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Presidency
 
THE JFK ASSASSINATION: ANDREOTTI SAYS
THE SIFAR REPORT IS A “MYTH”

AND IT REVEALS A TWIN RIFLE FROM THE US ARCHIVES

ANSA
copyright 2009 – all rights reserved

"The same serial number appears on several rifles.
Some have a letter prefix,
some do not."

by Claudio Accogli

 

(ANSA) - ROMA, 22 NOVEMBER 2009 - New testimonies and evidence once again bring into question the conclusions of the Warren Commission on the assassination of John F. Kennedy, November 22 1963, in Dallas. The report of the Italian SIFAR (Servizio Informazioni Forze Armate) on the alleged murder weapon is "a myth," said ANSA Senator Giulio Andreotti, who at the time was the Italian Defense minister. Also, documents from the U.S. archives reveal a "Carcano twin" of the Italian rifle found in Dallas, which was supposedly intensively investigated by the FBI.

day1.jpgThe Warren Commission, which pointed to the 24 year old Lee Harvey Oswald as a lone assassin, asserted in its Final Report that the rifle used in the killing, the Carcano serial number C2766, was unique in the world, based to a report provided by SIFAR, the Italian Military Secret Service at the time. A "secret document" not released in its original, Italian version, was delivered by J. Edgar Hoover to J. Lee Ranking for the Commission (CE1977). Found in 2007, the document contained the statement of a "confidential source abroad," a memorandum quite identical to a previous dispatch from the head of the CIA in Rome at the time, William K. Harvey aka Daniel Presland, reporting about an internal inquiry of the Italian ministry of Defense. (Note: Harvey had been placed at the Rome Station after being fired on behalf of Attorney General Robert Kennedy when Harvey did not terminate CIA operations with Cuban exiles at the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis. In his biography of Harvey author Bayard Stockton wrote, "The person who cast the most direct suspicion on Harvey [for possible involvement in the JFK assassination] was chief of all CIA covert operations in Mexico and Central America, John Whitten, who choose the alias "John Scelso" when he testified to the HSCA in 1978.)

Andreotti, on the alleged Italian intelligence dossier on the C2766, said ANSA: "Every so often arises, and continue to circulate, all these myths. It is true the SIFAR could have diverted (from its institutional scopes, ndr), this is true, but even then, with the ridiculous ... I remember,” he added, “when the President of Algeria said to me: 'Say to Admiral Martini (an Italian intelligence high officer, ndr) not to send reports against me to Ben Ali in Tunisia, because he gives me a copy of them.’ The Italian secret services were at level of 'operetta', other than intelligence."

Also, the U.S. archives document shows that the FBI, put on the trail of the “Carcano twin” of the rifle found in Dallas, serial number 2766, completed the search in Canada at the Empire Wholesale Sporting Goods LTD. of Montreal, the same company that in January 1963, had exported into the U.S. the revolver found in Oswald’s hands at the time of his arrest, shortly after the assassination of JFK.

Empire Wholesale, the FBI discovered, was controlled by William Sucher, also the head of International Firearms, a Montreal-based firm as well. The "Carcano twin," the same Riflemodel as the one found in Dallas, with that serial number so similar and quite identical measures, undermines the argument that the Warren Commission presented in its Final Report: that the gun of the crime was "unique in the world" because that type of weapon was identified by the serial number, consisting in a matrix composed of letters and numbers.

Sucher, questioned about it, testified to the FBI: "The same serial number appears on several rifles. Some (serial numbers, ndr) have letter prefix, some do not."

The Canadian contractor was already under the lens of the investigators not only for the revolver found in Oswald’s possession and for the 2766 rifle, but also regarding the bullets used in the Kennedy assassination. A statement of the Office for Munitions Control of the State Department quoted a source accusing Sucher of being responsible for the illegal traffic of the Winchester cartridges 6.5 found in Dallas.

But the investigation didn’t go far beyond those findings. The Warren Commission ignored the discoveries and decided to hand over to history the theory of the lone assassin. (ANSA).

Helpful Links:

Article CHRONOLOGY

Warren Commission Final Report

Warren Commission Conclusions

CE1977 (pgs1-2, 3-4)

Testimony Of Robert A. Frazier 

FBI Investigation

Gemberling Report, Commission Document 205

Commission Document 682 

Photos of C2766 rifle

Oswald Backyard Photos

 

 

William Harvey aka Daniel Presland

 

YouTube Video on Harvey

John Scelso HSCA Deposition

"The Good Spy" article By Jefferson Morley 


  CHRONOLOGY

 

1940-1941

The two Carcano model 91/38 serials C2766 and 2766, with other millions, were manufactored in Italy at the Regia Fabbrica d'Armi of Terni, Umbria. The cal is 6.5: the Italian Carcano models were mostly of this caliber, except for those 7.5's manufactured for the Finnish Army (Scandinavia). Other 7.5 models were the "Moschetto del duce,” TS 91, a kind of rifles designed for the elite units of Mussolini.

Anyway, it does not matter the caliber, the Carcano had a singularities respect of any other weapon: its serial number was impressed on the barrel, a component that can be removed and replaced.

 

Late 1943

The German army occupies the plant of Terni. All the documentation related to the manufactured weapons was destroyed.

 

After the WWII

   At the end of the war, many military weapons – also foreign ones – were seized in the country, like in any part of Europe and North Africa, mostly as a result of the Liberation movement dismantlement, or the recovering of those left on the ground by the Germans and Italians during the retreat. Many were the Carcano rifles, that since now will begin the big part of the so-called "Italian surplus" (the military weapons recollected after the war). There were also artillery pieces, jeeps, and more.

 

Cold War

The Italian surplus, as the Czech or the Finnish one – just to make some examples – focused the attention of the world arms dealers like Interarmco, the well-known company led by the "Merchant of Death" Samuel Cummings, to quote a British document.

Just few months after the Interarmco made its debut on the scene, an Italian firm based in Rome, GenMa srl, sold tons of weapons to the communist-led government of Guatemala. The traffic was monitored by the CIA, and most of the weapons actually received by the Guatemalan govt resulted defective.

Again on this point, it is to note that Edward Browder and, maybe, Jack Ruby himself are supposed to have had a role in the traffic of some Italian surplus to Cuba during the Castro era. Some other researchers, link Ruby to a U.S. mediator active in Scandinavia too.

 

1958-1960

The surplus C2766 rifle. The Italian Army, under the guidelines of the ministry of Defense – led at the time by Giulio Andreotti – decides to sell the Carcano surplus under regular bidding. One of the bids opened by the Army artillery command, was to assign 570,745 Carcano rifles surplus, mostly 6.5 cal, but with a large number of 7.5 as well. Three firms were on the ground: the Interarmco, the Siderarm International, the Adam Consolidated.

The old American hat company, the Adam Hat Stores, Inc. (dated 1924, then reborn in 1956 and at the time of the bid, with an Italian address in Rome), had two legal representatives for the Carcano affair: in the US, lawyer Andrew Farnese of Philadelphia (probably the same born in Sicily in 1914); in Italy, Alberto Bagnasco (lawyer, born in Sicily possibly in 1920-23).

After months of "difficult negotiations,” the Adam Company won the contract, actually managed by Louis Feldsott, President of the Crescent Firearms. The company also purchased 2,608,704 rounds of ammunition ($13.57 per thousand).

Some speculated the price paid for the bid, $1,776,658.54, was too high for that kind of weapon (ultimately, they received just 1/5 of the rifles) and that it was a “bait” put on the table by the big dealers like Interarmco itself to thwart a possible competitor such as the Adam Company could have been.

The Carcanos, including the C2766, were “re-barrelled and modified” by Carlo Riva, in Italy who added, for example, the mark "Made in Italy" over any rifle. But, more than 7,000 Carcanos later put on sale by the Adam Company were defective. In 1961, a litigation between the U.S. firm and Riva began. In the meantime Riva had sent about 120,000 rifles to Adam Company. The litigation ended in 1968 at Tribunale di Roma with the win of Riva, but the Adam Company was no longer in business. During the trial, never at any time, did the Italian government (the Ministry of Defense) advance the application of “State secret” on the affair. It is important to note also that, on the Italian legislation, the government must follow some parliamentary procedures to advocate the label of “secret” on documents or facts. And there is no trace of some sort of procedure in the parliamentary archives about the Carcano bid.

At the end, the C2766 arrived in New York during the winter 1960, with the cargo of Elettra Fassio.

 

1963

3 Jan; George Rose and Co. of Los Angeles receives from Empire Wholesale Sporting Goods (Montreal, Canada) a shipment of 99 handguns: with these, a V510210 Smith and Wesson (St. W.).

27 Jan; A.J. Hidell orders a .38 St. W. from Seaport Traders, a mail-order division of George Rose of L.A.

13 Mar; Klein's Sporting Goods, Inc., of Chicago, which had the rifle C2766 from Crescent Firearms months before, received a money order and a coupon clipped from the advertisement ordering this weapon with scope from A. Hidell.

20 Mar; According to George Rose's records, a revolver St. W. serial V510210 is sent to A. J. Hidell’s PO Box at Dallas.

The same day, according to Klein's Sporting Goods of Chicago records, the C2766 is shipped to the same A. Hidell.

10 Apr: Oswald is supposed attempt on Walker’s life with the C2766.

22 Nov: C2766 found into the TBSD minutes after the JFK assassination. Oswald is arrested in a cinema with a revolver in his hand, serial V510210.

23 Nov: The Carcano twin 2766 makes its appearance. Jaimes Ouimet, owner of the Century Arms Inc., St. Albans, Vermont, contacts the FBI. Months before, he had sold a Carcano serial 2766, with a shipment of 700 Italian rifles model 91/38 made at Terni. Ouimet states he had received the rifles from the Empire Wholesale Sporting Goods (Montreal, Canada).

26 Nov; The FBI meets with Ouimet. The shipment, and the 2766 rifle, had been sold in July 1962 to Aldens of Chicago, Illinois. Ouimet states he had sold "thousands" of Carcano during the years, and much ammunition also. He gave the FBI a short list of the some 200 individuals who received 6.5 ammunition in 1962.

5 DEC; William Sucher appears on the scene. Searching for the origin of the bullets found in Dallas, the FBI interviews Sucher, who was the owner of the International Firearms (Montreal, Canada). He admits the business with that kind of bullets, but states had not exported to the US any 6.5 ammo after 1961.

The same day, confidential informant DALLAS T-1 reports Empire Wholesale merely acted "as a sales agent" for International Firearms. The source furnished the record of the transaction for 400 Smith and Wesson revolvers to George Rose and Company Inc., Los Angeles California.

12 Dec; FBI's confidential informant DALLAS T-1 reports information received from Mr. Sucher, "President of the International Firearms, Montreal, Canada," in which the man confirms the shipment of 400 revolvers to George Rose. With this revolver, there was also the V510210 found in Oswald's hands.

31 Dec; A CIA dispatch from the head of the Rome office at the time, William K. Harvey (aka Daniel Presland), informs Langley that Andreotti, again casually leading Ministry of Defense (the new center-left governent – strongly supported by JFK – was born just hours after the assassination of the U.S. president) had ordered a report on 11/27/63 to conclude analysis on the presumed gun used in the JFK assassination. The Italian report, quoted by the dispatch, states that the gun showed in the American newspapers was "a 7.5 model.” The Italian report furnishes a background of the rifle C2766, the history of the bid and the later litigation between Adam Co. and Riva. Harvey suggests to “pass copies of it to the Secret Service and the FBI.”

 

1964

7 Jan; John V. Sipes (deputy director, Office of munitions control, dep. of State) and John D. Depenbrock (chief, arms traffic division) report to the FBI the information received from an "unconfirmed reliabile source, who is an officer in a small arms surplus company.”

The source "advised the office on Dec. 18" he was in possession of "firm evidence" the ammo used in the assassination of JFK was "imported by William Sucher, owner of the International Firearms, Montreal, Canada." This was ammo manufactured in US and "sold to Greece in 1952 or 1953, and re-imported in Canada after 1st February 1962." So the re-selling into the US had been "illegal,” states the source.

9 Jan; FBI’s confidential informant DL T-1 (alias SA Robert L. Metts, SW Bell Telephone Company) states to have received information concerning the rifle used in the assassination. Actually, the report is identical to the CIA dispatch of December. The "new" report was included in the Gemberling report of 22 Jan 1964.

5 Mar; End of the search on the Carcano 2766. Albert Lesko, accounting department of Aldens Chicago, confirms FBI the receipt of the shipment from St. Albans in July 1962, but cannot furnish the serial numbers of the rifles, and so to whom and when the Carcanos were eventually sold.

12 Mar; "In connection with efforts to obtain documentary exhibits from Empire Wholesale, it was learned it is not active. It is operated by a brother in law of William Sucher, owner of International Firearms Co., and is reported as probably fully owned by the latter company.” Sucher is interviewed again by the FBI.

Talking about the Carcanos, he states: "The same serial number appears on weapons... some bear a letter prefix and some do not.” (Other FBI’s reports, largely classified, postponed the testimony to 17 March).

17 Mar; The SIFAR report. A dispatch from Legat, Rome (62-168) (RUC) to the FBI director states to have received a memorandum, with instructions attached to the communication, “in the evening of 3/16/64,” which classified the information "SECRET" and advised there was no objection to its dissemination to the President’s Commission.”

What follows is an English language dossier. At point 3, it states the C2766 (C14 as indicated at the time by FBI investigators) "is the only one of its type which bears serial number C2766.” In the other parts, it resumed the story of the Carcano and the bid for the rifle, Adam, Riva and so on. The news is the descriptions of the marks on the rifle.

The document will later become the Commission Exhibit CE1977, which does not include the Legat of Rome premise.

26 Mar; J. Edgar Hoover sends a letter to J. Lee Ranking (WC DOC 682) that included two copies of a "Secret" memorandum (quotation marks made by Hoover), in which a "confidential source abroad" furnished on 16 March a report on the C2766.

Is that one signed by the Legat, Rome, some days before? The memo, without the premise of the Legat, is sent to Robert Frazier too.

27 Mar; Alfred Finish, "professional gunsmith at the Empire Wholesale Sporting Goods,” Montreal, Canada, "assisted in taking critical measures" of the rifles then shipped to Mr. Ouimet.

He gives these measures of an "identical model" of the rifle used in the JFK assassination: total length 40 3/16" - stock 34 3/4" - barrel and action 28 15/16" - barrel only 21 1/8" - rear to receiver 26 1/2.” He underscores the Carcano he had examined during the years "had no set pattern regarding serial numbers.”

31 Mar; Robert Frazier testifies to the Warren Commission. The SIFAR report makes its first public appearance.

graphic

Publication of the Warren Report.

IN the Appendix X, it is written:

graphic 2

 

Then, at page 81 of the Final Report

  graphic 3

 

The SIFAR

   The Servizio Informazioni Forze Armate, the Italian military intelligence, was created in 1949. It was disbanded in 1965, under the flames of the scandals for the illegal dossiers on thousands of people, manly leftist activists, and for the so-called “Piano Solo,” a project (activated during February-March 1964) to block a presumed “communist deriva” of the country that some intended as a menace to the newborn center-left government led by Aldo Moro with the Socialist Party support.

The SIFAR was also the main actor in the secret NATO plan, along with the CIA,  to establish the “Stay Behind Network” in Italy, the so-called “Gladio,” and in the anti-communist activities in Italy over the 50’s, inspired by the U.S. Ambassador in Rome at the time, Claire Booth Luce.

The last chief of SIFAR, Giovanni Allavena, was later found in the P2’s members list.

In the “Fourteen Case study of deflection of the Military Intelligence Service,” chapter of a report made by the Italian Parliamentary Committee on Security and Information Services, dated 1995, it is written:

“Severe deviant activities of the intelligence services happened in the 60's, revolved around General Giovanni De Lorenzo. It was set in a context, where there is now documentation and literature, characterized by close relations of dependence between the Italian military secret service and the U.S.”

 

REFERENCES

The Gun, Henry Bloomgarden (Grossman Publishers 1975)

The War Business, George Thayer (Simon & Schuster; 2nd edition, June 9, 1969)

And We Are All Mortal, George Michael Evica (1978)

The Great Carcano Swindle, Bill MacDowall

Ordering The Rifle, Martha Moyer (JFK Lancer Kennedy Assassination Chronicles Vol. 2, Issue 1, 1996 )

The Second Carcano, Jerry McLeer (November 30, 1998 Revised February 15, 2001)

Gunrunner: Ruby and the CIA, Lisa Pease (PROBE 1995 issue (Vol. 2 No. 5)

Oswald non pote’ uccidere Kennedy da solo, Claudio Accogli (ANSA 06-29-2007)

 

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