Friday, July 21, 2017

Sylvia Odio and Father Machann

From: Oswald Talked – The New Evidence in the JFK Assassination

by Ray and Mary La Fontaine, (Pelican Publishing Co. , Gretna, 1996).

[p.264-265]: “The last time Father Machann was seen in his public role as shepherd of the city’s Catholic exile community was the Tuesday night of October 1, 1963. On that evening, he and other prominent members of the resettlement committee had shared the stage of Highland Park Town Hall with a guest speaker, John Martino, a fifty-two-year-old American and Mafia associate who was on a Bircher-paid tour to talk about his recently published book, ‘I Was Castro’s Prisoner.’ Martino had been imprisoned in Cuba for some thirty-nine months (during which time he befriended Silvia Odio’s father, Amador), and his three-hour book talk dwelled on the barbarism of his confinement by the revolutionary regime – balm to the ars of the gathered refugees and their circle of benefactors on the Town Hall stage…”

“Trudy Castor,…also sat on the stage with Father Machann that last evening,…later said, ‘I have no idea why he [Father Machann] left….After a week or two went by, of course, the Cubans were all talking about, well, ‘Where’s Father Machann?’ After all, this was their spiritual leader and no one seemed to know where he was or what had happened.’”

[p. 268] : “Father Machann’s disappearance was somehow connected to the assassination of the president,….he had heard, perhaps in confession from one of the refugees, perhaps from his mistress Silvia, something about the impending event. This wasn’t an absurd or uncommon opinion, it should be noted. Even Colonel Castorr (who, as Father Machann believed, had some sort of intelligence interest in the Cubans) speculated that he priest had learned something he shouldn’t have. Machann was at his mother’s Dallas home on the day of the assassination, the mother would later reveal, and Colonel Castorr had heard, probably from Mother Machann, that the father, ‘went to pieces in hearing the telecast.’…”

“…investigator Harold Weisberg had also heard that Father Machann entered ‘a home to rest’ following the assassination.”

Page 251: “….A few weeks before the assassination (Fr. Walter M. Machann) had mysteriously dropped out of sight, perhaps from a breakdown, in the city where he had been a lifelong resident. Some weeks later, after the assassination, he quietly left town and has not lived in Dallas since, though returning occasionally to visit his mother. He was last seen in (1993) in Bangkok. (Machann’s mother told Mary in a recent interview that he was visited by the Secret Service or other government investigators as recently as 1992 or 1990.).”

“But in the spring of 1964, Father Machann hadn’t yet made it to Bangkok. That April, apparently at he behest of the Western general counsel J. Lee Rankin, the Secret Service had launched an all-out search for the unusual padre, who was rumored to have bedded a number of women parishioners during his denture as assistant pastor at the Catholic church in east Dallas. After agents failed even to identify the father in Miami (where he had received his training as a Cuban refugee adviser), Secret Service inspector Thomas Kelly managed to locate Machann in New Orleans, interviewing him on Thursday, April 30.”

“The former Dallas priest (he was now on indefinite leave) had been attending classes at LOYOLA UNIVERSITY, and was, as he told Kelly, a frequent visitor of Silvia’s uncle, Dr. Agustin Guitart, a physics professor at the university. Cuitart, it may be recalled, happened also to be a friend of Carlos Bringuier’s, and had attended the New Orleans court hearing of Lee Harvey Oswald following his ‘street scuffle’ with Bringuier and two other members of the local chapter of the Student Revolutionary Directorate (DRE) the previous summer.”

“It wasn’t, of course Machann’s vow-breaking proclivities that interested assassination investigators like Kelley, but the role he was said to have played from 1961 through most of 1963 as chaplain of a Dallas group assisting Cuban refugees; for if rumors were flying concerning the priest’s sexual liaisons, they were even more rampant on a more relevant matter, the possible participation of Cubans – whether pro- or antic-Castro one couldn’t say – in the assassination of the president. On the latter matter, Machann had been in a position to be an invaluable informant.”

“Organized in 1961, the Cuban Catholic Committee of Dallas had sought to help Cuban refugees by finding them jobs and planning social and religious functions for their families. In march 1963 the committee had gone a step further, setting up a resettlement office funded through the Catholic Relief Service. Responsibility for conduct of the new office, which offered food and other living assistance for arriving exiles (who were frequently met by committee members as they stepped off a plane at Love Field), had been given to the committee’s capable director, Father Machann. In his capacity as benefactor and spiritual liaison with the Church, the clean-cut father had been a popular figure with the refugees. He knew virtually everyone in the Dallas exile community, and everyone knew him – this despite the fact (as Machann told [s.S.] Inspector Kelly in April 1964) he had made it a policy never to attend ‘any of the political meetings of the Cuban groups that were represented by the Cubans in Dallas, although he was often cajoled and entreated to attend them.’”

“That the father had often been cajoled as well by ladies of the flock wasn’t hard to believe. He was twenty-nine - three years older than Silvia – tall, and movie-star handsome. (However, the Secret Service mistakenly reported Machann’s age at this time as twenty-six.) He had dimples; he was intelligent; he was polite; he was perfect….”

“For all its good works, the Cuban Relief Committee of Dallas had been abruptly disbanded immediately after the president’s murder, by which time the handsome and seemingly competent father, though still in town, was nowhere to be found. He had reportedly taken shelter at his mother’s house, and was there on the Friday of the assassination – when he, like Silvia that day, was said to have suffered a collapse. But whatever the priest’s personal problems may have been at this time – the ones that had driven him underground – the Secret Service and other federal agencies knew nothing of them, except for the whispers of his sexual entanglements. That Silvia [Odio] had been a conquest of Machann’s (or vice versa, perhaps) had already been reported to authorities by her old socialite confidante, Lucille Connell, and tacitly acknowledged by Silvia’s psychiatrist, Dr. Burton Einspruch. The psychiatrist told Warren interviewer Burt W. Griffin that he ‘did not believe the affair with Father Machann was as serious as (the Commission) had been led to believe,’ a rather ambiguous assessment….”

April 1964, having located the missing priest, and armed with the knowledge of his suspected past with Silvia Odio, the Secret Service concocted a devious plan that in efficacy, at least, was miles ahead of the ‘straightforward’ approaches of the FBI and Warren Commission. Instead of grilling Silvia directly on her hallway-Oswald story, Inspector Kelly wanted Father Machann to call Silvia long-distance in Dallas (he would be ‘furnished the necessary funds’) and see if he could get her to tell him ‘the name of the JURE representative who had accompanied Oswald.’ As Kelly may have calculated, she might well confine things to the former lover – her ‘father confessor,’ as she called him in a 1993 documentary – that she wouldn’t say under oath or the glare of a federal inquiry. In this the inspector was probably right, but would Machann be snake enough to go along?”

“It turned out he would. He was, in fact, remarkably docile and cooperative, reportedly stating that ‘it was the duty of every citizen to cooperate to the full extent in the President’s Commission investigation and that he felt he was bound in conscience to give whatever assistance he could.’ It is possible that Machann’s docility was caused (as S.S. head James J. Rowley, Kelley’s superior, wrote on the father’s behalf) by the fact that he ‘did not realize at the time that she [siliva] had not made a full and frank disclosure of the names of the people who brought Oswald to her.’ Toward the end of December 1963, while the priest was still laying low in Dallas, Silvia had spoken to him about the Cubans who had supposedly shown up with ‘Leon Oswald’ in September, but she also told Machann she had already ‘discussed this matter fully’ with the FBI agents. Later, after Father Machann moved to New Orleans, she had written him a letter saying she again ‘discussed her meeting of Oswald with government officials.’ Consequently, Machann told Kelly, he didn’t feel that he would be ‘violating a confidence in giving any information previously given [by Silvia to] the proper authorities.’ Even so, the eagerness of Machann to participate in this game – ‘stating that he could not induce her to tell him who the people were, he could induce her to tell it to the proper authorities’ – sounds a bit edgy somehow, as if fear or nervousness is driving at it, if not the passivity that sometimes accompanies convalescence from a mental breakdown.”

“The deal was struck, and it was agreed Machann would call Silvia that same Thursday evening around 6:30. He requested, and received, privacy for his call. Then, “upon his return to Inspector Kelly’s room at 7:30 pm, he said he had made the call to Mrs. Odio in Dallas and she was very anxious to discuss the entire matter. She advised him [Father Machann] the only information she could provide on the people who visited her was that one of them said he was using the code name Leopoldo, that the second man she could identify as Eugenio Cisneros, and the third man was introduced to her as Leon.’”

“This was amazing, Where did the CISNEROS come from? Silvia hadn’t said a word to the FBI or any other investigative bodyprior to this phone call about one of the two Cubans being Cisneros….”
“…Cisneros himself would immediately jump up and deny the assertion with corroboration of his whereabouts elsewhere in late September of that year…”

“[silvia] Steadfastly refused to admit the obvious, that she had told the priest that one of the men in the hallway had been Rogelio Cisneros. After repeated questioning, the exasperated [Warren Commission attorney Wesley] Liebeler brought out his trump card, the report on the Secret Service-sponsored New Orleans phone call that Kelly’s superior had sent the Commission.”

“MR. LIEBELER. Now, I have a report before me of an interview with Father McKann by a representative of the U.S. Secret Service in which it states that Father McKann told this Secret Service agent that you had told him that one of the men was Eugeneio. But you indicated now that this is not so?”

“MRS. ODIO. No. Perhaps he could have misunderstood me, because he has the same problem with names. Probably I did tell him that the man was not Eugenio….”

[p. 251-256]

“Not many people outside the Catholic circle were talking much about anti-Castro Cubans as possible suspects in the days immediately following the assassination (when the work of the refugee committee was abruptly discontinued by Msgr. Thomas Tschoepe)…” [p. 262]

[Also see: Kennedy Ripples: A True Love Story by Marianne Sullivan (1994, San Clemente, Calf.)]

Robert Howard writes:

…..the Secret Service had a tap on Father Walter M. Machann during one of his conversation's with Silvia Odio, and that in addition he was a 'frequent visitor of Silvia' uncle Dr. Agustin Guitart, a physics professor at Loyola University (where Machann attended classes after leaving Dallas.)
And perhaps more importantly, Guitart it is said also happened to be a friend of Carlos Bringuer!
Incidentally Guitart even pops up at the court hearing for Oswald and Bringuer (Bringuer - jumped? from Alpha-66 to DRE, during that fateful period.)

A point that if correct points to some other machinations is that Odio had mentioned Rogelio Cisneros 'war name' Eugenio in her Warren Commission Testimony, right off the bat (see W.C. XI 380).

From Secret Service memo re: Rogelio Cisneros "Mr. Cisneros said he went to Dallas, TX from Miami, FL in June 1963....specifically for the purpose of contacting Silvia Odio who was to introduce him to a person in Dallas who was interested in selling them small arms. Cisneros said he contacted Sylvia Odio only once,and at that time he was accompanied only be Jorge Rodriquez Alvareda, their [JURE's] Dallas delegate, and no one else. (see W.C. XI 375)

Ostensibly, 'the person of interest' was a Uruguayan gun dealer named Juan (Johnny) Martin, according to Silvia, who also 'owned a washeteria down the street (this is in regards to Odio's residence on Oram, not the Crestwood Apt's on Magellan Circle (this was before the move to there). Regarding Jorge Rodriquez Alvaredo and Antonio Aletando Leon the two were interviewed by the FBI, Rodriguez said that the meeting in Dallas was for the 'purpose of organizing the Dallas Branch of JURE,' However no gun deal was made.

According to the 'discredited?' see 'What the La Fontaines didn't tell you. Lafontaines, pg 253 'Oswald Talked'

Inspector Kelley 'persuaded' Machann to call Silvia long distance in Dallas...and see if he could get her to tell him the name of the JURE Representative who had accompanied Oswald (to the infamous Sept 26th meeting) at Silvia's.

The stage is set and according to the La Fontaines (FWIW, I am only too aware of how controversial this is Robert) She (Silvia) advised him (Fr. Machann) concerning 'the meeting' was that one of them said he was using the code name Leopoldo, that the second man she could identify as Eugene Cisneros and the third man was introduced to her as Leon.

In 'Oswald Talked' the source of the information in the last two paragraphs is cited as 'Chief James J. Rowley (Secret Service) letter to J. Lee Rankin - May 5th, 1964 and Commission Exhibit 2943 (6).

5/7/67 -Harold Weisberg Subject Index Files/C Disk/Castorr L Robert Colonel
Link above to .pdf file of 23 April, 1967 letter to Mrs. Robert L. Castorr from Harold Weisberg.

TAPE #1 (SIDE 2) Subject Index Files/C Disk/Castorr L Robert Colonel

Response to W. Tracy Parnell

Response to W. Tracy Parnell

In regards to Tracy Parnell's attempt to debunk Antonio Veciana, defame Gaeton Fonzi and announce Jefferson Morley has "flipped to the conspiracy side," I offer the following.

Parnell betrays his own personal bias by referring to "the ramblings" of Veciana, rather than the testimony of an important witness. 

A self-described "guy in pajamas, skeptic and debunker," Parnell refers to his "research," yet he has apparently has not read key works we are talking about - such as Fonzi's Washingtonian article and Phillips autobiography "Nightwatch."

Now that Morley has published Veciana's story in a mainstream media publication like Newsweek, the guy in pajamas has come out of the woodwork in an attempt to debunk Veciana, defame Fonzi and place Morley in the crazy conspiracy camp.

Parnell says that Veciana has "exaggerated his place in history" by simply saying he met his intelligence case officer and the patsy in the assassination of the President in Dallas a few months before the assassination. 

What kind of place in history is that?

It's reminiscent of the counter-logic of Oswald accusers who say he killed the president to make his mark in history, when he denied the deed.

"What evidence is there," Parnell asks, "other than Veciana's own assertions?"

The veracity of a human source (HUMIT) is determined, by CIA standards, by the amount of new, significant and verifiable information he provides.

In that regards Veciana gives us plenty - Pan Am Bank, Berlioz Language school, Moa Bay mining, Army Col. Sam Kail, the bazooka attack that led to the arrest of Odio's parents, Pedro Pan and Plan Centaur, all independently confirmed and verified by other sources. 

I think it's a good approach to understanding the Dealey Plaza Operation by studying related covert ops such as the Bay of Pigs, Mongoose, JMWAVE, Bayo-Pawley, Huma Bunker raid, etc., and Parnell picks two - the Department store arson and Pedro Pan.

That Veciana was associated at all with the bazooka plot to kill Castro puts him in the middle of the JFK assassination story, and Parnell quotes Gonzalez, who got the Odios arrested by fleeing to their farm, saying that Veciana “ran away,” trying to make him look bad. But that’s when the Castro agents penetrated the plot and began to round up suspects, both Gonzalez and Veciana fled, just as “Bishop” told Veciana to do in the course of his training.

Because he first mentions it in his book, Parnell says Veciana is putting himself into the department store arson, when actually Veciana says he feels guilty because an innocent person was killed.

As for Pedro Pan, the evacuation of children from Cuba that was assisted by the Catholic Church, Parnell cites a court case that ostensibly exonerates the CIA.

But in fact the CIA conduit Catherwood Fund financed the Catholic Welfare Society that paid doctors and nurses to set up medical clinics for Cubans in Florida (and possibly New Orleans and Dallas).
The truck used in the Huma Bunker raid was borrowed from Catholic Welfare friend in New Orleans, and the priest assigned to cater to the needs of the Cuban refugees in Dallas, Father Walter MacChann, took the confession of Sylvia Odio when she told him about Oswald’s visit to her apartment with two Cubans. Father McChan was also an associate of John Martino, who was in on the Bayo-Pawley affair and expressed foreknowledge of the assassination.

But Parnell doesn't want to go there. The court says the CIA has nothing to do with the Catholic Church and that’s okay with him, while the Catholic Church is itself an intelligence agency with thousands of years more experience than the CIA. The church invented the word propaganda, for the propagation of the faith.

Parnell accuses Morley of ignoring the "problems" with Veciana's story in regards to contradictions and dates, but Parnell himself ignores two significant lines of Inquiry that confirm the existence of "Bishop" and support the contention he is David Atlee Phillips, and no one else could be. 

Anthony Summers followed up on a lead Veciana provided him, locating and interviewing Veciana's former Havana bank secretary. She confirmed the existence of the "Mr. Bishop," who called Veciana to arrange meetings and she said "Bishop" was associated with a Ms. Prewett. Summers located Virginia Prewett, a NANA reporter who wrote frequently about Alpha 66 activities and she said she knew Veciana, Bishop and Phillips. 

While Parnell suspects Veciana embellished his story after reading Phillips' 1977 autobio - Nightwarch, that he apparently hasn't read himself, Veciana began telling his story in March 1976, to both Fonzi and Dick Russell, before Phillips' book was published.

Parnell also points to a CIA agent named Bishop, who did know Veciana, according to the CIA files, but this agent was primarily assigned to the Far East, while "Maurice Bishop" was a Western Hemisphere Division guy. The entire career of David Phillips fits like a glove over the background of "Maurice Bishop," as Veciana described him before "Nightwatch" was published in 1977. And Plan Centaur is the clincher.

Among Veciana's 1976 "ramblings" was Plan Centaur - an unauthorized part of the plot to assassinate Castro in Chile, an event that seriously affected Phillips, Bishop and Veciana and led to the dissolution of their relationship. 

Anyone who wants to disassociate David Atlee Phillips from being "Bishop" and Veciana must give an explanation for how Plan Centaur so dramatically affected all three people, other than it is the clincher that certifies David Atlee Phillips as spymaster "Maurice Bishop." 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Joe Smith on Paul Linebarger and David Maurer

From Joseph B. Smith’s “Portrait of a Cold Warrior,” (Ballantine Books, NY, 1976)

Chapter 6, At the Foot of the Master

….In the early winter of 1952…I got the chance to attend Paul Linebarger’s seminar in psychological warfare. Linebarger had served as an Army psychological warfare officer in Chungking during the (Korean) war. He had written a textbook on the subject in 1948. In 1951 he was serving as the Far East Division’s chief consultant. He also served the Defense Department in the same capacity, giving advice on U.S. psychwar operations in Korea, and he was professor of Asian politics at the School for Advanced International Studies of the John Hopkins University. His book by this time had gone through three American editions, two Argentine editions, and a Japanese edition. 

He was far from a textbook warrior, however. He best described himself when he wrote in the introduction to his book, “Psychological warfare involves exciting wit sharpening work. It tends to attract quick-minded people – men full of ideas.” His wits scarcely needed sharpening, and he was never at a loss for an idea.

The seminars were held for eight weeks, every Friday night at his home. Going to Paul Linebarger’s house on Friday evenings was not only an educational experience for those who attended the seminar, it was also an exercise in clandestinity. Learning covert operational conduct was considered part of the course.

Each seminar was limited to no more than eight students. They were told to pose as students from the School for Advanced International Studies, to go to Paul’s via different routes, and to say they were attending a seminar in Asian politics….

The School for Advanced International Studies had its campus in Washington, but over in Baltimore at the main campus of John Hopkins University, Owen Lattimore, the expert on Asian geography, held sway….

It could just be possible some communist surveillant might follow one of the students up Rock Creek Park to 29th Street. They might even be operating from the Shoreham hotel, a few blocks away…..It would be difficult to say whether it was the political atmosphere in general, the office routine of the day just closed, or the drawn drapes in Linebarger’s living room, but students at the seminar met in an appropriately conspiratorial mood that raised the level of their appreciation of their subject.

The mood was fitting if not essential to an understanding of the material. The first point that Linebarger made was that the purpose of all psychological warfare is the manipulation of people so that they are not able to detect they are being manipulated. Wartime psychwar had been a matter of undermining the enemy civilian and military will to continue to fight. The audience, in brief, was very clearly defined. Determining just who it was they wanted to manipulate and for what ends was also pretty clear to the OPC personnel. Their targets were the Communists and their allies. Having this firmly in mind, any methods of manipulation could be used, especially “black propaganda.” 

Black propaganda operations, by definition, are operations in which the source of the propaganda is disguised or misrepresented in one way or another so as not to be attributable to the people who really put it out. This distinguishes black from white propaganda, such as news bulletins and similar statements issued by one side in a conflict extolling its successes, of course, or other material just as clearly designed to serve the purposes of its identifiable authors….

Paul Linebarger’s was a seminar in black propaganda only. One reason for this was that the United States already had an overt propaganda agency as part of the cold war apparatus. In those days it was run directly by the State Department, but in 1953 it would become formalized into the United States Information Agency and become the independent government agency responsible for worldwide Untied States propaganda operations….

Paul Linebarger loved black propaganda operations probably because they involved the wit-sharpening he liked to talk about. Also, he was so good at them that his was one of the inventive minds that refined the entire black operations field into shades of blackness. Linebarger and his disciples decided that propaganda that was merely not attributed to the United States was not really black, only gray. To be called black it had to be something more. Furthermore, they divided gray propaganda into shades of gray. So-called light gray was defined as propaganda that was not attributed to the United States government, but instead, for example, to a group that was known to be friendly to the United States….Dark gray was the term for propaganda attributed to a source usually hostile to the United States. This left the term black propaganda for a very special kind of propaganda activity. Black propaganda operations were operations done to look like, and carefully labeled to be, acts of the Communist enemy….

Linebarger was always careful to point out that to have any chance of success, these black operations must be based on good solid information about how the Communist Party we proposed to imitate actually conducted its business….

Linebarger undertook a kind of group therapy approach to try to show us that tricking someone into believing that black is white comes naturally to everybody and is something that is practiced from childhood.

“Look,” he began, “can’t you remember how you fooled your brothers and sisters and father and mother? Try to remember how old you were when you first tricked one of them.”


“I want you all to go out and get a copy of David Maurer’s classic on the confidence man. It’s called “The Big Con,” and its available now in a paperback edition,” Paul continued. “That little book will teach you more about the art of covert operations than anything else I know. Your job and the confidence man’s are almost identical.”

"Maurer's book will give you a lot of ideas on how to recruit agents, how to handle them and how to get rid of them peacefully when they're no use to you any longer. Believe me, that last one is the toughest job of all." 

We were all soon avidly reading The Big Con. The tales it told did, indeed, contain a lot of hints on how to do our job. For me one sentence seemed to sum it all up beautifully. "The big-time confidence games," wrote Maurer, "are in reality only carefully rehearsed plays in which every member of the cast EXCEPT THE MARK knows his part perfectly." 

“He had two leading operational heroes whose activities formed the basis for lessons he wished us to learn and whose examples he thought we should follow. One was Lt. Col. Edward G. Lansdale, the OPC station chief in Manila, and the other was E. Howard Hunt, the OPC station chief in Mexico City. Both of them had what he called “black minds,” and the daring to defy bureaucratic restraints in thinking up and executing operations. He had a number of stories to tell about the exploits of both. 

He was particularly fond of Lansdale….He had a favorite Lansdale story and a favorite Hunt story to illustrate what he admired in each and to demonstrate two widely different kinds of black operations. Lansdale’s was somewhat complex and required the support of a number of people and pieces of equipment. Hunt’s was disarmingly simple….

A note of caution that Linebarger added to these discussions of black operations sounds like a bell down the years. He would explain, after someone had come up with an especially clever plan for getting the Communists completely incriminated in an exceedingly offensive act, that there should be limits to black activities. 

“I hate to think what would ever happen,” he once said with a prophet’s voice, “if any of you ever get out of this business and got involved in U.S. politics. These kinds of dirty tricks must never be used in internal U.S. politics. The whole system would come apart.”

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The CIA and "The Sting"

The CIA and the "The Sting"

In his book "Intelligence Wars," Thomas Powers recalls a party for a retiring veteran CIA operations officer where he met former NSA (National Security Agency) and ACSI  (Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence 1981-1985) General William Odum.

[  William Eldridge Odom - Wikipedia / William E. Odom, 75; Military Adviser to 2 Administrations  /  William Odom, 75, National Security Director, Dies - The New York Times ] 

Over cocktails, Thomas asked Odum, an agency chief, how he came to meet the retiring CIA covert operator. 

Odum replied that he had asked the covert operator two questions - should the Army be running agents at all? 

The second question was what makes a good covert operational case officer?

While Thomas doesn't tell us the answer to the first question, we can see the value of Army Intelligence running undercover agents because the CIA is prohibited from doing so domestically by their charter, and the value of the Army intelligence during the civil rights and Vietnam protest era is readily apparent.

As for what makes a good covert operational case officer, the surprising answer was, just like the movie "The Sting." 

From that answer, it was apparanent that the retiring CIA covert operator had taken Paul Linebarger's class at the Center for Advanced International Studies at John Hopkins in Baltimore, as described by Joseph Smith in his book "Portrait of a Cold Warriror."

Besides his own text book "Psychological Warfare," Linebarger had his students read David Maurer's "The Big Con," the book that formed the basis for the movie "The Sting." 

Maurer, a linguistics professor at a Kentucky University, began to study the street slang of gangs, theves and criminals, compiling a unique dictionary of slang, in the course of which they told him about the Big Con artists who didn't rob people but instead convinced them to give them large amounts of money under the impression they would get more, verifing the idea "you can't cheat an honest man." 

When he met some Big Con artists and took them out to lunch, he gained their confidence, so they told Maurer the secrets of the Big Con, how it is conducted, and how everyone in the operation except the Mark is an actor playing out their assigned roles. Like a magician who gives away  the secrets of their tricks, Maurer got the details of the Big Con. They also told Maurer about some of the more legendary Big Con artists like Charlie Gondorf, an Atlantic City bartender portrayed in the movie by Paul Newman. 

When I read an early edition of "The American Confidence Man," a trade paperback aimed at academics and students, I immediatly recognized it as the basis for the movie "The Sting." 

A later mass market paperback edition "The Big Con,"  Linebarger assigned his covert operational students to read that was apparently picked up by Hollywood screenwriters who produced "The Sting," but failed to acknowledge Maurer's contributions. "The Sting" movie itself was a sting. 

When Maurer inquired, the Hollywood screenwriters denied ever reading Maurer's book, but when Maurer took them to court they settled when they couldn't come up with another published source for the name "Gondorf." 

While  the movie "The Sting" is an example of how covert operations are coonducted, Maurer's book gives covert operational case officers the crafts and techniques needed to carry out such operations, as Paul Linebarger taught his psychological warfare students at John Hopkins' Center for Advsnced International Studies. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Divine Skein at Dealey Plaza - How JFK Was Killed

The Divine Skein at Dealey Plaza – How JFK Was Killed
By William E. Kelly

Allen Dulles took a book about American Assassins to the first meeting of the Warren Commission, and suggested that, unlike conspiratorial European assassinations, most American assassins are deranged lone nuts. The book “The Assassins of American Presidents” was written by Robert J. Donovan, who also wrote PT-109. H

Commissioner John McCloy, a veteran of high level conspiracies, pointed out that Lincoln’s assassination was a conspiracy and a number of suspects were hanged for their roles, but in the end the Warren Commission decided that President Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, a deranged loner with no apparent motive.

Rather than the book on American assassins, Dulles should have brought a copy of his own book “The Crafts of Intelligence,” that refers to Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War,” one of the oldest known books that includes a chapter on the use of Secret Agents.

In his book that outlines the use of “intelligence tradecraft,” that former CIA agent Bob Baer says Oswald practiced, Dulles says that not much has changed since the days of Sun Tzu.

In “The Art of War” Sun Tzu says there are five types of secret agents – Native, Local, Double, Expendable and Living agents. Natives live where you want to know what is going on; Local are officials in important positions where you want to know what is going on; Double agents are enemy agents that are converted and turned; Expendable are those who you send out with false information that are usually killed or not needed anymore; and Living agents are those who go where you want to know what’s going on and return with valuable information.

When all five of these types of agents are working at once, Sun Tzu calls it “The Divine Skein,” a skein being a fishing net, and the network seeming to be divine or an act of God, and the Divine Skein is “the treasure of the sovereign.”

At various times in his young life Lee Harvey Oswald served as a native, double, living and ultimately an expendable agent, whose last and final mission was to a make the assassination of President Kennedy – the Dealey Plaza Operation, appear to be the work of Fidel Castro Cuban Communists and spark an invasion of Cuba.

That Oswald, as stated by Bob Baer in JFK Declassified (History Channel TV- Parts 1 & 2), practiced such “intelligence tradecrafts” that Allen Dulles and Sun Tzu write about, he must have learned it somewhere, and the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) and US Marine Corps are probably good places to start if you are looking.

In the early days of the CAP, before Oswald enlisted, they considered recruiting a select group of cadets that would be taken to the US Army Intelligence school at Fort Holabird, Maryland, near Baltimore where they train agents and operatives in these special tradecrafts, that include not only the policies and techniques of clandestine operations, but psychological warfare and propaganda.

That’s where spook journalsit Joseph Goulden received his training. Other places you can learn the “crafts of intelligence” include the Center for International Studies (CIS), where former Army Intelligence officer Paul Linebarger taught classes, sometimes at his DC home, as Joseph Smith recalls in his book. 

Antonio Veciana received his testing and training "out in the field," as they say, in Havana, where his case officer “Maurice Bishop” had a special officer test and train him in a crash course Veciana calls his “Conspirator’s Commandments.” 

David Atlee Phillips (aka “Maurice Bishop”), also talks about such training in his book “Careers in Intelligence,” and gives a good rundown on the tasks a good case officer must perform.

Cord Meyer, Jr., in his book “From World Federalism to the CIA,” also says how the intelligence case officers are the advance guard of America in foreign lands.  “The Agency officers serving under cover in the stations overseas are known as case officers,” writes Meyer. “Under the supervision of the station chief, they are America's front-line troops in the continuing effort to extract from human sources the information that policy makers require but which cannot be obtained from either the media, communications intercepts, or satellite surveillance....”

In his book “Intelligence Wars: American Secret History from Hitler to Al-Qaeda,” Thomas Powers writes about how he came to meet former general Odum – at a retirement party for a veteran CIA covert action officer. 

Given the opportunity, over cocktails, to question the general, Powers asked him how a Army intelligence officer and head of ACSI and NSA came to meet a CIA covert action officer. 

Odum said he questioned the CIA officer and asked him two questions. 

Should the Army be running agents at all? 

And what makes a good case officer? 

While Powers doesn't tell us what the answer was for the first question was, it's quite apparent from the history of the 50s and 60s that since the CIA was prohibited from officially operating in the continental United States, the military can and does, and played a significant role in the civil rights and Vietnam protests era.

As for the second question, as to what makes a good case officer, the answer was "The Sting," Odum was referring to the Paul Newman/Robert Redford film about "The Big Con," as Odum put it. 

It's clear that the retiring CIA officer who told Odum about the "The Sting" and "Big Con" had taken the course offered by Paul Linebarger of the John Hopkins School for International Studies, that Joe Smith refers to in his book.

Smith related how Linebarger, besides using the textbook he wrote on "Psychological Warfare" and propaganda, he had his students read David Mauer's "The Big Con," the book that the movie "The Sting" was based on. 

According to Linebarger Mauer's book gave good insight in how to recruit, run and get rid of agents once they are no longer useful, a problem that confronted David Atlee Phillips when he decided to cut off Antonio Veciana over the Plan Centaur affair. Giving him a case ful of cash wasn't enough to keep him away.

Ruth Paine and Arthur Young

In regards to the documentary movie about Ruth Paine and how Ruth Paine met Marina, I offer the following.

In a telephone conversation with Volkmar Schmidt, he admitted to me that the party at his Dallas home in February 1963 was indeed set up for the purpose of introducing the Oswalds to the Paines, at the behest of deMohrenschildts. Most of those in attendance, like Schmidt, worked for Magnolia Oil Company, and another resident was the son of a producer at Radio Free Europe. 

I was already familiar with Magnolia Oil because of my research into Jim Braden, the oil man and syndicate guy who was once run out of Dallas by Sheriff Bill Decker for smoozing and embezzling the widow of the founder of Magnolia Oil. 

While Michael Paine did not attend the first of the two parties arranged for the Oswalds to meet the Paines, Oswald talked extensively with Schmidt, while Ruth and Marina became famous friends, until the day of the assassination. 

Schmidt told me that he was raised in Germany by a Dr. Keutmeyer, who taught him reverse psychology techniques that he used on Oswald in their first and only two hour conversation - and suggested that General Walker should be assassinated as Hitler should have in the July 20, 1944 plot that involved two of Keutmeyer's associates, who Schmidt also knew.  

When I was reading Gerald Ford's book "Portrait of the Assassin," I was struck by a letter he includes that Ruth Paine - at the Paine family island off Massachusetts wrote to Marina in New Orleans. Ruth asked Marina to move in with her in Irving, Texas until she has the baby, as it would work for both of them. If Marina agreed, Ruth wrote, she should write a return letter in care of Arthur Young, Paoli, Pennsylvania. 

Arthur Young? I had never heard of him before, but learned that he had invented the Bell Helicopter, and married Michael's mom. 

And Marina must have responded in kind because Ruth Paine, in her Chevy station wagon, picked up Marina, the baby and the Oswald belongings - including the rifle, and drove them to Texas while Oswald went to Mexico City. 

While Marina and Ruth Paine left New Orleans on September 24, Oswald left for Mexico early the next morning, September 25, the day that the Joint Chiefs of Staff - chaired by AF Chief Gen. LeMay (Because Gen. Taylor was in Vietnam) were briefed on Covert Cuban Operations by Desmond FitzGerald, who had replaced William Harvey as head of the Cuban desk. 

Minutes were kept by Col. Higgens, aide to General Krulak, who was assigned to provide military assistance to the CIA station at JMWAVE. Among the dozen or so items in Higgins’ minutes is the curious item that the CIA was studying the July 20, 1944 plot to kill Hitler in order to use it against Castro. Jim Lesar has instituted a FOIA suit to release the records of this "study." 

As Ruth Paine had visited Arthur Young and Michael's mom - Ruth Forbes Paine Young a few days before she picked Marina up in New Orleans, I reached out and contacted Arthur Young by phone at his suburban Philadelphia farm and requested an interview. I had ordered two of his books, one a history of Bell Helicopter and the other on the study of consciousness. 

So one day I drove from my Ocean City, NJ home to Young's 300 year old farm near Brandywine, Pa., and tape recorded a two hour plus interview with him in his living room. I later met his wife, who was not very communicative. I was disappointed because I wanted to ask her about her role with the World Federalists (established by Cord Meyer, that also included Priscilla Johnson), and her relationship with Mary Bancroft, who was also involved in the July 20, 1944 plot to kill Hitler that the CIA was "studying." 

But Young was eager to talk. 

He requested my place and date of birth and figured out my astrology chart while we talked. Young told me how he had attended Princeton, argued with Einstein over the role of time in theories, and decided to invent something valuable, and after discarding video and a few other yet invented items, he chose vertical flight - the helicopter because it was, he thought, the easiest. 

First figuring out the need for a stabilizing control bar that ran from the rear blade, that he patented, he developed a model helicopter that he remotely controlled - the first drone, and when it was perfected over many years, he took it to Larry Bell at Bell Aircraft in upstate New York. When Bell's secretary told him he would only have a few minutes of Bell's time, In 1941 Young took the model helicopter out of the box and flew it around the huge hanger, where they were building Cobra fighter planes for the Russians. When the workers stopped to see the model flying around them, Larry Bell came out to see what all the fuss was, and Young flew the helicopter over Bell's head and landed it at his feet. 

Bell asked Young how long it would take to build a full scale version of the model, one that could hold a pilot and passenger, he didn't know. It took four years, and the first commercially approved helicopter, the Bell 47A was in production in 1945, too late for WWII, but familiar to those who have seen the TV Show MASH set in Korea - the glass dome girder chopper. 

Michael Paine attended college in Philadelphia and worked as an apprentice with Arthur Young, and was there when Ruth Paine moved to Philadelphia she met Michael Paine at a folk dance club. Bell Helicopter was established in Texas, according to Young, "for security reasons," as a number of other major defense contractors had also opened new plants there apart from their main headquarters, including General Dynamics. So Michael Paine got a job with Bell Helicopter because Arthur Young, and Ruth and Michael moved to Texas. 

In the course of our conversation Young asked me if I was an alien. I thought he might think I was really an Irish alien - but he asked me if I was from the Pleiades - and was clearly disappointed I was not. He said that aliens are among us, some from the Pleiades, who come to earth in a mother beam ship that is parked at the edge of the solar system, and use flying saucers to land - usually on a farm in Germany. Incredulous, Young said it was all well known and published and pulled out a book with pictures of the flying saucers and Pleiadeans, who he said were at war with another group of aliens - the Grays. The book, I noticed, was written by Lt. Col. Wendelle C. Stevens, USAF Ret.), who when I got home, I looked up and called on the phone in Arizona. Stevens said his book was out of print, and very rare, where did I see it. Arthur Young, of course, how is Arthur, his good friend. 

Stevens said he was assigned to Project Blue Book, at Wright-Pat AFB in Dayton, Ohio, where I told him I went to college. 

Who was his commanding officer? I asked. Why that would be General Charles Pearre Cabell, the brother of Earle Cabell, former Mayor of Dallas. 

While like David Lifton, I came away from my interviews with Arthur Young and Ruth FP Young without the answers to my questions. I believe the World Federalists (Cord Meyer et al) and Ruth FP Young's association with Mary Bancroft and the plot to kill Hitler are the keys the assassination mystery. 

Ruth Paine is a significant character in this narrative, as she met Marina while Schmidt talked to Oswald about killing Hitler and Walker, and she moved the rifle around and kept it in her garage. But she is just a "cut-out" in the overall scheme of things, used and discarded as an expendable agent, like Oswald. 

Excuse me for this long winded response but I think it gives some good background on how people met and why they were in Texas in the first place, and don't know how these aspects of the story can be fit into a non-accusatory film about Ruth Paine.