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Dealey Plaza an Act of God


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Dealey Plaza – an Act of God or Psyco-War?

A leaflet dated April 18, 1963 and decorated with a profile of the Alamo was distributed to Cubans in Miami's Little Havana that read:

"Only through one development will you Cuban patriots ever live again in your homeland as free men.…If an inspired Act of God should place in the White House within weeks a Texan known to be a friend of all Latin Americans..."

That "an act of God" would elevate LBJ to the presidency was certainly uncanny foresight in April. But when it became reality in November such foresight becomes suspicious, and makes one question whether it really was an act of God, or an act of man after all.

The message was clear but masked in a barrage of obvious propaganda ramblings that also mentioned: "…though he must under present conditions bow to the Zionists who since 1905 came into control of the United States, and for whom Jack Kennedy and Nelson Rockefeller and other members of the Council of Foreign Relations and allied agencies are only stooges and pawns. Though Johnson must now bow to these crafty and cunning Communist-hatching Jews, yet, did an Act of God suddenly elevate him into the top position [he] would revert to what his beloved father and grandfather were, and to their values and principles and loyalties."

As William Manchester described it, the leaflet was, "Obviously encouraging support for the forcible removal of the President among the anti-Castro exiles, the broadside was signed, '…A Texan who resents the Oriental influence that has come to control, to degrade, to pollute and enslave his own people.'" 1.

This leaflet appears to be an intentional propaganda program.

According to Paul Linebarger, the author of the military issued manual on "Psychological Warfare," "Propaganda consists of the planned use of any form of public or mass-produced communication designed to affect the minds and emotions of a given group for a specific public purpose, whether military, economic, or political." 2.

Later as a distinguished professor at John Hopkins University Center for Strategic Studies, Linebarger trained three generations of CIA officers in the fine arts of political psychological warfare, after having established the OSS psychological warfare center in China and with E. Howard Hunt, the CIA office in Mexico City.

Not one to generalize, Linebarger wrote that, "This may be termed the everyday definition of propaganda, as it is used in most of the civilian College textbooks. For military purposes however, it is necessary to trim down the definition in one more direction, applying it strictly against the enemy and making it read: Military propaganda consists of the planned use of any form of communication designed to affect the minds and emotions of a given enemy, neutral or friendly foreign group for a specific Strategic or tactical purpose."

If the tactical purpose of the "Act of God" leaflet among the anti-Castro Cubans was to affect the assassination of President Kennedy, it was most successful.

Linebarger's study of psychological warfare and propaganda led him to develop the thesis that propaganda can be read and interpreted by a process he called "Propanal," and used to predict tactical actions and strategic purposes.

"Propanal ( Propaganda Analysis) may prove to be one of the soundest war-forecasting systems available," wrote Linebarger, who notes that "…Psychological mobilization may be disguised; it cannot be concealed."

In that regard, further analysis of the "Act of God" leaflet is revealing.

Was it just a lucky guess by a rambling nut-case? Or was it part of the same covert intelligence network that was responsible for what happened at Dealey Plaza? And if it was part of the Dealey Plaza operation, what can it tell us?

Well it just so happens that the CIA unit responsible for Cuban psych-ops had such a leafleting operation under way at the time, an official project that was skotched at the last minute, a week earlier, by the President himself.

As detailed in an April 3, 1963 National Security Council memo, a variety of covert schemes were devised and presented for consideration and approval at a special meeting at the White House. Among the proposals were acts of economic sabotage, and most curiously a project they called "Ballons Over Havana."

Quite fittingly on April 1st, they held a meeting of the Cuba Coordinating Committee – Covert Operations In Cuba (CCC – COC) to discuss the proposals of the Cottrell Committee, a subcommittee set up in early 1963 to coordinate the administration's covert and overt Cuban policies and chaired by Sterling J. Cottrell. 3. [see: National Security Action Memorandum NSAM 213.]

In attendance were Army Secretary Cyrus R. Vance, his deputy Joseph Califano, and CIA officers Richard Helms, Dezmond FitzGerald, and Robert Hurwitch. The first item on the agenda was the Ballons Over Havana.

"1. Balloon Operations Over Havana – The plan is well underway. Assuring the winds are right, CIA proposes to release balloons containing 300,000 to 500,000 leaflets on May Day [ A holiday in honor of workers.] (before daylight). The balloons will not be visible by radar or by the naked eye. The leaflets will (1) attack Castro's henchmen, and (2) contain cartoons illustrating sabotage techniques. The decision on the balloons is scheduled for another review during the week preceeding May Day." 4.

An April 9 memo from Joseph A. Califano, the assistant to Vance, reports which of the covert operations proposed to JFK were to be carried out. While approving the sabotage operations, it is very clear that, "The President rejected the balloon item on the recommendations of Ed Murrow." 5.

Former CBS News reporter E.R. Murrow, forced out of CBS News by William Paley, was appointed by the President to run the U.S. Information Agency. 6. Murrow apparently convinced Kennedy to cancel the "Ballons Over Havana" leafleting plan, even after it was "well underway."

Who was behind the "Ballons Over Havana" leaflet project that was cancelled at the last minute, and who was behind the "Act of God" leaflets distributed among the Miami Cuban community a week later? And were they connected?

Well, we know that among Linebarger's more famous students, besides E. Howard Hunt, there were such covert legends as Ed Lansdale, George Joannides and David Atlee Phillips, all suspected as having something to do with what happened at Dealey Plaza.

Most successfully used in Guatamela in 1954, Linebarger's principals of psychological warfare, when used effectively, result in military victory without a battle. When the "Guatemala" Plan was misapplied to Cuba, even by the same personnel, it ended in disaster at the Bay of Pigs.

Two years later, almost to the day, in April, 1963, the "Ballons Over Havana" Project is cancelled at the last minute and on April 18, the "Act of God" leaflets appear in Miami.

Lansdale was head of Mongoose, the anti-Castro Cuban project run out of the JM/WAVE station in Miami, which also included other Linebarger students, Joannides and Phillips, both well entrenched psychological warriors involved in the CIA's Cuban programs.

In his lectures Linebarger is known to have cautioned his students that it was okay to use such covert dirty tricks in foreign countries, but it would be bad for our democracy.

As one analysis of Linebarger's work attests, "Although the tenets of psychological warfare set out by Linebarger and others were envisioned for wartime situations, they were tailor-made for application at home when passed through the counterinsurgency filter….Linebarger's fear was that this would be used in peace time which a lot of it ufortunately has."

As Linebarger put it, "On the other side of the coin, it is very hopeful to note that the many and dangerous techniques developed by the OSS (and CIA) for covert propaganda, some of which were applied with considerable success in Europe, have not been introduced into domestic U.S. politics, commercial competition or other froms of private life." 7.

Linebarger may have been right about using Propanal to predict attacks, but he was wrong about his students not introducing those psychops and covert techniques "into domestic U.S. politics," as Dealey Plaza is the result.

1. William Manchester, The Death of A President, (New York: Harper & Row, 1967 p.46).

2. Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger, Psychological Warfare (Washington, D.C: Infantry Journal Press, 1948), p. 37.

3. NSAM 213. http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/diplomacy/forrel/cuba/cuba264.htm

4. Memo. April 3, 1963. Bundy/Cottrell. Mark J. White in The Kennedys and Cuba. (1999, Ivan R. Dee, Publisher, 1332 North Halsted Street, Chicago, Il. 60622).

5. Memo. April 9, 1963. Califano/Vance. Ibid. White. The Kennedys and Cuba.

6. Edward R. Murrow. See: http://www.loti.com/this_is_journalism.htm

7 Paul Linebarger's 'Psychological Warfare' 1954 edition Pages 128-131 a 'primer' for PSYOPS operations.

Bill Kelly

Bkjfk3@yahoo.com

XXXXXXX

Edited by William Kelly
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Bill, where is your proof the leaflet you described was ever distributed in Little Havana?

Without attempting to speak for him, I think Larry Hancock thinks that is only an "urban legend." He could never authenticate it.

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Bill wrote:

Linebarger may have been right about using Propanal to predict attacks, but he was wrong about his students not introducing those psychops and covert techniques "into domestic U.S. politics," as Dealey Plaza is the result.

Bill, if you are implying that a CIA student of Linebarger produced that pamphlet (if indeed it ever esisted) your proof, please.

For that matter, where is your proof that whoever shot JFK did so because he read that pamphlet--again assuming it did in fact exist.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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Bill, where is your proof the leaflet you described was ever distributed in Little Havana?

Without attempting to speak for him, I think Larry Hancock thinks that is only an "urban legend." He could never authenticate it.

Hi Tim,

I once had a copy of the leaflet.

Both Manchester and Tim Carroll (The Whole Bay of Pigs Thing) mention it and quote it exactly.

Somebody made up those words and put that date on it.

Whoever wrote it was conducting a pysch op.

What's to authenticate?

You're really on top of things. I thought I had waited until you turned in.

BK

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Bill, I am confident I once discussed the pamphlet with Larry. I could be wrong. But you are saying you no longer have it? You disposed of evidence, for Gosh' sake!

I can only assume if you tossed it 'twas only because you knew it had nothing whatsoever to do with DP.

I try to stay on top of things. My computer is set to buzz and wake me whenever there is a new post to which I should respond--that is, any with the names Richard Helms, Desmond Fitzgerald, E. Howard Hunt, David Atlee Phillips, George Joannides, etc etc. The device is not yet on the market--it's a CIA thing.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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Bill wrote:

Linebarger may have been right about using Propanal to predict attacks, but he was wrong about his students not introducing those psychops and covert techniques "into domestic U.S. politics," as Dealey Plaza is the result.

Bill, if you are implying that a CIA student of Linebarger produced that pamphlet (if indeed it ever esisted) your proof, please.

For that matter, where is your proof that whoever shot JFK did so because he read that pamphlet--again assuming it did in fact exist.

Tim, I don't need any proof of anything.

Whoever wrote it was writing intentional propaganda. As Linebarger says, it it isn't intentonal, it isn't propaganda.

Nor did I say that whoever shot JFK read the pamphlet, like those who say Oswald shot JFK for Castro because he read Castro's speech about retaliation.

I'm just saying that the leaflet is propaganda, it was dated if not released at the time the CIA was planning a major leaflet operation, and that it advocates something that actually happens a few months later.

You don't want to believe that propaganda exists you don't have too.

I'm not making this crap up.

Gezze, you're all over the board tonight.

BK

Edited by William Kelly
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Bill wrote:

Nor did I say that whoever shot JFK read the pamphlet. . .,

But you said "Dealey Plaza was the result."

So as long as we are into pure speculation here,

Fidel knows the JFK administration is planning a leafleting operation against him.

So he has his DGI agents (paid, remember by Santo's bolita operation) circulate these inflammatory pamphlets in Little Havana.

So JFK decides if Castro is going to retaliate like that, in my own backyard, I'd better to scrub the CIA leafleting operation! Hence, it is cancelled.

Makes sense to me as as rational an explanation as any.

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Bill wrote:

You don't want to believe that propaganda exists you don't have too.

Bill, I think you were up too late! I think you meant:

If you don't want to believe that propaganda exists you don't have to.

I believe in God, the flag, and propaganda. Propoganda should be true and aimed at our enemies!

I guess in a war it can be false, "bodyguard of lies" and all that good stuff.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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"Propanal ( Propaganda Analysis) may prove to be one of the soundest war-forecasting systems available," wrote Linebarger, who notes that "…Psychological mobilization may be disguised; it cannot be concealed."

Bill,

This sounds similar to the technique Eugene Dinkin used to conclude that Kennedy would be assassinated.

As William Manchester described it, the leaflet was, "Obviously encouraging support for the forcible removal of the President among the anti-Castro exiles, the broadside was signed, '…A Texan who resents the Oriental influence that has come to control, to degrade, to pollute and enslave his own people.'"

There is only one Texan on your list. But Dallas of full of people who held the beliefs spelled out in the leaflet. One had authored the propaganda dropped by the planeload over Japan during WWII, was associated with those known to be rabble-rousing the exiles, and may have had inside information on the COC/WH machinations you refer to. Robert J Morris.

Of course, if this was the work of the CIA, the author/s may well have deliberately couched the propaganda in familiar Right Wing terms and picked Texas as a known ultra-conservative haven.

An April 9 memo from Joseph A. Califano, the assistant to Vance, reports which of the covert operations proposed to JFK were to be carried out. While approving the sabotage operations, it is very clear that, "The President rejected the balloon item on the recommendations of Ed Murrow."

Sabotage increased dramatically after Hurricane Flora hit Cuba, late September. It seemed to have included a number of Canadians - at least 4 being arrested during attempts in two separate incidents to smuggle in grenades, fuses, phosphorous and 18 cans of explosives. I mention these two incidents in particular as there seems to be something curious about them I'm trying to look into.

Nice job. I do tend to view the assassination as an outgrowth of psyops.

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Bill,

You are correct: "This leaflet appears to be an intentional propaganda program."

I suspect it was designed as a component of the operation to make false sponsors of the anti-Castro community (in Little Havana and elsewhere).

Seen from an even greater distance, this provocation helped keep post-hit eyes on Cuba -- which is to say, off the prize.

Charles

Edited by Charles Drago
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Bill, I am confident I once discussed the pamphlet with Larry. I could be wrong. But you are saying you no longer have it? You disposed of evidence, for Gosh' sake!

I can only assume if you tossed it 'twas only because you knew it had nothing whatsoever to do with DP.

I try to stay on top of things. My computer is set to buzz and wake me whenever there is a new post to which I should respond--that is, any with the names Richard Helms, Desmond Fitzgerald, E. Howard Hunt, David Atlee Phillips, George Joannides, etc etc. The device is not yet on the market--it's a CIA thing.

Tim, I remember Larry asking me about this a few years ago, but I no longer have the original. It might be among the JFK boxes I took to DC and gave to John Judge for the COPA archvies a few years ago when I thought I was giving up on JFK The one I had was not made of paper, but hard cardboard and folded like a bouchour, very professionally done.

BK

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Greg wrote:

Sabotage increased dramatically after Hurricane Flora hit Cuba, late September [of 1963].

When all the files are finally opened, we will discover jjust how many millions of taxpayer dollars the CIA spent determining how to create and steer a hurricane. Flora proved they could do it. And as Greg said, it served as a great cover for increased the CIA's sabotage efforts.

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Actually, a small group of us managed to corroborate this a couple of years ago. Debra Conway took the lead and actually located reports

on the investigation of this item. I don't know that I mentioned it in the second edition, probably not, and at the moment I can only report

what I recall of it rather than citing documents - I'll ask Deb if she can find the material.

Bottom line, a greeting card was sent by a Cuban exile in Dallas to another in Miami, the names are in the documents. This greeting was

actually a Christmas card but it contained the verbiage expressed in the flyer. In Miami, someone took it and turned it into a flyer,

using the verbiage and adding graphics of the Alamo. It apparently had a limited circulation in Miami but it was investigated, as I recall

by the FBI.

The incident did occur and the flyer and its precursor definitely did exist. I can't figure out why Manchester didn't cite his source, he was

normally very good about that. Whether the flyer really meant more than what it appears to seems doubtful....its pretty consistent

with the fact that numerous exiles felt in 1963 that their return to Cuba and the overthrow of Castro

depended on someone more hawkish taking control of the country. And Johnson, fully capable of posing as anything to anybody, was

projecting a more hawkish attitude...we even have documents of that period where he meets with representatives from the King Ranch and

tells them that JFK is way too soft on Cuba (he was playing similar games with backchanneld to Vietnam). The ultimate opportunist.

-- I'll come up with more detail as time permits but thought I should at least pass this on. Larry

Bill, I am confident I once discussed the pamphlet with Larry. I could be wrong. But you are saying you no longer have it? You disposed of evidence, for Gosh' sake!

I can only assume if you tossed it 'twas only because you knew it had nothing whatsoever to do with DP.

I try to stay on top of things. My computer is set to buzz and wake me whenever there is a new post to which I should respond--that is, any with the names Richard Helms, Desmond Fitzgerald, E. Howard Hunt, David Atlee Phillips, George Joannides, etc etc. The device is not yet on the market--it's a CIA thing.

Tim, I remember Larry asking me about this a few years ago, but I no longer have the original. It might be among the JFK boxes I took to DC and gave to John Judge for the COPA archvies a few years ago when I thought I was giving up on JFK The one I had was not made of paper, but hard cardboard and folded like a bouchour, very professionally done.

BK

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So Larry has the name of the Cuban in Dallas who actually wrote it and there is no evidence it was written by Phillips, Hunt, Helms, McCone, Dulles etc ad nauseum.

By the way, if pro-Castro Cubans wanted JFK dead, what if anything stopped them from circulating such material to anti-Castro exiles. By the same token, if anti-Castro Cubans wanted JFK dead, they could also have circulated materials sufficient to cause pro-Castro Cubans to do their bidding.

To quote a line in a famous movie, it's through the looking glass. Or as JJA used to say, it's like a wilderness of mirrors. The people circulating the propoganda may not actually have believed it. That is not as far-fetched as it sounds. When LHO was distributing his FPCC literature in NO, were the brochures an accurate reflection of his political philosophy or was it just a game?

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