The Anti-Latell Report Reply

By Arnaldo M. Fernandez, OpEdNews.com

Jim DiEugenio has coined the term Shenonism for a deceitful tactic used by former NYT investigative reporter Philip Shenon to tell his “secret history of the Kennedy assassination.” Shenon presents old things as new and conveys them to the reader as important issues that the Warren Commission (WC) should have known about.

That’s exactly what former CIA analyst Dr. Brian Latell had done in Castro’s Secrets (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, 2013) for involving Fidel Castro in the JFK death through a “conspiracy of silence[:] Fidel knew Oswald’s intentions to shoot President Kennedy and did nothing to deter the act” (page 247).

Thus, Dr. Latell supports the WC report of a lone gunman who shot a magic bullet with the oldest CIA backstop: Castro was somehow behind Oswald.

That’s exactly what Shenon did in A Cruel and Shocking Act (Henry Holt and Co., 2013). He dug up Mexican writer Elena Garro’s long-ago debunked story on Oswald at a “twist party” in Mexico City, and twisted that party into the occasion seized by Sylvia Duran, allegedly an agent of Castro’s General Directorate of Intelligence (DGI), for putting Oswald up to kill Kennedy (page 556).

The paperback edition of Castro’s Secrets (2013) changed the subtitle from The CIA and Cuba’s Intelligence Machine to Cuban Intelligence, the CIA, and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy. Dr. Latell’s purpose-built stage allowed for more JFK walking dead, like U.S. Ambassador Thomas Mann, who believed even “that the DGI used Oswald’s hotel [in Mexico City] foe intelligence purposes,” although no shred of evidence was ever found.

Latellism is the lightest version of “Castro did it” as “Castro knew it.” Such an uncommon nonsense thrives on claques of both people who cannot think logically for many reasons and people who will not think logically because they have a fanatical anti-Castro agenda. Beneath a scholarly veneer: the “indicators of Cuban regimen deception –and apparent DGI engagement with Oswald– have never been properly evaluated” (page xiii), Dr. Latell performs a media gag in six acts:

*The Oswald’s contacts with Los Angeles Cuban Consulate were overlooked by the FBI and the WC
*The CIA did not inform the WC of Luisa Calderon’s November 22,1963 phone conversation
*Cuban defector Vladimir Rodriguez-Lahera’s [AMMUG-1] knowledge that Castro had lied apparently was not shared with the WC
*Cuban consul Alfredo Mirabal-Daz’s incriminating error before the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) went unnoticed
*In June 1964 FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover submitted a report that minimized and distorted the meaning of the Operation SOLO information acquired from Castro
*Cuban defector Florentino Aspillaga’s story was not publicly revealed until the initial publication of Dr. Latell’s book (2012)

The more “findings” Dr. Latell uses for tying Oswald to DGI, the lesser good reasons are left for explaining why he was missed as a security risk before the JFK assassination, unless the CIA were plotting with Castro. However, Dr. Latell’s itemized scheme is an intellectual breakthrough. It outlines how to disprove his intellectually destitute conspiracy theory:

*Oswald’s contacts with the Cuban Consulate in L.A. were irrelevant
*Calderón’s phone conversation is not a piece of evidence in any way

Article continues here: The Anti-Latell Report

Rolando Cubela: A Castro Agent? Reply

By Arnaldo M. Fernandez (about the author)

The outstanding e-book State Secret, by Bill Simpich, concurs with the scholarly destitute paperback edition of Castro’s Secrets (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), by Dr. Brian Latell, in deeming CIA agent Rolando Cubela (AMLASH-1) as a double agent ultimately loyal to Castro.

The CIA operation AMLASH (1961-65) began by simply recruiting Cubela, but turned into a plot to kill Castro. It would be twisted in a manner that Senator Robert Morgan (D/N.C.) summed up as follows: “JFK was assassinated by Fidel Castro or someone under his influence in retaliation for our efforts to assassinate him [and] this fellow [Cubela] was nothing but a double agent.”

The retaliation hypothesis is neither logically nor circumstantially justified. Castro knew that risking everything to kill a sitting U.S. President would result in gaining nothing else than another U.S. President. And even declassified files in Eastern Europe show that he considered Kennedy the best option among the possible U.S. presidents emerging from the 1964 elections.

Moreover, in 1984 Castro knew about an extreme right-wing conspiracy to kill the worst U.S. president for him, Ronald Reagan. The Castroit General Directorate of Intelligence (DGI) furnished the intel to the U.S. Security Chief at United Nations, Robert Muller, and the FBI proceeded to dismantle the plot in North Carolina.

The plain fact is that Castro dodged the efforts to assassinate him by penetrating the Cuban exile and the CIA with DGI agents who told him right back what his enemies were up to. And he cautiously made no distinction. Long before the AMLASH plot, Castro assumed that the CIA stood behind any anti-Castro deed.

That’s why Simpich is wrong by embracing Dr. Latell and asserting that only when the CIA cut all ties with Cubela, “only then did Castro arrest [him], have him tried on disloyalty charges unrelated to his CIA activities, and give him a jail sentence that was combined with big freedoms.”

The Cubela Criminal Case

On March 1, 1966, the Cuban official newspaper Granma broke the news that Rolando Cubela and Ramon Guin had been arrested “due to counterrevolutionary activities in connection with the CIA.” The coverage followed with a communiqué of the Interior Ministry: “The traitors Cubela and Guin were plotting an attempt against Fidel” (March 5), the announcement of their confession (March 8), the trial (March 9 and 10), and the sentence (March 11).

Article continues here: Rolando Cubela: A Castro Agent?

Néstor García Iturbe: A Castroit Brian Latell 1

By Miguel Fernandez

Retired Colonel Néstor García Iturbe has launched a theory on the Kennedy assassination in the leftwing blogosphere. The hard core argument is that the assasination was a plot by the CIA and the Pentagon with some carefully selected members of the anti-Castro groups. However, García Iturbe moves away from the Castroit official line by asserting that Lee Harvey Oswald was a case of “false flag” recruitment. Oswald would have been recruited “for Cuba” by an FBI agent, who had infiltrated the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC). Oswald was actually used as decoy in the assassination, but he aimed his rifle on the belief he was working for Castro. Thus, ex-DGI spymaster García Iturbe concurs with the view of ex-CIA desk analyst Brian Latell, who wrote in Castro´s Secrets (2013) that intelligence officers were winding Oswald up at the Cuban Consulate in México City and turned him into “a fully primed soldier of Fidel” (page 227).

False Flag

García Iturbe seems to be unaware of the classic article “Leftist Lee at Work” (The Third Decade, Vol. 2, No. 5, July 1986, pp. 1-6), where Philp H. Malenson demonstrated that Oswald was working against FPCC, id est, against the very flag under which he had been recruited. For instance, Oswald engaged in a radio debate (“Conversation Carte Blanche,” WDSU, New Orleans, August 21, 1963) versus Cuban exile Carlos Bringuier and American anticommunist militant Ed Butler on the U.S. policy toward Cuba. They revealed Oswald’s defection to the Soviet Union in 1959, but Oswald replied that FPCC had absolutely nothing to do either with the URSS or the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA). This message was repeatedly delivered by Oswald, who also exaggerated his one-man FPCC chapter in New Orleans. On August 28, Oswald wrote to the CPUSA asking for advice “upon a problem of personal tactics:” whether or not to go underground. He established on paper the very linkage he had denied on the air: “Frankly, I have used my position [in the FPCC] to foster communist ideals.” He never informed the FPCC he had placed such a risky paper-trial linkage (Commission Exhibit 1145) tying the pro Castro group to the CPSUA and, through his background as re-defector, to Moscow.

Crass Ignorance

García Iturbe thinks the job Oswald got at the Texas Book School Book Depository (TSBD), facing Dealey Plaza in Dallas, “deserves an analysis.” From his very first question emerges he does not know what he is talking about: “¿Who provided this job to Oswald?” On August 25, 2013, C-SPAN3 broadcasted an interview with Buell Wesley Frazier, the co-worker who gave Oswald the last lift to the TBSD. Frazier reiterated some well-known data available in the Mary Ferrell Chronologies, apparently an alien bibliography for García Iturbe.

Since September 23, 1963, Oswald´s wife had moved with her friend Ruth Paine to Irving, around 21 kilometers of Dallas, for the birth of her second baby. On October 14, Marina and Ruth went to a neighbor´s house (Mrs. Roberts) for coffee. Another neighbor, Linnie Randle, was there. When Paine mentioned that Oswald was looking for work, Randle said there might be a job opening at TBSD, because her brother Frazier had been hired a month ago. Pain called the TBSD and talked with Superintendent Roy Truly, who told her to have Oswald make an application. Paine immediately called Oswald. The next day he went to the TBSD and got a job for $10 daily, from 8 AM a 4:45 PM, with 12 to 12:45 PM for lunch.

García Iturbe confirms his lack of knowledge with this tirade: “What a coincidence that the TBSD was located precisely at a street on the route of the presidential motorcade! Who knew it would go along this street by that time? Usually this is a ‘Top Secret’ in order to protect the President; however, Oswald had foreknowledge and could get his rifle inside the bulding.” García Iturbe has not got even a clue about the fact that all the people in Dallas must know in advance the route of the motorcade for greeting the President on the streets. Both The Dallas Morning News and The Dallas Times Herald described it in detail on November 19, 1963. The latter even ran a large map of the motorcade route in the evening edition of November 21.

Coda

As Dr. Latell, García Iturbe tries to connect the dots for making theories, but the crux of the matter is finding facts instead of bringing more factoids, like Oswald being recruited under a “false flag” by the FBI or having not a single unforeseen incident during the days prior to the assassination.

Castro-Oswald-Kennedy: Conundrum or Nonsense? Reply

By Miguel Fernandez

Last Monday, ex-CIA analyst Dr. Brian Latell and Miami Herald journalist Glen Garvin addressed it at the University of Miami. The thesis statement, “Castro and the Kennedy Assassination,” became ironical.

After clumsily manipulating the reports of both FBI super spy Jack Childs and Cuban Consul Alfredo Mirabal, recycling the fairy tales of foreknowledge with Luisa Calderon and Vladimir Rodriguez-Lahera (AMMUG-1) in the leading roles, and re-telling “the Jaimanitas story” by Florentino Aspillada (TOUCHDOWN), Dr. Latell added a “new discovery” for proving a connection between Lee Harvey Oswald and the Castro’s intelligence machine: Oswald stayed for six days at the center of the pro-Castro activities in Mexico City.

That’s an old story from U.S. Ambassador Thomas Mann. Dr. Latell used it for the same original purpose of pushing “the Cuban conspiracy.” However, the more dots are connecting to work against the lack of conclusive evidence for accusing Castro, the lesser options are left for a rational explanation of Oswald’s actions. Actually Dr. Latell’s approach leads to the crossroad of a conspiracy between Castro and the CIA, or a despicable mishandling by the CIA. Since the former is preposterous, as Dr. Latell rightly said, the latter is the point d´honeur.

Uncommon Nonsense

To a certain extent, Dr. Latell exemplifies the analytical shortcomings of the CIA facing Castro. Any conspiracy theory on Castro not only presumes he took the greatest risk for winning nothing with Lyndon B. Johnson as President. It also assumes that an ex-Marine re-defector from the Soviet Union was not an intelligence bonanza in 1963.

Dr. Latell’s legend affirms that a true believer of Communism and Cuban Revolution, connected to several leftwing newspaper and organizations, after leafleting for Castro and clashing with anti-Castro exiles in New Orleans, got a brand new passport, traveled to Mexico City, stayed at the Castroit Hotel El Comercio, visited several times the Cuban and Soviet diplomatic compounds, asked to illegally travel to Cuba with the Soviet Union as final destination, was encouraged by Castro intelligence offices to kill Kennedy, and returned to Dallas for accomplishing the mission.

Oswald had pre-assassination files in both the FBI (105-82555) and the CIA (201-289248). The routing slips of the latter show that he was under close scrutiny by three teams inside the company: the Counterintelligence Special Investigation Group (CI-SIG), the Counterintelligence Operation Group (CI-OPS) and the Counter-Espionage Unit of the Soviet Russia Division (CE-SR/6).

However, the CIA Inspector General flatly stated: “It was not until 22 November 1963 [that the CIA] Station learned (…) Oswald had also visited the Cuban Embassy.” Thus, Oswald would have passed unnoticed by the CIA surveillance teams in Mexico City despite his three visits to the Cuban Consulate on September 27, 1963, and a call about his immigration proceedings from a Cuban employee to a phone taped by the CIA at the Soviet Consulate.

The Cables of October

Moreover, the CIA revealed a keen interest in Oswald on the “need to know” basis during his stay in Mexico City.
• October 8, 1963. The cable 6453 from Mexico City CIA Station to Langley reported wit delay that “an American male who spoke broken Russian” had said by phone his name was “Lee Oswald.” He had visited the Soviet Embassy on September 28 and spoke with Consul Vareliy V. Kostikov. It was also provided a description of a presumed American male entering the Soviet Embassy on October 1st.
• October 10. The cable 74830 from Langley replied that Lee Oswald “probably” was Lee Henry Oswald and specified that latest info was an ODACID [State Department] report from May 1962. Langley gave a description of Oswald and concealed two FBI reports recently added to his file: from Dallas (September 24, 1963) on his leftist political activities and form New Orleans (October 4) on his clashes with Cuban exiles.
• October 10. The cable 74673, drafted by the same CIA officers at Langley on the same day for ODACID, ODENVY (FBI), and ODOATH (Navy), gave as Oswald’s the description of the “presumed American male” from the cable 6453 and left out the most important hint from Mexico: that Oswald had spoken with the well-known KGB officer Kostikov.

To cap it all, the CIA Station never produced a photo or an audio tape from Oswald. One of each item was immediately sent to the FBI in Dallas, but Director J. Edgar Hoover had to call the already sitting President LBJ for advising that “the picture and the tape do not correspond to this man’s voice, nor to his appearance.” At least, Oswald was telephonically impersonated in Mexico City.

Coda

Even if nobody aided and abetted Oswald, the crucial problem is how the CIA failed to prevent him from killing the U.S. President in broad daylight at Dealey Plaza. The conspiracy debate turns a blind eye to it.

By pure chance, Oswald got a job at the Texas School Books Depository on October 16, 1963. A week before, FBI supervisor Marvin Gheesling had cancelled the FLASH card issued on Oswald when he defected to the USSR. The day after the cancellation, the CIA sent DIR 74673 to FBI with phony items about Oswald, but enough information for putting him again in the watch list. Since the FLASH was off, Oswald would come back under the spotlight too late.

Nobody from the CIA or the FBI took responsibility, and the CIA still retains about 1,100 secret documents related to the assassination. Thus, the debate should not be about conspiracies, but rather about transparency and justice.

Dr. Latell’s Monstrosity 3

By Miguel Fernandez

The paperback edition of Castro’s Secrets (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, 304 pages) has encouraged its author, former CIA desk analyst Dr. Brian Latell, to lash out against Castro again through the July 31st issue of the electronic flyer The Latell Report, published by the Institute of Cuban and Cuban American Studies (ICCAS) at the University of Miami.

Under the title “Fidel Castro’s Monstrous Lies,” Dr. Latell´s latest flyer insists in Castro’s foreknowledge of Lee Harvey Oswald’s intention to kill President Kennedy. Castro would have lied on November 23, 1963, by stating “we never in our life heard of him [Oswald]” before the radio and TV audiences. Taking into account that Castro dittoed the statement in his November 27 speech at the University of Havana, Dr. Latell asserts:

• “Contrary to another of his earlier claims, Castro volunteered to Jack Childs that ‘our people in Mexico gave us the details in a full report.’ He meant that his intelligence officers there had kept him fully informed of Oswald’s visits [to Mexico City].”

• “Yet, most remarkably, Castro revealed to Childs that as Oswald was leaving the Cuban consulate in Mexico, he shouted ‘I am going to kill that bastard. I am going to kill Kennedy’.”

Since Dr. Latell uses Childs as the “more compelling” quantum of proof against Castro denial of foreknowledge of Oswald, let’s go into the facts.

Jack Childs was a trusted FBI agent who engaged with his brother Morris in the Operation SOLO (1958-77) to infiltrate the Communist Party of the United States. On May 20, 1964, Jack flew from Moscow to “the beach” [Cuba] in the SOLO Mission 15. He spent ten days there, managed to meet Castro, and reported to FBI director J. Edgar Hoover:

“Castro said ‘I was told this by my people in the Embassy exactly how he (Oswald) stalked in and walked in and ran out. That in itself was a suspicious movement, because nobody comes to an Embassy for a visa (they go to a Consulate). [Castro] stated that when Oswald was refused his visa at the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City, he acted like a madman and started yelling and shouting on his way out, ‘I’m going to kill this bastard. I’m going to kill Kennedy’ [Castro]was speaking on the basis of facts given to him by his embassy personnel, who dealt with Oswald, and apparently had made a full, detailed report to Castro after President Kennedy was assassinated.” (FBI Records: The Vault – SOLO [http://vault.fbi.gov/solo], Part 63, page 59).

In order to make his point, Dr. Latell simply trimmed “after President Kennedy was assassinated” from the Jack Childs report. Thus, Dr. Latell has applied a counter-productive method: fabricating a lie for accusing Castro of being a liar.

Note: On June 17, 1964, the old sleuth Hoover summed up to Warren Commission General Counsel, James Lee Rankin, that “the information furnished by our source [Jack Childs] at this time as having come from Castro is consistent with and substantially the same as that which appears in Castro’s speech of November 27, 1963 (…) No further action is contemplated by this Bureau” (See Warren Commission Document 1359).

The JFK Assassination: What Did Castro Know? (an Opposing View) Reply

A former lecturer in Havana takes issue with author Brian Latell’s conclusion that Castro knew in advance that Oswald intended to kill JFK

By Arnaldo M. Fernandez

When you believe in things you don’t understand, you’re in trouble. That’s the case of former CIA analyst Dr. Brian Latell and his supporters. After five-years’ research , Dr. Latell asserts in his book Castro’s Secrets: “I believe Florentino Aspillaga had it right: ‘Fidel knew’.”

Dr. Latell means Castro knew Lee Harvey Oswald “was going to shoot at Kennedy.” Therefore, “Castro lied” when he stated on Nov. 23, 1963, “we never in our life heard of him [Oswald],” and when he “issued a second critical denial” in his speech of Nov. 27, 1963.

For catching Castro in these two lies, Dr. Latell starts with a fabrication of his own: “While in Mexico City Oswald had tried to defect to Cuba so he could become a warrior for the bearded man he worshipped.” In the manuscript It Came to Little in the National Archives and Records Administration, the chief of Mexico City’s CIA station, Win Scott, gave the account that Oswald visited the Cuban consulate for getting an in-transit visa to go on with his family from Cuba to the Soviet Union. That’s exactly the information rendered before the House Select Committee on Assassinations by the Cuban outgoing and incoming consuls, Eusebio Azcue and Alfredo Mirabal.

Let’s concede that Dr. Latell was misled; then he would be much obliged if his sources are subjected to a careful review.

According to Dr. Latell, the first reliable indication that Castro lied about Oswald came from Cuban intelligence officer Vladimir Rodriguez (codenamed AMMUG by the CIA). He defected in 1964 and told his CIA handler that Castro had lied because “before, during and after” Oswald’s visits to the Cuban consulate “he was in contact” with the Castro intelligence.

Dr. Latell writes: “It is not clear that any of this incriminating information from a proven and trusted source was shared with the Warren Commission that investigated Kennedy’s murder.” On the contrary, it’s very clear that AMMUG simply didn’t know what he was talking about. He was debriefed again by the CIA for clarification, and the conclusion appears in a memo from March 8, 1964. The source “does not claim to have any significant information concerning the assassination of President Kennedy or about the activities of Oswald.”

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/06/30/v-fullstory/2876687/what-did-castro-know-an-opposing.html#storylink=cpy

Castro and the JFK assassination 3

by Carlos Alberto Montaner

www.elblogmontaner.com

Once again, a connection between Fidel Castro and President John F. Kennedy’s assassination is on the table.

It’s something that has been said and written endlessly. Lyndon Johnson, Kennedy’s successor, lived and died convinced that Fidel’s beard was behind the trigger pulled by Lee Harvey Oswald. He did not say so after the crime, so as not to be forced to invade Cuba and provoke another face-off with the Soviet Union.

Remember that Kennedy’s assassination occurred a scant 13 months after the Missile Crisis, when the United States and the Soviet Union came to the brink of World War III.

The latest author to examine that theory is Brian Latell, a historian, Georgetown University professor and former chief of analysts for Latin America at the CIA, who is now retired.

Latell, who makes his assertions in the book  Castro’s Secrets, recently published by Macmillan, does not assure us that the  Comandante gave the order to assassinate Kennedy but says Castro knew perfectly well that that was about to happen because his spies had told him.

Latell’s main source for this conclusion — though not the only one — is a defector from the Cuban counterintelligence service, Maj. Florentino Azpillaga, the man who led the fight against the CIA from Castro’s DGI.

Castro had good reason to kill Kennedy. The U.S. president was trying to exterminate him, using the American Mafia. Fidel had received all available information about those plans, not only from his agents and double agents but also by the mafiosi themselves, who were captured by the Cuban police.

Cuba’s very efficient intelligence services, set up by the Soviet KGB and the East German Stasi but a lot more flexible and ingenious, knew exactly what the White House was planning, under the almost obsessive leadership of Bobby Kennedy, the president’s brother and the nation’s attorney general.

In fact, the Cuban dictatorship managed to penetrate the CIA, the Pentagon, the State Department and even co-opted agents of influence in the U.S. House and Senate.

At the time Azpillaga defected, the CIA believed it had recruited 42 Cuban functionaries. Azpillaga explained to the agency that all of them, without exception, were double agents who for years had pulled the wool over U.S. intelligence’s eyes and fooled the polygraphs the CIA used to find if the Cubans lied.

Why did Oswald kill Kennedy? That’s very clear. Because of his devotion to the Cuban revolution and because he believed that, by liquidating the president of the United States, he would save his beloved Fidel Castro’s life. To Oswald, Kennedy’s death was an act of legitimate defense.

Who told Oswald that Kennedy wanted to assassinate Fidel Castro? The Cuban secret services that were in touch with him. It seems that Oswald even had intimate relations with a Cuban agent based in Mexico as a Cuban embassy official. The Mexicans even recorded a jubilant outburst from that lady when she was notified that the president had been assassinated.

For the sake of history, because by now it matters little, the next investigation — Latell does not go into details — has to do with Oswald’s death at the hands of Jack Ruby, a minor hoodlum with links to the Mafia. Why did Ruby kill Oswald and sacrifice himself? Judging from his background, a good theory is that he did so to silence Oswald, because he was ordered to do so by the organization to which he was linked.

What did the Mafia want to hide? It wanted to keep the U.S. authorities, especially powerful Attorney General Bobby Kennedy, from discovering that the American gangsters had made a deal with Havana because the Cuban intelligence services had imprisoned some of them and could do what the FBI was forbidden to do: to exterminate mafiosi anywhere in the world.

Furthermore, by killing Oswald, the Mafia served two opposite masters simultaneously. On one hand, it helped Cuba to eliminate a troublesome Castro sympathizer who had just assassinated the president of the United States at Havana’s coaxing, and on the other it saved Bobby Kennedy from the supreme scandal of finding himself involved in a conspiracy with the Mafia to kill a foreign chief of state, a crime that could have sent him to prison.

Still unwritten is a major book about Ruby and his connections. Let’s hope Latell takes on the job.