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student trips to Cuba


Greg Parker
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The PLM was formed on 1jun62 when about 50 ex-members of the

CPUSA met at the Hotel Diplomat in NY. They had split with the

CPUSA over support for Soviet leadership. PLM held that the

Chinese position was the correct way to go. Despite some

common ground with the SWP, the PLM officially regarded the

former as "revisonist". Only on the issue of Cuba, were all three

groups in total accord. But even that was short-lived. According

to this history of Maoism in the US

www.members.partisan.net/sds/sds00400.html, the PLM

backflipped on Cuba over Castro's ties to the Soviets and

increasing hostility to the Chinese.

The reality was though, that Castro's pro-Soviet stance was

apparent well before the formation of the PLM, so in that

context, it is hard to fathom the student trips organised by the

PLM during 1963 without considering the possibility of them

having been hijacked as intelligence operations. And that

likelihood only increases when some of the participants and

others "connected" are put under the spotlight.

PHILLIP ABBOTT LUCE

Head of press relations for the student delegation to Cuba. In

1965, Luce wrote a sensational article for the Saturday

Evening Post entitled Why I Quit the Extreme Left. In

1966, with the help of HUAC staff, Luce put out a book called

The New Left. Needless to say, his testimony, which came

between these two works, provided "proof" that the New Left

was Communist controlled. By 1969, Luce had hooked up with

Ed Butler as "guest speaker" at Butler's anti-Communist

seminars. On sale at the seminars (which were organised fight

the youth counter-culture) were recordings called Oswald: a

Self-Portrait in Red. During the same period, Luce was made

head of college services for YAF. As will be shown, Oswald

would probably have approved of the recording being used for

the stated purpose.

BURTON WOLFE

In 1963, Wolfe was the publisher of a small-time, muck-raking

paper called The Californian. The money to keep this paper

solvent was provided by Lyle Stuart, a New York publisher. The

Californian ran numerous stories lambasting HUAC over the

hearings held on student/peace activist travel to Cuba between

June and August. Burton went on at least one of the trips. By

1968, Wolfe had joined The Satanic Church of Anton LaVey, and

it wasn't long before they were business partners. The following

year Wolfe provided the introduction in LaVey's Satanic Bible.

In 1974, he authored LaVey's biography. LaVey is regarded by

many as having intelligence connections. Wolfe has also written

books on the Hippy movement in San Francisco, and on Hitler.

A unionisation drive in the newspaper industry during the mid-

seventies saw a number of organisers fired. Though it did little

to dampen the drive, strikes were avoided for the time being

with the help of pro-management peices put out by Wolfe.

These peices are now considered classics in "anti-labor speak".

By the 1990s, Wolfe was immersed in writing freelance articles

for various Libertarian publications.

LYLE STUART

In 1954, Stuart was the business partner of EC Comics king,

William Gaines. Gaines testified that year before the Senate

Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency in New York City during

it's hearings into the effects of comics on youth. Many websites

dedicated to the history of comics maintain that the sole aim of

the subcommittee was to rid the industry of its market leader.

In other words, it was doing what politicians are often best at

doing: providing favours to big business - in this case - Gaines'

competitors. Those hearings were held shortly after Lee Harvey

Oswald had spent time in Youth House for delinquency. EC comics

did get chopped as a result of the hearings - in no small measure

because he appeared before those gentlemen full of "speed" and

a speech, both provided by the person who had talked him into

this suicide mission - Lyle Stuart. By the early sixties, Stuart was

one of the leaders of the newly formed, Fair Play for Cuba

Committee, and though his official ties to it may have been severed

by 1963, he was still, nontheless, publishing literature used by the

FPCC such as Corliss Lamont's, The Crime Against Cuba - a booklet

Oswald handed out, and on which the address "544 Camp St" had

been stamped. The FPCC fell apart in the US after the assassination.

It seems Stuart had a knack for proximity to downfalls. In fact,

literary hatchet jobs were his specialty in the '40s (he has been

called the Kitty Kelley of that decade), and all that may have changed

after the '40s was the method...

PAUL HOFFMAN

Hoffman, a "Boston businessman" made the trip with the students.

How a "businessman" became involved is open to conjecture - that is -

what scenario was created for him to gain access to the movement, is

open to conjecture (though some explanation or other may have

passed his lips when he appeared before the HUAC). What is known

is that in reality he was acting as an undercover agent under the

aegis of CIA and FBI. A plausible explanation for him gaining access

may have been as simple as money. Four fifths of the full cost of the

travel via Prague was from individual "sponsorships".

BARRY HOFFMAN

An FBI cable identified Hoffman a "source" within the Permanent

Student Committee for Travel to Cuba. The same cable stated that

Hoffman made the trip under the sponsorship of Gordon Hall of

Boston. Hall is mentioned in Revilo P Oliver's, "Marxism in Dallas"

and Hargis', "The Far Left". The Boston connection here may

indicate the two Hoffman's were related.

NICHOLAS BATESON

Bateson was quoted in the NYT, October 27, 1963 as saying that he

was a "guest member" of the Progressive Labor Movement. The

article was headed 2 Witnesses Balk Cuba Trip Inquiry. Other

fun things Bateson did in 1963 included co-authoring a report titled

An Analysis of Risk Taking in Terms of Power and Comparison

Level. This report was paid for by the USG. The subject matter

related somehow to parapsychological research.

One last clue to the real purpose of the trips: the route taken.The

Progressive Labor Party organ, Challenge, states "When

Canadian authorities denied the request to fly via that country, we

announced our next route to be through Mexico, knowing full-well

the FBI and, CIA, would try to stop us. But the real plan was to

travel to Prague in Europe and then on to Cuba..."

The problem here is that Canada had no such ban in place. In fact

circa 1963, no visa - and in most cases, no passport was required

if departure was from Canada. If, in this specific case, Canada DID

cave in to US pressure, it would constitute a rare exception. Whatever

the truth on that, the choice of Prague is intriguing. In December,

1962, Cuban intelligence arranged a deal with Czech intelligence for

Prague to be the transit point for Latin American guerilla fighters. Thus

choosing Prague meant that the CIA could legitimately target the

group within the US on its return. Given that infiltration of the group

was high, the choice of Prague may have been for that precise

purpose.

WHO WAS OSWALD?

The article on US Maoism linked to near the start of this post

states: "The Progressive Labor Party (PLP) differed from almost

every other tendency within SDS in that it was a child of the Old

Left and very anti-counter-culture. It was attached to a fixed

version of Marxist thought. It felt that if one wished to relate to

the workers one had to be like the workers. Counter-cultural

generational differences were viewed as middle class phenomena

with no relevance to the world of workers. Progressive Labor

militants therefore adopted styles and patterns of social behavior

which would not appear strange to workers. The men had short

haircuts and both men and women dressed "neatly." They

refused to use dope, not because of a fear for police action

against them--which was the SWP's usually stated reason--

but because workers would not respond positively to people who

did that kind of thing. Needless to say, they were conspicuous

among the more counter-culturally inclined delegates at SDS

meetings."

Oswald's Marine training, sans dishonourable discharge,

should/could have been parlayed into a career with a bright

future outside the service. Instead, he is mixing it with workers

in two diametrically opposed political/social systems (Communist

and Capitalist). These were people with whom, by and large, he

seems to have little in common - except for external appearance.

[PLM/PLP felt that if one wished to relate to the workers one had

to be like the workers.]

Oswald's Athe[n]ian System called for a pure Marxism adapted

to American conditions. Publically, he insisted he was a pure

Marxist. [PLM/PLP was attached to a fixed version of Marxist

thought]

Oswald was recalled as polite and neat by most. [Progressive

Labor militants therefore adopted styles and patterns of social

behavior which would not appear strange to workers. The men

had short haircuts and both men and women dressed neatly.]

Oswald loved opera, classical music and non-fiction reading

material. [PLM/PLP was anti the counter-culture of "New Left"]

Out of the PLP/SWP/Labor Party milieu came many of the future

extreme right wing movers and shakers. Indeed, these groups

had ALWAYS been conservatives on some levels... Luce being

just one example.

Whether genuinely or not, Oswald walked the walk and talked

the talk of the PLM/PLP, which itself, appears to have been

heavily infiltrated, and had at least one thing in common with

the far right, and the Intelligence Community... a hatred of

Soviet Communism and of the "New Left".

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  • 1 year later...

Hey, I THOUGHT we had an agreement to LEAVE COMIC BOOKS OUT OF THE JFK debate!!!

-- T. Casey Brennan

http://tcasey.inri.net

LYLE STUART

In 1954, Stuart was the business partner of EC Comics king,

William Gaines. Gaines testified that year before the Senate

Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency in New York City during

it's hearings into the effects of comics on youth. Many websites

dedicated to the history of comics maintain that the sole aim of

the subcommittee was to rid the industry of its market leader.

In other words, it was doing what politicians are often best at

doing: providing favours to big business - in this case - Gaines'

competitors. Those hearings were held shortly after Lee Harvey

Oswald had spent time in Youth House for delinquency. EC comics

did get chopped as a result of the hearings - in no small measure

because he appeared before those gentlemen full of "speed" and

a speech, both provided by the person who had talked him into

this suicide mission - Lyle Stuart. By the early sixties, Stuart was

one of the leaders of the newly formed, Fair Play for Cuba

Committee, and though his official ties to it may have been severed

by 1963, he was still, nontheless, publishing literature used by the

FPCC such as Corliss Lamont's, The Crime Against Cuba - a booklet

Oswald handed out, and on which the address "544 Camp St" had

been stamped. The FPCC fell apart in the US after the assassination.

It seems Stuart had a knack for proximity to downfalls. In fact,

literary hatchet jobs were his specialty in the '40s (he has been

called the Kitty Kelley of that decade), and all that may have changed

after the '40s was the method...

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Good stuff, Greg.

Lyle Stuart was a very interesting character. I am sure you are aware that he published some controversial books including 'M-26, The Biography Of A Revolution' by newsman Robert Taber. This book portrayed Castro as the hero and the United States as the villain.

There was also 'Inside The FBI' by Norman T. Ollestad which was very critical of Hoover and the way the FBI was run. Ollestad was subsequently expelled from the FBI alumni.

And let's not forget 'The Anarchist Cookbook' by William Powell. This was a book for revolutionaries with a guide to sabotage, murder and mayhem.

FWIW.

Lyle Stuart below.

James

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the FBI were the single largest financial contributor to thre CPUSA having seeded something like 25 % of its membership. COINTELPRO typically released (anonymously) memos,letters etc starting with 'why I...' 'open letter from' etc..

Pl appears to be one of their fronts*. In one internal FBI memo they refer to it as PL for short (to save ink?) :) ) and indicate a close involvement.

A lot of COINTELPRO stuff can be had here: http://www.cointel.org/

COINTELPRO is an acronym for a series of FBI counterintelligence programs designed to neutralize political dissidents. Although covert operations have been employed throughout FBI history, the formal COINTELPRO's of 1956-1971 were broadly targeted against radical political organizations. In the early 1950s, the Communist Party was illegal in the United States. The Senate and House of Representatives each set up investigating committees to prosecute communists and publicly expose them. (The House Committee on Un-American Activities and the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, led by Senator Joseph McCarthy). When a series of Supreme Court rulings in 1956 and 1957 challenged these committees and questioned the constitutionality of Smith Act prosecutions and Subversive Activities Control Board hearings, the FBI's response was COINTELPRO, a program designed to "neutralize" those who could no longer be prosecuted. Over the years, similar programs were created to neutralize civil rights, anti-war, and many other groups, all said to be "communist front organizations." As J. Edgar Hoover, longtime Director of the FBI, put it

The forces which are most anxious to weaken our internal security are not always easy to identify. Communists have been trained in deceit and secretly work toward the day when they hope to replace our American way of life with a Communist dictatorship. They utilize cleverly camouflaged movements, such as peace groups and civil rights groups to achieve their sinister purposes. While they as individuals are difficult to identify, the Communist party line is clear. Its first concern is the advancement of Soviet Russia and the godless Communist cause. It is important to learn to know the enemies of the American way of life.

The FBI conducted more than 2000 COINTELPRO operations before the the programs were officially discontinued in April of 1971, after public exposure, in order to "afford additional security to [their] sensitive techniques and operations."

EDIT:: *Further perusal of COINTELPRO documents reveal this may be incorrect. The FBI appeared to seek to destabilise BOTH of these organisations by pitting them against each other.

Edited by John Dolva
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What was Lee Oswald's favorite comic book, and why?

Plastic Man. Unlike the others, who were primarily masked vigilantes, Plastic Man was a federal agent.

-- T. Casey Brennan

http://tcasey.inri.net

Hope list members can listen to my archived interview on JFK & comic books on the internationally syndicated X-Zone radio program. Go to the archives and click on the January 3, 2006 episode at:

http://xzone-radio.com/archives.htm

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Greg,

Have you gotten the idea that what Lee Harvey Oswald was engaged in 1963 was part and parcel to a government program to discredit and ultimately destroy the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, in part by his own setup for November 22, 1963. Could it actually be that simple? I think so.

There is the obvious fact that those who 'lay false trails' such as Clair Booth Luce (see Gaton Fonzi's The Last Investigation) and the DRE - (false Oswald stories linking him to Castro) are part of the mechanism of the assassination setup. This is really good work you've done.

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