Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Dealey Plaza - View from the Sniper's Nest

Embedded w/ Snipers

By William Kelly

     The Sniper's Perspective of Dealey Plaza  

“In a free society, counter-espionage is based on the practice most useful for hunting rabbits. Rather than look for the rabbit, one posts oneself in a spot where the rabbit is likely to pass."
       - Alexander Hamilton (as attributed by Allen Dulles)

The lead Humvee in the convoy suddenly comes to a halt as it slips under a tree on the edge of town, an empty tin can, hanging from a branch by a thread, dangles in the breeze.

To the untrained eye it is an empty tin can hanging from a tree, but to the trained eye it’s a sure sign of danger – a makeshift wind gauge, a sniper’s wind gauge, indicating a Level 2 or Level 3 sniper is operating in the area and they were about to enter the sniper’s kill zone.

When Uncle Sam contacted me for a special mission recently, I answered the call and spent a few weeks in the field helping to train American soldiers, including expert snipers, from whom I learned some things that can be applied to a better understanding of the mechanics of what happened at Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963.

Before trying to figure out who the Sixth Floor Sniper was and why he did the things he did, a few things must be understood about the nature of the sniper profession.

Not a new idea, the historical development of the sniper as a key surgeon in the course of battle has only been perfected in the last half of the twentieth century.

During the Revolutionary War, at the Battle of Brandywine, near Philadelphia, a British sniper had General George Washington in his sights, but decided not to shoot him in the back as he thought it ungentlemanly to do so, thus sparing the life of the man who would be the first president of the American republic.

At Saratoga, a few months later, an American sniper with a Kentucky long rifle shot and killed a British general, decisively altering the outcome of not only that battle but the war.

On eighteen and nineteenth century war ships, the marines were issued long barrel rifles and placed in high mast nests from where they would shoot select targets during battles, so friendly forces were forced to wear identifying marks on their hats so not to be accidentally hit by the marine marksmen.

As European gunsmiths refined the rifle and ammo, the abilities of marksmen increased, though applying the weapon for assassination purposes didn’t become effective until World War II, and increased steadily through the Korean War and Vietnam, when the sniper came into his own.

Snipers played pivotal roles on the Russian front during World War II, and refined their abilities in Korea, but it wasn’t until Vietnam (1965-1973) when the Level One sniper came into his own, especially recruited, trained, equipped and sent into the field on specific missions.

Historically snipers were responsible for killing mobster Bugsy Siegel, civil rights activist Medgar Evers, and the Texas Tower murders, as well as failed attempts to kill Charles deGaul and Fidel Castro.

Traditionally snipers have been measured by the ultimate yardstick – confirmed kills, as well as the longest shot, most difficult shot and high target value. 

As for confirmed kills, there is Simo Hayha on top, and no one else really close. Although relatively unknown outside of his native Finnland, where he is a national hero, you can thank Hayha for popularizing the Olympic sport that combines cross country skiing and accurate shooting, as that’s the way he attacked and killed over seven hundred invading Russians in 1939.

A lone wolf with no military chain of command, Hayha used his intimate knowledge of the terrain to attack and evade the Soviets, who kept track and confirmed his kills and sent Level 1 sniper teams and eventually a hole brigade to stop him.

Following Hayha, there’s a Fyodor Okhlopkova, a World War II Russian sniper with 423 kills, and Francis Pegahmagabow, a Canadian native American Indian scout and sniper credited with 378 kills during World War I.

A World War II German, Matthaus Hetzenauer comes in at number four with 345 kills, while his Russian front antagonists Lyudmila Pavlichenko (309 kills) a women, is fifth on the all time snipers list.

Vasikly Zaytsev, who shared Lee Harvey Oswald's nickname – “the Rabbit,” (242 kills) is sixth, and probably one of the best known snipers thanks to the movie “Enemy at the Gate,” which depicted the personal battle between the best German and Russian snipers during World War II. Zaytsev went on to instruct snipers at a special school he established and his students were known as "little rabbits" and accounted for another 3,000 confirmed kills. 

Red Chinese sniper Zhang Tyaofang (214 kills) fought in Korea, is number seven.

The Americans don’t rank until number 8 with Chris Kyle, a US Navy SEAL whose 160 confirmed kills during the Iraq war just outrank Australian Billy Sing, whose 150 kills during World War I and American Adelbert F. Waldron II, whose 109 kills in Vietnam round out the top ten snipers of all time.

Two other American Marines deserve notice however, as Chuck Mawhinney (103 kills) and Carlos Hathcock (93 kills) in Vietnam are almost celebrities, as the USMC has an award named after Hathcock, while Mawhinney is known for being humble about his achievements, as not even his wife, family or friends knew of his Vietnam exploits until they were revealed in a book over twenty years later.

Top Twelve Snipers of All Time - Based on Confirmed Kills 

1-      Simo Hayha – 705 kills (505 w/ rifle) Finnland 1939 WWII
2-      Fyodor Okhlopkov – 423 kills – Russian WWII
3-      Francis Pegahmagabow – 378 kills - Canadian WWI
4-      Matthaus Hetzenauer – 345 kills – German WWII
5-      Lyudmila Pavlichenko – 309 kills - Ukraine WWII
6-      Vasikly Zaytsev – the rabbit - German 242 kills WWII
7-      Zhang TYaofang – 214 kills Chinese - Korea
8-      Chris Kyle – 160 kills – US Navy SEAL – Iraq War
9-      Billy Sing – 150 + Australian during WWI
10-  Adelbert F. Waldron III – 109 kills US Navy/Army 1968 Vietnam
11-  Chuck Mawhinney – 103 kills USMC 1968
12-  Carlos Hathcock – 93 kills USMC 1968

Longest Shot

As for the longest shot, the long standing record once held by Canadian Corporal Rob Furlong – 2,430 meter (1.51 miles) was recently eclipsed by Craig Harrison, of the Royal Marines at 2,475 meters.
Carlos Hathcock is said to have taken the most difficult shot ever, killing an enemy sniper by shooting him through his scope as he was aiming at Hathcock. Waldron once shot an enemy sniper in a tree from a moving boat, and an American in Iraq made a successful shot through a brick wall.

According to the snipers, Oswald is a Level Three sniper who is officially credited with making the most difficult shot of all time at the highest priority target, and that's why they don't believe it. 

Before the Dealey Plaza analysis begins however, for starters, you must understand that there are three categories of snipers. From the Sniper’s Manual (Based on the Canadian Army TTP – Training, Techniques and Procedures.

Level One – the Specially Trained Sniper

The most dangerous sniper is the one who is individually selected, trained and equipped with an accurate sniper rifle outfitted with a modern scope, night vision device and thermal imager, an expert trained to select key personnel as their target and can hit the bull’s eye accurately at great ranges (1,000+ meters).

These snipers are accompanied by a spotter-security aide and are skilled in avoiding detection. This sniper is the most difficult to effectively counter.

The Level One sniper doesn't take multiple shots at a target when one shot is all that’s needed. As they say, “One shot one kill,” is their motto.

This level sniper is portrayed in the Hollywood movie “The Shooter," which exemplifies the training, discipline, pride and professionalism exhibited by expert snipers at this level.

Level Two Snipers

Level Two Snipers are trained marksmen, often found in the national armies of the world and commonly utilized in urban combat, equipped with a standard issue weapon and with fair to good field craft skills, he is difficult to detect. May be deployed alone or in teams, with women snipers effective against the Nazis on the Russian front during World War II.

The Level Three Sniper

The Level Three sniper is the armed irregular, with little or no formal military training, who may or may not wear a distinguishing uniform, and may or may not carry his weapon openly. He will go to great lengths to avoid identification as a sniper.

The 6.5 mm Manlicher Carcano with cheap Japanese scope and custom US Air Force holster sling 
(Where did Oswald get the sling?) 

The gunsmith at Klines Sporting Goods in Chicago who mounted the scope on the rifle recently came out and acknowledged that Oswald got "very, very lucky," if in fact he used that gun to kill Kennedy.[ http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=226036]

The Sixth Floor Sniper, whether it was Lee Harvey Oswald or someone else, would be classified a Level Three Sniper by his weapon – the Mannlicher Carcano, a standard issue Italian weapon, and if Oswald, by his limited US Marine Corps training.

                                                   Winchester Model 70 - Circa 1963 

As explained to me, a Level One sniper wouldn’t use that weapon and wouldn’t need or take more than one shot. In 1963, a Level One sniper would probably use a state of the art custom weapon and scope, or a prized Winchester Model 70  [http://en.wikipedia.og/wiki/Winchester_Model_70][ or Remington Model 700 rifle [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remington_Model_700], top of the line models.

                                                     Remington Model 700 - Circa 1963 

Since the weapon and MO – modus operandi – identifies the Sixth Floor Sniper as a Level Three Sniper, Level One snipers say the Sixth Floor Sniper probably didn’t take the fatal head shot that killed President Kennedy.

There are also indications that the bullet that struck JFK in the head was a different type of bullet than those fired from the Mannlicher Carcano, and that shot was probably taken by a Level One sniper with a different style of weapon, different type of bullet from a different location.

From the Sixth Floor sniper’s nest, the best shot was when the target was approaching the window on Houston Street, as it slowed down for the turn onto Elm Street, and from then on the shots get harder, as the target moves from left to right on a downward slope and interference by a tree.

The U.S. Army Sniper’s Manual says under Engaging Moving Targets that: “Engaging moving targets not only requires the Sniper to determine the target distance and wind effects on the round, but must also consider the lateral and speed angle of the target, the rounds time of flight, and the placement of a proper level to compensate for both. These added variables increase the chance of a miss. Therefore, the Sniper should engage a moving target when it is the only option.” [www.cybersniper.com]

To calculate leads, you take the Time of Flight (in seconds) x (times) target speed (in feet per seconds) which equals = lead (in feet) x (times) .3048 = meters x 1000 = mil. lead divided by range.

Of course familiarity with the weapon and practice shooting at moving targets increases the ability and skill of the shooter, but if Oswald was the Sixth Floor Sniper there is no indication that he ever shot that rifle before, didn’t practice or even purchase ammo for it.

As Lee Harvey Oswald’s brother Robert, who was familiar with his shooting abilities said, “If Lee did not spend a considerable amount of time practicing with that rifle in the weeks and months before the assassination, then I would say that Lee did not fire the shots that killed President Kennedy and wounded Governor Connally.” (p. 208, “Lee – A Portrait of Lee Harvey Oswald by his Brother, Coward-McCann, Inc., NY, 1967)

For the Fiftieth anniversary of the assassination, the gunsmith at Kline’s in Chicago who placed the scope on Oswald’s rifle was interviewed and quoted in a news article saying that if Oswald used that rifle and scope he was “very lucky,” and the snipers agree.

All of the snipers agree that whoever fired those shots with that rifle from the Sixth Floor window he did not use the scope, which was not properly aligned and not necessary at that distance, where the manual sight would be sufficient.

While the Sixth Floor sniper didn’t take the best shot from that location, as the nearly stationary target came towards him, the head shot was most probably taken by a Level One Sniper from either in front or behind so there was no lateral movement as the target came towards or was going away from him.

From what the Level One snipers tell me, the purpose of the Sixth Floor Sniper was to provide diversion and deception, put ballistic evidence incriminating Oswald into the car while the Level One sniper did what such snipers are trained to do – kill the high priority target (HPT) with one shot.

They say the Sixth Floor Sniper, whoever he was, was a Level Three sniper and his standard issue weapon, while capable of firing three shots in the allotted time and get out of three hits on target, was incapable of taking the fatal head shot from that position with that weapon. Not a “lucky” shot, it couldn’t happen. So there must have been a Level One sniper who took the fatal head shot from another location, using a different type of weapon and ammo, and stationed in front of or behind the target.

Integral aspects of the Level One sniper attack, the diversion and deception not only ensures the escape of the sniper and his spotter, but also protects the actual sponsors, as one of the reasons for using a sniper to commit an assassination is permit the escape of the shooter and to protect the sponsor.

The diversion and deception were needed because there would be limited suspects if a Level One sniper killed the President with only one shot, incriminating those few military and intelligence agencies capable of putting a Level One sniper in the field and taking out the highest priority target in the world without getting caught. The Level Three sniper firing openly at the same time diverted attention from the Level One sniper, expanded the suspect pool in general and incriminated Oswald in particular.

In the Marines Oswald’s nickname was “Ozzie Rabbit,” which they said was based on a cartoon character popular at that time, and like Alice goes Through the Looking Glass and into the Rabbit’s Hole to begin her adventure, those who devised the Dealey Plaza operation incorporated Oswald, not as the real assassin or the Sixth Floor sniper, but as the patsy and rabbit that would be set loose to set a false trail and keep the official investigators from the real perpetrators of the crime.

In his book, “A Sniper Looks at Dealey Plaza,” Craig Roberts concurs saying, “I analyzed the scene as a sniper,….(and concluded)…it would take a minimum of two people shooting. There was little hope that I alone, even if equipped with precision equipment, would be able to duplicate the feat described by the Warren Commission,” so neither could Lee Harvey Oswald, or any Level Three sniper.

“I would have never put anyone in the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD) with so many locations that were much more advantageous,” Roberts said, “unless I needed a diversion. If I did, it would be a good place for red herrings to be observed by witnesses.”

As seen from the street below, the Sixth Floor Sniper, according to all witnesses who saw him, wore a white shirt (Oswald wore brown), and according to one witness (Amos Eunis) who got a clear view of him, the sniper in the window had a very distinctive bald spot on the top of his head, not a physical characteristic shared by Oswald. Like Oswald, the Sixth Floor Sniper probably had good reason to be there, possibly worked in the building or as a subcontractor or delivery person familiar with the area, one who it wouldn’t seem suspicious for other employees to see him there.

Nor did he leave immediately, as the Warren Commission Report has Oswald running down four flights of stairs to get to the Second Floor lunchroom in time to be seen there by Dallas Police officer Marion Baker ninety seconds after the last shot. The Sixth Floor Sniper took his time, did not run, and instead, as the photo evidence proves, he moved boxes around, putting one on the window sill that was mistakenly believed to have been used as a gun rest. He was still in the window nearly four to five minutes after the shooting when seen by a secretary from across the street. If not a TSBD employee or contractor, the Sixth Floor Sniper was possibly a police or sheriff’s officer who just stayed nearby and blended in with the other investigators when they began a search of the building. 

The sniper’s analysis is that the Sixth Floor, Level Three sniper’s job was to divert and deceive, not to kill, and he did not take the fatal head shot, which was probably taken by a Level One sniper from a location in front of or behind the target, with a different style weapon and type of bullet, one that shattered on impact.

This sniper’s analysis is supported by the 1998 report by U.S. Attorney John Orr that indicates the bullet that hit JFK in the head was a different type of bullet than CE399 and other bullets fired from the Mannlicher Carcano rifle found in the TSBD. Orr’s important report convinced the Department of Justice, the FBI, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) to conduct further tests of CE567, bullet fragments from the limo, no mean feat.[http://jfkcountercoup2.blogspot.com/2012/03/re-wc-ce-567-bullet-fragment-found.html]

Like the snipers, when a veteran deer hunter visited Dealey Plaza he was immediately drawn to the area behind the picket fence on the Grassy Knoll and said that’s where he would set up his deer stand.

But a Level One sniper could take that fatal head shot from hundreds of yards away, tucked back in a room away from the window so that no one could see him. Level One snipers are the most difficult to detect and to counter.

According to the Canadian Army Sniper Manual, the best way to stop a sniper is for another sniper to kill him. The manual says: “The best way to stop the sniper is to kill the sniper. Let them escape and they will attack someone else, somewhere else.”

Counter-snipers are instructed to “Have a plan and rehears it. Do Not fixate on casualties! Kill the sniper, then attend to casualties.”

When under fire the response policy is to keep moving, get out of the Kill Zone as quickly as possible and move in a swerving S or Z pattern, identify the sniper’s location, return fire, maneuver, attack and kill them. “Do not fixate on casualties, kill the sniper!”

Although Will Greer, the Secret Service driver was trained in these same procedures he inexplicably slowed down after the first shot and came to almost a complete stop precisely at the moment the head shot was taken. A Protestant Irishman from Northern Ireland, Agent Greer was an Orangeman who belonged to the secret order that fought the IRA and worked closely with the British MI5 and MI6 intelligence agencies.

Ian Fleming, in the short story “The Living Daylights,” has 007 assigned to kill a sniper expected to try to shoot a defector running across the no-man’s land at the Berlin Wall, and James Bond is surprised to see through his scope a beautiful women sniper, and he is reprimanded when he only wounds and doesn’t kill her.

The President’s security sometimes included counter-sniper snipers. Such precautions were taken a few weeks before Dallas when the President visited Tampa and traveled through the city in a similar motorcade, and over a dozen Tampa Sheriff’s deputies were deployed with rifles on roofs along the motorcade route. But no such precautions were taken in Dallas.

It has been alleged (by Penn Jones), that Dallas Deputy Sheriff Weatherford was on the Records Building roof overlooking Dealey Plaza with a rifle at the time of the assassination, and there are published reports he returned fire. But Weatherford’s official statement reflects that he was on the Houston Street sidewalk with other deputies. Weatherford said that he was with Deputy Allan Sweatt, whose statement confirms Weatherford’s story that they ran to the Grassy Knoll before entering the back of the TSBD and searched the building.

Weatherford assisted in the search of the sixth floor that discovered the shells and the rifle, but failed to find Oswald’s clipboard, and he also participated in the search of the Paine’s house and garage when the backyard photos were found depicting Oswald holding the murder weapons and communist publications, which was part of the cover-story, a failed black propaganda operation that attempted to blame the assassination on Fidel Castro. 

                                                            Fidel Castro with sniper rifle 

Just as the dangling tin can was sign indicating there was a sniper operating in the area, there were similar signs of danger before JFK entered Dealey Plaza, but they went unheeded or were intentionally ignored.

Of the Dealey Plaza danger signs, a few stand out, especially those who expressed foreknowledge of the assassination, the Walker shooting, the recorded Alpha 66 threat, the Stevenson incident and Umbrella Man.

While each of these danger signs should be reviewed in depth, the Umbrella Man was right there at Dealey Plaza, and he admits that his umbrella was intended to be a sign – a silent protest, a signal and message that President Kennedy would recognize and understand – a sign that referred to his father’s isolationist stand at the beginning of World War II, the image of Chamberlain’s umbrella at Munich that represented the failed policy of “appeasement” with the Nazis, which the Umbrella Man implied was JFK’s policy towards communists.  

Louie Steven Witt, a Dallas insurance office worker who claimed to be the Umbrella Man, told the HSCA that the umbrella was a visual protest of JFK’s father’s policies of appeasement of Hitler at Munich when he was ambassador to the UK (1938-39), with the umbrella being a reference to Nevelle Chamberlain. Witt told the HSCA that it was someone in his insurance office - the Rio Grande National Insurance Co., told him that the Kennedys were sore about the umbrella being used as protest sign. “I was going to use the umbrella to heckle the president’s motorcade….I just knew it was a sore sport with the Kennedys. I just knew the vague generalities of it. It had something to do with something that happened years ago with the father Joe Kennedy when he was the Ambassador to England.”

                                                    The Umbrella Man at Dealey Plaza 

Who planted the seed in Witt’s mind to heckle the president? Perhaps it was someone who also shared an office in the Rio Grande building, - which included the Secret Service, Army Intelligence and the Emigration and Naturalization Service, where Oswald visited numerous times. Witt’s references to Chamberlain’s umbrella and appeasement at Munich are echoed exactly by General LeMay at the White House a year earlier.

                                                   Chamberlain - Appeasement at Munich 

At the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, on October 19, 1962, President Kennedy met in the Oval Office with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, when Air Force Chief Gen. Curtis LeMay was recorded as saying, “…I don’t see any other solution for it [other than direct military action].….This is almost as bad as the appeasement at Munich.(Pause)...”   Sheldon Stern: “The general had gone well beyond merely giving advice or even disagreeing with his Commander-in-chief. He had taken his generation’s ultimate metaphor for shortsightedness and cowardice, the 1938 appeasement of Hitler at Munich, and flung it in the President’s face. President Kennedy, in a remarkable display of sang froid, refused to take the bait; he said absolutely nothing.”

A few minutes later JFK did reply to LeMay’s remark that, “…In other words, you’re in a pretty bad fix at the present time.”

“What did you say?” Kennedy asked.

“You’re in a pretty bad fix,” LeMay repeated. And in a response that the Miller Center’s transcriptionists got wrong, JFK told LeMay that, “You’re in it with me.”

And the pretty bad fix that JFK and LeMay were in together then was not about Munich but Cuba.

Then, as JFK entered Dealey Plaza and the sniper’s Kill Zone, the Umbrella Man's sign may have been the last thing Kennedy saw before his head was shattered by a bullet fired by a Level One sniper who was not Lee Harvey Oswald. 

           Ambassador Joe Kennedy - Approved Chamberlain's Appeasement Policy at Munich

Monday, February 24, 2014

JFK and the Venezuelan Arms Cache

JFK and The Venezuelan Arms Cache
By William Kelly

                                                     Is this the Venezuelan Arms Cache? 

One of my father’s law enforcement text books advises that in the case of elimination murders and political assassinations the key to the crime rests not with the triggerman but with the victim – and who wanted him eliminated, and advises to check the last item he was working on which might provide a clue.

The last thing JFK left on is desk before he left the White House for Texas were the reports on the discovery of an arms cache on a Venezuelan beach that if traced to Cuba could provide enough evidence of Castro’s intention to export his revolution to all South America and convince the OAS to issue economic sanctions against Cuba.

Kennedy went to his grave knowing of the report, but unaware, as we are today, that the Venezuelan arms cache was probably planted by the CIA as part of a black propaganda operation to get the OAS to move against Cuba, which it did.

I wrote about the Venezuelan arms cache and its possible connection to the assassination of President Kennedy in a JFKCountercoup blogpost - http://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/2009/04/venezuelan-arms-cache-northwoods.html, which is more detailed and footnoted and sparked an email from someone who claims to be a relative of the CIA research analyst who documented the arms cache and wrote the reports that were presented to JFK late on the night he left for Texas. This relative said that he does not have the research report, but he was thinking on filing an FOIA request to obtain it (and maybe some interested attorney can come forward and give him assistance).

The best account of the Venezuelan arms cache is Joe Smith’s version, which mentions the contribution of the women CIA analyst who in his autobiography “Portrait of a Cold Warrior” (Ballantine, NY, 1976), in which he quotes an associate saying, "Our intelligence assistant on the Venezuelan desk got the material out again right after we found the arms and she came up with a beautiful research job," 

To put things in their proper perspective, Joseph Burkholder Smith wrote: 

Between the Argentine elections in 1963 and the Chilean election of 1964, my attention was once again focused on Cuba. Gerry Droller had become branch chief of the countries of the “Cono Sur,” the southern cone of Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, and Chile. He came down to Buenos Aires to remind us Cuba was more important than any of them.

“Listen, this guy Des is a genius and he’s got the side track to the White House,” Gerry explained. “I also think J.C.’s going to retire soon and Des will run the whole division in name as well as fact. Already we got dozens of old FE hands in the division and more guys from Germany too. WH Division is now all chopstick users and umlaut speakers. And we’re all supposed to concentrate on Cuba.”

The matter we all concentrated on from December 1963, until the summer of 1964 was making the discovery of a small arms cache on the coast of Venezuela seem important enough proof of Castro’s interventionists intentions that the OAS would declare Cuba an outlaw nation and refuse to allow OAS members to have political or economic relations with her. I initially paid little attention to the news of the news of the discovery of these arms that came from Caracas just after John Kennedy’s assassination. I still hadn’t gotten over the terrible shock of the President’s death when I received a cable saying headquarters wanted maximum press coverage given to the announcement on December 3, 1963, that the OAS had agreed to investigate Venezuelan charges the arms had been secretly delivered by Castro’s forces for the use of Venezuelan leftist guerrillas.

SIDE wasn’t interested in getting such a story all out coverage. The attitude of SIDE officers was “what else is new?”….

The new chief of covert action operations for WH (Western Hemisphere) came down to Buenos Aires just before Christmas to explain how important the Venezuelan arms cache discovery was considered. Dramatically, he related how much the discovery had meant to John Kennedy.  “The President had been pressuring us for months before he was killed to come up with some solid proof that Castro was exporting his revolution. He wanted to make his anti-Castro crusade a Latin American cause not just a U.S. mission. He wanted to have some really convincing evidence of Castro’s interference in the affairs of Latin countries that we could get the OAS (Organization of American States) to take collective action against Castro. This discovery is what he was looking for.”

Herb explained that the news of the discovery had come in from Caracas just the day before President Kennedy left for Texas. He and another officer rushed over to see Bobby Kennedy with the cable. Bobby called the President and he ordered them to come immediately to the oval office. “President Kennedy was extremely pleased and excited about the prospects,” Herb said. “It was very late in the evening when we left the White House. I think this was the last piece of business he took up before he left Washington. We all like to think we’re running the operation for him.”

Herb presented us the case against Cuba. The arms had been found on a remote peninsula served only by one secondary road and with no large settlements nearby. Local fishermen had discovered the cache by accident. No Venezuelan guerrillas ever had come near the spot. Herb’s story was that on such a coast a boat could land at night with little chance of being detected, the stuff stashed in the dunes, and picked up by   some subsequent night by the revolutionaries receiving Castro’s assistance.

We were working very, Herb said, with the Venezuelan authorities to establish complete proof the arms had come from Castro and investigations were going on in Europe and Canada. Some of the arms had been traced to a Belgian manufacturer and Belgian security officials were helping us find the records that would show when they were purchased by the Cubans. The Canadians had already advantageously found proof that a sixteen-foot aluminum boat found hidden with the arms had been sold by a Canadian firm to the Cuban Agrarian Reform Institute just one month before the arms were discovered.

He was most excited about a story from a Venezuelan leftist in the custody of the Venezuelan security police. The prisoner confessed that maps found in his apartment showed where attacks were to be made in Caracas, using these arms, on the eve of December 1, 1963, presidential elections. Also found in his apartment were instructions on how to use the arms found in the cache. They were a type of weapon which hitherto had not been used by any Venezuelan groups.

The story of the maps sounded familiar to me. I couldn’t remember anything about arms instructions, but I remembered the maps were found in this man’s apartment way back when I had been Venezuelan desk chief.

“Aren’t these the maps we found the other year and couldn’t make any sense of?” I asked.

“Yes, that’s right,” Herb replied. “Our intelligence assistant on the Venezuelan desk got the material out again right after we found the arms and she came up with a beautiful Herb replied. “Our intelligence assistant on the Venezuelan desk got the material out again right after we found the arms and she came up with a beautiful research job we sent to Caracas for the police to use in questioning the suspects. He’s confessed.”

I was not too impressed with this evidence of the Venezuelan guerrillas” intended use of the arms. It sounded to me as though we might have manufactured it to meet President Kennedy’s requirement for an OAS case. I was especially unimpressed by the confession. There are few prisoners of security police in Latin America who refuse to confess. If they don’t confess they usually have died in the process of making up their minds, having thought too long about the matter with their heads under water or something.

“I like the touch about the boat’s being sold by Canadians to the Cuban Agrarian Reform Institute. Makes it sound as though Castro’s trying to be real spooky, using a cover like the Agrarian Reform Institute to deliver arms.” I couldn’t resist saying, “How did we actually get the arms there?”

Herb looked at me very hard. “Joe, you are too fond of black operations. Of course, we didn’t put the arms there ourselves. Come on.”

We had three things to do: first show all the evidence to SIDE (Venezuelan Secret Police) and get SIDE to push the matter up to the top of the Argentine government to gain Argentine’s support for Venezuelan’s charges in the OAS; get the pictures in the Argentine press, plus editorial and other comments supporting the Venezuelan case; try to uncover anything similar we could to show that the Cubans were giving direct support to revolutionaries in Argentina. The first two tasks were easily accomplished. My friends in Action Propaganda particularly liked the picture of the arms. We had no luck for some months in finding any Argentine guerrillas.

In early March, 1964, we got a break. The Argentine gendarmerie, the border police, found eight young people in a camp in the far northern province of Salta near the Bolivian border. Seven men and a girl were picked up. They had some weapons, copy of Che Guevara’s book on guerrilla warfare, and a stack of Communist propaganda tracts. My SIDE friends suggested we all take the Beachcraft to Salta to see whether or not this might be the evidence of Cuban support to guerrillas we were looking for.

We went to the gendarmerie post a few miles outside the provincial capital where the prisoners were being held and their confiscated arms and possessions were stored. The arms were clearly old Argentine army rifles. The  Communist propaganda was similar to that which could be obtained under the counter at bookshops near the University of Buenos Aires. The public sale of such literature was prohibited, but Captain Lynch’s men were picking it up all the time and I had seen before most of what I saw in Salta. Lynch had also given me a copy of his nephew’s book, also easily, if not legally obtainable. I sat quietly in the back of the room, posing as another “European “ Argentine, while the SIDE officers talked to several prisoners. They were middle-class kids and were awaiting the arrival of a lawyer one of their fathers had arranged for them. They were polite but not communicative. The SIDE officers tried no persuasion.

A week after my visit to the camp, Des Fitzgerald came to Buenos Aires. As Gerry Droller had predicted, Des was now WH Division chief and this was his first swing around the hemisphere to visit his new station. He gave us all a short pep talk – the theme of which was the importance of the OAS sanctions operation. He also briefed us on the overall status of other operations against Cuba being run from JM/WAVE, but he sounded a bit discouraged.

“If Jack Kennedy had lived,” Des said, “I can assure you we would have gotten rid of Castro by last Christmas. Unfortunately the new President isn’t as gung-ho on fighting Castro as Kennedy was.”

“What do you mean by ‘getten rid of,’ Des?” I asked.


“Well, you know, Joe, we don’t use that language,” he replied. “Just say I mean he wouldn’t still be doing business in Havana.”

Des asked me what I thought about the guerrillas in Salta. I told him I didn’t think there was a shred of evidence that they were receiving any support from Castro. “They’re just a bunch of bored middle-class kids, Des, who maybe had a fight with their parents.”

I didn’t know that unhappy middle-class kids would soon be throwing bombs all over the world, from Montevideo to New York, Paris to Tokyo, and almost everywhere in between. These kids would help drive Lyndon Johnson from office, but not before he had ordered CIA to violate their charter and get busy trying to stop dissent in the United States. They would push Richard Nixon’s paranoia to the point where he couldn’t rest until he had expanded Johnson’s covert operations against them so that fighting kids was a top priority of Mexico City station when I got there in 1969.

“Well,” mused Des, “maybe we have enough friends in Argentina that somebody important might just say he thought Castro was helping them.”

General Julio Alsogaray, commander in chief of the gendarmerie, declared on March 26, 1964, that there were at least twenty guerrillas in Salta and adjacent Jujuy province and that some of them had fired on his troops. Two guerrillas were killed trying to cross the border into Bolivia in the encounter. “There guerrillas,” said Alsogaray, “are being aided by Fidel Castro, who is trying to export revolution to all of the continent." 

The OAS convened a meeting of foreign ministers in Washington from July 21 to July 26, 1964 to decide on Venezuela’s’ charges. They concluded that Castro had sent arms to Venezuela for the purpose of disrupting the Venezuelan elections of December, 1963. Diplomats and consular relations with Cuba were severed by OAS members and economic sanctions enforced. Only Bolivia, Uruguay, Chile and Mexico opposed these measures. The rest of Latin America evidently had been convinced of the validity of the Venezuelan charges and the threat of Cuban subversion in the hemisphere.”

[Kelly Notes: Can anyone come up with a photo of the Venezuelan arms cache that is mentioned? The delivery of arms caches to rebels is the MO – modus operandi of the CIA’s JM/WAVE maritime team who were caught doing this very thing – dropping off arms caches on Cuban beaches - including the raid that made the November 1, 1963 New York Times. Also note that the Argentine Navy Captain Lynch mentioned is the uncle of Che Guevara Lynch. Can anyone identify Joe Smith’s CIA associate “Herb”? Our Canadian and Belgian friends could also check to see if those leads panned out or if there is any official government records of this investigation. Also recall that "Maurice Bishop" used a Belgian passport and was affiliated with a Belgian company. I would venture a modest bet that the inventory of this Venezuelan arms cache, that was compiled by this women CIA analyst and we should be able to obtain via FOIA, will include Manlicher-Carcano rifles and 6.5 ammo similar to that used in the Dealey Plaza Operation. Any takers?]

Monday, February 17, 2014

Why Oswald Didn't Kill JFK

Why Oswald Didn't Kill JFK

In response to a request for the evidence that Lee Harvey Oswald did not kill JFK, I suggest the relevant chapter in Tony Summers' "Not In Your Lifetime" and Howard Roffman's "Presumed Guilty," which is available on-line at Dave Ratcliff's ratical.org/JFK or referenced in my "Doors of Perception" JFKCountercoup.blogspot.com blogpost of July 9, 2013, which details how Oswald could not have been on the Sixth Floor at the time of the shooting and therefore could not have been the Sixth Floor Sniper.

That is not to say that Oswald is innocent of everything, as he might have taken a shot at General Walker and killed Tippit, but the preponderance of evidence indicates that Oswald was not on the Sixth Floor at the time of the assassination and was not the Sixth Floor Sniper.

More than one witness places Oswald on the first floor by the telephone (Shelley) around noon, and in the lunchroom reading a newspaper (Givins, Arnold) around 12:15, when two witnesses outside saw a man with a rifle on the sixth floor with another man in a sports coat. A prisoner from across the street also saw a man in the window fiddling with the scope of a rifle with another man at this time. If Oswald was on the first floor at 12:15, who was the man in the sixth floor with the rifle with another man in a sports coat?

 A TSBD secretary told Robert Groden that she was on the second floor handing Oswald change when they heard the shooting.

Less than two minutes later Dallas Police officer Marion Baker saw Oswald through the window of the second floor lunchroom door. Since the door had to be closed for Baker to see him through the window, Oswald must have been walking from the secretary's office on the second floor through the vestibule where Baker saw him through the window on his way to the lunchroom to buy a coke with the change he obtained from the secretary.

If Oswald had entered the lunchroom through the door with the window through which Baker saw Oswald, then Roy Truly the TSBD superintendent would have seen Oswald go through the door because he was a few steps ahead of Baker, and he didn't see Oswald go through that door, as he would if he did.

Had Oswald come down those steps as he would have to if he was the Sixth Floor Sniper, then he would have been on the steps at the same time as two secretaries, and would have passed two employees on the step landings on the fifth and fourth floors, but he didn't.

In addition, those eyewitnesses on the street who eyeballed the Sixth Floor Sniper all agreed he had on a white shirt (Oswald wore brown) and one witness clearly stated that the sniper had a very distinctive bald spot on the top of his head, a unique, distinguishing attribute not shared by Oswald.

Then, five minutes after the last shot, a court clerk from across the street saw a man in the Sixth Floor sniper's window, when Oswald was on the first floor. If not Oswald, who was that person if not the sniper?

Since Oswald could not be placed on the sixth floor within a half hour of the shooting before hand and was on the second floor ninety seconds later, and didn't come down the steps or go through the lunchroom door he would have had to go through if he was the sniper, then after eliminating the impossible, as Sherlock Holmes used to say, whatever is left, however improbable, must be the truth.

Therefore, if Oswald was not on the Sixth Floor at the time of the shooting, didn't run down those stairs past the four witnesses who didn't see him, didn't run though the second floor lunchroom door as Truly didn't see him and was on his way to buy a coke when Baker saw him through the closed lunchroom door window, then he could not possibly have been the Sixth Floor Sniper.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

NOVA JFK Cold Case 2013


They correctly classify the 50 year old legally unresolved homicide of John F. Kennedy as a cold case, or one that remains open to investigation and periodically reviewed by new investigators with the latest information and scientific technology has to offer, and focus on what are strictly objective issues that can and should be agreeably resolved to a legal and scientific certainty. 

That just hasn't happened yet, at least not as presented in this NOVA TV special that had the opportunity to do some unique and special experiments but apparently decided not to bother. 

That lofty goal was belittled by a preliminary press release in which Marquette professor John McAdams promised that modern science would prove that Lee Harvey Oswald killed Kennedy alone, evidence that I was anxious to see because I thought science had already proved that Oswald could not have killed Kennedy and in the end McAdams' promise was replaced by an anonymous narrator - like the Wizard of Oz from behind the curtain proclaiming: "When it comes to the JFK assassination, there are explanations science cannot provide." 

Check that: "There are explanations science cannot provide." 

And what is the explanation they provide? 

"No experiments can show why someone would take a rifle into a high window and pull the trigger." 

No, science cannot provide a motive, but it can help identify a suspect and classify the killer and a proper investigation of the suspects background usually reveals the motive. So while scientific experiments cannot determine motive, or why "someone would take a rifle into a high window and pull the trigger," according to these NOVA guys, "they can show it probable that Lee Harvey Oswald did that and he alone killed President Kennedy" 

The key word here is "probable" that experiments can show it "probable" that Lee Harvey Oswald shot President Kennedy, when in fact experiments have shown that it was only possible for Oswald to have been in position to have done the dirty deed, and more probable that he wasn't on the Sixth Floor at the time of the shooting and that someone else was the sniper in the high window who pulled the trigger of the gun that shot JFK. 

As Jim Leher, a journalist at the scene of the crime said, "In a few seconds one guy gets off three rounds - pow, pow, pow, and changes the course of history," that is, if in fact only one guy was doing the shooting when in fact there is strong evidence of a second gunman, one who shot the president in the head, a shot that did not originate from the Sixth Floor window, details not recognized by this NOVA show. 

Then professor McAdams, now that Gerald Posner has been thoroughly discraced, it is McAdams who is dragged out of his university office every time they need someone to counter silly conspiracy theories, and ensure that the show is "fair and balanced," who says: "History doesn't always make sense. Here's a nothing person, you know, who brought down the leader of the free world." 

Waite a minute! History? Who said anything about history? What happened to science? I thought we were going to apply objective science to the assassination evidence and prove who killed JFK? What's with this interpretive history stuff? 

McAdams can't even say their names: JFK is the "leader of the free world," while Oswald, I suppose he is referring to Oswald as the "nothing person," a nothing person who was an ex-Marine, radar and radio communication specialist who served at a high security U2 base in Japan, was trained in the Russian language, defected to the Soviet Union, returned a few years later with his Russian wife and daughter, was assisted by members of a Dallas anti-Communist Russian Orthodox Church parish that was subsidized by the CIA, worked at a graphics arts firm that placed captions and markers on U2 photos of the USSR and Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and is suspected of being involved in the shooting of Gen. Walker, promoted the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in New Orleans when it was a target of a CIA operation, visited the Cuban and Soviet embassies in Mexico City and associated closely with such CIA assets as George deMohrenschildt, Volkmar Schmidt and Ruth and Michael Paine. And he was only 24 years old. 

Whatever he was, he was not crazy or mentally deranged as some have made him out to be, and most certainly was not a "nobody person," but Oswald fit the COPP - Cover Operational Personality Profile. So even if modern science can prove that Lee Harvey Oswald alone killed President Kennedy, the assassin's personality profile clearly indicates that he was not a deranged loner but a covert operative run by an intelligence case officer and the assassination fits the modus operandi of a covert intelligence operation designed to shield and protect its actual sponsors. 

So how does NOVA's science prove that Lee Harvey Oswald "probably" killed JFK alone? 

Meet Lucien "Luke" and his son Michael Haag. These Hardy Boys are professional firearms instructors, the best in the business with BS degrees whose specialty is shooting incident reconstruction - an important part of forensic science that they wrote the book on. 

Having read the FBI shooting incident reconstruction of a long Florida firefight with drug dealers in which there were a number of federal agent casualties, it is easy to understand the need to recreate the battle afterwards in order to figure out what happened and learn any lessons to prevent mistakes from being repeated. 

As firearm instructors with many years experience in the field, Luke got into the business before there was any formal training or accreditation, or before such TV crime shows like CSI - Crime Scene Investigator made the profession so popular. But Haag was willing to give the producers of this show what they wanted. Luke Haag has the practical experience and folksy wisdom to say something as idiotic as: "The essence of good forensic science is to look at what are competing explanations of an event. And if you rule out that which is impossible, then what remains, however seemingly improbable, is the truth." 

Stop right there! Besides plaggerizing - Poznerizing Arthur Conan Doyle, or neglecting to even credit him for that Sherlock Holmes statement, that is NOT "the essence of good forensic science." 

The purpose of good forensic science is not to weight "competing explanations of an event," that's an academic forensics, like school debating teams, we are discussing forensic science, and the science part is the developing crime scene evidence that is admissible in a court of law and preserving its provenance until it can be - that is until it can be introduced into a court of law, even if that is over 50 years after the committing of the crime. 

Now Luke Haag, with over 47 years in the gun and forensic science business, certainly knows all this, and his son, who grew up in the biz, was consulted in the investigation of a Taiwanese presidential assassination attempt that certainly deserves further looking into, but they certainly knew that they were directly quoting Sir Author Conan Doyle's "The Blanched Soldier" and repeated in "The Beryl Coronet," when they furnished the final quote of the show that "if you rule out that which is impossible, then what remains, however seemingly improbable, is the truth."

Logically applied, taking Holmes' dictum means that since Oswald couldn't have been on the Sixth Floor at the time of the shooting, then the shots must have been fired by someone else, and however inconvenient or improbable, someone else other than Oswald must have killed Kennedy.

Better still is Sir Doyle having Holmes remark that, "I think there are certain crimes the law cannot touch, and which therefore, to some extent, justify private revenge," as he is quoted as saying in "The Adventures of Charles Augustus."

Ah yes, Private Revenge, a certain title for a pulp fiction novel that can be someday applied to the Kennedy assassination and made into a major motion picture, but until then we have to stick to the scientifically objective facts and an equally instructive quote found on the Haag's web site and attributed to a New Zealand investigator - "The gun speaks....and the message of the gun is there to read by one who knows the language."

For forensic science beginners, bullets often have a unique and distinctive marks left by the barrel, fingerprints and DNA are hard evidence, small holes usually represent entrance wounds and large holes an exit wound, and the ballistic details in the Walker, Kennedy and Tippit shootings can get absorbing in detail but inconsequential in the end.

For those actually interested in an honest, objective and thorough analysis of the ballistics in these cases and attempting to reconstruct the shootings as they took place should review the work already done by others, especially Dr Cyril Wecht, Joshia Thompson, John Orr, Esq., Drs. Barger, Weiss and Ackensasy, Don Thomas and Stu Wexler and Larry Hancock.

As for NOVA's presentation, when it comes to the scientific evidence in the assassination they apparently passed on reviewing the acoustic evidence and went straight to the brain - the head shot, but they claim they had to reconstruct it because it is "impossible" to evaluate the original brain, but don't explain why.

They couldn't conduct these experiments on the real brain because it is no longer available, as parts of it were blow away and fell in parts onto the car's trunk, seat and floor, and some fell onto the floor of the Parkland emergency room, while some was scraped out of the cranium and placed into little jars labeled "JFK brain matter," and later flushed into a food processor, while what was left was reportedly buried with the President by his brother when his remains were removed and reburied in a secret late night military exercise in 1967. So much for the provenance of a key piece of the forensic evidence.

For a real forensic examination of a brain see Dr. Cyril Wecht's presentation at the October 2013 "Pass the Torch" conference at the Wecht Center for Forensic Science and Law in Pittsburgh when  he actually sections a brain to show what it actually looks like, and how that would indicate the direction of the shot from where it entered.

John Orr, a federal attorney who on his own time evaluated the ballistic evidence in the assassination and concluded and convinced US Attorney General Janet Reno, as well as the administrators of the National Archives and the FBI to conduct scientific tests on ballistic evidence (CE 567), the bullet fragments found on the limo floor, which contained suspected DNA evidence that could have disproved the single bullet theory and give weight to a probable conspiracy.

Orr's report indicated that the fatal head shot that killed President Kennedy did not originate from the Sixth Floor window, but from another direction, from another rifle and a different type of bullet than those fired from the Mannlicher Carcano, as unlike CE399 - the magic bullet, the bullet that hit JFK in the head fragmented on impact.

But of course you won't learn any of this from the NOVA TV special "Cold Case," which examines competing versions of events and tries to rule out the impossible and however improbable, accept what's left as the truth of the matter, and so be it.

So far, when it comes to the assassination of President Kenned, science and law have failed to find the truth, something that apparently will take a private revenge to ascertain to a scientific certainty.

Bill Kelly