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Myra Bronstein

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

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"Tedious" indeed.

My FINAL serve will cross the net on the morrow.

Until then: Upon initial RE-reading, nothing you offer -- and most of it is as eloquently presented as it is soundly researched (as opposed to reasoned) -- moves me from the "no invasion planned" position.

Sleep well. And thanks again to all for your passionate, mostly reasonable responses.

Charles Drago

Edited by Charles Drago

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This has been a great discussion. I truly respect Cliff and RCD, but strongly disagree with them. I think the tendency to connect Cuba to the assassination is misguided. Imho, JFK was killed because he threatened the status quo, and the powerful forces that run our world. I believe John F. Kennedy was the first true idealist to live in the White House since Thomas Jefferson. There were so many things that could have provided a motive to murder him:

-Intending to withdraw all troops from Vietnam by 1965

-Literally at war with the CIA

-At odds with FBI director Hoover

-Supposedly was going to drop LBJ from the ticket in 1964

-At odds with the leaders of Israel over their blossoming nuclear program

-The first president to curtail the power of the mafia

-Antagonized senior military folks in the Pentagon

-Made two of the most courageous speeches in American history- the American

University "peace" speech and the fantastic one about freedom of the press and

the consequences of secret societies

-Infuriated big business with his attempts to eliminate the oil-depletion allowance

and his riveting public condemnation of the steel industry

-Despised by segregationists for his support of civil rights

-Hated by anti-Castro Cuban exiles for his "failure" at the Bay of Pigs

I placed the anti-Castro motivation at the bottom of the list, along with segregationists, on purpose. Imho, on the list of possible motives, it belongs that far down the list. JFK was a special leader who made a lot of powerful enemies during his short term in office. Yes, I believe that people were ticked off at him for his attempts at rapproachment with Castro, but I think there were several more significant reasons for those powerful enemies to hate him and want him assassinated. I think that Oliver Stone's depiction of the conspiracy was probably pretty accurate, with a variety of powerful forces coming togther, like "something in the air," to achieve their objective.

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How about this for a motive?

His government was trying to kill someone.

Preserving one own's life is always a strong motivation. It even beats the preservation of tax breaks.

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Ok so it's widely believed that Oswald was not supposed to be captured alive.

Obviously this was remedied by sending Ruby to kill Oswald.

Aside from having to arrange Oswald's murder, what difference did Oswald's capture make in the way the plot unfolded?

I am among those who contend Oswald was not supposed to be captured alive, but am not among those who suspect he was to be killed "while resisting arrest," or anywhere near the crime scene.

If we comb through the fragments on display in the official documentary record, we find residual traces of what I contend was the intended plot, which was in some ways markedly different from events that actually transpired.

Oswald's dalliance with the FPCC culminated in precisely the result that was intended. He was identified in the media at the time as a pro-Castro firebrand, trying to do the unthinkable by recruiting FPCC supporters in New Orleans. Had it been a genuine effort on his part to actually recruit members, he presumably wouldn't have listed incorrect addresses on the recruiting leaflets. On the occasion he distributed those leaflets without being arrested, he did so only for about 15 minutes, just long enough to be photographed and noticed. On the occasion he distributed those leaflets and was arrested for clashing with Bringuier and his cohorts, even the arresting officer opined that the fracas had been staged. Rather than represent the FPCC, Oswald disobeyed every legitimate direction received by him from the NYC FPCC HQ. Instead of building a local chapter, his only achievement was registering on the local media radar, including filmed TV footage and a radio debate.

Leaving aside questions of impersonation for a moment, Oswald's approaches to the Cuban and Soviet embassies in Mexico City were equally fraudulent and self-defeating. According to the testimony taken from staff at each, Oswald seemed wholly ignorant of travel restrictions imposed on US citizens traveling to either country. Yet the real Oswald was well aware of all the bureaucratic red tape that this entailed, for he had already experienced same in his travels to the USSR, and in his repatriation. To bolster his eligibility for a travel visa, the Mexico City Oswald purportedly presented a brand new CPUSA membership card [LHO was not a member], which embassy staff found odd, since special allowances were made for CPUSA members, none of whom had ever needed to brandish a card to receive that special consideration. Oswald also allegedly presented a New Orleans newspaper article with a photograph of him being arrested. No such genuine newspaper article was ever published, according to the extant record. Again, this was not a genuine attempt to receive a travel visa; it was merely an opportunity to register him as a visitor to enemy embassies, and during once such visit to meet with a Soviet named Kostikov who would only later be "unmasked" as an expert in assassination and murder.

The incidents at Redbird airport in Dallas were staged for a purpose. An "Oswald" was sighted there prior to the assassination, as part of a group seeking to charter an airplane for 11/22/63. A plane sat idling for an hour or more on the Redbird tarmac in the early afternoon of 11/22/63, then eventually left. Subsequently, special attention was paid to an incoming small aircraft in Mexico City, and the alleged transfer of a single passenger to a Cubana Airlines flight that had been delayed there, as though waiting only for that passenger. According to an obscure little footnote in Dick Russell's "The Man Who Knew Too Much," after the assassination CIA had discovered luggage at the Mexico City airport for one Lee Oswald.

When Oswald was arrested, I suggest that there was no ID in his wallet containing the name "Hidell." Had there been, one might have expected any of the arresting officers - several of whom were contemporaneously interviewed by the media - or any of the DPD hierarchy to have mentioned that fact. Upstanding citizens don't use an alias, and those who carry false ID are immediately suspect for that fact alone. Despite the received history on this aspect of the case, it wouldn't be for a full 24 hours that the name "Hidell" was first uttered by those who arrested Oswald and purportedly found "Hidell" ID on his person a the time.

In fact, I suggest that all the so-called "Hidell" ID was actually discovered in the wallet located at the Tippit crime scene. This is why the name "Hidell" entered the nomenclature of the crime only after the rifle had been traced back to a mail-order buyer using that name, via Oswald's PO box. It was only when Captain Fritz was confronted by two wallets, both ostensibly belonging to the same suspect, that this became problematic, as we'll soon see.

Taking the foregoing into account, let us assume that shortly after the assassination, the man known as Lee Harvey Oswald simply vanished. What would have been left behind, and what inferences would have been drawn from that residue?

The wallet at the Tippit crime scene would have disclosed that a man named Lee Harvey Oswald, who also used the alias "Hidell," had killed a policeman. In tracking down this man's whereabouts, DPD would have discovered - as they did - incriminating photographs of Oswald posing with weapons. After the rifle had been found in the TSBD, it would have been traced back to Klein's in Chicago, and from there to a buyer named "Hidell" at Oswald's PO box. In short order, Oswald's masquerade as a FPCC radical would have surfaced, along with his criminal arrest in New Orleans, and the subsequent TV and radio appearances in which he advocated strongly on behalf of Castro.

Soon thereafter, sources within the US government would have disclosed that Oswald had made approaches to two enemy embassies in Mexico City, and CIA would have revealed - as it did - that one person Oswald met there was in charge of Soviet assassination plotting in the western hemisphere.

At which point, it would have come to the public's attention that a light plane had left Redbird airport shortly after the assassination, that a plane of similar description had landed in Mexico City, and that a single passenger had deplaned and entered a waiting Cubana Airlines flight bound for Havana. Conveniently, that passenger would have been identified as Lee Oswald, based on luggage that had mistakenly been left behind there. [so central to the plot was this airplane story that even after Oswald's capture, the tale was subsequently retro-fitted so that the mystery passenger morphed into several other Cuban actors with purportedly strong Castro allegiances.]

Had Oswald simply disappeared and left behind this breadcrumb trail of evidence, what inescapable conclusions would have been drawn, and what would have been the official US response?

The assassination didn't transpire precisely as had been planned. Yes, it succeeded in killing the President. It failed, however, to deliver the ancillary benefits of placing direct blame upon the Havana despot, as had been hoped.

The single most critical failure in achieving that end was Oswald being arrested with his own wallet in his own pocket.

It has long been my contention that if Oswald was framed, as the majority here seem to argue, then it is by locating and examining the elements of that frameup, pre- and post-assassination, that we can identify both the methods employed and those responsible for executing it.

When I had a chance to discuss this in person with Peter Dale Scott, whose own hypothesis is slightly different, he asked me "If the purpose was to incite a military response against Cuba, why didn't it happen?" I replied that Oswald's arrest had derailed the most critical aspects of the plan, for the same reasons outlined above. Exemplifying intellectual impartiality, he agreed it was worthy of further consideration.

As we lack the evidence to say exactly what was going on it is important to look at the possible psychology of the conspirators.

I would argue that three major events triggered off the assassination: (1) The Bay of Pigs; (2) The Cuban Missile Crisis; (3) The secret negotiations that took place between representatives of JFK and Castro in 1963.

These three events made it clear that JFK was not going to order the overthrow of Castro. This was especially upsetting for people like William Pawley who had both economic and political reasons for wanting to see the removal of Castro and the imposition of a puppet ruler.

The ideal solution to this problem was the assassination of JFK and the new president ordering the invasion of Cuba. Of course, if you could arrange for pro-Castro figures linked to the Cuban government to be blamed for the assassination, you would have a very good reason to invade Cuba.

As Robert Charles Dunne has so logically explained, Lee Harvey Oswald was clearly set-up to play this role. However, he would not have been the only one. Clearly the assassination was carried out by more than one man. Oswald would not have been the only "patsy". These men would also have had links to pro-Castro Cubans.

The best understanding of what the FBI and CIA was up to in the days following the assassination of JFK comes from the LBJ telephone tapes. Remember, LBJ had left orders for these tapes and transcripts to be destroyed on his death. This did not happen and instead they were sealed an labelled as not to be opened and placed in the LBJ Library. As a result of the JFK Act these tapes were eventually released after being studied by the intelligence services. An estimated 7% of these tapes were not made public because of "national security" reasons. I suspect that several conversations that took place following the assassination have been held back as they clearly show that LBJ was aware that JFK had been killed as a result of a political conspiracy. Even so, the released tapes tell us a great deal about the cover-up.

I suspect the original plan was to kill Oswald soon after the assassination while allowing the other two patsy gunman to get back to Cuba. They were probably two of Castro's agents that were in Dallas that day. Evidence would have been provided showing the route of these two men. Along with the evidence of Oswald's behaviour in New Orleans there would have been significant reasons for LBJ to order an invasion of Cuba.

The plan came unstuck when Oswald was captured alive. The telephone call that Hoover made to LBJ on (10.01 am, 23rd November, 1963) reveals that the FBI had already established links between Oswald and Castro's Cuba. However, Hoover has to admit that there are problems with this evidence:

Lyndon B. Johnson: Have you established any more about the visit to the Soviet embassy in Mexico in September?

J. Edgar Hoover: No, that's one angle that's very confusing, for this reason - we have up here the tape and the photograph of the man who was at the Soviet embassy, using Oswald's name. That picture and the tape do not correspond to this man's voice, nor to his appearance. In other words, it appears that there is a second person who was at the Soviet embassy down there. We do have a copy of a letter which was written by Oswald to the Soviet embassy here in Washington, inquiring as well as complaining about the harassment of his wife and the questioning of his wife by the FBI. Now, of course, that letter information - we process all mail that goes to the Soviet embassy. It's a very secret operation. No mail is delivered to the embassy without being examined and opened by us, so that we know what they receive... The case, as it stands now, isn't strong enough to be able to get a conviction.

It is clear to both Hoover and LBJ that if Oswald was involved in the assassination of JFK, there were fellow conspirators. What is more, the evidence suggests that Oswald was being set-up and as Hoover points out: "The case, as it stands now, isn't strong enough to be able to get a conviction."

LBJ phones Hoover again at 10.30 am, 25th November, 1963.

Lyndon B. Johnson: Apparently some lawyer in Justice is lobbying with the (Washington) Post because that's where the suggestion came from for this presidential commission, which we think would be very bad and put it right in the White House. We can't be checking up on every shooting scrape in the country, but they've gone to the Post now to get 'em an editorial, and the Post is calling up and saying they're going to run an editorial if we don't do things. Now we're going to do two things and I wanted you to know about it. One - we believe that the way to handle this, as we said yesterday - your suggestion - that you put every facility at your command, making a full report to the Attorney General and then they make it available to the country in whatever form may seem desirable. Second - it's a state matter, too, and the state Attorney General is young and able and prudent and very cooperative with you. He's going to run a Court of Inquiry, which is provided for by state law, and he's going to have associated with him the most outstanding jurists in the country. But he's a good conservative fella and we don't start invading local jurisdictions that way and he understands what you're doing and he's for it... Now if you get too many cooks messing with the broth, it'll mess it up. ... These two are trained organizations and the Attorney General of the state holds Courts of Inquiry every time a law is violated, and the FBI makes these investigations... You ought to tell your press men that that's what's happening and they can expect Waggoner Carr, the Attorney General of Texas, to make an announcement this morning, to have a state inquiry and that you can offer them your full cooperation and vice versa. . . .

J. Edgar Hoover: We'll both work together on it.

Lyndon B. Johnson: And any influence you got with the Post... point out to them that... just picking out a Tom Dewey lawyer from New York and sending him down on new facts - this commission thing - Mr. Herbert Hoover tried that and some- times a commission that's not trained hurts more than it helps.

J. Edgar Hoover: It's a regular circus then.

Lyndon B. Johnson: That's right.

J. Edgar Hoover: Because it'll be covered by TV and everything like that.

Lyndon B. Johnson: Just like an investigating committee.

J. Edgar Hoover: Exactly. I don't have much influence with the Post because I frankly don't read it. I view it like the Daily Worker.

Lyndon B. Johnson: (laughs) You told me that once before. I just want your people to know the facts, and your people can say that. And that kind of negates it, you see?

At 1.40 pm, on 29th November, 1963, LBJ is once again on the phone to Hoover. The news about Oswald's links to Castro's Cuba is still giving LBJ concern. Hoover tells him: "This angle in Mexico is giving us a great deal of trouble because the story there is of this man Oswald getting $6,500 from the Cuban embassy and then coming back to this country with it. We're not able to prove that fact, but the information was that he was there on the 18th of September in Mexico City and we are able to prove conclusively he was in New Orleans that day. Now then they've changed the dates. The story came in changing the dates to the 28th of September and he was in Mexico City on the 28th. Now the Mexican police have again arrested this woman Duran, who is a member of the Cuban embassy."

LBJ realizes that there is not enough evidence to indicate that Castro definitely ordered the assassination of JFK. He knows that any attempt to overthrow Castro on this evidence could backfire like the Bay of Pigs invasion. LBJ would come under considerable international pressure to carry out a full and open investigation of the JFK assassination. He would be particularly concerned about this investigation as it could lead back to him (I suspect he had already been told about the Mac Wallace print being found in the Texas School Book Depository).

It now becomes vitally important to LBJ that Oswald is seen as a lone-gunman. During the same 29th November, 1963, telephone conversation, LBJ begins to work with Hoover on the idea of setting up a commission to convince the world that Oswald acted alone.

Lyndon B. Johnson: Are you familiar with this proposed group that they're trying to put together on this study of your report and other things - two from the House, two from the Senate, somebody from the Court, a couple of outsiders?

J. Edgar Hoover: No, I haven't heard of that. ... I think it would be very, very bad to have a rash of investigations on this thing.

Lyndon B. Johnson: Well, the only way we can stop them is probably to appoint a high-level one to evaluate your report and put somebody that's pretty good on it that I can select... and tell the House and the Senate not to go ahead... because they'll get a lot of television going and I thought it would be bad.

J. Edgar Hoover: It would be a three-ring circus.

Lyndon B. Johnson: What do you think about Alien Dulles?

J. Edgar Hoover: I think he would be a good man.

Lyndon B. Johnson: What do you think about John McCloy?

J. Edgar Hoover: I'm not as enthusiastic about McCloy... I'm not so certain as to the matter of the publicity that he might seek on it.

Lyndon B. Johnson: What about General Norstad?

J. Edgar Hoover: Good man.

Lyndon B. Johnson: I thought maybe I might try to get Boggs and Jerry Ford in the House, maybe try to get Dick Russell and maybe Cooper in the Senate.

J. Edgar Hoover: Yes, I think so.

Lyndon B. Johnson: Me and you are just going to talk like brothers. ... I thought Russell could kind of look after the general situation, see that the states and their relations.

J. Edgar Hoover: Russell would be an excellent man.

Lyndon B. Johnson: And I thought Cooper might look after the liberal group.... He's a pretty judicious fellow but he's a pretty liberal fellow. I wouldn't want Javits or some of those on it.

J. Edgar Hoover: No, no, no. Javits plays the front page a lot.

Lyndon B. Johnson: Cooper is kind of border state. It's not the South and it's not the North.

J. Edgar Hoover: That's right.

Lyndon B. Johnson: Do you know Ford from Michigan?

J. Edgar Hoover: I know of him, but I don't know him. I saw him on TV the other night for the first time and he handled himself well on that.

Lyndon B. Johnson: You know Boggs?

J. Edgar Hoover: Oh, yes, I know Boggs.

Lyndon B. Johnson: He's kind of the author of the resolution. That's why. Now Walter tells me - Walter Jenkins - that you've designated Deke (Cartha DeLoach) to work with us, like you did on the Hill, and I tell you I sure appreciate that. I didn't ask for it 'cause ... I know you know how to run your business better than anybody else... We consider him as high-class as you do. And it is a mighty gracious thing to do. And we'll be mighty happy we salute you for knowing how to pick good men.

This tape shows that Hoover is already lying. At this point Ford is already under the control of Hoover and is the man selected to leak information and to spread disinformation on the Warren Commission.

LBJ still has the problem of dealing with the links between Oswald and Castro (I suspect that the unreleased tapes also go into this area in great detail). LBJ is clearly coming under pressure from those involved in the conspiracy to order an invasion of Cuba. LBJ first explains his position in a phone call to Charles Halleck, House Minority Leader at 6.30 pm on 29th November, 1963.

Lyndon B. Johnson: Charlie, I hate to bother you but. . . I've got to appoint a commission and issue an executive order tonight on investigation of the assassination of the President because this thing is getting pretty serious and our folks are worried about it. It's got some foreign complications - CIA and other things - and I'm going to try to get the Chief Justice to go on it. He declined earlier in the day, but I think I'm going to try to get him to head it....

Charles Halleck: Chief Justice Warren?

Lyndon B. Johnson: Yes.

Charles Halleck: I think that's a mistake....

Lyndon B. Johnson: I'd be glad to hear you, but I want to talk to you about - he thought it was a mistake till I told him everything we knew and we just can't have House and Senate and FBI and other people going around testifying that Khrushchev killed Kennedy or Castro killed him. We've got to have the facts, and you don't have a President assassinated once every fifty years. And this thing is so touchy from an international standpoint that every man we've got over there is concerned about it....

Charles Halleck: I'll cooperate, my friend. I'll tell you one thing, Lyndon - Mr. President - I think that to call on Supreme Court guys to do jobs is kind of a mistake.

Lyndon B. Johnson: It is on all these other things I agree with you on Pearl Harbor and I agree with you on the railroad strike. But this is a question that could involve our losing thirty-nine million people. This is a judicial question.

Charles Halleck: I, of course, don't want that to happen. Of course, I was a little disappointed in the speech the Chief Justice made. I'll talk to you real plainly. He's jumped at the gun and, of course, I don't know whether the right wing was in this or not. You've been very discreet. You have mentioned the left and the right and I am for that.

LBJ makes the point: "we just can't have House and Senate and FBI and other people going around testifying that Khrushchev killed Kennedy or Castro killed him." If this story gets out he will have to invade Cuba and that is likely to result in "our losing thirty-nine million people".

LBJ makes similar phone-calls to several people over the next few days. This is what he says to Richard B. Russell at 8.55 p.m on 29th November.

Richard Russell: I know I don't have to tell you of my devotion to you but I just can't serve on that Commission. I'm highly honoured you'd think about me in connection with it but I couldn't serve on it with Chief Justice Warren. I don't like that man. I don't have any confidence in him at all.

Lyndon B. Johnson: It has already been announced and you can serve with anybody for the good of America and this is a question that has a good many more ramifications than on the surface and we've got to take this out of the arena where they're testifying that Khrushchev and Castro did this and did that and chuck us into a war that can kill 40 million Americans in an hour....

Richard Russell: I still feel it sort of getting wrapped up...

Lyndon B. Johnson: Dick... do you remember when you met me at the Carlton Hotel in 1952? When we had breakfast there one morning.

Richard Russell: Yes I think so.

Lyndon B. Johnson: All right. Do you think I'm kidding you?

Richard Russell: No... I don't think your kidding me, but I think... well, I'm not going to say anymore, Mr. President... I'm at your command... and I'll do anything you want me to do....

Lyndon B. Johnson: Warren told me he wouldn't do it under any circumstances... I called him and ordered him down here and told me no twice and I just pulled out what Hoover told me about a little incident in Mexico City and I say now, I don't want Mr. Khrushchev to be told tomorrow (censored) and be testifying before a camera that he killed this fellow and that Castro killed him... And he started crying and said, well I won't turn you down... I'll do whatever you say.

This is LBJ's cover story. Although the evidence suggests a Castro/KGB plot, he cannot acknowledge the fact because it might result in a nuclear war. Of course, there was no chance that the Soviet Union would have launched a nuclear strike if the US had invaded Cuba. However, it was the only motive for his actions that LBJ could come up with.

It would be ironic if in the end analysis as bad as LBJ was [and that man was BAD, BAD, BAD!] he didn't want to be President of a cinder after a nuclear war and thus managed things to dampen the hawks from edging toward that abyss. He likely knew JKF was to be killed, perhaps not exactly when, where and how....and perhaps was also not aware of the pre-planted 'Castro/Cuba' did it with a nudge from the USSR. I hate to even contemplate LBJ having ever done something 'right'...for whatever reason. He used the 'nuclear war' card to push the lone-nut line and not to ignite a real nuclear war. I'm sure he was getting pressure from military hawks for a full attack....irregardless of Oswald in prison or two days after dead......but there was no longer either a believable Cuba connection and he didn't want to preside in his throne of thrones in a burned-out, radioactive White House.

Of course sometimes you can do the right thing for the wrong reasons. However, LBJ did not believe that the Soviet Union would launch a nuclear war if the US invaded Cuba. Both sides in the Cold War accepted the "sphere of influence" policy. This is why the Soviet Union knew it was free to send troops into Eastern Europe when the people rebelled against communism. The same goes for US actions in the Americas. This is why we know LBJ was developing a cover-story when he was making these phone-calls.

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And how pray tell do you know that John?

And as I asked before what about all the JFK people who were worried beyond description at the possibility of a war during the CMC?

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It is a common failing to assume that all those who participated in the coverup must also, ergo, have been witting participants in the crime. It is a logical fallacy, and must be eschewed at all costs, for otherwise there will never be any truth disclosed.

James Jesus Angleton and SIG.

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Well, for once (twice maybe?) I agree with Robert Charles-Dunne.

The cover-up may not have been related to the assassination. His point is very well-taken.

There is a real danger of making false assumptions in this case, and false assumptions can only lead down dead-end streets.

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You wrote:

"However, LBJ did not believe that the Soviet Union would launch a nuclear war if the US invaded Cuba."

How do you know what LBJ's thought processes were?

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You wrote:

"However, LBJ did not believe that the Soviet Union would launch a nuclear war if the US invaded Cuba."

How do you know what LBJ's thought processes were?

In my text I supported this point of view with comments made by LBJ on the telephone to Charles Halleck and Richard Russell on 29th November, 1963.

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RCD,

We have come to the point where we must respectfully agree to disagree on the invasion/no invasion issue. To torture the tennis analogy, we are experiencing endless love. So here’s my final serve, and I eagerly await your (final?) return.

You write, “It is important for us to distinguish between what the plotters of the assassination planned, and what actually transpired, to the extent that we can do so and to the extent that there is a difference between the two, but only based upon evidence.”

Agreed.

“It is even more important to distinguish between the plotters themselves, and all those who aided and abetted the coverup of the crime, for they are not synonymous. … It is a common failing to assume that all those who participated in the coverup must also, ergo, have been witting participants in the crime. It is a logical fallacy, and must be eschewed at all costs, for otherwise there will never be any truth disclosed.”

Agreed. I have never argued to the contrary, and I share your sense that, absent acceptance of this reality, the search for truth and justice will prove futile.

“Sweeping generalizations of who must have been involved don't do credit to any of us, unless we bolster those assertions with indisputable, legally compelling hard fact. To do otherwise is to become a ‘buff,’ which I am not and don't intend to become …Consequently, without wishing to appear as though I'm trying to absolve LBJ, Harriman or anyone else in such high positions of power, I refrain from making such assertions because I've yet to see sufficient proof of their involvement; by which I mean evidence that carries legal weight.”

Agreed. My previously posted list of possible “facilitators” was not meant to be an indictment sheet – see my “and/or others” construction – but rather an indication of my current thinking. And yes, “buff” be damned. So too “conspiracist” and other demeaning descriptions of the best of us.

“Any criminal investigator begins at the bottom of the crime's possible pyramid of characters and then works his way up the food chain, using the lower echelon players to implicate those higher up.”

Agreed. Hence my oft-repeated plea: Establish the “how,” then reverse-engineer what we’ve discovered to identify its manufacturer and purposes.

“Which does not mean this was the plotters' intent, only that it is how things played out. If you have some probative proof that this was the plotters' intent, then you can make a case for your claim. What we have from you at present is vehemently stated opinion, which is no substitute for reasons to believe that opinion.”

With all due respect, I have not seen “probative proof” of what you maintain was the plotter’s intent. All you can say with certainty is that LHO was set up to appear to be a Castro agent. Agreed. WHY was this done? You and I offer conflicting, speculative answers, one as good as the other. On more than one occasion I carefully have prefaced my posts with the stipulation that what I offer is hypothesis, or – for me at least – logical inference based upon an understanding of the times, events, and characters under consideration.

“[T]he plan moves forward when Oswald disappears, and then the breadcrumb trail of evidence implicating him leads all the way to Havana …”

Oswald effectively disappeared when Ruby waved his magic wand. And again, you have failed to convince me and others how LHO in the custody of a corrupt, eminently controllable law enforcement agency possibly could have scuttled the invasion plan. I repeat: Get creative. Write the scene. What does Oswald have to say to force the change in plans? To whom must he say it?

“[T]his presupposes that the plotters and those in charge of the government were synonymous.”

We’re begging definitions here, but I’ll keep this short and sweet. You correctly describe my position. And like you, I have nothing of probative value to support the claim that LBJ was a “plotter” or that he was “in charge of the government” as you use the terms.

“We know from Northwoods that the Pentagon and some administration hardliners were so keen to overthrow Castro that they conceived pretexts to achieve same, including, if necessary, the deaths of US citizens in a false flag operation for which Cuba could be blamed. Yet you insist that there was never any real desire to effect regime change in Havana, based solely upon the fact that it didn't happen.”

Wrong. In fact I insist that, in spite of the well-established desire on the part of certain undeniably powerful political, military, and civilian interests to change the Havana regime, those whose greater power and putative authority were required to launch the invasion would not pull the trigger. The Northwoods plans of which we’re aware were not realized, either.

“If US interests had no desire for such regime change in Havana, how does one explain away the little trifle known as the Bay of Pigs?”

The only constant is change.

“I say again the following, as clearly as I can and hopefully for the final time as this is getting truly tedious. The plotters desired two things: the removal of a President who had been obstinately refusing the rebuffing their plans on a number of fronts [not merely Cuba, so don't misread what I haven't written] and foresaw the additional benefit of regime change in Cuba.”

You write of “plotters” as if they were a monolithic, single-minded entity. Some of the plotters – at what I term the “facilitator” level – desired Castro’s overthrow. Such was the prize on which their pre-assassination eyes were tightly focused. These kind folk surely were disappointed, but only for a time. Most of them went on to bigger and better things, from lucrative employment by the secret world, to immense power and profit at the bank of Viet Nam. Others were marginalized or simply ceased to be.

“So, as if for the first time, clear your mind of all prior facts, thoughts, biases and conclusions. Then consider the chronology of events below [omitted for brevity’s sake] … ”

Steady, Robert. My state of mind is just fine, thank you. And I restate for the final time – and please, try to focus – I haven’t the slightest problem with your chronology. It is brilliantly and convincingly (to a point) presented Clear enough?

“Unnamed sources disclose that a light plane left Redbird airfield soon after the assassination.”

Even with LHO in custody, it could have been argued that his Cuban accomplices were on board.

“Unnamed sources disclose the discovery of luggage in the name of Lee Oswald at Mexico City airport.”

Even with LHO in custody, it could have been argued that his luggage had been brought by accomplices.

“Having gone to all the trouble to lay on this patina of superficially compelling evidence of Cuban complicity, why wouldn't there have been an invasion? It's a gimme; two for the price of one … And yet you maintain, without providing the slightest evidence for the assertion, that all of the above details were purely intended for a private audience, to frighten them into compliance with the coverup, and would never have found a broader audience.”

And yet you maintain that an invasion would have taken place if LHO had been handled according to plan. But you cannot or will not make a convincing argument that illustrates how LHO’s capture and 48-hour survival could have amounted to anything more than a hiccup – an unanticipated turn of events relatively easy to control and spin into a manageably altered invasion-justifying narrative.

“And yet you maintain, without providing the slightest evidence for the assertion, that because there was no active plan for an invasion [citation please], there couldn't have been a post-assassination invasion [citation please], solely because it did not happen. This circular reasoning seems based upon evidence which you've yet to present.”

Perhaps you are misreading me, perhaps I was less than artful in a previous post. Contrary to your assertion, I believe I’ve written that plans for an invasion of Cuba likely were active and evolving and being gamed before, during, and after the assassination. No circle.

“And yet I have never suggested that Oswald was to die, at least not in any public fashion. Somebody, irrespective of whom, had to walk across that tarmac in Mexico City to flee to Havana, or at least be reported to have done so. ‘Oswald’ couldn't have done that if he were either publicly known to be dead or in police custody, which is the rub.”

Oswald’s accomplices – the other gunmen – would have served the purpose. If you are correct, then all of the pre-assassination sheepdipping of LHO as a Cuban-backed triggerman had to be sufficient to seal the deal, regardless of the patsy’s post-assassination whereabouts. If “Oswald” doesn’t walk across the tarmac – no big deal. Others do He’s still attached to Fidel at the hip. Invasion on!

“Feel free to reference whatever facilitators/false sponsors you like - but in light of the scenario I've described above, none of those you've named would have had the power to withstand the desire of the populace to exact revenge upon Castro.”

Talk about circular. Anyway, the scenario you describe was indeed in place and ready for public release. Yet we agree that it was held back. Here is the crux of our disagreement: WHY was it held back? Your only answer is, because Oswald got caught – a rationale that simply does not hold up under questioning.

“[H]ow does one justify presenting the Pentagon with ever greater budgetary appropriations if they never actually do anything with the money?”

A question for the ages, I’m afraid. Cuba was one piece in the “commie menace” jigsaw puzzle, a piece that was eclipsed but by no means stripped of value by the vastly greater menace in Southeast Asia. Cuba was of immense propaganda value to the war machine (as it is today) – value that would disappear if the Havana regime were changed. “They’re right off our shores, we must do what it takes to remain vigilant, regardless of the cost.” That sort of bull.

"Had Oswald been presumed to reside in Havana after the assassination, all eyes would have turned southward, in a heartbeat. Followed by boots on the ground and death from above.”

Evidence, please. Citation, please. No? Then such is simply your informed and honorable opinion, which I respect but with which I simply cannot agree. For the final time: In terms of justifying a retaliatory invasion of Cuba, what’s the difference between Oswald being presumed to reside in Havana, and a dead Oswald presumed to have been attempting to escape to Havana?

Time for strawberries and cream?

Respectfully,

Charles Drago

Edited by Charles Drago

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I'll check it out.

Thanks for the quick reply.

You only have to read my original posting for this evidence. I would highly recommend Michael R. Beschloss' book, "Taking Charge: The Johnson White House Tapes, 1963-64" (1997). He includes transcripts of all the declassified LBJ telephone calls in 1963-64.

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For the final time: In terms of justifying a retaliatory invasion of Cuba, what’s the difference between Oswald being presumed to reside in Havana, and a dead Oswald presumed to have been attempting to escape to Havana?

For the final time:

No difference whatsoever. In either case the patsy cannot contradict the

"irrevocable proof" he was an instrument of Fidel.

It was the Joint Chiefs who set the bar for the "irrevocable proof" requirement

for an invasion, as laid out in the Feb '62 memo on Operation Dirty Tricks (see

Bamford's Body of Secrets pg 84).

A captured suspect doesn't establish "irrevocable proof" of his guilt when he's loudly

proclaiming his innocence, does he?

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