Official website of Author and Temple University Professor Joan Mellen. Her twenty-two books, most recently "A Farewell To Justice," "Our Man In Haiti" and "The Great Game in Cuba," explore the history of the Central Intelligence Agency and its role in the planning and cover-up of the Kennedy assassination.
Perhaps no president has a more ambiguous reputation than LBJ. A brilliant tactician, he maneuvered colleagues and turned bills into law better than anyone. But he was trailed by a legacy of underhanded dealings, from his “stolen” Senate election in 1948 to kickbacks he artfully concealed from deals engineered with Texas wheeler-dealer Billie Sol Estes and defense contractors like his longtime supporter Brown & Root. On the verge of investigation, Johnson was reprieved when he became president upon JFK’s assassination. Among the remaining mysteries has been LBJ’s relationship to Mac Wallace who, in 1951, shot a Texas man having an affair with LBJ’s loose-cannon sister Josefa, also Wallace’s lover. When arrested, Wallace cooly said “I work for Johnson…I need to get back to Washington.” Charged with murder, he was overnight defended by LBJ’s powerful lawyer John Cofer, and though convicted, amazingly received a suspended sentence. He then got high-security clearance from LBJ friend and defense contractor D.H. Byrd, which the Office of Naval Intelligence tried to revoke for 11 years without success.
Using crucial Life magazine and Naval Intelligence files and the unredacted FBI files on Mac Wallace, never before utilized by others, investigative writer Joan Mellen skillfully connects these two disparate Texas lives and lends stark credence to the dark side of Lyndon Johnson that has largely gone unsubstantiated.
Alan Dale is a full-time professional jazz musician and band leader, a lifetime student of American history whose parents were active as supporters and volunteers in the political campaigns of John and Robert Kennedy. He is the administrator of jfkessentials.com and is a contributing editor to the Assassination Archives and Research Center (aarclibrary.org). To campaign for compliance in enforcing the JFK Records Act, and to ensure the scheduled declassification of JFK assassination related files, he has joined with other interested parties in setting up 2017JFK.ORG.
From the moment he began his investigation in 1965, Jim Garrison has been attacked and discredited in the media and elsewhere, even here a year ago when he was accused by the Louisiana Historical Association at their annual meeting of “outing” Clay Shaw, a falsehood. In the eighteen years that I’ve been working on the Garrison case, none of the charges against Garrison have turned out to be valid.
Jim Garrison would never have subverted a witness, and would never have fed Perry Russo the identification of Clay Shaw under sodium pentothal. He would never have accepted that Clay Shaw was the “Clay Bertrand” who summoned Dean Andrews to Dallas to defend Oswald unless he had massive evidence.
I met Jim Garrison in New Orleans two months after Clay Shaw was acquitted for participating in a conspiracy to murder President Kennedy. It was May 1969. Garrison had invited my husband, Ralph Schoenman, and me to New Orleans because Ralph, who had been living in London, sent him the Paese Sera newspaper articles about a CIA front in Rome to whose board of directors Clay Shaw had been named. Shaw had been recruited in New Orleans by a Hungarian named Ferenc Nagy who himself had been recruited for CIA by Frank Wisner, an early chief of the clandestine services. There’s a CIA document describing Wisner’s recruitment of Nagy.
Professor Joan Mellen – INFILTRATIONS: On the Corruption of Government Investigations
Saturday, September 27, 2014, Bethesda, Maryland.
How CIA and the FBI infiltrated the Garrison, Church Committee and House Select Committee investigations into the murder of President Kennedy, as revealed by documents released under the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act.
“Its is inaccurate and a serious understatement to suggest that Joannides’ being placed with HSCA was the main way CIA corrupted HSCA. This view is false, and an example of what CIA calls a “limited hangout.” Rather, CIA interference began on day one of Robert Blakey’s tenure as HSCA counsel and was a daily intrusion. *It culminated in Scott Breckinridge’s control of HSCA’s final report. Breckinridge worked out of the Office of Legal Counsel of CIA…” Joan Mellen
Dr. Joan Mellen, Ph.D: Is a professor of English and creative writing at Temple University in Philadelphia. She is the author of twenty-two books including several that deal directly or indirectly with the JFK assassination: A Farewell to Justice: Jim Garrison, JFK’s Assassination, and the Case That Should Have Changed History; Our Man in Haiti: George de Mohrenschildt and the CIA in the Nightmare Republic; The Great Game in Cuba: How the CIA Sabotaged Its Own Plot to Unseat Fidel Castro.
House Select Committee on Assassinations and the CIA
Joan Mellen discusses the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) relations with the House Select Committee on Assassinations, which met from 1976-79 to investigate the murders of President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor Mellen argued that the CIA had covert influence over the committee and the writing of their final report.
She spoke at a conference on the 50th anniversary of the release of the Warren Report hosted by the Assassination Archives and Research Center.
The Mob Chronicles, Talk Radio, on KDWN 720 am, broadcasts every Saturday night from 11:00 to midnight. Each week, the show, hosted by Bill McMann, and co-hosted by Lou Detiberiis, former undercover organized crime investigator for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, explore the subterranean, secret world of the organized crime syndicates in New York, Chicago, and Las Vegas.
The Warren Report and the JFK Assassination: A Half Century of Significant Disclosures [a conference sponsored by the Assassination Archives and Research Center, September 26-September 28, 2014, Bethesda, Maryland].
INFILTRATIONS: On the corruption of government investigations: How CIA and the FBI infiltrated the Garrison, Church Committee and House Select Committee investigations into the murder of President Kennedy, as revealed by documents released under the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act.
By Joan Mellen
My research into the Garrison investigation let me to studying CIA, Garrison’s chief suspect in the Kennedy assassination, and Cuba, since it was in the area of Cuba that CIA operated most openly.
Let me begin by mentioning three myths connected with CIA and Cubans:
That CIA worked in any way to further the efforts of the Cuban exiles in removing Fidel Castro. Pp. 109-110, of The Great Game In Cuba: de los Reyes meets with Allen Dulles.
That DRE, the revolutionary student directorate, was interested in the JFK assassination. Only Carlos Bringuier was and his antics in New Orleans with LHO were repudiated by the DRE leadership. So that George Joannides being among the DRE handlers and then became CIA’s liaison to HSCA liaison did not represent a conflict of interest.
Its is inaccurate and a serious understatement to suggest that Joannides’ being placed with HSCA was the main way CIA corrupted HSCA. This view is false, and an example of what CIA calls a “limited hangout.” Rather, CIA interference began on day one of Robert Blakey’s tenure as HSCA counsel and was a daily intrusion. *It culminated in Scott Breckinridge’s control of HSCA’s final report. Breckinridge worked out of the Office of Legal Counsel of CIA, high up.
I’d like to begin with the House Select Committee’s corruption by CIA since I had direct sources, not only in documents but having interviewed some major players. One group I met with was the leadership of DRE in Miami; the other was HSCA’s Louisiana team of Robert Buras and L. J. Delsa. I’ve also interviewed Carlos Bringuier, Gaeton Fonzi, and DRE leaders Juan Manuel Salvat Roque, Antonio Lanuza, Isidro Borja and Dr. Fernandez Rocha. I consulted the papers of Scott Breckinridge of CIA’s Office of General Counsel at the National Archives.
What has concerned me for some time was the premise that the HSCA fell under CIA sway based on the fact that the liaison George Joannides somehow had a conflict interest because he had been a handler of the group known as DRE, the revolutionary student directorate.
In the year 2003, Blakey would complain that the Agency did not reveal that its liaison to HSCA, George Joannides, had also been the handler for a time of an anti-Castro group called DRE (Directorio Revolucionario Estudiantil) and that this compromised the committee’s investigation. This was, to say the least, misleading.