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WC Testimony of Michael Paine (Part 8)


{Photo: Dallas Deputy Buddy Walthers and Michael Paine at the Dallas Police Station on or about November 22, 1963.)


What I’m going to share today is my personal opinion. It’s so glaring in this blog post that I may not need to say it. Yet perhaps I must, because I’ll begin to name people that I suspect in the JFK Assassination.


THE WIRETAPPING OF RUTH PAINE


The fact that Ruth Paine’s telephone had been tapped by persons unknown on or around November 22nd is a burning flag that lets me to look beyond both Michael Paine and Lee Harvey Oswald (LHO) into a scenario beyond any of them.


Up to this point we’ve only briefly noted WC testimony from Michael Paine as he answered an accusation - that he called had Ruth Paine the day after the JFK Assassination and said that he knew who JFK’s killers were. Our documented source of this history is Warren Commission Document 206 (CD 206). It was declassified in 1976.


CD 206 is a series of FBI cases, one of which is about Michael Paine and about the chance that he was a Communist spy. Until 1976, readers gave credit to WC attorney Wesley Liebeler for dreaming up those questions. After CD 206 was declassified, we finally saw the source of Liebeler’s questions. Here’s the basic timeline:


Ruth Paine’s house had been wiretapped without the knowledge of FBI Headquarters, but this was brought to the attention of FBI Headquarters four days after the JFK Assassination, that is, on November 26 in a peculiar manner.


· On that date, Confidential Informant, Dallas T-4, told the FBI that a male voice was overheard (he didn’t say by whom) in a conversation that took place between telephone number CR 5-5211, Arlington, Texas, and telephone number BL 3-1628, Irving, Texas, on Saturday, November 23, 1963. The day after the JFK Assassination.


· Dallas T-4 relayed a report that the male voice said that he felt sure that LHO had killed JFK but did not feel that LHO was responsible; and the male voice added that, “We both know who is responsible.”


On December 23, 1963, FBI agent Bardwell Odum took Michael Paine aside, to ask him about this wiretapped phone call. Michael promptly admitted that he’d called Ruth at her Irving home that day, yet his words were misrepresented in that FBI report. Here’s what Michael actually told Ruth:


1. Michael doubted that LHO killed JFK because although he felt that LHO could kill for his politics, he doubted that LHO would kill JFK without sufficient reason. And given Michael’s understanding of LHO’s politics, LHO had nothing to gain by JFK’s death. So, Michael wasn’t buying it.


2. Michael denied ever saying that he knew who specifically was responsible for the assassination of JFK. He simply never said that. End of story.


Michael Paine had his opinions, as we all do, but Michael didn’t know for sure, and he’s not the type of person who would claim that he knew for sure when he didn’t know for sure. What Michael had intended to tell Ruth (as she herself repeated) was that he knew generically who killed JFK. Ruth had agreed – it was the same villains who had published the WANTED poster and the black bordered DMN Ad – whoever they were.


Michael expressed this as his opinion, with the understanding that Ruth would take his expression as only his opinion – even though it was an opinion that she herself shared.


The phone company technical report said that this call was placed to Ruth from Arlington, Texas, which is near Bell Helicopter labs in Grand Prairie, where Michael worked. Given this, then the call wouldn’t have been placed from Dallas Police Headquarters, as some have mistakenly claimed.


Michael fumbled these questions, claiming he couldn’t remember where he called Ruth from. Yet Michael was wary of danger here – any misunderstanding of his words could put him in serious jeopardy within the prevailing assassination hysteria. There were many who’d be quite willing to misconstrue Michael’s words. Convict Michael of Marxism and voila – a Communist Conspiracy!


Michael could see the most obvious implication – that if Michael knew the names of all the conspirators, then he must have been an accomplice of LHO in a Communist Conspiracy to kill JFK (as General Walker had charged from the start). So, when the WC attorneys asked Michael on March 17, 1964, whether he told Ruth that he knew who the JFK assassins were, he deftly answered, “I don’t know who the assassin is, or was; so, no I did not.”


In her interviews with me in 2016, Ruth listed her burning questions:


1. Who put a wiretap on my phone?!

2. If a wiretap takes two days to organize, then why would anybody tap my phone two days before the JFK Assassination?!


Ruth repeatedly asked the WC officials these questions – and they always refused to answer. Why? Is it possible that the report about eavesdropping on Ruth Paine’s private telephone was politically motivated? Let’s review the exact words of FBI Informant, Dallas T-4:


Informant advised that the male voice was heard to comment that he felt sure LEE HARVEY OSWALD had killed the President but did not feel OSWALD was responsible, and further stated, “We both know who is responsible.”


Michael Paine’s testimony flatly contradicted the first clause, alleging that Michael “felt sure LEE HARVEY OSWALD had killed the President.” Michael Paine never said that. Michael denied using those words or even having that thought.


Michael Paine repeatedly affirmed that he could never be fully certain that LHO was the assassin of JFK because he saw no motive. Michael also said, as with any case built upon circumstantial evidence, just one more bit of evidence could change everything.


Thanks to Michael’s explanation, we can see that the report which Dallas T-1 sent to the FBI on November 26th had deliberately misquoted Michael’s words, and so pushed into Michael’s mouth the opposite of what he had consistently said!


Every deliberate misquote is political at some level. If so, then whoin Dallas had a political motive to charge Ruth Paine, Michael Paine, and Marina Oswald with Communism in the wake of the assassination of JFK? Right – only the Dallas Radical Right.


But who within the Radical Right would have the power and authority to mandate a wiretap of Ruth Paine’s telephone? If it had been a local judge, we’d have a public search-warrant on the table after all these years. There is none. We have only an arcane volume of FBI case histories, namely, Commission Document 206 (FBI Gemberling Report of 07 Jan 1964). A few pages in that document supply the historical evidence we seek.


Nobody is surprised when any radical political group shows the audacity to break the law – including an illegal wiretap of somebody’s phone. But besides the audacity, who would also have the secret and expert ability to do so? My answer: undercover law enforcement.


A group like the FBI could easily wiretap a telephone secretly and professionally. Was there ever an agent in the Dallas FBI who would later write a book claiming that LHO was in league with Soviet Communists to kill JFK? Yes. Recall FBI agent James Hosty (Assignment Oswald, 1996).


Even beyond the Dallas FBI – we also have Dallas Secret Service agent Forrest Sorrels. He had the authority to secretly wiretap any telephone in Dallas. Sorrels was close friends with James Hosty, so perhaps Sorrels authorized the wiretap of Ruth Paine’s telephone.


QUESTIONING DALLAS DEPUTY BUDDY WALTHERS


Even beyond the Dallas Secret Service – a modest Dallas Police or Deputy might manage a secret wiretap, given a culture in which the Dallas Police had unusual privileges in this city. It’s possible that the Irving Telephone Exchange and Deputy Buddy Walthers had a mutually rewarding relationship. Is it possible that Buddy Walthers himself had Ruth’s phone tapped?


Buddy Walthers was the Dallas Deputy who was most-likely-to-succeed the famous Sheriff Bill Decker – the Texas legend who stopped Bonnie and Clyde – and who might have led a force in the Dallas project to eliminate JFK.


Walthers lived up to his hero status on November 22, 1963. Let’s trace his steps that afternoon.

He testified that around 12:45 p.m., he was the first to tell the scattered Dallas Police to stop searching the Grassy Knoll area and start searching the TSBD. At about 1:15 p.m., Walthers rushed to the site of the J.D. Tippit murder, and then became one of the first at the Texas Theater to arrest LHO by 2 p.m.


Next, Walthers reported all this to Sheriff Bill Decker, who agreed that Walthers should go immediately to the home of Ruth Paine. Less than one hour after he and several policemen arrested LHO at the Texas Theater cinema, Deputy Walthers arrived in his black hat and coat at Ruth Paine’s garage – searching for Michael Paine among other factors.


As soon as Walthers saw Michael, he kicked a dirty blanket on the garage floor towards him and demanded, “Do you know what was in this blanket?!” Michael could honestly say, “No,” because he had never peeked inside the blanket. Walthers then demanded, “Well, do you think it could have been a rifle?!” Michael honestly replied, “Yes, it could have.” Then his eyes widened. This was the moment when he finally made a connection between the “pipe” and a rifle – after nearly two months.


Buddy resumed searching Ruth Paine’s garage, looking for clues, warning Ruth and Michael to stay out of his way. Buddy collected several items and claimed that he stored many in the trunk of his car.


SIX OR SEVEN METAL FILING CABINETS – MISSING


Walthers’ next move was confusing – he told officer Eric Tagg that while searching in Ruth Paine’s garage, he “found six or seven metal filing cabinets full of letters, maps, records and index cards with names of pro-Castro sympathizers!” This rumor caused a stir at City Hall. Yet it was strange because not one of these “metal filing cabinets” was ever found in any Dallas Police evidence vault. Nor were they ever recorded in any written Dallas Police property itemization of property seized from Ruth Paine’s home or garage.


So, Walthers’ wild claim was obviously poorly timed; as though Walthers had planned his accusation for weeks. Why would Walthers accuse the Paines of storing treasonous items if none were actually found? It’s as though he was expecting a different scenario. I ask because Buddy Walthers changed his mind quickly. He began as a fierce critic of the Paines, and then suddenly converted to saying nice things about them. Here’s why.


Consider the evidence shown by Professor xxxxxxxxx that J. Edgar Hoover had decided at 5 p.m. Eastern Time on the day of the JFK killing, that LHO had to be blamed 100% with no accomplices of any kind still at large. It was so decreed to all FBI Agents in Charge. The FBI now had the duty to manipulate any and all possible evidence – witnesses, families of witnesses, photographs, film, ballistics, medical – all to demonstrate endlessly that LHO and LHO alone was to blame for the assassination of JFK.


As it happens, 5 p.m. in Washington DC is 3 p.m. in Dallas, Texas. At 3 p.m., Buddy Walthers was inside Ruth Paine’s garage, seeking material evidence with which to accuse Michael, Ruth, and Marina of being Communist “accomplices” of LHO. Walthers was still pushing that plan at 3 p.m.

This is the best explanation for Walther’s false report that he’d found six or seven metal filing cases filled with Communist stuff – and the best explanation for Walther’s simply dropping the accusation at day’s end.


Dropping off the Oswalds and an allegedly full trunk of evidence at City Hall, Buddy Walthers then returned to his desk in Dallas Sheriff Decker’s building around 5 p.m. Decker told Walthers that there was a new game in town. J. Edgar Hoover was now in charge of the JFK investigation, and Hoover has decreed from his FBI throne that LHO and LHO alone was responsible for the JFK killing.


So, forget prosecuting the Paines. Hoover has said that nobody else is to blame, no matter who they are, except LHO the “lone nut shooter.” The “lone shooter.” The “lone nut.” Before November 22 was over, Buddy Walthers only had to answer to his fan club among his fellow officers; but he did cease all prosecution of the Paines.


Hoover would tolerate no theory that the Communists had killed JFK. Hoover knew who did it. They were going to get away with it – but without their prize – without their coveted US invasion of Cuba.


So, Buddy Walthers let his rumor about “six or seven metal filing cases” filled with Communist stuff just fade away. If Walthers ever pressed the issue then it was at cocktail parties. FBI agent Bardwell Odum was so far out of the loop – he took the November 26th report from the wiretappers at face value, and on December 23, 1963, he corralled Michael Paine into a deposition.


“Sorry Mr. Odum, but I know nothing about any secret conspiracies to do anything.”

Walthers knew of one – the one he supported. But he had long planned for Plan A – very likely that LHO would be shot in the streets of Dallas and blamed post-mortem for the JFK Assassination, then since he was plainly linked with the Communists, a war with Cuba would have become likely.


Yet Plan A failed when LHO outdrew J.D. Tippit on the streets of Dallas at about 1:15 p.m. and now had to be brought in and processed as a prisoner. He must be held in City Jail – for days if necessary – until a Plan B could be arranged. Buddy Walthers evidently bowed out at this point.


He was officially off the backs of the Paines. He said nice things about Ruth. He said nice things about Michael. He had nothing further to say.


MICHAEL PAINE MISSED MUCH


There is much that Michael Paine missed with regard to the reality of Lee Harvey Oswald. Paine was only vaguely aware in April 1963, how deeply LHO was connected with George DM, Everett Glover, and Volkmar Schmidt. All were outraged that on January 21, 1963, General Walker was acquitted by a Mississippi Grand Jury for his role in the Ole Miss racial riot of September 30, 1962.


They likely spoke quite ill of General Walker in those days, LHO too. Michael Paine, too. Yet Michael Paine did not guess that LHO was a wild card, who would *act* on these political convictions. Neither George DM, Glover, Volkmar, nor Michael wanted General Walker shot – at least, this is what George, Glover, and Michael told the WC, and what Volkmar told PBS.


Be that as it may, Michael Paine testified that he had no important clue that LHO had been Walker’s shooter on April 10th. Also, during October and November 1963, Michael Paine was blissfully unaware that his wife’s houseguest, LHO, had been working all spring and summer in New Orleans with Radical Rightist, Guy Banister.


Michael was unaware that LHO had visited the Cuban and Soviet consulates in Mexico City on the secret behalf of Guy Banister in New Orleans. Michael was unaware that LHO ran a fake FPCC in New Orleans, milking it in newspapers, radio, and even local TV. With newspaper clippings about all of this, Guy Banister and LHO would design impromptu “credentials”.


Evidently, Guy Banister’s plan was to parlay the newspaper clippings about the New Orleans FPCC to Mexico City as “credentials” to convince gullible Mexican consuls to give LHO an immediate visa into Havana. It would have been a giant step for Guy Banister if it had actually worked.


Michael Paine had no clue about any of this. Nor did Ruth. Nor did Marina. Michael Paine was naïve when it came to Lee and Marina Oswald. Yet I find some tinge of guilt in Michael Paine with regard to the JFK saga, namely, I believe that Michael (like George DM, Glover, and Volkmar) was tangentially influential in LHO's decision to shoot at General Walker.


General Walker would never forget the gesture -- and he redoubled his efforts to crush the Liberal political wing -- starting with Dallas. Using friends in local government with direct hooks into Washington DC (namely FBI agent James Hosty, and Secret Service agent Forrest Sorrels). Michael Paine -- quite accidentally -- helped to wake up the sleeping dog. General Walker would track LHO for the rest of 1963, with special attention to his work with Guy Banister, who was Walker's political ally, and fellow Minuteman leader.


Regards,

--Paul

Copyright © 2021 by Paul Trejo. All Rights Reserved.