Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Dick Russell on Veciana - Summer 1976

Dick Russell – From “On the Trail of the JFK Assassins” (Skyhorse Press, 2008)

Chapter 22. The Village Voice, August 14, 1978.

“This Man Is a Missing Link”

Early last week, the House Select Committee on Assassinations released photographs of four men, one a man named “Maurice Bishop.” 

The committee, which is about to begin open hearings into the possibility that President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., were victims of conspiracies, asked if anyone could identify either Bishop or the other three mystery figures it sought for questioning in the probe. I do not know Maurice Bishop, but I know someone who does….

Maurice Bishop is a more proved story. My knowledge of him begins in the summer of 1976 when, in the course of researching a book on the assassination, I spent a week in Miami’s Cuban exile community. One of the men I hoped to interview was Antonio Veciana, a founder of an anti-Castro group called Alpha 66. In the early 1960s – before Kennedys curtailed commando raids (to) Cuba – Veciana helped raise $100,000 to support such paramilitary attacks. Reportedly, he had also been involved in at least one assassination plot against Castro.

I found Veciana’s name in the telephone book and called him. He spoke halting English but agreed to meet me down-town across from the Trailways bus station. He was a stocky Cuban, about six feet tall, and he looked to be about 40. After an hour of small talk in a nearby grill, we drove to one of the big hotels along Miami Beach and found an isolated corner in the lobby. There, I learned that Schweiker’s staff was protecting him as its key witness. There, I learned too about Maurice Bishop.
Veciana had been president of a Havana accounting firm when Castro took over Cuba. Embittered by Castro’s turn towards Communism, he began to secretly raise funds for an anti-Castro uprising. 

Shortly thereafter, in 1960, he received a visit from the gentleman who called himself Maurice Bishop. It was to be the first of more than 100 meetings, in a relationship that would last 12 years.
Bishop, who stood about 6’2” and appeared about 45, dressed expensively and had sunspots below his eyes. He told Veciana he was part of an American intelligence service, but instructed him not to ask which one. He wanted to train Veciana to lead a group of anti-Castro Cubans in sabotage and psychological warfare inside Cuba. Another American, whom Veciana knew only as “Melton,” assisted with his instruction.

The initial strategy was to spread false rumors among the population about the economic instability of Castro’s regime – a CIA tactic later used against Salvador Allende in Chile. When this failed to create a stir, Bishop used Veciana to coordinate an assassination attempt. The first was scheduled as Castro prepared to introduce the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, but was cancelled when Bishop feared a violent Soviet reaction. 

The next was planned for October 1961 during a Castro speech, using a bazooka fired from a nearby rooftop. But Castro got wind of the plot and Veciana was forced to flee Cuba by boat. Bishop, who spoke French and possessed a fake passport from Belgium, stayed on undetected.

A month later in Miami, Bishop contacted Veciana again. Together they laid plans to form the group Alpha 66. Veciana traveled to New York, where he worked on another plan to eliminate Castro should he come to speak at the United Nations. Then, after the Cuban Missile Crisis, Veciana says that Bishop organized a series of commando attacks on Russian merchant ships in Cuban harbors. Bishop’s plan, he adds, was to force another confrontation.

“Bishop kept saying Kennedy would have to be forced to make a decision,” he remembers. “The only way was to put him up against the wall. Three ships were attacked in different ports of Cuba. The first one was a mistake in identity; it was a British ship. The other two were Russian. To further make Kennedy reach a point, we held a press conference in Washington to let him know about the commando groups. That was when Kennedy ordered that I be confined to Dade County, Florida.”
In response to the terrorist raids, the Justice Department restricted a number of Cuban exiles to Dade County in the spring of 1963. But that summer, Veciana’s meetings with Bishop resumed. In August, Bishop had him fly to Dallas.

“When I arrived there,” says Veciana, “Bishop had given me the address to a building, a bank or insurance company. Bishop was waiting there with a young guy, an American, and the three of us waked to a cafeteria. The young guy did not say one word. He was very quiet, very strange. When I take a cup of coffee, Bishop says to him, ‘I’ll meet you in two or three hours.’ Bishop and I then talked about the movement and our plans, but not when this guy was there. This was Lee Oswald. I didn’t know until November when I saw his picture. But this means Oswald was working with Bishop.”

“After the Kennedy assassination,” Veciana continues, “the FBI contacted me to ask several questions. At first I was worried but the agent who interviewed me said that it was a matter of routine, nothing important. I didn’t tell the agent anything, because I thought it would harm the movement.”

After the assassination, Veciana says he waited a year before going back to Dallas. “I never asked Bishop about Oswald,” he says, “because Bishop always told me that in this type of work, you just do things, you don’t ask.”

Then, early in 1964, Bishop himself raised the subject. Veciana’s cousin was then a leading official in Castro’s intelligence service. Many times, Bishop had beseeched Veciana to try to glean information from the cousin.

“Now Bishop asked me if I thought that by getting my cousin a considerable amount of money, would he say he’d talked to Oswald so make it appear that Oswald was working for Castro? Because of this, I asked Bishop if it was true that Oswald had been talking with Castro agents. Bishop said it did not matter if it was true, what was important was to get my cousin to make that statement.

“I always thought that getting Cuban agents to say Oswald was working for them was a cover for Bishop himself,” adds Veciana. “I always believed Bishop was working with Oswald during the assassination. About five months later, I brought up the topic about giving money to my cousin. Bishop said there was no need to talk about that plan any longer. He never brought up the topic again, and I never asked.” 

Over a year passed. With Kennedy’s death, the anti-Castro commando raids began to wind down too. Veciana worked to slowly infiltrate some of his people into Cuba and set up internal guerrilla warfare. He was in Los Angeles when Bishop asked for a rendezvous in Las Vegas.

Veciana then moved to Puerto Rico where, using the cover of a sports promoter, he worked for Bishop training people to infiltrate the local Communist movement. In 1968, he went on to Bolivia as a thirty-thousand-dollar-a-year banking specialist for the State Department. His other job was to destroy the image of the recently murdered Cuban leader Che Guevara. According to Veciana, three Cuban CIA agents had been involved in Guevara’s murder.

While in Bolivia, Veciana also sought to undermine the leftist government of Juan Torres. “I secretly started a campaign to inform the public that the coins would be devalued. There turned out to be a military coup (August 21, 1971). Torres fled to Argentina and was killed.” Veciana also maintains that Bishop twice tried to kill Bolivia’s Minister of the Interior, a Communist, but the man fled to Cuba. 

Veciana’s next project centered around Castro’s 1971 visit to the Marxist Allende government in Chile. “Once Allende was voted in, we knew Castro would go to Chile. A lot of the officers of the Chilean Army were very cooperative with me and Bishop. They knew everything, when Castro would arrive and where he was going to be. The plan was to have TV cameras with machine guns inside them. We had two agents ID’d as pressmen. All this was planned directly by Bishop.”

“Perhaps it was very similar to the Kennedy assassination. Because the person that Bishop assigned to kill Castro was going to get planted with papers to make it appear that he was a Moscow Castro agent and then he would himself be killed. So he would have been seen to be a traitor to Castro.”
“It never got off the ground. One of the agents had an appendicitis attack, and had to be rushed to the hospital. The other said he wouldn’t do it alone. We had all gone to Chile as diplomats, by car through Peru.”

After this, says Veciana, “A lot of differences began to come up. I was tired of waiting so long. So many lives being lost, and Castro still alive.”

“On July 24, 1973, the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) arrested me and accused me of trafficking in cocaine. Two days after the accusation, I was given my money. At the end of 15 years, they paid me. All Bishop had ever paid was traveling expenses, he said this was cumulative salary. Before I went to the Atlanta prison, I told Bishop what my family needed. After that Bishop never contacted me again. I do not know where he is now. But I am sure the trial was a set-up because of my previous activities. I was sentenced to seven years, paroled in 17 months – out very, very quickly. There the Senate started its investigating.”

A few months after our meeting, Schweiker’s people brought Veciana to Washington. He was taken secretly to a monthly meeting of the CIA’s Association of Retired Intelligence Officers, where it was hoped he might provide a positive identification of Maurice Bishop. Apparently, the House has now ruled out that possibility. Curiously, sources close to committee say that Veciana is not expected to be called to testify when the JFK hearings begin on September 6. 

At last report, Antonio Veciana still lives in Miami. Although I originally agreed not to use his name, he has since appeared on a TV documentary with a portion of his story.


If Maurice Bishop can be found, perhaps the tangled web that surrounds the Kennedy assassination and related events of the ‘60s may yet find its way into the history books. 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Grandmother is on the Roof - With David Atlee Phillips and "Maurice Bishop"



Grandmother is on the Roof - With David Atlee Phillips and "Maurice Bishop"

By William Kelly (billkelly3@gmail.com)

If David Atlee Phillips sent you a message that simply read: “Grandmother is on the roof,” you would know that something really important was up.

"Grandmother is on the roof" is the punchline to a joke David Phillips tells to emphasize the ability to recognize significant intelligence information before it becomes important or generally known.

As the joke goes, a new immigrant to America gets a letter from his brother at home saying his beloved cat went up on the roof, fell off and died. 

In response the immigrant writes home and tells his brother not to give him such bad information all at once, to break it down and give it to him gently - one fact at a time so it isn't such a sudden shock. The next letter he got from home simply said: "Grandmothers on the roof."

As Phillips explains it, "That's what you must look for - that one new piece of information, perhaps a single line in a report, some awareness which gives you a funny feeling at the back of the neck - the suspicion that suddenly becomes a conviction that something important is in motion, that grandmother is on the roof."

Joshua Thompson, a San Francisco private eye who wrote the books "Six Seconds in Dallas" and "Gumshoe," says that in the hundreds of cases he investigated there came a point where some significant piece of evidence was discovered that led to the resolution of the crime, except the Kennedy assassination.

Well I think we have come to that "Eureka" - "Grandmothers on the roof" moment that becomes a conviction, and it begins with adopting Bill Simpich's suggestion that the assassination of President Kennedy be viewed, referred to and investigated as an "operation" - a covert intelligence operation. 

According to the U.S. Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, a covert operation (also as CoveOps or covert ops) is "an operation that is so planned and executed as to conceal the identity of or permit plausible denial by the sponsor."

In addition, covert intelligence operations utilize clandestine tradecraft, including deceit, deception, disinformation and black propaganda to achieve their goals and accomplish their missions, but it is that very tradecraft that allows us to piece together the intelligence network responsible for the Dealey Plaza Operation.

It isn’t just my own research that is beginning to come together, I believe that the continuing works of Peter Dale Scott, John Newman, Bill Simpich, Larry Hancock and others are coming together, and reflect various aspects of the Dealey Plaza Operation, and we should have even more pieces to the puzzle with the release of the remaining sealed records come October. 

Just as Adele Edisen led us to Col. Jose Rivera (USAR), Anthony Summers reported on the Man on the Motorcycle in Mexico City (S.K.), Tony Veciana leads us to David Phillips and Phillips leads us to some of the answers to the Dealey Plaza enigma. 

Gaeton Fonzi inspired many young reporters to become journalists - investigative journalists in the mold he established but few people know who inspired Fonzi. That would be Philadelphia Magazine editor Alan Halpern, who took over the small office of the Greater Philadelphia Magazine put out by the chamber of commerce and made it into what is now known as a City Magazine. Halpern also edited Fonzi's Washingtonian Magazine article that Fonzi wrote while Phillips was also working for Washingtonian at the same time. 



[For more on Phillips see: Columbia Journalism Review: David Atlee Phillips: The Man Nobody Bothered to Call ]

And I agree, Fonzi should have made the attempt to question Phillips privately and on the record, but never tried. Fonzi made mistakes. He was very good but not perfect. 

I also resent Tracy Parnell's reference to Phillips' "bashers," or accusers, as I know Phillips was "Maurice Bishop," but don't believe he was the "mastermind" of the Dealey Plaza Operation, and was set up just as much as Oswald was. 

Tracy Parnell suggests that someone should write a more objective biography of Antonio Veciana to discredit him, and he believes CIA propaganda assets should write it. I say someone should write an in depth book about David Atlee Philips, as there are many outstanding issues that should be addressed and he has many of the answers. 

How did Fonzi get to Veciana? It began back in Dallas, where after the assassination Dallas Sheriff Bill Decker learned, apparently from his mother, that the accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald may have been seen with a group of Cubans at a house on Harlandale Avenue in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas, where Oswald lived, Tippit was murdered and Oswald was arrested.

The Cubans were reportedly associated with the anti-Castro Cuban group of violent terrorists known as Alpha 66, and one of the Cubans was arrested in Oklahoma and closely resembled Oswald, while another one was recorded giving a speech and threatening the life of the President before he arrived in Texas.

In 1975 Paul Hoch wrote a memo to the Rockefeller Commission calling attention to the fact that Sylvia Odio’s parents were arrested because of a failed attempt to kill Castro, that Antonio Veciana was involved in, and in 1976 he (co-wrote with George O’Toole) an article in the Saturday Evening Post that mentioned the Alpha 66 house in Oak Cliff.

[ Saturday Eventing Post article: http://jfk.hood.edu/Collection/Weisberg%20Subject%20Index%20Files/O%20Disk/Odio%20Sylvia/Item%2008.pdf ]

Shortly after the publication of that article Congressional investigator Gaeton Fonzi visited Alpha 66 founder Antoinio Veciana at his home in Florida and questioned him about the Alpha 66 house in Oak Cliff.

Veciana said no, he did not know the people mentioned in the article “And I never saw Oswald at the house where we met.”

Fonzi said, “I was taken back that Veciana should mention Oswald at all,….I was jotting that down in my notebook and was not looking at him, but I heard him continue,…”

“But I remember once meeting Lee Harvey Oswald.”

As Fonzi would relate, “It was the absolutely coincidental and credible way it came up, the manner in which the interview had developed, which so stunned me. First impressions are inherently circumstantial judgements, but I had no doubt then – and have none now – that Veciana was simply and truthfully revealing what he knew.”

While some people doubt the story that Veciana was introduced to Oswald by his spymaster Maurice Bishop in the lobby of the Southland Center in Dallas on the first Saturday in September, 1963, Anthony Summers independently confirmed the existence of “Maurice Bishop” and Summers believes how Veciana was convinced to give him that lead is equally important.

In the early wake of the Bishop-Philips story, two U.K. journalists Anthony Summers and David Leigh were covering the HSCA but Leigh’s story was never published by Ben Bradlee.

Summers did write about it in his book “Night In Your Lifetime.”

As Summers now recalls, “Several interviews into my sessions with Veciana, I decided to go for broke and risk making him angry. I had repeatedly asked him for any detail that might confirm that the name used by his contact had been ‘Bishop’. Late one night, I told him flat out that others - including me - would have to conclude that he was lying (about the pseudonym ‘Bishop’). When I said that, Veciana briefly looked angry, then heistated, then said ‘Come with me’. He led me up to a sort of half-landing with an access door to an area you might call a loft - boxes and suitcases strewn about. After some effort, he then found what I recall as an old shoebox, filled with scraps of paper and business card, He rifled through the box, then finally located what he was looking for. It bore the name and phone number of a woman working in Puerto Rico and told me to follow up if I could.”

    “If I correctly recall, he had never given this woman's name to Gaeton - and I don't think I then or ever shared it with Gaeton.”

“I flew as soon as I possibly could from Miami to Puerto Rico - it may have been the following morning. On arrival at the woman's office there - the Labor Department I think - I did not announce myself, just talked with the receptionist, found out when staff left for lunch, and waited about. Prompted by me, the receptionist pointed out the relevant woman amongst the crowd as they left the building. I told her at once of the interest. She looked briefly puzzled, then said with apparently spontenous puzzlement and surprise, ‘Oh, Antonio, Antonio.....’ Then, over coffee, she responded as reported in "Not In Your Lifetime" (on pp. 529 to 530) which led me to Prewett. Prewett, as I also reported - just short of libeling her - turned out to be transparently lying...”

In Chapter 25 (p. 529) of Anthony Summers’ Not In Your Lifetime, and update of his previously published book Conspiracy, he writes an Afterword: The Continuing Search for “Maurice Bishop.”

“There was no systematic interrogations of relevant CIA officers who might have further confirmed the use of the name ‘Bishop.’ The Committee failed to follow up on a key lead provided by Veciana – the identity of a prominent Cuban who may have originally proposed Veciana to ‘Bishop’ as a promising candidate for CIA recruitment. The Cuban’s name was known to the Committee, and is known to this author. Other leads received cursory treatment.”

“The Committee never tried to trace a vital witness whose name was provided by Veciana months before the Committee wound up its inquiry. Veciana had spoken, from the start, of a go-between whom he had used during his association with ‘Bishop.’ He explained that, in line with intelligence tradecraft, ‘Bishop’ had always initiated their clandestine meetings, either by telephoning direct, or through a third person who always knew how to reach Veciana. Veciana was long reluctant to identify his third party, but finally did so – providing an odd, invalid address in Puerto Rico. In 1980 I did follow up on the lead, and tracked down the Veciana – ‘Bishop’ go-between. This proved to be the first independent corroboration that Veciana really was in touch with someone called ‘Bishop.’”

“The person who helped arrange meetings between ‘Bishop’ and Veciana was a women, a prim grandmother in her fifties, who works as a minor functionary in a U.S. government administrative department. She has requested anonymity, and will be identified here only as ‘Fabiola,’ a Cuban exile who left Havana in the autumn 1961. She worked, until that year, as Veciana’s secretary at the Banco Financiero, and was there at the time Veciana claims he was recruited by ‘Bishop.’ While she says Veciana never mentioned a CIA contact, Fabiola recalls details which fit his story. She recalls a time when Veciana started going to ‘language courses’ in the evenings. Veciana, in his earliest interviews, spoke of attending nightly U.S. intelligence briefings in an office building which housed, on the first floor, the Berlitz School of Languages. Fabiola says she did become aware that Veciana was involved in subversive activities. He once produced the huge sum of a half a million dollars, which he asked her to safeguard until he retrieved it…”

“He asked her to act as an answering service for him when he was traveling, and in the months to come Fabiola became familiar with the name of a caller from the mainland United States. The name was ‘Bishop.’ When I interviewed Fabiola I threw out a number of names, including that of ‘Bishop.’ ‘Bishop’ was the only name to which she responded, and it stirred in her the memory of another name. ‘Bishop’ is firmly linked in Fabiola’s mind with a second person – ‘Prewett.’ For her the two names are so definitely associated that at first she had difficulty remembering which was which. 
Fabiola says both individuals telephoned Veciana over the same period, and she understood that they were associated with one another. She believed both ‘Bishop’ and ‘Prewett’ were connected with an American news publication, based on the East Coast. Finally, she recalls that ‘Prewett’ was female.”

“A check of American press directories turned up Virginia Prewett, a Washington journalist who has specialized in Latin American affairs all her life. She has written extensively about the struggle between Fidel Castro, whom she characterizes as a ‘betrayer,’ and the Cuban exiles, whom she describes as ‘patriots.’ In the summer of 1963 Prewett attended a conference on Cuba co-sponsored by Freedom House and the Citizen’s Committee for a Free Cuba. Her report on the conference, later inserted in the Congressional Record, began by quoting a call by Freedom House ‘to remove both Fidel Castro and the Soviet presence from Cuba without delay.’ For many years, Prewett wrote for the North American Newspaper Alliance (NANA), a syndication organization founded by Prewett’s friend Ernest Cuneo, also a member of the Committee for a Free Cuba….”

“In spring 1963, seven months before the Kennedy assassination, Prewett was assailing the administration for its opposition to the raids mounted against Cuba by Antonio Veciana’s Alpha 66 guerrillas. On April 2, in the Washington Daily News, Prewett lambasted a Kennedy spokesman who had ‘called the daring and gallant Alpha 66 raids on Cuba irresponsible acts.’ Prewett called this ‘an all-time low in pronouncement of U.S. foreign policy,’ and mocked the notion that ‘unless we stop the Alpha 66 raids against Communist Cuba, there’ll be nuclear conflict.’ Three weeks later, after President Kennedy ordered strong measures against would-be exile raiders, Prewett rushed to support the exile leadership and berated the Kennedy White House for assuming it had ‘carte blanche to create a foreign policy outside the nation’s popular consent.’ These Prewett articles were read into the Congressional Record.”

“The Alpha 66 raids, which so embarrassed President Kennedy and which pleased Virginia Prewett, were the very attacks which – according to Alpha 66 leader Veciana – were carried out on specific instructions from CIA officer ‘Maurice Bishop.’ As Veciana tells it, ‘Bishop’s’ intention was to cause further trouble between Kennedy and Russia – within months of the Missile Crisis which had brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. His purpose was ‘to put Kennedy against the wall in order to force him to make decisions that will remove Castro’s regime.’”

In the company of a Washington Post reporter (David Leigh), I talked to Virginia Prewett in 1980. She agreed that she had contact with Alpha 66 in the early sixties, and accepted that Alpha 66 was ‘probably ‘ backed by the CIA – even if its leaders were not formally told so. Prewett made it clear she was once familiar with the work of the group’s leader, Veciana, and asked, ‘Where is he now?’”

“Later in the interview, however, she said she had never met Veciana. Veciana, for his part, says he did know Prewett, and refers to her as ‘Virginia.’ He assets he met her at her hotel in Puerto Rico more than once, and ‘probably’ in Washington.’ When the name ‘Bishop’ was first raised with Prewett, in the context of the CIA and Cuba, she said, ‘Well, you had to move around people like that.’”

“When the name came up again, she said, ‘I didn’t personally know him,’ and later, in response to a direct question, she said she did not know ‘Bishop.’ Prewett also said she had never met David Phillips. Phillips – asked about Prewett – contradicts her. He says he once knew Prewett quite well, specifically recalling meetings in the Dominican Republic.”

Virginia Prewett, a Washington journalist for the North American Newspaper Alliance (NANA) had indeed covered Alpha 66 activities, stories that were inserted into the Congressional Record.

It's also worth noting that NANA was a hotbed of spy babes - including Inga Avid - the beauty queen JFK dated when he was assigned an office job with ONI, Cord Meyer's wife Mary Meyer, Lucianne Goldberg of Monica Lewinsky fame, and Priscilla Johnson when she interviewed Oswald in Moscow. 

For some time NANA was owned by two former OSS officers Ivor Bryce and Ernest Cuneo, who hired Ian Fleming, the former assistant to the Chief of British Naval Intelligence and author of the celebrated James Bond novels. And NANA was used as their personnel international intelligence network. 

So Veciana leads us to "Maurice Bishop," who we identify as David Atlee Phillips, and Veciana's secretary leads Summers to Virginia Prewett and the hotbed of NANA correspondents and spies. 

 As Summers says, “What I am here trying to get over is that Veciana's reaction to my suggestion that he was lying seemed - and in memory still seems - so spontaneous and genuine. And ‘Fabiola's’ was too....”

As Anthony Summers concludes in his book“Few can now doubt that there was a ‘Maurice Bishop,’ and that he manipulated Veciana for a U.S. intelligence agency over many years. Veciana’s allegations about ‘Bishop’ in connection with the Kennedy case remains just that – allegations. They are, however, deeply troubling. It is of great importance that ‘Bishop’ be unmasked and investigated – with all due consideration for the national security….It is getting late, but if the American people are ever to put the Kennedy assassination behind them, this – like other serious issues in the case – must be resolved.”

Now let them be resolved. 

If Phillips met Oswald in Dallas in September of 1963 they must have met previously.
For starters, exactly where - what street address and neighborhood in Fort Worth did the Phillips family live? Phillips' and Oswald's paths crossed in Fort Worth and there might be an early, unknown association even though they were there at different times.

Oswald knew the Bobby and Billy Hale twins at Arlington high school in Fort Worth years before the twins broke into Judith Campbell's apartment while being observed by an FBI stakeout team and their mother arranged for Oswald to get jobs through the Texas Employment Commission.

Priscilla Johnson knew Cord Meyer as her next door neighbor before she joined Meyers'World Federalists, applied for a job at CIA and worked as a reporter for NANA in Moscow. 

So was there a social connection between Philips and Oswald in Fort Worth when Oswald was living there, and if not, where and how did they meet?

In his book on Careers in Intelligence Phillips encourages people to seek jobs in intelligence in response to the media's negative criticism in the mid-1970s. Among the tidbits he notes is that a college degree isn't necessary as he rose to the third highest position in the CIA without one.
He also outlines the lingo and attributes of a good case officer. 


There is the question of whether Phillips was a rogue officer or if his operations were approved by "higher authority," as they say.

In that regard, to compare approved and rogue operations we have the Huma Bunker raid and the anti-Castro Cuban training camps in New Orleans in the spring of 1961, shortly before the Bay of Pigs and the OAS assassination attempt on DeGaul.

There was the unapproved training camp at William McLaney's Lacome farm, run by Richrd R. Davis, Jr. and Gus J. LaBarre with the MDC, where Cubans from Florida arrived and left by Greyhound bus, and then you have the officially approved CIA training camp at the closed Belle Chasse Naval Air Station. 

When Jim Garrison called attention to these training sites Phillips put together an internal CIA memo that explained that the McLaney camp was not approved while Belle Chasse was.


Phillips wrote how the 300 Cubans were taken to the approved camp in buses with blacked out windows so they didn't know where they were, but were observed by a Castro spy Orlando Piedra, a former Batista policeman.

Around the same time David Ferrie and friends raided the Houma munitions bunker and removed weapons and explosives they took to Banister's office.


That this mission included an ex-Marine who dry fired his rifle and threw sticks of lit dynamite from the moving truck precludes the New Orleans contingent from being responsible for the Dealey Plaza Operation. The Dealey Plaza Operation was a precise and successful military style attack on a moving motorcade that took out a HPT - high priority target - the President of the United States. It wasn't just a plot carried out by rogue operatives, it was a well laid out plan successfully carried out.
And it was closely connected to Cuban operations.

The National Security Council approved a number of violent maritime attacks against strategic industrial targets in Cuba, like those conducted by the CIA raider ship Rex. But the Alpha 66 raids against Soviet ships in Havana harbor were not approved. 

Nevertheless ONI was interested in debriefing the Alpha 66 frogmen who attacked a Soviet ship to learn what countermeasures the Russians had, an important point in light of the Buster Crabb incident in which Crabb disappeared and was probably killed while inspecting Khrushchev’s ship while he was in London. 


After the Bay of Pigs all CIA para-military activities were given to the military, primarily the Army, as we have seen with the assignment of US Army Rangers Bradley Ayers and Captain Roderick to the CIA at JMWAVE. While Ayers trained a commando team in the Everglades in small boat maneuverings and small arms tactics and explosives, Roderick trained another team as snipers at Point Mary, off Key Largo. Ayers said his team was led by a Cuban named Julio Fernandez, and details some of their exploits aboard the CIA radar ship Rex, while Roderick's team was financially supported and led by Army "Colonel" Rosselli - John Rosselli, a close personal friend of William Harvey, his one-time case officer. 

Because Ayers and Roderick were US Army Rangers and not official CIA, they never signed a security oath, and thus Ayers was free to write a book about his work at JMWAVE, which he did - The War that Never Was," published by Bobbs Merrell, a company that hired William Harvey when he left the CIA, and one that maintained offices on the fourth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. 

In the same vein we have the Army Intelligence (ACSI)  monitoring the officially unauthorized activities of Alpha 66, an active paramilitary group they could also have been supporting.

PATHFINDER 

If the Dealey Plaza Operation was the same as one planned to kill Castro as he rode in an open Jeep, then the Pathfinder contingency plan fits the bill, though it was officially "disapproved" by higher authority, and the same plan was used at Dealey Plaza to kill the higher authority.

According to NPIC - National Photo Interpretation Center technicians, Pathfinder records were kept, not in the regular JMWAVE files but in the NPIC area, where NPIC provided pictures of the area around the Xanadu DuPont estate where the sniper attack was planned to take place. We wouldn't even know about the Pathfinder records if the NPIC techs didn't tell the ARRB about them.

Phillips called his novel The AMLASH Legacy, and that would be Rolando Cubella (AMLASH). He just happened to live nearby and his house was to be used as the staging area for the snipers, just as Veciana's mother in law leased the apartment used by the bazooka team, and the TSBD was in Dallas.
Pathfinder also included a patsy and the psych war twist to blame the assassination of Castro on Soviet Communists, ala Plan Centaur in Chile.

Besides David Philips promoting the false idea that Castro was behind the Dallas operation, as he tried to do with the Nicaraguan agent Gilberto Alvarado and Veciana's cousin, his media assets were all over Dealey Plaza.

DAVID PHILLIPS AT DEALEY PLAZA

Before he killed the accused assassin, Jack Ruby called the unlisted phone number of Phillips good friend Gordon McLendon, who owned a radio station Ruby visited, and arranged a telephone interviews from Dallas City Hall as if he was working for them. 

And another one of Philips' main media assets was very busy on the day of the assassination pushing the communist angle.

Joseph Goulden had attended the University of Texas and had attended the US Army's Intelligence school at Fort Holabird, Maryland, where the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) that Oswald was a part of, planned to send select recruits to be taught ‘the Russian language, Russian military tactics, Russian politics, and all characteristics of the Russian people…” – something that Oswald actually did.


At the time Goulden was working as the Washington bureau chief for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
On the day of the assassination was pestering assistant Dallas District Attorney Bill Alexander about the wording of the indictment. Alexander was preparing to charge Oswald with the murder of JFK "in furtherance of a Communist conspiracy."

When LBJ was told that was being broadcast on the radio news, he had his top aide Cliff Carter call Texas officials to tell them to drop the communist conspiracy crap as it would lead to WW3.

Goulden later, with other reporters, concocted the bogus story Oswald was an FBI informant, making up a number that made it sound real.

Goulden was also a good friend of Philips, became executor of his estate and now controls Phillips' personal papers.


SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE (SHNS) NETWORK

Besides NANA, the Scripps Howard News Service (SHNS) was another media asset utilized as a black propaganda outlet, not only for the CIA but NSA as well. 

I said to myself: "Grandmother is on the roof!" when I read the screaming banner headline: "Castro Plot to murder Reagan" in the Philadelphia Daily News a few weeks before John Hinkley tried to kill the President.


It is a classic black propaganda item that continues the psychwar operation to blame the Dealey Plaza operation on Castro Cuban Commies, an operation that continues today with Brian Letrell, Phil Shenon and Bob Baer.  

That the SHNS was connected to the CIA was something Dallas SHNS reporter Seth Kantor discovered when he learned his notes from Dallas of November 22nd were still classified in the 1970s, including his phone records. When he obtained them through a FOIA request, he learned that the key call was made from Parkland Hospital to Miami, Florida, where he talked to fellow SHNS reporter Hal Hendrix. Hendrix in Florida gave Kantor in Dallas deep background information on Oswald, who had just been arrested as a suspect in the murder of Tippit. How did Hendrix know more about Oswald in Florida than the reporters in Dallas?

Hendrix was known as “the Spook” because of his uncanny intelligence connections that helped him win a Pulitzer Prize, and former CIA officer Frank Terpil lived with his daughter.

JIM HOUGAN – FRANK TERPIL – MAURICE BISHOP & DAVID ATLEE PHILLIPS

In 1982 Jim Hougan, the Washington Correspondent for Harpers Magazine, arranged for a documentary TV interview with former CIA fugitive Frank Terpil, who after serving as a CIA officer with Ed Wilson, began to freelance out his intelligence services to African dictators like Gadafi and Idia Amin. Terpil trusted Hougan however, and talked to him on camera that was broadcast as “Confessions of a Dangerous Man.”

Both Wilson and Terpil are certifiably “Rogue” CIA agents.

As Lisa Pease wrote in Probe: “Hougan got to know Terpil rather well while making a PBS documentary about him. In a tape-recorded interview, Hougan asked why Terpil was going on and on about David Phillips and the AFIO. Among other things, Terpil alleged (as have others) that Phillips' "retirement" from the CIA was phony, and that he continued to work for the CIA through the AFIO. Hougan asked Terpil why he kept talking about Phillips-was it personal, or political? Political, Terpil replied.” 

“Hougan asked where Terpil and Phillips had met. Terpil's answer is astonishing, and terribly important. Terpil had met him in Florida while living there with Hal Hendrix's daughter. Really?”
“Asked Hougan. Yeah, said Terpil, Phillips used to come around with Hal Hendrix, but he wasn't using his real name. He was using an alias. What alias? Bishop, Terpil said, Something Bishop. Maurice Bishop? Hougan asked. Yeah, Terpil replied, Maurice Bishop.”

“Hougan wanted to be sure Terpil wasn't putting him on, but came away convinced that Terpil did not understand the significance of what he was saying and that Terpil was answering honestly. Hougan asked how Terpil knew Bishop was Phillips. Terpil said he had run Bishop through the agency's file system in the CIA's Miami headquarters to find out who this Bishop character was. The name that came out: David Atlee Phillips.”

When Probe asked Hougan about this incident, he responded, "Now, in my opinion, Terpil was telling the truth about this-because, frankly, the subject of David Phillips' background and alias would never have come up if I hadn't grown irritated with Terpil's constant kvetching about the AFIO." 

As Cord Meyer explained about Watergate, “On the evening of Saturday, June 17, 1972, CIA Director Richard Helms received a phone call at his home from his chief of security, Howard Osborn, a call whose consequences were to have a drastic effect on his career and on the Agency he headed, although at the time he had no way of foreseeing what was in store. Osborn reported that the men involved in the Watergate burglary of the Democratic National Headquarters the night before had been identified. Two of them, Howard Hunt and James McCord, proved to be ex-CIA staff employees, and the Cuban Americans had past associations with the Agency related to the Bay of Pigs.....A file check showed that Eugenio Martinez, one of the five who broke into the Watergate, had been employed as a contract capacity with the Agency in the mid-1960s in Cuban operations and was still employed on a part-time basis by the CIA station in Miami on a $100-a-month retainer as an informant on Cuban exile activities….”

As Meyer explains, “Accurate and extensive biographic records maintained over a period of many years are the indispensable institutional memory of any competent intelligence service. Without such records, the Agency would be at the mercy of hostile intelligence services in the same way that a man suffering from amnesia is easy prey for the first confidence man who comes along.”

“In the long run, the true test of an agent's reliability is the accuracy and significance of the secret information that he is able to produce when checked against observable events and collateral evidence.....”


And in that sense Antonio Veciana passes the test, and with the information he provides us, we can say, "Grandmother is on the roof!," know that we are on to something, and that it will soon become a major story - the Assassination of President Kennedy resolved.  


POSTSCRIPT - 

After 9/11 - I wondered if there was a "Grandmother is on the roof!" moment that was missed, and so I picked up a copy of the morning newspaper for that Tuesday, September 11, 2001 and it seemed like all was well with the world, with no mention of the tragedy that struck later that day. But there, deep in the back of the first section - was a small - one column news item datelined Afghanistan - "Leader of Northern Alliance Assassinated." The story indicated the Taliban had killed the leader of the alliance against them by sending two suicide bombers disguised as a TV news crew - exactly the plan that "Maurice Bishop"/David Phillips and Antonio Veciana had devised to kill Castro in Chile, that backfired against them as Plan Centaur. That assassination of the leader of the Northern Alliance should have set off alarms and beefed up security world wide - as it was a preliminary move before the major strike the next day in New York City.