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Maxwell Taylor and John B. Hurt


Jim Root
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By 1941 George Marshall's War Plans Division was in full swing preparing for the inevitable US entry into World War II. Tucked away in the "old munitions building" on Constitution Ave. in Washington DC, Marshall collected the best and the brightest the military had to offer. One of about a half dozen men who became part of his secratariat was Maxwell Taylor. As we all know Taylor was destined to achieve great success as a warrior but for now he was one of the elite that held the keys to access to Marshall.

Also housed in the "old munitions building" was William Friedman's group of codebreakers. It has been said that perhaps as few as thiry men outside of his group had access to the "Magic" intercepts (Japanese diplomatic messages that had been decrypted). On Friedman's staff was a very small meek looking Japanese linguist named John B. Hurt.

Maxwell Taylor was brought into the War Plans Division after several years of duty in Japan and the far east. While in Japan he had studied the Japanese language (just one of about a dozen languages he spoke fluently) and had translated numerous military publication into English that had been published by the Japanese Army, of course originally in the Japanese language. In fact the most recent material we had on Japanese tactics had been written by Taylor from these Japanese texts.

Question: Could Taylor and John Hurt have known each other?

Question: Could this have anything to do with Oswald's attempt at making the "Raliegh Call?"

Jim Root

Edited by Jim Root
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Jim,

The two numbers that Oswald gave the operator for a John Hurt in Raleigh belonged to John David Hurt and John W. Hurt. The HSCA interviewed John David Hurt, and Blakey later said they found nothing sinister about him, but Blakey nonetheless found the call "deeply disturbing." This was because Hurt was in U.S. Army Counter Intelligence from 1942 to 1945, as he acknowledged, though he claimed to be nothing more than an insurance investigator and employee of North Carolina since the war. What I find deeply disturbing is that the phone operator didn't even put the call through, but simply told Oswald that nobody answered.

It's possible that Oswald was trying to call the wrong John Hurt, but the fact that John David Hurt was once in Army Counter Intelligence tells me that he was the right one (a "cut out," no doubt, to try to get a message to someone else), as I generally quit buying coincidence theories a long time ago.

Ron

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Well, Jim I can only speculate here.

Mr. Hurt may have been Mr. Hunt.

Mr. Hunt was the future Watergate burglar and Ian Fleming wannabe,

Howard Hunt had the unusual position of chief of domestic station WH for the agency in 1963, Mexico City, WH agent in charge of domestic sanctions, supposedly. He retired in 1970, went a little too public and rode the whole Watergate mess to infamy. He may be Mr. Hurt. I believe this is called the Raleigh Call.

It may well have been to his classified agency case officer, but we don't know.

I don't think he was calling the "Elephant Man" Hollywood actor John Hurt. '.'.'.'.'.'

Jim THE Social relations of Walker and Taylor and others, do you know of any West Point or VMI relationships that would shed light on this

SEVEN DAYS IN MAY scenario. ?

Edited by Shanet Clark
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Ron

Oswald did not give the operator two numbers for "John Hurt." The operator located two numbers for "John Hurt" in the same manner that Johathan Abt's numbers were located. The difference being that, upon his death, Oswald had the numbers for Abt in his pocket and the numbers for "Hurt" were not "discovered" until the HSCA uncovered them.

As you say the numbers were investigated and John David Hurt was of interest because of his "U.S. Army Counter Intelligence from 1942 to 1945." The reality was that the calls were never completed and, as I recall the story, some researchers have found evidence that a nationwide search was made for people with the name John Hurt or a phonetic spelling thereof by the FBI (?).

The whole matter has sort of gone away because the investigations never led to anything more than sinister speculation. I understood that at the time I first looked into the "Raliegh Call" story.

Years later, while following a Walker thread, I came upon the name John B. Hurt and decided to do more followup. In doing so I was able to place him in the "Old Munitions Building" where Maxwell Taylor was working and associated their common Japanese Language connection with their high security clearences and thought that this needs further investigation. Perhaps I was wrong for pursuing this information. But if there was a connection to this John Hurt and Oswald, well that would just be speculation.

While John B. Hurt was a part of the original team of people that broke the Japanese Diplomatic Code prior to WWII, I found it a little strange that he has been sort of "cut out" of the glory (has not received the recognition or publicity of the others in the group). Since the "Ultra Secret" stories did not start to be declassified until after the assassination of Kennedy, the names of this group were not well known at the time of the WC investigation. Is there now a reason for this man to be "buried"in history while the others have received their due recognition? If he was the man that Lee Harvey Oswald was attempting to contact, the intelligence community may well have wanted this name to be buried.

I agree with your statement about coincidence which is one of the reasons I have used the word so often at the end of my posts. After ten years of finding alot of coincidences dealing with Walker, Taylor and Oswald I just thought I would share another one that deals with another piece of evidence that the Warren Commission seemed to avoid dealing with at the time, which is about a man (John B. Hurt)and his work that was still classified at the time of the assassination.

Jim Root

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Well, Jim I can only speculate here.

Mr. Hurt may have been Mr. Hunt.

Mr. Hunt was the future Watergate burglar and Ian Fleming wannabe,

Howard Hunt had the unusual position of chief of domestic station WH for the agency in 1963, Mexico City, WH agent in charge of domestic sanctions, supposedly.  He retired in 1970, went a little too public and rode the whole Watergate mess to infamy. He may be Mr. Hurt. I believe this is called the Raleigh Call.

It may well have been to his classified agency case officer, but we don't know.

I don't think he was calling the "Elephant Man" Hollywood actor John Hurt. '.'.'.'.'.'

Jim THE Social relations of Walker and Taylor and others, do you know of any West Point or VMI relationships that would shed light on this

SEVEN DAYS IN MAY scenario. ?

Shanet

Nor do I think he was trying to call "Mississippi" John Hurt.....

Waker was the student and Taylor was the instuctor at West Point, 1927 - 1931. A list of the Class of 1931 (and a few of the classes following) finds several General Officers whose names show up in the early 1960's.

For example: Lt. Gen. Marshall Carter (Class of 31) Deputy Director of the CIA 62 - 65, Director of NSA 65 - 69

Maj. Gen. Chester Clifton (Class of 36) joined the Kennedy staff in 1961 abd was the officier responsible for the Presiden's daily morning intelligence briefings on world event, in the motorcade in Dallas....first CO upon graduation from West Point, Edwin Walker

Lt. Gen. William Westmorland (Class of 36)...first CO upon graduation from West Point, Edwin Walker.

Just coincidence.

Jim Root

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Oswald did not give the operator two numbers for "John Hurt."  The operator located two numbers for "John Hurt" in the same manner that Johathan Abt's numbers were located.  The difference being that, upon his death, Oswald had the numbers for Abt in his pocket and the numbers for "Hurt" were not "discovered" until the HSCA uncovered them.

Jim,

The only primary sources on the attempted call to Hurt appear to be the affidavit of operator Alveeta Treon and a note she wrote about it to attorney and investigator Bernard Fensterwald. She and Mrs. Swinney were the two operators on duty. Treon says in the note, "I was the first one to say 'Number please' to Oswald. He gave his name & placed his call & then I realized that Mrs. Swinney was on the line too. When she started taking over the call, I quit handling it & let her - but I stayed on the line." In the affidavit, Treon says, "Mrs. Swinney and I both plugged in simultaneously to take (the call) . . . I let her handle it alone . . . I heard her repeat a number to the caller and saw her write down details on a notation pad."

This clearly says to me that Oswald gave Swinney the numbers, with Swinney repeating one and writing down the information. There is no indication at all that Swinney got any information from Raleigh, but simply wrote down what Oswald gave her, including her repeating of a number. Getting the numbers from Raleigh would take some time and I don't see why Treon would not mention it if that's what Swinney did. The only conversation with regard to the numbers, if Treon is telling the truth, was between Oswald and Swinney.

What suggests that Oswald gave Swinney only a name and place (Raleigh) is the fact that there were two numbers to two different Hurts. IOW Oswald didn't know which one to call, he just knew that Hurt was in Raleigh. But Treon doesn't suggest this, she clearly suggests that Oswald had the numbers. How did Oswald have them, and what did he do with them thereafter? Who knows.

I believe that Victor Marchetti is probably right that whoever Hurt was, he was just a cut-out whom Oswald was to contact if he needed to get word to someone, and would not be someone involved in the conspiracy. In any case a big mystery in this, aside from who exactly John Hurt was, is why Swinney did not even place the call but lied to Oswald and said nobody answered. Treon herself says she was "dumbfounded," and suggests, though she doesn't say, that Swinney did what she did because she was nervous and "trembling." That hardly seems reason enough not to place the call, considering that two government agents were waiting in the next room to listen in. What was she afraid of? Did those agents tell her not to complete the call? If so, Treon heard no such instruction.

http://groverproctor.us/jfk/jfk-affidavit.html

Ron

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Ron

I was a child of the era and read the info a little differently.

The phrase, "Number Please" was the standard phrase of greating that an operator at that time used. A person would then either give a number, ask for information, request a person to person call, ask to make a collect call, etc. Without disagreeing with your opinion, "I heard her repeat a number to the caller" could be exactly that, after getting, in this case two numbers, she may have repeated them to the caller.

My point is not to rewrite the testimony of Alveeta Treon but rather to offer a different perspective on Oswald's attempt to contact a John Hurt.

Why do you think Oswald would give two different numbers for two different John Hurt's in one city if he knew the number of who he was calling?

Jim Root

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Why do you think Oswald would give two different numbers for two different John Hurt's in one city if he knew the number of who he was calling?

Jim,

He may not have known the number. He may have asked someone to get him the number of John Hurt in Raleigh, and they gave him two numbers to try. That may have been why they knew he wanted to make a call, and why they wanted to let him make it and listen in. But trembling Mrs. Swinney took care of that.

We could answer a lot of questions like this if there had been a real investigation of the JFK murder.

Ron

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For example: Lt. Gen. Marshall Carter (Class of 31) Deputy Director of the CIA 62 - 65, Director of NSA 65 - 69 ........Jim Root

That's what I was getting at, an old West Point tie with some people structurally linked to Maxwell Taylor and this theory. As Deputy Director of Plans, Marshall Carter was in a perfect position to apply containment to the agency, protect the brass with plausible deniability, and sanitize things in tandem with the Taylor effort. Moving up to NSA for the balance of the 1960's is again seen against the backdrop od the 25th amendment, the Warren Commission, COINTELPRO And VIetnam. Marshall Carter was a protege of George Marshall and was in the perfect position to participate in the clearance review and executive sanction witnessed in Dallas in late 1963.

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For example: Lt. Gen. Marshall Carter (Class of 31) Deputy Director of the CIA 62 - 65, Director of NSA 65 - 69 ........Jim Root

That's what I was getting at, an old West Point tie with some people structurally linked to Maxwell Taylor and this theory. As Deputy Director of Plans, Marshall Carter was in a perfect position to apply containment to the agency, protect the brass with plausible deniability, and sanitize things in tandem with the Taylor effort. Moving up to NSA for the balance of the 1960's is again seen against the backdrop od the 25th amendment, the Warren Commission, COINTELPRO And VIetnam. Marshall Carter was a protege of George Marshall and was in the perfect position to participate in the clearance review and executive sanction witnessed in Dallas in late 1963.

I know I am going out on a limb here, and this post is simply to develop a train of thought regarding the 'big picture,' but recently I read an article credited below. I thought about this when I read the portion about John D. Hurt's Army Counter-Intelligence involvement from 1942-45.

Here is an excerpt from the article.

Mob Connections - Jack Ruby, Smuggling With and Spying on Communists, 1938-1958

By Mike Sylvester

"At the end of the 1936-39 Spanish Civil War, thousands of leftists who had fought on the defeated Republican side retreated across the border from Catalonia to southern France, especially to Marseille-Toulon........ During the decade 1938-1948, one of the biggest international leftist causes was to resettle these refugees to better locations. Church groups and charities were persuaded to offer their support."

[The White Russian/Solidarist community in Dallas-Ft Worth was, I have read re-settled in Dallas in a not so similar manner, but through the efforts of the OSS, in the late 1940's - Robert]

"While in Marseille, a group of these refugees became employed in the secret narcotics trafficking system known as the French Connection. The main smuggling trail for opium to the West was from Burma overland to Turkey, then by various routes to Marseille, where it was processed and then distributed everywhere.

During World War Two, this route was disrupted, and other routes became more important. One of the major new routes was from China and Burma, smuggled on US military ships around South Africa, to Florida, which had the main supply ports for the China-Burma-India Theater. Much of this smuggling operation was under the control of Communists allied with Mao Tse Tung.....Mao's strategy was simple; use drugs to soften a target area. Then, after a captured region was secured, outlaw the use of all narcotics and impose strict controls to ensure that the poppies remained exclusively an instrument of the state against its enemies....

Military Service

Jack Rubenstein apparently became directly involved with this smuggling operation and with US military counter-intelligence through his military service during World War Two. He joined the Army Air Corps in May 1943 and served until February 1946. During the War, Jack's brother, Sam Rubenstein, also served in the Army Air Corps and served as a counter-intelligence informer. Sam would "keep an eye on Communists and Nazis" in the US military and write letters to his brother Jack about his observations. However, Sam testified (WC, Vol 14, pg 503) that although he wrote the letters as if they were to his brother Jack, he actually addressed the envelope to a US military counter-intelligence officer. Supposedly, this reporting arrangement was ordered by the counter-intelligence officer for security purposes, but it really makes little sense. It makes a lot more sense that Sam did actually send such letters to his brother Jack, who passed them to Air Corps counter-intelligence. This relationship has never been explained by the US Government.At the same time, Jack Rubenstein continued to organize Communist cells. A citizen named George Fehrenbach testified to the Warren Commission (WC, Vol 15, pp 289-321) that he saw Rubenstein doing this several times in a three-story building in Muncie, Indiana......Fehrenbach testified that several of the people associated with the activities on the second and third stories of the building were Russian Jews and were Communists.

On three occasions, in about summer 1943, early 1944, and early-47 (all these absences were possible, according to his military leave record), Jack Rubenstein came from Chicago to Muncie to participate in some mysterious meetings in this building. On the second of these occasions, Fehrenbach happened to have a two-hour lunch talking with Rubenstein and became fairly well acquainted with him. Because of the overall circumstances, Fehrenbach deduced that Jack Rubenstein was there to meet with the Communist cell. Fehrenbach had the impression that "very seldom would there be over three or four at any one time" at these cell meetings (pg 300), but that when Jack Rubenstein came to Muncie, "there was a meeting that apparently had some significance to it, because there were so many people coming in" (pg 316)."

While this information may indeed be, irrelevant, literally to the 'Raliegh Call' issue, I thought it was worthwhile to post this, if for no other reason than I did not want to include a simple sentence stating 'Sam Rubenstein was also in Army Counter-Intelligence during the same approximate time frame John David Hurt was.'

Also, there is a mention in Dick Russell's 'The Man Who Knew Too Much' p.572-73 1992 Edition, in which Richard Nagell asked Garrison if he was familiar with 'a man in San Antonio who owned a 6.5 Mannlicher-Carcano rifle. Nagell had stated that this man had known Lee Harvey Oswald and had been seen with him.'

[To make a long story short, the story was confirmed via a April 8, 1967 article from the LA Herald Examiner, in which the Terre Haute Chief of Police, Frank Riddle attested that on November 25, 1963 a '6.5 Mannlicher-Carcano rifle had indeed been found in a Terre Haute hotel room and traced to a salesman from San Antonio.....San Antoino [Home of the 112th MIG (Robert)]authorities informed him [Riddle] that the salesman had no criminal record, was a member of the Young Communist League and an expert rifleman....the salesman registered....November 25, 1963 and...was carrying a long package."

Riddle said that he turned over the information to the Warren Comm. and the Secret Service came and took the rifle away. The individual was, apparently using the alias of Harry Power. His real name is not indicated in Russell's book. Terre Haute is no stone's throw away from Muncie, but it is not extremely far either.

I personally believe that part of the mystery surrounding Jack Ruby is that he was more than just a 'bag man for the mob, not that I disagree with the documented information of the various investigations thru the last 40 odd years. I would also note that the evidence that an Oswald impersonator 'passed thru San Antonio during 1963, and in my opinion, it has not been 'proven beyond a reasonable doubt that is could not have been Oswald, himself.'

Here is a link to Mike Sylvester's article

http://www.jfklancer.com/mobconnections.html

Edited by Robert Howard
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Robert

I might suggest that you read "The Murder of Admiral Darlan" by Peter Tompkins. Tompkins was an OSS agent in Rome at the time of the allied landings at Anzio. He is still alive and living in Europe. During WWII he had contact with many of the people who would become focal points in the post war intelligence community and that we find surrounding the Kennedy assassination. This book (that was published shortly after the assassination of JFK) provides a great deal of information about the Southern French intelligence community and the intrigues that they were involved in (right wing versus left wing polarizaiton).

I wish to clarify that when I started this topic I was refering to John B. Hurt, a NSA employee until just a few months before the assassination of JFK. Upon retirement, this Hurt left the country for an extended visit to France. John J. McCloy, Maxwell Taylor and Edwin Walker can all be associated with this Hurt and his Signals Intelligence connection.

Both John B. Hurt's name and work were classified until after his death. Only his work from before 1946 has been declassified. We can only speculate on what projects he was involved in after 1946 because his work from 1946 forward is still classified today.

The fact that John B. Hurt's name was classified until after his death (several years after 1963) provides a valid excuse why the Warren Commission (at least officially) was never provided the information about Oswald's attempt to contact a "John Hurt." We might resonably assume that disclosure of the name of John B. Hurt may have been illegal at the time that the Warren Commission Report was submitted.

It is also interesting to note that the two people who were assigned by the NSA to investigate Oswald's phone book and possible intelligence connection were Meredith Gardner and Frank Rowlett. In 1930 Frank Rowlett, along with John B. Hurt were two of the original five members of William Friedman's group of codebreakers. From this humble begining of five members in this original group of 1930 would spring what is today know as the National Security Agency.

Meredith Gardner was one of the original Arlington Hall codebreakers that began working on the Venona Project designed to break Soviet Codes shortly after the end of WWII. This work actually began during the closing days of WWII when it became apparent that the Soviets had a massive intelligence network inside the US. What is of interest is that John B. Hurt was working on intercepts sent from Tokyo to the Japanese embassy in Moscow just as Gradner was working on gaining an understanding of the Soviet code system based upon intercepts going to Moscow. Gardner, just like Hurt, was an expert Japanese linguist and it is not unrealistic to assume that the two were both co-workers and aquaitances. It was John B. Hurt that was translating the messages that showed that the Japanese were attempting to engage in negotiations to end the War using the Soviets as mediators to the allies (this is the information that Warren Commissioner John J. McCloy would use at the famous June 18th, 1944 meeting with President Truman). Previous to this Hurt was involved in discovering that the Japanese attempted to mediate a peace between the Soviets and the Germans in the 1942 - 1943 period. The Russian response to these overtures was of great importance to the United States and an understanding of Soviet Codes became an important topic within the codebreaking community.

So we have the unconfortable coincidence that of the two NSA employees assigned to investigate Oswald's potential intelligence connections, one had a known 30 year plus personal and working relationship with a man who shared the same name as a "person" that Oswald attempted to contact on the night of the assassination of JFK and the second NSA employee quite possible had a nearly 20 year working relationship with the same person, John B. Hurt, that can be tied directly to Warren Commissioner John J. McCloy.

If Oswald's trip to the Soviet Union was in anyway tied to Signals Intelligence, one could speculate that the downing of the U-2 may have been a staged event. It is not out of the relm of possibility that both Gardner and John B. Hurt would have been involved in this type of project if it were designed to gain information on Soviet signals capabilities. Oswald being stationed at Astugi, Japan would provide an opportunity for him to infiltrate and/or to be recurited by a Japanese Communist/Socialist Cell that could well have been monitored by the likes of John B. Hurt and Meredith Gardner in an ongoing project known as Venona.

Jim Root

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