Was Howard Hunt Behind Oswald?

E. Howard Hunt, one of the famous Nixon Watergate “plumbers,” who was ostensibly borrowed from the CIA to break into the Democratic Central Campaign headquarters, among other felony crimes, died this week, in Florida, of pneumonia. After forty-plus years, his is also the name which perhaps crops up most consistently when examining the murder of President John F. Kennedy, so I thought he deserved a special slot in our Quotes Section this week:

“In 1981, [E. Howard] Hunt was awarded $650,000 in a libel lawsuit against Liberty Lobby, after it published an article by Victor Marchetti in its newspaper The Spotlight accusing Hunt of involvement in the conspiracy to kill John F. Kennedy. However, this decision was overturned on appeal, with Mark Lane successfully defending Liberty Lobby. Lane outlined his theory about Hunt’s and the CIA’s role in Kennedy’s murder in a 1991 book, Plausible Denial.” — Wikipedia, at the time of Hunt’s death this week.

“The three-judge panel agreed and the case was retried. This time Mark Lane defended the Liberty Lobby against Hunt’s action. Lane eventually discovered Marchetti’s sources. The main source was William Corson. It also emerged that Marchetti had also consulted James Angleton and Alan J. Weberman before publishing the article. As a result of obtaining of getting depositions from David Atlee Phillips, Richard Helms, G. Gordon Liddy, Stansfield Turner and Marita Lorenz, plus a skillful cross-examination by Lane of E. Howard Hunt, the jury decided in January, 1995, that Marchetti had not been guilty of libel when he suggested that John F. Kennedy had been assassinated by people working for the CIA.” — Wikipedia.

As SNS Members know, my best informed guess is that Alpha 66, a CIA unit composed of anti-Castro exiles, was involved in killing JFK. I have this with a past CIA officer, who at one time (before leaving the agency) was in charge of all Vietnam operations, during the Vietnam War.

“E. Howard Hunt was assigned to create a provisional government to take over after the Bay of Pigs Invasion. The failure of that project damaged his career.

“Hunt was undeniably bitter about what he saw as President Kennedy‘s lack of spine in overturning the Castro regime. In his semi-fictional autobiography, Give Us this Day, he wrote: “The Kennedy administration yielded Castro all the excuse he needed to gain a tighter grip on the island of Jose Marti, then moved shamefacedly into the shadows and hoped the Cuban issue would simply melt away.” — Wikipedia.

“Several reports over the years have placed Hunt in Dallas at the time of the Kennedy assassination. In 1974, the Rockefeller Commission concluded that Hunt used eleven hours of sick leave from the CIA in the two-week period preceding the JFK assassination. Later, eyewitness Marita Lorenz testified under oath that she saw Hunt pay off an assassination team in Dallas the night before Kennedy’s murder. (Hunt v. Liberty Lobby; U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida; 1985) Click to read transcript ” — Wikipedia.

“In his book, The Ends of Power, [H.R.] Haldeman cites several conversations where Nixon expressed concern about the Watergate affair becoming public knowledge and where this exposure might lead. Haldeman writes:

“In fact, I was puzzled when he [Nixon] told me, ‘Tell Ehrlichman this whole group of Cubans [Watergate burglars] is tied to the Bay of Pigs.” After a pause I said, “The Bay of Pigs? What does that have to do with this [the Watergate burglary]?” But Nixon merely said, “Ehrlichman will know what I mean,” and dropped the subject.’ — Dirty Politics –Nixon, Watergate, and the JFK Assassination by Mark Tracy


“Later in his book, Haldeman appears to answer his own question when he says, ‘It seems that in all of those Nixon references to the Bay of Pigs, he was actually referring to the Kennedy assassination.’ -ibid.

“If Haldeman’s interpretation is correct, then Nixon’s instructions for him to, ‘Tell Ehrlichman this whole group of [anti-Castro] Cubans is tied to the Bay of Pigs,’ was Nixon’s way of telling him to inform Ehrlichman that the Watergate burglars were tied to Kennedy’s murder.” -ibid.

“A.J. Weberman and Michael Canfield, authors of Coup d’Etat in America, published pictures of three apparent bums who were arrested at Dealy Plaza just after President Kennedy’s murder, but who were strangely released without any record of the arrest having been made by the Dallas police. One of the tramps the authors identified as Hunt. Another was Frank Sturgis, a long time agent of Hunt’s.” — The Spotlight, 1978, quoted in Wikipedia.

“Hunt immediately sued for millions of dollars in damages, claiming he could prove that he had been in Washington D.C. that day-on duty at CIA. It turned out, however, that this was not true. So, he said that he had been on leave and doing household errands, including a shopping trip to a grocery store in Chinatown.

“Weberman and Canfield investigated the new alibi and found that the grocery store where Hunt claimed to be shopping never existed. At this point, Hunt offered to drop his suit for a token payment of one dollar. But the authors were determined to vindicate themselves, and they continued to attack Hunt’s alibi, ultimately completely shattering it.” — ibid.

While Wikipedia is not a great place for fact checking, I have spent enough time reading background sources to have quoted for you those things which I expect to be true. And, strangely enough, a Wiki is probably the perfect place to reassemble the truth about an event seen and studied by many, but suppressed by parts of the government.

And, finally, we have Hunt in his own words, from his posthumous book. Here is the New York Post last week; never a place to look for facts, but here, providing teasers on the upcoming content:

“But in a new memoir, ‘American Spy: My Secret History in the CIA, Watergate & Beyond,’ due out in April, Hunt, 88, writes: ‘Having Kennedy liquidated, thus elevating himself to the presidency without having to work for it himself, could have been a very tempting and logical move on Johnson’s part.

“‘LBJ had the money and the connections to manipulate the scenario in Dallas and is on record as having convinced JFK to make the appearance in the first place. He further tried unsuccessfully to engineer the passengers of each vehicle, trying to get his good buddy, Gov. [John] Connolly, to ride with him instead of in JFK’s car – where . . . he would have been out of danger.'”

While LBJ may well have been capable of, and culpable of, pulling the strings, I don’t believe it takes any pressure off Hunt. It’s more likely just his final chance to deceive.

Remember that photo of Oswald in Mexico with the machine gun, and those supposed trips to the Russian and US consulates in Mexico City? Want to guess what Hunt’s first real job was for the CIA? Running the Mexico City station.

Was E. Howard Hunt involved? I expect he was.
Does it matter whether the CIA killed JFK? Remember that Bush Sr. was CIA Director before becoming President, and ask yourself, Who Governs Now?