DESTINY BETRAYED:
THE CIA, OSWALD, AND
THE JFK ASSASSINATION



Published in Flagpole Magazine, p. 8 (Dec. 7, 2005).

Author: Donald E. Wilkes, Jr., Professor of Law, University of Georgia School of Law.

    In place of the strong sense of faith in man and mankind, we now have a heavy feeling of a failed mission, of destiny betrayed and unfulfilled. – Rav Alex Israel

    The deepest cover story of the CIA is that it is an intelligence organization. – Bulletin of the Federation of American Scientists

Today, 42 years after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963, few responsible researchers who have studied JFK’s murder accept the Warren Commission’s main conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, committed the crime.  (The Warren Commission was the body appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate the Kennedy assassination; it released its Report in September 1964.)  As these researchers have shown again and again in scores of books and articles, evidence available to the Commission but improperly evaluated, erroneously rejected, or simply not pursued by that body, together with new evidence unavailable to the Commission, discredits the principal finding of the Warren Report.  JFK’s death was, these researchers believe, carried out by a conspiracy; it was not the act of a lone assassin.  Different researchers, however, have different conspiracy theories.  Conspiracy theorists also disagree about Oswald: some maintain that he was simply one of the conspirators; others claim that, while he was a member of the conspiracy, he was also unknowingly a dupe of the other conspirators who intended for him to be the fall guy; and still other theorists think that Oswald was a wholly innocent person set up by the conspirators as the patsy.  Furthermore, the theorists who regard Oswald as a conspirator disagree as to whether he fired any of the shots in Dealey Plaza.

Currently, the conspiracy theories most worthy of consideration are these: (1) the Mafia did it; (2) the CIA did it; (3) the anti-Castro Cubans–that is, opponents of Cuba’s communist leader, Fidel Castro–did it; (4) white-supremacist racists and right-wing extremists did it; and (5) the conspiracy consisted of persons who were affiliated with the Mafia, the CIA, or various anti-Castro or extreme rightist groups, but who were acting as individuals (albeit perhaps with some connivance from the organizations with which they had affiliations).  Although still the subject of lively discussion in JFK assassination literature, conspiracy theories that the assassination was attributable to the FBI or the Secret Service, to the Soviet Union, to Fidel Castro’s Cuba and pro-Castroites, or to Kennedy’s vice president, Lyndon B. Johnson (and Johnson’s supporters), appear less credible with the passing of each year.

The theory that JFK’s murder was engineered by the CIA (or by persons affiliated with the CIA), and that the CIA covered up its connections to the murder, warrants serious consideration and should not be peremptorily rejected.  In the 1960’s the CIA more resembled an untouchable crime syndicate than a legitimate government entity.  Lavishly but secretly funded, unrestrained by public opinion, cloaked in secrecy, conducting whatever foreign or domestic clandestine operations it wished without regard to laws or morals, and specializing in deception, falsification, and mystification, the CIA was riddled at all levels with ruthless, cynical officials and employees who believed that they were above the law, that any means were justified to accomplish the goals they set for themselves, and that insofar as their surreptitious activities were concerned it was justifiable to lie with impunity to anyone, even presidents and legislators.  Many of these individuals, thinking he was soft on communism, that he would reduce the size of the military industrial complex, and that he was to blame for the Bay of Pigs disaster (the failed CIA-sponsored invasion of Cuba in 1961), hated and despised Kennedy.  The CIA routinely circumvented and defied attempts by the executive and legislative branches to monitor its activities.  It was involved in innumerable unlawful or outrageous activities.  It illegally opened the mail of Americans.  It interfered with free elections in foreign countries and arranged to destabilize or overthrow the governments of other countries.  It plotted the murder of various foreign leaders.  It arranged to hire the Mafia to help with some of these proposed murder plots.  It unlawfully stored–in quantities, UGA political science professor Loch K. Johnson notes, sufficient “to destroy the population of a small city”–exotic toxic agents, including cobra venom and shellfish toxin, for the purpose of committing murders.  It manufactured and used sinister lethal weaponry, including what Prof. Johnson calls “the ultimate murder weapon,” an electric handgun (the CIA called it a “noise-free disseminator”) with a telescopic sight which could noiselessly and accurately fire poison-tipped darts (the CIA called them “nondiscernible microbioinoculators”) up to a distance of 250 feet.  It undoubtedly carried out multiple secret murders and other heinous crimes which it successfully kept hidden.  Furthermore, it is now firmly established that after the JFK assassination the CIA simultaneously lied to, and withheld important information from, the Warren Commission.

One of the first serious investigators to raise credible claims that CIA operatives or ex-CIA operatives were involved in the JFK assassination was Jim Garrison, who served as the district attorney in New Orleans, Louisiana from 1962 to 1974.  (A brief chronology of Garrison’s life and investigation is set forth at the end of this article.)  Garrison and his office investigated the assassination for about five years, from late 1966 until early 1971.  His investigation led Garrison to believe that, regardless of whoever actually fired the shots in Dealey Plaza, the assassination was the result of a plot hatched in New Orleans by persons with CIA connections.  Furthermore, Garrison concluded, following the assassination the CIA engaged in a coverup to protect itself and the assassins.  Garrison brought to trial the only criminal proceeding in which someone was actually charged with involvement in the JFK assassination.  Garrison wrote two important books, the first published in 1970, the second in 1988, in which he recounted his investigation and shared the important new facts he had discovered.

In the words of journalist Fred Powledge, who wrote a magazine article on Garrison published in 1967, Garrison thought that “the assassins were CIA employees who were angered at President Kennedy’s posture on Cuba following the Bay of Pigs disaster, and that the CIA was frustrating his investigation, although the agency knew the whereabouts of the assassins.”  Philosophy professor Richard H. Popkin, in another magazine article published in 1967, summarized Garrison’s views on the assassination as follows: “The thesis Garrison has set forth is that a group of New Orleans-based, anti-Castroites, supported and/or encouraged by the CIA in their anti-Castro activities, in the late summer or early fall of 1963 conspired to assassinate John F. Kennedy.  This group, according to Garrison, included [Clay] Shaw, [David] Ferrie, [Lee Harvey] Oswald, ... and others, including Cuban exiles and American anti-Castroites.... [T]heir plan was executed in Dallas on November 22, 1963.  At least part of their motivation ... was their reaction to Kennedy’s decisions at the Bay of Pigs and the changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba following the missiles crisis of 1962.”

In a 1967 interview, Garrison himself phrased his basic conclusions this way: “[A] number of the men who killed the President were former employees of the CIA involved in its anti-Castro underground activities in and around New Orleans.... We must assume that the plotters were acting on their own rather than on CIA orders when they killed the President.  As far as we been able to determine, they were not on the pay of the CIA at the time of the assassination.... The CIA could not face up to the American people and admit that its former employees had conspired to assassinate the President, so from the moment Kennedy’s heart stopped beating, the Agency attempted to sweep the whole conspiracy under the rug.... In this respect, it has become an accessory after the fact in the assassination.”

Jim Garrison’s theory of the assassination clashed with that of the Warren Commission, which denied there had been a conspiracy.  According to the Warren Report, 24-year old Lee Harvey Oswald, supposedly a twisted, embittered, discontented, hate-filled Marxist and ex-Marine who had once defected to the Soviet Union, assassinated JFK,  acting alone and without assistance.  Using an old, flimsy, cheap,  second-hand bolt-action 6.5 mm Italian carbine, Oswald allegedly fired three shots in less than 10 seconds from a sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository at the president’s open limousine, which was moving at an angle, downhill, and away from the Depository.  The fatal head shot occurred when Kennedy was 265 feet from the window.  (Two days later Oswald, a handcuffed prisoner surrounded by dozens of police officers inside a police station, was shot dead by Jack Ruby, an organized crime figure who operated a Dallas night club and strip joint.  Oswald’s murder occurred on live TV and was witnessed by millions.)

President Lyndon B. Johnson, who appointed the Warren Commission, described Lee Harvey Oswald as “quite a mysterious fellow.”  Political science professor and JFK assassination authority Philip H. Melanson agrees, noting that “[f]rom the time he was an eighteen-year old Marine until his murder at twenty-four, [Oswald] lived a secret life.”  What we know of Oswald’s life from 1959 to 1963, Melanson adds, appears to be “structured by endless coincidences and heavy doses of good and bad luck” and includes a “pattern of mysteries and anomalies” and “frequent and unusual interactions with government agencies” that can hardly be “random and innocent” or the result of “coincidence or happenstance.”

One of the most mysterious episodes in Oswald’s life is the five month period in 1963–from April 25 until September 25–he spent (except for brief trips to Clinton, Louisiana and Mobile, Alabama)–in New Orleans.  (Oswald was a New Orleans native, having been born there in 1939.)

The Warren Report saw nothing significant in Oswald’s sojourn in New Orleans in 1963, and required but six pages to narrate the story of his stay.  Its story is as follows.  Oswald arrived in New Orleans by bus on April 25 and soon was joined by his pregnant wife and child.  He found a job at the Reily Coffee Company in May but was fired in July after spending too many of his working hours at the Crescent City Garage, next door to the coffee company, talking with an owner of the garage, Adrian Alba.  He paid a brief visit to Mobile, Alabama where he made a speech about his experiences in the Soviet Union.  He established a New Orleans branch of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, a pro-Castro organization.  He was apparently its only member.  He wrote several letters to the national director of the Committee in which he exaggerated his pro-Castro activities.  Oswald once visited a local anti-Castro Cuban refugee activist and pretended to also be an anti-Castroite.  On August 9 Oswald was arrested in downtown New Orleans for disturbing the peace while publicly handing out pro-Castro leaflets.  He spent only one day in jail; while in jail he was at his own request interviewed by an FBI agent.  On August 16 Oswald handed out pro-Castro leaflets in downtown New Orleans at the same place as before, and, as a result, a few days later took part in a radio broadcast debate in which he defended Castro and Marxism.  On September 25 he departed New Orleans by bus.

Based on information uncovered by Jim Garrison, the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations, and other investigative sources, we now know for certain that the Warren Report’s account of Lee Harvey Oswald in New Orleans in 1963 is not only incomplete but misleading.

We now know, for example, that during his stay in New Orleans Lee Harvey Oswald had frequent dealings with, and spent much time in the company of, persons never mentioned in the Warren Report, persons with connections to the CIA, the political far-right, and anti-Castro militants.  Two of these persons were David William Ferrie and William Guy Banister.  Oswald had been acquainted with Ferrie since 1955 when both were in the same Civil Air Patrol squadron.  The brilliant but deranged Ferrie was, among other many things, a fanatical right-wing extremist and anti-Castroite, and a rabidly vociferous JFK hater with connections to both the CIA and the Mafia.  Banister, a former FBI agent and former New Orleans assistant police chief, also was a fanatical right-wing extremist and anti-Castroite with CIA connections.  In 1963 Banister was operating a private investigation firm, Guy Banister Associates, with offices in the Newman Building, located at 544 Camp Street.  David Ferrie worked as a private investigator for Banister, and in the summer of 1963 Ferrie, Banister, and Lee Harvey Oswald were often seen in the Newman Building, which was one block from the coffee company where Oswald worked for two months.  Oswald even stamped “544 Camp Street” on pro-Castro brochures he handed out.  There is plenty of additional evidence, too extensive to be explored here, linking Oswald, Ferrie, and Banister.

What was Oswald, supposedly a wild-eyed leftist, doing in the company of the likes of Ferrie and Banister?  Why would a member of the pro-Castro Fair Play for Cuba Committee be spending time at 544 Camp Street, of all places?  The notion that Oswald was truly a pro-communist attempting to infiltrate right-wing circles is facially preposterous.  It is extremely unlikely that 23-year old Oswald could have thought for a moment that he could fool Ferrie and Banister, who were right-wing zealots with extensive backgrounds in law enforcement or intelligence.  The most plausible explanation for Oswald’s pro-Castro posturing in New Orleans is that he was involved in a clandestine operation with Ferrie and Banister and that, for reasons we are still unaware of, he was creating what is known in the world of spies as a “legend” to conceal whatever clandestine activities he was involved in.   In intelligence parlance, a “legend” is a cover story created to mask the real activities of a spy or the real purpose of his activities.

There is also evidence that Oswald while in Louisiana in 1963 associated with millionaire Clay Shaw, director of the New Orleans Trade Mart, and a prominent New Orleans business leader with CIA connections.  Sometime in late August or early September 1963 Oswald, accompanied by David Ferrie and Clay Shaw, traveled to Clinton, a small Louisiana town about 120 miles southwest of New Orleans.  At the time civil rights activists were conducting a drive to register more black voters in Clinton.  Jim Garrison located six witnesses from Clinton, including a state representative, a deputy sheriff, and a voting registrar, who saw Oswald, Ferrie, and Shaw together in Clinton.  These six witnesses testified as prosecution witnesses at Clay Shaw’s 1969 trial for conspiring to murder JFK, and they also testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations which reinvestigated the JFK assassination in 1977-1978.  In its final report, the Select Committee found “that the Clinton witnesses were credible and significant.”  To date, there has been no satisfactory explanation for what assassination scholar James DiEugenio calls “this strange dreamlike trip” Oswald took to Clinton.

There are a large number of other indications that the man labeled by the Warren Report as JFK’s assassin had links to the CIA.  Examples:

    ■ While he was in the Marines, Oswald was stationed for a time in Japan at the Atsugi Air Force Base where he had a top secret clearance and from which CIA U-2 spy planes flew spy missions over the Soviet Union and China; see Philip Melanson, Spy Saga: Lee Harvey Oswald and U. S. Intelligence, pp. 7-10.

    ■ In 1962, after returning to the United States following his two and a half year defection to the Soviet Union, Oswald received extremely favorable treatment from the CIA, treatment that was highly unusual.  Even though Oswald was an ex-Marine who had once been a radar operator with access to classified information at the military air base in Japan from which the CIA’s U-2 spy planes would fly espionage reconnaissance missions over the Soviet Union and China, the CIA professed to have no interest in him.  It did not contact him or attempt to debrief him, and it did not place him on a watch list.  This strange solicitude for Oswald suggests that his defection had been bogus and that he had CIA connections; see Philip Melanson, Spy Saga: Lee Harvey Oswald and U. S. Intelligence, pp. 22-28.

    ■ On September 17, 1963, when Oswald went to the Mexican consulate in New Orleans to apply for and receive a tourist permit no. 24085, the person in line immediately in front of him, the person who received permit no. 24084, was William Gaudet, a longtime CIA contact agent; see John Newman, Oswald and the CIA, pp. 346-47.

    ■ Three places Oswald frequented in New Orleans, the Newman Building at 544 Camp Street, the Reily Coffee Company, and the Crescent City Garage, were all but a few blocks from the CIA’s New Orleans offices.

    ■ In 1978 James Wilcott, a former CIA finance officer, testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations that he had handled the funding for a CIA project in which Oswald had been recruited as a CIA spy; see Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, p. 49.

    ■ In Texas in 1962 and early 1963, one of Lee Harvey Oswald’s closest associates was George DeMohrenschildt, a CIA operative whose cover was petroleum engineering; see Anthony Summers, Conspiracy, pp. 222-30.  DeMohrenschildt was most likely acting as the CIA’s “babysitter” for Oswald (in the intelligence community, a “babysitter” refers to an agent assigned to protect or watch over another intelligence agent or a person of interest to an intelligence agency); see Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, p. 56.  In March 1977, shortly before a scheduled interview with investigators for the Select Committee on Assassinations, DeMohrenschildt killed himself with a shotgun; see Philip H. Melanson, Spy Saga: Lee Harvey Oswald and U.S. Intelligence, p. 90.

    ■ Suspiciously, the CIA was, in its investigation for the Warren Commission of Lee Harvey Oswald’s possible involvement in the assassination, deficient in its collection and sharing of information; see Report of the Select Committee on Assassinations, U.S. House of Representatives, pp. 246-56.  Also suspiciously, the CIA failed to exhaustively analyze “the significance of Oswald’s contacts with pro-Castro and anti-Castro groups in the United States;” see Final Report of the U.S. Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations With Respect to Intelligence Activities, Book 5, p. 58.

The issue of possible CIA involvement in the JFK assassination does not, of course, turn solely on whether Lee Harvey Oswald had CIA affiliations, or on whether the CIA adequately investigated Oswald for the Warren Commission.  Nor does it turn on whether Oswald was involved in a conspiracy to assassinate JFK.  The CIA may have had nothing to do with the assassination even if it is true that Oswald worked for the CIA, that the CIA did a poor job for the Warren Commission, and that Oswald was (or was not) a conspirator.  It is equally true that even if, as Jim Garrison claimed, CIA operatives plotted JFK’s murder, the assassination may have been unrelated to that plotting.  And even if the CIA participated in a post-assassination coverup, this does not necessarily mean that it was involved in the assassination itself.

Nonetheless, it is undeniable that, more than four decades after the assassination, the theory that the CIA, or persons affiliated with the CIA, were involved in the assassination continues to be supported by credible evidence and cannot yet be ruled out.  The CIA, in short, may have betrayed not only a president and the nation, but also human destiny–the fate fixed for  humanity if President John F. Kennedy had lived.  And if it turns out to be true that the CIA was involved in Kennedy’s death (or in a post-assassination coverup designed to protect CIA agents who had been involved the assassination), then movie director Oliver Stone is right: CIA is an acronym not for “Central Intelligence Agency” but for “Capitalism’s Invisible Army.”

A bibliography (by no means intended to be exhaustive) of writings on the CIA and its possible connections to the JFK assassination appears at the end of this article following the chronology.


CHRONOLOGY OF THE LIFE OF JIM GARRISON AND
HIS INVESTIGATION OF THE JFK ASSASSINATION


Nov. 21, 1921    Jim Garrison is born in Denison, Iowa.

Mar. 3, 1962    Having been elected in 1961, 40-year old Jim Garrison takes office as district attorney for New Orleans.  He will be reelected in 1965 and 1969.  When Garrison runs for a fourth term in 1973 he will be defeated and leave office in 1974.

Fall 1966   Jim Garrison becomes interested in investigating the JFK assassination when in the autumn of 1966 he has a chance conversation with Louisiana’s U.S. Sen. Russell Long, who surprisingly tells Garrison: “Those fellows on the Warren Commission were dead wrong.  There’s no way in the world that one man could have shot up Jack Kennedy that way.”  Shortly thereafter, in October or November 1966, Garrison opens his investigation.

Feb. 17, 1967    A reporter, Rosemary James, publishes an article, “DA Here Launches Full JFK Death Plot Probe,” in the New Orleans States-Item newspaper.  This is the first public revelation of Jim Garrison’s investigation of the JFK assassination.

Feb. 22, 1967    David Ferrie, who has been under 24 hour surveillance and is aware that Jim Garrison intends to arrest him shortly for conspiring to murder JFK, dies under suspicious circumstances.  Weirdly, even though he dies allegedly of natural causes, Ferrie leaves behind two typed, unsigned, undated suicide notes.

Mar. 1, 1967    Charged by Jim Garrison with conspiring to murder JFK, Clay Shaw is arrested.

Mar. 3, 1967    A coordinated series of caustic, bitterly one-sided news media attacks on the Garrison investigation by diehard defenders of the Warren Report begins with publication of an article (subtitled “Bourbon Street Rococo”) in Time magazine.  These attacks, which depict Garrison as a publicity-craving, out of control buffoon and his investigation as nothing more than a witch hunt, include notably: (1) “Carnival in New Orleans,” Newsweek, p. 41 (Mar. 6, 1967); (2) James Phelan, “Rush to Judgment in New Orleans,” Saturday Evening Post, p. 21 (May 6, 1967); (3) “Something of a Shambles,” Time, p. 42 (June 30, 1967); (4) “Law Unto Himself,” Newsweek, p. 37 (Jan. 8, 1968); (5) “Jolly Green Giant in Wonderland,” Time, p. 56 (Aug. 2, 1968); and (6) Warren Rogers, “The Persecution of Clay Shaw,” Look, p. 53 (Aug. 26, 1969).  On the other hand, a few magazine articles treat Garrison and his investigation sympathetically and suggest that he might be on to something.  Two examples: Fred Powledge, “Is Garrison Faking?  The DA, the CIA and the Assassination,” The New Republic, p. 13 (June 17, 1967), and Richard H. Popkin, “Garrison’s Case,” N.Y. Review of Books, p. 19 (Sept. 14, 1967).

Excoriating press criticism of Garrison and his investigation is not limited to the print media.  On June 19, 1967, NBC broadcasts a disgracefully slanted documentary, “The JFK Conspiracy: The Case of Jim Garrison,” which, to paraphrase Richard H. Popkin, suggests that it is Garrison, not Shaw, who should be placed on trial.

Feb. 3, 1969    After a lengthy jury selection process which commenced on Jan. 29, Clay’s Shaw’s trial in the Criminal District Court for the Parish of Orleans for conspiring to murder JFK begins with opening statements by counsel.  Jim Garrison delegates most of the responsibility for presenting the prosecution’s case to his assistants.  Although the prosecution’s key witnesses are exposed as untrustworthy and its evidence that Shaw conspired to kill JFK melts away, the trial does bring to the attention of the public important evidence raising serious questions about the Warren Commission’s investigation and about the Warren Report’s lone assassin theory.  Six reliable witnesses from Clinton, Louisiana testify about Oswald’s mystifying visit to their town in the company of David Ferrie and Clay Shaw.  Eyewitnesses who had been in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963 testify that shots had been fired from places other than the School Book Depository.  And Dr. Pierre Finck, one of the three physicians who performed the JFK autopsy–an autopsy so incredibly botched that it has rightly been called “the autopsy of the century”–discloses, on cross-examination by an assistant district attorney, so many previously unknown facts about the irregular procedures followed at the autopsy that basic medical evidence relied on by the Warren Commission is shown to be unreliable.  (Lengthy excerpts from Finck’s astonishing testimony are found in James DiEugenio, Destiny Betrayed: JFK, Cuba, and the Garrison Case, pp. 290–309.)

Mar. 1, 1969    The jury acquits Clay Shaw of conspiring to murder JFK, taking only 55 minutes to reach its verdict.  The jury believes that the prosecution has proved that JFK was murdered as a result of a conspiracy, but concludes that it has not been proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Shaw was one of the conspirators.

Mar. 3, 1969    Jim Garrison charges Clay Shaw with perjury.  Shaw is alleged to have committed perjury when at his conspiracy trial he testified that he had not known Lee Harvey Oswald or David Ferrie.  Shaw is never tried on these charges, however, because on May 27, 1971, a federal district court, finding that the perjury charges were brought in bad faith and for harassment purposes, grants Shaw’s request that Garrison be enjoined from further prosecuting those charges, Shaw v. Garrison, 328 F.Supp. 390 (E.D. La. 1971), and the next year a federal appellate court affirms the district court’s injunction barring the perjury prosecution, Shaw v. Garrison, 467 F. 2d 113 (5th Cir. 1972), and the U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear Garrison’s bid to overturn the appellate court decision, Garrison v. Shaw, 409 U.S. 1024 (1972).  It is extremely rare for a federal court to issue an injunction restraining a state prosecutor from trying a defendant the prosecutor has charged with crime.

Clay Shaw has in fact lied, and if he had been tried it is a near certainty he would have been convicted.  There is irrefutable evidence that he knew Ferrie; there are even photographs of Shaw and Ferrie together.  There is also strong evidence that Shaw knew Oswald.  (Unknown to Garrison at the time, Shaw has also lied in denying that he had ever worked for the CIA.)

1970    Jim Garrison publishes his first book on his investigation of the JFK assassination and on the prosecution of Clay Shaw, A Heritage of Stone.  

June 30, 1971    Jim Garrison is arrested on trumped up federal charges of income tax evasion and of taking bribes from pinball machine gambling interests.  At a subsequent trial in 1973 Garrison and his codefendants are acquitted by a jury of the bribery charges on September 28.  In 1974, after he had left office as district attorney, Garrison is tried on the tax charges and is acquitted by a jury on March 26.  At both trials Garrison represents himself.

Aug. 14, 1974    Clay Shaw dies under suspicious circumstances.

1978    Jim Garrison is elected to a 10-year term as a judge on the Louisiana Court of Appeals.  He is reelected in 1988.

1988    Jim Garrison publishes his second book on his investigation of the JFK assassination and on the prosecution of Clay Shaw, On the Trail of the Assassins.

Dec. 20, 1991    Oliver Stone’s motion picture, JFK, based in part on Garrison’s On the Trail of the Assassins, is released.

Oct. 21, 1992    Jim Garrison dies of natural causes.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

Books
        Walt Brown, Treachery in Dallas (1995) Chapter 4, “The CIA,” notes correctly that “[r]esearchers strongly suspect that elements of the CIA ... were a major factor in the assassination of President Kennedy.”  “There have been serious questions asked about the CIA’s possible relationship with Lee Oswald.... [Government] documents declassified ... in August 1993 prove that the CIA knew a great deal more about Lee Harvey Oswald than [it] told the Warren Commission....”  “To believe the denials of the CIA-Oswald link, we must ... overlook the names of ... George DeMohrenschildt, David Ferrie, Guy Banister, and Clay Shaw, CIA operatives whose paths often bisected Oswald’s.”

    Michael Canfield and Alan J. Weberman, Coup d’etat in America: The CIA and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy (1975) Much of this book is devoted to vainly trying to tie the JFK assassination to the Watergate burglars.  However, Chapter 3, “Was Oswald a CIA Agent?,” gives an intelligent summary of information pointing to Oswald’s possible links to the CIA through his relationships with George DeMohrenschildt, David Ferrie, and Clay Shaw.

    James DiEugenio, Destiny Betrayed: JFK, Cuba, and the Garrison Case (1992) This is the best single book on District Attorney Jim Garrison’s investigation of the JFK assassination, on the prosecution of Clay Shaw, and on Lee Harvey Oswald’s mysterious activities in New Orleans in 1963.  Garrison, DiEugenio says, “was so prescient about the Kennedy assassination as to be visionary.... Oswald masqueraded as a communist to camouflage his espionage activities.  Guy Banister was not just a private detective.  David Ferrie was not just a pilot and moonlighting investigator.  Clay Shaw was not just the distinguished former director of the Trade Mart.”  Appendix B of DiEugenio’s book contains an April 1, 1967 CIA Dispatch “instructing [CIA] officers and agents on how to conduct ... a campaign to discredit the Warren Report critics.”  The Dispatch contains this notation (which obviously was not followed):  “DESTROY WHEN NO LONGER NEEDED.”  Appendix B also contains a CIA Dispatch, dated July 19, 1968, directed to CIA “Chiefs, Certain Stations and Bases,” providing guidance on how to discredit Jim Garrison’s investigation.  This Dispatch was sent prior to the trial of Clay Shaw.

    Gregory Douglas, Regicide: The Official Assassination of John F. Kennedy (2002). According to this book, the assassination of President Kennedy was officially organized by the CIA under the code name “Operation Zipper.”  Thus, the assassination was not attributable to rogue elements within the CIA, or to CIA operatives (or ex-CIA operatives) acting on their own.  Rather, the assassination was the result of an official CIA covert operation.  The CIA’s motive?  It wanted JFK removed because it believed that Kennedy, among other things, had betrayed “loyal Cuban supporters” and had “betrayed important intelligence secrets to the Soviet Union for political gain.”  According to the book, the CIA carried out the operation with the help, approval, and knowledge of the FBI, the Joints Chiefs of Staff, and Vice President Lyndon Johnson.

    Edward Jay Epstein, Counterplot (1969) This disappointing book heaps scorn on Jim Garrison’s investigation because “the means by which Garrison conducted his investigation are suspect.”  In addition to attacking Garrison’s investigatory methods, the book ridicules Garrison’s suggestion that the CIA was involved in the JFK assassination, and erroneously suggests that David Ferrie, Guy Banister, Clay Shaw, and Lee Harvey Oswald had no CIA connections.  Jim Garrison’s important discoveries are therefore dismissed as the claims of a “demagogue” whose actions are merely examples of “the paranoid style in American politics.”

    Jim Garrison, A Heritage of Stone (1970)  In his first  book on the JFK assassination, New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison discusses Lee Harvey Oswald’s activities in New Orleans in 1963.  That summer Oswald was frequently in the office building at 544 Camp Street in the company of Guy Banister (who had an office there) and David Ferrie (who  years before had been a captain of a Civil Air Patrol squadron in which Oswald was a cadet).  Both Banister and Ferrie had intelligence community affiliations and both were fervidly anti-Castro.  Oswald, a low-level intelligence employee, masqueraded as a communist and pro-Castroite.

    Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins: My Investigation and Prosecution of the Murder of President Kennedy (1988) In his second book on the JFK assassination, Garrison revisits his unsuccessful prosecutions of Clay Shaw and gives a further account of his investigation of the assassination.  The assassination plot was hatched in New Orleans in 1963 by David Ferrie, Guy Banister, and other individuals associated with the CIA.  “That Banister was working with the CIA at this time is no longer open to serious doubt.”  “[O]ne of Banister’s tasks that summer of 1963 was the sheepdipping of Lee Oswald to make him appear to be a dedicated communist.” (“Sheepdipping,” Garrison reminds us, is a term which is used in the intelligence community to refer to “manipulated behavior designed to create a desired image.”) The plotters sheepdipped Oswald because they intended for him to be assassination’s false sponsor.  (In the intelligence community the term “false sponsor” refers, Garrison explains, to a person who will be publicly blamed for a covert intelligence operation after it takes place, thereby “diverting attention away from the intelligence community.”)  Probably the assassination was planned and executed by individuals with connections to the CIA but acting on their own; after the assassination, to protect themselves and for other reasons, the intelligence agencies closed ranks and covered up the truth.  Jim Garrison phrases his basic conclusions this way: “[M]embers of the United States government’s intelligence community ... were responsible for the assassination and had carried it out in order to stop President Kennedy’s efforts to break with Cold War foreign policy.... We have learned much about our intelligence agencies and what they have done in our name.  Assassination by our CIA is no longer inconceivable; it is established historical fact.... It is improbable that an elaborate plan to assassinate President Kennedy received official approval from John McCone, the CIA director in 1963, or Richard Helms, deputy director for plans (covert operations).  But it may well have been conceived in the lower echelons of the Agency and have been carried out in collaboration with extra-governmental individuals or organizations precisely to avoid leaving a paper trail to top CIA officials who may have conveniently looked the other way.... As soon as the non-participating elements in the intelligence community saw that a coup d’etat had occurred, they moved quickly to support the official theory [that the assassin was Lee Harvey Oswald, who had acted alone].”

    Robert Groden, The Search for Lee Harvey Oswald (1995) Chapter 6, “The Return to New Orleans, 1963,” provides an excellent account, replete with numerous helpful photographs, of Oswald’s stay in Louisiana in 1963.
 
    Henry Hurt, Reasonable Doubt: The Investigation into the Assassination of John F. Kennedy (1985) In Chapter 10, “New Orleans, USA,” the author examines Oswald’s 1963 sojourn in New Orleans.  He concludes that there is “solid evidence of Oswald’s association with David W. Ferrie,” whose “known associations form a witch’s brew of sinister elements.”  The author also speaks of “the accumulation of convincing evidence showing Oswald’s association with Guy Bannister, David Ferrie, and the anti-Castro Cuban exiles.”

    Loch K. Johnson, A Season of Inquiry: The Senate Intelligence Investigation (1985) This book, by a UGA professor, gives an insider’s view of the 1975-1976 investigation by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Activities of the CIA’s abuses of power occurring in the 1960’s and early 1970’s.  Prof. Johnson was an aide to Sen. Frank Church, chairman of the Select Committee.

    James Kirkwood, American Grotesque: An Account of the Clay Shaw–Jim Garrison Affair in the City of New Orleans (1970) This  account of Clay Shaw’s 1969 trial for conspiring to murder President Kennedy is, unfortunately, biased in favor of Shaw.  It must, therefore, in the words of James DiEugenio, “be read only with great caution.”  As DiEugenio points out, Kirkwood even absurdly equates the assistant district attorneys who prosecuted Shaw with the guards at Nazi concentration camps.  Kirkwood is so unfairly dismissive of District Attorney Jim Garrison’s investigation of the JFK assassination that he fails to mention the trial testimony of numerous assassination eyewitnesses whose observations contradicted the Warren Commission finding that all of the shots fired at the presidential motorcade came from the sixth floor of Texas School Book Depository (where Lee Harvey Oswald supposedly was).

    Michael L. Kurtz, Crime of the Century: The Kennedy Assassination From a Historian’s Perspective (1982) In Chapter 11, “Some Questions,” the author, a history professor at Southeastern Louisiana University who has done extensive research on Oswald’s stay in New Orleans in 1963, says that there is “much new evidence of Lee Harvey Oswald’s right-wing activities in New Orleans,” and is compelled to conclude that “all of Oswald’s known associations were with individuals of right-wing persuasion.”  In New Orleans, the author says, Oswald associated with right-wing extremists Guy Banister and David Ferrie, and the evidence “demonstrate[s] that Oswald’s public image as a pro-Castro Marxist was a facade masking the anti-Castro and anti-Communist agitator beneath.”

    Mark Lane, Plausible Denial: Was the CIA Involved in the Assassination of JFK? (1991) New York lawyer Mark Lane is one of the most respectable of the critics of the Warren Report, and his dazzling book Rush to Judgment (1966) was one of the earliest works to authoritatively point out major defects in the Warren Report’s findings and conclusions.  In Plausible Denial, Lane sets forth the case for believing that it was the CIA that assassinated Kennedy.  The CIA’s motive?  JFK planned not only to terminate American military involvement in Vietnam, but also, in light of the Bay of Pigs fiasco, to abolish the CIA in its entirety.  “If the CIA operatives, officers, and former officers believed that the defense of their Agency and their nation required the elimination of President Kennedy because he was about to dismantle their organization ... their concept of self-defense required them to use deadly force.”

    Jim Marrs, Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy (1989) In the section of Part III entitled “The Garrison Investigation,” the author  summarizes District Attorney Jim Garrison’s investigation of Oswald’s 1963 sojourn in New Orleans and concludes that Garrison “most probably will be remembered in the years to come as the one man who furthered knowledge of Kennedy’s assassination at a time when many Americans were accepting the lone-assassin theory.”  The evidence that Garrison acquired of an association between Oswald and David Ferrie is, in the view of the author, “credible.”

    Philip H. Melanson, Spy Saga: Lee Harvey Oswald and U.S. Intelligence (1990)  After exhaustively exploring Oswald’s life during the four years immediately preceding the Kennedy assassination, the author, a political science professor, concludes that Oswald was a U.S. intelligence agent and that “Oswald’s links to CIA-related persons, projects, and contexts appear far stronger than do those to any other U.S. intelligence agency.”  “Oswald is enigmatic because he spent so much of his life in the shadowy, compartmentalized world of U.S. intelligence, where deception is more the norm than the exception, where valid data is difficult to unearth. ... [Oswald] maintained a facade of leftism by his politically charged letters and solo public performances.  In contrast, his associations and contacts were decidedly right-wing and anti-communist.”  In Chapter 4, “The Mohair Marauder” (a reference to the hairless David Ferrie, who wore outlandish wigs), the author examines Oswald’s dealings with Ferrie and Guy Banister in New Orleans, and Ferrie and Banister’s CIA connections.  This book concludes: “We can begin to comprehend a great deal more about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy ... and about the nature of covert power and politics when we know the truth about Lee Harvey Oswald: U.S. intelligence-provocateur.”

    Joan Mellen, A Farewell to Justice: Jim Garrison, JFK’s Assassination, and the Case That Should Have Changed History (2005) This book, by a professor of English, is the most important recent book on Jim Garrison’s investigation, the criminal proceedings against Clay Shaw, and the activities of Lee Harvey Oswald while he was in Louisiana in 1963.  This book is extremely well documented; the end notes occupy 130 pages of text.

    John Newman, Oswald and the CIA (1995) In this book the author, a former military intelligence officer who has examined thousands of pages of declassified government documents, concludes that prior to the JFK assassination “American intelligence agencies were far more interested in Oswald than the public has been led to believe.”  Indeed, “we can say with some authority that the CIA was spawning a web of deception about Oswald weeks before the president’s murder.”  The “CIA had a keen operational interest in Lee Harvey Oswald from the day he defected to the Soviet Union in 1959 until the day he was murdered in the basement of the Dallas city jail.”  The author thinks that “the anomalies surrounding Oswald’s early CIA files encourage speculation about whether or not U.S. intelligence had a hand in Oswald’s defection [to the Soviet Union in 1959].  The author states: “The record of Oswald’s stay in New Orleans, May to September 1963, is replete with mistakes, coincidences, and other anomalies.... A surprising number of the characters in Oswald’s New Orleans episode turned out to be informants or contract agents of the CIA.”

    Peter Noyes, Legacy of Doubt (1973) This book cites official FBI and Secret Service reports, prepared within days of the JFK assassination, which mentioned a possible suspect, David Ferrie, and his alleged connections with Lee Harvey Oswald.  Although “it is a fact that Ferrie’s name figured in the investigation of the JFK assassination almost from the very beginning,” nonetheless “no major attempt was made by law-enforcement agencies to disprove the possibility that he had a relationship with Oswald.”

    L. Fletcher Prouty, JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy (1992) The author, a retired Air Force colonel, served during the Kennedy years as chief of special operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, coordinating military support for CIA clandestine operations.  He thinks that the JFK assassination was organized by America’s anonymous power elite and that the actual killing was committed by skilled professionals whose names will never be known.  The author reminds us that under the CIA’s Phoenix Program in Vietnam, administered by CIA agents, 60,000 persons were murdered.

    Oliver Stone and Zachary Sklar, JFK: The Book of the Film (1992) This book contains not only the screenplay of the Oliver Stone movie (which is based in part on Jim Garrison’s On the Trail of the Assassins), but also dozens of articles about the movie and Garrison’s investigation.  The book also includes declassified CIA document No. 1035-960, “Re: Concerning Criticism of the Warren Report,” which sets forth arguments to be used by CIA officials and CIA media assets to defend the Warren Report and respond to critics of the Warren Commission.  Among other things, this undated document states: “Oswald would not have been any sensible person’s choice for a co-conspirator.  He was a ‘loner,’ mixed up, of questionable reliability, and an unknown quantity to any professional intelligence service.”

    Anthony Summers, Conspiracy (1980) In Chapter 17, “Blind Man’s Bluff,” the author examines Lee Harvey Oswald’s dealings with Guy Banister and David Ferrie and thinks it likely that “Oswald was, while in New Orleans,  the tool of an anti-Castro intelligence operation.”  “The new information available suggests Banister drew Oswald into an American intelligence scheme, perhaps aimed at compromising the Fair Play for Cuba organization.”

    Harold Weisberg, Oswald in New Orleans: Case of Conspiracy With the CIA (1967) This, the third of the author’s nine authoritative books on the JFK assassination, focuses on Lee Harvey Oswald’s five month stay in New Orleans in 1963.  It details Oswald’s relationship with David Ferrie, who was, in the view of persons who knew him, “a dangerous individual capable of almost anything” and “a very dangerous psychopath.”  The book also outlines circumstantial evidence that Oswald was involved with the CIA.


Congressional Documents

    “Anti-Castro Activities and Organizations and Lee Harvey Oswald in New Orleans,” in Appendix to Hearings Before the Select Committee on Assassinations, U.S. House of Representatives, vol. 10, p. 1 (Mar. 1979)  Section 12 of this staff report by investigators for the Select Committee on Assassinations is entitled “David Ferrie” and includes the most comprehensive biography of Ferrie in print.  Ferrie, the report states, did research and investigative work for Guy Banister’s private detective firm beginning in 1962; Banister’s firm was located in an office building at 544 Camp Street in New Orleans, where Ferrie was frequently seen in 1963.  Ferrie also worked at this time for Carlos Marcello, an organized crime leader.  Within 24 hours of the JFK assassination, Jack Martin, a private investigator who worked for Banister, reported to New Orleans police that Ferrie might have been involved in the assassination. Shortly after the assassination, Ferrie made inquiries of several persons concerning Lee Harvey Oswald’s library card.  “Ferrie also talked with several former members of the Civil Air Patrol in an attempt to find out if any former cadets recalled Lee Harvey Oswald in Ferrie’s squadron.”

    Section 13 of the staff report, “544 Camp Street and Related Events,” relates that when Oswald was arrested by New Orleans police on Aug. 9, 1963 on disturbing the peace charges, police seized several pamphlets from Oswald, including a Fair Play for Cuba Committee pamphlet hand stamped by Oswald with the address “544 Camp Street.”  One of the offices in the building at that address was that of Guy Banister Associates.  Banister had a long-standing relationship with David Ferrie, and both were fervent anti-Communists and anti-Castroites.  Banister, Ferrie, and Jack Martin were steady customers in a coffee shop located in the building at 544 Camp Street.  According to the Select Committee, Banister did know who Oswald was, but it is unclear “what, if anything, was Banister’s relationship to Lee Harvey Oswald.”  Furthermore, the Select Committee “found evidence of a possible association between Ferrie and Oswald.”  “[T]here are several factors which explain why Ferrie and Oswald may have become closely associated, as improbable as this may seem.”  First, the two men “spent considerable time in the same locale.”  Ferrie frequently visited Banister’s office at 544 Camp Street; for several months Oswald worked one block away at a coffee company; and Oswald used 544 Camp Street as the address for his chapter of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee.  Second, Ferrie’s colleague, Guy Banister, knew of “Oswald’s pro-Castro leafletting.”  Third, “the testimony of witnesses from Clinton, La., placing Oswald and Ferrie together there in September 1963, may be credible.”  Fourth, supporting “the argument that Oswald and Ferrie were associated in 1963 is evidence of a prior association in 1955 when Ferrie was captain of a Civil Air Patrol squadron and Oswald a young cadet.”

    “The Evolution and Implications of the CIA-Sponsored Assassination Conspiracies Against Fidel Castro,” in Appendix to Hearings Before the Select Committee on Assassinations, U.S. House of Representatives, vol. 10, p. 147 (Mar. 1979) This staff report gives details of various CIA-Mafia assassination plots against Fidel Castro in the early 1960’s.

    Report of the Select Committee on Assassinations, U.S. House of Representatives (1979) Nine pages of this final report of the Select Committee which reinvestigated the JFK assassination in 1977-1978 are devoted to Lee Harvey Oswald’s 1963 sojourn in New Orleans.  Among other things, the Select Committee found: (1) there is credible evidence of links between Oswald and David Ferrie; (2) during the summer of 1963 Ferrie regularly visited Guy Banister’s private detective agency at 544 Camp Street, and Ferrie had “a working relationship with Banister;” and (3) there was credible evidence that Oswald was often seen in the coffee shop  at 544 Camp Street, and “there was at least a possibility that Oswald and Guy Banister were acquainted.”
    
    In other portions of the Report, the Select Committee, relying primarily on CIA records made available by the CIA and on statements of CIA officials, “found no evidence of any relationship between Oswald and the CIA” and concluded that “the CIA [was] not involved in the assassination.”  However, the Report also concluded that the CIA “was deficient in its collection and sharing of information both prior to and subsequent to the assassination.”  For example, “the CIA did not always respond to the [Warren] Commission’s broad request for relevant material.... [T]he CIA’s general position was that it should forward information to the Commission only in response to specific requests.... This ... interpretation of the Warren Commission investigation was too narrow in scope.”

       “The Investigation of the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy: Performance of the Intelligence Agencies,” Final Report of the U.S. Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations With Respect to Intelligence Activities, Book 5 (Apr. 23, 1975)  This Report reveals that the Select Committee “had developed evidence which impeaches the process by which the intelligence agencies arrived at their own conclusions about the assassination, and by which they provided information to the Warren Commission.”  The Report found that the CIA’s inquiry into the assassination “was deficient on the specific question of the significance of Oswald’s contacts with pro-Castro and anti-Castro groups.”  “Indeed, all the evidence suggests that the CIA investigation into any Cuban connection, whether pro-Castro or anti-Castro, was passive in nature.”  The Report also found that the CIA failed to inform the Warren Commission of the CIA’s assassination plots against Castro, of Mafia involvement in some of those plots, or of other CIA covert operations directed at Castro’s Cuba.  The Report concluded that “the CIA ... failed in, or avoided carrying out, certain of [its] responsibilities in this matter....  The evidence indicates that the investigation of the assassination was deficient and that facts which might have substantially affected the course of the investigation were not provided the Warren Commission ...”
 
    “Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders,” An Interim Report of the U.S. Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations With Respect to Intelligence Activities (Nov. 20, 1975) This Report of the Select Committee on Intelligence Activities explores CIA involvement in assassination plots in five foreign countries.  The five foreign leaders targeted were Fidel Castro (Cuba), Patrice Lumumba (Zaire), Rafael Trujillo (Dominican Republic), Rene Schneider (Chile), and
Ngo Dinh Diem (South Vietnam).  The Report does not examine CIA assassination plots against other foreign leaders or against lower-level foreigners.

    “Unauthorized Storage of Toxic Agents,” in Hearings of the U.S. Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations With Respect to Intelligence Activities, vol. 1 (Sept. 16, 17, and 18, 1975) These hearings  provided information concerning the various lethal biological and chemical substances which the CIA stored away in the 1960’s.  For example, it possessed 11 grams of shellfish toxin, enough to kill 14,000 people.

    “Mail Opening,” in Hearings of  the U.S. Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations With Respect to Intelligence Activities, vol. 5 (Oct. 21, 22, 1975) These hearings focused on an illegal CIA mail intercept program, in operation at the main post office in New York City from 1953 until 1973, under which the first class mail, sometimes even the registered mail, of Americans was, in violation of criminal laws, opened, examined, and sometimes photographed.  Under this program, code-named HTLINGUAL, over 215,000 letters were unlawfully opened and photographed.


Articles

Michael L. Kurtz, “Lee Harvey Oswald in New Orleans: A Reappraisal,” 21 Louisiana History 7 (1980) In this 16 page scholarly article, the author, a history professor, meticulously examines Lee Harvey Oswald’s activities in New Orleans in 1963.  “Oswald’s five-month stay in New Orleans in 1963 is the subject of much dispute and controversy.  The official Warren Commission version is that Oswald engaged in pro-Castro activities and disseminated Marxist propaganda.  The other version is that beneath the Marxian surface Oswald associated with and may have conspired with various right-wing organizations and individuals.”   “[The]  Warren Commission failed to investigate fully many of the New Orleans activities of Lee Harvey Oswald.”  It also “failed to investigate beneath the surface of Oswald’s New Orleans activities.”  While in New Orleans “Oswald listed the address of his Fair Play for Cuba Committee as 544 Camp Street.  This is the same building as the private detective offices of W. Guy Banister,” a “well-known leader of the right-wing extremist element in New Orleans.”  “Banister and Oswald were seen together on numerous occasions” and on several occasions “Oswald was seen entering Banister’s second floor office.”  “If Oswald was simply a pro-Castro Marxist, as the Warren Commission claimed, it is curious that he would have spent so much time in the company of Guy Banister.”  “Another New Orleans figure with whom Oswald associated was David William Ferrie, one of the central characters in the investigation into the assassination launched by District Attorney Jim Garrison.”  Ferrie “was very active in the anti-Castro  Cuban activities in New Orleans” and he and Oswald “were seen together several times in the summer of 1963.”  Furthermore, there is “some evidence linking [Clay] Shaw with Oswald,” and “four reliable witnesses did see Shaw and Oswald together in the small Louisiana town of Clinton in the later summer of 1963.” Additionally, “evidence strongly indicates that Oswald’s Fair Play for Cuba Committee was, in fact, a fraudulent organization” and that Oswald “made frequent contact with the anti-Castro elements in New Orleans.”  “The evidence demonstrates that Lee Harvey Oswald led a ‘double life’ in New Orleans.  On the one hand, he posed as a Marxian socialist and a fervent supporter of the Castro regime.  On the other hand, he associated with many people closely involved in segregationist and anti-Castro causes.”  The evidence “does not prove that Oswald was part of a conspiracy to assassinate the president.  It does, however, demonstrate that many questions about his stay in New Orleans remain unanswered.”

Max Holland, “Was Jim Garrison Duped?,” 36 New Orleans Magazine 1 (Feb. 2002) Holland, a journalist, is a true believer in the Warren Report and is the author of a book and perhaps half a dozen articles defending the Oswald-was-the-lone-assassin thesis.  [Editor’s Note: Prof. Wilkes’s review of Holland’s book, The Kennedy Assassination Tapes (2004), appeared in Flagpole on Dec. 1, 2004.]  In his New Orleans Magazine article, Holland repeats a false claim he made in a 2001 article (“The Lie That Linked CIA to the Kennedy Assassination”) which appeared in Studies in Intelligence, a CIA journal. Holland erroneously maintains in these two articles that, in the first place, Jim Garrison’s claim that Clay Shaw was a CIA operative was derived from a  disinformation campaign launched by the KGB, the Soviet Union’s secret police, and that, in the second place, Garrison’s linking of the CIA to the assassination was therefore entirely based on communist lies.  In fact, however, Garrison’s charges that the CIA was involved in the assassination antedated the particular KGB disinformation campaign Holland is referring to; moreover, there is no doubt that Garrison was right in asserting that Shaw worked for the CIA.  For a detailed refutation of Holland’s attacks on Garrison, see Joan Mellen, A Farewell to Justice: Jim Garrison, JFK’s Assassination, and the Case That Should Have Changed History 139-42 (2005).