Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Project FOUR LEAVES & the DPA

After reading the September 25 Higgins memo re: FitzGerald briefing of JCS, which mentioned a secret memo from Bundy orally read to the JSC, I looked to the JFK Library at Bundy's papers and JFK's Diary to see if anything relevant is published there.

SUBJECT: Assignment of Highest National Security Priority to Project FOUR LEAVES

In response to a recommendation by the Secretary of Defense, the president, under the authority granted by the Defense Production Act of 1950, today established the program listed below as being in the highest national security priority category for development and production.


McGeorge Bundy


“President Kennedy assigns the highest national priority to Project FOUR LEAVES to develop and produce a military communications system.

A tip of the hat to Robert Howard for the White House diary reference. I also came across the fact that Gen. Taylor wasn't at the JCS briefing because he was on his way to Vietnam with McNamara.

I considered that Four Leaves may have to do with that trip when I read: There is the note that on September 25, 1963 "Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara and Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in Saigon to investigate what effect the political problems in South Vietnam have had on the military situation. They are expected to visit the-country's four military regions. (3:1)"

Four Leaves, four military regions?

Mark Knight thought not, calling attention to the fact that the Defense Production Act doesn't just pertain to Vietnam, and that the reference to the DPA may be a key.

Then I came across this Yahoo! Group called, who shoot the bull about cold war military communications.

In the only open source reference to Project Four Leaves I can find, a guy named Sam asks, "Does anyone know what the DoD's Project FOUR LEAVES was? NSAM 261 from
9/23/1963 assigns it to the "highest national priority category for
development and production" in response to a recommendation from the
Secretary of Defense. I can't find any reference to the project other than the NSAM. Figured someone on this list may have heard of it."

In response, Albert writes, "I'd heard that name a few years ago, and looked into it a little. I nevercould find anything about FOUR LEAVES, but I came to the conclusion that the NSAM was actually referring to FALLING LEAVES. FALLING LEAVES was the Cuban Missile Early Warning System. It consisted of radar stations at Moorestown, NJ, Laredo, TX, and Thomasville, AL, with hotline links to the Pentagon, NORAD, and SAC. I learned of FALLING LEAVES purely by luck while reading a book titled "The
Limits of Safety: Organizations, Accidents, and Nuclear Weapons" by Scott D.
Sagan (1993), which devotes more than a dozen pages to the topic. BTW, I
would highly recommend that book to anyone interested in nuclear C3I issues.

I disagree with this assessment, that Project Four Leaves is actually Project Falling Leaves, for a number of reasons. For one, I don't think Mrs. Lincoln, who typed up the memo, would make such a mistake, or Bundy would not catch it as it is such an important document - a National Security Action Memorandum.

So it's not a mistake, a typo or Mrs. Lincoln mishearing Bundy or the President.

In addition, Falling Leaves was an October, 1962 circa project, a year earlier, and concerned miliary communications and nuclear mishaps, not the establishment of a military communications system.

The standard history of military communicaitons also fail to mention Project Four Leaves, though it does account for the development of satelite communcaitons around the same time period.

Blitz wrote, "That is interesting, because I dont find much on it either. Prob still
clasified. One can put a bit of light on it, as its immediately prior to
VietNam...when they were still fumbling for reasons to be there...also it
was just prior to the Kennedy assassination. Interestingly,
shortly prior to it, in NSAM 252, the establishing of a National
Communications system."

So I went back to the Defense Production Act of 1950 to see more of what that was all about.

As Mark suggested, the DPA is a key.

John Dolva started a thread on the subject at the Education Forum:

Wikipedia: Defense Production Act

The Defense Production Act (Pub.L. 81-774) is a United States law enacted on September 8, 1950, in response to the start of the Korean War. It was part of a broad civil defense and war mobilization effort in the context of the Cold War. Its implementing regulations, the Defense Priorities and Allocation System (DPAS), are located at 15 CFR §§700 to 700.93. The Act has been periodically reauthorized and amended, and remains in force as of 2007.

The Act contains three major sections. The first authorizes the President to require businesses to sign contracts or fulfill orders deemed necessary for national defense. The second authorizes the President to establish mechanisms (such as regulations, orders or agencies) to allocate materials, services and facilities to promote national defense. The third section authorizes the President to control the civilian economy so that scarce and/or critical materials necessary to the national defense effort are available for defense needs.[1]

The Act also authorizes the President to requisition property, force industry to expand production and the supply of basic resources, impose wage and price controls, settle labor disputes, control consumer and real estate credit, establish contractual priorities, and allocate raw materials to aid the national defense.[1]

The President's authority to place contracts under the DPA is the part of the Act most often used by the Department of Defense (DOD) since the 1970s. Most of the other functions of the Act are administered by the Office of Strategic Industries and Economic Security (SIES) in the Bureau of Industry and Security in the Department of Commerce.[2]

Korean War-era usage
The DPA was used during the Korean War to establish a large defense mobilization infrastructure and bureacracy. Under the authority of the Act, President Harry S. Truman established the Office of Defense Mobilization, instituted wage and price controls, strictly regulated production in heavy industries such as steel and mining, and ordered the disperal of wartime manufacturing plans across the nation.[3]

The Act also played a vital role in the establishment of the domestic aluminum and titanium industries in the 1950s. Using the Act, DOD provided capital and interest-free loans, and directed mining and manufacturing resources as well as skilled laborers to these two processing industries.[4]

Use as innovation tool
Beginning in the 1980s, DOD began using the contracting and spending provisions of the DPA to provide seed money to develop new technologies.[5] Using the Act, DOD has helped to develop a number of new technologies and materials, including silicon carbide ceramics, indium phosphide and gallium arsenide semiconductors, microwave power tubes, radiation-hardened microelectronics, superconducting wire, and metal composites.[4]

Defense Production Act of 1950

The Defense Production Act of 1950 (Public Law 81-774) was enacted due to "Rising wages and prices during the Korean War [which] caused serious economic difficulties within the United States. In an effort to expand production and insure economic stability, the Defense Production Act of 1950 (Public Law 81-774) authorized Governmental activities in various areas, including requisition of property for national defense, expansion of productive capacity and supply, wage and price stabilization, settlement of labor disputes, control of consumer and real estate credit, and establishment of contract priorities and materials allocation designed to aid the national defense. Under section 712, the Joint Committee on Defense Production was established to serve as a 'watchdog' over Federal agencies administering the various programs authorized by the act. The members of the committee were drawn from the Senate and House Committees on Banking and Currency."[1]

The Defense Production Act Title III Program "authorities were first used extensively during the early 1950s to expedite expansion of industrial capacity for many strategic and critical materials, machine tools, and a number of other critical items needed to satisfy evolving defense requirements. Despite (or, perhaps, partially because of) enormous successes in expanding needed domestic production capabilities, use of Title III declined markedly during the late 1950s and early 1960s and eventually ended altogether by the end of the 1960s. Congress revived and modernized the Title III authorities in the mid 1980s, and these authorities have been used since that time to promote improvement and expansion of industrial capabilities needed for national defense purposes."[2]

"Today's Title III Program differs in fundamental ways from the original program established in 1950. First, the original program was created in response to the national emergency resulting from the Korean conflict and Cold War tensions. Today's program focuses primarily on promoting the transition of new technologies from research and development to efficient and affordable production and the rapid insertion of these new technologies in defense systems."[3]

"Second, the original program was based on virtually unlimited authorities to encourage private investment in materials production and supply. Today's program is subject to a number of restrictions to ensure that Government action is needed and that Title III authorities are the best means to meet the national defense need. Moreover, proposed Title III actions are subject to prior review by Congress and are funded with moneys appropriated for Title III purposes."[4]

"Third, the original program was supported by a funding ceiling of $2.1 billion (in 1950s dollars) and was permitted to obligate these funds based on probable ultimate net cost to the Government rather than total contract liability. Today's program has been funded at an average annual rate of $20-$25 million and has been required to obligate funds at 100 percent of contract liability."[5]

"Despite the significant differences between the original program and today's, the basic purpose of the Title III authorities has not changed - to expand domestic production capabilities to meet defense needs."[6] And, some would argue, to specialize these domestic production capabilities only towards defense needs, assuming that control of global finance, trade and port facilities will continue to feed the civilian sector, and that there is no need, e.g. for US self-sufficiency in oil.

And John Dolva also calls attention to the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) of the US DOD, which developed the Internet among other things.

OpenCongress - U.S. Congress - H.R.6894 Defense Production Act ...HR6894 Defense Production Act Extension and Reauthorization of 2008 on ... OpenCongress is a joint project of the Participatory Politics Foundation and the ... - 43k - Cached - Similar pages -

Most recent GEO Report :


By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended (64 Stat. 798; 50 U.S.C. App. 2061, et seq.), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, and as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, it is hereby ordered as follows:


Section 101. Purpose. This order delegates authorities and addresses national defense industrial resource policies and programs under the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended ("the Act"), except for the amendments to Title III of the Act in the Energy Security Act of 1980 and telecommunication authorities under Executive Order No. 12472.

Sec. 102. Policy. The United States must have an industrial and technology base capable of meeting national defense requirements, and capable of contributing to the technological superiority of its defense equipment in peacetime and in times of national emergency. The domestic industrial and technological base is the foundation for national defense preparedness. The authorities provided in the Act shall be used to strengthen this base and to ensure it is capable of responding to all threats to the national security of the United States.

Sec. 103. General Functions. Federal departments and agencies responsible for defense acquisition (or for industrial resources needed to support defense acquisition) shall:

(a) Identify requirements for the full spectrum of national security emergencies, including military, industrial, and essential civilian demand;

(b) Assess continually the capability of the domestic industrial and technological base to satisfy requirements in peacetime and times of national emergency, specifically evaluating the availability of adequate industrial resource and production sources, including subcontractors and suppliers, materials, skilled labor, and professional and technical personnel;

(c) Be prepared, in the event of a potential threat to the security of the United States, to take actions necessary to ensure the availability of adequate industrial resources and production capability, including services and critical technology for national defense requirements;

(d) Improve the efficiency and responsiveness, to defense requirements, of the domestic industrial base; and

(e) Foster cooperation between the defense and commercial sectors for research and development and for acquisition of materials, components, and equipment to enhance industrial base efficiency and responsiveness.

Sec. 104. Implementation.

(a) The National Security Council is the principal forum for consideration and resolution of national security resource preparedness policy.

(b) The Director, Federal Emergency Management Agency ("Director, FEMA") shall:

(1) Serve as an advisor to the National Security Council on issues of national security resource preparedness and on the use of the authorities and functions delegated by this order;

(2) Provide for the central coordination of the plans and programs incident to authorities and functions delegated under this order, and provide guidance and procedures approved by the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs to the Federal departments and agencies under this order;

(3) Establish procedures, in consultation with Federal departments and agencies assigned functions under this order, to resolve in a timely and effective manner conflicts and issues that may arise in implementing the authorities and functions delegated under this order; and

(4) Report to the President periodically concerning all program activities conducted pursuant to this order.

(c) The head of every Federal department and agency assigned functions under this order shall ensure that the performance of these functions is consistent with National Security Council policy and guidelines.


Sec. 201. Delegations of Priorities and Allocations.

(a) The authority of the President conferred by section 101 of the Act to require acceptance and priority performance of contracts or orders (other than contracts of employment) to promote the national defense over performance of any other contracts or orders, and to allocate materials, services, and facilities as deemed necessary or appropriate to promote the national defense, is delegated to the following agency heads:

(1) The Secretary of Agriculture with respect to food resources, food resource facilities, and the domestic distribution of farm equipment and commercial fertilizer;

(2) The Secretary of Energy with respect to all forms of energy;

(3) The Secretary of Health and Human Services with respect to health resources;

(4) The Secretary of Transportation with respect to all forms of civil transportation;

(5) The Secretary of Defense with respect to water resources; and

(6) The Secretary of Commerce for all other materials, services, and facilities, including construction materials.

(b) The Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the heads of those departments and agencies specified in subsection 201(a) of this order, shall administer the Defense Priorities and Allocations System ("DPA") regulations that will be used to implement the authority of the President conferred by section 101 of the Act as delegated to the Secretary of Commerce in subsection 201(a)(6) of this order. The Secretary of Commerce will re-delegate to the Secretary of Defense, and the heads of other departments and agencies as appropriate, authority for the priority rating of contracts and orders for all materials, services, and facilities needed in support of programs approved under section 202 of this order. The Secretary of Commerce shall act as appropriate upon Special Priorities Assistance requests in a time frame consistent with the urgency of the need at hand.

(c) The Director, FEMA, shall attempt to resolve issues or disagreements on priorities or allocations between Federal departments or agencies in a time frame consistent with the urgency of the issue at hand and, if not resolved, such issues will be referred to the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs for final determination.

(d) The head of each Federal department or agency assigned functions under subsection 201(a) of this order, when necessary, shall make the finding required under subsection 101(b) of the Act. This finding shall be submitted for the President's approval through the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. Upon such approval the head of the Federal department or agency that made the finding may use the authority of subsection 101(a) of the Act to control the general distribution of any material (including applicable services) in the civilian market.

(e) The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs is hereby delegated the authority under subsection 101(c)(3) of the Act, and will be assisted by the Director, FEMA, in ensuring the coordinated administration of the Act.

Sec. 202. Determinations. The authority delegated by section 201 of this order may be used only to support programs that have been determined in writing as necessary or appropriate to promote the national defense:

(a) By the Secretary of Defense with respect to military production and construction, military assistance to foreign nations, stockpiling, outer space, and directly related activities;

(b) By the Secretary of Energy with respect to energy production and construction, distribution and use, and directly related activities; and

(c) By the Director, FEMA, with respect to essential civilian needs supporting national defense, including civil defense and continuity of government and directly related activities.

Sec. 203. Maximizing Domestic Energy Supplies. The authority of the President to perform the functions provided by subsection 101(c) of the Act is delegated to the Secretary of Commerce, who shall redelegate to the Secretary of Energy the authority to make the findings described in subsection 101(c)(2)(A) that the materials (including equipment), services, and facilities are critical and essential. The Secretary of Commerce shall make the finding described in subsection 101(c)(2)(A) of the Act that the materials (including equipment), services, or facilities are scarce, and the finding described in subsection 101(c)(2)(B) that it is necessary to use the authority provided by subsection 101(c)(1).

Sec. 204. Chemical and Biological Warfare. The authority of the President conferred by subsection 104(b) of the Act is delegated to the Secretary of Defense. This authority may not be further delegated by the Secretary.


Sec. 301.

(a) Financing Institution Guarantees. To expedite or expand production and deliveries or services under government contracts for the procurement of industrial resources or critical technology items essential to the national defense, the head of each Federal department or agency engaged in procurement for the national defense (referred to as "agency head" in this part) and the President and Chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (in cases involving capacity expansion, technological development, or production in foreign countries) are authorized to guarantee in whole or in part any public or private financing institution, subject to provisions of section 301 of the Act. Guarantees shall be made in consultation with the Department of the Treasury as to the terms and conditions thereof. The Director of the Office of Management and Budget ("OMB") shall be informed when such guarantees are to be made.

(b) Direct Loan Guarantees. To expedite or expand production and deliveries or services under government contracts for the procurement of industrial resources or critical technology items essential to the national defense, each agency head is authorized to make direct loan guarantees from funds appropriated to their agency for Title III.

(c) Fiscal Agent. Each Federal Reserve Bank is designated and authorized to act, on behalf of any guaranteeing agency, as fiscal agent in the making of guarantee contracts and in otherwise carrying out the purposes of section 301 of the Act.

(d) Regulations. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is authorized, after consultation with heads of guaranteeing departments and agencies, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Director, OMB, to prescribe regulations governing procedures, forms, rates of interest, and fees for such guarantee contracts.

Sec. 302. Loans.

(a) To expedite production and deliveries or services to aid in carrying out government contracts for the procurement of industrial resources or a critical technology item for the national defense, an agency head is authorized, subject to the provisions of section 302 of the Act, to submit to the Secretary of the Treasury or the President and Chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (in cases involving capacity expansion, technological development, or production in foreign countries) applications for loans.

(b) To expedite or expand production and deliveries or services under government contracts for the procurement of industrial resources or critical technology items essential to the national defense, each agency head may make direct loans from funds appropriated to their agency for Title III.

(c) After receiving a loan application and determining that financial assistance is not otherwise available on reasonable terms, the Secretary of the Treasury or the President and Chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (in cases involving capacity expansion, technological development, or production in foreign countries) may make loans, subject to provisions of section 302 of the Act.

Sec. 303. Purchase Commitments.

(a) In order to carry out the objectives of the Act, and subject to the provisions of section 303 thereof, an agency head is authorized to make provision for purchases of, or commitments to purchase, an industrial resource or a critical technology item for government use or resale.

(b) Materials acquired under section 303 of the Act that exceed the needs of the programs under the Act may be transferred to the National Defense Stockpile, if such transfer is determined by the Secretary of Defense as the National Defense Stockpile Manager to be in the public interest.

Sec. 304. Subsidy Payments. In order to ensure the supply of raw or non-processed materials from high-cost sources, an agency head is authorized to make subsidy payments, after consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Director, OMB, and subject to the provisions of section 303(c) of the Act.

Sec. 305. Determinations and Findings. When carrying out the authorities in sections 301 through 303 of this order, an agency head is authorized to make the required determinations, judgments, statements, certifications, and findings, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Energy or Director, FEMA, as appropriate. The agency head shall provide a copy of the determination, judgment, statement, certification, or finding to the Director, OMB, to the Director, FEMA, and, when appropriate, to the Secretary of the Treasury.

Sec. 306. Strategic and Critical Materials.

(a) The Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense as the National Defense Stockpile Manager and subject to the provisions of section 303 of the Act, is authorized to encourage the exploration, development, and mining of critical and strategic materials and other materials.

(b) An agency head is authorized, pursuant to section 303(g) of the Act, to make provision for the development of substitutes for strategic and critical materials, critical components, critical technology items, and other industrial resources to aid the national defense.

(c) An agency head is authorized, pursuant to section 303(a)(1)(B) of the Act, to make provisions to encourage the exploration, development, and mining of critical and strategic materials and other materials.

Sec. 307. Government-owned Equipment. An agency head is authorized, pursuant to section 303(e) of the Act, to install additional equipment, facilities, processes, or improvements to facilities owned by the government and to install government-owned equipment in industrial facilities owned by private persons.

Sec. 308. Identification of Shortfalls. Except during periods of national emergency or after a Presidential determination in accordance with sections 301(e)(1)(D)(ii), 302(c)(4)(B), or 303(a)(7)(B) of the Act, no guarantee, loan or other action pursuant to sections 301, 302, and 303 of the Act to correct an industrial shortfall shall be taken unless the shortfall has been identified in the Budget of the United States or amendments thereto.

Sec. 309. Defense Production Act Fund Manager. The Secretary of Defense is designated the Defense Production Act Fund Manager, in accordance with section 304(f) of the Act, and shall carry out the duties specified in that section, in consultation with the agency heads having approved Title III projects and appropriated Title III funds.

Sec. 310. Critical Items List.

(a) Pursuant to section 107(b)(1)(A) of the Act, the Secretary of Defense shall identify critical components and critical technology items for each item on the Critical Items List of the Commanders-in-Chief of the Unified and Specified Commands and other items within the inventory of weapon systems and defense equipment.

(b) Each agency head shall take appropriate action to ensure that critical components or critical technology items are available from reliable sources when needed to meet defense requirements during peacetime, graduated mobilization, and national emergency. "Appropriate action" may include restricting contract solicitations to reliable sources, restricting contract solicitations to domestic sources (pursuant to statutory authority), stockpiling critical components, and developing substitutes for critical components or critical technology items.

Sec. 311. Strengthening Domestic Capability. An agency head, in accordance with section 107(a) of the Act, may utilize the authority of Title III of the Act or any other provision of law, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, to provide appropriate incentives to develop, maintain, modernize, and expand the productive capacities of domestic sources for critical components, critical technology items, and industrial resources essential for the execution of the national security strategy of the United States.

Sec. 312. Modernization of Equipment. An agency head, in accordance with section 108(b) of the Act, may utilize the authority of Title III of the Act to guarantee the purchase or lease of advance manufacturing equipment and any related services with respect to any such equipment for purposes of the Act.


Sec. 401. Offsets.

(a) The responsibilities and authority conferred upon the President by section 309 of the Act with respect to offsets are delegated to the Secretary of Commerce, who shall function as the President's Executive Agent for carrying out this authority.

(b) The Secretary of Commerce shall prepare the annual report required by section 309(a) of the Act in consultation with the Secretaries of Defense, Treasury, Labor, State, the United States Trade Representative, the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, the Director of Central Intelligence, and the heads of other departments and agencies as required. The heads of Federal departments and agencies shall provide the Secretary of Commerce with such information as may be necessary for the effective performance of this function.

(c) The offset report shall be subject to the normal interagency clearance process conducted by the Director, OMB, prior to the report's submission by the President to Congress.


Sec. 501. Appointments. The authority of the President under sections 708(c) and (d) of the Act is delegated to the heads of each Federal department or agency, except that, insofar as that authority relates to section 101 of the Act, it is delegated only to the heads of each Federal department or agency assigned functions under section 201(a) of this order. The authority delegated under this section shall be exercised pursuant to the provisions of section 708 of the Act, and copies and the status of the use of such delegations shall be furnished to the Director, FEMA.

Sec. 502. Advisory Committees. The authority of the President under section 708(d) of the Act and delegated in section 501 of this order (relating to establishment of advisory committees) shall be exercised only after consultation with, and in accordance with, guidelines and procedures established by the Administrator of General Services.


Sec. 601. National Defense Executive Reserve.

(a) In accordance with section 710(e) of the Act, there is established in the Executive Branch a National Defense Executive Reserve ("NDER") composed of persons of recognized expertise from various segments of the private sector and from government (except full-time federal employees) for training for employment in executive positions in the Federal Government in the event of an emergency that requires such employment.

(b) The head of any department or agency may establish a unit of the NDER in the department or agency and train members of that unit.

(c) The head of each department or agency with an NDER unit is authorized to exercise the President's authority to employ civilian personnel in accordance with section 703(a) of the Act when activating all or a part of its NDER unit. The exercise of this authority shall be subject to the provisions of subsections 601(d) and (e) of this order and shall not be re-delegated.

(d) The head of a department or agency may activate an NDER unit, in whole or in part, upon the written determination that an emergency affecting the national security or defense preparedness of the United States exists and that the activation of the unit is necessary to carry out the emergency program functions of the department or agency.

(e) At least 72 hours prior to activating the NDER unit, the head of the department or agency shall notify, in writing, the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs of the impending activation and provide a copy of the determination required under subsection 601(d) of this order.

(f) The Director, FEMA, shall coordinate the NDER program activities of departments and agencies in establishing units of the Reserve; provide for appropriate guidance for recruitment, training, and activation; and issue necessary rules and guidance in connection with the program.

(g) This order suspends any delegated authority, regulation, or other requirement or condition with respect to the activation of any NDER unit, in whole or in part, or appointment of any NDER member that is inconsistent with the authorities delegated herein, provided that the aforesaid suspension applies only as long as sections 703(a) and 710(e) of the Act are in effect.

Sec. 602. Consultants. The head of each department or agency assigned functions under this order is delegated authority under sections 710(b) and (c) of the Act to employ persons of outstanding experience and ability without compensation and to employ experts, consultants, or organizations. The authority delegated by this section shall not be re-delegated.


Sec. 701. Secretary of Labor. The Secretary of Labor, identified in this section as the Secretary, shall:

(a) Collect, analyze, and maintain data needed to make a continuing appraisal of the nation's labor requirements and the supply of workers for purposes of national defense. All agencies of the government shall cooperate with the Secretary in furnishing information necessary for this purpose, to the extent permitted by law;

(b) In response to requests from the head of a Federal department or agency engaged in the procurement for national defense, consult with and advise that department or agency with respect to (1) the effect of contemplated actions on labor supply and utilization, (2) the relation of labor supply to materials and facilities requirements, and (3) such other matters as will assist in making the exercise of priority and allocations functions consistent with effective utilization and distribution of labor;

(c) Formulate plans, programs, and policies for meeting defense and essential civilian labor requirements;

(d) Project skill shortages to facilitate meeting defense and essential civilian needs and establish training programs;

(e) Determine the occupations and skills critical to meeting the labor requirements of defense and essential civilian activities and, with the assistance of the Secretary of Defense, the Director of Selective Service, and such other persons as the Director, FEMA, may designate, develop policies regulating the induction and deferment of personnel for the armed services, except for civilian personnel in the reserves; and

(f) Administer an effective labor-management relations policy to support the activities and programs under this order with the cooperation of other Federal agencies, including the National Labor Relations Board and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.


Sec. 801. Foreign Acquisition of Companies. The Secretary of the Treasury, in cooperation with the Department of State, the Department of Defense, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Energy, the Department of Agriculture, the Attorney General, and the Director of Central Intelligence, shall complete and furnish a report to the President and then to Congress in accordance with the requirements of section 721(k) of the Act concerning foreign efforts to acquire United States companies involved in research, development, or production of critical technologies and industrial espionage activities directed by foreign governments against private U.S. companies.

Sec. 802. Defense Industrial Base Information System.

(a) The Secretary of Defense and the heads of other appropriate Federal departments and agencies, as determined by the Secretary of Defense, shall establish an information system on the domestic defense industrial base in accordance with the requirements of section 722 of the Act.

(b) In establishing the information system required by subsection (a) of this order, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Commerce, and the heads of other appropriate Federal departments and agencies, as determined by the Secretary of Defense in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce, shall consult with each other for the purposes of performing the duties listed in section 722(d)(1) of the Act.

(c) The Secretary of Defense shall convene a task force consisting of the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of each military department and the heads of other appropriate Federal departments and agencies, as determined by the Secretary of Defense in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce, to carry out the duties under section 722(d)(2) of the Act.

(d) The Secretary of Defense shall report to Congress on a strategic plan for developing a cost-effective, comprehensive information system capable of identifying on a timely, ongoing basis vulnerability in critical components and critical technology items. The plans shall include an assessment of the performance and cost-effectiveness of procedures specified in section 722(b) of the Act.

(e) The Secretary of Commerce, acting through the Bureau of the Census, shall consult with the Secretary of Defense and the Director, FEMA, to improve the usefulness of information derived from the Census of Manufacturers in carrying out section 722 of the Act.

(f) The Secretary of Defense shall perform an analysis of the production base for not more than two major weapons systems of each military department in establishing the information system under section 722 of the Act. Each analysis shall identify the critical components of each system.

(g) The Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce, and the heads of other Federal departments and agencies as appropriate, shall issue a biennial report on critical components and technology in accordance with section 722(e) of the Act.


Sec. 901. Definitions. In addition to the definitions in section 702 of the Act, the following definitions apply throughout this order:

(a) "Civil transportation" includes movement of persons and property by all modes of transportation in interstate, intrastate, or foreign commerce within the United States, its territories and possessions, and the District of Columbia, and, without limitation, related public storage and warehousing, ports, services, equipment and facilities, such as transportation carrier shop and repair facilities. However, "civil transportation" shall not include transportation owned or controlled by the Department of Defense, use of petroleum and gas pipelines, and coal slurry pipelines used only to supply energy production facilities directly. As applied herein, "civil transportation" shall include direction, control, and coordination of civil transportation capacity regardless of ownership.

(b) Energy means all forms of energy including petroleum, gas (both natural and manufactured), electricity, solid fuels (including all forms of coal, coke, coal chemicals, coal liquification, and coal gasification), and atomic energy, and the production, conservation, use, control, and distribution (including pipelines) of all of these forms of energy.

(c) "Farm equipment" means equipment, machinery, and repair parts manufactured for use on farms in connection with the production or preparation for market use of food resources.

(d) "Fertilizer" means any product or combination of products that contain one or more of the elements -- nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium -- for use as a plant nutrient.

(e) "Food resources" means all commodities and products, simple, mixed, or compound, or complements to such commodities or products, that are capable of being ingested by either human beings or animals, irrespective of other uses to which such commodities or products may be put, at all stages of processing from the raw commodity to the products thereof in vendible form for human or animal consumption. "Food resources" also means all starches, sugars, vegetable and animal or marine fats and oils, cotton, tobacco, wool, mohair, hemp, flax fiber, and naval stores, but does not mean any such material after it loses its identity as an agricultural commodity or agricultural product.

(f) "Food resource facilities" means plants, machinery, vehicles (including on-farm), and other facilities required for the production, processing, distribution, and storage (including cold storage) of food resources, livestock and poultry feed and seed, and for the domestic distribution of farm equipment and fertilizer (excluding transportation thereof).

(g) "Functions" include powers, duties, authority, responsibilities, and discretion.

(h) "Head of each Federal department or agency engaged in procurement for the national defense" means the heads of the Departments of Defense, Energy, and Commerce, as well as those departments and agencies listed in Executive Order No. 10789.

(i) "Heads of other appropriate Federal departments and agencies" as used in part VIII of this order means the heads of such other Federal agencies and departments that acquire information or need information with respect to making any determination to exercise any authority under the Act.

(j) "Health resources" means materials, facilities, health supplies, and equipment (including pharmaceutical, blood collecting and dispensing supplies, biological, surgical textiles, and emergency surgical instruments and supplies) required to prevent the impairment of, improve, or restore the physical and mental health conditions of the population.

(k) "Metals and minerals" means all raw materials of mineral origin (excluding energy) including their refining, smelting, or processing, but excluding their fabrication.

(l) "Strategic and Critical Materials" means materials (including energy) that (1) would be needed to supply the military, industrial, and essential civilian needs of the United States during a national security emergency, and (2) are not found or produced in the United States in sufficient quantities to meet such need and are vulnerable to the termination or reduction of the availability of the material.

(m) "Water resources" means all usable water, from all sources, within the jurisdiction of the United States, which can be managed, controlled, and allocated to meet emergency requirements.

Sec. 902. General.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection 902(c) of this order, the authorities vested in the President by title VII of the Act may be exercised and performed by the head of each department and agency in carrying out the delegated authorities under the Act and this order.

(b) The authorities which may be exercised and performed pursuant to subsection 902(a) of this order shall include (1) the power to redelegate authorities, and to authorize the successive re-delegation of authorities, to departments and agencies, officers, and employees of the government, and (2) the power of subpoena with respect to authorities delegated in parts II, III, and IV of this order, provided that the subpoena power shall be utilized only after the scope and purpose of the investigation, inspection, or inquiry to which the subpoena relates have been defined either by the appropriate officer identified in subsection 902(a) of this order or by such other person or persons as the officer shall designate.

(c) Excluded from the authorities delegated by subsection 902(a) of this order are authorities delegated by parts V, VI, and VIII of this order and the authority with respect to fixing compensation under section 703(a) of the Act.

Sec. 903. Authority. All previously issued orders, regulations, rulings, certificates, directives, and other actions relating to any function affected by this order shall remain in effect except as they are inconsistent with this order or are subsequently amended or revoked under proper authority. Nothing in this order shall affect the validity or force of anything done under previous delegations or other assignment of authority under the Act.

Sec. 904. Effect on other Orders.

(a) The following are superseded or revoked:

(1) Section 3, Executive Order No. 8248 of September 8, 1939, (4 FR 3864).

(2) Executive Order No. 10222 of March 8, 1951 (16 FR 2247).

(3) Executive Order No. 10480 of August 14, 1953 (18 FR 4939).

(4) Executive Order No. 10647 of November 28, 1955 (20 FR 8769).

(5) Executive Order No. 11179 of September 22, 1964 (29 FR 13239).

(6) Executive Order No. 11355 of May 26, 1967 (32 FR 7803).

(7) Sections 7 and 8, Executive Order No. 11912 of April 13, 1976 (41 FR 15825, 15826-27).

(8) Section 3, Executive Order No. 12148 of July 20, 1979 (44 FR 43239, 43241).

(9) Executive Order No. 12521 of June 24, 1985 (50 FR 26335).

(10) Executive Order No. 12649 of August 11, 1988 (53 FR 30639).

(11) Executive Order No. 12773 of September 26, 1991 (56 FR 49387), except that part of the order that amends section 604 of Executive Order 10480.

(b) Executive Order No. 10789 of November 14, 1958, is amended by deleting "and in view of the existing national emergency declared by Proclamation No. 2914 of December 16, 1950,î as it appears in the first sentence.

(c) Executive Order No. 11790, as amended, relating to the Federal Energy Administration Act of 1974, is amended by deleting "Executive Order No. 10480" where it appears in section 4 and substituting this order's number.

(d) Subject to subsection 904(c) of this order, to the extent that any provision of any prior Executive order is inconsistent with the provisions of this order, this order shall control and such prior provision is amended accordingly.

Sec. 905. Judicial Review. This order is not intended to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by a party against the United States, its agencies, its officers, or any person.

June 3, 1994

Friday, November 28, 2008

JFK Coup - The Administrative Details

By William E. Kelly ( )

Rather than the act of a lone, deranged gunman, if the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was a conspiracy, it was more specifically defined as a covert intelligence operation, the purpose of which is to shield the actual perpetrators.

As a covert coup, however, and not just a whispered conspiracy, there is documentation and records that reflect the policy, administration, payments, management, training, assignments and tasks necessary to successfully execute the Dealey Plaza operation.

This historical administrative record shows that the assassination was not the work of a lone-nut nor a renegade CIA-Mafia-Cuban intelligence network, but a well planned, coordinated, integrated and official program – an inside job – coup d’etat by a domestic, anti-Communist network active in the anti-Castro Cuban project.

It is possible to document and detail the official approval of the covert intelligence operations that led to the assassination because a direct relationship can be established between those at the top who requested, approved and directed three specific anti-Castro Cuban maritime operations – the Bayo-Pawley raid (June 8, 1963), the Rex mission (Oct. 26-30, 1963) and the activities of Clare Booth Luce’s “boys,” which included Julio Fernandez and others in the DRE network that operated in Louisiana and Florida in the summer and fall of 1963.

In records released in batches unrelated to the JFK Act, documents from the National Security Council, Special Operations Group and Cuban Coordinating Committee – Covert Operations in Cuba (CCC-COC) all establish an administrative and paper trail, set a time-line of related covert events, lists the names of those in the CCC-COC loop who attended the relevant meetings, and detail the types of operations planned and approved by the President and eventually utilized against him.

They also help us identify those who were responsible for carrying them out, and we can follow them from the marching orders approved at these meetings to what we know actually happened at both the sea level and in the streets of Dallas.

While many hundreds if not thousands of plots and plans were hatched against Castro and Cuba by the anti-Castro exiles, the CIA and the Mafia, these three naval operations can be directly connected the assassination. Not part of Mongoose, these were part of a specific and different covert action scheme devised and approved in the spring of 1963.

From documents published in THE KENNEDYS AND CUBA (by Mark J. White, 1999, Ivan R. Dee Publisher, 1332 North Halsted Street, Chicago, Ill. 60622), it is possible to trace the Cuban operations related to the assassination back to their origins in administrative policy.

According to Mark White, “John Kennedy, it can be argued, changed as a president during the final year of his life. The Cuban missile crisis appears to have sobered him, increasing his inclination to make the cold war safer. Examples of this new resolve came in the summer of 1963, with his famous speech at American University, noteworthy for its conciliatory attitude toward the Soviet Union, and signing of the Test Ban Treaty, which limited nuclear testing. A more progressive phase in his civil rights policies in 1963, with the introduction in Congress of a sweeping bill designed to end segregation, can be viewed as the domestic counterpart to this more accommodating thrust in his foreign policy”

As White also points out, “…when JFK and his advisors did turn their attention to Castro, their attitude was strikingly and troublingly reminiscent of their pre-missile crisis outlook: they remained determined to use covert means to undermine Castro’s position. In June 1963 JFK gave the go-ahead for a CIA plan to carry out sabotage and other hostile action against Cuba. It was a sort of condensed version of Operation Mongoose. Some of the documents…demonstrate that Russian officials soon learned of the resumption of covert U.S. pressure on Cuba, making this issue a bone of contention between the superpowers in the fall of 1963.”

After setting the covert sabotage actions into motion, these operations were supplemented by a second, ostensibly secret, back-channel diplomatic approach to détente with Cuba. Just as the anti-Castro operations were penetrated by Cuban G2 double-agents, and made known to the Russian leaders, the secret back channel negotiations were made known to the covert saboteurs.

“In contrasting to this continuing effort to harass Castro, however,” White writes of the dichotomy, “the Kennedy administration pursued another clandestine strategy in the fall of 1963, this one aimed at generating a dialog with the Cuban leader. William Attwood…kept senior administration officials abreast of his efforts. Had Kennedy not been assassinated, this initiative may conceivably have brought about an accommodation with Castro.”

As for RFK, concludes White, “Robert Kennedy, such a conspicuous figure on the Cuban matters in 1961-62, was less prominent in 1963 in shaping administration policy towards Castro. But his role remained significant.”

White’s synopsis of a Memorandum for the Record Drafted by Chairman of the JCS Taylor as “Contingency planning for an attack on Cuba, an important feature of the Kennedy administration’s covert approach towards Castro before the missile crisis, continues in 1963, with JFK’s active involvement.”

A revision of the basic invasion plan for Cuba CINCLANT was reviewed and approved by the JCS on February 26, 1963, with “the most significant change in the basic invasion plan since last October has resulted from our increasing capability to introduce large numbers of troops and heavy equipment into the objective area early in the operation. This capability is being achieved by the reactivation of 11 LSTs…and programmed acquisition of additional C-130 aircraft.”

A February 28, 1963 memo, datelined Washington, reflects a meeting of the JCS with the President, which lasted from 5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., with the following subjects being the principle topics of discussion:

“a. The Cuban Invasion Plan. (1) The Chiefs discussed the time-space factors in the implementation of CINCLANT Operation Plan 312 and 316. [1. These were contingency plans for an attack on Cuba, developed before the missile crisis.]…The President was shown why it would take approximately 18 days from decision to D-day from the present troop and ship dispositions. In order to reduce this time to something like 7 days, considerable prepositioning would be required in order to get Army/Marine units to the East Coast and to assemble the necessary cargo shipping. The Chiefs expressed the view that it was unlikely that a period of tension would not proceed a decision to invade Cuba which would allow ample time for preparatory measures; hence, it was undesirable to make permanent changes of station of Army and Marine unites which would upset the present disposition of strategic reserve forces.

(2) The President expressed particular interest in the possibility of getting some troops quickly into Cuba in the event of a general uprising. He was told that only the airborne troops could arrive with little delay, that the first Marine elements would require about 7 days before landing. He asked the Chiefs to develop specific plans in anticipation of the need for this kind of quick reaction.”

On April Fools Day, April 1, 1963, the Cuban Coordinating Committee – Covert Operations in Cuba (CCC-COC) met, the subject of an April 3 memo from Gordon Chase of the National Security Council to McGeorge Bundy, the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs. It included a still classified agenda and matters discussed by the Cottrell Committee, which White identifies as “An interdepartmental committee, chaired by Sterling J. Cottrell, in early 1963 to coordinate the administration’s covert and overt Cuban policies.”

Among those in the CCC-COC meeting were Secretary Vance, Joe Califano, Dick Helms, Dez FitzGerald and Bob Hurwitch, who discussed “Ballon Operations Over Havana, a plan that was “well under way,” given favorable winds, that would release balloons containing hundreds of thousands of leaflets designed by the CIA propaganda shop, which “attack Castro’s henchmen and contain cartoons illustrating sabotage techniques.” Another review is scheduled before this is put into operation.

Also on the agenda of this meeting was finding appropriate installations for the “Training of CIA-Sponsored Cuban Exiles on Military Reservations – CIA and the Army,” and “The Russian Language Programs – The Committee decided in favor of instituting three programs (Radio Liberty, Radio Caribe, and an intrusion program…”

In summary, Gordon Chase notes, “In approving the three programs for Special Group considerations, the committee recognized that they will probably be of marginal value only: however, they will cost us very little, financial or otherwise.”

Under agenda item number four, “Sabotage of Cuban Shipping – The Committee…will recommend to the Special Group the incendiaries which would be timed to go off in international waters and the abrasives in the machinery. While the propaganda boost might be nil, they are easier to effect than limpets and could really hurt Castro.”

Then Chase tells McBundy, “The Committee gave the CIA the option of using its own Cubans or of using DRE as a cut-out.”

The DRE are the anti-Castro Cuban Student Revolutionary Directorate, whose members interacted with Oswald before the assassination.

Then the meeting briefly discussed “The Redirection of Cuban Exile Group Operations,” asking themselves the question of “what is an acceptable target?”

In response, “Dick Helms pointed out that although these groups may start out to get a non-Soviet target, once you let them go, you can never really be sure what they will do.”


Bob Hurwitch, the memo mentions, “seemed to favor the approach that attacks and sabotage should appear to come from inside rather than outside Cuba.”

Rather incredulously, Chase concludes, “The Committee came to no decision on this one. More thinking is needed.” Indeed.

On the same April 3rd day Gordon Chase wrote that memo to McBundy, RFK met with his Russian ambassador Dobrynin and reported to the President that, “We exchanged pleasantries. He told me that Norman Cousins had asked to see Khrushchev and he had arranged it…Another point that was made was a sharp and bitter criticism about the raids that had taken place against Russian ships.”

It is noted that, “[3. On March 26, anti-Castro group L-66 sunk the Baku, a Russian vessel, at the Cuban harbor of Caibarien only a week after another Soviet ship had been attacked in a Cuban port.]”

“These were piratical acts and the United States must take responsibility for them. It isn’t possible,” RFK quoted Dobrynin, “to believe that if we really wanted to stop these raids that we could not do so. They were glad to hear of the steps that are being taken lately but in the last analysis the specific acts, namely, the arrests that we made would be the criteria by which they would judge our sincerity. The Soviet Union questions whether in fact we wish to end these attacks for our criticism of them has been not that they were wrong but they were ineffective. The clear implication was that if the raids had been effective they would have had our approval.”

About a week later, on April 9, 1963, Joseph A. Califano, Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army wrote a memo to his boss, Cyrus R. Vance, which White describes as, “JFK decides which of the covert operations proposed him (See previous docs) would be carried out.”

Under the Subject, “President Action on Special Group Items Concerning Cuba,” Califano checks off the items, beginning with, “1. The President rejected the balloon item on the recommendations of Ed Morrow,” so the project that was “well underway,” was scuttled before it could get off the ground because JFK talked about it with Ed Morrow.

“The President approved the propaganda item (inciting Cubans to harass, attack and sabotage Soviet military personnel in Cuba) provided every precaution is taken to prevent attribution.”

“The President approved the sabotage of cargos on Cuban ships and the crippling of ships (through sand in the gears, etc.); With respect to Russian language broadcasts, the President (a) rejected such broadcasts by exile groups over Radio Caribe in the Domincian Republic, ( rejected black intrusion on the use of such broadcasts on Radio Liberty from North Carolina, pending consultation with Lleweellyn Thompson.”

“We have also agreed with CIA that we would spot about 20 inductees now in training at Fort Jackson whom we consider to have the necessary characteristics for CIA operations inside Cuba. These personnel, along with those given jump training under 5 above, would also be used in advance of the introduction of Special Forces, should there be a decision to invade Cuba.”

Sterling J. Cottrell, the Coordinator of Cuban Affairs to the Special Group, wrote a memo on April 18, 1963, which White says, “reviews current covert actions against Castro and poses the question whether these actions should be intensified.”

Under SUBJECT: “Proposed New Covert Policy and Program Toward Cuba,” Cottrell wrote, “A. The following guidelines are being used in our present covert policy towards Cuba: 1. Producing comprehensive intelligence related to our basic policy objectives….2. Intensifying covert collection of intelligence within Cuba, especially within the regime. 3. Supporting the efforts of certain Cuban exiles, who are associated with the original aims of the 26 of July Movement [1. A reference to the original effort to spark a revolution in Cuba when Castro and his cohorts tried to seize the Moncada military barracks in 1953.] and who believe that the Castro regime can be overthrown from within in order that they may: 1) cause a split in the leadership of the retime… create a political base of opposition…4) The use of a variety of propaganda media to stimulate passive resistance….5) The placing of incendiary devices and/or explosives with suitable time delay within the hull or cargo to disable or sink Cuban vessels and/or damage their cargos while on the high seas…6) Introduce abrasives and other damaging material….”

Cottrell then poses the questions, “1) Should the U.S. move beyond the above policy to a program of sabotage, harassment and resistance activities? 2) What kind of effective action can be taken? 3) What capabilities do we possess? 4) What repercussions can we expect?”

In this memo, Cottrell also says, “Surface attacks by maritime assets firing on Cuban ships in Cuban waters. When the maritime asset cannot reach the target, shore based attacks on shipping in port or passing the offshore keys will be undertaken….Considerations: Attack craft from the sea would be manned by Cubans. Shore based attacks by paramilitary trained Cubans firing on ships with recoilless rifles, rocket launchers or 20mm cannon. First sea attack in May and once monthly thereafter. First shore based attack in June. These operations would disrupt coastal commerce. US would probably be blamed. Cuban reprisal measures possible. Soviets likely allege US culpability….Externally mounted hit and run attacks against land targets. Examples: molasses tanker, petroleum storage dumps, naval refueling base, refineries, power plants.”

Under “Considerations,” Cottrell notes, “Operations conducted by Cubans with paramilitary training. High possibilities of complex operations going awry. First attack in April, with one per month thereafter. Effects would be increased exile morale, some economic disruption. Repercussions would include charges of US sponsorship and increased Cuban security force activities…”

Cottrell includes an attachment on the subject of “A Covert Harassment/Sabotage Program against Cuba,” which states, “This paper presents a covert Harassment/Sabotage program targeted against Cuba: including are those sabotage plans which have previously been approved as well as new proposals…Loses in men and equipment with the attendant adverse publicity must be expected. Even without such loses, US attribution would be claimed. When policy and guidelines of the overall sabotage program are established, it will be possible progressively to develop up to a limit additional covert assets and support capabilities. However, materially to increase the pace of operations, a period of four to six months is required. Ultimate limiting factors are weather, length of ‘dark of the moon’ period each month and appropriate targets. A source of additional agent personnel is from Cuban personnel trained by the US Military Forces under the recent programs, but released to civilian status….”

That April 29th 1963, RFK and members of the Standing Group of the National Security Council met in Washington at 5pm, but the memo prepared by McGeorge Bundy has yet to be declassified and released, other than its title: “A Sketch of the Cuban Alternatives.”

The same day, JFK sent a memo to Secretary of Defense McNamara, pressing his request for the military to develop contingency plans for Cuba. JFK wrote, “Are we keeping our Cuban contingency invasion plans up to date? I notice that there have been a number of new judgments on the amount of equipment that the Cubans have. I thought last October the number of troops we planned to have available was rather limited and the success of the operation was dependent upon, in large measure, our two airborne divisions getting in and controlling the two airfields. It seems to be that we should strengthen our contingency plans on this operation.”

In Washington, on June 8, 1963, an unidentified CIA officer wrote a paper for the Standing Group of the National Security Council on the Subject of “Proposed Covert Policy and Integrated Program of Action Towards Cuba.”

“Submitted herewith is a covert program for Cuba within the CIA’s capabilities. Some parts of the program have already been approved and are being implemented. Being closely inter-related, the total cumulative impact of the courses of action set forth in this program is dependent upon the simultaneous coordinated execution of the individual courses of action.”

“This program,” the officer notes, “is based on the assumption that current U.S. policy does not contemplate outright military intervention in Cuba or a provocation which can be used as a pretext for an invasion of Cuba by United States military forces. It is further assumed that U.S. policy calls for the exertion of maximum pressure by all means available to the U.S. government, short of military intervention…”

In the “Discussion of Components of an Integrated Program,” they mention the collection of covert intelligence, propaganda actions “to stimulate low-risk sabotage and other forms of passive resistance,” and the “exploitation and stimulation of disaffection in the Cuban military.”

As for General sabotage and harassment, “These operations will be conducted either by externally held assets [Note: Presumably a reference to Cuban émigrés] now available or existing external assets or those to be developed. Assets trained and controlled by the CIA will be used as well as selected autonomous exile groups. Initially, the emphasis will be on the use of externally held assets with a shift to internal assets as soon as operational feasible….”

Under “Support of autonomous anti-Castro Cuban groups to supplement and assist in the execution of the above courses of action,” six items are listed. “1) It is the keystone of the autonomous operations that they will be executed exclusively by Cuban national motivated by the conviction that the overthrow of the Castro/Communist regime must be accomplished by Cubans both inside and outside Cuba acting in consonance.”

“2) The effort will probably cost many Cuban lives. If this cost in lives becomes unacceptable to the U.S. conscience, autonomous operations can be effectively halted by the withdraw of US support, but once halted, it cannot be resumed.”

“3) All autonomous operations will be mounted from outside the territory of the United States.”

“4) The United States Government must be prepared to deny publicly any participation in these acts no matter how loud or even how accurate may be the reports of US complicity.”

“5) The US presence and direct participation in the operation would be kept to an absolute minimum….

“6) These operations would not be undertaken within a fixed time schedule.”

The very day that the CIA prepared this paper for the Standing Group of the NSC, June 8, 1963, a team of Cubans led by Eddie Bayo and Americans (John Martino, Richard Billings) left Florida aboard William Pawley’s boat the Flying Tiger II, on a mission to the Cuban coast near Baracoa, where Bayo and his men were infiltrated.

William Turner, [in Rearview Mirror, p. 194] reports, “In 1995 ex-Cuban security chief General Fabian Escalante told me that Bayo’s boat was found swamped near Baracoa, but there were no signs of its occupants.”

On June 19, 1963, JFK held a meeting at the White House concerning the “Proposed Covert Policy and Integrated Program of Action towards Cuba.” Present were Higher Authority (JFK), Secretary McNamara, Under Secretary Harriman, Mr. McCone, Mr. McGeorge Bundy, Mr. Thomas Parrott, Mr. Desmond FitzGerald and Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. W. F. McKee.

According to the report of the meeting, prepared by Desmond FitzGerald, “The program as recommended by the Standing Group of the NSC was presented briefly to Higher Authority who showed a particular interest in proposed external sabotage operations. He was shown charts indicating typical targets for this program and a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages ensued. It is well recognized that there would be failures and a considerable noise level….Mr. Bundy described the integrated nature of the program presented and made the point that, having made a decision to go ahead, we be prepared to give the program a real chance. Mr. Harriman stated that the program would b ‘reviewed weekly’ by the Special Group….”

“Higher Authority,” the report notes, “asked how soon we could get into action with the external sabotage program and was told that we should be able to conduct our first operation in the dark-of-the-moon period in July although he was informed that we would prefer to start the program with some caution selecting softer targets to begin with. Higher Authority said this was a matter of our judgment. Although at one stage in the discussion Higher Authority said that we should move ahead with the program ‘this summer’ it is believed that Mr. Bundy will be able to convince him that this is not a sufficiently long trial period to demonstrate what the program can do.”

Although there is a break in the official records so far released, the Summer of 1963 was extremely active, especially in New Orleans and Florida, where the Cuban émigrés “externally held assets” prepared to be infiltrated to Cuba and CIA backed marine raiders deposited commandos and assassins in Cuba and Russian, Cuban and some neutral ships were attacked at sea.

The covert operations devised and approved by the Standing Committee of the National Security Council, Sterling J. Cottrell and the Special Group, Cuban Coordinating Committee – Covert Operations in Cuba (CCC-COC) and the President, were now operational, and because the Cuban assets were penetrated by the Cubans, the fact that these operations were approved at the highest levels of government was known to the Russian leaders. And it was a card they had to play.

In Washington (on September 10, 1963), Ambassador-at-Large Llewellyn E. Thompson prepared a memo of his conversation with the Russians and JFK’s response. As described by Mark White, the editor The Kennedys and Cuba, “In a secret message to JFK, Khrushchev makes clear that he is aware of the recent resumption of sabotage by the United States against Cuba. He also warns Kennedy that the Soviet Union will respond if Cuba is attacked.”

“Responding to Khrushchev’s September 10 message, JFK tries to change the subject from sabotage against Cuba to Cuban subversion in Latin America.”

Llewellyn notes that the official policy of the US remains the response to the March 26th attack on the Russian ship Baku, “In keeping with the March 30, 1963 declaration by the Department of State and Justice concerning hit and run attacks by Cuban exile groups against targets in Cuba, the law enforcement agencies are taking vigorous measures to assure that the pertinent laws of the United States are observed…”

But they weren’t being observed as far as the CIA backed Cuban raiders were concerned, at least those whose ships were based and docked in Florida.

At the same time that the anti-Castro Cuban raiders were attacking Russian and Cuban ships at sea and depositing commandos and assassins in Cuba, Castro and JFK were involved in a back channel dialog that began in New York City on August 26, 1963 when special US delegate to the UN William Attwood met Seyodou Diallo, the Guinea Ambassador to Havana.

Attwood, a former roommate of JFK at prep school (who introduced him to Mary Pinchot Meyer), and former editor at Look magazine, had previously served as US ambassador to Guinea (March 1961-May 1963) before being posted to the UN. According Attwood’s memo on the meeting, Diallo “went out of his way to tell me that Castro was isolated from contact with neutralist diplomats by his ‘Communist entourage’…Diallo, had finally been able to see Castro alone once and was convinced he was personally receptive to changing courses and getting Cuba on the road to non-alignment…”

As White describes the situation, “By the autumn of 1963 the Kennedy administration was pursuing a two-track policy towards Castro. While sabotage activities against Castro continued, an effort was under way to develop a secret dialog with Castro, with a view to achieving some sort of accommodation between Havana and Washington…”

In the first week of September 1963, Attwood read Lisa Howard’s article “Castro’s Overture” [War/Peace Report, September 1963], which Attwood knew was based on her interview with Castro in April. As summarized by Attwood, “This article stressed Castro’s expressed desire for reaching an accommodation with the United States and a willingness to make substantial concessions to this end.”

Attwood talked personally with Lisa Howard on September 12, “and she echoed Ambassador Diallo’s opinion that there was a rift between Castro and the Guevara-Hart-Alveida group on the question of Cuba’s future course.” That same day Attwood expressed these opinions with Under Secretary of State Harriman in Washington.

In his chronology of the negotiations (written on November 8, 1963), Attwood states:

“On September 23, I met Dr. Lechuga at Miss Howard’s apartment. She has been on good terms with Lechuga since her visit to Castro and invited him for a drink to me(e)t some friends who had been to Cuba. I was just one of those friends. In the course of our conversation, which started with recollections of my own talks with Castro in 1959, I mentioned having read Miss Howard’s article. Lechuga hinted that Castro was indeed in a mood to talk. I told him that in my present position, I would need official authorization to make such a trip, and did not know if it would be forthcoming. However, I said an exchange of views might well be useful and that I would find out and let him know.”

After meeting with RFK in Washington the next day, RFK told Attwood he would pass on the information to McGeorge Bundy.

Attwood then reported, “On September 27, I ran into Lechuga at the United Nations, where he was doing a television interview in the lobby with Miss Howard. I told him that I had discussed our talk in Washington,….meanwhile, he forewarned me that he would be making a ‘hard’ anti-US Speech in the United Nations on October 7,…”

Besides Attwood’s back channel communications with Lechuga, Attwood also got further input from other sources, as he mentions, “On October 18, at dinner at the home of Mrs. Eugene Meyer, I talked with Mr. C. A. Doxiades, a noted Greek architect and town-planner, who had just returned from an architects congress in Havana, where he had talked alone to both Castro and Guevara, among others. He sought me out, as a government official, to say he was convinced Castro would welcome normalization of relations with the United States if he could do so without loosing too much face…”

Two days later, Lisa Howard asked Attwood to make a telephone call to Major Rene Vallejo, a Cuban surgeon who is identified as “Castro’s right hand man and confidant.” Howard explained how Vallejo assisted her in meeting Castro, “and made it plain he opposed the Guevara group.” Attwood and Vallejo then had a number of telephone conversations from Howard’s New York apartment.

On October 21 1963 Gordon Chase, the National Security Council aide to McGeorge Bundy, called Attwood from the White House to be brought up to date, and Attwood concluded that “the ball was in his court.”

That night, the CIA raider ship Rex pulled out of its moorings at West Palm Beach, Florida, not far from President Kennedy’s Florida home, on a mission that would create the considerable noise level that would make the cover of the New York Times.

The Rex was on a mission, according to William Turner (Rearview Mirror – Penmarin Books, CA. 2001, p. 185-186), “a sabotage attack on a shore installation in Pinar del Rio Province,” and deposit a team of commando assassins infiltrators. “It was a CIA operation,” with an all Cuban crew, says Turner. He also reports, “When a mission was scheduled, they received a phone call, then a nondescript CIA van picked them up and took them to the West Palm Beach berth where the Rex was tied up. The dockage fees were paid by a CIA front, Sea Shipping Company, which operated out of a post office box.”

The Captain of the Rex, Alejandro Brooks, received his orders from Gordon Campbell, the director of the CIA’s naval operations. “The men belonged to the Commando Mambises,…the CIA’s elite, the Green Berets of the secret war. They were led by Major Manuel Villafana, a spit-and-polish officer who had commanded the Bay of Pigs air force. Villafana insisted that his men be paid low because he wanted them driven by hate, not money.”

According to Turner, “The Rex was not listed in Jane’s Fighting Ships. It was a World War II subchaser pulled out of the mothball fleet at Green Cove Springs, Florida. Painted a classy dark blue, the 174-foot vessel could cut through the waves at twenty knots. It flew the blue-and-white flag of Nicaragua, whose strongman, General Luis Somoza, had hosted the Bay of Pigs invasion brigade…”

“There were oversized searchlights, elaborate electronics gear that towered amidships, and a large crane on the aft deck capable of raising and lowering twenty-foot speed boats,” wrote Turner. “After the Rex put to sea, its guns were brought up from below decks and secured in their topside mounts: two 40-mm naval cannon, a 57-mm recoilless rifle, and two 20-mm cannon.”

Having interviewed some of the crewmembers, Turner got a full report on what happened. “The target on this mission was the giant Matahambre copper mine near Cape Corriente on the bootheel of Pinar del Rio Province…when the Rex arrived at the landing zone, there was a sense of foreboding: the Cape Corriente light, normally flashing a warning to maritime traffic, was dark….As the vessel came to a stop, two specially designed fiberglass speedboats, called Moppies, slid down the high-speed davits on the afterdeck…They were to link up with two commandos who had infiltrated a week earlier to reconnoiter the target. The answer came back in the wrong code; it was a trap.”

“The commandos fired at the riverbank,” only to be raked by return fire from heavy machine guns. One raft was torn apart by tracer bullets, spilling the dead and dying into the water…Then one of the Moppies was framed in the searchlights of a Russian built P-6 patrol craft: the Rex quartermaster piloting it surrendered….Brooks made a feint toward open sea, then doubled back and hugged the coastline…The move paid off. Minutes later, a pair of Cuban helicopters…dropped flares…..(illuminating)…the 32,500 ton J. Louis, …carrying a cargo of bauxite from Jamaica to Texas. Five Cuban MiGs began strafing….US Navy Phantom jets took off and headed for the scene. But just before arriving, the Phantoms were called back….”

A few days later Fidel Castro appeared on Cuban television and described the Rex, and introduced two of the men missing from the Rex, quartermaster Luis Montera Carranzana and Dr. Clemente Inclan Werner, a Mambasie.

When questioned by the press, White House press secretary said, “We have nothing to say.”

On November 1, 1963, not only the CIA and the Cubans knew the details, but everyone who read the New York Times, who published a photo of the Rex on their front page and reported the ship was registered out of Nicaragua, owned by the Belcher Oil Company of Miami, and leased to the Collins Radio Company International, of Richardson, Texas, for the ostensible purpose of “electronic and oceanographic research.”

Since reporting to Gordon Chase of the NSC on October 21, the day of the Rex mission, William Attwood had progressed further with the back channel negotiations in New York. Attwood later reported, “On October 28, I ran into Lechuga in the UN Delegates Lounge…. I said it was up to him and he could call me if he felt like it. He wrote down my extension.”

On October 31, Halloween, (David Phillips birthday), Vellejo in Cuba called Miss Howard, reporting that Castro, “…would very much like to talk to the US official anytime and appreciated the importance of discretion to all concerned.”

A week after Attwood reported the progress of his negotiations with the Cubans to Bundy and Chase at the White House (on November 5), a meeting was held in Washington, with CIA Director John McCone presenting an update on the situation in Cuba and an evaluation of the sabotage program.

Besides the President, Secretaries McNamara, Rusk, Vance and RFK, General Taylor was there, along with Sec. Gilpatrick, and from the CIA, Helms, FitzGerald and Shackley puts in an appearance.

McCone’s memo reports that he opened the meeting with a brief resume of conditions in Cuba along these lines, “1) Cuba still belongs to Castro though his grip is weakening, 2) The military remains essentially loyal to Castro, 3) the internal security forces and apparatus are effective, 4) The economy is bad and deteriorating, 5) The Soviets are continuing a gradual withdraw, 6) Training of Cubans continues, 7) The only equipment which has been withdrawn has been the advanced C-band radar for SAM and certain communication equipment…”

“McCone then stated that the program which had been followed for the last several months, having been approved about the first of June [June 19], was integrated and interdependent one part on the other and therefore should be considered as a comprehensive program and not a number of independent actions.”

FitzGerald also made a presentation, a progress report on the six-point covert program proposed by the CIA [on June 8] and endorsed by JFK.

According to the meeting minutes, “Rusk had no problem with infiltration of black teams…However he opposed the hit-and-run sabotage tactics as being unproductive, complicating our relationship with the Soviets and also with our friends and indicated a connection between our sabotage activities and the autobahn problem.” [Note: Berlin]

McCone concludes, “The President asked questions concerning the immediate operations, and the next one on the schedule was approved.”

The same day McCone conducted this meeting, McGeorge Bundy, the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs wrote a memo, described by White as indicating that “JFK was interested in generating a dialog with Castro via intermediaries, though he did not want the talks to commence in Cuba.”

On November 11, Vallejo called Lisa Howard to reiterate the need for security about the back channel talks, and to say, as Attwood later reported, “Castro would go along with any arrangements we might want to make…He emphasized that only Castro and himself would be present at the talks and that no one else – he specifically mentioned Guevara – would be involved. Vallejo also reiterated Castro’s desire for this talk and hoped to hear our answer soon.”

Attwood and Bundy talked again the next day (November 12) and Attwood visited Howard’s apartment on November 13, but when they called Vallejao at home in Cuba, there was no answer, so the sent a telegram.

The following day (November 14) Vallejo called Howard, and set up a phone call for November 18 when, as Attwood reported. “Miss Howard reached Vallejo at home and passed the phone to me. I told him….of our interests in hearing what Castro had in mind….Vallejo…reiterated the invitation to come to Cuba, stressing the fact that security could be guaranteed. I replied that a preliminary meeting was essential to make sure there was something useful to talk about, and asked if he was able to come to New York…” Attwood and Vellejo then talked about setting “an agenda” for a later meeting with Castro. On November 19, Attwood reported this conversation to Gordon Chase.

Even before the assassination the accused assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was associated with Cubans of the Student Revolutionary Directorate (DRE), whose members included the CIA raider boat crew sponsored by Clare Booth Luce, who previously featured them in Life magazine.

On November 22nd, 1963, John Martino, one of the crewmembers of the June 8, Flying Tiger II mission, expressed foreknowledge and details of the assassination, and previously appeared in Dallas with other anti-Castro Cuban exiles (ie. Odio) who associated with the accused assassin.

Shortly after the assassination, Dallas policeman J.D. Tippit would be killed in Oak Cliff, allegedly by the same man accused of assassinating the President. At the time of Tippit’s murder, the same accused assassin and alleged cop killer would be seen in Oak Cliff in a Plymouth sedan owned by Tippit’s good friend, who worked at Collins Radio, of Richardson, Texas, the company that leased the Rex.

The night of the assassination, Clare Booth Luce received a telephone call from one of the Cuban crewman of the boat she sponsored, Julio Fernandez, who said he had a tape recording of the accused assassin and additional evidence that he was a pro-Castro Communist, continuing the black propaganda operation to blame the assassination on Castro.

The Dealey Plaza operation that resulted in the assassination of the President was directly connected to these three specific covert anti-Castro Cuban maritime missions that became known – the June mission of the Flying Tiger II, the Oct. 21-30 mission of the Rex and the operations of the DRE boat crew sponsored by Clare Booth Luce.

All three of these covert maritime operations that are associated with what happened at Dealey Plaza can be traced back to their administrative origins at the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the DOD (CINCLAT revised), the Cuban Coordinating Committee – Covert Operations in Cuba (CCC-COC), the Cottrell Committee of the Special Group, the Standing Group of the National Security Council and the covert sabotage operations approved by the President.

It is most likely that sometime before November 22 the crewmembers of these operations learned about the Atwood-Lechuga back channel negotiations, which provided motivation for their compliance with the Dealey Plaza operation, the assassination of the President and coup d’etat.

On the day of the assassination, William Attwood recognized the significance of his back channel actions, and wrote a memo detailing what occurred for the record and suspected the complicity of the anti-Castro Cubans when he wrote, “If the CIA did find out what we were doing, this would have trickled down to the lower echelon of activists, and Cuban exiles, and…. I can understand why they would have reacted so violently.”

Saturday, November 22, 2008

45 Years Gone

JFK 45 Years Gone

The American public's confidence in their government is now at an all time low, a decline that began in November 1963 with the assassination of President Kennedy, an event that sparked the steady decline that was buttressed by Watergate, Iran-Contra, Whitewater, 9/11, the invasion of Iraq and now the economy.

Just as the economic crisis won’t be rectified until its root causes are recognized, addressed and resolved, the decline in public confidence in government won’t ever be fully abated until key issues about the assassination are resolved to a legal and moral certainty.

With a new Congress and an administration pledged to open government and full transparency we should expect the expedited release of all the government’s JFK assassination records and a national security review of what really happened at Dealey Plaza that day.

Congress had previously sealed their assassination records for fifty years because that was the length of time that they estimated the people mentioned in the records would be dead. Now that these records are released early, there is still a window of opportunity to properly interview these witnesses for the record.

Although you may say that it is too late to determine the total truth or seek justice through the legal system, in the eyes of the law the murder of President Kennedy is still an unresolved homicide, and there is a statistical probability that some of the witnesses are still alive. We know they are.

At the very least the living witnesses should be interviewed under oath and on the record, either as part of a Congressional hearing or a grand jury investigation, and at least an attempt should be made to try to answer as many of the outstanding questions as possible.

The governemnt records related to the assassination that remain classified are still sealed for reasons of national security. When President Kennedy was killed, it was a matter of national security to keep details of the assassination secret from the public, but now, forty-five years later, it is a matter of national security that they be relased and released in full.

In the next session of Congress we can expect hearings around mid-March, during Sunshine Week, on the proposed MLK Act, to release the MLK records of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, the JFK Act, which has yet to be properly reviewed, as well as the Freedom of Information Act and other open government issues.

Congress also recently passed, and the president signed the Emmet Till Bill, which provides funding for and establishes a permanent Task Force designated to investigate and prosecute unresolved cold case civil rights murders of the fifties, sixties and seventies, which would also include some of the political assassinations of that era.

Besides those civil rights murders that will come under the jursidiction of the Emmet Till Task Force, there are dozens of unresolved but related murders that occurred in different jurisdictions but are connected, and the resolution of any one could lead to the solving of others, including John Rosselli, Sam Giancana, James Hoffa, et al.

The life of the new president and our form of government is threatened because the assassination of President Kennedy and other similar murders remain unresolved, and only by resolving them can our future be secured.

Besides the hope brought by a new administration and expected Congressional efforts, there is a new DA in Dallas who has already released JFK assassination records that his predecessors had collected and failed to provide to the JFK Assassinations Records Review Board. While his office has also released dozens of prisoners whose convictions were overturned on DNA evidence, the actual perpetrators of those crimes still go free, just as those who killed JFK were never really even pursued.

In the course of re-investigating the still unsolved cold case homicides, the Dallas DA would have to re-examine the case of Dallas policeman J.D. Tippit, a murder that can be solved today, and resolution of that case could provide new evidence in the assassination of the President, since they are said to be related.

The assassination of President Kennedy may have occured 45 years ago, but it is more significant today than at any time since it happened, a new relevance based on the historic circumstances of the day and the ideals of the new President, whose ability to serve and survive may rest on the secrets of Dealey Plaza.

The President is not secure today, our national security is still compromised now, and our democracy will remain threatened until all the government records on the assassination of President Kennedy are released and the outstanding questions are resolved. Something that can and must happen.

William Kelly
November 22, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Dick Russell's On the Trail of the JFK Assassins

On the Trail of the JFK Assassins – A Revealing Look at America’s Most Infamous Unsolved Crime, By Dick Russell (Herman Graf/Skyhorse, NY, 2008)

In his new book On the Trail of the JFK Assassins, Dick Russell recaps his experiences and republishes important articles he wrote over the course of decades on the JFK assassination trail. For most career journalists, writing about the political assassinations of the Sixties has also been the kiss of death, a subject matter that marks you, but one you just can’t touch and move on.

On the Trail of the JFK Assassins is one of two new books by Russell, the other being Don’t Start the Revolution Without Me (with Jesse Ventura), both published by Skyhorse, who also recently reissued Russell’s Black Genius as well as a new edition of John Newman’s Oswald & the CIA.

Russell also plays a role in the production of a new web based documentary film “The Warning,” all of which can be previewed and ordered at his web site
[] or via Skyhorse [

Russell is also the author of Striper Wars and Eye of the Whale, about which Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. said, “Dick Russell has done for the gray whale what he did for the striped bass – taught us to love both the fish and the fishermen. In a riveting tale that celebrates the history and culture of the whale fishery, Russell guides us gently to a consciousness of the critical importance of the gray whale's struggle and survival to modern civilization.”

Also important to our modern civilization is the legal resolution of the assassination of President Kennedy.

While Russell is known and respected for his environmental writings, his career has been indelibly stamped by his reporting on the Kennedy assassination and his book The Man Who Knew Too Much is a classic of its genre. And this book is not so much as an extension to that as it is filling in the gaps and potholes along the road.

Dick Russell begins On the Trail of the JFK Assassins with his first story on the subject, a 1975 Village Voice magazine assignment to report on Professor Richard Popkin’s then latest discoveries - new information on Richard Case Nagel and Luis Angel Castillo and how they fit into the assassination drama.

Nagel would become the primary subject of The Man Who Knew Too Much, a military intelligence officer and double-agent, while Russell’s research into Castillo would take him into the MKULTRA mind control realm of programmed assassins.

Popkin would later warn others that looking into Castillo was a quagmire, but Russell went into the rabbit’s hole and he comes out relatively unscathed, thanks to his well honed journalistic skills that also allow us to follow him down some pretty slippery trails, where few others dare to go.

The reprinted articles, most of which I still have from the original clips, stand out today as well as they did when first published, shining even more in the light of what we’ve learned since then and show how we’ve got to where we are today.

Although some complained that The Man Who Knew Too Much was the book that told too much, I kind of like the idea of the reporter on the scene providing as much information as possible, not knowing what will become significant later on. Whereas The Man Who Knew Too Much is required reading among JFK assassination buffs, On the Trail of the JFK Assassins is less esoteric, and gives you enough basic background that it isn’t a prerequisite to have to read the earlier book. And On the Trail is compact and compelling enough for ordinary people, who aren’t assassination buffs, to appreciate it, so it might even change some mainstream thinking.

There’s not much here for those who want to believe that the President was killed by a disturbed communist, but this book will be an adventure for those who have taken up the trail of the real assassins, and like Dick Russell, are intent on tracking them down where ever they are holed up.

Unlike most JFK assassination researchers, who sit back and read among books, documents and internet sites, Russell is an investigator who also goes out and finds witnesses and interviews them on the record. Russell is, along with Bill Turner, Anthony Summers, Gaeton Fonzi, and a few others, among the best JFK assassination investigators.

Entwining updated briefs between articles he wrote for the Village Voice, Argosy, Harper’s Weekly, New Times Magazine, Gallery, Boston Magazine, High Times between 1975 and 1996, Russell weaves together his earlier articles with the latest tidbits from the records released under the JFK Act.

Richard Case Nagel and Luis Angel Castillo are just two of the more complex and bizarre characters you would ever want to meet, Nagel being a US/USSR double-agent while Castillo is a programmed zombie with ties to Cuba who is still on the lose today.

In the course of developing the yet unfinished tales of Nagel and Castillo, Russell visits both the CIA headquarters at Langly and the KGB headquarters in Moscow, takes you into the home of CIA mind bender Dr. Gottleib and attends the USA-CUBA conferences in Rio and the Bahamas, between researchers and Cuban intelligence officers.

There’s also interesting interviews with the likes of Gerry Patrick Hemming, Loran Hall, Col. Phillip Corso, Arlen Specter, Richard Sprague and Marina Oswald. Harry Dean gets his own chapter, “Memories of an FBI Informant.” And of course, Russell revisits Sylvia Odio, and takes on Antonio Veciana, Maurice Bishop and the John Paisley, fitting them in as part of the Dealey Plaza puzzle.

Exploring whether Oswald was a Manchurian Candidate and programmed assassin, Russell lays down the basic background and how he most certainly could have been, though more likely was the programmed patsy.

Among the articles is Russell’s response to Posner, which only High Times Magazine had the courage to publish, and which seems so passé now and not worth bothering over, except how people like Posner can get published when undisputed experts like Doug Horne can’t.

Russell points out that those most impressed with Posner – David Wise, William Styron and Posner all share the same publisher (Random House) and editor (Bob Loomis) and notes how Posner’s previous books include those about Nazi leader’s children, bio-assassins and Josef Mengele, the “Angel of Death,” all prepping him with preframed governmental view. Russell reports that Posner testified before a Senate committee that it was “incontestable” that the U.S. military “mistakenly released Mengele from custody in mid-1945,” despite French government documents that indicate American officials had detained and then released Mengele again in 1947. Of course these previous assignments gave Posner, the hired-gun lawyer, the job of closing the case on the JFK assassination at a time when the JFK Act ordered millions of government records released.

“Could it be that Case Closed was an effort to defuse any new revelations that might occur as the thirtieth anniversary of the assassination approached?” Russell rightly questions. “There was, in fact, no similar wave of publicity accompanying the declassification of the House Assassinations Committee’s report on Oswald’s activities in Mexico City….But the corporate media are not rushing to send a team of reporters probing these thousands of pages of fresh files. They would prefer to let Posner spare them the time, the only casualty being the truth of what really happened on November 22, 1963. In reality, there may be no better case for reopening the JFK investigation than the sham called Case Closed.”

Significantly, other than Priscilla Johnson McMillan’s blatantly dishonest biography, few reporters have had access to the accused assassin’s wife, Marina Oswald Porter. Although she has learned to distrust so many others, she trusts Russell. Besides accurately reflecting Marina’s views on things, Russell invited her to his home and meet with a room full of lawyers who try to answer her single question, “Is there some way to re-open the investigation?”

She did have another question for Russell that concerned Oswald’s Uniform Service ID card, which she suspected was a clue to something important, and is a subject that deserves further attention. Russell tries to answer that question fairly, but as for the lawyers, they couldn’t come up with very much. Not published before, the chapter on The Reflections of Marina Oswald Porter (Ch.31) is the most important, because it asks the most significant question about the assassination - how do you find a way to (officially) re-open the investigation?

Russell describes the scene, “On a Sunday afternoon, in front of a crackling fireplace in my living room, we assembled. Jim Lesar and Dan Alcorn, attorneys from Washington, were on hand. Gaeton Fonzi, former investigator for Senator Schweiker and the House Assassinations Committee, had flown up from Florida. Harvey Silvergate, a prominent civil liberties lawyer in Cambridge was there with his wife, as was another attorney friend, Joan Stanley. Marina sat in a comfortable leather-backed chair…(and) began the conversation. ‘If there is no law on the books, create one, please,’ she implored the room.”

“Lesar, who also oversaw the Assassinations Archives Research Center in the nation’s capitol, responded that it was difficult to get a foot in the door on legal action because the statute of limitations had expired in most instances. Still, he felt we had a unique opportunity over the next several years to get a new investigation moving. The Assassinations Records Review Board appointed by President Clinton to examine and release most of the still-classified files also had the power to subpoena witnesses. There is a mechanism here to enable us to keep the issue upfront and demand more of Congress,’ Lesar said.”

“‘Is there a King Solomon nowhere in the lawyer community to come up with some clever thing?’ Marina asked.”

“Lesar then suggested a report compiled by distinguished private citizens could be presented to an official investigative body.”

“Marina turned to face Fonzi. ‘Forget me, this is not a personal vendetta,’ she said. ‘I’d like to figure out a more radical approach from the legal point of view.’”

“Marina wondered about holding a trial in Texas. Lesar said, ‘But you could only try someone if you have a suspect in a conspiracy.’ The prosecutor Alcorn added would be the Dallas District Attorney, but that office’s response had always been that ‘the FBI came and took all the evidence away.’ Alcorn had looked at all the federal statutes and seen no possibilities, so Texas was realistically the only place something could happen. ‘But we don’t have a suspect right now,’ and it was ineffective to bring a legal action that was not going to proceed.’…”

“Silverglate noted that an investigative grand jury might be possible. However, Lesar said, ‘the problem is that you’d need to convince Texas to do it.’ Silverglate went on that the federal government hides behinds its ‘supremacy clause.’ In other words, Congress can override a state constitutional provision…”

“ ‘There’s maybe another possibility,’ Stanley said. ‘The murder of [police officer J.D.] Tippitt has never been solved officially. This would keep things within the confines of Texas law.’…On what grounds could a grand jury be convened? Were there any suspects besides Oswald, who purportedly committed the Tippitt murder?”
“’The best evidence on a state prosecutorial level,’ said Lesar, ‘revolves around concealment and obstruction of justice….’”

“Elsa Dorfman, Silverglate’s wife, wondered whether Marina and Mrs. Tippitt might do a joint action to try to bring the case of the murdered policeman into court. Lesar, though, was ultimately forced to conclude that he did not see the legal route as feasible. A Texas grand jury was the best possibility, but its outcome was problematical at best. Joan Stanley added that there are many problems with a grand jury – all the publicity around this particular case, and the evidence being so hard to come by….”

“….And so, basically,” writes Russell, “after several hours our discussion ended not so much further along than when it began. Some of the finest legal minds in the country had come together, with the widow of the accused assassin, in hopes of finding some way – any way- to reopen the case. Thirty years after the fact, it seemed pretty hopeless, short of someone’s deathbed confession. That night, a violinist friend played for Marina. One composition he performed was called ‘Song of the Lark.’ More than one of us had tears in our eyes.”

Well, now, ten years later, we have a new District Attorney in Texas, and there are suspects other than Oswald, and the legal route that was closed for decades is now open, if only a crack.

And in the end, the last chapter is about Doug Horne, the former Chief Analyst for Military Records of the Assassinations Records Review Board, whose new book on the JFK assassination medical records will be dynamite, and should spark a new and proper forensic autopsy that a murdered President should have.

Russell devotes his last chapter to a conversation he had with Doug Horne, which clearly speaks for itself, as it is a verbatim interview, and shows why none of the existing medical records can be considered genuine. “Summarizing, the photographs of President Kennedy’s brain, exposed by John Stringer on November 25, were never introduced into the official records because they showed a pattern of damage – missing tissue from the rear of the brain – consistent with a fatal shot from the front, and that evidence had to be suppressed. The photographs of a second brain,…by an unknown Navy photographer, were introduced into the official record because the brain employed in that exercise…exhibited damage – to the to-right-side of the brain – generally consistent with a shot from above and behind. So where did that come from?”

“An accomplished forensic pathologist who viewed the brain photos in the archives at the request of the ARRB told is in 1996 that the brain in these photographs…had been in a formalin solution for at least 2 weeks before being photographed….ensures it cannot possibly be the President’s brain, which was examined only 3 days after his death.”

“‘Shots from multiple directions’ is how I would put it….I am not convinced that Oswald shot anyone in Dealey Plaza. He was certainly involved in something – up to his neck – and was probably being ‘run’ by intelligence operatives, and perhaps even engaging in a charade by posing as a leftist Castro sympathizer, but I am not convinced that he shot anyone himself…”

Answering Russell’s question “What does this indicate to you about the forces behind the assassination?” Horne says, “Well, you can go two ways. If you accept a government cover-up as a given, then it’s either a benign or a sinister one. If it’s benign, then the people engineering the cover-up weren’t part of the murder plot, but they think for one reason or another, they can’t tell the truth – the truth might endanger the country because it might trigger World War Three if it appears, rightly or wrongly, that there was foreign involvement in the assassination. Or, there might be a real fear that the public would lose faith in our institutions, if we have to admit to our citizenry that ‘multiple people shot the president and we don’t know who they are and we can’t catch them.’ The other alternative, the sinister one, posits that the people performing the cover-up actions – let’s say the actors on the ground, Humes and Boswell and the photographers involved – believe that they are doing a benign cover-up for national security reasons. But the people giving them their orders know better, and are part of the assassination plot…I believe that the latter scenario detailed above is the most likely one…”

Horne told Russell that what he is working on, “…is my magnum opus, a book that will be so massive, and so detailed, that for me to get my message out unfiltered and in an unabridged fashion, it will have to be made available as a ‘publish on demand’ specialty type item sold on the internet, and printed one copy at time….My goal is to tell the truth as I know it, without anyone watering it down – not to make money. My manuscript is a labor of love, and will be the sharing of an intellectual journey with those who are captivated by the medical evidence, and who have a love of detail…I won’t be pulling any punches, and the final section of my book will be a treatise on the political context, and meaning, of the assassination.”

While we look forward to Horne’s book, we also hope that this book isn’t the end of the trail of the assassins for Russell, as we haven’t yet arrived at the final destination, where the full truth is known and justice is achieved.

On the Trail of the JFK Assassins is a remarkable, honest and perservering attempt to get to that elusive destination.

[William Kelly is the co-founder of the Committee for an Open Archives (COA) and the Coalition on Political Assassinations (COPA). He can be reached at ]