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Pat Speer

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  1. Being relatively new to the research "community," I find myself surprised by the amount of distrust among researchers. What with all the talk of false sponsors and disinformation one would think we had among us the plans for the A-bomb, instead of strongly held convictions on an historical event. I'm wondering as to why this is. Is it inherent in assassination research that one ponders one's own mortality? Is it due to Penn Jones' and Jim Marrs' accounting of "mysterious deaths." Is it because the possible involvement of the CIA, which is itself paranoid and which engenders paranoia in others? Or is it because the first step in becoming a part of the community is to let go of the security blanket called faith in the government? I find the level of distrust distressing. I remember putting down a book by Harry Livingstone when he accused his former partner Robert Groden of deliberately withholding important photographs. Robert Groden?? Who made his career off stealing or borrowing other people's photos and films and making them available to the public? There are many who believe the Zapruder film, the single most important piece of evidence used in keeping talks of conspiracy alive, is itself a fake. There are some even who believe that the Jim Garrison investigation was part of a plot to discredit the whole community. I think this drives the Peter Jenninggs of the world to side with Posner and his ilk. While it's clear that books by Ford, McMillan, Posner, and Myers, et al, have received help from those in favor of protecting the status quo, it's just as clear that many of the researchers and their publishers have pushed their own agenda, and have tainted their books with exaggerated claims and simplified views of human behavior. That said, I have noticed a few things here and there that have inspired momentary paranoia. A prominent writer said he'd e-mail me right back and never did, a noted web-site mislabeled some of its exhibits, etc... And so I ask you, is the paranoia based on anything real, or is it imaginary?
  2. Great post, John. Paints a fairly complete and credible portrait of what may have occurred. A couple of little tidbits that immediately came to mind which could be added into this was that even beyond concerns over his own career, LBJ may have had concerns that if Kennedy was killed by Communists it would swing the country to the Goldwater right no matter how he responded. (His fears are borne out by our current polls.) Alexander Haig, of all people, in his book Circles, claimed there was evidence for a conspiracy which was hushed up for this very reason. Another little tidbit that fits in with Ms. Baker's scenario is that Hoover's good buddy Clint Murchison was a regular visitor to the Ochsner clinic.
  3. John, you neglected to mention LBJ's most egregious use of Pearson/Anderson. While Morgan had given Pearson the Roselli story that blamed the assassination attempts on Bobby's lust for Castro's death, and purported that these assassins were tortured by Castro, came back and killed JFK, in early 67 (An obvious bit of disinformation as far as I'm concerned.) the story didn't appear for weeks later, the day after RFK embarrassed LBJ by coming out against the war. I don't believe this was a coincidence.
  4. There are three reasonable interpretations of Barnes' and the DOD's connections to the assassination. One is that they had nothing to do with the assassination. Two is that Barnes, Hunt, and Phillips (and possibly Angleton) were using Oswald to penetrate the FPCC (and also perhaps to ensnare Kostikov) , and that someone either turned Oswald or framed Oswald regarding the assassination, and that as a result the CIA covered-up their connection to Oswald. I have been reading FBI Agent Hosty's Assignment: Oswald, and while he buys Posner's theory on how Oswald did it alone, he's not so sure about Oswald's motive and suspects a possible Russian involvement. What is surprising about his book, however, seeing as it was written by a professed Oswald-did-it kinda guy, is that it details a mass cover-up within the FBI of Oswald's visit to Hosty, and of Hoover's secret inquisition of those who embarrassed the Bureau. Hosty even details how his superiors changed his answers to questions kept in his personnel file, and how he informed FBI Director Clarence Kelley of this, and how Kelley backed down rather than unveil the fraud. After reading this, it is totally reasonable to believe that the CIA has been covering up the level of their involvement with Oswald since day one. While many believers in a conspiracy accept this possibility as gospel, Hosty's book makes it palpable where even a lone-nutter can share in this belief. Third is that Barnes and the DOD were the planners of the assassination. While this may sound like froot loops to the uninitiated, the nature of the men involved in the Domestic Operations Division--a department supposedly devoted to interviewing Foreign nationals on American soil, and of trying to turn these visitors into agents--was that these men were all decisive men of action, and lovers of intrigue. Barnes himself was described by Dulles as the bravest man he ever knew. Hunt was a notorious zealot and lover of sneaky stuff, with a willingness to kill for a cause, as revealed by Gordon Liddy's book, Will. Another of Barnes' men, Hans Tofte, had landed infiltration teams in Korea only to be disgraced when it was revealed the infiltration films he'd shown his superiors had been staged. Somehow, I just don't see these men as interviewers. The Angleton memo placing Hunt in Dallas. The Phillips connection with Oswald as reported by Veciana. The behavior of the DRE, run by Joannides (and Phillips, I believe), after the assassination. The behavior of Frank Sturgis after the assassination. The statements of Morales and Phillips towards the end of their lives. Even the stories of Marita Lorenz and Robert Morrow, all point to a CIA operation by these men to kill Kennedy and blame it on Castro. Barnes, of anyone in the CIA, may have had the strongest personal motive to kill Kennedy. The disaster at the Bay of Pigs had led to the ouster of his two closest mentors at the CIA, Dulles and Bissell, and he'd been forced to work for Helms, his greatest antagonist. Furthermore, Lyman Kirkpatrick's IG report had placed much of the blame on Barnes for the disaster. And yet here was Barnes, with his own division loaded with covert ops specialists, and a close connection to old proteges like Phillips, Morales, and Robertson. And, what's more, here was Barnes running a number of cover corporations at the time of the assassination, from which he may have siphoned a significant amount of money, using American tax dollars to pay for the execution of an American President. That Barnes did kill Kennedy is questionable. That he should be considered a prime suspect in his death is unquestioned. That Richard Helms forced Barnes out of the CIA almost immediately after his becoming DCI, might also be significant. While it is undoubtedly true the two men did not see eye to eye, it is also true that the timing of Barnes' release, July 1966, coincided nicely with a growing clamor of doubts expressed about the Warren Commission, what with Inquest just in the stores and Rush To Judgment on its way. The fact that after 40 years information about the Domestic Operations Division remains so scarce might also be taken as an indication that something happened there that we're just not supposed to know about. Just my thoughts.
  5. I spent a little time at the local university library yesterday and came across a few more tidbits on Barnes and the DOD. In Ray Cline's book The CIA Under Reagan Bush and Casey pg. 245 he states that in 1975 the CIA was re-alligned and the domestic contact service was moved to the clandestine services. I'm not sure but that seems to indicate that it was previously NOT under the jurisdiction of the DDP, which could very well indicate that it was under Barnes' DOD in 1961-1963. In Uncloaking The CIA (1978), Victor Marchetti (former CIA employee--wasn't he Helms' assistant?) insists on pg. 10 that the Domestic Ops Division is just like any other division, only that it does its spying in the U.S. "This area is more sensitive and requires more secrecy." Which could explain why so few of the books by former CIA honchos even mention it. Does it still exist? Did they change the name? On page 154 of this same book Kirkpatrick Sale (related to Richard Sale?) writes that according to Seymour Hersh 25 agents of the DOD were engaged in infiltration and spying on the new left within New York City alone. I need to go back and refresh my memory because for some reason I thought this infiltration was under Angleton's command. Maybe that was only the mail interception. Sale also makes note on this page that the CIA was possibly funding the Young Americans For Freedom, founded by Hunt's best buddy William F Buckley. If this is so this could indicate DOD involvement. Does anyone know if the Young Americans were involved in any anti-Castro activity? In The CIA File (1976) David Wise pg. 103 asserts that the very title of the DOD flouted the intentions of congress. He also seems to believe that the cover companies for JMWAVE --Zenith Technical Enterprises, etc. were among the proprietaries overseen by the DOD. But it was The Spymasters, from 1999, that gave me the freshest of nuggets. On pg. 88, in an interview, Richard Bissell asserts that he believed that Tracy Barnes consulted with the state department before approving the passage of carbines to dissidents in the Dominican Republic. When I followed this up by reading the Church Report pg. 200, however, I found that they found no record of any such consultation, and, not only that, they found records indicating that HQ (Barnes) requested the local station in the DR make sure that the military consul (Dearborn) also not tell the state department! It asserts that the state department wasn't told for weeks after. Dearborn told the committee that he believed someone at state had been consulted in advance... uh huh, that's why there's a cable stating that the CIA wanted them to wait for the station officer to return to the DR before consulting with the state department... Anyhow, what's surprising, considering that all the media summaries of the assassination plots try to imply that they all failed, is that one of Trujillo's assassins, Antonio de la Maza, used one of the carbines approved by Barnes!!! Thus, our boy Tracy may be the only CIA official acknowledged by the U.S. Government to have sponsored the assassination of another country's head-of-state. Looks good on the resume. Still digging!
  6. Hi, I'm Pat Speer. When I was three years old an old gentleman named Mr. Ellis handed me a Kennedy half-dollar and told me to never forget our former President, who he said was a great man. After deciding to leave the record business, in 2003, I decided it was time I figured out who killed this great man. Since that time, I have created for myself a small library of over a thousand books, mostly on American politics post ww2. While reading through these books, I discovered that there were a lot of details which remain a mystery, particularly about the JFK assassination and Watergate. I think the answers to these questions are important, especially since the current administration seems strangely connected to these not-so-ancient ancient mysteries. (Rumsfeld, Powell, Cheney, Rove, and BushI all have Nixon ties.) I'm working on a book on the JFK assassination and hope to write on other topics as well. I've also written a screenplay about the record business. Wish me luck.
  7. A bit more on Barnes... I went through my library and searched for Barnes and this is what came up... Joseph Trento's Secret History of the CIA pg 211. Barnes conducts a meeting at CIA headquarters in which he discusses the purchase of a cigarrette factory in Africa as cover. This occurs in August 61 and Bill Harvey's deputy is there. The story implies that Barnes and perhaps the DOD were at least tangentially involved with the ZRRifle program. Hickle and Turner's Deadly Secrets pg. 41 explains that Hunt was sometimes sloppy but that Barnes protected him within the agency. It goes on to say that Hunt's recommendations for Castro's assassination were given to Barnes, who presented them to the special group. (I believe it's reported elsewhere that his recommentations were given to Cushman, who gave them to Nixon) Maybe both are true. Joseph B Smith's Portrait of a Cold Warrior pg.346 confirms that Barnes was given a new division, the Domestic Operations Division, after the BOP, and that Hunt went to work for him. Anthony Summers' The Arrogance of Power, pg. 186, supports the Morrow assertion that both Barnes and Nixon were privy to the Kohly/Morrow counterfeiting scheme. Donald Freed's Death in Washington pg.46 portrays Barnes as an extremist, along with Hunt and Phillips and asserts that the DOD ran illegal domestic fronts, including one as the FPCC in New Orleans. (Does he mean Oswald?) David Wise's American Police State details pg.222 how in Feb. 1960 Barnes approved a plan to "disable" an Iraqi colonel sympathetic to communism by sending him a poison handkerchief. Sidney Gottlieb verified sending the handkerchief, but the colonel was killed by other means before he got the chance to use it. Nevertheless, this shows Barnes' openness to assassination. Oddly, according to an article by Richard Sale dated 4-10-03, Saddam Hussein was working with the CIA at that point as an assassin. Dick Russell's The Man Who Knew Too Much pg. 306 repeats Morrow's claim that Barnes had William Sullivan remove Oswald's name from the security index. More importantly, on pg. 168 he asserts that the Domestic Contact Service was part of the DOD, which means J. Walton Moore, the CIA agent who kept an eye on Oswald through De Mohrenschildt, was Barnes' employee. This could be a breakthrough! Can anyone confirm that the DCS was part of the DOD? Finally, in Richard Helms' A look Over My Shoulder he asserts that Barnes was Dulles' pet pg. 166. He goes on to say that Barnes was "unable to get the hang of secret operations" and that due to "Dulles' constant praise and pushing, Tracy apparently remained unaware of his problem." Seeing as Helms asserts elsewhere in his book, his final word on all things CIA, that the Garrison investigation and the Stone movie were the results of a long-time KGB operation, this could be disinfo perpetrated by a convicted perjurer on his deathbed. I hope others find this angle as intriguing as I do. I said it earlier, but re-reading these passages really confirms it for me. If elements of the CIA were involved in the assassination, Barnes was the one who was in the best position to both head the operation and disguise his involvement.
  8. John, I didn't include Hughes in the MIC because I believe they had different motivations. While the MIC was organized and all about the $, I believe Hughes was more about the power and that he was basically insane. Maheu's book was one of the main sources of information which led me to conclude Hughes may have been involved. Maheu is still alive and living in Las Vegas I believe. Some of the reasons why I'm suspicious of their involvement. The first attempts on Castro, including the Sturgis/Lorenz attempt, preceded official CIA involvement by months. This leads me to suspect that Maheu convinced the CIA to go after Castro. In his book he details how he was hired by Niarchos, Onassis' brother-in-law, to disrupt Onassis' oil business. Maheu then approached Richard Nixon, who made it a CIA operation and footed the bill. So there's a precedent. The Nixon angle is important. One of Maheu's business partners worked with Nixon and was traveling with Nixon throughout the 1960 campaign, not coincidentally, when the plans for the Bay of Pigs were formalized. Strangely, no one at the CIA could remember where the idea for the assassination came from--Sheff Edwards seemed to think the mafia (through Maheu, no doubt) approached him. When Maheu approached Roselli, he said that Roselli immediately suspected it was for the CIA, and he admitted it. THIS IS INCREDIBLY UNPROFESSIONAL, destroying the whole reason for his involvement! He was the cut-out. The knowledge that the CIA was officially involved amounted to a get-out-of-jail free card for the participants. Roselli, Giancana and Maheu all used it to their advantage over the next few years. Maheu, out of some misguided professional loyalty, also told Howard Hughes of the plots. ONCE AGAIN, THIS WAS INCREDIBLY UNPROFESSIONAL. The fact that Maheu was hired by Hughes to hush up the Hughes loan story, but that Nixon over-ruled him and leaked it himself, only to have it explode in his face, may have led Maheu to want to give Hughes something for his money. Maheu, when testifying before the Church committee, said that the only murders he was aware of in regards to Cuba were performed by the Kennedy Administration when they allowed the invasion at the Bay of Pigs to continue after calling off the air strike. Towards the end of his book, Maheu brags that Giancana thanked him for never talking about the CIA/Mafia plots. This is b.s. Maheu had been talking about his involvement for years in order to avoid prosection on wiretapping charges, etc. Giancana himself bragged about his own involvement. It seems likely that the "thanks" was for not talking about something else. Finally, I think it is important to note that even Hughes came to conclude that Maheu was ultimately in bed with the mob. As for Hughes' insanity, it has been acknowledged that Hughes tried to bribe LBJ to escalate the Vietnam war, for the primary purpose of selling more helicopters. He also tried to buy ABC, so that he could control programming and prevent the showing of movies depicting black people in a sexual light. That's just a start.
  9. More on Barnes: From The Very Best Men (p.311) it's clear that post BOP, Barnes, while running the Domestic Operations Division 1. had to pay off the widows of the sheep-dipped Alabama National Guard pilots killed at the Bay of Pigs. 2. did the ops no one else wanted (not explained) 3. sold off unwanted CIA assets (which means he was managing a number of paper companies--which could have been used to cover official CIA involvement in any number of schemes) 4.was put in charge of a couple of agents in India and Switxerland, who were just drawing expenses (it doesn't say what Barnes arranged for them to do) Thomas also quotes Hunt as saying that Barnes "wanted a real station doing ops in the United States." If the CIA proper was involved in the assassination, it certtainly sounds like Barnes could be the man. I also found a few tidbits on Barnes in Bitter Fruit, by Stephen Scleshinger and Stephen Kinzer, about the 1954 coup in Guatemala. While much is made of Hunt's and Phillps' roles, it's not widely reported that they both were hired by Barnes. On page 217 it details a cocktail party thrown for the CIA "heroes," attended by Eisenhower and Nixon. The heroes included Barnes, Rip Robertson and David Phillips. Hunt had already been re-assigned in Asia. Anyhow, I find it intriguing that the authors quote Phillips as claiming that Nixon asked the most incisive questions, and "demonstrated a thorough knowledge of the Guatemalan political situation." This would indicate that Nixon was well aware of Hunt and his abilities as early as 1954, seeing as Hunt was the political action officer of the coup. I found another tidbit in Presidents' Secret Wars, by John Prado. This is supported as well by Thomas' book. And that is that Barnes came from the same lawfirm as Frank Wisner and Gordon Gray, who headed the Psychological Strategy Board. In fact, Barnes' introduction to the high levels of the intelligence community came at Gray's side, after being hired as Gray's assisitant. Of course the reason this is relevant now is that the Gray family is thoroughly connected to the Bush family, with Gordon having been one of Prescott's golf buddies and his boy Boyden (Boy) being George H.W."s personal attorney. So, if Barnes was involved as the point man for a right-wing coup, there's no telling where it leads.
  10. Anthony, you are sadly misguided if you think Barry Goldwater was a KGB agent. Goldwater scared the bejeesus out of everyone with his tough talk about Communism--he'd even put you to shame. Read his autobiopgraphy. Read Conscience of a Conservative. Goldwater divided the Republican Party in '64. For many years thereafter the far right wing of the party was called the Goldwater Wing of the party. Top alumni of the Goldwater Wing include George H. W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. Goldwater went on to head the Senate intelligence committee and was probably the most trusted and respected member of the senate when it came to matters of personal integrity, occupying much the same positiion as the current Senator from Arizona, John McCain. It's ludicrous to think there was anything sneaky about the guy. He told Nixon where to go during Watergate and balled out Reagan's CIA director William Casey for hiding his secret ops in Nicaragua from the Senators who were supposed to be informed. If Goldwater had been a scoundrel and had ultimately made his far-right politics un-attractive to the American people, a la Joseph McCarthy, I might think you were onto something.
  11. John, I do believe there is someone else you've left off your list, a man who on many occasions used unethical means to change the world to his liking. a man whose right hand held influence in both the CIA and the mob, and a man who could have funded the whole operation without batting an eye, Howard Hughes. Since his right hand was Robert Maheu, and Maheu was the preferred cut-out for the CIA, it would not have been difficult at all for Maheu to have Kennedy killed by the mob and the Cubans and make it look like the CIA did it. Maheu knew (based upon the wiretapping incident) that he had a get-out-of-jail free card. It would have been no sweat at all for Maheu, Rosselli, and Giancana, with the help of a few disgruntled CIA operators--perhaps Morales, or even Barnes--to pull off the hit, knowing that LBJ, the CIA and the FBI were too cowardly to come after them. After all, LBJ had been on Carlos Marcello's payroll in the fifites, and Nixon had been in Hughes' pocket for years. Call it gut instinct, whatever, but something tells me it was Hughes who ultimately put Maheu up to it. He had the motive, means, and opportunity, AND the almost certain knowledge he wouldn't get caught. There is a reason James Angleton (the CIA link to the Warren Commission) showed up at Hughes' funeral and eulogized him as "Howard Hughes! Where his country's interests were concerned, no one knew his target better." (Not coincidentally, one of Angleton's long-time CIA co-workers, testifying under the name John Scelso, informed the HSCA that there were persistent rumors of Angleton having ties to gambling interests and having secret bank accounts in central America, where the casino-owning Hughes also had interests.)
  12. Wow, that is a good likeness. Robert Morrow claimed to be a CIA contract agent. He wrote a few novels based on his experiences with the CIA and then wrote Firsthand Knowledge, which supposedly told the true story. He claimed Barnes was his case officer and was also heavily involved with David Ferrie. Where Morrow gains credibility is that he was convicted in the 1960's for counterfeiting--he was part of a plot led by a right-wing Cuban named Mario Kohly to de-stabilize the Cuban economy by making false money and then using the false money to fund a Cuban counter-revolution. Where it gets interesting is that Richard Nixon wrote letters begging the Justice Dept. for leniency for Kohly, and Morrow re-prints them in his book. Morrow also claims he purchased three Mannlicher-Carcanos and delivered them to David Ferrie, as I remember. That part I'm not so sure about.
  13. I've spent some time looking at Myers' work and the Zap film and there are a number of "errors" in the Myers recreation. 1. JFK is already reacting when Connally is hit at 224. 2. JFK is hit again at 224, along with Connally. 3. Myers deliberately leans JFK further forward then JFK really was, as revealed by his positions at 225 and 226. The same Croft photo taken seconds before the first shot used by single-bullet nuts to show that Kennedy's jacket was "bunched" also shows that his back was against the back of the seat, yet Myers' has his back lifted off the seat by a foot or more. This allows Myers to convince himself and others that the bullet which hit JFK in the back magically missed his ribs and his collarbone and continued on to hit Connally. 4. Myers depicts JFK several inches closer to the side of the car, with his arm extended much more over the side than is revealed in the Zapruder film at any time after Z190. This makes a trajectory from JBC back through JFK and onto the TSBD possible. When JFK is put in his proper position the trajectory traces back to the Dal-Tex Building. It should also be noted that Myers changed his recreation for the ABC special. His website used to claim as its basis the trajectory connecting Connally's wounds, projected through JFK. He admitted it missed the actual location of JFK's wounds. Then, suddenly for ABC, the whole thing is supposedly based on JFK's wounds, and claims to be 100% accurate, even while it depicts the wound above JFK's shoulder in an extended neck, much like the Warren Commission, while a quick look at the autopsy photos or the HSCA drawings reveal the wound to be below his shoulder. The whole thing is a sham. It's too bad.
  14. Hi, I'm new to this forum. I've spent the last year fully absorbing myself in the JFK Assassination mystery. Consequently, I must thank Mr. Hancock on his book, one of the few to try and draw a complete and believable picture from the available information. To answer the question about Tracy Barnes. There is a fairly mainstream but nevertheless informative accounting of his life in Evan Thomas' The Very Best Men. Barnes is also a central character in Robert Morrow's Firsthand Knowledge. Between these two books, there is plenty to make one wonder if he was involved in the assassination. For example, Thomas' book relates Barnes' love of black ops, his ties to Howard Hunt, his frustration with his career around the time of the assassination, and his loyalty to Richard Bissell (who was fired by JFK). The Morrow book puts Barnes right in the center of it all.
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