Thursday, June 23, 2022

Tales of the Air Force One Transmission Tapes


Sometime in the early 1980s I received my copy of the Air Force One radio transmission tapes from the Assassination Information Center (AIC) on the third floor of a mall in an old warehouse in the West Side Market Place a few blocks behind the Texas School Book Depository.

It consisted of three cassette tapes, and Larry, who was a founder of the AIC, told me they came from the LBJ Library in Texas.

It took me the better part of the following summer to transcribe the tapes, that begin with a military officer, ostensibly with the White House Communications Agency (WHCA) explaining that the tapes are an edited version of the Air Force One radio transmissions from November 22, 1963.

I later learned that there are a number of other transcripts, including an official LBJ Library transcript, and another version transcribed by Kathy Cunningham. In the course of writing The Assassination Tapes, Max Holland had his secretaries transcribe portions of the tapes that he wanted to cite in his book, and Doug Horne transcribed sections that he wanted to use in his books Inside the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB).

Yet another transcript must have existed, one of the unedited tapes, because three reporters – T. H. White, William Manchester and Pierre Salinger quote from it, though it apparently no longer existes.  White and Manchester were given permission to read and quote from the tapes at the White House by LBJ, while Salinger used a copy furnished to him to write his book about serving as the President’s Press Secretary. Salinger told Vincent Salandria that when he was finished with it, he returned his copy to the JFK Library in Boston, but the Library told Salandria they no longer had it.

JFKcountercoup: Tale of the Tapes - By Vincent Salandria

As Salandria points out in his article (Tale of the Tapes?), all three men quote from the unedited transcript things that are not on the existing tapes.

From Theodore H. White’s The Making of a President 1964 (Harper-Collins Kindle Edition)

Chapter One - Page 9:

“There is a tape recording in the archives of the government which best recaptures the sound of the hours as it waited for leadership. It is a recording of all the conversations in the air, monitored by the Signal Corps Midwestern center ‘Liberty,’ between Air Force One in Dallas, the Cabinet plane over the Pacific, and the Joint Chiefs' Communications Center in Washington.”

While the official LBJ Library transcript misidentifies “Liberty,” and Max Holland makes no mention of it at all, we now know that the “Liberty” was the relay station at the Collins Radio Headquarters in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Arthur Collins, as a young boy who built his own radio receiver in his garage, was the only one who intercepted Admiral Byrd’s radio broadcasts from his exploration of the poles. Collins dutifully turned over the information to the Navy, and after starting his own radio company, received military contracts during World War II. A close personal friend and fellow HAM radio enthusiast Air Force General Curtis LeMay arranged for Collins radios to be placed aboard all Strategic Air Command (SAC) bombers, and the Executive Air Fleet, including Air Force One and the planes used by the Vice President and the Cabinet. And Collins maintained those radios and used their “Liberty” station to relay and monitor all conversations when the planes were in the air.

As White continues, “The voices are superbly flat, calm, controlled. One hears the directions of ‘Front Office’ (The President) relayed to ‘Carpet’ (The White House) and to the Cabinet above the Pacific. One feels the tugging of Washington seeking its President – tugging at the plane, requiring, but always calmly, estimated time of take-off and time of arrival. One hears the voices acknowledge the arrival of ‘Lace’ (Mrs. Kennedy) on the plane; one receives the ETA – 6:00 P.M. Washington. It is a meshing of emotionless voices in the air, performing with mechanical perfection. Only once does any voice break in a sob - when ‘Liberty,’ relaying the sound of ‘Carpet’ to the Pacific plane, reports that the President is dead and then Pierre Salinger’s answering voice breaks; he cannot continue the conversation, so that the pilot takes the phone and with professional control repeats and acknowledges the message, as he flies the Cabinet of the United States home in quest for leadership of the government of which they are so great a part. ….”

Chapter Two - Page 33:

“On the flight the party learned that there was no conspiracy, learned of the identity of Oswald and his arrest; and the President's mind turned to the duties of consoling the stricken and guiding the quick. One might well try to envision him on this trip, for there is something essentially Johnsonian about it. Of all men in public life, Lyndon Johnson is one of the most friendless…”

But there is nothing of the kind on the existing tapes. No mention of conspiracy or no conspiracy, and no mention of Oswald or his arrest.

The tape is captivating however, as LBJ talks to Mrs. Rose Kennedy, the President’s mother, and military officers arrange the funeral in flight.

Then, I learned that another copy of the Air Force One tapes had surfaced among the effects of the President’s military attache General Clifton. After he died his effects were sent to a Philadelphia auction house, where among the letters, documents and phots were two exact duplicate copies of large reel to reel tapes, a generation closer to the original than the highly edited cassette tapes released by the LBJ Library.

Since they were exact duplicates one of the tapes was donated to the National Archives and posted on line for the public to hear, while the other one was kept as part of the auction and listed at an obscene price.

I immediately began listening to the Clifton tape, and began transcribing it, and while longer and containing new information, much of it was a duplication of what was previously released by the LBJ Library.

Two new items caught my attention, one was Pierre Salinger asking the White House Situation Room (WHSR) if the cabinet plane he was on should go to Dallas or return to Washington D.C. The WHSR officer, who identified himself by his code designation STRANGER, told them to return to Washington D.C. When Salinger told this to Secretary of State Dean Rusk, the senior official on board, Rusk demanded to know who STRANGER was, saying they can’t take orders from a virtual stranger. Salinger went to the pilot, who opened the safe that contained special documents, but the code book was missing. Rusk ordered Salinger to learn the identity of STRANGER.

You can hear Salinger on the Clifton tape requesting the name of STRANGER and shortly thereafter, STRANGER is identified as Colonel Harold R. Patterson, who Salinger knew personally and told this to Rusk.

JFKcountercoup: "Stranger" & the Missing Code Books on 11/22/63

When learning of Patterson’s name, I searched the internet and found him in Virginia, got his phone number and called him on the phone. I told him that I was listening to his voice on the recently released Clifton version of the AF1 tape, and he acknowledged that he was STRANGER, and that the code book on the Cabinet plane was missing. We talked a bit about the White House Situation Room at the time of the assassination, and he agreed to talk with me again.

The next day, after I gave Jefferson Morley Patterson’s phone number, Morley called him, but Patterson clammed up and wouldn’t talk at all.

The other item of interest on the Clifton tape and not on the LBJ Library version is a Colonel George Stanton Dorman, who identifies himself as General LeMay’s aide, who had an urgent message for LeMay, who Dorman said was on an Air Force jet returning to Washington D.C. from Canada. Dorman asked for a few moments of time on the air to give LeMay an urgent message, a message we never hear.

JFKcountercoup: Col. George Stanton Dorman

I looked up Dorman and sadly discovered that he was killed in combat in Vietnam as a fighter pilot, but his widow lived near Trenton, not far from where I was living. I found her phone number and called her, and she acknowledged that she was Colonel Dorman’s widow, and told recalled November 22, 1963 very clearly. She said she was working in the White House at the time, under a Mr. Castro, assisting in the historic restoration process begun by First Lady Jackie Kennedy.

While she was working, news that the President had been shot, so Mr. Castro ordered all the drapes closed, and Colonel Dorman called her and told her to go home immediately. While she left the White House to go home, she stopped at a church chapel to pray first. They lived on General’s Row adjacent to Arlington Cemetery. She said her husband never talked about his military work so she didn’t know what the urgent message he was trying to convey to LeMay.

She gave me the phone number of one of her sons, who told me he was only about ten years old at the time, but recalled the times clearly. He said his father once took him on a tour of General LeMay’s Command and Control plane, named “Speckled Trout,” a rare and hard to catch fish.

Young Dorman also recalled watching the funeral parade and grave side services from a tree in Arlington Cemetery, which was practically his back yard.

As I was transcribing the Clifton Tape and meshing it together with the LBJ Library tapes, I listed to National Public Radio, and heard an acoustical forensic expert, Ed Primeau, report on a cell phone tape of the murder of a black kid in Florida, killed by a Neighborhood Watch guy who thought the stranger was suspicious.

I looked up Ed Primeau on the internet and found him in Michigan, called him on the phone and asked him if he was interested in the Air Force One radio transmission tapes from November 22, 1963. He said he was, and I told him there were two versions, one longer than the other, that I had transcribed and combined. Would it be possible for him to combine the audio tapes so it was one seemless tape?

He said yes, and he would do it pro-bono.

I sent him links to both versions, and my combined transcript, and he and his team not only combined them, but also cleaned them up, removing noise and static and making them more clear to listen to.

JFKcountercoup: The Air Force One Radio Tapes Update - The Story Thus Far

I presented Premieau’s clear and combined version of the AF1 radio transmission tapes at the 2013 Wecht Conference at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, and again at the 2014 AARC conference at Bethesda, both of which were well received. I asked Max Holland and Jeff Morley to attend my Wecht conference presentation, and Jeff, at his JFKFacts web site, called the Air Force One tapes the most significant evidence we have.

Echoes of history: Tapes tell story of JFK assassination | The Gazette

Tape tells of flight from Dallas - The Columbian

Air Force One tapes have JFK researchers buzzing

Post JFK Assassination Air Force One Flight Deck Enhanced Recordings

Tapes possibly altered on Kennedy flight from Dallas

Jeff then flew Ed Primeau to Washington D.C. and interviewed him on camera saying that there are dozens of places on the tapes that are clearly edit points, so we don’t have the original, unedited tape, the transcript of which was read and quoted from by White, Manchester and Salinger.

Then Primeau, Morley, Dorman’s son and John McAdams went on nationwide TV talk show and discussed the tapes, though I was disappointed, without needing credit or recognition, that my name was not mentioned even though I put the deal together. When he learned of my role McAdams apologized and said I should have been credited for my work.

2013 JFK Facts scoop #3: the Air Force One tapes > JFK Facts

The original unedited tape, I believe, still exists, either at Collins Radio or the White House Communications Agency, but the latter was extremely unreceptive to the JFK Act and did not cooperate with the Assassinations Records Review Board. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Proposed Projects for 2023 - the 60th Anniversary of the Assassination of JFK

 PROPOSED PROJECTS FOR 2023 – the 60th Anniversary of the Assassination of JFK

With the impending 60th anniversary of the JFK assassination approaching, with its added media attention, I think it imperative that we plan for a series of events that will lead to the release of the remaining JFK assassination records and a possible resolution to the case, to a legal and moral certainty, though justice will never be served.

While Dallas will still be the main stage on November 22 and the weekend conferences are held – and CAPA will be holding a walk in conference at that time, I believe that the emphasis must shift  to Washington D.C., where the Archives are located, the evidence and records are held, and Congress sits in session.

Since movies and films have been a key mover in gathering attention and getting Congress to move on the JFK Act, I suggest that a JFK Film Festival be held at the JFK Center for the Performing Arts  (JFK CPA), a first class venue with multiple theaters, conference rooms, video production facilities and places to eat. It is also adjacent to the Watergate Hotel where people can stay.

This JFK Film Fest will extend over the period of a few days, maybe even a week, and be divided into two sections – the first including all of the major motion pictures that relate to the subject of the assassination – including Frank Sinatra’s Suddenly and Manchurian Candidate, Seven Days in May, Thirteen Days with Kevin Costner, Executive Action, Oliver Stone’s JFK and Parkland.

The second half of the festival will be non-fictional documentaries – and include as many if not all of them, including those from both sides of the story.

They can be digitalized, and made available on line for posterity so they are preserved for future generations.

One of the most important conferences held on the subject was Politics and Cinema at American University, which featured Oliver Stone, Henry Gonzolez, Fletcher Prouty, John Judge and a NYTs film critic that was taped and presented by ESPN. A similar program should accompany this festival, and each film can be previewed and reviewed by critics before and after their presentation.

Since a number of new books are expected to be published for the anniversary, a book fair can be held in an ajoining room, with writers making presentations of their work and signing and selling their books.

I suggest that this even be held in late September or October when college kids are in town, and before Nov. 22, to build up to the anniversary.

Since December 15, 2023 is the deadline President Biden had imposed on the release of the remaining JFK assassination records, a press conference should be planned for that day and possibly the day after, accompanied by a one day conference of serious critics who can detail the shortcomings of the JFK Act, how siginificant records were destroyed, are missing or kept out of the JFK collection.

I proposed to CAPA that we also push for Congress to hold hearings on the JFK Act around this time, hearings similar to the Watergate, 9/11 and January 6th hearings, as Congress should and is required to do by law.

But as Dr. Wecht responded, while he likes the idea of the film fest and book fair, he does not believe Congress will embaras itself for failing to oversee the JFK Act as it should have done, and no such hearings will be held.

I agree, but I suggest that instead of Congress doing its job, we hold a Mock JFK Act Hearing – with many of those key players making presentations and responding to questions – including Judge Tunheim, Oliver Stone, Doug Horne, G. R. Blakey, Bob Tannenbaum, Dan Hardway, Malcolm Blunt, and those most familiar with the JFK Act and how it was not properly overseen.

If Congress decides to hold JFK Act hearings – and they haven’t done so in over 20 years, they put the program together, decide who testifies, and makes up the questions. On the other hand, if we hold a Mock JFK Act Hearing, we call the shots, decide who makes presentations, and ask the questions, and maybe we can embaras the Congressional Oversight Committee to do its job.

In any case, these are my ideas for the 2023 – the 60th anniversary, and probably the last hurrah for public interest in the case, and I seek your suggestions and support. CAPA will be considering this soon, and to really make it work, I will be seeking the support of the Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC), the Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC), JFKFacts, Mary Ferrell, Kennedy sand King and any other organization that wants to participate.

If you have any other ideas, or want to volunteer your support, please contact me – or 609-346-0229 

My Personal Journey from 11.22.63

 My personal journey from November 22, 1963 till now. I will be posting my relevant recollections periodically with this being the first MPS - My Personal Story 1 

NOVEMBER 22, 1963 1:30 pm EST  

Sitting in a St. Joseph's grammar school 4th or 5th grade classroom at the time of the assassination, the principal came on the intercom and announced the president had been shot. When it was confirmed he was dead, they let us out early. 

I walked the six blocks home to my house on Garden Avenue in East Camden, and began swinging on a branch of the weaping willow tree in the backyard when the phone rang. I ran to the backdoor and into the kitchen and answered the phone on the wall. 

It was my father, then a Camden police lieutenant, who told me not to leave the yard until my mother got home from her job as a hostess in the executive dining room at RCA. 

He then said, to stay put, "the president has been killed and we don't know what this is all about." 

I then wondered to myself how the murder of the president could affect an eleven year old boy playing in his backyard? 

And now, sixty years later, we still don't know what it's all about. 

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Jeff Morley with Carl Jenkins - w/ Commentary and Links

Jeff Morley with Carl Jenkins - w/ Commentary and Links 

 [BK Notes: A preliminary to this is my November 21 CAPA video presentation featuring excerpts of two filmed interviews with Carl Jenkins former CIA National Cargo airlines associate Gene Wheaton, and a report from Lee Shephard on his interview with Jenkins. I mentioned then that Jeff Morley also interviewed Jenkins, at my instigation, but Jeff wanted to wait until his new book was published before revealing what Jenkins told him. I will be posting a clean copy of this article at and will be adding my commentary to this version to put things in their proper context. I expect more to come from Morley on this, probably in his book].

CAPA Conference Presentation on Jenkins JFKcountercoup: Bill Kelly's 2021 CAPA Conference Presentation on Gene Wheaton and Carl Jenkins

 'If You Need a Dirty Job Done': Straight Talk from a Marine Vet About a CIA Plot to Assassinate Castro" 

Carl Jenkins today. Photo by Jeff Morley

16 Jun 2022 | By Jefferson Morley

At 95 years of age, Carl Elmer Jenkins is one profane Marine. His mordant memories of serving as a CIA paramilitary trainer in the combat zones of Vietnam, Indonesia, Laos and Cuba are salted with F-bombs and S-words about the A-holes he worked for. "What do you really think, sir?" is not a question a visiting reporter needs to ask Carl Jenkins.

[ BK - It's great that Jeff was able to get the confidence of such a reclusive yet outspoken intelligence officer, and get to talk to him casually over different sessions and settings. That's a rare quality that I only know of a few others i n this business have -Gaeton Fonzi,,  Dick Russell and Anthony Summers.]

I first caught up with Jenkins in April 2021, having been drawn in by his legendary reputation. Over the next year, I wound up spending several days with him, spellbound by his stories. We sat at his dining room table, occasionally taking a break to stand on his patio. He trudged about the house with a cane, complained good-naturedly about the trials of old age, and did not hesitate to answer questions about his role in an infamous CIA plot to assassinate Cuban ruler Fidel Castro that fell apart five decades ago.

[BK Notes: There were more than one plot - Valkyrie, Pathfinder and AMLASH at AMWORLD. And they weren't just plots - as projected in Executive Action and JFK, men sitting around a table, smoking and drinking and talking about how they were going to wack that Jack. No, it was a number of plans - dozens really, but we can limit ourselves to the ones directly associated with the Dealey Plaza operation.]

Jenkins grew up in a shack without indoor plumbing near Shreveport, Louisiana. After signing up for the Marines at age 17, he served in the Pacific during World War II, rising from private to staff sergeant. Upon his return, he went back to school and graduated from Centenary College. In 1950, he finished first among 372 officers in a Marine Corps training program at Quantico, Virginia. 

Carl Jenkins at Quantico 

(BK - Wheaton said Jenkins founded the USMC Reserve unit in Louisiana, which I have confirmed, and knew Carlos Marchello, that I haven't ) 

He joined the CIA in 1952 as a survival, evasion, resistance and escape instructor.

(BK This training was still based on British/Canadian and OSS training manuals from WWII)

Among his first assignments was training small teams for maritime infiltration of Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines. 

(BK: In the Philippines Jenkins worked with Ed Lansdale in his psychological warfare campaign against the Hulk guerillas, bringing in Army and CIA black propaganda specialist Paul Linebarger to teach Napoleon Valeriano the black arts that he regularly taught at the Center for International Studies in DC. Then Lansdale, Napoleon Valeriano and Jenkins were sent to Guatamala to train Cubans for the Bay of Pigs. According to the CIA official history, the plan at first called for small teams, trained by Jenkins, to be infiltrated on the East Coast where they would join partisans in the Sierra mountains, as Castro did. The plan was then changed for a fully mechanized invasion at the Bay of Pigs, that Jenkins opposed. He did train the Pathfinders who were sent in weeks ahead of time to organize local resistance.)

Jenkins Vita: JFKCountercoup2: Carl E. Jenkins - Vita

Then, he served as chief of a CIA base in Guatemala, where he trained the leaders of Brigade 2506, the U.S.-backed invasion force that was defeated at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba in April 1961. In his bedroom, Jenkins has a plaque from the brigade commending him "for outstanding services beyond the call of duty.

(BK- Now this skips a big chapter including the Kennedy assassination, that we must return to.)

In Vietnam, Jenkins served in Danang, organizing U.S. Special Forces to carry out sabotage attacks on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Later, he served as a top counterinsurgency adviser to governments in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. In 1971, he became chief of a CIA base in southern Laos, where he guided and trained 10,000-plus regular and guerrilla forces, while calling in the occasional B-52 Stratofortress strike. In retirement, he debriefed Cuban militants for the CIA and served as an unpaid consultant to President Ronald Reagan's State Department during the Iran-Contra affair.

"I was one of the handful of people in the agency that was trained and experienced in paramilitary operations," he told me. "I could indeed bring down a government. Or I could protect the government by getting rid of the insurgents. Either way. And the word goes around. 'Hey, if you need a dirty job done, call Jenkins.' And they did. And I went."

Marine Corps veteran Carl Elmer Jenkins served as a CIA paramilitary trainer in the combat zones of Vietnam, Indonesia, Laos and Cuba. (Photo courtesy of Carl Elmer Jenkins)

Jenkins still swaggers in his war stories. He recalled how he and his first wife ran a U.S. military guesthouse in Danang while his Vietnamese girlfriend ran a bar across the street. "You never knew who was a communist in that city," he sighed.

But he is no braggart, occasionally waxing doleful about his career in covert action. "I've had maybe three major successes," he muttered, "and a hell of a lot of failures."

I showed Jenkins a file of declassified cables about the AMLASH affair, a notorious CIA plot to kill Castro in the early 1960s. Jenkins' name appeared in dozens of documents. As far as I knew, he was the last living American who participated in a covert operation whose disclosure led to fundamental changes at the CIA.

(BK - probably mentioned elsewhere in his book, it is significant that Dr. Rolando Cubella was a founder of the DRE - Student Revolutionary Directorate at the University of Havana, where Castro once attended. The DRE fought Batista and when Batista fled, Cubella sat at his desk and smoked his cigars. When Castro arrived in Havana he made his HQ in the penthouse of the new Havana Hilton).

The revelation of the AMLASH plot in a 1976 report of Senate investigators proved to be a pivotal moment in the CIA's history. Coming directly after the Watergate scandal, the disclosure that the agency had plotted to kill Castro -- on the very day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas -- was a sensational news story, triggering public outrage, conspiratorial suspicions, and multiple investigations.

(BK - It's obvious to me that the AMLASH plot steamed from the CIAs "detailed study" of the July 20, 1944 German military plot to overthrow Hitler by killing him, a study the CIA can no longer locate among their records. )

The CIA saw its secrets laid bare, its budget slashed, its reputation tarnished, and, as a result, congressional oversight of the agency was imposed. While Castro gloated, the agency's public image took a hit that the men and women of Langley have always preferred to downplay, if not bury.

When I showed Jenkins the declassified file, first made public in 2018, he opened up with a colorful choice of words.

"Eisenhower did not want the Bay of Pigs and neither did I," he scoffed, referencing the CIA's ill-fated invasion plan in 1961. "I was chief of base on that f---ing operation." President John F. Kennedy was "a loser," he said, adding his brother Attorney General Robert Kennedy was worse. "Everything he touched, turned to s---."

With the paper trail in front of him, Jenkins recalled the plot to kill Castro in fine detail, laying to rest any lingering historical controversy about who actually orchestrated the unsuccessful conspiracy to end the life of the Cuban communist leader who later died of natural causes in 2016 a few months after his 90th birthday.

Richard Helms, the gentlemanly CIA director with a reputation for keeping the darkest of secrets, insisted in his memoir and on Capitol Hill that the AMLASH operation was playing at tilting domestic politics in Cuba by fomenting political opposition.

(The origin of the AMLASH program - the CIA's detailed study of the German military's July 20, 1944 plot to kill Hitler, adapted for use against Castro, as mentioned by Desmond FitzGerald in his briefing of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Higgins memo - JFKCountercoup2: The Significance of the Higgins Memo ) 

"It was not an assassination operation," Helms testified under oath to Congress. "It was not designed for that purpose. I think I do know what I'm talking about here."

Historians have tended to take Helms' denials at face value.

"When people wanted to invade Cuba or kill Castro, his attitude was, 'Oh, God,'" Helms' biographer Thomas Powers told Chris Whipple, author of "The Spymasters: How the CIA Directors Shape History and the Future," a much-lauded 2020 profile of CIA directors.

"He just was so against it all," said wife Cynthia Helms of the plots to kill Castro. "He said to me one day, 'I was never going to do it. We were never going to do it.' But they made his life miserable over it."

Was AMLASH an assassination operation? I asked Jenkins.

"Of course," snorted the retired Marine.

The AMLASH saga began late one night in October 1956 in the Montmartre, Havana's swankiest nightclub. Two young men in the crowd pulled out pistols and shot dead Col. Antonio Blanco Rico, the chief of the Cuban military intelligence service, outside the club's elevators.

One of the gunmen was Rolando Cubela, a medical student at the University of Havana who had taken up arms against the dictatorship of President Fulgencio Batista. After Castro and allied forces ousted Batista in 1959, Cubela assumed a series of senior positions in the new government. As a Catholic and nationalist, Cubela loathed Castro's hard left turn toward one-party socialism.

The CIA men, who knew of Cubela's armed exploits, targeted him for recruitment under the code name AMLASH. (All Cuba operations were identified by the AM diagraph, followed by a chosen noun; Castro was known as AMTHUG).

Helms sent an up-and-coming CIA officer, Nestor Sanchez, to Brazil to take over the handling of Cubela, who continued to have personal access to Castro. Sanchez was handing a poison pen to Cubela in a CIA safehouse in Paris on Nov. 22, 1963, when Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. Sanchez, who would go on to hold senior positions in the CIA and Pentagon, was "a good friend," Jenkins said.

(BK: Before Sanchez, Cubellas case officer who met him on occasion was Desmond FitzGerald, who replaced William Harvey as head of the CIAs Cuban desk.)

When Jenkins returned from Vietnam to the Cuba program in early 1964, he was cleared into the AMLASH operation. Sanchez, he explained, was replaced as Cubela's contact by Manuel "Manolo" Artime, a foe of Castro's with a knack for charming U.S. officials. "Manolo was a perpetual juvenile … a guy who loved everybody and just assumed that everybody loved him," Jenkins said.

In our interview, Jenkins reviewed five memos that he wrote about the AMLASH project in 1964, recalling that he had dictated them but never seen the paper copies. 

Another declassified memo showed that the CIA's National Photographic Interpretation Center supported Jenkins on a "plan to assassinate Castro at the DuPont Varadero Beach Estate, east of Havana. Castro was known to frequent the estate and the plan was to use a high-powered rifle in the attempt."

(BK- The CIA's NPIC technicians said the Pathfinder plan - not plot, was to shoot Castro with high powered rifles as he drove through Veradero in an open jeep on his way to the Dupont estate, that he often visited. The Pathfinder plan was led by Carl Jenkins, and it's folder kept in the NPIC section of the JMWAVE station instead of the Operational file where it belonged.) 

NPIC Pathfinder Doc mentioning Jenkins - NARA Record Number: 1993.08.05.14:42:12:750028   showDoc.html /

Jenkins said he voiced doubts about whether Cubela could be trusted. 

(BK- Cubella may be connected to the Pathfinder plan as he reportedly owned an apartment in Veradero that could be used as a staging area for an attack on Castro. Cubella was widely expected of being a double agent because shortly after meeting the CIA in Brazil and agreeing to try to kill Castro, Castro went to the Cuban embassy in Havana and gave an interview with an AP reporter saying that if US leaders threatened his life they themselves would not be safe.)

Having trained two former Castro bodyguards for Brigade 2506, "I knew pretty well what his habits were ... what his intimate daily routine was like," Jenkins said. He recalled asking Artime, "Who is this guy and what is he up to? You know, just exactly what are we dealing with here? Is this real or is this a trap of some sort?"

Jenkins' caution was ignored and, when Artime and Cubela met in Madrid in December 1964, Cubela reiterated his demand for a weapon to kill Castro, specifically a Belgian-made FAL rifle.

(BK - the FAL rifle was among the weapons in the Venezuelan arms cache that the CIA claimed was a Cuban shipment to communists in Venezuela.) 

"The FAL was the NATO rifle," Jenkins explained. "It was easy to get ammunition for it. That was something I could do."

Thanks to Jenkins' arrangements, Artime delivered the weapon to Cubela in Cuba. When Cubela was arrested in March 1966 and charged with plotting to kill Castro, the FAL rifle was found in his possession. Cubela was sentenced to a 25-year jail term, of which he served only half.

Some have speculated that Cubela was a double agent for Castro all along. Castro denied that, and so did Helms. It was just about the only thing the revolutionary and the spymaster ever publicly agreed upon.

"I don't accept the fact that he was working for anybody except Cubela," Jenkins told me.

In any case, Jenkins' first-person account of supplying the murder weapon, corroborated by CIA files, extinguishes Helms' claim that AMLASH was not an assassination conspiracy.

"Just another busted operation," the ex-Marine shrugged. As for Helms, "he was an a--hole as far as I'm concerned," he growled.

-- Jefferson Morley is author of "Scorpions' Dance: The President, The Spymaster, and Watergate" (St. Martin's Press), from which this article is drawn.

Related: American Veteran William Morgan Rose to the Highest Rank in Fidel Castro's Army

Thursday, June 2, 2022

The Case for a Covert Conspiracy


The Great Debate over who killed President Kennedy has been raging now for almost 60 years, with no end in sight.

So I would like to propose a different approach, not arguring over who killed JFK or why, but rather discuss how the assassination was accomplished.


The MO – Modus Operandi approach to criminal investigation is not new, but first formally and officially developed by UK Canadian-British Major General Llewellyn W. Atcheriey (1871-1954), who began to maintain records and files on criminals and the types of crimes they committed.

[ ]

In 1908 he secured the position of Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Constabulary. During his time there he produced M.O. Modus Operandi in Criminal Investigation and Detection (1924), a well regarded manual on police detection.

The Policeman (p. 191) By Cornelius Francis Cahalane writes, “The policeman, upon investigation of a crime in which he found a familiar mode of operation, would look up the records of various thieves who usually committed the crime in a like manner. If such a person were at large, and he had no promising leads in another direction, he eliminated all other suspects and confined his efforts to a scrutiny of the thieves who he knew from past experience used methods of operation similar to those used by the thief who committed the crime under investigation. Policeman who followed this system usually kept the information to themselves; some used a book, while others relied upon their memory. The need of spreading this information to all members of the Force, and of not confining it exclusively to the man making the investigation, prompted the compiling of a system by Major General Llewellyn W. Atcherley, Inspector of Constabulary, Office of the Home Secretary.”

It is contended for this system that it tends to narrow the search by a process of elimination of those not known to the police, and of those who are known but who do not commit this certain crime, or, if so, have always committed it differently from the manner found in connection with the crime under investigation. This system is helpful in many instances, but too much reliance cannot be placed upon it. There are some instances where thieves have committed the same crime in the same way for years, or until caught and convicted,...This system is helpful, but not infallible….The big thing to be remembered is …that the information he gathers is to be used as a comparison with other records on file...”


In applying Atcheriey's MO System to Dealey Plaza, the choice is pretty easy, and a very definate line in the sand - and that is whether the assassination of the President was the result of the impulsive, spontaneous actions of one Deranged Lone-Nut Case, whose individual psychosis can be classified in the realm of medical diagnosis, or was it a conspiracy - a plot, or a covert intelligence operation - a pre-arranged plan that was designed to be kept secret.

If the former, then we can all go home and let the psychiatrists and psychologists analysize the psychosis of a madman, and the assassination was disconnected to any of the political and historical activities of the day, while if the latter, they were connected, and therefor can be figured out even if designed to be kept secret. As John F. Kennedy once said, “the problems of man can be solved by man,” and his murder is no exception. 

In examining the designated lone nut scenario, as laid out by the Warren Commission, it is easily apparent that there are many problems with it, as it is full of holes that don’t hold up when examined closely, as most of the first generation of researchers discovered.

For myself, I examined the movements of the accused assassin at the time of the shooting and determined, at least for myself, that Oswald was not even on the sixth floor at the time of the shooting, so that scenario can be dispensed with.

See:    /                                                   


All of the evidence taken together strongly indicates that whatever happened at Dealey Plaza, the Modus Operandi of the crime was that of a covert intelligence operation, a Black Op designed to remain secret, planned in advance as an illegal act, conducted on a need to know basis using standard covert operational tradecraft, using deception as an attribute and acted out so it was plausibly denialable by the actual sponsors.

Even if Lee Harvey Oswald was the Lone Sniper in the Sixth Floor Window and killed the President in line with the Warren Commission and single-bullet Theory, especially if Oswald was involved in any way, rather than the act of a Lone Mad Man, the assassination must be considered a covert intelligence operation - and investigated as such.

Even professional Lone Wolf assassins need a support network – ala John Wilks Booth and the hired assassin in the Day of the Jackal, and even if Oswald was not the patsy he claimed to be, and somehow got to the sixth floor and took the shots that killed the President, he was still a covert operative and part of an intelligence network that controlled his activities.


Oswald’s basic background clearly indicates that in his 24 years he was a member of a military family, was reared to be a soldier, was infaturated by spy films, TV shows and literature, and was recruited for intelligence work before defecting to the USSR. 

Oswald’s brother Robert made note of the fact that one of his younger brother’s favorite TV shows was the story of Herbert Philbrick, an FBI undercover agent who infiltrated local political organizations posing as a communist in order to ferret out real commnists. Oswald also reportedly read Philbrick’s book, and Philbrick himself, in an address before a lawyer’s group, expressed foreknowledge of JFK’s assassintion shortly before it occurred.

Besides Philbrick’s story, a major motion picture was made along the same lines that starred x – as the undercover agent. X also played the role of Strategic Air Command (SAC) general Curtis LeMay in the movie about SAC, that also starred Jimmy Stewart, who served in the 8th Air Force in Europe during World War II and – was a general? in the Air Force Reserves.

Both of Oswald’s brothers served in the military, Robert in the USMC, the main inspiration behind Oswald’s desire to be a Marine, as he reportely memorized Robert’s USMC handbook as a youngster. Joining the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), which was founded in 1941 by Texas oilman D. H. Byrd, who owned the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD) at the time fo the assassination, and Cord Meyer, Sr., father of CIA official Cord Meyer, Jr. Oswald wore a uniform and took part in their activities, and became associated with CIA contract agent and pilot David Ferrie, who also worked for Eddie Rickenbacker’s Eastern Airlines. Oswald’s other half-brother, John Pic, enlisted in the Coast Guard, where he was serving on the Port of New York when Oswald and his mother visited and stayed for a number of months. Pick later also enlisted in the USMC Reserves, and then joined the Air Force, and was serving at Lackland AFB in Fort Worth at the time of the assassination.

I know that the USMC had an enlistment program to encourage the brothers of Marines to enlist, and I believe Oswald was the subject of this program, as an enlistment recruiter convinced Oswald to enlist before his 17th birthday, but he was unable to do so. He then did enlist shortly after his 17th birthday, droping out of high school to do so.


One of the most important points that serial plagerist Gerald Posner makes in his book Case Closed (xx), is the fact that when Oswald was picked up playing hookie from school in New York City, where he and his mother were living with his brother John Pic at the time. Classified as a Juvinile Delinquent, Oswald was evaluated by Dr. R. Herzog, who according to Posner, administered the Minnesotta Mulit-Phasic Personality Invintory (MMPPI) test to him.

Not really a test you can pass or fail, it is a series of questions the answers to which determines a personality type, and according to Posner, Herzog listed Oswald’s personality as being “PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE,” not typical but unique to about 20% of the population.

I found this interesting when I read about the London Sunday Times interview with US Navy Lt. Commander Thomas Narut at a NATO conference in Oslo. Narut was a nuro-psychiatrist stationed primarly in San Diego, California, where Oswald was also stationed.  In the interview Narut said that the Navy tests recruits looking specifically for those with a “PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE” personality, the type that are best suited to be trained as assassins, and the type Herzog said Oswald was.  The recruits are then put through a training program that uses films of violence that are repeated to the point that the subjects are not affected by the violence. As the US Marine Corps comes under the supervision of the Department of Navy, Narut said that such trainees are mainly Marines who are placed in US Embassys abroad and called upon to commit assassinatoins when necessary.


The movie The Parallax View, staring Warren Beaty as a reporter who stumbles on an assassins recruiting network, infiltrates them. They begin with a written test very similar to the MMPPI, that Beaty takes to a University professor to see what its all about. The professor explains that it is used to identify certain persoanlity charastics, including the ability to commit murder, so they give the test to a convicted homicidal maniac to fill out.  After acceptance into the program Beaty is forced to watch a series of films, just as Narut said was done. The movie ends with the assassination of a Senator at the Texas Trade Mart, where JFK was supposed to be at a luncheon when he was assassinated in Dallas.

I obtained a used copy of a paper back book The Parallax View that the movie is based on, written by Alan Sagner, a former OSS officer during World War. The biggest difference between the book and the movie, as far as I could determine, was the ending. Rather than an assassination at the Texas Trade Mart, the victim is run off an ocean side rode between Wildwood Crest and Cape May, New Jeresey, near where I lived at the time. So I drove there and found a high security US Navy Research facility, that a local bartender told me was a Navy radio antenas used to communicate with nuclear submarines at sea.

In an interview with Len Osanic on Black Op Radio, the Parallax View author Alan Sagner said that the testing in the program, including the MMPPI and film closage, were real, and based on testing and training he received in the OSS during World War II.

But that wasn’t the end of Parallax, as it is defined as a problem in viewing expereinced by pilots who loose their ability to deterine what’s up and down – xxxx – and probably one of the reasons John Kennedy, Jr. died in a plane crash.

When I requesed and obtained the annual reports for Collins Radio for 1962-63-64, I knew they supplied the radios for all SAC bombers and Air Force One, and provided cover for the CIA’s JMWAVE boat The Rex, but was surprised to read that they received a major multi-million dollar contract to study and try to resolve the Parallax problem experienced by pilots.

The Modus Operandi behind the assassination of President Kennedy must be cosidered a covert intelligence operation because the facts of the case indicate that, including 1) Those individuals who expressed foreknowledge of the murder; 2) Many if not most of the principle characters were trained in covert intelligence operations, utilized tradecraft and had direct intelligence agency/network associations; 3) deception and traceable disinformation was utilized; 4) There were, as former Senator Richard Schweiker (R.Pa.) put it, "fingerprints of intelligence" all over the place.

As detailed in the study of the use of the Modus Operandi System, it is not perfect, and is only a tool of investigation that eleminates some and narrows down the number of suspects that should be investigated.

The MO System, when applied to Dealey Plaza, does not tell you who was responsible for the crime, but does provide a method for approaching the crime in a way that can lead to its resolution.

Because Covert Intelligence Operations are conducted in a specific way, and those characters involved were also involved in previous covert intelligence operations, both before and since Dealey Plaza, in Guatemala, Cuba, Iran, Vietnam and Chile, the players and suspects are identifiable if not already known.

As my friends and associates well know, I have been studying the assassination of President Kennedy for many years, so the most frequently asked question I get from those who know this is, "Who killed JFK?," but I still can't answer that question.

While I am certain that the accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was not the lone gunman he has been portrayed to be, and I don't know the identities of those actually responsible for what happened at Dealey Plaza, I have, in the words of the Hollywood detective Lieutenant Peter Faulk Colombo, - "I don't know who committed the murder, but I figured out how they did it."

I got the MO down - the Modus Operandi - was that of a covert intelligence operation.

According to the U.S. Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, a covert operation (covert ops) is "an operation that is so planned and executed as to conceal the identity of or permit plausible denial by the sponsor."

 thieves who usually committed the crime in a like manner. If such a person were at large, and he had no promising leads in another direction, he eliminated all other suspects and confined his efforts to a scrutiny of the thieves who he knew from past experience used methods of operation similar to those used by the thief who committed the crime under investigation. Policeman who followed this system usually kept the information to themselves; some used a book, while others relied upon their memory. The need of spreading this information to all members of the Force, and of not confining it exclusively to the man making the investigation, prompted the compiling of a system by Major General Llewellyn W. Atcherley, Inspector of Constabulary, Office of the Home Secretary.”

“It is contended for this system that it tends to narrow the search by a process of elimination of those not known to the police, and of those who are known but who do not commit this certain crime, or, if so, have always committed it differently from the manner found in connection with the crime under investigation. This system is helpful in many instances, but too much reliance cannot be placed upon it. There are some instances where thieves have committed the same crime in the same way for years, or until caught and convicted,...This system is helpful, but not infallible….The big thing to be remembered By him is that the information he gathers is to be used as a comparison with other records on file...”


In applying Atcheriey's MO System to Dealey Plaza, the choice is pretty easy, and a very definite line in the sand - and that is whether the assassination of the President was the result of the impulsive, spontaneous actions of one Deranged Lone-Nut Case, whose individual psychosis should be classified in the realm of medical diagnosis, or was it a covert action, a pre-arranged plan that was meant be secret to protect the actual sponsors?

If the former, then we can all go home and let the psychiatrists and psychologists analysis the psychosis of a madman, and the assassination was disconnected to any of the political and historical activities of the day, while if the latter, the murder was connected to the political realities of the day, and therefor can be figured out.

But all of the evidence taken together strongly indicates that whatever happened at Dealey Plaza, the Modus Operandi of the crime was that of a covert intelligence operation, a Black Op designed to remain secret, planned in advance as an illegal act, conducted on a need to know basis using standard covert operational tradecraft and acted out so it was plausibly deniable by the actual sponsors.

Even if Lee Harvey Oswald was the Lone Sniper in the Sixth Floor Window and killed the President in line with the Single-bullet Theory, especially if Oswald was involved in any way, rather than the act of a Lone Mad Man, the assassination must be considered a covert intelligence operation - and investigated as such. 


While the Secret Service study of assassins tried to come up with a common diagnosis, they failed to recognize one specific type of assassin that Oswald fits – what I call the Covert Operative Personality (COP) profile. The COP profile is very specific, as those who fit this personality are trained by the military, usually the Marines, they are fluent in a foreign language, use Post Office boxes, keep an apartment separate from their families, and they utilize what Allen Dulles called the crafts and techniques of intelligence. Oswald sets the pattern for the COP personality but it also fits others such as Watergate burglars Frank Forini Sturgis and Eugenio Martinez, Gerry Patrick Hemming, Tosh Plumley and Felix Rodriguez, to name a few famous ones.

Whenever a COP profile personality is involved in an incident such as what happened at Dealey Plaza or Watergate, that incident should be assumed to be a covert intelligence operation and investigated as such.

The Modus Operandi behind the assassination of President Kennedy must be considered a covert intelligence operation because the facts of the case indicate that, including 1) There were individuals who expressed foreknowledge of the murder; 2) Many if not most of the principle characters were trained in covert intelligence operations, utilized tradecraft and had direct intelligence agency/network associations; 3) deception and traceable disinformation was utilized; 4) There were, as former Senator Richard Schweiker (R.Pa.) put it, "fingerprints of intelligence" all over the place.

As detailed in the study of the use of the Modus Operandi System, it is not perfect, and is only a tool of investigation that eliminates some and narrows down the number of suspects that should be investigated.

The MO System, when applied to Dealey Plaza, does not tell you who was responsible for the crime, but does provide a method for approaching the crime in a way that can lead to its resolution.

Because Covert Intelligence Operations are conducted in a specific way, and those characters involved were also involved in previous covert intelligence operations, both before and since Dealey Plaza, in Guatemala, Cuba, Iran, Vietnam and Chile, the players and suspects are identifiable if not already known.

Once you view what occurred at Dealey Plaza as an operation, a covert intelligence operation, it doesn't matter what Oswald's role was - lone gunman, co-conspirator or patsy.

Joshia Thompson, a first generation JFK researcher and longtime San Francisco private detective in the Sam Spade tradition, is the author of "Six Seconds in Dallas" and "Gumshoe," that details some of his exploits. Thompson once said that every case he worked on always had a point where a piece of evidence fit the bill, made the case come unraveled and led to its resolution, - except the Kennedy assassination.

Well, I think that point is being reached, not only by me, but by other researchers and writers whose work is coming together, as the previously hidden pieces of the puzzle fall into place, giving us a good picture of what really happened at Dealey Plaza.

I was very disenchanted when I first realized that the crime was not only a complex conspiracy but an even more unfathomable covert intelligence operation that was designed to deceive and remain hidden, and only become visible when they fail, and the Dealey Plaza Operation didn’t fail.  I became disenchanted because I realized that it would take an even more powerful counter-intelligence operation to determine the truth and seek some semblance of justice.

I knew the network responsible for the crime and was getting away with the murder of a president was much more powerful than me or any group I could put together, so I considered the resolution of this crime an unattainable possibility.

Now however, decades later, I can see it happening - the vision comes before reality.

The resolution of the assassination of President Kennedy - to a legal and moral certainty, is now attainable for three reasons - 1) the Power of the Internet gives us a network that makes all knowledge the significant information needed available to us; 2) The JFK Act of 1992 - as it is still in force, legally gives us access to all of the necessary records and evidence in the case; 3) the commitment and perseverance of a small number of very knowledgeable and dedicated independent researchers who are working on this case, many full time. Those three things together wield the power to overcome the intelligence network responsible for the Dealey Plaza operation.

We have the internet network, we have the JFK Act law behind us and we have a dedicated group of individuals who, if they work as a team, can identify, expose and take down the network that was responsible for what happened at Dealey Plaza that day.


So in a sense, as we consolidate our research and knowledge of the case, and prepare legal maneuvers, we won't have to go to them, eventually they will come to us.

The Divine Skein at Dealey Plaza


Former CIA director Allen Dulles brought a book with him to the first meeting of the Warren Commission.

"American Assassins" by Robert Donovan, portrayed most American political assassins as deranged lone nuts, as opposed to the more rational and ideological European assassins.

Donovan had previously wrote "PT 109," about President Kennedy's World War II exploits in the South Pacific that was made into a major motion picture, and his book on American assassins was popular at the time.

But Warren Commissioner John McCloy took exception to Dulles' suggestion that American assassins were all lone nut cases, pointing out the fact that Lincoln was assassinated as a result of a conspiracy, and a number of people were tried and hanged for their roles.

If Dulles was more interested in the truth rather than promoting the false suggestion that JFK was a victim of a deranged lone nut case, he would have passed around copies of his own then recently published book - "The Crafts of Intelligence," reportedly ghost written by Watergate burglar E. Howard Hunt.

In his own book, Dulles details the means and methods used by intelligence networks, crafts that have been used for thousands of years, and as he explains, were first described in one of the oldest books known to man - Sun Tzu's "The Art of War."

In a chapter of "The Art of War" Sun Tzu describes the five different types of spies and secret agents - inside, native, living, double and expendable, each with a different role in the "skein," or net, a network of spies.

According to Sun Tzu, when all five types of agents are working in tandem together, they are "the treasure of the sovereign," and known as "The Divine Skein," - the Divine Net, as what they accomplish appears to be divine intervention and an act of God, unrecognizable by ordinary mortals who don’t know the trick or how the game is played.

Before JFK was killed a pamphlet was distributed in the Cuban community of Florida that said that an "Act of God" would put a Texan in the White House, a Texan who was friends of the Cuban people, one of dozens of black propaganda incidents that confirm the fact that whatever it is you believe as to what happened at Dealey Plaza, it was the result of a covert intelligence operation that utilized standard disinformation tactics to protect those actually responsible.

As Max Holland, in his book "The Assassination Tapes," quotes LBJ as saying that the assassination of JFK was "divine," implying it was an act of God, and LBJ was called the "accidental" president, as his murder was the result of a divine coincidence.

The head of French Intelligence once said that the assassination of President Kennedy was like a magic trick, complete with smoke and mirrors.

“President Kennedy's assassination was the work of magicians. It was a stage trick, complete with accessories and false mirrors, and when the curtain fell the actors and even the scenery, disappeared. But the magicians were not illusionist but professionals, artists in their own right.”     -    Attributed to French Intelligence officers – Philippe de Vosjoli or M. Andre Ducret –in “Fairwell America”


General William Odom, the former head of the National Security Agency (NSA) and previously the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence (ACSI) of the US Army, said that the best covert operators are like the movie "The Sting."

In his book “Intelligence Wars – American Secret History from Hitler to Al-Qaeda,” Thomas Powers relates a story of how met General Odom, at a birthday party for retired intelligence officer Haviland Smith. As Smith's mentor General Odom was the former Army Chief of Staff for Intelligence (ACSI) and later the director of the National Security Agency (NSA) eavesdroppers, where he worked with former Army intelligence analyst John Newman.

Odom asked Powers, “Should the Army be trying to run agents at all?”

Well, since the CIA is not legally permitted to operate domestically in the United States, and the Army does, especially the National Guard, the Army was especially active running intelligence and undercover agents during the Civil Rights riots and against anti-Vietnam War activists. Since the Army does so, it’s a mute question of whether they should be doing it.

In the course of the party Thomas Powers asked Odom another question - “What makes a good case officer?”

Odom thought for a second and then answered the question with a question of his own: “Did you see that movie with Robert Redford and Paul Newman – The Sting?”“That's it!” said Odom, “the con!”


The Big Con

Which clearly indicates that Odom took classes in covert intelligence operations with Paul Linebarger at the Center for International Studies.

The assassination of President Kennedy at Dealey Plaza was not an accident, not the act of a deranged loner nor a magic trick or an act of God, but rather was a very distinct and successfully executed covert intelligence operation, and pulling off a Big Con is how they did it.

The idea of the intelligence network - the means, methods and mechanisms of covert operations and the crafts of intelligence are now well known, though they weren't in 1963. Though people were aware of complex confidence games and how con artists work, and were leery of them, even though, as they say, “You can’t cheat an honest man.”

In fact such intelligence networks and covert operations are patterned on the Big Con confidence games of the early 20th century, as portrayed, as Odom suggests, in the movie "The Sting.”

In his book - “Portrait of a Cold Warrior,” Joseph Smith writes about the part of his training as a CIA agent that included taking classes with Professor Paul Linebarger, of the Center for International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. The classes on covert operational methods and techniques were taught at Linebarger’s home in Washington D.C.

Smith relates how Linebarger not only used his own classic text book “Psychological Warfare,” that delineates various levels of propaganda from white to black, with black being clearly though falsely identified as originating from the opposition.

Smith wrote: Black propaganda operations, by definition, are operations in which the source of the propaganda is disguised or misrepresented in one way or another so as not to be attributable to the people who really put it out. This distinguishes black from white propaganda, such as news bulletins and similar statements issued by one side in a conflict extolling its successes, of course, or other material just as clearly designed to serve the purposes of its identifiable authors….the United States was faced everywhere with an enemy that was using an untold array of black propaganda operations to undermine the nations of the world in order to present us with a fait accompli one fine morning when we would wake up to find all these countries under Communist control. Hence, it was vital to understand all about such operations from a defense standpoint if nothing else.

Paul Linebarger’s was a seminar in black propaganda only. He loved black propaganda operations probably because they involved the wit-sharpening he loved to talk about. Also, he was so good at them that his was one of the inventive minds that refined the entire black operations field into shades of blackness. Linebarger and his disciples decided that propaganda that was merely not attributable to the United States was not really black, only gray. To be called black it had to be something more…This left the term black propaganda for a very special kind of propaganda activity. Black propaganda operations were operations done to look like, and carefully labeled to be, acts of the Communist enemy.

Not only was the attribution given the source of the propaganda activity used as a criterion for defining what kind of propaganda it was, but equally important was the kind of message used…Black propaganda operations, being attributed to the enemy, naturally did not (support US policies). In fact, black propaganda, to be believable, supported the enemy’s positions and openly opposed those of the United States….

Besides classes in propaganda, Linebarger also had his students read David Maurer’s book “The Big Con,” also published as “The American Confidence Man,” that gave good insight into how case officers could run operatives and conduct successful covert operations.

David Maurer’s book, originally a linguistic text on the unique language and slang of thieves, con artists and confidence men, led Maurer to uncover and detail the inner workings of the Big Con, and that was the basis of the script for the movie “The Sting,” as referenced by Odom.

Just as linguist David Maurer learned the secrets of the Big Con through the study of the unique language of the con artists, we can only learn the means and methods of the covert operators by learning the terminology they use in crafting their covert operations - the Lingo of Dealey Plaza.

As Smith wrote: “I want you all to go out and get a copy of David Maurer’s classic on the confidence man. It’s called ‘The Big Con,’ and its available now in a paperback edition,” Paul continued. “That little book will teach you more about the art of covert operations than anything else I know.”

“Your job and the confidence man’s are almost identical…Of course, your motives and those of the confidence men are different. He wants to fleece his mark out of his money. You want to convince a Chinese, Filipino,…a Thai, that what you want him to believe or do for the good of the U.S. government is what he thinks he himself really believes and wants to do.”

“Maurer’s book will give you a lot of 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. Believe me, that last one is the toughest job of all.”

"We were all soon reading 'The Big Con,' The tales it told did, indeed, contain a lot of hints on how to do our jobs. For me one sentence seemed to sum it all up beautifully, “The big-time confidence games,” wrote Maurer, “are in reality only carefully rehearsed plays in which every member of the cast EXCEPT THE MARK knows his part perfectly.” 

He had two leading operational heroes whose activities formed the basis for lessons he wished us to learn and whose examples he thought we should follow. One was Lt. Col. Edward G. Lansdale, the OPC station chief in Manila, and the other was E. Howard Hunt, the OPC station chief in Mexico City. Both of them had what is called “black minds,” and the daring to defy bureaucratic restraints in thinking up and executing operations. He had a number of stories to tell about the exploits of both….

 A note of caution that Linebarger added to these discussions of black operations sounds like a bell down the years. He would explain, after someone had come up with an especially clever plan for getting the Communists completely incriminated in an exceedingly offensive act, that there should be limits to black activities.

“I hate to think what would ever happen,” he once said with a prophet’s voice, “if any of you ever got out of this business and got involved in U.S. politics. These kinds of dirty tricks must never be used in internal U.S. politics. The whole system would come apart.” 

Well these kinds of dirty tricks were used before Watergate, including what happened at Dealey Plaza, and the whole system came apart.

The Argot of Dealey Plaza - How to define and talk about what happened there.

It now should be established and accepted as a fact that the Modus Operandi (MO) of the assassination of President Kennedy was not that of a deranged loner, but rather that of a covert intelligence operation.

According to the U.S. Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, a covert operation (covert ops) is "an operation that is so planned and executed as to conceal the identity of or permit plausible denial by the sponsor."

Just as David Maurer learned the peculiar language of the confidence men and con artists before he understood the inter working mechanisms of the Big Con "Sting," we have to decipher and learn the intelligence terminology of the covert action operators to come to an understanding of the Dealey Plaza Operation.


David Maurer: “Over a period of years I have explored the secret and semi-secret communications system of professional criminals…Very early I discovered that the technical language of criminals, which is called ‘argot,’ cannot be studied in terms of language alone. These speech-systems have to be viewed in light of the subcultures which produced them….In other words, before one can write about criminal argot, he must learn how professional criminals live…”

One of the unique attributes of covert intelligence tradecraft is to give the mission an operational code name - the 1954 Guatemalan coup was Operation Success, and while those few who planned it used another name, I refer to it as the Dealey Plaza Operation (DPO).

Because, as we have learned from Joseph Smith and Paul Linebarger, some of the psych war and covert intelligence operational techniques developed by the Army and CIA came from the criminal underworld, whose argot was chronicled by linguist David Maurer, some of the terminology as well as techniques are interchangeable.

Just as the Big Con games had the Inside Man, the star of the show, the covert operators had their Inside Men, Outside Men, Spotters, Ropers, Fixers and the Big Store itself.

As in the Big Con Sting, the Inside Men are the best of the lot and run the show. CIA men such as Allen Dulles, Ted Shackley, Desmond Fitzgerald and Richard Helms were the best Inside Men, and they had their Big Store - JMWAVE.

The largest CIA station in the world at the time - at the University of Miami, went by the cover of Zenith Technological Enterprises, as US Army Ranger Bradley Ayers describes in his books "The War that Never Was" and "The Zenith Secret."

As Ayers describes it, they set it up just like the Big Con artists set up a Big Store as a fake gambling joint or stock broker's office.

 "Monday morning we met the station chief, Ted Shackley," Ayers wrote. "As we sat in his outer office, waiting a little nervously, I saw they had missed no detail in setting up the false front of Zenith Technological Enterprises. There were phony sales and production charts on the walls and business licenses from the state and federal governments. A notice to salesman, pinned near the door, advised them of the calling hours for various departments. The crowning touch was a certificate of award from the United Givers' Fund to Zenith for outstanding participation in the annual fund drive."

The Inside Man, like Paul Newman's Gondorf in "The Sting," must be a good actor and polished professional with charisma, as Ted Shackley and Desmond Fitzgerald clearly fit that persona.

The Inside Men seldom leave the office, and handle administrative and bureaucratic affairs as well as devising the game plans and pulling the strings of the street operators, that he does through his Outside Men - the covert operators, case officers and their agents and assets.

Gordon Campbell, the mysterious JMWAVE chief of Maritime activities (until he died), once told Ayers, "The fewer people out there (at a remote training base) the better....My Outside Man Karl will help you with logistics..."

The Outside Men are a bit more crude and street wise than the prim and polished Inside Men. Guys like William Harvey, David Morrales and George Joanedes dealt directly with the Cubans and mobsters, and utilized many of the same techniques as well as the lingo of Con artists. 

Codes, ciphers, false flags, black propaganda and putting in the fix are utilized by both the con artists and covert operators, so an understanding of one gives insight into the other, as Paul Linebarger taught his psych war students.

Acronyms, aliases, pseudonyms, code names and ciphers are all keys that must be deciphered and understood before you can even begin to read many of the CIA cables and memos that use them.

Lists of such items that have been deciphered by veteran researchers like John Newman, Bill Simpich, Malcolm Blunt, Larry Hancock, Jerry Shinley and Rex Bradford are filed at the Mary Farrell web site where many of the released records are also posted on line for easy access.

As Malcolm Blunt recently noted: “Better we should look at the documents being released and work on what I’m sure to most is irrelevant minutiae. Although most of these releases are going to be absolutely meaningless to Post and Times reporters, really we are being given missing pages from an incomplete dictionary. Agency cryptonyms, pseudonyms, internal systems and management. Very valuable.”

CIA Cryptonyms at Mary Ferrell:

Glossary and Acronyms: Glossary and Acronyms — Central Intelligence Agency

Spy Museum Language of Espionage: Language of Espionage · International Spy Museum

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Seven Days in LeMay (Updated)

BK Notes: Acoustical forensic expert  Ed Premieu is preparing a book on his work over the years, and will be including how he combined and cleared up some of the static in the Air Force One radio transmission tapes, that he did at my request. He requested some assistance in detailing the differences between the two versions of the tapes, and the reference to General LeMay in the Clifton tapes is a key. So I took a look at the three articles I wrote on General LeMay over the years, and combined them into this one article, that I will be editing some more when I get a chance to do so. 

On a personal note I have been sick for the past few months, that has prevented me from research and writing, but I feel like I'm getting better and will resume my duties full time soon. One of the things that bothered me as I was close to death - was the fact that I have not completed this work, and hope to pull together a book on what I have learned about the JFK Assassination that I hope you will appreciate. 


By William Kelly  ( 

Was the assassination of President Kennedy the act of a deranged loner or a full fledged coup d’etat?

That is the question. 

Seton Hall film Professor Christopher Sharrett addressed the issue years ago when he wrote, “We should not view the assassination as a coup in the traditional sense --- obviously there was no imposition of martial law, no prolonged period of bloodletting (discounting murdered witnesses and such). Such a blow against the public would have been intolerable in a major Western democracy after European fascism, and the issue in any event was not about suppressing a popular movement…, but about resolving a disagreement within the state at a time when financial stakes were extremely high.”

With the impending release of JFK assassination records in 2017, Sharrett was asked what he thought would be in the files and replied: “For any organization, if they’re smart, they don’t put their most volatile stuff in the filing cabinet. If you take the trouble to carry out a killing at that level of state, you won’t leave anything behind with a file saying – here’s the way we set it up.” 

IF it was a full fledged coup then there should be evidence of it among the mass of government documents released under the JFK Act, even if they were stripped to the frame like Oliver Stone’s Mercedes. And it would be reflected in the words, behavior and actions of the principle characters, all of whom we know because if it was a coup, the primary suspects are certainly limited to those who took over the government and changed national policy. We know who they are.

There are those who say that the conspiracy to kill the president was conducted by a group of “renegade” covert operators and mobsters, as portrayed in movies “Executive Action” and Oliver Stone’s “JFK,” while those who lean towards the full fledged coup scenario say that “Seven Days in May” is a more accurate movie model of what actually occurred.

In October 1962, shortly before the Cuban Missile Crisis, President Kennedy read the novel “Seven Days in May” by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II, related to it, and approved of John Frankenheimer making the movie, allowing them to film a riot scene outside the White House and some scenes inside the White House when he wasn’t there. While the movie was filmed during the Kennedy administration, it wasn't released until 1964.

Kirk Douglas as US Marine Col. "Jiggs" Casey and Burt Lancaster as General Scott. 

Staring Burt Lancaster as the right-wing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General James Mattoon Scott, the movie has Kirk Douglas as his adjunct US Marine Colonel “Jiggs” Casey, while Frederick March is a liberal, unpopular President who signed a nuclear test ban treaty with the Ruskies. Kirk Douglas had a lot to do with making sure the movie got done. 

Rod Serling, of Twilight Zone fame, wrote the riveting screenplay, and also became involved in the assassination investigation when someone impersonating him wrote letters to major publications. 

JFK talked about the possibility of a military coup d’etat in America on at least two occasions, once with journalist Joseph Alsop and the other with his old Navy shipmate Red Fay. Of a military coup JFK said: “It could happen if there was an incident like the Bay of Pigs, and a crisis like the Cuban Missile Crisis. It could happen if there was a third similar event.” 

And there was – the Top Secret Back channel negotiations with Cuban Premier Fidel Castro that were on-going at the time of the assassination. 

JFK adviser and historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. said that if the anti-Castro Bay of Pigs Cubans knew JFK was negotiating with Castro it would be enough to motivate them to kill. And the fact the negotiations were going on between JFK and Castro was revealed to the anti-Castro Cubans by Henry Cabot Lodge, JFK’s Republican Ambassador to Vietnam. 

So JFK’s three requirements for a military coup were met

To continue the Seven Days in May analogy, the fictional General Scott is more akin to Air Force Chief of Staff General Curtis LeMay than it is to General Maxwell Taylor, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who JFK brought out of retirement to lead the military arm of government after he read a book that Taylor wrote critical of the prevailing military strategy, “The Uncertain Trumpet” (Jan. 1960).  

As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Taylor replaced General Lyman Louis Lemnitzer, who had been appointed by President Eisenhower in October 1960. Whethering the failure of the Bay of Pigs, Lemnitzer established the U.S. Strike Command in 1961 on the recommendation of Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, and the Special Studies Group to advise the Joint Chiefs.  But after disagreeing with the President over the use of special forces and counter-insurgency operations over the regular army, and advocating a “false flag” –Northwoods fake event to instigate an invasion of Cuba – ala the USS Maine, Lemnitzer was not re-appointed but demoted to Commander in Chief of the US European Command (CINCEUR), where he served until 1969. In retirement Lemnitzer served on the 1975 Commission on CIA Activities within the United States and on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. 

Becoming the fifth Chief of Staff of the Air Force in 1961, LeMay’s basic biography notes that “LeMay clashed repeatedly with Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, Air Force Secretary Eugene Zuckert, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army General Maxwell Taylor,” to say nothing of his tangles with President Kennedy.

After pleading ignorance of the CIA’s plans for the Bay of Pigs, objecting to the use of ICBMs instead of B-52 bombers to deliver nuclear weapons, arguing against the combined Air Force-Navy TFX fighter-bomber and otherwise ignoring the orders of the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of the Air Force, LeMay was infuriated with Kennedy that during the Cuban Missile Crisis the unanimous advice of the Joint Chiefs to bomb the Soviet missiles in Cuba and invade the island was ignored, and a peaceful resolution obtained.

LeMay compared the resolution to Munich, when the President's father supported appeasement with Hitler in order to avoid an unavoidable World War. 

In the heat of the Cuban Missile crisis, in a meeting in the Oval Office, LeMay told JFK that “Mr. President - you are in a pretty bad fix.” After the President asked LeMay to repeat the remark, he told LeMay, “Well, you are in it with me!”

After one conversation with LeMay JFK said, “And we call ourselves human beings.” After another he said he didn’t want to see LeMay again.

JFK knew the true feelings of LeMay and the Joint Chiefs because after one heated meeting he left the room but left the recording devices on, so he later heard their unabashed feelings towards him.

The movie “Thirteen Days,” staring Kevin Costner, accurately portrays LeMay during the crisis, and serves as a sort of a prequel to the assassination movies “Executive Action” and “JFK.”

While Burt Lancaster does look a lot like Gen. Maxwell Taylor as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and LeMay’s pudgy, bull dog looks are portrayed well in “Thirteen Days,” LeMay did serve for awhile as the temporary chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when General Taylor was sent to Vietnam on a special mission for the President.

And it was while Taylor was away and LeMay was serving as temporary chair on September 25, 1963 when the CIA’s Desmond FitzGerald briefed the Joint Chiefs on the need for U.S. military support for CIA covert operations, especially in Cuba.

The man responsible for such military assistance to the CIA was US Marine General Victor “Brut” Krulak, whose official title was Assistant Chief Counter-Insurgency and Special Activities (ACCISA). Krulak knew JFK from the South Pacific during World War II when Kennedy’s PT-109 helped rescue one of Krulak’s marine units from a Japanese occupied island under fire, as portrayed in the movie “PT-109.”

Krulak then promised Lt. Kennedy a bottle of whiskey but didn’t deliver it until after hours at the White House, where they toasted their mutual veteran heritage.

Krulak’s adjunct, Colonel Walter Higgins attended the meeting of the JCS when FitzGerald briefed them on the CIA’s covert Cuban operations, taking detailed notes that survived the purge of many similar records. U.S. Marine Colonel Higgins may even be considered comparable to Marine Colonel “Jiggs” Casey, who became suspicious a military coup was in the works.

One disassociated fact that Higgins wrote up and FitzGerald tells us about is the CIA’s “detailed study” of the July 20, 1944 Valkyrie plot to kill Hitler, actually a continuity of government coup that was planned in advance in detail.

One of Higgins’ memo bullet points says: “He (FitzGerald) commented that there was nothing new in the propaganda field. However, he felt that there had been great success in getting closer to the military personnel who might break with Castro, and stated that there were at least ten high-level military personnel who are talking with CIA but as yet are not talking to each other, since that degree of confidence has not yet developed. He considers it as a parallel in history; i.e., the plot to kill Hitler; and this plot is being studied in detail to develop an approach.”

FitzGerald said that “this plot is being studied in detail” – yet, when Washington D.C. FOIA attorneys Jim Lesar and Dan Alcorn requested this “detailed study,” the CIA was unable to locate any reference at all to the July 20, 1944 German military plot to kill Hitler. But when sued in civil court, they came up with a single document from 1954 that blamed the failure of the plot on communists.

In applying Professor Peter Dale Scott’s “Negative Template” theory – that the most significant records were destroyed, missing or still being withheld – then the CIA’s missing “detailed study” of the Valkyrie plot to kill Hitler must then certainly be significant. 

Although the German military plot to kill Hitler and take over the Nazi government was not successful when the bomb failed to kill Hitler, the CIA was studying the plan in detail and apparently using the German military coup plan to “develop an approach” to use against Castro, a study they have since lost.

While other than Dr. Rolando Cubella (AMLASH), the CIA had trouble finding disgruntled Cuban military officers to stage a coup and possibly kill Castro, that wasn’t a problem in the U.S. military, as the Joint Chiefs of Staff were united in their opposition to the President, his policies and his plans.

As Colonel “Jiggs” Casey put together the facts as he saw them, indicating there was some shenanigans in the works, General Scott sent him on vacation, much like Col. Fletcher Prouty felt like he was being sent off to Antarctica to be away from the Pentagon when JFK was killed.

And just as Gene Wheaton visited CIA director William Casey to inform him of the Iran-Contra scandal before it became public knowledge, Colonel “Jiggs” Casey goes to the Oval Office to inform the President of his suspicions. While Wheaton realized that Casey was in on the deal, the Hollywood President gives him a listen. When the President asks him to get to the point, Jiggs says, “I’m not sure, Mr. President, just some possibilities, what we call, uh ‘capabilities’ in military intelligence. I’m suggesting, Mr. President, there’s a military plot to take over the government.”

One of the tips "Jiggs" discovers is a bet among the top brass on the Preakness horse race, a cover code for the coup.

As the admiral who refused to make a bet was told: “The bet is that there are members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who are involved in treason. We know who they are, we know the essence of the plan. Now from you, Admiral, I want a signed statement indicating at what moment you first heard of this operation and your complicity in the entire matter.”

And ala the Preakness bet used as a cover for the coup messages, there was a bet in the JFK assassination narrative as well, one that could have a bearing on uncovering the essence of the conspiracy and coup.

Desmond FitzGerald  and Rolando Cubella (AMLASH) 


As the CIA officer responsible for covert operations against Cuba, Des FitzGerald was the person who briefed the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the CIA's "detailed" study of the Valkyrie plot to kill Hitler. FitzGerald was also the case officer for Rolando Cubela (AMLASH), one of the military officers they were recruiting to kill Castro. So it is interesting that FitzGerald, like the military officers in the fictional "Seven Days in May" used a bet and a gamble on the Preakness stakes as a way of communicating their willingness to go along with the coup plans. 

In “The Very Best Men” – Four Who Dared: The Early Years of the CIA" Evan Thomas writes: “…Halpern, FitzGerald’s assistant, regarded him (Cubela) as an assassin and claims that FitzGerald did as well.” 

It just so happens that Cubela had an apartment near Veradero, on the northern shore of Cuba where Castro was known to visit frequently. Cubela’s apartment was to be the staging area and sniper’s perch from where the Pathfinder snipers were to shoot Castro in the head with a high powered rifle as he rode by in an open jeep, what they called the Pathfinder Plan.

As his associate Sam Halpern writes: “Des was really more interested in starting a coup, and he hoped that Cubela could organize other army officers. But in coups, he understood, people die. The way to start a coup is to knock off the top man. Des felt it was a long shot, but it might work. We were desperate. Des was willing to try anything.” 

Evan Thomas writes: “FitzGerald did not think it was such a long shot that he was unwilling to make a small bet, giving reasonable odds.”

Thomas continues: “Just six days before he formally signed off on a high-powered rifle for AMLASH (Cubela), Fitzgerald accepted a little wager from Michael Forrestal, an official on the National Security Council staff who was a member of the Georgetown crowd (his father, James V. Forrestal, had been the first secretary of defense). A memo in FitzGerald’s personal files records a $50 bet with Forrestal on ‘the fate of Fidel Castro during the period 1 August 1964 and 1 October 1964. (Apparently, Fitzgerald saw a window of vulnerability for the Cuban leader that was roughly coincidental with the 1964 U.S. presidential election campaign.)”

“Mr. Forrestal offers two-to-one odds ($100 to $50) against Fidel’s falling (or being pushed) between the dates 1 August and 1 October 1964. In the event that such a thing should occur prior to 1 August 1964 the wager herein cancelled. Mr. FitzGerald accepts the wager on the above terms.”

The memo is dated November 13, 1963, “One day after FitzGerald briefed Kennedy on the progress of the Cuban operation and one day before the Special Group approved his plan of continued covert operations against the Castro Regime.”

Thomas: “Nine days later the assassination of John F. Kennedy dramatically increased the odds that FitzGerald would lose his bet.”

There was no way that Castro was going to be killed while the President was engaged in direct back channel negotiations with him. 

According to the CIA NPIC technicians, “Higher Authority” had “disapproved” the Pathfinder plan to shoot Castro when he driving in an open jeep on his way to Veradero. And those who were planning on redirecting the Pathfinder plan to JFK in Dallas needed Castro alive on November 22, 1963 because the plan called for what was thought to be acknowledged as a multiple gunman ambush and conspiracy to be blamed on Castro and Cuban Communists.

And on November 22, Castro was hosting French journalist Jean Daniel at his Veradero retreat when word of the assassination came in.

According to Thomas, “On November 22, 1963, Des FitzGerald had just finished hosting a lunch for an old friend of the CIA, a foreign diplomat, at the City Tavern Club in Georgetown, when he was summoned from the private dining room by the maĆ®tre d’. FitzGerald returned ‘as white as a ghost,’ recalled Sam Halpern. Normally erect and purposeful, FitzGerald was walking slowly, with his head down. ‘The President has been shot,’ he said.”

“The lunch immediately broke up. On the way out the door Halpern anxiously said, ‘I hope this has nothing to do with Cubans.’ FitzGerald mumbled, ‘Yea, well, we’ll see.’ In the fifteen minute car ride back to Langley, FitzGerald just stared straight ahead. He was well aware that in Paris, at almost the moment Kennedy was shot in Dallas, one of his case officers had been handing a poison pen to a Cuban agent to kill Castro. It was at the very least a grim coincidence. FitzGerald knew that, in September, Castro threatened to retaliate against attempts to kill him. ‘United States leaders should think that if they are aiding in terrorist plans to eliminate Cuban leaders, they themselves will not be safe,’ the Cuban leader had publicly declared.”

“The warning that Cubela might be a ‘dangle,’ that he might be secretly working for Castro, took on an ominous new meaning. Now FitzGerald had to wonder: Had Castro killed Kennedy before Kennedy could kill him?” 

Or more likely, as William Turner has suggested, one of the plans to kill Castro was turned on Kennedy at Dealey Plaza.


Then, in the immediate aftermath of the assassination, as no “Jiggs” came forward to halt the operation, another potential “Jiggs” appears as General LeMay’s adjunct Colonel Dorman, who like “Jiggs,” and Fletcher Prouty, was kept out of the loop. He couldn’t even get in contact with his boss, who was in the nuclear chain of command, to give him an important message.

While we don’t yet know exactly where LeMay was at the time of the assassination, we do know that he was incommunicado, much like General Scott wanted the President to go with him to a remote, nuclear proof bunker that would place him out of contact with everyone.

Although the details have yet to be determined, I think that it can be said with some authority that the death of the president was not the result of a lone gunman or a group of rogue covert operatives and mobsters, as portrayed by Hollywood in “Executive Action” and “JFK.”

But rather, the more we learn the more it appears that the assassination of the President was a full fledged coup d’etat, more like “Seven Days in LeMay,” and that we know there were high level officials and military officers engaged in treason, we know who they are, and we know the essence of the plan. We are just now figuring out the sad details. And as Christopher Sharrett put it, it wasn't a typical coup, but "about resolving a disagreement within the state when stakes were extremely high." 

General LeMay on November 22, 1963

The exact whereabouts of US Air Force Chief of Staff  General Curtis LeMay at the time of the assassination of President Kennedy has always intrigued those who suspect his hatred for the President could rise to the threshold to murder him. While we still haven’t pinpointed the exact location of LeMay when he learned that JFK had been assassinated, we are getting close, and I am confident, will eventually know for sure.

There are a number of good researchers who have been working on this, and cooperating with what we have learned so far and I thank them. 

For starters, LeMay’s official biographers say that at the time of the assassination he was hunting and fishing in Northern Michigan lake country, where his wife’s family owned a cabin. His wife’s maiden name was Helen Maitland. She attended the University of Michigan and her family was said to have a lake cabin in Northern Michigan, but that has yet to be confirmed.  

We know from the Detroit newspaper article [JFKCountercoup2: Godfrey Wings Off To Hunt With Gen. LeMay ] that after LeMay left a two day USAF Commanders Conference at Maxwell AFB in Alabama on Thursday, November 14, he celebrated his birthday on Friday, November 15, by going on a hunting and fishing expedition with CBS media celebrity Arthur Godfrey, who was also a USAF Reserves officer.

"He flew to Detroit from Chicago, piloting his own plane, on his way to Rose City and a few days of hunting with old friends, one Genera Curtis LeMay. 'It's Curt's birthday and we try to celebrate by going hunting,' said Arthur.' We haven't done it in a few years though.'"

A week later, while Godfrey was back in Virginia and at work in New York broadcasting a show, LeMay was still in the area, so he must have taken a week’s vacation. The Andrew’s Air Force Base special Log Book for 11/22/63 records that LeMay had requested a plane be sent to pick him up in Toronto, Canada, but then in mid-flight, changed his location and the destination of his pick up to Wiarton, Canada, just across the Great Lake from Michigan.

Andrew's Log: JFKcountercoup: Andrews Log 11/22/63 Salvaged from Trash

Map of Wiarton: Wiarton - Google Maps

The Air Force One radio transmission tapes found among the effects of General Clifton, has LeMay’s aide Colonel Dorman desperately trying to get a message to LeMay, who was enroute from Wharton to DC. Dorman’s son told me that his father very seldom left the side of LeMay, so a week’s vacation fishing and hunting in Michigan and Canada fits that bill. But where was he, who was he with and what was he doing?

LeMay is a significant player in the assassination story not only because of his serious policy disagreements with President Kennedy, but because he was the acting chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on September 25, 1963 when Desmond FitzGerald briefed the Joint Chiefs on the CIA’s covert Cuban operations, including their “detailed study” of the German military plot to kill Hitler that was being adapted for use against Castro, currently the subject of a Supreme Court deliberation.


Curtis LeMay was born into a large, poor Ohio family. His father was a laborer so they moved frequently, and young Curtis helped put food on the family table from hunting and fishing, that gave him a life-long passion for both. LeMay said that when he hunted and fished for food it was “for the pot,” as he put it.

LeMay was an engineering student at Ohio State University in Columbus, where he also was a cadet in the Army Air Force Reserve Officer Training Program (ROTC).

During World War II, LeMay commanded bombers in the 8th Air Force and advocated carpet bombing of enemy cities to destroy the will of the people to continue the war. From Europe LeMay was transferred to the South Pacific where he commanded the bombing attacks of Japan, continuing his philosophy of carpet bombing civilian cities, which became unnecessary with the development and use of the Atomic bomb.

We now know that LeMay was the U.S. military official who “oversaw” Project Paperclip, the use of former Nazi scientists, who were given jobs with major Defense contractors like Bell Aircraft, General Dynamics, LTV, Collins Radio, and others.

When LeMay took over the Strategic Air Command (SAC), he found it ill prepared to fight a nuclear war. In a practice attack over Dayton, Ohio, not one plane hit it’s assigned target, so LeMay engineered a complete overhaul of the SAC, from upgrading the air fleet, outfitting the Air Force Security guards with new uniforms and weapons, and personally selecting the rifles and sidearms that would be used.


After Kennedy assumed office, and was immediately thrown into the Bay of Pigs fiasco, LeMay claimed in his official oral history that the Bay of Pigs was strictly a CIA operation and the military were not consulted until the very last minute, and advised against it without full air support.

But one Bay of Pigs CIA record discovered by Bill Simpich includes the initials – LeMay – indicating he was in the CIA Cuban operations link before the failure of the invasion. 

[Simpich on CIA and LeMay at Bay of Pigs: JFKCountercoup2: LeMay and the CIA @ the Bay of Pigs ]

The official CIA history of the Bay of Pigs indicates that the original plan for training elite commandos to be infiltrated in small groups in the eastern end of the island, would give them the forests and mountains to serve as a staging area for an advance on Havana, much as Castro himself had done.

But at some point, the CIA special forces commando trainers led by General Ed Lansdale and Philippine counter-insurgency expert Col. Napoleon D. Valeriano – were removed from training the Cubans, the landing site moved to the Bay of Pigs swamp, and the plan for the infiltration of commandos became a full fledged mechanized invasion with ships, tanks and an air force. It is still not clear who was behind these strategic changes in plans, or their rational for doing so.

It’s quite clear from a study of such special force advocates as Nazi Germany’s Otto Skorzeny, Lansdale and Valeriano, that their elite small group commando warfare was staunchly opposed by regular army commanders like LeMay.

The failure of the Bay of Pigs has been blamed on President Kennedy’s adamant refusal to approve an additional air strike to take out the remainder of Castro’s air force, despite strong requests from Air Force General Charles Cabell, the brother of the mayor of Dallas. In the aftermath of the Bay of Pigs, both CIA director Allen Dulles and Air Force General Cabell lost their jobs.

LeMay remained safe however, as he was ostensibly not involved in the Bay of Pigs, and the President liked the way LeMay was feared by the Soviet generals, much like Genera Patton was the most feared American general by the German military staff officers.


After the President rejected the military’s Northwoods plan to instigate a war with Cuba by staging false terrorist attacks that would be attributed to them, things came to a head during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October, 1962, when JFK rejected the unanimous recommendation by the Joint Chiefs to attack Cuba immediately, take out the missiles and then invade. While the Marine Corps Chief of Staff General Shoup was initially reluctant to go to war, having earned a Congressional Medal of Honor for his combat exploits in the South Pacific during World War II, he eventually came around to LeMay’s position. That is made clear after the President abruptly left the Oval Office during a meeting with the Joint Chiefs, when JFK’s taping system continued to record their true feelings.  

At one meeting during the crisis, LeMay says, “You are in a pretty bad fix, Mr. President.”

When Kennedy asks LeMay to repeat what he said, Kennedy responded, “Well you are in it with me!”

During the meeting, when the President explained he was exploring some diplomatic solutions, LeMay says, “It’s Munich all over again,” referring to the President’s father Joe Kennedy, Roosevelt’s ambassador to the Court of St. James, and his support for the British Prime Minister Nevelle Chamberlain’s appeasement of the Nazi’s invasion of Poland.

The “Umbrella Man” at Dealey Plaza worked in an office building that also included offices for the U.S. Army Intelligence, who shared a joint cafeteria. Lewis Witt said that he didn’t remember who told him, but it was over lunch one day when he learned of the Kennedy’s distaste for the umbrella, as it was associated with Neville Chamberlain and US Ambassador Joe Kennedy’s appeasement of the Nazi’s at the Munich conference. So his raising the umbrella, probably one of the last things JFK saw before being killed, was a protest symbol of the President’s appeasement of Cuba and communists.

At the same time President Kennedy was focused on Cuba, beginning a backchannel communications with Castro through his Choate Academy schoolmate William Attwood, and Carlos Lechuga, Castro’s representative at the UN, the CIA was engaged in a number of actions designed to kill Castro.

As a sidebar to the official talks, Attwood had introduced Kennedy to Mary Pinchot, who would marry CIA official Cord Meyer, Jr., while Lechuga, when he was ambassador to Mexico, had an affair with Sylvia Duran, the Cuban embassy clerk who dealt with Lee Harvey Oswald’s request for a visa to Cuba.

While focused on Cuba, President Kennedy was distracted by events in Vietnam, including the assassination of President Diem and a military coup that took over the government. To get a first hand report JFK sent trusted emissary General Maxwell Taylor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, leaving General LeMay as temporary chairman on September 25, 1963, when FitzGerad briefed them on the CIA’s covert intelligence operations against Cuba that could require military assistance.

Around the same time as FitzGerald’s briefing of LeMay and the Joint Chiefs on September 25, JFK signed a limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty against the advice of the Joint Chiefs, approved an Executive Order giving the highest national security priority to Project Four Leaves, a military communications system, and then he left on what they call the Conservation Tour, the first stop of which was to visit Mary Pinchot’s mother, a staunch Republican who had donated land for the federal parks system. Mary accompanied him.

It was while on the Conservation Tour in Wisconsin when the President’s late November tour of Texas was given final approval and a press release issued giving the dates and places the president would visit.


A week before JFK would visit Texas, General LeMay and all of the Air Force commanders met at two day (November 13-14) conference at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.

For a complete list of those who attended this Commander’s Conference see:

[ JFKCC2 ]

Among those in attendance was General Charles Cabell. Although relieved of his duties in the regular Air Force in the wake of the Bay of Pigs, Cabell was listed as a Reserve officer and commander of training, and Maxwell was a training base, so he may have been the base commander at the time of the meeting.

This commander’s conference was listed as a regularly scheduled meeting to discuss the problems facing the Air Force at the time.

The following day, Friday November 15, was LeMay’s birthday, and the Detroit newspaper article notes that LeMay went on a hunting-fishing trip to Michigan with media celebrity Arthur Godfrey.

According to LeMay’s official autobiography – Mission with LeMay, Godfrey was originally an Army Reserve officer who loved to fly, but LeMay convinced Godfrey to transfer to the US Air Force Reserves.

Godfrey was presented with his own air plane by Eastern Airline President Eddie Rickenbacker - and Godfrey routinely flew the plane from his Virginia farm to New York City to broadcast his radio and TV shows over the CBS network. He also owned and flew a Bell Helicopter.

As LeMay describes in his autobiography, in 1957 he accompanied Godfrey and others on an African safari, in which he kept daily contact with his SAC headquarters via a single sideband HAM radio that could log onto the official Air Force channels. LeMay was also good friends with Art Collins, president of Collins Radio, the company that made and maintained the single sideband radios on every SAC bomber as well as the Executive Fleet, including Air Force One.

LeMay's HAM radio call sign - KOGRL is still the call sign of the Strategic Air Command SAC Amateur Radio Club. 


According to the Detroit news article, there were unfounded reports of Godfrey’s death, which reminded me of a news report published around the time of the assassination that General LeMay had been killed in a plane crash. When I went to the National Archives with John Judge he requested records on LeMay and they brought out a cart full of documents, magazine articles and news reports. While Judge went through them I made photo copies of the Andrews special Log Book for November 22, 1963, that mentions LeMay being picked up in Canada. When I was finished I went over to see how John was doing and he showed me a small newspaper clipping – one column and only a few inches that reported LeMay was killed in a plane crash, obviously untrue. Could the two false reports of the deaths of Godfrey and LeMay be related, especially since they were flying together in Michigan?

[ ]

As far as I can see there are a number of distinct possibilities of LeMay's location at the time of the assassination – LeMay was where he said he was – at his wife’s family lake Cabin in northern Michigan, though I have yet to identify this location. LeMay’s daughter did give a lengthy oral history but neglects to mention any such lake cabin. 

LeMay's radio code name, according to his aide Colonel Dorman, was "Grandson," and LeMay's daughter does however, mention in her oral history that her son’s godfather was a US Army Reserve general and a Havana-Las Vegas casino operator. That would be General “Babe” Barron, who her father picked up at the airport when he visited them, and when Ruby’s pal Tony Zopi mentioned Barron’s association with LeMay to the HSCA, they found Barron visiting LeMay at the time. While Barron is an important connection, we still don’t have the location of the Maitland family lake cabin in Michigan.


We do know from the Detroit newspaper article that Godfrey and LeMay flew from Chicago to Rose City, Michigan to hunt and fish. Just south of Rose City is a hunting and fishing resort known as Grousehaven, 3,000 acres on the Rifle River, owned by former General Motors executive Harold R. "Bill" Boyer, of Grosse Point, Michigan. During WWII Boyer handed the GM tank division and worked closely with the military in supplying their vehicles. The streets of Grousehaven are named after celebrities who have patronized the place, including one named after Arthur Godfrey. The gamekeeper, who taught Genera LeMay how to hunt with a bow and arrow, was interesting enough to have a book written about him - "Remarkable Papa Bear."

Another possibility was brought to my attention by a former Michigan neighbor who said that Jimmy Hoffa owned a lake cabin in Northern Michigan and LeMay was known to frequent the same area. Putting two primary suspects like LeMay and Hoffa together would be fascinating, but it’s not a done deal, yet.

One of the finest hunting and fishing resorts at the time, Rainbow's End was located on Sugar Island in Northern Michigan, that sported a grass runway. Sporting 13 private cabins, a bar barn and winterized manager's house. One of the cabins, one with a slate pool table, was owned by Jimmy Hoffa. Around 1977 when the resort was sold, General LeMay's Ohio address was listed among the former patrons who were annually sent Christmas cards. According to locals, there is also a movie treatment in progress about a Jimmy Hoffa-Curtis LeMay fishing and hunting expedition from a different time than November 1963, but after the Cuban Missile Crisis. 

There is however, Kincheloe AFB nearby, so if LeMay was there at the time of the assassination he didn't have to travel to Wiraton to get a flight back to DC. 

A fourth possibility is contained in a manuscript, the chapter on Air Force Generals Lansdale and LeMay I was permitted to read, but not to quote because of publishing rights. This writer has identified a hunting and fishing lodge owned by Detroit car manufacturers located on a private island just north of Wiarton. It has a small runway for private planes and is only a few miles from Wharton by plane or boat.

While there was no phone service at the time, in 1963, there was a singe-sideband HAM radio that would permit LeMay to maintain contact with the Air Force, as he did on a daily basis when he went on the African safari trip with Godfrey in 1957.

In his autobiography Mission with LeMay, he writes:

“Butch Griswold was minding the manse at Omaha. Even when we were remotely in the bush, I would get on the radio at least once a day and talk with SAC Headquarters. Sometimes electrical conditions didn’t permit me to reach them directly; but I could always get in to one of our North African bases, and then they would rebroadcast right to SAC HQ. If anything had come up, I could have flown out in the helicopter to Fort Archambault and been picked up there.….”

We know from the Andrews Log that LeMay was picked up at Wiraton with a USAF C-140 twin jet executive plane.  LeMay later started an Executive Air Fleet of the civilian version of the C-140 with other retired Air Force generals.

In addition we may learn more if we can get a hold of this: “…..I accumulated two huge, loose-leaf volumes with back covers. These were kept under lock and key, and they weighed about a ton. They were tantamount to a daily diary of my work during the C of S (Chief of Staff) years. Wish I had gotten such a record together for the Vice Chief period, but we just didn’t do it. There are exactly seven hundred and twenty-eight items in those folders, ranging from TOP SECRET to Unclassified. By far the largest portion, naturally, are Classified documents. It is likely that the bulk of those won’t be downgraded for years to come. Therefore they may not be used in this book.”

[ Andrew’s Log: ]

According to the Andrews Log LeMay disobeyed Air Force Secretary Zuckert’s order for him to land at Andrews, but instead he lands at the civilian commercial DCA – at 5:12 pm, and ostensibly goes to the Pentagon, but he has plenty of time to arrive at Bethesda in order to be the cigar smoking four star general in the audience that Paul O’Conner makes reference to.

It is also noteworthy that a small executive type jet aircraft was sent to pick up LeMay, in stead of LeMay’s personal command and communications plane – nicknamed “Speckled Trout.”  A speckled trout is a very rare fish that can only be caught at certain times of the year at certain locations and is considered a prize fish among the best anglers.

LeMay liked the small the small fast, twin jet C-140 made by Lockheed so much that he established a private company to own and lease such planes. In 1964, LeMay became one of the founding board members of Executive Jet Aviation (EJA) (now called NetJets), along with fellow USAF generals Paul Tibbits and Olbert Lassiter, Washington lawyer and former military pilot Bruce Sunlun, and entertainers James Stewart and Arthur Godfrey. It was the first such private business jet charter and aircraft management company in the world. 

So while we don’t yet know exactly where LeMay was hunting and fishing in Michigan and Canada, we are narrowing down the possibilities, and I believe we are getting close.


On the short list of those who hated President Kennedy with a passion and could have killed him and got away with it – are Allen Dulles, James J. Angleton, William Harvey, J. Edgar Hoover, Jimmy Hoffa, and General Curtis LeMay. 

LeMay was never on my list of suspects until recently, when I discovered the sling on the rifle found in the Sixth Floor of the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD) was from a US Air Force M13 sidearm holster for a 38 special aluminum revolver designed especially for Strategic Air Command bombers on LeMay’s instructions.

That sling was there for a reason.

I know that cherry picking facts and evidence against a particular suspect is not the way to solve a political assassination, and rather than building a case against LeMay I will try to compile an accurate profile of him and how he fits into the Dealey Plaza picture, as I will do with each of those primary suspects who hated the President and could have gotten away with murdering him.

LeMay was born in Columbus, Ohio on November 15, 1906 to a large family. Because his father changed jobs a lot and was often out of work, young LeMay became an avid fisherman and helped feed the family with his catches. At first it was a matter of survival, then it became a hobby.

Fishing would remain a lifelong passion with LeMay, as would his two other primary interests – amateur HAM radios and marksmanship with pistols, rifles and shotgun skeet shooting.

Becoming fascinated with air planes as a child, LeMay studied civil engineering at Ohio State University where he participated in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), entering the Army Air Corps in 1928 as a lieutenant, a specialist in bombing aircraft.


My father – Staff Sgt. William Kelly, Sr. served in the 8th Army Air force as a B-17 side gunner, flying 19 missions before being wounded in action. General LeMay was one of his commanding officers as he led the B-17 daylight strategic bombing missions from England, emphasizing training and tight formations of the “Flying Fortress” over “Fortress Europe.”

It is important to note that one of LeMay’s young officers at the time was Robert McNamara, an analyst who would later revamp the Ford Motor Company and was recommended to JFK on the advice of Robert Lovett, Truman’s Secretary of Defense. Lovett also suggested McGeorge Bundy and Dean Rusk.


McNamara became Presi

[See: McNamara and LeMay academic paper Abstract: Personality and Politics – the Untold 

Story of LeMay and McNamara: / Full Text:  ]

At first the Norton bomb site made for precision bombing of factories and military targets, but eventually they began, at LeMay’s suggestion, to carpet bomb entire cities, as they did with Dresden, killing thousands of civilians.

Late in the war he was assigned to the Pacific Theater where LeMay commanded the B-29 fleet that incendiary carpet bombed Japanese cities - “fire jobs” LeMay called them that killed hundred of thousands of civilians. He also was in command of the two bombers who delivered the nuclear bombs that effectively ended the war.

Unfortunately it also affirmed LeMay’s position that after enough people were killed, they would surrender, which they did.


The official history notes that: “Upon World War II's conclusion, LeMay became the Deputy Chief of Air Staff for Research and Development and was assigned to the Pentagon. He held this position for a little more than a year, when he assumed command of the United States Air Wing in Europe. His greatest accomplishment in this post was overseeing the Berlin Airlift. In 1949, he assumed command of the Strategic Air Command (SAC), a position that he held until 1957. Under his leadership, SAC became a much more advanced force, especially as all planes became jet-powered. In 1957, LeMay was appointed as Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force. He became the Chief of Staff in 1961. During his time in this position, LeMay became known for his staunch opposition to communism. While a general dislike of communism ran rampant in the United States during this period, LeMay advocated a much more militant approach to stopping the spread of communism than other political and military leaders.”

After Eisenhower’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was sent packing to Europe after proposing a Northwinds – false flag “Remember the Maine,” type of operation to instigate an attack against Cuba, Kennedy appointed retired General Maxwell Taylor chairman of the Joint Chiefs after JFK read his 1960 book “Uncertain Trumpet.”

Taylor was an outspoken critic of Eisenhower’s ‘New Look’ defense policy, which Taylor “viewed as dangerously reliant of nuclear arms and neglectful of conventional forces.”

Taylor was also critical of the Joint Chiefs of Staff system…Taylor developed a deep regard and personal affection for RFK, a friendship that remained firm until RFK’s assassination in 1968.”

As a critic of Taylor said: “The President...effectively made Taylor the President’s primary military advisor, cutting out the Joint Chiefs. Kennedy ended this uncomfortable arrangement by appointing Taylor as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a position he held until 1964.”  

Taylor received fierce criticism from H.R. McMaster in his book “Dereliction of Duty,”  which accused him of misrepresenting the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Defense Secretary McNamara, and cutting the Joint Chiefs out of the decision  making process.”

As Air Force Chief of Staff, LeMay had many confrontations with President Kennedy, Secretary of Defense McNamara, McNamara’s aide Roswell Gilpatrick and Secretary of the Air Force Eugene Zuckert. 


There were a number of administrative and budget battles including Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) vs. B-52 and the proposed B-70 “Valkyrie” bomber, a battle that LeMay lost; the control of nuclear weapons between the Atomic Energy Commission and LeMay’s Strategic Air Command (SAC), that LeMay eventually won; the use of conventional regular military over unconventional, asymmetrical (covert commando) warfare; and the use of military force verses diplomacy during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The idea of developing special forces like the Green Berets and Navy SEALS was based on the principles developed by Nazi Colonel Otto Skorzeny during World War II, and was favored by the CIA’s Ed Lansdale, who was also an Air Force General.

Lansdale had the CIA’s psychological warfare specialist – Paul Linebarger train Napoleon Valeriano in the Phillipines to fight the Huk guerrilas, using unconventional psychological warfare tactics that succeeded, and Lansdale had Valeriano begin the training of the anti-Castro Cuban forces for the Bay of Pigs. That plan was originally developed by Lansdale, USMC Colonel Hawkins and the CIA’s Jacob Easterline. Easterline had led the Operation Success task force during the Guatemalan Coup in 1954, primarily a psychological warfare operation that was to be adapted for use in Cuba.

Lansdale had Valeriano train the Cubans as commandos who were to be infiltrated into Eastern Cuba mountains in small groups and support anti-Castro Cubans already operating there, as Castro himself had successfully done.

As the CIA’s Official History of the Bay of Pigs says: “From original plans for the infiltration into Cuba of small teams of agency trained specialists in communications, sabotage and paramilitery operations….now plans called for an amphibious landing.”

When Lansdale and Valeriano were removed and the plans changed, both Colonel Hawkins USMC and the CIA’s Jacob Easterline threatened to resign, but were convinced to stay on by Richard Bissell.


According to LeMay the military was never brought into the planning for the Bay of Pigs until they were almost ready to go, when they apparently recommended a change in the operation from infiltration of commando teams to a full fledged mechanized invasion, and the location of the attack from the East Coast near the mountains to the swampy Bay of Pigs.

So the use of conventional forces over the commandos won out, but lost at the Bay of Pigs without proper air support, a failure that led to the dismissal of CIA director Allen Dulles and his Air Force aide General Charles Cabel, the brother of the mayor of Dallas.

Kennedy kept two of his hateful enemies on however – J. E. Hoover at FBI and General LeMay as Chief of Staff of the Air Force. One of the reasons, JFK confided to a close associate, was that LeMay was as feared by the Soviet generals as the Nazi German General Staff feared General Patton. But he didn’t seek or take LeMay’s advice very often.

 At one point in the movie “Thirteen Days,” staring Kevin Costner as JFK’s chief assistant and former Harvard football team mate Kenny O’Donnell, there's a scene worth recounting. In the movie, a sort of prequil to Oliver Stone’s “JFK,” the President mentions a book, Barbara Tuchman’s Pulitizer Prize winning “The Guns of August,” that sickened him because of its portrayal of politicians and generals making stupid decisions early in WW1 that cost millions of lives, and JFK wasn’t about to make such a decision.

LeMay had already made decisions that killed hundreds of thousands in carpet bombing of German and Japanese cities, and personally pulled the trigger on the only two nuclear weapons ever detonated over populated civilian cities And he controlled the USAF Strategic Air Command fleet as well as the ICBM nuclear strike force, so he knew all about weapons, and had no qualms about using them.

At the top of the nuclear heap there are the B-52 bombers that were kept flying in the air on station 24/7 – as portrayed in the movie, “Dr. Strangelove – Or How I Learned to Love the Bomb,” that includes portrayals of generals like LeMay and Walker.

When LeMay first took over SAC the nuclear arsenal was in the hands of the Atomic Energy Commission, and LeMay had to pry them loose to arm his bombers, which he did. Then he had a series of major budget wars over developing the B-70 supersonic jet bomber to replace the B-52 fleet, or go with the ICBMs and Polaris sub missiles. LeMay fought for the B-70 supersonic jet bomber – nicknamed “Valkyrie,” had a few test models built, and was so interested in the details of the revolutionary plane (a military version of the Concorde), that he personally made specifications for certain items – like pilot survival gear.

Now I remember a guy from Margate, N.J. named Upperman whose white buck tail deer fishing lures were unique, hand made artificial bait that worked so well –the US Navy ordered hundreds of them that were included in a Navy pilot’s survival kit. 

In the movie “Dr. Strangelove,” after the go-code was given, and confirmed by the code book in the safe, Captain Slim Pickens goes through a survival kit taking inventory of its items – rubles, gold, lady’s stockings, rubbers, - sparking Pickens to quip that “A guy could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with this.”

For the B-70 bomber LeMay wanted a special weapon – one that had to be designed – a lightweight, plastic, floating stock for a small caliber 22 – 25 caliber rifle, the barrel of which can fit into the stock.  This became the Armalite AR-5 – the rifle in the James Bond movie “From Russia with Love,” that came with the weapons and money filled specially equipped attache case.

For LeMay’s bomber pilot survival kit LeMay wanted a special pistol as well. Apparently because weight is a major factor in a nuclear bomber’s performance, LeMay wanted a special 38 revolver made out of aluminum instead of steel.

While Colt only made 2,000 and another manufacturer more, it was soon determined that the aluminum .38 special could only be used once, and was thereafter unuseable, as the aluminum was unable to withstand repeated use. So it was only kept in survival kits in SAC bomber safes, along with the nuclear codes. It was kept in a leather holster and a leather and cloth sling – identical to the USAF sidearm holster sling attached to the rifle found on the Sixth Floor of the TSBD and allegedly used in the assassination of the President.

Since LeMay’s special aluminum .38 revolver was unuseable, they were recalled and ordered destroyed with the aluminum recycled, though as many as 50 have survived, probably taken home by retiring pilots before the recall and destruction order, and these are prized by collectors and often imitated.

LeMay also ordered a number of special Armalite AR-5 (later AR-7) survival rifles for use by his bomber crews. As seen in the 007 movie "From Russia with Love," As noted: "The Armalite AR-7 Explorer survival rifle was a design by Fairchild Engine and Aircraft Corporation's famous ArmaLite Division. It was an improvement of the earlier AR-5, which had been designed for the USAF's MA-1 survival weapon trials but wasn't adopted. It was a simple .22-caliber semi-automatic rifle with a barrel, action, and magazine made of aluminum alloy and a combination buttstock / storage case made of polymer. The barrel / action group and magazine fit inside the stock, which was water-resistant and foam-filled to make it buoyant."

AR-5-7 007's Sniper rifle developed as a survival weapon for the Air Force under LeMay's request. 

As with the fate of his special pistol, LeMay only ordered a dozen AR-7s before the B-70 budget was killed in favor of the ICBMs, that were developed by former Nazi Weiner Von Braun, and used to put a man on the moon (July 20, 1970 – the anniversary of the Valkyrie plot to kill Hitler).

Then there's the AR-15 that became the M-16, that LeMay had a role in its adaption by the military.

"Enter General LeMay. As the famous story goes, the general was attending a Fourth of July celebration in 1960, and was approached by a salesman from Colt, looking to reintroduce the AR-15 as a viable service rifle. The salesman placed two watermelons on a shooting range – one at 50 and one 150 yards (LeMay colorfully opted to eat a third watermelon) – and handed an AR-15 and loaded magazines to LeMay. The general shot the rifle, and was instantly sold – he placed an order for 80,000 AR-15 rifles on the spot for the U.S. Air Force."

While I was casing the internet for LeMay guns, there was one for sale that was inscribed by LeMay to a US Army general, which reminded me of the .38 Special revolver General William Donovan of the OSS gave as a gift to Ian Fleming, the creator of 007, who was then Assistant to the Chief of British Naval Intelligence. At Donovan's request, Fleming drew up a charter for a national intelligence agency, so the pistol was a gift for doing the charter. 

In looking up the background of the Army general, I found that he was the Commander of all US Army Reserve Units in the country, which fits in with the hypothesis that the US Army Reserves were used in the assassination much like the German Home Guard were used in the Valkyrie Plot to kill Hitler that the CIA were studying in detail to be adapted for use against Castro. 

Further research revealed that at some point, in line with McNamara's streamlining of the military, there was a suggestion to unify the Army Reserves and the State National Guard units under one command. LeMay, a former ROTC and Reservists himself, then suggested that ALL of the Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force Reserves be unified under one command, but neither suggestion was every seriously considered or adopted.

LeMay must have given the Army Reserve general a gift pistol for a reason.

Other LeMay guns:


Another budget war that LeMay lost was the multi-billion dollar contract for the FTX-111 jet fighter-bomber. In his oral history, LeMay says that it was all a political decision because Boeing clearly had the better plane, but the contract went to General Dynamics.

LeMay had an obvious affinity and probably friends over at Boeing as the B-17, B-29 and B-52 were all clearly his planes, but they say General Dynamics had key players in it’s corner - Asst. Sec. Defese Roswell Gilpatrick – and working “security” they had former FBI agent I.B. Hale.

Now Jim DiEugenio over at Kenndys and King, recently wrote an article that looked closely at the TFX-111 deal and concluded that there was no “scandal,” and to go with General Dynamics was the right, rather than the political decision.

[KandK- ]

I just want to know why an FBI stakeout team watched the twin sons of I.B. Hale illegally break into the Vegas apartment of Judyth Cambell Exner, and didn’t do anything about it? The FBI said it had something to do with the TFX and not the assassination. If so what? 

Since the accused assassin of the President Lee Harvey Oswald went to high school with the Hale twins, and their mother obtained Oswald jobs, including the one at Jaggers/Chiles/Stoval, the idea the break in had something to do with the assassination was squelched when they said it more likely had something to do with the Boeing-Gen. Dynamics battle over the TFX-111 funding. I don’t know, but there must be some more records on this.


B-70 or ICBMs, Boeing or General Dynamics, it didn’t matter, LeMay had his finger on the trigger of all of the nuclear weapons except those aboard the Navy’s Polaris missiles. The Navy didn’t like either version of the TFX-111, or agree with McNamara’s determination that one plane be used by all of the services. The Navy wanted their own plane, but had to settle for the combined fighter-bomber.

Once he had control over the weapons, the bombers and the missiles LeMay organized and recruited a special security police to protect them, getting into the details of the special guard unit’s training, uniform and weapons. 

[See photo ]

They also had to develop a fool proof system to ensure that such a nuclear weapons force would not be hijacked or unleashed except under very strict procedures.

The system is complex, but simply understandable in the deleniation of the lines of military command, which is different than the presidential line of succession.

The presidential line of succession goes from the President to the Vice President to the Speaker of the House and the Secretary of State.

The military line of command, capable of going to war, goes from the President to the Secretary of Defense, to the Assistant Secretary of Defense to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In his book “The Skorzeny Papers,” USAF Maj. Ralph Ganis  – says that the capability to commit political assassination – even the execution of a President was there in place, – but could have only been used by those with the command authority to do so – much like the authority to go to nuclear war and the military line of command.

While the extant Air Force One radio transmissions – that include mention of General LeMay, have been edited and do not contain a lot of what we know were on them from the original unedited transcript (read by three reputable journalists) we know what was heard, especially by the USAF radio technicians that manned the radios through which the communications were transmitted.


One such technician, on his deathbed, made sure to relate the fact that shortly after the assassination there was broadcast over the military channel the fact that there was more than one assassin. 

Another such White House Communications Agency (WHCA) radioman said in the hours after the assassination that, “- the Joint Chiefs are now in Charge.”

This is reminiscent of General Haig who, shortly after John Hinckley shot President Reagan, went on live TV to announce that he was “in charge,” at the White House Situation Room.

It is also similar to Vice President Dick Chaney ordering the Air Force to shoot down commercial airliners that do not respond to the order to land. Chaney did this during the first few hours of the 9/11 crisis when President Bush was in the air aboard Air Force One. Because of the situation the pilot took the plane so high that it lost communications, and had to land – at Barksdale Air Force Base in Schriveport, La., a SAC base with a state-of-the-art underground, nuclear proof Command and Control Center. (For more on this see: AF1 on 9/11 TV documentary). As long as President Reagan was alive, Chaney was Vice President and out of the military chain of command that went from the President to the Secretary of Defense, and bypasses the Vice President.


To me, the most significant aspect of the assassination that involves LeMay is his chairmanship of the Joint Chiefs of Staff while General Taylor was in Vietnam on September 24, 1963. That's when they were briefed by the CIA’s Desmond FitzGerald about the CIA’s detailed study of the German military’s plot to kill Hitler, which was being adapted for use against Castro. While the CIA couldn’t get a cadre of disenchanted Cuban military officers to stage an assassination and coup against Castro, that was no problem with the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, who were pretty much unanimous in their distrust and hatred of the President.


Along these same lines, if the assassination was a coup d’etat, and General LeMay gave his approval and had foreknoweldge of the event, then control over communications was a key aspect of the coup plans, as required by the practical handbook – Ed Lutwak’s “Coup d’etat.”

As HAM radio operators are proud of the fact that, "LeMay was a Heathkit customer and active amateur radio operator and held a succession of call signs; K0GRL, K4FRA, and W6EZV. He held these calls respectively while stationed at Offutt AFB, Washington, D.C. and when he retired in California. K0GRL is still the call sign of the Strategic Air Command Memorial Amateur Radio Club.  He was famous for being on the air on amateur bands while flying on board SAC bombers. LeMay became aware that the new single sideband (SSB) technology offered a big advantage over amplitude modulation for SAC aircraft operating long distances from their bases. In conjunction with Heath engineers and Art Collins (W0CXX) of Collins Radio, he established SSB as the radio standard for SAC bombers in 1957."

 "Surfin': More Hamming at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue". National Association for Amateur Radio.

^ "Amateur Radio and the Rise of SSB"(PDF). National Association for Amateur Radio.

In that regard LeMay was in the loop, as his personal hobbies not only included fishing and shooting, but he was also an amateur HAM radio operator and personal friend of Arthur Collins. Collins was the Cedar Rapids, Iowa radio buff who built a short wave radio receiver that was capable of tuning in the field reports from US Navy Admiral Byrd and his artic explorers. Collins then relayed the information to the Navy, and the military then hired Collins to build them similar radios, establishing Collins Radio as a major defense contractor. Admiral Byrd was related to his financial supporter and cousin, D. H. Byrd, the Dallas oil and aviation defense contractor who owned the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD) at the time of the assassination.

Just as LeMay was off fishing at the time of the assassination, Byrd was off hunting on a safari in Africa.

Because of his association with LeMay, Collins built the radios used by all SAC aircraft as well as the Executive Administration fleet that included Air Force One, LBJ’s plane and the Cabinet plane, over frequencies used exclusively by the military. As can be heard on the Air Force One tapes, Collins Radio’s “Liberty” station (aka Fishbowl), in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was the relay station for all of the broadcasts on November 22, 1963, and thus controlled key communications.


The official story is that General LeMay was fishing at a remote Michigan lake resort where his wife’s family frequently vacationed, and he says in his oral history that he was ordered back to Washington immediately after the assassination.

We know from the second (Gen.) Clifton version of the Air Force One tapes, in a section edited out of the cassette tapes released to the public, that General LeMay was out of contact with his chief adjunct Col. Dorman, who was trying to use the Air Force One – Liberty station relay to get an important message to LeMay while he was enroute back to Washington from a remote Canadian airbase that must have been the closest with a runway capable of handling the executive jet the Air Force at Andrews had sent to pick up LeMay. It should also be noted that this jet was not LeMay’s personal Command and Control plane that was nicknamed “Speckled Trout,” a very elusive fish that can only be caught at certain places at specific times. 

Those who are trying to determine exactly where LeMay was fishing at the time of the assassination have identified two places, one in Michigan and the other in Canada, where LeMay may have been at the time of the assassination. The one in Michigan seems to fit the bill closer to his wife’s family lodge, and one of the nearby lodges was owned by Jimmy Hoffa, another one of those on the short list of Kennedy haters who had the capability to kill the President and get away with it. Someone is reportedly making a documentary film about a LeMay-Hoffa fishing expedition, one that should be interesting.

The lodge in Canada identified by another LeMay enthusiast will be included in his book on the assassination. He has convinced me that his location, an exclusive hunting and fishing lodge, ten miles from where LeMay departed, is probably where LeMay was fishing. Owned by Detroit car manufacturers, it is an exclusive resort used only by industrial big shots, and while it didn’t have telephone service, the ability for its patrons to remain in contact with their companies was maintained by short wave radio. And you can bet, if LeMay was in on the deal, he wasn’t fishing but glued to the radio at the time of the assassination and in on the communications loop that was controlled by his friend Art Collins.

While we don’t know what the urgent message LeMay’s aide Colonel Dorman was trying to convey to him, we do know from the Andrew’s Log that LeMay disobeyed an order from Secretary of the Air Force Zuckerman as to which airport he was to land, as LeMay frequently disobeyed orders from McNamara and Zuckerman. LeMay just pretty much ignored them.

Without getting into the details, many believe, as I do, that it was General LeMay who was the cigar smoking four star general at the autopsy who Navy technician Paul O’Conner refers to in his recollections of the autopsy.

Few of the LeMay enthusiasts believe it was just a coincidence that LeMay was on a fishing expedition when the assassination occurred. Even if LeMay was in on it, he had to be put out of the way, as the thinking goes, for security reasons. Those who planned the Dealey Plaza Operation in detail thought that the murder of the President would be immediately recognized as a conspiracy of more than one gunman, as it was, and Oswald the Patsy points the finger directly at Fidel Castro, which could have sparked an invasion of Cuba, but they didn’t want to start a nuclear war.

In order for that not to happen, LeMay had to be taken out of the military chain of command, if only for a few hours, and the nuclear strike force had to be neutralized.


At the time of the assassination, the military officer (Ira Gehart) with the “football,” the black bag with the nuclear codes, who always accompanies the President, was separated from the JFK as he was in the last car in the motorcade, along with the White House Communications Agency (WHAC) officers, whose office and base station was set up at the Dallas Sheraton hotel. They followed the President and LBJ to Parkland hospital, but were separated again when LBJ suddenly left for AF1 before the death of the President was announced.

At Air Force One, LBJ made a number of phone calls, though they weren’t recorded as the AF1 recording system only kicked in when the plane was in the air. We know that LBJ called RFK in Washington DC to ask him for the wording of the oath of office. He also called Federal Texas Judge Hughes to tell her to come to Love Field and AF1 in order to administer the oath. He also called a Dallas lawyer friend named Goldberg. 

He is also known to have called J. Waddy Bullion, his tax and investment attorney and said that he now - ostensibly as a result of the assassination, he will have to sell his Haliburton stocks.

Haliburton just happens to be the Texas company that made the heavy duty attache case that the nuclear football with the code books was contained in, as Gehert was trying to catch up with him.

[    ]

While LBJ didn’t ask about the nuclear football, he did wonder aloud, “If the missiles were flying.”

At the same time, aboard the Cabinet plane over the Pacific, on the way to Japan for a conference on Vietnam, Press Secretary Pierre Salinger learned of the assassination over the wire service ticker tape. He informed Secretary of State Dean Rusk, the senior administration official on board, who recognized the assassination as something that would affect us all. “'If this is true,’ Secretary Rusk said, ‘this is going to have repercussions around the world for years to come.’" 

As it still does today.

When the plane’s radio operator informed them that “Stranger” at the White House Situation Room had ordered them to return to Washington, D.C., Rusk wanted to know the identity of “Stranger,” but when they opened the plane’s safe, the code book was missing!

So, as we learn from the Air Force One radio tapes, security protocol was broken when Salinger asked the White House Situation Room for the identity of “Stranger,” – WHCA Major Patterson, who Salinger knew personally and vouched for his authority.   ]


Shortly after taking over the Strategic Air Command in 1949, LeMay was dismayed that the SAC bombers were not properly protected by security. Then, as the story goes, " After ordering a mock bombing exercise on Dayton, Ohio, LeMay was shocked to learn that most of the strategic bombers assigned to the mission missed their targets by one mile or more. 'We didn't have one crew, not one crew, in the entire command who could do a professional job' noted LeMay."

Years later, my University of Dayton, Ohio school mate and Committee for an Open Archives (COA) and COPA associate John Judge, attended a social function at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton. Judge was a conscientious objector counselor who had a number of Air Force clients on the base, and went there on occasion. He told me, and repeats the story at the Cinema and History forum at American U.,  that at one occasion at Wright-Pat he met a SAC B-52 pilot. When Judge asked him what he was doing on November 22, 1963, the pilot said he was in the air on alert over their routine station. When they heard news of the assassination over regular AM radio news bulletin, he expected a change in orders, and went to get the code book to decode any new orders, but the code book was missing! He was surprised when no change in orders came.

When they landed, the pilot said he talked to other B-52 pilots, and they all said they had the same experience.

As John Judge asked, “Who had the power to remove the code books from SAC and Special Executive planes?

And now we know that among the items in those safes were M-13 USAF sidearm sling and holsters with aluminium 38 special revolvers as part of the survival kits, a sling identical to the sling on the Mannlicher Carcano rifle said to have been used to kill President Kennedy.

On November 22, 1963, while Air Force Chief of Staff LeMay was off fishing in Michigan or Canada, the rest of the Joint Chiefs were at the Pentagon, meeting with their West German counterparts from the German General Staff, two of whom were participants in the July 20, 1944 assassination and coup attempt against Hitler, but escaped being identified. The Germans were incredulous at the response of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs on hearing the news of the assassination. Chairman Taylor resumed the meeting, and then afterwards, took a nap.


When Dallas entertainment writer Tony Zoppi was questioned by the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), he told them about General LeMay's close association with Havana/Vegas Casino operator Charles "Babe" Baron. Zoppi was supposed to go to Havana with Jack Ruby, but went to Vegas instead to cover a "Rat Pack" show. Baron was connected to the Chicago outfit, and was a General in the US Army Reserves. 

When the HSCA checked in with Baron, he was visiting LeMay at the time. 

Without mentioning his name, LeMay's daughter, in a lengthly oral history interview, says that her son's godfather was a Vegas casino operator and a US Army General who often visited her father. LeMay always picked up General Baron at the airport and carried his luggage. She also neglects to mention where in Michigan her family vacationed and where LeMay was at the time of the assassination. 

I don't think LeMay was the mastermind or brains behind the Dealey Plaza Operation. For one, it wasn't his style. He'd just as soon fire a missile than make a surgical strike to the head. 

The Dealey Plaza Operation was a bit convoluted if not complex, with the Oswald-Castro deception, an ongoing, coordinated psychological warfare campaign that was beyond the comprehension of LBJ, J. Edgar Hoover and LeMay. But if the assassination was a coup, they all had to be in on it, or compromised and controlled.  If the assassination was the work of a deranged loner, the coup associations would not be there. And they are, just as in Seven Days in May.