Dear Mac from Dez – About those Cubans

April 24, 2012

After the assassination of President Kennedy, it became apparent that LBJ was not going to have anything to do with the anti-Castro Cubans who were entangled with what happened in Dallas. After this meeting, Des Fitzgerald, who had previously briefed the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the CIA’s covert Cuban ops the previous September, wrote this memo to Mac Bundy for the record detailing their discussions as to what to do with the Cubans.

They specifically refer to the five missions planned in April and approved in June that took place in the fall of 1963, five missions out of JM/WAVE that were officially approved, including the botched missions that resulted in the exposure in the New York Times of the Rex and the Collins Radio cover.

Letter From the Chief of the Western Hemisphere Division of the Central Intelligence Agency (FitzGerald) to the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs

Washington, March 6, 1964.

Dear Mac:

Dick Helms and I are most appreciative of the opportunity you gave us this morning for a thorough discussion of the Agency’s various operational problems in connection with Cuba. It was very helpful to us and has served to clarify to a great extent our own thinking on the future of our various operational programs. It might perhaps be well to set forth, in this informal fashion, a list of the various topics which we discussed together with the considerations that appear to me to apply.

In the first place, as you know very well, although the Agency appears as the proposer of most covert action programs at the Special Group and elsewhere, we do this only in response to what we understand to be policy requirements and have no interest in either commencing or perpetuating any programs which are not demanded by policy and which are not geared to the accomplishment of a specific objective. The interdependent program of actions which we proposed last spring and which was accepted in June 2 was based on three propositions which were accepted at the time: (a) that it was in the U.S. interest to get rid of Castro; (b) that, in attempting to do so, the U.S. did not wish either to employ overt force or to raise the international “noise level” to an unacceptable degree; and (c) that the ultimate objective of the program was not mass uprisings but to encourage disaffected elements within the military establishment and other power centers of the regime to carry out a coup.

The resulting program represented a maximum covert effort but only a minimum overall national effort which could result in overthrowing Castro. The percentage of chance of achieving this purpose was admittedly never too high even had the program proceeded on full blower. In fact the economic part of the program suffered a serious, if not fatal, reverse with the Leyland bus contract and subsequent moves by European suppliers to take advantage of Castro’s improved cash position. The sabotage raids, built into the program as a sort of firing pin for internal unrest and to create the conditions for a coup, which was to be the main force leading to Castro’s defeat, ran only from August to December and only five were actually conducted. The effectiveness of these five raids is certainly debatable; there are strong proponents on both sides of the argument. Regardless of how that debate might come out, however, five rather low-key raids followed by the present three-month hiatus, the latter clearly noted by pro- and anti-Castroites alike, adds up to a program of a much smaller dimension than originally envisioned which could not be expected to have had the desired detonating effect.

At the present time, as a result of a number of circumstances well known to you, Castro is in a strong upswing and the spirit of resistance within Cuba is at a very low point indeed. In my estimation, a covert program at this time designed to overthrow Castro is not realistic. Acceptance of risks and noise level of a greater magnitude than we had in mind in June would be needed to stand a chance in view of the developments since last June. This then raises the question of what should happen now to the various bits and pieces of the June program. I would like to mention these separately and refer to some of the considerations typical to each.

The sabotage raids are conducted by Cuban exile groups held and trained in
Florida and entirely subject to our planning and control. There are three of these groups totaling approximately 50 men. To place them in position and recover them there requires an extensive maritime apparatus in Florida, which likewise serves intelligence agent infiltrations and exfiltrations. To maintain the raiding capability on a stand-by basis is expensive but, more importantly, the raiding groups themselves have a relatively short shelf life; if not employed their morale deteriorates and some of the members, usually the best motivated, drop out. Replacements can be acquired and trained but their caliber and morale is in large part determined by the morale of the exile community as a whole. We probably can retain the present raiding groups at roughly their current capabilities for another month or two, although the well-known Cuban volatility is capable of causing sudden and more rapid deterioration.

In short, we will need to know within a reasonable time whether we should continue to effect repairs to and keep in being our sabotage raiding apparatus. The dismemberment of these raiding teams could be accomplished without too much shock to the exile community. It would be noticed, but, if done carefully, particularly if it coincided with the commencement of “autonomous” operations, it should not cause undue repercussions and polemics against U.S. policy.

We are seeking your advice to know which of the above lines of actions we should continue, which we should try to retain as a shelf capability and which to abandon. (Of course, intelligence collection would continue.) As parts of an integrated national program designed to have at least a fighting chance to get rid of Castro, they seemed to us to make sense; as separate pieces they can serve to exert some braking effect on Castro’s progress, but that is about all.


Just as the plans laid out in April and approved in early June were carried in the late summer and fall of 1963, the decisions made in Washington filtered down to the field where Bradley Ayers, the US Army Ranger Capt. assigned to train the Cubans for the approved missions, was given the assignment of dismissing them and clearing out the training base and safe houses.

Bradley Ayers – The Zenith Secret (VoxPop, NY 2006, p. 106-09) wrote:

As 1964 drew on, the focus of attention was shifting even more toVietnam. The military, virtually ignored at theBay of Pigs, and given false starts at the 1962 missile crisis and the French colonial adventure inAlgeria, ambitiously sought an outlet for its pent-up frustration. In the evolving age of “limited, non-nuclear war,” it sought desperately for a “brush fire” to extinguish……

Like a gnawing cancer the awareness that theCIAwould not go on indefinitely maintaining a do-nothing exile force and all their equipment weighted heavily on our minds. The cost would eventually become intolerable. So we knew that, sooner or later, we would be committed to a new action or the forces would be disbanded. We hoped for the former, but as the days wore on, the latter course of action appeared more and more a reality.

The order to disband came first to the commando groups that were hidden around southernFlorida. Gordon Campbell asked me to meet him for dinner at Black Caesar’s Forge. This would be our first face to face meeting since well before the assassination and I looked forward to it.Campbellwas at a table near the rear of the lower level dining room. He greeted me cordially, asked about my family and, for a few minutes made small talk as we ordered our meal. Something aboutCampbellhad changed. I had never seen this smooth, polished man ill at ease. But this night, he seemed edgy, a worried look on is face, his hands shook a bit as he lit a cigarette. Despite his troubled appearance, speaking to me, he was I usual matter-of-fact, unemotional self, a man who was never out of control.

Campbellexplained major foreign policy changes had been made by President Johnson, and the paramilitary effort developed by theCIAunder the previous administration was being phased out. The commando group I was responsible for would be given a security debriefing and be terminated with one month’s pay I advance. Administrative help would be terminated in the same fashion and sent home. All equipment would be removed, and the safe house would be thoroughly “swept” for security items, documents, and so on. I had one week to get the job done. Then I was to return to the training branch to supervise the closedown of my other training bases. Were there any questions?

“What do I tell the Cubans, Gordon?”

“You don’t have to tell them a damn thing. Just tell them you’re carrying out orders. Your company has lost its government contract. You know, nothing more than that.”

…I never saw or communicated with Gordon Campbell again…

Here’s a summary of the Special Group who approved the five CIA covert Cuban ops that took place in the summer and fall of 1963 that are connected to the assassination of JFK and some of the reasoning that went into them.

Church Committee Report –

3. Overview: 40 Committee and NSCIC

Prior to President Ford’s reorganization, twoNSC(National Security Council) committees, the 40 Committee and the National Security Council Intelligence Committee, had special intelligence duties… Throughout its history, the 40 Committee and its direct predecessors – the 303 Committee, the 5412 or Special Group, the 10/5 and 10/2 Panels – have been charged with variousNSCdirectives with exercising political control over foreign covert operations. (Covert operations encompass a wide range of programs. These include political and propaganda programs designed to influence or support foreign political parties, groups, and specific political and military leaders; economic action programs; paramilitary operations; and some counterinsurgency programs. Human intelligence or spying, and counterespionage programs are not included under the rubric of covert operations.)

…The concept of “plausible denial” is intended not only to hide the hand of the United States Government, but to protect the President from embarrassment of a “blown” covert operation. In the words of former CIA Director Richard Helms:  “….[the] Special Group was the mechanism….set up…to use as a circuit-breaker so that these things did not explode in the President’s face and so that he was not held responsible for them.”

In the past, it appears that one means of protecting the President from embarrassment was not to tell him about certain covert operations, at least formally. According to Bromley Smith, an official who served on the National Security Council staff from 1958 to 1969, the concept of “plausible denial” was taken in almost literal sense: “The government was authorized to do certain things that the President was not advised of.” (Staff summary of Bromley Smith interview, 5/5/75).

[Note: Bromley Smith can be heard on the Air Force One tapes]

…Four senior officials who deal almost exclusively with foreign affairs have been central to each of the sequence of committees charged with considering covert operations: The President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (McG. Bundy), the Deputy Secretary of Defense, the Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs (formerly the Deputy Undersecretary), and the Director of Central Intelligence. These four officials, plus the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made up the 40 Committee. At certain times the Attorney General also sat on the Committee….

1 Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Cuba, Intelligence, Covert Program, 1/64–6/65. Secret; Eyes Only.
2 For text of the proposed program of action, see Foreign Relations, 1961–1963, vol. XI, Document 346.

346. Paper Prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency for the Standing Group of the National Security CouncilSource
Washington,June 8, 1963.

* Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Cuba, General, 6/63. Secret; Eyes Only. According to a covering memorandum from Smith to Bundy, June 10, this paper was to be submitted to the NSCStanding Group on June 11. The next (8th) meeting of the Standing Group was held on June 18, not June 11.Bundy’s record of action of the June 18 meeting indicated that the group discussed this paper and approved it for final decision by the President. (Ibid., Meetings and Memoranda Series, Standing Group Meeting, 6/18/63)

• Proposed Covert Policy and Integrated Program of Action towards Cuba

I. Introduction

1. Submitted herewith is a covert program for Cuba within CIA’s capabilities. Some parts of the program have already been approved and are being implemented. Being closely inter-related, the total cumulative impact of the courses of action set forth in this program is dependent upon the simultaneous coordinated execution of the individual courses of action.

2. This program is based on the assumption that current U.S. policy does not contemplate outright military intervention in Cuba or a provocation which can be used as a pretext for an invasion of Cuba by United States military forces. It is further assumed that U.S. policy calls for the exertion of maximum pressure by all means available to the U.S. Government, short of military intervention, to prevent the pacification of the population and the consolidation of the Castro/Communist regime. The ultimate objective of this policy would be to encourage dissident elements in the military and other power centers of the regime to bring about the eventual liquidation of the Castro/Communist entourage and the elimination of the Soviet presence from Cuba.

3. While the effect of a program of maximum pressure is unpredictable, it is suggested that a sustained intensive effort undertaken now to prevent the consolidation of the Castro/Communist regime may in the future present the United States with opportunities and options not now foreseeable. The consequences of a policy of allowing Castro to “stew in his own juice,” however, are foreseeable. According to current estimates, barring Castro’s death or a decisive change in the U.S. posture or Soviet policy towards Cuba, the Castro regime is likely to be more firmly established a year hence, despite possible economic setbacks. The mere passage of time tends to favor Castro as the population and elite groups in Cuba become accustomed to the idea that he is here to stay and as his regime gains in administrative experience and the security organs become more efficient. Over the longer run, the existence of an organized party apparatus as well as a stable governmental machinery could reduce the indispensability of Castro’s personal leadership. Thus, if left to chance, the U.S. must be prepared to accept for the indefinite future a Communist regime in Cuba closely tied to and a significant component of the Soviet world power structure.

4. Within the context of the policy assumptions and estimate of the situation in Cuba outlined above, CIA submits a program consisting of the following interdependent courses of action:

A. Covert collection of intelligence, both for U.S. strategic requirements as well as for operational requirements.

B. Propaganda actions to stimulate low-risk simple sabotage and other forms of active and passive resistance.

C. Exploitation and stimulation of disaffection in the Cuban military and other power centers.

D. Economic denial actions on an increased basis.

E. General sabotage and harassment.

F. Support of autonomous anti-Castro Cuban groups to supplement and assist in the execution of the above courses of action.

5. A vital feature of the foregoing program to exert maximum pressure on the Castro/Communist regime is the dependence of the impact of each course of action on the simultaneous and effective execution of the other courses of action. Thus, intelligence information is needed to permit the planning and mounting of operations against economic denial and sabotage targets. Covert propaganda actions are designed to produce a psychological climate in Cuba conducive to the accomplishment of the other courses of action in the integrated covert program. Only after the effects of economic denial and sabotage actions are deeply felt by the populace and the elite groups can one hope to convert disaffection in the armed forces and other power centers of the regime into militant revolt against the Castro/Communist entourage. It is also at this point where CIA-controlled and autonomous activist elements in the Cuban exile community can begin to assume genuine resistance proportions. As a consequence of this inter-related and continuous process, it is reasonable to expect a considerable increase in the volume and quality of the intelligence product on the basis of which additional and increasingly more effective operations can be mounted. Unless all the components of this program are executed in tandem, the individual courses of action are almost certain to be of marginal value, even in terms of achieving relatively limited policy objectives. This is clearly a cause where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

II. Discussion of Components of an Integrated Program

6. In amplification of the courses of action listed in paragraph 4 above, the following additional description and terms of reference are offered:

A. Covert collection of intelligence, both for U.S. strategic requirements as well as for operational requirements.

Covert collection of intelligence continues to be a major CIA mission. Without detracting from our strategic intelligence efforts, emphasis is being given to increasing the volume and quality of intelligence needed for planning and mounting the operations contemplated in the integrated program described in this paper, particularly for defections and penetrations and for economic denial and sabotage actions against vulnerable sectors of the Cuban economy.

B. Propaganda actions to stimulate low-risk simple sabotage and other forms of active and passive resistance.

In accordance with a previously approved psychological program in support of U.S. policy on Cuba, CIA-controlled radio programs and other propaganda media directed at Cuba encourage low-risk simple sabotage and other forms of active and passive resistance. These media also seek to stimulate and exacerbate tensions within the regime and between Cuba and the Soviet Bloc, taking advantage of Sino-Soviet tensions. All of these propaganda operations are calculated to create a psychological atmosphere within Cuba which will facilitate the accomplishment of the other courses of action within the integrated covert action program.

C. Exploitation and stimulation of disaffection in the Cuban military and other power centers.

We are undertaking an intensive probing effort to identify, seek out and establish channels of communication with disaffected and potentially dissident non-Communist elements in the power centers of the regime, particularly in the armed forces hierarchy. The objective is to promote the fragmentation of the regime and possibly lead to an internal coup which would dislodge Castro and his entourage, and make it possible to eliminate the Cuban Communists from positions of power and force the withdrawal of the Soviet military presence and the termination of its economic aid. Several promising operations are already underway.

D. Economic denial actions.

Overt officialU.S. economic sanctions in conjunction with covert economic denial operations (such as denial of [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]) is causing a marked adverse effect on the Cuban economy. For maximum impact on the Cuban economy this effort must be coordinated with sabotage operations. We propose to continue and intensify economic denial operations which would be greatly enhanced by an inter-agency committee with a charter enabling it to call upon member agencies for rapid action.

E. General sabotage and harassment.

Sabotage in this program is both an economic weapon and a stimulus to resistance. As an economic weapon, it is a supplement to and therefore must be coordinated with the economic denial effort. As a stimulus to resistance, there must be visible and dramatic evidence of sabotage to serve as a symbol of growing popular defiance of the Castro regime.

These operations will be conducted either by externally held assets now available or by existing internal assets or those to be developed. Assets trained and controlled by CIAwill be used as will selected autonomous exile groups. Initially, the emphasis will be on the use of externally held assets with a shift to internal assets as soon as operationally feasible.

The types of sabotage considered appropriate for this program are:

(1) Simple low-risk sabotage on a large scale stimulated by propaganda media (approved and being implemented).

(2) Sabotage of Cuban ships outside Cuban waters (approved and being implemented).

(3) Externally mounted hit-and-run attacks against appropriately selected targets.

(4) Support of internal resistance elements, providing materiel and personnel to permit them to undertake a variety of sabotage and harassment operations.

It must be recognized that no single act of sabotage by itself can materially affect the economy or stimulate significant resistance. However, it is our opinion that a well-planned series of sabotage efforts, properly executed, would in time produce the effect we seek. Each action will have its dangers: there will be failures with consequent loss of life and charges of attribution to the United States resulting in criticism at home and abroad. None of these expected consequences should cause us to change our course if the program as outlined can be expected to be successful.

Annex A is an elaboration of a proposed sabotage and harassment program against Cuba.

F. Support of autonomous anti-Castro Cuban groups to supplement and assist in the execution of the above courses of action.

In the past, CIA has utilized only fully controlled and disciplined agent assets as a safeguard against unilateral and irresponsible action by Cuban exiles intent upon the liberation of their country. If sabotage and resistance activities are to be undertaken on a larger scale, it will be necessary to accept the risks involved in utilizing autonomous Cuban exile groups and individuals who will not necessarily be responsive to our guidance. CIA proposes the following “rules of engagement” to govern the conduct of these autonomous operations:

(1) It is the keystone of autonomous operations that they will be executed exclusively by Cuban nationals motivated by the conviction that the overthrow of the Castro/Communist regime must be accomplished by Cubans, both inside and outside Cuba acting in consonance.

(2) The effort will probably cost many Cuban lives. If this cost in lives becomes unacceptable to the U.S. conscience, autonomous operations can be effectively halted by the withdrawal of U.S. support; but once halted, it cannot be resumed.

(3) All autonomous operations will be mounted outside the territory of the United States.

(4) The United States Government must be prepared to deny publicly any participation in these acts no matter how loud or even how accurate may be the reports of U.S. complicity.

(5) The United States presence and direct participation in the operation would be kept to an absolute minimum. Before entering into an operational relationship with a group, the U.S. representative will make it clear that his Government has no intention of intervening militarily, except to counter intervention by the Soviets. An experienced CIA officer would be assigned to work with the group in a liaison capacity. He would provide general advice as requested as well as funds and necessary material support. He may be expected to influence but not control the conduct of operations.

(6) These operations would not be undertaken within a fixed time schedule.

III. Recommendation

7. Policy authority already exists for courses of action described in paragraph 6 A-D. In order that full advantage can be taken of an integrated covert action program, the Standing Group is requested to approve courses of action outlined in paragraph 6 E and F within the terms of reference and rules of engagement therein.

Annex A

• Sabotage/Harassment Program

The broad target categories against which the sabotage/harassment operations would be mounted and a preliminary evaluation of their effect, can be summarized as follows:

A. Electric Power

Disruption of any of the existing power grids which might be effected by damage to or destruction of the generating facilities or of the critical sub-stations in the distribution network, would significantly weaken the existing economic and social structure, particularly in view of the fact that in many areas the power now available is not adequate to meet the demands of industrial and public consumers. Smaller acts of sabotage/harassment by the populace such as throwing chains over high tension lines to short them out, would also exacerbate the current power shortage, and the cumulative effect of all such actions could cause a prolonged breakdown of the power system as there is already a shortage of spare parts and replacement materiels.

B. Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants (POL)

Damage to or destruction ofPOL production and/or storage facilities would seriously affect almost all aspects of the Cuban economy. The electric power industry depends almost entirely uponPOL as fuel for the generating plants and the sugar industry depends uponPOL powered processing and transportation facilities as does all intra-province transportation. Production and storage facilities are susceptible to external attacks by heavy weapons or by more subtle methods if internal assets having an appropriate degree of accessibility can be developed. The loss of refining facilities could be offset by increased Bloc shipments of refined products but such a shift would require a period of readjustment during which there would be a heavy strain on the Cuban economy. An additional burden on the Bloc refining capacity would also exist untilCuba’s refining capacity is restored.

C. Transportation

Damage to or destruction of railway and/or highway rolling stock or the destruction of key bridges would lead to breakdowns in the regional economics which to a large degree are dependent on the distribution of imported products. The processing and export of the vitally important sugar crop is also entirely dependent on transportation. It is not anticipated that we could achieve that degree of disruption which would cause a collapse of the economy or social structure, but even a minor degree of disruption will adversely affect the standard of living and the output of the economy, both of which are key factors in the stability of the regime. The type of operations envisioned in this category would range from fairly sophisticated attacks by external or internal assets against the rolling stock, key bridges and repair facilities to simple low risk acts by the populace such as the derailing of rail transportation or placing tire puncturing material on highways.

D. Production Processing and Manufacturing Facilities

While the Cuban economy primarily depends on imports for indigenous consumption and even though the sugar crop is by far the most important item in Cuban exports, there are still a number of other facilities such as the nickel complex at Nicaro, cement plants, distilleries, and the myriad industries associated with the provision of food, clothing and shelter, which are worthwhile targets in that stopping or lessening their output will weaken the economy and breed discontent against the regime. These targets are particularly susceptible to attack by external or internal assets in that due to their profusion and their relatively low strategic importance they are not well guarded or otherwise secured against attack.

The selection of specific targets within the above categories and the determination of timing and tactics will be predicated upon detailed analysis of the following factors:

1. The extent to which the target can be physically damaged.
2. The resultant effect upon the Cuban economy.
3. The cost or effort required if additional burdens are placed on Bloc support.
4. The psychological effect on the Cuban population.
5. Anticipated adverse reactions.
6. Operational capabilities and limitations of CIA assets.

Bill Simpich’s Series on Oswald’s Handlers

August 31, 2011

Sunday, August 22, 2010
THE JFK CASE: THE TWELVE WHO BUILT THE OSWALD LEGEND (Part One: Mother, Meyer, and the Spotters)
This is the first in a series of essays explaining the background of the twelve handlers of Lee Harvey Oswald during the last four years of his life. It is a gripping story of espionage, based on documents in the National Archives. Ask the House Oversight Committee to release both the JFK files and the
MLK files. US history should not be wrapped in mystery. Many of the key issues have already been resolved.


Thursday, September 2, 2011 THE JFK CASE: THE TWELVE THAT BUILT THE OSWALD LEGEND (Part 2: An Instant Visa Gets The Marine Into Moscow)
(1 comments) Second in a series that discusses the twelve people that created the Oswald legend. Here: Oswald’s experience with the U-2 while in the Marines, how Oswald managed to cadge an instant visa from the Soviets to enter the USSR, how American officials protected Oswald after he told them he would give radar secrets to the Soviet Union. And what was the relationship between Oswald and defector Robert Webster? They could be twins.


Monday, December 6, 2010
THE JFK CASE: THE TWELVE WHO BUILT THE OSWALD LEGEND (Part 3: Counterintelligence goes molehunting with Oswald’s file)
(1 comments) Third in the series. This chapter focuses on how Lee Harvey Oswald threatened to reveal military secrets to the Soviets about the U-2, and how US counterintelligence used his file as a “marked card” to capture supposed Communist spies who were trying to infiltrate the CIA.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010
THE JFK CASE: THE TWELVE WHO BUILT THE OSWALD LEGEND (Part 4: When the U-2 Goes Down, Oswald is Ready to Return)
(1 comments) This chapter reveals the story behind the 1960 U-2 incident. A renegade NSA agent, Jack Dunlap, tipped off the Soviets about flights over the USSR…which led to the Soviets shooting down the U-2. Oswald’s boss at the radio/TV factory in Minsk, Don Alejandro Ziger, was ostensibly an alienated White Russian. Oswald used to work on the U-2. The legend is that Ziger tipped Oswald that his work was done and he should go home.


Monday, December 27, 2010
(2 comments) Lee Oswald and Robert Webster were “dangles”, brought together by the FBI and the CIA to entice the Soviets. Robert Webster defected to the USSR to learn more about the Soviet defense program. Radar operator Oswald defected to learn what the Soviets knew about the U-2. Descriptions of the two men were subtly altered for use in “molehunt” exercises designed to look for leaks and capture spies who repeated these descriptions.

Then Came The CIA – Southern Air Transport

July 7, 2011

Then Came the CIA – The Early Years of Southern Air Transport (Privately published, 2011) by Fred C. Moor III (

Growing up the son of Fred “Doc” Moor, Jr., legendary owner-operator of Southern Air Transport, Moor III says he didn’t know his dad had made a deal with the devil, or was it an act of patriotism that led to his partnership with the CIA?

Like Ralph Cox, the owner of US Overseas Airlines out of the Cape May Country Airport in New Jersey, Moor III claims he first learned of the association when he read it in the newspapers.

“Fly Me, I’m Spooky’ was the title of a Wall Street Journal article in early 1973. Reading that article gave me my first clue that Southern Air Transport, owned by my father, F. C. ‘Doc’ Moor, had become an asset of the Central Intelligence Agency.”

“The article pointed out, in 1960, Percival Flack Brundage, Director of the Bureau of the Budget under President Eisenhower, and Perkins McGuire, Assistant Secretary of Defense under Mr. Eisenhower, paid Dad $260,000 and Stanley Williams $40,000 for their interests in Southern Air Transport. After that purchase, SAT was awarded a government contract or inter island operations among Japan, the Philippines, and Taiwan. Competitors objected that SAT had no operating experience in that part of the world and no current equipment to perform on the contracts. One of them was told that SAT was ‘owned or controlled by the Central Intelligence Agency that no objections would be heard.’”

“Dad started Southern Air Transport in 1947 and grew it into a modestly successful company. Dad had told me in a phone conversation in 1960 or 1961tht he had sold the company and was staying with the new organization as Chairman. He did not elaborate and I did not push for particulars. Certainly I had no idea of any connection to the CIA. In a later conversation, he told us that he had a trip planned to the west coast and would stop in Tuscon to see us as he ‘had a lot to tell us.’ He died before he made that trip.”

“I was appalled after reading the article. Had Dad done something illegal, was he some sort of criminal linked to all sorts of covert operations?”

“By all means, no, I felt. Dad had done what legions of other Americans have done, and continue to do so. He identified his dream and followed it to some success. That dream and its success, though led him to adventures he could have never dreamed of.”

In acknowledgements he recognizes former SAT employees Jerry Dobby, Stan Williams and Jack Pooser for contributing their memories, and from them we get some of the operational stories that personified the flying cowboy reputations of all CIA owned airlines, though especially Air America, now best remembered for the lighthearted Hollywood comedy adventure movie Mel Gibson made on the premise.

Particularly interesting is the early history of this and other airlines, like PAN AM and their Florida facilities, and how SAT flew in and out of Dinner Key, which the CIA also used to facilitate their Cuban operations in the early 1960s.

Unfortunately, Moore’s history focuses primarily on the early years of SAT, when his dad bought some war surplus planes and began ferrying people and supplies to places that the regularly scheduled airlines didn’t go.

Much of the book concerns his family’s early days and his father’s extra-curricular activities as a motor boat racer, and just when you get to the part where the CIA comes in, well that’s another story.

As the title explains, this is the story of the early years of SAT, and “Then Came The CIA.”

That’s a shame because that’s where the real story lies, and apparently Moor once was in a position to learn much more as a banker for SAT’s CIA parent company, Intermountain Aviation.

After attending school in Arizona, Moore stayed there and working as a banker, and as he related, “By 1974 I had moved through many assignments at the Valley National Bank and was vice president and Manger of the Downtown Tuscon Office, the largest office outside of the Phoenix home office. One of my customers was Intermountain Aviation, who operated out of what was then called Pinal Airpark twenty or so miles north of Tuscon. They were good depositing and borrowing customers and I paid attention to them. A bit later, I found that Southern Air Transport and Intermountain Aviation were first cousins in the CIA family and I was relieved that the press, with its penchant for making mountains out of mole hills, never found out that the son of the guy in Miami was the banker to the outfit in Arizona.”

While most of the old time Non-Sched (Non-Scheduled airlines) owners are dead now, Ralph Cox is still chugging along down in Cape May County, and he wants to document exactly how the CIA came to take over these airlines and in many cases, put legitimate privately owned airlines out of business.

Since the air transport leg of covert operations is the week link that has led to the exposure or failure of so many – from the U2, Bay of Pigs and Kennedy assassination to the Iranian hostage rescue mission and Iran-Contra, it should be reviewed more closely, especially for its rich documentation and paper trail.

While Moor’s book is a necessary foundation for the study of the CIA airlines, it is only a prequel to the real story – of what happened after the CIA came aboard.

William Kelly
He can be reached at

To read CIAir go to:

JFK and Journalist Real Dizinfo Agents at DP Part 3

July 2, 2011

Part 3 – Journalists & JFK – The Real Dizinformation Agents at Dealey Plaza

Hugh Aynesworth, Priscilla Johnson (McMillan) & Gordon McLendon 

Besides their reporting on the assassination of President Kennedy, Hugh Aynesworth, Priscilla Johnson and Gordon McLendon share an interesting common trait in that they applied for jobs with the CIAand didn’t get them. But rather than become full fledged agents, it appears they were assigned a contact officer and served as CIAassets for decades, which is especially interesting in how their CIAassociations affected their activities related to the assassination.  


As a local reporter for J. Bannerman Dealey’s Dallas Times Herald, Hugh Aynesworth was all over the place during the assassination weekend.  He was atDealeyPlaza, the Tippit murder scene, the Texas Theater where the accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested, the house inIrving where Oswald’s wife lived, the rooming house where Oswald lived and the Dallas Police Department where he was killed. (1)

It’s important to mention Anyesworth’s background and his presence at so many crime scenes because while it always seemed suspicious, and hisCIAties were confirmed with the release ofCIArecords by the JFK Act.

As Jim DiEugenio notes, “many more pages of documents have been released showing how tightly bound Aynesworth was with the intelligence community. It has been demonstrated that Aynesworth was – at the minimum – working with the Dallas Police, Shaw’s defense team, and the FBI. He was also an informant to the White House, and had once applied for work with the CIA. As I have noted elsewhere, in the annals of this case, I can think of no reporter who had such extensive contacts with those trying to cover up the facts in the JFK case…” (2)

Rex Bradford, the web master of Mary Ferrell’s extensive files on the case wrote, “Declassified documents show that Dallas reporter Hugh Aynesworth was in contact with the Dallas CIA office and had on at least one occasion ‘offered his services to us.’ The files are chock full of Aynesworth informing to the FBI, particularly in regard to the Garrison investigation….Also of note is a message Aynesworth sent to…LBJ’s White House, in which Aynesworth wrote that ‘My interest in informing government officials of each step along the way is because of my intimate knowledge of what Jim Garrison is planning.’” (3)

Most incredible however, is theCIAreport written onOctober 10, 1963when J. Walton Moore, the head of the DallasCIADomestic Contacts Division reported to the Chief of the Contact Division on “the possibility of Hugh Grant Aynesworh making trip toCuba.” (4)

One month before the assassination J. Walton Moore – the sameCIAagent who has been meeting regularly with the accused assassin’s best friend George DeMohrenschildt, is also meeting with Hugh Aynesworth about going toCuba.

Moore’s first mission with the OSSduring Word War II was to Chinawith Charles Ford, who later became the CIAagent assigned to work with RFK at JMWAVE. Using an Italian alias, Ford worked with John Rosselli, the mafia boss the CIApreviously recruited to kill Castro. In his interview with the Church Committee, Ford said they were trying to overthrow, not kill Castro, but those who have it in for RFK use Ford as a lynchpin to crucify Bobby, as we have seen with Sy Hersch in the Darkside of Camelot, Evan Thomas in Robert Kennedy – His Life, and David Kaiser in The Road to Dallas, and Max Holland. But with the release of Ford’s records by the JFK Act, they have all gone silent. (5)

However there could be an association between Hugh Aynesworth, J. Walton Moore, Charles Ford and David Atlee Phillips, especially in regards to the timing ofMoore’s memo and Phllips’ travels, not just as it relates toCuba, but to what happened atDealeyPlaza. This is especially so since J. Walton Moore – theCIAcontact agent to the accused assassin’s best friend, served in the same capacity with Hugh Aynesworth about a trip toCubaa month before the assassination. And the day before Aynesworth met withMoore, David Atlee Phillips was at JMWAVE, theCIA’sMiami,Floridabase, where anti-Castro operations were planned and carried out. (6)

How did these damning records get released? And if this was released, what’s in the thousands of documents that are totally redacted or are still partially withheld for reasons of national security? Many of these withheld records include many pages of the files of Hugh Aynesworth, Priscilla Johnson and Gordon McLendon.

As David Talbot points out, “…some of these journalists did theCIA’s bidding: see, for instance, aJanuary 25, 1968CIAmemo on Hugh Aynesworth, who covered the JFK assassination, first for the Dallas Morning News and then Newsweek. Aynesworth – who at one time, according to the memo, ‘expressed some interest…in possible employment with the Agency’ – was considered by theCIAto be a solid ‘Warren Commission man on the assassination.’” (7)

And indeed he was, as he also did the agencies bidding to squash the Garrison investigation, and he doesn’t consider the Kennedy assassination among the unsolved homicides in his 1994 book “Murders Among Us: Unsolved Homicides, Mysterious Deaths and Killers at Large.” (8) But his article, “The Strangest Story I Ever Covered,” details how he came to expose the head of the local crime commission was himself a criminal who had crafted a new identity to hide his past. So Aynesworth is capable of uncovering conspiracies when he wants to. If he applied the same investigative skills to the homicide at DealeyPlaza, perhaps he would have helped uncover the truth instead of promoting the cover story and blaming the murder on the patsy.  (9)

Joseph Goulden was one of Hugh Aynesworth’s colleagues who also covered the events in Dallasand also pushed the lone-nut myth. Aynesworth,  along withHouston reporter Lonnie Hudkins and Goulden got together and floated the story that the accused assassin was an FBI informant, and they even made up an informant number to make it seem real. The Warren Commission held a closed door executive session to discuss it, and formerCIA director Allen Dulles explained that even if Oswald was an informant, there would be no record of it, though there was a record of Jack Ruby being such an FBI informant. (10)

Just as there was a lot of friction between the FBI and the Dallas Police, there was also friction between the FBI and the Secret Service and the FBI and theCIA, so Goulden’s story actually took some of the heat off theCIA, especially in regards to Oswald’s defection to the Soviet Union and his trip to Mexico City, both of which called unwanted attention toCIAoperations they wanted to keep secret.

It was also a trial balloon that went bust when Aynesworth and Goulden acknowledged the story was bogus, and the public description of the accused assassin went from intelligence agent, defector agent provocateur and undercover informant to deranged loser, and lone nut assassin.  

Today, both Aynesworth and Goulden write for the Washington Times newspaper, founded by Sun Myung Moon and owned by theUnificationChurch, who some suspect acts as a front for theCIA. (11)

When Priscilla Johnson McMillan testified before the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), she said that in the course of researchingMarina’s story, she discovered who actually obtained and leaked Oswald’s “Historic Diary” to the Dallas Morning News and Life magazine. (12)

Who was it? Hugh Aynesworth.


At a fairly young age, Priscilla Johnson developed an interest in all things Russian. After attendingBrynMawrCollegeinPhiladelphia, she studied Russian atMiddleburySchool, and worked for John F. Kennedy before embarking on a career as a journalist and correspondent based in theSoviet Union. (13)

According to the official records, Johnson applied for employment withCIAin 1952.

Thanks to the JFK Act, we now know what that herCIASecurity File (ID #71589) reads, “During the course of the current investigation, thirteen-developed informants were contacted. She is generally described as stable, intelligent, well-informed, mature, of excellent character, morals, and reputation, and a loyal American citizen. Subject is further described as liberal, internationally minded and overly polite to such a point that it was thought that she was putting it on…” (14)

Johnson said she withdrew theCIAjob application in January 1953, but then was officially denied a security clearance in March 1953. The denial was said to be based on her attendance at Middlebury, an institution listed among those officially deemed subversive by the government, and her participation with the World Federalists, who advocated support for the United Nations and the establishment of a world wide government. From the documentary records it is apparent that she was a member of the World Federalists while at student at Bryn Mawr, inPhiladelphia, and was affiliated with thePennsylvaniastate World Federalists and the national and international World Federalists, founded by her Locust Valley, New York neighbor Cord Meyer. (15)

Although Priscilla Johnson was never officially asked if she knew Michael Paine’s mother, Ruth Forbes Paine Young, they were both active in the World Federalists inPhiladelphia, in the same city at the same time. It makes one wonder if, from their mutual association with the World Federalist inPhiladelphia, if Priscilla Johnson knew Michael Paine’s mother at such an early date in the proceedings? (16)

According toCIAfiles Johnson was rejected because some of her associates would require more investigation. The document was signed by Cord Meyer, who was then chief of CIA Investigations and Operational Support, and incredibly enough, the founder of the World Federalists, one of the subversive organizations that the CIA’s Office of Security considered suspicious. (17)

On 17th March, 1953, W. A. Osborne, sent a memo to Sheffield Edwards, head of CIA security, saying that after checking out Johnson’s associates he “recommended approval.” However, on 23rd March he sent another memo saying that “in light of her activities in the United World Federalists” he now “recommended that she be disapproved”. (18)

That Priscilla would be disqualified from joining the CIA because of her association with the World Federalists is hard to believe since that organization was founded by her friend and former neighbor Cord Meyer, who was one of Allen Dulles’ top deputies at the CIA and who later controlled the International Organizations Division of the CIA that included the World Federalists.

When Priscilla Johnson was questioned by the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), and was asked if she worked for the CIA, she denied even knowing anyone in the CIA, and failed to mention her friend and neighbor Cord Meyer, Dulles’ deputy and head of the CIA’s International Organizations Division, who signed her security check. (19)

As Priscilla Johnson herself admitted when questioned by the HSCA, there is one inherent difference between an independent journalist and a covert intelligence agent posing as one in that is that you can’t depend on the agent to tell the truth or give an accurate appraisal of the situation because of their hidden allegiances.

Priscilla Johnson told the congressional investigators that she withdrew her application for employment with the CIA before they determined that she wouldn’t pass muster because of her affiliations with the subversive World Federalists.

They still considered her a valuable asset however, as the records reflect she was later given a conditional clearance in 1956 and continued meeting with CIA officials throughout her career.  From the records released under the JFK Act, it is apparent she maintained contact with aCIA liaison officer for years, and was passed off from one contact officer to another. (20)

Instead of officially working for theCIAhowever, Priscilla Johnson was hired by the North American Newspaper Alliance (NANA), the organization she was officially working for inMoscowwhen she interviewed the American ex-marine defector, Lee Harvey Oswald.

The North American Newspaper Alliance doesn’t exist today as a corporate entity, but over the years NANA was owned by American and British intelligence officers and employed correspondents that have repeatedly become entangled in clandestine affairs.

Priscilla Johnson didn’t have to work for the CIAif she worked for NANA, an allied agency whose intelligence associations were cemented by Ernest Cuneo, Ivar Bryce and Ian Fleming. In his official biography The Life of Ian Fleming, John Pearson relates “During the next few years the Bryce (and Cuneo)…. were to play their part in the story of James Bond and the life of his creator…Bryce had bought himself an oil well in Texas which had just started to produce, and out of the proceeds he had decided to acquire a controlling interest in the North American Newspaper Alliance. NANA was one of the big American agencies specializing in syndicating feature articles, but by the time Bryce bought it its prestige was not what it had been. He and his associate, Ernest Cuneo, were planning to restore NANA to its former glory, and… Fleming was drawn into the project.” (21)

Cuneo was a former aid to both New York Mayor LaGuardia and President Roosevelt, served as an OSS officer during WWII, and as Pearson puts it, was “one of the group around General Donovan and William Stephenson who formed the basis of close U.S. and British cooperation during World War II and the Cold War that followed. Cuneo served as official wartime liaison between British Intelligence, the OSS and the FBI.” (22)

According to Pearson, the purchase of NANA was Cuneo‘s idea. “For Bryce it was never more than a rich man’s hobby. Cuneo was more serious, and Fleming was invited to help. More than this, he was asked to take charge of the European end of the operation, with the resounding title of European vice-president.” Fleming recognized the attributes of a good reporter were the same as those of a good spy.

Sidney Goldberg, who worked for Fleming at NANA, agreed that there was a thin line between Fleming’s responsibilities as an editor and his espionage operations. NANA, notes Goldberg, had a reputation for hiring beautiful, young women as NANA correspondents – such as JFK’s WWII paramour Inga Arvad, Cord Meyer’s wife Mary Pinchot Meyer, Latin American correspondent Virginia Prewett and Priscilla Johnson. (23) As a foreign correspondent working for NANA in Moscow, Priscilla Johnson was one of the first American reporters to interview Lee Harvey Oswald. In what was later characterized as “an ironic twist of fate,” she later obtained the exclusive rights to the story of Oswald’s wife after the assassination.

She learned about the young ex-Marine defector from John McVicker, a US embassy assistant who concluded that Oswald “…was following a pattern of behavior in which he had been tutored by [a] person or persons unknown…, it seemed to me that there was a possibility that he had been in contact with others before or during his Marine Corps tour who had guided him and encouraged him in his actions.” (24)

After meeting with Oswald in a Moscow hotel room, Johnson filed her story to NANA the next day, but most of it wouldn’t be published until after the assassination. In her two year stay in Moscow, Priscilla Johnson filed over 100 reports to NANA, although not all of them were published. According to Goldberg, “…The primary reason we chose not to publish Priscilla’s Oswald story in 1959 was because it was a marginal operation, picking up and distributing free-lance stories here and there…I suspect that by their very nature, these outfits could have been easy vehicles for providing journalist ‘cover’ to CIA operatives, although I do not know this to be a fact.” (25)

John Newman, who interviewed Priscilla Johnson for his book, Oswald and the CIA, noted in a footnote: “Years later, rumors would surface that NANA was associated with the CIA…NANA was run by Ernie Cuneo and Priscilla’s editor was Sidney Goldberg. Priscilla had no inkling of any NANA-CIA relationship at the time. Today she has heard the rumors.” (26)

In more recent times,Sidney’s wife Lucianne Goldberg, aNew Yorkliterary agent and former NANA correspondent herself, advised Linda Tripp to secretly and illegally tape record Monica Lewinsky about her affairs with President Clinton. (27)

Priscilla Johnson also revealed to Newman that she was a friend and neighbor of Cord Meyer, a CIA officer who “was waiting for her to grow up,” and after she grew up, she knew him through her application for a job with the CIA and their mutual association with the World Federalists. (28)

According to her HSCA testimony, upon her return to the United States from Moscow in November 1962, Priscilla Johnson was debriefed “for the first time” by an agent of the CIA at the Brattle Inn in Cambridge, Massachusetts. On 11th December, 1962, aCIA memo (declassified in August, 1993) reported: “I think that Miss Johnson can be encouraged to write pretty much the articles we want. It will require a little more contact and discussion, but I think she could come around… Basically, if approached with sympathy in the cause she considers most vital, I believe she would be interested in helping us in many ways. It would be important to avoid making her think that she was being used as a propaganda tool and expected to write what she is told.” (29)

AnotherCIAdocument dated 5th February, 1964, reports on an 11 hour meeting with Johnson, the main objective was to debrief her “on her flaps with the Soviets when she was in the USSR, notably at the time of her last exit.” She was also asked if she “would be interested in writing articles for Soviet publications.” Gary Coit, the CIA officer who conducted the interview reported that “no effort was made to attempt to force the issue of a debriefing on her contacts”. However Coit told her he would “probably be back to see her from time to time to see what she knows about specific persons whose names might come up, and she at least nodded assent to this.” (30)

Apparently she did not have to be debriefed after interviewing Oswald inMoscowbecause everything they needed to know was contained in herNovember, 16, 1959report to NANA, including the parts not published in the newspapers. Besides Priscilla Johnson, one of theCIA’s more prolific media assets was NANA correspondent Virginia Prewett, who covered Cuban and Latin American affairs during the height of theCIA’s war against Castro.

After Antonio Vechina told Congressional investigator Gaeton Fonzi that his CIA control officer was “Maurice Bishop,” whom he had once seen with Oswald in Dallas, another journalist Anthony Summers located Vecina’s former secretary. This new witness recalled that “Bishop” was also associated with an American journalist named “Prewett.” Summers located Virginia Prewett in Washington and arranged to meet her with a Washington Post reporter from England, David Leigh. As a NANA correspondent Virginia Prewett recalled writing about Alpha 66 and anti-Castro operations in the Sixties, and knew both Veciana and  “Mr Bishop.” When asked about them she said, “You had to move around people like that.” Indeed. (31)

NANA owner Ernest Cuneo, NANA correspondent Virginia Prewett and Life Magazine’s Clare Booth Luce were among the founders of the Citizens Committee to Free Cuba (CCFC) one of the anti-Castro groups backed by theCIAwhose operations entwined with the events surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy. Top heavy with media types proficient in psychological warfare, the CCFC group was just one arm of theCIA’s propaganda network that conducted operations related to the assassination of President Kennedy. (32)

While Hugh Aynesworth, Priscilla Johnson McMcillan and those publishers, editors and writers at Scrips-Howard New Service (SHNS) and Life Magazine were part of theDealeyPlazaclean-up crew, radio mogul Gordon McClendon was closer to the action, especially in regards to the murder of Oswald, the designated Patsy.


In 1967 former CIA director Allen Dulles wrote a letter to a CBS executive suggesting an idea for a television program, saying that, “something should be done in the field of television with regards to intelligence which would be somewhat comparable to what the FBI is now doing effectively in that field…I feel there is now in the public domain as the result of a series of publications, book articles, and newspaper reports relating to various phases of intelligence which could furnish the background material which might be used without a formal sponsor.” (33)

Shortly thereafter, two Texas men – former CIA officer David Atlee Phillips and Dallas broadcast millionaire Gordon McLendon began planning the production of a television series based on the exploits of CIA agents. David Atlee Phillips initiated the project, pitching it to CBS executive producer Larry Thompson, who developed a pilot program with Phillips and Don Penny, Gerald Ford’s former speech writer. Thompson was quoted as saying, “Ideally, we’d like to show that people in the CIA are American citizens with families and a job to do.” 

One possible true-to-life script they could have used is how all thee men – Allen Dulles, David Atlee Phillips and Gordon McLendon became entwined in the events surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy.  

After being forced out as head of the CIA by Kennedy following the Bay of Pigs, Allen Dulles served on the Warren Commission and didn’t bother informing the other members of the commission that the CIA plotted to kill Fidel Castro. Although the Warren Commission concluded Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in murdering the President, the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) and other independent investigations have concluded there is evidence of conspiracy in the assassination of the President, a conspiracy with distinct Cuban connections.

Both Gordon McLendon and David Atlee Phillips, the men behind the CBS-CIA TV show, were questioned by HSCA investigators. McLendon denied knowing Jack Ruby very well, despite that it had already been established that Ruby listed McLendon as one of his six closest friends, patronized his radio stations, repeatedly made phone calls to McLendon’s home and visited his radio station studio on the weekend of the assassination. (34)

David Atlee Phillips, figured prominently in both the Senate and House committee probes. Phillips worked at the Mexico City CIA station and was personally responsible for monitoring the Cuban embassy when Oswald was said to be there a few months before the assassination. Phillips is also suspected of being the mysterious “Maurice Bishop,” a clandestine case officer who directed the activities of a network of anti-Castro Cubans led by Antonion Veciana Blanch of Alpha 66. Veciana said “Bishop” met with Oswald in Dallas shortly before Oswald went to Mexico City. Immediately after the assassination, Gordon McLendon avoided questioning by going to Mexico himself. (35)

Born in Paris, Texas, McLendon covered sports events in school, graduated from KemperMilitaryAcademy, was a Skull and Boner at Yale and served as an intelligence officer in the Office of Naval Intelligence during World War II. In 1943 he married Gay Noe, daughter of the former governor of Louisiana. McLendon left HarvardLawSchoolto take over interest in a Texasradio station he purchased with his father.  (36)

Nicknamed “The Old Scotsman,” McClendon founded the Liberty Radio Network and broadcast major league baseball games over 400 affiliated stations, and with Clint Murchison broadcast Radio Nord, a pirate radio station offSweden. In 1947 McLendon founded KLIF (The Mighty 1190) in Oak Cliff, Dallas and introduced the Top 40 format that became standard AM radio programming in the 1950s. He is also credited with establishing the first mobile news unites in American radio, the first jingles, traffic reports, all news and the “easy listening’ format.

McClendon also aired a politically oriented radio show financed by H. L. Hunt called “Life-Line,” which aired conservative anti-communist programs that affected the opinions of many people, including Jack Ruby. (37)

Jack Ruby knew McLendon, called his unlisted home phone number on the day of the assassination, visited the KLIF studios, and arranged interviews withDallasofficials for KLIF reporters from the Dallas Police Department. Ruby appeared to pose as a reporter even though most of theDallascops knew him as a nightclub owner. (38)

The day after the assassination Ruby bought dozens of sandwiches from a deli and delivered some of them to KLIF studios and the rest to the Dallaspolice, using the sandwiches as an excuse to get into the building and stalk Oswald. After a number of tries Ruby finally did get close enough to kill Oswald, leaving his dog and a pile of “Life-Line” radio show scripts in his car.  The scripts found in his car were on the subject of heroism, and written by Warren H. Carroll, a formerCIA propaganda analyst. (39)

McClendon was also the first person Ruby asked to see in prison. Ruby told McClendon that he thought his jailers were trying to poison him, and later told the Warren Commission that McLendon was his “kind of intellectual.” (40)

From among the government records released under the JFK Act, we learn that like Hugh Aynesworth and Priscilla Johnson McMillan, Gordon McClendon was also considered for work with the CIA, but like the others, he too was denied a security clearance. 

While it isn’t clear whether the millionaire media mogul actually applied for a job with theCIA, as Aynesworth and Johnson did, someone at the agency requested he receive a clearance so he could be used as an agent, asset or source. They went by the books, not only to get a security clearance for him, but to “run a trace,” so as not to violate tradecraft, making sure that he wasn’t already being used by another agent or agency. As with Aynesworth and Johnson, many of McLendon’s records are sill classified nearly fifty years after the assassination. (41)

One thing that is clear however, when David Phillips resigned from the CIA in the mid-70s he did so to try to counter the negative publicity about the CIA being generated by the Congressional investigations by forming the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) with his old friend Gordon McLendon.

In a telephone interview shortly before he died Phillips denied being the mysterious “Maurice Bishop” or knowing Oswald, but said he knew Gordon McLendon in WashingtonD.C. during World War II, and then lost track of him and didn’t hook up with him again until he left the CIA. (42)  When they reunited, they decided to try to promote the CIA with the suggested TV program, and in 1977 formed the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO).

Just as Ian Fleming used Ernest Cuneo as a character in one of his spy novels, E. Howard Hunt and David Phillips also used people they knew in their spy fiction. Hunt claimed he didn’t know Frank Sturgis before the Watergate operation, but he had used his name and profile as a Cuban soldier-of-fortune in Bimini Run, (43) a 1949 pulp paperback novel. Then David Atlee Phillips created the fictional character of “Mac McLendon” as the chief protagonist in his novel The Carlos Contract, portraying him as a refined intelligence operative called out of retirement to catch a notorious terrorist. (44)

As the former chief propagandist for the Guatemala coup of 1954 and the Bay of Pigs, Phillips himself was sent off into retirement in order to orchestrate the CIA’s public relations campaign in the wake of a series of Congressional investigations. Both the Senate Church Committee and the Pike Committee of the House of Representatives exposed CIA scandals that fueled the fire that created the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA).

Gaeton Fonzi was an investigator with the Schweiker/Hart Sub-Committee of the Church Intelligence Committee when he first interviewed Antonio Veciana, the anti-Castro Cuban and leader of the Alpha 66 terrorists group who told Fonzi about his CIA handler, the mysterious “Maurice Bishop,” who he saw with Oswald in Dallas shortly before Oswald went to Mexico. (45)

Fonzi was later hired by the HSCA and suspected that David Atlee Phillips was “Marucie Bishop.” To confirm or refute his suspicion, Fonzi arranged for Veciana to meet Phillips at a conference of Phillps’ Association of Former Intelligence Officers in WashingtonDC. The last time Veciana met “Mr. Bishop,” he was handed a suitcase full of cash, ostensibly his salary accumulated over the years for his work as one of Bishop’s primary agents. (46) At the time Phillips was head of the entire Western Hemisphere Division of the CIA, and was being considered to head the agency as director.

When Fonzi introduced them, Veciana studied Phillips carefully, while everyone else listened the AFIO keynote speaker, our old friend from Life Magazine, Clare Booth Luce.

But Veciana was reluctant to positively identify Phillips as “Bishop,” because according to Fonzi, Veciana wanted to resume his association with “Bishop” and his anti-Castro activities.

Fonzi later recounted what happened when he was asked in an interview, “How did you reconcile, in your own mind, when you had the confrontation at that luncheon, with Veciana meeting face to face with David Atlee Phillip, that Veciana basically could not identify Phillips as Maurice Bishop?”

Fonzi replied, “WOULD NOT identify him….At the time I was terribly confused, because I sat there for quite a long period of time watching him and watching Phillips shaking, literally shaking, avoiding Veciana’s eyes while Veciana was staring at him from across the table. Phillips was re-lighting cigarettes, and then the encounter in the hallway, where he was a terribly shaken man, so much so to the point that when we asked him if he didn’t remember Veciana’s name, he said ‘no.’ In fact, he asked Veciana again, ‘what did you say your name was?’”

“Veciana, said, ‘You don’t know me?’”

“And he said, ‘no.’”

Later in his testimony before the committee, Phillips had to explain how he, as the head of the CIA’s Cuban operations did not know the leader of the largest anti-Castro organization.

As Fonzi explained, “It was an interesting experience, and at the end of it, walking out of it, I was confused, and I asked Veciana, ‘Isn’t he Bishop?’”

“And Veciana didn’t answer right away, didn’t say ‘no,’ instead, he first said,

‘He knows.’”

“I remember walking back to the car, during this discussion, repeating, “He knows?  What do you mean, ‘he knows’?”

“’He knows’.”

“And I said, ‘He knows WHAT’?”

“I asked, ‘You mean he knows who Bishop is’?”

“And he said, ‘yeah’.”

“So it was a very interesting experience, and at the time I was confused, until I figured it out.”

Fonzi figured out that Phillps really was “Bishop,” and thought he was given the run around by Clare Booth Luce, Tony Veciana and David Atlee Phillips, as they all had their own interests at stake, and they certainly weren’t interested in figuring out what really happened at Dealey Plaza.

Then at a round table discussion between Cuban intelligence officers and JFK researchers, at one point in the proceedings, it is noted that:  “….We got some information before the very first national conference of the Coalition of Political Assassinations (COPA) about a luncheon meeting between top former CIA officials …Richard Helms and William Colby…Gus Russo was apparently there and he told some people that they had a concern about what was going to be presented in our conference and one of their main concerns, they said, was with how we were going to deal with their friend David Atlee Phillips…Joe Goulden was also present at that meeting and he was exceptionally close to David Phillips. And, in fact, is executor of David Phillips’ estate. And his history with Phillips goes way back, they are both from Texas and I believe Goulden grew up in the same town that David Phillips father was from –Marshall, Texas. Anyway, it was a long time relationship between Goulden and Phillips. And Goulden has been extremely concerned about Phillips’ legacy…”

Most of those who were involved in these affairs are now dead, but Joe Goulden today is the custodian of the official papers of David Atlee Phillips. (48) And you can still read Goulden’s articles in the Washington Times and analysis in The Intelligencer – the Journal of US Intelligence Studies, the official publication of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers. (49)

But you won’t read about the real disinformation agents who effectively promoted the Lone-Nut cover story and protected those actually responsible for the DealeyPlaza operation that resulted in the murder of President John F. Kennedy.




1) Anyesworth on the weekend of the assassination.

2) DiEugenio, James. Hugh Aynesworth Never Quits.

Also See: James DiEugenio

3) Bradford, Rex. On Aynesworth. Bradford, Rex. Kennedy’s Ghost. – fn_2

4) Moore, J. Walton. Aynesworth to Cuba. Offers Services to CIA:

OnOctober 10, 1963J. Walton Moore wrote to the Chief, (Domestic) Contact Division on the possibility of Hugh Grant Aynesworh Making Trip To Cuba.

5) Moore, J. Walton and Charles Ford Ford reportSept. 28, 1962


Ford & Bobby, – Sy Hersch in the Darkside of Camelot, Evan Thomas Robert Kennedy – His Life (p. 178), and David Kaiser in The Road to Dallas notes (47-48 p.446).

Max Holland writes about The Paper Trail in his Washington Decoded blog:[]

6) Scott, PD. – Phillips at JMWAVE. Oct. 63.PDS Deep Politics III – _ftn196  From about October 1 to October 9 Phillips made a quick trip, authorized by the Special Affairs Staff, to Washington and then Miami.[193] On October 1 the Mexico City CIA station also sent a cable directing that a diplomatic pouch, sent on October 1 to Washington, should be held in the registry until picked up by “Michael C. Choaden” (i.e. Phillips) presently TDY (temporary duty) HQS.”[194][195] The  date October 1 catches our eye, in as much as it is the date of the alleged Oswald-Kostikov intercept. One is also struck by Phillips’ presence in the Miami JMWAVE station from October 7-9. There are reports that Rosselli, who had good standing in the JMWAVE station, met on two occasions in Miami in early October with Jack Ruby.[196]

7) Talbot, David. Re; Aynesworth. Talbot, David Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years. (P. 445 Notes: 390) …Talbot Note:   NARA record number 104-10170-10230. Offers Services to CIA:

8) Aynesworth, Hugh. Murders Among Us: Unsolved Homicides, Mysterious Deaths and Killers at Large (signet & Onyx True Crime, 1994 w/Stephen Michaud)

9) Aynesworth, Hugh. Strangest Story I Ever Covered.

10) Meagher, Sylvia.  Accessories After the Fact (p. 348) Oswald FBI Informant.

 Also see Spook Journalist Goulden:

11) Aynesworth and Goulden atWashingtonTimes.

Aynesworth on Pedophile N.O. Priest –  

Goulden on Espionage for Washington Times:

12) Priscilla Johnson and Oswald’s Diary. PJM on Aynesworth got it from John Thorne, Esq. and Martin.


13) PJM Background Parents : Stuart H. Johnson –Brooklyn7/16/92Locust Valley,NY

Eunice Clapp –Germantown5/27/96          

CIASecurity File on Priscilla Johnson MacMillan – p. 44    #71589


14) Applied for employment withCIAin 1952 and withdrew application in Jan. 53. Denied security clearance in March 53

15) Priscilla Johnson in World Federalist:BrynMawrCollege1950, Member of the National Chapter of the World Federalist – College Chapter andPennStateChapter  Also see:“As a student she was a member of the United World Federalists, an organization run by Cord Meyer.”

16) Ruth Forbes Paine Young in World Federalists. Believing every citizen who was able should act to help prevent further catastrophic war, she joined the World Federalists…”

Also See: Carol Hewett, Esq:

17) Cord Meyer doc re: PJM security clearance.

According to CIA files she was rejected because some of her associates would require more investigation. The document was signed by Cord Meyer, who was now chief of CIA Investigations and Operational Support.

18) Osborne doc re: PJM On 17th March, 1953, W. A. Osborne, sent a memo to Sheffield Edwards, head of CIA security, that after checking out Johnson’s associates he “recommended approval.” However, on 23rd March he sent another memo saying that “in light of her activities in the United World Federalists” he now “recommended that she be disapproved”.

19) Priscialla Johnson McMillan HSCA Testimony:

Fist Day-

Second Day –

HSCA Subject File: PJM –

20) 1956 Granted Clearance – Jim DiEugenio – 1956 she was granted by the Office of Security an Ad Hoc Clearance through the status of “Confidential” provided that caution was exercised.”

21) Pearson, John. Ian Fleming – The Authorized Biography (McGraw Hill, 1966 )

Re: NANA and Fleming,Cuneoand Bryce.

Also see:

“TheCuneoEra: By the early 1950’s the syndicate…was purchased by a small group of investors led by Ernest Cuneo, formerly associated with British Security Coordination and theOSSand Ivar Bryce. They gave the job of European Vice President to the writer and their mutial friend Ian Fleming…Because of Cuneo’s association with former members of American and British intelligence,…critics have suggested that NANA under his tenure was a front for espionage…”

22) Stevenson, William. Man Called Intrepid. Re: William Stephenson (INTREPID)

Also see:

23) Goldberg,Sidney– Phone conversation with William Kelly.


24) With Oswald in USSR ^ State Department Memorandum from John A. McVickar to Thomas Ehrlich, dated November 27, 1963, Warren Commission Hearings, vol. 18, p. 155, CE 941

25) Goldberg,Sidney– Phone conversation w/ William Kelly

Also see EIR, Vol. 25, #44, Nov. 6, 1998

26) Newman, John. Oswald & the CIA(p. 540) Re: No inkling NANA & CIA. Priscilla McMillan, interview with John Newman, July 15, 1994. 5. See NARA JFK files, . “…Priscilla had no inkling of any NANACIA relationship at the time.

27) Lucianne Goldberg and Linda Tripp- Literary Agent Was Behind Secret Tapes. Washington Post, Jan. 24, 1998, by David Steitfeld and Howard Kurtz

Also see:

28) Newman, John. Oswald and the CIA: the documented truth about the unknown relationship between theUS government and the alleged assassin of JFK (Skyhorse Pub., 2008 p. 65) Johnson said, Cord Meyer was “waiting for me to grow up.” – v=onepage&q&f=false

29) Whitmey, Peter R. Priscilla Johnson McMillan and the CIA. Re: CIAdebriefing in Mass.

30) CIACoit memo. See: Peter Whitmey on Priscilla and Lee – 

31) Summers, Anthony. Conspiracy (1980, Afterword) Virginia Prewett – See Afterword: the search for “Maurice Bishop.” From Lobster [] #10 (Jan, 1986) and reprinted here: Subject Index Files/S Disk/Summers Anthony/Item 47.pdf

Note: British reporter David Leigh accompanied Summers when he interviewed Prewett and wrote an article for the Washington Post that was never published.

32) Citizens Committee to Free Cuba. :


33) CBS TV program on CIAProposes Weekly TV Show on CIA like FBI show. Also note: Washington Post. Wed. March 22, 1978 p. A12 by Bill Richards                         

34) McLendon

WC testimony that he knew Ruby-

35) Veciana & Bishop

McLeondon in Mexico: Scott, Peter Dale. 20 WH 39 (Ruby). Scott notes: The information about the McLendon family trip I owe to Mary Ferrell, a close friend of some of McLendon’s children. – _ftn196

36) McClendon Background :



Security clearance denied: “McClendon was of covert interest to the agency in 1952 but was denied clearance in that year based on a background of fraud, duplicity, evasion and indiscreet moral life.”

37) McClendon & Hunt

Gordon McClendon  Gave Ruby “free plugs”

38) Ruby and McLendon “Ruby called McLendon’s home the night of the assassination. (5 H 188). Ruby’s WC Testimony:

39) Ruby and KLIF -TexasMonthly April 81

Texas Monthly – Nov. 1975 – Who Was Jack Ruby? Cartwright, Gary

Warren Carroll and CIAand Lifeline.

Also see:

Also see: Mae Brussell

40) Ruby WC testimony

41) Records Withheld Today ACCESS RESTRICTED

42) Phillips phone interview w/Kelly.  

43) Hunt, E. Howard, Bimini Run –

44) Phillips, David, A. The Carlos Contract.

45) Fonzi & Bishop Gaeton Fonzi, The Last Investigation, (p. 320)

46) Veciana & Bishop – The HSCA on –

Also: Steve Bochan interviews Gaeton Fonzi

47) Goulden & Phillips papers. “was given by Joseph C. Goulden in 2003. Processing History: The papers of David Atlee Phillips were arranged and described in 1995.

48) Goulden & Intelligencer – Journal ofU.S.Intelligence Studies

Other books and articles by Goulden:

Journalists and JFK – The Real Dizinformaiton Agents at Dealey Plaza – Part 2

June 12, 2011

Clare Booth and Henry Luce  of Life Magazine

Journalist & JFK – The Real Dizinfo Agents at Dealey Plaza – PART 2

Henry and Clare Booth Luce, C. D. Jackson & Issac Don Levine – That’s LIFE

In the immediate aftermath of the assassination of President Kennedy a decision was made at the highest levels of government: even though the evidence indicating the accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was acting at the behest of Cuba was not true, it could be used to strong arm reluctant leaders in the legislative and judicial branches of government to do what the new president wanted.  As Earl Warren explained in an oral history interview for the LBJ Library, after he was asked to head the commission:

“I told them I thought I shouldn’t do it, and I made some suggestions to them as to people whom they might get who would fill the purpose.  And I thought that was the end of it.

“And then in about an hour I got a phone call from the White House and was asked if I could come up and see the President. And I said, ‘certainly,’ so I went up there.  And the President told me that he was greatly disturbed by the rumors that were going around the world about a conspiracy and so forth, and that he thought that it might – because it involved both Khrushchev and Castro – that it might even catapult us into a nuclear war if it got a head start, you know, and kept growing. …

“And [LBJ] said that he had just been talking to McNamara, who was Secretary of Defense then,” Warren continued, “and that McNamara had told him that if we got into a nuclear war that at the first strike we would lose sixty million people.  And he impressed upon me the great danger that was involved in having something develop from all this talk. He said he had talked to the leaders of both parties and that members of Congress – Dick Russell and Boggs on the Democratic side and Ford and Cooper on the other side – and John McCloy from New York and Allen Dulles would be willing to serve on the commission if I was to head it up.” [i](1)

This was not just an off-the-cuff decision. As historian John Newman puts it, “It is now apparent that the World War III pretext for a national security cover-up was built into the fabric of the plot to assassinate President Kennedy.” (2)  By threatening nuclear war if it were true, LBJ used the disinformation of Castro and Cuban complicity to convince the Chief Justice and congressmen to join the Commission. The nuclear threat helped persuade them to go with the Lone-Nut scenario because a conspiracy had to be a foreign one. Yet to present the Lone-Nut scenario as probable or even plausible, all of the accused assassin’s intelligence connections had to be ignored and the assassin portrayed as a sociopathic loser acting upon unknown psychological motives. (3)

Life magazine was one of the most prolific supporters of this fairytale, just as it had been previously in leaking Bay of Pigs, Cuban Missile Crisis and Mongoose intelligence, and as it would become after the assassination in anointing the disputed Tonkin Gulf Incident which led to Congressional authorization for the conflict in Vietnam. (4)  As the most popular magazine in America, Life was more influential than radio and TV news at the time, and hence the perfect platform to deliver any disinformation the CIA wanted widely distributed to a mass audience.  It was used to influence key policy makers as well as the public, and also to discredit President Kennedy, as it tried to do on numerous occasions.

Who were these guys? Well in looking at the Life magazine masthead of that era you will find a number of pertinent names – including Henry and Clare Booth Luce, C.D. Jackson and Issac Don Levine.  Henry Luce, born in China to missionary parents, attended Yale, was a member of Skull & Bones, and with his schoolmate and partner Briton Hadden, quit the Baltimore News to form Time Inc., publishing Time Magazine in 1926, Fortune in 1930 and Life magazine in 1936.  He remained editor-in-chief of all his publications until 1964.  A powerful Republican Party leader and committed anti-communist, he was a strong supporter of Chiang Kai-shek and “the China Lobby,” and against Castro in Cuba.  Although Henry Luce died in1967, his legacy continues to make an impact today. (5)

It wasn’t a one-man show.  Luce surrounded himself with like-minded publishers, editors, photographers and writers, most notably his second wife, Clare Booth Luce.

Before dealing with Clare Booth Luce, it should be noted for the record that Henry Luce is also said to have had an affair with Mary Bancroft, one of Allen Dulles’ OSS agents and paramour, while Dulles is said to have been intimate with Luce’s wife.  In retrospect, Clare Booth Luce was in many ways more of a player than Henry Luce himself. (6)  Also, before she became a Congresswomen and ambassador to Italy, Clare Booth Luce had struck up an early friendship with John F. Kennedy, sending him a good luck coin during World War II. (7)   Clare Booth Luce has been aptly described as:

“One of the wealthiest women in the world, widow of the founder of the Time, Inc. publishing empire, former member of the House of Representatives, former Ambassador to Italy, successful Broadway playwright, international socialite and longtime civic activist, Luce was responsible for later ‘leads’ in the JFK assassination aftermath.  Luce will later claim that sometime after the Bay of Pigs she receives a call from her ‘great friend’ William Pawley – who wants to put together a fleet of speedboats which would be used by the exiles to dart in and out of Cuba on ‘intelligence gathering’ missions. Luce eventually sponsors one of the boats.  She refers to the crew of this boat as ‘my boys.’  Luce will also maintain that it is one of these boat crews that brings back the first news of Soviet missiles in Cuba.  JFK, she says, didn’t react to it so she helped to feed the information to Senator Kenneth Keating, who made it public.” (8)

She sat in the same limo with LBJ on JFK’s inauguration day, and when she asked him why in the world he took the Vice Presidential slot instead of staying in the more powerful position he held in Congress, she quoted him as saying, “Clare, I looked it up; one out of every four presidents has died in office.  I’m a gamblin’ man, darlin’, and this is the only chance I got.” (9)  Although the true odds were one in five presidents, or twenty percent, died in office, perhaps LBJ knew he could improve those odds, and it wasn’t such a gamble at all.

With the new Democratic administration, Luce brought aboard a new publisher, C. D. – Charles Douglas– Jackson, an OSS hand and President Eisenhower’s personal administrative assistant on psychological warfare and Cold War strategy. (10)  While Jackson would remain in the background, devising strategy, Clare Booth Luce wrote a weekly column and an occasional photo feature for Life.  The magazine ran articles on the impending invasion of Cuba before the Bay of Pigs, and in one column, a week before the Cuban Missile Crisis, Clare Booth Luce chastised the President for ignoring the evidence of offensive missiles in Cuba. (11)  She said “her boys,” who ran commando missions in and out of Cuba, had told her this.  But she also apparently saw the U2 photos leaked by the Air Force liaison to the National Photographic Interpretation Center, before they were revealed to the president.  The NPIC U2 photos of missiles in Cuba were also shown to Sen. Keating (R. NY) by Col. Philip J. Corso, who later bragged about leaking it in his book The Day After Roswell. (12)

After the Cuban Missile crisis was successfully resolved, Luce began writing stories about Mongoose, the CIA’s covert operations against Castro, which you could have read all about in Life, as they ran photos and stories about Operation Red Cross (aka the Bayo/Pawley Mission), and other anti-Castro missions.  Clare was particularly proud of “her boys,” the team of anti-Castro commandos who ran maritime missions into Cuba in their speedboat, and that she financially backed, though they were also supported by the CIA.  They were based out of the CIA’s JMWAVE base in Florida, affiliated with the DRE and led by Julio Fernandez. (13)

On the night of the assassination, Clare Booth Luce says she was awakened from sleep by a phone call by Fernandez.  He claimed to have exclusive knowledge of the accused assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, including recordings of him, and other records that appeared to substantiate his pro-Castro leanings i.e. the original Phase One cover story:  Castro did it.  Luce told him to call the FBI, but he didn’t, or at least there is no record of him having done so. (14)

The Luces could have slept soundly that night, knowing that Life was on top of the story.  They had people at Dealey Plaza – the scene of the crime of the century.  And before the weekend was over they would have sole ownership of the single most desired peace of evidence in the case, the Zapruder film.  They would also obtain the infamous Backyard Photos of the accused assassin, his “Historic Diary,” exclusive photos of the Oswald family and then contractually tie up Marina’s story for decades.  But before the weekend was out, the accused assassin would be killed while in police custody, and then branded the lone assassin.  It was just a matter of whether he was going to be portrayed as part of a Cuban Communist conspiracy or as a deranged, lone nut, the answer to which would depend on how it all played out in public.

Life had a good team working on the assassination. Texas bureau chief, Holland McCombs was in Austin, working on a story about the sex lives of college students.  McCombs got the job at Life after giving Henry Luce a raucous tour of Texas, introducing him to cantinas, tequila and hot peppers.  After Luce hired him, it’s rumored that his first job was to get a spy in the office of the president of Mexico, clearly showing Luce’s interests also went south of the border. (15)  McCombs had served in the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) so such an operation was within his wherewithal.  McCombs later helped abort Life’s belated 1967 investigation of a domestic conspiracy.  McCombs supported his friend Clay Shaw, a suspect in Jim Garrison’s case in New Orleans, even though his own team had developed evidence that supported a conspiracy.

As early as February 1964 McCombs and Life had developed the fact that the McCurley brothers, who had assisted Oswald in handing out the FPCC leaflets in New Orleans, patronized the Black Lamp, a gay bar in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  At that tavern, there was a bartender named Frankie Hydell.  The Warren Report claimed that there was no such person as Hidell, the name Oswald used as an alias, and the information McCombs and Life developed went uninvestigated by both Life and the Warren Commission. (16)

Although McCombs was in Austin at the time of the assassination, he had hired a young intern and stringer, Patsy Swank, who was heels on the ground in Dallas and would come up with the scoop on the Z-film.  As soon as they heard about the assassination, McCombs, and the west coast editor in Los Angeles Richard Stolley, flew immediately to Dallas, probably under orders or assignment from C. D. Jackson in New York.  Stolley brought along photographer Alan Grant.  Writer Tommy Thompson, who was from Dallas, also flew in.  Stolley set up shop in a room at the Adolphus Hotel, just across the street from the Carousel Club, and where the Secret Service and White House Communications Agency (WHCA) had their base of operations during the President’s visit. (17)

Although the FBI maintains it had lost track of Oswald when he moved to New Orleans, and he kept a room by himself in Oak Cliff, Oswald had subscribed to magazines that were sent to the Paine home, including The Worker, the official organ of the Communist Party in the USA, the Trotskyite Militant, and Time Magazine.  Therefore, at the time of the assassination, Time-Life had Oswald’s address at the Paine home in their files in New York, where their offices were at Rockefeller Center (18), which is also where the British Security Coordination was based, and where Oswald’s mother had worked in a retail shop on the first floor of the Empire State Building.  While it may have been unknown to some of the authorities who were looking for him, Time-Life had Oswald’s address in their subscription file, and it didn’t take long for the Life team to get there.

While Thompson and photographer Alan Grant went out to the Paine house in Irving, Patsy Swank was at the Dallas Police Department, where she had been tipped off about a film of the assassination.  She called Stolley at the Adolphus on the phone and in a hushed voice so other reporters wouldn’t hear her, told him about the movie of the assassination that was taken by a man whose last name began with a “Z.”  Stolley quickly found Zapruder’s name in the phone book, assumed it was him, and called his home every fifteen minutes until Zapruder finally answered.  Mr. “Z” had been driving around aimlessly thinking about what he had witnessed through the lens of his camera.  Stolley wanted to meet him immediately but Zapruder told him to see him at his office early the next morning. (19)

Meanwhile, with Grant snapping exclusive photos, Thompson winning Marina’s confidence, and  C. D. Jackson persuading her with cash, the wife and mother of the accused assassin agreed to give them their exclusive story if Thompson would take them to see Oswald at the jail. (20)  Although the Zapruder film, the Backyard Photos, the “Historic Diary,” Thompson’s articles and Grant’s photos that Life published, have all been examined extensively and deserve even further scrutiny, Marina’s story is the clincher.  With the death of Oswald, his guilt or innocence in the eyes of the public depended on how she portrayed him for history.  But it wasn’t really Marina’s portrait of Oswald in Life.  It was the author’s portrait, as described, at least in part, by Marina in Russian, and translated by the author.

At first it was reported that Marina’s story would be ghost written by Issac Don Levine, its in-house Russian defector and professional anti-communist propagandist. (21)   Levine had previously written The Mind of the Assassin, about Leon Trotsky’s killer Raymond Mercader, who Levine cleverly unmasks as a deep penetration agent of Stalin’s KGB’s assassination directorate SMERSH.  Mercader got to Trotsky in exile in Mexico City and stabbed him to death, was convicted for it, served time in prison and was later released. (22)  Levine would have been perfect for the job, if they were going to stick with the Cuban Communist Conspiracy Cover-story, but that fell by the wayside as it became apparent that it just was not accurate.  That didn’t matter to Levine any more than it didn’t matter to LBJ.

Oswald had described himself as a Trotskyite, and subscribed to The Militant, the monthly publication of the Trotskyite party in the United States, which was founded by the father of Michael Paine, Oswald’s chief benefactor at the time of the assassination.  Besides providing room and board for Oswald’s wife and two kids, Michael Paine also handled Oswald’s belongings, including the alleged assassination rifle, which was kept in his garage while Oswald went to Mexico. (23)  It’s still unclear what Oswald did inMexico City, but given his fascination with Trotsky, one must wonder if he visited the apartment where Trotsky was killed, or knew the details, as written and published by Levine in his book.

If you look up Issac Don Levine’s Wikipedia biography, it fails to even mention The Mind of the Assassin, possibly his most important work. (24)  Marina’s story is not listed there either, but for a different reason. Levine never got that job, and instead the contract was given to Priscilla Johnson (McMillan).

Priscilla, like George DeMohrenschildt, had the unique attribute of having made the acquaintance of both the President and his accused assassin.  Oswald’s good friend DeMohrenschildt knew the Kennedys from their support of the Cystic Fibrosis charity that he established with his second wife, Dr. De De Sharples.  Priscilla knew JFK from Massachusetts, where she worked for him in 1954, and a few years later she met Oswald in Moscow at the time of his defection. (25)  So, she wasn’t entering the drama cold. She was already a player, and an integral part of the disinformation network that promoted the Dealey Plaza operation cover-story and protected those responsible for the murder of John F. Kennedy.

NEXT – PART 3 – Hugh Aynesworth, Gordon McLendon, Priscilla Johnson – Bottlefed by Oswald’s NANA 

Footnotes and Links to Journalists and JFK –

Real Dizinformation Agents at Dealey Plaza –  Part 2

(1) – LBJ Library Oral History Collection.

(2) – See Video: J.E. Hover, L.B. Johnson, and the Warren Commission’s role -1

(3) – Newman, John – Oswald & the CIA (2008 edition)

(4) – Life and Tonkin Gulf Incident. Life Magazine August 14, 1964p. 21 Special Report – From The Files of Navy Intelligence Aboard the Maddox p. 21 – Cover story on LBJ – The Complex and Extraordinary Man Who Is The President – In Two Articles – an intimate and revealing portrait. – v=onepage&q&f=false

(5) –Henry Robinson Luce New York Times Obituary, March 1, 1967.

(6) Bancroft, Mary – Autobiography of a Spy. Also see:

(7) Clare Booth Luce gives coin to JFK & JFK Letter to CBL Clare Booth Luce background

(8) Wood, Ira David III.  JFK Assassination Chronology.

(9) Clare Booth Luce & LBJ“I looked it up; one out of every four Presidents has died in office.  I’m a gamblin’ man, darling, and this is the only chance I got.” —Lyndon B. Johnson, to Clare Booth Luce, on why he accepted the Vice Presidential nomination from JFK, January 1961.  Also see: Wood, Ira David III – JFK Assassination Chronology.

(10) Wood, Ira David III. JFK Assassination Chronology.

(11) C. D. Jackson background “The CIA’s assimilation of old guard fascists was overseen by the Operations Coordination Board, directed by C.D. Jackson, formerly an executive of Time magazine and Eisenhower’s Special Assistant for Cold War Strategy.”

Before he became an ardent Cold Warrior, C.D. Jackson was

According toCarl Bernstein, Jackson was “Henry Luce’s personal emissary to the CIA”. He also claimed that in the 1950s Jackson had arranged for CIA employees to travel withTime-Lifecredentials as cover.

(11) – Clare Booth Luce & Cuban Missile Crisis – Cuba –and the unfaced truth – Our Global Double Bind – Life Magazine, Oct. 5, 1962, p. 53. – v=onepage&q&f=false

(12) Corso & NPIC Leak – Corso, Philip J. (Day After Roswell, Simon & Schuster , 1997) and Wood, Ira David III. JFK Assassination Chronology.

Corso & JFK black prop op – see: “The Zipper Documents,” Gregory.

(13) – Clare Booth Luce & Julio Fernandez & DRE Clare Booth Luce and Julio Fernandez:

Also see Gary Shaw and John Stockwell:

(14) – Clare Booth Luce & Julio Fernandez on 11/22/63

(15) – Holland McCombs & Luce – Kelin, John – Holland McCombs – The Investigation that Never Was.

(16) – Kelin, John – Holland McCombs – The Investigation That Never Was. Also see McCombs archive at University of Tennessee.

(17) – Life Team in Dallas Patsy Swank & Z film. Thompson, Josiah. Why The Zapruder Film Is Authentic, JFK Deep Politics Quarterly, April 1999, Vol. 4, No. 3. – FILM

(18) – Oswald address & Time-Life – Education Forum – Life Magazine and the Assassination of JFK – John Dolva post.

(19) – Stolley & Zapruder

Stolley bio:

(20) – Thompson & Marina. Grant, Alan. The Day The President Was Shot – The Kidnapping of the Oswald Family. For Alan Grant’s photos see: Also see: Richard Stolley on Tommy Thompson:,,20087091,00.html

(21) –  Issac Don Levine (19 January 1892 – 15 February 1981) Scott, Peter Dale, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK(1996) says C. D. Jackson, on the urging ofAllen Dulles employed Issac Don Levine to ghost-write Marina’s story.  This story never appeared in print.  Levine background:.

Also see:….saac_Don_Levine

(22) – Issac Don Levine & Trotsky – Levine, wrote the book “Mind of the Assassin,” that details how the KGB’s agent Raymond Mercader assassinated Trotsky. See Peter Sedgwick’s Review

(23) – Michael Paine, Trotsky & Oswald in MC. Weberman. Nodule X16 CIA CONNECTIONS.pdf

Forbes Family history (Linda Minor):

Michael Paine Warren Commission Testimony:

(24) – Levine & Wiki & “Mind of the Assassin.” Bibliography:

(25) – Lee Oswald, Marina and Priscilla Johnson.

ARRB Testiomony

PBS Interview:

Zapruder Film Articles and Sources

June 7, 2011

 “Early November 1966          I flew to Dallas and met Kern and Billings and Patsy Swank there. [Swank was a Life stringer who had originally let magazine personnel know about the existence of the Zapruder film.] Using 4″ by 5″ transparencies, we interviewed Dr. Charles Gregory who in 1963 had treated the wounded Governor John Connally.  We returned to the hotel leaving the transparencies with Henry Suydam, LIFE’s Miami bureau chief.  We returned from dinner to the hotel room.  I said I’d like to study the transparencies and take them to my room.  Before leaving the room, I inventoried the stack of transparencies and found that four (in the 230s) were missing.  They were present there when we showed the transparencies to Dr. Gregory.  I left the stack in the room.  I learned subsequently that the next morning Ed Kern distracted Henry Suydam while Billings searched Suydam’s room.  The missing transparencies were not found.”

“Mid-November 1966        I didn’t know what was going on.  I suspected that there was some power struggle at Life in motion, but I had not a clue what it was about and who was on what side.  I decided that it would be an extremely good idea for a good copy of the relevant frames to exist outside the TimeLifeBuilding.  I put a 35 mm camera with a copying stand and 15 or so rolls of film in my brief case and went up to New York on the Thursday or Friday before the issue entitled “A Matter of Reasonable Doubt” closed.  Kern and Billings left by about 5:00 PM.  I stayed.  I set up my copying stand over the light table in Kern’s office and started copying the 4″ by 5″ transparencies.  Kern came back and said, “What’re you doing, Tink?”  I replied, “I’m copying some frames from the goddam film.  I need to study them down in Philadelphia.”  Kern said nothing and then left.  I spent the next two hours or so copying the remaining frames until my film was exhausted.  We learned in the lawsuit [later filed by Time Inc.] that the following Monday Kern told the editor of Life, George Hunt, that he had come back and found me copying the film.  Hunt later signed a consultancy contract with me which legally gave me permission to have a copy for my own research use. “

National Nightmare on Six Feet of Film by Richard B. Trask (Danvers, Massachusettes: Yeoman Press, 2005), pages 364-36

November 25, 1963 Life publisher C.D. Jackson, after viewing a copy of the Zapruder film in New York, instructed Stolley to purchase remaining television and movie rights for a price that eventually reached $150,000 plus royalties; the purchase included Zapruder’s copy of the film made in Dallas the afternoon of the assassination. Zapruder donated the first $25,000 to the widow of Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippit, who was killed 45 minutes after the assassination when he stopped Lee Harvey Oswald in the
Dallas suburb of Oak Cliff

Cover-Up and Intrigue in the
CIA‘s Secret Possession of the Zapruder film
Philip H. Melanson


It has been called the film of the century. It is surely America‘s most historically important twenty-two seconds of film: the Zapruder film (the Z-film, as researchers call it). On November 22, 1963 Dallas dress manufacturer Abraham Zapruder had come to see President Kennedy pass through DealeyPlaza. Zapruder had forgotten his camera; he rushed home to get it and returned just in time to view the motorcade. Standing on a low concrete wall to the right front of the approaching Presidential limousine. Zapruder peered through his 8-millimeter, zoom lens, Bell & Howell movie camera. The camera was fully wound and set manually on maximum zoom.

The shocking tragedy captured in color by the Z film is all too familiar to many Americans: the death of John F. Kennedy. As the film begins, the motorcade turns and comes toward the camera. President and Mrs, Kennedy smile and wave from inside the open limousine. For several seconds, the President is blocked from Zapruder’s view as the limousine passes behind a street sign. When the limousine emerges from behind the sign, Kennedy is clearly reacting to a wound: his hands move up to clutch his throat. He totters to his left; Jacqueline Kennedy looks toward him anxiously. Then the fatal head shot impacts; the President’s head explodes in a ghastly corona of blood and brains. His body is thrust violently backward against the seat then bounces forward. Kennedy’s exposed skull gleams in the bright Texas sunshine. He falls sideways into his wife’s arms. Mrs. Kennedy climbs onto the trunk of the limousine to recover a fragment of her husband’s skull. A Secret Service agent jumps aboard and pushes her into her seat as the limousine speeds away.

The Z film is more than gruesome history; it is also the best evidence of the assassination, the baseline of time and motion. By analyzing blowups and calculating elapsed time according to the running speed of Zapruder’s camera, investigative bodies from the Warren Commission to the House Select Committee on Assassinations (in 1978) have drawn their conclusions about the timing, number, and direction of the shots, as have scores of private researchers. It is the timing between shots that provides crucial data for the key question: was it a conspiracy? If the elapsed time between bullets hitting the President is too short for a lone assassin to have aimed and fired, then there is proof of conspiracy.

Over the years there have been allegations that elements of the American intelligence community, especially the CIA, were involved in covering up a conspiracy in the JFK assassination, or were active participants in a conspiracy. Some assassination researchers have also suggested that the Zapruder film may have been subjected to sophisticated altering designed to hide a conspiracy. They point to apparent anomalies in the motion of the President’s body and to an apparent shadow appearing toward the front of Kennedy’s head.1 The speculation is that the original film may have shown that Kennedy was shot from the front, from the grassy knoll, rather than from the rear (from the Book Depository from which Oswald was supposed to have fired); but that the film was altered before it reached the hands of official investigators.

In any criminal case, the integrity of evidence depends upon its chain of possession: who had it when, how and for what purposes before it came into the possession of official investigators to be analyzed by them. In the JFK case the Warren Commission was the official investigating body and the FBI its official investigative arm which conducted tests and analyses of the evidence, including the Z film.

Documents obtained from the FBI, CIA and Secret Service through the Freedom of Information Act contain startling revelations about the Z film’s chain of possession. The first documents surfaced in 1976; others in 1981. They provide considerable support for allegations of a CIAcover-up and for allegations regarding possible CIAmanipulation of evidence. There is now good reason to question the evidentiary integrity of the Z film. Moreover, it is clear that before the FBI had obtained the film, CIA experts had already analyzed it and had found data which strongly suggested a conspiracy.

The official version of who had the film and camera when and how is as follows.2 The afternoon of the assassination Zapruder took his film to a commercial photo studio in Dallas for rush developing. Word of the film’s existence soon leaked out and, within hours, several news and publishing organizations contacted Zapruder with offers to buy it. Zapruder had three copies made. He immediately gave two copies to the United States Secret Service. The Service kept one copy for itself and gave one to the FBI the day after the assassination. Zapruder sold the original and one copy to LIFE magazine on November 23, reportedly for $25,000. LIFE published pictures from the film in its November 29th issue and locked the original film in a New York vault. Zapruder’s camera was given to the FBI by Zapruder so that the Bureau could determine the running speed (the number of frames per second at which the film moved through the camera). This figure would then be used to clock the precise time between shots. The FBI later returned the camera to Zapruder, who gave it to the Bell & Howell Company for its archives.

I had long suspected that the official version was incomplete. Several Warren Commission witnesses had mentioned that a copy of the film had gone to Washington, but their references to such an event were vague and conflicting. According to FBI documents, the Bureau did not obtain a copy of the film until the day after the assassination when it borrowed one of the Secret Service’s copies. The FBI had the technical expertise for analyzing the film but did not have the film for twenty-four hours; the Secret Service got two copies right away but, by all indications, lacked the technical capacity for a sophisticated in-house analysis. It was clear from CIAdocuments declassified in the 1970s — documents unrelated to the assassination — that the Secret Service of the 1960s and early 1970s had some sort of technical dependence upon the CIA. The CIAhad provided technical assistance, equipment and briefings to the Secret Service, even to the point of manufacturing the color-coded lapel pins worn by Secret Service agents.3 It made sense that Secret Service, lacking its own high-powered photographic expertise, might turn to the CIAfor help in analyzing the Zapruder film; but there was nothing to substantiate this hypothesis.

Then, in 1976, assassination researcher Paul Hoch discovered CIA#450 among a batch of documents released by CIA because of a Freedom of Information Act request. Item 450 consists of nine pages of documents relating to an analysis of the Z film conducted for the Secret Service by the CIA‘s National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC) in Washington, one of the world’s most technically sophisticated photo-analysis laboratories. For the first time, there was evidence that CIAhad possessed and analyzed the film. Apparently CIA had gotten the film from the Secret Service. There is nothing in Item 450, however, that states when the NPIC analysis was done — hours after the assassination? weeks? months? Nor is it clear whether NPIC analyzed a copy of the film or an original.

Among the nine pages in Item 450 are four pages of handwritten notes and calculations. One notation describes photographic work done by NPIC:

— Proc, dry 2 hr.

— Print test 3 hr.

— Make 3 prints 1 hr.

— Proc. and dry prints 1 1/2 hr.

In Dallas, Zapruder was supposed to have had an original and three copies. No other copies were known to exist. Now we find that the CIAlaboratory in Washington made three prints — the same number as were supposed to have been made in Dallas. Did NPIC make more, unaccounted for copies; or did the NPIC-produced copies somehow end up as the Dallas copies? Was NPIC producing third-generation prints; or had it somehow obtained the original?

It was researcher David Lifton who, through our discussions and exchanges of date, first suggested that the previously described notation (“proc. dry” etc) referred to work being done with the original film, not a copy. My discussions with a half dozen photographic experts from both academic and commercial photo laboratories, confirm this point.4 “Processing” refers to developing an original. If NPIC had been working with a copy, the first step would have been to print, then process. The NPIC notation “print test” refers to a short piece of film printed from the original and used to check the exposure — to see if the negative is too light or too dark — before printing copies from the original. Thus there is strong indications that NPIC had the original.

The original is assumed to have remained in Dallas in Zapruder’s possession until he sold it to LIFE on November 23, the day after the assassination. This allowed time enough for the original to have been flown from Dallas to D.C., analyzed, and returned to Dallas before LIFE got it. Yet, according to Zapruder and the Secret Service, the original never left Dallas until LIFE purchased it. Perhaps the original made a secret trip to Washington.

Zapruder had already kept one secret about the film from the Warren Commission. In his testimony to the Commission, Zapruder stated that LIFE had paid him $25,000 for the film, all of which he donated to charity. What he did not reveal, even under questioning, was that the deal actually called for $125,000 more to be paid in five yearly installments.5 Zapruder also told the Warren Commission that immediately after the assassination, he went to his office and told his secretary to call the police or Secret Service because “I knew I had something, I figured it might be of some help.”6 But according to Dallas Secret Service Agent Forrest Sorrels, he was alerted to the film by a reporter from the Dallas Morning News who contacted him and informed him that a man had made some movies that the Secret Service might be interested in.7 The reporter took Sorrels to Zapruder’s office. As Sorrels described it, “Mr. Zapruder agreed to furnish me with a copy of this film with the understanding that it was strictly for official use of the Secret Service and that it would not be shown or given to any newspapers or magazines as he expected to sell the film for as high a price as he could get for it.”

Whether Sorrels was summoned by Zapruder or got word of the film by some other means and surprised Zapruder by showing up at his office, the question still remains whether the Secret Service would be willing to accept only a copy of the film instead of the original. In 1973, LIFE‘s Richard B. Stolly, who negotiated the purchase of the film from Zapruder, opined that “If the federal government had not been in such disarray at that moment (immediately after the assassination) somebody with authority and a sense of history would probably have asked Zapruder for the original film and he probably would have relinquished it.”8 Whether someone in authority asked or told Zapruder, indications are that he did indeed relinquish it.

Was Zapruder really in a position to get the Secret Service to accept his conditions concerning the use of the film? Presumably, the original could have been subpoenaed as evidence, thereby delaying — perhaps even ruining — Zapruder’s chance to make a lucrative deal. The Secret Service, having just lost a President, may not have been inclined to accept a copy of the film instead of the original or to adhere to conditions set by Zapruder. Out at Parkland hospital, Dallas County Medical Examiner Earl Rose, accompanied by a Justice of the Peace, informed Secret Service agents that they could not remove the President’s body and take it to Washington, a position fully consistent with Texas law. The agents drew their guns, pushed the medical examiner and the justice against the wall and took the body. If Secret Service agents were such lions in dealing with Earl Rose, why their lamb-like behavior with Abrahan Zapruder?

If Zapruder did manage to strike a bargain with the Secret Service, the terms may well have been that the Service took the original for a brief time (perhaps only eighteen hours) but promised to keep the loan secret so as not to jeopardize Zapruder’s chances for a deal. If potential buyers knew that the original had been out of Zapruder’s hands, they might have perceived it as second-hand merchandise; if they knew the government was printing extra copies, the exclusivity of the purchase rights might be in doubt.

Exclusivity was very important to the deal, and Zapruder knew it. LIFE‘s Richard B. Stolly recalled that through all the chaos, Zapruder kept his “business sense.”9 Stolly says that Zapruder claimed to have obtained sworn statements from the employees at the film lab in Dallas where the film was first developed, stating that no extra copies of the film had been “bootlegged”; thus “whoever bought the film would have it exclusively.”

Even if NPIC was not analyzing the original film but only a copy, documents in CIA Item #450 reveal that the analysis produced some striking data which logically supported a conclusion of conspiracy. he main thrust of NPIC’s analysis was to construct various three-shot scenarios. The film was studied and the elapsed time between the frames on which the shots occurred was estimated. Nine different three-shot scenarios were produced, by varying the points (frames) at which the President appeared to have been shot by varying the estimated running speed of the camera.

Whether NPIC knew it or not, the majority of their scenarios precluded a lone assassin. In 1964 the FBI tested the rifle found on the sixth floor of the Book Depository. The Bureau discovered that marksmen could not re-aim and re-fire the weapon any faster than 2.25 – 2.30 seconds.10 Thus any interval between shots which is shorter than that would constitute persuasive evidence that there were two gunmen. Five of NPIC’s scenarios had intervals that were too short — 2.1 seconds, 2.0, even 1.0. There is no indication in the released documents that NPIC thought that the five two-gunmen scenarios were any less valid than the four scenarios which allowed sufficient time for a lone assassin.

One of the scenarios which does allow enough time between shots for a lone assassin is labeled “LIFE Magazine.” The calculations in this scenario are identical with those appearing in LIFE‘s December 6, 1963 article “End to Nagging Rumors: Six Critical Seconds.” The article used an analysis of the Z film to attempt to prove that Oswald acted alone. The question arises: was NPIC generating data for LIFE magazine or was the country’s most sophisticated photo-analysis laboratory reading LIFE for analytic clues? So far as we know, LIFE conducted its own analysis for its own auricle, and there is no conclusive evidence to the contrary. But one handwritten note scrawled near the LIFE magazine scenario reads: “They know the exact time of the 1st and 2nd shot?” It is a strange question if “they” is LIFE and if their article is already finished or on the stands. Presumably, LIFE should already know whatever their article states that they know, and the article boasts that LIFE has reconstructed the “precise timing” of the shots.

In 1982 Bernard Fensterwald Jr., a Washington attorney and assassination researcher, filed suit in federal court against the CIAand forced the release of six hundred pages of previously classified documents relating to the assassination. Among them were additional documents concerning NPIC and the Z film. The documents dated back to the mid 1970s when assassination researcher Paul Hoch asked the Rockefeller Commission, which was investigating possible CIA involvement in the JFK assassination, to check into the NPIC analysis of the Z film. The document, which were withheld by the CIAuntil Fensterwald’s suit in 1982, concern CIA‘s response to a Rockefeller Commission query about the NPIC analysis.

By itself, and it believed, the 1982 release seemed to minimize CIA‘s involvement with the Z film. CIAdocuments claimed that the Agency never possessed its own copy of the film until February 1965, when Time Inc. (TIME-LIFE) provided a copy to the CIA‘s Office of Training.11 According to an agreement between TIME and the CIA, the film was not to be duplicated, exhibited or published but only used for CIA“training” — whatever that meant.12 There was no mention of the three copies mysteriously printed by NPIC.

As for the NPIC analysis of the film, the CIAtold the Rockefeller Commission that the Secret Service did bring a copy of the film to CIADirector John McCone “late in 1963.” NPIC conducted an analysis “late that same night.” But “it was not possible to determine the precise time between shots without access to the camera to time the rate of spring rundown.” Furthermore, said CIA, Secret Service agents were present during the analysis and “took the film away with them that night.”13

All of this certainly refers to the same NPIC analysis described in CIAItem #450. The “rate of spring rundown” (running speed of the camera) was not known and had to be estimated by NPIC. Again, if the Secret Service took one “copy” away with them, what happened to the other NPIC copies? Did the Secret Service know about them? And what about the substantive data produced by the NPIC analysis (the nine scenarios, five of which precluded a lone assassin?) There are indications that the Secret Service never got that data, even though it was precisely the kind of information that they hoped to get from the CIA experts at NPIC.

In responding in 1976 to the Rockefeller Commission’s query about the NPIC analysis, the CIA stated: “We assume that Secret Service informed the Warren Commission about anything of value resulting from our technical analysis of the film, but we have no direct knowledge that they did so.”14 There is no evidence that the Secret Service ever told the Warren Commission about the existence of the NPIC analysis much less about the results. One possible explanation for this is that the Secret Service withheld the data so that the Warren Commission wouldn’t see the five conspiracy scenarios. Another possibility is that the CIAwithheld the data from the Secret Service so that the Service wouldn’t see them.

One CIAmemo contained in Item #450 states “We do not know whether the Secret Service took copies of these notes (on the three-shot scenarios) at the time of the analysis.”15 It would seem odd for the Secret Service to go to the trouble to seek out an expert analysis and then not take away any of the data. Yet, no trace of the NPIC analysis has ever appeared in declassified Secret Service files or Warren Commission documents, only NPIC-CIA files. Perhaps the Secret Service never knew that the data existed; perhaps Service agents were only “present” for part of the analysis.

The most intriguing reference in the 1982 release is the CIA‘s description of when NPIC performed its analysis for the Secret Service: “late in 1963.” This could mean November 22 or December 31. Didn’t CIAknow the date when the analysis took place; or was it using the euphemism “late in 1963” because it was unwilling to admit that it had the film within forty-eight hours of the assassination? CIAstated that NPIC’s analysis was done “late that same night” that the Secret Service brought the film to CIA. Why rush or work overtime, unless “late in 1963″16 really meant November 22nd or 23rd?

I decided to pursue another avenue. Several months after the 1982 CIArelease, I initiated a Freedom of Information request to the Secret Service and asked for “any and all documents relating to Secret Service possession or analysis of the Zapruder film of the John F. Kennedy assassination, or of Mr. Zapruder’s camera, inclusive of any and all documents relating to possession of the film and/or camera by the National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC) or the Central Intelligence Agency.”

The Secret Service response came as a surprise. They claimed that in 1979 they had turned over to the National Archives in Washington all documents relating to the Kennedy assassination. I had previously researched all of the Warren Commission records in the National Archives pertaining to the CIAand the Secret Service but had found nothing relevant to NPIC’s analysis. I called Mr. Marion Johnson, the archivist in charge of the Warren Commission records, to inquire whether the 1979 material passed on by the Secret Service had been in the files I had already examined. It had not. Due to a shortage of staff, the Archives had not yet security-cleared and processed the six boxes of “new” material. Johnson and his staff processed the boxes within two weeks.

After five hours of wading through the hodgepodge of newly processed documents — which included everything from carbon copies of previously released documents, to copies of the contents of Lee Harvey Oswald’s wallet at the time of his arrest, to 5×8 close-ups of the blood stains and brain matter on the seat of the limousine — I came across the only documents related to the Z film. They reveal that, in 1964, Henry Suydam, LIFE‘s Bureau Chief wrote to Secret Service Director James Rowley to say that LIFE believed that the Secret Service had two copies of the Zapruder film.17 Suydam stressed that the copies were the property of TIME, Inc. and that they should not be shown to anyone outside the government. He further stipulated that the Service could keep them as long as it needed them but must return them to TIME, Inc when it was finished.

Secret Service Director Rowley wrote to Forrest Sorrels, the agent in charge of the Service’s Dallas office, and asked for a detailed account of how the Zapruder film came into Secret Service possession.18 Agent Sorrels’ response provides a strong indication that “late in 1963,” as the CIAvaguely described it, was, in fact, the night of the assassination. Sorrels states that after the film was developed, he obtained “two copies” from Zapruder (the standard explanation), “one copy of which was immediately airmailed to chief (Director of the Secret Service in Washington).”19

“Immediately” would be sometime late in the afternoon following the 12:30 P.M. assassination, after Sorrels had caught up with Zapruder. After a three hour flight from Dallas to Washington, the film would arrive at Secret Service headquarters, be taken to CIAheadquarters, then to NPIC — probably not before early- to mid-evening. So NPIC would be working late into the night on its rush analysis of this most important piece of evidence. It now seems clear that “late that same night,” as CIAdescribed it, was actually the very night of the assassination. Why after all — after rushing the film to Washington by plane — would the Secret Service delay an expert analysis of a film which could conceivably reveal the President’s assassin(s)?

And why would the Secret Service be satisfied with a copy which was less clear than the original? Since it seems certain that NPIC conducted its analysis on the night of the assassination, this greatly increases the likelihood that NPIC had the original (as is indicated by the notations on the CIAItem #450 which described the photographic work). LIFE took possession of the original on November 23; but, before then, Zapruder could have secretly loaned the original to the Secret Service.

In addition to the chain of possession of the film, there is also the matter of Zapruder’s camera. The Z film’s evidentiary potential is, to an important degree, dependent upon calculating the average running speed of the camera. The reader will recall that at the time of its analysis, NPIC did not know the exact speed of Zapruder’s camera. Without this data, absolute and precise determination of the elapsed time between shots are not possible. An interval of forty-two frames between shots with an estimated camera speed of eighteen frames per second would produce an elapsed time of 2.33 seconds. This would allow enough time for a lone gunman to have done the shooting, according to the FBI’s calculation of 2.25 to 2.30 as the minimum time needed to aim and fire. But if Zapruder’s camera ran at 18.8 frames per second instead of 18.0, this same 42-frame interval would be only 2.23 seconds and would fall just below the lone-assassin minimum.

The FBI, having official investigative responsibility, obtained the camera from Zapruder, tested it, and found the average running speed to be 18.3 frames per second.20 This took place nearly two weeks after the assassination.21 But what of NPIC’s very-rushed, very sophisticated analysis conducted the night of the assassination? It makes no sense that after calculating the time between shots in terms of tenths of seconds, NPIC and the CIAwould sit back and wait for a couple of weeks until the FBI provided this key piece of data — the camera speed.

In October 1982, while searching through the FBI’s voluminous, poorly organized assassination files, I came across a memo which strongly supported the notion the NPIC had not waited for the FBI. The December 4, 1963 memo written by FBI agent Robert Barrett, reports that on the date Zapruder handed his camera over to the FBI. Barrett goes on to say that, “He (Zapruder) advised this camera had been in the hands of the United States Secret Service agents on Dec. 3, 1963, as they claimed they wanted to do some checking of it.”22

We do not know how long the Secret Service had the camera or when they got it from Zapruder. Zapruder told the FBI that the Secret Service had the camera on December 3, when they returned it to him; the Service could have borrowed it from him days before that. Thus we have an important break in the known chain of possession of the camera. It went not from Zapruder to the FBI but from Zapruder to the Secret Service then back to Zapruder and then to the FBI. It was then that the FBI made the crucial calculation of 18.3 frames per second, which everyone henceforth would use as the time frame for analyzing the Z film. It is surely possible, even reasonable, that the Secret Service might have done with the camera what it did with the film — secretly rush it to NPIC where it could be analyzed, but where it also could have been tampered with.

The search for additional documents continues. Someday, we may know the real chain of possession of the film and camera. For now, this much is clear. The official, historically accepted chain of possession is wrong. The film’s secret journey to a CIA laboratory in Washington on the night of the assassination raises serious doubts about the film’s integrity as evidence. It also raises questions about who in the intelligence community knew what, when and how concerning John Kennedy’s assassination.

If, as appears to be the case, it was the original of the Z film that was secretly diverted to the CIAlaboratory on November 22, 1963, then the means and opportunity for sophisticated alteration did, in fact, exist — alteration that even the most expert analysis would have difficulty in detecting. By the 1960s cinematography labs had the technical capacity to insert or delete individual frames of a film,to resize images, to create special effects. But it would take an extraordinary sophistication to do so in a manner that would defy detection — the kind of sophistication that one would expect of CIA photo experts.

Between Zapruder and the Secret Service, they had possession of all three of the Dallas-made copies for nearly twenty-four hours. With the original at NPIC and with three copies made there, it is possible that if the film was doctored, the three NPIC copies of the doctored film were substituted for the three Dallas-made copies. It is even possible that all of the Dallas-made copies went to NPIC along with the original and that the switch was made there. We have only Zapruder and the Secret Service’s assertions as to where the copies were for twenty-four hours.

Setting aside the worst-case scenario (so alteration of the original film in order to hide a conspiracy), there is still the fact that NPIC generated data which would logically support a conspiracy theory, and that this data never reached the Warren Commission and appears to have been withheld from the Secret Service as well.

It is possible that the film of the century is more intricately related to the crime of the century than we ever knew — not because it recorded the crime of the century, as we have assumed, but because it was itself an instrument of conspiracy.


1. See David S. Lifton, Best Evidence (New York: Macmillan, 1980), p. 355n, 557n.
2. Zapruder testimony in Warren Commission Hearings, vol7, pp. 569-76; Lifton, loc. cit; FBI report of agent Robert M. Barrett, Dec. 4, 1963; statement of George Hunt, Managing Editor, LIFE (cited in Josiah Thompson, Six Seconds In Dallas, Berkeley Ca (Berkeley Publ. Co., 1976, pp. 217-18); Richard B. Stolley, “What Happened Next?” Esquire Nov. 1973, pp. 134-5; 262-3.
CIA memo of June 5, 1973 “Secret Service Request,” (for technical equipment). This document was part of the CIA‘s “Domestic Police Training File” (362 pages) obtained by the author through a 1982 Freedom of Information Act request, 1976 hearings of the House Intelligence Committee.
4. I am indebted to Elaine Fisher, Professor of Visual Design at
SoutheasternMassachusettsUniversity, for providing expertise and suggesting other resource persons.
5. New York Times,
May 13, 1965.
Warren Commission Hearings, vol. 7, pp. 569-71.
7. Sorrels testimony:
Warren Commission Hearings, vol. 5, p.352.
8. Stolly, “What Happened Next.”
9. Stolly, “What Happened Next.”
Warren Commission Hearings, vol. 3, p. 407 (Frazer); vol. 3, p. 153.
CIA memo of Oct. 23, 1975 for Deputy Director, “The ‘Zapruder Film’ of President John F. Kennedy’s Assassination” Doc. 1472-492-BT
CIAmemo of Apr. 23, 1975 for Office of the Inspector General, subject: “The ‘Zapruder Film’ of President John F. Kennedy’s Assassination” (Doc. 1627-1085)
CIA“Addendum to Comment on the Zapruder Film,” p. 16, 1982; CIArelease to Fensterwald.
14. Ibid
CIAItem #450, “NPIC Analysis of Zapruder Filming of John F. Kennedy Assassination”
CIA“Addendum to Comment . . ” (see citation 13 above)
17. Suydam letter to Rowley,
Jan. 7, 1964
18. Rowley memo to Sorrels,
Jan. 14, 1964 (Secret Service 00-2-34-000)
19. Sorrels to Inspector Kelly, “Zapruder Film of the Assassination of President Kennedy,”
Jan. 21, 1964.
20. Warren Report
21. Report of FBI Agent Robert M. Barrett (see citation 2), Barrett reports that he received the camera from Zapruder on Dec. 4.
22. Barrett report.

Q & A:
Richard B. Stolley

November 2009

by Julien Russell Brunet

Richard B. Stolley is one of the preeminent names in American journalism. Over his 56-year career at Time Inc., Stolley spent 19 years at the weekly Life, capturing the events and people of our time, and placing them in perspective for our history. “Life,” he once said, “wasn’t simply about taking great pictures that knocked your socks off, but taking pictures of human contrast and emotion. We saw violence beyond human comprehension and outstanding incidents of human compassion, and we recorded it all for the readers with such skill that pictures we’ve seen a hundred times still evoke exactly the same emotions as they did when they were first published.” After Life suspended publication in December of 1972, Stolley became the founding editor of People, the most successful magazine in publishing history. Upon his retirement as Editorial Director of Time Inc. in 1993, Stolley was appointed the company’s Senior Editorial Adviser.

Last month, Stolley spoke with Julien Russell Brunet about photojournalism – its past, its present, and its future. An edited transcript of the interview appears below.

Q: When you were at Life, was there a sense that you knew that you were covering history? And when you’re that close to history, you’re also helping to make it?

A: There is no question that was true of Life and, particularly, in the South when I was down there in the late 1950s. I went into the South not quite sure of what I was going to find. I just knew this [the civil rights movement] was going to be an immensely important story and that Life was in a position to shape history. I think that was true of any journalist in the South. But that was particularly true of us. One, we lived in the South. We didn’t just parachute in when there was a big story. We were there every day and travelled extensively to many small towns throughout the South. And we were covering the South with both words and pictures. There was no way to convey to the rest of the country and the world what was happening in the South without photographs. That was a very powerful experience for me. More than ever before, I realized the power of the photograph and, particularly, when the photograph was accompanied by words which filled in the gaps. And Lifewas very tough on the subject.

Q: I understand you identified individuals whenever you could.

A: Yes. In Charlotte, North Carolina, one black girl integrated a high school. Usually they never sent one kid in. There would always be a group like in Little Rock, for instance. In this case, it was one tall, nice-looking girl going in. They had cops there, but they weren’t doing anything. So the boys gathered around her and began screaming and spitting on her. I was right behind her. The photographs were very disturbing and revealing. The editor of Life, George Hunt, said, “I want those kids’ names.” He wanted to identify the boys that were spitting on this girl. The whole point being that their names were part of the story, and I think there was some sense that they would be ashamed when they saw their pictures and names in Life, trying to make life miserable for this poor girl. Of all the magazines and publications that covered the South, Life showed the world what was going on in the South and, perhaps more importantly, showed the South what was going on in the South. I think we helped encourage the good people of the South to accept the rule of law.

Q: Speaking about your work in the South, you once said, “We were showing America what the face of hate and the face of courage looked like. And it helped bring about an understanding and a reconciliation in America that would not have occurred if the Lifecameras had not been down there.”

A: No question. There is a book called “The Race Beat” by two journalists [Gene Roberts and Hank Klibanoff] and it’s about the role of the press in covering civil rights in the South. They talk more about word journalists. They do cover photographers, but the two authors were word journalists and I think they minimize the role of pictures. Photographers from Life and other publications showed America what was happening. People could read about these events, but the photographs were inescapable. You could describe boys spitting on Dorothy Counts, the girl in Charlotte, but showing that photograph of her in this beautiful dress going in and just three or four feet away these boys were screaming with faces all contorted … photographs like that explained to America what was happening in the South in a way that words never could.

Q: Is that what you mean when you use the phrase “the majesty of the still picture”?

A: Yes. The majesty and the power.

Q: But for many photographers who grew up in the days of Life and Look, photojournalism as they know it is dead, isn’t it? As Dirck [Halstead] wrote in an editorial several years ago Revisiting the Death of Photojournalism, at that time “budgets were not a concern. All that mattered was that the photojournalist came back with meaningful and wonderful images.”

A: I wrote the foreword to a new textbook [“American Photojournalism”] about photojournalism by a professor at the University of Indiana [Claude Cookman]. He talks about its impact over the years and I say that, in the sense that it was practiced at Life and Look, there isn’t as much of it anymore, no question about that. But I was just looking today – as a matter of fact, it’s on my computer screen now – at and its photo archives and, god, it’s just enormous. I am looking at a photo essay called the “Top 10 Doctored Photos.” It’s really interesting. Looking at all this and at the new Web site,, I don’t know whether you can get away with photojournalism in print anymore, but I think there is a place for it online. There are a lot of photographers out there shooting photo essays and nobody is printing their stuff. But from Dirck’s point of view, he is unhappy and he has the right to be. The kind of photojournalism that did change the world in so many ways, there isn’t much of it anymore.

Q: Of course, changes have also occurred: television, the emergence of the Internet. Do these changes outshine the negative developments? In other words, will the role of the storyteller – visual storytellers included – be enhanced?

A: It already has been. The 2 billion bloggers, or however many there are now, these are all storytellers. Citizen journalists, these are storytellers. There are more stories being told now than ever before in the history of journalism or the history of storytelling. Now, the problem is that the kind of standards of accuracy and fairness that the journalists in the 20th and 21st centuries think are important to apply to storytelling are not being applied to a lot of these stories.

Q: You mean the problem with reliability? Oscar Wilde once wrote that modern journalism “justifies its own existence by the great Darwinian principle of the survival of the vulgarest.”

A: Many of them are just opinions, or made up or Wikipedia facts that turn out not to be true. But that slowly is changing too. Internet storytelling just gets better all the time, whether it is under the umbrella of an established publication or new ones like The Daily BeastThe Huffington Post orSlate. The standards are improving. And, I think, the mainstream media are largely responsible for that because we have said, partly out of self-preservation, that electronic storytelling is dangerous because so much of it is untrue or unfair. And, as a result of that warning, the standards of conventional print journalism are now being applied more and more to Internet journalism and we are all the better for it. This is going to continue. The age of storytelling has never been so robust.

Q: If, as you say, the standards on the Internet are improving, will there be a demand for trained professionals? In other words, is there a future for aspiring journalists or students in journalism school?

A: Yes, I think there is. Right now, we’ve got two major problems. One is that there is a lot more journalism coming from people who are untrained than there is from those who are trained. That is changing, as I said. The second, of course, are the economic difficulties: until the economy recovers, both print and online journalism are going to continue to suffer. But, are there going to be jobs? Yes.

Q: That’s encouraging. Sometimes, the future looks pretty grim. In the July/August issue of The Columbia Journalism Review, David Simon calls on the publishers of The New York Times and The Washington Post to “rescue an imploding industry and thereby achieve an essential civic good for the nation.” Simon writes, “Content matters. And you [Mr. Sulzberger and Ms. Weymouth] must find a way, in the brave new world of digitization, to make people pay for that content. If you do this, you still have a product and there is still an industry, a calling, and a career known as professional journalism.” Do you buy the pay wall argument?

A: There has to be some way for publications or news generators to get paid for some of their content. But I don’t know how to do it. There are three or four experiments going on now. I think sometime in the next five years they will figure this out; people will start paying for some content and it will become an important source of revenue. Newsday, a Long Island (N.Y.) newspaper, has just put all of its online material behind a pay wall. I don’t think you can do that because people can get the same kind of news in a lot of other places. Unique contributions that publications can offer the public are the ones that, I think, have the best chance of being sequestered in some way so that you have to pay to get to them. But a lot of very smart people are trying to figure this out. I don’t know enough of the details to come up with the plan. But somebody is going to.

Q: Others suggest philanthropists should come to the rescue.

A: That’s baloney. Leonard Downie, the former executive editor of The Washington Post, and Michael Schudson, a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, just put out a report [“The Reconstruction of American Journalism”]. They’re talking about philanthropy and foundations coming to the rescue. I just don’t know why a foundation would do it. You also run the danger of foundations wanting to have some control over the content if they invest a lot of money. Nothing overt maybe, but all kinds of subtle, covert things. I don’t think that’s an answer. I think some kind of payment system for online content will happen. There will be efforts to do this and, at first, they’ll fail. There will be some stumbling around. It may not be a one-size-fits-all solution. There may be a whole variety of ways, but I think it will happen.

Q: Some say the Amazon Kindle will be our saviour.

A: It’s possible. But if you are going to get a magazine reader to switch from coated paper to Kindle, it needs to be improved so that the beauty of a magazine – photographs, layout, use of interesting type and all the rest – is reproduced. The Kindle is not there yet. But some of these other reading machines coming down the line may be able to do it.

Q: Does the world still need a picture magazine?

A: My devotion to the still picture is intense. And I think that with the right kind of format, with the right kind of backing, and the right kind of culture, that a picture magazine – one that really stresses the photographic element – could work. In so many ways, television and the Internet have taken over, but I am still a believer in the idea that if you get a magnificent still picture of a news event or of rare beauty or tragedy, people really will want to study it. If you run it big, good quality, it will just stop people.

Q: In spite of having seen it on television?

A: I think because of having seen it on television. It flips by on TV and then the still picture is in front of people and they can look at it and study it. They will. I have seen them do it. Maybe the picture magazine I am talking about will be online. Or maybe, sooner or later, somebody will come along and invent a high-quality, expensive picture magazine that will catch on. I think that’s the way magazines are going to survive in the future: have lower circulation and higher prices. They are going to have more select audiences. Magazines do have an affinity with their audiences that no other medium does. Somebody is going to take advantage of that emotional tie and provide a way to showcase the majesty of the still picture that will be successful online or in print – or, God willing, both.

© Julien Russell Brunet

Email Julien Russell Brunet

Julien Russell Brunet is a fourth-year student at the University of Toronto, TrinityCollege, studying economics and political science. In the summer of 2009, Julien was the Ann MacGregor memorial intern at Maclean’s, Canada‘s only national weekly current affairs magazine. In 2007-2008, he was a research assistant to Kenneth Whyte, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Maclean’s, for his book, “The Uncrowned King: The Sensational Rise of William Randolph Hearst” (Random House Canada, 2008). After completing his undergraduate degree, Julien would like to pursue graduate studies and a career in journalism.

JFK: How the Media Assassinated the Real Story

By Robert Hennelly and Jerry Policoff

If the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy was one of the darkest tragedies in the republic’s history, the reporting of it has remained one of the worst travesties of the American media. From the first reports out of Dallas in November of 1963 to the merciless flagellation of Oliver Stone’s JFK over the last several months, the mainstream media have disgraced themselves by hewing blindly to the single-assassin theory advanced by the FBI within hours of the murder. Original, enterprise reporting has been left almost entirely to alternative weeklies, monthly magazines, book publishers, and documentary makers. All such efforts over the last 29 years have met the same fate as Oliver Stone’s movie: derision from the mainstream media. At first, the public bought the party line. But gradually, as more and more information slipped through the margins of the media business, and finally through the efforts of Congress itself, the public began to change its mind.


While the Times was busy selling the Warren Commission story, Life magazine went one step beyond that, actively intervening to spirit away crucial physical evidence in the case. Aside from swooping down on Oswald’s wife and mother and sequestering them in a hotel room to protect Life’s exclusive interviews, Life was in Dallas making arrangements to buy the original Zapruder film only four hours after the assassination. Of the four existing home movies taken that day in DealeyPlaza, the 8mm film, shot by a middle-aged dress manufacturer, was considered to be the best record of JFK’s murder. According to Richard Stolley, who is currently the editorial director of Time Inc. and who handled the Zapruder transaction for Life, the order to acquire the film and “withhold it from public viewing” came from Life’s publisher, C.D. Jackson.

And who was C.D. Jackson? A staunch anticommunist who played a crucial role in the direction of U.S. policy throughout the 1950s, both as “psychological war advisor” to Eisenhower and as a member of anticommunist front groups, Jackson’s publication had long been known for “always pulling chestnuts out of the fire for the CIA,” as the late Drew Pearson once put it. Having shelled out $150,000 for the film (the Zapruder family attorney claims the number was even higher), Stolley headed back to New York with the original print under his arm, leaving investigators with a copy that was next to worthless in terms of forensic analysis. By permitting the chain of custody to include Life magazine, and by accepting a mere copy of a crucial piece of evidence, the law-enforcement authorities were well on their way to compromising their investigation. The critical Zapruder film was kept exclusively in the hands of Time Inc. and out of the public’s reach for the next 12 years, allowing Life to take the American people on one of the longest rides ever in American journalism.

In its very first issue after the assassination, Life seriously misrepresented the content of the Zapruder film, a practice that would continue until the film finally gained general release in 1975. The doctors at ParklandHospital, who had worked on the president, had reported that he had suffered an “apparent” entrance wound to the throat. Since the book depository, from which Oswald had allegedly fired, was to the presidential limousine’s rear, how, some were beginning to wonder, did the president suffer a frontal throat wound? Life’s December 6, 1963, edition gave a simple and conclusive explanation, based on the Zapruder film, an answer only Life could provide. Wrote Life: “The 8mm [Zapruder] film shows the President turning his body far around to the right as he waves to someone in the crowd. His throat is exposed to the sniper’s nest just before he clutches it.” This description of the Zapruder film went a long way toward allaying fears of conspiracy in those early days, for it explained away a troublesome inconsistency in the lone assassin scenario. There was only one problem: The description of the Zapruder film was a total fabrication. Although the film shows Kennedy turning to the right—toward the grassy knoll, that is—at no time does he turn 180 degrees toward the book depository. Indeed, by the time he is hit, he is once again turning toward the front.

Even this yeoman’s effort pales, though beside Life’s October 2, 1964 edition which was largely committed to the newly released Warren report. Rather than assign a staff writer the job of assessing the committee’s work, Life gave the assignment to Warren Commission member Gerald Ford. But it is not the articles in that edition of Life that are so extraordinary, but the pictures, and the pains that were taken to rework them so they fit the Warren report perfectly. The October 2, 1964, issue underwent two major revisions after it hit the stands, expensive changes that required breaking and resetting plates twice, a highly unusual occurrence. That issue of Life was illustrated with eight frames of the Zapruder film along with descriptive captions. One version of caption 6 read: “The assassin’s shot struck the right rear portion of the President’s skull, causing a massive wound and snapping his head to one side.” The photo accompanying this caption—frame 323—shows the president slumped back against the seat, and leaning to the left, an instant after the fatal bullet struck him. The photo makes it look as though shots came from the front—the railroad trestle—or the right—the grassy knoll. A second version of the issue replaces this frame with another, the graphic shot of the president’s head exploding (frame 313). Blood fills the air and all details are obscured. The caption, oddly enough, remained the same—describing his head snapping to one side. A third version carries this same 313 slide—frame 323 has been thrown on the dumpheap of history—but now with a new caption, one that jibes perfectly with the Warren Commission’s findings. “The direction from which shots came was established by this picture taken at the instant the bullet struck the rear of the President’s head and, passing through, caused the front part of his skull to explode forward.” Nice try. Of course, as all the world would learn years later, it was the back of the president’s skull that would explode, suggesting an exit wound, and sending Jackie Kennedy crawling reflexively across the trunk of the limousine to try to salvage the pieces. But this would not be fully understood until the Zapruder film itself had been seen in its entirety. For the moment, the only people in a position to spot Life’s error were the Secret Service, the FBI, and possibly the busy pressmen at R. R. Donnelly, who must have piled up a lot of overtime trying to keep up with the ever-changing facts. (Life wasn’t the only publication on the assassination to have bizarre layout problems. The Warren Commission Report itself never addressed the backward motion of the president’s head, thus sparing itself the burden of having to explain it. This omission was facilitated by the reversal of the two frames following the explosive frame 313 in the Warren Commission’s published volumes, which considerably confused the issue by making it seem as if the head jerked forward. J. Edgar Hoover later blamed the switch on a “printing error.”)

Life’s exclusive monopoly on the Zapruder film came in just as handy for Dan Rather, CBS’s New Orleans bureau chief, who was permitted by Zapruder to see the film before it was whisked off to the vault. Rather told the world he had seen the film and that the president “fell forward with considerable force.” (CBS spokesman Tom Goodman told the Voice that Rather only got to see the film briefly and viewed it on a “crude hand-cranked 8mm machine.”)

What was the effect of these misrepresentations of the Zapruder evidence? One can only guess, but they could well have been crucial to the public’s faith in the single-assassin theory. British journalist Anthony Summers, author of the book Conspiracy,speculates that “if they had shown the film on CBS the weekend of the assassination or at any time the following year there would not have been anyone in America who would not have believed that the shots came from the front of the President and that there was therefore a conspiracy.”

Meanwhile, Life’s sister publication, Time, did its best to swat away any and all conspiracy talk. Time countered the ground swell of conspiracy rumors in Europe with an article in its June 12, 1964, issue. Entitled “J.F.K.: The Murder and the Myths,” the article blamed the speculation on “leftist” writers and publications seeking a “rightist conspiracy.” Proponents of further investigation suffered fates similar to that of Thomas Buchanan, who in 1964 wrote the first book critical of the Warren Report, Who Killed Kennedy? Buchanan’s thesis was groundless, Time argued, because he had allegedly been “fired by the Washington Star in 1948 after he admitted membership in the Communist party.”

By late 1966, however, it was getting harder for the media to hold the line. Calls for a reexamination of the Warren Report now came from former Kennedy aides Arthur Schlesinger and Richard Goodwin, The Saturday Evening Post, the Vatican newspaperL’Osservatore, Walter Lippmann, Cardinal Cushing, William F. Buckley, and the AmericanAcademy of Forensic Sciences. It was in this climate that the New York Times initiated its first independent investigation of the assassination. By 1966 The Timesseemed to be moving away from its stance of unquestioning support for the Warren report. In a November 1966 editorial, the paper acknowledged that there were “Unanswered Questions.”

Harrison Salisbury, then editor of the [Times] op-ed page, called for a new investigation in the pages of The Progressive.Salisbury, who had been a solid supporter of the Warren Commission initially, also told Newsweek that the Times would “go over all the areas of doubt and hope to eliminate them.” That investigation lasted for less than a month. The best look inside the brief investigation came in a Rolling Stone interview with New York Times reporter and assassination investigation team member Martin Waldron. Waldron told Rolling Stone that the team found “a lot of unanswered questions” that the Times did not choose to pursue.

Even Life was beginning to feel the pressure to address the critics and their substantive observations. In 1966 Ed Kearns, Dick Billings, and Josiah Thompson were given the green light to review the Kennedy murder, which would culminate in a magazine series taking a critical look at the Warren Report. Their efforts produced the November 25, 1966Life cover story, “Did Oswald Act Alone? A Matter of Reasonable Doubt.” Accompanying the article was an editorial that called for a new investigation.

Paradoxically, Time in the same week editorially attacked the “phantasmagoria,” dismissing both the Warren Commission’s doubters and the calls for a new investigation. Questioned by The New York Times about the editorial schism at Time-Life, Headley Donovan, editor in chief of both magazines, said, “We would like to see our magazines arrive at consistent positions on major issues, and I am sure in due course we will on this one.” Indeed. Within months, Billings was told by a superior he won’t name, “It is not Life’s function to investigate the Kennedy assassination.” The investigative team was disbanded. The first article in the series was also the last.

But team member Thompson, a former philosophy professor turned private detective, had laboriously made 300 four-by-five transparencies of the suppressed film. After his work with Life he kept this cache and resumed work on his book Six Seconds in Dallas. Thompson and his publisher, Bernard Geis, sought unsuccessfully to get permission from Life to use the Zapruder shots. They offered to turn over all the proceeds from the book to the print giant. The answer was still no. Without the use of the images of the Zapruder film, or at least some facsimile of them, Thompson would have a hard time clinching his argument that Kennedy was hit from the front in the notorious head shot, Zapruder frame 313. After consultation with an attorney, Thompson and Geis decided to have an artist render drawings based on Thompson’s slide-by-slide copy of the contraband film. When the book was ready to be distributed by Random House, the Time-Life steamroller puffed into action and threatened Random House with legal action in the event they went ahead and distributed the book. According to Geis, Random House was ready to cave in to Time-Life, and Geis geared up to send trucks over to the Random House warehouse to pick up the books. In the eleventh hour Random House reconsidered and decided to publish Six Seconds in Dallas, thus giving the American public its first view, albeit as an artist’s rendering, of the most compelling piece of evidence from the assassination of Kennedy. Life was so furious that it took Thompson and his publisher to court on a copyright infringement; the magazine lost because it could not claim financial damage—after all, Thompson had offered all the proceeds to Life. Despite Thompson’s expensive victory (all the legal fees fighting Time Inc. consumed the income from his book), the company’s grip on the film remained every bit as strong as it had been.

Such efforts, large and small, mostly succeeded in keeping the Warren critics marginalized. But finally, the lid blew off in 1975 when activist Dick Gregory and optics expert Robert Groden approached Geraldo Rivera with a newly unearthed clear copy of the Zapruder film. Finally, the American public was to see the Zapruder film in its entirety, unmediated by any editors or censors. ABC’s Good Night America show was the first national television airing of the film to include the deadly frame 313. (Pirated copies had started to crop up in the mid ’60s but were of such poor quality they had no dramatic impact.) “It was one of those things where I said [to ABC], ‘It gets on or I walk,'” Rivera told the Voice. ABC relented, but only after Rivera agreed to sign a waiver accepting sole financial responsibility if Time or the Zapruder family sued. Rivera maintains that Time-Life did not sue because “they were blown away by the reaction to the program.” The airing of the Zapruder film on Rivera’s show was a catalyst for renewed interest in the murder and ultimately culminated in four congressional investigations into various aspects of the controversy. It is probably no accident that Time-Life sold the original film back to Zapruder’s estate for one dollar the following month. (Today, for $75—with costs waived for poor scholars—you can view a VHS copy of the film. The Zapruder estate recently turned down an offer to turn the frames into baseball cards.)

Oliver Stone’s movie JFK relies on the Zapruder film to support the film’s central contention that Kennedy’s fatal wound came from the front, and that therefore a conspiracy existed. Referring to the 8mm film, Stone told the Voice: “It was key. It is the best smoking gun we have to date.” Despite the compelling use of the Zapruder film in Stone’s movie, the man who helped acquire it for Time-Life remains convinced that the Warren Commission got it right and that Oswald did in fact shoot Kennedy from the book depository. “There is nothing in the Zapruder film which contradicts the Warren report,” says Dick Stolley. Oddly enough, the man who shot the film, Abraham Zapruder, according to an article authored by Stolley in the November 1973 Esquire, told the Lifereporter, “My first impression was that the shots were coming from behind me”—that is, from the infamous grassy knoll. Stolley now maintains that the urge to control the Zapruder film had to do with beating out the competition. If the competition was a contest to suppress the most evidence possible, then Life certainly won hands down. But if the competition Stolley refers to is journalistic competition, one wonders why Life bothered….

Real Dizinformation Agents at Dealey Plaza

May 16, 2011

Seth Kantor

Seth Kantor – Scripps-Howard News Service (SHNS) Reporter at Dealey Plaza

Journalists and JFK:
Real Dizinfo Agents At Dealey Plaza

By Bill Kelly ( , May 2011

CTKA: Citizens for Truth about the Kennedy Assassination

Part 1 – Seth Kantor – Hal Hendrix and SHNS

Seith Kantor, a local Dallas reporter who was in the Press Bus in the motorcade, knew something was wrong as they rode through Dealey Plaza, but the bus driver refused to follow the rest of the motorcade to Parkland Hospital and instead drove to their original destination, the Dallas Trade Mart. [1–Kantor] Once there however, Kantor got a ride to Parkand Hospital, where he interviewed a number of local Dallas officials and had a brief conversation with Jack Ruby, who had frequently fed Kantor interesting leads he developed into feature articles. [2–WCT]. While the Warren Commission rejected Kantor’s sworn testimony that Ruby was at Parkland, Kantor did make some phone calls, including one to his editor at the Scripps-Howard News Service (SHNS), and there are records of these calls. [3–Records]

Years later, in 1975, Kantor learned that the records of one of the phone calls on that day was classified for reasons of national security, so he filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and obtained them to find out the big secret. He discovered that after taking to his editor, he was told to call another SHNS correspondent in Florida,Harold “Hal” Hendrix[4-Classified Records] From Florida, Hendrix supplied Kantor with detailed background information on Lee Harvey Oswald, who had just been arrested and named as the chief suspect in the assassination. Hendrix had more information in Florida than Kantor did at the scene of the crime, and we later learn why Kantor’s call to Hendrix was considered worthy of being classified for reasons of national security. [5-Hendrix]

Continued at:

CTKA: Citizens for Truth about the Kennedy Assassination



Please note that the original source of this article is the Scripps-Howard News Service and based on a leaked National Security Agency (NSA) document. When the Assassination Records Review Board requested all NSA documents related to the assassination, this was not included. Why weren’t the records of this incident released by the NSA under the JFK Act? [24-ARRB Final Report]

Scripps-Howard News Service – By R. H. Boyce.
Thursday, March 12, 1981

Washington – The National Security Agency has alerted the CIA, the White House and State Department to a Latin American newspaper report saying Cuban President Fidel Castro is plotting the assassination of President Reagan, Scripps-Howard News Service has learned.

The NSA, which monitors published and broadcast information around the globe, does not makes such “alert” messages available to the press. But SHNS obtained a copy, which was marked “for official use only.” It included the text of the newspaper report as well as a garbled message about the news story directed to the head of Castro’s controlled news agency, Presna Latina.

Without revealing its sources, the news report, published yesterday in the Caracas, Venezuela, newspaper El Mundo, asserted the assassination plot called for the slaying to be carried out by Illich Ramirez Sancho, an international terrorists known as Carlos the Jackal. Carlos is said to have organized the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, West Germany, and has been involved in dozens of terrorists acts.

U.S. officials said the NSA’s action in alerting the U.S. intelligence community “suggests that while they are not necessarily ready to believe the report of an assassination plot, nevertheless they (NSA) find it at least worthy of looking into.”

The Caracas newspaper story said the assassination plan, “was discussed in a meeting of the International Trust of Crime in Cojimar, an exclusive beach club east of Havana, with the participants of Montonero and Tupamaro thugs, Illich Ramirez, Ramiro Valdez, Cuban Police Minister Carlos Rafael Rodriguez and Fidel Castro.”

Presna Latina (Latin Press) often has been used by Castro for political ends. The Pressa Latina correspondent in Caracas, at 9:47 a.m. EST yesterday, began transmitting the El Mundo article by cable to Prensa Latina headquarters in Havana. NSA monitored it. At the close of the text, Prensa Latina Caracas began adding what appears to be commentary on the El Mundo report. It reads:

“Everything seems to indicate that Fidel Castro is planning the assassination of U.S. President Ronald Reagan in the same way that he previously ordered the assassination of John F. Kennedy and whose participation the high-ranking U.S. government circles hid…”

There the Prensa Latina cable transmission stopped. Had it been ordered broken off by the Venezuela government, say U.S. officials, NSA would have added the words: “transmission interrupted,” to show Venezuela’s action. There was no such NSA notation. Officials provided no explanation of why the transmission ended in mid-sentence. [25-SHNS]

END of PART 1.

Coming soon: Real Dizinfo Agents at Dealey Plaza, Part 2 & 3.


[1] Seth Kantor:

[2] WC Testimony 15H71:

[3] Kantor Records, Hendrix and SHNS: Kroth, Jerome, in A Conspiracy in Camelot: the complete history of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, writes “Kantor investigated, tried to get copies of his own phone records made in the hours after the assassination. He was unable to obtain them until 1975 and discovered the reasons they were withheld for so long was that he had called Hal Hendrix at 6 pm on the day of the assassination, and Hendrix’s number was the ‘national security’ matter….”

[4] For Classified Records see:

“In 1975, Seth Kantor, a Scripps-Howard reporter and one of the first journalists to report on Oswald’s background immediately following the assassination, noticed that one of the Warren Commission documents still being suppressed from the public was a record of his own calls the afternoon of the assassination. Kantor was curious what could have been so sensitive among those calls to require such suppression, and starting actively seeking the document. Listed in the FBI report he finally got released-but not listed in the report of his calls published in the Warren Commission volumes – was a call Kantor made, at the request of his managing editor in Washington, to another reporter named Hal Hendrix, then working out of the Miami office. Hendrix was about to leave for an assignment in Latin America but had told the Washington office he had important background information on Oswald to relay. Kantor received from Hendrix a detailed briefing of Oswald’s defection to the Soviet Union, his pro-Castro leafleting activities and other such details. Kantor didn’t think, at the time, to ask Hendrix where he got his information. Years, later, he wished he had, as Hendrix was quite an interesting character.”

[5] Hendrix, Hal :

Spartacus: In September, 1963, Hendrix joined Scripps-Howard News Service as a Latin American specialist. Instead of moving to Washington he remained in Miami “where his contacts were”. In an article on 24th September, 1963, Hendrix was able to describe and justify the coup that overthrew Juan Bosch, the president of Dominican Republic. The only problem was the coup took place on the 25th September. Some journalists claimed that Hendrix must have got this information from the CIA. A few hours after John F. Kennedy had been killed, Hendrix provided background information to a colleague, Seth Kantor, about Lee Harvey Oswald. This included details of his defection to the Soviet Union and his work for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. This surprised Kantor because he had this information before it was released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation later that evening. Hendrix left the Scripps-Howard News Service in 1966 and went to work for the International Telephone & Telegraph Corporation, as director of inter-American relations in Buenos Aires. Officially, Hendrix worked in public relations but according to Thomas Powers, “he was something in the way of being a secret operative for the company”. Later Hendrix moved to ITT’s world headquarters in New York City. In 1970 ITT sent Hendrix to represent the company in Chile. On 4th September, 1970, Salvador Allende was elected as president of Chile. Hendrix was disturbed by this development as Allende had threatened to nationalize $150 million worth of ITT assets in Chile if he won the election. It later emerged that Hendrix worked with the CIA in the overthrow of Allende. His CIA contact during the Chile operation was David Atlee Phillips.

[6] The Spook – Bill Baggs – Miami News Editor 1957-1969 – “Baggs also conferred with South Florida C.I.A. case officers like David Atlee Phillips and E. Howard Hunt on various topics related to the intrigue among South Florida anti-Castro Cuban exiles. One of his reporters, Hal Hendrix known as ‘the spook’ at The Miami News, once broke the story about the alleged coup d’état against Juan Bosch of the Dominican Republic, the day before it actually happened which was an obvious embarrassment for both the C.I.A., and The Miami News but especially for Hal Hendrix…”

[7] Phillips, David Atlee. HSCA Security Classified Testimony –

[8] Guatemala & Bay of Pigs. See Kate Doyle’s Guatemala- 1954: Behind the CIA’s Coup “But the myths about PBSUCCESS took hold…The Guatemalan coup became the model for future CIA actions…, including the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961.”

[9] Mockingbird – Mockingbird: See:Sparticus:
And Mary Louise’s Operation Mockingbird: CIA Media Manipulation:

[10a] Rolling Stone. Michael Hastings. Feb. 23, 2011. Another Runaway General: Army Deploys Psy-Ops on US Senators. “According to experts on intelligence policy, asking a psy-ops team to direct its expertise against visiting dignitaries would be like the president asking the CIA to put together background dossiers on congressional opponents. Holmes was even expected to sit in on Caldwell’s meetings with the senators and take notes, without divulging his background. “Putting your propaganda people in a room with senators doesn’t look good,” says John Pike, a leading military analyst. “It doesn’t pass the smell test. Any decent propaganda operator would tell you that.

[10b] See: The CIA and the Media – How America’s Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up”, by Carl Bernstein Rolling Stone, (Oct. 20, 1977, p.63)

And: – CIA and Media.htm

[11] Smith, Joseph Burkholder; Portrait of a Cold Warrior (G. Putnam Sons, N.Y)

[12] Linebarger, Paul, Psychological Warfare – International Propaganda and Communications (Arno Press, 1948, 1952, 1972, Duell, Sloan and Pearce, N.Y.)

[13] Smith, Joseph B.. Portrait of a Cold Warrior (1976, G. P. Putnam)]

[14] Diz-Def. (dĭs-ĭn’fər-mā’shən) n. 1. Deliberately misleading information announced publicly or leaked by a government or especially by an intelligence agency in order to influence public opinion or the government in another nation: “He would be the unconscious channel for a piece of disinformation aimed at another country’s intelligence service” (Ken Follett). 2. Dissemination of such misleading information.

[15] Farago, Ladislas Burn After Reading (1961); The Game Of The Foxes (1971); (Note: DeMohrenschildt’s uncle is mentioned in Foxes. – BK)

[16] Linebarger – STASM Forumula. “Psychological Warfare.” See: [11]

[17] HSCA Volume X Page 41 – Veciana Testimony.

[18] Smith, Mathew, The Second Plot. (Mainstream Publishing, Ltd. 1992)

[19] See:

“What if the second plot against JFK succeeded and a guilty-looking Oswald landed in Havana? Matthew Smith and Jim Marrs suggest a failed second plot against JFK to understand the confusing events in Dallas. In this conspiracy theory, Oswald is a CIA Agent. Framed by rogue operators in the Agency, Oswald was to fly to Cuba with the visa he had collected in Mexico City. Smith and Marrs conclude that the consequence would have been World War Three, and we should be grateful the second plot failed…”

[20] Cohen Jeff and Freed, Donald. “Fidel on the Grassy Knoll,” Liberation Magazine (1977)

[21] Scott, Peter Dale.

“I’ve said all along there were two phases to the early cover-up: false stories linking Oswald to Cuba and Soviet Union and phase two, which substituted the myth of Oswald as the KGB assassin with the story that he was a lone nut, which is no more true than the phase one story, but was a lot less likely to risk World War III.”

Also see: “JFK Assassination as an engineered provocation-deception plot.” – “To begin with, we know that in Dallas, on November 22, there were people inside the military who falsified their reporting of the Kennedy assassination to create the false impression (or what I have called the “phase-one story”) of an enemy attack. I have written before about these phase-one stories from Dallas concerning the JFK assassination, but I did not realize until recently that all of them came from a single Army Intelligence Reserve unit.”

[22] Russo, Gus. Live by the Sword – The Secret War Against Castro and the Death of JFK (Basncroft Press, 2002)
Also see: Michael T. Griffith’s Errors and Omissions in Gus Russo’s Live By the Sword.

[23] List of Black Prop. Ops blaming assassination on Castro. See: Below. 1-14.

[24] ARRB Final Report

[25] Scripps Howard News Service (SHNS) – Report, March 12, 1981, Reprinted in full.

LIST: Black Propaganda Operations affiliated with the Assassination of JFK:

1) A leaflet was distributed to the Florida Cuban community in November, 1963 that warned of an “Act of God” that would put a “Texan in the White House.”

2) Lee Harvey Oswald’s Fair Play for Cuba Committee activities in New Orleans in the summer of 1963.

3) Oswald’s visit to the Cuban and Russian embassies in Mexico City in Sept., 1963.

4) The photographs of Oswald brandishing a rifle and pistol and copies of two leftest but contradictory magazines in his back yard.

5) The last two issues President Kennedy dealt with before leaving the White House for Texas concerned his backchannel negotiations with Fidel Castro at the UN and the discovery of a cache of weapons in Venezuela that appeared to have come from Cuba. The weapons story was later discovered to be over a year old and planted by the CIA to falsely implicate Cuba.

6) Julio Fernandez, one of three anti-Castro Cubans whose boat was financially supported by Clair Booth Luce, called Luce, wife of the publisher of Time-Life on the evening of the assassination to report information on Oswald’s activities in New Orleans. Fernandez, a former Cuban publisher, was married to an attorney who worked for Catholic Welfare Services in Miami.

7) In Miami, shortly after the assassination, Dr. Jose Ignorzio, the chief of clinical psychology for the Catholic Welfare Services, contacted the White House to inform the new administration that Oswald had met directly with Cuban ambassador Armas in Mexico.

8) In Mexico City, David Atlee Philips of the CIA debriefed a Nicaraguan intelligence officer, code named “D,” who claimed to have seen Oswald take money from a Cuban at the Cuban embassy.

9) In New Zealand, U.S.A.F. Col. Fletcher Prouty read complete biographies of Oswald in the local papers hours after the assassination, indicating to him that a bio of Oswald was pre-prepared.

10) Brothers Jerry and James Buchanan, CIA propaganda assets, began promoting the Castro-did-it theme immediately. According to Donald Freed and Jeff Cohen (in Liberation Magazine), the source of the Buchanan’s tales was the leader of the CIA supported International Anti-Communist Brigade (IAB). “Back in Miami,” they wrote, “a high powered propaganda machine was cranking out stories that Oswald was a Cuban agent…” Sturgis is quoted in the Pamparo Beach Sun-Sentinel as saying that Oswald had talked with Cuban G-2 agents and fracassed with IAB members in Miami in 1962.

11) Jack Anderson used Sturgis and mobster John Rosselli to keep the Castro plot propaganda story going well into the 1970s.

12) The same “propaganda machine” was still pumping out the same lines in 1976 when Gaeton Fonzi interviewed Sturgis, who said that he had recently ran into a friend who worked for the “company” who reminded him of an incident he had completely forgotten about. Sturgis suddenly recalled, “that he had heard about a meeting in Havana about two months before the Kennedy assassination. At the meeting there were a number of high-ranking men, including Castro, hs brother Raul, Ramiro Valdez, the chief of Cuban intelligence, Che Guevara and his secretary Tanya, another Cuban officer, an American known as ‘El Mexicano,’ and,…oh, yea; Jack Ruby. And the meeting dealt with plotting the assassination of President Kennedy.”

13) Seith Kantor, a Scripps-Howard News Service Reporter in Dallas during the assassination, couldn’t understand why his telephone call records from Parkland Hospital were being withheld because “disclosure would reveal confidential source of information.” The source was Hal “the Spook” Hendrix.

14) While other major news organizations have been exposed as CIA media assets, such as CBS News,Life Magazine, the North American Newspaper Alliance and the Copley Newspaper chain, the Scripps-Howard News Service (SHNS) stands out not only because of the Kantor-Hendrix connection, but because of the March 12 news report out of Washington. An obvious black propaganda operation that stems from NSA intercepts, and continues to implicate Castro in not only the assassination of President Kennedy, but in the planning of an assassination on President Reagan. Also please note that two weeks after this obvious piece of black propaganda disinformation was published, President Reagan was shot in front of the Washington Hilton by John Hinkley, using a gun he purchased at a pawn shop near Dealey Plaza.

An Orderly Transfer of Power

February 11, 2011

An Orderly Transfer of Power

Oswald at Atsugi?

February 9, 2011
 By William Kelly
 Richard Bullock, the 2003 Elk of the Year of the Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey Lodge has a unique claim to fame – he was once a marinecorps bunkmate of Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President Kennedy. And he has some questions about Oswald’s identity, as he doesn’t believe the guy Jack Ruby killed in Dallas is the same person he knew as “Ozzie” in Marine Air Control Squadron One in Japan.

Born in 1938 on November 10th, the same day the U.S. Marine Corps was founded at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, Bullock, like Oswald, tried to enlist before he was 17 but was turned away, only to officially sign up on November 28, 1955. As he later learned, Bullock followed Oswald around to the same duty stations, only a few months behind him – Kessler AFB in Beloxi, Miss., then Jacksonville, Florida for aviation training, El Toro in California before Atsugi, Japan, where he served from November, 1956 until February, 1958.
 For a number of months his time at Atsugi overlapped with that of Lee Harvey Oswald, who Bullock said, “I knew him as L. Oswald, or `Ozzie,’ and he knew me from the name on my shirt: R. Bullock, but he called me `Dickie.’ We didn’t know each other’s real names, just what was on the uniform.”

Atsugi is not your normal military post. As a former Kamakazi pilot training center with deep underground bunkers, all of the major intelligence agencies maintained stations there from the end of World War II. Atsugi airbase was also the home of the U2 spy plane, which Bullock monitored on radar.

“I was a radar operator – MOS#6741, which is radar operator, but from what I recall Ozzie was a radio electronics operator. He was not in the radar section as much as he was in the radio communications end of our system.”

Asked if Oswald had access to information on the U2, which he could have passed on to the Soviets once he defected, Bullock said, “I can’t answer that. I didn’t know a thing about it other than watching what they did when it landed. And I didn’t know what his job with the U2 was other than visually watching it when it landed. People would run out on the runway and catch the wings, because it hadno wheels, just a wheel at the center and they had to hold it from tipping But that’s all we ever seen. If he knew more about it than I did, well I don’t know that. Like I say, he was at a different end of things than I was.”

They did share the same Atsugi bunkhouse though. “That was Marine Air Control Squadron One – MACS1 we called it, 75 men in our unit. I was there for 30 months, an extended tour…Oswald operated out of a tent that supplied all the power – the Communications Coordinates Operations Center, and I don’t know what else he did.  I worked out of radar operations. I did plotting, communications with the aircraft, we did different jobs, rotating shifts every hour.”

Atsugi , Bullock explained, is the name of the base that’s flanked by two towns – Sagomeoska on the Navy side and Yoma (spelled phonetically) on the Marine Corps side. Bullock doesn’t recall the Queen Bee nightclub that Oswald is said to have frequented, or the incidents where Oswald was reprimanded.

“I do know that when we went on liberty, he went his way and we went our way. He was a loner,” said Bullock, “but to be honest with you I don’t know where he went. The rumor had it that he had a `national’ women, and a `national’ to me in those days meant a Japanese women.”

Besides serving together at Atsugi, Bullock and Oswald were both involved in a major operations in the Philippines, where they landed in LSTs at Subic Bay.

As a person, Bullock recalls that Oswald, “was always smiling, always happy,” but he didn’t recognize Oswald when he watched him being killed by Jack Ruby in the Dallas Police department and on national television on November 24, 1963.

“He was NOT the guy I saw in the picture on TV shot by Jack Ruby,” Bullock says emp hatically. Looking at a color mug shot of Lee Harvey Oswald taken shortly after he was taken into custody by the police, Bullock said, “It looks nothing like him. That’s not the man I knew.”

Bullock described the “Ozzie” he knew in the marines as being two or three inches taller, 40 pounds heavier, and a young man wore thick glasses.

Since Bullock didn’t know him as Lee Harvey Oswald, or recognize him on television, he didn’t put two-and-two together until he was contacted by Readers Digest editor Henry Hurt, who tracked him down through military records. Hurt wanted to know if Bullock had any photos of Oswald. “Sure I had photos,” Bullock said, “pictures of me and Ozzie sitting around in our skivvies on a Sunday afternoon, throwing a football around, and stuff like that. But it was all lost in a divorce when I moved.” Nor has Bullock been questioned by the FBI or any government investigators.

While Bullock didn’t recognize any of the names of the marines who also knew Oswald at Atsugi, he said, “I’ve looked in the various veterans magazines for reunions of any MAC squads, but I haven’t seen any. The guys I was close to have already passed away, and I never had a reunion with any of them.”

Not aware of the books written about individuals impersonating Oswald, such as Professor Richard Popkin’s “The Second Oswald,” or the idea that there were actually two Lee Harvey Oswalds, a theory advanced in  John Armstrong’s new book “Harvey & Lee,” Bullock expressed surprise. “You mean I’m not fantasizing?!”
Armstrong’s How the CIA Framed Oswald,” mentions Dick Bullock in a footnote to the profusely documented text that claims that two men – Harvey and Lee, were reared and trained from an early age and their identities merged over a period of years leading up to the assassination, much like Leon Trotski’s assassin Raymond Mercader was fashioned by the KGB. 
 Dick Bullock doesn’t know what it all means. The way he looks at it, when you live with a guy, work beside him for weeks and months at a time, you get to know him, and the guy Jack Ruby killed in Dallas wasn’t the “Ozzie” he knew in the marines.

Rep. Darrel Issa

January 27, 2011


California Republican Rep. Darrel Issa, the richest man in Congress, is now the head of the House Oversight Committee, and with the chairman of the Subcommittee on National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Information Policy and Census, is responsible for the oversight of the JFK Act, although they have not held a hearing or any oversight of this law since the year before the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) disbanded over a decade ago.

When the Republicans controlled the House of Reps. for a decade in the 1990s, they did not coduct any oversight at all, and while we expected the Democrats to at least hold some superficial public hearings when they took over for two years, they too failed to conduct any oversight, apparently following the administration’s request they don’t “rock the boat.”

Well now the Republicans are back in the driver’s seat, at least in the House, and they control the agenda and schedule the hearings, and Issa did rock the boat by requesting information on the government’s response to the Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests, which was viewed as a Repubican attack on the Democratic administration handling of things rather than a real attempt at oversight or transparancy.

 His father is from Lebanon, and he has interests in protecting American interests in the Middle East.

Darrel Issa, originally from Cleveland, served in the U.S. Army, and was once arrested for car theft, after which he devised some mechanical contraption that helps prevent auto theft, which sold well and made him his millions. Now living in California, he represents a district that is located just north of San Diego and south of LA