David Atlee Phillips was born in Fort Worth, Texas, on 31st October,
1922. He was educated at William and Mary College and Texas
Christian University. During the Second World War
he served as a nose gunner in the United
States Air Force.
Phillips joined the
Central Intelligence Agency
in 1950. Over the next few years Phillips was involved in
clandestine operations in Guatemala against President
The plot against
Arbenz became part of
(a plan to remove unfriendly foreign leaders from power).
was placed in charge of what became known as Operation Success.
Phillips was appointed to run the propaganda campaign against
Arbenz's government. According to Phillips he initially questioned
the right of the CIA to interfere in Guatemala: In his autobiography
Phillips claims he said to Barnes: "But Arbenz became President in a
free election. What right do we have to help someone topple his
government and throw him out of office?" However, Barnes convinced
him that it was vital important that the Soviets did not establish a
"beachhead in Central America".
The CIA propaganda
campaign included the distribution of 100,000 copies of a pamphlet
Chronology of Communism in Guatemala.
They also produced three films on Guatemala for showing free in
cinemas. Phillips, along with
was responsible for running the CIA's Voice
radio station. Faked photographs were distributed that claimed to
show the mutilated bodies of opponents of Arbenz.
William (Rip) Robertson
was also involved in the campaign against Arbenz.
The CIA began providing
financial and logistic support for Colonel Carlos Castillo. With the
help of resident Anastasio Somoza,
Castillo had formed a rebel army in
Nicaragua. It has been estimated that between January and June,
1954, the CIA spent about $20 million on Castillo's army.
On 18th June 1954
aircraft dropped leaflets over Guatemala demanding that Arbenz
resign immediately or else the county would be bombed. CIA's
Voice of Liberation also put out similar radio
broadcasts. This was followed by a week of bombing ports, ammunition
dumps, military barracks and the international airport.
collection of soldiers now crossed the Honduran-Guatemalan border.
His army was outnumbered by the Guatemalan Army. However, the CIA
Voice of Liberation successfully convinced Arbenz's
supporters that two large and heavily armed columns of invaders were
moving towards Guatemala City.
The CIA was also busy
bribing Arbenz's military commanders. It was later discovered that
one commander accepted $60,000 to surrender his troops.
Ernesto Guevara attempted to organize some civil militias but
senior army officers blocked the distribution of weapons.
now believed he stood little chance of preventing Castillo gaining
power. Accepting that further resistance would only bring more
deaths he announced his resignation over the radio.
Castillo's new government
was immediately recognised by President
Castillo now reversed the Arbenz reforms. In July 19, 1954, he
created the National Committee of Defense Against Communism and
decreed the Preventive Penal Law Against Communism to fight against
those who supported Arbenz when he was in power. Over the next few
weeks thousands were arrested on suspicion of communist activity. A
large number of these prisoners were tortured or killed.
He also worked undercover
in Cuba (1959-60). He returned to the
United States in 1960 and was involved in the organization of
the Bay of Pigs operation. During
this period he worked with E.Howard Hunt
in the attempts to have
In 1963 Phillips became
Chief of Cuban Operations. He worked closely with
JM WAVE in Miami. Phillips also provided support to
Alpha 66. It was later claimed that Phillips told
his goal was to provoke US
intervention in Cuba by "putting Kennedy's back to the wall."
served as Station Chief in the Dominican Republic and in Rio de
Janeiro. In 1970, he was called to
and asked to lead a special task force assigned to prevent the
election of Salvador Allende as
Chile. Allende was killed in a military
takeover in 1973.
Phillips last assignment
was as head of the Western Hemisphere Division. He held the rank of
GS18, the highest position in the CIA not requiring executive
appointment. After he retired in 1975 he became head of the
Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO).
Gaeton Fonzi of
House Select Committee on
The founder of the anti-Castro organization,
he told the committee about his relationship with his
Central Intelligence Agency contact, Maurice Bishop. He claimed
that in August, 1963, he saw Bishop and Lee
Harvey Oswald in Dallas. Veciana admitted that Bishop had
organized and funded the Alpha 66 attacks on the Soviet ships docked
in Cuba in 1963.
Veciana explained the policy: "It was my case officer, Maurice
Bishop, who had the idea to attack the Soviet ships. The intention
was to cause trouble between Kennedy and Russia. Bishop believed
that Kennedy and Khrushchev had made a secret agreement that the USA
would do nothing more to help in the fight against Castro. Bishop
felt - he told me many times - that President Kennedy was a man
without experience surrounded by a group of young men who were also
inexperienced with mistaken ideas on how to manage this country. He
said you had to put Kennedy against the wall in order to force him
to make decisions that would remove Castro's regime."
Richard Schweiker, a member of the
committee, speculated that Bishop was
David Atlee Phillips.
Schweiker asked his researcher,
Gaeton Fonzi, to investigate
this issue. Fonzi arranged for Veciana and Phillips to be introduced
at a meeting of the
Association of Retired Intelligence Officers in Reston. Phillips
denied knowing Veciana. After the meeting Veciana told Schweiker
that Phillips was not the man known to him as Bishop.
was unconvinced by this evidence. He found it difficult to believe
Phillips would not have known the leader of Alpha 66. Especially as
Phillips had been in charge of covert action in
when Alpha 66 was established. Other information also emerged to
undermine Phillips. CIA agent, Ron Crozier, who worked in Cuba
during this period, claimed that Phillips sometimes used the code
name, Maurice Bishop.
testified before the House
Select Committee on Assassinations
on 25th April, 1978. He denied he ever used the name Maurice
Bishop. He also insisted that he had never met Veciana.
Phillips published his
The Night Watch: 25 Years of Peculiar Service, in 1977.
The following year he published Carlos
Contract, a novel that dealt with political assassins.
Phillips also wrote
The Great Texas Murder Trials: A Compelling Account of the
Sensational T. Cullen Davis Case (1979).
Larry Hancock, the author of
Someone Would Have Talked, just before his death Phillips
told Kevin Walsh, an investigator with the
House Select Committee on Assassinations: "My final take on the
assassination is there was a conspiracy, likely including American
intelligence officers." (Some books wrongly quote Phillips as
saying: "My private
opinion is that JFK was done in by a conspiracy, likely including
rogue American intelligence people.")
David Atlee Phillips
died of cancer on 7th July, 1988. He left behind an unpublished
manuscript. The novel is about a CIA officer who lived in Mexico
City. In the novel the character states: "I was one of those
officers who handled Lee Harvey Oswald... We gave him the mission of
killing Fidel Castro in Cuba... 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."
Open Debate on the Kennedy Assassination
Did David Atlee Phillips Organize the Assassination of JFK?
Namebase: David Atlee Phillips
Forum Debate on Watergate
David Atlee Phillips, The Night Watch; 25 Years of Peculiar
"Tomorrow morning, gentlemen," Dulles said, "we will go to the White
House to brief the President. Let's run over your presentations." It
was a warm summer
night. We drank iced tea as we sat around a garden table in
Dulles' back yard. The lighted shaft of the Washington Monument
could be seen
through the trees. . . . Finally Brad (Colonel Albert Haney)
rehearsed his speech. When he finished
Alien Dulles said, "Brad, I've never heard such crap." It was the
nearest thing to an
expletive I ever heard Dulles use. The Director turned to me
"They tell me you
know how to write. Work out a new speech for Brad...
We went to the White
House in the morning. Gathered in the theater in the East Wing were
more notables than I had ever seen: the President, his Joint Chiefs
of Staff, the Secretary of State - Alien Dulles's brother, Foster -
the Attorney General, and perhaps two dozen other members of the
President's Cabinet and household staff....
The lights were turned
off while Brad used slides during his report. A door opened near me.
In the darkness I could see only a silhouette of the person entering
the room; when the door closed it was dark again, and I could not
make out the features of the man standing next to me. He whispered a
number of questions: "Who is that? Who made that decision?"
I was vaguely
uncomfortable. The questions from the unknown man next to me were
very insistent, furtive. Brad finished and the lights went up. The
man moved away. He was Richard Nixon, the Vice President.
question was to Hector (Rip Robertson): "How many men did Castillo
Armas lose?" Hector (Rip Robertson) said only one, a courier... .
Eisenhower shook his head, perhaps thinking of the thousands who had
died in France. "Incredible..."
Nixon asked a number of
questions, concise and to the point, and demonstrated a thorough
knowledge of the Guatemalan political situation. He
was impressive - not at all the disturbing man he was in the
Eisenhower turned to his
Chief of the Joint Chiefs. "What about the Russians? Any reaction?"
answered. "They don't seem to be up to anything. But the navy is
watching a Soviet sub in the area; it could be there to evacuate
some of Arbenz's friends, or to supply arms to any resisters."
Eisenhower shook hands
all around. "Great," he said to Brad, "that was a good briefing."
Hector and I smiled at each other as Brad flushed with pleasure. The
President's final handshake was with Alien Dulles. "Thanks Allen,
and thanks to all of you. You've averted a Soviet beachhead in our
hemisphere." Eisenhower spoke to his Chief of Naval Operations
"Watch that sub. Admiral. If it gets near the coast of Guatemala
we'll sink the son-of-a-bitch. ' The President strode from the room.
(2) John Ranelagh, The Agency: The Rise and Decline of the CIA
nature of Arbenz's government, however, meant that Operation Success
launched both the CIA and the United States on a new path. Mussadegh
in Iran was left-wing and had indulged in talks with Russian
diplomats about possible alliances and treaties. Arbenz, on the
other hand, had simply been trying to reform his country and had not
sought foreign help in this. Thus by overthrowing him, America was
in effect making a new decision in the cold war. No longer would the
Monroe Doctrine, which was directed against foreign imperial
ambitions in the Americas from across the Atlantic or the Pacific,
suffice. Now internal subversion communism from within - was an
additional cause for direct action. What was not said, but what was
already clear after the events in East Germany the previous year,
was that the exercise of American power, even clandestinely through
the CIA, would not be undertaken where Soviet power was already
established. In addition, regardless of the principles being
professed, when direct action was taken (whether clandestine or
not), the interests of American business would be a consideration:
if the flag was to follow, it would quite definitely follow trade.
The whole arrangement of
American power in the world from the nineteenth century was based on
commercial concerns and methods of operation his had given America a
material empire through the ownership of foreign transport systems,
oil fields, estancias, stocks, and shares. It had also given America
resources and experience (concentrated in private hands) with the
world outside the Americas, used effectively by the OSS during World
War II American government, however, had stayed in America, lending
its influence to business but never trying to overthrow other
governments for commercial purposes. After World War II, American
governments were more willing to use their influence and strength
all over the world for the first time and to see an ideological
implication in the "persecution" of U.S. business interests.
(3) Lisa Pease, Probe Magazine (March-April, 1996)
Church committee hearings, Senator Richard Schweiker's independent
investigator Gaeton Fonzi stumbled onto a vital lead in the Kennedy
assassination. An anti-Castro Cuban exile leader named Antonio
Veciana was bitter about what he felt had been a government setup
leading to his recent imprisonment, and he wanted to talk. Fonzi
asked him about his activities, and without any prompting from
Fonzi, Veciana volunteered the fact that his CIA handler, known to
him only as "Maurice Bishop," had been with Lee Harvey Oswald in
Dallas not long before the assassination of Kennedy. Veciana gave a
description of Bishop to a police artist, who drew a sketch. One
notable characteristic Veciana mentioned were the dark patches on
the skin under the eyes. When Senator Schweiker first saw the
picture, he thought it strongly resembled the CIA's former Chief of
the Western Hemisphere Division-one of the highest positions in the
Agency - and the head of the Association of Former Intelligence
Officers (AFIO): David Atlee Phillips.
on 8th October, 1994.
Veciana was introduced by
name to Phillips twice, once in the banquet hall and once in the
hallway. Phillips even asked that it be repeated and then, when
Veciana asked him, "Don't you remember my name?" Phillips responded,
"No." As Veciana himself later pointed out, that was odd considering
that Veciana had been exceptionally well-known in anti-Castro
activity, being the founder, key fund-raiser and spokesman for Alpha
66, the largest and most militant anti-Castro group. It was odd
because anti-Castro activity was the heart and soul of Phillips'
mission during the period in question. It was impossible for
Phillips not to know or remember Veciana's name. Phillips had simply
been caught off-guard by Veciana's surprise appearance at Reston and
had a little "slip of tradecraft." Phillips himself must have later
realized that because later, under oath during his Committee
testimony, he decided the only way he could rectify that "slip of
tradecraft" was to lie and say that Veciana was never introduced to
him by name at that encounter. I urged Chief Counsel Bob Blakey to
recommend Phillips be charged with perjury, since we had three
witnesses to that Reston encounter: myself, Veciana and an aide from
Senator Schweiker's office. Blakey declined to take on the CIA.
Jake Esterline was interviewed by
Jack Pfeiffer about the
Bay of Pigs
operation (10th November, 1975)
Pfeiffer: What comment can you make about the propaganda operation
in terms of the MATE program. Do you think enough attention was paid
to propaganda in the thing? We had the Swan radio set up and..
Esterline: We had the best... that is we did have a strong man
there. We had Dave Phillips, and he was really the best propaganda
man we had in the Division. He had previous experience as a senior
officer in the Guatemalan thing. He was certainly one of the
stronger and more dependable members of the Staff., and totally
fluent in Spanish. He was able to move in and around all sectors of
things with total ease.
The Kennedy Conspiracy (1980)
Committee had problems with the CIA evidence on Mexico City, and
specifically with the testimony of David Phillips, who was in charge
of Cuban operations in Mexico at the time Oswald's name was used at
the Cuban embassy. Richard Sprague, the Committee's first chief
counsel, said in 1980, "I did not feel we were being told the
absolute truth on Mexico City by the CIA. Specifically, I felt that
the narration on Mexico City by David Phillips, given under oath,
would not bear thorough examination. It was contrary to that given
by other sources, and to other facts." The second chief counsel of
the Committee, Professor Robert Blakey, observes that "Phillips
testified about a variety of subjects, and the Committee was less
than satisfied with his candor."
David Phillips came to
the Committee's attention in a context other than his accounts of
CIA surveillance in Mexico. The Committee gave serious consideration
to the possibility that David Phillips was the man behind the mask
of "Maurice Bishop," the case officer alleged to have schemed to
provoke trouble between the United States and the Soviet Union over
Cuba and to have met with Oswald shortly before the assassination.
Phillips, denied he was "Bishop," and so did the source of the
"Bishop" allegations, Antonio Veciana. Nevertheless, the Committee
said in its Report that it "suspected Veciana was lying" and that
Phillips - referred to on this occasion as "the retired officer
aroused the Committee's suspicion" with the nature of his denial.
The question whether Phillips did use the cover name "Bishop" will
be covered in some detail later. At this stage, however, consider
one last fragment of information on Mexico City. It suggests that
CIA officer "Bishop" tried to tamper with the evidence so as to
falsely link Oswald with Communist officials.
on 8th October, 1994.
Q: Did David Atlee
Phillips ever recruit Frank Sturgis at any time for any job? If Yes
what job or use was Sturgis to Phillips?
A: I've got no indication
that Phillips ever worked with Sturgis. And knowing this, what
sticks in my mind, whenever I would bring up Phillips' name to
Sturgis, Sturgis would go ballistic in terms of how much he hated
Phillips. Absolutely wild in terms of his reaction to anything, any
mention of David Phillips at all. He (said he) "hated the
son-of-a-bitch". And the reason he said he hated him was because
Phillips claimed that Sturgis never had anything to do at all with
the CIA. And that made me suspicious about that connection. Veciana
said that at one point, Maurice Bishop asked him to sit, or go to a
meeting, monitor an operation that Sturgis was involved in called
Cellula Fantasma. And Veciana did and reported back to Bishop about
what was happening. I believe it was a ..... there are all kinds of
reports now exactly what it was. When I asked Sturgis about it, I
think he told me it was a leaflet dropping mission. There were
indications that it may have been something other than that also.
But that's the only connection I could come up with between Phillips
(8) Jonathan Vankin and John Whalen,
70 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time
David Philips suspected
by the House Select Committee on Assassinations of doubling as the
shadowy "Maurice Bishop" CIA overseer of the Cuban Alpha 66
anti-Castro brigade. The same David Philips in charge of spinning
the Oswald-Mexico City incident in the CIA's favor may have
engineered the "Mexico City scenario" in the first place. Lane, who
has made a legal and literary career out of blaming the CIA for
JFK's death, says he did.
Alpha 66's Cuban leader
Antonio Veciana claimed that at one of his hundred or so meetings
with Bishop, Oswald was there not saying anything, just acting odd.
"I always thought Bishop
was working with Oswald during the assassination," Veciana told
Veciana's cousin worked
for Castro's intelligence service and after the assassination Bishop
wanted Veciana to bribe his cousin into saying that he met with
Oswald, in order to fabricate an Oswald-Castro connection.
established for sure that Bishop and Philips were one and the same,
but descriptions of Bishop's appearance and mannerisms mirrored
Philips'. Veciana drew a sketch of his old controller and Senator
Richard Schweiker, a member of the assassination committee,
recognized it as Philips. When the select committee's star
investigator Gaeton Fonzi finally brought Veciana and Philips
together, the two started acting weird around each other. After a
short conversation in Spanish, Philips bolted. Witnesses to the
encounter swear that a look of recognition swept Veciana's visage,
but Veciana denied that Philips was his case officer of more than a
Fair Play Magazine,
The Assassination of John F. Kennedy as Coup D'Etat
account of the Phillips affair and the HSCA non-investigation of the
CIA contains much instructive material. As he recounts in his book
The Last Investigation, the Congress knew that Phillips perjured
himself on a number of important points in his testimony before the
HSCA, yet chose not to recommend prosecution of Phillips. A recent
book on the HSCA by one of its staff lawyers does not deal with this
moment, although it offers yet another muddled, small-scale
conspiracy narrative not associated with the political economy of
the postwar American power structure. At the time the Congress
became interested in reopening the assassination inquiry, Clare
Boothe Luce, widow of Time-Life magnate Henry Luce and former lover
of Allen Dulles, gave out a good deal of malarkey (about Cubans no
less) to investigators designed to send them on a wild goose chase.
Cuban Officials and JFK Historians Conference
In the late 1980's we
came into contact with an informant who had known Phillips and who
had contact with Phillips in 1958-59. This person told us about
three Cubans who had had contact with Phillips at this time. (Juan)
Manuel Salvat, Isidro Borja and Antonio Veciana... That is something
our agent informed us of. We did a spoken picture of this Harold
Benson as we do always. But we didn't know really know who he was.
In 1972, this CIA official had an interview with our agent. Our
agent at that time had a different case official. But this man came
as a.... as a leader, as a boss or something. Had an interview with
our agent. This interview was... took place in Mexico they were just
having a few drinks. In between, Kennedy's name came into the
conversation they were talking about... into the conversation, not
Kennedy came to, into... So when the subject comes up this character
explains to our agent that after Kennedy's death, he visited his
grave and peed on it and said he (JFK) was a communist and such and
such. We still didn't know who Harold Benson was but when Claudia
Furiati did her research, among the people we interviewed was this
agent. We showed him a group of photographs. Plus we already knew
about David Phillips. I'm speaking of 1992 and 1993. And the
photograph that we showed him was a photograph of David Phillips.
And so he pointed out as Harold Benson.
Someone Would Have Talked
David Phillips held a
seminal position in anti-Castro affairs before and during the time
in which the Kennedy conspiracy was formed. He had access to
strategic plans and information in regard to Cuban affairs by way of
his contacts in Washington D.C. and at JM WAVE in Miami. He worked
in tandem with David Morales at JM WAVE and in Mexico City and
undoubtedly his real politics and feelings were those of Morales
rather than the liberal picture he paints of himself as a JFK
proponent in his biography.
• David Phillips was
• As Bishop, Phillips
pursued his own personal anti-Communist and anti-Kennedy
• Phillips' direction of
Alpha 66 to attack Russian targets in Cuba was intended to provoke a
direct U.S. - Russian conflict which would result in the liberation
• Through Veciana,
Phillips independently supported multiple unsanctioned assassination
plots against Fidel Castro. Alpha 66, Veciana, Eddie Bayo and Tony
Cuesta were not directed by the CIA
but personally by Phillips. Phillips specifically told Veciana his
goal was to provoke US intervention in Cuba by "putting Kennedy's
back to the wall."
• Phillips demonstrated
his willingness to incite exiles in independent military actions.
Phillips had an established history of organizing anti-FPCC
"dangles" and propaganda operations.
Phillips was involved in
a new anti-FPCC initiative in 1963, including a project to extend
the effort outside the United States.
Bishop/Phillips was seen
in Dallas, Texas, with Lee Oswald immediately prior to Oswald's trip
to Mexico City - a trip in which he made contact with both the Cuban
and Russian embassies in an attempt to travel through Cuba to
We now do know a good
deal about David Phillips, both from his official history and from
the disclosure of his actions as Maurice Bishop. What we may never
know is the extent to which David Phillips used his position and
assets to support the Kennedy conspiracy. However, there are two
further indications that he was either aware of the conspiracy or
actively supported it.
One of these is from
conversations which David Phillips had with Kevin Walsh, a former
HSCA staffer who went on to work as a private detective in
Washington, DC In a conversation not long before his death, Phillips
remarked: "My private opinion is that JFK was done in by a
conspiracy, likely including American intelligence officers." -
David Atlee Phillips, July 1986.
The second conversation
was related in an email exchange between researcher Gary Buell and
David Phillips' nephew, Shawn Phillips. As Shawn described in the
email, Shawn's father, James Phillips, became aware that his
brother, David, had in some way been "seriously involved" in the JFK
assassination. James and David argued about this vigorously and it
resulted in a silent hiatus between them that lasted for almost six
As David was dying of
lung cancer, he called his brother. Even at this point there was
apparently no reconciliation between the two men. James asked David
pointedly, "Were you in Dallas that day?" David answered, "Yes," and
James hung up the phone on him.
(12) Shawn Phillips, email to Gary Buell (January, 2003)
"Confession", you refer to was not in so many words as such. I
cannot remember the time frames involved, but this was what was told
to me by my father, James Atlee Phillips, who is deceased. He said
that David had called him with reference to his (Davids), invitation
to a dinner, by a man who was purportedly writing a book on the CIA.
At this dinner, was also present a man who was identified only as
the "Driver". David told Jim that he knew the man was there to
identify him as Raul Salcedo, whose name you should be familiar
with, if your research is accurate in this matter. David then told
Jim that he had written a letter to the various media, as a
"Preemptive Strike" , against any and all allegations about his
involvement in the JFK assassination. Jim knew that David was the
head of the "Retired Intelligence Officers of the CIA", or some such
organization, and that he was extremely critical of JFK, and his
policies. Jim knew at that point, that David was in some way,
seriously involved in this matter and he and David argued rather
vehemently, resulting in a silent hiatus between them that lasted
almost six years according to Jim. Finally, as David was dying of
irreversible lung cancer, he called Jim and there was apparently no
reconciliation between them, as Jim asked David pointedly, "Were you
in Dallas on that day"? David said, "Yes", and Jim hung the phone
John Simkin and
JFK Assassination Forum (12th June, 2004)
Simkin: The idea
that David Phillips was involved in the assassination appeared in
several of the early conspiracy books. Looking at the evidence you
provide (in Someone Would Have Talked) this is not surprising.
However, I have always had severe doubts about this.
Phillips was a skilled
operator. If he had been involved in planning this operation I am
sure it would have been done in such a way that would not have
raised so many doubts about Oswald acting as a lone gunman. For
example, Phillips would have been aware that the Oswald impostor
would have been captured on film in Mexico City. Therefore, why did
they select someone who clearly did not look like Oswald. The
setting up of Oswald seems a very amateur operation. Phillips might
have been aware of what was going on, but I cannot believe that he
played a major role in the assassination.
If Phillips had been
organizing the conspiracy would he not have made sure there was no
link between himself and the assassination. For example, would
Phillips be the CIA’s direct contact with
(MI5 and MI6 defintely don't behave like this). Surely he would have
used someone else to have met Veciana in public. Also Veciana claims
that in August, 1963, he saw Bishop and Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas.
If Phillips knew that Oswald was being set-up to be blamed for the
assassination of JFK he would not have got anywhere near him that
Another reason why I do
not believe Phillips was involved in the assassination is the
interview he gave to Kevin Walsh. If he had been part of a
conspiracy would he really have said: "My private opinion is that
JFK was done in by a conspiracy, likely including American
intelligence officers." If he had been guilty of such a crime he
would have kept on denying any possibility that the CIA could have
been involved in such an event.
When he died on 7th July,
1988, Phillips left behind an unpublished manuscript. The novel is
about a CIA officer who lived in Mexico City. In the novel the
character states: "I was one of those officers who handled Lee
Harvey Oswald... We gave him the mission of killing Fidel Castro in
Cuba... 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."
I suspect that this
extract reveals Phillips’ true involvement in the assassination of
JFK. Maybe that was the real reason Oswald was chosen as the patsy.
When the CIA realised that one of their agents recruited to kill
Castro had killed (or been made to look like he had killed) JFK,
they had no option but to try and cover up the crime. The same goes
for Robert Kennedy, who was likely to have been told as part of
Operation Freedom, that Oswald was the agent being trained to kill
Hancock: John, I
certainly do not see Phillips as either the organizer of the Dallas
conspiracy nor as the prime mover in building any sort of a frame of
Lee Oswald. My current belief is that Phillips was very likely
manipulating Lee Oswald in a relatively minor role in a new CIA
propaganda project targeting the FPCC outside the United States,
specifically in Mexico. As to the mechanics of that and whether it
involved Oswald himself, an impersonator or perhaps even both are
beyond me.... several different scenario's are possible. I think
it's pretty safe to say that whatever the plan was it was built on
the "performance" and image that Oswald had built in NO only a short
while before and which had been well documented by Phillips covert
"media network'. There is also some reason to think that this game
involved CI/SIG assets in MC and at HQ which were independent of the
other MC office staff. Whatever it was though became hugely
dangerous for Phillips and the CIA as a whole after Nov. 22.
At a minimum, Phillips -
as others in the CIA and FBI and individuals in New Orleans - knew
there was a lot more to Oswald than the official Lone Nut story.
It's also pretty clear that Phillips jumped on the "lets tie Oswald
to Castro" bandwagon with the whole Alvarado incident (which
Phillips undoubtedly knew to be bogus) and had the nerve to cover up
his games in MC (his letter to the FBI stating that as of February
64 the CIA had full photo files on every American entering the Cuban
embassy in Sept and Oct of 63 is raw hubris, almost daring them to
ask for the photos of Oswald going in and out). The fact that such
photos were never provided certainly does raise the issue of an
imposter or of an Oswald associate/handler.
Whether or not Phillips
had shared information on Oswald in advance with Morales, whether or
not he had signed up for some propoganda/media role in promoting
Castro as a conspiracy sponsor is an open question. Remember, his
speciality was propaganda/media control/counter intel not black ops
or tactical matters, he had no military experience at all. I think
it's safe to say that Phillips knew all along that the WC story was
bogus, at a minimum he knew there had been a conspiracy and that his
final words point in the right direction.
Beyond that it's also
important to remember that much of his work - such as with Veciana -
was on his own initiative. He was not Veciana's CIA case officer,
his manipulation of Veciana and Alpha 66 and other groups he was in
contact with was at on his own agenda and generally directily
opposed to that of Headquarters and certainly the Administration.
Forty years after John Kennedy's murder in Dallas, the event
remains a part of the American conscious. Polls show the
majority of the public still believes there was some sort of
conspiracy involved in his assassination and the average person
thinks it just might be exposed once the government releases all
the confidential documents some day. Those that deny the
conspiracy question scoff at all this, stating that no
conspiracy could have been good enough that somebody would not
have talked after all this time. After all we all know even
successful criminals feel compelled to tell someone, sometime.
Someone Would Have Talked tackles that objection head on,
examining a number of examples of individuals who talked when
they shouldn't have. Some talked before the assassination and
some afterwards. These are not the people who sold their stories
or whose names you would see in the tabloids. These are real
people, many of them involved in the secret war against Castro
and the U.S. Government project intended to assassinate him. You
find their remarks in reports made to Police, the FBI and Secret
Service. Reports which were never addressed in any coordinated
or proactive criminal investigation. The records have been
released, people have talked, witnesses have finally revealed
the elements of both the conspiracy and the cover-up, the real
history is here in Someone Would Have Talked and the 1,400 pages
of reference exhibits that come on this CD with it. (Larry
Hancock, JFK Lancer Publications)
Someone Would Have Talked