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The Assassinations of the 1960s as "Deep Events"

William Kelly

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Peter Dale Scott Pittsburgh October 2008

The Assassinations of the 1960s as "Deep Events"

For over two years now I have been speaking and writing about what I call deep events. I mean by deep events the traumatic and unexpected episodes that recur periodically in US history and alter it, nearly always for the worse. These deep events can never be properly analyzed or understood, because of an intelligence dimension which results in a socially imposed veil of silence, both in the government and in the Mainstream Media.

The more that I look at these deep events comparatively, ranging over the past five decades, the more similarities I see between them, and the more I understand them in the light of each other. I hope in this paper to use analogies from the murder of JFK and 9/11 to cast new light on the murders of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy.

I began this analysis in 2006 by comparing the JFK assassination with 9/11. I drew attention to over a dozen similarities, of which today I will be focusing on only four:

1) the remarkable and puzzling speed with which those in power identified what I call the designated culprits (Lee Harvey Oswald and the 19 alleged hijackers),

2) the self-incriminating trail allegedly left by the culprits themselves – such as the bundle that James Earl Ray is said to have conveniently left in a doorway on his way to his car. Oswald was said to have carried a flagrantly falsified draft card identifying himself with the name A.J. Hidell, thus consolidating a link between himself and the Mannlicher-Carcano which had been ordered under that name. Even more spectacularly, Mohamed Atta was said to have left one rental car in the Boston airport, filled with boxcutters and other incriminating items; he then allegedly rented a second car and drove to Maine, where he packed bags with still more self-incriminating material.

3) the CIA’s withholding of relevant information about the designated culprits from the FBI, thus leaving the culprits free to play their allotted roles on 9/11. I will say more about this.

4) the role of drug-trafficking in both JFK and 9/11 – and indeed in virtually every major deep event since JFK, specifically including MLK, RFK, Watergate, the Letelier assassination, and Iran-Contra.

This hypothesis of an underlying continuity and similarity between JFK, 9/11, and intervening deep events suggests that we should look for some continuing and hostile force within our society to explain them – and not, as we have been encouraged, to blame them on external forces – such as either Castro (in the case of Oswald) or angry Middle Eastern Muslims (in the case of 9/11). I want to suggest that this continuing force, though involving elements from the CIA and other intelligence agencies, should be sought primarily in the CIA’s interface with what I have called the CIA’s global drug connection.

Oswald’s and Sirhan’s Alleged Self-Incriminating Behavior at Rifle Ranges

Let me now look comparatively at JFK, MLK, and RFK – the three major assassinations of the 1960s. I shall deal first with a few local similarities which when taken together suggest plotters with a similar modus operandi behind all these plots. In all three cases there is evidence of trickery in linking the designated culprit to the gun he is supposed to have used. In the case of first Oswald and then Sirhan, the culprits are alleged to have made life easier for investigators by traveling to rifle ranges, in each case at least twice, and then impressing themselves indelibly in the memories of witnesses by aggressively drawing attention to their weapons.

This is what Malcolm H. Price told the Warren Commission about "Oswald" at the Dallas rifle range:

the first time that I saw this person was in September, ….I have heard that he couldn’t drive, but he was driving that day…and he came down and inquired if there was anyone who could sight a scope, a telescope on a rifle, and I told him that I could, and he said, well – he had one that he had mounted and boresighted but it hadn’t been fired on a range….And he fired three shots and he scored bull’s eye with all three – a very tight pattern. (10 WH 370, emphasis added)

For various reasons the Warren Report rejected this testimony. However there was independent corroboration of Price’s story. At least five other witnesses claimed to have seen Oswald at a rifle range; and one of them, Sterling Wood, established in conversation with Oswald that Oswald was firing a "6.5 Italian carbine" with a "four-power scope." (26 WH 368). A witness from the Irving Sports Store, Dial Ryder, supplied a purported work ticket with the name Oswald on it, which was an order to have a rifle "mounted… and boresighted" (WR 315). Yet another witness, Mrs. Edith Whitworth, told the FBI that she had directed Oswald to Ryder’s store (26 WH 701; cf. WR 316).

I have argued that all this was concatenated false testimony, to support the early notion, later rejected, that Oswald had killed Kennedy with a gun he had used earlier in the Soviet Union. The more we believe that the Warren Commission was right to reject this concatenated testimony, the more the rejected stories constitute evidence of a conspiracy.

Similarly we find concatenated evidence, some of it apparently false, concerning Sirhan Sirhan and his unusual ammunition at a rifle range near Los Angeles. Repeatedly Sirhan is said to have talked obsessively with fellow-shooters about his use of high-velocity Mini-mags for target shooting – the type of bullet whose casings were extracted from the gun he used at the Ambassador Hotel. Sirhan allegedly told Ronald Williams, "These Mini-mags are real good. You should get some of these." Sirhan advised another shooter, David Montellano, "that the mini-mags he was firing cost more, but they were hollow points and spread out more upon impact." Michael Saccoman "stated that Sirhan brought him over some bullets. They were `mini mags.’ Hollow points extremely high velocity."

As in the case of Oswald, there was abundant, almost over-determined corroboration for these claims. Michael Saccoman said Sirhan told him he had bought his mini-mags at the Lock Stock N’ Barrel store. Larry Arnot at Lock Stock N’ Barrel confirmed that a sales slip for mini-mags found in Sirhan’s car (along with an empty box of hollow point mini-mag bullets) was in his handwriting. In addition, Everett C. Buckner, the owner of the range, allegedly said he sold Sirhan "a box of fifty .22 caliber Imperial Brand long-rifle mini-mags, made by Canadian Industries of Montreal."

Sirhan’s use of hollow point high velocity mini-mags (unusual for target practice, as Saccoman pointed out) was important to establishing that his bullets created Kennedy’s wounds. Sirhan’s gun was a .22 caliber pistol; only a hollow point round could have answered the vital question, "Could a .22 round have mushroomed enough to created a 2 cm wide hole?"

The Warren Commission concluded that Oswald was impersonated at the rifle range, and Malcolm Price saw a "resemblance" when the Commission staff showed him a picture of Jack Ruby’s assistant Larry Crafard. It is possible that on at least one occasion Sirhan was also impersonated at the range. William Marks

identified Sirhan from a police mug shot but described him as twenty to thirty years old, six foot to six foot two, and 215 to 225 pounds, with brown hair. This was at least eight inches too tall, double Sirhan’s weight, and the wrong hair color….Officer Harry Starr [the only other witness] provided the same description.

In both cases, the identity of the witnesses is interesting. Two witnesses of Oswald at the rifle range were employees of the Great Southwest Corporation, the company which after the assassination provided Marina Oswald with first a suspicious manager, and then an even more suspicious lawyer. The two witnesses just cited who identified Sirhan were both police officers from Corona, a suburb of Los Angeles.

In the case of Oswald, I believe the consensus today is that the man married to Marina never visited a rifle range at all, but was impersonated. It is harder to draw the same conclusion about Sirhan Sirhan, because of his unambiguous testimony under oath at the trial that he did visit the San Gabriel Rifle Range on June 4, and on June 1 or 2 did purchase a box of mini-mags at the Lock Stock N’ Barrel.

But Sirhan’s self-incrimination at his trial cannot be taken at face value. For a subsequent examination of 38,000 empty shells from where he allegedly shot at the rifle range never identified one that had been fired from Sirhan’s revolver. On this matter, as on so many others, we have to deal with evidence that Sirhan was programmed to speak and behave in such a way as to make himself appear falsely to be a killer.

The Accused and Their Attorneys: More Self-Incrimination

This draws our attention to odd ways in which both Oswald and James Earl Ray also allegedly acted to incriminate themselves, even after they had been arrested. Oswald, virtually everyone now agrees, was not a Communist, yet there are multiple reports that after he was arrested, he helped depict himself as a Communist, by asking for the well-known Communist lawyer John Abt to represent him as his attorney. Analogously, James Earl Ray (according to those who have interrogated and investigated him at length) was not a racist, yet he strengthened the media depiction of himself as a racist (which was used to convict him) by asking two notorious racist attorneys, Arthur J. Hanes Sr. and J.B Stoner, to represent him.

In both cases the evidence for this odd self-incrimination is both abundant and problematic. In the case of Oswald, ABC News reported that Oswald "leaned into ABC microphones and said he would like to contact a Mr. Abt of New York City to serve as his attorney." In all, "Six public officials, three newsmen, a Dallas lawyer, an acquaintance of Oswald and even his own mother indicated that Oswald specifically asked for Abt." Yet we have no direct evidence of Oswald requesting this, despite his TV appearances after the assassination.

In the case of Ray, we have Ray’s statement in his book that in England, after his arrest, he himself wrote a letter to Arthur Hanes, asking Hanes to represent him. It was some time later that, through the intervention of his brother Jerry, Ray acquired the attorneys Richard J. Ryan of Memphis, allegedly the head of Governor Wallace’s presidential campaign in Tennessee, and J.B. Stoner.

One striking common denominator between all three murders is that in each case defendants were disastrously represented by lawyers who had previously represented mob figures. Jack Ruby was convicted after being represented by Melvin Belli, who earlier had represented both Mickey Cohen and Cohen’s protégé, the stripper Candy Barr who was a friend of Jack Ruby. After his conviction Ruby was briefly represented by Percy Foreman, who previously had represented the Dallas Mafia chieftain Joseph Civello. (Foreman quit after only four days.) Foreman would later replace Hanes as Ray’s attorney and be responsible for railroading him. Finally Sirhan Sirhan was outrageously "defended" by Russell Parsons, who had earlier represented Los Angeles mob figures Mickey Cohen, Herbert "Happy" Meltzer, and Joseph Sica (Meltzer and Sica were both notorious narcotics traffickers). Parsons was eventually replaced by Grant Cooper, after Cooper finished defending one of those found guilty, along with mob figure John Roselli, in the notorious Friars Club gambling case.

Recently Ray’s brother, John Larry Ray, has written that Ray was instructed to engage Hanes as his attorney. James Earl Ray himself, in testimony to the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) and later in his book Who Killed Martin Luther King?, has indicated that his attorneys were chosen for him by others, including "Raulston Schoolfield, the ousted criminal judge who had interceded on my behalf by asking attorney Robert Hill to represent me." Although Ray does not say this, Schoolfield was ousted from office after it was shown he had been bribed to dismiss charges against a corrupt Teamster official in Hoffa’s camp.

Ralston Schoolfield is not mentioned by John Larry Ray, yet this curious aside from James corroborates John Larry’s suggestive (and I believe important) observation:

Persons around Jimmy Hoffa figure into James’s case more than once. Jimmy Hoffa’s lawyer, Z.T. Osborn, would end up "committing suicide" after he agreed to represent my brother James. How did James make Osborn’s acquaintance, and who would send my brother Jerry to ask for Osborn’s assistance? It was none other than St. Louis Steamfitters Local Union #562 boss Larry Callanan, right-hand man to [st. Louis crime figure Frank] Buster Wortman [close to Hoffa’s attorney Morris Shenker, "one of the Mob’s leading lawyers in the U.S."].

James Earl Ray himself suggested to an HSCA investigator in 1977 that they look into all of these figures (apart from Wortman).

Without getting into too many details in this short paper, James Earl Ray’s testimony and book hinted that his case had become intertwined in a complex fashion with the pressures being brought in 1967-71 on Edward Grady Partin, Attoney General Robert Kennedy’s chief witness in the conviction of James Hoffa for jury tampering. In two books I have made the same suggestion about both the JFK case and more particularly the Garrison investigation of it. Walter Sheridan’s labyrinthine narrative of Hoffa’s efforts to overturn his conviction (The Fall and Rise of Jimmy Hoffa) is once again, as in the JFK case, the best reference work for understanding the relevance of figures in Ray’s background like Ralston Schoolfield, Z.T. Osborn, and (a name I shall refer to shortly) Joseph Oster.

The role of both Ray and Sirhan in facilitating their own convictions is striking. In the case of Sirhan it can be attributed to his apparent openness to hypnotic suggestion, both before and after his arrest. But similar questions have now been raised about James Earl Ray, by his brother John.

Relevant Allegations of Hypnosis from Unreliable Narrators

Indeed, given the general agreement that Sirhan Sirhan was somehow programmed or hypnotized to become a "Manchurian candidate," it is arresting that both Oswald and Ray also had men in their background alleged to be interested in hypnosis. One cannot discuss this feature without noting that the men making these allegations were notoriously unreliable narrators. Indeed one must note that in this milieu, on the fringes of both intelligence and the underworld, one is forced to deal with a multitude of witnesses – such as Gerry Patrick Hemming in the case of Oswald – who unquestionably were both part of the larger scene and notoriously unreliable in their accounts of what happened.

David Ferrie, who had known Oswald when the latter was a teenager in the Civil Air Patrol, had studied hypnosis and practiced it on youths whom he knew. Ferrie, an eccentric, was also said to be "a bishop of the Orthodox Old Catholic Church of North America." (Dr. William J. Bryan, who is some researchers’ candidate to have been the man who hypnotized Sirhan, was also an ordained priest in the Old Roman Catholic Church.)

The truth about Ferrie is unfortunately occluded by clouds of unreliable narration. The same is even more true of his alleged friend, Jules Rocco Kimble, a man who first talked to New Orleans DA Jim Garrison about Ferrie and then was suspected of having been "Raoul," the supposed handler who gave directions to James Earl Ray. However a professional Canadian reporter by the name of Andy Salwyn found witnesses who placed Kimble in Montreal in the summer of 1967, at the same time as Ray, and he provided this information in a detailed report to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

Thanks to the Mary Ferrell Foundation, we can now read this RCMP report online. In it, we find the following words attributed to Kimble’s Montreal girlfriend, Marcelle Mathieu:

He also told me that he would hypnotize people and that he helped a doctor curing people with it. I told him not to try it on me. He told me that he was studying psychology at McGill University, but I found out this wasn’t true either.

As is pointed out in Truth at Last, a book by Ray’s brother John Larry Ray, Kimble could have been referring to the CIA-assisted mind-control experimentation of Dr. Ewen Cameron at the Allan Memorial Institute behind McGill University. The existence of this experimentation was still a closely guarded secret in 1967. John Larry Ray links this Kimble interest in hypnosis to James Ear Ray’s undoubted and repeated visits to two hypnotists in Los Angeles, Mark Freeman and Xavier von Koss.

The House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) said Kimble was not in Montreal at the same time as Ray. To claim this, they ignored Salwyn’s report (that it was "during the Summer of 1967") and relied instead on conflicting testimony from the dubious private eye Joseph Oster (Kimble "apparently did not visit Montreal until after Ray had left there in August 1967"). When a government tribunal simply suppresses a claim because it conflicts with a second and more dubious one, our interest in the original claim should be strengthened. And in this case it appears that Salwyn was correct: an FBI report on Kimble seems to indicate that Kimble was already in Montreal by July 1967 ("at a Klan meeting on July eighteenth, sixtyseven, it was indicated that ███ [space for a six-letter name] fled state of Louisiana allegedly to Montreal, Canada.")

Why do I say Oster was dubious? Because he had been part of the extensive effort to prevent Jimmy Hoffa from going to jail, by harassing Ed Partin, Robert Kennedy’s chief witness against Hoffa. Oster had in fact personally arrested Partin on one occasion, on the basis of a complaint from a witness (Irby Aucoin) who also figured in the Garrison investigation. Oster, in short, was not at arm’s length from the intelligence-mob realm which Kimble inhabited. In addition, Oster was a former partner of Guy Banister, suspected of controlling Oswald’s pro-Castro leafleting in 1963. Oster’s later partner was Milton Kaack, the former FBI Agent who in 1963 wrote a pre-assassination report on Lee Harvey Oswald, based on an interview which Oswald himself requested.

I have a personal reason for my interest in CIA links to Manchurian candidates and assassinations. Some of you may recall the Symbionese Liberation Army (S.L.A.) in the 1970s, the group led by "Cinque" or Donald DeFreeze. The S.L.A. first made headlines by murdering the superintendent of the Oakland School District, Marcus Foster; it subsequently kidnapped Patty Hearst and is said to have brainwashed her. As a convict, Cinque had participated in a behavior modification program in the California Medical Facility at Vacaville state prison; and that program’s director, Colton Westbrook, subsequently applied to teach in my Department of English at UC Berkeley. The chairman asked me to peruse Westbrook’s curriculum vitae; and I immediately noticed that while in Vietnam Westbrook had worked as a civilian employee of Pacific Architects & Engineers (PA&E). PA&E was a well-known cover for the CIA in Saigon, and I so notified the Chairman. Westbrook did not get the job.

Because of this experience I have noticed other veterans of behavior modification programs who became assassins. These include Mark David Chapman, the assassin of John Lennon, and Dennis Sweeney, the assassin of Allard Lowenstein (the only former Congressman ever to become involved in the topic of assassinations). Chapman had been treated at Castle Memorial Hospital for clinical depression; Sweeney had spent eight years in the Mid-Hudson Psychiatric Center, New York's maximum security psychiatric hospital.

General Features of Three Major AssassinationsLet us move now to an overview of these three assassinations. At first they were all quickly traced to mob figures, as David Scheim summarized a quarter century ago in his book Contract on America. More recently they have been traced to US intelligence agencies, particularly the CIA.

In his new edition of Oswald and the CIA, John Newman writes that "someone in CIA counterintelligence…was harnessed to the [JFK] plot;" and he concludes that "we must now seriously consider the possibility that [James] Angleton was probably their general manager." In the case of MLK, Philip Melanson wrote that "the trail of conspiracy leads to elements of the U.S. intelligence community." In his new book, Who Killed Bobby?, Shane O’Sullivan devotes an entire chapter to the "intelligence connections" of the RFK case, and another to his thesis that Sirhan was a "Manchurian candidate," a "programmed assassin" of the type the CIA sought to develop in its program MK/ULTRA.

Furthermore, all three books refer in one way or another to the activities of James Angleton, the CIA’s Chief of Counterintelligence; and O’Sullivan in particular reports that both Angleton and J. Edgar Hoover "held photographs of Robert Kennedy’s autopsy in their personal safes."

The three major U.S. assassinations of the 1960s also have drug-trafficking in their background. In Deep Politics I wrote about how Jack Ruby was identified in 1956 as the man in Dallas who gave the "okay" for a "large narcotics setup operating between Mexico, Texas, and the East."

James Earl Ray was said by some associates to have been interested in the sale of narcotics, while his traveling companion Charles Stein also had a narcotics background. (John Larry Ray writes that in 1967 James and Stein were involved together in a marijuana delivery from Mexico.) In addition, William Pepper has collected testimony from witnesses that the second gunman in the Martin Luther King assassination was hired and directed by a Mafia-connected produce dealer named Frank Liberto, now deceased. A confessed participant in the plot, Loyd Jowers, has said that his friend Liberto "was into a variety of illegal activities, including gunrunning, drugs, prostitution, and gambling" (emphasis added).

In the case of RFK, Warren Hinckle and William Turner, in Deadly Secrets, suggested that Sirhan Sirhan "was a hired gun." Their chief evidence is the references in his extraordinary cryptic notebook to payments from a "Frank Donaruma," a convict dealing with race horses who (in their words) "had a rap sheet showing arrests in New York and Miami." In the actual LA Police Department records on the Sirhan case there is one page on Frank Donneroummas, saying: "Security check with a MUS Carpender through the Calif. Racing Assoc. shows that the subject has prior narcotic and petty larceny arrests in New York" (emphasis added).Aginter Press

There are both intelligence and global drug connection aspects to James Earl Ray’s ten-day visit to Lisbon in May 1968, shortly before his arrest. According to the HSCA, Ray "thought that he might be able to make contact with a white mercenary military group in the Portuguese capital, because of the colonial presence of Portugal in Angola." Ray’s interest in becoming a mercenary seems to have been ongoing: back in December he had written to inquire about emigrating to Rhodesia, and on June 10 he was arrested as he was about to board a plane to Brussels; clearly he was aware that South Africa, Lisbon, and Brussels were the main points of contact for white mercenary activity in Africa.

To the best of my knowledge, there was just one mercenary group in Lisbon, Aginter Press, created in 1966, two years before Ray apparently contacted it. Aginter Press was a highly secret group which, according to an official Italian Senate Report, was "directly linked to the CIA and the Portuguese secret service, that specialized in provocative operations." Years ago I wrote about Aginter Press as part of a global "CIA-Mafia-Narcotics Connection" financed in large part by international drug trafficking.

A few words about Aginter and one of its so-called "correspondents," the celebrated Italian assassin Stefano delle Chiaie, will illustrate about the importance of the global drug connection. Aginter supplied foot soldiers for the CIA’s operations in Chile between 1970 and 1975, first in Patria y Libertad which prepared for the 1973 coup, and later with DINA, Pinochet’s drug-financed intelligence agency.

(A principal player in Patria y Libertad was Michael Townley, the leading architect of the Orlando Letelier assassination in Washington, who is also accused of involvement with the CIA murderers of Chile’s General Schneider in 1970. Some see in the Schneider murder a possible connection to JFK’s. To this day, Townley is thought of in America as a DINA agent, but in Chile as a CIA agent. I suspect he was both.)

Stefano delle Chiaie -- alias Alfa -- became a principal assassin for DINA, attacking, for example, a prominent Chilean Christian Democrat, Bernardo Leighton, in Rome. In 1982 he traveled to Miami with a leading Turkish drug trafficker, Abdullah Çatli, who was simultaneously a killer for the Turkish deep state and a veteran of the CIA’s Gladio network in Turkey. The drug traffic through Turkey in which Çatli was prominent has been linked by researchers to a drug route from Afghanistan which at every stage was controlled by members or allies of Al Qaeda.

Aginter Press had been founded in September 1966, less than two years prior to Ray’s visit, by veterans of the French Secret Army Organization (OAS) – an anti-de Gaulle faction that enjoyed contacts with Angleton in the CIA. By 1968 Aginter was dispatching mercenaries to many parts of the world. Specifically, they were sent to Guatemala, which in 1968 was in the midst of a massive CIA-assisted terror campaign, in which former CIA Cubans and U.S. Green Berets were also involved. (Some 50,000 people are estimated to have been killed by 1971.) One of these Aginter operatives, an American by the name of Jay Sablonsky (or Salby), reached Guatemala in 1968 on a false Guatemalan passport, issued by Guatemala's Montreal consulate.

Montreal was thus a liaison point for Aginter, and this may explain Ray’s brief return there from Toronto in April or May of 1968. Melanson located in Toronto the so-called "fat man" who on May 2, 1968 -- six days before Ray’s arrival in Lisbon -- delivered a package to Ray in Toronto addressed to Ray’s alias of Ramon Sneyd. The "fat man" (to whom Melanson gave the pseudonym of William Bolton) told Melanson that the package was a letter "about a job in Portugal and it showed that he had help." Bolton further "asserted that there was `big money’ behind Ray." (Melanson was the first person to interview Bolton, who expressed fear during the interview: "within several weeks of my surprise confrontation with him, he precipitously left his job and his residence in eastern Canada.")

The CIA was conducting surveillance on Martin Luther King, and its copious King records treated King as a dangerous domestic threats to U.S. national security.

One interview in 1965 reported the belief of a redacted informant (probably Roy Wilkins) that

somehow or other Martin Luther KING must be removed from the leadership of the Negro movement….████ feels that unless the Negro leaders, other than KING, are informed and are capable of intelligent maneuvering, the Communists or Negro elements who will be directed by the Communists may be in a position to, if not take over the Negro movement, completely disrupt it and hence cause extremely critical problems for the Government of the United States.

There has been much recent attention paid to Marrell McCollough, a companion of Martin Luther King who was on the balcony where and when King was shot. By all accounts McCollough was an undercover agent for the Memphis Police Department with a military background, who later went to work for the CIA. William Pepper collected testimony from Loyd Jowers that he had been part of the plot to murder King; and that McCollough (who has admitted he knew Jowers) was a co-conspirator in the murder plot.

Lieutenant Manuel Pena and Sergeant Enrique "Hank" Hernandez, the two veterans of the Los Angeles Police Force who had the most day-to-day control of the RFK assassination investigation, both had CIA connections through their training for and participation in police operations in Latin America. Pena had reportedly left the LAPD for a "special training unit" at CIA’s Camp Peary base in Virginia.

Pena "also built up strong connections with Interpol: a senior official in the Mexican government was his `number one connection into Latin America,’ and he’d make frequent trips down there." Both Oswald and Ray also visited Mexico prior to the events for which they were arrested, and in both cases after the preparations for implicating them had clearly begun. Senior Mexican officials, notably the future Mexican Minister of Government Fernando Gutiérrez Barrios, also falsified records at the behest of the CIA in the case of Lee Harvey Oswald. His agency, the Mexican Federal Security Directorate (DFS), had been involved throughout its three decades of existence in drug trafficking.

The CIA also had a representative in the interrogation of Oswald. This was Harry D. Holmes, who was in the final Oswald interview, and may have choreographed the length of it so that Oswald and Ruby would meet in the DPD basement. Holmes was a Postal Inspector, but Postal Inspectors in cities with the CIA’s mail-opening program (HT/LINGUAL) had CIA clearances; indeed, Postal Inspectors were in charge of HT/LINGUAL.

A New Analysis of the MLK Assassination, Based on Two Other Deep EventsI wish now to propose a new hypothesis about the MLK case which is based on a striking similarity between it, JFK, and 9/11. I am talking about the prior designation of a culprit whose name or names existed in intelligence files, and could be counted on to embarrass a wide spectrum of the US Government into cover-up of the deep event for which he was blamed. The name I am talking about in the MLK case, however, is not that of James Earl Ray, but of his alias, Eric S. Galt.

Let me begin with a word or two about the dubious detective work on JFK and 9/11. Less than fifteen minutes after President Kennedy’s assassination, the height and weight of Kennedy’s alleged killer was posted. Before the last of the hijacked planes crashed on 9/11, the FBI told Richard Clarke that they had a list of alleged hijackers. In both events, there are reasons to suspect that the information about the alleged suspects came from prior information in intelligence files.

In the case of Oswald, within 15 minutes of the assassination and long before Oswald was picked up in the Texas Theater, Inspector Sawyer of the Dallas police put out on the police radio network, and possibly other networks, a description of the killer – "About 30, 5’10", 165 pounds." This height and weight exactly matched the measurements attributed to Lee Harvey Oswald in Oswald’s FBI file, and also in CIA documents about him.

The announced weight was, however, significantly different from Oswald’s actual weight, 131 pounds, as recorded by the Dallas police after his arrest. More importantly, there is no credible source for the posted measurements from any witness in Dallas. (The witness said to have spotted him, Howard Brennan, failed to identify Oswald in a line-up.)

I conclude that the measurements were taken from existing files on Oswald, rather than from any observations in Dallas on November 22. If so, someone with access to those files may have already designated Oswald as the culprit, before there was any evidence to connect him to the crime. . If not, how could the determination have been made within fifteen minutes?

A similar situation pertains to the alleged hijackers on 9/11. For example, shortly afterwards men in Saudi Arabia complained that "the hijackers' `personal details’" released by the FBI -- "including name, place, date of birth and occupation -- matched their own." One of them, Saeed al-Ghamdi, claimed further that an alleged photograph shown on CNN (of an alleged Flight 93 hijacker with the same name) was in fact a photograph of himself. He speculated "that CNN had probably got the picture from the Flight Safety flying school he attended in Florida."

If the above information is accurate, then the details posted by the FBI and CNN about the alleged hijackers cannot have derived from the events of 9/11, with which the survivors in Saudi Arabia would appear to have been uninvolved. Once again this leaves the strong possibility that the details were taken from existing files, rather than from empirical observations on September 11.

Some of the hijackers, like Lee Harvey Oswald, may have been in CIA files for a special reason: because the CIA had an operational interest in them. I wish to suggest that in an analogous way U.S. security files also contained information on another person of interest to them: the man whose identity was assumed by Ray, Eric S. Galt.

Internal CIA Evidence of Operational Interest in Oswald and the Hijackers

Let me now discuss evidence, from internal CIA records, about an operational CIA interest in first Oswald and later two of the alleged al-Qaeda hijackers, Nawaz al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar. In 2001, as in 1963, the CIA withheld information about these people from the FBI, which ought categorically to have received it. The anomalies are extreme.

This is now easy to show in the case of Oswald. On October 10, 1963, six

weeks before the assassination of John F. Kennedy, CIA Headquarters sent out two messages about Oswald, a teletype to the FBI, State, and Navy, and a cable to the chief of the CIA’s Mexico City station. Both messages contained false and mutually contradictory statements, and also withheld known facts of great potential importance. The teletype to the FBI withheld the obviously significant information that Oswald had reportedly met in Mexico City with a Soviet Vice-Consul, Valeriy Kostikov, who was believed by CIA officers to be an officer of the KGB, perhaps even a specialist in assassinations.

CIA officer Jane Roman helped draft both messages. In 1995 she was confronted by two interviewers with irrefutable evidence that she had signed off on erroneous information about Oswald in the CIA cable to Mexico City. After much questioning, she finally admitted, "I’m signing off on something I know isn’t true." One of the interviewers, John Newman, then asked her, "‘Is this indicative of some sort of operational interest in Oswald’s file?’ ‘Yes,’ Roman replied. ‘To me it’s indicative of a keen interest in Oswald held very closely on the need-to-know basis.’" She later repeated, "I would think there was definitely some operational reason to withhold it [the information at CIA headquarters on Oswald], if it was not sheer administrative error, when you see all the people who signed off on it."

Other CIA officers withheld important information from the FBI in January 2000, with respect to Khalid al-Mihdhar, who would later be identified as one of the al-Qaeda hijackers on September 11, 2001. The National Security Agency (NSA) overheard, on a Yemeni telephone conversation, information about a meeting in Malaysia which al-Mihdhar would attend, along with Tewfiq bin Attash, the mastermind of the fatal attack on the USS Cole. It notified the CIA but not the FBI. Meanwhile,

CIA leaders were so convinced about the potential significance of the al Qaeda meeting in Malaysia, they not only set up surveillance of it, but provided regular updates to the FBI director [Louis Freeh], the head of the CIA [George Tenet], and the national security advisor [samuel Berger].

Once again, however, the regular FBI (as opposed to its director Louis Freeh) was not notified.

[Khalid al-Mihdhar’s] Saudi passport – which contained a visa for travel to the United States – was photocopied [in Qatar] and forwarded to CIA headquarters. The information was not shared with FBI headquarters until August 2001. An FBI agent detailed to the Bin Laden unit at the CIA attempted to share this information with colleagues at FBI Headquarters. A CIA desk officer instructed him not to send the cable with this information. Several hours later, this same desk officer drafted a cable distributed solely within CIA alleging that the visa documents had been shared with the FBI.

Lawrence Wright, reviewing this and other significant anomalies, reported in The Looming Tower the belief among FBI agents following bin Laden "that the agency was protecting Mihdhar and [his companion, the alleged 9/11 hijacker Nawaz al-] Hazmi because it hoped to recruit them," or alternatively that "the CIA was running a joint venture with Saudi intelligence" using al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi. Wright himself speculated in a companion essay he wrote for The New Yorker that "The CIA may also have been protecting an overseas operation and was afraid that the F.B.I. would expose it."

The CIA’s concealing of information from the FBI about Oswald and the hijackers was necessary for the designated culprits to play their allotted roles in the deep events. In both cases the FBI later complained that the withholding of information was crucial in enabling the deep events to occur. It would be wrong to assume that the withholding of information, though deliberate, had the assassination and plane hijackings in mind. It is perhaps more likely that Oswald and al-Mihdhar were being protected by the CIA for some other operation – possibly against Cuba (in the case of Oswald), or to penetrate existing al-Qaeda cells in the US (in the case of al-Hamzi and al-Mihdhar).

But someone in the CIA with knowledge of these sensitive files, and intent on a criminal deep event, could have used the sensitive identities of Oswald and al-Mihdhar as designated culprits in the plots, knowing that the CIA would be virtually coerced into cover-up because of the embarrassing manipulations of their files on these individuals.

In a different way, I believe that the U.S. Government was embarrassed into cover-up again in the case of James Earl Ray in the MLK assassination. In saying this, I am not assuming that Ray himself had been of interest to the CIA, in the same way as Oswald and al-Mihdhar. But Eric S. Galt, the real man whose name was assumed early on by Ray as an alias, was an intelligence insider who was certainly the subject of a sensitive file. A sensitive file must have existed also for the Toronto policeman Ramon George Sneyd, whose name supplied a later Ray alias.

For these reasons I conclude that the MLK plot was structured to provoke governmental embarrassment by the skilled and knowledgeable selection of Ray’s aliases, both before and after King’s death. This would put someone inside intelligence, rather than the mob, at the center of the MLK plot.

It has long been recognized that the selection of Eric S. Galt as an alias for Ray could not have been made by Ray himself, but was a sophisticated choice by someone controlling Ray, of a man who was

1) roughly similar to Ray in physical characteristics, and even more similar after Ray underwent plastic surgery in 1967

2) part of the national security establishment, because of the classified work he was doing for Union Carbide, both in Canada and the US, on proximity fuses.

As Philip Melanson pointed out, the real Galt "was the subject of a very detailed dossier. Whoever had access to it had all the information needed to use Galt’s identity as a cover, to match Galt to Ray."

A search for Eric S. Galt began on April 9 but increased on April 11, with the discovery of an abandoned white Mustang, thought to be the murderer’s escape vehicle, which had been purchased under that name. But from the beginning, and even as late as the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) investigation a decade later, the awkwardness created by the name prevented its public use. "In fact, Ray’s Alabama license, car registration, signature at the New Rebel Motel in Memphis, and assorted forms, letters, and coupons were all `Eric S. Galt.’" But press reports about the search for the assassin used instead the name of someone who did not exist, "Eric Starvo Galt."

The official account of how the real Galt was discovered and linked to the MLK case is that on April 18, 1968, only hours before the FBI would finally identify James Earl Ray as the real suspect, the Kansas City field office of the FBI notified Headquarters and the Memphis FBI that "Review of March, nineteen sixty-eight Toronto, Ontario, Canada telephone directory reveals a listing for one Eric Galt." With this dubious timing, the real Eric Galt was thus spared being an active suspect. (In a similar delay, the FBI only advised its field offices of the Toronto policeman Ramon George Sneyd on June 6, 1968, two days before Ray’s arrest in London.)

In the first edition of his MLK book, Melanson believed this unlikely story, writing that "What apparently saved the real Galt from being targeted as the prime suspect was the slothfulness of law enforcement." I believe on the contrary that it was the sensitivity of the Galt name, rather than slothfulness, that led to its remaining concealed until just before Ray would be proclaimed as the suspect.

Apparently, this same sensitivity induced even the HSCA in its Report to misrepresent the aliases used by Ray. It reported in 1978 that "When he rented an apartment or a room, bought a car, secured a driver’s license…he did so as Eric Starvo Galt." (rather than "Eric S. Galt"). In like manner the HSCA misrepresented the name in Ray’s passport ("Ramon George Sneyd") as "George Ramon Sneyd."

In his revised edition of his book, Melanson recognized for the first time that the real Galt’s employment, in a security-cleared position at Union Carbide in the shadow of some of the United States’ most secretive weapons research, meant that information about him "might [Melanson’s word] have been accessible through federal computer searches."

"Might" is far too weak a word; Galt’s name would have been instantly available, I believe without a doubt. 1968 was a year of intense anti-war and civil rights disturbances, of massive surveillance of Americans by Army Intelligence, by the CIA through Operation Chaos, by the FBI, and even by the NSA. As Senator Sam Ervin later revealed in a set of Senate Hearings, by this time computerized files on civilians were being amassed and shared by all these agencies.

It is inconceivable to me that the name of Eric Galt had not turned up in a computer search almost immediately, whether from his security file, or from some other file such as an INS file, because of Galt’s frequent crossing of the US-Canadian border. (One has to keep in mind that the FBI had no trouble locating and interviewing all kinds of unrelated Lowmeyers in America, in the wake of Ray’s use of "Harvey Lowmeyer" as an alias, a name taken from that of a low-level criminal who had worked in a prison kitchen with Ray’s brother, John.)

I draw two conclusions from my assertion that that some branches of the US government knew early of the real Galt problem. The first is the delay in identifying Galt was not from slothfulness; the real Galt’s existence was covered up to protect both Galt and the national security establishment from embarrassment. (In The Road to 9/11 I point to a similar cover-up to protect Ali Mohamed, a US-al Qaeda double agent who was the trainer of those who bombed the World Trade Center in 1993.) The second, more disturbing conclusion is that those plotting the MLK assassination were intelligence insiders: people who knew of Galt’s sensitive situation, and exploited it in such a way as to ensure that the government would be embarrassed into covering up what really happened on those days.

This is a conclusion supported less by the specific evidence in the MLK case than on what are to me the striking analogies between it, the JFK and 9/11 cases – namely, the selection from information on file of a sensitive identity as culprit, which would first impede investigation and later guarantee a cover-up.

This conclusion would suggest an intelligence component to the MLK assassination at a much higher level than previously noted facts that the CIA was collaborating with local police forces like that of Memphis, or that the CIA had Martin Luther King under surveillance. It also strengthens my strong suspicion that all of our major deep events, including JFK, MLK, and now 9/11, derive in large part from a common source.

On the surface these conclusions seem to point out a difference between the MLK case and the two Kennedy assassinations. In JFK and RFK, the designated culprits, Oswald and Sirhan, were apprehended almost immediately. The use of sensitive name, Galt and Sneyd, served in contrast to delay the apprehension of James Earl Ray for weeks. If Ray was also a designated culprit, why would he be protected in this fashion?

I can think of only one reason. June 6, 1968, the day that the FBI launched an all-points seach for "Ramon George Sneyd," was also the day on which Robert Kennedy died of his wounds. Ray was then arrested two days later, appeasing the growing apprehension among some that assassins were now, with impunity, determining the future of America.

Philip Melanson has rightly drawn attention to the effective help provided Ray in the weeks prior to his arrival in London, contrasted with the breakdown in that help thereafter. His explanation for this breakdown is that "Ray had lost his lifeline and was desperate…the unseen hand was gone:" Add he adds,

The question arises as to how a sophisticated assassination conspiracy clever enough to match Ray and Galt, kill King, and guide Ray through Toronto could be inept enough to allow him to be captured alive in London.

Melanson’s answer to his question is that "It is only in James Bond novels that operations always go smoothly."

The alternative answer, to which I have come only recently, is that there was no ineptitude: Ray was meant to be captured, but only after this apparent feat of justice would counter the atrocity of Robert Kennedy’s murder. In this way Ray’s capture served to offset the popular anger and frustration which produced such violent days of rioting after the murder of Martin Luther King.

As I say, this is the only reason I can think of for a planned delay in the arrest of Ray as designated culprit. But of course this reason, if correct, would be still another corroboration of a single source behind the twin deep events of April 4 and June 5, 1968.

Edited by William Kelly
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People whose judgment I trust say PD Scotts research into the 60’s assassination is excellent. Unfortunately the same can’t be said about his 9/11 research. Recently his colleague David Ray Griffin admitted he didn’t always check his sources to make sure they were accurate*, I think the same is true of Scott.

* http://screwloosechange.blogspot.com/2008/...hh-sort-of.html

There was nothing especially remarkable about most of the hijackers being identified quickly in several cases stewardesses ID them by seat number. They were the only Arabs on any of the flights and most of their names generated hits in the system.

He is inaccurate when he says

“Mohamed Atta was said to have left one rental car in the Boston airport, filled with boxcutters and other incriminating items; he then allegedly rented a second car and drove to Maine, where he packed bags with still more self-incriminating material.[3]”

The rental car left at Logan airport was left their by other hijackers and AFAIK only contained flight manuals. This is even confirmed by the 9/11 Timeline*. Since the hijackers were planning on martyring themselves they had no reason to cover their tracks.

* http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?...630airportscene

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Bill thanks for that. Much to mull.

I found the common denominator of the mobbed up defense lawyers quite interesting , especially after having read Melanson and Klaber's book Shadow Play, which focuses only on the trial portion of the RFK story. This tighter focus on the trial, makes it must reading, even if you think you know everything from other RFK books.

It is impossible for any multi-celled organism who has read that book to believe that there was anything less than blatant collaboration between the prosecution and the defense, and that this collaboration was undertaken with full knowledge by the defense that they were cooperating in the framing of their client, Sirhan Sirhan.


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  • 8 years later...

I had to look up Allard Lowenstein, a former congressman who wanted the evidence in the RFK case revisited. He was Assassinated five years after appearing on Firing line, where he explained that Sirhan Sirhan could not have fired all the shots during the Los Angeles assassination of RFK.


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