Sunday, May 01, 2016

Solid links found between Rafael Cruz's employer and plot to kill JFK by Wayne Madsen Report

 May 1, 2016 -- SPECIAL REPORT -- McLean, Virginia (WMR)-- Solid links found between Rafael Cruz's employer and plot to kill JFK
by Wayne Madsen Report
A long-since forgotten dossier maintained by the Central Intelligence Agency on New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison's investigation of the links between Lee Harvey Oswald, expatriate Cubans in New Orleans, and the CIA points to solid links between Rafael Cruz's ultimate oil industry employer, Schlumberger of France and the Netherlands Antilles, and the plot to assassinate President John F. Kennedy in Dallas in 1963.

Cruz's relationship with Schlumberger eventually led to the purchase by the company of Rafael B. Cruz & Associates, Inc., a consulting firm that employed both Rafael, the father of presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, and Eleanor Darragh Wilson Cruz, Senator Cruz's mother.

The April 27, 1967 issue of the New Orleans States-Item featured a story written jointly by the States-Item and the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News that points to CIA undercover agent Gordon Novel as having played a part in the CIA's false flag "Fair Play for Cuba" operations in New Orleans that also employed Oswald and, as WMR previously reported, Rafael Cruz. While flying the "pro-Fidel Castro" flag, Fair Play for Cuba, which was headquartered in the same building and office space that also housed former FBI agent and JFK assassination co-conspirator Guy Banister, was a front for anti-Castro activities in the New Orleans area beginning as early as 1961.

Garrison issued arrest warrants for Novel and Oswald and Banister associate Sergio Arcacha Smith, the leader of a militant anti-Castro organization also working out of Banister's Newman Building office of Guy Banister Associates, a detective agency in downtown New Orleans.

By the CIA's own admission, Arcacha Smith was paid by the CIA indirectly. Arcacha Smith's Frente Revolucionario Democratico (FRD) office in New Orleans received funds from the FRD headquarters in Miami. The FRD was created by the CIA's anti-Castro Miami operation JMWAVE. FRD leader Dr. Jose Miro Cardona directed CIA funds to Aracacha Smith and Novel, according to the CIA's own records.

On April 1, 1967, Novel was arrested in Gahanna, Ohio, outside of Columbus on a warrant issued by Garrison that stated Novel and Archacha Smith burglarized an oil services firm's munitions bunker in Houma, Terrebonne Parish, near New Orleans, in 1961. Novel and Arachaca Smith were arrested and charged with burglarizing the Houma bunker by Terrebonne Parish District Attorney Wilmore Broussard. The records of the case were later stolen from the custody of the Houma Police Department. A declassified CIA document revealed a third person was involved in the "theft" of munitions from the Schlumberger warehouse. Like Oswald, the third man, Layton Patrick Maartens, was an ex-U.S. Marine.

Upon his arrest, Novel began "graymailing" the CIA by telling all about his role with covert CIA activities in Louisiana prior to the assassination of Kennedy. Novel said that he was a New Orleans French Quarter bar owner who also served as an electronics expert for the CIA. Novel operated a CIA front in New Orleans called the Evergreen Advertising Agency. Through the company, Novel prepared special Christmas tree radio commercials aired in late 1960 and early 1961 by 300 stations in the United States and Canada that contained code phrases designed to alert CIA agents to the date of the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba on April 17, 1961. The key code phrases were "Star Christmas Trees" and "Holiday Trees." A formerly SECRET EYES ONLY dated May 31, 1967, confirmed that the coded radio messages were part of a CIA operation code named JMHOPE.

Novel's statements were determined to be factual by a psychiatrist and polygraph examiners. Novel also told the Dayton Daily News, "I think Garrison will expose some CIA operations in Louisiana."

The Washington Daily News of March 27, 1967 reported that Novel was in McLean, Virginia during the weekend of March 25-26, 1967. In McLean, Novel was administered a polygraph by the Washington, DC firm REDEX, operated by private detectives Lloyd Furr and Richard L. Bast. The CIA later accused REDEX, Furr, and Bast of being "unscrupulous and untrustworthy." Novel was determined to be telling the truth by the REDEX polygraph examiners.

On March 29, 1967, Novel called the FBI New Orleans office from an unknown location and reported that he had "not furnished Garrison with any information about "Double Check" of Miami. Operation Double Check was a CIA "cover and funding" mechanism for recruiting and paying American pilots participating in the Bay of Pigs operation.

Novel again called the FBI office on March 29 to report that Walter Sheridan, a former FBI and National Security Agency operative who joined NBC News to shred Garrison's investigation of the Kennedy assassination and trial of Clay Shaw, was present during the polygraph of Novel in McLean. McLean is adjacent to Langley, Virginia, the home of the CIA's headquarters.

Rafael B. Cruz, third from left, carrying pro-Castro poster at demonstration at University of Texas in January 1959. Other pro-Castro CIA agents in 1958 included David Ferrie and Donald Norton. Norton hid out in Calgary, a CIA safe city for JFK assassination conspirators.

On May 22, 1967, Novel and a friend Gary Edwards were sitting in a WKDA-AM radio truck in downtown Nashville, Tennessee while preparing to do an interview that "would blow the New Orleans investigation wide open." A sniper opened fire on the truck and Novel and Edwards were injured by flying glass. Edwards immediately returned to Washington, DC and it was determined his real name was Gerald Mundy. Novel returned to Columbus. Nashville police discovered five bullet indentations on the truck's right side.

What Novel revealed to the press was that the CIA unit in New Orleans transferred munitions from the oil services company's bunker, leased by Schlumberger Well Services Company of Houston, to three destinations in New Orleans: Novel's Evergreen Advertising Agency building, the home of CIA contract pilot David Ferrie, and the office of Guy Banister in the Newman Building on Lafayette Street. In early 1961, an associate of Banister revealed that he saw as many as 100 boxes of munitions in Banister's storeroom. They were all marked "Schlumberger," the same firm with which Rafael Cruz had a contractual relationship. Inside the boxes were rifle grenades, land mines, and small missiles. The munitions from Schlumberger were eventually transported by boat to Cuba.

CIA's use of highly-restricted EYES ONLY caveat in document on Schlumberger's Bay of Pigs weapons smuggler Gordon Novel.

Garrison charged that the director of the New Orleans International Trade Mart, Clay Shaw, who Garrison also indicted for conspiring to kill President Kennedy, was ultimately in charge of the weapons movement from Schlumberger to Cuba. Shaw was also the director of a CIA front company called World Trade Center Corporation, which moved its headquarters from Switzerland to Rome and then to Johannesburg, South Africa, after Kennedy's assassination. The World Trade Center Corporation and George H. W. Bush's Zapata Corporation, whose ships moved weapons to Cuba for the Bay of Pigs invasion, were under the control of a CIA foreign commercial operations program code-named WUBRINY/LPDICTUM.

Rafael Cruz's eventual employer Schlumberger has always been a virtual CIA front in its own right. As late as 1986, the CIA's proprietary airline charter company Stern Air of Dallas, flew explosives for Schlumberger to such locations as Pakistan and Qatar. Stern Air also flew CIA missions to such countries as Chile, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Scotland, Ireland, Turkey, Israel, Iran, Afghanistan, South Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Somalia, Angola, Rhodesia, South Africa, Libya, and Zaire.

Schlumberger used CIA proprietary airline Stern Air to ship explosives around the world. Rafael Cruz sold his consulting firm to Schlumberger subsidiary.

One of Schlumberger's major stockholders was William Casey, who served as Reagan's CIA director. The husband of the heiress to the Schlumberger fortune, Jean de Menil, was a board member of one of Clay Shaw's other CIA front companies, Permindex Corporation of Montreal. De Menil's wife, Dominique Schlumberger de Menil, a member of Houston's oil elite, was tied to French Secret Army Organization (OAS) plots to assassinate French President Charles De Gaulle in the early 1960s.

Garrison's investigation of the CIA's New Orleans links to the Kennedy assassination were stymied by the fact that several witnesses sought by Garrison fled Louisiana to other states and countries, one of which was Canada. Rafael Cruz left New Orleans for Calgary, Alberta in 1967, the same year Garrison indicted Clay Shaw. Cruz was not the only New Orleans resident tied to the Kennedy assassination to flee to Calgary. CIA agent Donald P. Norton, who claimed he delivered an attaché case containing $50,000 in cash to Oswald in Monterrey, Mexico in exchange for documents handed over by Oswald. Norton, a musician, said he was instructed by the CIA to proceed to Calgary where he played the piano in a well-known Calgary restaurant. The Vancouver Sun and The Albertanconfirmed Norton's activities on behalf of the CIA. Norton also took on a public persona and even appeared on CHCT-TV in Calgary. Norton also worked for the Alberta Piano Company, Ltd., where he gave piano lessons. Norton claimed his CIA contact was a well-known oil company employee in Calgary.

Norton, who had owned a record production company in Athens, Georgia, said he worked for Ferrie in 1958 and was ordered to deliver $150,000 to pro-Castro revolutionaries in Havana. Rafael Cruz also claims to have supported the Castro revolution before he left Cuba in 1957 and later, while attending the University of Texas in Austin in 1959. Oswald, Ferrie, Shaw, and a photographed man said by imagery experts to be Rafael Cruz, were all involved with the pro-Castro Fair Play for Cuba operation in New Orleans in 1963. Norton said Ferrie used the alias Hugh Pharris. Norton said he met with Shaw in Alabama in 1962 before traveling to Monterrey to meet one "Harvey Lee," a CIA alias used by Oswald. Norton was questioned by Garrison's investigators and they concluded that his information largely matched up with their investigation's results. Norton said he moved to Calgary and ultimately to Vancouver for peace of mind. He said the CIA fired him in 1968.

The CIA documents shine a light on CIA activities related to the Kennedy assassination in New Orleans and Calgary. As much as the Cruz campaign denies any connections between Rafael Cruz and the Cuban-CIA conspirators in New Orleans, the document trail linking the elder Cruz to the presidential assassination plotters grows longer.