<Photo: Guy Banister – probably the mastermind of the Fake FPCC in New Orleans. He collaborated with Butler, Stuckey, Bringuier, radio station WSDU, and LHO (among others) to advertise this Fake FPCC by using political theater starting on August 5, 1963. Then he abandoned this Fake FPCC after 16 more days.>
We continue the speculation that we began in the previous blog post:
WHO WAS GUY BANISTER?
Guy Banister was a former FBI chief who quit in 1954 to protest the US Supreme Court’s Brown Decision to racially integrate all US public schools. He ran for public office in New Orleans but lost. In 1960 he became deeply involved in politics against communist Cuba and Fidel Castro, i.e., Guy Banister hoped to assassinate Fidel Castro.
In this way, Banister won the attention of CIA Chief of Western Ops, David Atlee Phillips (aka. Maurice Bishop). He knew a lot about Fidel’s FPCC in 1963, as did Banister, Bringuier, Stuckey, and Butler.
Guy Banister was a top dog among the New Orleans segregationist right. Dr. Jeffrey Caufield’s book (General Walker and the Murder of President Kennedy, 2015) disclosed many more of Banister’s radical and violent right-wing friends, including Joseph Milteer; Gerry Patrick Hemming; Loran Hall; Carlos Marcello; Sergio Arcacha-Smith; Kent Courtney; Medford Evans; the Minutemen, and more.
BANISTER'S PLAN TO INFILTRATE THE FPCC
Since Fidel Castro formed the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (hereafter FPCC) in 1960, right-wing activists in the US have tried to infiltrate it. It was Fidel Castro’s most effective fund-raising front in the US.
FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover also had FPCC infiltrators, like Victor Vicente who climbed the FPCC ladder to become head of the FPCC Social Committee in May 1961. Vicente successfully entered Havana through Mexico City and met both Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. Soon, Vicente would hand over the FPCC mailing list to the FBI. He showed that the FBI could do this.
During the Spring of 1963, Guy Banister discovered his promising asset, Lee Harvey Oswald (hereafter LHO), and poured lots of attention upon him. The Warren Commission (hereafter WC) did not call Guy Banister to testify. He was highly likely disqualified because his testimony would have shown that LHO had accomplices. Further, these were leaders amongst the right-wing (as Jim Garrison would later expose).
That single fact would have smashed the ‘Rosetta Stone’ conceived by J. Edgar Hoover and accepted by all members of the WC, namely, that LHO must have no accomplices. This was the fixed point of the WC from which it could never waver, no matter how much contrary evidence anybody presented. So, like Ed Butler, the WC would never allow Guy Banister to testify.
The WC members would have likely argued, “We see no right-wing connections. Rather, LHO sent many letters to the Communist Party USA, to the Socialist Workers Party, to the FPCC, and the Soviet Embassy in Washington DC. How is that possibly right-wing?”
We respond that the WC and NARA already examined all these letters and the content of those letters was always superficial – they lacked personal relationships and group interaction. That is, LHO’s letters to left-wing organizations were just as Fake as his FPCC in New Orleans.
All these letters would merely form an illusion that LHO had real left-wing credentials. (A majority of US newscasters still defend this illusion). But we say that Guy Banister was in the perfect position to plan all the details of LHO’s Fake relationships with left-wing radicals, as well as a Fake FPCC.
One of the most revealing facts of the whole Bringuier-Stuckey-Butler episode is that LHO’s Fake FPCC chapter in New Orleans appeared and vanished during the middle weeks of August 1963. This was just enough time for WDSU TV to film LHO on Canal Street on August 9th and for WDSU radio to record LHO’s radio appearances on August 17th and 21st.
There was no buzz about (or from) any FPCC New Orleans chapter after August 21, 1963. When assassins killed JFK, this Fake FPCC became widely cited as evidence that LHO worked with the left-wing. It would take another five years – after Jim Garrison’s debut – for America to even hear the possibility that LHO’s FPCC was Fake. Many American newscasters continue to insist that LHO’s FPCC was real.
WDSU TV tied this whole two-week episode together neatly with a silver bow insofar as WDSU film and radio crew were present from beginning to end.
LHO AND THE FAKE FPCC IN NEW ORLEANS
As LHO began his street theater, he boldly sent two (unrequested, unexpected) of his Fake FPCC membership cards to top communists Gus Hall and Nikita Khrushchev. He also ordered 1,000 expensive prints of his FPCC handbill (when he could have used a mimeograph) and NARA still has receipts for those prints.
It was no coincidence that LHO dropped into the Casa Roca clothing store of Carlos Bringuier on Canal Street on August 5, 1963. Bringuier was in his store, publicly advising a youth that he was too young for the Cuban-exile military. Suddenly LHO appeared, boasting about being Marine anti-communist number one. Bringuier’s brother was impressed with LHO, but Bringuier warned him – he could be anything from an FBI spy to a JURE spy, to a Fidel spy.
Four days later, Bringuier’s friends saw LHO on Canal Street as WDSU TV news filmed him publicly handing out pro-Fidel leaflets. Bringuier and his friends ran over there to protest, and they tossed LHO’s box of leaflets into the air, screaming at LHO. Nobody threw any blows; it was a simple case of disturbing the peace. It was street theater – they were all arrested, as planned.
Why did LHO call the FBI to his jail cell? To this day, scholars still debate LHO’s motive for this. If we ask the FBI agent who went to LHO’s cell, namely, John Quigley, he reported, simply put, that LHO was on an ego trip. LHO gave the FBI zero useful information. This was also part of Banister’s plan – not to get FBI support but to get this ‘FPCC arrest’ on the FBI record – a credible, reputable report from an authoritative institution.
Before the judge at the courthouse, LHO pled guilty as Bringuier pled not guilty. Bringuier and his friends got away free and the judge fined LHO $10. Newspapers reported this legal decision, and that was also a part of Banister’s plan – to gather newspaper clippings about this FPCC victim for a fatter resumé for LHO to fool the left.
Early the very next morning after that trial, WDSU host Bill Stuckey visited LHO to arrange his appearance on the radio show, “Latin Listening Post” that very night. It was a successful show as it had been well-planned. Stuckey’s WC testimony praised LHO as an intellectual. Rather, it is more likely that Guy Banister’s long rehearsals trained LHO’s intellect for this.
Guy Banister was in the best position to coordinate all these institutions in New Orleans to publicize his Fake FPCC in New Orleans – and LHO, whom he sent. Under Banister’s plan, LHO would receive all interview questions in advance during gatherings with Bringuier, Stuckey, Butler, and probably some WDSU crew, like Bill Slatter and Al Campin (i.e., those physically involved).
This Fake FPCC was an intricate plan. A few days after the Latin Listening Post radio show, WDSU TV station managers scheduled a live, 25-minute radio debate on Conversation Carte Blanche, exposing LHO against Bringuier, Stuckey, and Butler. It would air on August 21st.
Although Bill Stuckey testified that he and Ed Butler contacted their friends in Washington DC two days before the radio debate to dig up more data about LHO, the truth seems to be a bit different. It is more likely that Bringuier, Stuckey, Butler, and Guy Banister planned all these actions starting sometime in June 1963, and that they immersed LHO in those plans after he stopped working at Reily Coffee Company. That was on July 19, 1963.
The ultimate result of this New Orleans radio debate was that it made the FPCC look bad. We say that this was the main purpose of Banister’s plan. It is plausible, surely, that Banister carefully organized WDSU’s entire 12-day schedule (August 9-21). If so, it’s likely that Bringuier, Stuckey, Butler, and LHO loosely scripted the events, as overseen by Banister.
It was out-of-character for the stoic LHO to disclose personal facts to somebody he’d known for only 2.5 hours. It’s more likely that Stuckey needed a convincing story to explain how he became an expert on the life of LHO in such a brief time. Banister likely gave Stuckey the Comeaux’s Bar story to explain how he learned so much about LHO’s life.
More likely, weeks before Stuckey met with defector LHO on his porch on August 13th, Banister had already given Stuckey some government files and right-wing propaganda about LHO. That was only one of many meetings between Stuckey and LHO, we say.
On the other hand, it was obviously in character for LHO to help coordinate a Fake FPCC in New Orleans along with Guy Banister, Carlos Bringuier, Bill Stuckey, Ed Butler, and anyone else that Banister chose. Such planning took weeks – much longer than the 16 days from August 5th to 21st.
As the WC reported for those 16 days, the unemployed LHO physically stuck to Bringuier, Stuckey, and Butler. After those 16 days, their relationship stopped suddenly and never recovered. Soon Banister abandoned this Fake FPCC, and we heard no more about it.
As for Ed Butler, it seems he had long coordinated with the resigned General Walker, Robert Alan Surrey, Dallas Secret Service agent Forrest Sorrels, and Dallas FBI agent James Hosty about LHO the defector. These men had been worrying about LHO since June 1962 when LHO moved from Minsk, USSR to Fort Worth, USA.
THE FBI AND J. EDGAR HOOVER
In our reading, J. Edgar Hoover knew little about that Fake FPCC in New Orleans. Yet, it’s likely that he’d heard about it since LHO was an FBI suspect as a possible Soviet agent. Also, Banister was a former FBI chief. Interrogating Hoover about LHO, the WC official asked:
Representative BOGGS: Just for the purpose of the record, I think it would be well if you would comment on [LHO], Mr. Director.
Mr. HOOVER: ...We looked upon him as an individual who we suspected might become an agent of the Soviet government. There was no proof of that, and we checked him carefully. We knew of his contact with the Soviet Embassy here at Washington, his contact with the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in New York, and his contact with The Worker publication in New York…
Hoover held back that:
1. LHO’s contact with the Soviet Embassy in Washington D.C. consisted of a few superficial letters, mainly about sending Marina and June Oswald back to Russia.
2. LHO’s contact with the FPCC in New York was superficial. Though LHO asked the FPCC to set up an FPCC branch in New Orleans, the FPCC denied that request. Also, LHO told the FPCC that he fought a Cuban exile in the streets of New Orleans two days before he did, and so (accidentally or not) LHO revealed that it was all pre-planned!
3. LHO’s contact with The Worker newspaper in New York was superficial and consisted of a few requests for copies and subscription invoices.
It appears that LHO mainly wanted to leave a long paper trail to entice the FBI.
THE FBI BOUGHT LHO’s PAPER TRAIL
Just hours after the JFK Assassination, J. Edgar Hoover sent US Attorney General RFK a brief report about LHO. On the day of the assassination, at 4:01 p.m., Hoover summarized that report in a memo as follows:
November 22, 1963, 4:01 PM
From: FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover
MEMO FOR MR.TOLSON
I called the Attorney General at his home and told him I thought we had the man who killed the President down in Dallas at the present time. I stated the man’s name is Lee Harvey Oswald…
I told the Attorney General at his home that we have a case on Oswald as he has been involved in the FPCC….
The Attorney General asked if Oswald is a communist. I said that he isn’t a communist but…it is entirely possible he may have some communist sympathies but, as far as we know, isn’t a member of the Communist Party…
Very truly yours,
John Edgar Hoover, Director
At 5:15 p.m. EST, Hoover added the following:
…I stated our interest in Oswald came about from the fact that he had been associated with the Fair Play for Cuba Committee; that he was arrested in New Orleans some months ago for handing out leaflets in support of that committee…
I said Oswald, if he were the man, would be in the category of being an extreme radical of the left; that he was a member of the FPCC (Fair Play for Cuba Committee), that several of the leaders of this group have been indicted; but that this man never was a leader…
Very truly yours,
John Edgar Hoover, Director
In those FBI memos from the late afternoon of the JFK Assassination, Hoover told RFK what the FBI knew that LHO wasn’t a member of the Communist Party and that he wasn’t a leader in the FPCC.
So, the FBI had a fat file on LHO, and yet Hoover didn’t see a pattern of violence; he saw only another peacenik nut. After the JFK Assassination, however, Hoover saw the pattern. So, Guy Banister had even fooled J. Edgar Hoover.
WHAT ABOUT A CIA CONNECTION?
We see no connection of the JFK Assassination at all with CIA Headquarters or with official CIA leadership. Jim Garrison showed that some rightist nuts in New Orleans moved in the same circles as LHO and that some of these rightist nuts got funds from the CIA for their promises to assassinate Fidel Castro in Havana. (Perhaps every Cuban exile who promised to kill Fidel would get CIA cash).
Fine – but this had nothing to do with the JFK Assassination. Jim Garrison found no material evidence of any link between these anti-Fidel groups and the JFK shooters.
CIA agent E. Howard Hunt admitted to his son that he was a courier for the JFK assassination crew and that he never played a larger role.
In 2014 historian Bill Simpich published careful research of CIA records in which he opined that in early October 1963, CIA agent David Sanchez Morales was probably the one who had impersonated LHO in Mexico City over the Cuba desk telephone to the Soviet desk receptionist.
That impersonator knew about the CIA telephone wiretapping in the Mexico City Embassy like the back of his hand. Also, he knew that the CIA would link the very name of Vladimir Kostikov with the KGB.
Bill Simpich wrote (2014) that the telephone between the Cuban Consulate and the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City was the most wire-tapped in the world at that time. So, the impersonator knew that too! Only a CIA insider would know so many minute details.
However, the wiretappers and CIA transcribers knew instantly that this impersonator’s voice wasn’t the voice of LHO, because the CIA had been keeping photos and wiretapping phones used by LHO-the-defector. Since the CIA high command had no clue who the impersonator was, the CIA high command started a top-secret Mole Hunt.
The CIA had no idea who the mole (the impersonator) was. So, going by these factors, we may surmise that CIA agent David Morales broke with the CIA high command; that he supported Guy Banister’s plot to construct a perfect left-wing resumé for LHO in Mexico City.
For this CIA Mole Hunt, the CIA high command made top-secret changes to LHO’s 201 File (the standard CIA tracking file). They switched LHO’s official photo with the photo of a large Russian man. They changed LHO’s middle name and minute details of his record. Whoever then used their false data about LHO from that 201 file – that should be the mole!
However, the very next folks to use LHO’s 201 were the WC researchers! The photo that the CIA clerks gave to the WC didn’t match LHO’s description! For decades, the image of LHO as a large Russian man has confused JFK researchers. Bill Simpich deserves much credit for answering that riddle. Bill Simpich deserves extra credit for showing that the CIA could never have started a Mole Hunt to find this impersonator if they controlled the JFK Assassination.
In conclusion, we remind our readers that Dallas FBI agent James Hosty’s book, Assignment Oswald (1996) laid central blame for the JFK hit on KGB agent Vladimir Kostikov. That was close to General Walker’s theory; that the communists killed JFK. One might surmise that Hosty was working secretly on the side of the resigned General Edwin Walker.
© Copyright 2022, by Paul Edward Trejo. All rights reserved.
(1) On the Trail of the Assassins, by Jim Garrison, (1988)
(2) Live by the Sword, by Gus Russo (1998)
(3) Oswald and the CIA, by John M. Newman (2008)
(4) State Secret: Wiretapping in Mexico City, by Bill Simpich (2014)
(5) General Walker and the Murder of President Kennedy, by Jeffrey Caufield (2015).