Wednesday, February 13, 2002

The CIA has published an article which attempts to refute allegations that it was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The allegations are that a corporation called Permindex was set up by the CIA with the following corporate purposes: 1) to inculcate 'American values' in underdeveloped countries through the virtues of free trade; and 2) to be a vehicle to set up political machinations in foreign countries, including assassinations. Clay Shaw, a director of Permindex, had CIA connections, and Clay Shaw was tied into the Kennedy assassination by the investigations of New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison. Clay Shaw, Permindex and thus the CIA were supposedly involved in the assassination. The mixing of political crimes (assassinations, psych ops, overthrows of democratically elected governments, etc.) and entrepreneurship (most notably in recent years by the CIA in the illegal drug trade) is an identifying feature of CIA endeavours. The article attempts to refute the CIA-Permindex-JFK assassination angle through a sort of ad hominem attack - because the original source for Permindex information was a leftist Italian newspaper, the reporting was supposedly a fabrication of Russian intelligence sources (of course, even if Russian intelligence sources supplied information to the Italian newspaper, which the article makes little attempt to prove except for a vague reference in footnote 20, that doesn't mean the information was wrong). The line of allegations which includes the role of Permindex and Clay Shaw was set out in a book called the 'Torbitt document', supposedly written by a southern U. S. lawyer (but so clumsily written that you have to wonder). The 'Torbitt document' was the introduction of this sort of information into the American arena, but carefully blames the JFK assassination not on the CIA, but on something called 'division five' of the FBI (it is still unclear whether such a division ever existed), and may therefore be an early CIA attempt to muddy the waters by mixing the original Permindex story with disinformation involving the FBI. Evidence for CIA involvement in the assassination other than the Permindex story abounds: 1) the covering up of CIA files on Oswald in existence prior to the assassination and much evidence that Oswald was some sort of American intelligence operative; 2) CIA agent Howard Hunt's famous difficulties in proving where he was on November 22 (another guy who just may have been hanging around Dallas that day - possible CIA agent George H. W. Bush!); 3) the presence of many look-alikes for known CIA operatives in Dallas that day; 4) a surprising number of suspicious characters associated with Oswald, or associated with his associates (and Shaw was definitely in this mix), with known or heavily suspected intelligence connections, especially concerning CIA operations against Castro. The most bizarre aspect of this article may be that it attempts to refute CIA involvement in the assassination by attacking the source of the Permindex information, when the source of at least the 'Torbitt document' spin on the Permindex information may well be the CIA itself! (Interestingly, there is a CIA internal memorandum 1035-960 dated 4/1/67 on how to counter assassination conspiracy theories when dealing with 'friendly elite contacts (especially politicians and editors)' which states: 'Point out also that parts of the conspiracy talk appear to be deliberately generated by Communist propagandists.' This apparently is good advice 35 years later.)