Friday, January 3, 2020

In Response to Max Holland's The FBI's Culture of Impunity


By William Kelly, Jr. 

Max Holland’s article in the Daily Beast on the subject of the Federal Bureau of Investigation - FBI’s Culture of Impunity requires a reasonable response, as there are better examples of it.

We know that J. E. Hoover was obsessed with communism, yet at the same time denied that the Mafia and organized crime even existed.

On a personal level I remember the time my father, Camden Police detective Lt. William Kelly, Sr. told me a story on a drive to the Shore, how he was asked to give a new FBI Special Agent in Charge (SAIC) a tour of the local scene, so they went to the Garden State Race Track in Cherry Hill where my dad pointed out a few local bookies and the top organized criminals in the bars and restaurants and what type of rackets they were involved in. 

Shortly thereafter one of the bookies complained to my dad that the new FBI agent in town was shaking him down for a pay off, so that was the end of Lieutenant Kelly’s cooperation with the FBI.

I was quite familiar with former FBI agent Bill Turner’s whistle blowing warning that Hoover was no good, long before I met him and we became friends.

Then, just today, a few days into the new year, I picked up a book at the local used book shop – “A G-Man’s Journal – A Legendary Career Inside the FBI from the Kennedy Assassination to the Oklahoma City Bombing” by Oliver “Buck” Revell, appointed FBI SAIC of the Dallas office in 1991, and not to be confused with Jack Revell, the Dallas police officer mentioned below.

So Max Holland’s Daily Beast ditty on the FBI’s culture of impunity certainly caught my attention and interest, and getting around his usual false assumptions like Oswald killed the President all alone, I just don’t think he took it far enough with the FBI and the assassination, so I will.

Holland writes: “On November 12, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald visited the Dallas Field Office to protest what he considered FBI intimidation. Special Agent  James Hosty, who had interviewed Oswald’s wife, Marina, was out to lunch so Oswald left a short signed note, saying, in effect, that he would contact the local branch of the American Civil Liberties Union if the harassment didn’t stop. When Hosty returned to read the note and didn’t even bother to put in Oswald’s case file, leaving it in a desk drawer. Hosty considered it harmless ‘guff.’”

“Ten days later, after Oswald assassinated President Kennedy, the handwritten note posed an enormous public relations problem. The Bureau was already drawing criticism from the Dallas police department and U.S. Secret Service for not having informed them of Oswald’s presence in Dallas. The visit and protest note promised to put the onus for the assassination on the Bureau.”

“A self-appointed vigilante named Jack Ruby solved the Bureau’s problem on Nov. 24. After Ruby murdered Oswald as the accused assassin was being transferred from police custody to the county jail, J. Gordon Shanklin, the special agent in charge of the Dallas Field Office, called Hosty in and ordered him to get rid of Oswald’s note. Hosty flushed it down a toilet, and in this manner the FBI destroyed evidence material to Oswald’s state of mind in the days leading up to the assassination…..”

“…Despite its destruction of material evidence,” Holland writes, and I must take exception to his statement that, “the FBI’s investigation into the assassination of President Kennedy was exhaustive and non-political – which must have come to the surprise of everyone who thought Hoover saw a communist conspiracy under every bed. The bottom-line conclusions that the FBI delivered to the Warren Commission in December 1963 – the commission was originally conceived as a panel that would merely review the FBI’s work – are essentially identical with those of the commission 10 months later, i.e., Oswald did the deed and there was no evidence of his involvement in a conspiracy, foreign or domestic.”

Despite the continuing psych war “active measure” by CIA officials, agents and assets to continue blaming Cuban Castro Commies for the crime, the FBI and Warren Commission were correct in that there is no evidence of Oswald’s involvement in a conspiracy, foreign or domestic, because he didn’t do it and is not the culprit.

And I too don’t understand why J. Edgar Hoover, who did find commies under every bed, ignored the litany of Oswald’s Castro Cuban Communist connections that were laid out for him by the CIA psych warriors – the Phase One cover-story. Instead Hoover went with the deranged Lone Nut scenario that LBJ insisted on in the first few hours of the investigation and put a squelch on Joe Goulden’s attempt to get Dallas Assistant DA William Alexander to charge Oswald with “furthering a communist conspiracy.”

And it was Goulden and Hugh Aynesworth who made up the fake FBI informant ID number they attributed to Oswald. Was Goulden egging Alexander on to pin the communist tail on Oswald at the request of his good friend David Atlee Phillips, and was Aynesworth doing what his CIA case officer J. Walton Moore asked him to do?

Then there was the Dallas Police Department’s Special Services Unit – most of whom were also US Army Reservists, who made a move against the FBI when their officer Jack Revell was told to write a report on what FBI Agent Hosty said to him as they responded to the arrest of Oswald – that the FBI were aware of Oswald, that he was capable of committing the assassination, and he was a communist. Putting that on paper as an official report was a blatant attempt to stick a pin in Hosty’s ass and delibertly hurt or compromise the FBI’s investigation.

That was two direct attacks on the integrity of the FBI as an agency – by two CIA media assets – Goulden and Aynesworth, and two Dallas Police Special Services Unit officers – Pat Gannaway and Jack Revell.

Yet, Max Holland doesn’t mention any of this in his report on the FBI’s Culture of Impunity?

If the FBI’s investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy was “exhaustive and non-political” as Holland attests, how come the Warren Commission was never informed of the destroyed note to Hosty that the accused assassin supposedly wrote and was, as Holland says, evidence of his “state of mind in the days leading up to the assassination.”

Yes, the state of mind of the Patsy is something that we should try to understand, and the Hosty note is a key piece of evidence the FBI intentionally destroyed and kept from the Warren Commission.  

And as Holland says what he thinks was in the note – “in effect he would contact the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) if the harassment didn’t stop,” it should also be noted that Oswald actually did attend a meeting of the ACLU around that time with Michael Paine, and did pay a membership fee to join the association, so there’s more to that if you look there.

And the fact that Oswald did write a note and Hosty did destroy it on orders from his boss, certainly did shake the Warren Commission attorneys who were unaware of the note, as Samuel Stern told the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA).

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…..Fortunately, we believed they were on our side.”

Mr. Stern stated that on one occasion he believed that the Commission was influenced in its investigation by what he regarded as “some type of pressure or fear of the FBI.” Stern stated that this came about when he prepared a detailed letter to be sent to the FBI setting forth detailed questions about their past investigation and contacts with Lee Oswald. Stern stated that Earl Warren told him that the letter was too demanding and that it would cause problems vis a vis the Commission’s relationship with Hoover. Stern stated that upon being told that the letter was “unacceptable” by Warren, he (Stern) met with John McCloy and explained the situation to him, hoping to gain his support. While McCloy did express agreement with Stern that the letter was necessary, Stern was once again told by Warren that “the letter went further than was desirable.” Stern thereupon sent a less detailed request.


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.”

And indeed, there is an important still undeveloped lead that the FBI ignored, and can still be followed up today if anyone is inclined to do so.

Judyth Campbell (Exner) was a key player in the CIA-Mafia plots to kill Castro as a friend and associate of John Rosselli who had amorous affairs with both Chicago mob boss Sam Giancana and President Kennedy, simultaneously. And she delivered packages back and forth between her lovers.

So of course she was under FBI surveillance, and on August 7, 1962 the stakeout team observing her Las Vegas apartment saw two young men break in when she wasn’t there. Their automobile license plate traced them to I.B. Hale, a former high level FBI Agent and security chief of the Convair Division of General Dynamics, and they were identified as Hale’s twin sons – Bobby and Billy Hale.

Just as their father was a Texas college football star, Bobby and Billy played football at Arlington Heights High School in Fort Worth at the same time as Lee Harvey Oswald reportedly tried out for the team. While Oswald dropped out of school that October and enlisted in the Marines, one of the Hale twins went on to shoot and murder the daughter of Texas Governor John Connally. I kid you not. 

Because of I.B. Hale’s status with the FBI was part of the “Impunity” Max Holland talks about, the black bag job – break in at Judyth Cambell’s Vegas apartment was never investigated, though some have suggested that it might have had something to do with the General Dynamic’s pursuit of the lucrative TFX jet contract, or possibly the CIA-Mafia plots to kill Castro. But certainly nothing to do with the assassination.

Thought the story doesn’t end there.

I.B. Hale’s wife Virginia, the twin’s mother, worked at the Texas Employment Commission. When Oswald returned to Texas from the USSR Mrs. Hale personally assisted Oswald in obtaining employment with the Leslie Welding in Fort Worth, a job that he didn’t get fired from, and Jaggers/Chiles/Stoval graphic arts firm in Dallas. It was while working at J/C/S when Oswald placed captions and arrows on blown up U2 photos of Soviet missiles in Cuba, and did a job for the Sam Bloom Ad Agency on the day he was supposed to have picked up the rifle and pistol at the Post Office. Bloom handled the details of the motorcade, and did the "public relations" for Ruby's trial.

So how can you talk about the FBI and the assassination without mentioning Oswald and the Hale brothers as schoolmates, their breaking in Judy Campbell’s apartment, the FBI covering up that fact, and Mrs. Hale getting Oswald two key jobs on his return from the USSR?

I don’t know. I just know the officials didn't bother to investigate any of this. 

Which brings me back to Oliver "Buck" Revell, the SAIC of the Dallas FBI office from 1991 - who writes the best expression of the FBI's Culture of Impunity

"In the face of all this, I gave several interviews to the press stating my firm belief that Lee Harvey Oswald was the assassin in Dallas that day, and that he had acted alone. The physical and testimonial evidence was clear and conclusive. this, of course, turned out to be to little avail, as you can never prove a negative, that there was no conspiracy. Keeping the investigation open took enormous resources and a lot of my time, but no case was more important in the annals of American history, so I wanted us to answer as many questions as we could...We thoroughly checked out new information that could possibly shed light on unknown factors in the case. This was necessary, as the assassination would remain a divisive issue in American society, and there was no end in sight." 

And that, in a nutshell is the FBI's "Culture of Impunity" in full tilt, with no end in sight in the year 2020. 

As former CIA officer Rolf M. Larsson told the CAPA audience last November 23, - the CIA has taken safeguards against any official assuming the power and duration that James Jesus Angleton assumed for decades, and I can assume that the FBI will never have another J. Edgar Hoover, but as Max Holland assures us, the Culture of Impunity didn't begin with Trump and still exists today. 


And again, just to keep the record straight, in regards to the assassination of MLK, Max Holland is incorrect when he says: “With respect to Dr. King, despite the Bureau’s demonstrated animus, when the civil rights leader was assassinated in April 1968 the FBI mounted an all-out investigation that succeeded in apprehending the fugitive assassin, James Earl Ray. No one reasonably disputes that he was the culprit.”

Among those who reasonably dispute the idea James Earl Ray was the culprit are the King family, their attorney William Pepper, Ray’s brother and his biographer T. Carter, the late John Judge and former members of COPA – the Coalition on Political Assassinations, and the membership and boards of two active non-profits – Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA) – Dr. Cyril Wecht chairman, and the Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC), founded by David Talbot.

Since I can only work on solving one murder at a time, I am focused strictly on JFK, but support and admire those who are looking into the assassinations of RFK, MLK, Malcolm X., and other unresolved crimes.

If you can, please support JFKCountercoup work:

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