If we are to take John Roselli’s 1967 remarks seriously  – and I do – it would lead us to a group of Cuban exiles who had been involved with efforts to kill Fidel Castro, those efforts were organized over some two years by Roselli with support from JMWAVE personnel and highly compartmentalized from the rest of the stations operations. The one man who would have to have known about them to authorize logistics support was David Morales.  Brad Ayers talks seeing the group during an introduction tour of JMWAVE sites and then essentially being chased off by Rip Robertson, clearly it was not supposed to have been on the authorized tour.  The men Ayers saw there were practicing sniper class shooting and were most expert.  Its reasonable to speculate that the group was picked from hard core, ultra anti-Communist personnel, given Roselli’s involvement and his contacts, no doubt some may have been part of the security operation around the former Havana casinos. That was where Roselli had turned for contacts in the initial poison plot.

Its also likely that some of them had been involved in the original infiltration projects targeting Cuba before the BOP, men who had demonstrated they could go on island and function without being picked up and then successfully ex filtrate would be primary choices for future attempts on Castro.  For reference we do know of one such sniper attempt, immediately prior to the BOP, the operational name was Pathfinder and one CIA officer associated with it in documents was Carl Jenkins.   Jenkins had apparently been a key figure in providing infiltration and tactics training for some of the special exile teams going in before the BOP operation, that was one of his specialties.

All of that is interesting and would be consistent with Roselli’s story.  What takes it a step beyond pure speculation is an approach and series of documents provided to the ARRB by an individual named Gene Wheaton.  Now if you have SWHT, and have read as far as appendix I (congratulations, that starts on page 386 which proves  you have stamina) the names Weaton and Jenkins will be familiar to you.  If not you probably never heard of either because they don’t show up very often.  And we wouldn’t know anything at all about them if Malcolm Blunt had not turned up the ARRB documents and William Law had not located and interviewed Gene Wheaton.

The core of the story is that during the second (North) phase of the Contra activities under Reagan, Gene Wheaton was shopping airline services to North and hired Jenkins as part of that effort, their goal was to get at least some of the humanitarian aid business and more likely more of the covert, lethal air distribution that North was conducting.  In going for that business, Wheaton got to be particularly close to one of the Contra support figures,  Rolondo Quintero.  Quintero had been a long time associate of Jenkins, most probably trained by him but later as second in command on the Artime project, Quintero worked directly with Jenkins.  All of that is a matter of documented record for the AMWORLD project.   Unfortunately, it takes a good deal of digging to know those sorts of things.

Much later, after the formation of the ARRB, Wheaton approached that group with information that he felt they should pursue in regard to the Kennedy assassination.  That information was in regard to conversations he had heard by associates of Quintero and Jenkins during their several months pursuit of some Contra supply contracts. Specifically the conversations were “war stories” about people known to the group who had carried out the attack against JFK in Dallas. Those individuals were apparently known to Jenkins from his exile training, how they were known to Quintero is a question – but a quick google search on Iran Contra will tell you who was working with Quintero on the project and might extend some dots for you to connect for  yourselves.  If not, just hold yourself back for the Contra chapters in Shadow Warfare (available for pre-order on Amazon now – totally shameless huckstering disclaimer).

Now Wheaton provided the ARRB with a great deal of documentation, proving his own background, his connections to Jenkins and the existence of the air supply company involved in all this.  Unfortunately the ARRB staff person had no idea what any of it meant and in a very discouraging series of exchanges with Wheaton, totally failed to pursue the matter.  All Wheaton got were a series of form letters which were go generic as to be offensive and dismissive.  There is more to the story to this of course, but I will say that in digging into Wheaton myself – and much more so as I studied Contra activities for the new book, I found him to be quite consistent in terms of his personal experience and definitely what I would call a straight shooter. One of the reasons he had become dissatisfied with the Contra project was the constant rumors about drugs being involved and he was extremely anti-drug, even receiving a Presidential citation for anti drug work he did in Iran.

The upshot of it all would be that Wheaton’s story would seem to involve exactly the set of individuals who would been in position to have accurate knowledge of people and activities that they were discussing.  When Wheaton offered to broker Congressional immunity to Quintero and Jenkins they immediately began distancing themselves from him.  However Quintero’s own remarks were quite interesting in that regard / the following is excerpted from John Simkins summary of Quintero:

John Simkin attempted to contact Quintero via his close friend Don Bohning. Quintero refused to be interviewed but he did say that Gene Wheaton was telling the truth as “he knew it”. His explanation of Wheaton’s story was that he and Carl Jenkins had been lying to him when they said they were involved in the assassination. However, Quintero was once quoted as saying: “If I were ever granted immunity, and compelled to testify about past actions, about Dallas and the Bay of Pigs, it would be the biggest scandal ever to rock the United States.”

And I would have to say I believe Quintero knew exactly what he was talking about in that statement…

— a bit of closure tomorrow and we will wrap this up; if you are attending the Lancer conference, we will have the Wheaton interview there and you can do your our own evaluation…  Larry




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.

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