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Thread: Turner on Garrison Files on JFK

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    Default Turner on Garrison Files on JFK

    And 'oldie but goodie' interview......

    Bill Turner on Garrison files on JFK



    Moderator
    I am in the studiowith William Turner, staff writer of Ramparts Magazine, andauthor of a forthcoming book, Police USA, which will bepublished by Putnam, Invisible Witness, Bobbs Merrill, andThe Garrison Case, Award Books. Mr. Turner is a former FBIagent. He wrote the essay "The Inquest" in June Ramparts,outlining Garrison's case, and the "The Press Versus Garrison"in the September Ramparts. This is not Mr. Turner's firstappearance in our studio. Quite a number of years ago now, severalyears ago, Mr. Turner appeared over this station when he wasoriginally in the process of leaving the FBI, and us no more popularwith the authorities. And so, he's been a lot of places, and done alot of things since then.
    The second person wehave with us is Mr. Harold Verb, who is a reporter for TheBerkeley Barb, and has also been doing some work at SanFrancisco State, conducting a seminar, I believe, on theassassination of President Kennedy, and the Warren Commission report.
    Now, what we've askedthese two to come and chat with us about is what's going on in NewOrleans, and what role Jim Garrison has played in this, where it isnow, and how they estimate its significance, its relevance, is itmore than simply a theory that Mr. Garrison is working with? Perhapsyou could bring us up to date on some of the facts, Mr. Turner.
    William Turner
    I'd be glad to talkabout Jim Garrison's case. Actually, Garrison first got into theassassination investigation the day after the assassination. On thatSaturday, he called what he termed a brainstorming session of hisstaff, and they went over any possible New Orleans angles, or personswho were erratic enough to have been involved in a conspiracy. Atthat time, they came up with the name of David William Ferrie, whoyou will recall died this year, on February 22nd, after he becameinvolved in Garrison's current investigation.
    Now, at that time,Ferrie had a rather mysterious trip to the state of Texas, leavingthe afternoon of the assassination. And on that trip, he went firstto Houston by car, where he appeared at an ice skating rink, andaccording to the owner now, he stood by the telephone for severalhours on that Saturday afternoon. He apparently received a call, andthen went to Galveston.
    Now, Garrison waswaiting for him when he got back on Sunday to New Orleans, and pickedhim up, and turned him over to the FBI for interrogation, because ofthe very suspicious nature of this trip. In other words, Garrisonthought it was a very curious trip, by a curious man, at a curioustime.
    The FBI released him,and apparently the reason was that, number one, Ferrie had not lefton that trip until well after the assassination; say, five or sixhours. And also, because they determined that his small airplane wasnot airworthy at the time, and therefore, he couldn't have been in onan escape plan. Now, there the matter rested, and as Garrison putsit, he said, "I had confidence in the competency of the FBI."He himself is a former agent of the FBI. He was in approximately ayear. And interestingly enough, he was in the same office that I wasin, Seattle.
    So, it was not untillast fall when he was riding a plane to New York with Senator RussellLong of Louisiana, that his interest was renewed. Apparently, theywere discussing the various books that had come out, and Senator Longthe statement that he really believed that there was more to it thanOswald. And they conversed on it. When Garrison got back to NewOrleans, he went into virtual seclusion, pouring over The WarrenReport and its volumes, and he quietly launched his inquiry. Andon the basis of the initial returns in this inquiry, he becameconvinced that, indeed, there was an assassination plot, and that theassassination plot had at least one aspect in New Orleans.
    So, that is how he gotstarted on it, and as you know, it's still going on.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    Well in what form isit still going on? Would one of you ... How is he proceeding at thispoint, and where does he intend to ... Has it just simply become aprivate investigation now? There's nobody up for trial at the moment,is there?
    William Turner
    Well, yes; there is.Clay Shaw is scheduled for trial. But, let me put it this way, thatShaw was arrested ... I believed it was the latter part of February.And through all kinds of legal maneuvering ... maneuvering is a wordthat the judge down there, not mine. It's been postponed and heldoff, and a trial date has not yet been set. However, Garrisonstresses that he does not believe that Shaw is at the center of anyweb of conspiracy, that he is a peripheral participant in this. Andtherefore, he has a motion in open court to speed up the trial ofShaw so that he can sort of clear the decks with his owninvestigation.
    As it is, he was heldup with all these legal motions in the Shaw case. He does not have agreatly enlarged staff, and they have their normal criminal case loadto handle. And he also has been subjected to attacks from LifeMagazine, which insinuates that he is somehow sympathetic toorganized crime, which is laughable; because probably of all thedistrict attorneys in the nation, he has done more to clean uporganized crime than anyone. By NBC, CBS, the bulk of the nationalmedia, the mass media, and therefore, he would like to be able todevote more time to the investigation.
    But, he does have aninvestigation. He's got main files that are set up somewhat like theFBI's. He has an archivist to handle the Garrison archives. He hasmen who are specializing in the Kennedy assassination investigation,and I've spent a total of two weeks inside his office down there, andevery day, there's a new angle.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    Well, tell me, in asmuch as there must be quite a few people who wish he would dry up andblow away, can he as prosecuting attorney just sit there and utilizethat much taxpayer's money to follow up on something simply becausehe believes in it? Is there any chance or possibility of actualeither legal or political pressure to make him stop this?
    William Turner
    There have been allkinds of pressures brought to bear. Now, Garrison was carrying on hisinquiry in secret. This is the best way, of course, to carry on aninquiry; at least in its initial stages. Now, the States-Itemnewspaper in New Orleans checked the disbursements of his officeand found that there were what they consider these exorbitant travelexpenses. People were going to Miami, they were going to Chicago, SanFrancisco. And this is the way they got wind of what he was doing,and they broke it in the paper.
    Well, Garrison, atthat time ... Number one, there was a loud hue and cry that he wasexpending public funds on a wild goose chase. Now, he didn't want tocome out and release all his evidence to substantiate that it was nota wild goose chase. Therefore, they formed a group, businessmen inNew Orleans formed a group, called Truth or Consequences,Incorporated; which is privately financing the assassinationinvestigation. They signed up and contributed so much a month, andthis is what is really subsidizing his assassination investigation.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    But, through theprosecuting attorney's office, or separate from the prosecutingattorney's office?
    William Turner
    Well, through theoffice. Through the office. Now, you've mentioned pressures broughtto bear. You get in his office down there, and you almost feel likeyou're in maybe a Russian embassy on US soil, the way he's beentreated. For one thing, there is an organization down there calledthe Metropolitan Crime Commission. An ex-FBI agent by the name ofAaron Kohn is the head of this.
    Now, of course, thisis again, a privately subsidized operation, and Mr. Kohn has to haveorganized crime around in order for himself to exist. And it seemsthat, since Garrison's investigation has come up, Kohn has beeninordinately active in trying to say that there's organized crime inthe parish of Orleans. He's been called before the grand jury downthere several times to try and specify what he means by this, andhe's been unable to do so.
    Nevertheless, that isone pressure point. As I mentioned, the national press is anotherpressure point. Bobby Kennedy's former investigator Walter Sheridanwas down there from the inception of Garrison's investigation, and hehas attempted ... There is a legal allegation that he has attemptedpublic bribery in getting to Garrison's witnesses. It is alleged thatPerry Russo, who is a key witness in the Shaw case, was offered somemoney by Sheridan. Sheridan allegedly told him that, "We'll getyou to California, and they won't be able to extradite you fromthere." And various other types of either intimidation or lures.They've been using the carrot and stick down there.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    Yes, Hal.
    Hal Verb
    Yes. One of the thingsthat Bill has mentioned are these different pressure points, and he'spointed out the press, nationally and locally, has not given theGarrison case a fair shake. We can speak about the local press here.I think the only fair shake that they have given Garrison is thatthere is no news that is covered in the local press here that givesspace to anything he says to counter the charges that are againsthim. I'll specifically mention one. For example, when LifeMagazine said that Garrison had been connected with the mafia,and this was reported in the press, Garrison had an instant reply tothat, and he said, "I don't even know Carlos Marcello," andthat was the specific individual who Life Magazine had tiedhim in with. "I wouldn't even know him if he were sitting righthere next to me."
    Now, this thing hasnever even appeared locally; I doubt if there are a few people herein the Bay Area, or in the whole state for that matter, who even knowabout this remark. This is typical; NBC, CBS will present theirprogram, giving their version of what they say are both sides of thestory, when in fact, it is only one side.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    Yes. I believe you hadsomething about some TV coverage that you wanted to talk about. Wouldthis be the time that you would like to go into that a little morefully?
    Hal Verb
    Yes. There seems tohave been what I would regard as a massive attempt to, if notobstruct the investigation, to at least put obstacles in the way ofit that would prevent Garrison's case from really coming to court, orat least having his say, with respect to what he has presented. Forexample, CBS presented a four part series late in the summer, I thinkit was the end of June, in which they references specifically toGarrison's case. And one of the things that they mentioned was thekind of attempts that were by Garrison's office, allegedly, what theysaid to bribe and intimidate witnesses.
    And, for example, theypointed to a writer for the ... This is a quote from one of thetranscripts that I have of the four part series. They said there wasa writer for the Saturday Evening Post who said he had readtranscripts of what went on at those sessions. Now, the fact is thatthere were never any such transcripts, and this writer had actuallyseen Sciambria's notes. And what this writer was trying to show wasthat this particular person had written a document, or statements, inwhich he had said that a key witness, Perry Raymond Russo, had liedabout what he had presented as evidence.
    The fact is that thiswas never the case, because there were in fact memorandums that wereprepared, and that this writer actually was aware of the existence ofthese memorandums. Now, this did not get into TV coverage.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    Well. Where would youlike to go from here on this? What is Garrison's theory? You say thatthe man, Shaw ... Ferrie, is dead. There seem to be an awful lot ofdead people connected with the whole situation ...
    William Turner
    The tabulation goes onand on.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    Yes. So, Ferrie'sdead, whatever it was he was supposed to be doing. Now, what aboutShaw, and what is Garrison's overall ...
    William Turner
    Well, all right. Inbroad terms, it is this ... And I think that this will also explainthe orchestrated attack on him. Garrison believes that Oswald, numberone, was a CIA agent, and that he probably had been trained at theAtsugi base in Japan when he was in the Marine Corps. This would havebeen back around 1957, '58. Atsugi, reportedly, is a U2 installation.And in the restricted documents ... there's still classifieddocuments in the archives ... There's a very tantalizing one entitled"Oswald's access to U2 information".
    Now, necessarily, thismeans that when Oswald went to the Soviet Union, he was a CIAoperative. And, of course, there is liberal evidence to back this up;most of it suggestive, rather than direct. But, for one thing, whenhe came back, he told a fellow employee in Dallas, where he wasworking in a photographic lab, about the disbursement of Sovietmilitary forces, how they did not intermingle, or armored divisionswith infantry. And then, he said, "I didn't notice any vaportrails over Minsk." Minsk is where he was when he was in theSoviet Union, for most of his stay.
    Now, Garrison believesthat Oswald's leftist activity in New Orleans and Dallas, hisattempts to insinuate himself into the confidence of the Fair Playfor Cuba Committee, the Socialist Workers Party, the Communist PartyUSA, was nothing more than an attempt to erect a facade. Such afaçade would have given him, perhaps, easier access to communistcountries. It would have given him, once in, a freer movement.
    Now, when Oswald wentto the Soviet Embassy ... or, excuse me, the Cuban embassy in MexicoCity, he very careful listed all these affiliations with thesegroups; which, of course, existed only in his own mind. He never wasformally accepted into any of them.
    Now, who was Oswaldthen, if he was not really a leftist; who was he? Well, Garrison'sevidence will show that Oswald was affiliated with a group in NewOrleans, which was anti-Castro in nature, and was paramilitary innature, that was composed ... down in that area, there is atremendous cross-pollination of people who are members of theMinutemen, who are Cuban exiles, violently opposed to Castro, who areeven members of the KKK. And it was with one of these factions withwhom Oswald was traveling.
    Now, with that inmind, how does the CIA come into it? Because Garrison believes thatCIA is the reason that there is this orchestrated attack on him.Well, very simply, it was the CIA which sponsored these anti-Castrogroups, which were supposed to, even after the Bay of Pigs failure,never relinquish their dreams of re invading Cuba. And, as a matterof fact, these groups were very active, and training in the environsof New Orleans. Garrison found one of their bases where one of thefounders of the Minutemen had been arrested by the FBI and secretlylet go. His name never appeared in the newspapers.
    These people becamevery disenchanted with President Kennedy after what they call all hispromises about freeing Cuba, and not coming through. And then, hisapparent rapproachment with Cuba, which was in the works at the timeof the assassination, was being handled through the Cuban ambassador,Carlos Lechuga and the United Nations, and through an intermediary,an ABC newswoman, who was on very close personal terms ... LisaHoward; very close personal terms with Castro.
    So, what Garrisonbelieves is these anti-Castro groups, which had been nurtured by theCIA, one of the factions, a spin off from this group, got out ofhand, set up Oswald as the patsy, and assassinated Kennedy in DealeyPlaza. And Dealey Plaza ––
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    In other words, hedoesn't think the CIA ordered Kennedy's assassination, but simplythat a group that had been involved and financed by the CIA, went itsown way ...
    William Turner
    Right. The CIA, by itsvery nature, is compartmentalized, or cellular ... They used to talkabout communist party cells, and how one didn't know the other. Andthis is exactly the structure the CIA, and it's very easy for one ofthese CIA cells to become so involved in deceit, duplicity,assassination, murder, to go off and do something like this. And theoperation at Dealey Plaza had all the earmarks of a paramilitary typeof ambush. No question about it.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    And Ferrie and Shawwere involved in that group? Is that ...
    William Turner
    Now the legalallegations against Shaw are that he conspired, it's a conspiracycharge, in New Orleans with David Ferrie and Oswald to assassinatethe president. Garrison's legal bill in particular states that asession in which they discussed and planned an assassination ...talk, or particulars, culminated in what happened at Dealey Plaza.And, as I said before however, Garrison has gone no farther in hischarges on Shaw. However, he has independent evidence to back upShaw's identity as Clay Bertrand, as you may know that is a big boneof contention; Shaw says he is not Clary Bertrand. Garrison says heis.
    Now, Clay Bertrandcomes into this way; immediately after the assassination, a NewOrleans attorney, Dean Andrews, who had handled what he calls the"gay swishers" in New Orleans, and also Oswald ... Oswaldapparently wanted his discharge changed; said that, immediately afterthe assassination, he received a phone call from this man whom heknew as Clay Bertrand. And Clay Bertrand was a man who had referredOswald to his office. And he said that Bertrand asked him if he woulddefend Oswald against the assassination charges. Of course, beforeanything further could be done, Oswald himself was killed.
    Now, as I say, it ispart of Garrison's allegations that Clay Shaw is in fact the manusing the name Clay Bertrand; and this he intends to prove in court.Also, the facts of the conspiracy. One of the allegations, and toprove this, is that Clay Shaw met in Baton Rouge with Jack Ruby andwith Oswald. And he has a witness that will testify to this. So, thisis the case against Shaw, which as I say, is up for ... It has notyet been set on the calendar, but will come off late this year, orearly next.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    Does he have anywitnesses who claim to have been a member of this group themselves?Or, is this all inferential evidence? Do you know whether or notanyone within the little right wing CIA, whatever you want to callit, type group that this plot took place in according to him; isthere anyone who was a part of that, that he has been able to get asa witness?
    William Turner
    Unfortunately, no.Because, obviously, these people would be accessories before thefact, at the very least, if not participants, accessories after thefact. And certainly, you talked about the mysterious deaths; thesepeople would not be very prone to talk, knowing what the penaltymight be.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    Well, but he must havefound it out some way. I wondered, if by any chance, it was aquestion of someone from the group informing even if, for reasonsthat would be very obvious, that this would be protected.
    William Turner
    Let me put it thisway, then, that there have been people who have been within thegroup, or on the periphery of it, who have been able to give him atleast part of a story. No one has come ––
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    Well, that's what Iwas at. I wasn't expecting that anyone who had helped to plan theassassination of the president would come along and say, "I wasa member of a conspiracy."
    William Turner
    Like former Minutemen,for example. Yes, there have been a couple of those.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    Because, for example,as far as I know, it's never been absolutely proven that such a groupexisted, and that Oswald was a member of it. Well, anybody who hadever been in that group would be a valuable witness to that much.
    William Turner
    This is true.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    I was wondering whatthe depth was on the witness situation.
    William Turner
    Yeah. There has beenno one, unfortunately, who has been able to tell them that, "Yes,I was in this group. Yes, I was part of the assassination team atDealey Plaza. Yes, so and so and so and so shot from behind the grass..."
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    No, I understand that,Bill. But, the point is that sometimes you have a group that might becomposed of, say, 10 or 15 people, and that doesn't mean that therewouldn't be a minority, even within so small a group, that was doingsomething. But, at least that any one of those 15 people couldtestify, the people who belong to this group, and who normally cameto our meetings were so and so, so and so. And if Oswald, and Ferrie,and Shaw were three of them, then that much would be established. Itwas that kind of evidence, I was thinking.
    William Turner
    Right Elsa. There havebeen a couple of cracks in this little structure. There have been.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    Well, that looks as ifhe's gotten that far, anyway.
    William Turner
    Yes, he has.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    And with this, does hethink this is involved ... Well, you mentioned the fact that therewas Cuban participation in these groups.
    William Turner
    Cuban exile.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    Yes.
    William Turner
    Yes, right.
    Hal Verb
    May I make a pointabout this?
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    Yes.
    Hal Verb
    Very early in the ...when the whole case about Garrison's investigation broke, there werecharges that pro-Castro Cubans had somehow been involved. And some ofthe press had picked up the story that, at first, Garrison ––
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    This is pro-CastroCubans?
    Hal Verb
    This is pro-CastroCubans.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    Yes. This is the, "Washe right? Was he left?"
    Hal Verb
    Riight. The pro-Castroelements were involved in the assassination, and the press allegedlystated, or stated that, allegedly, Garrison had actually conceived ofthis as possibly one of the elements in the conspiracy. I'm talkingabout certain sections of the press. The fact is that, at no time wasthis a possibility when Garrison launched his investigation. In fact,through all of the investigations that he has conducted, there's onething that does stand out, and that is that Oswald, who does play, ofcourse, an important role in this whole case, all his associationsduring his entire trip, both through New Orleans and Dallas, werewith elements that can be considered paramilitary, right wing groups,and that all his associations were primarily of a right wing,extremist nature.
    There is no evidenceto show that he was, as the press had identified him, as a leftist.This was merely a cover ––
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    Well, I guess it didcome out that he had made approaches to certain left wing groups.But, I remember that, within days, or at least very shortly after theassassination, that there was also a news item about the fact that,at one time, he had volunteered to train people to go in on the Bayof Pigs invasion. In other words, a completely contrary story. Now,that hit the press sometime very quickly after the assassination, andthen died. I never saw anything more about that, but I clearlyremember this, because it made a great deal more sense in the contextof what one knew about Oswald, than the other story. And so, I doremember it.
    Hal Verb
    Yes. I think whatyou're referring to is an incident when Oswald had approached aanti-Castro refugee by the name of Carlos Bringuier, in New Orleans.And, apparently, it's my belief that when Oswald had done this, hehad blown his cover, so to speak, about his connections with the CIA,at this particular point. Because Bringuier had become immediatelysuspicious of Oswald, that he was a double agent.
    Now, while he was inNew Orleans, Oswald managed to get himself a lot of publicity. Ithink this was on the part of an expected cover that he was expectedto assume. He got on a program, on radio, WDSU, in which he debated aperson who was connected with a group called INCA, which was theInformation Council of the Americas Now, this group was connectedwith right wing, anti-Castro refugees, and had extensive operationsin connection with Latin American revolutions.
    Now, the thing aboutthis INCA group is that a number of individuals who connected withthis particular group, one of them, for example, is a man by the nameof Mario Bermudez, who is the man who helped arrange the trip forClay Shaw when he was here in San Francisco. Now, if you'll recall,one of the things that Perry Raymond Russo had said in his testimonybefore the grand jury, was that part of the ploy that was to beexecuted on the day of November 22nd, when President Kennedy waskilled, part of this plot would have to have the principals of thecase in other cities at the time, so that no suspicion would be drawnupon them.
    It was just curious tosee that this man, Bermudez, is arranging a trip for Clay Shaw, theman who has now been charged with conspiring to kill the president.And here is this group, INCA, which manages to arrange thisparticular debate with Oswald while he's in New Orleans.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    With Oswald taking aview contrary, at that point, to the right wing view. Is that ––
    Hal Verb
    On this program, hetook a view that he was a leftist who identified with the Castrorevolution.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    Yes. That's what Imean. Yes. Quite. But, there was ... I do distinctly remember seeingthe item that he had ... In spite of the fact that he was supposed tobe on this Friends of Cuba ... What was the name of the committee?You know ...
    William Turner
    Fair Play for Cuba.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    Fair Play for Cuba,and so on; that he also had been in ... had volunteered, at one time,to train people to go in on the Bay of Pigs invasion, Cuban exiles.Which, would be ––
    William Turner
    This is probably theCarlos Bringuier episode, because he appeared voluntarily atBringuier office. Bringuier was probably one of the best known of theanti-Castro exiles down there. And, as a sign of good faith, hepresented Bringuier with his Marine Corps drill manual, or fieldmanual. And Bringuier felt that he couldn't be trusted, and maybe wasa plant, and had nothing more to do with him. Although, that littlealtercation, where Bringuier, when Oswald was out in front of theInternational Trade Mart with his Fair Play for Cuba hand bills, andBringuier comes up, and his little altercation. And Oswald said,"Well, go ahead; hit me if you want, Carlos." It almostsounds like it was staged; that Oswald really was trying to say,"Well, I'm on your side." All the evidence points that way.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    Well, everything thatone has ever read would give one the impression, certainly, thatOswald, whether by design, and whether on behalf of just himself, orother people, was certainly playing both sides of the street.
    William Turner
    Oh, yeah.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    And so, you thereforehave your choice as to which side of the street he was really in thepay of.
    William Turner
    Well, why would Oswaldbe associating with a guy like Jack Ruby, and Garrison has abundantevidence to show that he was. Why would he be associating with a manlike that, who really is apolitical, on the surface, at least. Thisisn't somebody that Oswald would just pick up and associate with,because he didn't really like nightlife all that much to go to theCarousel Club.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    What role doesGarrison figure Ruby did play in it?
    William Turner
    Garrison feels thatRuby was manipulated in this thing, probably by the Dallas police.Now, Dallas police is too general; probably by key people within theDallas police. And, for example, Hal mentioned Jim Phelan's articlein the Saturday Evening Post, which made Garrison look alittle ridiculous. And one of the means of ridicule that Phelan usedin this was to quote Garrison as saying that you have to look at thisthrough the looking glass, almost like Lewis Carroll. And thiswas a source of great hilarity. But, it's really true; you do have tolook at certain aspects of it in the looking glass. You have to lookat Oswald in the looking glass. You have to look at Ruby.
    His facade was that hewould go around in the time between the assassination and his ownkilling of Oswald, and he'd go down to the postal box, where[Bernard] Weissman's answers to his advertisement, the black borderedad, "Wanted for Treason", President Kennedy, was coming in,and said, "Oh, isn't that awful?" And draw attention tohimself there. He would go out in the middle of the night and call upone of his employees, Larry Crafard, at the club, and go out andphotograph the billboard that says, "Impeach Earl Warren"... "Isn't that awful?" And these tender remarks aboutJacqueline Kennedy, about sparing her the ordeal; in other words,this was an attempt to draw attention to the fact that he was reallyvery pro Kennedy, and very incensed that anybody would kill Kennedy,and therefore, it creates a certain illusion. And that's whatGarrison means by the looking glass.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    Yes. I can see that.But, where does he think Ruby really was? Does he think that Ruby wasa part of this conspiracy?
    William Turner
    Oh, certainly.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    And it's obvious thatif there were a conspiracy, that Mr. Oswald was very definitely thepatsy.
    William Turner
    Yeah. Well, forexample ––
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    Whatever he expectedto be, that's what he was.
    William Turner
    Yeah. I'll illustrateby the statement of one witness, sworn statement, in Garrison'sfiles. I can't name the man, but it really doesn't make anydifference, he's evaluated as probably a reliable witness. This manwas an artist, sort of a transient artist. He'd go from town to town,and then he got a little bit on the shorts in Dallas, and he wentinto the Dallas ... Or, no; he went into the H.L. Hunts son'sbusiness office, and asked if he could give him a little dough, orsomething, and H.L. Hunt's son said, "Well, I don't give out any... You go down to the Dallas police department, give them yoursocial security number, and they'll take care of you."
    Now, this man said hewent down there, he gave his social security number, the officerfixed him up with some kind of a chit that would get him a full tankof gas, and he was given a little pocket money. And he said, at thatpoint, Jack Ruby came up, and said, "Well, maybe I can get youat least a temporary job." And he said that Ruby gave him acertain amount of money, a nominal sum, and said, "You go downto Alexandria, Louisiana, and check in the Bentley Hotel there, andsomebody'll contact you further."
    Now, this man, and hiswife corroborates this, they went, and the hotel records corroborateit; they went to the Bentley hotel ... At least they corroborate thatthey checked in there fine. His story is that he was no sooner inthere, than he was contacted by a man, his phone rang, "Comedown to the lobby," and it was Oswald. And Oswald conferred withhim, and made a, what at the time, he considered a very crypticstatement, to the effect that very soon, some Catholic leaders willbe killed. Which, he interpreted ...
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    Well, what couldOswald say he was supposed to do, or anything? What did they conferabout?
    William Turner
    He said he'd becontacted further. He was just confirming that he arrived, and thenthere was no further contact. And after a few days, this guy left.Now, the whole annals of this thing is filled with these kinds offits and starts, they seemed. But, there was another incident; a manby the name of Donald Norton, who claims that he is a former CIA"unpeople" who worked for CIA on certain assignments, said,number one, that at one time, he was sent to Atlanta, and that he meta man at the Atlanta Airport, who gave him ... He was a courier.Norton was a courier. He was to deliver this amount of money toHavana. And this was in '58, before Castro got to power. And that theman who gave him the money was an Eastern Airlines pilot named HughFerris.
    Well, he lateridentifies Hugh Ferris as being Dave Ferrie, and Ferrie was indeed anEastern Airlines pilot. He also said he was on another courierassignment to Monterrey, Mexico. And that, in the course of thisassignment, he delivered money to Oswald, a man he now identifies asLee Oswald. This was in September of '62. And then took documentsfrom Oswald, he doesn't know what they were, and delivered them toCalgary, Alberta, Canada, where a man gave him the password, "It'sa fine day in Tulsa." And it was an oil firm employee. And hedelivered the documents to him. He got paid by the assignment. Hesaid he got $5,000 for that assignment.
    Now, again, this manhas been subjected ––
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    You think it allhappens on TV, but I guess it doesn't.
    William Turner
    I can guarantee ––
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    I mean, it's justbeyond ––
    William Turner
    –– that this thingis almost surrealistic. At times, I feel it's too James Bond-ish tobe true. But, the facts are there, and it really is the way it'sturning out.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    And he feels, then,that all of this, or at least a good deal of it, can be brought tolight during the trial of this guy Shaw, if he can get ––
    William Turner
    No, he doesn't.Garrison has made a statement; he says, "I just hope theAmerican people don't think that the Shaw trial is going to bring outeverything. And actually, we can only introduce what is material andrelevant." And, as he said, Shaw is not at the center of this atall. Shaw was off to the side somewhere. Ergo, he won't be able totell the whole story at this trial. And I know that he has a coupleof other arrests in mind. But, this, of course, as I say, he is sofreighted now, with the Shaw trial, and with this attack against him,that he just has to clear the decks.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    And he wants to getthe Shaw trial over with before he starts on what he considers to bethe next step in ––
    William Turner
    Yeah. He's made amotion in open court. And again, the attempt to abort the Shaw trialis very evident. And again, Shaw himself seems to have CIAconnections. Now, the foreign press has reported this. I have notread word one about it in the domestic press. But, in 1958, Shaw wason the board of directors of a Rome corporation called the WorldTrade Center. Now, Shaw, through his attorney, admits he was on thisboard of directors. He said, however, he was merely asked to be on itby his own broad of directors at the International Trade Mart.
    Now, on this board ofdirectors are some very strange people. One of them is a secretary ofthe Italian neo-fascist party. Another is the son-in-law of Nazifinance minister, Hjalmar Schacht. Another is a fellow who is now anexecutive of the Bank of Montreal, and he's a former OSS major, bythe name of LM Bloomfield. This group was kicked out of Italy, theWorld Trade Center, because although it seemed to have plenty ofmoney, it never did any ostensible business, and they suspected, theItalian police, that it was a CIA front. It is now headquartered inJohannesburg, South Africa, under the same name; probably a morefriendly climate.
    It also had asubsidiary corporation in Switzerland, which likewise, was ousted bythe Swiss police, because it was suspected of being a conduit forfunds for the OAS Movement; the Algeri-Français movement in Algeria.So, I must say that if Mr. Shaw can explain this in terms of hisinnocently being asked to go on the board, I will have to say thenthat the entire board of directors of the International Trade Mart inNew Orleans are either extremely naive, or involved with the CIA.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    Yes, Hal.
    Hal Verb
    May I just make thispoint? Bill has brought up an interesting point, and that is thedeeper you get involved in this, the more the connections you see,not only with respect to quasi legal, and also secret groups, such asthe CIA, and other operations, but you can see this involves theconnections of people who are more or less in a position where theycan use people for certain ends.
    Now, for example, ClayShaw, we'll say, is in a position as director of the InternationalTrade Mart, to oversee operations of the second largest sea port inthis country. Now, even Gordon Novel, who was one of the witnessesthat Garrison is seeking to extradite from another state, and in facthas had very little success ... which, Bill has mentioned that therehave been obstructions. One of the things he's had difficulty in isgetting people extradited from different states. There are threestates now that have refused to extradite material witnesses in thiscase.
    Anyway, Gordon Novel,who was a very interesting character in this whole case, who also hasadmitted publicly that he has CIA connections, is reported to havesaid that Clay Shaw himself probably was connected with the CIA. So,what I'm trying to say here is that you can understand why, then, theShaw trial would be blocked from coming to court, because theconnections that are involved here go very deep within thegovernment, as I see it. This is my belief why that trial is beingobstructed. Not only in so far as Shaw's involvement in theassassination, I think it has a lot to do with connections that thegovernment has set up.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    Now, I would thinkthat Mr. Garrison's life was not worth much on the open market if heproceeds with this. Does he travel with a bodyguard? Does he feelsecure? And what motivates this man? Now, you've met him, you'vetalked to him; what's he in this for? You hear the crack, "Well,it's a lot of cheap publicity. He can't prove anything. But, it'sputting him on the front pages of all the papers," and all thiskind of thing. I would suspect that it was also, "I want to puthim in his coffin."
    William Turner
    Well, I believe thatthis could be the case, Elsa. When I first went down to New Orleans,after his case broke, I really had some reservations about what aSouthern prosecuting attorney was going to be like, and whathis motives might be.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    It did seem a littleunlikely, the whole thing, when it first began to break.
    William Turner
    It did seem a littleunlikely. I have now come to the conclusion that Jim Garrison is anunusual man, in an unusual place, at an unusual time. Now, theallegations have been bandied around that he got into this thing forpolitical ends. And I can only say that, if this was his motivation,that he is extremely ignorant of how politicians get elected.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    So, I should think itwould indicate rather bad judgment.
    William Turner
    Extremely badjudgment. Now, as I say, I was prepared to meet a Southernprosecuting attorney. I had a stereotype in my mind, which is alwaysbad, but I did. And I ran into a man who was unusual in any region ofthe country. Garrison was at Dachau, and I think this made anindelible impression on him. Now, before the ... He's also extremelywell ––
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    What do you mean hewas at Dachau?
    William Turner
    With the Allied Armiesthat came upon Dachau. Yeah, I'm sorry. I should have elucidated abit on that. And I think that the residual sight there just indeliblyimpressed him. Because when he wrote an introduction to a very wellaccepted criminology book, before this whole investigation came up... Now, understand that the very fact that he was asked to writethis introduction is somewhat an honor. Before this, he was wellknown in criminology circles. It is a very sensitive and historicallybased introduction, and he goes back to Dachau, and the apathy of theGerman people that permitted this to happen. And he draws a parallelwith the Kitty Genovese case in New York, where 36 people watched intheir windows as this girl was slowly killed.
    And he talks aboutthis lack of commitment, and lack of involvement. And maybe I justread the tail end of this allegory that he brings up at the end ofhis introduction, and he's talking about some extraterrestrial beingwho happens upon our self-destroyed Earth at some future date, andhappens upon this human skull, and here's what Garrison writes in hisallegory; he puts the words in the mouth of this being:
    "Alas,poor man; a fellow of most infinite jest, of most excellent fancy.Where are your gibbets now? Your thumb screws, and your gallows? Yourtreasured hates and your cruelties? What happened to yourdisinterested millions? Your uncommitted and uninvolved; yourpreoccupied and bored? Where today are their private horizons andtheir mirrored worlds of self? Where is their splendid indifferencenow?"
    Now, this is Garrison,really, when you talk to the man. We were both in the FBI, and heasks me about a particular weapon that's in a photograph, and I said,"I don't know what it is, Jim. Matter of fact, I don't likeguns." And he said, "Isn't that funny? I don't either."So, he's a rather unusual prosecutor, and he's an extremely sensitiveman. He told me a year ago, before this whole thing started, he said,"I was, vis-à-vis Vietnam, I was what you might call a mildhawk. I'm really a dove now. This whole thing has changed mythinking."
    Now, if this is afool, or a knave, or a political opportunist, so be it, but I justdon't believe it. And I think that the press has portrayed him inthis light, and they have portrayed him in this light in a verycalculated manner. And I think that we have a very definite problemhere in New Orleans. As Garrison puts it, "I am probably theonly prosecutor, not defendant, that has been convicted in the pressprior to trial." And if they can silence Garrison ... And when Isay "they", I mean the orchestrated attack obviously fromWashington, obviously involving the mass media; if they can silenceGarrison, I'm afraid they'll be able to silence anyone. If they canportray him in an unfair light, I think they can do it to anyone. AndI think that there's over and above, or maybe parallel to the issueof who killed Kennedy, there is this issue of the press in the UnitedStates. And it's completely slanted coverage of what is going on downthere.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    Is there anything elseyou would like to say about what you envisage as the future progressof this, before we close the interview? Either of you? Or, both ofyou?
    William Turner
    Well, I think that, asI say, every day, there seems to be a new development in Garrison'scase; not that it makes the papers, but internally. I have seen hisevidence, practically all of it, at any rate. Because havingresearched the Minutemen a year and a half ago, and the Minutemenbeing involved in this thing, I would suppose that much of theinformation I have is valuable to his investigation. I would say thathe has a very excellent case. It gets better every day. And if ... Aswe both stated, that if we were back in the FBI, and we had 6,000agents around the country, and we could get on that teletype and markit urgent, and send out these leads that this assassinationconspiracy would be solved inside of three weeks, and theconspirators would be in jail.
    But, as I've outlinedto you, Garrison has very limited jurisdiction, only within theparish of Orleans. He has encountered all kinds of obstructionisttactics from the FBI, from the national press, from the governors ofthe various states, from people within his own bailiwick, even froman infiltrator in his own organization, who CBS gave nationalcoverage to, and CBS has yet to report that Dean Andrews has beenconvicted of perjury.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    Dean Andrews, I takeit, was the man you referred to as having infiltrated the Garrison ––
    William Turner
    No. William Gurvich isthe one who infiltrated down there, and then went on and made somevery anti-Garrison statements, and saying that the man didn't have acase. And CBS interrupted its four part series to put Gurvich on.But, they didn't interrupt their series the next night to report thatGurvich had been allowed to testify as to what factual material hehad before the grand jury in New Orleans, and the grand jury decidedthat he didn't have any facts. They didn't interrupt their programfor that.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    Well, what about theman who was convicted of perjury? Because I don't know who he is.
    William Turner
    Dean Andrews is theattorney in New Orleans who ... I originally told you that Clay Shawis alleged to be Clay Bertrand. Dean Andrews is the attorney whoBertrand referred Oswald to, and he's the one that got the phone callthe day after the assassination, from Clay Bertrand, to defendOswald. And, at the ––
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    And did he perjurehimself about this?
    William Turner
    Yes. It was aboutthis. He was very ... With no qualifications at all, he told theWarren commission that he could positively identify this ClayBertrand, and if he ever got his hands on him, he'd drag him rightin. So, he's hauled before some kind of a hearing down there to seewhether he can identify Clay Shaw or not as Clay Bertrand, and hesays, "I wouldn't be able to identify anyone as whether it wasClay Bertrand or not." He's completely changed his story.
    And when Mark Lanetried to interview him, well, this was two years ago; why, first hesaid, "Yes. Fine. Come on up." And by the time Mark Lanegot to his office, he said, "Gosh, I'm sorry; I can't discussanything about it. I called Washington, and they have, in effect,told me that if I say anything, I'll get a hole in my head." So,he said, "I'll take you to dinner, though."
    So, this is the kindof thing that constantly comes up; this intimidation of witnesses,trying to either bribe them, or lure them to tell a different story.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    Yes, Hal.
    Hal Verb
    Yes. Bill mentionedBill Gurvich. I want to show the very subtle ways in which the presscan distort the picture. CBS had presented Bill Gurvich. And, infact, the press throughout the country had presented Bill Gurvich asGarrison's chief investigator. Now, the fact is that Gurvich wasnever the chief investigator. As a matter of fact, if I'm notcorrect, Bill, isn't the assistant ranking district attorney thechief investigator for ––
    William Turner
    Yeah. Garrison'soffice doesn't really have a pecking order there, but Charles Ward isthe senior district ... But, they have a man, a detective, postedfrom the New Orleans Police Department who really is the chiefinvestigator. His name is Louis Ivon.
    Hal Verb
    That's correct.
    William Turner
    And he succeeded a manby the name of Pershing Gervais when Gervais resigned a year or twoago.
    Hal Verb
    Right. Now, CBS, inpresenting this, didn't present Gurvich’s real relationship to thisGarrison investigation. He wasn't on the payroll. He had volunteeredhis information, or his services. And this, of course, did not comeout in the CBS interview. Another curious and interesting thing aboutthis is the timing of Gurvich’s resignation, or declining toassociate himself any further with this investigation. When did thisoccur? This occurred at the end of June of this year, 1967, when atthe very time, the Associated Press, and CBS, and NBC were all comingout with their programs. I don't think that this timing is justaccidental; in my own view, I think this was a deliberate timing, tocreate the impression that Garrison was a totally discredited figure,and that his investigation had no validity to it.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    But, I gather from allthe detailed information and statements that you have given, and alsothe overall complexion of what you both had to say, that you feelthat Garrison has a case, and that this is a man of high ideals andintegrity who is attempting to do something that he believes in.Would that be ––
    William Turner
    I definitely feel thatGarrison is a very committed man, and that he feels that this is verydefinitely a conspiracy here, and that come hell or high water, it'shis duty to investigate that conspiracy, to bring to justice thosewho were involved in it, and at least as far as his own jurisdictionin Orleans parish is concerned. And it would have been far more inhis own interest, as far as political aspirations, any futureaspirations, to have merely said, when Ferrie died, "Well, theregoes my chief witness. That's my case," and forget it. He wouldhave had a much better chance at becoming Louisiana senator, orwhatever these aspirations are supposed to be. And I certainly hopehe does have political ambitions, because I'd like to see a man ofhis caliber in high office.
    Elsa Knight Thompson
    Well, as I understandit, he says that he's going to go on with this if it takes him thenext 30 years. But, I believe that now our time is up, and I want tothank you very much, William Turner and Hal Verb, for coming in toour studios.

    Last edited by Lauren Johnson; 10-30-2017 at 06:55 PM.
    If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” - Frederick Douglass
    "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
    "Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn

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