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Richard Bartolomew: Rambler Station Wagon

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I am posting this article because I believe it ties together the connections of the conspiracy better than any single article written concerning the 'connecting the dots' aspect of JFK's assassination.

Possible Discovery of an Automobile Used

In the JFK Conspiracy

Copyright © 1993 by Richard Bartholomew


Ten minutes after President Kennedy was shot, Marvin Robinson, Helen Forrest and Dallas Deputy Sheriff Roger Craig, independently of each other, reportedly saw two men leaving Dealey Plaza in a light-colored Rambler station wagon. One of them entered the car on Elm Street after running from the direction of the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD). Craig and Forrest described this man as being identical to Lee Harvey Oswald. A few minutes before this incident Richard Randolph Carr saw two of three men, who had come from behind the TSBD, enter what was apparently the same Rambler parked next to the building on Houston Street. He saw the third man enter the car seconds later on Record Street, one block east and two blocks south of the TSBD. 1

The Warren Commission had Robinson's and Craig's reports of November 23, 1963. It also had Craig's statement to the FBI from the day before; as well as Carr's statements to the FBI and Craig's testimony. The Commission, however, apparently never knew about Mrs. Forrest and did not publish Robinson's statement.2 It chose not to believe that Craig took part in Oswald's interrogation or that Craig identified Oswald as the man who entered the station wagon. Dallas Police Captain Will Fritz, Oswald's interrogator, denied to the Commission that Craig was present. Fritz thus never had to deal with Craig's allegation that Oswald admitted to Fritz that he had indeed left Dealey Plaza in a station wagon belonging to Ruth Paine.3

Despite the Robinson statement that corroborated Craig and which the Commission had; and despite other corroborating evidence such as newspaper photographs showing Craig's presence on Elm Street and at the open door of the interrogation room with Fritz during Oswald's questioning, the Commission chose to believe the contradictory and unsupported testimony of taxi driver William Whaley.4 Whaley told the Warren Commission about two witnesses who saw Oswald enter his cab. But there is no indication that the Commission ever attempted to locate, through the simple process of examining the cab company's records, the only two people who could corroborate Whaley.5

With the Warren Commission's attempted classification of Marvin Robinson's statement, the death of William Whaley in 1965, and the 1975 death of Roger Craig after his many failed attempts to make his story public, the truth about this alleged getaway car has eluded the few who have tried to seek it.6

The House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) apparently attempted but failed. It reported, "Robinson did not testify before the Warren Commission, and he has not been located by the committee." Despite this attempt, however, the House Committee, like the Warren Commission, avoided the entire matter in its report, choosing instead to repeat the Commission's conclusion that "shortly after the assassination, Oswald boarded a bus, but when the bus got caught in a traffic jam, he disembarked and took a taxicab to his rooming house." In this, as in many other areas of its investigation, the House Committee had it both ways by concluding that "The Warren Commission failed to investigate adequately the possibility of a conspiracy to assassinate the President." Thus leading to the conclusion, voiced in 1980 by DeLloyd J. Guth and David R. Wrone, "after careful study of the HSCA's Final Report, that this most recent official version does not satisfy the need for a thorough inquiry into what happened that day in Dallas."7

Hypothetically, if the getaway car continued to exist for the past thirty years, given the muddied trails, suspicious deaths, and failed investigations, any persons who secretly knew of the car's role in the assassination and also knew that it still existed, could safely assume it would never be identified. If one such person decided to reveal the car's secrets, however, how would he do it? Could he do it without being silenced himself? Could he do it in a way that would survive his own death?

On May 29, 1989, a Rambler station wagon was noticed on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin (UT) which fit the description of the getaway car reportedly seen by Craig, Robinson, Forrest, and Carr on November 22, 1963.8 A cursory examination of the car revealed apparent associations between it and persons whose lives were intertwined with Lyndon Johnson's political machinery, the military-industrial-intelligence complex in the U.S., right-wing politics, and Latin American politics.

Connections between odd characteristics of the car itself and information found elsewhere on the UT campus could be interpreted as a trail of clues in the form of coded messages connecting this Rambler, its owner at the time, and its previous owner to the JFK assassination.9 These clues appear to have been deliberately planted due to specific interrelationships in their content and the encoding technique used.

Specifically, the Rambler was found bearing a 1964 Mexico Federal Turista window sticker and displaying at least two magazines published in 1963 on its rear seat. Although this made it only a minor curiosity, it became increasingly intriguing with subsequent study.

Physical, anecdotal, and documentary evidence has revealed a mosaic of relationships extending from the car's owners to individuals who have been and are currently subjects of interest to researchers of the conspiratorial aspects of the assassination of President Kennedy.

As Dennis Ford writes in the November 1992 issue of The Third Decade, "Discovering the fate of the Rambler will go a long way toward solving this case....Whoever took or drove the car that afternoon is obviously a conspirator."10 This paper reports on a cursory investigation and proposes a more in-depth investigation. It argues that the UT Rambler represents a possible unique opportunity to determine the fate of this alleged getaway car by investigating new leads, current clues, and fresh trails; an opportunity that should not be overlooked.

There is no intention here to implicate innocent persons in the assassination of President Kennedy. Rather, this is a presentation of circumstances which appear to support the proposed investigation.

This paper presumes, as advised by the United States Constitution, that every person referred to herein is innocent. It also presumes, as advised by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, that, "The more outré and grotesque an incident is, the more carefully it deserves to be examined...."11

El Turista y los Compañeros

When first noticed, the Rambler station wagon at UT was only of interest because it was similar to the car Craig described. There was no incentive to look any closer because the odds were greatly against it being that car. Another person who had seen the car on campus mentioned the existence of the 1964 Mexican tourist sticker on its window. The inference was that if it was the getaway car it would likely have been driven to Mexico as soon as possible after the assassination and, if not destroyed, remain there during the ensuing investigation. This was judged a coincidence, however, and it seemed an easy task to find a simple fact about the car that would conclusively eliminate it from suspicion. That has not proved to be so easy.

The car was a light, warm-gray 1959 Rambler Cross Country Custom station wagon (License No. 711-TQC). The paint looked old and appeared to be original. During a two-year period of observation it was usually parked near Batts Hall which houses the university's Spanish and Portuguese Department. It had a 1964 Mexico Federal "Turista" Automobile sticker (registration no. 243495) in the right rear window and a "D" (for disabled) UT parking sticker on the windshield. In the back seat were two issues of Esquire magazine published in 1963. Only one of them still had a cover. It showed an illustration of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in the movie Cleopatra. The back seat was in disrepair but the interior upholstery appeared to be original.

The car was photographed a year later in exactly the same condition as when it was first seen. This was done because every time it was observed up to that time nothing about the car had changed, not even the identity, number, location or arrangement of the magazines;12 despite the car's daily use. By chance, the day it was photographed, the car's driver was also captured on film driving the Rambler. This lack of change remained through the entire two-year period of observation ending in mid-1991. It was beginning to seem that there might be some significance to the display of these particular magazines in this particular Rambler station wagon with its 1964 turista sticker. In any event photography was the best safeguard against the car's disappearance before it could be studied further.

On November 9, 1990, a request was made to the Texas State Department of Highways and Public Transportation, Division of Motor Vehicles in Austin, for an ownership history of the Rambler. The first question to be answered was whether or not Ruth or Michael Paine had ever owned it. Unfortunately the clerk at the Division of Motor Vehicles said all of the state's ownership records prior to title numbers beginning with the digits 85 were routinely destroyed, which included those for this car.13 Fortunately the same man had owned this car for the past twenty-seven years and his title showed up in the current computer record. A Title and Registration Verification was obtained for two dollars. It was typed like this:

NDX 239845 LIC 711TQC EXPIRES MAY/91 EWT 2800 GWT 0000

$40.80 TITLE 33883954 ISSUED 05/07/65 ODOMETER N/A








The possibility remains that the Paines owned the car prior to C.B. Smith because its ownership history during its first four years is yet to be established despite several attempts through various means. But just because Oswald was under the impression that the car belonged to Ruth Paine in 1963 does not mean that it did. Bert Sugar and Sybil Leek apparently had information that Paine borrowed such a car.14 Nevertheless the identities of the two known owners have proven to be of potential importance to the events of November 22, 1963.

Cecil Bernard Smith, the previous owner, personally knew Lyndon Johnson. He was a major land owner in Austin who opened Austin's first Volkswagen dealership at Sixth Street and Lamar Boulevard. He was a native of Texas and a star athlete in college. He donated money to Johnson's political campaigns and to UT. During the 1980s C.B. Smith donated land to the university to endow five chairs in Mexican and Latin American Studies.15 As a result of his generosity he served on various boards and commissions at UT.16 Among the local citizens, however, C.B. Smith had a reputation for being an extreme right-winger who hated hippies.17

George Gordon Wing, the owner of the car from April 1963 until his death in December 1991, was a Ph.D. and associate professor in the Spanish and Portuguese Department.18 Considering what he taught it is not unusual that he bought his car from C.B. Smith, a major donor to Mexican and Latin American Studies. However it must be noted, in addition to the Spanish and Latin American milieu surrounding Oswald in 1963, that Craig reportedly saw a "husky looking Latin" driving the car.19 Both Smith and Wing will be discussed further in this paper.

In December 1990 other intriguing connections came to light. They centered once again around the Spanish and Portuguese Department and former UT President Harry Huntt Ransom, another of Lyndon Johnson's friends. Ransom had risen quickly through the UT ranks from assistant dean of the graduate school in 1951 to Chancellor of The University of Texas System by 1961. After a student career that included membership in Phi Beta Kappa, Ransom began his professional career at UT in 1935 as an instructor of English. He became an assistant professor after receiving his Ph.D. from Yale in 1938. By 1960 he had also created and was serving as editor of The Texas Quarterly, "the preeminent literary journal of Texas." This journal was highly regarded internationally as well and when Ransom died in April 1976, replacing him as editor was considered a formidable responsibility. It could not be entrusted to just anyone. The job ended up in the hands of Ransom's close associate Miguel Gonzalez-Gerth, Ph.D. and professor in the Spanish and Portuguese Department. They were reportedly close friends. Another indication of the closeness of their relationship is the fact that since Ransom's death Gonzalez-Gerth has been a constant companion to his widow, Hazel Harrod Ransom. Thus within and around the Spanish and Portuguese Department a circle of close associations began to emerge among Lyndon Johnson, Harry Ransom, C.B. Smith, Miguel Gonzalez-Gerth, and George Wing. These associations were all the more interesting considering Ransom's service in Air Force intelligence during World War II.20

UT, CIA, and JFK

At first, speculation about vague intelligence connections to the UT Rambler stemmed from the presumption of possible relationships between UT and U.S. intelligence agencies. It has been documented that the CIA has a long history of recruiting from, or using as cover, the foreign language departments of major universities. According to former student activist Amy Chen Mills, "With ample facilities for experimentation and an abundance of physical sites, college campuses are ideal for carrying out much larger and more insidious CIA programs. U.S. universities have housed some CIA activities that go beyond research and into active covert operations." By 1988, UT, along with the University of Miami, George Washington University, Jacksonville University, the Rochester Institute of Technology and Georgetown University were among as many as ten schools where the CIA had placed officers through its recently initiated "Officer in Residence" program.21

Given the massive CIA station on the campus of the University of Miami in the days of operations Zapata and Mongoose, it is not unreasonable to assume that the CIA recruited personnel from the University of Texas Spanish and Portuguese Department for those operations. In fact, anti-Castro sentiment was alive and well in Austin as of October 1, 1963 when JFK assassination figure John Martino spoke to the Austin Anti-Communist League about his arrest and imprisonment by Castro.22 Very likely present to hear Martino was John Birch Society and Austin Anti-Communist League member Jack Nichols Payton, a friend and campaign-organizer of General Edwin Walker.23

Just prior to this, in September, Martino had addressed an anti-Castro meeting in Dallas. According to author Anthony Summers, "While there he mentioned that he knew Amador Odio, a wealthy Cuban then imprisoned by Castro, and that he knew one of Odio's daughters was living in exile in Dallas. This of course was Silvia Odio, the witness whose meeting with `Oswald' remains the firmest evidence of a deliberate attempt to frame the alleged assassin."24 Evidence of Martino's Austin visit was discovered by chance while looking through local newspapers for researcher David Lifton in 1990. The visit was of interest because of a previous discovery in 1989: pages about John Martino had been cut out of the only UT copy of Anthony Summer's book, Conspiracy; including source notes. These were the only pages removed. Like the car itself (and by 1990, because of the car), these incidents involving Mafia associate and CIA agent Martino were a minor curiosity. Of similar interest in the same newspaper was an announcement that William F. Buckley, Jr. would be speaking on campus in December 1963. Later however these curiosities would become integral to an understanding of other discoveries on the UT campus.

Like the university he led, Harry Ransom was no stranger to clandestine activities. Dr. Ransom, born on November 22, 1908, enlisted as a second lieutenant in the Air Corps in 1942. He was the director of the Air Force Editorial Office from 1944-46. He attained the rank of major and received the Legion of Merit in 1947 for work in "editorial intelligence." In 1945, Ransom authored "Notes for an Epitaph: Rise and Fall of the Luftwaffe" (Air Force Reprint, 32 pp.). That same year he wrote "Tactical Air Operations," with James Gould Cozzens and Brigadier General Frederic Smith (Air Force Reprint, 30 pp.). In 1946 Ransom wrote "Historical Procedures in the AAF" (Air Force Reprint, 10 pp.) and "Educational Plans of 500,000 AAF Veterans" (Higher Education, United States Office of Education.). In 1962, Dr. Ransom, while Chancellor of The University of Texas System, was elected chairman of the Advisory Panel on ROTC, Department of the Air Force, which advised the Secretary of the Air Force on ROTC programs.25

It must be noted here that John Stockwell, the highest-ranking CIA officer to quit and expose the truth of CIA operations to Congress, and who was an ROTC graduate of UT in the late 1950s, expressed his belief, when asked by reporter Earl Golz in 1991, that CIA associations did exist at UT within the ROTC program, the Spanish and Portuguese Department, the Institute of Latin American Studies, and with Harry Ransom.26 In his book, The Praetorian Guard, Stockwell describes his years at UT:

At the University of Texas, I got into the elite Plan II special reading program and obtained a Naval ROTC scholarship, graduating with what the university billed as its best possible liberal arts degree. Then I took the Marine Corps option and made my way into the elite parachute-and-UDT trained 2nd Force Reconnaissance Company. Only years later did I realize that I had obtained the best half-education available. They taught me the classics; we studied philosophy and history with award-winning professors (including John Silber27 of Boston University). But my generation didn't question. We scribbled furiously in our notebooks, trying to capture the professor's exact words so we could regurgitate them faithfully back to him (there were no women professors in my program at that time) in the examinations. Throughout my school years, I never had a conversation with a liberal, much less a radical critic of the system, or even a serious questioner. There was one professor, Clarence Ayers, who occasionally made a suggestive comment, but he was under constant pressure from the Texas legislature, not to mention the university's regents.28

When asked about CIA recruiting on college campuses, Philip Agee, one of the first CIA officers to resign and tell the truth about the CIA, specifically named the Air Force and Army ROTC programs as prime sources of recruits.29 Also, a student in the Spanish and Portuguese Department was asked if he had ever heard any rumors of CIA involvement in UT's Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS). His response was that he had heard more than just rumors of CIA people and programs there.30 This paper will deal further with ILAS.

Ransom's years at Yale, his past work in Air Force intelligence and his relationships with Lyndon Johnson and CIA recruiting become important when considering that Ransom was instrumental in the recruitment of two men to the faculty at UT, John W.F. Dulles and Walt Whitman Rostow.31

John W.F. "Jack" Dulles is the eldest son of former Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and the nephew of former Director of Central Intelligence and Warren Commissioner Allen Dulles. He has worked at UT for many years and is considered one of the world's top experts on Brazil, a Portuguese speaking country. His office is in the Harry H. Ransom Humanities Research Center, which also houses a replica of his father's office.32 John Wheat, a former student of Wing's who has worked with Dulles, said Dulles did not have the usual academic career credentials. His interest in Northern Mexico and Brazil came from his work in the Dulles family's Hannah Mining Company. Dulles was simply made an adjunct professor and given a research position at UT.33

Jack Dulles' relationship with UT's Spanish and Portuguese Department goes beyond the expected professional interest in the language of Brazil however. In the mid-1960's his daughter Ellen, a great niece of Allen Dulles, attended classes in that department.34 John Wheat said Dulles "may have" known Wing.

Walt Rostow, former Kennedy State Department counsel and President Johnson's national security advisor, had been one of President Kennedy's inner circle of advisors. He is currently the Rex G. Baker, Jr. Professor Emeritus of Political Economy at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. His wife Elspeth is the Stiles Professor in American Studies.35 Walt Rostow was close, socially and professionally to Allen Dulles, McGeorge Bundy, Kennedy's national security advisor, Richard Bissell, former director of all CIA covert operations, and Air Force General Charles P. Cabell, former deputy director of the CIA.36 Like Ransom, Rostow had attained the rank of Major and won the Legion of Merit for his work with the OSS during World War II.37 Whether or not they knew each other at Yale or during the war, Ransom and Rostow had much in common and more than a few mutual friends. It is therefore understandable that Rostow agreed to continue his career at Ransom's university.

We now see within and around UT's Spanish and Portuguese Department a circle of associations that has expanded to include not only Lyndon Johnson, Harry Ransom, C.B. Smith, Miguel Gonzalez-Gerth, and George Wing, but Walt Rostow and at least two members of the Dulles family.38

Relatively little attention has been paid to Walt Rostow in the literature of the Kennedy assassination. It seems, however, that he has several connections relevant to November 22, 1963. He and his friend McGeorge Bundy may have urged their long-time friend, Richard Bissell to establish the "Executive Action" assassination capability known as ZR/RIFLE.39 Bissell told the Senate Church Committee on CIA assassination plots, "There is little doubt in my mind that Project RIFLE was discussed with Rostow and possibly Bundy."40

According to Anthony Summers, these assassination plots were being revived just when Kennedy was considering normalizing relations with Cuba. This peace move was so secret that only six people knew about it. Despite this tight security, Ambassador William Attwood and Arthur Schlesinger believe the secret leaked to the CIA and the Cuban exiles, possibly triggering Kennedy's assassination. Bundy was the aid most involved with the negotiations and it is very likely that Rostow was one of the six.41

It was these same two members of Kennedy's inner circle who advised him, on February 11, 1961, to abolish the Operations Coordination Board of the National Security Council -- the chief reason for the Bay of Pigs fiasco, according to Treasury Secretary Douglas Dillon.42 Prior to the invasion, on April 12, Rostow was urging Kennedy to intervene militarily in Laos as well as Cuba.43

And on April 20, after the failure at the Bay of Pigs, along with Admiral Arleigh Burke, the Air Force, and Richard Nixon, Rostow was still pushing for a military intervention in Laos. That same day Kennedy, who still had doubts about it, ordered U.S. advisors in Laos to put on their uniforms.44 Rostow later spearheaded U.S. intervention in Vietnam and was instrumental in initiating the stepped-up arms race of the 1960s.

The things that Rostow supported -- reduced oversight of covert operations, military intervention in Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam, policies that led to nuclear proliferation, and possibly CIA assassinations -- Kennedy later attempted to reverse. It is possible that Rostow and Bundy were not as loyal to Kennedy as he may have thought.

This disloyalty is all the more believable when considering a few more significant Rostow connections to Kennedy's assassination (aside from Rostow's long friendship with Bissell and Cabell). These connections concern his relationships with C.D. Jackson, the publisher of Life magazine who bought and suppressed the Zapruder film, Harold R. Isaacs, a research associate at MIT's Center for International Studies (CENIS) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Air Force Major General Edward G. Lansdale.

C.D. Jackson, former president of the CIA's National Committee for a Free Europe (NCFE), and friend of Allen Dulles, had worked closely with Walt Rostow. Among other things they co-authored Eisenhower's "Chance for Peace" address of April 16, 1953, which was "the opening gun of the post-Stalin phase of the Cold War." It is noteworthy here that the NCFE's most important operation was Radio Free Europe.45 Jackson's connection, through Radio Free Europe, Henry Luce, and Allen Dulles, to the Paines and therefore possibly to Oswald and the Rambler will be discussed further in this paper.

In 1951 Rostow "helped launch" CENIS46 with backing from his former OSS buddies now in the CIA. It is a think tank and well known CIA front that defended communist ideology while admitting to its industry benefactors that it was actually fighting communism.47 For ten years at CENIS, Rostow worked closely with Isaacs. Warren Commission Document 942 says that it had been alleged that Marilyn Dorothea Murret (Oswald's cousin) was linked in some manner with the apparatus of Professor Harold Isaacs. And Warren Commission Document 1080 (CD 1080), an FBI report entitled "Marilyn Dorothea Murret," is entirely about Isaacs' background and contains no mention of Murret. This document describes Isaacs as a disillusioned leftist intellectual who had become a professional anti-communist -- which also reveals the true nature of the secret goals of CENIS. This report had been classified by the Warren Commission as a withheld file open only to the federal government and the Commission. It would probably still be secret if an assassination researcher had not discovered it misfiled in the National Archives in the mid-1970s.48

This report was the result, no doubt, of Isaacs' name being linked to the JFK assassination by two sources in 1964. One, according to researcher Peter R. Whitmey, was a right-wing reporter named Paul Scott who was convinced that Isaacs was a "...mastermind of the communist movement which planned to take over the government." Whitmey adds that

Scott told the FBI on May 7, 1964 that Isaacs was being supported in his efforts by members of Johnson's cabinet, including Rusk, McNamara, Rostow, Cleveland and Yarmolinsky. He also accused Robert Kennedy of hiring a Communist speech writer, and linked Rusk to the British spies, Burgess and MacLean. In addition, he indicated that reliable sources had linked Prof. Isaacs and Marilyn Murret, although he did not seem to know of her relationship to Oswald; he had earlier reported in a column that she was one of the three female defectors, which, in her case was not true.

The FBI prepared a report on Murret also dated May 7, outlining her extensive travels around the world beginning in 1959, and also drew up a report on Isaacs dated May 22, entitled "Re: Marilyn Dorothea Murret", although no connection between the two was established. The first page of the six-page background report was erroneously titled "Marilyn Dorothea Murret", which created suspicion when it was found in the files at the National Archives some years later.49

The second source linking Isaacs' name to the assassination was Richard Giesbrecht, a Winnipeg resident who reported to the FBI that on February 12, 1964, he overheard a conversation in the Horizon Room of the Winnipeg International Airport among two men talking about the assassination. Based on what he heard he believed they were in some way involved. They were discussing how much Oswald knew about the assassination and were concerned about how much he might have told his wife. According to Peter Whitmey, the men said Isaacs "was supposed to get rid of a 1958 Dodge (later reported as a Ford.)" And according to co-authors Michael Canfield and Alan J. Webberman, Giesbrecht said that "when the first man asked the second how much Oswald knew, the second one said, `We have a film that I have seen where Issacs [sic] is near Kennedy after the landing.' The first man then mentioned something about Issacs [sic], ending the query, `Why should a person with such a good record such as Isaacs, become mixed up with a psycho?' In a November 1967 article in McCleans Magazine, Giesbrecht stated that the `psycho' referred to was Oswald."50

Peter Whitmey believes that, "It is abundantly clear that it [CD 1080] was classified in order to protect the good name of Professor Isaacs, who was a distinguished lecturer, researcher and writer, and a strong supporter of recognizing Red China during the 1960s." Whitmey further believes that the man being referred to in the Winnipeg airport "...is much more likely to have been Charles R. Isaacs, whose 1960 phone number was listed in Jack Ruby's notebook, and who was an airline service manager for American Airlines at Love Field." Whitmey confirmed that Charles Isaacs had known Ruby after locating and interviewing Charles' second ex-wife (of three) who had worked for Ruby "as a wardrobe designer for some time."51

While it is possible that the men in the airport were talking about Charles Isaacs, it is not "much more likely" that they were referring to Charles rather than Rostow's CENIS associate, Professor Harold R. Isaacs. If the men knew Charles well enough to know of links to Oswald, they must have known of his and his wife's close association with Ruby. Between the "distinguished" MIT Professor and the divorced Ruby friend, which one would most likely be talked about in terms of having "such a good record"? And of the two, which one would elicit the most incredulity over being "mixed up with a psycho"? On both counts it would more likely be the Professor. It must also be surmised that since Charles Isaacs had apparently moved to San Mateo, California by the time of the assassination, he would have about the same access to Love Field as anyone else, including Harold Isaacs.52

In addition, Dr. Isaacs had reportedly been a Trotskyite when he worked as a journalist in China in the 1930s.53 As we will see in this paper, there is much evidence of a determined effort by several right-wing individuals (with links to Oswald) to blame the assassination on Communists by spreading false stories and planting false evidence linking Oswald and Ruby to Trotskyists and others. In the context of those efforts, right-wing journalist Paul Scott, the first to link Dr. Isaacs to Marilyn Murret, may very well have known that she was Oswald's cousin. After all, Paul Scott believed that Dr. Isaacs was the mastermind of a high level communist plot to take over the United States government -- a plot that had infiltrated the White House. Finding a reliable source linking his Trotskyist mastermind to the alleged Marxist Oswald, in the midst of a welter of deliberate lies about such links, would seem to have been the fulfillment of Paul Scott's greatest desire.

Neither is it "abundantly clear" that the FBI reports of investigations into the alleged links between Isaacs and Murret were classified "to protect the good name of Professor Isaacs." The FBI, who had Paul Scott's allegations, Richard Giesbrecht's allegations, and Ruby's notebooks, apparently chose only to investigate the information from Paul Scott's "reliable sources." We will see in this paper, how the FBI and CIA had a habit of cutting short investigations (and classifying reports) that threatened to reveal conspiratorial links. The investigation of Marilyn Murret not only threatened to lead to Isaacs' long-time associate Walt Rostow, who in turn had a long-time friendship with CIA assassination plotters, but to her father, Oswald's uncle and surrogate father, Charles "Dutz" Murret, who worked for New Orleans Mob boss Carlos Marcello, who in turn was also closely tied to the same CIA/Mafia assassination plots. Such an investigation would certainly have come across a report by FBI agent John William Miller stating that CIA agent William George Gaudet told him of a purchase of paintings by Jack Ruby from Lorenzo Borenstein, a close relative of Leon Trotsky.54 Gaudet is the CIA agent who got the Mexican tourist card next to Oswald's in New Orleans in September 1963.55 He also told attorney Bernard Fensterwald in 1975: "She [Murret] may have worked for the agency in New Orleans."56

With regard to Harold Isaacs' "good name" deriving from his strong support for recognizing Red China during the 1960s, consider the following. At the LBJ Library's May 1990 symposium, LBJ: The Difference He Made, journalist Tom Wicker, who was in the audience, became disturbed, during one panel discussion, that the conference was focused exclusively on domestic policy. He pointed out that the Johnson Administration has received practically no credit for being the first to develop serious arms control proposals to be taken to the Soviets. Because of the timing of the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, Johnson was unable to follow through on it. The proposals survived into the Nixon Administration and were fundamentally those which Nixon took into the SALT I negotiations. Panelist Nicholas Katzenbach, the former deputy attorney general who right after the assassination was as concerned as J. Edgar Hoover about "...having something issued so we can convince the public that Oswald is the real assassin,"57 added a historical note similar to Wicker's that had always interested him.

...President Nixon got so much credit for opening the door to China, and that was something that LBJ wanted to do. And indeed we developed -- the first proposals that were made by President Nixon were developed for President Johnson."

And after the election, knowing Nixon was coming in, he had us go to President Nixon and say, "If you want me to start this process, I'll be happy to do it and take the political flack for doing it, which there will be from the right, but if you want to do it, I'll hold off and do nothing."

And Nixon said he wanted to do it. So we did hold off, and they went down, and it was fascinating to me because I had worked on it. They were word for word what we had developed at the end of the administration.58

The two major achievements historically credited to an otherwise disgraced Republican administration were actually given to it by the previous Democratic administration. And the recognition of China, which Harold Isaacs had so strongly supported, was credited to Richard Nixon, Kennedy's chief political nemesis (especially on such things as arms control and détente with communist countries), through an under-the-table deal between Johnson and Nixon. This paper will explore the possible culpability of both former presidents in Kennedy's assassination stemming from apparent ties which Johnson and Nixon had to each other as well as to Ruby and Oswald.

Thus, considering that everything about Marilyn Murret seemed to lead to a CIA/Mafia conspiracy and a phony Trotskyite conspiracy (which, as we will see, may have led to the same persons), it would be a great irony indeed if the FBI, who reportedly destroyed evidence and threatened witnesses to hide conspiratorial leads, stopped further investigation of Murret solely out of politeness to Harold R. Isaacs. And although an investigation of Charles Isaacs may have led to the conspiracy through Ruby, it is hard to imagine how he could have provided a more direct route.

Aside from his association with Harold Isaacs, Rostow's history with CENIS is important because of its implications regarding UT, where Rostow has been employed since leaving the government in 1969. As mentioned before, there are apparently more than just rumors of CIA activities at UT's Institute of Latin American Studies, which works closely, no doubt, with the Spanish and Portuguese Department; and has benefited, no doubt, from the donations of C.B. Smith, who had a life-long interest in Latin American politics and culture.59

Continuing in 1954 with the African-American Institute in cooperation with a U.S.-African mining company, and in 1956 with the Asia Foundation at Michigan State University, the CIA, from its earliest days, has been establishing academic foreign studies institutes as part of a larger effort to generate academic interest in a country and "spin-off" institutes that could subsequently be tapped by the CIA and other government agencies.60 UT's ILAS could very well be CIA established or a spin-off. On the other hand, ILAS's director, Richard Adams, is a harsh critic of the right-wing government in Guatemala. He is currently persona non grata to that government.61 ILAS could also be similar to CENIS in its chameleon-like ways. In fact, as we shall see, the idea of ILAS was introduced to Walt Rostow by George de Mohrenschildt, Oswald's CIA friend.

Given a few more bits of information, the possible connections between CENIS, ILAS, C.B. Smith, Wing and the Rambler begin to take on ominous overtones. The first bit is only a few steps away from Walt Rostow's office on the eighth floor of the LBJ Library. According to assassination researcher Dick Russell "In 1966-67, from residences in Haiti and Dallas, de Mohrenschildt would correspond regularly with the Johnson White House. On file at the LBJ Memorial Library in Austin, Texas, the letters show high level interest in the baron's proposal for establishing an `Institute of Latin American Resources.' Replied presidential assistant Arthur C. Perry: `I feel that the President will be interested in having your views in this regard and I shall be pleased to bring them to his attention at the earliest opportunity.'...A State Department memorandum of January 14, 1967, from executive secretary Benjamin H. Read to Walt W. Rostow notes: `The Department's reply to Mr. de Mohrenschildt should be considered a de minimus62 response to his letter of December 27 to the President. A lengthy file in the Office of Special Consular Services clearly indicates that de Mohrenschildt is an unstable and unreliable individual who would not hesitate to misuse or misrepresent even the slightest expression of interest.'"63

Russell does not tell us what "The Department's reply to Mr. de Mohrenschildt" was. It was dated the day before the memo to Rostow, January 13, 1967, from State Department Deputy Assistant Administrator Milton Barall to de Mohrenschildt: "...the United States Agency for International Development would not have an interest in supporting the creation of such an institute in Texas."

Apart from the fact that the proposal was forwarded to the CIA-backed Agency for International Development, why would Rostow be bothered with a memo about this? Despite the first expression of interest, the reply had already been sent and was final in its rejection of de Mohrenschildt's proposal. It is as if Rostow or someone else was contemplating a continued interest in the proposal and had to be warned of potential consequences.

What is also of concern here is that de Mohrenschildt's letter of December 27 proposed placing the institute at Southwest Texas State College, Lyndon Johnson's alma mater. ILAS is just such an institute that was later created at the University of Texas at Austin, in the same complex as the LBJ library and across a breezeway from Harry Ransom's posh new office. And again, the belief that CIA personnel and programs exist there was voiced to Earl Golz by John Stockwell in 1991. It is also worth noting that the golden age of collecting for UT's Latin American collection was during the reign of Harry Ransom. According to UT librarian and former Spanish student John Wheat, the Latin American collection was Ransom's favorite. Nettie Lee Benson, the collection's long-time head librarian, received major funding from and had direct access to Ransom at any time. And ILAS, as we have seen, very likely had financial support from C.B. Smith.

The close proximity to, and involvement in the creation and activities of ILAS of Rostow, de Mohrenschildt, Dulles, and Ransom, who were in just as close proximity to the CIA, is of further concern considering that the CIA had once been greatly angered by the head of Stanford's Institute of Hispanic American and Luso-Brazilian Studies. This institute was one of the first programs of inter-American studies in the U.S. It was started in 1944 by Professor Ronald Hilton, "a tough-minded liberal scholar."64

In October 1960, Dr. Hilton, editor of his institute's prestigious journal, the Hispanic American Report, learned of the CIA's plans to invade Cuba from Guatemala's leading newspaper, La Hora. He published a report that the purpose of the CIA's Retalhuleu training camp was "common knowledge". Hilton's report inspired a November 19 article in The Nation calling the invasion plans a "dangerous and hare-brained project" urging "all U.S. news media" to check the story out. The Nation made it as easy as possible by sending information about the CIA's plans to AP, UPI, and all major news media in New York, including virtually flooding the Times with copies of the reports. On November 20, more than a week after receiving the advance notice, the Times buried a story on page 32 essentially calling these reports "a lot of lies." In their Sunday edition, after the U.S. broke off relations with Cuba in January 1961, the New York Times reported that the final straw was Castro's propaganda offensive about an imminent invasion of Cuba. That same month, after the Los Angeles Times and the St. Louis Post Dispatch confirmed American funding of the base, Time magazine, apparently hedging its bets, reported that a "Mr. B." of the CIA was in charge of the whole operation.65

Despite this whisper of vindication, Dr. Hilton was not popular in Washington or among Stanford's trustees who represented international corporations. After Stanford received a sizable grant from the Ford Foundation, Hilton was pressured not to offend the university's powerful fund raisers -- even if it was just an opinion expressed in an editorial. In 1962, after the CIA's top Cuban invasion planners had been fired and Cuba had become a major problem for the U.S., Ford gave a grant to a Stanford committee formed to plan an international studies program. Heading the committee was Dean Carl Spaeth, former assistant to Nelson Rockefeller in the State Department, and former director of the Ford Foundation's Division of Overseas Activities. After a year of "studies," without explanation to or input from Dr. Hilton, the Hispanic Institute was gutted and assigned mundane responsibilities. When asked how they could do such a thing, Stanford's administration told him: "The administration can do anything it pleases." Hilton resigned, his journal was suspended, and two weeks later the Ford Foundation gave Stanford $550,000 for Latin American studies to those who did not protest what had happened to Hilton and his independent, intellectually respected institute. According to Ramparts magazine, "This largesse was repeated on every campus where significant efforts on Latin America were taking place."66 Interestingly, these Hilton controversies were taking place while George Wing was a teaching assistant and earning his PhD. in Spanish at the University of California at Berkeley.67

Was de Mohrenschildt's proposal the genesis of UT's institute? Was C.B. Smith involved with de Mohrenschildt in this first proposal? The last of the de Mohrenschildt-to-LBJ letters, dated June 13, 1969, adds fuel to such speculation. It reads, "You possibly remember me and we do have a lot of mutual friends, Barbara and Howard Burris, George Brown and the late Herman Brown....This summer I am not teaching at U.T.A. [The University of Texas at Arlington] and we could drive any time to visit with you." Eighteen months earlier, C.B. Smith had been named a distinguished alumnus of U.T.A.68

The 1969 letter is of further interest with regard to JFK assassination connections to UT. Not only was de Mohrenschildt teaching at a school which was part of the "system" that Harry Ransom oversaw, and one which had given C.B. Smith one of its highest honors, he also shared two particularly interesting mutual friends with Lyndon Johnson: Barbara and Howard Burris. Howard Burris was Vice President Johnson's military representative and an Air Force intelligence officer. His connections to UT and the assassination will be discussed further in this paper.

By 1961 Rostow was also working closely with Edward G. Lansdale. Lansdale was an Air Force Major General at the time of his retirement on November 1, 1963. He had an advertising background and extensive counter-insurgency experience in Southeast Asia. Lansdale is credited in many circles with coming up with the idea, single handed, that destroyed the Huk rebellion in the early fifties in the Philippines. The Huk were very superstitious. They believed in vampires. Lansdale got a few dead Huk bodies, put holes in their necks and hung them upside down.69

Like Rostow, Lansdale was a veteran of the OSS. He had served in Vietnam during the Eisenhower administration and had become a close personal friend of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem.70

His advertising background blended well with his expertise: psychological warfare; or psy-ops. There are now manuals on psy-ops and Lansdale is considered the father of that type of warfare.

He was the model for the imperialistic "Colonel Hillindale" in the William Lederer/Eugene Burdick novel The Ugly American; the most celebrated American dark spy.71

During January through April of 1961, Lansdale's overriding motive was to be Ambassador to South Vietnam. Lansdale, by that time, was probably the only American advisor Diem trusted. Diem was very isolated by then. After his first White House meeting with Lansdale on Vietnam, Kennedy had decided to fire Ambassador Elbridge Durbrow. Kennedy would change his mind about this in a month or two.72

Following the firing of Durbrow, Kennedy appointed Frederick E. Nolting. So Lansdale sought to capture the apparatus to formulate, approve and implement Vietnam policy and be the key player in all three stages until a U.S. victory was achieved in Vietnam. It almost worked. The reason it did not, as far as military historian John Newman can tell, is because Dean Rusk threatened to resign if Lansdale got his way. Lansdale's letters from 1964 show that he found out from some of his contacts that Rusk had laid his job on the line.73

As the author of the book JFK and Vietnam, John M. Newman, explained: "Lansdale's a loose cannon on deck. Kennedy liked him, at least initially for a while, but he had big problems. No doubt about it. In the Pentagon, the Pentagon brass didn't like him. Secretary of State Rusk did not like him. However he did have a big patron in Kennedy's inner circle....Walt Rostow! Walt Rostow, the Vietnam guy. And I was able to track this fairly successfully I think. If it weren't for Walt Rostow, Lansdale wouldn't have had a prayer with this crazy plan of his to try and capture this emerging Vietnam policy apparatus."74

So in the first four months of the Kennedy Administration Lansdale sought the ambassadorship and then control of the emerging policy apparatus of Vietnam and failed at both. The only evidence of Rusk's motive is a document released in 1991 by the State Department. It is a document in which Rusk wrote about not trusting Lansdale. He was unsure of Lansdale's loyalties.75

Although he cannot document it, Newman is certain that Lansdale worked for the CIA while wearing an Air Force uniform. One indication of this in Lansdale's private letters and memoranda is that General Curtis Le May, the Air Chief of Staff, seemed to be unable to promote him. Allen Dulles had to be involved in getting Lansdale promoted from colonel to general. And a number of other patterns are apparent such as social events with Charles Cabell. Edward Lansdale and Charles Cabell were very close.76

The end result of these first few months, in essence, is that Lansdale was fired from any position on Vietnam policy. For Edward Lansdale that was a traumatic experience. Vietnam was his primary concern. South Vietnam was his creation. In his book, Newman stopped writing about Lansdale at that point although there was a lot more to him. It involved Cuba and Operation Mongoose and other matters that were not the focus of his book.77

Lansdale had lost something that mattered a great deal to him. In his letters he wrote about going through the experience of being relieved of these responsibilities in Vietnam. Newman describes him as a man whose heart was broken "because he could not play any more in his favorite sandbox." By the end of 1961 Kennedy had put him in charge of Operation Mongoose. He was in charge of an enormous apparatus with tremendous resources, weapons and personnel. Newman, having read the NSC meeting minutes where Kennedy announced Lansdale was now going to be in charge of Mongoose, believes that Kennedy did not appreciate the way Lansdale related to being involved in Vietnam policy.78

With such extreme feelings about his predicament in 1961, Lansdale might have gone any number of ways to rectify his situation. What was he thinking? In what direction and how far would he go? Newman summarized the portion of his book in which he dealt with that question:

Lansdale was not a combat troops man, yet the very first piece of paper ever in the history of the Vietnam war where an American officer recommends a U.S. troop commitment to Vietnam, Lansdale was the one who authors it. It's right in that critical time frame right after the failure at the Bay of Pigs; right before the crucial decision Kennedy has to make on going into Laos. His Vietnam Task Force paper is coming in through the door. The night, the very night that the Joint Chiefs figure out that Kennedy is going to say no on Laos, Lansdale, late at night in the Pentagon, slips in this combat troop proposal in the Vietnam Task Force report. It's not like him. The way I interpret that -- and I may be in error -- the way I interpret that is he understands that the star rising on the horizon is U.S. intervention in Vietnam. And he understands that he has lost his position in the Kennedy administration which has a decidedly different approach. So he switches forces and he joins forces with those planning for intervention. And it was a good decision on his part, was it not? He was there when they arrived. He was on the team.79

The Mongoose files of the Senate Church Committee reveal that they wanted to know when and who authorized assassination. The Kennedy Administration had supposedly gotten away from that. It was clear to the committee, however, that they had not. There were plans and resources being devoted to assassinate Castro. So the purpose of the questioning was to find out who, and when it was authorized.80

Lansdale testified that he did it all alone. When asked why, his answer was that during the missile crisis the Russians had changed the terms of reference by putting missiles in Cuba. So Lansdale decided all on his own that he was going to change things and get rid of Castro.

After reading a pre-galley copy of JFK and Vietnam, Daniel Ellsberg called Newman one night very excitedly. Ellsberg had worked with Lansdale and knew him extremely well. He said, "This is the first time I've ever thought that Lansdale might have been involved in the assassination." Ellsberg based this on Lansdale being removed from Vietnam planning and moved to Operation Mongoose.81

By February 1963 Lansdale had no position in Cuban policy and was focusing on Latin America. He was traveling to countries like Bolivia and elsewhere. The U.S. had a lot of personnel in South America under Kennedy. And a lot of them ended up going to Vietnam. According to Newman there is a blind spot as to exactly what they were doing and how many people the U.S. had in Latin America.82

"I can tell you," Newman said, "that in the collateral research that I did, names that I came across, I found a correlation between -- I don't say this is definitive but I got a lot of hits -- the same names of the guys that were running around in Latin America, particularly in Cuban policy, end up in the Far East Division. Very strange coincidence. There were three -- it wasn't just one -- there were several. A neat nexus between the Southeast Asian guys and Cuban guys."83

Lansdale was also spending a lot of time at air bases and other areas in the southern United States; in Florida and in Alabama. Newman recalled from Lansdale's travel records that one of these other areas was some sort of a Cuban-exile camp. The record for that trip included a cover note to the person coordinating it telling him to keep quiet. Lansdale apparently wanted to make sure that no one knew that he was going there.84

There was also an honorary graduation certificate from the sniping school that the U.S. had in Panama. He went there, Newman recalled, in May or April 1963. He was made an honorary graduate there. Lansdale was going to various clandestine and special forces places in the spring and summer of 1963.85

One more event that Newman remembered from the spring 1963 period was that Lansdale was due to retire. And he was extended by Le May, arbitrarily, for another six months or so to November 1, 1963; with no job; no real responsibilities. Fletcher Prouty claims Lansdale was just at a desk by himself.86

In the summer of 1963 there were two interesting events concerning Vietnam. The U.S. had a problem with Diem. The regime would not compromise at all. It went in the opposite direction. Buddhists were killed. They began immolating themselves. The regime still would not relent. The political bottom completely fell out in Saigon.87

Newman said he came across an intriguing article in a local, small magazine from this period. It had a picture of Lansdale and a typical title like, "America's Most Celebrated Spy." It was about a Lansdale trip to Saigon. His travel records, however, indicate that he was not supposed to be in Saigon. This was around July-August 1963.88

The article reported an assassination attempt on Lansdale. The assassins missed and somebody killed the alleged assassin. Then he went to a meeting with Ambassador Lodge. According to Newman, "This is clearly impossible from the record because Lansdale has no authority or position to be involved in Vietnam policy. It would make sense in terms of going back and pleading with Diem and getting Lansdale to do it. Maybe Diem would listen to Lansdale. But I did find a record. He might have been in Saigon." Newman found evidence of a six- or seven-day break in Lansdale's normal activities.89

Among Lansdale's contacts in the last three to four months of Kennedy's life, Newman found "a lot of Spanish names. I found names that were reminiscent of CIA type folks."90

In 1963, Lansdale was Fletcher Prouty's boss. Prouty insists that he was sent to the South Pole by Lansdale to get him out of the way so that he would not witness the events of November 22, 1963. Presumably this was done because if Prouty had been there he would have figured out what was going on. Prouty has claimed that in the photograph of the three tramps walking across Dealey Plaza, the man in a suit with what looks like a wire coming out of his ear and going into his suit coat is Edward Lansdale -- that he recognized the back of his head and his gate. Among Lansdale's letters, John Newman and David Lifton found a slip of paper that has "The Texas Hotel" on it and a phone number in Denton. Lansdale's letters also reveal that he was headed in the direction of Dallas in November 1963.91

Lansdale wrote to a number of friends and associates beginning in September 1963, of his intention to go to Texas in November. There are as many as ten letters, according to Newman, where he described this upcoming trip to two people. One was his son. The other one was General "Hangin' Sam" Williams, an old buddy and McGarr's predecessor in Vietnam. He lived in San Antonio.92

The last piece of paper that Newman found placing Lansdale physically in Washington is dated November 14, 1963. It concerns running errands for his wife. After that there is no record of his whereabouts except for a box of incidentals, which had this piece of paper in it. It has on it "Texas Hotel" and "Denton" and a name and phone number. As Newman said, "That might be from 1949 or it might be 1968 and again it might be November 1963. Because the Texas Hotel is where Kennedy stayed the night before he died, and Denton, Texas is just north here of Dallas, it all fits in. But it certainly is not conclusive."93

Lansdale dropped out of sight at this point. He resurfaced back in Washington in the Food for Peace Program and was soon given a job by Johnson back in Vietnam. He had contacts who got him interviews in the White House. In fact he would be on the ground in Vietnam when U.S. combat troops arrived.94

Lansdale was not the only one whose fortunes were changing now that Kennedy was dead. One of Lansdale's contacts in the White House, no doubt, was his sponsor and "big patron," Walt Rostow, who later resurfaced in a big way himself. According to Newman, "Kennedy got rid of him out of the White House after the first year; sent him packing over to the State Department."95 Back in the White House under Kennedy's successor, Rostow moved to solidify his position. As things heated up in Vietnam, "Johnson protected himself from contrary arguments and discussions by dismissing the doubters from his staff. First McGeorge Bundy left. Then George Ball. Then Bill Moyers. The emphasis shifted to Walt Rostow, who believed that Johnson was doing the right thing in Vietnam; soon Rostow became the man who screened what the President heard and saw. Under Rostow's regime, the most optimistic news was packaged and sent to the President with covering notes which said such things as, `This will give confirmation to the statement which the President so wisely made to the Congressional leadership yesterday.'"96 It was, most likely, only because Johnson had selected the man "who screened what the President heard and saw" that Johnson referred to Rostow as having "the most important job in the White House, aside from the President." Johnson gave credit for one crucial decision to Walt's brother, however. Eugene Victor Debs Rostow gave Johnson the idea for the Warren Commission the day Oswald died.97

George de Mohrenschildt's mutual friends with Lyndon Johnson, Barbara and Howard Burris, represent such significant ties between the political, economic, cultural and academic elites in Texas and the assassination of President Kennedy that they tax one's ability to call it a coincidence. The implications of their ties as they relate to the UT Rambler can be especially appreciated in their full context.

As previously mentioned, Howard Burris was Vice President Johnson's military representative and an Air Force intelligence officer. He is also much more.98

John Newman first learned of Howard Burris in the course of researching his book, JFK and Vietnam. Newman connected Burris with a pattern of gross deceptions involving battlefield statistics that took place in 1962. Kennedy and McNamara were being lied to while Johnson was being given the truth through a secret back-channel. The end point of that secret back-channel was Howard Burris. Burris would write the final memoranda that Johnson received concerning combat intelligence. Newman had discovered a foreign policy situation where the President and the Vice President were getting briefed in opposite terms. It is comparable to a hypothetical situation in which, during Operation Desert Storm, George Bush is lied to and Dan Quayle gets the truth about the status of the U.S. led coalition forces in the Persian Gulf.99

"I often get asked," Newman said, "about what was the exact back-channel. How did it function? How did it get there? And the best I can determine from ground zero in Vietnam all the way back to the Vice President's desk is a chain of Air Force intelligence officers all the way to Burris."100

In May 1961, during the Johnson trip to Vietnam, Burris was being rehearsed on how to control LBJ in the context of that trip. He was told what he could say or could not say to the vice president; which is amazing because ostensibly he works for the vice president. No one should be able to tell an Air Force colonel what he can and cannot tell to a vice president. The question is: Who is telling him? The answer is the boys in the woodwork.

There is another time period in Newman's book which deals with the back-channel to LBJ. Newman had long discussions with Burris about where he got this. "And the answer was the boys in the woodwork. And the question was: Who are the boys in the woodwork? And the answer was: `Well I'd rather not really say and bring all of that up. You, I know, you're one of them.' Alright, I'm military, I also have an intelligence background. Peter Dale Scott and I have been working very closely on a number of issues. He's writing a book as a matter of fact. He was assuming for a while that it was military. And I said, `Peter, it may not be that. It may be Langley.' He said, `Why do you say that?' Well there's one more piece. Burris told me that later on, `McCone put a stop to what I was getting from him.' This was relating to the combat intelligence. McCone was directing CIA. And all of the clues I got out of this fellow on who his contacts were -- my own interpretation was that they were in fact CIA. I don't know that for sure."101

Information about Burris originally began to surface with the book The Senator Must Die by Robert Morrow. Morrow wrote about two colonels whom he did not name. In 1977 a young man was hitchhiking in Baltimore who had a story he wanted to tell about his father's involvement in the Kennedy assassination. Robert Morrow happened to pick him up.102

The young man learned that Morrow had investigated aspects of the JFK

Edited by John Simkin
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WOW! I agree with Robert: this is an amazing article.

Anyone who hasn't seen it yet please do so!

I just started Newman's book JFK and Vietnam.

What surprised me about Lansdale and JFK is that I had thought of them as both favoring civic action/political aproaches in contrast the the JCS desire for a more traditional landwar approach.

Joan Mellen even states that Lansdale was a kind of Hero to Bobby Kennedy, because of this more political-

tread lightly approach. This seemed strange once Newman had made it clear how close to the politically cromagnon Diem Lansdale was. But Newman portrays Lansdale as opportunistically using Diem as his only path to Vietnam.

Then, when it became clear by April of 1961, that Diem wasn't going to be able to resist many more coup attempts, Newman's Lansdale jumps ship for entirely oportunistic reasons:

For Lansdale, being removed from influence by Kennedy was a heartbreaking

experience. Under the circumstances, then, it is perhaps not surprising that

Lansdale wrote the first document urging a large U.S. troop commitement to

Vietnam. He was embracing more powerful patrons, those who would have their

way in the end. Lansdale, the civic action advocate, had changed horses, and when

the troops finally arrived in early 1965, he would be there with them (p41, Newman,

JFK and Vietnam)

This makes me wonder if Lansdale's reputation for civic action as opposed to more conventional land war

may have served the coup plotters well. If we are to believe Mellon it certainly won over Bobby Kennedy and the Special Group.

Were Lansdale and Rostow involved in turning Bobby's Castro operation against his brother, making Bobby his brother's killer's keeper?

If so, what level of the CIA knew about the Lansdale fuse? Also who on the Joint Chiefs of Staff?

Might Landsdale have served as the perfect smokescreen for the more conventional millitary oriented JCS?

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WOW! I agree with Robert: this is an amazing article.

Anyone who hasn't seen it yet please do so!

This is just part of a much longer manuscript. Richard is a dear friend of mine so I am thrilled to see his work being recognized here on the forum. Anyone desiring to read the entire manuscript can find it by googling his name and "Rambler", click on the http link. Must warn you tho, it's very name intensive. But yes it does connect the dots.


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Have continued to read this article and have continued to say Wow.

I am concerned that some may be put off by the beginning of the article, which struck me as wacky. This is just to say please keep reading.

Among connections I hadn't heard of before: Lansdale-Rostow-Dulles-Helms-Burris.

The "oily boys" section of the OSS is fascinating.

Keep reading into the rest of the article (after what Robert printed) It's well worth it. Newman's corroberation really lends it credibility for me.

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I am curious what others make of the what might be termed "the Gisevius Chain" linking Dulles, and the "oily boys" (faction of the OSS that divereged from the rest of the OSS in emphasizing Hitler's oil interests as bombing targets--see part 1).

If this argument is correct and the Hitler assassination attempt was an exclusively right wing attempt to

forge an alliance with the U.S and Britain and convert WWII into an instant war against the U.S.S.R. then this could be a possible orgins of a far right, more unilateralist strain, that later worked itself into the CIA as a (dissident?) faction. At least this group might have a vesting interest in misinterpreting Yalta.

This is the first I have heard of this connection between mischevious Gisevius-Dulles connection. It would help explain later connections to the flowering of White Russians in the Dallas Magnolia community.

I really want someone else to read this part 2, however: it seems so ambitious in "connecting the dots" that I have to remain sceptical. But also intrigued.

Help! Whatever the faults of this Bartolomew searies, lack of ambition is not one of them. I could use help in crtitically analyzing these claims.

Among other chains of connection in this long article:

Lansdale....Burris...."Intellfirst"...Rostow...Gen Charles Cabell

W. Dewey Pressley...Magnolia Oil... H.W. Bush

Prescott Bush...Dulles...Bancroft...Gisevius

Mallon ....DUlles... PRescott Bush... H.W. Bush

Tracey BarnesDOD-CIA... J Walton Moore... encouraged De Moren. to persue Oswald

C.D. Jackson...Rostow...Bancroft....Dulles

Baron Constantine maydell.. de Mohrenschildt...Volkmor...Schmidt...Oswalt...Michael Paine...man who worked for C.D. Jackson ALL AT SAME PARTY?? (except maybe first) that welcomes O. to Dallas.

THE ABOVE IS TYPED AS CRUDE INDEX FOR PART 2 WHICH IS LONG AND AMBITIOUS . Reasearchers with interest in these names and/or connections might find this article very interesting.

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Roger Craig described a 1959 Rambler as the vehicle that picked up a man who resembled Lee Harvey Oswald on Elm. This event happened at 12:40 about 10 minutes after the shooting, according to the clock on top of the TSBD. A photo by Jim Murray confirms this.

A 1959 Rambler was photographed in the carpark near the railroad tracks just a few minutes after the shooting. Could this be the same vehicle that Craig saw and is it the same vehicle investigated by Richard Bartholomew?


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Quote taken from another thread:

James--have you seen the Bartholomew article yet? They contain everything including the kitchen sink, I am trying to enlist curious sifters who might lend a critical eye. (Nathaniel Heidenheimer)


I honestly think there is not a lot to be critical about. A splendid piece without doubt. UT has indeed provided many Intelligence recruits and Johnson sourced a lot of his 'people' from there including Busby and Wallace.

Connections like Cecil Bernard Smith to George Wing is very interesting indeed although I have not been able to source details other than ownership of the Rambler. For this Rambler to be the one in Dealey Plaza, I submit there is a cut-out involved and securing his/her name is the breakthrough needed.

Having said that, one of the people under-researched in my opinion is Howard Burris. During the early 1960's, he and his wife Kathy were prominent in fashionable society mixing with the elite of Texan beau monde. Crossing paths with the likes of De Mohrenschildt is not out of the question.


Edited by James Richards
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James, there is a police officer in the upper left corner of the photo you posted. Could that possibly be Badge Man? (Stan Wilbourne)

Hi Stan,

Without getting into a discussion about the validity of Badge Man, that possibility has indeed been floated in the past.

The man in question does seem to be wearing a DPD uniform minus the hat. I also find the man leaning into the vehicle somewhat suspicious as well. He could be one of the two men photographed at the corner of Main and Houston as the presidential limo cruised past and then photographed walking across the grass area of Dealey Plaza toward the knoll minutes after the shooting.



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James, there is a police officer in the upper left corner of the photo you posted. Could that possibly be Badge Man? (Stan Wilbourne)

Hi Stan,

Without getting into a discussion about the validity of Badge Man, that possibility has indeed been floated in the past.

The man in question does seem to be wearing a DPD uniform minus the hat. I also find the man leaning into the vehicle somewhat suspicious as well. He could be one of the two men photographed at the corner of Main and Houston as the presidential limo cruised past and then photographed walking across the grass area of Dealey Plaza toward the knoll minutes after the shooting.



I think this is pretty compelling, in Roger Craig's description of the Nash Rambler in front of the TSBD was there ever a time established for when the aforementioned took place?

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Whether Richard's Rambler is THE Rambler is the issue here and that the back seat was covered with magazines from 63 when Richard first began photographing it indicates that someone was planting clues. (Who even stilll had such mags by the 90's ? And never in the back seat of one's car!)

He was never successful in tracing the ownership back to the Paines but still believed this was the car

seen by Roger Craig.

The last portion of the manuscript, with all the missing pages at the UT liabrary was also very interesting as well as strange.


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This is just part of a much longer manuscript. Richard is a dear friend of mine so I am thrilled to see his work being recognized here on the forum. Anyone desiring to read the entire manuscript can find it by googling his name and "Rambler", click on the http link. Must warn you tho, it's very name intensive. But yes it does connect the dots.

I agree that this article provides a lot to think about. Would Richard be willing to join the Forum (by the way Barr has agreed to join).

I will be arguing in the next section of Assassination, Terrorism and the Arms Trade: The Contracting Out of U.S. Foreign Policy: 1940-1990 that characters like Douglas Dillon, Walt Rostow and Edward Lansdale do need to be looked at closely in relation to the Kennedy assassination. The reason for this is that they were all key figures in the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence Complex.


Rostow was also a member of the Georgetown Set, a group that met on a regular basis in Washington after the war. This group was led by Frank Wisner and members included Richard Bissell, Desmond FitzGerald, Stewart Alsop, Joseph Alsop, Tracy Barnes, Thomas Braden, Philip Graham, David Bruce, Clark Clifford, Eugene Rostow, Chip Bohlen, Cord Meyer, James Angleton, William Averill Harriman, John McCloy, John Sherman Cooper, James Reston, Allen W. Dulles and Paul Nitze.

It was this group that first came up with the idea of the CIA (many of them had served together in the OSS in Europe). Wisner and Graham also established Operation Mockingbird in the late 1940s. Other interesting points is that two members, Phil Graham and Joseph Alsop, persuaded JFK to accept LBJ as his running-mate in 1960. They also pushed very hard for Douglas Dillon to become Secretary of the Treasury. The person who would be responsible for looking at the oil depletion allowance. Something that Dillon had helped maintain when he served under Dwight Eisenhower (Dillon was a passionate Republican who had been Nixon’s main fundraiser in 1960).

According to Donald Gibson (The Kennedy Assassination Cover Up) it was Rostow who established the Warren Commission. In fact, he argues it should have been called the Rostow Commission (page 13). Rostow of course selected three members of the Warren Commission from the Georgetown Set (Dulles, McCoy and Cooper). Rostow also selected Richard Russell (chairman of the Senate Committees on Armed Forces and Appropriations, and therefore the most important figure in the MICIC in the Senate).

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John, Rostow selected no one.

All appointments were made by Lyndon Johnson.

Johnson may have acted on recommendations from others. His conversations with advisers re who would be good appointments are documented in "The Assassination Tapes."

BTW it was RFK who recommended Dulles to LBJ.

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