I realize that I haven’t posted much lately but with the Dallas Lancer conference and continued writing I just don’t seem to get around to it. However, during the Dallas conference we had some dialog about substantive loose ends which really should be addressed with the upcoming 50th anniversary. And one of those its the very real, and immensely important question of who FBI Agent Hosty was referring to when he remarked to a Secret Service agent following the assassination that the FBI had observed Oswald meeting with two subversives but since it was an intelligence matter they had been  unable to communicate about it.  He assured the agent that his FBI superiors mist undoubtedly be sharing that information with the Secret Service.

I discuss this incident in considerable detail in SWHT on pages 198-199 and a couple of other  places. The agent, William Patterson, reported the conversation in a memorandum.  At one point in time when I was having some limited communications with Jim Hosty I gave him a copy of Patterson’s memo and asked if he would like to comment on it after he had time to read and think about it.  We did talk further, he was very friendly and open about most things we discussed, including several details of FBI surveillance on Oswald in Mexico City that never seem to have made it into any official records, but he just didn’t prefer to discuss the Patterson incident.

Now I believe that both Patterson and Hosty were telling the truth in their remarks and that Oswald had indeed been observed meeting with “subversives” in Dallas some two weeks before the assassination. Now who would that be?  Given that Oswald was not under full time surveillance perhaps it was when he himself made contact with the “subversives”.  One thing we do know is that the Bureau was going full tilt into the issue of Cuban exiles purchasing weapons and preparing for attacks on Cuba. There is also reason to suspect that the FBI may well have had the house on Harlandale street under regular surveillance.

We should have paid a lot more attention to this lead over the years, especially when documents began to show up that an FBI agent named Heitman had the Cuban beat in Dallas, that among other things he was investigating suspected Cuban double agents among the exiles and that he was pulled off for a great deal of the Dallas JFK investigation for some six months after the assassination – including checking into a couple of exiles who had a Rambler station wagon and who had attended a meeting in which John Martino had made an appearance.  What is perhaps even more interesting is that while a few pre assassination documents are available, the vast majority on Heitman are post assassination.

It seems a lead deserving really serious inquiry, hopefully one more more people will choose to dig into it as we enter the 50th year after the assassination.

 

— Larry

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Larry Hancock

Larry Hancock is a leading historian-researcher in the JFK assassination. Co-author with Connie Kritzberg of November Patriots and author of the 2003 research analysis publication titled also Someone Would Have Talked. In addition, Hancock has published several document collections addressing the 112th Army Intelligence Group, John Martino, and Richard Case Nagell. In 2000, Hancock received the prestigious Mary Ferrell New Frontier Award for the contribution of new evidence in the Kennedy assassination case. In 2001, he was also awarded the Mary Ferrell Legacy Award for his contributions of documents released under the JFK Act.

4 responses »

  1. Mark Groubert says:

    Great work, Larry. Seems like you’ve been very busy! Been exploring Curtis LeMay role in JFK killing. What is your opinion? Was he at the autopsy? Did he fly in from the Canadian outpost? Was he one of the planners? Clearly, he was at odds with JFK and killing could have been the Cuban provocation he sought in Northwoods. What say thee?

    • Hi Mark, that’s certainly an interesting question and I have looked into it as far as it seems possible. There is no doubt that LeMay flew back that day and that his various biographies either give a misleading account or virtually no account of his detailed actions. As it turns out we know very little about the actions of the various Joint Chiefs that afternoon or of the very high level national command response. I’ve presented on that a number of times and the best I can say is that it appears that there was a much more “disconnected” response and more concern than anybody wanted to really talk about later. Of course LeMay was not in any operational command per se and I have no doubt he would have felt comfortable with Powers in command of the nuclear response, according to all reports Powers was more aggressive than LeMay.

      Was LeMay at Bethesda, I think that’s very possible but that we will never prove it. Certainly a lot of senior military officers were there. Having said that though, if he had been part of a conspiracy that’s probably the last place he would be; in fact the overall lack of coordination in the whole national security response shows that the system itself was incredibly weak. If the assassination had been part of a Soviet attack they could have apparently have cleared the board except for the missile subs. And a Soviet sub launched missile would have taken out D.C. and the Pentagon while LeMay was still in Canada.

      Also, given the total lack of coordinated action, the Soviets really had ample time to ramp up for a response, which they did not do apparently thinking it might be too provocative. If the conspiracy had been military based and the goal had been to trigger either a quick engagement with the Soviets or quick attack on Cuba then we should have seen a lot more going very quickly. Which we don’t. Instead what we see is a national command structure just about as uncoordinated as you could imagine. If anything the Joint Chiefs should have done a study of how they had failed so miserably, just as the Secret Service did.

      Which of course is a long winded way of saying, no I don’t really see LeMay involved or a military conspiracy. What I see is a lot of people deciding not to say much about what they did because it looks so unprofessional and questionable after the fact. You don’t really want to get into why you have SAC practicing day in and day out for a 15 min response and then explain why the whole command and control systems just seems to unravel on Nov. 22 – including the fact that Johnson clearly did not have any clue about its actual operation, what the bomb bag was, what the codes were or even what communications were available (or not) on AF1. In fact it now looks as if there were no secure voice circuits available on the Presidential plane at all….if true that would be pretty embarrassing all by itself in any inquiry.

      — Larry

  2. Dave says:

    Larry,

    I noticed that one of Heitman’s subjects was MAYA, JUAN FRANCISCO QUINTANA. Some of these are still showing as Postponed in Full. Another is ENRIQUE VARONA. But I noticed there is only one record in NARA with that name in the Subject.

    • Hi Dave, I think the names would be good ones to research – hopefully everyone knows by now that the NARA index is woefully lacking in terms of what is really released.

      They just don’t have time to keep it up. In doing FOIA’s Stu and I have found released versions of documents showing as not released and also full unredacted versions of material that in an earlier generation was redacted. I think at this point the only way to seriously pursue it is with FOIA’s and by going to NARA in person. I hope someone does that; I think the Heitman lead is very important for researching Oswald in Dallas.

      It will need to be someone else though, for myself I’m totally immersed in my covert warfare research and book and only delve back into JFK very intermittently.

      — Larry

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