Tuesday, December 26, 2017

New Jim Braden Documents Released

Jim Braden at Dealey Plaza

Lee Harvey Oswald wasn't the only suspect in the assassination.  He wasn't even the first, as Jim Braden was taken into custody as a suspicious person shortly after he got off the elevator of the Dal Tex building and the elevator operator considered him suspicious because he didn't work there.

Taken to the Sheriff's office accross the street for questioning, Braden gave a statement to a typist and was released.

Some years later, when Los Angeles TV reporter Peter Noyes came across Braden's statement among the Warren Commission exhibits, he did a background check and discovered that shortly before the assassination Eugene Hale Brading had legally changed his name to Jim Braden, and had a lengthly rap sheet of previous arrests, for burglary, gambling and assorted confidence schemes.

Peter Noyes wrote a pulp paperback book about Braden and the assassination - "A Legacy of Doubt" (Pinnacle Books, 1977), that Braden took exception to when the book led to his expulsion from the exclusive La Costa Country Club near San Diego.

Noyes wrote about how Brading and his sidekick Victor Emanuel Pereira were arrested for embesselment and kicked out of Dallas by Sherriff  Decker for swindling Mrs. Lee Little, the widow of a high ranking executive of Magnolia Oil company, and her sister. Decker branded them "The Honeymooners," and taking rich widows for their money, as the newly released FBI records confirm.

Braden was anxious to testify before the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) and did so for two day in executive sessions that were sealed from the public until the 1990s, when I obtained a transcript from the Ford Library.

In his testimony Braden said that he spent the entire summer of 1963 in New Orleans, where Oswald was also living, and worked out of the offices of Vernon Main, Jr. on the 17th floor of the Pierre Marquette office building, just down the hall from the law offices of G. Ray Gill.

Jim Garrison obtained the phone records from Gill's office and discovered that one phone call on September 24, 1963, a significant date, was made to a Chicago phone listed in the Warren Commisson records.

Jack Ruby's assocaite Lawrence Meyers, a wholesale sporting goods salesman, had called the same phone number, a Chicago hotel apartment where Jean Aase (aka West) lived and worked.

A few months before the assassination Meyers had visited Ruby in Dallas for the grand opening of the swank Cabana Hotel, owned by Doris Da y and other Hollywood stars, and Ruby took him to the Dallas State Fair where Meyers invested a few hundred dollars in a tent show called "How Hollywood Makes Movies." That show included roustabout former Army vet Larry Crafard and a showgirl, both of whom Ruby would hire to work at the Carousel Club.

Although he was married, Meyers returned to Dallas on the assassination weekend with Jean Aase, who Meyers described as "a dumb but accomidating broad," and he took her to the Carousel Club to meet Ruby and on the night before the assassination, Ruby visited Meyers at the Cabana Hotel Lounge.

Dallas reporter Earl Golz obtained the Cabana recipts from Jim Braden and his friends and discovered they too had drinks at the same lounge as Meyers and Ruby.

Meyers said he was there to visit his brother, a soft drink bottler from New York, who had just returned from visiting his son Ralph in Mexico City, where the former Army Security Agency (now NSA) officer was working as a journalist.

[See my article Thursday Night at the Cabana Lounge for more on this evening]

From the Cabana at midnight Meyers accompanied Ruby to Campisi's Egyptian Lounge, where they made phone calls from the back office.

The next day Braden was taken into custody, and Meyers went to play golf at a military base golf course.

Most of the recently released records regarding Jim Braden/aka Eugene Hale Brading date to the 1950s and reveal his business interests in oil, vending machines and swindling rich widows, and none refer to his arrest at Dealey Plaza as a suspicious person.

Some consider it also suspicious that he was in a hotel in Los Angeles the night RFK was killed, and others claim he was a shooter in the Dal Tex building. I don't believe either point, as Braden was a conartist and swindler, but didn't carry a weapon or have any record of committing violance in the course of his criminal career. He was a gambler, golfer and thief, but a non-violent one.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Response to Max Holland's Assessment of the Release of the JFK Records


Why Oswald ws not the Sixth Floor Shooter

By William E. Kelly

In response to Max Holland's assessment of the recently released JFK records and the continued withhold of many more, I must comment on a few items and correct the record on others.

For starters, Holland's division of reality into only two conflicting categories - the majority who believe Oswald was part of a conspiracy and had confederates, a clear majority, and those who believe one man alone was responsible for the crime.

Actually there are many more plausible possibilites and scenarios.

For instance, a conspiracy does not have to include Lee Harvey Oswald, especially if he was what he claimed to be - a Patsy, set up to be the fall guy.

Whilie wrapping up his book "Reclaiming History," the late Vincent Bugliosi called on John Judge, the director of COPA - the national Coalition on Political Assassinations, to see if he missed anything.

"I understand you don't believe Oswald acted alone?" Bugliosi asked in phone conversation.

In response Judge said: "Oh, I think Oswald acted alone all right. I just don't think he shot anybody."

One case for conspiracy rests on the exoneratioin of Oswald as the Sixth Floor gunman, something that can and has been done, as the witnessest themselves testified to, and as physics demands.

It can be clearly demonstrated that Oswald was not on the Sixth Floor of the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD) at the time of the shooting 12:30 pm, CST, which means that Oswald was not the man in the white shirt (Oswald wore brown) and bald spot, a clearly identifiable physical characteristic, one not shared with Oswald.

The idea that Oswald did not fire the shots that killed JFK is a well founded proposition based primarily on witness reports and testimony and the facts as described in the Warren Report itself.

A number of eye witnesses in TSBD said they saw Oswald on the h first floor at 12 noon and 12;15, when pedestrians on the street saw a man - some a man with a rifle on the Sixth Floor. If that is the case, the man on the sixth floor with a rifle was not Oswald.

Ninety seconds after the last shot, Oswald is seen by Dallas  Police motorcyle patrolman Marrion Baker in the second floor lunchroom. Actually, as Baker testified under questioning from Bugliosi during the London Mock Trial, he saw Oswald through the one-square-foot window of the 2nd floor lunchroom door.

If that was the case then the door had to shut and Oswald had to be on the other side of the closed door. It had to be completely closed becuase if it was open only an inch or two, basic physics requires the dimenstions of the window decrease significantly, reducing the size of the winow enough that it is too small to see anything from the angle Baker was viewing from the top of the stairs.

If Oswald was the sixth floor sniper then he would have had to come down those stairs and go through that door in the ninety seconds after the last shot, but there were four witnesses - two secretaries coming down the stairs from the fourth floor, their supervisor standing on the fourth floor landing, and a TSBD worker on the fifth floor landing - and none of them saw or heard Oswald descend those steps.

In addition, and this is the clincher - Officer Baker was behind TSBD superintendent Roy Truly, who would have had to see Oswald go through that same open door two to three seconds before Baker got to the top of the steps, turned to the left to follow Truly, when he claims to have seen Oswald through the window of the closed door.

So these six witnesses, if they are to be believed, clearly provide the proof that Oswald did not come down those stairs, did not go through that door, was not on the Sixth Floor at the time of the assassination, and did not fire the shots that killed the President.

The testimony of these witness it bustressed by other witnesses, including a court clerk from across the street who saw a man in the sixth floor window moving boxes aound four to five minutes after the last shot, indicating the sniper white shirt with bald spot did not immediatly leave the scene but took his time and stuck around for awhile.

Robert Groden also interviewed a TSBD secretray who stayed behind to answer the phone, and told Groden, believe it or not, she gave Oswald the change for a dollar that he used to buy coke.   

In addition, Brennan, the hard hat worker who saw the sixth floor shooter, and said he would be able to identify him if he saw him again, correctly identified the black guys from the fifth floor as they came out the front door, but didn't identify Oswald as the shooter as he came out the same door a few moments later.

So the contention that Oswald had to have co-conspirators for there to be a conspiracy is a false assumption, as the witness testimony clearly indicate Oswald was not the Sixth Floor shooter, and was what he said he was - a Patsy set up to take the fall for a crime he did not commit.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Robarge vs. Morley - The CIA vs. The Truth

David Robarge v. Jefferson Morley

By William Kelly

In my recent essay in Lobster on the Twist Party in Mexico City, I gave a short list of the responsible journalists who have tried to seriously cover the still developing story on the assassination of President Kennedy, and neglected to mention Jefferson Morley.

Jeff is truly a remarkable and persistent reporter who utilizes journalistic standards, something Tony Summers said was essentially lacking in most media coverage of the assassinatoin story..

In his books "Our Man in Mexico" and "Ghost," a biography of the CIA's chief of Counter-Intelligence James Jesus Angleton, and his web site JFKFacts.org, Jeff has coinually cut the wheat from the chaff.

In reading his book on Angleton, I found it particularly interesting that Angleton's training in the covert "crafts of intelligence," as Allen Dulles puts it, occured in England at Bletchley Park, and his chief mentor was none other than Kim Philby, the most notorious double agent of all time.

After the war, when Angleton was named head of the new CIA CI desk and Philby was assigned to Washington as the MI6 British Intelligence liason to the CIA, the mentor and protege became frequent drinking companinons over three martini lunches.

Some of the knowledge Philby learned and passed on to his Soviet masters is contained in the secret assassination records that are still being withheld from the public, although the Ruskies knew it all from the beginning.

One such item, as related in Philby's autobiography "My Silent War," is how Frank Wisner designed and implimented the scheme whereby CIA covert operations were secretly funded through ostensible charities and philantropic foundation conduits,  like the Catherwood Fund, as it was exposed by David Wise and Thomas Ross in their book "The Invisible Government."

Joe Smith later acknowledged using the Catherood Fund cover in the Phillipines, and I read Philadelphia Inquirer and Bulletin news reports and feature articles on the Catherwood Fund activities, and took particular interest in the Cuban Aid Relief (CAR) and the co-sponsoring of the Columbia-Catherwood award for journalists.

While the Soviets knew about this relationship from its inception, thanks to Philby, the American public didn't learn about it until the article in Ramparts Magazine exposed it, beginning with the CIA's domestic covert financing of the National Student Association (NSA).

In the same light, the Russians knew all along that what happened at Dealey Plaza was the result of actions by the American security agencies, and not that of a deranged lone nut case, as exhibited in the newly released records by Soviet Premier Kruschev's social diner conversation with American investigative journalist Drew Pierson.

So the records they continue insisting on withholding from the American public are not secrets that they are trying to keep from the Ruskies, but rather, national security secrets they are keeping from the citizens - especially "means and methods" they use to conduct their operatiions.

These may be esoteric items for ordinary people to understand, but Jeff Morley's book is written for regular people to digest, unlike David Robarge's biograhpy of former CIA Director John McCone.

David Robarge is a former CIA intelligence officer and now an official CIA Historian who wrote a particulary scathing attack on Morley in a review of "Ghost" posted in Max Holland's blog, as well as a second shotgun barrell blow out after Morley wrote a rebuttle. As Robarge's hatchet job came out even before the book was published, it reminded me of the media attacks on Oliver Stone before his movie "JFK" was released.

It also reminded me of the late, great Mae Brussell, who once said on her radio program that the Warren Report was written by Pentagon hisorians, something I doubted at the time but have since determined to be true. It turns out that Chief Justice Earl Warren wanted his report to be readable to the general public and requested some official military historians write the narrative of the report, including Air Force historian Alfred Goldberg, who also wrote a history of the Pentagon building and the 9/11 attack. I interviewed Goldberg over the phone on the week he retired.

Robarge's attacks on Morley and his book also called my attention to Robarge, and his articles published in the official CIA publications and his biography of former CIA Director John McCone, on whose watch the assassination occured.

If you get pass all of the white outs, redactions and totally blank pages, there's some really intesting chapters on McCone and the Secret Wars, Espionage and Covert Actions, Counter-intelligence and Security and the Death of the President.

McCone, Robarge explains, was part of the "Special Group" of the National Security Council that evaluated and approved covert operations, especially those against Cuba.

"In effect the President and his advisors abandoned the Kennedy objective of ousting Castro," Robarge writes,  "and instead sought to harass and contain him. This was a return to the approach used in the phase one of Operation MONGOOSE two years before: espioinage, economic warfare and independet sabotage operations by exile groups. The Special Affiars Staff, under Desmond FitzGerald, drew up a comprehensive collection program using expatriate sources, infiltration agents, liason contacts, legal travelers, reguges, and port watchers.....[REDACTED - 2-3 paragraphs]."

"Training exiles for sabotage missions continued as well," notes Robarge, "although the likelihood that the administration would approve any such raids steadily diminished."

Early on Robarge gives some deep background on the early history of NPIC - the National Photo Interpetation Center, and its role in the analysis of the Zapruder Film, but Robarge gets it wrong on this count.

Shortly after the assassination McCone went directly to RFK's nearby home Hickory Hill, where he was with the Attorney General in his second floor library when the call from J. E. Hoover came in confirming that the President was dead.

Robarge: "...McCone directed that a specail cable channel be established so that all trafic related to Lee Harvey Oswald - arrested in Dallas soon after the shooting - went to a central repository, and he sent a [One line redacted] to Parkland Hospital, where John Kennedy had been taken for emergency treatment, to coordinate activities with the Secret Service and the FBI. After the Secret Service obtained a graphic film of the assassnation taken by an amateur photograher named Abraham Zapruder, McCone had NPIC officers analyze the footage (particularly the time between shots) and prepare briefing boards for the service."

As related by Robarge, on the morning of November 23, 1963, as the dawn of another day rose, McCone went to the White House to brief the President and found him in McGeorge Bundy's office next to the Situation Room. McCone began to brief the President but LBJ just turned his back and walked away. He had no intention of being briefed by the head of the CIA, and that was just the beginning of their relationship.

The only thing LBJ was interested in was McCone's insider reports on the intentions of RFK.

But what is missing from Robarge's account, though maybe its among the redacted pages, is what the NPIC briefers told McCone on November 23, 1963. As an established fact, there were two sets of breifing boards made up at NPIC over the assassination weekend, one the day after for NPIC director Paul Linebarger to brief McCone. There are no written records of this briefing, but then Linebarger returned to the NPIC offices he thanked those technicians who had worked all night, and said the briefing went well.

Shortly there after, Presidential advisor Arthur Schlesinger wrote in his daily journal that he had met with Robert Kennedy and asked him about the assassination, and RFK told Schlesigner the CIA thought there were two gunman, an analysis that must have come from the NPIC breifing of McCone, and one that McCone did not share with anyone except RFK, since LBJ wasn't interested.

As Robarge reports: "The DCI was complicit in keeping incendiary and diversionary issues off the commission's agenda and focusing it on what the Agency believed at the time was the 'best truth': that Lee Harvey Oswald, for as yet undetermined motives, had acted alone in killing John Kennedy. Max Holland, one of the most firminded scholars of these events, has concluded that 'if the word 'conspiracy' must be uttered in the same breath as 'the Kennedy assassination,' the only one that existed was the conspiracy to kill Castro and then keep that effort sescret after November 22.' In that sense - and that sense alone - McCOne may be regarded as a  'co-conspiractor' in the JFK assassination cover-up."

McCone, says Robarge, believed that aerial recon and photo anaysis were the most reliable sources of intelligence at that time, and NPIC did have a special and significnt role during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the assassination of President Kennedy.

To cut to the heart of the conspiracy that CIA Director McCone was party to, - the conspiracy to cover-up the plots to kill Castro, there were a lot of them, over 600 documented cases, but from among them it is only necessary to focus on one - the Pathfinder plan.

We only know about the Pathfinder plan because four - that's four not one - four NPIC technicians told the Assassinations Records Review Board (ARRB) about it. These four NPIC technicians had all been stationed at JMWAVE, the CIA base in Miami, and they reported that the Pathfinder files were kept in their section of the headquarters, rather than in the regular file room, indicating its special signifance.

Pathfinder was a CIA plan to kill Castro with a high powered rifle as he rode in an open jeep, as he often did when he visited Xandau, the DuPont estate on the north shore. According to the official reports, Pathfinder was "disaproved" by "higher authority," which means it was probably run past the Special Group of the National Security Council and rejected by RFK and maybe even JFK himself.

The NPCI technicians had made detailed maps of the area, blueprints of the inside of all relevant buildings including Xandau and the nearby home of Rolando Cubella (AMLASH), who was meeeting with CIA case officers at the time of the assassination, including Desmond FitzGerald himself.  Cubela was promised a cache of weapons would be delivered to a beach in Cuba, including a high powered rifle with a scope.

What became of the Pathfinder and NPIC assassination records? When the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) looked for them, a former NPIC secretary told them the NPIC assassination records were boxed and ordered - by RFK, to be taken to the Smithsonian Institute, rather than the National Archives, the normal depository of government records, again an indication of their signifiance.

As Robarge and official historians write their distorted history based on extant records, the Deep political history is best understood by the missing records, that if located, can fill in the missing pieces to the Dealey Plaza puzzle, that Jeff Morley and a few dedicated reporters and a researches are trying to put together.