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SS Records Thought Destroyed Turned over to NARA


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Secret Service Records Thought Destroyed Located – By William Kelly

JFKcountercoup: Secret Service Records Previously Thought Destroyed Turned Over to NARA

Copies of Secret Service records, thought to be among those files destroyed by the Secret Service in 1995, have been located among the personal records of former agent Gerald Blaine and turned over to the NARA for public release.

Like the Air Force One radio tapes found among the belongs in the estate of General Chester Clifton, these files from Blaine’s records offer more proof that there are still previously unknown records out there that can be located, added to the public record and fill in the missing pieces to the Dealey Plaza puzzle.

Gerald Blaine, author of the book “The Kennedy Detail,” which is being made into a major motion picture, first called attention to the record in his book. In “The Kennedy Detail” Blainesaid that he has boxes of copies of the Secret Service Advance Reports for Tampa and Chicago that the Secret Service said were destroyed after the ARRB requested them.

“The Kennedy Detail” (p.357): “It had been a long time, but Blaine was compelled to pull out his files to make sure is memory was serving him correctly. Like any good investigator, he had kept all his personal reports for all these years. Every time they moved to a new house, with his various jobs, (his wife) Joyce had asked him why couldn’t he throw all that stuff out, but he’d insisted the boxes were important. He found the box from 1963 and started going through it. It was all there. Pages and pages of information that refuted all the claims this guy (Abraham Bolden) was making. He was holding in his hands the Tampa advance report that had supposedly been destroyed.”

After notifying the NARA of Mr. Blaine’s remarks, I received a note:

“Mr. Kelly, I just wanted to let you know that last week we received a file of records from Mr. Blaine, some of which document the Tampa trip. We will be conducting archival processing (re-foldering/boxing) of the files and adding them to the Collection in the near future. We appreciate the heads up that led us to contact Mr. Blaine.”

Sincerely,

Chief, Special Access and FOIA Branch

National Archives at College Park

JFKcountercoup: Secret Service Records Previously Thought Destroyed Turned Over to NARA

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Thanks for the accolades, as it means a lot coming from you guys.

I don't think Blaine has a lot of docs but he does have some Tampa advance reports.

It seems that Waldron and Hartmann have done the most research on this topic, though Frank DeBenedicties has done an ariticle that I haven't seen yet - Four Days Before Dallas, Tampa Bay History Fall/Winter 1994, if anyone has a copy or link to it.

BK

The Tampa Plot JFKcountercoup: The Tampa Plot in Retrospect

Four days before he was killed in Dallas President Kennedy visited Tampa, Florida, where he addressed the Steelworkers Union and then later in Miami the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) to whom he delivered a major speech on Cuba, part of which was said to have been designed to confirm his support for a coup in Cuba.

In the course of this trip, which included a long motorcade that began and ended at MacGill AFB, Kennedy met privately with the commander of MacGill, a base where a quick-strike unit was prepared to intervene in Cuba if called upon to do so.

Also in the course of the visit to Tampa, the Secret Service and local authorities investigated a plot to kill the president, a conspiracy that included shooting the President with a high powered rifle while he rode in the motorcade, and a patsy, Gilberto Lopez, a Cuban affiliated with the FPCC who was trying to get back into Cuba, and eventually did so, via the same route Oswald allegedly tried to take via Texas and Mexico City.

News of the Tampa plot was confined to a single newspaper report, and picked up by the UPI, but Lamar Waldron and Thom Hartmann explore this plot further and in some detail in their books “Ultimate Sacrifice” (Carroll & Graf, 2005) and “Legacy of Secrecy” (Counterpoint, 2008).

While their view of the assassination is somewhat warped by the adherence to their theory that what happened at Dealey Plaza was planned by Mafia dons in league with some CIA officers and Cubans planning a “C-Day” coup and US invasion of Cuba, much of what they have uncovered is true and can be independently verified.

Laying the basic ground work in “Ultimate Sacrifice – John and Robert Kennedy, the Plan for a Coup in Cuba, and the Murder of JFK,” at first they intentionally neglected to name their primary suspect to lead the Coup in Cuba, a coup that the CIA was unmistakably plotting. Desmond Fitzgerald (on September 25, 1964) informed the Joint Chiefs of Staff of their “Valkyrie” plan, based on a failed plot to kill Hitler adapted to Cuba. This plan targeted disenchanted Cuban military officers and a few revolutionary figures close to Castro.

That alone is a major research breakthrough, and if they would have stopped right there and entwined the details of how that Cuban coup planning was redirected to Dealey Plaza, it would have been enough, but they further developed their theory with the additional details - that the Kennedys had a approved a coup in Cuba to take place on C-Day (Dec. 1) and that this plot was hijacked by Mafia dons Santo Traficante and Carlos Marcello and used to kill Kennedy.

Although he is not named in the first edition of their book, Juan Almeida is identified in hastily published follow up edition after Almeida was named by others.

My primary problems with their work is centered on the fact that they made up the term “C-Day” for the date of their planned coup and invasion of Cuba, so it is not a term you will find in any government records, although the idea of a coup in Cuba was the subject of many discussions that are memorialized in memos and documents, especially the military records found among the Califano papers, released under the JFK Act [ and posted on-line at Mary Ferrell ]

It has also been brought to our attention that on the date of the supposed coup, it has been documented that Almeida was in an airplane on the way to Africa to lead Cuban forces in the Congo, so he was in no position to lead a coup in Cuba and in any case, he didn’t, and is still considered in the good graces of the Castro government in Cuba.

My other problem with the Waldron/Hartman theory is that the coup plan was known to, infiltrated and hijacked by Mafia dons, when in fact the CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who were in cahoots in the Valkyrie Plot, were quite capable of redirecting the Havana coup from Castro to Kennedy without any help from their Mafia friends, though they certainly could have been used in some of the tactical aspects (ie. silencing the Patsy).

Nor do I think that their extensive use of anonymous sources contributes to their credibility, though I believe their unidentified ONI source as having shadowed Oswald and destroying official government records related to Oswald immediately after he was arrested.

That said, Waldron and Hartmann have done extensive research into the Tampa plot, and reported what they knew in their books, some of which is quoted here.

In “Ultimate Sacrifice” (p. 145), they write: “Authorities had received credible reports of threats against JFK, and Tampa authorities had uncovered a plan to assassinate JFK during his long motorcade there...Long-secret Congressional reports confirm that ‘the threat on November 18, 1963 was posed by a mobile, unidentified rifleman shooting from a window in a tall building with a high power rifle fitted with a scope.’ One Secret Service agent told Congressional investigators that ‘there was an active threat against the President of which the Secret Service was aware in November 1963 in the period immediately prior to JFK’s trip to Miami made by ‘a group of people.’”

“The Tampa threat was confirmed to us by Chief of Police (J.P.) Mullins, who also confirmed that it wasn’t allowed to be published at the time. However, as with Chicago, JFK knew about the Tampa assassination threat. In the words of a high Florida law-enforcement official at the time, ‘JFK had been briefed he was in danger.’”

“After JFK arrived in Tampa on November 18, 1963, newspapers say that he was first ‘closeted’ with ‘General Paul Adams, commanding officer of the Strike [Force] Command’ for a ‘secret session at MacDill.’ Joining General Adams were the commander of the Tactical Air Command headquartered at Langley AFB, Virginia, and the Commander of the Army Command based at Fort Monroe, Virginia…The Strike Force Command is known as Central Command, or CentCom, today. It was described in newspapers at the time as ‘the nation’s brushfire warfare force,’ designed for rapid deployment to trouble spots…Following his brief meeting with the military leaders, JFK continued a heavy schedule of speeches and public appearances. His main motorcade for the public lasted about forty minutes….”

After the motorcade JFK addressed the United Steelworkers at the International Inn, where Waldron and Hartman say, “Just four days later, Trafficante would go to the site of JFK’s last speech in Tampa, the International Inn to publicly toast and celebrate JFK’s death in Dallas.”

After that Tampa speech, Kennedy went to Miami to address the media, and reportedly included in his speech, a special message for those who were contemplating a coup in Cuba.

“The Tampa Police Chief on November 18, 1963, J.P. Mullins, confirmed the existence of the plot to assassinate JFK in Tampa that day. While all news of the threat was suppressed at the time, two small articles appeared right after JFK’s death, but even then the story was quickly suppressed. Mullins was quoted in those 42-year old articles, and he didn’t speak for publication about the threat again until he spoke with us in 1996, confirming not just the articles but adding important new details.” (p. 254)

“The Tampa attempt is documented in full for the first time in any book later; but briefly, it involved at least two men, one of whom threatened to ‘use a gun’ and was described by the Secret Service as ‘white, male, 20, slender build,’ 28.….According to Congressional investigators, ‘Secret Service memos’ say ‘the threat on Nov. 18, 1963 was posed by a mobile, unidentified rifleman shooting from a window in a tall building with a high powered rifle fitted with a scope.’ 29. That was the same basic scene in Chicago and Dallas.”

“Chief Mullins confirmed that the police were told about the threat by the Secret Service prior to JFK’s motorcade through Tampa, which triggered even more security precautions. One motorcade participant still recalls commenting at the time that ‘at every overpass there were police officers with rifles on alert.”

“Secret Service agents in Tampa were probably subjected to the same pressure for secrecy as those in Chicago…It also explains why, in the mid-1990s, the Secret Service destroyed documents about JFK’s motorcades in the weeks before Dallas, rather than turn them over to the Assassinations Records Review Board as the law required. 36 As noted earlier, that destruction occurred just weeks after the authors had first informed the Review Board about the Tampa attempt.” 37 (p. 256)

“There is clear evidence that the Secret Service and other agencies handled the serious JFK assassination attempts in Chicago and Tampa far differently from earlier assassination attempts we’ve researched. Since just after JFK’s election, most attempts to kill him would briefly make the newspapers at the time of the incident. 38 That was even true for minor, routine threats to JFK in Chicago and Tampa in the fall of 1963,…”

“The Tampa attempt was kept completely out of the news media at the time of JFK’s visit, and for four days afterward. Only two small articles about the Tampa attempt finally appeared after JFK’s death, one in Tampa on Saturday, November 23. By the time the next article appeared in Miami on Sunday, the authorities had clammed up and were no longer talking. There were no follow-up articles in either paper. 40 The two articles went unnoticed by Congressional investigators and historians for decades…”

“What made the attempts to kill JFK in Chicago and Tampa (and later Dallas) different from all previous threats was the involvement of Cuban suspects – and a possible Cuban agent – in each area. In addition, these multi-person attempts were clearly not the work of the usual lone, mentally ill person, but were clearly the result of coordinated planning. The Chicago and Tampa assassination attempts took place… when US officials were making plans for dealing with the possible “assassination” of “American officials” in retaliation for US actions against Castro…”

“In both the Tampa and Dallas attempts, officials sought a young man in his early twenties, white with slender build, who had been in recent contact with a small pro-Castro group called the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC). In Dallas that was Lee Harvey Oswald, but the Tampa person of interest was Gilberto Policarpo Lopez, who – like Oswald- was a former defector. 44 We later document eighteen parallels between Dallas suspect Lee Harvey Oswald and Gilberto Policarpo Lopez, but here are a few: Like Oswald, Lopez was also of interest to Navy Intelligence. Also similar to Oswald, Gilberto Lopez made a mysterious trip to Mexico City in the fall of 1963, attempting to get to Cuba. Lopez even used the same border crossing as Oswald, and government reports say both went one way by car, though neither man owned a car. Like Oswald, Lopez had recently separated from his wife and had gotten into a fistfight in the summer of 1963 over supposedly pro-Castro sympathies. 45 Declassified Warren Commission and CIA documents confirm that Lopez, whose movements parallel Oswald in so many ways in 1963, was on a secret ‘mission’ for the US involving Cuba, an ‘operation’ so secret that the CIA felt that protecting it was considered more important than thoroughly investigating the JFK assassination.” 46

“Since the initial publication of Ultimate Sacrifice, a few additional references to Tampa have surfaced. On June 10, 2005, - five months before the first public revelation of the Tampa attempt in our book – the Secret Service’s advance agent for JFK’s trip to Tampa made an intriguing comment during an interview with researcher Vince Palamara. Retired agent Gerald Blaine said there were ‘more characters’ for the Secret Service to worry about ‘in Tampa’ than in Dallas. Blaine said ‘we were really concerned about that. We did a lot of work on that.’ Palamara writes that “Blaine added that he was riding in the lead car with the Chief of Police’ during JFK’s Tampa motorcade.” 36 (p. 718)

(36 Vince Michael Palamara Survivor’s Guilt: The Secret Service & the Failure to Protect the President (Pennsylvania, 2005, pp. 20, 21)

Also see:

2. “Threats on Kennedy Made Here,” Tampa Tribune 11/23/63; “Man Held In Threats to JFK,” Miami Herald 11-24-63 – it is bylined Tampa (UPI), so it may well have appeared in other newpapers.

3. Frank DeBenedictis, “Four Days before Dallas, “ Tampa Bay History Fall/Winter 1994

[bK Notes: If anyone can obtain the Tampa Tribute Article “Man Held in Threats to JFK” of 11/23/63, I’d like to have the text copy so I can post it, as well as Frank’s article.]

Edited by William Kelly
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  • 3 weeks later...

There is a definite addendum to the whole conundrum regarding the aftermath of The Kennedy Detail, just a day or so ago, I perused the book for the very first time.

While I could go on and on about the tenor of the book, which is written in the style of "anyone who thinks the Secret Service was involved in any kind of conspiracy, needs their head examined," I will just state that while I have a tremendous amount of sympathy for Clint Hill and other agents who were truly dedicated to protecting the President, my approach is when you read this book, have everything written by Vince Palamara within reach; you will need it.

Along those lines, the first thing about the book that struck a warning sign was the fact that Robert A. Steuart does not appear in the index, and if he is mentioned in the book at all, I would be surprised. For those who don't know who Robert A. Steuart was, please read on. He is featured in the thread on Jack Martin 1:42 PM

See

http://educationforu...?showtopic=5989

So the question for myself was, why would a book designed to tell the full story about the details of the Secret Service protection of President Kennedy with a tight focus regarding Dallas on 11/22/63 just bypass any mention of the man who was a fairly prominent member of the Secret Service in Dallas, Texas?

I believe I answered my own question.

Dallas Morning News, page 3

January 6, 1966

Secret Service

Steuart Retires as Agent

After 32 years of colorful service as a Secret Service agent,

Robert A. Steuart, who helped crack the Dallas Red Fox forgery

ring that sent 26 to prison, announced his retirement Wednesday.

Steuart was assistant special agent in charge of the Dallas district

under Forrest V. Sorrels. During his years of service, he had two

special assignments to Puerto Rico, was body guard to

Mme Chiang-Kai-shek, and with Fort Worth police broke up a

large counterfeiting ring, seizing plates and about $40,000 in

spurious $20 notes.

But most notable was his work in 1958, together with that

of postal inspectors, in cracking the Red Fox gang, that stole,

forged and passed thousands of dollars in government checks.

The gang had rubber stamps made to raise the amounts on checks

stolen from Dallas mail boxes. Some of the mob would steal the

checks, others would forge them and still others would pass them.

During World War II, Steuart served with Army Intelligence in the

Eighth Service Command

He tracked down an employee that had been writing threatening

letters to the commanding general and worked with balloons

launched in Japan that carried incendiary or anti-personnel

bombs, some of which landed in Texas. Steuart joined the Secret

Service in St. Louis in 1933. He worked in Cincinatti, Richmond,

Va., Memphis and Los Angeles prior to coming to the Dallas

office in 1957. Steuart said he had no immediate plans for the

future, but expects to make his home in Dallas.

Dallas Morning News, The (TX) - August 21, 2005

STEUART,, KATHERINE LUCILE (JONAS) 94, a resident of Dallas for the past 60 years went to be with our Lord on August 16, 2005. She was born on January 21, 1911 in Salem, West Virginia. Katherine graduated from what was then known as Salem High School in 1929. She then attended Salem College for 2 years. In the winter of 1945, Katherine was employed by Western Union Telegraph Company as a clerk operator and office manager. She then moved to Dallas in the Summer of 1945 with her son Norman to reunite the family with her husband James who had relocated here to accept a job in the defense industry. Katherine continued to work for Western Union Telegraph Company until her retirement in 1972. Katherine was a devout Christian and member of Oak Lawn United Methodist Church for 60 years. She belonged to the Lillian Tate Class and volunteered for many church activities as well as a volunteer for the Visiting Nurse Association. She is preceded in death by her husband James C. Jonas who was employed by Braniff International Airlines for 37 years; she later married Robert A. Steuart, who was employed for approximately 20 years as a Secret Service Officer; parents, Rex and Mary McQuaid; sister, Helen Hutson; brothers, Joe McQuaid and Lynn McQuaid. Katherine is survived by her only son, Norman M. Jonas and wife Elizabeth of Dallas, TX; sisters, June Usher of Monterey, CA, Frances Stutler of Belpre, OH and Alice Hopkins of Zephyrhills, FL; brother, William McQuaid of Salem, WV; several nieces and nephews and a host of friends. She will truly be missed by those who knew her and whom she touched in her special caring way. Services will be 10:00AM, Tuesday, August 23, 2005 at Oak Lawn United Methodist Church, 3014 Oak Lawn Ave., Dallas, TX 75219, Rev. Michael A House officiating. Interment to follow at Restland Memorial Park. Family will receive friends from 6:00PM until 8:00PM, Monday, August 22, 2005 at Restland Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 8900 Carpenter Fwy, Dallas, TX 75247. Honorary pallbearers will be her long time associates from Western Union Telegraph Company, J.A. Summers, Herbert B. Bays, R.D. Reding, Lowell D. Gaston and long time friends Dr. Ed Crow Miller and Jim Strunk. Pallbearers are Rev. Michael A. House with remaining to be decided. Restland 972-238-7111 restlandfuneralhome.com OB6 Obituaries, Notices

I would like to know who the General was whom Steuart was investigating, ie the person who was sending

the General threatening letters, if I were a betting man, I would think he would be somebody we have all heard of. Regarding Robert A. Steuart, I haven't been able to find an obit, but I haven't found any indication he is still alive. I can't speak for anyone else, but this presents another unanswered question, primarily regarding the personal political views of Robert A. Steuart and whether they were a factor on the day JFK was assassinated.

Edited by Robert Howard
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  • 1 year later...

Bill,

Thanks for the November 18 Tampa plot information, and for letting NARA know about Secret Service agent Gerald Blaine's private files.

More and more when I look up a topic on 20th century intelligence history, I am lead to your website. Good work.

What's the latest on Blaine's Tampa plot or Tampa advance report files? Are they available to the public yet?

Do we know if Blaine turned in any Chicago plot files related to Thomas Arthur Vallee and a four man Latino sniper team?

I haven't read Blaine's book The Kennedy Detail, but a search through it shows that he goes out of his way to discredit SS Agent Abraham Bolden, who tried to blow the whistle to the Warren Commission about SS agent laxity on JFK's detail, and the Chicago plot or plots to kill JFK on November 2, 1963 (Vallee and the Latino team might have been separate plots).

See inside Blaine's book: http://books.google.com/books?id=ypRnkphji0sC&printsec=frontcover&dq=%22the+kennedy+detail%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=5fZAUrj9CtKl4APk8YGABA&ved=0CDkQ6AEwAA

A search of his book seems to show that Blaine dismisses the 4-man Latino sniper team - partly since Abraham Bolden was one source for that information - even though documents and law enforcement confirm it existed; downplay potential Chicago sniper and patsy ex-Marine Thomas Arthur Vallee; and either adds or confuses some of the facts of Vallee's case (not mentioning Vallee's anti-JFK statements or alleged training with Cuban exiles, while bringing forth new unverified info that a landlady discovered collages in Vallee's apartment. A landlady or maid did stumble upon the four man Latino sniper team's boarding house, but that is an entirely separate incident).

I'd like to see if Blaine produced any files or information contrary to what Abraham Bolden said and wrote about the Chicago plot of 11/2/63, Vallee, and the Latino sniper team.

A number of files on Thomas A. Vallee are still withheld at NARA.

The best study of the Chicago Plot is the excellent article by Edwin Black, from The Chicago Independent (Nov 1975).

Several versions of Black's article can be found here:

http://archive.org/details/TheChicagoPlotToKillJfk

The PDF is 2 parts.

As noted, there is good information on both the Chicago and Tampa plots in Ultimate Sacrifice (2005) and Legacy of Secrecy (2008) by Tom Hartmann and Lamar Waldron, no matter what one makes of their JFK murder theories.

And try as some might, Abraham Bolden cannot be easily discredited by claiming he was convicted of bribery (his chief witness later admitted giving perjured testimony in Bolden's case), nor can Edwin Black's meticulous, thorough reporting be attacked for lack of credibility.

---

The article Four Days Before Dallas: JFK in Tampa by Frank DeBenedictis appeared in the magazine Tampa Bay History (Fall/Winter 1994).

It is worth reading, though based mainly on newspaper accounts. The author sought law enforcement comment. The issue can be found on the University of South Florida Libraries website.

The link directly to a PDF of the whole issue is:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CCoQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdigital.lib.usf.edu%3A8080%2Ffedora%2Fget%2Fusfldc%3AT06-v16n2_94-000%2FDOCUMENT%3Fsearch_terms%3Dfeatured%2520a%2520faith%2520in%2520the%2520material%2520growth&ei=ko86UqDVMLil4APU2oCQAg&usg=AFQjCNGsNPuvwLN-qbX5UVkhCM_K5Gz5sQ

Vince Palamara has the Tampa newspaper article on the threat and a part of a Secret Service Protective Research document about one John William Warrington, who sent 5 threatening letters to JFK just prior to his Tampa visit on November 18. Warrington wrote he'd be "lying in ambush." (I don't believe Warrington is significant today, unlike Thomas Vallee, but the document is interesting.)

http://vincepalamara.com/2012/07/09/111863-tampa-fl-threats/

-- Steve

Edited by Steve Rosen
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Hi Steve,

Here are the links to a few of the articles I wrote about the SS - including Blaines' handwritten notes and the Tampa Survey Report

I don't know why these links won't activate - but that's where they are.

http://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/2013/01/document-on-destruction-of-secret.html

Edited by William Kelly
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