On April 24, 1963, OSWALD moved to New Orleans. Marina Oswald and her daughter June Oswald moved in with Ruth Paine. When OSWALD arrived at the bus station in New Orleans, he called Lillian Murret and asked her if he could stay with the Murret family while he sought employment. Ruth Paine wrote this to her mother "LEE told me he had learned a little from his uncle [Charles] how to drive a car." On April 26, 1963, OSWALD began his search for employment. The Louisiana Labor Department sent him out for several interviews, however, he "relied primarily upon newspaper advertisements." [WR p725] It took OSWALD two weeks to find suitable work. Meanwhile, Charles Murret lent him $200. Gerald Posner wrote: "His uncle Dutz had offered a $200 loan, but OSWALD declined." Posner cited Warren Commission Exhibit CE69A, Volume 16 page 230, as his source. CE69A was a postcard that read: "Girls, I still have not found work, but I receive mony from the unemployment office in the amount 15 to 20 dollars. They were mistaken in the Dallas office when they refused, but I straighted everything out. Uncle Dutz offered me a loan of $200 if needed. Great, eh? Aleck." When Charles Murret testified before the Warren Commission, he said he paid OSWALD'S expenses for a trip to Mobile, Alabama.
On May 9, 1963, OSWALD rented an apartment at 4905 Magazine Street. In July 1993 Alexander Eames, OSWALD'S next door neighbor, was contacted: "It was old, lower middle class, residential, New Orleans. He lived on a main thoroughfare. The neighborhood was somewhat on the seedy side. One time I was coming home from across the street from a direction I didn't normally approach the house from. I had my garbage can out front. I saw OSWALD lift my garbage can cover and throw his trash in my garbage can. I was angry. It could have occurred other times that I didn't detect it. Garbage cans were all individually owned, not furnished by the landlords. I think he had his own can. It was probably filled up." OSWALD'S landlady, Mrs. Jesse Garner, testified that she watched him stuffing all the garbage cans up and down the block with his trash. [WC Hearings Vol. X p268] Was OSWALD afraid his garbage might be searched?
DALLAS MAIL FORWARDED TO NEW ORLEANS STREET ADDRESS
On May 10, 1963, OSWALD started work at the William B. Reilly Coffee Company at 640 Magazine Street, oiling coffee grinding equipment for $1.50 an hour. On May 10, 1963, Ruth Paine drove Marina and June Oswald to New Orleans, where they arrived on May 11, 1963. OSWALD had his and his family's mail forwarded from Post Office Box 2915 Dallas to 4907 Magazine Street, New Orleans, on May 12, 1963. He lived at 4905 Magazine Street. Was OSWALD attempting to confuse anyone who might try to locate him through his Post Office Box?
On May 26, 1963, OSWALD requested membership in the Fair Play for Cuba Committee: "Dear Sirs: I am requesting formal membership in your organization. In the past I have received from you pamplets ect., both bought by me and given to me by you. Now that I live in New Orleans I have been thinking about renting a small office at my own expense for the purpose of forming a F.P.C.C. branch here in New Orleans. Could you give me a charter? also I would like information on buying pamplets ect. in large lots, as well as blank Fair Play for Cuba Committee applications ect. also a picture of Fidel, suitable for framing would be a welcome touch. Office down here rent for $30. a month and if I had a steady flow of litarature I would be glad to take the expense. Of course I work and could not supervise the office at all times but I'm sure I could get some volunteers to do it. I am not saying this project would be a roaring success, but I am willing to try. an office, litarature, and getting people to know who you are the fundamentles of the F.P.C.C. as far as I can see so here's hoping to hear from you. Yours respectfully LEE HARVEY OSWALD."
OSWALD was going to open a public office in New Orleans and hang a picture of Fidel Castro on the wall. Most Fair Play for Cuba Committee chapters had no public street addresses. OSWALD wrote: "On May 27, 1963 I requested permission from the Fair Play for Cuba Committee headquarters at 777 Broadway New York, 3, New York to try to form a local branch in New Orleans. I received a cautionate but enthusiastic response from V.T. Lee National Director." [WCE 2003] V. T. Lee was sent samples of OSWALD'S Fair Play for Cuba Committee literature, but he never authorized him to open a chapter of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in New Orleans, nor did he supply him with funds to support his activities there. The Warren Commission admitted that the New Orleans Fair Play for Cuba Committee chapter was fictitious. [WR p291] Michael Paine, who erroneously believed OSWALD was a genuine leftist, was questioned about this. He responded, "One activity requires a lot more effort than the other. One thing is like printing up a business card and saying this is what you are, and the other is starting up a business, so you can have a business card." Michael Paine was asked why OSWALD hired teenagers to give out his leaflets, "He sounded lonely to me."
On May 29, 1963, the National Chairman of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, V.T. Lee, responded to OSWALD'S letter. He stated that a search of the files of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee indicated that there was little interest in the organization in the Louisiana area, but "we are certainly not adverse to a small chapter." V.T. Lee thought the New Orleans chapter should have had twice as many members as the number "needed to conduct a legal executive board for the Chapter." If OSWALD attracted enough members, he would be granted a charter. V.T. Lee advised him, however, not to open a public office since "we do have a serious and often violent opposition...the lunatic fringe," instead, V. T. Lee advised him to open a post office box.
In early June 1963, Marina Oswald received another letter from the Soviet Embassy regarding her failure to follow through on her visa request. In her three-page handwritten response, Marina Oswald apologized for not answering the two previous letters she had received from the Soviet Embassy earlier, and related she was expecting her second child in October 1963; that her relationship with OSWALD seemed to have improved; and that her husband agreed to return to the USSR with her and the children. She wrote that OSWALD now expressed "a sincere desire" to return with her and she earnestly begged Chief of the Consular Section Reznichenko's assistance. "There is not much that is encouraging for us here and nothing to hold us. I would not be able to work for the time being, even if I did find work. And my husband is often unemployed. It is very difficult for us to live here. We have no money to enable me to come to the Embassy, not even to pay for hospital and other expenses connected with the birth of a child." Marina noted that the main reason she wanted to return home was "of course homesickness, regarding which much is written and spoken, but one learns it only on a foreign land." Marina also noted she was enclosing her husband's application for permission to enter the Soviet Union.
On June 1, 1963, Oswald borrowed The Berlin Wall by Dean and David Heller and the Huey Long Case by Hermann B. Deutsch. Deutsch also wrote a New Orleans cookbook and a book on psychoanalysis. He returned these books on June 15, 1963.On June 12, 1963, OSWALD borrowed Conflict by Robert Leckie. Leckie was the author of ten other books including a history of the Korean war. On June 17, 1963, he borrowed Soviet Potentials by George B. Cressy, What We Must Know About Communism: It's Beginnings, Growth and Current Status by Harry Bonero Overstreet (this title was on Herbert Philbrick's Recommended Reading List). Overstreet's other books included The Strange Tactics of Extremism and The Iron Curtain. OSWALD also read This is my Philosophy edited by Whit Burnett. On July 1, 1963, OSWALD returned these books. On June 24, 1963, OSWALD borrowed Thunderball by Ian Flemming which he returned on July 8, 1963.
None of the books that OSWALD read were written by leftists. OSWALD was not a leftist and his reading habits betrayed this.
James Hosty claimed that on June 19, 1963, President John F. Kennedy recommenced his fight against Fidel Castro: "On June 17, 1963, Kennedy gave a speech before the American University opening a peace initiative with Fidel Castro. Fidel Castro wouldn't go along with Khrushchev, and that was when the peace initiative started. Two days later, he had the CIA go after Fidel Castro again with Khrushchev's permission. Read an article by Ben Bradlee in the October 1963 issue of Newsweek Magazine speaking with a source close to the White House that was Kennedy himself. The article stated that Khrushchev had washed his hands of Castro and he wouldn't mind one bit if Castro was overthrown. On June 19, 1963, Kennedy signed a Top Secret, Executive Order, ordering Castro's overthrow. You are going in the wrong direction. After Castro threatened Kennedy, OSWALD went down to Mexico City and told the Cuban's 'I'll kill Kennedy for you.' The Monday before the assassination, Kennedy gave a speech to the exiles in Miami and said, 'Get 'em boys. Better luck next time.'" James Hosty commented on the Bay of Pigs: "You know what that air support was? Three B-25s that had 20 minutes air time. Shut-up and listen to me. I talked to some of those people who came out of the Bay of Pigs. They said they walked into an ambush. They said there were 90,000 militia men there with 100 tanks waiting for them. Three B-25's would have made no difference. Look what happened in Vietnam. Air strikes can't win in a jungle." [Interview with Hosty 8.93] A study of all issues of Newsweek magazine for October 1963 yielded no articles by Ben Bradlee regarding Cuba. The Periscope section reported that Khrushchev's upcoming visit to Cuba was bound dampen U.S.- Soviet relations.
The FBI reported: "From SAC: At approximately 10:45 p.m., November 24, 1963, an individual who identified himself as Edward Gillen, Assistant District Attorney, Juvenile Division, New Orleans Parish, called me at my residence. Gillen stated that in June or July an individual called at the District Attorney's Office stating he wanted to see the District Attorney about a problem. The individual was in some manner unknown to Gillen referred to Gillen's office. He remained standing and he talked to Gillen from across the desk. Gillen stated he asked the person to sit down, but the individual remained standing.
"Edward Gillen said the visitor advised he was reading a book, but did not exhibit a book, and continued that according to the author of the book in question, one reading the book should take a certain type of drug to fully appreciate the comments and data in the book. The person visiting Gallen office desired to know if the drug in question was legal. Gillen stated the visitor did not have the book in question with him but he does recall that this individual had some kind of a paper back book which Gillen describes as about the size of a "Laurel Review' publication. Gillen recalls the individual indicated the book he had with him had to do with socio-economic matters, and at some point during the conversation the visitor finally sat down. Gillen believes, but he cannot be certain, that the book referring to a drug was possibly written by an individual named Huckley. Gillen also believed he saw an item in the New Orleans Sunday paper on page one indicating that some author by the name of Huckley had died recently in Los Angeles, and that this article indicated Huckley had written a book about the effective use of drugs. Gillen states he told his visitor that he could not be certain but could only assume that the drug that would produce the visitor indicated the book described would be some kind of narcotic and referred the visitor to the office of the City Chemist. Gillen said the visitor took down the name, address and room number of the City Chemist but Gillen did not know if this party actually called at the office of the City Chemist.
"Gillen states he believes his visitor was LEE HARVEY OSWALD, but he cannot identify newspaper photographs of OSWALD as the person mentioned above. Gillen explained that his eyesight is not good even though he wears glasses, but he claims that his voice reception is above average, and he feels sure that the voice of the above visitor is the voice of LEE HARVEY OSWALD, basing his statement on the sound of OSWALD'S voice, which Gillen heard on a radio and television program in which OSWALD was interviewed by Bill Stuckey. Gillens stated he believed Edward S. Butler was also on this program.
"Gillen stated that in view of what happened in Dallas, namely the shooting of a police officer, the assassination of the President and the subsequent death of OSWALD, that he feels it is possible that OSWALD may have been taking some kind of drugs." [NARA FBI 124-10248-10140]
In a telephone interview with this researcher Edward Gillen said he made the connection on November 22, 1963, and informed the FBI and New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison: "My eyesight is pretty poor. I'm legally blind. So I could never say I could identify him from the picture on television but I have a keen remembrance of voices. It hit me pretty solid. He said he wanted to know if a certain drug was legal or illegal. He looked very clean, very military. He had a white t-shirt and khaki pants. I was working the Civil Court, Juvenile Division. OSWALD was misdirected. I told him I never heard of the drug and he should go talk it over with the District Attorney in the Narcotics Division. In those years they sometimes use the City Chemist to identify the nature of the drug. He did not say L.S.D. I would have remembered that."
"Enno A. Schoenhardt, City Chemist, New Orleans City Hall, advised that he recalled vaguely that a young man had called at his office sometime during the Summer of 1963 requesting information concerning a particular plant which produced an alkaloid . The person calling said that he was making a study that he believed would be of importance psychologically. Enno A. Schoenhardt examined a photograph of OSWALD and could not identify it as being of the person who had called at his office." [FBI NO 100-16601 1.10.64 Van Eps]
BEVERLY P. PANCAMO
Beverly P. Pancamo, Laboratory Technician, City Chemist, New Orleans City Hall, advised that she was present when the person mentioned by Mr. Schoenhardt called to inquire about a plant which produced the alkaloid. She stated that this could not have been between June 10, 1963, and July 5, 1963, as she was on leave during that period. Mrs. Pancamo said that she recalled this person as well, in stature, he resembled her husband. She described the caller as a white male, age about 24, 5'6" tall, who weighed 135 pounds and had a receding hairline. Mrs. Pancamo could not identify a photograph of OSWALD as being a photograph of the person who had called at the office of the City Chemist. She stated the caller had been referred to the Coroner's Laboratory."
OSWALD was reading The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley which was about the mescaline "trip." In Case Closed Gerald Posner wrote that the drug in question was L.S.D. [Posner, Case Closed fn p166] On September 19, 1963, OSWALD borrowed Ape and Essence and Brave New World, both written by Aldous Huxley from the New Orleans Public Library. He also borrowed Goldfinger and Moonraker by Ian Fleming. He returned them on October 3, 1963. In 1993 Edward Gillen claimed OSWALD appeared on Bruce Miller's New Orleans radio show. Bruce Miller denied this. Norman Mailer reported that OSWALD asked Marina Oswald to steal narcotics from the pharmacy where she worked. [Norman Mailer Oswald's Tale p294]
In early June 1963, using the name Lee Osborne, OSWALD printed handbills reading "Hands Off Cuba," as well as application forms and membership cards for the New Orleans branch of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. Some of these leaflets were stamped with OSWALD'S actual name and home address; others were stamped with the name, "A.J. Hidell P.O. Box 30061." On June 11, 1963, OSWALD opened Post Office Box 30061, New Orleans, Louisiana. A.J. Hidell and Marina Oswald were authorized to receive mail through the box. His application listed his address as 657 French Street (Lillian Murret lived at 757 French Street) rather than 4905 Magazine Street.
OSWALD had the mail from his Dallas Post Office Box forwarded a street address on Magazine Street in New Orleans quite similar to his real address. If the authorities wanted to locate him they could have traced him through his Post Office Box in Dallas to his street address, so what was the purpose of falsifying his address in this instance? The FBI authenticated the signatures on the application for Post Office Box 30061, New Orleans.
OSWALD distributed handbills and other material uneventfully on June 16, 1963, in the vicinity of the USS Wasp, which was berthed in New Orleans. In mid-June 1963, OSWALD'S name surfaced on an FBI mail cover of the New York City national office of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. His return address was listed as Post Office Box 30061, New Orleans. Some time in June 1963 he wrote V.T. Lee: "I was glad to recive your advice concerning my try at starting a New Orleans F.P.C.C. chapter. I hope you won't be too disaproving at my inovations but I do think they are necessary for this area. as per your advice, I have taken a P.O. Box. (NO 30061) against your advice I have decided to take an office from the very beginning. As you see from the circulars I had jumped the gun on the charter business but I don't think its too important, you may think the circular is too provactive, but I want it too attract attention, even if its the attention of the lunitic fringe. I had 2000 of them run off. The major change in tactics you can see from the small membership blank, In that I will charge $1.00 a month dues for the New Orleans chapter only, and I intend to issue N.O.F.P.C.C. membership cards also. This is without recouse to the $5.00 annual national F.P.C.C. membership fee. However you will lose nothing in the long run because I will forward $5.00 to the national F.P.C.C. for every New Orleans chapter member who remains a dues paying member for 5 months in any year. It just that the people I am approching will not pay 5 dollars all at once to a committee in New York which they cannot see with their own eyes. But they may pay a dollar a mont to their own chapter, after having received their membership card from my hand to their's. also I think such a dues system binds the members closer to the F.P.C.C. I will promise only a membership card and a chapter vote to future members, that is, I don't expect you to extend them national F.P.C.C. mailing for their one dollar a month. as you will notice on the membership blank there is a place for those who do wish to subscribe to the national mailings for the fee of $5.00, that fee will go directly to you in New York. As soon as any member has paid dues adding up to five dollars in any year, I will forward that fee to you and then you may handle it as if it was a usual application for membership in the F.P.C.C. In any event I will keep you posted, and even if the office stays open only 1 month more people will have to find out about the F.P.C.C. than if there had never been any office at all, don't you agree? LEE H. OSWALD 4907 L/C Magazine New Orlean, LA."
On June 29, 1963, J. Edgar Hoover received a letter from Rafael Aznarz Costea: "Attached hereto please find a panflet given to me by a young american that was at Canal Street with a big advise "HANDS OFF CUBA" you know that is a communist slogan against the United States. I argued with him and called him a communist, but you know they denied belong to the party [sic]." [FBI 97-4196-850]
OSWALD could not have invented members of the New Orleans Chapter of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee then sent their names to V.T. Lee without having risked detection. Instead, he circumvented the rules of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, by having his own membership cards printed. OSWALD still intended to open an office of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in New Orleans.
On June 24, 1963, OSWALD applied for a new passport; he received it the following day. He listed his occupation as photographer, and stated he planned to travel to "England, France, Germany, Holland, USSR Findland, Italy, Poland." As stated, before the State Department issued or renewed a passport, it checked the name of the applicant against its lookout card file. The State Department had issued a refusal sheet on OSWALD after he defected. In addition, a lookout card for OSWALD should have been prepared in June 1962, when he received a repatriation loan. These additional refusal sheets and lookout cards disappeared or were never prepared. [WCD 2, 294, 427]
On June 22, 1962, the records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service on OSWALD were reviewed by S.A. William F. Martin: "The file reflects that an emergency lookout was placed on OSWALD on May 4, 1962." [FBI 105-8255-27] OSWALD'S repatriation loan was repaid in January 1963. A State Department employee was obliged to cancel the refusal sheet and remove the lookout card. This also failed to occur.
Gerald Posner quoted State Department Legal Advisor Abram Chayes as having said this was a "bureaucratic error." It was not simply one error. Lookout cards should have been prepared for OSWALD on two occasions. They were not. A lookout card was supposed to be removed on two occasions - when OSWALD'S passport was returned to him in Moscow and after he paid his repatriation loan. They were not.
A State Department document that named employees who had access to OSWALD'S passport file included Bernice Waterman, John T. White, George M. Masterton, Giacomo Cacciatore, Henry F. Kupiec, Edward J. Hickey, Carroll H. Seeley, William E. Duggan, James L. Ritchie and Robert D. Johnson. Robert D. Johnson was listed in Who's Who in the CIA: "Born: October 7, 1926, Languages: German; 1944 to 1946 Captain in CIC of U.S. Army; from 1951 in Department of State; 1955 Chief of Intelligence Reporting Section, Department of State. Opa: Washington." The State Department Biographic Register indicated Robert D. Johnson became Chief of the Passport Legal Division in 1957. In 1962 he became the Chief Counsel of the Passport Division. Robert D. Johnson told Frances Knight: "I was not satisfied with the implication in Mr. Rando's memorandum that we did NOT have a catch card on OSWALD. No one knows for sure whether we did or did not, and the making of the flat statement has caused many more questions than it has answered." [DOS RDJ to FGK 3.27.64]
Former State Department official Giacomo Cacciatore was contacted: "I was never questioned about OSWALD. The Watch Card or Lookout Card was done by another section of the Passport Office. I worked in the Foreign Passport Division and was concerned with determinations of citizenship and loss of nationality." Former State Department official William E. Duggan was contacted in November 1993. He stated that a court action forbade the State Department from withholding passports for non-payment of repatriation loans. William E. Duggan could not say precisely when this occurred. A spokesman for the Legal Division of the State Department recalled no such decision.
On June 27, 1963, S.A. Hosty was advised by the New York FBI that his Subject was living in New Orleans. On June 28, 1963, S.A. Hosty asked the New Orleans FBI to determine OSWALD'S address and activities, and asked it to take partial responsibility for the case, because the Subject was now in its area. [WR p435; FBI 100-10,461-36 "Re: Dallas ltr. to NO /28/61" - date on this 7.17.63 doc. should have been 7.28.63] S.A. Hosty explained: "After it had been determined that the Subjects had left Dallas, the lead to determine OSWALD'S employment [from Marina Oswald] appeared unnecessary at the time. The Subjects were not active in any subversive organizations and had done nothing to arouse any undue interest. The sole purpose of the investigation at this time was to locate and interview Marina Oswald in accordance with 105-E, Manual of Instructions." [FBI 100-10461 Hosty to Shanklin 12.6.63] S.A. Hosty responded with uncharacteristic promptness to the New Orleans Office of the FBI, because he wanted to transfer the OSWALD case. S.A. Hosty told the Warren Commission: "In June, I believe it was the middle of June, we received a communication from our New Orleans office advising that one LEE OSWALD was apparently in New Orleans, and requested information on him...This was June 17, 1963, I believe, they notified us, and by the time I got the letter back to them within a week or two, it would have been the end of June, early part of July. I sent a request back that they verify his presence in New Orleans. They then wrote back a letter to me, within two or three weeks. It would have been in August 1963, when it came back, that they verified OSWALD'S presence in New Orleans, and that he was working in New Orleans...Dallas became an auxiliary office upon the submission of the proper forms to the New Orleans office in which I designated them as the office of origin."
On June 27, 1963, the FBI in New York sent the FBI in Dallas two
copies of a photograph of OSWALD'S name on the mailing list of the Fair Play for
Cuba Committee. This highly deleted document indicated that one copy of it was
filed in NY 97-1792 and the other was filed in NY-97-2229. It was received by
the Dallas Office on July 1, 1963, and initialed into file by S.A. Hosty. The
document contained the notation: "1 verifax to Bur December 8, 1963, H cc to
105-1201 H." [FBI 105-10461-37,
OSWALD was back in his native new Orleans. The Warren Commission: "Aside from Ruth Paine and Ruth Kloepfer and her daughters, the Murrets were the only social visitors the OSWALDS had." [CIA 475; WCD 75; WR 276] Ruth Kloepfer had received a letter from Ruth Paine requesting she help the OSWALDS for humanitarian reasons. Ruth Kloepfer was interviewed in May 1977: "I was not a friend of Ruth Paine, I had never met her before. I received an official letter, she was a Quaker in Texas...She knew OSWALD'S wife...and was concerned about her. They asked me if I, as a Clerk of the New Orleans Meeting, would stop by. The wife was not at home the first time I stopped by, but Mr. OSWALD was. I went back and saw her later. It was strictly because I was the Clerk of the New Orleans Quaker Meeting. I worked for Sheriff Hyde in the Criminal Courts building at the time." Asked if she had any CIA connection, Ruth Kloepfer said she had none. A CIA Office of Security document contained traces on Dr. Werner Kloepfer (born February 25, 1913): "Kloefper was of interest to OO/C during September 1963, apparently in relation to OSI requirements." Dr. Kloepfer was interviewed and queried about the CIA Office of Security record: "I have never been a CIA employee. I have been interviewed about other people from time to time, it seems to me, by the CIA. Someone wanted to know something about somebody. I think I have had this happen. I had something, I don't recall exactly what...somebody who they are checking on. They asked me to tell them what I knew about them. You say my name is in OSWALD'S address book? Well, that would be impossible. I mean there must be some error because there is no way for him to have my name." OSWALD did have the names, "Ruth Kloepfer" and "H Warner Kloepfer," in his address book on page 46. [CIA 646-277] The CIA's Office of Security files reflected H. Warner Kloepfer was a faculty member of Tulane University. FBI files noted he was on the mailing list of the Southern Conference Educational Fund. The Kloepfer's daughter visited the Soviet Union in 1963. OSWALD had to have associates other than the Murrets and the Kloepfers. Evidence suggested OSWALD knew William Guy Banister during the Summer of 1963.
The Warren Commission conceded that OSWALD was aware of the Newman Office Building which was located at 544 Camp Street and 531 Lafayette Street (there were two addresses to this corner building) since OSWALD rubber stamped the address "Fair Play for Cuba Committee 544 Camp St, New Orleans LA." on a pamphlet by Corliss Lamont, entitled The Crime Against Cuba. [Camp1.JPEG] Oswald created this rubber stamp from his rubber stamp kit. This pamphlet was taken from him by the New Orleans Police after his arrest in August 1963. OSWALD told the police he carried the pamphlet with him, "as it contained all of the information regarding the committee, and he would be in a position to refer to it for proper answers in the event someone questioned him regarding the aims and purposes of the committee." Herbert Philbrick stated: "Corliss Lamont's Hate America propaganda helped to condition the mind of OSWALD." OSWALD had informed V.T. Lee that he was still intent on opening a Fair Play for Cuba Committee office in New Orleans, but he never mentioned 544 Camp Street in any of his correspondence. The landlord of 544 Camp Street, Sam Mike Newman, testified that he was never approached by Oswald to rent an office. The address was stamped on only one pamphlet, the Crime Against Cuba by Corliss Lamont. However, the Reilly Coffee Company where OSWALD worked was one block from 544 Camp Street. OSWALD'S supervisor at the Reilly Coffee Company told the FBI that he would disappear for at least an hour each day. The most illustrious tenant of 544 Camp Street and 531 Lafayette Street was William Guy Banister who worked out of 531 Lafayette Street. The Cuban Revolutionary Council had once had office at 544 Camp Street. In 1961 the Cuban Revolutionary Front had offices in the Balter building. The Kefauver Senate Investigation into Organized Crime mentioned the Balter Building as a center of organized crime activity in New Orleans. By late April 1961, after the Cuban Revolutionary Front became the Cuban Revolutionary Council, it was moved to 544 Camp Street. When the Cuban Revolutionary Front was in the Balter Building, so was Guy Banister. When the Cuban Revolutionary Front became the Cuban Revolutionary Council and moved to 544 Camp Street, so did Guy Banister.
"I was born in a log cabin in Caldwell Parish, Monroe, Louisiana, on March 7, 1901, the son of William Henry Banister and Aline Gregory Banister, the oldest of seven children. I was educated in the Louisiana public schools, and attended Louisiana State University and Soule College of New Orleans. The beginning of my career was as an investigator with the Monroe Police Department. I received an appointment as a Patrolman on December 2, 1929. About two weeks later, the Police Superintendent asked me to take a course in stenography, after which he would assign me to his office as his secretary with sergeant's pay. This was done at the end of six months from the date of my first appointment. About six months later the Superintendent died, and I was assigned duties that made me actually, the Chief of Detectives. On November 5, 1934, I was sworn in as Special Agent, Division of Investigation, U.S. Department of Justice. The name of this organization was changed a short time later to FBI. I went to training school and I was sent to my first office in Indianapolis, Indiana, as an Agent. I served there until April 1935, when I was assigned to New York City. I worked over the northern part of the country on special assignment for approximately three years. Beginning in New York City, the man having a desk next to mine was S.A. George Starr. George Starr, who spoke Russian fluently his father was a trainer of race horses for the Czar at one time in Russia, was actually the leader in conducting subversive activity investigation for the FBI, for several years. Mr. J. Edgar Hoover, Director, never lost sight of the danger of Communism in this country...George Starr had familiarized me with the problems of Communist Party work and, in fact, he has been given credit for teaching the FBI agents how to conduct these investigations. After I was promoted to SAC, it was my duty to supervise the work of Special Agents assigned to such activity. It was also my duty to develop and supervise those people commonly called informers. To be more specific, we might say that they were counterspies sent in to report on the activities of the Party members. That was part of my duty throughout the nearly 17 years I served as SAC. [FBI 62-103863-13] In May 1938 I was promoted to Special Agent in Charge of a Division, and transferred to Newark, New Jersey. I remained there from May until August 1938, and I was promoted to the position of Special Agent in Charge, and given my first office of command, which was in Butte, Montana..."
Guy Banister told an associate that he was sent to Butte because "at one time he had a visit by an FBI agent who told him that Mr. Hoover had asked for an honest appraisal of the Bureau from some of its top agents. Mr. Banister is alleged to have sent up a memo from Chicago that called the Bureau a prostitute that wanted keep her virginity." [HSCA interview with Oster 1.27.78]
Guy Banister continued: "I stayed there until October 1941, when I was transferred to Oklahoma City as SAC. I remained there until November 1943, when I returned to Butte, Montana, and remained there until September 1952, when I was transferred to Minneapolis, Minnesota...and remained there until the end of January 1954, when I was transferred to the Chicago Division as SAC. I remained there until the end of the year, when I retired from FBI service. I have been informed that up to the time of my retirement, I had served longer in the position of SAC than any other person, a period of nearly 17 years. In January 1955, I accepted a position with the New Orleans Police Department, and I have been there since that date."
Guy Banister spent 30 years in the FBI. While Guy Banister was Chicago SAC, he was involved in the arrest of several members of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party, and received the Bureau's "Twenty Year Service Award Key." [NARA 180-10096-10011]
Banister cited the failing health of his daughter: "My daughter must remain under the constant care of a specialist...this makes it dangerous to accept the transfer to the Honolulu Division as SAC" According to Mrs. Ross Banister, Guy Banister's sister-in-law, his daughter [Mrs. Donald Duvio] did suffer from an incurable disease. FBI documents, however, indicated that Guy Banister was about to be dismissed because of his actions in a Minnesota murder case. The Governor of Minnesota, Orville Freeman, and Minnesota Senator Hubert Humphrey, examined the case and pressured the FBI into firing Guy Banister.
When he returned to Louisiana in late 1954 Guy Banister became a client of Maurice Gatlin [201-53,454] and a member of Gatlin's Anti-Communist Committee of the Americas - Caribbean Division. The Anti-Communist Committee of the Americas possibly played a minor role in PB SUCCESS.
In early 1955 New Orleans Mayor DeLesseps "Chip" S. Morrison asked Guy Banister to become an Assistant Superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department. He accepted, and was assigned to prepare a report on police corruption. Guy Banister investigated the New Orleans syndicate. He recounted: "I accepted the position at the Mayor's invitation, who said that the New Orleans Police Department had many of its members being charged with being grafters. I talked to some of my friends, who are professional law enforcement officers, and they said that it could not be done. The New Orleans Police Department was controlled by a mafia-like organization, and it simply could not be cleaned. I said 'Well, if you say it cannot be done, I accept the challenge.' I had retired, intending to get out of law enforcement, although I must say I regretted getting out of counter-espionage, counter-sabotage, counter-subversive activity work." A "Top Hoodlum Coverage FBI Report" revealed that one of Frank Costello's torpedoes threatened to "run Guy Banister out of town." Guy Banister became involved in a dispute about the mob with his superiors in the police department. A FBI source in the New Orleans Police Department reported Guy Banister made waves, and was demoted. The source noted that "within the last two days, Banister had made a public announcement to the effect that some bribery cases had been sent to the District Attorney. As a result, the citizens of New Orleans have a tendency to look upon all Police Department members as suspects." Guy Banister publicly acknowledged that 98 members of the New Orleans Police Department were suspected of taking payoffs. On June 27, 1956, Guy Banister's probe was ended, he was demoted, and the release of the Banister Report was postponed. On June 30, 1956, Guy Banister was on a nightclub tour with out-of-town friends when several police officers confronted him. When they tried to disarm Guy Banister, he pointed his weapon at them and was arrested. The next day, Guy Banister offered to resign from the force. Instead, he was suspended. In August 1956 Guy Banister told the FBI that a Federal Grand Jury was about to indict 50 New Orleans police officers for income tax evasion "and that the possibility exists that a number of New Orleans policemen will be indicted in state courts for public bribery and malfeasance in office."
Guy Banister was accused of being drunk and pulling a gun in public in a bar in the French Quarter on March 1, 1957. [FBI 61-3176-A N.R. 3.26.57] On March 4, 1957, Guy Banister was suspended by Police Superintendent Provosty F. Dayries. Guy Banister appeared as a witness before the New Orleans Federal Grand Jury investigating police graft on March 7, 1957. The First District Americanism Committee of the American Legion issued a statement, "high in praise of Guy Banister for his work against Communism in New Orleans."
In March 1957, Guy Banister testified before the Joint Legislative Committee on Segregation of the Louisiana State Senate, which was scrutinizing alleged Communist influences behind racial unrest. Guy Banister: "The great danger from the Communist Party lies in fact that its homeland is outside the borders of the United States...If the Communist Party was not backed by this great empire - the empire of Russia - and it's an empire, it spite of the fact that it is called the Union of Soviet Republics. We know Russia, not only from reading intelligence and counter-intelligence reports, which I would like to avoid remembering as much as possible. We know from books written by her own people, and other people who have been there We know the nature of the land and the people of the land...She is a nation at war all the time and for all times. The modern phase of Russia, commonly associated with Peter the Great, really began in the late 15th century. Then there intervened two and a half centuries of Mongol yoke. From her ancient past, Russian seems to have inherited a state of mind and an institution, the conviction that they are chosen to inherit the earth, and are hence always in the right...Russia has always exploited to the fullest every advantage she could secure from espionage and subversion... Espionage is the second oldest governmental activity of man. The first is law enforcement. You may adopt as a premise the dialectic of any of our historians as the creation of the proto-social mechanism, but immediately upon its coming into being, two problems were presented - the maintenance of internal order of law enforcement, and the protection from the outside groups, which is espionage. The oldest military treatise we have was published about 500 B.C. by Sun Tzu. We scream if espionage is used against us for two reasons. We are not trained to think in that manner and we have been sold on the idea that it is dirty business. Besides, the use of spies is approved by Jehovah, and I don't see how we can well object. The woman, Rahab, Joshua's 'cut-out agent' in Jericho, lived in a house on the wall. That portion of the wall did not fall, when the walls came tumbling down. Russia had made espionage, which is the war between the wars, into a fine art. Lenin said one day that every communist should make himself a Chekist. In other words every Communist should be a spy. They believe in it. They are guided in their actions by it... Communists within the party are expected to spy on one another, and to report to higher authorities and serious deviation from the established party line, or any breach of Communist loyalty to the revolutionary goal. When the Communist Party seizes control of a nation, it directs its espionage system against all who oppose communism. Freedom of the opposition ceases. In this sense it becomes a police state. Opponents of Communism are tagged with various labels such as spies, assassins, and wreckers, who must be destroyed. On becoming securely established in a given nation, Communists, in addition to their other functions, direct their espionage system against foreign nations as a part of their effort to overthrow all non-Communist social orders, so that a world-wide Communist society can be erected...Every member of the Louisiana Communist Party, a component part of Communist Party, is a Soviet agent. The Communist Party is an agency of the Soviet Government. The reported changes in the Communist Party of the United States of America mean nothing. It is simply now engaged in putting on a clean shirt. The Communist Party is inflexible in basic ideas and flexible in method. From concealed Communist Party members, and from those who are not necessarily members, but have been sympathetic toward communism, come agents not only to spy, but to sabotage. We are vulnerable to sabotage by the use of germs. A few highly trained men can knock out a great city like New Orleans. Germs they might use would not necessarily be directed against man, but against plant and animal life. We can be starved into submission. We can retaliate, and that is one of the reasons the Soviets object to the flight of Freedom Balloons. They object, of course, because of the effect of the propaganda leaflets sent up with the balloons. But they also know that with them we can trace air currents across the most productive parts of their lands. Some queer things have happened over here, and I am sure that no one is positive, but test runs have been made.
"We are particularly vulnerable to smuggled atom bombs. Even the big bombs were comparatively simple to assemble, once they were made. Now they have them down to the size of an artillery shell. Dedicated Communist Party members can smuggle them in, leave them. I doubt that we have enough screw drivers and men to use to find them. They can be triggered, set off by a radio wave, or in several other manners. I know that it is possible and comparatively easy to assemble one of them and New Orleans is a key city in the south land. Not only is it the second largest port in the nation - it boasts of the fact that - but if we begin to starve here we will need shipping to bring food and material for war.
"I recall one outbreak of 'hoof and mouth disease' which occurred in dairy herds of Canada. Legally, it was not possible to establish it was done - planted there. But an intelligence officer is never quite satisfied with a legal definition. And I have talked to many men. You can't be certain. We can't be certain that the man who was supposed to have taken it there was the one who actually did. Someone else could have put it there. We have the example of the 'wheat stem rust' which hit Durham wheat in Eastern Montana and Western Dakota - the kind of wheat there where we get our macaroni. That was an up flare. In that case I talked to the nation's leading plant pathologists in that field. We don't know where the spores came from. They trapped them at 15,000 feet in the air. Maybe it's a test run? We don't know. Maybe its natural. But we must be suspicious now. We can't afford to pass it off as natural, as an example."
Guy Banister believed racial integration of the schools was part of a plan formulated by Stalin and the Communist Party to create "dissension between the races." Former FBI SAC WARREN DeBRUEYS told this telephone interviewer that he spoke with Guy Banister about his work with the Sovereignty Committee. He told the HSCA: "I just didn't have any working relationship with Guy Banister, or anyone else, on the Sovereignty Committee. I knew him, and had very limited contact with him. I seem to recall to have gone to his office on at least one occasion because I remember seeing his side of the office. Then I remember inviting him out as a former S.A. to a church meeting...Beyond that I don't think I had any contact with him." Guy Banister's associate, Joseph Oster, commented: "I was aware the Chief knew a lot of people in the FBI and CIA. DeBRUEYS? I believe he came around to see Guy Banister. The name is very familiar. There was a lot of communication between him and the Chief by phone."
Guy Banister believed the Soviets were contaminating the wheat in the United States without possessing a shred of evidence that this was the case. Banister was a right-wing crackpot. He hated blacks. His politics were similar to those of David Duke.
The suspension of Guy Banister from the Police Department ended on June 1, 1957. He reported to work to find he was now in the Planning Department. He refused the position, and was fired. Guy Banister purchased a newspaper, The Herald, a Gretna, Louisiana weekly. In December 1957 Guy Banister purchased time on a New Orleans television station and announced that Mayor Morrison had interfered with his investigation of police corruption. He referred to the conviction of the Director of the New Orleans Crime Commission for perjury, as evidence of rampant corruption. Guy Banister claimed that "New Orleans District Attorney Leon Hubert failed in his sworn duty to prosecute matters referred to him in connection with the police probe." He also announced he was about to open a private detective agency in New Orleans. Before 1958 was out, Guy Banister testified before a Special Committee of the Arkansas State Legislature, where he claimed that the Communists were behind the riots that followed the integration of the Little Rock, Arkansas, public school system. In 1960 Mayor Daley of Chicago considered appointing Guy Banister as Chief of Police, but reconsidered. On March 29, 1960, Guy Banister was acquitted by Judge Julian Samuel of the 24th Judicial District Court, State of Louisiana, on charges of having defamed one Louis J. Roussel, President of Universal Drilling Company, Inc., by publishing in The Herald an article on December 11, 1958. [FBI NO 105-1458 - highly deleted] The article said the firm had its stock blacklisted by the federal government and that the government has charged fraud and illegal distribution of the stock. Judge Samuel ruled that the article was defamatory and false but that Banister's participation in its publication had not been sufficiently proved.
In 1993 Mrs. Ross Banister stated: "Chip Morrison was thrilled to get him, and he was thrilled to be comin' back to Louisiana. I think that things went real well for quite a while, but then Guy started doing stuff, sort of secret detective work, on his own. As a result, Chip fired him and Guy went into his investigative business. The firing had a great emotional effect on Guy. I think that was sort of the beginning of Guy's end. He started drinking pretty heavy at that time, more so than usual, and he started having family problems. He left his wife Mary Wortham, and moved out. We didn't see much of him. It was just sort of downhill from there on. Mary had Guy put in the hospital for observation, and some tests, and the doctor called Ross and me down there - cause we were about the only family he had, and showed us a brain wave test that he had done. And the doctor said Guy had had a series of small strokes."
Guy Banister's Private Detective Agency was called Guy Banister Associates. In August 1960 the CIA considered using Guy Banister Associates as a source of foreign intelligence and as "a cover mechanism." A CIA search yielded no records on Guy Banister. Guy Banister CIA Headquarters files #201-428,810 and EE-28810 were opened, and file #222918 F-SB/2 was opened on Guy Banister Associates.
On August 26, 1960, this Memorandum for Chief, Office of Security/SSD/I&S Attention Mr. Kunke. Subject: Request for Special Inquiry -- Guy W. Banister, 434 Balter Building, New Orleans 12, Louisiana.
2. For your information Mr. Guy W. Banister, a principal in Subject organization, is a former FBI agent. His present home address is listed as 7059 Argonne Blvd. New Orleans.
3. It will be appreciated if the results of the above requested special inquiry can be provided to Commercial Cover Division/NC by September 12, 1960. (Deleted) Chief, CCD/NC)
On August 30, 1960 a Memorandum for: Special Agent in Charge, David B. Whiteside Subject: Guy W. Banister Associates Inc. #222918 F-SB/2 stated: "The captioned firm, located at 434 Balter Building, New Orleans 12, Louisiana, is of interest to GOLIATH as a cover mechanism. (Deleted)...Paul T. Auden
(Deleted) September 13, 1960, Memorandum for Chief, Investigative Division. Subject: Guy W. Banister Associates Inc. #222918 F-39/2.
1. Subject is engaged in the business of private investigations of all types. Extent of operation is very limited and he appears to be the only employee at present time. Subject's office is presently located at 531 Lafayette Street in a four story building. Subject's office is located on the first floor and is the only office on this floor. He is directly across the street from the Post Office and is located in a commercial section and low-rent district. The Subject' office consists of two rooms. He has been at this location for approximately eight months.
2. The Subject left his Balter Building address on St. Charles Avenue about eight or nine months ago. He occupied two rooms on the first floor of this four story building which is located in the commercial section across from the Masonic Temple which is also housing government offices. The move was attributed to business conditions and it appears that his business is not successful.
5. Dunn and Bradstreet report reflected that Subject, and one investigator named Vernon Gerdes, comprised the two employees of the corporation which has been in operation since 1958. In the opinion of the authorities, the operations of the Corporation in recent months has not been conducted along too successful lines. The Corporation has a few hundred dollars in fixtures and equipment, however, cash is limited. During recent months 'Not sufficient funds' checks has been (illegible). The above tax lien was also reflected in this report. The Corporation has a slow pay record and according to the report the two officers are earning a small living at best."
The next page of this document is generally too dark to read: "One informant stated that Subject aligned himself with the Independent American (illegible) against desegregation or any sort and advocates strongly segregation."
Joseph Oster was contacted on November 22, 1993. He commented, "I owned an interest in Guy Banister Associates when the office was on the second floor of the Balter Building, across the street from the United States District Courthouse. It was near the Times-Picayune, in the central business district. It was a beautiful office, completely furnished - four rooms and a reception area. The building was owned by Colonel Buford H. Balter, old, but well kept.
"There was phone calls come in from the CIA Director at that time. I wanted to say Dulles, but that's not it. Yes, I heard the name HUNT. You see, all of the files, even the ones that we had, suddenly disappeared. I've never knew the Chief to be a segregationist, quite frankly..."
In 1978 Joseph Oster told L. J. Delsa, an investigator for the HSCA, that he first met Guy Banister "in the New Orleans Police Department in the early 1960's when Mr. Banister headed up a group of special investigators to check on corruption within the Department's ranks. Mr. Oster was one of the members of this squad. Mr. Banister was fired in 1957 and Mr. Oster soon after went into business with him. Mr. Oster stated that he did most of the investigating and later, date unknown, became dissatisfied because Mr. Banister did not take an interest in the investigations that could have made money for the firm. Mr. Banister had an office on Robert E. Lee Blvd., but then moved to the Balter Building where Mr. Oster joined him...Two sources that were used were Fidelafax and American Security Council...The American Security Council was used for security checks about political backgrounds with special interest in any communist type activities. These two organizations were headed and staffed mostly by retired FBI agents. The personnel in the office at that time were: Carmen Bollino, an ex-FBI agent from Washington, D.C. He and 'the Chief' worked Remington Rand Corporation checks. 'The Chief' was Guy W. Banister's nickname. It should be noted that Mr. Thomas Beckham states that LEE HARVEY OSWALD always said that the 'Chief' would take care of him. Mr. Beckham didn't know if OSWALD meant Mr. Banister or J. Edgar Hoover. Mr. Oster stated that he has heard Banister call Washington and speak directly to J. Edgar Hoover. Mr. Banister used to call and speak to someone in the CIA, but Mr. Oster does not remember any name. John Sullivan, another employee of Mr. Banister's who was also a retired FBI agent from Vicksburg, Virginia. John Sullivan committed suicide shortly after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Other employees and people that had business with Mr. Banister: Edward Stuart Suggs and Major Stewart who wrote and owned the Westbank Herald located in Algiers, Louisiana. (This is New Orleans but it is located on the West Bank of the Mississippi River.) This paper was active in Latin American affairs. Mr. Oster feels that Major Stewart had intelligence ties to Latin America. Edward Stuart Suggs was a part-reporter, part-investigator. Mr. Oster describes him as very smart and an adventurer, always trying to impress people with the important people he knew. Mr. Oster remembers catching Mr. Suggs with a very young sailor in the Colonila Hotel located in Exchange Alley. Mr. Oster will attempt to find the report made on this case, in which Suggs was allegedly involved in homosexual acts with the sailor. (The New Orleans Police Department arrest sheets do not reflect any such arrest, but Mr. Oster feels these sheets might have been tampered with over the years.) Mr. Suggs denies to the investigators that he was ever involved in homosexual activities, even though he associated with many young men and know deviates such as David Ferrie...Mr. George Singleton and Mr. Banister were close friends. Mr. Singleton wrote for the Citizens Council and was close to Judge Leander Perez in the fight against integration. Col. Buford Balter, Mr. Singleton, Mr. Stewart and others around Mr. Banister were interested in ultra-conservative politics in which Mr. Oster did not take any active part. Colonel Balter would take out ads in the local papers against integration...Alvin Cobb was a friend of Banister. Mr. Cobb was a supporter of the KKK." [HSCA interview 1.27.78 Delsa & Robert Buras]
The HSCA received a report from Guy Banister associate Joseph Newbrough that "a man that had been in the Federal Civil Service in New Orleans had been in Guy Banister's office on many occasions. This man, whose name he could not remember, was employed by or connected in some way to Mr. HUNT. The man was middle aged, lean, receding hairline, spoke with a Texas accent and always dressed well. He had an office or worked in with someone in the Pierre Marguette Building on Barone Street. He told Mr. Newbrough that he worked for the Hughes Tool Company, but Newbrough could never reach him at that company. Guy Banister told Newbrough that the man worked for H.L. Hunt. He once gave Banister some money to bring to Governor McKeithen or Shelby Jackson, in Baton Rouge, for their campaigns. The amount was not more than a thousand dollars or so, and it was somehow marked as going to an investigation into some such company as Pinrod Drilling. No investigation ever took place but this was a means to funnel money into State officials without anyone knowing about it. The man was not criminal or even bad intentioned, this was just the way some money was put into campaigns. This man used to sit around in the morning with a few regulars in Holsum's Cafeteria and have coffee. He knew the owner, Frank Manning, who was the Chief Investigator for the Attorney General of the State." [HSCA Memo 9.28.78 Buras] HEMMING told this researcher: "The HUNT that was connected with Hughes Tool was someone else."
On July 7, 1960, Edward S. Suggs advised the FBI that Thomas Edward Beckham, age 17, was in California, allegedly passing fraudulent checks on his father's account. The FBI also reported: "The name Thomas Beckham never appeared during our investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy. However, on January 13, 1967 we received information that Garrison had located a witness, Thomas Beckham, who allegedly associated with OSWALD and assisted him in passing out leaflets. Our files contain a reference to a Thomas Edward Beckham of New Orleans who in 1962 was seeking funds for a religious group aiding Cubans. Lewis reported that Beckham (Deleted). [FBI 62-109060-4407] This man allegedly had a record with the New Orleans Police Department for being involved in such activities. (Deleted) The information that Thomas Beckham was one of Garrison's witnesses was furnished this Bureau by Edward Suggs, who was one of the original instigators of Garrison's current probe. (Deleted)." [FBI 62-109060-5950 1.3.68] On October 19, 1962, Beckham's mother reported to the FBI that her son was on the third floor of the Charity Hospital in the mental ward. [FBI 62-109060-4407]
On September 21, 1960, a memorandum for SSD FILE From Chief SB/2 Subject: Guy Banister Associates, Inc. #222918 F-SB/2 read:
1. Attention is invited to the attached thermo fax copy of a (deleted) memorandum dated September 13, 1960.
2. The contents of the aforementioned memorandum were brought to the attention of (deleted) CCG/NC. (Deleted) advised that after discussing the matter with (deleted) it was decided for reasons indicated in the attached report CCG could not utilize the Subject concern. (Deleted) requested that no further action be taken in this matter. He does not desire a formal report in this matter. As a matter of information, it should be noted that Mr. James O'Connell has furnished Commercial Cover Group with an alternative private detective company." [E.E. Kuhnke Memo for SSD File 9.21.60 Banister Sec. File NARA 1993:08.02.09:57:29:400060.]
In 1967 the CIA stated: "On this date copies of recent newspaper clippings with reference to the alleged involvement of William Guy Banister and his private detective agency in the current so-called 'New Orleans Kennedy Death Plot' which is under investigation by that city's District Attorney, were forwarded through channels tot he Chief/SRS, together with Security Files on each (Guy Banister #EE-28810 and Guy Banister Associates, Inc. #222918). It was noted that Banister was of interest to OO/C in 1960 (deleted) and that interest in the use of Guy Banister Associates as a cover mechanism in August 1960 was dropped upon receipt of an unfavorable report from the field." [CIA OS M.D. Stevens 3.8.67 CIA 1338-1052]
On January 6, 1961, Guy Banister had formed the Friends of Democratic Cuba, a support group for the Cuban Revolutionary Front, and opened an office in the Balter Building, where the Cuban Revolutionary Front had offices.
The Articles of Incorporation of the Friends of Democratic Cuba were drafted by Grady Durham. Its purposes were: "To enlighten the people of the U.S.A. and free world of the evils and perils of the communist dictatorship in Cuba; to promote the cause of freedom from communist tyranny in Cuba; to assist Cuban refugees, those in exile, and other Cuban patriots to regroup and organize for the purpose of opposing communism in Cuba; to solicit for and obtain funds and contributions for these purposes and for the support of the Cuban Revolutionary Front, and to assist that organization in its aims and purposes of opposing communism in Cuba; to promote trade and commerce between the U.S.A. and Cuba; to defray all necessary expenses; and to buy, sell lease and obtain all necessary property, both real and personal, which might be necessary and all licenses, permits, exemptions and sanctions which might be necessary in conformity with the objectives stated herein...Signed June Durham, Grady Durham, W. Guy Banister, Alfred Chittenden and Martin L. McAuliffe, Jr." J.S. Martin, Sr. (Edward S. Suggs) witnessed the signing of this document.
The Friends of Democratic Cuba merged with the Cuban Revolutionary Front in January 1961. HUNT, who was the Chief Political Officer of the Cuban Revolutionary Front, would have had to have approved this merger. The CIA declared: "About one month after its organization, the Friends of Democratic Cuba closed..." At least one CIA document stated that Guy Banister was an FBI contact for the Cuban Revolutionary Front: "Two of Sergio Arcacha Smith's regular FBI contacts were a Mr. De Bruce [S.A. DeBRUEYS] and the deceased Guy Banister...Arcacha Smith was a member of Guy Banister's Friends of Democratic Cuba." The FBI reported: "Banister was also active in the Cuban Revolutionary Front, (Internal Security - Cuba) which information was furnished to the Bureau by LHM dated February 7, 1961." [CIA 1320-484, 1357-506, 1338-1052, 1363-501; HUNT Day p23, 63; FBI 62-22617-A, 62-22617-235, 244, 217, 224; 62-10386-3, 62-105198-5; HSCA V5 p129]
On January 20, 1961, the FBI generated a report that was File #2-41, subject, FRANK ANTHONY STURGIS - Neutrality Matters. This file was withheld. On January 20, 1961, two members of Friends of Democratic Cuba attempted to purchase several pickup trucks from Oscar Deslatte of Bolton Ford. One of them used the name LEE OSWALD. The FBI reported: "On November 25, 1963, Mr. William A. Watson, Vice-President, Bolton Ford Company, New Orleans, telephonically advised his truck manager informed him that the Friends of Democratic Cuba had made a bid on a truck and that the bid was signed by OSWALD. Another name appeared on the bill and believed to be Joseph Moler. He stated all information would be available through his truck manager, Fred Sewell." [NARA 124-10248-10153]
Fred Sewell told an investigator for Jim Garrison: "I think that Oscar Deslatte wrote that on there, LEE OSWALD, but he didn't use the name HARVEY, just LEE OSWALD if I remember right. Yes, it's been six years of course. He represented himself as LEE OSWALD. He's the man that spoke up and said, 'I'm the man handling the money. You ought to have my name too...I would say that the men were in there that I could see them maybe an hour...So then when the President was assassinated and the name came out, Oscar come in either the next morning or the morning after and said, "Say Fred, do you remember those two guys who was in here from Cuba trying to get some buses cheap? And I said, 'Yes.' He said, 'I think that one of those men was the one who killed the President.' I said, 'Aw, you're kidding.' and he said 'We've got a piece of paper around here somewhere with a bid on it.' He went and hauled that piece of paper out and then Oscar called the FBI...The FBI come down and picked it up with two pieces of plastic. They didn't even put their fingerprints on it. And slid these two pieces of plastic on each side of it and offered us a receipt for it and took it with them." Fred Sewell was asked by Jim Garrison: "In other words they expected to find fingerprints on it?" Sewell: "Yes, but I don't think the man ever touched it, really. We did, but I don't think he did. Then Oscar come to me and he said, 'I got some kind of Freedom or Free Democrats of Cuba' or something. He had a name for it. He come in my office and he said kind of contributing to Cuba. He said they want ten buses or they want to bid on ten buses. Do you want to give them a good deal on it? Well, I said, seeing that they're having a hard time down there let's make it $50 over cost for each one of them." [James L. Alcock to Garrison 5.2.67] The files of the New Orleans FBI Office do not show that Fred Sewell was ever interviewed in regard to the Bolton Ford Incident.
Oscar Deslatte, another employee of Bolton Ford, confirmed the report of Fred Sewell in a conversation with the FBI: "Joseph Moore," and an unidentified Cuban male, insisted Oscar Deslatte sell them trucks at cost because they would be used against Castro. Joseph Moore said he was an ex-Marine who was involved in training the invasion brigade. He wrote his name and bid on a piece of paper and handed it to Oscar Deslatte. Joseph Moore then asked Oscar Deslatte to return the slip, and changed the name on it to "OSWALD." OSWALD was in the Soviet Union in 1961. [WCD 75 p677; FBI 67-39565-66; FBI FOIA req. Banister 105-95587-1 p10] In 1979 the FBI released copies of the records of Oscar Deslatte. To see this tag double click here. [Bolton.JPEG] The words "Friends of Democratic Cuba" and "OSWALD" appeared. [Memo 5.9.67 To: Garrison From: Alcock.] The FBI ran a file check on Joseph Moore on January 9, 1968. Most of the serials were non-identifiable. Serials 25-20038, 26-24044, 162-436 were followed by question marks. Serial 88-6623 had nothing next to it. The rest of the serial were marked "Not Identifiable." [FBI New Orleans 89-69-3730]
HEMMING did not believe the Bolton Ford incident took place: "There's no logical connection at all. Nobody used any trucks during the Bay of Pigs. There were no fucking trucks. Maybe they were trying to con him. Sounds like some Cuban trying to get a deal. Never heard of Moore."
On February 7, 1961, a withheld FBI investigation of Friends of Democratic Cuba culminated in an Letter Head Memorandum: "One copy of the enclosed Letter Head Memorandum is also being furnished to the New York Office for information, in view of the statements attributed to (deleted) by (deleted) to the effect that (deleted). The enclosed Letter Head Memorandum is being classified Secret, as unauthorized disclosure of data contained therein could result in serious damages to the U.S., such as jeopardy of international relations, and endanger the effectiveness of a program of vital importance to national defense. No dissemination is to be made of the enclosed material except to CIA at Bureau level. Confidential Informant NO T-1 is (deleted). Interviews of (deleted) and Guy Banister were conducted by S.A. (deleted) and (deleted). This data is being made part of various individual Subject files of the New Orleans Office in connection with the investigation of various individuals in the '105' category. [Internal Security - Nationalistic Tendency] (Deleted.) Any additional pertinent data received by the New Orleans Office concerning Subject organization will be furnished to the Bureau in a form suitable for dissemination to CIA. Bromwell." [FBI 105-187912-182]
The CIA withheld a good deal of information on Banister; even newspaper clippings. The FBI interviewed Guy Banister about the Friends of Democratic Cuba: "Banister related that he is a member of the Board of Directors of the Friends of Democratic Cuba Incorporated, which he describes as a charitable organization chartered under Louisiana State law whose primary purpose is to lend assistance to Cuban exiles. In response to inquiry, Banister stated that he (deleted). Banister stated that he did receive from (deleted). His purpose would then be to furnish such information to (deleted). In addition to the above, Banister remarked that (deleted) is hired by him as a part-time (deleted). He explained that (deleted) is interested in ascertaining the political sympathies of Cuban and other students attending Tulane University. This is of interest to Banister in connection with his interest and position in the Louisiana State organization known as the State Joint Legislative Committee on Un-American Activities."
On March 30, 1961, ANGLETON sent CSCI-3/764,414 to Sam Papich regarding the Friends of Democratic Cuba. ANGLETON had either generated or had seen this document. It stated:
1. Reference is made to Bureau Memoranda dated January 20, 1961, and February 7, 1961, both entitled "Frente Revolutionario Democratico (FRD)."
2. The following information concerning the Subject, from a reliable source, is forwarded as being of possible interest to the Bureau.
3. The Friends of Democratic Cuba was incorporated January 6, 1961, in New Orleans, Louisiana, with offices in the Balter Building for the purpose of collecting funds to assist Cubans in opposition to Castro. The funds were to be channeled through the Frente Revolutionario Democratico. The New Orleans delegate of the Cuban Revolutionary Front, Sergio Arcacha, was to receive the funds collected, minus some percentage believed by source to be 20% to be retained by the Friends of Democratic Cuba. No public collection of money took place, but it is possible that some donations were received from some company or union. Mr. Arcacha stated the only amount collected was $100 received from a company with which Mario del Canal was connected. About one month after its organization Friends of Democratic Cuba closed because, according to its organizers, some Cubans exhibited a lack of understanding.'
4. The source provided the following information concerning the persons composing the Friends of Democratic Cuba, Inc.
a. Grady Durham...
b. Guy Banister, a former member of the FBI, is a former Second Chief of Police in New Orleans. The later position terminated with differences of opinion with the Mayor of New Orleans. Banister now has a detective agency at 531 Lafayette Street, New Orleans. According to the source, some of his informants consider Banister a decent person and others think he is a racketeer.
5. The source stated that in his opinion Durham and Banister organized the Friends of Democratic Cuba strictly for personal gain. He further stated that he doubted that donations had not been received, and suggested that an investigation of the books of the New Orleans Exporters Company and the Stevedores Union which would reveal the personal gain realized by the promoters and perhaps also evidence of evasion of United States Federal taxes
6. The source further advised that to his knowledge there is no radio plant in the offices of the Friends of Democratic Cuba, nor does that organization operate a transmitter from a boat.
7. The FRD delegate in New Orleans is Sergio Arcacha assisted by Pedro (illegible).
WH/4CI (Deleted) 3.16.61
Distribution: Original & 1 Addressee
1 -CI R & A
1 - CI/LIA; 1-WH/4?
Based on (deleted) 1.23.61]
[CIA 1436-494-AE; Allen v. DOD CIA 07331; Smith CSCI-316/-3737-65 and (deleted) 2.22.61; NARA 1993.07.14.15.:41:50:460270]
The FBI: "Files of the New Orleans Office show that Jerry Milton Brooks was the Subject of an extensive (deleted) violations (deleted) Springfield Division (deleted) and was sentenced to three years (deleted). The files show that on March 27, 1961, Jerry Milton Brooks personally called at the New Orleans Office of the FBI and advised he had been in touch with Guy Banister and Maurice Gatlin and that, at their insistence, he had written to Communist Party New York City Headquarters on March 16, 1961. He also called at Communist Party Headquarters and spoke to the secretary who was situated on the third floor. He stated that he had inquired about membership in the Communist Party and at the insistence of Gatlin and Banister, had also subscribed to several publications. Brooks, at that time, gave every indication to the interviewing agent that he was mentally imbalanced." [FBI 62-109060-6057 p22]
"CIA Office of Security indices results: (Deleted) a New York Times newspaper clipping for November 9, 1966, entitled 'U.N. Plot Traced by ex-Minutemen.' It was reported that Jerry Milton Brooks, a former member of the Minutemen, testified in United States District Court in Kansas City, Missouri, that he had suggested to Robert B. DePugh, the national coordinator of the right-wing group, that cyanide be put in the air-conditioning of the General Assembly Building of the United Nations in New York City. Brooks was a government witness, but admitted that he had a police record - convicted of attempted burglary in 1948; burglary and larceny in 1950 and extortion in 1957." [CIA 40474 1.18.68]
During the trial of Minutemen leaders Robert B. DePugh, Troy Houghton, and Walter Patrick Peyson, Jerry Milton Brooks appeared as a Government witness who had infiltrated the Minutemen for one year. The organization suggested he give a lecture on assassinations to trainees at a weekend meeting of the Minutemen. After this lecture, Jerry Milton Brooks approached Robert DePugh, the national coordinator of the Minutemen national, and suggested Jerry Milton Brooks purchase ten gallons of potassium cyanide for $56. According to Jerry Milton Brooks, a member of the Minutemen who was a New York State Policeman would use his credentials to gain entrance to the basement of the United Nations General Assembly Building. Jerry Milton Brooks said Robert DePugh suggested the group assassinate Senator J.W. Fulbright (Dem.-AK). He testified the Minutemen were in possession of unregistered automatic firearms and silencers. Robert DePugh was convicted, and sentenced to four years in prison. [NYT 5.2.67]
On March 15, 1967, Nick Carter of Kansas City, Missouri, overheard Jerry Milton Brooks at a pay telephone talking about the Kennedy assassination. Jerry Milton Brooks' conversation turned to the Minutemen, and he mentioned the name 'Doc' Gould. Elmer Andrew Gould claimed he was a conscientious objector during World War II. His claim was denied but by that time he was too old to be drafted. On January 15, 1963, W.D. Stevens, of U.S. Customs, received a call from an unidentified woman who stated that Elmer Gould had advanced $100 to Kenneth G. Graham to pay an individual named Charlie, (LNU), to kill Senator John W. Fulbright. "Charlie" absconded with Gould's $100. On March 15, 1967, Frank Belecky, area supervisor of the Kansas City, Missouri, Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, advised the FBI that Jerry Milton Brooks had become somewhat of a problem to the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Office recently "in that he apparently wants to do something to gain attention or notoriety. He recently attempted to make contact with Robert De Pugh by stating to an individual in contact with De Pugh that he, Brooks, had information which would 'blow the government's Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms case against De Pugh wide open.' Belecky further stated that for the past week or so he has had Brooks come to his office each morning an remain there until evening in order to keep him out of trouble." [FBI 89-43-6097, 6098]
Jerry Milton Brooks might have been mentally unstable - most informants are - but his information was valid. Banister was still spying on the Communist Party of the U.S.A. and still running operations.
The New Orleans-States Item reported that a source close to Guy Banister said that in April 1961 he had seen 50 to 100 boxes containing rifles, grenades, land mines and "unique little missiles," in the office of Guy Banister just before the invasion. Guy Banister explained: "I have approval from somebody." [Memo 1.31.67 Lester Otillio: Garrison re: Gerdes, ARA file; Guy Banister's Index Card, ARA file] Vernon Gerdes told the HSCA that "he thought that the most important thing that he gave the Secret Service was the 12 by 12 stack of ammunition and grenades with Schlumberger marked on them. He was of the opinion that Shlumberger was an oil supplier and the company was being used to transport arms to Latin America." [HSCA Delsa interview with Gerdes 1.10.78]
In late 1961 Guy Banister was a founder of Radio Free Cuba, with William Wayne Dalzell. William Dalzell, born December 26, 1925, (or December 4, 1926) in Shawnee, Oklahoma, was a Native American who had been in the Navy from 1943 to 1945, and left with an honorable discharge. In 1958, the FBI investigated William Dalzell to determine if he should register as an agent of Ethiopia. FBI S.A.'s WARREN DeBRUEYS and Regis Kennedy investigated. There was no prosecution. William Dalzell was arrested in Houston, Texas, in November 1958, for Carrying a Concealed Weapon. William Dalzell claimed that he had an agreement with the Government of Yemen in 1959 to negotiate offshore and inland oil concessions. He told the FBI he had been employed by various drilling and petroleum companies, and had worked for the Defense Department as a cryptographer. S.A. Regis Kennedy interviewed William Dalzell about the illegal transfer of pesos to Cuba in 1960. A Fugitive Warrant was issued for William Dalzell in New York in July 1960. The Warrant was revoked, and held in abeyance, by Louisiana Governor Jimmie Davis then marked "Case Closed." [NOPD Supp. Rep. Item G-2739-6] S.A. Regis Kennedy interviewed William Dalzell about Cuban matters. William Dalzell was investigated by S.A. DeBRUEYS in 1961 because of attempts to obtain a PT boat and a submarine for anti-Castro activities in Honduras. William Dalzell told the FBI that he discussed procuring weapons for exiles in Guatemala, but claimed this matter never went beyond the discussion stage since, "Sergio Arcacha Smith never indicated that his organization had been able to obtain permission to purchase a PT boat and submarine."
After a few months with Radio Free Cuba, William Dalzell and Guy Banister resigned from its Board because of its alleged "communistic ideas." Radio Free Cuba transmitted anti-Castro propaganda over the short wave bands. Its executive advisory committee interlocked with Radio Free Europe. The New York Times reported: "A rather tenuous operation known as Free Cuba Radio was a CIA venture. Free Cuba Radio, established in the early 1960's, did not broadcast from its own transmitters, but purchased air time from any number of commercial radio stations in Florida and Louisiana." [NYT News Service Miami News 12.26.77] Guy Banister, William Dalzell and Grady Durham formed their own organization, The Voice of Free Cuba, or The Free Voice of Latin America. When S.A. Regis Kennedy and S.A. DeBRUEYS interviewed William Dalzell on June 6, 1961, he "admitted being connected with Free Voice of Latin America and Friends of Democratic Cuba."
William Dalzell told HSCA investigators that he was fluent in five languages and had been employed by the CIA in Arlington, Virginia, in the early 1950's: "While in the CIA he was mostly in the Arabic Section, dealing with codes and radio transmissions. He was a cryptologist with a top secret clearance." On October 31, 1967, in the course of formulating a response to New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison's investigation, the CIA ran traces on William Dalzell. Office of Security indices - negative. [CIA F82-0240/1] FBI documents revealed that William Dalzell's only contact with the CIA occurred in 1961, through the Cuban Revolutionary Front. William Dalzell told S.A. DeBRUEYS he visited the CIA three times in connection with the Cuban Revolutionary Front, and was interviewed by an Agent: "Dalzell claims he was interviewed by CIA Agent Lloyd Ray, who was interested in determining certain information regarding radio stations in Cuba, as well as certain microwave equipment in the possession of the Cuban Government. Hunter Leake, CIA representative, New Orleans, confirmed to S.A. DeBRUEYS that William Dalzell paid three visits to the CIA office on November 16, 1960, January 26, 1961, and February 11, 1961." Hunter Leake told S.A. DeBRUEYS that William Dalzell had been referred to the CIA by Grady Durham, a lawyer friend of Lloyd Ray. William Dalzell told Lloyd Ray he wanted to "set up a transmitter to contact counter-revolutionaries operating in Cuba and then re-broadcast their messages." The New Orleans CIA: "Lloyd of course, was being most courteous because of the presence of the Cuban national. It is occurred to us, however, that perhaps the DD/P might be interested in a station in New Orleans which proposes to broadcast to Cuba particularly where it does not appear on the face that they are looking for money, but simply for guidance. It may be that the DD/P would be happy to guide them in their propaganda." [CIA Memo William Burke 11.18.60 Proposed Radio Free Cuba, NARA 1993.07.27.08:37:23710620 ]
In 1962 William Dalzell was arrested for "improper liquor permit." During late 1963 and early 1964 the Justice Department considered prosecuting William Dalzell for Fraud by Wire and Mail Fraud. The Department of Justice had received a complaint from Miss Cecilia M. Hlebanja, an investor in one of William Dalzell's 1959 oil deals in Yemen. The Justice Department declined prosecution and characterized the activities of William Dalzell as a civil matter. [FBI LHM 5.22.67] Joseph Oster commented, "There's a phony if ever there was one. He'd been involved with oil deals. He was at the office all the time. He had a place in Dallas, too." By February 1963, William Dalzell was in the Central Louisiana State Psychiatric Hospital. He was discharged as of March 20, 1963. After the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, William Dalzell was not interviewed by S.A. Regis Kennedy nor by any other New Orleans FBI agent.
Grady Durham, an attorney, was a distant cousin of former Louisiana governor, Jimmie Davis. In 1963, Grady Durham, a compulsive gambler, passed some bad checks. Edward Suggs explained: "People were going to press charges against him. I went to the New Orleans Coroner, Dr. Nick Chetta, and got warrants issued for mental incompetency. They took these papers to the D.A.'s complaint desk and got the check charges killed as they came in."
Guy Banister was connected to the Cuban Revolutionary Council through New Orleans delegate Sergio Arcacha Smith. Guy Banister: "I worked with Arcacha Smith. He was - our work was primarily to gather food and clothing for Cuban refugees. However, because of my being known in connection with that, my background being known with Arcacha Smith and others, I have had high-ranking Cuban refugees in my office asking me how to go underground, and I gave them diagrams for that. I have talked to military and political leaders from the various provinces of Cuba who have slipped out and slipped back."
Sergio Arcacha Smith (201-835,474), was born in Havana, Cuba, of Irish/Cuban lineage. He studied at Belem High School in Cuba with Fidel Castro, attended the University of Havana, and then did one year of graduate work at Columbia University. Sergio Arcacha Smith returned to Cuba, where Carlos Prio Soccarras appointed him Consul for Cuba in Madrid, Rome, Mexico City; and Batista appointed him Consul for Cuba in Bombay, India, from 1952 to 1954. In 1955, he was employed by J. Walter Thompson advertising in Venezuela. J. Walter Thompson had supplied the OSS with numerous personnel during World War II. [Smith OSS p15] Sergio Arcacha Smith moved to the United States in August 1960. According to CIA records, he was appointed the New Orleans delegate of the Cuban Revolutionary Front by Tony Varona:
1. Traces on Arcacha do not reflect the date he first arrived in the U.S. However he became the delegate of the Cuban Revolutionary Front in New Orleans prior to the Bay of Pigs invasion and continued in that position until the Cuban Revolutionary Front ceased to function. The Cuban Revolutionary Front was the predecessor of the Cuban Revolutionary Council and was organized and supported by the Agency. The organization was used as a front for recruitment of Brigade 2506 for the invasion. During this period [November 1960 to October 1961] Sergio Arcacha Smith reported to Cuban Revolutionary Front headquarters in Miami through a post office box in Coral Gables, and reportedly maintained extensive relationships with the New Orleans FBI and Immigration Offices. Two of his regular contacts were a Mr. De Bruce [DeBRUEYS] and the deceased Guy Banister...Background information on the Cuban Revolutionary Front and Sergio Arcacha Smith's connection with the organization was forwarded to the FBI in CSCI-3/764, 414 dated March 30, 1961. Other sources of the above summary of information on Arcacha are DBF-92355 January 13, 1961; DBF-91759 October 11, 1961; CSCI-316/-3737-65 and (deleted) 929 February 22, 1961." [CIA WH/COG 67-194 Memo for ADDP C/CI/R & A (Mr. Rocca) Subject: Garrison and the Kennedy Investigation. Reference: CI/R & A memo 4.26.67 (Deleted) AC/WH/COG Attachment #1]
When HUNT served as the political officer of the Cuban Revolutionary Front, he worked out of a proprietary located in Coral Gables. HUNT was questioned in HUNT v. WEBERMAN about Sergio Arcacha Smith; he denied having known him. Yet in Give Us This Day, HUNT wrote of how he planned the budget of the Cuban Revolutionary Front and how it included "the establishment of Cuban Revolutionary Front offices in principal cities of the Western Hemisphere, including the United States...within a few weeks I was paying the Cuban Revolutionary Front $115,000 a month, most of it for salaries and rentals."
Luis Rabel, the New Orleans delegate of the Cuban Revolutionary Council, denied having met HUNT or "EDUARDO." The HSCA questioned Tony Varona about his knowledge of the New Orleans office of the Cuban Revolutionary Council; he said he had known Sergio Arcacha Smith and Frank Bartes. On November 14, 1963, Tony Varona flew to New Orleans for a meeting of the Cuban Revolutionary Council at Gallier Hall. Varona said that only 15% of the Cuban people supported Fidel Castro and that his regime will collapse at his death. Varona conferred with Frank Bartes. [New Orleans Times Picayune 11.15.63] HUNT worked closely with Tony Varona.
An FBI document revealed Sergio Arcacha Smith was approached in January 1961 by a representative of CARLOS MARCELLO, who said "he had a contributor to the Cuban Revolutionary Front who was willing to make available funds in the amount of some $200,000." When asked, the man identified the contributor as CARLOS MARCELLO, and he added that the contribution stipulated "that after the Castro regime was thrown out of Cuba, the new government would give CARLOS MARCELLO certain gambling concessions as well as the privilege of Cuban citizenship." [FBI 92-2713-144]
The FBI believed Sergio Arcacha Smith worked for the CIA. The Bureau received a CIA telex which verified it had utilized the Cuban Revolutionary Front in some unspecified operation, and the FBI was aware that Sergio Arcacha Smith was the head of the Cuban Revolutionary Front: "There is a possibility CIA could have had an operational interest in Sergio Arcacha Smith. Accordingly, the Bureau may desire to inquire of CIA through liaison, at Seat Of Government level, whether or not CIA has an operational interest in Sergio Arcacha Smith, David William Ferrie and Potential Criminal Informant (deleted)." [FBI 62-109060-4707, 4542] The CIA denied having any Office of Security record on Sergio Arcacha Smith. [CIA 1435-492-AD rel. 5.18.82] When the CIA ran traces on Sergio Arcacha Smith on March 6, 1967, it retrieved a reference to "File No. *219000-332 © Project Seal(I have already) July 19, 1961, p2." [Oswald Case Indices Search Request] Sergio Arcacha Smith explained to a public relations co-worker that "he was under the thumb of the State Department, which in private, he referred to as the CIA. He received all his funds from them and was contemplating applying for a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. He had an office in the Balter Building, where pictures of Huey Long hung by the elevator on each floor."
In March 1961, ANGLETON generated CSCI-3/764,414 and CSCI-316/-3737-65 about Sergio Arcacha Smith. A "confidential source, who has in the past furnished insufficient information to determine reliability" informed the FBI of Sergio Arcacha Smith's activities in September 1961: "Sergio Arcacha Smith displayed numerous photographs and documents relating to the atrocities being committed by the Castro regime in Havana, Cuba, and the Isle of Pines...ultimately he and his partners were taken to the residence of David Ferrie, where they were introduced to two young Cubans, and two young ex-Marines. He said upon arriving at the house he was taken directly to the attic where there were maps of Cuba displayed on the walls, and a number of different types of firearms sitting in a rack. He stated in the basement of this same house were two roughly assembled two-man submarines. Source stated Smith and others excitedly discussed plans to blow up ships in Havana Harbor, sabotage key installations. He said Ferrie was to be a pilot for the organization, and they mentioned it would be about two weeks before the explosives (which were removed from a munitions bunker in Houma, Louisiana) would arrive in Cuba." [see Garrison Inv. Memo 1.13.68 To: Louis Ivon From: Gary Sanders re: Richard Rolfe - Rolfe was a partner of Werbell] The FBI reported that on November 19, 1962, NO T-2, another government agency, advised the FBI that as of September 29, 1962, Sergio Arcacha Smith had post office box 50523, Main Post Office, New Orleans, and subsequently gave a change of address as 5408 Seminole Avenue, Tampa, Florida. On May 7, 1963, when interviewed as a Subject of a Interstate Transportation of a Stolen Motor Vehicle case, Sergio Arcacha Smith gave his address as 4023 Turnberry Circle, Houston, Texas. [FBI 62-109060-4606]
Sergio Arcacha Smith endeavored to raise funds for the Cuban Revolutionary Front by selling "Cuban Revolutionary Front bonds." In November 1961, Smith went to Ronnie Caire, a public relations man, and asked his assistance in a fund-raising campaign for the Cuban Revolutionary Front located at Room 6, 544 Camp Street. Ronnie Caire telephoned the FBI to find out whether the Cuban Revolutionary Front and the Crusade to Free Cuba (the fund raising group of Sergio Arcacha Smith) were legitimate and recognized by the United States Government. The Bureau referred him to the U.S. Attorney in New Orleans, who said Sergio Arcacha Smith was "okay." In December 1961 an article appeared in The New Orleans Times-Picayune about the Crusade to Free Cuba. Ronnie Caire registered as an agent of the Cuban government-in-exile with the Foreign Agents Registration Board. Ronnie Caire was to receive 25% of whatever was collected plus expenses; all funds collected would go into an account controlled by Segio Arcacha Smith and by an accountant named Grimalder.
In 1963 OSWALD visited Ronnie Caire. After the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Ronnie Caire apprised the Secret Service during the afternoon of December 2, 1963, that he "seemed to recall OSWALD applying for a job with his agency while he had offices at 704-5 Cigali Building, corner Camp and Canal Streets, New Orleans. He said this was several months ago and about the time OSWALD had a debate over radio station WDSU, in August 1963. He said this was the only time he had seen OSWALD, and for that reason, he could not be positive in identifying OSWALD'S photograph that he was the man he had in mind." [WCE 1414] The FBI had no traces on Caire in connection with the assassination of President Kennedy. [FBI 105-82555-5647]
In 1967, Caire told an investigator for the New Orleans District Attorney's office, "OSWALD once applied for a job with me, he came in one day and said he had experience in public relations and wanted a job. OSWALD did not fill out an application, and I never saw him again."
Ronnie Caire told the HSCA "LHO was interviewed by him for approximately three minutes, when he came to his office looking for work, and that no application was completed or filled out by LHO, and that his secretary (unknown at this time) reminded him of that, during the time that he was being interviewed by two of Garrison's investigators." [HSCA Caire interview 4.7.78 William Brown]
Ronnie Caire was interviewed by telephone in 1978:
Q. Did OSWALD ever approach you for a job?
A. Gee, that's a long time ago. I don't remember too much about it. Seems to me he came by once.
Q. You handled publicity for the Cuban Revolutionary Council?
A. Yeah, we handled the fund drive for them.
Q. Did you know HOWARD HUNT back then or any of the other Watergate guys?
A. No. I was just a speck on the wall.
Q. Why did the CIA approach you in the guise of the Cuban Revolutionary Council?
A. Because I had such good local political connections. I was known as an expert in political affairs. Got them blue chip names. Just another money raising job. I raised it for the Republicans and Democrats and State's Rights. I said the account was making nigger shit and I dropped it.
Q. Do you remember what happened when OSWALD came to see you?
A. No man, I'm not even sure it was OSWALD, and that's the truth, I told them that. At the time there were so many guys coming in looking for jobs. As a matter of fact, the guy I remember didn't even come to see me, he came to see my former partner. They were coming in at that time two or three a week. Truthfully, I sat down with everyone in the office and tried to remember if we had seen OSWALD and we weren't really sure. I had to question some guy by the name of OSWALD who applied for a job.
Q. Are you still in the P.R. business?
A. Retired, two strokes, laid up, half blind.
Q. Jesus Christ. You sure you didn't know HUNT from the Cuban Revolutionary Council?
A. He was on the national level, no I didn't. Let me tell you how I got into this. Sergio came to me and I checked the best I could like the FBI check that you read to me. I'm in favor of anti-communist causes, and I checked the FBI and they all said it was alright. Then I was in a room with a bunch of Cuban leaders and I realized they were more interested in who was going to be the king when they got back, then in overthrowing Castro. And I went ahead and carried out what obligations I had and I got the hell out of it. Then one day I'm sitting in the office and in comes Sergio and says he's been kicked out too. The last time I saw him was when he came in and tried to sell me some Latin American accounts. P.R. accounts. And he introduced me to some dude named Nestor Marcos Diaz. He said he had a business in Mexico. I'll tell ya, I feel like a dinosaur. I was raised in the news business. I got my lumps in the Huey Long days, got my head beat in...I was to appear as a government witness in the (unintelligible) investigation State of Louisiana. I ran a paper called The Owl but was wiped out by a hurricane and lost $125,000.
Q. Did you know Banister?
A. Banister was a hot-pistoled cop." [WE 1414; FBI 105-82555-5647, 5648, 5649]
The Cuban Revolutionary Front did not need help from the Crusade to Free Cuba, since the Cuban Revolutionary Front had CIA funding. An Cuban Revolutionary Front financial statement prepared for the Foreign Agents Registration Board indicated it collected only $18,000 in 1961. Yet its total expenditure for that year was about $4 million. The biggest items in the budget of the Cuban Revolutionary Front were dependent payments, which totaled $2.7 million, and "military expenses" of $133,000. The deficit was made up by: "Amounts raised by branch offices abroad and transferred to headquarters." [FARB filed 4.27.62] Sergio Arcacha Smith set up the Crusade to Free Cuba so that he could siphon off its bank account for his own use. Information about the Crusade to Free Cuba was deleted from CIA documents. The FBI had a total of 40 files about, or mentioning, Sergio Arcacha Smith. [CIA 1320-484] When the Cuban Revolutionary Front folded, Sergio Arcacha Smith joined the Cuban Revolutionary Council. He advised the FBI in 1961: "Although the Cuban Revolutionary Front had been dissolved in the New Orleans area, a campaign known as the Crusade to Free Cuba would be continued under his guidance and also under Cuban Revolutionary Council sponsorship. He explained the Cuban Revolutionary Front and the Cuban Revolutionary Council had merged." [CIA 1326-1042; Day HUNT pp44, 46, 183; FBI 44-24016 LHM 5.10.67] In early 1962 the Cuban community became aware Arcacha was an embezzler and he had to leave New Orleans. He moved to Dallas. On March 9, 1962, Sam Newman wrote to Tony Varona in Miami and asked him for the back rent which was owed by Luis Rabel and Sergio Arcacha Smith.
On November 25, 1963, Sam Newman told the FBI: "Approximately eight or nine months prior to the date of the interview he rented space at 544 Camp Street, which he believed was space six or seven, to several Cubans, names unknown, who were with the Cuban Revolutionary Association. Newman said he had seen these Cubans previously around the offices of Guy Banister, Guy Banister Associates. Newman stated that he believed one of these individuals was Sergio Arcacha Smith. He advised that the Cuban Revolutionary Association occupied office space at 544 Camp Street for approximately three or four months..." [FBI 62-109060-6057, 4762]
Another FBI document stated: "It is to be noted that Sam Mike Newman, owner of the office building located at 544 Camp Street, was interviewed on November 25, 1963, and advised that approximately six to nine months prior he rented office space at that address which he believed was office number 6 or 7 to several Cubans, names unknown, who were with the Cuban Revolutionary Association. Newman related that the Cuban Revolutionary Association occupied office space at 544 Camp Street for approximately three of four months." [FBI Analysis of William Turner's 1.68 Ramparts article]
If the Cuban Revolutionary Council (Association) rented space at 544 Camp Street in June 1963 and remained there during July, August and September 1963 then they were there when OSWALD was in New Orleans.
On November 27, 1963, Sam Newman stated that about 15 months ago he leased an office at 544 Camp Street to an organization known to him as the Cuban Revolutionary Society. This organization was in this office for only four or five months and since they fell behind in their rent, he evicted them. "He also stated that after this, someone who had the key came into this office and when he, Mr. Newman, asked what they were doing there this man stated that he was taking over the office. Mr. Newman stated that he took the key away from this man and put him out. Mr. Newman described this man as a white male, blond hair, and red complexion.
"Mr. Newman stated that this group was run by young Monteleone of the Monteleone Hotel. Sam Newman also stated that Guy Banister was well acquainted with this organization. Mr. Newman showed the officers a page in a small notebook which he took from his pocket. On this page were the following two names: Louis Rabel, who Mr. Newman stated headed the Cuban Revolutionary Society. The other name on this page was Mr. Grimmader, who Mr. Newman stated had an auditing firm." [NO PD Rep. 11.27.63 Austin to Trosclair]
William Monteleone was the General Chairman of the Crusade to Free Cuba. The sponsoring organization of the Crusade to Free Cuba was listed as the Cuban Revolutionary Council, "National Headquarters, Biscayne Blvd, Miami, Florida." On November 25, 1963, FBI Informant Betty Parent (137-376) advised S.A. Regis Kennedy "the newspapers reported that a man named (FNU) Kelley who works at the Monteleone Hotel was telling how good a friend RUBY was and that RUBY was not the type who would kill anyone. Informant advised this guy according to Dixie, who runs Dixie's Bar of Music, told her this guy was a fruit, and that Dixie had run him out of the bar because he would not let the young boys alone. Informant says he must be gay. Informant did not know anyone named Clay Bertrand." [FBI 89-69-131; NARA FBI 124-10248-10185]
Cornwall: I know that initially you were asked questions about whether or not LEE HARVEY OSWALD had ever been in your building or even temporarily had space there.
Newman: He did not have any space. He could have been connected with the Cubans. But if he did, I didn't know anything about it.
Cornwall: Let me explain to you just so there is no misunderstanding. Whatever you stated on that subject previously wasn't under oath and this is, we are not conducting a criminal investigation. We are just trying to find out what the facts are. You are not suspected by our committee of engaging in any illegal activity. All we want to do is unscramble the events as best we can.
Newman: I wouldn't have known LEE HARVEY OSWALD if I had seen him at that time. I might have seen him. I don't know. I had a lot of people in and out and I wasn't around there that much.
Cornwall: A number of people who were directly or indirectly associated with the building or its occupants have indicated that he was there for at least a short period of time.
Newman: Who do you mean, people that occupied -- some people that rented the place, you mean?
Newman: That he was there?
Cornwall: That he was in the building and had space for a short period of time.
Newman: From me? He didn't rent no space from me...
Cornwall: Do you recall the event when OSWALD was arrested in New Orleans in the summer of 1963?
Newman: I remember that.
Cornwall: You remember he was passing out ---
Newman: Pamphlets with the 544 Camp Street on it; that was news to me. So he had to be connected with the Cubans. He didn't have no space, no rented space from me.
Cornwall: What did you do to investigate that, just for your own curiosity, when you found out he was down passing out pro-Castro literature.
Newman: I didn't do anything. If it happened, he had to be with the Cubans, that's the only place he could have been.
Cornwall: What kind of Cubans were those?
Newman: Some Cubans and some Americans. American people connected with it.
Cornwall: Guy Banister was a conservative, it that correct?
Newman: I think so.
Cornwall: And he is the one that asked you to allow this Cuban group to have space.
Newman: He said they was good friends of his.
Cornwall: They were also conservative, correct?
Cornwall: And conservative in the sense that, in particular, they were anti-Castro; weren't they?
Newman: That is right.
Cornwall: The literature however, was pro-Castro, wasn't it.
Newman: I don't remember.
Cornwall: It was liberal, it was left-wing literature, right?
Cornwall: Why would you have assumed then that the left-wing literature and OSWALD was associated with this Cuban group in your building which was clearly anti-Castro?
Newman: I couldn't say he was with the Cubans. I'm not sure. If he wasn't with the Cubans, he was with Banister. Banister had a lot of characters in and out of there.
Cornwall: That would not have made sense either, would it?
Cornwall: Because Banister was not left-wing, he was conservative, right?
Newman: You are right. But you couldn't tell much about Banister.
Cornwall: Well, tell us what conversations you had with Banister after that event, relating to it though.
Newman: After what?
Cornwall: After it was discovered OSWALD was on Canal Street passing out pro-Castro literature.
Newman: I never discussed it with him. He was a peculiar person. He didn't want you to discuss anything with him. That's the kind of guy he was.
Cornwall: Other persons who were in the building and were associated with Banister have told us that Banister was very upset when he found out about the pro-Castro literature with the Camp Street address stamped on it.
Newman: Could have been. I don't know much about it. Edward Suggs can tell you about that. He was in Banister office 90% of the time; every day almost. [NARA HSCA 180-10101-10379]
Arnesto Napoleon Rodriguez (Y) Gonzalez Sr. had been a manufacturers representative in Havana, Cuba. [CIA 201-27,5643 born August 15, 1891] According to the CIA, Arnesto Napoleon Rodriguez "has in his possession letters of Commendation for services performed for U.S. Naval Attache at American Legation, Havana, Cuba for services performed in 1934. He also has a citation from the Office of Naval Intelligence dated 1935."
On April 6, 1960, a CIA Request for Investigative Action was requested by Joseph S. Piccolo and Jake Esterline. This document was highly deleted. On November 28, 1960, a document entitled Response To Green List Request No. 100152 was generated. It was also highly deleted. On April 17, 1961, a memo for WH/4 Joe Piccolo was generated. It was also highly deleted. On January 18, 1962, a memo for Chief, WH/4, Joe Piccolo was generated. It was also highly deleted. An undated memo for (Deleted) From: WH/?/Support stated: "It is requested that (deleted) be extended for a period of six months. Jacbob Esterline, C/WH/4." Arnesto Napoleon Rodriguez was of interest to the CIA's Domestic Contacts Division on March 5, 1962, when a CIA source stated that he had introduced the source to two Cubans who claimed they were collecting money for the Cuban Revolutionary Council. The Cubans said that Cuban Revolutionary Council was the U.S. Government approved counter-revolutionary group. The Domestic Contacts Division Chief was then informed by the Task Force W's Counter-Intelligence Section that "there is no evidence of government support being given this organization." [NARA ID 199:07.10.11:]
"The question of how the Camp Street address got to be imprinted on the pamphlet was not apparently, ever resolved; however it is possible that when OSWALD talked with BRINGUIER, the latter gave him the address and OSWALD made a stamp and put it on the Lamont pamphlet. In this regard the report on page 408 repeats that extensive investigation was not able to connect OSWALD with the Camp Street address. Investigation did develop that an ant-Castro organization had maintained offices there for a period ending early in 1962." [?]
On November 27, 1963, CI/SIG generated a memo on Arnesto Napoleon Rodriguez marked "Sensitive Disseminations." On November 27, 1963, Dr. Jose Guillermo Aguirre informed Pete Moraga, a USIA officer at the American Embassy, Mexico City, that he had attended a dinner on November 23, 1963, in honor of Dr. Charles Moore of New Orleans, at the home of Pablo Amezcua. Pablo Amezcua's mother-in-law, Maria Rodriguez Vinda De Lopez, claimed that her son-in-law, Arnesto N. Rodriguez Sr. is, or was, active in Cuban refugee circles, and who headed a language school in New Orleans, made a tape recording of OSWALD: "Aguirre further said that Maria Rodriguez Vinda De Lopez, during the November 23, 1963, conversation, said that Arnesto Rodriguez had tape-recorded a conversation with OSWALD." [From Bob Adams 11.26.63 draft of 11348 + 166-78, 190-79]
As a result of this conversation a CIA staff employee generated this memo for the Legal Attache in Mexico City:
1. On November 26, 1963, Dr. Jose Guillermo Aguirre told United States Information Service officer Pete Moraga the following:
A. Maria Rodriguez Vinda Lopez said that she had a son-in-law living in New Orleans who was well acquainted with OSWALD.
B. The son-in-law is a Cuban named Arnesto Rodriguez, who lives at 212 Jefferson Parish, telephone VERNON 5-9658, New Orleans. He runs a Spanish language school and is anti-Castro.
C. According to Maria Rodriguez Vinda Lopez her son-in-law has tape recorded conversations with OSWALD.
On November 25, 1963, "informant" furnished the following message to the FBI: "As a result of seeing photograph of LEE HARVEY OSWALD on in the newspaper and on television, he recalls an individual coming to the Modern Language School in its new location the last week in July, or the first week in August. This was certainly before Modern Language School officially moved, and was prior to the contact of CARLOS BRINGUIER by OSWALD. Painting and similar work was being done on the new quarters at that time. The individual believed to be OSWALD came to the head of the stairs and asked questions for a very short time concerning course offered, how long they took, how much they cost. He noted informant's accent, and asked if he was Cuban. Informant told him that he had been in this country for 20 years. OSWALD asked him if there were many Cubans in New Orleans, and said that he was interested in Cubans in New Orleans. Nothing further is recalled regarding the conversation, and this is the only possible contact with OSWALD. OSWALD was alone at the time." [NARA FBI 124-10049-10182; FBI NO 44-2064-10]
Rodriguez also told the CIA about his encounter with OSWALD. The CIA gave the information to the FBI: "According to the first confidential source abroad, Arnesto Rodriguez, President of the Modern Language Institute, New Orleans, Louisiana, advised that OSWALD contacted him on one occasion during the last week of July, or early August 1963, and inquired concerning a Spanish language course offered at the Institute. OSWALD did not take any courses, and Rodriguez had no taped recordings of OSWALD'S voice. He had no knowledge of OSWALD'S Spanish speaking ability."
The Secret Service began its investigation of OSWALD'S connection to 544 Camp Street by questioning Arnesto Napoleon Rodriguez. "On December 1, 1963, United States Secret Service Agent Anthony E. Gerrets interviewed Mr. Arnesto N. Rodriguez, Sr. 1205 Charles Avenue, New Orleans. Telephone 523-3720. Mr. Rodriguez is 72 years of age. Mr. Rodriguez stated that he attended the Chenet Institute (no longer existent) at New Orleans, completing a high school course and specializing in English. This was about 1907. He said he subsequently attended the Soule Business College in New Orleans, graduating therefrom in September 1909, having completed a two year commercial course. He said he returned to Cuba, and subsequently established himself in the wholesale electrical business. He said he continued in the electrical business in Havana until November 1960, when Castro confiscated all of his assets, including his home in Havana, his country estate outside of Havana, and all of his other properties, banks accounts etc." Arnesto Napoleon Rodriguez Sr. said was a member of the Crusade to Free Cuba. He said the Sergio Arcacha Smith, the former delegate of the Cuban Revolutionary Council in New Orleans, was a member of the Crusade, however, Smith had been expelled for embezzling funds. Rodriguez said that Carlos Quigora and Ronnie Caire knew Smith. He said that the Crusade to Free Cuba was "founded primarily to raise funds with which to buy arms and supplies for use by the Cuban Revolutionary Front...
"Mr. Rodriguez, Sr. said he had never seen OSWALD in his life and only knew that OSWALD had a fight with CARLOS BRINGUIER and two other Cubans on Canal Street, for which he had been arrested on August 9, 1963. He said he had no idea why the Fair Play for Cuba Committee was using the address of 544 Camp Street, former address of the Cuban Revolutionary Council, and anti-Castro organization, whereas the Fair Play for Cuba Committee was pro-Castro. Mr. Rodriguez said he did not know of anyone who had belong to the Fair Play for Cuba Committee."
Arnesto Napoleon Rodriguez told an investigator for New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison that OSWALD "came to the Berlitz School of Languages on one occasion and attempted to talk to him about the possibility of taking a language course, and about Cuba in general. Arnesto Napoleon Rodriguez said he told OSWALD he was busy at the time; if he would return at a later date, they could discuss the situation. OSWALD, however, never returned." He denied having any tapes of OSWALD. [CIA 79, 166-78, 113-48, 72; WC (M) Information that A. Rodriguez Sr. NO LA, Possessed Tape Recordings of OSWALD'S Spanish; Sciambra to Garrison 2.14.67 interview with ER Sr.]
On November 27, 1963, Manuel Gil, telephoned the FBI. He said that in early 1962 someone calling himself "Steve" had telephoned him and asked to be put in touch with the leader of the local Cuban resistance group (presumably the Cuban Revolutionary Council). "Steve" called him so many times that he referred the matter to "Sergio Arcacha Smith, head of an anti-Castro organization in New Orleans. Gil stated he had referred Steve to Arcacha merely as a means of getting rid of Steve's nuisance calls." When Manuel Gil heard OSWALD on William Stuckey's show, he thought "Steve" and OSWALD were the same. "Gil pointed out that since seeing the recent newspaper publicity concerning LEE HARVEY OSWALD which indicated OSWALD had been in Russia during the period of the calls he had changed his mind as to the source of the calls but prior to then thought it was OSWALD...He was sure that Sergio Arcacha, who he, Gil, understood is presently in Houston, Texas, had interviewed 'Steve' and would have additional information on him." The FBI concluded: "In view of fact that OSWALD was in Russia at time the telephone calls were received by Manuel Gil, no further investigation being conducted on 'Steve' except to follow up and determine more complete name of 'Steve' from Manuel Gil."
Manuel Gil gave the FBI the name Steve Maishall and the telephone number of the local bus terminal. Steve Maishall was a crank with a long psychiatric and criminal history. William C. Sullivan had a friend in New Orleans who was a friend of Manuel Gil. The FBI reported: "At approximately 8:55 a.m. November 27, 1963, Inspector Don Moore of the Bureau called and advised that Assistant Director William Sullivan has a friend in New Orleans named (Deleted) who advised Sullivan yesterday that a Cuban named Manuel Gil, 620 Gravier Street, New Orleans, supposedly knew OSWALD and OSWALD supposedly called Gil on the telephone." [FBI 62-109060-1649,282; New Orleans States-Item 2.20.67; FBI 89-69-323 11.22.63] On December 1, 1963, the FBI interviewed Mr. Manuel Gil. "Mr. Gil stated that he did not know OSWALD personally and had never seen him. He said he had seen photos of OSWALD on television and in newspapers since President Kennedy's assassination. Mr. Gil stated he has been a member of the Cuban Revolutionary Council for about the last two years. He said this organization formerly had offices at 544 Camp Street, 2nd floor, for about six months during 1961 to 1962; that Smith had been the New Orleans delegate to the Cuban Revolutionary Council. He said that Luis Rabel, Arnesto Rodriguez Sr., Arnesto Rodriguez Jr., Smith and himself, were authorized to sign checks in behalf of the Cuban Revolutionary Council as was Carlos J. Grimader, CPA. Gil was employed by the Information Council of the Americas..."
"Mr. Rabel said he had never seen OSWALD personally and could furnish no information about him. Mr. Rabel was shown a copy of The Crime Against Cuba, but could furnish the FBI no information as to why the rubber stamp impression 'Fair Play for Cuba Committee 544 Camp St. New Orleans, La.'appeared. Luis Rabel said the Cuban Revolutionary Council had left behind quite a few propaganda leaflets or pamphlets at 544 Camp Street when they moved on from that address, at which time the headquarters for this organization were moved to his home at 4651 Marigny Street, New Orleans." In 1993 Luis Rabel stated: "He was a communist and he was the opposite of what we were doing. No, I never said no such a thing as that. I don't know anything about leaving any pamphlets anywheres, I never said that." HEMMING 1994: "We went by the goddamn place. I checked on 544 Camp Street later on."
Mr. Ronnie Caire could not furnish information regarding OSWALD using 544 Camp Street as his address nor could William Montelone.
The idea of opening an office at 544 Camp Street seemed to have been briefly considered by Oswald: by using Camp Street as an address rather than Lafayette Street, OSWALD could hide the fact that the remnants of the Cuban Revolutionary Front and Cuban Revolutionary Council used the same building for its offices. This was a matter of public record. OSWALD rejected the idea, but he retained the trial pamphlet.
544 Camp Street led to the Cuban Revolutionary Council. The Cuban Revolutionary Council led to HOWARD HUNT. According to a biography put together by the Senate Select Committee on Illegal Campaign Activities, HUNT was also a leading figure in the Cuban Revolutionary Council. In sworn testimony, HUNT insisted that he never visited New Orleans, nor had he anything to do with the Cuban Revolutionary Council: "I only worked with the Cuban Revolutionary Front. After the Spring of 1961, I had no further dealings in Latin American affairs. I only represented the Cuban Revolutionary Council when it issued its statement to the world about the invasion, once the invasion began." In June 1977 CIA Staff member Gerry Droller was questioned about HUNT'S connection to the Cuban Revolutionary Council. Gerry Droller said that HUNT worked for the Cuban Revolutionary Council before the invasion. [HUNT v. WEBERMAN 76-1252-CIV-PF-USDC, Miami, Droller, HUNT Depos.]
The FBI reported: "Many leaders of different organizations have taken the attitude that the United States Government has developed no policy toward Cuba, or anti-Castro organizations, since April 1961. Consequently, Cuban revolutionists are reluctant to try and set up radio stations, conduct any raids or do anything other than engage in propaganda activity for fear of arrest and loss of equipment by the U.S. Government." [FBI 109-584-2959, enclosure page 19 w/h] The Cuban Revolutionary Council infiltrated men into Cuba in June 1961 to assassinate Fidel Castro. The plot failed.
On June 8, 1961, General Charles Cabell, Deputy Director, CIA, advised the FBI that "the Cuban Revolutionary Front was engaged in recruiting Cuban counter-revolutionaries throughout the United States...Charles Cabell concluded that the CIA had and expected to continue to have a special interest in the activities conducted by the Cuban Revolutionary Front and its bona fide affiliates and requested that no action be taken against the Cuban Revolutionary Front for acts it committed as a central point for enlisting support for anti-Castro activities." In June 1961, the FBI advised its field offices it anticipated no active investigation of the Cuban Revolutionary Front or Cuban Revolutionary Council. [FBI 105-87912-735 (?) FOIA PA #211,326] Circa June 16, 1961, the Director of the FBI sent this message to the Chicago FBI Office: "Cuban Revolutionary Front (FRD) aka IS-Cuba Reurairtel, June 6, 1961, with enclosure (deleted) of CIA (deleted). When this becomes known, the field will be advised. No active investigation of these organizations is desired; however you should keep the Bureau currently advised of any pertinent information which may be received concerning their activities. 1- Miami 1- 97-4110 (MDC) Note: (Deleted)." [Serial illegible] On June 19, 1961, the Chicago Field Office of the FBI generated a Letterhead Memorandum "pertaining to a split between the Cuban Revolutionary Front and the Christian Democratic Party." [FBI 97-4110 NR 6.19.61 signed GALE.]
On August 10, 1961, the FBI office in Miami filed a report on the Cuban Revolutionary Council that covered the investigative period May 1, 1961 to July 25, 1961. [FBI 109-584-2910 highly deleted; FBI 105-92196-95 w/h; FBI 105-107224-17 airtel p2 1hm p1]
On January 15, 1962, the Chief of Counter-Intelligence stated "No member of the Counter-Intelligence section is in contact with any group connected with the Cuban Revolutionary Council." The CIA had contact with the Cuban Revolutionary Council through its PW and PM Sections. [Memo for Chief OPS 1.11.62] On March 15, 1962, the FBI issued a report on the Cuban Revolutionary Council that covered the investigative period of January and February 1962. "Administrative: Reference is made to New Orleans letter, January 31, 1962, to Miami, requesting information concerning the Cuban Revolutionary Council. Instant report contains detailed information concerning the organization. (Deleted)" [FBI 105-107224-16 highly deleted]
On February 1, 1962, the FBI office in New York City generated a document about the "Liberty Cuban Funds Committee IS - CUBA...Bureau attention is directed to NY airtel June 24, 1960, captioned Cuban Revolutionary Front; IS-CUBA (Bufile 105-87912, NY 105-41380) which contains information (deleted). No further investigation is being conducted in this matter and this case is being placed in a closed status." [Serial illegible 2.1.62]
On March 5, 1962, William F. Burke, the Chief of the New Orleans Domestic Contacts Division, asked the Chief of the Contacts Division at CIA Headquarters to advise him on the status of the Cuban Revolutionary Council. The first paragraph of this barely legible document stated that a source met with two Cubans - Hernandez and Major Agusto - who had given a speech in New Orleans on behalf of the Cuban Revolutionary Council:
2. The two Cubans were introduced to our source by Arnesto Rodriguez, a Cuban-born U.S. citizen who lives in New Orleans, and is as teacher at the local Berlitz Language School. The Cubans said that they were supporting the underground movement in the Escambray Mountains and they were in the U.S. for the purpose of obtaining financial support and if possible, munitions. They said that the underground had received no help from the United States since the abortive invasion of April 1961. They stated emphatically that they believed that the only way of eradicating the Castro Government was in the underground movement and that the Cuban people...During the course of one of his conversations with one of our sources Hernandez said that he had already been in contact with the U.S. Government, and that he had a letter from Attorney General Robert Kennedy endorsing the Cuban Revolutionary Council and its activities and that the movement was in the interests of the U.S. and world peace. However, the letter was not exhibited. Hernandez said he had been in touch with the Pentagon and with the CIA. He did not specify the name of the person he contacted. He said that both the military authorities and the CIA were in favor of his group, but that no material assistance had been forthcoming. Our sources are sympathetic toward the Cuban Revolutionary Council and are considering the advisability of advancing financial support to the movement. However, they would like to have assurances that they are not backing a group whose aims are inimical to the U.S. They actually know little about Hernandez and Major Agusto."
William Burke's inquiry was answered on May 7, 1962: "The CI Section of Task Force W has indicated there is no evidence of government support being given to this organization. Also, the Agency does not wish to be in a position of either reporting, or not reporting, support to a particular group, as this can place it in an embarrassing position." [NARA 1993.07.10.11]
On March 19, 1962, a FBI report on the Cuban Revolutionary Council was generated. This report was withheld. [FBI 105-107224 NR serial dated 3.19.62] On March 20, 1962, the FBI in Miami sent a report to the Director about the Cuban Revolutionary Council and the Cuban Government in Exile. The only undeleted paragraphs in this document read: "It is to be noted that the Cuban Revolutionary Council is a unity organization composed of eight anti-Castro revolutionary organizations, three of which have recently defected from the Council...The Cuban Government in Exile, a rival Cuban unity organization, is composed of a considerable number anti-Castro organizations, some of which are organizations 'on paper' only." [FBI 105-107224 NR serial dated 3.20.62] Another FBI document added: "The Cuban Government in Exile is regarded as the principal rival organization of the Council. The Cuban Government in Exile, headed by (deleted) claims to represent the majority of Cuban anti-Castro organizations...The Cuban Government in Exile is beset with some factionalism." [FBI 105-107224-16 p36,37 withheld] On March 13, 1962, the FBI generated this document "Re: Anti-Fidel Castro Activities - Internal Security - Cuba. (Deleted) demonstrated peacefully during the visit of President John F. Kennedy in the Miami area, March 10, 1962. (Deleted) demonstration was principally to request aid and arms in liberation of Cuba, and to ask for the resignation of Jose Miro Cardona, President of the Cuban Revolutionary Council, one of the most active anti-Fidel Castro organizations in Miami. (Deleted) On the afternoon of March 12, 1962, according to an article in the Miami News, the demonstrators were warned by the Miami Police Department to cease this demonstration, or be arrested. On March 13, 1962, (deleted) Miami Police Department, City Jail, advised that as of 3:00 p.m. approximately 175 individuals had been arrested for disorderly conduct and obstructing or opposing a police officer in the performance of his legal duties. He advised there were 24 women in the group, who, when offered breakfast in the City Jail, broke their hunger strike and ate breakfast. (Deleted) advised that all of the men arrested refused to eat meals in jail. His records reflected that the following individuals, described as leaders of the organizations mentioned, were released on $75 bond on March 13, 1962: (Deleted)" [FBI 109-584-3102 1hm p4 w/h] On April 20, 1962, a LHM regarding the Cuban Revolutionary Council was sent to New York, New Orleans, San Juan, Tampa, and Washington Field Offices. [ FBI 105-107224-114 1hm & p2 teletype w/h entirely]
On August 2, 1962, J. Walter Yeagley, Assistant Attorney General, Internal Security Division, advised the New Orleans FBI Office: "In view of Mr. Rabel Nunuz' close connection with the activities of the Cuban Revolutionary Council in New Orleans, the noted interest of the CIA in the activities of the Cuban Revolutionary Council, this Division is requesting no further investigation in this instance."
On February 6, 1963, the New Orleans Office of the FBI reported that no active investigation was being conducted in regard to the Cuban Revolutionary Council: "However, information voluntarily furnished by the New Orleans delegate of the Cuban Revolutionary Council, Frank Bartes, as well as from other sources, is reported in letterhead memorandum form."
The Operation Progress report on BERNARD BARKER for May 1963 stated: "Subject's development of (Deleted) as a source of intelligence on the residual CRC from his vantage as (Deleted) came to fruition on May 29, 1963, when the latter agreed to provide information which would not normally be revealed to non-CRC members or passed on through liaison contacts with the Cuban Affairs Coordinator in Miami. (Deleted) apparently 'bought' Subject's recruitment approach to the effect that our recent efforts on behalf of Cuba had been hampered by lack of full knowledge of the activities, capabilities and intentions of the various revolutionary groups and individuals, being limited to tailored information which was more often what these people wanted to believe, than reality. Subject claimed that the 'pitch' was his own idea, and that if (Deleted) was amenable he would pass it on to his superiors with a request for financial help. (Deleted) agreed without reserve, but insisted that financial remuneration was not necessary. He was the source of one disseminated report prior to his formal recruitment, and we will watch his production during June. If he appears to be cooperating fully with the Subject, we will request a renewal of his POA and offer him $175 per month, his former CRC salary. If, on the other hand, if he appears to be using Subject as a liaison contact or as a channel for influencing (Deleted) in favor of the CRC, he will be dropped."
In June 1963 STURGIS furnished BARKER with information on "Planned raid on Cuba by Diaz Lanz Brothers" and "Current Activities of FRANK FIORINI." BARKER'S Operational Monthly report for June 1963 noted: "Pedro [Deleted - Diaz Lanz] who had indicated in May that he would be a penetration of the residual CRC, had second thoughts in June, and told Subject that he would prefer to retain discretion on the amount and type of information he would pass. Since there had been no binding commitments made to Lanz by BARKER, it was decided to revert to the previous relationship in which the former occasionally supplied information on a voluntary basis. Subject assumes that his recruitment pitch was accepted for lack of any real reason on the part of Diaz Lanz to refuse, but that Diaz Lanz, after mulling this whole thing over (Deleted) decided that he did not want to be bound by such an agreement, and was honest enough to cancel it in a straightforward manner." [CIA FOIA D002261]
On April 17, 1963, Miro Cardona, the head of the Cuban Revolutionary Council, held a press conference in Washington, D.C., during which he said that he had completed a series of meetings with United States Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. Miro Cardona had demanded a $50 million war chest and permission to organize another Cuban invasion. Robert F. Kennedy refused all of his requests. The next day Miro Cardona resigned from the Cuban Revolutionary Council; by May 1963, the Kennedy Administration had cut off all funding to the Cuban Revolutionary Council. On April 24, 1963, the FBI SAC in Miami sent a teletype to the Director of the FBI which was withheld. [FBI 105-107224-114] The FBI observed the Cuban Revolutionary Council merely "held one assembly meeting on May 20, 1963, in Miami," [FBI Bufile 109-584-3387] and a number of Cuban Revolutionary Council members had left town. A May 21, 1963, Chief of Station, JMWAVE report, dealt with an informant within "the residual Cuban Revolutionary Council." This informant reported that FRANK STURGIS was in contact with General Claire Chennault. STURGIS told General Claire Chennault that Manuel Artime was on the top of his list of Cuban exile leaders. STURGIS suggested that General Claire Chennault give him financial aid, and said he would contact Manuel Artime on behalf of General Chennault. [Informant - 201-251,689 - This informant was STURGIS]
"Of course, the most strident reactions came from within the anti-Castro community itself. Following the U.S. Government's notification that it would discontinue its subsidy to the Cuban Revolutionary Council, its President, Miro Cardona, announced his resignation from the Council in protest against U.S. policy. The Cuban exile leader accused President Kennedy of 'breaking promises and agreements' to support another Cuban invasion...The resignation of Miro Cardona split the Cuban Revolutionary Council down the middle and precipitated a bitter dispute among the exile factions. The more moderate among them contended that without U.S. support there was little hope of ousting Castro, and the exiles should concentrate their efforts on mounting political pressure to reverse Washington's shift in policy. Other exile groups announced their determination to continue the war against Castro and, if necessary, to violently resist curtailment of their paramilitary activities during the Kennedy administration."
On June 20, 1963, the Miami Herald ran a story that stated: "500 Refugee Commandos Land In Cuba, Exiles Say - The Cuban Revolutionary Council announced dramatically today that exile commandos have disembarked in Cuba and called the landing 'The beginning of the liberation of Cuba...The initial announcement was made by Antonio Varona, general coordinator of the Council which represents exile groups that reorganized after the resignation of Dr. Jose Miro Cardona." The three exile groups alleged to have participated in the invasion were MIR, Rescate and the Christian Democratic Movement. The FBI" "Rescate was formed in Havana, Cuba in the early part of 1959 by (deleted). It's principal leaders and most of its members, were former members of the Authentico Party." [FBI 105-107224-16] On June 22, 1963, the Miami Herald carried an article "U.S. Skepticism On Cuban Commando Raids Grows." This article reported the United States State Department said no more than 50 anti-Castro infiltrators might have landed in Cuba. [FBI 105-107224-135 p1 - page 2 w/h] On June 23, 1963, The Miami News carried an article, "Raid a Hoax; Cuban Exile Boss Quits," by Hal Hendrix, Miami News, Latin American Editor. This article stated that the internationally publicized commando raid on Cuba was a hoax which triggered the resignation of Dr. Antonio Maceo. (Dr. Antonio Maceo replaced Miro Cardona as the President of the Cuban Revolutionary Council.) This article reported that "although Dr. Maceo did not say it, sources related that the proposed landing of up to 3,000 commandos was a fraud that ballooned with the tacit consent of other publicity minded CRC members." [FBI 109-584-39 - highly deleted] Subsequent press editorials criticized the Cuban Revolutionary Council for the trumped-up invasion; Cuban exiles reacted with disillusionment and disappointment. On June 20, 1963, the Miami office of the FBI endeavored "to develop information through its informants and sources reflecting upon authenticity of reported Cuban invasion by groups under the Cuban Revolutionary Council (deleted). Pertinent information herein from Miami's sources being disseminated to (deleted) and all interested intelligence agencies to assist them in assessing current press reports.[ 4 pages deleted] MRR is a member of the Cuban Revolutionary Council, an anti-Castro unity organization." [FBI 105-107224-135; FBI 105-107224 - 6.30.63 from SAC Miami - no serial]
The CIA believed that OPERATION RED CROSS and the hoax invasion were one in the same: "Subsequent developments revealed that the ten-man team which was infiltrated, was part of the invasion force which the rump Cuban Revolutionary Council announced on June 20, 1963, had infiltrated into Cuba. It would appear in retrospect that the ten Cubans on [OPERATION RED CROSS] did not have any Soviet contacts but they dreamed these contacts up in order to find an angel who would facilitate their infiltration into Cuba." [CIA JMWAVE relationship with Pawley Report 7.25.63]
A cable from JMWAVE stated:
1. When the Cuban Revolutionary Council made it's invasion announcement June 20, 1963, WAVE initiated inquiries throughout exile community designed to establish what exile Paramilitary types were missing from Miami or had temporarily dropped out of sight. It was believed acquisition this type of info would facilitate cross-checking on size of CRC sponsored invasion. Additionally, in view of timing of OPERATION RED CROSS. i.e. infiltration ten men north coast of Oriente June 9, 1963, we were concerned that OPERATION RED CROSS might be part of CRC invasion force since CIA employee had impression RED CROSS team did not plan to exfiltrate...Believe current info makes it evident Op participants had no Soviet contacts, but they parlayed notional Soviet contacts into sharp con game designed to attract angel i.e. Pawley, Life, Sourwine et. al. who could facilitate their exit from the U.S. as well as give them some arms equipment. Their con game worked because Soviet defector bait could not be passed up by angels or CIA. While facts which currently available tend to indicate con game worked and CIA invested circa $4,000 in con game, continue believe the RED CROSS OPERATION was long shot which could not be rejected." The CIA connected Eduardo Perez Bayo and several of his associates with the CRC invasion. [CIA FOIA 18458]
On June 28, 1963, in a Memo for the Chief of CI regarding Station relations with the current Cuban Revolutionary Council: "Our present connections with the Council are primarily in the financial field. The only other activity with which we are concerned is the medical program for the Brigade members, which is carried out under the auspices of the CRC, although it is in the charge of Dr. Antonio Maceo, who is no longer a member of the Council since he resigned the presidency on June 22, 1963. Our interest in the Council is in the administrative/financial field, rather than the operational...We exercise no control over the present Council or its activities, except in the financial aspect. No financial assistance is now given the Council (since the resignation of Dr. Miro), but certain financial obligations of the past remain to be liquidated and certain, very specific on-going programs must be continued to their logical conclusions. These on going programs, however, do not contribute directly to the Council, but have been in the past funded through it. In the past, we did receive a substantial amount of intelligence from the CRC. However, since the resignation of Dr. Miro there has been no appreciable amount of intelligence received from that organization...Since the resignation of Dr. Miro and the subsequent termination of official financial support to the Council, our control of, and relationship to, the Council have changed considerably. We do, however, continue to maintain contact with certain individuals of the Council in connection with our present activities related thereto, which are mainly in the financial field. Since our primary objective at present is to handle the financial termination of the Council, and the activities related thereto, in as smooth and dignified a manner as possible, our association with certain personnel of the CRC will probably continue through the next four to six months. In the meantime, certain Council files and intelligence reports are available to us although on a greatly reduced scale. (Deleted)." [6.28.93 Memo for Chief, CI. Subject: Station Relations with the Present CRC. Ref. MM 105-5147 6.11.63]
On July 3, 1963, The Miami News contained an article which stated that the Cuban Revolutionary Council announced it had moved to smaller offices to cut expenses. The article stated that after having lost the $80,000 a month United States Government subsidy, the Cuban Revolutionary Council abandoned it offices at 1700 Biscayne Boulevard, which cost $600 a month and moved to 276 NE 25th Street, Miami, where the rent would only be $150 a month. On July 4, 1963, the Cuban Revolutionary Council issued a press release condemning the campaign of defamation by "miserable puppets trying to aggravate the division among Cuban refugees." On August 8, 1963, the New Orleans FBI stated: "In view of the statement by Mr. Yeagley, New Orleans is limiting its further efforts in this matter to contacts with Mr. Frank Bartes and to other sources who voluntarily furnished information regarding Subject organization." [FBI 105-97459-210-221 8.8.63 - highly deleted; FBI 105-107224-72] After the invasion hoax, the Cuban Revolutionary Council kept a lower profile. [HSCA V5 p58] The New Orleans FBI Office cited the August 2, 1962, letter by Walter Yeagley as justification for not investigating the Cuban Revolutionary Council. In November 1963 the Cuban Revolutionary Front was mentioned in FBI document 89-43-608 page 5.
On January 28, 1964, the FBI in Miami sent a report on the organization and activities of the Cuban Revolutionary Council. The contents of this memo have been deleted. [FBI 105-107224-162] The "residual Cuban Revolutionary Council" also existed in New Orleans, where it was headed by the remnants of the Cuban Revolutionary Front and the Friends of Democratic Cuba. On April 10, 1964, Frank Bartes, (deleted) who is the delegate to the Cuban Revolutionary Council in New Orleans advised (deleted). He advised that the Cuban Revolutionary Council in New Orleans has not engaged in any significant activity in 1964. New Orleans is closing its file on the Cuban Revolutionary Council, subject to being reopened to report any pertinent information regarding that organization in the future." [FBI 109-584-39]
The HSCA conceded that "there was at least a possibility that OSWALD and Guy Banister were acquainted." The HSCA considered the following facts: The 544 Camp Street address stamped on OSWALD'S Fair Play for Cuba Committee handouts was that of the building where Guy Banister had his office; Ross Banister apprised the Committee that his brother Guy Banister had seen OSWALD handing out Fair Play for Cuba Committee literature during the Summer of 1963. "Ross advances the theory that the reason OSWALD used 544 Camp Street was due to Guy mounting a publicity campaign via the States Item newspaper effectively killing the sale of jeeps to Cuba and that is why OSWALD used the Camp Street address in an attempt to embarrass Guy." [Ross Banister HSCA interview 2.20/.78 Daly] In June 1993 Ross Banister was in a nursing home.
Delphine Roberts told the HSCA: "Her family goes back to Jeb Stuart on her mother's side, and because of this blood line, she is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Daughters of the Confederacy...Her family has been very patriotic except one, cousin, Julia Points, who was duped into joining the Communist Party after World War I. Julia attempted to quit the party and was chopped into pieces and dumped in a hole in Central Park after being covered with lye. Guy Banister was checking on Julia Points before Delphine met him. This was one of Guy's first assignments with the FBI at the time he was trying to locate a secret underground railroad that the communist party used to get spies into and out of the country. Delphine Roberts became concerned about our Country when President Roosevelt and his Negro wife, Eleanor, got the U.S. into the United Nations, which has its charter based on the Communist Manifesto. She was married to John Strobel Jr. who became an Air Force Lt. General, and worked on the mathematics teams that planned the first National Aeronautics and Space Administration space flights. She divorced Strobel, and married Harry Roberts, then she divorced Roberts, and was going to remarry Strobel, when he died in 1958..." On March 21, 1959, Harry A. Roberts, an employee of the U.S. Customs Service, filed for divorce from Delphene Roberts. "In the early 1960's Delphine was active in anti-Communist activities and became involved in the anti-integration movement. She was written about in the national news and in Pravda for some of her demonstrations." On March 4, 1961 Delphine Roberts participated in a demonstration at William Franz School during which she carried a sign "The Lord commanded 'That the tribes not be mingled.'" On January 27, 1962, Delphine Roberts ran for Councilman-at-Large, as a Conservative Independent Democrat for the Mayoralty Primary Election. In her platform the following statements were made:
1. The Subject is a white supremacist and segregationist, and would work toward the preservation of the White race.
2. Separation of Church and State.
3. Against such organizations as CORE, NAACP, Save Our Schools etc. which have as their goals the integration and mongrelization of the races.
5. Against the United Nations, because by association with this organization, the U.S. is giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
6. Opposed to the utilization of public building space, rent free by the League of Women Voters, which Subject considers to be a Communist organization.
7. Opposed to the integration of the New Orleans Police Department.
8. Opposed to utilization of Federal aid.
9. Opposed to integration of public facilities, such as parks, playgrounds, etc.
10. Opposed to integration of transportation.
11. Opposed to integration of fire department.
12. Opposed to Fluoridation.
13. Would attempt to promote a city ordinance outlawing communism or any left-wing activities from taking place within the city limits of New Orleans, Louisiana.
14. Opposed to urban renewal.
15. Condemned the Diary of Ann Frank as being a filthy book, which students should not be permitted to read.
16. Separation of sanitary facilities as to White and Colored.
The May 12, 1962, issue of the New Orleans Times-Picayune carried an article entitled "Private School Move is Urged." It stated that Delphine Roberts was a speaker at the first meeting of the Catholic White Layman's League, which was held at Woodman Hall, New Orleans, Louisiana. Delphene Roberts described incidents which had occurred when she and other segregationists picketed various locations. Other speakers included George Singlemann, Assistant to Leander Perez.
On April 16, 1962, the New Orleans Times Picayune contained an article entitled "Catholic Church Picketed by Trio." It stated the Delphine Roberts was one of three women who picketed St Patrick's Catholic Church during worship hours on Sunday to protest the desegregation of Catholic Schools. The May 26, 1962, issue of the Louisiana Weekly carried an article entitled "Children Used in Hate Picketing." This article stated that on the previous Saturday five young children were utilized in the picketing of the residence of Archbishop Rummel. One of the demonstrators was identified as Delphine Roberts and she carried a sign which read, "Caroline Kennedy is segregated - excommunicate her father." On September 4, 1962, Delphine Roberts was observed in a picket demonstration protesting the integration of St. Rose of Lime School. Delphine Roberts stated: "She joined the New Orleans White Citizen's Council and attended some PTA meetings trying to prove the integration of our schools was a communist plot to destroy our Country. She knew Leander Perez of Plaquemines Parish and was later excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church with him...She worked with an investigator from the Louisiana Sovereignty Commission on several New Orleans groups that were anti-American. The Commission was interested in the Black Muslims...Delphine corresponded with Senator Eastland of the House Un-American Activities Committee, and the other counterpart in Congress whose name she could not remember. She corresponded with J. Edgar Hoover, and he wrote her personal letters about things in the New Orleans area. She destroyed those letters as best she can remember. One of Mr. Hoover's assistants by the name of Ed or John Sullivan came to New Orleans and spoke at the American Legion and she corresponded with him. Sullivan used to talk to Leander Perez, and was very concerned about the activities in New Orleans. She stated Sullivan is still alive but she does not know what his assignment is now. Sometime in early 1961 or 1962 Delphine Roberts decided that the American flag was not receiving the respect that it should in the city and she decided to put up a booth on Canal Street to promote the flag. The booth had a loud speaker system and American flags and Confederate flags all around it and she and her mother Amelia manned it...Every day someone, that she doesn't remember, would bring her mother food and drinks from Walgreens. They never paid for this because someone was sponsoring them that they didn't know. She would play march songs and talk about the flag and the U.N. The merchants on Canal Street, who are all Jews, made a complaint about her booth and the police came to arrest her. That was the first time that she met Guy Banister. He came into the booth with her and her mother wearing a suit, a hat and a gun. He told the police that they would have to arrest him too. The police never arrested anyone but did ask that they set a date to leave. A date was set and they left. She and Banister became friends after that, and she worked with him as a volunteer, because he was working for what she believed in. She did secretarial work such as typing correspondence, making files, clipping newspapers etc. She knew his system, and remembers he had one of the largest and most complete files of communists and fellow travelers..." [NARA 1801007510292] In April 1963 Delphine Roberts headed "Women for Constitutional Government." Delphine Roberts was Guy Banister's lover; when the HSCA reviewed Guy Banister background material a sealed file containing "information on his sexual behavior" was discovered. [HSCA Memo Carpenter to Solie 3.1.78] "On January 19, 1965, Louise Cumber telephonically contacted the New Orleans office of the FBI and advised that she is separated from her husband who is mentally ill. She stated that her husband was an extreme right-winger and had been involved with a group that made the John Birch Society look like Communists. She claimed that Delphine Roberts was the leader of this group..." [NARA 124-10167-10224]
In an interview on July 6, 1978, Delphine Roberts told HSCA Investigator Robert Buras that she "remembers that Guy Banister positively had a file on OSWALD, but it was kept out of the regular files because he never got assigning a number to it. She does not remember what was in it other than general information such as paper clippings. Delphine remembers Guy Banister getting very loud with both James Arthus and Sam Newman because they allowed OSWALD to use the address 544 Camp Street. As she remembers, Jim Arthus did not have an office, but a room that was like his apartment. Banister was always getting mad at Arthus because he talked too much about their business in the office. Delphine would not, or could not, elaborate on the exact content of the talk that she heard between Newman, Arthus and Banister. She did not give an opinion on whether OSWALD might have been working for Banister. The closest she could remember Banister's words to the men about OSWALD was 'How is it going to look for him to have the same address as me?' She did not form an opinion on what this meant. Delphine stated she never saw OSWALD in person. She states she did she Fidel Castro and his top aide Che Guevarra walking on Canal Street when she had her flag booth...Roberts stated that she had not been active in anything for the past ten years or more. Her daughter had a bad accident and she spends her time taking care of her and the house."
On August 27, 1978, Delphine Roberts was re-interviewed by HSCA Investigator Robert Buras. She said she "believes that LEE OSWALD came into the office to be interviewed for a job, but doesn't remember anything specific, because so many people came in for interviews. At a later date Banister introduced Marina and OSWALD to her in his office, but they walked right out and she did not talk to them. She could not recall hearing Marina speak, or how they were dressed. On several occasions LEE OSWALD would come in and go into Banister's office and she could not hear any conversation from that room. She believed that OSWALD was either working, or attempting to work, for Banister. She does remember hearing Guy Banister holler at Jim Arthus and Sam Newman about letting OSWALD the second floor room and about keeping the Fair Play for Cuba Committee literature from his office. Arthus used to come into the office and put leaflets on Banister's leaflet table as a joke because all the other literature was anti-communist."
Scott Malone reported: "Delphine is definitely a kook, but I found someone else to corroborate her story. She told Mary Brengel about having seen OSWALD in Banister's office two weeks after the assassination. She did not mention Marina's presence."
Maurice Brook Gatlin was born on January 12, 1903, at Century, Florida. He was a graduate of Tulane University, and had resided in New Orleans since 1944. He was active in politics, having served as hatchet man for one-time Louisiana Governor and U.S. Senator Huey Long. Thus Maurice Gatlin was appointed Chief Prosecuting Attorney of the Department of Revenue of the State of Louisiana, as well as special assistant to the Attorney General of Louisiana. [FOI/PA req. FBI #76,006] A source told the FBI that Gatlin "was known during the Huey Long regime in Louisiana as 'Long's character assassin' and that he had been used repeatedly to tear down the reputations of people disliked by the Longs, and had been protected by controlled courts." After leaving government, Maurice Gatlin functioned as a well-to-do New Orleans lawyer and an expert on Guatemalan affairs. One of Maurice Gatlin's clients told the FBI in 1949 that Maurice Gatlin asked him to join the Communist Party, to gather information about the Party and run it back to him: "Gatlin was supposed to arrange it so (deleted) could join the Party through some people that he knew." [FBI NO 100-14447-p2]
In May 1953 the New Orleans FBI Office sent Washington a cable that stated that Colonel Roberto Barrios Pena had visited the Bureau in the company of Maurice Gatlin. In the 1940's, Lieutenant Colonel Roberto Barrios Pena, born September 29, 1909, was the Commandant of the Guatemalan Military Academy. By 1947, he was an anti-communist, and a ranking Officer in the Guatemalan Army. Colonel Roberto Barrios Pena ran for Mayor of Guatemala City in 1948. In August 1952, Barrios "formerly held the position of Director of the School of Polytechnics under the present administration in Guatemala." On September 4, 1952, information was received by the FBI from the CIA that one "Roberto Barrios Pena, Guatemalan official of the anti-Communist Comité Ciuico Nacional (Deleted)." [FBI 64-200-213-128, 64-29230-5] By 1953 he was in exile in El Salvador. It was conveyed to Colonel Roberto Barrios Pena that Maurice Gatlin had been hired to introduce him to "the right people," by anti-Communist Guatemalans living in New Orleans. When the FBI agents asked Colonel Roberto Barrios Pena what information he wished to give them, "Barrios then questioned Gatlin as to what Gatlin's purpose was in bringing him to the FBI." Maurice Gatlin said he wanted him checked out. When Barrios asked Maurice Gatlin what organization wanted him checked out, Maurice Gatlin responded he could not disclose its identity. Barrios commented that he was well-known to the State Department, and walked out of the meeting. After he left, Maurice Gatlin informed the FBI that Barrios was about to lead a revolutionary force against the Jacobo Arbenz Government within the next few weeks, and that Barrios had four trigger men with him as bodyguards in New Orleans. The FBI transmitted this information to the CIA, State Department and numerous other agencies. A CIA document stated: "Barrios was apparently called to the United States on May 18, 1953, by Maurice Gatlin, a lawyer in New Orleans, and arrived in New Orleans on May 20, 1953, where he stayed at the St. Charles Hotel. Barrios immediately got into contact with Gatlin at the National City Bank of Commerce Building, and Gatlin asked Barrios if he was ready to go to the New Orleans FBI and identify himself, so that the FBI could investigate him. Gatlin informed Barrios that if the results were favorable, everything would work out well, because there was a powerful company ready to supply $1 million to the movement headed by Barrios. Confident that the results of the investigation would be favorable, Barrios agreed to go to the FBI. He met a Mr. Gatshaw at the FBI offices and was questioned by him. After leaving the FBI offices, Barrios and Gatlin met with a Mr. Dunbar, who occasionally represents United Fruit Co. in New Orleans. They asked him for $1 million from the United Fruit Company in support of Barrios' intended revolutionary movement in Guatemala, but they were unsuccessful in obtaining any commitment. Barrios and Gatlin visited the air base near Pontchartrain, (type of base not further identified, although it is known that there is a large naval air base on this lake), where Captain Davis showed them two large transport planes, each of which had two 75mm. recoil-less rifles and two projectiles. Davis told Barrios that the planes were those which had been promised him, and that he would make arrangements for Barrios to get the planes out of the United States. Since it is believed that Barrios is engaged in fomenting revolutionary activity in Guatemala, it is requested that the FBI furnish this Agency with such information as it may have about him that would confirm or deny this belief. Information is also desired as the identity of the Captain Davis mentioned; he was described in the original report as Captain Davis, and so, he may be a national of some Latin American country." [CIA F82-0221/3] The FBI received a report in June 1953 that Maurice Gatlin attempted to procure military aircraft and ammunition on behalf of Colonel Roberto Barrios Pena. Maurice Gatlin stated: "Sixteen trained Communist agents were in the Guatemalan Cabinet" and advised the FBI that the sponsor of his anti-Arbenz operation was General Claire Chennault. The FBI alerted U.S. Customs, and had its informant set up a meeting between Maurice Gatlin and another party who had, "previously been involved in one or more revolutionary plots, being connected in some manner with the procurement and transportation of arms to Cuba." The meeting never took place so U.S. Customs dropped the matter. DAVID PHILLIPS was asked if he knew Colonel Roberto Barrios Pena. He answered "How long ago is that? I don't remember." [PHILLIPS depo in Hunt v. Weberman] On November 27, 1953, Gatlin sent a letter to John Moore Cabot, Assistant Secretary of State ,regarding an article in Readers Digest. On March 3, 1954, Gatlin was interviewed by S.A. Milton Kaack. He told him he was aware of the CIA's intentions to invade Guatemala: "Two attempts have already been made by Castilla [sic] Armas, a colonel who was exiled from Guatemala, and presently resides in Honduras. Armas made his last attempt in March 1952, at which time his forces were wiped out and he, himself, was captured. Armas escaped, and is presently in exile. Armas is standing ready for another invasion. He has spent $3 million in the last year. Armas was in New Orleans three weeks ago and I talked with him at that time. He had money supplied by the CIA." The FBI determined that Maurice Gatlin should be referred to the CIA representative "with whom Gatlin is acquainted and to whom he has furnished some information." Maurice Gatlin then furnished the Agency with a document concerning Castillo Armas: "In Honduras the Castillistas continue making a lot of noise, having mobilized the radio and press, etc., high frequency transmitters announcing the next invasion...they have mobilized brigades of cars and trucks..." In March 1954 Maurice Gatlin told the FBI that he furnished the Agency intelligence on Guatemala, but commented that the CIA "was on probation" because its predecessor, the OSS, was "thoroughly infiltrated by Communists." Maurice Gatlin believed that Francisco Franco of Spain had used the appropriate techniques to fight Communism. On May 26, 1954, Agent L.F. Hannon of the Office of Naval Intelligence, interviewed a source who was close to Gatlin. "(Deleted) noted that (deleted) coincided with the early Army careers of Bedell Smith and President Eisenhower. Both Smith and Eisenhower are considered to be close friends. (Deleted) indicated he is employed by the (deleted) and that most of his work involves special assignments...While in New Orleans (deleted) was contacted by people close to Gatlin. Gatlin had information concerning Guatemala that he thought might be of service to the United States Government. Knowing that (Deleted) was an influential member of the (Deleted)and feeling he was a trustworthy individual, Gatlin asked him as to what he should do with the information...(Deleted) in his conversation made mention of such names as Fulton J. Sheen and Lee Pennington..." [FBI 64-29230-25]
In September 1954 Maurice Gatlin formed the Anti-Communist Committee of the Americas (Caribbean Division). This organization became a part of the Inter-American Confederation for the Defense of the Continent.
Salvador Diaz Verson, the head of military intelligence for President Fulgencio Batista, was Vice President of the Inter-American Confederation for the Defense of the Continent. Guy Banister was listed in publication of the Inter-American Confederation for the Defense of the of the Continent. [FBI NO 105-1456 circa 1960] Salvador Diaz Verson, was also President of the Anti-Communist League of Cuba. He was the Chief of the Cuban National Police in 1933, and former Chief of the Cuban Military Intelligence Service from 1948 to 1952. CIA cables indicated he had traveled to Mexico City on November 18, 1963, on what he described as a "confidential Defense Department mission." After the assassination of President Kennedy Salvador Diaz Verson told the Mexican press that: "Mexican Police had determined OSWALD had contacted Sylvia Duran and had stayed in her home in Mexico City. He said Dr. Eduardo Borrell had told him that OSWALD, on the day after his arrival in Mexico City, had gone to a Mexican restaurant called El Caballo Blanco with Duran, where they met a functionary of the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City." [WCE2947] Eduardo Borrell told an FBI Agent that Salvador Diaz Verson had made up this story. Salvador Diaz Verson released his story that linked OSWALD and Fidel Castro in Mexico City, and he was questioned about it by FBI Legal Attache Clark Anderson, whom Salvador Diaz Verson described as a friend. When the details of Salvador Diaz Verson's story began to change from interview to interview, Clark Anderson demanded he take a polygraph test. Salvador Diaz Verson retracted his story: "Mr. Diaz Verson was re-interviewed February 29, 1964, by our Miami Office (S.A. James O'Conner) and stated that Doctor Borrell Navarro is a Cuban exile and a former functionary of the regime of Fulgencio Batista. He said that Horatio Duran Navarro are Mexican citizens and bear no relationship with Dr. Borrell insofar as he knows. On February 29, 1964, Salvador Diaz Verson admitted to S.A. Edwin L. Sweet that he did furnish statements on January 4, 1964, and January 9, 1964, to S.A. James O'Conner, which are at variance with the details he furnished to S.A. Sweet on February 27, 1964." Clark Anderson was asked about Salvador Diaz Verson during a telephone conversation in 1993: "My hazy recollection is that we were friendly in Cuba." DAVID PHILLIPS stated: "I remember he was prominent, far to the right and either a newspaper editor or a radio/tv type involved somehow in politics. If I ever met him, I don't recall it, and I don't believe he worked for the Agency, but he might have indirectly." [CIA 501-200, 101-573] In 1978 BARKER was asked if he knew Salvador Diaz Verson. He responded: "I have heard that name before, but I never met the man personally or spoke with him." [Ltr. PHILLIPS to Hardway 5.3.78; WCD 378 - O'Conner; WCE 2947 O'Conner; CIA 478-783, 484-785; CIA ltr. to WC 1.29.64 re: Pres. of SDV in Mexico around 22 Nov. 1963; CIA 124-511, 501-200; WCD GA 1 FBI 2.21.64 Hoover to Rankin; FBI 62-109060-NR- 3.3.64 ltr. to Rankin]
Maurice Gatlin apprised the FBI in January 1955 that he had been in contact with Castillo Armas and that Armas was contemplating the assassination of one of his own generals. Maurice Gatlin was able to obtain special concessions from the Guatemalan Government at this time. In April 1955 he sent a letter to the FBI on behalf of the Anti-Communist Committee of the Americas, that protested against an invitation extended to New Orleans Mayor DeLesseps Morrison to witness a nuclear test explosion. Maurice Gatlin considered DeLesseps Morrison a security risk. [FBI 64-292-30-34 (Enc.)]
Maurice Gatlin informed the FBI in February 1957 he had reliable information that Dr. Jesus Galindez was alive and living in Mexico. The FBI was interested in Maurice Gatlin's information on Jesus Galindez because a similar report had reached the Bureau: "The Bureau's attention is directed to report of S.A. Clark D. Anderson dated June 20, 1956, at Havana." This report alleged Jesus Galindez was in Cuba. Its source was a convict trying to shorten his sentence. The CIA investigated Maurice Gatlin's charges. [CIA F82-0221/2] The Anti-Communist Committee of the Americas distributed pro-Trujillo literature and literature which attacked Jesus Galindez. The FBI reported: "Under date of August 22, 1956, the U.S. State Department furnished a copy of a pamphlet entitled 'The Case of ex-Spanish Republican and Communist Jesus de Galindez and the Dominican Republic,' dated July 1, 1958..." The pamphlet stated: "Finally, we must never forget that the Communists, of whom Jesus Galindez was undeniably one, are always under discipline, and of a type hardly understandable to the Christian and non-Communist. If Jesus Galindez be dead, it is likely that he met his death as retribution for not carrying out the orders of his Communist superiors. There is nothing in the history of personality of Generalissimo Rafael Trujillo, or any other Dominican, that suggests that any citizen of our great neighbor, the Dominican Republic, would invade our shores and commit murder. It is an insult to our neighboring republic to even suggest that such might be true...Jesus Galindez repaid the hospitality given to him as a refugee by the Dominican Republic by slander and vilification of the Dominican Republic and its leaders, and particularly Generalissimo Trujillo, who stands with Francisco Franco as the greatest anti-Communist in action as well as words in the entire world." (Jesus Galindez was an FBI informant.)
As stated, Gerald Lester Murphy was the pilot who flew Galindez to the Dominican Republic. His parents resided in Eugene, Oregon. Maurice Gatlin wrote this to the FBI: "I am leaving today on a 'vacation' trip to Eugene Oregon to see what I can find out about the Murphy family, connected with the infamous Jesus de Galindez case."
The FBI reported: "At 5:00 p.m. December 11, 1957, (Deleted) Reporter, (deleted) telephonically contacted S.A. Lineham. He advised that he had just received information from a source he would not divulge, but which he said was from Washington, D.C., that Maurice B. Gatlin was in Eugene. He sought information as to whether the Portland Office was aware of Gatlin's presence; information as to his residence in Eugene and advised he was trying to locate him for interview. (Deleted) was politely informed this Bureau was unable to make any statement or furnish him with the requested information. At 8:30 p.m. December 11, 1957, Lt. (Deleted) telephonically informed S.A. Lineham that (deleted) just received a long distance call from (Deleted) stated that Maurice Gatlin was up to the night of December 10, 1957, in Eugene. (Deleted) said he was reporting the information due to the nature of same, and had instructed (Deleted) to make no reports on the call and to forget receiving same. In view of the apparent interest taken in Gatlin, and in the manner in which (Deleted) called, it is suggested the Bureau may wish to consider a contact with (Deleted). As per prior Bureau instructions no action is being considered concerning Gatlin." [FBI PD 100-9377 12.13.57 Enc. Three news items from Register Guard 12.10.57 W.H. Williams SAC; FBI 64-29230-85 w/h info pertaining to 3rd party] This paragraph was contained in a document that dealt with the efforts of Lester G. Murphy, the father of Gerald Lester Murphy, to find out what happened to his son. Maurice Gatlin appeared at the Eugene, Oregon, office of the FBI and told S.A. John R. McCulloch that he "expected to be in Eugene for perhaps a month in connection with his investigation of the Galdinez case. Gatlin stated that because of his work he had many enemies, and his purpose in calling on the FBI was to advise that if he was found dead in Eugene, it was murder, not suicide." [FBI 64-29230-86 pg.12 w/h Paul G. Taylor; FBI 64-29230-87; FBI 116-452043-6 w/h]
In August 1957 Maurice Gatlin published a pro-Trujillo magazine. Maurice Gatlin set up secret meetings for the Dominican Consul General in New Orleans. That year the FBI opened a Registration Act investigation of Maurice Gatlin and the Anti-Communist Committee of the Americas . [FBI 64-29230-NR 3.31.59] Confidential Informant NO T-6 advised the FBI on April 27, 1957, that "he has known Maurice Gatlin for more than 20 years and has never had a good opinion of him. Gatlin is tricky and is personal coward. He is not well regarded by the other lawyers in New Orleans, and is considered a 'shyster of the first order.' His conduct as a member of the bar has never been considered normal. The fact that Gatlin lately has been distributing material, which for practical purposes is pro-Trujillo propaganda, leads to the supposition that he might be getting some money from the Dominican Government. However, the fact that Gatlin is absolutely crazy might account for his spending his own money in that regard. NO T-6 stated that he had no knowledge that Gatlin is, or has been, on the payroll of any foreign government. The informant related that he made it his business to look into the Anti-Communist Committee of the Americas, and he had been unable to find a single person in New Orleans or in Latin America who is connected with it other than Gatlin. The informant advised that he is convinced that Gatlin suffers from hallucinations since there is no other explanation for most of his actions.
"Confidential Informant NO T-10 advised on April 26, 1957, that prior to October 1954, he was in frequent contact with Maurice Gatlin for a year or more. Gatlin was a self-proclaimed expert on Latin American affairs. He also considered himself a real student of the communist movement and an implacable enemy of communism. Being an extremely egotistical person, Gatlin's attitude was that he knew far more about both matters than did the State Department or the FBI."
In August 1957 Maurice Gatlin visited Puerto Rico, where Venezuelan President Romulo Betancourt had sought political asylum after being overthrown by Marcos Jimenez Perez. Maurice Gatlin claimed Romulo Betancourt knew the whereabouts of Jesus Galindez. On October 14, 1957, Maurice Gatlin was arraigned in New Orleans Parish Criminal District Court and pleaded not guilty in "regard to action #157876."
Maurice Gatlin purchased a car in Memphis, Tennessee, in November 1957 and registered it under the name, Anti-Communist Committee of the Americas. He paid $1000 down, in cash, and did not re-register the car in Louisiana. The car was repossessed when he failed to make monthly payments. Gatlin wrote an angry letter to the Civil Sheriff of New Orleans: "Last night, while I was ill, your office seized from my son, a 1958 DeSoto automobile, in your best 'cloak and dagger' manner...Associates Discount wanted this car, all they had to do, and they knew it, was to have their lawyer get in touch with me. Yesterday they had some non-lawyer get in touch with me and make an illegal proposition to me. Further, their non-lawyer gave me no official notice the draft given by the Committee was dishonored. As you know I am the only General Counsel for this Committee and the money is put up by a group of millionaires, mostly from Texas, and they are notoriously eccentric. When I heard about the seizure last night, I got in touch with the Chairman, and he hit the roof (rather violently). He has about twice as much money to play around with as the Associates Discount Corporation, he does not like finance companies, in general, and, particularly, dislikes Associates Discount Corporation, and would like nothing better than to see them out of business. What make millionaires act as they do is beyond me." [FBI 64-29230-77 pg 2 w/h] The FBI checked Gatlin's bank account to discover the source of the money used to purchase the car. [FBI 64-29230-96, 97]
On February 11, 1958, the State Department generated a 10 page document about Gatlin. [FBI 64-29230 NR 2.13.58; FBI 64-29230-88] On April 4, 1958, Maurice Gatlin was in contact with the Bureau for Suppression of Communism in Cuba. A confidential informant produced a copy of a telegram Maurice Gatlin sent the Bureau for Suppression of Communism in 1958: "To BRAC, Ctel (deleted) CDAD MTAR Havana, Cuba. We are seriously concerned with situation facing you. Twice before we have successfully extricated nations from similar Communist assaults. Rebels will not dare proceed against solid opposition of this nation which we can unofficially obtain. Urge immediate conference there with three of my operators. No other costs involved if not successful. Wire plane tickets for three immediately, positively will not deal with consular personnel, but with you alone. Signed Anti-Communist Committee of the Americas (Caribbean Division)." [FBI 64-29230-89 4.7.58] On June 10, 1958, the FBI concluded: "On the basis of data appearing in this and previously reports, Gatlin's mental instability seems to be well established...He would not appear to warrant further serious investigative attention and this case is therefore being closed." [64-29230-92]
On March 30, 1959, Maurice Gatlin wrote this to the New Orleans office of the FBI: "In January 1959 myself [and an associate] visited Havana in a successful attempt to save the life of Ernesto de la Fe. Posing as journalists we were able to visit Dr. de la Fe at the notorious military prison, La Cabana, presided over by the notorious Argentinean physician, Ernesto Che Guevarra, probably the most sadistic and dedicated Communist in the hemisphere. There we learned at first hand of the summary executions (mostly carried out in La Cabana in the Havana area) and the reign of terror through which the Cuban people are now passing. We also learned, through sources that I have found to be reliable, that Guevarra and Celia Sanchez, designated No.1 and No. 2 respectively by Moscow, intend to liquidate their communist front man, Fidel Castro, around June or July, arranging his death so it will be attributed, of course, to a 'gringo' for propaganda purposes." [FBI 64-29230-95]
In February 1959 Maurice Gatlin advised United States Senator Allen J. Ellender (Dem. LA.)that he believed the Senator should introduce a bill cutting America's Cuban sugar quota to zero. Senator Ellender replied that 50% of Cuba's sugar cane fields were American-owned, but "if Castro were to confiscate properties belonging to American interests, then we might consider revising the quota...I hope your trip to Havana will be successful and that you come out of it unscathed."
In March 1959, the FBI generated a document about Gatlin all of which was withheld with the exception of a paragraphed that described his "mental instability." [FBI 64-29230 NR 3.27.59 p.2; FBI 64-29230-NR 3.27.59 pgs. 4 & 5] In April 1959, Maurice Gatlin wrote to Senator Ellender and stated that he had learned from a reliable source that, because of his attack on Castro, Castro planned to have Senator Ellender killed. In June 1959 the FBI attempted to determine if Eduardo A. Morales, the General Counsel of the Dominican Republic, had paid for Gatlin's eye surgery. [FBI 64-29230 NR 6.15.59; FBI 64-29230 NR 6.9.59 p2-6 also p8] Gatlin had checked into Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City under a false name. That month FBI S.A. Carlyle N. Reed and WARREN C. DeBRUEYS began to investigate Gatlin's connection to "Nicaraguan Revolutionary Activities." [FBI 64-29230 NR 150 6.26.59; FBI 64-29230 NR 6.19.59] Much of this investigation was withheld. The investigation centered around a letter Gatlin had written in regard to a pro-Sandinista demonstration that had take place in New Orleans on June 13, 1959. A copy of the report was sent to the United States Customs Service. [FBI N.O. 100-14447 9.17.59] In September 1959 Gatlin was seen with Eduardo A. Morales.
On June 20, 1960, Maurice Gatlin advised the FBI "that an informant of his had on the previous night heard two Cubans talking to (Deleted) at the Habana Bar, 117 Decatur Street, New Orleans. According to Gatlin's information from his source, these two Cubans allegedly told (Deleted) that they were in the United States on a kidnapping mission. Gatlin had information that these two Cubans were driving an automobile bearing Louisiana license #314-465 and that he understood that these Cubans were arrested later that same evening by the New Orleans Police Department on a charge of being drunk...Gatlin concluded by saying that he was on the list of persons condemned to death in absentia by Castro and fears that he may be the victim." [FBI 105-80787-14?] The FBI "contemplated locating (deleted) for data as to the identity of the two Cubans referred to by Maurice Gatlin, as well as the purpose of their presence in this country." The FBI reported: "On June 23, 1960, (Deleted), New Orleans Police Department, advised S.A. (Deleted) that he had been on duty after 11:00 p.m. on June 18, 1960. According to (deleted) he recalled that during his night shift on June 18, 1960, to June 19, 1960, two young men, one of whom identified as (deleted), had come into the First District Police Station, stating that a man at the Habana Bar, 117 Decatur Street, who was probably in the Cuban Army, had tried to coax them to get into a car to go to the Clairborne Towers, an apartment hotel. (Deleted) stated that since the complainants could not furnish any data indicating a possible violation of law, no action was taken by the New Orleans Police in this matter." [FBI 105-105-80787-27, 105-80787-1] The FBI located (deleted) who admitted owning the automobile in question but "denied having been in the Habana Bar in six months and he states he does not know anyone named (deleted) or with a similar name. He also states that neither he, nor anyone acquainted with him, either on the night of June 18 or June 19, 1960, had tried to coax anyone in his car." The FBI questioned the owners of the Habana Bar, Orestes and Ruperto Pena. They advised that "no incident occurred at the Habana Bar on June 18 or June 19, 1960, involving the alleged attempt by a Cuban Army officer to entice someone into his car. They advised that they know of no one named (Deleted). They stated they know (Deleted) but that the latter has not been in that bar for more than six months inasmuch as (Deleted) owes (Deleted) money...Gatlin has been unable to furnish any more specific information from his 'source.' His source is undoubtedly (deleted)." [FBI 105-105-80787-151]
There was additional FBI activity regarding Maurice Gatlin in August 1960, but the Bureau has kept the matter obscured. It merely allowed that a woman source was involved and that "(Deleted) stated that (Deleted) had contacted Gatlin in regard to (deleted) and that Gatlin had later informed (Deleted) [her] that (Deleted) had been framed and that (Deleted) was telling the truth." [FBI File #NO 97-73 8.19.60] On August 19, 1960, Gatlin's name surfaced in a Registration Act investigation as a source of information: "Gatlin knows all of the Latin American Consuls in New Orleans and has contacts all over Central and South America. (Deleted) advised that (deleted) had contacted Maurice Gatlin for the sole purpose of gaining access to Gatlin's contacts in order to obtain information concerning communist activities in the Latin American countries (deleted)." The FBI refused to disseminate the information Gatlin supplied to its source because he was considered to be a "crackpot and an unscrupulous person." [Report of S.A. Deleted 8.19.60 NO 97-73; FBI 97-4293-2 24 pages w/h]
By September 1960 Maurice Gatlin was involved in anti-Castro activities, and he supplied two Southern Senators with information on jeep shipments to Fidel Castro: "Maurice Brooks Gatlin, General Counsel, Anti-Communist League of the Americas, a long time Castro antagonist, and Guy Banister, a former FBI agent and President of the Anti-Communist group, claimed that about 100 Jeeps were sent to Cuba through New Orleans in recent months under invoices marked as 'agricultural equipment.'"
In early January 1961 Maurice Gatlin ran an agent who later advised the FBI: "I attended two meetings of the anti-Castro group in New Orleans known as the Cuban Revolutionary Front, at the request of Mr. Gatlin, for the purpose of learning if they were truly anti-Castro, or if there appeared to be anyone attending who was not genuinely anti-Castro." This man might have been Edward S. Suggs. The CIA advised the FBI in January 1961 that the New Orleans representative of the Cuban Revolutionary Front, Sergio Arcacha Smith, "may have furnished the data to Banister because of Banister's alleged connection with Maurice Gatlin, who heads the Anti-Communist Committee of the Americas in New Orleans, which publishes the Caribbean Newsletter. Gatlin's mental instability appears to be well established, and he has been described by one source as insane. Gatlin has described Banister in the newsletter as 'a former FBI agent and president of the Anti-Communist group.'" The FBI believed that Sergio Arcacha Smith had furnished data about the Cuban Revolutionary Front to Guy Banister who in turn supplied it to Gatlin. The Cuban Revolutionary Front was described as "an anti-Castro organization receiving the CIA's covert support." [FBI 105-87912-159] Maurice Gatlin gave the FBI a press release dated February 1, 1961, which attacked the Cuban Revolutionary Front. "Confidential. Note: The following is an exact duplication of a letter dated January 10, 1961, relative to the various organizations now working in the United States to overthrow the Castro Government. The source will be revealed on request and at my discretion. The letter is from one of the most experienced and knowledgeable of Cuban Ex-Intelligence Agents: 'I received your letter in relation to the activities of the Cuban Revolutionary Front in that city and am very pleased to inform you that this is one of the organizations that has come into being against Castro. They have had the luck of receiving good economic assistance from groups of North Americans and officials of that country. For this reason they look to be more important and they are able to maintain agents in many places. None of this group that today raise the banner of anti-Communism have heretofore concerned themselves with fighting Soviet Imperial Communism nor do they have any Anti-Communist background. Dr. Varona, Coordinator of this movement, is an old Cuban politician. He comes from the Authentic Party that was under the leadership of Dr. Carlos Prio. He has never been a Communist, nor has he ever been an anti-Communist. He appears to be a well-intentioned, although he is surrounded by many individuals who display a completely negative character. Manuel Artime was a member of the Rebel Army with Fidel Castro and was at his side for a long time; and, one day he left, arrived in Miami and proclaimed himself an Anti-Communist. He was accepted here and here he is. He is one of those who contributed to the coming of communism in Cuba." Sanchez Arrango was accused of being pro-Communist. The press release ended: "Note: The writer of the above mentioned letter is not motivated by 'sour grapes'; he is a man with long years of intelligence experience behind him and a journalist of note. He is a professional of the highest type, dedicated to fighting communism in our hemisphere, and an expert in how to do so. Wasting such professional ability while encouraging 'Johnny-come-latelies,' who not only have no experience, but are or may be interested only in taking over the power now held by Communist puppet Castro." [FBI 105-87912-191]
On February 7, 1961, the FBI in New Orleans generated a Letter Head Memorandum about the "Frente Revolutionario Democratico (FRD) aka Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front, Cuban Revolutionary Front, Friends of Democratic Cuba. (Paragraph Deleted) (Deleted) in response to inquiry, stated that he has never heard of an organization known as the Anti-Communist Committee of the Americas, nor did he have any information indicating that Guy Banister might possibly be a member of such organization. (Deleted) also states that he does not know anyone named Maurice Gatlin who is allegedly an officer in the Anti-Communist Committee of the Americas." (2 pages w/h FBI 105-87912-182 p2-4) On April 9, 1961, the FBI, in a document captioned Cuban Revolutionary Front, stated: "(Deleted) Its representative in New Orleans is Sergio Arcacha Smith, a former Cuban official. Reymemorandum January 17, 1961, which advised (deleted). Memorandum also noted possibility (Deleted) connected with Maurice Gatlin, head of the anti-Communist Committee of the Americas, whose mental instability appears to be well established. (Deleted)" [FBI 64-27230 NR 167 2.14.61]
FBI S.A. DeBRUEYS interviewed Maurice Gatlin on February 13, 1961, about a statement he made in 1956 concerning the left-wing sympathies of CBS-TV newsman Edward R. Murrow: "Murrow, most suave of all the CBS commentators is well known for his espousal of left-wing causes. So far as is known, he had not been asked about his affiliations, past or present, by a Senate or other authorized governmental body. What his answer might be under such circumstances cannot therefore be stated. His position can only be surmised..." Maurice Gatlin told DeBRUEYS that he had not developed any direct information to substantiate this statement. Edward R. Murrow was the Subject of a 1,300-page FBI investigation. [FBI 161-296-68]
On February 3, 1961, Guy Banister was questioned about Maurice Gatlin: "Banister stated that he is not a member, nor an officer, of the group known as the Anti-Communist Committee of the Americas. He explained that in connection with his investigating business, he had done some work for Maurice Gatlin, who is the general counsel of the Anti-Communist Committee of the Americas. He stated that he had learned of the existence of some surplus war equipment such as jeeps and trucks that were located on the riverfront in New Orleans, which were allegedly scheduled to be shipped to Cuba. He furnished this information to Gatlin, and charged for his services $1.00. He stated that this is the extent of his relationship and contact with the Anti-Communist Committee of the Americas. He added that any publication of Gatlin, or the Anti-Communist Committee of the Americas, reflecting him as an officer, was undoubtedly an impulsive act of Maurice Gatlin which did not have either his consent or his approval. He stated he has not seen any publication indicating that he is an officer in the Anti-Communist Committee of the Americas. Banister then related that he is a member of the Board of Directors of the Friends of Democratic Cuba, Inc. which he describes as a charitable organization chartered under the laws of the State of Louisiana whose primary purpose is to lend assistance to some 50 young Cuban girls who are political exiles and who were in need of material and financial assistance. In response to inquiry, Banister stated that he (deleted) Banister stated that he did receive from (deleted). His purpose would be then to furnish such information to (deleted). According to Banister, insofar as he was aware, the organization known as the Friends of Democratic Cuba, Inc. Is still in existence. In addition to the above, Banister remarked the (deleted) is hired by him as a part-time (deleted). He explained that (deleted) was interested in ascertaining the political sympathies of Cuban and other foreign students attending Tulane University. This is of interest to Banister in connection with his interest and position in the Louisiana State organization known as the State Joint Legislative Committee on Un-American Activities. Banister related that he feels certain that (deleted) is not employed by Maurice Gatlin's Anti-Communist Committee of the Americas but did relate that (deleted) was making an attempt to associate with the FRD, as well as Friends of Democratic Inc. because of (deleted) interest in ferreting out subversive activities in the State of Louisiana. He explained that (deleted) would be interested in ascertaining whether or not any pro-Castro people had infiltrated either the Cuban Revolutionary Front or Friends of Democratic Cuba."[Four paragraphs deleted FBI 105-87912-182]
S.A. DeBRUEYS contacted informants about the Inter-American Confederation for the Defense of the Continent, but none was familiar with it. He contacted FBI S.A. Wallace Heitman, then working out of Mexico City. S.A. Wallace Heitman had nothing on Maurice Gatlin. DeBRUEYS contacted the CIA's Office of Security. The Office of Security replied that all its reports on Maurice Gatlin had originated with the FBI. S.A. Wallace Heitman was questioned about this investigation: "Now where did you get this information? February 1961? Gatlin? I don't recall."
S.A. DeBRUEYS reported in June 1961, that in April 1961, he contacted a confidential source abroad and discovered that the headquarters of the Inter-American Confederation for the Defense of the Continent was located in Mexico City. It "was founded by Jorge Prieto Laurens in 1956, and this organization is a hemisphere-wide organization dedicated to opposition of communism throughout the Western hemisphere." Wallace Heitman, the FBI Legal Attache in Mexico City was detailed to reinvestigate the connection of Maurice Gatlin to the Inter-American Confederation for the Defense of the Continent. S.A. Wallace Heitman related: "This agency had no record concerning Gatlin as being in any way connected to the Inter-American Confederation for the Defense of the Continent." [FBI 64-29230-115] On March 20, 1961, J. Walter Yeagley, Assistant Attorney General, Internal Security, requested that the FBI "attempt to ascertain whether there is such an organization as the Inter-American Confederation for the Defense of the Continent and if so, whether Subject, in fact, is general counsel for the Caribbean Division and is receiving from or writing political propaganda for a the foreign principal for dissemination within the United States." In May 1961, S.A. DeBRUEYS investigated Maurice Gatlin and the Inter-American Confederation for the Defense of the Continent for not having registered as agents of the Dominican Republic. Wallace Shanley recalled: "When Batista fled the Dominican Republic he had a bunch of generals with him. He said, 'Here generals, I'm leaving five million dollars here. You can use this fund. I'll channel it through the Dominican Consul and it will be available to you in the United States for your activities.' That once caused me to arrest the Dominican Consul." On May 2, 1961, the FBI sought to examine CIA Security File No. EE2-9674, Maurice B. Gatlin, for a name check. [CIA F82-0221/1] On June 19, 1961, the FBI reported that Maurice Gatlin sent condolences to the family of Raphael Trujillo after he was assassinated. [FBI 109-12-211-769] The Nicaraguan Government honored Maurice Gatlin on July 23, 1961, for his struggle against communism with its top award for foreigners. The citation from President Anastasio Somoza certified the decoration was the highest Nicaragua "bestows upon the sincere friends that have rendered meritorious services." On August 29, 1961, Maurice Gatlin was guest speaker at a meeting of J. B. Stoner's National States Rights Party.
In April 1962 Maurice Gatlin apprised the "that several years ago, at the time that Jacobo Arbenz was Guatemalan President, he, Gatlin, saw in New Orleans, some plans designed to overthrow the Arbenz regime. Gatlin states that a source, who he declined to identify, but who (deleted) and who, in Gatlin's opinion, (deleted) was to put these plans into effect against the Arbenz regime." A Domestic Intelligence Division Informative Note dated April 9, 1962, stated "(Deleted) furnished Boston Office letter he received April 3, 1962, wherein Maurice Gatlin alleged he had personally observed plans to overthrow the Guatemalan Government between April 20, 1962, and April 25, 1962...In view of serious allegations, New Orleans authorized to interview Gatlin." Gatlin told the FBI: "I have had an opportunity to look at the actual plans of what is going to happen in Guatemala (and I had no part in making such plans as they were shown to me gratuitously) and if the plans are carried out, the all-out drive to overthrow Ydigoras may be expected between April 20, 1962, and April 25, 1962. The thing will be an all out, full scale, revolt backed by the Army. While it will also have Communist backing, the Communists will only be going along for the ride, with the hope they can take over. Those who have planned the operation and will also carry it out barring some unforeseen change - such as CIA interference - are non-Communists and friendly to the United States, as well as strictly anti-Castro. Ydigoras regime is rotten and corruption ridden and the people of Guatemala say he must go. They also say he has a hand in diplomatic narcotics smuggling. There is to be a general demonstration by university students. When the military is called upon by President Ydigoras to put down these demonstrations, the military will take no action, at which time it will become obvious to Ydigoras that he had lost control. At this point a coup d'etat will take place. Maurice Gatlin states his source is friendly toward the U.S. and will probably be next President of Guatemala. He declined to identify his source, but described him later as a former Army man." [FBI 64-43778-5] This information was furnished to the CIA.
On March 21, 1962, J. Walter Yeagley, Assistant Attorney General, Internal Security Division, determined that Maurice Gatlin was not obligated to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act: "The information furnished shows that the Subject Gatlin endorsed and cashed checks which were issued in the Dominican Republic in favor of the Consul of that government in New Orleans. There is no indication, however, as to the purpose of the Subject Gatlin's connection with his receipt of money." [FBI 64-29230-125] From December 1962 to January 1963, Maurice Gatlin was the Subject of another Bureau investigation, the contents of which (16 pages) was withheld - including the caption of the document. By this time the FBI refused to interview Maurice Gatlin. [FBI 116-452043-6 - Charles M. Kokes]
Maurice Gatlin suffered a mysterious demise. According to Ramparts magazine, Maurice Gatlin was pushed from a hotel window while visiting Panama. My research indicated he died in Puerto Rico on Friday May 28, 1965. [NO Times Picayune 6.1.65; Ramparts p47; CIA F82-0221/1 rel. 7.26.83; FBI NO 52-0-6439, 64-29230-NR 2.14.61, 64-29230-V NR 6.10.57, 25, 125, 102, NR 7.9.54, 1.31.55, 6.22.53, 2.25.54, 6.20.61, 9.11.61; FBI 52-0-6439 NR 4.11.61 64-29230-108, 115, 34 enc; Documents w/h FBI 64-29230-5 FBI Hq Airtel to WFO & New Orleans 5.26.53 per CIA; FBI 64-29230-NR Branigan to Belmont Memo 6.2.53; FBI 64-29230 NR Blind Memo date unknown Filed in Section 1; FBI 64-29230-NR Sent 3 dated 1.17.61; FBI 64-29230 NR New Orleans Airtel to FBI Hq. 1.13.61 pg3]
DeLesseps Story Morrison was born on January 12, 1912. DeLesseps Morrison was a graduate of Louisiana University who opened a law office with Hale Boggs in 1935. DeLesseps Morrison won national attention in 1946 when at age 34, he became the Mayor of New Orleans. The FBI heard allegations in June 1961 that Mayor DeLesseps Morrison was involved in "payoffs and suppression of law enforcement." He served four terms before he was appointed United States Ambassador to the Organization of American States in July 1961. In August 1961, DeLesseps Morrison and Douglas Dillon led the U.S. delegation to the Inter-American Economic and Social Conference at the Uruguayan city of Punta del Este, where the issue of expelling Cuba from the Organization of American States was discussed. DeLesseps Morrison was questioned by the FBI in December 1961: "He stated that he had known (deleted) since his first or second visit to the Dominican Republic, at which time (deleted) had been utilized as a liaison man in discussions with (deleted)." In January 1962 Cuba was expelled from the Organization of American States. Haiti cast the decisive vote. DeLesseps Morrison visited Haiti in February 1962 and offered American aid in the construction of a new airport. In May 1962 he was the Subject of another State Department and FBI investigation for "apparently exceeding his authority when furnishing information" to a representative of the Dominican Republic. The State Department interviewed a former member of the Dominican Intelligence Service, but he was "not in possession of any significant information concerning Morrison and the allegations of bribery and payoff in this case." During this investigation, the FBI questioned an unnamed individual who had been arrested for interstate transportation of $80,000 worth of stolen U.S. Treasury Bonds. This individual denied having direct knowledge of any payments to Ambassador DeLesseps Morrison, although he "claimed hearsay knowledge of (deleted), but refused to furnish details." When the investigation by the State Department was completed, a security official advised the FBI that a determination about DeLesseps Morrison was about to be made on a very high level. State Department legal advisor Abram Chayes wrote J. Edgar Hoover that U.S. Ambassadors "have a certain personal discretion in communicating information to representatives of foreign governments," and therefore no final judgment was rendered. DeLesseps Morrison resigned as Ambassador to the Organization of American States in order to run for Governor of Louisiana. In December 1963 Morrison was the Subject of an extortion attempt that involved the Kennedy assassination. [FBI 100-10461-1492]
On May 22, 1964, a plane was reported overdue in Victoria, Mexico. Aboard were Ambassador DeLesseps Morrison, pilot Hugh Ward, who was secretary treasurer of Guy Banister Associates, a child, and four others: "Shortly after 11:00 a.m. it was reported that a pilot had sighted what he believed to be the wreckage of the plane. A little later, the report was confirmed. U.S. search and rescue aircraft...arrived at the crash scene...The bodies of the pilot and passengers, seven in all, were taken to Ciudad Victoria and there placed aboard a U.S. Coast Guard airplane, then flown to New Orleans. The bodies were unidentifiable. The pilot of the Coast Guard plane, the Mexican Civil Aviation inspector, and various private pilots, stated that the destruction was the most complete they had ever witnessed." The plane had struck a hillside at full force. [DOS Airgram 6.10.64/American Consul/Tampico; FBI HQ 161-779-190 pp 1, 7; FBI Bufile 161-799 pp193, 194, 196, 197, 201-203, 205, 206, 209-217, 225, 792]
According to Captain Neville Levy, as quoted in Counterplot [Wardlaw & James p36] David Ferrie engaged in gun smuggling to Castro and raising money for the 26th of July Movement in 1958. David Ferrie allegedly carried a loaded gun while fund-raising for Fidel. No evidence of this appeared in Ferrie's FBI file.
The initial traces on David Ferrie revealed that while in Miami in August 1959, he was put under 24-hour surveillance by Customs agents who suspected he was engaged in smuggling weapons to anti-Castro forces. Following a brief investigation, that included wiretaps, David Ferrie persuaded the FBI that he had planned an outing for his Civil Air Patrol cadets.
On September 15, 1960, Mr. Arthur W. Koon, Federal Aeronautics Administration Tower, Moisant Airport, told the FBI that "About a month and a half previously, a Mrs. John F. Barrett of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, a former secretary in his office, had told him that her 14-year-old son had been influenced to join an organization called 'Omnipotent.' She stated he had been influenced by a 19 or 20-year old boy whose name is unknown to her. In effect, Mrs. Barret allegedly told Mr. Koon that members of that organization had to swear allegiance and obedience to the 19 or 20-year-old boy and that the purpose of this organization was to train people concerning what they should do in the event of an all-out attack against the United States...a 'Dr. Ferrie' was behind this organization." [FBI 105-104340-1 same as 62-0-61428]
On October 3, 1960, David Ferrie supplied S.A. Warren C. DeBrueys with information that concerned a "Possible ITSP OO: Albuquerque." [FBI 87-52503-6]
David Ferrie was investigated for possible Interstate Transportation of Stolen Property in October 1960. The FBI Agent in charge of his case was S.A. WARREN C. DeBRUEYS. Ferrie began to work with the Cuban Revolutionary Front in November 1960.
In early 1961 David Ferrie recruited a boy he had met in the Civil Air Patrol named Layton Martens, to work with Sergio Arcacha Smith and Guy Banister in the Cuban Revolutionary Front. On January 31, 1969, ANGLETON stated that Layton Martens "is not and has not been an employee or associate of CIA. The Cuban Revolutionary Front was created in May 1960 with CIA assistance. In October 1961 it was absorbed by the Cuban Revolutionary Council. Sergio Arcacha Smith was the Revolutionary Front delegate in New Orleans before the Bay of Pigs, and held this position until the Cuban Revolutionary Front ceased to function in October 1961."
Layton Martens told the HSCA: "Sometime in 1961 Ferrie asked for volunteers to assist him in raising funds for Cuban Nationals in New Orleans...He checked the local FBI office and was assured by a Mr. Wall...that one Sergio Arcacha Smith, in an organization identified as the Cuban Revolutionary Front, was authentic...I met Guy Banister in his office in the Balter Building. His job was to receive information from Sergio Arcacha Smith, and as a result of the information obtained from Sergio Arcacha Smith, I then marked locations on various maps he had in his possession." According to Layton Martens, the markings were missile sites.
Why was a teenager entrusted with this information vital to our national defense? Layton Martens told the HSCA that he, David Ferrie, and two other men, drove to a location outside New Orleans and removed some green boxes: "While driving back to New Orleans, one of the men opened one of the boxes and took out a chrome colored tube and some soft material which he molded around the tube. He then threw the tube out of the open car window and about 30 seconds later there was an explosion." [HSCA Martens interview with William Brown 1.24.78] Layton Martens and David Ferrie were indirectly associated with the CIA in 1961. Layton Martens commented, "It's not true." A CIA Office of Security record existed on Layton Martens, but this was withheld.
David Ferrie, who owned an airplane and frequently flew to Cuba and Guatemala, assembled an anti-Castro arsenal. There were unverified reports that Sergio Arcacha Smith received funds from David Ferrie. At his request, Sergio Arcacha Smith wrote a letter to the superiors of David Ferrie at Eastern Airlines requesting paid leave for David Ferrie, so that he could devote all his time to the Cuban Revolutionary Front. The request was denied. Despite this, Ferrie's vacation coincided with the Bay of Pigs invasion.
In May 1961 David Ferrie gave a speech in which he announced that JFK should be shot for his "double-cross" of the Cuban exiles during the Bay of Pigs invasion. David Ferrie was introduced as a pilot who took part in the invasion, but was prevented from landing because of heavy ground fire. American pilots had participated in OPERATION PUMA, which was part of the Bay of Pigs invasion scenario, but the name of David Ferrie did not appear in any CIA records that concerned contract employees. On February 25, 1963, Senator Everett Dirksen (Rep.-IL) announced that four U.S. fliers were killed in the invasion. [Wyden BOP Untold Story fn 278] David Ferrie told the FBI: "At time of Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba he was very much embarrassed and concerned over lack of air cover provided and severely criticized President Kennedy both in public and in private...Ferrie said he is very outspoken and may have used an offhand or colloquial expression 'He ought to be shot' in expressing his feelings concerning the Cuban situation." [FBI 62-109060-?-12.6.63] David Ferrie explained to the group that he addressed that his ties to the invasion came through the New Orleans chapter of the Cuban Revolutionary Council.
David Ferrie was arrested in Jefferson Parish, New Orleans, on August 8, 1961, for contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile. On August 11, 1961, David Ferrie was arrested for extortion, engaging in homosexual behavior with a 15-year-old boy, and indecent behavior with three others. Authorities with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office entered his home with a search warrant on August 22, 1961; they found munitions and maps of the Cuban coast. The legal defense of David Ferrie was handled by Attorney G. Wray Gil. Guy Banister worked on the Ferrie case as a private investigator for G. Wray Gil. Upon searching his home, the police found rifles, ammunition and two miniature submarines. The FBI interviewed David Ferrie on August 22, 1961. He apprised the Bureau that "he has been working with, and assisting, the Cuban Revolutionary Front, which is under the leadership of Sergio Arcacha Smith, 207 Balter Building, New Orleans, Louisiana, off and on since November 1960. He further informed that the miniature submarines in his basement are being constructed for the Cuban Revolutionary Movement, for their use in getting food stuffs, medical supplies etc. to Cuba. Ferrie advised that he has never solicited any weapons or ammunition for the Cuban Revolutionary Front and has never attempted to purchase any such equipment for that organization. The Cuban Revolutionary Front is an anti-Castro organization with headquarters in Miami, Florida." [FBI 62-109060-4344, 62-109060-4535; CIA 1363-501]
Layton Martens, who was a allegedly a roommate of David Ferrie, was arrested on August 30, 1961, for vagrancy pending investigation of burglary by the New Orleans Police Department. Layton Martens commented, "No for god sakes, I was never Ferrie's roommate. [On November 25, 1963, Layton Martens told the FBI he had lived with David Ferrie since November 17, 1963, when his mother threw him out of her house.] I did borrow his apartment when he was out of town, for about seven to nine days. I was never arrested. I don't have any criminal record. Whoever told you that is full of shit." Jack Wasserman, a lawyer for MARCELLO, represented Layton Martens in this case. Layton Martens stated, "Oh bullshit, I didn't know any Jack Wasserman. It's about time I get a lawyer and start defending myself. If you print this stuff I'm going to sue! I'm a media figure. I'm a member of the Screen Actors Guild. You're putting you're hand in my pocket, you're hurting me professionally. Where do you get these documents from? I need to get down to the Feds and say look, 'I want to know who gave him this information.' Maybe I should sue? Could I get your name, address and phone number. Spell you're name. W-e-b-e-r-m-a-n? That's a nice Irish name. Orthodox? That's a nice address, 6 Bleecker Street. I gotta get to New York sometimes. Marchello needs repairin' bout the only place I could get it done. What's your phone number?" I asked Layton Martens what he meant by "Marchello needs repairing." He responded, "My cello needs repairing. Come on Alan, you've been doing this for too long. What's your phone number? You talk like a New Yorker. You gonna print all this stuff?" I responded, "I'm going to print that you're an anti-Semite and a scumbag!" Layton Martens responded: "All I can tell you is, God have mercy on us all."
Shortly after its interview with David Ferrie on August 22, 1961, the FBI sent the CIA a Letter Head Memorandum about David Ferrie that stated, "Five copies of this memorandum are furnished to the Bureau in the event the Bureau desired to furnish on or more copies of the enclosed letterhead memorandum to CIA in view of the references contained herein concerning the New Orleans Cuban Revolutionary Front at New Orleans." There was no indication the CIA responded. The FBI determined that the activities of David Ferrie on behalf of the Cuban Revolutionary Front and the Cuban Revolutionary Council did not merit investigation regarding possible violations of the Neutrality Act, since these organizations were funded by the United States Government. Instead, the FBI recommend that the Federal Aeronautics Administration revoke the registration of Ferrie's private plane, and take some action to prevent him from flying commercial airplanes.
Victor Marchetti reported that David Ferrie was a CIA contract employee. Many of David Ferrie's flights to Cuba allegedly took off from CIA-controlled Swan Island. The Agency ran traces in 1967 on all the major figures in New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison's investigation. Most of the traces came up "(deleted) no record." David Ferrie's was "(deleted) no identifiable traces," followed by "No additional substantive information. Subject is dead." [CIA 1442-492-AK] In an earlier FBI document the CIA observed it came across numerous Office of Security traces on him. [CIA 1233-518] When he was arrested, police allegedly found three blank, stamped passports in his possession. [Wardlaw & James Plot pp44-46]
The FBI received information on October 16, 1961, from Senior Patrol Inspector Windle G. Roach, U.S. Border Patrol, that in September 1961 David Ferrie told Eastern Airlines steward John Harris that he had been trying to purchase "a C-47 airplane for $30,000 and that he had a arms cache in the New Orleans area....John Harris advised that Captain Ferrie has a group of young boys whom he supports and controls completely...[George Woodcock, Andrew Blackmon, Al Landry and Layton Martens.] Harris related that approximately a month ago he observed the trunk of Ferrie's car loaded with hand grenades. He stated that later that same day Ferrie brought two of the hand grenades to his apartment and that he asked Ferrie to take the hand grenades out of the apartment. He stated he did not know the source from which Captain Ferrie obtained the hand grenades or the purpose for which he obtained them." [FBI 105-104340-3, 105-104340-1]
On August 30, 1961, Layton Martens was interviewed by the FBI after his arrest for vagrancy, pending an investigation of burglary by the New Orleans Police Department. Layton Martens said his arrest was connected with David Ferrie's arrest for indecency.
On September 22, 1961, the FBI recommended to the Federal Aeronautics Administration that David Ferrie's pilots license be revoked because of violations of the Neutrality Act. On the morning of October 25, 1961, "(deleted) called at the Bureau and spoke with S.A. James R. Healy, Crime Research Section. (Deleted) stated that he is employed by the (deleted) Company and is in Washington on business. (Deleted) stated he was concerned about David Ferrie, whom he fears has become deeply involved in anti-Castro activities in the New Orleans area. He stated his information came from (deleted) and he is not sure of its complete accuracy. He described (deleted) Ferrie as a Ph.D. with a brilliant mind, but who has behaved in a peculiar fashion and has 'gone off the deep end' at times. While he feels his (deleted) activities are motivated by patriotism, he does not want to see him become involved in anything that would injure the United States." [FBI 105-104340-2]
In 1962 David Ferrie was alleged to have worked with Rolando Masferrer's associate, Eladio Del Valle. New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison had information that Eladio Del Valle occasionally paid him $1,500 per mission. [Flammonde Kennedy Conspiracy p19] Who had given Garrison this information? In Plot or Politics? Rosemary James and Jack Wardlaw may have identified that source: "Oddly enough, a man who reportedly knew Ferrie and had been questioned by Garrison's Staff, was murdered in Miami on the same day Ferrie died, February 22, 1967. [Del Valle died on February 25, 1967] Diego Gonzales Tendedera, a Cuban exile and Miami correspondent for El Tiempo, a Spanish language paper in New York, wrote a story after the mutilated body of Eladio Del Valle was found in a Miami parking lot...According to Tendedera, Del Valle fled Cuba with most of his wealth before Castro took over. In Miami he set up a grocery store as a front for gathering freedom fighters, procuring guns, grenades, bombs and sabotage equipment. Tendedera said that he frequently visited Del Valle and that he met Ferrie in the store. During one six month period, he said, Ferrie and Del Valle flew over Cuba two or three times a week in Del Valle's twin engine Apache to drop incendiaries, and rescue anti-Communist Cubans who wanted to escape. Tendedera said the federal agents put a stop to the raids in 1961 by confiscating his plane." In a story in the National Enquirer Diego Gonzales Tendedera wrote that Manuel Artime told him Del Valle was killed on the orders of Fidel Castro: "He knew too much about the Kennedy assassination." There were no references to William David Ferrie in Eladio Del Valle's FBI file nor were there any references to Eladio Del Valle in William David Ferrie's FBI file.
Eladio Del Valle (born August 26, 1922, Havana, Cuba) attended the Cuban Naval Academy from 1937 to 1941, but was not commissioned. He then joined the Merchant Marine. The CIA reported that "Within a few years he had amassed a fortune, apparently in smuggling, most of which was made during the Grau Administration (1944 to 1948). However he was reported as late as 1953 to be engaged in smuggling with members of the Cuban Police and SIM (Cuban military intelligence) as partners. He is said to have influential friends who afforded protection from arrest for those activities, which were carried on under cover of a firm in Havana called Importadora Valle. There was some indication he was also suspected of drug trafficking. Although it was determined that he was not a member of the Communist Party, it was discovered that he sublet office space for some time to a committee of the Partido Socialista Popular, in a building which he rented and used for storage. No action was taken at this time against Subject as a result of those charges. In CSCI3/762,551, referenced above, it was reported to the Bureau that (deleted). It is suggested that the Office of Naval Intelligence and the Immigration and Naturalization Service may have more details on the information summarized in Paragraph 3, b, above." A CIA report dated May 29, 1951, Eladio Del Valle was described as active in the Cuban Communist Party, possibly smuggling weapons. [FBI 100-378541-8] A Cuban law enforcement official informed the FBI in 1952 that Eladio Del Valle smuggled arms from the Florida Keys to Cuba. In 1953 Del Valle was suspected of having been behind the assaults of several American journalists living in Cuba. The CIA reported that "a review of 1953 information in the files of this Agency revealed that there were several reports in early 1953 that Subject was using his boats for contraband goods, arms traffic, etc. and that he had connections with Communist leaders such as Lazaro Pena." [CIA Ltr. Larry R. Strawderman to AJW dated 7.22.82. Memo's dated 1.3.58, 12.23.60, 11.1.62, Telegram 6.5.63, Cable 2.20.65. Documents denied: "Cable, 7.10.65, Report 4.14.65] Eladio Del Valle was elected to the House of Representatives of Cuba in 1955 and he left Cuba for Miami on December 25, 1959. Eladio Del Valle formed his own anti-Castro group in 1960. The CIA had suspicions Eladio Del Valle was a Castro double-agent. The New York Daily News published Eladio Del Valle's boast that he had a small army of expert saboteurs in Cuba: "Over 1,000 of our men are soldiers who defected from Castro. Others are professionals who were in Batista's army." In October 1961 William Pawley received a letter from Jose A. Benitez, Chairman, Democratic Party of Puerto Rico: "After discussing with you, and our mutual friend Senator Smathers, yesterday the Cuban situation, and knowing your knowledge of current Cuban leaders in exile, I take the liberty of making you the following recommendation. Eladio Del Valle. I had the pleasure of meeting with Captain Del Valle and discussing his plan. I have met personally all the human and material resources. He was ready to invade Cuba last week, but, on my suggestion, he postponed it." Eladio Del Valle became associated with the Cuban Nationalist Movement in 1961 and by 1962 the CIA discovered that several of his men were shot while trying to infiltrate Cuba. In 1962, two of Eladio Del Valle's men were arrested in New Jersey with a trailer-load of arms. The headquarters of the Cuban Nationalist Movement was in New Jersey. Meanwhile, Eladio Del Valle raised funds, mainly among Bastistanos. Reports of the next three years of his career were withheld by the FBI. The 30 pages that detailed his activities between 1961 and 1963 were entirely deleted. The CIA released one document about his activities during this period. Dated June 5, 1963, it revealed that Eladio Del Valle was attempting to establish a base in Costa Rica. In 1964 Eladio Del Valle was associated with MIRR. U.S. Customs received information in 1966 that Eladio Del Valle smuggled narcotics from Panama with Rolando Masferrer. The last CIA document about Eladio Del Valle was an Intelligence Information Cable dated February 20, 1965, which "contained information affecting the National Defense of the United States within the meaning of the Espionage Laws." The only sentence that was not deleted read: "Del Valle is a Cuban exile who has been described as a small-time gangster who involves himself in everything, but who never risks his own life in any undertaking."
On February 22, 1967, the body of Eladio Del Valle was found in a Miami parking lot. The cause of death was "Multiple blunt impacts of head and gunshot wound of the chest." [Certificate of Death signed by Beatrice Marchetti Registration No. 1968] His pockets were turned inside out. According to an article in Diario Las Americas, Eladio Del Valle was associated with SANTOS TRAFFICANTE. The FBI determined: "Motive for Del Valle's murder is not known, but rumor in Cuban colony is that it was due to underworld activities of Del Valle." Gaeton Fonzi reported: "The guy who killed Del Valle is heavily connected to organized crime and one of the major heroin bankers in the country today." [Ltr. Fonzi/AJ 2.13.76]
The death of Eladio Del Valle was unconnected to the JFK assassination. HEMMING helped perpetuate the myth that Del Valle had known David Ferrie: "Del Valle did know Ferrie. We called Del Valle 'Gito.' Gito took the heavy fall for some of STURGIS' shit in setting up operations and blowing airplanes up to collect the fucking insurance on them. It didn't take me long to determine who had killed him. I went there to identify the body. Tony Fontana, who is now head of the Florida Parole Commission, wanted to know what I was doing there. He asked about Del Valle's body. I said, 'You ought to give a call to Garrison's people in New Orleans. They'd be interested this guy was hit.'"
David Ferrie resolved many of his legal difficulties. In February 1962 he was tried for extortion and acquitted. The other charges were nolle prosequi in November 1962. David Ferrie was suspended from his job at Eastern Airlines on August 26, 1961. David Ferrie attempted to get back his job at Eastern Airlines after the courts cleared him. In August 1963, a hearing was held at the Eastern Airlines offices in Miami. Layton Martens testified to David Ferrie's good character. Guy Banister did the same, but was unable to explain the vituperative remarks David Ferrie made in 1961 against President Kennedy. David Ferrie was not reinstated. Layton Martens stated, "I never been to any Eastern Airlines Hearing. Where do you get all this shit?" It was pointed out the HSCA was the source: "You gotta be shittin' me? My name was in that report? What would I be doing with Eastern Airlines?"
HEMMING told this researcher: "The MARCELLO deal was completely fucking separate of anything else. This is what Garrison couldn't get straight. The whole deal with Ferrie and all that kind of bullshit was a separate operation."
An unconfirmed Border Patrol report dated February 16, 1962 alleged David Ferrie piloted CARLOS MARCELLO back to the United States from El Salvadore: "Information was received [from Eric Crouchet] that it was common knowledge among former Civil Air Patrol Cadets that David Ferrie brought CARLOS MARCELLO into the United States." [Border Pat. Rep. Patrick Duvall] This allowed David Ferrie to establish a relationship with the MARCELLO crime family.
Edward Suggs told the New Orleans District Attorney's Office that Guy Banister subscribed to the American Nazi Party newspaper, The Thunderbolt. The American Nazi Party was headed by George Lincoln Rockwell. Vernon Gerdes, and employee of Guy Banister told Lester Otillio of New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison's office on January 31, 1967: "I saw George Lincoln Rockwell in Banister's office. Delphine Roberts and I waited outside."
George Lincoln Rockwell was born on March 9, 1918. His father was a traveling vaudeville comedian who called himself, 'Old Doc' Rockwell. He entered Brown University, but left in his junior year to join the Navy. Honorably discharged as a Naval Commander, George Lincoln Rockwell was recalled to duty during the Korean War. In 1958, through an unidentified backer, George Lincoln Rockwell bought a house and some acreage in Arlington, Virginia, and started the American Nazi Party.
When George Lincoln Rockwell was arrested in New Orleans for illegally picketing the movie Exodus, which dealt with the Holocaust, Guy Banister found a bondsman for George Lincoln Rockwell and contributed to his bail fund. Edward Stuart Suggs wrote the FBI: "One interesting item about Rockwell which disturbed Banister to no end was something about Rockwell's bail bond, that was posted here when he and his men were in trouble. The sureties for these American Nazis were negotiated by Banister and others at the time. However, these bonds were made by insurance agents Hardy Davis and his wife Doris Davis. Moreover, the point that bothered everyone was the closely guarded secret of just who the persons were that signed attesting indemnification in lieu of loss of those pledges. When this was mentioned it used to drive Banister to a froth, so the actual identity of these may be a very important facet of this case...Banister claimed to be a right wing conservative. At the same time he voiced his total hatred for all extreme anti-American-elements such as Communists. But above all the others the most, Liberal factions in politics, and the Jews. In some ways he reflected a sort of off-brand Nazi philosophy. Not true Nazism as we've read about, nor even Communism, but a kind of in-between, lunatic fringe 'multi-monomaniac' (to coin a word) for it involved radical hatred in essence, but cover a multitude of subjectivity in socio-politics, as it were." [Suggs sworn statement 2.20.68] Index cards to Guy Banister's files contained the names and addresses of numerous New Orleans Jews and Jewish organizations, many taken from the American Nazi Party magazine, Counterattack! Guy Banister kept an extensive clipping file about the Civil Rights Movement. He belonged to several other fringe groups besides the American Nazi Party. Dan Campbell, a private investigator employed by Guy Banister, told an FBI source in 1962 that the American Nazi Party was about to meet with the Ku Klux Klan to discuss a merger. Dan Campbell added that Colonel Buford Balter partially financed George Lincoln Rockwell's trip to New Orleans. [FBI 105-70374-1949] Joseph Oster stated: "Alvin Cobb was a friend of Banister. Mr. Cobb was a KKK supporter." HEMMING told this researcher: "I came across Rockwell during our shit tour of the Minutemen and these other weird fringo type groups."
OSWALD'S address book contained the following entry: "Nat. Sec. Dan Burros Lincoln Rockwell Arlington, Virginia American Nazi Party (Amer. National Party) Hollis Sec. of Queens N.Y.,(newspaper) Nat. Socialist Bulletin."
The Secret Service and the FBI questioned George Lincoln Rockwell and Dan Burros. Both said they had no idea why their names appeared in OSWALD'S address book. George Lincoln Rockwell said: "I believe Kennedy was shot by a right-winger...I think American Nazis are going to have a hard time for a while. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to be picked-up on it." [FBI 105-70374-2731]
Daniel Burros (born March 5, 1937) was in charge of the Nazi Party in the Hollis section of Queens in 1963. Dan Burros had attended High School there, and had an I.Q. of 154. From the age of 10 he was an apologist for German Nazism. He wanted to go the U.S. Military Academy, but instead served in the United States Army from August 1955 to March 1958, at which time he received a general discharge by reason of character and behavioral disorders. Dan Burros told the FBI that he had faked two suicide attempts in order to achieve the discharge. Dan Burros became a member of Rockwell's American Nazi Party. On July 13, 1963, Dan Burros was arrested and charged with conspiracy to riot. He was convicted of this charge in July 1964 and received a sentence of one to two years in prison. Dan Burros allegedly committed suicide on October 31, 1965, after The New York Times revealed he was half-Jewish. The suicide was carried out in the home of Pennsylvania Minutemen coordinator Roy Frankhouser. Dan Burros was shot twice, in the head and in the chest. Besides Roy Frankhouser, the shooting was witnessed by his girlfriend, and Frank W. Rotella Jr. of the New Jersey KKK. The New York Times reported: "Police listed the death as an 'apparent suicide' after preliminary investigation showed it was physically possible for Burros first to have shot himself in the chest, and then to have raised the revolver to his right temple and fired the second shot, which caused his death instantly. A paraffin test of Burros' hands and the three witnesses will be made and an autopsy will be performed tomorrow." Frank W. Rotella told the police that when Dan Burros saw The N.Y. Times he broke furniture, and looked for a gun. According to Roy Frankhouser, he had locked up all the guns in the house due to Dan Burros erratic behavior, except one, which Dan Burros found.
In 1958 Roy Frankhouser was arrested for assaulting an Atlanta police officer during a Klan-sponsored segregationist rally. He told the Atlanta police he was a member of the National States Rights Party. Roy Frankhouser was a free lance Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms informant. In September 1975, he pleaded guilty to involvement in the disposal of explosives from a local mining company in May 1973 and July 1973. The court rejected Roy Frankhouser's defense that he was an Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms informant. [Johnson Lee & Marina p208; Epstein Legend p69, 78; Donner Age of Surv. p346] Circa 1974 Roy Frankhouser contacted Lyndon LaRouche and offered his services as a security informant and advisor. In 1983 Roy Frankhouser was hired by Lyndon LaRouche. In 1987 Roy Frankhouser and Lyndon LaRouche were arrested for Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice. Roy Frankhouser was convicted in December 1987.
In 1967 the FBI received information from a source that linked George Lincoln Rockwell to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Roy Frankhouser claimed he had letters from "Payne," however, when the FBI had its informant search Frankhouser's home the letters could not be located. [FBI 89-43-6591; FBI Phil. F.O. 157-916-353] On August 24, 1967, George Lincoln Rockwell was assassinated by Nazi cartoonist John Palter.
OSWALD: "my second reason is that undemocratic, country-wide institution known as segregation. It, it, I think the action of the active segregationist minority and the great body of indifferent people in the South who do the United States more harm in the eyes of the world's people, than the whole world communist movement. as I look at this audience there is a sea of white faces before me where are the negros amongst you (are they hiding under the table) surly if we are for democracy, let our fellow negro citizens into this hall. make no mistake segregationist tendencies can be unleared I was born in New Orleans, and I know.
"In russia I saw on serval occiasions that in internationl meeting the greatest glory on the sport field was brought to us by negroes. Though they take the gold metals from their Russian competitors those negroes know that when they return to their own homeland they will have to face blind hatred and discrimination.
"The Soviet Union is made up of scores of nationalities asians and Euyr-Asians armenian and Jews whitte and dark skinned people's yet they can treach us a lesson in brotherhood many people's with different customs and origins.
OSWALD'S anti-racism was racist. He evoked two stereotypes. The frightened Negro and Negro athlete. If OSWALD said he liked Negroes, then exactly the opposite was true.
The HSCA learned that Guy Banister left extensive files when he died in 1964. Later that year, they were purchased by the Louisiana State Police from the widow of Guy Banister. According to Joseph Cambre of the Louisiana State Police, OSWALD'S name was not the Subject of any file, "but it was included in a Fair Play for Cuba Committee file...The HSCA was not able to review Guy Banister's files, since they had been destroyed pursuant to an order by the Superintendent of the Louisiana State Police that all files, not part of the public record, or pertinent to ongoing criminal investigations, be burned." Scott Malone stated that he located the files. The index cards to the files contained this title: "Jose Aléman." The name of Aurelio Sanchez Arrango was there. He was a member of the Cuban Revolutionary Front and of the Cuban Revolutionary Council, and head of the group, Triple A. Arrango was an associate of HEMMING who knew Sam Benton. Benton was a mobster who funded the Lake Pontchartrain IAB/INTERPEN training camp and purchased a boat for the INTERPEN crew. The name Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front (Cuban Revolutionary Front) was present. On this card were the names Sergio A. Smith, Manuel Gil, Tony Varona and Arnesto N. Rodriguez Sr. and William T. Butler, aka Edward Butler, free lance anti-Communist, was listed on another card, as was Nathan Weyl. [CIA FOIA 06739 12.15.60; HEMMING HSCA Test.]
The file list included titles like Negro Birth Statistics, as well as the names of New Orleans Rabbis. The one document from Guy Banister's files that survived was a memorandum to a Naval Intelligence Reserve Officer. It specified, "We have cut across a CIA operation in the Taca Airline Affair." Taca was the national airline of El Salvador. When CARLOS MARCELLO was deported from Guatemala on May 3, 1961, he was unable to purchase an airplane ticket to the United States from Taca International Airlines. The company refused to sell it to him. Because of this refusal, the Guatemalan Government subsequently suspended Taca Airline's right to operate in Guatemala. [NO 92-36/(deleted)]
By late 1962 or early 1963 Guy Banister was an investigator on the payroll of CARLOS MARCELLO. Guy Banister once declared that gangsters like CARLOS MARCELLO were "criminals protected by those very forces who have a sworn duty to exterminate them. The criminal can control the government. Corruption breeds discontent. It creates a cynical attitude on the part of the people. It destroys the faith of the people in their government."After November 22, 1963,the FBI questioned Guy Banister at 544 Camp Street. Guy Banister said that Arcacha Smith of the Cuban Revolutionary Council once told him he had an office at 544 Camp Street. [WCE 1414; WCD 638] The FBI: "For added information, Mr. Guy W. Banister, a former Special Agent in Charge of this Bureau never contacted this Bureau after the assassination to report that he was personally acquainted with OSWALD. We feel certain that had Mr. Banister had previous contact with OSWALD before the assassination, he would have immediately contacted this Bureau and reported such information."
When WARREN C. DeBRUEYS testified before the SSCIA, he was questioned about his investigation of OSWALD. In a memorandum to the FBI about his testimony, S.A. DeBRUEYS wrote: "When it became known that OSWALD was endeavoring to open a Chapter of the New Orleans Fair Play for Cuba Committee, investigation of his activities under the Fair Play for Cuba Committee was instituted by the New Orleans Division. Investigation conducted by me relative to OSWALD'S Fair Play for Cuba Committee activities caused me to conclude that he was the sole member of the New Orleans Chapter of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee...
"I was asked if I knew the Fair Play for Cuba Committee address used by OSWALD in New Orleans. The committee mentioned the address of 544 Camp Street, and it occurred to me that such an address had been used, at least on literature, by OSWALD. I was asked if I didn't find it strange that OSWALD had the same address as Guy Banister. I remarked that my recollection was that 544 Camp Street was a building in which there were quite a number of offices, including that of possibly Guy Banister, and that accordingly I would not find that very strange. I added that, if the Fair Play for Cuba Committee did, in effect, actually have an office at that address, it would have been a different office than the one shared by Banister. I rather suspect that the Fair Play for Cuba Committee did not have an office at that address. It would have been absolutely ridiculous for a member of the Louisiana State Sovereignty Commission...a former FBI SAC who, subsequent to his retirement from the FBI, had held a high post in the New Orleans Police Department...as was Banister, to share an office with an individual who was openly touting the Fair Play for Cuba Committee...The idea is so ludicrous as to discourage any further thought...It was pointed out that OSWALD had at no time been employed by any sensitive industry, nor had he any other contacts indicating he was engaged in any intelligence operations. In short, it could have been that he was a rather disoriented individual, with bizarre ideas, who conceivably had a cursory understanding of, and perhaps a preference for, a foreign ideology. I suggested that investigation of OSWALD, both in New Orleans and in the territory covered by the FBI Dallas Division, had probably demonstrated OSWALD to be a loner and one who had little or no contact of any significance aside from the alleged contact at the Soviet Embassy, Mexico City."
S.A. DeBRUEYS told the SSCIA that the thought that OSWALD may have been a right-wing operation that targeted the Fair Play for Cuba Committee never crossed his mind, yet certain facts could not have been overlooked by someone with S.A. DeBRUEYS background.
1. S.A. DeBRUEYS discovered that OSWALD was the sole member of the New Orleans Fair Play for Cuba Committee. By definition, no organization has one member. This meant the organization was bogus. The next question that S.A. DeBRUEYS should have asked was: "Who ran this bogus operation? Was OSWALD a loner, or were the Communists generating support for Castro where there was none, by creating a shell organization? Was it a one man anti-Castro operation, a sting operation to trap Castro double agents?" In the convoluted world of intelligence and counter-intelligence, nothing is accepted prima facie.
DeBRUEYS was questioned about this in 1993: "I think maybe something like that would have been pretty obvious. In retrospect, my only concern was a short inquiry on him, which I did more in depth than was required at the time. His identity, his employment, his resident address, contacts with Communist Party and Marxist group sources - there was no contact. I think I did beyond what was necessary at the time. After that happened, I didn't have anything more to do. I sent that thing back to New York, which was the office of origin. We had no further work to do unless the New York office or Headquarters had us open a Foreign Agents Registration Act case."
S.A. DeBRUEYS was asked if A.J. Hidell had aroused his suspicions. He stated, "When you mention that, I remember distinctly that from the literature he had sent into Fair Play for Cuba Committee Headquarters, he had listed one Fair Play for Cuba Committee member that he was requesting a charter for, A.J. Hidell. I checked the hell out of him. My conclusion was, and that's why I gave more of a check than usual, he was fictitious. The guy was a ding-a-ling really, the guy made so damned many mistakes if he'd have been a - frankly I don't think even the Russians - he was a little on the bizarre side. Some [informants] have a great deal of dexterity, and he didn't. And to risk somebody in international security work, espionage? There was nothing he did that suggested at that time there was any need to go beyond what we did."
2. S.A. DeBRUEYS knew the address found on OSWALD'S pamphlet, after OSWALD'S arrest in New Orleans, was 544 Camp Street, a center of anti-Castro activity. If OSWALD had opened an Fair Play for Cuba Committee office there he would have been assaulted by angry, frustrated Cuban exiles, unless the Fair Play for Cuba Committee was a Cuban exile operation. If OSWALD was an operation, the idea that he shared an office with Banister was not "ludicrous as to discourage further thought."
In 1993 DeBRUEYS was asked why OSWALD would operate out of a center of anti-Castro activity: "The same way he went into BRINGUIER'S store one day posing as an anti-Castro Cuban and the next day he was barefaced giving out pamphlets, which hardly suggests the guy was any kind of undercover agent. He was impulsive and compulsive. He acted on the spur of the moment and I don't think he gave any thought to what he was doing. I could see nothing that would open any doors for him if he was an espionage agent. Actually it would have closed them. Well of course another case was opened on him, as I recall, by somebody else."
3. S.A. DeBRUEYS knew OSWALD was a defector and that defectors were suspect of being something other than what they seemed and in later testimony he "pointed out that the Soviets are a highly suspicious people and as OSWALD conceivably could have been considered a 'walk-in' and potential American defector, both the Cubans and the Russians would have viewed him with considerable suspicion. (Ten lines deleted) It would have been quite normal then for the Soviets to assign an intelligence operator to interview OSWALD rather than a foreign service officer, as an intelligence operator would have had training that would permit him better to discern whether OSWALD was a legitimate 'defector potential' or a 'walk in' seeking to pose as such."
In truth, S.A. DeBRUEYS was aware of counter-intelligence techniques, and would not have accepted OSWALD prima facia. S.A. DeBrueys had been told that OSWALD was an operation connected to the Cuban Revolutionary Council. S.A. DeBRUEYS also had several snitches in the New Orleans Cuban Revolutionary Council clique who would have reported that OSWALD'S associates in New Orleans were anti-Castro. Since he had orders not to interfere with the activities of the Cuban Revolutionary Council, S.A. DeBRUEYS did not interfere with OSWALD.
When S.A. DeBRUEYS testified before the SSCIA, he stated: "I categorically denied that the FBI Office in New Orleans had to my knowledge any joint operations with the CIA and additionally categorically stated that I had no specific knowledge of CIA operations in the New Orleans area. I explained that there were rumors of a CIA camp, and there may have been operational activities on the part of the CIA in the New Orleans area. However, the operations of another government agency officially sanctioned in my opinion was not to be a target of investigation by the FBI whether it be the CIA or any other Federal Agency, in the absence of any allegation that such activities were illegal and without the approval of the Federal Government...Inquiry was then made as to whether I had ever been asked by the CIA to discontinue any investigation. My response to that was that I could recall no such request made by CIA. No instructions were ever given to me by anyone in the New Orleans Division or by anyone in FBI headquarters...to relax an investigation in the anti-Castro field. I identified the CIA agent openly assigned to the CIA office in the Masonic Temple Building in New Orleans as (deleted). By way of explanations of the limited contact I had with (deleted) I mentioned that during the course of some Cuban related investigations, I may have inquired of (deleted) whether the CIA had an 'operational' interest in one or more individuals. I would have been prompted to make such an inquiry if facts developed during my investigation might have indicated the possibility of a tie between such person(s) and the CIA. I am certain in each instance where such an inquiry had been made by me, the response was always in the negative."
In July 1993 DeBRUEYS commented, "Those things came from the Justice Department in Washington. It is much to long ago to say anything with absolute certainty. Whether or not the Cuban Revolutionary Council was actually operating under the direction of the CIA, I frankly did not know, nor would I inquire into it because if they were, it would be a Headquarters level situation. You would have to have an accusation they were operating in violation of some Federal law which the Bureau would have investigative jurisdiction before you started anything. Just to go out on a fishing expedition, particularly with another agency of the Government, no."
Senator Richard Schweiker interrogated DeBRUEYS about Sergio Arcacha Smith. DeBRUEYS put his recollection in writing: "I affirmed, in response to an inquiry, that I had been acquainted with Sergio Arcacha Smith whom I recalled had been an officer in an anti-Castro organization, the name of which at the moment escaped me. I was unable to answer the question whether Sergio Arcacha Smith had an office in Banister's building. I was able to state that I recall the anti-Castro organization of which Sergio Arcacha Smith was an officer was located opposite the Masonic Temple Building in New Orleans. (Deletion.) I was asked if I was aware of any CIA connection on Sergio Arcacha Smith's part and I responded I had no specific knowledge in that regard."
In 1978 Sergio Arcacha Smith was subpoenaed in HUNT v. WEBERMAN. He refused to testify and sent a letter instead wherein his attorney Jack J. Weiss stated: "My client has authorized me to reveal to you that he has never known LEE HARVEY OSWALD and that the only information he has concerning LEE HARVEY OSWALD is the same information that all Americans know which has been disseminated by the press...to the best of his knowledge, he has never met any man employed by the CIA...Mr. Smith himself has been the subject of vicious defamation. He wishes now to live in simple peace and harmony unbothered, if possible, by the unhappy events of the 1960's." Sergio Arcacha's testimony before the HSCA had not been released. [NARA HSCA 180-100099-10075 dated 7.7.78]
Sergio Arcacha Smith stated that he had met neither OSWALD nor HOWARD HUNT, at any time, adding: "I have never met any man employed by the CIA." Sergio Arcacha Smith lawyer also denied Sergio Arcacha Smith had been a diplomat appointed by Batista.
Sergio Arcacha Smith could have had prior knowledge of OSWALD'S true identity, because of his association with Guy Banister.
DeBRUEYS MAJOR FIGURE IN INVESTIGATION OF ASSASSINATION
After November 22, 1963, S.A. DeBRUEYS shuttled between Dallas and New Orleans, interviewing key witnesses like Ruth Paine. [7WH476] The connection between OSWALD and the Walker incident was discovered when Marina Oswald identified the Walker photographs to S.A. DeBRUEYS. STURGIS and PHILLIPS testified that they knew S.A. DeBRUEYS. S.A. DeBRUEYS was never reprimanded for his investigation of OSWALD - he was rewarded. However, the New Orleans FBI SAC, Harry G. Maynor, was censured for "failing to insure that there was no delay in reporting this matter and for failing to put OSWALD on the Security Index." Also, a Special Agent in New Orleans was censured for delayed reporting, and failing to have OSWALD placed on the Security Index.
When DAVID ATLEE PHILLIPS and FBI S.A. Clark Anderson were sent to the Dominican Republic, S.A. DeBRUEYS went as well: "Prior to my transfer from New Orleans to Washington in March 1967, I had spent six to seven months on special assignment in the Dominican Republic during the revolutionary crisis in that country in April 1965." In 1975, following a series of nationalist bombings in Puerto Rico, S.A. DeBRUEYS was appointed SAC of San Juan, Puerto Rico. DeBRUEYS retired on May 6, 1977, and joined the New Orleans Metropolitan Crime Commission. Alton Ochsner was a Director of the Commission. [PLP News 2.6.75; Weisberg OSWALD in New Orleans p316; FBI 62-109060-7456; CIA 3076; 7WH476; USSS CO-5-36,777] In September 1961 PHILLIPS became Chief of Covert Action at the American Embassy in Mexico City. He remained in this position until March 1964.
On March 31, 1964, Guy Banister, 63, was arrested on a charge of aggravated assault following an argument over a pistol with three younger men. Banister and an unidentified woman employee were involved in a quarrel with three youths at a bus stop. A bus stopped at the intersection and, said police, Banister pursued the youths onto the bus where he brandished a pistol. The gun was never found and Banister refused to say if he was carrying one. Guy Banister died June 6, 1964: when his body was discovered, he was laying face down on his bed wearing only a pair of shorts. His head was on a pillow and he was clutching a bath towel in his right hand. Delphine Roberts found him. Banister was in the process of moving his office to Delphine Roberts' basement, having been evicted from 544 Camp Street for non-payment of rent. When Guy Banister did not appear the Robert's home she had some check on him. Guy Banister had a history of heart disease and the cause of death was a "Coronary thrombosis, anterior descending branch of left coronary artery. Recent and old myocardial infarction, left ventricle, Hypertrophy of heart, Acute pulmonary edema and congestion, bilateral. Classification of Death: Natural Nicholas J. Chetta, M.D."
On February 18, 1967, New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison indicted David Ferrie for conspiracy to murder JFK. On February 22, 1967, David Ferrie was dead. The coroner of New Orleans Parish, Nicholas Chetta, wrote: "Rupture of berry aneuyom fenicle of willis south massive left subordinal hematoma (?) hemorrhage and secondary pontine haemorrhagia." David Ferrie suffered a massive brain hemorrhage while asleep. Tests for alcohol, barbiturates, cyanide, heavy metals and caustic agents were all negative. A suicide note typewritten by David Ferrie preceded an essay on Jim Garrison: "To leave this life is for me a sweet prospect. I find nothing in it that is desirable and, on the other hand, everything that is loathsome." These lines were out of context and were typed in a convenient place. Journalist George Lardner visited David Ferrie shortly before he died. George Lardner claimed he went to the home of David Ferrie around midnight and stayed until approximately 4:00 a.m. Dr. Nicholas Chetta put the time of death at 4:00 a.m. [Miami Herald 4.24.77; Washington Post 9.22.75] George Lardner told the New Orleans District Attorney's office that David Ferrie was moody and manic/depressive: "A bottle of medicine tablets was standing on his living room piano when I left. David Ferrie said he never knew OSWALD and had no recollection of ever having met him...and they were in different CAP units...Ferrie was rumored to have flown OSWALD to Cuba in 1959. He scoffed at the report, 'I've never been to Cuba. At the time I was supposed to be flying OSWALD to Cuba I understand he was in the Marine Corps.'"
The CIA reported: "When we interviewed BRINGUIER on February 2, 1967, he mentioned David Ferrie who appears in the February 19, 1967, article saying that David Ferrie at the time was affiliated with his (BRINGUIER'S) Cuban Student Directorate organization until the connection was terminated because of Ferrie homosexual activities." [Lloyd Ray 2.20.67] BRINGUIER told Gerald Posner: "When I saw Ferrie two days before he died, he looked real sick." In February 1968, the CIA prepared a report on David Ferrie that stated he was not a CIA employee, although a Office of Security file existed on him. When a synopsis of this file reached the period when David Ferrie was associated with the Cuban Revolutionary Front, the CIA deleted it. Alvin Beauboeuf was named as heir to David Ferrie's estate and a note found in David Ferrie's apartment after his death was addressed 'Dear Al.' END OF NODULE.CLICK HERE TO GO ON TO THE NEXT NODULE. CLICK HERE TO COMMENT ON THE NODULE.