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David Talbot disagrees with Shane's premise

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"REX: I'd like to switch forward because there's been some more recent news in the 43-year-old murder, and you've been involved in some of the news. Shane O'Sullivan, of BBC Newsnight, last fall put out a story that three high-level CIA officials were present at the Ambassador Hotel when RFK was killed. You and Washington Post reporter Jeff Morley then started tracking down the story. Can you tell us about that?

DAVID: Yeah, I think it's a fascinating episode in Kennedy research. As you say, a young filmmaker named Shane O'Sullivan went on the air - on the BBC - in November, with a startling report alleging that David Morales, George Joannides, and a fellow named Gordon Campbell - and the first two have long been connected in research circles to Dallas - were caught on camera at the Ambassador Hotel the night Bobby was killed in Los Angeles. He showed clips of news footage and still photographs that were taken that night and identified them as these three men, three CIA officials who were connected, again, to the Agency's secret war on Castro. Well, this was a kind of "holy xxxx" moment, because if that was the case, then you're connecting the same people who might have JFK to the people who might have killed RFK.

So I was in the finishing stages of my book, but I felt this had to be looked into before I sent my book off to the publisher, so Jeff Morley and I got an assignment from The New Yorker to look into it. With the New Yorker's resources, we were able to criss-cross he country, going from Miami to Northern California, Arizona and Washington and New England, and talked to a number of people to pin down whether or not these three CIA agents were indeed there. Well, unfortunately for Shane, and those who believed the story, we found that it simply wasn't true. Gordon Campbell - the person he identified as Gordon Campbell - turned out to be a U.S. Army official who had been attached to the CIA's JMWAVE station in Miami, but he had died in 1962, so of course it was impossible for him to show up in 1968 at the Ambassador.

We also found, finally - and I'm actually looking at these photographs right now - excellent photographs taken of David Morales around 1968. We've only had a very kind of rudimentary photo of him for the most part, that was taken out of a Cuban newspaper - and it's even in my book because I wasn't able to get these other photos in time - and so we weren't able to really get a good sense of what David Morales looked like until now. And if you compare these new photos that we now have in our possession - Jeff Morley and I, we've seen four photos of Morales from that period - it's clearly not the man in the news footage at the Ambassador Hotel. The physical characteristics are just completely different. People who knew him well say the same thing when they look at Shane O'Sullivan's report and these photos.

The same is true of George Joannides. We also found good photos of Joannides taken around the same time, and again, it's simply not the man caught on camera at the Ambassador.

On the other hand, David Morales has told - before he died - he told his attorney Robert Walton, and he told a good friend, who I did interview again, that he was in Dallas and Los Angeles at the times of the assassinations. He went further with his attorney and told him that he played a role in it. He did tell his friend Reuben Carbajal, who again, I interviewed, that the CIA killed JFK. So it wasn't complete lunacy for Shane O'Sullivan to assume that this might have been David Morales caught on camera. We have other evidence that Morales was connected to these assassinations, but these photographs or news footage that Shane used in his films simply don't corroborate it.

REX: It would certainly be the height of brazenness for three high-level CIA officials to be in the ballroom while planning that murder."

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Guest John Gillespie

REX: It would certainly be the height of brazenness for three high-level CIA officials to be in the ballroom while planning that murder."



"Is it the real turtle soup or merely the mock?" - Cole Porter

Thanks Myra. Putting the kibosh on misinformation is, I believe, at least as important as the discovery of something valid. Looks like someone tried to run with the baton before getting a handle. Lots of that going around.



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