Garrison Claimed the CIA was also Behind the RFK and MLK Assassinations...
Updated: Jan 16
The first interview that Jim Garrison gave after the Clay Shaw trial was to Thomas Buchanan, author of Who Killed Kennedy?"
Photo of the cover of my copy of Who Killed Kennedy?
Buchanan wrote to Garrison in September of `1968:
Here is Garrison's typed reply:
The interview never happened. Buchanan sent in a second request.
Buchanan writes "But it seems important to me to destroy the impression that most of the American journalists have given, throughout the world, that there was no substance to the charges that you brought (and continue to bring) against Clay Shaw." Garrison underlines the section "substance to the charges" and writes "trial confirmed that there was."
Buchanan wants "more than a mere resume of statements you have previously given to the press." Garrison writes "None." Buchanan writes "But the fact that editors in Europe are sufficiently interested to ask me if that is the case seems to me to indicate that even now, after the adverse court decision, it is possible to regain the initiative." Garrison replied, "In Europe, perhaps."
In the lower right corner of Buchanan's letter, Garrison writes: "Trial showed: 1. Impos [Impossible] to communicate ... 2. CIA = total control of AM [American] press. Thus it confirmed what the [...] suggest that America has become a warfare state and that the guise of democracy ... maintained."
Here is Garrison's reply to Buchanan:
It's really something to see Garrison complain about lack of press coverage:
For well over a year I have been trying to call attention in this country to the fact that President Kennedy was killed by a coup d'etat by the employment of federal intelligence personnel, in particular the Central Intelligence Agency. I have yet to be able to that simple statement published in a single major publication anywhere in the country.
The plain fact of the matter is that Garrison received a ton of press for his baseless allegations. After the first year of ever-changing allegations, the press got tired of being a stenographer for Garrison.
Herblock cartoon, 1969
Buchanan submitted questions and Garrison wrote a lengthy reply, which has become almost a textbook for conspiracy theorists. This memo was recently published (2019) on the website of James DiEugenio, screenwriter of Oliver Stone's so-called documentary, JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass.
Garrison blames the JFK, MLK and the RFK assassinations on the CIA. And Garrison was the first conspiracy theorist to realize that he could use the anti-war movement to help push his noxious theories.
As my friend Nick Nalli has said:
Of all the hills to choose to die on in this case, none can be more ethically dubious than Jim Garrison, a self-serving con-artist villain of history, who persecuted and slandered an innocent homosexual man and traitorously exploited the change in public sentiment during the Vietnam war.
Garrison writes that "The Central Intelligence Agency carefully set Lee Harvey Oswald up at the scapegoat by assigning him to engage in "pro-Castro" demonstrations in New Orleans."
In addition, "Actually, Oswald clearly did not shoot anyone that day nor was there the slightest evidence to that effect against him even as late as the time when he in turn was removed."
Garrison is convinced that the United States is totalitarian and that anti-War voices have been eliminated. "Thus, the warfare complex in recent years quite apparently has accomplished the systematic elimination of eloquent opponents of the Viet Nam war, such men being more genuinely dangerous to the warfare machinery itself than the worldwide Communist conspiracy with which it justifies its expensive existence."
Hmmm. I wonder if Lyndon Johnson would agree with that.
Of course, Robert Kennedy was also shot by the same forces that killed JFK. "While the modus operandi in Robert Kennedy's murder is different from that in John Kennedy's assassination, this is merely a matter of detail to a powerful intelligence agency."
He seems to believe that international travel ties Lee Harvey Oswald, James Earl Ray and Sirhan Sirhan together. "The "loneliness" of our assassins seems not to have prevented them from seeing the world more than most lonely people do."
It doesn't take much for Garrison to conclude that the CIA was behind the RFK and the MLK assassinations:
In my considered judgment there is no doubt that the murder[s] of John Kennedy and Martin Luther King were accomplished by the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States -- an agency which specializes in deception and is also in the business of assassination. I would add to that observation that it is a probability that Senator Robert Kennedy was removed by the same organization although by a slightly different technique -- this being more likely a case of instigation and motivation rather than an apparatus project.
Garrison has a whopper here:
For example, the only reason we succeeded in our investigation -- and we did succeed although the national media has very effectively made it appear otherwise -- was because we had a great deal of luck at the outset. We literally stumbled across Central Intelligence Agency employees in New Orleans who were helping to set Lee Oswald up by giving him intelligence assignments which make it appear as if he were a Communist.
What would Garrison consider to be a failure?
Now, Garrison goes all batty:
In the Clay Shaw case I learned the lesson that it is not possible to present a sophisticated clandestine intelligence operation in an Anglo-Saxon courtroom, in which -- properly enough -- the rules of procedure are designed to safeguard a variety of defendant's rights.
Some evidence would have helped, no?
Garrison continues in this vein:
However, the elaborate camouflage and clandestine nature of an intelligence operation make it virtually impossible to communicate in a forum of law the necessary cause and effect relative to the charge.
In other words, I had no evidence.
Garrison cannot speak to Clay Shaw's motive, except that, being some sort of agent, he had a mission. And Garrison's paranoia comes through:
This has been particularly evident to us with regard to the agents of the federal government who penetrated our office and interfered with our efforts to get at the truth.
Eichmann did not hate Jews? News to me.
More delusional thinking from Garrison. You can see this kind of thinking today with conspiracy theorists maintaining that since the JFK assassination, American foreign policy has been hijacked by the military industrial complex. The only way to solve America's problem is to solve the JFK assassination.
Garrison is wrong about the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. General Maxwell Taylor left office in July of 1964.
This is delusional:
The great injury done by the Warren Commission to this country was that it authenticated the transfer of the foreign policy making power from the representatives of the people to these autocratic interests, it authenticated the conversion of the real government of the United States to an invisible government.
Garrison is flat out wrong about David Ferrie. He did not make night flights into Cuba, and he had not flown for the CIA in Nicaragua. The story about being stabbed in the stomach was told by Ferrie to some of the younger recruits - there were no indications of a stab wound in the autopsy report.
544 Camp Street was not the location of the office of Guy Banister. He was around the corner. Going to the Camp Street entrance would not get you to his office.
Of course, the International Trade Mart was full of representatives of foreign governments, etc. It was a building dedicated to international trade.
Garrison didn't "stumble" across the fact that Oswald "was having clandestine meetings" with "the Director of this unusual building." Garrison manufactured the meeting through the use of hypnosis and sodium pentothal. The so-called Clinton sightings of Shaw, Ferrie and Oswald were not clandestine. They were supposedly trying to openly get him a job. The Clinton sightings were also a fiction.
Garrison claims that "the release of genuine copies of the Kennedy autopsy photographs and autopsy X-rays indeed would jeopardize the national security -- from within -- because then everyone in America would realize that the government had been lying to the world about how John Kennedy was killed." In fact, the autopsy X-rays and photographs have confirmed that Kennedy was hit by two shots from behind.
Garrison realized that he had to be ready for that possibility. And so, "If such documents are released by the federal government it will only be because they are professional forgeries produced by the Central Intelligence Agency -- and by this time I expect that this part of the mission has been accomplished." The CIA must have been amazing forgers - because to this day, there is no indication of any alteration or forgery of the autopsy material.
Garrison claims that there still might be a bullet lodged in Kennedy's spine.
Garrison writes that "Consequently the Zapruder film, which clearly shows what actually happened to the President, remains hidden from the people ..." Yes, it does show what happens and is consistent with a lone gunman. Had Garrison been alive today, would he argue that it had been altered?
In the United States, it appeared in the National Enquirer: