Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Assassin as Agent Provocateur

The Assassin as Agent Provocateur

"In a free society, counter espionage is based on the practice most useful for hunting rabbits. Rather than look for the rabbit, one posts oneself in a spot where the rabbi is likely to pass by."
- Alexander Hamilton (attributed by Allen Dulles)

Allen Dulles, the former CIA director and Warren Commissioner, wrote a number of books, including "The Craft of Intelligence," and he edited an anthology of great spy stories, each.of which was preceded by some comments of his own, some of which deserve wider appreciation, and two stand out in regards to undercover agent provocateurs, double-agents, defectors and assassins.

Dulles said that he likes the case history approach to the study of anything and that Yevno Azef'a story is "one of the most fantastic in the history of police and intelligence work."

Dulles would have us believe that, "it would have been impossible anywhere except in the autocratic Russia...with its underground revolutionary and anarchist organizations. The Ochrana, the Czar's secret police, was supposed to be entirely concerned with smoking out the enemies of the state and went about its work chiefly through its own agents and informants planted in the underground groups.

"A very popular tactic was 'provocation,' which usually went like this: The police agent in the underground group, who more often than not posed as one of its leaders, would propose some extreme act, such as the assassination of a public figure."

"As the group was about to carry out the act, the police would swoop down and arrest the lot, but it not infrequently happened that the public figure was blown to bits in the process, because the bomb went off before the police had intervened."

"Considering that the whole plot might have originally been secretly proposed by the police for the purpose of cornering the assassins in the act, it's clear the police were often to blame for the assassination of highly placed personalities."

Besides what happened at Dealey Plaza, Kent State, the Camden 28 and the Dufala. Case come to mind as contemporary cases studies.(also see the Ft, Dix Six).

After the break in at the Media,Pa, FBI office, and the COINTELPRO program exposed, it became clear that the FBI wasn't the only federal agency to use undercover agents and informants, and that it was standard procedure to utilize undercover agents to infiltrate all subversive groups that opposed the US government and its policies.

The COINTELPRO Program didn't officially begin until 1956 it's tactics certainly were, especially by the. FBI against the KKK, so by the early '70s, the procedures for officially handling such informants and undercover agents was well crafted when Robert Hardy walked into the Camden, NJ FBI office to report that a group of anti-Vietnam war activists he knew were planning on some sort of action against the government. Being an ex-USMC, and a yen for amateur undercover police work (like Oswald and the Hardy Boys),  Bob Hardy fits the COP Profile -  Cover Operative Personality Profile, and was summery recruited as what Sun Tzu called an "Inside Agent."

Hardy ingrained himself with the group so much so that he provided the tools, the expertise, the getaway truck and may have provided the suggestion that they should break in the Camden federal building and steal the draft files -  including my own. So such agent provocateurs continue to be used outside Czarist Russia, and continue today.

As Dulles mentions, " In  Azef'a's case, such plots were even planned against the Czar himself.... Armed with these facts I trust the reader will be able to follow this immensely complicated story."

Indeed, now armed with these facts we can safely say that the "Provocation" process is standard operating procedure to most counter intelligence agencies of government, and the Robert Dufala case is a good example and played out in the same Camden federal courtroom when the former Congressional candidate apparently threatened  former VP Nelson Rockefeller. Although this  was said to have happened in his own home the undercover informant who overheard him milked it for allot was worth. Dufola talked about some radical John Birchers, and was introduced to undercover
agents who offered to provide the weapons, and help arrange the details, so much so the jury realized the only assassination plot was in the minds of the undercover agent provocateurs. The Camden 28 also got off because the jury was suspicious of the role of the undercover operative, without whose assistance the crime would not have happened.

But the bumbling American agents look even more so when you look at what the Ruskies have done in this field. Continuing Allen Dulles' "True Spy Stories," he introduces us to the remorseless assassin with a heart - Bogdam Stashinsky.

"Because the assassin Bogdam Stashinsky hired by the Soviets defected in 1961," Dulles wrote, "the account of planning and execution of separate but related murders carried out under the instruction of the Soviet Intelligence Service in 1957 and 1959, in all likelihood, is the most detailed of any such account."

I now suggest that this has now been eclipsed by the Kennedy assassination as the most detailed of any such accounts.

Dulles:  "Beyond that it is a modern morality tale of a very high order. The Soviets had obviously tried to drill any human sensibilities out of Stashinsky for years using a kind of Povlovian deconditioning and hardening scheme in order to turn him into a perfectly functioning robot-murder. To equity the human monstrosity they had hopped to create they also had invented new murder weapons whose use was deadly and solely for assassination purposes.

The weapon was a gas gun that sprayed hydrogen cyanide at close range that induced a heart attack or symptoms of a natural death, which Stashynsky had used successfully against Ukranian nationalists Lev Rebet and Stefan Bandera.

Sent to East Germany to learn the German language, Stashynsky fell for a German hair dresser who didn't like being married to an assassin and talked him into defecting and the did so a few days before  they began construction of the Berlin Wall.

Of course all of this is relevant to the question as to whether Lee Harvey Oswald was a presidential assassin or patsy, undercover informant or agent provocateur, and whether any other characters in the JFK assassination drama are as well, especially Ruth and Michael Paine, George deMohrenschilts, Volkmar Schmidt, Laverne Crafard and Jack Lawrence among others.

More to come....on this

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