Sunday, December 30, 2012

Ex-agent refuses to toe party line on JFK slaying

From: "dellsone" <>
Date: Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:40 pm

Subject: Ex-Agent Refuses to Toe Party Line on JFK Slaying

Ex-agent refuses to toe party line on JFK slaying

By Ellen Miller, Special To The News
November 20, 2003

GRAND JUNCTION - Lee Harvey Oswald didn't act alone when he killed President John F. Kennedy, a retired agent said Wednesday, and the president died because Secret Service agents failed at their jobs.

"Officially, the answer to Oswald when somebody asks - because we were ordered to say it - is that the Warren Commission found that he acted alone," retired agent Jerry O'Rourke said. "But was there more than one gunman? Yes, personally I believe so. And my personal opinion about Jack Ruby is that he was paid to kill Oswald."

O'Rourke grew up in Telluride and attended Western State and Regis colleges, then spent 22 years in the Secret Service. Now retired and back home, he spoke Wednesday to the downtown Grand Junction Rotary Club.

O'Rourke said his group of agents, about 10 of them, had protected Kennedy the morning of Nov. 22, 1963, at a breakfast speech in Fort Worth. Then the group left by air for Austin, the next stop planned for the president's Texas tour.

"We got the word (of the assassination) in the air, and we didn't believe it at first," he said. "We were joking. But later, most of the agents had tears in their eyes. Agents believed in Kennedy, and we knew we failed our job in Dallas."

After his White House tour ended during Johnson's presidency, O'Rourke spent a year in the Secret Service intelligence division, which offered him glimpses into the investigation of Kennedy's death. Those glimpses, and the accounts of other agents, have convinced
O'Rourke that Oswald didn't act alone. He cited several reasons: Kennedy had a number of enemies, any of whom could have plotted against him. They included Southerners angered by his insistence on civil rights; organized crime; labor unions unhappy with
investigations of them by Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy; Cuban dissidents angry over the failed Bay of Pigs invasion; and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.

The shots were impossible to make. O'Rourke learned to shoot as a boy and trained as a marksman in the military. He said his visits to Oswald's perch at the Texas Book Depository convince him that no one could have fired a rifle three times so quickly, hitting the president and Texas Gov. John Connolly.

The trajectory of one of the shots could not have been made from a gunman on the sixth floor of the Texas Book Depository. The shot entered Kennedy's body at his lower back and traveled up, to exit near his throat.

The circumstances of the autopsy were irregular. Texas law requires autopsies to be done in state, but agents, acting on the orders of White House, took Kennedy's body back to Washington, D.C. The autopsy was performed at Bethesda Naval Medical Center under secrecy that prevails to this day.

Evidence was destroyed. O'Rourke said that on the day of the assassination, one agent was ordered to clean out the cars used in the motorcade, getting rid of blood and other evidence. The agent told O'Rourke that he found a piece of skull, asked the White House
doctor what to do with it, and was told to destroy it.

Instructions were given to lie. The agent in charge of motorcade protection told O'Rourke that he was told by the Warren Commission during his testimony that he did not hear a fourth shot and he did not see someone running across the grassy knoll. But the agent
insisted that his account was accurate.

Evidence about the shots is in conflict. An open microphone on a motorcycle in the motorcade picked up four shots, not three. "In my opinion, Hoover wanted the commission to find that Oswald acted alone," O'Rourke said. "The complete file won't be released until 2027, and the reason for that is most of us will be dead by

Ft. Hood Unit Videotaped Assassination

Army - Fort Hood, Clean, Texas.

Mr. Steve Osborn.

Dallas, Texas -- November 18, 1994 Hearing

In my study and research of the assassination I have discovered and investigated supporting information of the presence of an intelligence unit of the U.S. Army having been present and on assignment in Dealey Plaza just before, during and immediately after the assassination. To the best of my knowledge, information on this unit has not been released publicly.

The gentleman I spoke with proceeded to tell me he was in the Army Station in Fort Hood, in Clean, Texas. On the day of the assassination his group, a communications group, was assigned the task of observing and videotaping the presidential motorcade as it moved through the Plaza. This unit had no similar assignment in any other Texas city during the President's visit, and they were only to tape that portion of the motorcade as it proceeded through Dealey Plaza…. that the camera signals were transported by wireless means back to the control studio, which was actually a semi-tractor-trailer, I found myself doubting that this type of equipment was available in 1963.

This military communications group had several cameras stationed around the Plaza. The signals from the cameras were sent back to a semi-tractor-trailer acting as a mobile studio parked a short distance from the Plaza. Each camera had a preview monitor and videotape machine associated with it inside the trailer recording the view of each camera. There was no sound recorded in this assignment.

Each videotape position had a single person responsible for its proper operation. Each position these men occupied was shielded from the others so that they could only see the preview for their individual camera. Each man saw the assassination occur from a different perspective of their monitors.

About 15 minutes after the assassination, a group of men appeared who identified themselves as FBI agents. These agents seized all the equipment used to videotape the motorcade. Each man was put on a bus which had been summoned to the scene and they were all driven back to their base. Upon their arrival, they were simply told to forget it….there is some possible photographic evidence of this communication group being in Dealey Plaza that day, … Regarding locations where you might find documents supporting this activity, I would suggest beginning with the records at Fort Hood.


 Dallas, Texas -- November 18, 1994 Hearing

MR. MARWELL: Mr. Steve Osborn.

CHAIRMAN TUNHEIM: Good afternoon, Mr. Osborn.

MR. OSBORN: Good afternoon.

I, too, appreciate the opportunity to address the Board today and appreciate the time you are spending going to the public for information. One of the theories of the assassination revolves around the possibility that there may have been some involvement by persons with experience in the U.S. intelligence community.

In my study and research of the assassination I have discovered and investigated supporting information of the presence of an intelligence unit of the U.S. Army having been present and on assignment in Dealey Plaza just before, during and immediately after the assassination. To the best of my knowledge, information on this unit has not been released publicly.

In 1992, as the fury of the public resulted in the proposed legislation which created your Board, I came across an individual who claimed to have been very near Dealey Plaza during the assassination.

Now, as a researcher, you can understand that this immediately caught my attention, and I began to question this gentleman about the experience.

Now before I tell you the entire story, I want you to know that I had a difficult time believing his story the more and more I thought about it. Even though I had personal experience with some of the devices and the techniques that this group used, I was still very skeptical, as you may be also. But with further investigation I convinced myself that it technically could have been accomplished, and I think you will be similarly so impressed about the possibility when we are finished.

The gentleman I spoke with proceeded to tell me he was in the Army Station in Fort Hood, in Clean, Texas. On the day of the assassination his group, a communications group, was assigned the task of observing and videotaping the presidential motorcade as it moved through the Plaza. This unit had no similar assignment in any other Texas city during the President's visit, and they were only to tape that portion of the motorcade as it proceeded through Dealey Plaza.

Now if this event actually occurred, if it actually happened, it makes their activity highly suspicious and adds new questions to the assassination, particularly with reference to the possible foreknowledge of the assassination of intelligence personnel.

In my conversations with this gentleman, I asked questions of a technical nature trying to discovery how their assignment was accomplished. After discovering that the camera signals were transported by wireless means back to the control studio, which was actually a semi-tractor-trailer, I found myself doubting that this type of equipment was available in 1963.

I knew that ham radio operators have been sending television signals easily for a number of years, and I had also participated in that hobby. I also knew that videotaping was still in its infant years in 1963. I started to research available equipment to see if this story had any possibility of being true.

I have another handout that I would like to give you. Now that we know that equipment existed in 1963, and I can tell you a little bit about the equipment, if you would like, in the question and answer, I can relate his entire story, the following information was obtained over approximately three separate conversations with this individual. I had extracted a verbal consent to get his story on videotape, like any good researcher would, but when the time came for doing so, his attitude on the matter had completely reversed and I am only left today with the recollection, you know, the notes that I had taken from the conversation and the subsequent information by my independent investigation.

This military communications group had several cameras stationed around the Plaza. The signals from the cameras were sent back to a semi-tractor-trailer acting as a mobile studio parked a short distance from the Plaza. Each camera had a preview monitor and videotape machine associated with it inside the trailer recording the view of each camera. There was no sound recorded in this assignment.

Each videotape position had a single person responsible for its proper operation. Each position these men occupied was shielded from the others so that they could only see the preview for their individual camera. Each man saw the assassination occur from a different perspective of their monitors.

About 15 minutes after the assassination, a group of men appeared who identified themselves as FBI agents. These agents seized all the equipment used to videotape the motorcade. Each man was put on a bus which had been summoned to the scene and they were all driven back to their base. Upon their arrival, they were simply told to forget it.

Finding that there was equipment available in 1963 that would do this made it easier for me to accept the story I have just related to you. Several things have made me believe that this group was an intelligence unit.

First, the gentleman would not give me the name of his unit.

Secondly, this individual advised me that his 201 file was inaccessible.

Thirdly, he offered his opinion as pertaining to the reason his group was sent there, which would probably have been in line with the responsibility of an intelligence unit.

Fourth, having reflected on his story and what I have what I have additionally discovered, I am impressed that he realizes that he probably said more things to me than he should have revealed. At one point, he mentioned to me that he was allowed by a letter from the military to discuss some things in relation to his duties on the day of the assassination, but I believe he probably went further than he was allowed.

All these things collectively make me believe that this unit in Dealey Plaza was an intelligence unit. Still, one important step in my investigation was to find some additional evidence that the event occurred. You should know that there is some possible photographic evidence of this communication group being in Dealey Plaza that day, and I would be happy to provide you with further information on that if time allows at the end of my presentation.

Some requested things I would like to see the Board do, obviously what was recorded on this videotapes would be of invaluable aid to a serious study of the assassination, as well as cast more suspicion on the intelligence community. An attempt should be made by the Board to locate the tapes and request that another government agency attempt to get the exact electrical format determined and a video machine constructed to bring their images to view. Duplication to modern day formats would then make the tapes available publicly.

So far as locating the videotapes are concerned, the Dallas Field Office of the FBI and the Bureau Headquarters may have information or be in possession of the tapes. If there remains an estate of the late J. Edgar Hoover, they may have some information or be in possession of the tapes themselves.

If the men who seized the tapes were not real FBI agents, then CIA, military intelligence and other splinter groups of the intelligence community should be checked. Also, I would inquire of Mr. E. Howard Hunt, if he is still alive, as to his knowledge of the tapes and their subsequent disposition. There exists a possibility that he may even have them in his possession.

Regarding locations where you might find documents supporting this activity, I would suggest beginning with the records at Fort Hood. I would not be familiar with other depositories of documents, and you will probably have to use some of your existing source to hopefully lead you in the correct directions.

There seems to be a problem of gag orders that I would like to address also, and the fact that this individual I had interviewed had received notification that he did not have to continue to keep certain things confidential is further indication that there continue to be individuals who continue are under an obligation of confidentiality.

I believe this brings up an interesting problem for the Board. There appear to have been several instances of this happening to individuals required by military order or other Executive Branch order not to discuss any details of what they know of the assassination or its subsequent investigations, perhaps even the Board members itself have been required to sign promises of confidentiality.

Since these individuals do not have the permission of disclosure, many have not written of their experiences or granted interviews to members of the media or the research community to record their recollection. This will give history an incomplete record of this tragic event as well as making this information unavailable to the Board for review and release.

Therefore, I believe and propose that the Board consider asking the President of the United States as Commander and Chief to rescind any and all standing orders issued from any Department or part of the U.S. Government requiring the confidentiality of the information retained by these individuals, whether that knowledge is in written or memory form. If our government is really serious about full disclosure of all facts surrounding the assassination, he will rescind these orders, prevent them from being renewed and allow a complete compilation of personal records and recollections. This will allow the Review Board to further fulfill and properly perform its congressionally mandated task.

Additionally, as distasteful and wild as the thought is that the American intelligence community could be involved in such an event, I hope the Board will keep an open mind as you sift through the records. Your work may be the last official attempt to bring to the light of day this dark deed, so it is vital for you to question everything you find.

Remember, if any intelligence personnel were involved, it is their profession and they are very adept at covering up any evidence of their involvement in any activity. I mean, would we as citizens expect anything else of them? In any operation that U.S. intelligence personnel are involved in, we the citizens would expect them to be able to complete their missions with expert precision. We would expect that they would be able to cover up their involvement as an agency and our involvement as a nation if the nature of the task so dictated. We would expect them to have thought of every possible snag in an operation and work to make their mission completely successful.

I have spoken with individuals involved in intelligence work or who have known persons who were, and they have indicated that the intelligence community could basically do anything they wanted, and we have had some recent indications of that, of this, in the form of millions of dollars spent on building projects unknown to Congress.

Be this right or wrong, we as citizens should have a great amount of respect for and suspicion of the power that these individuals and agencies wield in our world. Please keep this in mind as you ponder the information brought to your attention in whatever form it is presented.

Finally, I would like to make a comment in relation to the Board's mandate. One of the problems that certain individuals in our government have had with the idea of releasing all the assassination records is that to do so may compromise methods employed by the various intelligence agencies in their covert activities. At first glance, we may take this to mean that it may make it difficult for them to use these techniques in the future if they are made known to the general public, but I would encourage the Board to consider that it may be that many of these covert methods were used to carry out the assassination of President Kennedy, whether by Americans or some other government.

I have found considerable circumstantial evidence of more than a few intelligence techniques used in the assassination that may not be generally known. But if this assassination was accomplished by Americans from the intelligence community, they have not only betrayed the citizenry of this country by taking from them their President, but they have betrayed their agencies and the U.S. public by making it necessary to uncover and publicly expose their methods in order to bring satisfaction to the American people in this matter. This betrayal of their agencies alone makes them no better than Mr. Ames of recent history.

I again thank you for your time.

CHAIRMAN TUNHEIM: Thank you very much.
Go ahead, Dr. Joyce.

MR. JOYCE: Mr. Osborn, in your testimony you indicated that information you had gathered from a subsequent independent investigation helped you in forming your conclusion that there was an intelligence unit in Dealey Plaza. Is there any documentary information that you have been able to acquire as part of your subsequent investigation?
MR. OSBORN: I have not made any attempts at that because I believe the story so thoroughly. I felt that if I were to make any attempts to confirm any of this or search for the tapes that those things might be destroyed, because these tapes -- if you would like to discuss the photographic evidence, there is one that would probably show a shooter behind the stockade fence, so I did not want these materials because of something that I did to end up disappearing. However, your mandate and your sources are much better than anything that I could ever do.

DR. HALL: Mr. Chairman, with that in mind, I would like to pose to you a set of questions, if I may, and you can cut me off if I get too long-winded here, as I am sure you will. Who are you?
MR. OSBORN: I am a citizen of the United States. I have not had any type of military experience, so I probably approach this a little bit differently as a citizen that would like to know what my government has been up to or persons within my government have been up to, why I can't know, why it has been hushed up so much.
I have been researching for approximately the last 15 years, not quite, and have mostly focused my investigation on identifying the man who fired the fatal head shot. These other things have just come about because of various digging and this is one of the things that I hope to use to be able to further identify that individual.

DR. HALL: I am wondering, Mr. Chairman, for the record, we could ask Mr. Osborn to provide us with a biographical statement, if that would be acceptable to you.
Can you provide us with the name of the individual with whom you spoke?
MR. OSBORN: Because I feel that he may have violated military orders, I believe that he thought that he had originally been saying things he could, and then the way that he froze up -- in fact, I have had several individuals that have done that, I feel that he may be guilty of some sort of violation. If the President were to rescind all those orders, I would be happy to provide his name. At this point, because of the way that he did not really want to be involved any more in the discussions, I feel incumbent upon myself for his personal privacy not to reveal that.

DR. HALL: Did he ever provide to you any written information or did you take any notes arising out of your conversations with this individual?
MR. OSBORN: The only thing that I really did was, from the conversations that we had, I prepared a list of questions, because I do have a technical background, I have been in electronics since I was 14, ham radio, and television, and most recently personal communications, and so I was very interested in the technical aspects of this because I doubted in my senses that this could be done in 1963.
If you would look at the cameras, this is a fully transistorized camera. It comes with a backpack transmitter so that you don't have to have a cable going back to a videotape recorder, and this device was available in 1962 by a company that regularly supplied the military with all kinds of camera equipment and, as I also indicated, there is some photographic evidence that exists that may possibly show one of these individuals. If you would like a summation of that, I am prepared to do that.

DR. HALL: If you will document it, that would be helpful.
You also indicate on page 5 that he had mentioned to you that he was allowed by a letter from the military to discuss some things in relation to his duties on the day of the assassination. Now it would obviously be in the interest of the Board, since you purport that a connection exists between this individual, the military establishment, and the assassination, to be able to know the name of that individual so that it would be possible to try to secure whatever copy of a letter may have existed that would have been written to him by the military.
MR. OSBORN: I will -- what I will do, sir, is, I will probably seek some counsel on that to ensure that I, myself, do not get into a situation here that may make me liable for something, and I will be glad to consider that for you. I was going to, let me go on record saying, I was going to ask that individual for that document in the videotaped session, but because he cut everything off, I was not able to actually view that document. So I had to just go from my recollection as I made my notes as to what the individual had.

DR. HALL: One final question for you, if I may, Mr. Osborn, would your view be that this Commission or this Board, rather, excuse me, should undertake to disclose the names, identities of both living as well as deceased informants, agents, and intelligence operatives of the United States Government?
MR. OSBORN: That certainly is a gray area, and the problem with dealing -- if we are dealing with the intelligence community here in this time, they certainly have at their disposal, shall we say, executive privilege, and the rules are a little bit different when dealing with these type of people because they can claim national security. I think national security a lot of times can mean more than one thing. It can mean security of our nation from its people being held in arms over something that the government or people within the government have done, so I think they really use the term national security quite widely, and I would fully expect that if there were individuals from the intelligence community involved that they would do everything in their power, like I had mentioned before, they are very adept at covering up. So that is a gray area because we don't know if these persons were really involved, and they may be saying that these are operatives that we can't afford to let their names go. So we have to -- it is going to have to be analyzed. I used to think that it would be nice to have been a member of this Board, after hearing what is going on today, I think I am kind of glad it is you.

DR. HALL: Would it be fair to say that any effort to pursue the line of inquiry that you have set out would turn directly on an evidentiary and documentary basis on being able to know the name of the individual, and inasmuch as you have indicated that that person is known to you by name, there is some responsibility here, I would think, to be able to assist the Board in this matter in a significant way.
DR. GRAFF: I would like to ask this question with respect to the letter that this young man received saying what he could say about his activities. Was this a cover that he was being given, was this a story that was being laid upon him so that he would have an answer when people asked what are you doing?

MR. OSBORN: I don't believe so. I believe this had been received by him a number of years later.

Editorial remark – this would work well for the “Clean” Van parked at the corner of Elm and Houston as the receiving point for these signals.

Each camera had a preview monitor and videotape machine associated with it inside the trailer recording the view of each camera. There was no sound recorded in this assignment.

Each videotape position had a single person responsible for its proper operation. Each position these men occupied was shielded from the others so that they could only see the preview for their individual camera. Each man saw the assassination occur from a different perspective of their monitors.

About 15 minutes after the assassination, a group of men appeared who identified themselves as FBI agents. These agents seized all the equipment used to videotape the motorcade. Each man was put on a bus which had been summoned to the scene and they were all driven back to their base. Upon their arrival, they were simply told to forget it.

If you would look at the cameras, this is a fully transistorized camera. It comes with a backpack transmitter so that you don't have to have a cable going back to a videotape recorder, and this device was available in 1962 by a company that regularly supplied the military with all kinds of camera equipment and, as I also indicated, there is some photographic evidence that exists that may possibly show one of these individuals

WSJ on the Battle of Dealey Plaza

Updated December 25, 2012
JFK Conspiracy Theorists Seek Inclusion in Ceremony

DALLAS—Officials in the city where President John F. Kennedy was gunned down Nov. 22, 1963, want to observe the 50th anniversary of that day with a celebration of his life.

The city plans a ceremony that would include readings from Kennedy speeches by historian David McCullough and military jets flying over Dealey Plaza, where the 35th president was shot.

 Melissa Golden for The Wall Street Journal

John Judge says Dallas is preventing conspiracy theorists a permit to gather at Dealey Plaza, the assassination site.

But some who believe the assassination was a conspiracy involving high-ranking U.S. officials say their views shouldn't be excluded from the commemoration.

"It's absurd to move the discussion of his death to another moment," said John Judge, executive director of the Coalition on Political Assassinations, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit that studies 1960s murders of public figures. "Our First Amendment rights are being violated."

Mr. Judge, 65 years old, said conspiracy-theory proponents have gathered at Dealey Plaza every Nov. 22 since 1964. Next year, he added, will be the first that Dallas hasn't granted a permit for the meeting, which usually involves a moment of silence and a few speeches. He said the city should move its ceremony elsewhere, adding that his group's members would find a way to disseminate their theories during the city event, possibly even dropping protest banners from nearby buildings.

Mayor Mike Rawlings said in an interview that he would meet with Mr. Judge's group, as well as with others who object to the city's plans, to hear their concerns. But he is determined to keep the tone of the event reflective of the "international, cosmopolitan, arts-centered city" Dallas is today, he said, while focusing on President Kennedy's life and accomplishments. "For 40 minutes, we need to be focusing on the man, not the moment 50 years ago," Mr. Rawlings said.

Almost half a century after it shocked the nation, the Kennedy assassination remains a touchy subject in Dallas. The city's reputation took a beating after the president was slain while riding in a roofless limousine through the city's downtown during an official visit.

It suffered another blow two days later when the prime suspect in the case, Lee Harvey Oswald, was killed while in the custody of Dallas police. Hate mail poured in from across the country, and cabdrivers in other cities refused service to visiting Dallasites, said Darwin Payne, professor emeritus at Southern Methodist University and a reporter for a local newspaper at the time of the shooting.

"The world and the nation turned against Dallas," Mr. Payne said.

The animosity has faded, but Dallas remains closely linked to the assassination, a topic that continues to fascinate many. Over 70% of Americans believe that more than one person was involved in the killing, according to a 2003 Gallup poll.

"There are so many possible plotters," said Kathy Olmsted, a history professor at University of California, Davis, who has studied conspiracy theories about the U.S. government. "It becomes some sort of parlor game to people."

On any given day, dozens of tourists from around the world track the route followed by Mr. Kennedy's motorcade through downtown Dallas, taking pictures in front of the white X that marks the spot where the first bullet hit the president. The Sixth Floor Museum, housed in the building from which Lee Harvey Oswald fired, gets more than 300,000 visitors a year.

Dallas is sprucing up Dealey Plaza, repairing the chipped paint on its pergolas and covering up graffiti, in preparation for the ceremony, which will start with church bells and end with a benediction. Private funds will cover the cost, estimated at $1 million, with half of the amount set aside for security. People who wish to attend the ceremony will need to sign up for free tickets; the number of tickets and how they will be distributed remains unclear.

For those who can't get tickets, the event will be broadcast on giant screens around the city. Demonstrators will be allowed to gather in front of City Hall a few blocks away.

But Pete Johnson, a 58-year-old pharmacist from Columbus, Ohio, who studies the Kennedy assassination in his free time, has launched to urge supporters to descend on the plaza for the ceremony.

Some conspiracy theorists believe a second shooter fired at Mr. Kennedy from a patch of grass in the plaza.

"It's a controversial historical event," he said, "and they need to allow that controversy to be expressed."

Write to Ana Campoy at

Peter Dale Scott Interview

CONSPIRACY / Mob Connections

Peter Dale Scott

[Editor's Note: During an interview with Russ Tarby
for NEW TIMES, Peter Dale Scott, who has been called "the
Dean of the Research Community", traces many underworld
connections between the Kennedys and the mob but also
includes links to J. Edgar Hoover and his techniques
for blackmailing prominent politicians.]

Our most nagging national nightmare unfolded on an otherwise glorious autumn afternoon. After a misty morning in Dallas, the sun finally emerged on Nov. 22, 1963, its warm rays belying the darkness that enveloped Dealey Plaza as John Fitzgerald Kennedy's presidential motorcade approached.

After 33 years, two federal investigations, scores of conspiracy conferences, some 2,500 books and several films, the darkness still dominates.

For many Americans, the myth of Camelot casts a rosy pallor over the grim realities of the early 1960s. Renegade historian Peter Dale Scott, however, refuses to perpetuate myths. He applies a unique, behind-the-scenes approach--a probe into what he calls "deep politics"--to shed new light on the myriad forces that combined to commit and cover up the Crime of the Century. Scott, a poet and professor of English at the University of California in Berkeley, has emerged as the world's foremost expert on the political context of the JFK assassination.

A former Canadian diplomat with a Ph.D. in political science, Scott began studying the president's murder in 1969. While researching a book on the Vietnam War (The War Conspiracy, Bobbs Merrill, New York, 1972), he discovered a crucial shift in U.S. war policy followed within 48 hours of Kennedy's killing. Although controversial at the time, Scott's analysis of the war's escalation was recently verified by the published memoirs of JFK Defense Secretary Robert McNamara.

Standing head and shoulders above your stereotypical conspiracy theorists, the 67-year-old author exemplifies a new breed of Warren Commission critics. He's not the type who sees gun-toting badmen lurking in the bushes in snapshots of the Grassy Knoll. He doesn't bother much with the obvious inconsistencies of the Magic Bullet Theory or the botched autopsy evidence.

Instead, Scott immerses himself--and readers of his current paperback Deep Politics and the Death of JFK (University of California Press, Berkeley, 413 pages, $14.95)--in the netherworld where organized crime and government join forces to achieve common goals. With pit bull tenacity, Scott doggedly chases documents hidden away in Washington and elsewhere to follow the movements of military intelligence, the FBI and the CIA as these officials interface with foreign operatives and domestic insurgents alike.
He may not analyze the trajectory of the bullets that hailed down on the president's Lincoln convertible that day, but he does analyze the intelligence backgrounds of each Dallas Police officer riding in the motorcade's lead automobile. He does delve deeply into Jack Ruby's checkered career and his connections to the police, to the Mafia, to corrupt labor unions, and to wealthy Texas businessmen. He does analyze a century's worth of drug smuggling, gun-running and corruption in Central America's banana republics. He knows who was trafficking heroin and who was running the big craps games in Texas. He knows who was sharing the booty--and inside information--with local cops and federal investigators. And he knows who was sleeping with who, who was wiretapping who and who was blackmailing who.

"One of the most under-reported political topics is the extent to which prostitution in Washington has been the key to ongoing corruption and scandal in that city," he writes in Deep Politics. And, using meticulous scholarship and dozens of first-hand sources, he discusses the women that the Mafia supplied to the Kennedy brothers, and how the mob and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover wiretapped those sexual liaisons for extortion purposes.

Such topics, rarely considered by conventional historians, are the essence of Scott's deep political analysis. "I define deep politics as all those political practices and arrangements, deliberate or not, which are usually repressed rather than acknowledged," he writes. "Sometimes the secret is an open one, as when a particular city knows that its cops are on the take, or a nation knows that its parties have completely thwarted the intentions of campaign-financing laws. But some secrets are more closely held."

Such as the secrets surrounding the JFK hit.

Ever since 1979, when the House Select Committee on Assassinations reported JFK was probably killed as a result of a conspiracy, many writers have explored the alliance between Mafia leaders and the CIA in a plot to murder Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. But Scott goes much further, tracing the mob's government ties back to World War II's "Operation Underworld," which evolved into a government-protected narcotics business overseen by people such as Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky. And he goes even further in Lee Harvey Oswald's hometown of New Orleans, tracing the nefarious activities of that city's fruit conglomerates, dockworkers unions and Mafiosi all the way back to the 1880s.

Scott's analysis of the corruption of Central America by U.S. fruit companies and the CIA led him to co-write a book with San Francisco Chronicle journalist Jonathan Marshall about more recent government-protected drug dealing. Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies and the CIA in Central America (1991, University of California Press), was cited as a primary source for the San Jose Mercury's August 1996 expose of how the CIA funded Nicaraguan Contra rebels by allowing cocaine traffickers to operate in California cities. That story then became a hot topic on the Internet, and the revelations inflamed the African-American community, which has long suspected government acquiescence in the proliferation of freebase cocaine in the country's inner cities.

At the Fourth Decade Conference on the JFK assassination, staged at SUNY Fredonia in July just before the CIA/cocaine story hit the mainstream media, Scott delivered the keynote speech, discussing many avenues of research on the president's murder. One of those dark avenues converges with the CIA/cocaine/Contra conspiracy. Scott focused on newly released documents from the Assassination Records Review Board detailing surveillance of Oswald's alleged trip to Mexico City in late September 1963. Mexico's secret police worked for the CIA by spying on people who made contact with the Cuban and Soviet consulates in Mexico City in 1963, and they also played key roles in drug smuggling during the 1970s and '80s.

Peter Dale Scott spoke at length with The New Times about his wide-ranging research into our nation's deep politics. Here are some of his insights.

Q    According to your research, the Mexican secret police played crucial roles in both Oswald's alleged trip to Mexico in late September 1963 and in the CIA/cocaine conspiracy of the 1980s. What's the connection?

A:    The secret police in Mexico, from World War II to 1985 were called the Direcion Federal de Seguridad (DFS), the Federal Directorate of Security. With respect to the drug problem, by the 1980s the DFS was in effect taxing, regulating and almost administrating the drug traffic in Mexico. The DFS chief had successfully persuaded the major traffickers to relocate to Guadalajara, and that became the so-called Guadalajara Cartel, enjoying a good relationship to the CIA because they were giving money to the {Nicaraguan} Contras and apparently even training Contras in Mexico.

The DFS had CIA guidance. Since the late 1940s, all of the DFS chiefs were CIA assets. {In the early 1980s,} DFS head Miguel Nazar Haro was about to be indicted in San Diego as part of the largest stolen car ring in North America--more than 4,000 hot autos moving across the border from the U.S. into Mexico--but the CIA intervened, saying, "You mustn't indict this man because he's our most important asset in Mexico and one of our most important in Latin America."

That encapsulates the problem we've had with drugs, and also gives us serious insight into what happened in the Kennedy assassination.

All the drug traffickers in Mexico operated with impunity because they all carried little DFS passes, prompting someone in the DEA to say that having a DFS pass was virtually a license to traffic in Mexico. The name DFS is gone--there were too many scandals in the 1980s--but the organization is still there under another name and is suspected in several recent assassinations in Mexico.

Q:    What was the role of the DFS, the Mexican secret police, in the 1963 Kennedy assassination?

A:    The DFS played a much more active role in generating the information--some might say the disinformation--about Oswald's supposed visit to Mexico in September-October 1963. Everyone said that the CIA monitored Oswald's phone calls from the Cuban consulate, and the reality is that--although the thing was set up by the CIA--the actually monitoring was done by the DFS, as was the photography {of people entering and exiting the consulate}. So we end up with a false phone call involving Lee Harvey Oswald on Sept. 28. We also have photograph of somebody--an older, heavy set man--who was identified as someone who called himself Oswald but clearly was not our Oswald. I've been telling the Assassinations Records Review Board (ARRB), which was established by the JFK Records Act, that they should push hard on the Mexican government to release their records about the assassination.

Q:    What's your relationship with the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB). Will the board continue to function after its legislation runs out in October 1997?

A:    I'm grateful for whatever they release, and undeniably they have released some interesting information. The CIA has released a great deal of information itself. The problem is with agencies which haven't seen the light and come clean--starting with the FBI and including the military--there hasn't been any real progress there.

The style in Washington is not to rock the boat too much. It's quite clear that with some agencies, we're not going to get the documents unless the review board is quite adversarial and uses subpoena powers.

One of the big things they should do is take officers who participated in a cover-up back in 1963 and interview those people, if necessary depose them under oath and probably do it publicly in order to scare these people into cooperating. But it's a lame duck board in a way, and I don't think they'll act aggressively unless there is some outpouring of public opinion.

Q:    In Deep Politics, you indicate that Chicago mobster Sam Giancana and Jack Ruby--who was originally from Chicago--both were involved in drug trafficking via Mexico.

A:    There has been an important drug connection between Mexico and the city of Chicago going back to the 1940s, when there was a very major opium and heroin operation--now it's chiefly cocaine, but in those days it was chiefly opium and heroin. Ruby was obviously involved in the major opium bust in 1947. The fact that the old Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) didn't go after him suggests to me that he was probably an FBN informant. And in the 1950s, a very good FBI informant told them that Jack Ruby was the person you had to get the OK from to run drug deals from Mexico through Dallas.

Those two facts often go together: the informant is also the connection, because an informant is in a position to say which deals will go through and not be arrested. Those deals he doesn't approve of, he tells the police, and there's an arrest. Three or four Dallas policemen have told us Ruby was their informant on narcotics matters. We know he was. What has not been conceded, but I think it's probably true, that he was an informant on the federal level as well. Which would've made him quite an important guy.

Q:    Who in Chicago was most interested in this Mexican drug connection?

A:    The Mafia had mixed feelings about drugs--they seemed to feel it was all right to deal drugs in foreign countries but maybe not here in the United States. But Sam Giancana focused on international activities. He was very active in Mexico, and eventually went to live in Mexico, where he spent most of his last years before he came back and was killed in Chicago.

Giancana's sidekick, Richard Cain, traveled all over the world for him, mostly setting up casinos. Now casinos and drugs go together. Couriers go from casino to casino, they handle the drugs, and the money can be laundered by being bet and lost on a roulette wheel. So it's a pretty common symbiosis, whether it's Lebanon or Havana or Las Vegas.

Q:    In Deep Politics you identify Tony Zoppi--who was Ruby's alibi for 12:30 in the afternoon on Nov. 22, 1963--as a major casino guy.

A:    Well, he became a major casino guy. He was sort of one even at the time, because {as a columnist for the Dallas Morning News}, he wrote about what was going on in the nightclubs, so he was part of that milieu. He ended up as an employee of a Las Vegas casino, in fact a notorious Chicago-owned casino, the Riviera.

Q:    Another casino operator was Jack Ruby's old buddy Lewis McWillie, who was interviewed by the FBI two days before the assassination, something about Giancana's secret ownership of a Lake Tahoe casino called the Cal/Neva Lodge.

A:    McWillie--who'd previously worked at Meyer Lansky's Tropicana casino in Havana-- worked at the Cal/Neva Lodge in 1963, and we know that the FBI was closing in on Giancana in 1963. And yes, he was interviewed by the FBI, in Las Vegas, on Nov. 20, 1963, but we don't know enough about why they were interviewing him.

They did establish that he'd worked at the Cal/Neva, where Marilyn Monroe often met with Giancana. The House Assassinations Committee heard evidence that Ruby visited Las Vegas in the weeks prior to the assassination, and if he did, it was certainly to see McWillie, and it was also rumored he saw {Johnny} Rosselli at that time.

Q:    In their book Double Cross, by Sam Giancana's relatives Sam and Chuck Giancana, they depict the mobster hosting both Kennedy brothers for sex parties in the cabins at the Cal/Neva Lodge sometime in 1960.

A:    That's very probable. There was clearly a very strong link between the Cal/Neva Lodge and old Joe Kennedy {the president's father}. He got his Christmas tree every year from the Cal/Neva Lodge.

Q:    The longer you look at the JFK hit, the more Ruby keeps popping up everywhere. On the surface he seems a sleazy gangster wanna-be running a strip show, but he turns out to be a central figure in the assassination.

A:    I've always argued that Ruby was a much more important person. The house committee admitted that, yes, he was a mob figure but he was a two-bit punk or that sort of thing. But he was a police connection, and that's a very important part of mob activity.

The reason the mob's so powerful in Chicago is they've always had someone like {master wiretapper} Richard Cain who was a policeman, once head of investigations for the Sheriff of Cook County. In other words, he was a senior law enforcement official, there but he was also a made member of the mob and very close to Giancana. He was also a top, top informant for William Roemer, who was the FBI's chief mob man in Chicago, and Cain was one of Roemer's best friends.

A big disappointment for me was that the House Committee totally suppressed--and virtually lied--about Ruby's relationship to the Dallas police. Especially as an informant, Ruby embodies that link between government and crime.

Q:    As the operator of the Carousel Club, Ruby obviously rubbed elbows with B-girls and prostitutes. Deep Politics also depicts Ruby in some pretty high-class company, perhaps running gambling operations and girls, for some Texas oil men, and the Dallas-based Great Southwest Corporation.

A:    One documented case, not mentioned in the book, centered on a Galveston millionaire named Shearn Moody who was famous for holding huge sex parties at his home, and this man's name was in Ruby's address book. So yeah, he definitely knew at least some of these millionaires. Moody's family insurance company, Gold America National Insurance, was in turn invested heavily in Nevada casinos like the Sands. Ruby definitely knew him.

Q:    Why would these big businessmen have anything to do with Jack Ruby?

A:    Well, you know honest crap games--that's something the mob could offer. Moving south was a very important event in mob history. One of the justifications for the mob going into Dallas was that the local gambling was fixed. Paul Roland Jones--who knew Ruby--went down there representing a Chicago faction, and he offered people there honest gambling. In this sense, organized crime becomes, you might say, the government of those aspects of life which the official government is not allowed to recognize. Gambling is illegal but you want it regulated, so it's regulated by organized crime.

Q:    On the law enforcement side of things, J. Edgar Hoover kept what he called his Personal and Confidential files, many of which were sexual in nature. What do you know about those files?

A:    They weren't just sexual. If he had known, for example, that, shall we say, another American president had been involved in the John Kennedy assassination, that would go into the Personal and Confidential files. It doesn't have to be sexual; it's anything that's the highest level utility for potential blackmail.

Q:    How did Jack Kennedy's extra-marital sex life relate to the assassination?

A:    The mob's influence in Washington certainly is related to their provision of sexual favors for all tendencies--boys for people who like boys, girls for people who like girls. Kennedy was a notorious case. Undeniably Kennedy became involved with a mistress of Sam Giancana, Judy Campbell. This fact by itself would be important whether or not we believe the other things she has added to her story since.

The Kennedy family--old Joe Kennedy--had been involved with the mob since the days of Prohibition, and specifically with the Chicago mob. There were even references to this in the Kefauver Commission. Legitimate Kennedy investments were largely in Chicago. The Kennedys owned the Trade Mart in Chicago, which was a very major investment.

After Prohibition, Joe Kennedy had a liquor distributing company along with a mob man named Joe Fusco. When John Kennedy first ran for Congress in '46, Joe Kennedy did a smart thing--he sold off his liquor interests so that he would not have these conspicuous mob connections anymore.

We do not yet fully understand that whole dynamic whereby the mob helped elect John Kennedy and then was very alienated by Robert Kennedy's prosecution of the mob and Sam Giancana in particular.

RFK listed the mobsters he targeted, including Giancana and Santos Trafficante and Carlos Marcellon-- these are all relevant people -- exactly the element of the mob that the CIA involved in plots against Castro after Robert Kennedy published The Enemy Within in 1960, in which he names these people. So there's a very complicated dance here which involves the Kennedys' relationship to the mob, the CIA's relationship with the mob, and the CIA getting more involved with the mob at a time when the Kennedys are distancing themselves from at least some elements of the mob.

Q:    You posit that a small cadre may have pulled off the murder somehow, but a much larger group of people -- especially inside government -- conspired on the cover-up.

A:    There are probably three categories: 1. People actually involved in the assassination, 2. Those involved in the cover-up, and 3. The Watchers who knew that the president is going to be murdered. They're not directly conspiring, but they become criminally responsible because they do not intervene to stop it. I think it's quite likely that Hoover was in that intermediary category.

Let's just take the {Joseph} Milteer statement. He was a southern racist who predicted {on a police-monitored phone conversation} that the president would be shot with a rifle from an office building, and then somebody would be picked up right away and charged with the murder. First he predicts it, then after the assassination, he says, "See, it happened the way I said it would."

Hoover knew about all of this before the assassination, and the FBI intervened both before and after the assassination to minimize the significance of this uncannily accurate prediction, and they never shared any of this information with the Warren Commission. Hoover here could be culpable of something more than just the cover-up.

Q:    So Hoover might have also known that Oswald was an FBI informant?

A:    I've speculated that he was an FBI informant; it's clear he was operating in an informant capacity, but who he was informing for is less clear. He may have been working for a private contractor such as {New Orleans private investigator} Guy Banister.

Q:    Was Oswald just a puppet for people like Banister, or do you think he really knew what he was working on and why?

A:    In my book I called him a double agent, but I really should have called him a triple agent. On one level he's acting like a leftist, and on another, deeper level he's acting like a rightist, as though he's getting Fair Play for Cuba sympathizers to send in their names and addresses to 544 Camp St. {in New Orleans} which is the address of Guy Banister, who is a very anti-Castro detective. But then, on a third level, he may have been working with Banister in order to inform someone else about Banister's own illegal activities, so that would make him a triple agent.

Once you're dealing with someone who's a double agent -- and there are many historical instances of this -- it's hard to know who they're working for, and sometimes even the individuals don't even know who they're really working for. Psychologically, they get so into the role playing -- their reality is that they're fake. You can't reduce them to a set of simple motivations like the rest of us.

Q:    The first thing the public ever heard about Oswald was that he was part of a communist conspiracy. Later, he became "a lone nut." Why?

A:    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.

Q:    You told your colleagues at the Fredonia conference in July that it's not so important to learn the identity of the triggermen as to understand the deep politics behind the assassination. What can that kind of understanding mean to us as a nation?

A:    Remember, I'm not talking about a historic phenomenon. I'm talking about an ongoing phenomenon. If you focus on the CIA/drug story in the San Jose Mercury, you're studying the same phenomena. The fact is there is a symbiosis between high-level people in government and high-level people in crime. We see it in the drug situation, we saw it in the Kennedy assassination and in other areas such as the South African Oil Embargo -- but South Africa got its oil, people violated the embargo. We get back to the same kind of milieu where people are powerful because of their law-breaking, not refugees and people running from law enforcement. There's a much more intimate symbiotic relationship between law enforcement and criminal operations. They're not simply antithetical, as we are taught to believe in grade school. That's what I mean by deep politics. If we're going to understand the politics of our country, we're going to have to understand the deep po

Lansdale Testifies

Washington, D.C. Friday, May 16, 1975
Declassified – 8/7/94

Mr. David Belin:

Q: General Lansdale, I would like to first get a background for the record. You are presently a retired Army officer?

A: Air Force.

Q: Air Force Officer.

A: :Retired Major General.

Q: And where did you go to school?


Q: And graduated when?

A: I didn’t graduate.

Q: Did you go from UCLA into the Army or Armed Forces?

A: No, I went into business.

Q: And then what happened?

A: I went into the military during World War II.

Q: And after World War II?

A: I became a regular officer in the Air Force.

Q: And you stayed in?

A: I stayed in until November, 1963, the end of October, 1963.

Q: During the period of time that you were in the Air Force, did you have anything to do with any planning or any involvement in the Bay of Pigs operations?

A: I was aware of the very early planning phases of the Bay of Pigs as an advisor on the staff of the Secretary of Defense, and I attended some policy meetings concerned with the Bay of Pigs operation, or what became the Bay of Pigs.

Q: And who was the Secretary of Defense at the time?

A: Thomas Gates was the Secretary.

Q: That was in the latter months of the Eisenhower Administration?

A: That’s correct.

Q: And what was your official position at the time?

A: I was Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Special Operations.

Q: And in that capacity, did you have any direct involvement in the planning of the Bay of Pigs?

A: No, none.

Q: Now, at that time, did you have any knowledge o was this in 1960?

A: This was 1960, correct.

Q: At any time during 1960, did you have any knowledge of any discussion of possible plans for the assassination of any foreign leaders?

A: I don’t recall any at all. I would say none.

Q: All right. Now, at the end of 1960, as 1961 commenced, what did you do?

A: I was out of the country. I was in Vietnam, and I returned about roughly a week before Inauguration Day, and I forget the exact date. It was January of  ‘61.

Q: And what were you doing in Vietnam?

A: I was doing a survey for the Secretary of Defense.

Q: To determine what?

A: What the situation was in Vietnam.

Q: At that time they had approximately 700 or 800 or 900 American advisors over there?

A: Something like that..

Q: And you were making a survey to determine whether or not more Americans should be involved?

A: Not necessarily. I was studying the security conditions in the country, the status of the political fabric of Vietnam of its economic needs as well. It was a general survey too.

Q: Was any decision made at that time to commit more than 700 or 800 or 900 to Vietnam?

A: None. None, from –

Q: You stated that you then came back to this country in the first part of January, 1961?

A: That is correct.

Q: And then what did you do?

A: I moved up after the Inauguration, when McNamara became Secretary of Defense he appointed me as Assistant to him and for want of a better title we kept the title of Special Operations, so I became the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Special Operations.

Q: And what did that job involve?

A: It was unclear at the time, but it initially became a job of helping the Armed Forces get ready for counterinsurgency, that is the Army, Navy, Air Force and even the Marine Corps.

Q: when was the first time you had anything specifically to do with Cuba?

A: It was in the late fall of 1961.

Q: And what was the occasion of your getting involved at that time?

A: The President of the United States asked me to look over the situation vis a vis the U.S. in Cuba and to see if I had any ideas or could give him some ideas.

Q: Did you have a direct conversation with the President?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you remember what he said and what you said?

A: I do not recall exactly on that. He asked me if I would think about the situation in Cuba and if I could come up with any suggestions or recommendations from such a study. It was a rather vague assignment by him, but it was to be done for him personally.

Q: Were you to work through any intermediary or were you to report directly to the President?

A: I suggested an intermediary, and he appointed his brother, who was the Attorney General.

Q: And from that time forward, did you work primarily with the Attorney General or did you have subsequent reports to the President?

A: Both. It was primarily with the Attorney General, but with several conversations with the President.

Q: And was the capacity of your work in connection with what you refer to as the Special Group?

A: They were part of the approving group for any recommendations that I would come up with, yes.

Q: All right. What did you do after this meeting with the President?

A: I obtained as many documents and as much information as I could of what the current situation was on Cuba and in effect, using that information, made a study and made recommendations to the President.

Q: And when did you make those recommendations if you know, or were there a series of recommendations?

A: There was an initial recommendation and I believe it was either the end of September – of December ’61 or maybe early 1962, I don’t recall the date on that.

Q: And what was the initial recommendation?

A: It was to see if there was a possibility of using Cuban refugees to help them get their political thinking together to see if there would be any feasibility of a revolution in Cuba.

Q: Was that recommendation in writing or was it oral?

A: It was in writing.

Q: And you addressed it to the President?

A: That is correct.

Q: Did you deliver it personally or did you deliver it through the Attorney General?

A: I think to the Attorney General. As far as I know, the only copy of that paper was in the files of the President. I saw it there later. So however I delivered it, he received it and he had possession of it.

Q: What was the occasion of your seeing it later?

A: Later, I had had some copies of parts of this study and some planning that was done with various groups and I delivered all of the files to the President, and he had his secretary put them in his own personal file, and at that time I saw what else was in the file.

Q: And what else was in the files besides the copy of your paper?

A: There were previous copies of this one paper and some other memos that had gone forward to him, plus some other notes in there, and I don’t recall the exact contents of the notes, but I did notice that all of my papers were in his file.

Q: Did you keep any copies of your papers?

A: None. Not a one.

Q: Do you know whether or not there were any memos in that file from the CIA?

A: There possibly were, and I could not swear to that, I just don’t recall.

Q: All right. Now, you made this original recommendation, you put it in late 1961 or possibly early 1962.

A: That’s right.

Q: And then what did you do?

A: I surveyed the refugee organizations who at the time were primarily in Florida, talked to people in the Department of State, CIA, and the U.S. military primarily in the latter with people in the Joint Staff of Defense, and proposed some careful organizational plans of the Cubans to see if they could reconstitute one of their previous constitutions in Cuba and if an organization would be willing to work under such guidance. The end result was that we never did get such a group organized or movement. There was a very long process, very carefully done.

Q: This took place during the first part of 1962?

A: Yes. Yes.

Q: During any of these discussions in the first part of 1962 were there any discussions of Cuban exiles possibly going back inside Cuba to harass the regime?

A: Yes, there were such discussions.

Q: Were there any discussions that possibly some of these exile groups might very well try and assassinate Castro?

A: It might well have been mentioned, yes.

Q: Do you remember whether or not there was any discussion of the fact that such plans for assassination might actually be taking place?

A: I don’t recall a single instance of any serious action being undertaken on any such plan.

Q: What you’re saying is you recall discussions, but you don’t recall specific discussions as to existing plans>

A: That is correct.

Q: And so would you say those discussions related to possibilities rather than actualities, is that a fair statement?

A: Yes, definitely.

Q: Anything else happen in the fist part of 1962 with reference to action against Cuba?

A: Well, on the harassing raids, the President, Jack Kennedy, and the Attorney General, Robert Kennedy, and I myself did our best to stop harassing raids against Cuba since they were not serving the purpose of assisting the exile groups of doing something very carefully and constructively politically inside the country.

Q: Anything else insofar as the first half of 1962 with regard to Cuba that you can think of?

A: There might well have been something I can’t recall.

Q: Now I want to take you to the last  half of 1962. Do you remember a group called the Special Group or the Special Group Augmented?

A: On Cuba itself? There was a Special Group that I was reporting to on this, and so yes I do recall such a thing.

Q: And did they call it the Special Group Augmented because the Attorney General was a member of that particular group?

A: Possibly. I don’t recognize that name, but they might have called it that.

Q: Do you remember whether or not this group ever had any meetings?

A: Yes, they did.

Q: I am going to take you to the month of August 1962 and in particular a meeting that was held at the offices of the Secretary of State on or about August 10, 1962. Do you remember whether or not you might have attended such a meeting in August, 1962?

A: I don’t remember that definitely, but it is quite possibly that I have.

Q: Well, to help you refresh your recollection, I’m going to hand you a document marked Helms Exhibit No. 7 dated August 13, 1962, which is under the letterhead of the Office of Secretary of Defense and it looks as if it is from you.

A: It looks to me like it is from me.

Q: And I’m going to ask you to read that to yourself for a minute.


A: Yes.

Q: You will notice that in the first page of Helms Exhibit No. 7, there is a direction for a paper to be required from various people, one of whom was a Mr. Harvey. Do you know with whom Mr. Harvey was associated?

A: Yes. He was CIA.

Q: And there appears to be some words whited out. Do you have any recollection as to what those words were?

A: No.

Q: If there were testimony to say that those words originally were “including liquidation of leaders”, would that refresh your recollection at all?

A: I doubt it. I doubt it. I just don’t recall anything at all on liquidation of leaders.

Q: Do you recall anyone bringing up the discussion at that meeting about the possibility of liquidation of Cuban leaders?

A: Possibly. I simply don’t recall that.

Q: Do you remember a man by the name of  [REDACTED]

A: Yes.

Q: He was your assistant?

A: That is correct.

Q: Do you remember him telling you a few days after that meeting that Mr. Harvey had talked [REDACTED] to recommend that some words be excised from that memorandum?

A: No.

Q: Do you remember that?

A: I don’t recall.

Q: You mean you’re saying that might or might not have happened, but you don’t recall?

A: That is correct, yes.

Q: Do you remember whether or not you subsequently within a day or tow called Mr. Harvey and told him that the words had been excised?

A: No, but if I did that, then I would have notified him, yes. I don’t recall that incident, no.

Q: You’re just saying that it might have happened, but you don’t recall?

A: It might have happened, but I don’t recall. Yes.

Q: Now, you mentioned earlier that this Special Group or Special Group Augmented continued throughout 1962?

A: It did up until the missile crisis.

Q: Up until the missile crisis.

A: Yes.

Q: That would have been in the latter part of October, or mid-October, 1962?

A: Some such time around then, yes.

Q: Was this group also known as the MONGOOSE group?

A: Yes.

Q: I’m going to hand you what has been marked as McCone Exhibit 3.

A: Before you leave that, may I interrupt?

Q: Yes.

A: This paper, the one you just handed me –

Q: Helms Exhibit 7?

A: Yes. – was a request for some planning and some ideas which were later submitted as part of a plan for approval and it was not approved.