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Does the Cover-up Point to the Assassination Plotters?


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Many researchers have suggested over the years that the assassination plot and the subsequent cover-up were surely totally separate operations.  For the safety of all the participants, they reason, the two elements had to be rigidly compartmentalized. 

That makes perfect sense.  But there is at least one HUGE area where the plot and the cover-up overlapped: the silencing of “Lee Harvey Oswald.”  The most critical part of the early cover-up was obviously the killing of the patsy.  The order to kill JFK and the order to kill LHO surely came, ultimately, from the same source.

Whether Oswald was supposed to arrive at Dallas police headquarters alive is an open question, but since he did, and was soon shot dead by Ruby, the question is, where did Ruby get his orders?  I believe that will shed light on who ordered JFK’s assassination.

Ruby’s excuse for killing Oswald is laughable.  He was clearly part of a plot, as he himself eventually said to Dr. Teuter and implied to Deputy Sheriff Maddox.

It has long been suggested that Ruby had deep ties to organized crime and, therefore, the Mob was most likely involved in the assassination of JFK.  What has long been suppressed, however, was Ruby’s involvement in Cuban gun-running and his apparent protection by the CIA.  To see a description of that evidence, see:

https://harveyandlee.net/Ruby/Ruby.html

Ruby’s activities in the hours before he killed Oswald also suggest more of a connection to the CIA than to organized crime.  I’ve posted the following once or twice before, so please forgive the repeat, but it helps to back up my point.

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WHO ORDERED
OSWALD'S DEATH?

KLIF radio founder Gordon McLendon was a former Naval Intelligence officer who was a close friend and confidant of CIA officer David Atlee Phillips.

Jack Ruby called McLendon’s unlisted phone number the day of the assassination. Ruby was overheard that very afternoon saying he could be reached at KLIF, and he continued writing letters to McLendon even from prison.

In 1975 McLendon and David Atlee Phillips formed the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO). The two men had known one another since childhood. And it was Phillips who was spotted by Antonio Veciana talking to LEE Oswald at the Southland building in Dallas in the summer of 1963.

And so we are starring at a direct chain of command from CIA’s David Atlee Phillips to former intel officer Gordon McLendon to McLendon’s close friend Jack Ruby.

From Harvey and Lee:

Around 1:15 am KLIF radio announcer Russ Knight approached the entrance
to the police station and asked if anyone had seen District Attorney Henry Wade. Jack
Ruby, who was milling around talking to people said, "I'll show you" and escorted
Knight to the basement. Before reaching the basement Ruby asked Knight, twice, to
ask District Attorney Wade if he thought Oswald was "insane." After reaching the base­-
ment Ruby once again approached Wade and told him that radio announcer Russ
Knight wanted to speak with him.142

As Knight began talking with Wade, Dallas Police Lieutenant James Gilmore
saw Ruby and asked him what he was doing at the police station after midnight. Ruby
told Gilmore that he was passing out sandwiches and planning to deliver sandwiches to
KLIF radio, the station owned by Gordon McLendon.143

NOTE: Jack Ruby listed Gordon McLendon, the owner of Dallas radio station KLIF,
as one of his six closest friends. McLendon had known career CIA officer David Atlee
Phillips since both men were in their teens and attended school in Fort Worth. In the
1970's McLendon joined Phillips to form the Association of Former Intelligence Offic-
ers (AFIO).

....

Jack Ruby-1:30 am to 6:00am

After Russ Knight finished talking with Henry Wade he and Ruby walked out
of the police station. Ruby asked Knight if he needed a ride to the KLIF station, but
Knight declined and walked to KLIF, while Ruby walked to his car.147

About 1:45am Ruby arrived at KLIF with sandwiches and soft drinks and again
talked with Knight. At 2:00am, with Ruby nearby, Knight went on the air and told ra­-
dio listeners, "Through a tip from a local nightclub owner I asked Mr. Wade the ques-
tion of Oswald's insanity."

Around 2:15am, following the radio broadcast, Knight and Ruby left the radio
station. On the steps of the building Ruby handed Knight the text of a speech called
"Heroism" from H.L. Hunt's LIFE Line radio program, broadcast on radio station
KRLD. Ruby told Knight there were elements such as Hunt's in Dallas that hated Presi­-
dent Kennedy.

Knight remembered the late night incident and said, "Ruby had the speech but
he didn't seem to be cognizant fully of what the speech was or actually what side that
he stood on ..... just mentioned like there is an element here that hates, that hated Mr.
Kennedy." When Knight asked Ruby if he meant the Hunt's, Ruby said nothing.148

NOTE: After Ruby shot Oswald, Knight began to think about the "Heroism" speech that
Ruby gave him and said, "It seemed to me like too much of a coincidence that he should
be carrying a speech called 'Heroism' and then for him to shoot Oswald on Sunday
mormng...."149

--From Harvey and Lee, pp. 904-905, Copyright © 2003 by John Armstrong.  All rights reserved.

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Another connection with Gordon McLendon was his close friend Colonel Frank M Brandstetter, whose autobiography Brandy - Portrait of an Intelligence Officer mentions McLendon prominently. Brandy reported directly to Army Intelligence (ACSI) for two decades, and was greenlighted by ACSI Colonel Rose to join Jack Crichton’s 488th Military Intelligence Detachment in 1959. Documents posted by Steve Thomas show that these Intelligence Detachments reported directly to ACSI and were ‘detached’ from the regular US Army chain of command. 

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Paul,

There was a 488th Army battalion active in WW 2, but apparently this had nothing to do with the Army's 488th Intel Detachment that may have been formed a few years later in Dallas.  Steve Thomas raised a number of issues questioning its existence.  Do you have any thoughts about that?   (I have no illusions about how the hall of mirrors of some major intel operations can distort reality in so many ways.)

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17 minutes ago, Jim Hargrove said:

Paul,

There was a 488th Army battalion active in WW 2, but apparently this had nothing to do with the Army's 488th Intel Detachment that may have been formed a few years later in Dallas.  Steve Thomas raised a number of issues questioning its existence.  Do you have any thoughts about that?   (I have no illusions about how the hall of mirrors of some major intel operations can distort reality in so many ways.)

Jim - Steve does have valid concerns, but it’s existence is in my opinion real. Colonel Brandstetter mentions it specifically. The lack of documentation in official files suggests very deep cover rather than non existence. Jack Crichton was very real, and in my opinion so was his detachment. Perhaps it was an early attempt at privatization. In any case the link between Brandstetter and ACSI mirrors the link Steve dug up and Mr.Josephs helped reveal showing the link between CIC - Army Counter Intelligence Corp - and Army Chief of Staff G-2, prior to the creation of CIA. If Brandstetter and his ‘big brother’ (his words) Colonel Rose ACSI sat in the Pentagon office and the 488th came up during the conversation in which it was decided Brandstetter would join that Detachment, you can bet it was an Intelligence Operation. Brandstetter doesn’t even mention Crichton in his book. However Crichton’s official bio in the Military Order of World Wars states he led a local Military Intelligence Unit without naming it. All very mysterious, but it does not smell like a disinformation rabbit hole.

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Regarding Who Ordered Oswald's Death...  I could see the order coming from or through Phillips but not in turn McLendon to Ruby.  Phillips, through Morales and Harvey was well aware of and likely intimately  involved with the Roselli - Castro plots.  Phillips>Morales>Roselli>Marcello or Giancana>Civello.  Maybe Phillips straight to Marcello or Giancana.  Civello called Jack.  More likely he had Campisi call him and ask him to come to his Egyptian Steakhouse then "invited" him to his office in the back (the office is referenced in a book I read long ago, I don't remember which one).  Jack, you have to do this for us or your dead.  After your sisters and brothers die.  Do it and we will take care of them and you.  We'll get you a good lawyer and you'll be a hero for killing the President's assassin.  That Omerta thing he'd grown up familiar with in Chicago and throughout his life as a non made member of the mafia.  I believe his attorney fees were paid anonymously including the not cheap, flamboyant, Melvin Beli. 

Consider who his first visitor was in jail, that night after he offed Ozzie.  Was it not Campisi or maybe Civello himself?  One of them.  I think it was before he even talked with his lawyer.  Hey Jack, you did a hell of a job here.  We're going to get you a good lawyer now.  Your a Hero now for killing that bastard.  But you have to keep your mouth shut.  Understand?  Something could still happen to Eva or your brothers back in Chi-town. 

All speculation, including McLendon and Hunt.  All partially based in reason and fact.

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From my book INTO THE NIGHTMARE: 

One of the most tantalizing incidents in the relationship between Ruby and the Dallas police was his encounter in the early morning of November 23 with a policeman named Harry N. Olsen, who told the Warren Commission that they spoke for two or three hours. Olsen and his girlfriend and future wife, Ruby stripper Kay Coleman (“Kathy Kay”), met with Ruby in Olsen’s car in a downtown Dallas parking garage and may have helped work Ruby up into a vengeful state against Oswald. Ruby testified to the commission that the two “kept me from leaving. They were constantly talking and were in a pretty dramatic mood. They were crying and carrying on.” According to Ruby, Olsen (whom he supposedly misidentified as “Harry Carlson”) said of Oswald that “they should cut this guy inch by inch into ribbons, and so on,” and Coleman, who was from England, said, “Well, if he was in England, they would drag him through the streets and would have hung him.” 

Thanks to this broad tip from Ruby, researchers have long suspected that Olsen could have been the police/underworld conduit who passed along to Ruby the order to kill Oswald. Joe Tonahill, one of Ruby’s lawyers, told Seth Kantor, “It wouldn’t have been any problem to reach in and get Ruby to do something like this, through the power of suggestion, through innuendo, without Ruby even realizing it. The conversation with Olsen and Kay could have been the beginning of it. It could have been a lot stronger. We don’t know who all he talked with.” Although Olsen denied to the FBI that he had encouraged Ruby to kill Oswald, Olsen abruptly left the police department (at the request, he said, of Chief Curry) and the city of Dallas the following month, moving to California with Coleman.

Edited by Joseph McBride
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1 hour ago, Ron Bulman said:

Regarding Who Ordered Oswald's Death...  I could see the order coming from or through Phillips but not in turn McLendon to Ruby.  Phillips, through Morales and Harvey was well aware of and likely intimately  involved with the Roselli - Castro plots.  Phillips>Morales>Roselli>Marcello or Giancana>Civello.  Maybe Phillips straight to Marcello or Giancana.  Civello called Jack.  More likely he had Campisi call him and ask him to come to his Egyptian Steakhouse then "invited" him to his office in the back (the office is referenced in a book I read long ago, I don't remember which one).  Jack, you have to do this for us or your dead.  After your sisters and brothers die.  Do it and we will take care of them and you.  We'll get you a good lawyer and you'll be a hero for killing the President's assassin.  That Omerta thing he'd grown up familiar with in Chicago and throughout his life as a non made member of the mafia.  I believe his attorney fees were paid anonymously including the not cheap, flamboyant, Melvin Beli. 

Consider who his first visitor was in jail, that night after he offed Ozzie.  Was it not Campisi or maybe Civello himself?  One of them.  I think it was before he even talked with his lawyer.  Hey Jack, you did a hell of a job here.  We're going to get you a good lawyer now.  Your a Hero now for killing that bastard.  But you have to keep your mouth shut.  Understand?  Something could still happen to Eva or your brothers back in Chi-town. 

All speculation, including McLendon and Hunt.  All partially based in reason and fact.

Why would mobsters have ordered Ruby to kill Oswald?

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28 minutes ago, Paul Brancato said:

Why would mobsters have ordered Ruby to kill Oswald?

Because they were patriotic...  Remember, Roselli would never take any compensation for his services.  He was working for his country, so he wouldn't get deported as an alien.

Because the CIA and mafia had worked together since before there was a CIA, the OSS in WWII.  Because Phillips, Morales or Harvey (? - surely not Angleton) called in a chit for outside help on their operation gone wrong (Oswald not yet dead).

For their friends in the CIA they had worked with before who could protect them and would owe them. 

Edited by Ron Bulman
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3 hours ago, Ron Bulman said:

Because they were patriotic...  Remember, Roselli would never take any compensation for his services.  He was working for his country, so he wouldn't get deported as an alien.

Because the CIA and mafia had worked together since before there was a CIA, the OSS in WWII.  Because Phillips, Morales or Harvey (? - surely not Angleton) called in a chit for outside help on their operation gone wrong (Oswald not yet dead).

For their friends in the CIA they had worked with before who could protect them and would owe them. 

So essentially your saying that the gang that killed JFK turned to the mob to kill Oswald.

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10 hours ago, Paul Brancato said:

Brandstetter doesn’t even mention Crichton in his book. However Crichton’s official bio in the Military Order of World Wars states he led a local Military Intelligence Unit without naming it. All very mysterious, but it does not smell like a disinformation rabbit hole.

Paul,

 

Army Regulation 135-382

Army National Guard and Army Reserve

Reserve Component Military Intelligence Units and Personnel

19 October 1992

https://fas.org/irp/doddir/army/ar135-382.htm

5.0 Military Intelligence Detachments (Strategic) (MID(S))

Subtopics

5.1 Organization

5.2 Mission

5.3 Assignment to a Strategic MI Detachment (MID(S))

5.4 MID(S) Training

5.5 Administration


 

5.5 Administration

a. Because MID(S) are not authorized administrative support personnel or unit equipment, MID(S) will be attached to another unit for administrative and logistical support. No other unit will be attached to a MID(S). The appropriate MUSARC commander will designate the organization to which a MID(S) is attached for administration, mess, maintenance, and supply. Each MID(S) and the organization to which it is attached for administrative and logistical support will negotiate a memorandum of understanding (MOU). The MOU will describe in sufficient detail the support to be provided the MID(S), including technical support. A copy of the attachment orders and the MOU will be forwarded to the USARC commander.


 

To what parent unit was Crichton's 488th attached?

 

If Brandstetter does not mention Crichton in his book, can you tell me any person who ever said they belonged to the 488th? I know Crichton claimed that it consisted of 100 men, half of whom were members of the Dallas Police Department, but do you know of any person who ever claimed to be one of those half?

 

Steve Thomas

 

Edited by Steve Thomas
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Steve,

However, if memory serves, there are a few references to the 488th in literature available online that doesn't seem to come from Crichton, are there not?  (I'm really asking, because I did a search a month or more ago and my memory isn't what it used to be and was never great to begin with.)

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9 hours ago, Joseph McBride said:

From my book INTO THE NIGHTMARE: 

One of the most tantalizing incidents in the relationship between Ruby and the Dallas police was his encounter in the early morning of November 23 with a policeman named Harry N. Olsen, who told the Warren Commission that they spoke for two or three hours. Olsen and his girlfriend and future wife, Ruby stripper Kay Coleman (“Kathy Kay”), met with Ruby in Olsen’s car in a downtown Dallas parking garage and may have helped work Ruby up into a vengeful state against Oswald. Ruby testified to the commission that the two “kept me from leaving. They were constantly talking and were in a pretty dramatic mood. They were crying and carrying on.” According to Ruby, Olsen (whom he supposedly misidentified as “Harry Carlson”) said of Oswald that “they should cut this guy inch by inch into ribbons, and so on,” and Coleman, who was from England, said, “Well, if he was in England, they would drag him through the streets and would have hung him.” 

Thanks to this broad tip from Ruby, researchers have long suspected that Olsen could have been the police/underworld conduit who passed along to Ruby the order to kill Oswald. Joe Tonahill, one of Ruby’s lawyers, told Seth Kantor, “It wouldn’t have been any problem to reach in and get Ruby to do something like this, through the power of suggestion, through innuendo, without Ruby even realizing it. The conversation with Olsen and Kay could have been the beginning of it. It could have been a lot stronger. We don’t know who all he talked with.” Although Olsen denied to the FBI that he had encouraged Ruby to kill Oswald, Olsen abruptly left the police department (at the request, he said, of Chief Curry) and the city of Dallas the following month, moving to California with Coleman.

Thanks, Joe, that's interesting.  I can't quite believe, though, that "the power of suggestion, though innuendo" could make Ruby perform an act that was certain to completely ruin his life.  Perhaps the Mob could make one of those offers you can't refuse, or, more likely to me, an intel operative might offer a combination of threats and promises to perform the same thing.

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26 minutes ago, Jim Hargrove said:

Steve,

However, if memory serves, there are a few references to the 488th in literature available online that doesn't seem to come from Crichton, are there not?  (I'm really asking, because I did a search a month or more ago and my memory isn't what it used to be and was never great to begin with.)

Jim,

 

The two places that I have found concrete evidence that a 488th Military Intelligence Detachment did exist are:

1. A 2012 obituary of a Jack E. Earnest that you can read here:

https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/houstonchronicle/obituary.aspx?pid=160976735#sthash.mX3LJS6E.dpuf

" In June 1956, he was assigned to the 488th Strategic Intelligence Detachment until 1962, achieving the rank of Captain."

 

2. a 1991 Study of Military Intelligence Detachments done by a Thomas Cagley that lists a 488 MID as one of the MID's that reported to the DIA.

http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a233391.pdf

(see Table II-2 on page 14)

 

I just don't happen to believe that Crichton's 488th was the same. I think he appropriated the name. Military Intelligence Detachments were just that. They were Detachments; about the size of a rifle squad. In his Study, Cagley wrote that 90% of MID's consisted of 9 men. To say that you had a Detachment that had 100 men in it is just so much puffery.

 

Steve Thomas

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1 hour ago, Steve Thomas said:

Jim,

 

The two places that I have found concrete evidence that a 488th Military Intelligence Detachment did exist are:

1. A 2012 obituary of a Jack E. Earnest that you can read here:

https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/houstonchronicle/obituary.aspx?pid=160976735#sthash.mX3LJS6E.dpuf

" In June 1956, he was assigned to the 488th Strategic Intelligence Detachment until 1962, achieving the rank of Captain."

 

2. a 1991 Study of Military Intelligence Detachments done by a Thomas Cagley that lists a 488 MID as one of the MID's that reported to the DIA.

http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a233391.pdf

(see Table II-2 on page 14)

 

I just don't happen to believe that Crichton's 488th was the same. I think he appropriated the name. Military Intelligence Detachments were just that. They were Detachments; about the size of a rifle squad. In his Study, Cagley wrote that 90% of MID's consisted of 9 men. To say that you had a Detachment that had 100 men in it is just so much puffery.

 

Steve Thomas

Steve - didn’t I read that the 316th had 30 men?

Do you dismiss Brandstetter’s statement that he and ACSI Colonel Rose agreed that he should join the 488th? Have you been able to document any membership lists to other such Detachments? You’ve dug long and hard into this and have indeed found previously unknown references to the 488th. Even Cagley says 90% were no larger than a rifle squad. That leaves 10% as being out of the usual size.

Edited by Paul Brancato
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