Friday, November 30, 2018



These are just my personal favorites. If you ask Peter Dale Scott, John Newman, Rex Bradford, Malcolm Blunt, Larry Hancock, Russ Baker, Jim Lesar or anyone who is actually reading these records, they will come up with their own Top Ten documents, and I hope someone will take the time to do that. 

1)      Higgins Memo.

1) The Higgins Memo - is the Number One Smoking Document released under the JFK Act for the following reasons:

THE KEY paragraph is (13) "He commented that there was nothing new in the propaganda field. However, he felt that there had been great success in getting closer to the military personnel who might break with Castro, and stated that there were at least ten high-level military personnel who are talking with CIA but as yet are not talking to each other, since that degree of confidence has not yet developed. He considers it as a parallel in history, i.e., the plot to kill Hitler, and this plot is being studied in detail to develop an approach.' 

D.C. attorney Jim Lesar, head of the Assassinations Archives and Research Center (AARC) and Dan Alcorn filed an FOIA request for that "detailed study" and the CIA apparently have lost it  

Other items of relevance include: 

a) It concerns a Joint Chiefs of Staff meeting at the Pentagon on a significant date - Sept. 25, 1963 a key time in the JFK Assassination Chronology as it occurs around the same time as some other key events, including:

1- the day Oswald left New Orleans for Mexico City,
2-  the estimated timing of the Odio incident, and
3- Michael Paine's wife Ruth Hyde Paine picks up Marina, the daughter and their belongings - including the rifle, and took them to Texas
4- after visiting Michael's mom - Ruth Forbes Paine Young - Mary Bancroft's close friend.
5-  It is also the day President Kennedy signs NSAM - National Security Action Memorandum on the advice of National Security advisor McGeorge Bundy approving "Four Leaves," - a secret military communications project.
6-  JFK then left on his "Conservation Tour," the first stop being the Northeast Pennsylvania home of the mother of Mary Pinchot Meyer, JFK's paramour who accompanied him.
7-  Oswald's name turns up on the list of those who visited the Tenn. nuclear museum and news cliips of the tour are found in a box at Oswald's rooming house.
8- Richard Case Nagel shot a gun in a bank in El Paso, Texas and waited to get arrested, ostensibly to be in federal custody at the time of the assassination.

So a lot of significant chronological events occurred in that 24 hour span.

b) Because Chef of Staff Gen. Maxwell Taylor was on a special mission to Vietnam, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Curtis LeMay chaired the meeting.

c) The author of the memo - Colonel Walter Higgiins was the adjunct of Gen. Victor Krulak (USMC), the director of the military detachment responsible for providing any assistance requested by the CIA in the course of their covert intelligence operations.

d) Desmond FitzGerald, the CIA officer who briefed the Chiefs on CIA covert operations against Cuba, had replaced William Harvey as chief of Task Force W - the Cuban project based in the basement of CIA HQ, and was the case officer for Dr. Rolando Cubella (AMLASH), a founder of the DRE who the CIA considered their  best bet to fit the disgrunted Cuban military officer who would lead the assassination attempt and coup.

e) Fitzgerald said this adaption of the plot to kill Hitler was considered a part of the Psychological Warfare area, which included David Atlee Phillips, George Joannides and the DRE agents who were arrested with Oswald in New Orleans.

f) LeMay also introduces an Air Force communications officer who had devised a way to influence radio communications that were to be adapted for use against Cuba.

g) The PENDELUM project is mentioned - and described as the code name of the Securitiy net that surrounded the covert Cuban projects they were operating.

h) The NSAM that JFK signed approving "Project Four Leaves" - a military communications system, is only mentioned once - in JFK's daily desk dirary at the JFK Presidential Library.

i) There is also mention of a textual letter that it so secret it could only be read and immediately returned to the messenger. This could possibly be a message from McGeorge Bundy regarding security for the Cuban operations then underway or being considered. 

2)  HSCA Interview w/ WC attorney Sam Stern (From Howard Weisberg’s Collection )

"I am less certain now that at the time we wrote the Report. Less certain that Oswald acted alone. Actually, I wasn't all that certain at the time. I thought the best evidence supported the final findings, and I agreed with them, but I wasn't tremendously firm or immovable in that, in my own mind. I just thought there were a lot of straws left.....I have become more skeptical about the Warren Commission findings and everything else that is a part of official life, I suppose. Everything has become discredited over the years since 1963. You don’t really believe in things the way you did back then."……

Mr. Stern stated that “at the outset we realized that there was no possible way to penetrate any official involvement in a cover-up or conspiracy if there was such complicity.” Stern stated that he and several of his Commission colleagues discussed what they regarded as “the fact that the agencies – the FBI and CIA – could formulate and maintain a cover-up which no one would ever penetrate. We of course did not believe that was so. And I still don’t. But we realized what we were dealing with, in the power of these agencies…

Stern stated that he had been told of FBI Agent Hosty’s allegedly threatening note received from Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the assassination, he “would have regarded it as greater identification of the possibility of potential danger in Oswald – of violence.” Stern stated that if the staff of the Commission had discovered that the Hosty note had existed and had been destroyed by the FBI in Dallas, that “if we had found out that happened, we would have gone to a full Commission meeting immediately, and would have made the big decision regarding any future relationship between the Commission and the FBI. It just would have gone to the heart of the whole relationship and the Bureau’s motivation. The destruction of that note would have resulted in the ultimate brouhaha.”

…Stern stated that had the Commission learned of the CIA-Mafia conspiracies to assassinate Fidel Castro, “we would have gone much more into Cuba, the CIA, and the Mafia. We would have had a whole host of new avenues calling for investigation. And we would have obviously had to develop some new sources of information – other than the agency.”

….When shown the CIA memorandum of November 1963 in which a CIA officer wrote that the Agency had once considered using Oswald for intelligence purposes, Stern stated that “I have never seen this. I was never given this, and we had asked for and were supposed to be given anything of relevance like this.” In reading the memo, Stern stated that “that would have definitely been relevant. If they (the CIA) were taking him that seriously, then you might think that others could or did also. If we found that had been withheld, that would have been a major explosion also.”

When shown a copy of the 1960-61 memos regarding “the possibility of an Oswald impostor,” Stern stated that he had never seen those three memos either, despite the fact that “they would have certainly been relevant. I was supposed to have been given all relevant Bureau information and files on Oswald in the pre-assassination period. They said I had everything.”

This leads us to the CIA document that was kept from the Warren Commission that indicated Oswald was considered for “operational use.”  

3) CIA Soviet Division memo – 104-10067-10212 – That says Oswald was once considered for operational use. Also known as the Cassin Memo.

Also see: The CIA Man who considered using Oswald:”

“25 November 1963. “…REDWOOD (CIA Soviet Division) had at one time an OI (Operational Interest) in Oswald….”  

4)  Secret Service Preventive Research Section File

Former Secret Service Agent Gerald Blaine, in his book “The Kennedy Detail” (Gallery Books, 2010, p.59) writes: “The first stop before any advance was always the PRS. Located in the Executive Office Building, next door to the White House, the PRS office were the nerve center for tracking threat cases. Any time there was a threat made against the president’s life – whether it was a written letter, a phone call, details gathered from an informant, field investigation, or an unstable person trying to get inside the Northwest Gate of the White House – an investigative report was initiated and a case file number is issued. A PRS agent would type the report on carbon paper so there would be multiple copies, noting the threat maker’s name, last known address, a synopsis of the threats made, a description of the person, and their medical history, if known. Cases are analyzed and categorized according to the seriousness of the threat.”

“The records room of the PRS office contained row and rows of gray metal four-drawer file cabinets that held thousands of threat suspect files, organized by case number. There were smaller file cabinets where index cards of each suspect were organized both geographically and alphabetically. The cards were cross-referenced to the case files. Thus if you knew either the name of the suspect or their last known location you go to the small index drawers, locate the card, which would have a case number on it, then go to the large filing cabinets to get the master file.”

(p.76) “…Win Lawson had checked PRS for threat suspect in Texas, specifically in the Dallas area, and had been pleasantly surprised to find that there weren’t any.”  More likely than "pleasantly surprised, he was incredulous, considering US Ambassador Stevenson had been physically assaulted a few weeks previous and known threats were coming in on a daily basis. 

5)  Collins Radio – 104-10107-10191 - ARRB considered “NBR” – Not Believed relevant

While this document seems unconnected to the assassination in any way, Collins Radio comes up again and again throughout the JFK assassination narrative, especially in regards to the Air Force One Radio Transmissions and the Tippit murder, as J.D. Tippit’s good friend worked at Collins Radio and his car was seen near the scene of Tippit’s murder, with a man resembling Oswald behind the wheel. This document, lawyer’s briefs for the taxing of American defense contractors working at a top secret ELINT base in Australia (Alice Springs), provides the proof that Collins Radio, LTV, General Dynamics et al, had a very close working relationship 

6)  Drew Pearson dinner with Khrushchev - 104-10003-10064 

Soviet Primer Khrushchev told Pierson and his wife over dinner that he disbelieved the Warren Report and criticized and suspected American intelligence agencies of involvement in the assassination. Rather than write a “Washington Merry-Go-Round” Column on this incredible scoop Pearson reported it to the FBI, who noted:  "Pearson repeated that the reaction of Chairman Khrushchev and his wife was one of flat disbelief and archtypical of the universal European belief that there was some kind of American conspiracy behind the assassination of President Kennedy and the murder of Oswald....(He) could not believe that the affair had happened as it apparently did and Mr. Pearson made no headway whatsoever in trying to change their belief that something was not on the level. Chairman Khruschev greeted Mr. and Mrs. Pearson's efforts with a tolerant smile..."   

7)  Jack Anderson on Jim Garrison – Tolson – DeLoach Memo of 4/4/67

Tolson (FBI): Pierson’s protégé also reported to the FBI rather than write a column after dinner with Jim Garrison According to the FBI report: “Jack Anderson came to see me at 11:55 a.m. today. He has just returned from New Orleans where, at the invitation of District Attorney Jim Garrison, he interviewed Garrison for approximately six hours at his home. Anderson and Garrison later had dinner at the Latin Quarter restaurant in New Orleans. Anderson stated that he went to New Orleans fully prepared to present a hostile viewpoint to Garrison. After listening to Garrison for approximately 90 minutes, he began to believe Garrison’s story. Anderson described Garrison as a very convincing talker who has considerable facts at his disposal. Anderson now believes there is some authenticity to Garrison’s claims and future plans. Garrison told Anderson that he will undoubtedly hold a full-scale trial within six months….Shaw at this point already had been approved by the CIA, through an appropriate cut-out, to enginner a plot that would result in the assassination of Fidel Castro…..I also told Anderson that, while we of course would accept any information that was voluntarily given to us, we at the same time would not take over Garrison’s ‘dirty laundry.’

Anderson told me that if the Bureau had any change of policy in the above regard he would appreciate knowing about it. I told him we would keep his offer in mind; however there would be no change of policy.
Anderson told me that he had discussed this entire matter with George Christian, the President’s Press Secretary, at the White House. He stated that Christian was also convinced that there must be some truth to Garrison’s allegations. Christian told Anderson to get in touch with the FBI. Anderson stated that he had already been planning to do this, but that he now especially wanted to advise us of the full facts because of Christian’s request.

8) The Rosselli Chronology File – RIF 157-10014-10236

Drew Pearson's protege Jack Anderson also interviewed John Rosselli immediately after he testified in secret Congressional hearing about his CIA Cuban activities, four plots to kill Castro and his case officer William Harvey. "The CIA has maintained throughout that the Oswald 201 file was a complete compilation of the material related to the assassination of President Kennedy. However, information relating to who Lee Harvey Oswald was, and what he was doing are not included in their files. The Oswald 201 file does not attempt to question Oswald's connection with both pro-Castro and anti-Castro groups or any of the AMLASH information. The most notable subject missing was information relating to CIA/U.S. Government attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro." 

Note: Anderson's story beings on page 27 and the Rosselli Chronology begins on page 38. Anderson: "So here is Rosselli's own account of a real-life 'Mission Impossible' - the attempt to kill Castro. It is a story of cash payments, poison pellets, high-powered rifles and powerboat dashes to Cuba."   

9) NSA Defectors Martin and Mitchel  - 104-10219-10088. 

Report from inside Russia on NSA defectors William H. Martin and Beron F. Mitchell, confirmed they went to Moscow via Mexico and Cuba, the same route Oswald wanted to take. It also shows how the CIA and NSA dealt with real defectors.  

10) NPIC PATHFINDER DOCUMENT – SECU122 SECURITY FILE ON FRANK STUGIS - Record Number 199308.05.14:42:12:750028 – JFK Record Series Agency Number 80T01357A  (BK Notes: I don’t know why this records doesn’t have a RIF # number. And Many thanks to Malcolm Blunt for providing me with document in 2013 - and I'm sorry it took me so long to recognize its significance. 

In this document, improperly inserted in the middle of Frank Sturgis’ Security File, it is noted that:

1)      On 19 March, Dino A. Brugioni, Chief, Western Geographic Division (NPIC), informed me (CIA Operational Division Chief) that three personnel assigned to his division had told him that while serving at JMWAVE, Miami, Florida or in the Imagery Analysis Service in Washington during the 1960’s, they had heard references to assassination plans on Fidel Castro.

2)      On 20 March, I met with the following NPIC personnel who had either served in the Imagery Analysis Service or at JMWAVE on Cuban related problems: Gordon Duvall, Earl Shoemaker, Tom Helmke, Bruce Barrett, Reyes Ponce, George Arthur, Eugene Lydon, and William Hanlon. The purpose of this meeting was to ascertain whether their participation was related to case officer generated materials or bona fide operations.  [ Note: that's eight witnesses, not three]. 

3)      There appeared to be two plans involving Fidel Castro and an incident that may have been related to Raul Castro…….

4)      The incident involving Raul Castro was not a formalized plan. It consisted of a paramilitary raid on Santiago de Cuba harbor. There was a rumor at JMWAVE that, while exiting the harbor, Raul Castro’s home had been fired upon by a paramilitary case officer named “Rip” Robertson. 

5)      To the best of my knowledge these facts represent the totality of any participation by our personnel in these matters. We have no further knowledge that the Fidel Castro operation ever advanced beyond the planning stage. 

SIGNED Edward S. Cates, Chief, Imagery Exploitation Group,  NPIC

While it may not have officially  “advanced beyond the planning stage” and was not implemented against the original target - Fidel Castro, Pathfinder was an off-the-shelf tactical plan that could have, and I believe was redirected to JFK at Dealey Plaza, and further analysis can prove me right or wrong,

It appears that “Rip” Robertson’s ride-by shoot up of Raul Castro’s home had already taken place, and the two Fidel Castro operations were formalized into distinct plans that, according to the Imagery Exploitation Group at NPIC, didn’t advance beyond the planning stage.

And there were plans to kill Castro known to the NPIC techs  – two of them specifically. According to this NPIC chief the plans involving Fidel, to the knowledge of our people were: 

(a)    A folder stored in the Photo interpretation area at JMWAVE contained materials relating to a plan to assassinate Castro in the Bay of Pigs resort area where he maintained a yacht and was known to vacation. The plan, possibly with the code word PATHFINDER, apparently had been disapproved and was not under active consideration at the time. Our people did not participate actively in the plan in any regard. 

(b)   While assigned to the Imagery Analysis Service, a number of our photo interpreters supported Carl Jenkins of the DD/P concerning a plan to assassinate Castro at the DuPont Varadero Beach Estate, east of Havana. Castro was known to frequent the estate and the plan was to use a high powered rifle in the attempt. The photo interpretation support was restricted to providing annotated photographs and line drawings of the estate. To our knowledge, this plan also was never implemented.

Bonus Doc. #11) In Response the CIA wrote (1993.08.05.14:4212;750028)

SUBJECT: Assassination Plans Against Castro
REFERENCE: Memorandum for the Record dated 21 March 1975 from Mr. Cates, NPIC 

1.      On receipt of reference memorandum, we reviewed the official folder on Mr. Carl Jenkins, a retired Agency employee, and asked the Directorate of Operations for any available information on PATHFINDER. Both efforts were fruitless – no one in the Directorate of Operations recognized the cryptonym PATHFINDER. 

2.      In our search of other files in connection with other staff activities, we came, just by chance, a reference to Pathfinder in an FBI memorandum dated 20 January 1961 concerning Frank Anthony Sturgis. We are unable to offer any speculation, reasonable or otherwise, on its significance in this memorandum or in the NPIC memorandum…..[End CIA Response]

Because these were "in house" agency communications between one division of the CIA and another, and was not shared with the Church Intelligence Committee, the "official folder on Mr. Carl Jenkins" that was reviewed was not subject to the JFK Act and is not in the JFK Collection at the National Archives and available to the public. And because Jenkins is still alive, it is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). But because Jenkins is still alive, we can and will try to interview him.

When the Assassinations Records Review Board (ARRB) interviewed former NPIC secretary Velma Reumann, she said that RFK had ordered her to box the NPIC records on the assassination (apparently including the Pathfinder documents) and convey to them to the Smithsonian Institute rather than the NARA where they belonged. 

Bonus Doc. #13 Interview with NPIC Secretary:

So the missing Pathfinder operational records were intentionally misfiled at least three times – 1) At JMWAVE the NPIC employees said the Pathfinder files were kept in their section of the station instead of the Operational Files, where they belonged; 2) the NPIC memo to CIA officials calling attention to the Pathfinder files (#1) were misfiled in the middle of Frank Sturgis’ Security File instead of being passed on to the Church Intelligence Committee; 3) the NPIC assassination records were ordered by RFK to be sent to the Smithsonian instead of the NARA.

As we have seen here, the best records lead to new names, new events and new records 

1 comment:

Unknown said...


Thanks for following up on this. I did find that Ed Lansdale used the term.

"Establish three "pathfinder" agent operations in key areas selected by-CIA."

Page 5 or this doc.