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by William Matson Law
"Perry Russo is
a unique character because of his individuality.
- Jim Garrison
Perry Raymond Russo was a 25 year old insurance salesman from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He sent a letter to Jim Garrison, District Attorney of Orleans Parish, during the time of the prosecution of Clay Shaw for complicity in the murder of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The letter stated in effect that Russo knew some things that Garrison should know. Perry Raymond Russo became the center-piece of the Garrison Case.
I contacted Russo in 1993 and he was willing to answer some questions I had in regard to the Garrison Case. I asked Russo about them really trying to discredit Jim Garrison. "Yeah, that's accurate, they did. The CIA went into high gear in 1967 and devised a game plan to discredit Garrison. I had a CIA contact all the way up until 1979 and that's the last time I dealt with the CIA on a direct basis".
"Then in 1991 they called me during the time the movie JFK was being made by Oliver Stone." I asked Russo if the movie being made had caused him any problems. "Yeah, it did", Russo said. "The CIA wanted the movie stopped." I told them, "Go fuck yourself, we don't do business anymore. We haven't done business since 1979 so there is no point in it." They stated they had to stop the movie because I knew what it would do, and on and on. I told them, "I have no allegiance to you people. Our business deals ended in 1979." I asked him what he was talking about. He said, "they were sending people down here. I told them I didn't give a fuck; do whatever you want I'm dead anyway". "So yes, they did devise a plan and they were very successful at it". At this point I said to Perry, "well, it seems to be everything I have ever read." "Yes", Russo replied. They have always ridiculed or jested and it has always had an effect."
"In August of 1963," Russo went on, "I was labeled a drug addict. I'm Sicilian and have never even smoked grass and here I was labeled a drug addict." Perry then started reading from a newspaper. "This is the essence of the article", Perry said. "Garrison - Fact or Fantasy. Jim Garrison has posited a new theory, or perhaps an old theory, behind the assassination of John F. Kennedy; however, he has based his theory on the testimony of one Perry Raymond Russo, Known Drug Addict. Now, of course, you will read in Portland--well, a drug addict. Well fuck, he's hallucinating, at best, or he's doing it for devious reasons or self-gaining reasons. What the fuck, they paid me $15,000 for that. They claimed it was a typographical error. They really meant to refer to Vernon Bundy who was the man who claimed to be shooting up drugs by the Lake Ponchartrain Wall when he saw two men; one resembling Oswald and the other resembling Clay Shaw. "So they paid, Perry went on, "but they said they couldn't print a retraction so they gave me an ultimatum--take the $15,000 and drop the action against them or they had all the money in the world. They said they might lose in District Court but that they would win in Appellate Court or possibly a reversal because of the Sullivan Case and liable laws of William 0. Douglas and so on. That proved to be the case, in this instance. So I was a public target. The purpose of this attack on me would be to invalidate the sensibility of anything I would say and therefore crush Garrison. It not only worked; it worked very well." I stated, to Mr. Russo, "Well, it seems to have worked."
I then asked Russo to tell me about a party he had attended where he was allegedly involved with Clay Shaw, David Ferrie and some anti-Castro Cubans, and of course, Lee Harvey Oswald.
"Well," replied Perry, "Oswald and I didn't get along--there was no chemistry between us. Ferrie was the central mover; he was a rogue CIA Agent who did a lot of things on behalf of the CIA. He had been involved in the Bay of Pigs," Perry Russo stated. "He was eventually to fly Marcello back into the country. He was well-positioned to do field work and little games of intrigue on behalf of the CIA". "Ferrie," Russo said, "was very, very intelligent; almost to the point of being a genius. He was very creative in his approaches to different things. The party was best seen in the movie "JFK". "It was as though it was choreographed", Russo explained. "The conspiracy room scene, for the most part, is exactly the way it occurred." "It was", Russo said, "a pretty fair statement by Oliver Stone as to how things occurred that night-- It wasn't nearly as boisterous as in the movie. They didn't use Ferrie's apartment. When people came to New Orleans", Perry said, "if they wanted (I drive a cab now) I drove them around to all the different locations and we go to Ferrie's apartment". I said to Russo, "I had been thinking of going to New Orleans".
Perry then asked me what I did for a living and then said, "so what got you into the JFK thing?" "What's your point in studying the Garrison Case?" I said, "I read a lot of books."
Perry went on, "there are some books and the titles, Betrayal. Then there's Robert Morrow, he said I died in 1977 and there are two other books that say I am dead. It puts a very strange aura on things. There's a lot of testimony that I gave in court that has never been contradicted or has been indicated by anyone else's testimony and that has been corroborated by some.
"The Garrison Case", Perry went on to say, "will remain an enigma in that it is the only official tribunal that ever occurred where a person (Clay Shaw) was charged where there were witnesses in an adversarial system and although that person was found innocent, it raised many serious questions about the participation of various people that had governmental contacts.
"Oswald", Perry said, "lived here a good part of his life and it is very difficult for you to accept the fact that he was a Marxist, even though he said it. Are you a Communist, Mr. Oswald"? Perry said quoting Carlos Bringuier. "He was asked that on radio after distributing leaflets--Fair Play for Cuba Leaflets. "He had joined our group" said Russo, "and had become a member and he had offered to teach gorilla warfare to Cubans as they plotted for a second invasion of Cuba." Then Perry went on to say, "that would make him a right-winger to me; that would make him a radical right."
"The FBI in government here made lightening raids on instruction from Bobby Kennedy. "He was an asshole", Perry said. Perry continued, "Bobby Kennedy ordered the FBI, then under J. Edgar Hoover, to reconnoiter with the Cuban Group because John Kennedy had given the house away when he made a deal with Kruschev in October of 1962". "The missile crisis"? Perry said, "oh, we go on". Everybody says that Kruschev and Kennedy went eyeball to eyeball and Kruschev blinked. Well, that didn't fucking happen. We knew (the Cuban group Russo belonged to) there had been a betrayal. We in the Cuban Community knew there had been a betrayal; it was a stab in the back. The effect of the Missile Crisis and the deal that was wrought was outrageous. It wasn't that we were the big, bad USA and the American Eagle is going to trample the Russian Bear" "The affect of it," Perry said, "was this-- we made an agreement that six months after, Kruschev would take his missiles out (which were not operational) and we would remove our missiles from Turkey (which were operational) and we would never put them back. That wasn't all that Kennedy gave". Perry then heatedly said, he was a bum of a president. The second thing he gave was we guaranteed there would never be another invasion (of Cuba). That was the part that bothered the Cubans." "That was the part," Russo said, "that they suspicioned that in this secret deal, they were sold out. There would never be another invasion from the US Mainland." "And thirdly", Perry Russo continued, "that was sort of incidental; Kennedy guaranteed we would never try to assassinate Castro. We wouldn't care of he grew a beard all the way to his toes. And, so the effect of that was that the American Eagle became the sole guarantor of Castro's longevity, along with the Russian Bear." "But now", said Russo, "the bear has bowed out; it can't support it because it fell apart. Truth is we're still keeping Fidel in office.
"So the Cubans", Perry went on, "read that very clearly. I knew that in August of 1963 that the Cubans had been sold out. The Cubans went into a rage over that summer. They began saving money and they were going to invade again from Guatemala to the Western Shore of Cuba. In 1963 you could, in fact, transship, oh, heavy artillery, you could ship guns of any sort. You didn't need all these Commerce Department Licenses, state licenses and so on". Russo went on, "you could buy it at any Navy Surplus or Governmental Surplus Sale and then you could turn around and transship it to Guatemala and then plan an second invasion. They were going to do this again and not allow the United States to be involved. They were going to be much more prepared".
Copyright 1998 William M. Law
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