WMR has learned from a source who spoke to veteran CIA agent David Atlee Phillips in 1987, the year before Phillips died, that the agent stated that President John F. Kennedy was believed by the CIA to be getting "too close to the Communists." Phillips then stated that the Kennedy operation was a classic case that should be studied by Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict (SOLIC) military personnel about how to successfully remove problem leaders from power.
Phillips operated under CIA cover in the early 1950s as the publisher and owner of the newspaper The South Pacific Mail that was targeted at South America and the South Pacific. Phillips was in charge of the propaganda efforts for the CIA coup operation, code named "Operation PBSUCCESS," that saw the overthrow of democraticaly-elected Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz in 1954. Phillips was the CIA's Mexico City station chief when accused Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald reportedly was there trying to obtain a visa for travel to Cuba and the USSR.
Phillips was investigated by the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) in the 1970s and was thought to have been using the alias of Maurice Bishop while meeting from 1960 to 1962 with anti-Fidel Castro Cubans who were part of the terrorist group Alpha 66. The group's activities were being coordinated by the CIA's JM/WAVE station in Miami that was headed by veteran CIA agent Ted Shackley. Oswald was also reporedly in attendance at the CIA meetings in Miami with Alpha 66. Although Phillips denied he was Bishop, HSCA member Representative Richard Schweiker (R-PA) was certain that he was. Schweiker was later elected to the U.S. Senate where he served until 1981, being replaced by one-time Warren Commission deputy counsel Arlen Specter who came up with the "single bullet" theory about Oswald killing Kennedy. Schweiker decided not to run for a third term in the Senate after being chosen by failed Republican presidential primary candidate Ronald Reagan in 1976 to be his vice presidential running mate. Gerald Ford, a member of the Warren Commission, received the nomination but went on to lose the election to Jimmy Carter. Reagan named Schweiker as Secretary of Health and Human Services in 1981.
Philips, who once wrote a novel about Arab terrorists attacking landmarks in Washington, DC, also reportedly wrote his memoirs. However, the manuscript was either hidden or "procured" by the CIA to prevent publication. After he retired in 1975, Philipps became the head of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO). Phillips' last job with the CIA was as head of the Western Hemisphere Division. According to some reports, Phillips ordered his field agents to stand down from assisting in the overthrow of President Salvador Allende in the coup of 1973. Allende was assassinated in the coup. Two years earlier, Arbenz was said to have died in his bathroom in Mexico City from drowning in the bathtub.
Phillips was believed to have been Oswald's direct CIA handler. A photograph of Oswald's press conference after he was arrested for killing Dallas police officer J. D. Tippit shows a man behind him who looks like Phillips. An informed source told WMR that the man in the photograph is Phillips.
Oswald's CIA handler, David Atlee Phillips is said to be standing to Oswald's rear left, immdiately behind the reporter holding out the microphone to Oswald.