The Umbrella Man
The JFK assassination was a carefully planned operation, and the disino smoke screen started before Kennedy was in the ground. Most people have the impression Mark Lane is a teller of truth on this issue, but I know better.
Lane was posted to Army Intelligence during WWII, a theater of operations controlled by Allen Dulles, who went on to construct the CIA and run it—until Kennedy fired him. Lane rushed to Dallas to represent Oswald pro bono and soon found himself representing his widow, certainly a strategic position for any spook, and a position from which Lane dug some rabbit holes mined with time bombs.
Rush to Judgment was a confusing mess and even though Lane seemed to know immediately the CIA was behind the event, he never named any major perpetrator, instead focusing singular attention on E. Howard Hunt, a propaganda expert and not an assassin. Lane’s famous lawsuit against Hunt (for which he was paid around $5 million by the Liberty Lobby) proved nothing except Hunt could have been in Dallas that day. Lane could have gone after one of the central figures behind the murder, like William Harvey or David Morales or Ted Shackley, and climbed the ladder of power from there, but never tried.
I hope you realize Liberty Lobby is an obvious disinfo op that claims the Rothschilds run the world, a rabbit hole the radical right has been perfecting for centuries. Which isn’t to say that they don’t control enormous resources—obviously they do—but their influence is exaggerated to take attention off the oligarchies of North America and Europe, most of whom don’t even allow Jews in their private clubs.
After the assassination, when bands of citizen researchers began coalescing around Penn Jones’ suspicions of a military intelligence operation, Richard Sprague ran a tiny fledgling computer magazine. Sprague was the first to publish photos of the three tramps, an event that occurred just as the Watergate scandal was breaking. Howard Hunt had just been arrested and Nixon was saying Hunt’s arrest might open up “the Bay of Pigs,” his code for the JFK assassination. Helms angrily fired back that Watergate had “nothing to do with the Bay of Pigs.”
Meanwhile, a signed memo by CIA counterintelligence chief James Angleton was published by Liberty Lobby claiming Angleton was concerned how the CIA was going to explain Hunt’s presence in Dallas. (Like Angleton wrote incriminating memos and had them leaked? Not very likely. Angleton did nothing by accident. The memo was an obvious plant to put heat on Hunt and deflect away from Angleton and Harvey.) Suddenly, Hunt was falsely identified as one of the three tramps, and links from JFK to Watergate exploded. Sprague immediately starts promoting a new concept: the umbrella man was the shooter.
You can see umbrella man in the photo above taken seconds before the assassination. He stands at the entrance of the kill zone and opens his umbrella just as Kennedy arrives and pumps the umbrella to draw attention to it. He became the greatest mystery of the assassination and many researchers assumed he was signalling shooters to commence firing. A darker-skinned man (perhaps Cuban) standing with umbrella man appears to hold a walkie-talkie.
Sprague even made a diagram showing how the umbrella weapon supposedly worked. You’d be surprised how many serious researchers got pulled down into this rabbit hole. Concerns over the umbrella assassin got so intense that when Congress finally opened hearings on the assassinations, they made a public plea for umbrella man to step forward, and he did.
Turns out his name was Louie Steven Witt (three names almost seems essential for players in this drama) and he even brought the actual umbrella with him to the Capitol. He claimed he waved it as a protest symbol connecting England’s appeasement of Hitler with JFK’s appeasement of the Soviets. Witt was asked to open the umbrella so the Committee could be sure it didn’t contain an advanced sort of weaponry.
Witt worked at the Rio Grande National Insurance Company, located one block north in the Rio Grande Life Building, 251 N. Field Street, a 19-story structure that included offices for military intelligence and the Secret Service. There’s no evidence to back up his claim an umbrella was ever a symbol of English appeasement of the Nazis. In retrospect, Witt’s story doesn’t pass the smell test, and the diversion into the absurd umbrella-as-weapon story so easily debunked it has all the markings of a counterintelligence misdirection op to confuse people about Witt’s real role.
Today, the umbrella-as-weapon story is trotted out periodically to show how absurd JFK conspiracy theories are. (By the way, Richard E. Sprague, the one who invented this hoax, became attached to every serious investigation, from Garrison to the House Committee and should not to be confused with Richard A. Sprague who resigned as chief counsel for the Congressional investigation early on.)
But here’s the real story: Hunt was floated as a patsy by Angleton simply because Hunt knew nothing. That’s what’s called “a backstop” in counterintelligence. Once Garrison uncovered the tramp photos, it should have led to the real people: Chauncey Holt, Charles Harrelson and Charles Rogers, in which case the coverup might have unraveled quick, but instead Hunt is falsely tied in with the tramps, and then more Hunt connections are seeded to strengthened the case against him.
On his deathbed, Hunt finally came clean and pinned the assassination on Harvey, Shackley and Morales, the executive crew from JM/WAVE, the same team assembled to kill Castro diverted to kill Kennedy after Kennedy disbanded their operations.
And that’s the real problem with spooks. After they take power, you can’t really control them and you certainly can’t fire them because Kennedy tried that and look where it got him.