Victor Marchetti on Limited Hangout for the HSCA
The JFK Assassination – New Developments and Another Cover-UP
Plaintiff’s Exhibit -10-80-P121-00 E. Howard Hunt, Jr. Plaintiff, v. Liberty Lobby, A D.C. Corporation. Case No. 80-1121-Civ-JWK
Deposition of Victor L. Marchetti – Monday July 9, 1984
CIA Historical Record Review Program Release in Full 1998
Victor Marchetti wrote:
A few weeks ago, in March, there was a special meeting at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., the plush home of America’s super spooks overlooking the Potomac River. It was attended by several high-ranking clandestine offices and some former top officials of the agency.
The topic of discussion was: what to do about recent revelations associating President Kennedy’s accused assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, with the spy game played between the US and USSR.
A decision was made, and a course of action determined. They were calculated to both fascinate and confuse the public by staging a clever “limited hangout” when the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) holds its open public hearings, beginning later this month.
A “limited hangout” is spy jargon for a favorite and frequently used gimmick of the clandestine professionals. When their wall of secrecy is shredded and they can no longer rely on a phony cover story to misinform the public, they resort to admitting – sometimes even volunteering – some of the truth while still managing to withhold the key and damaging facts in the case…So we will probably never find out who masterminded the assassination of JFK – or why/ There are too many powerful special interests connected with the conspiracy for the truth to ever come out, even now, years after he murder.
But during the next two months, according to sensitive sources in the CIA and on HSCA, we are going to learn much more about the crime. The new disclosures will be sensational, but only superficially so. A few of the lesser villains involved in the conspiracy and its subsequent cover-up will be identified for the first time – and allowed to twist slowly in the wind on live network TV. Most of the others to be fingered are already dead.
But once again the good folks of middle America will be hoodwinked by the government and its allies in the establishment news media. In fact, we are being set up to witness yet another cover-up, albeit a sophisticated one designed by the CIA with the assistance of the FBI and the blessing of the Carter administration.
A classic example of a limited hangout is how the CIA handled – and manipulated – the Church Committee’s investigation of two years ago. The committee learned nothing more about the assassinations of foreign leaders, illicit drug programs, or the penetration of the news media than the CIA allowed it to discover. And this is precisely what the CIA is out to accomplish through HSCA with regards to JFK’s murder.
Chief among those to be exposed by the new investigation will be E. Howard Hunt, of Watergate fame. His luck has run out, and the CIA has decided to sacrifice him to protect its clandestine services. The agency is furious with Hunt for having dragged it publicly into the Nixon mess and for having blackmailed it after he was arrested. Besides, Hunt is vulnerable – an easy target, as they say in the spy business. His reputation and integrity have been destroyed. The death of his wife, Dorothy, in a mysterious plane crash in Chicago still disturbs many people, especially since there were rumors from informed sources that she was about to leave him and perhaps even turn on him.
In addition, it is well known that Hunt hated JFK and lamed him for the Bay of Pigs disaster. And now, in recent months, his alibi for his whereabouts on the day of President Kennedy’s death has come unstuck.
In the public hearings the CIA will “admit” that Hunt was involved in the conspiracy to kill Kennedy. The CIA may go so far as to “admit” that there were three gunman shooting at Kennedy. The FBI, while publicly embracing the Warren Commission’s “one man, acting alone” conclusion, has always privately known that there were three gunman. The conspiracy involved many more people than the ones ho actually fired at Kennedy, both agencies may now admit….
Now, the CIA moved to finger Hunt and tie him to the JFK assassination. HSCA unexpectedly received an internal CIA memorandum a few weeks ago that the agency just happened to stumble across in its old files. It was dated 1966 and said in essence: some day we will have to explain Hunt’s presence in Dallas on November 22, 1963 – the day President Kennedy was killed. Hunt is going to be hard put to explain this memo, and other things, before the TV cameras at the HSCA hearings.
Hunt’s reputation as a strident, fanatical anti-communist will count against him. So will his long and close relationship with the anti-Castro Cuban, as well as his penchant for clandestine dirty tricks and his various capers while one of Nixon’s plumbers. E. Howard Hunt will be implicated in the conspiracy, and he will not dare to speak out – the CIA will see to that.
In addition to Hunt and (Frank) Sturgis, another former CIA agent marked for exposure is Gerry Patrick Hemming, a hulk of a man – six feet eight inches tall and weighing 260 pounds. Like Sturgis, Hemming once worked for Castro as a CIA double agent, then later surfaced with the anti-Castro Cubans in various attempts to rid Cuba of the communist dictator. But there are two things in Hemming’s past that the CIA, manipulating HSCA, will be able to use to tie him to the JFK assassination.
First, Castro’s former mistress, Marita Lorenz (now an anti-Castroite herself), has identified Hemming, along with Oswald and others as being part of the secret squad assigned to kill Kennedy. And secondly, Hemming was Oswald’s marine sergeant when he was stationed at the CIA’s U-2 base in Atsugi, Japan – where Oswald supposedly was recruited as a spy by the Soviets, or was being trained to be a double agent by the CIA.
In any event, Hemming’s Cuban career and his connection with Oswald make the Lorens story difficult for him to deny, particularly since the squad allegedly also included Hunt and Sturgis.
Who else will be identified as having been part of the conspiracy and/or cover-up remain to be seen. But a disturbing pattern is already beginning to emerge. All the villains have been previously disgraced in one way or another. They all have been closely allied with the anti-Castro Cubans, and they all have “right wing” reputations. Or they will have after the hearings.
The fact that some may have had connections with organized crime will prove to be only incidental in the long run. Those with provable ties to the CIA or FBI will be presented as renegades who acted on their own without the approval or knowledge of their superiors.
As for covering up the deed, that will be blamed on past presidents, either dead or disgraced. Thus Carter will emerge as a truth-seeker, and the CIA and FBI will have neatly covered their institutional behinds.
The timing of the hearings is another clue of what to expect and why. The committee has scheduled its open sessions on network TV to begin after congress adjourns for the election campaign. The first order of business will be the Martin Luther King, Jr. hearings – with James Earl Ray and his family as the star witnesses. Then there will be a short break and the JFK hearings will begin.
The committee plans to conclude its work by early October, just a month before the election, perfect timing to cash in on the publicity the hearings are certain to create. And perfect timing for the Carterites to get the American public to forget about inflation, taxes, foreign affairs, and other White House blunders and elect a congress more indebted and responsive to the presidency.
Victor Marchetti: (The CIA) “Well, it’s a conglomeration of bureaucrats and human beings with all the foibles and faults. I mean, it has no life of its own. It’s just a conglomeration of people, and people make mistakes.”
“I believe the FBI, like the CIA, has not told the whole story on the assassination, or provided all the information they could on the assassination. I don’t even know if that information exists, except in the minds of certain individuals.”
“I think that revelations of the bureaucratic delays and mishandling of files would shock the American people…I think so now particularly since for over 20 years they’ve been stalling, stumbling, fibbing, dissembling and variously taking – taking various methods to avoid coming clean; and little bits trickle out now and then, and a little piece comes to light here and there, and the longer it continues, the more embarrassing it would be for them. Even those who just had a bureaucratic role in covering up things, preventing things from being discovered and the like.”
“…The director was concerned that this Agency had had a realationship (Clay) Shaw in the past and they didn’t particularly want this to come out. It would be embarrassing….He asked (Tom) Karamasines ‘how are things going down in New Orleans with the Clay Shaw trial? And Karamasines mumbled something….The director then said something like, Are we giving Shaw all the help we can? Words to that effect.”
“If you’ll recall what happened at the House Committee – there are two interesting things. One, Helms just came in and stared the committee down and said things like stop asking me about Oswald the assassination. If I had my way, I’d have just taken a truck with everything we had on this whole thing and driven up and dumped it on Congress. So he – that wasn’t part of the hangout. He just said, ‘the hell with you,’ and walked away.”
“And so, as far as I was concerned, the ball game was over and my speculation as to what they were going to do and why they were going to do it was technically – did not come to pass. But, in essence, it did.”