Dr. Latell and the two editions of Castro's Secrets
(image by AWAC - Macmillan - Reuters)
Jim DiEugenio has coined the term Shenonism for a deceitful tactic used by former NYT investigative reporter Philip Shenon to tell his "secret history of the Kennedy assassination." Shenon presents old things as new and conveys them to the reader as important issues that the Warren Commission (WC) should have known about.
That's exactly what former CIA analyst Dr. Brian Latell had done in Castro's Secrets (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, 2013) for involving Fidel Castro in the JFK death through a "conspiracy of silence[:] Fidel knew Oswald's intentions to shoot President Kennedy and did nothing to deter the act" (page 247).
Thus, Dr. Latell supports the WC report of a lone gunman who shot a magic bullet with the oldest CIA backstop: Castro was somehow behind Oswald.
That's exactly what Shenon did in A Cruel and Shocking Act (Henry Holt and Co., 2013). He dug up Mexican writer Elena Garro's long-ago debunked story on Oswald at a "twist party" in Mexico City, and twisted that party into the occasion seized by Sylvia Duran, allegedly an agent of Castro's General Directorate of Intelligence (DGI), for putting Oswald up to kill Kennedy (page 556).
The paperback edition of Castro's Secrets (2013) changed the subtitle from The CIA and Cuba's Intelligence Machine to Cuban Intelligence, the CIA, and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy. Dr. Latell's purpose-built stage allowed for more JFK walking dead, like U.S. Ambassador Thomas Mann, who believed even "that the DGI used Oswald's hotel [in Mexico City] foe intelligence purposes," although no shred of evidence was ever found.
Latellism is the lightest version of "Castro did it" as "Castro knew it." Such an uncommon nonsense thrives on claques of both people who cannot think logically for many reasons and people who will not think logically because they have a fanatical anti-Castro agenda. Beneath a scholarly veneer: the "indicators of Cuban regimen deception --and apparent DGI engagement with Oswald-- have never been properly evaluated" (page xiii), Dr. Latell performs a media gag in six acts:
The Oswald's contacts with Los Angeles Cuban Consulate were overlooked by the FBI and the WC
The CIA did not inform the WC of Luisa Calderon's November 22,1963 phone conversation
Cuban defector Vladimir Rodriguez-Lahera's [AMMUG-1] knowledge that Castro had lied apparently was not shared with the WC
Cuban consul Alfredo Mirabal-Daz's incriminating error before the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) went unnoticed
In June 1964 FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover submitted a report that minimized and distorted the meaning of the Operation SOLO information acquired from Castro
Cuban defector Florentino Aspillaga's story was not publicly revealed until the initial publication of Dr. Latell's book (2012)
The more "findings" Dr. Latell uses for tying Oswald to DGI, the lesser good reasons are left for explaining why he was missed as a security risk before the JFK assassination, unless the CIA were plotting with Castro. However, Dr. Latell's itemized scheme is an intellectual breakthrough. It outlines how to disprove his intellectually destitute conspiracy theory:
Oswald's contacts with the Cuban Consulate in L.A. were irrelevant
Calderón's phone conversation is not a piece of evidence in any way
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