Justice Integrity Project
A former anti-Castro assassination squad leader confessed last fall that he saw his CIA handler meet with accused presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas six weeks before President Kennedy’s death on Nov. 22, 1963.
The powerful lecture by former Alpha 66 leader Antonio Veciana, 85, is one of nearly 44 hours of video lectures and panel discussions recently posted for free on the website of the Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC), which organized a major research conference for three days last September in Bethesda, MD.
The Justice Integrity Project was an active participant in the conference, which this editor helped open Sept. 26 by describing how Kennedy assassination research provides a key to understanding of current intrigues that are too recent for reliable documentary and witness evidence. Our JIP "Readers Guide" to the assassination below contains catalogs of materials and links research collections, as well as analytic commentaries pointing out flaws in the Warren Commission's official accounts of Kennedy's murder.
Veciana, shown at right in a file photo, spoke through a translator in a dignified and compelling manner at the AARC conference. He recalled that he, other anti-Castro militants, and some of their CIA handlers hated Kennedy during that era for failure to overthrow Castro after the Bay of Pigs amphibious invasion in April 1961 that the CIA and Kennedy's White House had mishandled.
But, Veciana said, he has come to appreciate Kennedy and his search for a balance of peace and strength. Therefore, the onetime prominent accountant in pre-Castro Cuba said he wanted to set the historical record straight even though doing so undercut the reputation of his late friend David Atlee Phillips, the CIA’s primary organizer of anti-Castro rebels and a man Veciana recalled as meeting Oswald within Veciana’s sight in advance of the assassination.
The identification has long been rumored in research circles based on comments by Veciana, who was seriously wounded more than three decades ago by unknown assailants who shot him in the head after he testified to House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) investigators. Veciana then came close to naming Phillips, a prominent CIA covert action operative.
Phillips responded by denying that he knew Oswald. Phillips founded the influential Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) in 1975 following his retirement from the agency. Phillips, shown in an autographed photo, ended his 25-year CIA career as chief of Latin American operations and died in 1988 at age 65.
The non-profit AARC organized "The Warren Report and the JFK Assassination: A Half Century of Significant Disclosures," one of history's most important JFK assassination
conferences. Forty-four authors, medical doctors, academics, lawyers, and other research experts convened to reveal recent findings differing from the Warren Commission's 1964 report that claimed that Oswald acted alone in killing the president with three shots fired from the rear.
A list of the opening morning presentations is immediately below, with links to the videos. AARC, whose mission is to provide public access to national records, released video recordings of the presentations without charge.
Full DVDs are expected soon to be available for sale. Viewers are encouraged to support the work of the AARC by making a tax-exempt donation. AARC's executive director is James Lesar.
The full agenda with links is here, with opening sessions listed below. The videos were produced by long time JFK researcher and video instructor Randolph Benson of Duke University, whose private company R Benson Film is wrapping up The Searchers, a documentary he produced about JFK researchers scheduled for fall release.
Editor's Note: The transparency advocacy organization WikiLeaks has begun publication of hundreds of thousands of electronically stolen cables from the government of Saudi Arabia in cooperation with a Lebanese newspaper. The Justice Integrity Project is reprinting as a guest column the group's announcement of its plan and purpose. In general, we disapprove of stolen documents, especially of as-yet unknown authenticity. A spokesman for the Saudi Foreign Ministry said the leaked cables were related to a recent cyberattack and suggested that some of the documents were “clearly fabricated.”
But additional factors are relevant here. These include the heavy influence of Saudi money and oil on U.S. policies, decision-makers, and world peace. One of the world's most repressive, autocratic and anti-democratic regimes is suspected of instigating and otherwise fostering many crimes, including funding of the 9/11 terrorists and the rampages of Al Qaeda and ISIS. As we here and others have reported in Senators: Expose Financers Of 9/11 Hijackers, only one 2016 presidential candidate and a few elected members of the U.S. Senate and House dare even look at the secret report by Congress in 2002 identifying which country funded the 9/11 terrorists. Even fewer dare co-sign resolutions in Congress to release those 28 pages to the American public and thereby risk their ongoing support from the Saudis and their allies on Wall Street, arms manufacture, energy extraction, intelligence services, and the corporate media.
Additionally, the Saudi government is now using U.S.-supplied arms and logistical help to perpetrate a one-sided air war and deadly food boycott targeting its neighbor Yemen, thereby inflicting death and disease on such a scale as to pose a threat soon of genocide.
The Saudi war of aggression intruding into a civil war began in March with no basis in international law under Nuremberg precedents and thus constitutes war crime. The devastation (portrayed at right in a typical scene) has generated no effective response from the global community, especially with the total breakdown of UN peace discussions June 19.
Also, the Saudi Royal family has undergone a historic succession following the death of King Abdullah in January and installation of a younger, more militant leadership under King Salman, shown in a file photo.
Moreover, June 21 marks the third anniversary of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's flight to secure political asylum in Ecuador's embassy in London, which was forced by the unjust and oppressive political prosecution of Assange by Swedish and British authorities who are suspected of succumbing to pressure from United States officials who wanted to suppress his organization's work. Our project broke major stories in 2010 and 2011 showing serious irregularities in Sweden's claims it was pursuing a non-political investigation of Assange. One example was on the Huffington Post, Rove Suspected In Swedish-U.S. Political Prosecution of WikiLeaks. Assange has never been charged with a crime arising from claims by two women who invited him to sleep with them during an August 2010 speaking trip to Sweden. Assange has refused to leave the embassy to travel to Sweden for fear that its government would repeat its occasional past practice of renditioning prisoners illegally at CIA request. Swedish officials have agreed to question him at Ecuador's embassy now that the five-year statute of limitations is set to expire on any crimes that might be alleged.
For such reasons, we publish a WikiLeaks summary of documents that go far beyond what the mainstream media is willing or able to share about Saudi leadership.
WikiLeaks publishes the Saudi Cables
On June 19 at 1pm GMT, WikiLeaks began publishing "The Saudi Cables," more than half a million cables and other documents from the Saudi Foreign Ministry that contain secret communications from various Saudi Embassies around the world.
The publication includes "Top Secret" reports from other Saudi State institutions, including the Ministry of Interior and the Kingdom's General Intelligence Services. The massive cache of data also contains a large number of email communications between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and foreign entities. The Saudi Cables are being published in tranches of tens of thousands of documents at a time over the coming weeks. WikiLeaks is releasing around 70,000 documents from the trove as the first tranche.
The Saudi Cables provide key insights into the Kingdom's operations and how it has managed its alliances and consolidated its position as a regional Middle East superpower, including through bribing and co-opting key individuals and institutions. The cables also illustrate the highly centralized bureaucratic structure of the Kingdom, where even the most minute issues are addressed by the most senior officials.
Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks publisher (shown in a file photo), said: "The Saudi Cables lift the lid on a increasingly erratic and secretive dictatorship that has not only celebrated its 100th beheading this year, but which has also become a menace to its neighbours and itself."
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a hereditary dictatorship bordering the Persian Gulf.
Despite the Kingdom's infamous human rights record, Saudi Arabia remains a top-tier ally of the United States and the United Kingdom in the Middle East, largely owing to its globally unrivaled oil reserves. The Kingdom frequently tops the list of oil-producing countries, which has given the Kingdom disproportionate influence in international affairs. Each year it pushes billions of petro-dollars into the pockets of UK banks and US arms companies. Last year it became the largest arms importer in the world, eclipsing China, India and the combined countries of Western Europe. The Kingdom has since the 1960s played a major role in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) and dominates the global Islamic charity market.
For 40 years the Kingdom's Ministry of Foreign Affairs was headed by one man: Saud al Faisal bin Abdulaziz, a member of the Saudi royal family, and the world's longest-serving foreign minister.
The end of Saud al Faisal's tenure, which began in 1975, coincided with the royal succession upon the death of King Abdullah in January 2015. Saud al Faisal's tenure over the Ministry covered its handling of key events and issues in the foreign relations of Saudi Arabia, from the fall of the Shah and the second Oil Crisis to the September 11 attacks and its ongoing proxy war against Iran.
As Jeb Bush announced his presidential bid June 15, an investigative reporter revealed that the CIA provided the future candidate with a high-level briefing in 1977 that helped launch his career.
Reporter, author and former Navy intelligence officer Wayne Madsen published a CIA document disclosing Bush’s briefing by the agency as Bush prepared in 1977 to become the Venezuela branch manager and a vice president for the influential Texas Commerce Bank.
Madsen headlined his June 12 column, Jeb Bush received comprehensive CIA briefing when he worked for bank in Caracas.
Published on the subscription site the Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), Madsen wrote:
A June 7, 1977 letter on Texas Commerce Bank stationery from "Jeb Bush" of the bank's International Banking Division, using post office box 2558 in Houston, to Robert W. Gambino, director of security for the CIA, thanks Gambino, who was in charge of issuing clearances for CIA official cover and NOC agents alike, for "arranging such a comprehensive and informative briefing" for Bush during his recent trip to Washington.
The Justice Integrity Project has independently confirmed that the document is authentic.
Madsen used the briefing and his sources to portray the banking job as a gateway to power for the younger Bush in the family tradition. Bush is shown in a photo by Gage Skidmore at this year's CPAC convention organized by the American Conservative Union.
Madsen noted also that Gambino resigned from the agency to support the George Bush for President campaign in 1980, and subsequently received political patronage jobs from the Reagan and Bush administrations that extended into the Clinton administration.
Gambino's career progress helps underscore the wild card advantage the Bush family holds over virtually all competitors, Republican and Democratic: Their embedded loyalists, often with a national security background, constitute a core of the nation's hidden government. Hillary Clinton also has loyalists from her husband's administration and her tenure as secretary of state embedded into Washington's military and security complex. But even that cannot compare with the Bush advantage, which draws from a century of relevant relationships encompassing finance, arms dealing, media and politics -- and fostered especially in the past 60 years via the fabulous synergies for the Bushes enabled by oil exploration, banking, intelligence work, foreign relationships, and political power.
The Texas Commerce Bank, co-founded by an ancestor of Bush family ally James Baker, has a long history of sensitive operations, including help in funding the 1950s CIA-front business operations of Jeb Bush’s father, George H.W. Bush.
The elder Bush became a covert CIA operative in the early 1950s while also a businessman co-founding Zapata Petroleum in 1953. Its affiliate Zapata Offshore was formed in 1954 with the help of funding from Texas National Bank, a major predecessor of the Texas Commerce Bank, according to the bank history But Also Good Business, co-authored in 1986 by professors Walter L. Buegner and Joseph A. Pratt.
The Bush family, Baker, their allies virtually never talk about such matters even though research indicates that all recent U.S. presidents have established secret relationships with the CIA or FBI before they entered politics. This enables politicians on the way up to establish strong bonds with the agencies and the powerful backers of the agencies on Wall Street and in such key sectors as energy, agri-business, mining, munitions, and media. Details are provided in Madsen's book The Manufacturing of a President (2010) and our own Presidential Puppetry (2013), among other accounts.
Regarding the media, Operation Mockingbird was the CIA's secret program to coordinate agency-friendly messaging among the nation's top broadcast networks, magazines and newspapers. Author Deborah Davis first revealed the program in her 1979 book Katharine the Great: Katharine Graham and Her Washington Post Empire, whose 20,000-copy first edition publisher Harcourt Brace Jovanovich pulverized under pressure from the Post and CIA. Davis was able find another publisher for the book in 1987 after winning a lawsuit settlement.
The campaign to expose the financiers of the 9/11 attacks has heated up as GOP presidential candidate Rand Paul and two other senators co-sponsored legislation to require release of a 2002 joint House-Senate report that has remained secret.
Paul, shown in an official photo, spoke at a June 2 press conference on Capitol Hill with representatives of 9/11 families to urge his senate colleagues and President Obama to release the report, which reputedly states that Saudi Arabia funded several of the accused 9/11 hijackers in Florida and California.
“Information revealed over the years does raise questions about [Saudi Arabia’s] support, or whether their support might have been supportive to these Al Qaeda terrorists,” said Paul, who introduced two bills to release the information.
Co-sponsoring one proposal are Senators Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Ron Wyden of Oregon. Neither of the two Democrats were present at the news conference, held at the Capitol's Visitors Center.
Political reporters failed for years to connect the dots on former House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s involvement in the national capital’s gay scene.
Even now, the mainstream and alternative media's "pack journalism" style remains focused almost solely on a near-frenzy to publish details about Hastert's personal activities. Meanwhile, they refrain from probing the broader implications of his clout. The man was second-in-line to the presidency from 1999 to 2007.
Whether from timidity or complicity, the media are focusing as usual in holding up one miscreant as a scapegoat while remaining nearly silent regarding a long term pattern of links between sex scandal, blackmail, federal contracts that bilk taxpayers, selective prosecution, and other corrupt policy making.
A tradition of such silence has enabled Hastert, 73, and other vice-seeking politicians to wield vast power over the public even though they are highly vulnerable to blackmailers and other controllers, as we shall amplify in future columns.
Today’s column begins a series arguing that the public needs to hear more about Washington’s patterns of corruption. Remember: Corrupt elected officials need not meet normal security clearances.
That’s the real story the public should care about regarding Hastert, who was elected to Congress in 1986. He resigned in 2007 to work as a lobbyist. His photo is from a C-SPAN appearance after he lost weight during recent years.
Update: AP via Washington Post, Hastert enters not guilty plea during 1st court appearance, June 10, 2015.
Hastert, the longest-serving Republican speaker in U.S. history, left office quietly. The ostensible reason? Because Democrats had prevailed in the 2006 House elections, thereby preventing his continuation in the top job.
Federal authorities unsealed an indictment May 28 accusing the former Illinois lawmaker of banking violations and false statements to the FBI stemming from his alleged agreement to pay $3.5 million hush money for matters unspecified in the indictment. He had represented the Illinois 14th district, which is west of Chicago and surrounds Aurora.
Sources later alleged the cover-up involved sex with an underage male while Hastert was a teacher and coach at Yorkville High School. The question of how Hastert obtained so much money is seldom being raised.
The defendant is scheduled for arraignment June 9 in Chicago’s federal court. He has not commented publicly on the charges. But many longtime friends have expressed disbelief in any wrongdoing and vouched for his good character.
A notorious federal judge has resigned under the threat of impeachment — and thus provided a harsh but useful lesson for civic activists everywhere.
According to a federal court order June 1, fellow judges within the Atlanta-based Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recommended to the national Judicial Council that Alabama U.S. District Judge Mark E. Fuller, shown at right during a courtroom appearance as a defendant, be impeached as a first step for removal from his lifetime appointment.
Fuller, a federal judge since 2002, announced through his attorneys his resignation effective Aug. 1.
The resignation provides important civic lessons in the career of a judge whose disgraceful conduct we have been documenting for six years. But the system has protected him until an Atlanta policeman arrested him last August in Atlanta on a misdemeanor charge of battery against his then-wife, Kelli Gregg Fuller. He is shown at left in a jail mugshot the morning of his arrest and at right in a later court appearance.
Fuller has also became widely known in legal reform circles for presiding over the 2006 trial and sentencing of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman in a federal corruption prosecution tainted by claims of gross legal irregularities. The Bush-era prosecution has been ratified by the courts and the Obama administration. Siegelman is not scheduled for release until mid-2017 for conduct that occurred in 1999.
Update: June 16 by Donald Watkins, prominent lawyer in Georgia and Alabama: A News Exclusive -- The Straw That Broke Mark Fuller’s Back.
A close study here and elsewhere of Fuller’s record has shown that his legally dubious decision-making has:
- Benefited his political allies and other cronies;
- Inflicted great suffering on political and personal targets appearing in his court;
- Led to his involvement in repeated personal scandals; and
- Received until now minimal correction from timid oversight systems in the courts, Executive Branch and congress.
Alabama blogger Roger Shuler summed up the abuses in a column this week, Mark Fuller was the face of a system that allowed shadowy characters, like Bob Riley, to avoid scrutiny. Shuler, who has written hundreds of columns about Siegelman, particularly his ordeals under Fuller, asserted a de facto alliance between the Republican judge Fuller and Siegelman's Republican rival, two-term Gov. Bob Riley (2003-2011).
"Fuller played a central role in the most notorious political prosecution of the period — and perhaps in American history — when he presided over the case of former governor Don Siegelman in the Middle District of Alabama," wrote Shuler, who has fled Alabama with his wife after they were charged with contempt of court in a libel case brought by a prominent Alabama attorney Rob Riley, son of the former governor Riley and himself a prospective congressional candidate. Shuler, arrested on the contempt charge and beaten in his garage by a deputy sheriff, was convicted in state "kangaroo court" proceedings of resisting arrest. He was held without bond through his trial for five months until he agreed in March 2014 to spike his columns about the younger Riley, all in gross violation of federal First Amendment precedents, among other due process issues.
"Siegelman remains at a federal prison in Oakdale, Louisiana, for a crime he did not commit — for a "crime," in fact, that does not exist under U.S. law," Shuler continued. "But this is where the Mark Fuller story becomes breathtakingly dark. Under judges like Fuller, and prosecutors of the Bush Department of Justice, it's not just a matter of innocent people winding up behind bars. Such a broken system allows individuals who have genuine ties to criminality to operate with impunity."
Out of Fuller's gross misconduct, however, comes a valuable lesson for civic activists frustrated by other such derelictions nationally, especially in such normally prestigious positions as the judiciary and prosecution offices:
Shame those who enable official misconduct, not simply the miscreant.
That is a harsh and difficult remedy, especially for those with scant influence compared to a wealthy judge holding a lifetime appointment.
But recent developments illustrate the need for persistence.