Next week is “November in Dallas”, the last in what has been a decades long series of the JFK Lancer research conferences. Attendees will be treated to a great deal of new research, not only in regard to the JFK assassination but also relating to both the murders of RFK and MLK. It will be intense but it’s always been immensely education for me.
As for myself, I’ll be participating in a number of sessions and panels, on both JFK and RFK but my major effort will be presenting the ongoing research that David Boylan and I have been conducting in regard to Gene Wheaton. That research involves the names he provided to the ARRB as to individuals who had been associated with and trained people who themselves had direct knowledge of a conspiracy against JFK and the attack in Dallas. Given that Wheaton was simply directing attention towards individuals who could have provided details on the Dallas attack, it becomes extremely challenging to move beyond those individuals he did identify.
What we do know is that the remarks Wheaton heard came during reminiscences between former CIA paramilitary personnel and their Cuban exile associates. That gives us a definitive starting point – and the hundreds of new pre and post Bay of Pigs CIA personnel and operational documents that David has been researching have provided us a level of detail on those individuals that I could hardly have imagined a few years ago.
We can now literally trace the assignments, missions and the movements of several new individuals of interest (who previously were only peripherally known) from early in 1960 through 1966 and on from the U.S. to both Nicaragua and even the Congo. We know what their specialties were (whether it be black belt karate, sharp shooting or piloting certain types of aircraft). Better yet we know which CIA officer trained which group of exiles and who ran their individual missions into Cuba both before and after the Bay of Pigs.
Perhaps most importantly we know more details of a select group of exile paramilitary personnel who operated together, who trusted each other, and who were “off the grid” during the last half of 1963, largely due to their recruitment for a brand new anti-Castro project that would bring them all together off shore (primarily in Nicaragua) by early 1964.
And it was Nicaragua, the Contra military effort against the Sandinista government, and ultimately the secret war under Reagan/North/Secord that brought several of them back together again. Together again in the 1980s, all working in logistics and military support across Central America, including the creation of covert supply channels and air operations to provide weapons and military materials that Congress had banned. And together in conversations heard by Gene Wheaton, conversations involving their former trainer and mission commander in anti-Castro operations, Carl Jenkins.
It would be those particular anti-Castro alumni who would come together to have the late night conversations and tell the war stories that Gene Wheaton head. To reminisce about missions, including ones intended to kill Fidel Castro in sniper attacks, and about the people who had been involved in those missions – people who had gone on to use their training against an American president who they reviled for betraying their cause.
To say that the story is deep and complex is putting it mildly, just sketching it out in an hour long presentation in Dallas will be a challenge. We will be making a monograph available to further detail our work to this point but to some extent that simply highlights the complexity of the context in which the conspiracy itself evolved. As Wheaton himself noted, it was clear from what he heard that the basic story of the attack was simple and the motives of those in the tactical team were straight forward, but that there was a something more in play for those “above” them.