Author Topic: Program Transcript: Bill Simpich  (Read 6184 times)

Alan Dale

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Program Transcript: Bill Simpich
« on: April 27, 2014, 10:53:01 pm »
Transcription courtesy of Mary Constantine

JFK LANCER: CONVERSATIONS WITH ALAN DALE

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.

NAME: BILL SIMPICH

DATE: MAY, 2013

DURATION: 01:17:53


ALAN DALE: Welcome to Conversations, my name is Alan Dale. The noblest pleasure, according to Leonardo da Vinci, is the joy of understanding. In pursuit of truth, as it may be revealed through the study of America's intelligence services during the era of the Cold War, few pleasures may be as elusive. Undertaking a scholarly study of even the most well documented news of the day may reveal underlying complexities which defy superficial reporting and discussion. And of the secret stories, hidden from the unwelcome scrutiny of our over-actively imaginations, we are inevitably discouraged, forced to confront the challenge of first unearthing the truth, and second, being able to accurately interpret and assess what we've learned.

Our topic today is analysis. Analysis may be defined as an intellectual process of breaking down a mysterious or complex subject into its basic components; a statement of the constituents of a mixture; a method in philosophy of resolving complex expressions into simpler or more basic terms; elucidation; clarification; to seek explanation; to achieve and attain the joy of understanding.

Our guest today is one of our most respected experts on the infrastructure of the CIA as it was in the 1960s. He is the author of ground-breaking articles which focus on the hidden intricacies of the CIA, and is a leading and insightful analyst of the intelligence files associated with Lee Harvey Oswald's enigmatic episode in Mexico City seven weeks prior to President Kennedy's assassination. It's my profound pleasure to introduce Bill Simpich to Conversations. Thank you for being with us.

BILL SIMPICH: Thank you Alan. It's a real pleasure being with you and being able to do this.

ALAN DALE: Likewise. During conversation you and I shared a few days ago you told me that you were drawn to complexities, and I would say that among all of the many, many complexities, none is more central to our study of President Kennedy's assassination than: Who was Lee Harvey Oswald? And maybe more specifically, what was going on in Mexico City seven weeks before the assassination? But before we go there, I'd really like to begin by asking: "What is the story of how you became involved in addressing these questions?"

BILL SIMPICH: Well I'm a civil rights lawyer, and so dealing with complexities and trying to figure out people's motivations is kinda what you have to do. You're playing the role of a prosecutor in the civil arena; not a criminal case you're waging, but you're waging them against authorities, be it governmental or corporate or police: those types of authorities. And in that arena I've had cases – one in particular, where I found that tracking the Kennedy case through its complexities and needing to take a flexible approach towards the monumental data you run into inevitably in any case like this, it just showed me a good template of what to avoid and what to confront head-on.

And in that process I got very fond of reading the FBI file in particular. And so I understand how to read an FBI file and a CIA file pretty well at this point. And after you've read the books; and the books are of great value of course, because they summarize it; but after you've read the books and you're running out of books, I really recommend to people that they turn to the documents directly, which can be found at Mary Ferrell. And you can read them initially for free and $40 a year for pretty much unlimited use. And I found it a real joy. It got me closer to understanding the Kennedy case, and other cases like Watergate etc, than I ever thought I would.

ALAN DALE: When we refer to the Oswald that we take for granted was the subject of the Warren Commission's conclusion that only a single individual participated in President Kennedy's assassination, who are we referring to?

BILL SIMPICH: In terms of Lee Harvey Oswald?

ALAN DALE: Mmm-hmm.

BILL SIMPICH:  I will remain a agnostic about whether there was more than one, quote: 'Oswald' running around. There are several instances where I think – and we can talk about 'em – where I think he was impersonated for one event or another. And I recommend to everybody John Armstrong's book. I think it's very well done even though I don't agree with his central premise. His work is some of the very best work that's been done. I confine myself on the impersonation front primarily to the Mexico City event, because that's a hotly contested event about whether he was impersonated in Mexico City when he went to the embassies, or not. I really focus on the phone calls, 'cos that's where I think the center of the battle really is. I don't think – I know that many people here believe that he was impersonated at the Soviet and Cuban consulates, and many people believe he was not. And what I can offer – I think the analysis I'm going to offer with you – will illustrate it doesn't matter very much, if at all. Because what matters, I believe, is what happened after he was impersonated, on a couple of phone calls in particular.

ALAN DALE: Mmm-hmm. Which is what?

BILL SIMPICH: Well, that is what you'll probably have to tease out of me a little bit.

ALAN DALE: I hear ya. Well, it's only an hour show, and there's so much that I'd like to cover, but when we address the complexity of Mexico City – I spoke with Jefferson Morley; he referred to Mexico City of 1963 as the "Casablanca of the Cold War.” You've been quoted as referring to Mexico City as a "Disco for spies." I love that one, by the way, I think that one wins! What made Mexico City so colourful and so interesting that it should be described in these ways?

BILL SIMPICH: Well, let's put it this way: the only place that's really in competition is New York City, because that's where the UN is, alright? So that's a natural, and the diplomats have free run of the city etc – and diplomatic immunity. Now in Mexico City it's a little different. It's not within the United States boundaries so – and Mexico has always, and up to this day, has been a place where law enforcement pretty well looks the other way: you can't count on a lot of police power, although you can count on Mexico having plenty of good spies of their own.

So it is in the western hemisphere, and it is near the United States, and people do speak Spanish there, which is the prevailing language for most of the western hemisphere outside the US and Canada. And so you put all those factors together and many observers have stated that Mexico City was the most important place for the spy/counter-spy game in the western hemisphere, even more than New York. And what I think is important to note about that is what has been overlooked, I think, in the world of the Mexico City Station. As far as I can see from what I have read from direct quotes from people who worked there, they say the main thing was to find defectors, darn it. Get a defector and get 'em to counter-spy and give you the information, or get 'em to come across to the other side, but they preferred it if they defected in place, 'cos they could keep giving you more current-time information.

ALAN DALE: Certainly.

BILL SIMPICH: Either way, a great deal. And that's the job of what people commonly call counterintelligence. And that's the job which brings Jim Angleton and the counterintelligence section of the CIA into play.

ALAN DALE: Mmm-hmm. You've outlined five different aspects to your assessment of what was going on in Mexico City during this extraordinarily vivid and active period of activities, which included the appearance on, I think, September 26th, of someone walking into both the Cuban Consulate and the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City and claiming to be Lee Harvey Oswald.

BILL SIMPICH: Now, are you talking about September the 26th or September the 27th?

ALAN DALE: Well, you tell me.

BILL SIMPICH: OK, well the center of what we're looking at here is Friday September 27th. As I understand it, according to the documents we've been given, that's the day Oswald actually arrived in Mexico City.

ALAN DALE: OK. And then the first of the telephone intercepts that were transcribed took place on the 28th.

BILL SIMPICH: Was on the following day, the 28th.

ALAN DALE: Right, which was the Saturday.

BILL SIMPICH: Right, and then there's two other calls of import three days later on October 1st.

ALAN DALE: Well, let me – maybe I should begin by simply reciting the five central sort of points that I believe are the focus of a significant part of your work.

BILL SIMPICH: Sure, let's try it that way.

ALAN DALE: The first represents a coalition between the FBI and the CIA in an operation designed to discredit the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in foreign states.

BILL SIMPICH: OK, that's one. 

ALAN DALE: OK. The second is to probe and recruit a man named Azcue, who was a Cuban diplomat, and who was thought to maybe be of value in terms of turning him, like you just said, while he was in place.

BILL SIMPICH: That's right. He was a Consul at the Cuban Consulate.

ALAN DALE: Mmm-hmm. The third introduces the infamous Valeriy Kostikov and is, just as with the Cuban Consul Azcue, to evaluate and possibly even recruit Valeriy Kostikov, is that right?

BILL SIMPICH: That's right. Earlier that year he had squired Khrushchev and Castro around the Soviet Union, and so I think he was highly desirable.

ALAN DALE: The fourth brings us back to James Angleton, counterintelligence Special Investigations Group, and the molehunt that may have been sort of the CIA within the CIA in Mexico City – and elsewhere for that matter.

BILL SIMPICH: That's kinda central to my belief about what happened here. I'm convinced at this juncture that a molehunt did take place, and the reason a molehunt took place, in a word, is because I think the station in Mexico City realized that it was not really Oswald on that phone call, and that threw all their security apparatus into overdrive.

ALAN DALE: Mmm-hmm. The fifth is what's been referred to, I think by Professor Peter Dale Scott, as the smoking file, and that's Lee Harvey Oswald's 201 file, which in the immediate aftermath of the – not to be confused with the file on Lee Henry Oswald – but that's the file that in the immediate aftermath of the assassination was found to contain only five files, and who knows what happened to many of the other things that should have been included.

BILL SIMPICH: Well I'll tell you. I've looked at it and I think I know what happened. In a word – and we can get into it in depth of course - but I think what happened was that literally many of the documents in the 201 file, the biographical file of Oswald were taken out of the file, and that way it lied to many of the CIA officers who were engaged in doing an investigation of Oswald. Only the CI officers – the counterintelligence officers and certain others – realised a molehunt was going on. But the molehunters themselves had taken the documents out of the file and put it in the Fair Play for Cuban file, which Newman calls the smoking file.

ALAN DALE: So when you say – so what you're really referring to there is elements, compartments or divisions within the CIA misrepresenting or lying to inquiries from other elements within CIA? Is that correct?

BILL SIMPICH: Right, and it's actually pretty common because it's compartmentalized – one part of the CIA literally doesn't know what the other side is doing. Sometimes they're working at cross-purposes, and sometimes they're just, you know, lying to each other because they have to. And that's what I think happened here. I'll get more into it, but I think that what we're dealing with is a situation where even the CIA didn't realize what had happened, except for a few people.

ALAN DALE: The Fair Play for Cuba Committee obviously was a big part of what we associate with Oswald's experience in New Orleans; his confrontation on the street with members of the Student – whatever the DRE was.

BILL SIMPICH: The Cuban exile group, that's right.

ALAN DALE: Right, Cuban - anti-Castro Cuban group - where he had represented to them that he was virulently anti-Castro; he'd made himself and his training available to them, and literally the next day they discover – they're tipped off - that he's out on the street handing out flyers for the Fair Play Cuba Committee.

BILL SIMPICH: And what that illustrates for us is that Castro was adroit at playing both sides; he was not just a lamebrain, not just a lamebrain guy.

ALAN DALE: You said "Castro". You mean Oswald?

BILL SIMPICH: Ah, I meant Oswald, of course, yeah.

ALAN DALE: Of course. And do you feel that there is reason to suspect that he was being directed in these postures? That this represents role-playing?

BILL SIMPICH: I think that – here's what I think on that: it's hard to say whether he was directed on that role-playing, because I'm quite convinced, as Norman Mailer said, that Oswald was a spy in his own mind. What we don't know is – we go to the documents we don't have. So what that leads me to come up with is, similar to being an agnostic about whether Oswald was in Mexico City or not, I'm an agnostic as to whether he was wittingly directed by personnel or not. Again, my posture is it doesn't really matter for our purposes most of the time whether he was doing it wittingly or unwittingly. The fact that he did it is enough, and where I think we have to move on little cat feet is what happened after the impersonation.

ALAN DALE: Mmm-hmm. Would you allow me to quote just a little paragraph from Robert Tannenbaum who, after his probably dreadful experience being in charge of the Congressional investigation for a short time – the House Select Committee - he became a novelist, and he wrote a book called 'Corruption of Blood' and I'd like to get your comment on a particular passage from that, if I may. Is that alright?

BILL SIMPICH: Oh, absolutely.

ALAN DALE: Using the mask – I'm not quoting yet – using the mask of a fictional construct, Mr Tannenbaum wrote the following: "Every intelligence agency is plagued by volunteers; individuals who wish to become spies. Virtually all of them are useless for real intelligence work; unstable, maniacal, lazy or criminal types for the most part, but some of them can be used as pigeons; that is as false members of a spy network who can distract the attention of counterintelligence operatives and can be betrayed to them with misleading or damaging information in their heads. Lists are kept of such potential pigeons at foreign CIA stations, and a marine spouting Marxist propaganda at a top-secret radar base could not have escaped those who keep them.” How do you feel about that suggestion?

BILL SIMPICH: Well, I'm familiar with that quote, and I think it's just about on the money. And to illustrate why I think that I'd like to go back to where I think this all began, in the Soviet Union, for just a moment.

ALAN DALE: Sure.

BILL SIMPICH: See, I've taken a very hard look at Oswald's life from start to finish. I felt that was the only way for me to understand what I wanted to know, which was basically: Who was Oswald? And what I realized reading it was that he – not only did he track a fellow named Robert Webster, who defected to the Soviet Union two weeks before he did, but Webster and he came back within two weeks of each other some two-and-a-half years later. I thought that was pretty odd, and I went a little deeper into it, and I noticed that – I saw photos of Webster and Oswald, and they looked very much alike. I mean, it's uncanny.

ALAN DALE: Really?

BILL SIMPICH: Yeah.

ALAN DALE: I didn't know that.

BILL SIMPICH: Yeah. If you look my story number five – I've written nine stories on Oswald so far and my number five I think in some ways is the most important.

ALAN DALE: And what's the name of that one?

BILL SIMPICH: Oh, it escapes me at the moment I'm sorry. 'The Double Dangle'!

ALAN DALE: 'The Double Dangle'.

BILL SIMPICH: Mmm-hmm. What I think happened in other words, is Webster was a fellow – a blond-haired fellow I might add, for those of you who follow the blond Oswald.

ALAN DALE: Right!

BILL SIMPICH: But be that as it may, this fellow was 5' 10" and 165, and he was a fellow who was very drawn to a particular woman, a trick that is called a honey trap in spy parlance, and he wound up defecting mainly for the love of this woman. Now what's interesting about it is – his marriage was on the rocks; his wife had a lot of illness issues – and what's interesting about it is that the Soviets wanted him, but I think the US wanted him to defect, and the reason they wanted him to defect was, both sides were interested in the same thing. Webster was a fiberglass expert and really knew how rockets and missiles relied on fibreglass and the like, and the US had a lead of about a dozen years in that technology, and they wanted to – the US wanted to know – if the Soviets were catching up on them or not. And Webster's knowledge was very helpful, but not – it wasn't going to be the be-all or end-all. I think he was a useful person to give up.

Now this is where I think Oswald came in. When – at one point when Webster was kind of on the fence about whether he was going to defect or not, he went on a long trip by car. Nobody knew where he was. That was the moment that Oswald got on a freighter and went to Europe and then the Soviet Union. And I think the reason he was on a freighter was 'cos they were putting Oswald on ice. I think wittingly or unwittingly Oswald was coaxed onto that freighter so he could 1) dodge counterintelligence that reads everybody’s passport at every airport, but 2) be in limbo while they looked for Webster and tried to decide what to do next.

ALAN DALE: How interesting.

BILL SIMPICH: And almost as soon as Webster emerged from the murk and said: "I'm here!" – or they found out where he was, let's put it that way – Oswald got off the freighter before his destination and made a beeline to Helsinki. And from Helsinki - there was a very interesting relationship between the Soviet and American Consul there, and the American Consul, right about that time, had offered a pair of Leonard Bernstein tickets to the Soviet Consul, and the Soviet Consul said: "In gratitude, I'm going to make sure that your people can get instant visas if they come to Helsinki from now on." So Oswald got into the Soviet Union almost – it was a land speed record. Nobody really had gotten in as fast as he. And so I use all that as what I consider mileage. During this period of time in the late 50's there was only about 20 Americans in the Soviet Union, outside of the American Embassy.

ALAN DALE: And this is what year?

BILL SIMPICH: 1958-1959

ALAN DALE: Right.

BILL SIMPICH: And so every one of those Americans was considered gold.

ALAN DALE: Sure.

BILL SIMPICH: Just by being there they knew where the - people in intelligence care about where the mailboxes are; where the telephone lines are. They care about every little detail, and so every American was precious, and you can look at Oswald's file and you see how closely counterintelligence followed this guy. He was treated the same way. I don't believe – I have no reason to believe – that he was an agent per se, but I think he was considered an extraordinary asset.

ALAN DALE: Per se.

BILL SIMPICH: Per se. And you don’t have to prove anything else, because it's all right there in the documents. You can see how they tracked him, you know, on a regular basis from 1959 to 1962. And you can see the officers doing it and one of the – or two of those officers - you see again in Mexico City. And that's what I'm warming up to, because what this meant was this: about halfway during his time in the Soviet Union the U2 went down. You see a lot of activity going on where they're trying to smuggle Webster out before the U2 went down, and then it's almost like the CIA knew it was coming, which I've always believed, frankly. But be that as it may, whether you believe that or not, the more important thing is that Webster couldn't get out after May '60. And Oswald, for his part, had been trying to get himself a good job in the Soviet Union by saying: "I've got some sensitive information on the U2" and he would get interviewed, and nothing happened. They just gave him a job at a sheet-metal factory, and he got paid more than the ordinary Joe, but that's all he got. He's not a promising future, and what you see right around that time after the U2 goes down is you see the FBI and Angleton's office in counterintelligence representing Oswald with Webster's physical characteristics. And they put that in his file.

ALAN DALE: Right. Is that the point at which a file with the name Lee Henry Oswald is produced by Ann Egerter?

BILL SIMPICH: That's right. That's absolutely right.

ALAN DALE: And what on earth do we make of this, except that it relates to something internal in the CIA?

BILL SIMPICH: That's right. I think it's a molehunt plain and simple. I think they are blurring Webster and Oswald together for their own purposes; they are creating a separate file – the Lee Henry Oswald file; and they are floating this around various agencies and seeing if the wrong person picks it up. And if the wrong person picks up the data, which is the Webster data: 5'10", 165 - instead of Oswald's, which was slightly shorter and slightly lighter - then you've got something real.

This is what - this is - I'm passionate on this subject because I've read so much about Angleton. He was a molehunter. He was a defense guy. He didn't do so much penetration as he did protecting the CIA from penetration, and the CI/SIG Office – the Special Investigations Group where Ann Egerter worked – she was an analyst – was devoted to being the office that spied on its own spies. They weren't a penetration outfit, they weren't trying to penetrate the Soviet Union as far as I can see. Their whole thing was defense defense defense; do not let the CIA get penetrated. But when a major agency gets penetrated by a major defector, all the secrets are gone. It's one of the most important offices there is, and they treated it that way. Everything was under lock and key, and they were routinely doing molehunts, making small changes with people's descriptions and names and this and that, precisely to see if it popped up in the wrong guy or gal's hands.

ALAN DALE: And then trace the leak.

BILL SIMPICH: Trace the leak! And there's your mole! There's your snitch.

ALAN DALE: But before he got into the Soviet Union and before all of whatever that represents, and the maybe correlation to Robert Webster I think is very, very interesting and I sure do appreciate you referring to that. Oh, he had wavy hair too, in that file.

BILL SIMPICH: Oh no, yeah, you can get into the wavy hair and a bunch of other small items, it’s quite fascinating.

ALAN DALE: But before the Soviet Union there was the Atsugi radar – very sensitive radar base in…

BILL SIMPICH: And Oswald was a radar guy, that's right. I don't think Oswald knew very much though. And I think that's why the Soviets really basically turned him down. They knew what he knew, and he didn't know much.

ALAN DALE: Mmm-hmm. But does it seem plausible to you, as it does to me, that he may have been – he may have aspired to and may have been marked for – special training in intelligence work during that period and then for - over a period of…
 
BILL SIMPICH: Unconvinced. Possible, but I'm unconvinced. I'm always ready to be educated but again, for the story I'm outlining here, it doesn't matter. If you take the approach I'm offering here, which is this approach of most simplicity, saying: "We don't know,” then that's one less thing we have to guess on.

ALAN DALE: So, I'm with you; I understand, but it's still difficult to resist the sort of speculation that he may have been – he may have drawn attention to himself seeking to have specialized training in intelligence work, but then it's my speculation that beyond that, they may have recognized that he was temperamentally unsuited for the kind of glamorous assignments to which he may have aspired.

BILL SIMPICH: Well, you know, but that's a jump ball. I mean, he may have been unsuited or he may have been suited, you know; he may have been trained or he may have not. And so all I'm trying to offer – I'm not saying that kind of speculation's not valuable – but I'm saying the less you have to speculate, the stronger your terra firma is. That's all I'm saying.

ALAN DALE: Gotcha! What's your assessment of the – the apparent suicide attempt in the Soviet Union?

BILL SIMPICH: Well, I'll tell you, I think that's nonsense, because if - I've read the documents really closely, and it was a superficial wound. Just that; it was just a superficial wound. He hadn't broken any major arteries, and the Russian doctors didn't believe him.

ALAN DALE: Wow! It's time for us to take a brief intermission. We're speaking with Bill Simpich, and it's a great honor to do so. Please stick around; we'll be back in just a moment.

« Last Edit: August 02, 2014, 04:55:12 am by Alan Dale »
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Alan Dale

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Re: Program Transcript: Bill Simpich
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2014, 10:53:41 pm »
ALAN DALE: We're speaking with Bill Simpich and the topic is Lee Harvey Oswald. Among the many different complexities that we could begin to address, we would maybe want to establish - even make a modest attempt to establish - who are the key players, in particular divisions of CIA who may have been - who may be implicated in the five elements of the Mexico City convergence as you've described them.

People have referred to Mexico City as 'spy games' or 'end games', and usually I think, mostly I suspect that people refer to these ideas with the concept of American intelligence versus Soviet intelligence, or American intelligence operations against Cuba, and of course there are other nations that are represented in that milieu. But what you're describing to me makes me believe that some of those spy games may be significant aspects to what we're referring to as spy games in Mexico City, or taking place entirely within the CIA; different manifestations of different, overlapping, but probably authorized, operations where elements of CIA – literally the right hand didn't know what the left foot was doing. Is that true?

BILL SIMPICH: I think something along those lines. What I suggest happened in Mexico City, in a word, is a couple of things. One is there was a big operation to recruit Azcue. That we're clear on. The operations to probe Kostikov I think were also going on in the Russian division of the CIA. I think that was not as central as the – the Azcue thing, you can see everybody's handwriting on it: Win Scott is saying, you know: "We're going to go for a one-two punch, with two different agents trying to bring him across the line." And Ted Shackley and Desmond FitzGerald, on the Cuban division of the CIA were also centrally pushing this.

ALAN DALE: And that's SAS?

BILL SIMPICH: SAS, that's right.

ALAN DALE: And that's the post-Harvey era, right?

BILL SIMPICH: That's the post-Harvey era, that's right. And one thing that's interesting is Harvey was still in the game at this time, which people don't realize. He was still working for Staff D, and Staff D was the communications side of the CIA, that would take the wiretaps from all over the world, including Mexico City, one of the most important stations, and analyze them and then funnel them over to the NSA in many instances – National Security Agency.

ALAN DALE: Mmm-hmm. William King Harvey is who we're referring to, who's a figure I think is worthy of our continued…

BILL SIMPICH: Yeah, You've gotta look at Harvey most centrally, because he wore three enormous hats. One was he was the head of Staff D till early '63 and worked there till at least October '63; two, he worked for Task Force W, which was the Cuban Division base in Miami, which was focused solely on how to conquer Cuba, and then FitzGerald replaced him in '63 after Kennedy and – the Kennedys got into a big brawl with Harvey during the Cuba Missile Crisis, which is a story in itself.

ALAN DALE: I'll say! Boy, is it ever.

BILL SIMPICH: Yeah, Harvey tried to insert some people right in the heart of the crisis, and Bobby Kennedy just about ate him for lunch.

ALAN DALE: Well, I mean it was the most destabilizing event to the authority of the Executive Branch, at the absolute peak of the most delicate negotiations in the history of humanity. Other than that, no big deal.

BILL SIMPICH: Right! And so Harvey got demoted from the Cuban Division and…

ALAN DALE: And sent to Rome.

BILL SIMPICH: Right, was sent to Rome in June, but now he's hanging out with the Italians, and the Italians are who he was buddies with, because his third hat was, he was the head of assassinations within the ZR/Rifle program, which was hidden inside Staff D. And there's every reason to believe that he continued to work for the ZR/Rifle program until 1964, until after the assassination. So Harvey has to be considered somebody to be looked at very carefully, given the fact that he knew where all the assassins were: he knew how to run an assassination and he knew how to listen to all the information in Mexico City, and he knew how to manipulate the Cuban Division, and he had friends who knew how to manipulate the Mexico City Division. So he - if you are looking for a mastermind you gotta keep Harvey in mind, that's all I'm saying. We don't yet have the smoking gun on Harvey, but what I'm gonna tell you: you gotta keep Harvey in mind from now on, what I'm saying.

ALAN DALE: Oh, I hear you 100% believe me. I first got turned on to him by the David Martin book, which I think was a very, very valuable introduction called 'Wilderness of Mirrors'.

BILL SIMPICH: One of the best books ever on the subject.

ALAN DALE: Yeah, yeah. I don't know what has become of David Martin. Is he around, do we know?

BILL SIMPICH: No, I don't think we know.

ALAN DALE: OK. I was just going to sort of add to – with regard to William King Harvey – that it was Harvey who made the official request to transfer from Mexico City Station to the JM/WAVE Station in Miami, and a man named David Sanchez Morales where he became eventually, among other things, the Chief of Paramilitary Affairs, and I think that was a very consequential move. I suspect many people interested in these complexities may not know about the connection between Harvey – that Morales was transferred literally officially at the request of William King Harvey.

BILL SIMPICH: So what we do know is that Harvey's two main henchmen in trying to kill Castro were Morales and Johnny Roselli of the mafia.

ALAN DALE: Big fans of President Kennedy!

BILL SIMPICH: Right! Yeah, both of them hated – all three of these guys hated his guts.

ALAN DALE: Well, you know, I had a conversation with Jefferson Morley, whose – I know you know his book 'Our Man in Mexico: Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA'. He had requested interviews with Richard Helms before Richard Helms went to hell - I mean "passed away" - and Richard Helms always refused to…  I can edit that out if it's inappropriate; I probably will.

BILL SIMPICH: I think it's funny.

ALAN DALE: Yeah. He had the opportunity though to interview two of Helms' surviving assistants, a man named Nestor Sanchez and a man named Sam Halpern, both of whom were absolutely frothing at the mouth at the mention of President Kennedy. They detested him so much, and it was so close to the surface, the extent to which that – there was a lot of hostility, animosity and blame towards President Kennedy's foreign policy, especially towards Cuba, 30 or 35 years after the fact. And I thought that that was very revealing.

BILL SIMPICH: Well, HSCA treated Harvey as 'a suspect', in those words – that's them, not me. Morales basically offered verbal admissions that he played a role in the death of Kennedy. Johnny Roselli slept with the same woman that Kennedy slept with, Judith Campbell. He, Giancana and Morales [JFK] all were sleeping with the same woman in the early '60s.

ALAN DALE: Great!

BILL SIMPICH: You know that's going to build up a great deal of hostility. And you gotta – you can't ignore these people. I've thrown up my hands: I tried to ignore this evidence; I can't do it any more. It has to be – you have to think about it in the context of what we're looking at here, simply because if you – we don't yet have the smoking gun, but the evidence points more strongly to them than to anyone else. So if people want to do themselves a favour, look at the guy who was the number two guy at the Miami Station; look at the guy who was the Chief of Paramilitary; and look at the guy who was the head of Counterintelligence for the Cuban exiles as they prepared to put in their own government after Castro was thrown out. This group was known as Operation 40 or the AMOTs and their head during the Cuban – during the Bay of Pigs era – was David Morales. So Morales was like a triple-threat player here: he's CI, he's Paramilitary, and he's an administrator. I mean, he's number two.

ALAN DALE: Yeah, high-ranking, right – above David Phillips.

BILL SIMPICH: High-ranking, yeah. And he's not only powerful in terms of knowing how to wield a gun and do frogman activities and all that type of thing, but he also knows how to, and has, run a major counterintelligence operation for the shadow government of an entire country. I mean that's no small pickings. Morales is somebody that deserves the most careful scrutiny by anybody who looks at the case.

And he was an acolyte of Bill Harvey, because Bill Harvey was considered the master. So I mean this is a real thick situation here when you get into Mexico City because here's Morales's boss, Shackley. Shackley and FitzGerald – FitzGerald was Shackley's boss; he's in DC – these two are running the operation to try to get Azcue to come over to the United States; I mean, that's no small idea. And the idea was Harvey's idea. Harvey proposed the idea before he left for Italy, and after he left for Italy FitzGerald picked it up and said: "Let's do this thing" and Mexico City agreed and John Whitten, who ran the Western Hemisphere side of things for Central America also agreed. So they're all in on this thing to bring in Azcue.


Azcue was, you know, a short time away from going back to Cuba, and they wanted to try to get him under the fold if they could. So that's a big, big thing going on. The other thing that's going on that's a big, big thing, that people've not paid quite enough attention to, is that there was a joint CIA/FBI operation to bring in – to bring to what they called 'overseas' some kind of deceptive operation that would make the FPCC – the Fair Play for Cuba Committee – look bad. And Lambert Anderson was one of those people - he ran the FPCC desk - he ran the Cuban desk for national intelligence over at the FBI during this short period of time, and the guy who was at his side was John Tilton, who was also a thug of the worst kind. Tilton was one of the chiefs in Bolivia when they hunted down and killed Che Guevara.

ALAN DALE: Right.

BILL SIMPICH: Tilton was the guy who was the last major player to run Operation Phoenix, which was the operation to kill as many Viet Cong as they possibly could…

ALAN DALE: Which is also where Morales ended up.

BILL SIMPICH: Morales was sent, right. I don't know whether Morales was working for Operation Phoenix, but he was certainly in Vietnam during the late '60s, and he saw some heavy-duty action. But Tilton was a killer, like Morales; he knew how to kill people, OK? But I'm not saying Tilton was in on this game – I'm not saying that yet. All I'm saying is that Tilton and Anderson were running the anti-FPCC operation. They had already smuggled in a fellow named Victor Vicente from the New York FPCC into Cuba in July, with the help of Bill Harvey's acolyte, a woman named Anita Potocki who was his go-to person over at Staff P. And they got this fellow from the New York FPCC office into Cuba, met Castro, met Che, collected a lot of intelligence and came back. So now they were going to do a second operation, but this was going to be someplace overseas. This time the idea was to make FPCC look bad. And all of a sudden, the next day after the memo goes out saying: "This is something we want to do" the man called Oswald goes to the New Orleans embassy and gets himself a visa to go to Mexico City. And so all I'm saying is, you got a second big operation here now, and it looks like Oswald, wittingly or unwittingly…

ALAN DALE: Is in the middle of it.

BILL SIMPICH: He's going to be the pawn on the chessboard, that's right.

ALAN DALE: Boy, I'll say! We're going to take a brief intermission. We're speaking with Bill Simpich, and we'll return in just a moment.

Our future may lie beyond our vision, but it is not completely beyond our control. It is the shaping impulse of America that neither fate nor nature nor the irresistible tides of history, but the work of our own hands, matched to reason and principle, that will determine our destiny.

RFK

Alan Dale

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Re: Program Transcript: Bill Simpich
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2014, 10:55:26 pm »
ALAN DALE: We're speaking with Bill Simpich about 'Mexico City Intrigue'. But it's not all centered in Mexico City is it? We're also touching upon legendary JM/WAVE Station in South Florida, Miami CIA station, which was the crucible of America's undeclared war against – of destabilization and other things in relation to Cuba during those years.

One of these divisions that intrigues me a lot is Staff D, because Staff D is something that we associate primarily with Bill Harvey initially, but maybe Angleton was – had some significant executive responsibility pertaining to Staff D, but for sure we know that a woman stationed in Mexico City as an assistant to Station Chief Winston Scott, named Anne Goodpasture, was Staff D, and I wonder if you can explain to me a little bit. I've always had this question; it's slightly troubling to me, and I've never really addressed it, and I certainly do not know the answer. The fact that we know that she was Staff D – whatever that means in terms of her allegiance or her duties or whatever – does that mean that Winston Scott knew that she was Staff D?

BILL SIMPICH: I think he had to. I think that Anne Goodpasture and David Phillips reported to Staff D as well as to Mexico City, which means that they answered to two bosses: they answered to Bill Harvey as well as answering to Win Scott.

ALAN DALE: Mmm-hmm. One of the things – one of the mysteries – that we associate with Mexico City, that you don't have to be supremely immersed in all of these complexities to have heard about the Mystery Man, and the photographs claiming to represent – at least initially claiming that these are pictures of someone identifying himself as Lee Harvey Oswald. We see the photographs, and it's definitely not Lee Harvey Oswald, beyond which; don't know what we can say for sure about it. I've learned of the identity of a person called Claude Capeheart, and I wonder if you can help me come to some kind of understanding about what, if any, connection Claude Capeheart may have to the infamous Mystery Man photographs.

BILL SIMPICH: Claude Capeheart is a guy who probably had two different identities himself, so he's been the focus of some hard looking. But I've satisfied, I think, this story to my satisfaction. There was a picture of a blond Oswald that the HSCA was wondering about, but there was two – but the big problem with that picture was the picture was taken on Thursday the 26th, the day before the story goes that Oswald came into town. I was at the Archives a couple of weeks ago and I was able to identify the blond man that was bandied about by the HSCA.

ALAN DALE: Oh yeah?

BILL SIMPICH: Yeah, and he was a fellow named Miller. Mr Miller was a friend of the Duran family, and he used to borrow their car, and because Mr Miller was seen at the – Ernesto Miller was his full name – because he was seen at the scene, people were very curious about whether he might actually be a second Oswald. And I'm quite confident at this point, after many years of wondering about this, I think I've – I'm going to put the documents up at the Education Forum in the next month – and I think people will agree with me that there's no story there.

ALAN DALE: Well, that's exciting though, that's very, very exciting.

BILL SIMPICH: It is exciting to put that to bed, but I'll tell you what I think is more exciting. I think I have solved the issue of the Mystery Man in a very kind of fun way, but also important in terms of the ultimate resolution of this case. And this does require – this is hypothesis; this does require a little bit of speculation, but most of what I'm going to say here is documented.

ALAN DALE: OK.

BILL SIMPICH: So I'm not painting in– I'll tell you when I'm painting in a detail or so.

ALAN DALE: Gotcha!

BILL SIMPICH: So what's documented is that these phone calls came in on September the 28th and again on October 1st. It's my belief that Oswald's – the documented Oswald calls were all Oswald on the 27th, but it could have been somebody else; we don't know. The important thing is I'm very certain that he never came back to the Cuban Consulate again. And that's what's so strange about this call on the 28th, because the call claims that Oswald was calling from the Cuban Consulate with Silvia Duran to the Russians at the Soviet Consulate.

And that seems very strange. One, because – put it this way, they're really kind of anal, if you will, in documenting who's picking up the phone over at the Soviet Consulate. There is no record ever of anybody naming who the Soviet was on the 28th. And why is that? I would say because the whole call was faux; I think either the call did not happen at all, which is what Peter Dale Scott thinks, or I think at a minimum, it was a fake Oswald and a fake Duran who made the call, and they just wanted to call as little attention to anybody who might have any information about this call as they could. Because many of the people at the Soviet Consulate knew Duran; I mean, you know, they knew her voice.

ALAN DALE: Of course.

BILL SIMPICH: And so did the Americans; they knew her voice. And the scuttlebutt we've heard from the informants inside is that they said the consensus was that it wasn't Oswald at the Consulate.

ALAN DALE: Right.

BILL SIMPICH: But the most important thing here is that it wasn't Oswald on this telephone call. There's a lot of evidence that points to the fact that this was simply fake; not the least of which is, Duran herself said: "We did not let people in on Saturdays" and that's what Azcue said; that's what other people said. There was even a fellow, a Cuban exile from Costa Rica, who tried to get in on the 28th: he was turned away.

ALAN DALE: Sure.

BILL SIMPICH: And so I believe Silvia Duran. I'm going to spend some time between now and November getting at least an audio statement from her, reaffirming what she testified to back in 1978 on this. She said: "I never saw Oswald again." But David Phillips and his buddies got a hold of her transcript, and mistranslated it to make it sound like she had seen Oswald again after the 27th. And I think the entire situation is completely scandalous, 'cos this is what it leads to; it leads to two tapes being created, of September 28th and October 1st, and then Goodpasture telling the – Headquarters on - immediately after the assassination - that: "Oh, We destroyed the tape of the 28th before the tape of October 1st arrived".

ALAN DALE: Sure we did.

BILL SIMPICH: Yeah, well, two big problems. One was; protocol was to hold onto those tapes for two weeks: two; hold onto them forever if they're something important, which this certainly was: it was unheard of to have a re-defector calling the Soviet Consulate from the Cuban Consulate: and three; the Cuban tapes were even more highly prized; those were held for a minimum of 30 days. So that's a lie, and if you are convinced it's a lie; if you really believe it's a lie, you gotta ask yourself: "If I was a CIA officer, and I got this phony phone call, and I knew it was phony 'cos I knew it wasn't Duran 'cos I heard her voice all the time, you know, what would I do?"

ALAN DALE: And especially what would you do if in the statement itself, that had been recorded or transcribed, there's reference made to somebody who is known to intelligence professionals in both Mexico City and Washington, and that is the figure – it's not AMKNOB, I don't know who it is, but there is specific reference there, almost off the receiver - turned away from the phone, where some reference is made to a figure that…

BILL SIMPICH: Aparicio is who you're thinking about.

ALAN DALE: Aparicio, that's it exactly.

BILL SIMPICH: Aparicio was very sensitive, and I'll tell you why; because he was working with Teresa Proenza and Proenza, who was a long-time communist who had a big following in the press; big following among peace groups and she was close to the communist party people that they were trying to alienate Fidel with, and within months after the assassination both the Vice President of the Cuban Government and Proenza were in jail, suspected of being CIA themselves.

And you can see the CIA documents now on it; I've seen hundreds of 'em; it was a complete setup, designed to split the Castro regime, which was the Kennedy policy: either split the Castro regime or let's reach rapprochement. And it got around the Miami Station that rapprochement was a probability, and one of the people working hardest for rapprochement was none other than the boyfriend of Silvia Duran, Carlos Lechuga, the Cuban Ambassador to the UN. So I mean it's a big imbroglio here: there's a lot going on from different corners. But the bottom line here is my question I put to you a minute ago – I didn't expect you to answer it, but what I think I can answer in my novelette here is: If you're a CIA officer who's a straight-shooter, like I think Goodpasture is, OK? Granted she lies all the time, but she lies because that's her job, and the reason she's lying is because she's saying: "Oh my God, how am I going to find who planted these phone calls?"

There was all kinds of stuff going on at this point, including a fear that the FBI in Mexico City had been penetrated as well. They were very, very nervous; they needed a plan to figure out how to beat – this is my hypothesis – to figure out how to identify who had made this phone call and breached the security, because they did not want people to know that they were wire-tapping the Soviet and Cuban phones, and they were afraid that this was an operation to test them, and…

ALAN DALE: Yeah, you don't wanna blow…

BILL SIMPICH: Yeah, you don't want to blow your incredibly valuable wiretap operation. It was – the crown jewel of the Station was this wiretap operation. They couldn't blow it; they had to protect it, and they felt that way for 40 years. But over those 40 years it became, I believe, hiding the truth about the Kennedy assassination. And so here's my point: my point is Phillips went – we know that Phillips went to Headquarters, we know a pouch was shipped to him on the first of October; they were never able to identify what was in the pouch years later – that's the way those pouches are designed. I believe it was the tapes from October 1st.

I believe that Phillips went over there after the 28th tape was transcribed, which they generally did immediately, and said: "Let me go to Headquarters, find out; we'll have face-to-face meetings.” He had face-to-face meetings with the people at Headquarters, which would include FitzGerald and Helms, and then he went to Miami which – I would assume he met with Shackley; we know he met with Tilton, 'cos Tilton's on the memo, and then he comes back right about the time that a memo goes out from Goodpasture.

Goodpasture took that very Mystery Man photo you talked about and artificially attached it to Oswald's supposed phone call. And we know this because a memo was written on October 8th saying: "We got this phone call from a guy" - and she gives – "who identified himself in that call as Lee Oswald,” and gives certain information that they obtained from that phone call. And then the second paragraph - which is all Goodpasture talking here - she said: "Oh yeah, this was the same day as this American coming out of the Soviet Consulate a couple of hours after the phone call, and he looked six feet tall, and he was husky" and this and that. Well that's the Mystery Man, but the problem was that his visit was October 2nd, not October 1st. And you can see it in the memo, and everybody at the HSCA questioned Goodpasture about it and came away convinced she was lying about it.

ALAN DALE: Yeah, Mmm-hmm.

BILL SIMPICH: She was one of the most outstanding officers they ever had; she couldn't have made a rooky mistake like this: she was told to review that over and over, in 1963 and 1967, and she kept saying it said what it said, knowing that it didn't, and there's only one possible conclusion: it was an operation. And the operation was what? The operation was to disguise Oswald's identity as this Mystery Man, and then the Mystery Man description went out from Headquarters a couple of days later, to a memo to the FBI and State Department, and Navy; all the people who had jurisdiction over the Oswald case domestically, and they were told that he looked like six foot and this, that and 35 years old and all this inaccurate information, the whole... And that was sent to the higher-ups, the people at Headquarters.

Meanwhile they took a second description which was, believe it or not, the Robert Webster description that Egerter had put together back in 1960, and disseminated that back to Mexico City, because Mexico City knew that it had a mole in its own midst, and they needed to find out who its own mole was, if he was out there. And the most interesting thing about this to me is, the person who wrote this memo was Egerter, the same gal who put this together for Oswald three years ago: she wrote it again! And she worked – the guy she worked with was a guy named Stephan Roll who was the boss of the guy named Bill Bright, who was over in Mexico City now, and used to handle the Oswald 201 file when he was in the Soviet Union. So this is an operation. There's no two ways about it.

ALAN DALE: Clearly.

BILL SIMPICH: It's very cleverly designed to smoke out the mole. You know, it's not rocket science. People say: "Oh Bill, you're projecting this and that." I'm going: "I'm projecting a tiny bit, which is simply that a decision was made, rather than this happened accidentally." This is too clever to have happened accidentally, because look at the way it was constructed. The first description of the Mystery Man type; you know, 35 years old and husky, goes to the very people who know that Oswald is completely different to the Mystery Man. Guaranteed to create a clash; guaranteed to smoke out who should not have had the file and know that there was a clash. So if there was a mole, easy to smoke 'em out there.

The other aspect of it, the Robert Webster aspect of it, you look at that and you're going: "My God! That's a very clever, subtle way to try to smoke out who the mole is in the Mexico City side,” and the most interesting thing to me is Miami is totally cut out of all this discussion. And I think - I can tell you a bit more about it later – but I think a different technique was used to try to smoke out the mole in Miami, because Miami was considered the most sensitive of all.

Our future may lie beyond our vision, but it is not completely beyond our control. It is the shaping impulse of America that neither fate nor nature nor the irresistible tides of history, but the work of our own hands, matched to reason and principle, that will determine our destiny.

RFK

Alan Dale

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Re: Program Transcript: Bill Simpich
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2014, 10:56:57 pm »
ALAN DALE: You'd forgive me for just admitting that quite a lot of this, over a period of – the number of years that I've concerned myself with trying to come to better understanding over time, quite a lot of it still makes my hair hurt.

BILL SIMPICH: No! What you need to do is read those October 10 memos, the two memos. You've got to read them about 10 times, or maybe 20 times.

ALAN DALE: Yeah, I've only read them about seven times.

BILL SIMPICH: As far as I'm concerned, that's the secret to this case. Those documents were hidden from the Warren Commission, and they lied and cheated all throughout to keep those actual documents from being read. If the Warren Commission had those documents it would have been suicide and they knew it. Because what it illustrated is what we all know now; is that Oswald was being watched very carefully, at a minimum, by all these agencies.

Now if they had understood the degree to which Oswald was being watched, the CIA and the FBI would have been destroyed. If they'd realised that they had been impersonated or used for a molehunt – you know? I mean people would have gone to jail. I mean the consequences were dire; quite apart from war with the Soviet Union and war with Cuba – which I actually don't put at the center of possibilities. I think domestic unrest in the United States would have been at the center: to find out that these people had been playing fast and loose with the files that led to the death of a popular president. It couldn't have been more explosive. And so all I'm saying is that on November 22nd, all of a sudden out of nowhere, here's your moment in Dealey Plaza; here's a report come in 15 minutes after Kennedy's shot, saying: "Oh, a guy 5'10", 165 – the Robert Webster description…

ALAN DALE: Right, right. There it is, yeah.

BILL SIMPICH: …is seen in the building." And they couldn't even describe his clothing. Now if you can't describe his clothing, what else are you going to see from the Sixth Floor? You're not going to be able to tell how tall he is: the window went up to his waist. I'm sorry, this is really not speculation; this is explosive information. To know that somebody made a call like that, not knowing the clothing but offering the same description as Robert Webster, which had been used to describe Oswald. This is explosive information. There's not that many people walking round 5'10", 165 in the first place, much less being confused for Oswald. And they never found out who made the call. They tried to - Hoover threw up his hands and said: "We have no idea who contacted Inspector Sawyer for the Dallas Police and made that call." They asked Sawyer; Sawyer said: "He was nondescript, he was a white guy, that's all I can tell you. I asked a deputy to take him away." And he doesn't know who the deputy was. The deputy was probably part of the posse that did this thing. So I'm not pointing any fingers about who shot who…

ALAN DALE: I hear you!

BILL SIMPICH: …on November 22nd. What I'm saying is this is all the …I mean, we've basically, if you take what I'm saying seriously, we have all the tools we need at our disposal to undress the actual reason why it's been impossible all this time to get these people to do a real investigation. They can't do it; they're blackmailed!

ALAN DALE: Mmm-hmm. Because the authorized operations that were ongoing, that were concurrent and touched upon Lee Harvey Oswald, are so explosive that the idea that something could – something sinister could - have been piggybacked on all of that is almost icing on the cake, because there was no shortage – Right! I got you.

BILL SIMPICH: That's right – that's almost icing on the cake. The operations themselves are explosive enough if: you buy 50 per cent of what I just laid out in terms of my hypothesis, it takes you to a place where there'd be domestic unrest in the United States.

ALAN DALE: Bill, we're running short on time, and you've been so generous, and I'm so sincerely…

BILL SIMPICH: It'll only take a few more minutes.

ALAN DALE: Well, sincerely grateful to you for allowing us this opportunity. There are a couple of brief things that I want to try to touch upon that I haven't addressed at all yet; that we haven't touched upon. One is the famous correspondence between Winston Scott and Western Hemisphere Division guy JC King, where…

BILL SIMPICH: Oh, that's a great one, yeah.

ALAN DALE: Well, that's one, and the second that I certainly want to touch upon – you know, I was a sort of a fan of much of the writing of Christopher Hitchens, and he really emphasized the importance of periodically re-evaluating what you think you know.

BILL SIMPICH: That couldn't be better advice. I try to do that all the time.

ALAN DALE: Well, of course. And so one of the things that we may not often enough – that we may not question very often, because you know you and I and others, we all inherit whatever we've got. And so part of the big picture here is that we have to examine everything that we inherit, and then make a decision about whether or not we keep it in our bag, on our tray, or whether or not we discard it, and we say, you know, we don't need that: that's not helping us. So one of the things that I'm curious about, in addition to that correspondence between Win Scott – the cryptic reference to JC King about "someone who's known to you" – is this thing that we've inherited about Valeriy Kostikov being the personification of evil because he was Department 13. What do we know now, that maybe we didn't know in an earlier era of these historical investigations, about whether or not that statement was actually true – whether or not Valeriy Kostikov was indeed an assassination specialist, active duty for Western Hemisphere, at the time of the supposed Oswald events?

BILL SIMPICH: Well, I'll tell you my position on it; is this. The documents I've read illustrate that the Kostikov story had been debunked in 1963. Angleton and Hoover had both been looking at it, and they both basically came to the conclusion – and I'm trying to remember who was more voluble on it, and I can't as I speak, but I've got something written on it and I'll release it before the year is over.

That idea had basically been put to bed, and subsequently it got revived the day after the assassination by a fellow named Anatoliy Golitsyn, who was a defector from that same Helsinki station we talked about earlier, in 1961 and then Golitsyn got it into 'Pete' Bagley's head, who was one of the most important counterintelligence guys in the Soviet Division. And they ran with it, right after the assassination, and Pete Bagley to this day, you know, he's written a book called 'Spy Wars', and goes up and down saying Department 13 was the greatest terrorist organization known to man in 1963.

The problem is David Blee, who was head of the CIA CI Division, who succeeded Angleton, and another fellow, in the early 80s; he came to the conclusion that Department 13 was defunct for assassination and sabotage operations as of 1961, two years before the assassination. So I think – Bagley and I are in the middle of a dialog about this, and I'm going over all the material one more time to make sure I'm right – but I'm convinced that Bagley has been holding the wrong end of the stick for the last 50 years, and he knows it, and he's trying to justify his existence and his legacy.

ALAN DALE:  I hear you. And regarding the…

BILL SIMPICH: I think he may be sincere, but he just doesn't have the evidence, whether he's sincere or not.

ALAN DALE: Yeah, well, there's no shortage of sincere mistakes that have been a part of our story, right.

BILL SIMPICH: Yes, and Pete Bagley was a good officer according to a lot of reports, and I think he made the wrong call on this one because he believed Angleton. Angleton convinced him that there was a great plot, and the Soviets and the Cubans – the Soviets and the Chinese - hated each other – I mean loved each other, they didn't hate each other - and they were about to bring America down, and it was up to them to keep America alive. I mean those were the stakes that Angleton saw the world in 1963, and I think it was that kind of thinking that led to the assassination of Kennedy. I think Angleton – all those guys I've just described – were blackmailed by another - by a small group within their own agency that knew a way to go after Kennedy and did it. And I don't like saying that publicly, but I don't know honestly what else I can say; it's like the burden of knowledge.

ALAN DALE: So you're basically, if I understand you correctly, you're sort of excluding Angleton as being a potential…

BILL SIMPICH: I'm not excluding Angleton; I think this is the most likely read of this. I'm saying Mexico City officers did nothing wrong; they did what they were supposed to do. Same with Headquarters; they did what they were supposed to do. I think it's very curious that Miami was cut out of this. I think the roots of the Kennedy assassination may be in Miami: that's what John Whitten thought too, after this was all over. He left his job and went overseas and sang with the choir for 20 years. He pointed the finger at Bill Harvey and said: "I think he's the man who did it." And he also said that if he had to start all over again he would have started the investigation in Miami, and I echo those words.

ALAN DALE: Mmm-hmm, I hear you. And with regard to the Win Scott / JC King correspondence?

BILL SIMPICH: I think that's of less import than I used to. It's very interesting correspondence; it makes it sound like Scott is telling Harvey – telling JC King, who's head of Western Hemisphere: "I think you know this guy, and I think you know I know this guy." But I think the guy's name actually – of the Mystery Man – I think he was a KGB officer who posed as a scientist named Mosklev.

ALAN DALE: Yeah, Yuri…

BILL SIMPICH: Mosklev. And Russell Holmes, who was the archivist for the CIA said he was "very likely" the guy. And the disguise division of CIA also came to the same conclusion: they thought it was likely that the Mystery Man was Mosklev. But Mosklev was nothing more than a white guy, if you will, a guy who could be confused as an American, who was close to the date that they wanted to artificially glue Oswald to the site, and so they just took his picture and they said: "Well, we'll use this, and we'll be able to bury it, and nobody'll be the wiser." And the Soviets aren't going to say: "That's our guy", you know, the Soviets do not want any role in this case whatsoever. And you could make an argument that they held the Soviets at bay by using the Mystery Man as a pawn.

ALAN DALE: Well, I think it’s always important to remember that there was – there's no evidence that there was some really monolithic plot involving Oswald in Mexico City that was intended to blow up six or seven weeks later: that whoever may have been involved in his manipulation or in the embellishment of the documentary record of his appearances and the things that are attributed to him in the documentary record – whoever may or may not have been engaged in that for some purpose that would be relevant only after the assassination – it's important to keep in mind that all of these things that you've described; these competing complexities; none of this was thought to be blowing up in the next two months: that the people engaged in this weren't doing so because they thought that: "Well, in two months we'll have a different world order." 

BILL SIMPICH: No, but there was one thing that would have blown up, and that would have been the way that the CIA hid from the documentary record the fact that Oswald went to the Cuban Consulate at all.

ALAN DALE: Right.

BILL SIMPICH: At all, at all, at all. They didn't – before the assassination they did not want that in the record. And why was that? And I would offer again, this is further evidence that there was a blown operation here. That there was a blown operation and it involved the story that Oswald had had interactions with the Cuban Consulate, and they needed to keep that blown story out of the paper trail. But the worst of it was - so they created a paper trail without the blown story in it; without the truth in it, and then when the assassination happens Oswald's an ideal fall guy here, because now there's a paper trail that can be proven to be false. And if the full extent of that paper trail had been made available to the public in 1964 with the Warren Report the results would have been catastrophic for the intelligence agencies.

ALAN DALE: I hear you.

BILL SIMPICH: This is nothing more than an elaborate form of blackmail, and then you have to ask yourself who has the capacity to pull off that kind of adroit blackmail? Only someone who knows the activities of the agency in a very adroit fashion. And who had offices at Mexico City? JM/WAVE. JM/WAVE is the Miami station; they also had offices in Mexico City. Who would know how to plant that kind of poison and then profit from it better than the people in JM/WAVE? So it's big stuff. That's where I want to leave it for now.

ALAN DALE: Bill, I just want to tell you how much I appreciate you taking this extra time to help clarify, to go into greater depth about, some of these questions. Before we conclude I would ask you very briefly, do you feel that at some point in our lifetime the facts of the assassination will ever take the place of the official versions that we compete against in terms of the popular media?

BILL SIMPICH: I'm not as – I'm an optimist, put it that way. I think that the facts are already basically in front of our nose. We simply need to stop engaging in dangerous speculation. My suggestion, that I repeat constantly, is to always avoid using the word conspiracy; I think it's a trap that succeeds in marginalizing the discussion rather than focussing the discussion on the evidence. I really do believe that if people were content in living with portions of the case being a mystery, the case can be solved. Because you don't have to solve every aspect of the case to know what happened. I really do believe that with the help of many other people, we are uncovering the truth about Mexico City, and you can't solve what happened in Dealey Plaza without understanding fully what happened in Mexico City. That's why I'm so dogged in having this Mexico City discussion: I want this Mexico City evidence thoroughly debated, and then I think we can go forth and take a fresh look at Dealey Plaza.

ALAN DALE: And 50 years in, it's time to do that.

BILL SIMPICH: I think so. I think all the technology is there, you know, actually to do more good work on the acoustics, more good work on the single bullet theory. What's lacking is political will and confidence.

ALAN DALE: Exactly.

BILL SIMPICH: I really think those are the most important aspects. The moment this case stops being marginalized is the moment that we're going to move towards final resolution. And what I think our task, as researchers, as historians, as activists, is to take whatever action we need to do to stop the marginalization of this case. And I think the single most important one is to refer to the case as a mystery, refer to it as a case of concerted action, but stop using the 'c' word, because it simply marginalizes us. And I understand the power of the 'conspiracy' word, but I think it's not serving its purpose at this juncture.

ALAN DALE: Our guest has been Bill Simpich. Bill is maybe the leading scholar on interpreting the files – the extant files – on Oswald in Mexico City. He is the author of innumerable essential articles on these subjects, with titles such as 'Intrigue in Mexico City', 'The office that spied on its own spies', 'What informants are still out there?', 'The Twelve who Built the Oswald Legend' and 'Double Dangle', and I believe, Bill, that you're intent upon having something available as an e-book published this year; that's your objective. And the title of that will be?

BILL SIMPICH: The title of that'll be 'State Secret,’ and I just want to add that the Kennedy story is only one story of many stories about this stealing of our history in the United States, where things are not fully understood because the documents haven't been read carefully or obtained. And I urge people to not take what I say for granted, but read the articles, do your own research and keep uncovering our own history, because that's how we move forward as a people.

ALAN DALE: Well, thank you so much. This has been very informative for me; it's been very helpful and I'm hopeful others will feel the same. You've been listening to Conversations, a JFK Lancer production. Good Evening.

Our future may lie beyond our vision, but it is not completely beyond our control. It is the shaping impulse of America that neither fate nor nature nor the irresistible tides of history, but the work of our own hands, matched to reason and principle, that will determine our destiny.

RFK