Interview With Gaeton
8 October 1994
VIDEO INTERVIEW OF
OCTOBER 8, 1994
RELEASE AND QUALIFICATION
In a written letter Gaeton Fonzi outlines the following distribution
"I hereby grant ... permission to disseminate, distribute or otherwise
about in whatever fashion they so chose, be it by voice, video,
or laser beam means, copies of the transcript, video and sound
which resulted from the interview conducted with me on October 8, 1994,
that, beyond costs of material and time, NO COMMERCIAL gain be involved
further provided that such distribution is not knowingly made to anyone
any corporate entity who or which will further re-distribute for
So dated Miami, FL October 17, 1994.
FORMAT OF INTERVIEW
Questions for the video interview were solicited through many formats
CompuServe's JFK Forum, Internet, Prodigy, personal request and other
A total of 101 questions were submitted, grouped by subject where
and submitted for review by Gaeton Fonzi prior to the interview.
question was given an arabic numeral (1, 2, 3). Follow-up
asked at the time of the interview are designated by an arabic numeral
by a letter in small case (1.a, 2.b, 3.c)
Gaeton Fonzi denied answers to certain questions either because the
were not within his expertise, or because the questions were
and not within the intention of the interview which is stated by Mr.
at the onset of the video. (See video text for
Questions not addressed were questions 26-47, 50-55, 57, 63, 83-92 and
and are not included in the transcript since they are not part of the
NOTE: Any text in brackets [ ... ] is either a scribner's note or
addition/clarification by Gaeton Fonzi. Bracketed items are not
of the video. Asterisks (*) were placed where words were changed
deleted for grammatical errors and redundancy.
Gaeton Fonzi was born in Philadelphia on October 10, 1935. He was
in West New York, New Jersey, and was graduated with journalism honors
the University of Pennsylvania in 1957. He served as an officer
the U.S. Army Infantry and a Civil Affairs Reserve Company. He
briefly as a reporter with the Delaware County (Pa.) Daily Times and as
associate editor with the Chilton Company.
In 1959, Fonzi joined Philadelphia magazine and was later senior
Fonzi won the magazine's first national journalism award and wrote more
100 major feature articles.
In 1972, Fonzi became editor of Miami magazine and senior editor of its
publication, Gold Coast in Fort Lauderdale. In 1975, on the basis
articles he had written on the subject while at Philadelphia magazine,
was asked by U.S. Senator Richard Schweiker, then a member of the
Select Committee on Intelligence, to become a staff investigator
the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. In 1977, Fonzi
invited to join the U.S. House Select Committee on Assassinations as a
investigator. Later, as a special team director, he wrote and
a major appendix, Volume X, of the Committee's Final Report.
his article for Washingtonian magazine, detailing the political
of the Committee's investigation, received national media coverage and
the magazine record readership. Fonzi has been a contributing
of Gold Coast and South Florida magazine, a feature writer for New
Avenue magazine and contributed to Penthouse, Esquire and The New York
Magazine. He has worked on special investigative
for the New York Daily News and the Chicago Tribune involving the FBI's
of criminal informants in political investigations.
Among the awards given Fonzi's articles are the Philadelphia Business
Award, the Philadelphia Bar Association Award, two local Sigma Delta
Awards, a National Sigma Delta Chi Award, four Florida Magazine
Awards, a City Regional Magazine Association Award, a Florida-Atlantic
Enterprise Reporting Special Award and a Washington Monthly
Fonzi has been a finalist in Columbia's National Magazine Awards and
received the William Allen White Investigative Journalism Award from
University of Kansas. He has been a guest lecturer in journalism
the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan.
Fonzi is the co-author of an article TIME magazine honored in 1970 as
of the ten most significant press stories of the decade. That
appeared in the book, The Best Magazine Articles of 1968.
He is the author of Annenberg: A Biography of Power, published in 1970
Weybright & Talley in New York and by Anthony Blond in London, and
The Last Investigation, published by Thunder's Mouth Press in 1993 and,
trade paperback, in 1994.
FONZI: SELECTED REFERENCES
(For Gaeton Fonzi)
Covert Action Information Bulletin #12/81 pp37-8
DiEugenio, J. Destiny Betrayed. 1992 pp235 239
Duffy, J. Ricci, V. The Assassination of John F. Kennedy. 1992 p186
Furiati, C. ZR Rifle: The Plot to Kill Kennedy and Castro. 1994 pp144-6
Groden, R. Livingstone, H. High Treason. 1990 pp189 399
Lane, M. Plausible Denial. 1991 pp32-4
Marrs, J. Crossfire. 1990 pp521-4 526 530
Melanson, P. Spy Saga. 1990 pp181-2
Morrow, R. First Hand Knowledge. 1992 p295
Pell, E. The Big Chill. 1984 p174
Russell, D. The Man Who Knew Too Much. 1992 pp280-1 418 420
Summers, A. Conspiracy. 1989 pp506-7 518 535
Vanity Fair 11/93 p100
Vankin, J. Conspiracies, Cover-ups, and Crimes. 1991 p123
Village Voice 3/31/92 p39
BEGIN VIDEO INTERVIEW
Today is October 8, 1994 and Gaeton Fonzi is here to answer some
submitted to the Ft. Lauderdale JFK Researcher Group. And he has
us permission to take these answers and transcribe them and place them
CompuServe and make them public record for anybody to read and
or whatever. Mr. Fonzi.
GF: Okay. We're doing this basically because I'd like to be
in terms of helping the researchers who are legitimately interested in
my opinion or answers in areas of the investigation that I was
involved *. There is enough confusion around today in terms of
saying things or giving opinions of which they have no foundation
I'll answer those questions that I do have some knowledge about,
I don't want to get into any kind of argumentative position here in
of questions that are, in fact, just points of view or arguments for a
of view. So we can take it from there.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
1. When your book, The Last Investigation, reached the bookstores last
your feelings seemed pessimistic that there was going to be another
Do you still feel this way?
GF: Yes, I do feel that there will never be another
And though I feel that way, in the back of my mind I'm hopeful that
might be. Of course, there's always, again, the feeling that I
don't know whether the government can conduct a legitimate
on the one hand. And on the other, I've always felt that if a
of the United States really wanted to find the truth, then really
a true investigation, then perhaps there could be some control of the
and agencies in order to achieve a true cooperative arrangement with
investigation. Up to now, through history, there hasn't been.
Addendum (not on video) to answer #1 by Gaeton Fonzi:
[I didn't quite clarify the basic dilemma here. It revolves
this issue: Can the Government honestly investigate itself?
believe it can if the President can take control of every branch and
of the Government and get it to follow his orders. That would
a President who would have to give the investigation priority over
and, perhaps, even issues that would be classified as pertaining to
security." So the bottom line question then becomes, can there
be such a President? I doubt it.]
2. Is there any difference in opinion on the above question between you
those enthusiastic over the release of the records? If so, what?
GF: Yeah. I think there are those who...... And
enthusiastic about the release of the records also.
I think there are those that think that another investigation, another
investigation would accomplish something.. Or would accomplish a
to some extent that would be closer to the truth. Again, to go
to what I said before, it's difficult to, for me, to feel that the
could investigate itself, fully and completely without the total desire
a President who wanted to get at the truth.
3. If there are future obstacles to another investigation or further
of records, what contemporary societal institutions do you feel will
up the greatest amount of resistance?
GF: Well I'm not too sure what is meant by societal institutions.
that, are they the same as government institutions? Societal
... we're talking about?
3.a. Heritage Foundation?
GF: Yeah. Heritage Foundation, or institutions like that. I
really know. To answer that question as best as I can, I just
4. In the 1994 November elections are there any candidates that you
could be either an asset or a detriment to further investigative
Nationally or locally?
GF: Well, I would hate to see Jeb Bush elected
But other than that, no, I don't know.
5. What areas of future investigation do you feel deserve more
If your answers include the questions concerning David Atlee
Bishop and the Silvia Odio/Leon Oswald one, I already know your
on these. What areas, other than the above, do you feel deserve looking
GF: Well, * I have to concentrate on the areas that I was
with in terms of answering that question. And it does include
two areas. And to some extent Mexico City and the CIA..
as you are probably aware, at the COPA Conference this weekend, there
be individual researchers that have done a tremendous amount of
in other areas that, I know deserve further
For instance, there's a fellow out in Oklahoma who is coming up with
pretty good information when he tells me about the possibility of there
two Oswalds at the time [one of the Oswalds] was supposed to [be] in
Marines, in the early part of the fifties, mid part of the
And so far, the information he has shown me has been valid in terms of
conflicting evidence. So there are areas like that that
researchers are working on, that I think really should be looked into *.
Addendum (not on video) to answer #5 by Gaeton Fonzi:
[The fellow from Oklahoma to whom I'm referring is John
His presentation at the COPA conference indicated he has evidence of an
working in New Orleans in the mid-1950s at a time when another "Oswald"
in the Marines. I believe there are individual researchers such
Armstrong who could point the way to many areas of the JFK
which need more investigation.]
6. Some people say that no connection between Oswald and Banister has
been incontrovertibly proven. What if Banister knew who Oswald was but
know him personally? Could this possibly change the direction of an
After all, Oswald was on New Orleans TV in the summer of 1963. He may
been on at least one other 11 P.M. news television broadcast also. Guy
couldn't have missed a "defector" and FPCC leafletter, especially since
kept tabs on lesser radicals.
GF: Yeah. This is a confusing question and it's also a
in an area that I'm not familiar with. From what I recall though,
Summers, in his investigation, came up with fairly good evidence that
was with Banister [according to the people Tony spoke] *.
6. a A follow up on that then. Do we know if any of
files have been recovered other than just an index listing of what some
his files may have been.
GF: No, I [don't]. I don't have an answer for that. I
6.b. You didn't handle the New Orleans Part?
GF: No, I didn't.
6.c. You were just the Miami?
GF: I was just in Miami. I went down to New Orleans a
of times. I had met Jim Garrison prior to my joining the House
Met him when I was working with Schweiker and as a result of that I was
of the initial liaison with Garrison for the House Committee. But
they, two separate investigators were hired in New Orleans to handle
aspect of the investigation.
6.d. You don't know then or have any indication of whatever
to his files?
6.e. They could have just been thrown away or some government
grabbed them or what?
GF: I don't know.
6.f. You have no idea?
GF: I have no idea.
6.g. The state police, I understand. The state police got
of his files through his brother and his wife.
GF: Well there were two investigators. L. J. Delsa and Bob
who were with the New Orleans Police Department prior to their joining
Committee, who might provide better information.
7. Have you ever run into any evidence of Guy Banister conducting
on Tampa FPCC chairman VT Lee?
GF: No I haven't, because again, * I wasn't involved in that
of the investigation.
8. Accepting Veciana's story of seeing Bishop with Oswald, how can you
for this violation of "basic tradecraft"? Is it not possible that
>participated< in the meeting with Bishop and Oswald?
GF: Anything is possible. But as far as violation of basic
goes, David Phillips had a record of violating basic tradecraft.
left his briefcase, I believe at one point, in a restaurant.
got in trouble with that. So I have no problem with violation of
Addendum (not on video) to answer #8 by Gaeton Fonzi:
[As far as a lapse in "tradecraft" goes, let me add the incident
which I have personal knowledge. It's detailed in my book.
when Phillips was introduced to Veciana at the ARIO meeting in Reston.
the time it was still ARIO, not AFIO.) Veciana was introduced by
to Phillips twice, once in the banquet hall and once in the
Phillips even asked that it be repeated and then, when Veciana asked
"Don't you remember my name?" Phillips responded, "No." As
himself later pointed out, that was odd considering that Veciana had
exceptionally well-known in anti-Castro activity, being the founder,
fund-raiser and spokesman for Alpha 66, the largest and most militant
group. It was odd because anti-Castro activity was the heart and
of Phillips' mission during the period in question. It was
for Phillips not to know or remember Veciana's name. Phillips had
been caught off-guard by Veciana's surprise appearance at Reston and
a little "slip of tradecraft." Phillips himself must have later
that because later, under oath during his Committee testimony, he
the only way he could rectify that "slip of tradecraft" was to lie and
that Veciana was never introduced to him by name at that
I urged Chief Counsel Bob Blakey to recommend Phillips be charged with
since we had three witnesses to that Reston encounter: myself, Veciana
an aide from Senator Schweiker's office. Blakey declined to take
9. Can you clarify the >exact< wording of Veciana's previous
about Bishop's request that Veciana contact Guillermo Ruiz?
did Veciana's early statements imply that Ruiz had no knowledge of
but would be asked to lie?
GF: Yes. As far as clarifying Veciana's exact wording, I
likely do that, especially off the top of my head because these are
that we discussed so many time. I discussed so many times with
in terms of getting additional details from things he was telling
But from what I recall now, Veciana said that Bishop did come to him
said that he knew that his cousin was involved with, was with Cuban
in Mexico City. And at that time there was a story going around
Oswald had been seen with a man and a woman somewhere. And the
wife could speak very good English and I think Ruiz' wife could speak
good English. This is, again, off the top of head. And
said, "if you can get your cousin to say that he was with Oswald, it
be worth a lot of money to him." And Veciana said okay, he would
to get in touch with him. Veciana made several attempts over the
few months to get in touch with his cousin but was unable to. I
and I don't recall the specifics of this, but I believe Veciana told
or I found out later, that Ruiz rebuffed his attempts to contact
And so Veciana was never able to get in touch with him . And when
in one of his later meetings with Bishop, he told Bishop this.
said, "well, that's okay, forget about it." But to answer
question as far as did Veciana's early statements imply that Ruiz had
knowledge of Oswald but would be asked to lie.
That's exactly what he was asked, would be asked to do.
10. Veciana states that Bishop asked Veciana to contact Ruiz and get
to state that Oswald was at the Cuban Consulate; later, Bishop
his mind and told Veciana to forget it. This implies that Veciana
some means of communication with Ruiz but had not yet contacted
Do you know if Veciana maintained contact with Ruiz?
GF: Well again, this question was answered in what I have just
in terms of the previous question. * * Bishop didn't ask Veciana
contact Ruiz and get Ruiz to state that Oswald was at the Cuban
That's not what he had asked him to do. And Bishop didn't change
mind as far as telling Veciana to forget. Veciana told Bishop
he hadn't been able to get in touch with Ruiz. Veciana didn't
a means of communication. That was the problem. He was
to establish a means of communication and was unsuccessful. **.
11. Recently, Guillermo Ruiz stated that he translated for Oswald at
Cuban Consulate. Do you know of >any< corroborating
that Ruiz met with Oswald? Does the statement by Ruiz contradict any
statements by Veciana?
GF: No it doesn't contradict anything that Veciana said because
didn't have any knowledge about that. I'm familiar with Ruiz'
about Oswald at the Cuban Consulate. I have difficulty accepting
Cuban reports at this point as I do with the reports of the Russian
as far as Oswald being there because there is conflicting information
terms of where Oswald was, when, in Mexico City. So,
There are too many areas left under-investigated in the whole Mexico
12. Fabian Escalante [Font] has asserted that Veciana participated in
meeting between Bishop and Oswald and that the purpose of the meeting
to develop a plan to recruit Guillermo Ruiz when Oswald went to Mexico
GF: I'm not familiar with Escalante's details
The whole Cuban report here seems to be largely drawn from previously
materials, it seems to me. I haven't had an opportunity to talk
Escalante **. But as far as the details of that specific report,
have no basis for evaluating it because they didn't present any kind of
for what they said.
13. There is circumstantial evidence that there may have been a
plot by some members of Alpha 66 (or that Alpha 66 was being set up as
potential patsy). There are strong historical ties between Alpha
and JURE, and specifically ties between Alpha 66 and S. Odio.
are the reasons that you would exclude the possibility that Alpha 66
"behind" the Odio incident?
GF: Well that's a reversed type of question in terms of
the possibility that Alpha-66 was behind the Odio incident.
showed Silvia Odio an awful lot of photographs of various people,
a number of Alpha-66 people, and she did not identify them.
not sure exactly what is meant by strong historical ties between
and JURE. JURE was founded by Manolo Ray and I'm not sure there
any strong historical tie excepting some overlapping membership by a
people. The initial reason that I went to see Veciana was because
had suggested the possibility of Veciana himself having been one of the
who visited Silvia Odio. But Silvia knew Veciana, knew what he
like and said that it wasn't him.
14. I'd like to know what he thinks about Lane's central thesis in
Denial_. More specifically, does he believe LHO's appearances at the
in Mexico were fabricated and, if so, does he feel this shows he was
GF: I think I mentioned before that I'm, I have a very difficult
establishing any conclusions of my own line as far as Oswald's
in Mexico City because there seems to be so much conflicting evidence
terms of where he was, when. And including in the Cuban
There are little details, as you may remember in Dallas when the
KGB agent (Oleg Nechiporenko). Nechiporenko said, of course
was Oswald there, yet he described Oswald as wearing something totally
than Oswald was wearing when he left the Cuban Embassy to go to the
Embassy. So there are all kinds of conflicts there that I can't
yet. And, again, this is, I think, one of the key areas
needs more investigation.
14.a. I just want to ask one thing. Do you question whether
was even Oswald or not?
GF: I wouldn't discount the possibility that Oswald was there,
there was also someone else there, identifying himself as Oswald.
(NOTE: See attachment "A", Odio and Connell testimony)
[Attachment "A" was sent as part of the question and is not part of
transcript. It consisted of photocopies of published statements
15. What does Connell's earlier story say about Sylvia Odio's
Have you questioned Odio about Connell's claim? . Has Connell's story
investigated and refuted beyond Odio's own denials?
GF: This is a question, as I think I mentioned earlier, that I
I think I have, specific answers to in the files. And I haven't
a chance to review the files. I talked to Connell and I'll tell
this now off the top of my head. I spent an awful lot of time, of
with Silvia Odio, questioning and re-questioning her. Not only
but other investigators and attorneys for the Committee. And came
the conclusion that she is totally credible. And not only did I
to this conclusion, but the attorneys questioning her and other
and the Committee, said [so] in it's report. Now as far as, again
the top of my head, when I talked to Connell. I talked to her a
times also. I had a difficult time getting her to corroborate
was in the FBI reports, as far as what she said earlier.
I have to admit that I was suspicious of Connell in terms of her
I mean, she was a volunteer for this Cuban refugee agency. And
husband ** had an interesting job that took him around the world,
doing travel agency business, travel consulting business. ** The
between Silvia Odio and Connell deteriorated tremendously prior to the
[incident], what I call the Oswald incident, as a result of Mrs.
specifically wanting to infiltrate herself into Silvia Odio's total
Knowing what Silvia was doing every minute. That was according to
Odio herself. And that's why they had a falling out. Mrs.
did not initially know Silvia Odio, but was introduced to her by her
Sarita who had come to Dallas earlier and who Mrs. Connell had
I can say in answer to the question specifically, that regardless
the contradictions that * Mrs. Connell herself put forth in terms of
Odio's testimony. All the evidence that we came up went towards
16. In your discussions with Mitchell Livingston WerBell III, did
discuss any of the ultrasophisticated assassination weapons he had
for the CIA at all? Anything that comes close to Livingstone's
to "ice bullets" used in Dealey Plaza?
GF: Mitch WerBell discussed almost [everything]. I spent
a whole day with him up in his farm, as he called it, in Georgia.
training ground for guerrillas. And he covered almost
He was half bombed. He had been coming off the wagon and he
almost everything in terms of questions that I was interested in.
don't recall him saying anything about an ice-bullet. Not at all.
16.a. An ice hatchet? A machete?
17. WerBell's association with Lucien Conein is mentioned in the
but nothing of any contact with Lansdale. Did WerBell ever
Lansdale or Conein working with Lansdale, especially in Vietnam?
GF: I don't remember him mentioning Lansdale. We didn't
much about Vietnam from what I recall. He may have mentioned
I don't recall at this point, but it wasn't an area that I was
questioning him about.
18. In your book, you write that two pieces of evidence in the
proves that there was a conspiracy:
"One demolishes the single-bullet theory: the locations of the bullet
in the back of Kennedy's jacket and shirt - hard, tangible, measurable
- obliterate the possibility of a bullet emerging from Kennedy's throat
striking Governor Connally. Single-bullet-theory author Arlen
conceded this was a worrisome contradiction. The other
came from validating Sylvia Odio's report that Oswald, or someone who
him (it matters not), appeared at her door in Dallas with two
one of whom would link Oswald to the notion of killing the
That was a deliberate act of connecting Oswald to the assassination
the assassination. Beyond all the other evidence indicating
all the acoustic tests, the autopsy evidence, the bullet trajectory
and what have you, even beyond all the other evidence of Oswald's
the Odio incident absolutely cries conspiracy. In fact, I have no
in declaring the Kennedy assassination a conspiracy based strictly on
Odio's consistently credible testimony and, more important, the fact
our investigation proved it true."
END OF QUOTE
How do you view Posner's technique on this subject vs. your own?
example, it does not appear from the notes in the back of his book that
interviewed her, relying instead on her testimony to the WC, yet, he
hesitate to mention her emotional problems (p. 178), her divorce (p.
or that there isn't one piece of corroborating evidence for her
claim that one of the men who visited her was introduced as 'Leon
(p. 180). Could he have interviewed her? Should he have
her? What >makes< her credible, in your opinion?
GF: First of all, let me say at the start, that I view Posner's
as a dishonest book. Posner called me early on when he was
to work on the book. He asked me about those areas of the
in which I was involved. I told him briefly, gave him some
He said that they seemed very interesting and very important and that
would have to come and talk with me in detail about it. And I
he was welcome to do that. This was way before I even began my
He said that he would do that and I never heard from him again.
far as Posner's handling of Odio, he never talked to Odio. The
and what he does in his book in terms of building up a tremendous
problem that she had by using an individual, quoting an
who Silvia Odio never met, who happened to be a friend of her uncle's,
think. To me, was, again, misleading and dishonest. As far
it isn't true, as this says, that there isn't one piece of
evidence for a post assassination claim that one of the men who
her was introduced as Leon Oswald. That's simply not true because
sister was at the apartment at that time. We got corroboration
her sister. Could he have interviewed her? I don't know,
or not he could have interviewed her. Should he have interviewed
Of course he should have interviewed her. And what makes her
of course, is the fact that everything she says, we got corroboration
We got a corroboration in terms of the details which are more
And in fact, even additional corroboration has come forward when a
who we couldn't locate, a friend of hers, specifically recalled her
talking about the visit prior to the assassination. On a specific
He pinpointed the evening closer than she had before. So, as far
Posner goes, and his credibility in the Odio area, I think it's
19. David Sanchez Morales and David Atlee Phillips were, as I
it, associates? Did Morales report to Phillips? Did Hunt
to Phillips? Sturgis? Harvey? Barker? Was
running the show pretty much as far as the anti-Castro activity
Or was Helms? How, in your opinion, was Phillips vis-a-vis
and Alpha-66, able to continue anti-Castro activity after Kennedy
it, without sanctioned CIA approval?
GF: Well, that's a question * based on the assumption that
a huge paper chain of command that is strictly adhered to by * CIA
[at all times]. And there may be a huge paper chain
command somewhere in the walls of Langley, but in the field, I don't
it [always] exists. I think, especially during this period of
you had a tremendous * "off the wall" operations almost, you might call
going on and they involved individuals who had worked together in other
and in other areas. And who, on the basis of their association,
on the basis of any chain of, written chain of command, accomplished
they were trying to accomplish. As far as CIA approval of
activity after Kennedy forbade it, the records indicate, and newspaper
even indicate, that these raids were in fact made. And we have,
Committee, developed information that these individual anti-Castro
were, in fact, controlled by their CIA handlers. I mean, we know
from the evidence and testimony that we dug up from former CIA people
worked out of JM/WAVE station.
19.a. Are you saying that Alpha-66 made raids and they were
by the Committee?
GF: Well, that was in the newspapers.
19.b. I know that was in the newspapers. But Alpha-66 was
up solely as a money making operation for another group and when it was
out that this had occurred, Veciana took his Alpha 66, [name for
He took the name and incorporated it under the Secretary of the
of Puerto Rico as an organization. And when Tony Cuesta, who had
to Alpha-66 prior to this and kept using the name Alpha-66, found out
it, he changed his [group] name to Commandos-L. But in FBI
it shows that out of the Puerto Rican office they've got
Alpha-66 Incorporated, and then they have Alpha-66/Commandos-L.
did the Committee ever get down to figure out who was doing what?
sounded like from the FBI documents that Alpha-66 didn't do anything
that it was the Second National Front of Escambray that was doing it
the raids on Cuba].
GF: Well, again, I think you're getting into this paperwork
that probably didn't really exist in the field. Because you
reports in the New York times, for instance, with Veciana saying, in
during the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, " Alpha-66 conducted these
into Havana Harbor." So, I think what's happening is that these
and titles and unit designations were being thrown out by whoever
to throw them out.. Veciana was saying Alpha-66, and it was
and Tony Cuesta was involved.
19.c. But Veciana also told the news media at a conference, at a
conference in Washington, that he over-exaggerated raids and actually
raids that Alpha-66 had [not] done. Intentionally he had said
they had made raids that they had not done in order for fund raising
So did the Committee get into verifying, whether......or wasn't that
that Alpha-66 was doing it or some other group was doing it?
GF: No. Because Alpha-66, for instance, and we're talking about
that period during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the raids into Havana
that Veciana claims, now we know that they weren't, and I think that
took credit for them, for Alpha-66. Now whether Veciana
said that wasn't really Alpha 66, I'm really not that familiar with
19.d. Well I think it was Menoyo's group. See, the Menoyo group
Second Front. He [Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo] was doing the raids and
was taking claim for them, I think that was the way the scenario went.
GF: Yeah. Could have been, but as far as....the bottom line
that Veciana was claiming that Bishop was the one who suggested that
do these raids at this time. And that's * what the Committee was
19.e. Now, taking it from here. Veciana was making
that Alpha-66 performed raids that some other group was doing because
wanted to get funds through Alpha-66 for this other group. Then
makes a statement that he had intentionally deceived the news
on what raids he had done. Now take that, and take the fact, and
lot of people bring this up, and he is a convicted drug felon.
can we believe anything he says? Where is the credibility in this
This is a big, big problem with a lot of people. The credibility
Veciana, especially because of the drug thing.
GF: We're left with that impression of a convicted drug felon as
image in our minds that has certain connotations. And what is
to convey is, what I think is the truth, that Veciana does not fit that
at all. And having looked into the circumstances of that specific
Veciana's claim that he was set up. He had never been involved in
before, and how the discovery of drugs in a car that he rented came
and how it appeared that his claim for being set up on it seems
That would require going into a tremendous amount of detail. But
I first approached Veciana I had all that skepticism about that.
was an investigative reporter for twenty years. I can't tell you
many ex-convicts I talked to said they were innocent of the
People who are sitting in jail saying "they framed me." So I had
lot of experience dealing with people like that. And I was ready
discount Veciana's story, on the basis of his being an
In fact, when I first contacted him, he was still in Atlanta Federal
And yet, when I did the investigation into that, looked into the
of his claims in terms of the case, I found that there was some
to them. And, again, Veciana doesn't fit into that image of a
felon in terms of his philosophy, his family and how he's operated in
past. There's absolutely no connection at all. And so the
of believing Veciana has to rest on two things. One, this aura of
- which can't hold up on itself. And second, corroboration on as
detail as possible. Or, failing corroboration, catching him in
in details. And that's what I tried to do, and could not do
the years of working with him. Everything that he told me that I
corroborate. And I mean corroborate by him being where he was, or
for instance..... Let me give you a little anecdote. Little
here. I was sitting in Veciana's living room talking to him when
was telling me about the incident where he got the final payoff from
When Bishop decided that he couldn't work with Veciana anymore.
they couldn't work together. There had been a mistrust developing
I think, just to go into a little sidetrack here, that mistrust
as a result of Veciana wanting to continue to attempt to assassinate
and Bishop telling him that further assassination plans had been called
And Veciana, without Bishop's knowledge, going ahead and planning
assassination attempts. I think when Bishop discovered that,
what caused the split.
19.f. That was the Chile incident?
GF No. That was after Chile. Yeah.
so, as a result of that, Bishop called Veciana and said he wanted to
him for all the years he worked with him. The arrangement had
from the beginning, Veciana said, no, when we get rid of Castro, then
pay. Because Veciana didn't think that it would go on for all the
it did. He thought it would be a short period of time. All
wanted was expenses. Some little expenses along the way.
as it worked out, Veciana got a specific amount of money, like
I think it was. Or $253,000, I forget the figure now. And
said Bishop called him up and told him to meet him at the parking lot,
dog track. And he's telling me this story.
19.g. What dog track? Here in Miami?
GF: In Miami. The one right next to where Veciana
19.h. Flagler Dog Track.
GF: Right. And as he's telling me this story, he said it
ironic because the payment came on the 26th of July. And his
Veciana's wife, who had been paying absolutely no attention to us as
was cleaning the house and taking care of the children, going back and
between the kitchen and the bedrooms and through the living room as we
talking. Paying absolutely no attention to us. And he
this, he mentions the 26th of July and she comes walking by at that
and he stops here. And he says, "Remember that 26th of
She says, "Huh? . "You know, 26th of July, and the money."
she says "And when you got the money?" And , you know, you'd have
believe that was a setup not to be credible. I mean, that he
this, her walking by, and her being part of the scheme to fool
I find that hard to believe in itself. So, things like those
incidents when you're talking to people that give you a sense of
And that's what I mean in terms of corroborating as much as I could in
details that Veciana told me.
Addendum (not on video) to answer 19h by Gaeton Fonzi:
[I don't think I made myself clear here in terms of Veciana's
spontaneously corroborating his receiving the briefcase of money on
26 and that she did so under circumstances which couldn't possibly have
pre-arranged. That's my point here in terms of judging Veciana's
20. In your opinion, is [David Sanchez] Morales' drunken admission of
in the assassination credible?
GF: What I find credible were the people who told me that's what
said. And these were the people that had no connection to the
that Morales was involved with. Who were very close friends
Morales. And who had very legitimate backgrounds. One was a
Law School graduate. So on that basis, yeah. I find that
was told to me about what Morales said, credible.
20.a. Was Morales a close friend of Phillips?
GF: He was a working associate of Phillips down through the
Phillips mentions him in his book.
20.b. At JM/WAVE? Were they working together?
GF: I'm sure they were working together. Well, Morales was
executive officer of JM/WAVE and Phillips didn't really work out of
he had his own little thing going. He used people. But what
were able to develop, and Morales' work in Latin American operations
Phillips was the boss, puts him and Phillips together very closely.
20.c. So Shackley then, came under Phillips in the chain of
GF: No. I don't think...Well, at one point, it was in
time period of the JM/WAVE, I don't [think] that's true because I think
was involved in psychological warfare and counter-intelligence before
got into specifically head of Cuban counter-intelligence. And so
think he had operations going. For instance, we were talking to
individual who was one of the agents working out of the JM/WAVE
One of those who supervised an anti-Castro group. And if they got
certain areas of operation in psychological warfare, for instance, well
they would coordinate with Phillips. Phillips would be like the
Meanwhile Phillips had his own blue operations going.. I'm not
exactly how, you know, the chain of command went [or there were a chain
command]. It was more like calling on, I got the impression,
on fields of expertise that were employed.
21. Any plans to make a mini-series out of THE LAST INVESTIGATION
to the A & E INVESTIGATIVE REPORTS series? The book read like
murder and suspense mystery thriller and was, IMO, extremely well done
might translate well to video format.
GF: Well, I think that's awful nice. And if anyone has, *
one has suggested that before].
21.a. Well, can we say that this is the first in a series?
GF: No. (laughter)
22. Was there any investigation in LHO's travels to New Orleans during
leave periods while stationed in Mississippi? If so, were any
connections with David Ferrie revealed?
GF: I'm not familiar with that area at all. I can't answer
23. Do you know of any LHO activities in Atlanta, GA? (Other than just
GF: No, I don't know.
24. Gerald Posner's book "Case Closed" came out around the time the
Archives started releasing the first group of JFK assassination files
the President John F. Kennedy Assassination records Collection Act.
was highly regarded by the media, but to the best of our knowledge did
see any of the newly released files. Of these records, some of which
have seen, what if any shows Posner's insufficient knowledge of the
GF: Well again, I think I answered [that] before [in terms of] my
relationship with those areas of the investigation which Posner
in his book. As far as other areas, I'm aware of individual
who are extremely knowledgeable in certain areas who find Posner's
and his handling of the evidence absolutely ludicrous.
24.a. Have you read his book?
24.b. You call it dishonest. Do you think intentionally so?
GF: Oh yeah. I have to believe on the basis of my own
with Posner, that it was intentional. As he said, he was going to
down and talk to me about that area of the investigation that I was
with. And when I read what he had written without doing that,
getting the details I had. I offered him access to my
He never showed up. And so when he did that, I could come to no
conclusion that he deliberately distorted those areas because
would have run against the thesis of this book.
24.c. Do you have any opinion what ends he could have been doing
for? Other than to maybe sell books?
GF: Other than selling books? Well that's a pretty good end
itself. I think he would consider that a pretty good end in
24.d. Have you read CASE OPENED?
GF: No, I haven't read Weisberg's book. You know, I'm
not that interested in critiquing Posner. It just infuriates [me]
the major media paid so much attention to him without knowing anything
what he was writing. And I think we could spend an awful lot of
waste a lot of time, discrediting Posner.
24.e. I wrote in my notes here that to even ask questions in
to him is giving him credibility.
GF: And I think that's a good point.
25. DO YOU HAVE SOME HARD CORE ANSWERS TO A DIRECT CONNECTION BETWEEN
BISHOP & DAVID ATLEE PHILLIPS. I'm talking PROOF - NOT OPINIONS.
GF: I can only say that whoever asked that, [should] read my
And look at the chain of circumstantial evidence, you can call it, but
evidence that Maurice Bishop was David Atlee Phillips. Including
from former CIA agents who recalled Phillips using the name of Maurice
[Questions 26-47 not answered by Gaeton Fonzi.]
48. On the same page (50), you also wrote George de
was a "CIA intelligence asset." What do you mean by an
GF: In the case of George de Mohrenschildt, he provided
to the CIA. And that's in the records. That's in de
own records. It's in the CIA records, as a matter of fact.
48.a. And that's your definition of an intelligence asset?
GF: In terms of George de Mohrenschildt, yes.
49. On page 54 you discuss what Clare Boothe Luce told to Sen.
including quotes. Where does one find the record on this
the quotes you use? Is there any available corroboration for the
she is alleged to have told? Where is it found?
GF: The, all that documentation regarding Clare Boothe Luce and
Schweiker is in Schweiker's records. It's in Schweiker's, or one
his assistant's, reports to me in terms of her conversations with
Our conversations with Clare Boothe Luce, when I was on the House
should be in the House Committee's records. Everything in terms
our contacts with Clare Boothe Luce and our efforts to corroborate her
by talking to individuals who were involved with her in the story are
in the House Committee records or memorandums that I wrote for
when I was working with Schweiker on the Kennedy Subcommittee of the
Committee. And I think most of those Schweiker documents were
over to the House Committee. So they should be all in their
In addition to which, I have.......
[Questions 50-55 not answered by Gaeton Fonzi.]
56. Have "Angel" and "Leopoldo" been identified? Recently, Cuba
a statement indicating its belief that they are, in fact, the Novo
Guillermo & Whoever. Has anyone taken pictures of the Novo
to the Odio sisters to see if there is a positive ID? Also, I
that the AARC has quite a collection of anti-Castro Cuban
Has anyone ever made a decent attempt to take a bunch of old photos of
anti-Castro Cubans to see if the Odio sisters can identify Angel and
I imagine that the G-2 would have a nice collection of photos. Has
ever approached Cuba to see why it feels that Angel & Leopoldo are
GF: We, the House Committee, got together a huge thick photo
of individuals including many we thought might be possibilities of
and Leopoldo. And of course we ran them all by Silvia Odio.
ran dozens of photos by her when I was still, before I joined the House
when I was still with Schweiker. I don't know whether Silvia Odio
been specifically shown photos of the Novo brothers recently.
I don't recall whether I asked her about it in one of my more recent
with her. In my mind, I dismissed the Novo brothers as far as
Odio connection. I may be dismissing it because I did ask her
it, or I may be dismissing it because the Novo brothers were fairly
known and their photos had been in the paper. And Silvia Odio
have said something to me when I spoke with her. It would have
like, "oh, by the way Gaeton, I just remembered, it was the Novo
I mean, because they were well known characters in town. It's a
question about the G-2, Castro's G-2, having a nice collection of
And I'm sure they do. And, as a matter of fact, something was
set up prior to all this recent confusion with the immigration
Something was being set up in terms of getting that information.
hopefully, those photos.
56.a. The last contact you had with Silvia, does she feel
she would be able, if she had pictures from that era, that she would be
to identify the photographs of the people who visited her?
GF: That's a good question now because she has seen so many
that, and this is only my personal opinion, that I'm not sure there
exists an image in her mind of Angel and Leopoldo. There is,
some certain specific characteristics that she's been consistent
repeating over the years. But, as I said, she's seen so many
that there might be an element of confusion in her mind at this point.
Addendum (not on video) to answer #56a by Gaeton Fonzi:
[I don't mean to imply here that Silvia Odio couldn't identify
of Angel or Leopoldo if she were shown them. I am suggesting that
might not be able to be definite if she were now shown photos of
who only bore a resemblance to those men, whereas if the FBI had
shown her photos at the time she would have been able to eliminate
[Question 57 not answered by Gaeton Fonzi.]
58. What agencies do you feel have records which need to be released?
GF: That again is a good question. The usual
The usual suspects, of course, but the question raises another, I think
point. And that is there are many areas that the House committee,
instance, didn't get into. Individuals that they never got around
requesting documents on. And who may not be now sitting in the
and CIA files under Kennedy Assassination headings. But I think a
place to start, in terms of records in any of the agencies, are
and valid records of the agents and officers involved in the time and
that, we in the Kennedy assassination research, define. And I think
that's where a plan could be formulated from.
58.a. Did the Committee get into US Customs records at all?
GF: I don't know.
58.b. You know about the neutrality team they had down here and
these anti-Castro things....Is that a valid JFK record?
GF: Oh yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. I think we
have. And I know we did try to get the records of certain
like [Cesar] Diosdado for example and were not successful.
58.c. They wouldn't give them to you?
GF: I think we probably asked too late at some point. And
Diosdado wouldn't talk to us.
58.d. Did you talk to [Steve] Czukas?
GF: Yeah. Many times.
58.e. Did he have anything interesting to say?
GF: Yeah, about a lot of different things. Sturgis,
58.f. Yeah. So that story about him putting Lorenz up in
Miami Springs Villa is true?
59. Would the release of all the U.S. Customs records pertaining to
and Neutrality violations be of use to JFK researchers? If so, in
way will these records shed any light on the investigation?
GF: Well, I think specifically they would reveal names of people
in that time and place. And would serve as a basis for additional
60. Do you see the door closing on the release of records under the JFK
What might trigger the closure?
GF: I'm not sure. I'm not sure exactly what that question
The door is not open all the way, by any means, so far.
And again, what would trigger the closure from what it appears now is
funding. If they don't get the funding to keep that Committee,
operation going, it will close it down.
60.a. For your information, there was a notice the other day that
JFK Review Board was asking for suggestions as to the definition of a
record. And that, I think, goes back to Question #59, would the
Customs records pertaining to the neutrality violations - - would that
in your estimation, would that come under the definition of a JFK
GF: I would definitely think so because I think what should come
the definition of a JFK record would be all the records of every
agency involved in that, the specific time and places connected to the
assassination. And that includes New Orleans, Dallas, and where
Oswald might have been. And where ever any possible individual
have been who had some connection to anyone in the previously developed
of both the Warren Commission and the House Select Committee.
60.b. Was there any great evidence ever uncovered that Oswald
came to Miami?
GF: No. I found absolutely no story that panned out as far
Oswald ever being in Miami.
60.c. Did you check on the newspaper articles in the Sun Sentinel?
GF: Yeah. We checked on the articles [including those
by] Jim Buchanan. And they all trace back somehow to invalid
[Note: Jim Buchanan was a good friend of Frank Sturgis]
61. Are there any other individuals that were not mentioned in your
who are important players in the JFK assassination?
GF: Well, there are probably dozens that other researchers would
important players. As I said, I didn't get in to all the other
of the investigation. And I dealt with only those in which I was,
62. What other areas of investigation still need to be explored or
GF: I think this is redundant and what I just said in terms of
areas that are yet, unexplored, under-investigated.
62.a. Do you think that there are any records that in the past,
requested, have been claimed to have been routinely destroyed? Do
think there is a possibility of those records, or a copy of those
ever becoming available?
GF: I do think there is a possibility that copies of such
[exist]. There's a whole military intelligence area. The
had supposedly been destroyed. ** The Committee * didn't
the possibility that there may be duplicates somewhere.
[Question 63 not answered by Gaeton Fonzi.]
64. What was del Valle's association with the underworld? What do
have to back up any connection?
GF: I don't specifically recall what documentation I
if any, regarding del Valle. This was an area of the
, again, in which I wasn't directly involved. I did some research
del Valle. Gordon Winslow did a tremendous amount of research on
Valle. But the information that I had was that there was a
between del Valle and some drug traffic.
65. How valid is Cuba's claims that del Valle was one of the shooters?
GF: I don't know the answer to that question. But they
presented any kind of specific evidence to back it up.
66. Can Tony Cuesta have had any information on the assassination?
GF: Could he have had any information? He may have had
about individuals and what they were doing when, at some point. I
know what specific information he would have had. I didn't have
opportunity to question him.
67. Was Cuesta involved in assassination attempts against Castro?
GF: Again, I don't specifically know. I think he claimed
he was involved in a few attempts to assassinate Castro.
67.a. That recent ZR-RIFLE book that came out by Furiati on the
documentary. I think that's, they claim that that was an
attempt. That landing was. That's when he got blinded.
No comment made by Gaeton Fonzi.
68. Do you believe Carlos Prio committed suicide?
GF: All the evidence seems to indicate that he did. And I
have any evidence indicating that he did [not].
69. Do you believe de Mohrenschildt committed suicide?
GF: Yeah. I believe de Mohrenschildt committed
70. Do you think that de Mohrenschildt committed suicide because you
going to see him? What was your reaction upon hearing of his suicide?
GF: Yeah. Again, this is my opinion. At the time de
committed suicide, there were a number of things taking place, and a
of specific factors that put a lot of pressure on him. The House
was getting started again. He was being asked, I believe, to
another role in his relationship to the assassination and his testimony
the Warren Commission. He was taken, just before he committed
he was taken to Belgium by a foreign journalist. He was, I
he felt he was, being set up. He was supposed to have a meeting
a KGB official, I believe, but he ran away. He came back to
He believed he was being set up to make it appear that there was a link
him and the KGB. And then obviously a link between Oswald and the
because of his link to the KGB. And then, Epstein shows up.
once again, spends a whole afternoon with him at a hotel in Palm
And, I think, he's under a lot of pressure. He comes back home
his daughter hands him my card. I had been there in the morning
I told his daughter that I wanted to talk to him and that I would be
in touch. He puts the card in his shirt pocket and goes upstairs
blows his head off. And so, I think you have a whole series
linkages there. He hadn't been a well man, mentally. Just
prior to that he had been treated for mental problems. So I think
linkage is there in terms of the pressures being put on him. And
do believe he committed suicide. I don't think there's enough
to indicate that he didn't.
70.a. What was your reaction at the time?
GF: Well, I heard it second hand. As a matter of fact,
I came back from Palm Beach county that afternoon, and was going to get
in touch with him, I got a call from a friend who was working for a tv
in Dallas who had heard that de Mohrenschildt had committed
And I was shocked. I hung up the phone and immediately got a call
the US State attorney in Palm Beach, who was at de Mohrenschildt's
And who had found my card in his pocket and who had told me de
had committed suicide. And so, I immediately rushed up there to
out exactly what happened.
70.b. How did that affect your investigation at that point?
GF: Well, I can tell you how it should have affected our
It should have had a tremendous impact on the House Committee
We should have inundated Palm Beach County with investigators. We
have gone off in every single direction with a crew of
Unfortunately, that very evening, the Committee was in a fight for it's
And no one paid any attention to my desperate calls for help when I
the Committee because the Committee was about to be expunged. And
was only as a result of.........well, the result of two things that the
was able to [be] re-funded. And that was Sprague's resignation, a
on his part because he was absolutely right what he wanted to do.
the second was de Mohrenschildt's suicide, which got a lot of play in
papers about the Kennedy assassination. And that's why the
the next day, got enough votes to be re-funded and continue for it's
two year life.
Addendum (not on video) to answer 70b by Gaeton Fonzi:
[I don't want to give the impression here that the Committee did
investigation of DeM's death. A couple of investigators with
experience did later come down to Florida to review the medical
report, but we did no independent investigation of the circumstances
his death. That's mainly because of the state of flux and
in Washington in the days and weeks following DeM's death. In
of DeM's relationship to Oswald and the JFK assassination, that was
handled by attorney Surrell Brady, whose report is in the Committee's
I don't know if she ever interviewed Epstein but I would guess that she
I had no opportunity to question Epstein immediately after DeM's death
he quickly left town.]
71. What roll, if any, did WerBell have in the assassination of JFK?
GF: Well, we certainly looked into that and wasn't really able to
very much. We got, initially, when I was working for Schweiker,
got reports from someone who was close to WerBell who indicated that
was a link. Werbell had perhaps some knowledge. And we
an awful lot of time with WerBell and looking into his connections and
And because they were so convoluted and so, in many cases, so very,
deep, involved in covert operations, we weren't really able to come up
anything in terms of any kind of linkages. Though, in my
with him, at one point he said he received a call from Ruby.
as he said. And then refused to get specific about exactly what
call was. But he was half bombed when I was talking to him.
it may have been something that either he made up, or he slipped.
I thought it was interesting.
Addendum (not on video) to answer 71 by Gaeton Fonzi:
[I don't mean to give the impression I didn't attempt to follow
on WerBell's reference to Ruby. At the time, however, it was
to get WerBell to respond coherently to questions I asked, either
he was getting drunker or, more likely, pretending he was getting
He simply became evasive and mumbled more when I repeatedly tried to
him down to details, so it's still difficult to decide whether his
to Ruby was a true slip or an attempt to add a touch of disinformation.]
71.a. There's been some new material, speaking of Ruby making
down here. That Ruby also had contact with Rolando
Have you ever heard of any such thing?
GF: No, I've never heard of it.
72. Did David Atlee Phillips ever recruit Frank Sturgis at any time for
job? If Yes what job or use was Sturgis to Phillips?
GF: I've got no indication that Phillips ever worked with
And knowing this, what sticks in my mind, whenever I would bring up
name to Sturgis, Sturgis would go ballistic in terms of how much he
Phillips. Absolutely wild in terms of his reaction to anything,
mention of David Phillips at all. He [said he] "hated the
And the reason he said he hated him was because Phillips claimed that
never had anything to do at all with the CIA. And that made me
about that connection. Veciana said that at one point, Maurice
asked him to sit, or go to a meeting, monitor an operation that Sturgis
involved in called Cellula Fantasma. And Veciana did and reported
to Bishop about what was happening. I believe it was a
there are all kinds of reports now exactly what it was. When I
Sturgis about it, I think he told me it was ** a leaflet dropping
* There were indications that it may have been something other than
also. But that's the only connection I could come up with between
73. Could you give us a brief scenario of the law suit that David Atlee
brought against you for your article in the Washingtonian?
GF: Sure. ** David Phillips sued me, the editor, the publisher
the magazine for $70 million each for the article. And he brought
lawsuit in Federal Court in Virginia and in Maryland State Court.
it was immediately thrown out of Federal Court because there was
foundation for it. But it did reach the Supreme Court, what is in
the Supreme Court in Maryland, it has another name. And, the
ruled that there was absolutely no basis for a libel action on
part. I mean, he actually rendered his decision on the substance
Phillips' contentions. It wasn't a technicality. It was
rendered on the substance that Phillips wasn't libeled in the article..
73.a. Was that because he was a public figure?
GF: No, it wasn't because he was a public figure.
73.b. Did the lower courts throw it out because he was a public
GF: No. The lower courts, from what I recall, the lower
didn't throw it out as a result of his being a public figure. I
the judge eventually ruled, and I do recall the specifics of the
Court ruling, that everything that was in the article was backed
It was no accusations or specifics in the article that wasn't
in the article.
73.c. But Phillips wrote in the article for the National
Review, or something like that, that he was declared a public
How did that come up? How does that come up? How does he
GF: He says it.
73.d. I know that he says it. What was it in your case that
was ruled a public figure?
GF: I don't recall that. I don't recall....
73.e. Or was it in the Donald Freed case?
GF: In my opinion, it might have been in the Freed case. I
recall. I don't know. But I recall specifically the ruling
the Supreme Court in Maryland that Phillips had no basis for his
of libel. It wasn't the fact that he was a public figure.
73.f. Now he claims that he didn't have any money to go
I don't know how, in the suit. Maybe I'm asking a legal question
GF: He may not have had any money to go further in the Federal
because it was dropped afterwards. ** But he went all the way to the
Court in Maryland.
73.g. In Maryland. But he was evidently going to go higher
he, the organization he started called Challenge Inc. was the one that
feeding him the money. Is that a correct statement?
GF: That's the assumption I got. But I can't imagine any of
resources of the retired CIA officials being insufficient..
73.h. Me either.
74. Do you think the Assoc. Of Retired Intelligence Officers had
to do with coaxing David Atlee Phillips into bringing suit? Did
help him? What do you have to back up your claim?
GF: No. I think David Atlee Phillips coaxed the Association
Retired Intelligence Officers to support him. And I think that's
he set up this Challenge group specifically to support him in his
Although he said, of course, it was to support all these other lawsuits
Did they help him? Yeah. I think there's documentation that
in fact, helped him. There's certainly documentation that he was
for funds for the suit.
74.a. Yeah. And in that letter that he asked for funds, he
that for, I think, legal reasons, or something else, that Challenge,
appeared on the letterhead, could not be associated with the
of Retired Intelligence Officers. Do you remember reading
There was some reason why the two of them could not be together.
had to be a separate group?
GF: No I don't. The only thing I assume is that the
of Retired Intelligence Officers may have been a tax-exempt
and couldn't use the funding for that.
75. Is there an effort on the part of the Association of Retired
Officers to use the courts to silence critics? Why? When
it start? What have they done to counteract the JFK conspiracy
GF: I don't have the answers to any of the questions. All I
is that they were, in fact, active in the suit that David Phillips
against me and the Washingtonian, unsuccessfully.
76. Can you comment on the following message that Gary Aguilar
to 12 individuals by CompuServe e-mail? He states, "Have you
any of these interesting rumors going around that at least 3 former
ranking members of the CIA, nationally well known individuals, have
"concern" about COPA? I've heard such things and I find
fascinating. What on earth could they be worried about? Who
than they knows that a lone nut did it?"
GF: All I know is what I heard from Gary Aguilar himself and
else who was talking to Gus Russo, who told, from what I gather,
that the luncheon was arranged by this fellow Ed, Ned [Dolan].
his name is.
GF: Dolan. And that [Ted] Shackley.. [Richard] Helms, was
76.b. Helms wasn't there.
GF: [William] Colby?
GF: No. Colby didn't show up. One of them didn't show up
they were .....
76.d. Dr. Artwohl. Russo. But Russo has stated that
wasn't the intention of the meeting anyway.
GF: Oh, no. This is all second hand information
76.e. Yeah. Well, that's what everybody's getting. I
thought you might have an inside track.
GF: No. No inside track.
76.f. No back channel either?
GF: No. Except for what Gary Aguilar told me.
77. Is there a concerted effort today on the part of any group or
agency to quiet the conspiracy rumors? Why? Who are these
What tactics do they utilize?
GF: This gets in to too much speculation in terms of government
quieting the conspiracy rumors. Again, going back to the previous
I think what we've got to keep in mind here, in terms of hard fact, is
the government agencies historically have not been cooperative to
regarding the Kennedy assassination. And there's no reason under
democratic form of government that they have, that they shouldn't
But their reason that they haven't been can either be interpreted
avoiding cooperation because of guilty knowledge or willfully avoiding
to preserve, for self preservation reasons. And reasons that go
the preservation that any bureaucracy feels it has to have in order to
it's own boundaries, as it were.
78. What was the relationship between David Atlee Phillips and
GF: What we do know is that Townley knew, I mean Phillips knew
Townley family. And from what, from the individuals I've
with who are intimately involved in that investigation, and this
of course, goes back to, we're talking about the Letelier
There was a relationship between Phillips and Townley. You're not
to find it on any document. But, again, this is sources who
involved with the investigation.
79. Was Jorge Mas Canosa associated in any way with
GF: Jorge Mas Canosa said, in a written response to questions
him in regard to an article I was writing for Esquire magazine at the
that he did work for Radio Swan.
80. What part did Jorge Mas Canosa have in the death of Rolando
GF: I have absolutely no knowledge of anything to do with that.
81. Did Orlando Bosch have any ties to the intelligence community
any time? What were these connections?
GF: I think that he did. And my feeling is based on
with individuals who were CIA assets or agents. What comes to
specifically is Luis Posada, who is a CIA agent. And [Bosch] is
with Posada in the Cubana Airlines bombing. But Bosch himself,
that he was running a, at one point, a camp that the CIA was supporting
South Miami, I mean South Florida.
82. On page 118, you wrote: "In his memo [to Schweiker]
Hoch wondered why Veciana's attempt against Castro was not mentioned in
Church report. He pointed out that although CIA claimed its
with the Mafia were suspended at that time, Hoch noted that there was
earlier directive still in effect---NSAM 100---which ordered a
plan drawn up for Castro's `removal'." What is the purpose of
as neither CIA, nor apparently the Mafia, had anything to do with Alpha
Veciana's organization? It was solely a free lance
You give special emphasis to Hoch comments. Did Hoch
ANY documentation to the committee to support his memo, or is it simply
GF: I'm not too sure what he means. What he's referring to
terms of Hoch's opinion. Hoch's opinion seems to indicate that
was a contingency plan drawn for Castro's removal and Alpha 66 may have
involved in it, despite the fact that the CIA claimed that it's
with the Mafia were suspended. Veciana's attempt against Castro
not have been mentioned in the Church report but it certainly was
in the report Castro gave to McGovern at the time, as far as the list
Cuban intelligence information regarding attempts on Castro's
It was mentioned there and Veciana was specifically mentioned.
point here, what is the purpose of this is neither the CIA nor
the Mafia had anything to do with Alpha-66. Well certainly the,
know, one of the points of my whole book is the relationship between
CIA and Alpha-66 through Maurice Bishop or David Phillips.
[Questions 83-92 not answered by Gaeton Fonzi.]
93. Identify FABIOLA and tell us what you really think! Can
GF: *Yes, I can. I do have her name and address. I
don't think it would be worth doing in terms of her own security.
93.a. She's still alive then?
GF: Yes, as far as I know.
[Question 94 not answered by Gaeton Fonzi.]
95. Why did you discount Marita Lorenz's experiences based on a
anecdotal incident that had absolutely nothing to do with the
she described in Florida pre-November 1963 and in Dallas during
1963? If she was so unbelievable, why was her testimony taken in
session and not published in the reports?
GF: First of all, executive sessions were determined by one of
things. Whether or not the Committee itself felt that the
that was being provided by the witness might endanger the witness'
or be made prematurely public so as to hamper any additional
Or at the request of the individual. I think that the decision to
Marita Lorenz' testimony in executive session was to avoid giving
the publicity, I believe, she was after and why she went through this
scenario of getting herself all this newspaper publicity in order to
the Committee to call her. I had been telling the Committee,
that it wasn't necessary to call Marita Lorenz as a witness because of
discrepancies in the stories she was telling. And the fact that
kept changing her stories. And why I discounted her experiences,
I think there's some validity to her earlier reports of exactly what
was doing here in Miami working with anti-Castro people. As far
the connection to the Kennedy assassination, I discounted that on far
than what's described here as a personal anecdotal incident. It
discounted as a result of specific information we developed and,
the individuals she said were involved. And we couldn't find any
that they were in that caravan * going to Dallas. And she kept
the names and number of people in the caravan.
95.a. How many cars were there in that?
GF: Eventually? Originally?
GF: Eventually, I think two or three cars. I
recall. Originally there was one.
96. Why didn't you find Antonio Veciana's changing stories
the cat and mouse Phillips/Bishop scenario, the cocaine bust) a
on his ability to accurately recall incidents in his relationships and
[This had been gone over in question number 19.e and was deemed
during the interview]
97. Frank Sturgis appeared on CNBC on the 20th anniversary of the
break-in. When a caller asked about Marita Lorenz, he nearly
his lid. How do you consider him to be an impartial character
GF: That's hard to consider Frank to be a, having been an
character witness for anybody. But I document, in my book, the
between Sturgis and Marita Lorenz. And how it developed.
it was. And what it eventually became. I think that even
it appeared on the surface that they had a tremendous falling out at
end, I have my doubts about that. I think the scenario, as I
in my book, and as I state in my book, had some covert
And Frank Sturgis was wonderful in developing such scenarios.
98. How can I get in touch with your fellow-investigator Al
I'd like to write to him to confirm that, per THE LAST INVESTIGATION,
former CIA officer code-named Ron Cross, told him that he knew David
Phillips and that he knew Phillips used the pseudonym, Maurice Bishop.
GF: I don't think I'd be free to give out Al Gonzales' home
at this point. That would be an invasion of his privacy.
the House Select Committee investigative reports should be available,
should be soon made available. And whatever Crozier told Al
and what he told me and Al Gonzales is documented in those
98.a. You said Crozier.
GF: In the initial article. Interesting. I'm glad you
that up. In the initial article that I wrote about this ex-CIA
I disguised his name as Ron Cross. And I think the Committee
his name as Ron Cross. And subsequently, it was David Phillips,
who revealed Ron Cross' real name as being Crozier.
98.b. How do you spell that?
GF: C-R-O-Z-I-E-R. And he revealed it publicly.
98.c. In what forum?
GF: In a response, I'm trying to recall now. It was a
or a debate with Tony Summers or in some document or publication.
specifically revealed who Cross really was. And he denigrated
by saying well, you can't believe this guy, he was an alcoholic.
the interesting thing was, Cross, in fact, did tell us, people will be
don't believe that guy, because he was an alcoholic. And he said,
was an alcoholic." But he was totally recovered when we talked to
He was a member of AA. And, but the real name of Ron Cross was
public only by David Phillips himself.
98.d. You mean, he disclosed the name of a CIA agent?
GF: Exactly. Exactly what he did.
98.e. Was that before the law was in effect? Then he was
the exact same thing [as Phillip] Agee did?
GF: Exactly the same thing.
99. Do we have any documentation concerning the infiltration of
investigation by the CIA?
GF: I was told that by researchers who had access to CIA files.
99.a. So you claim that it is in a file somewhere in the CIA
that they had people?
GF: That's what I was told.
100. Did Jimmy Hoffa ever testify before the Church Committee or
he ever asked to?
GF: I don't know.
101. William Sullivan?
GF: The Church Committee? It sounds familiar, but I don't
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