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John Armstrong blasts the mail order rifle “evidence”


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FILM REVIEW -- "RENDEZVOUS WITH DEATH: JFK AND THE CUBAN CONNECTION":

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Although not nearly as impossible to believe as most of the JFK
assassination theories out there, the 2006 documentary film "Rendezvous
With Death: JFK And The Cuban Connection", which purports an underlying
Cuban involvement in "recruiting" Lee Harvey Oswald to kill President
Kennedy, ultimately falls flat too (IMO).

Two things in it tend to sink the film's credibility in my view:

1.) When an ex-Cuban "agent" named Oscar Marino, who is one of the
bigshots being interviewed for the first time (with sensational info that
he had never talked about heretofore, of course), says:

"Is it so important whether or not he {Oswald} acted on his own
initiative?"

Well -- Duh!

Yeah, I think it does matter just a tad bit. It's only the difference
between "conspiracy" vs. "no conspiracy", for crying out loud.

Perhaps Mr. Marino needs to look up the word "initiative" --

"On one's own initiative: At one's own discretion: Independently of
outside influence or control." -- Merriam-Webster OnLine Dictionary

Marino also says this in the "Rendezvous" documentary --- "It makes no
difference whether he {Oswald} volunteered, or was used."

I guess perhaps that means that John Hinckley, even though he acted on his
"own initiative", can blame some other entity for putting him up to
shooting Ronald Reagan in 1981. (Maybe he can use that strange logic to
get Jodie Foster to share a portion of the blame for his actions that
day.) ;)

2.) And then there's a part I knew this program would sidestep -- and that
is: The way in which Lee Harvey Oswald got his job at the Texas School
Book Depository in October 1963.

It's never once mentioned in this program that it was Ruth Paine and
Linnie Randle who actually were responsible for Oswald getting hired at
the Book Depository.

Instead, the documentary's narrator states that Oswald had applied for
MANY jobs in tall office buildings all along the motorcade route. Which is
also a bunch of bullxxxx right there, seeing as how the exact route wasn't
even finalized until November 18th...and not placed into any paper where
Oswald could see it until November 19th at the earliest.

Overall, "Rendezvous With Death" is a real yawn-fest, in my personal
opinion.

We know that the U.S. Government hated Fidel Castro and was probably
trying to bump him off. And we know Oswald (the nutcase he was) was
definitely pro-Castro and pro-Cuba. And we also know that in early
September of 1963 (via the impromptu interview that Castro gave to Daniel
Harker) Castro, in effect, was threatening U.S. leaders.

So the tension was certainly there....so it's not surprising that a
decent-looking theory can be made to have Oswald "recruited" by Cuban
Intelligence to bump off Kennedy. But I've yet to see the ironclad proof
that anyone put Oswald up to the assassination.

Jean Davison's 1983 book ("Oswald's Game") provides a very good analysis
of Lee Harvey Oswald and his probable motive(s) for assassinating
President Kennedy.

The general theory in Davison's book is that Oswald killed JFK all by
himself....but he did it FOR CASTRO (but Oswald wasn't "recruited" by any
outside organization). It was all Oswald's idea.

That's a good "LN" theory too, especially since LHO almost certainly would
have been aware of the Harker/Castro interview and Castro's threat to U.S.
leaders in early September '63, because that story appeared in local New
Orleans papers where Oswald lived at the time.

David Von Pein
January 2007

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Related Article:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4582488.stm

Edited by David Von Pein
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The whole Alvarado/Phillips saga of the “negro with red hair” giving “Oswald” $6500 at the Cuban consulate is so obviously false we hardly need to dwell on it. The real question is…. Why would a high-ranking CIA officer push the false tale? The answer, I believe, is the same as for the following questions:

Why did “Lee Harvey Oswald” leave Texas for no apparent reason so that he could pretend to support Castro in New Orleans while being surrounded by virulent anti-Castro government agents around Clay Shaw's Trade Mart in New Orleans?

Why did a “Lee Oswald” attempt to purchase rifles just weeks before the assassination from Robert McKeown, a personal friend of Fidel Castro who was at the time on parole for selling guns to the Cuban revolutionary?

Why was “Lee Harvey Oswald” impersonated at the Soviet and Cuban installations in Mexico City?

Why, just minutes after the assassination, did J. Edgar Hoover tell Robert Kennedy that Oswald “made several trips to Cuba?”

The obvious answer is that “Lee Harvey Oswald” was being sheep-dipped as an agent of Fidel Castro so that when he was framed for the assassination of JFK, the resulting furor would end with a U.S. invasion of Cuba. It's really quite obvious.

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While that does make sense Jim... there is another explanation which is just as strong...

Cuba/Castro/Russia was a way to keep inquiries to a minimum and leverage others into cooperation.

IMO Hoover's FBI fabricated the Mexico City travel docs to hide where Oswald really was - with Odio in Dallas along with 2 members of a team he was trying to infiltrate.

It is virtually impossible to accept the FBI had no clue where Oswald was from Sept 24 until Oct 31... when Hoover sees the 10/10 "HENRY" cable he knows it's not true, he knows where his boy Ozzie is...

Sheepdipping Oswald would service him just as well if they were trying to get him deeper into the Cuban groups... It would also serve as a "STAY AWAY" warning to those that began looking.

Sorry Jim - but I think the Cuba story was a cover... and more in line with what Simpich writes - an internal intel matter - then to push the US into Cuba.

If that was the case - Cuba, not Vietnam, would have been first on LBJ's list.

The CIA wanted to run a county - all of it - and Cuba was not going to be the one... SE Asia on the other hand - had everything the MICC needed: Drugs, weapons, war, and distance.

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The biggest "tell" for me on the mail order "evidence" is the time card. I know it's been mentioned earlier in this thread. But if you have to tell a lie, and another lie to support the first, the lies keep getting bigger and bigger. I believe the FBI simply could not keep up with what they were fudging to make all of this fit.


That's why the Oswald time card for that day, showing he was at work down to almost the minute when he was supposed to be walking all the way across the river to the post office, is proof that the whole thing was faked to incriminate him.

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Thanks, Michael W., though you're clearly preaching to the choir here. As you say, the J-C-S time card is just the start of J. Edgar Hoover's lies about "Lee Harvey Oswald" and the assassination of JFK. May Hoover and the rest of them all rot in hell!

To DJ.... I'm exhausted watching babies and toddlers gather plastic eggs... more tomorrow... just as it should have been half a century ago. Thank you for speaking your mind!!!

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Sorry Jim - but I think the Cuba story was a cover... and more in line with what Simpich writes - an internal intel matter - then to push the US into Cuba.

If that was the case - Cuba, not Vietnam, would have been first on LBJ's list.

The CIA wanted to run a county - all of it - and Cuba was not going to be the one... SE Asia on the other hand - had everything the MICC needed: Drugs, weapons, war, and distance.

Remember, though, that in exchange for the removal of the Soviet missiles from Cuba, President Kennedy had PUBLICLY promised the Soviets that the U.S. would not invade Cuba (although the removal of U.S. missiles from Turkey was kept quiet). Seems unlikely that LBJ had the stomach to reopen the Cuban Missile Crisis, though, if it turned out that "Lee Harvey Oswald" was an agent for Castro, he might have to. That, I think, is the real reason Johnson told Hoover to cover the whole thing up. An adventure in the relatively small nations of S.E. Asia was less likely to provoke a nuclear war with the Soviets.
In a recorded phone call, LBJ said to Richard Russell "Dick, it's already been announced and you can serve with anybody for the good of America, and this is a question that has a good many more ramifications than on the surface and we've got to take this out of the arena where they're testifying that Khruschev and Castro did this and did that and kicking us into a war that can kill 40 million Americans in an hour."
In his book, Earl Warren told a similar tale of LBJ pleading with him to lead the cover-up... I mean the Warren Commission.
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The whole Alvarado/Phillips saga of the “negro with red hair” giving “Oswald” $6500 at the Cuban consulate is so obviously false we hardly need to dwell on it. The real question is…. Why would a high-ranking CIA officer push the false tale? The answer, I believe, is the same as for the following questions:

Why did “Lee Harvey Oswald” leave Texas for no apparent reason so that he could pretend to support Castro in New Orleans while being surrounded by virulent anti-Castro government agents around Clay Shaw's Trade Mart in New Orleans?

Why did a “Lee Oswald” attempt to purchase rifles just weeks before the assassination from Robert McKeown, a personal friend of Fidel Castro who was at the time on parole for selling guns to the Cuban revolutionary?

Why was “Lee Harvey Oswald” impersonated at the Soviet and Cuban installations in Mexico City?

Why, just minutes after the assassination, did J. Edgar Hoover tell Robert Kennedy that Oswald “made several trips to Cuba?”

The obvious answer is that “Lee Harvey Oswald” was being sheep-dipped as an agent of Fidel Castro so that when he was framed for the assassination of JFK, the resulting furor would end with a U.S. invasion of Cuba. It's really quite obvious.

What puzzles me is if they were sheep-dipping Oswald as a Commie (which I believe), who lived several

years in Russia, came back with a Russian bride, sided with Castro -- why didn't the ones working on the

Oswald scenario give him a decent gun? How could he shoot anybody with that piece of junk? Just give

him a decent gun. That was a mistake.

Kathy C

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If I may attach my Harvey and Lee propeller to my conspiracy beanie for a moment, I would have thought a more plausible theory would have been: Harvey is induced to buy the rifle from Klein's for some ostensible purpose, perhaps in connection with Sen. Dodd's investigation of mail-order gun merchants (thanks to Tommy for steering me in this direction). Voila, our patsy now has a rifle, with no need to fake or fabricate anything. Not an especially convincing assassination weapon, but probably the sort of thing Harvey actually would have purchased for himself. As the time for the assassination draws nearer, Lee engages in a variety of activities, including the encounter with McKeown, to paint Harvey as an increasingly radical and gun-oriented pro-Castro fanatic. On the morning of the assassination, Harvey is induced to bring his rifle to work for some ostensible purpose, or the conspirators simply remove it from Ruth Paine's garage after Harvey has left. The rifle is planted, the Klein's paperwork and money order are easily located, and the conspirators toast each other with margaritas. Marina's testimony and the de Mohrenschildts' testimony is basically true and the backyard photos are authentic. All the "Mauser stuff" was just an understandable mistake in the confusion surrounding one of the most traumatic events in U.S. history. Even in Harvey and Lee land, doesnt this make more sense?

While I have my Harvey and Lee beanie on, I will say I was disappointed that the book simply stopped with the assassination as though we had hit a brick wall. I think I would have left no stone unturned to figure out what became of Harvey and the Marguerite imposter.

Nice compromise, Lance. But the only thing is, I don't believe in "Harvey and Lee."

A. J. Weberman thought Gerry Patrick Hemming duped LHO into believing that he (Hemming) was anti-Walker, borrowed the MC from LHO, and intentionally missed when he shot at Walker with it, (without LHO's realizing it was an intentional miss) in order to incriminate LHO for the upcoming JFK assassination.

Thoughts?

-- Tommy

Edited by Thomas Graves
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If I may attach my Harvey and Lee propeller to my conspiracy beanie for a moment, I would have thought a more plausible theory would have been: Harvey is induced to buy the rifle from Klein's for some ostensible purpose, perhaps in connection with Sen. Dodd's investigation of mail-order gun merchants (thanks to Tommy for steering me in this direction). Voila, our patsy now has a rifle, with no need to fake or fabricate anything. Not an especially convincing assassination weapon, but probably the sort of thing Harvey actually would have purchased for himself. As the time for the assassination draws nearer, Lee engages in a variety of activities, including the encounter with McKeown, to paint Harvey as an increasingly radical and gun-oriented pro-Castro fanatic. On the morning of the assassination, Harvey is induced to bring his rifle to work for some ostensible purpose, or the conspirators simply remove it from Ruth Paine's garage after Harvey has left. The rifle is planted, the Klein's paperwork and money order are easily located, and the conspirators toast each other with margaritas. Marina's testimony and the de Mohrenschildts' testimony is basically true and the backyard photos are authentic. All the "Mauser stuff" was just an understandable mistake in the confusion surrounding one of the most traumatic events in U.S. history. Even in Harvey and Lee land, doesnt this make more sense?

While I have my Harvey and Lee beanie on, I will say I was disappointed that the book simply stopped with the assassination as though we had hit a brick wall. I think I would have left no stone unturned to figure out what became of Harvey and the Marguerite imposter.

Nice compromise, Lance. But the only thing is, I don't believe in "Harvey and Lee."

A. J. Weberman thought Gerry Patrick Hemming duped LHO into believing that he (Hemming) was anti-Walker, borrowed the MC from LHO, and intentionally missed when he shot at Walker with it, (without LHO's realizing it was an intentional miss) in order to incriminate LHO for the upcoming JFK assassination.

Thoughts?

-- Tommy

Neither do I. That's why I said I was attaching my Harvey and Lee propeller to my conspiracy beanie - i.e., playing along with the Harvey and Lee Game for the sake of argument. If I were a Harvey and Lee True Believer, the scenario outlined in the post you quoted would make more sense to me than the convoluted one of fabricating multiple pieces of evidence.

Since I promised to close the loop on my contact with the Postal History Museum at the Smithsonian Institution about the need for bank endorsements on postal money orders, I should note that I never heard from them again after the first flurry of emails (all in one day). I didn't follow up since I know perfectly well what happened: The guy with whom I was communicating went to his supervisor, who said "You're not diving into the JFK assassination on our time, bub." My mistake was attempting to put my questions in context by telling him we were talking about the Klein's money order.

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Since I promised to close the loop on my contact with the Postal History Museum at the Smithsonian Institution about the need for bank endorsements on postal money orders, I should note that I never heard from them again after the first flurry of emails (all in one day). I didn't follow up since I know perfectly well what happened: The guy with whom I was communicating went to his supervisor, who said "You're not diving into the JFK assassination on our time, bub." My mistake was attempting to put my questions in context by telling him we were talking about the Klein's money order.

I'll bet you're right on this. One of the first pieces of advice John Armstrong had for me years ago was to never, ever explain that I was researching the Kennedy assassination and expect straightforward answers from federal employees, and many other people as well. On several occasions when I was assisting him on some little bit of research, I went to great lengths to completely redact phrases such as "Lee Harvey Oswald" and "November 22, 1963" from printed documents before sending them to document experts.

Results of this kind of research were sometimes astounding. My favorite was an opinion by a documents examiner working for IBM that three different W-2 forms supposedly covering "Lee Harvey Oswald's" teen-aged employment by three different employers were all typed on the same machine.

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What puzzles me is if they were sheep-dipping Oswald as a Commie (which I believe), who lived several

years in Russia, came back with a Russian bride, sided with Castro -- why didn't the ones working on the

Oswald scenario give him a decent gun? How could he shoot anybody with that piece of junk? Just give

him a decent gun. That was a mistake.

Kathy C

The Magic Carcano had to be Plan B... or C... or D.

Plan A was surely to put a 300 Savage rifle with scope purchased by "Lee Harvey Oswald" from Robert McKeown, Fidel Castro's close personal friend and long-time arms supplier. From HarveyandLee.net:

On Labor Day weekend, 1963, Robert McKeown, his wife, and friend Sam Niel were in McKeown's house in Texas when a car drove into the driveway and two men soon knocked on his front door. When McKeown opened the door the American said, "You are McKeown, are you not? I understand that you can supply any amount of arms." McKeown asked for the man's name and he introduced himself as LEE Oswald (not Lee Harvey Oswald), and his friend as Mr. Hernandez. Oswald asked McKeown if he could obtain rifles, and offered to pay him $10,000 for four 300 Savage rifles with scopes. Somewhat perplexed, McKeown told Oswald that he could buy the same rifles at Sears & Roebuck for $75 and then asked, "Why come to me?"
McKeown, who was nearing the end of his 5-year probation for running guns to Castro, was leery of Oswald and refused his offer. McKeown told the (HSCA), "I said, you are not going to get them through me. I did not want anymore part of any kind of rifles. I would not be caught with a rifle. I said, you came to the wrong man, I am not going to get involved, and thank God I did not get them."
LEE Oswald and Hernandez left the house and were walking toward their car when McKeown closed the door. McKeown said to his friend Sam Niel, "Ain't that a hell of a mess?" Niel replied, "Mac, don't mess with them." A few minutes later LEE Oswald returned and knocked on McKeown's door. He repeated his offer, which McKeown again refused, and then left with Hernandez and never returned.
Castro_McKeown.jpg
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I don't believe Mckeown for a minute. I am NOT saying I don't believe there was a conversation regarding guns between McKeown and two men, one who identified as Lee Oswald and the other as Mr. Hernandez. But confronted by this fact, I'd wager that 99.9% of the time a convicted gun runner with mob connections, (who was still on parole at the time of the incident), is going to say exactly what McKeown says.

We cannot assume there wasn't a deal or that there wasn't more to that conversation based on his testimony. He has plenty reasons to lie and the law may not have been his biggest worry.

Additionally, "Hernandez" is to the local Latino community in Texas, (and everywhere else in the Latino world), as ubiquitous as "Smith" and "Jones" in the Anglo world.

I have read the McKeown testimony, but years ago. Now I'm curious as to how Mckeown describes Oswald. I assume he knew by then what Oswald should have looked like. The biggest take-away here being that LHO, (or someone that said he was LHO), out and about with a co-conspirator tying to buy guns from a known mobster.

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What is the evidence that Robert McKeown was connected with organized crime? I can’t recall anyone before making that claim. Are you thinking, perhaps, that McKeown testified that Jack Ruby approached him claiming to know some people in the Mafia?


McKeown was a close personal friend of Fidel Castro.


I believe his testimony. He obviously didn’t want to testify and refused to do so until the HSCA gave his counsel a written grant of immunity. I’m astounded that they did that!


The HSCA kept his testimony hidden for decades, burying a line or two about it in a report saying he was probably seeking a book deal or other notoriety. (Notice how often that claim was made for inconvenient witnesses?) Of course, there is no evidence whatsoever that McKeown tried to pedal his story or profit over it in any way.


I also believe McKeown because his tale fits in perfectly with the conspirators’ obvious attempts to blame the assassination on Castro and provoke an invasion of Cuba.... Just as “Lee Harvey Oswald” and the Fair Play for Cuba charade in front of Clay Shaw’s Trade Mart in New Orleans was designed to pin the blame on Castro.... Just as all that bs about a “Negro with red hair” handing him a big bag o’ kill Kennedy money in the Cuban embassy in Mexico City was invented to create still more “evidence” against Castro.


Can you imagine if the rifle found on the sixth floor of the TSBD had been traced to Castro’s personal friend and weapon provider? McKewon was no fool and smelled a rat when “Lee Oswald” approached him. It hardly matters in this instance whether the fellow accompanying “Hernandez” was born with the name “Lee Harvey Oswald,” or was a practiced Oswald impostor, or was just some guy using the name “Lee Oswald” for the day.


A rifle from Robert McKeown was supposed to be the murder weapon. The McKeown sting happened soon after Labor Day , 1963. The assassination of JFK happened less than three months later. This timing, I think, is part of the reason the evidence for the Magic Rifle stinks so much.

Edited by Jim Hargrove
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