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JMWAVE, anti-Castro Cubans and LHO


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I thought I'd start a new thread on Oswald's connections to JMWAVE and anti-Castro Cubans. First off, I've posted a portion of a great essay by Jeff Morley. Morley interviewed quite a few members of DRE and their knowledge of Oswald during the summer of 1963.

Here's the complete essay. Well worth your time - https://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/revelation-1963-6353139

Revelation 1963

JEFFERSON MORLEY APRIL 12, 2001 

Page 3 of 10

Kennedy was incensed at Fernandez-Rocha's brashness so soon after the near-nuclear confrontation with the Soviet Union had been defused. "The refugees," the president told his advisors, "are naturally trying to build up the story in an effort to get us to invade [Cuba]." He ordered the CIA to rein in the young exiles, and within 24 hours Richard Helms summoned Fernandez-Rocha to Washington.

The 49-year-old deputy director spent the better part of a day grilling Fernandez-Rocha and, according to the CIA's minutes of that meeting, concluded that the new missile allegations were not altogether reliable. Helms rebuked the Directorate for going public -- on national television no less -- but softened the reprimand by adding that he wanted to forge a "reasonable collaboration" with the DRE. He understood their disappointment with U.S. policy, he said. He confided that he was promoting a new agent in Miami who would be "personally responsible to me" for the success of the relationship.

For this sensitive task Helms selected an up-and-coming political-action officer, George Efythron Joannides, who had been transferred to Miami earlier that year and was working as deputy chief of psychological warfare operations against the Castro government. With a staff of 24 and a budget of $2.4 million, he ran his clandestine activities out of a ramshackle office building in then-rural South Dade that was known to CIA hands by its aquatic code name: JM/WAVE station. Joannides reported to station chief Theodore G. Shackley, who was overseeing one of the CIA's largest operations in the world, with an annual budget of more than $50 million, more than 100 leased vehicles, several thousand Cuban agents, and 300-plus American employees.

Joannides was 40 years old then, a native New Yorker who had attended City College and St. John's University School of Law in Queens. Recruited for the CIA in 1951, he'd spent eleven years in Greece and Libya, confounding communists and influencing local politicians. He was a cosmopolitan man, fluent in French and Greek, competent in Spanish. He wore tailored suits, spun bilingual puns, and enjoyed Greek pastries. He and his wife, Violet, and their three children lived in suburban anonymity on SW 65th Avenue in what is now the Village of Pinecrest.

Luis Fernandez-Rocha, now a doctor at Mercy Hospital, recalls his initial meeting with "Howard," as the CIA man called himself. Howard spoke confidently, with a New York accent, and wore an ornate pinky ring. In Fernandez-Rocha's view he compared favorably with the DRE's previous handler, Ross Crozier. "[He] was a great human being, but he was a sergeant," Fernandez-Rocha says. "When I was dealing with this guy Howard, I was talking to a colonel."

Howard was always available, Fernandez-Rocha adds. The agent would meet him anywhere from "three times a week to once every two weeks. We used to have a cup of coffee at a Howard Johnson's on U.S. 1."

The relationship was complicated. While the DRE was financially dependent on the CIA, its leaders publicly vilified Kennedy for his actions regarding Cuba: the Bay of Pigs defeat followed by a missed opportunity to topple Castro during the missile crisis. When the president came to Miami on December 29, 1962, to welcome returning Bay of Pigs prisoners at the Orange Bowl, DRE leaders stayed away in disgust.

In the spring of 1963, the Directorate's military section continued to plan raids on island targets, drawing up an elaborate scheme to destroy the Nazabal sugar mill in central Cuba. They sent word of the operation through Joannides to Richard Helms, according to a declassified CIA cable, but Joannides emphasized the CIA's opposition, and the raid never took place. The Kennedy White House, wanting no return to the tensions of the missile crisis, then cracked down hard on Cuban Miami. In April 1963 the Immigration and Naturalization Service issued an administrative order forbidding 25 of the most militant exile leaders from leaving Dade County without permission. On the list were DRE secretary-general Fernandez-Rocha, military-section leader Chilo Borja, and propaganda chief Juan Manuel Salvat, the group's corpulent, hot-tempered mastermind.

The exiles didn't obey the order. "We worked with the CIA," recalls Salvat. "We never subordinated ourselves to them." Nor did the Directorate's members try to hide their anger. Joannides walked a fine line -- trying to discourage the group's military ambitions while encouraging their propaganda campaigns and intelligence-collection efforts. But by the summer of 1963, the DRE harbored an "extremely bitter animosity" toward Kennedy, according to Ross Crozier, Joannides's predecessor. In fact they were scarcely less hostile to the president than to Castro.

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30 minutes ago, David Boylan said:

I thought I'd start a new thread on Oswald's connections to JMWAVE and anti-Castro Cubans. First off, I've posted a portion of a great essay by Jeff Morley. Morley interviewed quite a few members of DRE and their knowledge of Oswald during the summer of 1963.

Here's the complete essay. Well worth your time - https://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/revelation-1963-6353139

 

David,

This line from page 8 of Morley's essay was very telling to me:

"Not long after Oswald was killed, the DRE laid off its efforts to link him and Castro."

It would seem to me, that with Oswald dead and unable to defend himself, their efforts to link him to Castro would intensify.

Steve Thomas

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Steve,

I suspect that Joannides got the word from Helms to tamp it down and Joannides passed it on to Fernandez-Rocha et al.

Here's Helms meeting with Fernandez-Rocha and Lasa. Nestor Sanchez translating. Sanchez would go on to be the case officer for Rolando Cubela (AMLASH-1). https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=183727#relPageId=1

More on the meeting - https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=183728#relPageId=1

AMHINT-53 (Fernandez-Rocha) pissing off Ted Shackley (Reuteman). Report by Ross Crozier before he was replaced by Joannides.

https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=23764#relPageId=3

Joannides (Walter Newby) replaced Crozier on 12/5/62. Item 4 - https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=23765#relPageId=4

DRE report to "Howard" aka George Joannides. Forwarded by Shackley to Desmond Fitzgerald. $10 million to kill Castro??

https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=18928#relPageId=3

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Two other factors may have been in play:  1) the same stories that the DRE was circulating were also being put forth in Miami and to the FBI by locals like Sturgis and Buchanan but also by Martino who aggressively took the information to the FBI and also made sure that it was going back through channels to folks who were connected to people in a position to push it politically - like Pawley.  The political contacts, which would have reached as far as the Luce media, went nowhere.  The FBI contact got interest directly from Hoover who pushed the Miami office for details from Martino that could be investigated.

In the end Martino could provide none and after fruitless attempts to name sources in Cuba or provide anything that would stand up the FBI pushed back and he dropped out.   Basically the DRE and its fellow travelers didn't have anything that would stand up to the test - they got media attention,  FBI attention via Martino but there was nothing to follow up that interest.

2)  If the DRE had kept pushing its knowledge about Oswald and Cuban contacts someone might have begun to investigate just how much contact they had with Oswald, if it had continued beyond New Orleans and why they had not reported the things they claimed after the fact to either the FBI or the CIA.  That could have gone really badly for all concerned.

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If Joannidies got word from Helms to tamp it down, who told Helms to do this.  I don't think it would have been a decision he made on his own.  McCone was out of the loop.  If it was say Angleton or the "retired" but still powerful Dulles, why.  Was assassinating JFK the purpose in the first place?  Now that he was out of the way they didn't need to invade Cuba or assassinate Castro, and maybe didn't care about the Cubans.  Bigger fish to fry.  E.G. Vietnam and more?

BTW, I've come to appreciate Jeff even more over the years.  Used to comment on his site, and communicate with him slightly as Ronnie Wayne.  Read his books, aware of his law suits.  What Jane Roman said.  Joannides.  But he did a lot of foot work back in the day interviewing people. 

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Ron, I doubt anybody would have had to tell the DRE case officer or their superiors at WAVE that shutting up DRE or making them look less than credible with their Oswald story was a priority in order to conceal SAS and WAVE knowledge of  and activities around Oswald.

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Actually WAVE was quite aware that DRE had begun a propaganda campaign against Oswald in August/September - including press releases and letters to Congress. I cover this in Tipping Point.  There is a good possibility that campaign was being carried on with CIA support and that specific WAVE / SAS personnel would have been immediately aware of being exposed by DRE's actions.  I imagine as soon as the name Oswald hit the media there was a panic at certain desks in Miami.  I've tried to lay out the details and extent including exactly who would have been involved in these activities - including some brand new and key names. 

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Maybe related.....

For anyone interested, Len Osanic, Black Op Radio, on Jan. 6 ran another great show with the below content (links active at https://blackopradio.com/archives2022.html)

Wheaton said this, in part, regarding LHO:

Lee Harvey Oswald was just a stooge that Carl (Jenkins) and his friends…... Carl you see, back in the early 1950s, when he came back from Korea, he formed the first US Marine Corps Reserve unit in New Orleans. Carl was a Captain in the Marine Corps, and a CIA officer. He formed the first US Marine Corps reserve unit in New Orleans, La., and he was the CIA liaison between CIA Headquarters and Carlos Marcello, the organized crime boss there.

Lee Harvey Oswald was a young guy, and because of Carl’s connection with the US Marine Corps reserve, and his involvement in the CIA, helped recruit Lee Harvey Oswald while he was a Marines.

Unfortunately, LHO's connection to JMWaver's, exiles and the JFKA remains murky at best. 

If what Antonio Veciana said about a David Atlee Phillips-LHO meeting in Dallas 1963 is true, LHO seems more connected to the CIA proper, so to speak, than rogue elements.  

Wheaton and Jenkins leave unexplained how LHO was a "stooge."  The ability to the JMWavers to make LHO a stooge or a patsy is unexplained.  Would LHO cooperate with a plan to assassinate a US President? Seems unlikely. 

Also, if LHO as a longtime CIA asset starting even before the Russia defection...that would suggest LHO connections beyond JMWave...

I understand creating a patsy pre-assassination event is part of the Mafia-CIA lore, but would the JMWave crowd even need a patsy? Why create the additional risk of a patsy who might escape and talk? 

 

 

 

 

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I would give the caution that what Wheaton heard were remarks from Jenkin's Cuban friends, who would have been talking broadly about what they had heard from insiders with some knowledge of the attack or plot.  And we have to accept that Jenkins had no real context to filter or appraise those remarks.  When Wheaton did take Jenkins and Quintero to the ARRB, all he suggested was that they be interviewed for what they might know or have heard, he offered the ARRB no details himself.  

As to the need for a patsy, I tried my best to lay that out in Tipping Point in terms of Oswald not being a patsy in the way he ended up in the Lone Nut scenario, but rather used as a type of poison pill because the plotters knew exactly how dangerous his name would be for both the CIA and the FBI in terms of their connections to him.  To the Cuban exiles he may have represented a way to force a war against Cuba, to the guys above them he represented a way to block the agencies from a serious investigation which might have actually lead to them.  Just as Wheaton did describe, there were two levels in play in the conspiracy and the guys on the ground in Dallas did not necessarily have the big picture the people above them did.

 

 

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It seems like a lot could be surmised by looking at the behavior of the agencies in the 48 hours between Oswald's arrest and death, and then after Oswald's death.

There had to have been one approach while he was alive that then changed or became unnecessary once he was dead.

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7 hours ago, Larry Hancock said:

I would give the caution that what Wheaton heard were remarks from Jenkin's Cuban friends, who would have been talking broadly about what they had heard from insiders with some knowledge of the attack or plot.  And we have to accept that Jenkins had no real context to filter or appraise those remarks.  When Wheaton did take Jenkins and Quintero to the ARRB, all he suggested was that they be interviewed for what they might know or have heard, he offered the ARRB no details himself.  

As to the need for a patsy, I tried my best to lay that out in Tipping Point in terms of Oswald not being a patsy in the way he ended up in the Lone Nut scenario, but rather used as a type of poison pill because the plotters knew exactly how dangerous his name would be for both the CIA and the FBI in terms of their connections to him.  To the Cuban exiles he may have represented a way to force a war against Cuba, to the guys above them he represented a way to block the agencies from a serious investigation which might have actually lead to them.  Just as Wheaton did describe, there were two levels in play in the conspiracy and the guys on the ground in Dallas did not necessarily have the big picture the people above them did.

 

 

LH-

Well, in many regards your version makes sense (IMHO). 

The true assassins said, "Let's include-frame LHO into our assassination of JFK, as then the government will have to cover it up."  A poison pill, as you say. 

I suppose the true assassins then also planned to murder LHO, perhaps make it look like a suicide?  But somehow, LHO figures everything out, and escapes...but by walking through the front door of the TSBD? 

Then LHO goes goes home, the one place he would be looked for? If LHO went in a provided ride, he was being foolish That suggests LHO actually went by bus and taxi. 

If LHO had no inkling an assassination was about to take place, then why did not LHO go to the cops after the JFKA, and say, "This is what I know." I do not think LHO would wittingly participate in a true assassination plot of the President. 

Of course, your insightful version of a poison pill is a cousin to John Newman's posit that the LHO biography was fabricated pre-JFKA, perhaps by Angleton, as the "WWIII virus." An investigation would lead to a nuke war with Russia...so no investigation (the LBJ-Warren story).   

I contend the biography build on LHO was extensive, and included the Walker shooting and the Mexico City trip, the leafletting, the public radio debates, his weapons purchases. There may have been a number of such people in the US, being run by intel to besmirch communists and Casto-ites, left-wingers, infiltrate groups, etc. Such assets could be deployed when appropriate. 

But did that mean high-level CIA figures were actively planning the JFKA for a number of months or years? Seems like a stretch to me, but maybe I am naive. 

Your version is interesting (and deeply thoughtful, IMHO), in that it posit somewhat rogue elements took advantage of the LHO biography build, but did not manufacture it. 

I still don't see the connection between LHO and the JMWavers, the LHO wallet planting at the Tippit murder scene, and what appears to be LHO's rifle at the TSBD, or why LHO would arm himself and try to start a shoot-out in the Texas Theater. 

But, as I say, real life has anomalies, snags, mistakes, unanticipated events, irrational behavior under stress. 

I have read TP, and I am now wending through SWHT. Will try TP again. Maybe it is my age, but facts don't seem to stick like they used to. Be patient if I miss some things. 

What do you make of LHO presenting four face photographs to Sylvia Duran in a visa application...that have disappeared? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Benjamin Cole
typo
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Somewhere along the line... I remember reading the following among other things:

  • Sometime in the 1960s LHO was seen at an Anti-Castro Training Camp in LA
  • The FBI raided the camp and shut it down
  • After being arrested in New Orleans, LHO met with an FBI agent while in jail
  • Someone who identified himself as 'Lee' tipped off the SS to the Chicago plot

Not sure of the timeline above.

Are these points correct?

Could LHO have been not only a convenient patsy, but an actual secondary target? - killing 2 birds w one stone?

 

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41 minutes ago, Bill Fite said:

Somewhere along the line... I remember reading the following among other things:

  • Sometime in the 1960s LHO was seen at an Anti-Castro Training Camp in LA
  • The FBI raided the camp and shut it down
  • After being arrested in New Orleans, LHO met with an FBI agent while in jail
  • Someone who identified himself as 'Lee' tipped off the SS to the Chicago plot

Not sure of the timeline above.

Are these points correct?

Could LHO have been not only a convenient patsy, but an actual secondary target? - killing 2 birds w one stone?

 

I have read all those items too.  I am not sure it was the FBI, but there were rebel camps that were shut down in LA. No photos of LHO have surfaced in those camps. 

It is public record that LHO met with an FBI agent after being arrested in N.O. in the famous street fight. LHO also sat in the "Negro" section of the courtroom after being arrested, btw.  

Larry Hancock addresses the Chicago plots, which may have been one or two plots. The Thomas Vallee character may have been just a nut, and he was one threat.

Another Chicago plot may have been developed by a radical Cuban exile Homer Echevarria, a smuggler of automatic weapons. It appears to have been thwarted or aborted. 

Hindsight is perfect, but with so many plots afoot, why JFK was riding in an open motorcade.....

 

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From Tipping Point:

 

William Kent

CIA psychological operations specialist William Kent served at JMWAVE through several of the Cuba projects of the early 1960s; he signed off on George Joannides' reports and reviewed his DRE case officer work in 1963. Kent was quite familiar with the activities of the DRE.

He offered no official remarks on the Kennedy assassination. But later, in private remarks to family members, Kent provided two key insights.

When asked about Lee Oswald he simply responded:

"Lee Oswald was a useful idiot." In professional intelligence usage, that term describes a person acting under the influence of others, without fully comprehending the goals and agenda of those manipulating them.

When asked about the Kennedy assassination by a family member, he also gave a simple response:

"It's better you don't know". [ 215 ]

 

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