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Mexico City, A New Analysis

 Newman at Lancer '99
John Newman

John Newman at the "November in Dallas"

JFK Lancer Conference

Friday, November 19, 1999 

Transcript by Joe Backes and Debra Conway

Page 1

"I guess I'm going to introduce

I'm a conspiracy theorist."
John Newman

John Newman brought several hefty packets of document transparencies, along with two slide trays full of scanned document slides for the Conference audience. Debra Conway assisted him with the overheads while John ran the slides himself. The two of them coordinated pretty well and those dialogues have been deleted from this transcript. As this is the transcript of the presentation, the author has made very few changes to John's actual words, and only for clarity's sake have these changes been made. Some items to note: When John says "here" he is referring to a document on the screen. Also, not every document shown to the audience is linked to this transcript though we made every attempt to have as many as practical. We encourage you to order this video from the '99 NID Conference as soon as it's available.

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"As we get set up, I have a 133 new documents for you today."


"I guess I'm going to introduce myself, I'm a conspiracy theorist."

(Laughter and applause. Long pause while John gets organized with Debra Conway for the slides and overheads to be used in the presentation. Author's note-I am deleting asides by John Newman to Debra Conway in regard to the visuals.)

"I'm John Newman, as I said I'm a conspiracy theorist. I also do other things for a living. I'm trying to get to be conspiracy theorist first class, I don't know if I've gotten there yet but I'm going to make myself a button that has a rank, so I can refer to myself appropriately. I don't know if I can get through everything I have, and if I don't I'll try and squeeze in somewhere else, where's there's a hole this weekend. What I have for you is basically a two part presentation today. The first part of it deals with the tapes from Mexico City. It is a very controversial issue, a lot of stuff has been released on it in the archives. The House Select Committee chased that story very vigorously and so did the Review Board.

"Then at the end of that section I am going to present a hypothesis to you, for three or four minutes, then I'm going to go back, and I am going to take you through the case, pre-assassination, a couple of weeks between Mexico City and the assassination, and then through the first 24 to 48 hours and watch the panic set in in Washington, D.C. and see what happens everywhere.

"In all of that you will see, I think, more clearly than before, the hand of Lyndon Johnson directing a lot of the cover-up, it's pretty interesting to watch this. But it is clear that the Mexico City story is driving all of that, so that's my plan today. And a lot of this stuff is brand new. And I thought you would appreciate actually seeing the documents. I'm going to do my best to go through this. As it turns out if it's taking too long, well, I'll cut it off and maybe come back later to see how we do.

"This schematic over here on the overhead, 'The tale of the Mexico City tapes,' Debby is going to put it up every once in a while will help orient you for the first part of this presentation. There are really two competing stories here. One is that the tapes survived the assassination and were listened to, in fact listened to in Dallas, Texas, by FBI agents while Oswald was alive. And then they got a surprise when they listened to those tapes, and listened to that voice.

"There is another story, the tapes had been destroyed before the assassination, had been 'routinely erased.' You will find on the right hand side of that, the graphic there, all the references, the contemporaneous references, in the record, to the actual tapes having survived, having been listened to, which call it was, and so on and so forth, and on the left hand side you will find the contemporaneous reflections in the record of the erasure story. It goes through three stages. The first 24 hours from the time Kennedy is killed on 11/22 till noon the following day there is no story of erasure, then from noon till about 6:00 p.m. on 11/23 the story is that one tape was erased, the 9/28 call, the call on the 28th of September from the Cuban consulate to the Soviet embassy by Lee Harvey Oswald. For those of you who are not conversant in all of this I will say a little something about it in a second. And then the final phase, from about 6:00 p.m. on Saturday till today, the story is that all of the tapes have been erased.

"So, that is what that schematic is, it will be put back up from time to time to remind you as I go through the first part of this presentation on the tapes what the two competing stories are. So, you get a better feel for them.

"Lee Harvey Oswald went to Mexico City at the end of September, 1963, ostensibly to "defect", yet again, for the second time, to the Soviet Union. While he was there he sought visas. He sought a visa to the Soviet Union, and a transit visa across Cuba. This was very strange because when he had applied for his passport, it was stamped, okay for travel to the Soviet Union, and Finland, and Germany, all of the countries he had gone through his first time. It was illegal for travel to Cuba. So, why he would go an illegal route when he had an opportunity to go the same way he went before is a mystery. It's really a non-starter, anyway, I don't want to get into that part of the story. What I do want to focus on is his visits to those consulates and the phone calls that he allegedly made. Now, I don't have time to tell the entire story here. In fact, I wrote a little article in PROBE, I don't know how many of you have seen it. It sort of lays it out a little bit. And I am going to do something more lengthy for JFK Lancer it'll be out towards the end of the year on this. But, I went through a great deal of trouble when I wrote Oswald and the CIA [New York,Carroll & Graf Publishers 1995] to really get into those tapes on a content basis. And I don't have the time to do that here but it was my judgment when I read them and analyzed them when I wrote that book back in 1995, that based on the content of those tapes alone, that it wasn't him. Because the words that were spoken by the person who identified himself as Oswald were incongruous with the experiences that we know he had down there from all of the testimony and all of the witnesses that were there, the Cubans, the Russians, the Mexicans, and so on.

"Right now I am going to be single minded and stay just on the tapes. There are also transcripts. Of course, when you intercept a phone call, when the CIA intercepted those phone calls they made transcripts, from the tapes. But it's the tapes that I'm focused on now. Because when you read a transcript you can't tell whose voice it is. When you have a tape you can take that tape to the Dallas Police building, while he (Oswald) is still alive and you can play them in one room, and have him talk in another room, you can even have him repeat lines. And you can make some judgments.

[Author's note - This may be why we have this cover story of no interrogation notes haven been taken while Oswald is alive and being questioned, and why we were told there was no room for a stenographer, etc.]

"And if it's not him, we have a real problem. We, the United States, have a real problem, based on what happened in those phone calls. So, I am going to stay riveted for the next 30-40 minutes on the tapes themselves. One more thing before I start, the CIA did routinely erase tapes. They have a very large intercept operation down there in Mexico City, but the period before an erasure occurred was two weeks, two weeks. So for the phone calls for the 28th of September, and say the first of October we would be talking middle of October before any of those tapes would have been erased. So, I will just make that parenthetical observation.

"The very first document that we find in the record actually comes from, and you can find this by the way in the back of Hosty's book [Assignment Oswald] if you like. [See p. 296-317. Also RIF # 104-10004-10199 from the 3rd batch.] It's actually a summary report, the ARRB released this, this is a brand new document, relatively new, last couple of years, it is called, "Summary Report" it was written on the 13th of December, 1963, internal CIA report, it was called "We find Oswald in Mexico City." It's about 22 pages, a pretty interesting document.

[Author's note. In a caption underneath where the first page of this report is reproduced in Hosty's book: Assignment Oswald (New York, Arcade Publishing 1996) "Agent Hosty never received the information in this report regarding Kostikov's role in the KGB." Clarence Kelly, director of the FBI after Hoover confirms, "No mention was made of Oswald's visit to the Cuban embassy. Worse yet, no identification of Kostikov as a high-ranking assassination specialist was given to New Orleans. Or to Agent Hosty. [See Clarence Kelly, The Story of an FBI Director (Kansas City, Andrews McMeel and Parker 1987) p.268 Quoted in Newman Oswald and the CIA p. 429]

"But, there are a couple of things in there that pertain to the story of tapes, including this statement here, 'As soon as our Mexico City station realized that Lee Oswald was the prime suspect it began rescreening the written transcripts in its files covering the Soviet embassy for the pertinent period,' and read the next words ladies and gentlemen, 'the actual tapes were reviewed. Many had been erased after the normal two weeks wait,' but, not all of them. That means some of them were actually listened to in the hours immediately after the assassination, by the Mexico City CIA station. This is a CIA document.

"In the same document elsewhere it says, 'Several calls believed to be Oswald were discovered and their contents cabled to Washington, where they were disseminated to the White House, the State Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Oswald's name was not actually mentioned in these additional calls, but 'similarity of speech and various plain points of content link them to him.'

"Similarity of speech?""

Not something you will find from looking at transcripts.

"Now, this is another part of the same document, and you will notice the little squiggly stuff in the middle. That is what the Review Board did. They thought that what was in there was so important to us that they decided they would have to tell us a little something about it, but they didn't play the black out these words game, because they know that people like me, you know, get out my ruler and figure stuff out.

"So, anyway, I blew it up for you. And you really can't read it back there so I will just tell you. They did the "substitute language" thing. And what they are telling us is, what they are telling us in here is that there was another copy of the 1 October intercept that was discovered after the assassination. The redacted information in this part of the page concerns information, references the 1 October intercept on Lee Oswald, that would be the Tuesday call from outside the Soviet embassy to the Soviet embassy, and in the transcript, you'll see, the guy says, 'I AM OSWALD.' He says this. He mentions his name 'I AM OSWALD.' Anyway, 'and the possible existence of another copy of that intercept that was discovered after the assassination.'

"It is a very interesting document here. Again, this a CIA document, it's not from the HSCA or anybody else.

"This one here on the left, this is actually a letter written by Win Scott, Chief of Station to J.C. King.

[See Document # 104-10015-10310 from the 8th batch]

"You see the letters J.C.? It's J.C. King, Chief of Western Hemisphere Division of the CIA. And essentially there are a lot of interesting things in here, 'reference is made to our conversation of 22 November,' now we know they talked on the phone, right after the assassination. That's very interesting. J.C. King on the phone to Win Scott down there in Mexico City. Essentially, look at this, 'I requested permission to give the legal attache,' and for those of you that don't know the legal attache in Mexico City is the FBI desk, that's FBI Mexico City, legat, when you see it on documents read FBI Mexico City, anyway, Win Scott, the CIA Chief of Station, called J.C. King and got permission to give the pictures of ' the mystery man,' this other person photographed going into the embassy down there, got permission to give them to the FBI man, actually a person working under him, the legal attache is actually [Clark] Anderson, and Eldon Rudd was the name of the FBI agent working under him who took this stuff up to Dallas.

"But look at this, 'I requested permission to give the legal attache copies of photographs of a certain person who is known to you.'

"That has always bothered me. I'm certain it's quite innocent. But I like to take it out and look at it every once in awhile, you know, it's just, it's interesting.

[Author's note- Peter Dale Scott writes, "The CIA never released the photos from the special "pulse camera" which they had just installed to watch the Cuban Consulate, shortly before Oswald's visit. Worse, when the HSCA asked for the "pulse camera" photos, the CIA replied, falsely, that this camera had not been in operation until three months later. See Lopez report, 13-30; footnote 363 on p. A-25, as quoted in Deep Politics II: Essays on Oswald, Mexico, and Cuba, (Grand Prairie, JFK Lancer, 1998, 2nd Printing). p. 9]

"The main teaching point here in this next paragraph talks about having talked to the Ambassador, Ambassador Mann, who is quite disturbed, and wanted these photographs and transcripts and things sent up to Dallas right away. And the plane leaves that night. And arrives at Love Field here in Dallas at 2:47 local time, or 3:47 EST [I believe that's 2:47 a.m. CST on 23 November, 1963] with a Top Secret package on board. And that's really what we learn from this.

"And the question is, are the tapes on that plane? Because as you will see in a second, somebody is listening to something up here from Mexico City. And we didn't have fax machines in those days. So, unless they were beamed here by Scotty and the boys, this is the only plane that came here.

"Here is another one for example, Shanklin, the Special Agent in Charge here in Dallas, Texas, of the FBI, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) this is a memo to file, and he talks about the plane, it was supposed to arrive by one, actually it is a couple of hours later, so this talks about it too. But there is something else very interesting in this document. It is a memo to file, by Shanklin, this is the night of the assassination, he goes to his typewriter and makes a memo to file.

'Assistant to the Director Belmont in Washington, D.C. called and said that we have on file practically all the information on Oswald down there in Mexico City except for the one piece where the CIA had secured some information concerning a phone call made on the 28th of September from the Cuban consulate to the Soviet embassy.'

"This is very significant, because what had happened as you will see later on in the second part of the briefing the CIA really withheld the whole Cuban aspect of everything that has been going on down there. And we want to fit that into everything.

"But now here's Shanklin typing away on his typewriter, the night of the assassination, remarking on that fact. You know, 'We didn't know that, that was the one piece of the puzzle that was missing was that 9/28 phone call.'

And here is Special Agent (Wally) Heitman, who also is in the Dallas office here of the FBI. He actually gets the assignment to meet the plane. You can see his handwriting (Actually, I don't think John had this as a slide or a transparency overhead.) Anyway, this is Heitman writing a memo saying, 'Eldon Rudd is on his way up here.' Here's the actual ID# of the aircraft and everything else. And the fact that it is going to land at 2:47 a.m. Dallas time at Love Field and then.....

[Tape ends] [Missing some bits] [Both John Kelin's and my tape fail right here.]

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