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Bugliosi's Conspiracy Leads


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In Reclaiming History, Vincent Bugliosi tracked down former FBI Agent Bill Kelly, who provides him with important information about a number of subjects, especially concerning Cuban G-2 infiltration of anti-Castro groups in the USA and knowledge of the plots to kill Castro and JFK.

While my father was a Camden, N.J. policeman/detective, and my FBI namesake is from nearby Trenton, we are not related. My father did not have a good impression of the FBI, though he did favorably recommend friends to the FBI Academy. This Bill Kelly is an interesting guy, and according to Pavia, a friend and Florida neighbor of E. Howard Hunt in his last years. There's a photo of Kelly and Hunt together in Hunt's home in the book, and I think much of Pavia's conent was also provided by Hunt and/or his handlers, and what TCP-Tamale Squad has to say may come into play with the latest developments.

Reclaiming History, Vincent Bugliosi (p. 1229-1230):

"….(Retired FBI agent Bill)…Kelly told me that he and George Davis were assigned to the Internal Security-Cuba section of the Miami field office, and the section was broken down into an anti-Castro squad (working with anti-Castro Cuban exiles), which Davis headed, and a pro-Castro squad (investigating Cuban exiles and Americans who were pro-Castro), of which he, Kelly was a member. Unofficially, they were called the 'Tamale Squads.'"

"Thought he had not known (Jose) Aleman, Kelly said that Davis, not Scranton, would have been Aleman's FBI contact because his recollection (which he later confirmed with two other retired agents from the Miami field office) was that Scranton did not work Internal Security. His principal job was 'police training coordinator,' and he was also assigned to the organized-crime squad. Since even in 1978, in his appearance before the HSCA, Aleman spoke broken English, I assume he spoke much worse English in 1963, and since there may have been a communication problem, I asked Kelly, if Davis spoke Spanish. 'George didn't speak a word of Spanish. We used to kid him about it.' Before Castro ascended to power in 1959, Kelly said, no one in the Miami FBI office spoke Spanish. 'There wasn't any need for it. Davis had been working Internal Security since 1956, and he just stayed on even after Castro took over. There was no better or more respected agent in the entire FBI than George Davis. As early as 1956, when no one would listen, he told the State Department that Castro was a Communist.' Kelly said that although Davis didn't speak Spanish, Scranton did. "My guess is that George took Scranton along when he spoke to Aleman."

"I asked Kelly to try to locate Scranton for me so I could interview him. Kelly finally reached Scranton by phone several days later, Scranton, in his eighties, had just had a massive stroke and was not inclined to speak to me, so I gave Kelly some questions to ask Scranton for me. In a July 31, 2000, telephone conversation with Kelly, Scranton, though speaking slowly, Kelly said, because of his stroke, said very clearly and deliberately, 'I have absolutely no recollection of Aleman ever having said that Trafficante told Aleman before the assassination, or any other time, that Kennedy was to be hit. If Aleman had made that statement to us, I guarantee I would have written it up, even if George (David) hadn't, for transmission to [FBI] headquarters."

"Scranton also confirmed that he did not work Internal Security, but Kelly, felling he already knew the answer (that Scranton could speak Spanish), did not ask Scranton why he told the Post's Crile, 'I wouldn't want to do anything to embarrass the Bureau,' and when I asked Kelly, who was very helpful, to call Scranton back on this point a few days later, Scranton was in the hospital with another stroke. When Kelly called Scranton back on August 9, after Scranton had been released from the hospital, and asked him if he had made the subject remark to the Post's Crile, he told Kelly he did not recall telling Crile this, but that it was a quarter of a century ago and in any event his memory had been affected y his recent strokes."

As circumstantial evidence as to what happened in this case, I asked Kelly how many people in the FBI chain of command would have seen a memo from Davis or Scranton quoting Trafficante as saying Kennedy was going to be hit. 'I may leave out someone along the way,' Kelly said, 'but at a minimum, Davis' memo would go to Howard Albaugh, the supervisor of the Internal Security section [of the Miami FBI field] office, then to Wesley Grapp, the agent in charge of the [Miami field] office, then, because of its extreme importance, it would be teletyped [not airtelled…]….

[bK: The bottom line of this quest, after droaning on and on for paragraphs, (he must have gotten paid by the word) Bugliosi desides that because the FBI never publicized it, Aleman never told the FBI about Trafficante's threat/foreknowledge of the assassination after all. While finding an important source on anti-Castro Cuban activities in Florida in Bill Kelly, Bugliosi apparently is unaware, since it is not listed in his bibliography, that Kelly is the subject of an entire book - The Cuba Project - Castro, Kennedy, and the FBI's Tamali Squad (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2006) by Peter Pavia.

The Cuba Project – Castro, Kennedy, and the FBI's Tamale Squad (Palgrave, Macmillan, 2006) by Peter Pavia. p.xiii

Pavia: "...(While).... researching a completely unrelated project, I befriended one of these cold warriors. He mentioned in passing, while discussing his career with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, his experience on a long-running security assignment. I asked him to tell me more, and he did."

"….This patriot's name was Bill Kelly, and he put in the better part of thirty years with the FBI, which is a lot of work. When I finished brooding over his words, I got down to my own work. I started, naturally with Kelly, who was extremely hospitable. He housed me and fed me. He occupies, spiritually, and philosophically, the dead-center of this story."

"Preliminary research turned up a notorious name from America's dirty past: E. Howard Hunt. He will live in eternal infamy in connection with the Watergate break-in (a case that Kelly was, ironically and early on, called in to investigate). I found out that the exploits of Hunt and Kelly overlapped during the period this book covers, without their ever having had direct contact, when Hunt was employed by the CIA. Now, late in life, the two had become friends who saw each other maybe once a week….."

p. 23.

"The son of a milkman, William Paul Kelly was born in Trenton, New Jersey, in 1926. As a high school kid, young William got out of bed at 2:30 in the morning to deliver milk and had enough of those wintry, predawn hours to last him a lifetime. He received a draft notice in 1944 and served in the navy, but by the time the Trentonian hit the high seas, World War II was winding down and Kelly completed his obligation as a ship's mailman. He was discharged in 1946, went to Georgetown University on the GI Bill, following through to Georgetown Law, where one of his professors was the future Washington power broker Edward Bennett Williams. Kelly's life had been completely untouched by Cuban politics, but he would eventually assume a spot on the front lines of America's fight against Castro."

"The Federal Bureau of Investigation in the 1950s was a lily-white stronghold that recruited heavily from the Catholic universities of the Northeast and Midwest. For the young Bill Kelly, a law school grad without much interest in the law beyond the criminal code, the bureau was the perfect launching pad for a civilian career. He was sworn in November of 1952. Kelly put in his time in New York, the bureau's largest field office and a required pit stop in any FBI career, where the ambitious young agent did background checks on prospective employees of the federal government."

"It should go without mentioning that the one thing a candidate for a government job could not have was any hint of affiliation with the Communist Party. Bill Kelly made sure those applicants were free of pink tinges. A transfer sent him to Columbia, South Carolina, where he found no Communists. Moonshiners, yes. Communists, no."

"….After corresponding on a near-monthly basis with Hover about how his talents could best be deployed, FBI Special Agent Bill Kelly beefed up his existing knowledge of Spanish and immersed himself in intensive language training. He was granted a transfer to Puerto Rico."

p. 54.

"…Back in San Juan, a bored Bill Kelly got an expedite transfer to Miami: pack and go. The agent and his wife, Virginia, arrived in Miami on March 3, 1959, where Special Agent Howard Albaugh informed him that he was putting him to work on an internal security team. He assigned Kelly to the Cuban Squad, joining Davis, Bob Dwyer, and others."

"…Outside of what the men were picking up from their debriefings, Miami FBI had a dearth of human intelligence. They needed informants. Kelly got to work on wiretaps, and he devoted his first months in Miami listening in on other people's phone calls. Although Kelly's Spanish was passable, he was not completely bilingual, and the other non-Spanish-speaking agents' efforts were hindered by the availability of only one full-time translator."

"Howard Albaugh expanded his Cuban team. With Holloman and others transferring in, agents split into two groups. George Davis supervised agents charged with developing intelligence on anti-Castro partisans. Kelly and Holloman bird-dogged pro-Castro people, and Albaugh, the overall squad supervisor, was also in charge of their pro-Castro subsection. In 1959, the Cuban Squad totaled ten agents. Within the year, that number would double. The agents became known to one another as the Tamale Squad. The nickname sounded slightly contemptuous if vaguely Spanish, as tamales, are more closely associated with Mexico than with Cuba. And so, with more than half the crew unfamiliar with the language, with no informants, and with no real idea of what was coming their way, Bill Kelly, Bill Holloman, Bob Dwyer, and the others set out to keep the nations safe from the Communist menace."

" 'Our job on the pro-Castro squad was to suppress the violent activities against the anti-Castro people,' Kelly said. The Cuban expatriates 'were fighting each other with sticks, stones, anything they could get their hands on.' But local cops break up street brawls. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, mandated to investigate infractions against federal statutes, had a deeper, more sophisticated problem on its hands: preventing possible violations of the Neutrality Act. The FBI would have been operating in the spirit and letter of the law as articulated in the act's Section 1 (a): 'it shall thereafter be unlawful to export, or attempt to export, or cause to be exported, any ammunition or implements of war from any place in the United States to any belligerent state,' or in the case of Cuba, to bellicose parties. One of those belligerent factions was right here at home. Toward the end of the year, FBI Miami pulled the plug on its wiretaps, and the Tamale Squad hit the street....."

[bK: While there's a lot more good stuff in Pavia's The Cuba Project, Castro, Kennedy, and the & FBI'S Tamali Squad, most of it is concerned in the build up to the Bay of Pigs, and peters out after that, also betraying Pavia's bias against Kennedy.

In misquoting JFK and missinterpreting JFIK's motives, Pavia (miss)quotes Dallek from An Unfinished Life, concerning the Bay of Pigs: "Dick bissell pushed him for the use of Navy ships and navy planes in a desperate attempt to salvage the operation. Kennedy turned him down AND LATER BRAGGED, 'They couldn't believe that a new President like me wouldn't panic and try to save his own face. Well, they had me figured all wrong.' (note 26: Dallek, An Unfinished Life, p. 365. Like some Gilded Age swell touring a turn of the twentieth-century slum, JFK in is patrician finery presided over an unmitigated disaster. The only thing missing from Dallek's retelling is a cigar, which, in fact, Kennedy was quite fond of smoking."

BK- I don't think JFK ever BRAGGED about anything in his life. It wasn't his style. By standing up to the generals and admirals at the Bay of Pigs and Cuban Missile Crisis, JFK set himself up for his own murder.

But then Bugliosi brings the FBI's Bill Kelly back into the picture with another line of inquiry - what the Pro-Castro Cuban G-2 knew and how they knew it.

Bugliosi, p. 1334 : "….There is a piece of significant circumstantial evidence,[bK repeat THIS IS A PIECE OF SIGNIFICANT CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE] - in addition to the common sense of it all, that no anti-Castro group, or even individual members thereof, was complicit in the assassination."

"It is well known that both the anti- and the pro-Castro groups were heavily infiltrated by the other side. Bill Kelly, a retired FBI agent who worked in the Internal Security-Cuba section of the Miami field office, which investigated and monitored the two groups full-time during the early 1960s, told me that 'half the anti-Castro groups were pro-Castro informants.' When I told him that sounded awfully high, he said, 'Put it this way. A lot, a lot of pro-Castro informants infiltrated the anti-Castro groups. They were called 'G-2 Agents.' G-2 was the Cuban Intelligence Service. When we'd identify them, we'd arrest them for being in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which required them to register, which they never did, with the State Department. Because these were crimes committed on American soil, the FBI, not the CIA, had jurisdiction.' Kelly noted that, 'if pro-Castro agents were operating in any other country against the interests of the United States, then it would be CIA jurisdiction. However, not all of these informants were actually G-2 people being paid by Castro. There were also volunteers.'"

"I asked Kelly to estimate the likelihood that Castro, because of this infiltration, would know if any of the anti-Castro groups were behind the assassination. 'With the level of infiltration he had, I can say he would have known with almost 100 percent metaphysical certitude,' he responded. In fact, FZBI headquarters said it believed that there were 'more than two hundred agents of Cuban G-2 in the Miami area, all targeted against the exile movement. We know that when it was learned after the assassination that Oswald had a reverence for Castro and his revolution and even had a Fair Play for Cuba chapter in New Orleans, much suspicion focused on Castro's possible involvement in the assassination. To a much lesser degree, that suspicion continues to this very day. As the HSCA said, if Castro learned that anti-Castro groups had killed Kennedy, he 'would have had the highest incentive to report' this to American authorities 'since it would have dispelled suspicions' of his involvement in the assassination. Yet no such information ever came from Castro, information he would have undoubtedly have possessed if, indeed, anti-Castro Cuban exiles had been behind Kennedy's assassination."

BK: Apparently Bugliosi is also unaware of the publication of a number of books by the former head of Cuba's G-2, Fabian Escalante, and that Escalante attended two conferences organized by COPA members to discuss what the Cubans knew about the assassination of President Kennedy. Escalante's books, published by Ocean Press, www.oceanbooks.com,au - include The Cuba Project - CIA Covert Operations Against Cuba 1959-62; JFK:The Cuba Files - The Untold Story of the Plot to Kill Kennedy; and Executive Action - 634 Ways to Kill Fidel Castro.

If there is any doubt as to what the G2 knew from its spies in the anti-Castro Cuban underground, the blerb says it all: "Cuba's investigaiton into the Kennedy assassination uncovered a conspiracy that brought together three groups that violently opposed the Cuban revolution - the Cuban exiles, the Mafia, and the CIA - who felt betrayed by the Bay of Pigs debacle and Kennedy's apparent moves toward a rapprochement with Fidel Castro."

So if Bugliosi had followed the FBI Bill Kelly's advice, and inquired into THIS SIGNIFICANT CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE - as to what the Cuba G2 actually knew, he would have learned that Kelly's trail led to just the opposite of his no conspiracy conclusion, and indicates that the nexus of CIA-Mafia-anti-Castro Cubans in Florida were behind the assassination of the President.

BK bkjfk3@yahoo.com

Edited by William Kelly
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Bill, with all due respect, and please understand that I am not defending "Reclaiming History" but only responding to the faith that you put in Fabian Escalante, IMO you are wrong in your theory and Esclanate is a xxxx and may even have been involved in the assassination himself.

You quote Bugliosi as follows:

"I asked Kelly to estimate the likelihood that Castro, because of this infiltration, would know if any of the anti-Castro groups were behind the assassination. 'With the level of infiltration he had, I can say he would have known with almost 100 percent metaphysical certitude,' he responded. In fact, FZBI headquarters said it believed that there were 'more than two hundred agents of Cuban G-2 in the Miami area, all targeted against the exile movement. We know that when it was learned after the assassination that Oswald had a reverence for Castro and his revolution and even had a Fair Play for Cuba chapter in New Orleans, much suspicion focused on Castro's possible involvement in the assassination. To a much lesser degree, that suspicion continues to this very day. As the HSCA said, if Castro learned that anti-Castro groups had killed Kennedy, he 'would have had the highest incentive to report' this to American authorities 'since it would have dispelled suspicions' of his involvement in the assassination. Yet no such information ever came from Castro, information he would have undoubtedly have possessed if, indeed, anti-Castro Cuban exiles had been behind Kennedy's assassination."

You then point out what Escalante has written about the assassination in his book.

Now, don't you suppose Kelly was talking about Castro's government making a contemporaneous report to American authorities if his intelligence organization had information that anti-Castro Cubans had killed JFK? Not only would such a contemporaneous report have absolved Castro (history would absolve him) think what might have happened to U.S. Cuban relations had Cuba helped solve the murder (and bring to justice) the murderers of the beloved US President? And Castro would have had another motive to help solve the assassination if his intelligence agency had information that anti-Castro Cubans did it. Not only would he have cleared any suspicions about Cuba and brought credit to himself, but had anti-Castro exiles been convicted of the assassination it would probably have broken the anti-Castro exile movement in the United States.

Escalante in his book (whether true or false) is referring to a post-assassination investigation conducted by G2. I doubt whether Escalante is admitting that G2 had pre-assassination knowledge that JFK was going to be "hit" by anti-Castro exiles. But it was Kelly's point that G2 had so infiltrated the anti-Castro organizations that it would have had pre-assassination knowledge. To attempt to put Kelly's logic into syllogistic form, I think it would be as follows:

PREMISE 1: G2 had so infiltrated the anti-Castro exile movement that it would have learned of any planned assassination plot.

PREMISE 2: Cuba had great incentives to reveal any such knowledge to America after the assassination when Cuba was a suspect.

PREMISE 3: Cuba never contemporaneously communicated any such knowledge.

CONCLUSION: There was no anti-Castro exile involvement in the assassination.

Now I think there may be ways to counter Kelly's argument, adopted by Bugliosi. For instance, what is the probability that Premise 1 is correct? Probably less than 50% if there was a small group of anti-Castro exiles involved in a plot. Even if one assumes the probability of Premise 1 being as high as 90%, I think Kelly's point (adopted by Bugliosi) is flawed. At a high probability level, the premise might be able to demonstrate a great unlikelihood of anti-Castro involvement, but it could not EXCLUDE such involvement as a historical fact (as Bugliosi attempts to do).

Same argument with respect to Premise 2. I think the likelihood of Premise 2 is indeed quite high but even if we assume that Premise 1 is 100% true and Premise 2 is 90% true, the argument STILL cannot be used to exclude anti-Castro involvement.

PREMISE 3 I assume is a given.

CONCLUSION. As noted above, the conclusion must fail if there is almost any possibility that EITHER Premise 1 or Premise 2 is wrong.

There is yet another problem with the reasoning. Had G2 been aware of a planned assassination before Dallas, but Cuba had only communicated it AFTER JFK's murder, I think there would be Kennedy's blood on G2's hands (just as I think there is JFK's blood on Howard Hunt's hands if, as he now claims, he had pre-assassination knowledge of a planned assassination because he did not report it and stop it).

I think Kelly's point would have been far more effective had he argued that Cuba would have had great incentive to report any knowledge of a planned assassination BEFORE the fact and PREVENT it. Even think about the effect on JFK had Castro saved his life! And think about the effect it would have had on public's attitude toward on the anti-Casto organizations.

Is it possible that anti-Castro Cubans planned JFK's murder and G2 was aware of it but took no steps to stop it because Castro would have liked to see it happen? In other words, that Castro would have considered that he gained a greater benefit by sitting on the knowledge and letting it happen than by stopping it. I could see that happening. I could even see G2 encouraging anti-Castro Cubans to kill JFK.

Re Escalante's book. Let's assume G2 only discovered knowledge of anti-Castro involvement in the assassination years after the fact. Why the heck would Castro not have revealed that to the HSCA when it interviewed him in 1978?

The only way Escalante's claims make sense, IMO, is if the G2 only discovered the involvement of anti-Castro Cubans in the plot sometime AFTER the 1978 HSCA interview with Castro.

But the claims made in Escalante's book are bogus. As I said before, Communists have no morality. They will lie whenever it suits their purpose. It does not mean that every factual assertion made by a Communist is a lie. It simply means that one must consider that a Communist will lie without any moral concern whenever it suits his or her opinion.

Finally, a comment about Escalante's assertion re Cuesta's alleged "confession". I have discussed this several times with Gordon Winslow who was there and listened to Escalante. Escalante claimed Cuesta had made a WRITTEN confession. Gordon asked Escalante to produce it and Escalante stonewalled him. Now think about this. Cuesta was BLIND. What proof is there in a statement signed by a man who cannot read what he is signing? If Cuesta was really going to confess and sign a statement of confession, why would Escalante or G2 get a tape-recorded confession from Cuesta? Escalante lied about Custa's alleged confession because it would not have been written it would have been recorded--and Escalante has NEVER (to my knowledge anyway) produced even a copy of an alleged written confession to anyone.

Think about it. What if I claimed that I had interviewed someone before his death and he had given me a WRITTEN CONFESSION and I went on to write a book about the assassination but never included a copy of the written confession? How credible is that?

The fact that Escalante lied about Cuesta leads me to conclude that every statement he made about anti-Castro exile involvement in the assassination is a damn lie! As the old legal maxim goes" "Falsus in uno . . ."

Bill, if you want to try to demonstrate anti-Castro involvement in the plot, you'll need more than the unsupported claims of a demonstrable xxxx! (Who himself may even BE a suspect!)

Edited by Tim Gratz
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Bill, with all due respect, and please understand that I am not defending "Reclaiming History" but only responding to the faith that you put in Fabian Escalante, IMO you are wrong in your theory and Esclanate is a xxxx and may even have been involved in the assassination himself.

You quote Bugliosi as follows:

"I asked Kelly to estimate the likelihood that Castro, because of this infiltration, would know if any of the anti-Castro groups were behind the assassination. 'With the level of infiltration he had, I can say he would have known with almost 100 percent metaphysical certitude,' he responded. In fact, FBI headquarters said it believed that there were 'more than two hundred agents of Cuban G-2 in the Miami area, all targeted against the exile movement. We know that when it was learned after the assassination that Oswald had a reverence for Castro and his revolution and even had a Fair Play for Cuba chapter in New Orleans, much suspicion focused on Castro's possible involvement in the assassination. To a much lesser degree, that suspicion continues to this very day. As the HSCA said, if Castro learned that anti-Castro groups had killed Kennedy, he 'would have had the highest incentive to report' this to American authorities 'since it would have dispelled suspicions' of his involvement in the assassination. Yet no such information ever came from Castro, information he would have undoubtedly have possessed if, indeed, anti-Castro Cuban exiles had been behind Kennedy's assassination."

You then point out what Escalante has written about the assassination in his book.

Now, don't you suppose Kelly was talking about Castro's government making a contemporaneous report to American authorities if his intelligence organization had information that anti-Castro Cubans had killed JFK? Not only would such a contemporaneous report have absolved Castro (history would absolve him) think what might have happened to U.S. Cuban relations had Cuba helped solve the murder (and bring to justice) the murderers of the beloved US President? And Castro would have had another motive to help solve the assassination if his intelligence agency had information that anti-Castro Cubans did it. Not only would he have cleared any suspicions about Cuba and brought credit to himself, but had anti-Castro exiles been convicted of the assassination it would probably have broken the anti-Castro exile movement in the United States.

Escalante in his book (whether true or false) is referring to a post-assassination investigation conducted by G2. I doubt whether Escalante is admitting that G2 had pre-assassination knowledge that JFK was going to be "hit" by anti-Castro exiles. But it was Kelly's point that G2 had so infiltrated the anti-Castro organizations that it would have had pre-assassination knowledge. To attempt to put Kelly's logic into syllogistic form, I think it would be as follows:

PREMISE 1: G2 had so infiltrated the anti-Castro exile movement that it would have learned of any planned assassination plot.

PREMISE 2: Cuba had great incentives to reveal any such knowledge to America after the assassination when Cuba was a suspect.

PREMISE 3: Cuba never contemporaneously communicated any such knowledge.

CONCLUSION: There was no anti-Castro exile involvement in the assassination.

Now I think there may be ways to counter Kelly's argument, adopted by Bugliosi. For instance, what is the probability that Premise 1 is correct? Probably less than 50% if there was a small group of anti-Castro exiles involved in a plot. Even if one assumes the probability of Premise 1 being as high as 90%, I think Kelly's point (adopted by Bugliosi) is flawed. At a high probability level, the premise might be able to demonstrate a great unlikelihood of anti-Castro involvement, but it could not EXCLUDE such involvement as a historical fact (as Bugliosi attempts to do).

Same argument with respect to Premise 2. I think the likelihood of Premise 2 is indeed quite high but even if we assume that Premise 1 is 100% true and Premise 2 is 90% true, the argument STILL cannot be used to exclude anti-Castro involvement.

PREMISE 3 I assume is a given.

CONCLUSION. As noted above, the conclusion must fail if there is almost any possibility that EITHER Premise 1 or Premise 2 is wrong.

There is yet another problem with the reasoning. Had G2 been aware of a planned assassination before Dallas, but Cuba had only communicated it AFTER JFK's murder, I think there would be Kennedy's blood on G2's hands (just as I think there is JFK's blood on Howard Hunt's hands if, as he now claims, he had pre-assassination knowledge of a planned assassination because he did not report it and stop it).

I think Kelly's point would have been far more effective had he argued that Cuba would have had great incentive to report any knowledge of a planned assassination BEFORE the fact and PREVENT it. Even think about the effect on JFK had Castro saved his life! And think about the effect it would have had on public's attitude toward on the anti-Casto organizations.

Is it possible that anti-Castro Cubans planned JFK's murder and G2 was aware of it but took no steps to stop it because Castro would have liked to see it happen? In other words, that Castro would have considered that he gained a greater benefit by sitting on the knowledge and letting it happen than by stopping it. I could see that happening. I could even see G2 encouraging anti-Castro Cubans to kill JFK.

Re Escalante's book. Let's assume G2 only discovered knowledge of anti-Castro involvement in the assassination years after the fact. Why the heck would Castro not have revealed that to the HSCA when it interviewed him in 1978?

The only way Escalante's claims make sense, IMO, is if the G2 only discovered the involvement of anti-Castro Cubans in the plot sometime AFTER the 1978 HSCA interview with Castro.

But the claims made in Escalante's book are bogus. As I said before, Communists have no morality. They will lie whenever it suits their purpose. It does not mean that every factual assertion made by a Communist is a lie. It simply means that one must consider that a Communist will lie without any moral concern whenever it suits his or her opinion.

Finally, a comment about Escalante's assertion re Cuesta's alleged "confession". I have discussed this several times with Gordon Winslow who was there and listened to Escalante. Escalante claimed Cuesta had made a WRITTEN confession. Gordon asked Escalante to produce it and Escalante stonewalled him. Now think about this. Cuesta was BLIND. What proof is there in a statement signed by a man who cannot read what he is signing? If Cuesta was really going to confess and sign a statement of confession, why would Escalante or G2 get a tape-recorded confession from Cuesta? Escalante lied about Custa's alleged confession because it would not have been written it would have been recorded--and Escalante has NEVER (to my knowledge anyway) produced even a copy of an alleged written confession to anyone.

Think about it. What if I claimed that I had interviewed someone before his death and he had given me a WRITTEN CONFESSION and I went on to write a book about the assassination but never included a copy of the written confession? How credible is that?

The fact that Escalante lied about Cuesta leads me to conclude that every statement he made about anti-Castro exile involvement in the assassination is a damn lie! As the old legal maxim goes" "Falsus in uno . . ."

Bill, if you want to try to demonstrate anti-Castro involvement in the plot, you'll need more than the unsupported claims of a demonstrable xxxx! (Who himself may even BE a suspect!)

Hi Tim,

Thanks for reading my post and your analysis.

While anything Escalante uncovered or says can't be used in court against any suspects, and he certainly has motive to lie, my point is that Bugliosi concludes that the Cuban G2 penetration of anti-Castro Cuban operations in USA would have provided them with info on assassination plots against Castro or JFK. Then he doesn't bother to go there to see what information is even available.

Whether you belive Escalante or not, the Cubans did come up with more info on the anti-Castro Cuban organizations than the FBI did (at least they spoke Spanish), and they claim that they can identify those suspects who were invovled in the anti-Castro plots that were turned on JFK. And those suspects are the same as ours - Morales, Phillips, Roselli, et al.

Nor do I trust Gordon Winslow any more than I do Fabian Escalante, as Gordon's postion of Archivist of the City of Miami, puts him in the center of the action. The city's municipal building is at the marina where Gordon Campbell kept his boat.

While I was an early participant in Gordon's Research Directory, which tried to network those interested in similar subjects, it also tipped our hands as to what we were working on.

While his website is a weath of great information, including partial transcripts of the COPA-Cuban conferences, Gordon and the Miami Cubans are not independent researchers, but like Peter Pavia, have an axe to grind against JFK.

As Pavia notes in his book, "The most hated man in Miami remains Fidel Castro, but he is followed closely by John F. Kennedy. Kennedy might not have been half the man, or the president, that his hagiographers would like the world to think he was; neither was he the evil traitor who turned his back on the Cuban cause...Operation Moongoose,...from the first, (was) going to include direct U.S. military involvement, but then Kennedy was assassinated. Lyndon Johnson abandoned the plan in 1964."

When the Cubans realized that JFK had no intention of using the US military to invade Cuba, and was actively conducting back channel negotiations with Castro via the UN, they pulled triggers of the guns that killed JFK.

I don't believe the anti-Castro Cubans killed JFK on their own, but they were entwined with and followed the orders and well laid plans of the CIA officers at JM/WAVE (and the mob, via Roselli), and since it was a coup, not just a conspiracy, every significant aspect of the government was covered or neutralized - cabinet, SS, military, etc.

There are two ways to solve the JFK assassination - through a normal law enforcement investigation that develops evidence to be used in court, or through a counter-intelligence CI investigation that also uses illegal sources and information that can't be used in court. The Cubans used the later, as did the USMC investigation, but we must use the former if we want to more than just satisfy our knowlege and counter the coup that remains in power.

BK

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Of course, like Fabian Escalalante, E. Howard Hunt, his neighbor and pal ex-FBI agent Bill Kelly, their mouthpiece Bugliosi, Peter Pavia and the anti-Castro Cubans are agents of disinformation that supports their ongoing operations.

On the one hand conspiracy theorists are lunatics, while on the other hand, JFK got his due.

Peter Pavia, The Cuba Project - p. 194

"...Hunt remains an irresistible target for the left and right wing nuts of every stripe, conspiracy theorist, and Internet lunatics who have long strived to link him to the assassination of John F. Kennedy."

"Hunt hasn't done himself any favors over the years by diabolically suggesting that it didn't matter who pulled the trigger, the important thing was the job was done....The allegations refused to die, and in a 2003 interview, an exasperated and bemused Hunt told me, 'Okay, I shot JFK. Now prove it.' That wasy, of course, lies madness."

BK

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Bill, we agree that the quotation from the other Bill Kelly is flawed and cannot be used to support Bugliosi's theory that the absence of a G2 report to the US demonstrates the absence of an anti-Castro Cuban conspiracy against JFK.

I hope you followed the logic of my reasoning why Escalante lied about the Cuesta confession. Any confession from a blind man would have to be recorded, not written, to be worth a darn. Moreover, Escalante has never produced the alleged written confession.

Re the Cubans' claims, as I understand all they are all bald assertions. With the exception of the alleged (but obviously non-existent) Cuesta confession, I am not aware of any "evidence" the Cubans claim to have (whether admissible or not).

And as I said before, it strains credulity to believe that they had any information prior to 1978 when the HSCA interviewed Fidel Castro at some length.

Re Gordon, he is a friend of mine. He has a huge collection of material on the assassination. I have never grilled him on it but I suspect he was a JFK suppoter. With all due respect, I think your suspicions against him are misplaced.

As you know, I fully support your proposal for a new JFK inquiry. There are still leads to be followed. Here is just one: there is a man who was briefly a Key West police officer (1960) who is currently incarcerated. He was a drug dealer for the Trafficante organization. According to the Rosselli biography, two independent informants stated this man had indicated his involvement in the Rosselli murder. This man might be able to confirm that Trafficante ordered the Rosselli hit and who knows if Trafficante was involved in the JFK matter he might even have info on that. Query however whether the evidence against him is now so "stale" that it could not be used to persuade him to talk? But he could face the death penalty if he was convicted of participation in a murder for hire.

And we all know there are other people who could be interviewed with the new information that has been developed by assassination researchers.

But let me repeat my original assertion: Escalante is a xxxx and may very well be a conspirator.

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Two areas of interest:

1. Gordon Winslow and I have enjoyed some interesting and mordantly humorous interactions at JFK Lancer events. Most memorably (for me, at least), he moderated the (in)famous Gerry Patrick Hemming Panel on which I sat with Jerry Rose and John Newman.

Gordon is a Connecticut Yankee, by the by. He plays his cards very close to the vest, and truth be told nothing I might learn about his beliefs and allegiances would surprise me.

That being said, on a basic human level I find Gordon to be an intelligent, witty, sarcastic chap whose company is always entertaining and whose presence on this Forum would be enlightening.

2. For Bill Kelly: I'm aware of an early USMC investigation focused, if the stories are to be believed, on Japan in general and Atsugi in particular. If memory serves there is first-hand testimony and a document trail to support this story. Can you tell us more of what you know?

And if you've done so on a previous thread, please direct us.

Many thanks,

Charles

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PREMISE 2: Cuba had great incentives to reveal any such knowledge to America after the assassination when Cuba was a suspect.

Welcome back, Tim. I'd just like to say, out of contrariness, that your premise 2 doesn't make any sense.

Why would Cuba have any incentive to reveal foreknowledge of the assassination, after the fact? Would that not make the Cuban government complicit in the crime?

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Ron, I was simply trying to restate Kelly's argument in syllogistic form to point out problems with that analysis. Moreover, I caught the same problem with the argument that you did.

"There is yet another problem with the reasoning. Had G2 been aware of a planned assassination before Dallas, but Cuba had only communicated it AFTER JFK's murder, I think there would be Kennedy's blood on G2's hands (just as I think there is JFK's blood on Howard Hunt's hands if, as he now claims, he had pre-assassination knowledge of a planned assassination because he did not report it and stop it).

"I think Kelly's point would have been far more effective had he argued that Cuba would have had great incentive to report any knowledge of a planned assassination BEFORE the fact and PREVENT it. Even think about the effect on JFK had Castro saved his life! And think about the effect it would have had on public's attitude toward on the anti-Casto organizations."

I think that if there was an anti-Castro exile plot against JFK, G2 might have picked up on it but that depends, of course, upon whether the plot involved only a small number of exiles who were smart enough to keep their mouths shut. I think Kelly and Bugliosi are wrong in drawing categorical conclusions that G2 was unaware of a plot against JFK by anti-Castro exiles.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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Ron, I was simply trying to restate Kelly's argument in syllogistic form to point out problems with that analysis. Moreover, I caught the same problem with the argument that you did.

Sorry, I missed where you had already covered the point.

I think that if there was an anti-Castro exile plot against JFK, G2 might have picked up on it but that depends, of course, upon whether the plot involved only a small number of exiles who were smart enough to keep their mouths shut. I think Kelly and Bugliosi are wrong in drawing categorical conclusions that G2 was unaware of a plot against JFK by anti-Castro exiles.

I have always felt that Castro must have gotten some word through his agents among the exiles. I get the impression that mouths were not being kept that shut. ("After we take care of Kennedy," etc.) Which is why I also feel that Castro did not have to hit JFK himself even if he were so inclined. It was being taken care of.

Ron

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Two areas of interest:

1. Gordon Winslow and I have enjoyed some interesting and mordantly humorous interactions at JFK Lancer events. Most memorably (for me, at least), he moderated the (in)famous Gerry Patrick Hemming Panel on which I sat with Jerry Rose and John Newman.

Gordon is a Connecticut Yankee, by the by. He plays his cards very close to the vest, and truth be told nothing I might learn about his beliefs and allegiances would surprise me.

That being said, on a basic human level I find Gordon to be an intelligent, witty, sarcastic chap whose company is always entertaining and whose presence on this Forum would be enlightening.

2. For Bill Kelly: I'm aware of an early USMC investigation focused, if the stories are to be believed, on Japan in general and Atsugi in particular. If memory serves there is first-hand testimony and a document trail to support this story. Can you tell us more of what you know?

And if you've done so on a previous thread, please direct us.

Many thanks,

Charles

Hello Charles,

Sorry about the delay in responding to this but I missed it earlier.

Gordon Winslow originally helped me by supplying me with published articles on the Rex and CIA fleet, but then he bowed out and didn't respond to anything further. His wife is Cuban and at the COPA-Cuban meetings - which he refuses to recoginize COPA as a co-sponsor, he intimidated the Cubans with his camera and asking them which exiles they killed. And like your friend GME and others, he went from COPA to LANCER and hurt COPA as much as possible. Since he is the archiveist for the city of Miami, whose municipal offices are at the marina where Gordon Winslow kept his boat, I am sure Gordon could come up with some new witnesses or documentation on the JM/WAVE operations there, but like you said, he keeps things close to the vest and don't expect him to share anything like that. I believe his alligences are to those anti-Castro Cubans who participated in the plots to kill Castro and Kennedy. So why should I trust him any more than Escalante? They're both questionable in my book.

He can set me straight if I am wrong.

As for the USMC post-assassination investigation, which concluded, according to one of those who read the report, that LHO couldn't have acomplished the assassination alone. My sources are probably yours, the HSCA report on the return flight the investigators flew, which was confirmed.

I think the air links, like with the USMC investigation, are weak links in the covert operation chain (ie. Bay of Pigs, Iran Contra, etc.), and provide a paper trail that exposes some of the actions that were ment to be concealed.

BK

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Hi Bill,

Thanks for the response.

As for Winslow's "questionable" nature -- agreed.

But if I'm reading you correctly, I must take grave issue with this statement from your preceding post:

"And like your friend GME [George Michael Evica] and others, he [Winslow] went from COPA to LANCER and hurt COPA as much as possible."

George Michael did not "go from" COPA to LANCER in the sense that he abandoned the former to embrace the latter. In point of fact, COPA saw fit to reject more than one Evica proposal/abstract (for reasons that cannot be discussed without violating a long-standing "do no harm to fellow seekers of truth" pledge), at which point he got the message and took his important and ultimately well received and published business elsewhere.

Further, and more significantly, I am not aware of a single instance in which George Michael consciously endeavored to "hurt" COPA or any of its principals. During more than one LANCER conference, he and I attempted to counterbalance much of the anti-COPA feelings that were obvious among certain LANCER leaders.

We went so far as to state during respective LANCER presentations that a factionalized research community, as evidenced by dueling Dallas conferences, plays into the hands of the enemy.

I vividly remember calling from the podium (to a packed, pre-keynote house) for LANCER's creation of what I termed (tongue firmly in cheek) a "Fair Play for COPA Committee."

Before the evening's speaking program ended, I received a tearful, melodramatic, public scolding from a LANCER bigwig for daring to make such a suggestion on LANCER's dime, so to speak.

My most vocal and impassioned defender through it all?

George Michael Evica.

Hope this helps.

Finally, in re the USMC investigation, our sources are in fact indentical.

Charles

Edited by Charles Drago
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Bill, with all due respect, and please understand that I am not defending "Reclaiming History" but only responding to the faith that you put in Fabian Escalante, IMO you are wrong in your theory and Esclanate is a xxxx and may even have been involved in the assassination himself.

You quote Bugliosi as follows:

"I asked Kelly to estimate the likelihood that Castro, because of this infiltration, would know if any of the anti-Castro groups were behind the assassination. 'With the level of infiltration he had, I can say he would have known with almost 100 percent metaphysical certitude,' he responded. In fact, FBI headquarters said it believed that there were 'more than two hundred agents of Cuban G-2 in the Miami area, all targeted against the exile movement. We know that when it was learned after the assassination that Oswald had a reverence for Castro and his revolution and even had a Fair Play for Cuba chapter in New Orleans, much suspicion focused on Castro's possible involvement in the assassination. To a much lesser degree, that suspicion continues to this very day. As the HSCA said, if Castro learned that anti-Castro groups had killed Kennedy, he 'would have had the highest incentive to report' this to American authorities 'since it would have dispelled suspicions' of his involvement in the assassination. Yet no such information ever came from Castro, information he would have undoubtedly have possessed if, indeed, anti-Castro Cuban exiles had been behind Kennedy's assassination."

You then point out what Escalante has written about the assassination in his book.

Now, don't you suppose Kelly was talking about Castro's government making a contemporaneous report to American authorities if his intelligence organization had information that anti-Castro Cubans had killed JFK? Not only would such a contemporaneous report have absolved Castro (history would absolve him) think what might have happened to U.S. Cuban relations had Cuba helped solve the murder (and bring to justice) the murderers of the beloved US President? And Castro would have had another motive to help solve the assassination if his intelligence agency had information that anti-Castro Cubans did it. Not only would he have cleared any suspicions about Cuba and brought credit to himself, but had anti-Castro exiles been convicted of the assassination it would probably have broken the anti-Castro exile movement in the United States.

Escalante in his book (whether true or false) is referring to a post-assassination investigation conducted by G2. I doubt whether Escalante is admitting that G2 had pre-assassination knowledge that JFK was going to be "hit" by anti-Castro exiles. But it was Kelly's point that G2 had so infiltrated the anti-Castro organizations that it would have had pre-assassination knowledge. To attempt to put Kelly's logic into syllogistic form, I think it would be as follows:

PREMISE 1: G2 had so infiltrated the anti-Castro exile movement that it would have learned of any planned assassination plot.

PREMISE 2: Cuba had great incentives to reveal any such knowledge to America after the assassination when Cuba was a suspect.

PREMISE 3: Cuba never contemporaneously communicated any such knowledge.

CONCLUSION: There was no anti-Castro exile involvement in the assassination.

Now I think there may be ways to counter Kelly's argument, adopted by Bugliosi. For instance, what is the probability that Premise 1 is correct? Probably less than 50% if there was a small group of anti-Castro exiles involved in a plot. Even if one assumes the probability of Premise 1 being as high as 90%, I think Kelly's point (adopted by Bugliosi) is flawed. At a high probability level, the premise might be able to demonstrate a great unlikelihood of anti-Castro involvement, but it could not EXCLUDE such involvement as a historical fact (as Bugliosi attempts to do).

Same argument with respect to Premise 2. I think the likelihood of Premise 2 is indeed quite high but even if we assume that Premise 1 is 100% true and Premise 2 is 90% true, the argument STILL cannot be used to exclude anti-Castro involvement.

PREMISE 3 I assume is a given.

CONCLUSION. As noted above, the conclusion must fail if there is almost any possibility that EITHER Premise 1 or Premise 2 is wrong.

There is yet another problem with the reasoning. Had G2 been aware of a planned assassination before Dallas, but Cuba had only communicated it AFTER JFK's murder, I think there would be Kennedy's blood on G2's hands (just as I think there is JFK's blood on Howard Hunt's hands if, as he now claims, he had pre-assassination knowledge of a planned assassination because he did not report it and stop it).

I think Kelly's point would have been far more effective had he argued that Cuba would have had great incentive to report any knowledge of a planned assassination BEFORE the fact and PREVENT it. Even think about the effect on JFK had Castro saved his life! And think about the effect it would have had on public's attitude toward on the anti-Casto organizations.

Is it possible that anti-Castro Cubans planned JFK's murder and G2 was aware of it but took no steps to stop it because Castro would have liked to see it happen? In other words, that Castro would have considered that he gained a greater benefit by sitting on the knowledge and letting it happen than by stopping it. I could see that happening. I could even see G2 encouraging anti-Castro Cubans to kill JFK.

Re Escalante's book. Let's assume G2 only discovered knowledge of anti-Castro involvement in the assassination years after the fact. Why the heck would Castro not have revealed that to the HSCA when it interviewed him in 1978?

The only way Escalante's claims make sense, IMO, is if the G2 only discovered the involvement of anti-Castro Cubans in the plot sometime AFTER the 1978 HSCA interview with Castro.

But the claims made in Escalante's book are bogus. As I said before, Communists have no morality. They will lie whenever it suits their purpose. It does not mean that every factual assertion made by a Communist is a lie. It simply means that one must consider that a Communist will lie without any moral concern whenever it suits his or her opinion.

Finally, a comment about Escalante's assertion re Cuesta's alleged "confession". I have discussed this several times with Gordon Winslow who was there and listened to Escalante. Escalante claimed Cuesta had made a WRITTEN confession. Gordon asked Escalante to produce it and Escalante stonewalled him. Now think about this. Cuesta was BLIND. What proof is there in a statement signed by a man who cannot read what he is signing? If Cuesta was really going to confess and sign a statement of confession, why would Escalante or G2 get a tape-recorded confession from Cuesta? Escalante lied about Custa's alleged confession because it would not have been written it would have been recorded--and Escalante has NEVER (to my knowledge anyway) produced even a copy of an alleged written confession to anyone.

Think about it. What if I claimed that I had interviewed someone before his death and he had given me a WRITTEN CONFESSION and I went on to write a book about the assassination but never included a copy of the written confession? How credible is that?

The fact that Escalante lied about Cuesta leads me to conclude that every statement he made about anti-Castro exile involvement in the assassination is a damn lie! As the old legal maxim goes" "Falsus in uno . . ."

Bill, if you want to try to demonstrate anti-Castro involvement in the plot, you'll need more than the unsupported claims of a demonstrable xxxx! (Who himself may even BE a suspect!)

Hi Tim,

Thanks for reading my post and your analysis.

While anything Escalante uncovered or says can't be used in court against any suspects, and he certainly has motive to lie, my point is that Bugliosi concludes that the Cuban G2 penetration of anti-Castro Cuban operations in USA would have provided them with info on assassination plots against Castro or JFK. Then he doesn't bother to go there to see what information is even available.

Whether you belive Escalante or not, the Cubans did come up with more info on the anti-Castro Cuban organizations than the FBI did (at least they spoke Spanish), and they claim that they can identify those suspects who were invovled in the anti-Castro plots that were turned on JFK. And those suspects are the same as ours - Morales, Phillips, Roselli, et al.

Nor do I trust Gordon Winslow any more than I do Fabian Escalante, as Gordon's postion of Archivist of the City of Miami, puts him in the center of the action. The city's municipal building is at the marina where Gordon Campbell kept his boat.

While I was an early participant in Gordon's Research Directory, which tried to network those interested in similar subjects, it also tipped our hands as to what we were working on.

While his website is a weath of great information, including partial transcripts of the COPA-Cuban conferences, Gordon and the Miami Cubans are not independent researchers, but like Peter Pavia, have an axe to grind against JFK.

As Pavia notes in his book, "The most hated man in Miami remains Fidel Castro, but he is followed closely by John F. Kennedy. Kennedy might not have been half the man, or the president, that his hagiographers would like the world to think he was; neither was he the evil traitor who turned his back on the Cuban cause...Operation Moongoose,...from the first, (was) going to include direct U.S. military involvement, but then Kennedy was assassinated. Lyndon Johnson abandoned the plan in 1964."

When the Cubans realized that JFK had no intention of using the US military to invade Cuba, and was actively conducting back channel negotiations with Castro via the UN, they pulled triggers of the guns that killed JFK.

I don't believe the anti-Castro Cubans killed JFK on their own, but they were entwined with and followed the orders and well laid plans of the CIA officers at JM/WAVE (and the mob, via Roselli), and since it was a coup, not just a conspiracy, every significant aspect of the government was covered or neutralized - cabinet, SS, military, etc.

There are two ways to solve the JFK assassination - through a normal law enforcement investigation that develops evidence to be used in court, or through a counter-intelligence CI investigation that also uses illegal sources and information that can't be used in court. The Cubans used the later, as did the USMC investigation, but we must use the former if we want to more than just satisfy our knowlege and counter the coup that remains in power.

BK

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