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Myra Bronstein

How did the capture of a live Lee Oswald change the plot?

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...In some way the Tippit killing is a 'skeleton key' to the original plot and its failure and your conjecture on this is very interesting.

Of course that raises the question: was the Tippit killing part of the original plot or the amended plot?

But I probably shouldn't muddy the water. We've already got our hands and brains full debating the critical question of whether or not invading Cuba was part of plan A.

The Tippit question is one of the most puzzling and perplexing areas of study. There's a good thread on it right now at Lancer. It seems like everyone has their own pet theory about Tippit, and unfortunately too many of them make sense. I'm all over the place on Tippit.

Poor dumb cop...

Edited by Myra Bronstein

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Robert Charles-Dunne:

You write that acceptance of this scenario " ... pre-supposes that those in charge of making the invasion plans were witting of the assassination in advance, waited only for their pretext to be executed, and that despite having their finger on the trigger aimed at Havana, they balked when the time came to fire."

Charles Drago:

I suspect that plans for the invasion of Cuba were extant long before 11/22/63 and were constantly upgraded via gaming and other means, and that planners were awaiting some sort of precipitating event. To my knowledge, no one has suggested that a retaliatory landing would have followed on the heels (within days) of JFK's murder, so I can't accept that fingers were on hair triggers.

***

I can.

Richard Helms has been quoted (by an LNer, no less) as saying that had Castro

been proven to have killed Kennedy, “We would have bombed Cuba back into

the middle ages.”

http://hnn.us/articles/20369.html

From Body Of Secrets, James Bamford, pg 87, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs

of Staff Gen. Lyman Lemnitzer wrote in a memorandum to Secretary of Defense

Robert McNamara, April 10, 1962:

(quote on, emphasis added)

The Joint Chiefs of Staff believe that the Cuban problem must be solved in the

near future...Further, they see no prospect of early success in overthrowing

the present communist regime either as a result of internal uprising or external

political, economic or psychological pressures. Accordingly they believe that

military intervention by the United States will be required to overthrow the present

communist regime...The Joint Chiefs of Staff believe that the United States can

undertake military intervention in Cuba without risk of general war. They

also believe that the intervention can be accomplished rapidly enough to

minimize communist opportunities for solicitation of U.N. action.

(quote off)

From Someone Would Have Talked, by Larry Hancock, ppg 401-2:

(quote on)

At 1:15 PM on November 22, when the President was known to be dead,

[assistant press secretary] Malcolm Kilduff approached Johnson about

making a statement. Johnson's response was: "No. Wait. We don't

know whether it's a Communist conspiracy or not. Are they prepared to

get me out of here?" Johnson's first concern after the shooting appears

to be conspiracy...

...Before Johnson's departure from Dallas, Lee Oswald had been taken into

custody and a frantic background search was underway for information about

him as Air Force One was flying back to Washington. We now know that as

Hoover was making telephone calls and sending memoranda on Lee Oswald,

his own file on Oswald contained detailed information on his recent contacts

with the KGB head of assassination and sabotage for the Americas.

(quote off)

From Brothers, David Talbot, pg 10:

(quote on)

...(I)t's important to note that [bobby] Kennedy apparently never jumped

to the conclusion that afternoon that Fidel Castro -- the target of so much

U.S. intrigue -- was behind his brother's killing. It was the anti-Castro

camp where Bobby's suspicions immediately flew, not pro-Castro agents.

...Bobby came to this conclusion despite the energetic efforts of the CIA and the

FBI, which almost immediately after the assassination began trying to pin the

blame on Castro's government. Hoover himself phoned Kennedy again around

four that afternoon to inform him that Oswald had shuttled in and out of Cuba,

which was untrue...[T]he FBI chief failed to convince Bobby that the alleged

assassin was a Castro agent.

(quote off)

Although Hoover and Johnson appear to have been pre-disposed to a

"Communist conspiracy," cooler heads did, indeed, prevail -- although I

think it was a case of "cooler feet" prevailing.

The capture of the innocence-proclaiming Oswald deprived the plotters of

"irrevocable proof" that Castro was behind the assassination, and thus

control of the cover-up was lost.

Vincent Salandria has written:

(quote on)

The Situation Room of the White House first fingered Oswald as the lone

assassin...McGeorge Bundy was in charge of the Situation Room and was

spending that fateful afternoon receiving phone calls from President Johnson,

who was calling from Air Force One when the lone-assassin myth was

prematurely given birth.

(quote off)

From The Assassination Tapes, Max Holland, pg. 57:

(quote on)

At 6:55 p.m. [11/22/63] Johnson has a ten minute meeting with Senator J. William

Fulbright and diplomat W. Averell Harriman to discuss possible foreign involvement

in the assassination, especially in light of the two-and-a-half-year sojourn of Lee

Harvey Oswald [in Russia]...Harriman, a U.S. ambassador to Moscow during WWII,

is an experienced interpreter of Soviet machinations and offers the president the

unanimous view of the U.S. government's top Kremlinologists. None of them believe

the Soviets have a hand in the assassination, despite the Oswald association.

(quote off)

After Oswald was captured, Johnson spoke no more of a "communist conspiracy":

the Yale Boys Harriman and Bundy took control of the direction of the cover-up,

dictating the "lone nut" scenario to Johnson and Hoover, who reluctantly

followed orders.

Edited by Cliff Varnell

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Cliff,

I should revise as follows: "I can't accept that fingers were on hair triggers -- fingers authorized to pull them."

Helms, regardless of who is quoting him, is simply not credible.

Were certain false sponsors of the assassination ready and willing to hit Cuba? Absolutely. Were they frustrated by the failure of the USG at its highest level to give the order? But of course.

So what?

They were controlled.

You write, "The Situation Room of the White House first fingered Oswald as the lone assassin...McGeorge Bundy was in charge of the Situation Room and was spending that fateful afternoon receiving phone calls from President Johnson, who was calling from Air Force One when the lone-assassin myth was prematurely given birth."

In this paragraph you blend reportage with opinion. The latter is detected in your use of the word "prematurely."

To which I respond: Sez you.

I sez that early (as opposed to the "p" word) Situation Room control of the LN cover story supports the "no invasion intended" argument.

You write, "Harriman, a U.S. ambassador to Moscow during WWII, is an experienced interpreter of Soviet machinations and offers the president the unanimous view of the U.S. government's top Kremlinologists. None of them believe the Soviets have a hand in the assassination, despite the Oswald association."

Quite true. A strike against Cuba, then, insofar as it likely would have provoked significant Soviet retaliation and escalating American counter-moves, never could have been launched in the immediate aftermath of the assassination -- the only slim window an "invasion intended" argument enjoys. (Sez me.)

You write, "The capture of the innocence-proclaiming Oswald deprived the plotters of 'irrevocable proof' that Castro was behind the assassination, and thus control of the cover-up was lost."

I don't buy this for a nanosecond. So LHO is denying everything. As a Castro agent would be expected to do. And to whom? To individuals who would have been easy to control.

This for me is the fatal flaw in your position: The survival of LHO until 11/24 would have been -- at most -- a temporary and easily rectified inconvenience to the "invasion intended" planners.

By all means let's carry on an increasingly fascinating exchange.

Charles Drago

Edited by Charles Drago

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You write, "The Situation Room of the White House first fingered Oswald as the lone assassin...McGeorge Bundy was in charge of the Situation Room and was spending that fateful afternoon receiving phone calls from President Johnson, who was calling from Air Force One when the lone-assassin myth was prematurely given birth."

In this paragraph you blend reportage with opinion. The latter is detected in your use of the word "prematurely."

It was Salandria who wrote that, actually.

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(Max Holland wrote): "Harriman, a U.S. ambassador to Moscow during WWII, is an experienced interpreter of Soviet machinations and offers the president the unanimous view of the U.S. government's top Kremlinologists. None of them believe the Soviets have a hand in the assassination, despite the Oswald association."

Quite true. A strike against Cuba, then, insofar as it likely would have provoked significant Soviet retaliation and escalating American counter-moves, never could have been launched in the immediate aftermath of the assassination -- the only slim window an "invasion intended" argument enjoys. (Sez me.)

You write, "The capture of the innocence-proclaiming Oswald deprived the plotters of 'irrevocable proof' that Castro was behind the assassination, and thus control of the cover-up was lost."

I don't buy this for a nanosecond. So LHO is denying everything. As a Castro agent would be expected to do. And to whom? To individuals who would have been easy to control.

This for me is the fatal flaw in your position: The survival of LHO until 11/24 would have been -- at most -- a temporary and easily rectified inconvenience to the "invasion intended" planners.

By all means let's carry on an increasingly fascinating exchange.

Charles Drago

Will do, Charles, will do...

As to the Harriman-Johnson meeting, which occurred minutes after LBJ's arrival at

the White House the evening of 11/22/63, isn't it amazing that "the U.S. government's

top Kremlinologists" cracked the case in a matter of hours, at least to the extent

they could categorically exclude Soviet involvement?

That's BS, of course. It was Harriman's way of ordering LBJ to back off the

"Commie conspiracy" angle.

Salandria's speculation regarding Bonesman Bundy in the Situation Room is

consistent with Bonesman Harriman at the WH making his case for non-Communist

involvement.

With whom did Johnson first speak when he got to the White House?

Bundy, ten minutes before Harriman showed up.

With whom did Johnson meet first thing the following morning?

Bundy.

The die was cast when Oswald was captured alive: the dream of a US

invasion of Cuba in retaliation was as dead as Kennedy himself.

Bamford's Body Of Secrets, pg 84:

(quote on)

On February 20, 1962, [John] Glenn was to lift off from Cape Canaveral, Florida,

on his historic journey. The flight was to carry the banner of America's virtues of

truth, freedom, and democracy into orbit high over the planet. But [Chairman of

the JCS] Lemnitzer and his Chiefs had a different idea. They proposed to [Operation

Mongoose chief] Lansdale that, should the rocket explode and kill Glenn, "the objective

is to provide irrevocable proof that...the fault lies with the Communists et al Cuba [sic]."

This would be accomplished, Lemnitzer continued, "by manufacturing various pieces of

evidence which would prove electronic interference on the part of the Cubans." Thus,

as NASA prepared to send the first American into space, the Joint Chiefs of Staff were

preparing to use John Glenn's possible death as a pre-text to launch a war.

(quote off)

Same line of thinking went into the JFK assassination, which was plotted by

the some of the same people (Lansdale), imo.

"The objective is to provide irrevocable proof that...the fault lies

with the Communists et al Cuba."

The capture of Oswald deprived the plotters of their ultimate objective, the

"irrevocable proof" standard which would have allowed them to make the

case for Castro complicity.

The powers-that-be pulled the plug on the Cuba-invasion plans not so much out

of fear of World War III, but out of the conviction that they couldn't make the

case against Castro stick.

The plotters continued to try to make that case, to no avail.

As I noted in my previous post, I don't think this was a case of

"cooler heads" so much as "cold feet" on the part of Harriman.

Edited by Cliff Varnell

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Will do, Charles, will do...

As to the Harriman-Johnson meeting, which occurred minutes after LBJ's arrival at

the White House the evening of 11/22/63, isn't it amazing that "the U.S. government's

top Kremlinologists" cracked the case in a matter of hours, at least to the extent

they could categorically exclude Soviet involvement?

That's BS, of course. It was Harriman's way of ordering LBJ to back off the

"Commie conspiracy" angle.

I don't have to disagree with this assessment to maintain my "no invasion intended" argument. The faction that includes Harriman and that you and Salandria reference was virtually at the top of the conspiracy. LBJ was not.

Salandria's speculation regarding Bonesman Bundy in the Situation Room is

consistent with Bonesman Harriman at the WH making his case for non-Communist

involvement.

With whom did Johnson first speak when he got to the White House?

Bundy, ten minutes before Harriman showed up.

With whom did Johnson meet first thing the following morning?

Bundy.

So far, no contradiction to my position.

The die was cast when Oswald was captured alive: the dream of a US

invasion of Cuba in retaliation was as dead as Kennedy himself.

HOLD IT! There is an unbridgeable chasm between your presentation of the Bonesmen business and the "conclusion" that LHO alive blew the invasion operation. Non sequitur, I'm afraid.

Bamford's Body Of Secrets, pg 84:

(quote on)

On February 20, 1962, [John] Glenn was to lift off from Cape Canaveral, Florida,

on his historic journey. The flight was to carry the banner of America's virtues of

truth, freedom, and democracy into orbit high over the planet. But [Chairman of

the JCS] Lemnitzer and his Chiefs had a different idea. They proposed to [Operation

Mongoose chief] Lansdale that, should the rocket explode and kill Glenn, "the objective

is to provide irrevocable proof that...the fault lies with the Communists et al Cuba [sic]."

This would be accomplished, Lemnitzer continued, "by manufacturing various pieces of

evidence which would prove electronic interference on the part of the Cubans." Thus,

as NASA prepared to send the first American into space, the Joint Chiefs of Staff were

preparing to use John Glenn's possible death as a pre-text to launch a war.

(quote off)

Same line of thinking went into the JFK assassination, which was plotted by

the some of the same people (Lansdale), imo.

"The objective is to provide irrevocable proof that...the fault lies

with the Communists et al Cuba."

The capture of Oswald deprived the plotters of their ultimate objective, the

"irrevocable proof" standard which would have allowed them to make the

case for Castro complicity.

The powers-that-be pulled the plug on the Cuba-invasion plans not so much out

of fear of World War III, but out of the conviction that they couldn't make the

case against Castro stick.

HOLD IT! You are seriously arguing that two days worth of unrecorded LHO protestations of innocence would be enough to cancel out all the other false evidence? This doesn't pass the laugh test.

Tell me: What could LHO have said or done that couldn't be either explained later as the bleatings and posturings of a guilty man trying unto death to protect his evil Cuban masters or permanently dispatched to the memory hole?

I'll give you the answer: NOTHING!

The plotters continued to try to make that case, to no avail.

As I noted in my previous post, I don't think this was a case of

"cooler heads" so much as "cold feet" on the part of Harriman.

Charles Drago

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Will do, Charles, will do...

As to the Harriman-Johnson meeting, which occurred minutes after LBJ's arrival at

the White House the evening of 11/22/63, isn't it amazing that "the U.S. government's

top Kremlinologists" cracked the case in a matter of hours, at least to the extent

they could categorically exclude Soviet involvement?

That's BS, of course. It was Harriman's way of ordering LBJ to back off the

"Commie conspiracy" angle.

I don't have to disagree with this assessment to maintain my "no invasion intended" argument. The faction that includes Harriman and that you and Salandria reference was virtually at the top of the conspiracy. LBJ was not.

I agree with the last two sentences. I'll argue going forward that Harriman

originally approved of the plot and had a key member of the Harriman-Walker-Bush

Crime Family involved in it: George H. W. Bush.

But I'd speculate that Harriman changed his mind after he got his way with the

overthrow of Diem over Bobby's objections (and in the face of JFK's passivity

over the matter), and Harriman was about to get his way with the back channel

efforts to seek rapprochement with Fidel.

Harriman had no need to knock off Kennedy. He called the shots on the

Diem coup, and, I'd further speculate, Harriman was ready to cut his own

drug-smuggling deals with Castro using the Zapata Off-Shore mobile drilling

platforms as smuggling way-stations in the Florida Straits.

Salandria's speculation regarding Bonesman Bundy in the Situation Room is

consistent with Bonesman Harriman at the WH making his case for non-Communist

involvement.

With whom did Johnson first speak when he got to the White House?

Bundy, ten minutes before Harriman showed up.

With whom did Johnson meet first thing the following morning?

Bundy.

So far, no contradiction to my position.

The die was cast when Oswald was captured alive: the dream of a US

invasion of Cuba in retaliation was as dead as Kennedy himself.

HOLD IT! There is an unbridgeable chasm between your presentation of the Bonesmen business and the "conclusion" that LHO alive blew the invasion operation. Non sequitur, I'm afraid.

I cite the social pedigree of the Yale boys to illustrate the true chain

of command. I think this is a point of agreement. I cite the Harriman/Bundy

rush to judgement to illustrate the speed with which the decision to paint Oswald

as a "lone nut" was reached, and by whom. These were very powerful people who

made a firm, definitive decision the afternoon of 11/22/63 that LHO acted alone.

LBJ and JEH did as they were told.

Bamford's Body Of Secrets, pg 84:

(quote on)

On February 20, 1962, [John] Glenn was to lift off from Cape Canaveral, Florida,

on his historic journey. The flight was to carry the banner of America's virtues of

truth, freedom, and democracy into orbit high over the planet. But [Chairman of

the JCS] Lemnitzer and his Chiefs had a different idea. They proposed to [Operation

Mongoose chief] Lansdale that, should the rocket explode and kill Glenn, "the objective

is to provide irrevocable proof that...the fault lies with the Communists et al Cuba [sic]."

This would be accomplished, Lemnitzer continued, "by manufacturing various pieces of

evidence which would prove electronic interference on the part of the Cubans." Thus,

as NASA prepared to send the first American into space, the Joint Chiefs of Staff were

preparing to use John Glenn's possible death as a pre-text to launch a war.

(quote off)

Same line of thinking went into the JFK assassination, which was plotted by

the some of the same people (Lansdale), imo.

"The objective is to provide irrevocable proof that...the fault lies

with the Communists et al Cuba."

The capture of Oswald deprived the plotters of their ultimate objective, the

"irrevocable proof" standard which would have allowed them to make the

case for Castro complicity.

The powers-that-be pulled the plug on the Cuba-invasion plans not so much out

of fear of World War III, but out of the conviction that they couldn't make the

case against Castro stick.

HOLD IT! You are seriously arguing that two days worth of unrecorded LHO protestations of innocence would be enough to cancel out all the other false evidence? This doesn't pass the laugh test.

No. I'm seriously arguing that his capture was enough to cancel out

all the other false evidence. The decision was made right then and there. If Salandria

is correct, Bundy torpedoed the "Commie conspiracy" scenario shortly after LBJ took

the oath of office. They knew on the spot that the plot had failed in its primary objective.

Tell me: What could LHO have said or done that couldn't be either explained later as the bleatings and posturings of a guilty man trying unto death to protect his evil Cuban masters or permanently dispatched to the memory hole?

I'll give you the answer: NOTHING!

Humpty Dumpty had already fallen before Oswald opened his mouth.

The plan was to explain the movements of a dead Commie, not the "bleatings"

of a living suspect.

The death or disappearance of Oswald was absolutely essential for Harriman

et al to give their blessings to the "Commie conspiracy" scenario.

Recall the words of Lemnitzer: "The Joint Chiefs of Staff believe that the

United States can undertake military intervention in Cuba without risk of

general war. They also believe that the intervention can be accomplished

rapidly enough to minimize communist opportunities for solicitation of U.N.

action."

Speed was of the essence. They didn't have time to campaign for the guilt

of a living patsy...

The plotters continued to try to make that case, to no avail.

As I noted in my previous post, I don't think this was a case of

"cooler heads" so much as "cold feet" on the part of Harriman.

Charles Drago

Edited by Cliff Varnell

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Will do, Charles, will do...

As to the Harriman-Johnson meeting, which occurred minutes after LBJ's arrival at

the White House the evening of 11/22/63, isn't it amazing that "the U.S. government's

top Kremlinologists" cracked the case in a matter of hours, at least to the extent

they could categorically exclude Soviet involvement?

That's BS, of course. It was Harriman's way of ordering LBJ to back off the

"Commie conspiracy" angle.

I don't have to disagree with this assessment to maintain my "no invasion intended" argument. The faction that includes Harriman and that you and Salandria reference was virtually at the top of the conspiracy. LBJ was not.

Salandria's speculation regarding Bonesman Bundy in the Situation Room is

consistent with Bonesman Harriman at the WH making his case for non-Communist

involvement.

With whom did Johnson first speak when he got to the White House?

Bundy, ten minutes before Harriman showed up.

With whom did Johnson meet first thing the following morning?

Bundy.

So far, no contradiction to my position.

The die was cast when Oswald was captured alive: the dream of a US

invasion of Cuba in retaliation was as dead as Kennedy himself.

HOLD IT! There is an unbridgeable chasm between your presentation of the Bonesmen business and the "conclusion" that LHO alive blew the invasion operation. Non sequitur, I'm afraid.

Bamford's Body Of Secrets, pg 84:

(quote on)

On February 20, 1962, [John] Glenn was to lift off from Cape Canaveral, Florida,

on his historic journey. The flight was to carry the banner of America's virtues of

truth, freedom, and democracy into orbit high over the planet. But [Chairman of

the JCS] Lemnitzer and his Chiefs had a different idea. They proposed to [Operation

Mongoose chief] Lansdale that, should the rocket explode and kill Glenn, "the objective

is to provide irrevocable proof that...the fault lies with the Communists et al Cuba [sic]."

This would be accomplished, Lemnitzer continued, "by manufacturing various pieces of

evidence which would prove electronic interference on the part of the Cubans." Thus,

as NASA prepared to send the first American into space, the Joint Chiefs of Staff were

preparing to use John Glenn's possible death as a pre-text to launch a war.

(quote off)

Same line of thinking went into the JFK assassination, which was plotted by

the some of the same people (Lansdale), imo.

"The objective is to provide irrevocable proof that...the fault lies

with the Communists et al Cuba."

The capture of Oswald deprived the plotters of their ultimate objective, the

"irrevocable proof" standard which would have allowed them to make the

case for Castro complicity.

The powers-that-be pulled the plug on the Cuba-invasion plans not so much out

of fear of World War III, but out of the conviction that they couldn't make the

case against Castro stick.

HOLD IT! You are seriously arguing that two days worth of unrecorded LHO protestations of innocence would be enough to cancel out all the other false evidence? This doesn't pass the laugh test.

Tell me: What could LHO have said or done that couldn't be either explained later as the bleatings and posturings of a guilty man trying unto death to protect his evil Cuban masters or permanently dispatched to the memory hole?

I'll give you the answer: NOTHING!

The plotters continued to try to make that case, to no avail.

As I noted in my previous post, I don't think this was a case of

"cooler heads" so much as "cold feet" on the part of Harriman.

Charles Drago

This is great stuff you're posting Cliff. Really informative. Though as an impartial observer, which I am in this discussion, it doesn't meet the burden of proof. I don't see why Oswald's capture was inherantly automatically a show-stopper if the plotters really wanted to attack Cuba.

Now if Harriman and LBJ didn't want to attack Cuba anyway and used this as an excuse that could be a factor. But what compelling case would they bring forth to squelch a planned invasion just because the patsy was scooped up by a right-wing CIA-friendly police force in the heart of "nut country"?

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This is great stuff you're posting Cliff. Really informative. Though as an impartial observer, which I am in this discussion, it doesn't meet the burden of proof. I don't see why Oswald's capture was inherantly automatically a show-stopper if the plotters really wanted to attack Cuba.

It simply wasn't possible to effectively frame the patsy while he was

"emphatically" proclaiming his innocence.

For instance, Hoover had some ginned up "evidence" that Oswald had

been in Cuba. That couldn't be brought out once it could be rebutted.

The foundation of the plot was the frame job, the sheep-dipping of Oswald

as an agent of Fidel, which required the silence of the patsy.

When a strip club owner gunned him down on live TV, the Mob became

immediately suspect, not Castro.

Now if Harriman and LBJ didn't want to attack Cuba anyway and used this as an excuse that could be a factor. But what compelling case would they bring forth to squelch a planned invasion just because the patsy was scooped up by a right-wing CIA-friendly police force in the heart of "nut country"?

According to the Operation Northwoods documents, in order to establish

a successful pre-text for an invasion of Cuba there had to be "irrevocable

proof" of Communist complicity.

Oswald in custody was highly "revocable" as an agent of Castro.

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This is great stuff you're posting Cliff. Really informative. Though as an impartial observer, which I am in this discussion, it doesn't meet the burden of proof. I don't see why Oswald's capture was inherantly automatically a show-stopper if the plotters really wanted to attack Cuba.

It simply wasn't possible to effectively frame the patsy while he was

"emphatically" proclaiming his innocence.

For instance, Hoover had some ginned up "evidence" that Oswald had

been in Cuba. That couldn't be brought out once it could be rebutted.

The foundation of the plot was the frame job, the sheep-dipping of Oswald

as an agent of Fidel, which required the silence of the patsy.

When a strip club owner gunned him down on live TV, the Mob became

immediately suspect, not Castro.

Now if Harriman and LBJ didn't want to attack Cuba anyway and used this as an excuse that could be a factor. But what compelling case would they bring forth to squelch a planned invasion just because the patsy was scooped up by a right-wing CIA-friendly police force in the heart of "nut country"?

According to the Operation Northwoods documents, in order to establish

a successful pre-text for an invasion of Cuba there had to be "irrevocable

proof" of Communist complicity.

Oswald in custody was highly "revocable" as an agent of Castro.

The parallel with the Northwoods plot, which JFK himself rejected, is compelling.

Did JFK get Northwooded?

Did they go for him instead of John Glenn?

...

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To avoid confusion, my most current comments will show in this lovely shade.

RCD,

We share similar levels of respect for Peter Dale Scott's mind, manner, and literary gifts.

And you're correct: We go our separate ways as I move with Professor Scott down the "no invasion intended" path.

There is no reason to believe that a disappeared LHO's alleged connections to a Castro-originating plot would have been made public in a manner that was any more impervious to an official LN finding than in fact they were. Regardless of the patsy's vital signs, the intended audience -- uncorrupted investigators and government officials -- would have been (and in fact were) persuaded to cover up the alleged communist conspiracy out of fear of a retributive launching of WWIII.

Perhaps. But I think it equally likely that this information would have been surfaced to the media by some means. A quick example: to this day, we have no idea who alerted the press and Dallas Police to the existence of Dial Ryder's alleged work on the putative assassination rifle. Those who have read the 26 volumes seeking an answer to this remain no further ahead for those efforts [a box boy at the local groceteria?.... it is to laugh.] In my view, hypothetical though it may be, there would be no gain achieved by allowing such a provocative pre-assassination red herring to lie fallow [to grossly mix metaphors in mid-sentence.] Nonetheless, somebody floated this canard for media and public consumption. If we can agree that the incident was fraudulent and staged for public consumption - since it clearly wasn't genuine, by Ryder's own testimony - then it suggests those framing Oswald dropped a dime to ensure that this event would enter the public record. It is only one of a number of such instances where an anonymous phone call, or similarly non-attributable means, led to the emergence of what somebody themselves balked at reporting to authorities. [Ms. Odio's encounter is another prime example of something fishy being floated, by others, for entry into the record when Ms. Odio herself failed to come forward.] In any case, I'm sure you get the drift of what I mean.

Frank Sturgis and the Buchanan brothers fed Florida media a demonstrable crock about Oswald, as have others since, including a few members here. CIA publicist and alleged journalist Hal Hendrix was certainly highly motivated in sharing with other journalists what he knew about Oswald right after the crime. And he had a lot to share; had Oswald disappeared and the details of his "escape route" been leaked to the press, Hendrix would have shared the same details with the same colleagues, to a decidedly different outcome.

Similarly, Mexico City news reports carried all sorts of fanciful but specious tales about Ms. Duran's dalliances with Oswald. Were they fed to the press by leakers in the Mexican government, by DFS, by Mexico City CIA, the plotters themselves, or space aliens? I do not know, though I have strong suspicions. No matter how many people think Operation Mockingbird cowed the entire domestic media, there would always be a US newspaper seeking to run sensational stories, irrespective of veracity. Even if the entire US media had been controlled by Mockingbird, sensational stories could be floated in media around the world, as was the case, that would trigger questions Stateside. Mexico City, Toronto, Montreal, and other cities are close to the US and have newspapers read by US citizens living in nearby towns.

In short, what you maintain was unknown to the public - and intended only for a covert audience - wouldn't have stayed that way long, had the plotters chosen otherwise. And, had Oswald simply vanished, I contend the "escape route" from Redbird to Mexico City to Havana, replete with lost luggage, would have made its way into the public domain. It was only with Oswald's capture that these elements were either scuttled [gee, what did CIA do with that luggage?] or retro-fitted for a more generic all-purpose variant: it wasn't Oswald on that flight to Havana, but might have been Miguel Casas Saez.... or Gilberto Policarpo Lopez.... or Fabian Escalante. No matter how untrue the tale, and how many times it is debunked, it is dragged out of retirement with fatiguing regularity, including here.

You write that acceptance of this scenario " ... pre-supposes that those in charge of making the invasion plans were witting of the assassination in advance, waited only for their pretext to be executed, and that despite having their finger on the trigger aimed at Havana, they balked when the time came to fire."

I suspect that plans for the invasion of Cuba were extant long before 11/22/63 and were constantly upgraded via gaming and other means, and that planners were awaiting some sort of precipitating event. To my knowledge, no one has suggested that a retaliatory landing would have followed on the heels (within days) of JFK's murder, so I can't accept that fingers were on hair triggers.

Cliff Varnell has already provided chapter and verse on what would have transpired had direct blame fallen upon Castro, so I won't belabour that point. However, it becomes clear from studying Operation Northwoods that the Joint Chiefs and CIA were only too happy to invent pretexts for the military incursion they were not alone in desiring. It was through JFK's cooler head and willingness to defy and deny his underlings' most fervent wishes that Northwoods didn't happen. Or did it, only with insufficient planning leading to an unintended outcome? What better pretext could one invent than to have the intended Northwoods target accommodatingly slay your own head of state? Seems as though that might merit a retaliatory response. And given the zeal for Northwoods, the assassination seems to have been quite timely, occurring when it did, and all.

Additionally, you write that, "Moreover, Dr. Scott's Phase One/Phase Two conjecture, while neat and tidy, is - to me, at least - entirely too neat and tidy. It presupposes that the plotters correctly divined in advance what the responses would be from all parties involved. It further presupposes that what transpired is precisely what was planned. Perhaps others lead a life so predictable, but my own experience of life on this planet is somewhat different."

Again, I have a problem with your sense of pre-supposition. As I noted previously in my perhaps overarching "figured bass" metaphor, the planners of what we surely agree was/is a conspiracy of Baroque complexity must have anticipated that there would be unanticipated events and consequences generated by their actions. I doubt they would have been foolish enough to believe that they had covered every possible bet.

Perhaps. However, were I to try something so bold as assassinating my own head of state, I'd like to think before giving the "go" code that I'd thought of everything. Or, at a minimum, at least enough to ensure that my own perfidy is never discovered, particularly if it transpires that the target doesn't actually die. It could be hard to explain to fellow members of one's gentleman's club.

But the law of unintended consequences, it seems to me, dictates that not everything in life can or will go according to our best wishes, or most diabolical plans. History is replete with examples of this. In this instance, the failure of Oswald to disappear led to the now-necessary scuttling of previously laid evidence [Redbird, luggage, et al], which I suggest would otherwise have been brandished prominently. These things were constructed before the crime, for the purpose of being held aloft after the fact. They were rendered useless upon Oswald's capture. As it was, the plotters had to settle for a mixed bag: yes, they killed the President, but the spinoff benefit of it, the Cuban invasion, didn't come to pass.

There is another - what I would call - minor flaw in the Phase One/Two scenario. Yes, the threat of nuclear war was used to induce otherwise decent people to collude in a crude coverup. Of this there can be no doubt. But to suggest that the plotters would know this in advance, and be correct, stretches my credulity for two reasons.

First, it confers upon them a Godlike ability to read the future, and shape it to their precise liking. This is too all-knowing and all-powerful an attribute to not trouble common sense.

Second, it presumes that all in command positions would balk at a nuclear confrontation, when several among the Joint Chiefs had been fomenting for just such an outcome for years. As a cudgel to bludgeon people into compliance, the threat of nuclear war wouldn't have worked with a great number among the Pentagon brass. To the contrary, some low people in high places would have been only too pleased at the prospect of prosecuting a nuclear war. How could the plotters have been so certain which Cabinet and military people would prefer a coverup to a final solution to the Commie problem?

As you write, "Because Ruby's recruit, Tippit, had failed to carry out his assignment, and Oswald was captured, the job switched from making Oswald disappear to making Oswald dead, which fell to Ruby. To me, that seems less a case of PLAN B than it does awkward ad-libbing."

"Ad-libbing?" Most likely. "Awkward?" Well, it worked.

Finally, you write, " ... it seems to me that a number of people went to a great deal of trouble to colour the immediate post-assassination perception of Oswald as Castro-sponsored, and to lay on an 'escape route' leading directly to Havana. Had that portion of it gone according to what I surmise was their plan, all would have been left thinking that Oswald and Castro were smoking Monte Cristos and clinking their Cuba Libre glasses in celebration on the beach. With that residual impression, would things really have turned out the way they did, or would the Marines have hoisted a victory flag in Havana within days?

"Think about it."

I have. I do.

And I repeat, as Professor Scott and I see it, the purpose of going to such a "great deal of trouble" was to convince not the public, but rather the relevant investigative and political entities that Castro did it, and that a public so convinced would demand what would amont to nuclear holocaust.

We must continue to disagree honorably on a matter that remains of the utmost interest to us all.

Suits me fine, Charles. It's an enjoyable exchange.

Best,

Charles Drago

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RCD,

Please don't interpret the brevity of this response as a dismissal of your just-posted essay and its many well-taken points. I number myself among those readers of the Forum who respect your work and derive enjoyment and enlightenment from it.

Of course it would have been anticipated by the "no invasion intended" top-level plotters that some, or even most, of the elements of their Oswald frame would be exposed to public scrutiny. But their ace in the hole was then and is now the near absolute power of the parent state to control its political, military, propaganda, and law enforcement assets -- and thus control the historical record and the public mood.

If the parent state truly desired to link LHO to Castro in such a fashion as to justify the launch of a retaliatory invasion of Cuba, then it would have done so -- regardless of the patsy's whereabouts and vital signs.

Your treatment of the sheep-dipping operation is quite brilliant, and my own thinking is pretty much in accord with your proffered story lines and chronologies. The LHO-Castro linkage had to be convincing to its target audience as I've previously described it -- and clearly it proved to be just that.

The subsequent public trashing of the "evidence" indicating Castro's complicity went off without a major hitch. The WC did its job, the imprimatur of the state sealed the LN lie in the "historical truth" folder, and the necessary villain in Havana continues to play his role in the great game.

I would like to address your following observation,rendered in May Day red:

"There is another - what I would call - minor flaw in the Phase One/Two scenario. Yes, the threat of nuclear war was used to induce otherwise decent people to collude in a crude coverup. Of this there can be no doubt. But to suggest that the plotters would know this in advance, and be correct, stretches my credulity for two reasons.

"First, it confers upon them a Godlike ability to read the future, and shape it to their precise liking. This is too all-knowing and all-powerful an attribute to not trouble common sense."

"Second, it presumes that all in command positions would balk at a nuclear confrontation, when several among the Joint Chiefs had been fomenting for just such an outcome for years. As a cudgel to bludgeon people into compliance, the threat of nuclear war wouldn't have worked with a great number among the Pentagon brass. To the contrary, some low people in high places would have been only too pleased at the prospect of prosecuting a nuclear war. How could the plotters have been so certain which Cabinet and military people would prefer a coverup to a final solution to the Commie problem?"

The Pentagon brass were then, as they were in Smedley Butler's day and are to this very day, the racketeers, and not the bosses. They were mollified by the fact that the continuing, post-assassination non-threat of Castro off their shores in no small way helped guarantee that the JCS's power and budgets would not be diminished. Castro was ... convenient. (He still is.) The bigger issue at hand was Southeast Asia.

Charles

Edited by Charles Drago

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The military/industrial denizens CANNOT EXIST WITHOUT ENEMIES.

...Mexico...Spain...Kaiser Wilhelm...Hitler...Nazis...Tojo...Japs...Stalin...Commies...

...Koreans...Castro...Cubans...more Commies...VietCong...more Commies...

...TERRORISTS...Arabs...Moslems...Iraq...Moslems...Terrorists...what have you!

War is their business. Power and Control are their aim. Big money is the goal.

Jack

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