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Jim Hougan: Spooks


John Simkin
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I would like to know Mr. Hougan's thoughts on FBI document 1035-960 entitled

COUNTERING CRITICISM OF THE WARREN REPORT. Is it still in effect, and is it

being used today on the internet and in the news media? During my 45 years of

JFK research, I have encountered numerous "agents provocateur" who practice its

tenets against me, both from the FBI and CIA.

Jack

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Jim Hougan has recently joined the forum and is willing to answer questions on his great book, Spooks.

I would like to know Mr. Hougans thoughts regarding the late Walter Sheridan and the Kennedy family. Was he really an RFK man? And what was he doing on the Kennedy family payroll well into the 1980's?

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Hello Mr. Hougan,

I thought you might be amused to know that once, many years ago, our old mutual friend, Andrew St. George, spotted a copy of SPOOKS lying on my desk and shrieked, "Mike, vy do you have THAT book?" and then proceeded to throw it on the floor and quite dramatically stomped his foot on it. He muttered, "I don't pronounce zheeeem as zheeeem." What a character!

I once asked Andrew, point blank, if he was (as I had heard) part of the Life magazine team that, as I put it, gently, "covered" the Jim Garrison investigation in New Orleans. Andrew and I were sitting in the courtyard smoking cigars. He turned, with a flash of alarm in his eyes, and then, recovering, he said, "Mike, let me tell you a story. When I was a little boy in Hungary . . ." and then I heard an utterly fascinating reminiscence about some subject that I've long forgotten. But after a 20-minute exposition, in Andrew's own engaging style, I never got the answer to my question.

I miss him.

Cordially,

MICHAEL COLLINS PIPER

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Hello Mr. Hougan,

I thought you might be amused to know that once, many years ago, our old mutual friend, Andrew St. George, spotted a copy of SPOOKS lying on my desk and shrieked, "Mike, vy do you have THAT book?" and then proceeded to throw it on the floor and quite dramatically stomped his foot on it. He muttered, "I don't pronounce zheeeem as zheeeem." What a character!

I once asked Andrew, point blank, if he was (as I had heard) part of the Life magazine team that, as I put it, gently, "covered" the Jim Garrison investigation in New Orleans. Andrew and I were sitting in the courtyard smoking cigars. He turned, with a flash of alarm in his eyes, and then, recovering, he said, "Mike, let me tell you a story. When I was a little boy in Hungary . . ." and then I heard an utterly fascinating reminiscence about some subject that I've long forgotten. But after a 20-minute exposition, in Andrew's own engaging style, I never got the answer to my question.

I miss him.

Cordially,

MICHAEL COLLINS PIPER

Good to see you posting again, Michael.

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Jim, I have had a message from someone who has carried out a great deal of research into the assassination of JFK. He has sent the following question:

"John could you ask Jim Hougan for his thoughts on the recently deceased Yuri Nosenko. I have been reading many of the CIA documents released in 2003 and he really looks a strange bird to me. His statements on Oswald are just not believable; for instance no KGB interest, no technical surveillence at the Moscow hotel Oswald stayed in when he defected, his telling and subsequent retelling of how and what he saw in the Oswald file which came from Minsk to Moscow after the assassination plus numerous other inconsistencies which appear to indicate lying about his connection with Oswald. Of course the Warren Commission was much influenced by Nosenko's statements; particularly the Soviet's lack of interest due to Oswald "not being normal"...it fitted well with the lone nut theory."

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Jim, as you know, Spooks was one of the few books to do any real investigation into Robert Maheu. Maheu has now passed on. Did you hold anything back from Spooks that can now be revealed?

It has long been clear to me that if there was anyone who could have planned and coordinated the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and then walked away, it was Robert Maheu, perhaps at the bidding of the half-insane Hughes. It has always intrigued me that Maheu moved to Vegas and became Hughes' public face shortly after the assassination. Could this have been his reward for "services rendered"?

Any final words on Maheu?

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  • 1 month later...
I would like to know Mr. Hougan's thoughts on FBI document 1035-960 entitled

COUNTERING CRITICISM OF THE WARREN REPORT. Is it still in effect, and is it

being used today on the internet and in the news media? During my 45 years of

JFK research, I have encountered numerous "agents provocateur" who practice its

tenets against me, both from the FBI and CIA.

Jack

Sorry to be so long in replying - I've been juggling deadlines for the past month. But to the point: I think this was actually a CIA document. And, certainly, its effects are still being felt. Even after Watergate, Iran-Contra and 9-11, the public is pointedly discouraged by the mainstream press from acknowledging the reality that conspiracies exist - and do much to shape current events. For a journalist or writer to suggest otherwise leads directly to his own "marginalization."

The document you referenced urged readers in the intelligence community "To discuss the publicity problem with liaison and friendly elite contacts (especially politicians and editors), pointing out that the Warren Commission made as thorough an investigation as humanly possible, that the charges of the critics are without serious foundation, and that further speculative discussion only plays into the hands of the opposition. Point out also that parts of the conspiracy talk appear to be deliberately generated by Communist propagandists." Reading this before answering your post, I couldn't help but think of Max Holland's (relatively recent) analysis of the Paese Sera investigative reports concerning Clay Shaw, the Centro Mondiale Commerciale (CMC) and the CIA. Holland suggests that the reports were "dezinformatsiya" instigated by the KGB, and (ludicrously) calls the deception "a major reason why many Americans believe, to this day, that the CIA was involved in the assassination of the President."

So, in answer to your question, yes, the document in question is still operational.

Hougan

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Jim Hougan has recently joined the forum and is willing to answer questions on his great book, Spooks.

I would like to know Mr. Hougans thoughts regarding the late Walter Sheridan and the Kennedy family. Was he really an RFK man? And what was he doing on the Kennedy family payroll well into the 1980's?

Like Carmine Bellino, Walter Sheridan was a lifelong Kennedy retainer and in-house spook who scrupled at nothing in that clan's cause. He sabotaged Jim Garrison's investigation, and connived for years to suppress talk of a conspiracy in the JFK assassination. Burton Hersh put it well in his excellent (and startling) *Bobby and J. Edgar*: "To insiders it was apparent immediately that any truly searching examination of the forces behind the JFK assassination would quickly expose the survivors to politically ruinous disclosures. They'd conspired to murder another head of state, engaged in protracted hanky-panky with the Mob, and then of course there were those many awkward assignations involving Judith Campbell Exner and all the others. By November 23, 1963, J. Edgar Hoover's best interests and Robert Kennedy's best interest had conflated perfectly."

Every murder investigation begins with a simple question: "Why would anyone want to kill such a nice man?" It was Sheridan's job to discourage that question in the first place and, in the second, to make sure it didn't get answered.

Hougan

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Hello Mr. Hougan,

I thought you might be amused to know that once, many years ago, our old mutual friend, Andrew St. George, spotted a copy of SPOOKS lying on my desk and shrieked, "Mike, vy do you have THAT book?" and then proceeded to throw it on the floor and quite dramatically stomped his foot on it. He muttered, "I don't pronounce zheeeem as zheeeem." What a character!

I once asked Andrew, point blank, if he was (as I had heard) part of the Life magazine team that, as I put it, gently, "covered" the Jim Garrison investigation in New Orleans. Andrew and I were sitting in the courtyard smoking cigars. He turned, with a flash of alarm in his eyes, and then, recovering, he said, "Mike, let me tell you a story. When I was a little boy in Hungary . . ." and then I heard an utterly fascinating reminiscence about some subject that I've long forgotten. But after a 20-minute exposition, in Andrew's own engaging style, I never got the answer to my question.

I miss him.

Cordially,

MICHAEL COLLINS PIPER

Andrew and I were great pals throughout the years that I was writing *Spooks*. We hung out together in Washington. We went down to Mitch WerBell's place (a/k/a "The Farm") in Powder Springs. And it was grand. Everything was hunky-dory between us - until *Spooks* came out. Andrew rushed came over to my office, flushed and out of breath, as soon as he heard that it had been published and asked for a copy. I gave him one and...that was it. I never saw him again.

Which was odd, because 1) I thought we were friends; and 2) we were both working for *Harper's*. It was like he did a duck-dive, or something. Later, someone told me that Andrew was writing under a nom de plume for Willis Carto's *Spotlight*. I thought that was bizarre, because I'd always assumed that he was a liberal. When I mentioned that, the person I was talking to laughed. Hysterically. "Andrew? A liberal?! You're kidding, right?"

To this day, I'm unsure why he disappeared the way he did. In my more paranoid moments, it occurs to me that maybe his "assignment" ended when the book was published. Or maybe he was unhappy that I'd written as much as I had about Mitch (on whom Andrew cast a proprietary eye). Or it might have been that he was upset about my account of his role in "Project Nassau," a CBS documentary (starring Mitch WerBell, plotting a coup d'etat in Haiti). The documentary was so flawed it became the subject of congressional hearings.

But, yeah. I miss him, too.

Jim Hougan

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Walter Sheridan was a lifelong Kennedy retainer and in-house spook who scrupled at nothing in that clan's cause. He sabotaged Jim Garrison's investigation,

Yeah, and he was helped by Sylvia Meagher, who convinced many assassination researchers that Garrison was a fraud.

Burton Hersh put it well in his excellent (and startling) *Bobby and J. Edgar*:

Hougan

Burton Hersh's book is, of course, the bible for all serious assassination researchers.

Edited by J. Raymond Carroll
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