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MuckRock: Solving the mystery of the Hunt/Dallas CIA memo hoax

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"The story has done great damage to Howard Hunt.”

Gee, I would have thought the picture of Hunt crossing Elm Street a few minutes after the assassination would have been more damaging...

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Were there two Hunt memos from Angleton to Helms?  The one mentioned in the Schmuckrock article inked by Doug.  Then another at the time he was forced into retirement by Helms in 197?  The one where he reputedly asked Helms words to the effect of "we never did come up with an excuse for Hunt in Dallas did We"?  I don't remember ever seeing it reproduced.  I believe I remember some speculating this was a threat by Angleton to Helms that if he went down for past atrocities, he would spill the beans on what he claimed to be not privilege to know, "who shot John".   I should probably dig a bit more before posting this.  What has anyone else read on the memo(s).

Edited by Ron Bulman

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Didn’t Hunt lose a civil case when the jury decided he was in Dallas on the day of the assassination.

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i have some real problems with Muckrock aka Emma Best.

The whole Hunt memo was not a hoax.  There was a trial over this and the jury decided that the evidence showed that this story did not libel Hunt.  For the simple reason he could not explain where he was that day.

There is no ignoring that fact.

Trento saw the memo.  Angleton showed it to him.  And there is even more to it than that.  Because when you get into Trento's explanation for Angleton showing it to him, that really tells us a lot.

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1 hour ago, James DiEugenio said:

i have some real problems with Muckrock aka Emma Best.

The whole Hunt memo was not a hoax.  There was a trial over this and the jury decided that the evidence showed that this story did not libel Hunt.  For the simple reason he could not explain where he was that day.

There is no ignoring that fact.

Trento saw the memo.  Angleton showed it to him.  And there is even more to it than that.  Because when you get into Trento's explanation for Angleton showing it to him, that really tells us a lot.

What do you, and any others, make of the criticisms of Trento's work leveled in the Muckrock article, some of which have been around for some time?

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There is no doubt that Trento was in with these CIA higher ups.

He has the documents to prove this association as I talked to him about it.  And he was not out to publicize that association.  It took Lane a long time to find him.

You cannot use his books to denigrate his personal experience.

But that is what I expect from Muckrock and Emma Best.  They also did the same thing with Oswald and the CIA in order to try and demean Newman's Mexico City scenario in that book.

Edited by James DiEugenio

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9 hours ago, David Andrews said:

What do you, and any others, make of the criticisms of Trento's work leveled in the Muckrock article, some of which have been around for some time?

Thanks, Jim.  Larry Hancock, any opinion or certainty?

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Joseph Trento, The Secret History of the CIA, pgs 334-5

<quote on>

Who changed the coup [overthrow of Ngo Brothers in South Vietnam 11/01/63] into the murder of Diem, Nhu and a Catholic priest accompanying them? To this day, nothing has been found in government archives tying the killings to either John or Robert Kennedy. So how did the tools and talents developed by Bill Harvey for ZR/RIFLE and Operation MONGOOSE get exported to Vietnam? Kennedy immediately ordered (William R.) Corson to find out what had happened and who was responsible. The answer he came up with: “On instructions from Averell Harriman…. The orders that ended in the deaths of Diem and his brother originated with Harriman and were carried out by Henry Cabot Lodge’s own military assistant.”

Having served as ambassador to Moscow and governor of New York, W. Averell Harriman was in the middle of a long public career. In 1960, President-elect Kennedy appointed him ambassador-at-large, to operate “with the full confidence of the president and an intimate knowledge of all aspects of United States policy.” By 1963, according to Corson, Harriman was running “Vietnam without consulting the president or the attorney general.”

The president had begun to suspect that not everyone on his national security team was loyal. As Corson put it, “Kenny O’Donnell (JFK’s appointments secretary) was convinced that McGeorge Bundy, the national security advisor, was taking orders from Ambassador Averell Harriman and not the president. He was especially worried about Michael Forrestal, a young man on the White House staff who handled liaison on Vietnam with Harriman.”

At the heart of the murders was the sudden and strange recall of Sagon Station Chief Jocko Richardson and his replacement by a no-name team barely known to history. The key member was a Special Operations Army officer, John Michael Dunn, who took his orders, not from the normal CIA hierarchy but from Harriman and Forrestal.

According to Corson, “John Michael Dunn was known to be in touch with the coup plotters,” although Dunn’s role has never been made public. Corson believes that Richardson was removed so that Dunn, assigned to Ambassador Lodge for “special operations,” could act without hindrance.

<quote off>

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Edited by Cliff Varnell

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19 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

i have some real problems with Muckrock aka Emma Best.

The whole Hunt memo was not a hoax.  There was a trial over this and the jury decided that the evidence showed that this story did not libel Hunt.  For the simple reason he could not explain where he was that day.

There is no ignoring that fact.

Trento saw the memo.  Angleton showed it to him.  And there is even more to it than that.  Because when you get into Trento's explanation for Angleton showing it to him, that really tells us a lot.

I need to dig first to verify but...  I thought Hunt said he was in and Asian market in DC at the time of the assassination.  One that it turned out didn't exist at the time.  Buying leeks or something to go home and prepare a meal.  Something his kids(?) said he never did, regarding preparing meals or anything relating to the kitchen or shopping for them.

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