The Annotated Shenon and Sabato
Phil Shenon and Larry Sabato are at it again.
After their piece in the Washington Post:
After their piece in the Washington Post:
that the AARC responded to:
they are at it again.
They are picking up where Gus Russo, Brian Latell and Bob Baer left off and are stuck parroting the same old, sorry story that is just not true.
Phil Shenon is a former New York Times reporter who says he is not interested in any other aspect of the assassination of President Kennedy other than that which indicates Castro was behind the dirty deed. In his book A Cruel and Shocking Act – he tries to make the claim that Oswald met Cuban embassy officials at a private Twist Party where they encouraged him to kill JFK. There was a party at which Oswald was encouraged to kill General Walker, but Shenon isn’t interested in that. See my reviews: JFKcountercoup: A Cruel and Shocking Twist
Sabato is associated with the University of Virginia Center for Politics, and together they represent a Punch and Judy show that we will have to get used to, and will have to respond and correct each of their articles, especially as they try to promote the original cover story - the false black propaganda and disinformation campaign to promote the idea that Castro was behind the assassination of JFK.
How the CIA Came to Doubt the Official Story of JFK’s Murder
Newly released documents from long-secret Kennedy assassination files raise startling questions about what top agency officials knew and when they knew it.
By PHILIP SHENON and LARRY J. SABATO
August 03, 2017
After the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November 1963, the CIA appeared eager, even desperate, to embrace the version of events being offered by the FBI, the Secret Service and other parts of the government. The official story: that a delusional misfit and self-proclaimed Marxist named Lee Harvey Oswald killed the president in Dallas with his $21 mail-order rifle and there was no evidence of a conspiracy, foreign or domestic. Certainly, the CIA’s leaders told the Warren Commission, the independent panel that investigated the murder, there was no evidence of a conspiracy that the spy agency could have foiled.
But thousands of pages of long-secret, assassination-related documents released by the National Archives last week show that, within a few years of Kennedy’s murder, some in the CIA began to worry internally that the official story was wrong — an alarm the agency never sounded publicly.
KELLY NOTE: These files contain much new information, especially about CIA operations but not only that they began to worry – they knew what we are just learning to know now.
Specifically, key CIA officials were concerned by the mid-1970s that the agency, the FBI, the Secret Service and the White House commission led by Chief Justice Earl Warren had never followed up on important clues about Oswald’s contact with foreign agents, including diplomats and spies for the Communist governments of Cuba and the Soviet Union, who might have been aware of his plans to kill Kennedy and even encouraged the plot. (There is no credible evidence cited in the documents released so far that Cuban leader Fidel Castro or other foreign leaders had any personal role in ordering Kennedy’s murder.)
NOTE: The Warren Commission and Justice Department never followed up on important clues about Oswald’s contacts with many people – not just the “foreign agents” Shenon and Sabato want us to follow. And the almost but not credible evidence that Cuban leader Fidel Castro had a personal role in ordering Kennedy’s murder was a psychological warfare twist made a part of the original CIA plan to kill Castro and Kennedy. That part of the plan failed, and it gives us clear insight into the plot that led to JFK’s death.
The CIA documents also offer tantalizing speculation about the chain of events in late 1963 that explained Oswald’s motives for killing Kennedy, which have previously never been established with certainty —
NOTE: First off, Oswald didn’t kill anybody, and for Shenon and Sabato to say that clearly indicates that they are not familiar with the details of the crime that show that Oswald was set up for the crime and was what he said he was – a Patsy. What’s the motive of the Patsy? He was a COP – a covert operator and expendable agent who was murdered in police custody, and a Pawn in a much bigger game.
- how he may have become enraged after reading a detailed article in his hometown newspaper in New Orleans in September suggesting that his hero Castro had been targeted for assassination by the Kennedy administration.
NOTE: This article was published in New Orleans and all over the world, and Oswald would certainly have read it but concluding that he became “enraged” over it demeans his true cool, calm and collected attitude, even after his arrest.
- According to that theory, Oswald, who had rifle training in the Marine Corps, then set out to seek vengeance on Castro’s behalf—to kill Kennedy before the American president managed to kill the Cuban leader.
NOTE: That theory has been proven false, JFK never approved any plan to kill Castro and goes against the grain of the real operational conspiracy theory that is now taking hold among serious researchers that the Dealey Plaza Operation – and it was a covert intelligence operation regardless of Oswald’s role as sniper or Patsy, a CIA plan that originally targeted Castro but was redirected to JFK in Dallas.
If that proved true, it would have raised a terrible question for the CIA: Was it possible that JFK’s assassination was, directly or indirectly, blowback for the spy agency’s plots to kill Castro?
NOTE: The answer is YES, it was directly a blowback from the CIA’s plans – not plots to kill Castro.
It would eventually be acknowledged the CIA had, in fact, repeatedly tried to assassinate Castro, sometimes in collusion with the Mafia, throughout Kennedy’s presidency. The CIA’s arsenal of weapons against Castro included a fungus-infected scuba suit, a poison-filled hypodermic needle hidden in a pen—and even an exploding cigar.
NOTE: The attempt to poison Castro was the first CIA-Mafia operation that failed, the fungus infected scuba suit was deep sixed by James Donovan, the lawyer who dived with Castro while negotiating the release of the Bay of Pigs prisoners, and the poison pen was presented to Rolando Cubella (AMLASH) on the morning of the assassination. But these are not the attempts to kill Castro that led to what happened at Dealey Plaza – JFK was not killed by fungus or poisoned, but his brains were shot out by a very well trained and efficient first class sniper. Forget all of the CIA plans to kill JFK except those that involved high powered rifles and they will lead you to those behind the Dealey Plaza Operation.
The Warren Commission, never told about the CIA’s Castro plots, mostly ducked the question of Oswald’s motives, other than saying in its final report that he had expressed a “hatred for American society.”
JFK historians and the nation’s large army of private assassination researchers are still scrambling to make sense of the latest batch of tens of thousands of pages of previously secret CIA and FBI documents that were unsealed last week by the National Archives. The documents—441 files that had previously been withheld entirely, along with 3,369 other documents that had been previously released only in part—were made public under terms of a 1992 law that requires the unsealing of all JFK assassination-related documents by October, the law’s 25-year deadline.
Since the release last week, researchers do not appear to have identified any single document that could be labeled a bombshell or that rewrites the history of the assassination in any significant way.
NOTE: This isn’t true, there are many bombshells, many from the previously released records, and many from the most recent document dump batch, and it is quite clear that neither Shenon nor Sabato have read any of them. Anyone who wants to really know what’s in the files should talk to John Newman, Bill Simpich, Malcolm Blunt, Jeff Morley, Russ Baker or myself, all of whom are perusing the recently released records and finding tons of bombshells.
Many of the documents, which were made public only online, are duplicates of files that had been released years earlier. Other documents are totally illegible or refer to CIA and FBI code names and pseudonyms that even experienced researchers will take months to decipher. Several documents are written in foreign languages.
NOTE: Yes, it will take months to decipher, but the message is now clear: JFK was the victim of a covert intelligence operation and not a deranged lone nut case.
Still, the newly released documents may offer an intriguing glimpse of what comes next. The National Archives is required to unseal a final batch of about 3,100 never-before-seen JFK-assassination files by the October deadline, assuming the move is not blocked by President Donald Trump. Under the 1992 Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act, the president is the only person empowered to stop the release. (Congressional and other government officials have told us in confidence that at least two federal agencies—likely the CIA and FBI—are expected to appeal to Trump to block the unsealing of at least some of the documents. Even after 54 years, some government officials apparently still want to keep secrets about this seminal event in U.S. history. The CIA and FBI acknowledged earlier this year they are conducting a final review of the documents, but have been unwilling to say if they will ask the president to block some from being released.)
None of the files released last week undermines the Warren Commission’s finding that Oswald killed Kennedy with shots fired from his perch on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas’ Dealey Plaza—a conclusion supported by 21st century forensic analysis—and that there was no credible evidence of a second gunman.
NOTE: What total BS – Oswald wasn’t even on the sixth floor when the shots were fired, though there was a Third Class sniper in the “perch” on the sixth floor, one with a white shirt and bald spot, who used a third class rifle to pump evidence into the car while the first class sniper blew off JFK’s head. The conclusion reached by 21st century forensic analysis – such as that offered by former Justice Department prosecutor John Orr – and the Zapruder film analysis by NPIC proves that JFK was hit from two directions and the fatal head shot did not originate from the Sixth Floor “perch.” For more 21st Century analysis of the evidence see the CAPA Mock Trial in Houston in November.
But the new documents do revive the question of why the CIA, so skeptical internally of many of the commission’s other findings by the 1970s, never acknowledged those suspicions to later government investigators—or to the public.
NOTE: The reason is the CIA would have been put out of business, especially the covert action business, that was recommended by the Dootlittle Commission but opposed by former President Truman in the days after the assassination when he recognized the Dealey Plaza MO as that of a covert intelligence operation. When the facts about the CIA Mafia Castro plots were revealed, it lead to the Pike-Church and HSCA investigations that also almost put the CIA out of business.
Documents released decades ago show that CIA and FBI officials repeatedly misled—and often lied outright—to Chief Justice Warren and his commission, probably to hide evidence of the agencies’ bungling in their surveillance of Oswald before the president’s murder. The CIA appears also to have been determined to block the commission from stumbling on to evidence that might reveal the agency’s assassination plots against Castro and other foreign leaders.
The CIA historian's report from 2013 that refers to the "benign coverup." (Click to view full document.)
The 1964 letter.
In 2013, the CIA’s in-house historian concluded that the spy agency had conducted a “benign cover-up” during the Warren Commission’s investigation in 1963 and 1964 in hopes of keeping the commission focused on “what the Agency believed was the ‘best truth’ — that Lee Harvey Oswald, for as yet undetermined motives, had acted alone in killing John Kennedy.”
Labeled “SECRET” and stamped “REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED” on each page, this 1975 memo lists several important clues about Oswald that went unexplored in the months and years after Kennedy’s death. (Click to open full document)
But what if the “best truth” was wrong? According to documents made public last week, the CIA was alarmed by the mid-1970s to realize that no one had properly followed up on clues about an especially mysterious chapter in Oswald’s life—a six-day, apparently self-financed trip to Mexico City beginning in late September 1963, two months before the assassination.
NOTE: Yes, let’s look closely at that trip – that began in New Orleans when Ruth Paine picked up Marina and the rifle and took them to Texas while Oswald went to Mexico City to get a visa to Cuba, used the alias O.H. Lee, attended a Twist Party with two other Americans at Syliva Duran’s house and then visited Sylvia Odio with two Cubans. What was going on in Washington DC at the same time is just as interesting, as the CIA’s Desmond Fitzgerald was briefing the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the CIA’s adaption of the German miltiary’s plot to kill Hitler to be used against Castro. Let’s look at these things a lot more closely, but Shenon and Sabato won’t.
The reason for the trip has never been determined with certainty, although he told his wife, Marina, that he went there to obtain a visa that would allow him to defect to Cuba, much as he had once attempted to defect to the Soviet Union.
NOTE: He told his wife Marina and Ruth Paine he was going to Philadelphia to look for a job, and he had four Philadelphia address in his note book.
The CIA acknowledged long ago that the agency’s Mexico City station had Oswald under surveillance during the trip, and that he met there with Cuban and Soviet diplomats and spies. The CIA station chief said later he was convinced that Oswald had a brief sexual relationship with a Mexican woman who worked in the Cuban consulate.
NOTE: Yes, Sylvia Duran had a Twist Party, and was arrested twice and admitted to the sexual fling with Oswald only under torture, as indicated by the newly released records that Shenon and Sabato have not read.
Although there is no credible evidence of Soviet involvement in the assassination, Oswald’s other contacts in Mexico included—shockingly enough—a KGB assassinations expert who doubled as an accredited Soviet diplomat. A top-secret June 1964 FBI report, made public in the 1990s but apparently never seen by key investigators for the Warren Commission, suggests that Oswald was overheard threatening to kill Kennedy during his visits to the Cuban diplomatic compound in Mexico.
NOTE: Check out Khruschev’s take on the assassination as revealed in the new batch of records:
The files released last week also show that the CIA and other agencies failed to pursue clues that Oswald, who publicly championed Castro’s revolution even while serving in the Marine Corps, had been in contact with Cuban diplomats years before the Mexico trip—possibly as early as 1959, when he was deployed to a military base in Southern California. The information initially came to the FBI and the Warren Commission from a fellow Marine who recalled how Oswald boasted about his contacts with Cuban diplomats in Los Angeles, where Castro’s government then had an office.
NOTE: Yes, Jerry Patrick Hemming, former USMC and COP personality like Oswald, said he met Oswald in Southern California after Oswald left a Cuban consulate there, and Heming thought Oswald was then working for ONI. More recently someone has come forward saying Oswald tried to recruit from the them into ONI at the time. But many of the records of Oswald’s former USMC buddies have disappeared NARA.
I'm going to have to stop responding here, at least for awhile.
The account from the fellow Marine was of “a lot more possible operational significance” than was realized in the months after the assassination but was never “run down or developed by investigation,” according to a 1975 CIA internal memo released last week. “The record of the beginning of OSWALD’s relationship with the Cubans starts with a question mark.”
That 27-page memo, which does not identify its author, is among the most intriguing of the documents in last week’s batch unsealed by the National Archives. Copies of the document were found inside larger CIA files released last week, including thick agency files labeled HELMS HEARING DUPLICATE. That seems to suggest the memo was given to former Director of Central Intelligence Richard Helms, who led the agency from 1966 to 1973, when he was later summoned to testify secretly to Congress about his involvement in the CIA assassination plots against Castro and other foreign leaders. Similar documents about the Kennedy assassination and Oswald were written in the 1970s by a senior CIA counterintelligence official, Raymond Rocca, who had served as the agency’s chief liaison to the Warren Commission.
Labeled “SECRET” and stamped “REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED” on each page, the 1975 memo lists several important clues about Oswald that went unexplored in the months and years after Kennedy’s death. (Versions of the same CIA memo were part of the flood of millions of pages of documents released after the 1992 law, although it has never attracted detailed attention outside a small circle of assassination researchers. Brian Latell, a respected former CIA analyst on Cuban intelligence, cited a version of the document in his 2012 book Castro’s Secrets, which suggested much closer links between Oswald and Cuba than had previously been known.)
The 1975 document noted the failure of the CIA, FBI and the Warren Commission to interview a key witness in Mexico City—Silvia Duran, the Mexican woman who worked in the Cuban consulate and was reported to have had the affair with Oswald. She is the “sole live witness on the record regarding Oswald’s activities,” yet her testimony “was taken and presented, solely, by the Mexican governmental authorities,” the CIA memo said. Duran, who is still alive, has repeatedly insisted she had no sexual relationship with Oswald, although she readily acknowledges that she helped him with his unsuccessful visa application for Cuba.
It was that same CIA memo that offered a detailed theory of the chain of events that led Oswald to kill Kennedy—how Oswald, who lived in his hometown of New Orleans for much of 1963, may have been inspired to assassinate the president if, as seemed probable, he read an article on Monday, September 9, in the local newspaper, that suggested Castro was targeted for murder by the United States.
The article, written by a reporter for The Associated Press in Havana and then published prominently in the Times-Picayune, was an account of an AP interview with Castro two days earlier, in which the Cuban strongman angrily warned the Kennedy administration that he was aware of U.S. assassination plots aimed at Cuban leaders, presumably including him, and was prepared to retaliate. The article quoted Castro as saying: “U.S. leaders would be in danger if they helped in any attempt to do away with leaders of Cuba.”
The September 1963 Times Picayune story. (Click to view full-size image.)
The CIA memo suggested that if Oswald, who was known to be an “avid reader” of the Times-Picayune, saw the article, it might have put the idea in his head to kill Kennedy as retaliation for the threat the United States posed to Castro—an idea that would have been in his mind as he left for his trip to Mexico that month. The possibility that Oswald read the article “must be considered of great significance in light of the pathological evolution of Oswald’s passive/aggressive makeup” and “his identification with Fidel Castro and the Cuban revolution,” the CIA memo said.
Immediately after the assassination, the CIA’s Mexico City station warned CIA headquarters that the AP article might contain a vital clue about Oswald’s motives for killing Kennedy—and even about possible Cuban involvement. But according to the 1975 analysis, “There is no evidence in the files on the Kennedy assassination that the Castro interview was considered in following up leads or in dealing with the Warren Commission, although Mexico Station specifically directed headquarters to the AP story very shortly after the Dallas killing.”
Previously released internal documents from the Warren Commission show that one of the commission’s most aggressive staff lawyers believed that Castro’s remarks to the AP—and the possibility that Oswald read the article—might be of great significance in explaining Oswald’s motives. But the internal files show that more senior staff members decided against any reference to the AP article in the commission’s final report for fear of feeding conspiracy theories about a possible Cuban link to Kennedy’s death. It does not reflect well on the legacy of either the CIA or the commission that, half a century after those gunshots rang out in Dealey Plaza, the newly released documents suggest that at least some of those conspiracy theories might be true.
Philip Shenon, a former Washington and foreign correspondent for the New York Times, is the author of A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination.
Larry J. Sabato is the director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics and author of The Kennedy Half-Century.