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Here is an interesting 1967 memo from Tom Dunkin to Dick Billings re the No Name Key group. Comes from Gordon Winslow's web-site. From the date of the memo I surmise that it might have been when Billings was working with the Garrison investigation.

It covers things that are discussed in several other threads.

Notice in the second to the last paragraph Hall is quoted as saying with respect to JFK '"that son of a bitch ought to be shot". It is not quite clear when he made the statement but, arguably, in the summer of 1963.

IMO, this statement, which may seem damning considering the time frame, should perhaps be considered exculpatory. My reasoning: presumably the assassination plans were already in place and included elaborate arrangements to frame a patsy. If Hall were in fact a part of a conspiracy, one would think the last thing he would be doing would be expressing an opinion that "JFK should be shot".

But read the memo. Lots of interesting info, but perhaps not much new to the experienced members of this Forum.

http://www.cuban-exile.com/doc_076-100/doc0090.html

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Hi Tim,

That is an interesting memo Dunkin wrote to Billings not so much for what it said but for what it didn't say. The propaganda broadcast mission mentioned in the memo which was supposdly the brainchild of Rudolfo Fasco, is curious because Dunkin didn't mention the presence of Bernardo De Torres who was one of the more high profile militant exiles active at the time. Dunkin had photographed De Torres on many occasions so he definitely knew who he was.

It is my belief that De Torres was present to recruit Seymour into the conspiracy to kill JFK. FWIW

The image below shows William Seymour, Dennis Harber, Rudolfo Fasco and Bernardo De Torres.

James

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Do you know why Tom Dunkin was sending this to Dick Billings? I have always been interested in Billings role in these events. For example, he took part in Operation Tilt, involved with the Jim Garrison inquiry and worked with G. Robert Blakey at the HSCA and on the book The Plot to Kill the President. Blakey tells me that Billings is still alive. However, he refuses to put me into contact with him.

Billings also seems to have close links with Bernardo De Torres. Probably the most significant figure still left alive.

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Do you know why Tom Dunkin was sending this to Dick Billings? I have always been interested in Billings role in these events. For example, he took part in Operation Tilt, involved with the Jim Garrison inquiry and worked with G. Robert Blakey at the HSCA and on the book The Plot to Kill the President. Blakey tells me that Billings is still alive. However, he refuses to put me into contact with him.

Billings also seems to have close links with Bernardo De Torres. Probably the most significant figure still left alive.

I don't know but I assume it was because he was working with Garrison and Garrison's first theory was that the assassination was planned at No Name Key, and Billings was trying to get info from Dunkin re the No Name Key group. But I will try to check this issue with Mr. Winslow. I have followed your interest in Billings and you're certainly correct that he was actively involved in a lot of things.

I heard an interesting comment by Josiah Thompson on the CSpan transcript of Jin Lesar's seminar on the 40th anniversary of the WC. He said people had accused him of being a CIA plant because he had been involved with Life magazine but he pointed out that Life magazine was the first major media organization to question the findings of the WC and suggest a conspiracy. He said Life magazine would have loved to be able to "break the case" and solve the crime of the century.

I want to publicly ratify a comment by a previous member (cannot remember the source) that you have assembled such a group of people that maybe, just maybe, this Forum may help "break the case". I think it is important that you have people with different outlooks and perspectives because I believe truth can sometimes best emerge from forthright debate!

Edited by Tim Gratz
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Do you know why Tom Dunkin was sending this to Dick Billings? I have always been interested in Billings' role in these events. For example, he took part in Operation Tilt, involved with the Jim Garrison inquiry and worked with G. Robert Blakey at the HSCA and on the book The Plot to Kill the President. Blakey tells me that Billings is still alive. However, he refuses to put me into contact with him.  Billings also seems to have close links with Bernardo De Torres. Probably the most significant figure still left alive.

I don't know but I assume it was because he was working with Garrison and Garrison's first theory was that the assassination was planned at No Name Key, and Billings was trying to get info from Dunkin re the No Name Key group.

Life magazine was the first major media organization to question the findings of the WC and suggest a conspiracy. He said Life magazine would have loved to be able to "break the case" and solve the crime of the century.

Billings is certainly an interesting figure, but as for Life magazine wishing it could "break the case," that seems highly unlikely. Clare Boothe Luce was directly funding at least some of the No Name Key participants, to supplement Kennedy's termination of funding in the post-Missile Crisis period. De Torres is the big fish still alive, IMO. Check De Torres' relationship with Trafficante to see if the fish is indeed red.

Tim

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Do you know why Tom Dunkin was sending this to Dick Billings? I have always been interested in Billings role in these events. For example, he took part in Operation Tilt, involved with the Jim Garrison inquiry and worked with G. Robert Blakey at the HSCA and on the book The Plot to Kill the President. Blakey tells me that Billings is still alive. However, he refuses to put me into contact with him.

Billings also seems to have close links with Bernardo De Torres. Probably the most significant figure still left alive. (John Simkin)

Let's also not forget the role investigator De Torres played in the Garrison investigation where he wasted resources and time with leads that went nowhere.

I firmly believe it was De Torres and his brother Carlos who were behind much witness intimidation and indeed the demise of several including Eladio Del Valle. There are plenty who want to minimize the role De Torres played and indeed his standing amongst the exile community but IMO, he is indeed a significant figure still living.

James

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Do you know why Tom Dunkin was sending this to Dick Billings? I have always been interested in Billings role in these events. For example, he took part in Operation Tilt, involved with the Jim Garrison inquiry and worked with G. Robert Blakey at the HSCA and on the book The Plot to Kill the President. Blakey tells me that Billings is still alive. However, he refuses to put me into contact with him.

Billings also seems to have close links with Bernardo De Torres. Probably the most significant figure still left alive. (John Simkin)

Let's also not forget the role investigator De Torres played in the Garrison investigation where he wasted resources and time with leads that went nowhere.

I firmly believe it was De Torres and his brother Carlos who were behind much witness intimidation and indeed the demise of several including Eladio Del Valle. There are plenty who want to minimize the role De Torres played and indeed his standing amongst the exile community but IMO, he is indeed a significant figure still living.

James

I'll drink to that James,

I think the fact that De Torres played with the Garrison investigation, im sure finding out who suspects and witnesses were in Garrisonns case is HUGE. As they ended up dead or ended up not wanting to talk after all, shows me he was most likley a clean up man covering him and his buddies tracks.

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I'll drink to that James,

I think the fact that De Torres played with the Garrison investigation, im sure finding out who suspects and witnesses were in Garrisonns case is HUGE. As they ended up dead or ended up not wanting to talk after all, shows me he was most likley a clean up man covering him and his buddies tracks. (Ryan Crowe)

Hi Ryan,

I think one of the 'go to' men when it came to witness intimidation was this ghoul by the name of Arturo Cobos - a real slimy piece of work. This guy may have also been associating with Agency asset Miguel Nazar Haro who ran the Federal Security Directorate and contact of De Torres.

I wish I had more time to look into these off-shoot leads as I'm sure there are plenty of hooks back into the JFK assassination. One of them being a long time drug trafficking connection that involved Trafficante, Jean Souetre and Eladio Del Valle.

Onward.

James

Edited by James Richards
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For those who are interested and who collect photos, the one below shows Tom Dunkin on the left. On the right of frame there is a gathering of men which includes Bernardo De Torres who is slightly obscured by the man in profile wearing the light colored suit.

The gathering of men with De Torres belong to a group called 'The First Officers Of Brigade 2506 Association'. De Torres was the Vice Director of this organization.

James

Edited by James Richards
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Billings is certainly an interesting figure, but as for Life magazine wishing it could "break the case," that seems highly unlikely. Clare Boothe Luce was directly funding at least some of the No Name Key participants, to supplement Kennedy's termination of funding in the post-Missile Crisis period.

Tim

A comment, and two questions:

Remember Josiah Thompson was there, working for Life, and he presumably knows whereof he speaks. I think his book was one of the best early criticisms of the WC.

First: what information do you have that the No Name group was getting any government funding at any time?

Second: What information do you have that Clare Booth Luce ever funded the No Name group?

Thanks!

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A comment, and two questions:

Remember Josiah Thompson was there, working for Life, and he presumably knows whereof he speaks.  I think his book was one of the best early criticisms of the WC.

First: what information do you have that the No Name group was getting any government funding at any time?

Second: What information do you have that Clare Booth Luce ever funded the No Name group?

Thanks!

Tim Gratz:

I don't give Josiah the benefit of the doubt that he "presumably knows whereof he speaks" because he "was there, working for Life." On the basis of employment by Henry Luce?? You have really got to be kidding with that. On that basis, I should presume that Billings did nothing to derail Garrison. I agree that Six Seconds In Dallas was an excellent "early" criticism of the WC, and strongly influenced me then. But since the Sixties, his interest has popped in and out like the weather. His accounting of the highly leading Sitzman interview to me earlier this year was: "I wish I could help you but I recall very little about all this." [e-mail dated January 26, 2004]

First, you ask what information I "have that the No Name group was getting any government funding at any time," when an accurate reading of this thread clearly shows that I said the opposite: I noted "Kennedy's termination of funding in the post-Missile Crisis period," including to "some of the No Name Key participants." Did you really miss that Tim?

Second, since you invoke the Josiah Thompson standard, I believe you know enough about Clare Boothe Luce's funding that your question is more intended to draw out my sources than to acquire knowledge. Why don't you go first, Tim, and share what you know about Clare Boothe Luce's funding of the exiles, including her late night phone call on November 22, 1963? Are you denying an awareness of such funding? Are you intending to imply that there was none? My remark was, "Clare Boothe Luce was directly funding at least some of the No Name Key participants." For now I will name Gerry Hemming and Eddie Bayo, particularly. Is there a misquoted word or lack of specificity there? Why would I provide a source in the context you present?

Lastly, I will note that we had extensive e-mail contact until I finally terminated it by asking you why this was being done in private rather than on the forum. I suggest that you try answering at least a few of the many questions I asked you, before making a show of demanding answers or sources from me. I have been quite specific, which you have not. I do have a source for naming Gerry Hemming and Eddie Bayo, but what's the point in providing it to you? You've routinely ducked my questions. Would you like to at least acknowledge that I had to force the issue of your evasiveness?

Tim Carroll

Edited by Tim Carroll
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That is an interesting memo Dunkin wrote to Billings not so much for what it said but for what it didn't say. The propaganda broadcast mission mentioned in the memo which was supposdly the brainchild of Rudolfo Fasco, is curious because Dunkin didn't mention the presence of Bernardo De Torres who was one of the more high profile militant exiles active at the time. Dunkin had photographed De Torres on many occasions so he definitely knew who he was.

Dunkin could be a key character. In the early 1990s he began telling people what he knew. In 1992 he wrote a very interesting article for Back Channels. It included this passage:

Hargraves recalls there are many unanswered questions in the Cuban exile aspect of the Kennedy case. Early in New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison's probe, "Garrison accused us of training the ‘triangulation team' of three alleged snipers at No Name Key."

No Name Key was the principal Florida training site for the IPF freelance volunteer instructors. "We testified before Garrison and convinced him he was wrong," Hargraves recalls, "and we went to work for him for about a month" early in Garrison's late 1966 and early 1967 investigation.

Garrison's, whose two non-fiction books, A Heritage of Stone, and On the Trail of The Assassins, were the basis of Stone's JFK said in them that Kennedy's "ordering an end to the CIA's continued training of anti-Castro guerrillas at the small, scattered camps in Florida and north of Lake Ponchatrain "added to the disenchantment which contributed to the President's murder.

Another interesting aspect of the Garrison investigation, is that, according to Hargraves, a Cuban exile investigator hired by Garrison" ripped off half the budget" to handicap the probe. Bernardo de Torres, a Bay of Pigs veteran, "was working for the CIA", Hargraves said, during the Garrison investigation.

De Torres, who has since disappeared from his former Miami haunts, also served as a security consultant to local and federal law enforcement units during President Kennedy's visit to Miami after Fidel Castro's release of the prisoners from the Bay of Pigs invasion.

It is significant that Dunkin provides information on Bernardo De Torres in his story.

Dunkin also produced a document recording his life. This included the following:

January to August, 1964, worked as undercover investigator with the Florida Legislative Investigations Committee. Duties included infiltration Committee for Nonviolent Action, which was approaching Florida on "Peace March" from Quebec via Washington and bound for Guantanamo, Cuba, to protest U.S. policy regarding Cuba.

Mission was to prevent Florida getting the notoriety Georgia had acquired for alleged law enforcement mistreatment of marchers. Contacted group at Americus, GA, and after initial encounter, recommended procedures that accomplished goal until the group tangled with Key West conchs and Cubans, but no serious situations.

Later investigated various university pacifist groups including students and faculty members. This involved University of Miami, University of Florida and Florida State University. A major point of interest was efforts by one faculty member at University of Florida, to abolish ROTC.

A letter survives (dated 29th April, 1968) that shows that Dunkin offered to help Garrison in his investigation. This is something that Dick Billings and Bernardo De Torres also did. Seems strange that they were all trying to help Garrison at this time.

Amongst Dunkin's papers found after his death included accounts written by his close friend, Tony Cuesta. According to Gordon Winslow:

A month after his (Tom Dunkin) death in 1994, we were given access to his home where he worked. His files had been ransacked and most covered two to three inches on the living room floor. Luckily there were about ten boxes of salvageable records which included about 5,000 sleeves of negatives, around 300 cassettes, a few reels of movie film, numerous slides and a few photographs. Most of the negatives were made for local news stories but many also had been taken in the Cuban rebel area and later in the anti-Castro camps in South Florida.

Was Dunkin working with Cuesta on his autobiography? Would this include Cuesta's confession of his involvement in the assassination of JFK? Could Dunkin and Cuesta have been murdered? They both died in 1994 (I have so far been unable to obtain the actual dates of their deaths).

In 1995 Fabian Escalante revealed details of Cuesta's confession of his involvement in the assassination of JFK while in prison in Cuba. Did the Cubans do this because they knew Cuesta and Dunkin had been silenced by others involved in the conspiracy to kill JFK?

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Good post, John.

Personally, I do feel that there was a book in the wings regarding Cuesta which Dunkin was involved in.

I have nothing to back this up and throw it out there as a possibility, but some of the information in said publication may have concerned a trip Oswald made to Mexico City in July of 1963 with Richard Case Nagell. There they met with Herminio Diaz Garcia who was getting out of Cuba via Mexico City at the same time. When back in the US, Diaz Garcia hooked up with Tony Varona and Trafficante before joining Eloy Menoyo's training camp in the Everglades. Cuesta of course being wounded on the mission that killed Diaz Garcia in 1966. I submit that Cuesta was a Nagell contact and one of the voices on that mysterious tape recording Nagell possessed.

There is also the connection between Cuesta and Bernardo De Torres. A photograph exists that shows De Torres, Cuesta and an insurgent team on a small boat. If De Torres was reporting back to JM/WAVE (Morales) during the Garrison invesigation which I believe he was, then we have a tight circle of 'go to' operatives and command who may indeed trace back to the assassination of JFK.

In theory of course.

James

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There is also the connection between Cuesta and Bernardo De Torres. A photograph exists that shows De Torres, Cuesta and an insurgent team on a small boat. If De Torres was reporting back to JM/WAVE (Morales) during the Garrison invesigation which I believe he was, then we have a tight circle of 'go to' operatives and command who may indeed trace back to the assassination of JFK.

In theory of course.

James

Morales was still at JM/WAVE at the time of the Garrison investigation? Also, is De Torres living in Little Havana now?

Tim

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Tim Gratz:

I have placed my pending questions in red for your ease.

A comment, and two questions:

Remember Josiah Thompson was there, working for Life, and he presumably knows whereof he speaks.  I think his book was one of the best early criticisms of the WC.

First: what information do you have that the No Name group was getting any government funding at any time?

Second: What information do you have that Clare Booth Luce ever funded the No Name group?

Thanks!

Tim Gratz:

I don't give Josiah the benefit of the doubt that he "presumably knows whereof he speaks" because he "was there, working for Life." On the basis of employment by Henry Luce?? You have really got to be kidding with that. On that basis, I should presume that Billings did nothing to derail Garrison. I agree that Six Seconds In Dallas was an excellent "early" criticism of the WC, and strongly influenced me then. But since the Sixties, his interest has popped in and out like the weather. His accounting of the highly leading Sitzman interview to me earlier this year was: "I wish I could help you but I recall very little about all this." [e-mail dated January 26, 2004]

First, you ask what information I "have that the No Name group was getting any government funding at any time," when an accurate reading of this thread clearly shows that I said the opposite: I noted "Kennedy's termination of funding in the post-Missile Crisis period," including to "some of the No Name Key participants." Did you really miss that Tim?

Second, since you invoke the Josiah Thompson standard, I believe you know enough about Clare Boothe Luce's funding that your question is more intended to draw out my sources than to acquire knowledge. Why don't you go first, Tim, and share what you know about Clare Boothe Luce's funding of the exiles, including her late night phone call on November 22, 1963? Are you denying an awareness of such funding? Are you intending to imply that there was none? My remark was, "Clare Boothe Luce was directly funding at least some of the No Name Key participants." For now I will name Gerry Hemming and Eddie Bayo, particularly. Is there a misquoted word or lack of specificity there? Why would I provide a source in the context you present?

Lastly, I will note that we had extensive e-mail contact until I finally terminated it by asking you why this was being done in private rather than on the forum. I suggest that you try answering at least a few of the many questions I asked you, before making a show of demanding answers or sources from me. I have been quite specific, which you have not. I do have a source for naming Gerry Hemming and Eddie Bayo, but what's the point in providing it to you? You've routinely ducked my questions. Would you like to at least acknowledge that I had to force the issue of your evasiveness?

Tim Carroll

I hope that makes things more clear for you.

Tim Carroll

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