Saturday, March 30, 2019

Case Study No. 3 - Jim Braden

CASE STUDY No. 3 – Jim Braden

Peter Noyes, a Los Angeles, California based mainstream TV network producer and editor was perusing the 24 volumes of Warren Commission supporting testimony and documents looking for a local angle to pursue. Noyes found it in the statement made by Jim Braden after he was taken into custody as a suspicious person at the scene of the assassination of President Kennedy.

In his statement Braden said that he asked where he could find a pay phone and was directed to the second floor of the Dal-Tex building where he made his phone call and then took the elevator down. The elevator operator then notified a policeman that Braden was a stranger in the building, didn’t work there, and was acting suspicious so Braden was taken into custody by Dallas Sheriff Deputy Lummie Lewis, who took him to the nearby Sheriff’s office where Braden was directed to make the statement and released.

In an attempt to locate Braden Noyes contacted the California drivers license bureau and learned that shortly before visiting Dallas Eugene Hale Brading had officially changed his name to Jim Braden, and had an extensive arrest record for minor crimes, such as selling gas coupons during WWII.

Without actually interviewing Braden, Noyes learned as much about him as he could, discovered he was a member of the prestigious and mob connected La Costa golf club, and with a partner, was kicked out of Dallas by Sheriff Bill Decker for philandering rich widows, for which they were nicknamed “The Honeymooners.”

One of the rich widows that Braden and his friend targeted was the wife of a chief executive officer of the Magnolia Oil company, which comes into play later in the game as Magnolia employees Volkmar Schmidt and his two roommates hosted a party in order to introduce Lee Harvey Oswald to Michael Paine. While Paine didn’t show up, Ruth H. Paine met Marina Oswald, and they became fast friends, and Volkmar Schmidt talked at length with Oswald, calling Oswald’s attention to the July 20, 1944 plot to kill Hitler and suggesting that General Walker should be killed as Hitler should have been. Shortly thereafter Oswald purchased the rifle through the mail and is accused of taking a shot at Walker that missed.

I picked up a copy of Noyes’s book shortly after it was published in the mid-1970s, a blue pulp paperback called “Legacy of Doubt” at a drugstore book rack. In his book Noyes mentions that Braden, under the name Eugene Hale Brading, had been arrested in Camden, New Jersey in 1948 as a material witness in a gambling incident. Because the Camden police didn’t respond to his request for a copy of that arrest report, Noyes said that there was a lot of organized crime activity in Camden at the time and the Camden police were controlled by the mob.

Since my father was a Lieutenant in the Camden Police at the time, I showed him the book and the next day he handed me the original arrest report, a mug shot and a two page rap sheet of Brading’s previous record. He said that since the file was in the dirty, dusty basement of Camden City Hall, the secretaries didn’t want to go down there to retrieve the record for Noyes.

I made copies of the arrest report, mug shot and rap sheet and sent them to Noyes, Bill Turner and a few other researches and tried, but failed to locate Braden to interview him.

When the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) was formed and Philadelphia attorney Richard Sprague was named its first Chief Counsel, a newspaper report mentioned that Sprague was going to conduct a homicide investigation, much like he had previously convicted the killer of the United Mine Workers Union. The news report also mentioned that Sprague had his staff read Noyes’ book.

So I took a copy of Braden’s 1948 arrest report, the mug shot and rap sheet in a yellow manila envelope and hand delivered it to Sprague’s Philadelphia law office. I also kept track of the HSCA, knew that former Philadelphia Magazine reporter Gaeton Fonzi was hired by Sprague, as he had previously worked for Sen. Richard Schweiker (R. Pa.) on the Church Intelligence Committee.

While I didn’t know it at the time, Sprague had Jim Braden testify in executive session for two days, but because of Sprague’s procedures and determination, he was blackballed and forced out of office and replaced by G. Robert Blakey, then the head of the Cornell University Institute for the Study of Organized Crime. I thought Blakey would continue the investigation, but he said their responsibility was to write a report.

With the release of the HSCA Report, Blakey locked the remaining records away stating that he would rest on the judgment of historians in fifty years.

Blakey then began to write a book that blamed the assassination on organized crime. I then received a phone call from Blakey’s assistant Michael Ewing, who asked for a copy of Braden’s Camden arrest report. I told Ewing that I had given a copy to Sprague and that they should have gotten it from him. But Ewing explained that Sprague took his personal HSCA files with him. I said I was glad he did because it would have been locked away for fifty years if he had given it to Blakey. I did send Ewing and Blakey a copy of the Camden report.

When they sealed the HSCA records for fifty years, I went to the National Archives old original building in downtown DC where I met Marion Johnson, the archivist responsible for Warren Commission and JFK assassination records. I asked him how we could get access to the HSCA records and he said an Act of Congress was required.

As he explained it to me the fifty year rule was established for all Congressional Records because that was the estimated amount of time the people mentioned in the records would be dead.

Johnson also explained that when Congress passed the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), they exempted Congressional records, so that every other agency of government, including the FBI, CIA and NSA must respond to requests for records, except for Congress.

So with my College associate John Judge we formed the Committee for an Open Archives (COA) and began to lobby for Congress to release the HSCA files.

Many years later, with the release of Oliver Stone’s film “JFK,” Congress was pressed to release not only the HSCA files, but ALL of the government records on the assassination.

One of the first records I requested after the passage of the JFK Act of 1992 was Jim Braden’s two day, secret, executive session testimony before the HSCA, and boy was I surprised. Unlike most reluctant witnesses, Braden was anxious to testify and clear his name.

Braden testified that he flew to Dallas from LA in a private plane with a few other oil speculators and stayed at the Cabana Motel on the night before the assassination. The next day, while his associates visited the offices of H.L. Hunt, he checked in with his parole officer in downtown Dallas near Dealey Plaza.

He was with the parole officer at the time of the assassination, and walked to Dealey Plaza shortly thereafter, where he asked where he could find a pay telephone. He was directed to the second floor of the Dal-Tex building, went there and called his mother in California to tell her about the assassination. As he was leaving, the elevator operator realized he was a stranger in the building and didn’t work there, so he called this to the attention of the policeman – Dallas Deputy Sheriff Lummie Lewis. Lewis took him to the nearby Sheriff’s office where he was told to make a statement explaining his circumstances, and did so, and was then released.

Back at the Cabana Braden found that his associates had suddenly split town in the wake of the assassination, and flew on to Houston. Braden then flew a commercial flight to Houston to catch up with his pals. Then Braden said he flew to New Orleans, where he had spent the previous summer of 1963, working out of the office of oil geologist Vernon Main, Jr. in the Pierre Marquette office building.

There are many problems with Braden’s story, beginning with the fact that his parole officer denied being with him at the time of the assassination. In addition Braden’s lawyer when he appeared before the HSCA was named Twombly, an unusual name that Chauncey Holt had also mentioned as being the owner of a Northern California bank who directed some of his covert operations, including the supplying of fake Secret Service badges to Dealey Plaza on the  morning of the murder. I don’t know if the two Twomblys are related, but when I talked with Braden’s attorney on the phone he had lost track of Braden and denied being related to the California Twomblys and I took him at his word.

The most surprising aspect of Braden’s testimony is the fact that he lived with his wife in New Orleans during the memorable summer of 1963, when Oswald was there.

In addition, Braden said he worked out of Vernon Main, Jr.’s office in the Pierre Marquette building, which just happened to be on the same 17th floor just down the hall from the law offices of G. Ray Gill, Carlos Marcello’s attorney and close friend of New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison.

In his book Garrison says that he went to Gill’s office because David Ferrie worked there as an investigator on the Marcello case at the time of the assassination. Garrison obtained Gill’s office telephone records and found that one phone call from Gill’s office was to a Chicago number that was listed among the records of the Warren Commission.

Apparently the call from Gill’s office went to the Chicago apartment of Jean Aase (aka West), a number also called by sporting goods salesman Lawrence Meyers, a close friend of Jack Ruby.

A short time before the assassination Meyers had visited Dallas for the opening of the Cabana Hotel, and Ruby had taken Meyers to the Dallas State Fairgrounds where they went to a tent occupied by friends of Ruby who ran a film show called “How Hollywood Makes Movies.” The show was not doing well, so as a favor to Ruby, Meyers invested $500 in the failed enterprise. And when the show closed, Ruby hired roustabout and former Army soldier Larry Craford and Joyce McDonald, who became one of Ruby’s dancers.

When Meyers returned to Dallas on November 20, 1963, he was accompanied by Jean Aase, who he called Miss West, and described to the Warren Commission as “a dumb but accommodating broad.”

Jean Aase, the women whose Chicago apartment phone was called from Gill’s office in New Orleans and by Lawrence Meyers, appears to be an innocent cut-out used by these people. While Garrison claimed that it was David Ferrie who made the call to her phone from Gill’s office, it actually could have been anyone in Gill’s office, and she denied knowing David Ferrie or receiving a call from him.

Shortly before the assassination, while Meyers played golf, Jean Aase went shopping with Joyce McDonald the dancer, who is not be confused with Joyce McDonald the Magnolia Oil employee who attended the party hosted by Volkmar Schmidt and his two roommates – all Magnolia employees. The house party was set up specifically for Lee Harvey Oswald to meet Michael Paine, and although Paine didn’t show, his wife Ruth H. Paine met Marina Oswald and they became good friends, until the day of the assassination.

Also at the same party Oswald met Volkmar Schmidt, a German oil geologist who worked for Magnolia who talked with Oswald for two hours, mentioning the July 20, 1944 plot to kill Hitler and suggesting that General Walker should be killed as Hitler should have been. Shortly thereafter Oswald purchased the rifle through the mail and is accused of taking a shot at Walker that missed.

Getting back to Jim Braden, according to Peter Noyes’ book “Legacy of Doubt,” Braden and a friend Victor Pierra, had targeted rich widows who they moved in and lived with before they were kicked out of town by Dallas Sheriff Bill Decker for philandering, and were branded as “The Honeymooners.” One of those rich widows was named Mrs. Little, the widow of a former Magnolia Oil executive.

So on the Thursday night before the assassination, Jim Braden and his associates checked into the Cabana Hotel, and hotel and credit card records indicate they had drinks in the Cabana Lounge.

At the same time in the same place, Lawrence Meyers met his brother and his wife, owners of a Coke a cola bottling company in Brooklyn, New York, who were in Dallas for the Bottler’s Convention that Richard Nixon addressed. Meyers’ brother and his wife had just returned from Mexico City where they visited their son Ralph Meyers, a former Army Security Agency soldier who was previously stationed at a U2 base in Turkey. At the time Ralph Meyers was working as a journalist in Mexico City, and may have been registered at the Cabana Hotel that night, along with Jim Braden and his associates and Larry Meyers and his girl Jean Aase.

Late that Thursday night Jack Ruby arrived at the Cabana to meet Lawrence Meyers, and after meeting Meyers’ brother and his wife, took Lawrence Meyers to Campisi’s Egyptian Lounge for a steak. Ruby’s date that night, Beverly Oliver, said that while at Campisi’s Ruby, Meyers and Campisi went into the private office to make phone calls from the same phone that Dallas Policeman said he talked with Carlos Marcello, a close friend and business associate of Campisi.

The next day Larry Meyers would play golf at a Air Force golf club near Dallas, JFK would be killed, Jim Braden would be taken into custody as a suspicious person at the scene of the crime, and then fly to Houston and New Orleans. In New Orleans Braden would visit his associate Vernon Main, Jr. in the Pierre Marquette office building, just down the hall from G. Ray Gill, from where the phone call to Jean Aase in Chicago was made.

It comes around full circle – phone call to Chicago, Aase and Meyers go to Dallas and cross paths with Jim Braden, who then goes to New Orleans to the same place the original phone call was made.

Coincidence or conspiracy? I don’t know, but these leads have not been properly investigate. I think Vernon Main, Jr. may still be alive. I visited the Chicago apartment where Jean Aase lived, and it is now, and was then, owned by Russian Jews who have kept it in their family for decades.

I tried but failed to find Jim Braden when he was alive, because he truly wanted to talk and get his story out.

The final irony is the HSCA records of the first Chief Counsel Richard Sprague were never obtained by the Assassinations Records Review Board (ARRB) because they had the extensive records of another independent researcher named Richard Sprague, so they are not available and open to the public at the National Archives as they should be and as the JFK requires. 

So the yellow manila envelop with Braden's 1948 Camden arrest report, his mug show and rap sheet that I gave to Sprague is not available from the National Archives and Records Administration, but only available here. 



Wednesday, March 27, 2019

JFK Case Studies No. 1 and No. 2 - Dueling Julio Fernandez - UPDATED April 2

JFK CASE STUDY #1 – Mrs. Hoover and Julio Fernandez

The first case that I took on as a young freshman history education student at the University of Dayton, Ohio, was that of a Warren Commission document that caught my attention and I followed up on.
The document reported that shortly after the assassination of President Kennedy and the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald,  the brother of Mrs. Margaret Hoover of Martinsburg, Pennsylvania came in to the Pa. State Police barracks to report that his sister might have some information regarding the assassination.

The police investigated and the Pittsburgh office of the FBI got involved, interviewing Mrs. Hoover, who said that she discovered some items in her backyard including a trailer advertisement with the names Lee Oswald and Ruby written on the back – which she at first thought were the names of women her divorced husband was seeing. She showed them to her daughter, who confirmed she saw the names.

Then Mrs. Hoover realized that the items she found – which also included a drawing of window, the words “Silver Slipper” and a receipt for an AMTRACK train ticket, were not from her former husband but were from the next door neighbor’s trash that he was burning in his backyard.

Who was the neighbor. The cops checked him out and he introduced himself as Julio Fernandez, a Cuban exile and former editor and publisher of a Cuban newspaper. He said he was not a communist and left Cuba because of Fidel Castro’s policies. He didn’t know anything about the assassination or the contents of the trash he was burning, but did confirm that his son used the train ticket to Miami to attend a conference of exiled Cuban journalists at the University of Miami (JMWAVE).

The date of the AMTRACK train ticket: September 24, 1963 is a Major Red Flag in the Chronology as a lot of pieces were moved around the Devil's Chessboard that day - Ruth H. Paine picked up Marina and the baby and the Oswald's belongings - including the rifle - and took them to Texas while Oswald left the next morning to Mexico. Richard Case Nagell - the Man Who Knew Too Much - shot his gun into the roof of a Texas bank in order to be arrested and be placed in Federal custody when the assassination took place. The Joint Chiefs of Staff - with Gen. LeMay in temporary chairmanship, were briefed by the CIA's Desmond FitzGerald on covert operations against Cuba (See: The Higgins Report - Smoking Doc #1). And President Kennedy signed a National Security Action Memo approving the military's Four Leaves program, which still remains classified. And then JFK left on his Conservation Tour, with Mary Pinchot Meyer, as the first stop was a visit to her mother in Pennsylvania. 

And now we have Julio Fernandez's son heading to the University of Miami (JMWAVE) for a conference of exiled Cuban journalists. 

 Are there any records of this conference?  

Gaeton Fonzi, while working for Sen. Schweiker (R.Pa) as a Church Committee investigator, tracked down Julio Fernandez in upstate New York and interviewed him, but gave him a bye.

Interestingly, the son was an artist, who attended art school at nearby Penn State University. 

While Penn State is better known for its football team, the art school was selected to be one of those visited by Sir Arthur Blunt, the surveyor of the Queen’s pictures and a Soviet double-agent who had served in British intelligence during World War II. Blunt was one of the Soviet double-agents recruited in the 1930s at Cambridge, along with Kim Philby, Donald MacLean and Guy Burgess. While this connection has not yet been properly explored, it was William Harvey who first suspected Guy Burgess and Philby as being double-agents. MacLean and Burgess fled to Moscow before they could be arrested, and Philby followed shortly thereafter, but Blunt was permitted to retain his title. 

Did Blunt and the young Fernandez meet at Penn State? And if so did Blunt learn of anything from Fernandez? Or did Fernandez learn anything from Blunt? 

And why isn’t Max Holland, Gus Russo, Brian Latell, and those who claim the Soviets and Castro Cubans were behind Dealey Plaza  interested in this?

Leads to be followed:When was the conference of Cuban exiled journalists at the University of Miami in the summer of 1963 and who attended? What did they discuss? 

When did Blunt visit Penn State and why? 

Stuart Goodacre writes from UK with some interesting answers. 

“re your latest blog posting - Anthony Blunt was teaching at Penn State in and around August 1963. It was when he was there on Aug 19th that Guy Burgess died in Moscow.”

“Blunt specialised in studying Baroque art, in particular Nicolas Poussin. Thought this might be useful key words for your research. I've researched Blunt as part of a UK WW2 investigation and while its nothing to do with the JFK assassination, there is one thing you may be interested in. Ever heard of Kenneth De Courcy? He was a Right wing publisher who wrote and sold the Intelligence Digest - very popular in US Right wing and some extremist circles. Guy Bannister briefly published a Louisiana Intelligence Digest in the early 60s which I'm sure was an homage to De Courcy's magazine.”

“Anyway, De Courcy hated Blunt (in connection with the ww2 story) and would happily pin anything on him which could damage his reputation. So be aware that if any rightwingers pop up in your research with something damaging to say about Blunt - it may not be related to your strand of research. FYI De Courcy was jailed in 1963 for fraud but continued to publish the Digest and other magazines and maintained his contacts in both the US and UK. He had also been on the board promoting Billy Graham's European tours so you ma run into him in that guise.”

As for why he went to obscure Penn State, he says:

“Penn State simply invited him to teach. Remember Blunt was internationally renowned as an art historian; he'd toured internationally just previously and the Couthard Institute - which he'd greatly developed - was world famous. Add to that the Keeper of the Queen's Pictures. A tremendous catch for any University which wanted to raise its profile. There is one other thing which may have influenced his decision to go.”

“Michael Straight was an American who Blunt had recruited as a Soviet Agent while at Cambridge. In 63, JFK made Straight the Chair of a new body which would become the National Endowment for the Arts. But he was told he would need a security clearance. So fearing he would be found out if he refused to take the job, Straight told Arthur Schlesinger of his past, this was forwarded to the FBI and in return for immunity, Straight revealed that British Intelligence had several Soviet moles and he named them, including Blunt. It seems Blunt got wind of what was coming and got out of London by taking the invite.” 

“It’s possible that by choosing an relatively obscure University art-wsie, he wanted to keep a lower profile. The Dean of the architecture school at Penn at the time was a Gregory Ain, who had been suspected of being a communist by some HUAC committee or other in the 40s/50s. Maybe Blunt thought if Ain had got a job there, then he, Blunt, would be ok as well. Don't know if Blunt knew Ain but I'm sure he would have heard of Ain's blacklisting from some art posts”  

THE OTHER JULIO FERNANDEZ - Clearly a different person 

JFK CASE STUDY #2 – Clare Booth Luce and Julio Fernandez

When Fonzi was hired as a Senate investigator the first thing Sen. Schweiker had him look into was an allegation by Clare Boot Luce. Luce had told a women’s magazine feature write – Vera Glasser, that on the night of the assassination she received a phone call from Julio Fernandez, one of her “Cuban Boys” she financially supported at the request of William Pawley. Fernandez, Luce said, led a team of anti-Castro Cuban commandos who had a boat that ran infiltration and sabotage missions to Cuba. She said she wrote about them in Life magazine. When Fernandez called on the night of the assassination he said he had evidence on Oswald, photos and a tape recording that implicated Castro in the assassination. Luce said she told Fernandez to call the FBI. She later learned that Fernandez became disenchanted with the CIA and became a lawyer in Miami.

The Church Committee asked the CIA for any files they had on “Julio Fernandez” and they came up with a list of a dozen or more, but none of them were the Julio Fernandez journalist who was Mrs. Hoover’s neighbor, nor the anti-Castro Cuban commando that Luce knew.

Peter Dale Scott concluded that “Julio Fernandez” was a pseudonym, while Fonzi thought Luce made up the name.

But U.S. Army Ranger Captain Bradley Ayers writes in his book (“The Zenith Secret”) that there was a Julio Fernandez, and he was a maritime commando team leader run out of the CIA’s JMWAVE base at the University of Miami, where the conference of Cuban exiled journalists was held in the summer of 1963.
Ayers and U.S. Ranger Captain Edward Roderick were assigned to JMWAVE by General Krulak, who was responsible for the U.S. military support for CIA covert operations, especially those being run against Cuba. While Roderick trained a team of commandos in explosives and sniper tactics at a base near Point Mary, off Key Largo, Ayers trained other teams in small boat handling and covert operational procedures at Pirate’s Lair in the Everglades. According to Ayers one of the team leaders was Julio Fernandez.

Ayers wrote that on one mission, “…we were turning eastward off the Dry Tortugas and heading toward Cay Sal. Julio, the commando team leader, had lived in the Isabela area and knew the railroad bridge and surrounding terrain.”

So there was a Julio Fernandez, and he was a maritime commando team leader run out of the CIA’s JMWAVE station, but he wasn’t the Julio Fernandez journalist who Mrs. Hoover knew. 

Leads to be followed: Did Clare Booth Luce write about her Cuban boys in Life magazine? Did Julio Fernandez become a lawyer, certainly narrowing the field? If he died is there an obit? 

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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Major CAPA Announcement - November in Dallas 2019

Greetings to CAPA members and supporters:

CAPA is pleased to announce that, this year, we will be assuming responsibility for the November in Dallas conference normally organized by Debra Conway. The name of the conference will be “CAPA November in Dallas.” The CAPA board sees this as an important opportunity to reach more people and open new doors.

CAPA’s goals have always included pursuing the release of the withheld JFK records, filing Freedom of Information Act requests, instituting other  legal actions to enforce the law, and to bring truth to the American public – those efforts will continue.

CAPA is in the midst of planning the CAPA November in Dallas conference which will be held on Friday and Saturday November 22/23 at the Marriott Courtyard, 310 South Houston St., Dallas, (Downtown/Reunion District). 

Please save the dates. We will keep you apprised of our progress.

Thank you all for your support of our worthy cause: 
Pursue the release of withheld records -  Find the Truth -  Seek Justice

Best regards,
Glenda de Vaney
Membership Chair 

CAPA Website: 

JFK Lancer Announce
Debra Conway writes: 

President Kennedy told us that democracy thrives only when citizens contribute their talents to the common good and that it is up to leaders to inspire citizens to acts of sacrifice.* As the Director of the annual "November In Dallas" conferences, it is my pleasure to announce that the prestigious group "Citizens Against Political Assassinations" (CAPA) will host the "CAPA November In Dallas Conference" beginning this November 22-23, 2019.

CAPA is led by Chairman Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D., with goals including filing Freedom of Information Act requests and similar legal actions to enforce the law and undertake public education efforts to show the importance of disclosure to new generations.** Dr. Wecht has put together an excellent team to select speakers and organize the program, headed by Larry Schnapf. 

Of course, Lancer will participate in the new conference by maintaining the "Retail Room". Contact me to reserve retail tables. 

The years have gone by so fast that it is hard to believe Lancer has held conferences since 1996. None of this work could have been accomplished without Mary Ferrell, Robert Chapman, Sherry Fiester, Jim Olivier, George Michael Evica, Alan Dale, Larry Hancock, Brian Edwards, Casey Quinlan, David Knight, and my partner, Tom Jones. There are too many others to thank in this message so I invite you to our website to see the lists of chairpersons, speakers, special guests, and witnesses who graced us with their presence, their information, and their remembrances. On behalf of all of those persons and JFK Lancer, I thank you from my whole heart and mind for your support and participation. 

JFK Lancer will carry on with publishing and our website. In fact, my time until November will be updating our website and getting several books ready for publication.

I will see you this November.
All my best,
Debra Conway, President JFK Lancer Productions & Publications

*Poetry And Power—The Inaugural Address Of John F. Kennedy
Please visit our website for resources:

Monday, March 25, 2019

Phil Shenon Rides Again - Promoting the Castro Cover Story

Phil Shenon at it Again - Promoting the Castro Cover Story

Putting Phil Shenon and his theories into a proper perspective. 

Phil Shenon is unlike Gus Russo, Bob Baer, Brian Latell, Carlos Bringuier and Max Holland, all former CIA officers, agents and assets who promote the official cover-story for the Dealey Plaza Operation - Oswald did it alone but Castro encouraged and manipulated him. Phil Shenon is supposed to be a reputable former New York Times reporter and otherwise respected journalist but who parrots the party line even though he doesn't have the clear connections that make him a certifiable disinformation agent like the others have. 

Shenon says that he himself was encouraged by anonymous former Warren Commission attorney to take on this story - shunned by most in the mainstream media as a career killer. While John Newman suspects the anonymous WC attorney was the late Arlen Specter, I believe it was Sam Stern, a former Warren Commission attorney whose House Select Committee on Assassinations interview I consider Smoking Document #2 - for a number of reasons. 

Shenon is clear that he is not interested in the truth behind the assassination, he accepts the false fact that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone shooter, and is only interested in the well debunked cover-story that Castro was behind Oswald and the assassination,which is  part of a clearly defined disinformation campaign that was designed to deceive those who purse the actual killers. 

As an introduction to this false story - designed to deceive, Shenon focuses on a former State Department official who learned (from a certified CIA agent) of and reported on a Mexico City "Twist Party" where Oswald was encouraged to kill JFK by Cuban embassy officials at the home of Sylvia Duran, a Cuban embassy employee who did deal with Oswald when he was seeking a visa to Cuba. 

Shenon mentions that also attending the Twist Party were two American Gringos, one of whom was a film actor, who were close to Oswald at the party and were seen with him walking on the street the next morning. While Duran refused to identify the American film actor, who she apparently knew well, because he was still alive and she wanted to protect him. 

The records recently released under the JFK Act include a CIA report on a wiretap of the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City that picked up a post assassination phone call from Richard Beymer asking specifically for Sylvia Duran. When told she was not there, he asks how she was, indicating that he knew she was taken into custody by the Mexican police and was tortured. He also asks if she was home - implying he knew where she lived. 

When I contacted Bymer he claimed he didn't remember a Twist Party but that was something he and his friend would have done, as they were young, single, footloose Americans below the boarder, and he didn't know or remember Sylvia Duran. His traveling companion, Bradley Pierce, a New York City bar owner who became a Catholic Priest, recalled to me that they were in Mexico for only a few weeks and were there at the time of the assassination - so they couldn't have attended a Twist Party when Oswald was officially there a month earlier. 

Father Bradley recently passed away, but not before I talked with him, a good man who I wanted to meet to learn the story of how a bar owner became a priest. 

As I reported in Lobster Magazine: 

When his book was published Shenon was featured on National Public Radio (NPR) "Fresh Air" program with Dave Davies, who asked Shenon if he cooperated with other assassination researchers, and Shenon responded by saying he tried, but they won't accept him because he doesn't agree with their conspiracy theories. 

Well there is a tight knit network of assassination researchers who do cooperate and share information and discoveries, but it isn't their conspiracy theories Shenon disagrees with, it's that they don't buy Shenon's completely debunked conspiracy theory that Castro was behind what happened at Dealey Plaza. 

Russo, Latell and Shenon get their books published, Bob Baer gets a TV series and Max Holland gets CIA grants to promote fake Soviet disinformation being behind conspiracy theories, while the real disinformation – that Castro was behind the Dealey Plaza operation is relegated to my blogs and the work of a few series researchers – Peter Dale Scott, John Newman and Dan Hardway.

Now why won't Dave Davies interview any of those assassination researchers who do agree and cooperate and write books - some of whom have signed on to the Ten Points of Agreement manifesto - including David Talbot (Who DD did interview for "Brothers"), John Newman, Peter Dale Scott, Lisa Pease, Dick Russell, Joan Mellen, Jefferson Morley, et al. - there are many others. Why can't they get equal air time to refute Phil Shenon's nonsense. 

Now Shenon uses the death of the widow of a State Department diplomat who tried to call attention to the discredited Twist Party story to promote the Castro did it theme again, and I'm sure we will here from him again on this.

Thanks to Andrew Kreig for calling attention to this WP article. 

For the complete WP article: 

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Monday, March 18, 2019

Putting the Ducks, Dominoes and Game Pieces in Order

Playing the Great Game on the Devil’s Chessboard - 

Putting the Ducks, Dominoes and Game Pieces in Order 

David Talbot in his book “The Devil’s Chessboard” quotes Allen Dulles as saying that as one who served on the Warren Commission he found that “it was so tantalizing to go over that record [of events], as we did, trying to find out every fact connected with the assassination, and then to say if any one of the chess pieces that were entered into the game differently at any one time, the whole thing might have been different.”

The Chessboard analogy is a good matrix model, as some of the major players called themselves “Knight” and “Bishop” and the accused assassin has always been described, by both conspiracy theorists and lone-nuters, as a “Pawn.”

Seldom in the history of the game of chess, or in the Great Game of espionage – has the King has put himself in a position to be taken out by a Pawn, whose movements and means of attack are strictly limited.

Chess master Bobby Fisher once said that it isn’t putting the opposition into the position of checkmate that is satisfying, it is the moment that the opposition recognizes the game is lost.

As for Dulles’ analysis that “if any one of the chess pieces that were entered into the game differently, at any one time, the whole thing might have been different.”

Exactly – the end result depended on every move to be made – which reminds me of a major part of John Newman’s new book “Into the Storm,” in which he describes how six separate events led to JFK winning the majority of the black vote and thus the 1960 election.

In Chapter One - The Kennedys, King, and the Race Issue – 1960 - Fourteen Days that Changed the Course of History, Newman writes, ….“In… this chapter, I will lay out what I believe was a causal chain of six race-related events that led to Kennedy’s victory in the 1960 presidential election. Those six events took place during a crucial fourteen-day period, just before the election, in the following order”:

17 October: JFK scuttles a proposed meeting with Dr. King.
19 October: King is arrested at student sit-ins in Atlanta, Georgia.
26 October: Approximately 3:00 a.m; King is transferred to chain gang in Reidsville Federal Penitentiary.
26 October: Approximately 10:00 a.m.; Kennedy makes a sympathy telephone call to Coretta King.
27 October: Robert Kennedy makes a call to Judge Mitchell to secure King’s release from Reidsville prison.
28 October: The “Blue Bomb” scheme is secretly launched; the pamphlets are distributed on Sunday, 6 November, two days before the election.

“….It is my contention," Newman writes, "that 1) each one of these events had to occur in order that the next event could take place: and, 2) if any of these six events had failed to take place, John Kennedy would not have been elected president on 8 November 1960. There would have been no New Frontier;…”

It is in that same vein, as Dulles’ points out in regards to the sequence of events that took place prior to the assassination, and Newman’s analysis of the sequence of events that led to the black voters supporting Kennedy, another sequence of events must take place before the case of the murdered president can be resolved to a legal and moral certainty.

There are many legal options, but they must take place in a very specific order to succeed.
And they are:

1)      A Congressional Briefing held in a briefing room in Congress. Any Congressman can request a briefing room reservation at any time, but we need a friendly Congressman to reserve such a room. I arranged for my Congressman William Hughes (D. 2 NJ) to arrange for such a room for a Press Conference announcing the formation of COPA –the Coalition on Political Assassination, and Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D. Ga.) arranged for a large hearing room to be utilized for a Congressional Briefing on the 911, so we have done this before. This Congressional Briefing in Congress must feature the top JFK assassination lawyers, researchers and investigators who could call attention to the most serious issues and convince Congress to hold public JFK Act oversight hearings. We must get the STAFF of the Congressional Oversight Committee to want to do this, as well as the chairman – Rep. Cummings (D. Md.) who should meet with a small select group of our key people. The Congressional Briefing is a preliminary step for a full House Oversight Committee hearing, in which each Congressman on the Committee gets a set time to question special expert witnesses and those responsible for the destroyed, missing and still withheld records. This Congressional Briefing must be held before Congress recesses for the summer.

2)      The Congress of the United States must, by law, eventually conduct meaningful oversight of the JFK Act of 1992 by holding public hearings that would be televised live on CSPAN focusing on illegally destroyed, missing and wrongfully withheld records on the assassination of President Kennedy. This hearing should be held in early September after Congress resumes.

3)      All of the remaining withheld records must be released in full as the law requires, but only Congress can make that happen.

4)      Congress should appoint a new – permanent Review Board that will oversee the JFK Act but also the recently enacted Cold Case Civil Rights Records Act, that requires a new Review Board.

5)      All of the living witnesses should be questioned and properly interviewed on the record, officially subpoenaed by the House Oversight Committee or its sub-committee on NARA if necessary, and the witnesses should be required to testify under oath.

6)      The Mainstream Media must be convinced to cover these briefings and hearings and detail how JFK assassination records were illegally destroyed, illegally went missing, and are still being wrongfully withheld, which should spark the justice department to take action.

7)      The Justice Department should appoint a special prosecutor and convene a DC Federal Grand Jury to investigate the crimes related to the assassination – including the destruction of records, the illegal theft of and the wrongfully withholding of specific records that we identify.

8)      CAPA attorney Bill Simpich has proposed convincing a Texas Municipal Judge convene a Court of Inquiry, a legal venue unique to Texas that could legally exonerate Lee Harvey Oswald for the assassination of President and require a new official inquiry. Any Municipal Judge in Texas could order such an Inquiry and the positive aspect of this is he is not required to conduct the inquiry, which another judge would be appointed to do. The Innocence Project, which has exonerated hundreds of falsely convicted victims, could cooperate in this endeavor. 

9)      The newly elected Democratic District Attorney of Dallas County should be briefed privately on the cold case homicides in his jurisdiction that requires further investigation – including the assassination of President Kennedy and the murders of J.D. Tippit and Lee Harvey Oswald. He should respond by convening a local Special Dallas Grand Jury to conduct an investigation into these crimes to see if any new evidence and records and compel witnesses to testify. While this local Dallas Grand Jury would only require one assistant – District Attorney to conduct such a Grand Jury, most of the leg work, research, investigative leads and targeted records and witnesses could be provided by independent researchers who have been working on this case for decades.

10)  Both the DC based Federal Grand Jury and the Dallas based local County Grand Jury have the power to order an exhumation of the remains of the victims (JFK, John Connally, J.D. Tippit, Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby) for proper FORENSIC autopsies using the most up to date scientific equipment (X-Ray, MRI, photo, etc.) that will provide an enormous amount of new evidence that would be admissible in a court of law. A regular autopsy only determines the cause of death while a forensic autopsy creates evidence that can be introduced in a court of law.

11)  If neither the Federal Grand Jury nor the local Dallas Grand Jury determine that there are living suspects that could be indicted for crimes related to the assassination – including the destruction of evidence, destruction of historic records, theft of records, wrongfully withholding of records, perjury, obstruction of justice, conspiracy and murder, then they can produce a public report, much like the Grand Jury Reports issued in the case against Rockwell International in Colorado (published by Westword, Denver) and the more recent case of sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Pennsylvania.

12)  The new Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC) had proposed a Public Inquest be held in Washington D.C. in the first week of December that would focus on the assassination of President Kennedy, as well as other political assassinations of the Sixties.

13)  The recently passed Civil Rights Cold Case Records Act could include the assassinations of JFK, MLK, RFK, and Malcolm X as well as the hundreds of other murders of innocent civilians that came under the Emmett Till bill, and declared Federal homicides.

14)  If all of the events occur in the proper sequence, then all of the evidence, records, facts and witness testimony should be made available to the public so even if justice is not served, anyone can know who killed President Kennedy, how they did it and why.