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Joseph C. Gouldon's report in the Philadelphia Inquirer (8th December, 1963)

John Simkin

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On 8th December, 1963, Joseph C. Gouldon reported in the Philadelphia Inquirer that "the Federal Bureau of Investigation tried to recruit Oswald as an undercover informant in Castro groups" two months before the assassination. I have just done a search for Gouldon and discovered that before working as a journalist, he was a former counter-intelligence agent. Maybe he had inside information.


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I was familiar with Joe Goulden from his participation in the trio of reporters who fabricated Oswald's FBI informant number, but was quite surprised when I began to research when it was decided not to follow the original Castro-Commie Cover Story and go with the "equally implausible" Lone Nut scenario instead. I narrowed it down to between 8 and 10 pm on Friday, November 22, when LBJ was behind the closed door of his office at the Executive Office Building when he tried to squelch the rumor that Oswald was to be charged as furthering a communist conspiracy. But it was no rumor, as Vincent Bugliosi notes, Joe Goulden was talking with Asst. DA Alexander and egging him to charge Oswald with exactly that. Here's the article I wrote about this:

JFKcountercoup: The Tipping Point

....Shortly after 8 PM, as Valenti puts it, “LBJ sat at his desk to have some soup. It as his first food since his morning breakfast in Fort Worth.” [14]

The VP office in the EOB #274 is a three room affair, with a fireplace in one room, televisions and a telephone in each room. Beginning at around 8 PM, as LBJ sat down to his soup, he apparently did so behind closed doors alone with Cliff Carter and Walter Jenkins, with Valenti out of the picture, as Valenti “fidgeted around” outside for over an hour until they emerged from LBJ’s office, their immediate mission, whatever it was, complete. One of the things we know happened was Carter made calls to Texas officials about a rumor that Oswald was going to be charged as part of a Communist conspiracy.

10:00 (EST?) – Vincent Bugliosi

“No sooner than Fritz and Alexander get back to City Hall from dinner than the telephone rings in the Homicide and Robbery office of the Dallas Police headquarters and Alexander takes the call. It’s Joe Goulden, a former reporter for the Dallas Morning News who is now on the city desk of the Philadelphia Inquirer.”

“‘What’s going on down there? We’re not getting anything straight. It’s all garbled. Is Oswald going to be charged with killing the president?’ the reporter asks.”

“‘Yea, we’re getting ready to file on the Communist son of a bitch,’ Alexander tells him. When Goulden asks Alexander why he called Oswald a Communist, Alexander tells him about all the Communist literature they found at Oswald’s Beckley address. ‘We have the killer,’ Alexander says, ‘but we’re not sure what his connections are.’”

“Goulden wants to know exactly when the charges will be filed against Oswald. ‘As soon as I can draw up the complaint,’ Alexander replies. Goulden says his editor won’t print the part about Oswald being a Communist for fear of a libel suit. The only way he’s print that is if he could say it was part of the formal charge. Alexander, who would later allow that, ‘I let my mouth overlook my ass,’ says sarcastically, ‘Well, how about if I charge him with being part of an international Communist conspiracy? Could you run with that?’”

“He knew he couldn’t draw up a complaint like that, but Alexander was itching to show Oswald for what he was, a damn Communist. Goulden was more than eager to oblige.‘You got it!’ the reporter says.” (879) END Bugliosi Quote. [15]

[bK Notes: Joe Goulden, then working for the Philadelphia Inquirer, was a close personal friend and media asset of David Atlee Phillips, the CIA officer responsible for the monitoring of the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City. Goulden was also one of those reporters who later floated the trial balloon story that Oswald was an FBI informant.] [16]

8-9 PM – Sometime between 8 & 9 PM Cliff Carter, in the name of LBJ and the White House, called Texas authorities, including Texas Attorney General Wagner Carr and someDallas officials. Since it is not mentioned by Valenti, this must have been when LBJ was in his office with Jenkins and Carter for over an hour, when Cliff Carter began to make a series of calls to Texas officials, ordering them not to promote the idea of a conspiracy.

Between 8 & 9 PM – Waggoner Carr – Attorney Gen. of Texas, reported: “I received a long-distance telephone call from Washington from someone in the White House. I can’t for the life of me remember who it was. A rumor had been heard here that there was going to be an allegation in the indictment against Oswald connecting the assassination with an international conspiracy, and the inquiry was made whether I had any knowledge of it, and I told him I had no knowledge of it. As a matter of fact, I hadn’t been in Dallas since the assassination and was not there at the time of the assassination. So the request was made of me to contact Mr. [Henry] Wade to find out if the allegation was in the indictment. I received the definite impression that the concern of the caller was that because of the emotion or the high tension that existed at the time that someone might thoughtlessly place the indictment in such an allegation without having the proof of such a conspiracy. So I did call Mr. Wade from my home, when I received the call, and he told me…that he had no knowledge of anyone desiring to have that or planning to have that in the indictment; that it would be surplusage, it was not necessary to allege it, and that it would not be in there, but that he would doublecheck it to be sure. And then he called back, and – as I recall I did – and informed the White House participant in the conversation of what Mr. Wade had said, and that was all of it.” [17].......

Edited by William Kelly
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