The Assassination of JFK and Public Confidence in Government –
From Richard Bartholomew – (Used with Permission)
What might a three year strategy for CAPA look like?
By Bill Simpich
On the evening before the first CAPA Executive Committee Conference call, I ran into David Talbot while we were both walking our dogs in the park. We both enthusiastically agreed that CAPA has great potential. It needs a comprehensive media strategy, as well as a 3 year plan.
If we don’t firm up our historical memory of the response to prior assassinations and their impact on society, important aspects of our history will slip away from us. My understanding is that CAPA’s priorities will be to free the JFK files by 2017, the release of the MLK HSCA files, and to reopen the RFK case. We will have to work on cases “other than JFK” – including present-day cases as they arise – in order to maintain our momentum.
If the goal of CAPA is to free the files and resolve the JFK case and other hotly-contested cases like it, the best strategy to achieve that goal is to wage a political campaign designed to make sure that 1) the files are freed with no redactions by October 2017; 2) to free as many additional files as possible; and 3) to promote a climate that combats secrecy and promotes transparency.
What tactics will advance that strategy? I would suggest that our tactics should be informed by some good news from Martha Murphy at NARA.
Murphy announced that a team was formed last year to assure that the estimated 3500 documents withheld in full and the 35,000 withheld in part will be released by 2017. My understanding is that these documents will be scanned and posted online.
Murphy said that the default position will be to release the documents, as only the President of the United States can authorize continued withholding of documents and any redactions.
Given that information, putting pressure on the next President is an important ingredient in the mix. I would propose tactics that will propel our strategy – something like this:
Late May-June 2015: Coming-out party for CAPA. Announce our action plan, seek members, and start attending conferences.
July-August 2015: If we get the next four items right, we are off to a great start.
Pinpoint who our natural allies are. For starters, I would urge outreach and establishing a working relationships with the National Security Archive, the Center for Democracy and Technology and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. I assume that several of us have worked with these groups in the past.
What commitments do we want from the 2016 candidates? We should encourage internal dialogue within CAPA to define the specific questions that should be asked to the 2016 presidential candidates, since the next President will be the final arbiter of what is redacted from the 2017 JFK records release.
The all-important PR/media plan? We already have a strong team of people at work on this, crafting and vetting a PR/media plan which is essential to our success. Stories on lost and destroyed records are often newsworthy, as well as narratives that have been revealed by documents released pursuant to the JFK Records Act. The CAPA newsletter and website-in-formation can be powerful tools. We are already seeing the value of social media in the JFK case on a daily basis – how can CAPA advance its goals in that arena?
How to improve the accessibility of documents? We can engage the NARA staff to find out if and how the release of the records can be expedited. There is no reason for them to wait until the October 2017 deadline. They can start the rollout right now by posting the noncontroversial requested documents on line as they have promised, to update their public index and make their private index available to researchers. It sounds like they may also be scanning earlier-released documents at some point- if they do, these documents should be put online as well.
In general, NARA should work more efficiently with researchers and to see that Congress properly oversees the JFK Act so that it is properly enforced. NARA never engaged with the FBI and CIA as agreed in a Memorandum of Understanding back in the 1990s. Congress never engaged in its oversight function under the JFK Records Act. NARA should join researchers in pushing them to change that.
September-December 2015: Begin a new Super PAC to accept donations to be used to promote our issues in the media during the election.
Roll out a media campaign designed to ensure the documents are released in full by October 2017 as mandated in the JFK Records Act.
Make political assassinations and secret records a campaign issue and seriously and regularly covered by the mainstream media.
Public relations and media advocacy is shaping up in our discussions as the number one priority. The 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination made clear the location of the battleground.
The media campaign should include “bird dog” teams that follow the presidential candidates at every whistle stop in the build-up to the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries, asking them to commit to full enforcement of the JFK Records Act, to combat secrecy, and to promote transparency. We can broaden this campaign in later months if we make a heavy impact in those initial two primaries.
I am no fan of Bill Clinton, but he sided with the ARRB in favor of more openness in every instance when the intelligence agencies appealed to him. Under the JFK Records Act, the President is the final arbiter when NARA and the agencies don’t agree on a classification issue.
Also useful for media impact would be public hearings. One option would be to hold congressional briefings on the current status of the JFK and MLK records. Such briefings would provide a platform for witnesses and whistle blowers as well as analysts reporting on documents lost, destroyed, or newly-discovered.
We want the relevant Congressional committees to conduct proper oversight of the JFK Act, as they are required to do but haven’t done. In the fall, when Congress resumes after the summer holiday, we should hold a Congressional briefing where we decide who testifies. We want to make sure that Congress and NARA and their staff as well as the mainstream media listen to these witnesses.
Over 50 years have passed since the Warren Commission declared that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin in the murder President John F. Kennedy. During those decades, independent researches, authors, medical and ballistic experts continue to expose the hard evidence that proves the official government conclusion is invalid.
We want to live in a country where murders will not go unpunished and where the democratic processes cannot be frustrated by individuals, agencies or organizations who oppose the popular will and violate the Constitution.
It has been over 35 years since Congress was convinced to reinvestigate the JFK assassination as well as the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., an investigation that was totally compromised by the government itself. The result of those compromised investigations is an ongoing decline in confidence in government, in both the American legal process and the credibility of the institutions involved. Until this nation moves to honestly deal with such crimes and their implications, that loss of faith will continue to undermine the nation’s faith in its own character.
Five decades of independent research has demonstrated that the American system is unable to effectively address crimes which have the potential of exposing groups with radical and socially explosive motives. There is strong evidence that lead key decision makers compromised investigations and manipulated official conclusions on political assassinations at both the state and national level.
It has been nearly 25 years since Congress was convinced to release the government records on the assassination of President Kennedy, including those of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, but neglecting to order the release of the MLK records of the same committee. We want to pursue the release of these records that continue to be withheld at the National Archives and work closely with Congress to suggest a process similar to the JFK Act for release of the Martin Luther King files. We will analyze the JFK records as they are released and educate people as to their contents.
We now know that the official investigations were flawed and important leads never properly pursued, that significant unanswered questions remain in other political assassinations, that most people believe – and with good reason, that one man alone could not be responsible for these crimes, and that the truth remains hidden as long as the government records on these assassinations remain sealed from the public.
Some people may feel that there is no purpose in working to solve murders that date back fifty years, but we know there‘s no statute of limitations in a murder case, and no time limit on determining the truth. And until we face the truth about the assassinations of our political leaders, we cannot hope to move toward a viable democracy in this country, nor prevent such assassinations from happening in the future.
I put the cap on this when I talk to groups. I say to folks – ”what does it mean today, these 52 years later?” I say it means this is not the way governments are supposed to run in a democracy. You go to the polls and you vote. You could be left wing, you could be Tea Party, right wing, liberal or conservative, Democratic or Republican. This is one issue that transends traditional political lines.
You do not accomplish your objective because you are unhappy and frustrated and unable to prevail in the polls, then go and physically eliminate the leader of the other side. I say to them, let’s label this and understand it for what it is: the physical elimination, by murder, of the president whom they could not beat. There was only one way, and that is what they chose: To kill John Kennedy. I say that in any other country in the world, when this happens it is labeled for what it was, the overthrow of the government. It was coup d’ etat in America. That’s what it was.
In the year 2015 people are interested. When I am asked to speak to a civic group I don’t choose the subject. They call me, and I ask what do you want me to talk about? Most of them choose John F. Kennedy. They’re still fascinated by the mystery.
And now, after this many years, with so many people gone who remember when he was alive, it’s become more of a suspicion, a haunting suspicion that something went wrong, and that we trace it back to that moment. No other event has changed the shape of the future in the same way as the assassination of President Kennedy and we can wait no longer for a solution. We must act now.
Political assassination is the most serious threat to democratic government and occurs somewhere every day, usually as a convenient means of obtaining, maintaining or controlling power. That’s why it is important to support those who focus on research and study political assassinations as a tactic.
Towards that end we have reorganized our efforts under the banner of a new organization – Citizens Against Political Assassinations – CAPA – with the mission of establishing the truth about political assassinations and major crimes of social significance.
We oppose the use of political assassination as a means to obtain or maintain power. We are committed to support those researchers, investigators and attornies who attempt to determine the truth, seek justice and educate people on the dangers that political assassinations pose to our society.
Well, how do you deal with it? This is how we are dealing with it. In order to achieve our goals, CAPA will:
– Pursue the release of records with both the National Archives and Congress to identify and obtain the release of missing, lost, allegedly destroyed and currently withheld records and make them as widely available as possible.
– File FOIA and legal action suits against government agencies to obtain the release of records related to political assassinations.
– Ensure that the JFK Act is fulfilled and make the release of the remaining withheld records by October 2017 a campaign issue in the next presidential election.
– Work closely with the NARA and get Congress to fulfill their oversight mandate by holding public hearings and ensure the full disclosure of the remaining sealed records.
– Initiate a similar process to release the records in other assassinations, especially the HSCA MLK files that remain sealed and weren’t covered by the JFK Act.
– Analyze the new records and educate the American people about who commits political assassinations, who covered up the conspiracies and why.
– Establish investigative teams to thoroughly review and critique the evidence now available and identify any potential political conspiracies associated with the crimes.
– Engage in a public/media effort to correct the impression that the previous inquires and official verdicts are necessarily correct and can be taken to represent the historical truth of the crimes.
– Correct the media spin that says there is nothing new in these records, answer the outstanding questions that can be answered, determine the truth and seek justice.
The ultimate goal of this work will be an effort to seek both truth and justice in regard to any crime which can be shown to have been an act of political assassination anywhere in the world.
There are hundreds of non-profits organizations and think tanks that study war and peace and promote democracy but only a few that focus on political assassinations as the biggest threat to the legitimacy of government and that is what CAPA is doing.
Recent polls show that 85% of the American people agree with us about the evidence of conspiracy in this case and the need to release all of the remaining withheld records. They know they have never been told the full story by the official investigations. We need your help to reach them and to let them know that something can and must be done. Help us reveal the truth and tell the American public that there is something new in these files and something can be done about it.
With the amount of potential support we can generate, we can become the NRA of political assassinations – opposing the hunting of human beings as a popular sport – and with your help we can become a powerful lobby that can support candidates, make and break politicians and ensure that Congress enforces the JFK Act and all of the laws it makes.
Now there is an organization that supports the latest research, uses grassroots outreach and social media, is lobbying Congress for oversight hearings, is using the courts to free secret files and enforce the rule of law in regards to political assassinations. And we will make a focused, highly responsible inquiry and not coming out with wild statements and allegations. We will be doing it in a responsible, objective fashion, with the basic philosophy – the raison d’etre – to look into assassinations as many people believe they are: politically motivated murders.
We’re standing upon past achievements, gradually improving and coming to a deeper understanding based upon solid ground and progress.
CAPA is intent upon keeping the best aspects of the JFK research processes in the news, bringing them to average Americans, and making it a topic that is especially relevant during an era where political assassinations are being authorized daily using gadgetry, technology, drones and other capabilities that represent a completely different realm from anything we’ve ever known.
As we formally launch our mission, announce our intentions and reach out to those who support us, we ask you to join us in this great effort because one person can make a difference in small ways. United we can achieve goals that one person cannot do alone.
Join the Fray
May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963
John F. Kennedy would be 98 years old today, smoking a Havana cigar while rocking in his chair on the porch if he wasn’t gunned down in Dallas on November 22, 1963. We remember most presidents and great men on their birthday, except for JFK who will forever be remembered on the day he died, while his birthday usually goes by unnoticed.
So we have decided to celebrate JFK’s birthday today by asking people to remember him, if only for a moment, and consider the continuing relevance of his death in the fact that thousands of government records on the assassination remain sealed and will be withheld from public scrutiny for reasons of national security until they are released by law on October 26, 2017.
We have selected this day to not only call attention to the still secret records but to announce the formation of a new organization CAPA – Citizens Against Political Assassinations – an international association of individuals dedicated to using their professional talents to determine the truth about political murders and seek justice in each case.
Concurrent or sequential? That was the question one Executive Committee attorney asked another, and while not understanding the question I jotted it down in my notes – the answer is sequential – and later learned concurrent means to happen at the same time while sequential means to form or follow in a logical order or sequence.
And it’s quite clear we have to do things – not in a haphazard – whenever it happens way – but sequentially – in a strategically planned and ordered fashion. We have to line up our ducks and knock them down one at a time, the easiest first.
We wouldn’t have the JFK Act if it wasn’t for Oliver Stone’s JFK movie, but one had to come before the other.
Before we can get the full release of the records we need Congressional oversight hearings, we need to get their attention with a media campaign based on a solid strategy that will educate people and change their minds.
Towards that end we have reorganized under the CAPA banner. We aren’t starting new, but continuing the work we began many years ago when they first locked the records away and told us we would never see them.
It wasn’t just the movie that got the JFK Act passed, it was the tireless work of many hundreds of independent researchers who fought in public and lobbied behind the scenes to get that law passed and now we have to see it through. This is a marathon but we are now coming around the final stretch and need to push harder as we approach the October 2017 end game.
Many of those who originally picked this fight and got the melee going in the first place are no longer with us, but as JFK so aptly put it – “Nations rise and fall, men live and die, but ideas live on.”
As Robert the Bruce put it – You fought with Penn Jones, Jack White, Phil Melanson and John Judge, now continue the fight with us.
There’s plenty of work to do.
Americans like to think that violence only plays an important role in the politics of foreign countries. But assassinations and other forms of political violence have all too often changed the course of U.S. history. The assassinations of leaders such as John and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X remain unsolved cases — nightmares that continue to haunt the national psyche.
I join with CAPA to shed a light on the dark corners of power in the United States and to reveal its secrets. As long as high crimes such as this remain a mystery and government continues to block the release of material that belongs to the American people, our democracy will always be under a shadow.
– David Talbot, founder of Salon, author of the New York Times bestseller, “Brothers The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years,” and the forthcoming book, “The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government”
May 31, 2015
Session 6 Room: 3.304N Sunday 12 pm – 1:50 pm
Summary: This workshop will be conducted by the newly formed Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA, an organization composed of journalists, attorneys, researchers, medical professionals, forensic pathologists, and others dedicate to investigating major political assassinations in the United States, and applying pressure through persuasion and legal action to promote an end to government secrecy with respect to these cases and substitute a new policy favoring transparency. This includes a commitment by the National Archives, other government agencies, and Congress to enforce the provisions of the “JFK Records Act” requiring expedited declassification of the more than 100,000 pages of JFK assassination-related records that remain classified more than 50 years after the assassination. Expert presenters will address the state of the evidence, the role of the media, and our Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuits regarding the JFK and other political assassinations.
Moderator: Jerry Policoff
Lancaster, Pa. 17601
Bio: Jerry Policoff is a retired broadcast advertising/sales executive who has been studying and writing about the JFK assassination since 1966.
Topic: History of media censorship on the JFK investigations based on four decades of research
New Orleans District Attorney’s 1967 response to NBC: Jim Garrison Response – Kennedy Assassination (27 min.). On July 15, 1967, NBC allowed New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison to respond to an NBC program that was highly critical of Garrison’s pursuit of alleged Kennedy assassination conspirators in New Orleans.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hqo2c_SxQag (Jerry: I’ve listed this also below my segment but it might logically be mentioned here. He’s missed some things, but it’s amazing what he did know in 1967!)
New York, New York 10128
212-876-3189 (p); 917-576-3667(c)
Bio: Environmental lawyer with 30 years of experience and am an adjunct professor at New York Law School. He has been researching the JFK assassination since the late 1960s and did an independent research project while at Rutgers University (also did a screen play but professor told me it was a waste of time since everyone knew what happened to JFK!).
Abstract: To date there have been 329 people exonerated in the United States who have been wrongfully convicted largely based on flawed forensic evidence. The misapplication of forensic science is the second leading contributor to wrongful conviction, playing a role in nearly 50% of the wrongful convictions proven by post-conviction DNA testing. Indeed, The only more common contributing cause of wrongful convictions is eyewitness misidentification, which has played a role in nearly 75 % of known wrongful convictions.
My presentation will be take a new look at the forensic evidence used by the WC and HSCA in light of what we have learned over the past decade or so from the Innocence Project and the 2009 National Academy of Sciences report on the current state of forensic science, “Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward.”
Under current standards for admissibility of evidence, much of the evidence used to support the conclusion that Lee Oswald was the assassin of President Kennedy would not be allowed into court because it was unreliable and amounted to “junk science”.
• Anthony Ray Hanton released after 30 years on death row-flawed ballistics) http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2015/04/02/us/02reuters-usa-alabama-death-row.html
• 300 people released from jail because of tainted evidence by state chemist http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/19/us/annie-dookhan-defendants-mass-supreme-court.html?_r=3
Justice Integrity Project Editor (www.justice-integrity.org) &
Presidential Puppetry author (www.presidentialpuppetry.com)
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 638-0070; (202) 787-8335 (c)
Bio: Andrew Kreig is an investigative reporter, attorney, author, business strategist, and non-profit executive based in Washington, DC. His 2013 book, Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters documents intelligence ties of leading politicians and grew out of his work leading the Justice Integrity Project, a non-partisan legal reform group that investigates official misconduct. The project has published a 24-part “Readers Guide to the JFK Assassination” encompassing catalogs of books, films, libraries, etc., plus interpretative analysis. He holds law degrees from both Yale and the University of Chicago and a B.A. in history from Cornell University. He speaks also at a 3:50 p.m. panel on “The American Deep State” and will sign books after his talks and in the exhibit hall.
Topic: Kreig’s segment, “Why Bill O’Reilly’s Lie About JFK’s Murder Might Matter To You,” used the Fox News host’s recent scandal involving JFK assassination reporting to draw a link between the corrupt media practices described by Policoff to the current media environment, which remain just as biased and misleading – in part because some of the same reporters are still involved, at least until recently (Bob Schieffer, Dan Rather, Jim Lehrer and Bill Moyers).
Moving from media coverage to substance, Kreig outlines recent research indicating that Lee Oswald was a government asset and patsy, just as New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison argued in an iconic 1967 video rebuttal to NBC’s smear campaign against him in coordination with other news outlets trying to derail his murder investigation targeting New Orleans businessman and suspected CIA asset Clay Shaw. Then and now, this segment argues, many government agencies, businesses, universities, media organizations and even religious groups have been heavily penetrated by intelligence operatives working either fulltime or part time and who, on behalf of their banker-level oligarchical masters, direct their subordinates and allies on a need to know basis.
• George de Mohrenschildt, a friend of accused presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, is back in the news following his mysterious death in 1977. His death in effect marked the beginning of the end of official investigations of the JFK murder. The circumstances showed that neither congress, the media nor the justice system dared confront that historic tragedy even though important witnesses remain alive today. As for the recent news, CNN reported this month that Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly lied about being present during gunfire at de Mohrenschildt’s death in Florida.
• Antonio Veciana, onetime leader of the anti-Castro assassination squad Alpha 66, last fall admitted for the first time publicly that his CIA handler in 1963 was famed CIA officer David Atlee Phillips – and that Veciana saw Phillips meet Oswald in Dallas six weeks before the assassination. Phillips went on to form the politically powerful Association of Former Intelligence Officers, which most immediately in the 1970s help create political pressure to thwart congressional investigations and, longer term, became an asset of the Bush political family in the 1980 election and subsequent dynasty.
• The commission-style cover-up has become a staple of Washington life, but is being overcome in the JFK case at least by the release so far of some 4 million pages of once declassified documents making astonishing revelations paralleled by similar disclosures: Operation Mockingbird, CIA instructions on “Conspiracy Theory” smear, Operation Northwoods. Showing the continuing importance of such research, Kreig describes how several recent presidents had CIA or FBI ties before they entered politics, and are understandably nervous in view of the JFK assassination in policies that would antagonize powerful interests.
• Kreig describes the status and necessity of further JFK document release, based on his discussions this spring with top representatives of the CIA at a National Archives forum and at a National Press Club news conference.
New Orleans District Attorney’s 1967 response to NBC: Jim Garrison Response – Kennedy Assassination (27 min.). On July 15, 1967, NBC allowed New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison to respond to an NBC program that was highly critical of Garrison’s pursuit of alleged Kennedy assassination conspirators in New Orleans.
See the 50-second video introducing Presidential Puppetry: http://www.youtube.com/user/PresidentialPuppet
Bio: William E. Kelly is a freelance journalist who has written extensively on the assassination of John F. Kennedy. He is a founding member of Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA)
Topic: Planned launch of major new research organization, CAPA, with description of mission and ways to get involved. Details:
• Suing the government to locate and obtain the release of all assassination records – including the records of the CIA, Secret Service, ONI, NSA and WHCA.
• Petitioning Congress and the National Archives to see to the enforcement of the JFK Act, hold public hearings on missing and destroyed records and ensure the October 2017 date for release of the last records is met.
• Make the release of the JFK records, secrecy and transparency a campaign issue in the coming presidential election and endorse and support agreeable candidates with a Superpac fund – we want to become the NRA for those opposed to human hunters and government secrecy.
• Hold Congressional Briefings on the current status of the JFK and MLK records and provide a platform for witnesses and whistle blowers who want to publicly testify of what they know.
• Review and analyze the recently released records and point out their news-worthy significance.
• Peacefully Protest the continued secrecy at selected sites and
• circumstances –
• Work close and directly with NARA and Congressional staff to facilitate the release of records, identify specific documents and ensure all of the appropriate records are part of the JFK Collection at NARA and available to the public.
• Develop a media strategy to make political assassinations and secret records valid issues that are seriously and regularly covered by the mainstream media.
• Respond to and correct false and misleading news and feature articles, books, radio and TV programs and expose propaganda and disinformation as it relates to political assassination and secrecy.
• Be prepared for future political assassinations that have yet to occur and ensure they are properly investigated and justice is served.
• Create a permanent Think Tank -Center for the Study of Political Assassination and Secrecy in Washington DC that will carry on this work after 2017.
Join us in our multi-faceted effort to correct history, free the files, prevent politically motivated murders and enforce the laws of the land and the constitution.
Become a CAPA Member!
JFK Countercoup, Is the JFK Assassination Relevant Today? William Kelly, May 13, 2015. Is the JFK Assassination Ancient History or a Current Event that’s Relevant Today? http://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/2015/05/jfk-assassination-relevant-today.html?m=1
Some of the FBI records on the assassination of JFK that have been released. More than that are still being withheld — over 3,500 documents remain withheld in full or over 30,000 pages while another 35,000 documents remain withheld in part, with redactions. These still sealed JFK Assassination records make it relevant. If what happened at Dealey Plaza is ancient history and not relevant today, then why are so many JFK assassination records still being withheld by the government for reasons of national security?
Why does our nation’s security depend on the government keeping the American public from knowing what information is contained in over 3,000 documents – 30,000 pages of records? John Newman, whose new book “Where Angels Tread Lightly” deals with what we have learned from the release of these records so far, had said that not only Dealey Plaza, but the Archives II is a crime scene, as it has possession of most of the evidence in the murder as well as the relevant government documents that would give us a pretty good picture of what happened at Dealey Plaza if they would only let us read them.
CIA, the Mafia, and Oswald in Mexico
1. They all came from either directly from an intelligence source, or from someone in the hands of an intelligence agency. Nearly always the agency involved was the Mexican DFS or secret police. The DFS, along with the Nicaraguan intelligence service, which was also a source, were under CIA tutelage.
2. The Stories changed over time, to support either a pro-conspiratorial hypothesis (“Phase One”) or a rebuttal of this (“Phase Two”).
3. The Warren Commission was led to believe that the“Phase One”stories were without basis. In fact a number of unresolved anomalies suggest that behind them was some deeper truth, still not revealed.
4. As just noted, the two main sources, Silvia Duran and Gilberto Alvarado, gave varying stories while detained by the DFS. Of the two, Duran was actually tortured, and Alvarado reportedly threatened with torture… In retrospect, these stories should not have been taken seriously. In fact the CIA was able to rely on them, not as a source of truth, but as a source of coercive influence over the rest of the government. It will help us to understand what was going on if we refer to the stories, not as ‘information’ or even as ‘allegations,’ but as MANAGED STORIES. To say this leaves open the question of who were the ultimate managers – the DFS, U.S. Officers in Mexico, or higher authorities in Washington.
The full history is complex and confused, with many unanswered questions. But nearly all of these managed stories, along with others outside Mexico…..resolve into this simple pattern of a Phase One/Phase Two evolution.
I do wish to argue that these managed stories, fleeting and insubstantial though they are, were of central importance in determining the outcome of the Kennedy assassination investigation. In succeeding years, furthermore, the discredited ‘Phase-One’ stories have been revived to manipulate public opinion, even after the CIA and FBI had agreed on a ‘Phase-Two’ interpretation of Oswald’s movements in Mexico City. In 2013, for example, the discredited Garro story of the twist party was revived in a mainstream book by Philip Shenon.
To this day both ‘Phase-One’ and ‘Phase-Two’ versions are trotted out from time to time. These control public perceptions of the Kennedy assassination seize the debate from genuine critics who have less access to the media.
Vol. 1 #1 – Premier CAPA Newsletter Excerpt courtesy of John Newman –
PRELUDE: WHERE ANGELS TREAD LIGHTLY
April 24, 1961: New York City
“My dear Mr. Kennedy,” the type written letter began. It had been placed in a plain white envelope and addressed, “Mr. Robert Kennedy, Attorney-General of U.S., Department of Justice, Washington D.C., (Personal Correspondence).” Writing exactly seven days after the disastrous failure of the CIA’s Bay of Pigs operation, the author of this letter used what may have been a pseudonym. Whether or not it was her true name, it had, with very few exceptions, vanished from U.S. intelligence files since the summer of 1960. The name was “Catherine Taaffe.” This name appeared often in the government’s files as far back as the Korean War. It had disappeared in the wake of its association with a murder and kidnapping plot of a former Cuban Senator from the Batista regime in Cuba.
Taaffe was unhappy with U.S. policy in Cuba and the Bay of Pigs failure had lit her fuse. She intended to blast her message to the top of the U.S. government. Taaffe knew full well that letters arriving at the Department of Justice (DOJ) addressed to the Attorney General (AG) did not arrive on the chief’s desk unopened. She had anticipated that the AG’s staff would check the name Taaffe against the DOJ’s files, and she knew what they would find. She understood that this would ensure that her letter would be read by Robert Kennedy, along with many of her voluminous FBI files. By April 1961, those files were bursting at the seams. Much of them remain classified in 2015 but what has been released so far exceeds a thousand pages.
“My letter may be presumptive,” Taaffe told Kennedy, “but I have heard of women being forgiven for tramping where angels tread lightly.” This turn of phrase was her adaptation of the phrase Where Angels Fear to Tread, a line originally from An Essay on Criticism, written by the British poet Alexander Pope (1688-1744)—the third-most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, after Shakespeare and Tennyson. Two hundred years later it became the title of E. M. Forster’s novel Where Angels Fear to Tread.
Taaffe’s use of the adjective “presumptive” to describe her letter to Kennedy was an understatement. To tell the Attorney General that where she was “tramping” would, by inference, strike the fear of God in men, was outrageously immodest. But it was also true. The President’s brother would understand this once he began to leaf through her files.
CHAPTER SIXTEEN: THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
INVASION OF CUBA
A CLOSE CALL FOR DAVE PHILLIPS
Toward the end of July 1959, the CIA Station in Havana instructed Dave Phillips to contact Michael P. Malone, Vice President of the Czarnikow Rionda firm, which controlled four of the major sugar companies in Cuba, and manager of Robert Kleberg’s (King Ranch) $5.7 million 40,000 acre cattle ranch in Camaguey Province, Cuba. Phillips wrote down what happened as a result in a 6 August memo. On 29 July, Phillips, as instructed, met Malone in his room at the Hotel Nacional in Havana. Malone said he had talked with several people at CIA HQS about his association with a group of Cuban landowners anxious to do something about Castro’s Agrarian Reform program. CIA HQS had told Malone that Phillips would be able to act as an advisor in a public relations program. Malone told Phillips that the Cubans had approached him in the hope that he and the interests he represented would contribute to a fund being generated to prepare “a plan of action.”
Malone then contacted the Cuban group and told them he would introduce them to a representative of a large, unnamed public relations firm in the U.S. who was experienced in “unconventional” propaganda techniques. The Cubans asked to meet Phillips that same day. Hours later, Phillips returned to the hotel room to meet Malone. Malone said that one of the Cubans, Martinez Conhill, was on his way to the room and that they would then go to meet Caines Milanes, President of the Cuban Cattleman’s Association. Conhill told Phillips that Cainas was “the absolute leader of the group, and that the only thing to remember in talking with him was that he had strong political ideas.” In the memo he wrote afterward, Phillips said he took “ideas” to mean ambitions.
Phillips had guessed right about Caines. But Phillips did not know at the time that Caines’ group was one of two nuclei working inside of Cuba with the Trujillo plot and that Caines would become the new Vice President of Cuba if the plot succeeded in overthrowing Castro. The three men drove to meet Caines at a large home in Miramar. Phillips assumed that the home belonged to Caines, but in fact it was the home of another Cuban, Gustavo de Los Reyes. An attorney for the Cuban Cattleman’s Association also joined the meeting. In his memo, Phillips said that in view of being in this “sudden crowd” he was inclined to be “as discreet as possible.”
Caines dominated the two-hour meeting from the beginning. The first thing Phillips told the group was that he would have to consult his “home office” before making any definite commitment. At length, this exchange took place between Caines and Phillips:
After about an hour Caines said to me directly: “Look here—we were told you were an expert on this sort of thing. But so far you have contributed nothing. Can’t you give us one concrete idea of the sort of program you might provide? …I suggested, that if they wanted to move at once and really do something, they should purchase a newspaper (or at least promise the owner of a paper complete financial repayment in the event of loss or closure), and that this newspaper should begin daily editorial attacks against the drastic aspects of the Agrarian Reform program and equally strong attacks against the growing communist activity in Cuba. Such a paper, I pointed out, would draw the immediate interest from the Cuban readers. One of three things would happen:
a. Castro would close the paper and if so all the world would see that freedom of the press did not exist in Cuba.
b. The mob would burn the paper—[meaning] even worse international propaganda against Castro’s government.
c. Or nothing would happen—in which case the full story would be carried to the Cuban public in heavy doses, and other newspapers would find the courage to speak out against communism.
Caines and his group liked Phillips’ idea. In fact, they liked it so much that they talked about which newspaper they might use. They spoke of starting their own weekly newspaper only to destroy it later. And they even said they would provide “the mob” if Castro did not.
At this point in the meeting it dawned on Phillips that this particular group of Cubans was less interested in publicity work than in direct militant action to overthrow the Castro government. They spoke of many other Cubans who were with them and discussed possible paramilitary activities—what would happen if there was an invasion of Cuba from the Dominican Republic; the possible effect of bomb throwing, and what would happen if Castro were assassinated. In his memo, Phillips wrote, Things really became conspiratorial.
Malone was an enthusiastic supporter of the most militant ideas. Generally, he exuded a “give ‘em hell” attitude. I felt it was time to leave. I promised to report back to the group two days later with a plan of some kind. But I made it clear that I would have to consult with my home office. [Emphasis added]
In his memo, Phillips wrote that the group was “undisciplined security-wise,” and did not know exactly what they wanted except “Castro’s head.” Phillips concluded, They would be willing to do almost anything—even supporting a Dominican invasion. They want to get out on the streets and fight, they claim, and they are having a hard time holding their people back. With the new death penalty in Cuba for anti-revolutionary activity, it is not hard to imagine that at least one member of this group might inform to the government.
Phillips was quite right that there was an informant in the Trujillo plot—and he might even have been thinking of Morgan.
Phillips was traveling to CIA HQS and to New York when the American Embassy in Havana learned that a Cuban government tape recorder in the home of Gustavo de Los Reyes had taped a prior conversation between Caines and a “non-Kubark [CIA] American Embassy official.” After much handwringing and exchanges of cables, the CIA eventually concluded that Phillips’ meeting with Caines had not been recorded, and Phillips returned to Havana on 27 August.
Seven years have passed since the sequel to Oswald and the CIA was published in 2008. The boundaries were much narrower in the original 1995 edition, but even in that book, the pre-assassination movements of Oswald and manipulation of his CIA files foreshadowed what came at the end of the 2008 sequel: conspiracy. I argued in the sequel, and I am still convinced today, that the gloves of the person most likely behind that part of the plot fit best on the hands of James Jesus Angleton, the Agency’s counterintelligence chief.
As I waded into these dark waters then, my instincts told me to step back. With millions of new records released and tens of thousands still withheld, I needed a lot more time to investigate—and some time off. And so, I turned to an investigation of parallel paradigms in ancient mysticism. I returned to the JFK case in 2012.
It is not uncommon to view Dealey Plaza as the crime scene in the assassination of President Kennedy. Of course, it is. But I believe that the crime scene in this case extends beyond Dealey Plaza, where the president was shot; and Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, where the president is said to have expired; and Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland, where the president’s autopsy took place. I am convinced that the “crime scene” includes the millions of records at the National Archives and Research Administration (NARA) facility, now located in College Park, Maryland. The “crime scene tape” was eventually extended to this facility, so to speak, by the passage of the JFK Assassination Records act in 1993. The records at NARA can also help us to find the criminals.
When I returned to active investigation of this case I knew straight away that I had to make a critical decision: all in or stay out. I also knew that all in meant to do more than a new book. It meant perhaps three, four or even more volumes. It also meant testing hypotheses, making mistakes, and readjusting the investigation to follow the evidentiary trail. That is what is supposed to happen in murder investigations.
In this investigation, however, we are attempting to look inside a very dark box. The people involved in the design of the plot, even if they were only a few, were very sophisticated in propaganda and deception operations. In his book, The Craft of Intelligence, former Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles wrote about the “collateral effect” of a successful deception operation. Dulles often used the term “black operation,” which is similar to the term used in this volume, “dark operation.”
Dulles explained the “collateral effect” this way: once a “single piece” of the enemy’s deception has succeeded in its purpose, “then almost anything that happens can be taken as one of his tricks.” This is what happened when British and French intelligence failed to believe some half-burned documents “from the complete plans of the German invasion of France through Belgium, for which Hitler had already given marching orders.” British and French officials felt that “the whole thing was a German deception operation.”
The point that Dulles was driving at was this: “Often the very fear of deception has blinded an opponent to the real value of the information which accidents or intelligence operations have placed in his hands.” The burned documents had fallen into British and French hands by accident, when a German plane landed in the wrong place.
It is worthwhile pondering how Dulles’ point might apply to the Kennedy assassination. As stated in the Introduction to this work, in this case a very significant “single piece” of deception succeeded in its purpose:
The plot to assassinate President Kennedy was designed to deceive both people in the government and the public at large. A convincing trail of evidence was established to make it appear that the Kennedy brothers’ plan to overthrow Castro had been turned around and used against them by Fidel himself, resulting in the assassination of President Kennedy.
We should heed Dulles’ advice and not fear that “almost everything” is a successful deception operation. We should, as Dulles advises us, realize that accidents in intelligence operations happen. Such accidents have occurred in this case too. They have placed important clues into our hands.
There is an unstated corollary principal in the game of deception that Allen Dulles was kind enough to give us. Once a “single piece” of a black operation has been compromised, the entire fabric of that operation can potentially unravel.
8/6/59, CIA memorandum by Michael H. Choaden, Subject: Meeting with Cuban Group re Public Relations Campaign. RIF 104-10267-10168.
8/18/59, HAVA 2573 to DIR CIA. 104-10267-10166.
See 8/21/59, HAVA 25898 to DIR CIA. 104-10128-10335; and 8/22/59, DIR 41198 to HAVA. 104-10177-10088; and HAVA 2603 to DIR CIA. 104-10267-10161.
Jefferson Morley, “The Oswald File: Tales of the Routing Slips; Six Weeks before the President’s Murder, the CIA Didn’t Tell All That it Knew,” Washington Post, 2 April 1995. “The routing slips that shed new light on the CIA’s handling of information about Oswald before the assassination were found by John Newman, a 20-year veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence…”
Allen W. Dulles, Craft of Intelligence: America’s Legendary Spy Master On the Fundamentals of Intelligence Gathering For a Free World (Guilford, Connecticut: The Lyons Press, 2006), p. 147.
For more on this, see Peter Dale Scott, Deep Politics II: Essays Oswald, Mexico, and Cuba (Skokie, Illinois: Green Archive Publications, 1995), p. 64. Scott also proposed (see p. 69), a hypothetical “turn around” scenario. According to this hypothesis, the trigger event was originally a shooter team, “in effect licensed by the CIA to kill Castro,” that “might then have returned from Cuba and killed the president instead.”
It allowed him to choose the attitude he would take in that very moment he was being robbed of his life. He didn’t die angry or even surprised. But he had trained himself to march to the drumbeat of his own growing vision of what constituted wise action.
The Hand Mantra
All hand positions are mantras in that they are associated with subtle or not-so-subtle energies. Take the fist. When we get angry our hands tend to close into fists. It waters the seeds of anger and violence within you every time and they respond by sprouting and growing stronger. The next time you find yourself making fists out of anger try to bring mindfulness to the inner attitude embodied in the fist – feel the tension, the hatred, the anger, the aggression and fear it contains.
Then, in the midst of your anger, as an experiment, try opening your fists and placing your palms together over your heart in the prayer position. Notice what happens to the anger and hurt as you hold this position for only a few moments. I find it virtually possible to sustain my anger when I do this.
It’s not that the anger may not be justified, it’s just that all sorts of other feelings come into play, which frames the anger and tempers it – feelings like sympathy and compassion for the other person and perhaps a greater understanding of the dance we are both in.
The dance of one thing leading to another, of the consequences set into motion – the end result can lead to ignorance compounding ignorance, aggression compounding aggression, with no wisdom anywhere or – we can do the hand mantra, as Gandi had done in his last moments on this earth.
– Jon Kabat-Zinn p. 114 – Wherever You Go There You Are – Mindfullness Meditayions 1994.
Is the JFK Assassination Ancient History or a Current Event that’s Relevant Today?
More than that are still being withheld – over 3500 documents remain withheld in full or over 30,000 pages while another 35,000 documents remain withheld in part, with redactions.
These still sealed JFK Assassination records make it relevant.
If what happened at Dealey Plaza is ancient history and not relevant today, then why are so many JFK assassination records still being withheld by the government for reasons of national security?
Why does our nation’s security depend on the government keeping the American public from knowing what information is contained in over 3,000 documents – 30,000 pages of records?
John Newman, whose new book “Where Angels Tread Lightly” deals with what we have learned from the release of these records so far, had said that not only Dealey Plaza, but the Archives II is a crime scene, as it has possession of most of the evidence in the murder as well as the relevant government documents that would give us a pretty good picture of what happened at Dealey Plaza if they would only let us read them.
But the clock is ticking, the countdown has begun and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is making preparations for the final release of the last of the still sealed records by October 2017, as the law requires.
The JFK Act remains in effect until that time the Archivist of the United States (AOTUS) informs the President, Congress and the American people that the last JFK assassination record has been released to the public as the JFK Act of 1992 prescribes, and the date is set for October 26, 2017.
Now, over 50 years later, it is in the national interest to release all of these records, but it won’t be easy and won’t be without a fight against the national security state agencies who want many of these records to remain sealed indefinitely – and intend to ask the next president of the United States, whoever he or she may be, to keep them sealed, and only he/she can.
According to the JFK Act, passed by congress and signed by President G. H. W. Bush on October 26, 1992 – only the president can continue the withholding of the records, and only if the “continued postponement is made necessary by an identifiable harm to military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, or conduct of foreign relations, and the identifiable harm is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in disclosure.”
Will the nation’s security be preserved? Will the government and various agencies survive? Will the heavens fall?
The consequences should not be that catastrophic, but putting the last pieces of the Dealey Plaza puzzle into place will certainly be enlightening, change our perspectives, re-write history and certainly damage the reputation of the agencies of government – CIA – FBI – NSA – WHCA – ONI – Secret Service – who have covered up the truth for the past half-century and should be directly threatened by what’s in the documents.
According to Jeff Morley [http://jfkfacts.org/ ] – Martha Murphy, of NARA, recently corrected an Assassinations Records Review Board (ARRB) statement that one percent of the total records in the collection are still being withheld. Since there are over 350,000 documents in the collection that total nearly 4 million pages, they estimated that one percent as 3,000 documents, but have recently obtained a better count. According to Morley, “Murphy acknowledged that she had misplaced the decimal point. The actual figure is 1.1 percent, she said.”
“We currently have documented in the [JFK records] database 3,603 documents withheld in full [out] of a total of 318,866 documents in the database. So that comes to 1.1 percent,” Murphy wrote.
Morley notes that, “While the Assassination Records Review Board, an independent civilian panel, which oversaw the declassification of JFK records in the 1990s, had first used the 1 percent figure, the exact number of documents still off limits to the public was not known until now.”
In a second email, Murphy wrote, “we have found five of those documents which were actually released in the collection as redacted,” leaving 3,598 records that remain withheld in full. Murphy stressed the figure would likely change again as archivists compare the data base to the actual records in preparation for their scheduled release in October 2017. The Archives does not yet have an accurate agency by agency breakdown of the withheld records, Murphy said.
According to Morley, “In her April 10 presentation, Murphy made it clear that all withheld information will be released in October 2017, as mandated by the 1992 JFK Records Act, unless the President orders otherwise.”
Murphy said that archives staffers are currently perfecting the index because there are errors or missing information in the index as to the status of records and intends to post the released information on the web and then integrate the newly released records into existing files.
According to an FOIA attorney who was present at the NARA public forum, Murphy also stated that 11% of the documents in the collection are partially withheld, meaning they have redactions. 11% of 318,866 documents is 35,075 documents with redactions. So the current numbers are 3,598 documents withheld in full and 35,075 withheld in part. It would be helpful if the Archives would provide page counts and agencies of origin for these categories.
Indeed, it would be helpful if the NARA would but they haven’t and they won’t, and I don’t believe they will post these remaining one-point-one-percenters on line in 2017 because they won’t post the five documents they just located now.
As former House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) investigator Dan Hardway recently told me, “we need an army of researchers with lap tops and scanners to go to the Archives II and scan and post these records as they are released so everyone can read them.”
We are up against a tired National Archives staff, a Congress reluctant to conduct proper oversight, and the government agencies and their staff of attorneys handsomely paid by the taxpayers to keep these records secret, and we must summon up the energy, masses and will to oppose them.
That’s why we have formed a new organization – Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA) that picks up where the organizations that lobbied for the passage of the JFK Act in 1992 left off and to continue the work we began twenty years ago to see the JFK Act to its full completion.
Over the next few years CAPA will be:
– Correcting the mainstream media spin on political assassinations and secrecy in government;
– Making political assassinations and government transparency campaign issues in local, state and the national elections;
– Getting all of the political candidates to support open records and transparency and announce their positions publicly in their campaign platforms;
– Have each presidential candidate declare their intention whether to release all of the JFK Assassination records or keep them sealed and to pledge their support for open records;
– Hold a Congressional Briefing in Washington on the JFK Act to focus attention on the destroyed, missing and still withheld records and provide a platform for witnesses to testify;
– Engage the NARA staff to expedite the release of the records, to post the requested documents on line as they have promised, to update their public index and make their private index available to researchers, work more efficiently with researchers and to see that Congress properly oversees the JFK Act so that is enforced;
– Engage Congressman on the relevant oversight committees and their Congressional staff to see that the JFK Act is properly enforced, and hold public hearings on the JFK Act on the destroyed, missing and still withheld records and release the MLK HSCA, Church Committee and other relevant records that are still being withheld.
As an association of independent researchers we seek the complete release of all of the remaining JFK Assassination records by October 26, 2017 and we intend to ratchet up our efforts to educate the public, the media and the government as to why it is now in the national interest to have all of these records released.