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John Simkin

Matthew Smith: JFK: The Second Plot

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Matthew Smith is a scriptwriter, television producer and writer. He is a leading authority on the assassination of John F. Kennedy and worked as a consultant on Central Television's The Men Who Killed Kennedy.

In JFK: The Second Plot, published in 1992, Smith argues that Lee Harvey Oswald was a CIA agent. Smith quotes James Wilcott, a former CIA man, who claimed that Oswald had been "recruited from the military for the express purpose of becoming a double agent assignment to the USSR." The Soviets were suspicious of Oswald and he was allowed so little freedom it was decided by the CIA to bring him home.

On his arrival back in the United States Oswald continued to pose as a left-wing activist. Smith argues Oswald was "taken over and run by renegade CIA agents who were dedicated to assassinating President Kennedy." Smith claims that J. D. Tippit and Roscoe White were also involved in this plot although he suggests that Oswald was not aware of what was going on and was being set up as a patsy. Tippit was supposed to take Oswald to Redbird Airport where he was to be flown to Cuba in order to implicate Fidel Castro in the assassination.

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Joseph Trento (Secret History of the CIA) argues that Oswald was probably working for Castro in 1963 and the assassination was carried out by two Cuban agents, Policarpo and Casas. Have you come across any information that suggests this is the case?

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Joseph Trento (Secret History of the CIA) argues that Oswald was probably working for Castro in 1963 and the assassination was carried out by two Cuban agents, Policarpo and Casas. Have you come across any information that suggests this is the case?

I have, of course, encountered many theories in which Cubans were involved in the assassination. I cannot say I have met this one before, but in my own work there enough to hack at the roots of it.

Oswald's movements from when he returned from Russia up to the time of the assassination are fairly well documented. I cannot see when such a liaison would be formed and even less when it could have been developed. At the time of the Mexico trip LHO was clearly being run by renegade CIA agents. It would be difficult to establish opportunity during this few days.

I fully believe it was the intention of the CIA agents involved in the assassination to lay a trail leading to Cuba, therefore any evidence of this would be interesting, but it would not be likely to be significant by itself.

I believe the assassination of JFK was the work of a highly competent team of (1) marksmen, (2) communications operatives, and (3) liaison personnel, and I could not remotely go with the notion of two Cuban agents carrying this out. With respect, this is little better than the Warren Report's lone gunman theory.

Wayne January's fully documented encounter with a renegade CIA pilot at Red Bird airfield was very revealing. It also established that the team of assassins was great enough to require a Douglas DC3 to take them out of Dallas.

Edited by Matthew Smith

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Matthew, while I have yet to read your book, I have a few questions about your work on The Men Who Killed Kennedy. Last year, literally in Dealey Plaza, I met Ed Tatro, who worked on the final episode about LBJ. He told me about the efforts of former Johnson aides to ban TMWKK from television in the states. Do you have any insight into this? Did their efforts extend overseas? Any pending litigation?

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Matthew,

Welcome to the Forum. I haven't read your book yet either, but I would be very interested to know the answer to the question Pat has posed concerning TMWKK.

Pat, did Tatro say who those former aides were, and if so, can you disclose their names?

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Joseph Trento (Secret History of the CIA) argues that Oswald was probably working for Castro in 1963 and the assassination was carried out by two Cuban agents, Policarpo and Casas. Have you come across any information that suggests this is the case?

I have, of course, encountered many theories in which Cubans were involved in the assassination. I cannot say I have met this one before, but in my own work there enough to hack at the roots of it.

Oswald's movements from when he returned from Russia up to the time of the assassination are fairly well documented. I cannot see when such a liaison would be formed and even less when it could have been developed. At the time of the Mexico trip LHO was clearly being run by renegade CIA agents. It would be difficult to establish opportunity during this few days.

I fully believe it was the intention of the CIA agents involved in the assassination to lay a trail leading to Cuba, therefore any evidence of this would be interesting, but it would not be likely to be significant by itself.

I believe the assassination of JFK was the work of a highly competent team of (1) marksmen, (2) communications operatives, and (3) liaison personnel, and I could not remotely go with the notion of two Cuban agents carrying this out. With respect, this is little better than the Warren Report's lone gunman theory.

Wayne January's fully documented encounter with a renegade CIA pilot at Red Bird airfield was very revealing. It also established that the team of assassins was great enough to require a Douglas DC3 to take them out of Dallas.

I have read Mathew's book, and agree that the Second Plot to blaim the assassination on Castro is an important indicator as to who the responsible party really was, especially since this plot was put into motion before the assassination.

In the course of my research I have come across many examples of the black propaganda operation that continue to this day to pin the JFK hit on Castro.

One good example is the following report, which came out shortly before Hinkley tried to kill RR.

BK

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There was indeed a well documented Castro plot to murder Reagan. As I recall, it occured while he was still Governor of California. I have evacuated my house (but not Key West) due to the scheduled arrival of Wilma Flintstone but I will post the information about this (in a Reagan biography) when the winds subside.

To Mr. Kelly:

On what basis do you assert that this was a falsely planted story, a hoax, as you put it, other than, as you wrote, you "immediately recognized" it as such? And by implication are you asserting that the attempt on Reagan's life was in fact a CIA plot?

I think this matter is of some importance and deserves attention.

Edited by Tim Gratz

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To Mr. Smith:

You wrote:

I believe the assassination of JFK was the work of a highly competent team of (1) marksmen, (2) communications operatives, and (3) liaison personnel. . .

If the intention of the plotters was to lay a false trail to Castro and use the assassination to prompt an invasion of Cuba, then they were as inept in accomplishing this as they were adroit in executing the actual assassination. Hardly the work of a highly competent team!

I understand intelligence normally involves the psychological profiling of politicians. One would think the plotters would have been aware that LBJ was a phenomenal coward and that if he believed Castro had killed his predecessor, the last thing he would do would be to put himself "in the line of fire". And there are indications that LBJ feared assassination attempts on his life. If on the other hand LBJ was part of the plot, then the plotters assuredly knew he would not go along with an invsasion of Cuba. So there are problems, in my opinion, with this theory regardless of what role, if any, you ascribe to LBJ.

Re Oswald in Mexico City, there are some who believe Oswald himself was never in Mexico City. He was at one time at Silvia Odio's house when he was supposed to be in Mexico City (as recently confirmed by Joan Mellen). Now someone claiming to be Oswald made violent statements about killing Kennedy to both pro and anti-Castro Cubans. This is consistent with the possible role of Lee Harvey Oswald as an agent provocateur attempting to flush out persons who were willing to perform violent acts against JFK. One way to possibly confirm a scenario, or at least add weight to it, is if it fits most of the available facts. This one (that Oswald was an agent provocateur employed by a US intelligence agency) does. It also makes him the perfect patsy.

I believe that the Oswald in Mexico City operation may very well have also been part of yet another scheme to kill Castro. By "establishing" Oswald's bona fides as a pro-Castro leftist, the head of the prestigious New Orleans branch of the FPCC, the plotters were hoping that LHO or someone impersonating him could get close enough to Castro to finally accomplish the dirty job.

I recommend you read Trento's book. I do not think John was deliberately misstating its premise. But it is far more complex than simply two Cubans killing Kennedy. According to Trento, the plot originated with a rebel faction of the KGB (akin to renegade CIA agents) who were unhappy with the Kennedy/Khruschev attempts to thaw the cold war. (The Soviet version of the MIC.) Part of the Soviet plot was to replace Khruschev as well as Kennedy (which was in fact accomplished less than a year after Kennedy's death). Trento even names the names of the Politburo members involved in the plot.

I differ from Mr Trento in that I think Oswald was probably working for some agency of the U. S. government.

One of the reasons why the Trento thesis appeals to me is that I remember wondering in November of 1963 whether the removal of Khruschev had anything to do with the assassination of Kennedy. As the saying goes: Coincidence or conspiracy? I am unaware of any other time in the history of the Cold War when the leaders of both the US and the Soviet Union were extraordinarily removed from office and with both events occuring within a reasonable time proximity.

Edited by Tim Gratz

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Welcome to the Forum. I haven't read your book yet either, but I would be very interested to know the answer to the question Pat has posed concerning TMWKK.

By the time this series was being distributed I had no contact with Central TV. I dissociated myself from Central because (1) I thought the producer's ideas on the assassins were rubbish and I was not consulted on the issue whatever; and (2) they simply took what I offered and ceased to use me as a consultant. I caned them financially.

It was my belief - though I cannot confirm - that the impending law suits combined with the political embarrassment this clumsy piece of work caused pressed Central to settle 'out of court'. It is also my belief it cost them millions of pounds.

It could be that individual states attempted placing an embargo on The Men Who Killed Kennedy. This would not surprise me because of the political offence the last segment caused, but it has gone on to be screened in some states, though I think the offending segment may have been deleted.

Incidentally, I heard of no cries from the LBJ camp. The problems with the series related to naming Frenchmen as the assassins.

Not sure, but I believe even the President of France leapt to their defence.

Edited by Matthew Smith

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Matthew,

Welcome to the Forum. I haven't read your book yet either, but I would be very interested to know the answer to the question Pat has posed concerning TMWKK.

Pat, did Tatro say who those former aides were, and if so, can you disclose their names?

Tatro told me the two aides who joined together with Ladybird were Bill (A World of Ideas) Moyers and Jack (say anything you want but I'll give it an NC-17) Valenti. He may have mentioned Joseph Califano as well, but I can't remember. Tatro made it sound like these men felt a loyalty to LBJ's memory, and felt bad for Ladybird, and decided to use their considerable contacts within the world of media to stop any future broadcasts. On the one hand, if they're SURE LBJ was not involved, their actions are understandable. But I just can't see how they can be so sure.

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There was indeed a well documented Castro plot to murder Reagan. As I recall, it occured while he was still Governor of California. I have evacuated my house (but not Key West) due to the scheduled arrival of Wilma Flintstone but I will post the information about this (in a Reagan biography) when the winds subside.

To Mr. Kelly:

On what basis do you assert that this was a falsely planted story, a hoax, as you put it, other than, as you wrote, you "immediately recognized" it as such? And by implication are you asserting that the attempt on Reagan's life was in fact a CIA plot?

I think this matter is of some importance and deserves attention.

Hi Tim,

Sorry its taken so long to get back to you, but I'm working on a number of projects at once.

In answer to your questions, my assertion is not that it is just a false, planted story and a hoax, but more specifically it is a perfect example of Black Propaganda - one of a number of shades of propaganda, by the guy who wrote the book on propaganda and psychological warfare, Paul Lineberger, mentor to such psychological warriors - Lansdale, David Atlee Phillips, E. Howard Hunt, Helms, Colby, et al. Linebarger was a professor at John Hops, but ran invitation only seminars out of his DC home.

Unlike white, grey and other types of propaganda, Black Propaganda is made to appear as if it comes from the enemy camp. Max Holland has been hyping the Russian's take on the assassination from their files, and is trying to make the case that Garrison was duped by Soviet black prop ops re: PERMINDEX, based on the disputed source of information.

Saying the source of the assassination plot is Castro, or one of his agents in Cuba, or a foreign newspaper is one thing, but actually - as the reporter notes - the source of the story is the NSA - the National Security Agency - the most super secert (after ONI) Ameican intelligence agency whose even existence was denied for decades.

The NSA, as the reporter admits, leaked the memo to Scripps-Howard, the company he works for, which is among the 25 news organizations considered assets of the CIA. Now I would think that there would be an investigation into the NSA leak, unless the leak was intentional, which it was. It's a Black Propaganda operation, a black prop op, perpetuated, as Mr. Mathews clearly describes in his book, to blame the assassination on Castro.

All covert operations have black prop ops run along side them as cover, diversion and attempts to control or stimulate resonses to the main cover op.

Was this part of the plot to assassinate Reagan? And how did I recognize it?

DAPhillips tells of one of Linebarger's lectures that includes an old joke about an immigrant to America whose first letter from home informs him that his beloved cat has died. Writing home requesting not to receive such bad news all at once, but break it down, and tell him first that the cat went up on the roof, and then later that it fell off, and then it died. The next leter merely said, "Grandmother's on the roof."

Linebarger's point was for good intelligence analysts to be able to see in some line of report or news, the grain of information that alerts you that something big is up.

When I saw the headline in the news that day that Castro was trying to kill Reagan, I immediately said to myself, "Grandmother's on the roof!"

The NSA leak, the SHNS source, the radio intercepts, the Carcas dateline, all the dots were connected, but I didn't actually anticipate the Hinkley Hilton incident, though yes, it was most certainly a well planned and executed, but failed attempt to kill Reagan.

The evidence that Hinkley and his copycat assassins (ie Richardson) were MKULTRIANS is extensive, and both John Judge and myself have written articles detailing same, which I will try to dig up.

Linebarger himself however, warned his students that the psychwar strategies and tactics he taught them should only be used against other countries, and that if they were used domestically, especially in political campaigns, it would destroy democracy.

I hope that answers your two questions.

And Tim, is it true that Oswald was seen at Capt'n Tony's drinking a Cuba Libra?

BK

bkjfk3@yahoo.com

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Matthew wrote:

And Tim, is it true that Oswald was seen at Capt'n Tony's drinking a Cuba Libra?

I assume you must have been in Key West. Captain Tony is a real character. His bar is located where the original Sloppy Joe's was before it moved to Duval Street. Hemingway himself helped move Sloppy Joe's the few hundred feet to its new home.

I'm not sure if Captain Tony's was here in 1963, but as I assume you may know George Faraldo, the manager of the Key West Airport, reported to a member of the Church Committee (Sen Schweiker) that he had seen Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby together at the Key West Airport in the summer of 1963. Gaeton Fonzi was sent to Key West to investigate it and he devotes a chapter to that investigation in his book. (The chapter is called "Searching for Ghosts in Key West".)

We interviewed Faraldo's widow who is certain her husband was telling the truth about what he saw. She says he repeated the story to her shortly before his death. (Curiously, the Faraldo house was located only about four houses away from where I lived. Striking coincidence that I, who have been interested in the assasination since it happened, would end up living so close to the home of a man I consider to be a rather important witness, to-wit:

A pre-assassination association between LHO and JR is, of course, fairly conclusive proof of conspiracy. I think Faraldo was probably the most credible of the several witnesses who reported seeing Oswald and Ruby together.)

Edited by Tim Gratz

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I just took "The Second Plot" out of storage and found that besides being well written, there were many worthwhile items and black and white glosssy photos in the book.

Is Matthew Smith still with us to answer additonal questions?

Bill Kelly

bkjfk3@yahoo.com

Joseph Trento (Secret History of the CIA) argues that Oswald was probably working for Castro in 1963 and the assassination was carried out by two Cuban agents, Policarpo and Casas. Have you come across any information that suggests this is the case?

I have, of course, encountered many theories in which Cubans were involved in the assassination. I cannot say I have met this one before, but in my own work there enough to hack at the roots of it.

Oswald's movements from when he returned from Russia up to the time of the assassination are fairly well documented. I cannot see when such a liaison would be formed and even less when it could have been developed. At the time of the Mexico trip LHO was clearly being run by renegade CIA agents. It would be difficult to establish opportunity during this few days.

I fully believe it was the intention of the CIA agents involved in the assassination to lay a trail leading to Cuba, therefore any evidence of this would be interesting, but it would not be likely to be significant by itself.

I believe the assassination of JFK was the work of a highly competent team of (1) marksmen, (2) communications operatives, and (3) liaison personnel, and I could not remotely go with the notion of two Cuban agents carrying this out. With respect, this is little better than the Warren Report's lone gunman theory.

Wayne January's fully documented encounter with a renegade CIA pilot at Red Bird airfield was very revealing. It also established that the team of assassins was great enough to require a Douglas DC3 to take them out of Dallas.

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