Saturday, May 11, 2013

Dear Bill - Why No Justice

Dear bill

I follow your blog and enjoy it very much.  Like you I was young when the president was killed and it has never left me.  For all these years I’ve waited for someone to rise up and seek justice in this case, which you also call for.  

We want them to recognize what is patently obvious to people like us, that JFK was assassinated by a conspiracy involving high levels of the government.  But that’s not ever going to happen, and here is why I’ve come to believe this.      

First, you have to go back and remember what it was like in the early 60’s. We were in a cold war with the communists that began on the heels of the Second World War. 

There is a scene in the movie “Patton” where, after the German surrender, General Patton suggests to Beetle Smith that he could start a fight with the Russians while we still had the army on hand to do it. “In ten days I'll have a war on with those communist bastards, and I'll make it look like THEIR fault.” The movie makes it seem like Patton was the crazy exception, but it was really the other way around. The desire to fight the communists was pervasive amongst many in the top command.  

After Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the American military began developing detailed plans to annihilate the Soviet Union. In fact, just 6 weeks after the Japanese surrender, unbeknownst to the American public, the military was targeting Russia city by city. The military believed that we were going to have to fight them eventually, so we may as well do it while we have the advantage.  Anyone who didn’t agree with them was either a communist sympathizer or a coward. 

During the Korean War, MacArthur urged Truman to use atomic weapons against the North, and China too if necessary.  In the early 50’s the military wanted Eisenhower to launch a preemptive war against the Soviet Union. Throughout that decade, SAC flew spy overflights of Russia on a regular basis, and its commander actually hoped to provoke a war. Imagine how we would have responded if they were flying over the United States. When Eisenhower kept them in check, they accused their former commander of going ‘soft.’

So in 1960, along comes JFK, who they thought they could push around.  They advised him to invade Cuba, send troops to Laos and Vietnam, and confront the Soviets in Berlin.  They recommended using nuclear weapons at nearly every turn.  In the midst of the Berlin Crisis, the military’s ‘Net Evaluation Subcommittee’ met with the President to let him know that there was a window of opportunity where they could launch a preemptive attack on the Soviet Union and win.  Since that window would begin to close by 1964, their recommendation was to launch “a surprise attack in late 1963, preceded by a period of heightened tensions.”  Kennedy left the meeting disgustedly commenting, “…and we call ourselves the human race.”

Whenever JFK didn’t go along with their plans, he was accused of appeasement. Kennedy was particularly keen to appeasement accusations, because his father, when US Ambassador to Great Brittan, was a supporter of Neville Chamberlin’s appeasement policy towards Germany. Joseph P Kennedy was dismissed because of it. After the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, Curtis LeMay told a Washington reporter ‘off-the-record’  that Kennedy’ s actions during the crisis were cowardly and suggested to his staff that he should be removed from office.The appeasement rhetoric amongst our generals in Germany came loudly when Kennedy did not go in and demolish the Berlin Wall. So much so that Berlin University students sent the President a large black umbrella, the trademark symbol of Neville Chamberlin, the founding father of appeasement.

But the real problem came with the Cuban Missile Crisis. The military thought they had him this time; to them there was no choice but to invade Cuba and take the Soviet Missiles out. When Kennedy was considering the alternate plan of a blockade, LeMay tried to get his goat: “This blockade and political action I see leading us straight to war.  I don’t see any other solution for it. It will lead right into war. This is almost as bad as the appeasement at Munich.”  

At the time, the official version of the settlement was that the Soviets agreed to take out the missiles in exchange for a no-invasion pledge from JFK, but it wasn’t until years later that we were told that Kennedy had secretly agreed to take out our Jupiter missiles in Turkey in exchange. Kennedy knew that these missiles were junk, and he had tried to get them out before this crisis. However, the military was incensed that he did not order an invasion of Cuba, the communist malignancy in the western hemisphere. LeMay exploded, “This is the worst defeat in our history!”  And they soon became aware of the secret deal which to them this was treason. To their point of view JFK had caved in to what they saw as a Russian ultimatum to remove our missiles under nuclear threat.

This is why, I believe, Kennedy was assassinated, they shot him for what they perceived as treason. And by blaming his murder on a pro-Castro communist, they might finally get to invade Cuba and possibly start a war with the Russians. It was late 1963 and blaming a communist would give them the ‘period of heightened tensions’ they needed.

They did leave a cryptic fingerprint in Dealey Plaza. As the President’s motorcade proceeded down Elm Street there was a ‘Dark Complected Man’ on the curb with his arm high in the air, standing next to a man holding an open large black umbrella on a perfectly sunny day. Many researchers say that the man waving was an anti-Castro Cuban who JFK would recognize, and he certainly recognized the symbol of the umbrella.  So one of the last things John Kennedy saw before he was shot was the message “Appeasement-Cuba.”

This is why the government is never going to seek justice in this case. They believe that they carried out justice in executing a ‘traitor.’ And they will spout the Lee-Harvey-Oswald-three-shots-from-behind fiction until everyone who was alive on November 22, 1963 is gone. After that, the Warren Commission report will be the undisputed story, and anybody who ever believed otherwise were the lunatic fringe.

 Yours truly

Jim Magee (a Philly boy)

John Newman Conclusion Beginning

John Newman - “Oswald and the CIA” - Chapter 20 Conclusion: Beginning

The JFK murder case cannot be truly closed before it has been genuinely opened. It was a tribute to the insanity that has surrounded the subject when, in the fall of 1993, the American national media leveled inordinate praise on a book whose author was attempting to close the case just as the government’s files were being opened. That opening was created by the passage of the JFK Records Act in 1992, a law that mandates that the American government must make available all its information on the case.

(Many) years and millions of pages later, there is much that remains closed. Like a huge oil spill, a glut of black “redactions” is still strewn across the pages that have been released. The real opening of this case is in its early stages. But we have finally arrived at the beginning.

For more than three decades the rules for how the case has been presented in the national media were these: The government hast he facts, citizens who do not believe the official version of events guess and make mistakes, and the apologists for the official version poke fun at the people who venture their guesses.

That game is finished. The rules have changed. The law is now on the side of our right to know as much of the truth about this case as does the government. The only guessing-game left is how much damage to the national psyche has been inflicted in the futile attempt to keep the truth hidden.

The threat to the Constitution posed by the post-World War II evolution of unbridled power and sometimes lawless conduct of the intelligence agencies is grave.

The level of public confidence in American government is now at a crisis stage.

The moment that the JFK Records Act was passed in 1992, the Kennedy case became a test for American democracy. It is no longer a matter of whether American institutions were subverted in 1963 and 1964, but whether they can function today.

For this reason, adherents on both sides of the Kennedy assassination debate would do well to keep their eyes on the work of the intelligence agencies and the Review Board. If excuses begin to build, and the exceptions game begins anew, a golden opportunity to reverse this country’s slide into cynicism will be lost. The interests of neither side in the debate are served by that outcome. No intelligence source or method can be weighed on the same scale as the trust of the people in their institutions. That this state of distrust has persisted and has been allowed to fester is as tragic as the assassination. It is an unhealed wound on the American body politic.

The purpose of this book is to carry out an examination of the internal records on Oswald in light of the newly released materials. The attempts to resolve the continuing riddles and mysteries of the Oswald file offered here are first impressions. They may change as new information comes to light. It is safe to state now, however, that American intelligence agencies were far more interested in Oswald than the public has been left to believe….

Oswald’s Cuban Escapades

It was Oswald’s Fair Play for Cuba Committee that led to the “smoking file” described in Chapter Nineteen. His FPCC activities set off alarm bells at the FBI and its field offices in Washington, New York, New Orleans, and Dallas, and at CIA. Both organizations had long been actively involved in operations against the FPCC. Just as the Soviet Realities Branch at the CIA had earlier developed an operational interest in Oswald. It is difficult to proceed with certainty because the public record contains cover stories. All we can say for sure is that the Special Affairs Staff, the location for anti-Cuban operations, was discussing (with the FBI) an operation to discredit the FPCC in a foreign country at the time of Oswald’s visit to Mexico, and that the CIA has been denying what it known about Oswald’s Cuban activities ever since.

The record of Oswald’s stay in New Orleans, May to September 1963, is replete with mistakes, coincidences, and other anomalies. As Oswald engaged in pro-Castro and anti-Castro activities, the FBI says they lost track of him. The Army was monitoring his activities and says it destroyed their reports. The record of his propaganda operations in New Orleans published by the Warren Commission turned out to have been deliberately falsified. A surprising number of the characters in Oswald’s New Orleans episode turned out to be informants or contract agents of the CIA. The FBI jailhouse interview with Oswald, which focused on the FPCC, was suppressed until after Oswald returned from Mexico.

The story of Oswald’s return from Mexico become even more murkier….

What Does This Do For The Case?

The CIA was far more interested in Oswald than they have ever admitted to publicly…While we are unclear on the precise reasons for the CIA’s pre-assassination withholding of information on Oswald, we have yet to find documentary evidence for an institutional plot in the CIA to murder the president. The facts do not compel such a conclusion. If there had been such a plot, many of the documents we are reading - such as CIA cables to Mexico City, the FBI, State, and Navy - would never have been created. However the facts may well fit into other scenarios, such as the “renegade faction” hypothesis. Oswald appears - from the perspective of a potential conspirator with access - to have been a tempting target for involvement because of the sensitivity of his files. It is prudent to remember when speculating about where the argument goes from here that the government and the Review Board have yet to deliver what the Records Act promised: full disclosure.

On the other hand, we can say with some authority that the CIA was spawning a web of deception about Oswald weeks before the president’s murder, a fact that may have directly contributed to the outcome in Dallas. Is it possible that when Oswald turned up with a rifle on the president’s motorcade route, the CIA found itself living in an unthinkable nightmare of its own making?

What Price Secrecy?

It is a shame that protecting sources and methods may have contributed to the president’s murder. Each day these secrets are kept from the public only does more harm. Cover stories, deceptions, and penetrations are kinds of secrets the CIA and FBI will fight hardest to protect. Yet they are clearly the kinds of secrets whose release would signal that the promise of full disclosure has been kept.

We are reading documents that were inappropriately denied to the House of Representatives investigations in 1978. Congress created the CIA, and congressional oversight is not possible without access. It is especially wrong for the CIA to withhold information when it is being investigated by Congress.

The issues raised by the past conduct of our intelligence organizations must be discussed openly. Practical, effective solutions must be found. Tangible measure must be devised and implemented that will build reasonable constraints into the system and the public’s confidence in them. For example, no federal agency should ever be allowed to obstruct the course of justice in order to protect a source. This issue should not be politicized. It does not belong to the right or the left. It is one of the fundamental ethical issues of the late twentieth century….

The secrecy in which intelligence agencies conduct their operations has the unfavorable effect of insulating abuses from detection. So much time elapses before the facts are declassified that there is little interest left in reforming the aspects of the system that led to the abuse. As early as 1976 Henry Commager observed: “The fact is that the primary function of government secrecy in our time has not been to protect the nation against external enemies, but to deny the American people information essential to the functioning of democracy, to Congress the information essential to the functioning of the legislative branch, and - at times - to the president himself information which he should have to conduct his office. 3

A different criterion for secrecy - from the perspective of the people’s need to function effectively at eh ballot box - is needed. That might suggest, for example, that the basic period of classification be reduced to four or eight years, to coincide with the presidential rhythm of the national security apparatus.

Many of the political and social issues that have emerged from the history of the Kennedy assassination as a conspiracy “case” will find their resolution in years to come, when less will be at stake and American academe can discuss them safely. In the short term, there are compelling realities that must be faced. The moment the JFK Records Act was passed, we passed the point of no return. Not releasing the government’s files now does more harm than good.

As diverse a people we Americans are, we are unified by the democratic concepts we share: that ultimate power belongs with the people, and that the government cannot govern without the consent of the governed. For thirty years we have watched aghast as lie begat another and as one half-baked solution gave way to the next, and our confidence in our institutions slowly dissipated. At the heart of this situation is a relatively new development in American history: the emergence of enormously powerful national intelligence agencies.

As Commanger so eloquently observed twenty years ago: “The emergence of intelligence over the past quarter-century as an almost independent branch of the executive, largely immune from either political limitations or legal controls, poses constitutional questions graver than any since the Civil War and Reconstruction. The challenges of that era threatened the integrity and survival of the Union; the challenges of the present crisis threaten the integrity of the Constitution.”

The unsavory truth confronting American citizens, just as it confronts the citizens of Russia and China, is this: Unbridled power cannot reform itself. The reform of the intelligence system is something the people, not the intelligence agencies, must control.

Because the Kennedy assassination is but one instance of hiding the truth, the passage of the JFK Records Act and how honestly it works have implications for the government’s records in all cases where its acts are questionable in the eyes of the people.

The stakes are high, and include nothing less than the credibility of our institutions today. The present generation has the responsibility to hold the government accountable.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Walker Report

News Report:

Police Rout 20 McCarthy Aides in Hotel

Say They Threw Cans at Guardsmen; 4 Helpers Beatn

Of the (Philadelphia, Pa.) Bulletin Staff

Chicago - Police at 6 A. invaded eight Conrad Hilton Hotel rooms occupied by campaign workers for Sen. Eugene J. McCarthy.

Police charged the McCarthy workers had thrown ash trays, beer cans and smoked fish onto National Guardsman keeping order below on Michigan Ave.

The ejected 20 young people from the suites overlooking Grant Park - scene of many clashes this convention week.

The officers forced the staff workers into elevators on the 15th floor and took them to the lobby. They released the youths after holding them there a half hour. At least four of the boys were beaten on the way.

Treated for Injuries.

Treated for injuries were: John Warren 24, of Lansing, Michigan; George Yumich, 31, of Boston; Philip Shear, 24, of Chicago, and Philip Friedman, 22, a law student at New York University.

Warren was McCrathy’s campaign coordinator in Arkansas. He had a police nightstick broken over his head, according to his coworkers.

According to McCarthy sources, Warren was pulled from bed and beaten on the head, neck and shoulders.

The incident prompted McCarthy to delay his departure from Chicago “so that I could see that everything was all right with my supporters.”

The Minnesotan, who lost the presidential nomination to Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey, held a press conference and told reporters he would set up a committee of lawyers to make an investigation into the incident.

Calls for Resignation.

Admitting he did not know all the facts, he sadi: “Chicago police action was out of proportion with what occurred, but it was consistent with other incidents here this week.”

McCarthy said that any member of the Democratic National Committee who had anything to do with bringing the…..

Continued on Page 3, Col. 4.

BK NOTES: The National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence was chaired by Milton S. Eisenhower, was directed by Daniel Walker and included former Warren Commissioner Hale Boggs, and Warren Commission attorneys Albert E. Jenner, Jr. and Leon Jaworski.

Also note that according to their report the police were directed by an Illinois National Guard Colonel whose four “observer” teams used binoculars and “rifle scopes” to pinpoint the window from which ashtrays, ostensibly empty “beer cans, ashtrays and smoked fish” were thrown, but also a military chemical pouch and a grenade with pin not pulled, which indicates to me the perpetrator who instigated the attack was not a McCarthy worker but a military informant, much like the instigator of the Kent State shootings.

 “Rights In Conflict” - The Walker Report To the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence. (Bantam, NY Dec.  1968, p. 347) - The Incident in the McCarthy Suite.

Early Friday morning there was a confrontation in the Conrad Hilton involving hotel employees, guests, police and National Guardsmen. The incident, which received nationwide publicity, was itself insignificant as compared to other violent events of the week.

What makes it important is that it happened after almost all other activity had died down, and that many of the persons involved were working members of a presidential candidate’s staff.

As the convention week progressed, and their cause did not, many young McCarthy workers had become increasingly sympathetic to the demonstrators outside the Hilton. On Wednesday night they set up emergency first-aid rooms on the 15th floor and distributed torn sheets outside the hotel for use as bandages and emergency gas masks.

(But a police officer who had been injured Wednesday by one of the thrown missiles reports that when he applied for first aid on the 15th floor he was turned away.)  Their support for and collaboration with protesters were resented by both the hotel officials and the police. Hilton security officers tried to stop the sheet smuggling and police harassed the McCarthy workers as they entered the hotel; even after showing proper identification.

At 4 a.m. Colonel Robert E. Strupp of the Illinois National Guard took charge of the operations outside the Hilton, where a number of objects, including ash trays, beer cans, a silver cream pitcher, and - mysteriously - a bag of military chemical irritant and a grenade with pin unpulled, had fallen from the hotel windows to the sidewalk below. Colonel Strupp directed observation teams set up to determine where they were coming from.

Teams were set up in four different positions, and by means of binoculars, rifle scopes and the naked eye they pinpointed a group of windows accurately enough to spot objects a second or two before they struck the pavement. Each of the four teams, reporting separately, describing the same set of windows.

Once the windows had been located, the Hilton staff was asked to identify the rooms and, counting up from the clearly demarcated 1506-A. It occupies the eastern tip of the wind immediately north of the hotel’s main entrance, with two windows facing east on Michigan Avenue. Registered in the names of economist John Kenneth Galbraith and two other McCarthy supporters, 1506-A had been used throughout the week as a staff working place and as a meeting and hospitality room for important visitors. (Other candidates had similar space in the Conrad Hilton and other hotels). Colonel Strupp asked the police department to put an end to the dropping of objects.

The police captain in charge of police security within the hotel consulted with the hotel’s night manager, who remembers dispatching the chief hotel security officer to see whether the registered guest were in fact occupying the suit. The hotel security officer does not recall either receiving or obeying the order. The night manager says the security officer returned with the information that the registrants were not in the room and that the hallways and elevator lobby on the 15th floor were crowded, upon which the night manager authorized the police to clear the room and corridors.

Because of the reported crowd, a police captain decided to take extra police and a small Guard contingent. While he waited for them, a police lieutenant and the hotel security officer went upstairs, accompanied by two or three policemen. When they stepped out into the 15th floor elevator lobby at about 5:10 a.m., they saw about a dozen people, some of them playing bridge and singing. The singing, according to a McCarthy worker, was led by Phil Ochs, arrested previously in the Civic Center when a pig was presented as the ‘nominee’ for President. One of the girls asked what the police were doing there. When they made no reply, she ran ahead of them, exclaiming, they say, ‘Jiggers - Here they come!.’”

They followed here through the open door of the room. The windows were open, with blinds all the way up, and draperies spread. A party had been in progress. On a table near the door were 14 liquor bottles, beer cans and mixes; under it a large carton was filled with empty beer cans. People were drinking and most of the available surfaces held empty highball glasses. Some young men were lying on the couches and on the floor. There was only one ash tray in the room, and the floor was littered with cigarette butts. Hilton described the condition of the room as the worst they have ever seen.

The hotel security office told everyone in the room that, since it was not registered in any of their names, they would all have to leave and the room locked. Only one of the McCarthy people in the room admits having seen anything dropped from a window. The group protested that the hotel had no right to evict them, but when more police arrived they started to leave. As the last of them left the room the police captain and lieutenant heard something from the elevator lobby and they hurried out.

There is general agreement on what the shouting was about, but contradictory accounts of the details. A McCarthy supporter named John Warren was shoved into a card table by a policeman who wanted him to move faster. Warren lifted the table to strike the policeman, who hit him on the head with a nightstick, which split from the impact.

Warren says, and other McCarthy workers testify, that he picked up the table in self-defense. A number of witnesses support this. Others maintain that Warren had at least started to swing the table at the officer.

The officer maintains that Warren hit him with the table and that he struck in self-defense. A number of witnesses support this. Others maintain that Warren had at least started to swing the table at the officer.

While Warren was or was not swinging, Groge Yuich, another McCarthy worker, was trying to lead the group to the 23rd floor (Where the Senator and key members of his team were staying) rather than to do main lobby as ordered. A hotel employee said they couldn’t go up there because “Ninety per cent of these people don’t work for McCarthy anyway.”

When Yumich argued the point, the Hilton employee turned to a policeman and said, “Get ‘em out of here.” The policeman, holding hid baton in both hands, struck a blocking blow at Yumich, who was knocked to the floor and struck on the head and shoulders by two or three policeman, suffering a two-inch gash requiring five stitches.

The 15th floor elevator lobby atmosphere was one of confusion and even hysteria. Girls screamed and cried as police tried to herd them into Down elevators. Although police and hotel personnel had initially been well controlled and even polite, the second wave of policeman had apparently misunderstood their task and began to clear rooms unconnected with suite 1506-A and far back from the street. By about 5:30 a.m., some 40 or 50 people had been removed from 1506-A, the hallway, the elevator lobby and a number of other rooms and taken downstairs. Some left the building, others sat in the lobby.

A McCarthy advisor, Phillip Friedmann, came into the downstairs lobby to see what was going on. When he heard of the 15th floor activity he became enraged, calling the police “Mother fucking pigs.” According to Friedmann, a policeman set upon him and tried to pull him out of the group. Several girls screamed and began grabbing at the policeman. Other police officers intervened, Friedman was released, and the police left, saying that they were on call if needed.

The officer says that he saw Friedman reach into his trouser pocket and saw the outline of what he took to be a weapon. When he grabbed Friedmann’s wrist, people began grabbing at him and at his revolver until other police came to his assistance and pulled him out.

Soon afterwards, Senator McCarthy arrived, comforted his followers, and suggested that they disperse in small groups and go (to) their rooms, which they did.

Police and National Guard units report that after the closing of Suite 1506-A nothing more was thrown from the Hilton. 


Newman, John. Oswald and the CIA (Skyhorse, NY. 1995, 2008, p. 94, 95, 236-44, 262, 274-76, 289, 291, 298, 299-301, 303-319, 327, 328-336, 337, 338, 340, 343, 344, 351, 357, 393-97, 405, 426-27)


p. 95:

Also significant is the fact that early 1960 was the time when the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC) was created - a pro-Castro organization destined to be destroyed by its association with Oswald. The April 6, 1960, New York Times carried a full-page ad announcing the formation of the FPCC, an ad paid for by Castro. 16

[Note 16:  See CE 2863 in WC Vol. XXVI, pp. 304-305, and CE 825 in WC vol. XVII, p. 765. The FPCC was officially closed on December 31, 1963; see Vincent T. Lee testimony in WC Vol. X, p. 87]

Until its demise on December 31, 1963, the FPCC was a pawn in a power struggle between the Communist Party USA and the Socialist Workers Party, both of which were considered by the FBI as subversive. 17

[Note 17 WC Vol. XXVI, CE 2863, p 304, and Vol. XXVI, CE 3081 p. 689]

With headquarters at 1799 Broadway in New York City, by November 20, 1960, the FPCC claimed 5,000 members. 18 The CIA’s Security Office then launched - under the orders of James McCord - a counterintelligence operation in the United States against the FPCC without the FBI’s permission. That is a subject to which we will return later.

Chapter Fourteen, Oswald Returns

p. 236:  

McCord, Phillips, and CIA-FBI Operations Against the FPCC, 1961

The Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC) emerged at the same time that the Agency began serious operations against Castro. A July 15, 1960, Hoover memo to the State Department Office of Security tied - with the help of a fertile imagination - the pamphleting activities of the FPCC at the Los Angeles Sports Arena to a Cuban government radio broadcast that ‘announced that Mexico should join Cuba in a revolution and reclaim Texas and New Mexico, which rightfully belonged to Mexico.’ 1. 

[Note 1:   ]

CIA interest in the FPCC and the chief of its New York chapter, Richard Gibson, was underscored by Gibson’s active involvement with Patrice Lumumba, the premier of newly independent Congo, Lumumba was ‘viewed with alarm by United States policymakers because of what they perceived as his magnetic public appeal and his leanings toward the Soviet Union.’ 2.

[Note 2:   ]

Gibson’s support of Castro and Lumumba put him in a special category at the CIA: Both of these leaders had been targeted for assassination. 3.

[Note 3:   ]

Gibson spoke to June Cobb about the work ‘his group’ was doing for Lumumba, according to the notes she wrote the morning after their conversation. The previous evening, Gibson had paid a visit to Cobb’s hotel room for a chat. Before long, he had consumed half a bottle of scotch, and their dialogue reflected it. Cobb’s notes contain this entry: 

At every possible opportunity he sought to turn the conversation to sex, particularly involving sex between negroes and whites, for example: that Swedish girls are not kept satisfied by Swedish men since Swedish men are so often homosexual and that therefore there is a colony of Negroes and Italian[s] in Sweden to satisfy the erotic crving of the Swedish girls. 4.

[Note 4:  ]

But Gibson talked about more than Swedish cravings. He spoke about FPCC leaders, such as Bob Taber, and about the FPCC’s relationship with American communists. Presumably, Gibson did not know that June Cobb’s hotel room was part of a carefully prepared CIA surveillance operation, with CIA technicians in the next room, eavesdropping. Cobb’s notes of this encounter, preserved in her CIA 201 file, undoubtedly were not the only material produced, and must have been supplemented tapes, transcripts, and surveillance logs filled out by the surveillance team.

The CIA’s analysis of these materials is often entertaining reading, but for the individuals involved - Gibson, Cobb, and the surveillance technician on the other side of the wall - these were serious moments. Cuba had become part of the Cold War. A great deal was at stake. It was in the wake of Castro’s and Lumumba’s sudden emergence that Vice President Nixon had declared a crisis. It is not surprising that the CIA was interested in the FPCC and Richard Gibson. Ironically, their connection was destined to change:  a few years after the Kennedy assassination, Gibson became an informant for the CIA. In 1960 and 1961, however, the CIA had its eyes on Gibson. Take, for example, this passage from a CIA report:

On the 27th [October 1960], Richard Gibson of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC), spent the evening with Cobb (drank half bottle scotch), and talked rather freely about the [FPCC] Committee. Said they ‘want to destroy the world.’ In the beginning they received $15,000 from the Cuban government. Their expenses amounted to about $1500 per month - always feast or famine - trying to get money from Cuba. Once had to sit down with Dorticos and Fidel Castro to get $5,000 the Committee needed. Gibson works closely with Raul Roa and little Raul - wanted Gibson to be Public Relations Officer for the Cuban Mission to the UN. 5

[Note 5    ]

Cobb was a valuable asset to the CIA because of her extensive knowledge about Latin American affairs and her personal relationships with many of the players and leaders. In this case, Gibson, already an intelligence target, seemed personally interested in Cobb, a weakness that had been turned to the advantage of the Agency ‘As far as I’m concerned,’ Gibson said to Cobb on the telephone the day after his visit, ‘I’m always awkward around pretty girls.’ Cobb filed this remark on October 26, 1960.

Through Gibson, the CIA learned important details of the policy, personnel, and Cuban financial backing of the FPCC. The CIA had carefully evaluated his background and his activities, as this extract from an Agency report demonstrates:

Gibson apparently received a Columbia fellowship from Columbia Broadcasting Company before he was ousted. Now they will not take it away from him because it would cause a scandal - he uses it as a cover for his work. FPCC is working in Africa and particularly with the Lamumba faction. Roa wants send Gibson to Africa since money from Cuba promotes ‘the thing’ in Africa. FPCC is also involved in the Algerian situation. Gibson and his French wife were in Paris after the war and also in Algeria. He has been to Russia and to Ghana. Robert F. Williams is also apparently instrumental in stirring up trouble (in the US over racial issues?). Gibson has no love in his heart for US. The FPCC is stirring up the Negroes in the South - says their plans have lots of loopholes and they expect to be arrested but they intend to carry the war against the US. 6

[Note 6:    ]

Remarkably, the CIA saw the FPCC and Gibson as the instruments for a Castro-financed effort to foment insurrection in America. This was as menacing a thought as Hoover’s July 15, 1960, allusion to a Cuban-inspired Mexican attack on Texas. While these threats were obviously exaggerated, knowledge about the FPCC and its activities was a matter of some urgency in the CIA in view of ongoing assassination planning for Lamumba and Castro. A counterintelligence officer in Phillips’ WH/4 Branch wrote this in a memo to Jane Roman (liaison for Angleton’s counterintelligence staff); “As you know, the FBI has expressed an interest in such information that Subject [Cobb] can provide concerning the Fair Play Committee  [sic].” 7

[Note 7  ]

Not everybody at the CIA was happy about Jane Cobb’s association with the Agency. In particular, Birch O’Neil of Angleton’s mole-hunting unit, CI/SIG, did some sniping with his pen. On November 22, 1960, O’Neil wrote a memorandum critical of the “liberal press” in general and of June Cobb in particular for promoting an English-language edition of an old Castro speech “to show that Castro is not a Communist.” O’Neal’s memo said:

The first edition was paid for by Miss Cobb and the second edition was paid for by the Cuban Consulate in New York. As far as we know, Miss Cobb is a rather flighty character. She comes in an out and we have not been able to find out where she lives or where she is now. Perhaps she is tied up with the so-called Fair Play for Cuba Committee. 8

[Note 8:   ]

The innuendo radiating from this last sentence illuminates O’Neal’s hostility towards Cobb, a view that may have had other adherents within the Agency’s counterintelligence staff. From their perspective, Cobb’s connections seemed to carry with them as many potential risks as awards.

In any event, the combination of Agency elements most closely associated with the “take” from Cobb at that time was O’Neal’s CI/SIG, CI/OPS/WH (Counterintelligence/Operations/Western Hemisphere), and WH/4/CI. As CI/Liaison, Jane Roman also had access to the results of the Cobb debriefs and surveillance operations. 9

[Note 9:   ]

In early 1961, eleven weeks before the Bay of Pigs invasion, the CIA seized an opportunity to become more actively involved in running operations against the FPCC. CIA Security Office and Western Hemisphere elements identified an Agency employee who knew Court Wood, an American student just returned from Cuba under the sponsorship of the FPCC. This opportunity to surveil Curt Wood, which developed at the end of January, was irresistible in the judgment of the person in the CIA’s Security Research Service (SRS) of the Security Office who conceived and authorized the operation. That person was James McCord, the same James McCord who would later become embroiled in the scandal during the Nixon Presidency.

On February 1, 1961, McCord met with people from Western Hemisphere Division to discuss the “case” of an Agency employee who happened to be Court Wood’s neighbor and former high school classmate. At issue was whether to use this employee operationally to extract information from Wood. The employee, conveniently, worked in WH/4, the very branch that McCord wanted to run the illegal domestic operation he had in mind. The memo of record for this meeting states the following:

  1. On this date Subject’s case was coordinated with Mr. McCord of SRS in connection with Subject’s operational use within the US byWH/4/Propaganda. The implications of a CI operation with[in] the US by this Agency and the possibility of Subject might come to the attention of the FBI through association with Court Wood were discussed.
  2. Mr. McCord expressed the opinion that it was not necessary to advise the FBI of the operation at this time. However, he wishes to review the case in a month. The file of the Subject, along with that of the WH man who is supervising the operation (David Atlee Phillips #40695) will be pended [suspended] for the attention of Mr. McCord on 1 March 1961. 10

[Note 10:   ]

It is fitting that one of the Agency’s legendary disinformation artists, David Atlee Phillips, should have been in charge of the CIA’s CI and propaganda effort against the FPCC. Phillips would reappear in Mexico City at the time Oswald visited there, taking over the anti-Castro operations of the CIA station in Mexico City during the very days that CIA headquarters and the CIA Mexico City station exchanged cables on Oswald’s visit to the Mexican capital.

“At the request of Mr. David Phillips, C/WH/4/Propaganda,” wrote the fortunate CIA employee picked to spy on his neighbor, “I spent the evening of January 6 with Court Wood, a student who has recently returned from a three-week stay in Cuba under the sponsorship of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee.”  The employee said that Court and his father both were pro-Castro and “extremely critical” of American foreign policy. “I’ve been advised by Mr. Phillips,” the employee wrote, “to continue my relationship with Mr. Wood and I will keep your office informed of each subsequent visit.” 11.

[Note 11:   ]

Indeed, the employee did keep Jack Kennedy, Chief of Security for Western Hemisphere Branch 4 (C/WH/4/Security), appraised. The next occasion occurred on March 3, 1961, after which the employee had new information, as reported March 8:

Several months ago I wrote you a letter concerning the pro-Castro sentiments of Court Wood, son of Foster Wood, a local attorney. Since that time I’ve seen Court only once, on March 3, 1961, and he appears to be actively engaged in the organization of a local chapter of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee.

Little did Court Wood know that he was organizing his new chapter under the watchful eye of the CIA.

Our budding spy was beginning to blossom in his new assignment for David Phillips. Wood’s neighbor also had this to say in is March 8 report:

Complete with beard, Court has been meeting with “interested groups” and lecturing to students in several eastern cities. He specifically mentioned Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York. Apparently there are a number of students envolved [sic] in this activity. I met David Letterman from George Mason high school in Falls Church, Va. And Walt MacDonwald, a fellow student of Court’s and both are obviously active. What action, if any, should I take in regard to my relationship with Court ad his father? 12.

[Note 12:  ]

It seems comical, that a group of high school students, led by a college student who had grown a beard to emulate Castro’s appearance were the subjects of such CIA reporting. But it is actually sad.

Our spy now wanted more time to get additional intelligence. “Court Wood seems to be extremely naïve about my position with the Agency,” said the neighbor’s next bulletin. Dated March 18, 1961, and, again addressed to Mr. Jack Kennedy, the memo boasted that Wood “is very open and frank with me in all areas.” Phillip’s spy had spent “hours” with Court Wood and was sure h is naivete could be further exploited. “I am certain that if given enough time,” the spy wrote, “I can obtain a great deal of information on the backgrounds and activities of many of his associates.” The report also included the passage:

        While visiting his apartment I observed that both Court and his father are interested in a large number of Communist publications. These include “USSR,” “The Worker,” and many prop pamphlets that were obviously published in England. Court is an extreme Leftist in is political views and believes fanatically in Castro’s Cuba.
        Mr. Wood mentioned to me that he and several of his friends are making plans to enter Cuba in June; illegally if necessarily. He apparently wants to become a teacher for the Castro government and to make his permanent home there. Members of the “26th of July Movement” are in close contact with Court and they are involved in this proposed move to Cuba. Court does have some money and he seems to be very serious about this thing. Within the next few days I have to be able to get some names and specific facts concerning their plans. 13

[Note 13:  ]

Not a bad bit of work for three weeks, especially considering that this kind of assignment was not in the fellow’s job description.

Ironically, just when our fledging spy was about to acquire more intelligence, the matter came to the attention of the FBI, and his mission came to an abrupt end. In an October 7, 1961, memo to FBI Liaison Sam J. Papich, CIA Acting Director of Security, R. F. Bannerman wrote this the case of Court Wood:

Reference is made to a 25 March 1961and a 6 July 1961 investigative report on captioned Subject which have previously been furnished to Agency.

[redacted] who is a current Agency employee, has recently been interviewed concerning his knowledge of Court Foster Wood whom [redacted] had known since mutual attendance in high school. Attached is a detailed report of the information furnished by [redacted] concerning his knowledge of Wood.

Since [redacted] personally has sufficient reason to question the activities of Wood and the activities of the associates of Wood, [redacted] has been advised to discontinue any further contact with Wood.

It would be appreciated if your Bureau would furnish this Agency any additional information brought to your attention concerning Court Foster Wood and of particular interest would be any information received by your Bureau concerning past association of Court Foster Wood with N - [redacted].

[Note 14:  ]

Thus it would appear that the FBI had learned of Court Wood’s activities in March and again in July 1961, and had reported them to the Agency. The CIA then pulled its employee out of David Phillip’s CI operation against the FPCC.

What the operation tells us is that the Agency was sufficiently interested in countering the FPCC to engage in an illegal domestic operation. The fact that controversy would follow the two men in charge, McCord in connection with Watergate and Phillps in connection with the Kennedy assassination, cause this page in the Agency’s anti-Castro operations to stand out in hindsight.

While the Court Wood operation was grinding to a halt at the CIA, the FBI was gearing up for its own operations against the FPCC. Fragments of an FBI document released by the Church Committee suggests that Cartha DeLoach, assistant director of the FBI, was in charge of a Bureau operation to compile “adverse” data on FPCC leaders. A handwritten note at the bottom of the FBI headquarters coy of the document includes this detail: “During May 1961, a field survey was completed wherein available public source data of adverse nature regarding officers and leaders of FPCC was compiled and furnished Mr. DeLoach for use in contacting his sources.” 15

[Note 15 ]

The fact that an assistant director of the FBI was collecting dirt on FPCC leaders underlines the extent of the Bureau’s interest. This “adverse” data in the FPCC files kept by DeLoach probably grew considerably as a result of another CIA operation in October 1961. As we have seen, this operation netted significant intelligence on the FPCC from the Gibson material collected in June Cobb’s room. This material included certain derogatory statements by Gibson which appear to be the sort of “data” DeLoach was looking for.

In December 1961, the FBI launched another operation, using the incendiary tactic of planting disinformation. The handwritten note discussed above contains this accont:

We have in the past utilized techniques with respect to countering activities of mentioned [FPCC] organization in the U.S. During December 1961, New York prepared an anonymous leaflet which was mailed to select FPCC members throughout the country for the purpose of disrupting FPCC and causing split between FPCC and Socialist Workers Party (SWP) supporters, which technically was very effective. 16

[Note 16:   ]

These tactics dramatize the lengths to which the FBI was willing to go to discredit the FPCC, whose chapters in Chicago, Newark, and Miami were infiltrated early on by the Bureau. As we will see in Chapter Sixteen, during Oswald’s tenure with the FPCC, FBI breakins to their offices were a regular occurrence.

Oddly, the day Patrice Lamumba’s death was announced, February 13, 1961, was the same day Snyder received Oswald’s letter about returning to America. As the FBI and CIA became engaged in a campaign to discredit the FPCC, Oswald was nearing his goal of having obtained all the necessary authorizations to return with his family.

Chapter Fifteen

The Unworthy Oswald

p. 262:

…As we shall see, the first intercepted FPCC letter to land in Oswald’s file was discounted by the FBI agent in charge of the file. Dallas Special Agent James Hosty claims he did not believe Oswald’s remark that he handed out FPCC literature in Dallas. Perhaps, but the inconsistency is the FBI’s claim that Oswald’s file was reopened in March because of a letter to the Worker The file had been closed in October 1962, just after learning - on 28 September - of a similar letter to the Worker. 7

[Note 7 :  ]

p. 274:

…Meanwhile, Oswald had one more important composition to mail, one that was destined to become a catalyst in Oswald’s CIA files. On April 18, 1963, Oswald wrote to the Fair Play for Cuba Committee New York office. At the end of the summer, the contents of this letter would finally land in Oswald’s CIA files. In the April 18 letter, Oswald said he had passed out FPCC literature on the street the day before, and he asked for more copies. The fact that Oswald used his Dallas address raises the possibility he may not have made final plans to move to New Orleans until the end: he left on April 24. 89 On April 19, 1963, the Fair Play for Cuba Committee New York office sent Oswald more literature. 90

[Notes 89;  90]

Lie the CIA, the FBI had a mail-reading capability of its own, and Oswald’s correspondence would shortly generate a flurry of reporting on his activities by the New York office of the FBI. On April 6, 1963, Oswald lost his job at Jaggers-Chiles-Stoval because he could not do the work or get along with his coworkers. It is difficult to judge when Oswald began planning to move to New Orleans. 91

[Note 91:   ]

Three days before his departure, the FBI intercepted Oswald’s letter to the FPCC describing his public FPCC activities. 92.

[Note 92:     ]

The letter, which Oswald sent via air mail, was postmarked April 18. 93 

[Note 93:    ]

According to FBI records, on April 21, 1963, Dallas confidential informant “T-2” reported this letter to the FPCC, in which Oswald said he had passed out FPCC pamphlets in Dallas with a placard around his neck reading HANDS OFF CUBA, VIVA FIDEL. 94

[Note 94:   ]

Actually, this Dallas T-2 source on Oswald was really a New York FBI source - NY-3245-S - as can be seen from newly released JFK files. 95.

[Note 95:    ]

Similarly, an earlier Dallas T-1 source who had spied on Oswald’s letters to the Worker also turned out to be a New York source, NY-2354-S. 96

[Note 96:   ]

The Warren Commission questioned the FBI about the April letter and its contents, asking, “Is this information correct as the date indicated and does it describe activities before Oswald’s move to New Orleans?” The FBI’s answer was vague, slippery, and paltry: “Our informant did not know Oswald personally and could furnish no further information. Our investigation had not disclosed such activity on Oswald’s part prior to this type of activity in New Orleans.” 97

[Note 97:     ]

Special Agent Hosty, who barely expanded on this in his testimony to the commission on the Oswald placard-around-his-neck letter, added his disbelief of the story. Hosty explained: “We had received no information to the effect that anyone had been in the downtown streets of Dallas or anywhere in Dallas with a sign around their neck saying ‘hands off Cuba, viva Fidel’” Thus Hosty links his belief to negative intelligence, i.e., no reports had come to their attention on Oswald, and Hosty was confident that the Dallas FBI had adequate surveillance and reporting mechanisms tight enough to catch any such activity as flagrant and provocative as this. “It appeared highly unlikely to me,” Hosty testified, “that such an occurrence could have happened in Dallas without having been brought to our attention.” 98

[Note 98  ]

Hosty’s argument suggests that Oswald made a false claim - apparently to impress the FPCC - that failed to fool the Dallas office of the FBI. If Hosty is correct, we should be impressed, not only with the Dallas FBI office’s knowledge of what Oswald was doing, but also with their ability to figure out what he was not doing. As we have already seen, however, the performance of the Dallas FBI office was lackluster at best, where keeping track of Oswald was concerned.

Whether Oswald had stood on a street corner or not, important undercover FBI assets in New York were in motion against the FPCC during the time or shortly after Oswald wrote the letter. As we already know, the Fair Play for Cuba Committee was the subject for intense FBI and CIA interest and counterintelligence operations. A major FBI Chicago office investigation of the FPCC appeared on March 8, four days before Oswald ordered the rifle from Chicago. This study was transmitted to the CIA. 90

[Note 90:   ]

By picking such an organization to correspond with and carrying out actions on its behalf Oswald - by default or by design - had insinuated himself into the gray world of the watchers and the watched.

p. 303:

Saturday, May 4, 2013

RFK Diaries Missing

Rfk Diaries Shed Light On An Era
April 03, 1994|By Boston Globe.

WASHINGTON — Less than three months after President John F. Kennedy's assassination, the Johnson administration was asking Robert F. Kennedy to review the funeral bills, according to documents released for the first time Friday by the John F. Kennedy Library and the National Archives.

"I tried to pass this on to Sarge," wrote Robert Kennedy's secretary, Angie Novello, referring to Kennedy's brother-in-law, Sargent Shriver, after the White House requested a meeting on the funeral expenses. "But they referred it back to us. Couldn't someone else do this?"
The memo of Feb. 18, 1964, was included in five newly released boxes of Robert Kennedy's desk diaries, telephone messages and logs from his days as U.S. attorney general. The patchwork of records offers a fresh glimpse at the younger Kennedy's life before and after his brother's death.

Among the records are echoes from the heydays of Camelot, early in John Kennedy's presidency, when by day Robert greeted such celebrities as Milton Berle and Harry Belafonte at his office and by night pursued a variety of entertainment.

"Uptown Theatre, 7:30 p.m.," for the Washington premier of "Exodus," states an entry in his desk diary on Feb. 19, 1961. "Guest of the ambassador of Israel."

Later, in the aftermath of his brother's assassination on Nov. 22, 1963, there were sadder notations: the funeral bills, calls from his sisters about his father's debilitating illness and a visit to Arlington National Cemetery on St. Patrick's Day in 1964 to place a shamrock on his brother's grave.

Sprinkled throughout the documents are references to his nine children
"Joe and Kathleen ride in the horse show," his diary notes on Oct. 29, 1961, referring to his oldest son, Joseph P. Kennedy II, now a Democratic U.S. representative from Massachusetts, and daughter, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, now an assistant U.S. attorney general.

"Courtney's final Communion at Stone Ridge" Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, read an entry on April 25, 1964, referring to his daughter. Last year she married Paul Hill, one of the so-called Guilford Four, who were improperly imprisoned in Britain for 15 years as suspected Irish Republican Army terrorists.

The records do not include Kennedy's desk diaries for 1963 or for periods in 1962, including a 13-day stretch beginning the day before Marilyn Monroe died on Aug. 4. Steven Tilley, head of the Kennedy collection at the National Archives, said his agency has requested those documents from the Kennedy Library in Boston. But library officials said they are not available.

"We've never seen the desk diaries for 1963 or for the gaps in 1962," said Will Johnson, the chief archivist at the Kennedy Library. "We've asked the Kennedy family for them, but no one really seemed to know if they existed."

Johnson said there could easily have been periods when Kennedy was traveling or vacationing and did not make entries.

In the preserved records, there are numerous references to Kennedy's relatives, including "Dinner at Teddy's"-his brother, Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts-and "Tea at the Ritz" in Boston "with Pat and Eunice," his sisters.

And messages from his wife, Ethel. On Feb. 12, 1964, she called and wanted "to know if it would be all right to invite eight or 10 people for dinner this Saturday night."
There also was a less festive note from Eunice, an advocate for the disabled, "who wanted to know if you are doing anything about hiring the retarded at Justice," his secretary wrote.

Much of the diary reads like a Who's Who of Boston, with calls or visits from House Speaker John McCormack, Gov. Endicott Peabody, columnist Mary McGrory and reporter and columnist Robert Healy of The Boston Globe, among others.

Kennedy fielded calls in his office from Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley and a daily crush of lawmakers and reporters.

The last call recorded in his telephone messages on the day of his brother's assassination was placed at 9:50 a.m. by Sen. Birch Bayh of Indiana.

The first entry recorded in his desk diary after the murder was a meeting on Jan. 7, 1964, to plan the Kennedy Library.

Phil Ochs at Dealey Plaza? Updated

Phil Ochs at Dealey Plaza?   UPDXTED

By William E. Kelly, Jr.

"Captain Fritz questioned him and said the President had been killed…Oswald replied, 'people will forget that within a few days and there would be another president.' Oswald felt the State was so unfeeling that grief for its fallen leader would be short-lived. He could not have been more wrong. 'A man so-filled with life even Death was caught off guard,' as the folk-singer Phil Ochs described JFK, and when he died, will never be forgotten." -  Gary O’Brian  Oswald’s Politics [1.]

Phil Ochs said JFK was “a man so filled-with life even Death was caught off guard.”

In following the JFK assassination for as long as I have I thought I had heard it all, but one of the more bizarre conspiracy theories I’ve come across is that protest singer Phil Ochs had expressed foreknowledge of the assassination, was present at Dealey Plaza as “a national security observer,” and kept those facts secret in fear for his own life.

Ochs then committed suicide on April 9, 1976 at the age of 35, a death some believe should be considered suspicious.

I took a particular interest in this theory because I had started to compile a list of those who had expressed foreknowledge of the assassination, and in reviewing their backgrounds, tried to determine if they were just crazy or actually learned about the plot to kill the president from those who could have been involved in the operation. Phil Ochs was a new name to that list. [2]

I also took particular interest in this allegation because I had actually known Phil Ochs for a few hours one night when I was a teenager, and I thought that it would be pretty simple to determine whether or not he was in Dallas that day.

Boy was I wrong.

I crossed paths with Ochs at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in late August 1968 when we were both roaming among the rooms reserved for the Eugene McCarthy campaign on the 18th floor of the Conrad Hilton Hotel.

I clearly remember Ochs on the last night we were there, was sitting on the floor in the hall playing a guitar and singing, serenading a dozen or so McCarthy volunteers, myself included. And while Ochs and I didn’t personally meet or talk, we sat a few feet from each other for a few hours while he played guitar and sang and I listened and, at seventeen years old, had my first alcoholic drink - a whiskey on the rocks. A few hours later the Chicago police raided the 18th floor and busted us all, an event that would make the news and a few paragraphs in the history books. [3]

So after I developed an interest in the assassination of President Kennedy, I was quite surprised to learn that Phil Ochs had expressed foreknowledge of the assassination and may have actually been at Dealey Plaza as a “national security observer” to the murder.

The source of this particular conspiracy theory is folk singer Jim Glover, who I had met on John Simkin’s Education Forum, [4] and is now a Facebook friend.

Jim Glover first called my attention to the Dealey Plaza photograph that he says includes his old friend Phil Ochs, standing on the Houston street sidewalk behind a few Dallas cops peering up towards the top floors of the Texas School Book Depository with weapons drawn. [5]

Phil Ochs was the epitome of the 1960s-era protest singer, known for writing songs fused with meaning and anti-establishment themes, including, "I Ain't Marching Anymore", "Changes", "Crucifixion", "Draft Dodger Rag", "Love Me, I'm a Liberal", "Outside of a Small Circle of Friends", "Power and the Glory", "There but for Fortune", and "The War Is Over". [6]


Although I find it hard to believe, as I write this, the Disc Jockey (on WXPN FM University of Pennsylvania station) plays “Draft Dogger Rag” - in honor of the anniversary of Ochs’ April 9, 1976 death. [7]

Oh, I'm just a typical American boy from a typical American town
I believe in God and Senator Dodd and a-keepin' old Castro down
And when it came my time to serve I knew "better dead than red"
But when I got to my old draft board, buddy, this is what I said:

Sarge, I'm only eighteen, I got a ruptured spleen
And I always carry a purse
I got eyes like a bat, and my feet are flat, and my ashma's getting worse
Yes, think of my career, my sweetheart dear, and my poor old invalid aunt
Besides, I ain't no fool, I'm a-goin' to school
And I'm working in a DEE-fense plant

Hearing his sharp, distinctive voice flashed me back to the 1960s as I recalled that song being played on the radio - usually late on a Sunday night when “Meatball Fulton” spun the discs and told the tales from the underground on Philadelphia’s WXPN, (who were still playing Ochs songs in 2013), or you could sometimes hear Ochs on Dave Herman’s Marconi Experiment (on WMMR - first AOR - Album Oriented Rock show), but they were the only programs I knew of that would play Phil Ochs’ songs. [8]

“I believe in God and Senator Dodd and a-keepin’ old Castro down…..”

Hearing his voice immediately threw me back once again to Ochs singing in the hotel hall in Chicago, a momentary flashback to the evening the Vietnam Peace Plank had lost and the McCarthy volunteers, mostly high school kids (like me) or college students suddenly had nothing to do, as the campaign was officially over. Out in the hall Ochs began to sing, possibly “The War is Over,” and a bar tray on wheels came down the halI was given a whiskey highball on the rocks, and sat down on the floor with the others and listened to Phil Ochs play the guitar and sing in his sharp, distinctive voice.

Then I went and laid down in a back room and while I was asleep, all hell broke loose, the Chicago Cops stormed the 18th floor and busted everybody - me included - roused out of bed and beat with a billy club by cops - tear gas cut my eyes and blood dripped down my face. The subdued hotel hall party suddenly became a combat zone, and that was the last time I saw Phil Ochs.

I do remember, about a year later, buying his album that showed Ochs’ grave stone on the cover and indicated that he died in Chicago.  It contained songs about our Chicago experience, including “William Butler Yeats Excapes from Grant Park Unscathed.” [9]

And now, according to Jim Glover, there he is in the photo at Dealey Plaza, a blurry, ghostly figure of a young man standing back against the Dal-Tex building in a photo obviously taken just shortly after the assassination of the President, with policemen with weapons drawn looking towards the assassin’s lair in the upper floor windows of the Texas School Book Depository building.

Like a fly on the wall, the casually dressed young man seems to be just standing back taking it all in. Is that really Phil Ochs, the folk singer? If so, what’s he doing there? Was he really there as a “national security observer.”

How, I wondered, could a radical leftist protest singer like Phil Ochs become involved with the “national security state”? 

It was a question that I was surprised Jim Glover could answer so quickly, and to my satisfaction.
                                                  WIKI OCHS

But first I wanted to check to see what the internet had to say about Phil Ochs.

Of course Wiki is not a reliable or citable source for college papers, books or serious research, but it is a good place to start. As some speculate it has CIA ties, and posts questionable assertions regarding the assassination of President Kennedy, so it’s a good place to get the official, mainstream story.

The Wiki entry confirmed my own recollections of Chicago in ’68, Jim Glover’s association with Ochs in college and the effect of the assassination on Ochs.

Of Chicago Wiki says: “Despite warnings that there might be trouble, Ochs went to Chicago both as a guest of the McCarthy campaign and to participate in the demonstrations. He performed in Lincoln Park, Grant Park, and at the Chicago Coliseum, witnessed the violence perpetrated by the Chicago police against the protesters, and was himself arrested at one point.”

Yea, some point.

As for school, the Wiki entry notes: “when he graduated [from Staunton Military Academy, Va.] Ochs returned to Columbus (Ohio) and enrolled in the Ohio State University…to study journalism and developed an interest in politics, with a particular interest in the Cuban Revolution of 1959.”

In regards to Jim Glover, it says that, “Glover taught Ochs how to play guitar, and they debated politics…Ochs and Glover formed a duet called ‘The Singing Socialists,’  later renamed ‘The Sundowners,’ but the duo broke up before their first professional performance and Glover went to New York City to become a folksinger.” [10]

                                    UNDERCOVER IN COLUMBUS

So I sent my new Facebook friend Jim Glover a PM - Personal Message and asked him how he met Ochs, what Ochs doing at Dealey Plaza and how was he connected to “the national security state?” [11]

Jim Glover:

“Phil first picked up the guitar when we were in college and Steeb Hall roommates (at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio). We were both in the ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corp…. I was a private ROTC Army, Phil was ROTC Air Force Sergeant….It was a military culture because ROTC was mandatory and Phil was a sergeant in the Air force and I was private Army cadet.... He liked to pull rank on me and I resented it…but we had a ball anyway.”

“At first Phil was Gung Ho...’Commies’ were the bad guys and he seemed like it would take a lot of work to turn him around, but I did in short order. It was kinda like I ‘sheep dipped’ him for his future mission. He bragged about his photographic memory and how at [Staunton, Va.] Military Academy he was friends with Barry Goldwater's son. In 74 he told me he knew John Dean there too when he also confessed he was working with an up and coming young Air Force officer…”

“Phil (got a lot of his song ideas from the newspapers and) read me stories about how the mob fixed the election, about Lee Oswald defecting to Russia, and about how U2 pilot (Gary) Powers should have taken his suicide pill and on and on. He also was mad at me for going to a demonstration to protest Wernher Von Braun speaking on campus. I was prejudiced about Nazis I guess and Phil was pissed that one of the students who talked me into it was a Socialist Worker's Party guy. It was around then he spilled the beans about a big red scare surveillance program on campus and the first time I heard the term was when Phil said I was ‘Fair Game.’"

“Our last quarter at Steeb Hall he got super radical all of a sudden …wrote articles in defense of Castro for the Steeb Hall newsletter he put out himself called ‘The Word’ and made all the mimeographed copies. He also reported for the Ohio State Paper ‘The Lantern’. His first song was about the Cuban invasion - ‘The Bay of Pigs,’ which we would sing as the Singing Socialists. After we did a Republican big wig house party an angry white man came up and asked us if we were Communists...Phil was a bit worried and wanted us to change our name to the "Sundowners" because it was more ‘euphonious’. I went along....Trouble is it took all the fun out of it for me.”[12]

                                ROTC, COINTELPRO & CHAOS

Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) was also, at one time, mandatory for all freshmen male students at the University of Dayton, Ohio, before I got there, but student protests ended the practice. Many students however, continued to voluntary take the ROTC program and I took classes in military history and strategy with the ROTC professors and cadets.

When college students began to organize anti-Vietnam war protest demonstrations, it was the ROTC students who were recruited to infiltrate the protesters as undercover informants and in some cases, instigators and agitators who drew students out of the crowd so they could keep track of them. Sometimes they were sent from one campus to another. This was the FBI’s COINTELPRO program, which was first revealed in the early ‘70s after anti-war activists broke into the Media, Pennsylvania FBI office, stole COINTELPRO files and distributed them to the newspapers and magazines. And like the assassination of President Kennedy, that crime, what the professionals in the trade call a “black bag job,” remains unsolved today. [13][14]

The CIA also ran a similar operation CHAOS, but since they were not legally able to conduct operations in the continental United States, the FBI’s undercover network as used against the Klu Klux Klan, targeted student protesters and they were supplemented by the US Army intelligence, usually the Army Reserve units, whose surveillance of the civil rights demonstrations is also well documented. (See: MLK, Memphis). [15]

The FBI and military’s use of undercover informants and agitators is also exemplified at Kent State, where one such agitator is now believed to have provoked the Army reservists into shooting students, [16] and in the case of the Camden 28. [17] The Camden, NJ anti-Vietnam activists were assisted and provoked by an FBI informant and instigator - ex-USMC undercover operative Bob Hardy, who like Oswald and Ochs, fits the covert operative personality profile. [18]

So if Phil Ochs was a Staunton (Va.) Military Academy graduate [19] and Air Force ROTC sergeant involved in undercover surveillance of radical college students, he certainly could have continued his association with the military-intelligence network that had previously conducted surveillance of campus radicals. [20]

                                         GOODBYE COLUMBUS

Columbus is the Ohio state capitol, and the film location of a popular early 70s date movie - Goodbye Columbus, based on a Philip Roth novel, which gives a colorful insight into the sports-jock world that prevailed before the bloom of the counter-culture and the Vietnam War created a political divide. [21]

If  the Secret Service were preparing for a presidential visit to Columbus, Ohio, they would check with the Protective Research Section (PRS) to see if there were any threats to the president in that vicinity. From the files they would learn that Columbus was the home of prominent Hustler magazine pornographer Larry Flint, who also published Rebel, a glossy magazine that included articles on the JFK assassination by Mae Brussell, the housewife researcher and Yippster humorist Paul Krasner. Flint himself became the victim of an assassination attempt. [22]

The government files would also reflect that Columbus, Ohio is also the headquarters of an obscure semi-quasi-government intelligence agency - The Defense Industrial Security Command (DISC), [23] which deserves attention in regards to the security of such corporate entities as Texas defense contractors Bell Helicopter, General Dynamics and Collins Radio and the roles their employees played in the assassination drama. [24][25][26].

When Gordon Novel was sought for questioning by the New Orleans grand jury in 1967, he avoided the subpoena by fleeing at first, to Columbus, Ohio, where the governor himself (Rhodes) refused to extradite him, and then to McLean, Virginia, where the CIA headquarters is located. Something peculiar was going on in Columbus, as well as McLean. [27]

So Phil Ochs, after graduating from an elite Virginia military academy, served as a sergeant in the Air Force ROTC at Ohio State University in Columbus, where he spied on campus radicals and was encouraged to infiltrate student protest groups. He may have switched ideological sides, but appears to have later maintained his association with the US military intelligence officers that he worked with in college. They must have took note of the fact that one of their ROTC cadets was playing guitar, writing protest songs and articles and fermenting unrest, which was becoming something of a popular campus pastime and cultural phenomenon, one they certainly would have wanted to keep tabs on.

                                    PHIL OCHS AND BOB DYLAN

In looking through the published literature on Bob Dylan, there is frequent mention of his association with Phil Ochs, such as when Dylan biographer Bob Spitz writes, “Phil Ochs stumbled over to Dylan’s table, worked up over tome secret government conspiracy or another.” [28]

So Ochs was himself considered a conspiracy theorists before it was popular and then went nearly a full decade without seeing Dylan, who went on to fame and fortune, while Ochs continued to write and sing protest songs, an out of date and almost obsolete musical genre that was totally overrun by rock and roll and then the drones of disco. While Dylan seemed to roll with the punches, and go his own way, Ochs seems to have been stuck in a rut, though he kept writing songs and singing away.

Both Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan did write songs about similar subjects, including the Civil Rights movement, the John Birch Society and assassinated civil rights leader Medgar Evers.

It is quite clear that if Medgar Evers’ murder by a sniper was properly investigated and prosecuted, JFK wouldn’t have been killed the way he was. It was only because of a young, assist. DA that justice was served in Evers’ case, and his widow was part of the second inauguration of President Obama in 2012.

Dylan sang his song “Just a Pawn in their Game” at the March on Washington when Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

Anthony Scaduto, in Dylan - An Intimate Biography, [29] compares and contrasts the Ochs and Dylan songs about the assassination of Medgar Evers:

“A comparison of the way Dylan and Phil Ochs each handled the murder of civil rights leader, Medgar Evers, points it up. Ochs, and everyone else writing the Broadside song, saw the killing as simply a story to be set to music. The tradition is old and honorable. Ochs, in The Ballad of Medgar Evers, tells how Evers, as a boy of fourteen in Mississippi, saw a friend hung because of his color. The lynching was branded on his brain. And then, quite simply, without melodrama, Ochs writes about the killer who waited in ambush and shot Evers down. And when they buried him the nation gained a killer but lost a man. Dylan however, handled it differently in Only a Pawn in their Game. He immediately establishes that a bullet fired from ambush takes Evers life, but from there he takes it several large steps forward. The man who fired that bullet is not to blame. He is only a pawn in the game, a game in which the politician preaches to the poor whites that they’re better than blacks, and the politician rises to power on his demagoguery while the poor white remain ‘on the caboose,’ at the bottom of the heap. Governors, sheriffs, soldiers, all the law enforcement crowd - and the preachers and educators - teach him that his white skin is a protection, teach him to walk in a mob and to lynch blacks. And they buried Evers ‘as a king’ but when the man who fired the gun eventually dies, his epitaph will be that he was only a pawn in their game.”

                                     PHIL OCHS AT DEALEY PLAZA

Jim Glover:

“Phil was into the investigation of the plot before Dallas. He came over to my apt when (my wife) Jean was gone to tell me that there was a plot to kill President Kennedy. He asked me if I knew anything and that he was going to the FPCC to find out more. Phil said he was working for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in order to find out more about the plot and I said I would let him know if I heard anything ... I kinda remember we were supposed to meet somebody in a subway station but they never showed so I never met the Fair Play for Cuba guys, but many years ago I called VT Lee of the Veterans for Peace and he told me ‘Oh yes Phil was working with us.’” 

“Before Phil went to Dallas he said his Mom told him to get a haircut (good advise) and he said he went there with one of the Gambino boys... one his age.”

 “I now believe anyone who went there to watch or report were being set up in case the ‘Oswald all alone’ thing did not pass, the next patsies would be us Castro sympathizers and then the Mob... or both.  I know it sounds twisted, but that is why they had to stick to Oswald ‘the lone nut’ who I now believe…. was really working to kill Castro….”

“Phil did not say who told him to go to Dallas and it probably saved our lives because I would have talked. All my life I got in trouble because I talked, so they used me for that. Phil did say he was working for ‘National Security Domestic Division’ of ‘something like the CIA’ and that FBI Hoover was the bad guy. Soon after that two men identifying themselves as FBI came over and asked me if I knew where Phil was...Of course I thought they really knew, but I lied and didn't even tell them about the Kennedy plot to protect Phil.”

“It was a few months after
Dallas that Phil showed up at our new apt at Leroy St. He asked where I was and I told him about what I saw when I was forced onto the Shadow Bus after an airport stop in Texas….Phil said ‘I told you not to go" and I said we were trying to find you but nobody knew where you were.’"

“Next he said he was in Dallas as a ‘national security observer,’ a new role to me but it made sense….About his Dallas trip he only told me once and that was that he was standing on the street and when JFK was shot he went towards the scene and saw the commotion ..... I don't remember him saying he was standing in the street keeping watch on Elm and Houston when the Limo passed but a few weeks ago I found him there, a bit blurry but it is in (the film) ‘The First Shot’. Phil did say he thought it was a Para-Military operation.”

“I asked him if he could prove he was there and he said he was being filmed standing by the garage door of the Dal/Tex building. He also went over toward the crowd and saw a lady crying….Phil told me it was a paramilitary squad that did it…Soon after I told his story during a solo set at the Gaslight and Phil found out he said ‘Are you trying to get me killed?!’ So after that I was more cautious about talking...but I never was quiet. Phil told me that he was warned - he did not tell me who, he was warned that if he talk they would say that he was crazy.” [30]

                             DYLAN AND JFK ASSASSINATION

According to his biographer: “Dylan was on his way uptown to [his and Och’s manager Albert] Grossman’s office on the afternoon of Friday, November 22, 1963, when John F. Kennedy was shot in Dallas. ‘I watched it at my manager’s office,’ Dylan later told me. ‘The next night, Saturday, I had a concert upstate,…There was a really down feeling in the air. I had to go on stage. I couldn’t cancel. I went to the hall and to my amazement the hall was filled. Everybody turned out to the concert. The song I was opening with was The Times They Are A-Changin’ and I thought, ‘Wow, how can I open with that song? I’ll get rocks thrown at me.’ That song was just too much for the day after the assassination. But I had to sing it, my whole concert takes off from there … I know I had no understanding of anything. Something had just gone haywire in the country and they were applauding that song. And I couldn’t understand why they were clapping or why I wrote that song, even. I couldn’t understand anything. For me, it was just insane.’” [31]

“When he returned to the Village he, Suze and Carla sat and watched the national tragedy through the rest of the weekend and into the Monday morning funeral. Like so many across the nation, they were engrossed in the events unfolding before them: the murder of Oswald, the funeral, the continual replays of the death of Kennedy, the confirmation of a new president, the widow refusing to change her blood-soaked dress because she wanted the world to see her husband’s blood, to see what they had done. Through it all Dylan sat and watched and said little, just feeling the emotion of it. He drank a little wine, and played Berlioz’s Reguiem over and over.”

“Phil Ochs also felt it in Bob: ‘Oh, yea, I was overcome with it. Yeah, that feeling was everywhere. I was almost destroyed with that very same thing. You’re sticking your neck out, a public figure, and there’s an obvious fear. You’re political and obviously the bad guys are on the loose and maybe gonna kill anybody who’s out front, and you get scared. Bob never talked about it, but it was there.”

“Although many felt it in Dylan at the time, he denies it today. ‘I didn’t feel it any more than anybody else,’ he told me. ‘We were all sensitive to it. The assassination took more of the shape of a happening. I red about those things happening to Lincoln, to Garfield, and that it couldn’t happen in this day and age was not too far-fetched. It didn’t knock the wind out of me. Of course, I felt as rotten as everyone else. But if I was more sensitive about it than anyone else, I could have written a song about it, wouldn’t I? The whole thing about my reactions to the assassination is overplayed.’”

“Yet, despite Bob’s denial, the murder did have an enormous effect on him. He signaled that feeling to very close friends, and a couple of weeks after Kennedy’s death, Dylan gave a disastrous speech that indicated how much the assassination had troubled him. He went to the grand ballroom of the Hotel Americana in New York to accept the Tom Paine Award of the Emergency Civil Liberties Committee for his work in the civil rights campaigns….”

“…Dylan began to think of Kennedy’s murder, which had been deplored by speaker after speaker that night and he said: ‘I’ll stand up and be uncompromisable about it, which I have to be to be honest. I just got to be, as I got to admit that the man who shot President Kennedy - Lee Oswald - I don’t know exactly what he thought he was doing, but I got to admit honestly that I, too - I saw some of myself in him. I don’t think it could have gone that far - I don’t think it could go that far. But I got to stand up and say that I saw things that he felt, in me - not to go that far and shoot…’ Some members of the audience began to boo and his, and Dylan went forward: ‘You can boo, but booing’s got nothing to do with it - it’s uh - I just uh - I’ve got to tell you, man, it’s the Bill of Rights, it’s free speech and….’ Someone broke in and aid his time was up and Dylan later claimed the chairman began kicking me under the table, and he finished up by quickly saying he accepted the award in behalf of James Foreman and eh Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and he went off amid boos and some applause, beat it out of there.”

Dylan said, “All I can say is politics is not my thing at all. I can’t see myself on a platform talking about how to help people. Because I would get myself killed if I really tried to help anybody. I mean, if somebody really had something to say to help somebody out, just bluntly says the truth, well obviously they’re gonna be done away with. They’re gonna be killed.”


 In a tribute to JFK, Phil Ochs wrote "That Was the President," and on the dust jacket notes commented: "My Marxist friends can't understand why I wrote this song and that's probably one of the reasons why I'm not a Marxist. After the assassination, Fidel Castro aptly pointed out that only fools could rejoice at such a tragedy, for systems, not men, are the enemy." [32]

Ochs also wrote another song that is said to be inspired by the assassination of President Kennedy, which he called “Crucifixion.” [33]

Wikipedia has a page devoted to just to the song that says Ochs wrote "Crucifixion" during a two-hour car ride in the middle of his November 1965 concert tour of the U.K. According to Ochs's manager, Arthur Gorson, Ochs “was ‘wary’ of how his audience might react to the new song because it did not have an explicit political message. He needn't have worried; his first public performance of ‘Crucifixion’ was greeted by a standing ovation.”

Wiki: “The song is about the rise and fall of a hero, and the public's role in creating, destroying, and deifying its heroes….’Crucifixion’ usually is interpreted as an allegory likening the life and assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy to the career of Jesus, although the song may refer to other heroes as well. In 1973, Ochs explained ‘Crucifixion’ to Studs Terkel. In the distant past, Ochs said, the people would sacrifice a healthy young man to the gods; today, things were the same. The Kennedy assassination, in a way, was destroying our best in some kind of ritual. People say they really love the reformer, they love the radical, but they want to see him killed. It's a certain part of the human psyche — the dark side of the human psyche.”

Wiki also notes that the first recording of "Crucifixion" was released in 1966 by Jim and Jean, “a musical duo made up of Ochs's college friend Jim Glover and Glover's wife, Jean Ray.” [34]

“In March 1967, U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy and journalist Jack Newfield met Ochs, on a plane and Ochs sang ‘Crucifixion’ for them. When Kennedy realized the song was about his brother, tears came to his eyes.” [35]

                                           ALICE SKINNER

The line in the Wiki entry on Ochs mentions that: “When Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, Ochs wept. He told his wife that he thought he was going to die that night. It was the only time she ever saw Ochs cry.”

If his wife Alice Skinner saw him cry on the day JFK was killed, she would know if he was in Dallas or not. She would know, but however, she has since passed away.

Jim Glover says that Ochs flew home from Dallas that afternoon, and believes that he wrote, “One Way Ticket Home” about that flight. That’s why, he notes, she says “that night.”

Another thing that stood out to me was the Wiki reference to Suzie Rotolo as a witness to the Ochs-Skinner wedding, when Jim Glover served as the best man.

“In 1962, Phil Ochs married Alice Skinner, who was pregnant with their daughter Meegan, in a City Hall ceremony with Jim Glover as best man and Jean Ray as bridesmaid, and witnessed by Dylan's sometime girlfriend, Suze Rotolo….” [37]

                                                    SUZE ROTOLO    

I was already familiar with Suzie Rotolo, Bob Dylan’s one time girlfriend, because she - quite coincidently - came into the picture by reportedly attending a summer youth camp with Elliot and Steve Kenan, twins from Philadelphia who also became unwittingly entwined in the assassination story.

Elliot Kenan is a folk guitarist who once ran the Guitar Workshop in Philadelphia, while his twin brother Steve was a Temple University student and the publisher of the official programs for the Philadelphia and Newport Folk Festivals. [38]

The Guitar Workshop, originally in North Philadelphia near Temple University, later moved to Sanson Street, just around the corner from Rittenhouse Square, the Heights-Asbury/Greenwich Village hippie hangout where there was a reported Oswald sighting in the summer of ’63. That Oswald event occurred when those involved in the Quebec to Guantamano Peace March held a protest demonstration there. Oswald was also reported seen at an earlier Canadian stop on the march, so there might have been a member of the march who closely resembled Oswald. [39]

There are other questionable aspects of this march related to the assassination, including the fact that the previous San Francisco - Moscow Peace March by the same left wing “ban-the-bomb” peacenik sponsors, passed through Minsk when Marina and Oswald were living there. [40] After leaving Philadelphia, the Quebec to Guantamano marchers went to Washington D.C. where one of the more ludicrous episodes occurred. One of the marchers - black amateur boxer Ray Robinson, got into a fist fight wrestling match in a parked car with former CIA employee James B. Wilcott, who later testified about Oswald’s possible clandestine double agent activities in Japan. [41]

Steve Kenin is also an interesting character. After visiting Cuba, being photographed with Castro, and writing a series of articles about his Cuban adventures in the Temple University student newspaper, Steve Kenin was in New York when Castro visited, and like Jim Glover and Phil Ochs, dropped out of college shortly before graduating. Kenin did so in order to travel around Mexico on a motorcycle. In Mexico City, Kenin fell in with a group who stayed at the Quaker student hostel Casa d Amegos, where Oswald was also said to have visited. FBI reports indicate Kenin met Oswald and Mexican attorney Homo Bono told Anthony Summers that he saw Kenin give Oswald a ride to the Cuban embassy on the back of his motorcycle, both seeking visas to Cuba. [42]

Tony Summers and other researches have also questioned whether Steve Kenin is the mysterious LICOZY3 - a Philadelphia college student in Mexico City who the Cuban G2 tried to recruit as an agent but instead served as a double-agent under CIA-FBI control. [43]

There is also the question of whether another young American student - folksinger Chris Smither, who was at the University of Mexico City at the time, had any run-ins with Oswald or Kenin or related characters. [44]

Kenin’s possible association with Oswald, or an Oswald look-a-like/imposter at Rittenhouse Square and Mexico City, certainly raises new questions that have yet to be answered, including whether it was just a coincidence Kenin and Suze Rotolo attended the same camp together - “Among a Small Circle of Friends,” as Ochs puts it, or whether their association has more sinster implications.

Another questions is whether the FBI’s COINTELPRO or the CIA’s CHAOS programs included the surveillance and infiltration of student groups or the folk music political protesters of whom Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan were the principal exponents at the time. 

Ochs’ FBI file, over 400 pages, indicates that they took Ochs seriously, and considered him a threat, though there seems to be no indication that he was continuing his association with the Air Force Intelligence or Air Force Reserves Intelligence.

That question is especially important - did Phil Ochs maintained his association with the US Air Force intelligence officers who ran the undercover ROTC operations against student radicals when he was in college? 

As a witness at Och’s wedding, Bob Dylan’s former girlfriend, Suze Rotolo is a solid link between Phil Ochs and Dylan, whose relationship with Rotolo is best personified by the photo of them walking down Fourth street in Greenwich Village in NY which graced the cover of Dylan’s “Freewheelin’” album, and the song, “Boots of Spanish Leather,” said to be dedicated to her.  [45]

The relationship between Dylan and Rotolo was said to have been intense, and their impending breakup may have sparked Dylan’s cross-country road trip in which he and some friends drove from New York City to San Francisco, stopping various places along the way, including Oswald’s old neighborhood in the French Quarter in New Orleans and Dealey Plaza in Dallas.

                                  ROAD TRIP VIA DEALEY PLAZA

While there are other road trips of note that are a part of the assassination lure - such as the Huma Bunker Raid [46], Ruth Paine’s summer vacation [47] (which wound up at Oswald’s apartment in New Orleans), and the caravan of Cubans that included Marita Lorenz that reportedly went from Florida to Dallas with a cache of arms, [48] Bob Dylan’s cross country trip is illustrative since it included stops at relevant assassination sites in Louisiana and Texas.

Peter Karman, a British writer and reporter for the London Daily Mirror, had introduced Dylan to Suze and Carla Rotolo. Carla was secretary to legendary folk collector Alan Lomax, and her sister Suze and Dylan who would hit it off, famously. Then as they were breaking up, Dylan would take off on this cross country tour. [49]

“Hey,” Dylan reportedly said to Karman, “wanna ride cross-country with us? Gonna do some concerts, ramble ‘round the country. Show ya some of the places I been, like Central City, Atlanta, Greenwood. Hit New Orleans for the Mardi Gras, even.”

Leaving New York for San Francisco, the station wagon - included Dylan, Paul Clayton, who drove most of the time, Dylan’s “road manager” Victor Maimudes and Karman, who was later replaced on the trip by Bob Neuwirth. [50]

First they dropped in unannounced to visit American historical icon Carl Sandberg, who Dylan wanted to meet because Woody Gunthre had spoken highly of him. Dylan gave Sandberg a copy of his new album, “The Times They Are ‘a Changin’,” and then they drove to New Orleans, where they were kicked out of a couple of French Quarter bars near Oswald’s old neighborhood.

Then they went to Dallas where, as recounted by Anthony Scaduto in Dylan - An Intimate Biography, they asked directions to Dealey Plaza.

“…On entering Dallas,” Scaduto relates, “Dylan had an urge, ‘Let’s go see where Kennedy was killed.’ They drove around looking for the Texas Book Depository and Dealey Plaza, four months after the murder, lost in downtown Dallas. ‘Where’s Dealey Plaza?’ Dylan asked, leaning out the window, and no one knew, four people, and five, and six, and none of them knew the place. At last, that’s what they said. The seventh man they asked, answered, ‘You mean where they shot that bastard Kennedy?’ Dylan didn’t answer, and the Texan gave them directions. For about a half hour they wandered around the murder scene, Dylan grim and silent, and then back in the car and on their way, and all of them shouting out the windows, condemning all Texans as assassins.”

When they got to San Francisco, Dylan hooked up with Joan Baez, and they visited her sister, who was married to Richard Farina, (author of the novel “Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me”), who had been in the Cuban mountains with Castro when he was a struggling revolutionary. [51]

Also in San Francisco, at the Monterey International Pop Music Festival, David Crosby of the Byrds tells the crowd that the Warren Report is a lie & that JFK was killed by many guns in a conspiracy, and dedicates the song, "He Was a Friend of Mine," to JFK. [52]

                                       ALBERT LASATER MAHER

Back in New York. Dylan began to associate with Albert Maher, [53] another Castro activist from Texas, who had been to Cuba, protested the banning of travel to Cuba in New York City, was evicted from a Congressional House UnAmerican Activities Committee hearing on Cuba in September 1963, and he returned to Cuba after it was made illegal, with Suze Rutolo.  

When Dylan accepted the 1964 Tom Paine award, he did so in the name of the American students who traveled to Cuba, especially those who went after such travel was banned by the government.

Robert Sheldon in his biography of Dylan writes: “…In spring 1964, Life magazine showed Dylan in his surliest mood with Geno Foreman and Albert Maher. Maher, a Harvard Square radical who had visited Cuba in 1963, traveled in 1964 on some Dylan concert tours out of his own romantic radicalism and admiration for the singer. Maher was the son of John F. ‘Big John’ Maher, a millionaire Houston industrialist. The son’s radicalization began at fifteen, when he read Castro, then accelerated in 1961 after the Bay of Pigs. In early 1964, Dylan hung out with Maher sporadically. Some months after Bob and Suze spit up, she and Maher began a long relationship.”

Winsip Custer wrote, “So like a similar personality, Albert  Lasater Maher, who like C. Wright Mills [author of “Listen Yankee” (Ballentine, 1960)] was the descendant of a prominent  Texas trailblazer and rancher…” John F. Maher.

According to Custer, “Maher's father, John F. Maher, was shown in the 1979 SEC report of Zapata Corporation to own 5.9% of the common stock -- 527,964 shares and was domiciled at 2131 San Felipe, Houston, the address for Hobby Communications, the company of former Texas Governor William P. Hobby whose family was intermarried with U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador and San Antonio, TX businessman, Henry Catto.  Catto's wife, Jessica Hobby Catto, a prominent San Antonio environmentalist served on the Board of Trinity University, a Presbyterian related college, on whose board serves such notable personalities as former U.S. President, George Herbert Walker Bush and Presbyterian pastor, Louis Zbinden.”

So after breaking up with Dylan, Suze took up with Al Maher, the son of a Houston, Texas industrialist with ties to the Zapata corporation, and it was to Al Maher Dylan dedicated his Tom Paine Award.

                                         DYLAN & OSWALD
Back in New York Dylan also hung out with Geno Foreman [54] “… a zany motorcycle maverick, Bostonian who appealed to Dylan….”  whose father, Clark Foreman, [55] organized a formal dinner party fund raiser for the Emergency Civil Liberities Committee (ECLC) at the Americana Hotel Grand Ballroom, and gave Dylan the Tom Paine Award for his social activism for civil rights.
As it has been reported: "By 1963, Dylan and Baez were both prominent in the civil rights movement, singing together at rallies including the March on Washington where Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his ‘I have a dream’ speech. Dylan performed ‘Only a Pawn in their Game’ and ‘When the Ship Comes In’... His next album, ‘The Times They Are a-Changin’, reflected a more sophisticated, politicized and cynical Dylan….. By the end of 1963, Dylan felt both manipulated and constrained by the folk-protest movement. Accepting the ‘Tom Paine Award’ from the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee at a ceremony shortly after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, a drunken, rambling Dylan questioned the role of the committee, insulted its members as old and balding, and claimed to see something of himself (and of every man) in assassin Lee Harvey Oswald..." 

Dylan later tried to explain: “When I spoke of Lee Oswald, I was speaking of the times. I was not speaking of his deed, if it was his deed, the deed speaks for itself. But I am sick so sick at hearin ‘we all share the blame’ for every church bombing, gun battle, mine disaster, poverty explosion, and president killing that comes bout, it is so easy to say ‘we’ an bow our heads together. I must say ‘I’ alone and bow my head alone for it is I alone who is livin’ my life.” [56]

Dylan also wrote a long letter-poem, an apology of sorts, to the members of the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee (NECLC), which was distributed with an accompanying letter by Corliss.

Author of numerous pamphlets on various political and philosophical issues, ala Tom Paine, copies of Dr. Corlis Lamont’s “Crime Against Cuba” was specifically requested by Lee Harvey Oswald when he wrote to the New York office of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC), an office targeted by both the CIA and FBI. The CIA had requested a copy of the FPCC letterhead that they were preparing to use in a psychological operation against the group, one coordinated with the FBI who planned on a “black bag job” or an illegal break in of the FPCC New York office.

Oswald had obtained copies of Lamont’s pamphlet, stamped them with the 544 Camp Street, New Orleans address, and distributed them on the streets of New Orleans and at the wharf dock where the USS Wasp aircraft carrier was docked.

When he was arrested for creating disturbance with the Cubans outside of the New Orleans Trade Mart, Oswald requested to see an FBI agent, and met Special Agent Quigley. Oswald gave Quigley a copy of the Lamont pamphlet and told him that his FPCC activities were directed by one “A.J. Hidel.”

[Lamont distributed his pamphlets himself through a New York Post Office box and received an order for 50 “Crime Against Cuba” pamphlets, which some have suggested may have ended up with Oswald in New Orleans, though this contention has been disputed as there was more than one printing of the pamphlet.]

 [57- For transcript of complete speech, Corlis Lamont’s note and follow up letter-poem]

Jim Glover claimed that Ochs said that he had learned of a plot to kill the president and was going to go to the FPCC to find out more about it, and that one day they were to meet someone from the FPCC in the subway but they didn’t hook up. Glover said that he later contacted V.T. Lee who confirmed that, “Phil was with us.”

V.T. Lee was also Oswald’s contact at the New York FPCC.

So Phil Ochs had attended an exclusive Virginia military academy with Barry Goldwater, Jr. and John Dean, served as a lieutenant in the Air Force ROTC at Ohio State, was pals with Bob Dylan and those who went to Cuba illegally, including one whose father had interest in the Zapata corporation, and he associated with the FPCC in New York City, any one of which could have put him into position to learn of a plot to kill the president.

But there’s more, including Ochs support of the victims of the coup in Chile and philandering with Sean Ochs, which would twice put him in the orbit of David Atlee Phillips.


Sean Phillips wrote a song called "For JFK RFK & MLK"  and also covered Phil Ochs’ song “I’m Tired,” which according to Jim Glover, was never officially released. So Grover contacted Sean Phillips, via Facebook, and asked him how he got the song and he replied he and Phil wrote it together. Then he corrected himself, explaining: "He taught me the song one night after we had made the rounds of the cafes for basket money. We were both staying at a mutual friends Apt. Needless to say, we were both a tad wired from the evening, ya know, one of those all nighters. Cheers.,… Shawn " [72]

It turns out that David Atlee Phillips was Shawn's Uncle, brother to Shawn's father, James Atlee Philips. [73]

                                      CHILE COUP BENEFIT CONCERT

Wiki: “In August 1971, Phil went to Chile, where Salvador Allende, a Marxist, had been democratically elected in the 1970 election. There he met Chilean folksinger Víctor Jara, an Allende supporter, and the two became friends….[58]

“In October, Ochs left Chile to visit Argentina. Later that month, after singing at a political rally in Uruguay, he and his American traveling companion David Ifshin were arrested and detained overnight. When the two returned to Argentina, they were arrested as they got off the airplane. After a brief stay in an Argentinian prison, Ochs and Ifshin were sent to Bolivia via a commercial airliner where authorities were to detain them. Ifshin had previously been warned by Argentine leftist friends that when authorities sent dissidents to Bolivia, they would disappear forever. When the airliner arrived in Bolivia, the American captain of the Braniff International Airways aircraft allowed Ochs and Ifshin to stay on the aircraft and barred Bolivian authorities from entering. The aircraft then flew to Peru where the two disembarked and they were not detained. Fearful that Peruvian authorities might arrest him, Ochs returned to the United States a few days later.”

“Ochs was personally invited by John Lennon to sing at a large benefit at the University of Michigan in December 1971 on behalf of John Sinclair, an activist poet who had been arrested on minor drug charges and given a severe sentence. Ochs performed at the John Sinclair Freedom Rally along with Stevie Wonder, Allen Ginsberg, David Peel, Abbie Hoffman and many others. The rally culminated with Lennon and Yoko Ono, who were making their first public performance in the United States since the breakup of The Beatles.” [59]

Ochs decided to travel. In mid-1972, he went to Australia and New Zealand He traveled to Africa in 1973, where he visited EthiopiaKenya, Tanzania Malawi, and South Africa. One night, Ochs was attacked and strangled by robbers in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, which damaged his vocal cords, causing a loss of the top three notes in his vocal range The attack also exacerbated his growing mental problems, and he became increasingly paranoid. Ochs believed the attack may have been arranged by government agents—perhaps the CIA. Still, he continued his trip, even recording a single in Kenya, "Bwatue". [60]

“On September 11, 1973, the Allende government of Chile was overthrown in a coup d'état. Allende died during the bombing of the presidential palace, and Jara was publicly tortured and killed. When Ochs heard about the manner in which his friend had been killed, he was outraged. He decided to organize a benefit concert to bring to public attention the situation in Chile and raise funds for the people of Chile. The concert, ‘An Evening with Salvador Allende’, included films of Allende; singers such as Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, and Bob Dylan; and political activists such as former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark….”

Bob Spitz, in Dylan, A Biography, wrote:  “Pete Seeger, for one, had informal ties to members of the now-deposed Allende government and performed several Chilean folk songs in his repertoire. For Phil Ochs, the revolution meant a more personal and tragic loss. Ochs had maintained a close, albet long-distance, friendship with folksinger Victor Jara, who was often described as ‘the Bob Dylan of Chile.’ As a result of the coup, Jara had been classified an enemy of the state, then dragged into Santiago’s National Stadium where he was tortured and finally executed by members of General Pinochet’s ruling junta.”

“Ochs was severely shaken by the news of Jara’s death. Immediately, he set out to organize a concert to benefit Chilean refuges, and in no small part, to embarrass CIA officials, whom he blamed for the coup. ‘I’m going to pull this thing off if it’s the last thing I do,’ he told a friend one night over drinks at Max’s Kansas City. ‘I’ve already lined up the Felt Forum.’”

“Ochs was in no shape to promote a folk concert, much less sing in one. His career had been in a kamikaze nosedive, brought on by his self-destructive fantasy. He struggled with alcoholism, manic depression, paranoia bordering on madness, and, worse perhaps, he had lost his voice as a result of having been mugged in Africa. Unable to sing, Ochs masqueraded as a political radical until the Chilean benefit materialized, and his Janus-like personality found a new focus.”

“The trouble was, nobody gave a damn about Phil Ochs or his concert. As an activist, he was a Model A in an era of hatchback sedans. He was an old hippie, struggling to keep the movement alive at a time when it was already considered long dead and buried. Politics was anathema to a generation of budding art-rockers who were content to entrust it to the politicians…”

They needed a draw, and saw that Canadian native American Indian folk singer Buffy St. Marie was playing at the Bottom Line, where Ochs ran into Bob Dylan at the bar. Phil talked Dylan, even though they hadn’t seen each other in a decade, into returning to his apartment where he did his best to convince Dylan to perform at the Chile benefit.

“You’re that kid from Minnesota who wrote that song about South American miners, right?...Well, I’m giving a benefit for those miners in two weeks and you’re gonna be there!”

“(Dylan) admitted he knew nothing of the events in Chile or their repercussions. That was an invitation for Phil to roll out a five-hour chronicle of South American history in song and sketches. He literally put on a one-man show for Bob, describing the Marxist regime of Salvador Allende in all its splendor, how it transformed Chile into an allegory for humanitarianism despite CIA interference, and gave the country its first real glimmer of hope. Then, for an encore, he reenacted a perfect recitation of Allende’s ill-fated inaugural address. Bob was overwhelmed by Phil’s performance and pumped him for more information about Chile, until the sun came up, the wine ran out, and the two men went their separate ways…..The Chilean benefit signaled a momentous shift in Bob’s career.” [62]

LOLA COHEN: “Bob came over to the apartment, and we were downstairs in that bunker. And Phil had Salvador Allende’s inaugurations speech, his inaugural address. And he read it. And it was just—we were just blown away, and we were silent. And it was very—you know, very moving. And he told us about Víctor Jara and that he had to do this to avenge Víctor’s death for his wife and child.” [63]

Jim Glover: “Yes... Phil, Dylan, Dennis Hopper and I went out for a drinking lunch before the concert. When Dylan asked me if I was in the Union I said I used to be but they never did me much good... Phil started crying right there... I always suspected Dylan knew Phil’s secret role which is the real reason he could not blow the whistle and in those days whistle Blowers besides the Pentagon Papers guy were rare. In 74’…. he said they told him if he talked they would say he was crazy….. [64]

The (Chile) concert was a big success, as Bob Spitz, in Dylan, wrote: “… Dave Van Ronk smiled proudly when Bob walked in - proud, not so much that he decided to do the right thing by the Chilian refugees, but that he bailed out his friend Phil Ochs. Von Ronk dragged Bob off to the balcony, where they reminisced and traded slugs from a bottle of wine. By late afternoon, both men were asleep on the other’s shoulder. Then, around six o’clock, they crept off to the Iron Horse, a commuters tavern in Penn Station, where they hooked up with actor Dennis Hopper and proceeded to get shit-faced drunk. When the concert finally started and Ochs introduced his pals from the stage, it resembled a benefit to combat chronic alcoholism. Bob and Van Ronk looked like a couple of derelicts who had wondered in off Seventh Avenue. They were off their nut. By the time they got to the final, a jug of wine had been uncorked on stage, and the ensemble broke into ‘Blowin’ in the Wind,’ Van Ronk had to keep whispering the lyrics into Bob’s ear.”

“The Chilean benefit signaled a momentous shift in Bob’s career. What a relief it had been not to be a spokesman or a prophet, but just Bob again. Just one of the guys who had gotten good and drunk and jammed with some friends….” [65]

                                “I is someone else.” - Rimbaud

Bob Dylan, in “Chronicles” (p. 288):  “….someplace along the line Suze had also introduced me to the poetry of French Symbolist poet Arthur Rimbaud. That was a big deal, too. I came across one of his letters called, ‘Je est un autre,’ which translates into ‘I is someone else.’ When I read those words the bells went off. It made perfect sense…”


In 1975 Ochs began to “freak people out by claming he was really a CIA agent named John Train and that ‘Phil Ochs’ had to be killed.”

Dave McGowan wrote that shortly after his successful “War is Over” rally in 1975 Ochs,
“began compiling curious lists, with entries that clearly were references to US biological warfare research: ‘shellfish toxin, Fort Dietrich, cobra venom, Chantilly Race Track, hollow silver dollars, New York Cornell Hospital …” and as Train, McGowan noted, “proclaimed himself to be a CIA operative and presented himself as a belligerent, right-wing thug.” He would be dead within a year.

“It is suggested that Ochs/Train may have indeed been a spy with two personalities – personalities that are at complete odds with one another but personalities that don’t know the other exists. It is important to note that the Ochs family spent time at military bases in his early life and…while Ochs considered himself a leftist, man of the people, he loved American Western films, and the idea of a strong America. He seemed a man torn in two diametrically opposite directions.” [67]

MICHAEL OCHS: Basically, Phil was a manic depressive. And the manic binge he went on, probably out of desperation, frustration, etc., he went too far, and he never got back. He became, as we do, we get depressed afterwards, and he couldn’t see the next mountain due to the valley he was stuck in. And we tried to get him help. And he finally went to a shrink, but then, a week later, he killed himself. [68]

Wiki:  “In mid-1975, Ochs took on the identity of John Butler Train. He told people that Train had murdered Ochs, and that he, John Butler Train, had replaced him. Train was convinced that someone was trying to kill him, so he carried a weapon at all times: a hammer, a knife, or a lead pipe. Ochs's friends tried to help him. His brother Michael attempted to have him committed to a psychiatric hospital. Friends pleaded with him to get help voluntarily. They feared for his safety, because he was getting into fights with bar patrons. Unable to pay his rent, he began living on the streets. After several months, the Train persona faded and Ochs returned, but his talk of suicide disturbed his friends and family. They hoped it was a passing phase, but Ochs was determined.”

One of his biographers explains Ochs's motivation: “By Phil's thinking, he had died a long time ago: he had died politically in Chicago in 1968 in the violence of the Democratic National Convention; he had died professionally in Africa a few years later, when he had been strangled and felt that he could no longer sing; he had died spiritually when Chile had been overthrown and his friend Victor Jara had been brutally murdered; and, finally, he had died psychologically at the hands of John Train.”
                                THE REAL JOHN TRAIN

Russ Baker, in his book “Family of Secrets”  (Bloomsbury, 2009, p. 12-13) notes that it was researcher Jerry Shinley who discovered a Nov. 29, 1975 CIA memo that details George Bush Sr.’s association with former CIA officer Thomas J. Devine.

In New York City in late April 1963 Thomas Devine, as CIA operative code named WUBRINY/1, met with George deMohrenschildt, the Lee Harvey Oswald’s “best friend,” who a week earlier, was exposed by deMohrenschildt as having taken a pot shot at General Walker.

When Devine had ostensibly “retired” from the CIA he formed the Zapata corporation with Bush, and when they sold it, Bush went into politics while Devine joined the investment firm of Train, Cabot and Associates, whose primary partner was John Train.

Train is described by Baker as “a longtime enthusiast of foreign intrigues,” who worked for three presidents. 

The 1975 CIA memo reads:

“Through Mr. Gale Allen…I learned that Mr. George Bush, DCI designate, has prior knowledge of the now terminated project WUBRINY/LPDICTUM which was involved in propriety commercial operations in Europe. He became aware of this project through Mr. Thomas J. Devine, a former CIA Staff Employee and later, oil-wildcatting associate with Mr. Bush. Their joint activities culminated in the establishment of Zapata Oil [sic] which they eventually sold. After the sale of Zapata Oil, Mr. Bush went into politics, and Mr. Devine became a member of the investment firm of Train, Cabot and Associates, New York…The attached memorandum describes the close relationship between Messrs. Devine and Bush in 1967-68 which, according to Mr. Allen, continued while Mr. Bush was our ambassador to the United Nations.”

Russ Baker (p. 14) writes: “The writer of the above-mentioned CIA memo had appended an earlier memo from agency files, describing Thomas Devine’s role in a CIA project codenamed WUBRINY. Devine was ‘a cleared and witting contact in the investment banking firm which houses and manages the proprietary corporation WUSALINE.” (BRINY was actually a Haiti-based operation engaged by a corporation, code-named SALINE, that was a whole owned by the CIA. SALINE, like many CIA proprietaries, was in turn operating inside a ‘legitimate’ corporation, whose employees were generally unaware of the spies in their midst.) In this case, the cover corporation was run by investment banker, John Train, a sponsor and longtime enthusiast of foreign intrigues, backing the Afghan rebels during the Regan-Bush years. 9 Train was enormously well connected, and received appointments from president Reagan, Bush Senior, and even Bill Clinton.”

Note 9: “An article by Richard Cummings (“An American in ParisAmerican Conservative, February 16, 2004) asserts that Paris Review cofounder and editor Peter Matthiessen was a CIA agent whose literary activities served as a cover for his intelligence work. Also, the Review’s longtime editor George Plimpton ‘was an agent of influence’ for the CIA….invariably paid for (his) services.’”

Also see: Hugh Wilford, The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America (Cambridge, MA, Harvard U. Press, 2008)., p. 106, and Francis Stoner Saunders, Who Paid the Piper? The CIA and the Cultural Cold War (London, Granta, 1999)

(Baker, R. p. 105)

CIA Document, “On April 25, 1963, at three thirty in the afternoon, a CIA operative code named WUBRINY/1 held a meeting in the library of the Kinckerbocker Club, one of New York’s most exclusive men’s clubs, on East Sixty-Second Street, just off Fifth Avenue.” 42

Note 42: “Members of this club include David Rockefeller and John Hay Whitney, publisher of the New York Herald Tribute.”

“There were two others present. One was C. Frank Stone III, chief of operations for the European section of the CIA’s clandestine wing. The other was M. Clemard Joseph Charles, the general manager of the Banque Commerciale D’ Haiti.”

“This ‘contact report’ was declassified in 1998 but went unnoticed at the time. The purpose of the 1963 meeting, it said, was to prepare for the impending arrival from Dallas of George de Mohrenschildt, who was described as a business contact of Haitian banker…’Mr. Charles.’”

According to Baker, de Mohrenschildt arrived the next afternoon, “at the New York offices of the investment banking firm of Train, Cabot, inside an entity code-named SALINE, 44.”

Note 44: “HSCA Segregated CIA Collection, box 14 ‘Contact Report WUBRINY Haitian Operations (NARA record number 104-10436-10014 and 104-10070-10076). Available at Mary Ferrell Foundation.”

“This was in fact the covering organization for operation WUBRINY, and WUBRINY’s chief agent and operator, WUBRINY/1 - who was none other than Thomas Devine. 45”

Note 45: “Though Devine is not identified by name in this document, he is in another CIA document, ‘Memornadum: MESSRS. George Bush and Thomas J. Devine,’ January 30, 1968 (NARA record number 104-10310-10271). Available through Mary Ferrell Foundation. That document identifies Devine specifically as working in operation BRINY and claims that he began working in this capacity that June. No documents have surfaced showing anyone else being part of the very small operation WUBRINY. Indeed, all the available evidence indicates that Devine was the main or even only member of WUBRINY, and therefore the person code-named WUBRINY/1, the designated top dog of the operation. If, in fact, Devine and WUBRINY/1 were synonymous, then the CIA memo noting that Devine joined WUBRINY in June was in itself an attempt to hide the involvement of Poppy’s business associate in the April meeting with deMohrenschildt.”

In January 1968, Devine (WUBRINY1) and George Bush Senior went to Vietnam.

So the real John Train was an investment banker who ran CIA propriety companies and was associated with both Bush’s partner at Zapata Thomas Devine and Oswald’s good friend George deMohrenschildt.


“In January 1976, Ochs moved to Far Rockaway, New York, to live with his sister Sonny. He was lethargic; his only activities were watching television and playing cards with his nephews. Ochs saw a psychiatrist, who diagnosed his bipolar disorder. He was prescribed medication, and he told his sister he was taking it. On April 9, 1976, Ochs hanged himself.” [69]

Congresswoman Bella Abzug (Democrat from New York), an outspoken anti-war activist herself who had appeared at the 1975 "War is Over" rally, entered this statement into the Congressional Record on April 29, 1976: “Mr. Speaker, a few weeks ago, a young folksinger whose music personified the protest mood of the 1960s took his own life. Phil Ochs—whose original compositions were compelling moral statements against war in Southeast Asia—apparently felt that he had run out of words.” [70]

Wiki: Years after his death, it was revealed that the FBI had a file of nearly 500 pages on Ochs. Much of the information in those files relates to his association with counterculture figures, protest organizers, musicians, and other people described by the FBI as "subversive". The FBI was often sloppy in collecting information on Ochs: his name was frequently misspelled "Oakes" in their files, and they continued to consider him "potentially dangerous" after his death. [71]

Indeed, I will wager, before I even request them, Phil Ochs Air Force Intelligence File will be withheld as a matter of “national security.”

                                               SENATOR DODD

                                       Phil Ochs, Oswald and Senator Dodd

In “Draft Dogger Rag” Ochs wrote that, “I believe in God and Senator Dodd and a keepin’ old Castro down…..” 

Senator Pat Dodd of Connecticut, the first Senator after Joe McCarthy to be censored by the Senate for using campaign contributions for his own use, held Congressional hearings of the Juvenile Delinquency Subcommittee on banning mail order pistols and specifically targeted Seaport Traders, from whom Oswald allegedly ordered his pistol from.

Dodd actually ordered a Mannlicher-Carcano rifle and in Summer of ’63 investigated the Fair Play for Cuba Committee with the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee.  

One of Dodd’s staff members was arrested in Cuba and for an arms violation at Hyannis port, Mass. When JFK was there. Sen. Dodd’s son Christopher Dodd (Conn.) was instrumental in the establishment of the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA). See: Tanenbaucm, Robert K. Corruption of Blood (Signet, 1992).

Ochs also wrote songs about articles he read in the newspapers, including songs on the Bay of Pigs, the John Birch Society, General Walker and the assassination of Medgar Evers. [66]

Also see:
Evica, George Michael. And We Are All Mortal (Trinday, 2012) Link to Evica on Dodd.
Tanenbaum, Robert K. Corruption of Blood (Signet, 1992).


Whether or not Phil Ochs was at Dealey Plaza at the time of the assignation Ochs had a number of close associations with others that could have possibly given him foreknowledge of the assassination, and links to the perpetrators - including contacts he made at the Virginia Military Academy, Air Force ROTC at Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio), working with FPCC, while assisting Chile coup refugees, and with the “young and upcoming” Air Force lieutenant he said was working with, as well as performing with Sean Phillips, David Atlee Phillips’ nephew.              

This is a work in progress.  Stay tuned for the next episode of this continuing saga…..when we hope to answer some of the still outstanding questions


Eliot, Marc Death of A Rebel: Staring Phil Ochs and a Small Circle of Friends. (Garden City, NY Anchor Press, 1979, 1989)) pp. 61-63; p. 148

Schumacher, Michael - There But for Fortune: The Life of Phil Ochs (NY, Hyperion, 1996). pp. 58, 67, 92. 45.

Footnotes to PO in DP

1.      O’Brian, Gary  Oswald's Politics.(Trafford Pub. 2010 p. 128 ) BK: I disagree with O’Brian’s analysis because he assumes Oswald was the assassin, so his analysis is actually of the political opinions of the Patsy. Ochs, Phil. Song title?
2.      List of those who expressed foreknowledge of the assassination.
3.      1968 Democratic National Convention, Chicago. Reminiscences.
4.      Education Forum - link:
5.      Photo from film a) Dal-Tex Houston Street, 12:35 pm 11/22/63; and enlargement photo b).
6.      Ochs, Phil. Basic Background and Discography link:
7.      Ochs, Phil. “Draft Dogger Rag” link:
8.      WXPN - Meatball Fulton link /WMMR - Dave Herman link
9.      Ochs’ album cover and lyrics to WBY at Grant Park.
11.  Glover, Jim - Facebook
13.  ROTC on campus
14.  COINTELPRO - Media FBI breakin. A Heroic Burglary Remembered. Stolen FBI files exposed FBI campaign of blackmail and intimidation of activists. By Allan M. Jalon. LA Times, March 8, 2006 [ ] Also see: Washington Post, March 24, 1971 “documents detailing how the bureau had enlisted a local police chief, letter carriers and a switchboard operator at Swarthmore College to spy on campus and black activist groups in the Philadelphia area.” (BK Notes: Michael Paine attended Swarthmore, where his wife Ruth Hyde Paine’s papers are archived at the college library.)
15.  CHAOS CIA - US Army Reserve Memphis links
16.  Kent State Agitator
17.  Camden 28 - Bob Hardy [ ]  Covert Operative Personality Profile - (COPP)   Covert Operational Profile

18.  Staunton Va. Military Academy link
19.  Campus Radical Files
20.  Roth, Phil. “Goodbye Columbus” novel & film links
21.  Flint, Larry. Rebel Mag.
22.  DISC - Defense Industrial Security Command first mentioned in unpublished manuscript. Responsible for security at defense industry instillations, especially those that after WWII moved to Texas for reasons of “national security.”
23.  Bell Helicopter - Oswald’s chief benefactor Michael Paine worked at Bell Helicopter.
24.  Gen Dynamics - Former FBI agent Hale worked security at Gen. Dynamics. His sons, (one of whom also killed the daughter of Gov Connally) broke into the Vegas apartment of Judith Campbell Exner and his wife from the Texas Employment Commission, got Oswald jobs (including Chiles/Jaggers/Stoval). [Also see: F. Korth & TFX]
25.  Collins Radio - Tippit friend Carl Mather worked for Collins Radio, the company that supplied radios for Air Force One and SAC.
26.  Gordon Novel - New Orleans operative who fled to Ohio and Virginia when subpoened by grand jury. Left behind a letter to his CIA case officer that mentioned the JMWAVE company that paid insurance to Alabama National Guard airman killed at Bay of Pigs. Novel participated on Huma Bunker raid.
27.  Spitz, Bob Dylan (McGraw Hill, NY.)
28.  Scaduto, Anthony - Dylan - An Intimate Biography (x) Song comp.
29.  Glover, Jim. Emailed recollections.
                        30. Dylan on 11/22/63 - Robert Sheldon in his biography of Dylan  No             Direction Home - The Life and Music of Bob Dylan (Beech Tree Books, Mo- Scaduto, Anthony Dylan - An Intimate Biography (Signet 1971) ,p. 186-7, 188, p. 197),p. 205)
rrow, NY 1986, p. 259 - ),

31. Ochs, Phil. Liner notes re: “That Was the President.”

“Crucifixion.” - the assassination made Phil Ochs cry, attributed in footnotes to Michael Schumacher, Ochs cried = Schumaker
“Crucifixion” Wiki link

Re: Ochs and RFK. Newfield, Jack - RFK Cries [21][22]21 Newfield, Jack  (2002).  Somebody's Gotta Tell It: A Journalist's Life on the Lines. (New York: St. Martin's Press. pp. 176–178.)

Gates, Anita (June 7, 1998). "The Private Side of a Political Story". The NY Times.
Alice Skinner -

Wiki reference.  “In 1962, Phil Ochs married Alice Skinner, who was pregnant with their daughter Meegan, in a City Hall ceremony with Jim Glover as best man and Jean Ray as bridesmaid, and witnessed by Dylan's sometime girlfriend, Suze Rotolo. Phil and Alice separated in 1965, but they never divorced.”

 Glover version of ‘Crucifixion’

30.  Suze Rotolo - Rotolo, Suze (2008), A Freewheelin’ Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixites (NY, Broadway Books, P. 249.) 
31.  Elliot & Steve Kenin. Basic background.
32.  Oswald at Rittenhouse Square links to docs.
33.  The March in Minsk. Did Lee or Marina meet the marchers?
34.  Robinson and Wilctt fight in DC.
35.  Documents on Kenin in Mexico City. Interview w/ SK.
36.  LICOZY3. See: Russo, Gus “Live By the Sword” ( “x”) “Brothers In Arms” (‘y”)
37.  Chris Smither in Mexico City?
38.  Freewheelen’ - Rotolo, Suze (“X”) Link to album cover photo.
39.  Huma Bunker Raid The Houma Bunker Raid Revisted
40.  Ruth Paine’s summer vacation. (Carrol Hewett, Barbara Lamonica)
41.  Lorenz, Marita.
42.  Dylan’s Cross-Country Trip Scaduto, Anthony. Dylan - An Intimate Biography (1972 Signet NY, p. 197), they asked directions to Dealey Plaza.
43.  Karman, Peter. British journalist, is quoted in Dylan bio but strangely does not appear to have written about Dylan or the roadtrip himself.
44.  Farina, Richard. “Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me” (x” ) Ref to IRA and with Castro in Cuba.
45.  Monterey Pop - Croby, David. “He Was a Friend of Mine.”
46.  Maher, Albert. Houston, Tx., Cuba.
47.  Foreman, Geno.
48.  Foreman, Clark.
49.  Dylan’s complete ECLC Speech, letter from Corlis Lamont, and Dylan’s letter-poem to ECLC members.
50.  Dylan’s Explanation: source to bio.
51.  Wiki on Oakes and Chile
52.  With Lennon et al.
53.  Australia and attack in Africa
54.  Spitz, Bob. Dylan - A Biography, McGraw-Hill, 1989) p. 432
55.  Felt Forum benefit Felt Forum, Dylan, BS p. 437
56.  Linda Cohen
57.  Jim Glover Benefit Concert for Chile
58.  Chile  Spitz, Bob (Dylan, A Bio, McGraw-Hill, 1989) p. 432
59.  Senator Dodd; also see: Tanenbaum, Robert K. Corruption of Blood (Signet 1992).
60.  John Butler Train. McGowan, Dave.
61.  Michael Ochs
62.  Death
63.  Bela Abzug. Congressional Record. April 29, 1976.
64.  Wiki on Ochs FBI files.
65.  Sean Phillips
66.  Uncle Dave. James Atlee Phillps.
67.  Outstanding Questions.

Foreknowledge: Others who expressed. Foreknowledge & JFK Assassination

Scaduto, Anthony Dylan - An Intimate Biography (Signet 1971) ,p. 186-7, 188, p. 197),p. 205)

Sheldon, Robert Dylan  No Direction Home - The Life and Music of Bob Dylan (Beech Tree Books, Morrow, NY 1986, p. 259 - ),

Spitz, Bob, in Dylan, A Biography, McGraw-Hill, 1989) p. 432

Custer, Winsip - Smedley Butler, William Ayers, Albert Lasater Maher and the Rough Road To Enlightenment

Disillusionment And The Genesis Of Enlightenment
by Winsip Custer
CPW News Service

Albert Lasater Maher, Bob Dylan
and Geno Foreman, New York 1964.

Albert Lasater Maher, father, John F. Maher, was shown in the 1979 SEC report of Zapata Corporation to own 5.9% of the common stock -- 527,964 shares and was domiciled at 2131 San Felipe, Houston, the address for Hobby Communications

Maher's the company of former Texas Governor William P. Hobby whose family was intermarried with U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador and San Antonio, TX businessman, Henry Catto.  Catto's wife, Jessica Hobby Catto, a prominent San Antonio environmentalist served on the Board of Trinity University, a Presbyterian related college, on whose board serves such notable personalities as former U.S. President, George Herbert Walker Bush and Presbyterian pastor, Louis Zbinden.

For the full text of Albert Lasater Maher's testimony before the House On Un-American Activities Committee: william-ayers-albert.h...

Shawn Phillips wrote a song called "For JFK RFK & MLK"