DiEugenio on Garrison, the Mob & Media - COPA '94

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Gary Aguilar

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Apr 30, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/30/96
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Article: 67613
Newsgroups: alt.conspiracy.jfk
From: gar...@ix.netcom.com(Gary Aguilar)
Subject: DiEugenio on Garrison, the Media and the Mob - COPA '94
Date: 28 Apr 1996 20:05:39 GMT

From: gar...@ix.netcom.com(Gary Aguilar)
Newsgroups: alt.conspiracy.jfk
Subject: DiEugenio on Garrison vs Media & Mob - COPA '94


JIM GARRISON, THE MEDIA AND THE MOB
by
JAMES DiEUGENIO

This presentation will examine at length and in-depth the
allegations which surfaced at the time of Jim Garrison's investigation
of the JFK murder. It has been alleged that New Orleans District
Attorney Jim Garrison was linked somehow to organized crime. These
influences are said to have affected his view of the assassination and
that, according to Mob-oriented authors like Dan Moldea and others,
Garrison's investigation became a smoke screen behind which the true
Mob perpetrators of the crime were hidden.

This paper will deal with these allegations in rough
chronological order and it will also study the authors of stories to
shed light on both the origins of the stories and the motives of the
people who wrote them.

The first story to be dealt with is the September l967 "Life"
magazine story about Garrison getting favors at the Sands Hotel. The
story was prepared by, among others, Richard Billings, David Chandler,
Robert Blakey and Walter Sheridan.

Chandler had been the local New Orleans States-Item reporter who was
also a stringer for "Life" magazine. He had been a close friend of
Garrison's and Garrison had been the best man at Chandler's wedding to
another Time-Life employee, Patricia Chandler. Chandler through
talking to Garrison, appears to have tipped off both Rosemary James, a
colleague at his newspaper, and Billings at "Life". James of course
later fabricated a cover story in order to expose Garrison's
investigation. Billings then began extensive interviews of Garrison.
About the time that Garrison began to center on the CIA as his chief
suspect, Billings began to cool on Garrison (this is clear through the
writings in his jouFrom: gar...@ix.netcom.com(Gary Aguilar)
Newsgroups: alt.conspiracy.jfk
Subject: DiEugenio on Garrison, the Media and the Mob - COPA '94

From: gar...@ix.netcom.com(Gary Aguilar)
Newsgroups: alt.conspiracy.jfk
Subject: DiEugenio on Garrison vs Media & Mob - COPA '94


JIM GARRISON, THE MEDIA AND THE MOB
by
JAMES DiEUGENIO

This presentation will examine at length and in-depth the
allegations which surfaced at the time of Jim Garrison's investigation
of the JFK murder. It has been alleged that New Orleans District
Attorney Jim Garrison was linked somehow to organized crime. These
influences are said to have affected his view of the assassination and
that, according to Mob-oriented authors like Dan Moldea and others,
Garrison's investigation became a smoke screen behind which the true
Mob perpetrators of the crime were hidden.

This paper will deal with these allegations in rough
chronological order and it will also study the authors of stories to
shed light on both the origins of the stories and the motives of the
people who wrote them.

The first story to be dealt with is the September l967 "Life"
magazine story about Garrison getting favors at the Sands Hotel. The
story was prepared by, among others, Richard Billings, David Chandler,
Robert Blakey and Walter Sheridan.

Chandler had been the local New Orleans States-Item reporter who was
also a stringer for "Life" magazine. He had been a close friend of
Garrison's and Garrison had been the best man at Chandler's wedding to
another Time-Life employee, Patricia Chandler. Chandler through
talking to Garrison, appears to have tipped off both Rosemary James, a
colleague at his newspaper, and Billings at "Life". James of course
later fabricated a cover story in order to expose Garrison's
investigation. Billings then began extensive interviews of Garrison.
About the time that Garrison began to center on the CIA as his chief
suspect, Billings began to cool on Garrison (this is clear through the
writings in his jouler was also a friend of prime Garrison
suspect Kerry Thornley. When Chandler was asked by Garrison to testify
before the grand jury on the charges he had propagated, he refused.
When Garrison was thinking of charging Chandler, Governor McKeithen
called him and said he could not since Time-Life had infiltrated him
through the State Police and were now thinking of doing to him what
they had just done to Garrison.

These facts have always been there since these articles were
first written. Despite the fact that the charges brought against
Garrison in court were later exposed as a frameup, authors like John
Davis and David Scheim have reiterated these other "Mob" myths and even
supported some of their perpetrators like Chandler and Aaron Kohn.
With the release of new FBI documents, these men are now revealed as
funnels of disinformation on the Gar
rison investigation.

Lisa Pease

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Apr 30, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/30/96
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I have this speech from COPA in my COPA notes - here's the extraction:
-----------------------

Last in this set is, once again, Jim DiEugenio. What was HILARIOUS about
this is that David Scheim was moderating the panel, although not
speaking, and had missed the fact that Jim's two presentations had been
switched, so Scheim to growing laughter and not understanding why talked
of how DiEugenio was going to talk about the Clinton incident, and the
mob ties to Garrison's investigation which were 'very important' etc.
etc., not realizing that in fact JD had already GIVEN that talk and his
current talk was about how the mob factor was very misrepresented during
Garrison's investigation! :) I felt sorry for Scheim because he really
didn't understand why we were all shaking our heads and laughing at him!
Ah well, it happens!

I took few notes on this one (hey, I was tired of taking notes all weekend
and besides, it was QUITE interesting), so I called Jim up and asked for
his abstract, which was not published in the program. So now here I sit
with the only public copy so far (so he tells me), ready to transcribe it
for the rest of you here. Christmas is coming, and a scanner would be
MUCH appreciated... :) Just kidding. Anyway:

Quoting until otherwise noted:
-----------------------------------

One of the most divisive issues in the JFK community has been whether or
not the assassination was an intelligence operation or a Mob hit. This
disupute has always been ill-advised and misguided for several reasons
but one of the most damaging aspects of it has been the alleged notion
that Jim Garrison has somehow been tied in with the Mob and this
allegation has cast a pall over both his findings and personal character.
This idea has been repeated over and over by Mob advocates like David
Scheim, John Davis and Dan Moldea and Grand Conspiracy theorists like
Peter Dale Scott and Tony Summers. In all tese cases there has been very
little expansion or exploration on the original source material. Mostly
the crescendo has been a constant bongo drum repetition in both the major
media and popular books that gives the allegation what we call a
"conventional wisdowm" and chicness. Also, there is a personal advantage
for some of the Mob advocates; by associating Garriso with Mob types it
tends to give them more credibility by implying that Garrison's case
against the intelligence community was a diversion or smoke-screen away
from his Mob cronies. Davis states this in his introduction to his last
paperback, in the early edition of Contract on America. So does Scheim,
and Scott clearly implies this in Crime and Coverup.

But what no one has done is to go back and trace where, when and who made
these charges and why. Because it is very clear that before 1967, they
didn't exist in any form. Almost every one of these charges extend from
one or two sources, a 1967 series in LIFE magainze and a later article in
LOOK called "The Persecution of Clay Shaw". In the introduction to the
[oh my god - I just now saw this is EIGHT pages long! Sheesh I'll be here
all night! ugh! But it's worth it...] re-issue of Blakey's PLOT TO KILL
THE PRESIDENT, FATAL HOUR coauthor Dick Billings states that the source
of these stories in LIFE was a local reporter named David Chandler. In a
1992 article in Denver's "Westword" magazine Chandler admits this. Also
in his '9 piece Chandler states that he was the source for the material
in the later LOOK piece. Who is David Chandler?

Chandler was a local reporter for the NOSI [I assume that means New
Orleans States-Item]. He was also a stringer for LIFE magazine. In the
50's he was a friend of Jim Garrison's. In fact Garrison was the best man
at David Chandler's 1956 wedding to his 2nd wife patricia - whose family
was also associated with TIME-LIFE. This is an important point because it
looks very much like Chandler is one of the early leaks for Garrison's
Kennedy probe for both Rosemary James of the NOSI and Billings at LIFE,
and we know now what a disaster that was - it probably had something to
do with Ferrie's death. It seems that Garrison contacted Chandler about
his probe and, behind the scenes, Chandler was passing this info on to
his colleagues James and Billings.

Almost immediately after Rosemary James breaks the story about Garrison's
probe, Chandler begins to turn on his former friend. Internal LIFE
magazine memos and the journal of Richard Billings who that Chandler
begins to exchange notes, info and plans with the FBI-CIA media asset
ring that beigns to assemble around Garrison's probe. This effort would
include FBI informant James Phelan, FBI informant quasi-agent Hugh
Aynesworth, former ONI/FBI/NSA agent Walter Sheridan, CIA agent Gordon
Novel, and former FBI agent Aaron Kohn, of whom more later. These men
would burn up the wires spreading stories about Garrison's personal and
professional misconduct to both the FBI and meda outlets.

Before explaining why they did what they did, let's examine some of the
most common charges:

1) The Las Vegas vacation in which the rooms were comped.

2) Garrison's house deal.

3) The Vic Corona death.

4) In his Bourbon St. clean-up Garrison selectively stayed away from
Marcello-associated bars.

5) He exerted pressure on Ed Partin, the prime witness against Hoffa.

6) Garrison never considered the Mob as a candidate for killing JFK.

Before LIFE went with the Las Vegas vacation story, Dick Billings
questioned Garrison about it. Garrison explained that the house gave him
the rooms for 2 days as a "loss leader" because he was a famous personage
who could and would bring future business to the hotel. In fact, if you
talk to people who work Vegas, they will tell you that this is a common
practice especially for famous people, which Garrison was in March of
'67, the time of the trip. Also, Garrison produced receipts showing that
he paid for everything else on the trip.

Garrison had bought a house in the early 60's when he began to rise up
the poltical ladder in New Orleans. The house was a bit over 60K and if
you figure out a 30 yr. loan at 6-7% which is what they were then, the
payments as published are just about right. Also, according to
Garrison's son, Lyon, who just sold the house in August of this year,
Garrison never paid off the balance until Warner Bros. gave him the money
for the sale of his book. Associated with this, the charge has been that
Frank Occhipianti [? hard to read in some places - hope that's right] the
guilder of the house was mob-associated. When I asked Lyon about this, he
said that Occhipianti was a popular developer in the New Orleans area who
built half the homes in his neighborhood.

Another charge is that Garrison hushed up the death of Vic Corona,
supposedly a boy-man for Marcello, and disguised his death at his home as
a "poltical rally". Vic Corona was a [??? can't read that word] state
trooper who also worked for Buck Kreihs Advertising which advised Garrison
on his political campaigns, which, by the way, were financed very
sparsely - he was always outspent - mainly because Garrison didn't like
asking people for money. Corona, who Garrison liked personally, died
after visiting Garrison's home in 1969 to discuss strategy for his
re-election campaign. Garrison wrote letters to friends expressing his
grief over Corona's death that are on microfilm at the New Orleans Public
Library.

Another one is that in his 1963 clean-up of the shady bars on Bourbon St.
in the French Quarter, Garrison employed selective prosecution and didn't
padlock Marcello-associated bars. All one has to do is look at the New
Orelans TP [I assume that means Times-Picayune] of January and February
of 1963 to see that Garrison and the police closed down at least 3 bars
run by either Marcello or his cronies! The "500 Club", the "Old French
Opera House" and the "Flamingo."

Next, the charge that Garrison applied pressure to Ed Partin, a former
teamster used by the Justice Department to imprison Hoffa. I was finally
able to track this one down through Dick Billings' journal. This consists
of a rumor that circulated through Garrison's office and was broadcast
over a Baton Rouge radio station that Partin was associated with Ruby -
that was the original report in 1967 - there is no officail or newspaper
record to show that Garrison ever called Partin in even to question him.
Presumably, a lead came in, it was checked out and then dropped. But
interestingly, the Justice Department did call Garrison into one of the
many trials surrounding Partin, at which Garrison stated he had no idea
why he was called to testify and Partin himself said he was surprised
that Garrison was called.

But let me add something about this whole Partin-Hoffa business. Nobody
had to sully Ed Partin's record. When Walter Sheridan sprung him from
jail to be his prime witness against Hoffa he had a record of something
like 16 felong and midemeanor accounts. Later on, after Hoffa's
imprisonment, Partine was indicted and convicted of using threats and
intimidation to take over Louisiana labor unions. One of the many
unethical tactics that Sheridan used to bolster Partin's credibility was
a polygraph test in which Partin was asked if Hoffa ever threated JFK, to
which Partin replied yes and passed. But when a professional association
of polygraph examiners got the record of the examination they said that
the whole test was specious but [there were] two questions during which the
machine was actually turned down so as not to detect deception on
Partin's part. It's not enough [for some] Sheridan apologists to admit
Partin was a liar. Partin KNEW he was going to lie and eliminated that
evidence in advance. Related to this, Sheridan testified to the HSCA that
Partin said that the only time a hit on JFK came up, Hoffa rejected it.
So by Hoffa-expert Sheridan's own statements, Hoffa never threatened JFK.
Need I add that Sheridan's polygraph expert was later indicted and
convicted for fraud.

Finally, the charge that Garrison never considered the mob as a suspect.
In a March 1967 story in Newsday this quote follows: "Garrison is trying
to learn whether the Cosa Nostra and anti-Castro Cubans may have been
linked by mob-controlled gambling operations in pre-Castro Cuba...
Garrison is trying to determine if there is a thread which binds the Cosa
Nostra, anti-Castro groups, the late David Ferrie, Oswald and Jack Ruby."
In a May 196 memo by Ross Yockey, a local reporter, stating that
Rosemary James called asking why Garrison had not considered organized
crime, he adds that he though Garrison had already considered this
possiblity. In Dec. '67, Garrison writes a memo to his staff after a
conversation with Ed Reid. Garrison writes that there had been
indications of Mob involvement through Ruby and appraises his
investigators of an update on possible leads to explore this regard. But
he adds, none of this has flowered into any real evidence. In a 1975
interview Garrison stated that Ruby was associated with the part of the
1950's Mob that controlled Cuba with Meyer Lansky and was a major ally of
the CIA in its anti-Castro activity.

So if there is very little basis for these myths, why did Chandler and
Aaron Kohn propagate them? David Chandler was not just Jim Garrison's
friend, he was also a friend of Clay Shaw's. In fact, he lived in an
apartment owned by Shaw in the French Quarter. His phone number and
address are in Ferrie's notebook. He is a friend of Kerry Thornley, and
Thornley's pal CIA media asset Clint Bolton. Chanderl's name appears,
misspelled, in Oswald's notebook. In a 1963 FBI report Chandler admits to
meeting Oswald once in the summer of 1963. Yet in his 1992 piece, he says
he met him 5 times. Billings told Thornley that "Chandler knew more about
the assassination than he was telling."

Quickly, let's touch on Aaron Kohn, another man actively involved in
smearing Garrison. Kohn was brought down to New Orleans with Guy Banister
in the mid-50's, the 2 former FBI agents knew of each other and had
several other mutual acquaintances like Dave Ferrie, Clay Shaw and Alton
Ochsner. He had also worked for Sears Roebuck, owned by the Stern family
who were also good friends of Shaw. In 1951 he was active in the Citizen's
Committee for Free Europe. Three days after Rosemary James exposes
Garrison's probe, Kohn starts informing on him to the FBI, using a smear
campaign that the FBI then utilized through its media asset program. In
fact, the LOOK magazine article referred to earlier was written by Warren
Robers, who William Sullivan refers to in his book THE BUREAU as one of
Hoover's prime media assets. In fact, Kohn also starts working for
TIME-LIFE, Chandler's employer. In fact, the soty about Garrison's house
used by Chandler, was first used by Kohn in a February 28, 1967 FBI
Airtel. In a Feb. 21, 1967 airtel, Kohn states that the real Clay
Bertrand is a real-estate agent age 30 living in Lafayette and he has a
"violent temper and is a radical" - clearly disinformation. Later Kohn
joins a select, top-secret group organized by Ochsner to plan and
coordinate a campaign to wreck Garrison's investigation. In fact, Walter
Sheridan uses Kohn's office to film some of his interviews for his
infamous NBC special.

But unfortuantely, we have the writings of David Chandler and Aaron Kohn
before 1967, before Jim Garrison investigates the Kennedy case. In 1 966
article Chandler wrote that the Bourbon Street clean-up strenghtend
Garrison's image as an incorruptible crusader for justic. "Which he is.
He really is." In the same article, Chandler stated that political
protection for crime exists in Marcello's parish, Jefferson county, but
there is no organized crime in the political limits of New Orleans. In a
1965 NOTP Sunday supplement Aaron Kohn wrote, "The District Attorney for
New Orleans Parish is the most powerful and most important single
official in the City's processes of law enforcement. The vitality with
which this authority has been used by the Garrison administration has
been an unprecedented deterrent to crime and organized racketeering in
New Orelans."

So, on the weight of the evidnece, it seems that as long as you're an
efficient and persisten opponent of crime on the local level, you're
fine, but once you start pecking at the Kennedy assassination, you become
morally corrupt and a [word illegible] for the Mob. I ask you, who is
smoke-screening for who?

It's too late to apologize to Jim Garrison, and I'm sure, proud man that
he was, he wouldn't accept those apologies even if he were alive. But
before we write anything in the future that tends to smear and villify a
man's life and work, [phrase missing - something to the effect of 'be
careful that you are being accurate.' THAT I remember from his speech.
This is all longhand...] If we don't, we become unwitting media assets in
our own community, and we may also end up covering up genuine leads and
evidence in this case. And let me propose a guideline. When an author
uses ad hominem, personal attacks against another author it suggests 1.)
His own theory needs aggrandizement at someone's personal expense, and
2.) He doesn't have much to add at a real evidentiary level. And I think
we've all invested too much time, money and energy to be doing that at
this late date.

What makes this so important, in view of the recently released files and
interviews of the HSCA, is that Blakey was desperate to link Oswald with
the mob in New Orelans. When his own investigators couldn't do it, i.e.
Bill Triplett, Tower [?] McDonald, Jan Blanckmer, L.J. Delsa, and Bob
Buras; the people he turned to for help were Aaron Kohn, Waltehr Sheridan
and the works of David Chandler and Dick Billings. In regard to this,
in Fonzi's book McDonald said that the HSCA never really made that
connection. When Bill Davy and I interviewed Bill Triplett, in this
regard he said, the relationship was just never there. On the other hand,
when I asked L.J. Delso how productive Garrison's New Orleans leads were,
he said, "Garrison's leads were so productive that Blakey rebelled
against the New Orleans investigation." He did it by going back to the
people whom he worked as in the 1967 LIFE articles that contained the
smear on Garrison.

Let me end by showing how cheap this McCarthite guilt by association game
is. Use John Davis - Navy man. [Missing in the written version is
something here I DID take a note on - that John Davis said he first met
JFK while in DC to see his second cousin, Thomas Gates, a veteran of
Naval Intelligence who would become chairman of the Morgan Guaranty Bank.
It was Gates who supposedly order the Gary Powers U-2 flight over
Eisenhower's suspension of such. Continuing on from DiEugenio:] Now I
could jump to all sorts of fevered conspiratorial associations from that,
but I won't, yet other would.

Let us have no more of this, we don't need it. It adds little or nothing
to the evidentiary record, and it makes us look silly in the eyes of the
public. Finally, with the great stuff coming out of the files, it's
superflous.

--------------------------------

End of speech.
--
Lisa Pease
====================================================================

One person, one vote.
Not one dollar, one vote.
End private government. Ban corporate donations.

Check out the Real History Archives http://www.webcom.com/lpease
Read Contemporary Real History at http://www.webcom.com/ctka


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