The Importance of Jim Garrison
Prosecution of Clay Shaw
In 1967, New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison prosecuted New Orleans business man Clay Shaw for conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy. Garrison suggested in his book, On the Trail of the Assassins, that Shaw received instructions from Louis M. Bloomfield.1 In addition, Garrison discovered that Shaw and Bloomfield were board members of two trade organizations, Permindex and Centro Mondiale Commerciale, both expelled from Italy in 1962 for subversive intelligence activity.2
Clay Shaw was a tall distinguished man with silver hair and a polished manner; born in Kentwood, Louisiana on March 17, 1913. During the 1930s, he worked in New York City as an executive for Western Union Telegraph Company and later as an advertising public-relations consultant. By 1963 Shaw had become a wealthy real estate developer in New Orleans. He was director of the International House—the World Trade Center, a "nonprofit association fostering the development of international trade, tourism and cultural exchange."3
Researcher Jim Marrs wrote in his renowned book about the Kennedy assassination, Crossfire, the following description of Shaw’s military background:
By 1941, Shaw was with the U.S. Army and, while his official biography states simply that he was an aide-de-camp to General Charles O. Thrasher, Shaw later admitted he was working for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) as a liaison officer to the headquarters of Winston Churchill. It was here that Shaw may have become entangled in the murky world of intelligence.
Although there is precious little reliable information on exactly what Shaw’s wartime experiences included, he did retire from the U.S. Army in 1946 as a major—later he was made a colonel—with the Bronze Star, the Legion of Merit, France’s Croix de Guerre, and Belgium’s Order of the Crown.4
It is significant that Shaw received France’s Croix de Guerre while serving as a Colonel in the US Army in the 1940s. There is strong circumstantial evidence that Shaw may have also served as a Colonel in the French espionage organization, Service de Documentation Exterieure et de Contre Espionage (SDECE), under the aliases of a Colonel René Bertrand and Colonel Beaumont. This would tie Shaw directly to professional assassin Christian David who revealed in the late 1980s that French Corsican assassins were hired to kill President.
Jim Garrison proved that Clay Shaw often used aliases Clay Bertrand or Clem Bertrand. Danish journalist, Henrik Krüger, wrote in his 1976 book, The Great Heroin Coup, that a Colonel René Bertrand, alias Colonel Beaumont, worked for SDECE in the 1940s. According to Krüger, Colonel Bertrand used his influence in 1949 to get French gangster Jo Attia’s prison sentence reduced from life to four years. Attia had been convicted in France for illegal possession of weapons and involvement in the death/murder of another gangster, Pierrot le Fou. Attia had saved Colonel Bertrand’s life during World War II and evidently asked Bertrand to return the favor by getting his sentence reduced.5
Jo Attia was one of France’s most colorful criminals, and was the first gangster in that country to become an international spy. It was Jo Attia who, according to Krüger, introduced heroin trafficker Christian David to international espionage. Jo Attia also worked with French Corsican crime family, the Guerini brothers.6 Christian David told an interviewer—in Nigel Turner's documentary, The Men Who Killed Kennedy—that Antoine Gurenini, of the Guerini crime family, offered him the contract to kill President Kennedy; but David refused because it was too dangerous. Christian David and Jo Attia were both involved in the 1965 kidnapping and murder of Moroccan political activist Mehdi Ben Barka. They were also closely associated with, according to Henrik Krüger, the men who killed Patrice Lumumba of the Congo.7
Given that Clay Shaw was a Colonel in the US Army in the late 1940s, that he admitted to working for the OSS, and given that he was awarded France’s Croix de Guerre, and given that Shaw resided in New Orleans which has a strong French heritage, and given Shaw’s known propensity to use aliases, it is possible that French SDECE officer, Colonel René Bertrand, alias Beaumont, was actually Colonel Clay Shaw. This "missing link" about Shaw’s background connects the dots to many of Jim Garrison’s discoveries about Shaw’s past, his links to international espionage, and his involvement in the assassination of President Kennedy. In addition, Henrik Krüger wrote that Colonel Bertrand, alias Beaumont, is one of the names most associated with SDECE espionage involving assassination, kidnapping, and other notorious scandals.8
Dean Anderson Linked Clay Shaw to Oswald
A major discovery in Garrison’s investigation was linking Clay Shaw to Lee Harvey Oswald per the testimony of New Orleans attorney Dean Andrews. Garrison had known Andrews well for years. They went to Tulane Law School together, although they did not attend the same classes. They both practiced law in New Orleans for years, although Garrison was the District Attorney and Andrews had a private practice.9
Andrews told FBI and the Warren Commission that a "Clay Bertrand" had contacted him on November 23, 1963 to provide legal representation to accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. Clay Bertrand turned out to be an alias used by Clay Shaw. Jim Garrison wrote the following description of statements made by Andrews to the authorities:
In my reading I had learned that, at the time of his first FBI interview shortly after the assassination, [Dean] Andrews had described Clay Bertrand, his New Orleans caller, as a man approximately six feet two in height. He had gone on to say that Bertrand was a man who called him from time to time to help young friends of his who had become involved in minor scrapes with the law. Then—and later in more detail—he explained that in the summer of 1963, when Lee Oswald was living in New Orleans, Bertrand had called him and asked him to help Oswald with some citizenship problems his wife, Marina, was having. Oswald, consequently, had met with Andrews several times in his office.
It had readily become apparent to me, however, that the more Andrews realized that his having received a phone call to defend Lee Oswald was a potential danger to him, the foggier the identity of Clay Bertrand became in his mind. By the time Andrews appeared before the Warren Commission in July 1964, Bertrand’s height had shrunk from six feet two all the way down to five feet eight inches. Apparently in response to subtle pressure from the FBI agents, Andrews told them, "Write what you want, that I am nuts. I don’t care." The agents obligingly wrote in their final report that Andrews had come to the conclusion that the phone call from Bertrand had been "a figment of his imagination." This not only allowed the Bureau to conclude its investigation into Andrews but harmonized with its announced conclusion that Lee Oswald had accomplished Kennedy’s assassination alone and unaided.
We’ve been friends since law school days. Why do you want to treat me like I have leprosy?
Because you keep conning me, Dean. You admitted to the Warren Commission that on the day after the assassination—while you were a patient at Hotel Dieu hospital—you were called on the phone and asked to fly to Dallas and to be Lee Oswald’s lawyer. When the Warren Commission asked you the caller’s name, you replied that it was ‘Clay Bertrand.’
Now, when I tell you I want to know who Clay Bertrand is, you tell me he’s a client of yours but you really don’t know what he looks like because you never see him.
Scout’s honor, my man.
That might be good enough for the Warren Commission, Dean but it’s not good enough for me.
Pipe the bimbo in red. [He pointed to beautiful young lady.]
… She’s pretty. Could we get to the point? Just who is Clay Bertrand? Where do I find him? I want to talk to him.
God almighty. You’re worse than the Feebees (FBI). How can I convince you that I don’t know this cat, I don’t know what he looks like, and I don’t know where he’s at. All I know is that sometimes he sends me cases. So, one day, this cat Bertrand’s on the phone talkin’ to me about going to Dallas and representing Oswald. [He put his hand over his heart.] Scout’s honor, man. That’s all I know about the guy.
[Andrews continued eating his "Crabmeat Louie." Garrison grabbed Andrews by his fork-hand thereby preventing him from taking another bite.]
Dean, I think we’re having a communication problem. Let me see if this will clarify it for you. Now stop eating that damn crabmeat for a minute and listen to me. I am aware of our long friendship, but I want you to know that I’m going to call you in front of the Grand Jury. If you lie to the Grand Jury as you have been lying to me, I’m going to charge you with perjury. Now am I communicating with you?
[stunned] Is this off the off the record, Daddyo? [Garrison nodded.] In that case, let me sum it up for you real quick. It’s as simple as this. If I answer that question you keep asking me, if I give you the name you keep trying to get, then it’s goodbye, Dean Andrews. It’s bon voyage, Deano. I mean like permanent. I mean like a bullet in my head—which makes it hard to do one’s legal research, if you get my drift. Does that help you see my problem a little better?
Read my lips. Either you dance in to the Grand Jury with the real moniker of that cat who called you to represent Lee Oswald, or your fat behind is going to the slammer. Do you dig me?
[He stood up suddenly.] Do you have any idea what you’re getting into, my man? You want to dance with the government? Is that what you want? Then be my guest. But you will get sat on, and I do mean hard.
[Andrews dropped his napkin on to of his Crabmeat Louie.]
[mumbling] Thanks for lunch. It’s been lovely.
[He stormed out. Garrison noted that he had "jigged" into the restaurant when they met, snapping his fingers to an imagined tune. He was not jigging when he left.]
I am advised by the FBI that you told them that Lee Harvey Oswald came into your office some time during the summer of 1963. Would you tell us in your own words just what happened as far as that is concerned?
I don't recall the dates, but briefly, it is this: Oswald came in the office accompanied by some gay kids. They were Mexicanos. He wanted to find out what could be done in connection with a discharge, a yellow paper discharge, so I explained to him he would have to advance the funds to transcribe whatever records they had up in the Adjutant General's office. When he brought the money, I would do the work, and we saw him three or four times subsequent to that, not in the company of the gay kids. He had this Mexicano with him. I assume he is a Mex because the Latins do not wear a butch haircut.
(portions deleted from original)
Did there come a time after the assassination when you had some further involvement with Oswald, or at least an apparent involvement with Oswald; as I understand it?
No; nothing at all with Oswald. I was in Hotel Dieu, and the phone rang and a voice I recognized as Clay Bertrand asked me if I would go to Dallas and Houston--I think--Dallas, I guess, wherever it was that this boy was being held—and defend him. I told him I was sick in the hospital. If I couldn't go, I would find somebody that could go.
(portions deleted from original)
Now what can you tell us about this Clay Bertrand? You met him prior to that time?
I had seen Clay Bertrand once some time ago, probably a couple of years. He's the one who calls in behalf of gay kids normally, either to obtain bond or parole for them. I would assume that he was the one that originally sent Oswald and the gay kids, these Mexicanos, to the office because I had never seen those people before at all. They were just walk-ins.
(portions deleted from original)
Do you have a picture in your mind of this Clay Bertrand?
Oh, I ran up on that rat about 6 weeks ago and he spooked, ran in the street. I would have beat him with a chain if I had caught him.
Let me ask you this: When I was down here in April, before I talked to you about this thing, and I was going to take your deposition at that time, but we didn't make arrangements, in your continuing discussions with the FBI, you finally came to the conclusion that Clay Bertrand was a figment of your imagination?
That's what the Feebees put on. I know that the two Feebees are going to put these people on the street looking, and I can't find the guy, and I am not going to tie up all the agents on something that isn't that solid. I told them, "Write what you want, that I am nuts. I don't care." They were running on the time factor, and the hills were shook up plenty to get it, get it, get it. I couldn't give it to them. I have been playing cops and robbers with them. You can tell when the steam is on. They are on you like the plague. They never leave. They are like cancer. Eternal.
That was the description of the situation?
It was my decision if they were to stay there. If I decide yes, they stay. If I decide no, they go. So I told them, "Close your file and go some place else." That's the real reason why it was done. I don't know what they wrote in the report, but that's the real reason.
Now subsequent to that time, however, you actually ran into Clay Bertrand in the street?
About 6 weeks ago. I am trying to think of the name of this bar. That's where this rascal bums out. I was trying to get past him so I could get a nickel in the phone and call the Feebees or John Rice, but he saw me and spooked and ran. I haven't seen him since.
Did you talk to him that day?
No; if I would have got close enough to talk to him. I would have grabbed him.
What does this guy look like?
He is about 5 feet 8 inches. Got sandy hair, blue eyes, ruddy complexion. Must weigh about 165, 170, 175. He really took off, that rascal.
He recognized you?
He had to because if he would have let me get to that phone and make the call, he would be in custody.
You wanted to get hold of this guy and make him available to the FBI for interview, or Mr. Rice of the Secret Service?
What I wanted to do and should have done is crack him in the head with a bottle, but I figured I would be a good, law-abiding citizen and call them and let them grab him, but I made the biggest mistake of the century. I should have grabbed him right there. I probably will never find him again. He has been bugging me ever since this happened.
Now before you ran into Clay Bertrand in the street on this day, did you have a notion in your mind what he looked like?
I had seen him before one time to recognize him.
When you saw him that day, he appeared to you as he had before when you recognized him?
He hasn't changed any appearance, I don't think. Maybe a little fatter, maybe a little skinnier.
Now I have a rather lengthy report of an interview that Mr. Kennedy [FBI agent, Regis L. Kennedy] had with you on December 5, 1963, in which he reports you as stating that you had a mental picture of Clay Bertrand as being approximately 6 feet 1 inch to 6 feet 2 inches in height, brown hair, and well dressed.
Now this description is different, at least in terms of height of the man, than the one you have just given us of Clay Bertrand.
But, you know, I don't play Boy Scouts and measure them. I have only seen this fellow twice in my life. I don't think there is that much in the description. There may be some to some artist, but to me, there isn't that much difference. Might be for you all.
I think you said he was 5 feet 8 inches before.
Well, I can't give you any better because this time I was looking for the fellow, he was sitting down. I am just estimating. You meet a guy 2 years ago, you meet him, period.
Which time was he sitting down?
He was standing up first time.
I thought you met him on the street the second time when you---
No, he was in a barroom.
He was sitting in a bar when you saw him 6 weeks ago?
A table at the right-hand side. I go there every now and then spooking for him.
What's the name of the bar you saw him in that day, do you remember?
Cosimo's, used to be. Little freaky joint.
Well, now, if you didn't see him standing up on that day--
So that you didn't have any basis on which to change your mental picture of this man in regard to his height from the first one that you had?
I am at a loss to understand why you told Agent Kennedy on December 5 that he was 6 feet 1 to 6 feet 2 and now you have told us that he was 5 feet 8 when at no time did you see the man standing up.
Because, I guess, the first time--and I am guessing now--
Is this fellow a homosexual, do you say?
Bisexual. What they call a swinging cat.
And you haven't seen him at any time since that day?
I haven't seen him since.
Now have you had your office searched for any records relating to Clay Bertrand?
Have you found anything?
Has this fellow Bertrand sent you business in the past?
Prior to--I guess the last time would be February of 1963.
(portions deleted from original)
I don't think I have any more questions. Do you have anything else that you would like to add?
I wish I could be more specific, that's all. This is my impression, for whatever it is worth, of Clay Bertrand: His connections with Oswald I don't know at all. I think he is a lawyer without a brief case. That's my opinion. He sends the kids different places. Whether this boy is associated with Lee Oswald or not, I don't know, but I would say, when I met him about 6 weeks ago when I ran up on him and he ran away from me, he could be running because he owes me money, or he could be running because they have been squeezing the quarter pretty good looking for him while I was in the hospital, and somebody might have passed the word he was hot and I was looking for him, but I have never been able to figure out the reason why he would call me, and the only other part of this thing that I understand, but apparently I haven't been able to communicate, is I called Monk Zelden on a Sunday at the N.O.A.C. and asked Monk if he would go over--be interested in a retainer and go over to Dallas and see about that boy. I thought I called Monk once. Monk says we talked twice. I don't remember the second. It's all one conversation with me. Only thing I do remember about it, while I was talking with Monk, he said, "Don't worry about it. Your client just got shot." That was the end of the case. Even if he was a bona fide client, I never did get to him; somebody else got to him before I did. Other than that, that's the whole thing, but this boy Bertrand has been bugging me ever since. I will find him sooner or later.
Garrison Proved That Shaw and Bertrand Were the Same Person
Although Garrison lost the conspiracy case against Shaw, he proved in a separate proceeding that Clay Bertrand and Clay Shaw were in fact the same person.11 In subsequent testimony before a grand jury in Louisiana, Andrews denied that Clay Bertrand and Clay Shaw were the same person. The grand jury responded by convicting Andrews of perjury. Subsequently, in August 1967, Andrews was found guilty of perjury by a jury of New Orleans citizens.12 As a result, Andrews was sentenced to five months in the Parish prison.13 The stated perjury conviction linked Bloomfield directly to Oswald because Shaw was obviously Oswald’s handler, and Shaw and Bloomfield were linked to subversive intelligence activity via Permindex and Centro Mondiale Commerciale.
Garrison Linked Clay Shaw to Louis Bloomfield
To my knowledge, Jim Garrison was the first to expose Louis Bloomfield, Centro Mondiale Commerciale, Permindex, and Clay Shaw’s association with them. This is what Garrison wrote in his book, On the Trail of the Assassins:
|It was not until much later, well after the Shaw trial when it could have been of any use to us, that we discovered Shaw’s extensive international role as an employee of the CIA. Shaw’s secret life as an Agency man in Rome trying to bring Fascism back to Italy was exposed in articles in the Italian press which we obtained from Ralph Schoenmann, secretary to philosopher Bertrand Russell, who had been one of the earliest supporters of our investigation.|
According to these articles, the CIA—which apparently had been conducting its own foreign policy for some time—had begun a project in Italy as far back as the early 1960s. The organization, named the Centro Mondiale Commerciale (the World Trade Center), had initially been formed in Montreal, then moved to Rome in 1961. Among the members of its board of directors, we learned, was one Clay Shaw from New Orleans.
The Centro Montiale Commerciale’s new headquarters, according to the Roman press, was elegant. Its publicity, announcing the new, creative role it was going to play in world trade, was impressive. The Centro opened an additional office in Switzerland, also an impressive move.
However, in 1967, the Italian press took a close look at the board of directors of the Centro Mondiale Commerciale and found it consisted of a very curious collection of individuals. The board contained at least one genuine prince, Gutierrez di Spadaforo, a member of the House of Savoy, whence came Umberto, the last of Italy’s kings. Spadaforo, a man of considerable wealth, with extensive holdings in armaments and petroleum, had once been the undersecretary of agriculture for Il Duce, Benito Mussolini. Through his daughter-in-law, Spadaforo was related to the famous Nazi minister of finance, Hjalmar Schacht, who had been tried for war crimes in Nuremberg.
Another director of the Centro was Carlo D’Amelio, the lawyer for other members of the former Italian royal family. Another was Ferenc Nagy, the exiled former premier of Hungary and the former head of the leading anti-Communist political party. Nagy also was described by the Italian newspapers as the president of Permindex (ostensibly a foundation for a permanent exposition and an offshoot of the Centro Mondiale Commerciale). Nagy, the Italian newspapers said, had been a heavy contributor to Fascist movements in Europe. Yet another director was a man named Giuseppi Zigiotti, the president of something with the congenial title of Fascist National Association of Militia Arms.
One of the major stockholders of the Centro was a Major L.M. Bloomfield, a Montreal resident originally of American nationality and a former agent with the Office of Strategic Services, out of which the United States had formed the CIA.
This then was the general makeup of the Centro Mondiale Commerciale, on whose board of directors Clay Shaw served. Judging from the background of its members and the fairly heavy activities in which they were engaged, the organization could not be confused with the Shriners or the 4-H Club. The Centro was described in 1969 by writer Paris Flammonde in The Kennedy Conspiracy as apparently representative of the paramilitary right in Europe, including Italian Fascists, the American CIA, and similar interests. He described it as "a shell of superficiality…composed of channels through which money flowed back and forth, with no one knowing the sources or the destination of these liquid assets."
The Italian government had no problem distinguishing the organization from the Shriners and the 4-H Club. Before 1962 was out, it had expelled the Centro Mondiale Commerciale—and its half-brother, Permindex—from Italy for subversive intelligence activity.
Perhaps because of its Montreal origin, the Centro aroused the interest of a Canadian newspaper, Le Devoir. Referring to Ferenc Nagy, one of the Centro’s director’s it wrote in early 1967: "Nagy…maintains close ties with the CIA which link him with the Miami Cuban colony." Nagy subsequently emigrated to the United States, making himself at home in Dallas, Texas.
With regard to Major Bloomfield, Le Devoir observed that although now ostensibly a Canadian, he had been involved in "espionage" in earlier years for the United States government. It went on to point out that Bloomfield was not only a shareholder of the Centro but of its affiliate group, Permindex, as well.
Summing up the fate of the two related enterprises, Le Devoir stated: "Whatever the case may be, the Centro Commerciale and Permindex got into difficulties with the Italian and Swiss governments. They refused to testify to origins of considerable amounts of money, and they never seem to engage in actual commercial transactions. These companies were expelled from Switzerland and Italy in 1962 and then set up headquarters in Johannesburg."
The ultimate evaluation of Clay Shaw’s Centro Mondiale Commerciale by the Paesa Sera stated: "Among its possible involvements (supported by the presence in directive posts of men deeply committed to organizations of the extreme right)…is that the Center was the creature of the CIA…set up as a cover for the transfer of CIA…funds in Italy for illegal political-espionage activities. It still remains to clear up the presence on the administrative Board of the Center of Clay Shaw and ex-Major (of the OSS) Bloomfield."
Paesa Sera made an additional observation about the Centro. It was, the newspaper observed, "the point of contact for a number of persons who, in certain respects, have somewhat equivocal ties whose common denomination is anti-communism so strong that it would swallow up all those in the world who have fought for decent relations between East and West, including Kennedy." That just happened, as well, to be the trenchant one-line description of the parent organization, the Central Intelligence Agency.
As for Permindex, which Clay Shaw also served as a director, the Italian press revealed that it had , among other things, secretly financed the opposition of the French Secret Army Organization (OAS) to President de Gaulle’s support for independence for Algeria, including its reputed assassination attempts on de Gaulle.
Involvement of French Corsican heroin traffickers in the Kennedy assassination also explains the presence of ex-Nazis and European fascists on the board of directors of Centro and Permindex even though both agencies were headed by a highly influential Jewish friend of Israel, Louis Bloomfield. Many French Corsican underworld figures like Auguste Ricord were Nazi collaborators during World War II. Such alliances were formed primarily for convenience rather than political ideology. The mobsters were merely co-existing with the ruling power in France at the time. They dealt with Nazis and Jews alike if the alliances fulfilled their business plans. In that sense the mobsters were—and are—equal opportunity employers. This mindset is nothing new in the underworld culture.
Permindex Funded Assassination Attempts on de Gaulle
In 1962, French president Charles de Gaulle publicly accused Permindex of channeling money to OAS (Secret Army Organization),14 which made several attempts on de Gaulle’s life for liberating Algeria. Keep in mind that "Senator" John Kennedy publicly denounced France, in 1957, for its colonial rule over Algeria and for the brutality exhibited in the French-Algerian War.15
It appears that Permindex may have financed the 1965 kidnapping and murder of Moroccan exile leader Mehdi Ben Barka as well.16 When Morocco and Algeria had a brief war in 1963, Ben Barka sided with Algeria and went into exile.17 This is highly significant because it establishes an even stronger pattern that any head of state who openly supported Algerian independence was assassinated—or an assassination was attempted—by Israel via Permindex. De Gaulle, Kennedy, and Ben Barka all supported an independent Algeria. Israel’s objective was apparently to keep all Islamic nations oppressed.
Danish journalist Henrik Krüger asserted in his 1976 book, The Great Heroin Coup, that Christian David was involved in the kidnapping and murder of Ben Barka.18 American journalists Evert Clark and Nicholas Horrock made a similar suggestion in their 1973 book, Contrabandista.19 All three writers agree that David was wanted for murdering French policeman Lieutenant Maurice Galibert—on February 2, 1966—who was investigating the Ben Barka affair.20 As previously stated in this Chapter, there is strong circumstantial evidence that Clay Shaw may have established a relationship with Christian David from contacts Shaw made with the Guerini brothers—a French Corsican crime family—during Shaw’s World War II intelligence service with the French intelligence agency SPECE using the aliases Colonel René Bertrand and Colonel Beaumont.
- Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins (1988), pp. 136-138. Jules Ricco Kimble accompanied Clay Shaw and David Ferrie on a private Cessna plane trip to Montreal. Shaw was known to have a fear of flying. Therefore, Garrison deduced that the Montreal flight must have been "a more than routine mission for which Shaw felt personally responsible."
- Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins (1988), p. 102
- Jim Marrs, Crossfire, p. 498
- Henrik Krüger, The Great Heroin Coup, p. 42
- ibid, p. 40
- ibid, p. 43
- ibid, p. 46
- Garrison’s acquaintance with Dean Andrews is stated in On the Trail of the Assassins, p. 93.
- Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, pp. 92 - 93. The source of Garrison’s statements about what Andrews told the FBI and the Warren Commission came from Volume 11 of the Warren Report: Warren Commission Hearings, pp. 325 - 339.
- Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins (1988), pp. 198-199
- Jim Marrs, Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy (1989), p 499
- New York Times (July 3, 1957), Kennedy Urges U.S. Back Independence for Algeria, p A1
- It is well documented that Christian David was involved in the kidnapping and murder Mehdi Ben Barka. Reference Henrik Krüger, The Great Heroin Coup, pp. 59 - 73; Evert Clark and Nicholas Horrock, Contrabandista!, p. 76. Christian David was one of Auguste Ricord’s top lieutenants, and Permindex apparently laundered money for Ricord’s heroin cartel. Also, it appears that Clay Shaw may have used the alias Colonel René Bertrand and Beaumont for the French spy agency, SDECE. (Reference the beginning of Chapter 3 of this document.)
- Encyclopedia Britannica: Mehdi Ben Barka
- Henrik Krüger, The Great Heroin Coup, pp. 59 - 73
- Evert Clark & Nicholas Horrock, Contrabandista!, p. 76
- Henrik Krüger, The Great Heroin Coup, p. 73; Evert Clark & Nicholas Horrock, Contrabandista!, p. 76
Overwhelming evidence indicates that the man who engineered and organized the assassination of President Kennedy was Louis Mortimer Bloomfield, of Montreal, Canada. Bloomfield was an extraordinary individual in the sense that he operated behind the scenes influencing the highest echelons of power within many countries. He was a prominent Jewish philanthropist in Canada and Israel,1 a well connected international lawyer,2 a spy,3 a soldier,4 and a diplomat,5 all rolled into one human being. A declassified document from the State Department described Bloomfield as "intense, more inclined to talk than to listen, but polite—almost courtly."6
I do not know if Bloomfield is still alive; however, he would be somewhere between ninety-three and ninety-seven years old as of this writing (2002). He was about sixty years old when President Kennedy was killed in 1963.
Little is known about Bloomfield’s personal life, although the previously mentioned declassified document from the State Department revealed that he was "married to the daughter of Rabbi Sterne,"7 and that his "wife is approximately twenty years his junior."8
Profile of Bloomfield Written by Brother Bernard
A revealing profile of Bloomfield was presented in the forward the 1950 book, Israel Diary, written by his brother Bernard Bloomfield. Here is that forward in its entirety:
|In 1902 my late father, Harry Bloomfield, and his brothers made a pilgrimage from Canada to Palestine. As small boys my brother and I never tired of hearing his stories of the Holy Land, and when he died of influenza during the epidemic in 1918, we resolved, young as we were, to keep alive his devotion to the ancient homeland of the Jews.|
The years that followed were exciting ones. The [British] Mandate; the gradual dismemberment of the National Home to a quarter of its original area; the riots; the various Commissions culminating in the U.N.S.C.O.P.; partition; the American volt face; the Declaration of the State of Israel; the Arab invasions; bloody battles and ultimate victory.
The sacrifices of the Jews in Israel, the stirring and excitement accompanying the birth of the New State, the first painful stages of its growth, created in us a strong desire to see this phenomenon on the spot.
On March 12, 1949, in a blinding snowstorm that delayed our departure several hours while the runaways were being cleared, we took off from Montreal’s Dorval Airport. Our journey to Israel was circuitous. My brother is an international lawyer and had certain matters to attend to en route. So we traveled via London, Gibraltar, Tangier, Madrid, Rome, Athens and Nicosia. On March 28 our plane landed at Haifa. We traveled extensively throughout Israel from Dan to Beersheba, and, through the courtesy of the Israeli Army, across the Southern Negev Desert over the Scorpion’s Ladder with the first convoy of newspapermen and photographers to reach the Gulf of Aqaba since the war’s end.
I am a businessman and had never written for publication. My wife is an ardent Zionist (her grandmother was a delegate to the Second Congress at Basle in 1898), and wanting her to share my soul-stirring experiences in Israel, I wrote to her at length as I saw, heard, and thought. These letters, together with detailed notes I kept of our travels, form the basis of this diary. Its transformation into a book is due, in great measure, to the painstaking help and encouragement of my friend Abe Goldberg and my brother Louis.
On the barren, eroded slopes of Neve Ilan, a French Maquis kibbutz in the Jerusalem Corridor, Louis and I planted, one bright spring morning, the Bloomfield Memorial Forest, in honor of the man who taught us to be loyal Canadians and good Jews. We planted it in territory allotted to the Arabs under the Partition Plan, but won by the Jews after bitter fighting and many casualties. We did it as a symbol that this ground, stained by the blood of our heroes, must ever remain in Jewish hands.
Bloomfield, the Jewish Philanthropist
As a Jewish philanthropist, Louis Bloomfield worked extensively with his brother, Bernard. They built the Bloomfield Stadium9 in Tel Aviv which hosts Israeli and international soccer games even today. They also built the Sir Mortimer B. Davis Jewish General Hospital10 in Montreal. I suspect that Sir Mortimer B. Davis was an uncle or other close relative of the Bloomfield brothers. It is worth noting that Bloomfield’s mother’s maiden name was Sadie Davis.11 Obviously, Bernard and Louis Bloomfield admired Davis a great deal since they named a hospital after him. In addition, Louis’ parents, Harry and Sadie, may have given Louis the same middle name, Mortimer, as Sir Davis.
Sir Mortimer Barnett Davis was a whisky supplier to Sam Bronfman during prohibition.12 Davis also made a fortune in the tobacco business.13 He owned the Canadian Industrial Alcohol Company and operated Corby and Wiser distilleries.14 If Louis Bloomfield was in fact the nephew of Sir Mortimer Davis—the bootlegger and business associate of Sam Bronfman from the prohibition period, this would indeed explain Bloomfield’s extraordinary influence and power.
In 1971, Louis and Bernard Bloomfield built a student union building, named the Bloomfield Center, at Saint Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada.15 In addition, Louis and Bernard Bloomfield were principals in Israel’s labor union, Histadrut.16 In 1967, Louis Bloomfield was given a Histadrut award for "outstanding work in aid of pioneering Israel."17 Previous recipients of the Histadrut award included Sam Bronfman, Arthur Goldberg, Harry Truman, and Eleanor Roosevelt.18
Criticism of Histadrut by an Israeli Intellectual
In my research, I found an article by a highly qualified and disinterested source, Dr. Steven Plout, a senior lecturer in economics and business at the University of Haifa. In his article, Plout asserted that Histadrut is nothing more than organized crime in Israel. Plout wrote the following:
|The main body of organized crime in Israel is an institution called the Histadrut. It is often thought that the Histadrut is the Israeli version of the AFL-CIO in the US or the TUC in the UK, but it is in many ways more closely related to the Corleone crime family.|
. . .
The fact is that the Labor Party is behaving like those sandbox brats who say that if they cannot own the toy they will bust it, and if they cannot be in power in Israel, they will maximize the damage to the country by Histadrut syndicalism and Bolshevism.
Bernard Bloomfield’s Obituary
Around September of 1984, Louis Bloomfield’s brother Bernard died of kidney disease at the age of 79. His obituary—which appeared in the Globe and Mail, a Toronto newspaper—reveals the magnitude of power and influence that the Bloomfield brothers wielded internationally. Here is the full obituary:
|JEWISH PHILANTHROPIST—A prominent member of Montreal’s Jewish community, who was president and director of the Canadian Manufacturers Sales Co. Ltd. And the Israel Continental Oil Co. has died.|
Bernard Manfred Bloomfield died Thursday in the hospital of complications resulting from a kidney ailment. He was 79.
He led a Canadian trade mission to Israel in 1962 and was a delegate to the prime minister’s economic conference in Israel in 1968. He served with the Eldee Foundation, the Jewish National Fund of Canada, the Canada-Israel Chamber of Commerce in Israel, the United Israel Appeal, the Jewish People’s Schools and the State of Israel Bonds Association.
Mr. Bloomfield was born in Montreal and graduated from McGill University with a bachelor of commerce degree in 1927.
In 1943, he married Neri Judith Loewy and they had two children, a son Harry, a Montreal lawyer, and a daughter, Evelyn.
Mr. Bloomfield received numerous honorary degrees, the Queen Elizabeth Medal and was made Grand Commander of the Star of Africa. The Queen honored him with the Order of the Knight of Justice and the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem.
Bloomfield, the International Lawyer and Author
As a lawyer, Louis Bloomfield was an expert on international boundary disputes.19 In 1968, he was urged by the US State Department to go to Belize to learn about the situation there.20 At that time, Belize was struggling for independence from Great Britain.21 In 1970, Bloomfield was an unpaid advisor to the opposition party in British Honduras. He authored at least three books on international law: The British Hondurus Guatemala Dispute (1953), Egypt, Israel and the Gulf of Aqaba (1957), and Crimes Against Internationally Protected Persons (1975). The latter book was co-authored with Gerald F. FitzGerald. In addition, Bloomfield was a member of the committee that drafted the Helsinki Rules of the Uses of the Waters of International Rivers (1966).22
Bloomfield’s Work at Phillips and Vineberg, a Montreal Law Firm
Bloomfield worked for years at the law firm of Phillips and Vineberg in Montreal.23 The firm’s founder, Lazarus Phillips, was a personal friend of Sam Bronfman.24 Phillips and Vineberg handled most of Bronfman’s legal and financial affairs.25 In 1968 Phillips was appointed to the Canadian Senate,26 a position that Bronfman had sought but never gained. The political ambitions of Phillips had created a rift between the two men years earlier, but Phillips and Vineberg continued handling Bronfman’s affairs anyway; however, most of the work was done by Phillips’ partner and nephew, Philip Vineberg.27 Today Phillips’ law firm—now Goodman, Phillips, Vineberg—is one of the most prestigious international law firms in Canada.
It is significant that Phillips and Vineberg opened a law firm in Paris in 1961.28 This is important because it gave Bloomfield a legal presence near Marseilles, France, the heart of worldwide heroin production by the French Corsican underworld. Marseilles was also the city where professional assassins were recruited to kill Kennedy.
Bloomfield, the Haganah Soldier Trained by General Wingate
As a spy and soldier, Bloomfield was first and foremost a Jew, a Zionist, and one of the principal founders of the modern Jewish state of Israel. On May 4th, 1949, he and his brother Bernard, met Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion at a garden party, hosted by Ben-Gurion, in celebration of Israel’s first birthday.29
At the age of about thirty-three, Bloomfield sought to help fulfill his father’s dream of establishing a Jewish homeland in Palestine.30 He joined the British military and served in Palestine as an Intelligence Officer under General Charles Orde Wingate.31 Bloomfield and Wingate trained the Jewish army, Haganah, from 1936 through 1939, during the Arab Revolt.32 The British—who controlled Palestine at that time and had supported the Zionist movement under the British Mandate—were caught off-guard by massive Arab resistance. The British responded by sending more than 20,000 troops into Palestine.33Bloomfield was one of those soldiers.
To counter the onslaught of Arab attacks, General Wingate and Bloomfield trained Special Night Squads, comprised primarily of Haganah fighters, the illegal Jewish army.34 Their tactics were based on the strategic principles of surprise, mobility, and night attacks, and they served effectively both as defensive and offensive units, successfully pre-empting and resisting Arab attacks.35 By 1939 Wingate, Bloomfield and fellow Zionists had armed more than 15,000 Jews to defend the Zionist nationalist movement in Palestine.36 Wingate was killed in an airplane crash in Burma in 1944, and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.37 When the O.S.S. was formed in the early 1940s, Bloomfield was recruited and given the rank of major.38
In 1947, the O.S.S. evolved into the CIA, and Bloomfield continued doing contract work for them as well as the State Department/CIA through 1970.39
There is circumstantial evidence suggesting that Bloomfield and Clay Shaw (using the aliases of Colonel René Bertrand and Colonel Beaument in the French spy agency, SDECE) solicited Antoine Guerini—leader of the Guerini Family, the top French-Corsican Mafia at Marseilles, France—to hire hit men to assassinate President Kennedy.40 The Guerini Family had extensive ties to the CIA since the late 1940s.41 The men Antoine Guerini selected later became the lieutenants for Auguste Ricord. Their names were Lucien Sarti, François Chiappe, and Jean-Paul Angeletti. Guerini asked a fourth man to participate as well, but he refused. His name was Christian David. Like the other three assassins, David later became one of Auguste Ricord’s top lieutenants.42 The relationships between Sarti, Chiappe, Angeletti, David, and Ricord were documented by Evert Clark and Nicholas Horrock in their 1973 book, Contrabandista.
Using the Paris law office of Phillips and Vineberg as a front,43 Bloomfield was able to manage the legal affairs of the French-Corsican underworld figures and to set up European bank accounts—via Permindex—to launder illicit heroin profits.
- The following Canadian newspaper clippings, supplied by the Bloomfield Center at St. Francis Xavier Antigosh, Nova Scotia, corroborate the philanthropic endeavors of the Bloomfield brothers:
- University Centre Named for Bloomfield Family (Sept.1971), Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Vol. 9, No. 2
- Bloomfield Centre to official open Nov. 7 (Sept. 1971 assumed), paper unknown
- Bloomfield Centre to Open Soon (Sept. 21, 1971), Sydney Cape Breton Post, Nova ScotiaThe following newspaper article further and accompanying profile corroborates it: Histadrut Award: Bloomfield to be Honored (1967), Montreal Newspaper article, declassified document (Sept. 1, 1982), FOI Case No. 8201020, United States Department of State
- Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, pp 100-103
- Bernard Bloomfield, Israel Diary (1950), pp 5 - 7, description of Louis Bloomfield’s visit with Lorna Wingate, widow of General Charles Orde Wingate, and five-year-old son, Orde.
- General Charles Orde Wingate (brief biography), The Pedagogic Center, The Department for Jewish Zionist Education, The Jewish Agency for Israel (NOTE: Given Bloomfield’s friendship with Wingate’s widow in 1950, and Bloomfield’s service with British Intelligence in the late 1930s, one can surmise that Bloomfield assisted Wingate in the training of Haganah soldiers during the Arab Revolt (1936 - 1939).
- Jim Marrs, Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy (1989), p 499. Author cites 1981 special report by investigative reporters David Goldman and Jeffrey Steinberg stating that Bloomfield was "recruited into the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) in 1938, during the war was given rank within the US Army, and eventually became part of the OSS intelligence system, including the FBI’s Division Five. Reportedly, Bloomfield became quite close with J. Edgar Hoover."
- Bernard Bloomfield, Israel Diary (1950), p 5. The author, Louis Bloomfield’s brother, wrote that Louis had been a major in the Army Service Corps. Bernard wrote: "We had dinner at the hotel and then went to a night club. There Amos [brother-in-law*] met a soldier whom he hadn’t seen for twelve years. They were at that time involved in the same arms smuggling plot, back in 1936, for which Amos was sent to jail. They had quite a reunion. He was a fine big fellow, a major, married, with children. When he learned Louis was a major in the Army Service Corps, in which he also had served, he became more communicative and told Louis and Amos that he was fed up with life—all his friends having been killed or wounded. He couldn’t get out of the army because he was such a good soldier; they wouldn’t release him. He said he received 38 [Israeli pounds] per month as pay, and it cost him 75 [Israeli pounds] to live. He made a very good impression on us—a decent and serious fellow."
- Encyclopedia Britannica: Arab Revolt (1936 - 1939)
- Histadrut Award: Bloomfield to be Honored (1967), Montreal Newspaper article, declassified document (Sept. 1, 1982), FOI Case No. 8201020, United States Department of State. An anonymous person who apparently worked for the State Department or CIA wrote a rough profile of Bloomfield that accompanies the newpaper clipping. The not states the following: "9-23-70: You’ll find Louis Bloomfield to be intense, more inclined to talk than to listen, but polite – almost courtly. He’s an expert on international boundary disputes – having written several books on specific disputes – see clippings. He and his brother Bernard (recently named Hon. Con Gen of So. Korea) are philanthropists – built stadium in Tel Aviv which bears their name and research center for Jewish General Hospital in Montreal. Married to daughter of Rabbi Sterne. (Wife is approximately 20 years his junior) Is unpaid advisor to opposition party in British Honduras. Went to Belize 1968 at my urging to learn more about actual situation there."
- Histadrut Award: Bloomfield to be Honored (1967), Montreal Newspaper article, declassified document (Sept. 1, 1982), FOI Case No. 8201020, United States Department of State. Profile on Bloomfield brothers mentions that they "built [a] stadium in Tel Aviv."
- Histadrut Award: Bloomfield to be Honored (1967), Montreal Newspaper article, declassified document (Sept. 1, 1982), FOI Case No. 8201020, United States Department of State. Profile on Bloomfield brothers mentions that they "built stadium in Tel Aviv which bears their name and research center for Jewish General Hospital in Montreal." The Google search engine indicates that the stated hospital is actually the Sir Mortimer B. Davis Jewish General Hospital.
- Biography of Bernard Bloomfield on Internet stated that his mother’s name was Sadie Davis. Reference http://www.stfx.ca/campus/service/art-gallery/pieces/28.html
- Michael Marrus, Sam Bronfman: The Life and Times of Seagram’s Mr. Sam (1991), p. 112
- The following Canadian newspaper clippings were supplied by the Bloomfield Center at St. Francis Xavier Antigosh, Nova Scotia:
- University Centre Named for Bloomfield Family (Sept.1971), Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Vol. 9, No. 2
- Bloomfield Centre to official open Nov. 7 (Sept. 1971 assumed), paper unknown
- Bloomfield Centre to Open Soon (Sept. 21, 1971), Sydney Cape Breton Post, Nova Scotia
- Histadrut Award: Bloomfield to be Honored (1967), Montreal Newspaper article, declassified document (Sept. 1, 1982), FOI Case No. 8201020, United States Department of State
- Bernard Bloomfield, Israel Diary (1950), pp. 24, 32, 34, 41, 42
- Histadrut Award: Bloomfield to be Honored (1967), Montreal Newspaper article, declassified document (Sept. 1, 1982), FOI Case No. 8201020, United States Department of State
- Encyclopedia Britannica: Belize
- Louis Bloomfield & Gerald FitzGerald, Crimes Against Internationally Protected Persons: Prevention and Punishment, an Analysis of the UN Convention (1975). Reference About the Authors.
- Michael Piper, Final Judgement, p 191
- Michael Marrus, Sam Bronfman: The Life and Times of Seagram’s Mr. Sam (1991), pp. 213, 224, 225, 227, 229, 249, 294, 321, 412, 459, 466
- ibid, p 410
- ibid, p 409
- LEXPERT—Canadian Legal Directory—Goodman Phillips & Vineberg (legal ad), reference the following URL: http://www.lexpert.ca/firms/goodmanphil.html (2000)
- Bernard Bloomfield, Israel Diary (1950), pp. 162-163
- See Bloomfield endnote.
- Encyclopedia Britannica: Arab Revolt (1936 - 1939)
- General Charles Orde Wingate (brief biography), The Pedagogic Center, The Department for Jewish Zionist Education, The Jewish Agency for Israel (NOTE: Given Bloomfield’s friendship with Wingate’s widow in 1950, and Bloomfield’s service with British Intelligence in the late 1930s, one can surmise that Bloomfield assisted Wingate in the training of Haganah soldiers during the Arab Revolt (1936 - 1939).
- Encyclopedia Britannica: Arab Revolt (1936 - 1939)
- Jim Marrs, Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy (1989), p 499
- Histadrut Award: Bloomfield to be Honored (1967), Montreal Newspaper article, declassified document (Sept. 1, 1982), FOI Case No. 8201020, United States Department of State
- Transcript of Steve Rivele’s interview from Nigel Turner’s documentary, The Men Who Killed Kennedy (1988). Rivele stated that the Corsican assassins "were flown by a private plane from Dallas to Montreal… the people who met them in Montreal were established contacts who were used to moving people in and out of the country. And that from Montreal they returned to Marseilles." These established contacts were likely Bronfman and Bloomfield et al.
- CIA had long history with Guerini Family. Alfred W. McCoy, et al, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia; reference The Mafia Comes to Asia, pp. 37 - 47.
- Evert Clark and Nicholas Horrock, Contrabandista, p. 91. Christian David stated, in The Men Who Killed Kennedy, that Lucien Sarti was one of the assassins. In the stated documentary, David conveyed to researcher Steve Rivele that Sarti shot Kennedy from the grassy knoll, that he used exploding bullets, that he was dressed as a policeman, and that there were two other Corsican assassins. David would only reveal Sarti’s name because he was dead, but the other two were still alive, and David feared reprisals if he identified them. David’s story was corroborated by Michel Nicoli in the same documentary. Nicoli’s face was covered, but it was revealed that he had been in the heroin trafficking business. Evert Clark and Nicholas Horrock, the authors of Contrabandista, revealed that Auguste Joseph Ricord had four violent lieutenants: Christen David (Ricord’s bodyguard), Lucien Sarti, François Chiappe, and Jean-Paul Angeletti. Clark and Horrock also indicated that Michel Nicoli worked for Christian David in Auguste Ricord’s worldwide heroin cartel.
- Phillips and Vineberg opened an office in Paris in 1961. Source: LEXPERT—Canadian Legal Directory—Goodman Phillips & Vineberg, reference the following URL: http://www.lexpert.ca/firms/goodmanphil.html (2000)
In 1988, researcher Steve Rivele appeared in Nigel Turner’s documentary, The Men Who Killed Kennedy. Rivele presented information that he obtained from interviewing French-Corsican hit man, heroin trafficker, and international spy, Christian David. According to David, the contract to kill President Kennedy originated in Marseilles, France by Antoine Guerini, leader of the Corsican Mafia in that city. Three hit men were hired—all members of the Corsican Mafia. According to David, the hit men were flown out of Dallas, after the assassination, to Montreal. From Montreal they were flown by private plane back to Marseilles, France. I found David’s account to be plausible because of the Montreal connection. After all, Louis Bloomfield, his brother Bernard, and Sam Bronfman all lived in that city.
Equally intriguing, David’s description of the shots fired at President was different from anything I had read or heard before. David learned from the gunmen that there were "three guns, four shots, three hits, one miss." Kennedy was hit twice: once in the back/neck and once in the head. Connally was hit once, but the single bullet apparently caused five wounds in his body. A fourth shot missed the car completely. In addition, two shots were fired almost simultaneously. This explains why so many witnesses stated that they only heard three shots.
David had aroused my curiosity. I got a copy of the Zapruder film and began studying it, comparing it with David’s description. Amazingly, his description matched the film completely. Even more astonishing, David’s description was completely different from that of acclaimed pathologist, Dr. Cyril Wecht, who also appeared in The Men Who Killed Kennedy. It became clear that Christian David was a man to be taken seriously, even if Dr. Wecht was not. I will critique Dr. Wecht’s analysis later. At the moment, however, we will focus on the assassination of President Kennedy from the viewpoint of Christian David, as told to researcher Steve Rivele.
Transcript of Rivele’s Interview From The Men Who Killed Kennedy
The following is a transcript of Steve Rivele’s research as presented in the documentary, The Men Who Killed Kennedy:
… The initial turning point was the first meeting that I had with the French narcotics trafficker at Leavenworth Penitentiary. His name was Christian David [pronounced Dah-veed]. He had been a member of the old French Connection heroin network. He had then been a leader of the Corsican drug trafficking network in South America known as the Latin Connection. And he had also been an intelligence agent for a number of intelligence services around the world. In exchange for my help in finding him an attorney to represent him against the possibility of his deportation to France after he finished his sentence at Leavenworth, he agreed to give me a certain amount of information concerning the assassination based upon his own knowledge. The first thing that he told me, very reluctantly and only after four or five hours of my arguing with him, was that he was aware that there had been a conspiracy to murder the president, and indeed in May or June of 1963 in Marseilles [France], he had been offered the contract to kill President Kennedy. That was the initial breakthrough, if you will. He was eventually deported to France. I remained in contact with him. I went to Paris to interview him in two prisons in Paris. And in the fear that he would be either committed to an asylum or that he would be convicted of an old murder charge, he gradually gave me additional information about the assassination.
NOTE: The "old murder charge" was the murder of French policeman Lieutenant Maurice Galibert on February 2, 1966.1 Galibert had been investigating the kidnapping and murder of Moroccan political exile, Mehdi Ben Barka, and David was the prime suspect.2
[David’s] position was that there were three killers, and that they had been hired on a contract which had been placed with the leader of the Corsican Mafia at Marseilles, a man named Antoine Guerini. Guerini, he said, was asked to supply three assassins of high quality, experienced killers to murder the President, and that Guerini did so. In the course of one of the first significant conversations I had with David on this subject, he told me that he had been in Marseilles in May or June of 1963, and that every evening he went to Antoine Guerini’s club on the old Port of Marseilles to meet people who owed him money. And one evening, Guerini sent for him, asked him to come to the office which was above the club. Guerini told him that he had an important contract, and he asked David if he were interested. David said, "Who’s the contract on?" Guerini said, "an American politician." David asked, "Well is it a congressman, a senator?" And Guerini said, "higher than that… The highest vegetable." At that point of course David knew who he was talking about. David asked him where was the contract to be carried out. And when Guerini said it would be done inside the United States, David refused on the grounds that that was much too dangerous.
Now David initially would only give me the first name of one of the three men on the grounds that two of the three were still alive and since they were members of this Corsican milieu, which has a code of silence and a code of vendetta, if he named them, he himself would be murdered. However, he did agree to give me the first name of the third man who he said was dead. And that man he said was named "Lucien." I then spent a great deal of time in Paris and Marseilles trying to find out who this Lucien was. And through contacts that I made in the journalistic and police and intelligence communities, I was able to determine that this Lucien was in fact a Corsican drug trafficker and killer of the 1960s and 70s by the name of Lucien Sarti. Sarti had been killed in Mexico City in 1972.
I confronted David with the name of Sarti, and he in effect confirmed that that was the man he had referred to. He was an extremely reckless, very daring man, known and despised even by his colleagues for taking enormous chances. But that same recklessness made him one of the most successful contract killers and drug traffickers of his era.
Having identified Sarti, Christian David, fearing for his life, refused to name the other two assassins recruited to kill Kennedy. Nonetheless, in successive interviews, he slowly began to reveal how the contract placed … in Marseilles, had been carried out.
In the fall of 1963, the three killers were flown from Marseilles to Mexico City where they spent some three or four weeks at the house of a contact in Mexico City. He said that they were then driven from Mexico City to the US border at Brownsville, Texas. They crossed the border using Italian passports. He said that they were picked up on the American side of the border at Brownsville by a representative of the Chicago Mafia with whom they conversed in Italian. They were then driven to Dallas and put up in a safehouse which had been prepared for them so as not to leave any hotel records. He said that they spent several days taking photographs of Dealey Plaza, and in the evenings at the safehouse they studied the photographs and they arranged what he called a crossfire with three guns.
On the question of the actual murder, he was reasonably specific that two of the assassins were in buildings behind the President’s limousine. He did not know which buildings. However, he did specify that one was high and one was low. In fact he said …[in French]… "almost on the horizontal." And he went on to add, "You can’t understand the wounds unless you understand that one of the men was almost on the horizontal."
NOTE: I interpreted Christian David’s comments about "the horizontal" to mean that one of the assassins fired at Kennedy from behind on the ground level, likely from the Dal-Tex Building. When David stated that "You can’t understand the wounds unless you understand that one of the men was almost on the horizontal," it seems that he was suggesting that Kennedy’s neck wound was caused by a gunman firing from the ground level. As I stated before, the bullet that hit Kennedy in the neck probably entered the back of the neck and exited the front. Again, this is corroborated somewhat by Connally’s immediate reaction—which was captured on the Zapruder film—when he turned and looked behind after hearing the first shot.
In a separate conversation with David, I asked him based upon what I knew about Sarti’s penchant for changing his appearance, whether Sarti had ever said anything to him about having worn a disguise. And David said, "What do you mean by a disguise?" I asked him, "Did Sarti ever indicate that he wore clothing other than he normally would have worn?" And David thought about it for a moment and said, "He wore a uniform." I asked him what kind of uniform and he refused to answer. But he did add that on jobs like this, they were always in disguise. He said if, for example, there were a military post nearby, they would dress in military uniforms.
He said that there were four shots; that the first shot was fired from the rear and struck the president in the back. The second shot was also fired from the rear, and as David said, "hit the other man in the car." The third shot was fired by Sarti from the front, struck the President in the head; and the fourth shot was fired from the rear and missed the automobile entirely. So his scenario as he claims to have learned it from the gunmen was "three guns, four shots; three hits, one miss." He also added at one point that two of the shots were fired almost simultaneously.
He said that in the moment of panic which always follows an incident of this kind, they were able to get away from Dealey Plaza and go back to the safehouse. He made the specific point that the worst thing that you can do at a moment like that is to try to escape. And so they stayed in their safehouse for some ten days until things quieted down sufficiently, and then they were flown by a private plane from Dallas to Montreal.
He said that the people who met them in Montreal were established contacts who were used to moving people in and out of the country. And that from Montreal they returned to Marseilles.
Now having told me all of this, I presented to him the obvious problem which was his personal lack of credibility. And I asked him, "Was there anybody in the world who could substantiate this story?" And it was at that point, after thinking about it for a minute, that he advised me to go and look for a man named "Michel".
Michel Nicoli could have been anywhere in the world. A former narcotics trafficker turned government informant, he had become a United States federally protected witness and had officially "disappeared".
I searched for him in Europe, North America, Central America, South America. I traveled many thousands of miles, spoke to hundreds and hundreds of people. I was given a lot of false leads. I took out coded ads in newspapers all over the world addressed to him using language that he would understand. And finally in June of 1986, I almost by accident found the one person in the US Government who knew where he was. He was a very high official of the Drug Enforcement Administration. I was able to persuade this man to put me in touch with him, without telling him why I wanted to talk to Michel. And he agreed to do so. My DEA contact at one point said to me that in the thirty years that he had been in the business, Michel was the best witness he’d ever had. He had never given the government false or misleading information. And if he said something was true, as my friend said, "You could go to the bank on it." Another DEA official whom I spoke to in Marseilles who has known Michel as a witness said he’s always been, in his words, "a dynamite witness".
[The scene changed to Michel Nicoli whose face was electronically blocked from view. The actual conversation was in French. Interpreters translated to English.]
Have you had any contact whatever with Christian David recently?
No, I haven’t.
For how long?
Not since we were in Brazil together. I caught sight of him in prison. Only in passing, that’s all. We haven’t been in touch.
So that’s how long it’s been since you have had any contact with him.
In 1972 we came back from Brazil together. I met him in prison. Or rather I caught a glimpse of him in criminal court. That’s all. I just caught sight of him. That’s all. Since then, I haven’t seen him.
[Scene switches back to Steve Rivele interjecting a comment.]
In the course of three subsequent conversations, among other things, Michel confirmed that Lucien Sarti was one of the three killers. And I went through with him the details that David had given me. He confirmed all of the details with the exception of two, in which case he said he did not know those specifics. But he did say that he had learned the details from the same source at the same time as David had.
[Scene switches back to Michel Nicoli.]
When we met in a bar in Argentina in 1966 I think. Christian David was present. There were four or five, five or six of us. I can’t remember exactly.
NOTE: Nicoli may have been referring to a bar in Buenos Aires, Argentina known as the Maison des Anciens Combattants Français. Journalists Evert Clark and Nicholas Horrock wrote in their 1973 book,Contrabandista, that the Maison was frequented by Auguste Ricord during his post-war years in Argentina, and that Christian David was "one of his principal associates." Clark and Horrock added that the Maison was a "veritable haven for international gangsters."3
The final pieces of the puzzle were falling into place. From the lips of Michel Nicoli, Steve now had the names of the other two assassins. He now sought to confirm their participation from his first informant, still awaiting trial in his prison cell in Paris.
At that point I then went back to David. I gave him all three names, and in effect, he confirmed them. When I showed David an aerial photograph of Dealey Plaza, the first thing he said was, "Show me where the railroad bridge is." I pointed out the bridge over Elm Street, and he said "That was where Sarti wanted to be, but on the morning of the assassination, the bridge was guarded, and he was forced … to move onto the little hill with the wooden fence." He took up a position from behind the wooden fence from which he fired one shot. And David specified that he used an explosive bullet. He said that Sarti was the only one who used that kind of ammunition, a remark which he refused to explain, and which I didn’t understand at the time, until I put the question to Michel. When I asked Michel if it were true that Sarti had used an exploding bullet, Michel sighed and said "Yes, that was what I had heard".
[Scene switches back to Michel Nicoli.]
Oh yes, it’s Lucien Sarti. Me too. I sometimes carried them with me, but I didn’t used them.
What was the advantage of having bullets like that?
It makes a larger hole in the body. When the bullet flattens out, there aren’t any traces. No marks. Nothing.
[Scene switches back to Steve Rivele.]
On the question of payment, Michel agreed with David that the assassins had been paid in heroin. And he went a bit farther. In my first conversation with him, he indicated that although he did not know it at the time, it was he who converted the heroin payment into cash for the assassins. He indicated at least initially, that the three men had appeared at his apartment in Buenos Aires in the months following the assassination with, as he put it, "a substantial quantity of heroin." He was surprised because to his knowledge, it was the first time that any of the three of them had dealt in heroin. But given his reputation for not asking embarrassing questions, he simply agreed to convert the heroin into cash for them.
[Scene switches back to Michel Nicoli and interviewer.]
Did they ever give you any indication about who was behind this contract?
No, they didn’t talk to me about that. It was Christian David who told me that it was someone in the Mafia, but I don’t know who it was.
But it was known more or less generally [accepted] in this circle of Frenchmen in South America that it was the Mafia that was behind it.
[Scene switches back to Steve Rivele.]
My own conviction at this point is that the contract probably originated with Carlos Marcello of New Orleans who placed it in Marseilles through his colleague Santo Trafficante, Jr. who had the closest relations with Antoine Guerini. Beyond that, it seems reasonable that Giancana of Chicago was involved if we accept David and Michel’s idea that the assassins were met at the border by representatives of the Chicago Mafia. And the fact that Sarti’s customers were primarily in New York, and the fact that the assassins evidently moved out of the United States through the Montreal corridor, which was very closely linked to the New York Mafia, also suggests that Gambino may have been involved.
[Scene switches back to Michel Nicoli and interviewer.]
In your view, why would they go so far to find assassins for such a job?
In my opinion, to obliterate any traces; to fool the government. It’s more difficult to find foreign killers. It’s more difficult, in my view.
[Scene switched back to Steve Rivele.]
The Mafia had to hire white men for the job since it was to take place in the American South, which meant that they could not go to the other two centers where one found assassins at that time, namely Beirut and Hong Kong. Secondly, they needed highly experienced, skilled assassins. Thirdly, they needed assassins who if they were caught could not directly be tied to the American Mafia, also who were not known to the American police. And fourthly, once again, if they were caught, assassins who could be counted on not to talk.
[Scene switched back to Michel Nicoli and interviewer.]
When someone has a contract to kill someone, he is not rubbing out the name; he is rubbing out the person. You just have to kill him, that’s all. And according to who it is, you get paid more; according to who it is, and that’s all.
But after all, it was the president of the United States they were talking about.
If they did it, it’s because they didn’t give a damn. There are people like David who refused to do it. There were others who didn’t refuse.
But Sarti, would he have been capable of that?
Oh yes. As a killer, he’s capable of anything. It’s not a question of sentiment. No sentiment with him.
Portions are deleted. Steve Rivele explained how he went back to the DEA official who had put him in contact with Michel Nicoli. Rivele’s DEA contact subsequently referred the case to the FBI who essentially did nothing. In addition, Christian David refused to testify until he was freed from French prison, but he wrote a letter of what he knows about the Kennedy assassination and gave it to his lawyer in a sealed envelope which was placed in a safe deposit box.
Christian David is still in Paris [prison] on the old murder charge, the shooting of a French policeman [Lieutenant Maurice Galibert4] in 1966. He vehemently protests his innocence. His defense lawyer [narrator gave the lawyer’s French name, but it could not be discerned] has great faith in the credibility of his client and his extensive knowledge of the criminal underworld.
Lawyer [has heavy French accent]:
David is not anybody. He’s a serious man, and American authorities know that David is a serious man. David has been a long time in jail during his life but, anyway, he has [done] a lot of things during his life. Then when David says something, it’s serious.
But David has always been extremely reluctant to impart any details of what he knows about the killing of Kennedy, even to his own lawyers.
He says, ‘Yes, I know certain things.’
‘Could you tell me those things?’ I asked him.
He told me, ‘No, I’ll talk when I’ll be free.’
But he told me, ‘I can, if you want, write to you what I know.’
I said, ‘All right.’
And then, he wrote to me a letter—a closed letter [in a sealed envelope]. And on this letter it’s written [on the outside of the sealed envelope]:
[The lawyer reads, in French, David’s note on the sealed envelope. He then translates to English.]
‘This letter must be kept in [a safe] deposit by my lawyer until I am free. It is impossible to open it without my authorization.’
There are two signatures: Christian David, Christian David.
I think there is in this envelope details important to find murderers; because I think there were murderers, not only one murderer. That’s what … is in this envelope. That’s what I think about that.
[Final comments by Steve Rivele:]
I’ve become convinced that Oswald had nothing to do with the assassination, and that he was very carefully chosen and very carefully set up to take the blame. Based upon what I’ve learned, it seems to me that all the principals involved in the plot to kill the President had ties of one kind or another with US intelligence agencies. There was Trafficante and Giancana who had been conspiring with the CIA to assassinate Fidel Castro; Antoine Guerini who had had a relationship with both the OSS and the CIA dating from 1943; and there was Oswald whom I’m satisfied had been used as a low-level intelligence operative. So even though I don’t think that the CIA, for example, had anything directly to do with the assassination; on the day after the assassination, they found themselves in a horribly compromised position, a position in which they could very easily have been blackmailed by the plotters into covering up whatever they knew about the assassination.
Criticisms of Steve Rivele’s Conclusions
At this point, I must interject a note of sanity. I chose not to omit Steve Rivele’s conclusions about the Mafia because I felt it was fair to present his entire theory. Having stated that, I wish to publicly criticize his conclusions and his overall presentation of Christian David’s story. Furthermore, I wish to state that I believe Christian David’s story is generally true; however, Rivele appears to be misleading the audience about certain key facts. First of all, Rivele omitted the important fact that Christian David and Lucien Sarti eventually became Auguste Ricord’s top lieutenants, along with Jean-Paul Angeletti and Francisco "Francois" Chiappe. In addition, Michel Nicoli worked for Christian David in Ricord’s heroin cartel in South America.5
Secondly, Rivele omitted the fact that Christian David, Lucien Sarti, and Michel Nicoli are discussed at great length in two books: Contrabandista (1973), by Evert Clark and Nicholas Horrock; and The Great Heroin Coup (1976) by Henrik Krüger. Rivele gave the impression that he alone discovered Christian David; however, that is simply not true. This explains why Rivele has never published a book, in English, on the information he disclosed in The Men Who Killed Kennedy. Rivele has, however, authored a French book, The Murderers of John F. Kennedy, published in France in 1988.6 To my knowledge that book was never translated to English or published in America. This is quite odd. Why wasn’t his book written in English so Americans could read it? After all, his expertise was the assassination of an American president, not a French one. As far as I can determine, the only American work Rivele has authored is the screenplay for Oliver Stone’s movie, Nixon. I shall have a view things to say about Stone later.
Thirdly, Rivele made a few comments that appear to be disinformation intended to disassociate linkage between the assassins and heroin trafficking which would point to Auguste Ricord. Rivele stated that the three assassins "appeared at [Michel Nicoli’s] apartment in Buenos Aires in the months following the assassination with, as he put it, ‘a substantial quantity of heroin.’ He [Nicoli] was surprised because to his knowledge, it was the first time that any of the three of them had dealt in heroin." Nicoli reportedly converted the heroin to cash for the assassins, although he claimed he did not know they had killed Kennedy at the time. He learned that about three years later.
Rivele’s claim that the French-Corsican hit men had never dealt in heroin is difficult to believe. How can that be? If they were gangsters from Marseilles, France, surely they must have dealt with heroin. Marseilles was a major production center of heroin at that time, and Turkey was its primary opium source. When the Mediterranean supply became unavailable, the French-Corsican Mafia in Marseilles migrated to Southeast Asia as their primary source. Rivele himself stated that Christian David had been a "member of the old French Connection heroin network." If David dealt with heroin and he worked with the underworld figures who killed Kennedy, it seems difficult to believe that his "collegues" would not have dealt with heroin as well. You will recall that according to Rivele, Christian David was offered the contract to kill Kennedy by Antoine Guerini, one of the Guerini brothers—a French-Corsican crime family from Marseilles that was quite familiar with heroin trafficking.
Rivele’s "never dealt in heroin" remark becomes somewhat comical when you realize that Michel Nicoli was living in an apartment in Buenos Aires, Argentina when the assassins looked him up in early 1964. Authors Evert Clark and Nicholas Horrock indicated in their 1973 book, Contrabandista, that Auguste Ricord—the heroin kingpin—was living in Buenos Aires at that time. For people who had never dealt in heroin before, these guys (the assassins) sure knew a lot a folks in that line of work. It is quite clear that Steve Rivele was protecting Auguste Ricord.
Fourthly, one has to question Rivele’s credibility when he made the following statement: "I don’t think that the CIA, for example, had anything directly to do with the assassination." Like so many others, Rivele tried to blame the conspiracy solely on the Mafia. The CIA’s only crime, according to Rivele, was that they had done business with the Mafia in the past. Therefore, they had reason to cover-up the truth about the Kennedy assassination. Given Rivele’s obvious knowledge of the Kennedy assassination, this conclusion is absurd. Rivele admitted that Antoine Guerini had a relationship with the OSS dating back to 1943, but he did not mention Louis Bloomfield—a well-known OSS/CIA operative and major supporter of Israel—who also had a law office, Phillips in Vineberg, in Paris.7
Rivele should have mentioned Bloomfield since David stated that the assassins were flown, after the assassination, from Dallas to Montreal and from Montreal to Marseilles. Louis Bloomfield lived in Montreal. So did his brother Bernard Bloomfield and Sam Bronfman. All three men were highly influential Zionists. Given that Bloomfield had been an OSS and CIA operative and was an ardent supporter of Israel, this points to Mossad as well. These facts point more to Israel than the Mafia, not to mention the CIA. And Christian David had a vast background with French intelligence, specifically SDECE, which surely interacts with the CIA. Obviously there was a strong presence of American and French-Corsican underworld figures in Kennedy’s murder. But in plain English, Rivele’s dismissal of CIA involvement was nonsense.
Even Rivele’s statements about the Mafia were off-track. He stated that Santo Trafficante was likely involved, but he failed to mention that Trafficante was a top lieutenant for Jewish Mafia chief Meyer Lansky. Lansky’s involvement in heroin trafficking and opium smuggling from the Golden Triangle was documented in Alfred McCoy’s 1972 book, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia.8 In addition, the 1979 House Select Committee on Assassinations linked Meyer Lansky to Jack Ruby.9
Lastly, it is highly possible that Clay Shaw asked Antoine Guerini to recruit French-Corsican assassins to kill President Kennedy. Shaw also worked for the OSS in the 1940s and held the rank of Colonel.10As previously stated in Chapter 3, there is strong circumstantial evidence that Shaw also served as a Colonel in the French espionage organization, Service de Documentation Exterieure et de Contre Espionage (SDECE), under the aliases of a Colonel René Bertrand and Colonel Beaumont.11 The French Colonel was close friends with Jo Attia who worked with the Guerini brothers—which included Antoine Guerini, the man who Christian David claimed offered him the contract to kill President Kennedy in May or June of 1963 in Guerini’s club in Marseilles. According to Danish journalist Henrik Krüger, it was Attia who first introduced Christian David to the world of espionage.12 I suspect this information is in Christian David’s letter which is in a sealed envelope in a safe deposit box.
The Three Assassins
I have mentioned several times the 1973 book, Contrabandista, written by Evert Clark and Nicholas Horrock. Contrabandista corroborates much of Christian David’s story, and it reveals the identities of two other hit men who worked with Lucien Sarti that I believe were his accomplices—assassins—in murdering President Kennedy. Their names were Jean-Paul Angeletti and Francisco "Francois" Chiappe. Several facts point to them as the assassins.
First of all, the book Contrabandista fits David’s description of the assassins like a glove. Although the book discusses David a great deal, it is really about Auguste Joseph Ricord—the French-Corsican underworld figure, Nazi collaborator, and heroin kingpin of Latin America. The book named five individuals as Ricord’s main assistants. Of those five, three appeared in The Men Who Killed Kennedy. They were Christian David, Michel Nicoli, and Lucien Sarti (posthumously). It was stated in the documentary that two unnamed French-Corsican hit men assisted Sarti in the assassination. In Contrabandista, Clark and Horrock named two additional men—of the five top people in Ricord’s cartel—who fit the descriptions of the two unnamed assassins. They were Jean-Paul Angeletti and Francisco "Francois" Chiappe. Those two men, plus Sarti and David, became Auguste Ricord’s top four lieutenants in the late 1960s. Michel Nicoli—another man who appeared in The Men Who Killed Kennedy—was one of two deputies who reported to Christian David. The other was William Perrin.13 (Footnote 8)
Secondly, Angeletti and Chiappe were wanted for murder, as were David and Sarti (according to Clark and Horrock). Contrabandista states that David, Sarti, Angeletti, and Chiappe were extremely violent men who carried guns constantly and did not hesitate to use them.14 The authors specifically stated that Sarti and Chiappe were what Latins call "pistoleros."15
Thirdly, Henrik Krüger wrote in his 1976 book—The Great Heroin Coup—that François Chiappe’s nickname was "Big Lips."16 This is significant because several eye witnesses to the Kennedy assassination said they saw a "negro" man with a rifle looking out of a window on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository minutes before the assassination.17 With a bit of dark make-up, a white man with big lips could easily pass for being black, especially from a distance. In addition, Christian David told Steve Rivele that "on jobs like this [political assassinations], they were always in disguise." (Reference transcript from The Men Who Killed Kennedy.)
Fourth point: Krüger wrote that Chiappe "had worked for the Guerini mob"18 which means that Antoine Guerini very well might have offered him the contract to kill Kennedy, just as he had offered it to Christian David.
Fifth point: Angeletti, Chiappe, and Sarti were very big players in the heroin business. They were also French-Corsicans with ties to The Guerini Family of Marseilles. Alfred McCoy—primary author of The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia—linked the Guerini Family to heroin smuggling from Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. In addition, Kennedy’s assassination has been linked to escalation of the Vietnam War (reference Jim Garrison and other researchers). Angeletti, Chiappe, and Sarti all worked as lieutenants for Auguste Ricord who was a direct beneficiary of drugs produced in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. He smuggled narcotics made from opium grown in the Golden Triangle back into the United States. Ricord was the number one smuggler of heroin into the United States during the late 1960s and early 70s. Put it all together and this makes Angeletti, Chiappe, and Sarti prime suspects in the assassination of President Kennedy.
Christian David was a French Corsican who eventually became Auguste Ricord’s bodyguard and headed one of Ricord’s five divisions. He was also a bold international criminal, highly respected and feared within the underworld, who had lived with violence since his childhood in occupied France. His criminal career swung like a pendulum, mostly doing mercenary work for both the French underground but often performing assignments for that country’s secret political police as well.19
David was born in 1929 in the city of Bordeaux in the south of France.20 He was about 33 or 34 years old when President Kennedy was killed on November 22, 1963.21 He was only 58 when he appeared inThe Men Who Killed Kennedy 1988, although he looked like an old man in the documentary because he had endured severe torture in a Brazilian prison in 1972.22
Of medium height and slender physique, a swarthy complexion common among Corsicans, a younger healthier Christian David walked with the firm, assured stride of a warrior, preferred elegantly tailored Continental-style clothes, and always carried a weapon. He was carrying a pistol with a silencer and a grenade when the Brazilian police arrested him in 1972.
Danish journalist Henrik Krüger wrote the following description of Christian David in his book, The Great Heroin Coup:
[Christian David has] been a pimp, robber, hired assassin for French intelligence, hatchet man in Algiers torture chambers, arms trader, spy, narcotics trafficker and true to form, lover of beautiful women. He’s one of the few alive who knows the truth about the Ben Barka affair that shook France in 1965; he knows details of the brutal power struggle within French intelligence agency SDECE; of SDECE collaboration with the Corsican Mafia; and of the secret CIA operations in Latin America. Ample grounds for anyone’s paranoia. But David is cunning and tough, and that is why he’s still alive.23
David liked to gamble; he loved the casinos in Rio, Buenos Aires, Asunción, and Montevideo. Although he was Corsican—known for their code of silence—David had a reputation as a talker. He once boasted that in 1969 Ricord’s organization had moved 1,000 kilograms of heroin into the United States in one big load. The heroin had been concealed in bags of money, placed in an armored truck, driven from Mexico to Houston, Texas, where it was stored in a warehouse then later distributed to buyers in Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, and New York.24
Often using aliases, Jean-Pierre, Eduardo, and Beau Serge,25 David was often seen with Auguste Ricord at the Maison des Anciens Combattants Français, a well-known haven for international gangsters in Buenos Aires, Argentina. David was an international criminal at that time. In the 1960s he was wanted by the French authorities for murdering Paris Policeman Lieutenant Maurice Galibert26—who, when he was shot, was investigating the kidnapping and murder of Moroccan political exile, Mehdi Ben Barka.27 This indicates that Christian David was likely involved in Ben Barka’s death.
Mehdi Ben Barka was a Moroccan revolutionary politician who lived in exile in Paris in the early Sixties. It was widely viewed that Ben Barka would soon be president for the Republic of Morocco. When Morocco and Algeria had a brief war in 1963, Ben Barka sided with Algeria and went into exile. He was subsequently accused of high treason for an alleged plot against King Hassan II and was sentenced in absentia to death. He moved to Paris and became leader-in-exile of the opposition to Hassan. On October 29, 1965, Ben Barka disappeared. He was never found, and investigators concluded that gangsters were paid to kidnap and murder him. It was suggested several times that the plot was headed by General Muhammad Oufkir, Hassan's minister of the interior. The Ben Barka affair created a political crisis for the government of French President Charles de Gaulle and led to ruptured diplomatic relations between France and Morocco for almost four years.28
In the spring, summer, and fall of 1972, the governments of South and Central American were working with the Nixon administration to stop heroin from being smuggled into the United States. In October 1972 the Brazilian federal police arrested David and Nicoli along with several other Brazilian underworld figures. Most of them were using false identity papers. David, Nicoli, and another Frenchmen were transported by air to federal police headquarters in Brazilia, the nation’s capital, where Brazilian police interrogated them in a manner that has made Brazil notorious throughout the world.29
David was stripped of his clothing and hung upside down in the interrogation cell. He claimed he was tortured with electric shocks applied to his testicles and the head of his penis. Evidently he did not talk; however, the torture became so severe that he attempted suicide by swallowing a light bulb rather than undergo more. He later cut his wrists with glass fragments. After that he walked bowlegged from the pain.30 This was the Christian David that the world saw in Nigel Turner’s documentary, The Men Who Killed Kennedy—a man of 58 using a walker who appeared to be closer to 80.
Ultimately David was extradited to the United States, along with Auguste Ricord, for heroin smuggling. This was part of the Nixon administration’s war on drugs. David was taken to a Brooklyn courthouse where his bail was set at $2.5 million. Within two weeks federal judge Jacob Mishler sentenced David to twenty years in prison for smuggling half a ton of heroin into the United States. In addition, the trial revealed David’s ties to the French intelligence service known as Service d’Action Civique (SAC). His tri-colored SAC ID was placed on display as he explained: "I was taken from prison in 1961 to work for an organization called SAC. It was arranged by someone with connections in the highest political circles." He also commented on his incarceration in Brazil: "I was tortured by the Brazilians for thirty days and fed nothing for twenty-six days. They stole my money. Today I can’t afford a lawyer, I haven’t a cent."31
Michel Nicoli was the man who corroborated Christian David’s claim, in The Men Who Killed Kennedy, that Lucien Sarti and two other "unnamed" Corsican assassins shot and killed President Kennedy; and that Sarti, while dressed as a police officer standing behind the picket fence on the grassy knoll, shot Kennedy in the head using an exploding bullet.
Michel Nicoli was the same age as Christian David; born in about 1929. He was about 33 or 34 years old when President Kennedy was killed on November 22, 1963.32 He was Christian David’s deputy in Auguste Ricord’s drug cartel. David, as stated before, was Ricord’s personal bodyguard and became one of Ricord’s top four lieutenants as well.
Nicoli was quite different from Ricord’s violent lieutenants, Christian David, Lucien Sarti, François Chiappe, and Jean-Paul Angeletti, in that he was far less lethal; although he carried a gun from time to time for protection. In his line of work, this was not unwise; however, Nicoli was quite sophisticated and a smooth convincing talker, which made him an excellent witness as Steve Rivele pointed out in The Men Who Killed Kennedy. Although he was obviously a criminal, he had the reputation among narcotics agents for giving truthful and consistent information when he talked. Corsican criminals in particular are taken seriously because they have an ancient tradition of not talking when captured, even when tortured. Consequently, when one of them talks, people listen. But capturing Nicoli in a compromising situation where it was beneficial for him to talk was no small task.
As a drug trafficker, Nicoli exemplified the qualities that confounded and frustrated narcotics agents to no end. He was a master at changing identities. He used several aliases: Abraham Goldman, Miguel dos Santos, and Raniers, to name a few.33
Frank DeSantis, an American Customs agent said of Nicoli in the early 1970s: "It’s fantastic. These people are not jerks. We’ve ripped off a thousand of their couriers and this group doesn’t founder. It perseveres. They change identities like we change shirts. Take Raniers [Michel Nicoli], who is Miguel—we get six countries telling us he’s six different people. Bust him, and he doesn’t give you just a passport—he gives you documents like this!" DeSantis pointed to a stack about six inches high. "Driver’s license, BankAmerica, the works. The people in junk—everybody knows about complexity, but the phony identification you wouldn’t believe!"34
Layers of multiple identification, and supporting legal documentation, was a technique Michel Nicoli learned from Auguste Ricord who mastered this wily approach during his career with the Gestapo under German-occupied France during World War II.35
In October 1972 the Brazilian federal police arrested Nicoli along with Christian David and several other Brazilian underworld figures. Like David, Nicoli was also tortured; stripped, hung upside down and tortured with electric shocks. Like Christian David he apparently did not talk, which intensified and prolonged the torture. He became depressed, began banging his head into the cell walls. Later he was examined by American authorities who observed bumps and bruises on his head, and found indications of permanent nerve damage.36
Obviously he recovered by 1988 when he appeared in The Men Who Killed Kennedy. At least he appeared to be in much better physical condition than his old friend Christian David, who was the same age, 58 at the time.
Auguste Joseph Ricord, the Heroin Kingpin
Auguste Joseph Ricord was a French Corsican born in Marseilles, France on April 26, 1911.37 He was 52 years old when President Kennedy was killed on November 22, 1963. He was 62 when he was convicted of drug trafficking in the United States in 1973. A small-framed man, he stood less than five feet four; a half-inch scar crossed his right upper lip. By the early 1970s his hair was gray-white, although not much was left of it.38
Marseilles is the largest commercial seaport in France and the second largest city. Founded more than 2,500 years ago, it is located on the Mediterranean’s Gulf of Lion within a semicircle of limestone hills. Although a colorful city, Marseilles has a history of vigorous independence and criminal activity.39 Most law-enforcement people familiar with Auguste Ricord believe it was the sinister influences within the ancient city of Marseilles that led Ricord not only to a life of crime, but developed him into a tough con artist, a master of deception.40 A cunning, hardened man, Ricord acquired a skill for slipping out of trouble as easily as he slipped into it.41
Two weeks before his sixteenth birthday, Ricord was convicted of theft and extortion. Within a few months the Marseilles authorities had added another entry to his record: "violence, unauthorized possession of a firearm."42 At that point Ricord left Marseilles and became a fugitive living on the run. While in Paris, on November 15, 1927, another entry was added to his criminal record: "possession and sale of stolen property."43 On January 3, 1939 the police in Paris arrested him for unauthorized possession of a side arm.44 After that the Paris police reported that he "lived from the proceeds earned from prostitution but was never arrested for it."45
When the Nazis marched through Paris in June of 1940 they formed alliances with various elements within the criminal underworld. Auguste Joseph Ricord was one of those people.46 It is not known precisely what role he played with the Nazis, but in July 1950, he was convicted of collaborating with the Third Reich and sentenced to death in absentia by the Permanent Military Court of Paris. A year later the civilian court of Eure-et-Loir reduced his sentence to twenty years hard labor and ten years banishment from France; the latter sentence was for a theft conviction several years earlier.47
After World War II Ricord knew he would soon be declared an enemy of France because of his Gestapo connections. Consequently, he fled the country, first going to Germany and Austria, then settling in Milan, Italy for a time. In 1948 he moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina, thereby escaping the French death sentence in 1950.48
Somewhere along the way Ricord left behind a wife, probably in Paris. In Buenos Aires he remarried a shapely German-born nightclub stripper named Ingebord Gabski. Together they had a daughter, Josephine Brigette (or Josefina Brigita in Spanish), before separating in 1960.49
While living in Paris, Ricord reportedly owned a restaurant, called the Navarin, with his half-sister, Maria Traversa Bonsigour. They sold it for $40,000 before fleeing the country.50
Ricord later boasted from his jail cell in the Tacumbu prison—the largest prison in Asuncion, Paraguay—that he had left France for Italy and South America "with more than $100,000 in my pockets."51
After moving to Argentina Ricord operated several restaurants and night clubs, with help from Maria. First he bought two night clubs, Le Fetiche and Lido. At various times he owned and operated six restaurants: El Nido, Chez Danielle, L’Etoile, the Bar el Sol (later renamed L’Auberge Provençale), the M. André, and the Pompitor.52
Ricord’s business soon turned into a vast underworld enterprise. He used several aliases: M. André, Cori, Dédé,53 Lucien Darguelles.54 He also used variations of his real name: Auguste José Gallese (his parents’ name), and variations on existing aliases: Lucien Dorguelle, Lucio Maria Darguelles, or Lucien Gegelles.55 Maintaining multiple identities was a con-trick he learned as a young man in Paris.56
Although ostensibly a restaurateur and nightclub owner, the bulk of his income came from his interest in prostitution. According to some estimates, revenues from Ricord’s enterprise ran as high as $3 million a year. His business was based in Buenos Aires but spread into Brazil, Uruaguay, and Caracas, Venezuela.57 Much of his fast-growing power was attributed to his expertise at harboring international criminals—many of them were ex-Nazis or Nazi collaborators from France when Germany occupied that country—by channeling them into his prostitution syndicate.58 Many "trusted men" within the underworld were sent to Ricord from Marseilles, Algiers, Milan, Casablanca, Rome, and Barcelona. These fugitives would meet Ricord, or his designee, at the Bar el Sol at 380 Marconi Street in the suburb of Olivos.59 In addition, Ricord used to frequent the Maison des Anciens Combattants Français, a well-known haven for international gangsters.60
In 1957 Ricord was arrested by the Argentine police for corruption and criminal association after Interpol—the international police information-swapping organization—learned of his prostitution network. The French quickly learned of his arrest and requested that Argentina hand him over for previous convictions which included, primarily, collaborating with the Nazis. Interpol, however, did not recognize that as a crime. In addition, Argentina refused to extradite Ricord. Like Uruguay, Argentina was populated by many European immigrants who fled their homelands to escape political oppression. As a result, the Argentine government turned the French down and released Ricord. He immediately fled to Montevideo, Uruguay and used the alias, Lucien Darguelles. In Uruguay, France sought his extradition again, but Uruguay followed Argentina’s lead and refuse to hand him over to the French authorities. Ricord was soon released and quickly went underground but surfaced in Caracas, Venezuela in 1958 as the owner of Le Domino, a nightclub that was very active in prostitution.61
In 1967 François Chiappe accompanied Auguste Ricord to his lawyer’s office (at 1800 Calle La Valle, Buenos Aires, Argentina) when Ricord gave Jacob Grodnitzky, alias Jack Grosby, $20,000 to pay the bail for Ricord’s nephew, Louis Bonsignour, alias Felipe Spadaro. Louis was the son of Ricord’s half-sister, Maria Traversa Bonsignour. Louis had been arrested in the United States and indicted, in May 1967, for conspiring to smuggle heroin into the country.62 Grodnitzky had been solicited by Louis’s girlfriend to fly to Argentina and get $20,000 for his bail. Also present at Ricord’s lawyer’s office were Christian David, Michel Nicoli, among others.63
The stated meeting is significant because it would eventually be used by US narcotics agents to reveal Ricord’s South American involvement in heroin trafficking. Prior to 1967, US narcotics agents thought that most of the heroin smuggled into the US came solely from a French smuggling ring. Ricord’s nephew, Louis Bonsignour, was French and, consequently, the US narcotics agents had incorrectly assumed that France was the source of the smuggling ring. The fact that Louis’s bail money came from his uncle in Argentina would eventually be used to build a case against Ricord as the kingpin of a Latin-based heroin cartel.
Around 1968 Ricord returned to Argentina. Almost immediately he helped two old acquaintances, Lucien Sarti and Francisco "François" Chiappe, both fugitive Corsican murderers on the run. Sarti was wanted for murdering a Belgian policeman and Chiappe had been sentenced to death for another murder. Shortly after arriving in Argentina, and being given safe haven by Ricord, the two fugitives held up a money order exchange. The police arrested them and Ricord. A search of Ricord’s restaurant near the Rio de la Plata Football Stadium in Buenos Aires turned up a cache of arms, including machine guns. Ricord was declared persona non grata and kicked out of Argentina. Ironically, none of them went to jail for the crime.64 It was the machine guns and other arms found after their arrest that got Ricord ousted from Argentina, not the armed robbery by Sarti and Chiappe.65 Ricord then moved to Asunción, Paraguay.66
It is not known for certain exactly when Ricord began trafficking narcotics, but a French intelligence report indicated that it began between 1957 and 1968, flourished after his arrival in Paraguay.67 Paraguay was the perfect location to manage a large-scale heroin cartel. It was basically uninhabited—two and a half million people crowded around Asunción. The Chaco Boreal(Footnote 9) is two-thirds of the land area but only 100,000 people live out there, and it is full of landing fields unmonitored by governmental authorities.68
By 1969—at the age of 59—Ricord’s health began to weaken. He suffered from diabetes and was frequently struck by terrible weariness or bursts of listlessness and dissatisfaction. He felt under pressure because he was a fugitive in many countries; Argentina had thrown him out twice; Uruguay once; his homeland France wanted him back but only to put him in jail.69 His four younger lieutenants—Christian David, Lucien Sarti, Francois Chiappe, and Jean-Paul Angeletti—had strong ambitions and were greedy to establish themselves. All four had come to him from Europe fleeing police warrants. Although he gave them political safety, false documents, and responsibilities within his criminal enterprise, Ricord sometimes feared that his leadership was being eroded by these aggressive younger men.70
One of the few things that gave him pleasure was the construction of Le Paris-Niza, an inn and restaurant in Asunción, Paraguay. It ended up costing over $100,000, but it was more than a restaurant. It was his Franco-Mediterranean island in Latin America. He took particular pride in the restaurant. He hired an expatriate French couple to manage it and insisted that the waiters be taught the Gallic manner of serving.71
When President Nixon took office in January 1969, he stepped up the war on drugs and focused on heroin smuggling. Under Nixon’s direction the Ricord Case became a joint effort between the US Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (USBNDD) and the Bureau of Customs.72
In the late Sixties narcotics agents realized that heroin shipments were being sent to the United states by way of South America, although rumors of the Latin route had been around since 1964 and 65.73Customs agent Albert W. Seeley—the man who built the case against Ricord—said that in 1962, the amount of heroin being smuggled into the United States was "no big deal."74 Special Agent Bill Knierem, with the Bureau of Customs, stated the following in a 1973 interview:
From ’62 to ’67 it was all bodies and suitcases. [The term "bodies" means that individual smugglers/couriers strapped packets of heroin to their bodies.] They get it in France, they go to the US, Canada, Mexico. We are getting beat. They also begin to ship from Europe in freezers, in oscilloscopes. Automobiles get knocked off. They are full of it. The French must have been saying, ‘You Customs guys got no imagination at all.’
’60 to ’68 was still a good period for federal law enforcement. Then the red lines (he points to the smuggling routes marked in red on his flip chart) begin to fan out. Fort Lauderdale, Boston, Washington, et cetera. It’s no longer just New York and Montreal—they’re coming in everywhere.
We are looking at Marseilles and Barcelona and New York and Montreal and they were hitting us underneath, from Latin America. We ought to be ashamed there. We were looking the wrong way. It was basically a failure in law enforcement."75
The observations of narcotics agents Seeley and Knierem are significant because they indicate that heroin did not become a problem until around the time of President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, and it slowly increased thereafter until becoming an epidemic in 1968. That was the year that Richard Nixon campaigned for the Presidency. The war on drugs became a major campaign issue for him.
In 1969 the "demand" for heroin in America had increased so dramatically that Ricord decided to use Contrabandistas—a network of light aircraft that flew cigarettes, whisky, wigs, and Levis from Miami into various South American countries. This was the only way he could send the high-volumes needed for the US market.76
Ricord used the Contrabandista network in a three tiered approach. Firstly, a pilot—and usually an assistant—flew a small airplane to an appointed place and waited for instructions. They did not know the buyer of the cargo and without this "connection" they were powerless to hijack the load even if they had wanted to double-cross the system. Secondly, a couple of men were sent to meet the pilot et al and shepherd them to the delivery point. At that point, the shepherds knew where the heroin was and they would transport it to a contact man in New York. This contact man was the "third tier."77
The third tier person knew where to drop off the heroin to the buyer. Even the third tier did not know much information about the buyer—not even his/her name. Only Ricord knew that. The third tier was only given a location where the goods would be delivered. Often the third tier would be advised to walk along a certain street at a specified time with a suitcase full of heroin. A car would stop and someone would quickly snatch it and drive away. They would then meet the third tier in 30 minutes or so to drop off a suitcase full of cash if they felt the quality of the goods was sufficient. Ricord insisted on using a Frenchman, Pierre Gahou, as the third tier contact man with the buyer because he obviously needed someone he could trust. The first two tiers did not have to be as trustworthy because his system was essentially fool-proof at those levels.78
On March 15, 1971 a federal grand jury in Manhatten returned a secret indictment against Ricord, charging him with conspiracy to smuggle heroin into the United States.79 Paraguay’s President General Alfred Stroessner subsequently ordered Ricord’s arrest.80 The arrest order was carried out March 26, 1971, but President Stroessner had second thoughts about extraditing Ricord to the United States to face conspiracy charges for smuggling heroin. Stroessner had cultural issues with the extradition request. In Paraguay, smuggling was a way of life; and conspiracy laws did not exist. Consequently, Ricord sat in a jail cell in Tacumbu Penitentiary in Asunción, Paraguay for a year and a half while Paraguay and the United States engaged in a diplomatic tug of war over custody of the wily heroin kingpin.81 Finally in September 1972 Ricord was extradited to the United States and prosecuted for conspiracy to smuggle narcotics into America.82 On December 16, 1972 he was convicted of that crime, and on January 19, 1973, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison and fined $25,000.83
Lucien Sarti was the man who shot President Kennedy in the head with an exploding bullet from behind the picket fence on top of the grassy knoll in Dealey Plaza. Sarti was identified as the stated assassin by Christian David whose assertion was corroborated by Michel Nicoli in The Men Who Killed Kennedy. Sarti was a lieutenant for Auguste Ricord.
Sarti was a French Corsican born in about 1931 and was about 32 years old when President Kennedy was killed on November 22, 1963.84 Sarti had been an "enforcer" for criminal elements in Europe. He had killed a policeman in Belgium—a crime that hit men normally avoided lest they incur the wrath of all other policemen in the world.85
In December 1967, Sarti managed a heroin smuggling network based in Montreal, Canada for Auguste Ricord. The network consisted of at least 15 couriers who smuggled heroin into New York City from Montreal.86
As previously stated the Nixon administration intensified its war on drugs in the spring, summer, and fall of 1972, and the governments of South and Central American worked closely with the United States government to bring down Auguste Ricord and his heroin cartel.
In the spring of 1972 the Mexican authorities were closing in on Lucien Sarti and his younger colleague, Jean-Paul Angeletti. The two men were arrested in La Paz, Bolivia, but were released before the police realized their true identities. Shortly thereafter, American narcotics agents set up a trace on them. The pair traveled northward, through Peru and across South and Central America, finally stopping at Mexico City forty-five days later. The Americans quietly alerted the Poliçia Judicial Federal, the equivalent of Mexico’s FBI.87
April 27, 1972 was a muggy evening in Mexico City. At about 8:40 pm, a glistening European car stopped quietly at the curb in front of 107 Temistocles Street in an upper-class residential area of Mexico City. The automobile was driven by a beautiful, thirtyish woman in casual, stylish attire. She was later identified as Lucien Sarti’s wife, Liliane Rous Vaillet. Shortly after the lovely young lady parked the car, and waited behind the wheel, Sarti walked quickly from the house moving toward the automobile on the driver’s side.88
Just before he opened the car door, two Mexican agents advanced from the shadows. Instinctively, Sarti drew a .38-caliber Colt Cobra(Footnote 10) and ran away as fast as he could. A few seconds later he was killed in a hail of bullets when ambushed by several Mexican agents hidden close to the house.89
That night another group of Mexican policemen stormed Angeletti’s hideout and surprised him while he was having sex. Being caught off-guard probably saved his life. The police officers quickly restrained him before he could grab the pistol on the table nearby.90
The Mexican authorities seized fourteen false passports, an abundance of jewels, firearms, cash, and "several notebooks … with notes on large and small narcotics distributors." The Mexican police determined that Angeletti, Sarti, and their wives had landed in Mexico from Panama aboard a smuggler’s small aircraft. In addition, the Mexican agents determined that the group had been planning to smuggle 100 kilograms of cocaine into the United States.91
Sarti’s body was never claimed and was buried in Mexico. Angeletti, his wife, Sarti’s widow, and another drug smuggler arrested with Angeletti that night were eventually extradited to France and Italy.92
Around the same time that Sarti was killed, his former mistress—Héléne Ferreira, a sexy Brazilian model—was arrested in Peru and questioned about Sarti and his Corsican friends. She refused to cooperate at first, so the Peruvian authorities turned her over to the Brazilian police who were infamous for torturing suspects in order to extract information. Whatever they did to her is uncertain, but she began to talk immediately. She told them the whereabouts of an army of Brazilian, Corsican, and Italian underworld figures—including Christian David and Michel Nicoli.93
In October 1972 the Brazilian federal police arrested David and Nicoli along with several other Brazilian underworld figures based on information supplied by Héléne Ferreira—Lucien Sarti’s former mistress. Once arrested David and Nicoli were subjected to relentless torture by the Brazilian authorities.94
I have concluded that Jean-Paul Angeletti was one of the three hit men who fired a rifle at President Kennedy’s motorcade. He likely took position in either an upper floor in the Texas School Book Depository or the ground floor of the Dal-Tex Building. Angeletti was a lieutenant for Auguste Ricord.
Angeletti was a French Corsican born in about 1941 and was about 22 years old when President Kennedy was killed on November 22, 1963.95 He was fairly tall for a Corsican, a thin man with a thin face and dark, straight hair. The heavy bags under his eyes were put there by nature, but they added to his reputation as a swinger, a man who lived it up at the Carnival in Rio every year and frequented gambling casinos in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. His criminal record was quite extensive.96
Angeletti and Francois Chiappe ran Ricord’s heroin cartel while he was incarcerated in a Tacumbu Penitentiary cell in Asunción, Paraguay for over a year—after being arrested in March 1971—pending extradition to the United States.97
As previously stated, Angeletti had been traveling with Lucien Sarti when, on April 27, 1972, Sarti was ambushed and killed by Mexican police after resisting arrest and brandishing a firearm. Later that evening Angeletti was arrested by Mexican authorities, caught in the act of making love. Angeletti, his wife, Sarti’s widow, and another drug smuggler arrested with Angeletti that night were eventually extradited to France and Italy.98
I have concluded that Francisco "François" Chiappe was one of the three hit men who fired a rifle at President Kennedy’s motorcade. He likely took his position in either an upper floor in the Texas School Book Depository or the ground floor of the Dal-Tex Building. Chiappe was a lieutenant for Auguste Ricord.
Chiappe’s precise age is not known, although he was considerably younger than Auguste Ricord—presumably within the age-range of his collegues, Lucien Sarti, Jean-Paul Angeletti, and Christian David.99That means he was born between 1930 and 1941, and consequently, was between 22 and 33 when President Kennedy was killed on November 22, 1963.
Chiappe, a burly, bulky 6-foot French Corsican who weighed about 210 pounds (in 1971), was under sentence of death for two murders in Paris.100 Chiappe and Jean-Paul Angeletti ran Ricord’s heroin cartel while the latter was incarcerated in a Tacumbu Penitentiary cell in Asunción, Paraguay for over a year—after being arrested in March 1971—pending extradition to the United States.101
Chiappe and Michel Russo (another leader within Ricord’s syndicate) were arrested by Argentine police in Buenos Aires while attempting to transport over 100 pounds of pure heroin.102
As previously stated, it is worth noting that according to author Henrik Krüger, François Chiappe’s nickname was "Big Lips."103 This is significant because several eye witnesses to the Kennedy assassination said they saw a black man with a rifle looking out of a window on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository minutes before the assassination.104 With a bit of dark make-up, a white man with big lips could easily pass for being black, especially from a distance. In addition, Christian David told Steve Rivele that "on jobs like this [political assassinations], they were always in disguise." (Reference transcript from The Men Who Killed Kennedy.)
The Mafia Comes to Asia
Alfred McCoy, et al, described in his 1972 book, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia, how the American Mafia and the Corsican crime syndicates of Marseille turned to Southeast Asia in the 1960s as their main supplier of opium. This is critical information because it reveals how the underworld benefited from opium production in Southeast Asia shortly after Kennedy’s death. It also reveals that the US military knew of drug trafficking activity in Vietnam but looked the other way. Here is an excerpt from McCoy’s book:
The flourishing heroin traffic among Vietnam-based GIs was undoubtedly the most important new market for Indochina's drug traffickers, but it was not the only one. As we have already seen, increasingly insurmountable problems in the Mediterranean Basin had forced the American Mafia and the Corsican syndicates of Marseille to look to Southeast Asia for new sources of heroin and morphine base. Faced with the alternative of finding a new source of morphine base or going out of business, the Corsican syndicates of Marseille turned to their associates in Southeast Asia for help. "There are people who think that once the problem in Turkey is cleaned up, that's the end of the traffic," explains John Warner, chief intelligence analyst for the U.S. Bureau of Narcotics. "But the Corsicans aren't stupid. They saw the handwriting on the wall and began to shift their morphine base sources to Southeast Asia."105
The Corsican narcotics syndicates based in Saigon and Vientiane had been supplying European drug factories with Southeast Asian morphine base for several years, and links with Marseille were already well established. During the First Indochina War (1946-1954) Corsican gangsters in Marseille and Saigon cooperated closely in smuggling gold, currency, and narcotics between the two ports. In 1962 Corsican gangsters in Saigon reported that Paul Louis Levet, a Bangkokbased syndicate leader, was supplying European heroin laboratories with morphine base from northern Thailand.106 Furthermore, at least four Corsican charter airlines had played a key role in Southeast Asia's regional opium traffic from 1955 to 1965. Although they were forced out of business when the Laotian generals decided to cut themselves in for a bigger share of the profits in 1965, most of the Corsicans had remained in Southeast Asia. They had opened up businesses or taken jobs in Vientiane and Saigon to tide themselves over until something new opened up.107
When Gen. Edward G. Lansdale of the CIA returned to Saigon as a special assistant to Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge in 1965, he quickly learned that his old enemies, the Corsicans, were still in town. During the fighting between the French 2ème Bureau and the CIA back in 1955, the Corsican gangsters had been involved in several attempts on his life. "So I wouldn't have to look behind my back every time I walked down the street," Lansdale explained in a June 1971 interview, "I decided to have a meeting with the Corsican leaders. I told them I wasn't interested in doing any criminal investigations; I wasn't in Vietnam for that. And they agreed to leave me alone. We had some kind of a truce." General Lansdale can no longer recall much of what transpired at that meeting. He remembers that a large-busted French-Vietnamese named Helene took an active role in the proceedings, that the affair was amicable enough, but not much else. Lansdale later learned that the Corsicans were still heavily involved in the narcotics traffic, but since this was not his responsibility, he took no action.108
Most of what Lansdale knew about the Corsicans came from his old friend Lt. Col. Lucien Conein, the CIA agent who had helped engineer President Diem's overthrow in 1963. As a former OSS liaison officer with the French Resistance during World War 11, Conein had some experiences in common with many of Saigon's Corsican gangsters. During his long tours of duty in Saigon, Conein spent much of his time in fashionable Corsican-owned bars and restaurants and was on intimate terms with many of Saigon's most important underworld figures. When Conein left Vietnam several years later, the Corsicans presented him with a heavy gold medallion embossed with the Napoleonic Eagle and the Corsican crest. Engraved on the back of it is Per Tu Amicu Conein ("For your friendship, Conein"). Conein proudly explains that this medallion is worn by powerful Corsican syndicate leaders around the world and serves as an identification badge for secret meetings, narcotics drops, and the like.109
Through his friendship with the Corsicans, Conein has gained a healthy respect for them. "The Corsicans are smarter, tougher, and better organized that the Sicilians," says Conein. "They are absolutely ruthless and are the equal of anything we know about the Sicilians, but they hide their internal fighting better." Conein also learned that many Saigon syndicate leaders had relatives in the Marseille underworld. These family relations play an important role in the international drug traffic, Conein feels, because much of the morphine base used in Marseille's heroin laboratories comes from Saigon. Corsican smugglers in Saigon purchase morphine base through Corsican contacts in Vientiane and ship it on French merchant vessels to relatives and friends in Marseille, where it is processed into heroin.110 "From what I know of them," says Conein, "it will be absolutely impossible to cut off the dope traffic. You can cut it down, but you can never stop it, unless you can get to the growers in the hills."111
This pessimism may explain why Conein and Lansdale did not pass on this information to the U.S. Bureau of Narcotics. It is particularly unfortunate that General Lansdale decided to arrange "some kind of a truce" with the Corsicans during the very period when Marseille's heroin laboratories were probably beginning the changeover from Turkish to Southeast Asian morphine base. In a mid-1971 interview, Lieutenant Colonel Conein said that power brokers in Premier Ky's apparatus contacted the leaders of Saigon's- Corsican underworld in 1965-1966 and agreed to let them start making large drug shipments to Europe in exchange for a fixed percentage of the profits. By October 1969 these shipments had become so important to Marseille's heroin laboratories that, according to Conein, there was a summit meeting of Corsican syndicate bosses from around the world at Saigon's Continental Palace Hotel. Syndicate leaders from Marseille, Bangkok, Vientiane, and Phnom Penh flew in for the meeting, which discussed a wide range of international rackets but probably focused on reorganizing the narcotics traffic.112 According to one well-informed U.S. diplomat in Saigon, the U.S. Embassy has a reliable Corsican informant who claims that similar meetings were also held in 1968 and 1970 at the Continental Palace. Most significantly, American Mafia boss Santo Trafficante, Jr., visited Saigon in 1968 and is believed to have contacted Corsican syndicate leaders there. Vietnamese police officials report that the current owner of the Continental Palace is Philippe Franchini, the heir of Mathieu Franchini, the reputed organizer of currency- and opium-smuggling rackets between Saigon and Marseille during the First Indochina War.
Police officials also point out that one of Ky's strongest supporters in the Air Force, Transport Division Commander Col. Phan Phung Tien, is close to many Corsican gangsters and has been implicated in the smuggling of drugs between Laos and Vietnam.
From 1965 to 1967 Gen. Lansdale's Senior Liaison Office worked closely with Premier Ky's administration, and the general himself was identified as one of the young premier's stronger supporters among U.S. mission personnel.113 One can only wonder whether Conein's and Lansdale's willingness to grant the Corsicans a "truce" and overlook their growing involvement in the American heroin traffic might not have been motivated by political considerations, i.e., their fear of embarrassing Premier Ky.
Just as most of the Corsican gangsters now still active in Saigon and Vientiane came to Indochina for the first time as camp followers of the French Expeditionary Corps in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the American Mafia followed the U.S. army to Vietnam in 1965. Like any group of intelligent investors, the Mafia is always looking for new financial "frontiers," and when the Vietnam war began to heat up, many of its more entrepreneurial young members were bankrolled by the organization and left for Saigon. Attracted to Vietnam by lucrative construction and service contracts, the mafiosi concentrated on ordinary graft and kickbacks at first, but later branched out into narcotics smuggling as they built up their contacts in Hong Kong and Indochina.
Probably the most important of these pioneers was Frank Carmen Furci, a young mafioso from Tampa, Florida. Although any ordinary businessman would try to hide this kind of family background from his staid corporate associates, Frank Furci found that it impressed the corrupt sergeants, shady profiteers, and Corsican gangsters who were his friends and associates in Saigon. He told them all proudly, "My father is the Mafia boss of Tampa, Florida."114 (Actually, Frank's father, Dominick Furci, is only a middle-ranking lieutenant in the powerful Florida-based family. Santo Trafficante, Jr., is, of course, the Mafia boss of Tampa.115 Furci arrived in Vietnam in 1965 with good financial backing and soon became a key figure in the systematic graft and corruption that began to plague U.S. military clubs in Vietnam as hundreds of thousands of GIs poured into the war zone.116 A lengthy U.S. Senate investigation later exposed the network of graft, bribes, and kickbacks that Furci and his fellow profiteers employed to cheat military clubs and their GI customers out of millions of dollars. At the bottom of the system were 500,000 bored and homesick GIs who found Vietnamese rice too sticky and the strong fish sauce repugnant.
The clubs were managed by senior NCOs, usually sergeant majors, who had made the army their career and were considered dedicated, trustworthy men. While the officers were preoccupied with giving orders and running a war, the sergeants were left with responsibility for all of the minor details involved in managing one of the largest restaurant and night club chains in the world—ordering refrigerators, hiring bands, selecting liquor brands, and negotiating purchasing orders for everything from slot machines to peanuts. Accounting systems were shoddy, and the entire system was pathetically vulnerable to well-organized graft. Seven sergeants who had served together in the Twenty-fourth Infantry Division at Augsburg, Germany, during the early 1960s had discovered this weakness and exploited it fully, stealing up to $40,000 a month from NCO clubs.117
In 1965 these seven sergeants started showing up in Vietnam as mess custodians and club managers at the First Infantry Division, the American Division, and U.S. army headquarters at Long Binh.118 Most important of all, the group's ringleader, Sgt William 0. Wooldridge, was appointed sergeant major of the army in July 1966. As the army's highest-ranking enlisted man, he served directly under the army chief of staff at the Pentagon, where he was in an ideal position to manipulate personnel transfers and cover up the group's activities.119
At the top of the system were the civilian entrepreneurs—Frank Furci and his competitor, William J. Crum—who worked as agents for a host of American companies and paid the sergeants lavish kickbacks on huge Army purchase orders for kitchen equipment, snacks, liquor, etc.
Furci was also heavily involved in the currency black market. A U.S. Senate investigation of illegal currency manipulations in Vietnam later showed that he had exchanged $99,200 through a single unauthorized money changer at the black market rate of 300 or 400 piasters to the dollar, considerably more than the official rate of 118 piasters.120
Unfortunately for Furci, his competitor, William J. Crum, was also aware of these illegal transactions, and he decided to use this knowledge to force Furci out of business. Frank Furci was simply outclassed by the crippled, half-blind William Crum, an old China hand who has made a profit on almost every war in Asia since 1941. Attracted by the economic potential of the growing Southeast Asia conflict, Crum came out of his milliondollar retirement in Hong Kong and moved to Saigon in 1962.121
While the massive U.S. military buildup in 1965 had attracted other commercial agents as well, Crum seemed particularly resentful of Furci, whose competing line of liquor brands, slot machines, and kitchen equipment had "stolen" $2.5 million worth of his business.122 Crum passed on information about Furci's illegal currency transactions to the Fraud Repression Division of the Vietnamese customs service through a U.S. army general whom Crum was paying $1,000 a month for protection.123 Vietnamese customs raided Furci's offices in July 1967, found evidence to support the accusations, and later fined him $45,000.124 Unable to pay such a large fine, Furci left Saigon. Crum later bragged that he had "paid for" the raid that had eliminated his competitor.125
Furci moved to Hong Kong and in August opened a restaurant named the San Francisco Steak House with nominal capital of $100,000.126 More importantly, Furci was instrumental in the formation of Maradern Ltd., a company that the Augsburg sergeants who managed NCO clubs in Vietnam used to increase illegal profits from the military clubs. Although Furci's name does not appear on any of the incorporation papers, it seems that he was the "silent partner" in the classic Mafia sense of the term.127
Maradem Ltd, was not a wholesale supplier or retail outlet, but a broker that used its control over NCO clubs and base mess halls to force legitimate wholesalers to pay a fixed percentage of their profits in order to do business.128Maradem's competitors were gradually "squeezed out" of business, and in its first year of operation the company did $1,210,000 worth of business with NCO clubs in Vietnam.129
By 1968 Frank Furci had gained three years of valuable experience in the shadow world of Hong Kong and Indochina; he was friendly with powerful Corsican syndicate leaders in Saigon and had the opportunity to form similar relationships with chiu chau bosses in Hong Kong.130 Thus, perhaps it is not too surprising that the boss himself, Santo Trafficante, Jr., did Furci the honor of visiting him in Hong Kong in 1968. Accompanied by Frank's father, Dominick Furci, Trafficante was questioned by Hong Kong authorities regarding the purpose of his visit, and according to a U.S. Senate investigation, he explained that "They were traveling around the world together at the time. They stopped to visit Furci, Frank Furci in Hong Kong and to visit his restaurant ....131
After a leisurely stopover, Trafficante proceeded to Saigon,132 where, according to U.S. Embassy sources, he met with some prominent Corsican gangsters.133Trafficante was not the first of Lansky's chief lieutenants to visit Hong Kong. In April 1965 John Pullman, Lansky's courier and financial expert, paid an extended visit to Hong Kong, where he reportedly investigated the narcotics and gambling rackets.134
Although the few Mafia watchers who are aware of Trafficante's journey to Asia have always been mystified by it, there is good reason to believe that it was a response to the crisis in the Mediterranean drug traffic and an attempt to secure new sources of heroin for Mafia distributors inside the United States. With almost 70 Percent of the world's illicit opium supply in the Golden Triangle, skilled heroin chemists in Hong Kong, and entrenched Corsican syndicates in Indochina, Southeast Asia was a logical choice.
Soon after Trafficante's visit to Hong Kong, a Filipino courier ring started delivering Hong Kong heroin to Mafia distributors in the United States. In 1970 U.S. narcotics agents arrested many of these couriers. Subsequent interrogation revealed that the ring had successfully smuggled one thousand kilos of pure heroin into the United States—the equivalent of 10 to 20 percent of America's annual consumption.
Current U.S. Bureau of Narcotics intelligence reports indicate that another courier ring is bringing Hong Kong heroin into the United States through the Caribbean, Trafficante's territory. From Hong Kong heroin is usually flown to Chile on regular flights and then smuggled across the border into Paraguay in light, private aircraft.135 In the late 1960s Paraguay became the major transit point for heroin entering the United States from Latin America; both Hong Kong and Southeast Asian heroin smuggled across the Pacific into Chile and European heroin smuggled across the Atlantic into Argentina are shipped to Paraguay before being forwarded to the United States. Argentina and Paraguay are popular refuges for Marseille gangsters wanted in France for serious crimes. The most prominent of these is Auguste Joseph Ricord, a Marseille-born gangster who worked with the Gestapo during World War 11. Using a variety of means ranging from private aircraft to stuffed artifacts, Ricord is believed to have smuggled some 2.5 billion dollars' worth of heroin into the United States from Argentina and Paraguay in the last five years.136 Although law enforcement officials have always assumed that Ricord and his associates were being supplied from Marseille, current reports of shipments from Hong Kong and Southeast
Asia to Paraguay have raised the possibility that their sources may have shifted to Asia in recent years.137
Dallas Drug Smuggler Hallucinated About JFK in Open Court
As the Nixon administration began to crack down on drug smugglers from Latin America, a strange event occurred in Dallas, Texas.
In mid-April 1971 a Panamanian government official, Joaquim Him-Gonzales, was apprehended by American narcotics agents and tried in the Federal Court in Dallas, Texas for conspiracy to smuggle heroin into the United States. Also tried in the same case were J. D. Vicars, of Hurst, Texas, and a former World War II Air Corps pilot named Robert Louis Robertson, III, of Dallas, Texas.138 Gonzales and Robertson were part of Auguste Ricord’s heroin smuggling network.
Robertson had a mysterious background. He had been president of the Robertson Aircraft Company of Dallas and had been an executive of the major international airline for eleven years. But many people in Dallas believed that Robertson may have been a CIA operative. This was never established, but in Dallas circles, it was observed that Robertson and the two or three companies he had formed in recent years flew some unusual trips into Latin America.139
As the government prosecutors built cases against Him-Gonzales, Vicars, and Robertson, the latter became hysterical. On Friday, April 23, 1971, Robertson fell apart on the witness stand and ran from his seat shouting, "I can’t tell the truth under these conditions." Federal Judge Sarah T. Hughes responded sternly, "No! You get back on the stand. You are just putting on a show for the jury. Now you collect yourself and get back up here on the stand." She later had Robertson undergo a psychiatric examination, which found him fully capable to stand trial.140
The following Monday Robertson seemed even more unbalanced, babbling over and over again, "I am Judge Sarah T. Hughes … I am John F. Kennedy. I was assassinated in Dallas, Judge Sarah T. Hughes, on November 23, 1963 … I am a sinner, I am a sinner."141
Despite Robertson’s erratic behavior, the jury found the threesome—Robertson, Him-Gonzalez, and Vicars—guilty two days later; however, Robertson was never sentenced. He died in his cell at the Dallas County jail four days after he was convicted. April 26, 1971 a deputy marshal gave sworn testimony that Robertson had told him, "I will be dead in five days." He was off by one day.142
Transcript of Colonel Prouty’s Interview From The Men Who Killed Kennedy
Colonel Fletcher Prouty made some interesting comments about the techniques employed to kill President Kennedy and how the crime was covered up afterwards. Here is the transcript of his remarks fromThe Men Who Killed Kennedy:
But the Mafia could hardly have acted alone, given the intricacy of the assassination plot and the strength of the cover-up for twenty-five years. Colonel Fletcher Prouty was Chief of Special Operations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during Kennedy’s presidency. He believes even more powerful forces were ultimately responsible.
[Scene switches to Colonel Prouty:]
I think without any question, it’s what we called "the use of hired gunmen." And this isn’t new. In fact, this little manual here [Prouty holds up a manual entitled Clandestine Operations Manual for Central America] which is called the Assassination Manual for Latin America contains a line which says, talking about Latin America [reading] "If possible, professional criminals will be hired to carry out specific selective ‘jobs.’ " --- Jobs in quote which means murders. Well, if this manual for Latin America, printed within the last few years in a government manual says that, there’s no question but what the application of the same technique was dated back in Kennedy’s time. In fact I know from my own experience. You know I was in that business in those days.
So, with that knowledge, you begin to realize that hired criminals, the way this book says, can be hired by anybody in power with sufficient money to pay them, but more importantly with sufficient power to operate the cover-up ever after. Because you see it’s one thing to kill somebody. It’s another thing to cover-up the fact that you did it, or that you hired somebody to do it; and that’s more difficult. So they used the device of the Warren Commission Report to cover-up their hired killers. Now who would hire the killers, and who has the power to put that Warren Commission Report out over the top of the whole story? You see you’re dealing with a very high echelon of power. It doesn’t necessarily reside in any government. It doesn’t necessarily reside in any single corporate institution. But it seems to reside in a blend of the two. Otherwise, how could you have gotten people like the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to participate in the cover-up? The police in Dallas to participate in the cover-up? Et cetera. And the media. All the media, not just one or two newspapers; but none of them will print the story other than Oswald killed the President with three bullets, which is totally untrue.
It must also be noted that Colonel Prouty’s final comment about the media is no longer valid. He stated that the news media will only report that "Oswald killed the President with three bullets." That was a factual statement when he made it in 1988. But since then, the news media has retreated from the official lie for fear of losing credibility—a small victory, but a victory nonetheless after thirty-plus years. (Reference "The Exoneration of Lee Harvey Oswald" in Chapter 6.)
- Henrik Krüger, The Great Heroin Coup, p. 73; Evert Clark & Nicholas Horrock, Contrabandista!, p. 76
- It is well documented that Christian David was involved in the kidnaping and murder Mehdi Ben Barka. Reference Henrik Krüger, The Great Heroin Coup, pp. 59 - 73; Evert Clark and Nicholas Horrock, Contrabandista!, p. 76.
- Evert Clark & Nicholas Horrock, Contrabandista!, pp. 18 - 19
- Henrik Krüger, The Great Heroin Coup, p. 73; Evert Clark & Nicholas Horrock, Contrabandista!, p. 76
- Evert Clark & Nicholas Horrock, Contrabandista!, pp. 91 & 186 - 188
- Jim Marrs, Crossfire, p. 208
- LEXPERT—Canadian Legal Directory—Goodman Phillips & Vineberg (legal ad), reference the following URL: http://www.lexpert.ca/firms/goodmanphil.html (2000)
- Alfred McCoy, et al, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia, pp. 18, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 54, 55, 57
- Encyclopedia Britannica: Meyer Lansky
- Jim Marrs, Crossfire, p. 498
- A Colonel Bertrand, alias Beaumont, is cited as a key figure in SDECE in Henrik Krüger’s book, The Great Heroin Coup, pp. 42, 46. Colonel Bertant/Beaumont’s war background matches that of Clay Shaw’s as described in Jim Marrs book, Crossfire, p. 498.
- Henrik Krüger, The Great Heroin Coup, p. 40
- Evert Clark & Nicholas Horrock, Contrabandista!, p. 188
- ibid, p. 91
- ibid, p. 89
- Henrik Krüger, The Great Heroin Coup, p. 76
- Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, pp. 106 - 112
- Henrik Krüger, The Great Heroin Coup, p. 76
- Evert Clark & Nicholas Horrock, Contrabandista!, p. 217
- Henrik Krüger, The Great Heroin Coup, p. 51
- Evert Clark & Nicholas Horrock, Contrabandista!, p. 217. The authors state that Christian David was 42 in 1972. Therefore he was born in about 1930, making him about 33 on November 22, 1963 when Kennedy was killed.
- ibid, p. 217
- Henrik Krüger, The Great Heroin Coup, p. 30
- Evert Clark & Nicholas Horrock, Contrabandista!, pp. 187 - 188
- Henrik Krüger, The Great Heroin Coup, p. 29
- Evert Clark & Nicholas Horrock, Contrabandista!, p. 18 - 19
- ibid, p. 76
- Encyclopedia Britannica: Mehdi Ben Barka
- Evert Clark & Nicholas Horrock, Contrabandista!, p. 217 - 218
- Henrik Krüger, The Great Heroin Coup, p. 30
- Evert Clark & Nicholas Horrock, Contrabandista!, p. 217; Henrik Krüger, The Great Heroin Coup, p. 51; Clark and Horrock stated that Christian David and Michel Nicoli were both 42 in 1972. Krüger stated that David was born in 1929. Therefore, both David and Nicoli would have been 33 or 34 on November 22, 1963 when Kennedy was killed.
- ibid, pp. 186 - 187
- ibid, p. 217 - 218
- ibid, Contrabandista!, p. 14
- ibid, p. 9
- Encyclopedia Britannica: Marseille
- Evert Clark & Nicholas Horrock, Contrabandista!, p. 14
- ibid, p. 16
- ibid, p. 15
- ibid, p. 16
- ibid, p. 16
- ibid, p. 17
- ibid, p. 17
- ibid, p. 17
- ibid, p. 17
- ibid, p. 18
- ibid, p. 20
- ibid, p. 20
- ibid, p. 18
- ibid, p. 19
- ibid, p. 19
- ibid, p. 18, p. 55
- ibid, p. 18 - 19
- ibid, p. 20
- ibid, p. 47
- ibid, pp. 54 - 57. The authors wrote the following about the meeting: "In a lawyer’s office at 1800 Calle La Valle, [Jacob Grodnitzky] sat down with Auguste Ricord, Luis the Argentine, whom he already knew, and five men introduced only as François, Domingo, Jean-Pierre, Marcelo, and Michel." On p. 76 the authors identify Jean-Pierre as an alias used by Christian David. The description of "Michel" seems like that of Michel Nicoli who frequently accompanied Christian David. On p. 57 the authors wrote that Michel was "a man of medium build whose dark, straight hair was covered by a toupée that looked unnaturally black over his unhealthy gray complexion."
- ibid, p. 21
- ibid, p. 89
- ibid, pp. 19, 89
- ibid, p. 21. A French intelligence report stated the following: "Subsequently [to his sojourn at Le Domino in Caracas], Ricord set up a large organization trafficking in narcotics to the United States. His protégés acted as carriers. Regardless of the numerous arrests [of carriers], his business is excellent and he has established himself as the owner of the Paris-Nice Restaurant located in the outskirts of Asunción, Paraguay …"
- ibid, p. 190
- ibid, pp. 89 - 90
- ibid, p. 91
- ibid, p. 90
- ibid, p. 6
- ibid, p. 37
- ibid, p. 52
- ibid, p. 72
- ibid, p. 92
- ibid, pp. 140 - 141
- ibid, pp. 140 - 141
- ibid, p. 6
- ibid, p. 9
- ibid, p. 212
- ibid, p. 230
- ibid, pp. 215 - 216. The authors state that Lucien Sarti was 41 in 1972. Therefore he was born in about 1931, making him about 32 on November 22, 1963 when Kennedy was killed.
- ibid, p. 89
- ibid, p. 58
- ibid, p. 215
- ibid, pp. 215 - 216
- ibid, p. 216
- ibid, pp. 217 - 218
- ibid, p. 185. The authors stated that Jean-Paul Angeletti was 30 in 1971. Therefore he was born in about 1941, making him about 22 on November 22, 1963 when Kennedy was killed.
- ibid, p. 185
- ibid, pp. 184 - 185
- ibid, p. 216
- ibid, p. 91. Although the authors did not explicitly state Chiappe’s age, it is understood that he is considerably younger than Ricord. The authors stated that Ricord felt constant pressure from his four "younger" lieutenants: François Chiappe, Jean-Paul Angeletti, Lucien Sarti, and Christian David.
- ibid, p. 76, 186
- ibid, pp. 184 - 185
- ibid, 219
- Henrik Krüger, The Great Heroin Coup, p. 76
- Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, pp. 106 - 112
- Interview with John Warner*, Washington, D.C., October 14, 1971; other U.S. officials including Representative James H. Scheuer, the Comptroller General of the United States, and the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs have observed this shift to Southeast Asia. (U.S. Congress, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, International Aspects of the Narcotics Problem, 92nd Cong., Ist sess., 1971, pp. 61, 119, 149.) (Note: This endnote was used by Alfred W. McCoy, et al, the authors of Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia.)
- Interview with Police Col. Smith Boonlikit, Bangkok, Thailand, September 17, 1971. (Note: This endnote was used by Alfred W. McCoy, et al, the authors of Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia.)
- Cabled dispatch from Shaw, Vientiane (Hong Kong Bureau). to Time Inc., received September 16-17, 1965. (Note: This endnote was used by Alfred W. McCoy, et al, the authors of Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia.)
- Interview with Gen. Edward G. Lansdale, Alexandria, Virginia, June 17, 1971. (Note: This endnote was used by Alfred W. McCoy, et al, the authors of Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia.)
- Interview with Lt. Col. Lucien Conein, McLean, Virginia, June 18, 1971. (Note: This endnote was used by Alfred W. McCoy, et al, the authors of Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia.)
- French commercial shipping companies still maintain regular schedules between Saigon and France. In August 1971, for example, there were four scheduled departures from Saigon:
Leave Arrive Arrive Company Ship Saigon
Le Havre Marseille Messageries Maritimes Godavery --- August 9 October 8
Chargeurs Réunis Tobago --- August 6 September 24
Nausicaa --- August 22 October 9
Toscana --- August 26 October 26(Note: This endnote was used by Alfred W. McCoy, et al, the authors of Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia.)
- Interview with Lt. Col. Lucien Conein, McLean, Virginia, June 18, 1971. (Note: This endnote was used by Alfred W. McCoy, et al, the authors of Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia.)
- In September 1965 General Lansdale's Senior Liaison Office began advising the Vietnamese Central Rural Construction Council, headed by Premier Ky, on pacification and social reform. (Kahin and Lewis, The United States in Vietnam, p. 242.) (Note: This endnote was used by Alfred W. McCoy, et al, the authors of Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia.)
- Interview with Norma Sullivan, Singapore, September 24, 1971. (Norma Sullivan is a special assistant to William Crum, and has worked in Saigon business circles since the early 1960s.) (Note: This endnote was used by Alfred W. McCoy, et al, the authors of Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia.)
- Ed Reid, The Grim Reapers (Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1969), appendix 111, chart 8. (Note: This endnote was used by Alfred W. McCoy, et al, the authors of Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia.)
- U.S. Congress, Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Committee on Government Operations, Fraud and Corruption in Management of Military Club Systems-Illeqal Currency Manipulations A flecting South Vietnam, 91 st Cong., 2nd sess., 92nd Cong., I st sess., 1971, pt. 4, p. 1017. (Note: This endnote was used by Alfred W. McCoy, et al, the authors of Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia.)
- Ibid., Report, pp. 28, 34.
- Ibid., Report, p. 68.
- Ibid., Report, p. 43.
- Ibid., pt. 3, p. 637.
- Ibid., Report, pp. 12-13.
- Ibid., Report, p. 73.
- Ibid., pt. 5, p. 1045.
- Ibid., pt. 2, pp. 478-479.
- Ibid., pt. 5, pp. 1046-1047.
- Fine Foreign Foods Ltd., described as the "restaurant proprietor" of the San Francisco Steak House (Ground floor, 67 Peking Road, Kowloon), registered with the Inland Revenue Department, Hong Kong, on August 1, 1967.
- Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Committee on Government Operations, Fraud and Corruption in Management of Military Club Systems-Illegal Currency Manipulations Aflecting South Vietnam, 91st Cong., 2nd sess., 92nd Cong., Ist sess., Report, pp. 75-77. (Note: This endnote was used by Alfred W. McCoy, et al, the authors of Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia.)
- Ibid., p. 85.
- Ibid., p. 86.
- According to corporate records filed with the Hong Kong government, Frank Carmen Furci resigned from his position as director of Fine Foreign Foods Ltd. on March 18, 1970. He transferred 1,667 shares to James Edward Galagan, his partner for the last few years, and 1,666 shares to Setsui Morten on March 25, 1970. Since the corporate report filed in 1969 showed that Frank Carmen Furci owned 3,333 shares, it is presumed that these events marked the end of his connection with the company and its restaurant. (Note: This endnote was used by Alfred W. McCoy, et al, the authors of Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia.)
- Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Committee on Government Operations, Fraud and Corruption in Management of Military Club Systems-Illegal Currency Manipulations Aftectinq South Vietnam, 91st Cong., 2nd sess., 92nd Cong., Ist sess., pt. 2, p. 279. This testimony before the committee was given by Senate investigator Carmine Bellino, "conceded to be the best investigative accountant in the country" (Victor S. Navasky, Kennedy Justice [New York: Atheneum, 1971, p. 53.) (Note: This endnote was used by Alfred W. McCoy, et al, the authors of Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia.)
- Reid, The Grim Reapers, p. 296. (Note: This endnote was used by Alfred W. McCoy, et al, the authors of Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia.)
- Interview with a U.S. Embassy official, Saigon, Vietnam, July 1971. (Note: This endnote was used by Alfred W. McCoy, et al, the authors of Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia.)
- Hank Messick, Lansky (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1971), p. 241. (Note: This endnote was used by Alfred W. McCoy, et al, the authors of Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia.)
- Interview with an agent, U.S. Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, Washington, D.C., November 18, 1971.
- The New York Times, January 9, 1972, p. 25. (Note: This endnote was used by Alfred W. McCoy, et al, the authors of Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia.)
- The Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), January 6, 1972~ U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Appropriations, Foreign Assistance and Related Programs Appropriations for Fiscal Year 1972, 92nd Cong., Ist sess., 1971, p. 614. This and other evidence contradict Secretary of State William Rogers' assertion that the narcotics problem in Southeast Asia is being dealt with effectively. (Sec. of State William Rogers, Testimony Before the Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, Uncorrected Transcript, May 15 1972.) (Note: This endnote was used by Alfred W. McCoy, et al, the authors of Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia.)
- Evert Clark & Nicholas Horrock, Contrabandista, p. 198
- ibid, p. 195
- ibid, p. 198
- ibid, pp. 198 - 199
The Exoneration of Lee Harvey Oswald
More than any one person, Jim Garrison exonerated Lee Harvey Oswald—in the eyes of the American public—for the murder of President Kennedy. Garrison eloquently summarized his feelings about Oswald in an interview included in Nigel Turner’s 1988 documentary, The Men Who Killed Kennedy:
Lee Oswald was totally, unequivocally, completely innocent of the assassination. And the fact that history—or in the rewriting of history and disinformation—has made a villain of this young man, who wanted nothing more than to be a fine Marine, is in some ways the greatest injustice of all.1
Buell Wesley Frazier, Oswald’s friend and co-worker at the Texas School Book Depository, made the following comments, in The Men Who Killed Kennedy, about his deceased young friend:
The individual that I know as Lee Harvey Oswald, I don’t think had it in him to be a person capable of committing such a crime as murdering the President of the United States. I’ll always believe that. The side I saw [of] him was a very kind and loving man. And that’s the way I’d like to remember him.2
Garrison gave extensive interviews for The Men Who Killed Kennedy. That same year, 1988, Garrison wrote and published a book, On the Trail of the Assassins, which thoroughly exonerated Oswald through presentation of facts and deductive reasoning. The book focused on Garrison’s prosecution of Clay Shaw in 1969 and it provided many new facts about the assassination never before released to the public. Garrison was philosophical about the 1969 verdict that acquitted Shaw of conspiracy to murder President Kennedy. The following is an excerpt from the introduction of On the Trail of the Assassins:
History has a way of changing verdicts. Twenty-five years ago most Americans readily accepted the government’s contention that the assassination was a random act of violence. A lonely young man, his mind steeped in Marxist ideology, apparently frustrated at his inability to do anything well, had crouched at a warehouse window and—in six seconds of world class shooting—destroyed the President of the United States. …
The assassination was an enormously important event. But even more important, in my view, is what happened after—ratification by the government and the media of an official story that is an absurd fairy tale.
Immediately after the assassination, the federal government and the major media adopted the posture of two giant ostriches, each unyielding to reason, each with its head firmly lodged in the sand. Having ratified the lone assassin theory, they refused to acknowledge any facts that might discredit it and attacked anyone who offered a different explanation.
On the Trail of the Assassins was a best seller and became the basis for a Hollywood movie, JFK (1991), by Oliver Stone. Garrison’s words were prophetic indeed. History does have a way of changing verdicts. By the mid-1990s, the American news media essentially stopped blaming Oswald for the assassination. In fact, most modern documentaries about President Kennedy no longer mention Oswald at all. Few journalists or scholars will openly admit that they believe the Warren Report any longer for fear of losing credibility. Garrison provided so many facts exonerating Oswald that it became impossible for the various media outlets to continue supporting "the great lie." Consequently, the media adopted a paradoxical position regarding the assassination. While most media outlets no longer overtly endorse to the Warren Commission’s conclusion that Oswald alone killed Kennedy, they still support it indirectly by promoting "non-journalists" who write, disseminate, and proselytize archaic propaganda in support of what Garrison accurately labeled "an absurd fairy tale." Gerald Posner is a prime example.(Footnote 11)
Posner appears regularly on television and radio talk shows, and is often quoted in major newspapers. His primary claim to fame is his strong opinion that the Warren Commission was correct in its conclusion that Oswald alone killed President Kennedy. According to Posner, Americans have been confused and brainwashed by people like Jim Garrison and Oliver Stone who filled their heads with silly conspiracy theories. It is interesting, however, that Posner himself supports the biggest conspiracy theory of the Twentieth Century—that Adolf Hitler had a masterplan to exterminate six million Jews in gas chambers. Posner would have us believe that some conspiracies—ones chosen by him—are acceptable, but believing "unsanctioned" conspiracy theories is tantamount to having a mental breakdown.
The media’s support of people like Posner is a cynical form of damage control. Media moguls and journalists are fully aware that the American public no longer believes the Warren Report, but rather than admit they actively supported a lie, they get Posner and other non-journalists to support their old position. By using this approach, the lie continues to propagate, but if a backlash occurs against the messengers of that lie, then the media outlets have a layer of deniability. After all, Posner is technically an independent writer, not a journalist. And like most proselytizers of the Warren Report, Posner is Jewish. This supports my overall thesis that Kennedy’s murder was in fact a worldwide Jewish conspiracy sponsored by the World Jewish Congress and actively supported by friends of Israel in all nations.
I will have more comments about Gerald Posner later. For now, we will focus on the exoneration of Lee Harvey Oswald. Several facts point to Oswald’s "total, unequivocal, and complete innocence," to quote Garrison.
First of all, Garrison revealed that Oswald had been trained to speak Russian while in the Marines. Oswald also received training from the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI). In fact, Oswald took a Russian examination while stationed at El Toro Marine base.3 Oswald had been stationed there from November 1958 through September 1959.4 The mere fact that Oswald was trained to speak Russian strongly suggests that he was an intelligence operative, probably working for Naval Intelligence. He was apparently carrying out orders given from his superiors that would ultimately be used to implicate him in the murder of President Kennedy. In other words, Oswald was set up as a "patsy."
Second point: Garrison revealed that Oswald’s defection to the Soviet Union was extremely suspicious and was likely sponsored by the CIA and/or the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI). While in the Marines, Oswald worked at Atsugi Air Base in Japan in 1957. Atsugi was the base where all daily super-secret U-2 intelligence flights over China originated. Oswald’s unit—which required a highly classified security clearance—guarded the U-2 hangar.
In the summer of 1959, Oswald applied for a discharge from the Marines. In September of that year he was given an honorable discharge. He then visited his mother briefly in Fort Worth, Texas, then went to New Orleans. From there he departed for the Soviet Union by steamship to England; his ticket had been obtained by the Lykes office of Clay Shaw’s organization—the International Trade Mart in New Orleans. From England he flew eastward to the Helsinki, Finland although the exact air service is unknown. From Helsinki, Oswald took a train to Moscow, arriving on October 16, 1959. He immediately made a series of contacts with Soviet officials and underwent extensive interrogation by the Soviets. Two weeks later, Oswald went to the American Embassy in Moscow and handed over his passport and a letter renouncing the United States and declaring allegiance to the Soviet Union.
In April of 1961, Oswald married Marina Prusakova, the niece of a lieutenant colonel in the Soviet Union’s domestic intelligence service. About three months earlier, Oswald had applied at the American Embassy in Moscow to return to the United States. Unbelievably, both governments agreed that Oswald and his new Russian bride could return to America. This was at the height of the Cold War. Even though Oswald had defected to the Soviet Union, the US State Department did not consider him a threat. In fact, it authorized the American Embassy in Moscow to loan him some money—$436, to be exact—for his return.
In June of 1962, Lee and Marina Oswald arrived in New York with their young daughter. They were not required to meet with FBI agents, or any law enforcement officers or employees of any agency. Keep in mind that prior to defecting to the Soviet Union, Oswald had performed highly classified work at Atsugi Air Base in Japan in 1957—guarding the U-2 hangar where U-2 aircraft was launched for spy missions over China. The fact that he was allowed to re-enter the United States with no questions asked strongly suggests that his stay in the East was sponsored by the US intelligence community. Although the Oswalds were not questioned by government authorities when they re-entered New York in 1962, they did, however, meet with Spas T. Raikin, head of the American Friends of the Anti-Bolshevik Nations, Inc., a private anti-communist group with extensive intelligence connections.5
Third point: Garrison and others revealed that Oswald was friends with George de Mohrenschildt—of Dallas—and his wife, Jeanne. After the Oswalds returned to the United States from the Soviet Union in June of 1962, they moved to Fort Worth, Texas where Lee worked at the Leslie Wielding Company until October 7, 1962. That evening, the Oswalds were visited by Mr. And Mrs. de Mohrenschildt. The next day, Lee packed up and moved to Dallas. De Mohrenschildt was apparently an intelligence operative and had given Oswald instructions to move.6 De Mohrenschildt was both a friend and apparently a CIA "babysitter" to Oswald during his stay in Dallas. A babysitter is a term used by American Intelligence agencies to describe an agent assigned to attend the needs of a particular individual important to the completion of a mission.7 This is the only plausible explanation for how two men of such vastly different backgrounds could have been friends or acquaintances.
De Mohrenschildt was a Russian-born immigrant who came to the United States with his parents after the Russian Revolution in 1917. De Mohrenschildt was born on April 17, 1911 in Mozyr, a small Baltic town in czarist Russia near the Polish border.8 His father, Baron Serguis de Mohrenschildt, had been governor of the province of Minsk for Czar Nicholas Romanov. George De Mohrenschildt spoke Russian, German, Spanish, French, and Polish. In World War II he worked for French intelligence.9 His connection with French intelligence is highly significant given the information presented in Chapter 5 about the French-Corsican underworld and French intelligence.
De Mohrenschildt, a refined member of the jet set, held a doctorate in international commerce and a masters degree in petroleum engineering and geology. He became a consulting geologist and was a member of the exclusive Dallas Petroleum Club. There he made contacts with extremely affluent people in the business world.10
De Mohrenschildt apparently provided sensitive information to Warren Commission investigators in 1964. His statements were documented and classified as "secret" (reference Commission Document 1222).11
On March 29, 1977, de Mohrenschildt was found dead of a gunshot blast to the head at his sister-in-law’s fashionable home in Manalapan, Florida. His death was ruled suicide.12 He died three hours after arranging to meet investigator, Gaeton Fonzi(Footnote 12), from the House Select Committee on Assassinations.13 Earlier that day, de Mohrenschildt had met with author Edward Jay Epstein.14
Epstein is a highly suspicious individual. In 1969, he wrote Counterplot which attacked Garrison and his prosecution of Clay Shaw. Epstein wrote another propagandistic book, Legend (1978), which pushed the cover story that the Soviet KGB sponsored the Kennedy assassination, and that Oswald was working for them. In 1966, Epstein wrote Inquest, a mild critique of the Warren Report. Author Michael Collins Piper wrote the following critique of Inquest:
Interesting, Epstein also wrote the book Inquest that was hailed by the media as an important critique of the Warren Commission Report. However, I’ve always felt that this volume was an Establishment "cover story" suggesting that while there were problems with the way the Warren Commission conducted its investigation, there was nothing to worry about in the end. In any case, none of Epstein’s books are of any real value.15
Given Epstein’s propensity to write propaganda, his apparent ethnicity, and the fact that he met with de Mohrenschildt shortly before the latter’s death, it seems highly possible that de Mohrenschildt may have inadvertently told Epstein of his plans to meet with an investigator— Gaeton Fonzi—with the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Epstein apparently passed this information to the criminal elements who killed Kennedy. Given de Mohrenschildt’s prior history of talking to the feds in 1964, a quick decision was apparently made to silence him permanently.
Researcher William Torbitt made an interesting observation about de Mohrenschildt in his article entitled, Nomenclature of an Assassination Cabal. The following is an excerpt from that article:
Many examiners of the case have concluded that George DeMohrenschildt was a part of the conspiracy because of his close association with Oswald during the fall of 1962, and winter and early spring of 1963, but a close reading of the Russian exile's testimony before the Warren Commission shows that DeMohrenschildt was being used by the Solidarists the same as Oswald was being used, and was to have been tied in with Oswald; in connection with the assassination. However, DeMohrenschildt, a highly polished professional geologist, saved himself by moving to Haiti in April of 1963 in connection with a contract with the government of Haiti, where he still resided on the day of the assassination of President Kennedy.
DeMohrenschildt, in retrospect, knew that Division Five of the FBI and the Solidarists had intended to use him as a scapegoat along with Oswald, and he did not hesitate to name the small group within the Federal Bureau of Investigation as the instigators of the assassination of President Kennedy.16
Fourth point: Garrison and others revealed that Oswald performed top-secret work for "Jagger-Stovall-Chiles" while living in Dallas during the Cuban Missile Crisis (October 1962). As previously stated, Oswald moved to Dallas on October 8, 1962. Before the month was over he had secured a job at Jagger-Stovall-Chiles, a Dallas company under contract with the Pentagon to produce maps and charts for military use. The job required an extremely high security clearance. Oswald was given access to various classified materials. Writer Henry Hurt observed that "part of the work appeared to be related to the top-secret U-2 missions, some of which were making flights over Cuba."17
Fifth point: Garrison demonstrated that Oswald had an association with Guy Banister, a retired FBI agent with ONI experience who lived in New Orleans working as a private detective. During the summer of 1963, Oswald handed out pro-Castro leaflets on the streets of New Orleans. Oswald’s organization was called "Fair Play for Cuba." On August 9, 1963, Oswald was arrested during a scuffle with anti-Castro Cubans. The pro-Castro leaflets that Oswald handed out that day—and that day only—had the address "544 Camp Street" (New Orleans) stamped on them. Garrison revealed that 544 Camp Street was an entrance to the same building where Guy Banister had worked as a private detective, but the entrance to Banister’s office was 531 Lafayette Street. Oswald had apparently stamped 544 Camp Street on his pro-Castro leaflets by mistake on August 9, but Banister—or one of his associates—apparently stopped him from continuing the practice. It was obviously embarrassing for a retired FBI agent to be linked to pro-Castro activity. Oswald had apparently worked closely with Banister, who died of a heart attack in 1964, about nine months after the assassination.18
Sixth point: Garrison demonstrated that Oswald had an association with Clay Shaw. As previously stated, Garrison proved that Shaw had called New Orleans attorney Dean Andrews on November 23, 1963 and asked him to represent Oswald. Andrews testified before a grand jury and denied that Bertrand and Shaw were the same person. The grand jury subsequently indicted him for perjury. In August 1967, he was convicted of perjury by a jury of New Orleans citizens.19 This was a significant victory for Garrison because the true identity of Clay Bertrand/Shaw was one of the main points that caused the jury to acquit Shaw of conspiracy to murder President Kennedy. Another point that Garrison failed to show was Shaw’s CIA connections, but in 1979, Richard Helms—the CIA’s director for covert operations in 1963—admitted under oath that Shaw had Agency connections.20 Although Garrison lost the case against Shaw, truth had ultimately prevailed.
Seventh point: Garrison and others proved that other men murdered Dallas policeman J. D. Tippet. This is an important point because it refutes much of the rationale behind the Warren Commission’s conclusion that Oswald killed Kennedy. A member of the Warren Commission’s legal staff asked the following rhetorical question and supplied the answer: "How do we know that Lee Harvey Oswald killed President Kennedy? Because he killed Officer Tippet." Garrison pointed out that the reverse is also true: "Only a man who had just killed the President and knew he was being hunted down would have any reason to shoot a police officer in a quiet suburb at mid-day."21
Garrison proved through deductive reasoning that there was not enough time for Oswald to have left his rooming house at 1:00 pm and shot Tippet at 1:06 or 1:10 pm. The housekeeper/landlady at the rooming house observed Oswald standing by the northbound Beckly Avenue bus stop at 1:04. The location where Tippet was killed was in the opposite direction, about a mile south. The Warren Commission ignored the time discrepancies. Witnesses to the Tippet killing gave conflicting testimony about the physical appearance of the shooter. In fact, Acquilla Clemons stated that she saw two men working together, although only one was the trigger-man. Neither man fit Oswald’s description.22
Eighth point: Garrison revealed that Oswald was a poor marksman in the Marines. As previously stated, Oswald closest colleague in the Marines, Nelson Delgado, stated that Oswald was not sharpshooter material. The following is an excerpt of Delgado’s testimony before Warren Commission attorney Wesley J. Liebeler:
Liebeler: You told the FBI that in your opinion Oswald was not a good rifle shot, is that correct?
Liebeler: And that he did not show any unusual interest in his rifle, and in fact appeared less interested in weapons than the average Marine?
Delgado: Yes. He was mostly a thinker, a reader. He read quite a bit.23
Ninth point: Garrison demonstrated that the gun Oswald allegedly used could not have been a Mannlicher-Carcano, as the government claimed. First of all, the government claimed that Oswald—a poor marksman—fired three shots in 6 seconds, killing President Kennedy and gravely wounding Governor Connally. But no ammunition clip was ever found for the Mannlicher-Carcano. The clip feeds cartridges into the rifle’s firing chamber. Without a clip, the cartridges would have to be loaded manually, making fast shooting impossible. In addition, the Mannlicher-Carcano produced as the murder weapon had a badly misaligned sight. It needed an adjustment before government riflemen could complete their test firing. Even with the adjustment, no rifle expert was able to duplicate Oswald’s alleged shooting prowess.24 Garrison also made some interesting comments about the rifle found at the School Book Depository by Dallas police:
Officer Seymour Weitzman, part of the Dallas police search team, later described the discovery of the rifle on the afternoon of November 22. He stated that it had been so well hidden under boxes of books that the officers stumbled over it many times before they found it. Officer Weitzmann, who had an engineering degree and also operated a sporting goods store, was recognized as an authority on weapons. Consequently, Dallas Homicide Chief Will Fritz, who was on the scene, asked him the make of the rifle. Weitzman identified it as a 7.65 Mauser, a highly accurate German-made weapon. Deputy Sheriff Roger Craig was also there and later recalled the word "Mauser" inscribed in the metal of the gun. And Deputy Sheriff Eugene Boone executed a sworn affidavit in which he described the rifle as a Mauser. As late as midnight November 22, Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade told the media that the weapon found was a Mauser.
… when the smoke cleared and all the law enforcement authorities in Dallas had their stories duly in order, the official position was that the rifle found on the sixth floor of the Depository was the Mannlicher-Carcano, which allegedly was linked to Oswald under an alias, and not the Mauser, which disappeared forever shortly after it reached the hands of Captain Fritz.
But even this revision of the official story did not explain the third rifle. A film taken by Dallas Cinema Associates, an independent film company, showed a scene of the Book Depository shortly after the assassination. Police officers on the fire escape were bringing down a rifle from the roof above the sixth floor with the tender care you might give an infant. When the policemen reached the ground, a high-ranking officer held the rifle high for everyone to see. The camera zoomed in for a close-up. Beneath the picture was the legend, "The Assassin’s Rifle." When I saw the film, I noted that this rifle had no sight mounted on it. Thus it could not have been either the Carcano or the vanished Mauser, both of which had sights.
I was not surprised to find that this third rifle, like the Mauser, had disappeared. But its existence confirmed my hypothesis that Lee Oswald could not have killed John Kennedy as the American public had been told. Setting aside the evidence of two other weapons on the scene, the incredibly accurate shooting of an incredibly inaccurate rifle within an impossible time frame was merely the beginning of the feat we were asked to believe Oswald had accomplished.
The first time I saw the package it was on the back seat of my car and I had just glanced at it. And I asked, ‘What’s that, Lee?’ And he said, ‘That’s curtain rods. Remember, I was going to bring them.’ The length of the package that I saw that morning was roughly two foot long, give or take an inch or two. And it was made out of same type of packing material that you would find in any company that packed materials for shipment. It was just brown paper and the tape that you would normally find, nothing unusual. …
I parked in the parking lot at the Texas School Book Depository. Lee got out of the car, took the package that he said contained curtain rods and he put one end of the package in the cup of his hand and the other [end] up under his armpit. He put the package under his arm that way and he walked off toward the Texas School Book Depository up on Elm Street.
The package could not have contained Oswald’s rifle. Even when dismantled it was three feet long. The Warren Commissioners, who investigated the assassination, ignored Frazier’s unswerving testimony, insisting the weapon had been smuggled into the Depository in Oswald’s brown paper parcel.25
Tenth point: Garrison revealed that Oswald took a "nitrate" test which indicated he had not fired a rifle on November 22, 1963. This is the most compelling evidence that exonerated Oswald. He was given the nitrate test on the evening of the assassination. Had he fired a rifle that day, the test would have revealed deposits of nitrate on his cheek. This information was kept secret for ten months but was revealed in the Warren Report.26
The government had trouble linking the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle directly to Oswald. But a smudged palm-print was discovered on the murder weapon hours after Federal agents made a mysterious visit to the funeral home where Oswald’s body had been taken by mortician Paul Grudy. Grudy explained what happened in an interview shown in The Men Who Killed Kennedy:
I had gotten to the funeral home with his body something in the neighborhood of eleven o’clock at night and it is a several hour procedure to prepare the remains. And after this time, some place in the early, early morning, agents came. Now I say agents because I’m not familiar, at the moment, with whether they were Secret Service or FBI or what they were. But agents did come. And when they did come, they fingerprinted. And the only reason that we knew they did, they were carrying a satchel and equipment and asked us if they might have the preparation room to themselves. And after it was all over, we found ink on Lee Harvey’s hands showing that they had fingerprinted him and palm-printed him. We had to take that ink back off in order to prepare him for burial and to eliminate that ink.27
Eleventh point: Garrison and others provided compelling arguments that the government manufactured fake photographs of Oswald holding a Mannlicher-Carcano rifle as a means of linking him to the murder weapon.(Footnote 14) In Garrison’s 1988 book, On the Trail of the Assassins, he cited Robert Groden’s "dissent" to the House Select Committee on Assassinations that challenged the authenticity of the photographs of Oswald. The HSCA had concluded that the photos were genuine. Groden was the photographic consultant to the HSCA. His dissent was hidden from public view until Garrison revealed it to the world in his 1988 best seller. Here is an excerpt of Groden’s dissent:
…in my opinion, no matter what the panel members concluded, the backyard photographs are beyond question fakes… For the record, the method used here was, almost without doubt, simply posing a man… in the backyard with a rifle, pistol and publications as part of this original picture. The only item added was the head of Lee Oswald from the middle of the chin up…28
It should be emphasized that although Groden wrote his dissent in the 1970s, he did not publish any books about the Kennedy assassination until after Jim Garrison wrote On the Trail of the Assassins in 1988. A year later, in 1989, Groden published a book entitled High Treason. In 1994, Groden published The Killing of a President. A year after that, in 1995, Groden published The Search for Lee Harvey Oswald. Although technically Groden challenged the authenticity of the photographs of Oswald in the 1970s, he sat on this critical information for years (apparently it was deliberate). But through Jim Garrison’s 1988 book, Groden’s dissent was finally read by millions. I shall have more comments about Robert Groden later.
Garrison also noted that in the photographs of Oswald, his head did not match his neck and body. Furthermore, Oswald’s facial "portrait" was exactly the same in several photographs, but his posture and the distance from the camera changed from picture to picture. In addition, if one uses Oswald’s face as a standard of measurement, then Oswald was significantly taller in one picture.29
The photographs of Oswald holding the murder weapon were found in Ruth Paine’s garage in Irving, Texas. As previously stated, Marina Oswald had been living with Paine—apart from her husband, Lee—at the time of the assassination. Garrison checked Ruth Paine’s background and discovered that she and her husband Michael Paine had strong ties to the intelligence community. Lee and Marina Oswald had met Ruth Paine in February 1963 at a party in Dallas. The Oswalds were taken to the party by George de Mohrenschildt and his wife. This is highly significant. Most researchers agree that de Mohrenschildt was one of Oswald’s CIA/ONI handlers. Given that, it seems probable that Ruth Paine was involved in the conspiracy as well. She supplied the authorities with incriminating photographs—likely fakes—of Oswald holding the murder weapon.
Michael Paine was a design engineer who performed highly classified worked for Bell Helicopter,(Footnote 15) a major defense contractor. Ruth Paine was an intelligent woman who constantly wandered around the country and the world for one reason or another. One of her many interests was the Russian language. Naturally this made her fast friends with Marina Oswald, a Russian immigrant. Paine’s father had been employed by the Agency for International Development, regarded by many as a CIA front organization. Her brother-in-law worked for the same agency in the Washington, DC area.30
Twelfth point: Garrison established that Oswald was not a Marxist as the Warren Commission concluded. Garrison summarized his feelings about Oswald’s political leanings as follows:
The more I thought about it, the more the great disparity gnawed at me. There had been the Lee Harvey Oswald who, the government told us, was close to being the most rabid communist since Lenin. On the other hand, at our very doorstep, there had been a flesh-and-blood Oswald who used as the headquarters for his pamphleteering the office of Guy Banister—formerly of the FBI and Naval Intelligence and, more recently, the Anti-Communist League of the Caribbean. As if that were not enough, Oswald had been on a first-name basis with that swashbuckling anti-communist soldier of fortune, David Ferrie, a man who had trained anti-Castro pilots for the Bay of Pigs in 1961 and by 1963 was giving guerilla training to more Cuban exiles for some new venture against the island.
Several other friends and associates of Oswald’s at the El Toro Marine base gave similar testimony before the Warren Commission that Oswald was not a Marxist. They included Donald Peter Camarata, Peter Francis Connor, Allen Graf, John Rene Heindel, Mack Osborne, and Richard Dennis Call. Only one man—Kerry Thornley—stated that Oswald had exhibited Marxist leanings. Consequently, the Warren Commission ignored the testimonies of the other men and released Thornley’s statements to the media.34
Garrison provided circumstantial evidence that Thornley had doubled as Oswald doing things to incriminate the latter. Thornley bore a striking resemblance to Oswald and they were about the same height, although Oswald was slightly taller. Garrison observed that Thornley had lied to the Warren Commission about Oswald’s height. Thornley told the Warren Commission that Oswald was about five inches shorter than himself—who was five feet ten inches—when in reality Oswald was taller. In 1968, Garrison had a Grand Jury subpoena Thornley who was living in Tampa, Florida at the time. Thornley admitted that he lived in New Orleans from February 1961 through the end of November 1963, shortly after the assassination. He also admitted to meeting Guy Banister and David Ferrie while in New Orleans, but denied meeting Oswald during his stay in New Orleans. In addition, Thornley lived in the heart of the New Orleans intelligence community during his time in that city.35
Thornley also told Garrison that in the late spring of 1963, around early May, he took a bus trip to California to visit his parents, and had visited Dallas briefly during that journey. In late April, the Oswalds had just moved from their Neely Street apartment in Dallas to New Orleans leaving the rent still paid for. Consequently, Oswald’s apartment was unoccupied for a few days. Garrison suggested that during that time, Thornley may have posed for the incriminating "fake" photographs of Oswald holding a rifle and pistol. The incriminating photos were taken of someone with a build similar to Oswald’s standing in the backyard of the Neely Street apartment.36
Thirteenth point: Garrison demonstrated that Oswald did not make trips to Mexico City, but the CIA had provided the Warren Commission with a fake photograph of him at the Cuban Embassy in that city. The Warren Commission used the alleged trip to Mexico City from September 16 through October 3, 1963 as further proof that Oswald was a communist. The Warren Report stated that Oswald "embarked on a series of visits to the Soviet and Cuban Embassies" in Mexico City, that his objective was "to reach Cuba by way of Mexico, and that he hoped to meet Fidel Castro after he arrived." The Warren Report further stated that Silvia Tirado de Duran, a Mexican employee at the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City, recalled an American named Lee Harvey Oswald trying to obtain a visa to Cuba in the latter part of September or the early part of October. The Warren Commission included an extensive statement from Duran in its final report.37
Garrison wrote the following devastating response to the Warren Commission’s assertion—a tale apparently manufactured by the CIA—that Oswald had visited the Cuban and Soviet Embassies in Mexico City:
Early in the official inquiry, the CIA informed the Warren Commission of Oswald’s alleged activities in Mexico City before the assassination. Uncharacteristically, the Commission asked for more evidence. Perhaps the Commission members, aware that the Agency had 24-hour photographic surveillance of the Cuban and Soviet embassies in Mexico City, were hoping for a good picture to shore up their sparsely documented account of Oswald’s trip to Mexico.
Initially, the Agency ignored the Commission’s request. But after more pressure, the CIA finally handed over a murky snapshot of a portly, graying gentleman almost old enough to be Oswald’s father. This, the Agency claimed, was Lee Harvey Oswald at the Cuban Embassy.
The Agency also produced a statement from Silvia Duran, a Mexican who worked at the Cuban Embassy, alleging that Oswald had appeared there. However, the circumstances under which the statement was obtained were tainted, to say the least. On the day of the assassination, the CIA ordered authorities to arrest Duran and keep her in isolation.(Footnote 16) The Agency cable said: "With full regard for Mexican interests, request you ensure that her arrest is kept absolutely secret, that no information from her is published or leaked, that all such info is cabled to us…" Duran was not released until she identified Lee Oswald as the visitor to the Cuban Embassy. After her release, the CIA ordered her jailed again. These circumstances were not known to the Commission. Moreover, in 1978 Duran told author Anthony Summers that the man who came to the embassy was blond and about her own height (five feet three)—hardly Oswald.
It had always puzzled me why Oswald had left Dallas in April 1963 to spend the summer in New Orleans, only to return to Dallas again in October. But given what I had learned, this began to make sense. Clearly, if Oswald was being set up as a communist scapegoat, his close association in Dallas with the anti-communist White Russians had to be severed. Likewise, a summer of ostentatiously handing out pro-Castro leaflets in New Orleans reinforced the image of a crazed communist assassin. In the intelligence community, there is a term for this kind of manipulated behavior designed to create a desired image: sheepdipping. It seemed to me that Oswald had been in New Orleans to be sheepdipped under the guidance of Guy Banister and that he had been sent back to Dallas when the mission was accomplished.
Frazier testified, however, that he found no microscopic characteristics or other evidence which would indicate that the bullet was not fired from the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle owned by Lee Harvey Oswald.40
In crimes where a gun is fired, law enforcement investigators normally look for evidence linking the bullet found at the crime scene to a weapon owned by the suspect. When the FBI investigated the Walker shooting, they were apparently satisfied to make their allegation first—that the bullet came from Oswald’s weapon—then conclude that the allegation was correct because no evidence was found to refute it. This rationale—which was stated in the Warren Report—is so ridiculous that it deserves no further comment.
In addition, the government’s allegation that Oswald shot at Walker’s house with a Mannlicher-Carcano rifle—allegedly, the same murder weapon that killed Kennedy—was further weakened by critics, such as Garrison and others, who demonstrated that the Mannlicher-Carcano was not the murder weapon used in the assassination.
One of the incriminating pieces of evidence which implicated Oswald in the Walker shooting incident were three photographs of the General’s home found in Oswald’s belongings at the home of Ruth Paine (the Irving-based woman with a strong intelligence background, introduced to the Oswalds through George and Jeanne De Mohrenschildt, who allowed Marina Oswald to live with her and her husband Michael while the Oswalds were separated). One of the photographs was of a 1957 Chevrolet—reportedly owned by General Walker and parked in the General’s driveway. There was a hole punched in the photograph that prevented the license plate of the Chevrolet from being read. Dallas police and the FBI concluded that Oswald had punched the hole in the photograph in order to prevent anyone from linking the General’s automobile to him. This evidence has since been discredited.41
Furthermore, much of the evidence implicating Lee Oswald in the Kennedy assassination, the Walker shooting, and even an alleged attempt on Richard Nixon’s life42 came from the testimony of Oswald’s widow, Marina. Although Marina Oswald has recanted her statements against her husband, it should be noted that any testimony against him would not have been admissible in a trial had he lived. This point alone shows the injustice of the Warren Commission. Having stated that, we should also remember that Marina first told the authorities that Lee was innocent. It was only after she had been held for weeks by the federal authorities that her story began to change. But she spoke little English at the time and was completely intimidated by the federal investigators. Since then she has acquired a better command of the language and began publicly defending her deceased husband. In a 1988 interview published in Ladies’ Home Journal, Marina made the following statements:
When I was questioned by the Warren Commission, I was a blind kitten. Their questioning left me only one way to go: guilty. I made Lee guilty. He never had a fair chance… But I was only 22 then, and I’ve matured since; I think differently.43
Researcher Jim Marrs wrote in his 1989 book, Crossfire, that Marina reversed her 1963-64 statements against her husband, plus she provided additional information. Marina’s assertions and views are as follows (per Jim Marrs):
- The federal authorities forced her Warren Commission testimony by threatening her with deportation. They also ordered her not to read or listen to anything pertaining to the assassination.
- Marina believes there was a conspiracy to kill Kennedy.
- Marina stated that Lee Harvey Oswald was an agent who "worked for the American government" and was "caught between two powers—the government and organized crime."
- Marina believes her husband was "killed to keep his mouth shut."
- Marina stated that someone impersonated her husband to incriminate him and "that’s no joke."
- Lee Harvey Oswald "adored" President Kennedy.44
Jack Ruby’s Filmed Interview
An interesting fact pointing to Israeli involvement in President Kennedy’s assassination is a filmed statement by Jack Ruby, the man who shot and killed accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. Ruby was Jewish. His real name was Rubenstein.
In March 1964, Jack Ruby was found guilty of murdering Lee Harvey Oswald and was sentenced to death. After the verdict and sentence, Ruby requested several times to be moved to Washington, DC to testify before the Warren Commission. Each request was denied. Although most of the Commission’s work was done in secret, they did visit Dallas on one occasion where they interviewed Ruby. He made the following statement:
Everything pertaining to what’s happening has never come to the surface. The world will never know the true facts of what occurred – my motives. The people had so much to gain, and had such an ulterior motive to put me in the position I’m in, will never let the true facts come above board to the world.
Are these people in very high positions Jack?
In 1979 the House Select Committee on Assassinations linked Ruby to Jewish Mafia chief, Meyer Lanksy (aka, Maier Suchowljansky). Keep in mind that both men were Jewish. The Encyclopedia Britannica states the following about Lanksy and Ruby:
[Meyer Lanksy was] one of the most powerful and richest of U.S. crime syndicate chiefs and bankers, who had major interests in gambling, especially in Florida, pre-Castro Cuba, Las Vegas, and the Bahamas.
… In 1979 the House of Representatives Assassinations Committee, ending its two-year investigation of the Warren Commission report, linked Lansky with Jack Ruby, the nightclub owner who killed presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.
Mercer Saw Ruby Drop off a Gunman at Dealy Plaza
Jack Ruby had worked for the Mafia for years. He likely worked for Meyer Lansky’s top lieutenant, Santo Trafficante who handled mob business in Florida and Cuba.(Footnote 17) Ruby participated in the assassination by performing ad hoc assignments for the hitmen and their handlers.
After Oswald was arrested, the conspirators obviously decided he needed to be eliminated. They likely made Ruby an offer he couldn’t refuse.
"Either kill Oswald," they must have said, "or we’ll implicate you in the murder of President Kennedy instead of Oswald. We have a respectable witness who saw you drop off a man with a rifle near Dealy Plaza shortly before Kennedy was killed."
Julia Ann Mercer identified Jack Ruby as a man driving a pick-up truck who dropped off another man carrying a rifle near Dealy Plaza shortly before the assassination. The following is a description of Mercer’s story from Jim Garrison’s book, On the Trail of the Assassins:
|Some of the best witnesses to the assassination found their way to us after it became apparent to them that the federal agents and the Dallas police really were not interested in what they saw. Julia Ann Mercer was just such a witness. In fact, no other witness so completely illuminated for me the extent of the cover-up.|
Mercer had been but a few feet away when one of the riflemen was unloaded at the grassy knoll shortly before the arrival of the presidential motorcade. Consequently, she was a witness not only to the preparation of President Kennedy's murder but also to the conspiracy involved.
She gave statements to the FBI and the Dallas Sheriff's office, and then returned to the FBI and provided additional statements, but she was never called by the Warren Commission—not even to provide an affidavit.
Much earlier, I had read Julia Ann Mercer's statements in the Warren Commission exhibits, but I had never had a chance to talk to her. Then one day in early 1968 her husband called me at the office. He said that he and his wife were in New Orleans on business and had some things to tell me. I agreed to meet them at the Fairmont Hotel, where they were staying.
Arriving at their suite, I found a most impressive couple. A middle-aged man of obvious substance, he had been a Republican member of Congress from Illinois. Equally impressive, she was intelligent and well-dressed, the kind of witness any lawyer would love to have testifying on his side in front of a jury. After he had departed on business, I handed her copies of her statements as they had been printed in the Warren Commission exhibits. She read them carefully and then shook her head.
"These all have been altered," she said. "They have me saying just the opposite of what I really told them."
About an hour before the assassination she had been driving west on Elm Street and had been stopped—just past the grassy knoll—by traffic congestion. To her surprise (because she recalled that the President's parade was coming soon), she saw a young man in the pickup truck to her right dismount, carrying a rifle, not too well concealed in a covering of some sort. She then observed him walk up "the grassy hill which forms part of the overpass." She looked at the driver several times, got a good look at his round face and brown eyes, and he looked right back at her.
Mercer also observed that three police officers were standing near a motorcycle on the overpass bridge above her and just ahead. She recalled that they showed no curiosity about the young man climbing the side of the grassy knoll with the rifle.
After the assassination, when Mercer sought to make this information available to law enforcement authorities, their response was almost frenzied. At the FBI office—where she went the day after the assassination—she was shown a number of mug shots. Among the several she selected as resembling the driver was a photograph of Jack Ruby. On Sunday, when she saw Ruby kill Oswald on television, she positively recognized him as the driver of the pickup truck and promptly notified the local Bureau office. Nevertheless, the FBI altered her statement so it did not note that she had made a positive identification.
She laughed when she pointed this out to me. "See," she said, "the FBI made it just the opposite of what I really told them." Then she added, "He was only a few feet away from me. How could I not recognize Jack Ruby when I saw him shoot Oswald on television?"
The Dallas Sheriff’s office went through the same laborious fraud and added an imaginative touch of its own. Although Mercer had never been brought before any notary, the Sheriff's office filed a sworn affidavit stating that she did not identify the driver, although she might, "if I see him again," and significantly changing other facts.
"See that notarized signature?" she asked me. "That's not my signature either. I sign my name with a big ‘A’ like this." She produced a pen and wrote her name for me. It was clear that the signature the Dallas Sheriff’s office had on its altered statement was not even close to hers.
Julia Ann Mercer then wrote on the side of my copies of the FBI and the Dallas Sheriff fabrications the correct version of what she had seen then. That version had not been acceptable in Dallas, but it was more than welcome to me. Conscious of the sudden deaths of some witnesses who appeared to have seen too much for their own survival, I thought that she should sign her maiden name as she had back in Dallas right after the assassination. At my suggestion she did so.
When I got back to my office, I thought about Julia Ann Mercer. She had been only a few feet away from one of the most crucial incidents of the assassination and had tried in vain to tell the federal and Dallas law enforcement authorities the simple truth. The implications of her experience were profound. First of all, Mercer's observations provided further evidence that there was another rifleman on the knoll ahead of the President.
But to me the responses to her statements were even more chilling. They proved that law enforcement officials recognized early on that a conspiracy existed to kill the President. Both local and federal authorities had altered Mercer's statements precisely to conceal that fact.
I already had concluded that parts of the local Dallas law enforcement establishment were probably implicated in the assassination or its cover-up. But now I saw that the highly respected FBI was implicated as well. After all, the Bureau had to have known on Saturday, November 23, when it showed Jack Ruby's photo to Mercer, that Ruby might have been involved in a conspiracy. This was the day before Ruby shot Oswald.
House Select Committee on Assassinations Ignored Mercer’s Testimony
Garrison made the following comments about the House Select Committee’s deception regarding Julia Ann Mercer’s eye-witness account of Ruby:
|There was a coda to the Julia Ann Mercer story. In the late 1970s when I was in private law practice, the House Select Committee on Assassinations convened. Because I had seen too much critical material disappear in the hands of federal investigators, I was not enthusiastic about sending the committee anything.|
However, Mercer's observations, as well as the government's alteration of them, were of overriding importance. There was no evidence more conclusive of the frontal shooting of Kennedy, of the conspiracy and of the subsequent cover-up. Consequently, I sent the committee copies of Mercer's statements to the FBI and the Dallas Sheriff's office as they appeared in the Warren Commission exhibits, with her description of the alterations written on the sides of each.
Because of the exceptionally high casualty rate among important assassination witnesses, I described her only by her maiden name, which she had signed on her statements. In an accompanying letter, I explained the reason to the committee and said that if they intended to call her as a witness and would assure me that there would be a serious effort to protect bar, I would be happy to send her married name and present address.
I never received a reply from the House Committee. Some years later I happened to be thumbing through the published hearings of the committee when I stumbled on an interesting passage. It said that I had sent to the committee alleged statements made by one Julia Ann Mercer. The House Committee's investigators, the report continued, "had been unable to locate her."
Ruby’s Association With the FBI
Garrison provided additional information about Ruby’s association with the FBI in the 1950s:
|Jack Ruby had a special relationship with the Dallas office of the FBI In 1959. Ruby met at least nine times with one of the Dallas Bureau's agents. At that time he also purchased a microphone-equipped wrist watch, a bugged tie clip, a telephone bug, and a bugged attaché case. These facts suggested that Jack Ruby was probably a regular informant with the local Bureau office.|
But Ruby may well have been working for the CIA also. Individuals on the payroll of one agency are sometimes hired as contract employees for another agency within the intelligence community. During 1959, the same year in which Ruby was meeting with the FBI agent, he took two flights to Cuba. One was for eight days. The other was an overnight turn-around flight. Earlier in the 1950s he had consulted a war supplies dealer about the purchase of 100 jeeps, one of the most valuable items for the rebels in Cuba whom the CIA was supporting at that time. On a later occasion, he was deeply involved in gun running for the Cuban rebels supported by the Agency.
Ruby Tried to Save Oswald
After Oswald’s arrest, Ruby apparently tried to save Oswald by phoning the Dallas Police Department and warning them not to move Oswald through the basement. Billy Bremer, a communications officer with the Dallas Police in 1963, was on duty the night before Ruby killed Oswald. At around 9:00 pm, he received an anonymous but urgent call from someone who turned out to be Ruby. In an interview years later, Bremer described the phone call.
|I thought I recognized the voice, but at the time I could not put a face or a name with the voice. And as we talked, he began telling me that we needed to change the plans on moving Oswald from the basement – that he knew of the plans to make the move, and if we did not make a change – the statement he made precisely was "We are going to kill him."|
Bremer reported the call, then went home and went to sleep when his shift was over that night. The next morning, he saw on television that Ruby had shot Oswald.
|No sooner then I had turned it on, they were telling that Jack Ruby had killed Oswald. Then I suddenly realized, knowing Jack Ruby the way I did, this was the man I was talking to on the phone last night. At that time, I put the voice with the face. And I knew within myself that Jack Ruby was the one that made that call to me the night before. And I think it was obvious because he knew me, and I knew him, and he called me by my name over the telephone. And seeing this, and knowing what I knew and what he had said, then to me, it had to be Jack Ruby.|
General Charles Cabell and Brother Earle, Mayor of Dallas
General Charles Cabell was a key figure in the assassination. His brother, Earle Cabell, was mayor of Dallas when Kennedy was killed. This fact was uncovered by Jim Garrison. The Cabell brothers were likely enlisted in the Israeli-born coup during or shortly after the Cuban Missile Crisis. General Charles Cabell had been fired by President Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs Invasion in 1961.
A key contribution to the coup—apparently made by the aforementioned Cabell brothers—was to change the motorcade route on the day of the assassination. The motorcade was apparently changed in order to pass by the Texas School Book Depository, thereby implicating Oswald as the assassin because he worked there. The following is Garrison’s description—from his book, On the Trail of the Assassins—of how he discovered the Cabell brothers:
|One morning I was in my office reading and rereading a newspaper. I did not hear Frank [Klein] enter.|
"I have never seen you so preoccupied," said Frank.
"It's not just any paper, son," I said. "This is the front page of the Dallas Morning News for November 22, 1963."
"Well, what's got you so hypnotized?"
I gestured to the large diagram on the paper's front page, indicating the route of the presidential parade. "Have I ever shown you this before?" I asked.
He shook his head.
I turned the paper around facing his way so that he could read the diagram of the motorcade. It covered almost five-sixths of the front page.
"Frank," I said, "I want you to follow the parade route with me. Let's pick it up right here as it comes down Main approaching Dealey Plaza. Are you with me?"
"Yes," he said, his finger following the thick line indicating the motorcade. "And here is where it reaches Dealey Plaza. . ." He stopped.
"What's the matter?" I asked.
"This diagram indicates that the President's parade was supposed to continue on Main Street through the center of Dealey Plaza-without even leaving Main." He stared at it in disbelief.
"So what's wrong with that?" I asked.
His finger was moving off of Main, inches downward to Elm until he found the Depository area where the President had been shot. "if that was the presidential parade route up there on Main . . ."
I finished the question for him. "How did he get way down here on Elm?"
Frank looked up at me with a slight frown, then looked back at the diagram. He moved his finger back along Main Street to where it reached Houston. "The motorcade turned right on Houston and went down onto Elm," he said.
"Where the motorcade made that sweeping 120-degree left turn you are looking at, which had to slow the President's car down to about ten miles an hour."
Frank looked up again at the thick line indicating the motorcade route continuing on Main through the center of Dealey Plaza as it headed for the Stemmons Freeway.
"Here on Main street, continuing through the open meadow," he said, "they couldn't have hit him. Are you telling me that at the last moment they just moved the President of the United States off of his scheduled route to here where the Depository is?" He pushed back his chair and stood up. "Hell, I haven't read a damned word about that anywhere. How can they keep something like that a secret for three years?"
I leaned back in my chair. "Now you see why I didn't hear you knock when you came in."
"Where the hell were the Dallas police when they made that last-minute change in the route?" he asked.
"Where indeed?" I asked. "And the Secret Service. And the FBI"
"And the city administration of Dallas," he added. "Don't they have a mayor over there in that damned place?"
"Yes, they do. The mayor when this happened was Earle Cabell."
I buzzed the intercom and my secretary, Sharon Herkes, came in. I asked her to take a cab to the public library and find the latest volume of Who's Who in the Southwest. "I'm sure you'll find Earle Cabell in there. See if his article indicates any connections with Washington."
"With Washington?" Frank asked.
"Of course," I replied. "You can't tell me it's possible to hijack the President—with the whole world watching—unless there's some kind of cooperation between the city administration and the federal government."
Frank grabbed the front page of the Dallas Morning News and pointed to the diagram. "Hell," he said, "was the Warren Commission blind? Didn't they see this?"
"Oh," I said. "Would you like to see the front page that was introduced to the Warren Commission?"
I pulled open my middle desk drawer and took out a copy of the Dallas Morning News front page that had been introduced as a Commission exhibit. I handed it to Frank and lit my pipe. I had hardly taken the first puff on it when he yelled.
"Those bastards! They just removed the entire motorcade route from the front page."
That was true. On five-sixths of the Dallas Morning News page where the diagram of the motorcade route was supposed to be was nothing but a large square of solid gray. "And this has been printed as an official, exhibit by the Warren Commission?" he asked.
"And just what in the hell are we supposed to call this?" he asked, waving the nearly blank exhibit.
I took a puff or two on my pipe. "This is what you call," I replied, "a coup d'etat."
An hour or so later Sharon walked in the door with a large photostat in her hand. "They, didn't have anything about Mayor Cabell in the Who's Who," she said. "But there's a lot of stuff here about a General Charles Cabell."
I glanced down at the article. Right away it jumped out at me from the page that this Charles Cabell had been the deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Now I found myself looking at that last name with real fascination. It took one phone call to an attorney friend in Dallas to determine that General Charles Cabell was the brother of Earle Cabell, former mayor of Dallas.
Now the eleventh-hour change in the President's motorcade route was even more intriguing to me, and I immediately headed for the public library. Before sunset I had become the leading expert in New Orleans on General Charles Cabell, who, it turned out, had been fired as the CIA's number two man by President Kennedy. General Cabell had been in charge of the Agency's disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion. In the final hours, while Castro's small air force was tearing the landing effort apart, Cabell had managed to get through a call to President Kennedy in an attempt to halt the disaster. Just over the horizon, by something less than happenstance, lay aircraft carriers with fighter planes on their decks, engines warming up. General Cabell informed the President that these fighters could reverse the course of disaster in minutes and secure the success of the invasion. All that was needed was the President's authorization.
On the preceding day Kennedy had assured the assembled media that if anyone invaded Cuba (and the air had become rife with invasion rumors) there certainly would be no help from the US armed forces. He flatly turned Cabell down. With that the invasion's chances sank, as did the general's intelligence career. President Kennedy asked for Cabell's resignation and the general was subsequently replaced on February 1, 1962, as the CIA's deputy director. General Cabell's subsequent hatred of John Kennedy became an open secret in Washington.
In most countries, a powerful individual who had been in open conflict with a national leader who was later assassinated would receive at least a modicum of attention in the course of the posthumous inquiry. A major espionage organization with a highly sophisticated capability for accomplishing murder might receive even more. Certainly a powerful individual who also held a top position in a major espionage apparatus and had been at odds with the departed leader would be high on the list of suspects.
However, General Cabell, who fit that description perfectly, was never even called as a witness before the Warren Commission. One reason may have been that Allen Dulles, the former CIA director (also fired by President Kennedy), was a member of the Commission and handled all leads relating to the Agency. During the nine years that Dulles had been the CIA's chief, General Charles Cabell had been his deputy.
Former CIA Director, Allen Dulles
Allen Dulles was CIA director during the Eisenhower administration, and Kennedy allowed him to continue serving in that capacity until after the Bay of Bigs invasion, after which Kennedy asked Dulles to resign. According to historian Michael Beschloss, the Kennedy administration "stripped" Dulles of "certain of his CIA retirement privileges" in the spring of 1962, about six months before the Cuban Missile Crisis. The following is an excerpt from The Crisis Years by Michael Beschloss:
|In March 1962, Nixon's memoir Six Crises, charging that Kennedy had subordinated national security to political ambition, caused a public sensation. Nixon wrote that Dulles had told the Democratic nominee that for months the CIA had "not only been supporting and assisting, but actually training Cuban exiles for the eventual purpose of supporting an invasion of Cuba itself."|
. . . The President also asked Dulles to issue a statement saying "that the President never knew about it." But Dulles told reporters only that Nixon must be victim of an "honest misunderstanding." Soon thereafter, he was stripped of certain of his CIA retirement privileges.
|Before meeting [with the newly elected President Kennedy, CIA director Allen] Dulles evidently studied an assessment of Kennedy’s personality by CIA psychologists using files dating to the 1930s, including material from British surveillance of Joseph Kennedy’s London Embassy as well as his son’s wartime service in the Navy. Such assessments predicted how the subject would respond when informed of the full range of CIA operations, showing Dulles the most effective method of appeal.|
|I do not know precisely when the planning and preparation for the coup began. In a sense, it may have been as early as late 1960 when the CIA prepared a dossier analysis on the President-elect. Such a psychological profile surely would not have contemplated assassination of the President, but its purpose was to help the CIA, or some elements within it, further its goal of manipulating policy.|
- Nigel Turner documentary, The Men Who Killed Kennedy: The Patsy
- Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, pp. 24 - 25
- ibid, p. 51
- ibid, pp. 55 - 59
- ibid, p. 59
- ibid, p. 64
- Jim Marrs, Crossfire, p. 278; Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, pp. 61
- Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, pp. 61
- ibid, p. 55
- Jim Marrs, Crossfire, p. 287; Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, p. 64. Marrs supplied the date of de Mohrenschildt’s death, that he was killed by a shotgun blast to the head, and that it occurred at his sister-in-law’s home in Manalapan, Florida. Garrison wrote that his death was ruled suicide.
- Jim Marrs, Crossfire, p. 523
- Jim Marrs, Crossfire, p. 287; Michael Collins Piper, Final Judgment, p. 121
- Michael Collins Piper, Final Judgment, p. 388
- William Torbitt, Nomenclature of an Assassination Cabal, Reference Section II: J. Edgar Hoover, Ferenc Nagy, Clay Shaw, L.M. Bloomfield, and Permindex.
- Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, p. 60. The reference to Henry Hurt is from Reasonable Doubt, p. 219.
- ibid, pp. 25 - 27
- ibid, pp. 91-93, 198-199. Dean Andrews told the FBI and the Warren Commission that Clay Bertrand had called him to represent Oswald. Later Garrison discovered that Clay Bertrand was in fact an alias used by well-known New Orleans businessman, Clay Shaw. When asked under oath, before a grand jury, if Clay Bertrand and Clay Shaw was the same person, Andrews denied it. The grand jury indicted Andrews for perjury. Subsequently, in August 1967, Andrews was found guilty of perjury by a jury of New Orleans citizens. (pp. 198-199)
- ibid, pp. 292 - 294
- ibid, p. 225
- ibid, pp. 225 - 236, 328 - 329
- ibid, p. 51 (Delgado’s testimony is from Warren Commission Hearings, Volume 8, p. 133.)
- ibid, pp. 114 - 115
- Nigel Turner documentary, The Men Who Killed Kennedy: The Patsy
- Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, p. 116. Garrison got the information about the nitrate test from the Warren Commission Report, pp. 560-561. The Commission reported that "Oswald’s hands reacted positively to the test. The cast of the right cheek showed no reaction." WCR, p. 560. Due to the problems introduced by the latter finding, the Commission added that "the test is completely unreliable…" WCR, p. 561
- Nigel Turner documentary, The Men Who Killed Kennedy: The Patsy
- Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, p. 86. Garrison quoted Robert Groden’s dissent to the House Select Committee on Assassinations, p. 295.
- Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, p. 71. Garrison cited John Gilligan, Director of the Agency for International Development during the Carter administration, to corroborate his assertion that AID was a front for the CIA. Gilligan stated the following: "At one time, many AID field offices were infiltrated from top to bottom with CIA people." Garrison found the quote in an article by George Cotter. ["Spies, Strings, and Missionaries," The Christian Century (Chicago), March 25, 1981]
- ibid, p. 52
- ibid, p. 51
- ibid, pp. 50 - 62
- ibid, p. 53
- ibid, pp. 83 - 85
- ibid, pp. 84 - 85
- Warren Report, pp. 278 - 283 (Section is entitled "Contacts With the Cuban and Soviet Embassies in Mexico City and the Soviet Embassy in Washington, DC"
- Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, pp. 73 - 74. Garrison referenced a "murky snapshot" of an older "Oswald" from Henry Hurt’s book, Reasonable Doubt (p. 263). Garrison cited his source for the CIA ordering the Mexican authorities to arrest Silvia Duran as the House Select Committee Hearings, Chapter 3, pp. 82, 157, 232-233; and Chapter 11, pp. 203-204. Garrison also cited Anthony Summers’ book, Conspiracy, p. 377, where Duran told Summers, in 1978, that the man who came to the Embassy was about five foot three with blond hair.
- Warren Report, pp. 33, 174
- ibid, p. 174. Reference section entitled "Prior Attempt to Kill: The Attempt on the Life of Maj. Gen. Edwin A. Walker"
- Jim Marrs, Crossfire, pp. 255 - 265
- Warren Report, pp. 175 - 176
- Jim Marrs, Crossfire, p. 129. Marrs got his information about Marina Oswald from an interview she gave to Ladies’ Home Journal in 1988. The article, written by Myrna Blyth and Jane Farrell, was entitled "Marina Oswald—Twenty-Five Years Later."
- ibid, p. 561. Marrs wrote that Ruby died of "lung cancer," and he "told family [his] family he was injected with cancer cells."
Look at the Zapruder Film
In Chapter 5, I mentioned that my curiosity had been aroused by Christian David’s description—in The Men Who Killed Kennedy—of the shots fired at President Kennedy and John Connally. According to David, there were "three guns, four shots, three hits, and one miss." Two shots hit Kennedy, one hit Connally, and one missed the car completely. Furthermore, two shots were fired simultaneously which explains why witnesses heard three shots.
After studying the Zapruder film, I have concluded that David’s version is absolutely correct. Not only is it correct, I realized that the Zapruder film alone proves in a legal sense that there was a conspiracy. All one has to do is look at the Zapruder film.
I highly recommend that anyone interested in the Kennedy assassination go to the nearest video store and rent the Zapruder film. Before viewing it, purge your mind of any pre-conceived notions. Forget what the so-called experts have told you and look at it with an open mind. You will see—as I did—two important things rarely discussed by the so-called assassination experts. First of all, it is quite obvious that Kennedy’s neck wound was caused by a different bullet than Connally’s wounds because there was a four second delay between the time Kennedy grabbed his neck and the time Connally reacted to being hit. The Warren Commission concluded that one bullet hit Kennedy in the neck and caused all of Connally’s wounds. This is known as the "Single Bullet Theory." Simply stated, the Warren Commission’s Single Bullet Theory is impossible.
Secondly, the Zapruder film shows that there must have been at least two gunmen because there was only a one-second delay between the time Connally reacted to being hit in the back and the time Kennedy was shot in the head. That simply was not enough time for one gunman to fire two shots. The Warren Report stated that a minimum of "2.3 seconds" is "necessary to operate the [Mannlicher-Carcano] rifle" to fire two consecutive shots.1 Using the government’s own logic, there had to have been two gunmen because Kennedy was hit in the head less than 2.3 seconds after Connally was hit. According to the government, this would be impossible for one gunman. Using this logic, the shot that caused Kennedy’s head wound could have come from the front or the back, but two gunmen would still have been required because of the one second delay between Connally’s shot in the back and Kennedy’s shot in the head.
The one-second delay between the second and third shots was corroborated by the eye-witness account of Mary Woodward, a junior reporter on the Dallas Morning News at the time of the assassination. In fact she wrote an article describing the assassination before it was even announced that Kennedy had died. The following is Woodward’s description— from an interview years later for The Men Who Killed Kennedy—of the shots she observed:
…One thing I am totally positive of in my own mind is how many shots there were. And there were three shots. The second two shots were immediate. It was almost as if one were an echo of the other, they came so quickly. The sound of one did not cease until the second shot. …
Keep in mind that Woodward’s observation that she heard three shots does not refute Christian David’s claim that there were actually four shots fired. David also stated that two shots were fired almost simultaneously. Hence, witnesses heard only three shots.
These facts are not complicated. They do not require an expert’s analysis. Any reasonable person of average intelligence can understand them. Yet the sponsors of Kennedy’s murder have trained the public to rely on expert "interpretation" of these simple facts. After viewing the Zapruder film for yourself, it will become clear that most of the so-called assassination researchers have confused the public for years on the notion of conspiracy. The sponsors of Kennedy’s murder have created a general state of public confusion by expressing from all sides so many complex opinions that the public has decided to have no opinion of any kind in matters of conspiracy.
John Connally’s Wounds
The nature of John Connally’s wounds are another topic of debate among the so-called critics of the Warren Report. The facts I am about to present will show that John Connally generally told the truth about his wounds. It will also become obvious that one bullet struck Connally wounding him in five places. In addition, the individual who shot Connally was standing in the vicinity of the upper floors of the Texas School Book Depository. This does not refute the previously described proof of conspiracy. Remember, the Warren Commission concluded that one bullet hit Kennedy in the neck and also wounded Connally in five places. My position is that one bullet hit Kennedy in the neck, and a separate bullet hit Connally. A third bullet hit Kennedy in the right temple and killed him. Also, the fact that the individual who shot Connally fired from the vicinity of the upper floors of the Texas School Book Depository does not prove that Oswald was the shooter. Here are the facts.
The position in which Connally was sitting when he was struck is critical to understanding the direction the bullet was traveling. I have also discovered that Connally’s physical position at the moment he was hit is an area in which disinformation abounds. The nature of Connally’s wounds is equally important. The combination of these two things—the physical position he was in when he was hit and the nature of his wounds—makes it fairly easy is to ascertain the general location from which the shot was fired.
I have seen at least one hand-drawn diagram, in a popular assassination book, where Connally is sitting in the wrong position when he was hit. In that diagram, Connally is facing forward, but if you view the Zapruder film, you will see that Connally was actually sitting sideways, facing to his right when he was hit. His torso was twisted to the right because he turned to look behind after hearing gunfire from the back. His legs may have pointed forward, but his torso was definitely twisted to the right. This is a critical point.
All of Connally’s wounds were to the left and below the previous wound, but this only makes sense if you understand that his torso was twisted to the right and his legs were facing forward. More specifically, a bullet entered Connally’s back at his right armpit, continued in a straight line exiting the right side of his chest (at the right nipple), entering and exiting his right wrist, and hitting his left thigh.2 The bullet was obviously traveling downward and to the left in a straight line. This means that the individual who shot Connally had fired from a high position, from behind the Presidential limousine, and to the right of it (from the riders’ perspective). In other words, the individual who shot Connally had fired from the vicinity of the upper floors of the Texas School Book Depository.
Transcript of Connally’s Interview From The Men Who Killed Kennedy
The facts I have just described match Connally’s testimony which states that he turned to look over his right shoulder immediately after hearing the first shot. As he began to turn back around, he was hit. He was not facing forward, as so many of the "false critics" would have us believe. The following is Connally’s description of the shots from The Men Who Killed Kennedy:
Nellie [Connally’s wife] turned to the President and said, "Mr. President, you can’t say now that they don’t love you here in Dallas.
Within a matter of a few seconds after that, we turned on Elm Street to go down to get on the Stemmons Freeway to go out to the Trade Mart where the luncheon was being held. That’s when the shots occurred.
I heard what I thought was a rifle shot. I immediately reacted by turning to look over my right shoulder because that’s where the sound came from.
I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary and was in the process of turning to look over my left shoulder when I felt a blow in the middle of my back as if someone had hit me with a doubled up fist, about like that.
[As he was speaking, he hit his hands together hard, three times, one hand balled in a fist hitting the open palm of the other.]
The blow was of such force that it bent me over [leaning forward to indicate it bent him over in the forward direction] and I immediately saw that I was covered with blood – and I knew I’d been hit. And I said, "Oh my God, they’re gonna kill us all!"
And I heard another shot that was a loud shot almost like that [a gunshot noise is heard as a picture of the Zapruder film shows Kennedy being shot fatally in the head], and immediately I saw blood and brain tissue all over the back of the limousine. I knew then that the President had been fatally hit because Mrs. Kennedy, then, I heard her say, "My God. I’ve got his brains in my hand."
For anyone who might argue that the Zapruder film is tainted in some way, recall the eye-witness account of Mary Woodward who made the following observation of the second and third shots: "…there were three shots. The second two shots were immediate. It was almost as if one were an echo of the other, they came so quickly. The sound of one did not cease until the second shot."
We have film footage and an eye-witness account. Both clearly refute Connally’s claim that he shouted "Oh my God, they’re gonna kill us all!" after being hit.
Connally may have been coached into telling that white lie, or maybe he made the statement in his mind—thought it, but didn’t actually say it. In either case, critics had a field day analyzing his alleged remark. It fed the ridiculous notion that he was part of the conspiracy because by stating "they’re gonna kill us all," he must have known that there were multiple shooters. I use the word "ridiculous" because I do not believe he, or any rational person, would have put themselves in harm’s way to help kill someone. But I could definitely believe he was encouraged to lie about this subtle point for two reasons. First of all, it wasn’t the kind of lie that he could easily be convicted of perjury for telling. Secondly, it created a smokescreen by encouraging nonsensical debates amongst critics.
Summary of Shots Fired
Here is my analysis of the shots fired:
- Four shots were fired.
- Only three shots hit Kennedy and Connally.
- One shot missed the car completely, ricocheted off the curb far ahead of the car and a fragment grazed bystander, James Teague, in the cheek.3
- The first shot was fired from the rear, hitting Kennedy in the neck. We know Kennedy was hit in the neck because he was seen clutching his throat in the Zapruder film. Furthermore, we know the shot was likely fired from behind because Connally reacted immediately by turning around. "I immediately reacted," Connally stated, "by turning to look over my right shoulder because that’s where the sound came from." His filmed reaction and his testimony are consistent with Kennedy’s neck/back wound being caused by someone firing from the rear.
- Four seconds after Kennedy was hit in the neck, a second bullet hit Connally in the back causing five wounds (right back, right chest, entry and exit wounds on right wrist, and one wound on left thigh). The bullet that hit Connally was obviously fired from the direction of the Texas School Book Depository because each of Connally’s wounds was downward and to the left from the previous one.
- One second after Connally was hit, a third shot was fired fatally hitting Kennedy in the head. The timing alone proves there was a second gunman because, according to the Warren Report, 2.3 seconds are required to fire two consecutive shots from a Mannlicher-Carcano rifle, the type of weapon Oswald was alleged by the government to have used. If there was a second gunman, then by definition there was a conspiracy.
Kennedy’s Neck/Back Wound
Much has been made about the direction of the shot to Kennedy’s neck. As previously stated, we know that Connally’s immediate reaction after hearing the first shot—the one that caused Kennedy to grab his neck—was to look to the rear. My description of Connally’s response is corroborated in the Zapruder film and in Connally’s testimony. Hence, we can conclude that the wound to Kennedy’s neck/back was caused by someone firing from the rear.
In my opinion, many of the so-called critics who make a fuss about the direction of the bullet that hit Kennedy in the neck are intentionally creating a smokescreen to divert people away from noticing and discussing time delays between shots.
Joseph Milteer Corroborated Jewish Conspiracy
Joseph Milteer was an individual with first-hand knowledge of the conspiracy to kill Kennedy. Thirteen days before the assassination, Milteer told a Miami police informant that Kennedy would be killed with a high-powered rifle from an office building. After the assassination, he told the same informant that a Jewish conspiracy was behind the assassination. An FBI report was subsequently filed on the entire incident.
Joseph Milteer was a wealthy southerner from Quitman,4 Georgia with ultra-conservative extremist political leanings. He was an active member of the Constitutional America Party and had acquaintances in the Ku Klux Klan.5 His politics were a mixture of right-wing extremism mixed with Evangelical Christianity and the belief in Armageddon. Evangelicals believe Jews are needed to establish a Jewish state so that Jesus will return, gather all Jews in Israel, and build a Temple. The world would then end and practically all the Jews would be killed at Armageddon. The few Jewish survivors would convert to Christianity.6
On November 9, 1963, a Miami police informant named William Somersett met with Milteer who outlined the assassination. Somersett was a union organizer with extensive right-wing political ties. President Kennedy was scheduled to come to Miami on November 18, 1963. As a security measure, the local police were monitoring known subversives like Milteer. A tape recorder and microphone was placed in Somersett’s apartment where the two men met.7
The following is a transcript of the conversation between Milteer and Somersett on November 9, 1963 nearly two weeks before Kennedy was killed:
I think Kennedy is coming here on the 18th, or something like that to make some kind of speech . . .
You can bet your bottom dollar he is going to have a lot to say about the Cubans. There are so many of them here.
Yeah. Well, he will have a thousand bodyguards, don't worry about that.
The more bodyguards he has the easier it is to get him.
Well, how in the hell do you figure would be the best way to get him?
From an office building with a high-powered rifle.
Do you think he knows he’s a marked man?
I’m sure he does. I’m sure he does. Yes.
They are really going to try to kill him?
Oh yeah, it’s in the working.
Hitting this Kennedy I’ll tell you is going to be a hard proposition, I believe. Now you may have it figured out to get him from an office building and all that, but I don’t know how the Secret Service—they’d … cover all them office buildings and anywhere he’s going. Do you know whether they’d do that or not?
If they have any suspicions, they will of course. But without suspicions the chances are they wouldn’t. You wouldn’t have to take a gun up there. They’d take it up in pieces, assemble it and take it out in pieces. All those guns come knocked down and you can take them apart.
Boy, if that Kennedy gets shot, we have to know where we are at. Because you know that will be a real shake if they do that.
They wouldn't leave any stone unturned there, no way. They will pick somebody up within hours afterwards, if anything like that would happen. Just to throw the public off.
... There was no particular city mentioned [by Milteer] nor was there any particular person mentioned that was to do the assassination. …
The tape was made on November 9th, and President John F. Kennedy was due in Miami on the 18th of November 1963. So the close proximity of the tape being made and his visit made quite a few changes in his security. They changed the motorcade—I believe that he was helicoptered in rather than have a motorcade. Additional men were secured. Everyone was made aware that there may be a problem. So there was a drastic change in the procedures. He wasn’t as accessible in this city as he might have been in the past.
FBI Report Stated Assassination was a Jewish Conspiracy
After the assassination, Milteer told the same informant, William Somersett, that it was a Jewish conspiracy that sponsored Kennedy’s murder. In fact, Milteer referred to the person in charge as "the big Jew." According to an FBI report, Milteer told Somersett that Martin Luther King and Attorney General Kennedy were now unimportant, but the next move would be against "the big Jew." Milteer described the assassination as "a Communist conspiracy by Jews to overthrow the United States government."9
This information is extremely important because Milteer was clearly a man with prior knowledge about the assassination. Despite his extremist politics, Milteer was a person to be taken seriously. His comment about Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy, and "the big Jew" tells us three things. First, his reference to "the big Jew" corroborates my thesis that one Jewish individual—likely Louis Bloomfield—ran the coup against Kennedy. Second, it reveals that right-wing extremists broke ranks with the Jewish-led coup immediately after the assassination. Apparently, Milteer and his associates had made a pact with Bloomfield to support the coup but secretly plotted to kill him—Bloomfield—upon completion of the deed. Third, it suggests that contingency plans were in place in 1963—by the right-wing extremists—to kill Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy.
Further evidence indicates that Milteer personally declared a right-wing war on the Jews. On November 24, just two days after the assassination, Milteer reportedly made a speech before the Constitutional American Party in Columbia, South Carolina. According to an FBI report, he made the following statements:
… to all Christians: The Zionist Jews killed Christ 2000 years ago and on November 22, 1963, they killed President Kennedy. You Jews killed the President. We are going to kill you.10
The following FBI report, dated November 27, 1963,11 documented Milteer’s subsequent conversations with Somersett on November 23th and 24th. Although the report was written in a cryptic manner, it clearly stated that Milteer believed a Jewish conspiracy was behind the assassination of President Kennedy. It also indicated that Milteer’s right-wing extremists had declared war on the Jews. Here is the complete text of the FBI report:
11-27-63 - 6 p.m.
Howard Trent, FBI HQ, passed the following information to us per suggestion of Orrin Bartlett:
On Nov. 10 and 11 information came to the FBI from an informant [William Somersett] concerning J.A. Milteer, active in the Constitutional American Party, which information was furnished early the morning of Nov. 11 to Agent Scott Trundle of our Washington Field Office. Plans, he alleged, were being made to kill the President at some future date. He thought it might be done from some place near the White House with a high powered rifle.
Subsequently, Mr. Trent continued, the Secret Service in Miami contacted the informant [Somersett] and interviewed him and had access to a recording of interview with him.
The same informant [Somersett] has just furnished additional information which in many instances cannot be verified.
In this instance he is speaking of Milteer again. Says he met Milteer in Jacksonville, Florida, November 23, at which time Milteer was jubilant over the assassination and said "everything ran true to form -- I guess you thought I was kidding you when I said he would be killed from a window with a high-powered rifle." Source then asked Milteer whether he was guessing when he gave the original information about the plan. Milteer replied "I don't do any guessing." Then Milteer allegedly said on the 23rd that he had been in Ft. Worth and Dallas, as well as other southern cities, but did not indicate the date he visited these cities. Milteer allegedly had contact with Robert Shelton who is a KKK leader but he thought Shelton could not be depended upon as he opposes violence. Milteer was quoted as saying Martin Luther King and Attorney General Kennedy are now unimportant, but the next move would be against "the big Jew." Milteer alleyed [sic] that there is a Communist conspiracy by Jews to overthrow the United States. On Nov. 24 the informant [Somersett] received information from Milteer that Milteer may have made a telephone call which was pertinent and that they do not have to worry about Oswald getting caught because Oswald knew nothing and the right wing was in the clear. Informant indicated Milteer while at Columbia, S.C. Nov. 24 made some notes prior to arrival of members of the Constitutional American Party who were to have a meeting there and captioned the notes "notes to all Christians --- The Zionist Jews killed Christ 2000 years ago and on Nov. 22, 1963, they killed President Kennedy. You Jews killed the President. We are going to kill you."
FBI Atlanta Office determined that Milteer was, on Nov. 22, at Quitman, Georgia.
FBI is in process of locating Milteer to question him because of his interest in American Constitutional Party Hate organization.
FBI will furnish our office with any further pertinent information developed.
Not possible to evaluate the reliability of the informant; however, he was interviewed by Secret Service Agent in Miami who may have made some comment as to his judgment of the man's veracity.12
Milteer’s War on Jews
As previously stated, Joseph Milteer belonged to several right-wing extremist groups that mixed politics with Evangelical Christianity. The latter has a history of loyalty to Israel because of its belief in Armageddon.
Evangelical ministers Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell are both big supporters of Israel. Robertson in particular is a big believer in Armageddon. The bizarre thing about Evangelicals is they do not hesitate to encourage Jewish conversion to Christianity; however, they also feel that Jews are needed in order to fulfill the scriptures.
When Menachem Begin was cautioned that Evangelical aid was provided to Israel only because they believed that a new Jewish state was needed for the second coming of Jesus, and the conversion of Jews to Christianity, he reportedly responded: "I tell you, if the Christian Fundamentalists support us in Congress today, I will support them when the Messiah comes tomorrow."13
As previously stated, Milteer and his right-wing associates apparently made a pact with the Jewish forces—namely Louis Bloomfield—who organized the coup against Kennedy. Such an alliance seems highly plausible for several reasons. First of all, Evangelical Christians supported Israel for religious reasons mentioned before. Secondly, Milteer and his right-wing associates were racists and surely detested Kennedy for supporting American "negroes" in the burgeoning civil rights struggle. Thirdly, Milteer and his associates likely gave Louis Bloomfield a green light to step up heroin smuggling into the United States—as payment to the assassins—by Auguste Ricord et al so long as narcotics sales were confined to blacks in the inner cities, thereby making them a permanent underclass. Lastly, Milteer and his associates were ardent anti-communists and felt that Kennedy was getting too friendly with the Soviets.
Apparently Milteer and his associates learned that many of the Jews sponsoring the assassination had leftist leanings even stronger than Kennedy’s. Louis Bloomfield and Sam Bronfman, for example, were active members of the leftist Israeli labor union, Histadrut. Whatever the motivation, Milteer clearly indicated—in the cited FBI report—that he was declaring war on the Jews.
Such an action against Jews was not surprising in light of the origins of the Ku Klux Klan. Originally formed in Nashville, Tennessee in 1867 by Confederate cavalry general Nathan Bedford Forrest, the Klan disappeared by 1882 because its original objective—the restoration of white supremacy throughout the South—had largely been achieved during the 1870s. In addition, Forrest had ordered it disbanded in 1869, because of the group's excessive violence.14
The second wave of Klan activity began when it was reorganized in 1915, not because of strong antiblack sentiment, but because white Protestants in small-town America felt threatened by the Bolshevik revolution in Russia and by the large-scale immigration of the previous decades that had changed the ethnic character of American society.15
Milteer’s call to arms against Jews may have intensified hatred by the Ku Klux Klan against Jews and blacks alike in its opposition to the Civil Rights movement. On June 21, 1964, three civil rights workers—Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Earl Chaney—were abducted and killed by the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi. Two of those men were Jewish; only one was African-American. Their abduction occurred just seven months after Kennedy’s assassination.
As soon as the three workers turned up missing, President Johnson and J. Edgar Hoover launched a massive investigation. The fate of the three men was uncertain, but their disappearance provided the final impetus needed for the 1964 Civil Rights Act to pass. The bodies of Goodman, Schwerner and Chaney were found five weeks later, buried in a mud dam. Eventually, 19 men, including the county sheriff and a deputy, were convicted of federal conspiracy charges in connection with the murders.
On the surface, Johnson and Hoover seemed courageous in their fight against right-wing extremists; but more than likely, Johnson, Hoover, and the extremists had been partners in treason.
Milteer and George Wallace
Did Joseph Milteer have enough influence—even within his group right-wing extremist—to instigate a war against Jews? As it turns out, he may have had assistance from at least one prominent politician, namely Alabama Governor George Wallace who was friendly with right-wing General Curtis LeMay, a hawkish adversary of Kennedy’s during the Cuban Missile Crisis.16 Their animosity toward one another has been widely documented.
The Constitutional American Party—the group that Milteer reportedly addressed on November 24, 1963 when he declared war on Jews—later evolved into The American Independent Party, Wallace’s party when he ran for president in 1968.17 General LeMay was his running mate.
Wallace loathed the Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King because they shamed him in June 1963 during a standoff at the University of Alabama where Wallace stood in the doorway to block enrollment of black students. Under President Kennedy's direction, Bobby Kennedy called out the Georgian National Guard who forced Wallace to step aside. King was in the middle of the conflict as well. In fact, he solicited the aid of the Kennedy brothers to deal with Wallace.
Wallace wanted to be president badly, probably more than Lyndon Johnson. And he would not have a chance until 1985 when the Kennedy dynasty was over (after John, Bobby and Ted had each served two terms).
LeMay was one of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Kennedy administration. He was an ardent cold warrior, and partly for this reason his tenure as chief was neither successful nor happy. LeMay found himself at constant odds with the management policies of Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and the "flexible response" military strategy of Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Maxwell Taylor.18
Kennedy’s relationship with the military was strained, to say the least.19 He and Lemay displayed mutual contempt for one another. Kennedy once remarked after one his many walkouts on the General, "I don't want that man near me again."20
During the Cuban Missile Crisis, LeMay and the other generals wanted to attack Cuba after it was learned that the Soviets had been supplying Cuban leader Fidel Castro with nuclear missiles. Having been ill-advised once before by the Joint Chiefs during the Bay of Pigs Invasion, Kennedy was not willing to make the same mistake twice. He remarked, "Those sons of bitches with all the fruit salad just sat there nodding, saying it would work."21
Kennedy feared that a US assault on Cuba would escalate into nuclear war. In fact it is generally accepted among scholars that one of the reasons that the nuclear stalemate ended peacefully is because both superpowers feared the possibility of a military coup against Kennedy if a settlement was not reached.22
In his four years as chief, LeMay argued vigorously for new air weapons like the B70 bomber and the Skybolt missile, and against the swingwing "fighter" plane, the General Dynamics TFX (later named the F111). He lost all these battles. In addition, LeMay had strong feelings regarding American involvement in Vietnam, arguing against the gradual response advocated by the administration. Once again he was ignored.23
False Critics and Opposing Propagandists
A powerful tool in covering up crimes is the use of false critics. Two examples are Dr. Cyril Wecht and Oliver Stone. Both are left-wing, both appear interested in the truth, but neither will look in the direction of Israel. Both have consciously deceived the public. In addition, opposing propagandists are employed to overtly promote the Warren Report. The end result is often a form of professional wrestling where both sides pretend to be at odds with each other, but in reality, they report to the same employer.
On January 2, 2002 assassination researcher and author Robert Groden gave a lecture at a law office, in Severna Park, Maryland, that offers classes on the Constitution. About midway through his slide presentation, Groden mentioned Joseph Milteer (the right-wing extremist). As Groden was talking, he showed the following slide without comment:
Milteer was quoted as saying Martin Luther King and Attorney General Kennedy are now unimportant, but the next move would be against "the big Jew."
Again, Groden did not comment on Milteer’s "big Jew" remark. He merely planted a seed of anti-semitism in people’s minds. The way he presented the excerpt, Groden gave the distinct impression that Milteer was calling Kennedy a "big Jew." I discussed this with two other people in the audience. Both agreed that they thought Milteer’s reference to "the big Jew" was President Kennedy. When I pointed out the Milteer made the statement on November 23, 1963, the day after Kennedy had been killed, they both agreed that Groden was obviously deceiving the audience.
Dr. Cyril Wecht
Dr. Cyril Wecht is one of the world’s leading pathologists and a so-called critic of the Warren Report. After closely studying Wecht’s statements in a filmed interview, which appeared in The Men Who Killed Kennedy, I have concluded that Wecht misled the public about the wounds suffered by President Kennedy and Governor John Connally. Wecht gave a convoluted explanation about a "magic bullet" zigzagging in mid-air. Yet the world’s leading pathologist neglected to mention the four second delay between the time Kennedy reacted to being hit in the neck (he clutched his throat) and the time Connally reacted to being hit in the back, as displayed in the Zapruder film. Wecht made the following statements in Nigel Turner’s documentary:
The infamous magic bullet. We have that bullet exiting from President Kennedy’s neck, moving forward, and leftward, and downward. It now stops in mid-air. It turns to the right. It comes back a full eighteen inches, stops again, and then slams into John Connally’s back. It continues downward and it goes through his wrist, and somehow, they get that right wrist over to the left thigh. If you look at the Zapruder Film, you’ll see in the individual frames, that John Connally’s right wrist is not near John Connally’s left thigh.
The significance of this, the importance cannot be exaggerated. It is impossible to overstate it. Why? Because the Single Bullet Theory is the [mainstay] of the Warren Commission Report. It’s not a matter of how much weight and credibility do you give to it. It’s a matter of whether or not you have a Single Bullet Theory that permits you to conclude that there was only one person firing, whether it was Oswald, or anybody else in the world. If you don’t have a Single Bullet Theory, then you cannot have a sole assassin. And if you move to that point, then you’re into conspiracy by definition. And that’s why it had to stop with Oswald as a sole assassin. And that’s why they came up with the Single Bullet Theory. There’s no question in my mind that that 26 volume set [the Warren Report] should be taken from the shelves of all the libraries where they now rest in the United States, from non-fiction and placed in the fiction shelves along with Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Fin, and Gulliver’s Travels because that’s where they belong.
The most ridiculous statement Wecht made was when he described John Connally’s wounds. Here is a repeat of what he said on that topic:
[The Magic Bullet] comes back a full eighteen inches, stops again, and then slams into John Connally’s back. It continues downward and it goes through his wrist, and somehow, they get that right wrist over to the left thigh. If you look at the Zapruder Film, you’ll see in the individual frames, that John Connally’s right wrist is not near John Connally’s left thigh.
To state that "John Connally’s right wrist is not near John Connally’s left thigh" was a masterful display of deception by Wecht. If the bullet was traveling on a downward angle, Connally’s right wrist would not need to be near his left thigh for them both get hit by the same bullet.
Wecht gave a finale performance that would have made Dr. Irwin Koury proud. Wecht cynically continued to pontificate as a bugle sounded towards the end of his diatribe.
I think it’s extremely important for the American people to know that there can be the overthrow of a government, that there can be a coup d’etat in America, that that in fact did happen through the assassination of President Kennedy. In order to prevent that kind of thing from happening again, in order to EXPOSE [emphasis] the forces that were responsible for that kind of murder and the kind of cover-up that has ensued in the following twenty-five years, it’s necessary to expose it. Otherwise we can have the same thing repeated again. Therefore in the same fashion that we have EXPOSED [emphasis] problems and scandals involved with Watergate, problems in Vietnam, problems in Central America, problems in the overthrow of governments elsewhere like . . . Chile, and on, and on, and on; so must we EXPOSE [emphasis] that same kind of political assassination in our country. [A bugle sounds in the background.] As painful as it may be, as disruptive as it might be in a transitory nature, as embarrassing as it might be to certain individuals and organizations in the United States government, that has to be uncovered. If they were able to do it to John F. Kennedy then; they could do it to some other president in the future.
One has to wonder how a movie like JFK was made when the American news and entertainment media is almost completely controlled by friends of Israel. But how honest was Stone’s movie, particularly in the area of Israeli/Jewish involvement? Eleven and a half minutes into the movie, the character of Guy Banister (played by Ed Asner) made the following comment as an expression of contempt for Kennedy immediately after hearing of the assassination:
|That’s what happens when you let the niggers vote. They get together with the Jews and the Catholics and elect an Irish bleeding heart.|
Those two sentences played an enormous psychological trick on the audience. It shielded Jewish groups by giving the false impression that Kennedy and Jews were the best of friends. Nothing could have been farther from the truth. Stone’s objective was apparently to deceive the public by telling only half the story about who killed Kennedy.
As I stated earlier, Kennedy was more pro-Hitler than many people realize. He praised Hitler in his diary in 1945. Later he was subtly critical of the Nuremberg Trials in his 1957 book, Profiles in Courage, when he named Senator Robert Taft as a courageous profile for publicly criticizing the Nuremberg Trials while they were in progress in 1946. I believe Stone intentionally added the line about "niggers" and "Jews," which is pure disinformation, as a means of getting the picture financed by AOL-Time Warner, which is run by Jewish mogul Gerald Levin.(Footnote 18) By adding that one line early in the film, Stone created a psychological barrier in the audience’s collective mind which prevented them from entertaining the possibility that Jewish political interests may have been involved in the assassination.
Furthermore, I noticed that Stone made no mention of Permindex, but did quickly mention the Centro Mondiale Commercial (World Trade Center) in the scene where New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison (played by actor Kevin Kosner) summoned Clay Shaw (played by actor Tommy Lee Jones) to his office on Easter Sunday for questioning about his involvement in the Kennedy assassination:
[Garrison holds up an Italian newspaper with the headline "Clay Shaw - ha lavorato a Roma."]
Mr. Shaw, this is an Italian newspaper article saying that you were a member of the board of the Centro Mondiale Commercial in Italy; that this company was a creature of the CIA for the transfer of funds in Italy for illegal political espionage activity. It says that this company was expelled from Italy for those activities.
I’m well aware of that asinine article. I’m thinking very seriously of suing that rag of newspaper.
It also says that this company is linked to the Schlumberger tool company here in Houma, Louisiana which help provide arms to David Ferrie and his Cubans.
[laughing] Mr. Garrison, you’re reaching.
I’m an international businessman. The Trade Mart which I founded is America’s commercial pipeline to Latin America. I trade everywhere. I am accused as are all businessmen of all things. I somehow go about my business, make money, help society the best I can, and try to promote free trade in this world.
Mr. Shaw, have you ever been a contract agent for the Central Intelligence Agency?
And if I were, Mr. Garrison, do you believe I would be here today talking to somebody like you?
No. People like you don’t have to I guess.
May I go?
People like you, they just walk between the raindrops.
[whispering] May I go?
[Shaw stands up, turns and walks toward the door, then turns back facing Garrison.]
Regardless of what you may think of me, Mr. Garrison, I am a patriot first and foremost.
I’ve spent half my life in the United States military serving and defending this great country Mr. Shaw, and you’re the first person I ever met who considered it an act of patriotism to murder his own president!
Now just a minute sir, you are way out of line!
[One of Garrison’s male assistants steps between Garrison and Shaw apparently to prevent a fist fight from breaking out.]
I’m sorry Mr. Shaw. It’s getting late. That’s all the questions we have. Thank-you for your honesty and for coming in today.
I enjoyed meeting with you gentlemen. And with you Miss Cox. It was most pleasant.
(Miss Cox was a fictitious female assistant of Garrison’s, created by Stone.)
[Shaw walks outside the door of Garrison’s office, then turns and changes his demeanor to one of warmth toward his pursuers.]
I wish to extent to each of you, and to each of your families, my best wishes for a happy Easter.
[Shaw leaves and the assistant closes the door.]
One may smile and smile and be a villain. God damn it we got one of ‘em! Did you see that?
That was an explosive scene, but slightly inaccurate. The article in the Italian newspaper—Paesa Sera—was real, but Garrison never showed it to Shaw or asked him about it because Garrison himself did not find out about the article until well after the trial of Shaw was over. Had Garrison known of the article during the trial, the jury likely would have convicted Shaw of conspiracy to murder President Kennedy. Jurors told researcher and attorney Mark Lane that Garrison had indeed convinced them that there was a CIA conspiracy to assassinate Kennedy, but that Garrison was unable to link Shaw to the CIA. That article might have changed the jurors’ minds had they seen it during the trial.
Although it was an error on Stone’s part to state that Garrison knew of Shaw’s involvement in Centro Mondiale Commercial prior to indicting Shaw for conspiracy to murder President Kennedy, I can forgive Stone here because the mention of Centro Mondiale Commercial was barely detectable by most movie-goers. I saw the movie JFK twice in the theater and did not pick up on Garrison’s mention of Centro Mondiale Commercial. It likely didn’t register with me because Centro Mondiale Commercial is an Italian name which I had never heard of at that time. When I first saw the movie JFK, I had not read Garrison’s book, On the Trail of the Assassins, which explains Centro Mondiale Commercial and its half-brother corporation Permindex in more detail.
It wasn’t until after I read Garrison’s book, then rented a video cassette of JFK the movie, that I picked up on the dialogue which mentioned Centro Mondiale Commercial only one time. I doubt that one-tenth of one percent of the people who watched JFK the movie recall the mention of Centro Mondiale Commercial.
This poses an interesting question. Why did Stone put it in the movie? It is completely worthless to the plot since it is essentially undetectable?
The topic of Centro Mondiale Commercial is a sensitive area that gets into the uncomfortable area of Jewish political interests involved in the Kennedy assassination. In my opinion, Stone likely mentioned Centro Mondiale Commercial to gain credibility among serious researchers of the Kennedy assassination, but without jeopardizing distribution by Jewish controlled AOL-Time Warner.
Nevertheless, Stone’s script accurately described the article in the Italian newspaper, Paesa Sera, but no mention was made of Louis Bloomfield from Montreal who was also mentioned in the article as "Major Bloomfield." According to Garrison’s book, On the Trail of the Assassins, which Stone cited as the basis of the movie—along with Jim Marrs’ Crossfire, this is what the article in Paesa Sera actually stated about Shaw and Bloomfield:
Among its possible involvements …is that the Center was the creature of the CIA…set up as a cover for the transfer of CIA…funds in Italy for illegal political-espionage activities. It still remains to clear up the presence on the administrative Board of the Center of Clay Shaw and ex-Major Bloomfield.
Why did Oliver Stone omit the article’s mention of Louis Bloomfield, a lawyer for billionaire Jewish Zionist Sam Bronfman? Garrison’s book did not mention that Bloomfield was Bronfman’s lawyer, but Jim Marrs’ book, Crossfire, did. Here is what Marrs wrote about Bloomfield and his connection to Sam Bronfman:
The Italian media reported that [Ferenc] Nagy was president of Permindex and the board chairman and major stockholder was Maj. Louis Mortimer Bloomfield, a powerful Montreal lawyer who represented the Bronfman family as well as serving U.S. intelligence services.
At this point, there is little doubt that Oliver Stone was intentionally directing viewers of the movie JFK away from Israel, even though the two books—On the Trail of the Assassins and Crossfire, which he credits as the basis for the movie—did in fact point to Israel when they mentioned Louis Bloomfield and the Bronfman family.
Noam Chomsky, the prestigious left-wing Jewish intellectual, is not a fake critic of the Warren Report. On the contrary, he endorses it wholeheartedly. Although his field is linguistics, he often strays into political discussions. In 1993, Chomsky wrote a book, Rethinking Camelot, which gave a backhanded endorsement to the Warren Commission’s conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald alone killed President Kennedy. One of Chomsky’s weakest arguments is to belittle conspiracy theories in general. Either Kennedy was killed by a lone assassin or he wasn’t. If you believe the former, then you essentially believe the Warren Report. If you believe the latter, then a conspiracy is a likely alternative. One can disbelieve the Warren Report without knowing what really happened or why. The mere fact that a so-called intellectual would engage in bashing all conspiracies reveals a hidden agenda and discredits him as a truth seeker.
The following is an excerpt from Chapter 9, The Kennedy Revival, of Chomsky’s 1993 book, Rethinking Camelot, which gives tacit endorsement of the Warren Report:
The Kennedy revival involves disparate groups. One consists of leading intellectuals of the Kennedy circle. What is interesting in this case is not their rising to Kennedy's defense, but the way they seized upon the idea that Kennedy was planning to withdraw from Vietnam, the timing of this thesis, and the comparison to the version of these events they had provided before the war became unpopular among elites. Among this group, few if any credit the belief that the alleged withdrawal plans, or other planned policy reversals, were a factor in the assassination.
A second category includes segments of the popular movements that in large part grew from opposition to the Vietnam war. Their attitudes toward the man who escalated the war from terror to aggression are perhaps more surprising, though it should be recalled that the picture of Kennedy as the leader who was about to lead us to a bright future of peace and justice was carefully nurtured during the Camelot years, with no little success, and has been regularly revived in the course of the critique of the Warren report and the attempts to construct a different picture, which have reached and influenced a wide audience over the years.
Within both categories, some have taken the position that JFK truly departed from the political norm, and had become (or always was) committed to far-reaching policy changes: not only was he planning to withdraw from Vietnam (the core thesis), but also to break up the CIA and the military-industrial complex, to end the Cold War, and otherwise to pursue directions that would indeed have been highly unpopular in the corridors of power. Others reject these assessments, but argue that Kennedy was perceived as a dangerous reformer by right-wing elements (which is undoubtedly true, as it is true of virtually everyone in public life). At this point, the speculations interweave with questions and theories about the assassination. Some take the position that Kennedy was assassinated by a high-level conspiracy determined to make sure that their own man, the hawkish LBJ, would take the reins. It is then necessary to assume further that a conspiracy of quite a remarkable character has concealed the awesome crime. There are other variants.
Of all of these theories, the only ones of any general interest are those that assume a massive cover-up, and a high-level conspiracy that required that operation. In that case, the assassination was an event of true political significance, breaking sharply from the normal course of politics and exercise of power. Such ideas make little sense unless coupled with the thesis that JFK was undertaking radical policy changes, or perceived to be by policy insiders.
The scale of the presumed conspiracy should be appreciated. There is not a phrase in the voluminous internal record hinting at any thought of such a notion. It must be, then, that personal discipline was extraordinary among a huge number of people, or that the entire record has been scrupulously sanitized. There has not been a single leak over thirty years, though a high-level conspiracy to assassinate Kennedy and conceal the crime would have to involve not only much of the government and the media, but a good part of the historical, scientific, and medical professions. An achievement so immense would be utterly without precedent or even remote analogue.
The conviction that JFK was assassinated by a high-level conspiracy, and that the crime has since been concealed by a conspiracy awesome in scale, is widely held in the grassroots movements and among left intellectuals. Indeed, it is often presented as established truth, the starting point for further discussion.
Across this broad spectrum, there is a shared belief that history changed course dramatically when Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963. Many believe that the event casts a shadow over all that followed, opening an era of political illegitimacy, with the country in the hands of dark forces.
Given the strong reactions that these issues have raised, perhaps it is worthwhile to make clear just what is and is not under consideration in what follows. This discussion addresses the question of the assassination only at the policy level: is there any reason to believe that JFK broke from the general pattern and intended to withdraw US forces from Vietnam even if that would lead to "impairment of the war effort" and undermine the "fundamental objective of victory"? Ancillary questions arise concerning the further beliefs about impending policy changes. These questions are addressed below.
The issue of the assassination is only obliquely touched by these considerations. They imply nothing about the thesis that JFK was killed by the Mafia, or by right-wing Cubans, or other such theories. They bear only on the thesis that Kennedy was killed in a high-level conspiracy followed by a cover-up of remarkable dimensions. Serious proponents of such theses have recognized that credible direct evidence is lacking, and have therefore sought indirect evidence, typically holding that JFK's plans for withdrawal from Vietnam (or some of the broader policy claims) provide the motive for the cabal. If serious, the claim must be that the high-level conspirators knew something not publicly available, or had beliefs based on such material; hence the importance of the internal planning record for advocates of such theses. This line of argument has been at the core of the revival of the past few years. Currently available evidence indicates that it is entirely without foundation, indeed in conflict with substantial evidence. Advocates of the thesis will have to look elsewhere, so it appears.
The available facts, as usual, lead us to seek the institutional sources of policy decisions and their stability. Individuals and personal whim doubtless make a difference; one might, for example, speculate that the notorious Kennedy macho streak might have led to dangerous escalation in Indochina, or that he might have leaned towards an enclave strategy of the type advocated by his close adviser General Maxwell Taylor, or a Nixonian modification with intensified bombing and murderous "accelerated pacification" but many fewer US ground combat forces; while at home, he might not have committed himself to "great society" and civil rights issues to the extent LBJ did. Or one might make other guesses. They are baseless, and hold little interest. In the present case, there is a rich record to assist us in understanding the roots of policy and its implementation. People who want to understand and change the world will do well, in my opinion, to pay attention to it, not to engage in groundless speculation as to what one or another leader might have done.
[REPORTER:] Mr. President, back to the question of troop reductions, are any intended in the far east at the present time – particularly in Korea and is there any speedup in the withdrawal from Vietnam intended?
[PRESIDENT KENNEDY:] Well as you know, when Secretary McNamara and General Taylor came back, they announced that we would expect to withdraw a thousand men from South Vietnam before the end of the year. And there has been some reference to that by General Harkins. If we’re able to do that, that will be our schedule. I think the first unit, the first contingent, would be 250 men who are not involved in what might be called front-line operations. It would be our hope to lesson the number of Americans there by a thousand as the training intensifies and is carried on in South Vietnam.
A good example is Volume 11 of the Warren Commission Hearings, pp. 325 - 339, where Dean Andrews was interviewed—on July 21, 1964—by Wesley J. Liebeler, assistant counsel of the Warren Commission (excerpt of transcript is in Chapter 3). Under oath, Andrews identified Clay Bertrand as the man who phoned him requesting legal representation for Lee Harvey Oswald. After a close reading of the cited transcript, it becomes apparent that Andrews realized he was in potential danger after telling the FBI that he received a phone call to defend Oswald. Consequently, he began to have memory lapses about Bertrand’s appearance. The cited transcript indicates that Bertrand had shrunk six inches—from six feet two (per Andrews’s original description in an FBI report) all the way down to five feet eight inches which is how he described Bertrand to Liebeler. In fact, Liebeler grilled Andrews extensively about the discrepancy between his conflicting descriptions of Bertrand’s height.
Later it became known that Clay Bertrand was actually Clay Shaw, who was linked to international espionage activities with Louis Bloomfield, one of Israel’s most influential supporters. Although Jim Garrison lost the conspiracy case against Shaw (reference Chapter 3), he proved in a separate proceeding that Clay Bertrand and Clay Shaw were in fact the same individual.24 In subsequent testimony before a grand jury in Louisiana, Andrews denied that Clay Bertrand and Clay Shaw were the same person. The grand jury responded by convicting Andrews of perjury. Later, in August 1967, Andrews was found guilty of perjury by a jury of New Orleans citizens.25 As a result, Andrews was sentenced to five months in the Parish prison.26 The stated perjury conviction linked Bloomfield directly to Oswald because Shaw was obviously Oswald’s handler, and Shaw and Bloomfield were linked to subversive intelligence activity via Permindex and Centro Mondiale Commerciale.
This is just one example of how the "voluminous internal record" indicates that there was a conspiracy, thereby refuting Chomsky’s statement to the contrary.
Another example of conspiracy is the Zapruder film which I described in great detail at the beginning of this chapter.
Frankly, the timing of Chomsky’s support of the Warren Report was unfortunate for his image as an outspoken intellectual. His book, Rethinking Camelot, was published in 1993—around the time that most media outlets stopped endorsing the Warren Report.
Michael Kazin & Maurice Isserman
In 2000, Jewish authors, Michael Kazin and Maurice Isserman wrote a book, America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s. In the fall of that year, Kazin and Isserman gave a joint lecture at a book signing event in Washington, DC to promote their new book. I attended the event which was held at "Politics and Prose," a well-known bookstore in Washington, DC. In their book, I noticed that they aggressively supported the official explanations of the murders of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King; however, they steered clear of making a similar endorsement of the Warren Report. Regarding Robert Kennedy, they inaccurately stated that his assassin, Sirhan Sirhan, was a "psychotic" Palestinian immigrant. During the question and answer session, I asked if they had any evidence that Sirhan Sirhan was psychotic because I had always heard that he was a model prisoner. Kazin admitted that it was an exaggeration. I followed up by asking him why they did not take a similar position regarding President Kennedy’s assassination after clearly stating that they accepted the government’s explanation for the murders of RFK and MLK. In fact I put a direct question to Kazin: "Do you believe the Warren Report?" He responded: "Yes I do, but I didn’t put it the book in because the conventional wisdom these days is not to believe it."
Kazin’s oral answer summed up the general position of the news media today regarding the Kennedy assassination. They secretly endorse the Warren Report but won’t put it in writing because few people believe it anymore. Hence, they would lose their audience if they supported it directly.
Gerald Posner is another Jewish writer whose claim to fame was a book, Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK (1994), that openly embraced the Warren Commission’s conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald alone killed President Kennedy.
Posner’s book is filled with contradictions and half-truths. He does not provide any tangible evidence that Oswald was guilty. Instead he engages in double-talk, inconsistent presentation of facts, and character assassination.
Rather than point out the vast inconsistencies of Posner’s conspiracy-bashing book, I would like to list two other books he authored:
- Hitler’s Children: Sons and Daughters of Leaders of the Third Reich Talk About Their Fathers and Themselves, 1991
- Mengele: The Complete Story, 2000
- Warren Report. Go to the section known by researchers as the "single bullet theory." Unfortunately, a specific page number cannot be referenced because the Warren Report’s page numbers vary among its many publications.
- Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins (1988), pp 281
- ibid, pp. 17-18, 281
- Nigel Turner’s documentary, The Men Who Killed Kennedy: The Cover-up, mentioned that Milteer was from Quitman, Georgia. Other cited sources about Milteer simply stated that he was from Georgia.
- Joseph Milteer’s post-assassination remarks to Miami police informant, William Somersett, are in an FBI report in National Archives file number 180-10123-10039. The "originator" is the US Secret Service. The text of the referenced document was obtained from John McAdams’ website. (http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/somersett.txt) The cited report states that Milteer "had contact with Robert Shelton who is a KK leader but he thought Shelton could not be depended upon as he opposes violence."
- George Ball, The Passionate Attachment, pp. 203
- Former Miami Detective Everette Kaye described how the tape was placed in Somersett’s apartment. Kaye provided this information in Nigel Turner’s documentary, The Men Who Killed Kennedy: The Cover-up.
- The same transcript is available in Anthony Summers' book, Conspiracy, p. 404.
- ibid (NOTE: Although the cited FBI report does not explicitly state that Milteer made a speech at the Constitutional American Party, it is strongly implied. The report states that, on Nov. 24, 1963, Milteer "made some notes prior to the arrival of members of the Constitutional American Party who were to have a meeting [in Columbia, S.C.] and captioned the notes ‘notes to all Christians --- The Zionist Jews killed Christ 2000 years ago and on Nov. 22, 1963, they killed President Kennedy. You Jews killed the President. We are going to kill you’.")
- Robert Groden’s reference to Milteer’s "the big Jew" statement was an excerpt from National Archives file number 180-10123-10039. The "originator" is the US Secret Service. The document is from HSCA files. The content of the referenced document is a communiqué—written by a Miami police informant, William Somersett—to the FBI, dated November 27, 1963. The text of the referenced document was obtained from John McAdams’ website. (http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/somersett.txt)
- Encyclopedia Britannica: Ku Klux Klan
- Ernest May & Philip Zelikow, The Kennedy Tapes, pp. 5, 6, 8, 9-10, 12, 26, 32, 43, 177, 178, 182, 185, 186, 205, 247, 263, 265, 306, 565, 683, 699
- Delmar Davis, The American [Independent] Party, (1992), (http://www.visi.com/~contra_m//cm/features/cm04_american.html). Davis wrote that "The American Party grew out of the George Wallace movement of 1968." He also wrote of Christian extremism: "The Christian who does not want the world to be totally Christian is not totally Christian." Clearly an Evangelical group, Davis gave tacit support to Israel in the following statements: "Iran is Islamic. Israel is Jewish. Why do we hesitate to make America Christian?" He essentially endorsed Judaism, something commonly associated with right-extremist groups; however, it is common among Evangelical Christians because of their belief in Armageddon. Davis wrote the following on the topic of Jews: "We also drew fire from the 'far right', as it is sometimes called. Those who claim that all our problems are caused by Jews who are not 'real Jews'' could not support our party because we believe that no single group has caused the downfall of America. It is the abandonment of principles that has destroyed us. When correct principles - the Word of God - are adhered to, then no group can bring about our downfall. When those principles are ignored, any group can crush us." Also, Davis’s 1992 description of the American Party stated that its two groups, The American Party and The Christian Party, were respectively located in Provo, Utah and Epworth, Georgia. Joseph Milteer was also from Georgia.
- Airpower Journal, The Professional Journal of the United States Airforce: Reference Curtis E. LeMay, http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airchronicles/cc/lemay.html
- Richard Reeves, President Kennedy: Profile of Power, p. 306
- ibid. p. 182
- ibid. p. 103
- Stephen R. Shalom, Terrorists and Madmen, March 27, 1999, ZNET, http://www.zmag.org/sustainers/content/1999-03/mar27shalom.htm
- Airpower Journal
- Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins (1988), pp. 198-199
A significant fact pointing to Israeli involvement in President Kennedy’s assassination was Sam Bronfman’s mysterious oil investments in 1963. The Bronfman family—based in Montreal, Canada—is one of the most influential behind the scenes power brokers in the world today. Sam Bronfman (1891 - 1971) was the patriarch of the family dynasty, the son of Russian Jews—Mindel and Ekiel Bronfman—who migrated to the Americas seeking refuge from pogroms of Czarist Russia.1 His son, Edgar Bronfman, has been the president of the World Jewish Congress for years. Edgar’s son—Edgar Bronfman, Jr—is head of Universal Studios.
Sam Bronfman—a billionaire—was one of attorney Louis Bloomfield’s wealthiest clients. Bronfman made his fortune as a bootlegger during US prohibition. He bought Seagram’s and built it into a liquor dynasty. In 1963, former bootlegger Bronfman plunged into an unfamiliar business venture by aggressively purchasing huge oil holdings. He acquired Texas Pacific Oil and its subsidiaries in India, Malaysia, Guatemala, Indonesia, and Italy;2 plus Ranger Oil.
Bronfman biographer Michael Marrus summarized Sam Bronfman’s sudden interest in oil as follows:
|In 1963, when production was about 10,000 barrels a day, Sam made his biggest plunge with the purchase of Texas Pacific, a major producer—"the venerable Texas Pacific Coal and Oil Company, founded in 1888 and possessing one of the oldest of Texas charters," said Sam about the pedigree, speaking as if it were a famous distillery. While it is doubtful that Sam foresaw the energy crisis of subsequent decades as he later claimed, there is no question that his acquisition was a remarkable financial coup—at a time when "leveraged buyouts" were a concept of the future. With a Seagram working capital of $382 million and earnings of $34 million a year, Sam borrowed $75 million from institutional investors, in 25-year promissory notes. He put $50 million of that as a downpayment on the Texas Pacific purchase price of $266 million, and undertook to pay the balance out of future revenues—a strategy then facilitated by US tax laws. The key player in these arrangements was Mark Millard, a partner in Loeb, Rhoades and Co. and the man who had recommended the appointment of Carrol Bennett. Millard convinced Sam of the wisdom of the oil payment scheme and nudged him to make a Seagram bid.|
By 1975, Texas Pacific had paid off its debt, while in the process its oil and gas reserves expanded phenomenally. A handsome legacy to Seagram, the company proved to be one of Sam’s shrewdest moves; bought with only $50 million in borrowed cash, it was sold in 1980 to the Sun Oil Company for a grand total of $2.3 billion. Here too, Mark Millard played a major role. A decade after Sam’s death, Seagram used this capital to acquire a 20 percent interest in Dupont, taking the company that Sam had built from being a large wine and spirits company to a major diversified corporation.
It’s interesting Sam Bronfman invested heavily in foreign subsidiaries of Texas Pacific in 1963. Kennedy had placed a heavy tax burden on foreign subsidiaries of US oil companies. Once Kennedy was removed from office, Bronfman’s oil investments began to increase. The following is researcher Jim Marrs’ description of Kennedy’s oil tax:
|When John F. Kennedy became President in 1961, the oil industry felt secure. But President Kennedy then began to assault the power of the oil giants directly, first with a law known as the Kennedy Act, and later by attacking the oil depletion allowance. The Kennedy Act, passed on October 16, 1962, removed the distinction between repatriated profits and profits reinvested abroad. Both were now subject to US taxation. The measure also was aimed at preventing taxable income from being hidden away in foreign subsidiaries and other tax havens. While this law applied to industry as a whole, it particularly affected the oil companies, which were greatly diversified with large overseas operations.|
By the end of 1962, oilmen estimated their earnings on foreign investment capital would fall to 15 percent, compared with 30 percent in 1955.
One of the most sacred of provisions in the eyes of oilmen was the oil depletion allowance, which permitted oil producers to treat up to 27.5 percent of their income as tax exempt. In theory this was to compensate for the depletion of fixed oil reserves but, in effect, it gave the oil industry a lower tax rate. Under this allowance, an oilman with a good deal of venture capital could become rich with virtually no risk. For example, a speculator could drill ten wells. If nine were dry holes and only the tenth struck oil, he would still make money because of tax breaks and the depletion allowance.
It was estimated that oilmen might lose nearly $300 million a year if the depletion allowance was diminished.
Attempts to eliminate or reduce the depletion allowance were rebuffed year after year by congressmen, many of whom were happy recipients of oil-industry contributions.
Speaking of his tax reform act of 1963, President Kennedy pointed the finger at the oil companies, saying: "… no one industry should be permitted to obtain an undue tax advantage over all others."
Included in Kennedy’s tax package were provisions for closing a number of corporate tax loopholes, including the depletion allowance. Needless to say, oilmen both in Texas and elsewhere felt threatened by Kennedy and his policies. Kennedy’s use of his personal power against the steel manufacturers had shown them that the young President meant the enforce his will in these matters.
‘Suicide’ of Bronfman Biographer, Terrence Robertson
Other strange events followed the Bronfman family. In 1970, Bronfman biographer Terrence Robertson committed "suicide" after he "found out things they don’t want me to write about," as he confided to an associate. Canadian writer Peter Newman wrote of Robertson’s death in his 1978 biography of Sam Bronfman, King of the Castle. Newman wrote the following:
|Terence Robertson, the only writer known to have previously attempted a Bronfman biography (it was never published), took his own life after completing a rough draft of the manuscript. During a 1977 trial in which the Toronto publishing firm of McClelland and Stewart Ltd sued Mutual Life Assurance Co. to collect the $100,000 for which Robertson’s life had been insured, Roderick Goodman of the Toronto Daily Star’s editorial department testified that on January 31, 1970, the author had telephoned him from a New York hotel room to explain that he had been commissioned to write the history of the Bronfman family but that he had "found out things they don’t want me to write about." Graham Murray Caney, another Star editor, testified that Robertson had told him his life "had been threatened and we would know who was doing the threatening but that he would do the job himself." While he was still on the telephone, Caney had the call traced and alerted the New York Police Department. Detectives burst into Terence Robertson’s hotel room just minutes before he died of barbiturate poisoning. …|
On April 9, 1947, Irgun commandos assaulted the Arab village of Dayr Yasin, killing all 254 of its inhabitants.4 The objective of the Dayr Yasin massacre was to send a message to all Palestinians who had lived in the region for centuries: Get out. Years later, Israel rewarded terrorists Begin and Shamir by making them prime ministers. In my opinion, electing Shamir and Begin as prime ministers of Israel would be like electing Timothy McVeigh as president of the United States. The only difference is that one may legitimately question McVeigh’s central role in the Oklahoma City Bombing. With Begin and Shamir, there is no doubt of their leadership roles.
In 1995, Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated because he wanted to give land back to the Palestinians. Ironically, in 1997, John Kennedy, Jr ran a story in George Magazine by Guela Amir, mother of Yigal Amir, the man who assassinated Rabin. In that article, Guela Amir charged that her son Yigal was goaded into assassinating Rabin by Avishai Raviv, an agent provocateur working for Shin Bet, one of Israel’s intelligence services.
In the editor’s note of that same edition of George Magazine, the younger Kennedy essentially acknowledged that he did not believe the Warren Report. Referring to representatives of Guela Amir’s family’s efforts to contact him about running her story in George Magazine, he wrote, "They were, no doubt, hoping that my own family history would bring added attention to their story, and they probably were right." In July 1999, John F. Kennedy, Jr was killed when his private plane crashed.
Guela Amir’s article, "A Mother’s Defense," is presented in Appendix B. It was published in the March 1997 edition of George Magazine.
- Mapai Party: Early political party in Palestine/Israel that in 1930 became the central partner in the Labour Party.5
- Labour Party: Political party formed in January 1968 by uniting three socialist-labour parties—Mapai, Labour, and Rafi.6
- Likud Party: (Hebrew: Consolidation, or Unity) An ultra-right political party, founded in 1973, with roots in terrorism. Likud is an alliance of several right-wing parties—the major constituent being the Gahal bloc consisting of the Herut party and the Liberal Party. The Herut originated from the Russian Jewish Zionism of the 1920s and ‘30s, was formally organized in the year of Israel’s independence (1948), and was merged with organizations like Irgun Zvai Leumi—a terrorist organization—and the Haganah.7
The following is a list of Israel’s prime ministers since its founding in 1948:
|1984-86||Shimon Peres||Labour-Likud coalition government|
In 1992 the fifteen-year Likud reign ended with the election of Yitzhak Rabin as prime minister who began negotiating with the PLO. This infuriated the right, and Rabin was assassinated on November 4, 1995 by Yigal Amir, an Israeli of Yemenite origin. Rabin’s assassination was similar to President Kennedy’s wherein the official government explanations for both murders were identical. In both instances, the government determined that the victim was murdered by a loan gunman and there was no conspiracy. Like Kennedy’s death, many people do not believe the official story regarding Rabin’s assassination. In fact evidence has been revealed showing that Rabin’s assassin, Yigal Amir, was goaded into killing the prime minister by Avishai Raviv,(Footnote 19) an agent provocateur working for Shin Bet—also known as the General Security Service (GSS)—an Israeli version of the FBI and Secret Service combined.8
A Peculiar Offer
An interesting fact pointing to Israeli involvement in President Kennedy’s assassination was Israel’s proposition to candidate Kennedy, in the 1960 presidential campaign, that he allow Jews to run Middle-Eastern affairs, if elected, in exchange for a huge campaign contribution. The following is an excerpt from Richard Reeves’ book about JFK:
The day in New York also gave him a chance to meet for the first time Israel's prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, who was also in New York on a fund-raising trip, meeting American Jews whose generosity was critical to the survival of his twelve-year-old state. They met against a background of suspicion. Jewish Democrats, particularly in New York, did not yet fully trust the son of a man who had been accused of being both anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi. Nor did John Kennedy, comfortably surrounded by Jewish staff members, trust all Jews, particularly New Yorkers. "I had the damnedest meeting in New York last night," he had said to his friend Charlie Bartlett one day in the early fall of 1960. "I went to this party. It was given by a group of people who were big money contributors and also Zionists and they said to me, 'We know that your campaign is in terrible financial shape!'...The deal they offered me was that they would finance the rest of this campaign if I would agree to let them run the Middle Eastern policy of the United States for the next four years."
Kennedy greeted Ben-Gurion with talk of gut-level politics. It usually worked, politician to politician. This time it didn't. "You know I was elected by the Jews," Kennedy said. "I was elected by the Jews of New York. I have to do something for them. I will do something for you." Ben-Gurion was offended. He was the founder and leader of a nation, not a politician from Brooklyn.
AIPAC’s Control of US Politicians
The most influential power broker in the United States—and likely the world—is the powerful Jewish lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Politicians who oppose Israel, or take fair minded views on Mid-East affairs, must answer to the aggressive lobby group. Former Congressman Paul McCloskey and former senators George McGovern, James Abourezk, John Glenn, Charles Percy, and countless other politicians have felt the wrath of AIPAC for not showing the proper respect to Israel. AIPAC uses two tactics to destroy its perceived political enemies. They openly charge that the target politician is anti-semitic, or they block funding to his/her campaign.9 Both tactics are tantamount to blacklisting.
- Michael Marrus, Samuel Bronfman, p. 21
- Peter Newman, King of the Castle, pp 285-292
- Encyclopedia Britannica: Irgun Zvai Leumi, Yitzhak Shamir, Menachem Begin
- Encyclopedia Britannica: Irgun Zvai Leumi
- Encyclopedia Britannica: Mapoi
- ibid, Israel Labour Party
- ibid, Likud
- Guela Amir, A Mother’s Defense, published in George Magazine, March 1997 edition (NOTE: Guela Amir is the mother of Yigal Amir, the Israeli man who shot and killed Yitzhak Rabin.)
- George Ball, The Passionate Attachment, pp. 215-225