Fair Play for Clay Shaw?

Fair Play for Clay Shaw?

by Dave Reitzes

In his Fair Play article, "Garrison's Case Finally Coming Together,"(1) Martin Shackelford attempts to redeem Jim Garrison's unsuccessful prosecution of businessman Clay Shaw for conspiracy to assassinate John F. Kennedy.

Shackelford writes:

In 1969, government secrecy severely hampered the investigation by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison into the assassination of President Kennedy. Today, with the documents released under the JFK Records Act, some of that secrecy has crumbled, and elements of Garrison's case look stronger today than in 1969.

Perry Raymond Russo, the key witness who described conspiratorial conversations including the defendant Clay Shaw and the deceased David Ferrie, maintained the veracity of his testimony until his death in 1995.

While it's not exactly clear what the notably loquacious Perry Russo has to do with government secrecy, Shackelford's assertion is simply untrue. Russo, who testified about an alleged conversation between Clay Shaw, David Ferrie and Lee Harvey Oswald, recanted his entire story in a series of tape-recorded interviews he initiated with Shaw's defense team in 1971(2). Later in life, Russo seemed to tailor his story to the preferences of his listener, affirming its integrity to pro-Garrison conspiracy theorists like Oliver Stone, while insisting to others that Clay Shaw had been innocent of the charges against him, and that had he himself been a juror in the case, he would have voted to acquit.(3)

Shackelford continues:

The case was sabotaged, however, by Garrison's inability to establish supporting claims that David Ferrie had long known Lee Harvey Oswald, and that Clay Shaw was connected to the CIA. There is no longer any doubt that both of these claims are true.

Shackelford's statements are wholly without foundation.

Oswald's alleged relationship to Ferrie has nothing to do with whether Clay Shaw took part in any conspiratorial meeting.(4) More significant is Shackelford's acceptance of the myth that Jim Garrison's case implicated the CIA, an illusion Garrison fostered by repeatedly, publicly and vocally linking the CIA to his indictment of Shaw, which in reality was based solely upon the testimony of Perry Russo. During the month-long Shaw trial, the prosecution did not utter the words "Central Intelligence Agency" or "CIA" even a single time.(5)

As one anonymous juror noted, "Garrison had said in the newspaper and on television that Shaw was with the CIA, but at the trial he didn't offer any evidence about that. Hell, we couldn't convict because of press conferences."(6)

Garrison would later seize upon such statements to claim that the jury would have convicted Shaw had they only known of his "CIA connections."(7) But was this so?

"Actually the whole case rested on the testimony of Perry Russo," said jury foreman Sidney Hebert. "And his testimony didn't prove a thing to me."(8) Juror Oliver Schultz said that "we all had the same opinion, that it wasn't enough to convict him. As far as -- you know you had to have -- beyond a reasonable doubt. Well, to me, I still had plenty of doubts. . . . beginning with Perry Russo."(9)

Shackelford continues:

As late as 1993, with the publication of Gerald Posner's book Case Closed, Garrison's critics were denying that David Ferrie was in the Civil Air Patrol in New Orleans at the same time at Oswald (the mid-1950s), despite contrary witness testimony. Shortly after the publication of Posner's book, however, the PBS news program "Frontline" located two photographs showing Ferrie and Oswald together at a CAP barbecue; one, shown on the program "Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald?" has since been widely published.

Gerald Posner notwithstanding, there has never been any reason to deny the possibility that Ferrie and Oswald could have crossed paths in 1955. Indeed, the House Select Committee on Assassinations -- no particular admirers of Jim Garrison -- affirmed the possibility.(10)

Why Shackelford persists in this line of thought is not clear, however. No association between Oswald and Ferrie has ever been established beyond Oswald's brief involvement with the Civil Air Patrol in 1955; and no such relationship, real or imagined, short-term or long-term, working or social, could possibly have any bearing upon the guilt or innocence of Clay Shaw.

In addition, former Deputy Counsel Robert Tanenbaum of the House Select Committee on Assassinations has stated that his staff located a film showing Oswald and Ferrie at an anti-Castro training camp near New Orleans in the summer of 1963.

Tanenbaum's story is intriguing, but it has nothing to do with Clay Shaw.(11)

Clay Shaw's connections to the Central Intelligence Agency are now thoroughly documented. Though he told reporters he was in the Medical Corps during World War Two, documents show that he worked for an Army Counterintelligence group called the Special Operations Section.

This is a non sequitur. Implying that service with Army Counterintelligence gives one a connection to the CIA is like saying that city council members have "connections" with Congress. As the CIA did not even exist until well after the conclusion of World War II, Shackelford's point here seems more than a little obscure.

Even Bill Davy, a strong advocate of Garrison's case and one of Shackelford's main sources for his article, acknowledges that Shaw's onetime involvement with the Special Operations Section hardly connotes spooky "black ops" of the sort conspiracy theorists whisper about, but rather the "responsibility to direct, supervise and coordinate the activities of the intelligence and counter-intelligence groups and to disseminate this intelligence as appropriate . . . not unlike what the CIA was originally chartered to do" (emphasis added).(12)

Author Patricia Lambert has pointed out that Garrison advocates like Davy are wrong about even this seemingly innocuous allegation. In her review of yet another Garrison hagiography, A Farewell to Justice by Joan Mellen, Lambert notes that Shaw never worked in the fields of intelligence or counter-intelligence as part of the "Special Operations Section" (SOS), but rather he served in a different Army "S.O.S.": their Services of Supply. "The job of that SOS," Lambert writes, "was to keep allied forces equipped with everything from 'toothpaste to tanks' as they fought their way to Germany. Shaw, who began as Thrasher's aide-de-camp and became his deputy chief of staff, later said that supplying three armies as they spread out across Europe honed his 'organizational skills.'"

Shackelford notes:

His military record remains classified.

Indeed it does. Yet Shaw's military career is not so mysterious as to lack corroboration for Shaw's claim that he served with the Medical Corps during the war, a claim which Shackelford seems to regard somewhat incredulously. He is known to have trained at the Medical Administrative Officer Candidate School in Abilene, Kansas, and served with the 127th General Hospital unit in England.(13)

In Europe, he became involved with a Rome-based CIA front organization, the Centro Mondiale Commerciale.

No, he didn't; and no, it wasn't.

On March 4, 1967, three days after Shaw's arrest in New Orleans, Il Paese Sera, a tabloid financed and controlled by the Communist Party of Italy, charged that the by-then-defunct Centro Mondiale Commerciale (World Trade Center) and its sister company Permindex (Permanent Industrial Exhibitions), for whom Shaw had allegedly worked, were CIA fronts, masking illegal anti-Communist operations. In the three decades since the claim was published, no one has advanced a shred of proof for this -- certainly not Il Paese Sera, which simultaneously alleged financial links between CMC/Permindex and the OAS, the illegal French paramilitary organization responsible for assassination attempts against President Charles De Gaulle.(14)

If Permindex was somehow sinister, it's extremely odd that Clay Shaw, rather than trying to conceal his connection with the organization, listed it in Who's Who in the Southeast. Here is the page on which Shaw's entry appeared, and this is a blow-up of the entry.

The independent Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera denounced the Il Paese Sera charges as "ridiculous," and the New Orleans States-Item noted more cautiously that the allegations were "not well supported." Corriere della Sera stated that Shaw had been nominated as a member of the company's board of directors, but had never formally accepted the appointment, nor did he ever travel to Rome to meet with representatives of the organization, contrary to claims published in Il Paese Sera.(15)

Shaw spoke about his association with the Centro Mondiale Commerciale in his 1969

Back in 1959 or 1960, a young Italian came to see me in New Orleans and told me about a world trade center that was being planned in Rome. The idea was to have one place where buyers coming into the Common Market area would find all the Common Market countries represented in one center. He wanted my advice and asked me to serve on the board of directors. I had no objection if it was a legitimate project. I investigated it and found that the head of it was a man named Imre Nagy, who had been the last non-Communist premier of Hungary. Some of the other people involved were Italian senators, journalists, lawyers, and other responsible people. It was agreed that we would have an exhibit at their center, and they would have one at the mart here in New Orleans, and we would exchange information and so on. I didn't mind being on their board, although there was no money involved, but I would have to go to Rome annually to the board meetings and my way would be paid, so why not?

Then they ran into difficulties, but they finally got the center opened. It turned out to be either badly planned or badly organized and it closed very shortly, and that was the last I ever heard of it. I never heard that it was a CIA operation and I don't know that it was. I'll say this -- it was a highly unsuccessful operation, which is not customary with the CIA. Other than what I've told you, I know nothing more about the Centro Mondiale Commerciale. I have never had any connection with the CIA.(16)

Perhaps if Il Paese Sera had a sterling reputation for integrity and accuracy, their unsubstantiated allegations about CIA involvement with the corporation could be taken seriously. But the six-volume Laterza-Bari History of the Italian Press notes that Il Paese Sera was characterized by its sensationalistic style and a certain tendency towards "imaginative" stories with "made-up," "synthetical" details.(17)

Steve Dorril, writing in the British intelligence journal Lobster, demonstrates that Il Paese Sera's reporting on the Shaw affair leaves a great deal to be desired. For example, a March 18, 1967, article "announced that Shaw had organized Kennedy's visit to Dallas and had proposed the luncheon at the Trade Mart. Both assertions were untrue."(18) Dorril is being kind; these are fictions that no high school newspaper would have allowed to see print.(19)

More telling, though, is another observation of Dorril's: Were the charges of CIA involvement with CMC/Permindex utterly without foundation, it would not be the first time the Communist, extremely anti-American newspaper printed false, arguably malicious information about the CIA.

On April 22, 1961, when a group of French generals tried to illegally oust President Charles De Gaulle, Il Paese Sera published unsubstantiated claims that the CIA had participated in the plot.(20) As often occurred when Il Paese Sera came up with such material, the allegations were picked up by another notably Communist, anti-American newspaper, the USSR's Pravda, and would, on this occasion, eventually spread to the French press. John F. Kennedy's press secretary, Pierre Salinger, happened to be in Paris at the time, and fended off the charges as best he could. The next day, Foreign Minister Courve De Murville "appeared before the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Deputies to testify that there was no evidence of US complicity" in the attempted coup. "But the rumors had worked," Dorril observes, "souring French-American relations; pushing De Gaulle into an anti-NATO corner; splitting the French Government so well that the wounds wouldn't heal until Pompidou met with Nixon in June 1970 to secure French-American relations."(21)

In an internal CIA memorandum from 1967, declassified a decade later, we get a glimpse of the CIA's private reaction to the charges concerning its alleged involvement with CMC/Permindex. Commenting on a number of assertions that Pravda had picked up from Il Paese Sera, including claims that the "CIA made use of the services of Clay SHAW for [the] CIA's own interests in Italy," "that the Center was a cover for financing anti-Communist activity," and that the "CIA gave directives to SHAW," the memorandum states simply, "It appears that all of the Pravda charges are untrue. . . . So far as is known, SHAW was never asked to use his relationship with the World Trade Center for clandestine purposes and, in fact, he has not been in Italy."(22)

Clay Shaw's involvement with the short-lived CMC/Permindex seems to have been limited to lending his respected name to the corporation's masthead, as before he had the opportunity to attend even a single board meeting, the company had gone bankrupt and its Rome offices were closed.(23) Regardless of the extent of Shaw's association with the organization, however, to accept Il Paese Sera's unsupported claim that it had been a CIA front represents nothing less than a genuine leap of faith.

Shackelford continues:

Between 1948 and 1956, he filed reports with the CIA's Domestic Contact Division . . .

This is absolutely true; the CIA's Domestic Contact Service was debriefing thousands of US citizens a year about their travels or contacts abroad.(24) Contacts are not contract agents of the CIA, nor are they employees.(25) As a rule, they are not paid,(26) as indeed, Shaw was not.(27) As Patricia Lambert notes, "If the CIA had not approached Shaw for help, it would have been unusual, given his position with the International Trade Mart. That did not make him, as Garrison claimed, 'an employee' of that agency, big time or otherwise, nor did it make him a conspirator, any more than it did the thousands of other loyal Americans who aided it."(28)

It's been known for decades that one of Jim Garrison's personal financial backers, Cecil Maxwell Shilstone, of Truth and Consequences, Inc., was a CIA contact,(29) and Bill Davy reveals that Shilstone was also "a lifelong friend of both New Orleans CIA Station Chief Lloyd Ray and his Assistant, Hunter Leake."(30)

So what?

Shackelford goes on:

. . . and provided documents to the Foreign Documents Division.

Shaw made precisely one "document" available to the Foreign Documents Division. Bill Davy writes, "In 1952, Shaw received a directory of German firms engaged in international trade. Because 80% of the firms listed were in East Germany, Shaw made the document available to the CIA's Foreign Documents Division."(31)

The CIA paid for one of Shaw's trips in 1955, and the following year he actively solicited information for them.(32)

Shackelford is wrong on both counts, but even were he correct, it would make no difference. He is referring to two memoranda written by William Burke, Chief of the New Orleans Domestic Contact Service office. On August 9, 1955, Burke wrote that Shaw "would be willing to attend the Czechoslovak Engineering Exhibition at Erno, 11 September to 9 October 1955, as a CIA observer, but ostensibly of course as the representative of . . . [the] International Trade Mart . . . provided the expense could be borne by CIA."(33) On May 25, 1956, Burke wrote, "If we can furnish Mr. Shaw with the names and addresses of producers of mercury in Spain and Italy, he is quite willing to write letters of inquiry to them on World Trade Development Department letterheads,(34) in an attempt to ascertain for us the extent of the Spanish and Italian stocks on hand."(35)

Though Shackelford would like to portray Clay Shaw as a globe-trotting clandestine operative of the CIA, had Shaw appeared as the "CIA observer" at a Czechoslovakian engineering exhibition, it would have been completely consistent with his contact status, as would querying European manufacturers about mercury stocks. One of Shackelford's own sources, Victor Marchetti, affirms this:

The DCS's normal operating technique is to establish relationships with businessmen, scholars, tourists, and other travelers who have made trips abroad, usually to Eastern Europe or China. These people are asked to provide information voluntarily about what they have seen or heard on their journeys. Most often they are contacted by the agency after they have returned home, but occasionally, if the CIA hears that a particular person plans to visit, say, a remote part of the Soviet Union, the DCS will get in touch in advance and ask the traveler to seek out information on certain targets."(36)

Next, Martin repeats one of Davy's Probe arguments:(37)

Although a CIA internal report described him as a valuable informant, his formal connection with the Agency suddenly ended in 1956.

There's no reason to believe there was anything unusually sudden about this decision, as Shaw only had reason to make contact with the Agency thirty-six times over an eight-year period, which resulted in the generation of a mere eight reports. In contrast, another CIA contact known to us, Latin American Newsletter publisher William George Gaudet, was contacted 197 times over the same time span, and unlike Shaw, who was never paid a dime for his services, Gaudet was considered valuable enough to the Agency to have earned a documented CIA subsidy for the Newsletter. Tellingly, Gaudet himself would cease to be a DCS contact only five years later, for precisely the same reason as Shaw -- he was no longer producing helpful information.(38)


His CIA activities, though, continued.

Shackelford doesn't seem to understand the role of a DCS contact, but more importantly, there is no evidence whatsoever that Shaw performed any "activities" -- sinister, as Shackelford would seem to imply, or otherwise -- on behalf of the CIA beyond May 1956, the last time he was contacted by the Agency.(39)

The House Select Committee on Assassinations learned, but didn't report, that Shaw was heavily involved in anti-Castro activities . . .

This is a non sequitur, and it's also untrue; the HSCA did not learn any such thing. The subject of an HSCA interview, whose identity will be revealed momentarily, informed committee investigators that Shaw had been heavily involved in such activities, but cited no evidence in support of the claim, which would seem to be an unsubstantiated opinion. Even if true -- so what? Opposing Castro in some way connotes involvement with the CIA?


. . . he allowed one [anti-Castro] group rent-free space in his International Trade Mart.

This is another non sequitur. What does it have to do with those "CIA activities" Martin insists continued beyond 1956? And what "group" is Shackelford talking about? He doesn't say in this article, and has never responded to my requests for a source citation.

We know the Trade Mart was home to the Cuban consulate for some time, but that doesn't sound much like a "group," anti-Castro or otherwise. Perhaps Shackelford is referring to the aforementioned Latin American Newsletter, published out of a "virtually rent-free office" in the Trade Mart by William George Gaudet. If so, I would note that, according to Jim DiEugenio, a strong advocate of Garrison's, it was Shaw's boss, Ted Brent, who allocated the office space to Gaudet.(40) As an institution dedicated to facilitating trade with Latin America, the ITM certainly could have had a legitimate reason or two for subsidizing the newsletter, a business-oriented fact-sheet.


He had a working relationship with former FBI agent Guy Banister . . .

Yet another non sequitur. Even if true, what would that have to do with Shaw and the CIA?(41)


. . . many of whose former employees now confirm that Banister employed Oswald in the summer of 1963.

Yet another non sequitur. For whatever it's worth, several onetime Banister employees have indeed made allusions, credible or otherwise, to that possibility, including Jack S. Martin, Delphine Roberts, and Tommy Baumler.(42) A working relationship between Oswald and Banister, however -- regardless of Shaw's alleged relationship with Banister -- would not bear upon the question of Clay Shaw's guilt or innocence, nor would it even suggest any significant association between Shaw and Oswald.(43)

Shackelford finally returns to the subject of the CIA:

As late as 1967, Shaw had a "covert security" classification for a top secret program called QKENCHANT. The program remains so highly classified that we are still unable to learn anything about its nature, but Shaw's classification was approved by the CIA's then covert operations chief, Richard Helms, and we know that clearances were being granted in December 1962.

Shackelford's assertion is false.

The source for the claim is a recent CIA release that summarizes Clay Shaw's contacts with the CIA between 1948 and 1956, then later states, "A memorandum marked only for file, 16 March 1967, signed Marguerite D. Stevens, says that J. Monroe SULLIVAN, #280207, was granted a covert security approval on 10 December 1962 so that he could be used in Project QKENCHANT. SHAW has #402897-A."(44)

J. Monroe Sullivan was Director of the San Francisco Trade Mart, and an acquaintance of Shaw's. A covert security approval signifies approval to use a subject as an unwitting source of intelligence, which jibes with Sullivan's recent affirmation to Patricia Lambert that he never worked for the CIA or knew anything about a Project QK/ENCHANT.(45)

Some have interpreted the number 402897-A as an indication that Shaw was a part of the mysterious Project QK/ENCHANT. However, Shaw's CIA file identifies its subject right up front as "Clay Shaw, 402897-A," and the number appears to have been associated with Shaw at least as early as 1949.(46) J. Monroe Sullivan's covert security clearance for QK/ENCHANT is clearly cross-referenced to Shaw's file because of the relationship between the two men, but neither QK/ENCHANT nor another any operation is cited in reference to Shaw himself.(47)

What is QK/ENCHANT, anyway? CIA Information and Privacy coordinator, John Wright, has informed Bill Davy that information on QK/ENCHANT is still classified. "Yet," Davy writes, "an admitted ex-CIA employee has broadcast on a popular computer Bulletin Board System, that QK/ENCHANT involved routine debriefing of people in the trade industry. Either this person has violated his/her secrecy agreement by revealing classified information or is deliberately spreading false information. Time will tell."(48)

Shackelford continues:

At the time of the House Select Committee investigation in 1976, inquiries to the CIA about Clay Shaw were coordinated by J. Walton Moore, the former Dallas CIA contact for Oswald's friend George DeMohrenschildt [sic].

It's not clear what Shackelford is trying to say here. J. Walton Moore was with DCS, so one might expect him to handle inquiries about a former contact. Is Moore's relationship with De Mohrenschildt Shackelford's way of injecting intrigue into an otherwise innocuous piece of data? Does Shackelford believe De Mohrenschildt had something to do with the assassination?(49)

Another recently-released document connects Shaw to the top secret project ZRCLIFF, which was run out of William Harvey's super-secret Staff D along with the ZRRIFLE assassination program.(50)

This too is false. Bill Davy(51) writes that freelance pilot Leslie Norman Bradley was once considered for a CIA operation called ZR/CLIFF, "but for unknown reasons the offer of employment was withdrawn."(52)

What does this have to do with Clay Shaw, one might ask. A Houston man named Sam Kouffroth told the FBI that he'd once asked Bradley "how he had been making a living since being released from the Cuban prison and he replied that it was pretty rough but that Clay Shaw of the International House was 'helping us.'"(53)

In February 1967, New Orleans CIA office Chief Lloyd Ray wrote to the Director of the CIA's Domestic Contact Service: "We believe that there is some truth in the allegation of the Garrison investigation and the matter is under a discreet and sensitive investigation by the FBI."

Truth in what allegation? Would this be an allegation that Jim Garrison himself made, or would this be an allegation that the DA was conducting an avowedly secret inquiry into the Kennedy assassination at that time? Since Clay Shaw was arrested without warning on March 1, 1967, it is safe to assume that Mr. Ray's comment of February 1967 could refer to just about anything but Clay Shaw.

A September 1977 memo written by HSCA staff counsel Jonathan Blackmer concluded: "We have reason to believe Shaw was heavily involved in the anti-Castro efforts in New Orleans in the 1960s and possibly one of the high-level planners or 'cut out' to the planners of the assassination."

Context is everything. This Jonathan Blackmer memorandum, written on September 1, 1977, was Shackelford's source for the previously cited allegation that the HSCA had "learned, but didn't report, that Shaw was heavily involved in anti-Castro activities." As mentioned earlier, this information had not been developed by HSCA investigators, but had simply been reported to them by the subject of a staff interview. This applies equally to the notion that Shaw had been "possibly one of the high-level planners or 'cut out' to the planners of the assassination."

Who was the individual who supplied Blackmer with this groundbreaking information? Judge Jim Garrison.

The September 1, 1977, memorandum, conforming to the style used most frequently by government agencies, contains not conclusions drawn by its author, but simply the statements of the interview subject, and even these are carefully qualified: "We have reason to believe" that Shaw was involved in anti-Castro efforts"; he was "possibly" a high-level planners or 'cut out' in the assassination." The climactic revelation in Shackelford's argument that Jim Garrison's case is "finally coming together" is nothing but a report of Jim Garrison's own personal opinions, and equivocal ones at that.

Another example from the same memorandum: Blackmer writes, "Shaw was a former high ranking CIA operative in Italy, and according to Garrison, a contract employee in the New Orleans area from the late 1950's until his death in the early 1970's." Notice that Blackmer does not distinguish between the veracity or reliability of these two statements, though he only credits the second one explicitly to Garrison. Yet, while the second statement at least represents a viable theory, the first is demonstrably untrue; Shaw could not have been a "high ranking CIA operative in Italy," as Shaw had never lived or worked in Italy at all. The conclusions are Garrison's, not Blackmer's. The HSCA never developed a stitch of evidence implicating Clay Shaw in the assassination. Neither, alas, have Bill Davy or Martin Shackelford.

"It has been said," Fair Play tells us, "that the American people are the only jury that Lee Harvey Oswald will ever have. It is our responsibility, then, to examine with utmost care and objectivity the evidence for and against him, and to reach an independent verdict."

Clay Shaw indeed was fortunate to live to see a jury clear his name; but does he not also deserve to have examined "with utmost care and objectivity the evidence for and against him"? Or is Lee Harvey Oswald the only assassination suspect who deserves "fair play"?

1. Martin Shackelford, Garrison's Case Finally Coming Together, Fair Play #25, Nov-Dec., 1998.

Martin Shackelford is a Kennedy assassination researcher whose broad knowledge and temperate approach to both the evidence and his fellow researchers I greatly admire. Author Harrison E. Livingstone has called Shackelford "one of the most valuable of all researchers into the assassination of John Kennedy" (Livingstone, Killing the Truth, xi). It is not my intention to belittle Shackelford in any way with this critique. Rather, it is precisely because of the position he holds in the research community that I feel the need to respond in detail to this particular article of his.

2. The commencement of these interviews coincided with Russo's appearance as a witness in the US district court case, Clay L. Shaw v. Jim Garrison, et al, where, instead of delivering his expected testimony in support of Garrison, Russo repeatedly invoked his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. For a full discussion of this episode, see Patricia Lambert, False Witness, 165-76.

3. For example, Russo strongly reaffirms his trial testimony in the 1992 interview entitled, "The Last Testament of Perry Russo." On the other hand, he told Patricia Lambert that Shaw "was in fact innocent" and "he did not conspire to kill the president"; that "there was no conspiracy" and "in retrospect I don't think they should have prosecuted him." "Garrison never should have done it" (Lambert, False Witness, 173-4); and he told Gerald Posner, "I believe that Shaw was innocent. I do not disagree with the jury. I agree with it. The bottom line is that history must recall that Shaw is innocent. If I was on the jury, I would have come to the same conclusion" (Posner, Case Closed, 451 fn.). The definitive account of Perry Russo's story can be found in Lambert, 67-107, 135-8, 173-4, 176-7, 254-5, 267-75, 287-9. It is discussed in detail in part three of my own article, "Who Speaks for Clay Shaw?"

4. The possibility that Oswald indeed had some sort of relationship with Ferrie during his summer of 1963 in New Orleans remains a source of controversy, but since Ferrie himself has never been credibly linked to the assassination, the point would seem to be moot.

5. Shaw's March 22, 1967, indictment states that "one CLAY L. SHAW, late of the Parish of Orleans, between the 1st day of September and the 10th day of October, in the year of our Lord, One Thousand, Nine Hundred Sixty-three . . . did willfully and unlawfully conspire with DAVID W. FERRIE, herein named but not charged, and LEE HARVEY OSWALD, herein named but not charged, and others, not herein named, to murder JOHN F. KENNEDY . . . " (STATE OF LOUISIANA versus CLAY L. SHAW, INDICTMENT for VIO. R.S. 14:26 (30), /s/ Alvin B. Oser, Assistant District Attorney for the Parish of Orleans, No. 198-059 (M-703), Section 'C'; TRUE BILL /s/ Albert V. LaBiche, Foreman of Grand Jury, New Orleans). Garrison's incessant anti-government was just that -- rhetoric.

6. Mark Lane, Plausible Denial, 221. Following Shaw's March 1969 acquittal, the DA would claim that the relevance of the CIA lay in the area of motive. He implied to journalist James Kirkwood that Shaw was in the secret employ of some government agency: "Most likely the CIA," he said, adding, "you see, and there is the motive, and it hurt our case that this could not be proven in court. Although motive is not necessarily part of the conspiracy law, still it's -- people want to know, what is the motive? But because of the clandestine quality of the operation we could not prove the motive angle, which seemed to be missing in the trial" (Kirkwood, American Grotesque, 574). On the very first page of his 1988 memoirs, Jim Garrison claims, "While the jury accepted my argument that there had been a conspiracy, it was not then aware of Shaw's role as a clandestine CIA operative. Unconvinced of his motivation, the jury acquitted him of the charges" (Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, 1991 ed., xi-xii). As demonstrated by the jurors' own comments, Garrison's claim had no basis in reality.

7. Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, 1991 ed., xi-xii.

8. James Kirkwood, American Grotesque, 508.

9. Ibid., 512; emphasis in original. Juror Larry Morgan elaborated, "I just couldn't picture the type of case the state put on. The caliber of witnesses was totally unbelievable for the seriousness of the case. . . . After it was all over, it was, like -- wow, what happened! What -- that's it?!" (Ibid., 550) "I kept waiting for the state to present a case," juror Charles Ordes concurred. "I was surprised that it was even presented on this evidence. . . . I feel the grand jury should have stopped him" (Ibid., 557).

10. Edward Voebel made it clear following the assassination that Oswald and Ferrie may well have crossed paths in 1955.

Mr. JENNER. Did you and Lee have any interest in the Civil Air Patrol?

Mr. VOEBEL. Yes; I think I got him interested in it. We got to talking about it and I told him as much as I knew about it, and I think he attended maybe one or two meetings, and I think he even subsequently bought a uniform, and he attended at least one meeting that I remember, in that uniform, but after that he didn't show up again.

Mr. JENNER. He just attended two meetings of the CAP?

Mr. VOEBEL. Two or three meetings, I would say.

Mr. JENNER. And that's all he attended?

Mr. VOEBEL. Yes, He lost interest after that, I think.

Mr. JENNER. Who was the majordomo of the CAP unit that you attended?

Mr. VOEBEL. I think it was Captain Ferrie. I think he was there when Lee attended one of these meetings, but I'm not sure of that. Now that I think of it, I don't think Captain Ferrie was there at that time, but he might have been. That isn't too clear to me (8 H 14).

Later, the HSCA's staff report on "Oswald, David Ferrie and the Civil Air Patrol" collected a great deal of evidence that Oswald and Ferrie were at least briefly part of the same unit.

David Blackburst, one of the foremost researchers into the assassination's New Orleans cast of characters, notes that, contrary to Posner's claims (Case Closed, 143), David Ferrie joined the "Moisant Airport CAP squadron as a volunteer trainer during June-August 1955, and it is a fact that Lee Harvey Oswald became a member of the Moisant squadron for 'a few weeks' beginning on July 27, 1955. A cadet named John Ciravolo photographed both Ferrie and Oswald at a CAP bivouac in early August 1955" (David Blackburst, Newsgroup post of December 12, 1998).

Concerning Ferrie's recollection of Oswald, Blackburst writes, "Ferrie told the FBI that, while a photo of Oswald's face had a very vague familiarity to him, he did not specifically recall ever meeting him. Since Ferrie had served with over a thousand young CAP cadets, I don't find his explanation unbelievable" (David Blackburst, Newsgroup post of April 2, 1999). Blackburst adds that after Ferrie "spoke to Ed Voebel and a few others within days of the assassination, he was ready to concede that Oswald may have been a member of the Moisant Airport CAP squadron when he was assisting with the unit" (David Blackburst, Newsgroup post of May 19, 1999).

It's interesting to note that at the time some theorize David Ferrie was indoctrinating Lee Oswald into the secret world of covert paramilitary intelligence operations, Oswald was most definitely being indoctrinated into the secret world of being a stockboy at the Dolly Shoe store (Warren Report, 679-80).

"As for a Ferrie-Oswald relationship in 1963," Blackburst writes, "there are a number of people who later claimed to have seen them together, but no single witness of high credibility has yet emerged. The question of a 1963 relationship is suggestive, but unresolved" (David Blackburst, Newsgroup post of December 12, 1998).

Incidentally, Shackelford would seem to be in error about the existence of a second photograph capturing both Oswald and Ferrie. David Blackburst notes that he has been unable to confirm the rumors of such a photograph (Blackburst, E-mail to author, August 25, 1999).

11. Since resigning from the HSCA, Tanenbaum has claimed to have seen all sorts of intriguing evidence that no one else at the HSCA ever saw, including a suggestion that a vanished CIA document listed a "Lee Henry [sic] Oswald" and a "Maurice Bishop" as CIA contract agents (Robert Tanenbaum, Corruption of Blood, 1996 ed., 101), and documents proving that the CIA had disrupted Jim Garrison's assassination investigation ("The Probe Interview: Bob Tanenbaum, Probe, July-August, 1996, Vol. 3, No. 5). Though Corruption of Blood is a work of fiction, Tanenbaum notes that "much of the documentary evidence mentioned here actually exists, or did exist at one time" ("Author's Note," 9), and has reaffirmed that in testimony before the Assassination Records Review Board.

Tanenbaum's novel Corruption of Blood describes this film as containing Lee Harvey Oswald, David Ferrie, Guy Banister, Antonio Veciana, and David Atlee Phillips -- all in the presence of one another -- and an Oswald look-alike just barely discernible from the real thing (Corruption of Blood, 169-70, 187-9). With the exception of Oswald and Ferrie, the figures are, in Tanenbaum's words, "thinly disguised" in his book ("Author's Note," 9), with Guy Banister easily identifiable as "Gary Becker," Veciana referred to as "Antonio Veroa," and Phillips, unsurprisingly, identified as "Maurice Bishop." Tanenbaum claimed to Jim DiEugenio that his description of the film is accurate:

JD: Was it really as you described in the book, with all the people in that film? Bishop was in the film?

BT: Oh, yeah. Absolutely! They're all in the film. They're all there (Probe, Ibid.).

Tanenbaum partially affirmed this in his testimony before the Assassination Records Review Board:

DR. HALL: And just for the record, the significance of this film if it were now recovered, would be?

MR. TANENBAUM: . . . It could be everything [or] it could be nothing. On one hand it shows a lot of anti-Castro Cuban players with CIA contract people in a military training setting. It was some speculation, somewhat unclear, as to the direct identities of some of these people, and as I stand here now I'm not going to tell you exactly who they were. But, it was some of the major players in this whole case.

There is no trace of such a film at the National Archives, and Tanenbaum is the only person on record -- at the HSCA or anywhere else -- as ever having seen it or even knowing of its existence. Regarding the purported film's origins, Tanenbaum told the ARRB, "To the best of my recollection, we found that movie somewhere in the Georgetown library archives."

Researcher John R. Woods has tried without success to verify that the HSCA did indeed find such a film at Georgetown. George M. Barringer, Assistant University Librarian, Special Collections & Archives of Georgetown University, wrote Woods in a letter of March 2, 1999, "Mr. Tanenbaum's recollection, that he found film footage of Cuban exiles training in this country at Georgetown, is mistaken. We have never had such footage" (John R. Woods, Newsgroup post of March 6, 1999).

Meanwhile, David Blackburst has interviewed the trainers of the Lake Pontchartrain training camp, who have no recollection of Oswald, Ferrie or practically any other American ever being at the camp. Victor Paneque told Blackburst that he had done all the training at the camp, did not ever see Ferrie there, and had ascertained in 1967 that no one else had seen Ferrie there either. "In NODA interviews, Laureano Batista Falla (2/5/67) said there were no English-speaking people at the camp except Ricardo Davis and Fernando Fernandez. Angel Vega (2/5/67) said he never saw . . . Lindbergh (NODA code name for Ferrie) at the camp, that the only other Americans he saw there were the delaBarres. [paragraph] Ricardo Davis, who helped organize the MDC camp, gave a joint interview with Arcacha to Holland McCombs of Time (3/21/67). Both told McCombs that . . . Ferrie did not run any training camp [and] that Ferrie did not concentrate on any one thing long enough to operate a training camp." Carlos Quiroga and Carlos Bringuier "were not directly involved in the MDC camp," but "they both had heard that Ferrie had nothing to do with it" (David Blackburst, Newsgroup post of March 20, 1999).

12. William Davy, Let Justice Be Done, 73. Garrison advocate Davy writes, "Because Shaw's military record is still classified, this has led to speculation that Shaw's military career consisted of duty in the CIA's precursor, the Office of Strategic Services. This appears not to be the case" (Davy, 72-3).

13. Davy, 72.

14. Communist sponsorship: History of the Italian Press, Vol. 5, p. 241; John McAdams, Newsgroup post of July 9, 1999. The OAS link to assassination attempts against De Gaulle has made the CMC/Permindex "connection" to Clay Shaw irresistible to a certain breed of conspiracy theorist. Despite Shaw's 1969 acquittal, he and CMC/Permindex became thoroughly entrenched in conspiracy mythology with the 1970 appearance of Nomenclature of an Assassination Cabal, a widely circulated manuscript pseudonymously authored by one "William Torbitt," believed to have been Texas attorney David Copeland, whose clients included researcher Penn Jones. (The manuscript has recently been published under the title, NASA, Nazis & JFK.) An incoherent, indiscriminate mishmash of unsubstantiated theories apparently culled from the Garrison files, the "Torbitt Document," as it came to be known, names Permindex as one arm of a tremendous JFK assassination conspiracy spearheaded by a US government agency called the Defense Industrial Security Command (DISC), an agency whose secrecy is so closely guarded that no one but "Torbitt" seems to have been able to penetrate its veil of silence.

Schoenman's extreme left-wing views and aggressive personality are discussed in this biography by Ken Rahn. Schoenman — along with conspiracists like Mark Lane, Joachim Joesten, Paris Flammonde, and people associated with Ramparts Magazine — appears to have had a role in giving the Garrison enterprise a leftist quality.

According to "Torbitt," "The killing of President Kennedy was planned and supervised by Division Five of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a relatively small department within the FBI whose usual duties are espionage and counter-espionage activities. [paragraph] Actually, Division Five acted dually with the Defense Intelligence Agency which was acting on behalf of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon. Directly under the two-pronged leadership of Division Five and the DIA was the Control Group, their highly secret police agency, the Defense Industrial Security Command. . . . L.M. Bloomfield, a Montreal, Canada, lawyer bearing the reputation as a sex deviate, the direct supervisor of all contractual agents with J. Edgar Hoover's Division Five, was the top coordinator for the network planning the execution. A Swiss corporation, Permindex, was used to head five front organizations responsible for furnishing personnel and supervisors to carry out assigned duties."

"Torbitt" itself became an integral source for two other widely known works published by Lyndon LaRouche's US Labor Party, Permindex: Britain's International Assassination Bureau (in which the International Trade Mart of New Orleans is claimed to have been a subsidiary of the Centro Mondiale Commerciale, which itself is claimed to have been owned and operated by Division Five of the FBI) and the conspiracy classic, Dope, Inc. Journalist Steve Dorril writes that "the US Labor Party . . . seem to have survived the last decade peddling absolute garbage about Permindex -- the conspiracy not only including the Kennedy assassination, but also the domination of the West by the British! -- supplemented by a disgusting dose of anti-Semitism" (Dorril, "Permindex: The International Trade in Disinformation," Lobster #3, 1983.)

From there, one would have expected the Permindex myth to been relegated to the fringes of the conspiracy world, but it was not to be. The "investigation by the US Labor Party" is unashamedly cited in Jim Marrs mainstream Kennedy assassination book, Crossfire (pp. 498-500, 611 fn.); Dope, Inc. is cited in Noel Twyman, Bloody Treason (Chapter 25, citation #9); and both "Torbitt" and LaRouche's Executive Intelligence Review are cited in Jim DiEugenio's revisionist Garrison tract, Destiny Betrayed (Chapter 13, citation #36). "Torbitt" is cited in the annotated screenplay to Oliver Stone's JFK (Oliver Stone and Zachary Sklar, Oliver Stone's research notes compiled by Jane Rusconi, JFK: The Book of the Film, 113, 134).

Another building block in the acceptance of the Permindex myth among mainstream conspiracy theorists is the work of self-proclaimed CIA contract agent Robert Morrow, whose avowedly fictionalized Betrayal and purportedly non-fictional First Hand Knowledge construct an assassination scenario largely dependent upon names familiar from the Garrison investigation. Despite the gaping holes in Morrow's credibility, his story is cited extensively in Dick Russell, The Man Who Knew Too Much, and Noel Twyman, Bloody Treason.

Ralph Schoenman, whose contributions to the Garrison probe are clearly among "Torbitt's" uncited sources, published an article in the Santa Monica News-Press in 1992, filled with imaginative flights of fancy, including the claim that Clay Shaw had served in the CIA's predecessor, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS); that "The 'trade' activity of Shaw's organizations included facilitating the banking of Meyer Lansky and his holdings in the Bahamas -- and Batista's Cuba"; that Shaw had been expelled from Italy and become "persona non grata"; and that Shaw worked closely on "the assassination and coup d'etat work of CMC and Permindex" (Ralph Schoenman, "'JFK' and Clay Shaw: Credible evidence connects the CIA's Shaw to Oswald," Santa Barbara News-Press, January 12, 1992).

15. John McAdams, Newsgroup post of July 16, 1999. This information was confirmed by another member of the board, Henrich Mandel-Mandello. The Paese Sera allegations placing Shaw in Italy with Permindex were published on March 14, 1967. That same article alleged falsely that Shaw was in Europe two days after the assassination and paid a visit to Italy. (The Center's Rome office had actually gone bankrupt and closed the previous year.)

16. Some conspiracy theorists have difficulty crediting this last statement, despite the fact that Shaw's only "connection" to the CIA was in occasionally providing mundane information on his foreign travels and contacts to the Domestic Contact Service, something thousands of US businessmen and travelers did (see note #24). Particularly in a Cold War context, this constitutes no more of a government "connection" than being questioned by the police or filling out a survey at the post office.

17. History of the Italian Press Vol. 6, 342; John McAdams, Newsgroup post of July 9, 1999.

18. Steve Dorril, "Permindex: The International Trade in Disinformation, Lobster #3, 1983.

But the Santa Barbara News-Press might, as when they gave Ralph Schoenman a forum for his intriguing views. In an article about Clay Shaw, Schoenman pointed out that "Kennedy was en route to lunch at the International Trade Mart in Dallas when he was assassinated, a destination which determined the routing of his motorcade" (Ralph Schoenman, "'JFK' and Clay Shaw: Credible evidence connects the CIA's Shaw to Oswald," Santa Barbara News-Press, January 12, 1992).

20. Steve Dorril, "Permindex: The International Trade in Disinformation, Lobster #3, 1983. The paper singled out director Allen Dulles as one of "the pillars of the international conspiracy basing itself on the Iberian dictatorships, on the residue of the most fierce and blind colonialism, on the intrigues of the CIA which reacts furiously to the advance of progress and democracy." (Admittedly, such proclamations are unlikely to earn the newspaper many detractors among the ranks of Garrison advocates.)

21. Ibid.; American press: Davy, 99.

22. CIA Memorandum No. 2, Garrison and the Kennedy Assassination, May 8. 1967, Enclosure 21, Doc. No. 1430-492-Y, p. 4, partially declassified December 1977.

23. Corriere della Sera, March 5, 1967; John McAdams, Newsgroup post of July 16, 1999.

24. "For more than ten years the Contact Division of the CIA's Office of Operations, with its network of field offices throughout the country, has been tapping this vast potential of information on behalf of the intelligence community. Since 1948 over forty thousand individuals and companies have supplied information ranging into every field of intelligence. Through this collection operation the community has at its disposal the expert analysis and commentary of the most knowledgeable people in the academic, scientific, professional and industrial fields" (Anthony F. Czajkowski, "Techniques of Domestic Intelligence Collection," Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 2, No. 1, Winter 1959; reprinted in H. Bradford Westerfield, editor, Inside CIA's Private World:Declassified Articles from the Agency's Internal Journal, 1955-1992; thanks to Jerry Shinley). Some sources place the figure much higher; cf. Edward Jay Epstein, The Assassination Chronicles, 565; G. Robert Blakey and Richard Billings, Fatal Hour, xvii. See also Victor Marchetti and John D. Marks, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, 1989 ed., 199; Walt Brown, Treachery in Dallas, 65; Gerald Posner, Case Closed, 86 fn., 447-8 fn. DCS was later renamed the Domestic Collection Division, and is now called the National Resources Division. "Domestic Collection Division maintained contacts with tens of thousands Americans who volunteer info. CIA overtly in contact with many members American academic community. DCD operates from 38 offices around US" (US Congress, Church Committee Report, b 1 438). "Officers assigned to the NRD maintain regular liaison with literally tens of thousands of US business executives, who gather intelligence during their travels" (Robert Dreyfuss, "Left out in the Cold," Mother Jones, January-February 1998).

25. "The DCS's primary function has traditionally been to collect intelligence from Americans without resorting to covert methods [i.e., espionage]. . . . The DCS's normal operating technique is to establish relationships with businessmen, scholars, tourists, and other travelers who have made trips abroad, usually to Eastern Europe or China. These people are asked to provide information voluntarily about what they have seen or heard on their journeys. Most often they are contacted by the agency after they have returned home, but occasionally, if the CIA hears that a particular person plans to visit, say, a remote part of the Soviet Union, the DCS will get in touch in advance and ask the traveler to seek out information on certain targets" (Victor Marchetti and John Marks, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, 1989 ed., 199).

26. CIA Director William Colby once explained that the CIA "can collect foreign intelligence in the United States, including the requesting [sic] American citizens to share with their Government certain information they may know about foreign situations, and we have a service that does this, and I am happy to say a very large number of American citizens have given us some information. We do not pay for that information. We can protect their proprietary interest and even protect their names if necessary, if they would rather not be exposed as the source of that information" (Victor Marchetti and John D. Marks, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, 1989 ed., 198-9).

27. An internal CIA report states flatly, "We have never remunerated [Shaw]" (HSCA notes on Clay Shaw's CIA file, referring to "2/10/69--TWX #0002 to contacts/Washington, 10/13/67" [Record No. 180-10143-10221, CIA Segregated Collection, Box 19]; Lambert, 325 fn. 14).

28. Lambert, False Witness, 204. Lambert writes, "Shaw's contacts with the CIA's Domestic Contact Service were summarized in a memorandum released by that agency in 1992; some of the reports based on Shaw's information were released in 1994. Shaw was first contacted by the CIA's New Orleans office in December 1948; between 1949 and May 25, 1956 (when Shaw ceased to be a contact), he was contacted a total of thirty-six times. Eight reports were written based on Shaw's information. Six of those were "on hand" and described in the 1992 memorandum. [Researcher Steve Bochan obtained copies of these, which he supplied to Bill Davy, who discusses them in "Clay Shaw's DCS Career: An Analysis of a Recent File Release," Probe, Vol. 3, No. 4, May-June 1996; and Let Justice Be Done, 197-8.] Three concerned a trip Shaw made in March through May, 1949, to the West Indies, Central America, and Northern South America; and a fourth concerned a 1951 trip to Central and South America and the Caribbean area. The fifth report advised that Shaw had leased to the "CSR government" space for merchandise display in New Orleans for one year beginning in April 1949. The sixth, in March 1952, concerned a letter to the public relations director of the International Trade Mart from a trade consultant to the Bonn Government (CIA document, "Subject: Clay L. Shaw [201-813493]," "Enclosure 21"; "Approved for release 1992 CIA Historical Review Program"; Lambert, False Witness, 325 fn.).

29. CIA Memorandum of June 20, 1967: "Memorandum No. 4: Garrison and the Kennedy Assassination," 2.

30. Davy, Let Justice Be Done, 172.

31. Bill Davy, Probe, Vol. 3, No. 4, May-June 1996, 6; Davy, Let Justice Be Done, 198.

32. Shackelford's source for these claims, he later revealed, was Bill Davy's two-page article, "Clay Shaw's DCS Career: An Analysis of a Recent File Release," in the May-June 1996 Probe, Vol. 3, No. 4; later cited in Davy, Let Justice Be Done, 198-9 (Martin Shackelford, Newsgroup post of December 25, 1998).

33. Ibid. On a related note, Shaw's very first DCS report, dated December 13, 1948, "seems to be a rather routine report about the establishment of a trade exhibit in the Trade Mart by the Czechoslovakian government" (Davy, Probe, Vol. 3, No. 4, May-June 1996, 6; Davy, Let Justice Be Done, 198).

34. Davy notes that the "World Trade Development Department was a division of the International House, of which Shaw was acting director at the time (Davy, Probe, Op. Cit., 7).

35. Davy, Probe, Ibid., 6-7; Davy, Let Justice Be Done, 199.

36. Victor Marchetti and John D. Marks, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, 1989 ed., 199.

37. Martin Shackelford, Newsgroup post of December 25, 1998).

38. A. J. Weberman Web site. An internal CIA report states flatly, "We have never remunerated [Shaw]" (HSCA notes on Clay Shaw's CIA file, referring to "2/10/69--TWX #0002 to contacts/Washington, 10/13/67" [Record No. 180-10143-10221, CIA Segregated Collection, Box 19]; Lambert, 325 fn. 14).

39. See Footnote 47 (below).

40. Jim DiEugenio, Destiny Betrayed, p. 220; Gaudet's name came up in the Kennedy assassination investigation on two other occasions, though there is no evidence that he was involved in any way. A detailed study appears at A. J. Weberman's Web site.

41. Contrary to the assertions of Jim Garrison (cf. Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, 1991 ed., 326, 338), Guy Banister was never a CIA operative. Nor, for that matter, was he ever with the Office of Naval Intelligence, as Garrison always claimed (cf. Garrison, 29).

On December 25, 1998, at my request, Martin posted that his source for the above claim was an "Andrew Sciambra memo published in Probe, v. 3 #3, p. 16."

The memo in question, written on October 9, 1968, says absolutely nothing about a relationship -- "working" or otherwise -- between Guy Banister and Clay Shaw. In fact, it says nothing whatsoever about Guy Banister.

The memo reports the claim that David Ferrie had flown Clay Shaw to Cuba at one time, and, as its source, refers to unspecified "information" contained in a "memo in the GUY BANISTER file." Since it is documented that Guy Banister's own office files were dispersed long before Garrison started his investigation, a reasonable inference is that "the GUY BANISTER file" refers to the NODA's own file on Guy Banister.

According to Garrison himself, his office was unable to locate anything from the late Guy Banister's files but "a small handful of file cards" (Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, 1991 ed., 41). Bill Davy refers to the October 9, 1968, memorandum in his book, Let Justice Be Done (p. 85), but does not suggest any Banister connection.

An interesting side note: To my knowledge, Garrison has never cited a source for the claim that Banister was with the ONI. (Banister actually was employed by the FBI all through the 1940s.) But Garrison confidante/chronicler Bill Turner almost has. Turner writes, "A man who knew Banister well has told Garrison that Banister became associated with the Office of Naval Intelligence through the recommendation of Guy Johnson, an ONI reserve officer and the first attorney for Clay Shaw when he was arrested by Garrison" (Turner, "The Garrison Commission," Ramparts, January 1968; The Assassinations: Dallas and Beyond, Scott, Hoch, Stetler, eds., 284). Turner, obviously, does not name Garrison's source.

Garrison names Johnson as "a friend of mine" (On the Trail of the Assassins, 1991 ed., 29 fn.), but Garrison doesn't name Johnson as his source for the Banister-ONI information or make any allusion to Bill Turner's earlier statement -- that Guy Persac Johnson personally facilitated Banister's entrée into ONI -- nor, apparently, did Garrison and his friend and onetime law partner Guy Johnson ever seem to discuss Banister, or else one would expect Garrison to know better than to claim Banister was ONI.

Coincidentally, Guy Persac Johnson worked briefly on Shaw's defense during the time between Shaw's March 1, 1967, arrest and the preliminary hearing, which began on March 14. "He and the Wegmanns were partners in the law firm of Herve Racivitch, who was DA from 1946 to 1950. Johnson and one or both of the Wegmanns served as assistant DAs during that time" (Jerry Shinley, Newsgroup post of July 26, 1999).

Trivia question:

Q: Only one other person is known to have claimed that Guy Banister served in the Armed Forces in WWII. Name that person.

A: KKK Exalted Cyclops Henry Earl Palmer, Registrar of Voters for the Parish of Clinton, Louisiana, who claimed to have known Banister in the Army during the war. He mentioned this at the Shaw trial and during his questioning by the HSCA.

42. Jack Martin told Garrison that Oswald hung around Banister's office a lot in 1963, but Martin didn't mention this to anyone in 1963, although he was quite vocal about suspecting Banister investigator David Ferrie to have known Oswald. Why did he think this? Because he heard on television that Oswald had briefly belonged to the Civil Air Patrol, and Martin knew Ferrie had been involved with the CAP. Had Martin frequently seen Oswald in Banister's office, as he would claim beginning in late 1966, one would expect him to have mentioned it during his numerous interviews with the FBI and Secret Service in 1963.

Delphine Roberts says that Oswald was around Banister's office quite a bit. She was questioned by Garrison's staff in 1967, however, and did not say anything about knowing Oswald. Her story underwent a change over a decade later, at the time she was in contact with the HSCA. She also has said at various times that she met Oswald's wife, whose name she, for some reason, believes to have been Marguerite. (Marina Oswald denies this and Marguerite Oswald was in Fort Worth, Texas in 1963.) Roberts' daughter, also named Delphine, supports her mother's recollections. (See Anthony Summers, Not in Your Lifetime for further information). The question of Martin and Roberts' credibility is discussed in articles posted at the Garrison menu of John McAdams' Kennedy Assassination Home Page. Tommy Baumler is discussed in citation #36.

Another Banister employee, the aforementioned Dan Campbell, told Anthony Summers he saw Oswald in Banister's office once, though not in Banister's company. On August 9, 1963, the day of Oswald's infamous street 'fracas' with Carlos Bringuier, Campbell says that he went out to lunch at nearby Mancuso's, where a friend who had just witnessed the incident first-hand pointed out two of the Cubans who'd been involved. When Campbell returned to the office, he told Summers, a young man "with a Marine haircut" was using the phone: "It was, Campbell is certain, Lee Oswald" (Summers, Conspiracy, 1989 ed., 293).

Problems arise, however. Lee Oswald did not have a Marine haircut at any time after he left the Marines in 1959, and at the time Campbell says the young man in question was using the phone at 531 Lafayette, Oswald's whereabouts -- for once -- are beyond question: He and Bringuier had been been arrested for disturbing the peace -- along with the two other Cuban men involved in the incident -- and he spent that afternoon and night in jail (Warren Commission Report, 728).

A few witnesses outside Banister's immediate circle have alleged some sort of relationship between Oswald and Banister (cf. Michael L. Kurtz, Crime of the Century, 1993 ed., xxxviii-xl), and, while the evidence is hardly overwhelming, the possibility that the two men knew each other cannot be completely ruled out.

43. If, on the other hand, we had information that other known or alleged Banister employees formed associations with Clay Shaw through Banister, this thesis would have at least a speculative foundation. If I may take the liberty of helping Shackelford out with some other sources he could have named in support of a relationship between Guy Banister and Clay Shaw, I can cite some examples from Martin's own Internet post, "Databitz 3," in which he briefly alludes to some items of interest in Bill Davy's 1995 monograph, Through the Looking Glass: The Mysterious World of Clay Shaw (later expanded to Let Justice Be Done). One such "databit" is that "Tommy Baumler reported Shaw and Banister were close, and Oswald worked for Banister (Davy, Through the Looking Glass, 50 fn. 18; later cited in Davy, Let Justice Be Done, 303 fn. 13).

That's not all Baumler had to say. Baumler asserted that "Clay Shaw, Banister and Guy Johnson made up the intelligence apparatus in New Orleans" (Ibid., 41). This claim is rather astounding in light of the fact that Jim Garrison himself was a personal friend and onetime law partner of Guy Johnson's (Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, 1991 ed., 29 fn.; New Orleans Times-Picayune, January 20, 1976; s 1, p 8; Jerry Shinley, Newsgroup post of May 26, 1999). (Note: This is Guy Persac Johnson, not exporter Guy D. Johnson, who might figure into the Shaw saga as well.)

Shackelford also notes the "databit" that "on one occasion in the early 1960s, Banister had [investigator Joseph] Newbrough call Shaw and hand the phone to David Ferrie. Lawyer Jules Fontana reported often seeing Banister in Shaw's office" (Davy, Through the Looking Glass, 10; later cited in Davy, Let Justice Be Done, 94). The Jules Fontana claim is actually hearsay, as it was former New Orleans States-Item crime reporter Jack Dempsey who told Davy that "his friend, the late Jules Fontana, a lawyer from Metairie, had told him he had seen Banister in Shaw's office on numerous occasions" (Davy, Let Justice Be Done, 94).

Davy also reports, "Banister agent Dan Campbell has revealed that Shaw was involved with Banister in a gun running operation to the Alpha 66 exiles in Miami" (Ibid.). On the other hand, David Blackburst's formidable New Orleans research suggests that Guy Banister's alleged gunrunning activities are just another Garrison myth, stemming from the occasion when Banister allowed some of his associates to store a cache of arms in his office overnight.

A. J. Weberman reports on an intriguing document that has surfaced from Guy Banister's files, a memorandum to "a Naval Intelligence Reserve Officer" -- Guy Persac Johnson? It specified, "We have cut across a CIA operation in the Taca Airline Affair." Weberman writes, "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]; Weberman Web site.)

44. Unnumbered CIA memo, author unknown, circa March 1967, declassified in 1992; Bill Davy, Let Justice Be Done, 195, 314 fn. 19; John McAdams, Newsgroup post of October 21, 1998.

45. Lambert, 204 fn. Some believe that Shaw's involvement with QK/ENCHANT is affirmed by another document, which consists of notes from a House Select Committee staffer (Record No. 180-10143-10220, Agency File Number 29-04-01, CIA Segregated Collection). The document is headed "6/28/78" and "Clay Shaw." The relevant portion seems to be:

18 Sept. 68

memo re: [REDACTED] or [REDACTED] poss. CIA connection -- granted covert security approval for use under Project

[REDACTED] on an unwitting basis 10 Dec. 62. Executive Director of San Francisco [REDACTED] [REDACTED] claimed to have been w/ Shaw 22 Nov. 63

Bill Davy writes, "It is possible that this could be a reference to Project QK/ENCHANT. There is some question as whether this memo actually refers to Shaw or San Francisco Trade Mart Director J. Monroe Sullivan. Since a CIA memo on Sullivan exists and makes reference to Sullivan being security approved for QK/ENCHANT on December 10, 1962, and because the HSCA memo refers to the Executive Director of the San Francisco Trade Mart, the HSCA memo is undoubtedly referring to Sullivan." "However, without seeing the unredacted CIA memo in question, it makes it difficult to tell definitively" (Davy, 315 fn. 37).

46. Record No. 180-10143-10220, Agency File Number 29-04-01, CIA Segregated Collection. Bill Davy's book reproduces a CIA document related to Shaw that contains the number (Davy, 197).

47. Ibid. Some Garrison advocates cite as a CIA-Shaw "contact" the fact that when CIA officer Charles Cabell spoke at a New Orleans Foreign Policy Association meeting, it was Clay Shaw who was chosen to introduce him. Overlooking the obvious question of why someone with covert ties to the CIA would be allowed to be linked publicly to someone like Cabell, it should at least be pointed out that Cabell's speech was in May 1961 -- a full two and a half years prior to the John F. Kennedy assassination. Ironically, Shaw's CIA file lists his last contact with the CIA as May 25, 1956, and contains only one more item that could be construed as a "contact": "9 May 61, Gen. Cabell, then DDCI; speaker at luncheon - For. Policy Assoc. of which Shaw Program Director [sic]" (Record No. 180-10143-10220, Agency File Number 29-04-01, CIA Segregated Collection).

When Jim Garrison was interviewed by Robert Morrow in 1977, this is what he had to say about Charles Cabell:

MORROW. . . . [A]s you may or may not know, I worked with General Cabell back in the old days.


MORROW. And the reason for my call was I understand around 1971 just prior to his death, you were thinking about an indictment against him.

GARRISON. No. I was never thinking about an indictment of Cabell. There wasn't enough information to indicate that any action on his part. [sic] The only position I ever took on him, as a matter of fact, [sic] most of the things I know about him are really good. He was apparently a strong, effective character (Morrow, First-Hand Knowledge," 371).

There is only one more contact alluded to in Shaw's file: "in 1965 just before he retired" (Op. cit.). This is referred to in a memorandum of April 26, 1967: "Since 25 May 1956 Mr. Hunter Leake had seen SHAW casually, by chance, in various downtown New Orleans restaurants, and greetings were exchanged. The last such casual encounter was just before SHAW's retirement in 1965."

48. Davy, 314 fn. 19. Because the QK/ENCHANT allegation has now collapsed, there seems little point in belaboring all of Shackelford's now-irrelevant arguments. Nevertheless, for the sake of completeness, I will address them.

Former CIA official Victor Marchetti said that QKENCHANT was most likely run out of the Domestic Operations Division of the Clandestine Services, run by Tracy Barnes.

Marchetti's opinion is based solely on the erroneous belief that Shaw had a "covert security clearance" for this project, information obtained from Bill Davy. "If you're working with DCS, there's no need for a covert security clearance like that," he told Davy. "This was something else. This would imply that he was doing some kind of work for the Clandestine Services." From there, Davy asked Marchetti "what division of Clandestine Services did he think would be involved with this project." "The DOD," Marchetti replied. "It was one of the most secret divisions within the Clandestine Services. This was Tracey [sic] Barnes' old outfit" (Davy, 196)

Marchetti's speculation would be worthless even if the Domestic Operations Division did exist in December 1962, which it didn't -- it was created on February 11, 1963 (cf. Daily Almanacs, GRITS Historical Calendar, Recall Calendar, and Electric Scotland.)

Admittedly, there seems to be some confusion about the date. Alleged former CIA undercover operative Robert Morrow places the formation of DOD in 1962 (Morrow, The Senator Must Die, 60); alleged former CIA undercover operative Verne Lyon places it in 1964, at President Lyndon B. Johnson's initiative (Lyon, "Domestic Surveillance: The History of Operation CHAOS," Covert Action Information Bulletin, Summer 1990). Most sources agree that DOD existed by the fall of 1963.

Support for this comes from recently-released documents identifying Barnes' then-deputy, E. Howard Hunt, as another individual involved with QKENCHANT.

Shackelford's source is Bill Davy, who reports on a CIA memorandum that reads, "Reference is made to your request for a Covert Security Approval on Subject, dated 3 June 1970, for utilization under Project QKENCHANT." According to Davy, "Subject" refers to E. Howard Hunt, the infamous Bay of Pigs planner and Watergate conspirator (Davy, 314 fn. 19).

E. Howard Hunt was not "Barnes' then-deputy" on "3 June 1970." Tracy Barnes retired from the Agency in December 1966, and, though we know he remained in contact with his former employers, Howard Hunt retired on April 30, 1970 (Dick Russell, The Man Who Knew Too Much, 474, citing The New York Times, February 20, 1972, and The Washington Post, February 20, 1972; Thomas Powers, The Man Who Kept the Secrets, 324 fn. 11; Jim Hougan, Secret Agenda, 5. "Robert R. Mullen and Company [was] a CIA front headquartered in the very same building as the CIA's Domestic Operations Division. The Mullen Company did some legitimate PR work; they also did PR for other CIA fronts and provided cover abroad for CIA operations" (Bob Harris, "Who Was Deep Throat? Just a Rumor," The Scoop, June 19, 1997).

We also know that a pilot was considered for clearance for the program.

Shackelford is confusing this with the ZR/CLIFF allegation raised later in his article.

One of the few others known to have been cleared for QKENCHANT was Monroe Sullivan, director of the San Francisco Trade Mart, and Shaw's alibi witness for November 22, 1963.

Sullivan is discussed elsewhere in this post. As for Shackelford's claim that Sullivan was Shaw's "alibi witness," his reasoning eludes me. Unless Shaw was a gunman in Dealey Plaza or perhaps a getaway driver, he would have no use for an "alibi witness." (Nevertheless, the issue had been raised in Perry Russo's story, which suggested that Shaw had arranged to be on the West Coast the day of the assassination as an "alibi." Shaw would later note that if he'd had any need for an alibi, he could have had no better one than to have been sitting behind his desk at the Trade Mart when the shots were fired.)

Incidentally, the one other known person cleared for use in QK/ENCHANT was New Orleans exporter Guy D. Johnson (not to be confused with Jim Garrison's lawyer friend and ONI reservist Guy Persac Johnson [Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, 1991 ed., 29]). Johnson's clearance was approved on January 12, 1954, giving QK/ENCHANT a life span of at least sixteen years (Davy, 288 fn. 44. Davy mistakenly associates the "QK/ENCHANT" Johnson, Guy D. Johnson, with Guy Persac Johnson, onetime attorney for Clay Shaw, onetime law partner of Jim Garrison's, ONI reservist and personal friend to both Jim Garrison and Guy Banister [New Orleans Times-Picayune, January 20, 1976; Jerry Shinley, Newsgroup post of May 26, 1999]).

49. Shackelford follows Bill Davy's lead in advancing this innuendo (cf. Davy, Let Justice Be Done, 201).

50. On other occasions, Shackelford has referred to ZR/CLIFF as a CIA operation to which Shaw was "linked" (Newsgroup post of June 14, 1998) (Newsgroup post of June 14, 1998) and which "Shaw was cleared for" (Newsgroup post of February 27, 1999).

51. As Shackelford's Fair Play article contained no source citations, I specifically requested a few, particularly the alleged Shaw-ZR/CLIFF connection was. Martin replied in a newsgroup post of December 25, 1998, "The ZR/CLIFF reference isn't one of the 235 [from a series of articles] I've sourced so far." He'd explained earlier, "Unfortunately, as the series was written for a local bi-weekly newspaper, it wasn't footnoted" (Shackelford, Newsgroup post of December 22, 1998). After further requests for a ZR/CLIFF-Shaw citation, including a query as to whether it had come from Bill Davy's published work, a friend pointed out that Davy's Through the Looking Glass mentions ZR/CLIFF at one point (p. 9), but not in relation to Clay Shaw. Shackelford stated, "Davy wasn't cited as a source on Shaw's link to ZR/CLIFF. The source was cited as 'a new CIA document' . . . I would have to do some digging to get the document reference again" (Shackelford, Newsgroup post of April 15, 1999). A few weeks later he insisted, "I posted the specific citation quite some time ago" (Shackelford, Newsgroup post of May 11, 1999). Power searches at Deja.com under the keywords "zrcliff," "zr/cliff," "zr," "cliff," "shaw," and "garrison" do not turn up anything to substantiate Shackelford's claim. On May 24, 1999, Shackelford posted a few observations about Davy's just-released Let Justice Be Done, which confirmed my suspicion that Shackelford's claim had been a distortion of Bill Davy's work, though it's possible he picked it up from Davy's publisher at Probe, Lisa Pease, who has made an even more specific and inaccurate claim. Still lacking a source citation, I can't say for certain.

52. Davy, Let Justice Be Done, 88. Bradley would seem to be the pilot that Shackelford mistakenly connected to QK/ENCHANT.

53. Ibid., 88-9.

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