Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Southland Center Revisted w/ New Witness?

Southland Center Revisited
           
By Bill Kelly

A New Witness Steps Forward

It was a moment in time - a typically forgotten brief interlude while passing through doors and hallways into the lobby concourse of a large hotel and office complex where five people cross paths and come together for a few brief seconds.

Some of them smile, politely acknowledge one another and were about to pass silently like ships in the night when one stops and asks - "where is there a place you can get a cup of coffee?"

Woosh! - drop down a rabbit's hole, hit the floor and Poof! - out through the looking glass, back to reality and 50 years of real, mainly forgetful life.

Then it comes back like a reawakened spirit to haunt history, as other pieces of the puzzle fall into place and that short moment in time gains significance - possibly historical significance, or maybe none at all.

The meeting in the lobby of the Southland Center in Dallas, Texas between CIA spy master David Atlee Phillips, anti- Castro Cuban terrorist Antonio Veciana and accused presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald is a well worn tale (1) but now told with a new twist.

A new witness has come foreword who says he was there with a teenage girl who answered the question of where to get a cup of coffee. (2)

[ See: https://vimeo.com/110218535 ]

Is this guy for real?

Jeff Morley at JFKFacts gave the guy Wynne Johnson a listen and then passed, calling him "Mr. Flim," as in flimsy (3), so I'll give it a go and at least try to determine if this is a flim-flam or a real deal.

Since I've been to the Southland Center story before, I'll go back down  alley with this guy and apply the same standards the CIA uses in determining the veracity of Walk-in defectors - do they provide new, verifiable information and does it lead to new witnesses, subjects and places? (4)

If not (possibly like James Files and Judith Baker), it may be a case of someone inserting themselves into events or exaggerating their roles.

Unfortunately, and enhancing this possibility, it appears this new witness - Wynne Johnson is familiar with the published literature,  though we probably would not have heard of him if he wasn't.

For the record, there are other witnesses like this who have only reluctantly come forward - such as the kid in the Dallas Police locker room toilet and what he overheard. (5)

As for the Southland Center story, it first came to light in 1976 when both Gaeton Fonzi and Dick Russell heard it from Veciana.

Dick Russell met Antonio Veviana in 1976 and thus first heard the earliest version of the Southland Center lobby story. (6)

Dick Russell (On the Trail of the JFK Assassins - p. 149):

"I'm response to the terrorist raids, the Justice Department restricted a number of Cuban exiles to Dade County in the Spring of 1963. But that summer, Veciana's meetings with Bishop resumed. In August, Bishop had him fly to Dallas.'"

"'When I arrived there,' says Veciana, 'Bishop had given me the address to a building, a bank or insurance company. Bishop was waiting there with a young guy, an American, and the three of us walked to a cafeteria. The young guy did not say a word. He was very quiet, very strange. When I take a cup of coffee , Bishop says to him: 'I'll meet you in two or three hours.' Bishop and I then talked about the movement and our plans, but not when this guy was there. This was Lee Oswald. I didn't know until November when I saw his picture. But this means Oswald was working with Bishop."

Veciana gave further details to Congressional investigator Gaeton Fonzi, who was actually the first to get the story.  (7)

Gaeton Fonzi in the Washingtonian article - The Historical Imperatives (Nov. 1980, p 176) wrote:

"Veciana said he met Oswald with Maurice Bishop in Dallas sometime near the beginning of September 1963."

"There, in a modest green house in Little Havana, almost thirteen years after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the reality of what I was involved in struck me. The killing of President Kennedy was no longer a series of lingering TV images, bold black headlines, thick stacks of documents, books and files. It was something that had actually happened, and there were living people with direct strings through time to that moment. As much as the substance of the information itself, it was the absolutely coincidental way it came up that stunned me. First impressions are inherently circumstantial, but I had no doubt then - and have none now - that Veciana was telling the truth."

"The details are what make the case."

(p. 180) :

"Initially, Antonio Veciana recalled that it was late in August or early September of 1963 when Bishop asked to meet him in Dallas. Later, after reflection, he said it was probably in early September, perhaps toward the end of the first week of the month."

"It was not the first time that Bishop had asked Veciana to meet him in Dallas. He had met him there a few times previously. Partially because of that, Veciana had come to suspect that Bishop was from Dallas or had family there....In my very first interview with Veciana said, 'I think that maybe Bishop is from Texas.'"

"The meeting that Veciana recalls with Bishop early in September of 1963 took place in the busy lobby of a large downtown office building. From Veviana's description of its destinctive blue-tile facade, it probably was the Southland Center, a 42-story office complex. Veciana says that when he arrived, he saw Bishop in the corner of the lobby talking with a young man whom Veciana remembers as pale, slight, and soft- featured. He does not recall if Bishop introduced him by name but does recall that Bishop continued his conversation with the young man only briefly after Veciana arrived. Together Bishop and the young man walked out of the lobby and stopped outside, behind Veciana, for a moment. Bishop and the young man had a few words there, and then the latter gestured a fairwell and walked away. Bishop then turned to Veciana and they discussed the current activities of Alpha 66 as they walked to a nearby coffee shop. Bishop never spoke about the young man, and Veciana didn't ask."

"On the day that Kennedy was assassinated. Veciana recognized the news and photographs and television images of Lee Harvey Oswald as that of the young man he had seen with Maurice Bishop in Dallas; there was no doubt in his mind."

The new witness also says that when he and the girl recognized Oswald as one of the men they had encountered in the Southland Center lobby a few months earlier, their parents ordered them robe quiet about it - so there were four other people - their parents, who knew about the Southland Center meeting with the accused assassin on the day of the assassination.  (8)

So the new witness tells a simple story that fits into the general scheme of things and he is aware of those schemes as he at some point became aware of the significance of the Southland Center Lobby story.

He also gives an exact date for the incident - Saturday September 7 - which when aligned with the Oswald Chronology indicates Oswald could have been there. Oswald was out of work, collecting unemployment compensation and spending his time on Cuban related shenanigans with the DRE and FPCC before going to Mexico City, where DAP was responsible for monitoring the Cubans and the FPCC.  (9)

So it isn't such a stretch to believe that the chief CIA officer responsible for covert Cuban operations would meet privately with Oswald after his arrest with DRE and before he goes to Mexico City, and the leader of Alpha 66, one of the principe Anti-Castro terrorist groups attacking Cuba. (10)

While Veciama flew in from Florida Oswald could have arrived by bus or train from New Orleans and returned the same day.

Records indicate Oswald cashed checks in New Orleans on the day before September 6th and on the 8th, the following day, so Oswald could have been in Dallas on the 7th. (11)

Oswald's chronology for August and early September indicates he was actively engaged in Cuban related activities including DRE and FPCC -  both of interest to DAP.  (12)

Veciana too was engaged in anti-Castro activities on a more violent level with Alpha 66 - one of the most active terrorist groups violently attacking Cuba. (13)

On September 9, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported: "Castro Blasts Raids on Cuba; Says U.S. leaders' Imperiled by Aid to Rebels." (14)

At the same time David Atlee Philips was meeting with Tony Veciana and Oswald in Dallas, Castro was publicly and loudly complaining about Veciana's terrorist  attacks on Cuba and CIA attempts to kill him.

"Havana (AP). Prime Minister Fidel Castro said Saturday night 'United States leaders would be in danger if they helped in any attempt to do away with leaders in Cuba. Bitterly denouncing what he called U.S.-prompted raids on Cuban territory, Castro said, 'We are prepared to fight them and answer in kind. United States leaders should think that if they are aiding terrorists' plans to eliminate Cuban leaders, they themselves will not be safe.'"

This is often cited as evidence of Castro's threat to kill American leaders if they threaten him.

So such a meeting between the CIA's chief covert Cuban officer and two of his Cuban affairs operatives at a critical moment in this skirmish  in the Cold War seems reasonable - but what does it have to do with the assassination that took place a mile away two months later?

Was David Atlee Phillips Oswald's Case Officer, as he clearly was Veciana's control?

Consider they both lived in the same Fort Worth neighborhood for awhile, and Phillips book on Careers in Intelligence lists qualities that are necessary - fluency in foreign language, being quiet and able to listen, ability to get around and other attributes Oswald possessed. And Phillips notes that a college degree is not one of them as he himself never graduated with a college degree.

Oswald was also familiar with the Southland building as at the urging of George deMohrenschildt he applied for a job and was interviewed there by Sam Ballen (15)

[See: Ballen WC testimony].

That DAP would violate tradecraft and arrange to meet two different operatives at the same place around the same time could indicate DAP had other business there or near by. (16)

Veciana said he was given the address of a bank or insurance company.

There was a Bank - Republic Bank and related offices across the street and a run down of the companies in the Southland Center in 1963 includes a number of possibilities of places Phillips could have visited before or after meeting with Oswald and Veciana. (17)

Besides deMohrenschilts' pal Sam Ballen, who said his business was "money, banking, geology and petroleum engineering," there's the Mexican Consulate (527 - Ri8-6437) and Hallibueton (3211)

Then there's the private Chapparal Club, that took up the 36th floor, (18) and Robert Oswald's attorney William McKenzie (2808 - Ri8-7211)  who also represented Marina, and whose law partner (Henry Baer-Wynne, McKenzie, Jaffe, Tinsley represented Clint Murcheson.

The Southland's most visible tenant was the Dallas Sheraton Hotel (400 Ri8-6200).

Both George Bush and the Secret Service were registered at the Dallas Sheraton Hotel (400 Ri8-6200) on November 21-22, 1963. (20)

Possibly more significant is that is where on November 21,1963 the White House Security Agency (WHSA) set up a radio communications center and secure trunk lines that the president, Secret Service and other security personnel used when the president was in town.

So the place where DAP meets Antonio Veciana and Lee Harvey Oswald is also the address of the attorney who represented Robert and Marina Oswald before the Warren Commission, his office associate represents Clint Murcheson, the Mexican Consulate is an elevator ride away, the Chaparell Club is there, as is deOhrenschilts's friend Sam Ballen, who Oswald had previously visited, while the Secret Service checks in along with the White House Communications Agency (WHCA) who set up their Dallas Command Post as a base of operations.

If the story told by the new witness is true and the identity of the girl can be confirmed, as well as their parents, there are two new witnesses to the meeting and six people, including the parents, who knew about and talked about the Southland meeting on the day of the assassination.

This possible new witnesses also calls attention to the incident and its potential historical significance, and has revived interest in following up on the leads it provides.

In retrospect, there are other, similar places of interest where Veciana said he met David Atlee Phillips including a restaurant and office in Havana and offices in the Pan Am Bank in Miami, which deserve closer scrunity.


Notes: (BK: will update soon)

1- Fonzi, Gaeton. The Last Investigation
2- Johnson, Wynne video - https://vimeo.com/110218535
3- Morley, Jefferson - JFKFacts - http://jfkfacts.org/assassination/news/a-new-jfk-witness/#comments
4- CIA Study
5- Mike Robinson - http://jfkcountercoup2.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-incredible-story-of-mike-robinson.html / http://forum.assassinationofjfk.net/index.php/topic/189-the-incredible-story-of-mike-robinson/
6- Russell, Dick - On the Trail of the Assassins
7- Fonzi, Gaeton
8- Johnson, Wynne
9- Oswald In New Orleans / Checks
10-Hancock, Larry - Someone Would Have Talked
11- DRE-FPCC
12-Alpha 66
13-Oswald Chronology - http://jfkassassination.net/parnell/chrono.htm
14- New Orleans Times-Pic (September 9, 1963)
15-Ballen, Sam -  http://www.history-matters.com/archive/jfk/wc/wcvols/wh9/html/WC_Vol9_0027a.htm / http://jfkassassination.net/russ/testimony/ballen.htm
16-DAP - tradecraft
17- Southland Center Tenants
18- Chaparral Club- http://wikimapia.org/95054/Sheraton-Dallas-Hotele (1966)
19-Oswald, Robert - Lee
20-Baker, Russ - Family of Secrets
21- WHCA After Action Reports
22- Fonzi, Gaeton- Veciana
23- Pan Am Bank of Miami - http://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/2012/04/happenstance-coincidence-enemy-action.html / https://www2.fdic.gov/idasp/confirmation_outside.asp?inCert1=16343 /


Republic Bank

Southland Center tenants 1963 (Provided by Robert Howard)

Ballen, Sam

Chapparal Club -

Oswald, Robert - Lee

McKenzie - (WCE 282 - XV1)

Dallas Sheraton - SS HQ, WHCA
[http://JFKCountercoup.blogspot.com/2012/03/WHCA-comm-center-after-action-reports.html?m=1]

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Phillip Shenon's "A Cruel and Shocking Twist"

Phillip Shenon's book A Cruel and Shocking Act (2013 Macmillan) Audio version by Robert Petkoff

A Cruel and Shocking Twist

Review by Bill Kelly

As a serious and respected journalist Phillip Shenon deserves a listen when he says the whole truth about the assassination of President Kennedy has yet to be told, that much of the evidence and many of the official records have been destroyed, and there are still some unquestioned witnesses who have been ignored or intimidated into silence.

Among the destroyed, some incinerated, some flushed down toilets, others simply gone missing, include original autopsy notes and photos, Oswald's note to the FBI, backyard pictures, JFK's brain, Jackie's pink pill box hat - all gone. This is not to mention the Air Force One radio tapes, the Secret Service radio tapes, Mary's box of evidence lost by the Dallas PD, the ONI investigative reports on Oswald, the USMC investigative report that concluded Oswald not capable of committing the assassination alone, and private interviews with Oswald's USMC buddies - and there's more that Shenon doesn't bother to mention.

So we are left with what Shenon calls a "Duel Curse," too little direct evidence has survived, yet thanks to the JFK Act too much has been released - millions of pages of government documents, too much for any one person to read it all, yet Shenon doesn't mention that there are still so many records being withheld for reasons of national security that the National Archives can't even tell us how many.

Shenon tells us that no one person can read it all, but he himself reads the Prologue to the audio version of his book in which he tells us how he came to this story, - while sitting at a desk of the New York Times Washington DC office when he got a phone call from a former Warren Commission attorney who wanted the truth to be told - "the best detective story you have never heard."

So you know right off the bat where this book is coming from.

The former Warren Commission staff attorney, who prefers to remain anonymous in fear of the wrath of his still living former Commission colleagues, now claims he is outraged by what "they did not see" and have learned over the years, critical and crucial facts that should have been provided the president's commission, especially about the CIA plots to kill Castro, but also Shenon calls attention to the mysterious and bizarre escapades in Mexico City.

This is the book that I thought Max Holland was writing as an apologist for the Warren Commission, but rather than them getting it right, Shenon sees the failures of the commission as a reason or an excuse to revisit the case, though he puts on blinders that keeps him from including anything except the facts that support the possibility the assassination plan was "hatched or encouraged" by Cuban Communists in Mexico City.

These blinders effectively shield Shenon from other aspects of the same story that point to a different conclusion, one that Phil Nelson, Oswald's mother and her lawyer Mark Lane make - the idea that Oswald was not the lone assassin, but an intelligence operative and designated patsy. But it is not the crazy concoction of a looney mother and her lawyer as Shenon makes them out to be, but it is a serious consideration that others, including George deMohrenschildet, Gaeton Fonzi, Sen. Richard Schweiker, John Newman and others have also made.

Central to Shenon's thesis is a Mexico City Twist Party, which he learned about from some of the recently released records of State Department mid-level diplomat Charles William Thomas, whose suicide is said to be related to the failure of the government to act on the information he provided about the Twist Party and its possible association to the assassination.

Others have been down this alley before, as the Twist Party has been the subject of previous analysis, though you wouldn't know it from listening to the audio version of Shenon's book (though it might be in the hard bound version, that I have ordered and yet to see).

On the day after the assassination the wife of the CIA's Mexico City Station Chief Win Scott was the first to mention the Twist Party and it was brought up again by others, including CIA agent June Cobb, and the story was investigated and included in other published works - Anthony Summers Not In Your Lifetime, John Newman's Oswald and the CIA, Jeff Morley's Our Man in Mexico and Gus Russo's Brothers in Arms.

All of the reports on the party can be traced back to one particular source - Elena Garro Paz, who recognized the accused assassin of President Kennedy - Lee Harvey Oswald, as having been in attendance at a Twist Party in Mexico City, a party that was hosted by the brother in law of Sylvia Duran, who was also in attendance at the party with another Cuban embassy officer, both of whom dealt with Oswald when he visited the embassy in an attempt to get a visa to Cuba.

Others at this party include Elena Garro Paz's daughter Elena, a communist writer Emilio Carballido, a General Jose Jeus Clark Flores, a red haired Latin negro and two American gringo beatniks, one of whom was a movie actor.

It was at this party that the communist Carballido and the Cuban embassy officials were allegedly overheard talking to Oswald about killing Kennedy, and where Shenon says the plan to kill the President was possibly "hatched or encouraged" by the communists there.

On the day after the day after the assassination - November 23, 1963, Elena Garro Paz - the primary source of the story, was whisked away to the Hotel Vermont by a Mexican security officer who kept her incomunicato for a week for her own protection, while at the same time, Sylvia Duran was twice arrested and violently interrogated until she confessed to having a sexual affair with Oswald, the accused assassin of President Kennedy.

Syliva Duran is clearly the principle player in this drama and in subsequent interviews with Anthony Summers, Gus Russo and now Shenon, she denies ever meeting Oswald outside of the Cuban embassy, and she has been consistent in her denials, although others close to her have reporter her admitting otherwise privately.

According to other reliable sources, Sylvia Duran met with Oswald outside of the embassy on two occasions, other than the Twist Party, once at a fancy restaurant where she introduced Oswald to the Cuban Ambassador to Mexico, and for lunch at Sanborns, a popular restaurant near the American Embassy where Oswald was also known to frequent.

Enhancing her credibility however, is Duran's acknowledgement of having an affair with someone at the American embassy and with Carlos Lechuga, the former Cuban Ambassador to Mexico. While Shenon reports on the Duran-Lechuga affair, he neglects to mention (at least in the audio version) that Lechuga was the chief Cuban intermediary in the secret JFK-William Atwood-Lisa Howard-Lechuga-Castro backchannel negotiations that were on-going at the time of the assassination (See the Chase memo), and what Arthur Schlesinger said would have been sufficient motive for anti-Castro Cubans to kill JFK - if they knew about it, and apparently they did.

These same CIA backed anti-Castro Cubans were also engaged with Oswald in New Orleans, Florida and Dallas, and were part of the failed black propaganda disinformation campaign to blame the assassination of JFK on Castro and the Cuban Communists. And there is not one, but over a dozen examples of the clearly false attempts to do this, including the now infamous Twist Party.

John Newman, as one of the best authorities on the released records concludes: "The anomiles in the story about Oswald's activities in Mexico City that proliferated in CIA channels do seem to fall into a pattern suggesting an extraordinary possibility: the story was invented....to falsely implicate the Cuban government in the assassination."

There are other case studies to support this contention, all of which have been explored elsewhere, but the Twist Party is a good example.

After Win Scott's wife, the government's files indicate that Clark Anderson was the second US embassy officer to officially call attention to the Twist Story, then June Cobb (Still secret report of October 5, 1964) and then CIA Covert Action officer Jim Flannery reported it (October 12, 1964), so the story had made the rounds of the embassy before Charles W. Thomas first reported it on December 10, 1965. The Twist Party is also mentioned in the Lopez Report of the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), and was followed up on by Summers, Newman, Russo and now Shenon.

Before we get to Charles Thomas, who brought Shenon into the story, something must be said for June Cobb, a voluptuous CIA operative and Mata Harri who slept her way into Castro's confidence and becoming his secretary and translator when he first came to power and set up his headquarters in the Havana Hilton, then managed by Col. Brandy, a Military Intelligence officer who reported to the same Pentagon office as Col. Kail, who was working out of the Cuban embassy when Castro took power.

While working for Castro June Cobb translated a book, The Shark & the Sardine, which Lee Harvey Oswald checked out of the Dallas library on November 7. 

After leaving Castro Cobb went to Mexico City where she literally moved in with Elena Garro Paz, her sister Deba and teenage daughter Elena, all of whom attended the Twist Party, so it wasn't long before Cobb heard about it and reported it to the CIA in a memo that was still secret and withheld for reasons of national security when Newman first published his book Oswald and the CIA (though it might be available now). Since Newman has learned a lot more about June Cobb and mentioned her frequently in his presentation at the Bethesda conference in September, we can expect to read more about her in Newman's upcoming new book.

Whether true or not, the idea that the CIA files indicated that Sylvia Duran had sex with both Carlos Lechuga and Lee Harvey Oswald certainly merits a raised eyebrow, but not for the reasons Shenon gives - that it implicates the Cuban government with Oswald and thus the assassination. Actually the Duran-Oswald-Lechuga menage and the Twist Party implicate the CIA and the anti-Castro Cubans in an apparently well planned and complex psych-war caper to implicate Castro and Cuban Communists in the assassination.

The problems with the Twist Party are many, as it is clear that the Durans hosted a number of such parties, the question being whether Lee Harvey Oswald - the historical accused assassin of President Kennedy, was in attendance at any of them - and if so, when was it?

Or is this a simple case of mistaken identity? Was it just an American who looked like Oswald?

Or was Oswald being intentionally impersonated, as he clearly was on other occasions?

Is the whole Twist Party story a ruse? Is it part of a planned and failed attempt to blame the assassination on Castro and Cuban Communists, as much of the evidence indicates?

One problem is the presence at the party of a red-haired Latin negro who was also seen twice with Oswald outside the Cuban embassy giving him money. One of these reports, by a Nicaraguan intelligence agent, had the wrong date, and he later recanted and the story was proven false. This red-haired Latin negro who reportedly gave Oswald money outside the Cuban embassy has been positively identified, but one wonders why he hasn't been arrested as a collaborator with Oswald, the accused assassin? Why hasn't this guy been picked up off the street by Navy SEALS and delivered to the CIA and violently waterboarded as such terrorists are treated today?

Another problem is the identity of the two American beat nicks, who were at the Party and then seen walking down the street with Oswald the next morning, one of whom was an American movie actor who Shenon's sources refused to identify because he is alive in the USA today and they want to protect him.

Well CIA records reflect the fact that the American movie actor is Richard Beymer, of West Side Story fame, who played opposite Natalie Wood in the movie version of the Broadway musical that was scored by Leonard Bernstein, a friend and admirer of President Kennedy who said of the assassination: "We don't want to know the truth."

I Googled and quickly located Beymer in the mid-west and got him on the phone. He had not been previously questioned about this before, and was unaware that he was the subject of CIA files on the assassination of the president.

Beymer acknowledged that he went to Mexico in the fall of 1963 with a friend who owned a nightclub in New York City. They went to Mexico City and tried to get a visa to Cuba, and government files indicate they contacted Sylvia Duran, just as Oswald had done.

Beymer gave me the name of his friend, fellow beat nick and traveling companion, now a Catholic priest in upstate New York, and I quickly located and talked with him on the phone as well.

Both men politely answered all my questions, but neither recalled attending a Twist Party with Duran or Oswald, although since they were both young, single Americans in Mexico looking for a party, "it was something we would have done," said Beymer.

From Mexico City they went to Acopulco to be the honored guests at a film festival that featured West Side Story, and they were there on November 22, 1963 when they learned of the assassination when they got off the elevator in the hotel lobby.

Since they were in Mexico for only a few weeks, and were there on November 22nd, it is unlikely they were there in late September when Oswald was there.

Some participants have referred to the Twist Party as having taken place a few weeks before the assassination, when Beymer and his friend could have been there, but the historical Oswald could not have been.

Shenon comes to the Twist Party with Charles W. Thomas, the State Department officer who committed suicide when he was wrongfully released from his job, and he fails to mention other sources for the Twist Party story.

"And what about Charles Thomas?," Newman asks.

Before going to Mexico City, Newman notes, "His previous assignment had been to Haiti; from Jan. 8, '61 to the 'summer' of '63. DeMohrenschildt arrived there on June 2, 1963 - and it seems likely that both men were there at the same time."

"In another interesting coincidence," Newman writes, "Thomas became involved in deMohrenschildt's business dealings with the Haitian government."

Newman: "In Mexico City in 1965 however, Charles Thomas was a CIA Covert Action operative, and a key player in the development of the Oswald-Duran story. That story gained credibility in CIA channels in a way that leaves open an unsavory possibility: the story has been invented...to falsely implicate the Cuban government in the assassination."

So Shenon, in writing about the Twist Party and making it a central part of his thesis, leaves out a lot of the previous analysis and fails to follow up on the ignored witnesses who are eager to talk.

While he is correct in that there are a lot of destroyed and missing evidence and records, there are many millions of recently released documents, and you don't have to read them all, just be familiar with the published works of those who have read many of them - Summers, Newman, Peter Dale Scott and others.

Shenon is correct in calling attention to the significance of the Twist Party story, but he is wrong to suggest that it means or proves the Cuban Communists helped "plan" or "encouraged" Oswald to kill the President, when in fact it is one of a dozen case studies of the black propaganda effort that was launched to falsely blame Castro and Cuban Communists for the assassination.


Bill Kelly Notes: I will be adding footnotes and additional notes and links to this as soon as I am able.

Also, some other errata in Shenon's book:

- the backyard photos were not taken in New Orleans but in Oak Cliff, Dallas.

- the Lifeline radio programs were found in Jack Ruby's car on the day he killed Oswald - not the day of the assassination, and btw - the author of the articles in those programs was a former CIA propaganda expert.

- Joe Goulden, who Shenon mentions making up the FBI informant number with Hugh Aynesworth, was also trying to get the Dallas assistant DA to charge Oswald with a "Communist Conspiracy," something that LBJ personally squashed on the night of the assassination.

-Greer, the Secret Service driver, was indeed born in Ireland, but Northern Ireland, and didn't have an affinity with the Irish Catholic president as he was affiliated with the pro-British political associations.

























More to Come on this.

Bill Kelly













Killing Bill O'Reilly

Killing Bill O'Reilly

Bill O'Reilly's "Killing Kennedy" is the Archie Bunker version of history, as is O'Reilly's claim to be knocking on George deMohrenschildt's door when "he heard the blast that marked the suicide of the Russian, assuring that his relationship with Lee Harvey Oswald would never be fully understood."

Rest assured we know all about deMohrenschildt's relationship with Oswald, the designated patsy, and it can be fully understood.

While much of this book can be attributed to or blamed on O'Reilly's co-author Martibn Dugard, this part of the book is all O'Reilly, and the key element in the story isn't that he exagerated or fabricated his presence at the scene at the time of death and was an ear witness to the gun blast, the key element in the story is deMohrenschildt's relationship with Oswald, the accused assassin, and that can be fully understood, as more is known now and we will learn more about it as the still secret records are released.

The key element in this story and what is wrong about "Killing Kennedy" is that the president was not the victim of a deranged loner, as disgraced Gerald Posner, John McAdams, Hugh Aynesworth and Bill O'Reilly would have you believe, but the alternative is more likely and that Lee Harvey Oswald was an intelligence operative framed as the designated patsy, as he claimed, and JFK was the victim of a covert intelligence operation, as deMohrenschildt, Fonzi, Fonzi's boss Sen. Richard Schewiker and others believe.

George deMohrenschildt is a colorful character and the subject of many books, however for our purposes we only need to know a few pertinent facts - who he was, how he met Oswald, how he assisted Oswald, how he introduced them to the Paines and what he did in Haiti at the time of the assassination.

The equation changes when we ask who was Lee Harvey Oswald, because its one thing if George deMohrenschilt assisted the lone assassin of the president and quite another thing if he helped set up the designated patsy in a much more complicated conspiracy.

The Belorussian son of a Russian Czarist oil minister, deMohrenschildt attended a Polish military academy, studied oil geology, played polo and was an international playboy who was married three times - the first to a young model, the second time to a Philadelphia physician Dr. De De Sharples, whose father owned an oil company that employed deMohrenschildt, and a third time to Jean, whose father ran the Trans-Siberian Railroad in China.

Two children from his second marriage were born handicapped, so they established a non-profit research foundation that enjoyed the support of deMohrenschildt's old family friend Jackie Bouvier Kennedy and her husband, then Senator John F. Kennedy, but deMohrenschildt isn't the only person who knew both JFK and his accused assassin, as Priscilla Johnson McMillan and the Moscow Navy attache present when Oswald defected also knew both men.

To celebrate his third marriage deMohresnchildt and his wife took a walkabout Central America writing reports that later ended up in government files and a documentary film that details their arrival in Guatemala as the Cuban exiles were getting ready to invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs.

In Texas deMohrenschildt worked for oil wildcat John Mecom, who established the San Jacinto fund, a CIA conduit, and sent deMohrenschildt to Europe, and when he returned deMohrenschildt was debriefed by J. Walton Moore, the head of the CIA's Domestic Contacts Division in Dallas. DeMohrenschildt would meet with Moore before and after he traveled overseas, and Moore became a friend and frequent dinner companion of the deMohrenschildt. A former OSS officer during World War II, Moore was sent on a mission to China with Charles Ford, an Atlantic City native and Princeton graduate who was a CIA training officer except for his one foray into CIA covert operations as a liason between the mobsters involved in CIA plots to kill Castro and RFK when he was head of the Cuban Task Force.

DeMohrenschildt also associated with others in government, defense industry security and the oil business, including Max Clark, who worked in security at General Dynamics, retired Admiral Chester Bruton, a Collins Radio executive, Jean deMenil, Sam Ballen and George Bouhe, "who kept the files on newcomers."

Among the "new comers" were Lee and Marina Oswald, who Moore encouraged deMohrenschildt to meet, and said Oswald was a "harmless lunatic."

White Russian Colonel Lawrence Orlov was with deMohrenschildt when he first visited Oswald and Orlov in turn, was a frequent racket ball partner of J. Walton Moore, the CIA's man in Dallas.

DeMohrenschildt tried to assist Oswald get a job, first with Sam Ballen, whose office Oswald visited at the Southland Center, the same high rise office building where Oswald was later seen in the lobby with the CIA spymaster David Atlee Phillips and anti-Castro Cuban terrorist Antonio Veciana. Ballen interviewed Oswald personally but declined to hire him, so deMohrenschildt introduced Oswald to retired Admiral Chester Bruton, an executive at Collins Radio, the Richardson, Texas company that supplied radios to the Air Force Strategic Air Command and Military Air Transport services - including Air Force one and the executive air fleet.

Bill O'Reilly credits deMohrenschildt with getting the job at Jaggers-Chiles-Stoval, a Dallas graphic arts company where Oswald was working when he ordered and allegedly received the pistol and rifle said to have been used to kill a Dallas police officer and the President. I say allegedly because on the day Oswald is said to have picked up the weapons and paid the balance he owned on delivery, no one at the Post Office recalls handing the weapons to him over the counter, and the J-C-S records indicate that Oswald worked that day from before the Post Office opened until after it was closed. These records also indicate that day Oswald worked on the account of a client - Sam Bloom Advertising agency, who handled the details of the President's motorcade.

At J-C-S in October 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Oswald placed arrows and captions on maps and U2 photos of Cuba and the Soviet Union, possibly on photos and maps that were used to brief the president and others about the Soviet missile in Cuba.

After deMohrenschildt got a job in Haiti, it was arranged for him to introduce Oswald to Ruth and Michael Paine, who would then pick up where deMohrenschildt left off as Oswald's "babysitter," so a party was arranged for the Oswalds to meet the Paines at the home of Volkmar Schmidt, a Magnolia Oil company employee from Germany who also met Oswald. Schmidt's room mates at this home and party include the son of Radio Free Europe executive and they all supported the Texas CIA front that funneled money to Radio Free Europe.

Schmidt had lived with a German doctor who was involved in the Valkyrie plot to assassinate Hitler, and acknowledged using reverse psychology techniques on Oswald that were taught to him by the doctor, and in their two hour beer drenched conversation, Schmidt also mentioned the Valkyrie plot and neo-Nazi General Edwin Walker, suggesting that he should be assassinated as Hitler should have been before taking power.

We are then led to believe that Oswald stalked, photographed his house and took a pot shot at Walker and missed, then flushed down a toilet the notebook of evidence he kept on the attack. The April 10, 1963 attack on Walker took place a the same time Admiral Bruton at Collins Radio was busy as the nuclear sub USS Thresher disappeared with all hands. Later a group Justice for the Crew of the Thresher (JFCOTT) would threaten the life of the President and attempt to link Oswald.

A few days later, shortly before leaving for Haiti, deMohrenschildt stopped by to say goodbye to Oswald and his wife, saw the rifle in the closet and jokingly remarked, "How did  you miss Walker?"

Oswald then moved to New Orleans, where he engaged with both the anti-Castro DRE and the pro-Castro Fair Play for Cuba Committee, while deMohrenschildt went to Haiti, via New York City and Washington D.C.

In New York deMohrenschildt met CIA officers at the private Knickerbocker Club and the offices of Train-Cabot, where John Train handled CIA propriety companies. While the meeting was supposed to be about Haiti, did deMohrenschildt tell them the most significant piece of intelligence he had - that Oswald had a rifle and probably took the shot at Walker?

In Washington D.C. deMohrenschildt met with Military Intelligence officers Col. Sam Kail and Dorothie Matlack. Kail had previously served at the US Embassy in Havana where he associated closely with David Atlee Philips and other CIA offices, while Matlack worked for the same Pentagon office that the Texas Army Intelligence officers reported to including Col. Crichton, Col. Brandy and the Colonel who rode in the pilot car of the motorcade.

Oswald stayed in New Orleans until September 24, 1963, the day after Ruth Paine picked up Marina, the baby and their belongings, including the rifle, and drove them to Texas while Oswald went to Mexico. Ruth Paine had arrived in New Orleans from Philadelphia where she visited her husband's mother Ruth Forbes Paine Young and Arthur Young, the inventor of the Bell Helicopter. Michael Paine had lived with the Youngs in Philadelphia when he met Ruth Hyde and married her, and it was Art Young who arranged for Michael to work at the Bell Helicopter plant in Texas.

It is Michael Paine's mom - Ruth Forbes Paine Young who supplies the key link in the network, as she was close friends and traveling companion with Mary Bancroft, whose book "Autobiography of a Spy," chronicles her OSS work in Bonn with paramour Allen Dulles, as a chief contact with those involved in the Valkyrie plot to kill Hitler.

On September 24th, the same day Oswald left New Orleans for Mexico, Air Force Chief of Staff General Curtis LeMay chaired a meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff while General Maxwell Taylor was in Vietnam. This meeting, as detailed in the Higgins Memo, indicates that they were briefed on CIA Cuban operations by Desmond FitzGerald, who informed them of the CIA attempt to adapt the Valkyrie plot to Castro and Cuba. Except instead of a bomb, it appears that they intended to use a sniper with a high-powered rifle and shoot Castro as he drove along in an open jeep, and blame the assassination on communists, the plan that was used at Dealey Plaza.

We certainly have learned a lot of things since the death of deMohrenschildt, and his relationship to the designated patsy, and we will learn a lot more if the remaining sealed records are released, but we know that there were shennagans at the crossroads all along the way and the story doesn't end at deMohrenschildt's doorstep and death, nor with the suspicious death of Charles William Thomas.

Among the records we should expect are the June Cobb memo about the Oswald-Duran Twist Party, and the role Charles William Thomas played for the CIA as a Covert Action agent in Haiti at the time of the assassination as well as his association there with deMohrenschildt.

In the end, the key element in this story is not Bill O'Reilly's fabrications of being there at the time of deMohrenschildt's death, but that O'Reilly is wrong about Oswald being the lone assassin, that he was a covert intelligence operative who deMohrenschildt, knowingly or unwittingly helped frame as the designated patsy in the assassination, which was a plan successfully executed and adapted from the failed Valkyrie plot to kill Hitler.







Thursday, February 26, 2015

Bob Sirkin checks in on O'Reilly's JFK Story

BK Notes - this message previously gave the wrong date -  it has been corrected. Also, since writing this Bob Sirkin has called to say that he was an associate to not an assistant to O'Reilly on the story and that O'Reilly was with  him in Florida before, during and after the suspicious dearth of George deMohrenschildt.

While Bob Sirkin does not know about the other questionable stories O'Reilly is being accused of exaggerating or fabricating, he was working with O'Reilly in Florida at the time of deMohrenschildt's death, though he wasn't with him at the time O'Reilly claims to have heard the shotgun blast that killed him.  Sirkin believes the Fonzi tape has O'Reilly calling Fonzi from Florida, not Dallas. He also notes they won award for the story they did - the Dallas Press Club's Katie ? Award.

I think this story is important - not because it may harm the reputation of O'Reilly but because the story is still relevant today and of the opportunity to present the intelligence associations of the accused assassin's best friend. Like Posner and McAdams before him - their fall from professional grace also derails their central thesis - that the president was killed by a deranged loner.


Subject: Re: Gaeton Fonzi Dead

Correction:  Haag dispatched O'Reilly and ME!   
On Tue, Sep 11, 2012 at 5:01 PM, 

Bob Sirkin wrote:

In the spring of 1977 at WFAA-TV Dallas, my boss, the legendary Marty Haag, disptached Bill O'Reilly and I to Palm Beach, Florida on a midnight Braniff Airlines flight.  Our mission; to find a missing Bishop College professor, a former Russian petrolium engineer and CIA operative, a white Russian Baron named George deMorenschieldt  A man who befriended Lee Harvey Oswald and wife Marina upon their return to Dallas from Russia. 

OReilly and I, along with WFAA-TV Reporter Doug Fox, had been on the trail of deMorenchieldt for weeks, since his suspicious disappearance from the campus of Bishop College, where deMorenschieldt taught and lived.  It was Doug Fox who dug up the fact that Bishop College, a small, black libreal arts school, had received funding from the C-I-A.    

Bill O'Reilly had been tipped by his friend, Gaeton Fonzi, Investigator for the House Committee on Assassinations (JFK and MLK) that deMohrenschildt was at the famous Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach being interviewed by author Edward Jay Epstein.  Epstein was writing a book on the JFK Assassination. 

Just hours after landing, O'Reilly and I, along with our cameraman, arrived at The Breakers.  We paid a bell hop $25 to get the number of Epstein's suite.   With camera rolling, I knocked on the door.  Epstein came to the door and went ballistic!  You could see deMohrenschildt, in the background, sitting at a dining room table.  Eptstein called hotel security.  Within moments, we were all bodily removed from the premises.   Just the beginning of our caper!

The next day, Gaeton Fonzi shows up in nearby Manalapan, Florida carrying a subpoena for deMohrenschildt to appear before the House Committee on Assassinations.   The Committee wanted to grill deMohrenschildt on his and Oswald's clandestine meeting with a CIA operative in Mexico City, about a month before the assassination.  But deMohrenschildt never appeared before the committee. 

Shortly after receiving his subpoena, deMohrenschildt retreated to a bedroom inside a mansion owned by a Mafia connected family from Arizona.  He was found dead from a massive shotgun wound to his head.  The cororner, to my recollection, couldn't say for sure that deMohrenschildt took his own life because of the length of the shotgun barrell placed in deMohrenschildt's mouth.  Some story...to say the least!

Before leaving Florida, O'Reilly and I made one more stop.  We drove to North Miami Beach, the Hallendale area.  About 10pm, we paid a visit to former convicted Watergate figure, E. Howard Hunt.  He too was the focus of the House Committee's investigation into the JFK Assassination.   When we rang Hunt's doorbell, he opened a small peephole.  In total darkness, I remember Hunt's eerie voice saying:  "I strongly suggest that you gentlemen leave RIGHT NOW!"   

We did and flew back to Dallas continuing to pursue the alleged cover-up to the assassination.  

Bill O'Reilly's contact; the late Gaeton Fonzi, made our award winning story.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The NFL at Dealey Plaza

The NFL at Dealey Plaza
By Bill Kelly 

                                                              JFK - goes out for a pass -

There’s plenty of wild conspiracy theories floating around, but I’ve found there’s also plenty of real conspiracies that aren’t theories, and in the most unlikely places.

In one of his books Max Holland notes that his wife suggested that he look for patterns in the history and I’ve found many patterns emerge from my study of political assassinations – not only in the course of investigating the forensic evidence but in the deep background of the social settings that includes music (1) and sports.

Sports for instance, includes the embattled NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who is the son of former New York Senator Charles Goodell, the Republican Governor Rockefeller picked to fill RFK’s seat when he was eliminated as a candidate (2), a tidbit that led me to think of a few more NFL connections to the JFK assassination that weren’t hard to find.

Lee Harvey Oswald the accused assassin was himself a football fan, listened to the games on the radio, watched football on television and threw the football around when off duty in the Marines (3), while his killer Jack Ruby reportedly placed bets on the games with his good friend radio station owner Gordon McLendon (4), who tried to enlist in the CIA and later joined David Atlee Phillips’ Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO). (5)

Oswald’s good friend George deMohrenschildt once worked for John Mecom, the wild cat oil man who co-founded the San Jacinto Fund  CIA front and whose son owned the New Orleans Saints (6) and was among the small association of multi-millionaire NFL club owners.

Carroll Rosenbloom, former owner of the Baltimore Colts, also owned the beach house where LBJ stayed during the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City. LBJ stayed there because he believed that his boardwalk hotel room was bugged by RFK. (7)

With JFK’s golfing partner Mike McLaney (8), Rosenbloom purchased the Hotel National casino in Havana from Meyer Lansky a few months before Castro took power, and lost their shirts (9). As detailed by Dan Muldea, who also wrote one of the first books blaming the Mafia for killing JFK (10), Robsenbloom’s mysterious drowning death on a Florida beach may have been murder (11).

If the devil is in the details Robert Oswald, the brother of the accused assassin, was represented before the Warren Commission by attorney William Mackenzie (12) whose law offices were in the Southland building, where Oswald reportedly met with CIA spymaster David Atlee Phillips. (13)

It is also the same law office that represents Clint Murchison, one of the owners of the Dallas Cowboys NFL team. (14) Murchison is reported to have hosted a much controversial party on the night before the assassination that included LBJ, J. Edgar Hover and a host of Orient Express suspects (15) with motives to kill the President.

Ruth and Michael Paine, the chief benefactors of the family of the accused assassin, lived in Irving, where Oswald stayed on the night before the assassination, and the same Dallas neighborhood where the Cowboy’s stadium was located.

In any case, the patterns are there, and while most of these associations are coincidental, there certainly are some suspicious things going on that are worthy of further and deeper examination.


                                                  The NFL Played on - November 24, 1963

NOTES:

4)      Ruby and McLendon – [http://spartacus-educational.com/JFKmclendon.htm   ]
5)      McLendon and CIA – [ http://www.ctka.net/2011/Journalists_&_JFK_3.html  ]
6)      deMohrenschildt and Mecom – [  http://spartacus-educational.com/JFKdemohrenschildt.htm [Also see “Family of Secrets” (Russ Baker, p 243].
7)      Mecom and Saints – [ http://www.neworleanssaints.com/team/history/key-moments.html      ]
9)      Rosenbloom and McLaney and Cuba – [http://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/2013/11/jfk-in-atlantic-city-what-might-have.html ]     
10)  Dan Muldea on Rosenbloom – [See: Interference: How Organized Crime Influences Professional Football By Dan E. Molde]

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Nation Calls for Truth and Justice

"Much like the Kennedy assassination in the United States, suspicious deaths have become the staples of political debate in the region.." 

The Suspicious death of an Argentine prosecutor has riled a nation to call for truth and justice and the New York Times relates the events as similar to other suspicious deaths of important officials and the lengths taken to determine the truth.. Thanks to Dr. Wecht for calling attention to this important story. - BK 

New York Times – Argentina


AMERICAS | MEMO FROM ARGENTINA

Whodunit? In Obsessed Nation, Question Becomes Who Didn’t


FEB. 7, 2015

BUENOS AIRES — The president did it. No, it was the Argentine spymaster plotting against her. Maybe it really was a suicide, the tragic fall of a man whose case was coming undone. Or was it Iran, the Israeli Mossad, the C.I.A.? And what about the lingering influence of the Nazis who fled here afterWorld War II?
Ever since the fatal shooting of Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor who accused President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of conspiring with Iran to cover up responsibility for the bombing of a Jewish community center, this country has been awash in theories about who pulled the trigger, and why.

Whether in hushed conversations in cafes, at corner news stalls, or at a lonely beach town hot-dog stand, much of Argentina seems to have an idea about how Mr. Nisman ended up on his apartment floor with a gunshot wound to the head — the night before he was scheduled to testify about his accusations to lawmakers.

“It has to either be the armed faction of narco-Nazi-jihadist international terrorism, or it has to be the Jewish-Marxism mafia that also involves the C.I.A., Israel and the Mossad,” said Carlos Wiesemann, 65, a hot-dog vendor in the town of Pinamar, weighing his list of suspected forces while drinking whiskey with a friend.
Indeed, the obsession with Mr. Nisman’s death — and the expansiveness of the theories to explain it — has grown so intense that some Argentines are poring over the case in one of the country’s most intimate sanctuaries  the psychotherapist’s office.

“All my clients are talking about the case,” said María del Carmen Torretta, 67, a psychoanalyst who treats about 15 clients a week in Villa Ballester, a suburb of Buenos Aires. “People are tired and scared,” she said. “It’s a red-hot issue.”

Pollsters have even surveyed Argentines to see who they think is responsible. One recent poll by Rouvier showed that about 48 percent of people in 800 telephone interviews across Argentina thought that Mrs. Kirchner’s government was behind the prosecutor’s death. Nearly 20 percent said the opposite — that he was a victim of a conspiracy against the government — while 33 percent acknowledged that they just did not know. The survey’s margin of sampling error was plus or minus three percentage points.

The loss of Mr. Nisman is the latest installment in a Latin American tradition: landmark political deaths that spur an array of clashing theories, often for decades.

“Many people are in anguish over Nisman’s death and they’re grasping for ways to explain it,” said Diego Sehinkman, a psychologist and author here. “If Argentina were a patient, it would appear to have a disorder involving repetition compulsion over traumatic unsolved deaths.”

Much like the Kennedy assassination in the United States, suspicious deaths have become staples of political debate in the region, sometimes pushing the courts and the authorities to go to great lengths to resolve them.
In recent years, the body of President Salvador Allende of Chile was exhumed to determine whether he took his own life or was shot dead as troops stormed the presidential palace in an American-supported coup on Sept. 11, 1973.

The remains of Pablo Neruda, theNobel Prize-winning Chilean poet, were recently exhumed to figure out whether he died of cancer or foul play shortly after the coup in 1973. Investigators recently disinterred João Goulart, a Brazilian president deposed in a 1964 coup supported by the C.I.A., to see if he was poisoned by spieswhile in exile in Argentina.

And in a particularly dramatic event, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela had the sarcophagus of Simón Bolívar, the 19th-century aristocrat who freed much of South America from Spain, opened on national television to determine whether he died of arsenic poisoning instead of tuberculosis in 1830, as historians had long accepted.

In each of these cases, investigators failed to find evidence of foul play in the deaths.

Here in Argentina, many people said that Mr. Nisman’s death reminded them of another mysterious episode in the country’s history: the 1995 death of the son of Carlos Menem, Argentina’s president at the time.
After Carlos Menem Jr. died in a helicopter crash, his mother claimed that her son had been killed, prompting yet another exhumation. Mr. Menem, now 84 and a senator, officially contended as well last year that his son had been murdered.

Mrs. Kirchner made it clear in January that she believed Mr. Nisman, the prosecutor, had been killed, pointing to three previous episodes, two from 1998 and one from 2003, in which “cases of suicide were never cleared up.” Mrs. Kirchner and her inner circle have rejected Mr. Nisman’s accusations of wrongdoing and cast suspicion in his death on a range of figures, including the assistant who lent Mr. Nisman the gunand the ousted spymaster who worked with Mr. Nisman to compile the allegations against the president.

Though neither Mrs. Kirchner nor her government has accused anyone of murder directly, she has described Mr. Nisman’s death as part of a plot to smear her, saying, “They used him while he was alive and then they needed him dead.”

But given that Mr. Nisman’s 289-page criminal complaint accused Mrs. Kirchner of trying to reach a secret deal with Iran to derail his investigation into the 1994 bombing of the Jewish cultural center, which killed 85 people, many Argentines argue that her government is the logical place to look for suspects.

“This is a country where mafias can artfully make a murder look like a suicide,” said Ana Rosa Di Serio, 65, a newsstand operator who said she believed that government officials supporting Mrs. Kirchner had Mr. Nisman killed, though without the president’s knowledge.

Others reject that theory, siding with the government.

“It doesn’t suit the government to have a death in an election year,” said Claudia Rúmolo, 55, the owner of Mordisquito, a bar lined with bookcases in downtown Buenos Aires, referring to the presidential election later this year. “A rogue branch of the Intelligence Secretariat did it, responding to opposition sectors nationally or abroad.”

Confused yet? The theories get far more complex.

While investigators have still not ruled whether Mr. Nisman was killed or took his own life, few of the theories heard on the streets accept suicide as an explanation.

One claim involves a local assassin targeting the prosecutor with the help of Venezuelan spies. Some bloggers have cast suspicion on what they describe as the Chinese mafia. A rabbi here put forward a complex interpretation of the Torah, pointing to a codified reference to the surname “Nisman” to deduce that the prosecutor was pressured by others into killing himself.

“I don’t know who did it, but I’m sure we will never find out,” said Marcus Macias, 29, an attendant selling snacks and soft drinks at a kiosk while watching a zombie movie on a flat-screen television under the glow of neon lights.

“These things happen everywhere,” he said. “The Nisman case is just like Kennedy.”

Charles Newbery contributed reporting from Pinamar, Argentina, and Jonathan Gilbert and Frederick Bernas from Buenos Aires.

A version of this article appears in print on February 8, 2015, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Whodunit? In Obsessed Nation, Question Becomes Who Didn’t. Order ReprintsToday's Paper|Subscribe


President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of Argentina and Alberto Nisman in May 2013. Mr. Nisman had accused Mrs. Kirchner of conspiring to cover up responsibility for the bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, claims she has rejected. 


News about Argentina, including commentary and archival articles published in The New York Times.

CHRONOLOGY OF COVERAGE

FEB. 18, 2015
Argentinian Foreign Min Hector Timerman sends letter to Sec of State John Kerry, warning United States and other countries to stay out of nation's domestic issues, such as case of mysterious death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman.

FEB. 14, 2015
Buenos Aires prosecutor Gerardo Pollicita is seeking to charge Argentina's Pres Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and other officials of very accusations lodged against her by late Alberto Nisman--that of protecting Iranians from responsibility in 1994 bombing at Jewish center that killed 85 people; Nisman was found dead of gunshot wound one day before he was to voice his claims in Congress.

FEB. 10, 2015
Op-Ed article by author Uki Goni makes note of Argentina's long history of political 'suicides,' which are so common that special word has been invented for apparent suicides of politicians; notes this history does not bode well for truth in demise of Alberto Nisman; holds Nisman's death, who died one day before he was to give testimony against Pres Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, is a reminder of this history.

FEB. 8, 2015
Memo From Argentina; Argentinians are obsessed with puzzling case of death of Alberto Nisman, prosecutor who accused Pres Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of covering up for Iran in bombing of Jewish community center; speculation about who was behind Nisman's death has reached feverish pitch, and shows how his death is latest installment in Latin American tradition of landmark political deaths that provoke speculation and discussion for years.

FEB. 6, 2015
Argentina's former spy chief Antonio Stiusso is asked to testify in inquiry into death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was investigating 1994 bombing of Jewish center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people.

Fallout Over Argentine Prosecutor’s Death Draws International Tensions


By JONATHAN GILBERTFEB. 17, 2015

INTENDENTE ALVEAR, Argentina — Fallout from the mysterious death of a federal prosecutor raised diplomatic tensions between Argentina and the United States on Tuesday, on the eve of a controversial march in the prosecutor’s honor that has fueled unease between the government and parts of the judiciary.

In a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, Héctor Timerman, Argentina’s foreign minister, said the country should not tolerate being a “theater for operations of politics, intelligence or, even worse, more serious actions, because of conflicts that are completely unconnected with its history,” adding that Argentina had no strategic interests in the Middle East

Days before his death on Jan. 18, the prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, had accused Mr. Timerman and President Cristina Fernández de Kirchnerof trying to derail his investigation into the fatal bombing in 1994 of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires by conspiring to shield Iranians from his charges that they had planned the attack….

“Argentina is observing with great concern the increasing frequency with which many countries are used as stages for the intervention of other states to set out disputes in function of their own geopolitical interests,” Mr. Timerman wrote in the letter, which he read aloud at a news conference. “My country rejects these actions and tries to ensure they do not happen in its territory.” Mr. Timerman, who sent a near-identical letter to the foreign minister of Israel, reminded foreign diplomatic officials that they should not interfere in Argentina’s domestic issues.

In a phone call on Tuesday, Mr. Timerman said he would not elaborate on his written remarks. A spokeswoman for the United States Embassy in Argentina also declined to comment.

Responding to Mr. Timerman’s plea for the United States government to take up the issue of the 1994 bombing in its talks with Iran over nuclear issues, Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for the State Department, said she was not aware of any plans to do so.

“There is a great paralysis in the government about how to resolve this institutional crisis,” said Carlos Germano, a political analyst in Buenos Aires. “It’s turning to the old saying that there’s no better defense than a good attack, and the United States is the easiest target,” he added, referring to tensions between the United States and Latin American countries.

Mr. Timerman has challenged the central premise of Mr. Nisman’s criminal complaint by pointing to an email from the former secretary general of Interpol that says Mr. Timerman never lobbied to lift international arrest warrants for the Iranians.

A prosecutor revived Mr. Nisman’s  complaint last week, seeking to charge Mrs. Kirchner and Mr. Timerman. The government said the revival of the complaint and a march planned for Wednesday in Mr. Nisman’s honor by a group of prosecutors amounted to a judicial coup. Members of the political opposition and other Argentines unhappy with the government plan to attend the march, leading Mrs. Kirchner’s supporters to denounce it as “political opportunism.”

In speeches Mrs. Kirchner delivered in Patagonia over the weekend, she did not explicitly mention the fallout from Mr. Nisman’s death.

But she did post comments on Facebook from a speech last week in which she spoke out against unspecified influences abroad, implying that they were meddling in Argentina’s affairs.

Investigators are still trying to establish whether Mr. Nisman, who was found dead of a bullet wound to the head, shot himself or was killed. Some Argentines believe the government had a hand in the events surrounding his death. But Mrs. Kirchner has cast suspicion on a rogue spymaster recently ousted from Argentina’s main intelligence agency. She has suggested that the spymaster, Antonio Stiuso, manipulated Mr. Nisman by feeding him misleading information for his case against her.

A version of this article appears in print on February 18, 2015, on page A5 of the New York edition with the headline: Argentine Case Draws International Tensions. 

Argentines March to Demand Answers About Dead Prosecutor

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESSFEB. 18, 2015, 5:34 P.M. E.S.T.


BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Tens of thousands of Argentines marched through the capital Wednesday demanding answers in the mysterious death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman exactly one month after he was found in his bathroom with a bullet in his right temple.

In a case that has posed one of the strongest challenges to President Cristina Fernandez, protesters waved Argentine flags and carried white signs with black letters that read "Justice!" and "Truth!" Many also carried umbrellas to repel a burst of summer rain.

Blanca Perez, 81, said she believed Nisman had been murdered and the government needed to account for what happened.

"If we don't have justice, we won't have liberty," she said. "The government has lost control of the situation."
Organized by several prosecutors, protesters walked from Congress to the iconic Plaza de Mayo in downtown Buenos Aires. Police didn't immediately provide a crowd estimate, but the 10-block stretch, plus many surrounding streets, burst with people, making it one of the biggest of several marches since Nisman's body was discovered Jan. 18.

Upon arriving at their destination, thousands stayed for more than an hour, chanting "Argentina!" and demanding action by the government. By late Wednesday, most were starting to disperse.

The 51-year-old prosecutor was found in a pool of blood the day before he was to detail to Congress his explosive accusations that Fernandez and top government officials orchestrated a secret deal with Iran to shield Iranian officials allegedly responsible for the 1994 bombing that killed 85 people at a Jewish community center in Argentina's capital.

Fernandez has denied the allegations, but her administration has struggled to confront the growing political crisis.

The president initially suggested Nisman had killed himself, then did an about-face a few days later, saying she suspected he had been slain. Authorities now say they are investigating the possibility of suicide or homicide.

Like many Argentines, lawyer Marcelo Lopez rejected the idea that Nisman killed himself.

"I'm worried about the future of my country," he said, holding a sign that read, "They can't 'suicide' us all."
In the lead up to the march, the main opposition parties said they planned to participate, making it a hotly contested political issue and adding to intensifying rhetoric from the government.

Fernandez has suggested Nisman was killed by rogue counterintelligence agents and have cast suspicions on Antonio "Jaime" Stiuso, who reportedly oversaw a vast wire-tapping operation before being removed by Fernandez in December.

Stiuso, who had worked with Nisman on his investigation, provided testimony on Wednesday, according to a statement from the office of Viviana Fein, the lead investigator in Nisman's death. No other details were provided.

Fernandez and other top administration officials also have suggested that the United States and Israel have meddled with Argentina, but have not provided details.

In a speech at nuclear power plant earlier Wednesday, Fernandez referred to letters that Foreign Minister Hector Timerman said he sent Tuesday to his counterparts in the United States and Israel. Timerman said the two countries should not get involved in Argentina's affairs, but did not provide specifics.

"Some people wanted to play dumb and look the other way," Fernandez said of the accusations. "I urge all compatriots to read every paragraph of those letters."

Fernandez, known for populist, fiery speeches, did not elaborate. But she did cast the apparent friction as a battle of economic interests and attempts by other countries to keep Argentina down.

"In reality, they prefer an Argentina without a nuclear plan, an Argentina that does not develop scientifically, an Argentina with low salaries and cheap labor," she said.

A U.S. Embassy spokesman declined to comment, instead referring to a State Department statement from Tuesday saying the United States had offered assistance in the Nisman investigation. A spokeswoman at the Israeli Embassy also declined to comment.