Garrison, Angleton and the CIA

A faithful reader writes with questions about my recent post on the UNLV conference celebrating New Orleans DA Jim Garrison for his efforts to prosecute a JFK assassination conspiracy

The reader says he is “not aware of evidence that the [CIA's] Counterintelligence staff was ‘secretly trying to subvert his investigation,’” as I wrote in my post.

“Subvert” was perhaps too strong a word, but not by much. The so-called “Garrison Group” within the CI Staff operated in secret in 1967-68. This group of analysts was plainly part of the larger Agency effort to thwart Garrison from investigating Oswald’s contacts with CIA-affiliated Cubans.

Reader goes on:”What is the basis for saying that Garrison was looking into that anti-FPCC operation?

A. He was asking questions of Carlos Bringuier and Carlos Quiroga about their contacts with Oswald, the FPCC man. Garrison did not know anything about CIA “black” operations in New Orleans. He knew very little about how the CIA funded and managed the Cuban Revolutionary Council and the DRE, which both Bringuier and Quiroga were associated. Nor did Garrison know how thoroughly the CIA and FBI had penetrated the FPCC at the time of Oswald’s membership in the group.

And a follow-up question: “Or are you just saying that he [Garrison] was looking into Oswald’s interaction with the DRE and that the DRE was involved in that operation?”

A. Yes, I am saying that. I am saying that the CIA’s counterintelligence staff acted to prevent Garrison from learning more about Oswald and the anti-Castro Cubans in New Orleans to protect its operational interests in disrupting the FPCC.

One more point. The intense interest of Angleton’s Counterintelligence Staff in every person touched by Garrison’s prosecution in 1967-68 was both peculiar and revealing.

The job of the Counterintelligence Staff was to prevent the penetration of CIA activities by a foreign intelligence service. Yet as the CI staff monitored Garrison’s investigation, Angleton’s people never raised the issue of whether Oswald had come under the influence of the Soviet KGB or the Cuban DGI.

Independent scholar Max Holland calls attention to KGB involvement in the publication of a “CIA did it” conspiracy theory published in an Italian newspapers in 1967. But that didn’t concern Angleton, although he surely knew about it. (Angelton had grown up in Italy.)

Nor was Angleton worried about foreign penetration of CIA operations in 1967-68. He expended no effort to investigate Oswald’s contacts with Soviet and Cuban government officials in Mexico City

What worried Angleton about Jim Garrison hit closer to home: the possibility Garrison’s scattershot prosecution might expose Angleton’s pre-assassination interest in Oswald, which was far greater than the Warren Commission ever knew, and far great than many people inside the CIA knew.

The exposure of the CIA’s secret operation against the FPCC in the fall of 1963 was of special concern for obvious reasons. It might lead people to ask questions like: if the CIA was running a covert operation against the FPCC in late 1963, how did they manage to overlook the most dangerous FPCC supporter of them all, Lee Harvey Oswald?

Jim Angleton and his colleagues at the CIA did not want to face that question, which is why he worried about Jim Garrison.










  1. leslie sharp says:

    Page 3. Item 12 . . .
    ” . . . Her husband is also related to STEPHEN LEMANN who is (a) the General Counsel for W D S U -TV, and (b) according to information given us, the local paymaster for the CIA with regard
    to the attorneys attempting to block the inquiry.”

    STEPHEN LEMANN’s law firm was also counsel to Whitney Bank, the Whitney family/ Freeport Sulphur.

    And from Lisa Pease’s work on Freeport:
    “A memo in the GUY BANISTER file indicates that there is information which reports that DICK WHITE, a high official of Freeport Sulphur, and CLAY SHAW were flown to Cuba probably taking off from the Harvey Canal area in a Freeport Sulphur plane piloted by DAVE FERRIE. The purpose of this trip was to set up import of Cuba’s nickel ore to a Canadian front corporation which would in turn ship to the Braithwaite nickel plant. The plant was built by the U.S. Government at a cost of about one million dollars. – New Orleans District Attorney (NODA) Memo from Sciambra to Garrison, dated 10/9/68″

  2. Arnaldo M Fernandez says:

    John Newman (Oswald and the CIA) and Lisa Pease (The Assassinations) have closed in on Angleton’s role in controlling Oswald. Angleton is likely the mastermind of the Mexico City charade, which is inconceivable without the New Orleans´ one with Castroit Oswald as main character. The issue is well discussed in chapter XVI of DiEugenio´s Destiny Betrayed.

  3. Jonathan says:

    Appears the faithful reader knows less than Jeff Morley about CIA counterintelligence activities in NOLA.

    Jeff, your post reinforces strongly a thought I’ve had; viz., the plotters set up Oswald knowing Angleton (and Hoover) would have a strong interest in tagging him the lone assassin and in shutting down any pursuit of truth.

    I’ve come to the conclusion Angleton had no hand in the assassination but had a big hand in the cover-up. If one looks at those who wielded power in regard to the assassination and cover-up, and I mean power, one must look closely at the Secret Service and the high military officers. A rogue CIA officer could have coordinated these individuals easily.

  4. TLR says:

    James Douglass wrote in JFK and the Unspeakable: “Barbara Tomlinson, an early sixties organizer of the Seattle Fair Play for Cuba Committee, has described the means used to destroy her own FPCC chapter long before Oswald carried out his New Orleans charade. Over a year before JFK’s assassination, Tomlinson received a mailing from the FPCC’s New York headquarters promoting the speaking tour of a professor of anthropology and musicology who had visited Cuba, defying the US embargo. The FPCC-sponsored professor would lecture and show slides on Afro-Cuban dance. When Tomlinson organized a Seattle meeting for the speaker, he began his presentation by insulting her. He then showed tourist slides from Brazil at a frantic pace, while garbling an unintelligible script that had no connection to Cuba. The impostor’s presentation and behavior so disrupted Tomlinson’s fragile coalition of Old Left activists and a few liberal Democrats that they managed only one more meeting before breaking up permanently. Tomlinson feels the FPCC national office must have been taken over by government agents even at that early stage for it to have been promoting a nationwide speaking tour by a provocateur. If so, the CIA would have known that it had no real FPCC to target in the summer and fall of 1963. Tomlinson’s Seattle perspective supports the view that whatever Guy Banister told Oswald, the underlying purpose for Oswald’s New Orleans theater would have had to lie beyond discrediting a sham organization.”

    There’s also the FBI’s interest in the FPCC:

    “On May 16, 1963, a source advised that during the first two years of the FPCC’s existence there was struggle between Communist Party (CP) and Socialist Workers Party (SWP) elements to exert their power within the FPCC and thereby influence FPCC policy.” (Commission Document 11 – FBI Hosty Jr. Report of 10 Sep 1963 re: Oswald/Russia)

  5. Bogman says:

    My question is how did Oswald know who Carlos was and where he worked? It’s not like he had Google to search. If Carlos had been in the paper recently as DRE spokesperson would they have mentioned his place of business?

    The other question is why would the lone nut Oswald deliberately provoke the DRE in NO? The lone nutters will say it was to impress Castro to be allowed into Cuba. If that was the case, why did Oswald ignore all instructions from the FPCC, actually ending that connection to Castro. Doesn’t seem like a good idea to impress Castro by alienating yourself from his organization in the US, does it?

    The only scenario where Oswald’s action make sense is as an agent provocateur. And we don’t know the full extent of his actions related to US intelligence agencies because they lie, obfuscate and obstruct to this day.

    BTW, long a fence sitter awaiting concrete evidence, I am now convinced there was a conspiracy and it did involve American intel at the very least (might’ve gone higher as in Joint Chiefs). My points of evidence are for me:

    o the testimony of the handful of random, average Americans closest to or having the best vantage point of viewing the final head shot in Dealey, ALL saying it came from the knoll with common details (smoke, the smell of gunpowder in the air). They couldn’t have all been hallucinating the same experience. With all other circumstantial evidence being equal, this is the deciding factor for me regarding the actual crime in Dallas.

    o DeMorenschildt’s confession to being directed to handling Oswald by the CIA in Dallas

    o New Orleans

    o Mexico City

    The rest is just confirming the details and figuring out how high the conspiracy went as much as is possible a half century later.

    I do not come to these conclusions with any joy or enthusiasm, though, I can tell you that.

  6. Brad Milch says:

    “if the CIA was running a covert operation against the FPCC in late 1963, how did they manage to overlook the most dangerous FPCC supporter of them all, Lee Harvey Oswald?” Not only miss Oswald but also the alleged weapons he purchased via his monitored mail & his alleged threat to kill President Kennedy in his alleged visit to Mexico City.

    Many believe the answer is either extreme CIA incompetence during JFK’s Presidency or LHO was either working for the CIA or an agency on friendly, cooperative terms with it.

    Jeff Morley’s valiant push for the Joannides & other suppressed JFK records make him a hero to supporters believing he’s on the threshold of solving the JFK assassination while all the more dangerous to those ferociously pushing the government’s version of events who stand to look like fools when & if he does once the enslaved documents are freed & living human evidence is revealed. Some of those throwing internet punches at Jeff in other forums John Simpkin describes as ‘disturbed’. Jeff’s getting closer to the end zone & his detractors can sense it.

  7. John McAdams says:

    The so-called “Garrison Group” within the CI Staff operated in secret in 1967-68. This group of analysts was plainly part of the larger Agency effort to thwart Garrison from investigating Oswald’s contacts with CIA-affiliated Cubans.

    The documents on the Garrison Group were first published on my site, Jeff. They show the CIA trying to figure out what to do about Garrison, and eventually deciding they had no viable options.

    As for the “larger Agency effort,” you might try producing some evidence on that.

    As for questioning Carlos Bringuier and Carlos Quiroga, you seem to believe that they were part of some CIA “operation” against the FPCC, but you have no evidence of that.

    In the first place, there was no New Orleans FPCC (just Lee Oswald).

    In the second place, you need to listen to Bringuier debating Oswald. The Cubans in New Orleans come across as a bunch of anti-Castro hotheads, not as agents of some profession “operation.”

    So the onus is on you to produce some evidence for your suspicions.

    • bogman says:

      I don’t think the DRE had any knowledge the NO wind-up was initiated by intelligence, but Carlos Bringuier did have his suspicions of Oswald in that regard from the start.

      All intel had to do was send this Oswald character into their midst and let it play out like it did.

    • Neil says:

      If Garrison was not onto something that the CIA wanted kept secret, why were they interested in his investigation? Why devote time and resources to monitoring Garrison’s investigation if there was nothing to be revealed in New Orleans?

  8. Kennedy63 says:

    I’ve read where some Warren Reporters characterize Oswald as someone who “wanted” to be a spy, but did not possess the capacity for the intricacies of spy craft. I’ve read some of these same Warren Reporters also characterize Ruby as a police buff and mentally deficient in certain respects. When I researched both Oswald and Ruby, I come away with a chilling realization – nothing about these two people was “normal.” They both moved in clandestine circles, whether intelligence or gangland. When you compare the level of “secrecy” surrounding both Oswald and Ruby, and who controlled information about them, you soon realize that the true personalities and activities of Oswald and Ruby are grossly hidden and distorted for distinct purpose and for clandestine reasons. Oswald died because he was vulnerable to questioning by police; Ruby killed him to silence him. Ruby, with his underworld/police connections also was vulnerable, but protected. I recently reviewed Ruby’s FBI lie detector test(as reviewed by the HSCA, and surmised the test was a sham and purposely done in a manner to obfuscate the truth of Ruby’s answers. When asked if he knew Oswald, or had assisted Oswald in the assassination, Ruby answered “No” to both questions. HSCA found, through analysis of the whole process, that in fact, Ruby lied about both knowing and assisting Oswald.
    Just as the interrogation room was filled with extraneous people in the time Oswald was being questioned, so too was the questioning room filled with people while Ruby was being questioned. Ruby was controlled by people from Dallas (local gov’t). Oswald was controlled by people from the national security agencies (SS, FBI, CIA). The Warren Omission was controlled by Federal powers (FBI, CIA, Johnson, Dulles, Eastern Establishment types (i.e. Rockefeller/people associated with World Bank, CFR, CIA, MASONS). Kennedy’s murder was a coup d’état. Let’s boldly call a thing a thing, people; let’s stop treading gingerly around the elephant in the room pretending like we don’t see it, or it does not see us. We have more room to out maneuver the elephant!
    The FBI’s Hoover was aware someone was using Oswald’s name in a covert and illicit manner while Oswald was still in Russia. People tied into intelligence would only know this and both the mafia and anti-Castro Cubans were tied into intelligence and these groups used such intelligence to their advantage without CIA knowing/or turning a blind eye, such as to drug smuggling and gun running. So Oswald’s name being used and bandied about among several “intel” agencies was nothing new. Questions are raised as to why Oswald. Seems this started after the Executive Action capabilities of the CIA were established and certain people like Harvey, Rosselli and JM/Wave, began colluding to kill Castro/Kennedy. Seems to me that the obvious mechanics in Dealy Plaza were the anti-Castro Cubans associated with organized crime bosses Marcellos and Trafficante who were organized by Rosselli and Ruby as the bag man. I say Ruby because his whereabouts can only be partially accounted for, and that by people tied to him or dependent on him. Oswald’s behavior is distorted and obviously someone impersonated him where needed. Given the revelations of John Martino and Antonio Vecianna, we know the CIA was involved before and after the assassination. If we agree Oswald was connected to FBI/CIA and that Ruby was mob-connected or used, and that the Anti-Castro Cubans (the mob-controlled factions) actually carried out the assassination, then wouldn’t the cover-up also have to take place because of the CIA/Mafia plots using anti-Castro Cubans…brain-food for thought.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


In seeking to expand the range of informed debate about the events of 1963 and its aftermath, welcomes comments that are factual, engaging, and civil. more