Chapter 6: Other Garrison Findings
Table of Contents
The Exoneration of Lee Harvey Oswald
More than any one person, Jim Garrison exonerated Lee Harvey Oswald—in the eyes of the American public—for the murder of President Kennedy. Garrison eloquently summarized his feelings about Oswald in an interview included in Nigel Turner’s 1988 documentary, The Men Who Killed Kennedy:
Lee Oswald was totally, unequivocally, completely innocent of the assassination. And the fact that history—or in the rewriting of history and disinformation—has made a villain of this young man, who wanted nothing more than to be a fine Marine, is in some ways the greatest injustice of all.1
Buell Wesley Frazier, Oswald’s friend and co-worker at the Texas School Book Depository, made the following comments, in The Men Who Killed Kennedy, about his deceased young friend:
The individual that I know as Lee Harvey Oswald, I don’t think had it in him to be a person capable of committing such a crime as murdering the President of the United States. I’ll always believe that. The side I saw [of] him was a very kind and loving man. And that’s the way I’d like to remember him.2
Garrison gave extensive interviews for The Men Who Killed Kennedy. That same year, 1988, Garrison wrote and published a book, On the Trail of the Assassins, which thoroughly exonerated Oswald through presentation of facts and deductive reasoning. The book focused on Garrison’s prosecution of Clay Shaw in 1969 and it provided many new facts about the assassination never before released to the public. Garrison was philosophical about the 1969 verdict that acquitted Shaw of conspiracy to murder President Kennedy. The following is an excerpt from the introduction of On the Trail of the Assassins:
History has a way of changing verdicts. Twenty-five years ago most Americans readily accepted the government’s contention that the assassination was a random act of violence. A lonely young man, his mind steeped in Marxist ideology, apparently frustrated at his inability to do anything well, had crouched at a warehouse window and—in six seconds of world class shooting—destroyed the President of the United States. …
The assassination was an enormously important event. But even more important, in my view, is what happened after—ratification by the government and the media of an official story that is an absurd fairy tale.
Immediately after the assassination, the federal government and the major media adopted the posture of two giant ostriches, each unyielding to reason, each with its head firmly lodged in the sand. Having ratified the lone assassin theory, they refused to acknowledge any facts that might discredit it and attacked anyone who offered a different explanation.
(Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, pp. XII - XIII)
On the Trail of the Assassins was a best seller and became the basis for a Hollywood movie, JFK (1991), by Oliver Stone. Garrison’s words were prophetic indeed. History does have a way of changing verdicts. By the mid-1990s, the American news media essentially stopped blaming Oswald for the assassination. In fact, most modern documentaries about President Kennedy no longer mention Oswald at all. Few journalists or scholars will openly admit that they believe the Warren Report any longer for fear of losing credibility. Garrison provided so many facts exonerating Oswald that it became impossible for the various media outlets to continue supporting "the great lie." Consequently, the media adopted a paradoxical position regarding the assassination. While most media outlets no longer overtly endorse to the Warren Commission’s conclusion that Oswald alone killed Kennedy, they still support it indirectly by promoting "non-journalists" who write, disseminate, and proselytize archaic propaganda in support of what Garrison accurately labeled "an absurd fairy tale." Gerald Posner is a prime example.(Footnote 11)
Posner appears regularly on television and radio talk shows, and is often quoted in major newspapers. His primary claim to fame is his strong opinion that the Warren Commission was correct in its conclusion that Oswald alone killed President Kennedy. According to Posner, Americans have been confused and brainwashed by people like Jim Garrison and Oliver Stone who filled their heads with silly conspiracy theories. It is interesting, however, that Posner himself supports the biggest conspiracy theory of the Twentieth Century—that Adolf Hitler had a masterplan to exterminate six million Jews in gas chambers. Posner would have us believe that some conspiracies—ones chosen by him—are acceptable, but believing "unsanctioned" conspiracy theories is tantamount to having a mental breakdown.
The media’s support of people like Posner is a cynical form of damage control. Media moguls and journalists are fully aware that the American public no longer believes the Warren Report, but rather than admit they actively supported a lie, they get Posner and other non-journalists to support their old position. By using this approach, the lie continues to propagate, but if a backlash occurs against the messengers of that lie, then the media outlets have a layer of deniability. After all, Posner is technically an independent writer, not a journalist. And like most proselytizers of the Warren Report, Posner is Jewish. This supports my overall thesis that Kennedy’s murder was in fact a worldwide Jewish conspiracy sponsored by the World Jewish Congress and actively supported by friends of Israel in all nations.
I will have more comments about Gerald Posner later. For now, we will focus on the exoneration of Lee Harvey Oswald. Several facts point to Oswald’s "total, unequivocal, and complete innocence," to quote Garrison.
First of all, Garrison revealed that Oswald had been trained to speak Russian while in the Marines. Oswald also received training from the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI). In fact, Oswald took a Russian examination while stationed at El Toro Marine base.3 Oswald had been stationed there from November 1958 through September 1959.4 The mere fact that Oswald was trained to speak Russian strongly suggests that he was an intelligence operative, probably working for Naval Intelligence. He was apparently carrying out orders given from his superiors that would ultimately be used to implicate him in the murder of President Kennedy. In other words, Oswald was set up as a "patsy."
Second point: Garrison revealed that Oswald’s defection to the Soviet Union was extremely suspicious and was likely sponsored by the CIA and/or the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI). While in the Marines, Oswald worked at Atsugi Air Base in Japan in 1957. Atsugi was the base where all daily super-secret U-2 intelligence flights over China originated. Oswald’s unit—which required a highly classified security clearance—guarded the U-2 hangar.
In the summer of 1959, Oswald applied for a discharge from the Marines. In September of that year he was given an honorable discharge. He then visited his mother briefly in Fort Worth, Texas, then went to New Orleans. From there he departed for the Soviet Union by steamship to England; his ticket had been obtained by the Lykes office of Clay Shaw’s organization—the International Trade Mart in New Orleans. From England he flew eastward to the Helsinki, Finland although the exact air service is unknown. From Helsinki, Oswald took a train to Moscow, arriving on October 16, 1959. He immediately made a series of contacts with Soviet officials and underwent extensive interrogation by the Soviets. Two weeks later, Oswald went to the American Embassy in Moscow and handed over his passport and a letter renouncing the United States and declaring allegiance to the Soviet Union.
In April of 1961, Oswald married Marina Prusakova, the niece of a lieutenant colonel in the Soviet Union’s domestic intelligence service. About three months earlier, Oswald had applied at the American Embassy in Moscow to return to the United States. Unbelievably, both governments agreed that Oswald and his new Russian bride could return to America. This was at the height of the Cold War. Even though Oswald had defected to the Soviet Union, the US State Department did not consider him a threat. In fact, it authorized the American Embassy in Moscow to loan him some money—$436, to be exact—for his return.
In June of 1962, Lee and Marina Oswald arrived in New York with their young daughter. They were not required to meet with FBI agents, or any law enforcement officers or employees of any agency. Keep in mind that prior to defecting to the Soviet Union, Oswald had performed highly classified work at Atsugi Air Base in Japan in 1957—guarding the U-2 hangar where U-2 aircraft was launched for spy missions over China. The fact that he was allowed to re-enter the United States with no questions asked strongly suggests that his stay in the East was sponsored by the US intelligence community. Although the Oswalds were not questioned by government authorities when they re-entered New York in 1962, they did, however, meet with Spas T. Raikin, head of the American Friends of the Anti-Bolshevik Nations, Inc., a private anti-communist group with extensive intelligence connections.5
Third point: Garrison and others revealed that Oswald was friends with George de Mohrenschildt—of Dallas—and his wife, Jeanne. After the Oswalds returned to the United States from the Soviet Union in June of 1962, they moved to Fort Worth, Texas where Lee worked at the Leslie Welding Company until October 7, 1962. That evening, the Oswalds were visited by Mr. And Mrs. de Mohrenschildt. The next day, Lee packed up and moved to Dallas. De Mohrenschildt was apparently an intelligence operative and had given Oswald instructions to move.6 De Mohrenschildt was both a friend and apparently a CIA "babysitter" to Oswald during his stay in Dallas. A babysitter is a term used by American Intelligence agencies to describe an agent assigned to attend the needs of a particular individual important to the completion of a mission.7 This is the only plausible explanation for how two men of such vastly different backgrounds could have been friends or acquaintances.
De Mohrenschildt was a Russian-born immigrant who came to the United States with his parents after the Russian Revolution in 1917. De Mohrenschildt was born on April 17, 1911 in Mozyr, a small Baltic town in czarist Russia near the Polish border.8 His father, Baron Serguis de Mohrenschildt, had been governor of the province of Minsk for Czar Nicholas Romanov. George De Mohrenschildt spoke Russian, German, Spanish, French, and Polish. In World War II he worked for French intelligence.9 His connection with French intelligence is highly significant given the information presented in Chapter 5 about the French-Corsican underworld and French intelligence.
De Mohrenschildt, a refined member of the jet set, held a doctorate in international commerce and a masters degree in petroleum engineering and geology. He became a consulting geologist and was a member of the exclusive Dallas Petroleum Club. There he made contacts with extremely affluent people in the business world.10
De Mohrenschildt apparently provided sensitive information to Warren Commission investigators in 1964. His statements were documented and classified as "secret" (reference Commission Document 1222).11
On March 29, 1977, de Mohrenschildt was found dead of a gunshot blast to the head at his sister-in-law’s fashionable home in Manalapan, Florida. His death was ruled suicide.12 He died three hours after arranging to meet investigator, Gaeton Fonzi(Footnote 12), from the House Select Committee on Assassinations.13 Earlier that day, de Mohrenschildt had met with author Edward Jay Epstein.14
Epstein is a highly suspicious individual. In 1969, he wrote Counterplot which attacked Garrison and his prosecution of Clay Shaw. Epstein wrote another propagandistic book, Legend (1978), which pushed the cover story that the Soviet KGB sponsored the Kennedy assassination, and that Oswald was working for them. In 1966, Epstein wrote Inquest, a mild critique of the Warren Report. Author Michael Collins Piper wrote the following critique of Inquest:
Interesting, Epstein also wrote the book Inquest that was hailed by the media as an important critique of the Warren Commission Report. However, I’ve always felt that this volume was an Establishment "cover story" suggesting that while there were problems with the way the Warren Commission conducted its investigation, there was nothing to worry about in the end. In any case, none of Epstein’s books are of any real value.15
Given Epstein’s propensity to write propaganda, his apparent ethnicity, and the fact that he met with de Mohrenschildt shortly before the latter’s death, it seems highly possible that de Mohrenschildt may have inadvertently told Epstein of his plans to meet with an investigator— Gaeton Fonzi—with the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Epstein apparently passed this information to the criminal elements who killed Kennedy. Given de Mohrenschildt’s prior history of talking to the feds in 1964, a quick decision was apparently made to silence him permanently.
Researcher William Torbitt made an interesting observation about de Mohrenschildt in his article entitled, Nomenclature of an Assassination Cabal. The following is an excerpt from that article:
Many examiners of the case have concluded that George DeMohrenschildt was a part of the conspiracy because of his close association with Oswald during the fall of 1962, and winter and early spring of 1963, but a close reading of the Russian exile's testimony before the Warren Commission shows that DeMohrenschildt was being used by the Solidarists the same as Oswald was being used, and was to have been tied in with Oswald; in connection with the assassination. However, DeMohrenschildt, a highly polished professional geologist, saved himself by moving to Haiti in April of 1963 in connection with a contract with the government of Haiti, where he still resided on the day of the assassination of President Kennedy.
DeMohrenschildt, in retrospect, knew that Division Five of the FBI and the Solidarists had intended to use him as a scapegoat along with Oswald, and he did not hesitate to name the small group within the Federal Bureau of Investigation as the instigators of the assassination of President Kennedy.16
Fourth point: Garrison and others revealed that Oswald performed top-secret work for "Jagger-Stovall-Chiles" while living in Dallas during the Cuban Missile Crisis (October 1962). As previously stated, Oswald moved to Dallas on October 8, 1962. Before the month was over he had secured a job at Jagger-Stovall-Chiles, a Dallas company under contract with the Pentagon to produce maps and charts for military use. The job required an extremely high security clearance. Oswald was given access to various classified materials. Writer Henry Hurt observed that "part of the work appeared to be related to the top-secret U-2 missions, some of which were making flights over Cuba."17
Fifth point: Garrison demonstrated that Oswald had an association with Guy Banister, a retired FBI agent with ONI experience who lived in New Orleans working as a private detective. During the summer of 1963, Oswald handed out pro-Castro leaflets on the streets of New Orleans. Oswald’s organization was called "Fair Play for Cuba." On August 9, 1963, Oswald was arrested during a scuffle with anti-Castro Cubans. The pro-Castro leaflets that Oswald handed out that day—and that day only—had the address "544 Camp Street" (New Orleans) stamped on them. Garrison revealed that 544 Camp Street was an entrance to the same building where Guy Banister had worked as a private detective, but the entrance to Banister’s office was 531 Lafayette Street. Oswald had apparently stamped 544 Camp Street on his pro-Castro leaflets by mistake on August 9, but Banister—or one of his associates—apparently stopped him from continuing the practice. It was obviously embarrassing for a retired FBI agent to be linked to pro-Castro activity. Oswald had apparently worked closely with Banister, who died of a heart attack in 1964, about nine months after the assassination.18
Sixth point: Garrison demonstrated that Oswald had an association with Clay Shaw. As previously stated, Garrison proved that Shaw had called New Orleans attorney Dean Andrews on November 23, 1963 and asked him to represent Oswald. Andrews testified before a grand jury and denied that Bertrand and Shaw were the same person. The grand jury subsequently indicted him for perjury. In August 1967, he was convicted of perjury by a jury of New Orleans citizens.19 This was a significant victory for Garrison because the true identity of Clay Bertrand/Shaw was one of the main points that caused the jury to acquit Shaw of conspiracy to murder President Kennedy. Another point that Garrison failed to show was Shaw’s CIA connections, but in 1979, Richard Helms—the CIA’s director for covert operations in 1963—admitted under oath that Shaw had Agency connections.20 Although Garrison lost the case against Shaw, truth had ultimately prevailed.
Seventh point: Garrison and others proved that other men murdered Dallas policeman J. D. Tippet. This is an important point because it refutes much of the rationale behind the Warren Commission’s conclusion that Oswald killed Kennedy. A member of the Warren Commission’s legal staff asked the following rhetorical question and supplied the answer: "How do we know that Lee Harvey Oswald killed President Kennedy? Because he killed Officer Tippet." Garrison pointed out that the reverse is also true: "Only a man who had just killed the President and knew he was being hunted down would have any reason to shoot a police officer in a quiet suburb at mid-day."21
Garrison proved through deductive reasoning that there was not enough time for Oswald to have left his rooming house at 1:00 pm and shot Tippet at 1:06 or 1:10 pm. The housekeeper/landlady at the rooming house observed Oswald standing by the northbound Beckly Avenue bus stop at 1:04. The location where Tippet was killed was in the opposite direction, about a mile south. The Warren Commission ignored the time discrepancies. Witnesses to the Tippet killing gave conflicting testimony about the physical appearance of the shooter. In fact, Acquilla Clemons stated that she saw two men working together, although only one was the trigger-man. Neither man fit Oswald’s description.22
Eighth point: Garrison revealed that Oswald was a poor marksman in the Marines. As previously stated, Oswald closest colleague in the Marines, Nelson Delgado, stated that Oswald was not sharpshooter material. The following is an excerpt of Delgado’s testimony before Warren Commission attorney Wesley J. Liebeler:
Liebeler: You told the FBI that in your opinion Oswald was not a good rifle shot, is that correct?
Liebeler: And that he did not show any unusual interest in his rifle, and in fact appeared less interested in weapons than the average Marine?
Delgado: Yes. He was mostly a thinker, a reader. He read quite a bit.23
Ninth point: Garrison demonstrated that the gun Oswald allegedly used could not have been a Mannlicher-Carcano, as the government claimed. First of all, the government claimed that Oswald—a poor marksman—fired three shots in 6 seconds, killing President Kennedy and gravely wounding Governor Connally. But no ammunition clip was ever found for the Mannlicher-Carcano. The clip feeds cartridges into the rifle’s firing chamber. Without a clip, the cartridges would have to be loaded manually, making fast shooting impossible. In addition, the Mannlicher-Carcano produced as the murder weapon had a badly misaligned sight. It needed an adjustment before government riflemen could complete their test firing. Even with the adjustment, no rifle expert was able to duplicate Oswald’s alleged shooting prowess.24 Garrison also made some interesting comments about the rifle found at the School Book Depository by Dallas police:
Officer Seymour Weitzman, part of the Dallas police search team, later described the discovery of the rifle on the afternoon of November 22. He stated that it had been so well hidden under boxes of books that the officers stumbled over it many times before they found it. Officer Weitzmann, who had an engineering degree and also operated a sporting goods store, was recognized as an authority on weapons. Consequently, Dallas Homicide Chief Will Fritz, who was on the scene, asked him the make of the rifle. Weitzman identified it as a 7.65 Mauser, a highly accurate German-made weapon. Deputy Sheriff Roger Craig was also there and later recalled the word "Mauser" inscribed in the metal of the gun. And Deputy Sheriff Eugene Boone executed a sworn affidavit in which he described the rifle as a Mauser. As late as midnight November 22, Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade told the media that the weapon found was a Mauser.
… when the smoke cleared and all the law enforcement authorities in Dallas had their stories duly in order, the official position was that the rifle found on the sixth floor of the Depository was the Mannlicher-Carcano, which allegedly was linked to Oswald under an alias, and not the Mauser, which disappeared forever shortly after it reached the hands of Captain Fritz.
But even this revision of the official story did not explain the third rifle. A film taken by Dallas Cinema Associates, an independent film company, showed a scene of the Book Depository shortly after the assassination. Police officers on the fire escape were bringing down a rifle from the roof above the sixth floor with the tender care you might give an infant. When the policemen reached the ground, a high-ranking officer held the rifle high for everyone to see. The camera zoomed in for a close-up. Beneath the picture was the legend, "The Assassin’s Rifle." When I saw the film, I noted that this rifle had no sight mounted on it. Thus it could not have been either the Carcano or the vanished Mauser, both of which had sights.
I was not surprised to find that this third rifle, like the Mauser, had disappeared. But its existence confirmed my hypothesis that Lee Oswald could not have killed John Kennedy as the American public had been told. Setting aside the evidence of two other weapons on the scene, the incredibly accurate shooting of an incredibly inaccurate rifle within an impossible time frame was merely the beginning of the feat we were asked to believe Oswald had accomplished.
(Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, pp. 113 - 115)
The government disregarded the testimony of several witnesses in order to link Oswald to the murder weapon. One such witness was Buell Wesley Frazier, a friend of Oswald’s and co-worker at the Texas School Book Depository. On November 21 Oswald got Frazier to drive him to the home of Ruth and Michael Paine—in Irving, Texas—where Marina Oswald was living (they were separated(Footnote 13)). Oswald told Frazier that Marina had made some curtains for him to put in his apartment and she had some curtain rods for him to pick up. Oswald spent the night at Paine’s house and caught a ride to work with Frazier the next morning. Under his arm he carried a brown paper package. The Warren Commission concluded that the package contained the rifle (Mannlicher-Carcano) used to kill President Kennedy. Frazier testified about the package before the Warren Commission. Years later he described it in The Men Who Killed Kennedy:
The first time I saw the package it was on the back seat of my car and I had just glanced at it. And I asked, ‘What’s that, Lee?’ And he said, ‘That’s curtain rods. Remember, I was going to bring them.’ The length of the package that I saw that morning was roughly two foot long, give or take an inch or two. And it was made out of same type of packing material that you would find in any company that packed materials for shipment. It was just brown paper and the tape that you would normally find, nothing unusual. …
I parked in the parking lot at the Texas School Book Depository. Lee got out of the car, took the package that he said contained curtain rods and he put one end of the package in the cup of his hand and the other [end] up under his armpit. He put the package under his arm that way and he walked off toward the Texas School Book Depository up on Elm Street.
The package could not have contained Oswald’s rifle. Even when dismantled it was three feet long. The Warren Commissioners, who investigated the assassination, ignored Frazier’s unswerving testimony, insisting the weapon had been smuggled into the Depository in Oswald’s brown paper parcel.25
Tenth point: Garrison revealed that Oswald took a "nitrate" test which indicated he had not fired a rifle on November 22, 1963. This is the most compelling evidence that exonerated Oswald. He was given the nitrate test on the evening of the assassination. Had he fired a rifle that day, the test would have revealed deposits of nitrate on his cheek. This information was kept secret for ten months but was revealed in the Warren Report.26
The government had trouble linking the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle directly to Oswald. But a smudged palm-print was discovered on the murder weapon hours after Federal agents made a mysterious visit to the funeral home where Oswald’s body had been taken by mortician Paul Grudy. Grudy explained what happened in an interview shown in The Men Who Killed Kennedy:
I had gotten to the funeral home with his body something in the neighborhood of eleven o’clock at night and it is a several hour procedure to prepare the remains. And after this time, some place in the early, early morning, agents came. Now I say agents because I’m not familiar, at the moment, with whether they were Secret Service or FBI or what they were. But agents did come. And when they did come, they fingerprinted. And the only reason that we knew they did, they were carrying a satchel and equipment and asked us if they might have the preparation room to themselves. And after it was all over, we found ink on Lee Harvey’s hands showing that they had fingerprinted him and palm-printed him. We had to take that ink back off in order to prepare him for burial and to eliminate that ink.27
Eleventh point: Garrison and others provided compelling arguments that the government manufactured fake photographs of Oswald holding a Mannlicher-Carcano rifle as a means of linking him to the murder weapon.(Footnote 14) In Garrison’s 1988 book, On the Trail of the Assassins, he cited Robert Groden’s "dissent" to the House Select Committee on Assassinations that challenged the authenticity of the photographs of Oswald. The HSCA had concluded that the photos were genuine. Groden was the photographic consultant to the HSCA. His dissent was hidden from public view until Garrison revealed it to the world in his 1988 best seller. Here is an excerpt of Groden’s dissent:
…in my opinion, no matter what the panel members concluded, the backyard photographs are beyond question fakes… For the record, the method used here was, almost without doubt, simply posing a man… in the backyard with a rifle, pistol and publications as part of this original picture. The only item added was the head of Lee Oswald from the middle of the chin up…28
It should be emphasized that although Groden wrote his dissent in the 1970s, he did not publish any books about the Kennedy assassination until after Jim Garrison wrote On the Trail of the Assassins in 1988. A year later, in 1989, Groden published a book entitled High Treason. In 1994, Groden published The Killing of a President. A year after that, in 1995, Groden published The Search for Lee Harvey Oswald. Although technically Groden challenged the authenticity of the photographs of Oswald in the 1970s, he sat on this critical information for years (apparently it was deliberate). But through Jim Garrison’s 1988 book, Groden’s dissent was finally read by millions. I shall have more comments about Robert Groden later.
Garrison also noted that in the photographs of Oswald, his head did not match his neck and body. Furthermore, Oswald’s facial "portrait" was exactly the same in several photographs, but his posture and the distance from the camera changed from picture to picture. In addition, if one uses Oswald’s face as a standard of measurement, then Oswald was significantly taller in one picture.29
The photographs of Oswald holding the murder weapon were found in Ruth Paine’s garage in Irving, Texas. As previously stated, Marina Oswald had been living with Paine—apart from her husband, Lee—at the time of the assassination. Garrison checked Ruth Paine’s background and discovered that she and her husband Michael Paine had strong ties to the intelligence community. Lee and Marina Oswald had met Ruth Paine in February 1963 at a party in Dallas. The Oswalds were taken to the party by George de Mohrenschildt and his wife. This is highly significant. Most researchers agree that de Mohrenschildt was one of Oswald’s CIA/ONI handlers. Given that, it seems probable that Ruth Paine was involved in the conspiracy as well. She supplied the authorities with incriminating photographs—likely fakes—of Oswald holding the murder weapon.
Michael Paine was a design engineer who performed highly classified worked for Bell Helicopter,(Footnote 15) a major defense contractor. Ruth Paine was an intelligent woman who constantly wandered around the country and the world for one reason or another. One of her many interests was the Russian language. Naturally this made her fast friends with Marina Oswald, a Russian immigrant. Paine’s father had been employed by the Agency for International Development, regarded by many as a CIA front organization. Her brother-in-law worked for the same agency in the Washington, DC area.30
Twelfth point: Garrison established that Oswald was not a Marxist as the Warren Commission concluded. Garrison summarized his feelings about Oswald’s political leanings as follows:
The more I thought about it, the more the great disparity gnawed at me. There had been the Lee Harvey Oswald who, the government told us, was close to being the most rabid communist since Lenin. On the other hand, at our very doorstep, there had been a flesh-and-blood Oswald who used as the headquarters for his pamphleteering the office of Guy Banister—formerly of the FBI and Naval Intelligence and, more recently, the Anti-Communist League of the Caribbean. As if that were not enough, Oswald had been on a first-name basis with that swashbuckling anti-communist soldier of fortune, David Ferrie, a man who had trained anti-Castro pilots for the Bay of Pigs in 1961 and by 1963 was giving guerilla training to more Cuban exiles for some new venture against the island.
(Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, p. 50)
John E. Donovan (a first lieutenant at El Toro when Oswald was there) testified before the Warren Commission stating emphatically that Oswald did not have leftist political leanings. Donovan stated the following: "I never heard him in any way, shape or form confess that he was a Communist, or that he ever thought about being a Communist."31 Nelson Delgado was closest to Oswald in the Marines. They bunked next to each other for about 11 months. Delgado told the Warren Commission that Oswald "never said any subversive things… and he didn’t show [any] particular aspects of being a sharpshooter at all."32 Garrison provided mountains of additional evidence demonstrating that although Oswald distributed pro-Castro leaflets, he was not truly a Marxist; but was merely a low-level intelligence operative—an agent provocateur—playing the role of a Marxist.33
Several other friends and associates of Oswald’s at the El Toro Marine base gave similar testimony before the Warren Commission that Oswald was not a Marxist. They included Donald Peter Camarata, Peter Francis Connor, Allen Graf, John Rene Heindel, Mack Osborne, and Richard Dennis Call. Only one man—Kerry Thornley—stated that Oswald had exhibited Marxist leanings. Consequently, the Warren Commission ignored the testimonies of the other men and released Thornley’s statements to the media.34
Garrison provided circumstantial evidence that Thornley had doubled as Oswald doing things to incriminate the latter. Thornley bore a striking resemblance to Oswald and they were about the same height, although Oswald was slightly taller. Garrison observed that Thornley had lied to the Warren Commission about Oswald’s height. Thornley told the Warren Commission that Oswald was about five inches shorter than himself—who was five feet ten inches—when in reality Oswald was taller. In 1968, Garrison had a Grand Jury subpoena Thornley who was living in Tampa, Florida at the time. Thornley admitted that he lived in New Orleans from February 1961 through the end of November 1963, shortly after the assassination. He also admitted to meeting Guy Banister and David Ferrie while in New Orleans, but denied meeting Oswald during his stay in New Orleans. In addition, Thornley lived in the heart of the New Orleans intelligence community during his time in that city.35
Thornley also told Garrison that in the late spring of 1963, around early May, he took a bus trip to California to visit his parents, and had visited Dallas briefly during that journey. In late April, the Oswalds had just moved from their Neely Street apartment in Dallas to New Orleans leaving the rent still paid for. Consequently, Oswald’s apartment was unoccupied for a few days. Garrison suggested that during that time, Thornley may have posed for the incriminating "fake" photographs of Oswald holding a rifle and pistol. The incriminating photos were taken of someone with a build similar to Oswald’s standing in the backyard of the Neely Street apartment.36
Thirteenth point: Garrison demonstrated that Oswald did not make trips to Mexico City, but the CIA had provided the Warren Commission with a fake photograph of him at the Cuban Embassy in that city. The Warren Commission used the alleged trip to Mexico City from September 16 through October 3, 1963 as further proof that Oswald was a communist. The Warren Report stated that Oswald "embarked on a series of visits to the Soviet and Cuban Embassies" in Mexico City, that his objective was "to reach Cuba by way of Mexico, and that he hoped to meet Fidel Castro after he arrived." The Warren Report further stated that Silvia Tirado de Duran, a Mexican employee at the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City, recalled an American named Lee Harvey Oswald trying to obtain a visa to Cuba in the latter part of September or the early part of October. The Warren Commission included an extensive statement from Duran in its final report.37
Garrison wrote the following devastating response to the Warren Commission’s assertion—a tale apparently manufactured by the CIA—that Oswald had visited the Cuban and Soviet Embassies in Mexico City:
Early in the official inquiry, the CIA informed the Warren Commission of Oswald’s alleged activities in Mexico City before the assassination. Uncharacteristically, the Commission asked for more evidence. Perhaps the Commission members, aware that the Agency had 24-hour photographic surveillance of the Cuban and Soviet embassies in Mexico City, were hoping for a good picture to shore up their sparsely documented account of Oswald’s trip to Mexico.
Initially, the Agency ignored the Commission’s request. But after more pressure, the CIA finally handed over a murky snapshot of a portly, graying gentleman almost old enough to be Oswald’s father. This, the Agency claimed, was Lee Harvey Oswald at the Cuban Embassy.
The Agency also produced a statement from Silvia Duran, a Mexican who worked at the Cuban Embassy, alleging that Oswald had appeared there. However, the circumstances under which the statement was obtained were tainted, to say the least. On the day of the assassination, the CIA ordered authorities to arrest Duran and keep her in isolation.(Footnote 16) The Agency cable said: "With full regard for Mexican interests, request you ensure that her arrest is kept absolutely secret, that no information from her is published or leaked, that all such info is cabled to us…" Duran was not released until she identified Lee Oswald as the visitor to the Cuban Embassy. After her release, the CIA ordered her jailed again. These circumstances were not known to the Commission. Moreover, in 1978 Duran told author Anthony Summers that the man who came to the embassy was blond and about her own height (five feet three)—hardly Oswald.
(Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, pp. 73 - 74)38
Fourteenth point: Garrison revealed that Oswald was set up as a scapegoat. Garrison introduced a new term to the American public: "sheepdipping." Sheepdipping is an intelligence term for manipulating someone into doing things to create a desired image that can be used later to implicate them in a crime. He described it as follows:
It had always puzzled me why Oswald had left Dallas in April 1963 to spend the summer in New Orleans, only to return to Dallas again in October. But given what I had learned, this began to make sense. Clearly, if Oswald was being set up as a communist scapegoat, his close association in Dallas with the anti-communist White Russians had to be severed. Likewise, a summer of ostentatiously handing out pro-Castro leaflets in New Orleans reinforced the image of a crazed communist assassin. In the intelligence community, there is a term for this kind of manipulated behavior designed to create a desired image: sheepdipping. It seemed to me that Oswald had been in New Orleans to be sheepdipped under the guidance of Guy Banister and that he had been sent back to Dallas when the mission was accomplished.
(Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, pp. 70 - 71)
A final point—not addressed by Garrison but needs to be refuted—is the Warren Commission’s assertion that Oswald had attempted to kill Major General Edwin A. Walker on April 6, 1963 using the same Mannlicher-Carcano rifle that the government claimed was used to kill Kennedy.39 The Commission made a feeble attempt to link the bullet found in Walker’s house to the Mannlicher-Carcano, but eventually this was discredited. At one point, the Warren Report referred to the testimony of FBI ballistics expert Robert A. Frazier. The following is an excerpt from the Warren Report regarding Frazier’s attempt to link the Kennedy murder weapon to the Walker shooting incident:
Frazier testified, however, that he found no microscopic characteristics or other evidence which would indicate that the bullet was not fired from the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle owned by Lee Harvey Oswald.40
In crimes where a gun is fired, law enforcement investigators normally look for evidence linking the bullet found at the crime scene to a weapon owned by the suspect. When the FBI investigated the Walker shooting, they were apparently satisfied to make their allegation first—that the bullet came from Oswald’s weapon—then conclude that the allegation was correct because no evidence was found to refute it. This rationale—which was stated in the Warren Report—is so ridiculous that it deserves no further comment.
In addition, the government’s allegation that Oswald shot at Walker’s house with a Mannlicher-Carcano rifle—allegedly, the same murder weapon that killed Kennedy—was further weakened by critics, such as Garrison and others, who demonstrated that the Mannlicher-Carcano was not the murder weapon used in the assassination.
One of the incriminating pieces of evidence which implicated Oswald in the Walker shooting incident were three photographs of the General’s home found in Oswald’s belongings at the home of Ruth Paine (the Irving-based woman with a strong intelligence background, introduced to the Oswalds through George and Jeanne De Mohrenschildt, who allowed Marina Oswald to live with her and her husband Michael while the Oswalds were separated). One of the photographs was of a 1957 Chevrolet—reportedly owned by General Walker and parked in the General’s driveway. There was a hole punched in the photograph that prevented the license plate of the Chevrolet from being read. Dallas police and the FBI concluded that Oswald had punched the hole in the photograph in order to prevent anyone from linking the General’s automobile to him. This evidence has since been discredited.41
Furthermore, much of the evidence implicating Lee Oswald in the Kennedy assassination, the Walker shooting, and even an alleged attempt on Richard Nixon’s life42 came from the testimony of Oswald’s widow, Marina. Although Marina Oswald has recanted her statements against her husband, it should be noted that any testimony against him would not have been admissible in a trial had he lived. This point alone shows the injustice of the Warren Commission. Having stated that, we should also remember that Marina first told the authorities that Lee was innocent. It was only after she had been held for weeks by the federal authorities that her story began to change. But she spoke little English at the time and was completely intimidated by the federal investigators. Since then she has acquired a better command of the language and began publicly defending her deceased husband. In a 1988 interview published in Ladies’ Home Journal, Marina made the following statements:
When I was questioned by the Warren Commission, I was a blind kitten. Their questioning left me only one way to go: guilty. I made Lee guilty. He never had a fair chance… But I was only 22 then, and I’ve matured since; I think differently.43
Researcher Jim Marrs wrote in his 1989 book, Crossfire, that Marina reversed her 1963-64 statements against her husband, plus she provided additional information. Marina’s assertions and views are as follows (per Jim Marrs):
These and other facts have indeed changed public opinion about Lee Harvey Oswald in recent years. There can be no doubt—as Garrison correctly stated— that he was totally, unequivocally, and completely innocent of the assassination of President Kennedy.
Jack Ruby’s Filmed Interview
An interesting fact pointing to Israeli involvement in President Kennedy’s assassination is a filmed statement by Jack Ruby, the man who shot and killed accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. Ruby was Jewish. His real name was Rubenstein.
In March 1964, Jack Ruby was found guilty of murdering Lee Harvey Oswald and was sentenced to death. After the verdict and sentence, Ruby requested several times to be moved to Washington, DC to testify before the Warren Commission. Each request was denied. Although most of the Commission’s work was done in secret, they did visit Dallas on one occasion where they interviewed Ruby. He made the following statement:
Everything pertaining to what’s happening has never come to the surface. The world will never know the true facts of what occurred – my motives. The people had so much to gain, and had such an ulterior motive to put me in the position I’m in, will never let the true facts come above board to the world.
Are these people in very high positions Jack?
(The Men Who Killed Kennedy – The Coup D’etat, N. Turner)
Less than three years later, in January 1967, Jack Ruby died in prison of lung cancer. He told his family he had been injected with cancer cells.45
In 1979 the House Select Committee on Assassinations linked Ruby to Jewish Mafia chief, Meyer Lanksy (aka, Maier Suchowljansky). Keep in mind that both men were Jewish. The Encyclopedia Britannica states the following about Lanksy and Ruby:
[Meyer Lanksy was] one of the most powerful and richest of U.S. crime syndicate chiefs and bankers, who had major interests in gambling, especially in Florida, pre-Castro Cuba, Las Vegas, and the Bahamas.
… In 1979 the House of Representatives Assassinations Committee, ending its two-year investigation of the Warren Commission report, linked Lansky with Jack Ruby, the nightclub owner who killed presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.
(Encyclopedia Britannica - Meyer Lansky)
Julia Ann Mercer Saw Ruby Drop off a Gunman at Dealy Plaza
Jack Ruby had worked for the Mafia for years. He likely worked for Meyer Lansky’s top lieutenant, Santo Trafficante who handled mob business in Florida and Cuba.(Footnote 17) Ruby participated in the assassination by performing ad hoc assignments for the hitmen and their handlers.
After Oswald was arrested, the conspirators obviously decided he needed to be eliminated. They likely made Ruby an offer he couldn’t refuse.
"Either kill Oswald," they must have said, "or we’ll implicate you in the murder of President Kennedy instead of Oswald. We have a respectable witness who saw you drop off a man with a rifle near Dealy Plaza shortly before Kennedy was killed."
Julia Ann Mercer identified Jack Ruby as a man driving a pick-up truck who dropped off another man carrying a rifle near Dealy Plaza shortly before the assassination. The following is a description of Mercer’s story from Jim Garrison’s book, On the Trail of the Assassins:
|Some of the best witnesses to the
assassination found their way to us after it became apparent to them that
the federal agents and the Dallas police really were not interested in what
they saw. Julia Ann Mercer was just such a witness. In fact, no other
witness so completely illuminated for me the extent of the cover-up.
Mercer had been but a few feet away when one of the riflemen was unloaded at the grassy knoll shortly before the arrival of the presidential motorcade. Consequently, she was a witness not only to the preparation of President Kennedy's murder but also to the conspiracy involved.
She gave statements to the FBI and the Dallas Sheriff's office, and then returned to the FBI and provided additional statements, but she was never called by the Warren Commission—not even to provide an affidavit.
Much earlier, I had read Julia Ann Mercer's statements in the Warren Commission exhibits, but I had never had a chance to talk to her. Then one day in early 1968 her husband called me at the office. He said that he and his wife were in New Orleans on business and had some things to tell me. I agreed to meet them at the Fairmont Hotel, where they were staying.
Arriving at their suite, I found a most impressive couple. A middle-aged man of obvious substance, he had been a Republican member of Congress from Illinois. Equally impressive, she was intelligent and well-dressed, the kind of witness any lawyer would love to have testifying on his side in front of a jury. After he had departed on business, I handed her copies of her statements as they had been printed in the Warren Commission exhibits. She read them carefully and then shook her head.
"These all have been altered," she said. "They have me saying just the opposite of what I really told them."
About an hour before the assassination she had been driving west on Elm Street and had been stopped—just past the grassy knoll—by traffic congestion. To her surprise (because she recalled that the President's parade was coming soon), she saw a young man in the pickup truck to her right dismount, carrying a rifle, not too well concealed in a covering of some sort. She then observed him walk up "the grassy hill which forms part of the overpass." She looked at the driver several times, got a good look at his round face and brown eyes, and he looked right back at her.
Mercer also observed that three police officers were standing near a motorcycle on the overpass bridge above her and just ahead. She recalled that they showed no curiosity about the young man climbing the side of the grassy knoll with the rifle.
After the assassination, when Mercer sought to make this information available to law enforcement authorities, their response was almost frenzied. At the FBI office—where she went the day after the assassination—she was shown a number of mug shots. Among the several she selected as resembling the driver was a photograph of Jack Ruby. On Sunday, when she saw Ruby kill Oswald on television, she positively recognized him as the driver of the pickup truck and promptly notified the local Bureau office. Nevertheless, the FBI altered her statement so it did not note that she had made a positive identification.
She laughed when she pointed this out to me. "See," she said, "the FBI made it just the opposite of what I really told them." Then she added, "He was only a few feet away from me. How could I not recognize Jack Ruby when I saw him shoot Oswald on television?"
The Dallas Sheriff’s office went through the same laborious fraud and added an imaginative touch of its own. Although Mercer had never been brought before any notary, the Sheriff's office filed a sworn affidavit stating that she did not identify the driver, although she might, "if I see him again," and significantly changing other facts.
"See that notarized signature?" she asked me. "That's not my signature either. I sign my name with a big ‘A’ like this." She produced a pen and wrote her name for me. It was clear that the signature the Dallas Sheriff’s office had on its altered statement was not even close to hers.
Julia Ann Mercer then wrote on the side of my copies of the FBI and the Dallas Sheriff fabrications the correct version of what she had seen then. That version had not been acceptable in Dallas, but it was more than welcome to me. Conscious of the sudden deaths of some witnesses who appeared to have seen too much for their own survival, I thought that she should sign her maiden name as she had back in Dallas right after the assassination. At my suggestion she did so.
When I got back to my office, I thought about Julia Ann Mercer. She had been only a few feet away from one of the most crucial incidents of the assassination and had tried in vain to tell the federal and Dallas law enforcement authorities the simple truth. The implications of her experience were profound. First of all, Mercer's observations provided further evidence that there was another rifleman on the knoll ahead of the President.
But to me the responses to her statements were even more chilling. They proved that law enforcement officials recognized early on that a conspiracy existed to kill the President. Both local and federal authorities had altered Mercer's statements precisely to conceal that fact.
I already had concluded that parts of the local Dallas law enforcement establishment were probably implicated in the assassination or its cover-up. But now I saw that the highly respected FBI was implicated as well. After all, the Bureau had to have known on Saturday, November 23, when it showed Jack Ruby's photo to Mercer, that Ruby might have been involved in a conspiracy. This was the day before Ruby shot Oswald.
(Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, pp. 251 - 254)
House Select Committee on Assassinations Ignored Mercer’s Testimony
Garrison made the following comments about the House Select Committee’s deception regarding Julia Ann Mercer’s eye-witness account of Ruby:
|There was a coda to the Julia Ann Mercer
story. In the late 1970s when I was in private law practice, the House
Select Committee on Assassinations convened. Because I had seen too much
critical material disappear in the hands of federal investigators, I was not
enthusiastic about sending the committee anything.
However, Mercer's observations, as well as the government's alteration of them, were of overriding importance. There was no evidence more conclusive of the frontal shooting of Kennedy, of the conspiracy and of the subsequent cover-up. Consequently, I sent the committee copies of Mercer's statements to the FBI and the Dallas Sheriff's office as they appeared in the Warren Commission exhibits, with her description of the alterations written on the sides of each.
Because of the exceptionally high casualty rate among important assassination witnesses, I described her only by her maiden name, which she had signed on her statements. In an accompanying letter, I explained the reason to the committee and said that if they intended to call her as a witness and would assure me that there would be a serious effort to protect bar, I would be happy to send her married name and present address.
I never received a reply from the House Committee. Some years later I happened to be thumbing through the published hearings of the committee when I stumbled on an interesting passage. It said that I had sent to the committee alleged statements made by one Julia Ann Mercer. The House Committee's investigators, the report continued, "had been unable to locate her."
(Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, pp. 254 - 255)
Ruby’s Association With the FBI
Garrison provided additional information about Ruby’s association with the FBI in the 1950s:
|Jack Ruby had a special relationship with
the Dallas office of the FBI In 1959. Ruby met at least nine times with one
of the Dallas Bureau's agents. At that time he also purchased a
microphone-equipped wrist watch, a bugged tie clip, a telephone bug, and a
bugged attaché case. These facts suggested that Jack Ruby was probably a
regular informant with the local Bureau office.
But Ruby may well have been working for the CIA also. Individuals on the payroll of one agency are sometimes hired as contract employees for another agency within the intelligence community. During 1959, the same year in which Ruby was meeting with the FBI agent, he took two flights to Cuba. One was for eight days. The other was an overnight turn-around flight. Earlier in the 1950s he had consulted a war supplies dealer about the purchase of 100 jeeps, one of the most valuable items for the rebels in Cuba whom the CIA was supporting at that time. On a later occasion, he was deeply involved in gun running for the Cuban rebels supported by the Agency.
(Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, p. 254)
Ruby Tried to Save Oswald
After Oswald’s arrest, Ruby apparently tried to save Oswald by phoning the Dallas Police Department and warning them not to move Oswald through the basement. Billy Bremer, a communications officer with the Dallas Police in 1963, was on duty the night before Ruby killed Oswald. At around 9:00 pm, he received an anonymous but urgent call from someone who turned out to be Ruby. In an interview years later, Bremer described the phone call.
|I thought I recognized the voice, but at the time I could not put a face or a name with the voice. And as we talked, he began telling me that we needed to change the plans on moving Oswald from the basement – that he knew of the plans to make the move, and if we did not make a change – the statement he made precisely was "We are going to kill him."|
Bremer reported the call, then went home and went to sleep when his shift was over that night. The next morning, he saw on television that Ruby had shot Oswald.
|No sooner then I had turned it on, they were telling that Jack Ruby had killed Oswald. Then I suddenly realized, knowing Jack Ruby the way I did, this was the man I was talking to on the phone last night. At that time, I put the voice with the face. And I knew within myself that Jack Ruby was the one that made that call to me the night before. And I think it was obvious because he knew me, and I knew him, and he called me by my name over the telephone. And seeing this, and knowing what I knew and what he had said, then to me, it had to be Jack Ruby.|
(The Men Who Killed Kennedy – The Coup D’etat, N. Turner)
General Charles Cabell and Brother Earle, Mayor of Dallas
General Charles Cabell was a key figure in the assassination. His brother, Earle Cabell, was mayor of Dallas when Kennedy was killed. This fact was uncovered by Jim Garrison. The Cabell brothers were likely enlisted in the Israeli-born coup during or shortly after the Cuban Missile Crisis. General Charles Cabell had been fired by President Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs Invasion in 1961.
A key contribution to the coup—apparently made by the aforementioned Cabell brothers—was to change the motorcade route on the day of the assassination. The motorcade was apparently changed in order to pass by the Texas School Book Depository, thereby implicating Oswald as the assassin because he worked there. The following is Garrison’s description—from his book, On the Trail of the Assassins—of how he discovered the Cabell brothers:
|One morning I was in my office reading and
rereading a newspaper. I did not hear Frank [Klein] enter.
"I have never seen you so preoccupied," said Frank.
"It's not just any paper, son," I said. "This is the front page of the Dallas Morning News for November 22, 1963."
"Well, what's got you so hypnotized?"
I gestured to the large diagram on the paper's front page, indicating the route of the presidential parade. "Have I ever shown you this before?" I asked.
He shook his head.
I turned the paper around facing his way so that he could read the diagram of the motorcade. It covered almost five-sixths of the front page.
"Frank," I said, "I want you to follow the parade route with me. Let's pick it up right here as it comes down Main approaching Dealey Plaza. Are you with me?"
"Yes," he said, his finger following the thick line indicating the motorcade. "And here is where it reaches Dealey Plaza. . ." He stopped.
"What's the matter?" I asked.
"This diagram indicates that the President's parade was supposed to continue on Main Street through the center of Dealey Plaza-without even leaving Main." He stared at it in disbelief.
"So what's wrong with that?" I asked.
His finger was moving off of Main, inches downward to Elm until he found the Depository area where the President had been shot. "if that was the presidential parade route up there on Main . . ."
I finished the question for him. "How did he get way down here on Elm?"
Frank looked up at me with a slight frown, then looked back at the diagram. He moved his finger back along Main Street to where it reached Houston. "The motorcade turned right on Houston and went down onto Elm," he said.
"Where the motorcade made that sweeping 120-degree left turn you are looking at, which had to slow the President's car down to about ten miles an hour."
Frank looked up again at the thick line indicating the motorcade route continuing on Main through the center of Dealey Plaza as it headed for the Stemmons Freeway.
"Here on Main street, continuing through the open meadow," he said, "they couldn't have hit him. Are you telling me that at the last moment they just moved the President of the United States off of his scheduled route to here where the Depository is?" He pushed back his chair and stood up. "Hell, I haven't read a damned word about that anywhere. How can they keep something like that a secret for three years?"
I leaned back in my chair. "Now you see why I didn't hear you knock when you came in."
"Where the hell were the Dallas police when they made that last-minute change in the route?" he asked.
"Where indeed?" I asked. "And the Secret Service. And the FBI"
"And the city administration of Dallas," he added. "Don't they have a mayor over there in that damned place?"
"Yes, they do. The mayor when this happened was Earle Cabell."
I buzzed the intercom and my secretary, Sharon Herkes, came in. I asked her to take a cab to the public library and find the latest volume of Who's Who in the Southwest. "I'm sure you'll find Earle Cabell in there. See if his article indicates any connections with Washington."
"With Washington?" Frank asked.
"Of course," I replied. "You can't tell me it's possible to hijack the President—with the whole world watching—unless there's some kind of cooperation between the city administration and the federal government."
Frank grabbed the front page of the Dallas Morning News and pointed to the diagram. "Hell," he said, "was the Warren Commission blind? Didn't they see this?"
"Oh," I said. "Would you like to see the front page that was introduced to the Warren Commission?"
I pulled open my middle desk drawer and took out a copy of the Dallas Morning News front page that had been introduced as a Commission exhibit. I handed it to Frank and lit my pipe. I had hardly taken the first puff on it when he yelled.
"Those bastards! They just removed the entire motorcade route from the front page."
That was true. On five-sixths of the Dallas Morning News page where the diagram of the motorcade route was supposed to be was nothing but a large square of solid gray. "And this has been printed as an official, exhibit by the Warren Commission?" he asked.
"And just what in the hell are we supposed to call this?" he asked, waving the nearly blank exhibit.
I took a puff or two on my pipe. "This is what you call," I replied, "a coup d'etat."
An hour or so later Sharon walked in the door with a large photostat in her hand. "They, didn't have anything about Mayor Cabell in the Who's Who," she said. "But there's a lot of stuff here about a General Charles Cabell."
I glanced down at the article. Right away it jumped out at me from the page that this Charles Cabell had been the deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Now I found myself looking at that last name with real fascination. It took one phone call to an attorney friend in Dallas to determine that General Charles Cabell was the brother of Earle Cabell, former mayor of Dallas.
Now the eleventh-hour change in the President's motorcade route was even more intriguing to me, and I immediately headed for the public library. Before sunset I had become the leading expert in New Orleans on General Charles Cabell, who, it turned out, had been fired as the CIA's number two man by President Kennedy. General Cabell had been in charge of the Agency's disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion. In the final hours, while Castro's small air force was tearing the landing effort apart, Cabell had managed to get through a call to President Kennedy in an attempt to halt the disaster. Just over the horizon, by something less than happenstance, lay aircraft carriers with fighter planes on their decks, engines warming up. General Cabell informed the President that these fighters could reverse the course of disaster in minutes and secure the success of the invasion. All that was needed was the President's authorization.
On the preceding day Kennedy had assured the assembled media that if anyone invaded Cuba (and the air had become rife with invasion rumors) there certainly would be no help from the US armed forces. He flatly turned Cabell down. With that the invasion's chances sank, as did the general's intelligence career. President Kennedy asked for Cabell's resignation and the general was subsequently replaced on February 1, 1962, as the CIA's deputy director. General Cabell's subsequent hatred of John Kennedy became an open secret in Washington.
In most countries, a powerful individual who had been in open conflict with a national leader who was later assassinated would receive at least a modicum of attention in the course of the posthumous inquiry. A major espionage organization with a highly sophisticated capability for accomplishing murder might receive even more. Certainly a powerful individual who also held a top position in a major espionage apparatus and had been at odds with the departed leader would be high on the list of suspects.
However, General Cabell, who fit that description perfectly, was never even called as a witness before the Warren Commission. One reason may have been that Allen Dulles, the former CIA director (also fired by President Kennedy), was a member of the Commission and handled all leads relating to the Agency. During the nine years that Dulles had been the CIA's chief, General Charles Cabell had been his deputy.
(Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, pp. 117 - 121)
Former CIA Director, Allen Dulles
Allen Dulles was CIA director during the Eisenhower administration, and Kennedy allowed him to continue serving in that capacity until after the Bay of Pigs invasion, after which Kennedy asked Dulles to resign. According to historian Michael Beschloss, the Kennedy administration "stripped" Dulles of "certain of his CIA retirement privileges" in the spring of 1962, about six months before the Cuban Missile Crisis. The following is an excerpt from The Crisis Years by Michael Beschloss:
|In March 1962, Nixon's memoir Six Crises,
charging that Kennedy had subordinated national security to political
ambition, caused a public sensation. Nixon wrote that Dulles had told the
Democratic nominee that for months the CIA had "not only been supporting and
assisting, but actually training Cuban exiles for the eventual purpose of
supporting an invasion of Cuba itself."
. . . The President also asked Dulles to issue a statement saying "that the President never knew about it." But Dulles told reporters only that Nixon must be victim of an "honest misunderstanding." Soon thereafter, he was stripped of certain of his CIA retirement privileges.
(Michael Beschloss, The Crisis Years, p. 29)
Beschloss also wrote that Dulles began studying President Kennedy’s psychological profile while Kennedy was still President-Elect.
|Before meeting [with the newly elected President Kennedy, CIA director Allen] Dulles evidently studied an assessment of Kennedy’s personality by CIA psychologists using files dating to the 1930s, including material from British surveillance of Joseph Kennedy’s London Embassy as well as his son’s wartime service in the Navy. Such assessments predicted how the subject would respond when informed of the full range of CIA operations, showing Dulles the most effective method of appeal.|
(Michael Beschloss, The Crisis Years, pp. 102-103)
Garrison made the following observations of the CIA’s study of President-Elect Kennedy:
|I do not know precisely when the planning and preparation for the coup began. In a sense, it may have been as early as late 1960 when the CIA prepared a dossier analysis on the President-elect. Such a psychological profile surely would not have contemplated assassination of the President, but its purpose was to help the CIA, or some elements within it, further its goal of manipulating policy.|
(Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, pp. 136-138)
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