Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The CIA vs. Jefferson Morley


The CIA is in court again today defending its refusal to turn over documents on the activities of now-deceased career undercover officer George Joannides to journalist Jefferson Morley.

Joannides was the chief of the CIA’s Miami-based psychological warfare operations against Cuban president Fidel Castro in 1963.

Mr. Morley believes the Joannides files “could shed light on the question of whether CIA officers overlooked, underestimated or manipulated Oswald as he made his way to Dallas.” [emphasis added]

It’s pretty clear that Morley is satisfied that he is going to find pay-dirt (i.e., a “smoking gun” in the Kennedy assassination) among these withheld documents. I’m not so sure.

While I applaud all efforts, including Morley’s, to secure the truth about circumstances surrounding the death of President Kennedy, I haven’t seen anything yet that suggests that George Joannides was involved directly or indirectly in the Kennedy assassination, or with Oswald, and neither has Morley.

Mr. Morley’s not-so-subtle suggestion that there is fire amid these unreleased “smoking” documents centers around the fact that Joannides was in charge of guiding and monitoring the Directorio Revolucinario Estudentil (DRE) (i.e., Cuban Student Directorate), an anti-Castro Cuban exile student group based in Miami.

In August, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald approached Carlos Bringuier, the self-proclaimed one-man delegate of the Miami-based DRE in New Orleans, and offered to join Bringuier’s organization to train guerillas to fight Castro. Bringuier was suspicious of Oswald and thought he might be an undercover FBI agent looking to infiltrate Bringuier’s one-man organization.

Oswald was rebuffed and later got into a street fight with several of Bringuier’s associates and was arrested for disturbing the peace. Oswald later wrote to the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC) in New York and bragged that he had “infiltrated” Bringuier’s group (he had not). Oddly, both Bringuier and Oswald, who claimed leadership of the FPCC in New Orleans, were running one-man operations.

A week after the street fight, Oswald debated Bringuier and INCA’s Edward Butler on WDSU radio. Oswald’s attempted defection to the Soviet Union was revealed during this debate and Oswald’s career as an agent provocateur was over.

In the wake of the debate, Bringuier sent out a press release, which consisted of a typed message on plain-white paper, to the local New Orleans media in an effort to get the media and others interested in investigating Oswald, whom Bringuier considered dangerous. Bringuier was the only person who tried to warn people about Oswald prior to the assassination.

During the process of getting the withheld documents on George Joannides released from CIA vaults, Jefferson Morley has inflated Bringuier’s connections to the Miami-based DRE by suggesting that Bringuier’s one-man New Orleans delegation was receiving money from Miami (“…The CIA was passing money to the DRE leaders at the time…”) and that the Miami-based DRE called for an investigation into Oswald (“…the DRE issued a press release calling for a congressional investigation of the pro-Castro activities of the then-obscure Oswald…”). Morley claimed to have support for these allegations after “interviewing” Bringuier.

However, Bringuier recently said that he refused Morley’s invitation for an interview after reading an article Morley had written.

“Morley never interviewed me,” Bringuier said. “He contacted me over the phone and initially we agreed to an interview here in my house. When I checked his credentials and found out the inaccuracies that he had written about me I called back and cancelled the interview. He persisted claiming he had already an airplane ticket to come here and I told him that this area is a very nice place and he can enjoy a vacation here but that I would not allow him to put a foot inside my house.

“We discussed his allegation that the CIA was giving me $25,000 a month in 1963, at a time when I was working in Casa Roca as co-Manager with a salary of $60.00 and living with my wife and 4 children in low-income apartment of the New Orleans Housing Authority. He backed up stating that the money maybe was going to the Miami office and then from there trickling down to me. I told him I never got a penny from the Miami office.

”I was a delegate of the Miami Central office from where I received mail communication. Maybe I visited that office one or two times while I had been vacationing in Miami. I never met George Joannides nor any other non-Cuban person during those couple of visits to the Miami office.”

In an article posted online yesterday announcing today’s CIA court battle over the Joannides documents, Morley continued to fan the flames of conspiracy, writing “the disputed [Joannides] files could prove more significant to the JFK case than the much-publicized files of Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade, made public last week [emphasis added],” “all efforts to pierce the veil of secrecy around Joannides’ actions in 1963 have been thwarted,” and “agency lawyers will make their first response to a court order to explain the secrecy surrounding a career CIA undercover officer allegedly involved in the events that led that to the murder of the president on Nov. 22, 1963.”

Mr. Morley didn’t mention that the allegation that Joannides might have been involved in Oswald’s New Orleans shenanigans is his own, and so far, one that remains unsubstantiated.

Instead of facts, we get inflammatory statements from Mr. Morley like this: “What remains unknown is the extent of Joannides’ control over his agents in the Cuban exile community who sought to link Oswald to Fidel Castro. [Editor’s note: A reference to the Buchanan brothers’ post-assassination allegations that Oswald was connected to Castro.] The day after JFK was killed the Cuban communist leader scorned the reports that Oswald was a supporter of his revolution and suggested that the CIA was behind the charge. The available records show that Castro was right: CIA funds did help publicize the allegation.”

Castro was right? How does the use of CIA funds which might have been used to publicize Oswald’s well known and well-founded admiration of Fidel Castro show that Castro was correct when he claimed Oswald’s support of Fidel was a CIA fantasy?

It’s no real surprise that the CIA (or the independent actions of the Cuban exile groups they supported) would capitalize on the fact that Oswald was a real-life Castro supporter, is it?

That fact alone, however, doesn’t mean that George Joannides or the CIA were complicit in the assassination or connected to Oswald’s activities, no matter how bad some people want it to be so.

In any event, it would be prudent to wait until the CIA actually releases the files on Joannides before crowing about what they contain or how they relate (if it all) to Oswald and the Kennedy assassination.


Anonymous said...

Good post. Nonetheless, these are "Assassination related" documents, and should have been released. One does wonder where the reluctance comes from. I also applaud Morley for his efforts, regardless of the outcome. There will never be public trust while documents this old and seemingly this important are kept secret.

Jefferson Morley said...

Jefferson Morley comments

Dale's post requires comment, clarification and correction.

Dale says that I "inflated" Carlos Bringuier's connections to the DRE.

To the contrary, I based my assertions on interviews with all the former DRE leaders--including Bringuier—and on the DRE’s records

Dale accepts at face value Bringuier's assertion that I never interviewed him. And Bringuier is correct that he turned down an interview request in 2005. Bringuier did not tell Dale or has forgotten about an earlier interview which ended with him sending me copies of two letters he wrote to Tony Lanuza of the DRE about Oswald in August 1963. I have the fax of the letters, signed by Bringuier, for anyone who doubts that the interview took place.

Dale's imputation that I lied about interviewing Bringuier is false and slanderous and I hope he will retract it.

I have inflated nothing. What I have written is that Bringuier immediately reported his encounters with Oswald to the DRE leadership in Miami. His own prove the point.

B ut that is not all. Dale is unaware that the records of the DRE, found in the University of Miami library, show that in July 1963 the DRE leadership in Miami regarded the New Orleans chapter as the group’s best and singled out Bringuier for praise.

The DRE records, it should be noted, also identify Celso Hernandez, Miguel Cruz, and Carlos Quiroga as DRE members. All three participated in the DRE's encounters with Oswald, according to Bringuier.

In short, Bringuier's claim that the DRE chapter was a one-man operation, unconnected to Mimami, is not supported by the DRE's records or by interviews with a half dozen former DRE leaders. I will provide copies of these records to anyone who requests them.

Dale did not verify Bringuier's claim that I wrote that Bringuier “was receiving $25,000 a month from the CIA.” That's because I have never written any such thing.

What I have written is that the DRE leaders in Miami received $25,000 a month from the CIA. I got that number from the CIA’s own records. The former leaders of the DRE have confirmed that fact in multiple on-the-record interviews.

Dale accuses me of “inflammatory” remarks when I write: “What remains unknown is the extent of Joannides’ control over his agents in the Cuban exile community who sought to link Oswald to Fidel Castro.

This, he opines, is "a reference to the Buchanan brothers’ post-assassination allegations that Oswald was connected to Castro."

Wrong. This is a reference to the DRE' encounters with Oswald in August 1963 and to the groups' conspiracy theorizing about him in the days after JFK was killed

We don't know if Joannides was aware of, approved of, ignored or was ignorant of the DRE's Oswald-related activities because the CIA refuses to release any records about Joannides's secret operations, whereabouts or activities in August 1963.

Similiarly, we can’t be sure if Joannides approved, disapproved or didn’t know about the DRE’s efforts to link Oswald to Castro because we have no records of Joannides actions then. But we do know that the DRE contacts Joannides on the afternoon of November 22, 1963 because Tony LaNuza says that the DRE leadership called their CIA contact to say they wanted to publicize them.

So the question of Joannides “control” of the group on two key moments in the JFK story remains undetermined.

If Dale finds the statement of this fact "inflammatory" his criticism would be better directed at the CIA than at me.

Finally, Dale's power of summary have failed him. He is wrong to suggest that I have written or believe that "Oswald's support for Fidel was a CIA fantasy."

To the contrary I have repeatedly written that the DRE"s propaganda on Oswald's FPCC activities in August 1963 were well-documented, accurate, even prescient.

I have written that Castro was correct when he suggested that the DRE had links to the CIA. The CIA and DRE records prove the connection was close and constant throughout 1963 in the person of George Joannides.

Dale K. Myers said...

See "The Last Word: Bringuier, Joannides, and the DRE" for my response to Mr. Morley's comments above.

RonTruth said...

Now,why on earth would an agency like the CIA, which makes it's entire living by lying to cover up it's covert, paramilitary ops, including it's use of people like Chuckie Nicoletti and James E. Sutton (later back to his birthname, Files, who were the principal shooters of President Kennedy, be allowed into a courtroom, where the truth and nothing but the truth so help them, God, is supposed to be told?

Oswald was a little too honest when it came to giving vent to his loyalties. That is why those who knew him best (and had no profitable reasons for lying about him) all say that Lee H. Oswald had been set up to take the fall for the JFK death.

His big mistake was that he had worked for the FBI and CIA for years before he was sent to Russia to spy on them. However, that part of Oswald's teenage years came out when he told John McVickers at the US Embassy in Moscow that "he intended to give American radar information to the Soviets." (letter to the Warren Commission by John McVickers in 1964.)

When, in police custody in Dallas after the two shooters listed above shot President Kennedy, Oswald gave away his covert ID when he told news reporters that he was "just a patsy, David Phillips and Sam Giancana, and Chuck Nicoletti decided that Oswald would die. They knew he would not only talk about them, but about his top secret sojourn in Russia and what he told them about Francis Gary Powers' U-2 spy plane.

If JFK were allowed to live as well as Oswald: No profitable war in "Nam>" No way to rid Cuba of Castro. LBJ nixed that anyway. And, Oswald would have told his role in the Soviet Union at some point in the future. LBJ, under massive investigation by Bobby Kennedy and Texas Attorney-General for unexplained murders, corruption.

Israel would not have gotten the nukes she now has, but won't admit it. The Fed Reserve Bank would have been closed. Just too much for the wealthy, right-wing extremists to take. JFK was a threat to their mostly illegally obtained wealth.

Let's all take a deep breath, and admit that Ford was telling the truth to the 1995 Assassination Records Review Board when he admitted to them that he indeed DID order the WC's medical illustrator to "move upward by several inches the wound on President Kennedy's back from where it is seen in the autopsy photographs."

Ford went on to say that "I'm not talking about some kind of conspiracy here. Just did it to clarify things." Uh-huh. The back wound was what convicted Oswald in the public's mind, as it was presented in the WC Report.

Indeed, Gerald R. Ford wasn't talking about a conspiracy. He, in real point of fact, was covering up a conspiracy.

His friend, who eulogized Ford in 2007 certainly knew of Ford's admission to a board that he was president when it was first authorized. Yet that same man said, during the eulogy that "a deluded gunman assassinated President Kennedy." Mrs. Ford, on film, just looked down and away.

What is it about wealth and political power that makes people so afraid to just go with their gut, and demand a new Texas Grand Jury investigation into the JFK public execution?

Dale K. Myers said...

Good lord. Oswald worked for the FBI and CIA as a teenager? Charles Nicoletti and James Files were the real assassins? The “masterminds” of the assassination allowed Oswald to sing to the Dallas police behind closed doors for two days and only then decided to kill him before he could talk? If JFK had lived there would have been no Nam, no Israel with nukes, and no Federal Reserve? Questionable clairvoyant abilities aside, it’s rather ironic that Mr. Truth hasn’t got a clue about the truth. I’ve got a suggestion: Stop gobbling up all the crap published by left-wing idealogues. If you want to know the real truth about the assassination, read the record.