E. Howard Hunt’s Presence in Dallas on Nov 22, 1963 — and the Veracity of His Confessions Forty+ Years Later

Partial Copy of Newspaper Dated 8/20/1978 — Full Article Presented Below (pages 2-3)

Fifteen years after JFK’s assassination the world awoke to the news from the House Selection Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) that the man who had been “in the middle” of the Watergate burglary scandal was now suspected as having also been involved, mysteriously, in JFK’s murder. E. Howard Hunt had a long history with the CIA and many of the other operatives working under James Jesus Angleton and Cord Meyer; the next highest in the hierarchy was Bill Harvey, from Operation Mongoose. In 1961-63, Harvey had attempted to neutralize Cuban President Fidel Castro and was arguably the foremost hater of both Kennedys, especially Robert, who had taken over the “Special Group” assigned to oversee that operation. Among the others were a number of born renegades, all fellow haters of the Kennedys — David Morales, Rip Robertson and Antonio Veciana, the ruthless leader of Alpha 66. Veciana’s CIA handler was David Atlee Phillips, a key planner/supervisor who essentially “confessed” his role to his brother before his own death. Morales was one of several men who died mysteriously just before he was to testify before the HSCA in 1978.

One of the more significant results of the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) in 1977-78 was the alleged discovery of a secret 1966 CIA memorandum which purportedly revealed the fact that E. Howard Hunt had been in Dallas on November 22, 1963. Yet, as quickly as it appeared in the newspaper headline (above) on August 20, 1978, all references to it subsequently disappeared.

That article was presumed by many to have been based upon the publication of an essay titled “CIA TO ADMIT HUNT INVOLVEMENT IN KENNEDY SLAYING” just six days before, on August 14, 1978. It had been published by the conservative, right-wing Liberty Lobby in its magazine The Spotlight, and authored by the retired veteran CIA officer Victor Marchetti, who later had become one of its most prominent critics. That original article, much-more provocative than the newspaper article above, was reproduced in Mark Lane’s Plausible Denial and is presented in pages 4-7 below.[1] However, the two articles were not related, they had separately sprang from some third party source because, as Mark Lane established, the two authors had never met and barely knew of the other’s existence and, when Joe Trento wrote his article on August 20th, he had no knowledge of the existence of Marchetti’s article published on August 14th: In fact, he only learned of it in the middle of 1984, when Lane informed him of it.[2]

As Lane also discovered, Marchetti had not actually seen the 1966 CIA memo himself, but stated that he was told about it by William R. Corson,  an Army veteran and subsequently a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Marine Corps who served the majority of his career as an intelligence officer on special assignment with the CIA. He was also an author of several books, most notably, The Betrayal, in 1968. Corson denied having told Marchetti about it, though the complete truth—about how both Marchetti and Joe Trento (who had also known Corson, according to Lane), had both separately learned about the secret CIA memo indicating that Hunt had been in Dallas when JFK was assassinated—will probably never be known.

In fact, when Richard Helms—the alleged author of the 1966 memorandum— was questioned under oath, “Have you ever heard from any personnel, past or present, that the Agency had decided to sacrifice Hunt to protect its interest?,” his response was “I don’t recall.”[3]

It is pertinent to note that, in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal, by 1978—with the onslaught of serial high-level inquiries of the so-called “intelligence community”, beginning with the Rockefeller investigation, followed by the “Church Committee” and then the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) —leading to the revelations of the “family jewels” of the CIA under William Colby, it could be a major understatement to suggest that there were a lot of high-echelon people very upset with Mr. E. Howard Hunt. And that begs the question of whether a mysterious leak might have been authorized by those very highly-placed officials to be placed through their man Bill Corson to Messrs. Marchetti and Trento, proffering E. Howard Hunt’s name as the sacrificial limited hang-out. That might even explain why Richard Helms did not categorically deny such an assertion.


Photographic Evidence: CIA Personnel in Dealey Plaza?

Several photos (e.g. Rickerby, Altgens 4 among countless others) were alleged to show a half dozen or more CIA officials, including—according to the considered opinions of many long-time researchers—Edward Lansdale, Lucien Conein, Grayston Lynch, Ted Shackley, Tracy Barnes and William “Rip” Robertson. Veteran researcher Edgar F. Tatro has stated that the listing of suspicious on-lookers also included a person who looked “remarkably like Joseph Milteer,” the right-wing reactionary caught on tape discussing the planned assassination in Miami the week before the “Big Event” in Dealey Plaza.[4]

Chauncey Marvin Holt, the CIA operative and Mob associate who many believe was one of the “tramps” (though doubted by Tatro, who corresponded extensively with him, and in 1994 Holt spent a week-end in his home, where he got to know him personally, would later state that while Holt did look like that tramp, but he felt that, despite the resemblance then, he could not have looked that age thirty years earlier), admitted to having prepared fifteen sets of forged Secret Service IDs for use in and around the plaza. Holt stated that he had seen “more mercenaries and assassins in Dealey Plaza than you would find at a Soldiers of Fortune convention.” The most likely explanation for that, as explained by Holt, was to create a load of “red herrings” if an investigation were to pursue those who were there, which would create much “rabbit hole” confusion for investigators or researchers who might ever attempt to track down those leads.

All of this begs the question: What were so many people looking like well-known “spooks” doing in Dealey Plaza that day? And, if they were who they’ve been alleged to be, it is most likely that the ones purported to be CIA officials were probably there to pay their “last respects” to a man whose death they had helped to plan or at least had long-wished would happen. The killing of a president, after all, was a historic event, which they wanted to witness. These inferences regarding the motives of so many men with that common but unlikely denominator, though somewhat speculative, are also reasonable presumptions in light of the many other indications of CIA collaboration. Yet, regardless of the truth of that point, it does not follow that the origin of the plot resided within any edifice in Langley, Virginia.

Rickerby Photo

E. Howard Hunt—whose distinctive appearance proves that his presence there was a near certainty—was caught in the Rickerby photo above; his son, Saint John Hunt, personally told me that he agrees that the man in a three-quarter-length trench coat and Fedora hat crossing Elm Street shortly after the assassination with many others “does resemble his overall appearance,” and believes for that and other reasons that it is his father, though he has no absolute “proof” of that.

Ed Tatro, commenting to me about Howard Hunt’s character, stated that “the key issue is his credibility. Hunt was known as a pathological liar who could concoct his conspiratorial pyramid of conspirators for diverse and deceptive reasons and motives, but he was also positioned so that his allegations may have been the truth.”

The original April 5, 2007 Rolling Stone article detailing Saint John’s life story and how he came to the realization of his father’s role in JFK’s assassination—one of the most fascinating as any article ever published under that banner—may be found HERE.

Speculation about Hunt’s purpose in being there ranged from merely being a “read-in” witness, to having a supervisory role, to being a “paymaster” for the multiple snipers who would expect an immediate payment to facilitate their get-away, and finally, being assigned the task of ensuring Lee H. Oswald would never make it out of the crime scene under his own power (if true, a major failure on his part).

One of the several videos of E. Howard Hunt’s confession, in which he further explains LBJ’s involvement, motives and goals, follows:

As Billie Sol Estes experienced in his efforts to “come clean” and seek redemption for his earlier sins and crimes in his latter years, so had E. Howard Hunt, in his plaintive pleas to his son Saint John, seeking absolution on a personal level, clearly more importantly to him than an appeal to the public.

As one explores this subject further on the internet it becomes clear rather quickly that the usual “suspects”—those whose desire to protect the “legacy” of Lyndon B. Johnson and point everyone in the direction of the CIA, and only the CIA, knowing that that will lead to a thousand rabbit-holes in the Land of Oz—have relentlessly attacked Hunt’s confession: First, and most curiously, pointing out that it was no “deathbed” situation since it was initiated in 2004/2005 and he didn’t die until 2007, as if he should have known more precisely his eventual date with destiny. And then, complaining about him not furnishing better documentation that would support every one of his assertions, much of which, of course, is still—to this day—locked away in . . . guess where? . . . THE CIA’S MOST SECRET VAULTS! (Note the critic’s blatant use of “circular reasoning” distraction techniques).

This issue could be expanded with another 500+ words but these two examples adequately make the point: Howard Hunt was merely outlining the essential elements of the plot’s broader aspects while attempting to offer some consolation to Saint John, by claiming his own role was merely that of a “benchwarmer” as a way to acknowledge what had become painfully obvious to his son—that he was “read in” on the operation, though not as an active participant. To illustrate the overall dimensions of the plot to assassinate President Kennedy, Mr. Hunt drew an “Org. Chart” with the names of the primary key plotters:

Howard Hunt’s Hand-drawn Diagram of Assassination Plotters[5]

Perhaps if, in his confession, E. Howard Hunt had left off the “top box,” labeled “LBJ,” the people who reject his appeal might have embraced it instead.



ENDNOTES:

[1] Lane, Mark, Plausible Denial, Thunder’s Mouth Press, 1991, pp. 129-132 (See attached pages 4-7)

[2] Ibid, pp. 155-156

[3] Ibid., p. 219

[4] Regarding the identification of these, and a number of other persons who strongly resemble certain other affiliated CIA, FBI, Mob, or the many far-right-wing zealots, who populate the various extant lists, Mr. Tatro has long promoted the idea of the use of currently available facial recognition and/or photographic enhancement software to enable specialist researchers to prove, or disprove, the numerous examples of this dilemma which exist, with a degree of certainty. Any future honest “official investigation” of this non-closed case (no apology to Mr. Posner, who claims otherwise) should be among the first action-items on that agenda.

[5] Hunt, Saint John, Bond of Secrecy, p. 133


ATTACHMENTS (Click on Page Number)

NOTE: To increase size of documents for easier reading, “right-click” on document, select “open page in new window” from menu the go to the newly-created page to read.

Page 2: First page of Sunday News Journal

Page 3: Second page of SNJ

Page 4: Victor Marchetti’s original article (first page)

Page 5: V.M. article p. 2

Page 6: V.M. article p. 3

Page 7: V.M. article p. 4

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