Coup in Dallas – A Preview
Coup In Dallas – The Decisive Investigation into Who Killed JFK – by H. P. Albarelli, Jr. with a forward by Dick Russell (Skyhorse Press 2021)
We know Hank Albarelli from his fine book “A Terrible Mistake,” about the CIA- LSD laced death of US Army biochemist Dr. Frank Rudolph Olson, and his “A Secret Order – Investigating the High Strangeness and Syncroncity in the Kennedy Assassinaton,” so we can trust him to delve further into the JFK assassination matrix with a background that gives him some insight into the covert world of intelligence.
This book is not an easy read, as Hank Albarelli passed away before it could be finished, and it was to his good forture to have a good team behind him that saw it though to press, including Dick Russell, co-authors Leslie Sharp and Alan Kent, along with graphic artist Pete Sattler and Charles R. Drago, and cheered on by attorney Steve Rosen, document expert Malcolm Blunt, Stuart Wexler and with the finishing touches made by publisher Tony Lyons.
Without buying everything the book says, I do agree on a number of key elements – the assassination of the President in Dallas was not only a conspiracy but a more specific covert intelligence operation, as well as a coup, because those actually responsible were not investigated and the high level cover-up continues today – in the name of national security and the continued withholding of assassination records.
This book does set the “lay of the land,” and gives deep political background and a bit of history to the multiple characters and corporations that are entwined in the assassination story and their inter-relationships.
I will call this a preview of the book, as I will have to wait to review it more thoroughly after I give the book a second read to fully digest it all, but it is chock full of new information, especially concerning the corporate backdrop of the covert operation that occurred at Dealey Plaza and new names – most notably one with the unlikely name shared with a pirate - Jean Pierre Lafitte.
In the course of Albarelli’s research for the Olson book he used the letters and note books of US Federal Bureau of Narcotics and CIA agent George Hunter White. White led Albarelli to one fascinating character – Jean Pierre Lafitte, who Hank says worked with White out of the CIA’s Bedford Street safehouse in New York’s Greenwich Village. Hank says he later worked closely with CIA’s Counter-Intelligenc chief James Jesus Angleton.
Albarelli learned that Lafitte was living in New England, but when he got there Lafitte had already died. He did obtin much valuable information from his widow Rene, including limited access to Lafitte’s 1963 datebook. He also learned that Lafitte once lived in New Orleans and was briefly employed by the William Riley Coffee company, where he used the alias “Jean Martin.” Lafitte, Albarelli tells us, was associated with the CIA’s James Jesus Angelton.
Jean Lafitte is described by Albarelli as the “project manger” for “Lancelot,” the code name for the assassination used by Lafitte in his datebook.
Now every covert operation has a code name, we know that for a fact. So far the covert op that left the president dead with a bullet to his head has variously been called Operation Zipper, "the Big Event," and now Lancelot, though I prefer just calling it The Dealey Plaza Operation.
Hank Abarelli had access to two key and unique sources – besides Jean Lafitte and his datebook, he had access to Otto Skorzen’s private papers, that US Air Force officer Major Ralph Ganis allowed him to review after he purchased them at an internet auction.
After agreeing to assist Ganis in writing a book, and working together for awhile, they decided to each write their own book. I met Ganis in Dallas a few years ago and reviewed his book, The Skorzeny Papers – here:
It took awhile for the Skorzeny Papers to be exaimined and understood, and Ganis makes a good case for Skorzeny’s post WWII operations being extended from Madrid and Ireland to Dallas, I don’t think Skorzeny was the strategic mastermind of the Dealey Plaza operation, as Hank does, but he makes a strong case for Lafitte being the “Project Manager,” based mainly on his datebook entries.
We know a lot about Skorzeny’s wartime exploits as a commando pioneer – freeing Italian dictator Beneto Musselini from his mountain top prision in a daring glider attack, and leading the English speaking Germans in American uniforms behind the Allied lines during the Battle of the Buldge. But his post war experiences are lesser known and we must depend on Ganis and Albarelli to fill us in, especially how they are connected to Dallas.
Skorzeny’s role in the JFK assassination has escaped the attention of every researcher, except for Ganis and Albarelli, so we must delve into this line of inquiry much futher.
The same goes for Jean P. Lafitte, for as far as I know this is the first time and place he is mentioned in regard to the assassination of the President, and labeling him the “project manager” certainly requires some convincing.
Like Skorzeny and his wife Ilse, Oswald and Marina, Gordon Novel and his wife Miss New Orleans, and Carl Jenkins and his wife, Lafitte’s wife Rene certainly was knowledgeable about his operations, and told Albaelli some of what she knew:
“Rene clearly remembered Otto Skorzeny: ‘He was imposing; his presence dominated a room, any room.’ Ilse Skorzeny: ‘She was all business. Maby the women behind the man, meaning the brains.’ Lee Harvey Oswald: ‘I only saw him a few times. Pierre didn’t care for him. A confused young man. Pierre always said: He’s desequilibre’.’ Marina Oswald: ‘We felt sorry for her. She had no idea what was going on. He seemed to stick to her like glue but shared noting with her.’ Jean Souetre: ‘Oh, he was very handsome, but a modest person, and very serious about his beliefs.’ Thomas Eli Davis, Jr.: ‘You couldn’t help but like him.’ Charles Willoughby: ‘A dedicated soldier. A life too dedicated, with a sky-is-falling mindset.’”
Of his first book, “A Secret Order,” Albarelli says: it was his “first book-length foray into the JFK assassination. I had been fascinated by what I had learned about Thomas Eli Davis, Jr. I instinctively knew there was far more on Davis’ story and that it was closely connected to the events in Dallas, November 22, 1963. I was also fascinated with certain events in Mexico City concerning Lee Harvey Oswald: a well-known poet and author Elena Garro, her daughter; Warren Broglie at the Hotel Luma and its cast of unsvory characters, seemingly right out of a Bogart film; Charles William Thomas, CIA and State Department employee; and, last but far from least CIA Mexico City asset, Viola June Cobb, with whom I became a very good friend. In fact, June is the godmother of my grandson, Dylan Jackson Albarelli Centellas….”
Here Hank mentions the Hotel Luma, that I first heard of in a book about an American bullfighter in Mexico who came to meet Oswald, something we dont read in official records, and the Luma bartender Warren Broglie, undoubtedly a spy for somebody. Albarelli tells us had previously worked at the Havana Hilton with US Army Reserve (ACSI) Col. Frank Brandsetter, who Hank says was in Dallsa on the day of the assassination at the invitation of Col. Jack Crichton. Then he delves into names associated with the infamous “Twist Party” that Oswald didn’t attend but entire books have been written about.
Fortunately there is an opening chapter entitled “A Roadmap,” that breaks down each chapter into a brief synopsis.
I will only quote from one – the last reference to Pierre Lafitte Datebook – Select Entries and Images.
“The terms and conditions of access to the exclusive collection of private papers of Pierre Lafitte, including the 1963 datebook, impacted the determination of which screenshots from the datebook cold be reproduced for this book. We analyzed the entire collection and determined to prioritize certain of those entries that are highlighted in the narrative. The resulting screenshots, found in Exhibits, should give the reader an idea of the challenges in deciphering the handwriting and interpretation of the meaning of the text. The next challenge was to provide readers sufficient images of the surrounding entries – even those that include context, and to reveal to some extent the day-to-day world of the author of the datebook, the project manager of the assassination, Pierre Lafite. We hope we have successfully met the challenge.”
An example of one such entry in Lafitte’s datebook: “On the wings of murder. The pigeon way for unsuspecting Lee. Clip, clip his wings. – November 9, 1963.”
Before I review any more of Lafitte’s datebook entries, I will enter each Lafitte datebook notation into the Wood JFK Master Chronology, to see if they match up with other entries.
As for the narrative, the book opens with the 1942 assassination of French Vichy Admiral Francois Jean Darlan.
Now I know a little bit about this from the biographies of Ian Fleming, the author of the 007 James Bond novels, as Fleming, as Assistant to the Director of British Naval Intelligence, was parachuted into France during the Nazi invasion with the mission of convincing Admiral Darlan to turn over his French fleet to the British. Fleming failed in this mission, and many British troops were lost in North Africa when they attacked the French fleet there. But Albarelli places the responsibility for the assassination of Darlan on General Donovan and the OSS, when I believe the British he more to do with it, much like they did in training the commandos who killed Nazi official Hydrich in Prague.
Of course before you can even begin to understand the assassinaton of President Kennedy you must at least be familiar with other similar assassinations, like Darlan, Hydrich, and failed attempts at assassination like that of the German military’s attempt to kill Hitler on July 20, 1944, code named “Valkyrie,” and the failed attempt of the French military to kill Charles deGaul.
As the CIA’s Desmond FitzGerald told the Joint Chiefs of Staff in September 1963, the CIA was engaged in a “detailed study” of the July 20 attempt on Hitler in order to use it against Castro. In my own study of the Valkyrie attempt to kill Hitler, I came up with five different aspects of that plan that were also adapted for use in Dallas that fit like a glove, including the use of the “Home Guard” as they were called in Germany, the National Guard and Army Reseves in the USA. They were the “boots on the ground,” to do the dirty work tasks that had to be done.
Col. Jack Crichton formed the 488th Army Intelligence unit, which he said was composed of about a hundred men, nearly half of which were also members of the Dallas Police Department, including many of whom were involved in key activities related to the assassination.
Now Albarelli tells us that “The 488th annual training in ’63 took place at The Pentagon, one of only two attachments from Texas to be in DC that summer.”
I have been engaged in assisting, part time, in the training of US Army Reserve soldiers and National Guards for the past ten years and I have never, ever heard of any detachment being trained or receiving their annual maneuvers at The Pentagon. It’s just unheard of.
We help train the Reserve troops in scenarios they are likely to face if deployed overseas, and any training at The Pentagon would have had to be in prepartion for an operation they would be expecting to encounter in the near future.
In any case, that is the jist of what’s to come, as I re-read the book with a more eye for detail, but I like the assumptions this book begins with – it was a conspiracy, it was a covert intelligence operation, it was a coup d’etat, and we can figure out how they did it by diasecting the backgrounds of the key characters, their corporate ties and how they operated.
Speaking of diasecting, my next review will be that of Dr. Cyril Wecht’s new book “Diasecting the Asssassination of President Kennedy.”
I will also be posting a trancript of the CAPA Viritual Conference Program on Gene Wheaton and Carl Jenkins Connections to the JFK Assassination I prepard with the assistance of Matt Ehling, William M. Law and Lee Shephard, as soon as possible.
Stay tuned, there’s more to come.