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Ian A. Kerr

" ... with this Oswald business... "

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Folks,

the following is from US State Dept. archives re: the Cuban Missile Crisis.

< quote on >

382. Memorandum From Gordon Chase of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)

Washington, December 2, 1963.

//Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Cuba, Contact with Cuban Leaders, 5/63-4/65. Top Secret; Eyes Only; Sensitive.

SUBJECT

Bill Attwood Activities

1. Last week, (after President Kennedy's death) Lechuga told Lisa Howard that he had received a letter from Castro authorizing him to have a discussion with Attwood. Lechuga wondered whether things were still the same. Miss Howard said she didn't know anything. She later passed the information to Attwood.

2. Bill ran into Lechuga today at lunch, by accident. After Lechuga expressed condolences, Bill mentioned that Miss Howard had told him that Lechuga had received the above mentioned letter. Lechuga confirmed that he had been authorized to have a preliminary discussion with Bill (he did not mention from whom the letter had come although he had previously told Miss Howard that the talks were authorized by Castro). Lechuga wondered how things now stood. Bill told Lechuga he would let him know. They also agreed, that from this point on, there was no further need to use Lisa Howard as an intermediary.

3. Bill doesn't know whether Castro wrote the letter before or after the death of President Kennedy. In any event, Lechuga has apparently received no stop-order since the assassination. One might assume, therefore, that the assassination has not changed Castro's mind about talking to the U.S.

4. The ball is in our court; Bill owes Lechuga a call. What to do? Bill thinks that we have nothing to lose in listening to what Castro has to say; there is no commitment on our side. Also, it would be very interesting to know what is in the letter.

I am also dying to know what's in the letter and two weeks ago I would not have hesitated. But things are different now, particularly with this Oswald business. At a minimum, such a talk would really have to be a non-event. I, for one, would want to think this one over carefully.

GC

383. Editorial Note

At 6 p.m. on December 2, 1963, Secretary of State Rusk met with President Johnson to discuss Cuba. Also attending were Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, Director of Central Intelligence McCone, Director of the United States Information Agency Donald Wilson, and Special Assistant to the President McGeorge Bundy. Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs Edwin Martin, who apparently also attended the meeting, prepared a paper setting forth talking points for Secretary Rusk, December 2. (Department of State, S/S Files: Lot 66 D 501, Cuba) See the Supplement.

According to a memorandum from Gordon Chase to McGeorge Bundy, Bundy asked Chase to produce a "Cuban monograph" for the meeting. Chase produced a paper that he described as "an effort which attempts to give a broad sense of the main threads and problems of our policy towards Cuba, with an indication as to where we appear to be heading." Chase admitted to Bundy, "I do not yet have a real feel as to how much the President knows about Cuba," and he was not sure his paper would meet Bundy's needs, but he suggested Bundy was free to do with it what he thought best. (Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Cuba, Meetings, 12/63-3/65) Chase's paper has not been found. Chase was slated to be the notetaker at the meeting, but in light of President Johnson's inclination to "abhor a crowd," Chase volunteered to drop out. (Memorandum from Chase to Bundy, December 2; ibid.) If Chase did not attend, there may have been no notetaker and thus no record of the meeting.

< quote off >

I'd be interested in forum members analysis of the above, in particular , Chase's comment " with this Oswald business ".

Ian

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LBJ was told about these negotiations with Castro in December, 1963. He refused to continue these talks and claimed that the reason for this was that he feared that Richard Nixon, the expected Republican candidate for the presidency, would accuse him of being soft on communism.

Howard refused to give up and in 1964 she resumed talks with Fidel Castro. On 12th February, 1964, she sent a message to President Lyndon B. Johnson from Fidel Castro asking for negotiations to be restarted. When Johnson did not respond to this message she contacted Adlai Stevenson at the United Nations. On 26th June 26, Stevenson sent a memo to Johnson saying that he felt that "all of our crises could be avoided if there was some way to communicate; that for want of anything better, he assumed that he could call (Lisa Howard) and she call me and I would advise you." In a memorandum marked top secret, Gordon Chase wrote that it was important "to remove Lisa from direct participation in the business of passing messages" from Cuba.

In December, 1964, Howard met with Che Guevara to the United Nations. Details of this meeting was sent to McGeorge Bundy. When Howard got no response she arranged for Eugene McCarthy to meet with Guevara in her apartment on 16th December.

This created panic in the White House and the following day Under Secretary George Ball told McCarthy that the meeting must remain a secret because there was "suspicion throughout Latin America that the U.S. might make a deal with Cuba behind the backs of the other American states."

Howard continued to try and obtain a negotiated agreement between Fidel Castro and Lyndon B. Johnson. As a result she was fired by ABC because she had "chosen to participate publicly in partisan political activity contrary to long established ABC news policy."

Lisa Howard died at East Hampton, Long Island, on 4th July, 1965. It was officially reported that she had committed suicide. Apparently, she had taken one hundred phenobarbitols. It was claimed she was depressed as a result of losing her job and suffering a miscarriage.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKhowardL2.htm

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LBJ was told about these negotiations with Castro in December, 1963. He refused to continue these talks and claimed that the reason for this was that he feared that Richard Nixon, the expected Republican candidate for the presidency, would accuse him of being soft on communism.

Howard refused to give up and in 1964 she resumed talks with Fidel Castro. On 12th February, 1964, she sent a message to President Lyndon B. Johnson from Fidel Castro asking for negotiations to be restarted. When Johnson did not respond to this message she contacted Adlai Stevenson at the United Nations. On 26th June 26, Stevenson sent a memo to Johnson saying that he felt that "all of our crises could be avoided if there was some way to communicate; that for want of anything better, he assumed that he could call (Lisa Howard) and she call me and I would advise you." In a memorandum marked top secret, Gordon Chase wrote that it was important "to remove Lisa from direct participation in the business of passing messages" from Cuba.

In December, 1964, Howard met with Che Guevara to the United Nations. Details of this meeting was sent to McGeorge Bundy. When Howard got no response she arranged for Eugene McCarthy to meet with Guevara in her apartment on 16th December.

This created panic in the White House and the following day Under Secretary George Ball told McCarthy that the meeting must remain a secret because there was "suspicion throughout Latin America that the U.S. might make a deal with Cuba behind the backs of the other American states."

Howard continued to try and obtain a negotiated agreement between Fidel Castro and Lyndon B. Johnson. As a result she was fired by ABC because she had "chosen to participate publicly in partisan political activity contrary to long established ABC news policy."

Lisa Howard died at East Hampton, Long Island, on 4th July, 1965. It was officially reported that she had committed suicide. Apparently, she had taken one hundred phenobarbitols. It was claimed she was depressed as a result of losing her job and suffering a miscarriage.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKhowardL2.htm

It is only fair to point out, however, that LBJ also stopped the assassination plots against Castro and the other activities the Kennedys had planned against the Castro regime. He enlisted Joseph Califano to put a stop to all of the anti-Castro activities. LBJ's executive order to this effect is included in Califano's memoirs, published in 2004. (LBJ was not aware of all (or possibly any) of the assassination plots when he first came to power but the CIA did stop them all within a year or two of the assassination.) In his memoirs, Califano states that he has come to believe, as LBJ did, that Castro was probably behind the assassination of JFK, in retaliation for the U.S. efforts to kill him.

Edited by Tim Gratz

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LBJ was told about these negotiations with Castro in December, 1963. He refused to continue these talks and claimed that the reason for this was that he feared that Richard Nixon, the expected Republican candidate for the presidency, would accuse him of being soft on communism.

Howard refused to give up and in 1964 she resumed talks with Fidel Castro. On 12th February, 1964, she sent a message to President Lyndon B. Johnson from Fidel Castro asking for negotiations to be restarted. When Johnson did not respond to this message she contacted Adlai Stevenson at the United Nations. On 26th June 26, Stevenson sent a memo to Johnson saying that he felt that "all of our crises could be avoided if there was some way to communicate; that for want of anything better, he assumed that he could call (Lisa Howard) and she call me and I would advise you." In a memorandum marked top secret, Gordon Chase wrote that it was important "to remove Lisa from direct participation in the business of passing messages" from Cuba.

In December, 1964, Howard met with Che Guevara to the United Nations. Details of this meeting was sent to McGeorge Bundy. When Howard got no response she arranged for Eugene McCarthy to meet with Guevara in her apartment on 16th December.

This created panic in the White House and the following day Under Secretary George Ball told McCarthy that the meeting must remain a secret because there was "suspicion throughout Latin America that the U.S. might make a deal with Cuba behind the backs of the other American states."

Howard continued to try and obtain a negotiated agreement between Fidel Castro and Lyndon B. Johnson. As a result she was fired by ABC because she had "chosen to participate publicly in partisan political activity contrary to long established ABC news policy."

Lisa Howard died at East Hampton, Long Island, on 4th July, 1965. It was officially reported that she had committed suicide. Apparently, she had taken one hundred phenobarbitols. It was claimed she was depressed as a result of losing her job and suffering a miscarriage.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKhowardL2.htm

John,

Thanks for the background info on Howard.

I'm sure you'll find the entire group of memoranda an interesting read, so here's the URL -

http://www.state.gov/www/about_state/histo...XI/376_390.html

In a memorandum from Chase to Bundy dated Dec. 2/63 , Chase describes a meeting that Attwood had with Lechuga that day, wherein both men ( Attwood and Lechuga ) supposedly agreed not to use Howard as intermediary thereafter.

As you point out in your post, Howard did continue as intermediary, given this the question becomes - was she doing so as a private citizen ( what could she hope to accomplish alone ? ), or was she continuing to act at the behest of someone else (eg. Chase refers to Stevenson as an activist in this area ... ) ?

I am particularly interested in Chase's comment re: " this Oswald business " . I would appreciate your (and others ) opinion(s) as to what he meant by that comment. At the risk of sounding more obtuse than I am, was it simply a statement referring to the assassination ?

Ian

Edited by Ian A. Kerr

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Ian A. Kerr Posted Today, 12:46 PM

  QUOTE(John Simkin @ Jan 5 2005, 12:15 PM)

LBJ was told about these negotiations with Castro in December, 1963. He refused to continue these talks and claimed that the reason for this was that he feared that Richard Nixon, the expected Republican candidate for the presidency, would accuse him of being soft on communism.

Howard refused to give up and in 1964 she resumed talks with Fidel Castro. On 12th February, 1964, she sent a message to President Lyndon B. Johnson from Fidel Castro asking for negotiations to be restarted. When Johnson did not respond to this message she contacted Adlai Stevenson at the United Nations. On 26th June 26, Stevenson sent a memo to Johnson saying that he felt that "all of our crises could be avoided if there was some way to communicate; that for want of anything better, he assumed that he could call (Lisa Howard) and she call me and I would advise you." In a memorandum marked top secret, Gordon Chase wrote that it was important "to remove Lisa from direct participation in the business of passing messages" from Cuba.

In December, 1964, Howard met with Che Guevara to the United Nations. Details of this meeting was sent to McGeorge Bundy. When Howard got no response she arranged for Eugene McCarthy to meet with Guevara in her apartment on 16th December.

This created panic in the White House and the following day Under Secretary George Ball told McCarthy that the meeting must remain a secret because there was "suspicion throughout Latin America that the U.S. might make a deal with Cuba behind the backs of the other American states."

Howard continued to try and obtain a negotiated agreement between Fidel Castro and Lyndon B. Johnson. As a result she was fired by ABC because she had "chosen to participate publicly in partisan political activity contrary to long established ABC news policy."

Lisa Howard died at East Hampton, Long Island, on 4th July, 1965. It was officially reported that she had committed suicide. Apparently, she had taken one hundred phenobarbitols. It was claimed she was depressed as a result of losing her job and suffering a miscarriage.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKhowardL2.htm

John,

Thanks for the background info on Howard.

I'm sure you'll find the entire group of memoranda an interesting read, so here's the URL -

http://www.state.gov/www/about_state/histo...XI/376_390.html

In a memorandum from Chase to Bundy dated Dec. 2/63 , Chase describes a meeting that Attwood had with Lechuga that day, wherein both men ( Attwood and Lechuga ) supposedly agreed not to use Howard as intermediary thereafter.

As you point out in your post, Howard did continue as intermediary, given this the question becomes - was she doing so as a private citizen ( what could she hope to accomplish alone ? ), or was she continuing to act at the behest of someone else (eg. Chase refers to Stevenson as an activist in this area ... ) ?

I am particularly interested in Chase's comment re: " this Oswald business " . I would appreciate your (and others ) opinion(s) as to what he meant by that comment. At the risk of sounding more obtuse than I am, was it simply a statement referring to the assassination ?

Ian

Ian, since you asked about opinions on the comment RE: "Oswald business"; I'd say "they" are referring to Oswald's trip to Mexico and the Cuban and Russian embassies. Perhaps they were also aware of the tape recordings, photographs and even the alleged money given to "Oswald". This info was something that worried Hoover, LBJ and the CIA... Who attempted to sweep all of it under a rug...

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[ian

Ian, since you asked about opinions on the comment RE: "Oswald business"; I'd say "they" are referring to Oswald's trip to Mexico and the Cuban and Russian embassies. Perhaps they were also aware of the tape recordings, photographs and even the alleged money given to "Oswald". This info was something that worried Hoover, LBJ and the CIA... Who attempted to sweep all of it under a rug...

For what it's worth, I agree wholeheartedly with Antti. I have raised the possibility that Hoover and LBJ may have been concerned over the possibility of CIA involvement in the assassination, as well as the possibility of involvement by a foreign intelligence agency. Admittedly, this is speculation, based on the missing tape of the 11/23/63 Johnson-Hoover phone call. But the implications of involvement in the assassination by any intelligence service were probably sufficient to fuel a cover-up.

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[ian

Ian, since you asked about opinions on the comment RE: "Oswald business"; I'd say "they" are referring to Oswald's trip to Mexico and the Cuban and Russian embassies. Perhaps they were also aware of the tape recordings, photographs and even the alleged money given to "Oswald". This info was something that worried Hoover, LBJ and the CIA... Who attempted to sweep all of it under a rug...

For what it's worth, I agree wholeheartedly with Antti. I have raised the possibility that Hoover and LBJ may have been concerned over the possibility of CIA involvement in the assassination, as well as the possibility of involvement by a foreign intelligence agency. Admittedly, this is speculation, based on the missing tape of the 11/23/63 Johnson-Hoover phone call. But the implications of involvement in the assassination by any intelligence service were probably sufficient to fuel a cover-up.

Antti and Tim,

Thanks for your replies, you've hit on exactly the sort of thing I wanted to discuss.

For anyone who hasn't already read John Newman's analysis of the Oswald in Mexico tapes, etc., here's the URL - http://www.jfklancer.com/backes/newman/newman_1.html

, I believe that the Chase memo dovetails into Newman's theory fairly nicely, and is additional evidence that the fix was already in - remember the memo was written very early in Dec /63 , prior to the first ( according to Newman ) written and released summary of LHO's Mexican adventures ie.) much later in Dec .'63 The fact that it originates from a member of the NSC staff ( Chase ) to Bundy, who, after the BOP fiasco, had been positioned in a administrative re-jigging by JFK, as the focal point for all intelligence type reportage, is IMO indicative of the relative success of the cover-up to that point.

If one reads all the memoranda from the US Dept.of State (in the URL that I referenced in my original post ) it's apparent that LBJ was concurrently being advised ( pressured ? ) to continue with the effort to box Castro in, vis a vis the seeking of a coalition within the framework of the OAS, because his regime had been caught supplying arms to other latin American countries. IMO, the same forces that were fighting this communist expansionism in the Western hemisphere, were also behind the assassination of JFK. Could the back channel attempts at comprimise with Cuba ( and by extension the USSR ), embodied in the actions of JFK, Lisa Howard, Attwood, Stevenson, etc. be the true cause of Kennedy's murder, and the coup d'etat that it represented.?

If not, how much of a coincidence was it that many of the same individuals involved in the fight against Castro, esp. those affiliated with the CIA, saw their responsibilities switched to Vietnam ? - to me it's all the SSDD.

If LBJ felt any pressure to " toe the line " eg.) to stop the back channel overtures to Castro, he may have done so out of a not so misplaced sense of self - preservation... Check and Mate, really.

If we look at all this in the context of a variation on a theme, in this case, that of the Manchurian Candidate, we find that the players more than fit the scenario - at least, in a practical sense. JFK was the President that required removing ; LHO was positioned as the programmed assassin ; and LBJ was the perfect pig for the post- production party. And who said Truth wasn't stranger than fiction...?

Ian

Edited by Ian A. Kerr

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