Anti-Castro militant ties CIA official to Lee Harvey Oswald

David Phillips

David A. Phillips oversaw CIA anti-Castro psychological warfare operations in 1963.

Writing in OpEdNews, attorney Jim Lesar posts the latest development in the evolving story of the role of the CIA in the events leading up to President Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas 50 years ago.

Antonio Veciana, a retired anti-Castro fighter, has confirmed that he saw an undercover CIA officer named David Phillips in the company pro-Castro activist Lee Oswald two months before Oswald is said to have shot and killed President Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963.

Veciana’s account calls attention to continuing CIA secrecy in the JFK story. Lesar is a veteran FOIA litigator who represents me in my lawsuit against the CIA, for the records of one of Phillips’s colleagues.

Where is this story going?

The CIA retains four operational files on Phillips, containing 606 pages of material, that it has never made public.

The CIA says these files are “Not Believed Relevant” to JFK’s assassination but that claim has never been confirmed. 

These files could shed light on Veciana’s account and Phillips’s actions as they related to the surveillance Oswald in 1963.

Veciana is a credible witness. He worked with Phillips in 1963 when the CIA was assisting Cuban exiles in mounting attacks on the government of Fidel Castro in Cuba. Phillips retired as chief of the agency’s Western Hemisphere Division in 1975.

Phillips died in 1988. He denied published charges suggesting involvement in a JFK murder. He once said privately that he believed JFK had been killed by CIA personnel.

There’s a good biographical sketch of Phillips on Education Forum, which tells of his tangled involvement in the JFK assassination story.

How to search the CIA files yourself

You can confirm the existence of the secret Phillips files by searching the National Archives online data base.

Enter the terms “David Phillips” on the first line and “NBR” (for Not Believed Relevant) on the second.

Click “Display Search Results”

You will see four “CIA Op Files on David Phillips.”

These are the secret files that might shed light on Phillips’s contact with Oswald in September 1963.

Their legal status is “Postponed,” according to National Archives. The CIA refused to review and release these records last year saying it lacked “time and resources.”

The Phillips files are not scheduled to be made public until October 2017.

 

 

113 comments

  1. Jason L. says:

    It’s too bad that Gaeton Fonzi didn’t live to see this day. It does further reinforce the credibility of his book, however, which is one of the very best on the assassination.

    • PBR says:

      Having read Fonzi’s seminal article in the Washingtonian regarding Veciana I’m struck by the fact that Veciana refused to identify Phillips as Bishop when they met face to face in the meeting engineered by Fonzi. No hard evidence has been produced to link the men. And when Veciana had the opportunity, with congressional cover and the certainty of mass publicity and thereby the attendant security for his personal being, he did not positively identify Phillips as Bishop. As such this interesting line of inquiry is just that. It’s simply a confirmation of what Fonzi believed as opposed to a verifiable allegation. Veciana had ample opportunity to copperfasten his original allegations. He failed to do so. Given that this statement is produced five decades after the fact I dare say it would scarce stand up in a Court of Law.

  2. bogman says:

    Geesus H. Christ. A chill went down by spine when I read this.

    I just got done reading “The Last Investigation” where Veciana was still being coy about his identification of Maurice Bishop as Phillips.

    This is huge news.

  3. Ronnie Wayne says:

    Yes it is huge news. Even so when it comes to widespread publication in the mass media I’ll believe it when I see it.
    More likely, if anything will be attempts to discredit Veciana.

    http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKveciana.htm?menu=JFKindex

  4. G. Albert says:

    Fonzi’s “Last Investigation”, is a very good book pointing to Oswald’s involvement with the intelligence community prior to JFK assassination… You add Newman’s “Oswald and the CIA” (2008 ed.), Morley’s “Our Man in Mexico and the Hidden History of CIA” (2008/11), and Simpich’s “State Secret” (ongoing at MFF)… and you get the feeling Oswald was not that much of a ‘loner’ after all… He was traveling through life with a lot of spooky friends…

    [A good background to all of these books is Martin’s "Wilderness of Mirrors" – to understand the disturbing psyche of these friends]…

    • Alan Dale says:

      ^ I could not have said it better. You may also be interested in Bayard Stockton’s Flawed Patriot which focuses on William K. Harvey, Dick Russell’s On the Trail of the JFK Assassins, and Larry Hancock’s Nexus, and Someone Would Have Talked are also excellent resources. Stay tuned for John M. Newman’s new three volume work on the assassination.

      For sharing thoughts and opinions in a civil environment, you may be interested in jfkessentials.com

  5. Hans Trayne says:

    Congratulations to your attorney, you & Mr. Veciana, Jeff. You all are bringing us closer to the truth about what transpired 50 years ago.

    I don’t believe people will hold the CIA of today accountable for the CIA of 50 years ago if everything that transpired is released. Withholding all historical information makes it appear today’s CIA condones the actions of former officials & operatives long gone; something I sincerely hope isn’t the case.

  6. Jean Davison says:

    The biggest problem, in my opinion, isn’t Veciana’s identification of “Bishop,” a man he knew, it’s his identification of Oswald, a stranger, almost three months later.

    Witness IDs of strangers are notoriously unreliable. Here’s one summary of the research:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eyewitness_identification#Rapid_decline_of_eyewitness_memory

    Think of all the people whose resemblance to Oswald has been pointed out — Billy Lovelady, Kerry Thornley, a Ruby employee named Crafard, and others. Oswald was a very ordinary-looking guy. How many of you here believes he could see someone like that once and correctly pick him out of a lineup a couple of months later?

    Besides, Oswald lived in New Orleans at the time and there’s no evidence that he was in Dallas in late August/early September.

    • Fearfaxer says:

      The comments about the difficulty of IDing Oswald works equally well against the WC testimony of Howard Brennan, to name just one. And while Dallas is quite a distance from New Orleans, Oswald certainly did have a way of getting around and about, didn’t he? In July, he was at Spring Hill College in Alabama, and shortly after Veciano claims to have seen him with Bishop/Phillips he was in Mexico City.

      • Fearfaxer says:

        By way of addendum, two things:

        1) If I were Antonio Veciano and I saw my CIA Control/Case Officer/Whatever speaking to someone in a public place I’d make damn sure I remembered what the guy looked like (and thanks to Marie Fonzi for pointing out that there are methods of sharpening your senses w/r/t this that people like Veciano are taught;
        2) Six months from today, I will begin my seventh decade of life, during which time I have crossed paths with untold thousands of people, AND NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THEM BORE EVEN THE SLIGHTEST RESEMBLANCE TO LEE HARVEY OSWALD.

        Please forgive the resort to all caps, but sometimes it’s warranted, and I think this is one such occasion.

      • Jean Davison says:

        The difference, Fearfaxer, is that we know Oswald was at Spring Hill and Mexico City because there is very good evidence for it. We even know how he got to those places (car and bus). There’s not a shred of evidence showing he was in Dallas in late August/early September. It’s based entirely on one man’s memory of a stranger’s face.

        I’d never say Oswald was guilty based on Brennan’s testimony alone.

        • JSA says:

          Where’s the evidence that Lee Harvey Oswald was actually IN Mexico City, Jean? Surveillance cameras? Audio tapes? Finger prints?

          Please enlighten us.

          • Jean Davison says:

            JSA, Mark Lane wrote a book arguing that Oswald wasn’t in Mexico City and left out 90% of the evidence that Oswald was there. For instance:

            The Cuban government provided Oswald’s visa application with his photo and signature:

            http://www.history-matters.com/archive/jfk/wc/wcvols/wh25/html/WC_Vol25_0422b.htm

            Testimony from Silvia Duran, who ID-ed Oswald as the person she dealt with at the Cuban Consulate. She said she gave him her phone number.

            Duran’s name and phone number in Oswald’s address book.

            A letter from Oswald to the Soviet Embassy in Washington talking about his visit to Mexico City.

            Testimony from passengers on buses to Mexico and back to Dallas ID-ing Oswald

            There’s more, but will that do?

          • JSA says:

            Mark Lane argued that Sylvia Odio saw Oswald visit her apartment in Dallas at the same time that he was supposed to be in Mexico City. I think she is a credible witness, certainly someone who swears that Oswald was the person she saw, along with two other Cubans. The WC took her story seriously but tried to discredit it, claiming that she was psychologically imbalanced. In other words, they tried to smear her credibility with Daniel Elsberg-style shrink attacks.

            The Sylvia Duran ID story needs further research as this may implicate LHO and is I think the best lead you’ve got. But don’t forget there were also Oswald imposters, at least one of whom was photographed in Mexico City. A tape from one was destroyed, as it was pretty damning evidence that contrasted with the Warren Commission’s story.

            There is some good scholarly review questioning the validity of Oswald’s typed letter (allegedly signed by him) to the Soviet Embassy in Washington, D.C. It very well could be a forgery designed to set LHO up:
            http://www.history-matters.com/pds/DP3_Overview.htm

            Testimony from passengers on buses can be taken either way: it can be discredited as the Warren Commission did with the majority of Dealey Plaza witnesses who thought shots came from the fence area on the grassy knoll. After all, much of the testimony that Mark Lane got from people was ignored by the Warren Commission, so why are a few bus passengers’ testimony suddenly so “golden”?

            What else do you have?

          • leslie sharp says:

            Jean, you’re trusting the eye witness testimony of two young girls from Australia en (giddy) route to Mexico City. How does their sighting compare to that of Veciana, a fairly serious man by all accounts, who claims to have seen Phillips with Oswald? This is a fickle application of research that in itself is controversial relating to the accuracy of eye witness accounts.

          • Jean Davison says:

            JSA,

            The WC didn’t “smear” Odio, it concluded that Oswald’s whereabouts were known and he couldn’t have been there. Bottom of the page here:

            http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=946&relPageId=346

            But Odio is a different issue. We were talking about the evidence that Oswald was in Mexico City, almost all of which Lane omitted in Plausible Denial.

            In addition to Marina and Ruth’s testimony (about the letter), there were other witnesses in Mexico who ID-ed Oswald, and tourist handouts he brought back, including this one with a date:

            http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=1141&relPageId=713

            Duran testified that Oswald gave her the photo that’s seen on his application and signed the papers in front of her.

            The Cuban government matter-of-factly acknowledged that Oswald visited the Consulate:

            http://www.history-matters.com/archive/jfk/wc/wcvols/wh25/html/WC_Vol25_0308b.htm

            As I recall, Lane falsely claimed that the WC had to rely on a bus ticket found at the Paine house as evidence of his trip — the WR didn’t even mention this ticket, and didn’t need to.

            Even if you want to argue that Oswald’s letter to the Soviet Embassy was forged, that Ruth and Marina lied, and that Duran and the other witnesses were *all* mistaken, Oswald was seen checking out of his N.O. apartment the day after Marina left for Dallas, and he wasn’t seen again in the U.S. until early October. If he wasn’t in Mexico during that time, where do you think he was?

            I disagree that there was an “imposter” in Mexico. People coming out of the Embassies weren’t wearing name tags, and the CIA picked a photo it thought might be Oswald, but wasn’t. There’s no evidence that the man in the photo was actually impersonating Oswald, despite Hoover’s statement to LBJ. But the tapes are also a whole other topic.

          • leslie sharp says:

            Jean, I agree with you on this issue. I have long wondered about the photo of the man who is alleged to have been impersonating Oswald. How did a photo of this man outside the embassy get catapulted to an impersonation of Oswald?

            If Duran can testify that Oswald’s photo is on an application at the Embassy, how did the idea that this other photograph was an image of Oswald when clearly they are dissimilar in appearance?

            I’m not fully up to speed, but did the “impersonator” theory come with any written documentation? Did this man sign anything indicating that he was posing as Oswald?

        • Fearfaxer says:

          JD,

          The Warren Commission never tried to fill in the blank periods where Oswald’s activities aren’t really known. Just as a for instance, they never did figure out how he returned from Mexico City to New Orleans (or when he got back to NO, IIRC), they just said he must have gotten back by bus on such and such a date. There’s no evidence he wasn’t in Dallas when he supposedly met with Bishop/Phillips, he might have been moldering away in New Orleans, he might have been elsewhere. Incidentally, I have never heard just how he got to Spring Hill College, you says it’s by car, if you have a source for that I’d be interested in knowing what it is (and I mean that as a sincere inquiry, BTW).

        • S.R. "Dusty" Rohde says:

          Leslie, a good deal of the info being tossed about in this thread on Oswald and Mexico City is not accurate.
          For instance, officials in Mexico City (Duran et al), while claiming Oswald had been there…all gave completely inaccurate physial descriptions of him.
          The primary witness to claim Oswald was on the bus was Albert Osborne (CIA-suspected of being in charge of the CIA ran Mexico hit squads.
          Cuban officials who claimed to speak with Oswald stated he was fluent in Spanish but barely spoke Russian. The exact opposite of Oswald.
          So be aware of info being omitted.

          • Jean Davison says:

            Dusty,

            Albert Osborne could hardly have been used as a “primary witness,” or any other kind of witness, since he denied sitting next to Oswald on the bus. The actual witnesses were Mr. and Mrs. McFarland and two Australian tourists.

            http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=946&relPageId=757

            Silvia Duran (last name Tirado in the cite below) not only testified that the man she saw was Lee Harvey Oswald, she said he went out for a photo for his application and when he returned, she checked to be sure the photo matched his appearance.
            http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=954&relPageId=33

            What Cuban officials said Oswald was fluent in Spanish? And what are your sources, please?

          • leslie sharp says:

            SR Rhode,
            I agree, nothing is served by omitting detail that might tip the debate, deliberate or not.

            In this discussion, I was more interested in the photo of the alleged impostor, and precisely what earned him that designation? I remember Jeff Morley references him in “Our Man…,, ” but I wonder if anyone can elaborate.

    • Marie Fonzi says:

      In The Last Investigation my husband, Gaeton, relates how Veciana told him that he was positive it was Oswald he saw with Phillips. He told Gaet that Bishop (Phillips) himself had taught him strategies for remembering and identifying people.
      Marie Fonzi

      • Jean Davison says:

        I mean no disrespect to you or your late husband, Mrs. Fonzi, but I disagree.

        A lot of answers in this case are “counter-intuitive.” People quite naturally assume that if a witness is certain of an identification, or if the witness has been trained to remember people, this means that the memory is more likely to be accurate. Strangely enough, research has shown that training and confidence really don’t matter very much, if at all. There’s a lot available on the internet about this subject. Here’s one site, for instance:

        http://eyeid.wordpress.com/category/police-as-witnesses/

        • mitchell says:

          Don’t you think that you’re objection to the reliability of memory is rendered almost moot by the revelation that David Phillips had been running an anti Fair Play For Cuba Committee operation?

          Is it just coincidence that he MAY have been seen with a dubious member of the FPCC as well?

        • Paulf says:

          So Jean, if Veciana denied seeing Oswald, you would say that is evidence that Oswald was not connected. And you say that Veciana’s recollection of seeing Oswald is evidence that he didn’t.

          Take a methodology and stick with it. Otherwise it looks like you have arrived at a pre-determined result and are making up arguments to fit.

          • leslie sharp says:

            ^ Paul, I concur, and on occasion have encountered this method as well. What drives the application of these alleged generally accepted truths, i.e., eyewitnesses should seldom be trusted? As you challenged, Veciana could be trusted if he insisted it was NOT Oswald?

          • leslie sharp says:

            apologies, “EYE witnesses”

          • Jean Davison says:

            Paul and Leslie, I sorry but I don’t understand your point. I didn’t say “eyewitnesses should seldom be trusted.” This isn’t about “trust.” It’s a fact that eyewitnesses often ID the wrong person. Are you disputing that?

          • leslie sharp says:

            Jean, before this gets silly, can you restate your assertion relating to whether or not eyewitness testimony should be “trusted, believed, taken seriously, considered valid, viewed as accurate.” My apologies if I have misconstrued your argument, but it seems to me that you reject Veciana’s assertion that he saw Phillips and Oswald were together because you do not think that Veciana saw what he said he saw, based on studies that rule that eyewitnesses ….

          • Paulf says:

            Jean, after all this lovely talk about eyewitness being unreliable, you cite eyewitness testimony (from whom you do not say) as evidence that Oswald was in Mexico City.

            THAT is why I don’t take your posts seriously. If an eyewitness suits you, you find it credible. If the witness says something you don’t like, then eyewitnesses in general are unreliable. Pick a position and stick with it.

            I covered courts for five years. Eyewitness testimony is unreliable in identifying crime suspects, I agree 100%. However, you take each situation as it comes. Veciana’s situation is a lot different than a random crime scene.

          • Jean Davison says:

            Paulf,

            Apparently you don’t see a difference between a single witness’s ID of a stranger with no corroborating evidence, and SEVERAL witness IDs plus a LOT of corroborating evidence.

            I’m not saying Oswald was in Mexico because a single witness said so, or even because several people said so — the witnesses are only PART of the evidence he was there. I cite Duran in particular because she handled Oswald’s visa application and later gave sworn testimony to the HSCA. Here’s her name and number in Oswald’s address book:

            http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=1133&relPageId=78

            On the other hand you’ve got Veciana’s claim and what else? …. speculation? suspicion? And you think *I’m* the one who’s inconsistent in evaluating evidence?

          • Paulf says:

            Jean:

            Now we’re getting somewhere. If eyewitness testimony is not reliable, the number of eyewitnesses is only marginally important. But you correctly note that corroborating evidence is important. Excellent.

            But that works in favor of the Veciana, for reasons already pointed out by others here. For one thing, he apparently had some training in identification techniques. Oswald wasn’t some random person and Phillips was someone Veciana was familiar with.

            And corroborating evidence is that Phillips was working with the group that there is evidence Oswald was associated with.

            You can choose to not believe anything you don’t want to believe, and of course nothing is certain, but I’d say the odds are that Veciana is more likely to be right than wrong.

          • leslie sharp says:

            Paulf: I’ve encountered one or two people who were educated at Georgetown University and Princeton. One, from near Lubbock, TX. and employed by the TVA in his early career, described to me his training to spot every single aspect in a particular setting … lighting, clothing, wedding ring not a wedding ring, frown, shoestrings, belt loops, and/or any TELL that might register for reference in a future issue; the other person described the skills learned in remote viewing taught at Princeton in the PEAR experiment.

            Jean Davidson must consider these facts when she states “this is life (as we now know it – paraphrase) folks.”

            The argument is: Veciana was of an age that if he claimed to have been trained to remember faces and incidents he may well have been; it is as equally valid to apply the aforementioned training and expertise to his story as it is to apply Jean’s argument that eyewitness testimony should be scrutinized very closely.

        • Paulf says:

          Jean, I don’t dispute that eyewitness testimony can be unreliable. That is absolutely,true. But:

          1) You are making a general argument against a specific piece of testimony with nothing to back up your position. That eyewitnesses can make mistakes is not evidence that this particular ID is wrong.

          2) The skeptics on this site are inconsistent in their use of methodology behind arguments. If you want to discount any and all eyewitness testimony, fine, but that we all can read how selective the arguments are. You and I know if this guy agreed with you, you would cite his eyewitness status as critical evidence.

          • Jean Davison says:

            How can I make it any clearer? Eyewitness IDs of strangers have been shown to be unreliable, and no, I wouldn’t accept any such ID that “agreed with me” — not unless it was corroborated by other evidence. I’ve already said that I wouldn’t vote Oswald guilty on Brennan’s ID alone (I’ve said that for years, not just here). Brennan could have been mistaken. The other
            evidence tells me he wasn’t, so I believe him. What other evidence says Veciana saw Oswald? None that I know of.

            Please read the research on eyewitness memory available online. I’m just the messenger here, don’t shoot me.

    • TLR says:

      Remember Phillips’ unpublished novel, The AMLASH Legacy, which is probably a limited hangout like Hunt’s, an attempt near the end of his life to leak a little bit of the truth mixed with a lot of fiction:

      “I was one of the two case officers who handled Lee Harvey Oswald. After working to establish his Marxist bona fides, we gave him the mission of killing Fidel Castro in Cuba. I helped him when he came to Mexico City to obtain a visa, and when he returned to Dallas to wait for it I saw him twice there. We rehearsed the plan many times: In Havana Oswald was to assassinate Castro with a sniper’s rifle from the upper floor window of a building on the route where Castro often drove in an open jeep. Whether Oswald was a double-agent or a psycho I’m not sure, and I don’t know why he killed Kennedy. But I do know he used precisely the plan we had devised against Castro. Thus the CIA did not anticipate the President’s assassination but it was responsible for it. I share that guilt.”

    • Brian LeCloux says:

      Jean, also: why would a trained intelligence officer schedule meetings with contacts so that both would see one another?

    • Neil says:

      This is unlike other Oswald sightings where Oswald’s whereabouts can be accounted for by his time card where he worked or witnesses like Marina and Ruth Paine.

      Like the Sylvia Odio meeting, it can’t be ruled out that Oswald was really there in Dallas with Phillips. His whereabouts are not totally accounted for through the entire time when this meeting allegedly happened.

      As for Veciana, he seems fairly credible. If he weren’t sure the man he saw was Oswald, he probably wouldn’t have raised the issue.

    • paulc says:

      Jean, Let’s be clear. Are you saying that you now acknowledge that Bishop is Phillips, and you believe Veciana on that part of the identification?

      • Jean Davison says:

        Paulc,

        No, I don’t know that Phillips was Bishop. Veciana has denied it in the past and the HSCA found reasons to doubt his credibility. See the two pages starting here:

        http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=800&relPageId=166

        My argument has been that even if Phillips were Bishop, even giving Veciana the benefit of the doubt, his ID of Oswald is questionable because of the reasons I’ve given in this thread.

        • Rufus Pinochle says:

          Your point is well taken. But, to be provocative, would you say Veciana’s ID of Oswald is more or less questionable than the putative trajectory of CE399 given the observed locations of the holes in Kennedy’s coat and shirt?

          Veciana’s credibility is absolutely crucial, for if he is to be believed, then he certainly thought he saw Oswald with Bishop; and, perhaps more importantly, he was unambiguously solicited by Bishop to play a role in disseminating disinformation linking Oswald to Cuban intelligence. It’s possible that the latter, if true, influenced his recollection of the former (which may not have been true, even though he believed it to be).

        • Mitch says:

          Did you read the books of Fonzi and Summers? They both found CIA employees who were able to corroborate each other. Phillips was Bishop.

          Don’t you think it more likely Veciana did not feel comfortable publicly outing his contact than the possibility that all the evidence Phillips was Bishop (including the decent artist’s sketch) all coincidentally converges on Phillips?

          Don’t you think it likely that IF you were an asset of a US Intelligence officer you would be told to not to identify your controller publicly?

          You can’t honestly believe ‘Bishop’ would have allowed that? This type of ‘analysis’ by the Oswald Did It Alone Crowd that we just can’t take seriously.

  7. Dan says:

    I don’t think it would be good tradecraft for a high level officer like Phillips to be meeting with Oswald on a highly sensitive subject in a place they might be observed. Another anamoly is that if one credits Oswald’s statement that he was just a patsy, then the subject of any such meeting was not a planned assassination. Phillips was involved in CIA’s activities against the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, so perhaps the meeting if it occurred was related to FPCC.

    • TLR says:

      Yes, it probably was related to FPCC and Oswald’s agent provocateur activities. This is how you set up an uwitting patsy to take the blame for the assassination – Phillips was one of his handlers, guiding his movements.

  8. Ronnie Wayne says:

    A couple of other interesting links in regard to Veciana:

    http://www.nsa.gov/public_info/_files/jfk/jfk00227.pdf

    http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?s=48885f5c5fcfb01c6a13093384ce01bf&showtopic=8680

    A couple of quotes you can find in the second.
    “It was my CIA case office Maurice Bishops idea to attack the ships to cause trouble between Kennedy and Kruschev”.
    “I have a lot of information but I’m keeping that to myself because it is my life insurance” (to Fonzi).
    Also, find that he was shot in the head from a passing vehicle shortly after the HSCA testimony.

  9. Glenn Nall says:

    I do firmly believe that one of these “this just in”s is going to finally topple what apathy or resistance remains of those who have the power to initiate either the next investigation (I’m reading Oglesby discuss this very thing right now) or some real disclosure – so LONG as the cause is kept alive, as it has been so well for the past 50 years.

  10. Marie Fonzi says:

    to Hans, Thank also to Joaquin Godoy, a dear friend of Gaeton
    Fonzi, who communicated with Antonio Veciana for me repeatedly
    throughout the year.

    • Hans Trayne says:

      My sincerest thanks to all courageous persons involved in bringing truth about JFK’s murder to the public, Marie. I’m sure the public has a million questions about your husband’s work & private thoughts as well as any hearsay info Mr. Antonio Veciana may have heard from associates he came in contact with. You can communicate with the global public, share info & respond to global questions while maintaining your privacy here with Jeff Morley’s courageous & unprecedented crusade for JFK transparency & also at YouTube.

      I only wish your equally courageous & smart husband could see his intelligent perceptions developing into reality, Marie. Wherever he is I salute him just as I salute you, Marie & all those courageous souls bringing closure to this sad chapter of history.

    • Phil Gurholt says:

      Mrs. Fonzi,

      If you do not consider it a private matter, What was the content of your communication attempts to Mr. Veciana?

  11. Photon says:

    Yes, I always consider the claims of a convicted felon drug runner credible.

    • Neil says:

      Yeah and it’s a shame that the CIA didn’t hire more choir boys to go after Castro. Seems like most people involved with the plots against Castro also had criminal underworld ties

    • Brad Milch says:

      Phillips obviously didn’t have a problem with Veciana’s background (whose early meeting arrival with Phillips made his observation of Lee Oswald & Phillips & accidental observation).

      One cannot sling drug running or dealing as dirt to discredit without also including the CIA. The Agency of the early 1960′s also didn’t have problems with the likes of Sam Giancana, Santo Trafficante Jr. & Johnny Roselli (to name but a few).

      Mr. Veciana survived an assassination attempt shortly after his HSCA testimony. The fact he is still alive & willing to set the record straight is a small & much welcomed miracle.

      • Photon says:

        The veracity of a convicted drug running criminal who served 2 years in a federal prison should be self-evident ; but as conspiracy believers accept even mental patients who have been committed as serious witnesses it would appear that rational considerations in this regard are pointless.

        • Mitch says:

          Your point sounds fair, but is rendered totally moot. If you read some of the best recent books on the assassination, you’d know that David Phillips was running an anti Fair Play for Cuba operation for the CIA at the time of this supposed encounter.

          So, if you don’t want to trust a single person’s three month old passing identification, I’m with you.

          But, if we now have evidence that Phillips was attacking the FPCC at this time, and that an agent had already penetrated the FPCC, why would you even question whether Phillips would meet with a somewhat dubious member of the organization?

          Because it was in public, with another agent around? No one is claiming that they know with certainty that Phillips was aware that Oswald would be used in a plot to assassinate JFK at this date.

          So, please, could Jean Davison or Photon explain this striking coincidence?

        • leslie sharp says:

          Photon, you seem to apply a similar methodology as that identified earlier by Paulf relating to an exchange with Jean Davidson. You apply analysis in a selective manner. Criminals and mental patients are not to be taken seriously, and yet Jack Ruby’s mental condition – ruled on by one Jolly West, a veteran of the MkUltra operation – suggests to you a variety of rational explanations ranging from why he murdered Oswald in front of a cadre of armed authorities, to the completely irrational claim that he was prompted by a desire to protect Jackie from an unpleasant investigation – far more unpleasant of course than seeing her husband’s brain splattered across her lap. I cannot follow the reasoning.

        • Jason L. says:

          This goes both ways. After all, David Phillips lied repeatedly to HSCA investigators. In some sense, this case is a maze because the CIA people are professional liars (and sometimes, even perjurers). The CIA collectively has done highly illegal things over the years – the JMWAVE station itself was arguably illegal, and the key players we’re talking about were all affiliated or connected with this station in some way.

          This just drives home the point: after 50 years, we still don’t know who Oswald really was, and to what extent he was affiliated with US intelligence agencies, and one has to suspect that this is by design. We deserve to know our own history.

    • Ronnie Wayne says:

      Maybe framed would be a better word. Remember the French Connection or Iran Contra/Pegasus if you want to speculate about credibility.

    • Jason L. says:

      This is of course one thing you might take into account when evaluating credibility. He certainly could be mistaken. But what reason would he have to lie? In fact, it could be strongly against his interest to claim this (it may be unrelated, but someone shot him in the head in 1979).

      It’s yet another one of these “he’s lying” or “mistaken” witnesses for the lone nutters who still experience no cognitive dissonance over the evidence.

      • Smokie says:

        It’s the sad truth that when the real evidence is systematically buried or destroyed, the only thing that is left for us are witnesses who, of course, get painted as liars or delusionals by the very people that are hiding the truth.

        I’d WISH the JFK assassination was the only incident where this happens. But unfortunately this conduct is far more wide-spread. I’ll only say “pedophile ring cover-ups”, that ought to be enough info…

        • Jean Davison says:

          Jason and Smokie,

          I’m not accusing anyone of lying or being “delusional.” I’m stating the well- established fact that eyewitness IDs of strangers is often wrong. As the Innocence Project has shown, hundreds of people have been wrongly convicted based on mistaken eyewitness testimony. The witnesses weren’t lying or delusional, and many were absolutely certain they’d picked the right guy — they were simply wrong. This is real life, folks, not something I made up.

          I believe Veciana may’ve seen someone *he later believed* was Oswald. Many dozens if not hundreds of other people told the cops/FBI that they saw someone they later thought was Oswald (but wasn’t).

          If Oswald had been living in Dallas at the time, the story would be easier to believe, but he was over 500 miles away and there’s no indication that he went anywhere in late August-early September.

          • leslie sharp says:

            Over 500 miles away so Veciana could not have seen Oswald. And also, Oswald was in Mexico because eyewitnesses say he was on a bus with them when they were en route to MC? Do we trust those eyewitnesses?

            I know there is evidence of bus tickets, etc., but if eyewitnesses like Veciana who saw Oswald with Phillips are not to be trusted, I would counter that all of the paper evidence in this entire case could have been fabricated. That is an extreme claim, but no more so than claiming that Veciana did not see Phiilips and Oswald together. What is the proof that he did not? A website addressing memory research?

            And the photograph disseminated as Proof that Lee Harvey Oswald was in MC – now somewhat of a paradigm shift in understanding the depth of the conspiracy because even Mexico City didn’t know what they were dealing with – proves that false information was being floated for the purpose of confusion and obfuscation.

            I’m still baffled by this argument: “this is life, folks” … people’s memories cannot be relied upon. I’m not meaning to incite, but I too have studied the memory syndrome and have come away with an entirely different conclusion which is, humans with no ax to grind, no agenda, can usually be relied on to recall events accurately. I concede that interpretation of those events is subjective, but the physical details should for the most part be considered very carefully as evidence.

            If Veciana is being accused of having an agenda, an ax to grind, that is a different argument entirely. But I believe the issues should be separated.

          • Jean Davison says:

            Leslie,

            Please don’t put words in my mouth. I didn’t say Veciana “couldn’t have seen Oswald” because of the distance or that Oswald was in Mexico because witnesses saw him on a bus.

            There is plenty of evidence that Oswald was in Mexico but no evidence that he was in Dallas other than Veciana’s claim. If you don’t see the difference, what can I say?

            You ask, “Do I trust those eyewitnesses?” No, I don’t “trust.” I believe them only because the other evidence supports what they say (same reason I believe Brennan saw Oswald in the window.)

          • Mitch says:

            Jean, Oswald certainly had no problem traveling when motivated. We also have a window in September where Oswald could have made that trip (I believe Sept 7-9).

            But, most importantly, what are the odds that Veciana would be wrong about Phillips meeting someone Phillips’ job may require him to meet? If Phillips was running an anti-FPCC operation, wouldn’t we think it typical for him to meet a rather dubious “member” of that organization?

            You can’t believe this is a coincidence?

          • leslie sharp says:

            I apologize Jean, for combining the two to make a point, and should not have done so.

          • Jean Davison says:

            Mitch, You’re making an assumption that Phillips’ job required him to meet certain people, then assuming that Oswald was somehow involved in his anti-FPCC operation. I’d say the odds of your proving that are not good.

          • Jean Davison says:

            Thank you, Leslie. I appreciate that.

          • Mitch says:

            I actually don’t have to prove anything, and the fact that you dodged the issue betrays the utter weakness of your interpretation of the possible meeting:

            we know that CIA penetrated the FPCC, as late as July 1963, we know that Phillips had been tasked with overseeing an operation that included infiltrating a student into the organization who was interested in starting a chapter.

            So I am supposed to prove something to you before I find it coincidental that Phillips was IDed with a young man who started his own FPCC chapter and ‘accidentally’ connected that organization to Marxism and the Soviet Union?

            If you can’t admit it quite lucky that Veciana IDs Phillips with a ‘member’ of the FPCC when Phillips had been actively trying to penetrate the organization, then I cannot think you’re even interested in the concept of an event that is so unpalatable to your beliefs.

            Phillips job required him smear the FPCC and the CIA had already penetrated them once, I am offering the possibility that meeting with an ‘Oswald’ like character could easily fall in line with that job. I do not have to prove anything, I am pointing out a coincidence that should be honestly and thoroughly explained.

            It was John Newman who cited this CIA memo (of February 1, 1961) stating that Phillips was tasked with overseeing the anti FPCC operation including a fake member into that organization. That is proof Phillips would’ve communicated with a member of the FPCC. So there is ZERO assumption there.

            As to my ‘assumption’ that Oswald would’ve been associated with a Phillips run penetration of the FPCC, you’re entirely missing the point of corroboration. You know that authors have found Oswald’s FPCC membership little odd (forming a fake chapter, giving honorary cards to Communists like Gus Hall, his leafleting that somehow leads to the local news showing up in 15 minutes, a radio performance that associates the group with Communism, etc). This new information that Phillips was a guy a fake FPCC member would possibly meet corroborates the Veciana ID.

            And it is obvious to anyone who thinks about it for more than 3 minutes.

          • Jean Davison says:

            Mitch,
            I haven’t “dodged the issue,” I don’t agree with your interpretations. I don’t agree that Oswald was an insincere leftist and don’t agree with your reading of the Feb. 1, 1961, memo that’s discussed on a pro-conspiracy site here:

            http://jfkcountercoup2.blogspot.com/2013/05/newman-on-fpcc.html

            Apparently a CIA employee interviewed a genuine Castro supporter and reported what he found out. How this corroborates Phillips meeting Oswald, I don’t know.

            By the time Veciana claimed to have seen Phillips with Oswald, Oswald’s association with the FPCC was well-known. I don’t see how that’s “lucky.”

          • Mitch says:

            Jean, you didn’t finish reading the page, or Newman’s book. The memo of the meeting clearly states that David Phillips is running an anti FPCC operation, it goes on to state that the CIA employee in question will continue to spy on an FPCC member at the request of David Phillips himself. This meant that Phillips did speak with a CIA employee spying on the FPCC in 1961. It’s no giant leap to at least ask the question as to whether Phillips would meet with a member of the FPCC in ’63.
            Veciana could easily have read the Warren Report and seen that LHO involved himself with the PFCC. But, are you implying that he also knew Phillips was working with/against this organization (which, yes, your protests aside, included meeting with at least one man who spied on the group)?
            Can’t you admit that Veciana accidentally chose for two seemingly random people to meet who both had the FPCC in common? Who knew David Phillips had worked against the FPCC when Fonzi was interviewing Veciana? I doubt Veciana would have known that, even though the man he was meeting clearly was David Phillips. Do you think Phillips just said one day: …”Tony, I worked to end that Pro Castro group a couple of years back. if you ever see me with someone that looked like Lee Harvey Oswald – who was a member of that group, those two pieces of data could be interpreted to corroborate each other.”…?
            Nowhere did I state that I knew or believed that LHO’s Pro FPCC activity was part of Phillips Anti FPCC operation. I merely stated that LHO’s membership was dubious – which I think is the common interpretation, even if he was a leftist (which I find persuasive). I doubt much more will be proven, lost files, redactions, and withheld documents have made that pretty difficult 50 years later.

            So, if you continue asking for any kind of “proof” instead of answering that question on whether this situation is a bit of a striking coincidence, I will continue to think you’re being at least unintentionally obtuse if not intentionally evasive.

          • Jean Davison says:

            Mitch, I’m not sure what you’re referring to on that page or in Newman’s book, but I really don’t see the connection here that you do. The memo says Phillips was spying on a sincere pro-Castro person not “running” a fake one, and the operation ended quickly when the FBI found out about it.

          • Mitch says:

            From the link you provided:

            “…The file of the Subject, along with that of the WH man who is supervising the operation (David Atlee Phillips #40695)…”

            From David Kaiser:

            “In July 1963, the agency infiltrated an informer from the New York chapter of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee…”

            If you don’t think those two quotes (along with LHO’s relationship with the FPCC) make the rightly disputed story by Veciana more viable, there’s no point in furthering this discussion.

    • bogman says:

      Veciana was a bank executive in Cuba when the CIA recruited him during the revolution. I’m going to guess a lot of people you admire were fans of Veciana and his years of service to the American government.

    • TLR says:

      Sorry the CIA doesn’t associate more often with the League of Women Voters and the PTA. Can’t be helped, it’s the nature of the business.

      Try reading Gary Webb’s DARK ALLIANCE or James Mills’ THE UNDERGROUND EMPIRE.

    • Marie Fonzi says:

      Mr. Veciana is an honorable family man with an impeccable reputation who obviously was setup on the narcotics charges. Read the details in The Last Investigation.

      • Mitch says:

        I think all serious readers and writers about the assassination agree with you. And we are certainly all indebted to your husband AND yourself as well as Veciana.

      • Photon says:

        Obviously set up. How honorable was it to fraudulently participate in a state election?
        Did you forget that?

    • Fearfaxer says:

      I’m curious, just how do you think most drug dealers get convicted? Frequently, it’s due to the testimony of people who are themselves drug dealers. Same goes for murderers, embezzlers, etc.

  12. Chris Kade says:

    This news seems pretty big to me. I always thought that Veciana was being coy about identifying Phillips as Bishop. Now apparently he feels the time has come to end the gamesmanship. As I say, seems like pretty big news.

  13. Preston Newe says:

    It should be obvious with this recent development just why the CIA is hanging on to David Phillips records: the public will want to know what he was discussing with ‘failure, can’t keep a job, loser, loner’ Lee Oswald prior to Antonio Veciana observing the two together following their meeting.

    There’s already much speculation buzzing around the Internet as to what the discussion between Phillips & Oswald may have been about just as there is already a crusade developing to discredit Antonio Veciana.

  14. JG says:

    “The next investigation”

  15. Marie Fonzi says:

    I can see why the murder of JFK has never been solved. If there is this much dissention on this website, you should all realize you are going around in circles with the mirrors the CIA set up. I’m out of here with the final statement that you are forgetting the importance of this revelation: PHILLIPS WAS BISHOP.

    • S.R. "Dusty" Rohde says:

      Marie, appearances can be deceiving. There are some who post deliberate misinformation here, as can often be found elsewhere. But for the most part most of them are known. So while it may appear as dissention, it is actually disection. We aren’t fooled by misinformation, we simply take the opportunities to blow holes in false assertions by providing facts.

    • Chris Roberts says:

      Agreed.It has been believed by some for years in reaserch community that Phillips was Bishop.Now that Is fact.

      I turn 40 next year and has been intrested In case since I was 17 In 1991.I can still remember watching the men who killed kennedy when they premiered In US on A&E.

      And some try to tell me JFK case Is solved.There Is nothing that hints at anything but Oswald,who still to this day they don’t provide a motice and denying it disproves the doing it for fame claim,shooting JFK and buying the lies Ruby told about killing Oswald.

    • Jean Davison says:

      Please don’t leave because I disagreed with you. As you can see, there are many people here who *do* agree with you.

    • JG says:

      No credibility.

      • Mitch says:

        Fonzi and Summers have already corroborated that Phillips was Bishop. There is no room for disagreement. If there is, someone just publicly refute every piece of evidence that Phillips was Bishop.

        I would read it with an open mind.

  16. EconWatcher says:

    If Veciana’s account is credible, wouldn’t this be the most significant new piece of information in many years? Why didn’t he speak up before now?

  17. Photon says:

    If Oswald wasn’t in Dallas

  18. Kennedy63 says:

    Veciana connected Phillips (Bishop) to Oswald when no one else had. What is fascinating is the realization that now New Orleans can be viewed for what it was, and why Oswald was there – he was being set up as the Patsy in the assassination of JFK. Johannides and DRE, Bishop and Oswald, Oswald in Mexico City (station Phillips was associated) WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!

    • Alan Dale says:

      ^ Sorry to disagree. You are disregarding the increasingly persuasive theory that Oswald may have been involved in authorized clandestine operations (such as a joint FBI/CIA program designed to discredit the FPCC), which were being orchestrated by intelligence executives who had nothing to do with the president’s assassination. Dr. John Newman concluded many years ago that the idea of some element within CIA “piggy-backing” a sinister plan to incriminate a low-level, disposable asset upon authorized operations in which Oswald was already being utilized is a very real and very disturbing possibility.

      Please refer to Dr. Newman’s 2008 edition of Oswald and the CIA, Jeff Morley’s Our Man In Mexico: Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA, and Bill Simpich’s State Secret which is currently available from Preface thru Chapter 5 courtesy of Bill and the Mary Ferrell Foundation:

      http://www.maryferrell.org/wiki/index.php/Featured_State_Secret_Preface

      • leslie sharp says:

        Agreed, not everything at the time was overtly related to the assassination. But doesn’t the FBI/CIA operation against the FPCC in New Orleans connect to the Adele Edison saga that most certainly centered on Oswald? Edison’s story indicates that while in DC, she was directed to send a message to Oswald; an agent related to Edison’s story was New Orleans-based Orin Bartlett, a liaison between the FBI and the CIA.

  19. Ronnie Wayne says:

    Mrs. Fonzi, Thank You Very Much for your comments, they are very much appreciated by some. I just today ordered your husband’s book and Mr. Morley’s. I’ve read many over the years, there are so many to read, some questionable. From reviews I expect both to be reliably informative.
    Thanks again for your insight.

  20. TLR says:

    The HSCA said it could not determine Oswald’s whereabouts during the period August 21st or 22nd and September 17th 1963. This is the period not only of the Veciana sighting but also of the Clinton, Louisiana appearances.

    • Jean Davison says:

      TLR,

      Could you give me a link to that HSCA statement, please? According to the Mary Ferrell chronologies, Oswald’s whereabouts on those dates are known.

      • TLR says:

        Actually this is from Fonzi’s The Last Investigation. I don’t know if the HSCA said that, or this was an unpublished report. If you look at Ferrell’s chronologies from August 22 to September 17, you see some letter writing by Oswald, claims of job interviews that appear to be made up, and that’s about it.

        • Jean Davison says:

          Sorry, I misread your statement, thinking you were referring to those specific dates alone, not the time between them. My bad.

          Marina said that Oswald wasn’t gone overnight during that time. Saying that it was possible for him to be there doesn’t make it probable.

          • TLR says:

            Well, maybe Phillips was meeting with the Oswald imposter of Sports Drome/Downtown Lincoln-Mercury/Mexico City fame. :-)

  21. JG says:

    Philips never met with Oswald.

    • Mitch says:

      It’s obvious to all of us that you could never demonstrate that. And, yes, new evidence tends to vindicate Veciana’s recollection. No one seems to be able to refute his story that Bishop tried paying Veciana’s relative to connect Oswald to the Cuban government after the assassination. You know, because Bishop/Phillips had absolutely nothing to do with Oswald, right?

      You’re on the losing side of history, but if you post any actual data to demonstrate your position, we will check it out.

  22. Curt says:

    I believe Veciana said he arrived early for his meet up with Phillips, that might explain why he saw Oswald, Phillips didn’t expect Veciana that early.

  23. Esquire says:

    I believe Antonio Veciana: Maurice Bishop is, none other than, David Atlee Phillips, and he saw Phillips and Oswald together ~9/63.

    Veciana stated that he would receive training from Bishop in Havana, in a building at the corner of La Rampa y 23 – where there was an office pertaining to a mining company and also housed a branch of Berilitz School of languages. This checks out:

    Moa Bay Mining Co., Edif. La Rampa, 8 piso, Calle 23 No. 171, Vedado. Tel. 30-5541.

    Berlitz School of Languages, Calle 23 No. 171, Vedado. Tel. 30-4720

    Source: http://cuban-exile.com/doc_201-225/doc0217.html

    David Atlee Phillips was living in Havana at the time of the training ~ 1960.

    PHILLIPS, David Atlee (Amer.); wife, Helen Florence Haasch (Amer.); ch.: Maria, David Jr., Atlee, Christopher. Public Relations Counselor, David A. Phillips Associates, Humboldt 106, off. 502. Tel. 70-0016. Res. Ave. 19-A No. 21413, Nuevo Biltmore, Mar. Clubs: Am; wife: M.

    Source: http://cuban-exile.com/doc_201-225/doc0216.html

  24. Derek says:

    Mark Lane was at a conference at USC in 1977 in which David Atlee Phillips (aka Maurice Bishop) appeared, at the conference a student got up and asked Phillips about Oswald and Mexico City, Phillips answered “Oswald was never there”. This is quite interesting because the Warren Commission got their Mexico City Oswald information from none other than David Atlee Phillips who worked at the Mexico City station at the exact time LHO was supposedly there, in other words – Phillips lied to the Commission.

  25. Saul Pressman says:

    I believed that Phillips = Bishop for 35 years or more. However, recently, I have been looking into Col. William C. Bishop, a murderous CIA/Military Intelligence type. He was a member of Operation 40, like so many of the conspirators. He was involved at the Bay of Pigs. He ran Alpha 66 under Phillips. He successfully solicited funds for Alpha 66 from Trafficante and Marcello. He admitted to personally shooting Trujillo. He admitted that he was at the International Trade Mart in Dallas with the second gun crew, who were members of Sturgis’ IACB, in case the shooters in Dealey Plaza missed. He was at a series of meetings at Gen. Edwin Walker’s house starting April 10, 1963. Also in attendance at the meetings were Felipe Vidal Santiago (Bishop’s travelling companion); Roy Hargraves (member of Interpen, Vidal’s best friend, and suspected Umbrellaman who confessed he was in Dealey Plaza); Gerry Hemming (leader of Interpen, confessed to taking the missed shot at Walker to help frame Oswald; and seen in Dealey Plaza delivering his Johnson rifle to Loran Hall, who fired from the roof of TSBD); and Michel Mertz (hitman for the Corsican mafia, discovered in the railway yard afterward and dubbed Frenchy in the pictures taken of the three ‘tramps’). So it is possible that Bill Bishop = Maurice Bishop, and Veciana’s original statement was correct. A riddle wrapped inside an enigma…..

  26. leslie sharp says:

    This debate is productive until it cuts to the narrow bone for those who have spent an adult lifetime pursuing the truth as Mrs. Fonzi’s husband did. And I’m guessing that Marie Fonzi is a woman fully behind that pursuit in more ways than any of us will know, unless of course we have spouses, partners and loved ones who have made relative sacrifices over the years.

    I hope that Marie Fonzi remains involved on this site.

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