A disinformation campaign was waged to discredit the citizen investigations into the coup against President Kennedy -- people popped up claiming inside knowledge who were used to misdirect the investigators. The most memorable occurrence was during Jim Garrison's prosecution of Clay Shaw, a CIA agent who participated in the plot against Kennedy. This episode was nicely dramatized in Oliver Stone's film JFK. Garrison's legal team had found a witness who claimed to have participated in meetings with Shaw, Lee Harvey Oswald and others, but on the stand, the man's claims of participation were totally shredded by his claims that he had fingerprinted his daughter before and after she went to college to prove that she was the same person (and therefore, this obviously insane testimony was used to discredit the genuine evidence that Garrison had used to prosecute Shaw). Shaw was found innocent by the jury (even though subsequent research and official admissions revealed he was CIA), although that jury did admit that there had been a conspiracy to kill JFK, they merely didn't believe that Shaw was a participant.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2008
Dick Russell is back on the trail of the JFK case
Russell shows his obvious fascination with intelligence agents, the “spooks” who inhabit that netherworld between observable reality and the covert world we civilians rarely encounter, who perform operations most Americans know nothing about, sometimes to their later chagrin. A character who called himself by the pseudonym “Captain Sam” quite aptly describes why pursuing the truth through the people closest to the crime can be a frustrating endeavor:
“[T]here’s one thing you should know from the start. Half of what I’ll tell you might be the truth, and the other half bullshit. But all of it is what I was told. That’s part of the game in the intelligence business. You confuse your own operatives with false information; maybe nobody knows the full truth about a particular assignment.”
And therein lies the rub of investigating covert operations. Even those who want to help can unintentionally mislead, despite the best of intentions. And then there are the others, who mislead on purpose. Russell appears to have walked a fine line between letting the spooks have their say without giving weight to statements that contradict provable facts about the case. ....
One of my favorite articles in the book was “The Media, the CIA, and the Cover-Up.” Russell recounts key points in the media history of the case, and shows the direct connections between key stories in the cover-up and the CIA assets behind those stories. I’ve longed to read just such an article for years. It was a pleasure to find the people behind the media cover-up and their connections to the Agency so clearly laid out here.
I think that unraveling the mystery behind JFK's assassination, one has to think like the perpetrators who must have planned the cover-up before the assassination itself, and worked backwards. For instance the "only three shots were fired" claim had to have been established by the perps before the assassination itself and became a fixed point around which all other official "facts" surrounding the event had to be reconciled with, no matter what or how facts would have to be twisted -- hence the ludicrous claim about the path of the "magic bullet."
The official claim (and so difficult to defend), I believe, was a consequence of having to decide the official number of shots that were fired before the event occurred in order to get the media cover-up story consistent and avoid conflicts. Witnesses who claimed to have heard more shots could be easily dismissed with the claim that they merely heard "echoes" from the surrounding high rise buildings.
"Although none of the evidence we had gathered definitively implicated the CIA, I realized that sophisticated intelligence agencies rarely left smoking guns lying around. Amazingly, though, leads pointing to the agency continued to come in. This must have worried somebody at Langley because my staff was infiltrated and gradually, over time, I learned that the Agency was actually attempting to obstruct our investigation."
-- New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison describing the early part of his investigation into the assassination of President Kennedy in his memoir "On the Trail of the Assassins," pp. 207-8
from Jim Garrison, "On the Trail of the Assassins,"(1988 original edition, reprinted by Warner Books 1991)
The bomb that shattered our case exploded quickly enough. His name was Charles Spiesel. The accountant from New York whom we had belatedly added to our witness list too the stand next. He said that on a trip to New Orleans he met David Ferrie at Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop in the French Quarter. Later they joined Clay Shaw in a building Spiesel recalled as being at "Dauphine and Espanade," which is approximately where Shaw's residence was located. After everyone relaxed and had a number of drinks, Spiesel said Ferrie and Shaw began discussing the possible assassination of John Kennedy. Although Spiesel was surprised when the subject first arose, everyone had been drinking heavily so the indiscretion of the conversation was understandable for him. He recalled the exchange of comments between Shaw and Ferrie in great detail, each explaining why Kennedy should be eliminated and how it should be done.
On cross-examination, the chief defense counsel uncannily seemed to know just what questions to ask Spiesel. First, Dymond asked if Spiesel had ever publicly complained about "hypnosis and psychological warfare" being used on him. Speisel replied that he indeed had been hypnotized in New York and New Jersey, and during several visits to New Orleans, in the period between 1948 and 1954.
Asked who hypnotized him, Spiesel said he did not always know. He said he could tell that hypnosis was being tried "when someone tried to get your attention -- catch your eye. That's a clue right off."
Dymond then asked him what happened under hypnosis. Spiesel replied: "They plant certain thoughts in your mind and you are given the illusion that they are true." He added that he had become "rather an expert" at knowing when people were trying to hypnotize him.
Under further cross-examination, Dymond brought out Spiesel's belief that the New York City police had hypnotized him, tortured him mentally, and forced him to give up his practice as an accountant.
"Have you had trouble recently with a communist conspiracy," Dymond asked, "People following you, and tapping your phones?"
"Well," replied Spiesel hesitantly, "not particularly recently."
Then Dymond zeroed in for the kill. Was is not a fact, he asked, that when Spiesel's daughter left New York to go to school at Louisiana State University he customarily fingerprinted her? Spiesel replied in the affirmative.
Dymond then asked if it were not also a fact that he customarily fingerprinted his daughter again when she returned at the end of the semester. Again, the witness acknowledged that this was true.
Dymond then asked him why he fingerprinted her. Spiesel explained that he did this, in effect, to make sure the daughter who was returning from L.S.U. was the same one he had sent there.
For one very long moment, while I am sure that my face revealed no concern, I was swept by a feeling of nausea. I realized that the clandestine operation of the opposition was so cynical, so sophisticated, and, at the same time, so subtle, that destroying an old-fashioned state jury trial was very much like shooting fish in a barrel with a shotgun.
Our only hope now was that our subsequent witnesses could drown out the memory of Spiesel .... (pp. 276-7)
"it was clear by now that no jury would find an eminently respectable, prominent, distinguished community leader guilty of conspiring to kill the President, especially following an unforgettable example of genuine lunatic testimony from a prosecution witness." (p. 293) [emphases added]
update: In memorium, Gaeton Fonzi (Oct 10th1935 - August 30th, 2012)
Black Op Radio conducted an interview with Mr. Fonzi in 2001 (before 9/11) which was rebroadcast September 6, 2012.
Investigators of these sorts of crimes have to contend with numerous false leads being offered to distract those with the interest and stamina to stay focused on the details. Gaeton Fonzi was an investigator for the House Select Committee on Assassinations, the only Congressional effort to get toward the truth of what was done to President Kennedy. Here is his description of how this strategy was used to reduce his effectiveness:
The Last Investigation, by Gaeton Fonzi
"The first question I tried to get approved was the one by experience in investigating the case had dictated as a priority: Was there an intelligence agency connection through anti-Castro Cubans and Oswald to the Kennedy assassination? That, I knew, would never pass muster because of the investigative approach and effort it would require. By the nature of its operations, an intelligence agency doesn't leave authentic tracks. One had to look for patterns. The issue I wanted to pursue involved the patterns of verified misinformation -- almost all linking Oswald to Castro -- which were born in Miami immediately after the assassination."
The Last Investigation
I discovered there are a lot of Cubans in Miami named Julio Fernandez. There are more than a dozen lawyers named Fernandez. Many Cubans, like Americans, are commonly known by their middle name, not their first, and some Cubans are commonly known not by their by father's family name by their matrinomy. Nevertheless, selecting them by their age and word of their anti-Castro activism, I spent weeks talking with scores of Cubans named Julio Fernandez. Schweiker particularly interested in the Julio Fernandez whose name did turn up in an FBI report buried in the Warren Commissions' volume of evidence. I finally tracked him down in upstate New York. He wasn't the Julio Fernandez who had called Clair Boothe Luce. It wasn't until more than a year later, with the broadened access to information I had with the House Assassinations Committee, I discovered that there was no Julio Fernandez who called Luce. She had simply concocted the name for Schweiker.
What was interesting about the Luce story was that it had a couple of the characteristics common to so many of the other leads which were fed to Schweiker and, later, the House Assassinations Committee and, when checked out, went no where. One such characteristic was that the leads usually could not be dismissed outright because they always contained hard kernels of truth mixed in the fluff.
The Last Investigation
By Gaeton Fonzi
Reviewed by James DiEugenio
book review by NameBase
Fonzi, Gaeton. The Last Investigation. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 1993. 448 pages.
This is the first comprehensive insider account of the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Fonzi was a staff investigator for the HSCA, and before that an investigator for Senator Richard Schweiker, who was interested in the JFK assassination as a member of the Church Committee. Strapped for resources and under deadline pressures, HSCA chief counsel Robert Blakey steered the investigation along avenues that would look good in their report. Blakey gave the CIA plenty of room to maneuver around his investigation, either to enhance his own insider status or because of his realpolitik pragmatism. He blames organized crime for the assassination, while Fonzi is much more interested in anti-Castro Cubans and the CIA. Committee staffers were unable to pursue many promising leads in this area.
Fonzi spends much energy trying to establish that CIA heavyweight David Atlee Phillips was the "Maurice Bishop" that Alpha 66 founder Antonio Veciana saw with Oswald before the assassination. He convinces his readers on this point, but since there's no corroboration for Veciana's story that Bishop met Oswald, it's unclear where this leaves us. The most interesting portions of the book, therefore, revolve around Fonzi's occasional evidence of disinformation and false leads planted in the paths of Committee investigators, apparently by U.S. intelligence assets.
Correspondence with Vincent Salandria (1993-1999)
My sense of the critical community is that it was from the beginning heavily infiltrated by the intelligence community. Powerful persons and forces which consummate a successful coup would not be satisfied to surrender to honest critics the task of analyzing the implications of the cover story or stories and the consequent effects of the coup on our society. It is safe to say that the killers would place in the critical community various persons who would occupy the whole spectrum of possible analyses.
One or more would defend the Commission's findings but attack the Commission's methodology and explain away mistakes on the basis of poor methods, sloppy execution, time constraints, etc. Others would entertain a possible conspiracy but would emphasize the prolix nature of the evidence, the need to ascertain all the hows of the execution of the killing and the error of seeking to draw any conclusions about the meaning of the assassination until all the mysteries of how it was accomplished were resolved beyond a reasonable doubt.
Others would undertake to apply scientific analyses to the data of the Commission's findings and seek to attribute evidence that ran contrary to the Commission's conclusions as requiring further experimentation. Others would leap to the conclusion that there was a conspiracy of a communist nature. Others would emerge from the Birchite direction to announce that there was a U.S. governmental conspiracy so as to discredit that explanation. Others would leap forward with various other false sponsors such as the Mafia, low-level right-wing, rogue intelligence elements, and the like.
Others would come forward with an all-inclusive combination of big oil, big business, military-industrial, C.I.A., Joint chiefs, Mafia, Johnson, Southern Rim, etc. to make the conspiracy so large as to reduce it to an absurdity. Others would emerge to trash JFK as the quintessential cold warrior and point in the direction of Castro. We can go on and on with this. I feel that I can identify persons who came forward with these approaches with the result that rather than improved political insight and knowledge growing out of the killing of Kennedy we got babble.
Thirty years of microanalysis has converted simple, incontrovertible proof of a high-level coup for significant policy reasons into a cloud of mystery. I submit that such "truth hunting" serves the purpose of hiding the truth under a pile of worthless dung. I further submit that this research has been to a great extent government driven and directed by skillful agents.
Copyright Michael B. Green August 3, 2005
An analysis by Michael B. Green
I have great respect for the courage of all the legitimate 911 researchers who try to find the truth and tell it to others, but they often forget a simple essential point. Because 911 (JFK, etc.) are not ordinary crimes, but crimes of state, they cannot be proven by simple forensic means. The proof of any such crimes requires rethinking our picture of the means of government from the ground up. People naturally do not wish to do this, and are propagandized to believe the contrary, so any effort to get their attention should be with evidence that is simple, clear, and convincing, not abstract, obscure, dubious or debatable. I do not pretend that this is enough. Orwellian "stop think" provides that "protective stupidity" that allows us to function in comfort and it is both difficult and painful to abandon. ...
If a film-maker or live lecturer has the good fortune of having the attention of someone like this, or good solid middle-Americans, for an hour-long DVD, or for a 2-3 hour live presentation, he had better use clear hard facts for persuasion, and not iffy, vaguely or ambiguously supported possibilities. The intelligence agencies that do the crimes try to control the counter-community's response by infiltrating moles that infect it with large falsehoods and impossible-to-prove technical questions (micro-analysis). The large falsehoods are designed to prove the community wrong and nuts if the need arises. The microanalysis into pointless or unanswerable questions, or into just plain dumb ones, is to divert its energies from using the clear hard facts to tell the story simply and clearly.
last updated: 2013-11-18
JFKMOON.org by Mark Robinowitz, who was born the day after JFK's last speech to the UN