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Tim Carroll

The "Whole Bay Of Pigs Thing"

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Edited by Tim Carroll

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Good stuff, Tim.

Those peaceful overtures JFK made toward Castro you mention I believe are paramount to what happened in Dallas. When Vidal received the word via his network that an olive branch was to be extended, assassination plans began. IMO of course.

Again, excellent piece.

James

Edited by James Richards

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Great article Tim. I have been looking for a lot of Dallas/Watergate material and this summed it up perfectly, I feel we need to make contact with Hunt. He may be unwilling but its worth a try

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Good stuff, Tim.

Those peaceful overtures JFK made toward Castro you mention I believe are paramount to what happened in Dallas. When Vidal received the word via his network that an olive branch was to be extended, assassination plans began. IMO of course.

Again, excellent piece.

James

James,

Thanks for the supportive feedback; and thanks especially for the photo of Hunt with Manuel Artime. Putting this photo together with the one of Bobby Kennedy and Artime contained in the seminar piece completes the thread from Bobby to Hunt; and we already know that it was the Hunt-Nixon connection that led directly to the undoing of a second presidency in the short span of a single decade.

Manuel Artime and "Eduardo" (E. Howard Hunt)

Bobby Kennedy with Manuel Artime and Compatriots

Tim

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Tim,

Good work. One minor point, and a question. Ruiz-Williams wasn't CIA, he was a Cuban exile leader who was seriously wounded and captured in the BOP invasion. What has gotten my attention about Ruiz-Williams is an interesting fib he told about where he was on 11/22/63. While it appears that he was in Washington that day, being interviewed by Haynes Johnson for his BOP book, Ruiz-Williams told Hinckle and Turner (authors of Deadly Secrets) that he was meeting that morning with Richard Helms, E. Howard Hunt, and several other CIA agents in a Washington CIA safe house. They were headed for a late lunch when they heard of the assassination.

The reason I say this is a "fib" is that it contradicts the accounts of both principles whom Ruiz-Williams claims he was meeting with. Helms in his autobiography says he was in a meeting with CIA director McCone and others that morning, and was lunching with McCone when he got the news from Dallas. And if Hunt was meeting with Helms or any other CIA agents in Washington, why in the world did Hunt go through such contortions in the Liberty Lobby trial trying to construct an alibi regarding his whereabouts on 11/22?

I suspect that Ruiz-Williams claimed he was meeting with Helms, Hunt, and other CIA agents simply for self-aggrandizement, though of course there could be other reasons.

I was struck by your Beschloss quote, ""the most likely explanation for the cause of Kennedy's death lies in his policies." Like all "presidential historians," Beschloss is a lone nutter, is he not? What is the context of his statement? Does he think Oswald was more a strong critic of administration policies than a loser out to make a name for himself? (And why then, in Beschloss's view, I wonder, didn't Oswald state his policy differences to the press instead of "I'm just a patsy!"?)

Ron

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Responses to Ron Ecker's questions:

1. "Ruiz-Williams wasn't CIA, he was a Cuban exile leader who was seriously wounded and captured in the BOP invasion. What has gotten my attention about Ruiz-Williams is an interesting fib he told about where he was on 11/22/63. While it appears that he was in Washington that day, being interviewed by Haynes Johnson for his BOP book, Ruiz-Williams told Hinckle and Turner (authors of Deadly Secrets) that he was meeting that morning with Richard Helms, E. Howard Hunt, and several other CIA agents in a Washington CIA safe house. They were headed for a late lunch when they heard of the assassination.

The reason I say this is a "fib" is that it contradicts the accounts of both principles whom Ruiz-Williams claims he was meeting with. Helms in his autobiography says he was in a meeting with CIA director McCone and others that morning, and was lunching with McCone when he got the news from Dallas."

I'm not sure that we're really looking at a significant inconsistency here but, admittedly, this one issue involves the juggling of numerous personal minute-by-minute lunchtime accounts. The accounts are fairly consistent that there was a high-level meeting that morning according to the book you cite, Deadly Secrets. Ruiz-Williams called it "the most important meeting I ever had on the problem of Cuba." It is noted that "Williams and the CIA brass [including Helms and Hunt] were about to go out for a late lunch when they heard that the President had been shot in Dallas." [Deadly Secrets, pg. 251] This account doesn't specify that they were heading to lunch together. The inconsistent clause is the simple: "about to go out for a late lunch" rather than the alternative going out for a late lunch. Helms could have been having lunch with McCone while Ruiz-Williams was already meeting with Haynes Johnson at the Ebbitt Hotel. The book notes the following:

"Barely an hour after the news from Dallas broke, Bobby Kennedy was called by Haynes Johnson...who was...in Harry Williams's room at the Ebbitt Hotel.... Williams, who had just arrived from his penultimate meeting with CIA officials on 'the problem of Cuba' was Johnson's prime source among the Bay of Pigs veterans.... 'One of your guys did it,' Bobby told Johnson in a flat, unemotional voice. Apparently Bobby immediately assumed that the murder plots against Castro had boomeranged." [Deadly Secrets, pg. 273]

2. And if Hunt was meeting with Helms or any other CIA agents in Washington, why in the world did Hunt go through such contortions in the Liberty Lobby trial trying to construct an alibi regarding his whereabouts on 11/22?

Leaving aside the belief that Hunt was one of the three tramps in the Plaza, it is possible that his "contortions in the Liberty Lobby trial" revolved around his involvement rather than presence in Dallas on the 22nd. We have Marita Lorenz's assertion that he was at the Cabana Motel in Dallas on the 21st in his usual role as bagman but left that evening. It is not inconsistent that Hunt had returned to D.C. in time for the important meeting on the morning of the 22nd. His own account of the "late lunch" timing is that he had just been picked up by his wife and was in the car when he heard the news. In this scenario, his "contortions" may well have involved a busy working weekend, and thus lying about his children being witnesses to his presence at home.

3. I suspect that Ruiz-Williams claimed he was meeting with Helms, Hunt, and other CIA agents simply for self-aggrandizement, though of course there could be other reasons.

I have no basis for disagreement with your suspicion except to say that if there was no such meeting, that alone would constitute significant evidence of high-level, widespread cover-up.

4. I was struck by your Beschloss quote, "the most likely explanation for the cause of Kennedy's death lies in his policies." Like all "presidential historians," Beschloss is a lone nutter, is he not? What is the context of his statement? Does he think Oswald was more a strong critic of administration policies than a loser out to make a name for himself?

I appreciate the sensibility of Beschloss' remark that "the cause of Kennedy's death lies in his policies." I know of no basis for your question: "Like all 'presidential historians,' Beschloss is a lone nutter, is he not?" Beschloss has written the following:

"Both Oswald and Jack Ruby had close connections to organized crime figures that were not apparent to the public in the immediate aftermath of the assassination.... If the American people had learned in the last weeks of 1963 that the CIA had cooperated with the Mafia in an effort to assassinate Castro and that the scheme might have culminated in the death of the President, there would have been serious demands, as Kennedy had threatened after the Bay of Pigs, to shatter the Agency into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds." [The Crisis Years, pgs. 686-687]

5. And why then, in Beschloss's view, I wonder, didn't Oswald state his policy differences to the press instead of "I'm just a patsy!"?

I believe that Oswald's claim of being a patsy is strong evidence that he did not act alone or for any personal motive. People acting on behalf of causes historically trumpet said causes. A lone nut seeking recognition or a "loser out to make a name for himself," as you put it, also would not claim to be a patsy. So as to why, in "Beschloss's view," Oswald didn't "state his policy differences to the press," I'm not sure that Beschloss has ever asserted that he considers Oswald to have had any "policy differences" with Kennedy. By most accounts, Oswald admired Kennedy.

Tim

Edited by Tim Carroll

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Tim,

The meeting that Helms and McCone attended on the morning of 11/22/63 was with the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. That sounds like a different type of meeting than the one Ruiz-Williams said he attended.

On Beschloss, if you are saying that he is not a lone nutter, then I am pleasantly surprised. I have not read his books, but recall seeing him interviewed on TV, pretty much following the party line on the JFK assassination.

I don't know of any "presidential historians" (by which I mean people like Dallek who are customarily presented as such on TV, who have written books about presidents, and teach courses about them, and who comprise prestigious panels on the History Channel) who are not lone nutters, or who are at least careful not to express any credence in conspiracy theories. If Beschloss is an exception, I wish he would do more to help out the cause, but I can understand why he wouldn't want to ruin his academic reputation.

Ron

Edited by Ron Ecker

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Tim,

The meeting that Helms and McCone attended on the morning of 11/22/63 was with the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. That sounds like a different type of meeting than the one Ruiz-Williams said he attended.

On Beschloss, if you are saying that he is not a lone nutter, then I am pleasantly surprised. I have not read his books, but recall seeing him interviewed on TV, pretty much following the party line on the JFK assassination.

I don't know of any "presidential historians" (by which I mean people like Dallek who are customarily presented as such on TV, who have written books about presidents, and teach courses about them, and who comprise prestigious panels on the History Channel) who are not lone nutters, or who are at least careful not to express any credence in conspiracy theories. If Beschloss is an exception, I wish he would do more to help out the cause, but I can understand why he wouldn't want to ruin his academic reputation.

Ron

Ron,

I don't want to be understood to be saying anything about Beschloss' opinions, and I don't think that I have. I did my best to strictly adhere to quotes and sources raised by you. Having just met with Gary Mack on Friday, and the way he is represented as having sold out to lone nuttism, I am careful not to stray from a historian's printed word. I appreciate your salient questions and hope that you appreciate the precision with which I sought to answer them. By the way, I will say that Gary Mack told me directly that he has not become a lone nutter and that he still believes in the validity of Badgeman (though I do not).

As for your point that "the meeting...on the morning of 11/22/63...sounds like a different type of meeting than the one Ruiz-Williams said he attended," I would respond, again quoting the source you cited, Deadly Secrets, pg. 273, that Harry Ruiz-Williams was "Bobby's best-and-brightest choice to lead a renewed effort to get rid of Castro."

As for the careerism to which you allude regarding the way historians traditionally "grab their balls" when asked about the assassination (to borrow a euphemism from JFK), I would anticipate that Beschloss would have difficulty going along with assertions of LBJ's involvement.

Tim

Edited by Tim Carroll

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Excellent work Tim, very thorough, and you have a lot of good points. I'd thought about the Dallas/Watergate connections before, but never in great detail.

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Excellent work Tim, very thorough, and you have a lot of good points. I'd thought about the Dallas/Watergate connections before, but never in great detail.

Nic,

Thanks very much for your compliment; I always enjoy hearing from you, which is too infrequent.

Tim

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Excellent work Tim, very thorough, and you have a lot of good points. I'd thought about the Dallas/Watergate connections before, but never in great detail.

Nic,

Thanks very much for your compliment; I always enjoy hearing from you, which is too infrequent.

Tim

__________________________

Excellent paper, Tim. You have picked up where Carl left off, demonstrating just how deeply Hunt ties BOP to Watergate. Why Nixon would pay any amount Hunt demanded.

As Sam Erwin used to say "what did the president know and when did he know it?" I want to ask these qustions of Chuck Colson, John Dean, Howard Hunt, James McCord and anyone else who could shed further light on these significant Bay of Pigs/Watergate connectins to the assassination of JFK, 41 years ago today.

Your paper, and the others prsented at this seminar, needs to be published in the print media. The Dalleks be dammed, they are liars.

Great job. Love the pics too. That sure resembles McCord to me!!

Dawn

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ps The McCord photo and one bearing a strong resemblance to him are on another post from today, not this one, sorry.

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In hunts book, he claims that he wanted the money to help him with his legal bills and believed that the money was owed to him for services rendered.

undercover, howard hunt

john

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Good work, Tim.

Your analysis well presented. Have to read it a few times to pose any q's for you.

Glad you went the distance. The photo figs. are excellent.

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An excellent article Tim. Thank you for those notes and references, this has given me a lot of leads I want to explore.

Like you I am convinced that Kennedy’s foreign policy holds the key to understanding his death. It is also highly significant that he tried to keep this policy secret from the CIA. I suspect the main reason for this is that he suspected that they would leak this information to his political opponents. It has to be remembered that in 1963 Kennedy owed his popularity because of his image of being a successful Cold War warrior. In reality, he was trying to bring an end to the Cold War. If this had got out, he would probably have lost to Goldwater in 1964.

Although I believe that the assassination of JFK was carried out by anti-Castro Cubans, I am not convinced that it was this group who organized it. I say this because the anti-Castro forces did not obtain their objective in killing JFK. Cuba was not invaded and Castro was not overthrown, even though all the evidence after the first couple of days suggested that it was indeed a Cuban/Soviet operation. Why? I have attempted to answer this in my seminar. (1) This is of course pure speculation on my part, as we will never be able to find out what was really going on in the head of Johnson in the days following the assassination.

One thing is certain, the anti-Castro Cubans would have felt a sense of betrayal. I think this comes out in the book, The Bay of Pigs by Hayes Johnson, Manuel Artime, Jose Perez San Roman, Erneido Oliva and Enrique Ruiz-Williams. (2) Hostility is not shown towards the Kennedys (they especially approve of the efforts made by the brothers to get their comrades released from prison in Cuba). Their hostility is towards the CIA and right-wing figures in America who they felt abandoned them after the Bay of Pigs.

There were two main groups who benefited from the death of Kennedy.

(1) Wealthy figures involved in the oil industry. The assassination of Kennedy allowed the oil depletion allowance to be kept at 27.5 per cent. It remained unchanged during the Johnson presidency. Soon after Johnson left office it dropped to 15 per cent. According to Robert Sherrill, Johnson played an important role in its introduction. (3) A close friend of Johnson was Robert Anderson, president of the Texas Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association. Johnson and Sid Richardson managed to persuade Eisenhower to appoint Anderson as Secretary of Treasury (interestingly, they also tried to persuade Eisenhower to make Anderson his running mate in 1956 – however, he rejected this idea and kept Nixon). A few weeks after his appointment, Anderson was appointed to a cabinet committee to look at the oil industry. It was as a result of this committee that changes were made to the tax system to benefit certain figures in the oil industry (these measures actually hurt the small oil companies).

(2) The Military Industrial Complex was the group that really benefited from the death of Kennedy. The end of the Cold War would have been disastrous for them. Instead, they got the Vietnam War and a massive increase in military spending. In fact, it could be argued, that it suited the MIC to have Castro in power in Cuba. This was a constant reminder to the American people why they needed to spend so much of the GNP on defending the country from the menace of communism. It communism could reach an island just a few hundred miles off the coast, surely it could reach America as well.

I am sure Eisenhower became aware of what Johnson was up to during his presidency. I believe Eisenhower’s last speech as president is highly significant. (4) Did you know that it was censored at the last moment. The original speech did not use the phrase the “Military Industrial Complex”. It originally used the phrase the “Military Industrial Congress Complex”. Eisenhower’s point was that senior politicians was involved in this conspiracy. At the last moment he was persuaded to remove the word "Congress". Eisenhower would have had Johnson in mind when he said this.

For those who don’t know it, this is what Eisenhower said in his last speech:

Three days from now, after half a century in the service of our country, I shall lay down the responsibilities of office as, in traditional and solemn ceremony, the authority of the Presidency is vested in my successor.

This evening I come to you with a message of leave-taking and farewell, and to share a few final thoughts with you, my countrymen...

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence - economic, political, even spiritual - is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Notes

(1) http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=2310

(2) Haynes Johnson, The Bay of Pigs (1964)

(3) Robert Sherrill, The Accidental President (1967) 142-147

(4) Dwight Eisenhower, speech on the Military-Industrial Complex (17th January, 1961)

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