Her name is Silvia Odio and her story proved conclusively that Lee Harvey Oswald was a part of a larger conspiracy, testimony that should have blown the Warren Commission fairy tale to bits had not everyone on all sides ignored its implications.
Strange that none of the torch bearers seeking to dismantle the Warren Commission’s story put a spotlight on Odio. But then most citizen researchers were led like lemmings off a cliff by a former military intelligence officer named Mark Lane.
Decades later, however, British journalist Anthony Summers realized the immense implications of Odio’s testimony, tracked her down and re-interviewed her and her sister.
Like all military-style operations, despite impeccable planning, things typically go haywire the second the first wave hits the beach, and the assassination of JFK was certainly no different.
Oswald, for example, was never supposed to be taken alive, a huge blunder that made the clean-up extremely messy. The ultimate, of course, would have been to have arranged for Oswald to be shot dead while in the sniper’s nest with the Carcarno in his nitrate-soaked hands.
But Oswald had eaten lunch downstairs during the ambush, and gone straight to the lunch room to retrieve a coke out of a vending machine when the first policeman entered the building. Officer Roger Craig came in minutes later. He had witnessed a man flee the scene in a Rambler station wagon driven by a stocky Latino, probably David Morales, and would be the first to uncover the sniper’s nest.
After leaving the book depository, Oswald had been deposited at his temporarily rented room in Oak Cliff. Apparently, he came there to pick up a revolver. A Dallas police car stopped in front of the rooming house and honked its horn twice before moving on. In any assassination, the getaway is the most carefully planned part of the op, but it was obvious Oswald had no getaway plan.
Instead of fleeing downtown, where buses and trains were available, Oswald walked deeper into the suburbs, entering a movie theater, a perfect location for a clandestine meeting. Later, while in the Dallas jail, he reportedly attempted to make a phone call to a number associated with a former Naval Intelligence operative in North Carolina, but someone at the switchboard pulled the plug so that call never went through.
Originally, the assassination might have been planned to be blamed on Castro, and used as a pretense to invade Cuba. A lot of time and effort had gone into sheep-dipping Oswald as pro-Castro. But in the wacky wilderness of mirrors, Oswald was also sheep-dipped as a potential double agent, an anti-Castro fanatic who blamed the Bay of Pigs disaster on JFK’s refusal to send in jets to support the invasion. JFK did so only after being shown that the original sorties sent to destroy Cuba’s air force had failed miserably, despite the pilots’ conviction the raid had been successful. JFK was so disgusted when shown U-2 photos of the Cuban fleet mostly intact, he called off all further support.
The Bay of Pigs is a complex story. Allen Dulles, head of CIA, was fired because he screwed up the air cover and left Castro’s meager jet force intact. When the invaders lost the air war, it ended all hope of success. The invaders had been planning to construct their own runway near the beach for landing ammo and other supplies. But without command of the skies, all support had to retreat, leaving the troops defenseless on the beach.
It was a stupid plan anyway and never had much of a chance unless the invasion was the excuse to justify a rescue mission using the full might of USA forces. Like all Communist revolutions, Castro’s story is a bit strange. He was a rich kid funded and trained by the CIA but he abruptly decided to go commie, something that shocked many of his CIA mentors. His revolution was conducted over radio waves, with fake reports of revolutionary activity all over the island. Castro had puny military resources versus Baptista, but easily won the psy-war, helped by characters like E. Howard Hunt and Edward Lansdale, both of whom were quite expert at psychological warfare. They pulled similar stunts leading up to the Bay of Pigs using Radio Swan, but had been unable to sway popular opinion. Castro had quickly purged his internal critics after taking power with mass arrests and executions.
JFK was furious at how inept the Dulles plan was, and refused to send in the calvary to the shock of his advisors. He did, however, buy back the survivors, which turned out to be a terrible idea since many ended up working on the executive action hit squad that killed Kennedy. It’s a tragedy worthy of Sophocles or Shakespeare.
In 1962, Odio’s father had been jailed, accused of plotting Castro’s murder. He had been one of the richest men in Cuba before the revolution and supported Castro until Castro “betrayed the cause.” Sylvia led a luxurious and pampered existence up until her parents were jailed and stripped of all assets. The oldest of five children, she was forced to flee with her siblings, eventually landing in Dallas, destitute and living in a shelter with zero resources. Overwhelmed by her situation, she began having nervous breakdowns, disassociating to alleviate the unbearable anxiety. But soon, she recovered, landed a job and secured an apartment for her family. She was in the process of moving to an even bigger apartment when visited by three men, one month before JFK’s assassination.
Two of them were Cuban and claimed to be members of her father’s organization, the Junta Revolucionaria, a left-wing organization that was anti-imperialist but also anti-Castro. They claimed the white man with them, who they introduced as Leon Oswald, had volunteered to go to Cuba to kill Castro. They were seeking help translating and editing a fundraising pitch.
Having been warned by her father about strange men bearing tales of intrigue, Odio refused to permit them inside, never took the chain off the door, and told them she was not able to help them, so they left. The entire discussion was witnessed by her sister.
The next day, the tall leader of the group (who called himself Leopoldo), phoned to say: “Leon is a former Marine and an expert marksman. He says we Cubans don’t have guts because we should have killed Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs.”
A few weeks later, Odio saw Oswald on TV being shot by Ruby and instantly recognized him. She called the police and volunteered her story, and it became part of the public record.
Over the decades it’s been pretty well established that Leopoldo was the Intelligence Chief for Brigade 2506, the same group massacred at the Bay of Pigs, a man really named Bernardo De Torres. De Torres had been captured, jailed in Cuba and only recently released and returned to the States when he had his staged encounter with the Odio sisters.
De Torres later told his daughter he was in Florida the day of the assassination and had launched his own private investigation into the incident but had to abruptly halt it after discovering the truth. He showed up and volunteered as an investigator for Jim Garrison after Garrison launched his secret investigation. Yet every promising lead De Torres unveiled to Garrison led into a dead-end. De Torres’ primary aim seemed to have been casting suspicion on Castro as Kennedy’s real killer, a rabbit hole that periodically reemerges in the research community every decade or so. Garrison became convinced De Torres was secretly working with the CIA to disrupt his investigation.
After being dismissed from Garrison’s circle, De Torres went to work for super spook Mitch Werbell as an arms dealer in Latin America, and, according to some, became a major player in the narcotics trade, a feat also achieved by characters like Lucian Sarti and Barry Seal after JFK’s demise.
There’s an amazing photo of Frank Sturgis, Barry Seal, Felix Rodriguez, William Seymour, Porter Goss and others having a celebratory dinner in Mexico City. Only Sturgis took care to hide his face.
Gaeton Fonzi established De Torres was one at least 25 spooks operating in and around Dealey Plaza during the ambush. He was posing as a professional photographer. Apparently, De Torres kept those photos in a safe deposit box as his own personal life insurance policy.
Porter Goss rose to the top of American intelligence, first as head of the Joint Intelligence Committee and later as head of the CIA. In August of 2001, Goss visited Pakistan and met the head of the ISI, General Ahmad. A month later, he was having breakfast in Washington with Ahmad when they received news a plane had just crashed into one of the twin towers in New York.
Goss went on to oppose the creation of any independent 9/11 commission as he wanted the investigation confined to his committee. Goss’s investigation included information on Saudi Arabian and Pakistan involvement in the attack, but those 28 pages were classified by George W. Bush. Despite tremendous pressure to de-classify, those pages remain hidden from the American people.
Nevertheless, it soon became public knowledge General Ahmad had ordered Saheed Sheikh to send a $100,000 money wire to Mohamed Atta in Florida one month before the attacks.