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Michael L. Kurtz


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Gus Russo does not claim that Castro did it but he does not exclude the possibility and his book is replete with evidence re Castro's motive and possible DGI agents in Dealey Plaza. I cannot post his entire book here. I can only encourage members to read it. But many, like Dawn, exclude the possibility that Castro did it and refuse to read Russo's book.

Similar situation exists with Trento's book.

If people want to seriously evaluate the evidence of Cuban involvement, they should read Russo's book, Trento's book and Kurtz's book. I do not claim to have substantial evidence other than those sources. well, let me amend that. I also believe Trento's book because I think Angleton was correct about many things, including the Nosenko affair. Further evidence would be that Richard Nagell claimed that the GRU had pre-knowledge of the upcoming assassination.

Everyone ought to know that I try to read just about everything I can about the assassination and I do not exclude any scenario provided there is some evidence to suggest it. Anyone who is sincere in wanting to solve the assassination ought to be willing to follow the evidence where it leads, and that would then include reading Russo, Trento and Kurtz. It is fine if they read the books with an open mind and then decide to reject them. But I don't think anyone can state he or she is willing to follow the evidence and then refuse to read those books.

Consider the evidence of DGI agents in Dealey Plaza. Robert Charles-Dunne writes off all such evidence solely because it is contained in CIA reports. One report came from the aunt of one of the agents, so Robert then argued the aunt was not a good source. I guess Robert would only believe it if the report included statements by both of the Cuban's parents and each of his siblings, and then only after each family member had undergone a polygraph examination.

Russo, Trento and Kurtz all use the same evidence to suggest that Castro was in some way responsible for the assassination of JFK.

It is wrong to put Kurtz in the same camp as Russo and Trento. I rate his book, Crime of the Century: The Kennedy Assassination From a Historian's Perspective (1982), very highly. In fact, it is one of the few books on the assassination that has been written by a historian. Kurtz does not of course claim that Castro did order the assassination. Like anybody who knows anything about politics in 1963, Castro's motivation makes no sense at all. After all, JFK was in secret negotiations with Castro in 1963. JFK's attitude towards Castro had changed dramatically since the Cuban Missile Crisis. This is what concerned those who were really behind the assassination. Anyway, as Castro pointed out afterwards, why would he want JFK replaced by Lyndon Johnson. Also, any link between Castro and the assassination would have triggered a full-scale invasion of Cuba. It makes more sense that those violently opposed to Castro should want to set-up Castro in order to get the invasion that JFK refused to give them.

This is the evidence presented by Kurtz in his book:

The CIA knew that the Cuban government employed assassins and that it had actually carried out an assassination in Mexico. On 19 March 1964, the intelligence agency learned that a "Cuban-American" who was somehow "involved in the assassination" crossed the border from Texas to Mexico on 23 November, stayed in Mexico for four days, and flew to Cuba on 27 November. The CIA also received information that on 22 November, a Cubana Airlines flight from Mexico City to Havana was delayed for five hours until a passenger arrived in a private aircraft. The individual boarded the Cubana flight, and it left for Havana shortly before 11:00 p.m.

These occurrences clearly arouse suspicions of an assassination plot engineered by the Cuban government under Fidel Castro. Various items of information gleaned from the recently declassified FBI and CIA assassination files reinforce those suspicions. On 24 November 1963, for example, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover sent an urgent telegram to the FBI legation in Madrid: "Spanish Intelligence possesses a report that attributes president's assassination to Castro and claims that Oswald was acting as Cuban agent." The CIA also received similar information from several sources. One claimed that the Chinese Communists and Castro had masterminded the assassination. Another source claimed that a "Miss T" heard Cubans talking about having the president killed. Yet another source in Spain told the CIA that local Cuban officials asserted that Oswald "had nothing to do with Kennedy's murder."

Russo and Trento have gone further than Kurtz and have actually named the people who were probably involved in the assassination. Both these men got their information from sources within the CIA. In "The Secret History of the CIA" Trento writes: "In Angleton's theory, agents Policarpo and Casas, plus a third man whom Angleton would not name, separately worked their way to Dallas, where they met up and carried out the assassination." (page 266)

For some reason Russo and Trento trust the CIA on this issue. What could be their motivation for lying? They do not entertain the possibility that the CIA was involved in the assassination and this was part of a disinformation campaign.

Gerry McKnight tells me that Michael Kurtz has written a new book on the assassination. It will be interesting if he still believes that it is possible that Castro was behind the assassination.

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I just reviewed a MS by Michael Kurtz that will be coming out this year under the University of Kansas Press label. His Introduction speaks to your question better than I have above and I recommend you keep your eye peeled for it.
By the way, I assume that this is the same Michael Kurtz who wrote "The Crime of the Century: The Kennedy Assassination from a Historian's Perspective"? If so, does he still think it is possible that the Soviets were involved in the assassination?

The Kurtz I mention is the one you suspected. But from his ms that I reviewed for the Kansas Press he is now of the view that JFK was a victim of CIA or rogue US elements. However, while he does not believe Oswald shot JFK, he does deem it probable that Oswald shot Tippit. Go figure.

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I just reviewed a MS by Michael Kurtz that will be coming out this year under the University of Kansas Press label. His Introduction speaks to your question better than I have above and I recommend you keep your eye peeled for it.
By the way, I assume that this is the same Michael Kurtz who wrote "The Crime of the Century: The Kennedy Assassination from a Historian's Perspective"? If so, does he still think it is possible that the Soviets were involved in the assassination?

The Kurtz I mention is the one you suspected. But from his ms that I reviewed for the Kansas Press he is now of the view that JFK was a victim of CIA or rogue US elements. However, while he does not believe Oswald shot JFK, he does deem it probable that Oswald shot Tippit. Go figure.

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I just reviewed a MS by Michael Kurtz that will be coming out this year under the University of Kansas Press label. His Introduction speaks to your question better than I have above and I recommend you keep your eye peeled for it.

By the way, I assume that this is the same Michael Kurtz who wrote "The Crime of the Century: The Kennedy Assassination from a Historian's Perspective"? If so, does he still think it is possible that the Soviets were involved in the assassination?

The Kurtz I mention is the one you suspected. But from his ms that I reviewed for the Kansas Press he is now of the view that JFK was a victim of CIA or rogue US elements. However, while he does not believe Oswald shot JFK, he does deem it probable that Oswald shot Tippit. Go figure.

Good. It sounds like Kurtz might be the one to convince the mainstream media that there's something to all this conspiracy talk. The CT insistence that Oswald was totally innocent has done nothing but drive them away, IMO. It just doesn't sell in Peoria that someone would kill a random cop and try to pin it on Oswald. Not when it would have been easier to just kill Oswald and make it look like a suicide, etc. I look forward to Kurtz' new book.

Edited by Pat Speer
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I just reviewed a MS by Michael Kurtz that will be coming out this year under the University of Kansas Press label. His Introduction speaks to your question better than I have above and I recommend you keep your eye peeled for it.

By the way, I assume that this is the same Michael Kurtz who wrote "The Crime of the Century: The Kennedy Assassination from a Historian's Perspective"? If so, does he still think it is possible that the Soviets were involved in the assassination?

The Kurtz I mention is the one you suspected. But from his ms that I reviewed for the Kansas Press he is now of the view that JFK was a victim of CIA or rogue US elements. However, while he does not believe Oswald shot JFK, he does deem it probable that Oswald shot Tippit. Go figure.

Good. It sounds like Kurtz might be the one to convince the mainstream media that there's something to allthis conspiracy talk. The CT insistence that Oswald was totally innocent has done nothing but drive them away, IMO. It just doesn't sell in Peoria that someone would kill a random cop and try to pin it on Oswald. Not when it would have been easier to just kill Oswald and make it look like a suicide, etc. I look forward to Kutz' new book.

Pat

Then there's the school of thought that the Tippit murder had nothing to do

in any way with the assassination. It was an unfortunate murder of a Dallas police

officer with no connection to JFK's death. I'm not saying that I subscribe to this

theory. However, didn't Tippit have skeletons in his closet that would've brought

the potential of danger to him? Then again, is it a mere coincidence that Tippit would

be murdered 45 minutes after the President? So many questions and few answers.

Bill C

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  • 3 months later...
I rate his book, Crime of the Century: The Kennedy Assassination From a Historian's Perspective (1982), very highly. In fact, it is one of the few books on the assassination that has been written by a historian.

.....Gerry McKnight tells me that Michael Kurtz has written a new book on the assassination. It will be interesting if he still believes that it is possible that Castro was behind the assassination.

I just reviewed a MS by Michael Kurtz that will be coming out this year under the University of Kansas Press label. His Introduction speaks to your question better than I have above and I recommend you keep your eye peeled for it.

According to an email I received from Britt DeTienne, Accounts Manager for the University Press of Kansas:

Good news! The expected arrival date for JFK Assassination Debates (by Michael Kurtz) has been moved up to 9/22/06. In about one month, the book will be in our warehouse.

http://www.kansaspress.ku.edu/

Edited by Michael Hogan
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IMHO. Michael Kurtz's book Crime of the Century is a good book, containing detailed analysis of the ballistics evidence, and then after a damning indictment of the official verdict it ends with a final chapter which out of the blue says "well, I guess if it wasn't Oswald it must have been Castro." I was left mystified and underwhelmed. I haven't read Trento's book so I can't comment there.

As for Gus Russo, my biggest problem is that I don't trust any writers who have clear agendas and are more than willing to bend facts to fit them. For all Russo's detailed footnoting, I think this applies. Two examples out of the many possible:

1. Early in the book Live by the Sword (p.34), in order to show that JFK was really cozy with the CIA and not someone who was going to split them up and "scatter them to the winds", he quotes JFK at the groundbreaking of the new CIA headquarters. He also on the same page quotes Kennedy praising Richard Bissell while awarding him a National Security medal, this after having fired him. If you have to dig as deep as Washington speeches given at official functions like this in order to find JFK making positive comments about the CIA, I guess that proves the point that Kennedy and the CIA weren't getting along.

2. I have posted elsewhere on this forum (see post, or see the bottom half of this essay page) regarding Russo's treatment of the Luisa Calderon affair in his book, where he quoted from a new (at the time) document which he could expect readers not to have seen, and then misrepresented it badly. A transcript which in fact exonerates Calderon from the always-silly "foreknowledge" charge is used by Russo to try to strengthen that charge, by his highly selective use of it. This is simply dishonest, and while I don't meant to make a mountain out of this one story, I think it's telling and was a big red flag for me.

Gus Russo is clearly very smart, and clearly knows his material well. That's not the problem with his book. For me, it's whether I can trust him to tell the story really uncovered by that material.

It's my belief that any serious review of the evidence shows that there was a pre-assassination attempt to pin the upcoming murder on Castro, followed by more of the same post-assassination. This necessitated the lone nut cover-up. Peter Dale Scott provides the most thoughtful, not to mention honest, treatment of the general topic. See Deep Politics and the Death of JFK or Deep Politics II.

Rex

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