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Vince Salandria on "false sponsers" (Castro/ Mob)

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Just saw two excellent pieces by Vince Salandria. I am going to post them here for the benefit of our Castro did it poster.

Perhaps the clear thinking offered by the inimitable Salandria can get Tim's own thinking on track.


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Just saw two excellent pieces by Vince Salandria. I am going to post them here for the benefit of our Castro did it poster.

Perhaps the clear thinking offered by the inimitable Salandria can get Tim's own thinking on track.




May 2001

by Vincent Salandria

On March 26, 2001, I was instructed by my personal computer that I had e-mail. I was bemused to learn that the e-mail was "a courtesy of the Washington Post." My confusion was compounded when I learned that the courtesy e-mail transmission was an article by a nemesis of mine, George Lardner, Jr.

Why is Lardner my nemesis? In a June 2, 1991 Post article attacking Oliver Stone's movie JFK Lardner described me as "an assassination critic full of far-out theories that Garrison regarded highly." I will write an article shortly in response. In this future piece I will show that the work I did for Jim Garrison, which Lardner describes as a "far-out theory," was neither a theory nor far out, and that Garrison used my work for a good purpose.

Let us examine the recent Post article forwarded to me "courtesy" of Lardner entitled: "Study Backs Theory of 'Grassy Knoll' New Report Says Second Gunman Fired at Kennedy." In this article Lardner recounts how D.B. Thomas, a British government scientist, examined the tape of a police dictabelt which had recorded the sounds in Dealey Plaza when the fusillade felled President John F. Kennedy. Thomas, the article tells us, believes that the shot from the knoll killed the president.

In his article Lardner quotes G. Robert Blakey, former chief counsel to the House Assassinations Committee, who headed the investigation, as stating that Thomas' work was an "honest, careful scientific examinationthat's beyond a reasonable doubt.'" Lardner adds that James Barger, Mark Weiss, and Eric Aschkneasy, House Committee experts, "have always held firm to their findings of a shot from the knoll."

What is the import of Lardner's article? It tells us that the House Assassination Committee's investigation of the Kennedy killing had arrived at scientific proof of a conspiracy. Lardner quotes Blakey as stating, "It shows that we made mistakes, too, but minor mistakes."

In the article, Lardner tells us that one of those House Committee "minor mistakes" was the conclusion that the shot from the picket fence had missed the President. Lardner tells us that the National Academy of Sciences, which after the House Committee had closed down had been assigned to do studies of the acoustic evidence, mistakenly disputed the evidence of a fourth shot.

What is the reason for Blakey calling the House Committee's failure to find that the shot from the picket fence had struck the President a "minor mistake"? The reason is that if the House Committee made a mistake in this regard, then the Warren Commission could also have "mistakenly" gotten this wrong. The plain fact is that neither governmental body made a mistake in that regard. In reality both the Warren Commission and the House Assassination Committee were government bodies which consciously produced fraudulent reports aimed at covering up the fact that the existence of the conspiracy was completely obvious. Both bodies were in this and many other regards plainly fraudulent in the manner in which they interpreted their own evidence, a manner which was not only irrational but was also fraudulent.

The anthology of my work on the Kennedy assassination includes a series of articles, which make clear that a microanalysis of the Warren Commission's own evidence compels the conclusion that a shot had struck Kennedy from the right front. (False Mystery, An Anthology of Essays on the Assassination of JFK, Vincent J. Salandria, self-published, available at the Last Hurrah Bookshop, 937 Memorial Avenue, Williamsport, Pa. 17701, (570) 321-1150 (phone/Fax)) There were no mistakes made by our governmental investigating bodies. There was no mystery. There was just fraud designed to conceal the fact that President Kennedy was killed by government agents acting on orders from the center of our warfare state.

With respect to the integrity of the House Committee, there was none. My friend Gaeton Fonzi who served on that Committee as a field investigator demonstrates this. He revealed its fraudulent nature in his fine book, The Last Investigation, Thunder's Mouth Press, 1993. Indeed, Fonzi reveals in this book how Blakey played a crucial role in undoing the work of the staff members of the Committee who were actually attempting to carry out an honest investigation.

So, the Lardner article seeks to depict Blakey as a truth hunter employing a scientifically correct interpretation on the microanalytic details of how Kennedy was killed. Lardner describes Blakey as successfully dispelling the supposedly legitimate mysteries which surrounded the killing of Kennedy. Lardner depicts Blakey, a representative of our government, as concluding that there was scientific proof that JFK was killed by a conspiracy.

Lardner tries to convey to the reader that the government and its operatives are now willing to confront the troubled past. Lardner would have us believe that because of its passion for truth our "democratic" government has honestly struggled to achieve historical precision on the Kennedy assassination. Lardner proudly proclaims that our government and its operatives are now willing to reveal and to confess having made honest mistakes, albeit minor, in interpreting data that remained mysterious until addressed with a scientific precision not previously available to our truth-seeking government.

I submit that Lardner's piece is false and is an opening salvo to a new series of lies by the U.S. government in its ongoing effort to obscure the Cold War nature of the President's assassination...

It is false when Lardner labors to paint for us a picture of the mainstream media reporting on a democratic government's honest efforts over decades to pursue truth regarding the Kennedy killing. It is false with respect to failing to confront the fact that the national security state killed Kennedy. It is false in seeking to conceal the aid that the mainstream media offered our warfare state in concealing the true nature of the Kennedy assassination. It is false when it seeks to verify the U.S. House Committee's work as aimed at attaining historical truth.

It is false when by sending that article to the critics as a courtesy, the Post was appearing to acknowledge that our democratic government and free press were aided in their joint search for the truth by the hard work of the assassination critics. It is false when it appears to be telling the critics that over the many years in which they have maintained their painstaking research into the many "legitimate mysteries" surrounding the Kennedy killing they have been nestled in the warmth of our free society. I submit that the truth is that ever since President Kennedy's murder we as citizens have experienced proof that the fearful warnings of President Dwight D. Eisenhower about the dangers of our military industrial complex have been realized, and civilian rule has succumbed to the perceived needs of our garrison and warfare state.

Where does this new torrent of lies spelled out in the Lardner article aim to drive us? To answer this question, let us turn our attention back to Lardner's hero of his piece, truth hunter G. Robert Blakey. As students of the assassination research know, Blakey coauthored with Richard N. Billings, a book which purports to explain who killed Kennedy and why. That book is entitled The Plot to Kill the President-Organized Crime Assassinated J.F.K. the Definitive Story. N.Y. Times Books (1981). That book ascribes the killing of President Kennedy to the Mafia, and tells us that the U.S. government was free from responsibility for the killing. Blakey in that book admits that the government, in interpreting the data of the assassination, made "mistakes". But he instructs the reader that there is no doubt that the U.S. government was not responsible for the killing nor for engaging in any systematic cover-up of the killing.

Lardner and Blakey seek to have our citizenry believe that the above-described Dealey Plaza dictabelt was the scientific evidence that the government was eagerly waiting for so long so as to be able to determine the truth about the assassination.

In my November 20, 1998 Dallas speech before the National Conference of the Coalition of Political Assassinations (included in False Mystery) I detailed how an innocent U.S. government would have acted after the killing of Kennedy. I sharply contrasted that course with how our guilty national security government acted. I would urge those seriously interested in the question of how high into the institutional structure of our national security state the killing of Kennedy reaches to read that speech.

In that speech I espoused the thesis of a high-level national security state plot to kill President Kennedy. I explained why any concept of a renegade or Mafia conspiratorial killing was irrational. On November 23, 1998, I sent a copy of that speech to Professor Noam Chomsky, the world's leading linguistic scholar, who had long declared a high-level conspiracy to be irrational. I wrote him: "I have that kind of perverse nature that only benefits from negative criticism. Could you find time to provide some?" On February 16, 1999, Professor Chomsky replied: "It [the speech] is a lucid presentation of the conclusions that you and others have reached." Lucid in dictionaries and for linguists is defined as rational. Therefore, Professor Chomsky no longer shares the view that a high-level institutional conspiracy explanation of the assassination is irrational.

A high-level national security state crime to kill Kennedy for Cold War reasons is indeed rational. We will prove that Lardner and Blakey are involved in efforts to hoodwink the public in their efforts to dismiss a high-level national security state plot to kill Kennedy. For proof, we now turn our attention to another audiotape that puts the lie to the conclusions at which they arrive from their analysis of the audiotape discussed above. This other audiotape convincingly proves that the most recent effort to explain the killing of President Kennedy as a Mafia crime is irrational and disingenuous. The purpose of the myth that Mafia and renegade elements killed Kennedy is simply an endeavor to exculpate the guilt of the U.S. national security state, which as a matter of simple ascertainable facts killed Kennedy for Cold War reasons. The audiotape which we will now discuss bears critically on the question of who killed Kennedy and why.

My 1998 Dallas speech contains many data that compel the conclusion of a high-level national security conspiracy to kill President Kennedy. I will excerpt one concept from that speech. It involves, like the Lardner article, an audiotape. I submit that this audiotape disproves the theory espoused by Blakey that the Mafia and/or renegade elements killed Kennedy.

Readers will no doubt recall the 18 - minute gap in the Watergate tapes which served to prove the guilt of and brought down President Richard M. Nixon and his cohorts. I will demonstrate how the U.S. national security state destroyed not 18 - minutes of tape, but about 5 - hours of three tapes, which proved their guilt in the killing of President Kennedy.

In November of 1966, I read Theodore H. White's The Making of the President, 1964. On page 9 of the book I came across the following:

There is a tape recording in the archives of the government which best recaptures the sound of the hours as it waited for leadership. It is a recording of all the conversations in the air, monitored by the Signal Corps Midwestern center "Liberty," between Air Force One in Dallas, The Cabinet plane over the Pacific, and the Joint Chiefs Communications Center in Washington.

Then on page 33 I read the following about the flight back to Washington, D.C. from Dallas:

On the flight the party learned that there was no conspiracy, learned of the identity of Oswald and his arrest; and the President's mind turned to the duties of consoling the stricken and guiding the quick.

I knew that on November 23, 1963, The Dallas Morning News had informed its readers that the Dallas District Attorney, Henry Wade, stated: "Preliminary reports indicated more than one person was involved in the shootingthe electric chair is too good for the killers."

Despite the evidence of conspiracy of which Dealey Plaza reeked, the White House Situation Room had informed President Johnson and the other occupants of Air Force One that, notwithstanding what they may have smelled, seen and felt in Dealey Plaza which spoke of a conspiratorial crossfire, Oswald was to be designated as the lone assassin.

I wrote to Mr. White. Mr. White replied by letter that the communications to Air Force One and to the Cabinet Plane were "By government radio-all relays go through a big Signal Corps center In the Midwest-and the White House was in constant communications with the plane."

I then wrote to Dr. Robert Bahmer, Archivist of the United States, requesting access to the tape. Dr. Bahmer replied:

We have no knowledge of the existence or location of the tape recording mentioned by Mr. White, despite having made some efforts since the receipt of your letter to obtain some information about it.

I then noted that Pierre Salinger in his book, With Kennedy, (Avon Books, New York, New York 10019 (1969) reported what the party on the Cabinet Plane heard:

The message kept coming off the wire service machine and finally one started grinding out the story of Lee Harvey Oswald and his previous life in Russia (pp. 27-28)

So, I wrote to Pierre Salinger on December 3,1966:

In your fine work, With Kennedy, you make mention of radio communications between the White House and the cabinet plane over the Pacific on November 22, 1953 (p. 10) You identify "Stranger" as Major Harold R. Patterson.

Theodore H. White, The Making of the President, 1964, also refers to taped conversations but particularly those related to dialogues with the Presidential plane, Air Force One.

I have asked the National Archives for a copy of this tape. Dr. Bahmer, the excellent Archivist of the United States, cannot locate it, although Mr. White states on page 9 of his book: "There is a tape recording in the archives of the government." I enclose Dr. Bahmer's letter; Mr. White will not provide any further information.

Specifically what I am about is the verification of what Mr. White states was on the tape, to wit: "On the flight the party learned that there was no conspiracy; learned of the identify of Oswald and his arrest; and the President's mind turned to the duties of consoling the stricken and guiding the quick." If such was said, before there was any evidence against Lee Harvey Oswald as the assassin, and while there was overwhelming evidence of a conspiracy, then the White House is in the interesting position of being the first to designate Oswald as the assassin and the first to have ruled out in the face of impressive evidence to the contrary, that there could have been a conspiracy.

Now, Mr. Salingerthat tape is being denied only to the American public Will you render this service to civilian rule and democracy for which President Kennedy gave his life?

Respectfully yours,

signed) Vincent J. Salandria

Mr. Salinger replied on December 26. He was most willing to serve civilian rule and democracy:

The section of my book dealing with the conversations between the White House and the Cabinet plane were taken from a transcript of the tape of those conversations made by the White House Communication Agency. I have never either read or heard the tape to which Mr. White refers, i.e. the conversations with Air Force One. Since the tape with which I worked was provided by the White House Communication Agency, it would seem to me that the tape of the conversation to which you refer would emanate from the same source, if such a tape, in fact, exists.

As to the conversation with the cabinet plane, the transcript of that conversation is in my personal files, which have been turned over to the National Archives for placement in the Kennedy Library. I certainly have no objection to your seeing that transcript.

I again wrote to Dr. Bahmer, who replied:

After receipt of your letter of December 28, a careful examination was made of the papers that Mr. Salinger has sent to us for storage. We have not, however, been able to find anything in the nature of a transcript of the tape recording that you are searching for.

So I wrote directly to the White House Communication Agency requesting access to the tape recording. James U. Cross, Armed Forces Aide to the President, replied:

I have been asked to respond to your letter, addressed to theWhite House Communication Agency, concerning a tape recording to Air Force One, November 22, 1963.

Logs and tapes of the radio transmission of military aircraft, Including those of Air Force One, are kept for official use only. These tapes are not releasable, nor are they obtainable.

I am sorry my response cannot be more favorable.

Of course, Cross lied. They were obtainable by Theodore H. White and Pierre Salinger for non-official use.

Robert Manning, Kennedy's Assistant Secretary of State, who on November 22, 1963 was on the Cabinet plane over the Pacific, confirmed the content of these messages in 1993 for Public Affairs. He reported having heard the same account of Oswald being designated as the presumed assassin. (Gerald S. and Deborah H. Strober, Let Us Begin Anew, An Oral History of the Kennedy Presidency, Harper Collins Publisher, 1993)

Mr. Douglas P. Horne, a staff member of the Assassination Records Review Board, spoke at the Lancer conference in Dallas in November, 1999. He spoke at length of the Review Board's fruitless attempt to locate the audio taped communications to Air Force One. He informed the audience that it was a shame that the 6 or 7 hours of three separate tapes appears to be gone from this world. 18 - minutes of missing tapes was a fatal matter which caused the Nixon Presidency to unravel. A 90-minute, edited tape of Air Force One communications is extant and can be purchased commercially. The disappearance of some 5 - hours of this vital tape which was made to disappear by the U.S. military leaves our national security state, the force behind the assassination of a peace-seeking President John F. Kennedy, undisturbed and still the preeminent power extending U.S. military hegemony throughout the globe.

We know from the three sources (which we have supplied) what is contained on those three tapes and what is proven by those tapes with respect to the institutional involvement of our national security state in the killing of President Kennedy.

What else do we know from the U.S. military's criminal withholding of tapes which I early advised them was direct evidence that the national security state had planned and carried out the execution of President Kennedy?

* Oswald was framed by the U.S. military as the lone assassin.

* The Situation Room of the White House first fingered Oswald as the lone assassin when an innocent government, with so much evidence in Dealey Plaza of conspiracy, would have been keeping all options open. Therefore this premature birth of the single-assassin myth points to the highest institutional structure of our warfare state as guilty of the crime of killing Kennedy. Such a source does not take orders from the Mafia nor from renegade elements. But such a source is routinely given to using the Mafia and supposedly out-of-control renegade sources to do its bidding.

* McGeorge Bundy was in charge of the Situation Room and was spending that fateful afternoon receiving phone calls from President Johnson, who was calling from Air Force One when the lone-assassin myth was prematurely given birth. (Bishop, Jim, The Day Kennedy Was Shot, New York & Funk Wagnalls, 1968), p. 154) McGeorge Bundy as the quintessential WASP establishmentarian did not take his orders from the Mafia and/or renegade elements.

* The U.S. military, in causing the Air Force One and Cabinet Plane audiotapes to disappear, demonstrated that it could involve itself without fear of punishment in obstruction of justice because Kennedy's assassination was a high state crime and the warfare state institutions which committed the crime were above punishment.

* A crime was committed in taking of the transcript of the Cabinet plane from the possessions of Pierre Salinger who had assigned those documents to the National Archives for transmittal to the Kennedy Library, and a lack of respect in committing this crime was shown to the Kennedy Library and the Kennedy family. But we state again that successful state crimes which effectively transfer and/or reorganize governmental power are crimes without punishment, and the criminals have no need to show respect to the deposed leader and his family.

* James U. Cross, Armed Forces Aide to the President, lied to me, and in so doing obstructed justice. But I understand that he was doing so under orders from higher military authority. I understand well that in the killing of Kennedy there will be no successful prosecution of the killers. There never are in state crimes committed by the world's superpower while it continues to maintain its hegemony over the globe.

What can we expect to follow from Lardner's tale of the Dealey Plaza tape? Let us make some predictions:

* The Mafia and/or renegade C.I.A. myth will be pushed by Blakey and others.

* The shop-warn and indefensible Warren Report single-assassin myth will be at least partially retired as no longer fit for prime time. It will be viewed by our media as "honestly mistaken," which it was not, rather than "clearly fraudulent," which it certainly was.

* The United States news media, while parading as a free press, will continue to work closely with U.S. military intelligence to pretend that there are mysteries surrounding the killing of President John F. Kennedy when the identity of the killers and their motives could not be clearer.

This is what we learn from an analysis of the tapes.


Vincent J. Salandria

E. Martin Schotz

Copyright 2001. All rights reserved.




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May 2001

February 21, 2001


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Did Robert Kennedy Kill His Brother?

Vincent J. Salandria

A review of In Love With Night–The American Romance with Robert Kennedy, by Ronald Steel (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2000).

The Pearson-Steel thesis

This is a stupid idea with no basis in fact whatsoever--blaming Robert Kennedy for the assassination of President Kennedy--but it has been espoused by a raft of not only insignificant commentators over the years, beginning with Drew Pearson in 1967, and most recently by Ronald Steel, an award-winning historian, in his recent book.

It is important to understand not only that this thesis is patently false, but also to understand how it serves the ongoing general propaganda mission of covering up the true nature of both assassinations. This mission, tragically, considering the loss of integrity involved, has been embraced and performed assiduously by virtually the whole of the mass media and academia, including the latter's so-called "progressive" elements, for almost four decades.

The truth is that Robert was a victim of the same powers that killed his brother, as polls have always told us most Americans agree, in stark contrast to their so-called "opinion leaders." In fact he was doubly victimized, by also being drawn, however reluctantly, into cooperating with the cover-up of the truth about JFK's assassination in the hope of attaining the presidency himself, until this vain hope precipitated his own assassination in 1968, on the very night he won the California primary and was virtually assured of becoming the Democratic presidential candidate in that mid-Vietnam-war year.

The "RFK did it" idea was first offered up by Drew Pearson in his regular column in the Washington Post on March 3, 1967. Castro, Pearson speculated, had become aware of the plot to kill him and decided to retaliate by having President Kennedy killed. Add this to the assumption (also false) that RFK was personally behind the CIA's attempts to assassinate Fidel, and presto, we have Pearson's conclusion that not only was RFK ultimately responsible for his brother's murder (by Castro), but was also "plagued by the terrible thought that he had helped put into motion terrible forces that indirectly may have brought about his brother’s martyrdom."

All of this was based on hearsay "evidence" provided by an FBI spy named Edward Morgan, whose sources admittedly were not directly involved in the assassination and whom he refused to identify--in other words, pure gossip.

Ronald Steel continues this fantasy, speaking of "powerful" and even "overwhelming circumstantial evidence" that RFK, "through Operation Mongoose, had made the removal of Castro his personal responsibility and highest priority" and made "incessant demands of the CIA and the Mongoose planners to 'get Castro.'" This evidence consists exclusively of prattle directly attributable to CIA and Pentagon sources, which can hardly be considered reliable sources in this matter.

For example, Steel cites a statement in 1975 by then secretary of state Henry Kissinger to President Gerald Ford that Richard Helms of the CIA had informed him that "Robert Kennedy personally managed the operations on the assassination of Castro." This triple hearsay, originating from the mouth of a convicted xxxx (Helms lied under oath to a Senate committee to cover up CIA improprieties) is what Steel calls "overwhelming circumstantial evidence."

As a further example of Steel's scholarship, he swallows whole the Warren Report's contention that Oswald was a pro-Castro agent, failing even to mention the work of Philip H. Melanson, who did in fact present overwhelming evidence eleven years ago to prove that Oswald was not an agent of Castro but of the CIA. Nor should we be surprised that Steel ignores the statement of Castro himself, made the day after the assassination, in which he said that Oswald "was never Secretary or Chairman of any Fair Play for Cuba Committee in any city of the United States" and that President Kennedy’s assassination was the work of some elements who disagreed with his international policy; that is to say, with his nuclear treaty, with his policy with respect to Cuba… And what happened yesterday can only benefit those ultra-rightist and ultra-reactionary sectors, among which President Kennedy…cannot be included." (cf. E. M. Schotz, History Will Not Absolve Us, Appendix II, pp. 51-86).

But not unexpectedly, Steel, like the various post-Warren Commission government committees that "investigated" the assassination, hedges his bets. If it wasn't Castro, it was the Mafia.

The problem with the Mafia theory is logic. If the Mafia were powerful enough to kill the president and maintain the cover-up ever since, including controlling or deluding the Warren Commission, the Dallas police, the FBI, the CIA, and the entirety of the American press and academia, to this day, then there is no discernible distinction between the Mafia and the United States Government. It is just a question of terminology. I will follow the traditional practice, however, and call the government the government.

A second hedge, abundant in the assassination literature, is that if it wasn't Oswald, Castro, or the Mafia, it was "rogue" CIA agents. Steel is eager to embrace this foolish idea as well. "Perhaps," says Steel, "individuals linked to the CIA who feared after the missile crisis of 1962 that the Kennedys were not pushing hard enough against Castro" were behind the assassination.

This "rogue" agent theory has been popularized most successfully by John Newman, who arose full-blown from the depths of a career in Army intelligence and the National Security Agency in 1992 to become the media darling of assassination research. First Newman contended that JFK had intended to pull out of Vietnam--a quite credible thesis--and, three years later, that Oswald was in fact a CIA agent (as Melanson had already proved three years earlier), but did not act on behalf of the CIA . In other words, even though Oswald was an agent, the CIA as an institution remains blameless. I have taken Newman to task elsewhere for the absurdity and dishonesty of this position.

What was the real relationship between the Kennedys and Castro?

The historical record could not be clearer. At the very time that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, he was actively exploring the normalization of relations with Castro. In fact, Castro was a willing and most interested initiator of and participant in a peace-feeler project. Common sense dictates that we recognize that a president intent on normalizing relations with a foreign country would not be simultaneously trying to assassinate its head of state.

The U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961-1963, VOLUME XII, Cuban Missile Crisis and Aftermath tells us about the Kennedy-Khrushchev-Castro relationships which evolved as a consequence of the 1962 Missile Crisis. These documents make it clear that at the time of President Kennedy’s assassination Fidel Castro had much to lose and nothing to gain by JFK’s death, and also that Robert Kennedy had no reason to goad the CIA into killing Castro. The details of meetings between William Attwood, the U.S. emissary acting on the direct orders of President Kennedy, and Castro's representatives are detailed here, and are also re-confirmed by Attwod in his July 10, 1975, testimony to the Church Committee (Select Committee to Study Government Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities).

After the assassination, things were different.

The rapprochement with Castro had become a "more doubtful issue," and Attwood's efforts had lost much of their meaning since "Lee Oswald has been heralded as a pro-Castro type. Five days after the assassination, Johnson asked CIA director John McCone about the effectiveness of the "economic denial" program with Cuba and "how we planned to dispose of Castro." McCone's answer was that Cuba was exporting arms to Venezuela and that the U.S. should get the OAS to agree to "economic denial through blockade and even to possible invasion" of Cuba.

New courses of action were proposed to make life difficult for Castro, including precipitating a break in economic relations between Cuba and the rest of Latin America, "unleashing the exiles," and generally intensifying covert operations. On December 13, 1963, the Standing Group of the National Security Council authorized the CIA to develop the capacity to conduct air attacks against selective Cuban targets by autonomous exile groups, and endorse the intensification of these raids.

It is clear, then, that immediately following the assassination of President Kennedy, normalization efforts were snuffed out and replaced by a strategy involving an embargo (which continues to this day), blockade, and possibly invasion.

There are thus no grounds whatever, either in common sense or in the historical record, for the Pearson-Steel thesis. On the contrary, when Attwood was by the Church Committee in 1975 whether he had "heard any conversation by any Cuban about any possible past retaliation or future retaliation" for the attempts on Castro’s life, he replied that he had "never heard anything like that down there."

Why didn't Robert Kennedy challenge the Warren Report?

Steel's answer to this question is that to challenge the Warren Report would have made public "the CIA’s efforts to kill Castro and use the Mafia as hired killers," revelations that "would have strongly implicated both the Kennedys in these illegal activities" and would also have revealed that the president had "shared a mistress with a Mafia capo."

First of all, this explanation falls on its face because Robert Kennedy did challenge the Warren Report, privately. In One Hell of a Gamble, Aleklsandr Fursenko and Timothy Nafti, inform us that Jacqueline and Robert Kennedy sent William Walton, a close friend of President Kennedy, to Moscow on November 29, 1963 to deliver their analysis of the assassination. Walton told the Soviets that the Kennedys believed the killing of President Kennedy was "the result of a conspiracy." Four days earlier, in fact, the Soviets had come to their own conclusion that Kennedy had been killed by "extremely right-wing elements that did not like his policies, especially his policy toward Cuba." "By the end of December [1963] KGB analysts had concluded that an anti-Soviet Coup d’etat had occurred."

Publicly, Robert remained silent about the true nature of the killing of his brother because he deferred to the need to maintain domestic tranquility in the face of a high-level conspiracy far more powerful than the Kennedy family. Only the highest levels of the national security apparatus could have accomplished the following:

Using Oswald, a CIA operative, as a patsy.

Killing Oswald while he was in custody.

Spreading a broad pattern of false clues pointing to the Soviets and Cuba as suspects, yet opting for a lone assassin theory.

Ignoring the overwhelming and immediately available eyewitness and other solid forensic evidence in Dealey Plaza.

Ignoring the fact that persons were impersonating Secret Service Agents in Dealey Plaza where no Secret Service Agent had been assigned.

Ignoring the position of the holes in President Kennedy’s coat and shirt, which precluded an exit wound in the neck.

Ignoring the Parkland Hospital doctors’ opinion that the neck wound was an entry wound and that the wound in the back of the head was a massive exit wound.

Allowing the military officers present at the autopsy to prevent the doctors from tracing the neck and back wounds of the President so as to determine their trajectory.

Allowing one of the autopsy doctors, Commander James Humes, to burn his initial notes.

Allowing Allen Dulles, the Director of the CIA who had been fired by President Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs debacle, to be appointed to the Warren Commission.

Accepting as unchallenged evidence (Warren Commission Exhibit 399) an essentially pristine bullet that after flying in several directions through two bodies (Kennedy's and Connally's) and shattering several bones, left more metal in Connally's body than is missing from the bullet.

Not allowing the Warren Commissioners to examine the x-rays and photographs of the President’s autopsy.

Cleaning out the presidential limousine immediately after the execution, and then unlawfully shipping it out of Dallas, the jurisdiction of the crime, to be stripped and refitted, thereby destroying the evidence of the bullet impacts upon the vehicle.

Allowing Life Magazine to withhold the eight millimeter film of Abraham Zapruder which showed, inter alia, that following the impact of a bullet on Kennedy’s head his body was propelled leftward and backward onto the rear seat of the limousine, contradicting the Warren Report's contention that the bullet was fired by Oswald from the rear.

Allowing Life Magazine to then lie about the content of the film, and claim that Kennedy had turned completely around to receive a frontal hit from the rear.

Allowing Life Magazine to change a single issue of October 2, 1964 twice in order to conceal the visual documentation of a head shot from the right front.

Deleting from the Warren Commission Exhibits the testimony of Jacqueline Kennedy regarding the wounds of the President.

Allowing Deputy Attorney General Nicholas de Katzenbach send memoranda dating from November 25, 1963 to December 9, 1963 to Chief Justice Earl Warren and others stating that "The public must be satisfied that Oswald was the assassin; that he did not have confederates who are still at large; and the evidence was such that he would have been convicted at trial."

The writing is on the wall--but it is obviously not on the walls of newspaper or university offices. This is the only truth to be gleaned from Steel's book.


Vincent J. Salandria

E. Martin Schotz

Copyright 2002. All rights reserved.




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About E. Martin Schotz

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February 21, 2001

May 2001

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Thanks for posting the articles. I have one comment, concerning what Salandria wrote to Salinger about the tape of WH communication with AF1:

Specifically what I am about is the verification of what Mr. White states was on the tape, to wit: "On the flight the party learned that there was no conspiracy; learned of the identify of Oswald and his arrest; and the President's mind turned to the duties of consoling the stricken and guiding the quick."

There are two possible interpretations of what White wrote, since he provides no direct quote of the tape. One interpretation is Salandria's, that the Situation Room (i.e. the military) informed AF1 that there was no conspiracy. But another interpretation is that this is White imposing his own Oswald-did-it certainty on his readers. (I'm assuming White believed Oswald did it, because I don't know of any presidential "historian" who doesn't.) IOW White is saying that we all know that Oswald did it, and Johnson learned as much on the flight back to Washington due to the arrest and background of Oswald. In fact the Situation Room may have made no such explicit assumption in reporting on Oswald's arrest and background.

That said, if it's true, as Salandria perhaps too eagerly interprets it, that the Situation Room announced to AF1 that there was no conspiracy, then it establishes that a decision was made by the military to go the lone nut route (assuming that had been Plan B, with Plan A being to blame a conspiracy on Castro) after Oswald was taken alive, and Johnson was being told to proceed with the coverup on that basis.


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Dawn, I appreciate your belief that I have an open mind. I like to think I do and have over time changed my opinion on various matters, some involving the assassination. And I try to read as much as I can from all points of view. In fact, I had read both of these articles before.

Two brief comments.

Salandria wrote:

It is clear, then, that immediately following the assassination of President Kennedy, normalization efforts were snuffed out and replaced by a strategy involving an embargo (which continues to this day), blockade, and possibly invasion.

Salandria is an extremely intelligent person. This passage, however, shows that what he wrote is bunk.

The embargo against Cuba started under JFK before the assassination. It was not first started by LBJ AFTER the assassination. History is clear on that.

There were plans in place for a second invasion BEFORE the assassination. There were no NEW plans started AFTER the assassination.

The historical record is clear that the bellicose actions taken against Cuba during the Kennedy administration were wound down by LBJ. The documents as well as the memoirs of top Democratic strategist Joseph Califano confirms this.

Clearly in that statement Salandria has turned the history on its head. If any one can effectively argue that the bellicosity of US actions against Castro INCREASED under LBJ, I'd certainly like to hear the logic.

Another point, Dawn: In one of the articles Sandria states that a military aide "obstructed justice" by lying to him about something. To the best of my knowledge, a lie to a law enforcement or government official constitutes the obstruction of justice. I am not aware that a lie made to a private citizen ever constitutes the obstruction of justice. Am I wrong about this?

Edited by Tim Gratz
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Thank you Dawn.

Ignore the disinformation.

Salandria is one of the greatest critical thinkers in the field.

I'm in total agreement with you guys here, BTW.

Here's something I remember posted by Chris Cox from this forum's database, regarding Blakely's appointment of Georges E. Johannides to the committee, that I found important enough to save for my personal files on Johannides:

(9) G. Robert Blakey statement on the Central Intelligence Agency in 2003.

I am no longer confident that the Central Intelligence Agency co-operated with the committee. My reasons follow:

The committee focused, among other things, on (1) Oswald, (2) in New Orleans, (3) in the months before he went to Dallas, and, in particular, (4) his attempt to infiltrate an anti-Castro group, the Directorio Revolucionario Estudiantil or DRE.

These were crucial issues in the Warren Commission's investigation; they were crucial issues in the committee's investigation. The Agency knew it full well in 1964; the Agency knew it full well in 1976-79. Outrageously, the Agency did not tell the Warren Commission or our committee that it had financial and other connections with the DRE, a group that Oswald had direct dealings with!

What contemporaneous reporting is or was in the Agency's DRE files? We will never know, for the Agency now says that no reporting is in the existing files. Are we to believe that its files were silent in 1964 or during our investigation?

I don't believe it for a minute. Money was involved; it had to be documented. Period. End of story. The files and the Agency agents connected to the DRE should have been made available to the commission and the committee. That the information in the files and the agents who could have supplemented it were not made available to the commission and the committee amounts to willful obstruction of justice.

Obviously, too, it did not identify the agent who was its contact with the DRE at the crucial time that Oswald was in contact with it: George Joannides.

During the relevant period, the committee's chief contact with the Agency on a day-to-day basis was Scott Breckinridge. (I put aside our point of contact with the office of chief counsel, Lyle Miller) We sent researchers to the Agency to request and read documents. The relationship between our young researchers, law students who came with me from Cornell, was anything but "happy." Nevertheless, we were getting and reviewing documents. Breckinridge, however, suggested that he create a new point of contact person who might "facilitate" the process of obtaining and reviewing materials. He introduced me to Joannides, who, he said, he had arranged to bring out of retirement to help us. He told me that he had experience in finding documents; he thought he would be of help to us.

I was not told of Joannides' background with the DRE, a focal point of the investigation. [i don't believe THAT for a minute, either. TM] Had I known who he was, he would have been a witness who would have been interrogated under oath by the staff or by the committee. He would never have been acceptable as a point of contact with us to retrieve documents. In fact, I have now learned, as I note above, that Joannides was the point of contact between the Agency and DRE during the period Oswald was in contact with DRE.

That the Agency would put a "material witness" in as a "filter" between the committee and its quests for documents was a flat out breach of the understanding the committee had with the Agency that it would co-operate with the investigation.

The committee's researchers immediately complained to me that Joannides was, in fact, not facilitating but obstructing our obtaining of documents. I contacted Breckinridge and Joannides. Their side of the story wrote off the complaints to the young age and attitude of the people.

They were certainly right about one question: the committee's researchers did not trust the Agency. Indeed, that is precisely why they were in their positions. We wanted to test the Agency's integrity. I wrote off the complaints. I was wrong; the researchers were right. I now believe the process lacked integrity precisely because of Joannides.

For these reasons, I no longer believe that we were able to conduct an appropriate investigation of the Agency and its relationship to Oswald. Anything that the Agency told us that incriminated, in some fashion, the Agency may well be reliable as far as it goes, but the truth could well be that it materially understates the matter.

What the Agency did not give us none but those involved in the Agency can know for sure. I do not believe any denial offered by the Agency on any point. The law has long followed the rule that if a person lies to you on one point, you may reject all of his testimony.

I now no longer believe anything the Agency told the committee any further than I can obtain substantial corroboration for it from outside the Agency for its veracity. We now know that the Agency withheld from the Warren Commission the CIA-Mafia plots to kill Castro. Had the commission known of the plots, it would have followed a different path in its investigation. The Agency unilaterally deprived the commission of a chance to obtain the full truth, which will now never be known.

Significantly, the Warren Commission's conclusion that the agencies of the government cooperated with it is, in retrospect, not the truth.

We also now know that the Agency set up a process that could only have been designed to frustrate the ability of the committee in 1976-79 to obtain any information that might adversely affect the Agency.

Many have told me that the culture of the Agency is one of prevarication and dissimulation and that you cannot trust it or its people. Period. End of story.

I am now in that camp. [You're a day late and a dollar short, Blakey. TM]

(10) G. Robert Blakey was interviewed by ABC News in 2003.

ABC News: Let me ask you: 40 years after the fact and 25 years after your investigation, who killed John F. Kennedy?

Blakey: Lee Harvey Oswald killed John Kennedy. Two shots from behind. The evidence is simply overwhelming. You have to be lacking in judgment and experience in dealing with the evidence to think that Lee Harvey Oswald did not kill President Kennedy. That's really not the problem. The problem is: Was there something beyond Lee Harvey Oswald? And now what you do is you look at the evidence.

ABC News: How many shots were fired at Dealey Plaza?

Blakey: What we did is determine that there were in fact four shots. Our scientists looked at a tape we found, and they did a scientific analysis of it, and it indicated four shots in the plaza, three from the depository and one from the grassy knoll. That meant there were two shooters in the plaza, two shooters in the plaza equal a conspiracy.

The first shot from the depository by Lee Harvey Oswald missed. The second shot about 1.6 seconds later, hit the president in the back of the neck. (The bullet exited Kennedy and) hit John Connally. It hit his wrist, hit his leg. Now six seconds from the second shot, we think a shot came from the grassy knoll. It missed the president. The shot from the grassy knoll missed. The X-rays, the autopsy, all of that indicates the president was not hit by a shot from any other direction. Seven-tenths of a second after that, the third shot, fourth in the row, third shot from the depository, hits the president right in the back of the head.

The shot from the grassy knoll is not only supported by the acoustics, which is a tape that we found of a police motorcycle broadcast back to the district station. It is corroborated by eyewitness testimony in the plaza. There were 20 people, at least, who heard a shot from the grassy knoll.

ABC News: In your book you point the finger squarely at Carlos Marcello and his organization. Why would he want to kill Kennedy?

Blakey: Carlos Marcello was being subject to the most vigorous investigation he had ever experienced in his life, designed to put him in jail. He was in fact summarily, without due process, deported to Guatemala. He took the deportation personally. He hated the Kennedys. He had the motive, the opportunity and the means in Lee Harvey Oswald to kill him. I think he did through Oswald.

ABC News: How central is Jack Ruby's murder of Oswald to your understanding of this case?

Blakey: To understand who killed President Kennedy and did he have help, I think you have to understand what happened to the assassin of President Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald. I see Jack Ruby's assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald as a mob hit.

This is in direct contradiction to the Warren Commission. The Warren Commission portrayed, wrongly I think, Jack Ruby as a wild card who serendipitously got into position to kill Oswald. I think in fact he stalked him. I can show you from the Warren Commission's evidence that he tried to get into where he was being interrogated, number one. That he tried to get in where there was going to be a lineup, number two. That he was seen around the garage, where he was announced that he was going to be moved. And we know, from Jack Ruby himself, that he had a gun with him at the time of the lineup.

I believe that Ruby was able to get in to kill Oswald through the corrupt cooperation of the Dallas P.D., that he was let in through a back door and he was given an opportunity to kill Oswald. I see that, therefore, as a mob hit. And if that's a mob hit, there is only one reason for it, and that is to cover up the assassination of the president himself. You kill the killer.

ABC News: Since you believe that Lee Oswald shot the president, and you also believe that Carlos Marcello was behind the assassination, what connections do you point to between Oswald and Marcello?

Blakey: I can show you that Lee Harvey Oswald knew, from his boyhood forward, David Ferrie, and David Ferrie was an investigator for Carlos Marcello on the day of the assassination, with him in a court room in New Orleans. I can show you that Lee Harvey Oswald, when he grew up in New Orleans, lived with the Dutz Murret family (one of Oswald's uncles). Dutz Murret is a bookmaker for Carlos Marcello.

I can show you that there's a bar in New Orleans, and back in the '60s, bars used to have strippers and the strippers circuit is from Jack Ruby's strip joint in Dallas to Marcello-connected strip joints in the New Orleans area. So I can bring this connection.

Did Lee Harvey Oswald grow up in a criminal neighborhood? Yes. Did he have a mob-connected family? Did he have mob-connected friends? Was he known to them to be a crazy guy? He's out publicly distributing Fair Play for Cuba leaflets. If you wanted to enlist him in a conspiracy that would initially appear to be communist and not appear to be organized crime, he's the perfect candidate. Ex-Marine, marksman, probably prepared to kill the president for political reasons.

Could he be induced to kill the president for organized crime reasons unbeknownst to him? I think the answer is yes and compelling.

(11) Letter signed by a group of authors including G. Robert Blakey, Anthony Summers, John McAdams, Gerald Posner, in the New York Review of Books (18th December, 2003)

[Hey Tim, we've even got your best friend, Mr. McAdams here! TM :rant ]

As published authors of divergent views on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, we urge the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Defense to observe the spirit and letter of the 1992 JFK Assassination Records Act by releasing all relevant records on the activities of a career CIA operations officer named George E. Joannides, who died in 1990.

Joannides's service to the US government is a matter of public record and is relevant to the Kennedy assassination story. In November 1963, Joannides served as the chief of the Psychological Warfare branch in the CIA's Miami station. In 1978, he served as the CIA's liaison to the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA).

The records concerning George Joannides meet the legal definition of "assassination-related" JFK records that must be "immediately" released under the JFK Records Act. They are assassination-related because of contacts between accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald and a CIA-sponsored Cuban student group that Joannides guided and monitored in August 1963.

Declassified portions of Joannides's personnel file confirm his responsibility in August 1963 for reporting on the "propaganda" and "intelligence collection" activities of the Directorio Revolucionario Estudantil (DRE), a prominent organization known in the North American press as the Cuban Student Directorate.

George Joannides's activities were assassination-related in at least two ways.

(1) In August 1963, Oswald attempted to infiltrate the New Orleans delegation of the DRE. The delegation—dependent on $25,000 a month in CIA funds provided by Joannides—publicly denounced Oswald as an unscrupulous sympathizer of Fidel Castro.

(2) After Kennedy was killed three months later, on November 22, 1963, DRE members spoke to reporters from The New York Times and other news outlets, detailing Oswald's pro-Castro activities. Within days of the assassination, the DRE published allegations that Oswald had acted on Castro's behalf.

The imperative of disclosure is heightened by the fact that the CIA has, in the past, failed to disclose George Joannides's activities. In 1978, Joannides was called out of retirement to serve as the agency's liaison to the House Select Committee on Assassinations. The agency did not reveal to the Congress his role in the events of 1963, compromising the committee's investigation.

In 1998, the Agency again responded inaccurately to public inquiries about Joannides. The Agency's Historic Review Office informed the JFK Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) that it was unable to identify the case officer for the DRE in 1963. The ARRB staff, on its own, located records confirming that Joannides had been the case officer.

This is not a record that inspires public confidence or quells conspiracy-mongering. To overcome misunderstanding, the CIA and the Defense Department should make a diligent good-faith effort to identify and release any documents about George Joannides.

The government should make these records public in conjunction with the fortieth anniversary of the Kennedy assassination on November 22, 2003, so as to help restore public confidence and to demonstrate the agencies' commitment to compliance with the JFK Assassination Records Act.

Thanks to John Simkin, and to Chrissie Cox for pointing this out.


Edited by Terry Mauro
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Shanet wrote:

Thank you Dawn.

Ignore the disinformation.

Salandria is one of the greatest critical thinkers in the field.

Please note that Shanet did not, because he could not, respond to my criticism of the Salandria article that stood history on its head by asserting that US efforts against Castro intensified under LBJ while it is clear that exactly the reverse was true.

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Salandria wrote:

Specifically what I am about is the verification of what Mr. White states was on the tape, to wit: "On the flight the party learned that there was no conspiracy; learned of the identify of Oswald and his arrest; and the President's mind turned to the duties of consoling the stricken and guiding the quick." . . .

* The Situation Room of the White House first fingered Oswald as the lone assassin when an innocent government, with so much evidence in Dealey Plaza of conspiracy, would have been keeping all options open. Therefore this premature birth of the single-assassin myth points to the highest institutional structure of our warfare state as guilty of the crime of killing Kennedy. . . .

* McGeorge Bundy was in charge of the Situation Room and was spending that fateful afternoon receiving phone calls from President Johnson, who was calling from Air Force One when the lone-assassin myth was prematurely given birth. (Bishop, Jim, The Day Kennedy Was Shot, New York & Funk Wagnalls, 1968), p. 154)

I've happened across a news item that pretty much confirms what Salandria says. It's from the book The President Has Been Shot. Charles Roberts of Newsweek was on AF1 as it returned to Washington with the president's body. He wrote this about the arrival at Andrews and the unloading of the casket (p. 141):

"I remember looking at (McGeorge) Bundy because I was wondering if he had any word of what had happened in the world while we were in transit, whether this assassination was part of a plot. And he told me later that what he reported to the president during that flight back was that the whole world was stunned, but there was no evidence of a conspiracy at all."


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Again, Shanet wrote:

Salandria is one of the greatest critical thinkers in the field.

Just reread some e-mails between Salandria and Michael Morrissey in which Salandria claims the reputable left-wing magazine "The Nation" was part of a criminal conspiracy in the Kennedy case. This statement just boggles the mind!

Some critical thinker!

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To Rom"

I am no fan of McBundy, but this statement hardly seems conspiratorial.

Was the statement not true at the time McBundy made it? In fact, is it not true that even today many (most?) establishment-types (Sorenson might be a good example) assert there was no conspiracy despite the evidence of which we are now aware.

The fact that one states there is no evidence of a conspiracy hardly makes one a part of the conspiracy, regardless of how illogical the assertion seems to us. This, of course, was the error Salandria made re "The Nation". Since "The Nation" did noy support his conspiracy theories, it was (to him) a criminal part of the conspiracy. To me this is similar to Robert Welch's assertion that Eisenhower was a "conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy".

Again, at the time he made the statement, McBundy was aware of no evidence of a conspiracy. If he is properly quoted, his statement was certainly premature. It was certainly too early on Friday afternoon to determine if Oswald had any help or encouragement. The most that could be said was that it appeared Oswald had been the sole shooter and had been apprehended. But that does not make McBundy a part of a conspiracy.

McBundy may have also been trying to calm things down out of a concern that any premature talk of a conspiracy would lead to a foreign government due to Oswald's defection to the Soviet Union and links to Cuba. Remember the Dallas DA had prepared a complaint alleging a foreign conspiracy and LBJ through his aide ordered the allegation of a conspiracy be removed.

Maybe I can get John off my back. McBundy was a Democrat. I should add that I don't read Ron as necessarily postulating that McBundy was a conspirator but he was simply posting the information.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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Dawn and others:

Who was Jack Ruby?

(1) Was he a member of the conspiracy?

(2) If your answer to (1) is no that must mean the conspirators did not silence

the "patsy". Maybe Ruby just beat them to the "punch".

(3) If Ruby was a conspirator, to whom was he linked? The Mob? Or the

Secret team or the Invisible Government or the MIC or whatever big

bad boogeyman you assert was behind the assassination?

How in the world can the Mafia be considered a "false sponsor"? The Mafia was obviously involved. The question is whether it had partners or whether it acted alone.

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I don't read Ron as necessarily postulating that McBundy was a conspirator but he was simply posting the information.


I don't know if Bundy was a conspirator or not. But it seems obvious that he was passing along to Johnson the conspirators' decision (made as a result of the arrest of Oswald) to go with a lone nut scenario.

While Bundy may have seen nothing sinister in passing along the message "There is no evidence at all of a conspiracy," it told Johnson all that he needed to know.


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Just reread some e-mails between Salandria and Michael Morrissey in which Salandria claims the reputable left-wing magazine "The Nation" was part of a criminal conspiracy in the Kennedy case.  This statement just boggles the mind!

Some critical thinker!

Salandria is of course right about this. For the cover-up to have worked it was vitally important to shape the views of left of centre newspapers and magazines. This is what Operation Mockingbird was all about. Those on the left of magazines like the Nation are then described as being the work of "communists" and "KGB agents". See for example how Thomas Buchanan, Joachim Joesten and Mark Lane were treated when they questioned the Warren Commission Report. Why some people are still doing this? Are they not Tim?

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John, you assert that "The Nation" was part of a criminal conspiracy?

My gosh!

Anyone who disagrees with your position is either a disinformation agent or a criminal? Is that what it comes down to?

It becomes CRIMINAL to have an honest disagreement?

It is your position that Noam Chosky is a CRIMINAL? And Gerald Posner as well then? And Max Holland?

Chomsky, Posner and Holland are wrong--clearly wrong, in my opinion. But they are not criminals!

Is there anyone who disagrees with your theory who you think is simply wrong but not a CRIMINAL?

This reminds me of George Orwell and the Thought Police. If you do not accept the "conventional wisdom" of the far left, you are a CRIMINAL!

So do you go so far that you would criminally prosecute Chomsky, Posner and Holland?

So much for tolerance of other people's ideas! Throw 'em in the clink until they will confess it was a internal government plot!

Edited by Tim Gratz
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