In an article JFK According to the History Textbooks, which we will call chapter one of the guide, written for CTKA in April 2016, this author showed how history books overwhelmingly portrayed the JFK assassination as one perpetrated by Oswald the Lone Nut. That article proved that the historians did very little research in the matter while basing their claims on the outdated and highly unreliable Warren Commission Report as well as a few books that backed that clearly discredited version of history. It was also argued that historians were not respecting their own code of conduct according to the American Historical Association (AHA) by, among other breaches, woefully ignoring the historical record.
In a second article JFK and the Unforgivable, also written for CTKA, which we will call chapter two, historians were shown what they could easily learn from the six official governmental investigations that looked into the murder, and the Howard Hunt vs Liberty Lobby civil case. These contrary insights were forthcoming from the reports themselves bolstered by affirmations from a very important cross-section of investigation insiders who were closely involved and were not motivated by book sales nor fame-seeking. The results clearly underscore that the historical record indicates that the Warren Commission Report is discredited; the FBI, CIA, Secret Service and other investigative bodies did not do their jobs diligently in investigating the assassination; they hid crucial information from commissions and even helped obfuscate in some cases; the Magic Bullet explanation is not believed by many; Ruby and Oswald are not the loners depicted by the Warren Commission; there was a probable conspiracy; that there is a lot more to this story that is contrary to what captive audiences of high-school students are being asked to swallow.
Question for some of the lawyer members of the investigative community out there: Is this even legal?
The JFK assassination is a bit of a hobby for this author. After reading books like Crossfire and seeing the movie JFK over a number of years, it was only a few years ago, when I came upon Jim Douglass’ JFK and the Unspeakable, that I began a steady diet of reading, searching the web and listening to online programs about the whodunit of the century that mainstream media and historians won’t touch with a ten-foot pole. Most of the primary research I have done has been dedicated to learning how historians have been conducting themselves on this issue. The answer is: poorly.
Chapters one and two of the guide will allow novices and historians or journalists who might someday be motivated by the self-actualization needs Maslow has theorized about to get to the point where they should no longer take the Warren Commission’s conclusions seriously and realize that the Lone Nut version of events is what is really on the fringe according to what the major investigations and their investigators have revealed. By reading these articles and following up on their sources and hyperlinks, in less than twenty hours they will be brought up to speed on where the government and their representatives stand.
Chapter three will help readers go to the next steps: 1) Finding out who the credible independent researcher/authors are so that they can focus on the more reliable up to date work and begin to understand the more credible alternatives to the Crazy Kid Oswald version; 2) Defining persons and events of interest in this case that would be worth investigating further so as to actually solve this crime.
We will give a concrete example of how this can be done by combining the work of researchers around a specific topic and show how this can synergize the analysis of the case. The topic of choice in this analysis is: what three previous assassination attempts on JFK within less than six months of the murder tell us about what really happened in Dallas.
The independent authors: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!
With the thousands of books that have been written about the JFK assassination, interested parties have a daunting task of separating the 1) Useless (most of the books), from the 2) Mostly bad but with some nuggets of important information, from the 3) Mostly good, even though there are minor elements that are contestable (which are often used by obfuscators to try and destroy the whole body of work).
Throughout the years, I like many others, spent too much time on unsound work, rumors, false flags and rabbit holes: The limo driver shot Kennedy, Madeleine Brown stories, the Torbitt Document and so on. The number of hours wasted was reduced dramatically after I found key sources that helped me scout the researchers before listening to them further. Unfortunately, most historians choose to do the intellectually lazy thing about this problem by throwing in the towel which suggests that learning more about this monumental history altering event is simply not worth their time. So let’s try and help make things a bit easier for them.
What helped me most in source selection for my reading was that there are a fair number of excellent online shows where authors come on to discuss their work and there are also excellent, specialized websites. Mainstream media does not offer this sort of opportunity. Two of the shows that stand out for me are Black Op Radio and JFKConversations because of the diversity and quality of their guests, the talent and knowledge of their hosts and their degree of specialization in the political murders of the sixties. Especially interesting with Black Op Radio is the archive section of over 800 shows along with the very useful show notes that link up with interesting sources. Its Fifty Reasons for Fifty Years video production for the 2013 50-year anniversary of the JFK assassination is one of the landmark sources for those interested in the topic as it brings together many of the leading authorities on the assassination who present short segments of compelling evidence of a conspiracy all focused in one of their areas of specialty. CTKA is a go-to site (soon to be upgraded I understand) with up to date developments and an archive of very well researched Probe Magazine (and other) articles as well as insightful and balanced book, documentary and film reviews. Also the yearly conferences about JFK such as COPA and Lancer are often filmed and available on the web and well worth following.
It is through these sources and others that one can get to really know serious researchers like Malcolm Blunt, Joan Mellen, David Talbot, Jim DiEugenio, Lisa Pease, Larry Hancock, John Armstrong, Jim Marrs, Gaeton Fonzi, John Newman, Fletcher Prouty, Russ Baker, Vince Palamara, Cyril Wecht, and many others and to find out about their areas of specialty before going on to reading some of their work.
The Education Forum is an excellent discussion network that brings together high level researchers and thinkers and allows one to delve deeper into a topic. Caution: Many of these discussion forums are infiltrated by disturbers.
Spartacus Educational, in my opinion, is a good, uncontaminated source for getting a snapshot about a particular character or event as well as insights into the sources. To look into primary data, Mary Ferrell Foundation has proven quite thorough and easy enough to navigate. There are many other excellent sources that one will naturally come to know if they start with these.
I have not read enough books to make a top ten list, but I can confirm that by reading The Last Investigation, JFK and the Unspeakable, Destiny Betrayed, Nexus, Oswald and the CIA, The Devil’s Chessboard, Survivor’s Guilt, Reclaiming Parkland – to name some of the more recent work-- one will get up to speed quickly even if one does not agree with the entirety of the works. The Oliver Stone movie JFK, even though there is some poetic license, The Killing of President Kennedy, The Last Word and Evidence of Revision are among the must-see films and documentaries on the topic that will bring one closer to the truth than what is written in the Warren Report.
By studying these sources, novice researchers will understand why an overwhelming number of governmental reports and insiders have impeached the Warren Commission, mainstream media and most history books’ version of the assassination.
Analyzing what has already been written and identifying chokeholds
The amount of evidence that there is a conspiracy is devastating. The problem the research community faces is the amount of overkill that sometimes is debatable: examples include photo interpretation, some witness testimony, inside info from mistresses, supposed shooter confessions to name but a few. These abstract details tend to cloud the issue by deviating from what Malcolm Blunt calls chokeholds.
Here are the ones I found most convincing:
- The debunking of the Magic Bullet theory
- What Dealey Plaza and Parkland Hospital witnesses saw (and Bethesda personnel as well) and what the Zapruder film showed
- The impersonation and attempted framing of Oswald in Mexico City a few weeks before the assassination
- The Silvia Odio incident
- Oswald’s relationship with David Ferrie, Clay Shaw, Guy Bannister, Cuban exiles and Intelligence
- Jack Ruby’s connections, comportment and later statements
- CIA’s handling of Oswald’s files
- David Atlee Phillips’ connections to Oswald, post assassination propaganda and sheep-dipping
- The timely lack of security in a hostile environment during a threatening period
- The equally terrible investigation effort and investigation sabotage that followed
- The strong consensus of post-Warren Commission investigations and investigators/insiders that the Warren Commission version of events is full of holes
In the second part of this article, we will add one that this author feels has lacked attention.
L.A., Chicago, Tampa, ZRRifle and Executive Action M.O.s: what they tell us about Dallas and how they could tell us a whole lot more
While there is a lot of disagreement among independent researchers on who is behind the assassination there is a consensus among many that what happened in Dealey Plaza had nothing to do with a commie misfit getting lucky with three difficult shots fired under six seconds with a terrible bolt-action rifle by an out of practice and at best mediocre shooter with no known motive who was shooting at a moving target with an obstructed view... Which is what the Warren Commission asked us to believe and what the historians, propagandists and journalists (HistProJos for short) have continued to propagate despite being completely contradicted by the most recent government investigations as well as compelling work done by some of the independent researchers.
Many experts have described the assassination as an ambush in a setting that was perfectly chosen for triangulation sniping.
Oswald’s past as a marine who had defected to Russia for over two years, showed his communist leanings by becoming an exaggeratedly visible member of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee and then visited the Cuban embassy and a Russian assassination head in Mexico City a few weeks before the assassination, all this was displayed as proof that he was an unstable murderer according to HistProJos. The JFK research community interprets all of the above as Oswald being the perfect subject to be a patsy who was in fact sheep-dipped.
Shameful sleuth work
"The FBI was ...in the position of standing on the corner with our pockets open, waiting for someone to drop information into it..."
~ Former FBI Assistant director Alex Rosen Church Committee testimony
This sad statement merely underscored the Church Committee and HSCA conclusions about the weak performance of the intelligence agencies in investigating this brutal murder. And also the mindless transfer of information to the Warren Commission, whose conclusions were unceremoniously impeached.
One of the very first questions asked by investigators of a crime is: "Can you think of any incident that may have occurred (before the crime) that you find out of the ordinary or suspicious in any way?"
Normally, previous attempts to murder the victim should get a diligent sleuth’s attention. In this case it would have led to investigating the attempts in L.A., Chicago and Tampa that occurred within less than six months preceding November 22, 1963. You will not find a whiff of any of these incidents in the Warren Report or the accompanying 26 volumes of evidence.
Los Angeles, June, 1963
Dick Russell in The Man Who Knew Too Much is perhaps the one who went the farthest in studying this plot to assassinate JFK, which would have culminated during the showing of PT 109 in Beverley Hills.
Russell had two key sources. One was Richard Case Nagell who provided Jim Garrison with information about Oswald and the Dallas plot. He talked to Russell about Vaughn Marlowe -his second source- who was the one plotters were "considering " for recruitment as the shooter in L.A., or more likely a patsy who could be linked to Castro, according to Nagell. He also said he witnessed Cuban exiles, including one "Leopoldo", who may have been present during the Sylvia Odio incident, scouting Marlowe’s store.
In the days leading up to the L.A. attempt, Nagell checked himself into a psychiatric ward so as to be isolated from the murder.
Nagell was a Korean war hero, who joined Army intelligence in 1954 and then, he said, became a double agent for CIA. He made claims that an anti-Castro Cuban exile group he was monitoring had set its sights on Kennedy and would make it look like Castro was behind it, and that David Ferrie, Clay Shaw, Guy Bannister and Oswald were part of the conspiracy. Oswald however would be set up to make it look like Castro was behind him -and him alone.
Nagell, again fearing incrimination, faked a bank robbery in September of 1963 so as to be in jail when JFK’s assassination occurred.
According to Larry Hancock: The items in Nagell’s possession that are available are amazingly similar to items also in the possession of Lee Oswald. They include:
- One miniature Minolta camera and developing kit.
- Fair Play for Cuba leaflets.
- The P.O. Box for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in New Orleans, Louisiana. The committee which had only one member. Lee Oswald.
- Cuban and Communist literature including the Crime against Cuba by Corliss Lament, one of the documents also being used in New Orleans by Lee Oswald.
- A notebook containing the unlisted telephone number of the Cuban embassy, the same number as one found in Oswald's notebook.
- The notebook also contained names of individuals who would much later be identified as CIA personnel from its Los Angeles office. (The names were submitted by the FBI to CIA in October '63 and eventually verified by CIA as being names of actual employees).
In addition, the trial files for Richard Nagell also contain an identification card, the card being a military ID with Nagell's photo and the name and signature of Lee H. Oswald.
Though Nagell’s mental competency has been put into question by detractors, Larry Hancock makes a strong case for his credibility in his Man in the Middle chronicle about him, where he shows that his written warnings of the assassination, knowledge of Cuban exiles and CIA persons of interest, and referencing of documents could not have simply been made up by a charlatan.
Other researchers have speculated that Richard Case Nagell himself was also being manoeuvred to be a potential patsy- something even he seemed to suspect, which is why he checked himself into a psychological ward during JFK`s visit to L.A. and got himself jailed before November 22nd.
Marlowe, he too a Korean war vet, also spoke with Russell. He acknowledged knowing Nagell, having the reputation of being a good shot and being part of the L.A. Chapter of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC) and Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) while having relations with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Socialist Workers Party (SWP). Marlowe also travelled to Mexico on behalf of the FPCC in 1962, visited the Mexico City Cuban embassy to try and get a visa to travel to Cuba and met with Mexican communists while there. Even though the plot never materialized the profile of the would-be patsy as well as the blame it on Castro part of the said plan is intriguingly similar to what was planned for Dallas.
Chicago, November 2, 1963
If the L.A. cabal left few traces, the contrary could be said of what happened in Chicago four months later despite attempts to keep it hidden. This incident was well covered by Edwin Black in his November 1975 article for the Chicago Independent, The Plot to kill JFK in Chicago November 2, 1963 and key information was added in James Douglass’ well received JFK and the Unspeakable. The Chicago assassination attempt is historical fact... So are the attempts to keep it out of sight!
If the FBI had looked into it even half-heartedly they could have reported to the Warren Commission that they found all the hallmarks of what others eventually discovered about Dallas. First, there was an ex-marine in Thomas Arthur Vallee who, like Oswald, had also been posted in Japan and who could easily be portrayed as anti-Kennedy, fanatical, armed and dangerous, weird, disgruntled, experienced with a rifle i.e. the perfect patsy. Second, you had a motorcade route that would have permitted triangulation shooting right by the scapegoat’s place of work in a building resembling the Texas School Book Depository. Third, you had the involvement of suspects who, like the Three Tramps of Dallas fame, were picked up and let go without being identified despite the fact that they had been carrying semi-automatic weapons and were warned about by a landlady who found them suspicious. Finally, there were weak protection services and a concerted effort to cover everything up afterwards.
According to Edwin Black:
November 2, 1963, JFK was scheduled to attend the Army-Air Force game at Soldiers Field. Plans called for him to arrive at O'Hare around 11a.m., motorcade down what was then known as the Northwest Expressway to the Loop.
At Jackson the caravan would lumber up the Jackson exit, make a slow difficult left-hand turn onto the street and shuttle over to the stadium. The Jackson exit would be crowded with no fewer than 45 local school and civic organizations anxious to see the President.
As in Dallas, JFK's limousine would pass through a warehouse district —which Secret Service advance men considered 10 times more deadly than any office building corridor.
As in Dallas, JFK's limousine would be forced to make a difficult 90-degree turn that would slow them to practically a standstill.
As in Dallas, triangulation of fire would be simple because of the unobstructed view.
As in Dallas, the crowd would panic, allowing the assassins to escape unnoticed.
The article goes on to explain how the FBI received a tip from a person called "Lee" about an assassination attempt that would take place involving four assassins (at least one with a Latin name) with rifles and telescopic sights. Hoover ordered that the case be transferred to the Secret Service which was ill-equipped to do anything about the threat. Another came in on October 31st from a landlady who saw four rifles with telescopic sights and a sketch of the motorcade route in one of the rooms being used by out-of-towners. Because of a botched surveillance, Secret Service agents chose to take in only two of the suspects without evidence. Following a weak interrogation, the suspects, who stonewalled the agents, were let go without even having had their identities retrieved.
Another suspect picked up for questioning was a would-be patsy. Black describes him as follows:
The man's name was Thomas Arthur Vallee, a 30-year-old ex-Marine classified extreme paranoid schizophrenic by military doctors. Vallee worked as an apprentice at IPP Litho-plate at 625 West Jackson. As the patsy, he was perfect—as perfect for the Chicago assassination plot as Lee Harvey Oswald was for the Dallas assassination plot.
Vallee was born and raised in Chicago. Like Oswald, he joined the Marines in the mid-50s during the Korean War period. Like Oswald, Vallee was assigned to a U-2 base in Japan (where he also worked as a radar operator – according to Jim Douglass). Oswald at Atsugi, Vallee at Camp Otsu. The cover reference for the U-2 project at these bases was Joint Technical Advisory Group (JTAG). Since CIA exerted a strong presence at these two bases, they were prime recruitment stations.
Both Vallee and Oswald appear to have been recruited by CIA for "black missions" or otherwise unsavory, personally discrediting assignments. In Oswald's case, at the height of the Cold War, he was instructed and helped to defect to Russia. With him he carried top secret radar codes. Oswald's mission, probably unbeknownst to him, may have been to reveal this disinformation for some complex CIA intelligence stratagem. Warren Commission testimony documents that all these radar codes had to be revised because of Oswald's defection.
Vallee was recruited about the same time to train members of a fiercely anti-Castro guerrilla group. Objective: the assassination of Fidel Castro. Training locale: in and around Levittown, Long Island.
Neither Vallee nor Oswald received money for their clandestine duties. The surreptitious nature of the business was ego-building to their personalities... Inherently rewarding. Both Vallee and Oswald had recently taken jobs in warehouses at the planned assassination sites. Oswald at the fifth floor book depository on Elm Street in Dallas. Vallee on the third floor IPP printing company looking out over Jackson Street exit ramp where Kennedy's limousine would have been hit.
Both Vallee and Oswald could be shown to have extremist political views. Both owned rifles. Both were basically loners. Basically drifters. Basically lowlife. The dregs of society. Perfect for the work they were recruited for. Perfect for a frame-up.
They even resembled one another physically.
In the later part of the article Black describes the loss of evidence, the stonewalling he faced from investigators he interviewed and the embarrassment the FBI and Secret Service tried to avoid.
James Douglass in his well-researched book adds strong evidence that the attempt in Chicago was intentionally kept off the radar which kept the door open for what did happen in Dallas. He did things no American history book writers ever considered doing when researching the assassination… He spoke to witnesses. He also visited the Dallas kill zone and compared it with what he found in Chicago. By interviewing, Abraham Bolden, who had been hand-picked by JFK as the first Black person to join the Secret Service, Douglass describes in detail the measures that were taken to strategically weaken the president’s protection, as was also done in Dallas, and to silence Bolden by framing him for a crime, getting him jailed and turning him into a pariah. Shades of what also happened to Dallas Police officer Roger Craig, men whose only crimes were wanting to say what they knew.
Douglass further adds these key observations: In August 1963 while Oswald moved from New Orleans to Dallas, Vallee moved from New York City to Chicago where he got at Job at IPP Litho-Plate in an eight story building; When Douglass visited the building what he saw was a view that was a replica of what could be seen from the Texas School Book Depository and a motorcade route offering the same opportunities for the ambush that many witnesses described in Dallas.
When Bolden heard the news of the assassination he brought up the parallels of what was attempted in Chicago to colleagues. From then on his professional career went downhill. He was railroaded into jail after he was overheard trying to contact the Warren Commission. In 1967 he finally told a Garrison investigator and Mark Lane about his story, which got him placed in solitary confinement.
Douglass also described how Chicago Secret Service Chief Maurice Martineau took major steps to control the messaging by requiring that all agent reports about the incident not be in writing, but funnelled by dictation through his assistant thus eliminating all documentary trails. Only Martineau and Washington Secret Service chief James J. Rowley saw the top secret report. In 1995 when the Assassinations Records Review Board (ARRB) ordered the copy released, the Secret Service destroyed it instead. Martineau also told his staff on November 22 what to believe: Lee Harvey Oswald was a lone gunman. There was no connection with Chicago. Forget November 2 in Chicago. The only mention the Press made about the Chicago plot at the time was that Vallee like Oswald was another gun-toting malcontent… nothing about the other parallels described in this article.
By keeping silent about Chicago, the doors were kept wide-open for what was to happen in Dallas, or could have happened in Tampa a few days before the deadly ambush.
Jim DiEugenio highlighted the following point in his book review of the Douglass classic:
Interestingly Dan Groth, the suspicious officer in on the arrest of Vallee, was later part of the SWAT team that assassinated Black Panthers Fred Hampton and Mark Clark in 1969. (p. 204) Groth took several lengthy leaves from Chicago to Washington for special training under the auspices of the FBI and CIA. Groth never had a regular police assignment, but always worked counter-intelligence, with an early focus on the Fair Play for Cuba Committee.
The House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) knew little about the plot but did underscore the Secret Service’s muteness around the Chicago incident and noted the significance of the similar backgrounds of Vallee and Oswald.
If they could have juxtaposed it with what happened in L.A. and Tampa they would have had been able to add a large degree of perspective to their thin, yet important analysis.
Tampa, November 18, 1963
There were many threats made against President Kennedy, some had substance to them… the Tampa plot falls into this category and had the Secret Service on high alert. Lamar Waldron and Thom Hartmann wrote about it in some detail in Ultimate Sacrifice. William Kelly followed up on it in his 2012 article The Tampa Plot in Retrospect.
Its place in history was first documented publicly in a small article that appeared in the Tampa Tribune on November 23... The day after the assassination!
A number of researchers disagree with Ultimate Sacrifice‘s focus on the mob as the main force behind the assassination. Be that as it may, its excellent description of the Tampa plot adds yet another inexplicable oddity that will give historians food for thought.
The chosen patsy for this attempt was a Cuban exile named Gilbert Policarpo Lopez who also had many similarities with Oswald: links with the FPCC, being a former defector, a tie to Russia, getting into a fight over seeming pro-Castro sympathies, and an unusual trip to Mexico City.
According to the authors, the Secret Service destroyed the Tampa attempt documents in 1995 in violation of the ARRB Act. Just like Allen Dulles kept the CIA-Mob association secret from his Warren Commission colleagues, the Secret Service added the Tampa Plot to the Chicago Plot as one of their dirty little secrets. Not even the Dallas Police were let in on this important information which could have affected security on November 22nd.
Existing Secret Service files in the 1970s made it clear that the Tampa threat was posed by a single mobile sniper who would fire from a tall building using a high power rifle fitted with a scope. Other accounts however describe the plot as multi-person.
The motorcade route in Tampa was very long and presented Dealey Plaza quality opportunities. Other researchers chronicled how Lopez moved from the Keys to Tampa shortly before the motorcade, echoing Vallee and Oswald’s pawn-like pre-motorcade movements.
The HSCA described parts of what it called the Lopez allegation:
Lopez would have obtained a tourist card in Tampa on November 20, 1963, entered Mexico at Nuevo Laredo on November 23 and flew from Mexico City to Havana on November 27. Further, Lopez was alleged to have attended a meeting of the Tampa Chapter of the FPCC on November 17... CIA files on Lopez reflect that in early December, 1963 they received a classified message requesting urgent traces on Lopez... Later the CIA headquarters received another classified message stating that a source stated that "Lopes" had been involved in the Kennedy assassination ... had entered Mexico by foot from Laredo on November 13...proceeded by bus to Mexico City where he entered the Cuban embassy...and left for Cuba as the only passenger on flight 465 for Cuba. A CIA file on Lopez was classified as a counterintelligence case...
An FBI investigation on Lopez through an interview with his cousin and wife as well as document research revealed that... He was pro-Castro and he had once gotten involved in a fistfight over his Castro sympathies.
The FBI had previously documented that Lopez has actually been in contact with the FPCC and had attended a meeting in Tampa on November 20, 1963. In a March 1964 report, it recounted that at a November 17 meeting... Lopez said he had not been granted permission to return to Cuba but was awaiting a phone call about his return to his homeland... A Tampa FPCC member was quoted as saying she called a friend in Cuba on December 8, 1963 and was told that he arrived safely. She also said that they (the FPCC) had given Lopez 190$ for his return. The FBI confirmed the Mexico trip (Lopez’ wife confirmed that in a letter he sent her from Cuba in November 1963, he had received financial assistance for his trip to Cuba from an organization in Tampa) ... information sent to the Warren Commission by the FBI on the Tampa chapter of the FPCC did not contain information on Lopez’ activities... nor apparently on Lopez himself. The Committee concurred with the Senate Select Committee that this omission was egregious, since the circumstances surrounding Lopez’ travel seemed "suspicious". Moreover, in March 1964 when the WC’s investigation was in its most active stage, there were reports circulating that Lopez had been involved in the assassination... Lopez’ association with the FPCC, however, coupled with the fact that the dates of his travel to Mexico via Texas coincide with the assassination, plus the reports that Lopez’ activities were "suspicious" all amount to troublesome circumstances that the committee was unable to resolve with confidence.
One can only imagine how more concerned they would have been had the Secret Service been more forthcoming and had investigators pushed the investigation in the M.O. similarities of the four attempts to the extent one would expect for the murder of a president.
Points of comparison of the five [seven] potential patsies
While perhaps some of the observations are contestable, there are just too many similarities for the events to be classified as mutually exclusive.
The HSCA and the Church Committees confirmed categorically that the crime of the century was poorly investigated. The HSCA furthermore highlighted Vallee and Lopez as examples of persons of interest that were not looked into. What has been uncovered since then adds even more arguments to just how bad the Warren Commission investigation was and how incompetently historians are doing their work in explaining this landmark piece of history. If these events were contemporary and we replaced the letters FPCC with ISIS, one can only imagine the outrage. It is because of behavior like this that clamors of a rigged system resonate.
Executive action and ZRRIFLE
Had they investigated further, what would it have led to?
The above chart can be broken down into three components of strategy:
- The ambush logistics: Which includes an opportune motorcade route, in the right city, with weak protection, use of surrogates with the right weaponry
- The setting up of a patsy who could be tied to an opponent: A left leaning or fanatical misfit, who could plausibly be a good shot, whose actions leading up to the assassination could prove his guilt and links
- Controlling the message: Ensuring plausible deniability through compartmentalization and use of surrogates, investigating surgically, sending out the right incriminating messages and hiding hindering facts
One of the best pieces of work that describes executive action M.O. is Nexus by Larry Hancock.
Here are a few key excerpts:
We have a certain number of William Harvey’s notes on his assassination project (ZRRIFLE) only because he took them with him upon leaving the Agency... Harvey was tasked by William Richard Helms, Deputy Director of Operations, to set up a network of deniable operations, including political assassinations....
According to a historical study of the Arbenz removal project: discussing themes and tactics that would become constants during the following decades... deniable assassination squads... while placing the blame on designated parties (patsy’s).
In 1953, sabotage and propaganda efforts were discussed but beyond that a CIA officer proposed a plan for first, spreading rumors that the communists were dissatisfied with Arbenz, then killing him in a fashion that would be laid on the communists.
Excerpts from William Harvey notes:
“Should have phoney 201 in RI [Records Integration] to backstop this, all documents therein forged & backdated. Should look like a CE file …. Cover: planning should include provision for blaming Sovs or Czechs in case of blow.”
CIA specialists Malcolm Blunt and John Newman have presented strong cases for showing that CIA files on Oswald were in fact manipulated.
A number of writers and investigators from Garrison on have maintained that Oswald was being sheep-dipped so that the Soviets or Cubans could be blamed. The fact that four of the patsies, if we include Nagell, could be linked to the FPCC adds even more credence to this claim. It is also interesting to note that one of the mysterious investigators for the Chicago plot, Daniel Groth, had intelligence links and was likely tasked with monitoring the FPCC… Which makes one wonder what kind of tie to this organization would have popped up had Vallee been pinned with the murder.
The bizarreness around the FPCC does not end there. On the night off JFK’s assassination and Oswald’s arrest, Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade erroneously stated during a press conference that Oswald was a member of the Free Cuba Committee. Out of all the scores of onlookers present, who stood out most in correcting the D.A. by identifying Oswald as being part of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee? Not the experts, the police officers, lawyers or the journalists who were the ones trained in active listening and note-taking; no, it was the uneducated, night club owner, gun runner and future patsy killer Jack Ruby.
When one considers all these suspicious links to the FPCC, one can either believe in yet another coincidence in this case where improbability is omnipresent everywhere one looks around the Lone Nut scenario, or one could explore further to see how the FPCC dimension and the M.O. connect with some of the usual suspects… Which brings us right to William Harvey and David Morales (assassinations specialists) as well as David Phillips and E. Howard Hunt (top level propaganda operators) to name but a few of the JM/Wave Station related cast of disgruntled and possibly rogue CIA officers, who elite investigator Gaeton Fonzi referred to after his ground-breaking work for the Church and HSCA committees.
Both David Talbot (The Devil’s Chessboard) and Larry Hancock (Nexus) cover how Harvey’s motives, associations and moves are suspect during the build-up towards the assassination.
William Harvey’s work with David Morales and surrogates in the form of Mafiosi and Cuban exiles in his attempts to apply ZRRIFLE strategies to assassinate Castro is now fully accepted. Many of these links resurface as persons of interest in the Kennedy assassination.
- Steps that researchers have referred to that were taken during the months leading up to November 22, 1963 to make Oswald fit the part as a potential Castro agent capable of killing the President are many:
- Backyard photos are taken (or are cropped) of him holding communist literature and the two alleged murder weapons;
- He opens an FPCC chapter in New Orleans and makes himself visible by distributing provocative Hands off Cuba flyers and getting into a fight with anti-Castro Cuban exile Carlos Bringuier of the Student Revolutionary Directorate (DRE). The arresting officer found it looked made up;
- He gets interviewed by CIA friendly Ed Butler where he talks about his Marxist leanings;
- He (or a double) gets himself noticed at shooting ranges, barber shops, car dealerships etc. acting erratically;
- He (or a double) visits Sylvia Odio with two Cuban exiles who make him look anti-Kennedy and off balance;
- He (or an impersonator) visits the Cuban and Russian embassies in Mexico City where he attempts to get a visa to travel to Cuba and meets with a leading Russian assassinations officer. A poor impersonator of Oswald is taped making incriminating statements intended to frame him;
- Letters from Havana alluding to a sinister deal with Castro agents are sent to him, Robert Kennedy and elsewhere.
The propaganda also continued for a short while after the assassination, until orders were given to go full Lone Nut mode:
- The Oswald interview and backyard photos were distributed to the press;
- Cuban exiles Carlos Bringuier and John Martino as well as Frank Sturgis (also a Watergate Burglar) pushed the Castro was behind it story;
- Castro frame-up stories were leaked to Hal Hendrix, a JM/Wave friend, and other CIA media assets;
- Anthony Veciana, leader of the Cuban exile group Alpha 66, confirmed that David Phillips (who he had seen talking to Oswald shortly before the assassination) had asked him to bribe a cousin of his in Mexico City to say that Oswald was being paid by Castro agents to assassinate JFK. He also described a CIA-backed attempt on Castro that was very similar to what happened in Dallas;
- HSCA investigator Dan Hardway confirmed that much of the Mexico City stories that incriminated Oswald and framed Castro were Phillips’ fabrications;
- Phillips is also closely linked to FPCC infiltration manoeuvres, DRE operations, Alpha 66, media offensives and was based in Mexico City during the Oswald charade and impersonation.
It is not a case of paranoia to think that the four attempts on JFK between June and November 1963 are linked, nor is it crazy to see links between executive action M.O.s and what happened in Dallas. The questions we can ask ourselves are: if we studied the L.A., Chicago and Tampa plots with as much zeal as the Dallas assassination, where would their paths cross? Would they not lead to the same persons of interest? Have we thought of all the files around these cases that should be released?
The same questions could be asked about the murders of key witnesses such as Mafiosi Johnny Roselli, Sam Giancana and Charles Nicoletti. Senator Gary Hart of the Church Committee urged the media to follow up on these crimes because it would tell us lot about the JFK assassination. That is where normal investigations would go, but not this one… Why?
I was not crazy about my math classes when I was in university, except for one: Probabilities. Out of all the evidence thrown at this case, it takes only one of the chokeholds to be true to prove there is a conspiracy. The Cartesian side of me is screaming out that the similarities of the previous attempts on JFK and their links to executive action M.O. represents just one more… one that could, if fully investigated, lead to a death grip around certain persons of interest and, one that mainstream media will, as usual, ignore.
But that’s ok, if the last U.S. election proved one thing; it’s that the MSM is becoming irrelevant! Message to historians: Consider the history of the rise and fall of mainstream media and take a good look in the mirror.
Since this article was first published, this author has come upon other potential patsies that are worth discussing and researching further. The initial intent was to perform comparative analysis of three prior plots to the JFK assassination: which is as basic as it gets for serious police investigations.
In hindsight the argumentative that comes through in the comparison of the plots has led to a complementary line of study: the similarity of persons of interest who could easily be considered potential patsies. In the article we identified four such subjects who clearly stood out, in this addendum we will add two more.
Out of all the points from the comparison chart that were presented there is one, in this author’s opinion, that stands out from all others in terms of improbability and Castro-framing implications: the direct association of four of the five persons of interest with the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. We are about to add a fifth.
The FPCC is an organization that should have been turned inside out by the Warren Commission in the search for the truth. In this section we will take a look at this mysterious association that should pique the interest of historians. As we will see, the odds of five potential scapegoats being involved with the FPCC are infinitely weak and its links with some of the usual suspects is something that should clearly stimulate further investigation.
San Antonio, November 21, 1963
Because of the Omerta code around the JFK assassination, Harry Power’s story is perhaps the sketchiest of the potential scapegoat cases we will have discussed. But since no stone should be left unturned when investigating a murder, especially a president’s, it is worth identifying and earmarking for more analysis.
Harry Power was yet another ex-marine who checked in to a Terre Haute House Hotel room in Indiana on November 25, 1963 with a long package. When he checked out he left behind a rifle... a Mannlicher-Carcanno according to a retired Chief of Police Frank Riddle... a Mauser according another unidentified source.
A United States Government Memo in 1967 describes the allegation. Riddle claimed San Antonio authorities informed him that Power was a member of the Young Communist League and an expert rifle marksman. An ex co-worker described him as anti-Kennedy. He had held a job in San Antonio Texas in 1962.
Riddle stated that all information had been turned over to the Warren Commission and that the rifle was taken by Secret Service agents. The Secret Service claimed to have only found about this incident in 1965. Their key source is no-other than the head of the Washington Secret Service, Chief Rowley himself, who you will recall played a key role in keeping the Chicago plot as secret as possible. The FBI did confirm however that the Terre Haute Police department had in fact followed up on this lead around when Riddle claimed it happened... which would indicate further Secret Service and Warren Commission complacency.
According to Dick Russell, Richard Nagell told Jim Garrison that Power was a Trotskyite who had met Oswald.
Given that JFK motorcaded in San Antonio on November 21 and that Power could easily be linked to that city, it is not a major leap to see similarities between Power, Oswald and the other scapegoat candidates that seem to have been lined up before the assassination.
Miami, November 18, 1963
As we have seen, the noose was getting very tight around JFK ‘s neck during his last weeks. His morning in Miami, when he gave a speech before heading of for a motorcade in Tampa, was from all accounts pretty risky. The Secret Service had to deal with reports of threats coming from the important Cuban exile community that thrived there. One person of particular interest was one of the top terrorists of his era: Orlando Bosch.
Another person of interest, who has flown under the radar, is a seventh patsy candidate: Santiagio Garriga.
The best source this author has found about this elusive character is Bill Simpich, author of State Secret.
Like with many of the others discussed in this article, Garriga’s resumé was perfect for patsy recruiter/runners: Interaction with Cuban associates in Mexico City; seemingly pro-Castro behavior and his crowning achievement: Like Oswald in 1963, he opened a FPCC chapter in a market deemed very hostile for such an enterprise.
Garriga is the potential fall-guy who is the most clearly linked with intelligence, like Oswald and Nagell, he could be portrayed as a double agent by those who packaged them. What makes Garriga so unique is that Simpich writes about his pseudonym and close links with William Harvey’s team. To cover this intriguing lead it is best to cite a few excerpts from State Secret:
It’s pretty clear that one informant the HSCA did not know about was AMKNOB-1 aka Santiago Garriga. As we have seen, Garriga worked with both the CIA and with Cuban intelligence... During October 1963 Garriga worked with other pro-Castro Cubans to set up a new chapter of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in Miami… Although it appears that Garriga’s ultimate loyalty was with the Castro government, it’s likely that Garriga’s FPCC activity was designed by Anita Potocki (Harvey’s chief aide at the wiretap division known as Staff D) to set up a fly-trap for people like Oswald. Maybe even Garriga himself was considered as a possible fall guy.
If JFK had been assassinated in Florida, if Garriga had been outed as the founder of the Miami FPCC, if Garriga died a mysterious death in short order – all that would make Cuba look all the more like a guilty party in any ensuing scandal.
However, in the days before 11/22/63, the FBI ran an operation that investigated the Cuban espionage net that included Garriga and shared the take with the CIA. The CIA referred to this investigation as ZRKNICK. Bill Harvey had worked with ZRKNICK in the past… The memos that identify Garriga were written by Anita Potocki.
Was there something sinister in this effort to set up FPCC Miami? It certainly looks ominous, given that AMKNOB-1 is the main organizer and that Anita Potocki is one of his handlers. The FPCC leadership recognized that it was dangerous to set up such a chapter in Miami due to the possibility of reprisals by Cuban exiles. For just these reasons, the FPCC leadership had discouraged Oswald from publicly opening an FPCC chapter in the Southern port town of New Orleans.
On November 4, a Mexico City case officer hand carried to the Miami station a picture of AMKNOB-1’s case officer in the Cuban embassy… it was cultural attaché Raul Aparicio. Does this mean that both Azcue and Aparicio were AMKNOB-1’s case officers? Aparicio can be found on a CIA list created years later as a Cuban intelligence officer. A memo of Garriga says he started trying to reach “Raul” on November 7.
On November 21, CIA HQ warned the Miami station that Cuban intelligence was targeting someone in the State Dept. office in Miami. The follow-up memo on 11/22/63 indicated that the target was AMKNOB-1.
On December 3, Garriga reported to Mexico City that on 11/22/63, after 15 days of alleged attempts to reach “Raul”, Garriga called the Cuban consulate directly and spoke to Silvia Duran. Garriga’s first version of the story was that Duran claimed she didn’t know who “Raul” was….
Two weeks later, AMKNOB-1’s new version of the story specifically named Raul Aparicio. …one thing is clear – we are being led to believe that Aparicio is Garriga’s case officer! I believe that Aparicio rocked the CIA’s investigation of the assassination.
As with all the other persons of interest identified in this essay, Garriga was not invented by a conspiracy theorist. Over and above his other patsy credentials, he represents the fifth potential scapegoat that is linked to the FPCC.
It is now time to look into this mysterious misfit magnet of ex-marines and Cuban exiles. What was so enticing about this group that could motivate a jobless Oswald to leave his young daughter and pregnant wife for a career of leafletting and getting people to loathe him?
The Fair Play for Cuba Committee
In 1993, author Van Gosse wrote Where the Boys are: Cuba, Cold War America and the Making of the New Left.It gives one of the more complete accounts of this odd association.
It was founded in the Spring of 1960 by Robert Taber and Richard Gibson (CBS newsmen who covered Castro’s ascent to power) as well Alan Sagner, a New Jersey contractor. Its original mission was to correct distortions about the Cuba revolution. It was first supported by writers, philosophers, artists and intellectuals such as Norman Mailer, Truman Capote and Jean Paul Sartre. It also touched a chord with university students. By the end of 1960 it had gained national attention.
Around Christmas time 1960 it organized a huge tour to Cuba… which led to a travel ban to the country by early 1961. The nation-wide Bay of Pigs protests in 1961 was when the FPCC reached its high point according to Gosse. There was no official membership headcount, but organizers claimed the FPCC had between 5 and 7 thousand members and 27 adult chapters almost all in the North-East, a few on the West coast and only one in the South East in Tampa.
When it became clear that the U.S. would not tolerate the revolution it began dissipating. After a short lived peace demonstration binge during the missile crisis in 1962, its spiral downwards was accelerated and died not long after one of its members allegedly killed JFK.
Which leads to the following questions: Do our patsy candidates really fit the profile of a typical FPCC member? Why would someone want to even join such a passé group in 1963, much less open a chapter in very hostile territory? If we consider that probably fewer than 1 in every 30,000 Americans by this time is a member of the FPCC, what are the odds that 5 out of 7 of our potential patsies would be so closely linked to this dying entity?
By the end of its existence the FPCC’s ex-leaders, new leader (Vincent Lee) and many of its members were suspected of offering their services to intelligence agencies. Perhaps this is where we can find our answers.
Larry Hancock, in Someone Would Have Talked, describes the FBI program called AMSANTA:
The program was initiated by the FBI as part of its effort targeting the FPCC as a subversive group and involved the CIA in briefing, debriefing and possibly monitoring travel of assets through Mexico City to and from Cuba. The program began in late 1962, had one major success in 1963 and appears to have been abruptly terminated in fall 63.
This project used FBI informants to develop intelligence on Cuba and the Castro regime. We know little about the overall project but in July 1963, one such asset used his FPCC connections to obtain a visa from the Cuban government and to travel illegally to and from Cuba (apparently from Mexico City on Cubana airlines).
According to John Newman (Oswald and the CIA), The CIA, led by David Phillips and James McCord (of Watergate fame), began monitoring the FPCC in 1961.
In December 1962, the CIA jointed with the FBI in the AMSANTA project.
A Sept 63 Memo divulged an FBI/CIA plan to use FPCC fake material to embarrass Cuba.
It is also known that Guy Bannister, and possibly Michael Paine, had files on communist subjects that were eventually hidden away. Was Oswald given the mission to help ID these "anti-Americans" through fake recruitment activities? Was he being groomed to enter Cuba the way he entered Russia by playing a Marxist role he was given? Or was he being fattened up like a Turkey for November 22, 1963 as Garrison put it?
If we combine these points with the Harvey team’s probable help in getting Garriga set up with a Miami FPCC chapter, a conduit that directly links the disgruntled and quite possibly rogue Bay of Pigs officers with the potential patsies emerges quite eloquently… a conduit that could be further exposed if the right documents are released, including one about the FPCC that should be very thick and make for lamentable reading.