A former CIA assassination team leader told a conference audience Sept. 26 in a blockbuster revelation that he saw accused presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald with their mutual CIA handler six weeks before the killing and there would have been no anti-Castro movement in Cuba without the CIA funding.
Antonio Veciana, the acknowledged leader of the Alpha 66 assassination squad of Cuban exiles in the early 1960s, made the statements in a dignified but emotion-laden manner at this year’s major conference analyzing the Warren Commission report on murder of President John F. Kennedy Nov. 22, 1963 in Dallas.
Separately, the general counsel of the last major government investigation into the killing issued a statement saying the CIA had deceived him and the rest of the public during the late 1970s inquiry into the validity of the Warren report. Former House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) General Counsel G. Robert Blakey issued the statement during the ongoing conference Sept. 26-28 organized at the Bethesda Hyatt Regency Hotel in Bethesda, MD by the Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC).
Veciana said he is convinced the CIA organized the president’s murder and that he saw Oswald meeting with a CIA official in Dallas because Veciana arrived at his meeting fifteen minutes too early. Veciana says he believes Oswald was a CIA operative whom the agency decided to blame for a killing it organized in a complex plot.
Veciana said his CIA handler was the late David Atlee Phililips, shown in a file photo at right. Phillips was a high-ranking CIA official who used the cover named “Maurice Bishop” during his many meetings with Veciana. Veciana has never previously said “Bishop” was “Phillips.”
The CIA placed Phillips in charge of the CIA’s Cuba operations after the newly created agency recruited him from newspaper work in 1950s. According to biographers, Phillips, a former actor born in Texas, used hundreds of aliases in his CIA work. After retirement from the CIA Phillips organized thousands into the politically influential Association of Former Intelligence Officers.
Veciana, 85, spoke through a translator and with a son by his side. He said he was trained as a CPA and admired “Bishop” and the CIA deeply for many years.
Now, however, he said he wanted to set the record straight because he has come to admire also Kennedy, whom and he and Phillips once regarded as a “traitor” for allowing communist Cuban leader Fidel Castro to remain in power.
Blakey, shown in a file photo from his longtime work as a a professor of law at Notre Dame University, appears in person at 1:15 p.m. Sept. 27 at the conference to reiterate his statement and answer questions. His committee issued a report in 1979 scrutinizing the original 1964 Warren report.
The two admissions were part of an explosive agenda for the conference, which I helped open with an address on why the 50th anniversary of the Warren report is a unique, historic opportunity to solve the nation’s most important murder, one whose aftereffects continue to the present with the unchecked power of the CIA as a secret government.
I amplify on that theme on Sept. 27 by participating in an afternoon panel “Why Won’t the Media Cover the Story?” and separately speaking in greater depth on “The Long Shadow of the JFK Assassination.”
The latter lecture draws on the research in my recent book Presidential Puppetry: Obama Romney and Their Masters, which documents how all recent presidents, including Barack Obama, were recruited in secret intelligence operations before they entered politics. I argue that these kinds of under-reported relationships foster the ascendancy of the nation’s leaders — including in business, Congress and the media in ways unknown to the public.
My talks describe also how the hidden history has fostered loyalties and fears largely unreported by a media heavily influenced by pro-CIA themes, with a JFK murder a decisive turning point.
C-SPAN covered the conference’s opening. A team of actors provides a dramatic reading at 5:45 p.m. of a long-secret transcript of a Commission meeting in January 1964 in which it addressed the threat that two newspaper reporters posed as they prepared to report that the supposed “lone nut” Oswald was actually an FBI paid asset.
At the conference Friday, Oswald’s friends Buell Wesley Frazier and Dr. Ernst Titovets said they never believed their friend could be guilty of murder, and regarded him as a “patsy” as Oswald claimed before he was murdered by Jack Ruby at a Dallas police station two days after the assassination.
Frazier made his first public appearance to describe his experiences on the day of the assassination. He said that he drove his fellow worker Oswald to work at the Texas Book Depository on the fateful day of the assassination. Frazier said a package Oswald carried was too small to contain a rifle, as the Warren Commission claimed. Titovets, a professor of medicine in his native Belarus, has published a new edition of his 2010 memoir: Oswald: Russian Episode.
In other conference news, professor author and former intelligence officer Dr. John Newman traced more than a dozen of the Phillips identities to show his work was so secret that even his internal memos at the CIA, ow declassified in part, show that he was trying to fool fellow employees about his activities.
Also, AARC President James Lesar called for an end of obstruction by the National Archives in complying with the provisions of a 1992 law passed unanimously by Congress to make all available records public regarding the JFK murder. Lesar, an attorney fighting freedom of information battles, has argued that the CIA exercises too much influence over the Archives and other Washington officials on the issue.
For further links on the conference, see the links below, most notably in.
- Experts To Reveal Secrets of JFK Murder, Cover-up at Sept. 26-28 DC Forum, Sept. 5, 2014.
- Washington Post Still Selling Warren Report 50 Years Later, Sept. 22, 2014.
- JFK Experts To Explode Myths, Sign Books In DC Sept. 26-28, Sept. 24, 2014.