Jump to content
The Education Forum

New FPCC Article-- please critique


Recommended Posts

Hey Bill,

Welcome to the fray. I think you'll find some interesting and knowledgeable people here, especially in regards to FPCC.

One member, Harry Dean, has some keen insight into the organization and went to Cuba.

And congratulations on a great article in an almost mainstream outlet.

Also, Alan Sagner is still alive in North Jersey and probably has some interesting memories of the early Fair Play days.

Another point I thought interesting is the fact when he was corresponding with V.T. Lee, Oswald used the alias O.H. Lee three times - registering at hotel in Mexico City, registering at the YMCA in Dallas and at the Beckley Street rooming house.

Looking forward to more of your contributions,

Bill Kelly

Thank you, John, for asking me to join the forum. I've attached my FPCC article with the endnotes, which many people have

been asking me for.

The documents referenced in this article provide a unique window into the JFK case. It's the viewpoint of the pro-Castro activists here in the United States.

A lot has been heard from government actors and anti-Castro activists. But hearing from American pro-Castro activists is relatively new. It's no accident these documents were held back for decades.

The documents reveal that most of the initial activists in 1960 are clearly not government informants - people like J. Edgar Hoover wanted to know a lot more about them after the Bay of Pigs protests. The scales tip drastically by 1963 - that's when you start seeing 40 informants in a single FBI report.

This is one more reason to lobby the Congressional oversight committees to release assassination-related documents already in the custody of the National Archives - before all these informants die of old age and what they know is lost.

It's worth taking a long look at John Tilton when reviewing the article. Tilton was a CIA mid-level operative who asked the FBI to provide him with FPCC stationery and mailing lists (which Victor Vicente did on 10/27/63, as well as letters written to Lee by Oswald). Tilton also worked with Lansdale on psy-ops, was the head of the CIA station in La Paz that helped capture Che Guevara, and served as the last chief of the assassination-driven Phoenix Program in Vietnam. (My post the other day on "Lee Henry Oswald" provides these background articles on Tilton).

Tilton also asked the FBI to help him with a deception program designed to make the FPCC look bad abroad. He wrote this letter a week before Oswald went to Mexico City, and just days before Oswald made his travel arrangements with William Gaudet of the CIA by his side. This FPCC deception program may have been the purpose of Oswald's Mexico trip.

New York City also emerges as a key aspect of the JFK case. It's the home of the FPCC. Also the home of the UN and the Cuban Mission to the UN, which worked closely with the FPCC. Oswald lived in NYC. The NYC FBI field office generated some of the first reports on LHO in early 1960. The Mannlicher-Carcano was allegedly shipped from NYC to Chicago to Dallas. Many politically active pro and anti Castro Cubans lived there during this era, even Orestes Pena.

The FPCC had three key leaders. The documents indicate that Taber offered to work for the CIA after JFK's death, but was

refused as "untrustworthy", the same pattern as his successor Richard Gibson about a month before his permanent departure

for Europe in Sept. 1962. I don't get it - I thought untrustworthiness was part of the job description of an informant.

The final leader of the FPCC, V.T. Lee, is a fascinating story by himself, which I haven't got into yet. I have been able to confirm that he was born in August 11, 1927, but what was his real name at birth? This is usually the first thing the intelligence

agencies try to establish - for him, it appears they didn't care. Clarence Thomas Lee is what Julian Sourwine and SISS claimed - Sourwine claimed that Lee's parents were named Tappin, but Lee claimed that he was born with the last name "Lee".

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...p;relPageId=177

V.T. Lee was African American, was at the same apartment house with Richard Gibson (also African American) at 37 1/2 St. Mark's Place in 1962. The reason I bring all this up is because V.T. Lee's history is very hard to put together - a newspaper

article about his life is included in the above SISS article but that's not terribly reliable...what happened to him after his spin with the Workers World Party in 64 or 65? There's a reference about him in 1966 that had Richard Helms clearly unglued. I haven't spoken to anyone who interviewed him after that date except on the phone...

...More to the point, I want to interview Lee, Gibson, and Taber and hear their side of the story. Can anyone help me find them? I think Gibson is still alive, I'm not so sure about Lee or Taber.

If he's still alive, I'd also like to interview Victor Vicente, V.T. Lee's right hand man in 1963 who aided the FBI with all their black bag jobs on the FPCC office, and then went to Mexico City and Cuba in July 1963 on behalf of the CIA and met Castro and Che.

My research indicates that there are extensive files on all the people and many more named above, and that most of their files were not unearthed by the efforts of the AARB. We can have the oversight committees designate them as assassination-related records under the JFK Act, and then they have to be turned over to the National Archives. Unless this happens by 2017, most of these records will be lost forever.

Any questions about the FPCC documents, feel free to fire away. There's more available, and a lot more out there.

Bill Simpich

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • Replies 39
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Among the items in Oswald's possession in the summer of 1963 in New Orleans was a copy of Corlis Lamont's "Crime Against Cuba," which I believe was privately published by Lamont, a radical millionaire friendly with FPCC in its early days.

Clark Wilkins wants to know if, "....the FPCC had Corlis Lamont's "The Crime Against Cuba" to even mail to Oswald? It's dozens of pages long and would have been expensive to mail.

The suspicious 'first edition' in Lee's hands would become even more suspicious if the FPCC never included Lamont's pamphlet in its mailings to Oswald."

In his book Dick Russell also devotes some to tracking down the origin of the copy(s) Oswald had in his possession and traced them to a batch that was sent to the CIA HQ at Langley, though I'm going on memory of reading this years ago.

I think everything gets more suspicious the more you look into it.

Does anybody have the goods on Oswald and Corlis Lamont's "The Crime Against Cuba"?

BK

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bill,

If you were trying to lob a softball to me, it looked more like a knuckleball by the time I was done swinging at it. But I think I tagged it.

Victor Vicente mailed Corliss Lamont’s pamphlets to Oswald - and probably sent the same 45 pamphlets originally purchased by the CIA two years earlier.

The evidence is overwhelming that Victor Vicente was the one who mailed Corliss Lamont’s pamphlets to Oswald. Jerry Rose raised some good points on this story in “A Fine Basic Pamplet: Oswald and Corliss Lamont” in the Fourth Decade, and we can stand on his shoulders now that more documents have been released.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...amp;relPageId=3

Vincent T. Lee was in the West Coast the week in April that Oswald ordered “40 or 50 of the fine basic pamplets (sic)” from him in his first letter to the New York FPCC office dated 4/18/63. Someone wrote “sent 4/19" in the margin of Oswald’s letter, and then wrote “50" and put it in a circle. That someone was almost certainly Vicente - not only was Vincent Lee out of town on 4/19 and had asked Vicente to watch over things during his departure, but he specifically denied to the Warren Commission that it was his handwriting.

(It should be noted that Vincent Lee initially tried to cover up for Vicente by telling the FBI that the notations were in his handwriting in his initial 12/6/63 interview)

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...mp;relPageId=88

Two days later, Vicente assisted the FBI in their “black bag job” on the FPCC office, where Vicente “made available records and correspondence currently maintained at FPCC Headquarters…Approximately 100 photographs were taken of this material…NYO will make appropriate dissemination when the film is developed.” For more information on Vicente and this incident, see my article earlier in this thread on “Fair Play for Cuba and the Cuban Revolution”.

Rose’s article would have been even stronger if he had realized that “Basic Pamphlets” was the name of Lamont’s mail-order pamphlet enterprise in 1961. It just so happens that the CIA ordered 45 pamphlets of the first edition in June 1961. Is it simply an eerie coincidence that LHO ordered “40 or (50)"? Was it a message that he was willing to "split the difference" in some way?

We know that 45 pamphlets were ordered by “Ethel H. Smith, on behalf of the Chief of the Acquisitions Division” by taking a glance at the CIA’s order slip and mailing envelope displayed at p. 219 of Jim DiEugenio’s Destiny Betrayed. The CIA purchased these 45 pamphlets from Lamont using its own letterhead! There were four printings of the “Crime Against Cuba” during 1961, and DiEugenio displays the text of the first printing in June and fourth printing in December to show the difference. DiEugenio informs us that the first printing was the version that Oswald was handing out in New Orleans two years later, during August 1963.

To see the actual pamphlet and that it’s a first printing, see WC Exhibit 3120, page 2:

http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/jfk/wc/w...Vol26_0405b.htm

All the evidence indicates that Vicente sent Oswald not 50, but the 45 pamphlets originally ordered by the CIA in the first printing during June 1961. What is increasingly clear is that Vicente made it his business to mail those pamphlets to Oswald.

Oswald asked the FPCC to send "pamplet-14" to him - most people would not have understood the reference

The next question - why did Vicente choose the pamphlet of “Crime Against Cuba” to send to Oswald? I couldn’t find the spring 1963 FPCC literature catalog, but I did find the one for the fall of 1963. “Crime Against Cuba” was the only Lamont publication listed in the more than sixty catalog items, which lead to another question - why would the FPCC be offering this 39-page pamphlet for only five cents a copy?

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...mp;relPageId=17

Let's return to the main question in another way...how did Vicente know which Lamont pamphlet Oswald wanted? Sure, “Crime Against Cuba” may have been the only Corliss Lamont publication in the FPCC catalog. But how did Vicente know what “Basic Pamphlets” referred to, when they weren't listed in the catalog in that fashion?

Take another look at WC Exhibit 3120, above. See the front page, where it is labeled at the top: “Basic Pamphlet-14". Next, the title: “The Crime Against Cuba”. Then, look at LHO’s first letter to the New York FPCC office: “I stood yesterday...passing out fair play for cuba pamplets...I now ask for 40 or (50) more of the fine, basic pamplets-14".

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...mp;relPageId=81

It’s clear from the letter that Oswald knew exactly what document he wanted. But it’s completely unclear how Vicente could have known that “basic pamplets-14" was referring to Lamont’s pamphlet. “Crime Against Cuba” is simply not a “fair play for cuba pamphlet” as described in Oswald’s letter. Lamont’s pamphlet only refers to the FPCC as a “source” at the end.

The authorities were always fascinated by Lamont’s pamphlet, and they always seemed to have copies of it

Lamont’s pamphlet made an impression on the authorities. Joan Mellen states that the FBI had a copy of this pamphlet “the day before Oswald scuffled with Bringuier”, citing RIF 124-10248-10191.

Jerry Rose points out that when Oswald was arrested fighting with the anti-Castro Cubans in August, Oswald spoke with New Orleans officer Captain James Arnold and made statements to him indicating his mistaken belief that Corliss Lamont was a woman. Oswald also asked to speak with an FBI agent. Incredibly, FBI agent John Quigley was sent to the jailhouse for an interview, despite the fact that Oswald was incarcerated for a minor misdemeanor. Among other things, Quigley and Oswald also chatted about the pamphlet.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...absPageId=13645

About a month later, on Sept. 12, 1963, the New Orleans SAC Milton Kaack wrote Hoover’s office and reported that LHO was not only passing out FPCC literature, but also Lamont’s “Crime Against Cuba”. Kaack also asked New York to send by airtel a characterization of Corliss Lamont.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...bsPageId=692194

It’s worth noting that after the assassination, the FBI’s Inspector Gale wrote a memo (originally redacted) naming the 18 agents that were punished for their mistakes that played a role in allowing the assassination to happen. Not only did Gale single out Kaack for punishment, but he also fingered Lambert L. Anderson, sitting at Hoover’s “Seat of Government”, who “supervised the Fair Play of Cuba aspects of this case from 8/16 to 10/31/63. He failed to have Oswald put on the SI (security index) in spite of considerable Fair Play for Cuba activity coupled with soviet defection background. In explanation he claims he did not feel Oswald met criteria for inclusion on SI.” It appears that Anderson and Kaack worked together, as Kaack’s last memo on the continuing investigation of Oswald prior to the assassination was 10/31/63. Anderson and Kaack deserve very close scrutiny. Anderson prepared many of the pre-assassination memos between Wannall and Sullivan, who were both censured for their inaction during this period. Kaack was keeping tabs on LHO as early as May of 1963, when LHO was allegedly working for deputy CIA chief Hunter Leake in New Orleans and his ostensible Dallas case agent Jim Hosty complained that he didn't know where the Oswalds had gone.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...bsPageId=300117

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...bsPageId=274386

In summary, the incident with Lamont’s pamphlet-14 is a strong indicator that Vicente obtained these documents from the CIA specifically to plant them on Oswald. For whatever reason, it seems that Oswald was giving a very strong signal of how many pamphlets to ask for. The mysterious thing to me is why would the CIA ask Lamont for 45 pamphlets on their own letterhead, and then try to use them for operational purposes two years later? Was it a plan, or just plain stupidity? It’s one of the strongest links between the CIA and LHO.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bill,

If you were trying to lob a softball to me, it looked more like a knuckleball by the time I was done swinging at it. But I think I tagged it.

Victor Vicente mailed Corliss Lamont’s pamphlets to Oswald - and probably sent the same 45 pamphlets originally purchased by the CIA two years earlier.

The evidence is overwhelming that Victor Vicente was the one who mailed Corliss Lamont’s pamphlets to Oswald. Jerry Rose raised some good points on this story in “A Fine Basic Pamplet: Oswald and Corliss Lamont” in the Fourth Decade, and we can stand on his shoulders now that more documents have been released.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...amp;relPageId=3

Vincent T. Lee was in the West Coast the week in April that Oswald ordered “40 or 50 of the fine basic pamplets (sic)” from him in his first letter to the New York FPCC office dated 4/18/63. Someone wrote “sent 4/19" in the margin of Oswald’s letter, and then wrote “50" and put it in a circle. That someone was almost certainly Vicente - not only was Vincent Lee out of town on 4/19 and had asked Vicente to watch over things during his departure, but he specifically denied to the Warren Commission that it was his handwriting.

(It should be noted that Vincent Lee initially tried to cover up for Vicente by telling the FBI that the notations were in his handwriting in his initial 12/6/63 interview)

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...mp;relPageId=88

Two days later, Vicente assisted the FBI in their “black bag job” on the FPCC office, where Vicente “made available records and correspondence currently maintained at FPCC Headquarters…Approximately 100 photographs were taken of this material…NYO will make appropriate dissemination when the film is developed.” For more information on Vicente and this incident, see my article earlier in this thread on “Fair Play for Cuba and the Cuban Revolution”.

Rose’s article would have been even stronger if he had realized that “Basic Pamphlets” was the name of Lamont’s mail-order pamphlet enterprise in 1961. It just so happens that the CIA ordered 45 pamphlets of the first edition in June 1961. Is it simply an eerie coincidence that LHO ordered “40 or (50)"? Was it a message that he was willing to "split the difference" in some way?

We know that 45 pamphlets were ordered by “Ethel H. Smith, on behalf of the Chief of the Acquisitions Division” by taking a glance at the CIA’s order slip and mailing envelope displayed at p. 219 of Jim DiEugenio’s Destiny Betrayed. The CIA purchased these 45 pamphlets from Lamont using its own letterhead! There were four printings of the “Crime Against Cuba” during 1961, and DiEugenio displays the text of the first printing in June and fourth printing in December to show the difference. DiEugenio informs us that the first printing was the version that Oswald was handing out in New Orleans two years later, during August 1963.

To see the actual pamphlet and that it’s a first printing, see WC Exhibit 3120, page 2:

http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/jfk/wc/w...Vol26_0405b.htm

All the evidence indicates that Vicente sent Oswald not 50, but the 45 pamphlets originally ordered by the CIA in the first printing during June 1961. What is increasingly clear is that Vicente made it his business to mail those pamphlets to Oswald.

Oswald asked the FPCC to send "pamplet-14" to him - most people would not have understood the reference

The next question - why did Vicente choose the pamphlet of “Crime Against Cuba” to send to Oswald? I couldn’t find the spring 1963 FPCC literature catalog, but I did find the one for the fall of 1963. “Crime Against Cuba” was the only Lamont publication listed in the more than sixty catalog items, which lead to another question - why would the FPCC be offering this 39-page pamphlet for only five cents a copy?

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...mp;relPageId=17

Let's return to the main question in another way...how did Vicente know which Lamont pamphlet Oswald wanted? Sure, “Crime Against Cuba” may have been the only Corliss Lamont publication in the FPCC catalog. But how did Vicente know what “Basic Pamphlets” referred to, when they weren't listed in the catalog in that fashion?

Take another look at WC Exhibit 3120, above. See the front page, where it is labeled at the top: “Basic Pamphlet-14". Next, the title: “The Crime Against Cuba”. Then, look at LHO’s first letter to the New York FPCC office: “I stood yesterday...passing out fair play for cuba pamplets...I now ask for 40 or (50) more of the fine, basic pamplets-14".

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...mp;relPageId=81

It’s clear from the letter that Oswald knew exactly what document he wanted. But it’s completely unclear how Vicente could have known that “basic pamplets-14" was referring to Lamont’s pamphlet. “Crime Against Cuba” is simply not a “fair play for cuba pamphlet” as described in Oswald’s letter. Lamont’s pamphlet only refers to the FPCC as a “source” at the end.

The authorities were always fascinated by Lamont’s pamphlet, and they always seemed to have copies of it

Lamont’s pamphlet made an impression on the authorities. Joan Mellen states that the FBI had a copy of this pamphlet “the day before Oswald scuffled with Bringuier”, citing RIF 124-10248-10191.

Jerry Rose points out that when Oswald was arrested fighting with the anti-Castro Cubans in August, Oswald spoke with New Orleans officer Captain James Arnold and made statements to him indicating his mistaken belief that Corliss Lamont was a woman. Oswald also asked to speak with an FBI agent. Incredibly, FBI agent John Quigley was sent to the jailhouse for an interview, despite the fact that Oswald was incarcerated for a minor misdemeanor. Among other things, Quigley and Oswald also chatted about the pamphlet.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...absPageId=13645

About a month later, on Sept. 12, 1963, the New Orleans SAC Milton Kaack wrote Hoover’s office and reported that LHO was not only passing out FPCC literature, but also Lamont’s “Crime Against Cuba”. Kaack also asked New York to send by airtel a characterization of Corliss Lamont.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...bsPageId=692194

It’s worth noting that after the assassination, the FBI’s Inspector Gale wrote a memo (originally redacted) naming the 18 agents that were punished for their mistakes that played a role in allowing the assassination to happen. Not only did Gale single out Kaack for punishment, but he also fingered Lambert L. Anderson, sitting at Hoover’s “Seat of Government”, who “supervised the Fair Play of Cuba aspects of this case from 8/16 to 10/31/63. He failed to have Oswald put on the SI (security index) in spite of considerable Fair Play for Cuba activity coupled with soviet defection background. In explanation he claims he did not feel Oswald met criteria for inclusion on SI.” It appears that Anderson and Kaack worked together, as Kaack’s last memo on the continuing investigation of Oswald prior to the assassination was 10/31/63. Anderson and Kaack deserve very close scrutiny. Anderson prepared many of the pre-assassination memos between Wannall and Sullivan, who were both censured for their inaction during this period. Kaack was keeping tabs on LHO as early as May of 1963, when LHO was allegedly working for deputy CIA chief Hunter Leake in New Orleans and his ostensible Dallas case agent Jim Hosty complained that he didn't know where the Oswalds had gone.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...bsPageId=300117

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...bsPageId=274386

In summary, the incident with Lamont’s pamphlet-14 is a strong indicator that Vicente obtained these documents from the CIA specifically to plant them on Oswald. For whatever reason, it seems that Oswald was giving a very strong signal of how many pamphlets to ask for. The mysterious thing to me is why would the CIA ask Lamont for 45 pamphlets on their own letterhead, and then try to use them for operational purposes two years later? Was it a plan, or just plain stupidity? It’s one of the strongest links between the CIA and LHO.

During October, 1963, New Orleans FBI agents Warren de Brueys and Milton R. Kaack suppressed the reference to “FPCC/544 Camp Street” that was stamped on Lamont’s pamphlet in Oswald’s possession

A little follow-up on my previous post. One thing I didn’t know was that the Lamont pamphlet that came into the FBI’s possession in New Orleans in August 1963 was stamped “FPCC/544 Camp Street”. This document was suppressed by the FBI and a “clean” version of this pamphlet was given to the Warren Commission as CD 3120.

This is clearly cover-up activity after the assassination. But a review of the below material reveals that New Orleans SAC Warren de Brueys and SA Milton R. Kaack both suppressed the information about “FPCC/544 Camp Street” in their reports before the assassination. It seems clear that they were protecting some intelligence operation - the question is what it was.

The next part of this comes directly from Gerald McKnight’s Breach of Trust, p. 320:

“Milton Kaack had access to Quigley’s copy of Lamont’s pamphlet, which “bore the rubber-stamped impression “FPCC/544 Camp Street/New Orleans, La.” When the Commission questioned Quigley about his interview with Oswald, the FBI agent never mentioned the 544 Camp Street address. On September 12, 1963, FBI New Orleans asked the New York office to “furnish an appropriate characterization of Corliss Lamont”.

“FBI New York’s “characterization” of Lamont as a fellow traveler (communist sympathizer) and Quigley’s Oswald interview report were included in two larger reports: Kaack’s and de Brueys’s for October 31 and October 25, respectively. In neither report was the Camp Street address mentioned.

“Three days after the assassination, the FBI did what can charitably be called a cursory investigation into the 544 Camp Street address. The results were incorporated into the FBI’s Commission Document (CD) 1 summary report to the Commission.

“The salient information was: “Also at the time of his August, 1963, arrest, Oswald had been passing out publications bearing the stamp ‘FPCC, 544 Camp Street, New Orleans, La.”

“The Commission was never informed that at one time the CIA-funded Cuban Revolutionary Council’s New Orleans chapter had occupied at this address.

“This was not an FBI oversight. When Secret Service agent John Rice, the agency’s special agent in charge of the New Orleans office, requested from his FBI counterpart information about where Oswald had had his FPCC handbills printed and also about the 544 Camp Street address, FBI Washington abruptly advised him that it had checked “this angle thoroughly but with negative results”. In short, Rice was warned off the case.

McKnight’s footnote is equally enlightening:

“For Quigley’s report of the interview, see Hearings Before Commission, Vo. 17, 758-762. His report contains Hidell’s name and the bogus FPCC PO Box 3006 address, but not the 544 Camp Street address; Hearings Before Commission, Vol. 4, 437; Vol. 17, 811.

"For Kaack, see CE 826:

http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/jfk/wc/w...Vol17_0390a.htm

"and for de Brueys’s October 25, 1963 report, see CD 1114

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...amp;relPageId=1

"The quotation from CD 1 can be found on p. 64 of that document...

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...mp;relPageId=75

Early JFK assassination researcher Paul Hoch established beyond question that the pamphlet Quigley received from Oswald bore the 544 Camp Street address. Hoch’s persistence with the Justice Department was finally rewarded with a Xerox copy of the original FBI record copy that Quigley filed with the FBI’s New Orleans office. This copy of the record held by the FBI contained the rubber-stamped 544 Camp Street address. The copy of the Lamont pamphlet that appeared in the official record as CE 3120 did not carry the 544 Camp Street address. See Paul Hoch’s lengthy correspondence with the Justice Department under ‘Paul Hoch, 544 Camp Street, Weisberg Subject Index, Weisberg Archive.’”

To follow-up on the memo about the FBI’s closing off of Rice’s investigation, see WC Exhibit 1414, a 12/9/63 Secret Service memo written by SA Anthony Gerrets and approved by Rice:

http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/jfk/wc/w...Vol22_0429b.htm

Gerrets’ memo begins by acknowledging that “the address ‘544 Camp Street, New Orleans, La.’...appeared on some of the literature in the possession of Lee Harvey Oswald when he was arrested...”. It goes on to document interviews with well-known Cuban exile activists such as Arnesto Rodriguez, Sr. and Luis Ravel of the Cuban Revolutionary Council (CRC), Manuel Gil of INCA, and Ronnie Caire of the Crusade to Free Cuba Committee, which makes it clear that the CRC had an office at 544 Camp during 1961-62.

The landlord Sam Newman made it clear that the last payment received for back CRC rent was paid on April 3, 1963 - two weeks before Oswald made the move to New Orleans.

Tenants from two of the union offices in the building are interviewed, but there is never any mention of the Guy Banister detective offices at 531 Lafayette Street. If one enters Newman’s building on the Lafayette side, the address is 531; if one enters on the Camp side, it is 544.

One area that needs follow-up is whether there are any early reports of the Secret Service or the FBI knowing about Guy Banister's presence in the CRC offices during 1961-1962. McKnight mentions that it exists, but I couldn't find it in the above-mentioned Secret Service report. Perhaps it's an earlier one that I couldn't readily locate.

The last part of the report turns to the question Rice asked New Orleans FBI agent Paul Alker on 12/6: What were the results of any investigation done to connect Oswald and the FPCC with 544 Camp Street? Alker said that “they had checked this angle out thoroughly but with negative results.”. An FBI document of August, 1963 indicates that Paul Alker was the #3 man in the New Orleans field office hierarchy.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...bsPageId=854244

Garrets says that “in the event any information is developed which would place (Oswald) at 544 Camp St., New Orleans, it will be the subject of another report.” In other words, since the above mostly-hostile witnesses denied knowledge of LHO or the FPCC at 544 Camp Street, coupled with Alker's "warning off" Rice, Rice and Garrets let their investigation die.

http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/jfk/wc/w...Vol22_0431a.htm

Conclusion

SAC Warren de Brueys and SA Milton R. Kaack both suppressed the “FPCC/544 Camp Street" stamp on Lamont's pamphlet in their October 1963 reports. Why?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bill,

If you were trying to lob a softball to me, it looked more like a knuckleball by the time I was done swinging at it. But I think I tagged it.

Victor Vicente mailed Corliss Lamont’s pamphlets to Oswald - and probably sent the same 45 pamphlets originally purchased by the CIA two years earlier.

The evidence is overwhelming that Victor Vicente was the one who mailed Corliss Lamont’s pamphlets to Oswald. Jerry Rose raised some good points on this story in “A Fine Basic Pamplet: Oswald and Corliss Lamont” in the Fourth Decade, and we can stand on his shoulders now that more documents have been released.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...amp;relPageId=3

Vincent T. Lee was in the West Coast the week in April that Oswald ordered “40 or 50 of the fine basic pamplets (sic)” from him in his first letter to the New York FPCC office dated 4/18/63. Someone wrote “sent 4/19" in the margin of Oswald’s letter, and then wrote “50" and put it in a circle. That someone was almost certainly Vicente - not only was Vincent Lee out of town on 4/19 and had asked Vicente to watch over things during his departure, but he specifically denied to the Warren Commission that it was his handwriting.

(It should be noted that Vincent Lee initially tried to cover up for Vicente by telling the FBI that the notations were in his handwriting in his initial 12/6/63 interview)

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...mp;relPageId=88

Two days later, Vicente assisted the FBI in their “black bag job” on the FPCC office, where Vicente “made available records and correspondence currently maintained at FPCC Headquarters…Approximately 100 photographs were taken of this material…NYO will make appropriate dissemination when the film is developed.” For more information on Vicente and this incident, see my article earlier in this thread on “Fair Play for Cuba and the Cuban Revolution”.

Rose’s article would have been even stronger if he had realized that “Basic Pamphlets” was the name of Lamont’s mail-order pamphlet enterprise in 1961. It just so happens that the CIA ordered 45 pamphlets of the first edition in June 1961. Is it simply an eerie coincidence that LHO ordered “40 or (50)"? Was it a message that he was willing to "split the difference" in some way?

We know that 45 pamphlets were ordered by “Ethel H. Smith, on behalf of the Chief of the Acquisitions Division” by taking a glance at the CIA’s order slip and mailing envelope displayed at p. 219 of Jim DiEugenio’s Destiny Betrayed. The CIA purchased these 45 pamphlets from Lamont using its own letterhead! There were four printings of the “Crime Against Cuba” during 1961, and DiEugenio displays the text of the first printing in June and fourth printing in December to show the difference. DiEugenio informs us that the first printing was the version that Oswald was handing out in New Orleans two years later, during August 1963.

To see the actual pamphlet and that it’s a first printing, see WC Exhibit 3120, page 2:

http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/jfk/wc/w...Vol26_0405b.htm

All the evidence indicates that Vicente sent Oswald not 50, but the 45 pamphlets originally ordered by the CIA in the first printing during June 1961. What is increasingly clear is that Vicente made it his business to mail those pamphlets to Oswald.

Oswald asked the FPCC to send "pamplet-14" to him - most people would not have understood the reference

The next question - why did Vicente choose the pamphlet of “Crime Against Cuba” to send to Oswald? I couldn’t find the spring 1963 FPCC literature catalog, but I did find the one for the fall of 1963. “Crime Against Cuba” was the only Lamont publication listed in the more than sixty catalog items, which lead to another question - why would the FPCC be offering this 39-page pamphlet for only five cents a copy?

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...mp;relPageId=17

Let's return to the main question in another way...how did Vicente know which Lamont pamphlet Oswald wanted? Sure, “Crime Against Cuba” may have been the only Corliss Lamont publication in the FPCC catalog. But how did Vicente know what “Basic Pamphlets” referred to, when they weren't listed in the catalog in that fashion?

Take another look at WC Exhibit 3120, above. See the front page, where it is labeled at the top: “Basic Pamphlet-14". Next, the title: “The Crime Against Cuba”. Then, look at LHO’s first letter to the New York FPCC office: “I stood yesterday...passing out fair play for cuba pamplets...I now ask for 40 or (50) more of the fine, basic pamplets-14".

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...mp;relPageId=81

It’s clear from the letter that Oswald knew exactly what document he wanted. But it’s completely unclear how Vicente could have known that “basic pamplets-14" was referring to Lamont’s pamphlet. “Crime Against Cuba” is simply not a “fair play for cuba pamphlet” as described in Oswald’s letter. Lamont’s pamphlet only refers to the FPCC as a “source” at the end.

The authorities were always fascinated by Lamont’s pamphlet, and they always seemed to have copies of it

Lamont’s pamphlet made an impression on the authorities. Joan Mellen states that the FBI had a copy of this pamphlet “the day before Oswald scuffled with Bringuier”, citing RIF 124-10248-10191.

Jerry Rose points out that when Oswald was arrested fighting with the anti-Castro Cubans in August, Oswald spoke with New Orleans officer Captain James Arnold and made statements to him indicating his mistaken belief that Corliss Lamont was a woman. Oswald also asked to speak with an FBI agent. Incredibly, FBI agent John Quigley was sent to the jailhouse for an interview, despite the fact that Oswald was incarcerated for a minor misdemeanor. Among other things, Quigley and Oswald also chatted about the pamphlet.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...absPageId=13645

About a month later, on Sept. 12, 1963, the New Orleans SAC Milton Kaack wrote Hoover’s office and reported that LHO was not only passing out FPCC literature, but also Lamont’s “Crime Against Cuba”. Kaack also asked New York to send by airtel a characterization of Corliss Lamont.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...bsPageId=692194

It’s worth noting that after the assassination, the FBI’s Inspector Gale wrote a memo (originally redacted) naming the 18 agents that were punished for their mistakes that played a role in allowing the assassination to happen. Not only did Gale single out Kaack for punishment, but he also fingered Lambert L. Anderson, sitting at Hoover’s “Seat of Government”, who “supervised the Fair Play of Cuba aspects of this case from 8/16 to 10/31/63. He failed to have Oswald put on the SI (security index) in spite of considerable Fair Play for Cuba activity coupled with soviet defection background. In explanation he claims he did not feel Oswald met criteria for inclusion on SI.” It appears that Anderson and Kaack worked together, as Kaack’s last memo on the continuing investigation of Oswald prior to the assassination was 10/31/63. Anderson and Kaack deserve very close scrutiny. Anderson prepared many of the pre-assassination memos between Wannall and Sullivan, who were both censured for their inaction during this period. Kaack was keeping tabs on LHO as early as May of 1963, when LHO was allegedly working for deputy CIA chief Hunter Leake in New Orleans and his ostensible Dallas case agent Jim Hosty complained that he didn't know where the Oswalds had gone.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...bsPageId=300117

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...bsPageId=274386

In summary, the incident with Lamont’s pamphlet-14 is a strong indicator that Vicente obtained these documents from the CIA specifically to plant them on Oswald. For whatever reason, it seems that Oswald was giving a very strong signal of how many pamphlets to ask for. The mysterious thing to me is why would the CIA ask Lamont for 45 pamphlets on their own letterhead, and then try to use them for operational purposes two years later? Was it a plan, or just plain stupidity? It’s one of the strongest links between the CIA and LHO.

Bill

Interesting important research job re; fpcc.

HJ Dean

Link to comment
Share on other sites

V.T. Lee was African American, was at the same apartment house with Richard Gibson (also African American) at 37 1/2 St. Mark's Place in 1962. The reason I bring all this up is because V.T. Lee's history is very hard to put together - a newspaper article about his life is included in the above SISS article but that's not terribly reliable...what happened to him after his spin with the Workers World Party in 64 or 65? There's a reference about him in 1966 that had Richard Helms clearly unglued. I haven't spoken to anyone who interviewed him after that date except on the phone...

...More to the point, I want to interview Lee, Gibson, and Taber and hear their side of the story. Can anyone help me find them? I think Gibson is still alive, I'm not so sure about Lee or Taber.

When William Sullivan resigned from the FBI on 28th August 1971, he pointed out to J. Edgar Hoover that he estimated that about half of the current membership of the American Communist Party were being paid by the FBI. I imagine something similar happened with the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. Probably, 50% were FBI agents. Some of those would have got to the top of the organization. I have been reliably informed that Tony Blair joined the Labour Party and CND when he was at university as a MI5 spy (I think this partly explains why he went along with Bush’s invasion of Iraq).

The use of African-Americans as FBI spies also makes sense as it could then be used to discredit the civil rights movement.

I suspect Robert Taber is still alive. The War of the Flea is a very important book and I am sure he would have got an obituary in newspapers like the Guardian.

Bill, have you had any luck in finding Gibson or Taber?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suspect Robert Taber is still alive. The War of the Flea is a very important book and I am sure he would have got an obituary in newspapers like the Guardian.

Bill, have you had any luck in finding Gibson or Taber?

No luck reaching Taber yet...Van Gosse thought he died ten years ago, but I haven't confirmed that yet. Gibson is somewhere in Europe, I think he's still alive.

I'd really like to find Vincent T. Lee or Victor Thomas Vicente. I think of them now as "Vincent and Vicente".

As mentioned earlier in this thread, the "40 or 50...basic pamphlets-14" Oswald asked the FPCC to send him in 1963 were the very 45 Basic Pamphlets #14 by Corliss Lamont that Ethel H. Smith ordered on CIA letterhead on behalf of the chief of the CIA's Acquisitions Division. (See Jim DiEugenio's Destiny Betrayed, p. 219)

Somehow Oswald knew to ask for "forty or fifty" of these exact pamphlets.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...p;relPageId=531

Somehow Oswald happened to order these pamphlets when Vincent Lee was not in the FPCC office and Victor Vicente was running the shop.

Somehow Victor Vicente (who worked for the CIA and the FBI, doing black bag jobs as T-3245-S*) received these 45 pamphlets from the CIA and mailed them to Oswald, claiming he mailed "50".

A copy of these 40 page pamphlets that Oswald had in his possession when he was arrested in New Orleans in 1963 is in the record and can be seen on-line (WC Ex. 3120). These pamphlets were from the first printing in 1961 - the very printing ordered by the CIA. This pamphlet had gone through four printings by 1963.

Here's a fascinating precedent for this kind of thing - the Weekly Standard reported two weeks ago that when Taber wrote War of the Flea, the entire first printing "was

bought up by the American military and became required reading for Special Forces officers".

http://www.annrachelmarlowe.com/2009/10/11...nterinsurgency/

This seems like good evidence that Lee Oswald was not only being used by intelligence operatives, but, even more importantly, that he was seeking them out.

Your thoughts?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Tom Scully

Bill,

Great research on the coincidences of the CIA pamphlet order and then Oswald's order.

Does the Weekly Standard "report" anything, or does it only "catapult the propaganda?"

I'm wondering how disappointed folks who subscribe to the following distillation of history, and those who staged the events, were when the assassination of JFK did not trigger a third world war, or at least an immediate invasion of Cuba:

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Fidel%27s+fa......-a0159238153

Date > 2007 > March > 1 > Reason

Fidel's favorite propagandist: how a New York Times reporter's passion for Castro led him astray.

...Some of the reporters were even more awed by Castro than Matthews was. CBS producer Robert Taber, at the end of his worshipful documentary Rebels of the Sierra Maestra: The Story of Cuba's Jungle Fighters, simply handed over the microphone and invited Castro to tell Americans anything on his mind. The surprised but grateful Castro responded with a tirade demanding the end of U.S. arms shipments to Batista--a rant amplified when material from the documentary was published in Life magazine. Taber was so smitten by what he heard that he would eventually form the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, whose most famous member would be Lee Harvey Oswald...

Contributing Editor Glenn Garvin (glenngarvin@hotmail.com), is co-author, with Ana Rodriguez, of Diary of a Survivor: Nineteen Years in a Cuban Women's Prison (St. Martin's). He writes about television for The Miami Herald.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bill,

Great research on the coincidences of the CIA pamphlet order and then Oswald's order.

Agreed - and it's another coincidence to the growing pile.

#1

September 2, 1959, Richard Bissell issues a memo ordering an increase in Soviet operations: "The effort of the Clandestine Services against the Soviets will be increased and expanded. This demands a coordinated clandestine attack by all operating elements of the CS which have operational opportunities."

September 4, 1959, Oswald applies for his passport.

#2

January 7, 1963: New law takes affect requiring PO to hold foreign Communist propaganda for 20 days while addressee completes and returns form confirming they want the material forwarded to them.

January ? 1963: Oswald subscribes to 3 Russian publications.

April, 1963: Corliss Lamont launches legal action challenging the new law.

#3

Oswald orders mail order weapons from two sources under investigation by the Dodd Commmmittee

#4

On May 16 and May 20, 1963, the FBI received intelligence from two informants indicating that the FPCC had successfully cleaned up its house and was no longer under CP or SWP influence.

On May 26, Oswald writes to the FPCC requesting a charter, and follows up with a series of letters which seem to link the FPCC with CPUSA and SWP.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
No luck reaching Taber yet...Van Gosse thought he died ten years ago, but I haven't confirmed that yet. Gibson is somewhere in Europe, I think he's still alive.

A friend has sent me this information on Gibson:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2006/jan/0...uardianreview25

See also Life Magazine (Oct 21, 1957 P10)

Ollie Harrington letter

http://books.google.com/books?id=QFYEAAAAM...;q=&f=false

This is the relevant section:

Ellen Wright died in 2004, at 92. Not long before, a photocopy of Island of Hallucination, more than 500 pages in Wright's typescript, came into my hands, by an unexpected route: it was lent to me by Richard Gibson, whose presence in the novel is thought to have been behind its suppression. Now in his 70s, Gibson, who was born in Los Angeles and raised in Philadelphia, has lived in west London for many years. He talks readily about a colourful past that involves various political affiliations and adventures, disgraces and protestations of innocence. In the early 1960s, he was head of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in the United States, in which capacity he met Fidel Castro and Ché Guevara on several occasions. When John F Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, Gibson was approached by the CIA for information on Lee Harvey Oswald, who also had links with the FPCC. He is the author of the book African Liberation Movements, and was for a time English-language editor of the Algiers-based magazine Révolution Africaine, run by the French lawyer Jacques Vergès, who later denounced Gibson in the magazine (July-August 1964). Since his Paris days, when he was a regular at the Café Tournon, Gibson has had to fend off suggestions of egregious activity, including spying for the US government, allegations he has consistently denied, sometimes in the law courts and sometimes with a touch of humour. "If I'm CIA, where's my pension?", he once quipped to me.

Of the many things that vexed Wright in Paris in the 1950s - Baldwin's perceived treachery, Smith's snooping, Himes's unfaithfulness - it was the sequence of events that became known as the "Gibson affair" that exercised him most. In 1957, Gibson and Smith, acting in concert, sent a letter to Life magazine criticising French policy in Algeria. Such a gesture could only be seen as foolhardy on the part of an American, provoking the risk of deportation from France. Gibson wrote the letter, but signed it in the name of the newspaper cartoonist Ollie Harrington, a popular figure at the Tournon and one of the few members of the "church" whom Wright did not regard with suspicion or contempt. Wright and Harrington were furious when the letter appeared over the latter's signature in Life (October 21, 1957). Gibson was questioned by French police, and admitted his part in the forgery. He was released without charge but lost his job at Agence France Presse and returned to the US to take up a post with CBS News. Gibson claims he wrote the letter as part of a scheme concocted with Smith, involving a series of communications to various publications, each signed in a false name by a different member of the black community. (His own account of the episode will be published later this year in the journal Modern Fiction Studies.)

A version of the Gibson affair, and the related disagreement between Gibson and Harrington over the lease to a Left Bank apartment which led to a violent fight between the two men, features prominently in Island of Hallucination. There is an unpleasant character in the novel called Mechanical, who reflects certain aspects of Baldwin, notably his homosexuality, which disgusted Wright. At one point, in a nightmare, Fishbelly opens a coffin to find Mechanical dressed as a woman. Other composites display fragmentary resemblances to Smith, Harrington, Gibson himself, and figures more peripheral to the black literary scene in Paris, such as the West Indian writer CLR James, who appears to have been used as the basis for the character called Cato. When I first met Mrs Wright, James was still alive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ellen Wright died in 2004, at 92. Not long before, a photocopy of Island of Hallucination, more than 500 pages in Wright's typescript, came into my hands, by an unexpected route: it was lent to me by Richard Gibson, whose presence in the novel is thought to have been behind its suppression. Now in his 70s, Gibson, who was born in Los Angeles and raised in Philadelphia, has lived in west London for many years. He talks readily about a colourful past that involves various political affiliations and adventures, disgraces and protestations of innocence. In the early 1960s, he was head of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in the United States, in which capacity he met Fidel Castro and Ché Guevara on several occasions. When John F Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, Gibson was approached by the CIA for information on Lee Harvey Oswald, who also had links with the FPCC. He is the author of the book African Liberation Movements, and was for a time English-language editor of the Algiers-based magazine Révolution Africaine, run by the French lawyer Jacques Vergès, who later denounced Gibson in the magazine (July-August 1964). Since his Paris days, when he was a regular at the Café Tournon, Gibson has had to fend off suggestions of egregious activity, including spying for the US government, allegations he has consistently denied, sometimes in the law courts and sometimes with a touch of humour. "If I'm CIA, where's my pension?", he once quipped to me.

Of the many things that vexed Wright in Paris in the 1950s - Baldwin's perceived treachery, Smith's snooping, Himes's unfaithfulness - it was the sequence of events that became known as the "Gibson affair" that exercised him most. In 1957, Gibson and Smith, acting in concert, sent a letter to Life magazine criticising French policy in Algeria. Such a gesture could only be seen as foolhardy on the part of an American, provoking the risk of deportation from France. Gibson wrote the letter, but signed it in the name of the newspaper cartoonist Ollie Harrington, a popular figure at the Tournon and one of the few members of the "church" whom Wright did not regard with suspicion or contempt. Wright and Harrington were furious when the letter appeared over the latter's signature in Life (October 21, 1957). Gibson was questioned by French police, and admitted his part in the forgery. He was released without charge but lost his job at Agence France Presse and returned to the US to take up a post with CBS News. Gibson claims he wrote the letter as part of a scheme concocted with Smith, involving a series of communications to various publications, each signed in a false name by a different member of the black community. (His own account of the episode will be published later this year in the journal Modern Fiction Studies.)

From FACILE EST IMPERIUM IN BONIS

JOHN HAY WHITNEY FOUNDATION

Whitney set up the foundation (aka the John Hay Whitney Trust for Charitable Purposes) in 1946 to provide fellowships to the racially and culturally deprived.[53] However, it emerged in 1967 that the CIA was using the fund.[54] Given the stated purpose of the fund, the CIA could only have been interested in using it to develop assets among minority groups. Indeed, the record shows that some [periodic] funding was provided, indicating it was targeted to selected individuals via a trustee of the Fund, Whitney's old friend, Walter N Thayer.[55] One recipient of a Whitney Fellowship was Richard Gibson. Gibson, though African-American, could hardly claim to have been culturally deprived, having come from a "distinguished" Philadelphian family which included renowned artist, Henry Tanner.[56] Gibson skipped out on a debt to Kenyon College when he was granted a years funding in 1951 to attend the American Academy in Rome.[57] The purpose had been to write a book, ultimately titled "A Mirror for Magistrates", but not published until 1958. In the interim, The Whitney Foundation came good with further largesse, allowing him to live the life of the ex-pat in Paris.[58] Here was the first inkling that Gibson was somehow working for the CIA in what became known as "the Gibson Affair". One of the conditions under which the ex-pat African-American colony lived was not to criticize French Foreign policy . However, in 1957, a letter was published in LIFE Magazine under the name of cartoonist, Ollie Harrington which condemned, in no uncertain terms, French policy in Algeria. The problem was that Harrington, an African-American ex-pat with communist sympathies, had not written the letter. Similar letters went to London publications. Facing deportation, Harrington initiated an investigation headed by criminal lawyer, Jacques Mercier. This in turn, led to police finding conclusive evidence showing Gibson had forged the signatures. Faced with the evidence, Gibson confessed. The net result of the affair was the disintegration of trust and morale among the ex-pats (some of whom had been critical of US foreign policy), and a job for Gibson at CBS in London.[59] By 1960 Gibson, still with CBS, was back in the US working on the late night shift alongside fellow newsmen Robert Taber and Ed Haddad. These three, together with Alan Sagner, Charles Santos-Buch, Waldo Frank and Carleton Beal became the convocation to form the Fair Play Cuba Committee. (FPCC)[60] The official version of how the FPCC was formed runs like this: Robert Taber wrote a defense of the Cuban revolution for The Nation in January, 1960. After reading the piece, Sagner decided something needed to be done to counter US propaganda, and contacted the author at CBS. They met, together with Charles Santos-Buch to discuss Sagner's idea to form a "Fair Play for Cuba Committee" with the support of "prominent names" to launch a counter-propaganda campaign and perhaps send a delegation to Cuba. Sagner further suggested that the announcement proclaiming the formation of the committee should be via an ad in the New York Times. The ad duly appeared in the April 6 edition.[61] If the "ad hoc" appearance of the formation of the FPCC seems to negate any suggestion that the FPCC was a CIA operation from the very outset, consider the following:

Alan Sagner was a New Jersey Real Estate developer with close ties to the Democratic Party. From 1977 to 1985, he was Chairman of the New York and New Jersey Port Authority and from 1996 to 1998, he was a Clinton appointee to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting board of directors.[62]

In 1997 Sagner was general chairman of the New Jersey Campaign for a Nuclear Freeze, and saw no inconsistency when, that same year as Port Authority chairman, he lobbied hard to get the nuclear fleet "home-ported" in New York.[63]

He was a long time financial supporter of The Nation.[64]

Robert Taber worked for the Mockingbird connected CBS and wrote the Nation article which "inspired" Sagner. The Nation is long-suspected of "Left-gate-keeping" for the CIA.

Taber and Gibson were considered the real forces behind the FPCC. Gibson had been suspected of being a CIA asset while in France, and had received funding while in Europe through the Whitney Foundation. This Foundation was revealed in 1967 to be a conduit for CIA money - in this case targeted to individuals from minority groups who may prove valuable assets in future.

Whitney owned a string of radio and TV stations through his company, Corinthian Broadcasting Corp. These were all CBS affiliates.[65]Having at least some control over both sides of the propaganda war on Cuba would have had its advantages. And who knows what else that control may be turned to in other operations?

and figures more peripheral to the black literary scene in Paris, such as the West Indian writer CLR James, who appears to have been used as the basis for the character called Cato. When I first met Mrs Wright, James was still alive.

CLR James was involved in the Johnson-Forrest Tendency with Lyman Paine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For you following along at home, I'll reprint the portion of my article and endnotes on Richard Gibson's dalliance with the FBI and CIA.

The documents I've reviewed indicate that both the FBI and CIA were willing to listen to Gibson, but unwilling to hire him. Gibson spent a lot of time in the early 60s chatting with June Cobb, a colorful character: Fidel's secretary, Jose Juan Arevalo's translator for "The Shark and the Sardines", an ally of the FPCC in Mexico, and a CIA informant.

Gibson did talk to the CIA again after the JFK assassination, and thought that a "Lee Bowmont" who wrote the FPCC in 1962 might be identical with LHO. "Bowmont" allegedly wrote from Ft. Worth, Texas enclosing a photo and a newspaper clipping on activity similar to F.P.C.C., and asking for information on F.P.C.C. I have not seen any other communications between Gibson and the agencies since that time.

The way that Gibson left the USA seems very phony to me, and V.T. Lee may have known it was phony as well. Does anyone know any way

to reach V.T. Lee, or if he is still alive?

In a dramatic incident during the summer, Gibson's problems with money finally got the best of him. On July 16, 1962, Richard Gibson wrote a letter to Thornton Hagert of Falls Church, VA, the stepbrother of Philip Reiss of the Dept. Of Agriculture. Gibson writes in the letter that Reiss told him in the past that he is a former CIA employee. Gibson wants to make contact with the CIA, and suggests either the 799 Broadway office or his home. (201-306052) (also see redacted version at 105-93072-80)

On July 24, 1962, the Nationalities Intelligence Section get the OK to interview Gibson. On August 16, 1962, Gibson is interviewed by NY agents Hoeg and Day. James Day writes the report in October, after Gibson skipped the country heading for Algeria in 9/12/62 - some say "just ahead of an indictment" but I'm not convinced any indictment was in the works based on these records. Gibson initially went to Canada, and there is no sign of pursuit or even concern by his departure by the intelligence agencies.

Although I don't see anything in the file indicating a push for indictment of Gibson, Gibson's story to Lee was that the Cuban Mission told him that indictment was imminent. From reviewing the documents, it seems like this was Gibson's cover story.

"On September 15, 1962, NY T-1 advised that on the evening of September 14 Ted Lee (also known as VT Lee) advised that Gibson's departure from the United States was unexpected. Lee told the source that someone from the CMUN (the Cuban Mission to the UN) had contacted Gibson and had told Gibson that things were getting hot for Gibson in the United States and that it would be necessary for Gibson to go to Canada for a short time. According to what Lee told NY T-1, the employee of the CMUN gave Gibson an envelope and instructions. Lee further stated that when Gibson got to the Cuban embassy in Ottawa, Canada, Gibson was told that he should go to Algeria with the result that Gibson left Ottawa, Canada by plane on September 13, 1962 headed for Algeria. Lee stated that Gibson told him of this when Gibson called Lee from Ottawa, Canada on the evening of September 12, 1962. Lee further advised T-1 that very few people know of the involvement of the CMUN in this matter and that NY T-1 should keep it secret."

Gibson says he will assist the FBI for money, as he finds the FPCC no more than a translation service and the whole leftist movement "ineffective and inconsequential". He adds that the Cubans are stupid and he hates stupidity, and that the Communists have failed to help the Negro race.

Hoeg discusses in his report that he will submit the New York office’s “recommendation for both a tactical and strategic plan to be implemented to disrupt, dissolve, or at least neutralize the FPCC as a subversive organization”.

Another report on this interview says: “We advised Attorney General (Robert F. Kennedy) re (Gibson’s) interview with New York office on 8/16/62 (redacted) wherein he wanted money to denounce FPCC and wanted US to grant fugitive Robert Williams immunity from prosecution if he returned from Cuba. We told AG Gibson was untrustworthy and we were not initiating any more communication with him. Data herein will be given AG, as well as CIA and State Department, which agencies are aware of the previous interview.”

FBI reports Gibson is in Algeria, speculates that Gibson may have been picked up by the CIA as an informant, but a handwritten note by Austin Horne of the CIA says no. Chief of the Nationalities Intelligence Section Raymond Wannall told his boss domestic intelligence chief William Sullivan that Gibson is very untrustworthy and the approach has to be to accept any info he provides but not to run Gibson as an informant.

A later document confirms that neither the FBI or the CIA would accept Richard Gibson’s help at that time: "Gibson indicated that he was willing to publicly denounce the FPCC, say he was duped, that the FPCC is a tool of the Cuban government, that it is ineffective, and anyone still remaining loyal (to the FPCC) was just wasting his time, or any other tactic subsequently determined to be the most effective course of conduct. However, there was an undertone that he expected to be paid for any efforts in this regard. He stated that it was his personal opinion that it would be much more effective to use the FPCC as a cover for intelligence and counter-intelligence purposes, but when questioned for his specific thinking in this regard, he commented only that this could possibly be worked out later."

Endnotes:

"The Nationalities Intelligence Section gets the OK to interview Gibson..." NO TITLE, Found in: FBI - HSCA Subject File: Richard Thomas Gibson, RIF#: 124-90147-10062 (07/25/62) FBI#: 105-93072-NR, http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...amp;relPageId=2

"On September 15, 1962, NY T-1 advised that on the evening of September 14 Ted Lee (also known as VT Lee) advised that Gibson's departure from the United States was unexpected." For serious researchers: NY T-1 in this document was also known as NY 3164-S, cover page D of RIF# 124-90147-10093. The FBI practice was for the T numbers to change for each report. In the unredacted copies available to the public, T-3245-S (Victor Vicente) would be identified with a different T number for that individual report, and the key at the beginning of the document would explain that that particular informant was T-3245-S.

"Lee further advised T-1 that very few people know of the involvement of the CMUN in this matter and that NY T-1 should keep it secret."

NO TITLE, Found in: FBI-HSCA Subject File: FPCC, RIF # 124-90120-10037, FBI# 97-4196 105-93072-81.-840 (1/22/63), p. 53

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...mp;relPageId=63

The FBI saw no indication of any immediate SISS interest in Gibson: RIF#: 124-90147-10083 (09/18/62)

"Gibson says he will assist the FBI for money, as he finds the FPCC no more than a translation service and the whole leftist movement "ineffective and inconsequential..." NO TITLE pg 6, Found in: FBI - HSCA Subject File: Richard Thomas Gibson, RIF#: 124-90147-10077 (08/17/62) FBI#: 105-93072-78, p. 6, http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...amp;relPageId=7

“We advised Attorney General (Robert F. Kennedy) re (Gibson’s) interview with New York office on 8/16/62 (redacted) wherein he wanted money to denounce FPCC and wanted US to grant fugitive Robert Williams immunity from prosecution if he returned from Cuba..." NO TITLE pg 2, Found in: FBI - HSCA Subject File: Richard Thomas Gibson, RIF#: 124-90147-10087 (09/18/62) FBI#: 105-93072-82

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...amp;relPageId=2

"FBI reports Gibson is in Algeria, speculates that Gibson may have been picked up by the CIA as an informant, but a handwritten note by Austin Horne of the CIA says no." NO TITLE pg 1, Found in: FBI - HSCA Subject File: Richard Thomas Gibson (RIF#: 124-90147-10090 (10/09/62) FBI#: 105-93072-84

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...amp;relPageId=2

Chief of the Nationalities Intelligence Section Raymond Wannall told his boss domestic intelligence chief William Sullivan that Gibson is very untrustworthy and the approach has to be to accept any info he provides but not to run Gibson as an informant. NO TITLE pg 1, Found in: FBI - HSCA Subject File: Richard Thomas Gibson (RIF#: 124-90147-10095 (10/25/62) FBI#: 105-93072-87, http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...mp;relPageId=2; Also see discussion with Richard Helms about Gibson, SUBJECT: RICHARD GIBSON, FAIR PLAY FOR CUBA COMMITTEE pg 2

RIF#: 104-10217-10188 (09/11/62) CIA#: 80T01357A, http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...amp;relPageId=2

"Gibson indicated that he was willing to publicly denounce the FPCC, say he was duped, that the FPCC is a tool of the Cuban government..." RIF 124-90120-10037; 97-4196-840, p. 6, 1/22/63. http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...mp;relPageId=16

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bill,

thanks for posting part of your article and endnotes.

Here is where I come from with Gibson:

He was recieving funding from a CIA funding conduit - the John Hay Whitney Foundation which was ostensibly set up to assist minorities. In Gibson's case, it was initially to fund his writing a book at the American Academy in Rome. Despite the fact it took seven years to write and publish this work, the foundation continued funding him after that. The American Academy sounds like its CIA backed - or at very least - an ideal head-hunting ground for spooks.

Assuming the CIA was using the Whitney Fund to groom potential assets within minority populations, a major purpose for that would be to use those assets in operations to disrupt individuals and groups within those populations. And that is precisely what we find Gibson doing in France via the so-called "Gibson Affair". His quick jump to the bossom of CBS could be construed as a reward and/or the opportunity for new assignments.

I know all of this is conjecture, but the CIA cannot be trusted to tell the truth about its relationships. Look at Clay Shaw. Look at Russelle Langelle whose file reflected he quit the CIA disgruntled over his assignments when in actual fact he was using his State Dept assihnments as deep cover.

Of course, the files don't always lie. I can't prove my case, so I can't discount the files being truthful here...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bill,

thanks for posting part of your article and endnotes.

Here is where I come from with Gibson:

He was recieving funding from a CIA funding conduit - the John Hay Whitney Foundation which was ostensibly set up to assist minorities. In Gibson's case, it was initially to fund his writing a book at the American Academy in Rome. Despite the fact it took seven years to write and publish this work, the foundation continued funding him after that. The American Academy sounds like its CIA backed - or at very least - an ideal head-hunting ground for spooks.

Assuming the CIA was using the Whitney Fund to groom potential assets within minority populations, a major purpose for that would be to use those assets in operations to disrupt individuals and groups within those populations. And that is precisely what we find Gibson doing in France via the so-called "Gibson Affair". His quick jump to the bossom of CBS could be construed as a reward and/or the opportunity for new assignments.

I know all of this is conjecture, but the CIA cannot be trusted to tell the truth about its relationships. Look at Clay Shaw. Look at Russelle Langelle whose file reflected he quit the CIA disgruntled over his assignments when in actual fact he was using his State Dept assihnments as deep cover.

Of course, the files don't always lie. I can't prove my case, so I can't discount the files being truthful here...

John Hay Witney - What A Guy - Freeporrt Sulpher, Yale, OSS, horses, art and a technicolor CIA front foundation for disadvantaged youth.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1533405/bio

Date of Birth

17 August 1904, Ellsworth, Maine, USA

Date of Death

8 February 1982, Manhasset, Long Island, New York, USA

Mini Biography

John Hay "Jock" Whitney, the multi-millionaire sportsman, pioneering color-movie producer, soldier, financier, philanthropist, art-collector, diplomat, and newspaper publisher was born in Elsworth, Maine on August 27, 1904. He was a descendant of John Whitney, a Puritan who settled in Massachusetts in 1635, as well as of William Bradford, who came over on the Mayflower, and his two grandfathers, one a Republican and one a Democrat, were presidential cabinet members. So socially secure he was never listed in the Social Register, Whitney denounced it as a form of social arbitration that was undemocratic. John Hay Whitney was a Scion of Society; he needed no one or nothing to tell him that. A stalwart of moderate Republicanism, Whitney was one of the ultimate symbols of the Eastern Establishment that Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan later repudiated with their neo-conservative populism.

Jock's father, William Payne Whitney, a capitalist and philanthropist born in New York City on March 20, 1876, was the son of William Collins Whitney and Flora Payne Whitney. Flora Payne Whitney was the daughter of prominent Democratic politician Henry B. Payne, who represented his Cleveland, Ohio district in the United States House of Representatives for one term from 1875 to 1877, and served one term as United States Senator from Ohio from 1885 to 1891. Henry Payne was descended, through this grandfather, from William Bradford, the Puritan governor of the Plymouth Colony.

Payne Whitney matriculated at Yale College (Class of 1898) and then studied at Harvard Law School, graduating with a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1901. Building on his several million dollars worth of inherited real estate assets, Payne Whitney soon became a leading player in New York's financial community. He eventually was appointed director or executive officer of many large corporations, including the First National Bank of New York, the Great Northern Paper Co., the Northern Finance Corp., and the Whitney Realty Co. He married Helen Hay, the daughter of the serving U.S. Secretary of State, in 1902.

Jock Whitney's mother Helen Hay Whitney was the daughter of John Hay, Jock's name-sake, who served as Lincoln's assistant private secretary, Ambassador to the United Kingdom under President McKinley, and as Secretary of State under both McKinley and Teddy Roosevelt, acquitting himself quite well during the Spanish-American War. Jock's paternal grandfather William Collins Whitney, the man who helped rid New York City of the deleterious influence of Boss Tweed's gang, was President Cleveland's Secretary of the Navy and was touted as the possible Democratic candidate for president in 1892 before Cleveland himself stood once again for re-election.

The family's New York City residence, located at 972 Fifth Avenue, was designed by Stanford White and is considered one of that great architect's finest mature works. Now the home of the French Embassy's Cultural Services department, White designed and oversaw the construction of the exterior and interiors of the house, which had been commissioned in 1902 by Payne Whitney's uncle Colonel Oliver Hazard Payne as a wedding gift for his nephew and his bride. The Colonel had put up $625,000 to build the five-story mansion, the construction of which was still under White's supervision when he was murdered in 1906. Jock's mother, Helen Hay Whitney, continued to live in the house until her death in 1944. (Jock eventually had her favorite space in the mansion, the Venetian Room, removed and preserved before the house was sold in 1949. In 1997, the room was donated to the French-American Foundation by his widow, who provided funding for its restoration.)

The 1920 census lists the Payne Whitneys as living at 972 Fifth Ave. with their two children and 13 servants. At the time, they lived around the corner from James D. Duke, the cigarette baron, and his wife Natalie and daughter Doris. Payne Whitney's uncle Oliver Hazard Payne had arranged the financial buyout of Duke's competitors to create the American Tobacco Co., though Payne Whitney and James Duke did not do business together. Fifth Avenue along the streets numbered in the 60s and 70s was the place to live for the very rich in the first half of the 20th Century, and many multimillionaires hung their bowler hats in the neighborhood. By the 1930 census, Helen Hay Whitney was listed as living with her son John Hay Whitney and 21 servants at the family's fabulous 438-acre estate Greentree in Manhasset, situated on Long Island's Gold Coast.

Jock was related to the railroad Harriman family through his sister Joan's husband Charles Payson, and to the Vanderbilts through his aunt Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, the eldest daughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt II. (She was also related to the Harrimans.) He was also related by marriage to Columbia Broadcasting System founder William Paley, who was married to his wife's sister, the former Barbara Cushing. Jock's cousins included his aunt Gertrude's son Cornelius Vanderbilt ("Sonny") Whitney, the chairman of Pan American Airways (Prescott Bush, father of the 41st President of the United States and Grandfather of the 43rd, was a Pan Am director), and his wife's brother-in-law was Vincent Astor, the son of slumlord John Jacob Astor IV, who went down with the Titanic, perishing in the North Atlantic.

Jock Whitney attended Yale College, where his major pursuits were drama and rowing. His father, grandfather and great-uncle had all been oarsmen at Yale, and his father Payne had been captain of the crew in 1898. Payne Whitney followed the Yale rowing team all his life and helped finance the team, including donating financing to build a dormitory for the crew. While at Yale, John Hay Whitney allegedly coined the term "crew cut" for the haircut that now bears the name. Yale lore holds that young Jock went to a local tonsorial palace and asked for a short "Hindenburg" military cut. It was not long after the First World War, and anything German was still unpopular. (sauerkraut had been renamed "liberty salad" during World War I.) The barber suggested to Jock that the hair-style should have a new name. They called it the "crew cut" in honor of Yale oarsmen.

After graduating in 1926 (the Yale Yearbook listed Jock's ambition as being the U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom), Whitney went on to Oxford, but the death of his father at the family's Greentree estate on May 25, 1927 necessitated his returning home. He inherited a trust fund of $20 million from his father (approximately $210 million in 2005 dollars, when factored for inflation), and would later inherit an estimated four times that amount from his mother. The money came from his paternal grandfather, William Collins Whitney, a traction magnate who consolidated New York City's street and railway lines, and his uncle, Colonel Oliver Hazard Payne, a business partner of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.

Jock Whitney also inherited his mother and father's love of horses, a predilection he shared with his sister, Joan Whitney Payson, who went on to be the first owner of the New York Metropolitan Baseball Club from the Mets' founding in 1961 until her death in 1975. Payne Whitney had been interested in horse racing, and he had established a racing stable of his own to raise thoroughbred horses. After Payne's death, Jock's mother Helen owned the famous Kentucky horse-breeding farm Greentree Stables, which Jock and his sister ran for her. In 1928, Jock became the youngest member ever elected to the Jockey Club.

A master horseman, he almost won Britain's Grand National steeplechase in 1929. Jock was enjoying a commanding and apparently safe lead when Easter Hero, his horse, twisted a plate and was beaten by a nose at the finish by a 100-to-1 long shot. Though Whitney entered the Grand National annually after his heartbreaking loss, he never again came so close to winning.

He entered four horses in the Kentucky Derby in the 1930s, Stepenfetchit, which finished 3rd in 1932, Overtime, which finished 5th in 1933, Singing Wood, which finished 8th in 1934, and Heather Broom, which finished 3rd in 1939. Jock was an outstanding polo player, with a four-goal handicap, and it was as a sportsman that John Hay Whitney made the cover of the March 27, 1933 issue of `Time' magazine.

Other horse races he was involved in were the 1952 and '56 presidential elections, where he was the major financial backer of General Dwight D. Eisenhower. As president, Ike appointed Jock ambassador to the Court of St. James, following in the footsteps of his grandfather and realizing the ambition he had mentioned in the Yale yearbook. Whitney played a major role in improving Anglo-American relations, which had been severely strained during the 1956 Suez Crisis, when Eisenhower demanded that the British, French and Israelis terminate their invasion of Egypt.

But that lay in the future. First, Hollywood beckoned.

In 1929, Jock was hired as a clerk at the princely sum of $65 per month at the firm of Lee, Higginson, where he met Langbourne Meade Williams, Jr., the son of the founder of Freeport Texas Co., the sulfur mining company that was responsible for one-third of domestic output. Williams enlisted Jock's aid in ousting the chairman of his family's company, and the two and some of their friends began buying shares of the company. Jock soon was Freeport' biggest shareholder, and with his support, Williams sacked the chairman and his senior management team in 1930. Three years later, Williams became Freeport's president and Whitney was appointed Chairman of the Board, at the age of 29. Jock remained involved with Freeport for the rest of his business days.

The straight business world didn't prove fulfilling to the young multi-millionaire, whose personal fortune was estimated at $100 million. Seeking somewhere to park those tens of millions of dollars, Jock Whitney invested in several Broadway shows, including Peter Arno's 1931 revue "Here Goes the Bride," a failure that cost him $100,000. Although Jock indulged his interests, he did not do so with the idea of losing money. Eventually, he'd achieve spectacular success as one of the angels of "Life with Father," one of the all-time longest running Broadway shows.

According to a October 1934 `Fortune' magazine article on the Technicolor Co., which he had invested in, Jock had been interested in the movie industry for quite some time:

"John Hay (Jock) Whitney, long nursing an itch to get into pictures, but needing some special advantage to make up for his late arrival, decided that color was the `edge' he was looking for."

Whitney had met Technicolor head honcho Dr. Herbert Kalmus, a racing aficionado like himself, at the Saratoga Springs race track. In 1932, Technicolor had achieved a breakthrough with its three-strip process that recreated the entire visible spectrum of color. When R.K.O. producer Merriam C. Cooper, a color movie enthusiast, broached the idea of investing in Technicolor to Jock, he, too, was enthusiastic.

Kalmus, had been dedicated to developing true color photography in motion pictures since soon after his firm was founded in 1914. Since it first marketed its early two-color process to the movie industry in the early `20s, Technicolor had been expected to assume much of the financial risk of color movie production, as the technology and its audience appeal was unproven. The first feature to be entirely filmed in two-color Technicolor, "Toll of the Sea," (1922), an adaptation of Puccini's opera "Madame Butterfly" written by future Oscar-winning screenwriter Frances Marion and starring Anna May Wong, was produced by the Technicolor Co. and released by by Metro Pictures. At that time, studios had been quite content to release "color" films that consisted of scenes shot on tinted Kodak stock, including blue for night (the other colors available from Eastman Kodak were green, red, pink, lavender, yellow, orange, light amber, and dark amber), or using hand-stenciling, in which colors were painted onto the individual frames of motion pictures.

Other movie studios, such as the newly conglomerated Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer with "Ben-Hur" (1925) and "The Big Parade" (1925), and Paramount with Cecil B. DeMille's "The Ten Commandments" (1925), added two-color Technicolor sequences to films shot primarily in black and white, but the process was imperfect. Aside from not producing the full color spectrum (the process only registered red and green, so blues were impossible to recreate on-screen), two-color Technicolor was based on the use of two film stocks of a half-thickness each on which the red and green colors were printed, then cemented together. Prints would buckle as the strip of celluloid nearest the light would contract from the heat, and a LOT of light was needed to project an early Technicolor film. Technicolor had to print up replacement reels that were constantly being shipped between its Boston, Massachusetts plant and exhibitors, with the buckled prints being ironed out by Technicolor employees before being shipped back on the exhibition circuit. It was a highly impractical state of affairs, but Kalmus was always improving the process.

Technicolor did not become popular with producers until 1928, when it introduced in an improved two-color subtractive system that allowed a single print to be struck, thus eliminating the problem with film buckling. Technicolor produced the first feature film shot in the process, "The Vikings," that year. Warner Bros., which had vaulted from an extremely minor exhibitor to a major studio by its introduction of the talkies, latched onto Technicolor as the next big thing. Other producers followed the Warner Bros. example by making features in color, with either Technicolor or one of its competitors such as the inferior bipack Cinecolor system, but audiences grew bored with the limited palette of colors two-color processes could produce. They were content with talkies for the moment. That, and the Depression that severely strained movie studios' finances, spelled the end of the first Technicolor boom.

The production of color films had virtually ceased when Technicolor introduced its first three-color process in 1932. Shot on three strips of black and white negative film simultaneously through cyan, magenta and green filters, prints that accurately reproduced the full color spectrum were optically printed using a dye-transfer process. Kalmus had convinced Walt Disney to shoot one of his Silly Symphony cartoons, "Flowers and Trees," in the new "three-strip" process, and it was a big hit with audiences and critics alike. One of the next Silly Symphonies to be shot with the process, "The Three Little Pigs," engendered such a positive audience response, it overwhelmed the features it played with. Hollywood was buzzing about color film again. According to `Fortune' magazine, "Merian Caldwell Cooper, producer for RKO-Radio Pictures, saw one of the Silly Symphonies and said he never wanted to make a black and white picture again."

The studios were willing to adopt three-color Technicolor for live-action feature production, if it could be proved viable. Shooting three-strip Technicolor required vast quantities of light, as the film had an extremely slow speed of ASA 5. That, and the bulk of the cameras and a lack of experience with three-color cinematography, equated to skepticism in the studio board rooms.

Again, the financial risk devolved unto Technicolor, but in the new, more expensive motion picture industry of the 1930s, it could not afford to finance a feature. A financial "angel" was needed, similar to a Broadway investor.

`Fortune' magazine's October 1934 article stressed that Technicolor, as a corporation, was rather remarkable in that it kept its investors quite happy despite the fact that it had only been in profit twice in all of the years of its existence, during the early boom at the turn of the decade. A well-managed company, half of whose stock was controlled by a clique loyal to Kalmus, Technicolor never had to cede any control to its bankers or unfriendly stockholders. In the mid-`30s, all the studios with the exception of M.G.M. were in the financial doldrums, and a color process that truly reproduced the visual spectrum was seen as a possible shot-in-the-arm for the ailing industry. As the Warner Bros. had shown with their talkie revolution declared by "The Jazz Singer" (1927), a great deal of money could be made in a very short time in the film industry. Jock's future business partner, David O. Selznick, would soon produce the most popular and most profitable motion picture in history, in Glorious Technicolor.

Seeing his chance, Jock Whitney joined forces with Merian C. Cooper and founded Pioneer Pictures in the spring of 1933, with a distribution deal with R.K.O. John Hay Whitney was Pioneer's president. Jock had importuned his cousin, Cornelius Vanderbilt "Sonny" Whitney, into sharing the financial risk, and the two bought a 15% stake in Technicolor as well. While there was no official corporate connection between Pioneer and Technicolor, the idea was that any initial financial losses generated by Pioneer would be made up by the appreciation of the Whitneys' stake in Technicolor, whose product they would showcase.

Jock was determined to turn out quality pictures in order to avoid the fate of the two-color process at the height of the 1929-30 Technicolor boom, when color movies got a bad name due to inferior motion pictures. Warner Bros. had gone from $30,000 in revenues in 1927 to $17,271,000 in 1929, all due to talking pictures. Hot for another innovation, Jack Warner had decided in 1929 to add two-color Technicolor sequences to his picture "Desert Song." He then made the first all-color talkie, " On With the Show," and followed that up with "Gold Diggers of Broadway" (1929), which was a huge hit, grossing $3.5 million, an amount that ranked it #6 all-time at the box-office. It seemed like Warner Bros. had another technical marvel on its hands, and other producers jumped on the bandwagon. Technicolor received over $1.5 million in down payments for future deliveries of color film. In 1929, Technicolor did $5 million in business.

The sudden vogue for color, and the resulting demand, doomed two-strip Technicolor as the firm's labs were not equipped to handle such a volume. In 1929 and `30, Technicolor produced 76.7 million feet of two-color film, ten times their labs' capacity. The sensitive development process was compromised when the lab space had to be quickly expanded, hurting the quality of the finished product. At first used in prestigious, carefully made, high-quality pictures, the boom soon led to the release of mediocre and even bad color movies. Lacking experience with color production, movie-makers continued to use B+W production techniques, using sets, makeup and lighting that were woefully inappropriate for color. Few filmmakers had the sense to correctly match color to the mood of the scenes they were shooting. In addition, two-color red-green process could not replicate all the colors of the visible spectrum, which yielded some questionable color effects. Most blues could not be shot, meaning that the sky typically could not be part of the mise-en-scène. If a bold filmmaker did include a shot of the sky, the results were ghastly.

The studios and movie producers quickly turned on Technicolor and canceled their contracts. Now reduced to supplying film primarily for short subjects, revenues plummeted to $500,000 in 1932, generating a $235,000 loss, followed the next year by a $250,000 loss on revenues of $630,000. Worse of all, due to the sins of the producers during the brief Technicolor boom, color movies, unlike talkies, were considered passé and a busted gamble.

The success of Pioneer Pictures' early product was necessary to spark a color renaissance in Hollywood, which would boost demand for Technicolor's new three-strip, three-color film, with the result that the value of Jock and Sonny's 100,000 Technicolor shares would appreciate handsomely. `Fortune' magazine observed, "[A]lthough Mr. Whitney does many things for fun he also does them for money and has never been interested in putting portions of the Whitney fortune down any sewers. But with two horses in the color-picture stakes, he can afford to use one as a pacemaker for the other.

Jock Whitney proceeded cautiously, determined to not make any mistakes that would besmirch his new baby. Pioneer produced the first short film shot in Technicolor's three-strip process, "La Cucaracha" (1934), a two-reel musical comedy that cost $65,000, approximately four times what an equivalent B+W two-reeler cost. Released by R.K.O., the short was a success in introducing the new Technicolor as a viable medium for live-action films. The three-strip process also was used in some short sequences filmed for several movies made during 1934, including the final sequence of "The House of Rothschild" (1934) over at 20th Century-Fox.

The industry was impressed. Three-color Technicolor did work and yielded spectacular, glorious results. But the studios and producers were atypically twice-shy, having been burned during the two-color Technicolor boom. Then, audiences had quickly become bored with color films, and the producers reasoned that it was color itself, not the poor films they had foisted onto the public in hopes of turning a quick buck that had been the culprit. Sound had added something fundamental to motion pictures, and had been enthusiastically, even wildly accepted by the movie-going public, essentially allowing the studios to distribute talkies of questionable quality in the marketplace and still turn a profit. Color was not seen to be in the same league as sound. But the real question for the studios came down to one consideration: Was it worth it?

The problem with Hollywood adopting Technicolor's three-strip process for feature film making, and the reason it took 30 years for color to completely chase B+W out of the movie industry versus the less-than-three for the Philistines of silence to be slain by the jawbone wielded by Al Jolson's Jazz Singer, was that the three-strip Technicolor process was expensive. The Depression had financially sapped every studio, with the exception of M.G.M. `Fortune' magazine estimated that shooting a film in three-strip Technicolor would add $135,000 to a film's production costs, $85,000 in added photographic expenses and another $50,000 in lost time due to the laborious task of learning how to make films properly in the new process. According to `Fortune', the average cost of a picture in 1934 was in the $200,000-$250,000 range. with an additional distribution cost of $200,000. "Many companies would prefer to spend the extra $135,000, if necessary, in order to get big names in the cast. For they know that names have a box-office draw and they are not at all sure about color."

In late 1934, Pioneer produced the first feature film shot in three-strip Technicolor, "Becky Sharp" (1935), which was based on the novel "Vanity Fair" by William Makepeace Thackeray. Also released by R.K.O., where David O. Selznick had been chief of production in the early `30s, it was not a large box office success, but it did show that Technicolor was now a viable medium. Pioneer also produced "The Dancing Pirate" (1936), the first musical shot in three-strip Technicolor. Selznick's own independent Selznick International Pictures, which he formed after leaving M.G.M. in 1935, used Technicolor for its `event' films such as the 1936 feature film "The Garden of Allah" (which won a special Academy Award for its color cinematography), and "A Star I Born Sacred" (1937), starring Frederic March and Janet Gaynor (which was also similarly honored with a special color cinematography Academy Award).

Jock Whitney was the major investor in Selznick International Inc., putting up $870,000 and serving as Chairman of the Board. Jock also put up half the money for the $50,000 option on Margaret Mitchell's novel "Gone With the Wind," then invested more money for the production of both "Gone With the Wind" and "Rebecca," Selznick's back-to-back Oscar winners for Best Picture of 1939 and '40. After an unprecedented run of success for an independent, Selznick International was dissolved in 1940 in order to liquidate the profits from the two pictures.

In his early years, Jock was renowned as a playboy, and though he was married to Mary Elizabeth Altemus Whitney, he was romantically linked to actress Tallulah Bankhead in New York, and to Paulette Goddard and Joan Crawford in Hollywood. It was at a lavish costume party he held in Hollywood that Clark Gable got together with Carole Lombard, the love of his life. Jock divorced his wife in 1940 after 10 years of marriage, and in 1942, he married Betsey Cushing Roosevelt, the ex-wife of James Roosevelt, the eldest son of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Betsey Maria Cushing was born on May 18, 1908 in Baltimore, Maryland to the famous neurosurgeon Dr. Harvey Cushing and his wife Katherine Crowell Cushing, who hailed from a socially prominent Cleveland family. Dr. Cushing served as professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins, Harvard and Yale Universities, and the family established itself in Boston. Betsey had two brothers, but it was her two sisters and herself who became well-known, heralded for their charm and beauty from their debutante days onward.

Mary (Minnie) Cushing, her older sister, married first husband Vincent Astor, the inheritor of $200 million in 1912 (approximately $4 billion in 2005 dollars), then divorced him and married artist James Whitney Fosburgh. Her younger sister Barbara (Babe) Cushing was first married to Standard Oil heir Stanley Mortimer, Jr., before divorcing him and marrying CBS founder William S. Paley. Babe Paley was often short-listed as one of the world's best-dressed women and became a doyenne of New York society, heralded by the likes of Truman Capote. (Both of Betsey's sisters died within several months of each other in 1978.)

Betsey Cushing Roosevelt was rumored to be FDR's favorite daughter-in-law, but she and her mother-in-law Eleanor did not care for one another. Her husband served his father as an aide at the White House, and Betsey often stood-in as hostess at the White House when Eleanor was absent. When FDR entertained King George VI and Queen Elizabeth at a picnic at the Roosevelt estate in Hyde Park, New York in 1939, Betsey was prominent at the affair. FDR asked her to accompany him as he drove the King and Queen along the Hudson River. However, Betsey was a private person, and she shielded her two children by James, Sara and Kate, from publicity.

James Roosevelt left his father's side to take a job as an aide to movie producer Samuel Goldwyn in 1938, and moved his family to Hollywood. Betsey and James Roosevelt eventually separated, and they divorced in March 1940, Betsey obtaining a decree on the grounds of desertion and cruelty. Betsey Cushing Roosevelt was granted custody of their two daughters, child support, a settlement, and alimony until her eventual remarriage. That remarriage was two years off. Having divorced his first wife the same year Betsey obtained hers, Jock eventually wooed Betsey, marrying her on March 1, 1942. They would remain husband and wife until Jock's death in 1982, and he would adopt her two daughters in 1949.

Jock Whitney served in the Army Air Force as an intelligence officer during World War II, assigned to the Office of Strategic Services. He was taken prisoner by the Germans in southern France, but he escaped within a fortnight when the train transporting him to a POW camp came under Allied fire. A patriot, he was shocked when his interactions with soldiers revealed that they had little patriotic feeling, but were serving in the war because it was something they had to do. This revelation, that other Americans did not have as bountiful a view of their country as he did, profoundly changed him.

The Whitney family had a long history of both public service and philanthropy. Payne Whitney had been a benefactor of educational and charitable institutions, making substantial gifts to Yale, to the New York Hospital, and to the New York Public Library, to which he made a $12,000,000 gift in 1923. After his death in 1927, the family financed the construction of the Payne Whitney athletic complex at Yale in his honor. The family also financed the establishment of the Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic at New York Presbyterian Hospital in 1932.

Jock Whitney became a noted philanthropist, creating the John Hay Whitney Foundation for educational projects in 1946. The Foundation provided fellowships to the racially and culturally deprived and had a large impact on the evolution of higher education in post-war America. He continued the family tradition by becoming a major contributor to Yale University, where he served as a trustee. An art collector specializing in French and American works, he generously gifted the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Washington's National Gallery of Art. (A Rose Period Picasso he had bought for $30,000 in 1950, "Boy With a Pipe," would be auctioned off in 2004 for a record $104.2 million, the proceeds left over from the $93 million bid price to fund the charitable Greentree Foundation established by his wife after his death).

After the war, Jock he forsook Hollywood for Wall Street, founding J.H. Whitney & Co., a highly successful investment company that is the oldest venture capital firm in the U.S. In 1958, while he was still ambassador to the United Kingdom, his company Whitney Communications Corp. bought the `New York Herald Tribune,' a bastion of liberal Republicanism and the-then paper of record of the United States. After returning to the U.S. in 1961, he became its publisher until it folded in 1966. Whitney Communications also owned and operated other newspapers, plus magazines and broadcasting stations.

John Hay Whitney survived two severe heart attacks in his life due to his great strength, but after a long illness, he died on February 8, 1982. He was survived by his wife Betsey Cushing Roosevelt Whitney, and their two children, Sara and Kate Roosevelt Whitney. Betsey Whitney, who died in 1998, had an estimated personal fortune of $700 million in 1990 (approximately $1 billion in 2005 dollars), according to `Forbes' magazine. After her death on March 25, 1998, she bequeathed eight major paintings to the National Gallery of Art, including "Self-Portrait" (1889) by Vincent van Gogh, "Marcelle Lender Dancing the Bolero in `Chilperic'" (1895-1896) by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, "Open Window, Collioure" (1905) by Henri Matisse, "The Harbor of La Ciotat "(1907) by Georges Braque, and "The Beach at Sainte-Adresse" (1906) by Raoul Dufy. After Jock's death in 1982, the National Gallery similarly had been gifted with eight paintings from his collection, including works by Edward Hopper and James McNeill Whistler.

His friend, ABC News Vice President Richard Wald, said upon his death that Jock's major interest in life was the proper organization of society and how to provide for the disadvantaged in a fiscally responsible way. Wald said his friend went to sleep at night a Democrat and would wake up a Republican. Wald also said that Jock Whitney had a marvelous time and lived a marvelous life, happy and rich in a time when Americans liked the rich. And, it might be added, in a time when the rich knew in their souls that they owed an obligation to society at large, and to the disadvantaged in particular, and tried to fulfill that obligation for the betterment of the society that had given them so much.

IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Spouse

Betsey Maria Cushing Roosevelt Whitney(1 March 1942 - 8 February 1982) (his death) 2 childrenMary Elizabeth Altemus(1930 - 1940) (divorced)

Trivia

In 1949, he adopted the two daughters his second wife, Betsey Cushing Roosevelt Whitney, had with James Roosevelt, the eldest son of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor. Betsey sometimes played the hostess at the White House when she was married to James, on those occasions when her mother-in-law was away. They divorced in 1940, and she married Jock in 1942.

An art collector, specializing in French and American paintings, he gave generously to the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Washington's National Gallery of Art. He bought Pablo Picasso's Rose Period masterpiece "Boy With a Pipe" for $30,000 in 1950. When the picture from his late wife Betsey's estate was auctioned off in 2004, it fetched a record $104.2 million, which represented a bid of $93 million and a commission for the auction house Sotheby's. Funds from the sale would go to the charity the Greentree Foundation, which was set up in 1983 by Betsey Cushing Whitney after Jock's death.

Was the Chairman of the Board of David O. Selznick's independent production company, Selznick International Inc., in which he was a major investor. He helped finance "Gone With the Wind" (1939) and "Rebecca" (1940), Selznick's back-to-back Best Picture Oscar winners.

His paternal grandfather William Collins Whitney helped rid New York City of Boss Tweed's gang and helped Buffalo, New York mayor Grover Cleveland to the presidency in 1884. He served as Cleveland's Secretary of the Navy, and after Cleveland was defeated for reelection in 1888, Whitney was a favorite for the 1892 Democratic presidential nomination, until Cleveland stood for re-election.

Was the grandson and namesake of John Hay, Abraham Lincoln's assistant secretary and the Secretary of State of the United States from 1898-1905. Before being named to head the State Department by President McKinley, Hay was the ambassador to the Court of St. James, a position his grandson Jock would fill under Eisenhower from 1956 to 1961.

Made the cover of Time Magazine's March 27, 1933 issue, as a champion polo player.

Was the president of Pioneer Pictures, which was created to advance the use of Technicolor, a company he was invested in. Pioneer made the first three-strip Technicolor short, "La Cucaracha" (1934) and the first three-stripe Technicolor feature, "Becky Sharp" (1935).

Chairman of the Board of Selznick International Pictures and a close friend of David O. Selznick, Jock Whitney reportedly put up half of the money for the $50,000 option for Margaret Mitchell's novel "Gone With the Wind." Katherine (Kay) Brown, SIP's literary agent, had come across Margaret Mitchell's novel in 1936, before it was published, and sensed a winner. The publishers, Macmillian, had already turned down a $25,000 offer. The negotiations dragged on from May 21, 1936, when Brown first notified David O. Selznick and Whitney about the book, through the publication of the book, until July 7th, when Brown closed the deal for $50,000, the price she had predicted it would go for back in May.

According to the 2005 Louis B. Mayer biography, "The Last Lion," Mayer's son-in-law David O. Selznick sold off his interest in "Gone With the Wind" (1939) to John Hay Whitney for $200,000, which was the stupidest thing Selznick ever did as the classic movie continued to make massive amounts of money in re-release through the 1970s.

His sister, Joan Whitney Payson became the co-founder and majority owner of the New York Mets baseball team.

Was good friends with producer, screenwriter, and U.S. Naval Officer, Gene Markey.

Personal Quotes

To be fair is not enough any more. We must be ferociously fair.

The role we can play every day, if we try, is to take the whole experience of every day and shape it to involve American man. It is our job to interest him in his community and to give his ideas the excitement they should have.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
When you review the efforts of Senator James Eastland (head of the Draper Eugenics Committees at SISS) and Wickliffe Draper, who basically funded the Miss Sov Comm for years, in the events involved with the FPCC and the JFK hit you begin to see how much deliberate influence they both had in this conundrum. Eastland even started The Eastland Commission to Investigate the Assassination of JFK, but was talked out of it by LBJ and Everett Dirksen according to Jim Marrs. You know how that would have turned out, right? Right! After I got the Draper eugenicist, Nathaniel Weyl to implicate himself in direct violations of The Neutrality Act and as an accessory to murder when he took part in the Bayo-Pawley affair known as Operation Red Cross it became obvious just how pervasive were the efforts of those like Varona, Veciana and others to start World War III against Castro's Cuba using the ruse of Oswald in Cuba and Oswald as a Communist. Eastland, Draper and the Eugenics crowds were everywhere in the entire JFK plot. And once they realized that they were getting away with murder in the Medgar Evers case, they had the courage to proceed with JFK, and the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing and then the Freedom Riders and even more. Draper had almost 75,000 persons sterilized against their will and contributed to the death of over 6,000,000 during the Holocaust, you think that killing a few Freedom Riders or some innocent choir girls or Archbishop Romero was any kind of challenge for him at all. Hardly. A President? No problem.

Check out the updates to the Guy Banister thread. Turns out now that he was knee-deep with the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission funded amost 100% by Wickliffe P. Draper and started or operated by Senator James O. Eastland from Mississippi. Banister was also involved with the Guatamala coup against Jacobo Arbenz with E. Howard Hunt and Allen Dulles and many other operations done by the United Fruit Banana Wars Gang via his Anti-Communism League of the Caribbean for years. Banister was also part of The John Birch Society, the Minutemen, the Little Rock, Arkansas desegregation campaign and even The Jung Hotel meeting with Walker and Leander Perez the week before JFK died.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...