Did Clay Shaw Take Lee Harvey Oswald to the Gay Baths? The Fred Leemans Story, Part Two.
Updated: Oct 9, 2021
You can read Part One about Fred Leemans here.
How do conspiracy books treat Fred Leemans? James DiEugenio, published the Leemans affidavit of January 1969 [in which he recanted] in his book, Destiny Betrayed, and wrote the following: (page 241)
The source for footnotes 92,93 and 94 is the July-August 1977 issue of Probe Magazine, and specifically page 18. Since not all the issues of Probe are online, and few libraries have them, it makes it hard to check DiEugenio's sources. Fortunately, I was able to find page 18 in the John Armstrong Collection. Here it is:
DiEugenio's logic goes like this: Fred Leemans was interviewed on Walter Sheridan's special on NBC which attacked Garrison. Sheridan's lawyer was Edward Baldwin. And, Edward Baldwin's law partner wrote a letter to the CIA requesting that they "place my name on their referral list of qualified attorneys in this area." Therefore, the CIA is there to assist "any witness they could pry loose from Garrison."
Here is actual letter Quaid sent to the CIA:
The CIA then investigated James Quaid.
Here is another relevant CIA document:
All of this raises serious questions about Mr. James Quaid. Perhaps he was briefly associated with Baldwin, and perhaps he had some leftover letterhead. But, his status, at the time he wrote that letter, is very unclear. And, there is no evidence to support the DiEugenio claim that "Quaid had heard about this easy employment from his law partner Ed Baldwin." Nor is there any evidence that Baldwin was on any such referral panel.
But, here is something interesting. Quaid was permanently disbarred in 2003:
Two reprimands in 1970 and a conviction for a felony burglary charge - and then finally permanent disbarment. Perhaps the CIA was right that his letter was a provocation. Certainly, his letter does not prove any of DiEugenio's assertions.
Now on to DiEugenio's other piece of evidence - a memo referring to Lloyd Cobb, who was Clay Shaw's boss at the International Trade Mart in New Orleans.
Cobb received a "Provisional Security Approval on 19 June 1967 to permit contact and assessment of COBB in connection with his use on a Cleared Attorneys' Panel for the Office of General Counsel." We do not know if Cobb was approved or not. Nor do we know why his services were required.
OGC provides advice and guidance to officers and employees within the CIA related to U.S. intelligence activities. OGC is also responsible for advising the Director of the CIA on all legal matters relating to her role as head of CIA. OGC handles a wide variety of legal issues, including both civil and criminal litigation, foreign intelligence and counterintelligence activities, counterterrorism, counternarcotics, nonproliferation and arms control, personnel, and security matters, contracting and much more.
This article in the New York Times provides some clues:
The C.I.A.'s office of general counsel keeps a list of ''cleared'' lawyers for employees. ''But being on the C.I.A.'s list of cleared attorneys creates a potential conflict of interest for lawyers,'' Ms. Brookner writes. ''It gives an attorney an opening to a new client base, but may jeopardize the lawyer's willingness to litigate zealously against the agency.''
It's not surprising that the CIA does have a list of "cleared" lawyers for their employees.
Here is a report from the GAO, lINTELLIGENCE AGENCIES: Personnel Practices at
CIA, NSA, and DIA Compared With Those of Other Agencies:
Intelligence officials have also dealt with employee attorneys with security clearances in EEO cases. While NSA and DIA will not initiate security clearance actions solely for the purpose of employee representation, CIA officials said they maintain a list of cleared attorneys for their employees, and the agency will process a clearance for an employee attorney. To date, all of the agencies have been able to work with employee attorneys to conduct EEOC hearings while still protecting national security information.
James DiEugenio wants you to believe that the CIA helped Clay Shaw, William Gurvich, Walter Sheridan, and other people charged in the case. But none of them were CIA employees or officers. And Lloyd Cobb did not represent anybody of interest in the Garrison investigation. There is absolutely no evidence that the CIA assisted in the provision of legal services to any of these people. And there is no evidence that Clay Shaw's attorneys knew about any "cleared" panel of attorneys - and as my book shows in the conclusion - Shaw received very little help from either the FBI or the CIA.
One last piece of evidence. DiEugenio claims that witnesses like Gordon Novel were paid by the CIA, In fact, I have blogged about this here.
In an answer to a legal interrogatory, Gordon Novel said that “he understood” his two early lawyers were “clandestinely remunerated by a party of parties unknown to me.” The fees were $1,633 each - and, of course, Novel never said the fees were paid by the CIA. Elmer Gertz, Novel’s lawyer for his libel action, clarified this further:
There is no evidence that his lawyers were even paid.