Sunday, 03 July 2011 23:01

Journalists and JFK, Part 3: The Real Dizinfo Agents at Dealey Plaza

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More journalistic connections to the CIA are examined by Bill Kelly, in particular those of Hugh Aynesworth, Priscilla Johnson and Gordon McLendon.

Part 1
Part 2

Besides their reporting on the assassination of President Kennedy, Hugh Aynesworth, Priscilla Johnson and Gordon McLendon share an interesting common trait in that they applied for jobs with the CIA and didn’t get them. But rather than become full fledged agents, it appears they were assigned a contact officer and served as CIA assets for decades, which is especially interesting in how their CIA associations affected their activities related to the assassination.



As a local reporter for George Bannerman Dealey’s Dallas Morning News, Hugh Aynesworth was all over the place during the assassination weekend. He was at Dealey Plaza, the Tippit murder scene, the Texas Theater where the accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested, the house in Irving where Oswald’s wife lived, the rooming house where Oswald lived and the Dallas Police Department where he was killed.[1]

It’s important to mention Aynesworth’s background and his presence at so many crime scenes because while it always seemed suspicious, and his CIA ties were confirmed with the release of CIA records by the JFK Act.

As Jim DiEugenio notes, “many more pages of documents have been released showing how tightly bound Aynesworth was with the intelligence community. It has been demonstrated that Aynesworth was – at the minimum – working with the Dallas Police, Shaw's defense team, and the FBI. He was also an informant to the White House, and had once applied for work with the CIA. As I have noted elsewhere, in the annals of this case, I can think of no reporter who had such extensive contacts with those trying to cover up the facts in the JFK case...”[2]

Rex Bradford, the web master of Mary Ferrell’s extensive files on the case wrote, “Declassified documents show that Dallas reporter Hugh Aynesworth was in contact with the Dallas CIA office and had on at least one occasion ‘ offered his services to us.’ The files are chock full of Aynesworth informing to the FBI, particularly in regard to the Garrison investigation….Also of note is a message Aynesworth sent to…LBJ's White House, in which Aynesworth wrote that ‘My interest in informing government officials of each step along the way is because of my intimate knowledge of what Jim Garrison is planning.’” [3]

Most incredible however, is the CIA report written on October 10, 1963 when J. Walton Moore, the head of the Dallas CIA Domestic Contacts Division reported to the Chief of the Contact Division on “the possibility of Hugh Grant Aynesworth making a trip to Cuba.”[4]

One month before the assassination J. Walton Moore - the same CIA agent who has been meeting regularly with the accused assassin’s best friend George DeMohrenschildt, is also meeting with Hugh Aynesworth about going to Cuba.

Moore’s first mission with the OSS during Word War II was to China with Charles Ford, who later became the CIA agent assigned to work with RFK at JMWAVE. Using an Italian alias, Ford worked with John Rosselli, the mafia boss the CIA previously recruited to kill Castro. In his interview with the Church Committee, Ford said they were trying to overthrow, not kill Castro, but those who have it in for RFK use Ford as a lynchpin to crucify Bobby, as we have seen with Sy Hersh in the Dark Side of Camelot, Evan Thomas in Robert Kennedy – His Life , and David Kaiser in The Road to Dallas , and Max Holland. But with the release of Ford’s records by the JFK Act, they have all gone silent. [5]

However there could be an association between Hugh Aynesworth, J. Walton Moore, Charles Ford and David Atlee Phillips, especially in regards to the timing of Moore’s memo and Phllips’ travels, not just as it relates to Cuba, but to what happened at Dealey Plaza. This is especially so since J. Walton Moore – the CIA contact agent to the accused assassin’s best friend, served in the same capacity with Hugh Aynesworth about a trip to Cuba a month before the assassination. And the day before Aynesworth met with Moore, David Phillips was at JMWAVE, the CIA’s Miami, Florida base, where anti-Castro operations were planned and carried out.[6]

How did these damning records get released? And if this was released, what’s in the thousands of documents that are totally redacted or are still partially withheld for reasons of national security? Many of these withheld records include many pages of the files of Hugh Aynesworth, Priscilla Johnson and Gordon McLendon.

As David Talbot points out, “…some of these journalists did the CIA’s bidding: see, for instance, a January 25, 1968 CIA memo on Hugh Aynesworth, who covered the JFK assassination, first for the Dallas Morning News and then Newsweek . Aynesworth – who at one time, according to the memo, ‘expressed some interest…in possible employment with the Agency’ – was considered by the CIA to be a solid ‘Warren Commission man on the assassination.’”[7]

And indeed he was. He eagerly did the agencies bidding to squash the Garrison investigation, and he doesn’t consider the Kennedy assassination among the unsolved homicides in his 1994 book Murders Among Us: Unsolved Homicides, Mysterious Deaths and Killers at Large .[8] But his article, “The Strangest Story I Ever Covered,” details how he came to expose the head of the local crime commission was himself a criminal who had crafted a new identity to hide his past. So Aynesworth is capable of uncovering conspiracies when he wants to. If he applied the same investigative skills to the homicide at Dealey Plaza, perhaps he would have helped uncover the truth instead of promoting the cover story and blaming the murder on the patsy.[9]

Joseph Goulden was one of Hugh Aynesworth’s colleagues who also covered the events in Dallas and also pushed the lone-nut myth. When rumors began to circulate that Oswald was an FBI informant, and was even assigned an informant number, Aynesworth, along with Houston reporter Lonnie Hudkins and Goulden, floated the story that they had made up an informant number to make it seem real. The Warren Commission held a closed door executive session to discuss it, and former CIA director Allen Dulles explained that even if Oswald was an informant, there would be no record of it, though there was a record of Jack Ruby being such an FBI informant.[10]

Just as there was a lot of friction between the FBI and the Dallas Police, there was also friction between the FBI and the Secret Service and the FBI and the CIA. So Goulden’s story actually took some of the heat off the CIA, especially in regards to Oswald’s defection to the Soviet Union and his trip to Mexico City, both of which called unwanted attention to CIA operations they wanted to keep secret.

It was also a diversion that appeared to dissipate when Aynesworth and Goulden acknowledged the story was bogus. So the idea of Oswald as intelligence operative went south and the public image now became one of the deranged loser, and lone nut assassin.

Today, both Aynesworth and Goulden write for the Washington Times newspaper, founded by Sun Myung Moon and owned by the Unification Church, who some suspect acts as a front for the CIA.[11]

When Priscilla Johnson McMillan testified before the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), she said that in the course of researching Marina’s story, she discovered who actually obtained and leaked Oswald’s “Historic Diary” to the Dallas Morning News and Life magazine.[12]

Who was it? Hugh Aynesworth.



mcmillanAt a fairly young age, Priscilla Johnson developed an interest in all things Russian. After attending Bryn Mawr College in Philadelphia, she studied Russian at Middlebury School, and worked for John F. Kennedy before embarking on a career as a journalist and correspondent based in the Soviet Union.[13]

According to the official records, Johnson applied for employment with CIA in 1952.

Thanks to the JFK Act, we now know what that her CIA Security File (ID #71589) reads, “During the course of the current investigation, thirteen-developed informants were contacted. She is generally described as stable, intelligent, well-informed, mature, of excellent character, morals, and reputation, and a loyal American citizen. Subject is further described as liberal, internationally minded and overly polite to such a point that it was thought that she was putting it on...”[14]

Johnson said she withdrew the CIA job application in January 1953, but then was officially denied a security clearance in March 1953. The denial was said to be based on her attendance at Middlebury, an institution listed among those officially deemed subversive by the government, and her participation with the World Federalists, who advocated support for the United Nations and the establishment of a world wide government. From the documentary records it is apparent that she was a member of the World Federalists while at student at Bryn Mawr, in Philadelphia, and was affiliated with the Pennsylvania state World Federalists and the national and international World Federalists, founded by her Locust Valley, New York neighbor Cord Meyer.[15]

Although Priscilla Johnson was never officially asked if she knew Michael Paine’s mother, Ruth Forbes Paine Young, they were both active in the World Federalists in Philadelphia, in the same city at the same time. It makes one wonder if, from their mutual association with the World Federalist in Philadelphia, if Priscilla Johnson knew Michael Paine’s mother at such an early date in the proceedings?[16]

According to CIA files Johnson was rejected because some of her associates would require more investigation. The document was signed by  Cord Meyer, who was then chief of CIA Investigations and Operational Support, and incredibly enough, the founder of the World Federalists, one of the subversive organizations that the CIA’s Office of Security considered suspicious.[17]

On 17th March, 1953, W. A. Osborne, sent a memo to Sheffield Edwards, head of CIA security, saying that after checking out Johnson's associates he "recommended approval." However, on 23rd March he sent another memo saying that "in light of her activities in the United World Federalists" he now "recommended that she be disapproved".[18]

That Priscilla would be disqualified from joining the CIA because of her association with the World Federalists is hard to believe since that organization was founded by her friend and former neighbor Cord Meyer, who was one of Allen Dulles’ top deputies at the CIA. He later controlled the International Organizations Division of the CIA that included the World Federalists.

When Priscilla Johnson was questioned by the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), and was asked if she worked for the CIA, she denied even knowing anyone in the CIA. She failed to mention her friend and neighbor Cord Meyer, Dulles’ deputy and head of the CIA’s International Organizations Division, who signed her security check.[19]

As Priscilla Johnson herself admitted when questioned by the HSCA, there is one inherent difference between an independent journalist and a covert intelligence agent posing as one: you can't depend on the agent to tell the truth or give an accurate appraisal of the situation because of their hidden allegiances.

Priscilla Johnson told the congressional investigators that she withdrew her application for employment with the CIA before they determined that she wouldn’t pass muster because of her affiliations with the subversive World Federalists.

They still considered her a valuable asset however, as the records reflect she was later given a conditional clearance in 1956 and continued meeting with CIA officials throughout her career. From the records released under the JFK Act, it is apparent she maintained contact with a CIA liaison officer for years, and was passed off from one contact officer to another.[20]

Instead of officially working for the CIA however, Priscilla Johnson was hired by the North American Newspaper Alliance (NANA), the organization she was officially working for in Moscow when she interviewed the American ex-marine defector, Lee Harvey Oswald.

The North American Newspaper Alliance doesn't exist today as a corporate entity, but over the years NANA was owned by American and British intelligence officers and employed correspondents that have repeatedly become entangled in clandestine affairs.

Priscilla Johnson didn’t have to work for the CIA if she worked for NANA, an allied agency whose intelligence associations were cemented by Ernest Cuneo, Ivar Bryce and Ian Fleming. In his official biography The Life of Ian Fleming, John Pearson relates "During the next few years Bryce (and Cuneo)…. were to play their part in the story of James Bond and the life of his creator…Bryce had bought himself an oil well in Texas which had just started to produce, and out of the proceeds he had decided to acquire a controlling interest in the North American Newspaper Alliance. NANA was one of the big American agencies specializing in syndicating feature articles, but by the time Bryce bought it its prestige was not what it had been. He and his associate, Ernest Cuneo, were planning to restore NANA to its former glory, and… Fleming was drawn into the project."[21]

Cuneo was a former aid to both New York Mayor LaGuardia and President Franklin Roosevelt, served as an OSS officer during WWII, and as Pearson puts it, was “one of the group around General Donovan and William Stephenson who formed the basis of close U.S. and British cooperation during World War II and the Cold War that followed. Cuneo served as official wartime liaison between British Intelligence, the OSS and the FBI.”[22]

According to Pearson, the purchase of NANA was Cuneo's idea. "For Bryce it was never more than a rich man's hobby. Cuneo was more interested, and Fleming was invited to help. More than this, he was asked to take charge of the European end of the operation, with the resounding title of European vice-president." Fleming recognized the attributes of a good reporter were the same as those of a good spy.

Sidney Goldberg, who worked for Fleming at NANA, agreed that there was a thin line between Fleming's responsibilities as an editor and his espionage operations. NANA, notes Goldberg, had a reputation for hiring beautiful, young women as NANA correspondents – such as JFK’s World War II paramour Inga Arvad, Cord Meyer’s wife Mary Pinchot Meyer, Latin American correspondent Virginia Prewett and Priscilla Johnson.[23] As a foreign correspondent working for NANA in Moscow, Priscilla Johnson was one of the first American reporters to interview Lee Harvey Oswald. In what was later characterized as “an ironic twist of fate,” she later obtained the exclusive rights to the story of Oswald's wife after the assassination.

She learned about the young ex-Marine defector from John McVickar, a US embassy assistant who concluded that Oswald "...was following a pattern of behavior in which he had been tutored by [a] person or persons unknown..., it seemed to me that there was a possibility that he had been in contact with others before or during his Marine Corps tour who had guided him and encouraged him in his actions."[24]

After meeting with Oswald in a Moscow hotel room, Johnson filed her story to NANA the next day. But most of it wouldn't be published until after the assassination. In her two year stay in Moscow, Priscilla Johnson filed over 100 reports to NANA, although not all of them were published. According to Goldberg, “…The primary reason we chose not to publish Priscilla's Oswald story in 1959 was because it was a marginal operation, picking up and distributing free-lance stories here and there...I suspect that by their very nature, these outfits could have been easy vehicles for providing journalist 'cover' to CIA operatives, although I do not know this to be a fact."[25]

John Newman, who interviewed Priscilla Johnson for his book, Oswald and the CIA, noted in a footnote: "Years later, rumors would surface that NANA was associated with the CIA…NANA was run by Ernie Cuneo and Priscilla's editor was Sidney Goldberg. Priscilla had no inkling of any NANA-CIA relationship at the time. Today she has heard the rumors."[26]

In more recent times, Sidney’s wife Lucianne Goldberg, a New York literary agent and former NANA correspondent herself, advised Linda Tripp to secretly and illegally tape record Monica Lewinsky about her affairs with President Clinton.[27]

Priscilla Johnson also revealed to Newman that she was a friend and neighbor of Cord Meyer, a CIA officer who "was waiting for her to grow up," and after she grew up, she knew him through her application for a job with the CIA and their mutual association with the World Federalists.[28]

According to her HSCA testimony, upon her return to the United States from Moscow in November 1962, Priscilla Johnson was debriefed “for the first time” by an agent of the CIA at the Brattle Inn in Cambridge, Massachusetts. On 11th December, 1962, a CIA memo (declassified in August, 1993) reported: "I think that Miss Johnson can be encouraged to write pretty much the articles we want. It will require a little more contact and discussion, but I think she could come around... Basically, if approached with sympathy in the cause she considers most vital, I believe she would be interested in helping us in many ways. It would be important to avoid making her think that she was being used as a propaganda tool and expected to write what she is told."[29]

Another CIA document dated 5th February, 1964, reports on an 11 hour meeting with Johnson, the main objective was to debrief her "on her flaps with the Soviets when she was in the USSR, notably at the time of her last exit." She was also asked if she "would be interested in writing articles for Soviet publications." Gary Coit, the CIA officer who conducted the interview reported that "no effort was made to attempt to force the issue of a debriefing on her contacts". However Coit told her he would "probably be back to see her from time to time to see what she knows about specific persons whose names might come up, and she at least nodded assent to this."[30]

Apparently she did not have to be debriefed after interviewing Oswald in Moscow because everything they needed to know was contained in her November, 16, 1959 report to NANA, including the parts not published in the newspapers. Besides Priscilla Johnson, one of the CIA's more prolific media assets was NANA correspondent Virginia Prewett, who covered Cuban and Latin American affairs during the height of the CIA's war against Castro.

After Antonio Veciana told Congressional investigator Gaeton Fonzi that his CIA control officer was "Maurice Bishop," whom he had once seen with Oswald in Dallas, another journalist, Anthony Summers, located Vecina's former secretary. This new witness recalled that "Bishop" was also associated with an American journalist named "Prewett." Summers located Virginia Prewett in Washington and arranged to meet her with a Washington Post reporter from England, David Leigh. As a NANA correspondent Virginia Prewett recalled writing about Alpha 66 and anti-Castro operations in the Sixties, and knew both Veciana and "Mr Bishop." When asked about them she said, "You had to move around people like that." Indeed.[31]

NANA owner Ernest Cuneo, NANA correspondent Virginia Prewett and Life magazine’s Clare Booth Luce were among the founders of the Citizens Committee to Free Cuba (CCFC), one of the anti-Castro groups backed by the CIA whose operations entwined with the events surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy. Top heavy with media types proficient in psychological warfare, the CCFC group was just one arm of the CIA’s propaganda network that conducted operations related to the assassination of President Kennedy.[32]

While Hugh Aynesworth, Priscilla Johnson McMcillan and those publishers, editors and writers at Scrips-Howard New Service (SHNS) and Life were part of the Dealey Plaza clean-up crew, radio mogul Gordon McClendon was closer to the action, especially in regards to the murder of Oswald, the designated Patsy.



JFKmcLendonIn 1967 former CIA director Allen Dulles wrote a letter to a CBS executive suggesting an idea for a television program, saying that, “something should be done in the field of television with regards to intelligence which would be somewhat comparable to what the FBI is now doing effectively in that field…I feel there is now in the public domain as the result of a series of publications, book articles, and newspaper reports relating to various phases of intelligence which could furnish the background material which might be used without a formal sponsor.” [33]

Shortly thereafter, two Texas men – former CIA officer David Phillips and Dallas broadcast millionaire Gordon McLendon began planning the production of a television series based on the exploits of CIA agents.  Phillips initiated the project, pitching it to CBS executive producer Larry Thompson, who developed a pilot program with Phillips and Don Penny, Gerald Ford’s former speech writer. Thompson was quoted as saying, “Ideally, we’d like to show that people in the CIA are American citizens with families and a job to do.”

One possible true-to-life script they could have used is how all thee men - Allen Dulles, David Phillips and Gordon McLendon became entwined in the events surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy.

After being forced out as head of the CIA by Kennedy following the Bay of Pigs, Allen Dulles served on the Warren Commission. He didn’t bother informing the other members of the commission that the CIA plotted to kill Fidel Castro. Although the Warren Commission concluded Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in murdering the President, the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) and other independent investigations have concluded there is evidence of conspiracy in the assassination of the President, a conspiracy with distinct Cuban connections.

Both Gordon McLendon and David Phillips, the men behind the CBS-CIA TV show, were questioned by HSCA investigators. McLendon denied knowing Jack Ruby very well. Even though it had already been established that Ruby listed McLendon as one of his six closest friends, patronized his radio stations, repeatedly made phone calls to McLendon’s home, and visited his radio station studio on the weekend of the assassination.[34]

David Phillips, figured prominently in both the Church Committee and House Select committee probes. Phillips worked at the Mexico City CIA station and was personally responsible for monitoring the Cuban embassy when Oswald was said to be there a few months before the assassination. Phillips is also suspected of being the mysterious “Maurice Bishop,” a clandestine case officer who directed the activities of a network of anti-Castro Cubans led by Antonion Veciana Blanch of Alpha 66. Veciana said “Bishop” met with Oswald in Dallas shortly before Oswald went to Mexico City. Immediately after the assassination, Gordon McLendon avoided questioning by going to Mexico himself.[35]

Born in Paris, Texas, McLendon covered sports events in school, graduated from Kemper Military Academy, was a Skull and Boner at Yale and served as an intelligence officer in the Office of Naval Intelligence during World War II. In 1943 he married Gay Noe, daughter of the former governor of Louisiana. McLendon left Harvard Law School to take over interest in a Texas radio station he purchased with his father.[36]

Nicknamed “The Old Scotsman,” McClendon founded the Liberty Radio Network and broadcast major league baseball games over 400 affiliated stations. With Clint Murchison, he broadcast Radio Nord, a pirate radio station off Sweden. In 1947 McLendon founded KLIF (The Mighty 1190) in Oak Cliff, and introduced the Top 40 format that became standard AM radio programming in the 1950s. He is also credited with establishing the first mobile news units in American radio, the first jingles, traffic reports, all news and the “easy listening’ format.

McClendon also aired a politically oriented radio show financed by H. L. Hunt called “Life-Line,” which aired conservative anti-communist programs that affected the opinions of many people, including Jack Ruby.[37]

Jack Ruby knew McLendon, called his unlisted home phone number on the day of the assassination, visited the KLIF studios, and arranged interviews with Dallas officials for KLIF reporters from the Dallas Police Department. Ruby appeared to pose as a reporter at the Dallas jail, even though most of the Dallas cops knew him as a nightclub owner.[38]

The day after the assassination Ruby bought dozens of sandwiches from a deli and delivered some of them to KLIF studios and the rest to the Dallas police, using the sandwiches as an excuse to get into the building and stalk Oswald. After a number of tries, Ruby finally did get close enough to kill Oswald, leaving his dog and a pile of “Life-Line” radio show scripts in his car. The scripts found in his car were on the subject of heroism, and written by Warren H. Carroll, a former CIA propaganda analyst.[39]

McClendon was also the first person Ruby asked to see in prison. Ruby told McClendon that he thought his jailers were trying to poison him, and later told the Warren Commission that McLendon was his “kind of intellectual.”[40]

From among the government records released under the JFK Act, we learn that like Hugh Aynesworth and Priscilla Johnson McMillan, Gordon McClendon was also considered for work with the CIA. But like the others, he too was denied a security clearance.

While it isn’t clear whether the millionaire media mogul actually applied for a job with the CIA, as Aynesworth and Johnson both did, someone at the agency requested he receive a clearance so he could be used as an agent, asset or source. They went by the books, not only to get a security clearance for him, but to “run a trace,” so as not to violate tradecraft, making sure that he wasn’t already being used by another agent or agency. As with Aynesworth and Johnson, many of McLendon’s records are sill classified, nearly fifty years after the assassination.[41]

One thing that is clear however, when David Phillips resigned from the CIA in the mid-70s, he did so to try to counter the negative publicity about the CIA being generated by the Congressional investigations by forming the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO). He did this with his old friend Gordon McLendon.

In a telephone interview shortly before he died Phillips denied being the mysterious “Maurice Bishop” or knowing Oswald. But he said he knew Gordon McLendon in Washington D.C. during World War II, and then lost track of him and didn’t hook up with him again until he left the CIA.[42] When they reunited, they decided to try to promote the CIA with the suggested TV program, and in 1977 formed the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO).

Just as Ian Fleming used Ernest Cuneo as a character in one of his spy novels, E. Howard Hunt and David Phillips also used people they knew in their spy fiction. Hunt claimed he didn’t know Frank Sturgis before the Watergate operation, but he had used his name and profile as a Cuban soldier-of-fortune in Bimini Runa 1949 pulp paperback novel.[43] Then Phillips created the fictional character of “Mac McLendon” as the chief protagonist in his novel The Carlos Contract, portraying him as a refined intelligence operative called out of retirement to catch a notorious terrorist.[44]

As the former chief propagandist for the Guatemala coup of 1954 and also the Bay of Pigs, Phillips himself was sent off into retirement in order to orchestrate the CIA’s public relations campaign in the wake of a series of Congressional investigations. Both the Senate Church Committee and the Pike Committee of the House of Representatives, exposed CIA scandals that fueled the fire that created the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA).

Gaeton Fonzi was an investigator with the Schweiker/Hart Sub-Committee of the Church Committee when he first interviewed Antonio Veciana. The anti-Castro Cuban and leader of the Alpha 66 terrorists group told Fonzi about his CIA handler, the mysterious “Maurice Bishop,” who he saw with Oswald in Dallas shortly before Oswald went to Mexico.[45]

Fonzi was later hired by the HSCA and suspected that David Atlee Phillips was “Marucie Bishop.” To confirm or refute his suspicion, Fonzi arranged for Veciana to meet Phillips at a conference of Phillps’ Association of Former Intelligence Officers in Washington DC. The last time Veciana met “Mr. Bishop,” he was handed a suitcase full of cash, ostensibly his salary accumulated over the years for his work as one of Bishop’s primary agents.[46] At the time Phillips was head of the entire Western Hemisphere Division of the CIA, and was being considered to head the agency as director.

When Fonzi introduced them, Veciana studied Phillips carefully, while everyone else listened the AFIO keynote speaker, our old friend from Life, Clare Booth Luce.

But Veciana was reluctant to positively identify Phillips as “Bishop,” because according to Fonzi, Veciana wanted to resume his association with “Bishop” and his anti-Castro activities.

Fonzi later recounted what happened when he was asked in an interview,

“How did you reconcile, in your own mind, when you had the confrontation at that luncheon, with Veciana meeting face to face with David Atlee Phillip, that Veciana basically could not identify Phillips as Maurice Bishop?”

Fonzi replied, “WOULD NOT identify him….At the time I was terribly confused, because I sat there for quite a long period of time watching him and watching Phillips shaking, literally shaking, avoiding Veciana's eyes while Veciana was staring at him from across the table. Phillips was re-lighting cigarettes, and then the encounter in the hallway, where he was a terribly shaken man, so much so to the point that when we asked him if he didn't remember Veciana's name, he said 'no.' In fact, he asked Veciana again, 'What did you say your name was?’”

“Veciana, said, ‘You don't know me?’”

“And he said, 'No.'”

Later in his testimony before the committee, Phillips had to explain how he, as the head of the CIA's Cuban operations did not know the leader of the largest anti-Castro organization.
As Fonzi explained,

“It was an interesting experience, and at the end of it, walking out of it, I was confused, and I asked Veciana,

‘Isn't he Bishop?’"

“And Veciana didn't answer right away, didn't say ‘no,’ instead, he first said,

‘He knows.’”

“I remember walking back to the car, during this discussion, repeating, “He knows?  What do you mean, 'He knows'?”

"’He knows’."

“And I said, ‘He knows WHAT’?”

“I asked, ‘You mean he knows who Bishop is’?”

“And he said, ‘Yeah’.”

“So it was a very interesting experience, and at the time I was confused, until I figured it out.”

Fonzi figured out that Phillips really was “Bishop,” and thought he was given the run around by Clare Booth Luce, Tony Veciana and David Atlee Phillips, as they all had their own interests at stake, and they certainly weren’t interested in figuring out what really happened at Dealey Plaza.

Then at a roundtable discussion between Cuban intelligence officers and JFK researchers, at one point in the proceedings, it is noted that: “….We got some information before the very first national conference of the Coalition of Political Assassinations (COPA) about a luncheon meeting between top former CIA officials …Ted Shackley and William Colby…Gus Russo was apparently there and he told some people that they had a concern about what was going to be presented in our conference and one of their main concerns, they said, was with how we were going to deal with their friend David Atlee Phillips…Joe Goulden was also present at that meeting and he was exceptionally close to Phillips. And, in fact, is executor of David Phillips’ estate. And his history with Phillips goes way back, they are both from Texas and I believe Goulden grew up in the same town that David Phillips’ father was from - Marshall, Texas. Anyway, it was a long time relationship between Goulden and Phillips. And Goulden has been extremely concerned about Phillips’ legacy…”

Most of those who were involved in these affairs are now dead, but Joe Goulden today is the custodian of the official papers of David Phillips. [47] And you can still read Goulden’s articles in the Washington Times and analysis in The Intelligencer – the Journal of US Intelligence Studies, the official publication of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers.[48]



[2] DiEugenio, James. “Hugh Aynesworth Never Quits”. Also See: James DiEugenio "These are Your Witnesses?"

[3] Bradford, Rex. On Aynesworth. Bradford, Rex. Kennedy’s Ghost. - fn_2

[4] Moore, J. Walton. Aynesworth to Cuba. Offers Services to CIA: On October 10, 1963 J. Walton Moore wrote to the Chief, (Domestic) Contact Division on the possibility of Hugh Grant Aynesworth Making Trip To Cuba.

[5] 5) Moore, J. Walton and Charles Ford, Ford Report Sept. 28, 1962; Ford & Bobby, - Sy Hersch in the Darkside of Camelot, Evan Thomas Robert Kennedy – His Life (p. 178), and David Kaiser in The Road to Dallas notes (47-48 p.446). Max Holland writes about “The Paper Trail” in his Washington Decoded blog:

[6] 6) Scott, PD. – Phillips at JMWAVE. Oct. 63. PDS Deep Politics III – - _ftn196 From about October 1 to October 9 Phillips made a quick trip, authorized by the Special Affairs Staff, to Washington and then Miami.[193]  On October 1 the Mexico City CIA station also sent a cable directing that a diplomatic pouch, sent on October 1 to Washington, should be held in the registry until picked up by “Michael C. Choaden” (i.e. Phillips) presently TDY (temporary duty) HQS.”[194][195]  The  date October 1 catches our eye, in as much as it is the date of the alleged Oswald-Kostikov intercept. One is also struck by Phillips’ presence in the Miami JMWAVE station from October 7-9. There are reports that Rosselli, who had good standing in the JMWAVE station, met on two occasions in Miami in early October with Jack Ruby.[196]

[7] Talbot, David. Re; Aynesworth. Talbot, David Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years . (P. 445 Notes: 390) …Talbot Note: NARA record number 104-10170-10230. Offers Services to CIA:

[8] Aynesworth, Hugh. Murders Among Us: Unsolved Homicides, Mysterious Deaths and Killers at Large (signet & Onyx True Crime, 1994 w/Stephen Michaud)

[9] Aynesworth, Hugh. “Strangest Story I Ever Covered”.

[10] Meagher, Sylvia.  Accessories After the Fact  (p. 348) Oswald FBI Informant. Also see Spook Journalist Goulden:

[11] Aynesworth and Goulden at Washington Times .

[12] Priscilla Johnson and Oswald’s Diary. PJM on Aynesworth got it from John Thorne, Esq. and Martin.


[13] PJM Background Parents: Stuart H. Johnson – Brooklyn 7/16/92 Locust Valley, NY. Eunice Clapp – Germantown 5/27/96   

  • CIA Security File on Priscilla Johnson MacMillan – p. 44 #71589

[14] Applied for employment with CIA in 1952 and withdrew application in Jan. 53. Denied security clearance in March 53

[15] Priscilla Johnson in World Federalist: Bryn Mawr College 1950, Member of the National Chapter of the World Federalist – College Chapter and Penn State Chapter Also see: As a student she was a member of the United World Federalists, an organization run by Cord Meyer.”

[16] Ruth Forbes Paine Young in World Federalists. “Believing every citizen who was able should act to help prevent further catastrophic war, she joined the World Federalists…”

Also See: Carol Hewett, Esq:

[17] Cord Meyer doc re: PJM security clearance. According to CIA  files she was rejected because some of her associates would require more investigation. The document was signed by Cord Meyer who was now chief of CIA Investigations and Operational Support.

[18] Osborne doc re: PJM On 17th March, 1953, W. A. Osborne, sent a memo to Sheffield Edwards, head of CIA security, that after checking out Johnson's associates he "recommended approval." However, on 23rd March he sent another memo saying that "in light of her activities in the United World Federalists" he now "recommended that she be disapproved".

[20] 1956 Granted Clearance “In 1956 she was granted by the Office of Security an Ad Hoc Clearance through the status of "Confidential" provided that caution was exercised.” – Jim DiEugenio "Priscilla Johnson McMillan ... She can be encouraged to write what the CIA want".

[21] Pearson, John. Ian Fleming – The Authorized Biography (McGraw Hill, 1966 ) Re: NANA and Fleming, Cuneo and Bryce.

Also see: “The Cuneo Era: by the early 1950’s the syndicate…was purchased by a small group of investors led by Ernest Cuneo, formerly associated with British Security Coordination and the OSS and Ivar Bryce. They gave the job of European Vice President to the writer and their mutial friend Ian Fleming…Because of Cuneo’s association with former members of American and British intelligence,...critics have suggested that NANA under his tenure was a front for espionage…”

[22] Stevenson, William. Man Called Intrepid . Re: William Stephenson (INTREPID)

Also see:

[23] Goldberg, Sidney – Phone conversation with William Kelly.


[25] Goldberg, Sidney – Phone conversation w/ William Kelly
Also see: EIR, Vol. 25, #44, Nov. 6, 1998

[26] Newman, John. Oswald & the CIA (p. 540) Re: No inkling NANA & CIA. Priscilla McMillan, interview with  John Newman, July 15, 1994. 5. See NARA JFK files, . “...Priscilla had no inkling of any   NANA- CIA  relationship at the time. ”

[27] Lucianne Goldberg and Linda Tripp - Literary Agent Was Behind Secret Tapes”. Washington Post, Jan. 24, 1998, by David Steitfeld and Howard Kurtz
Also see:

[28] Newman, John. Oswald and the CIA: the documented truth about the unknown relationship between the US government and the alleged assassin of JFK (Skyhorse Pub., 2008 p. 65) Johnson said, Cord Meyer was “waiting for me to grow up.” - v=onepage&q&f=false

[29] Whitmey, Peter R. “Priscilla Johnson McMillan and the CIA”. Re: CIA debriefing in Mass.

[30] CIA Coit memo. See: Peter Whitmey on Priscilla and Lee - “Reference was made to a reporter/translator named Victor Louis associated with both McGraw-Hill and NANA, whom Priscilla felt had a ‘...lousy reputation in Moscow;’ she attempted unsuccessfully to get NANA to ‘drop Louis.’ She also encouraged NANA to hire ‘...Ruth Danilov, the wife of another correspondent’ (possibly Victor Danilov, author of Rural Russia: Under the New Regime (Univ. of Indiana Press, 1988), but more likely Nicholas Daniloff, a Newsweek correspondent who wrote Two Lives: One Russia (Avon Publishing, 1990) - Coit might have misspelled Ruth's last name.) However, the Soviets refused to accredit her. Priscilla pointed out that NANA subsequently hired Dick Steiger who was immediately accredited, due to his ‘left wing past.’ Brief reference was also made to Frieda Lurye, a liberal Russian who had spoken at Harvard, as well as Yelena Romanova,…”

[31] Summers, Anthony. Conspiracy (1980, Afterword) Virginia Prewett – See "Afterword: the search for “Maurice Bishop.” From Lobster #10 (Jan, 1986) and reprinted here: Subject Index Files/S Disk/Summers Anthony/Item 47.pdf

Note: British reporter David Leigh accompanied Summers when he interviewed Prewett and wrote an article for the Washington Post that was never published.

[32] Citizens Committee to Free Cuba:


[33] CBS TV program on CIA Proposes Weekly TV Show on CIA like FBI show. Also note: Washington Post. Wed. March 22, 1978 p. A12 by Bill Richards

[35] Veciana & Bishop

McLeondon in Mexico: Scott, Peter Dale. 20 WH 39 (Ruby). Scott notes: The information about the McLendon family trip I owe to Mary Ferrell, a close friend of some of McLendon’s children. - _ftn196

[36] McClendon Background:

[37] McClendon & Hunt, Gordon McClendon Gave Ruby “free plugs”

[38] Ruby and McLendon "Ruby called McLendon's home the night of the assassination. (5 H 188). Ruby’s WC Testimony:

[39] Ruby and KLIF - Texas Monthly April 81; Texas Monthly Nov. 1975 “Who Was Jack Ruby?” Cartwright, Gary,, Warren Carroll and CIA and Lifeline. Also see: and Mae Brussell

[42] Phillips' phone interview with Bill Kelly.

[43] Hunt, E. Howard, Bimini Run

[44] Phillips, David, A. The Carlos Contract .

[45] Fonzi & Bishop: Gaeton Fonzi, The Last Investigation, (p. 320)

[46] Veciana & Bishop - The HSCA on - Also: Steve Bochan interviews Gaeton Fonzi

[47] Goulden & Phillips papers. “was given by Joseph C.   Goulden  in 2003. Processing History: The  papers  of   David Atlee Phillips  were arranged and described in 1995.

[48] Goulden & Intelligencer – Journal of U.S. Intelligence Studies

Other books and articles by Goulden:

Last modified on Saturday, 05 November 2016 15:24
William Kelly

William Kelly is the Research Coordinator for CAPA (Citizens Against Political Assassinations,, and is the author of the blog

He can be reached at

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