A Farewell to Justice

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TALK AT THE 92ND STREET Y,
JANUARY 28, 2007

A Farewell to Justice

A Farewell to Justice

A Farewell to Justice

Warren Report

A Farewell to Justice

JFK/JBK leave Ft Worth for Dallas

 

TALK AT THE 92 ND STREET Y,
JANUARY 28, 2007

THE KENNEDY ASSASSINATION AND THE CURRENT POLITICAL MOMENT

Part II

 

It is the task of the historian to examine on whose behalf the CIA murdered President Kennedy. Although President Kennedy threatened the very existence of the Agency, and had begun to reduce its powers, and to restrict the authority of the Director of Central Intelligence, the motive goes beyond that. When we examine who benefited from the assassination, whose interests were served, despite the latest puff of smoke blown by E. Howard Hunt, we also go beyond the first Texas president, Lyndon Johnson, to the second and third Texas Presidents. Certain Texas businesses, among them Halliburton, of course, and then independent Brown and Root, were not doing particularly well in 1962 and 1963.

Among those who benefited immediately from the removal of President Kennedy and the ascendancy of Lyndon Johnson was a fabulously successful wildcatter named David Harold, also known as D.H. for “dry hole” Byrd. (Not all the holes, of course, were dry). Byrd's company LTV was about to go under. In early November, 1963, Byrd and a partner, James Ling, bought a sizable amount of outstanding LTV stock. Then LTV received the first defense contract from the Pentagon – for a fighter plane – accompanying the escalation of the war in Vietnam that was the direct result of the Kennedy assassination. Although that airplane was not ultimately built, LTV stock soared. As Byrd writes in his autobiography, “I've run fifty-two companies, many of them in no way connected with oil.” The man who brought George H. W. Bush west from Connecticut to Texas was named Neil Mallon, another of Byrd's partners.

Other Texas companies saved by the Vietnam War were Halliburton and Brown and Root, which Halliburton had purchased in – 1962. The Browns, even Herman, who began by hating Lyndon's New Deal tendencies, were Johnson's primary financial benefactors, as Robert Caro has shown. It was through my own research into Jim Garrison's New Orleans investigation that I found a 1967 CIA document revealing that George Brown was a CIA asset, and none of the historians have noticed that.

Other CIA documents list the executives of Texas petroleum companies who were CIA assets. The list is considerable. Although these documents were made available under the JFK Act, as with the story of George H. W. Bush and his CIA partner, the Kennedy assassination is not mentioned.

From the government's own records, we find connected:

(1) the CIA angry about the Bay of Pigs, that CIA-sponsored invasion of Cuba whose code name, “Zapata,” returns us to George H. W. Bush and his CIA partner, Devine

(2) the military with its Vietnam defense contracts, and

(3) the Texas Presidents.

“Dry Hole” Byrd just happened to own the Texas School Book Depository, from which someone, not Lee Oswald, but someone, fired at the President on November 22 nd. Six weeks after the assassination of President Kennedy, when Byrd wanted a souvenir of this historical building, he chose the South Westernmost window of the sixth floor, not the window from which Oswald purportedly fired with his creaky rifle with its loose telescopic sight, that was the Southeast. No, Byrd took the window from which a Dealey Plaza witness and his wife told the Warren Commission they saw a man with a gun. It seems D. H. Byrd knew exactly which window was the souvenir, and, by inference, that Oswald was no shooter.

To contemplate the political context of the assassination, as Governor Carlson of Minnesota suggested that we do, we note that the President was shot down in front of a building owned by a Texas defense contractor who won the first defense contract of the escalated Vietnam War, an escalation possible only with the removal of President Kennedy. D. H. Byrd was a founding member of the Civil Air Patrol, that group which boasted a group in New Orleans led by one David Ferrie, Jim Garrison's chief suspect, in which Lee Oswald participated as a teenager. Chronicling the CIA's cover-up of the assassination, we must acknowledge that the Agency did not act in the assassination entirely on its own behalf.

I believe we can trace to that November day in 1963 an anarchism not visible in American society since the 19 th century when, rebelling against Mexico, for a time Texas operated without a government. It was that chaotic lawless moment in Texan history that seems to have been revisited upon us. Following the Patriot Act, and the Military Commissions Act, eroding the right to habeas corpus, 2006 closed with a Postal Reform Bill. This bill, passed by Congress, insisted that the government needed a warrant to open people's mail. President Bush's “signing statement,” asserting his personal interpretation of the law, insisted that under “exigent circumstances,” the President can, in fact, open mail “otherwise sealed against inspection” without a warrant.

This particular engorgement of Presidential power recalls to us once more “The Good Shepherd” and James Angleton. A particular Angleton project was the CIA's opening of the mail of American citizens. During the first half of 1960, at least two hundred people were on the CIA's list world-wide to have their mail opened. Lee Harvey Oswald's name was among them.

“A Farewell to Justice” was published a year ago. In the intervening time, new documents have emerged that corroborate my view that the Central Intelligence Agency planned, supervised and implemented the assassination of President Kennedy. Those who claim that we will never know what happened to President Kennedy would do well to spend some time at the National Archives.

Among the lessons Philip Zelikow, former Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission learned, he admitted on National Public Radio, was that he would not make the same mistake the Warren Commission did. He would not make the papers of the 9/11 Commission available to the public. In this era of authoritarian government secrecy – witness today's “New York Times” editorial on how the Department of Justice, against the Constitution is refusing to make public its briefs in the case involving illegal government surveillance – we owe also a debt of gratitude to the Congress of the early 1990s for passing the JFK Act. My op ed piece, “9/11 and 11/22,” remains on my web site, www.joanmellen.net . Zelikow, who resigned this past November from the staff of Condeleeza Rice, was the person assigned to supervise the transcription of President Kennedy's office tapes, suggesting we had better cast a critical eye on those transcriptions.

CIA's Counter Intelligence component always claimed that Oswald was never debriefed after his return from the Soviet Union. Yet in a CIA document released in December 2005 a person who fits the precise description of Oswald – it could be no one else – was debriefed in New York, where Oswald on his return from the Soviet Union did disembark. This man had reported to the CIA details about the radio factory where he worked in Minsk.

“A Farewell to Justice” chronicles how “Fair Play For Cuba,” for which Oswald handed out leaflets in New Orleans, was heavily infiltrated by CIA through its master propagandist, David Atlee Phillips. New documents confirm CIA's involvement. The co-director of Fair Play, Richard Gibson, it turns out, had a PRQ from the CIA, indicating his employment with them.

Also released was a July 1962 letter where Gibson requests that the CIA employ him. Another “Secret” CIA document lists five CIA cables from “sensitive source” in Operations, regarding Gibson's connections with Lee Harvey Oswald, whom Gibson refers to, coyly, as “Lee Bowmont.” When the Swiss Federal Police wiretapped Gibson's hotel room, and provided the FBI with transcripts of these “overhears,” Gibson was not so coy. He referred to “Oswald” as “Oswald.”


Part I, Part II, Part III


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Publication date: November 16, 2005; $29.95 hardcover; 576 pages

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