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Congress of Freedom?


Steve Thomas
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Does anyone know when the Congress of Freedom Convention (if you can call it that) took place in New Orleans in April, 1963?

From the Cuban Information Archives.

Assassinations: The Miami Link, by Dan Chirstiansen.

http://cuban-exile.com/doc_101-125/doc0122.html

Milteer had attended the April 1963 meeting in New Orleans as a representative of the Dixie Klan, a notoriously violent faction of the KKK based in Chattanooga, Tenn. And advocated a coordinated assassination program that would eliminate a long list of prominent government officials and businessmen. He felt that the "patriot" organizations should act swiftly because Kennedy was on the verge of turning the U.S. government over to the United Nations.

"Somersett smelled danger at the COF meeting. Toward the end of the questioning about his New Orleans trip, he said, "If the Congress of the U.S. doesn't cut the UN out, if it continues that way for twelve months, there has got to be some violence. You could tell if you had been there and stood around and seen the people, the expression on their faces, heard the way they talked. Those people are people of means, financially, and educationally. They are not there just for an ice cream party. This can't continue on, with the people financing these things, something must happen. I will bet my head on a chopping block there will be some people killed by this time next year and it will be in high places.""

General Edwin Walker was there too.

Lee Harvey Oswald moved to New Orleans on April 24th. I wonder if he was there in time to attend that Convention.

Steve Thomas

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Does anyone know when the Congress of Freedom Convention (if you can call it that) took place in New Orleans in April, 1963?

From:

Jerry P. Shinley Archive

General Edwin Walker's New Orleans Links

Date: 1998/07/28

http://www.jfk-online.com/jpsgwnol.html

"Another Walker-New Orleans link is through George Soule, president of Soule Business College. In 1962, George Soule was "community chairman" of the New Orleans Indignation Committee. (NOTP; February 8, 1962; s2, p4) In January, Walker had addressed this group, via closed-circuit TV, at a meeting held at Soule College. (NOTP; January 4, 1962; s1, p14)

In 1963, Soule was chairman of the 12th Annual National Congress of Freedom. (Who's Who in the South and Southwest 1963 - 1964) General Walker's lawyer, Clyde Watts, was a speaker at this event. (NOTP; April 7, 1963). J. A. Milteer was also in attendance. (Weisberg; Frame-Up; p481)"

Looks like the New Orleans Times Picyune reported the Convention as April 7, 1963 - some 17 days before Oswald moved there.

Steve Thomas

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I am afraid I don't know much about the Congress of Freedom. However, I have been doing some research into a right-wing group based in Texas in the 1940s. This group was called the Texas Regulars. Members included Wilbert Lee O'Daniel, Martin Dies, Eugene B. Germany and Hugh R. Cullen. Supported by Texas oilmen, the group were also opposed to the fixed prices of oil and gas imposed by Roosevelt's government during the Second World War. They also campaigned against the New Deal, civil rights and pro-trade union legislation. The group disbanded in 1945 after they failed to remove Roosevelt as the leader of their party.

Former members of the Texas Regulars were also opposed to Harry S. Truman and his Fair Deal proposals that included legislation on civil rights, fair employment practices, opposition to lynching and improvements in existing public welfare laws. When Truman won the nomination in 1948, these men joined the States' Rights Democratic Party (Dixiecrats) and Storm Thurmond was chosen as its presidential candidate. It was thought that with two former Democrats, Thurmond and Henry Wallace standing, Truman would have difficulty defeating the Republican Party candidate, Thomas Dewey. However, both Thurmond and Wallace did badly and Truman defeated Dewey by 24,105,812 votes to 21,970,065.

These right-wingers continued to be active in politics after Harry S. Truman became president. In 1952 Hugh R. Cullen, Sid Richardson and Clint Murchison gave their support to Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Republican Party. His main political concern was in the preservation of the oil depletion allowance. He was therefore pleased by Eisenhower's decision to employ Robert Anderson (the former president of the Texas Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association) as Secretary of the Navy and Secretary of the Treasury. In this post Anderson introduced legislation beneficial to the oil industry.

This group were also great supporters of Joseph McCarthy. In 1952 Hugh R. Cullen, Jesse H. Jones, and Clint Murchison all provided funds for McCarthy. As Murchison pointed out in 1954: "We all made money fast. We were interested in nothing else. Then this communist business suddenly burst upon us. Were we going to lose what we had gained?"

Some former members of the Texas Regulars were also involved in the Suite 8F Group, a collection of right-wing political and businessmen based in Houston. The name comes from the room in the Lamar Hotel where they held their meetings. Members of the group included George Brown and Herman Brown (Brown & Root), Jesse H. Jones (multi-millionaire investor in a large number of organizations and chairman of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation), Gus Wortham (American General Insurance Company), James Abercrombie (Cameron Iron Works), Hugh R. Cullen (Quintana Petroleum), William Hobby (Governor of Texas and owner of the Houston Post), William Vinson (Great Southern Life Insurance), James Elkins (American General Insurance and Pure Oil Pipe Line), Albert Thomas (chairman of the House Appropriations Committee), Lyndon B. Johnson (Majority Leader of the Senate) and John Connally (Governor of Texas). Alvin Wirtz and Edward Clark, were two lawyers who were also members of the Suite 8F Group. It seems that it was this group that handed out the government contracts to the other companies based in Texas. Larry Bell, for example, had to move his company (Bell Helicopters) to Texas before he could get any of these contracts.

Do you know if anyone from the Congress of Freedom was involved in the Suite 8F Group?

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John,

Do you know if anyone from the Congress of Freedom was involved in the Suite 8F Group?

Don't know about that, but here's the kind of people we're dealing with...

From Jerry P. Shinley Archive:

Brief Review of General Edwin Walker FBI Files

http://www.jfk-online.com/jpsbrwfbif.html

Two associates of General Walker, Arch Roberts and Clyde Watts, are identified as members of the Congress of Freedom.

From Mary Ferrell database: General Clyde Watts was Walker’s attorney.

“The Attempted Coup Against FDR”

By Barbara LaMonica

Probe Magazine From the March-April 1999 issue (Vol. 6 No. 3)

http://www.webcom.com/ctka/pr399-fdr.html

"The main function of these hate groups was to enforce the will of right-wing corporate America, seeking to regain the political power it lost in the 1932 election. On the grassroots level, this intention translated into supporting the efforts of management to stop workers from unionizing. The most glaring example of this is the struggle at the General Motors plants (General Motors was owned by the DuPonts). The DuPonts employed the Black Legion, a sort of Northern Klux Klux Klan, which would terrorize workers, bomb union halls, and torture and murder organizers. The Legion was organized into arson squads, execution squads, and anti-Communist squads. Discipline within its own ranks was maintained with the weapons of torture or death and was strictly enforced. The LaFollette Committee found that the Legion had penetrated police departments, high government offices, and the Michigan Republican Party. These groups also acted as intelligence networks. They infiltrated unions, leftwing groups, and universities, and they sold their information to industry. One example of such an intelligence agency was the American Vigilant Intelligence Federation, headquartered in Chicago and operated by Harry Jung. Jung later relocated to New Orleans where he was an associate of Guy Bannister, who also hailed from Chicago. Banister’s Detective Agency was spying for right-wing businesses as well. Some believe it may have been in Jung’s hotel in New Orleans that the famous Congress of Freedom meeting took place in the Spring of 1963. At this meeting, with Edwin Walker and Joseph Milteer in attendance, a police informant [Willie Sommerset] reported there was talk of murdering national leaders."

Steve Thomas

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John,

Do you know if anyone from the Congress of Freedom was involved in the Suite 8F Group?

Don't know about that, but here's the kind of people we're dealing with...

From Jerry P. Shinley Archive:

Brief Review of General Edwin Walker FBI Files

http://www.jfk-online.com/jpsbrwfbif.html

Two associates of General Walker, Arch Roberts and Clyde Watts, are identified as members of the Congress of Freedom.

From Mary Ferrell database: General Clyde Watts was Walker’s attorney.

“The Attempted Coup Against FDR”

By Barbara LaMonica

Probe Magazine From the March-April 1999 issue (Vol. 6 No. 3)

http://www.webcom.com/ctka/pr399-fdr.html

"The main function of these hate groups was to enforce the will of right-wing corporate America, seeking to regain the political power it lost in the 1932 election. On the grassroots level, this intention translated into supporting the efforts of management to stop workers from unionizing. The most glaring example of this is the struggle at the General Motors plants (General Motors was owned by the DuPonts). The DuPonts employed the Black Legion, a sort of Northern Klux Klux Klan, which would terrorize workers, bomb union halls, and torture and murder organizers. The Legion was organized into arson squads, execution squads, and anti-Communist squads. Discipline within its own ranks was maintained with the weapons of torture or death and was strictly enforced. The LaFollette Committee found that the Legion had penetrated police departments, high government offices, and the Michigan Republican Party. These groups also acted as intelligence networks. They infiltrated unions, leftwing groups, and universities, and they sold their information to industry. One example of such an intelligence agency was the American Vigilant Intelligence Federation, headquartered in Chicago and operated by Harry Jung. Jung later relocated to New Orleans where he was an associate of Guy Bannister, who also hailed from Chicago. Banister’s Detective Agency was spying for right-wing businesses as well. Some believe it may have been in Jung’s hotel in New Orleans that the famous Congress of Freedom meeting took place in the Spring of 1963. At this meeting, with Edwin Walker and Joseph Milteer in attendance, a police informant [Willie Sommerset] reported there was talk of murdering national leaders."

Steve Thomas

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