Saturday, 30 October 2021 16:35

Alecia Long Lays an Egg

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Nearly 55 years after the New Orleans inquiry into the JFK assassination began, yet another character assassination of Jim Garrison has been published, Alecia Long’s Cruising for Conspirators, so Jim DiEugenio diligently documents how the LSU history professor ignores a preponderance of ARRB evidence released in the last 30 years and instead relies upon the outdated and biased Clay Shaw apologia, American Grotesque, to smear Garrison and his investigation.

The Assassination Records Review Board did some good work in New Orleans. For one, they made available the Clay Shaw trial transcript, which made James Kirkwood’s book, American Grotesque, obsolete. Today, in these post ARRB days, with 2 million pages of declassified documents available, Kirkwood’s wildly biased book—towards the end he actually compared Garrison’s assistants to the guards at the Nazi death camps—is a museum piece. In 2021, any writer on the New Orleans scene has to tell the reader about what the ARRB record reveals about things like AMSPELL (CIA code name for the DRE, Student Revolutionary Directorate), about David Phillips and the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC), about CIA officer George Joannides, about Oswald’s false friend Kerry Thornley, etc. In fact, has led the way on many of these issues. (Click here for the FPCC and click here for Thornley)

What makes Alecia Long’s book, Cruising for Conspirators, rather shocking is this: 23 years after the closing of the ARRB, she deals with none of these matters. Her book looks backward to Kirkwood—which means 1970. The ARRB uncovered many, many new documents from the FBI and CIA about the Crescent City and there were literally thousands of pages from Jim Garrison’s inquiry that finally entered the public domain. With all this new material now available, why would anyone—except maybe Paul Hoch—want to even pick up Kirkwood? But Long does something even worse. She uses Hugh Aynseworth. And while doing the latter, she does not tell the reader what these declassified documents reveal about the man. Namely that Aynseworth was a secret, and prolific, FBI informant on the JFK case.

This serves as a good introduction for what is to follow.


Unlike what Long depicts, photographer Lyle Bonge told Romney Stubbs and myself in the mid-nineties that Shaw was actively involved in pursuing a writer to compose a book on his case. He first tried to get Bonge’s longtime friend, James Leo Herlihy, to do such a volume. Herlihy declined, but he told Shaw that he knew a young up-and-coming writer who would probably be willing to take the assignment. And that is how then novelist Kirkwood wrote his book. It was, for all intents and purposes, commissioned by Shaw. And this is why it has today, an almost ludicrous, impenetrable Maytag dryer spin to it.

As opposed to what Long implies, Shaw was quite active in smearing Garrison, while portraying his indictment as completely unwarranted. He had previously gotten a friend of his to go to the FBI and spread rumors that somehow Garrison was involved in an approach to a 14-year-old boy. (FBI memo of March 16, 1967) This is most likely a reference to the so-called Bezou incident, which Long writes about. (Long, p. 178, all references to eBook version) Long says that the alleged episode at the New Orleans Athletic Club is shrouded because of grand jury secrecy. Not so. This reviewer talked to Bill Alford in his office back in 1994. Alford was the assistant DA who was running the grand jury at the time. As he related, Shaw’s lawyers had planted a ringer on the grand jury who would repeatedly bring this up. The grand jury chair said, fine, bring in the witness. No one showed. The pattern repeated itself twice more. Again, no one showed up. As Alford said to me, you can repeat this kind of stuff over and over, but if no one shows up what is one to make of it?

And Shaw was not just on the offensive with the homophobic smear. He was also involved in witness harassment and obstruction of justice. Either Long did not read the following memo from Garrison’s files or she chose to ignore it. Nina Sulzer worked in the Sheriff’s Department and was a friend of Clay Shaw’s. In May of 1967, Sulzer entered the prison to talk to Vernon Bundy. During the preliminary hearing Bundy said that he had seen a man he identified as Shaw approach Oswald with an envelope in hand and leaflets in his pocket at the seawall near Lake Pontchartrain. Sulzer began talking to Bundy, telling him he was on the losing side and pointing out articles in magazines like Newsweek and Saturday Evening Post attacking Garrison. She was there for about twenty minutes working him over. She accused him of taking rewards and asked what they were doing for him. Bundy denied both charges and said, “There is no one doing nothing for me.” He then added, he did not want anyone doing anything for him. Sulzer then went further. She concluded by saying, “You’ll see, somebody will get you out there.” After this, Sulzer was tracked to a residence where Shaw was staying and spent about three hours with him. (William Davy, Let Justice be Done, pp. 126–27) Because of the above, and much more, many of us are not predisposed to comparing Shaw with a suffering Jesus Christ, which, quite literally, Long does. (Long, p. 76)

Quoting Shaw’s lawyers, she writes that somehow Garrison bartered for Bundy’s testimony by dropping narcotics charges against him which could have resulted in a five-year sentence. (Long, p. 118) This is contradicted by memos in Garrison’s files. His office contacted local narcotics officers. Bundy was in prison on a voluntary basis, in order to break his drug habit. The most serious crime he committed was breaking into cigarette machines. (Davy, p. 125; also 1995 interview with investigator Gary Raymond by the reviewer) Back then, a pack of cigarettes cost about 30 cents.

But more importantly, this reviewer interviewed assistant DA John Volz in 1994. Volz was a skeptic on Garrison’s JFK case, but the DA assigned him to interview Bundy. Volz decided to test the witness. He asked him: When you picked up the leaflet that Shaw had dropped, what color was it? Bundy had a rather unusual reply: he said it was yellow. Volz was impressed by this reply, since he had checked some of the flyers distributed in New Orleans and some were yellow. After conducting the interview, this reviewer visited the Royal New Orleans Collection. In a glass case was one of the yellow flyers the authorities had collected. Long lists the Royal New Orleans Collection, today, called the Historic New Orleans Collection, in her bibliography.


But Long goes off the rails even before she gets to New Orleans. Somehow, she feels she has to pay lip service to the Warren Commission, so she describes Jack Ruby’s shooting of Oswald in about two paragraphs and calls him, “an eccentric local nightclub owner with a history of violent volatility…” (Long, p. 32) Well, I guess that’s one way to dispose of Mr. Ruby. Another way is to buy into his polygraph test for the Commission, which, no surprise, she does, even though the House Select Committee on Assassinations, and author Don Thomas, exposed that test as being so fundamentally flawed as to be worthless. (Long, p. 67 and Don Thomas, Hear No Evil, pp. 537–53)

And she abides by this Commission standby: Lee Oswald, as a boy in New York, pulled a pocket knife on his stepbrother’s wife and threatened her. (Long, p. 33) Greg Parker did a nice job in casting doubts on this story and showing how it appears to have been created by the FBI with some witness coaching. (Parker, Lee Harvey Oswald’s Cold War, pp. 129–35)

But the above is just her warm up about Oswald. She mentions his days in the Civil Air Patrol—without bringing up David Ferrie. (Long, p. 34) That is quite a disappearing act, because many people who have written about Oswald consider his friendship with Ferrie to be a key event in his life. For instance, Greg Parker spends about seven pages on the topic. (Parker, pp. 223–29) And he describes the powerful influence that Ferrie had on some of his CAP students. With Oswald, this included an apparent charade: Ferrie masqueraded as a Marine Corps recruiter, in order to convince Oswald’s mother to have her son join the service before he was age eligible. (See Parker, pp. 232–33; Davy, p. 6)

Long deals with Oswald’s entire military service in five lines. This allows her to skip over crucial issues. For instance, if Oswald was intent on joining the Marines, why was he writing letters to the Socialist Party of America? This was just two weeks before he enlisted. (Parker, p. 249) In that letter, Oswald said he was a Marxist and had been studying Marxist principles for over a year. Does Long know any students at LSU who studied Marxism and joined the Marines? To most objective observers, this double agent masquerade would suggest the influence of Ferrie. She also fails to bring up the military matters of his Russian language test and his association with the U2 spy plane. (Philip Melanson, Spy Saga, pp. 8–12) Was it just a coincidence that, when he left the service, he hightailed it to Russia and offered them radar secrets? (Melanson, p. 13)

Long then spends all of one sentence on Oswald’s journey to and his stay in the USSR. This radical ellipsis allows her to avoid questions like: How did Oswald know that, in all of Europe, the city of Helsinki granted the fastest visas into Russia? Secondly, how did the impoverished Marine afford to stay in two five-star hotels when he got to Helsinki? (James DiEugenio, Destiny Betrayed, second edition, pp. 137–39)

I could go on and on. My point is that Long seems intent on discounting or avoiding all the earmarks that, in the words of Senator Richard Schweiker, branded Oswald with the “fingerprints of intelligence.” (Henry Hurt, Reasonable Doubt, p. 192) This includes the fact that the KGB did not believe he was a genuine defector. And this is why they shipped him out of Moscow to Minsk and surrounded him with a ring of human and electronic surveillance. (DiEugenio, pp. 144–49) As John Newman will state in Oliver Stone’s upcoming JFK Revisited, Tennent Bagley, a veteran CIA counter intelligence officer, agreed with the KGB on that. Upon Oswald’s return to Texas, the most influential figure for him was George DeMohrenschildt. And before George died, he admitted that he would never have befriended Oswald on his own. He was told to do so by the Dallas CIA station chief, J. Walton Moore. (DiEugenio, pp. 152–53)

All of this is important information, and not just in understanding Oswald, but because it helps explain a fundamental paradox about Oswald’s life after he returned from the Soviet Union. One that Long does not in any way make explicit. Why, in 1962 and 1963, did the Warren Commission’s Marxist abide amidst two of the most right-wing communities in America? This would be, of course, the White Russians in Dallas/Fort Worth and the Cuban exiles in New Orleans. As many writers have shown—Phil Melanson, Jeff Morley, John Newman—both of these groups were tied in with the CIA and FBI. One example: when the wife of one of the White Russians saw the book Das Kapital at Oswald’s apartment; the couple called the FBI about it. The FBI told them not to worry, “Oswald was alright.” (Harold Weisberg, Whitewash II, p. 46)


Another character slighted by Long is Guy Banister. And, like many things in the book, this is weird. Why? Because back in May of 1989, in an interview with Dave Mendelsohn of Pacifica Radio, Jim Garrison said that, as far as the New Orleans aspect of the conspiracy went, Banister was the most important personage. The duality of the pinko Marine Oswald, which Long plays down, fits in adroitly with what Banister was doing in the Crescent City—which she also plays down.

As one of his preoccupations, Banister had taken up the habit of recruiting spies on local college campuses. These would be conservative students who would infiltrate leftist groups. How did Banister find his way into this occupation? After retiring from the FBI in 1955, he came to New Orleans to work for Mayor Shep Morrison. Morrison wanted him to serve as a kind of ombudsman over his problematic police force. The mayor then shifted him over to study communist subversion with the aid of the conservative Senator James Eastland of the Senate Security Sub-Committee. (Davy, p. 12)

In January of 1958, Banister filed articles of incorporation to open a private detective service. It is notable that the articles were written up by William Wegmann, the brother of Ed Wegmann, Clay Shaw’s attorney. It gets even more interesting, because Banister forwarded for clearance the names of prospective student spies to attorney Guy Johnson, who was a partner to Bill Wegmann. (Letter from Johnson to Wegmann, 1/5/59) Through an informant to Garrison’s office, George Eckert, the DA learned that the former FBI agent never really severed himself from government service, which is why he could charge such low investigative fees. (Davy, p. 14) For instance, one of his spies, Dan Campbell, said “Banister was a bagman for the CIA and was running guns to Alpha 66 in Miami.” (Campbell interview with the reviewer, 9/6/94) Joe Oster, who used to work for Banister, remembered his boss calling Washington and speaking directly to J. Edgar Hoover. (HSCA interview with Oster, 1/27/78) Another former Banister employee saw George Lincoln Rockwell, who ran the American Nazi party, in Banister’s office. (NODA interview with Vernon Gerdes, 10/30/68)

This is all ignored by Long, as is the following information from Tommy Baumler, an attorney who had worked for Banister as one of his student spies. In 1981, Baumler told researcher Bud Fensterwald that “Clay Shaw, Banister, and Guy Johnson made up the intelligence apparatus of New Orleans.” He also stated that Shaw and Banister were close and that Oswald worked for Banister. (Baumler interview with Fensterwald, 12/30/81) Guy Johnson was with the Office of Naval Intelligence and was Shaw’s first criminal lawyer after Garrison indicted him. As everyone except Long seems to know, Banister was involved with preparations for the Bay of Pigs invasion. (Davy, p. 26) Later, according to HSCA Deputy Counsel Bob Tanenbaum, he was also involved with training for Operation Mongoose. (Probe Magazine, July/August, 1996, p. 24) In fact, at a hearing that David Ferrie called to try and salvage his position with Easten Airlines, Banister said,

I have had high-ranking Cuban refugees in my office asking me how to go underground and I gave them diagrams for that. I have talked to military and leaders from the various provinces of Cuba that have slipped out and slipped back. (Grievance hearing for Ferrie, 8/5/1963, p. 841)

Now that we have established the profile of the pinko Marine and the role of Guy Banister in New Orleans subterfuge from the fifties on to 1963, let us turn to Oswald in New Orleans at that time, which, no surprise, Long also wants to discount. She does this by relying on two sources to filter the raw data, namely the FBI and the HSCA. But today, with the declassifications of the ARRB, plus the further work done on this subject since then, it’s not possible to deny the association of Oswald with Banister or his 544 Camp Street address.

For example, in April of 1968, Garrison’s office interviewed George Higginbotham, who was familiar with Banister and 544 Camp Street in 1962 and 1963. He said he kidded Banister about sharing a building with people passing out leaflets on the street, to which the former FBI man replied: “Cool it, one of them is one of mine.” (NODA memo of interviews, April 12, 16, 17 of 1968) Recently, this writer wrote an article in which I quoted a man named Richard Manuel, who worked in New Orleans in the mid-sixties. He knew two men who worked near Banister’s office and saw him at Mancuso’s coffee shop with Oswald. (ARRB notes of Manuel call of 2/1/96) Dan Campbell, a student spy and Cuban exile trainer for Banister, saw Oswald come into the 544 Camp Street office one day that summer to use the phone. (DiEugenio interviewed Campbell in both New Orleans and Los Angeles in 1994) His brother, Allen Campbell, also worked out of the Camp Street office. He recalls Banister’s secretary, Delphine Roberts, going to see her boss to tell him about Oswald’s leafleting. She got the same reaction that Higginbotham did: Don’t worry, he’s with us. (DiEugenio interview with Allen in New Orleans, 1994) William Gaudet was a CIA asset who had an office in Clay Shaw’s International Trade Mart. He told the HSCA that he had observed Banister talking to Oswald on a street corner. (HSCA Report, p. 219) Two INS agents were tracking illegal Cubans in New Orleans at the time. They got onto to David Ferrie’s association with them. They followed Ferrie to 544 Camp Street and observed Oswald going in also. (DiEugenio, p. 113) With all the above, and more that I left out, her strategy, borrowed from the HSCA—to insinuate that somehow Jack Martin, who worked for Banister, and his secretary, Delphine Roberts, were insufficient—gets turned upside down. Their testimony is bolstered by these other corroborating witnesses.


Harold Weisberg is an author that Long knocks almost as badly as she smears Jim Garrison, but she does not give Harold credit for uncovering some rather interesting information about Oswald in New Orleans. When Marina Oswald was sequestered at the Inn of the Six Flags in Dallas, she was interrogated by the Secret Service. They asked her questions about her husband: about whether he owned a rifle, a handgun, or had been to Mexico City. But they also asked her about a “Mr. Farry.” And also if she knew about a Leonard Reisman at Tulane University, who was part of the Committee for Peaceful Alternatives. (Weisberg, p. 19)

As a reader later wrote to Harold, what makes these questions so startling is that they seem to have been asked on November 24th, before Garrison brought Ferrie in for questioning. “Farry” is obviously a misspelling for Ferrie. In other words, the FBI was on to Ferrie before the DA even talked to him. But it’s the Reisman query that is perhaps even more crucial, because as John Newman points out in his book on Oswald, this leafleting at Tulane was done while the pinko Marine was in his undercover mode in New Orleans. That is when Banister was secretly trying to smoke out suspected Cuban sympathizers in the Crescent City. (John Newman, Oswald and the CIA, pp. 309, 331–32) This was before Oswald got into an overt and direct conflict with a CIA funded Cuban exile group run by Agency officer and psychological warfare expert George Joannides.

With that, let us proceed to place another layer over all this New Orleans activity. One that Long completely avoids. That is the CIA’s operations against the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC) and in support of the DRE, the Student Revolutionary Directorate. Oswald was the only member of the FPCC in New Orleans. He stamped Banister’s office address—544 Camp Street—on one (or more) of the pamphlets he passed out that summer in the Crescent City. Beginning in 1961, that particular pamphlet went through several printings and the CIA ordered copies of the first edition, which is the printing that Oswald had in New Orleans. According to Roberts’ first interview with the HSCA, Banister was very upset about Oswald placing his address on his pamphlets. (Bob Buras interview with Roberts, 7/6/78)

It is even more provocative than that. And again, Long somehow missed it. The FBI knew about Oswald’s faux pas. After retrieving several of Oswald’s pamphlets, they did two things to conceal the association of Banister with Oswald from the Warren Commission. They either used the alternative address for Banister’s office, which was 531 Lafayette Street or, in their messages to headquarters, they scratched out the fact that Oswald had actually stamped the Camp Street address on his flyers. (Newman, p. 310; Tony Summers, Official and Confidential, p. 325) It would appear that J. Edgar Hoover was trying to conceal Oswald’s association with his former agent, because, as John Newman has written, both the FBI and CIA had ongoing operations against the FPCC at this time. (Newman, pp. 241–44)

The man who began those CIA operations against the FPCC was David Phillips. And according to Howard Hunt’s testimony to the HSCA, it was also his friend Phillips who started up the DRE. (Interview of 11/3/78, p. 77) As we all know AMSPELL—the CIA code name for the DRE—collided with Oswald’s FPCC during a mild ruckus on Canal Street in August. After which, Oswald was arrested, apparently for receiving a punch from local DRE leader Carols Bringuier. After this, Oswald was part of a broadcast debate between Bringuier and Ed Butler, manager of the anti-communist organization Information Council for the Americas. It was these activities, and the photos and films of his leafleting, that got injected into the media very quickly after the assassination. They provided a public image and background for Oswald. And it was this which the Commission and the press used to incriminate him, as well as his alleged journey to Mexico City, which incredibly, Long just leaves out.

As Jeff Morley has pointed out, immediately after the JFK shooting, Bringuier placed stories about Oswald in the Miami Herald and Washington Post. About 24–48 hours after the assassination, Bringuier and the DRE published a broadsheet clearly suggesting Oswald had killed Kennedy for Castro. In other words, CIA assets were shaping the story at the start. That publication was at the CIA’s expense, as the DRE was being subsidized to the tune of $51,000 per month by the Agency. George Joannides was the case officer. He later lied about this to the HSCA, when he came back to stymie their investigation of Oswald in 1978. (Morley, Miami New Times, 4/12/2001). Needless to say, the other immediate result was the long time CIA goal of the destruction of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee.

As many authors have pointed out, what is so notable about the confrontation on Canal Street is that Oswald wrote about it to the New York City branch of the FPCC about a week before it happened. (Click here for Paul Bleau’s fine article) What we did not know prior to Paul’s milestone two-part essay was another fact that is important to understand Oswald’s role in the street theater. The host of the debate was local radio personality Bill Stuckey. Stuckey had written to the FBI in April of 1962 about their knowledge of any FPCC chapter in New Orleans. (FBI Memo of April 6, 1962) Beyond that, Paul also discovered that Oswald had written the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in New York, not in 1963, but in 1962.

To cap it all off, there is evidence Phillips was in Banister’s office in late 1960 planning a TV telethon to benefit the Cuban exiles with Banister and Butler. (Davy, pp. 21–24)

From all the above, and more, one can understand why CIA officer William Kent, who worked out of the Miami JM/WAVE station, once said that Oswald was a useful idiot. You will learn almost all of this from Paul Bleau’s article. You will learn virtually none of it from Alecia Long. In other words, there is more current and cogent information about Oswald in New Orleans in Paul Bleau’s two-part essay than there is in Long’s entire book. Whether this failing is by design or a matter of poor scholarship is a question only she can answer.


Then what is Long’s book about? For one, it’s the weirdest interpretation of the Warren Report I have ever read. She writes that the Commission placed the sex lives of Oswald and Ruby under scrutiny for what that could mean as far as motivation went. (Long, p. 65)

This is balderdash. I am quite familiar with the Warren Report and I do not recall anything like this in those nearly 900 pages. Long later uses the testimony of Dean Andrews about Oswald as her source. Yet Andrews is shuffled on and off stage in that report in the space of one paragraph. (Warren Report, p. 325) The other reference she uses is another throwaway paragraph about the Commission searching for a nexus point between Oswald and Ruby. In going through a list of possibilities, they wrote that there was not any homosexual relationship between the two men. (Warren Report, p. 364) Two paragraphs out of 900 pages is grasping at straws.

In further desperation, she trots out the whole White Russian rigamarole about Oswald having problems satisfying his wife. Long writes that perhaps this was because Oswald harbored a hidden preference. She then says this was an obvious question. (Long, p. 66) Obvious to who? After several pages of these eccentric and groundless comments, it struck me that Long was grafting her own agenda onto the facts—to such a degree as to be solipsistic. And when I saw her describing the Jack Gremillion complaint to the FBI about a homosexual ring in New Orleans that the DA was using, I understood the idea behind the book. (Long, p. 58) And also why she discounted Banister: he was not gay.

State Attorney General Gremillion was a notorious racist and rabid McCarthyite. He opposed Garrison and his treatment of the famous James Dombrowski case, because Dombrowski was an active leftist who supported civil rights in the New Orleans area. Garrison took control of the case, in order to guide it to the highest court to invalidate the phony charges grafted onto a Gremillion/Eastland/Banister fabrication: the state’s Communist Control Law. Garrison thought this was unconstitutional. Dombrowski was smeared as a communist, because he was standing up for the civil rights of African Americans. In 1965, the Supreme Court ruled against Gremillion. (Click here for details) It is clear that Gremillion greatly resented what the DA had done and he retaliated with this almost incomprehensible complaint, which he filed with, of all agencies, the FBI. For a scholar to side with riffraff like Gremillion in order to smear Garrison indicates that she has lost her compass.

When one combines that with the fact that she fails to give the reader a full portrait of Shaw and his association with the CIA, how can one come to any other conclusion? There is no mention of the ARRB declassified documents that reveal Shaw had a covert security clearance. (Davy, p. 195) Or that he was a highly valued and well-paid contract agent for the CIA. (Joan Mellen, Our Man in Haiti, pp. 54–55) Or that the Agency tried to hide all of this. Going as far as destroying Shaw’s 201 file. (Click here for details) Need I also add that I could not detect any mention of Shaw and Permindex, which after the release of Michele Metta’s important book on the subject, is again, quite a disappearing act.

Throughout, Long tries to deny that Shaw was Clay Bertrand. In an amazing piece of sleight of hand, she even acknowledges the FBI memo which states such was the case—and further that the Bureau knew Shaw was Bertrand before Garrison arrested him, data they had from two sources. One being Aaron Kohn, a staunch Shaw ally. (FBI memo of March 2, 1967) I could detect nothing in the text concerning the FBI inquiry back in December of 1963, where Cartha DeLoach wrote to Clyde Tolson that Shaw’s name “had come up in our investigation…as a result of several parties furnishing information concerning Shaw.” (DeLoach memo of 3/2/67, italics added) Lawrence Schiller, a prolific FBI informant on the JFK case, sent information to the Bureau that he had several sources in New Orleans and San Francisco saying that Shaw went by other names, including Clay Bertrand. (FBI memo of March 22, 1967) At the Shaw trial, FBI agent Regis Kennedy admitted that he was investigating the Kennedy case prior to his interview with Dean Andrews and that he was searching for Bertrand as part of that investigation. He was then stopped from answering any other questions by Washington. (Trial transcript, 2/17/69)

The information about Shaw using the Bertrand alias was common knowledge in the French Quarter. But many sources did not want to tell Garrison about it due to their resentment over his prior crusade against B girl drinking, which caused a lot of economic dislocations there. Two such witnesses were Barbara Bennett and Rickey Planche, the latter bought a house Shaw had owned previously. (Jim Garrison: His Life and Times-The Early Years, by Joan Mellen, p. 117) Need I add that she also ignores Andrews’ own secret admission to Weisberg that Shaw was Bertrand. (Mailer’s Tale, Weisberg unpublished manuscript, Chapter 5, p. 11) Only by eliding all this data from one’s text can one write that the identity of Bertrand remained a mystery. (Long, p. 59)


Another important aspect of Oswald in New Orleans that Long discounts is Oswald’s leafleting in front of Shaw’s International Trade Mart in mid-August. This also had some interesting telltale points to it. First, Bringuier and his right hand man Carlos Quiroga said that they went to see Oswald in an attempt to infiltrate his FPCC “group” after the ITM incident. The visit occurred before it happened. And Quiroga arrived with a stack of flyers about a half foot thick. In other words, the DRE appears to have been supplying Oswald with his leaflets in preparation for the incident. Secondly, the reason we have films of the event is that Shaw’s first assistant at the ITM, Jesse Core, had summoned the cameras. (Davy, p. 38) Beyond that, it was this leafleting episode that caused George Higginbotham to alert Banister, and his reply was “One of them is one of mine.” (Oswald had hired two helpers from the unemployment office to aid him.) But there was something else to note. In addition to calling the cameras for the ITM incident, Jesse Core picked up a pamphlet from the prior Canal Street episode, the one which got Oswald arrested. He noted that it had Banister’s address on it. He mailed it from the Trade Mart to the FBI with a message attached: “note the inside back cover.” (John Armstrong, Harvey and Lee, p. 568) This would suggest that both Shaw and Core knew about Oswald’s mistake. How would they know unless they were aware of Banister’s operation? Which recalls the work done for Banister by Bill Wegmann and Guy Johnson. But further, the FBI then knew about Oswald at 544 Camp Street before the assassination.

In light of all the above, for Long to say that the connection of Banister, Oswald, Ferrie, and Shaw was a Garrison innovation which relied on our culture’s suspicions about homosexuals—this is simply fruity. (See p. 90) If one leaves out everything I wrote above about the CIA, then maybe you can sidestep someone with that bunk. But since the first two were not gay, it’s kind of hard to buy. But what makes it harder is all the relevant material she leaves out, like the fact that Ferrie was so desperate to separate himself from Oswald in the wake of the assassination that he committed obstruction of justice and perjury. He went to two sources to see if they recalled Oswald using his library card and he called a former CAP cadet to find any picture he might have depicting him with Oswald. He then lied to the FBI about not recalling Oswald. (See The JFK Assassination: The Evidence Today, by James DiEugenio, pp. 175–77; Destiny Betrayed, pp. 176–77) Those four instances indicate, as prosecutors term it, consciousness of guilt. I won’t even discuss the illustration of Dealey Plaza that Ferrie had in his desk at work. (Destiny Betrayed, p. 216) And then there were Ferrie’s admissions to investigator Lou Ivon right before he died about his association with both Oswald and Shaw and Shaw’s hatred of JFK. (Davy, p. 66) In the face of this, Long is again ludicrous in saying that Garrison had little evidence against Ferrie. (Long, p. 111)

We can do the same with Shaw. Since he committed perjury as many as six times on the stand during his trial. Long admits that Shaw lied about his CIA association to the press. She does not admit he did the same under oath at his trial. (Click here for details)

Let us conclude this silly, utterly superfluous book with this. Long quotes Shaw as saying: Well if I was innocent, why didn’t we just go to trial and get it over with back in 1967? (Long, p. 138) Well Alecia, that might have something to do with another declassified document you missed. It describes 24 folders the CIA titled Black Tape. James Angleton collected them from September of 1967 until March of 1969. He then deemed them classified until 2017. Is it just a coincidence that the beginning date matches the first meeting of the Garrison Group at CIA, which was specifically set up to counter Garrison? At that meeting, Ray Rocca, Angleton’s assistant, said that if things proceed as they are, Shaw would be convicted. (Destiny Betrayed, pp. 269–71) When they set up the Garrison Group and the Black Tape files, the Agency made sure things did not proceed that way, which makes Shaw’s comment likely more revealing than he meant it. (ibid, pp. 271–85)

But that is the kind of book this is. It’s an almost humorous diversion created for one purpose. It wants us to forget virtually everything we have learned about New Orleans since the creation of the ARRB back in 1994. Sorry Alecia, no sale. It was too difficult to get those files opened in the first place. And when they were opened, we understood why Angleton wanted them closed for fifty years. Consciousness of guilt.

Last modified on Monday, 08 November 2021 06:21
James DiEugenio

One of the most respected researchers and writers on the political assassinations of the 1960s, Jim DiEugenio is the author of two books, Destiny Betrayed (1992/2012) and The JFK Assassination: The Evidence Today (2018), co-author of The Assassinations, and co-edited Probe Magazine (1993-2000).   See "About Us" for a fuller bio.

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