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Bill's organizational chart for use in reading, and understanding, State Secret.

Here's a direct link which includes Bill's corresponding links to MFF:


Headquarters CI Staff and Staff D:


"Division D ranked with Jim Angleton's Counterintelligence/Counterespionage Staff as the most secret of the Agency's Clandestine Services."  - Bayard Stockton, Flawed Patriot, p. 111.



                                                           James Angleton             Bill Harvey                                                                    Frank Belsito C/FI  (or Colby?)

                    (Martin O. Hibbert)            C/CI                              C, FI/D 59-61
                                                                                              Justin O'Donnell
                                                                                              Staff D, case officer for QJ/WIN, got out of ZR/RIFLE                                                                                             

                                                                                              Anita Potocki

                                                                                              FI/D 61


                                                                                              Ann Goodpasture



                                                                                              Paul Levister

                                                                                              FI/D Ops





       James Hunt         John Mertz                (Mertz)                (Mertz)                   

       DC/CI  62       Executive Officer  C/CI/PROJECT aka   ZRCHEST 59-63

                               Chief, CI Staff 62  (HTLINGUAL)

                               Sp. Asst, DCI 65                         


                                                                                     James P. O'Connor

                                                                                      C/TSD/LSS 62         


                                                                  (Miler)             (David Christ)                                                                                                                                             

                                                              "on top" of         TSS/FI/D  59-63




Birch O'Neal =  Sheffield Edwards  Paul Gaynor  Ray Rocca                                                T. K. (Kim) Chalmers       Ryan

CI/SIG 55         C/OS                    C/SRS         CIRA  63-64                                                Chief, CI Staff, SPG 60

C/CI/SIG 63                                                                                                                         Special Projects Group                                                                                                                                                        Will Potocki     Jane Roman

                                                   James McCord                   DD/P/SR 59     CI/LS 59-63

                                                   SRS                                  CIOPS 63 64                                                     

    Domestic Operations Division

    Tracy Barnes - formed in 1962 (Russell, p. 473)

    Howard Hunt (Chief, DOD, R&P (is that covert action?) - Feb. 63

                                                                      Paul Hartman                                                  SPG 63

                                                                      R&A 63-64

                                                                      CI Staff 64

                                                                      CI Staff 64

N. Scott Miler                              M. D. Stevens
deputy  CI-SIG  55                       SRS analyst                                   

CI-SIG   66


                                                  E. Mendoza

                                                  SRS analyst

Ann Egerter                         

CI-SIG Analyst 


Soviet Union section
C/SR David Murphy 1963
                                               C/SR/CI Pete Bagley 62- (Angleton's man)                Russ Langelle C/SR/OS/WH 63
                                                                                                                             communications officer in Moscow
                                                                                                                             & Popov's case officer, 59
                                               SR/CI/A  Stephan Roll
Louise Lyon                          Kay Grady          B. Stacy              Stephan Roll            Bill Bright                             
SR/CI/RED 62                       SR/CE             SR/6/Stacy 60       C/SR/CI/RED           SR/CE/P 60 (Newman, 493)
                                                                                                                              SR/CI/RED/WCB (WCB are Bright's initials)
                                                                                                                              SR/CI/A June 63
Domestic Contacts Division

Howard Hunt, Chief of Domestic Contacts Division
(Morley, p. 163) 
Reports Office, 1944

E.S. Ashcraft - Chief of Domestic Contacts Division                                     Robert Crowley - C, Operational Support Branch/CI

1953                                                                                                        Domestic Contacts, Support, 1959

Chief, Contact Division, OO, 1962                                                                                                          -1962


Anthony (Tony) Czajkowski, 1953
1953, OO/C - contact for Matlack                                                               George S. Musulin   1962-1970
1963 - Domestic Exploitation unit/task force within SAS
1963 worked with Matlack of ACSI - domestic exploitation                         

1967, with Travis



R.S. Travis aka Bob Travis

CD/DO 1960

OO/CD 1963


1964, CD/DO case, Support Branch

1964, Support Branch, Contact Division - OO

67 with Czajkowski


James Balog - New York office, 1963


Lloyd A. Ray - New Orleans field office  67   


(William Gaudet - source of New Orleans office

between 1948   to at least 1961)                 


J. Walton Moore - 50s - 1977 - Dallas field office


(George de Mohrenschildt - source of Dallas office

between the 1950s to 1963)

    C/PW Seymour Bolten/Trouchard (62-63)    (64 - SAS/SO/SB)
    C/PW George Joannides/Newby (63-64)


Special Affairs Staff (formerly Task Force W)

William Harvey, chief, 62 (TFW)                                                                                     
Desmond Fitzgerald, chief, 63-67 (SAS)       
                                                                                     Victor Wallen  C/TFW/CI 62
                                                                                     Hal Swenson, C/SAS/CI  63-65
                                                                    C/SAS/CI/OPS, the originator of the 9/10/63 memo about recruiting Azcue.  Sforza was at TFW in 62,
                                                                                                                                                                                     SAS/FI and  AMOT c/o in 63
                                                AA Maloney C/SAS/MOB 63                  Edward Marelius, C/SAS/EOB 62-63
                                                John Tilton DC/SAS/MOB 63                  DC/SAS/EOB ? (Brings Victor Vicente to Cuba)
                                                Paul Maggio C/SAS/MOB/FI 63
                                                              C/WH/SA/MOB/FI. 64

                                                                                    SAS/CI Nestor Sanchez
SAS/SO Henry Hecksher

(high level, Ult Sac 39) aka Henry Boysen
   Ops Officer - Deputy COS  - August 61
   Frederick Inghurst - deputy COS (re Joannides personnel file) - field contracting officer

                                                                                  Austin Horn, SAS/CI liaison with FBI, 62

SAS/SO Charles Anderson III                                       (SAS/CI L. Demos signs his routing slip on 10/8/63)
former phone tap expert in Mexico City
                                                                              L. Demos, July 63 re Azcue

                                                         SAS/CE Anita Potocki 63


                                                         SAS/CI Tansing - supervisor to Barney Hidalgo (Blunt source)
                                                         SAS/CI Richard Tansing was "SAS 8"

                                                         may be OS related, does "facilitation", a SSD function (security support)
Other SAS/CI, or TFW/CI:  Barney Hidalgo, Wilmer Kerbe, Vivian Petrowski, Lois Frederickson, Paul Maggio 62  Pauline Miller


C/JMWAVE (Shackley)

Shackley's 2nd in command, exec officer, David Morales
    Shackley's chief of operations

    Here's the CIA flowchart for JMWAVE:   COS and DCOS, w/secretaries and communicators
  Branches:  Support, Ops Branch of FI and Special Ops, CA Branch, External Ops Branch, Reports Section, Technical Services Section
AMOT Military Matters chief

C/JMWAVE/FI Frank Belsito,

Answers to Sforza, "AMOT case officer" 63 and FI


C/Miami field office, Justin Gleichauf

    Cuban Operations Group

    Paul Oberst COG/CA 63
    Carl Trettin Deputy COG, CI 63
    Margaret Forsyth, COG, 63
    Mexico City Station

    Win Scott, Chief
    Alan White, Deputy Chief               David Phillips, Cuban ops     Paul Manell, Soviet desk  Anne Goodpasture, operations officer
                                                                                                                                                Jeremy Niarcos/Tom Keenan true name
                                                        Robert Shaw  Cuban            Barbara Manell, "                     case officer

                                                                                                                                                Arnold Arehart/Charles Flick true name
                                                                                                                                                tapes technician/chief of intercept center   
                                                                                                                                                Bill Bright - transport of 
                                                                                                                                                Sept. 63
                                                                                                                                                 collected tapes/transcripts with Niarcos/Keenan

    Western Hemisphere
    Chief, J. C. King                                                                       
    C/WH/OPS (William Hood)                                                                                             C/WH/R (pseudo L.N. Gallary)
    WH/3 Central America             WH/4 Cuba                                    Mexico City Station      Paul Oberst                                                                                                                                                                                              WH/C/CA (covert action chief 61)
    John Whitten                           Jake Esterline                                Win Scott chief                                                   
                                                                                                                                                     David Phillips  63
    C/WH/3                                  C/WH/4/CI (A.C. Davies) 63             CI capacity                          C/WH/CA
                                                  WH/4/CI Jean Pierson 61                Biggest Staff D station

    WH/3/Mexico                          C/WH/4/Prop (D. Phillips) 61                                                                                               
    Charlotte Bustos                     
                                                  Margaret Forsyth 61 WH/4/PA-PROP
                                                  John Tilton 62 WH/4/PA-PROP


                                                  Joseph Langan, C/WH/4/Security
                                                  William E. Eisemann, C/WH/4/Support
JFK LANCER: Conversations / Re: JFK Lancer: Conversations, Dr. Josiah Thompson, Part II
« Last post by echelon on February 23, 2014, 02:29:26 PM »

Another very interesting interview and congrats to you both for making it so.

One point of contention I have is that I felt enormous frustration welling up inside me as Dr Thompson tried to explain his journey of discovery vis-a-vis the slight forward movement of Kennedy's head between Z312 and Z313.  This occupied much of the space of this interview, after all.

Surely, it is incumbent on us all to get Josiah Thompson and Sherry Fiester in the same room at the same time (at least metaphorically speaking) so that they can both discuss her contention that the head would move forward towards the source of the incoming bullet for a fraction of second, before the transferred energy drove it back and to the left.  This would help to explain Josiah's ongoing difficulties in this area.  Surely, surely, surely this is an obvious next step.

Whether they agree or not is irrelevant.  The discussion would be hugely enlightening.

After that, they could carry on and discuss Sherry's contention that no head shot originated from the Grassy Knoll, as Dr Thompson continues to assert.

Thanks, Echelon.  The book is completed.  Its focus is about the impersonation of Oswald in Mexico City.   This final chapter covers my thoughts on who framed Oswald and killed the President. Rather than sell the book, I'm asking for donations to Mary Ferrell. Leads for good radio shows also appreciated - I wrote it, now I have to let people know it's there.

The concluding chapter of Bill Simpich's new book State Secret: Wiretapping in Mexico City, Double Agents, and the Framing of Lee Oswald is now available for reading online here at MFF.

In the final chapter, subtitled Only Justice Will Stop a Curse, State Secret takes a hard look at suspects and "persons of interest" in the assassination, as opposed to the cover-up. The discussion of the role of the Secret Service, the near-pristine "magic bullet" found by a stretcher at the hospital, and JFK's autopsy illustrates some ways to think about the distinction between assassination planners and cover-up actors. The chapter also suggests that the NSA's ability in 1963 to listen to foreign leaders, access nuclear weapons codes, and obtain details on presidential protection were the crown jewels of US intelligence. These state secrets had to be protected from public view.

John F. Kennedy 1917 - 1963 / Jim DiEugenio, 20 Nov., '13
« Last post by Alan Dale on February 20, 2014, 01:19:33 PM »
JFK LANCER: Conversations / JFK Lancer: Conversations, Dr. Josiah Thompson, Part II
« Last post by Alan Dale on February 20, 2014, 12:00:49 PM »

Part two of my recent conversation with Dr. Thompson about the assassination of President Kennedy and the path which leads from 6 Seconds In Dallas (1967) to Thompson's current, as yet unpublished, Last Second In Dallas.

Duration: 00:49:52
JFK LANCER: Conversations / Re: Program Transcript: Peter Dale Scott
« Last post by Alan Dale on February 18, 2014, 05:20:28 AM »
ALAN DALE: We're speaking with Professor Peter Dale Scott. I've heard you say that as a young person – I mean there's so much that I would like to be able to address with you, which we cannot even begin to scratch the surface in an hour, but you're a figure whose personal story, not merely in relation to these extraordinarily complex and important subjects; your personal story is inspiring and fascinating. The fact that you began by thinking you did not intend to become an academic, you did not look forward to being a professor – Boy! How'd that work out for you?!  - the idea that you…

PROFESSOR SCOTT: I didn't want to be like my father, who was a professor who wrote poetry and got into politics.

ALAN DALE: Well! Great job! And I also think that it's very valuable to look at your example about your experience; what it meant to you to have an opportunity to live in a country like Poland during the era when you lived there, and how that informed your understanding and your perceptions of contrasting mechanisms of power.

PROFESSOR SCOTT: Being followed by the Secret Police in Poland for example, very conspicuously followed. Yes, that was part of my formation. I very much enjoyed my two years in Poland, by the way. I mean – I never knew the Secret Police, but I knew some of the other politicians. I mostly knew journalists and artists, and a few political figures. Actually I knew a man who became the last communist Prime Minister of Poland and then his successor, the first Catholic Prime Minister of Poland; I knew them both. That’s what I liked about Poland; it was a bit like Canada: everybody knew everybody. I loved that!

ALAN DALE: It occurs to me, I don't know that I've ever heard anyone ask if you are working on an autobiography.

PROFESSOR SCOTT: Many people ask, and my answer is I've got other things to do first.

ALAN DALE: I understand.

PROFESSOR SCOTT:  My long poems… Coming to Jakarta. It's a trilogy actually; between the three volumes there's a certain amount of autobiography in there.

ALAN DALE: When we referred to trans-national aspects to President Kennedy's assassination, which is primarily our focus here today. One of the essential centers that should be the subject of our attention is Mexico; Mexico City six and seven weeks prior to the assassination and interesting – a much better understanding now as the result of scholarship of some very, very serious and very important researchers. The relationship of what was called the DFS, a corrupt State Police – Mexico State Police, which was - susceptible to criminal influence – let me put it that way. I know you could speak about it for quite some time, and I'm curious to know, when you refer to Richard Cain, and what his areas of expertise included, which is wire-tapping and things like that, do we have any reason to believe that there was a connection between the Chicago mob and the DFS?

PROFESSOR SCOTT: Oh yes, I think so, because the DFS – Direccion Federal de Seguridad - was already at that time, in fact from its creation back in 1949-50 by – really with the help of - the FBI, and then eventually OPC, which became CIA. It was Americans helped create it and it was created out of the drug traffic – people who were drug-traffickers. So the drug traffic is the lynchpin between the DFS who – they were more like a CIA than a police force. They were an investigation/intelligence agency, and with – all of their heads were CIA assets, and they were the people who handled the investigation of the Kennedy assassination in Mexico, bringing in Sylvia Duran and so on.

But, yes, Richard Cain had worked for them because we – it would be wonderful if we'd heard that he had installed wiretaps in the Soviet and Cuban embassies. We don't know that. We do know, as a fact, that he installed wiretaps in the Czech embassy, so he was part of that whole wiretapping operation…


PROFESSOR SCOTT: And it wasn't directly the CIA that was wiretapping; it was outsourced.

ALAN DALE: And it was outsourced to the DFS, which monitored the source of the recordings, which were then transcribed by Boris and Anna Tarasoff which are the original Oswald tapes, which are the subject of enormous interest and controversy.

PROFESSOR SCOTT: Exactly, and what is also interesting is that the man – an American outside the embassy that was handling all this, was one of the three people that had – his name comes up in the Watergate investigation, I don't – I've had too much about Watergate, but it's another example of the overlap. And I'm very interested in the fact that there was an Oswald "legend": the connection to Cuba was actively sort of developed in Mexico City when a man came in, identified himself as Oswald, and then made a phone call later on and so on. I don't think that was Oswald. And I think the fact that his Russian was not very good is one of the things that is pointed to as saying that it couldn't have been Oswald, but there's actually a hand-written notation in one of the documents that said that the man who was being taped spoke terrible Russian and terrible English. Terrible English?! How could he possibly have been Lee Harvey Oswald?

ALAN DALE: It's absurd.

PROFESSOR SCOTT: So I think that, yes, Mexico City is relevant to the assassination because of the creation of Oswald's legend. I don't think Oswald was there. A more important city for me that not enough people talk about is Acapulco, because we do know that one of Mary Ferrell's suspects in the assassination, Gordon McLendon, went rushing down to Acapulco – to Mexico. We don't know for a fact where he went,  very suddenly in the summer of '63. He took his family with him, and I think that he went to – he had a good friend in Acapulco who was a man called Frank Brandstetter. Have you heard that name before?

ALAN DALE: I have not. I have not.

PROFESSOR SCOTT: There are two biographies of him and I recommend them both – Frank Brandstetter. Each biography tells us a great deal, and the names that turn up, like George De Mohrenschildt! My chief, chief suspect in the phase one stage of the assassination is a man called John Crichton; you recognise that name.


PROFESSOR SCOTT: He was the head of this 488th Army Intelligence Reserve unit in Dallas, which to me is a focal point. George Lumpkin, who was the head of the Intelligence Division in the Dallas Police, was a member of it, and they say that something like 50 police officers were in this Intelligence Reserve unit, one of them being Don Stringfellow, who sent this falsified cable about Oswald having been a card-carrying communist who'd been to Cuba.

So I see the 488th division as being very, very important in the assassination, and one of its members was Frank Brandstetter down in Acapulco, who in addition was, because of his Army Intelligence status, that his hotel, the Las Brisas, which had a bunch of villas behind it, was used by the CIA when they had guests coming from Europe, and they were shepherding them down to Mexico City. They would then go to Frank Brandstetter's hotel. So he had a secure room with a secure line to the CIA and to the embassy in his hotel and important meetings would take place there.

Also something, by the way, to encourage young people to do their own research. I went to Rex Bradford's website; it's the Mary Ferrell Foundation website; getting ready for – I did this at ten o'clock this morning getting ready for this interview, and I looked up Frank Brandstetter, and I learnt for the first time that he was a source for the FBI on the activities of Sam Giancana and Moe Dalitz and Frank Sinatra, because Moe Dalitz had one of the villas on his property and Frank Sinatra had another. In other words he had his own connections with organized crime right down there in Acapulco, so all of the ingredients that we see in the deep political background to the Kennedy assassination are right there in Acapulco where I suspect, for reasons it would take too long to give here, I suspect that the plot was hatched.

ALAN DALE: Wow! I've never heard that before; that's truly astonishing. But when you say a plot was hatched, it doesn't mean that all of the resources were local to that immediate environment, it means that employing the diverse resources for instance of South Florida JM/WAVE station and all of the complexity of whatever role Oswald may have consciously had as a – any one of a number of possibilities: an informer, a low-level provocateur, a disposable asset, a pigeon, a dangle – all of those things, that enough of these criminal elements touch upon each other in ways where one center of authority does not have to have mastery of each separate component. Is that basically correct?

PROFESSOR SCOTT: Yes. I would go along with all of that. All I'm talking about in Acapulco are connections. So the shooter, for example, it's very very unlikely I think that the shooter would have been there, and I don't know who the shooter was. And there's one other thing when we're talking about transnational connections is the French. They keep turning up over and over and over. The day of the assassination a top – he was the top French Intelligence officer in Washington. He was about to resign, or maybe he just resigned - I think he has just resigned; a man called Phillipe Thyraud de Vosjoli. He says: The president has been assassinated; my goodness, I have to get out of America immediately; I can't go to Quebec because there are too many De Gaulle agents up there so I'll go to my friend Frank Brandstetter.

And so he describes how he goes down to Frank Brandstetter in Acapulco. Actually one of the biographies of Brandstetter says that on that particular day Brandstetter was in Dallas, because he had a house in Dallas, and so that Thyraud actually went to Dallas and then the two of them went on to Acapulco. James Angleton had recruited Thyraud de Vosjoli as a double agent.

And, well the short - come back to the Kennedy assassination - we have a CIA document saying that there was a man called Souetre from France in Dallas on that day. It doesn't say he did the shooting, but we do know that Souetre, the Souetre in France that we know about – it's a very unusual name, Souetre - was not just an intelligence agent but one involved with the assassination plots against De Gaulle, so that creates in the background the possibility that the assets trying to shoot De Gaulle had been used by somebody in the CIA to shoot Kennedy.

That I can't prove of course, but it is a matter of record that Thyraud de Vosjoli was Angleton's agent and Thyraud de Vosjoli was one of these people who had become very anti-De Gaulle. His reasons: he's written a book about it called Lamire, which I recommend, where he talks about going to Frank Brandstetter. De Gaulle had become involved with the communists and the communists had now penetrated De Gaulle's network, and by the way, other documents; well, it's in one of the Brandstetter biographies that the same man, Thyraud de Vosjoli, suspected that the communists had penetrated Kennedy's government, which establishes him as being therefore very anti-Kennedy.

And furthermore – this is all so important – one of the Brandstetter biographies shows that Brandstetter shared these political views of De Gaulle, and not only that, talked about Kennedy's complete failure first at the Bay of Pigs – well, there's no debating that – but, more controversially, Kennedy's total failure at the Missile Crisis! Now that is a very, very significant opinion, because that is what some of the top generals - particularly the air force general, General Le May – they felt that a great opportunity had been so totally missed in the Missile Crisis - the opportunity to invade Cuba; that Kennedy's behavior on it was at the best abject, but more possibly traitorous – the word traitorous does come up.

So we're dealing with a state of mind which was – Jim Douglass in his book JFK and The Unspeakable explores that very persuasively. One of the people – two of the people who shared this were Frank Brandstetter and Thyraud de Vosjoli: that Kennedy had let the country down.

ALAN DALE: Let them down and relinquished, basically, the opportunity to make up for the debacle at the Bay of Pigs – that if he wasn't going to go in, if regime change wasn't going to happen, and maybe not only regime change but take advantage of what the Chiefs were desperately encouraging President Kennedy to do, which was…

PROFESSOR SCOTT:  Well, yes, people point at this point to the Northwoods documents. Actually the Northwoods documents were not commissioned by the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Northwoods documents were commissioned by General Lansdale in his capacity as Chief of Operation Mongoose. But they were – for people who haven't heard of them - they're very scary plans; the Joint Chiefs signed off on them in the sense that they forwarded them to Lansdale for Mongoose: that they would stage mock events, including shooting down a plane and killing people.

And so these documents: a lot of people don't know, but they're all there by the way on the Mary Ferrell Foundation website, you can read them for yourself. They don't stop in 1960; the ones that were approved in March. There are other documents, and the thinking continued; it's contingency planning, it's not: we're going to do this; it's more: well, we could do this; this is what we would do if we decided to do something else. But I see a real – as I've said in one of my last books, American War Machine, that Northwoods-type thinking I think went into the Tonkin Gulf incidents - provocations and that some of the Northwoods-type documents were under General Maxwell Taylor who replaced Lemnitzer; the famous ones were under Lemnitzer, and he served out his term and then Kennedy put someone in who he thought was a friend, but actually was really very friendly…

ALAN DALE: I agree completely, and I wonder if Robert Kennedy regretted naming one of his sons after Maxwell Taylor.

PROFESSOR SCOTT: Yes, this is what has to be explored, because Maxwell Taylor was certainly a hawk on Vietnam and I think he was a hawk on Cuba. And the contingency plans could – here again Lamar Waldron has written, not one but actually two books, and I think that he's misguided in thinking that it was a plan to invade – a Plan C - and I've taken him to task for this: there are contingency plans which exist – and they're there on the Mary Ferrell website – but the contingency plans are not actual plans, but they do betray the state of mind of the people who were writing them up and it is very clear, as you yourself said, that the Joint Chiefs haven't let go of the idea of invading Cuba and I do agree by the way with the idea underlying what Roselli leaked to Jack Anderson in '67: that there's an overlap between those plans and what happened in Dallas.

That is, I think, one big possibility, just as the fact that Angleton was in touch with anti-Gaullist members of the French Intelligence, and that they had, apparently, a representative in Dallas on November 22nd. Those are also a possibility, and of course when we come back to Acapulco they overlap, because Thyraud de Vosjili is in Acapulco after the assassination and he - with Frank Brandstetter – and he is French Intelligence, but Frank Brandstetter met Thyraud de Vosjili when they were both in Cuba before Castro took over and Thyraud stayed on in Cuba and claims to have been one of the first warners about Soviet missiles turning up in Cuba, so he is in the background of the Cuban Missile Crisis. It's all one big enchilada to paraphrase… So if you go to Acapulco you haven't given up on the French, you haven't given up… All of them are connected in Acapulco.

ALAN DALE: With regard to the Northwoods mentality, as late as – I mean who knows – it would only be speculation on my part about anything in terms of our modern era, but as late as 1967 some of the principal participants in making executive decisions, who were still on the scene, were engaged in this thing pertaining to the USS Liberty, which they called Operation Cyanide, and USS Liberty was this intelligence ship with no armaments whatsoever. It was off the coast of Egypt and then was attacked, and it's a very vulgar and very ugly and very despicable and terrible and tragic story. And it has, it certainly superficially anyway, looks like exactly one of these false flag kinds of operations. to cover...

PROFESSOR SCOTT: That was a by-product of the Six-Day War, of course. It was in wartime conditions. It was inexcusable but it wasn't, shall we say, totally gratuitous, because Israel did not want Americans to know what they were doing on the mainland so they attacked a US ship. They did.

ALAN DALE: Exactly, yes. With regard to this thing about Souetre, or someone named Michel Michael Mertz using the name Souetre.

PROFESSOR SCOTT: I think Mertz is a scramble to cover for Souetre: I don't think it's Mertz, I think it is Souetre.

ALAN DALE: Well, that's very interesting. And so do we have reason to connect William King Harvey and his QJ/WIN subject - his - one of his ZR/RIFLE employees on salary; $7,200 annually plus expenses – with that figure in Dallas that was picked up and deported either the day of or two days after?

PROFESSOR SCOTT: Well, this is not my area of great strength, but yes, I do think that the fact that the CIA had developed a sort of – in waiting assassination capability in ZR/RIFLE is relevant. The fact that they hid it in the communications section – ZR normally refers to communications, and that's why these various wiretaps down in Mexico City are also a ZR-type operation; a different one, obviously, in the same category, and that Harvey had done that. Yes, Harvey's a suspect in many, many, many ways, and it comes down, actually, that the two top suspects in the CIA, both dead now, were Angleton and Harvey. I don't think they were on the same team, actually, because I think Angleton certainly acts as if he too is suspicious of Harvey, and it is Angleton whose investigations are the source for our knowing that Harvey was seeing Roselli – as late as June of 1963. A little personal note here, I told you that Bobbs-Merrill told me not to have anything about the assassination in my book?


PROFESSOR SCOTT: At the time Bobbs-Merrill's legal adviser was William Harvey.

ALAN DALE: Oh my God! Unbelievable! Truly astonishing.

PROFESSOR SCOTT: What goes around, comes around. Now that doesn't, of itself, again prove anything. It's possible that it was only Harvey in the CIA, and possibly only Angleton, possibly the two of them. But of the two, Angleton certainly had the better connection to Brandstetter, because they both were very – Angleton was the point man on looking for the Soviet mole in the CIA, but Brandstetter was feeding - using his secure line to Mexico City and then Washington from his hotel to communicate information about moles in the CIA, so he and Angleton are on the same team in that department. And there's a very bad book about the Kennedy assassination by a man also called Douglas, but a different Douglas, but it has what purports to be a DIA document in it about Kennedy's behavior, and that they suspected – the DIA suspected Kennedy himself of improper relationships to the KGB, and I think it is true, you see, I mean because of the terrible mistrust between Kennedy and the CIA, and the FBI in 1963, it is true that Kennedy was using his own channels to communicate to Khrushchev because he was trying to defuse the Cold War, starting conspicuously with his June 10th speech, where he said "We are all mortal" and that we cannot go on planning to kill each other because some day, if we don't watch out, we will.

ALAN DALE: No, you're exactly right and a lot of the most thoughtful researchers – a lot of the most thoughtful historians - note that the point at which there is a peaceful resolution to the Cuban Missile Crisis basically freed President Kennedy to pursue the things that he considered to be to the advantage of humanity over the coming decades, and that included not merely the extraordinary admission on June 10th of '63 that we should re-evaluate our attitudes towards the people of the Soviet Union, whose great achievements in everything: in art, in literature, in valor – including losing 20 million people in their opposition to Hitler during World War II, but that wasn't the only thing. He also negotiated and installed a direct line between his desk in the Oval Office and Nikita Khrushchev's desk at the Kremlin, and bypassed some of those Machiavellian necessities of the intelligence agencies and the State Department and all of that. So he was really going out on his own, and in terms of having the…

PROFESSOR SCOTT: Don’t forget the third one, and it doesn't sound like a big deal now, but it was then, he concluded a treaty with the Soviet Union to end open-air testing. The important thing about that was this was the first treaty signed between the United States and the Soviet Union since the treaty in 1955 which neutralized Austria, which was in the interests of both countries. And the reason there had been no treaties is you still had people in the US Government who were planning for the ending of the Soviet Union, and in fact it we had them down to the 1980s, when they were successful. So that for him to have done that was a great shock at the time.

And to come back to this alleged DIA document, which I think could be genuine, to do these things Kennedy had to go outside his regular agencies and that absolutely was a red flag inside the CIA, inside Army Intelligence and for all I know, inside the FBI: enough to make all three of them just say "We have a president here who's out of control and we have to do something about it". So it may have been a very – it may not have involved a great many people, the plot to kill the president, but I think it could very plausibly have involved a great many agencies, because of the fact the Kennedy was operating outside agencies, and that's not normal behavior for a president and is not going to go unnoticed.

ALAN DALE: I understand. Before we conclude, I would like to ask: there's something that I've repeated to a number of people; some of the people with whom I speak away from this program: kind of a startling revelation; not to suggest that any of us know exactly what to make of it, but you are the source, at least for me, of the news that James Angleton delivered the sole eulogy at Howard Hughes' small private memorial service. When you learned about this was it as odd and as – was it in any way unsettling, disturbing to you? How did you react when you learned this?

PROFESSOR SCOTT: Well I reacted – it re-affirmed my basic notions of how this country is run, you know, yes, it's disturbing in the sense that there was that connection but – let me expand a bit on that. You know that the man they called Scelso, whose real name was John Whitten – how he wanted, he was asked, essentially asked by Bobby Kennedy – by one of his people, because he was responsible not only for Mexico but also Panama – to give information from the CIA on the banks which were handling the hot money coming – the skim – coming out of Las Vegas.

And Whitten was going to do this, and JC King, his boss, head of Western Hemisphere, told him "You can't do that,” because – that the FBI should do that, and it was Angleton who gave that order, essentially. Angleton was protecting the casinos in Las Vegas because they were his assets. And so Bobby Kennedy – one of the theories that really triggered it; looking at Kennedy – John Kennedy - and Moscow and peace and so on, but you could also say that Bobby Kennedy, in going after the Mafia, was treading – he was messing up with James Angleton's assets, so it may have been as much on that level as on the other level. But for him to have eulogized Howard Hughes – for me it's good news, in a way: that I'm not totally mad to think that there's a connection! But for people not aware of the connection it would probably be very unsettling, yes.

ALAN DALE: It's truly astonishing, and it is simply the kind of evidence which is most elusive in this kind of undertaking to come to a deeper, better understanding. It is right there: it is right there, and then it's left for us to interpret as best we can. But the fact that someone such as – such a unique, and such a supremely influential figure as James Angleton should have that kind of intimacy with a figure as unique and as I think mysterious and maybe not properly understood, as Howard Hughes, especially in terms of Hughes' role as both a beneficiary and a benefactor to the CIA and as an inevitable source of unlimited $100 bills in the case of how things get done on the street level. I think that this is one of the very real kind of – what would you call it? Not a juxtaposition but a nexus point, where elements of the deep political state are unambiguously connected.

PROFESSOR SCOTT: And it just makes us conclude that to solve the case and to change the government of this country are really one and the same, because the make-up of the power structure in the country at this time is too interwoven with what made the Kennedy assassination happen.

ALAN DALE: Thank you, Professor, for allowing us an extraordinary opportunity: sincerely grateful to you.

PROFESSOR SCOTT: You know this was a good interview. I enjoyed it. You asked wonderful lead questions.

ALAN DALE: Thank you. You've been listening to Conversations, a JFK Lancer production. Good evening.
JFK LANCER: Conversations / Re: Program Transcript: Peter Dale Scott
« Last post by Alan Dale on February 18, 2014, 05:18:16 AM »
ALAN DALE: And we're speaking to Professor Peter Dale Scott who, among many other materials which I consider to be essential, is the author of Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, which has a companion volume – or two; Deep Politics II, which consists of essays, many of which were written in the '90s. And what can you tell me about Deep Politics III? Has it ever been actually published as an edition?

PROFESSOR SCOTT: No, it's one of those things I'll get around to when I have time. One or two chapters of it are on Rex Bradford's website.

ALAN DALE: Exactly. Professor, we were talking about what I would characterize maybe as the fabric of the Deep State, which includes so many diverse elements which from the perspective of the public state would seem to be strange bedfellows; at a minimum, strange bedfellows. I have a friend, a very elegant man named Phil Dragoo, who is a student of life and a master of important things, and with regard to who killed President Kennedy he said this: "Arguments for exclusivity go only so far. The better question is 'How explain the Kurt Vonnegut Cat's Cradle line turned to song: nice, nice, very nice; so many people in the same device.' " You've made a typical, and very sophisticated, distinction between how elements, diverse elements on the deep political level have affiliations and how it's helpful, it's instructive to you, for instance, to look at Watergate to help clarify aspects of President Kennedy's assassination. Can you talk to us a little bit more about that process?   

PROFESSOR SCOTT: Yeah. Well I'd like to go back to the Vonnegut line. One of my last publications, just a couple of weeks ago, was tracing all of the elements of the deep state, or this milieu; whatever you want to call it: organized crime, Army Intelligence, FBI, CIA; to the personal efforts; life-long efforts of J Edgar Hoover to build up an organization that knew what was important about power in the United States with the FBI.

Actually this was his intelligence division, which was re-established in 1937, and it actually was because of General Smedley Butler, and the second time that Smedley Butler came to Hoover and said: "There's some people who want me to overthrow the government in Mexico. Would this be OK?", this time Hoover went to Roosevelt and got from Roosevelt a verbal authorization to recreate an intelligence division in the FBI. This was a very important political act, because the investigation part was dealing with crimes already committed, and that meant that Hoover spent a lot of his time on kidnappings, bank robberies, his great moment in '32 with the Lindbergh baby kidnapping; but now he had an intelligence division which was not limited to crimes, and he started collecting intelligence about everybody: America's rich, America's criminals and, very importantly, America's members of Congress, and he developed such complete files on their sexual activities in Washington that he pretty much had Washington in his hand till – we won't go into all this but the climax being Watergate really, that was the period when, it was the year that Hoover died, and it was to the middle of a reorganization of deep power inside Washington.

Well all of those seemingly disparate ingredients that we see in the Kennedy assassination: organized crime and Jack Ruby - we don't have time to list them all but you began with somebody who saw them – those are the ingredients of Hoover's maintenance of power. He used to go to the Stork Club in New York and regularly see Frank Costello, who was one of the more – one of the less disreputable members of organized crime, and he used the Mafia as a source of intelligence. This meant that – and not just he, by the way, I mean, this was the way things were done in those days, Chicago being a very splendid example of the police using the Mafia to maintain order in ethnic neighborhoods, the result being that you had hundreds of gangland killings – I think there were 900 in 50 years or something, of which 13 were solved. They couldn't be solved because the Mafia was too closely in – part of, not just of the police force, but of City Hall in general, so that explains my use of City Hall in the quote you made before. It reflects a kind of pattern of collaboration in power between illicit powers like the Mob and licit powers like the police, which is true right up to the level of the FBI and the CIA in Washington.

ALAN DALE: I remember seeing a video tape of Robert Kennedy addressing Sam Giancana during what may have been the McClelland hearings, I'm not absolutely certain off the top of my head, and basically Giancana is just giggling, and Robert Kennedy is not enormously impressed by the giggling, and he taunts Giancana by saying "I thought only little girls giggle", but what we understand now that of course…

PROFESSOR SCOTT: Hoffa – it doesn't matter, but I thought that was what he said to Jimmy Hoffa…

ALAN DALE: No, I don't think Hoffa was the giggler, I think Giancana was the giggler, because I think Robert Kennedy had no information in his head about the extent to which Giancana was situated in a clandestine relationship with American Intelligence or whatever else he was engaged in as a – you know, you referred to Richard Cain, and Richard Cain, I think was one of his – if not…well, Richard Cain certainly was an associate of Giancana's.

PROFESSOR SCOTT: Right, and was his host down in Mexico and; it's not just that Giancana had a connection to intelligence, Giancana had a connection to Bobby's father, Joe Kennedy, going back – I mean Joe was involved in boot-legging activities, and there – quite recently we've been hearing that this casino on the - was called the Cal-Neva because it's right on the border, and it came out in '63 that Giancana was a hidden owner. It did not come out that Joe Kennedy was a hidden owner. This is all very important because that's where, for example, Marilyn Monroe went just before she died, or was murdered, and – I don't want to frighten people away – think I'm a complete nut, but…

ALAN DALE: No, you make a very relevant contribution, because what we're left with then is the realisation that neither John nor Robert Kennedy had any idea what Sam Giancana and their father knew about that some complicit…

PROFESSOR SCOTT: I don't know that they had no idea, but what you and I certainly agree on is that the connection of Giancana to both Kennedy brothers, because it was a girlfriend that was shared between Giancana and John Kennedy, and the fact that the Kennedy brothers, and more generally the Kennedy family going back to Joe, that they were themselves sort of embedded in this deep political milieu, that is one of the very relevant facts about the Kennedy assassination. It very much affected, I think, Bobby's behavior after the assassination because he did not want the full truth to come out.
I know that David Talbot has written a very important book called Brothers which I agree with, in which he says that if Bobby had been elected president; if he'd not been murdered, I would say obviously - not obviously, but murdered by the same deep political milieu. If he had not been murdered he would have gone after a better explanation for the assassination of his brother. And I agree with that, but I don't believe that he wanted the full truth to come out and I've said that to David Talbot and he agreed with me. One of the things that we see is that – coming back to John Roselli – that when he, in 1967, through Jack Anderson, who by the way was a close friend of Robert Maheu, which helps explain how this happened, Roselli went to – actually it was Edward P Morgan; he's yet another figure here - and then started hinting that the assassination had been the result of a group put together, and that Bobby Kennedy had had part of it. This scared the CIA but it also scared Bobby Kennedy.

ALAN DALE: Absolutely.

PROFESSOR SCOTT: And when we get the – coming back to the Schweiker-Hart investigation that you were talking about, there's a man called Gus Russo who I disagree with on many, many things, particularly when he keeps trying to pin the assassination on Castro, which is ridiculous.


PROFESSOR SCOTT:  But he is a good scholar and in his book Die by The Sword he talks about how the struggle in that Schweiker-Hart committee was between the people who were trying to get – the Democrats, he was saying, essentially were trying to keep the name of Kennedy out of it, and I think he's right, and I published something on the internet that people can look at about William Pawley, where this struggle ended up with a number of witnesses being - dying in short order in the year 1977-'78 when we had first the Hart committee - Schweiker-Hart sub-committee investigation is being handed on to the House Select Committee on Assassinations and Rosel – I mean these are clear gangland murders - John Roselli's body ends up in an oil barrel in Miami Bay.

ALAN DALE: Yeah, dismembered.

PROFESSOR SCOTT: Dismembered! And this is people who – relevant witnesses are murdered, right up to former Assistant FBI Director William Sullivan.

ALAN DALE: Right! A hunting – supposed hunting accident.

PROFESSOR SCOTT: Supposed to have been a hunting accident! Sullivan had said to his friend, a journalist, that if I'm ever killed you'll know that it was a murder.

ALAN DALE: Yes. Well, you know, as usual your prescience is intriguing and draws attention to itself. I just posted something over at Jefferson Morley, author of Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA. He's got a – he and Rex Bradford share responsibility for a notable website called and I just posted on the subject of suspicious deaths, where it usually centers around the succession of Mafia figures; Roselli and Giancana and innumerable others, and lots of anti-Castro Cubans and all of that, but this is what I just posted: that in addition to William Sullivan, Desmond Fitzgerald; succeeded William K Harvey as chief of the Cuban taskforce, died 23rd July 1967. He was 57 years old. Winston Scott, Chief of Mexico City Station, died 26th April 1971. No autopsy was performed. And just between you and I, I am deeply suspicious of the circumstances of his death, which came at the peak of disagreement between himself and Richard Helms and James Angleton about materials relevant to Oswald in Mexico City.

PROFESSOR SCOTT: So, by the way, were Win Scott's children. I've talked to two of them and they tell me that what happened was he had a fall from a ladder in his garden and went into the hospital. It was a minor thing; it wasn't the fall from the ladder which killed him: something happened in the hospital which killed him. And of course it's a matter of public records that when he died Angleton flew immediately down to Mexico City. This isn't rumour; we have the documents on this. They're on the Mary Ferrell website you referred to, of Rex Bradford's – one of his websites. More about this; I mean this is actually a very, very important clue to something more.

ALAN DALE: Absolutely.

PROFESSOR SCOTT: That Angleton did this; he came back and one of the – his documents were filed under – what is it? There's a special file saying that – not JM/WAVE – JM – whatever the special file group – code name is.

ALAN DALE: Well it was his own filing system that existed independently of the infrastructure of the CIA.

PROFESSOR SCOTT:  Right, but I'm telling you that there's a document that we have, and the document has a code word classification that begins with JM, and the only other document that we have with the same code word is a list of documents that were taken out of files at the time of William Colby's search for the family jewels in 1975 and put in the safe of Theodore Shackley, and the thing that really amazes me is that the man that I'm most interested in connection with CIA and drugs is a man called Paul Helliwell, and the only reference to Paul Helliwell in the million documents on Rex Bradford's website is in this list of documents that were withheld from the family jewels. So we know it's a very sensitive document, and it had to do with Watergate – it had to do with Watergate!

So you have Angleton going down in connection with the Kennedy assassination to Mexico on a very secret mission, and you have Helliwell and some document related to Watergate and they're both – Oh! JM/SPUR, I remember now; it's JM/SPUR. These are the only JM/SPUR documents, and it intrigues me that "spur" is the German for "trace,” and I think obviously in Angleton going to Mexico City it was to eliminate the traces of conspiracy that existed in Winn Scott's file, and that here is another elimination of traces to prevent William Colby from including them in his family jewels that he has prepared. It was initially – I say "his" family jewels. The search was initiated by Schlesinger, because at a time when Nixon had put Schlesinger in…

ALAN DALE: We're talking about John, not Arthur; John Schlesinger, right?

PROFESSOR SCOTT: Jim – James Schlesinger.

ALAN DALE: James! Right.

PROFESSOR SCOTT: I actually knew him slightly; Jim Schlesinger, yes. Not Arthur, not at all - the other end of the political spectrum, but a straight arrow. He was a right-winger, but he was an honest man; at least to my knowledge – Nixon, after Watergate, suspected, I think with good reason, that the CIA had it in for him, and indeed, you know, when we see what happened, Nixon, on November of 1972 tells Helms that he's no longer going to be DCI; he's going to go to, and Schlesinger's going to go to…


PROFESSOR SCOTT: He's going to go to Iran. Actually it was – he did very well for himself in Iran: did not lose control because he got involved with the Safari Club – that's a whole other story – more deep politics. But what's very interesting is that as soon as Helms is out the CIA starts finding all these documents in their files about how McCord and Hunt and Gordon Liddy had come and requested disguises to go and raid the office of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist; in other words the whole drama of Watergate, which in a sense began with the burglary back in June, but had been quiescent for six months, suddenly became active when Helms was fired. And so Nixon's suspicion that the CIA was after him was a good one. And the family jewels were - apparently Schlesinger came to the CIA and warned the CIA that they should not act against their president, which in a normal situation you would think would be a good order, but because it was not a normal time, you can decide whether Schlesinger was one of the good guys or one of the bad guys, but you obviously had a power struggle in Washington which ended with Nixon's resignation in 1974. My analysis of Watergate, which could not be done in five hours, is that there were good and bad guys on both sides.

ALAN DALE: Absolutely.

PROFESSOR SCOTT: But that the order that Nixon gave, which was interpreted by Haldeman as referring to the Kennedy assassination; I think Haldeman was right. And so does Waldron in his book, and he gives the argument to explain it, and anyone interested can read Waldron's book, which is a beginning but as I said, not I think the definitive story yet.

ALAN DALE: We're talking to Professor Peter Dale Scott, and it's a great honor to have this opportunity. We're going to take a very brief intermission and we'll return in just a moment. 
JFK LANCER: Conversations / Program Transcript: Peter Dale Scott
« Last post by Alan Dale on February 18, 2014, 05:15:06 AM »
Transcription courtesy of Mary Constantine


Welcome to JFK Lancer Conversations, an on-line interview program featuring discussions with prominent authors, historical researchers and notable personalities associated with the study of President Kennedy's assassination.


DATE: May, 2013

DURATION: 01:29:59

ALAN DALE: Welcome to Conversations; my name is Alan Dale. Our nation's founding fathers created a framework to divide power within the federal government to protect against exclusive control by a single man or group. The architects of our republic were concerned that if too much power and influence were to be given to an exclusive few the United States would suffer under the rule of something other than representational democracy. Almost two-and-a-half centuries later, the nation we share today challenges us to examine authority; to question what we are told and what our children are taught; to explore and expose the politics of influence operating between elected officials, the ultra-rich, intelligence agencies, the military, private corporations, lobbyists, industries, organized criminal networks and the media; to look more intently into the intricacies of how those groups endemically collude through the inter-relatedness of underlying continuities, and to confront the seemingly irreconcilable divide between a public state bound by the checks and balances of constitutional processes and a deep state, which is neither influenced nor informed by constitutional constraints.

Our topic today is Truth. The poet Czesław Miłosz tells us: in a room where people unanimously maintain a conspiracy of silence, one word of truth sounds like a pistol shot.

Our guest today is an historian and poet; a scholar whose artistry is directed towards revealing truth as an author and educator; a translator of poetry; a former diplomat; an investigative writer of political prose; Professor Emeritus of English at the University of California, Berkeley; a lover of words and the originator of the term "Deep Politics."

His work on President Kennedy's assassination, Crime and Cover-Up: The CIA, The Mafia, and the Dallas-Watergate Connection; Deep Politics and the death of JFK and Deep Politics II and III have informed and inspired a generation of our most vital historical investigators and journalists.

He's the author of the extraordinary Coming to Jakarta, a poem about terror; Mosaic Orpheus, a collection of his poems which includes The Tao of 9/11; Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and CIA in Central America; Drugs, Oil and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia and Indo-China; The Road to 9-11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America and most recently American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA, Global Drug Connection and the Road to Afghanistan. We're very honored to introduce Professor Peter Dale Scott. Thank you for being with us.

PROFESSOR SCOTT: I'm happy to be here, and thank you for that very generous introduction.

ALAN DALE: You're very welcome. I've read a response that you stated probably – I suppose – as the result of innumerable misinterpretations and misunderstanding about your terminology; some of the terms that you've introduced, you offered this definition of what you mean by Deep Politics, you said:

It is not the same as invisible government or Secret Team; it is the constant everyday interaction between the constitutionally elected government and forces of violence: forces of crime which appear to be the enemies of that government but in fact, on a workaday basis, whether it's City Hall in a city or the CIA and the mafia plotting against Castro, are in fact part of the governance of this society.

Is that essentially where we are today with regard to understanding Deep Politics?

PROFESSOR SCOTT: Well, I don't remember the things I write, but yes, I thought that went very well. There's one more dimension to it, and that's the role of the media, because we have mainstream media and we all know - at least anyone investigating the Kennedy assassination is very aware – that certain things cannot be discussed in the media. It is still officially the case in the media that Lee Harvey Oswald was a lone assassin, and when the House Committee on Assassinations in 1978 came out with a report that said there had – probably 95% probability of more than one shooter, the Times – the New York Times – and the Washington Post the next day both separately came out saying: "All right, there wasn't one lone nut; there were two lone nuts."

ALAN DALE: Clever!

PROFESSOR SCOTT: So in other words the mainstream media have a position on this question of the Kennedy assassination which divides – there are two kinds of facts. We have a lot of facts that are important, and would be important even if they weren't related to the Kennedy assassination, but because they are related to the Kennedy assassination the mainstream media, or what I like to call the governing media, will not mention them, and that's why – another reason why - we have deep politics; you could say that deep politics investigates the relationships which cannot make it into the mainstream media, or very rarely make it into the mainstream media.

ALAN DALE: I've never heard you use that phrase "governing media.” I think that's very, very sophisticated terminology; very appropriate. At some point, if I understand correctly, and I think it's possible that I do, you sort of evolved an initial designation; an initial classification, which you referred to as "para-politics," which then sort of evolved into something which transcends, but includes, para-politics, and that is deep politics. Can you talk to us a little bit about the distinction between para-politics and deep politics, and how that evolution took place, or why?

PROFESSOR SCOTT: Yes, that's very simple, I think. I wrote a book called The War Conspiracy back in 1972, and by the way I re-issued it in 2008, and it has a section comparing the similarities between the deep – what I would call the deep event of the Kennedy assassination and the deep event of 9/11. I put about 15 into the initial comparison but I have got five or six more since.

And in the original book, The War Conspiracy in '72, I defined the - para-politics as a form of political activity or organization in which accountability is consciously diminished, accountability being the main feature of politics in an open society and the diminishing of accountability being the feature of covert agencies like the CIA and so on, where they – deniability is one of the things which they actually search for in their operations. Para-politics is talking about political activities which are directed; which agencies engage in, and deep politics is talking about situations where there may be no human agency.

And the example I gave in Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, which is where I first defined the term deep politics; I looked at the situation in Italy after World War II where the American Government brought in Mafia agents and worked with Mafia agents in place to help govern Italy after the war, because the Mafia had been passionately anti-Mussolini, because Mussolini had tried to eliminate the Mafia, and so they became allies of the Americans and insofar as the Americans were using them, that was para-politics. But what happened was that AMGOT – the occupying government after the war - was dissolved but the Mafia was still there, and what Americans had done right after the war left a terrible problem for Italy in the next half-century because the Mafia was so well-ensconced that the people who tried to eliminate the Mafia were mostly on the losing side; a lot of them were murdered: top prosecutors, top judges, were all being murdered.
So you have here a deep political situation which was the legacy of conscious actions by the Americans after the war, which was para-politics, but the para-politics left a shadow behind it which was deep politics.

ALAN DALE: Sounds like Colombia, and now Afghanistan, and America's involvement in those regions.

PROFESSOR SCOTT: Yes it does; I really do believe – my first venture into deep politics was the Kennedy assassination, but now I study all these other things because I really do believe that we learn more about each of these what I call deep events by studying all of them. I particularly, by the way, by studying 9/11, had new insights into the JFK assassination, which I didn't have before.

ALAN DALE: So para-political refers to sort of systematic choices, and an operational objective of including deniability, while deep politics has to do with this – the fabric of something new that has emerged, and I believe I've read you…

PROFESSOR SCOTT: Not exactly new: I mean, you have the gist of it, but there always had been a Mafia in Italy; it just emerged after the war much more powerful than it'd ever been before, and in Chicago, for example; Jack Ruby came out of Chicago and there are a number of situations where – well for example the CIA did things with Richard Cain, who came out of the mob in Chicago. That was para-political, but the basic situation in Chicago antedated anything that the CIA did, because it's older by a generation than the CIA in Chicago.

ALAN DALE: You responded to the publication of the Church Committee's Hart-Schweiker report, which I believe is available through Rex Bradford's, and this was a report that Senators Gary Hart and Richard Schweiker developed with the objective of determining the extent to which the CIA and the FBI may have misrepresented or withheld or – I'm not going to suggest falsified necessarily - but whatever were the practices of the FBI and the CIA in relation to investigating President Kennedy's assassination. You responded to this with your book Crime and Cover-Up: The CIA, Mafia, and the Dallas-Watergate Connection – that was back in 1977. Was that your initial entry into the subject of President Kennedy's assassination?

PROFESSOR SCOTT: Well that was, I think, my first book, but you know there was quite a long history before actually, when I wrote The War Conspiracy. It all began with my curiosity into the fact that you had a government in Vietnam where there was talks of neutralization and Ngo Dinh Diem was killed, with his brother, on November 1st 1963 and then the President, who also was exploring normalization with the Soviet Union, was murdered three weeks later, on November 22nd, and not only that, but Diem's sister-in-law, Madam Nhu, Nho Dinh Nhu's widow, came to Dallas, and she then said, right after the assassination of her husband; she was not – I think she was in Europe – anyway not in Vietnam, and she said: whatever happens in – words to the effect that what happened in Vietnam will happen in America too. I'm not quoting that accurately, but it was a very suggestive quote, and it was also very suggestive that it was in an early edition of the Washington Post, and it's not in the edition that is on a microfilm, but I'm not alone in remembering this; there are other sources that say she did say something to that effect. So as early as 1966 I did a book called The Politics of Escalation, and I asked the question in that book: Did the two assassinations have anything to do with each other?

And then when I wrote The War Conspiracy I initially had two or three chapters in that book which were relating what happened in Dallas to what I was talking about in the rest of the book, and my publishers, Bobbs-Merrill told me not to use those chapters in the book and to put them in a separate book. And I took them at their word, took the chapters out, and I wrote a whole manuscript which has never been published, but a lot of people cite it in their own books because a couple of bookstores got hold of copies and started selling them – it had nothing to do with me. And that book, The Dallas Conspiracy, I had it finished by late 1970 I think and parts of it I incorporated in Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, which has been cited by other books but never published itself, so from 1970 roughly I've had an active interest in the case.

ALAN DALE: And from '70 on could you tell me if there was a particular event or series of realizations on your part, by which you recognized how President Kennedy's assassination fit into this classification as both a para-political and a deep political manifestation? Did it take for instance the complexities beneath the surface of Watergate for you to realize that there was quite a lot more to this than even you had realized in earlier years?

PROFESSOR SCOTT: It's funny you should ask about Watergate, because my book – I submitted the manuscript initially in 1970 for War Conspiracy, which came out in 1972, the week of the Watergate burglary, and I happened to be in New York and picked up a copy of the New York Times, and there was a row of what they called "Cubans", when one of them was no Cuban at all, he was a man that I knew as Frank Fiorini but I think was identified in the Times as Frank Sturgis, and I had written about Frank Sturgis in The Dallas Conspiracy, because he had played quite an active role in building the legend that Oswald had a connection to Cuba and actually maybe had been to Cuba, which was pushed not just by private individuals like Sturgis but was – actually we have documents from Army Intelligence Reserve in Dallas on the day of the assassination, saying that Oswald was a card-carrying communist and had been to Cuba.

This was what I call the phase one version of what happened; that the President had been killed by a card-carrying communist who had been to Cuba. This was quite an important cable because it was sent from, I think, Fords Road - Army Intelligence in Fords Road to US STRIKECOM, which was the base in Tampa, which was poised for an attack at any time on Cuba: the cable went directly to STRIKECOM, with information copies going to Washington. So I think there was a real effort on that day – a para-political effort, if you like, to use the assassination as a pretext for an attack on Cuba, which many people passionately still wanted and felt that President Kennedy instead of being a hero at the Missile Crisis had been virtually a traitor. That was the feeling inside some of the armed forces. So why am I saying all this? You'll have to remind me what your question was.

ALAN DALE: I think that we alluded to the fact that there were issues relevant to President Kennedy's assassination which you – that were the subject of your interest prior to Watergate, and I was curious to know really if Watergate itself might have been a tipping point for you in terms of having a deeper understanding, and necessitating a more accurate terminology.

PROFESSOR SCOTT: Yes, it gave me the sense that there is a kind of under-pinning to American politics. You referred in your introduction to the deep state; that's a term I sometimes use with the warning that we should not think of it as too highly structured or independent: it's more like a state of affairs; a milieu; a place where things happen, and Frank Sturgis was a part of that milieu and he figures in the Kennedy assassination, and he does definitely again figure in Watergate because he was one of the burglars, one can hardly deny his involvement in Watergate, and there are many other figures, by the way; the more you study Watergate the more the overlap with the Kennedy assassination becomes important.

Waldron – Lamar Waldron – has a new book out about Watergate that is building on precisely that connection. I don't think he has it exactly right, but there's a great deal of important information in that book, which to me – such as the fact that John Roselli was interviewed by the Watergate - staff investigating Watergate about his famous leak back in 1967 that the president may have been killed by a coalition put together to assassination Castro by Bobby Kennedy and the CIA. And they were asking about that in connection with Watergate. So people inside the government, besides outsiders like me, have seen the connection between these deep events one after another, and I believe all of them are connected.

ALAN DALE: I don't want to get off-track but I would, because this is such an extraordinary opportunity. I can tell you – I will confide to you that I've prepared for our conversation mostly by calling people like John Newman and yelling "Help!" And so I don't want to derail us, but in terms of speculation regarding the connection between Watergate and President Kennedy's assassination, a figure that I am particularly interested in, and that I have no evidence to support my concern or my interest – none that I'm particularly comfortable claiming – but it occurs to me that through the activities of a man named Robert Maheu, who you know was Howard Hughes' assistant, that Robert Maheu was possibly instrumental in maybe October of 1960 – something like that; prior to President Kennedy's election, even – that Robert Maheu was acting as an agent – not in a governmental sense, but acting on behalf of the CIA to engage the Mafia for the mutual benefit of assassinating a foreign head of state, Fidel Castro. And it occurs to lots of thoughtful people that Robert Maheu – it's improbable that Maheu at that time in his personal story would have done anything such as that without the knowledge of his principal employer, which of course was Howard Hughes. The fact that the consequential decade of the sixties…

PROFESSOR SCOTT: Sorry, are you talking about Watergate? His employer was Howard Hughes at the time of Watergate, but not at the time of the Kennedy assassination – is that right? - I believe.

ALAN DALE: I'm not certain. Honestly, I'm not certain.

PROFESSOR SCOTT: Maheu, I think Maheu went to the Hughes organization when they took over the Las Vegas casinos, which was '67/'68 – round then, so that happened in between. But yes, Maheu is a person of great interest because he is one of the key figures in what we call the CIA / Mafia connection. We shouldn't think, by the way, that the CIA went to the Mafia as outsiders because they wanted to assassinate Castro. There is a CIA / Mafia connection which goes back really to the earliest days of …


PROFESSOR SCOTT: Yeah, and also the FBI as well: it's all part of this deep political milieu, or if you like, the deep state. But they used it, and the connection that was actually made was that the head of the Security Office in the CIA went to Maheu and Maheu went to Roselli and Trafficante, and that is re-affirming the CIA connection, not inventing it for the first time. Perhaps for the first time for the purpose of assassination; I don't know.

By the way, you have to think of US corporations, too. Roselli had good connections in Central America; United Fruit was very strong in Guatemala and Guam in 1954. The president of Guatemala made a terrible mistake and tried to nationalize some of the lands not being used by United Fruit, and offered to reimburse United Fruit at the rate which they had listed, the value of the land for taxation purposes. United Fruit brought in the CI – well, they went - first the Council on Foreign Relations in New York decided there was a communist threat, and then the president – this is Eisenhower of course – brings in the CIA: all this is on behalf of United Fruit, and United Fruit also has its deep political connections to some of the same people, like for example Roselli.

I have a whole chapter in Deep Politics about fruit companies and the Kennedy assassination; it's not a ridiculous subject, because of their interest in maintaining what we rightly call banana republics, because banana companies were so important there, and that they were based, a lot of them, in New Orleans, which Oswald had visited in the summer of – his – Oswald's political activities sort of flare up in the summer of 1963…

ALAN DALE: I'll say! 

PROFESSOR SCOTT: …when he goes to the headquarters of fruit companies, which is New Orleans.

ALAN DALE: An analogy, I think, could be made between the influence of the fruit companies in Latin America, in terms of their affiliation or associations or reliance upon American Intelligence agencies and the big oil corporations and the indigenous resources of all of the oil-producing places where America has had its interests – it's claimed an interest.

PROFESSOR SCOTT: That's a very good point, and of course if anyone knows their Central American history they know that there was a period when the fruit companies installed and threw out governments more or less at will. What happened in 1954 was a late recrudescence of a kind of behavior pattern which was much more visible and written-about back in the early years of the 20th century and denounced, by the way, by General Smedley Butler, who described how he had – I forget the particular agencies, but he talked about making Nicaragua safe for the Wall Street investment companies and so on.

ALAN DALE: What an extraordinary figure; what an extraordinary admission.

PROFESSOR SCOTT: Yes, and an important one too, and the fact that in 1935 - this is history but it's more or less deep history, because it doesn't get into the governing media very much. People tried to recruit Smedley Butler for a coup d'état in Washington against Roosevelt at the time he was gone off the gold standard and absolutely horrified Wall Street, and there was a congressional investigation of this, in which Smedley Butler named – well, people close to Du Pont – he named names…


PROFESSOR SCOTT: …close to Du Pont and JP Morgan, and this is worth studying if you want to understand America's deep history. And one of the accounts; not his, but a much later book about what happened – what didn't happen because Butler wouldn't do it – instead he went to the FBI and stopped it; but one of the later books said this was the birth of the Minutemen, and I find that very interesting because the Minutemen are one of the forces connected with the John Birch Society that we see again in the background of the John F Kennedy assassination.

ALAN DALE: Professor, it's time for us to take a very brief intermission. We're speaking with Professor Peter Dale Scott. We're going to take a brief intermission; we'll return in just a moment.

Jefferson Morley's keynote address to the 19th Annual Mary Ferrell - JFK Lancer Awards Banquet, Dallas, Texas, 22 Nov., 2013.

Toward the decisive clarification of JFK's death

After the House Select Committee on Assassinations issued its final report in June 1979, late night talk show host Johnny Carson announced its conclusion that President Kennedy had been

QUOTE killed by a conspiracy whose perpetrators could not be identified. ENDQUOTE

Carson paused with his impeccable timing and said.

"Next thing you know, they'll be telling us Hitler started World War II"

In that spirit of common sense and good humor. I welcome you to the 19th --and best JFK Lancer Conference.

I'm very happy to be here with my son Anthony. As an underpaid writer, I would be remiss if I did not exploit your undivided attention at the earliest possible moment to tell urge you to buy a copy of my book "Our Man in Mexico." Anthony has a table outside and he will gladly separate you from your money in exchange for a hardcover copy. It’s a great read
My thanks to Kerry Kennedy McCarthy. I am humbled by your words and I promise you and your family I will strive to live up to them.

My warmest thanks to Deb for giving me the honor and the privilege to talk to you  on this momentous occasion. The first time Deb invited me to speak at a Lancer conference I turned her down. I said, I didn't feel quite ready to talk publicly about my JFK reporting. She said "Oh that's OK, Jeff.  All it takes is a little bit of courage."

She said it so nicely I didn't notice to the damage to my cowardly ego until about two days later.  Some people like Deb because she's so sweet and so nice. I like her because she's so sweet and nice and tough.

It is no surprise to me to find that we have so many police officers, firefighters, veterans and teachers in attendance. You are all the proof we need that we are a citizens movement

You represents the best of our movement and a movement is what we are: a citizens movement that speaks up for historical truth. Unlike our friends who met in Dealey Plaza this afternoon we are not afraid or ashamed to talk about the causes of the President Kennedy's wrongful death. Like other movements that challenge entrenched governmental power, we are frequently dismissed or demonized our work distorted or ignored. And yet, as every opinion poll on the subject confirms, we retain our influence and the allegiance of the majority of Americans.

But, of course, our work is not done. And that is what  I want to talk about. Where do you we go from here? Tens of millions of people around the world are remembering the death of President Kennedy in this city 50 years ago. The continuing challenge we face is to explain why JFK was killed. And this—let's face it—we have not done.

I have friends who tell me they know the answer to the question who killed JFK? I have tried to believe them. I would like to believe them. But I cannot. So I have sought a more credible story. Everywhere I go I meet people who thank me for my reporting and encourage me to continue. In my moments of discouragement, which I confess, are frequent, these kind words from strangers from all walks of life sustain me.  So thank to you for coming to Dallas for the commemoration for a terrible national tragedy and thank you for listening tonight.

I want to reflect on how I got here, what I learned, and where we are headed. My goal is to bring us together in a worthy and ambitious endeavor. To achieve a decisive clarification of President Kennedy's assassination before November 22, 2014, before we meet again a year from now.

Is this possible? I think it is.


But before I tell you why, let me tell you where I was fifty years ago today,

I was about this big. I was sitting in Mrs. Whitman's kindergarten class at the Wilson School in suburban St. Louis near Washington University where my mother was a graduate student. Another teacher burst in the room and said the president had been shot, and she burst into tears. It was the first time I'd seen a grown up cry,

I don't remember much else about that time, except I have a vague recollection of people gathered around our black and white Philco TV. I don't recall hearing the name John Kennedy or Lee Harvey Oswald or Jack Ruby although I know I must have.

 I only remember knowing that something important had happened and I didn't know what it was. I think that insight was carved into my childish psyche where it remains to this day: something important happened and I still don't know what it was.

I grew up in an era of assassinations, though unlike some of you I was too young to have my heartbroken by then. I was ten years old when Martin Luther King was killed. I knew that was important because I had figured out that the Lutheran church down the street was named after him. A man named James Earl Ray was arrested.

Then Bobby Kennedy was killed. I didn't know much about him except he was President Kennedy's brother and he was cool and had long hair. A man named Sirhan Sirhan Sirhan was arrested.

When I was in high school Gerald Ford dodged a bullet from Squeaky Fromme and then another from Sarah Jane Moore.

I was getting interested in politics at the time and I simply assumed that when people ran for president, some of them would get shot, usually by someone with three names. The names were weird but assassination was normal.

It was so normal that when I majored in American history and wrote a senior thesis about Arthur Schlesinger's role in JFK's White House. I don't recall devoting a moment to thinking about the end of JFK's presidency.  It just happened. It was normal.

My deeper understanding of assassination in America was born at the movies. I found myself gravitating to movies with assassination themes. The first was Alan Pakula's "The Parallax View," the original paranoid thriller in which the reporter who discovers the conspiracy is blamed for it. Pakula's next movie, "All the President's Men" had a more optimistic picture of the newspaper reporter's destiny and I knew what I wanted to do in life. Be an investigative reporter for the Washington Post.

As a college student I saw "Taxi Driver," in which Robert DeNiro plays a loner and a nut who takes a shot of Kennedy's-style candidate who mouths political banalities.

And it seemed to me that both types of scenarios—the conspiracy and the lone nut--were realistic and plausible. After all, "All the President's Men" was based on fact; Woodward and Bernstein had pierced the surface  politics to find the conspiracy below.

But "Taxi Driver" rang true too. Not long after Bobby Kennedy was killed my family had moved to New York City, which was then a kind of feral place where irrational people and pointless violence were common, visible and menacing. I didn't doubt the reality of lone nuts because I had seen a few.

As I came of age and pursued my journalistic ambitions, what interested me was NOT the details of any of JFK's assassinations but the way that people made sense of it. The dichotomy of conspiracy and lone nut presented two different ways of thinking about political reality. It was my dichotomy that fascinated me and brought me back to JFK's assassination.

The year was 1983. I was a twenty five year old junior editor at Harper's magazine and I realized it was the 20th anniversary of JFK's assassination. I thought it would be interesting to get one of my favorite intellectuals, Christopher Lasch,  to write about it Lasch was a bracing social critic and historian, combining both liberal and conservative impulses and I was curious about what he would say since I hadn't made up my mind. He agreed to write the piece and it appeared thirty years ago. In the piece, called "The Life of Kennedy's Death," Lasch argued that the lone gunman theory was implausible and that JFK had been killed by some kind of conspiracy. He didn't attempt to say who was responsible, merely that Americans should own up to the fact.

And I recall we got an indignant letter from New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis to which Lasch responded acerbically. I was intrigued that two intelligence writers who I admired could view reality so differently. What accounted for that?

In the years that followed I began delving the vast literature of JFK's assassination and several things impressed me. First of all, there weren't very many good books on the subject. Second, the two best contradicted each other.

William Manchester's Death of President reported without the shadow of a doubt that Lee Oswald had killed President Kennedy and Tink Thompson's Six Seconds in Dallas, which showed that there were many good reasons to doubt that Oswald was solely guilty.

Third, I saw no way to resolve the contradiction, save to read more books, which just made my problem worse. As I read more and more—David Lifton and David Groden, Mark Lane and Priscilla McMillian, Mort Sahl and Arthur Schlesinger—I had the sensation that the lone nutters and the conspiracy theorists were like two kids on a teeter totter. One up, one down. The other up, the other down. Before long I had motion sickness and inclination to write about the JFK story.

And so I went about my business. In the 1980s, I devoted my reporting to the hottest story in Washington: the civil wars of Central America and especially the role of the U.S. government in supporting the military government of El Salvador. Many in Congress and the press said the U.S. should not support a government engaged in what can only be described as state-sponsored terrorism against a leftist guerrilla movement. Others said the U.S. government should support that government and seek to curb its human rights abuses.

 In my reporting I discovered the role of the CIA and the Pentagon in organizing the system of military death squads that sought to liquidate the leftists and anybody else who opposed the government. Through interviews and declassified records I came to see the doctrinal and logistical underpinnings of the state terror system. The role of the State Department was to convince the world that the U.S. government was seeking to reduce the use of the terror which it sponsored.

I also learned of my naiveté. I thought that reporting the facts of the matter would change people's' minds. I learned, to the contrary, that the reporting of these facts often lead people to deny that they were facts at all. I learned that people do not use facts to create their understanding of the way the world works. They use their understanding of the way the world works to create their facts.

To the extent I retained an interest in JFK, it was on the dynamics of public opinion, I wrote about the popular culture of the Kennedy assassination. In  a piece for the Los Angeles Times in 1991, I depicted that JFK's assassination as a kind of Rorschach test of the American mind. How we make sense of November 22, 1963, I wrote, "is shaped, consciously and unconsciously, by our premises about the U.S. government and the way power is exercised in America.

"Those six seconds of gunfire in Dallas' Dealey Plaza serve as an enigmatic ink blot into which we read our political concerns."

My premise was simple: Tell me what you think about the U.S. government and I'll tell you what think about JFK's assassination.

If you have a lot of confidence in the integrity and competence of the federal government and major media organizations, you would likely agree with the official theory of a lone gunman. If you suspect there fear the power of the government or believe there are hidden centers of power in America, you would likely suspect conspiracy.

This remains true today and I think it is why JFK's assassination is so relevant today. The JFK story is THE  enduring indicator of our collective suspicions of the legitimacy of our national security government.

I'll return to this point in a minute.


It wasn't until I joined the Washington Post in the fall of 1992 that I began to think of actually reporting on the assassination itself. The Post itself had taken the lead in attacking Oliver Stone's movie, even before it came out and hostility to the conspiratorial point of view ran high, although in newsroom discussions I could tell that there was no relation between vehemence and knowledge. Some of the loudest voices denouncing Stone came from people who, I could tell, knew less than I did about the JFK story. And I knew that I was no expert.

In the debate over Stone's movie, I felt had nothing to add. I could not possibly produce an interpretation of the crime as powerful as Stone's. My colleague George Lardner had already taken a hard look at Stone's facts. I had nothing to add there.

But when Congress passed the JFK Records Act in October 1992, I realized I had my opening. The law was the direct result of Stone's provocative vision. And let me just take a moment to thank him. Even his harshest critics should have the decency to acknowledge that he is personally responsible for rescuing the government's records of the early 1960s from custodians of secrecy and returning them  to the American people. about who killed JFK. Thank you Oliver.

With the JFK Records Act, I could write about new information, not old theories.

I set my goals, narrowly and modest goals. I would stay away from theories and stick to facts. I wasn't looking for the proverbial "smoking gun," a fool's errand if there ever was one.

I was looking for a good story about the CIA. I wasn't going to figure out "Who killed JFK?" I was going to find someone who knew who killed JFK.

I didn't have a theory that the CIA was responsible. I didn't assume it. I didn't rule it out.  I knew from my reporting in Central American that I could not dismiss the possibility of CIA involvement. An institution that would orchestrate the murder of thousands of civilian non-combatants and hide its actions behind of veil of secrecy, obfuscation and propaganda could be an institution capable of orchestrating or condoning the murder of a single man, even a president.

My method was time-tested. I was going to ask a variation on the basic question that Woodward and Bernstein asked in "All the President's Men." They asked: What did the president know and when did he know it?"

My question was, "What did the CIA know about Oswald and when did they know it?"

And that has been my subject ever since.

Answering these two questions lead me to an interesting group of people who barely figured in the vast literature of the assassination before the 1990s

These questions lead me to Jane Roman, the aide to CIA counterintelligence chief James Angleton. She knew about Oswald in November 1959 when she opened the CIA's first file on Oswald

She thought Oswald acted alone but revealed that certain CIA officers had a keen interest in Oswald just seven weeks before the assassination.

These questions lead me to the story of Win Scott, the Mexico City station chief. He knew about Oswald in October 1963. He knew the CIA had deceived the Warren Commission and thought Oswald was instrument of a KGB conspiracy.

They led me here to Dallas where I interviewed Anne Goodpasture, Scott's proverbial right-hand man in 2005. She thought Oswald acted alone but admitted that a tape of Oswald—or of someone identifying himself as Oswald—had survived the assassination.

These questions lead me to John Whitten, the Mexico desk chief, who sought to investigate Oswald's Cuban connections after JFK's death. He knew about Oswald in October 1963. He thought Oswald acted alone but revealed a proper investigation had been thwarted  by Angleton.

These questions lead me to George Joannides, the covert operations chief in Miami, whose assets among the Cuban exiles publicized Oswald's pro-Castro politics, and who resurfaced in the 1970s to stonewall Congress. We still don't know what or when he knew about Oswald because the CIA fought me in court for ten years to prevent me from see his reporting from 1963.

And my lawsuit seeking Joannides files lead to a sworn deposition form an Agency official who disclosed for the first time that the agency retains 1,100 assassination-related records that it had no intention of making public—in any form.

I reported as much in JFK Facts last May and the revelation is finally beginning the pierce the consciousness of the Washington press corps.

I'm glad to say that this week White House reporters asked the White House for comment on this trove of secrets. They didn't get an answer  but at least they are starting to ask the right questions.  Bout time.

Collectively, these stories built on the foundation of fact established first by Sylvia Meagher and Mary Ferrell, then reinforced by Gaeton Fonzi, John Newman, and Anthony Summers to give us a new understanding of the CIA and the accused assassin. To Sylvia, Mary and Gaeton, whom I never met, I can only say thank you. I couldn't have done it without you.

We can now say without fear of contradiction that senior CIA officers knew much more about the accused assassin in the weeks before JFK's assassination than the American public ever knew and that there was no unanimity among them about Oswald's sole guilt.

The CIA concealed this information even from colleagues;

The CIA lied about this knowledge to the Warren Commission and the public in 1964;

The CIA subverted the congressional investigation of 1978;

and that the CIA retains tens of thousands of pages related to JFK's assassination that it has never made public.

But what do these facts mean? When I recently shared these  facts with a well-known one journalistic acquaintance he assured me that they were evidence that the CIA had "royally screwed up" but such "loose connections" did not prove a conspiracy.

I agreed they didn't prove a conspiracy. I suggested they proved that the CIA was still hiding something relevant to understanding the causes of the assassination. He pooh poohed the idea. I asked  him if I could quote  him. He said no.

I confess I felt one of those moments of discouragement.  I guess I succumbed to my youthful hopes that facts might shape understanding.

They don't.


"Why is this so important to you?" an NPR talk show host asked me earlier this week. And I confess I felt another moment of discouragement and irritation.

I said "Mister. You live in this country. Somebody killed the president in broad daylight and you and I really don't know who was responsible. The government and the national security agencies have told a story that there are many good reasons to doubt and that most of your fellow citizens don't believe.

"I know it happened a long time ago. But in case you hadn't noticed, the government and those national security agencies have the same credibility problem today.

Its the same government claimed, at least during the Bush administration, the right to torture its perceived enemies;

that still claims the right to violate the 14th amendment and assassinate U.S. citizens without due process,

that claims the right to violate the 4th Amendment by engaging in mass surveillance without a warrant;

that lied about its mass violation of the 4th amendment and continues to persecute  journalists and whistleblowers who revealed the lie.

And the same government that has—let's face it--has royally screwed up urgent plans for universal health insurance.

"So the problem of who killed JFK is important to you and me both.  It’s a problem of constitutional and republican government and JFK suspicions are the indicator that it remains in jeopardy. You just prefer to not think about it, because the problem is so damned daunting. That's an impulse which I can well understand. But I just can't share. "


Actually, I didn't say that. I just wish I had.

I didn't say it because I didn't want to sound self-righteous and I wanted to say something constructive. And I tried but I wasn't so clear and concise. And afterwards I realized that the reason I was irritated, not by the question, but by my lack of a clear quick answer. I was, in short, hurting a sound bite.

The question, "Why does the JFK assassination still matter?" is intimately connected with the question of  "What are we going to do about it?"

And in a world where public discourse is dominated by sound bites, we need some.

So what I'm going to do about it is suggest some better sound bites, not for the sake of being clever and being right ,but for the sake of advancing a specific and concrete agenda, for the sake of getting the goddamn JFK problem out of my life before I return to Dallas next year.


Is it possible? Like I said I think it is. I see signs of progress. Like John Kerry expressing serious doubts about the theory of a lone gunman. Like a White House reporter asking Jay Carney about the CIA's secret JFK records. Like a prime time Fox News special casting doubt on the official theory of a lone gunman. Like CNN picking up on Bill Kelly's important work on the Air Force One tapes. Like ten thousand people A DAY clicking on JFK Facts for the past week.

I know I know I could cite a dozen counterexamples but you know what?  I'm not going to.

The way I look at it I'm going in to a street fight to defend the life and legacy of John F. Kennedy. I'm not going to beat myself up before it starts. I look out in this room and I see a lot of friends who've got my back.  I look at the polls and I've got a majority of the American people behind me. I look at my speed dial, and I've  got Oliver Stone AND Deb Conway by my side.


I kind of like my chances.

The way I look at it we have another years of sustained attention to the JFK problem. From now until the 50th anniversary of the Warren Report, people are going to be talking about JFK's assassination, about the limited coverage of this year's anniversary, about the enduring questions, about the secret records and popular disbelief. Of course, major news organizations, invested in the political status quo and unsettled by the disturbing historical record of the assassination are not going to pursue the story. But if you haven't noticed those organizations are losing their dominance to the disruptive forces in a networked world in which anyone has the means to reach a mass audience. So let's not forget we have the motive, the means, and the opportunity.  I will continue to pursue the story. I know Bill Kelly will. I know Deb Conway will.  I now Jim DiEugenio will. I know Russ Baker will. I know Joan Mellen will. Let's be a disruptive force and we can prevail.

So what do we do?

First, understand that we live in a new world, the world we are pasing on to our young people. It is tempting to complain about the unfair coverage, the attempts to marginalize and demonize, the ridicule and the silence. But we need to understand such defensiveness and denial as the last gasp of the old order. We have seen the Internet sweep away the power of entrenched interests in less than two decades. We can do the same.

The Internet has abolished the power of the gatekeepers who controlled the history of the JFK assassination for too long. The record of the JFK story is now available to everyone who wants it and we are in a much better position to influence the distribution of the real historical record than every before. I checked my Web site an hour ago. Five hundred people a minute were vistiing. That's more people than are in this room. Every minute.

If a young person wants to know the real history of JFK's assassination, where do they go? Not to the government: the  National Archives Web site, which has a couple of hundred JFK records available online. Not to the private sector; the major news organization have collections of stories but they don't have the records themselves. No, the student of the JFK assassination goes to civil society, to us, to the Mary Ferrell Foundation Web site, created by my friend Rex Bradford.

Second, we need a new mental paradigm. The Internet elevates our power and our mission. We are a research community but we can become much more. We can, in next year, become a civil society movement empowered by the Internet.

The internet has provided the means for ordinary people to attack and penetrate the overweening and illicit system of secrecy that controls information that rightly belongs to the people, and not just the history of Kennedy's assassination but many areas of our history. We need to study the origins and the tactics of Wikileaks and Edward Snowden to understand how we too can wield disruptive power against the self-interested narratives of the national security agencies.

Third, we need a new entrepreneurial attitude to drive our new status. We are Edward Snowden, the ordinary man who says enough is enough. And they are General Clapper, the once-powerful functionary discredited and disgraced by the exposure of his lies.

We are Netflix, streaming new information on demand into every household that wants it. They are Blockbuster, a legacy franchise waiting for customers to come to them, destined for bankruptcy though they don't know it yet.

Fourth, we need to direct our empowered and entrepreneurial movement in actions to move public opinion. It is the only way to transcend and defeat the attempts to marginalize us. To complain is to lose. Let me say that again. To complain is to lose.

Did Martin Luther King spend his time saying the many racists who opposed him were cynical and immoral people imbued with unjustified superiority and indefensible arrogance? He could have. But he didn't often waste his breath.  And our opponents in the struggle for public opinion are nowhere near as heinous as King's foes. He recognized that among his foes were a wide variety of people, some cynical, some fearful, some persuadable, and some hopeless. That' how I look at the partisans of the official theory.

He sought to persuade them by concrete actions that showed the world about the indefensible and hypocritical nature of their position. He sought to move them by appealing to the better angels of their character, even though some of them had no better angel. But others among his foes, who did have better angels or who wanted a better angel, could hear his message and not be threatened by it, could reconsider in the quiet of their conscience, and so, eventually, slowly, gradually but definitively, change their minds.

Fifth, we need to channel our newly empowered and entrepreneurial message into message into concrete action that can persuade and force change.

I propose two actions here.

We need a sustained and focused attack on the secrecy system that denies the people their history. In my lawsuit Morley v. CIA, my attorney, my counselor, my friend Jim Lesar has shown what one man, alone and unaided, can do. We need more Jim Lesars. We need to conceive and execute an ambitious legal strategy that aims to liberate the remains secret records of the JFK assassination--in the next year.

We need to come together with a single coherent alternative to the official theory that most people doubt for good reason. We need, I think, a civil society response to the Warren Commission. We need another report on the assassination of the president, not one compiled by four lawyers working at the mercy of the FBI and the CIA and the White House, but by civil society.

We need a crowd-sourced, data-mined, fact-checked, downloadable, account of how and why President Kennedy was killed and we need to be able to publish it on multiple platforms, free of charge, on September 30, 2014.

That is a tall order. We are, by nature, a disputatious bunch. If we didn't have the courage of convictions we wouldn't be here. If we didn't like to argue, we would have given up by now. If we didn't defy consensus, we would be home reading Vince Bugliosi and mourning the death of Vincent Bugliosi. If we didn't think we were right all the time, we wouldn't take verbal shots at people who mostly share our beliefs. I've done that myself and its got to stop.

We have got to figure out a way to come together, to find common ground and that maybe our biggest challenge of all. To put aside our individual certainties in the service of a collective message that says to the American people: here is the story you have been waiting for. Here is the true story of why President Kennedy died in this city fifty years ago.

September 30 2014 is three hundred and eleven days from now.

Let's do what today's ceremony in Dealey Plaza did not: celebrate the life and legacy of John F. Kennedy.
And in the morning, let's get to work.

Thank you.

22 November 2013
amended 3 December 2013

JFK Observations:

The official theory asks us to believe, the crime solved in all of its important aspects on November 25, 1963 before the Warren Commission had even been formed.

Conspiracy theories originated in the circumstances of the crime, long before there were any conspiracy theories in circulation.

A lot of implausible JFK theories and the notion that one man alone was responsible is one of them.

Most JFK conspiracy theories are wrong and many are absurd. That doesn't mean there wasn't a conspiracy.

The CIA retains more than 1,100 documents on JFK's assassination remains secret. The CIA says they are "not believed relevant"

If the still secret JFK records are exculpatory about the CIA's role in the events of 1963, they should be released. If they are not released, they cannot be considered exculpatory. .
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