Although three people were wounded in Dallas in November of 1963, you likely never heard of one of them—James Tague.
Tague was an car salesman who got stuck in traffic on Main Street in Dealey Plaza. In order to see what was causing the gridlock, he momentarily stepped out of his car expecting to see an accident blocking traffic ahead, but quickly realized it was JFK’s motorcade just passing through the plaza.
Tague was standing near the triple overpass when he heard the sound of a firecracker. After another firecracker went off, something stung his cheek. Then Tague noticed people taking cover all around the plaza. The President’s limo sped up and raced through the underpass. Tague was sure the two shots had come from the grassy knoll. But when he walked in that direction, a policeman stopped him, and commented on the flecks of blood on his cheek and asked Tague where he’d been standing during the shooting. The policeman quickly located a section of curb that had obviously been damaged by a bullet. The blood on Tague’s face was caused by a fragment of concrete kicked up by a missed shot.
Now this was pretty solid and important evidence and pretty soon that section of curb was removed for further study. However, years later, when Tague wanted to examine the curb, he noticed the bullet scar had been filled in by an unknown substance, rendering it fairly useless as evidence. If someone was shooting from the Texas School Book Depository, it certainly wasn’t Oswald, but the trajectory of any bullet could have been easily tracked using the curb as forensic evidence.
Here’s an interesting map that shows where Tague was standing. In this diagram, it shows shots being fired from the School Book Depository. That may never have happened. There were four shooters, one from the front, one from the side, and two from the rear. The front shooter was probably located in a storm drain on Elm Street under the overpass. This was where Johnny Roselli says he fired the first shot, which hit JFK in the throat. There may have been a shooter in the Dal-Tex Building, but he may have used a suppressor. And, of course, there was certainly a shooter behind the picket fence on the knoll.
This map is accurate, however, concerning where Tague was standing, and you can see the line drawn from his spot to the Dal-Tex building. Had that section of curb been left in place and studied, the location of a Dal-Tex shooter could have been conclusively proven.
Over the years, Tague became a bit of a haunted man, like others who witnessed this crime, many of whom could not fathom why their country was covering up evidence instead of swiftly moving forward to seek justice. He wrote a couple of books, and the most recent one pointed a finger at LBJ and the Texas oil crew that put LBJ into power. Tague never really looked deeply into the CIA’s JM/Wave station, or the critical role James Angleton played in the cover-up.
Recently, Tague tried to attend the 50th anniversary ceremony in Dealey Plaza, but was refused admittance, obviously because he believes in a wider conspiracy beyond Oswald. How strange is it that a man wounded during the killing of a President is not even allowed to attend the official ceremony of the event 50 years later? It just goes to show what a tight lid they still keep on this story.
I hope the youth of America will keep looking into this tragic event, because it provides a window on how power really operates in the USA. And once you start to question the JFK assassination and cover-up, it’s an easy step to start re-examining the lies of 9/11 since the two events have striking parallels.
Here’s a rare photo of Richard Case Nagell coming to court in handcuffs. Nagell was a spook with a long history of mental instability and spent decades applying for disability before he finally got it. During the Korean War he got field-promoted to captain at the record-breaking age of 20, so you know he was considered competent.
Two months before Kennedy’s assassination, Nagell walked into a bank in El Paso, Texas, flourished a revolver and fired two shots into the wall. He then walked outside to his vehicle and waited for the police. When they arrived, Nagell invited them to inspect his trunk, which contained a Minolta spy camera and miniature darkroom kit, notebook with Fair Play for Cuba contacts, phone numbers of CIA officers in Los Angeles and names of KGB agents in Mexico. “I’d rather be arrested than commit murder and treason,” said Nagell to the police while being handcuffed.
Nagell was sentenced to ten years for attempted bank robbery and served five for a crime he never fully explained, but later said he thought it would be a simple misdemeanor and not taken so seriously. Nagell claimed to have mailed a letter to J. Edgar Hoover around this time outlining the plot against Kennedy, but received no reply. Nagell made a number of claims of holding evidence that never appeared.
Jim Garrison decided not to call Nagell to the witness stand during his famous trial of Clay Shaw in 1967. Garrison made the first legitimate attempt to bring forth justice but was blocked and stonewalled at every turn by the CIA. And he knew he was being led from all directions into rabbit holes salted with timebombs, and probably suspected Nagell might be one of those.
According to Nagell, after being approached by an East German spook, he was told to double down by his American handlers, so he became a triple agent, a very complex and psychologically-demanding position, but one offering a unique view on world events. While working as a pro-Marxist infiltrator in Mexico and New Orleans, Nagell stumbled into the Kennedy plot and was allegedly told by his Communist handlers to kill Oswald to prevent the assassination (many Communists looked upon Kennedy as a potential ally). The problem with this story is there were two previous attempts planned prior to Dallas.
Dick Russell wrote the book on Nagell (The Man Who Knew Too Much) and it really opened a lot of doors into the assassination for me. Russell was also the first to visit Win Scott’s family and get the story of Scott’s feud with James Angleton over the investigation. Scott was likely killed after he tried to leave the agency after collecting evidence Oswald was a secret agent and not a lone assassin.
If you search online, you can find a bunch of Nagell’s correspondence. He sometimes wrote to friends and to the media and also to Russell himself. Many of these letters are highly entertaining and show an obvious insider knowledge into the workings at the CIA headquarters in Langley.
Nagell died of a heart attack in Los Angeles on November 1st, 1995, and since he lived longer than any other whistleblower, and since nothing substantial ever emerged from any of his revelations, I think it’s safe to say at this point Nagell was a rabbit hole and not a true whistle-blower. But that’s how it goes in the wilderness of mirrors, where up is down, and left is right.
After Kennedy was killed, CIA chief Richard Helms put John Moss Whitten in charge of the CIA’s internal investigation of the assassination, which probably goes to show how little knowledge had seeped into the agency outside Miami. Like most in the CIA, Whitten had no idea that people at JM/Wave had been secretly working with members of the Sicilian men-of-honor society on assassinating Fidel Castro.
Whitten was doing a good job, despite being initially swamped by a blizzard of crackpot material provided by the FBI. If you want to understand why so much crazy material appears immediately after an event like JFK or 9/11, just realize it’s manufactured as chaff to be tossed out of a jet shaking off a heat-seeking missile. But once Whitten spoke to Win Scott, CIA chief in Mexico, who had been conducting his own secret investigation, he realized CIA files on Oswald were being withheld by Helms and Angleton.
Whitten’s investigation was narrowing down to the CIA’s largest station outside Langley known as JM/Wave. The key figures posted there were Ted Shackley, David Morales, George Joannides, Rip Robertson, Thomas Klines and (formerly) William K. Harvey. In fact, Harvey had been in charge of an executive action program for removing foreign heads of state. But JFK wanted that program halted and was furious when Harvey kept moving forward with operations against Cuba, so he ordered Harvey sacked. Instead, Angleton quietly moved Harvey to Italy, while the executive action project re-assembled for a new target: JFK.
Funny how just when Whitten began poking around JM/Wave, Helms took him off the investigation and arm-chaired him out of the picture. And guess who replaced Whitten? Why, James Angleton, of course. Now watch the dead bodies pile up around Angleton, starting with Win Scott. Funny how George Joannides was brought out of retirement to act as the CIA’s liason with the Congressional investigation. But you can probably understand why they keep putting the fox in charge of the hen house when it comes to this story. Joannides was in charge of the anti-Castro Cuban group Oswald had some staged encounters with in New Orleans, a group that seems to have participated in the cover-up.
Sam Giancana got whacked while alone with someone he trusted, making breakfast when he got a unexpected bullet in the back of his skull. According to some highly placed CIA officials, the shooter was William K. Harvey, who would have been covering his tracks on the Kennedy killing. They lived fairly nearby, Giancana in Chicago and Harvey in northern Indiana.
After Giancana was gone in the summer of 1975, Roselli lost his power base and fled to Florida seeking refuge with the Trafficante organization. Within a year, Harvey was dead, and two months later, Roselli wound up diced up in little pieces in a barrel in Biscayne Bay.
Much later, Whitten was asked during the Congressional investigation why Harvey’s wife burned his papers after his death, implying that there might have been a smoking gun. “He was too young to have assassinated McKinley and Lincoln,” replied Whitten. “It could have been anything.”
The JFK assassination was a carefully planned operation, and the disino smoke screen started before Kennedy was in the ground. Most people have the impression Mark Lane is a teller of truth on this issue, but I know better.
Lane was posted to Army Intelligence during WWII, a theater of operations controlled by Allen Dulles, who went on to construct the CIA and run it—until Kennedy fired him. Lane rushed to Dallas to represent Oswald pro bono and soon found himself representing his widow, certainly a strategic position for any spook, and a position from which Lane dug some rabbit holes and salted them with time bombs.
Rush to Judgment was a confusing mess and even though Lane seemed to know immediately the CIA was behind the event, he never named any major perpetrator, instead focusing singular attention on E. Howard Hunt, a propaganda expert and not an assassin. Lane’s famous lawsuit against Hunt (for which he was paid around $5 million by the Liberty Lobby) proved nothing except Hunt could have been in Dallas that day. Lane could have gone after one of the central figures behind the murder, like Johnny Roselli or Ted Shackley or even James Angleton, and climbed the ladder of power from there, but never tried.
I hope you realize Liberty Lobby is an obvious disinfo op that claims the Rothschilds run the world, a rabbit hole the radical right has been perfecting for centuries. Which isn’t to say that they don’t control enormous resources—obviously they do—but their influence is exaggerated to take attention off the oligarchies of North America and Europe, some of whom don’t even permit Jews in their private clubs.
But there’s one particular rabbit hole with a time bomb I find fascinating, the umbrella man of Dealey Plaza.
Hunt was falsely identified as one of the three tramps, and links from JFK to Watergate exploded. Sprague, who uncovered the tramp photos, immediately started promoting a new concept: the umbrella man was the shooter.
You can see umbrella man in the photo above taken seconds before the assassination. He stands at the entrance of the kill zone and opens his umbrella just as Kennedy arrives and pumps the umbrella to draw attention to it. He became the greatest mystery of the assassination and many researchers assumed he was signaling shooters to commence firing. A darker-skinned man (perhaps Cuban) standing with umbrella man appears to hold a walkie-talkie. Sprague even made a diagram showing how the umbrella weapon supposedly worked. You’d be surprised how many serious researchers got pulled down into this rabbit hole. Concerns over the umbrella assassin got so intense that when Congress finally opened hearings on the assassinations, they made a public plea for umbrella man to step forward, and he did.
Turns out his name was Louie Steven Witt (three names almost seems essential for players in this drama) and he even brought the actual umbrella with him to the Capitol. He claimed he waved it as a protest symbol connecting England’s appeasement of Hitler with JFK’s appeasement of the Soviets. Witt was asked to open the umbrella so the Committee could be sure it didn’t contain an advanced sort of weaponry. Witt worked at the Rio Grande National Insurance Company, located one block north in the Rio Grande Life Building, 251 N. Field Street, a 19-story structure that included offices for military intelligence and the Secret Service. There’s no evidence to back up his claim an umbrella was ever a symbol of English appeasement of the Nazis. In retrospect, Witt’s story doesn’t pass the smell test, and the diversion into the absurd umbrella-as-weapon story so easily debunked it has all the markings of a counterintelligence misdirection op to confuse people about Witt’s real role.
Today, the umbrella-as-weapon story is trotted out periodically to show how absurd JFK conspiracy theories are. (By the way, Richard E. Sprague, the one who invented this hoax, became attached to every serious investigation, from Garrison to the House Committee and should not to be confused with Richard A. Sprague who resigned as chief counsel for the Congressional investigation early on.) (Excerpted from Killing Kennedy: The Real Story.)
After JFK was assassinated, the country went into deep shock. Very few people wanted to dwell on the event, or even consider evidence of CIA involvement. In fact, the mood of the country was similar to the post 9/11 environment, which left many people unable and unwilling to consider alternative conspiracy theories other than Osama bin Laden did it.
In any major crime, however, the key is to examine who benefited, and nobody benefited more from the JFK assassination than Lyndon Baines Johnson, an intensely corrupt politician who knew about the event in advance, although he certainly lacked sufficient power to pull it off on his own. In fact, had JFK not been assassinated, Johnson would likely have been jailed due to an ongoing investigation into bribes he’d accepted, a story that wouldn’t fully surface until after his death.
Barbara Garson was a leader in the Berkeley Free Speech Movement. In August of 1965, she was speaking at an anti-war rally in Berkeley, when she called the new First Lady: “Lady MacBird Johnson.” This slip-of-the-tongue inspired Garson to write a Shakespearean parody based around the Kennedy assassination and the first staged reading of this masterpiece of counterculture literature actually occurred at the Channing-Murray Foundation run by the Unitarian Church in Urbana, Illinois, an event that cemented that church as the beachhead for the blossoming anti-war movement in central Illinois.
The lead character of MacBird was played by none other than my cohort at the time, Brian Ravlin, who I’d first met when he appeared in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Urbana Junior High with my brother, Paul. Brian had dropped out of high school and gone to San Francisco in search of Bugsy’s brother Don. When he reappeared in Urbana a year later, he seemed an entirely new person.
A few days before the show opened, Brian dropped by the high school to visit me and a cheerleader girl squirted him in the face with a squirt gun as a joke. Brian had a huge Afro-like haircut and immense, shaggy sideburns at the time (see picture above). In fact, he was probably the most wildly-flamboyant counterculture character in Champaign-Urbana at the time, although Carl Ellis (Old Carlo) would soon surpass Brian in that regard.
Anyway, Brian laughed and gave that girl a little spank on her rear with a spiral notebook he was holding, either his latest poetry or notes for his script. Smitty’s son might have been the girl’s boyfriend, they certainly ran with the same crowd, for when he saw Brian slap her butt, he just reared back and blindsided Brian with a sucker punch to the face that knocked Brian off his feet and landed him flat on his back. The teacher quickly rushed Smitty’s son into the classroom and started class as if nothing had happened. I don’t remember much of what followed, other than I went into a slow-boiling rage because nothing was being done since Smitty (the football coach) was the most powerful figure in school. Brian went home and his mom took him to the hospital to get him checked out.
Like most people at the time, I was also having trouble thinking about CIA involvement in the Kennedy assassination. A few others around me were already deep into the citizen research movement (which is the real reason we know the truth today; the government has done nothing but cover-up the trails). But I was stunned by this staged reading, and immediately accepted the transparent truth that life is a giant wheel and the same stories go round and round. Suddenly it was clear the Macbeth tragedy was obviously being played out with new characters in our own time. After watching the show, it became difficult not to become a citizen researcher and I started reading everything I could find on the assassination.
And who do you think played the character of Ken O’Dunc? Why, none other than Eric Swenson, founder of the Finchley Boys, who helped spark the local garage rock movement and then had drifted into acting. In fact, Eric was probably the best actor in the production and was playing the Kennedy role because he could do a perfect JFK imitation, Boston accent and all. Eric had always worshiped Kennedy and no one was more depressed about the assassination than he. Eric even had a portrait of JFK on the wall in his house. I’d already started my own underground newspaper after getting kicked out of the Knight Riders for taking LSD (only a few months later, my former band members turned into huge pot-heads and acid freaks…they even offered to let me back into the band, but I’d already moved on).
“The performance was directed by Iva Martirano,” recalls Judith Lewis, who played one of the witches. “She founded the Roundhouse Players and staged a number of other avant-gardish productions using Urbana High and U of I students. She was the wife of Salvatore Martirano who was a composer of electronic music on the faculty with John Cage.”
I recently went back to take a look at MacBird and rediscovered its brilliance. I think it’d be a popular play today if not for the ending: Bobby Kennedy avenges his brother’s death. In the script, Ted Kennedy appears with a cast on his arm and Garson makes it clear the Kennedy’s believe Johnson is trying to have them killed as well. Little did we know Bobby would go down within a few years.
For the most part, the script is written in Shakespearean couplets and many of the longer speeches are modern adaptations of Shakespeare’s most famous soliloquies. The characters dress in modern suits, except for a colorful plume in their fedoras and tiny toy swords affixed to their waists. Eventually, MacBird became a huge hit on Broadway, launching the career of Stacy Keach.
I kinda wish Garson would revisit this project and update the script with the latest revelations. Certainly the trio of James Angleton, Bill Harvey and Johnny Roselli would make a wonderful addition as primary instigators and eventual assassins. The trio should be forced to keep killing more and more people, and eventually even Roselli, to keep a lid on the conspiracy.
Allen Dulles and J Edgar Hoover would be the masters of the coverup. Kennedy’s conflict with the Texas oil cowboys as well as the Eastern Federal Reserve need to be spelled out. And, of course, Johnson must voluntarily give up the throne (and then watch Bobby Kennedy get killed by a Dulles-Angleton goon anyway). In the end, MacBird goes back to the ranch in a deep depression and dies relatively young while tremendously unhappy.
Our local production of MacBird was a transforming event in central Illinois and one I still think about. We already had John Cage producing his greatest happenings in our town, I was running the biggest counterculture publication in downstate Illinois at the age of 17, and the Finchley Boys were rapidly becoming one of the most famous garage bands in the State.
But we also had some leaders on the other side of the fence, including the mysterious Professor Revilo P. Oliver, whose name spells the same both ways, and who was the leading pundit of the John Birch Society at the time, the first person to announce a conspiracy coverup in the JFK assassination within days of the event, and a person who probably should have been fired from the University for anti-Jewish rantings, but never was. In Revilo’s world view, the Jews were behind the Communists, who were behind everything else, including the shadow government. Today, I view the John Birch Society as an intelligence operation, not a legitimate citizen’s group, just based on their controversial history and heavy involvement in obvious disinfo. Revilo would eventually split from the Birch Society and join the violent White Power movement, undoubtedly another intelligence op.
In another weird twist, Johnny Roselli, one of JFK’s assassins, was passing through town frequently at the time to visit his lover, owner of the Champaign-Urbana News Gazette, a newspaper I worked for on week-ends to make pocket money.
I just wish Garson (or someone else) would come up with a play like MacBird only about 9/11 because we sure need something to break down the walls of resistance to truth that have been erected to protect the guilty.