Sunday, 13 September 2020 06:21

Creating the Oswald Legend – Part 5

Written by

In the fifth part of this multi-part series, Vasilios examines the Tippit murder, how LBJ prevented a war, CIA police training and the CIS, Domestic Operations, air proproprietaries and the drug trade, James Angleton, E. Howard Hunt, and so much more.


In the fall of 1963, President Kennedy had established back channel communications with Castro through journalist Lisa Howard and William Attwood, in order to open a secret dialogue with the Cuban leader. Kennedy used a second back channel, the French journalist Jean Daniel introduced to Kennedy by Attwood. When the CIA learned of these back channels, some officers felt Kennedy had excluded them from his decisions and that he was betraying their efforts and work. The word was passed down in Miami that Kennedy was preparing to begin talks with Castro. One of the first CIA officers who would have learned about it was James Angleton, who would have been alarmed. Angleton likely would have alerted CIA officers like Dave Morales and David Phillips, who would have spread the rumor in the exile community.

Gaeton Fonzi interviewed Cuban exile Rolando Otero, who told him that there was a rumor circulating in certain areas of the exile community that “Kennedy was a Communist, he’s against us; he’s messing up the whole cause.”[1] Another exile, Felipe Vidal Santiago, had made similar remarks when interrogated by Cuban Intelligence, according to Fabian Escalante, Chief of Cuba’s G-2.[2] Escalante had also revealed that Cuban Intelligence had infiltrated a CIA connected exile group and a CIA officer had said to them in a secret meeting that took place in a safe house that “You must eliminate Kennedy.”[3]

There is no way that foot soldiers like Santiago and Otero would have known about this sensitive information, originally known only to Kennedy, Castro, their confidants, and, perhaps, Dick Helms. Larry Hancock believes that they learned it from exiles like John Martino and Bernardo De Torres who had links to the CIA officers and their operations.

John Martino was an exiled Cuban who worked in a Havana Casino owned by Santo Trafficante Jr. back in 1956. He was imprisoned in Cuba between 1959 and 1962. When he returned to the States, he became involved in the anti-Castro cause. He took part in the notorious Operation Tilt, he had both Mob and CIA connections. Later in life, he admitted to his business partner Fred Claasen that the anti-Castro Cubans put Oswald together and tried to frame him as a Castro assassin in a plot to murder President Kennedy. Those Cubans posed as Castro agents and it is more likely that Oswald played along to reveal their agenda as part of his mission to smoke out subversives and pro-Cubans. The plan was to fly him out of the country and kill him en route, possibly on his way to Cuba, in such a way that would prove Castro and Cuba were pulling Oswald’s strings.[4] Are there any evidence or indications that the anti-Castro Cubans were really planning to fly Oswald out of the States?

Wayne January was a charter air service operator at Red Bird airport. On November 20, 1963, he was visited by a young couple looking to hire a small aircraft to fly to Mexico. January thought that the pair was asking peculiar questions and acting suspiciously, so he decided not to charter the plane to them. He also observed that there was a young man that stayed in the car the whole time. Later, he identified him as Lee Harvey Oswald.[5]

The late Antonio Veciana described a plot to assassinate Castro in Chile that he thought was very similar to the Kennedy assassination. Veciana revealed that the plan involved planting fake documents and manipulated photographs on the assassin, to make him appear to be a Moscow Castro agent turned traitor. He would then be killed after Castro’s assassination.[6]

If the plan to incriminate Oswald and Castro was so well planned, then what bungled the effort and prevented a military invasion of Cuba to avenge Kennedy’s death?

There were two wild factors that the planners had not anticipated that neutralized their scheme. The first wild factor was officer J. D. Tippit’s murder, which made sure that Oswald would not be leaving the country as planned.

The assassination of officer Tippit will not be explained in detail, since this is not the purpose of this essay. Joseph McBride’s book Into the Nightmare and James DiEugenio’s essay “The Tippit Case in the New Millenium” are two good sources to get a deeper understanding of the complexities surrounding that murder case. However, this essay would concentrate on three police officers who were involved in the Tippit case and had probable CIA connections. These officers were Captain W. R. Westbrook, Sergeant Gerald Hill, and reserve officer Kenneth Croy.

Croy’s actions that afternoon were bizarre. He was near Main Street and asked a policeman outside the Courthouse if he was needed to assist them with the investigation of the President’s murder. Croy claimed that the policeman replied that he was not needed; so he decided to go home. He heard on the radio that an unidentified officer was shot at 10th and Patton. Croy was likely the first policeman to get to the crime scene, the first to talk to a witness, and he also ”discovered” a wallet allegedly given to him by a civilian. Strangely enough, he never filed a report and never asked the name of the witness he talked to or the name of the person that gave him the wallet.[7]

Captain Westbrook, the Chief of the Police Personnel Department, was at the TSBD when he heard on the radio that a police officer had been shot in the Oak Cliff area. He decided to go there to investigate a murder; which was odd since he was a personnel officer and not a homicide detective. In 1995, James Hosty revealed in his Assignment: Oswald a piece of very important information that was withheld from the Warren Commission and kept under wraps prior to Hosty revealing it. Hosty said that his colleague, FBI Agent Bob Barrett, who was present at Tippit’s murder scene, told him that Captain Westbrook asked him: “Have you ever heard of a guy named Lee Harvey Oswald?” Barrett said no. Westbrook then asked him, “How about Alek Hidell?”[8] Then Barrett said that he saw Westbrook holding and searching a wallet, which was supposed to be Oswald’s wallet. This wallet would link Oswald to Hidell and to the weapons that killed both Tippit and Kennedy. However, the Warren Commission gave a different version concerning the wallet: that it was found on Oswald after he was arrested at the Texas Theater. Westbrook’s “personnel” work was not over, since he heard on the radio that a suspect was seen entering the Texas Theater looking suspicious, without paying a ticket. So the personnel officer went there and witnessed the arrest of Oswald. He then gave the order to drive the suspect to the police station. So, the Chief of Personnel had managed to be present at the three major crime scenes: Dealey Plaza, 10th and Patton, and the Texas Theater. It was a remarkable work of sleuthing for a Personnel Officer.

The third Officer who had the privilege to also be present at the three major crime scenes was Sergeant Gerald Hill, a member of the Patrol Division that was temporarily assigned to the Personnel Office, which meant that Hill was working under Captain Westbrook on November 22, 1963.

Hill was the man who first reported on a radio call at 13:40 that the shells found at the Tippit crime scene were fired from a 38 automatic, not a 38 special. Later when testifying for the Warren Commission, he denied under oath that he made such a call; but twenty years later he admitted to Dale Myers that he made the call after all.[9] Hill had instructed Policeman J. M. Poe to mark the shells at the scene of the Tippit murder. But when the shells that Poe had marked, allegedly corresponding to Oswald’s 38 special, had no markings, Hill was nonplussed. He said the DPD was so clean that he could not imagine who could do something so dishonest.[10]

When Hill returned from the Texas Theater, he sat down to write a report regarding Oswald’s arrest. Captain Westbrook informed him that Oswald was not just the suspect in Tippit’s murder, but also for President Kennedy’s assassination.[11]

For a more detailed analysis about Gerald Hill’s actions during November 22, 1963, one should read Hasan Yusuf’s excellent essay “Gerald Hill and the Framing of Lee Harvey Oswald.”

If patrolman Tippit had not been murdered, the police would probably not have gotten to Oswald so soon and if he had managed to escape in the manner John Martino described on his way to Cuba, then the plot to blame Cuba could have succeeded.

As Officer Jim Leavelle told Joseph McBride, the murder of Kennedy was, to the police, something that happens every day; but the killing of a cop was very personal and a matter of honor to the Police, so they had to catch the culprit.[12] It was then up to people like Captain Westbrook to connect a cop killer to the President’s killer.

The second factor was the swift swearing in of LBJ as President inside Air Force One in Dallas before returning back to Washington. As Jim Bishop described in his book “The Day the President Was Shot,” a strange phone call was received by the White House Communications Agency (WHCA)—located in the Dallas Sheraton hotel—after the assassination that:

Officials at the Pentagon were calling the White House switchboard at the Dallas-Sheraton Hotel asking who was now in command. An Officer grabbed the phone and assured the Pentagon that Secretary of Defense Robert MacNamara and the Joint Chief of Staff were now the President.[13]

This was not something abnormal but, in case of the President being incapacitated or missing the authority for nuclear strike, the responsibility would have passed first to the Secretary of Defense and then to the Deputy Secretary of Defense. In such a scenario, the Pentagon would have been able to authorize an attack on Cuba, if the evidence after the assassination had pointed that Castro or the Soviets were the driving forces behind Oswald.[14]

As researcher Bill Kelly explained in his essay “The Swearing in on AF1 Re-evaluated,” the two most important things that LBJ did after the assassination were, first to go to Air Force One because it had a superior communications system, and second to take the oath aboard the plane before leaving Dallas. This gave him the power to stop a military invasion of Cuba. President Kennedy’s decision to give LBJ a special role in the event of nuclear war was crucial. So, LBJ knew exactly how to act to secure the continuity of Government, as LBJ was privy to the secret planning and protocols to be used under a nuclear attack.[15]


Coming back to Captain Westbrook, a most astonishing revelation was that after he retired from the Dallas Police Department in 1966, Westbrook became a Police advisor in South Vietnam. As researcher Greg Parker found out, Westbrook was employed as a security advisor in Saigon by the U.S.A.I.D. (United States Agency for International Development).[16]

The CIA was running a police program. Its purpose was to train friendly overseas police and to allow CIA to “plant men with local police in sensitive places around the world.” Also, to bring to the United States “prime candidates for enrollment as CIA employees.”[17]

In 1962, Kennedy wanted to separate USAID’s economic programs from the CIA’s police training programs, but staff members of the National Security Council (NSC) had managed to convince him otherwise. Kennedy decided to set up a task force to evaluate CIA’s police program and a result was the creation of the Office of Public Safety (OPS) under USAID’s authority but actually run by the CIA.[18]

John Gilligan, director of USAID under Jimmy Carter, said that “At one time, many USAID field offices were infiltrated from top to bottom with CIA people. The idea was to plant operatives in every kind of activity we had overseas, government, volunteer, religious, every kind.”[19] John Hannah, Nixon’s director of USAID admitted publicly that the USAID had funded CIA operations in Laos and that both organizations had co-operated in Ecuador, Uruguay, Thailand, and the Philippines.[20]

In 1974, the CIA released the “Family Jewels” report. There was a folder included on pages 594–609 that had to do with the CIA’s Counter Intelligence Staff, Police Group (CI/PG). This CI/PG would be in constant liaison with the OPS of USAID and its training facility, the International Police Academy (IPA) in Washington. The CI/PG would exchange daily information with USAID on training programs with IPA and tours for foreign police/security representatives sponsored by the CIA’s Area Divisions.[21]

James Angleton wrote a memo explaining how USAID cooperated with CIA in law enforcement training and operations:

■■■■■ [redacted, but likely “The CIA”] does not maintain direct contact or liaison with any law enforcement organization, local or federal at home or abroad. When the need arises, such contact is sometimes made on our behalf by ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■ [likely “USAID”] has such contacts at home and abroad because of the nature of its activities (training of foreign police/security personnel at home and abroad), and its Public Safety programs around the world.

■■■■■■■ has such contacts at home —local and federal level —because its personnel are personally acquainted with law enforcement officers throughout the United States. Members of the ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■ have appeared as guest lecturers at such federal institutions as the U.S. Park Police, IPA, the U.S. Secret Service, and the U.S. Treasury Enforcement Division.[22]

Recommendations about Police Training were given by the CIA Inspector General in his final Report to a working group on organization and activities, drafted in April 1962:

We are convinced the United States Government support to the Police in friendly nations can provide great benefits…will assist CIA in its work…We recommend the Police Group in the CIA staff receive such augmentation as is necessary, and that project [24] be transferred from NE Division to CI Staff.[23]

CI means counterintelligence, Angleton’s domain.

It is plausible that Captain Westbrook had secured his new job with help of the CIA and we can at least suggest that he had been recruited by the CIA during 1963 or even before that. Westbrook would have been useful to them, since he was the Chief of Personnel and that would place him in a unique position not only to influence police staff but also to hire policemen on CIA’s directions. It is also plausible that Westbrook was in liaison with CI/PG that would have bring him indirectly in contact with Angleton or even the Domestic Operations Division (DOD) which, as we shall see, was also involved in Police training.

We have shown that CIA had been training police forces around the World. But do we have any evidence or indications that they were training policemen domestically?

CIA’s 1947 chapter forbade any “Police or Subpoena power” and only the FBI had the right to legitimately train the domestic Police forces. Through the Freedom of Information Act, the late Phillip Melanson acquired documents showing that the CIA provided training to Metropolitan Police. This ranged from seminars, briefings, workshops in bugging, clandestine action, disguise techniques, lock picking, equipment loaning, and explosives detection.[24] One of the documents revealed that CIA agents posed as cops and had received police badges and ID cards as early as 1960 to pursue “foreign intelligence targets”, as the CIA claimed.[25] The CIA would also contact “friendly” police departments to ask for discreet handling of CIA personnel when in trouble and also to check on CIA employees and other people.[26]

Some of the police departments having received training and equipment were New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, Miami, San Diego, and Minnesota. Dallas was not in those documents, but the name of some police departments was blanked out and Melanson believed that one of them was Dallas. He reasoned that Dallas would have not refused the CIA’s generous offer of training., especially when Mayor Earle Cabell was a CIA asset and his brother was a CIA Deputy Director and the force was full of right wingers and anti-Communists, who were always eager to unmask subversives and spies.[27]

Another document revealed that there was a CIA-Dallas Police project in 1967 to infiltrate peace groups and Black power organizations and plant false evidence linking their leaders to drug involvement. But Melanson believed that this relationship existed prior to that, probably since 1963.[28]

The CIA would usually establish contact with the intelligence units of a police department. And there was such a unit in Dallas at the time JFK was assassinated. It was the Criminal Intelligence Section (CIS). This unit was also involved in Presidential protection by helping to identify and neutralize potential dangerous local threats. But the Warren Commission did not report this. The excuse was to protect Secret Service methods. A Dallas Police memo stated, “This section had previously (before beginning work on protection for the President’s visit) been successful in infiltrating a number of these organizations; therefore the activities, personalities, and future plans of these groups were known.”[29] Considering all these, it would have been very unlikely that the CIS would have not been aware of an ex-Marine Russian defector living in Dallas, or the animosity and threats of right wingers and anti-Castro Cubans towards the President.

The official story holds that Oswald became a suspect when it was reported that Oswald had left the building. The CIS had compiled a list of twelve TSBD employees who were unaccounted for. There was a black employee named Charles Givens who had a criminal record and was also missing. A Dallas Police APB went out for Givens: “he has a police record and he left (the depository).” However, the CIS list had put on top the name of Harvey Lee Oswald.[30] Melanson believed that a common CIA practice was to keep two files on certain individuals, an overt file and a covert file that usually had the first two names transposed.[31] Givens was the same person who changed his testimony and placed Oswald on the sixth floor of the TSBD.

As we described earlier on, it was L. D. Stringfellow, a CIS officer who provided the 112th MIG the incriminating information that Oswald had defected to Cuba in 1959 and was a card-carrying member of Communist Party. CIS was not only aware of Jack Ruby’s gun running activities, but withheld this information. They also investigated Ruby’s shooting of Oswald and found nothing sinister.

In 1963, it was one of the three sections of Police’s Special Services Bureau, along with Vice and narcotics, and their offices were not located at the City Hall, but at the Dallas Fair Grounds, where Jack Crichton’s underground Emergency Command and Communications bunker was located.[32] In the force were officers George Lumpkin, Jack Revill, Stringfellow, and W. P. Gunnaway.

Colonel Jack Crichton, was the head of the 488th Army Reserve Intelligence unit in Dallas. According to Russ Baker, Crichton revealed “in a little-noticed oral history in 2001, there were about hundred men in that unit and about forty or fifty of them were from the Dallas Police Department.”[33]

Crichton was the man who, through Lumpkin, arranged for his friend Ilya Mamantov to translate Marina’s testimony and, as we have shown earlier, to falsely connect Oswald to a dark and scopeless rifle. Researcher Bill Kelly believes that Crichton’s 488th Army Reserve Intelligence unit was connected to ACSI-Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, U.S. Army Reserves and that Captain Lumpkin and Army Reserve Colonel Whitmeyer were ACSI officers.[34]

This seems to be a bit contradictory and it might raise the question as to whether the Dallas Police officers were linked to the CIA or to Army Intelligence, but being one does not exclude the other. As Bill Simpich found out, the CIA and Army Intelligence worked together to form the Caribbean Action Center (CAC) for collecting intelligence from Cuban refugees. One of the major participants in this group was Dorothe Matlack, Assistant Chief of Staff of Intelligence (ACSI) for Army Intelligence and Liaison to the CIA.[35] Matlack had joined the Interagency Defector Committee (IDC) in 1953. This involved State, DIA, Army, Navy, Air Force, FBI, and CIA. She also cooperated with Tony Czajkowski of the CIA’s Domestic Contacts Division and CIA Defector Coordinator George Aurell and worked with the CIA in analyzing reports made by notorious defectors such as Anatoly Golitsyn.[36] On May 7, 1963, Matlack and Czajkowski met with George de Mohrenschildt and his wife Jeanne.[37]

In 1973, CIA’s John Maury said to a congressman that “less than fifty police officers all told, from a total of about a dozen city and country police forces, have received some sort of Agency briefing within the past two years.”[38] The truth is that the CIA did more than a simple briefing. Richard Helms testified in a secret session of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the Chicago Police had received training from the Agency. The Chicago Police had taken part in CIA training both at Langley and the “Farm” in Virginia at least since 1967.[39]

As we shall see, the CIA continued training police forces during the Nixon years. The main force in charge of this task was the Domestic Operations Division.


During the Nixon Presidency, the CIA had been involved in a spying scandal against anti-war movements. Angleton and his Counter Intelligence Staff were the main suspects for conducting these illegal domestic operations. Angleton played a major role in the CIA training of foreign law enforcement personnel and, as we saw earlier, his Counter Intelligence Police Group (CI/PG) was cooperating with USAID for that purpose. It was only natural to be singled out as the culprit. Tad Szulc revealed that the main force behind these illegal domestic activities was another component of the CIA, the Domestic Operations Division (DOD). Which was assisted by the Technical Services Division, the Foreign Intelligence Division D, home to Staff D, William Harvey’s ZR/RIFLE; and the Records Integration Division (RID).[40]

Between 1969 and 1972, Nixon ordered the CIA to train and assist police departments, especially the Washington one, in the methods of intelligence and communications. Division D was responsible for intelligence gathered by communications for the local police forces, the RID helped with computer read outs from files kept by CIA’s Counter Intelligence, the FBI, and Military Intelligence, while the Technical Services Division provided highly sophisticated devices that were unknown to the Police personnel.[41]

It is worth noting that Division D had shown an interest in Oswald. Chief Counsel Robert Blakey of the HSCA had wondered why Division D had opened a file on Lee Harvey Oswald.[42]

The CIA did not deny their involvement in training domestic police forces. It claimed it acted in accordance with the 1968 Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act, whose purpose was to reduce urban riots and lower the crime rate. The act allowed the use of wiretapping and electronic eavesdropping, so the CIA thought that spying on US citizens was within the limits of this act. Although the above revelations of CIA Police training had to do with Nixon years, as we have seen, the CIA were training policemen before 1968.

The DOD was very similar to an Area Division, but operated inside the US and not in foreign countries. The HQ was not at Langley, but in a Washington office near the White House and had stations or a network of offices in at least fifteen US cities.[43] One of the DOD’s largest offices was the one in Las Vegas, which is strange since that particular city was not a known center of espionage.[44] However, Las Vegas was the home of the Nevada Casino crowd connected to Meyer Lansky and his money laundering network from illicit drug trade.

The DOD was created in 1962 and Tracy Barnes was in charge of the newly created division. According to Malcolm Blunt, “it was set up by Wally Lampshire and Tracy Barnes and evolved from the Domestic Operations Branch which focused its attention on ‘refugee problems’ pertaining to those individuals arriving from Eastern Europe, in the early 1950’s.”[45]

In 1962, CIA’s Inspector General proposed its creation and strongly urged that “the new Domestic Division utilize the Contact Division of OO, which is to be transferred from DD/I to the DD/P, as the nucleus of field work inside the United States.”[46] The Division’s “OO” offices had the task to debrief American travelers (business men and ordinary people alike) returning home from overseas, especially from countries like Latin America or the Soviet Union.

The CIA’s Deputy Director for Plans (DDP) during 1963

The DOD was a functional division of the DD/P, like Division D, Special Operations, Operational Services, Records Integration, and Technical Services, that would assist the area divisions and Staffs in various aspects and covert operations. (see CIA DD/P chart above)

Angleton’s Counter Intelligence was obliged to ask the FBI to assist tracking Soviet illegals, moles, and spies entering the US. But with the creation of the new division, he could conduct his operations with the DOD without having to inform Hoover about it. Malcom Blunt believes that “DOD would have been ripe for exploitation purposes. And of keen interest to Angleton for positive counterintelligence usage. In other words DOD was somewhere other agency elements could drop personnel into and thus be a vehicle for disguised operations: such as Howard Hunt’s PCS/DOD in 1962 when he turned up in the Soviet Russia Division.”[47]


Malcolm Blunt met with Pete Bagley in a little restaurant in Brussels. They had a conversation about his CIA years and were discussing E. Howard Hunt. Bagley dropped a bomb about Hunt being in the Soviet Division in 1962. Blunt asked “Oh, you mean James Hunt who worked for James Angleton?” Bagley replied matter of factly, “No, Howard Hunt, the Watergate guy. Nobody could figure out what he was doing there.”

Understandably, Blunt almost fell off his chair. If one reads Hunt’s files, there is no sign he ever worked in Soviet Russia Division. So Blunt obtained the HSCA Subject file on Howard Hunt and discovered that as part of the mole hunt, Bruce Solie of the Office of Security/Security Research Staff (OS/SRS) handed over Security and Personnel files to the FBI on various suspected moles. One of these was CIA staffer Peter Karlow. Those files contained the explosive information that Hunt was attending parties with, amongst others, the Karlows.

Blunt is of the opinion that Hunt was spying on his own colleagues and that this would explain his sudden appearance in the Soviet Division. He also suspects that Hunt could only have been there under the instructions of Angleton, although Angleton always denied any relationship with Hunt.[48] We do know that it was Angleton’s personal favorite, Soviet defector Golitsyn, who had pointed out that a supposed KGB agent inside the CIA had changed his Polish name. Anatoliy Golitsyn finally revealed that the mole’s Polish name was Klibanski. The CIA found out that Klibanski was CIA agent Peter Karlow, the son of German immigrants and a veteran of the Berlin Base. In 1962, CIA’s Office of Security following Golitsyn’s accusations, destroyed Karlow’s professional life and forced him to resign.[49]

But Angleton’s connections to Hunt did not end there. Years later, Victor Marchetti wrote an article in The Spotlight. He claimed there was a 1966 memo from Angleton to Helms saying there was no cover story to hide Hunt’s presence in Dallas the day of the assassination. Therefore, Hunt did not have an alibi. Marchetti also stated that the CIA was planning a limited hangout to expose Hunt’s involvement. However, this did not happen and Marchetti had not actually seen the memo.[50]

In 1978, Joseph Trento said that he had seen the memo and the person who gave him the memo was Angleton himself. Trento told Dick Russell that Angleton had revealed to him: “Did you know Howard Hunt was in Dallas on the day of the assassination?” Angleton added that Hunt “had possibly been sent there by a high-level mole inside the CIA.” Trento believed that Angleton was trying to hide his own connections to Hunt and that it was him that had sent Hunt to Dallas.[51]

Angleton was likely using the DOD and its staff to do his devious work inside the States. Angleton had claimed a Soviet mole had betrayed the U-2 secrets back in 1959. He was certain that the same mole had betrayed a CIA operation in Mexico involving Oswald and post-assassination he was accusing a mole of having sent Hunt to Dallas the day of assassination. It seems that it had become a habit for Angleton to blame all these on a Soviet mole inside the CIA. One that nobody ever found.

One must understand that, at this time, 1975–79, both the Church Committee and the House Select Committee on Assassinations had deposed Angleton for their JFK investigations. In fact, Senator Richard Schweiker himself had questioned Angleton for the Church Committee. And it was not just Angleton. They were deposing people who worked very close to Angleton, like Ann Egerter who handled the Oswald file at CIA.

As we saw in the last installment, the HSCA’s Betsy Wolf was figuring out the riddles of Oswald’s 201 file and how it had been diverted around the existing system so no one would have access to it. Far from having little interest in Oswald, she was finding out that there was extraordinary interest in Oswald, even before he had defected, to the point that someone had interfered with the normal file dissemination system.

Testifying in public, with reporters and cameras on hand, this was something new to Angleton. He had worked in secret for decades. Under this exposure, he blurted out a most unforgettable utterance: “A mansion has many rooms, I’m not privy to who shot John.” That memorable phrase indicated to Lisa Pease that Angleton was concerned that perhaps the investigations were closing in on him. He was trying to show that he had not acted alone, but with the approval of Richard Helms.[52] The late Gordon Novel wrote a letter to this effect to Mary Ferrell in the seventies, one which Jim DiEugenio has seen. The significance of Novel’s knowledge was that Angleton was not going to take the fall alone. Interestingly, the correspondence by Gordon occurred before the controversy over Marchetti broke out.


The DOD would recruit anti-Castro Cuban exiles with the purpose of breaking into foreign embassies and United Nations missions that were suspected of being friendly and sympathetic to Castro’s regime. In one instance, the DOD agents raided the house of a Latin American diplomat in New York in search of finding diplomatic codes, but instead found $300.000 in stock certificates in his safe.[53]

Another important aspect of the DOD was his affiliation with the CIA proprietary organizations. The CIA’s Inspector General proposed that the DOD take over the functions of the Cover and Commercial Staff that included the commercial managerial aspects of proprietary organizations and contacts with businesses and foundations inside the States.[54] The Air Proprietaries Branch of the Development Projects Division (DPD) was transferred to the DOD and this branch had the responsibility of “managing commercial organizations which have acquired to serve as cover for air crews and aircraft used in clandestine activities; to recruit and supervise the training of these crews; to keep these crews and equipment in a state of readiness to enable quick response to operational needs; and to provide guidance to overall agency air requirements on a world-wide and long range basis.”[55] The Air Proprietary Branch as part of the DOD took over the management of the Civil Air Transport (CAT) from the DD/S.[56]

One such proprietary was the PR firm of Robert Mullen Company in Washington. This company employed E. Howard Hunt after he retired from the CIA. It was Richard Helms who recommended Hunt get a job in that company.[57]

It was later discovered that the company was a CIA front organization from its first organization in 1959. When E. Howard Hunt retired from the CIA in 1970, Richard Helms suggested he should go and work for Robert R. Mullen.

The most infamous and most important CIA proprietary company was the Pacific Corporation Holdings, located in Washington D.C., that was incorporated in Dover, Delaware, a State with a friendly tax law that allowed companies formed in Delaware but not operating there to not pay state corporate tax.

Pacific Corporation was the parent company of the CIA air proprietaries, Civil Air Transport Co., Ltd., CAT Inc., later renamed Air America Inc.; Air Asia Co., Ltd.; the Pacific Engineering Company; and the Thai Pacific Services Co., Ltd.[58] Air America took over all the operations in South East Asia, while Air Asia operated from Taiwan.[59]

Another air proprietary linked to Pacific Corporation was Southern Air Transport (SAT), incorporated in Miami and operated in both the Far East and Latin America. SAT had received a loan of $6.7 Million from Actus Technology, another CIA proprietary that was acting as conduit between Air America and SAT. One third of its fleet was leased from Air America and it also depended on Air America for maintenance and ground handling services. SAT had obtained a loan of $6.6 Million from two banks and the loans were guaranteed by the Pacific Corporation.[60] As we showed in part 2, Percival Brundage, the Unitarian who had links to the Schweitzer College that Oswald had applied to attend, was holding SAT stock as nominee for the real owners, the CIA.

Most importantly, the air proprietaries like CAT/Air America not only provided their services to facilitate the opium trade in the Golden Triangle, which included Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand, but also were involved in the replacement of elected governments in Laos, Cambodia, and Indonesia.[61] Air America did not only operate for the CIA, but they were doing contract work for large oil companies in the Southeast Asia.[62]

The CIA drug trafficking in Southeast Asia is not within the scope of this essay. Anyone interested in that topic should read Alfred McCoy’s book The Politics of Heroin and Peter Dale Scott’s book The War Conspiracy. What is interesting though, is the involvement of Cuban exiles from Miami, Dallas, and New Orleans in drug trafficking; some of whom were probably in contact with Lee Harvey Oswald. Santo Trafficante’s main areas of influence were Florida and the Caribbean, operating casinos in Cuba. After 1959, large numbers of anti-Castro Cubans moved to Florida and Trafficante used them to take control over Florida’s bolita lottery, a Cuban numbers game. This worked as a cover, since these Cubans became Trafficante’s new group of heroin couriers and distributors, who were unknown to American law enforcement agencies.[63] They used drug smuggling to finance their operations—trafficking cocaine from Latin America and later heroin from Marseille. Manuel Artime, E. Howard Hunt’s protégé and head of the Cuban Revolutionary Council (CRC) in Miami, was involved in drug trafficking to finance his war. The DOD under Barnes and Hunt would protect the Cuban drug network and Angleton was aware of it. Another CRC member of New Orleans, Sergio Arcacha Smith, who was associated with Hunt, Phillips, and Banister, was involved in contraband operations from Florida to Texas, specializing in drugs, guns, and prostitution.[64]

In 1968, Trafficante visited Hong Kong and Southeast Asia to examine the possibilities of importing heroin from those regions to the US via Mexico and Latin America.[65] Later, according to Henrik Kruger in The Great Heroin Coup, Hunt employed Cubans from the Trafficante drug trafficking network to eliminate French smugglers and the old French Connection by redirecting the heroin trade from Marseille to South East Asia and Mexico to supply the US.

In part 3, we entertained the possibility of Oswald being handled by the DOD. This would bring Oswald in contact with a nexus of Cuban exiles involved in the drug trade and the DOD operations involving CIA air proprietaries.

Go to Part 1

Go to Part 2

Go to Part 3

Go to Part 4

Go to Part 6

Go to Conclusion

Go to Appendix


[1] Hancock Larry, Nexus, JFK Lancer Productions and Publications Inc. 20011, p. 114.

[2] Hancock Larry, Nexus, JFK Lancer Productions and Publications Inc. 20011, p. 115.

[3] Hancock Larry, Someone Would Have Talked, JFK Lancer Productions and Publications Inc. 2006, p. 233.

[4] Hancock Larry, Someone Would Have Talked, JFK Lancer Productions and Publications Inc. 2006, pp. 16–17.

[5] Hancock Larry, Someone Would Have Talked, JFK Lancer Productions and Publications Inc. 2006, p. 383.

[6] Hancock Larry, Someone Would Have Talked, JFK Lancer Productions and Publications Inc. 2006, pp. 384–385.

[7] DiEugenio James,

[8] DiEugenio James,

[9] Simpich Bill,

[10] DiEugenio James,

[11] DiEugenio James,


[13] Kelly bill,

[14] Kelly bill,

[15] Kelly bill,

[16] Yusuf hasan,


[18] Colby & Dennett, Thy Will Be Done, Harper Perennial, 1995, p. 398.

[19] Blum William, Killing Hope U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, Zed Books, 2004, p. 235.

[20] Colby & Dennett, Thy Will Be Done, Harper Perennial, 1995, p. 743.

[21] Price David, Cold War Anthrpology, Duke University Press, 2016, pp. 130–131.

[22] Price David, Cold War Anthrpology, Duke University Press, 2016, p. 131.

[23] pp.12–13.

[24] Melanson Philip, Dallas Mosaic: The Cops, The Cubans and the Company, The Third Decade, Vol 1, No 3, March 1985, p. 10.

[25] Melanson Philip, Dallas Mosaic: The Cops, The Cubans and the Company, The Third Decade, Vol 1, No 3, March 1985, p. 11.

[26] Melanson Philip, Dallas Mosaic: The Cops, The Cubans and the Company, The Third Decade, Vol 1, No 3, March 1985, p. 11.

[27] Melanson Philip, Dallas Mosaic: The Cops, The Cubans and the Company, The Third Decade, Vol 1, No 3, March 1985, p. 11.

[28] Melanson Philip, Dallas Mosaic: The Cops, The Cubans and the Company, The Third Decade, Vol 1, No 3, March 1985, p. 11.

[29] Melanson Philip, Dallas Mosaic: The Cops, The Cubans and the Company, The Third Decade, Vol 1, No 3, March 1985, p. 12.

[30] Melanson Philip, Dallas Mosaic: The Cops, The Cubans and the Company, The Third Decade, Vol 1, No 3, March 1985, p. 13.

[31] Melanson Philip, Dallas Mosaic: The Cops, The Cubans and the Company, The Third Decade, Vol 1, No 3, March 1985, p. 13.

[32] Kelly Bill,

[33] Baker Russ, Family of Secrets, Bloomsbury Press NY, 2009, p. 122.

[34] Kelly Bill,

[35] Simpich Bill,

[36] Simpich Bill,

[37] Simpich Bill,

[38] Marchetti V. and Marks John, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, Coronet edition, 1976, p. 253.

[39] Marchetti V. and Marks John, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, Coronet edition, 1976, p. 253.

[40] Szulc Tad, How Nixon Used the CIA, New York Magazine, January 20, 1975 p. 32.

[41] Szulc Tad, How Nixon Used the CIA, New York Magazine, January 20, 1975 p. 32.

[42] CIA files, 104-10147-10432, from from Dealey Plaza UK/Malcolm Blunt/CIA Documents

[43] Szulc Tad, How Nixon Used the CIA, New York Magazine, January 20, 1975 p. 31.

[44] Szulc Tad, How Nixon Used the CIA, New York Magazine, January 20, 1975 p. 32.

[45] Blunt Malcolm in private correspondence to James DiEugenio.

[46], p. 9.

[47] Blunt Malcolm in private correspondence to James DiEugenio.

[48] Blunt Malcolm in private correspondence to James DiEugenio.

[49] Trento Joseph, The Secret History of the CIA, Basic Books, 2001, pp. 288–289.

[50] Di Eugenio James & Pease Lisa, Assassinations, Feral House, LA, 2003, p.195.

[51] Di Eugenio James & Pease Lisa, Assassinations, Feral House, LA, 2003, pp.195–196.

[52] Di Eugenio James & Pease Lisa, Assassinations, Feral House, LA, 2003, p. 197.

[53] Szulc Tad, How Nixon Used the CIA, New York Magazine, January 20, 1975 p. 33.

[54], p. 9.


[56], p. 10.


[58] Szulc Tad, How Nixon Used the CIA, New York Magazine, January 20, 1975 p. 32.

[59] Marchetti V. and Marks John, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, Coronet edition, 1976, p. 167.


[61] Scott, Peter Dale, The war Conspiracy Marry Ferrell Foundation Press, 2008, p. 57.

[62] Scott, Peter Dale, The war Conspiracy Marry Ferrell Foundation Press, 2008, p. 229.

[63] McCoy Alfred, The Politics of Heroin, Lawrence Hill Bokks, 2003, p. 75.

[64] DiEugenio James, Destiny Betrayed, 2nd edition, Skyhorse Publishing, 1992, p. 329.

[65] McCoy Alfred, The Politics of Heroin, Lawrence Hill Bokks, 2003, pp. 250–253.

Last modified on Thursday, 21 July 2022 06:24
Vasilios Vazakas

Vasilios Vazakas was born in Athens, Greece, and studied in Edinburgh, Scotland; he holds a BEng in energy engineering and an MSc in building services engineering. He has had a long-running interest in the JFK assassination, its relation to US foreign policy, and its relevance today.  Vasilios has contributed a number of book reviews to this site.

Find Us On ...


Please publish modules in offcanvas position.