Institute of Latin American Resources
...According to assassination researcher Dick Russell:
In 1966-67, from residences in Haiti and Dallas, [George] de Mohrenschildt would correspond regularly with the Johnson White House. On file at the LBJ Memorial Library in Austin, Texas, the letters show high level interest in the baron's proposal for establishing an "Institute of Latin American Resources." Replied presidential assistant Arthur C. Perry: "I feel that the President will be interested in having your views in this regard and I shall be pleased to bring them to his attention at the earliest opportunity." ... A State Department memorandum of January 14, 1967, from executive secretary Benjamin H. Read to Walt W. Rostow notes: "The Department's reply to Mr. de Mohrenschildt should be considered a de minimus62 response to his letter of December 27 to the President. A lengthy file in the Office of Special Consular Services clearly indicates that de Mohrenschildt is an unstable and unreliable individual who would not hesitate to misuse or misrepresent even the slightest expression of interest."63Russell does not tell us what "The Department's reply to Mr. de Mohrenschildt" was. It was dated the day before the memo to Rostow, January 13, 1967, from State Department Deputy Assistant Administrator Milton Barall to de Mohrenschildt: "...the United States Agency for International Development would not have an interest in supporting the creation of such an institute in Texas."
Apart from the fact that the proposal was forwarded to the CIA-backed Agency for International Development, why would Rostow be bothered with a memo about this? Despite the first expression of interest, the reply had already been sent and was final in its rejection of de Mohrenschildt's proposal. It is as if Rostow or someone else was contemplating a continued interest in the proposal and had to be warned of potential consequences.
What is also of concern here is that de Mohrenschildt's letter of December 27 proposed placing the institute at Southwest Texas State College, Lyndon Johnson's alma mater. ILAS is just such an institute that was later created at the University of Texas at Austin, in the same complex as the LBJ library and across a breezeway from Harry Ransom's posh new office. And again, the belief that CIA personnel and programs exist there was voiced to [Dallas reporter] Earl Golz by John Stockwell in 1991. It is also worth noting that the golden age of collecting for UT's Latin American collection was during the reign of Harry Ransom. According to UT librarian and former Spanish student John Wheat, the Latin American collection was Ransom's favorite. Nettie Lee Benson, the collection's long-time head librarian, received major funding from and had direct access to Ransom at any time. And ILAS, as we have seen, very likely had financial support from C.B. Smith.
The close proximity to, and involvement in the creation and activities of ILAS of Rostow, de Mohrenschildt, Dulles, and Ransom, who were in just as close proximity to the CIA, is of further concern considering that the CIA had once been greatly angered by the head of Stanford's Institute of Hispanic American and Luso-Brazilian Studies. This institute was one of the first programs of inter-American studies in the U.S. It was started in 1944 by Professor Ronald Hilton, "a tough-minded liberal scholar."64
In October 1960, Dr. Hilton, editor of his institute's prestigious journal, the Hispanic American Report, learned of the CIA's plans to invade Cuba from Guatemala's leading newspaper, La Hora. He published a report that the purpose of the CIA's Retalhuleu training camp was "common knowledge". Hilton's report inspired a November 19 article in The Nation calling the invasion plans a "dangerous and hare-brained project" urging "all U.S. news media" to check the story out. The Nation made it as easy as possible by sending information about the CIA's plans to AP, UPI, and all major news media in New York, including virtually flooding the Times with copies of the reports. On November 20, more than a week after receiving the advance notice, the Times buried a story on page 32 essentially calling these reports "a lot of lies." In their Sunday edition, after the U.S. broke off relations with Cuba in January 1961, the New York Times reported that the final straw was Castro's propaganda offensive about an imminent invasion of Cuba. That same month, after the Los Angeles Times and the St. Louis Post Dispatch confirmed American funding of the base, Time magazine, apparently hedging its bets, reported that a "Mr. B." of the CIA was in charge of the whole operation.65
Despite this whisper of vindication, Dr. Hilton was not popular in Washington or among Stanford's trustees who represented international corporations. After Stanford received a sizable grant from the Ford Foundation, Hilton was pressured not to offend the university's powerful fund raisers -- even if it was just an opinion expressed in an editorial. In 1962, after the CIA's top Cuban invasion planners had been fired and Cuba had become a major problem for the U.S., Ford gave a grant to a Stanford committee formed to plan an international studies program. Heading the committee was Dean Carl Spaeth, former assistant to Nelson Rockefeller in the State Department, and former director of the Ford Foundation's Division of Overseas Activities. After a year of "studies," without explanation to or input from Dr. Hilton, the Hispanic Institute was gutted and assigned mundane responsibilities. When asked how they could do such a thing, Stanford's administration told him: "The administration can do anything it pleases." Hilton resigned, his journal was suspended, and two weeks later the Ford Foundation gave Stanford $550,000 for Latin American studies to those who did not protest what had happened to Hilton and his independent, intellectually respected institute.
According to Ramparts magazine, "This largesse was repeated on every campus where significant efforts on Latin America were taking place."66 Interestingly, these Hilton controversies were taking place while George Wing was a teaching assistant and earning his PhD. in Spanish at the University of California at Berkeley.67
Was de Mohrenschildt's proposal the genesis of UT's institute? Was C.B. Smith involved with de Mohrenschildt in this first proposal? The last of the de Mohrenschildt-to-LBJ letters, dated June 13, 1969, adds fuel to such speculation. It reads, "You possibly remember me and we do have a lot of mutual friends, Barbara and Howard Burris, George Brown and the late Herman Brown....This summer I am not teaching at U.T.A. [The University of Texas at Arlington] and we could drive any time to visit with you." Eighteen months earlier, C.B. Smith had been named a distinguished alumnus of U.T.A.68
The 1969 letter is of further interest with regard to JFK assassination connections to UT. Not only was de Mohrenschildt teaching at a school which was part of the "system" that Harry Ransom oversaw, and one which had given C.B. Smith one of its highest honors, he also shared two particularly interesting mutual friends with Lyndon Johnson: Barbara and Howard Burris. Howard Burris was Vice President Johnson's military representative and an Air Force intelligence officer. His connections to UT and the assassination will be discussed further in this paper.
Edward G. Lansdale
By 1961 Rostow was also working closely with Edward G. Lansdale. Lansdale was an Air Force Major General at the time of his retirement on November 1, 1963. He had an advertising background and extensive counter-insurgency experience in Southeast Asia. Lansdale is credited in many circles with coming up with the idea, single handed, that destroyed the Huk rebellion in the early fifties in the Philippines. The Huk were very superstitious. They believed in vampires. Lansdale got a few dead Huk bodies, put holes in their necks and hung them upside down.69
Like Rostow, Lansdale was a veteran of the OSS. He had served in Vietnam during the Eisenhower administration and had become a close personal friend of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem.70
His advertising background blended well with his expertise: psychological warfare; or psy-ops. There are now manuals on psy-ops and Lansdale is considered the father of that type of warfare.
He was the model for the imperialistic "Colonel Hillandale" in the William Lederer/Eugene Burdick novel The Ugly American; the most celebrated American dark spy.71
During January through April of 1961, Lansdale's overriding motive was to be Ambassador to South Vietnam. Lansdale, by that time, was probably the only American advisor Diem trusted. Diem was very isolated by then. After his first White House meeting with Lansdale on Vietnam, Kennedy had decided to fire Ambassador Elbridge Durbrow. Kennedy would change his mind about this in a month or two.72
Following the firing of Durbrow, Kennedy appointed Frederick E. Nolting. So Lansdale sought to capture the apparatus to formulate, approve and implement Vietnam policy and be the key player in all three stages until a U.S. victory was achieved in Vietnam. It almost worked. The reason it did not, as far as military historian John Newman can tell, is because Dean Rusk threatened to resign if Lansdale got his way. Lansdale's letters from 1964 show that he found out from some of his contacts that Rusk had laid his job on the line.73
As the author of the book JFK and Vietnam, John M. Newman, explained: "Lansdale's a loose cannon on deck. Kennedy liked him, at least initially for a while, but he had big problems. No doubt about it. In the Pentagon, the Pentagon brass didn't like him. Secretary of State Rusk did not like him. However he did have a big patron in Kennedy's inner circle....Walt Rostow! Walt Rostow, the Vietnam guy. And I was able to track this fairly successfully I think. If it weren't for Walt Rostow, Lansdale wouldn't have had a prayer with this crazy plan of his to try and capture this emerging Vietnam policy apparatus."74
So in the first four months of the Kennedy Administration Lansdale sought the ambassadorship and then control of the emerging policy apparatus of Vietnam and failed at both. The only evidence of Rusk's motive is a document released in 1991 by the State Department. It is a document in which Rusk wrote about not trusting Lansdale. He was unsure of Lansdale's loyalties.75
Although he cannot document it, Newman is certain that Lansdale worked for the CIA while wearing an Air Force uniform. One indication of this in Lansdale's private letters and memoranda is that General Curtis Le May, the Air Chief of Staff, seemed to be unable to promote him. Allen Dulles had to be involved in getting Lansdale promoted from colonel to general. And a number of other patterns are apparent such as social events with Charles Cabell. Edward Lansdale and Charles Cabell were very close.76
The end result of these first few months, in essence, is that Lansdale was fired from any position on Vietnam policy. For Edward Lansdale that was a traumatic experience. Vietnam was his primary concern. South Vietnam was his creation. In his book, Newman stopped writing about Lansdale at that point although there was a lot more to him. It involved Cuba and Operation Mongoose and other matters that were not the focus of his book.77
Lansdale had lost something that mattered a great deal to him. In his letters he wrote about going through the experience of being relieved of these responsibilities in Vietnam. Newman describes him as a man whose heart was broken "because he could not play any more in his favorite sandbox." By the end of 1961 Kennedy had put him in charge of Operation Mongoose. He was in charge of an enormous apparatus with tremendous resources, weapons and personnel. Newman, having read the NSC meeting minutes where Kennedy announced Lansdale was now going to be in charge of Mongoose, believes that Kennedy did not appreciate the way Lansdale related to being involved in Vietnam policy.78
With such extreme feelings about his predicament in 1961, Lansdale might have gone any number of ways to rectify his situation. What was he thinking? In what direction and how far would he go? Newman summarized the portion of his book in which he dealt with that question:
Lansdale was not a combat troops man, yet the very first piece of paper ever in the history of the Vietnam war where an American officer recommends a U.S. troop commitment to Vietnam, Lansdale was the one who authors it. It's right in that critical time frame right after the failure at the Bay of Pigs; right before the crucial decision Kennedy has to make on going into Laos. His Vietnam Task Force paper is coming in through the door. The night, the very night that the Joint Chiefs figure out that Kennedy is going to say no on Laos, Lansdale, late at night in the Pentagon, slips in this combat troop proposal in the Vietnam Task Force report. It's not like him. The way I interpret that -- and I may be in error -- the way I interpret that is he understands that the star rising on the horizon is U.S. intervention in Vietnam. And he understands that he has lost his position in the Kennedy administration which has a decidedly different approach. So he switches forces and he joins forces with those planning for intervention. And it was a good decision on his part, was it not? He was there when they arrived. He was on the team.79The Mongoose files of the Senate Church Committee reveal that they wanted to know when and who authorized assassination. The Kennedy Administration had supposedly gotten away from that. It was clear to the committee, however, that they had not. There were plans and resources being devoted to assassinate Castro. So the purpose of the questioning was to find out who, and when it was authorized.80
Lansdale testified that he did it all alone. When asked why, his answer was that during the missile crisis the Russians had changed the terms of reference by putting missiles in Cuba. So Lansdale decided all on his own that he was going to change things and get rid of Castro.
After reading a pre-galley copy of JFK and Vietnam, Daniel Ellsberg called Newman one night very excitedly. Ellsberg had worked with Lansdale and knew him extremely well. He said, "This is the first time I've ever thought that Lansdale might have been involved in the assassination." Ellsberg based this on Lansdale being removed from Vietnam planning and moved to Operation Mongoose.81
By February 1963 Lansdale had no position in Cuban policy and was focusing on Latin America. He was traveling to countries like Bolivia and elsewhere. The U.S. had a lot of personnel in South America under Kennedy. And a lot of them ended up going to Vietnam. According to Newman there is a blind spot as to exactly what they were doing and how many people the U.S. had in Latin America.82
"I can tell you," Newman said, "that in the collateral research that I did, names that I came across, I found a correlation between -- I don't say this is definitive but I got a lot of hits -- the same names of the guys that were running around in Latin America, particularly in Cuban policy, end up in the Far East Division. Very strange coincidence. There were three -- it wasn't just one -- there were several. A neat nexus between the Southeast Asian guys and Cuban guys."83
Lansdale was also spending a lot of time at air bases and other areas in the southern United States; in Florida and in Alabama. Newman recalled from Lansdale's travel records that one of these other areas was some sort of a Cuban-exile camp. The record for that trip included a cover note to the person coordinating it telling him to keep quiet. Lansdale apparently wanted to make sure that no one knew that he was going there.84
There was also an honorary graduation certificate from the sniping school that the U.S. had in Panama. He went there, Newman recalled, in May or April 1963. He was made an honorary graduate there. Lansdale was going to various clandestine and special forces places in the spring and summer of 1963.85
One more event that Newman remembered from the spring 1963 period was that Lansdale was due to retire. And he was extended by Le May, arbitrarily, for another six months or so to November 1, 1963; with no job; no real responsibilities. Fletcher Prouty claims Lansdale was just at a desk by himself.86
In the summer of 1963 there were two interesting events concerning Vietnam. The U.S. had a problem with Diem. The regime would not compromise at all. It went in the opposite direction. Buddhists were killed. They began immolating themselves. The regime still would not relent. The political bottom completely fell out in Saigon.87
Newman said he came across an intriguing article in a local, small magazine from this period. It had a picture of Lansdale and a typical title like, "America's Most Celebrated Spy." It was about a Lansdale trip to Saigon. His travel records, however, indicate that he was not supposed to be in Saigon. This was around July-August 1963.88
The article reported an assassination attempt on Lansdale. The assassins missed and somebody killed the alleged assassin. Then he went to a meeting with Ambassador Lodge. According to Newman, "This is clearly impossible from the record because Lansdale has no authority or position to be involved in Vietnam policy. It would make sense in terms of going back and pleading with Diem and getting Lansdale to do it. Maybe Diem would listen to Lansdale. But I did find a record. He might have been in Saigon." Newman found evidence of a six- or seven-day break in Lansdale's normal activities.89
Among Lansdale's contacts in the last three to four months of Kennedy's life, Newman found "a lot of Spanish names. I found names that were reminiscent of CIA type folks."90
In 1963, Lansdale was Fletcher Prouty's boss. Prouty insists that he was sent to the South Pole by Lansdale to get him out of the way so that he would not witness the events of November 22, 1963. Presumably this was done because if Prouty had been there he would have figured out what was going on. Prouty has claimed that in the photograph of the three tramps walking across Dealey Plaza, the man in a suit with what looks like a wire coming out of his ear and going into his suit coat is Edward Lansdale -- that he recognized the back of his head and his gate. Among Lansdale's letters, John Newman and David Lifton found a slip of paper that has "The Texas Hotel" on it and a phone number in Denton. Lansdale's letters also reveal that he was headed in the direction of Dallas in November 1963.91
Lansdale wrote to a number of friends and associates beginning in September 1963, of his intention to go to Texas in November. There are as many as ten letters, according to Newman, where he described this upcoming trip to two people. One was his son. The other one was General "Hangin' Sam" Williams, an old buddy and McGarr's predecessor in Vietnam. He lived in San Antonio.92
The last piece of paper that Newman found placing Lansdale physically in Washington is dated November 14, 1963. It concerns running errands for his wife. After that there is no record of his whereabouts except for a box of incidentals, which had this piece of paper in it. It has on it "Texas Hotel" and "Denton" and a name and phone number. As Newman said, "That might be from 1949 or it might be 1968 and again it might be November 1963. Because the Texas Hotel is where Kennedy stayed the night before he died, and Denton, Texas is just north here of Dallas, it all fits in. But it certainly is not conclusive."93
Lansdale dropped out of sight at this point. He resurfaced back in Washington in the Food for Peace Program and was soon given a job by Johnson back in Vietnam. He had contacts who got him interviews in the White House. In fact he would be on the ground in Vietnam when U.S. combat troops arrived.94
Lansdale was not the only one whose fortunes were changing now that Kennedy was dead. One of Lansdale's contacts in the White House, no doubt, was his sponsor and "big patron," Walt Rostow, who later resurfaced in a big way himself. According to Newman, "Kennedy got rid of him out of the White House after the first year; sent him packing over to the State Department."95 Back in the White House under Kennedy's successor, Rostow moved to solidify his position. As things heated up in Vietnam,
Johnson protected himself from contrary arguments and discussions by dismissing the doubters from his staff. First McGeorge Bundy left. Then George Ball. Then Bill Moyers. The emphasis shifted to Walt Rostow, who believed that Johnson was doing the right thing in Vietnam; soon Rostow became the man who screened what the President heard and saw.
Under Rostow's regime, the most optimistic news was packaged and sent to the President with covering notes which said such things as, "This will give confirmation to the statement which the President so wisely made to the Congressional leadership yesterday."96
It was, most likely, only because Johnson had selected the man "who screened what the President heard and saw" that Johnson referred to Rostow as having "the most important job in the White House, aside from the President." Johnson gave credit for one crucial decision to Walt's brother, however. Eugene Victor Debs Rostow gave Johnson the idea for the Warren Commission the day Oswald died.97
Howard Lay Burris
George de Mohrenschildt's mutual friends with Lyndon Johnson, Barbara and Howard Burris, represent such significant ties between the political, economic, cultural and academic elites in Texas and the assassination of President Kennedy that they tax one's ability to call it a coincidence. The implications of their ties as they relate to the UT Rambler can be especially appreciated in their full context.
As previously mentioned, Howard Burris was Vice President Johnson's military representative and an Air Force intelligence officer. He is also much more.98
John Newman first learned of Howard Burris in the course of researching his book, JFK and Vietnam. Newman connected Burris with a pattern of gross deceptions involving battlefield statistics that took place in 1962. Kennedy and McNamara were being lied to while Johnson was being given the truth through a secret back-channel. The end point of that secret back-channel was Howard Burris. Burris would write the final memoranda that Johnson received concerning combat intelligence. Newman had discovered a foreign policy situation where the President and the Vice President were getting briefed in opposite terms. It is comparable to a hypothetical situation in which, during Operation Desert Storm, George Bush is lied to and Dan Quayle gets the truth about the status of the U.S. led coalition forces in the Persian Gulf.99
"I often get asked," Newman said, "about what was the exact back-channel. How did it function? How did it get there? And the best I can determine from ground zero in Vietnam all the way back to the Vice President's desk is a chain of Air Force intelligence officers all the way to Burris."100
In May 1961, during the Johnson trip to Vietnam, Burris was being rehearsed on how to control LBJ in the context of that trip. He was told what he could say or could not say to the vice president; which is amazing because ostensibly he works for the vice president. No one should be able to tell an Air Force colonel what he can and cannot tell to a vice president. The question is:
Who is telling him? The answer is the boys in the woodwork.
There is another time period in Newman's book which deals with the back-channel to LBJ. Newman had long discussions with Burris about where he got this.
And the answer was the boys in the woodwork. And the question was: Who are the boys in the woodwork? And the answer was: "Well I'd rather not really say and bring all of that up. You, I know, you're one of them." Alright, I'm military, I also have an intelligence background. Peter Dale Scott and I have been working very closely on a number of issues. He's writing a book as a matter of fact. He was assuming for a while that it was military. And I said, "Peter, it may not be that. It may be Langley."
He said, "Why do you say that?" Well there's one more piece. Burris told me that later on, "McCone put a stop to what I was getting from him." This was relating to the combat intelligence. McCone was directing CIA. And all of the clues I got out of this fellow on who his contacts were -- my own interpretation was that they were in fact CIA. I don't know that for sure.101
Information about Burris originally began to surface with the book The Senator Must Die by Robert Morrow. Morrow wrote about two colonels whom he did not name. In 1977 a young man was hitchhiking in Baltimore who had a story he wanted to tell about his father's involvement in the Kennedy assassination. Robert Morrow happened to pick him up.102
The young man learned that Morrow had investigated aspects of the JFK assassination. He told Morrow a story about his father, a former Air Force intelligence officer, who was involved in the Kennedy assassination. The young man had witnessed his father, who was very close to Lyndon Johnson, taking money to Haiti during 1963. Not only did he see the money he heard the telephone conversations as well.103
Not really believing him, Morrow put the story out of his mind -- until the Colonel, the young man's father, went to his son's girlfriend and confessed. He said, "Everything my son told you (to the girlfriend and to Morrow) is true. Can you get me immunity from the House Select Committee?" This conversation took place in 1977.104
The Colonel admitted it. And this offer to testify if given immunity was given to Committee Chairman Louis Stokes in 1978. Assassination researcher Gus Russo reportedly saw the affidavit and spoke to the people involved. But when Robert Morrow gave the affidavit to the HSCA it ended there. The HSCA did not want to deal with it.105
The names of these colonels aren't given in the book. Morrow gives them the code names "Intellfirst" and "SIO" (First Intelligence Officer and Second Intelligence Officer). There are a few clues given in the book. He gives a couple of Air Force assignment clues in Europe; what they had done in the forties and fifties. They are at the top of the military intelligence ladder. They are connected to the CIA.106
Following Morrow's clues, Russo discovered their identities. He then located one of the colonels -- the one who wanted to go to the HSCA, "Intellfirst." Russo and Jim Marrs and another researcher went to meet "Intellfirst" at his home in Florida. He is eighty years old. They said they were researching the Johnson Administration and that they knew he was on Johnson's Inaugural Committee.107
"Intellfirst" bought their story and invited them in. They got his whole biography from him and his military record. Russo and Marrs did not bring up the subject of Kennedy but "Intellfirst" did and he talked about how he hates the Kennedys. He gave them his whole background.108
The first thing he wanted to talk about was his good friend Howard Burris. They were on the Inauguration Committee together. They worked for Air Force intelligence and the CIA. He said they were CIA all the time. They ran around the world. They were friends with Charles Cabell.109
"Intellfirst" was air attache in Hong Kong. He was in Rumania. He was in France. He retired from the military and worked for Martin Marietta in the early sixties selling defense contracts to his former Air Force superiors. And all the while his closest buddy was Howard Burris. That is the first name he mentioned to Russo and Marrs.110
When he worked for Martin Marietta he was the liaison to NATO. This was during the late fifties and early sixties when they bought the Jupiter missiles to put in Turkey. Kennedy had wanted the missiles removed from Turkey. The very people who defied Kennedy's orders were this colonel's NATO clients -- the ones to whom he was selling the missiles. They were the ones who did not listen to Kennedy when he ordered them to keep these missiles out. They were all against Kennedy.111
When he was selling the missiles for Martin Marietta after he retired he had another buddy, a Colonel Anderson, who was with NATO in Europe. "Intellfirst" admitted that they were drinking champagne in Paris on the day Kennedy was assassinated. They were toasting Kennedy's death. He admitted all of this to Russo and Marrs. The girlfriend of the son of "Intellfirst" went to the HSCA with this story and it died there.112
Armed with this information Russo went back home to verify the colonel's history. Marrs did the same and they learned more about him. Russo then started reading about Howard Burris. He discovered Burris was Air Force intelligence. He is very close friends with Director of Central Intelligence Richard Helms. He is from Texas and has oil money. Russo also learned that Howard Burris is in George de Mohrenschildt's address book four times. Next to one of the entries there is a slash. It says, "Howard Burris / Haiti."113
"Intellfirst" is so high up in intelligence that reporters refer to him for special sound bites and for blurbs for articles on occasion. His name is not commonly known but people in the business have reason to have heard of him.114
The critical thing for Gus Russo was that "Intellfirst" admitted what his son said was true and offered to talk to Congress. And there are other coincidences like de Mohrenschildt's phone book. Not only was de Mohrenschildt writing to LBJ in the spring of 1963 and for years after, so was "Intellfirst." According to Russo there are many of his letters at the LBJ Library. They all knew each other. And they were all tied to this NATO network who was defying Kennedy.115
Russo went back to Florida to do more research into this and to look for the son. What he found instead was that the son had possibly been murdered. He was found on the streets of Florida City naked and curled up in the embryo position as if he had been tossed aside. The official medical report said his blood alcohol level was one-point-one which is not high enough to kill a man who is six-foot-four; or even enough to cause him to pass out. It was speculated that he choked on his own vomit although there was no evidence of that. At age thirty-eight he apparently just died. He was cremated two days later by his father, "Intellfirst." Although they have a family plot in Virginia he cremated his only son who was telling everybody his father killed Kennedy.116
Colonel Howard Burris retired in 1964 and has remained in private business and civilian life. Some personal information was learned from his resume (obtained by researcher Larry Haapanen from the LBJ Library), and a record from researcher Mary Ferrell's files. Burris was born near San Antonio on April 26, 1918 (Ferrell indicates April 18, 1926). He graduated from West Point in 1942. During World War II he commanded bomber units in England and France during two combat tours from 1943 to 1945. Ferrell lists him as "Deputy Commanding Officer" of the 386th Bombardment Bomber Group Ninth Air Force. From 1945 to 1949, Burris was Headquarters Commandant for the Continental Air Command; was assigned to staff support at the United Nations; and was involved in a "Special Mission to Government of Mexico." From 1950 to 1952 he was aide to Air Force Secretary Finletter, and became the executive officer to Air Force Secretary Talbott in 1953. From 1954 to 1957 he was attache to the U.S. Embassy in Switzerland. From 1957 to 1960 he served as International Liaison Officer, Department of the Air Force and was assigned to a special mission to Hungary, Poland, and the Soviet Union (1959). In 1961 he became Vice President Johnson's assistant for national security affairs. His foreign decorations were the Croix de Guerre (with Silver Star) from France; the Royal Order of the Sword from Sweden; and the Medal of Merit from Brazil.117 According to the record from Mary Ferrell's files:
Colonel Burris was supposedly original case officer for Nosenko. When Nosenko defected, Burris was called back to Switzerland. He was intelligence officer who ran Nosenko in Switzerland in Jan. 1964.118
Other sources indicate that Burris was in business with Nosenko's case officer.
In an article written in 1991, Robert Morrow referred to an Air Force colonel who sounds like Intellfirst and to his "counterpart" who is also a colonel. This counterpart, after retiring, set up a firm in Paris, France as a cover for intelligence operations. In this firm, Morrow writes, "The colonel's counterpart had a partner who just so happened to be the case officer of Yuri Noshenko [sic], the famous Russian defector who, in 1964, made overtures to our embassy in Geneva, Switzerland about Lee Harvey Oswald working for the Russians."
Larry Haapanen, in a letter to this author, wrote, "As far as I know, the only person who would be so described as Nosenko's case officer would be Tenant Bagley, [sic] who is mentioned in various published accounts of the Nosenko affair."119
[Tennent Harrington "Pete" Bagley] See also Molehunt; Encyclopedia of the CIA:
His father was Admiral David Worth Bagley, and his mother, Mary Louise Harrington Bagley,was a niece of Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy. Both of Harrington’s brothers also attained the rank of admiral. Bagley joined the Marines in 1943 and was honorably discharged at the rank of ﬁrst lieutenant in 1946. The following year, he attended the University of Southern California. He then studied political science at the University of Geneva (Switzerland), earning a bachelor’s degree in 1948 and a Ph.D. in 1951. After completing his studies, Bagley joined the CIA.He held a number of posts in the Agency, including service as a political ofﬁcer at the U.S. embassies in Vienna, Austria (1951–52) and Bern, Switzerland (1958–61). He also held the posts of deputy chief of the Soviet Bloc Division in the Agency’s CLANDESTINE SERVICE.
For the purposes of this paper, any involvement Burris may have had with Yuri Nosenko will sufficiently speak for itself. What will be emphasized here is the possible significance of Burris' involvement with European Theater bombing, the Office of Secretary of the Air Force, and his time spent in Switzerland as it pertains to the Kennedy assassination and UT.
Enemy Objectives Unit
Walt Rostow's primary duty, as an economist in the London-based economic subdivision within the prestigious Research and Analysis Branch of the OSS, was target selection for the massive strategic bombing campaign against Germany. These economists, who called themselves the Enemy Objectives Unit (EOU), spawned a renegade group that included Rostow. They differed greatly with the others in the EOU and with their commanders over targeting strategy. Known as the "oily boys" because of their preference for petroleum, oil and lubricant (POL) targets over rail system targets, they planned and launched a covert psychological war known as "Operation Octopus" against their own commanders to force the acceptance of POL targeting.120 The operation was a success and began a pattern of renegade behavior throughout Rostow's career as well as a long friendship between Rostow and fellow oily boy, future Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, Charles P. Cabell, Jr.121
As with Burris, Switzerland was a very special place for Walt Rostow. In 1947 he married Elspeth Vaughn Davies, a Barnard College girl he met in pre-war Geneva.122 That same year he became assistant to the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), a U.N. agency located in Geneva Switzerland. In 1949 he left the ECE and was replaced there by his brother Eugene. It was Eugene Victor Debs Rostow to whom President Johnson credited the idea of appointing the Warren Commission.123
Switzerland was also a special place for Allen Dulles. From December 1942 until the end of the war he was head of U.S. intelligence in Switzerland. That same month he began a long love affair and professional relationship with Mary Bancroft, who was a life-long friend of Michael Paine's parents.124 Michael's wife is Ruth Paine, to whom Lee Oswald and Roger Craig said the Dealey Plaza Rambler belonged. This paper will further explore the Bancroft-Paine-Dulles relationship in the context of the Dealey Plaza Rambler and the UT Rambler.
As we have already seen, Harry Ransom had a special relationship with Air Force intelligence and the European Theater125 and with the Office of Secretary of the Air Force. It is quite probable that Ransom not only knew Rostow at Yale but, during the war, provided him with editorial intelligence reports on the results of POL bombing missions undertaken by Howard Burris.
Currently Burris owns several corporations, one of which has to do with high-speed rail technology.126 He has oil leases on two continents including leases in Iran.127
His son, Howard Lay Burris, Jr. [called Briton, Havard Baris] was married for a while to Princess Shahrazad Pahlbod, the niece of the late Shah of Iran -- attesting to the closeness of his father's relationship with former CIA director and former ambassador to Iran Richard Helms, who himself was a life-long friend of the late Shah. When they divorced in 1982 it was reported that "Everybody's still pally, in the Royal Manner."128
The Shah of Iran, Muhammad Reza Pahlevi, took Iran's government back from the Iranian Nationalist Movement led by Muhammad Mussadegh in a CIA coup called Operation Ajax. "The operation was essentially formulated by the Dulles brothers, working together, on June 25, 1953, at a meeting in John Foster Dulles' office in the State Department." It was done by arranging the disappearance of Mussadegh's powerful political supporters and hiring paid demonstrators to march against Mussadegh; orchestrated by Richard Helms.129 Chosen by the CIA to run the country for the Shah was General Fazlollah Zahedi, a suspected pro-Nazi. Mussadegh's main threat was to the profits of U.S. and British oil companies in Iran.130
According to Robert Morrow,
The business of putting the Shah back in power and the oil wells back into the hands of the western powers was handed over to the CIA and Kermit "Kim" Roosevelt, who headed its Middle East section. Roosevelt was to be Richard Helm's original case officer.
Helms' career advanced rapidly. He was brought into the CIA fold to take over the Office of Strategic Operations (OSO). In those days the OSO was the group responsible for perfecting the Agency's direct espionage and other esoteric activities such as assassination. One of OSO's first assignments was to overthrow Mohammed Mossadeq....
After Mossadeq fell from grace, Roosevelt made an enemy of OSO chief Helms. He started to feel sorry for the deposed leader after he had done a three-year stint in prison. Roosevelt arranged for Mossadeq's release with a comfortable pension! However, Mossadeq died soon afterward, a death engineered by Helms.131
Howard Burris, Jr. currently presides over long-held family business interests in Austin. Howard Burris, Sr. purchased "property from Governor Beauford Jester, who died in office in 1949. The governor had planned to build a homesite on the ranch." This land is now owned by Jester Land Management (JLM) and has become the exclusive Jester residential development in northwest Austin. Howard Burris, Jr., president of Burris and Company, bought the assets of JLM in February 1988 from his father's firm, Jester Development Company.132
Colonel Burris' wife, Barbara J. Burris, is the daughter of Governor Jester.133 In a news story that appeared the day after Kennedy was assassinated Texans were reminded of the late Governor's posthumous link to the assassination: Under the headline, "Gov. Connally Keeps Power" it explained, "No similar circumstance has occurred in Texas history. The only time a lieutenant governor succeeded to the governorship was on the death of Gov. Beauford A. [sic] Jester July 11, 1949. Allan Shivers, then lieutenant governor, automatically moved up to the governor's office."134 Carl J. Eckhardt adds, "Governor Jester was the first Texas governor to die in office. He died on July 11, 1949 [at age fifty-six] while aboard a train bound for Galveston. He was interred in Oakwood Cemetery in Corsicana, Texas."135 Few families can claim to have been as close to the deaths of two U.S. chief executives as the Burris family. And since, as John Newman and Gus Russo have shown, they possibly benefited from the death of President Kennedy, two questions are raised: How did Alan Shivers come to be lieutenant governor? And how did Governor Jester die? These questions become more important given the fact, as John Newman has reported, Burris revealed, "Johnson knew -- was sure [in 1963] -- he was going to be dropped from the ticket."136
In the February 9, 1993 PBS Frontline broadcast, "The Secret File on J. Edgar Hoover", eyewitness Evelyn Lincoln revealed for the first time the reason Kennedy put LBJ on the ticket at the 1960 convention: J. Edgar Hoover and Lyndon Johnson blackmailed Kennedy into doing it by threatening to reveal his sexual activities.
During the Dallas filming of the movie JFK, an aeronautical engineer named Ron Ellison came to the Assassination Information Center and said he had known LBJ's nephew Sam Johnson, Jr. Ellison claimed that during a meeting with Sam at a Houston hotel in October 1962, he (Ellison) criticized LBJ's political savvy for becoming vice president. Sam's response was that the reason LBJ did it was because JFK will die in office.137
Having been forced to take LBJ as vice president, the only recourse Kennedy may have had in removing him from the 1964 ticket, was to expose Johnson's dirty dealings with the likes of Bobby Baker and Billy Sol Estes.138 Such exposure would prevent Johnson from assuming power even by force -- the probability of which Kennedy was well aware considering he wanted the movie Seven Days in May made "as a warning to the nation."139
A closer look at Governor Jester's daughter sheds more light on these questions. A Nexus search for the name Barbara Burris140 revealed a Barbara J. Burris who was press secretary to Representative Dante Fascell (D, FL) of Miami. She is also a fund raiser and supporter of the Cuban American National Foundation run by Jose S. Sorzano. The chairman of the foundation is Jorge L. Mas Canosa.141 There is also a Barbara J. Burris who was a childhood friend of famed concert pianist Van Cliburn and very involved in the Van Cliburn competition in Ft. Worth. Another "early booster and close friend" of Van Cliburn's was wealthy Dallas oil man David Harold Byrd,142 the owner of the Texas School Book Depository Building.143 The significance of this to UT and the JFK assassination will be explored further in this paper.
Beyond this paper, however, another matter begs to be investigated. Given the relationship between Barbara J. Burris and Brigade 2506 veteran Jorge Mas Canosa, the question arises anew concerning the origin of the name Barbara J. for the infamous Bay of Pigs troopship. As with the Burris name, perhaps the Jester name is also well known in clandestine histories.
62. Part of a Latin phrase meaning "unconcerned with this trivial matter."
63. "De Mohrenschildt -- LBJ White House letters: December 27, 1966, and January 6, 1967" respectively, cited in Russell, The Man Who Knew Too Much, pp. 271, 759.
64. Warren Hinckle with William Turner, The Fish is Red, (NY: Harper & Row, 1981), pp. 67-69; republished as Deadly Secrets, Thunder's Mouth Press, 1992; David Horowitz, Ramparts magazine, Oct. 1969, pp. 39-40.
65. Hinckle with Turner, The Fish is Red, pp. 67-69.
66. David Horowitz, Ramparts, Oct. 1969, pp. 39-40.
67. George Gordon Wing, Octavio Paz: Poetry, Politics, and the Myth of the Mexican, doctoral dissertation, University of California at Berkeley, Mar. 3, 1961, p. 3; Biographical information obtained from UT's Spanish and Portuguese Department.
68. The University of Texas at Arlington, "C.B. Smith, Sr., October 24, 1967."
69. Unpublished Transcript: John M. Newman with Gus Russo, "Unscheduled Workshop on Major General Edward G. Lansdale, Colonel Howard L. Burris and Air Force Intelligence Connections to the Kennedy Assassination," Second Annual Assassination Symposium on John F. Kennedy, Hyatt Regency Hotel at Reunion Square, Dallas, Tx., Oct. 24, 1992, p. 1.
70. John M. Newman, JFK and Vietnam, (NY: Warner Books, 1992), p. 3.
71. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, p. 1.
72. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, p. 3.
73. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, p. 3.
74. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, p. 14.
75. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, p. 3.
76. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, pp. 3-4.
77. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, p. 4.
78. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, p. 4.
79. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, pp. 13-14.
80. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, p. 5.
81. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, pp. 4-5.
82. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, p. 5.
83. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, p. 27.
84. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, p. 8.
85. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, p. 8.
86. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, p. 8.
87. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, p. 8.
88. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, p. 9.
89. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, pp. 9-10.
90. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, p. 10.
91. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, p. 2; Stone, JFK: The Book of the Film, pp. 182-183.
92. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, p. 11; Stone, JFK: The Book of the Film, p. 183.
93. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, pp. 11-12.
94. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, p. 12.
95. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, p. 32; David Halberstam, The Best and the Brightest, (NY: Penguin, 1972), pp. 159-99; Edward B. Claflin, ed., JFK Wants to Know: Memos from the President's Office, 1961-1963, (NY: William Morrow, 1991), p. 58; Cecil B. Currey, Edward Lansdale: The Unquiet American, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1988), p. 395, 14n.
96. Doris Kearns, Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream, (NY: Harper & Row, 1976), p. 320.
97. "Scholar Who's No. 2 at the White House," Business Week, Feb. 25, 1967, cited in Gill, The Ordeal of Otto Otepka, p. 21; Lyndon Baines Johnson, The Vantage Point: Perspectives of the Presidency, 1963-1969, (NY: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1971), p. 26.
98. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, pp. 1, 14.
99. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, p. 15.
100. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, p. 26.
101. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, pp. 24-25.
102. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, pp. 15-16.
103. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, p. 16.
104. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, p. 16.
105. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, p. 16.
106. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, pp. 16-17
107. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, p. 17.
108. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, pp. 17-19.
109. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, pp. 17-19.
110. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, pp. 17-19.
111. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, pp. 17-19.
112. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, pp. 17-19.
113. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, p. 19.
114. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, p. 21.
115. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, p. 21.
116. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, pp. 21-22.
117. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, pp. 32-33; Biographic Data, Howard Lay Burris, LBJ Library; Mary Ferrell Database record, "Howard Lay Burris," obtained by this author from Gordon Winslow.
118. Mary Ferrell Database record, "Howard Lay Burris,".
119. Robert Morrow, "The Kennedy Cover Up Continued," EastSide Weekend newsmagazine, Apr. 25-May 1, 1991, pp. 1-3; Larry Haapanen, Letter to Richard Bartholomew, Jul. 27, 1993.
120. Barry M. Katz, Foreign Intelligence, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, 1989), p. 97-115, 120.
121. Walt W. Rostow, Pre-invasion Bombing Strategy: General Eisenhower's Decision of March 25, 1944, (Austin, TX: The University of Texas Press, 1981), pp. 32, 45.
122. Gill, p. 92.
123. Gill, pp. 92-98; Johnson, The Vantage Point, p. 26.
124. Mary Bancroft, Autobiography of a Spy, (NY: William Morrow, 1983), pp. 54, 128-31.
125. Harry Huntt Ransom, "Notes for an Epitaph: Rise and Fall of the Luftwaffe" (Air Force Reprint, 32 pp.), cited in "Bibliography of Harry Huntt Ransom," p. 1.
126. A Texas grassroots organization called DERAIL is currently fighting powerful interests which has included John Connally and Ben Barnes. These special interests would use the idea of high-speed rail to create a boondoggle to enrich themselves at taxpayers' expense.
127. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, p. 33.
128. Style section, The Washington Post, Mar. 17, 1982; Princess Ashraf Pahlavi, Faces in a Mirror, (NY: Prentice Hall, 1989), cited in Robert Morrow, The Senator Must Die, (Santa Monica, CA: Roundtable, 1988), p. 11n.
129. Morrow, The Senator Must Die, p. 10.
130. Ranelagh, The Agency, p. 261-62.
131. Morrow, The Senator Must Die, p. 10.
132. John MacDougall, "Not Jester Estates", Austin Business Journal, Jun. 26, 1989.
133. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, p. 33.
134. San Antonio Express News, Nov. 23, 1963, p. 16A, col. 4.
135. Eckhardt, One Hundred Faithful..., p. 51.
136. Unpublished Transcript: Newman with Russo, p. 33.
137. Interview: Sept. 20, 1991. Daryl Howard, Assassination Information Center.
138. Kirk Wilson, Texas Unsolved Mysteries, (NY: Carroll & Graf, 1990), p. 99.
139. Arthur Schlesinger, The Imperial Presidency, pp. 198, 417, cited in Robert Sam Anson, They've Killed the President, (NY: Bantam, 1975), p. 280.
140. In January 1993, while going through old notes, this paper's author noticed a coincidence involving an incident that meant nothing at the time it occurred. A resume that came to UT Publications on April 16, 1991, long before this author had ever heard of the name Burris, included the reference, "Barbara Burris/de la Burdé Partnerships-Strategic Land Investments. Roger de la Burdé, Investor/Collector, Windsor, Powhatan, VA 23139. (804) 379-3674." A quick search of Nexis led to the belief that this Barbara Burris was either the wife or a daughter of Colonel Howard Burris. Nexis also revealed that Roger de la Burdé was murdered in March 1992. Charged with the crime was his girlfriend, Beverly Ann Monroe. The resume was that of a woman in her early thirties who had relatives in Austin and was checking the job market there. No notation of her name was made by this author, however.
141. "Jorge Mas still says that the man he hates most after Fidel Castro is John F. Kennedy." For more on Mas Canosa, his links to Operation 40 veterans Felix Rodriguez and Luis Posada, and his relationship with Dante Fascell, see "Who is Jorge Mas Canosa?", Esquire, Jan. 1993, pp. 86-89, 119-122. Its author is former HSCA investigator Gaeton Fonzi. Operation 40 was under the CIA's ZR/RIFLE assassination project umbrella.
142. David Harold Byrd, I'm an Endangered Species, (Houston, TX: Pacesetter, 1978), p. 39.
See also "Roger and Me" by Richard Bartholomew.
O'WIGHTON DELK SIMPSON
San Antonio Express and News -July 16, 1967
Former White House assistant, Col. Howard Burris, now a Washington businessman, related at columnist Bill White's party the other day how a group of American businessmen had been given the A-l treatment by Nasser just three weeks before the outbreak of hostilities with Israel. The Egyptian president invited the group at his expense all the way from the United Slates to Egypt, took care of all expenses portal to portal, plush hotel suites, cars, chauffeurs, charming polished hostesses, all in the interest of getting them to invest in Egypt. He charmed them with his frankness in explaining the needs of his people and his economic problems and explained that Americans didn't understand that there were times when he had to take positive action to maintain his position as a leader.Since he was bound to know that his closing of the Gulf of Aqaba was certain to stir up anti-Egyptian repercussions in America, Howard thinks it unlikely that Nasser had any notion of what was ahead then. He left them with the impression just the opposite of that of a man about lo launch an international crisis; so the entire group remains mystified about it all.
The Whites' party was for retiring Greek Ambassador and Mrs. Alexander Matsas who are leaving the post because of his ill health. Said Ambassador Matsas, who is en route to Switzerland for two months of rest, This is a good year to go to Greece—not many tourists and no strikes.
American Ambassador to Greece and Mrs. Phillips Talbot were there and he said that tourism is down due to the recent crisis in Greece and the Middle East. It's probably a bargain year for charter yachts !f you want to tour the Greek isles. Secretary of the Treasury Joe Fowler revealed that if nothing unforeseen prevents it he will leave this week for that famed stag summer institution in California known as the Bohemian Grove.
"You don't get a rest," said Joe, who turned down an invitation to speak there this lime, "but each time I go I
ache afterwards from laughing." If you ask me, if there is one fellow who needs laughter it is the one in
charge of trying to balance the budget.