The JFK Assassination
By David Giamarco 1998
WASHINGTON - With the quick crack of gunshots in Dallas's Dealey Plaza
that terminated the life and presidency of John Fitzgerald Kennedy
continues to reverberate 33 years later. But the shock of the
assassination is now overshadowed by dismay over the ruthless
cover-up of what may be the greatest unsolved crime of the century.
Today the 1964 report of the Warren commission reads like a fairy tale.
As the lone assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was ruled to have fired
three bullets from a rusted Manlicher-Carcano rifle with a misaligned
scope in just 5.6 seconds, one bullet missing the target leaving
just two to cause eight wounds to Kennedy and Texas Governor John Connally.
A Gallup poll taken two weeks after the assassination found 52 per
cent of Americans believed there had been a conspiracy to kill
the president. By 1993 CBS News poll found 89 per cent of the
population believed in the conspiracy and 81 per cent believed
there was an official cover-up.
Over the past three decades, dozens of official and semi-official
sources have come forward with their own evidence. "I no longer
feel we simply had no credible evidence or reliable evidence in
proof of a conspiracy," former Warren commissioner
John J. McCloy admitted in 1978.
William Sullivan, Domestic Intelligence Chief, also doubted the
findings saying, "there were huge gaps in the case, gaps we never
did close." And Dallas Police Chief Jesse Curry later stated
he believed that two gunmen were involved.
"We don't have any proof that Oswald fired the rifle,"
Curry said in 1969. Kennedy's own aid Kenneth O'Donnell,
who rode in the motorcade immediately behind the president,
told House Speaker Tip O'Neil that he was pressured by the
FBI not to say what he strongly believed: that gunfire came
from in front of the motorcade. The House Select Committee
on Assassinations concluded in 1978 that there had "probably"
been a conspiracy in Dealey Plaza.
For one top level Washington insider, it didn't take that
long for he truth about the JFK assassination to become frighteningly clear.
It was a coup d 'etat, not an assassination of one man,'' says Fletcher Prouty.
"It was a very well planned overthrow of the government."
Prouty, a retired colonel of the U.S. Air Force jet pilot and
former professor of air science anti tactics at Yale University,
was Chief of Special Operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff during
the Kennedy years. He spent nine years in charge of the
global system providing military support for the clandestine
activities of the Central Intelligence Agency: Black Ops,
assassinations, coups d'etat, election riggings, propaganda
As a high-ranking military operative, Prouty was often the briefing officer for the chiefs in matters involving the CIA. By fall 1963, Prouty knew as much as anyone about the inner workings of the world of Special Operations. In fact, the character of "X" played by Donald Sutherland in Oliver Stone's "JFK" was based on Prouty.
Now 82, Prouty is revealing explosive and damning information about the assassination that few insiders have had the guts to disclose before.
He has written two books, "The Secret Team, The CIA and it allies in control of the World" (Prentice-Hall) and "JFK, The CIA, Vietnam and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy" (Birch Lane Press).
For the last three decades, independent researchers have uncovered important details
and red herrings. Everyone had a theory: it was either the Mafia, the KGB,
Fidel Castro, anti Castro Cubans or the CIA. Study the volatile political
climate at the height of the Cold war and the players and pawns on the high-stakes
chess board of 1960 American politics become obvious. A mistake is to assume only
one faction was involved. In the early 1960s, the CIA was working hand-in-glove
with the Mafia and anti-Castro Cubans to topple Fidel Castro. The Cubans wanted
to regain their homelands, the mob wanted their cash and lucrative casinos, and
the CIA wouldn't settle for a communist country less than 150 kilometers from
the shores of America, let alone the loss of American investments. With the
front organizations doing the dirty work, the agency camouflaged its involvement
with as many red herrings as necessary.
Kennedy had certainly created formidable enemies within the government
during his first 1,000 days in office, including FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover,
CIA Director Allen Dulles (fired by Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs disaster),
several powerful factions of the CIA, and the anti-Castro Cuban community.
Horrified by the agency's involvement - and its Mafia connections - Kennedy
refused to allow a second invasion of Cuba and vowed to "smash the CIA into
a thousand pieces." He made a pact with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev
to stop the assassination attempts against Castro. When Kennedy learned
the CIA had ignored his direct orders he sent the FBI and local law
agencies to close down the agency's s training camps in Florida and Louisiana.
With Attorney General Robert Kennedy waging war on the Mafia on one hand,
and the president's decision not to invade Cuba a second time on other,
the mob would never see its profitable Cuban operations again.
A boiling cesspool of bitterness and greed was swirling around JFK.
He was a marked man.
But Prouty scoffs at those who believe the Mafia orchestrated JFK's murder.
"From my official experience, I know that there are two parts to any assassination. One, the hit, and two, the cover-up. By far and away the cover story is the most difficult. It requires the most professionalism and creative ability. The cover story must continue for years, as the JFK scenario does. The Mafia, Castro, etc. could not have done part two and have maintained it for 33 years."
"I have worked on assassinations and I know the business." he continues. "The master plan was fantastic."
The decision to kill Kennedy, Prouty asserts, was actually made within the military industrial complex to preserve the enormous dollar potential of the Vietnam War - orchestrated by the CIA from 1945 to l965.
Prouty was one of the authors of National Security Action Memorandum #263, which
outlined Kennedy's plan to have 1,000 military men home by Christmas and all U.S.
personnel out of Vietnam by the end of 1965. He says the word "personnel" rather
than "military" meant that JFK was planning to get CIA people out too.
NSAM #263 was the straw that broke the camel s back," says Prouty.
"It made elements of the military-industrial complex purchase nails for JFK's coffin."
On the day after JFK's funeral, newly sworn-in president Lyndon B. Johnson
signed NSAM 273, reversing Kennedy's orders and increasing troops in Vietnam.
By NSAM #288, dated March 26, 1964, a total reversal was completed.
But where was Prouty during the assassination? The South Pole.
Prouty had been sent as the military escort for a group of international VIPs.
It had nothing to tit1 with Special Operations: it was deemed a "paid vacation."
It was on his way back, during a stopover in New Zealand, that Prouty heard
of Kennedy's murder. Immediately, things didn't fit. New Zealand's
Christchurch Star carried a full story about Lee Harvey Oswald, an unknown
24 year old, complete with a studio picture and detailed biographical data
including his trip to the Soviet Union. But Oswald had hot yet been
charged with Kennedy's murder.
"Who the hell wrote the story before the police had charged him?" asks Prouty.
"It was a put-up job. It was a worldwide cover story being put out".
When Prouty returned to the Pentagon where he had access to newspaper, special reports and hot wires from around the world, he was stuck again by the "packaged'' Oswald story.
"I knew immediately the story was written before the shots were even fired... Oswald was a designated patsy whether he shot or not."
Prouty was shocked by security breaches along the Presidents motorcade route especially Dealey Plaza. "The Secret Service should have men all along the route," he says. "Especially in a hostile city like Dallas."
One of his routine duties had he been in Washington would be to arrange additional security in Texas.
"I checked back and I found out that someone had told
112th Intelligence Group at the Army Headquarters at
Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio to "stand down" that day over the protests
of the unit commander Col. Reich. When I talked to a member of that
army unit later, I was told that the commander had offered the services
of his unit for protection for the entire trip through Texas, and he
was point-blank and categorically refused and there were hot words
between agencies. Even Secret Service men from Fort Worth were
told that they would not he needed in Dallas."
That's not all. Those wide-open and empty windows over looking Dealey Plaza were another major security breach. So was slowing the Presidents car to 12 kilometers per hour. To take that unusual 90 degree curve at Huston and Elm street - a last minute addition to the motorcade route.
"An assassination like this doesn't happen with some kid shooting by himself", states Prouty. "I mean my God, he wouldn't have made it out of the building alive. It would have been over right there on the front steps of the building. But there were very few police anywhere."
"The streets should have been filled with military. The military were all trained for this. If you see a man open an umbrella, just go stand beside him. And just about that time, the President's coming and he moves that umbrella, you knock him down. A man with a coat over his arm, or holding a rolled up newspaper, you stand beside him. You watch everything. We take guys down weeks ahead of time and study the area. You have snipers covering the area, and the moment a window goes up, you re on the radio. None of that was in place for Dallas."
It was in 1967 that Prouty discovered one of the most explosive proofs of CIA involvement, buried within a series of six photos snapped within minutes of the assassination. The infamous photos show three 'tramps' arrested behind the grassy knoll being marching through Dealey Plaza by two uniformed officers. The three men remain a mystery-no arrest records were made and no names were taken. For years it was speculated that two were CIA agents E. Howard Hunt and Frank Sturgis, who would later gain notoriety for their part in the Watergate break in.
"What caught my eye right away was the fact that some other person is in the first photo walking in the opposite direction." says Prouty, singling out one particular shot. "Here he is, during one of the most important events in our history, casually walking past two police with guns and the tramps, not even looking at what could've been the killers of the President. This is all within 30 minutes or less after the assassination. It's unbelievable. And note that these tramps have not been handcuffed either, and a civilian is allowed to walk within inches of them."
Then Prouty looked even more closely at the photo. "I was stunned to realize that this unconcerned bystander was none other than my long-time friend and associate Ed Lansdale."
"Right away, since he was there, I just knew that he must be concerned with the cover story. That was his gift…his specialty."
Gen. Edward G. Lansdale was a celebrated CIA man who masterminded various
assassination plots for the CIA and was heavily involved in Vietnam.
He was CIA, but worked under the cover of an air force colonel.
He and Prouty had worked closely together for several years before
his resignation ("a paper resignation to comply with his CIA 'cover' assignment")
in October 1963. At the time of the assassination,
Lansdale was supposed to be visiting his son in San Antonio,
but a claim check found in his personal papers places him at a
hotel used by the presidential entourage the night before the assassination.
"I personally have no doubt that the photo is of Lansdale," affirms Prouty. "I knew him from 1952 in the Philippines to the time of his death. He was one of my neighbors."
Prouty sent copies of the photos to a friend - another high-ranking Kennedy-era officer who also knew Lansdale.
"The two policemen are carrying shotguns, not rifles," the friend wrote back.
"Their caps are different (one a white chinstrap, one black).
One has a Dallas Police shoulder patch, one does not,
and their caps differ from that of another police officer in photo four.
Reasonable conclusion -- they are either reservists or phoneys.
And as you know, city cops don't have anything to do with sheriff's offices."
"And as to photo No. 1 - That is a picture of Ed Lansdale! The haircut,
the stoop, the twisted left hand, the large class ring. It's Lansdale.
What in the world was he doing there? Has anyone asked him?"
Prouty says he wasn't surprised when he realized Lansdale was in Dallas
for the assassination -- he was there to make sure nothing went wrong.
"He was there like the orchestra leader, coordinating these things."
Prouty says Lansdale "He's a 'producer' and the best one there was."
Allen Dulles, Gen. Ed Lansdale,
Gen. Charles P. Cabell, Mr. Nathan Twining.
"He worked for years to overthrow the president of the Philippines - he did it almost all by himself."
That's not the only bombshell Prouty dropped over the course of numerous meetings and conversations in Washington. Look closely at the famous Zapruder film of the assassination, and standing alongside the motorcade on Elm Street is an unidentified man holding up an open, black umbrella, even though the weather is sunny and warm. He is standing in front and to the right of Kennedy's car at the moment Kennedy was struck in the throat. Prouty asserts that was no ordinary umbrella, and again finds evidence of Lansdale.
Prouty remembers Lansdale introducing him to a man in 1961 or '62 who had invented a new weapon ideal for clandestine operations: silent rocket-propelled darts, only a few centimeters long and fired from a tube no longer than a milk shake straw. After an impressive demonstration in which the man imbedded a dart in Prouty's office wall, Prouty arranged for research money. Within months, the CIA had adapted the device for many uses - including hiding it in an umbrella.
"When the umbrella was closed, nothing showed. When it was open, the bearer would hold it over his head and on the center rod of the umbrella there was a small wire-like piece that was his end of the sighting mechanism, as he sighted toward the object with one umbrella rib-tip directly in line. The nylon dart - just one - was located in a small tube that was aligned with the sighting mechanism."
Prouty says he never thought of the weapon again until shortly after the assassination. "I knew the rules of Presidential protection and I knew that no one along the parade route was ever permitted to open an umbrella as the President's car went by. They let that happen. Why this omission? Why that umbrella? And when you watch the Zapruder film, you can see the man slowly rotating the umbrella as he lines up his shot as the car approaches."
This corroborates the medical findings of Dr. Charles Crenshaw, who worked to save JFK's life in Trauma Room One at Parkland Hospital. "The throat wound in the president was a very small wound of entry -- three to five millimeters," says Crenshaw, who is now director and chairman of the surgery department at Tarrant County Hospital District.
"Intimidation, fear and career mindedness," is what Crenshaw admits were his reasons for not refuting the all shots from-behind story Kennedy's wounds. ''Back then, it became quite obvious very fast that something funny was going on. I was very fearful in the first few years. So I never said anything. But now it's in the open, I don't fear anything. Kennedy's fatal gunshot wound is now believed to have come from in front, sending him hurtling beck and to his left at 100.3 feet per second. There was no doubt in my mind that the bullet that entered his head come from in front," Crenshaw concurs. "As it passed through he cranium, the high velocity missile obliterated part of the temporal and the parietal and occipital lobes before it lacerated the cerebellum."
"The whole right side of his head was shot off, and the back of his head was blown out."
As for the designated patsy, Oswald, Prouty confirms what has been suspected: Oswald was specially selected for the CIA, as one of between 3,000 and 5000 military personnel intended to give support to CIA operations. It was a program Prouty himself established in 1955.
"The Marines selected Oswald for this on merit," Prouty says. "Then he went to the CIA's military personnel offices. They had to approve of him and provide him with the necessary security clearances the FBI ran those check-ups."
"It proves that Oswald was a selected and valuable man in those days," explain Prouty "Neither the CIA, or the FBI can claim they did not know him. I had created that system with Larry Houston, the general Counsel of the CIA. It has worked for 40 years...give or take a North, Secord or Wilson."
But for Prouty; talking about Oswald misses the point, since he's not the man who shot JFK. Oswald was only the cover story designed to lead people away from what really happened.
'That's what you do in a coup d'etat: you try to lead people over here while you go over there," Prouty says, "JFK was killed by two or three professionals. Probably seven or eight bullets fired in all, if that many. And then the professionals just faded. Because when it's done by a hit team that are pros, you'll never know who they are. When they kill the President, there is a change of government and that is a coup d'etat and anybody involved will never be tried because the coup d'etat worked.
"Anybody that doesn't realize that isn't using his head."