Readers of SWHT and NEXUS are aware that they present some pretty tightly focused scenarios for both the JFK conspiracy and the coverup; with SWHT being more detailed on the coverup and NEXUS on the origins, nature and individuals involved in the actual Dallas attack itself.  Unfortunately because of the size (and depth I suppose) of SWHT, certain key things get missed even by repeat readers.  Bill Simpich and I had a discussion of that the other day.  Bill is wrapping up the final chapter of his new boolork – hopefully everyone is following it chapter by chapter on the Mary Ferrell web site.  One of the things he called me about was to discuss what we both feel is a “smoking gun” event that further points the figure at some of the key figures involved in the Kennedy assassination.

If you have SWHT, I’d refer you to Chapter 9,  page 126 which starts a discussion of “A political H bomb”.  This is in the chapter on John Roselli and it begins in 1966, years after the murder of the president, with Roselli himself still  under FBI surveillance and with Hoover still putting on pressure to deport him as an illegal alien.  Its probably safe to say that at that point the last thing in the world Roselli should or would want is to raise his profile with any government agency.  Yet what it does, beginning in December of 1966 is to expose himself as a major potential political problem to a host of figures involving not only the FBI and CIA but President Johnson and ultimately the public via Jack Anderson and Drew Pearson.

What he does is detailed in the book, but essentially its to offer concrete information that President Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy, that the conspiracy involved CIA trained Cuban exiles who had been prepared and were being used by the CIA to assassinate Fidel Castro inside Cuba.  Given that Roselli was personally involved in multiple assassination efforts, using Cuban exiles, for several years, that would seem to give him a good deal of credibility on the subject – indeed Johnson took it seriously enough to call in the CIA Director and force him to spill the details on the assassination project, something Nixon himself attempted without success during his administration.

Of course Roselli did put just a bit of spin on the story, claiming that the Cuban exiles had been captured inside Cuba and sent back by Castro to kill Kennedy under his direction – now exactly how Roselli would know that is a good question, how Castro would control them another and what happened to them afterwards an equally good question.  Strangely, nobody seems to have asked Roselli such questions – not then and apparently not even later during his congressional committee interviews.  Well at least when I wrote SWHT it seemed nobody had; more recently new research suggests that following his effort to promote the story, the CIA took Johnny into a safehouse in Maryland and held a chat with him that lasted some two weeks.

But even more interesting than that, is that Bill Simpich has turned up the point that Jack Anderson and Pearson eventually received corroboration of the Roselli story – from none other than William Harvey, the man who worked with Roselli on the assassination projects.  Roselli and Harvey had become close, much to the dismay of the CIA but for Harvey to actually confirm the assassination story is a really big deal; we can only wonder what the CIA thought about that.

Now – to the even larger question, the smoking gun – why in the world would first Roselli and then William Harvey, bring such a story to Earl Warren, the Secret Service, the FBI, the White House and the press (all of which other than the press showed no interest at all).   And why in the late winter of 1966.  The answer is that the Garrison investigation was just getting into swing but was very closely held at that point.  The only outsider who knew about it, and who would later blow it to the press, was Bernardo de Torres, the private investigator Garrison’s people were referred to in Miami to chase down exile leads to the assassination.

What stimulated John Roselli to a very risky outreach, what led William Harvey to back him up in a preemptive strike supporting conspiracy, but a very special “Castro used CIA trained Cuban exiles” to kill JFK scenario.  I’d suggest the two were warned by their gatekeepers in Miami and decided they had best move to take control of the situation by getting ahead of Garrison and also by making key folks in Washington extremely nervous.  The details of how they did that and exactly how nervous Johnson became are in SWHT.  My point is that in this case, rather than constantly looking for the “smoking gun” in the TSBD,  taking a broader view of the assassination can be very useful.

Alan Dale and I are doing some further work on this matter and hopefully before too long we may be able to record a  discussion of the Roselli/Harvey/Angleton connection and explore Roselli’s very strange public outreach on conspiracy in much more detail.

— 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.

4 responses »

  1. Toni Keys says:

    Sam Giancana was part of the plan and he didn’t think it a good idea. No “cubans” were used. Big government; big money; CIA and certain members of the Mafia working for the CIA were involved. I was told by a member of the team.

    • Certainly that story is a familiar one, its been in books and promoted widely by a number of folks who claimed to be part of the team including Mr. Files. While I think Giancana heard some of the gossip about the plot and certainly claimed credit for it to build his reputation, I don’t find it credible in the larger sense. So far the only credible detail I’ve found coming from Giancana was his remark that one of the Bay of Pigs CIA action officers was involved; that suggests to me that someone – probably Roselli – did share some gossip with him. But then again what I do find corroborated and credible in SWHT and NEXUS. Lots of folks have different views and I’m perfectly content not to try to change them. I really don’t have much comment other than that.

  2. Jim Stubbs says:

    Love to find out what Roselli told his attorney about his involvment. Inasmuch as Warden (Roselli’s attorney?) told his partner Hundly what Roselli said, I’m wondering if Warden and/or Hundly could make a legitimate attorney/client privilage argument. That privilage is generally considered to continue after death, but it isn’t a hard and fast rule as I understand it. Some attorney could sue for the information, and try to make a case that sharing the info with Hundly had no legitimate purpose in re the privilage posthumously.

    • I’ve wondered the same myself Jim, also if the two were partners in the same firm that might have extended the privilege between them. The way I understand it all Roselli really said was that there had been a conspiracy in the assassination and he was personally involved. Given Roselli’s numerous legal problems he might have felt compelled to tell his lawyer that in case some investigation came his way; I’d sure like to know when he told Warden. One of the things Alan is looking into is a chronology of the Roselli/Harvey remarks. How early Harvey became involved may be telling but the thing is both men ostensibly nothing to gain and much to loose by linking themselves to something that could have dragged them in if a serious inquiry had followed. And certainly the CIA can only have been hugely unhappy about the whole thing. One of the things that interests me at the moment is whether the CIA was aware of Harvey’s contact with Anderson and if they pulled him in for a debriefing as well. We have multiple instances of the CIA actively following up on things of much less importance – they even jerked Phillips chain when Morales complained about Phillips sending a media person to him. Certainly any JFK related interviews of Roselli or Harvey following the various newspaper columns should have become part of the JFK collecton – something to go looking for perhaps.

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