Monday, May 10, 2021

The Lansdale Memo - Re-evaluated

 The Lansdale Memo 16 March 1962 Re-evaluated

Edward Lansdale - WikipediaFive Highlights From the Marvelously Messy Life of Ernest HemingwayFinal JFK assassination files due for release – it will be a bumper year  for conspiracy theorists

The recent PBS documentary series on Ernest Hemingway reminded me of The Nation article The Old Man and the CIA. 

After re-reading David Corn and Gus Russo’s article in The Nation – The Old Man and the CIA – in which they imply a single paragraph of an important memo is proof that President Kennedy and RFK wanted to kill Fidel Castro, I decided to read the entire memo and Larry Haapanen, who supplied it to Corn and Russo, was kind enough to give me a copy. 

The purpose of the meeting the memo concerns was to review the revised “Guidelines for Operation Mongoose,” – an operation that General Lansdale was in charge of.  The purpose of Mongoose was the overthrow of the Castro regime in Cuba.

Present: The President, General Taylor, the Attorney General, McGeorge Bundy, Mr. Gilpatrick, General Lemnitzer, Mr. McCone, Alexis Johnson, myself. At the White House 1600 hours, 16 March, 1962. ]

This memo is significant for more than what they write about in The Nation.

It’s timing 16 March 1962 is a year after the Bay of Pigs and seven months before the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

But Corn and Russo only quote from one paragraph from the memo, and don’t bother to provide a link or the full memo for you to read.  I for one don’t trust Gus Russo, whose book Brothers at Arms falsely portrays JFK and RFK and pushes the blatantly false cover-story that Fidel Castro was behind the assassination of the President.

The memo, written by Lansdale, begins with him asking CIA director John McCone if Richard Helms and William Harvey, the top two CIA operational officers, could join the meeting as they were waiting outside the Oval Office in the hall of the White House.

McCone asked Lansdale if he had any differences of opinion with them, and Lansdale replied, “we were in agreement on operational procedures, as far as the guidelines would permit operations. McCone then said they should stay outside.

McCone asked Lansdale if he was in agreement with the concept contained in the “Guidelines,” and he replied that the guidelines “…didn’t fit the conditions inside Cuba that were becoming more apparent to the operational people, including operatives for whom I had respect; the chances of fracturing te regime and creating a valid revolution is becoming more feasible. I felt that we needed much more freedom to work on the revolutionary possiblities than is possible under the guidelines.”

So Lansdale thinks the Mongoose Guidelines are too strict, and he wants more freedom of action. 

The President then came in.

JFK had read the revised Mongoose Guidelines the night before, so when he was handed a copy he put it down on a table. There is also a mention of a meeting the previous November. I will get copies of both the November meeting minutes and the revised Mongoose Guidelines.

The President then listened to General Taylor give a brief report on developments, and asked Lansdale what was being done.

Lansdale said, “I gave him a quick summary of the intelligence-collection plan through July, telling him that this was the Special Group’s plan, and describing the work so far of CIA and Defense. I told him that we finally were starting to get a really good team together for the operation, after much effort to get the U.S. pointed in the right direction. I noted that agents were to be trained or experienced in guerrilla warfare, that we needed U.S. military participation for support, including air-resupply and maritime actions.”

He asked for details. Both General Lemnitzer and I told him about “sheep-dipping” U.S. military personnel, “sanitizing” equipment, and use of U.S. bases.

Please see a definition of “sheep-dipping” U.S. military personnel. - According to the Urban Dictionary - Sheep dipping is "commonly used in intelligence circles is a way of saying someone has been given an alternate identity. The best known example being Air America, but also in many other covert ops applications....Stripping a soldier of is military uniform and identification so he can pose as a civilian during a covert mission." 

The example given is "Lee Harvey Oswald was 'sheep dipped' in order to carry on his involvement in the CIA's clandestine activities." 

Another example from the JFK Assassination records is Ralph Meyers, a relation to Jack Ruby's Chicago friend Larry Meyers, who visited Dallas on the weekend of the assassination. Ralph served in the Army and was assigned to a NSA position at a U2 and nuke missile base in Turkey. He was then relieved of his military service, worked as a bus driver in Chicago before working as a journalist in Mexico when Oswald was there.  

Lansdale continues: “I pointed out that PT boat silhouettes required a Navy base as a cover, even if we called it “R & E,” that air re-supply would be done at night from about 800-feet which entailed some risk which the Air Force was now assessing. He asked about maritime runs of the PT-boats; I explained our problems of “mother” ships, the LSD’s and 200-300 man crews, which we are trying to lick.”

“I remarked that the thesis of creating a revolution inside Cuba looked just as valid as ever, and that CIA professionals were now agreeing more and more that both resistance and the possibility of fracturing the regime pointed to some real opportunities. I noted that we were checking out a number of leads, including relatives of Fidel Castro, to assess the practical opportunities for splitting away some of the regime. If we could get some of the top Cuban leaders, and some units of the Cuban security forces to take to the hills, we would have conditions which would need quick exploitation – and we would have to be ready for this. I noted that we would have to supply arms and equipment; it is possible that this could be done without U.S. military intervention, but we must be ready to intervene with U.S. forces, if necessary.”

The President asked if U.S. military intervention was an issue which the Special Group was posing to him now. Taylor and the Special Group promptly said, “no.”

“General Lemnitzer commented that the military had contingency plans for U.S. intervention. Also, it had plans for creating plausible pretexts to use force, with the pretexts either attacks on U.S. aircraft or a Cuban action in Latin America for which we would retaliate." 

So Lemnitzer pitches his Northwoods Plan for staging a fake attack on US base or ship - ala Remember the Maine, in order to establish a pretext to attack Cuba, for which he was later fired for. 

"The President said bluntly that we were not discussing the use of U.S. military force, that General Lemnitzer might find the U.S. so engaged in Berlin or elsewhere that he couldn’t use the contemplated 4 divisions in Cuba. So, we cannot say that we are able not to make a decision on the use of U.S. military force.”

As they discuss during the meeting, one of the problems with formenting a revolt in Cuba and getting disenchanted Cuban government administratiors and military officers to revolt and form a coup d’etat was the fact that most of those disenchanted with Castro had left or were leaving Cuba for the United States.

“The President was then asked about immigration. Wouldn’t it be better to shut our doors to the people trying to get out, so they would be forced to stay and take action against the regime? I pointed out that we were still giving them only two choices: either to escape to the U.S. and freedom, or to stay as slaves. Once we are committed to helping them stage a revolt, provide arms, and are willing to go all the way in being sure that they win, ten we might consider closing out doors – because we then will be helping them gain teir freedom at home.   Now with 2,000 people fleeing every week, we would be foolish to remove this symbol of our sympathy and cut off the source of intelligence information and recruits. We must give the Cubans the chance and the help to free themselves.”

Then there’s the key paragraph that Corn and Russo say is proof of JFK and RFK desire to have Castro killed.

“The Attorney General then mentioned Mary Hemingway, something on reports that Castro was drinking heavily in disgruntlement over the way things were going, and the opportunities offered by the ‘shrine’ to Hemingway.”

Now that’s the end of the Kennedy’s statements about this – Mary Hemingway mentioned that Castro was drinking heavily in disgruntlement over the way things were going, and we only have Lansdale’s interpetation of “the opportunities offered by the “shrine” to Hemingway.

What opportunities could there be? To kill him there? I don’t think Mary Hemingway, a friend of Castro, would apprecitate that, and there are no other documents in the CIA records that reflect on this or their making plans for any opportunities the shrine presented.

But to Corn and Russo – this begs the question: “Did John and Robert Kennedy plot murder? For decades, a clear answer to that dicey question has evaded historians, while Kennedy loyalists have fought hard to prevent such a stain from befouling the memory of the brothers.”

“But a thirty-nine-year-old Pentagon memorandum–found three years ago by a college professor…” – A College professor who disagrees with their intepretation that  to them “….–suggests that Jack and Bobby discussed and apparently sanctioned the development of a possible assassination attempt against Fidel Castro during a 1962 meeting in the Oval Office. And–in a weirder-than-fiction twist–the scheme they considered involved Ernest Hemingway’s farm outside Havana.”

What? Where is that “suggestion”? Nowhere. And where is the “apparently sanctioned the development of a possible assassination attempt against Fidel Castro”?

Now we know that the CIA had a number of plans to kill Castro with a high powered rifle as he drove in an open jeep by areas he was known to frequent – two are mentioned in the Pathfinder Plan – Castro’s frequeting the Bay of Pigs, where he apparently kept a boat – and the duPont’s Xandau estate where he was known to frequent. But both of those plans called for the NPIC National Photo Interpeteration Center technicians contribute to the plans with U2 and ground photos of the area, and blueprints of the buildings in the area. No such thing was done with Hemingway’s farm or shrine.

Lansdale continues: “I commented that this was a conversation Ed Morrow had with Mary Hemingway, that we had similar reports from other sources, and that this was worth assessing firmly and pursing vigorouslly. If there are grounds for action, CIA had some invaluable assets which might well be committed for such an effort.”

First off, the event at Hemingway’s farm, where Mary met Castro, was eight months previous, and there were no indications Castro would ever return there, and apparently didn’t. What other opportunities were there? None.

“McCone asked if his operational people were aware of this:

Now his two top “operational people” – Helms and Harvey, were right outside the door, but McCone wouldn’t allow them in, and according to Lansdale, later told the president this.

Lansdale said, “I told him that we had discussed this, that they agreed the subject was worth vigorous development, and that we were in agreement that the matter was so delicate and sensitive that it shouldn’t be surfaced…

Lansdale’s description of the Hemingway plan as “so delicate and sensitive” that its specifics should be hidden from the Special Group is another tip-off that the operation involved assassination.

But that’s Lansdale’s description of the Hemingway plan – a plan that doesn’t exist on paper, not JFK’s plan or RFK’s plan.

Corn and Russo write, “It is not clear what specific operation Robert Kennedy was referring to at the March 16 meeting.” Robert Kennedy never referred to a specific operation – he brought up the subject of Morrow and Mary Hemingway, it is Lansdale who mentions operations.

And they agree, “Neither Halpern nor Shackley recalls receiving orders for a mission involving the Hemingway farm. Those Mongoose records that have been declassified do not refer to an assassination attempt at the Hemingway home,” ….and “Assassinating Castro at the Hemingway site does seem far-fetched. But in the secret war against Castro, the US government entertained many bizarre ideas, including dusting his shoes with a chemical that would cause his beard to fall out.”

“That’s the giveaway,” says Peter Kornbluh, a senior analyst at the National Security Archive and a specialist on US documents regarding Cuba.

“This is the closest thing to a smoking gun that has been declassified. Only assassination would be taboo for open discussion at the Special Group, which routinely planned sabotage, violence and chaos to undermine Castro.”

If this is the “closest thing to a smoking gun that has been declassified, indicating that JFK approved a plan to kill Fidel Castro, then there is no smoking gun.

Samuel Halpern, who was the number-two to the officer who ran the CIA end of Operation Mongoose, calls the document “as close as we’re likely to get” to conclusive proof. And a former CIA director says, “The language of the memo speaks for itself. The only thing Robert Kennedy can be referring to is the assassination of Castro. This paragraph should never have been written.”

Well Samuel Halpern was an assistant to CIA official Desmond FitzGerald, who was encouraging AMLASH to kill Castro – with a high powered rifle. Halpern and FitzGerald were having lunch together in Geogetown when they learned of the assassination, and as they were leaving FitzGerald remarked that he wondered wheather “his Cubans” – the Pathfinder Cubans trained at JMWAVE, were invlved, as they were the ones paid and trained to kill Castro.

And I think we should be wondering the same thing. 

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Brute - The Life of Victor Krulak U.S. Marine

 Brute - the Life of Victor Krulak US Marine - (Little Brown, 2010) By Robert Coram. 

Brute: The Life of Victor Krulak, U.S. Marine: Coram, Robert:  9780316067430: Books

General Victor "Brute" Krulak is a relatively obscure but significant player in the JFK assassination drama. 

I first heard his name from Colonel Fletcher Prouty, who I first met at an NYU Law School conference on the assassination, when he gave a lecture in the science hall explaining how you have to understand how covert intelligence operations work in order to learn what really happened at Dealey Plaza. He is the author of a book on the subject called The Secret Team.

Prouty's insights into the assassination were so threatening that they tried to destroy his credibility, but he was a Colonel in the USAF, had an office just down the hall from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and personally knew and worked closely with Generals Krulak and Ed Lansdale, who was head of Operation Mongoose and responsible for getting rid of Castro in Cuba. 

There's a letter from Krulak to Prouty saying that he recognized Lansdale in a photo of Dealey Plaza shortly after the assassination, wondering what he was doing there. 

As detailed in this biography Krulak had an impressive career and life, though I am focused on his association with JFK and his position at the Pentagon 1962-1964 as SACSA - Special Assistant for Counter-Insurgency and Special Activities. 

As explained in his bio, "As the special assistant for special activities, he held one of the most sensitive jobs in the U.S. government: liaison between the military and the CIA. This was the blackest of the black holes and involved some of the most highly classified matters of national defense. It meant that in Vietnam (and Cuba), Krulak was in charge of psychological warfare and covert activities against the enemy, a job that in a few years would be turned over to a much larger group with the innocuous name Studies and Observation Group (SOG)."

"...He was confident enough that when White House staffers suggested he follow the protocol of military officers working in the White House and wear civilian closed, he refused, saying he was serving as a military officer and 'it would diminish the impact of the military for me to wear civilian clothes.'"

"The Krulaks' social life was as busy as ever, but now there was a difference. In Washington, everything is about proximity - about who is close to the president and who has power. It was common knowledge that JFK's time in the Pacific had been the defining moment of his life; he had his closest aides wore tie pins of a miniature PT-109. But going behind enemy lines in the middle of the night to rescue Krulak's Marines had been Kennedy's last big mission in the Pacific, and having been the commanding officer of those Marines gave Krulak a unique cache. Plus, Krulak was the point man, the acknowledged expert, in an area of the highest importance to the Kennedy administration: counterinsurgency." 

As detailed in the book PT-109 by - Robert J. Donovan, and as portrayed in the movie starring Cliff Robertson, Kennedy led his men to the Japanese held Pacific island beach to rescue the stranded Marines, under fire. At the time Krulak promised Kennedy a bottle of whisky for his efforts, but didn't deliver it until JFK was in the White House. 

Hardcover PT 109 : John F. Kennedy in World War II Bookrobert donovan the assassins - AbeBooks

The PT-109 book was written by the same author who wrote The Assassins, a book Allen Dulles took to the first Warren Commission meeting in trying to make the case that unlike politically motivated European assassins, American assassins were generally just crazy lone nut cases, though some of the other commissioners disagreed, pointing to the Lincoln assassination as a case in point. 

While Krulak had an office at the Pentagon and a desk at the White House, the official records show that he only had one on one meetings with the President a dozen or some times, each one on the subject of Vietnam. 

Krulak later told friends that he did meet with the President privately after hours, delivering the promised bottle of whisky, that they shared. 

While most of Krulak's biography deals with his role in the Vietnam war, Krulak was also responsible for counter-insurgency and special activities in Cuba. 

On September 25, 1963, when CIA officer Desmond FitzGerald briefed the Joint Chiefs of Staff on covert operations against Cuba, Krulak sent his adjunct Colonel Walter Higgins to the meeting, and his resulting memo is, I believe, the single most important document released under the JFK Act for multiple reasons. 

It was Krulak's responsibility to provide any military assistance the CIA required in the course of their covert activities, the subject of FitzGerald's briefing. Since General Taylor was on a special mission to Vietnam, the meeting was run by temporary chair, General Curtis LeMay, the Air Force Chief of Staff. 

During the course of his briefing, that touched on many points - FitzGerald said that the CIA was conducting a detailed study of the German military's July 20, 1944 plot to kill Hitler, in order to adapt it for use against Castro. 

Unfortunately, when a FOIA request was made for that detailed study, it appears the CIA has lost it, which to me, confirms Peter Dale Scott's Negative Template thesis that hold the most important records are the ones being withheld or were destroyed or missing. 

When I get a chance I will post some excerpts from the Krulak biography at my other blogs 

Monday, April 26, 2021

Hemingway and JFK

Hemingway and JFK - Hemingway at Dealey Plaza? 

OSS Col. David Bruce (Left) and Hemingway on the way to Paris 

Ken Burn's new three part PBS documentary on Ernest Hemingway sparked me to write about the aspects of Hemingway's life as they reflect on the assassination of President Kennedy. 

While they actually never met in person, Hemingway and JFK are intimately entwined. For one, many of Hemingway's papers and artifacts are housed at the JFK Presidential Library in Boston, there at the reqest of his fourth wife, Mary, and for good reasons. 

The key connection between Hemingway and JFK, as it is with JFK, Oswald and Ruby, is Cuba. My favorite book about Hemingway is Arnold Samuelson's With Hemingway - One Year in Key West and Cuba. Samuelson, a college student during the Depression, hopped a freight train to Key West to visit Hemingway, and was promptly arrested when he arrived. Eventually he got to see Hemingway, who took him down to the docks and permitted him to stay aboard his fishing yacht, The Pilar. 

Samuelson's manuscript however, even though Samuelson became an English teacher, wasn't discovered by his daughter in the attic until after his death, and she arranged for it to be published. One of the things Hemingway taught Samuelson I found useful, was his advice to not write everything in one sitting, as if you know where the story is going, save some for the next day, and you will have something to begin with. 

Hemingway's military intelligence life began when he ventured to China, then engaged in war with Japan, and reported back on what he learned. Then he began working with ONI - the Office of Naval Intelligence, who supplied him with gasoline and weapons for the Pilar in order for Hemingway to report on any Nazi submarine sightings in the Caribbean while he was fishing. 

One of Hemingway's sons became a JEDBURG - a British trained commando parachuted behind the enemy lines in order to organize bands of anti-Nazi partisan resistance. Unfortunately young Hemingway was captured by the Germans and became a prisoner of war.

Then Hemingway became a war correspondent for Colliers and NANA - the North American Newspaper Alliance, that also included at various times, others involved in this story - Priscilla Johnson McMillan, Ian Fleming of 007 fame, and JFK's paramour Inga Avid. 

For more info on NARA here's a link to an article I wrote with John Judge - JFKCountercoup2: Bottlefed by Oswald's NANA

Although such correspondents were not supposed to have weapons or engage in combat, Hemingway sported a pistol and a machine gun, much to the dismay of other correspondents. 

At some point - probably in the village of Rambouillet, 30 miles southeast of Paris, Hemingway hooked up with OSS - Office of Strategic Services Colonel David Bruce, as there is a photo of them together there. Bruce found Hemingway had accumulated a band of French partisan fighters - some 60 or so, who Hemingway provided intelligence to in order for them to fight the Germans. In a few trucks and Bruce's jeep they made their way to Paris, stopping at every cafe and hotel bar for a drink along the way. 

Bruce would be a major player in this story, as he would be Hemingway's best man at his fourth wedding, and be JFK's ambassador to the Court of St. James in London, where he would be briefed by Art Lundahl of the NPIC - National Photo Interpretation Center on the Soviet missiles in Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Bruce also served as US Ambassador to France and West Germany. 

While the French Army entered Paris and accepted the surrender of the German generals, Hemingway wanted to liberate the bar at the Ritz Hotel, where he had spent many hours drinking and eating with his pal F. Scott Fitzgerald in the 20s and 30s. 

Lee  Harvey Oswald even mentions Hemingway in his letter from Russia to then Navy Secretary John Connally, saying that he went to the Soviet Union as Hemingway went to Paris. Priscilla Johnson assumed that Oswald was referring to Hemingway's life in Paris as a writer, but he also could have been referring to Hemingway's visit with David Bruce, the colonel in the OSS - General Donovan's predecessor to the CIA. 

On August 25, 1944 they arrived at the Ritz, they say Hemingway entered the small alcove bar where there is now a statute of him, and knew the bartender. He placed his machine gun on the bar, looked around at Bruce and his motley group of partisans, and ordered sixty martinis, shaken not sturred. 

The hotel manager, who knew Hemingway, said that the German generals had just left a few hours previous, and that he had kept the best wines from them, so Hemingway said, "Lets have some." 

After the war Hemingway went back to Key West and Havana, where he kept homes, but after the Bay of Pigs disaster, never returned to Cuba. Instead he went to Ketchum, Idaho, where he enjoyed hunting and fishing, though his health was failing and he was being treated for depression with electro shock therapy. In an act of depression, Hemingway killed himself, in a manner very similar to the way George deMohrenschildts committed suicide - shotgun to the head. 

After Hemingway's death, his wife Mary received special permission to travel to Cuba to go to their house there and retrieve manuscripts, art and artifacts that she wanted to keep, and later donated to the Kennedy Library. While there, she was visited by Castro himself, who drove up in a jeep and informed Mary Hemingway they had plans to make the home a museum. 

When Mary informed Edward R. Morrow, head of the US Information Agency, he informed the CIA and Ed Lansdale, then head of Operation Mongoose assigned to get rid of Castro. They discussed a plan to use this information as part of a plot, possibly a plot to kill Castro, as described in an article The Old Man and the CIA: A Kennedy Plot to Kill Castro (The Nation - March 26, 2001). 

The Old Man and the CIA: A Kennedy Plot to Kill Castro? | The Nation

While I distrust David Corn and Gus Russo's interpretation, I will attempt to get a copy of the original Lansdale memo from Larry Haapanen, the person who found it, and report back. 

Okay, I've obtained scanned copies of the Lansdale memo from Larry and have posted them here: 

JFKCountercoup2: Lansdale Memo 16 March 1962 Re: The Hemingway Plot

More to Come on this. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Much to Agree on by Jeff Morley

 Jeff Morely wrote:  There is much to agree on:

*The president was killed by his enemies.

*This view was widely shared in private by men and women of power including Jackie Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Fidel Castro, and Charles de Gaulle, not to mention insiders such as Joe Califano, Win Scott, and John Kerry. They didn't all agree on the causes of JFK's murder but they all agreed the Warren Report is not a credible account of the crime.

* The perpetrators were persons capable of constructing plausible deniabilty around their actions, which means at least some of them belonged to the US intelligence community. 

* Our methodology is empirical, based on the preponderance of available evidence. If and when the government declassifies the last of the JFK files we will be able to fill out the JFK fact pattern, as ably summarized in John's review of David Talbot's Brothers. 

* In a legal perspective, we cannot (at least I cannot) identify any one witting perpetrator who is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of conspiring to kill the president. Those who say this is proof that there was no conspiracy resemble no one much as those legal savants who said the acquittal of OJ Simpson confirmed his innocence.

* The government continues to keep JFK secrets in 2021.

* The still-redacted JFK files document the activities of three categories of CIA officers of continuing interest; 1) those who knew Oswald's biography before 11/22 (and were thus in a position to possibly manipulate him into the role of "patsy" that he claimed); those involved in CIA assassination operations; and those who implicated themselves in the crime.

* We say, without fear of contradiction, that Allen Dulles, Richard Helms, and George Joannides criminally obstructed the investigation of the president’s murder by withholding material evidence from investigators.

* Our conclusions are based on the sturdy foundation laid down by first generation researchers such as Sylvia Meagher and Mary Ferrell; on the groundbreaking reporting of second-generation reporters such as Anthony Summers, Dick Russell, David Lifton, and Gaeton Fonzi; and on the conclusions of the HSCA.

* Our perspective is corroborated by the forensic analysis of Tink Thompson, Cyril Wecht, and Doug Horne, and confirmed by statements of US intelligence operatives themselves: Howard Hunt, Fletcher Prouty and most recently by Rolf Mowatt-Larssen.  Artists such as Oliver Stone, Eryka Badu, Don DeLillo and Bob Dylan have endowed the historical record with resonance of truth-telling. 

* We hope President Biden will do the right thing and orders all the JFK records released without exception in October 2021. This would vindicate the rule of law over the agenda of secret agencies. It would also be popular across partisan lines.

        Of course, the crime has to be seen in the context of the Cold War but understanding it does not require any unanimity about contemporary politics.  

Jeff and Rex Bradford wrote an update on the looming deadlines for release of the remaining records:

I will be adding my two cents soon - BK 

 any unanimity about contemporary politics.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

CAPA Conference Dallas Nov. 19-22 2021

 CAPA Conference Dallas Nov. 19-22 2021 

CAPA - the Citizens Against Political Assassinations  [ ] will be holding a conference in Dallas over the assassination anniversary weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday Nov. 19-21, with the moment of silence at Dealey Plaza at 12:30 on Monday, November 22. 

Unlike their past conference at the Dallas Marriott, this conference will be held at the Dallas Sheraton Hotel, about a mile from Dealey Plaza heading down towards Deep Elm, as they call it. 

As with the previous virtual conference last year, Friday will be dedicated to new students to the case, with presentations on Saturday and Sunday by authors of new books on the case - and there are quite a few, and those with new material to present, with little emphasis on repeating things already said. 

Monday we will go to breakfast, probably at the New York Deli on Houston before heading to the Grassy Knoll at Dealey Plaza for the moment of silence, a tradition begun by the late, great Penn Jones, a Texas newspaper publisher who never gave up on pursing the truth about the assassination. When Penn passed away, my former associate, the late John Judge continued the tradition, that has also been upheld by Debra Conway of JFK Lancer, Judyth Vary Baker and others. It is a tradition destined to continue. 

While the Sheraton may seem out of the way and a mile off the beaten track, it actually has important connections to the assassination, and should be seen in its proper historical context. 

For starters, it is known that Lee Harvey Oswald visited the place on numerous occasions. 

The Sheraton shares it's space with the office complex known as - The Southland Center, where the Mexican consulate is located as well as the exclusive Chaparral Club, that took up an entire floor, and included George deMohrenschildt, D.H. Byrd, Jack Crichton and other key players as members. 

Oswald visited there when he applied for a job with Sam Balen, a friend of George deMohrenschildt, who testified before the Warren Commission, and while Oswald made a good impression, he didn't get hired. 

Oswald, or someone who looked suspiciously a lot like him, met CIA officer David Atlee Phillips and anti-Castro Cuban terrorist Antonio Veciana (author of "Trained to Kill"). Phillips was meeting in the lobby with Oswald when Veciana showed up, and they decided to adjurn to a nearby coffee shop. A young teenage couple were passing by, on their way to the rooftop observatory, and Phillips asked them directions to the coffee shop, and they told him. 

Shortly after the assassination, when Oswald's photo was pictured on the news, the young girl recognized him as one of the three men they had briefly met in the lobby of the Sheraton-Southland, but her mother wouldn't let her come forward with that information. The young boy however, did come forward, albet many years later, and confirmed the story. 

The Sheraton is also where George H. W. Bush and his wife were registered on Thursday, November 21, the night before the assassination, and the next day, shortly after the assassination, while Mrs. Bush was at a beauty shop, and George was addressing a civic group in a small down outside of Dallas, Bush dropped a dime on a fellow Republican who he suspected of being involved in the assassination, phoning it in. 

When federal government officials visit Dallas, they stay at the Sheraton, as did the Secret Service who were assigned to the president while he was in Dallas, as well as the technicians of the White House Communications Agency (WHCA), who set up their base station in a suite of rooms at the Sheraton. 

They ran, monitored and according to SOP, recorded the Charlie Channel used by those in the motorcade, including radios in the Pilot Car, the lead car, the Presidential limo, the Secret Service cars and the car with the WHCA officer and the Bag Man, who had the satchel with the Nuclear codes. 

At the very moment of the head shot(s), the Secret Service agent in the front seat of the presidential limo was on the radio, so those shots were picked up by the mic and recorded, and is probably the reason why they refuse to acknowledge they recorded it. 

The pilot of Air Force One, sitting in his pilot seat at Love Field, was eating his lunch and was listening to Charlie Channel when he realized something was seriously wrong with the motorcade. 

Four of the WHCA technicians who manned the radios at the Sheraton base station wrote After Action Reports that the WHCA claims are the only assassination records in their possession. 

One of them also told Jim Bishop, author of The Day Kennedy Was Shot, that there was some peculiar conversations overheard on Charlie Channel, including one that included the question, "Whose in charge?", with the answer being "The Joint Chiefs of Staff." 

They also listed, not the Constitutional line of succession - Vice President, Speaker of the House, etc., but the line of command to go to war - Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Undersecretary of Defense, etc. 

When former Dallas TV reporter and mayor Wes Wise gave me a tour of Dallas assassination spots, he drove down Elm street eight blocks that Oswald reportedly walked after leaving the TSBD. He then got on a bus going back in the opposite direction. As Wise pulled his car over to the side of the road at the bus stop where Oswald is said to have boarded a bus, I wondered where he was going in the first place. Looking further down the street, I noticed a tall building and asked Wise what it was. "Why that's the Dallas Sheraton," he said, and I think that was Oswald's original destination, until he decided against it. 

In any case, the Dallas Sheraton, the location of the next CAPA conference, has some historical associations that make it a worthy place to have a conference. 

I will provide more details on the conference as it shapes up, and I expect it to be a good one, probably my last trip to Dallas, my last Hurrah, though I have said that before.