Tim King — Salem News Nov 22, 2013
The sweeping view from “Garden of the Gods” above Colorado Springs was breathtaking in September. I sat with Robert “Tosh” Plumlee, a former CIA operative, taking in this panoramic scene, listening to his recollection of the day this country lost one of its most important national leaders, President John F. Kennedy.
Tosh was in Dallas that fateful day, 22 November 1963, as part of a CIA team dispatched to prevent the assassination of JFK. The story has always been here, yet few Americans know the dark saga of Private First Class Eugene Dinkin and his prediction of the assassination of President Kennedy.
As the Website for the Mary Ferrell Foundation explains, Dinkin was a cryptographic code operator in the U.S. Army, stationed at Metz, France:
“On November 4, 1963 he went AWOL from his unit, and entered Switzerland using forged travel orders and a false Army identification card. On November 6, he appeared in the Press Room of the United Nations in Geneva and told reporters he was being persecuted. He also told reporters that “they” were plotting against President Kennedy and that “something” would happen in Dallas. After Kennedy was murdered, a friend of Dinkin’s named Dennis De Witt told military authorities that Dinkin had predicted Kennedy’s assassination for November 28, and later changed the date to November 22.”
From Hugh Turley’s article titled: JFK Assassination Enablers?, which appeared originally in the May 2013 Hyattsville Life and Times:
On October 16, 1963, when Dinkin was stationed in Metz, France, he wrote a letter to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy warning that the president would be assassinated on or about November 28 and requesting an interview by the Justice Department. Dinkin sent the letter registered mail, and to prevent it from being intercepted, used the return address of an Army friend, Pfc. Dennis De Witt. He did not receive an answer.
Dinkin later changed the predicted assassination date to November 22 and said it would happen in Texas. He believed the military was involved in the plot and that a Communist would be blamed. The day after the murder, the Washington Evening Star reported that the alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was a “pro-Castro Marxist.”
On October 25, 1963, Dinkin traveled to the United States Embassy in Luxembourg to apprise a Mr. Cunningham, the Charge d’Affaires, of the plot to assassinate President Kennedy. He was turned away.
The information from Dinkin was discredited by the U.S. government and ignored by the Warren Commission. It never had any impact, yet it is uncanny that this young man would have information about such a critical event, right to the date. I knew from previous discussions with Tosh, that in ’63, the word was that the assassins were former French OAS who had been fighting in Algeria, recruited by “politicians in Texas.”
Mercenaries from the French Algerian War
One of France’s longest held colonial conquests was Algeria. Invaded and conquered in 1830, this country’s population suffered under French political control until their war of independence erupted in 1954. This conflict ended in 1962, leaving a surplus of French mercenaries unemployed. This was the recruitment pool for the team that shot and killed Kennedy, Plumlee says. Though the FBI would later circulate a different story, Dinkin’s report indicated that someone was recruiting an Algerian assassin team in France.
From the book, Bloody Treason by Noel Twyman:
An item of utmost significance in the JFK assassination has to do with an Army private by the name of Eugene B. Dinkin. Dinkin was a cryptographic code operator for U.S. Army Ordinance, stationed in Metz, France, in 1963. He had received the required crypto clearance, the highest given by the military. An FBI report dated April 9, 1964 stated that Dinkin had predicted the JFK assassination several weeks before it happened — “that a conspiracy was in the making for the ‘military’ of the United States, perhaps combined with an ‘ultra right wing economic group’….”
Dinkin soon learned through the grapevine that he was going to be locked up as a psychotic. He went AWOL and left Metz, France, traveling by train to Geneva, Switzerland, where he told his story to the editor of the Geneva Diplomat. The CIA would later confirm this in a letter to the Warren Commission written by Richard Helms on May 11, 1964 and stamped “Received” by the Warren Commission on May 19, 1964. This letter did not appear in the Warren Commission Report or its twenty-six volumes, It was suppressed until released in 1976, but with Dinkin;s name deleted. The letter from Helms, with Dinkin’s name not deleted, was approved for release in 1992 by the CIA Historic Review Board:
MEMORANDUM FOR: Mr. J. Lee Rankin General Counsel
President;s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
SUBJECT: Allegation of Pfc. Eugene B. DINKIN
U.S. Army, Relative to Assassination Plot Against President Kennedy
1. Reference is made to paragraph 2 of your memorandum, dated February 12, 1964 requesting that the Commission be furnished copies of disseminations relative to the assassination of President Kennedy that were sent to the Secret Service.
2. Immediately after the assassination the CIA (deleted_ in Geneva, Switzerland, reported allegations concerning a plot to assassinate President Kennedy that were made by Pfc. Eugene B. DINKIN, U.S. Army, serial number RA-76710292 on 6 and 7 November 1963 in Geneva while absent without leave from his unit in Metz, France. Available details of this charge, together with information on its exploitation by Alex des Fontaines, a Time-Life stringer in Geneva, were disseminated in OUT Teletype message No. 85770, on 29 November 1963. This dissemination was sent to the White House, Department of State, and Federal Bureau of Investigation, with a copy to the Secret Service.
3. Since the (deleted) cooperated with the U.S. Military Attache in assembling information on this affair, and the Military Attache reported through his channels, the Commission man have already received information of Pfc. DINKIN’s allegations.
Because sensitive sources and methods were involved, an appropriate sensitivity indicator has been affixed to this memorandum and its attachment.
(signed) Richard Helms
Deputy Director for Plans
11 May 1964 3
While Dinkin’s name does appear in later documents that can be located online, his whereabouts and disposition remain a mystery, Plumlee says, “The whole Dinkin story has been squashed for years and nobody can find him or his family. That is another interesting thing.”
According to records, Dinkin was arrested on 13 November 1963 and taken to a psychiatric hospital. He was later transferred to the notorious Walter Reed Hospital, where he underwent psychological testing before eventually being released. It is a known fact that sending a person in for psychiatric testing is part of a process often used by the U.S. government to discredit whistleblowers. Dinkin intercepted a horrific deed in the making, he, like Manning and Snowden, chose to not sit on his laurels, but instead went public, thinking, hoping… that the media would pick up the ball and run with it. They did not.
Tosh Plumlee says Dinkin’s revelations were common knowledge among government agents. He says many assassination reports had been circulating around Miami and Texas the past few months prior to November 1963. “Everyone knew about the Army’s Private Eugene B. Dinkin report to the Pentagon and his allegations,” Plumlee said, adding, “That is the reason that they launched a team from the Pentagon, because of information received from Private Dinkin.”
While his perspective was somewhat limited, Tosh was part of the CIA team that flew to Dallas hoping to thwart the assassination.
“When we got to Dallas there were a total of 8 people. I didn’t know exactly what they were doing, that is my problem all these years with all of these researchers, they think I know all of the people, I was a pilot. This was the third or fourth time we were sent out to try to prevent assassinations on JFK.”
Tosh says his thoughts always go back to, ‘What If‘ and ‘Why‘?
“What if the team had gotten into place earlier? What if I had turned right at the fence and railroad tracks and gone into the parking lot? Would I have seen anyone? If I had ran into somebody what would I have done? It was over before anyone could think. Before the event nobody on our team gave too much thought to the actual event–the assassination of a President–to actually happen was fantasy. To them, and myself, it was just another false alarm sat in motion this time by reports received from the old French, OAS Algerian Guard by the Pentagon from a U.S. Army Private.”
He says the questions are still as haunting today as they were that day.
“The loudness of the gun shots with their reverberating echo has faded over the years, but have never died. That vision is what I see. The vision and the last moment of a man’s life is froze in time.”
He says that to see and hear the event actually happening was unbelievably stunning, all numbing. It was an event beyond words.
“That’s when I knew the team had failed and the President was dead. It was something if you saw it… you knew it, and didn’t have to wait for a hospital doctor to tell you. It was a professional, solid hit. We knew in that moment, as it happened–we knew that we had failed, also.”
The flight out of Dallas that day was a somber occasion, Plumlee says. “There was very little chatter. Nobody looked the other in the eye. There were tears and red eyes, sniffles…. minutes were hours, hours days….”
Today as time goes on there are more questions he still asks; “What would it be like if the man had lived? What would America be like if we had not failed that day? Each year more and more questions. That moment in time is forever captured in my mind and I’ll always ask that one question that haunts me. Why?”
It makes so little sense that information from a cryptographic code operator would be treated with little regard. However it seems that the information was in fact taken very seriously, and if things had evolved differently, the man may have saved the life of John Kennedy. The FBI would later say that Dinkin changed his story and began talking about revelations derived from magazine articles and “psychological sets”.
From the Website for the Mary Ferrell Foundation:
Retellings of the Dinkin story typically note his status as a crypto operator, and speculate that he may have learned of an assassination plot decrypting military communications, perhaps between military plotters and Marseilles assassins. But the FBI reports on Dinkin, including interviews with him conducted in April 1964, state that the allegations came about from Dinkin’s study of military publications such as Stars and Stripes. Dinkin told the FBI that it was his study of “psychological sets” which revealed to him both an anti-Kennedy bias as well as a military plot in the works. How we could divine the latter, and in particular attach dates and places for the upcoming murder, is hard to imagine.
One explanation would be that Dinkin indeed learned about a plot through his crypto assignment, and that something about his confinement at Walter Reed led him to suppress this in favor of the story the FBI reported. An opposing view would of course be that he was a paranoid individual who happened to make a lucky guess.
One method of determining the truth would have been to interview his military associates to see what he told them about where his ideas came from, including those named by Dinkinin his FBI interviews: PFC Dennis De Witt, PFC Larry Pulles, Sgt. Walter Reynolds, and R. Thomas. The FBI, after taking these names, does not appear to have followed up on them. The Warren Commission took no interest in the matter, and indeed omitted any mention of Dinkin from its purportedly encyclopedic 26 volumes of evidence.
One thing is certain, crooked officials and cops never interview the correct witnesses. That would be like shooting themselves in the foot. The failure to contact such important witnesses tells us a great deal about the mission of the investigators tasked with looking into Mr. Dinkin and his associates.
The death of U.S. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was a great loss for this country and it allowed Lyndon Banes Johnson to ascend to a Presidential office that he likely would have never reached through lawful channels. It allowed the Vietnam War to go forward and myriad other events that would not have taken place under JFK’s watch. I have written before about Lee Oswald, who qualified in Marine basic training at the lowest level for rifle efficiency. The guy barely passed on the rifle range, and yet we are supposed to believe he fired shots with total accuracy in a manner that can’t be replicated by special forces operators today? America lost a great leader fifty years ago.