Tag Archives: Lucein Conein

55 Years Ago Today, JFK Foretold of His Own Demise

It was October 2, 1963, and a remarkable story, written by Richard Starnes, appeared in the Washington Daily News. It claimed that the CIA was working diligently to undermine JFK’s Vietnam policies and that his own Ambassador to Vietnam, Henry Cabot Lodge, was complicit in this subterfuge.  Frustrated by South Vietnamese President Diem’s inability to unite his people in resistance to the aggression of the communist North, Kennedy hesitantly agreed to the CIA’s call for a regime change.  But he did not sanction the assassination of Diem.  On November 1, 1963, the CIA, in a plot concocted by Lucien Conein, murdered Diem in spite of JFK’s wishes.  Furious at the CIA’s unwarranted actions, Kennedy vented to Starnes.  In that interview, JFK tried to warn the American people that the CIA was out of control and capable of anything, including murdering its own President.

From pages 170-171 of my book JFK and the End of America:

Together Conein and Lodge, perhaps knowing that JFK’s days were numbered, defied the President and gave the go-ahead to kill Diem. The South Vietnamese generals, having been informed that Kennedy was going to pull out of Vietnam entirely by 1965, saw the regime change as their only chance to win the war against the North before America left.101 On November 1, just hours before the coup, Lodge lied to Diem by telling him there was nothing to worry about.102 Later that day Diem was assassinated.  When JFK received the news he was, according to Arthur Schlesinger, “somber and shaken”; he knew the CIA, through their emissaries Lodge and Conein, had arranged the murder against his wishes.  As he had done after the Bay of Pigs, Kennedy told intimates that he needed “to do something about those bastards; they should be stripped of their exorbitant power.”103

In his own way, Kennedy was aware of the storm that was coming. He was, in all likelihood, the source for incendiary quotes about the CIA which appeared in major East Coast newspapers in the early fall of 1963; his intent was probably to alert an oblivious public to the dangers the CIA posed to American democracy.  Scripps-Howard reporter Richard Starnes wrote an article for the Washington Daily News which ran on October 2 under the headline, “Arrogant CIA Disobeys Orders in Viet Nam.”  In it, Starnes quotes a high U.S. official [President Kennedy] saying that “if the United States ever experiences a Seven Days in May (a reference to a popular early 1960s fictional book detailing the overthrow of a U.S. president), it will come from the CIA and not the Pentagon.”104 The following day Arthur Krock wrote a sort of corollary piece which ran in the New York Times and was less harsh on the CIA.  Still, Krock quoted “a very high American official [Kennedy]” who compared the CIA’s growth to a “malignancy…[and] was not sure even the White House could control…any longer.”105

Less than a month later, Conein pulled off the CIA-connected murder of Diem. Just three weeks after that, Conein was, quite possibly, in Dallas to witness the demise of the CIA’s public enemy number one.  On 11/22/63 he (or his identical twin) was photographed with a self-serving smirk on his face as JFK’s limo passes.  Kennedy is looking straight ahead and does not notice the Conein lookalike staring directly at him.  Less than a minute after this photo was taken, the fatal shots rang out.  If Conein played a part in the execution, it was the second time in less than a month that he helped topple a head of state.  As Neil Sheehan wrote in A Bright Shining Lie, “[Conein] had accomplished the act that is one of the highest professional aspirations for a [secret agent]—setting up a successful coup d’etat.”106



JFK Conspiracy Fact #21: CIA Jackals were Photographed in Dealey Plaza

Examining the photographs of Dealey Plaza, JFK murder site on November 22, 1963, can be an epistemological exercise. There really are intelligence agents, or their identical twins, there. Among them are Lucein Conein. Conein worked for the CIA in Vietnam in the 1950s and 1960s. He was closely allied with CIA Saigon station chief William Colby. Conein is suspected of playing a part in the CIA overthrow of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem on November 1, 1963, exactly three weeks before the assassination of JFK. Conein was photographed standing at the corner of Main and Houston in Dallas as the motorcade passed. He seemed to have a smile or smirk on his face. He was positiviely identified by Colonel Fletcher Prouty, former Pentagon liaison to the CIA.

Conein worked on covert assignments with a man named Ted Shackley, another CIA asset whom some say was also photographed in Dealey Plaza. Shackley operated JM/WAVE, the CIA’s Miami base which came up with plans to overthrow Castro. Operation Mongoose, as it was called, included Edward Lansdale, an Air Force general and CIA Black Operator.

Lansdale was also photographed in Dealey Plaza. A series of pictures taken shortly after the assassination show a group of tramps being led away by two men dressed as Dallas cops. In one of the photos Lansdale walks right by the tramps, who seem to acknowledge him with nods and smiles. The cops, who dressed and carried weapons like no other Dallas police officers, had no reaction to a “civilian” coming between them and their prisoners. Two of the three tramps were later identified as CIA killers Charles Rogers and Charles V. Harrelson. General Victor Krulak, who knew Lansdale very well, positively identified Lansdale as the “civilian” in the tramp photo. Krulak, in a letter to Prouty, wrote, “That is indeed a picture of Ed Lansdale. The haircut, the stoop, the twisted left hand, the large class ring. It’s Lansdale. What in the world was he doing there?” Yes, what was Lansdale, known to be a mastermind of many nefarious CIA plots, doing in vicinity of the assassination of JFK? There seems to be no innocent explanation.

Lansdale was a protégé and friend of Allen Dulles and Charles Cabell, CIA officers who were fired by President Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs in 1961. Read more at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/ASIN/098882907X
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