Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Newman Talks to Danny Jones About Veciana

Conspiracy author and researcher John Newman did the world a favor when he published research in his book Into The Storm that refuted many of the claims of one Antonio Veciana. Theses claims concerned when and under what circumstances Veciana allegedly met his CIA handler Maurice Bishop whom he eventually maintained was really David Atlee Phillips—one of the favorite villains of the conspiracy crowd. Newman also provided solid evidence to show that Veciana was tied more to Army Intelligence than he was to the CIA. My eBook, The Bishop Hoax, demonstrated that Veciana lied not only about the things named by Newman but about anything that suited his varied purposes. The Conclusion chapter of my book lays out Veciana's most significant prevarications.

But instead of telling his followers that Veciana is not worthy of belief in any regard, Newman has incorporated the anti-Castro activist into his sprawling conspiracy theory to end all conspiracy theories. A recent conversation with Danny Jones, a pod caster who specializes in "fringe cultures," lays out the disturbing details of Newman's current thinking regarding the Veciana matter which is just one small aspect of Newman's convoluted grand hypothesis.

First, let's look at why the assassination had to occur, according to Newman, and Veciana's role in the scheme:

[The] Antonio Veciana story this is one of the biggest misdirections ever because you can't figure out the Armageddon that was that was ... underway um at the time that's what it was that's what they were trying to do was to blow the planet not to blow the planet up but to blow all the you know the Russia China all those those countries and and so Veciana was a way to help pin this on the CIA so you don't know who's actually behind all this this Armageddon stuff going on it's the military and he was working for the military the whole time they wanted people to think it was the CIA ..."

Yes, you read that correctly. The military brass wanted to nuke Russia and China. Not only that, but when JFK said no to their plan they decided that the youthful President had to be killed and the crime blamed on the CIA. This theory is the result of Newman reading too much into contingency plans which the government has many of but most remain unused. Veciana fits into all of this because Newman thinks that he was released from prison early for the sole purpose of telling the world the falsehood about his CIA handler Bishop and his meeting with Oswald.

How did the CIA get Veciana to lie? They just pinned a drug conviction on the hapless anti-Castro activist and then dangled an early release:

... they they put him in jail for a long while because a lot of those CIA guys were running dope you know in South American stuff so they had it on everybody and so so what they do sometimes if they want to use somebody they say okay uh here's what you're going to do for us and if he says no okay you can put him in jail and so he ended up in jail.

Exactly who framed Veciana and how is, of course, not detailed. But presumably since Newman mentions the CIA and South American drug activity, he thinks that it was a rogue CIA agent or agents that were controlled by the military brass. Newman continues:

... when um they put him in jail and uh they let him out really early ... they busted him for 25 kilos of um cocaine ... and that that get that gets you about um two uh non-consecutive uh 12 year terms instantly so he was he was going to be locked up for at least 12 years if not more than that and uh they let him out in about less than two years and there was no reason why ...

That's a lot to unpack so let's get started. First, Veciana's public pronouncements were designed to prove CIA involvement in the assassination. Veciana's case officer Bishop was CIA and met with Oswald—that is the story. During his conversation with Jones, Newman doesn't discuss the time period during which Veciana was supposed to be relaying his false information. But in another presentation in 2019 summarized here, Newman mentions assets of US intelligence including Veciana who were "weaponized and used as messengers." This weaponization occurred during "the period of the Church Committee's tenure" which ended in 1976. So, presumably Newman is talking about the time soon after Veciana's 1976 prison release. Which only makes sense because they wouldn't release Veciana unless they expected immediate action.

The problem is, Veciana never said that Bishop was CIA until many years after his release from prison. Veciana told Fonzi during the 1976 interviews that Bishop was "working for a private organization, not the government." Later that year, Veciana told Dick Russell that Bishop was "part of an American intelligence service" and then "instructed him not to ask which one." This left the door open to the possibility that Bishop was Army Intelligence which was exactly the opposite of what Veciana supposedly wanted to achieve. And in 1977, Veciana told Fonzi’s assistant Al Gonzales that he "never said that Bishop was CIA" but believed that he was with "some sort of intelligence agency or with a powerful interest group" again leaving the door open to Bishop being Army Intelligence.

In 1978, Veciana testified before the HSCA and again failed to name Bishop as a CIA asset. "I always had the opinion that Maurice Bishop was working for a private firm and not the government" Veciana stated. He also refused to say that Bishop was David Phillips. In his HSCA writeup, Fonzi noted that the "U.S. intelligence agency [Bishop] was associated [with], could not be determined." Veciana's Church Committee testimony is missing but it is doubtful it would contradict his numerous pronouncements that Bishop was not CIA.

The fact is, Veciana never said that Bishop was Phillips, thus providing a concrete tie to a known CIA agent, until 2013. It is true that numerous conspiracy theorists claimed Phillips was Bishop from about 1980 onward and maybe Newman believes that the development of public opinion that the CIA was behind the assassination was the goal. But if you are releasing someone from prison specifically to blame the assassination on the CIA, why not have that person come right out and say it instead of merely hoping that conspiracy types will step in and do the job for you?

What about the evidence that supports Newman's claim that Veciana's drug conviction was a setup? There isn't any. But there is plenty of evidence that says Veciana did exactly what he was accused of. Veciana's two co-conspirators testified against him and provided damning evidence. One of the most persuasive pieces of evidence was provided by an accountant who worked at a real estate firm where Ariel Pomares, one of Veciana's partners in crime, was employed. The accountant remembered a day that he answered the telephone in the absence of Pomares. The call was from Veciana who left a message for Pomares. "Tell him my name is Veciana and I received the documents," was the simple message. It turns out that the phrase "I received the documents" was a code to let Pomares know that the cocaine had arrived and was available for delivery. Those who believe Veciana was framed have a steep hill to ascend and so far Newman isn't climbing.

Another area where Newman is playing loose with the facts concerns Veciana's sentence and the time he served. Newman implies that Veciana should have received a mandatory sentence of two "non-consecutive" 12 year terms. He offers no evidence for this statement. According to my research, Veciana was sentenced to "two seven-year terms to run concurrently" with three years parole after that. So, the most he was going to do was seven years. If there was something funny about the sentence, it should be a simple matter to prove.

Newman also says that Veciana was released after "less than two years and there was no reason why." But according to Veciana's autobiography (page 223) he served "twenty-six months." Thus far, I have been unable to independently confirm the exact length of Veciana's term, but he presumably knew how long he was there. Veciana's book also confirms the two concurrent seven year sentences and the three years of probation. It is reasonable to assume that an individual would have to serve about three years of a seven-year term before gaining parole. But with good behavior or because of overcrowding, twenty-six months would not be abnormal and likely required no conspiratorial intervention.

Newman's rambling comments to Jones are often absurd and at times could even be called paranoid. For example, Newman, now and possibly for some time, believes that the CIA "pickpocketed" his cell phone at a conference where he was speaking about the Veciana matter. Newman told Jones that after misappropriating his phone the agency returned it to a pocket on his "carry bag." A "regular looking guy" who appeared to be in late fifties then approached Newman and said "you're okay, you're okay, it's okay they just want to know what you know. You're good don't worry."

Newman went on to explain that he first quite understandably thought the "okay man" was "a crazy guy." But "a year or so" after the event he was able to "figure out" that "they [the CIA] were that interested in me right? I hadn't gotten that far in ... in terms of of any notoriety or anything like that so um yeah but that's what happened that's what they want and then I had other things happen to me later on when people ... people would say stuff to me that was good you know that they were there ... there were times when they actually applauded what I was doing and and [gave] me some information."

From listening to various videos of Newman I have also learned that he believes that his books JFK and Vietnam and his current work Popov's Mole were "suppressed" by different means. Regarding the current book, Amazon decided that some documents (which Newman believes "prove" Bruce Solie was the legendary CIA mole predicted by Popov) Newman wanted to include were "illegible" and therefore delayed publication. However, once Newman removed the offending documents and placed them on the Internet, Amazon went ahead and published the book. Newman doesn't seem to understand that Amazon controls the process and you have to go along with their rules even when you don't agree with them. Such regulations are not necessarily "suppression" and Amazon has published two books of Newman's works previously.

The rambling nature of Newman's presentation caused one Education Forum poster to believe Newman had reversed his position on one matter. At 5:50 of the video Newman says "[David Phillips] meets Veciana in a hotel in Dallas Texas and um that is where uh Oswald is there for the meeting and this is only a month before the Kennedy assassination so it looks like ... this guy uh is plotting Kennedy's murder that's so they they put Veciana and Phillips in the same um office area of a big Bank in ... Dallas together the three of so ... that's proof ... that uh Phillips was in on it and he's big CIA guy so you know ... everybody after that said the CIA killed killed Kennedy and they wouldn't give it up no matter what."

And indeed in 2020 Newman said when asked during a presentation if Phillips was Bishop "No, I don’t think so … at best [Bishop] would be a composite of several people that played roles in the saga." But it is clear (to me anyway) that Newman was merely explaining the theory that Phillips met with Oswald and was seen by an early-arriving Veciana—not endorsing it.

Newman is promising more revelations about Veciana in the forthcoming book five of his series on the assassination including the results of court filings (spearheaded by Dan Hardway) to unseal Veciana's records for his drug conviction. While these might be interesting from a historical perspective, it is unlikely they will prove that Veciana was released early at the behest of the Church Committee or another government entity. But if Veciana were released early to tell about Bishop, that would provide an obvious motive for his lies about the imaginary mentor. In any case, if Newman's statements to Jones are any indication of what is to come, it is doubtful that he be able to offer anything of substance and surely nothing that will rival his worthwhile refutation of the Veciana claims mentioned at the beginning of this article.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Was Nosenko Married to Solie's Sister-in-Law?

Photo: George (Yuri Nosenko) and Louise Rosnek. Photo credit-Jefferson Morley

Last Edited 2-19-24: Don't ask me why, but I recently picked up John Newman's Popov's Mole and thereby started a trip down a deep rabbit-hole. In fact, out of the myriad issues related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the subject of Yuri (sometimes spelled Yuriy) Nosenko and the search for Popov's mole may be the most complex of all which is saying something. So, how far down that rabbit-hole I am willing to travel remains to be seen. But I did stumble on one matter that is immediately debunkable.

First, some background. Newman believes that Nosenko was a false defector designed to divert attention from the KGB and their mole in the CIA. The identity of the mole? None other than Bruce Solie of the CIA's Office of Security. This concept is very convenient for Newman and other supporters of his work. That is because Solie was the person largely responsible for Nosenko being cleared of suspicion and declared a true defector by the CIA. So, if you say Solie was the mole, the rest of your analysis benefits from that assertion. But I digress.

Newman and supporters, which include researcher Malcolm Blunt, base their theory on the work of Tennent "Pete" Bagley, a CIA officer who originally handled the Nosenko case. Bagley vehemently argued that Nosenko was false and wrote a book about it called Spy Wars. Blunt had conversations with Bagley and the epigraph of Popov's Mole is taken from one of those talks that occured in 2011. Bagley is quoted as saying:

That Solie provided rock-like protection to Nosenko, there is no doubt. Why, is the question. The bond was sealed by Nosenko's marrying Solie's wife's sister. Let's add Solie to the short list.

The obvious answer to Bagley's question is that Solie may have helped Nosenko because he felt an injustice had been done in his case. Setting that aside, I assumed that the assertion that Nosenko married into the family could be checked out with a little Internet research. And I was right. Bruce Solie had only one wife. She was Mary Elizabeth Matthews whom he married on February 22, 1944. The couple were together until Bruce's death in 1992. Mary had two sisters. One died in infancy and the other sister was Helen Louise Matthews. Since Bruce Solie had only one wife and his wife had only one living sister, in order for Bagley's claim that Nosenko married "Solie's wife's sister" to be true Nosenko must have married Helen Louise Matthews. He did not.

Helen Louis Matthews married Orlin Hudson Shires and was married to him for 64 years (the couple lived in California) until his death in 2007 which puts the date of their union at circa 1943. Since Nosenko was still alive in 2007 and theoretically could have married Helen Louise at that point even though both were elderly, let's look at what Nosenko was doing to be sure.

Nosenko (who used the name George Martin Rosnek after his release from CIA custody) evidently married in November of 1969 after gaining his freedom in April of that year. This document from September of that year tells of his desire to gain a divorce from his then Russian wife so he could marry and some of the legal challenges he faced because of his unique situation. This first US wife's (he may have been married three times in Russia) name was Ruby F. Rosnek. Nosenko and Ruby relocated from the Maryland-Virginia DC suburbs to Oriental, North Carolina after fearing that the KGB had located them.

After the move to North Carolina, Ruby died in 1982. Nosenko then (date unclear) married Frances Warren who was formerly married to Stephen C. Morris who died in 1981. Nosenko and Frances remained married and lived in Oriental, North Carolina until his death in 2008. So as any reasonable person can see, short of a conspiracy theory involving doubles there is zero chance that he married "Solie's wife's sister."

Does any of this really matter? It seems strange to me that Newman would choose a quote for the epigraph of his book that contains verifiably false information. Sure, I had to do a little digging to find the truth but it wasn't that difficult. It seems like Newman and his team want to make Solie and Nosenko look as friendly as they can even if it means using information they didn't properly evaluate. Or maybe they are so entrenched in Bagley's thesis that they can't imagine anything he says might be wrong.

An interesting sidenote to all of this is Bagley's apparent belief that Solie could be the mole. He told Blunt "Let's add Solie to the short list [of mole suspects]." But according to the 2022 book The Spy Who Knew Too Much by Howard Blum, Bagley believed that John Paisley and not Solie was the "master spy that Nosenko was sent to protect." If Blum is to be believed then, Bagley (assuming he was quoted accurately) could have been simply telling Blunt what he wanted to hear about Solie.

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