Among the revelations at a recent JFK assassination conference was one that definitively links the CIA to its patsy for the crime, Lee Harvey Oswald. At the Assassinations Archives and Research Center meeting at the Bethesda Hyatt Regency in Bethesda, Maryland, former CIA asset Antonio Veciana told the attendees he is convinced the CIA organized the president’s murder and that he saw Oswald meeting with a CIA official in Dallas just prior to Kennedy’s murder on November 22, 1963. Veciana said he believes Oswald was a CIA operative whom the agency decided to blame for the killing.
Veciana named now deceased CIA covert operations head David Atlee Phillips as the man he saw conferring with Oswald. Phillips was a high-ranking CIA official who used the cover named “Maurice Bishop” during his many meetings with Veciana. Earlier this year, Veciana confirmed to researcher Marie Fonzi, widow of his friend the author Gaeton Fonzi, that “Bishop” was “Phillips.” But Veciana never previously answered questions in a public forum.
The CIA placed Phillips in charge of the CIA’s Cuba operations after the newly created agency recruited him from newspaper work in the 1950s. According to biographers, Phillips, a former actor born in Texas, used hundreds of aliases in his CIA work. After retirement from the CIA Phillips organized thousands into the politically influential Association of Former Intelligence Officers.
Veciana, 85, spoke through a translator and with a son by his side. He said he was trained as a CPA and admired “Bishop” and the CIA deeply for many years.
Now, however, he said he wanted to set the record straight because he has come to admire also Kennedy, whom he and Phillips once regarded as a “traitor” for allowing communist Cuban leader Fidel Castro to remain in power.
For the informed JFK researcher, these revelations are not new. Many years ago Veciana named Phillips as one of Oswald’s CIA handlers. In his 1989 best seller, “Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy,” author Jim Marrs wrote, “…Veciana, a Cuban accountant who turned against Castro…and founded the violent anti-Castro group Alpha 66, claimed to have worked for a CIA officer known to him as Maurice Bishop. According to Veciana, he met with Bishop more than a hundred times, and the CIA officer helped guide the activities of Alpha 66, including plans to assassinate Castro. Veciana said his relationship with the agency did not end until 1973, when Bishop paid him $253,000 as back pay for his services. But Veciana’s most astounding claim is that, during a trip to Dallas in late August or early September 1963, he saw [Bishop] in conversation with a man he later recognized as Lee Harvey Oswald…the House Select Committee on Assassinations later developed information that Bishop was none other than form chief of the CIA’s Western Hemisphere Division’s Directorate of Operations, David Atlee Phillips.”
Unless Phillips just happened to bump into Oswald to ask him for directions to Dealey Plaza (I like to amuse myself with the wild justifications coincidence theorists would concoct for a meeting between a CIA chief and JFK’s accused killer just days before the President was murdered), it means that the CIA was directly involved in setting up Oswald to take the fall for the murder of the century.