An 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 a score 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 underscoring the vital importance of Kennedy assassination research in understanding current affairs for which the public lacks documentary and witness evidence. Our JIP “Readers Guide” to the assassination is listed below containing both catalogs of diverse materials and analytic commentaries pointing out major flaws in the Warren Commission’s official accounts of Kennedy’s murder and that of Oswald.
Veciana, shown at right in a file photo, spoke through a translator in a dignified and compelling manner as 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 fiasco.
But, Veciana said, he has come to appreciate Kennedy and his policies. 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 longtime JFK researcher Randy Benson of Duke University.