever held accountable for their staff's faulty handling of intelligence about Oswald, and it is easy to see why. Both men were hard-line skeptics of JFK's liberal foreign policy who found President Lyndon Johnson a much more capable commander in chief. Both had friends and allies in high places. (Angleton was close to J. Edgar Hoover; Helms was lionized by syndicated columnist Stewart Alsop.) .Both used official secrecy to prevent the Warren Commission from asking too many questions. After the Warren Report came out, they kept their jobs and enjoyed the respect of the Washington press corps, at least for a while.

President Lyndon Johnson named Helms to be CIA director in 1966 and he served until 1973, gaining a well-deserved reputation as The Man Who Kept the Secrets. Helms played an inscrutable role in the Watergate scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon and later pled guilty to lying to Congress. The "gentlemanly planner of assassinations," as one journalist dubbed him, died in 2002. His widow, Cynthia Helms, has just published a memoir defending his good name.

Jim Angleton remained chief of the Counterintelligence Staff until 1974, when he was disgraced by the revelation he had overseen a massive illegal spying program on Americans. He died in 1988. His espionage exploits have inspired many book and several Hollywood movies (most recently The Good Shepherd, starring Matt Damon). Angleton's close monitoring of Lee Harvey Oswald from October 1959 to October 1963 was first documented in historian John Newman's groundbreaking book, Oswald and the CIA.

So those Americans still seeking to understand the meaning of November 22, 1963, in American history, would do well to consider the legal culpability of two titans in the annals of the CIA, Richard Helms and James Angleton. Their negligence could spawn any number of new conspiracy theories: Were they (or other national security mandarins) using Oswald in a sinister maneuver against JFK ? Or did their staffs use Oswald in service of a legitimate secret operation, only to realize too late that he was a lone psychopath ?

Ultimately, what matters most is that these decorated CIA men were criminally negligent -- or, at the very least, clueless about a clever assassin. If we honor the memory of JFK, they should be held responsible. Their complacent and inaccurate reporting on Oswald before JFK's assassination, and their evasion of responsibility afterwards, are central to the confusion that sadly still clouds the case of the murdered president.

That much we know. Some day, we may also have access to deeper information - for instance, the records of George Joannides, a decorated Miami-based undercover officer (now deceased) who knew about Oswald's Cuban contacts and who reported to Dick Helms in 1963. (In 2003 I filed a Freedom of Information Action Act lawsuit for his files in 1963. Nine years later, my case is still pending.)

We can't do much about the JFK tragedy at this late date, but we can acknowledge that CIA negligence led directly to the president's death. The officers who obscured information about Oswald should be stripped of any medals or commendations they received for their job performance in 1963. Fifty years later, it's not too late for accountability.
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THE REMOVAL OF JFK # 1 - # 41:

Postby Bruce Patrick Brychek » Sun Jan 22, 2017 2:07 pm





Jefferson Morley:
April 25 2016:

LAST SUMMER I PAID a visit to Georgetown University’s Lauinger Library as part of my research on legendary CIA counterspy James Jesus Angleton. I went there to investigate Angleton’s famous mole hunt, one of the least flattering episodes of his eventful career. By the early 1960s, Angleton was convinced the KGB had managed to insert a penetration agent high in the ranks of the CIA.

In researching and writing a biography of Angleton, I constantly confront a conundrum: Was the man utterly brilliant ? Or completely nuts ?

Angleton is one of America’s archetypal spies. He was the model for Harlot in Harlot’s Ghost, Norman Mailer’s epic of the CIA, a brooding Cold War spirit hovering over a story of corrupted idealism. In Robert De Niro’s cinematic telling of the tale, The Good Shepherd, the Angletonian character was a promising product of the system who loses his way in the moral labyrinth of secret intelligence operations.

In real life, Jim Angleton was a formidable intellectual and canny bureaucrat who helped shape the ethos of the Central Intelligence Agency we have today. His doctrine of counterintelligence was widely influential, not only in the CIA but in the intelligence services of all the English-speaking countries. He pioneered pre-digital techniques of mass surveillance via an illicit mail-opening program called LINGUAL. He fed the intel to J. Edgar Hoover’s COINTELPRO operatives at the FBI who used it to harass, disrupt, and discredit leftist, antiwar, and civil rights groups from the 1950s to the 1970s. His close liaison with the Mossad in the 1950s and 1960s helped forge a wide-ranging U.S.-Israel strategic relationship that has been central to U.S. foreign policy ever since.

Like them or not, his accomplishments were large. So were his mistakes.

Angleton’s fruitless mole hunt paralyzed the agency’s operations in the Soviet Union in the late 1960s. Speaking in 2012 at a conference on Angleton’s legacy, historian Christopher Andrew offered a nuanced view on the agency’s notorious mole hunter. “When somebody as bright, as distinguished, and so capable of friendship as Jim Angleton makes these sort of appalling errors that he does,” Andrew said, “then we are faced with one of the greatest personal tragedies in the modern history of U.S. and British intelligence.”

Yet no historian can give short shrift to the man whom the Daily Beast recently dubbed “The Spider.” Angleton, who died in 1987, was a master of Cold War power politics, and a seer of the coming U.S. surveillance state. His charisma gained him the confidence of several famous poets, a future pope, four Mossad chiefs, a presidential mistress, a couple of Mafiosos, the odd New York intellectual, and a global network of like-minded spooks.

Whatever his faults, Angleton acted zealously on a theory of history whose validity is hard to accept and hard to dispute. He believed that secret intelligence agencies controlled the destiny of mankind. During his 27-year career at the CIA, from 1947 to 1974, he acted as if the CIA and the KGB were struggling over the future of civilization itself — which, of course, they were.

The Cold War is over and Angleton is gone, but the espionage techniques he mastered — mass surveillance, disinformation, targeted assassination, and extrajudicial detention — remain with us, albeit on a much larger scale. Since September 11, 2001, the power of secret intelligence agencies to shape our future is obvious.

Yet it wasn’t until I went to Georgetown in search of one of Angleton’s darkest secrets that I came away with a personal lesson in how the CIA makes history — by erasing it.

How much damage Angleton’s false accusations did is still disputed.

His defenders insist he protected the agency’s operations far more than he harmed them. One of his critics, veteran intelligence reporter David Wise, says that Angleton ruined the careers of dozens of innocent people.

To clarify the issue, I consulted two collections in the Georgetown library’s manuscript collections. These were the papers of two senior CIA officers who knew Angleton well. Cleveland Cram, a former London station chief, was one of Angleton’s harshest critics in the agency. Ed Applewhite, a classmate of Angleton’s in the Yale class of 1941, was a trusted career officer who worked with the counterintelligence chief.

I hoped the papers of these CIA men might illuminate the financial cost of the mole hunt, something that has eluded Angleton’s previous biographers. It is known that the CIA arranged restitution for some of those falsely accused by Angleton. But the total number of victims and the compensation paid is not something that the agency cares to talk about.

The Applewhite papers looked to be an especially promising source of information. Records for the seven boxes of material that Applewhite’s estate donated to the library in 2005 indicated that he had an extensive correspondence with Peter Karlow, the first victim of Angleton’s mole hunt.

A career CIA officer who lost a foot during World War II, Karlow served in Europe throughout the 1950s, rising in the ranks of the agency’s Technical Services Division, which provides technological solutions to espionage problems (sort of like “Q” in James Bond films). He fell under suspicion in 1962, based on the flimsiest of evidence supplied by Anatoly Golitsyn, a former KGB officer, whose allegations of Soviet penetration entranced Angleton. Hoping to become chief of the Technical Services Division, Karlow was put on leave and subjected to intense FBI surveillance and investigation, which turned up nothing incriminating.

Karlow asked for his job back. Angleton insisted he had not been exonerated, and Karlow was forced to resign in 1963. He was entirely innocent. More than 25 years later, the CIA apologized to Karlow and compensated him with a reported payment of close to $500,000.

According to the library’s records, Applewhite had corresponded with Karlow from 1987 to 1994. Applewhite possessed a memo about Karlow’s request for restitution under a law known as the “Mole Relief Act.” Applewhite also composed an unpublished manuscript that included chapters about Angleton titled “The Bogey Man” and the Robert Ludlum-esque “The Angletonian Captivity.”

A dozen boxes of Cleveland Cram’s papers also offered hope of clarifying what the mole hunt cost in terms of lives and money. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the CIA hired Cram to write an 11-volume study of Angleton’s tenure as counterintelligence chief. His encyclopedic opus has never been declassified, but Cram was not shy about sharing his severe judgment of Angleton’s professionalism in a separate CIA monograph based on some of his research. The library records for the Cram papers identified a wide range of Angleton-related material.

When I asked to see the Cram and Applewhite papers, a staff archivist told me both collections had been removed from public view. The CIA, he explained, was reviewing the boxes for “security material.” He said he thought the material would be returned “by the fall” of 2015. When I asked to see the library records for the Cram papers again, I was told the CIA had removed those from public view, too.

“They knew you were coming,” Tim Weiner told me. Author of the best-selling CIA history Legacy of Ashes, Weiner suggested the agency had learned I was writing an Angleton biography and acted preemptively to protect itself.

Perhaps insufficiently paranoid, I hadn’t thought of that possibility, but I can’t dismiss it now. Trade publications reported in January 2015 that I had signed a contract for the Angleton biography. The Cram and Applewhite papers were removed from public view in the spring of 2015, according to one Georgetown employee.

I checked with Tom Blanton, director of the nonprofit National Security Archive in Washington, who advised me to file a Freedom of Information Act request for the material. If the agency had possession of the papers, he noted, then it would be legally obliged to separate the classified material and release any unclassified information. If the agency didn’t respond quickly, he noted, I could file a lawsuit.

The CIA’s information and privacy coordinator, Michael Lavergne, wrote back to say the agency couldn’t possibly fulfill my request “as it does not know what the Cleveland Cram papers are or consist of.”

Playing dumb is a CIA art form, so I contacted the Georgetown library’s chief archivists, seeking to know the date when the agency took possession of the papers and how I might better describe the materials for the CIA. When they didn’t respond, I contacted the university’s public affairs office and was finally let in on Langley’s sleight of hand. Georgetown spokesperson John Kenchelian informed me via email that “the CIA has not taken possession of the documents, they are still in Georgetown’s possession.”

That means the Freedom of Information Act does not apply, and thus I have no legal avenue for pursuing the material. I can’t sue the CIA for the Cram and Applewhite papers, because they are not in the hands of the government.

“The CIA will be reviewing the documents at a yet to be determined time and date for potentially classified material,” Kenchelian added.

A CIA spokesperson said the university is “in the process of sending” the Cram and Applewhite papers to the agency.

“We thank Georgetown for its actions to ensure that classified material is not mistakenly disclosed to the public,” the spokesperson said. “Once the files are provided to CIA, we will review and return the documents to Georgetown as expeditiously as possible.”

In any case, the material will not be available while I’m writing my book.

The CIA has the legal right to secure material that is legitimately classified. It is unlikely, however, that the ancient papers of these two deceased men contain any classified information. The CIA isn’t protecting national security. It is covering its proverbial rear end. By removing the Cram and Applewhite papers from public view, the agency has, in essence, redacted some of the details of an embarrassing chapter in the agency’s history. But while the records technically remain in the hands of Georgetown and off-limits to FOIA, the CIA kept this harmless material beyond the reach of law and the eyes of reporters and historians.

Policy and ethics aside, I’m impressed. My attempt to write a more comprehensive history of Angleton’s mole hunt has been limited. My plans to quote Cram and Applewhite on Angleton’s legacy have been called into question. My chapter describing the human toll (and the taxpayer’s bill) for the mole hunt will have to be revised. As I write the story of one of the CIA’s most notorious characters, the agency is redacting my book, and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it. That’s how the CIA writes history.
Last edited by Bruce Patrick Brychek on Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:44 am, edited 13 times in total.
Bruce Patrick Brychek
Posts: 2565
Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 9:09 am

Re: THE REMOVAL OF JFK # 1 - # 41:

Postby Bruce Patrick Brychek » Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:16 pm




Exopolitics Journal Volume: 3:3
President Kennedy’s Deadly Confrontation With The CIA & MJ-12 Over ET/UFO X-Files:
Part II
July 2010

A number of documents and testimonies cast light on President Kennedy’s knowledge of UFO Crash Retrieval Operations, and his efforts to gain access to Classified Files concerning Extraterrestrial Life and Technology.

There are two main phases to Kennedy’s efforts.

The first is a series of Executive Actions he began on February 19, 1961 to place Cold War Psychological Warfare Programs under the Control of his National Security Advisor, and later in June 1961 to implement Presidential Executive Oversight over Covert CIA Operations through the Joint Chiefs of Staff. These Executive Actions coincided with Kennedy’s efforts to gain access to the activities of a Highly Classified Project dealing with UFOs and Extraterrestrial Life - MJ-12 Special Studies Project.

The second phase began on September 20, 1963 when Kennedy embarked on a High Risk Political Strategy of getting NASA to cooperate with the USSR on Joint Space and Lunar Missions. (PEOPLE - THIS IS ABSOLUTELY IMPERATIVE THAT YOU ANALYZE, READ, RESEARCH, STUDY, AND WRITE ABOUT THIS SUBJECT MATTER IF YOU ARE SERIOUS ABOUT YOUR STUDIES OF THE JFK REMOVAL. 01.22.2017. BB.)

This brought to a climax a confrontation over the release of Classified UFO Files with the CIA and those in control of the MJ-12 Special Studies Project.

This article reviews testimonies, documents and events concerning Kennedy’s interest in UFOs and Extraterrestrial Life, and how this culminated in a deadly behind-the-scenes confrontation with the CIA and MJ-12 in the final month of his life.


In September 1963, President Kennedy launched a ground breaking initiative to get the USSR and USA to cooperate in Joint Space and Lunar Missions.

In the background of this publicly announced initiative with powerful Cold War implications was a more secretive attempt for the Kennedy administration to gain access to classified UFO files. Leaked documents reveal that Kennedy instructed the CIA to release Classified UFO Files to NASA as part of the Cooperative Space Effort with the Soviet Union.

If Kennedy had succeeded, there would have been a Joint Space Mission to the Moon and Greater Sharing of Classified UFO Files between the CIA, NASA, and the Kennedy administration. (HAD THIS AND THE FOREGOING BEEN ACCOMPLISHED, JFK WOULD HAVE BECOME THE MOST POWERFUL U.S. PRESIDENT OF ALL TIME. 01.22.2017. BB.)

This would have ensured eventual public release of classified UFO files by both the US and USSR.

In a stunning speech before the United Nations General Assembly on September 20, 1963, President Kennedy said: Finally, in a field where the United States and the Soviet Union have a special capacity - in the field of space - there is room for new cooperation, for further joint efforts in the regulation and exploration of space. I include among these possibilities a joint expedition to the moon.[1]

Kennedy was offering to put an end to the space race and start joint missions with the Soviets.

According to Khrushchev’s eldest son, Dr Sergei Khrushchev, this was not the first time that Kennedy had proposed Joint Space and Lunar Missions with the USSR. Sergei Khrushchev revealed that at the June 1961 Vienna Summit, less than ten days after Kennedy’s famous May 25 speech before a Joint Session of the U.S. Congress promising to land a man on the moon before the end of the decade,[2] Kennedy secretly proposed Joint Space and Lunar missions to his father.

Khrushchev declined as his son later explained:

“My father rejected this because he thought that through this the Americans could find out how weak we were, and maybe it would push them to begin a war.”[3] (ALSO, SOME AMERICAN SCIENTISTS DID NOT WANT TO RISK THE SOVIETS FINDING OUT HOW WEAK THE U.S. ACTUALLY WAS. IRONIC THAT BOTH SIDES WANTED TO SHIELD THEIR OWN REAL LEVEL OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS THAT BOTH SIDES FELT WAS BETTER ON THE OTHER SIDE. 01.22.2017. BB.)

In the period immediately after his September 1963 UN speech, Khrushchev once again rebuffed Kennedy’s offer - the Soviet government did not officially comment and the Soviet press ignored it.[4] At the same time, there was considerable opposition to Kennedy’s initiative in both NASA and the U.S. Congress.

Just before his UN speech, Kennedy briefed his NASA administrator, James Webb, about his initiative and asked:

"Are you sufficiently in control to prevent my being undercut in NASA if I do that ?"[5]

According to the official NASA history, “Webb told the president that he could keep things under control.”[6]

According to Richard C. Hoagland and Mike Bara, selling the idea to the Soviets would be hard enough, but selling it to the American people and the Congress if there was “dissension in the ranks” might make it near impossible. If Webb couldn’t hold discipline from inside NASA, the whole effort would collapse.[7]

In the weeks after his bold initiative, “the lack of of public support, even within the U.S. seemed to have scuttled the idea permanently, and Kennedy began to publicly back away from his proposal.”[8] If Khrushchev were to eventually accept his offer, Kennedy would need to move quickly to overcome resistance in Congress and NASA to implementing any joint space agreement.

In a series of interviews beginning in 1997, Khrushchev’s son, Dr Sergei Khrushchev, said that after his father initially refused Kennedy's September 20 1963 offer of joint space and lunar missions, that, “in the weeks after the rejection, his father had second thoughts”.[9]

In one interview, Sergei Khrushchev said:

I walked with him, sometime in late October or November, and he told me about all these things.

He told me that we have to think about this and maybe accept this idea. I asked why they would know everything, our secrets ? He said it's not important. The Americans can design everything they want. It is a very well developed country, but we will have to save money. It's very expensive…

He thought also of the political achievement of all these things, that then they would begin to trust each other much more.

After the Cuban missile crisis, his trust with President Kennedy was raised very high. He thought that it's possible to deal with this President, he didn't think that they could be friends, but he really wanted to avoid the war, so through this co-operation they could sojourn their thoughts on these achievements.[10]

Sergei Khruschev confirmed that finally Nikita Khrushchev accepted Kennedy’s offer in early November 1963 around a week before his assassination.[11] (THE TIMING OF THIS CAN NOT BE OVER EMPHASIZED BY THE SERIOUS JFK RESEARCHER. 01.22.2017. BB.)

According to Hoagland and Bara, the exact date can be traced to November 11 when a key Soviet Mars mission had failed:

“A Mars-bound unmanned spacecraft code-named ‘Cosmos 21’ failed in low Earth orbit exactly one day (November 11) before Kennedy’s sudden 'Soviet Cooperation Directive’ to James Webb.”[12]

Khrushchev’s abrupt turn around, after two years of secret and public overtures by Kennedy, led to a series of immediate Presidential Executive Actions by Kennedy on the next day.

President Kennedy issued National Security Action Memorandum (NSAM) No. 271 on November 12, 1963.

The subject header was "Cooperation with the USSR on Outer Space Matters,” and the key passage was: I would like you to assume personally the initiative and central responsibility within the Government for the development of a program of substantive cooperation with the Soviet Union in the field of outer space, including the development of specific technical proposals.[13]

The Memorandum (above image) furthermore went on to say that the cooperation was a direct outcome of Kennedy’s September 20 proposal, “for broader cooperation between the United States and the USSR in outer space, including cooperation in lunar landing programs.” The Memorandum was classified “Confidential” and addressed to James Webb (NASA Administrator). It was declassified on October 13, 1981.

Significantly, the Memorandum also said:

“I assume that you will work closely with the Department of State and other agencies as appropriate.” Kennedy identified the Secretary of State as a key person in implementing the process by which dialogue over the cooperation would take place: I expect you [Webb] will assist the Secretary of State in exploring problems of procedure and timing connected with holding discussions with the Soviet Union and in proposing for my consideration the channels which would be most desirable from our point of view. This would ensure that the State Department and other U.S. government agencies would have access to the information to be shared with the Soviets under the cooperative space initiative.

In addition to the Confidential National Security Action Memorandum (NSAM), Kennedy issued a More Highly Classified “Top Secret” Memorandum to the Director of the CIA, John McCone.

Dated the same day of November 12, 1963 the subject header of the file (below) was: “Classification review of all UFO intelligence files affecting National Security.”

The Top Secret Memorandum went on to say:

[I] have instructed James Webb to develop a program with the Soviet Union in Joint space and lunar explorations. It would be very helpful if you would have the high threat [UFO] cases reviewed with the purpose of identification of bona fides as opposed to classified CIA and USAF sources…

When this data has been sorted out, I would like you to arrange a program of data sharing with NASA where Unknowns [UFOs] are a factor. This will help NASA mission directors in their defensive responsibilities.

I would like an Interim Report on the data review no later than February 1, 1964.[14]

JFK with his CIA Directors, Allen Dulles and John McCone in 1962

It’s important to note that Memorandum to the CIA Director refers to the National Security Action Memorandum issued to Webb on the same day.

Even though the leaked Top Secret Memorandum to the CIA has not been officially acknowledged (it has been ranked medium-to-high level of authenticity), [15] there is no question about the legitimacy of the National Security Action Memorandum (NSAM) 271.[16]

NSAM 271 (image far above) clearly showed that Kennedy had decided to cooperate with the USSR on “Outer Space Matters.”

If Kennedy had been warned by about the dangers of future conflict with the Soviet Union and/or with extraterrestrial life, then sharing classified UFO files was an obvious way to implement NSAM 271.

NSAM 271 and the associated Top Secret Memorandum to the CIA Director issued on November 12, 1963 are evidence that Kennedy firmly linked cooperation with the USSR on “Outer Space Matters” with the release of classified UFO files. For undisclosed reasons, Kennedy was convinced that the CIA was the lead agency for ensuring the Release of Classified UFO Files. (JFK WAS WRONG HERE. THE CIA DID NOT HAVE CONTROL OVER THE RELEASE OF CLASSIFIED UFO FILES. JAMES JESUS ANGLETON WAS ONE OT THE MAJOR CONTROLLERS. 01.22.107. BB.)

This suggests that the USAF and the other military services were secretly required to direct their most important UFO files reported through the CIRVIS (Communications Instructions for Reporting Vital Intelligence Sightings) system created for reporting vital intelligence data by Joint Army Air Naval Publication 146, to the CIA. [17]

This is confirmed by a Memorandum by Brigadier General C. H. Bolender on October 1969.

He said:

“Reports of unidentified flying objects which could affect national security are made in accordance with JANAP 146 or Air Force Manual 55-11, and are not part of the Blue Book system.” [18]

Put simply, there were two sets of UFO files being collected by the USAF during the Kennedy and later presidential administrations.

Those with least National Security significance were made available to the public through Project Blue Book - the ‘Official’ Public Investigation of UFOs by the USAF that formally ended in 1970.[19]

The more important, and CLassified UFO files, were directed into another project that was under the control of the CIA, AS DEEMED NECESSARY BY MAJESTIC TWELVE, PARTICULARLY MJ - 1 THROUGH MJ - 7. 01.22.2017. BB.)

In particular, CIA’s Counter Intelligence Department (WHICH WAS TOTALLY CONTROLLED BY JAMES JESUS ANGLETON FOR 20 YEARS), controlled access and reported directly to the MJ-12 Group. In requesting the CIA to share UFO files with NASA, that would in turn lead to it sharing this information with the State Department and other agencies as stipulated in NSAM 271.

Kennedy was therefore directly confronting the CIA over its ultimate control of classified UFO files, WHICH WAS CONTROLLED BY JAMES JESUS ANGLETON WHO WAS BOTH CIA DIRECTOR OF COUNTER INTELLIGENCE, AND MJ - 2. THIS IS A CRUCIAL MISSING LINK. 01.22.2017. BB.)

Kennedy’s Hotline Conversation with Nikita Khrushchev:

Another leaked document shows the extent to which Kennedy was prepared to cooperate with the Soviet Union in declassifying UFO files.

The aim was to avoid the risk of a mistaken military confrontation over UFOs. The document is allegedly a Top Secret NSA intercept of a “Hot Line” conversation between President Kennedy and Soviet Premiere Nikita Khrushchev dated November 12, 1963.[20]

The Hot Line was first established three months earlier on August 1, 1963, and according to the New York Times:

The direct link, which is available 24 hours a day, will make it possible for the heads of the two Governments to exchange messages in minutes.

After checking the typed message against the original copy, the Teletype tape will be fed into a Teletype transmitter. As the message goes out, it will be encoded by a "scrambling device" to prevent anyone from reading it at relay points along the 10,000-mile cable circuit.

In Moscow, the message will go through a decoding device and appear on a Teletype machine in the Kremlin near the office of Premier Khrushchev.[21]

Though it is claimed the Hotline was first used on June 5, 1967 during the six day Arab-Israeli War, the leaked NSA document suggests that Kennedy and Khrushchev did get to use soon after it was established.

Kennedy and Khrushchev in 1961:

In the alleged November 12 Hotline conversation, Kennedy and Khrushchev discussed the importance of their respective UFO working groups to deal with the UFO problem to avoid the risk of future conflict.

Kennedy told Khrushchev:

“I have begun an initiative with our NASA to exchange information with your Academy of Sciences in which I hope will foster mutual concern over this problem and hopefully find some resolution.” [22]

Kennedy was certainly referring here to the National Security Action Memorandum (NSAM 271) released on the same day, November 12 1963. Kennedy also said:

“I have also instructed our CIA to provide me with full disclosure on the phantom aspects and classified programs in which I can better assess the [UFO] situation.”[23]

While the NSA intercept has not been conclusively determined to be authentic (it has been ranked medium-to-high level of authenticity),[24] it is "consistent with the November 12 NSAM 271."[25]

Most importantly, circumstantial evidence for the genuineness of the Hotline transcript comes from Sergei Khrushchev’s admission that his father had accepted Kennedy’s offer on the day before on November 11.

To repeat, this was the same day that a Soviet Mars mission ‘Cosmos 21’ had failed leading to Khrushchev’s change of heart on Kennedy’s offer of space cooperation. For the Soviets, continuing the space race would be very expensive, and drain resources from other more important areas.

Kennedy’s offer was a face saving way out of the dilemma now confronting the Soviets.

The Hotline conversation shows Kennedy and Khrushchev reaching agreement on a broad range of issues concerning sharing UFOs information and joint cooperation in space. The dating of the Hotline conversation is consistent with the agreement reached in the background over this period between Kennedy and Khrushchev.

This gives more confidence that the Hotline document is genuine.

The issuing of NSAM 271, which is an authentic public document also confirms that Khrushchev had only just accepted Kennedy’s offer and that a hotline conversation between Kennedy and Khrushchev had only just occurred.[26]

President Kennedy’s UFO initiatives Led to iImplementation of Assassination Directive.

On November 12, 1963, President John F. Kennedy had reached broad agreement with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev on joint space missions and sharing classified UFO files.

This required both leaders instructing their respective UFO working groups to share information. Kennedy did this through a Top Secret Memorandum to the Director of the CIA to share UFO files with NASA and the USSR. His November 12 Memorandum was relayed on to the James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s chief of counterintelligence. Angleton controlled access to the most highly classified UFO files in the U.S., and was in direct communications with MJ-12 - the UFO working group within the “MJ-12 Special Studies Project.”

In responding to Kennedy’s request, Angleton followed a Top Secret/MJ-12 set of directives. One of the secret directives, revealed in the leaked partially burned Top Secret/MJ-12 document forensically dated to 1961, was a cryptic Assassination Directive. In case any senior U.S. official did not cooperate with MJ-12, the Directive Sanctioned Political Assassination.

The leaked document is smoking gun evidence that former CIA Director Allen Dulles was involved in drafting and approving with other MJ-12 members a cryptic “Assassination Directive.” The MJ-12 “Assassination Directive” was later implemented by Angleton in response to President Kennedy’s November 12, 1963 request to the CIA to release classified UFO files.

In part one, I discussed the burned document and its genesis during the final months of Allen Dulles tenure as Director of the CIA. Dulles and other MJ-12 members were responding to Kennedy’s initial effort on June 28, 1961 to be fully briefed on MJ-12 intelligence operations and UFOs.

Kennedy, according to a leaked Top Secret Memorandum titled “Review of MJ-12 Intelligence Operations” (below image) requested Dulles to give a brief summary.[27]

In response and unknown to Kennedy, Dulles drafted a Set Directives shortly before his November 1961 retirement.

Dulles’ draft document was addressed to another six members of MJ-12 requesting comments and their approval. It had clear instructions that under no circumstances would any U.S. President or his National Security Staff be briefed or given access to classified UFO files.

The most damming directive, drafted by Dulles and apparently approved by six other MJ-12 members was a cryptic assassination directive.

In full, this states:

Directive Regarding Project Environment:

When conditions become non-conducive for growth in our environment and Washington cannot be influenced any further, the weather is lacking any precipitation… it should be wet.[28]

Dr Robert Wood who is the foremost expert in analyzing MJ-12 documents using forensic methods, has concluded that the burned document is an assassination directive.

In an interview discussing the burned document, he pointed out that the cryptic phrase “it should be wet” originates from Russia, where the phrase ‘wet works’ or “wet affairs” denotes someone who had been killed and is drenched with blood.[29]

The codeword ‘wet’ was later adopted by the Soviet KGB and other intelligence agencies, according to Dr Wood.

The term “it should be wet” therefore was a coded command to kill someone. In drafting this cryptic directive, Allen Dulles was seeking approval from six of his MJ-12 colleagues, to lay the justification for the assassination of any elected or appointed official in Washington DC whose policies were “non-conducive for growth”.

The cryptic directive was a Pre-Authorization for the Assassination of Any U.S. President who could not “be influenced any further” to follow MJ-12 policies.

Kennedy’s 1963 efforts to end the Cold War, cooperate with the USSR on joint space missions, and share classified UFO files with the USSR created a final showdown with MJ-12. The trigger was Kennedy’s agreement with Khrushchev on November 12, 1963 on space cooperation that led to Kennedy’s Top Secret memo instructing the new Director of the CIA, John McCone, to share all UFO information with NASA.[30]

Due to NSAM 271, issued the same day, this would ensure that classified UFO files would be shared not only with the USSR, but with the State Department and other U.S. agencies.[31] In short, the two memoranda Kennedy issued on November 12, would ensure that access to classified UFO files would be extended to more government agencies, ultimately resulting in direct Presidential access.

Direct access had been denied to him by McCone’s predecessor, Allen Dulles who retired as DCI in November 1961, but likely continued on in his other position as MJ-1. (VIRTUALLY NOBODY KNEW THAT WHEN JFK REMOVED DULLES FROM THE CIA, DULLES WAS STILL MJ - 1, WHICH BOTH ALLOWED HIM TO RUN MAJESTIC TWELVE, AND THE CIA. 01.22.2017. BB.)

Kennedy’s explosive Top Secret November 12, 1963 memo to the CIA Director was relayed by William Colby, then (Deputy) Chief of the CIA's Far East Division, to James Angleton in CIA Counterintelligence. It was Angleton who had the authority to implement Kennedy’s Top Secret memorandum.

On the bottom of Kennedy’s Memorandum to the CIA, next to the signature space appears the following handwriting:

"Response from Colby: Angleton has MJ directive 11/20/63"

Colby is here acknowledging that Angleton, Two Days Before Kennedy’s Assassination, had the MJ Directives - the burned document - and would use them to respond to Kennedy’s Memorandum.

This handwriting directly implicates Angleton in the Kennedy Assassination due to the cryptic MJ-12 assassination directive.

CIA CounterIntelligence Chief
James Jesus Angleton:

There is more evidence to directly implicate Angleton in the Kennedy assassination.

Lee Harvey Oswald was among a small group of American citizens to have defected to the Soviet Union in 1959. Though the CIA admits to having established a file on Oswald in 1960, Alan Weberman, on of the first authors to write on the Kennedy Assassination, claims that CIA counterintelligence were monitoring Oswald even earlier.

Weberman cites evidence that Angleton was directly involved through an intermediary, Gerry Hemming, a former Marine who knew Oswald and was recruited by the CIA. [32]

Despite controversy over Oswald being recruited by Angleton and the CIA prior to his trip to the Soviet Union, there is no question that as an American defector, Oswald became the responsibility of Angleton’s CIA Counterintelligence. Upon his return to the U.S. in June 1962, Oswald’s activities were closely monitored by CIA Counterintelligence, and James Jesus Angleton.

Oswald’s subsequent association with a number of CIA assets provided opportunities for Angleton’s Counterintelligence to not only monitor, but to manipulate Oswald.

Clay Shaw
New Orleans businessman:

The most documented source of a CIA link to the Kennedy assassination was the investigation by Jim Garrison, District Attorney of New Orleans.

Garrison found much documentary evidence to demonstrate that Lee Harvey Oswald was involved in a conspiracy led by Clay Shaw. Garrison discovered that Shaw had an "extensive international role as an employee of the CIA."[33]

While Garrison was unsuccessful in earning a conviction against Shaw, Garrison was partly vindicated in 1979 by the House Select Committee on Assassinations.

The Committee concluded:

“The committee believes, on the basis of the evidence available to it, that President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. The committee was unable to identify the other gunmen or the extent of the conspiracy.” [34]

Kennedy’s assassination by a hit team organized by a CIA asset, Clay Shaw, directly implicates CIA Counterintelligence.

Ensuring Oswald’s participation in the Kennedy Assassination, no matter how minimal, provided a powerful rationale for preventing a thorough investigation of the Kennedy Assassination. As a former Communist Defector, Angleton and the CIA could persuasively argue that Oswald’s involvement directly implicated the USSR. This allowed the CIA to successfully argue to the Warren Commission, through Allen Dulles who was a member, that a thorough investigation was too dangerous due to the Risk of Nuclear War if the Soviet Union was implicated.

Historians who view the CIA as complicit in Kennedy’s assassination point to the CIA’s role in Covert Operations in Vietnam as the reason why the CIA wanted Kennedy’s removal from office.

Colonel Fletcher Prouty, in his well documented book, JFK: The CIA, Vietnam and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy, reveals that Kennedy was attempting to end the CIA’s influence over covert operations.[35]

Chief among these was the escalating U.S. involvement in Vietnam that Kennedy wanted to end and was why he was assassinated. There is, however, a more compelling reason for why the CIA wanted Kennedy’s removal for office - the CIA’s role in Controlling Classified UFO Information, and denying access to other government agencies including the Office of the President.

The Assassination of President Kennedy Directly Resulted from his efforts to gain access to the CIA’s control of Classified UFO files. Unknown to Kennedy, a set of secret MJ-12 directives issued by his former CIA Director, Allen Dulles, ruled out any cooperation with Kennedy and his national security staff on the UFO issue.

It was Dulles and another six unknown MJ-12 members who sanctioned the directives found in the burned document including a political assassination directive against non-cooperative officials in the Kennedy administration. While Dulles and his six associates pre-authorized the Assassination of Kennedy, it was the CIA Counterintelligence Chief, JAMES JESUS ANGLETON, who gave the Final Orders that culminated in Kennedy’s Assassination.

In doing so, James Angleton arranged for a Communist Defector to be involved so as to eventually take the blame and ensure that no thorough investigation would follow by federal or congressional authorities.

Was the Kennedy Assassination a Covert Coup by MJ-12 ?

Historians who view the CIA as complicit in Kennedy’s assassination point to the CIA’s role in Covert Operations in Vietnam as the reason why the CIA wanted Kennedy’s removal from office.

Colonel Fletcher Prouty, in another well documented book, JFK: The CIA, Vietnam and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy, reveals that Kennedy was attempting to end the CIA’s influence over Covert Operations.[36]

Chief among these was the escalating U.S. involvement in Vietnam that Kennedy wanted to end, and was a reason why he was assassinated. There is, however, a more compelling reason for why senior CIA officials wanted Kennedy’s removal for office - the role of CIA Counterintelligence in Controlling UFO Information and Implementing the Directives of the Secretive MJ-12 Group.

President Kennedy’s bold attempt to have NASA cooperate with the Soviet Union in Joint Space and Lunar Missions is a Historic Fact. What is not well known is that this required extensive sharing of UFO information to prevent any misunderstandings over UFOs sightings that could spark military hostilities and jeopardize space cooperation. Kennedy’s strategy was to use joint Soviet US space cooperation as the means to have UFOs declassified for NASA.

This would have led to them being shared with the USSR, the State Department and other U.S. agencies as NSAM 271 required. The extensive data sharing required under NSAM 271 would have given Kennedy and his national security staff a means for eventually gaining access to classified UFO files.

Documents confirm that on November 12, 1963 Kennedy and Khrushchev had agreed on steps to share UFO information precisely for this reason, and Kennedy identified the CIA as the lead U.S. agency to implement the process. Unknown to Kennedy, the CIA’s chief of counterintelligence, Angleton, implemented a secret set of directives that would deny access to classified UFO information to Kennedy, his national security staff and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The assassination directive represented a covert coup by the MJ-12 that, through CIA counterintelligence, had the means to deny any Presidential administration access to UFO files, and even forcefully remove uncooperative federal officials.

To date, there is no evidence that the MJ-12 Directives drafted and passed in some form by Dulles and six other MJ-12 members in 1961 has ever been rescinded. Documents and facts bear witness to the Complicity of Senior CIA and Other Unknown Officials in the Assassination of President Kennedy.

The implications of leaked MJ-12 documents relevant to Kennedy’s efforts to declassify UFO files require a thorough public investigation.


[1] Address Before the 18th General Assembly of the United Nations (September 20, 1963). Available at: ... 201963.htm

[2] See:

[3] Source: ... shchev.htm

[4] “The Kennedy Proposal for a Joint Moon Flight,”

[5] “The Kennedy Proposal for a Joint Moon Flight,”

[6] “The Kennedy Proposal for a Joint Moon Flight,”

[7] Richard C. Hoagland and Mike Bara, Dark Mission: The Secret History of NASA (Feral House, 2007) 98.

[8] Hoagland and Bara, Dark Mission, 89.

[9] Available online at:

[10] Available online at: ... er_frm.htm

[11] Frank Sietzen, “Soviets Planned to Accept JFK’s Joint Lunar Mission Offer,”

[12] Hoagland and Bara, Dark Mission, 101.

[13] Available online at:

[14] Available online at:

[15] For rating system used by the founders of the Majestic Documents website, go to:

[16] Available online at:

[17] See:

[18] “The Bolender Memo, Oct 20, 1969,”

[19] For information on Project Blue Book, go to:

[20] Available online at:

[21] Cited at: ... ished.html

[22] Available online at:

[23] Available online at:

[24] For rating system used by the founders of the Majestic Documents website, go to:

[25] Available online at:

[26] Available online at:

[27] Available online at: ... rector.pdf

[28] Cited online at: ... pgs3-9.pdf

[29] Available online at:

[30] Available online at:

[31] NSAM 271 available online at:

[32] Cited online at:

[33] Cited online at:

[34] Report of the Select Committee on Assassinations of the U.S. House of Representatives, available online at: ... mmary.html

[35] Fletcher Prouty, JFK: The CIA, Vietnam and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy (Citadel; 2003 [1996]).

[36] Fletcher Prouty, JFK: The CIA, Vietnam and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy.
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Bruce Patrick Brychek
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