«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, ...»
November 6, 1972 A story in The Washington Post today reports on a book by Aristotle Onassis’ ex-butler, Christian Cafarakis. According to Cafarakis, a couple of months after JFK’s assassination, Onassis hired a team of detectives to find out what happened. After nineteen months they presented a report giving the names of the “real” murderers. “On receipt of the study, Jackie gathered friends one evening for consultation and then decided to send it to President Johnson. The next morning, an anonymous phone call warned her to leave the report unpublished if she feared for her own and her children’s safety. Now, says Cafarakis, the report is locked away in Onassis’ private safe at Glyfada and protected at all times by guards and burglar alarms.” November 7, 1972 President Nixon and Vice-President Agnew are reelected, winning 60.8 percent of the popular vote and 97 percent of the electoral vote. The first thing Nixon does is to demand signed resignations of his entire government. “Eliminate everyone,” he tells John Ehrlichman about reappointment, “except George Bush. Bush will do anything for our cause.” Pledging Allegiance, Sidney Blumenthal November 20, 1972 President Nixon asks for the resignation of Richard Helms as Director of the CIA. James Schlesinger, a professor, becomes the new director. William E. Colby takes charge of the Directorate of Plans -- which is the clandestine side of the CIA.
December 7, 1972 In The New York Times today, the following letter by Augustin F. Fortuno states: “Statehood for Puerto Rico was defeated in the recent election. For the second time it was an issue and was turned down. No other United States territory, colony, dominion or possession, given the choice, had ever rejected statehood. Why then our decision? Political theorists may speculate for years about the multiplicity and complexity of our reasoning, but one reason that comes to mind when I think of unbreakable union with the people of the United States is this: Who is in command in the United States? The last three elections in this country have been decided by a bullet. John F. Kennedy’s assassination made possible Richard Nixon’s narrow victory in 1968. And George Wallace’s maiming paved the way for the recent landslide. Yet no law has been or apparently will be passed in the near future regarding effective weapons or arms control. Why? Who or what are the United States legislators afraid of? Before the 1.2 million voters in Puerto Rico decide on statehood we are honestly interested in knowing: Who is really in command in the United States?” December 9, 1972 In the Los Angeles Times today, Chief Justice Earl Warren is quoted as saying he “had never seen any convincing evidence to disprove the Warren Commission’s finding that Lee Harvey Oswald was solely responsible for assassinating Mr. Kennedy.” This year, the Pentagon (specifically the Army) reportedly orders destruction of all documents in its military intelligence files concerning Oswald/Hidell.
Edward Kennedy, Jr. - son of Ted Kennedy - has his right leg amputated this year because of cancer.
Also this year, Richard Nixon will be quoted as saying that if Bobby Kennedy had instituted ten more wiretaps he would have been able to discover “the Oswald plan.” When questioned by the press about this statement Nixon modifies it: “I said if ten more wiretaps could have found the conspiracy, if it was a conspiracy, or the individual, then it would have been worth it. As far as I’m concerned, I’m no more of an expert on that assassination than anybody else...” January 18, 1973 The trial of Daniel Ellsberg for leaking the Pentagon Papers begins. [During the course of the trial the public learned that the CIA had massively underestimated enemy strength before the 1970 invasion of Cambodia. Upon learning that H.L. Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy, already convicted for the Watergate break-in, had also burgled the office of Ellsberg’s psychiatrist, Judge Matthew Byrne, Jr. declared a mistrial and dismissed all charges against Ellsberg. Judge Byrne also accused the Nixon administration of “gross misconduct”, revealing that mid-trial Nixon’s special assistant for domestic affairs, John Ehrlichman, had offered him the job of director of the FBI.] January 22, 1973 LBJ (Lyndon Baines Johnson) dies of an apparent heart attack in Texas. He is pronounced dead at n Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. He leaves an estimated fortune of $14,000,000.00 to $20,000,000.00. His mistress, Madeleine Brown says: “Lyndon Johnson did not die naturally.” She thinks his Secret Service people killed him. “They hated him.” she said. LBJ dies just a few days prior to the signing of the agreement to end the war in Vietnam. Later this year, the space center at Houston is renamed the Lyndon Baines Johnson Space Center in his memory.
February 7, 1973 The Senate votes, 70 - 0, to establish a select committee to investigate Watergate.
March 21, 1973 Crucial meeting between John Dean and President Nixon. Discussion focuses on ways to insure the continued silence of the Watergate burglars and those involved in the cover-up. “Hush-money” and offers of executive clemency discussed.
Later this day, Howard Hunt’s lawyer receives $75,000.00.
March 23, 1973 President Nixon and Charles Colson consider appointing J. Lee Rankin, former general counsel of the Warren Commission, as special prosecutor in the Watergate conspiracy case. Although Nixon ultimately decides not to appoint a special prosecutor at this time, he does ask Rankin later on if he will help prepare the presidential tapes for the Watergate investigation.
[It has been alleged that Rankin prevented detailed investigation of the single bullet theory at the Warren Commission, though others
believed the theory was impossible. Rankin systematically buried criticism from his own staff of the evidence and of the official Report:
“No more memorandums. The Report has to be published.” At another point, he became angry when Wesley Liebeler and William Coleman found information supporting the evidence given by Sylvia Odio (that LHO had visited her at the time he was supposed to be in Mexico): “At this stage, we are supposed to be closing doors, not opening them”] March 29, 1973 The U.S. ends its involvement in Vietnam, after more than 58,000 American lives have been lost and $220 billion spent.
May - 1973 After being named CIA chief by President Richard Nixon, William Colby elects to cooperate with lawmakers investigating such misdeeds as assassination plots against foreign leaders, illegal domestic spying and oddball drug experiments. Colby turns over to Congress the so called “family jewels” -- a 693-page, single-spaced list of skeletons in the CIA’s closet. His cooperation with Congress infuriates come CIA loyalists who hold that he has betrayed his colleagues. (President Gerald Ford will eventually nudge Colby out of office for refusing to “stonewall” congressional investigators probing CIA wrongdoing.) May 9, 1973 The Director of Central Intelligence James Schlesinger, infuriated by the recent press disclosures of CIA misconduct of which he had been unaware, orders his covert chief, William Colby, to compile a list of any “questionable activities” by the CIA, past and present. [The resulting 693-page report described Operation Chaos (the domestic spying program), drug experiments, assassination plots, illegal mail-openings, the surveillance and wiretapping of selected American journalists, contacts with Watergate figures, etc., a list that Agency operatives called “the Skeletons” and the press later dubbed “the family jewels”.] Bill Colby very clearly emphasises that the CIA had never plotted assassinations domestically. Colby’s admission is a brilliant tactical stroke that is not appreciated until much later. First, it puts the focus on the plots against foreign leaders that could be explained as excesses of anti-communist zealotry (which is precisely what the drafters of Church’s report did). Second, all probes into the assassinations of JFK, RFK, and MLK are therefore off-limits. The Church Committee will now concentrate on the performance of the intelligence community in investigating the death of JFK;
not complicity in the assassination itself. This distinction is crucial. As Colby must certainly understand, the Agency and its allies can ride out exposure of plots against Marxists and villains like Castro, Patrice Lumumba of the Congo and Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic. The exposure of domestic plots against political leaders might have been lethal. TA May 16, 1973 Army Intelligence declassifies an extraordinary army telegram today. Concerning Lee Harvey Oswald, the telegram had been dispatched late in the evening of November 22, 1963. The cable, from the Fourth Army command in Texas to the U.S. Strike Command at McDill Air Force Base in Florida, links Oswald to Cuba via Cuba’s alleged Communist “propaganda vehicle,” the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. It also transmits two statements about Oswald, both false, which have come via army intelligence from the Dallas police: “Assistant Chief Don Strongfellow, Intelligence Section, Dallas Police Department, notified 112th Intelligence Group, this Headquarters, that information obtained from Oswald revealed he had defected to Cuba in 1959 and is a card-carrying member of communist Party.” Strongfellow was a member of the police intelligence unit headed by Jack Revill, while the Fourth Army’s 112th Intelligence Group (with offices in Dallas and New Orleans) was the unit of James Powell (the agent who happened to be taking pictures in Dealey Plaza on Nov. 22, 1963 and was subsequently caught inside the TSBD when it was sealed off by the police soon after the assassination.) The U.S. Strike Command, USSTRICOM, is an extraordinary two-service command (army and air force) set up in 1961 in response to the “Lebanon crisis” of 1958. Designed to provide a swift strike force on short notice, its location in Florida made it singularly appropriate for a surprise attack on Cuba. Since mid-1963 its commander had been General William D. Rosson, a CIA-related general who in 1954 had formed part of General Lansdale’s team in Vietnam. Fletcher Prouty, in his book The Secret Team, lists him as one of the six who “made rapid promotions to the grade of brigadier general and higher as a result of the CIA, Special Forces, and Vietnam.” May 17, 1973 The Senate Watergate Committee begins its nationally televised hearings.
Also this month, David Atlee Phillips is selected by Director William Colby to become chief of the CIA’s Western Hemisphere Division, the highest rank not requiring Congressional approval.
May 18, 1973 One week after declining a committee subpoena for his records, Lou Russell - a former FBI agent who helped Richard Nixon with the Hiss case - suffers his first massive heart attack. DPATDOJ June 30, 1973 George Bell, Charles Colson’s assistant, dies. Colson says that George Bell was responsible for n Nixon’s “enemies list.” This is a list of two hundred politicians and celebrities that Richard Nixon considers a political threat to himself and his reputation.
July 2, 1973 Lou Russel, an old friend of Richard Nixon’s, dies of a second massive heart attack. Russell works n for James McCord and knows a lot about call girls used in Washington for political blackmail.
July 13, 1973 John Leon - a Republican investigator - dies of a heart attack. He is scheduled to hold a Watergate n press conference later today. Leon is “convinced that Watergate was a setup, that prostitution was at the heart of the affair, and that the... burglary had been sabotaged from within.” DPATDOJ August 22, 1973 Jim Garrison is put on trial in New Orleans federal court on charges of accepting bribes from pinball dealers tied to New Orleans crime boss Carlos Marcello. The charge originates with John Mitchell’s Justice Department.
Henry Kissinger is appointed Secretary of State.
September 11, 1973 The Chilean military, supported by the CIA’s Track II program headed by David Atlee Phillips, overthrows the government of Salvadore Allende. Allende is shot during the coup. The military junta massacres tens of thousands of workers and students considered leftists. “There is a strong probability that the CIA station in Chile helped supply the assassination lists,” according to ex-agent Phillip Agee.
September 16, 1973 The Washington Post reports that “New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison as late as March 1971, was preparing to accuse another person of conspiring to assassinate President John F. Kennedy. Garrison’s intended defendant this time was the late Air Force General Charles Cabell, for mer deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency.” September 27, 1973 Jim Garrison is found NOT GUILTY in New Orleans on charges of accepting bribes.
October 10, 1973 Vice President Agnew resigns under charges of tax evasion. (Agnew will be disbarred in Maryland on May 2, 1974.) October 12, 1973 Richard Nixon appoints former Warren Commission member Gerald Ford as Vice President of the United States. Nixon’s first choice is John Connally, but Democratic congressional leaders inform him that Connally will never be confirmed by the Senate. Gerald Ford has already violated national security by illegally publishing top secret transcripts which he appropriated from the Warren Commission files, in his ghostwritten PORTRAIT OF THE ASSASSIN. In this book, Ford goes out of his way to make Oswald appear to be the assassin and to bury criticism of the Warren Report.
November 5, 1973 President Nixon hires Leon Jaworski as Special Prosecutor in the Watergate investigation. [Jaworski was present when Earl Warren and Gerald Ford questioned Jack Ruby in jail.] Nixon had tried to hire John J. McCloy as Special Prosecutor for Watergate. [McCloy was a member of the Warren Commission, and a leading proponent of the magic bullet theory.] November 22, 1973 President Nixon’s secretary, Rose Mary Woods, faces possible prosecution for erasing a critical portion of one of Nixon’s tapes reportedly dealing with the assassination of JFK. She hires Charles Rhyne, a personal friend of Nixon, who was an official observer in monitoring the Warren investigation and advising on the individual rights of various witnesses.