Thursday, June 15, 2017

Response to Morley

Jefferson Morley has written a piece at JFKfacts that is critical of my work on the Antonio Veciana story. Morley refers to that work as a “prosecutors brief.” I am still working on Veciana and will have more to say in the near future. For now, here is a brief response to Morley.

Morley says that my theory of Veciana “requires no further investigation because [I think I am] right.” To the contrary, I believe that a very good book could be written about Veciana presenting the opposing view to Fonzi’s Last investigation. Many questions about Veciana remain unanswered and many of his assertions still need verification. All of this would require more investigation and I plan to do what I can in the coming months, although I don’t believe I am qualified to do a complete book since I am not an expert on the Cuban angle as it relates to the assassination nor a professional writer. I am just a guy in my pajamas who is a skeptic and debunker. My goal is to make people think and to provide work that can be used by future researchers. Perhaps someone like Gus Russo or Brian Latell will eventually tell the complete Veciana story when all the documents are released.

Morley says I believe that “Veciana is some guy who made up a bunch of stories for no reason.” I never said it was for no reason and while I don’t pretend to know his motive, I speculate that it was self-preservation. Veciana was just coming out of prison when he spoke to Fonzi and clearly had no desire to return. I believe he wanted to show that any illegal activities he may have committed in his years of anti-Castro work were at the behest of the CIA. That is why I believe he created the Bishop character who may have been a composite of several real CIA/FBI/Military people that he knew. But, there could have been any number of other possible motives and further investigation is needed.

Morley says my “cartoonish” account of Fonzi is unfair and that I “caricature him as a conspiracy theorist” which is “false.” But as I point out, Fonzi admitted he “went from an agnostic to a conspiracy believer.” If you look at the quote by Fonzi that I reference, he said he wasn’t a theorist since, to him, conspiracy was a fact. Semantics aside, he clearly was a conspiracy believer. And it is not a good thing for an ostensibly impartial government investigator to already have a firm position. Fonzi certainly was a skilled and experienced investigator but his bias affected the way he conducted his work as I show and as at least some of his peers believed.

Morley asks several good questions about Veciana and some of these should investigated further. However, one point Morley brings up repeatedly as proof of Veciana’s bona fides is the fact that he had a CIA cryptonym. But as Morley should know, a cryptonym is just a code name used by the CIA to refer to an individual or group and does not prove or imply employment by the agency. And as a founding member of Alpha 66, Veciana was a person of interest to the CIA.

Morley also asks who was Veciana’s case officer if not David Phillips. The question is premature since we only have Veciana’s word that he worked for the CIA and agency documents report there was no connection.

And while there is some circumstantial evidence for Phillips as Bishop (but not as much as conspiracy people believe), more investigation is needed. But even if Phillips was Maurice Bishop, without the Bishop-Veciana-Oswald connection the story goes nowhere. As Fonzi himself noted in his HSCA writeup, “The committee's interest in the relationship between Antonio Veciana and Maurice Bishop is of course predicated on Veciana's contention that he saw Bishop with Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas a few months before the assassination of John F. Kennedy.” And if Veciana did make up the Bishop story, the inclusion of Oswald ensured that he would receive the committee’s full attention.

Morley seems to have missed the point of my series, which is to offer a much-needed skeptical look at Veciana’s claims. And Morley’s analysis neglects to mention the provable evolution in Veciana’s story from 1976 to the present. If Morley or anyone can prove with indisputable documentation that Veciana was a CIA employee and that Phillips was Maurice Bishop, I will accept that fact. But barring any revelatory 2017 documents, I believe Morley and like-minded individuals will have a more difficult time showing that Phillips was “handling” Lee Harvey Oswald for the CIA.

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