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«NOVEMBER 22, 1963 (Friday) 12:00 AM (Nov. 22, 1963) Nine Secret Service agents drinking at Pat Kirkwood’s bar the “Cellar Door” in Fort Worth, ...»

-- [ Page 68 ] --

In 1976, RFK’s former press aide, Frank Mankiewicz, tells HSCA Counsel Robert Blakey that he thinks that the “President’s brain is in the grave. LBJ, Ted, Bobby, and maybe McNamara buried it when the body was transferred. Ted seemed to confirm it later.” Asked about JFK’s brain in 1992, Evelyn Lincoln becomes upset and finally replies: “It’s where it belongs.” ROBERT BLAKEY: A law professor and the director of the Notre Dame Institute on Organized Crime, Blakey was appointed general counsel to the House Select Committee on Assassinations in June 1977. Blakey has come under attack on a number of fronts from virtually every critic of the Warren Report. His appointment came after the Committee investigation, which was being conducted openly, was already under way. (He replaced Richard Sprague.) Blakey’s first move was to discontinue the press conferences that until then had been keeping the American public abreast of the Committee’s findings. Blakey has been charged with blocking the development of new evidence, firing staffers and investigators who demonstrated too much vigor in their work, and having close ties to the intelligence community, especially the Central Intelligence Agency. Many researchers blame Blakey for underwriting the Committee’s failure to investigate the assassination thoroughly. With Richard N. Billings as his co-author, Blakey wrote a book based on the Committee’s findings. Originally titled The Plot to Kill the President (Times Books, 1981) and reissued as Fatal Hour: The Assassination of President Kennedy by Organized Crime (Berkley Books, 1992), the book assesses the blame on organized crime. Some researchers see Fatal Hour as an attempt to divert attention from CIA involvement. Blakey admitted that the Agency reviewed the manuscript before it was published. BE; Crossfire; HT; PD John Mezler is superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery from 1951 to 1972. His contact report (HSCA Agency File

008148) includes this statement:

“At the time of the [initial] burial, Mr. Mezler watched the coffin being placed in a ‘Wilbur’ [Wilbur Vault Company] vault. He saw the lid lowered and the vault sealed. The lid and vault had a ‘tongue and groove’ system, which permitted a tight fit. There was tar present at the points of contact of the tongues and grooves, making the seas a permanent one. Mr. Mezler said the only way the vault could be opened subsequently would be by ‘breaking open’ the lid or main part of the vault.” The Military District of Washington also keeps a detailed log of activites during the reinterment. In this very detailed listing there is no record of a brain, or of a brain container, ever being placed into the vault.

Mr. Mezler supervises the reinterment. He is present at all times, both during the opening of the old site and during preparations for the new site, including the transfer [by crante] of the vault through a distance of 30 feet.

March 16, 1967 Gordon Novel, perhaps the primary CIA contact for the New Orleans part of the anti-Castro efforts, discusses some general matters before the Grand Jury in New Orleans. He is scheduled to return on March 22 for more detailed questioning.

Some researchers believe Gordon Novel was on the grassy knoll at the time of the assassination. Some photographs of Dealey Plaza immediately following the shooting suggest that this may be so. Novel’s specialty is electronics. He has been connected to David Ferrie and Guy Banister.

March 22, 1967 Gordon Novel, scheduled to appear before a New Orleans Grand Jury, disappears. He has sold his interest in a restaurant and has cleared out his apartment. He begins a national and international junket denouncing Jim Garrison from Columbus, Ohio, McLean, Virginia, and Montreal, Canada - sidestepping Garrison’s efforts to extradite him.

April 3, 1967 President Johnson tells staff aide Marvin Watson he is convinced there was a conspiracy to assassinate JFK, including CIA involvement.

Today, Sergio Arcacha Smith of the Cuban Revolutionary Council (CRC) - and manager of an air conditioner firm in Dallas - is arrested at home, in front of his family, by officers sent from Jim Garrison’s office. Arcacha refuses to speak with them. They continue to insist that Arcacha speak with them alone, without his attorney present. After posting $1,500 bail, Arcacha is released. This touches off a five-month battle in which Garrison seeks to extradite Arcacha from Texas to Louisiana. However, Texas Governor John Connally befriends Arcacha and refuses to sign extradition papers within the required 90 days.

Jim Garrison calls a press conference to announce that he has identified the men involved in the conspiracy to assassinate JFK.

Garrison says that most of the participants “are in Texas and Dallas particularly where they are protected - one, by the Dallas law enforcement establishment and two, by the federal government.” April 5, 1967 In New Orleans, Jim Garrison has Clay Shaw arraigned on charges of conspiring to assassinate JFK. International attention is now keenly focused on this investigation.

–  –  –

May 6, 1967 James Phelan publishes an article in the Saturday Evening Post entitled: “Rush to Judgment in New Orleans.” The article is a one-sided attack on almost every aspect of Jim Garrison’s probe.

May 15, 1967 Newsweek publishes “JFK Conspiracy” by Hugh Aynesworth, the most violent attack on Jim Garrison’s investigation thus far.





May 19, 1967 Robert S. McNamara proposes a politico-military strategy to LBJ that raises the possibility of compromise in Vietnam: restricting the bombing to interdiction of the infiltration “funnel” below the twentieth parallel; limiting additional deployments to 30,000, after which a firm ceiling would be imposed; and adopting a more flexible bargaining position while actively seeking a political settlement. McNamara tells LBJ: “the war in Vietnam is acquiring a momentum of its own that must be stopped.” May 20, 1967 William “Bill” Waters dies today of what police describe as a “drug overdose” (Demerol). No n autopsy is performed. His mother says that LHO and Hank Killam came to her house prior to the assassination and her son attempted to talk Oswald and Killam out of being involved. Waters called FBI agents following the assassination. The FBI told him he knew too much and to keep his mouth shut. He was subsequently arrested and kept in Memphis in a county jail for eight months on a misdemeanor charge.

June - 1967 This month, Fatah’s intelligence chief, Abu Iyad, Arafat, Ali Hassan, Kamal Adwan, and Mahmoud Hamshari meet in Damascus. Following the humiliating defeat of the Six-Day War, Fatah is in disarray and its leadership split. Hamshari proposes that the Palestinians “kill a high-profile American on American soil” in order to make Washington “think twice about backing the Jews.” The group does not embrace his plan. Later, David Karr indicates that he wishes to arrange a meeting between Hamshari and Aristotle Onassis. Nemesis

June 6, 1967 The litigation of Jack Ruby’s wills begins.

June 13, 1967 A CIA report by Winston Scott, chief of station, Mexico City dated today states: “Headquarters attention is called to paragraphs 3 through 5 of report dated 26 May. The fact that Silvia Duran had sexual intercourse with Lee Harvey Oswald on several occasions when the latter was in Mexico City is probably new, but adds little to the Oswald case. The Mexican police did not report the extend of the Duran-Oswald relationship to this Station.” June 19, 1967 NBC airs a “White Paper” report on Jim Garrison’s investigation. This documentary does much to prejudge and discredit Garrison’s case.

June 20, 1967 In response to a letter to Attorney General Ramsey Clark from Sergio Arcacha Smith requesting support in his legal battle against Jim Garrison, Assistant Attorney General Fred Vinson, Jr. replies: “it would not be proper for us to comment in a case pending before a state court.” Layton Martens, Arcacha’s former volunteer, writes to Arcacha informing him that he is searching for a copy of the letter RFK wrote sanctioning their operation. Martens expresses regret that someone has stolen the original of the letter from David Ferrie’s apartment.

June 23, 1967 The Guerini brothers, Antoine & Barthelmy, are gunned down by two assassins at a Marseilles gas n station. According to Christian David, the Guerini brothers were the ones who put the Corsican assassins in touch with the Mafia in order to carry out the JFK assassination. According to David, it was Lucien Sarti, a Corsican drug trafficker and killer, who accepted the contract on JFK. BT June 25, 1967 In “The Warren Report,” CBS reports on the findings of its experts. It argues, implausibly, that Zapruder’s movie camera could have been running slower than the FBI-tested speed, which actually contradicts the experts. It calls for Time-LIFE

to make the film available to the public, noting that LIFE has refused to allow its showing “at any price.” Walter Cronkite also says:

“The question of whether Oswald had any relationship with the FBI or the CIA is not frivolous. The agencies, of course, are silent.

Although the Warren Commission had full power to conduct its own independent investigation, it permitted the FBI and the CIA to investigate themselves--and so cast a permanent shadow on the answers.” June 30, 1967 Time magazine runs an article entitled: “Something of a Shambles” - another critical review of Jim Garrison and his investigation.

July 4, 1967 Roger Craig is fired from the Dallas Police Department. Craig is man who saw Lee Harvey Oswald run from TSBD and get into Rambler station wagon. Some say his firing is due to his unyielding position on the assassination.

July 15, 1967 Jim Garrison, appearing on NBC-TV, says: “The people of this country do not have to be protected from the truth. This country was not built on the idea that a handful of nobles, whether located in our federal agencies in Washington, D.C., or in news agencies in New York, should decide what was good for the people to know and what they should not know. This is a totalitarian concept which presumes that the leaders of our federal government and the men in control of the powerful press media constitute a special elite which by virtue of their nobility and their brilliance empower them to think for the people.” July 23, 1967 CIA’s Desmond FitzGerald, David Atlee Phillips’s former Agency boss, chief of the Cuban task n force who personally organized at least three attempts to assassinate Castro, collapses on tennis court and dies.

August 3, 1967 LBJ announces plan to send 45,000 more men to Vietnam.

Also this month, CIA Director Richard Helms establishes a new Special Operations Group hidden within the Plans Department’s counterintelligence division to monitor the peace movement within the United States.

October 8, 1967 In a canyon near the hamlet of La Higuera, Bolivia, Che Guevara is ambushed and wounded in the leg. Felix Ramos, from the CIA’s Operation 40, is with the Bolivian ambushers. Ramos immediately begins photographing the contents of the wounded man’s knapsack. Although the Bolivian government announces that Che has been killed in the fire fight, he is actually taken to La Higuera and locked in the local school house.

A secret memo by the CIA’s Richard Helms shows that, in the fall of this year, the CIA’s most senior analysts believe the U.S.

could withdraw from Vietnam without any permanent damage to U.S. or Western security.

October 9, 1967 (Bolivia) Bolivian military brass, including a rear admiral of the armed forces of this landlocked n nation arrive by helicopter in La Higuera, Bolivia to view their captured “prize” -- Che Guevara. With them, according to eyewitnesses, is the CIA agent known as Gonzales. Later in the afternoon, Che Guevara is machine-gunned to death in the schoolhouse by a Bolivian Ranger. His body is strapped to a helicopter and flown to the larger town of Vallegrande where the two CIA Operation 40 agents (Felix Ramos and Eduardo Gonzales) supervise the embalming process. A Rueters dispatch from Vallegrande mentions that a CIA agent is present but this information does not appear in American newspapers. It will later be disclosed that the embalmers cut off Che’s hands before he is cremated, to prove that he is dead.



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