Monday, June 27, 2016

Letter to the AOTUS Re: JFK Act of 1992

William E. Kelly, Jr.
20 Columbine Ave.
Browns Mills, New Jersey 08015

June 27, 2016

Mr. David S. Ferriero
Archivist of the United States
National Archives and Records Administration
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, Maryland 20740-6001

Dear Mr. Ferriero,

As a researcher, fellow blogger and Walt Whitman enthusiast, I was fascinated by your blog post "Calling All Whitman Fans." I found it amazing that over 3,000 previously unknown Whitman records could have secretly existed among the stacks of documents at the Archives. Their discovery gives hope that more such historic gems are waiting to be found among our nation’s family jewels in the Archives’ attic. I have a particular interest in the missing and still-withheld records of the assassination of President Kennedy, the subject of much of my research.

As a co-founder of the Committee for an Open Archives, I lobbied Congress to release the remaining House Select Committee on Assassinations records and took an active interest in the passage of the JFK Act as an original member of the Coalition on Political Assassinations. Now, in my capacity as Secretary of Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA), I continue that work to ensure that the JFK Act is appropriately enforced.

I appreciate your commitment to the job and appeal to you to try to resolve some of the outstanding issues concerning the JFK Collection at the Archives II and the enforcement of the JFK Records Act (44 U.S.C.A. 2107).  As you know the law requires all government records pertaining to the assassination of President Kennedy to be collected and deposited in the JFK Collection at Archives II.  Further, the law requires such records are to be immediately made available to the public unless delayed until October 26, 2017.  At that time it is anticipated that you will be able to certify to the president, Congress and the public that: “all assassination records have been made available to the public in accordance with this Act” as the law stipulates.

Section 4 of the JFK Act states: “the Archivist shall ensure the physical integrity and original provenance of all records. The Collection shall consist of records of all government records relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, which shall be transmitted to the National Archives in accordance with section 2107 of title 44, United States Code.  The Archivist shall prepare and publish a subject guidebook to the collection,…a central directory comprised of identification aids created for each record transmitted to the Archivist and the Archivist shall ensure that the identification aid program is established in such a manner as to result in the creation of a uniform system of electronic records by Government offices that are compatible with each other.” (Emphasis added.) 

The Act’s mandate that the “Archivist shall prepare and publish a subject guidebook to the collection,” has not been undertaken and I am advised by your polite and efficient staff that the digital data base legally suffices to meet the requirements of the Act even though such a digital data base cannot be reasonably construed as a published subject guidebook, as the law prescribes. The existing digital data base may be compatible with and sufficiently accessible to various government offices but it certainly is not sufficiently accessible or compatible with public research within the meaning of the Act. The digital data base has not been updated in years to keep abreast of evolving information and many of the records listed as still classified on the database have in fact been open to the public for years. In addition, I am informed that the Archives’ staff uses a different data base that is continuously updated. The fact that this updated data base is not accessible to the public suggests a two-tiered system that is incompatible with the spirit and the letter of the Act.

In addition to the lack of a published subject index and the elusiveness of an accessible, updated digital data base, the most serious issue I wish to call to your attention involves the many missing records. Compounding this problem is the evident failure of the NARA to actively investigate the location of all missing records in order to recover them.

My most particular concern is with: 1) the original Air Force One radio transmission tapes; 2) the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) defector files; 3) the records relating to all interviews and depositions conducted by the Church Committee; and 4) the ONI 119 Reports.

As I understand that you are a former Navy corpsman, and I thank you for your service in Vietnam. Because of your personal interest in Navy records you may already be aware of the sorry state of the ONI records relating to the assassination, many of which have been reported as lost or missing. Certainly the suggestion that any such records may be wrongfully withheld today would be a justifiable cause of concern to the National Archives.

Some documents that have been located, such as the records of former HSCA chief counsel Richard Sprague, are not being properly obtained and made available, even though they are within the ambit of the Act and unquestionably belong in the JFK Collection.

In view of the mandate that “No assassination record shall be destroyed, altered, or mutilated in any way,” as provided by the Act, the reported destruction of records and evidence by employees of the Secret Service is a particular source of dismay. To my knowledge, in spite of such admissions, no investigation of these reports is being pursued and no one has been charged with a crime. The lack of enforcement activity may be understandable in view of the lack of congressional oversight; no hearings on compliance have been held in 18 years.  This nonfeasance makes the situation no less unacceptable. 

Since the law mandates the Archivist of the United States be accountable for ensuring this law is carried out I am requesting that the JFK Act of 1992 be enforced forthwith. Will the National Archives publish a subject index as the law requires? Will the National Archives open the updated digital data base to researchers? Will the National Archives pursue the missing records? Will the National Archives request Congress to hold oversight hearings on the JFK Act? 
Please also consider this a request for a personal meeting with you and JFK Collection-Archives II staff and two or three serious, responsible researchers to discuss some of these issues and to consider the best way that we may work together to resolve them within the mandates of the Act.

Thank you for your time and prompt attention to this matter.

Very truly yours,

William E. Kelly, Jr.
CAPA Secretary






Monday, June 20, 2016

The Covert Crack - Black Prop OPs at Dealey Plaza

The Covert Crack in the Dealey Plaza Operation - 

The Black Prop Op that Failed – Exposing JFK’s Killers

Black Propaganda Operations at Dealey Plaza

By William E. Kelly, Jr.

Even at this late date we still may not be able to say with certainty who killed President Kennedy, but it can be demonstrated how he was killed.

It can still be determined if the assassination of JFK was the work of a deranged lone nut, as the official record contends, or was a very sophisticated covert intelligence operation that utilized black propaganda and disinformation, framed a patsy and permitted those responsible for the crime to get away with murder, as such covert operations are designed to do.

Since all of the evidence that implicates Lee Harvey Oswald as the accused assassin is questionable and would have never been admitted into a court of law, and he was murdered while in police custody, a strong case can be made that he was framed as a patsy, as he himself claimed.

Even if Oswald was the lone sniper who killed the president, wounded governor John Connally, and killed Dallas policeman as an assassin and spree killer, his criminal personality profile fits the Covert Operational Personality (COP) that indicates his motive was political and not psychological, that he was operating as part of a covert intelligence network on a standard need-to-know basis and was a pawn in a much bigger game.



If what happened at Dealey Plaza is viewed, as Bill Simpich suggests, not as the spontaneous work of a lone nut, but as well planned and successfully executed covert intelligence operation, it all begins to make sense and comes into a clear and understandable focus.  The murder of the president was not the result of a plot so much as it was a plan – a very detailed and executed plan that was prepared in advance by perpetrators within the government itself and continues today to shield those responsible. As an intelligence “operation” it was a “Coup d’etat” that is still in effect and continues to shield those responsible, even though most of them are dead.

It is not the perpetrators who are now being shielded by the government today, but the MO – the Modus Operandi that they utilized that is being kept secret, because it is the way they continue to manipulate events  today.   

[ Maj. Gen. Llewellyn .W. Atcherley and Modus Operatndi System in Crime Detection http://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/2010/10/modus-operandi.html?m=1 ]

While the Dealey Plaza operation was successful in killing the president and shielding those responsible from justice, it failed to sell its cover story – that Fidel Castro was behind the operational conspiracy, a failure that led the FBI, the Warren Commission and other branches of government to adopt, as Peter Dale Scott classifies it as the “Phase Two” lone-nut scenario as a plausible alternative to the truth.

Professors Peter Dale Scott and John Newman and attorney Dan Hardway have all recently called attention to the significance of what Scott calls the “managed Oswald stories,” – the “Phase One” black propaganda and disinformation campaign to blame what happened at Dealey Plaza on Fidel Castro – a clearly defined intelligence operation that continues today.

Because that part of the operational plan – the original cover story failed,  it provides a window into the intelligence network responsible for the assassination because those involved in promoting the black propaganda disinformation campaign that Castro was behind the Dealey Plaza operation were certainly close to those who actually carried out the operation.

This is a subject that others have also written about – Mathew Smith wrote a book “The Second Plot” dedicated to the subject, but I will limit the discussion at first to only to what Scott, Newman and Hardway have recently had to say on the subject, and how it gives new leads and direction to future inquires.

As we have learned from the study of planets, it is often not as you see them, but more as you see their reflections as viewed as blinking eclipses that tell you they are there, just as we can see the reality of what happened at Dealey Plaza as a reflection in Alices’s “Looking Glass” and what happens when you descend into the rabbit’s hole of intentionally deceptive covert intelligence operations, especially those that are successful.

                     TWO CONSPIRACIES – The Murder and the Cover-Up

            There are two documented conspiracies associated with the assassination of President Kennedy – the first was the arrangement of his murder, the second concerns the cover-up and thwarting of justice. The second conspiracy continues today, so it should concern us all.

            The evidence in both cases is in the form of fingerprints – as Senator Richard Schweiker (R. Pa) put it - the distinct fingerprints of  intelligence techniques at work. Evidence of the first conspiracy comes in the form of foreknowledge - individuals who had knowledge of the assassination before it occurred and expressed this knowledge to others.



            Sun Tzu, the fifth century Chinese philosopher and author of the classic manual “The Art of War” said that foreknowledge “cannot be elicited by spirits or obtained by magic” but rather can only be acquired from an operational network of spies. “Foreknowledge,” he said, “is the reason the enlightened prince and the wise general conquer the enemy whenever they move.”

Such foreknowledge is obtained by what Sun Tzu called the “Divine Skein,” a skein being a net, like a fisherman’s net that pulls in information, a network of spies, an intelligence network.

            Proof of the second conspiracy – evidence of the cover-story stems from the fact that black propaganda operations were utilized before the assassination, and continue to operate today to maintain security and protect those responsible for the first conspiracy. This very distinct and descriptive black propaganda disinformation operation attempts, but fails to blame the Dealey Plaza operation on Fidel Castro of Cuba.

            That people had foreknowledge of the assassination before it occurred and black propaganda operations were conducted in concert with the murder are clearly established facts that would not exist at all if the murder was the work of a lone nut case, and indicates that the assassination was carried out by trained covert intelligence operatives and not by a loner or the Mafia. This does not preclude however, members of organized crime or crazy people from being involved in the operation.

            That Fidel Castro was behind the assassination is clearly defined disinformation and part of the deception plan - the pre-prepared “cover story” that shields those actually responsible for the President’s murder. Over a dozen incidents, most if not all of which can be traced back to the same source, attempt to portray the assassination as the work of Castro or his G2. 


            Tracing the deceptive disinformation back to its source should also give us the source of the operation that resulted in what happened at Dealey Plaza. Since disinformation, propaganda and psychological warfare operations utilize explicit techniques, they can be identified, isolated and studied as to their content, intention and source, and thus provide a window into the nest of the responsible network.
                                                       BLACK PROP OPS      
      
             According to Ladislas Farago “Black Propaganda is a fundamental intelligence operation…because it never identifies its real source and pretends to originate within or close to the enemy.”

            Paul Linebarger, a professor at the School for Advanced International Studies at John Hopkins University, also taught the black arts of propaganda and psychological warfare operations at his Washington D.C. home. Every Friday evening student spys would take round-a-bout means to unobtrusively get to his house where they learned the secret techniques of propaganda and deception.
Not a subject found in the curriculum of most colleges, the textbook is rare, Linebarger’s “Psychological Warfare – International Propaganda and Communications” (Arno Press, 1948, 1952, 1972, Duell, Sloan and Pearce, N.Y.) is a still used by today’s psychological warriors.

            One of his students, Joseph Burkholder Smith (“Portrait of a Cold Warrior” G. Putnam/s Sons, N.Y., 1976), relates how Linebarger explained that Black Propaganda is “carefully labeled to be acts of the enemy.” According to Linebarger, “Psychological warfare, in the broad sense, consists of the application of parts of the science called psychology to the conduct of war; psychological warfare comprises the use of propaganda against the enemy, together with such military operational measures as may supplement the propaganda. Propaganda may be described in turn, as organized persuasion by non-violent means. War itself may be considered to be, among other things, a violent form of persuasion. War is waged against the minds, not the bodies of the enemy.”

            The term propaganda stems from the name of the department of the Vatican which had the duty of propagating the faith. Specifically defined, propaganda consists of   “the planned use of any form of public or mass produced communication designed to affect the minds and emotions of a given group for a specific public purpose, whether military, economic or political. Military propaganda consists of the planned use of any form of communications designed to affect the minds and emotions of a given enemy, neutral or friendly foreign group for a specific strategic or tactical purpose.”

            Note that if the communication is not planned, it cannot be called propaganda, and that if does not originate from an intelligence agency or service, it is not disinformation.

            Linebarger developed the STASM formula for spot analysis, in which propaganda can be distinguished by the consideration of five elements – 1) Source, 2) Time, 3) Audience, 4) Subject, 5) Mission. According to Linebarger, this formula works best in the treatment of monitored materials of which the source is known. First point to note is the character of the source – the true source (who really got it out?), the ostensible source (whose name is signed to it?); also the first use source (who used it the first time?) and the second source (who claims merely to be using it as a quotation?).

            It is soon evident that the mere attribution of source is a job of high magnitude. A systematic breakdown of the STASM formula produces the following analysis outline: applicable to any single propaganda item, civil or military, in war or peace, spoken, visual or printed. There are five kinds of propaganda: Defense – maintains an accepted form of social action; Offensive – interrupts social action not desired; Conversionary – change allegiance; Divisive – split apart enemy components; Consolidation – insure compliance of occupied civilians; Counterpropaganda – refutes. Security is designed to deep useful information from reaching the enemy, while propaganda operations are designed to get information to him.

            According to Smith, “Linebarger’s two leading operational heroes whose activities formed the basis for lessons he wished us to learn and whose examples he thought we should follow were Lt. Col. Edward G. Lansdale and E. Howard Hunt,” who had what Linebarger called “black minds.”

            Besides his own textbook, Linebarger used another book in his classes, - “The Big Con” by David W. Maurer (Pocket Books, N.Y., 1949), which is the story used as the basis for the screenplay of the movie “The Sting.”


Maurer, a Kentucky linguistics professor, began to study the unique slang of confidence men, but developed that interest into a unique analysis of the Big Con confidence games that proliferated during the early part of the last century. That book, “gives ideas on how to recruit agents, how to handle them and how to get rid of them peacefully when they’re no use to you any longer.” As Linebarger concluded, “Believe me, that last one is the toughest job of all,” as David A. Phillips learned with Antonio Vechina.

            “The big time confidence games are in reality, only carefully rehearsed plays in which every member of the cast EXCEPT THE MARK knows his part perfectly,” wrote Maurer.

            According to Linebarger, “Propaganda is directed to the subtle niceties of thought by which people maintain their personal orientation in an unstable interpersonal world. Propaganda must use the language of the mother, the schoolteacher, the lover, the bully, the policeman, the actor, the ecclesiastic, the buddy, the newspaperman, all of them in turn. And propaganda analysis, in weighing and evaluating propaganda, must be even more discriminating whether the propaganda is apt to hit its mark or not.”

            Those who pre-planned the Dealey Plaza operation to kill President Kennedy assumed that the assassination would be considered a conspiracy and intentionally deflected the attention of the law enforcement and public opinion using black propaganda techniques to implicate a Fidel Castro and Communists in the operation, and shield the identity of the actual sponsors.

                       PETER DALE SCOTT – The Deeper Truth Still Not Revealed

Peter Dale Scott in Deep Politics 3 [excerpted in the CAPA Newsletter Vol. 1 #1] writes about what he calls the “Managed Oswald Stories.”

“In the days after the murders in Dallas,” Scott writes, “ the U.S. was flooded with dubious stories, most of them swiftly discredited, linking Oswald to either a Cuban or Soviet conspiracy. Those which most preoccupied the FBI and CIA all came out of Mexico. These stories exhibited certain common characteristics. 1. They all came from either directly from an intelligence source, or from someone in the hands of an intelligence agency. Nearly always the agency involved was the Mexican DFS or secret police. The DFS, along with the Nicaraguan intelligence service, which was also a source, were under CIA tutelage.”

“2 The Stories changed over time, to support either a pro-conspiratorial hypothesis (‘Phase One’) or a rebuttal of this (“’Phase Two’).”

“3. The Warren Commission was led to believe that the ‘Phase One’ stories were without basis. In fact a number of unresolved anomalies suggest that behind them was some deeper truth, still not revealed.”

“4. As noted the two main sources, Silvia Duran and Gilberto Alvarado, gave varying stories while detained by the DFS. Of the two, Duran was actually tortured, and Alvarado reportedly threatened with torture... In retrospect, these stories should not have been taken seriously. In fact the CIA was able to rely on them, not as a source of truth, but as a source of coercive influence over the rest of the government. It will help us to understand what was going on if we refer to the stories, not as 'information' or even as 'allegations,' but as MANAGED STORIES. To say this leaves open the question of who were the ultimate managers – the DFS, U.S. Officers in Mexico, or higher authorities in Washington.”

“The full history is complex and confused, with many unanswered questions. But nearly all of these managed stories, along with others outside Mexico.....resolve into this simple pattern of a Phase One/Phase Two evolution. To this day both 'Phase-One' and 'Phase-Two' versions are trotted out from time to time. These control public perceptions of the Kennedy assassination seize the debate from genuine critics who have less access to the media.”

“I do wish to argue that these managed stories, fleeting and insubstantial though they are, were of central importance in determining the outcome of the Kennedy assassination investigation. In succeeding years, furthermore, the discredited ‘Phase-One’ stories have been revived to manipulate public opinion, even after the CIA and FBI had agreed on a ‘Phase-Two’ interpretation of Oswald's movements in Mexico City. In 2013, for example, the discredited Garro story of the twist party was revived in a mainstream book by Philip Shenon. [Philip Shenon, A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination (New York: Henry Hold and Company, 2013), 496-98 etc.].”

“David Phillips is the one man who seems to cover all aspects of the CIA - Oswald operation and cover-up in 1963. David Phillips even had one friend, Gordon McLendon, in common with Jack Ruby. McLendon, a sometimes intelligence officer and Dallas owner of radio stations, had known Phillips since both men were in their teens. (The two men would in the 1970s join in forming the Association of Former Intelligence Officers.). McLendon was close to two other wealthy men in Dallas who have attracted the attention of JFK researchers, Clint Murchison and Bedford Wynne. What is not yet known is why McLendon, whom Ruby described as one of his six closest friends, embarked on a sudden and surprising trip with his family to Mexico City in the fall of 1963. …”

“Those of us who genuinely wish to see overt, rational forces prevail in the world must reject a superficial and spurious defense of our institutions. The ideal embraced by our society, that it be based on truth and openness, is not a cynical cliché, but a real condition for our institutional health. The pursuit of leads hinted at in this essay may seem frustratingly difficult, esoteric, and above all slow. But to abandon this pursuit is to break faith with the American dream of enlightenment itself.”

To abandon this pursuit is to break faith with the American dream of enlightenment itself.

                            JOHN NEWMAN – Where Angels Tread Lightly

John Newman in Where Angels Tread Lightly [Excerpted in the CAPA Newsletter Vol. 1 #1] writes, “In this investigation…we are attempting to look inside a very dark box. The people involved in the design of the plot, even if they were only a few, were very sophisticated in propaganda and deception operations.”

Newman continues: “In his book, The Craft of Intelligence [Allen W. Dulles, Craft of Intelligence: America’s Legendary Spy Master on the Fundamentals of Intelligence Gathering for a Free World (Guilford, Connecticut: The Lyons Press, 2006), p. 147.], former Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles wrote about the ‘collateral effect’ of a successful deception operation. Dulles often used the term ‘black operation,’ which is similar to the term used in this volume, ‘dark operation.’”

“Dulles explained the ‘collateral effect’ this way: once a single piece’ of the enemy’s deception has succeeded in its purpose, then almost anything that happens can be taken as one of his tricks. The point that Dulles was driving at was this: ‘Often the very fear of deception has blinded an opponent to the real value of the information which accidents or intelligence operations have placed in his hands.’ …It is worthwhile pondering how Dulles’ point might apply to the Kennedy assassination. As stated in the Introduction to this work, in this case a very significant “single piece” of deception succeeded in its purpose….”

“The plot to assassinate President Kennedy was designed to deceive both people in the government and the public at large. A convincing trail of evidence was established to make it appear that the Kennedy brothers’ plan to overthrow Castro had been turned around and used against them by Fidel himself, resulting in the assassination of President Kennedy. “

Newman writes: “We should heed Dulles’ advice and not fear that almost everything’ is a successful deception operation. We should, as Dulles advises us, realize that accidents in intelligence operations happen. Such accidents have occurred in this case too. They have placed important clues into our hands.”

“There is an unstated corollary principal in the game of deception that Allen Dulles was kind enough to give us. Once a ‘single piece’ of a black operation has been compromised, the entire fabric of that operation can potentially unravel.”

                                                 DAN  HARDWAY

At a conference presentation Dan Hardway [ http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024176773 ]
said: "If (the 'Oswald, the Pro-Castro Commie' story) was that coordinated, that quick, and as detailed, it would be reasonable to infer that it had been laid on in advance. I set out to identify the sources of these stories that came out immediately after the assassination with detailed information on Oswald and his pro-Castro activities. I started asking for the CIA files on all those sources. I got a lot of them before we lost access, but I did not get them all. That was one of the things I was really pressing on, when I got shut down."

In a deposition in the Morley v. CIA case, former HSCA investigator Dan Hardway made some rather specific allegations that can be followed up and provide what they call “actionable intelligence” that could make a significant breakthrough in the case.

In the Declaration of Dan L. Hardway [05/11/16 Re: Civil Action 03-0254 (RJL) Page 6 – 8], he clearly states that: “During the course of my research I was able…. to review CIA 201 files on individuals who had been sources for stories that appeared in the immediate aftermath of the assassination tying LHO (Lee Harvey Oswald)  to Castro or the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. I was able to establish that most of the sources of these stories were, or had been, agents or assets used at one time or another by David Atlee Phillips…..I had been able to document links between David Phillips and most of the sources of the disinformation that came out immediately after the assassination about Oswald and his pro-Castro proclivities.”

“I confronted Phillips with those in an interview at our offices on August 24, 1978. Phillips …was forced to admit that many of the sources were former assets that he had managed in the late 1950s and early 1960s – but were also assets whom he was personally managing in the fall of 1963. Mr. Phillips was asked, but could not explain why the information that came from anti-Castro groups and individuals pointed to Cuban connections all seemed to come from assets he had handled personally, but acknowledged that was the case.”

“An extension of materials used in preparation for this interview of David Phillips has not been found so far as I know. The memorandum of that interview has not been located in the official records of the HSCA, although a partial copy has been circulated in the JFK assassination research community.”

                                               THE PARTIAL HSCA MEMO

Dan Hardway’s heavily redacted and partially missing Memo of the August 24, 1978 Interview with David Atlee Phillips reads in part:

Phillips, page 18.

“Mr. Phillips said that he did not participate, nor was he aware of, in any campaign after the assassination to spread misinformation about the death of Kennedy. He could not explain why the misinformation that came from the Cuban groups and individuals that tended to point to Castro involvement were predominately from assets that he had handled personally as opposed to ones that had been ran out of the Miami station. He said that he agreed that it was strange that the one piece of evidence that tended to show at least DGI foreknowledge was not pursued by his shop while disinformation from his former assets occupied the attentions of investigators in that area. Mr. Phillips stated that he did not know of any hard evidence that existed in 1963 that pointed to Castro’s involvement.”

“When asked about his relationship with Julio Lobo, he became a bit upset and said he thought he had covered that adequately in his deposition. He says as far as he can recall he met Lobo only one time, perhaps it was even in Madrid and not Havana, he doesn’t recall, and he had no substantial dealings with him.”

“He wanted to know if Veciana’s story about Bishop is still being considered and if any decision about his being Bishop had be(en) conclusively arrived at. He said he doesn’t like living under the fear and tension of possibly being called before the television cameras and having Veciana suddenly stand up and point a finger at him and say that he is Bishop and that he saw him with Oswald.”

“Phillips was told by the interviewers that they had no authority to discuss anything of substance about our investigation to him. He asked that the interviewers seek permission to let him know what was going on. He was told that his request would be brought to high-level attention but that a response of any kind at all could not be assured.”

“Phillips stated that he did not know Paul Bethel very well, but it was not Bethel who introduced him to Lopez-Fresuet.”

Phillips, page 21

“Mr. Phillips said that he had met McClendon (Gordon) once when they were in college. He said that he had not seen him again until September of 1976 when he attended a Retired Intelligence Officers meeting. Later McClendon had called him and reminded him of an incident mentioned in Nightwatch involving a school day’s episode and McClendon told him that he was the man who picked him up in his car. As far as Phillips can recall he never had any contact with McClendon during the intervening years. He never met McClendon at any time during 1963 in Dallas.”

“Phillips stated that he had no familiarity with the Catherwood Foundation or Cummins Catherwood or E. Wharton Shober. He was not specifically familiar with the Foundation’s Cuban Relief operation in Miami. Phillips said that debriefing centers in Miami were under the aegis of the CIA but the Agency only got the product from xxx, they were actually run by another agency. He said that it many have been ran by military intelligence.”


Bill Kelly notes: That single piece of the black propaganda at Dealey Plaza that failed and compromises the whole operation is the disinformation campaign to blame the assassination on Fidel Castro, which gives us an open window and a crack in the door into the intelligence network responsible for the otherwise successful Dealey Plaza operation. 


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Interview with ONI Investigator Robert Steel




Image result for Paul Bentley Dallas PD with Oswald
Cigar chomping Dallas Detective Paul Bentley takes Oswald into custody 


November 24, 1963
Detective Paul Bentley
Dallas Police Department

Dear Paul,
Perhaps you are aware that ONI has quite a file on Oswald, which no doubt has been made available on the Washington level. If not, I am certain that this information can be obtained for you through our resident special agent in charge of the Dallas office, A. C. Sullivan, who is a wonderful agent, and whom I hope you know. As a personal friend, I congratulate you, wish you continued success, and pray that your guardian angel will remain close at hand and vigilant, always. 

Robert D. Steel
Commander, USNR-R
7960 June Lake Drive,
San Diego, California 

Oral History Interview with Robert D. Steel, La Jolla, California. February 1, 2013

Interviewer: I am interviewing Commander Robert D. Steel, US Navy Reserves, Retired in La Jolla, California, as an oral history project for the Baylor University Library, JFK Section. Steel’s wife Judy is sitting in as an observer during this interview. Good morning Commander Steel.

Good morning Commander Steel.

Robert D. Steel: Good morning.

Question: What is your full name sir?

RDS: Robert David Steel.

Q: When and where were you born?

RDS: May, M-A-Y- Texas, that’s in the central part of the state….

Q: And when were you born?

RDS: May 26, 1919

Q: When did you join the Navy?

RDS: I graduated from the University in Texas, then I went to Northwestern University midshipman school in Chicago in January 1942 and graduated in May, 1942. I came out to the West Coast, I was in charge of training, Naval section from the University of Southern California.

Q: Did you serve on any ships during World War II?

RDS: I would consider the Sea Scout a ship.

Q: So you served on the Sea Scout?

RDS: I was the commanding officer.

Q: I read about the Sea Scout, that was a sonar training ship, wasn’t it?

RDS: Yes it was.

Q: Okay. Did you serve on any other ships during World War II?

RDS: Yes I did, for the last two years of the war I was on board a destroyer escort.

Q: Were you an officer on that ship?

RDS: Yes, I was number three officer, a first lieutenant in charge of everything above the waterline.

Q: What did you do after the war?

RDS: I first worked for the Internal Revenue Service as a tax collector.

Q: In San Diego?

RDS: Collecting from business men in San Diego, and following that Naval Intelligence, I came to work for them as a special agent.

Q: What year did you leave active duty and join the Naval Reserves.

RDS: I suppose that would be 1945.

Q: And what year did you join ONI?

RDS: 1948.

Q: How many years did you work for ONI?

RDS: As a special agent 22 years.

Q: Did you work for ONI in any other capacity other than special agent?

RDS: Yes, I was a commanding officer of the Reserve officers throughout the area.

Q: What years would that have been?

RDS: That was for a two year period and I had to work my way up to that position, and I retired from that around 1962.

Q: When you were working as a special agent were you technically a civilian agent?

RDS: Yes sir, but I wore two hats, being a Reserve officer I was also doing Reserve duty from time to time with various other agencies – CIA, FBI and other military services in Washington DC mainly.

Q: Did you serve as liaison with CIA and FBI so to speak?

RDS: I wouldn’t call it liaison, I was indoctrinated into their activities.

Q: Did you work for the same branch or department of ONI while you were a special agent all those years?

RDS: Would you repeat the question?

Q: I am a little bit unfamiliar with the structure of ONI. I believe there was a special branch – the Naval Investigative Service, did you work for that branch for 22 years as a special agent?

RDS: Yes.

Q: Did your work at ONI involve liaison with any other government agencies?

RDS: (Laughs) Yes.

Q: With CIA and FBI for example?

RDS: Yes.

Q: In which naval district were you stationed in late 1959 and early 1960?

RDS: Would you repeat that?

Q: In which naval district were you stationed in late 1959-60?

RDS: My headquarters were always in this naval district.

Q: That would include San Diego?

RDS: San Diego and all the area that included Arizona and New Mexico.

Q: Who was your boss 1959-1963?

RDS: Who was my boss? I had many.

Q: Did you know Fred Reeves?

RDS: (Laugh) A very good close friend.

Q: Was he the head of the San Diego ONI office?

RDS: For a brief period.

Q: Do you remember roughly when?

RDS: No I’m sorry I can’t recall. 

Q: Was he ever your boss.

RDS: Very briefly. We were mainly co-workers.

Q: When did you start living in San Diego?

RDS: Ten, 1942.

Q: Where was your office in San Diego?

RDS: Headquarters building was at Broadway Pier.

Q: Who were your closest colleagues in San Diego?

RDS: ONI or other law enforcement agencies?

Q: I was thinking ONI.

RDS: I had dozens, I mean, its best to be good to everybody.

Q: Do you know what a “119 Report” was?

RDS: Yes sir.

Q: Did you ever write any 119 Reports on anyone while you were with ONI?

RDS: Hundreds of them.

Q: Did you have anyone working under you in 1959.

RDS: Yes.

Q: Is it fair to say that you did as well in 1963?

RDS: Repeat?

Q: Did you have anyone working under you in 1963?

RDS: Its hard to say working under me, we worked as a team. There were people in certain positions who were less qualified as myself, so we worked as a team because somebody had to fill certain billets, somebody had to sit by at a desk because they were incapable of doing certain things.

Q: Let me put it this way, were you anybody’s boss in 1963?

RDS: We worked as team, they were co-workers.

Q: Okay. Fred Reeves told the Assassinations Records Review Board that a week or so after Lee Harvey Oswald defected to the USSR, Reeves had been called by two ONI officers in Washington DC and was asked to do a background investigation on Oswald at El Toro, Marine Air Station, Oswald’s last duty station before leaving the Marine Corps. Is it possible you did this investigation for Reeves?

RDS: Yes.

Q: Would you say it is possible or would you say it is probable?

RDS: Probable.

Q: Is it fair to say you were you probably sent in to do this investigation of Oswald because you were a more highly skilled experienced investigator than the ONI people stationed at El Toro who were used to doing more mundane investigation.

RDS: Yes.

Q: Do you remember doing this investigation for Reeves at El Toro?

RDS: (Yes) but not very well.

Q: Given that Oswald was stationed at El Toro and had just defected, I’d like to ask you some hypothetical questions. Would have done it by yourself or with other special agents?

RDS: (unintelligible)

Q: Okay. Would you have questioned Oswald’s former colleagues at El Toro?

RDS: Yes.

Q: Would you have had a stenographer with you?

RDS: No.

Q: Would you have introduced yourself to these marines you were questioning?

RDS: Yes.

Q: Do you remember the name Nelson Delgado at El Toro.

RDS: Not the name, could you tell me his position?

Q: He was a marine like Oswald and a friend of Oswald, not an officer, an enlisted man.

RDS: No I don’t remember.

Q: Okay. Going back to Reeves and the ARRB Final Report, Reeves said he went to El Toro Marine Air Station, copied Oswald’s enlisted personnel files, talked to Oswald’s associates and mailed this to ONI in Washington D.C.  Reeves said that ONI in Washington DC ran the post defection investigation of Oswald and the Washington officers then directed various agents in the field. Reeves said he did not interview anyone himself but that later, late 1959 or early 1960, there were approximately twelve to fifteen ONI 119 Reports that crossed his desk. Reeves said he was aware of some of the 119 Reports from Japan and Texas and that the primary concern of the reports he read on Oswald was to ascertain what damage to national security Oswald’s defection to the USSR had caused. Is it possible that you wrote any of the 119 Reports on Oswald that crossed Reeves’ desk?

RDS: Yes.

Q: Do you remember writing any of them?

RDS: No.

Q: Okay, shifting gears a little bit here, was Detective Paul Bentley of the Dallas Police Department a friend of yours?

RDS: An acquaintance.

Q: How did you know him?

RDS: I’m not sure, but I think he was a polygraph examiner.

Q: Did you ever work with him?

RDS: I think (we were in) the Navy together. [Unintelligible]

Q: Now you wrote a letter to Paul Bentley on November 24, 1963, two days after Oswald was arrested in Dallas, and in the letter you say that quote “ONI had quite a file on Oswald,” and in the letter you also said that A. C. Sullivan of the ONI office could provide Bentley with this file. Did you send this letter before or after Jack Ruby shot Oswald that day?

RDS: Did I send the letter before….?

Q: It’s an historical fact that Jack Ruby shot Oswald on the 24th of November, 1963 and the letter you sent Bentley was dated the same day, so I am wondering if you sent it before or after Ruby shot Oswald?

RDS: I’m sure it was after.

Q: How did you know that ONI had quote “quite a file on Oswald” at that time?

RDS: (Long pause) I don’t know.

Q: Did you see it?

RDS: Did I see it?

Q: Did you see the ONI file on Oswald?

RDS: I may have written the God damn thing.

Q: Okay. Was A.C. Sullivan of Dallas a friend of yours.

RDS: A very close friend.

Q: How did you come to know him?

RDS: He was in the same business I was in. He had been a guest at my home. I had been a guest at his home.

Q: Now was he the head of the Dallas ONI office?

RDS: Yes he was.

Q: Did Sullivan know about the ONI file on Oswald?

RDS: Of course.

Q: Did A.C. Sullivan already have the file on Nov. 24, 1963

RDS: Undoubtedly.

Q: Did you ever speak with Sullivan about Oswald’s ONI file?

RDS: Yes.

Q: Looking back at it, are you sure your statement in the letter that ONI had quite a file on Oswald was accurate? Absolutely sure, very sure, or less sure now than when I wrote the letter.

RDS: Does the letter today bring back any memories?

Q: Reads letter: Dear Paul, Perhaps you are aware ONI has quite a file on Oswald…..

RDS: No.

Q: Did you ever write to or discuss with anyone else about Oswald’s ONI file?

RDS: I don’t think so, other than A.C. Sullivan.

Q: Did you ever have occasion to visit the Dallas ONI office?

RDS: Yes, a number of times.

Q: Where was it located?

RDS: It was in the Post Office building, it was across the street, it was the building from which Kennedy was killed.

Q: It was near Dealey Plaza, and there was a Post Office building on the other side.

RDS: Yes.

Q: Did the Dallas ONI do general ONI work or did it specialize in certain things?

RDS: General.

Q: Did you know other law enforcement or intelligence people in the Dallas area?

RDS: Yes.

Q: Did you know J. Mason Langford, of Ft. Worth, he was head of security for General Dynamics or Convair and later became fire martial of the county.

RDS: I don’t recall him.

Q: Did you know I.P. Hale or Max Clark?

RDS: Both names sound familiar but I don’t recall right now.

Q: Did you know Pat Gannaway, of the Dallas Police Special Services Bureau?

RDS: I just don’t remember.

Q: Did you know Jack Revell, the head of the Dallas Criminal Section of the SSB?

RDS: These names are all familiar but I don’t recall them.

Q: Did you know Colonel Robert E. Jones of 112 Army Intel Group at Fort Sam Houston?

RDS: I don’t recall.

Q: James Powell, an Army Intelligence agent of the 112th?

RDS: The name is familiar but I don’t recall.

Q: Had you heard of Lee Harvey Oswald or Harvey Lee Oswald before the assassination?

RDS: Yes, its possible that I knew him very, very well.

Q: On some documents the name is transposed – Harvey Lee Oswald.

RDS: That is a common occurrence and I never paid much attention to it.

Q: You said there’s a good chance you know Oswald quite well before the assassination?

RDS: Quite possibly.

Q: How would you have possibly known about Oswald quite well before the assassination?

RDS: Because I may have investigated the guy. (After his 1959 defection)

Q: Do you remember investigating him?

RDS: Vaguely [?]

Q: What is your personal opinion of ONI and Oswald?

RDS: ONI was a wonderful organization. As for Oswald, he was a sick man.

Q: What is your personal opinion of the causes of the assassination?

RDS: Oswald was just sick out of his mind.

Q: Do you think he killed Kennedy by himself?

RDS: Yes.

Q: Where were you when you heard Kennedy was shot?

RDS: I don’t know.

Q: When you heard that Oswald had been arrested, did his name sound familiar to you?

RDS: Yes.

Q: Is there anything else you want to say about Oswald, ONI and the assassination?

RDS: No.

Q: Thank you for letting me interview you today, Commander Steel.


  ing.

Question: What is your full name sir?

RDS: Robert David Steel.

Q: When and where were you born?

RDS: May, M-A-Y- Texas, that’s in the central part of the state….

Q: And when were you born?

RDS: May 26, 1919

Q: When did you join the Navy?

RDS: I graduated from the University…. in ….Texas, then I went to Northwestern University midshipman school in Chicago in January 1942 and graduated in May, 1942. I came out to the West Coast, I was in charge of training , Naval section from the University of Southern California, followed by … Midshipman from UCLA.

Q: Did you serve on any ships during World War II?

RDS: I would consider the Sea Scout a ship.

Q: So you served on the Sea Scout?

RDS: I was the commanding officer.

Q: I read about the Sea Scout, that was a sonar training ship, wasn’t it?

RDS: Yes it was.

Q: Okay. Did you serve on any other ships during World War II?

RDS: Yes I did, for the last two years of the war I was on board …. a destroyer escort.

Q: Were you an officer on that ship?

RDS: Yes, I was number three officer, a first lieutenant in charge of everything above the waterline.

Q: What did you do after the war?

RDS: I first worked for the Internal Revenue Service as a tax collector.

Q: In San Diego?

RDS: Collecting from business men in San Diego, and following that Naval Intelligence, I came to work for them as a special agent.

Q: What year did you leave active duty and join the Naval Reserves.

RDS: I suppose that would be 1945.

Q: And what year did you join ONI?

RDS: 1948.

Q: How many years did you work for ONI?

RDS: As a special agent 22 years.

Q: Did you work for ONI in any other capacity other than special agent?

RDS: Yes, I was a commanding officer of the Reserve officers throughout the area.

Q: What years would that have been?

RDS: That was for a two year period and I had to work my way up to that position, and I retired from that around 1962.

Q: When you were working as a special agent were you technically a civilian agent?

RDS: Yes sir, but I wore two hats, being a Reserve officer I was also doing Reserve duty from time to time with various other agencies – CIA, FBI and other military services in Washington DC mainly.

Q: Did you serve as liaison with CIA and FBI so to speak?

RDS: I wouldn’t call it liaison, I was indoctrinated into their activities.

Q: Did you work for the same branch or department of ONI while you were a special agent all those years?

RDS: Would you repeat the question?

Q: I am a little bit unfamiliar with the structure of ONI. I believe there was a special branch – the Naval Investigative Service, did you work for that branch for 22 years as a special agent?

RDS: Yes.

Q: Did your work at ONI involve liaison with any other government agencies?

RDS: (Laughs) Yes.

Q: With CIA and FBI for example?

RDS: Yes.

Q: In which naval district were you stationed in late 1959 and early 1960?

RDS: Would you repeat that?

Q: In which naval district were you stationed in late 1959-60?

RDS: My headquarters were always in this naval district.

Q: That would include San Diego?

RDS: San Diego and all the area that included Arizona and New Mexico.

Q: Who was your boss 1959-1963?

RDS: Who was my boss? I had many.

Q: Did you know Fred Reeves?

RDS: (Laugh) A very good close friend.

Q: Was he the head of the San Diego ONI office?

RDS: For a brief period.

Q: Do you remember roughly when?

RDS: No I’m sorry I can’t recall. 

Q: Was he ever your boss.

RDS: Very briefly. We were mainly co-workers.

Q: When did you start living in San Diego?

RDS: Ten, 1942.

Q: Where was your office in San Diego?

RDS: Headquarters building was at Broadway Pier.

Q: Who were your closest colleagues in San Diego?

RDS: ONI or other law enforcement agencies?

Q: I was thinking ONI.

RDS: I had dozens, I mean, its best to be good to everybody.

Q: Do you know what a “119 Report” was?

RDS: Yes sir.

Q: Did you ever write any 119 Reports on anyone while you were with ONI?

RDS: Hundreds of them.

Q: Did you have anyone working under you in 1959.

RDS: Yes.

Q: Is it fair to say that you did as well in 1963?

RDS: Repeat?

Q: Did you have anyone working under you in 1963?

RDS: Its hard to say working under me, we worked as a team. There were people in certain positions who were less qualified as myself, so we worked as a team because somebody had to fill certain billets, somebody had to sit by at a desk because they were incapable of doing certain things.

Q: Let me put it this way, were you anybody’s boss in 1963?

RDS: We worked as team, they were co-workers.

Q: Okay. Fred Reeves told the Assassinations Records Review Board that a week or so after Lee Harvey Oswald defected to the USSR, Reeves had been called by two ONI officers in Washington DC and was asked to do a background investigation on Oswald at El Toro, Marine Air Station, Oswald’s last duty station before leaving the Marine Corps. Is it possible you did this investigation for Reeves?

RDS: Yes.

Q: Would you say it is possible or would you say it is probable?

RDS: Probable.

Q: Is it fair to say you were you probably sent in to do this investigation of Oswald because you were a more highly skilled experienced investigator than the ONI people stationed at El Toro who were used to doing more mundane investigation.

RDS: Yes.

Q: Do you remember doing this investigation for Reeves at El Toro?

RDS: (Yes) but not very well.

Q: Given that Oswald was stationed at El Toro and had just defected, I’d like to ask you some hypothetical questions. Would have done it by yourself or with other special agents?

RDS: (unintelligible)

Q: Okay. Would you have questioned Oswald’s former colleagues at El Toro?

RDS: Yes.

Q: Would you have had a stenographer with you?

RDS: No.

Q: Would you have introduced yourself to these marines you were questioning?

RDS: Yes.

Q: Do you remember the name Nelson Delgado at El Toro.

RDS: Not the name, could you tell me his position?

Q: He was a marine like Oswald and a friend of Oswald, not an officer, an enlisted man.

RDS: No I don’t remember.

Q: Okay. Going back to Reeves and the ARRB Final Report, Reeves said he went to El Toro Marine Air Station, copied Oswald’s enlisted personnel files, talked to Oswald’s associates and mailed this to ONI in Washington D.C.  Reeves said that ONI in Washington DC ran the post defection investigation of Oswald and the Washington officers then directed various agents in the field. Reeves said he did not interview anyone himself but that later, late 1959 or early 1960, there were approximately twelve to fifteen ONI 119 Reports that crossed his desk. Reeves said he was aware of some of the 119 Reports from Japan and Texas and that the primary concern of the reports he read on Oswald was to ascertain what damage to national security Oswald’s defection to the USSR had caused. Is it possible that you wrote any of the 119 Reports on Oswald that crossed Reeves’ desk?

RDS: Yes.

Q: Do you remember writing any of them?

RDS: No.

Q: Okay, shifting gears a little bit here, was Detective Paul Bentley of the Dallas Police Department a friend of yours?

RDS: An acquaintance.

Q: How did you know him?

RDS: I’m not sure, but I think he was a polygraph examiner.

Q: Did you ever work with him?

RDS: I think (we were in) the Navy together. [Unintelligible]

Q: Now you wrote a letter to Paul Bentley on November 24, 1963, two days after Oswald was arrested in Dallas, and in the letter you say that quote “ONI had quite a file on Oswald,” and in the letter you also said that A. C. Sullivan of the ONI office could provide Bentley with this file. Did you send this letter before or after Jack Ruby shot Oswald that day?

RDS: Did I send the letter before….?

Q: It’s an historical fact that Jack Ruby shot Oswald on the 24th of November, 1963 and the letter you sent Bentley was dated the same day, so I am wondering if you sent it before or after Ruby shot Oswald?

RDS: I’m sure it was after.

Q: How did you know that ONI had quote “quite a file on Oswald” at that time?

RDS: (Long pause) I don’t know.

Q: Did you see it?

RDS: Did I see it?

Q: Did you see the ONI file on Oswald?

RDS: I may have written the God damn thing.

Q: Okay. Was A.C. Sullivan of Dallas a friend of yours.

RDS: A very close friend.

Q: How did you come to know him?

RDS: He was in the same business I was in. He had been a guest at my home. I had been a guest at his home.

Q: Now was he the head of the Dallas ONI office?

RDS: Yes he was.

Q: Did Sullivan know about the ONI file on Oswald?

RDS: Of course.

Q: Did A.C. Sullivan already have the file on Nov. 24, 1963

RDS: Undoubtedly.

Q: Did you ever speak with Sullivan about Oswald’s ONI file?

RDS: Yes.

Q: Looking back at it, are you sure your statement in the letter that ONI had quite a file on Oswald was accurate? Absolutely sure, very sure, or less sure now than when I wrote the letter.

RDS: Does the letter today bring back any memories?

Q: Reads letter: Dear Paul, Perhaps you are aware ONI has quite a file on Oswald…..

RDS: No.

Q: Did you ever write to or discuss with anyone else about Oswald’s ONI file?

RDS: I don’t think so, other than A.C. Sullivan.

Q: Did you ever have occasion to visit the Dallas ONI office?

RDS: Yes, a number of times.

Q: Where was it located?

RDS: It was in the Post Office building, it was across the street, it was the building from which Kennedy was killed.

Q: It was near Dealey Plaza, and there was a Post Office building on the other side.

RDS: Yes.

Q: Did the Dallas ONI do general ONI work or did it specialize in certain things?

RDS: General.

Q: Did you know other law enforcement or intelligence people in the Dallas area?

RDS: Yes.

Q: Did you know J. Mason Langford, of Ft. Worth, he was head of security for General Dynamics or Convair and later became fire martial of the county.

RDS: I don’t recall him.

Q: Did you know I.P. Hale or Max Clark?

RDS: Both names sound familiar but I don’t recall right now.

Q: Did you know Pat Gannaway, of the Dallas Police Special Services Bureau?

RDS: I just don’t remember.

Q: Did you know Jack Revell, the head of the Dallas Criminal Section of the SSB?

RDS: These names are all familiar but I don’t recall them.

Q: Did you know Colonel Robert E. Jones of 112 Army Intel Group at Fort Sam Houston?

RDS: I don’t recall.

Q: James Powell, an Army Intelligence agent of the 112th?

RDS: The name is familiar but I don’t recall.

Q: Had you heard of Lee Harvey Oswald or Harvey Lee Oswald before the assassination?

RDS: Yes, its possible that I knew him very, very well.

Q: On some documents the name is transposed – Harvey Lee Oswald.

RDS: That is a common occurrence and I never paid much attention to it.

Q: You said there’s a good chance you know Oswald quite well before the assassination?

RDS: Quite possibly.

Q: How would you have possibly known about Oswald quite well before the assassination?

RDS: Because I may have investigated the guy. (After his 1959 defection)

Q: Do you remember investigating him?

RDS: Vaguely [?]

Q: What is your personal opinion of ONI and Oswald?

RDS: ONI was a wonderful organization. As for Oswald, he was a sick man.

Q: What is your personal opinion of the causes of the assassination?

RDS: Oswald was just sick out of his mind.

Q: Do you think he killed Kennedy by himself?

RDS: Yes.

Q: Where were you when you heard Kennedy was shot?

RDS: I don’t know.

Q: When you heard that Oswald had been arrested, did his name sound familiar to you?

RDS: Yes.

Q: Is there anything else you want to say about Oswald, ONI and the assassination?

RDS: No.

Q: Thank you for letting me interview you today, Commander Steel.


NOTE: Robert Steel passed away shortly after this interview. Many thanks to Thomas Graves for taking the time to question him on the record before he passed away. A copy of the original cassette will be made as well as a digital version and the original returned to Thomas Graves. Originally slated to be sent to the Baylor Poague Library JFK Collection, that is no longer accepting JFK material, copies will be archived at the Assassination Archives and Research Center in Washington D.C. 


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