Veciana: Maurice Bishop was David Atlee Phillips
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Note: an earlier version of this article erroneously reported that Antonio Veciana had passed away. We regret the error.
The Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC) learned that Antonio Veciana, the leader of Alpha 66, a Cuban exile organization devoted to overthrowing Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro, has released a statement identifying "Maurice Bishop" as David Atlee Phillips, a longtime "dirty tricks" operative for the CIA who widely suspected of having played a role in a plot to assassinate President Kennedy. Marie Fonzi is the widow of Gaeton Fonzi, who investigated Kennedy's assassination for the Church Committee and the House Select Committee on Assassinations. He contended in his book, " The Last Investigation ," that Phillips was Bishop. His statement is at variance with his testimony before the HSCA, where he stated that a sketch of Maurice Bishop closely resembled Phillips but was not the same man. This new declaration raises even more questions regarding a possible role by the CIA in the assassination of President Kennedy.
This Veciana's statement should lead the American people to demand (1) the immediate release of the thousands of pages of JFK Assassination-related records that the CIA is still withholding, and (2) demand that Congress hold oversight hearings into the CIA's subversion of the investigation conducted by the HSCA, which conducted the last official investigation of the assassination
Below is the declaration Antonio Veciana transmitted to Marie Fonzi on November 11, 2013 along with a handwritten note authorizing her to publish it in whole or in part. On November 22 nd Veciana dropped the other shoe, confirming to Marie Fonzi that Maurice Bishop and David Atlee Phillips were the same person:
In the days leading up to [fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy] G. Robert Blakey, chief counsel and staff director to the 1977 House Select Committee on Assassinations, has worked hard to discredit "The Last Investigation," a book written by the late Gaeton Fonzi, a longtime investigator for this same committee. In his book, Fonzi meticulously details the conspiracies and various motivations that led to that fateful day.
It is important to track the history that has led to this misguided effort by Blakey. A week after the assassination, L:yndon B. Johnson appointed a commission headed by Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren to look into the assassination. One of this committee's members was Allen W. Dulles, a former director of the CIA. In September 1964, the Warren Commission issued its report, concluding that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone shooter and that there existed no conspiracy.
This conclusion, however, was reached erroneously. Dulles had consistentlyhidden from the Warren Commission the many CIA-sponsored plots to kill Cuba's Fidel Castro. These omissions were not an oversight. It proved convenient for Dulles to hide the fact that the CIA had used the services of Mafia dons John Roselli and Sam Giancana in its attempts to assassinate Castro. He also concealed that CIA operative Maurice Bishop used Antonio Veciana in October 1961 in another plot to kill the Cuban leader.
Had the Warren Commission been alerted to these activities, its investigators would surely have looked more closely at the CIA's dealings with the Mafia. If the connection between Bishop and Veciana had been probed, this, too, would have yielded the information that Bishop, a CIA field officer, was linked to Oswald. Veciana had seen Oswald together with Bishop days before the assassination.
The CIA consistently and thoroughly opposed any efforts the investigators made to uncover the truth, not only during the Warren Commission's investigations butr also in the later years when the House Select Committee on Assassinations looked into Kennedy's murder. Richard Sprague, the first director oCIA's tactics of suppression and obfuscation frustrated him. At the end Sprague told reporter, "My problems started when I confronted the CIA."
A close examination of Blakey's behavior as the last head of the House Select Committee also raises many questions about his impartiality. Blakey refused to take important testimony from key witnesses, using deadlines as an excuse to say the investigation had concluded. This, of course, was upsetting to many of the committee's investigators, including Gaeton Fonzi, who had worked so diligently to expose the facts.
Blakey also asked Richard Billings, a former editor of Life magazine, to write the final report. Billings had not participated in any part of the investigation and was forced to limit himself to what Blakey instructed him to write.
As a result the final House Select Committee report is full of intentional ambiguities. While it concludes that President Kennedy probably was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, as a result of a conspiracy by unknown individuals, it points the finger at a segment that Blakey had zeroed in on to the detriment of other promising leads. The most damning statement in the report came from Blakey himself: "The Mafia killed the President." He conveniently left out what some of his top investigators had uncovered.
In his book Fonzi correctly described Blakey's actions as compliant with the CIA. The truth is that Blakey wanted to avoid any confrontation with this powerful agency because he was angling to be nominated to a high position within the Justice Department after finishing his work with the House Select Committee