Posts Tagged ‘Three Tramps’
Marita Lorenz was 19 when she first met Fidel Castro, having just arrived in Cuba from her homeland in Germany. She soon became Castro’s lover and met an American named Frank Forini who was working with Castro. Forini’s comrade-in-arms E. Howard Hunt wrote an espionage book detailing Forini’s true life exploits as a spook using “Sturgis” as his cover name. Within a few years, Forini legally changed his name to Sturgis.
Sturgis had an interesting life, having been a Marine and served in Army intelligence, been a policeman, then become a pilot, and he’d also run some bars and nightclubs in his hometown in Virginia. Eventually, Sturgis became a full-time spook working with the CIA and claimed to have helped trained Fidel and Che’s 400 initial troops, but later turned against them after they went Communistic. Pretty soon Sturgis and Lorenz were plotting how to poison or blow up Castro with a cigar filled with TNT.
Sturgis was involved in Operation 40, a CIA assassination squad, and certainly knew some details of the Kennedy assassination, as did Lorenz. However, both were played by the CIA and used as counterintelligence tools to seed rabbit holes and misdirections. Although Sturgis was initially identified as one of the three tramps, along with Hunt, this turned out to me an immense rabbit hole. Decades would pass before researchers began to fathom the truth. Hunt and Sturgis were used as backstops.
But after Sturgis was caught at the Watergate complex and convicted, he sued the Committee to Re-elect President and the case was settled out-of-court. Sturgis believed he was acting on orders from the White House in a matter of deep national security, looking for evidence involving the JFK assassination supposedly held in a safe by the heads of the Democratic Party. According to Sturgis, this evidence had been collected by Cuban spooks investigating the case for Castro.
One of the major misdirections employed with the JFK operation had been to blame the assassination on Castro, which is why the designated patsy was sheep-dipped as a Castro supporter who’d just recently visited the Cuban embassy in Mexico. Sturgis was part of the plan leaking info pointing towards Castro, but he also became a major suspect in the case himself.
Apparently, Sturgis was in Miami that day, or at least he had two family members willing to swear to that alibi. I believe he probably was. Hunt had been brought into Dallas, but I don’t believe he played a major role, and he certainly wasn’t an assassin, as he was only involved in propaganda. On his deathbed, Hunt would finally assert the truth: JFK was killed by the same CIA team initially formed to kill Castro, a team headed by William Harvey. But there were probably several teams put together for this mission, and it was very clever to blame the hit on Sturgis because his team likely wasn’t used. I suspect both Sturgis and Hunt were floated as patsies by James Angleton, who engineered the coverup. Oswald was likely an undercover agent for Angleton, as were many major players in this drama.
Of course, Hunt wants to blame the JFK hit on LBJ, which is ridiculous. Angleton was a Yale grad and very close to Allen Dulles and the Rockefellers, and this Eastern Establishment does not take orders from a corrupt Texas politician like LBJ, who had enough secrets he could easily be blackmailed or paid off in cash.
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.
Thanks to Lee Bowers, an alert railroad employee with an unobstructed view of Dealey Plaza during the JFK assassination, three men fleeing the scene and hiding in a boxcar in the train yards were picked up and escorted to the nearest police facility, where they were apparently released without being photographed or fingerprinted, an unexplained oversight that should have raised numerous red flags immediately. Bowers would later testify that he heard three shots, one coming from the grassy knoll and two from the mouth of the triple underpass. Bowers died a few years later, before public awareness of the three suspicious men emerged. The men are not mentioned anywhere in the Warren Commission Report, although seven pictures were taken of them by three different photographers. (Similarly, the 9/11 Commission ignored the bizarre collapse of Building 7.)
Anyone with knowledge of law enforcement procedures recognizes something is amiss with these policemen, who seem little interested in the men they are escorting, one of whom carries a large paper sack, and all of whom must be considered suspects in just having murdered the President of the United States. Although wearing Dallas Police uniforms, no member of the Dallas Police would ever be able to identify either of them.
This shot clearly shows the three faces of the “Tramps.” Notice the woman in the background holds her hand over her mouth. Apparently, she believes JFK’s killers are being paraded before her, while one of them smiles with satisfaction.
In the late sixties, Richard Sprague and Bernard Fensterwald formed the Committee to Investigate Assassinations (CITA). Sprague was a photographic buff who’d assembled the largest private collection of JFK photos and became attached to just about every investigation, from Garrison to Congress. One of his more bizarre theories was that a dart had been fired out of an umbrella, and that was the source of Kennedy’s neck wound and real cause of death.
In Illinois, where I grew up, the most brilliant conspiracy researcher was Sherman Skolnick, who’d brought down a federal judge in Chicago before becoming immersed and entangled in the JFK psyops. Although his research remains impeccable, Sherman had a bit of a blind eye on Mossad elements, tending to blame most drug trafficking on the Queen of England. In reality, presidents and heads of state are largely ceremonial and not typically involved in planning or executing the complex war plans, operations that begin with the beating of a psyop drum. Study all the characters who came out of the woodwork to collect and control information on the JFK assassination, because most of them turn out to be spooks, and in hindsight Sherman appears to be one of the few that wasn’t.
CITA held their conference on the anniversary of the JFK assassination in 1973, and upon arrival Skolnick began verbally attacking Fensterwald, accusing him of being a CIA stooge and holding these conferences to find out what real researchers like him were uncovering. At the time, Fensterwald was defending Watergate burglar James McCord, the suspected CIA mole inside CREEP’s plumbers, and Skolnick demanded an independent panel. He got it. But when Skolnick’s panel began, a kook named Amos Hickock began raving about assassination links to the KGB and also announced the Three Tramps were Hunt, Barker and Sturgis of recent Watergate fame. The links from the Kennedy assassination to Watergate were just surfacing, and this was certainly an explosive allegation that tore through the research community like a tornado!
Here’s a little-known factoid: Four pictures of the Three Tramps were first published in Computers and Automation in an article by Richard Sprague on the same day the Watergate burglary appeared in print in the Washington Post.
Also attending that conference in 1973 was A.J. Weberman, who would soon team up with a former McGovern staffer to write a book called Coup d’etat In America. Weberman was a real character. One of the original Zippies, he was also a huge pot dealer on New York’s Lower East Side, and used some profits to help fund a military training camp for potential Mossad agents in the Catskills. Weberman operated with near-impunity for decades before he got ratted out by a former associate who turned State’s evidence and gave up the info on his secret Dutch bank account. After serving his time, Weberman wanted to immigrate to Israel, but couldn’t take the theocracy and quickly moved back to New York, where he seems to be a dirty tricks operative for the Democratic Party these days. When asked about Mossad connections to 9/11, Weberman explodes and orders me to leave the country while accusing me of being “a self-hating Jew.” Real independent research does not seem to be in the forefront of his activity list these days.
Chip Berlet is a close associate of Weberman’s. And when Weberman was researching his book on the JFK assassination in Washington DC, he often stayed at Berlet’s apartment. His real name, by the way, is John Foster Berlet, son of Reserve Army Lt. Col. George Numa Berlet, Jr. Berlet mostly spent the late sixties and early seventies photographing tens of thousands of demonstrators at peace and/or pot rallies, something that surely would have been a valuable resource for intel.
And suspiciously enough, Berlet was on the staff for the CIA-infested and controlled National Student Association, while his mentor, David Ifshin would go on to become general counsel for the American Israel Public Affairs Council (AIPAC). Meanwhile, Berlet evolved into the primary mainstream source for debunking conspiracy theories involving the Federal Reserve. Berlet invented the word “conspiracism,” a fake disease that one day may be enough to get us all locked up on psyche wards for not believing the official stories handed down by the major media to explain events like JFK assassination or 9/11. Berlet has helped construct the future modern inquisition, where independent researchers become excommunicated agents of the devil just for holding heretical beliefs.
The upshot of Weberman’s book was that two of the Three Tramps were Hunt and Sturgis.
Thus the Three Tramps photos became an opening salvo of disinfo on the CIA’s Watergate misdirection operations. Watergate was actually a CIA-sponsored coup against Nixon, who had little clue of the forces rallied against him, just as JFK had little clue of the CIA-sponsored trap he drove into in Dealey Plaza that day.
Weberman claims to have solved the case in 1975, and in a way, he did, for the book speculated that the head of counterintelligence of the CIA headed the assassination, and it was run through an executive action program initially set-up with mostly Cuban exiles, and the reason they killed Kennedy was because he was working towards peace instead of war. Weberman didn’t mention anyone by name (except Hunt and Sturgis), which seems odd, especially since the head of counterintelligence was well-known at the time: James Angleton. However, Weberman’s basic outline of the facts in 1975 was completely correct. But by insisting Hunt and Sturgis were the shooters, and that the Tramps photo proved this, Weberman, in fact, created a rabbit hole that sucked up most of the research community. It would take years for the real Tramps identity to emerge. Meanwhile, the Silvia Odio incident (which proved a conspiracy beyond Oswald) was documented in the book, but never really picked up on and run with until Anthony Summers came along many years later.
If anything, Hunt and Sturgis were used to deflect attention away from the real killers. They were fixers and experts in propaganda and disinfo. Sturgis was probably to the JFK assassination as Lt. Vreeland was to 9/11.
The identity of the Three Tramps was finally revealed when Chauncey Holt, a documents forger for the Lansky Syndicate, confessed as he was dying from cancer. He identified the other two in the photo as CIA agent Charles Rogers and CIA asset Charles Harrelson (father of Woody). Holt wrote Self-Portrait of a Scoundrel, published by Trine Day.
As to be expected, a disinfo story was soon trotted out to dismiss Holt’s confession when a government researcher would locate the names of three men taken into custody that same day. These men were actually booked, however, and their names were taken. They were identified as Gus Abrams, Harold Doyle and John Gedney. Two of the men were located alive and they supposedly “confessed” to being the Three Tramps. Case closed!
Only when Houston police photo expert Lois Gibson examined photos of all the people supposedly involved, she quickly dismissed Abrams, Doyle and Gedney, while stating with absolute certainty that the Three Tramps were, in fact, Holt, Rogers and Harrelson.
I cite all this just to give you an idea how deep the rabbit holes go when it comes to investigating deep political events. Whether they realize it or not, there are more writers working for the CIA’s disinfo system than there are working to uncover the truth.
(This blog is excerpted from my book Dirty Money, Secret Societies and Killing JFK, link below the videos.)