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James W. Powell in Dealey Plaza

Guest Mark Valenti

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Chris, just to put that in context the mission of the MIG groups changed dramatically circa 68/69 when Johnson authorized an entirely new level of domestic military intelligence planning and intel collection. The military began a level of proactive collections in major cities, a brand new practice, with the objective being to respond to large scale race and anti-war rioting. This followed the massive race riots in Detroit and L.A. Stu and I wrote about such activities in The Awful Grace of God, in regard to Memphis and the MLK assassination. Key terms for a search would be Lantern Spike and Rose Garden, (these actions were described as Civil Disorder Operations and authorized by the Army Intelligence and Security Command. The primary participants were from regional military intelligence groups. But its important to note that this all came following a Presidential Executive Order issued in 1968 and was not part of any standard mission for the military intel groups in earlier years - how do we know that, because the ARRB collected the full mission and training materials package as well as the TO and job descriptions for the 112th MIG, and nothing of that order is in them. All of this stuff was quite mysterious years ago, its only cleared up in the last couple of decades. Actually I suspect the Army might have had my photo from marches of that period...I always imagined that possiblity. Back then campus police were even photographing protests where we did nothing more than sit on lawns - ah, the good old days.

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If you jump to the 18:00 min. mark on that video you will see a roll that is eerily similar to this quote:

"We're photographing demonstrators with telephoto cameras from rooftops. We'll identify individual demonstrators and put their names in computer files. We've started this on the West Coast."
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Chris, that would have been SOP for the new MIG activities instituted following the Presidential directive Johnson issued in 1968 - but I have to once again note that your footage and all those practices applied in 68 on. And in truth they were assumed by all of us who were protesting in that period; for example we knew campus police were building photo inventories of everyone participating in campus protests. That's just the way it was... Anyone who wants to dig into it can get started with searches on Lantern Spike and Garden Plot (as I recall the latter was largely a California thing).

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On 12/11/2020 at 3:02 PM, Pat Speer said:

Has anyone uncovered a photo of Powell in Dealey Plaza? 

I have clips of him. Confirmed to me by someone who knew him well. He appears in the first two clips on the left. I added a third one showing the same scene. Powell mentioned he talked to Brennan. I don’t know if he mentioned the notes he’s talking.


Edited by Denis Morissette
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