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Mel Ayton, Gary Aguilar and Joan Mellen

John Simkin

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Thought members might be interested in these two articles. Mel Ayton is a member of this Forum and might be willing to add to these comments.

Mel Ayton: Review of Joan Mellen’s A Farewell To Justice – Jim Garrison, JFK’s Assassination, And The Case That Should Have Changed History

Mr. Ayton is the author of The JFK Assassination: Dispelling the Myths (2002) and Questions Of Controversy: The Kennedy Brothers (2001). His new book, A Racial Crime - James Earl Ray and the Murder of Martin Luther King Jr., was published in the United States by ArcheBooks in January 2005.

New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison began his investigation into the JFK assassination by exposing alleged contradictions in the Warren Report, which concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing President Kennedy. Joan Mellen asserts that Oswald was no Marxist and was in fact working with both the FBI and the CIA, as well as with U.S. Customs, and that the attempts to discredit Garrison’s investigation reached the highest levels of the U.S. government.

Mellen claims to have uncovered new evidence establishing the intelligence agencies’ roles in both a president’s assassination and its cover-up. She believes the cover-up began well before the assassination. Oswald, she alleges, was closely connected to CIA-sponsored anti-Castro figures in New Orleans who included Clay Shaw, David Ferrie private investigator Guy Banister and his associate Jack Martin.

Central to Mellen’s thesis is her assertion that the CIA and FBI worked with the conspirators to cover up the assassination.The massive cover-up began, Mellen posits, when Oswald, in the company of Shaw and Ferrie, applied for a job at the mental hospital in Jackson, Louisiana. According to Garrison, conspirators wanted Oswald working at the hospital so they could later switch his records to support a frame-up in which Oswald would be characterized as a mental patient. On the strength of an interview with anti-Cuban exile Angelo Murgado (alias Angelo ‘Kennedy’) she also alleges – most strikingly of all - that Robert Kennedy was aware of Oswald and his connection to the FBI before the assassination. RFK purportedly put Oswald under surveillance and had his Cuban associates tracking Oswald's movements during the summer of 1963.

On ‘Black Op Radio’ (Show 234, 2005), Mellen stated that, in March 1967 it was her to-be- husband, Ralph Schoenman (- a JFK conspiracy advocate and committed Marxist), who gave Jim Garrison the now infamous articles about Clay Shaw that had been published in the Italian newspaper ‘ Paese Sera’. The articles stated that Shaw had been on the board of directors of an organisation in Rome which the articles alleged had been a CIA front. As Max Holland has demonstrated, the evidence indicates that these articles convinced Garrison that Shaw was a CIA agent and that the agency was behind the assassination.

Despite Max Holland’s debunking of the Italian newspaper’s stories in his article ‘The Lie That Linked The CIA To The Kennedy Assassination’ Mellen unashamedly gives credence to their distorted facts. As Max Holland wrote, ‘Paese Sera’s successful deception turns out to be a major reason why many Americans believe, to this day, that the CIA was involved in the assassination of President Kennedy.’

Mellen’s ‘proof’ of the invalidity of Holland’s research centers around the simple denials of the editors of Paese Sera who said their reporters were not duped by the KGB and that ‘Garrison had focused on the CIA well before the publication of the Paese Sera articles’.This is a pivotal issue because Garrison, in his memoir ‘On The Trail Of The Assassins’, lied about when he received the articles; that lie suggests the true significance of these articles to him. Moreover, the articles were NOT already in the works long before Shaw’s arrest, as Mellen claims, on the basis of interviews conducted by the aforementioned Ralph Schoenman. It was Shaw’s arrest that prompted those stories. And Garrison only knew of the alleged CIA/Shaw connection through the newspaper articles. Readers should also be aware that the KGB was doing everything in its power to link the JFK assassination with the CIA, and that Paese Sera was an outlet for KGB disinformation, as the recently released Mitrokhin Archive proves.

Branding authors who reject JFK conspiracy theories as 'CIA assets' is Mellen's favourite smear tactic in the book. It is a common tool used by JFK conspiracy writers - it is also 'McCarthyite' in nature. Don Bohning, a former Miami Herald reporter and author of 'The Castro Obsession' (2005) is incensed with references made by Mellen that he was a 'CIA sponsored' reporter. Bohning contacted the book's publishers, suggesting it was libelous. They contacted Mellen and said she agreed to change the description to 'CIA linked.' The reference is still extremely misleading, Bohning said. “ (I)...never took a cent from the CIA and was outraged by the implication - along with the terms 'writer asset' and 'utilized'.” (Email to the author, 3.10.2005)….Top editors at the Herald were well aware – and approved – of my contacts with the CIA during the 1960s.”(Email to the author 9-10-05).

Mellen’s theories, which center around a CIA conspiracy, make little sense once examined closely. Her allegations that Clay Shaw was created and supervised by the CIA have been examined time and time again by JFK researchers and found to be false. In reality, Clay Shaw had simply been one of thousands of businessmen who had once been a source for the CIA through its Domestic Contact Service (DCS). (See John McAdams’s website). Instead, as Patricia Lambert has proven, in a far superior examination of the Garrison case, ‘False Witness’, Shaw was a Kennedy supporter, a decorated war veteran and a gifted intellectual who had rightly been found innocent of the conspiracy charges Garrison made against him.

Mellen’s allegations that the CIA wanted to impede Garrison’s investigation is true but not because the Agency had something sinister to hide. The Agency was in a quandary because of its innocuous relationship with Shaw and it monitored Garrison’s investigation, alarmed that the New Orleans DA was wrongly linking the Agency with the JFK assassination. As Max Holland wrote, “Shaw was not ……developed as a covert operative…. the relationship (with the CIA) just lapsed. He had never received any remuneration and probably considered the reporting a civic duty that was no longer urgent once the hostility between the two superpowers became frozen in place and a new world war no longer appeared imminent…. Garrison’s allegations— the “grossest we have seen from any responsible American official”—gave the Agency fits, just as they did Shaw and Shaw’s lawyers.” (see: The Lie That Linked CIA to the Kennedy Assassination by Max Holland)

It is difficult to exaggerate the number of previously debunked myths Mellen resurrects.In fact her book is no different from previous JFK conspiracy books which promote theories based on gossip, innuendo and tall tales from unreliable sources. She rehabilitates old shibboleths about the Garrison investigation including the myth that Oswald was in possession of ‘a Minox spy camera’ and Ferrie’s alleged possession of Oswald’s library card both of which have been examined carefully over the years and found to be false. Mellen’s thesis also depends on the veracity of New Orleans ‘character’ Jack Martin and countless other actors in the New Orleans ‘drama’ whose stories have been fully researched. There are too many to cover in this book review but the following are examples as to the lengths to which this author will go in building her conspiracy tale.

Mellen recycles as if true the testimony of witnesses who were discredited before the Shaw case came to trial in 1969, or who were never called to testify precisely because they lacked credibility. She apparently assumes that readers will not know that these witnesses were discredited. Her ‘new’ revelations almost always center around the tales told by anti-Cuban exiles and others on the periphery like Thomas Edward Beckham, a semi-literate who claims, along with dozens of other fantasists, to have observed Ferrie, Oswald and Ruby together; Richard Case Nagell and Jules Rico Kimble, known liars and fantasists, (see http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/nagell1.htm )

Mellen also plays the conspiracists’ game of ‘A knows B who knows C who knows D therefore A must know D’.

One witness who Mellen interviewed is Angelo Murgado, mentioned earlier, who changed his name to ‘Angelo Kennedy’. Angelo purports to have known about RFK’s pre-assassination knowledge of Oswald. Yet Don Bohning’s Cuban exile contacts in Florida have poured scorn on Murgado’s credibility. (email to the author, 3.10.2005) He joins the battalions of ‘soldier of fortune’ types who have, for 40 years, claimed some knowledge of the JFK assassination – all of them supplying no credible evidence of their participation whatsoever.

The most important witness in the trial of Clay Shaw, was Perry Raymond Russo and Garrison's case was built around Russo's testimony. According to Mellen, Russo was truthful - but the facts reveal otherwise. Russo began recanting his conspiracy stories almost immediately, beginning in 1967 to his polygraph examiners. In 1971, Russo recanted to Clay Shaw’s attorneys, admitting to them that he was coached, brainwashed and hypnotized into lying under oath. In the mid-1990’s, shortly before his death from a heart attack, he recanted again, this time to author Patricia Lambert.

A particularly glaring example of the kind of distortions Mellen routinely engages in concerns a CIA officer named Joseph James Martin. Mellen cites CIA documents about him, and alleges he is identical to the ‘Jack Martin’ who was an associate of Guy Banister. It is a preposterous claim when the full CIA record on this issue and Jack Martin’s FBI biography is examined. Garrison’s initial ideas and actions were based on allegations made by Martin who was frequently characterized by people who knew him as a notorious storyteller. Acting on Martin's stories David William Ferrie, a former airlines pilot who had worked for Carlos Marcello’s lawyer, G. Wray Gill, was put under round the clock surveillance. It was years before Martin's allegations against Ferrie were discovered to be inspired by a long-standing grudge.The mystery is why Garrison, who knew Martin was alcoholic, fabricated information, and had received treatment for mental illness, took his allegations seriously. Hubie Badeux, the former chief of the New Orleans Police Intelligence Division told author Gerald Posner, "[Martin] was goofy to begin with and lied all the time". Badeux said Martin had a reputation for "wild and crazy stories." Jack Martin later claimed, with some justification, that Garrison's investigation was based on “information” he and a friend, David Lewis, "made up".

In constructing her story Mellen takes many leaps of the imagination. For example she states that Oswald wanted to name his first child David, if it was a boy. She then links this fact with the ridiculous assertion that the only ‘David’ in Oswald’s life was David Ferrie. Mellen posits this as proof of Oswald’s connection to the alleged JFK conspirator.This is not analysis but paranoia.

Mellen’s book has the façade of scholarship but it is in fact a hocus pocus act. Many of her strongest assertions are not footnoted and thus undocumented. Incredibly, she gives credence to an anonymous telephone call to Garrison in which the caller, allegedly a friend of Shaw’s, said the DA’s suspicions about Shaw were correct. She also ignores documents she doesn’t like, i.e. that contradict her inferences. She claims, without backing it up, that the FBI and CIA files are ‘papered’, which presumably means they contain false documents. She also claims that incriminating documents were destroyed. Yet she also (mis)uses CIA and FBI documents to ‘make’ her case when it suits her purpose. She has created a researcher’s ‘perfect universe’.Documents she doesn’t like are inserted concoctions, and important documents that would prove her allegations are missing (though she purports to know their contents)..One wonders why she bothers with documents at all. The answer is it gives her book a façade of accuracy.

People who want to believe Mellen doubtless will, but those who are at least a little skeptical should read Patricia Lambert’s book ‘False Witness’. Lambert meticulously traces Garrison's story from the very beginning of his investigation, through the Shaw trial and its aftermath. She provides compelling evidence that Jim Garrison's case against Shaw was non-existent, and that Garrison himself was a reckless, mentally unstable demagogue.

Mellen’s book is typical of many conspiracy books in that the impact of her tome depends on the reader having little independent knowledge of the facts of the case or the dramatis personae in this shocking tale of the abuse of a District Attorney’s power. Judged on its merits, the book should have no impact on the history of the JFK Assassination .

In November 1997 the Assassination Records Review Board, instituted by Congress as a result of public pressure after the release of the movie 'JFK', released Clay Shaw's secret diary. In it he wrote of being wrongly persecuted, "I am still dismayed to find myself charged with the most heinous crime of the century but I am completely innocent and the feeling of being a stunned animal seems to have gone now." In another section of Shaw's diary he wrote about his feelings of being accused of having associated with Lee Harvey Oswald and David Ferrie, "Aside from any questions of guilt or innocence,” wrote Shaw, “anyone who knows me knows that I would have better sense than to plot with two nuts like that."

Posted on Thursday, November 17, 2005 at 5:19 PM


Mel Ayton: Review of Joan Mellen’s A Farewell To Justice – Jim Garrison, JFK’s Assassination, And The Case That Should Have Changed History

Ayton's review of "A Farewell to Justice" (#72180)

by Gary L. Aguilar on December 8, 2005 at 1:36 AM

Who Better to Defend the CIA than the CIA?

Gary Aguilar, San Francisco

Among myriad ironies in Mel Ayton’s review of “A Farewell to Justice,” perhaps the greatest is Mel Ayton’s offering author Max Holland’s CIA-published work as an answer to Joan Mellen’s exhaustive elucidation of the myriad CIA ties to the Kennedy case.

For example, Ayton trots out Holland’s remarkable discovery that the sole reason Jim Garrison had for suspecting the CIA in the events in Dallas was because he’d been duped by fiendishly clever KGB dezinformatsiya planted in a Rome daily, Il Paese Sera. Ayton apparently has more faith in the theory than even its supposed author does. For Holland refused to defend it in a public debate with me last September in Washington, D.C. before a live audience and rolling C-SPAN cameras. [1] On why he might have chosen not to, one scarcely knows where to begin.

But perhaps it’s worth starting with the fact that Holland’s famous breakthrough isn’t Holland’s, something he has never disclosed (apparently even to Ayton), but was forced to admit when I confronted him during our debate. Steve Dorril was the first one to make “Holland’s” argument in an article published by Lobster Magazine in 1983, something Ayton could have easily found in a simple search of the web. [2] “Holland’s” discovery apparently next surfaced when Warren Commission defender, John McAdams, ran it in a 1999 newsgroup post, [3] two years before Holland presented it for the first time.

The “proof” Dorril, McAdams and Holland offered that Il Paese Sera was a communist conduit consisted mostly of testimony the CIA’s Richard Helms delivered during a 1961 Senate appearance. [3] As this author has shown, Helms’s sworn assertions during this 1961 Senate appearance are no more credible than the testimony he gave during another Senate hearing that led to his conviction and the page 1 New York Times headline, “Helms Is Fined $2,000 and Given Two-Year Suspended Prison Term--U.S. Judge Rebukes Ex-C.I.A. Head for Misleading (Senate) Panel.” [4]

Without offering a shred of proof, Ayton recycles Holland’s dubious claim that, “the (Il Paese Sera) articles were NOT (sic) already in the works long before Shaw’s arrest, as Mellen claims … It was Shaw’s arrest that prompted [il Paese Sera to write] those stories.” How Ayton knows that the articles “were NOT already in the works long before Shaw’s arrest,” he does not say. But had Ayton (or Holland) bothered to contact Il Paese Sera’s editors, they would probably have told him what they have told others: that the six-part series had nothing to do with (and said nothing about) the KGB or the JFK assassination; that they had never heard of Jim Garrison when they assigned the story six months before [which was also six months before Garrison had charged Shaw]; and that they were astonished to see that Shaw might have any connection to the assassination.

Finally, echoing Holland, Ayton claims that the Italian articles were Garrison’s sole reason for suspecting the Agency. If they really were the sole source of his seduction, one would have expected some contemporaneous evidence of it. But there is none.

As Edward Epstein has pointed out, during his twenty-six-page interview in Playboy Magazine’s October 1967 issue, Garrison’s most comprehensive review of his case that year, the D.A. ticked off eight reasons to suspect the CIA. None of them included Il Paese Sera or the subject of the articles, the still-mysterious Rome World Trade Center, Centro Mondiale Commerciale (CMC). [5] Nor did he even mention Clay Shaw, although perhaps because of the pending legal wrangle. [6] Moreover, Garrison wrote the foreword to Harold Weisberg’s 1967-published book, entitled “Oswald in New Orleans--Case of Conspiracy with the CIA.” (my emphasis) Despite the perfect opportunity, as with Playboy, Garrison again uttered not a word about Il Paese Sera, Shaw or the CMC. [7]

Finally, it is unhelpful for the central role Holland and Ayton have the Rome daily playing that Garrison never once cited or referred to those reports during the Shaw trial. Nor did he even use them as a basis for questioning Shaw. He never asked Shaw, for example, whether he had worked for CMC or for the CIA, both of which were the focus of all six stories. [8]

Ayton next rallied to the defense of a former Miami Herald reporter, Donald Bohning, who Mellen had described as “CIA linked.” In response, Ayton quoted from a complaining email from the man: “(I) never took a cent from the CIA,” Bohning apparently wrote, “and was outraged by the implication – along with the terms ‘writer asset’ and ‘utilized’ … Top editors at the [Miami] Herald were well aware – and approved – of my contacts with the CIA during the 1960s.”

Tellingly, Ayton omits the most damning portion of Mellen’s account. Even if money never changed hands, and Mellen nowhere suggests it did, Bohning’s relationship with The Agency was far from the routine and casual relationship reporters have with government insiders. As Mellen points out, Bohning was apparently so useful to The Agency it gave him his own, unique cryptonym, “AMCARBON-3.” Bohning “had received his Provisional Covert Security Approval as a CIA confidential informant on 8/21/67,” Mellen wrote, “then Covert Security Approval itself on 11/14/67.” And no less than the CIA’s Deputy Director of Plans himself “approved the use of Bohning in the CIA’s Cuban operations.” [9]

For those who have forgotten Carl Bernstein’s cautionary tale about the corrosive effect such relationships can have on credible and honest journalism [10], or the New York Times’s Christmas week 1977 mea culpa for having compromised itself and its readers by engaging in similar unhealthy relationships with the CIA, a recent scandal is worth mention.

Judy Miller, the recently disgraced New York Times reporter, was such a darling of the Bush Administration and the military that she was granted a security clearance not unlike Bohning’s. [11] Her bogus, prewar scare stories about the imminence of the Iraqi threat that the “leftist” New York Times published on the front page were a boon to the Neocons in the Bush Administration bent on manufacturing consent for war.

That Bohning’s higher-ups at the Miami Herald knew and approved of his cozy relationship only compounds the impropriety. At least The New York Times’ “top editors” publicly donned hair shirts and apologized to readers for betraying their trust. And not without reason. Bernstein documented that the problem wasn’t the occasional tainting tie between the rare, lowly stringer and the CIA. It was the myriad, compromising arrangements between The Agency and the higher-ups in outfits such as CBS, NBC, ABC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The L. A. Times, etc. that really took the bark out of our press watchdogs. This is not to say Bohning was corrupt, but that Mellen’s concern is well founded.

Ayton puts Holland in service of downplaying the links Mellen details between Clay Shaw and The Agency. “In reality, Clay Shaw had simply been one of thousands of businessmen who had once been a source for the CIA through its Domestic Contact Service … Shaw was a Kennedy supporter (and a) decorated war veteran.”

Here, flag-waving is substituted for dealing with Mellen’s great spadework on this interesting question. Ayton does not dispute that, as Mellen reported, Shaw had been cleared by the Agency for project “QKENCHAT (which) authorized trusted CIA personnel for clearance to recruit or enlist ‘civilians,’ people not officially with the Agency, to discuss ‘projects, activities and possible relationships.’” [p. 133]

If Ayton is right that Shaw’s arrangement was unexceptional, and that “thousands” of other American businessmen had similarly been empowered by the CIA to “recruit or enlist ‘civilians,’” there is no record of it. Moreover, the CIA called QKENCHANT an “operational project,” not an intelligence-gathering project. And Shaw’s records were kept in The Agency’s “operational files,” not with the “innocent” Domestic Contact files that housed the routine debriefings of ‘simple’ returning American businessmen.

Ironically, Ayton ignores what even Max Holland has acknowledged: Shaw lied under oath in denying his association with the CIA. “Have you ever worked for the Central Intelligence Agency?” Shaw’s own defense attorney F. Irvin Dymond asked him. “No, I have not,” replied Shaw.” [11] Against the interests of his own Agency, CIA director, Richard Helms, put the lie to that. Holland relates that Shaw had had an [at least] eight-year relationship with the CIA, sending The Agency information on 33 separate occasions that the CIA invariably graded as “of value” and “reliable.” [12]

One might have expected that, if only for political reasons, a Warren Commission loyalist bent on diverting suspicion from the CIA and focusing it instead on Garrison would have avoided citing Holland’s essay, “The Lie That Linked the CIA to the Kennedy Assassination.” For that poorly conceived, anti-Garrison tirade was published by the CIA itself after his fellows at The Nation Magazine, where Holland works as a contributing editor, rejected the paper from their magazine. [13]

To undermine the important revelations of Thomas Edward Beckham, a House Select Committee witness Mellen features, Ayton describes him as a “semi-literate,” implying that the memory of a poor reader could be safely ignored. During a visit to New Orleans, Mellen interviewed former House Select Committee investigator, L. J. Delsa, a murder investigator with more than 30 years experience working variously as a federal, state or local official. In an interview on December 7, 2005, Delsa opined that, on the basis of his personal knowledge, he believed that Beckham was a credible witness.

Similar problems mar the rest of Ayton’s review. But at the end of the day, still standing are Mellen’s demolitions of the myths that the CIA played no part in JFK’s demise and that Oswald was a loner. And she has established quite convincingly that Clay Shaw’s International Trade Mart in New Orleans was a hornet’s nest of activity undoubtedly related to The Agency in ways known only to those with access to still-sealed files.

With what we’ve already learned from declassified files, it’s no mystery why the government has remained so passionate about maintaining secrecy concerning JFK’s demise. For it is information that has been painfully extracted from once-secret files over the past 41 years that has steadily eroded the fables upon which the Warren Commission built its case. Mellen’s book has completed a demolition that Ayton’s valiant efforts can’t hope to stave off.

It’s past time he understood that. For when keepers of the flickering flame have to resort to Agency-abetted disquisitions to defend The Agency’s innocence, the gig is up and it’s time to sent up a white flag.

Gary L. Aguilar, San Francisco

[1] The proposition, “Was Garrison Duped by the KGB?” was the subject of our debate held during a conference hosted by the Assassination Archives and Research Center in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, September 18, 2004 at the Marriot Wardman Park Hotel. Holland was to have defended that proposition but did not. He chose instead to argue that Jim Garrison had “lied” when he said in his book, “On the Trail of the Assassins,” that he’d not heard of the Il Paese Sera articles until after the Clay Shaw trial. While Holland established that Garrison had indeed seen the Il Paese Sera articles before trial, he was less convincing that Garrison’s inaccurate statement was really a lie rather than a mistake. As noted in the text, Garrison never used any of the material in the articles during the trial, and his book was published 21 years after he’d seen them.

[2] Steve Dorril, Permindex: The International Trade in Disinformation. Lobster: the journal of parapolitics, intelligence and State Research, #3, 1983. On-line at: http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/lobster.htm [Had Ayton but google-searched the obvious words, “Il Paese Sera, CMC,” the second “hit” would have taken him directly to this article.]

[3] See: http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/siss.txt

In its entirety, John McAdams’s newsgroup post read as follows:

From - Fri Oct 15 12:22:19 1999

From: 6489mcadamsj@vms.csd.mu.edu (John McAdams)

Newsgroups: alt.assassination.jfk

Approved: jmcadams@execpc.com

Subject: IL PAESE SERA and Communist disinformation

Date: Fri, 15 Oct 1999 17:19:56 GMT

Message-ID: <38075e84.4563189@mcadams.posc.mu.edu>

X-Newsreader: Forte Free Agent 1.11/32.235


Lines: 79

Path: mcadams.posc.mu.edu!

From "Communist Forgeries," a Senate Internal Security

Sub-Committee hearing on 2 June 61, testimony of Richard Helms, pp.


<Quote on>

In recent days we have seen an excellent example of how the

Communists use the false news story. In late April rumors began to

circulate in Europe, rumors charging that the Algerian-based generals

who had plotted the overthrow of President De Gaulle had enjoyed

support from NATO, the Pentagon, or CIA. Although this fable could

have been started by supporters of General Challe, it bears all the

earmarks of having been invented within the bloc.

In Western Europe this lie was first printed on the 23rd of

April by a Rome daily called Il Paese.

Senator KEATING: Is Il Paese a Communist paper?

Mr. HELMS: It is not a Communist paper, as such. We believe

it to be a crypto-Communist paper but it is not like Unita, the large

Communist daily in Rome. It purports to be an independent newspaper,

but obviously it serves Communist ends.

The story charged --

"It is not by chance that some people in Paris are accusing

the American secret service headed by Allen Dulles of having

participated in the plot of the four 'ultra' generals * * * Franco,

Salazar, Allen Dulles are the figures who hide themselves behind the

pronunciamentos of the 'ultras'; they are the pillars of an

international conspiracy that, basing itself on the Iberian

dictatorships, on the residue of the most fierce and blind

colonialism, on the intrigues of the C.I.A. * * * reacts furiously to

the advance of progress and democracy * * *."

We found it interesting that Il Paese was the starting point

for a lie that the Soviets spread around the world. This paper and

its evening edition, Paese Sera, belong to a small group of journals

published in the free world but used as outlets for disguised Soviet

propaganda. These newspapers consistently release and replay

anti-American, anti-Western, pro-Soviet bloc stories, distorted or

wholly false. Mario Malloni, director of both Il Paese and Paese

Sera, has been a member of the World Peace Council since 1958. The

World Peace Council is a bloc-directed Communist front.

On the next day Pravda published in Moscow a long article

about the generals' revolt.

Senator KEATING: May I interrupt there? Did Pravda pick it

up as purportedly from Il Paese? Did they quote the other paper, the

Italian paper, as the source of that information?

Mr. HELMS: Pravda did not cite Il Paese. But instead of

having this originate in Moscow, where everybody would pinpoint it,

they planted the story first in Italy and picked it up from Italy and

this is the way it actually went out in point of time [sic].

<Quote off>

This is important context for understanding the PAESE SERA articles

that linked Clay Shaw (correctly) to CMC/Permindex, and connected

CMC/Permindex (falsely) to support for the OAS attempts against De

Gaulle, various fascist and Nazi forces, etc. The PAESE SERA stories

were quickly picked up and repeated by leftist journals in France,

Moscow, and Canada.

This by no means proves that the CMC/PERMINDEX stuff was a KGB

disinformation operation. The left-wing journalists at the paper

would have been happy to smear what they considered to be the "forces

of capitalist imperialism" without any direct orders from Moscow.

Indeed, Helms is only *inferring* that the earlier story about anti-De

Gaulle generals was a KGB operation.

But this episode does put the 1967 articles on Shaw/Permindex into

context. The articles were, in one way or another, motivated by a

communist ideological agenda.


[4] * Anthony Marro. Helms Is Fined $2,000 and Given Two-Year Suspended Prison Term--U.S. Judge Rebukes Ex-C.I.A. Head for Misleading Panel. New York Times, 11/5/77, p.1.

* See also: Gary Aguilar. Max Holland Rescues the Warren Commission and The Nation. Probe Magazine, Sept-Oct. 2000 (vol. 7 No.6)

On-line at: http://www.webcom.com/ctka/pr900-holland.html#_edn151

* See also Richard Helms’ obituary, on-line at: www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/10/23/national/main526654.shtml+Helms+Is+Fined+">,000+and+Given+Two-Year+Suspended+Prison+Term&hl=en&client=firefox-a

[5] In: The Assassination Chronicles--Inquest, Counterplot, and Legend by Edward J. Epstein. New York: Carroll & Graf, 1992, p. 250--263.

[6] Playboy interview of Jim Garrison is on-line at: http://www.jfklancer.com/Garrison2.html, ff

[7] Harold Weisberg. Oswald in New Orleans--Case of Conspiracy with the C.I.A. New York: Canyon Books, 1967, p. 7--14.]

[8] See the text supported by footnotes 138 to 146 in the essay, “Max Holland Rescues the Warren Commission and the Nation” by Gary L. Aguilar. Probe Magazine, Sept-Oct. 2000 (vol. 7 No.6)

On-line at: http://www.webcom.com/ctka/pr900-holland.html#_edn151

[9] Joan Mellen. A Farewell to Justice. Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books, 2005, p. 253.

[10] Carl Bernstein. The CIA and the Media. Rolling Stone Magazine, 10/20/77. Excerpts available on line at: http://www.webcom.com/~lpease/media/ciamedia.htm

[11] William E. Jackson, Jr.. The Mystery of Judy Miller's 'Security Clearance' Deepens. Editor & Publisher, 10/26/05.

On-line at: http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/co...t_id=1001390654

[12] Max Holland. The Lie that Linked the CIA to the Kennedy Assassination. On-line at the CIA’s website at: http://www.cia.gov/csi/studies/fall_winter.../article02.html

[13] On condition I not disclose his identity, a former editor at The Nation told me that Holland’s CIA-published article had been rejected by Holland’s fellow editors. I asked Holland about the rejection in person at a Washington, D.C. JFK conference on November 19 2005. “Politics,” he said, explained the rejection.

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I would like to hear Professor Mellen's comments to the criticisms that were raised of her book on this Forum, many of which I believe are more significant than Ayton's.

Is Dr. Aguilar a member? I think he joined. Perhaps he can answer whether Mellen accurately cited the testimony of Helms and Harvey. If she did, every member of the assassination research committee is a dunderhead for missing those bombshells (ditto for every member of the Church Committee).

And how can Mellen be trusted to accurately report what witnesses told her when she could not, apparently, get straight what Mr. Murgado told her? I have yet to hear her explanation for that.

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I would like to hear Professor Mellen's comments to the criticisms that were raised of her book on this And how can Mellen be trusted to accurately report what witnesses told her when she could not, apparently, get straight what Mr. Murgado told her? I have yet to hear her explanation for that.


How did Ms. Mellen misquote or "not...get straight" what Mr. Murgado told her?

I was in communication with Ms. Mellen by mail but do not know if this will continue as I

was a bit critical in my last communication, so it remains to be seen if she will contnue to respond.

John: She only answered questions a few times here, do you expect she will be back? I' m sure many of us here have more questions/points etc.


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Dawn, she sent us a story which we published verbatim in "Solares Hill" and I have copies of it. (She has published a "revised" copy of her web-site.) I published her article, at her request, here. A day later she called to implore me to amend it (but not to call any attention to the amendment). The change was that Murgado told her that Oswald was at Odio's apartment and did not travel there with he and deTorres. A very, very important point.

Hemming confirms that is exactly what Murgado told her. She has never tried to argue that Murgado was changing his story. By her lack of protest, it appears clear that Murgado told her that but she was so wrapped up in her own agenda she missed that point!

How could any assassination researcher interview someone who claimed to be Angel and miss that point? It is almost beyond belief.

And of course Gerry Hemming states she has misquoted him as well. The statement she attributes to Hemming (that Helms plotted the assassination) is so out-of-character that I called him as soon as I read it.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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And of course Gerry Hemming states she has misquoted him as well. The statement she attributes to Hemming (that Helms plotted the assassination) is so out-of-character that I called him as soon as I read it.

Mellen has stated she has Gerry on tape stating that. Now he has changed his tune, not necessarily denying it, but claiming that Mellen recorded him without his permission, or something like that.

Please see my post in the books section on the Helms' testimony. It is available on the Mary Ferrel site and accurately quoted (although the information comes from Helms' interviewers, not Helms himself. This isn't a problem, though, as she does not quote Helms as saying so, she just cites his testimony as the source in the footnotes). On Harvey, you have failed to provide any information to the contratry.

I don't see how she was "agenda-driven" on Murgado. She corrected her error and the corrected version is the one that is seen in her book and on her website.

Edited by Owen Parsons
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