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Records release regarding intercepted messages


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One of Phillips' aliases was Mr. Abbot. I cannot source that claim but I have seen it several times. 

A Mr. Abt, Ruth Paine claimed, was a NY lawyer whom LHO requested for assistance. I have wondered if Ruth Pain was actually asked to contact Mr. Abbot; and she dutifully changed that request to divert attention from Phillips. 

The Mr. Abt claim has always bee a bizarre element of the LHO saga. This would explain it quite well.

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15 minutes ago, Jim Hargrove said:

John Abt appears to have been a real NYC-based attorney who specialized in defending leftists and Communists.  See....

http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/po-arm/id/46604/rec/2

Sure, It’s a perfect backstop for a Phillips alias of Abbot. 

I have looked into Abt. He lived and died 30 minutes from me. I still think he’s an odd choice for LHO to count on.

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Furthermore one would have to believe that LHO was a true Communist to call Abt for his defense in that situation. I hardly believe that LHO was a Comminist and that he was still willing to maintain his cover when the stakes were so high. The fact that LHO made the John Hurt call is more evidence that LHO was done with the charade.

If Phillips did use Mr. Abbot as an alias, that is a far better solution to the Abt call, IMO.

Edited by Michael Clark
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3 minutes ago, Michael Clark said:

Furthermore one would have to believe that LHO was a true Communist to call Abt for his defense in that situation. I hardly believe that LHO was a Comminist and that he was still willing to maintain his cover when the stakes were so high. The fact that LHO made the John Hurt call is more evidence that LHO was done with the charade.

If Phillips did use Mr. Abbot as an alias, that is a far better solution to the Abt call, IMO.

Michael,

Is there any record of the phone number called, like in the DPD Archives or something?

 

Steve Thomas

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1 minute ago, Steve Thomas said:

Michael,

Is there any record of the phone number called, like in the DPD Archives or something?

 

Steve Thomas

Steve,’

I don’t know, and I do not believe it is in the testimony of Ruth Paine. Furthermore. In my fragmented collection of Ruth Paine’s testimony, she never says that she called Abt on behalf of LHO. She only allows herself to be led through some questions that make it sound that she testified to that occurrence. 

At some point, someone posted a more descript portion of testimony, purportedly by Ruth Paine, saying she made the call to Abt, but I was never able to locate it in my copies.

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John Abt was chief counsel to the Communist Party of the USA (CPUSA).  Whittaker Chambers identified Abt as a political associate of Alger Hiss in Chambers' HUAC testimony.

Didn't the Dallas PD or Henry Wade (or someone from his office) tell the TV newsmen that Oswald had requested John Abt to represent him? 

If Oswald actually made the request, it might have been a signal to his handlers that he was still willing to play ball and impersonate "Lefty Lee" to incriminate communists in general, and Castro in particular.

Edited by David Andrews
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Interesting take, if Oswald was playing the part of a lefty. I doubt that though. Did anyone other than DPD mention John Abt?

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This is an interesting incident.  Which is  kind of murky after all these years.

Oswald wanted either Abt or an ACLU lawyer.  According to Manchester, the ACLU had been turned away already.  According to more than one witness, including Marrion Baker, Oswald was very loud and insistent about getting an attorney. (Armstrong, p. 893) Oswald first mentioned Abt on Friday at about 6 PM.  He then asked for him again in the wee hours of Saturday morning.  he then asked for him again on Saturday at about 11:30 AM.

Later than afternoon, after taking to his brother Robert, he tried to call Abt, but it was not succesful. He then called Ruth Paine and gave her the info on Abt.  Ruth said she was irritated by the request but did make one call to Abt.  I do not think there are long distance records which show this.  Has anyone seen any?

According to Lou Nichols of the Dallas Bar, Oswald also wanted him to get Abt.  Reportedly, Abt was out of town that weekend and therefore could not be contacted anyway. 

Oswald not having an attorney surely influenced what happened when he was in detention.  And it might have helped prevent his shooting on Sunday.

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From Harvey and Lee, by John Armstrong:

Secret Service Inspector Thomas Kelley wrote, "He [Oswald] stated that he wanted to
contact a Mr. Abt, a New York lawyer whom he did not know but who had defended the
Smith Act victims in 1949 or 1950 in connection with a conspiracy against the govern­-
ment; that Abt would understand what this case was all about and that he would give him
an excellent defense."74

NOTE: John Abt was famous for defending alleged communist subversives accused of
violating the Smith Act, which made it illegal to advocate the violent overthrow of the US
Government. Abt gained notoriety in New York, when Harvey Oswald was living there
in the early 1950s.

At 6:37pm the lineup was over and Oswald was returned to Captain Fritz's of­fice 
by Detectivs Sims, Boyd, and Hall.93 Responding to reporter's questions while
walking through the hallway Oswald answered in a loud voice, "I don't know where you
people get your information. I haven't committed any acts of violence ....I want to get
in touch with a lawyer, Mr. Abt, in New York City .... I never killed anybody."94

Allegedly from Fritz....

He reminded me that he did not have to answer any questions at all until he
talked to his attorney, and I told him again that he could have any attorney any time he
wished. He said he didn't have money to pay for a phone call to Mr. Abt. I told him to
call 'collect,' if he liked, to use the jail phone or that he could have another attorney if
he wished. He said he didn't want another attorney, he wanted to talk to this attorney
first .... .I asked him why he wanted Mr. Abt, instead of some available attorney. He told
me he didn't know Mr. Abt personally, but that he was familiar with a case where Mr.
Abt defended some people for a violation of the Smith Act, and that if he didn't get Mr.
Abt, that he felt sure the American Civil Liberties Union would furnish him a lawyer.
He explained to me that this organization helped people who needed attorneys and
weren't able to get them."196

SS Inspector Kelley asked Oswald if he shot the President and he said he had
not. He asked Oswald if he had shot Governor Connally and he said he had not. Oswald
said that he did not intend to answer any further questions without counsel and that if
he could not get Abt, then he would hope that the Civil Liberties Union would give him
an attorney. At that point Captain Fritz terminated the interview (about 11:30 am)197 and
Boyd and Sims returned Oswald to his cell at 11:33 am.198

4:00pm-After the visit with Robert ended, Oswald requested permission to use
the telephone. Officer J.L. Popplewell was on duty on the 5th floor of the jail and es­-
corted Oswald from his jail cell to the telephone. Oswald tried to call New York attor­-
ney John Abt but was unable to reach him. He then called Ruth Paine, gave her Abt's
927office and residence phone numbers, and asked if she would try to contact him. Mrs.
Paine, who said that she was irritated by Oswald's request, claimed that she made one
cursory effort and then gave up. But there are no records which show that Mrs. Paine even
attempted to place a long distance call to New York. Oswald then told officer J.L. Popplewell
that he was unable to reach his party and would try again later in the evening.235

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