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William Turner: Rearview Mirror


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One of the best books I have read recently is Rearview Mirror. William Turner is a former FBI agent who was highly critical of J. Edgar Hoover. In 1961 Turner was dismissed from the FBI. He hired Edward Bennett Williams and sued the FBI but lost. However he did manage to get anti-Hoover testimony by other agents into the record.

Turner became a journalist and in 1963 he investigated the assassination of JFK and concluded that he was the victim of a conspiracy. Later, as senior editor of the radical magazine, Ramparts, he worked with Jim Garrison, the district attorney of New Orleans.

Books by Turner include Hoover's FBI: The Men and the Myth (1970), Power on the Right (1973), The Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy (1978), The Fish Is Red: The Story of the Secret War Against Castro (1981), Deadly Secrets (1992) and Mission Not Accomplished: How Bush Lost the War on Terrorism (2004).

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There is a very interesting passage in your book about the Jim Garrison investigation:

"Eladio del Valle's body was found in a Miami parking lot twelve hours after Ferrie's was discovered in New Orleans. The DA investigator who was searching for del Valle, Bernardo De Torres, turned out to be a suspicious character in his own right. A veteran of the Bay of Pigs, De Torres showed up on Garrison's doorstep early in the probe, saying he was a private detective from Miami who wanted to help, and dropping the name of Miami DA Richard Gerstein, a friend of Garrison's, as an opener. In retrospect, Garrison remembered that every lead De Torres developed ended up in a box canyon. He also learned that De Torres was forwarding reports on his investigation to the Miami CIA station. In 1977 the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) came to believe that De Torres might have played a role in Dallas. "De Torres has pictures of Dealey Plaza in a safe-deposit box," a HSCA report states. "These pictures were taken during the assassination of JFK." When hauled before the committee, De Torres denied any implication."

I also have good reason to believe that Bernardo de Torres was involved in the assassination of JFK. I also believe he is still being protected by the CIA. Could you tell us anymore about the belief that De Torres has pictures of Dealey Plaza in a safe-deposit box? Do you know who gave this evidence to the HSCA?

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On page 299 of Rearview Mirror you refer to a CIA campaign entitled Operation Nightingale (Countering Criticism of the Warren Report). You add that “Nightingale was a companion piece to the older Operation Mockingbird, which proselytized journalists, writers and broadcasters to act as covert assets manipulating public opinion.” You then refer to CIA document 1035-960. Does this relate to Nightingale or to the much wider Mockingbird? Have you a copy of this document?

It seems that the way the CIA and FBI controlled the media response to the JFK assassination was extremely important in the cover-up. People in Europe saw the assassination of JFK very differently to those in America. Our press was allowed to report the event based on the evidence available. It is no coincidence that the first books that appeared suggesting a conspiracy were published in Europe and not the United States: Thomas G. Buchanan’s Who Killed Kennedy? (1964) and Joachim Joesten’s Oswald, Assassin or Fall Guy? (1964). It is also relevant that the American media portrayed Buchanan and Joesten as communists working on behalf of the Soviet Union.

It is true that most Americans now accept that JFK was killed as a result of a conspiracy. However, the vast majority of them believe that it was either a Mafia or Castro/KGB conspiracy. Although they are willing to accept that CIA “rogue” agents might have been involved, the idea that a coup d'etat took place, is of the agenda. So also is the idea that the American media has (and is) participated in this cover-up. Until recently (when I rewrote the entry), Wikipedia was telling its readers that Operation Mockingbird was an “urban myth”.

It is your opinion that a coup d'etat took place in 1963? Or are you of the opinion that the Mafia/Castro/KGB were involved in the assassination?

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Bill, Is Jim Rose still around?

Jim Rose died four years ago.

Could you tell us anymore about the belief that De Torres has pictures of Dealey Plaza in a safe-deposit box? Do you know who gave this evidence to the HSCA?

What I published about de Torres came from Jim Garrison and his chief investigator, Lou Ivon. I don't know who gave the info about de Torres having pictures of Dealey Plaza in a safe depositt box to HSCA. Gaeton Fonzi might know.

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On page 299 of Rearview Mirror you refer to a CIA campaign entitled Operation Nightingale (Countering Criticism of the Warren Report). You add that “Nightingale was a companion piece to the older Operation Mockingbird, which proselytized journalists, writers and broadcasters to act as covert assets manipulating public opinion.” You then refer to CIA document 1035-960. Does this relate to Nightingale or to the much wider Mockingbird? Have you a copy of this document?

CIA document 1035-960 refers to Nightingale. To the best of my recollection, the document appeared in a publication by Al Neves.

Is it your opinion that a coup d'etat took place in 1963? Or are you of the opinion that the Mafia/Castro/KGB were involved in the assassination?

I do not believe that JFK was a Mafia/Castro/KGB plot. I do believe that it was a Mafia/CIA plot deploying Cuban exiles at the operational level. Obviously John McCone was not involved. But Phillips and/or Angelton may have been.

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  • 2 weeks later...
In my opinion Thomas G. Buchanan was the ghost writer of "Farewell America." He fits the profile given to me by Herve Lamarre, the French intelligence agent who fronted the Farewell project. Buchanan was far from a Communist. He was a World War II veteran, an Ivy Leaguer and a correspondent for L'Express, for whom he covered the Jack Ruby trial.

According to Kenneth Rahn, Buchanan was sacked by Washington Evening Star in 1948 after it was discovered that he was a member of the American Communist Party.

http://karws.gso.uri.edu/JFK/JFK.html

Buchanan was blacklisted and was forced to leave the United States. In 1951 Buchanan settled in France and eventually became head of the Programming Department of the General Organisation Company in Paris.

Is it possible that Jean Daniel was the author of Farewell America? I suspect that Buchanan got a lot of his information from Daniel, who agreed to carry out negotiations with Castro for JFK. Daniel had a meeting with JFK a few days before he was assassinated. Daniel was also with Castro when news arrived of JFK's death.

In March, 1964, Buchanan began publishing articles about the assassination of JFK in L’ Express. At the time Daniel was foreign editor of L'Express. What is clear from these articles and his book, Who Killed Kennedy?, is that he had an important contact from within the Warren Commission. Interestingly, Buchanan appears to have been the first writer to suggest that Lyndon B. Johnson and "Texas oil interests" were responsible for Kennedy's death.

Do you know if Buchanan and Daniel are still alive?

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In my opinion Thomas G. Buchanan was the ghost writer of "Farewell America." He fits the profile given to me by Herve Lamarre, the French intelligence agent who fronted the Farewell project. Buchanan was far from a Communist. He was a World War II veteran, an Ivy Leaguer and a correspondent for L'Express, for whom he covered the Jack Ruby trial.

According to Kenneth Rahn, Buchanan was sacked by Washington Evening Star in 1948 after it was discovered that he was a member of the American Communist Party.

http://karws.gso.uri.edu/JFK/JFK.html

Buchanan was blacklisted and was forced to leave the United States. In 1951 Buchanan settled in France and eventually became head of the Programming Department of the General Organisation Company in Paris.

Is it possible that Jean Daniel was the author of Farewell America? I suspect that Buchanan got a lot of his information from Daniel, who agreed to carry out negotiations with Castro for JFK. Daniel had a meeting with JFK a few days before he was assassinated. Daniel was also with Castro when news arrived of JFK's death.

In March, 1964, Buchanan began publishing articles about the assassination of JFK in L’ Express. At the time Daniel was foreign editor of L'Express. What is clear from these articles and his book, Who Killed Kennedy?, is that he had an important contact from within the Warren Commission. Interestingly, Buchanan appears to have been the first writer to suggest that Lyndon B. Johnson and "Texas oil interests" were responsible for Kennedy's death.

Do you know if Buchanan and Daniel are still alive?

I wasn't aware that Buchanan belonged to CPUSA. Whether he was or wasn't is immaterial. I have no doubt he ghosted Farewell America. He may well have gotten info from Jean Daniel. I don't know whether they are still alive.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello Bill Turner, a true Friend of JFK, and one of my personal heros.

I reading Joan Mellon's "Farewll to Justice" I expected her to have an attitude towards some of those who undermined Garrison's investigation, and to pinpoint the press that was bought off and the infiltrators who disrupted justice, but I was kind of surprised at some of her insinuations, especially towards Bill Turner.

In calling attention to Edgar Eugene Bradley, Carl MacIntyre's California assistant, Turner investigaged a legitimate suspect, and Garrison indicted him, but Mellen says, "...Neither Ivon nor Alcock would have been capable of the incompetence volunteers William Turner and 'Bill Boxley' now exhibited...No agreater disservice was done to Jim Garrison's work than Turner's and Boxley's targeting of Edgar Eugene Bradley..."

(p. 264)

There are official documents that reflect the fact and Mellen herself speculates that Edgar Eugene Bradley was mistaken or confused with Eugene Hale Brading - aka Jim Braden - who was taken into custody as a suspicous person at Dealey Plaza, and MacInytre was certainly a major operatior (more on that if requested), and Turner was certainly justified to investigate him.

I'd like to know Bill Turner's response to Mellen's book.

Also, Bill Turner's investigation into the CIA ship "Rex" is really significant and I'd like to call attention to that line of inquiry specifically, and all of the great work he's done in general. One of the first articles I read on the JFK Assassiantion was by Bill Turner in Ramparts, about the New Orleans angles, so I guess I can blame him for sparking my interest in this subject.

Bill Kelly - A friend of Bill Turner.

bkjfk3@yahoo.com

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Hello Bill Turner, a true Friend of JFK, and one of my personal heros.

I reading Joan Mellon's "Farewll to Justice" I expected her to have an attitude towards some of those who undermined Garrison's investigation, and to pinpoint the press that was bought off and the infiltrators who disrupted justice, but I was kind of surprised at some of her insinuations, especially towards Bill Turner.

In calling attention to Edgar Eugene Bradley, Carl MacIntyre's California assistant, Turner investigaged a legitimate suspect, and Garrison indicted him, but Mellen says, "...Neither Ivon nor Alcock would have been capable of the incompetence volunteers William Turner and 'Bill Boxley' now exhibited...No agreater disservice was done to Jim Garrison's work than Turner's and Boxley's targeting of Edgar Eugene Bradley..."

(p. 264)

There are official documents that reflect the fact and Mellen herself speculates that Edgar Eugene Bradley was mistaken or confused with Eugene Hale Brading - aka Jim Braden - who was taken into custody as a suspicous person at Dealey Plaza, and MacInytre was certainly a major operatior (more on that if requested), and Turner was certainly justified to investigate him.

I could not agree more. Bill Turner is also one of my heroes. It should not be forgotten the role that people like Turner and Hinckle played in challenging the Warren Commission report. Their work at Ramparts was vital in keeping the investigation alive. For example, Penn Jones’s work was only known to a few hundred people (the readers of the Midlothian Mirror), most of whom who were completely uninterested in the case, until Ramparts publicised his articles.

Bill Turner’s book (The Fish is Red : the Story of the Secret War Against Castro, 1981) also focused attention towards the role that the anti-Castro Cubans played in the assassination.

Bill Turner is also the most generous of writers. He never fails to respond to my questions concerning his investigations. I have not been able to get a copy of Joan Mellen’s book yet, but if she does attack important researchers like Bill Turner, her own credibility will be seriously undermined.

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Did you ever interview James Jesus Angleton. If so, what did you make of him? What role do you think he played in the JFK assassination cover-up?

In Gerald McKnight’s book, Breach of Trust, he explains how Angleton managed to replace John Whitten as the CIA investigator into the assassination (pages 87-88). Along with William Sullivan of the FBI, he wrote the report on the assassination. He was therefore in the best position to discover what had taken place. Later he leaked information to journalists that there was some sort of KGB/Castro plot. Most rejected they idea but Edward Epstein, Joe Trento and Gus Russo bought it. However, this is a very different story to what he told the Warren Commission. What do you think he was up to?

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Hello Bill Turner, a true Friend of JFK, and one of my personal heros.

I reading Joan Mellon's "Farewll to Justice" I expected her to have an attitude towards some of those who undermined Garrison's investigation, and to pinpoint the press that was bought off and the infiltrators who disrupted justice, but I was kind of surprised at some of her insinuations, especially towards Bill Turner.

In calling attention to Edgar Eugene Bradley, Carl MacIntyre's California assistant, Turner investigaged a legitimate suspect, and Garrison indicted him, but Mellen says, "...Neither Ivon nor Alcock would have been capable of the incompetence volunteers William Turner and 'Bill Boxley' now exhibited...No agreater disservice was done to Jim Garrison's work than Turner's and Boxley's targeting of Edgar Eugene Bradley..."

(p. 264)

There are official documents that reflect the fact and Mellen herself speculates that Edgar Eugene Bradley was mistaken or confused with Eugene Hale Brading - aka Jim Braden - who was taken into custody as a suspicous person at Dealey Plaza, and MacInytre was certainly a major operatior (more on that if requested), and Turner was certainly justified to investigate him.

I could not agree more. Bill Turner is also one of my heroes. It should not be forgotten the role that people like Turner and Hinckle played in challenging the Warren Commission report. Their work at Ramparts was vital in keeping the investigation alive. For example, Penn Jones’s work was only known to a few hundred people (the readers of the Midlothian Mirror), most of whom who were completely uninterested in the case, until Ramparts publicised his articles.

Bill Turner’s book (The Fish is Red : the Story of the Secret War Against Castro, 1981) also focused attention towards the role that the anti-Castro Cubans played in the assassination.

Bill Turner is also the most generous of writers. He never fails to respond to my questions concerning his investigations. I have not been able to get a copy of Joan Mellen’s book yet, but if she does attack important researchers like Bill Turner, her own credibility will be seriously undermined.

I don't believe that Bill T or Garrison confused E.E. Bradley with Jim Braden. There were more than a few people that pointed the finger at Bradley. Some or all may have had ulterior motives. Specifically Carol Aydlotte. Here's a footnote from a seminar on the CDL. ( I hate to re-type)

" Memo from Boxley to Garrison, March 19, 1968. Aydlotte had a falling out with Bradley after he allegedly got her kicked out of the John Birch Society. This may have been her way of getting back at him. For a full description of this incident, see Peter Noyes’ Legacy of Doubt. The memo covers quite a few interesting subjects. Aydlotte claims that her mother heard Bradley propose the use of the storm drain system as a location for the prospective assassination of JFK. A Reverend Brice, acquaintance of Bradley, told Garrison investigators that Bradley was supposed to meet with Ned Touchstone in Louisiana before proceeding to Dallas. Touchstone was the editor of The Councilor, a White Citizen’s Council newsletter based in Louisiana. "

Bradley's next door neighbor also implicated him. Her long and rambling interview mentions strange comings and goings, Minutemen activity, traveling to Dallas, etc. All inuendo with no real substance though.

Dave

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Hello Bill Turner, a true Friend of JFK, and one of my personal heros.

I reading Joan Mellon's "Farewll to Justice" I expected her to have an attitude towards some of those who undermined Garrison's investigation, and to pinpoint the press that was bought off and the infiltrators who disrupted justice, but I was kind of surprised at some of her insinuations, especially towards Bill Turner.

In calling attention to Edgar Eugene Bradley, Carl MacIntyre's California assistant, Turner investigaged a legitimate suspect, and Garrison indicted him, but Mellen says, "...Neither Ivon nor Alcock would have been capable of the incompetence volunteers William Turner and 'Bill Boxley' now exhibited...No agreater disservice was done to Jim Garrison's work than Turner's and Boxley's targeting of Edgar Eugene Bradley..."

(p. 264)

There are official documents that reflect the fact and Mellen herself speculates that Edgar Eugene Bradley was mistaken or confused with Eugene Hale Brading - aka Jim Braden - who was taken into custody as a suspicous person at Dealey Plaza, and MacInytre was certainly a major operatior (more on that if requested), and Turner was certainly justified to investigate him.

I could not agree more. Bill Turner is also one of my heroes. It should not be forgotten the role that people like Turner and Hinckle played in challenging the Warren Commission report. Their work at Ramparts was vital in keeping the investigation alive. For example, Penn Jones's work was only known to a few hundred people (the readers of the Midlothian Mirror), most of whom who were completely uninterested in the case, until Ramparts publicised his articles.

Bill Turner's book (The Fish is Red : the Story of the Secret War Against Castro, 1981) also focused attention towards the role that the anti-Castro Cubans played in the assassination.

Bill Turner is also the most generous of writers. He never fails to respond to my questions concerning his investigations. I have not been able to get a copy of Joan Mellen's book yet, but if she does attack important researchers like Bill Turner, her own credibility will be seriously undermined.

Mellen doesn't really "attack" Bill Turner (you'll notice she contributed a blurb to the back cover of Rearview Mirror and cites it positively in her bibliography; Mr. Heidenheimer cites this very instance) so much as his work on this particular lead. Most of the blame falls on "Bill Boxley," with Turner pursuing Bradley because of his Minutemen connections. If Mellen seems just a little passionate about this particular incident, this is probably Vincent Salandria's influence rubbing off, since she is part of his circle. David Boylan is also correct that it wasn't really a matter of confusing Bradley and Braden, as there were many dubious witnesses against Bradley.

Edit: I'm also a big admirer of Bill Turner's work and own both Deadly Secrets and The Assassination of Robert Kennedy.

Edited by Owen Parsons
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