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Paz Marverde

Resounding revelations on the assassination of John Kennedy. A conversation with Stephen Jaffe, member of the Garrison’s team that reopened the investigation in 1967

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Resounding revelations on the assassination of John Kennedy. A conversation with Stephen Jaffe, member of the Garrison’s team that reopened the investigation in 1967

Note: This is a translation of an Italian article by Michele Metta. Original here

A large amount of years from now, the Italian version of Farewell America was published. The story of this book — it will be even more self-evident thanks to the exclusive revelations that I am going to give now to the L’AntiDiplomatico’s readers — is extremely peculiar, and in many ways very similar to that of another volume: Questo è Cefis (This is Cefis), a book published by a mysterious publishing house, apparently written by a likewise mysterious Giorgio Steimetz, and victim of a fast and furious disappearance due to the enormous and compromising revelations on Eugenio Cefis and the assassination of Enrico Mattei it contains. Farewell America too, with the title of L’America brucia (America burns), was here published by a mysterious publishing house, apparently written by a likewise mysterious James Hepburn, was full of astonishing revelations on the assassination of John Kennedy, and almost immediately disappeared from every Italian bookshop. So here it is the necessity to republish it in 2012, thanks to the essayist Stefania Limiti, who in fact is also the author of an appendix containing a beautiful interview to William Turner. He was — please, pay attention — a member of Jim Garrison’s team, the New Orleans DA thanks whose courage, in 1967, the investigation on the assassination of JFK was reopened, coming to so important results that it was the subject for a very appreciated and excellent Oliver Stone’s movie. Interview where Turner confided to Limiti that Farewell America was read by Garrison himself, and that at the end of his reading, a request came from France, asking for someone of the DA staff to travel to Paris in order to apprehend some very important news. Turner would have loved to go, but he absolutely cannot. So, another Garrison’s collaborator was chosen instead: Stephen Jaffe. Jaffe that I was able to reach and that after watching my documentary on the assassination of JFK, has kindly accepted to answer some questions. An even more appreciable decision, given that the revelations contained in his answers will be the subject of a still unpublished work he is writing. A first step was to ask him about a fascinating moment described by Turner of that Parisian travel: de Gaulle in person, the celebrated President of France, gave a card to Jaffe, with written on it: Je suis très sensible a la confiance que vous m’exprimez. Words undoubtedly of appreciation towards both Jaffe and Garrison. Here it is Jaffe’s answer:

The story is true. Gen. De Gaulle personally gave me his card with those words written on it. He did so in response to my request for some evidence that we met. I needed to prove that to my boss, Garrison.

A journey, that made by Jaffe, besides extremely risky and adventurous:

We were being closely watched by our own CIA. They were watching my movements but had trouble keeping up with me in Paris.

Nevertheless, Jaffe as a very positive memory of his European experience:

It was a trip during which I secured some valuable evidence for our investigation.

At talking about Farewell America, Jaffe’s story has become even richer in really fascinating details. Here they are:

I was asked to help with the publication of that book, Farewell America, which was previously to be called, “America Burns.” I suggested the title, “Farewell America” to the person who was the editor, which Garrison was going to use for his own book. The author was actually a composite of people working together for French Intelligence. They offered to appoint me the US publisher but I refused to be involved because it would have been unethical for me, as a representative of the New Orleans District Attorney, Garrison, to assist in such a commercial venture. I recommended the publisher for whom Turner worked, Ramparts Magazine. That’s how the book was published in the US but I refused any money from it on ethical grounds. They had sent me 10,000 copies of the book but I refused to even pick them up at the dock in Long Beach. That’s how careful I was as a member of Garrison’s staff.

But the most shaking element undoubtedly arrives commenting Turner’s allusion to Limiti on a top-secret meeting between Garrison and Robert Kennedy. Jaffe gave me far more than a confirmation: it was Jaffe himself to organize this extraordinary rendezvous, whose goal for sure opens new scenarios about the assassination of RFK’s motive. Here they are his words:

Before that meeting, I had a contact from a close friend of the Kennedy family who asked me to arrange the meeting. We also had help from another US Senator. RFK told Garrison in New York, at this very confidential meeting, that he was going to reopen the investigation into the assassination of President Kennedy but only after he was elected President. Only with that power, he explained, could he do so.

A phrase, this latest, able to give a deep thrill when put together what the activist and environmentalist RFK Jr., son of Robert Kennedy, declared on the fiftieth anniversary of Dallas:

My father believed the Warren Report was a shoddy piece of craftsmanship. He publicly supported the Warren Commission report but privately he was dismissive of it. My father thought that somebody [else] was involved. The evidence at this point I think is very, very convincing that it was not a lone gunman.

A thrill which becomes even deeper when we add also what written once again by JFK’s nephew inside his latest book, American values:

[CIA agent] Howard Hunt told his son that he met with the CIA’s leading anti-Castro operatives Frank Sturgis and David Morales in a CIA safe house in Miami to discuss the “big event” shortly beforehand –a plan to kill Jack.

On the day Uncle Jack was assassinated, Fidel Castro was meeting with Jean Daniel at his summer presidential palace in Varadero Beach. At one p.m. they received a phone call with news that Jack had been shot. “Es una mala noticia,” Castro said to himself. Then, turning to Daniel, “There is the end to your mission of peace. Everything is going to change.” When the news came twenty minutes later that Jack was dead, Castro called it “a catastrophe.” Then he asked Daniel: “Who is Lyndon Johnson? What authority does he have over the CIA?” Hearing that American authorities were in hot pursuit of a suspect, Castro told Daniel, “You watch and see–I know them–they will try to put the blame on us for this thing.” And he was right. According to investigators on the House Select Committee on Assassinations, immediately following Jack’s assassination, operatives in the CIA’s Western Hemisphere Division promoted evidence–later proven false–suggesting that Castro had orchestrated President Kennedy’s assassination. The Senate’s Church Committee, which investigated the assassination for two years from 1975 to ’77, concluded that Cuba had nothing to do with Jack’s murder. Dan Hardway, an attorney who served as investigator for the House Committee, told me that the source of virtually every story blaming Castro was connected to the CIA’s Western Hemisphere chief and propaganda guru, David Atlee Phillips.

This really means that Robert Kennedy’s son is pointing his finger towards the CIA about the assassination of JFK. CIA which comes back in another point of American values. This one:

[Former CIA head] Allen Dulles told a young writer in 1965, “That little Kennedy, he thought he was a god.” LBJ would later appoint Dulles to the Warren Commission investigating Jack’s assassination, a curious choice at a time when some Americans, including my father, suspected the CIA’s involvement in JFK’s murder.

CIA that –I’m concluding– comes back also in another phrase by Jaffe, this time commenting my documentary I made to synthesize my inquest. Inquest that undoubtedly shows the links between the CIA and Centro MondialeCommerciale, the Italian company Clay Shaw, incriminated by Garrison as a conspirator to kill John Kennedy, worked for; but it also shows, thanks to my exclusive papers, the connections between CMC and the subsequent Italian Strategy of Tension. Here it is his phrase, for which I absolutely thank him:

It has a number of very interesting points in it, particularly regarding Clay Shaw, who’s connection with the CIA has now been proven beyond reasonable doubt.

 

 

 

Edited by Paz Marverde

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Steve Jaffe has posted here recently. When he mentioned that as an investigator for Garrison he was sent to Paris to receive some information from French Intelligence (Perhaps one of the Intelligence officers was the source that claimed that Banister gave financial support to DeGaulle's enemies the OAS), I queried Steve about his trip and what he learned, and he said wait until his book is published. I am very interested in what he has to say, and also why it has taken so long for him to reveal it. 

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55 minutes ago, Paul Brancato said:

Steve Jaffe has posted here recently. When he mentioned that as an investigator for Garrison he was sent to Paris to receive some information from French Intelligence (Perhaps one of the Intelligence officers was the source that claimed that Banister gave financial support to DeGaulle's enemies the OAS), I queried Steve about his trip and what he learned, and he said wait until his book is published. I am very interested in what he has to say, and also why it has taken so long for him to reveal it. 

Those last eleven words are something I've wondered about in spite of his affiliation with Executive Action.  Working for Garrison is he mentioned in Destiny Betrayed, On the Trail of the Assassins, or A Farewell to Justice?  I don't remember it, but that doesn't mean much anymore.  Being Texas and Louisiana are bordering states I did wonder also if he was related to Morris Jaffe, r.e., DeMorenschild's lawyer, LBJ contributor. 

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2 hours ago, Ron Bulman said:

Those last eleven words are something I've wondered about in spite of his affiliation with Executive Action.  Working for Garrison is he mentioned in Destiny Betrayed, On the Trail of the Assassins, or A Farewell to Justice?  I don't remember it, but that doesn't mean much anymore.  Being Texas and Louisiana are bordering states I did wonder also if he was related to Morris Jaffe, r.e., DeMorenschild's lawyer, LBJ contributor. 

My guess, and it’s just a guess, is that he has a good reason. I’m really looking forward to what he’s got to say. You can probably tell from my posts that I think French Intelligence knew what went down. 

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5 hours ago, Paul Brancato said:

Steve Jaffe has posted here recently.

I perfectly remember it, and what you asked, and what he said to you in his answer. In this interview to Michele Metta, he reveals far more than what he said to you. To you, he said wait, in this interview he speaks.

Let me add that Jaffe is a very special human being, and his forthcoming book will be for sure a must read. I do invite everyone to buy it

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Posted (edited)

Paz—Thank you for bringing Farewell America to our attention. I retrieved my 1968 HB edition of the book, printed in Belgium. I have it quoted it often,  because some of the references to the “theatricality” of the event reverberated with  me. Like a few other books, I picked up vibrations that it was considered  – somehow – not  reliable because of a bias. What is known as Torbit Document, or Final Judgment by Michael Piper Collins, had this aura sprayed on them. I had picked up somewhere that this book  was the result of the investigation authorized by Daniel Patrick Moynihan. I read somewhere else that a French Intel person

Herve wrote it. It’s quite satisfying to  read of confirmations in any case. I think all books written in the 10 year period after JFK’s murder are important. It speaks volumes  that there is not one significant “journalist” in the group.

For the flow of this thread, I offer  three sections  I marked up in from my book, - which has pretty much fallen apart from the binding - but whose content remains vivid:

At the end of the 18thcentury, a Frenchman, the  Chevalier de Beaujour, wrote on his return from North America :“The American loses no opportunity to acquire wealth. Gain is the subject of all his conversation, and the motive for all his actions. Thus, there is perhaps no civilized nation in the world where there less generosity in the sentiments, less elevation  of soul  and of mind…Here, everything is weighed, calculated and sacrificed to self-interest.”( P.20)

  (On JFK😞He was not friendly to the extent that people felt close to him. His personality was witty and penetrating, and his language was as direct as the finger he so often pointed during his press conferences. Romain Gra y said that never, in seven years in the United States, had he encountered a cerebral  mechanism that functioned so perfectly.(p.41)

Caracas and then Bogata gave the President of the United States a warm welcome. In Mexico in June, 1962, he paid tribute to the Mexican revolution, and in March, 1963 in Costa Rica he defended the rights of the peasants to land and an education and called for an end to “the ancient institutions that perpetuate privileges.” (p.161)

 

Edited by Robert Harper

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29 minutes ago, Robert Harper said:

Paz—Thank you for bringing Farewell America to our attention. I retrieved my 1968 HB edition of the book, printed in Belgium. I have it quoted it often,  because some of the references to the “theatricality” of the event reverberated with  me. Like a few other books, I picked up vibrations that it was considered  – somehow – not  reliable because of a bias. What is known as Torbit Document, or Final Judgment by Michael Piper Collins, had this aura sprayed on them. I had picked up somewhere that this book  was the result of the investigation authorized by Daniel Patrick Moynihan. I read somewhere else that a French Intel person

Herve wrote it. It’s quite satisfying to  read of confirmations in any case. I think all books written in the 10 year period after JFK’s murder are important. It speaks volumes  that there is not one significant “journalist” in the group.

For the flow of this thread, I offer  three sections  I marked up in from my book, - which has pretty much fallen apart from the binding - but whose content remains vivid:

At the end of the 18thcentury, a Frenchman, the  Chevalier de Beaujour, wrote on his return from North America :“The American loses no opportunity to acquire wealth. Gain is the subject of all his conversation, and the motive for all his actions. Thus, there is perhaps no civilized nation in the world where there less generosity in the sentiments, less elevation  of soul  and of mind…Here, everything is weighed, calculated and sacrificed to self-interest.”( P.20)

  (On JFK😞He was not friendly to the extent that people felt close to him. His personality was witty and penetrating, and his language was as direct as the finger he so often pointed during his press conferences. Romain Gra y said that never, in seven years in the United States, had he encountered a cerebral  mechanism that functioned so perfectly.(p.41)

Caracas and then Bogata gave the President of the United States a warm welcome. In Mexico in June, 1962, he paid tribute to the Mexican revolution, and in March, 1963 in Costa Rica he defended the rights of the peasants to land and an education and called for an end to “the ancient institutions that perpetuate privileges.” (p.161)

 

Thank you very much, Robert. About the “theatricality”, yes: it was a tragical stage, no doubt. You know very well what that means

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16 hours ago, Paz Marverde said:

bringing Farewell America to our attention

In this book filled with illuminating passages, I just add another since it has been referred to in other threads (again, this is written 5 years after the murder):

Several members of the White House detail were not qualified for their jobs....after O'Donnell and perhaps Kellerman...Greer bears a heavy responsibility for the success of the assassination....Lawson the Secret Service advance man in Dallas let the local authorities show him around the city and his report reached the White House only the day before the President's departure. A secretary whose married boss is planning an amorous weekend in Miami takes more precaution than Ken O'Donnell did for John Kennedy in Texas.(p.297)

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3 minutes ago, Robert Harper said:

A secretary whose married boss is planning an amorous weekend in Miami takes more precaution than Ken O'Donnell did for John Kennedy in Texas

It's somehow the core of the matter 

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Steve Jaffe asked me to publish here this for him. I do it with pleasure:

Quote
First of all, I worked for Garrison, a courageous District Attorney and author, and with Mark Lane a great trial lawyer and author about the JFK case. I didn't want to write a book in those early days as I was very young. I had asked Garrison not to mention my name in the press and he always kept his promise. It would have had a negative effect on my family (my father was a distinguished Oncologist and my brothers were editors and journalists). Garrison talked about me to the media in several places which will become evident.
 
Many authors including Garrison and Lane wrote eloquently and informatively about the assassination of President Kennedy. I'm old now and can tell my story without worrying about my family. I have kept active in terms of filmmaking, with "Executive Action," and assisting John Barbour. And Lane and I have produced a documentary which I hope will come out by next year.
 
As for what I have to tell, I didn't realize the importance of it until more recently after reading many books on the case. There are great works written by scholars. I would like to correct the record in terms of what I did. I have also been moved to do it as a result of a friendship that developed years later with a member of the Kennedy family. I admire the scholars about the case of JFK and of RFK. I'm particularly pleased to see the revelations about the two cases by another profile in courage, Robert Kennedy, Jr., at such an important time.

 

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Paz - and Steve - thanks for posting this. I only asked the question about why publish now rather than back then, in order to clear the air. I felt there was a good reason. So much looking forward to reading about your experience. 

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Posted (edited)
On 7/3/2018 at 9:03 AM, Paul Brancato said:

Paz - and Steve - thanks for posting this. I only asked the question about why publish now rather than back then, in order to clear the air. I felt there was a good reason. So much looking forward to reading about your experience. 

On 6/29/2018 at 7:50 PM, Paul Brancato said:

Steve Jaffe has posted here recently. When he mentioned that as an investigator for Garrison he was sent to Paris to receive some information from French Intelligence (Perhaps one of the Intelligence officers was the source that claimed that Banister gave financial support to DeGaulle's enemies the OAS), I queried Steve about his trip and what he learned, and he said wait until his book is published. I am very interested in what he has to say, and also why it has taken so long for him to reveal it. 

 

Edited by Steve Jaffe
Not appropriate.

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