Archive for April, 2010

Hemingway & David Bruce

April 22, 2010
 

OSS Col. David Bruce, later JFK’s ambassador to the Court of St. James, and NANA newspaper correspondent Ernest Hemingway shortly before entering Paris and liberating the bar at the Hotel Ritz.

[Photo from the book OSS – by Smith.]

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From the Soviet Union, Lee Harvey Oswald wrote a letter to John Connally, the man Oswald is later accused of shooting while also assassinating President John F. Kennedy.

When Oswald wrote the letter Connally was Secretary of the Navy, and Oswald was trying to put his affairs in order so he could return to the United States after defecting a few years earlier.

In the letter Oswald tells Connally that he went to Russia like Hemingway went to Paris, ostensibly as a writer. While Priscilla Johnson McMillan, in her book Lee & Marina speculates that Oswald was refering to Hemingway’s sorjourn to Paris in the 1920s, but it’s possible Oswald meant when Hemingway went to Paris in 1944, a lesser known but equally meaningful experience.

While living in Key West and Cuba at the beginning of the war, Hemingway had offered his services to the Office of Naval Intelligence, and began reporting to them on Nazi U-boat activities in the Caribbean. Hemingway’s son had enlisted in the Army was trained as a Jedburg by the OSS and the British, and had parachuted behind enemy lines before D-Day, but was captured and was in a German prisoner of war camp.

Hemingway began covering the war for a number of publications, including Colliars and the North American Newspaper Alliance (NANA), a syndicate of newspapers that was later purchased by former American OSS and British secret intelligence agents Ernest Cueno, John Bryce and Ian Fleming.

When Priscilla Johnson interviewed Oswald the defector in Moscow, she did so for the NANA, a syndicate that employed, besides Hemingway, a bevy of women reporters like JFK’s paramour Ingrid Avid, Priscilla Johnson, one of David Atlee Phillip’s assets Virginia Prewett, and Lucy Goldberg, whose husband was a NANA editor under Ian Fleming. Lucy would later encourage Linda Tripp to illegally tape record White House intern Monica Lowinski recounting how her dress got stained. Over the years NANA was a hornet’s nest of journalist spies, Priscilla Johnson (McMillan) among them.

But instead of Hemingway in Paris in the 20s, when Oswald wrote to Connnally to try to make it easier for him to return home after defecting to the Soviet Union, could Oswald have actually meant Hemingway in Paris in 1944?

In that case, it wasn’t part of a literary cell, as Priscilla Johnson speculates, but as a war correspondent who liberated Paris with OSS Colonel David Bruce and a detachment of French resistance fighters.

David Bruce, who would be best man at Hemingway’s wedding, also became U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James, a position he held during the Kennedy administration, personally keeping the President updated on the latest developments in the Profumo Affair, which could have entangled Kennedy himself.

As a senior OSS Colonel, Bruce was the highest ranking Office of Strategic Services officer in the field, and is shown in the photo with Hemingway shortly before they entered Paris.

According to Smith, and other accounts, while the French generals officially accepted the surrender of the Nazi generals at the railway station, Hemingway and Bruce liberated the bar at the Hotel Ritz, where Hemingway counted the heads of his motley troop of commandos, and ordered 60 dry martinis, no doubt shaken, not sturred.

[BK Notes: This was done off the top of my head, but is based on an article “Bottlefed by Oswald’s NANA” that I wrote with John Judge years ago, before computers, so I am trying to find a hard copy that I can post.]

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JFK Case Officially Closed

April 1, 2010
 

JFK Case Officially Closed

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JFK Assassination Case Closed – Conspiracy Conceded

WASHINGTON D.C. DALLAS TIMES-HERALD. April 1, 2010. The Justice Department announced today that they have officially closed the case on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, conceding that it was a conspiracy, and donated the records and evidence of conspiracy to the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas and the Mob Museum in Las Vegas. The National Archives and Records Administration declined to accept the material.

“With the death of all the suspects, this case is officially and unirrevocably considered closed,” a Justice Department spokesperson said at a Press Conference at the J. Edgar Hover Building in Washington. “The Federal Bureau of Investigation will no longer be accepting information or conducting any further investigations into the assassination,” he said.

At the same time as they have closed the books on the case, the Justice Department has acknowledged there was a conspiracy after all, one that will never be officially investigated again, so they have turned over all the official records and evidence of conspiracy to the Mob Museum in Las Vegas and the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas.

“What we can say is that it is reasonable to believe that those who were involved in President Kennedy’s death are dead, and it is appropriate to consider this investigation closed,” said the assistant Federal District Attorney responsible for the prosecution of national security crimes.

“If any of those men had been alive when we learned of the conspiracy,” he said, “even if they were clinging to life support in a nursing home, instead of standing before you today we would be working to gather evidence with which to achieve a murder conviction.”

“However, these men are dead and beyond the reach of human justice,” he said. “Since we cannot charge and prosecute them, they will never have the opportunity to defend themselves and it would accordingly be wrong to disclose their names.”

The official investigation records and the evidence of conspiracy are contained in thousands of documents and materials that have been previously with held from the public and kept in the Special File Room at the J. Edgar Hover Building in Washington.

Now in the possession of Gary Mack, archivist at the Sixth Floor Museum, the unredacted records reveal a rogue’s gallery of suspects – John Rosselli, Sam Giancana, Santo Trafficante, James Braden, David Altee Phillips, William Harvey, Allen Dulles, Lyndon Johnson, James Files, Fidel Castro…- that he hopes can be quickly converted into tourist dollars.

Because of the close association between the former directors of the FBI and their good friends in Las Vegas, some of the records of the investigation and the evidence of conspiracy were also turned over to the non-profit Mob Museum in Las Vegas, for educational and research purposes only.

The Mob Museum will share them with the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, and they market them together. The Sixth Floor hopes the sensational evidence of conspiracy in the murder of the president will generate enough new income that it will allow DA Watkins to maintain his full staff, at least until the election.

Dallas District Attorney Craig Watkins, who had previously declined all federal and state assistance to investigate the assassination, gave all of the records and evidence from his office over to the Sixth Floor Museum.

“You know me: I’m always a conspiracy theorist,” Watkins said, “but I feel an obligation to Dallas. This is where I live, this is where it happened, and I think it would be good for tourism and good for the local economy to keep the documents and evidence at The Sixth Floor Museum.”

The stakes were raised recently when a federal judge urged Mr. Watkins to donate the evidence of conspiracy to a Special Federal Prosecutor, to see if anyone could be indicted for the crime, but now that all the suspects are dead and the official investigation is closed, the National Archives has declined to accept any evidence of conspiracy.

That instigated a tug of war between the Mob Museum in Las Vegas and the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas. Judge John Tunheim then threw his hat into the ring.

U.S. District Judge John R. Tunheim of Minneapolis was speaking as a private citizen, but one with some standing. He served during the 1990s as chairman of the U.S. Assassination Records Review Board, which was established by Congress to collect all previously undisclosed records related to the assassination and assess their value.

The National Archives’ JFK collection “is a treasure trove of information, preserved under ideal conditions and accessible to the public,” Judge Tunheim wrote in a letter to Mr. Watkins. He also argued against giving the documents to The Sixth Floor Museum. “I have always been concerned that it may not be a proper archival facility, particularly for documents, and may not continue into perpetuity,” the judge wrote.

“What will happen to the records at the Sixth Floor Museum in the long term, I do not know.” Sixth Floor officials, who have made no secret of their desire to obtain the files, expressed delight Friday at Mr. Watkins’ words, but they were cautious until a final decision is announced.

“We would be very pleased if they came to The Sixth Floor,” said Nicola Longford, the museum’s executive director. She also said worries about the museum’s ability to care for the documents are misplaced. “I am surprised by Judge Tunheim’s concern about the long-term viability of The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza,” Ms. Longford said in an e-mailed statement. “Visitor attendance has remained steady with average annual attendance of over 325,000. The museum remains one of the most heavily visited historic sites in Texas, outside the Alamo.”

The National Archives’ materials dwarf The Sixth Floor’s collection. National Archives officials say they have 5 million pages of documents regarding the JFK assassination. Officials at the Dallas museum say they have about 20,000 documents, though no estimate on the number of pages. But Ms. Longford defended the quality of her museum. “We have storage facilities that are equal to any in the country,” she said.

Judge Tunheim said Friday he was disappointed by Mr. Watkins’ remarks. He said he still believes that giving the documents to the National Archives would make them more accessible to researchers, but “I understand the hometown aspect of all this.”
It was a card that Sixth Floor officials were not shy about playing. “The documents are from Dallas. They’re from the Dallas County DA’s office. They are best kept in Dallas,” Ms. Longford said. Mr. Watkins said Friday that his office, in any case, may have no legal choice in the matter. He said he was researching a 1994 Commissioners Court order that instructed all county offices to turn over materials related to Jack Ruby, Lee Harvey Oswald and President Kennedy to the Dallas County Historical Foundation – which does business under the name of The Sixth Floor Museum. Even if there is no such requirement, Mr. Watkins said, “I would probably give them to The Sixth Floor anyway.”

National Archives officials said they had been discussing whether they would be interested in the FBI or Dallas County DA files, but decided not to take in any more JFK assassination records at all.

“We want to look at what’s in there before we could make a decision on whether we would accept it,” said Steven Tilley, who oversees documents at the National Archives’ College Park facility. “But evidence of conspiracy should go to the museums,” Tilley said, “since we are not equipped to handle any more researchers looking for conspiracies and they will help attract the tourists to Dallas and Vegas who don’t belong at the Archives.”

J. Edgar Hover FBI Building

April 1, 2010
 
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