Jason, your blog post on the Jack T. Martin film was excellent. Everybody interested in the history of the JFK Assassination should become aware of that historical artifact. To summarize; Martin's home movie graphically demonstrates that the Radical Right in Dallas plotted against Lee Harvey Oswald; not the CIA.
Yet, the CIA-did-it Conspiracy Theory (CT) is the oldest of all CT's about the JFK Assassination, and after more than a half-century, still draws the widest readership. Part of the reason for this fact is that Jim Garrison promoted a CIA-did-it CT, as did Mark Lane, Harold Weisberg and perhaps most of the well-known writers on this topic.
In your last post Jason, you posed three broad questions for my opinion, namely, (1) Did this CIA-did-it mania help or hurt the actual JFK assassins; (2) What was the feeling of General Walker and other icons of the Radical Right towards the CIA; and (3) Given that Jim Garrison uncovered an undeniable connection to the assassination in New Orleans: why did he pursue Clay Shaw; and why did he name the CIA as a co-conspirator? Following are my responses:
1.0.0. Did this CIA-did-it mania help or hurt the actual JFK assassins?
There is one perspective in which the CIA-did-it CT helped the true murderers of JFK, and there is another perspective in which it hurt them.
1.1.0. The CIA-did-it CT helped the actual JFK assassins because it took the light off of the Radical Right, giving them a free pass to keep moving forward.
1.1.1. Going by the words of J. Edgar Hoover, founder of the LN theory, the justification would be the worldwide spread of Communism. Nothing could be worse than that, he feared.
1.1.2. Yet, as we saw in the whole world 30 years later, after the fall of Communism, the rise of the Radical Right in the world was equally troubling.
1.2.0. The CIA-did-it CT hurt the true JFK assassins by preventing them from reaching their long-term goal, namely, the invasion of Cuba.
1.2.1. The true JFK assassins wanted to blame the Communists for the JFK Assassination. That is one reason that LHO was framed so thoroughly as a Communist between May 1963 and September 1963.
1.2.2. Yet even if LHO had been unavailable to take the fall on 11/22/1963, the JFK plotters had many other fall-guys available in the wings.
1.2.2. The LN theory of LHO was the main argument against a Communist plot to kill JFK.
1.2.3. When the LN theory of LHO broke down in the late 1960's, the CIA-did-it CT remained helpful to argue against a Communist plot to kill JFK.
1.2.4. Ultimately, then, the CIA-did-it CT had hurt the ultimate, Cuban-invasion goals of the JFK assassins, but also helped the longevity of the US Radical Right, by giving them a free pass.
2.0. What was the feeling of General Walker and other icons of the Radical Right towards the CIA?
2.1. General Walker regarded the CIA as he regarded the Pentagon and Washington DC in general -- namely -- infiltrated by Communists.
2.2. This was shown most clearly in the Warren Commission testimony of a John Birch Society leader, Revilo P. Oliver.
2.3. For Oliver, the CIA and the KGB both reported to the same masters in New York City -- the Communist Party, i.e. rich New York bankers.
2.4. Although General Walker would argue that the CIA-did-it CT was equivalent to a KGB-did-it CT, because the CIA and the KGB were the same (as far as the Radical Right was concerned), most Americans rejected that argument.
3.0.0. Given that Jim Garrison uncovered an undeniable connection to the assassination in New Orleans: (3.1) why did he pursue Clay Shaw; and (3.2) why did he name the CIA as a co-conspirator?
3.1.0. In my reading, the main reason that Jim Garrison pursued Clay Shaw was because David Ferrie died while waiting for his Grand Jury.
3.1.1. David Ferrie was actually Jim Garrison's star witness.
3.1.2. After David Ferrie died, Jim Garrison really had nobody. He scraped the bottom of the barrel when he chose to prosecute Clay Shaw.
3.1.3. As Jeff Caufield showed (2015) the first CT of Jim Garrison that the Radical-Right-did-it.
3.1.4. Only after David Ferrie died did Jim Garrison switch to a CIA-did-it CT.
3.1.5. Jim Garrison hoped beyond hope that somebody in Dallas would come forward to give him legal assisstance. Nobody from Dallas ever did that.
3.2.0. In my reading, the main reason that Jim Garrison named the CIA as co-conspirator to Clay Shaw was to shake up the system.
3.2.1. Perhaps Garrison hoped that to defend itself, the CIA would launch its own investigation, and expose the Radical Right in Dallas.
3.2.2. The reason that the US Government considered Jim Garrison a "complete nut" was that the US Government was struggling to manage the Cold War with the USSR, and Jim Garrison was making these matters more difficult for the US Government.