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New Article in Politico

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/05/20/what-could-a-mysterious-us-spy-know-about-the-jfk-assassination-215143

What Could a Mysterious U.S. Spy Know About the JFK Assassination?

By PHILIP SHENON May 20, 2017

John F. Kennedy buffs are awaiting the release of documents about June Cobb, a little-known CIA operative working in Cuba and Mexico around the time of the president’s assassination. 

She may have been one of the bravest and best-placed American spies in the history of the Cold War, but few people outside the CIA know the mysterious story of June Cobb. 

The existing information in the spy agency’s declassified files depicts Cobb as an American Mata Hari—an adventure-loving, death-defying globetrotter who moved to Cuba to work for Fidel Castro, the country’s newly installed strongman, then found herself recruited to spy for the CIA after growing disenchanted with Castro’s revolution.  

The era’s rampant sexism is obvious in her job evaluation reports: Cobb’s CIA handlers wrote down speculation about her sex life and her failed romance in the 1950s with an opium farmer in the jungles of South America. And the reports are filled with appraisals of Cobb’s looks, noting especially her fetching blue eyes. “Miss Cobb is not unattractive,” her CIA recruiter wrote in 1960. “She is blonde, has a slender figure, although she has a somewhat hard look, making her appear somewhat older than her 33 years.” 

According to another, undated evaluation, she had a “wiry” figure but had been attractive enough to catch the Cuban dictator’s eye. Cobb, the report said, was reputedly “a former girlfriend of Castro’s.”  

True or not, she was close enough to get a job on the Cuban dictator’s senior staff in Havana in 1960, the perfect perch to spy for the CIA. Cobb’s agency work in Havana and later in Mexico leads us to the most puzzling aspect of her life—that she later found herself drawn deeply into the mysteries of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. After the murder, she reported to her CIA bosses that she had identified a trio of witnesses who could tie Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, to Cuban diplomats and spies in Mexico City, where Oswald had traveled just weeks before the assassination. 

What did June Cobb know at the time? Historians of the Cold War—and anyone with an interest in JFK’s 1963 assassination and the possibility of Cuban involvement—are on the verge of learning much more about the extraordinary, often bizarre, sometimes tragic life of the American spy who was born Viola June Cobb, the full name that appeared on her birth certificate back home in Ponca City, Oklahoma, in 1927. The National Archives has recently acknowledged that it is preparing to release a 221-page file of long-secret CIA documents about Cobb that—for reasons the Archives says it cannot yet divulge—are somehow linked to JFK’s murder. 

The Cobb file is among the most tantalizing of an estimated 3,600 assassination-related documents scheduled to be made public by late October under the 25-year deadline established by the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act. Under the 1992 law, the full library of long-secret files will be released automatically by the National Archives later this year unless President Donald Trump blocks their release on national security grounds. The White House has not signaled what Trump, who for years has promoted mostly baseless conspiracy theories, including about JFK’s assassination, will do. 

What we know about Cobb so far comes largely from millions of pages of other documents from the CIA, FBI and other federal agencies that were declassified years ago under the 1992 law. Within those documents are dozens of files that identified Cobb as a paid CIA operative when she worked on Castro’s staff in Havana and later when she moved to Mexico. Some of the documents tie her to a lingering questions about Oswald’s trip to Mexico City in late September 1963, not long before Kennedy’s November assassination. In Mexico, Oswald came under CIA surveillance when he met there with both Soviet and Cuban spies. Previously released documents also show Cobb’s involvement in CIA surveillance of a U.S.-based pro-Castro group, the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, which Oswald championed in the months before Kennedy’s murder. 

There is one document about Cobb that has remained completely off-limits to the public all these years: the 221-page file identified as “FOLDER ON COBB, VIOLA JUNE (VOL VII)” on a skeletal index released by the Archives last year. It is one of the 3,600 documents that were withheld from public view entirely in the 1990s at the request of the agencies that originally produced them—in Cobb’s case, the CIA. The index prepared by the Archives shows that, as of 1998, when her file was last officially reviewed, the spy agency said the document was “not believed relevant” to the Kennedy assassination but could do unspecified harm if made public before the October 2017 deadline. 

But the history of the assassination has needed to be rewritten since the 1990s, in part because of the CIA’s documented duplicity, which raises the question of whether Cobb’s file could in fact be relevant. A 2013 report by the CIA’s in-house historian acknowledged that the agency had conducted a “benign cover-up” in the years immediately after Kennedy’s assassination in an effort to keep investigators focused on “what the Agency believed at the time was the ‘best truth’—that Lee Harvey Oswald, for as yet undetermined motives, had acted alone in killing John Kennedy.” 

The agency told the Warren Commission—the panel led by Chief Justice Earl Warren that concluded in 1964 that Oswald had acted alone—that there was no evidence of a conspiracy in JFK’s death. The CIA has also admitted that it failed to tell the commission that the agency had attempted throughout Kennedy’s presidency to assassinate Castro and that Castro knew about the plots, which could have given the Cuban an obvious motive to retaliate. Many of the Castro plots involved CIA operatives working out of Mexico City at the time Oswald visited the city in 1963. In the late 1970s, the CIA refused to help investigators for the House Select Committee on Assassinations find Cobb for an interview about what might have happened to Oswald in Mexico, according to the panel’s declassified files. 

Gus Russo, a historian and journalist who has written two widely praised books about the assassination, managed to track down Cobb when she living in New York City more than a decade ago and interviewed her about her spying career. “I have always felt that June Cobb was one of the most fascinating characters I came across over decades of looking at this story,” he said in an interview. “She came across as a female James Bond at a time when there were few, if any, female James Bonds.” He added, “I found her to be completely credible and utterly uninterested in notoriety.” Her whereabouts today are a mystery. A listed phone number for Cobb in Manhattan is disconnected. Messages sent to her email address, the one Russo used years ago, were returned as “undeliverable.” Phone calls to women with her name in her home state of Oklahoma were unreturned. If still alive, she would have turned 90 this year. 

During the 1960s, when her prominent work on Castro’s staff in Havana drew the attention of curious journalists, Cobb granted a few interviews in which she explained how she ended up in Cuba. After dropping out of the University of Oklahoma in the late 1940s, she decided to seek excitement far from the flatlands of Oklahoma and moved to Mexico City, to study at a university there. In Mexico, she fell in love with a fellow student, a young Colombian, who enticed her to join him on an adventure in the jungles of Ecuador, where he hoped to open a business growing poppies for opium production—not clearly illegal in Ecuador at the time.  She said she went for several months, only to leave him when he grew addicted to his own product. In a 1962 article about Cobb, the muckraking columnist Jack Anderson reported that, according to U.S. government sources, Cobb had other motives for fleeing: Her boyfriend had taken up with other women in Ecuador, and so—“in a fit of jealousy”—Cobb flew back to the United States and “squealed on him” to American narcotics agents. 

Whatever really happened in the South American jungle, Cobb found herself working as a journalist in New York as Castro came to power in 1959. She told Anderson that she had gotten swept up in the initial excitement of Castro’s revolution after meeting the Cuban leader when he traveled to New York shortly after taking the reins, before he acknowledged he was a Communist. Within weeks of the meeting, Cobb said, she was invited to Havana to serve as one of Castro’s principal English-language translators—she spoke fluent Spanish—and to handle his contacts with American news organizations. “I suppose you can call me a sucker for lost causes,” she told Anderson. 

She was assigned an office only several hundred feet away from Castro’s and, according to CIA reports, saw him face-to-face regularly. Within months, she said, she found herself disenchanted with the revolution, especially as Castro became more vocally anti-American and drew closer to the Soviet Union. “I do doubt that he was a Communist all along,” she later told congressional investigators. “I think that is one of his many falsehoods.” 

In 1960, previously declassified CIA records show, she was recruited to begin spying for the United States. In interviews at the time, Cobb tried to deny ties to U.S. intelligence but acknowledged how close she had been to Castro and his key deputies, including his brother Raúl and guerilla leader Che Guevara. CIA files describe Cobb as having had an adventurous love life—she is “promiscuous,” her American handler in Mexico said flatly—but make no final judgment about whether she had a physical relationship with the Cuban leader. 

“Her association with Fidel Castro and his entourage has been another shattered ‘dream,’ one of a whole series in her life,” her CIA recruiter wrote at the time, explaining her motives for becoming a spy. “Miss Cobb has undergone much emotional stress in her life and is no longer sure that the revolutionary movement she was so idealistically motivated by a few months ago is the right thing.” Previously declassified CIA document show that Cobb’s information was valuable in preparing the spy agency’s detailed psychological profiles of Castro and his deputies and in monitoring their activities. 

By choosing to spy, the records show, Cobb knew she was risking her life, especially after another American prominent in Castro’s government, William Morgan of Toledo, Ohio, who had fought alongside Castro’s army in the revolution, was charged with treason in 1961 by his former Cuban allies and executed by firing squad. “He was a boy with ideals,” Cobb said later of Morgan. 

Fearing she faced a similar end, Cobb decided to leave Cuba shortly after Morgan’s arrest and was transferred by the CIA to Mexico City, where she took on assignments monitoring Cuban agents, as well Mexicans who were sympathetic to Castro’s government—work that would eventually draw her into investigations of the Kennedy assassination. 

Cobb figures prominently in one of the greatest of the unsolved mysteries about Oswald’s trip to Mexico weeks before the assassination—whether he was in contact there with Cuban or Soviet agents who knew he had spoken openly about killing Kennedy, possibly as an act of retaliation for JFK’s efforts to overthrow Castro’s government. Previously declassified government files suggest that, at one point, Oswald marched into the Cuban embassy compound in Mexico City and announced loudly: “I’m going to kill Kennedy.” 

According to other declassified files, Cobb reported to the CIA’s Mexico City station in October 1964, nearly a year after JFK’s assassination, that she had learned from a prominent Mexican writer and two other Mexican sources that they had all seen Oswald at a dance party during his trip the year before that was also attended by Cuban diplomats and others who had spoken openly of their hope that Kennedy would be assassinated. Cobb’s sources said Oswald had been at the party in the company of two other young American men, who appeared to be his traveling companions and whose identifies have never been established. The questions raised by Cobb’s reports were obvious: Had any of those people encouraged Oswald to murder JFK or offered to help him escape after the assassination? (Nothing in the previously released documents involving Cobb support theories that Castro personally ordered Kennedy’s death.) 

The CIA’s Mexico City station, its files reveal, was determined to dismiss Cobb’s report, perhaps eager to have the official record show that Oswald was a lone wolf whose plans to kill Kennedy could never have been foiled by the spy agency’s officials. Cobb’s key witness, the Mexican novelist and playwright Elena Garro, was interviewed by the FBI, but the CIA disparaged her account, even though other witnesses would come forward to support it. Other leads offered by Cobb were never pursued. And in any case, by the time all of this came out, it was too late for the Warren Commission to act: Two weeks before Cobb’s information landed with her CIA handlers in Mexico, the commission had issued its final report in Washington and shut down its investigation.

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8 hours ago, Ernie Lazar said:

New Article in Politico

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/05/20/what-could-a-mysterious-us-spy-know-about-the-jfk-assassination-215143

..According to other declassified files, [CIA agent June] Cobb reported to the CIA’s Mexico City station in October 1964, nearly a year after JFK’s assassination, that she had learned from a prominent Mexican writer and two other Mexican sources that they had all seen Oswald at a dance party during his trip the year before that was also attended by Cuban diplomats and others who had spoken openly of their hope that Kennedy would be assassinated.

Cobb’s sources said Oswald had been at the party in the company of two other young American men, who appeared to be his traveling companions and whose identifies have never been established.

The questions raised by Cobb’s reports were obvious: Had any of those people encouraged Oswald to murder JFK or offered to help him escape after the assassination? (Nothing in the previously released documents involving Cobb support theories that Castro personally ordered Kennedy’s death.) 

The CIA’s Mexico City station, its files reveal, was determined to dismiss Cobb’s report, perhaps eager to have the official record show that Oswald was a lone wolf whose plans to kill Kennedy could never have been foiled by the spy agency’s officials.

Cobb’s key witness, the Mexican novelist and playwright Elena Garro, was interviewed by the FBI, but the CIA disparaged her account, even though other witnesses would come forward to support it. Other leads offered by Cobb were never pursued.

And in any case, by the time all of this came out, it was too late for the Warren Commission to act: Two weeks before Cobb’s information landed with her CIA handlers in Mexico, the commission had issued its final report in Washington and shut down its investigation.

The fiction by Elena Garro de Paz, relating that her personal friend, Sylvia Duran, had personally befriended Lee Harvey Oswald at a "twist party" in Mexico City during the final week of September, 1963, has been long known and well-established as pulp fiction.

The Mexico City press of December, 1963, was full of tabloid fiction about Sylvia Duran, the pretty young consul of the Cuban Consulate at the Mexico City Embassy Compound.

Stories of sex orgies abounded -- Sylvia was a Communist tramp, as expected, and Oswald was one of her many lovers.  Such was the tripe dished out by the Mexico City press to gullible readers, who wanted nothing more than to hear that the Communists under Fidel Castro had killed JFK, by using Sylvia Duran and Lee Harvey Oswald as his puppets.

The tragedy is that the Mexican Police believed Elena's fiction, and arrested Sylvia Duran, and tried to beat the "truth" out of her.  

This is the legacy of Elena Garry de Paz.  It's nothing new.  The fact that a CIA agent, June Cobb, tried to raise the story as American History, does not make the fiction come to life.  It remains a cheap tabloid fiction today, just as it was in 1963.

That said -- I do maintain that Lee Harvey Oswald was indeed in Mexico City in the company of others.  Oswald was never alone.  According to Harry Dean, the companions of Oswald in Mexico City were Loran Hall, Larry Howard and famous war hero, Guy Gabaldon.  Thus, Oswald's companions were decidedly non-Marxists -- they were ultra-rightwing fanatics. 

Regards,
--Paul Trejo

Edited by Paul Trejo

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10 minutes ago, Paul Trejo said:

The fiction by Elena Garro de Paz, relating that her personal friend, Sylvia Duran, had personally befriended Lee Harvey Oswald at a "twist party" in Mexico City during the final week of September, 1963, has been long known and well-established as a fiction.

The Mexico City press of December, 1963, was full of fiction about Sylvia Duran, the pretty young consul of the Cuban Consulate at the Mexico City Embassy Compound.

Stories of sex orgies abounded -- Sylvia was a Communist tramp, as expected, and Oswald was one of her many lovers.  Such was the tripe dished out by the Mexico City press to gullible readers, who wanted nothing more than to hear that the Communists under Fidel Castro had killed JFK, by using Sylvia Duran and Lee Harvey Oswald as his puppets.

The tragedy is that the Mexican Police believed Elena's fiction, and arrested Sylvia Duran, and tried to beat the "truth" out of her.  

This is the legacy of Elena Garry de Paz.  It's nothing new.  The fact that a CIA agent, June Cobb, tried to raise the story as American History, does not make the fiction come to life.  It remains a cheap tabloid fiction today, just as it was in 1963.

Regards,
--Paul Trejo

So, apparently, you are saying that even if government documents are classified "Top Secret" and they are withheld for 50+ years -- nevertheless they may have no actual factually true content.  

Now--if only you could apply that discovery and conclusion to your incessant delusional comments regarding allegedly "Top Secret" material withheld pertaining to Harry Dean!!!

Edited by Ernie Lazar

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I went to see the new Alien movie and noticed a billboard in the lobby for a one-day documentary movie entitled "I Killed JFK".  You can check out the details here:

http://ikilledjfk.com/

A former Mafia insider, recently released from prison after 50 years, claims HE shot JFK from the infamous Grassy Knoll. On the anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's 100th birthday, the conspiracy theories still rage on as to how and why he was killed. Was it Lee Harvey Oswald acting alone? The Mob? The CIA? The FBI? The Cuban Government led by Fidel Castro? The Russians? LBJ? Was it a government cover-up?

Now, for the first time, I KILLED JFK reveals the untold story of the only living person in history who has ever confessed to killing Kennedy, featuring never before seen, recently found, rare footage and in-depth testimony from 20 different respected experts and historians. Hear the bone-chilling account of how it all went down, who was behind the "hit," and the "proof" that he was not only there...he was the one who pulled the trigger. Additionally, immediately following the film, this special evening continues, featuring an EXCLUSIVE PANEL DISCUSSION, filmed this month, led by Hollywood Producer & Film maker Barry Katz, with some of the most respected JFK assassination experts in the world including Judyth Vary Baker (Oswald's lover/author of the best-selling book ME AND LEE), Gordon Ferrie (US government, intelligence, & national security expert), Barr McClellan (Best-selling author of BLOOD, MONEY, & POWER), Zack Shelton (Retired FBI Special Agent), and Jim Marrs (1963 Dallas Journalist & author of the NY Times best seller CROSSFIRE: THE PLOT THAT KILLED KENNEDY which inspired Oliver Stone's film JFK). Will this event finally reveal what actually happened? You, the audience, will be the jury.

------------------------------------------------------------

SYNOPSIS—Coinciding with John F. Kennedy’s 100th birthday, this SPECIAL DOCUMENTARY event, focusing on the world’s greatest unsolved murder case, entitled I Killed JFK, features two interviews with the only living person to have ever confessed to killing President John F. Kennedy from the now infamous "Grassy Knoll" in Dallas, Texas. This extraordinary night, also features never before seen, recently found, rare footage and in-depth testimony from 20 different respected experts and historians.

Additionally, as an added bonus, immediately following the documentary, this special evening continues, featuring an EXCLUSIVE PANEL DISCUSSION, filmed this month, with some of the most respected JFK assassination experts in the world including Judyth Vary Baker (Oswald’s lover and author of the best selling book Me and Lee), Gordon Ferrie (US government, intelligence, and national security expert), Barr McClellan (Best selling author of the book Blood, Money, and Power), Zack Shelton (Retired FBI Special Agent), and Jim Marrs (1963 Dallas Journalist and author of the New York Times best seller Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy which was a basis for Oliver Stone’s film JFK).

This amazing documentary (and panel discussion immediately following) that has been 4 years in the making, will present an alarming compilation of indisputable evidence previously unavailable to the worldwide public. I Killed JFK will also feature a multitude of interviews with eye-witnesses, crime experts, law enforcement officials, national security experts, and FBI agents who will discuss the viability of the confession of the alleged killer, as well as, all of the people and organizations responsible for JFK’s assassination.

Don’t miss it! - Wednesday May 31st - One Night Only

 

Edited by Ernie Lazar

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Ernie,I've seen this. I believe it was released about 4 years ago.I think they are just re releasing it and including a panel discussion. It's a James Files-did- it with an interview with Tosh Plumlee who states that he piloted the plane that brought Johnny Roselli to Dallas, and the plot was to be aborted. etc that I believe George S.espouses. I came upon a 50 minute version on the Right Wing Newsmax channel. There is also an interview with Chauncey Holt and it details the circumstances of how Files initially came forward.

Most people who follow the latest developments of JFK Assassination research would find it interesting, But It stands or falls depending on if you believe Files.

Edited by Kirk Gallaway

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1 hour ago, Kirk Gallaway said:

Ernie,I've seen this. I believe it was released about 4 years ago.I think they are just re releasing it and including a panel discussion. It's a James Files-did- it with an interview with Tosh Plumlee who states that he piloted the plane that brought Johnny Roselli to Dallas, and the plot was to be aborted. etc that I believe George S.espouses. I came upon a 50 minute version on the Right Wing Newsmax channel. There is also an interview with Chauncey Holt and it details the circumstances of how Files initially came forward.

Most people who follow the latest developments of JFK Assassination research would find it interesting, But It stands or falls depending on if you believe Files.

This is the Wikipedia summary:   James Files

 
Born James Earl Files
January 24, 1942 (age 75)
Alabama
Nationality American
Other names James Sutton
Criminal charge Attempted murder (2 counts)
Aggravated discharge of a firearm
Aggravated battery with a firearm
Armed violence
Criminal penalty 50 years
Criminal status Paroled in May 2016
 
Killings
Date May 7, 1991
3:45 pm
Country United States
State(s) Illinois
Location(s) Round Lake Beach, Illinois
Target(s) David Ostertag
Gary Bitler
Injured David Ostertag
Weapons AKS 7.62 semiautomatic rifle
Date apprehended
May 7, 1991
Imprisoned at Stateville Correctional Center
Danville Correctional Center

James Earl Files (born January 24, 1942), also known as James Sutton,[a] is a former American prisoner. In 1994, while serving a 50 year sentence for the 1991 attempted murders of two police officers, Files gave an interview stating that he was the "grassy knoll shooter" in the 1963 assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy.[3][4][5]Files has subsequently been interviewed by others and discussed in various books pertaining to the assassination and related theories.[4][5] In 1994, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was quoted as having investigated Files' allegation and found it "not to be credible".[3][6]

In 2010, Playboy magazine published an article by Hillel Levin in which Files also implicated Charles Nicoletti and John Roselli in the assassination of Kennedy.[7]

Contents

Background

Files has stated that he was born in Alabama, moved to California with his family shortly thereafter, then to an Italian neighborhood in Chicago.[8] On May 7, 1991, Files and his friend David Morley were involved in a roadside shootout in Round Lake Beach, Illinois with two police officers, Detective David Ostertag and his partner Gary Bitler. Ostertag and Bitler tried to apprehend the two for driving a stolen vehicle. During the shootout, Morley shot Detective Ostertag in the chest. Both Files and Morley shot at Detective Bitler but missed. Files and Morley then fled on foot, but were arrested a few hours later. Files was charged with two counts of attempted murder and one count each of discharge of a firearm, aggravated battery with a firearm and armed violence. In August 1991, a jury found Files guilty of two counts of attempted murder. He was sentenced to 30 years for the shooting of Detective Ostertag and 20 years for attempting to shoot Detective Bitler.[2][9][10] Files was initially imprisoned at Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill, Illinois before being transferred to Danville Correctional Center in Danville, Illinois.[2][11] Files was paroled in May 2016.[11]

An "anonymous FBI source", later identified as Zack Shelton, has been reported by some researchers as having told Joe West, a private investigator in Houston, in the early 1990s about an inmate in an Illinois penitentiary who might have information about the Kennedy assassination.[5][12] On August 17, 1992, West interviewed Files at Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill, Illinois.[2] After West's death in 1993, his family requested that his friend, Houston television producer Bob Vernon, take over the records concerning the story.[2][3]

Critical analysis

Vincent Bugliosi, author of Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, has characterized Files as "the Rodney Dangerfield of Kennedy assassins."[2] Vernon is the owner of a bullet casing with teeth marks on it, even though it was not found until 1987.[9] According to Bugliosi, very few within the community of people who believe there was a conspiracy to kill Kennedy respect him or his story.[2] However, conspiracy author Jerome Kroth described Files as "surprisingly credible" and said his story "is the most believable and persuasive" about the assassination.[2]

Notes

  1. Jump up^ In his testimony before the Assassination Records Review Board, Robert G. Vernon said that the name "James Sutton" was an alias.[1] In Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Vincent Bugliosi wrote that "James Sutton" was his "true name".[2]

References

  1. Jump up^ United States of America Assassination Records Review Board: Public Hearing. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office. November 18, 1994. pp. 27–32.
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g h Bugliosi, Vincent (2007). "Other Assassins". Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 917–919. ISBN 0-393-04525-0. Retrieved June 3, 2012.
  3. ^ Jump up to:a b c Hanchette, John (September 29, 1994). "Sleuths plan JFK assassination conspiracy convention". Sun-Journal. Lewiston, Maine. Gannett News Service. p. 12. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b McAdams, John (2011). "Too Much Evidence of Conspiracy". JFK Assassination Logic: How to Think about Claims of Conspiracy. Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books, Inc. p. 188. ISBN 1-59797-489-7. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b c Kroth, Jerome A. (2003). "Chapter 5. Paradox". Conspiracy in Camelot: The Complete History of the Assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Algora Publishing. pp. 195, 197, 215–223. ISBN 0-87586-247-0. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  6. Jump up^ Urban, Jerry (March 5, 1994). "JFK the target of mobsters?". Houston Chronicle. Houston, Texas. p. A35. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  7. Jump up^ Levin, Hillel (November 2010). "How the Outfit Killed JFK". Playboy. Archived from the original on June 9, 2012. Retrieved June 3, 2012.
  8. Jump up^ Hytha, Michael (February 20, 1996). "Awed by mob, he just bit bullet, pulled trigger" (PDF). Contra Costa Times. 85 (272). Walnut Creek, California. pp. 1A, 4A. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  9. ^ Jump up to:a b Hytha, Michael (February 20, 1996). "Illinois inmate says he did it" (PDF). Contra Costa Times. 85 (272). Walnut Creek, California. pp. 1A, 4A. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  10. Jump up^ "The People Of the State Of Illinois, Plaintiff-Appellee v. James Files, Defendant-Appellates.". findacase.com.
  11. ^ Jump up to:a b Illinois Department of Corrections. "ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS INTERNET INMATE STATUS : N14006 - FILES, JAMES". Springfield, Illinois: Illinois Department of Corrections. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
Edited by Ernie Lazar

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I recently wrote "chapter 10" of my report about the John Birch Society.  This chapter is devoted to presenting some relevant background information about persons whom the JBS hired as speakers under the auspices of its American Opinion Speakers Bureau.

You may see my new webpage here:
https://sites.google.com/site/xrt013/home/jbs

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Individuals associated with the National States Rights Party receive considerable attention in Dr. Caufield's book.  Consequently, EF readers might be interested in a new book by Michael Newton.  It is the first history ever published about the NSRP and was published in April 2017. 

http://www.mcfarlandbooks.com/contents-2.php?id=978-1-4766-6603-7

ADDENDUM:

For those who are interested, I have uploaded onto Internet Archive, two reports about NSRP:  (1) A Group Research Inc. report from April 1964 and (2) a Hunt Oil Company report based upon their private investigator research from 1966.

https://archive.org/details/@ernie1241

Edited by Ernie Lazar

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On 6/6/2017 at 9:37 AM, Ernie Lazar said:

Individuals associated with the National States Rights Party receive considerable attention in Dr. Caufield's book.  Consequently, EF readers might be interested in a new book by Michael Newton.  It is the first history ever published about the NSRP and was published in April 2017. 

http://www.mcfarlandbooks.com/contents-2.php?id=978-1-4766-6603-7

ADDENDUM:

For those who are interested, I have uploaded onto Internet Archive, two reports about NSRP:  (1) A Group Research Inc. report from April 1964 and (2) a Hunt Oil Company report based upon their private investigator research from 1966.

https://archive.org/details/@ernie1241

I'd be interested in reading that book, but it's a tad expensive for a softcover that's less than 300pgs.

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39 minutes ago, Roger DeLaria said:

I'd be interested in reading that book, but it's a tad expensive for a softcover that's less than 300pgs.

You can purchase a used copy (paperback) for about $19 on Amazon OR if you wait about 6-8 weeks, it probably will be cheaper on other websites.

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For those who are interested -- I copy below links to the FBI files and other material which I have added to my Internet Archive website collection during April - May - June.

This morning I uploaded section 3 of the Chicago FBI file on Joseph Beauharnais (founder of White Circle League of America).  Sections 1-2 were destroyed in September 2011 due to a flood at the facility where the documents were stored.  However, I obtained those sections many years previously as paper documents which are currently at Internet Archive in San Francisco.  Eventually, they may be digitized and added to my online collection.

Also uploaded this morning are sections 1 and 2 of former FBI SAC Wesley G. Grapp's personnel file covering the period from January 1941 through July 1958 (755 pages).

 

 
Jun 15, 2017
 
 
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May 18, 2017
 
 
May 18, 2017
 
 
May 18, 2017
 
 
May 18, 2017
 
 
May 18, 2017
 
 
May 18, 2017
 
 
May 9, 2017
 
 
May 9, 2017
 

 

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CIA agent’s book focuses on plots against Castro and the JFK Case

BY BILL HUGHES · JUNE 16, 2017
 
Introducing Antonio Veciana’s book – “Trained to Kill: The Inside Story of CIA Plots Against Castro, Kennedy and Che.”

I couldn’t help thinking when reading Veciana’s riveting account of his licensed-to-kill days as a CIA asset: Will our country’s bloody past now come back to haunt us as our politics continues to badly splinter the nation?

First, this preamble: Donald Trump is our President. He’s a very controversial figure. We live in an era where Democrats and Republicans are daily at each others’ throats and little gets done to benefit the 99 percent. Meanwhile, growing numbers of our fellow citizens are living on the edge of the abyss.

unnamed-72.jpgThis is a sure formula for more confrontations or worse! Talks of impeachment are also in the air, along with – bullets.

On Wednesday morning in northern Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C., a demented gunman, who is also a Republican/Trump hater, “targeted” Republican Congressmen and opened fire on them. They were participating in a baseball practice. One Congressman, Rep. Steve Scalise, (Rep. LA), was wounded. His condition is listed as “critical.”

The gunman, who was using an assault rifle, was killed by the return fire of the Capitol Police’s security detail. He was identified as James T. Hodgkinson, age 66, from Belleville, IL. In the last presidential election, he had campaigned passionately for Bernie Sanders for president! (The “Bern” immediately disowned the head case, Hodgkinson.)

Our America, via its “Deep State” operatives, has a notorious record of removing foreign leaders, whose politics our elite insiders oppose, by any means necessary, including – murder. A case in point was the CIA-orchestrated assassination in 1973, of Chile’s Socialist President, Salvador Allende. The fingerprints of then-President Richard M. Nixon and his alter-ego, Henry Kissinger, are all over that foul deed.

A sage once warned: “Karma is a bitch!”

This brings us back to Veciana. He is a native of Cuba, who now resides in Miami, FL. He is 88 years old and in failing health. He insisted that he wrote the book because he no longer feared a Cuban-inspired assassination attempt on himself. Veciana said it was time to reveal “the truth about his double life.”

In his book, written with Carlos Harrison, Veciana recounts his amazing transformation, beginning in 1959, from a mild manner accountant in Havana, to a paid CIA asset, a spy, a wannabe Fidel Castro assassin and a terrorist.

(Veciana was raised in the “Old Town” part of Havana, which I visited in May of last year. His book was published before the death of Castro. I couldn’t help noticing while I was in Cuba, that the iconic Che Guevara was held in higher esteem than Castro.)

Like many of his fellow Cubans, Veciana opposed the dictator Fulgenico Batista, who came to power in 1952. On January 1, 1959, Batista fled Cuba for Spain. Castro and his supporters then took over.

Fidel_Castro-UN_General_Assembly_1960-23

Fidel Castro at the U.N. General Assembly, 1960

At first, Veciana added, “Everyone saw Castro as a hero.” In the end, however, he became just another “dictator,” like Batista. He only wanted “power for himself.” Veciana soon joined the Castro opposition.

Veciana then met a man known as “Maurice Bishop.” His real moniker was David Atlee Phillips. He would later become the CIA’s chief of Western Hemisphere operations and Veciana’s handler.

For all the failed hit jobs on Castro, Bishop supplied Veciana with the “training, the money, the intelligence and the weapons.” Veciana details all of the assassination attempts in his book. Some of the capers, however, read like a “keystone cop” operation, including the one where they were going to kill Castro with a (double gasp) – “poison pen!”

When Veciana finally ran out of gas as a CIA asset, in July, 1973, Bishop retired him. He then gave him $253,000 as a “honorarium.” Gee, a nice deal if you can get it.

A failed attempt, in Miami, on Veciana’s life soon followed. Eventually, both Bishop and Veciana testified, in the late 70s, before a Select House Committee investigating the JFK assassination. Bishop died in 1988. There is also an embarrassing incident in Veciana’s background that is revealed.

Jack-Ruby-shooting-Lee-Harvey-Oswald-231

Was Jack Ruby acting alone when he killed Lee Harvey Oswald? (Wikimedia Commons)

The most shocking revelation in this memoir is the author’s claim that he met Lee Harvey Oswald, in a Dallas, Texas, hotel lobby, with Bishop, only days before JFK’s assassination, on November, 22, 1963. If true, it would give credence to Oswald final words, “I’m a patsy” and put the CIA, and Bishop/Phillips, in the center of that crime of the century.

“Trained to Kill” covers a lot of our country’s darkest chapters. It’s a darn good book, but without corroboration in key parts, its plausibility should be weighted carefully by the discerning reader.

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For those who are interested, this morning I uploaded onto Internet Archive, section 137 of the FBI Manual of Investigative Operations and Guidelines (MIOG) which discusses FBI policies and procedures regarding informants (74 pages).  https://archive.org/details/FBIMIOGSec137Informants_201706

The MIOG is the successor to what used to be known as "FBI Manual of Instructions" (MOI).  The MOI is at NARA.

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Recent article from NEWSWEEK which reports the subjects which are discussed in the JFK-related documents scheduled to be released no later than October.

http://www.newsweek.com/trump-jfk-kennedy-assassination-documents-secret-cia-russia-cuba-oswald-deep-627751

DONALD TRUMP AND THE KENNEDY ASSASSINATION: AMERICA’S MOST POWERFUL CONSPIRACY THEORIST WILL DECIDE FATE OF SECRET JFK TROVE

BY JEFFERSON MORLEY AND REX BRADFORD ON 6/21/17 AT 7:30 AM
 
He has called global warming a hoax, suggested that Barack Obama is not an American and linked autism to childhood vaccinations. And soon, President Donald Trump—America’s most powerful conspiracy theorist—will decide the fate of more than 113,000 pages of secret documents about the ultimate conspiracy theory. No, not Russian meddling in the 2016 election—the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963.

Ever since JFK was shot and killed on that fateful Friday afternoon in Dallas, theories have abounded about who really did it. The Russians? The Cubans? The CIA? During the 2016 campaign, Trump even claimed, without evidence, that the father of his Republican rival Ted Cruz might have been involved.

Now, on the year marking the 100th anniversary of Kennedy’s birth, Trump will have to decide whether highly anticipated secret JFK assassination files can be released in October as planned. By law, federal agencies such the CIA and FBI may contest the release of these records, but in that case, the president would make the final call.

Newsweek has learned that the files are twice as voluminous as previously estimated. Metadata analysis of the government’s JFK database reveals the coming files contain more than 113,000 pages of material, ranging from trivial to sensational. This trove will likely illuminate many of the events leading up to Kennedy’s murder in 1963 and other pivotal parts of the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.

Related: The CIA's Secrets About JFK, Che, and Castro Revealed in New Book By Former Operative

Credit for this goes to the JFK Assassination Records Act of 1992. Passed unanimously by Congress in the wake of Oliver Stone’s movie JFK, the law mandated that all assassination-related records in the government’s possession had to be made public within 25 years. The measure was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush, a former CIA director, and set the statutory deadline that arrives later this year.

The Cold War conspiracies documented in the coming records include: transcripts of the interrogation of a Soviet defector, a report on a suspected assassin in Mexico from the KGB Soviet intelligence service, the CIA connections of four Watergate burglars and the operational files of two CIA assassination planners.

Over the years, opinion polls have consistently shown that more than 60 percent of Americans don’t believe the official story—that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing Kennedy. To their disappointment, this coming trove of JFK documents isn’t likely to contain any “smoking guns.” But, as Politico noted in 2015, there will be plenty of potentially embarrassinginformation about the CIA, an institution Trump and his supporters have denigrated as part of the “deep state.”

The contents of the trove can be gleaned from metadata in the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) online database of JFK records. That repository catalogs the secret JFK files by document type, agency, title, subject field keywords and other metadata, including the page count for each document.

Last fall, the Mary Ferrell Foundation, a nonprofit that publishes government records related to the assassinations of JFK, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., obtained a copy of the full database of JFK records metadata from Ramon Herrera, a programmer in Houston, who scraped it from the public pages of NARA’s website.

About a third of the records are CIA documents, and another third are from the FBI. The remaining third are divided among several agencies—the Justice Department, the State Department and the Internal Revenue Service—as well as investigative bodies such as the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Activities and the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Some documents are duplicates; others may have already been released. (In an email, Martha Murphy, the chief of JFK records at the National Archives, says she can’t confirm the figure of 113, 000 pages.)

The JFK database provides many clues about what’s coming. It cites 44 memoranda, 34 reports, 19 cables, 62 letters and three affidavits, as well as 12 audio cassettes, 23 magnetic tapes, 10 sound recordings and a batch of photographs, apparently taken in Parkland Hospital in Dallas, where JFK was pronounced dead.  

Among the keywords found most frequently in the records: Jack Ruby, the Dallas nightclub owner who killed Oswald in police custody. Ruby is mentioned 119 times, mostly in IRS records. Other common tags in the JFK metadata: Russia (71), Cuba (68) and Cuban Revolutionary Council (68)—that’s the Miami-based CIA front group that sought to overthrow the government of Fidel Castro during JFK’s presidency. There are also 48 documents about Mexico and Mexico City, which Oswald visited six weeks before the assassination. And there are 47 documents that mention Castro, the charismatic Cuban strongman the CIA plotted to kill, beginning in the Eisenhower administration. Five documents contain information about Rolando Cubela, a disaffected Cuban official, known by the code name AMLASH, whom the agency recruited to assassinate Castro in late 1963. Five documents reference the KGB.

Among other mysteries, the metadata identify a series of Cold War spy tales that shaped American history.

An Infamous Mole Hunt

The records are sure to illuminate the ordeal of Yuri Nosenko, a KGB officer whose defection to the United States in January 1964 set off a bitter power struggle in the CIA that paralyzed its Soviet operations until 1970.

The agency’s chief of counterintelligence, James Angleton, claimed that Nosenko was a false defector. Angleton, the agency’s leading expert of Soviet intelligence operations, argued that Nosenko had been sent to protect a mole at CIA headquarters and hide a possible Soviet connection to Oswald. Nosenko was detained and interrogated at two secret CIA detention facilities in Maryland and Virginia. Held for more than four years without facing legal charges, Nosenko never confessed, despite Angleton’s efforts to break him. Nosenko was not tortured, but he told a 1991 Frontline TV documentary that he was dosed with LSD while in detention. He died in 2011.

The secret JFK files include transcripts of Nosenko’s interrogation, several lengthy reports and even audio tapes of him. In 1968, the CIA’s Office of Security concluded that Nosenko was a bona fide defector; so did three subsequent agency investigations. Yet that conclusion is still controversial among intelligence historians. Some cite Russia’s intervention in the 2016 presidential election as evidence that the CIA counterintelligence has consistently underestimated Russian penetration efforts.

The 42 records on Nosenko, including more than 2,000 pages of material, will almost certainly help clarify a central mystery of the mole hunt that some say drove Angleton mad.

Oswald and a KGB Assassin?  

In the History Channel’s new documentary series JFK Declassified, former CIA officer Robert Baer describes a meeting in Mexico City between Oswald and Valery Kostikov, a Soviet diplomat, six weeks before JFK was killed. On the program, Baer identifies Kostikov as “the head of KGB assassin operations.”

The CIA had touted this identification of Kostikov to the White House the day after Kennedy’s assassination, and it may have played a role in President Lyndon Johnson’s decision to support a presidential commission to as fears mounted over the Kremlin’s possible involvement in the assassination. The Warren Commission received an ominous CIA memo that repeated the allegation that Kostikov was “believed to work for Department Thirteen...of the KGB...responsible for executive action, including sabotage and assassination.”

The JFK metadata shows that the CIA has a secret 167-page file on Kostikov, which could clarify who he really was. In May 1963, counterintelligence chief Angleton had discounted him as a threat, telling FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover that he had “no information” that Kostikov was associated with the KGB’s 13th Department. The Kostikov file may also reveal more about his contact with Oswald in Mexico City six weeks before JFK was killed.

The Plumbers Plunge 

The arrest of seven burglars at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate office complex in June 1972 was the beginning of the scandal that ended with the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

A search of the online JFK database reveals the existence of more than 700 pages on the CIA connections of four of the Watergate burglars. The most notorious was Howard Hunt, a career CIA officer, prolific novelist and acerbic conservative critic of JFK’s Cuba policy. The agency has three operational files, three folders and two interviews concerning Hunt, a total of 391 pages of material.

Late in life, Hunt made some murky statements that seemed to implicate some of his CIA colleagues in a JFK conspiracy. Hunt’s remarks were not quite a “deathbed confession,” as some claim, but his use of the phrase “the big event” to describe JFK’s murder did renew questions about what he knew about what happened in Dallas.

A CIA file on James McCord, former chief of the agency’s Office of Security, runs to 267 pages. He was the burglar closest to CIA Director Richard Helms, according to The Washington Posts Bob Woodward. There are also withheld files on burglars Bernard Barker (84 pages) and Frank Fiorini, aka Frank Sturgis (35 pages).

Senator Howard Baker, vice chairman of the Senate Watergate committee, famously likened the role of the CIA in the Watergate affair to "animals crashing around in the forest—you can hear them, but you can't see them." As Woodward wrote in 2007, “Baker and many Watergate investigators came away with the sense that senior CIA officials knew more than was ever revealed.”

Seven hundred pages of what the CIA knew about the burglars are scheduled to be revealed in October.

Flawed Patriots?  

William King Harvey and David Atlee Phillips were decorated CIA officers who conducted authorized assassination operations for the agency in the 1960s. The metadata show that the JFK files include nearly 500 pages of material on their activities in the 1950s and 1960s.

Previously declassified CIA records disclosed that Harvey ran the agency’s assassination program from 1960 to 1963. It was known by the unsubtle code name ZR/Rifle. Harvey was one of the agency’s legendary operators: a fat, shrewd, gun-toting man with a prodigious work ethic, memory and appetite for booze. He was known to despise Kennedy and his brother Robert. Harvey’s admiring but appalled biographer called him a “flawed patriot,” with one of his CIA colleagues, John Whitten, calling him “a thug.” Another CIA colleague, Mark Wyatt, told a journalist that he encountered Harvey flying to Dallas on a commercial flight in November 1963, an unusual destination for the chief of the CIA’s station in Rome.

Harvey inevitably pops up in conspiracy theories about CIA involvement in Kennedy’s murder, and the agency is due to declassify 123 pages of his operational files in October, which has some people salivating. “Do the Harvey files contain travel records?” asks author David Talbot, who reported Wyatt’s story in his recent biography of Allen Dulles, The Devil’s Chessboard. “That’s what we’ll find out.”

Many are also eager to find out what the files say about Phillips, who rose to become chief of the Latin America division of the clandestine service. Acting on the orders of Nixon, Phillips ran a covert operation against leftist Chilean President Salvador Allende in 1970 that ended with the assassination of a top Chilean general and the bloody overthrow of Allende’s democratically elected government three years later.

Phillips was a person of interest for JFK investigators. When Congress re-opened the JFK inquiry in the 1970s, some House Select Committee on Assassinations investigators thought Phillips perjured himself in closed-door testimony about Oswald. Before his death in 1988, Phillips denied any role in a JFK conspiracy, but he did say on at least one occasion what Howard Hunt insinuated late in life: that JFK was ambushed by gunmen working for rogue CIA officers who used Oswald as their patsy.

Conspiracy theories aside, the new records, if released, could expose new details of the exploits of two famed undercover operatives.

‘Let’s Clear This Up’   

So what will Trump do with all that tantalizing material? The CIA has not committed to releasing the files, and a White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Politicoin May that the administration “is familiar with the requirements” of the law mandating full disclosure.

The issue White House counsel Donald McGahn will have to resolve pits congressional and public interest in full disclosure against the government’s claim to secrecy. Under the JFK Records Act, the CIA and other federal agencies have the right to postpone the release of any records whose disclosure would cause “an identifiable harm to military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement or conduct of foreign relations.” The law requires the agency seeking to maintain secrecy to prove that “the identifiable harm is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in disclosure.” That is a high bar.

Judge John Tunheim, the chairman of the civilian review panel that declassified most of the government’s JFK files, has called for release of all the remaining records. “This is all stuff from 50 years now, folks,” he said in speech at the National Press Club in March. “It’s not that important to keep protecting it.”

Baer, the former undercover CIA officer, has said the same. “There’s no sources and methods involved. Release [the records], and let’s clear this up.”

Et tu, Donald?

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