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: ]

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 -
3- Morley, Jefferson - JFKFacts -
4- CIA Study
5- 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
12-Alpha 66
13-Oswald Chronology -
14- New Orleans Times-Pic (September 9, 1963)
15-Ballen, Sam - /
16-DAP - tradecraft
17- Southland Center Tenants
18- Chaparral Club- (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 - / /

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

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Phillip Shenon's "A Cruel and Shocking Twist"

A Cruel and Shocking Twist

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

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 evidence, 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.  And Shenon doesn’t mention the missing 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 report that concluded Oswald was not capable of committing the assassination alone, and private interviews with Oswald's USMC buddies – all gone missing.

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 says 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 the CIA plots to kill Castro, and 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 the Commission getting it right, Shenon sees their failures as a reason 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 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, Peter Dale Scott, John Newman and other more responsible analysts 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 Shenon's book.

On the day after the assassination the wife of the CIA's Mexico City Station Chief Win Scott was the first to hear about and 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, Peter Dale Scott’s Deep Politics, 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 about the Twist 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 tall blond and the other 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 – Manuel Calvillo, who kept her incomunicato for a week “for her own protection,” while at the same time, Sylvia Duran was twice arrested and violently interrogated by Mexican security officers until she confessed to having a sexual affair with Oswald.

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 have reported that she privately admitting otherwise.

According to the 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 is said to have introduced Oswald to the Cuban Ambassador to Mexico, and then she met Oswald 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 the key fact 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), what Arthur Schlesinger said would have been sufficient motive for anti-Castro Cubans to kill JFK - if they knew about it, and they apparently did.

These same CIA backed anti-Castro Cubans were also engaged with Oswald in New Orleans, (and possibly in 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. [See: Disinformation Link].

John Newman, as one of the best authorities on the released records concludes: "The anomalies 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 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 on 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 Hari who slept her way into Castro's confidence and became his secretary and translator when he first came to power and set up his headquarters in the Havana Hilton. The hotel at the time was then managed by Col. Brandeister, a Military Intelligence officer who reported to the same Pentagon office as Col. Sam Kail, who was working out of the American embassy in Havana 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, 1963, two weeks before the assassination. 

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 a tois 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, 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 as Oscar “Carlos” Morales Mesa. 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 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 old 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 good time, attending a Twist Party "was something we would have done," said Beymer.

From Mexico City they went to Acapulco to attend a film festival, and they were there on November 22, 1963 when they learned of the assassination as 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. Duran estimated three possible dates for the party, but Oswald was in Mexico on only one of them.

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 the other sources for the Twist Party story.

Shenon begins his book with the story of Charles Thomas, and uses the Twist Party as a the key moment when Oswald is introduced to the cell of Cuban Communists who “encourage” him to kill the President.

"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."
Shenon thinks is noteworthy that Manuel Calvillo, the Mexican security official who wisked Paz into a week’s seclusion after the assassination, “was also working for the CIA.”  Shenon writes, “CIA records identified Calvillo as an ‘unwitting’ agent of the CIA, suggesting that he did not know that his handler worked for the agency. Investigators for the HSCA, working with the Mexican government, were unable to track down Calvillo in Mexico. He has since died.”
Well Shenon should be interested to know that the same thing can be said of Charles Thomas.

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 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, Russo and Peter Dale Scott.

Shenon is correct in calling attention to the significance of the Twist Party story, but he is wrong to suggest that the only thing it could mean is that 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. A Cruel and Shocking Twist

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.

One part of the Valkyrie plan that was adapted to the Dealey Plaza operation was the psychwar black propaganda campaign to blame the assassination on Castro.

While Shenon is more sophisticated in his style and connected to the orchestrated Wurlitzer and O'Reilly appears not, he does join the Mockingbird choir when he falsely says:

"Unlike the majority of his peers, Oswald believed that the Soviets have every right to be on Cuba. From his perception, the Russians must protect Castro's people against terrorist backed by the United States. Oswald is firmly convinced that President Kennedy is putting the world on the brink of nuclear war by taking such an aggressive stance against the Soviets. To him, JFK is the villain." ( Killing Kennedy p.  117)

Oswald never considered JFK a villain, was saddened at the death of JFK's son Patrick and always talked highly of the President as a man and a person, and had no motive to kill him.