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COUP IN DALLAS


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Paul,  I received an early review copy of the book and have had ongoing conversations with Leslie.  I also invited her and Alan to present on the book at last weeks Lancer conference but that was declined due to their prior book promotion plans.  I assured Leslie that I don't do book reviews or spend time publicly critiquing other peoples work - I also shared some initial issues with her at that time.

At that time I also shared with her my own research on Soutre which I had done as far back as SWHT an then again following the publication of Ralph's book.  That has been discussed in this forum previously but you can find it here:

https://wordpress.com/post/larryhancock.wordpress.com/1103

We had a healthy discussion on that.

I need to reread the part of Skorzeny training Soutre to find the source and validation for that, I noted the remarks in my first scan of the book but did not dig deeply into that.  I'm reading that section in detail now and will post on it, so far what I have found was Soutre having providing training for a U.S. Army commando unit out of Germany.  I had follow up on that from Ralph's and found that to be a pretty much one off thing as the Army commander who had authorized the training felt that Skorzeny's WWII tactics had become a bit dated and his troops had not picked up anything they already didn't know.

I'm certainly not ignoring the book but given that I have worked with Alan previously and have been in contact with Leslie on different points for over a year I think I owe it to them to provide my feedback directly to them.

Edited by Larry Hancock
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1 hour ago, Paul Brancato said:

I’ll carry the ball here. Many, even most, here have dismissed the ‘French Connection’ because when it became a hot theory a few decades ago many researchers, excited about the revelations of Christian David, were thoroughly disappointed when David named names that turned out to be false, such as Lucien Sarti. After that the theory kind of disappeared. But has anyone considered the possibility that David was himself doing the bidding of the very forces that were trying to prevent disclosure of their guilt? I mean, who was David? And why would his cryptic and false statements derail the theory, when the most obvious place to look was at Souetre, who was provably in Dallas on November 22? Well, we all dismissed Souetre too, because of all the confusion, deliberate in my view, around whether someone was using his name who wasn’t him? I’m sure many of you remember all this. But it’s time to look again at the possibility that deep state conspirators outsourced the assassination to foreign terrorists? The beauty of Hank Albarelli’s research is that he ties Souetre to Skorzeny, and Skorzeny to key CIA people and to Dallas big shots.

I’m going to lose my faith in this community if they don’t take a serious look at Albarelli’s work. Why have DiEugenio and Hancock not weighed in on this thread? Are they reading Coup in Dallas? Are you? 

Paul,

I am through the first couple hundred pages and remain intrigued. I did note a Paul Brancato name drop in the book! 

So far, there is certainly a lot to discuss but not much yet as to the actual JFKA. To this point in the book, it is mostly setup and background info for the players set forth in the book. 

A couple discussion items I have:

1. In the book, Thomas Eli Davis iii is discussed as having been in MC at the same time as LHO and with LHO. Here is a link to an EF discussion on him- 

I have not found any pics of Thomas Eli Davis iii, but is it possible he may be the MC Mystery Man?

2. Here is a link to and EF discussion on Jean Pierre Lafitte-

Lafitte figures as the main character in the book. Is anything else known about him and has he been connected to the JFKA before?

3. Author Albarelli makes mention of June Cobb. He states that she is even his grandsons Godmother! I do not know much about June Cobb other than that she was definitely a CIA asset. Should we trust information provided by someone with such close ties to a known CIA asset?

I would love to have discussion on the book as I progress through it. I certainly hope folks are reading the book and assume that as it is such a large volume that they are reserving comment until finished with the book.

Any thoughts on my above comments/questions?

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Just as an aside (and I'll dig up the source in a couple of weeks, have started a new day job) - 

My essay at the end grew out of efforts to have a look at the background of the GRCSW - the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest - which is cited in the volume. During that process, I dug up some annual reports from the GRCSW, including their mid-1963 report which listed the full membership, who ran it, who was on the board, who in Dallas had joined it etc. Clint Murchison was there, as were the owners of several Dallas banks, people from the military, the CEO's of various companies. It was a high-powered bunch. Some of the links that seemed of interest are now in the book, some were left out for reasons of space.

Lauriston Marshall from the GRCSW was a key point of interest for Leslie. From JFK Facts, Albarelli and Leslie both made comments on the subject in 2015 in this thread:

https://jfkfacts.org/more-on-oswalds-job/

Leslie noted in the thread,

Quote

 

The deMohrenschildt’s arrived late at Everett Glover’s home on February 22, 1963, and stayed only a short time. Unless there are records to prove otherwise it was at this gathering that the deMohrenschildts were introduced to Ruth Paine. And it was at this gathering that Ruth Paine first met Marina and Lee Oswald. Of note: during Ruth’s WC testimony, Albert Jenner never asks her about the deMohrenschildts, and there are only two references to Everett Glover; one with her commenting “and whose connection is known,” and the other to confirm Feb 22, 1963 as the date she first met the Oswalds in Dallas at “Everett’s” as noted in her diary. Michael Paine’s testimony indicates he was not present on the 22nd, but met the Oswalds later.

In essence, it was Lauriston Marshall’s friendship with Sam Ballen and Marshall’s separate friendship with Everett Glover that started the ball rolling. Ballen and Glover strengthened their friendship with one another and with the deM’s. The deM’s introduced Glover to Marina and Lee, then Glover introduced Marina and Lee to his friends, Ruth and Mike Paine. I see no link between the Paines and the deMohrenshildts without Everett Glover and Sam Ballen – and they met thru Lauriston Marshall of the science research center.

The fact that deMohrenschildt was out of the country from May, 1963 until after the assassination, and the manner in which he died on the eve of testimony before the HSCA strikes me as indication that in spite of being a vital pawn he should never have become a diversion in the investigation.

 

My essay expanded a little when we noticed that Lloyd Berkner, who helped run the GRCSW alongside Marshall, was a deep Pentagon/intelligence insider who had worked alongside Dulles for many years. Berkner's friends from Texas Instruments (a few of whom joined him at GRCSW) had worked with Berkner in the military (I think a branch of the Navy) during World War II. Berkner was a top level strategic advisor to Dulles, the Joint Chiefs, Pentagon brass, the works. When Paul Nitze was preparing major strategy documents, he'd run them past Berkner for approval. Leslie and I spent a couple of months running over the backgrounds of GRCSW figures, Berkner in particular, and there was a lot of eye-opening stuff that couldn't be squeezed into the final book, including some anecdotes that come to mind just as I'm typing this. Marshall's sister Betty is named at the beginning of my essay. She married Frederick Seitz, another GRCSW member who had similar ties to the Pentagon.

Anyway, when I sent Leslie the screenshot of the GRCSW members from 1963, she wrote back, "Five of those guys knew Otto Skorzeny". It might have been six. When I next chat with Leslie I'll ask her to elaborate on which ones they were. The whole GRCSW membership is of interest, and I'll post what we dug up about them down the track.

 

Edited by Anthony Thorne
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I have respected the work of Albarelli but I see a serious issue of authenticity versus forgery in the Pierre Lafitte datebook which is central to this posthumously published Coup in Dallas. I think a better explanation of basis for belief that those datebook pages were written in 1963 prior to the assassination is needed than the explanation offered by Leslie Sharp in the only part of the book I can see which addresses this most fundamental starting question of authenticity: pp. 571-574, "Coauthor's Statement on the Provenance and Authenticity of the Lafitte Datebook".

This statement merits careful reading. In it, coauthor Sharp tells of her own earlier serious doubts as to authenticity and reasons why, before ending with a full endorsement of its authenticity. 

Sharp recounts that her original reaction to seeing the datebook shown her by Albarelli was "a mixture of awe and skepticism, both of which I did not hesitate to share with Hank". She determined "that this instrument and the contents therein are either a brilliant fraud, or a miraculous find". 

Sharp continues, "After Hank passed away, I experienced levels of doubt and uncertainty equal to the most severe critic". She lists a series of reasons which prima facie call authenticity into serious doubt.

  • "During one phase, I realized that the timeline Hank left in his Frank Olson book, A Terrible Mistake, reflects dates tied to the Lafitte material that sometimes contradicted my understanding of the trajectory of events."

In other words, minor chronological errors (apparently) in A Terrible Mistake are echoed in the supposed Pierre Lafitte datebook. But Albarelli did not know of the Pierre Lafitte datebook when he wrote A Terrible Mistake. A Terrible Mistake was published in 2011. Although Leslie Sharp does not directly say so, the question is raised whether A Terrible Mistake written in 2011 was a source utilized by the author of the Pierre Lafitte datebook, since it reflects the same chronological peculiarities (though Leslie Sharp does not give specifics). But if so, that would mean the Pierre Lafitte datebook was written some time after 2011, and not in 1963.

  • Albarelli before his death had arranged for a London-based professional handwriting/document analysis as well as an international ink expert, to study the physical artifact and render a professional opinion. There were "issues" unresolved at the time Albarelli died, and Leslie Sharp reports that there is no disclosure of results or findings and no known prospect of any, by contractual agreement with the owners of the datebook (not named but presumably family members). "The London professional would only state that he remains under a Nondisclosure Agreement and could not comment".

This is not encouraging. One possible interpretation is an outside professional opinion was sought but the opinion or initial provisional opinion rendered was not to the liking of the customer, and therefore that finding will never be known. Reference is made to the handwriting analysts requesting further samples of Pierre Lafitte's handwriting than initially provided and such samples not being provided.

  • "Of deep concern were those parties in a position to confirm the provenance but refused to cooperate; every feasible effort to secure a definitive statement has gone unfulfilled."

Again, not encouraging. 

What then changed Leslie Sharp's mind, tipped it in her assessment, convinced her that it was genuine? She gave two reasons: (1) Hank Albarelli could not have been duped. "He would not be a victim of fraud". This is simply asserted, explained with this non-explanatory statement: "In my relatively informed opinion, Hank would never have subjected himself to ridicule were the datebook to be determined to be the equivalent of the 'Hitler Diaries'. That is, Albarelli would never willingly subject himself to ridicule if it was fraudulent, therefore the datebook is genuine. Some might find this syllogism less than satisfying.

In my own field, the Dead Sea Scrolls, there have been high-profile cases in recent years of major-name senior scholars and prestigious museums taken in by forgeries--forgeries done by professionals who are very good at it. It is not the original Dead Sea Scrolls of the late 1940s and 1950s I am referring to here--those were genuine. I am referring to a series of alleged later secretly-privately-owned Dead Sea Scroll fragments of biblical manuscripts, as well as other sensational alleged archaeological finds from the legal and illegal antiquities market, sold to collectors and museums in the 2000s and 2010s (or appraisal obtained at high dollar value for tax deductions when donated, a more sophisticated mechanism for profit through charitable giving) which finally became exposed as large-scale, industrial-strength fraud. Similarly a "Gospel of Jesus's Wife" manuscript discovery in 2012 was endorsed by a Harvard professor as genuine and received much attention and learned discussion until a brilliant piece of investigative-detective work exposed it as a con job in 2016, with much professional embarrassment (https://www.thedailybeast.com/anti-catholic-porn-producer-scammed-harvard-professor-with-gospel-of-jesus-wife). Many more examples could be cited. 

There is that saying in the investment world: "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is", and the same high bar of skepticism is merited toward a document which purports to give sensational diary-like cryptic entries with names and dates of the JFK assassination plot, first discovered over fifty years later, whose argument for authenticity is confidence that "Hank Albarelli would not be a victim of fraud". 

But Leslie Sharp gave a second explanation of basis, in addition to confidence that Albarelli would not be a victim of fraud: (2) "I have studied the contents of the datebook for more than two years and find it persuasive for similar (although more in-depth) reasons outlined by Dick Russell".

Dick Russell's reasons would be found in several pages of introductory material at the beginning of Coup in Dallas written by Dick Russell, "The Lafitte Datebook: A Limited Analysis", pp. ix-xiii. So I--we--go to there to find what reasons persuaded Dick Russell that it was authentic. And the answer is: no reason is given apart from a listing of ways in which if it is authentic then it is very significant. Well yes, but is it authentic is the prior question. Here is Dick Russell:

"Pending verification by forensic document specialists and handwriting experts, I have carefully reviewed the 1963 datebook allegedly written by Jean Pierre Lafitte. Based on the entries I have seen, cryptic as many of them are (no doubt intentionally), this is a crucial piece of new evidence indicating a high-level conspiracy that resulted in the assassination that November 22 of President John F. Kennedy. Many of the names mentioned are familiar to me (. . .) A number of these names, however, were not known publicly in 1963 and for more than a decade thereafter. Thus, assuming the datebook entries were indeed set down at that time by Lafitte, this adds substantial credibility to the likelihood that the document contains never-before-revealed information about a conspiracy involving accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald as well as his own killer, Jack Ruby. (. . .) I believe that this datebook fills in many gaps about what really happened on November 22, 1963 (. . .) I believe, presuming the datebook is verified as having been  written by Lafitte in 1963, that this constitutes probably the strongest evidence that has ever come to light of a conspiracy to kill President Kennedy."

In the "Foreward" to the book by Dick Russell (pp. v-vi), the authenticity of the Pierre Lafitte 1963 datebook is assumed, not argued, and its importance emphasized:

"The book you are about to read contains the strongest evidence ever published of a high-level conspiracy by the military-industrial complex and its ultra-right-wing-allies to assassinate President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. As an author who has spent years researching and writing three books on the subject, I state that unequivocally. The narrative by H. P. Albarelli Jr., coauthored with Leslie Sharp and Alan Kent, is based upon a 1963 datebook, or desk diary, kept by a mysterious, deep-cover intelligence operative named Jean Pierre Lafitte (. . .) I'll let the authors describe how he gained access to the datebook. It is eerie to see this come to light after all these years--a template, albeit intentionally cryptic, for the diabolical planning resulting in a coup d'etat that haunts our national psyche (. . .) Lafitte's datebook, a faux leather-bound red volume with a vintage N azi coin taped to the inside front cover, is of immeasurable importance toward unraveling the takeover that took place that terrible day in Dallas (. . .)"

To cut to the chase, Dick Russell gives no reason for believing it is genuine other than it contains important information if it is. Based on that--the significance of its contents if true--Dick Russell concludes "this is a crucial piece of new evidence", i.e. genuine, not forged. (The apparent logic being that surely no forgery would have such interesting content, therefore it is genuine.) Leslie Sharp says her reasons for believing are similar to Dick Russell's. None of the other writers in the book address the issue of authenticity.

My reaction is it sounds too good to be true.

Edited by Greg Doudna
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5 hours ago, Greg Doudna said:

My reaction is it sounds too good to be true.

& if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

My principal thought since opening the book, & a couple hundred pages on it remains my concern.

Excellent synopsis in your post Greg, cheers!

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22 hours ago, Ty Carpenter said:

3. Author Albarelli makes mention of June Cobb. He states that she is even his grandsons Godmother! I do not know much about June Cobb other than that she was definitely a CIA asset. Should we trust information provided by someone with such close ties to a known CIA asset?

I believe John Newman did a sizeable section on June Cobb in one of his newest volumes. That might be an interesting comparison.

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7 hours ago, Greg Doudna said:

I have respected the work of Albarelli but I see a serious issue of authenticity versus forgery in the Pierre Lafitte datebook which is central to this posthumously published Coup in Dallas.

Skyhorse apparently had an issue with this, too. Someone sent me pics of the "Publisher's Statement" at the beginning of the book.

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I second Greg Doudna's concerns, reading the same sections of the book. I have a Kindle version of the book, and unfortunately, the book pages with scanned diary pages provided in the Appendix sections are illegible to the extent they are worthless as to own evaluation of the diary notes. It may be that the printed book offers a better quality of individual pages of the diary than the Kindle version, however, even this may not be the case given they are 6 diary pages compressed into one book page. 

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34 minutes ago, Andrej Stancak said:

I second Greg Doudna's concerns, reading the same sections of the book. I have a Kindle version of the book, and unfortunately, the book pages with scanned diary pages provided in the Appendix sections are illegible to the extent they are worthless as to own evaluation of the diary notes. It may be that the printed book offers a better quality of individual pages of the diary than the Kindle version, however, even this may not be the case given they are 6 diary pages compressed into one book page. 

The images in the print version are no better.

Last night I skipped ahead and read the last two chapters. I was not impressed with how the book finished up. I don't consider it a waste of money, but I was left extremely underwhelmed.

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For a comparison, Weberman's Oswald's Code, a book having similar concept, contains high resolution color copies of individual pages of Oswald's diary. I would consider as mandatory to present high-quality reproductions of Laffitte's diary. If those are not available to Authors, there may be authenticity problem.

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16 hours ago, Chuck Schwartz said:

It was nice to see respect paid to Mae Brussell.  Her essay on the N A Z I connection to the JFK Assassination ties into Coup in Dallas. 

This quote from her essay stills stands a good chance of playing out. Did Hungary or Poland beat us to it?

As William L. Shirer, author of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, put it in speaking of the excesses of the Nixon administration, "We could become the first country to go fascist through free elections."

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