top of page
Search
  • Writer's pictureFred Litwin

"JFK: Destiny Betrayed" Misleads Viewers on Oswald's "Hands Off Cuba!" Handbills, Part Four

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

Since the release of Oliver Stone's so-called documentary series, JFK: Destiny Betrayed, journalist Jefferson Morley has come out with a presentation that also features the fake Oswald handbill.


In Part Three of my series on the fake handbills, I looked at how James DiEugenio took fake evidence and non-existent evidence and turned them into conspiracy theories that are total fiction. Now, Jefferson Morley has gone beyond DiEugenio with his talk of imaginary evidence.


When NARA uploaded thousands of JFK documents in December, Morley was disappointed that the CIA personnel file on George Joannides was not released.


Of course, as I have mentioned before (here and here), an ARRB staffer examined that file and it does not contain any material relevant to the JFK assassination:

It is also quite clear that the ARRB knew exactly who George Joannides was. They knew he was a covert action officer at JMWAVE and that he was the case officer for the Directorio Revolucionario Estudiantil (DRE). The ARRB also knew that he worked with the HSCA on its requests for CIA documents.


ARRB staffer Michelle Combs noted that "The descriptions of his duties and accomplishments in the personnel file are very general and contain no specific reference to his relationship with the DRE. There is no mention of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in the file and no information relevant to the assassination in the file."


And yet, Morley is convinced that this personnel file has details of some undisclosed CIA operation involving Lee Harvey Oswald. He said this during his press conference in December: (from 57:57 to 58:50)

What are they hiding? We can now answer that question with some precision. The CIA is hiding 44 documents known to exist in Joannides' personnel file that will shed light on his secret activities in 1963 and 1978. These include information about a CIA operation involving Lee Harvey Oswald that has never been disclosed.
I'm not crazy about the term 'smoking gun.' I think that's a bit of a cliche -- it's not a term that investigative reporters use but I think in this case it's appropriate. What we are talking about here is not smoking gun proof of a conspiracy to kill the President. We're talking about smoking gun proof of a CIA operation involving Lee Harvey Oswald that the CIA is still concealing in 2022. This body of records has profound implications for the official story of the assassination.

Screen shot from Mary Ferrell press conference (58:22 through 59:03)


But how does Morley know what is in this file?


He is speculating, if not imagining, what is in Joannides' personnel file, and so now we have the category of imaginary evidence. Interestingly, Morley has never discussed Michelle Combs' conclusions about the Joannides file.


Morley also included the fake handbill in his presentation:

You can see the handbill starting at 51:40 of the video.


The importance of the handbill to Morley's argument can be seen in this excerpt from his interview with Oliver Stone in James DiEugenio's book, JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass: (page 271)


Oliver Stone: Well, speaking about Oswald here, how did the incident on Canal Street with Carlos Bringuier of the DRE begin?


Jeff Morley: So in the spring of 1963 Oswald started communicating with the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in New York. And he said I want to form a chapter. And the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, a pro–Cuban Revolution group that was popular on college campuses discouraged him and said, you know, it’s not safe in a Southern conservative city like that, you need to get together with like-minded people, please don’t do this. Oswald ignored all of that, which is one sign that he was a provocateur and not a true believer. Because he disobeyed what the FPCC wanted him to do. So that summer he began handing out pamphlets for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee which he had ordered. And some of them he stamped 544 Camp Street which was an office in downtown New Orleans, actually near where the CIA’s offices were, right across the street in fact. There was also the home of the Cuban Revolutionary Council which was the leading anti-Castro group. Why would a pro-Castro activist put his headquarters in the same headquarters as the leading anti-Castro group in the country? Because he was a provocateur most likely.


Morley is convinced that Oswald has no agency - the fact that he didn't listen to the leadership of the FPCC is not evidence that he has a mind of his own, but evidence "that he was a provocateur and not a true believer."


Morley seems unaware that Oswald did NOT stamp 544 Camp Street on his handbills, and, as I have remarked earlier, anybody going to 544 Camp Street in 1963 would find the offices of the Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Workers’ Union and the Amalgamated Association of Street Electric Railway and Motor Coach Employees of America. They would not find the Cuban Revolutionary Council (they had been evicted several months earlier) and they would not find Guy Banister.


But was Oswald handing out handbills in New Orleans because he was instructed to by the CIA or was he handing out handbills in New Orleans because he was a committed Marxist who had a passion for Cuba? To Morley, Oswald lacks free will - he is just a pawn in some operation.


In the same interview, Morley goes further: (page 273)


Stone: But after the assassination, didn’t Bringuier blame Castro, just to bring it full circle?


Morley: Yes, Carlos Bringuier and the DRE did seek to blame the assassination on Oswald instantaneously. The DRE published the first JFK conspiracy theory saying that Oswald and Castro were the presumed assassins and that publication was paid for by the CIA under the auspices of George Joannides.


Stone: Almost the same day, on the same day, or day after the assassination?


Morley: On the night of the assassination, Carlos Bringuier was the DRE delegate in New Orleans and Jose Antonio Lanusa, the spokesman for the DRE in Miami, got on the phone and started telling reporters, “We know all about the guy who killed the president.” And they talked to ten or fifteen reporters that night. So they shaped the story. The CIA’s propaganda assets shaped the story from the first hours after Kennedy was dead.


DRE's information about Lee Harvey Oswald came from Carlos Bringuier, Here is an article from the December 10, 1963 issue of the Charleston, South Carolina News & Courier:


Was the "press relief" part of the undisclosed Oswald operation? Did the CIA have to instruct Bringuier to issue this statement?


And right after the assassination, Bringuier continued as would be expected.


Here is an excerpt from an article in the New Orleans Times-Picayune from November 24, 1963:


Does Morley believe that Bringuier had to have the CIA tell him to blame Castro for the JFK assassination? Wouldn't it be natural for Bringuier and other anti-Castro Cuban leaders to blame Castro?


And Morley seems to understand this. Here is a quote from his book, Our Man in Mexico: Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA: (page 175)

All the former DRE leaders emphasized that they did not take orders from the CIA, and there is good reason to take them at their word. In 1963, they were passionate young anticommunists who feared their homeland was in danger of slipping under one-party control forever. They did not need a CIA man from Washington to tell them to take against against a public supporter of Castro like Oswald.

It is impossible to evaluate Morley's imaginary CIA operation because he has not elaborated on its scope. If one goal of Morley's operation was to blame Castro for the assassination, it totally failed. Having DRE leaders tell the press that Castro was the mastermind did very little. The supposed CIA plotters would have better spent their time and energy trying to convince the FBI that Castro was behind the assassination.


And Carlos Bringuier in his book Crime Without Punishment, denies that he received any money from the DRE in Miami: (page 425)

I was just a Delegate in New Orleans of the DRE. I was not receiving instructions or orders from the CIA, I never received any money from the CIA, if others in the DRE at the Miami office were receiving money from the CIA that was not my case. I was working very hard as a salesman as comanager of "Casa Roca" to bring food for my family, I never received any money from the Miami DRE office or any other office of the DRE, on the contrary my delegation was sending small amounts of money to Miami headquarters. That is the historical truth.

In addition, Bringuier wrote that he never met George Joannides: (page 419)

On her book Ms. Mellen portray me as a FBI or CIA informant and tried to associate me with George Joannides, according to her and others, as a CIA operative. I heard the name Joannides for the first time while researching some of Jefferson Morley's allegations and this was Mr. Joannides had passed away. I never met, talked or had any direct or indirect contact with Mr. George Joannides but these recyclers of lies keep repeating the same lies.

In Morley's world, individuals have little agency. But they do have Central Intelligence Agency agency -- Bringuier and Oswald are just pawns of the CIA and that their actions can only be explained by an imaginary CIA operation.


The link between Lee Harvey Oswald and Guy Banister was always tenuous. Oliver Stone decided to bolster that link by producing fake handbills using the 544 Camp Street address. Over ten years ago, someone else produced newer fake handbills combining elements from a real handbill and the 544 Camp Street stamp from the film JFK. Oliver Stone used that newer fake handbill in his documentary series, JFK: Destiny Betrayed.


It's time for Oliver Stone, James DiEugenio, and Jefferson Morley to come clean about the fake handbills.


A big thank you to Paul Hoch who contributed a lot of the research that went into the four part series on the Oswald handbill. Steve Roe was also responsible for finding the fake flyer in Judyth's book.


Previous Blog Posts on the Fake Oswald Handbill


An analysis of the handbill used in Oliver Stone's so-called documentary, JFK: Destiny Betrayed.


An examination of where the fake handbill came from.


A look at James DiEugenio's use of the fake handbill.




Over the past several months, I have shown in multiple blog posts how Oliver Stone's documentary series, JFK Revisited and JFK: Destiny Betrayed, misleads viewers. In fact, despite months of work, there are still many more misleading segments that need to be addressed. It's no wonder that the fact checkers of Netflix nixed the airing of the films.


There is a choice between four hours of tendentious nonsense (JFK: Destiny Betrayed) and two hours (JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass). As a handy guide for viewers, here are all those posts in order of their appearance in JFK: Destiny Betrayed and JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass, preceded by some general critiques


The Viewer's Guide has now been updated to include the sources from my new book, Oliver Stone's Film-Flam: The Demagogue of Dealey Plaza.


Recent Posts

See All
Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page