Len Osanic - I would just like to start off by asking you to give a brief background in how you got involved with the House select Committee on Assassinations. And we will just take it from there, some of the things you found. You know, of course, everyone is interested in, as Eddie Lopez, and yourself, and it’s known as the Lopez report.
Dan Hardway - Yes. I was a first year law student. I had just finished my first year of law school at Cornell when Bob Blakey was given, was hired to be chief counsel on the select committee. And that summer I was working for him at the Cornell Institute on Organized Crime as a researcher/writer and he asked me to consider to go to D.C. with him. And I went, took a year and a half off from law school, took a leave of absence, and went down and worked for the committee for a year and a half, from about July of ‘77 through probably November of ‘78 or so.
Len Osanic - And what was your first impression of the committee? Did you feel they had an honest effort going in there, or dragging their feet?
Dan Hardway - My first impression was that they were highly disorganized, and not a whole lot of anything was getting done when we got there. You know, I can’t speak very broadly, but my area where I was assigned to work was which was in the investigation of intelligence, connections, and intelligence activities that may have been related to the assassination. We had no access to any kind of government documents. We had no security clearances, pretty much no one there was getting any access to anything. And not a whole lot was getting done at that point. That was, you know, the first task that I guess that Bob probably, really had to deal with was trying to get the thing organized and get it on track to where it could actually do something, other than, you know, some field work which was basically, which again, was basically not generating a whole lot more than following up on what had been printed in public media up to that point.
Len Osanic - Right, now did you feel at all that that was because of Blakey taking over? I think other people had great hopes for Richard Sprague.
Dan Hardway - I’m not familiar enough with what happened to Sprague to really comment on it. But, I do know that Bob did get it organized and did get it working. Whether or not it was effective really isn’t, I don’t think so much a function of what Bob did as much as it is a function that very simply everyone knew we were going to be gone in two years. The very first time that I interviewed a CIA, a retired CIA officer and flipped my credentials open to him and told him that I was there to ask him some questions on behalf of Congress he literally threw the credentials back at me and said to me what the F is that? The Congress? We’re the CIA! You’re going to be gone, very shortly.
Len Osanic - Right, made it blatantly obvious that they had been there for a long time and this investigation would come and go.
Dan Hardway - That’s correct. And he had the same reaction to the waver of his secrecy agreement. That when we were gone the agency would still respect those who had respected their secrecy agreements.
Len Osanic - Right, and pensions, and maybe things like that.
Dan Hardway - No. He didn’t say anything about that, but I’m sure that would have crossed his mind.
Len Osanic - Now what were some of the early things you investigated?
Dan Hardway - Oh, you know, it wasn’t, we weren’t there very long before, and really didn’t do too much of anything until we got our security clearances. And we hadn’t been there that long after getting [our] security clearances when they worked out the deal that Bob had worked out with them that gave us unexpurgated access to CIA files, or at least allegedly unexpurgated access, and the deal was was that we would get whatever we asked for so long as it didn’t leave the building and that none of our notes left the building. And so for a period of about 9 months I went to work pretty much every day at the CIA where they put me in a little room, an interior room with no windows and gave me basically two file clerks, or at least people who were presented as file clerks, who went and got every file that I would identify and want. And if they were in storage it might take two or three days for them to get them but they got them.
And the nice thing about it was was that we, I was pretty well convinced that I was getting some fairly good unexpurgated access because they didn’t really have time to expurgate everything we were asking for. And they didn’t know everything we were looking for and what we were asking for so I don’t think they could have been sure of what it was they were supposed to pull out. And, you know, I spent the first part of that time basically learning their, learning their, trying to learn as much as I could about their filing system their routing system, their codes, to the extent that ti affected the areas that I was interested in.
I was tasked with investigating Oswald in Mexico City, intelligence operations that may have encountered him with his contacts with the Soviet and the Cuban embassies. Bob Blakey was gracious enough to allow me to work on anything else in the area of intelligence that I was interested in so long as I was accomplishing the task that was the primary task to find for the purposes of investigation designed to lead to that final report. Consequently, I was able to make my own inquiries into other things such as ZR/RIFLE and Bob Harvey, and other operations. I was looking real hard at David Philips and a lot of the propaganda operations. By the end of the time, by the end of the period when we had our unexpurgated access I was following several things that I thought were extremely interesting, one was David Philips propaganda operations and his continuing connections with anti-Castro Cubans in the American south even though he was in Mexico, and the role of the Mexico City [CIA] station in the anti-Castro operations.
The other thing that I was looking really hard at was trying to figure out their back channel communication methods that they were using, and I was looking at some of the assassination operations, and mob connections through Bill Harvey, and that was when we got shut down.
Len Osanic - Now, when you say “shut down,” can you just elaborate just a little bit?
Dan Hardway - Well, basically what they did was they reneged on the deal that we had, that we would get unexpurgated access, they brought in a new liaison, a guy named George Joannides who, immediately, basically, revoked that deal and switched it up so that we had to, that they established a “safe room,” at our committee headquarters, we had to request everything through channels with documentary requests which they would then provide and bring to us where we would look at it in the “safe room,” and then, which gave them a whole lot more time to look at what we were looking at and what we want. And that, you know, obviously, we didn’t have, we could not move as quickly on things as we have been.
Len Osanic - So, they must have sensed that you guys were onto something, and they had to change the rules.
Dan Hardway - Well, I’ve always been suspicious about that. One of the things that I was asking for right when this whole transition occurred when he brought us in and sat us down, and I’m going to tell you this story, I’ve told this story to the Assassination Records Review Board, and I’ve told it to a few other people, but I can’t back it up, you know, Ed [Lopez] remembers this, Leslie Wizelman remembers this, Bob Blakey, Gary Cornwall aren’t sure about whether or not they remember it. But, when they shut us down I had found references in certain CIA documents and files that I had reviewed that indicated that after the Jack Anderson story appeared about Castro turning the assassination teams that were sent after him to come back and kill Kennedy that they brought Johnny Roselli into a safe house for an extensive period of debriefing under Sheffield Edwards, who was the head of the special services division up there, and I was asking for the file(s), I was asking for the file on the debriefing when I got shut down. I continued to ask for the file after reverting to operating out of the office in southwest D.C. and I know that there had to have been some correspondence on it because when they finally notified me that the file was ready for my review they brought me back out there instead of bringing the file to me. And I went into the same little office that we had always used and George Joannides was standing there smiling at me and he handed me the file and I opened it and it was a two and a half inch thick file which had not been expurgated in the traditional CIA way, making a copy and then blacking out the portions, and then recopying the copy. This one ahd been expurgated by being totally retyped with the expurgated lines left blank. And I didn’t bother to read much more than three or four pages before I blew up. And there was correspondence that was generated subsequently and a compromise was finally worked out where Gary Cornwall was allowed to see the unexpurgated file on one of his many trips towards the very end of the committee to be able to verify their statements that there wasn’t anything in there of any relevance to us that I needed to see. Gary did that on an afternoon when he went out there with a lot of other stuff on his agenda to deal with that day came back and told me there was nothing in it and to drop it.
There was no record of any of that, that the Assassination Records Review Board was able to find. They could not find either any record of there ever being such a debriefing, of there ever being a file, or any report generated from such a debriefing, or of any correspondence from the committee to the CIA or from the CIA to the committee about there being such a file and [that] I was asking to look at it. And it was at that point when the Assassination Records Review Board told me that they could find no record of it that I began to believe that the CIA might actually be as competent as some people thought they were. Because I know for a fact that it existed.
Len Osanic - Now have you formulated an opinion about whether there would have been something really relevant and this may be a tip of an iceberg?
Dan Hardway - I think that there was some, that I was on some paths that they did not want me going down. They didn’t want me going down the paths of David Philips propaganda activities that he ran after the assassination. They didn’t want me going down the back channel communications because that’s the way the photograph got to D.C. I’m thoroughly convinced that the Cuban consulate camera got a photograph of Oswald possibly with someone else, possibly alone, or possibly an Oswald impostor. I don’t know what the photo was but I’m pretty sure they got it and I’m pretty sure that they sent it to D.C. either in a diplomatic pouch or in some back channel method of communication. And I’m pretty sure that the Roselli debriefing would be absolutely fascinating reading on the background on what went down and what kind of operations were run out of New Orleans and various other places that he thought tied back up into the Kennedy assassination.
What was in it would be pure speculation.
Len Osanic - Right, and, of course, everyone knows the photo that is supposedly of the embassy photo of Oswald is not Oswald at all.
Dan Hardway - Well, that photo was taken at the Soviet embassy and that photo was recovered in Mexico City after the assassination. That is not the photo that was sent to D.C. prior to the assassination. I’m convinced that a photo was generated at the Cuban embassy, and during the period that Oswald was there they were testing a new system, and it was an automatic trip system on the cameras and there was take out of that system because that it was tests was not logged and handled within the normal handling procedures of the system. And at this point I can’t, it’s been 33 years, but I have found indications in some files and cables that led me to believe that the take out of that camera came to D.C. in a diplomatic pouch. And that was one of the things that I was working on when I got shut down.
Len Osanic - Now, you mention -
Dan Hardway - (interrupting) we had a very bad reputation with the agency, I mean Eddie and I both did. They thought we were rude and they thought we were arrogant. And, you know we were 23, 24 years old. And I mean we were zealous in what we were doing and we may well have been rude at times to the CIA people that we were dealing with in that if they came in and told us well we don’t have that file I’d pull out the file that I got the reference from and say it’s right here and this is where you need to look for it. And we were getting production quick from CIA clerks that were assigned to work with us. We were seeing things we weren’t supposed to see. I interviewed one guy and in the middle of the interview he looked at me and he said, “You weren’t supposed to know that.” He got very angry because I knew something that I wasn’t supposed to know that wasn’t supposed to be in this file that I saw. just the same thing when the journalist for the Washington Post got the Joann ides 201 file, there was something in there that the expurgators missed. Whoever reviewed the 201 file before they released it to him didn’t take out that he had been a case office for that New Orleans group during the period that the CIA told us that there had been no continuing affiliation with that group. And that’s the very same guy that comes in, I mean he was their case officer from late ‘62 evidently up until late sometime in ‘64 when they did finally severe their relationship with him. And he’s the very guy they brought out of retirement to close me and Eddie down, and from what I understand Joann ides even received a citation and an award from the CIA for his effectiveness in terminating our investigation.
Len Osanic - And then you would have to conclude that he would have to know the story to make sure that you didn’t get what was not supposed to be leaked out.
Dan Hardway - That is correct. He was brought in because he knew where the things were that I was getting too close to.
Len Osanic - And this is not that Lee Oswald was a lone gunman or something like that, this is talking about other agency involvement.
Dan Hardway - Well, you know, one of the things that Bob Blakey always pointed out to me is that there can always be an innocent reason for why the CIA wanted to cover up. They could be wanting to cover up something other than either agency complicity or officer complicity in the assassination. And you know, from a strict argumentative standpoint he’s correct. Personally, I never bought it. I didn’t think that they would go to the kind of effort that they have gone to to protect national security secrets. And I never did see anything that indicated that we are dealing with the kind of national security secrets that it would be worth mounting this kind of cover-up to prevent from leaking. To me I can’t see any other explanation for the fact that they are hiding something that indicates some kind of either foreknowledge or complicity. I mean once the Castro assassination plots were out and they were out when we were investigating. Church’s committee brought those out. And once those were out what is it that they were trying to hide? The fact that they had had photo surveillance on foreign embassies? Everybody knew that.
Len Osanic - So, now that you’ve learned this about Joannides do you have any reflections now on looking back do you recognize the hand of a continual coverup?
Dan Hardway - Oh yeah. I think that there’s been a coverup of a lot of information. I mean when I went into the process of doing this investigation I was very skeptical about the Warren Commission. I was very skeptical about Oswald being the lone gunman. And at that point I was young, being of 24 years of age, and having been involved in the Vietnam war protests and everything, I was very skeptical of the agency, and the national security state. Our first leads that we followed were basically to follow up on what critics had imagined based upon released expurgated documents. You know, some of the Mexico City traffic had been released with deletions and there was speculation about what those were and there was stuff like David Philips very misleading book about his actions in Mexico City that we could follow up on. And you know the first level of the investigation and the research, you know, answered, you know a lot of those questions, what I found was very quickly was that with the unexpurgated access actually, while it may have actually answered some of the questions actually always raised more questions than it answered and you can just start digging deeper and deeper into what was going on -
Len Osanic - Can you give me an example?
Dan Hardway - That’s a general impression that I had. But, you know, the example would be the initial question and I can’t remember them from that many years ago that I’ve read in reviewers, or in critics work about Mexico City cable traffic were fairly quickly answered but reading the traffic and looking at the routing instructions and things on them and learning what those were, the filing instructions raised a whole ‘nother set of questions. And then from that we could then get into the logs and the actual procedures that were being followed in Mexico City. And that, when we layered that on it got into a whole ‘nother level of questions of well where were these things? So, we started trying to just systematically track that down through interviews of people who were there and through document requests and file reviews.
Len Osanic - Did you come to a conclusion that it was actually Lee Harvey Oswald who was in Mexico? Or were you left with a lingering doubt that it was an impostor? Some kind of paper trail?
Dan Hardway - I came to the conclusion that there was more than one person, well, I came personally to the conclusion that either the person who claimed to be Oswald was not Oswald, or that there was more than one person in Mexico City claiming to be Oswald. One of those people may well have been him. I did not investigate whether or not he actually went. I looked at his activities while he was supposedly there. You know, I just finished reading Jim Douglass’ book and I wish I had been more well informed of some of the other Oswald impostor sightings in New Orleans and Dallas at the time that I was working on this. I would have liked to have been able to get into some of that as well. But, personally I believe that there was someone imitating or posing as Oswald in Mexico City. But, I can’t rule out him being there himself
Len Osanic - Right, but to complement that you didn’t find confirmation that in fact, no, we can conclusively say it was Lee Oswald. No, as far as you know there is a grey area here. You’re not sure who was there.
Dan Hardway - Well, as far as I’m concerned the Cuban embassy employees were pretty definite, that they were convinced that it was Oswald.
Len Osanic - Like many things, if they had a picture of him, or if they had something they’d be waving it around. And the fact that they are not, and the obfuscation throughout this case, only like you say you’re looking into something and it raises more questions. Well, okay, there’s a guy who says he was Lee Oswald but you’ve got a camera system everywhere, I mean, don’t tell me you don’t have a picture. Or, okay, what was he doing there then? Right? He was sent on a wild goose chase to create a paper trail, you know, oh yeah, right, I’m back into the defecting program.
Okay, so, now the report you guys were working on is, I guess, known as The Lopez Report. I get the feeling that you guys both worked on it equally.
Dan Hardway - Oh, I wouldn’t want to steal Ed’s thunder. I’d be more than happy to give him credit for it.
Len Osanic - Okay.
Dan Hardway - I helped him.
Len Osanic - Yeah, right, you worked together on it.
Dan Hardway - Yes.
Len Osanic - After all of this time do you know some of his observations and conclusions, I mean you guys worked as a team on this?
Dan Hardway - I haven’t talked to Ed for a long time about it.
Len Osanic - Oh.
Dan Hardway - I don’t think I’ve talked to him in the last ten years about it.
Len Osanic - You know, the reason I ask is because people are doing a lot of research again, and are networking due to the internet and with things like Vincent Bugliosi and a ten part miniseries starting from scratch saying that the Warren Commission had it right. It feels like its an insult to the American people. And people like Jim DiEugenio are doing great work digging up things and I think if we start looking back at some of the work you guys were doing where we are wondering, like for instance, you mentioned you saw a lot that you didn’t get to write about. I’m a little bit confounded how an investigator can go in and not even have a notepad there, to make notes on what he’s reading.
Dan Hardway - Oh, no, no, no, we made notes, they were just left at the agency. The notes were supposed to be in what turned over to the National Archives. But, I don’t think they were.
Len Osanic - Right-
Dan Hardway - And there’s, there are, in the assassination, another thing Len what the Assassination Records Review Board found was they couldn’t find a memorandum that I wrote after we had the safe room at the committee’s offices, at the staff offices, anything that you wrote based on classified material in the, what we called it the safe room cause the CIA had it full of safes and there was a couple of desks in there and a couple of typewriters where you could write and work. Anything that you wrote had to be written on this special pad of paper that had a purple border around it and Top Secret stamped all over it and sequentially numbered pages. And everything you wrote was written on that, and it had to be logged in and kept. And you could not leave. And that’s the way they accounted for everything. And I went in there and wrote a memorandum at Bob Blakey’s request about motive means and opportunity analysis of potential intelligence connected people who as far assassination, possible assassination participant, or assassination conspiracy participant suspects. And this was right towards the very end of the committee, we were wrapping things up, matter of fact it would have been done probably the week, or within two to three weeks at the most of the return of the reports on the audio analysis of Dealey Plaza. And that memo doesn’t exist.
Len Osanic - Now what was the topic of that memo?
Dan Hardway - The memo was very simply a method, means, and opportunity analysis of potential conspirators-
Len Osanic - Right.
Dan Hardway - that I had time to look at. It talked some about the connections between Harvey and Philips and the connections between the ZR/Rifle programs and assassination programs and disinformation programs and things of that nature.
Len Osanic - Right.
Dan Hardway - Things I have not been able to pursue rigorously like I was able to work on Mexico City. These were things that I could work on my own time when I would put in an additional file request but that memo was in there, and the basic point of the memo was that at least theoretically Bill Harvey deserved a lot harder look than what he had ever had as being very centrally located in the place where all of these different strands of Cubans, mobsters, assassination expertise and disinformation seemed to come together. Any time that you are looking at an intelligence operation the intelligence operation can look like a much larger conspiracy than it actually is because its run in discreet sections. If you’re running part of the disinformation operation you may be doing something but you may not necessarily understand how its tied into the actual thing that’s trying to be accomplished by the person who’s running the overall operation. But, anytime that you’ve got an operation, a complex operation, because if this was in anyway a conspiracy, it was a complex conspiracy. You eventually had someone who was coordinating the efforts, and, you know, one of the things that you would try to do, or that I would think you would try to do is that you would try to look for where these strands all intersect. It was someone that worked in all of these areas. It was someone who could have been running different discreet parts of this operation and monitoring whether or not the different parts were getting done.
I mean it’s real interesting if you go back, for example, and take a look at David Philips Psych/Ops operatives that he used in the Cuban er, the anti-Castro community to plant stories from the mid-fifties when he was working in Cuba right on up until at least the assassination and I think, lets’ work on him after, what he’s doing after the assassination. But, he was using all kinds of propaganda assets and interestingly enough you go back to the press coverage in Miami, and New Orleans, and shortly after the assassination and David Philips and his operative’s fingerprints are all over it.
Len Osanic - Now, have you come across Ed Lansdale? In any of those kinds of things?
Dan Hardway - I’m familiar with the name, but I never did much work on him.
Len Osanic - What about Allen Dulles?
Dan Hardway - What about him?
Len Osanic - Well, right, with him and Charles Cabell being fired by Kennedy they are prime suspects after the fact, that he is appointed to the Warren Commission-
Dan Hardway - Yes.
Len Osanic - It’s almost unbelievable. The only parallel I can say is when I that heard Henry Kissinger was gong to chair the 9/11 commission, my jaw dropped off, I couldn’t beleive that, you know, the same kind of thing. And it looks like the ol’ boys network. You know, I always say that Kennedy’s enemies had him removed, and these were powerful enemies, and it wasn’t a lone nut, and it wasn’t Lee Oswald. Frankly, I’m surprised how Bugliosi could spend twenty years on this, and you mentioned you read a a good book JFK and the Unspeakable: Why he died and why it matters by James Douglass, Jim Douglass, and it just matter of factly explains quite a bit about it. It doesn’t get into the mystery, it just says this is what we know happened. And as an example if you study the failed plot in Chicago, the Chicago plot, you really see another fingerprint of what was going to happen.
Dan Hardway - Yeah, that’s a very good book. And I agree, I still think that he was killed by a conspiracy, I still think that he was killed by a conspiracy that involved both mobsters and rogue elements of the Central Intelligence Agency, whether or not the agency itself was complicit in it I don’t know.
Len Osanic - Well, it would seem that with the placement of George Joannides, and you said they brought him out of retirement just for this that they would have to be complicit as accessories after the fact. That they knew they had stuff there they did not want you to find, and as soon as you guys started digging they brought in a heavey hitter.
Dan Hardway - Well, they specificly told us that the DRE, that they had severed their relationship with the DRE and that there was no case officer assigned from April of ‘62 onward the 201 file on George Joannides very clearly shows that he was the case officer for the DRE during the relevant period from April of ‘62 on and in addition to that from what Bob Blakey tells me is that when they substituted, when they brought Joannides in they told Bob and assured him that Joannides had no information relevant to any of the committee’s inquiries and that he would not have knowledge that we would need. Bob has publicly expressed the opinion that both Joannides and the CIA are guilty of obstruction of justice and lying to congress on that point by itself.
Len Osanic - Well, listen you knew Blakey, I had a rather low opinion because I thought that he had been duped by this and by you knowing him do you think this was more of an honest mistake? Do you think that he just honestly accepted the fact that they would present him honest material?
Dan Hardway - Yes.
Len Osanic - Oh, you do, oh okay. Because I just thought, well, for lack of a better word lame to keep continuing the mafia did it. Think of the poverty of that, that the mafia did something and the whole U.S. government, the Joint Chiefs of Staff were unable to stop that or even carry out a proper investigation of it. You would think that if organized crime really did it heads would have rolled and they would have gone to the top.
Dan Hardway - Well, that was where me and Bob primarily a had major disagreement He thought the mafia did it without agency involvement and I always thought the evidence indicated that there was probably some kind of agency involvement, either agency involvement or involvement by very experienced people who knew intelligence technique and practices very well. And that these people actively assisted or helped plan the mob action that resulted in Kennedy’s death.
I think that Bob here in the last few years has come more around to my way of thinking. I’m not saying that mobsters weren’t involved and weren’t part of the conspiracy. I think they probably were, and I think that part of what the people who ran the conspiracy were doing was involving enough government personnel to basically provide them the protection that they needed to be able to do what they did.
Len Osanic - Although, by providing that government personell, I mean that lays it at the feet of Kennedy’s enemies in the government, in the CIA, in the Joint Chiefs of Staff-
Dan Hardway - Very possibly.
Len Osanic - and I feel that this organized crime is a bit of a smoke screen, and it’s there for someone to blame if something went wrong. I think they invite the pro guys in, they invite some other people to be around at arms length, and they have various layers of if things go wrong here’s someone we can pin it on, here’s another X player we can pin it on. But, you know, it is speculation and-
Dan Hardway - Um-hmm
Len Osanic - I’m interested in learning more, I don’t have my mind made up at all. You know, it’s jsut that through the years I’ve been quite annoyed with Blakey, up until now when he says well maybe they weren’t telling me the truth, but I just found it curious that when you’re out there, like I mentioned before if you’re looking for dinosaur footprints you’re not on your knees with a magnifying glass you’re standing back looking at the big picture. And when you think that a president of the country has been removed you start back with his enemies and it didn’t seem that Lee Oswald had a motive. And the further you look into it it seems that he was an intelligence asset, you know, a very low level agent. And, of course, his income records are being held as a state secret. You know, you can only conclude that they would show he had income from other places such as the FBI. Was he an informant? Did he have other means of income? Was he getting these payments to his bank account that no one can know about because it would prove he was on two or three different payrolss. Who knows what he thought he was doing?
Dan Hardway - Yeah, I’d love to have his ONI file, his Office of Naval Intelligene file.
Len Osanic - Right. Now, were you guys ever able to ask for that? Were you denied that it existed?
Dan Hardway - Yeah, it was destroyed.
Len Osanic - But, there is a reference that it did exist at one time?
Dan Hardway - Yeah, they don’t deny that it existed but it’s been destroyed.
Len Osanic - And, of course, another conclusion then is that if it had anything incriminating, like revealing, they’d be waving it like a flag, see, saying here it is, he’s working for the Soviet Union, or he’s really working for Castro. But, no when it doesn’t show thata, and it shows something else, destroy it. I mean, that’s my observation.
Dan Hardway - Well, what they would say is that it reveals secrets that need to be protected but nothing that was incriminating. Believe us, trust us.
Len Osanic - Well, I don’t buy that.
Dan Hardway - (laughs) Neither do I. But, there’s not a whole lot you can do about it. I mean there is disappearing files all over the place. There were times in our investigation well if that had existed there would at least be a record of it. You know, I used to believe that, I used to think they can’t do this without leaving a trace, someone’s going to mess up somewhere, there’s going to be a trace. But, I’ve seen them make, you know, secure documents written on sequentially numbered pages disappear, now, and I’ve seen correspondence between a congressional committee and the agency disappear, there’s no record of it ever having existed. And, you know, so, yeah, they can do that. Whatever the stuff was that Angleton took out of Win Scott’s safe, we’ll never know what it was. It’s gone. I doubt very seriously that Angleton turned it over to anyone, or secured it, or secreted it anywhere. I’d say Angleton, very probably destroyed it, and so it’s gone, and whether it was the photos, or the tapes, or what it was, there was something in Winn Scott’s safe, and at this point in time 47 years on, I don’t think that we’re ever going to get to the bottom of it. And people think that when these next documents get released that we might finally get the truth. I seriously doubt it. I don’t think the truth will ever be totally ascernable on it because I think they destroyed enough that the only thing we are going to be able to do is throw all of the inferences like we’re doing right now. And at this point when future documents do get released I have to wonder whether or not the, I have to wonder about the veracity of the documents, the integrity of the documents that get released at that point.
Len Osanic - That you had seen fabrications, yourself, you wouldn’t doubt that it could happen again
Dan Hardway - I don’t know for sure that I had seen fabrications but I would not doubt that it could happen
Len Osanic - Oh, well, I thought you had mentioned seeing something that was completely retyped.
Dan Hardway - Oh, well, yeah, that wasn’t a fabrication, it was presented to me as an accurate representation with redactions.
Len Osanic - Right. But, why would they need to have to retype it, if they, you know, I’m just wondering if they left things out, or if things were obfuscated, I mean that would be my first thought. Why don’t you just show the guy the document? Or if you got to have someone retype it there’s something weird here that you’ve got to cover up.
Dan Hardway - Yeah, exactly. Why did it take you so long to get this document to me, first off, and then when I saw it I realized why it had taken them so long to get the document to me. And when I expressed my amazement to Mr. Joannides about the fact that this was obviously and blatantly a violation of the agreement between the committee and the agency he told me that this was all I was going to be allowed to see and if there was a problem with that to pursue it through chanells, and if I was quite done he would be happy to leave. And that’s where it ended.
Len Osanic - Let me ask you this about George Joannides being brought in there now if you went back in time there do you have any documents that you would make a request for that you felt that you were on the right trail, something that we should be on the lookout for?
Dan Hardway - You know, at this point 33 years later I really can’t tell you what that would be. Had I not been cut off I would have been requesting a lot more of David Philips propaganda operations files, I would have been looking much harderfor David Philips travel vouchers and other possible records of where he was, when-
Len Osanic - Yeah, but nothing for Lee Oswald, I mean you’re talking about you’d be following a trail of somebody who had, like you mentioned the motive and the means to pull this out and also to continue the cover up. No matter what people want to say about the government the fact that Joannides is brought in, I mean that statement really puts everything in perspective there. They’ve got stuff to coverup. And it’s not about Lee Oswald’s dental records or anything.
Dan Hardway - No, no (trying to get back on track with his answer) At the time in the releveant period in ‘63 Joannides was stationed at JM/WAVE in Miami and was running propaganda operations out of JM/WAVE. And that would be one area that I would really like to see is I would like to see, start looking for the the connections between David Philips and George Joannides. I mean at this point what we got is we’ve got David Philips sucessor in Miami and we’ve got some indications that anti-Castro propaganda efforts were actually being centralized out of Mexico City which indicates that Joanides may have actually been reporting to Dave Philips. And at the same time that he is the active case officer for a group of anti-Castro Cubans who run what is obviously an anti-Castro street theater with a young man named Lee Oswald in New Orleans and I don’t know how much closer you can tie these guys in unless you beleive that Dave Philips was actually “Maurice Bishop” and Antonia Vecciana saw him with Oswald. That’s the only way you can tie him in tighter than he already is.
Len Osanic - Yeah, now you mentioned the accoustical evidence around a week or tow before your time ended and that threw quite a loop into there because at the end of the House Select Committee they had to conclude that there was a conspiracy. Yet, that seemed to go against Blakey.
Dan Hardway - Yes.
Len Osanic - And if it hadn’t happen so late he would have probably tried to cover this up.
Dan Hardway - No, absolutely not.
Len Osanic - Oh, you don’t think so?
Dan Hardway - Absolutely not, absolutely not. Bob Blakey, I can still remember the day when that accoustics report came in, we had, quite a few of us on the staff had tried to get him to investigate possible conspirators as a more centralized focus of the investigation as opposed to letting us do it on our own when we could as long as we got our report tasks done. You see, Bob was very practical in that he understood that he was working for congress, that he was working on a short chain, that he had a time limit in which he had to produce a product. And he understood that he was not going to get refunded. Louis Stokes made that pretty clear to us that we were not going to get refunded, that we were not going to get extended-
Len Osanic - Yeah, an extension of the time, or more funding, right?
Dan Hardway - Right. And that consequently the congressman he worked for had hired him to produce a product which was as solid of an investigation as you could do within the time frame that he had with the resources that he had, and producing a report that would report as much as they could of what we found out with appropriate recommendations for legislation, because after all we were working for congress, the whole point of the thing was that we were supposed to come up with legislative proposals. Within that confines, within the confines of the task that was handed to him he did an incredibly effecient effective job of focusing the staff to get that task that he had been given done, while at the same time trying to give us as much leeway as he could and as much support as he could to investigate things that might not get in there and might not lead anywhere but were things of valid concern. And that was a very fine line for him to have to walk and for him to try to accomplish for things. You know, we can very easily stand back and fault him for not being a Dick Sprague and not going balls to the wall on pursuing a conspiracy theory but that’s not the type of guy he was and that’s not what he was hired to do. He was hired to produce a produce and that was made very clear in the brief that he was given. What makes me admire him was his integrity and his willingness to back me when I would get into fights with the agency over things, and his willingness to let us, especialy, you know, I can’t speak for all the other branches of the committe staff, the King branch, or even some of the other teamson the Kennedy side, but on the intelligence team that was investigating intelligence he gave us a broad way to investigate anything that we wanted to as long as we were getting the tasks done that he knew were necessary to satisfy congress. The day the accoustics came in he said, you know, here we are we have now proven a conspiracy and we have not investigated who the conspirators might have been. And he realized that, and it was merely a function of his forensics approach and the constraints the congress put on him. By forensics approach I mean he approached it very much like a prosecuting attorney, and that is what do I have to have to prove my case, and until he could prove a conspiracy he did not want to be in the position of alleging potential conspirators without a conspiracy.
Len Osanic - I think that’s my complaint though, the whole idea of having another commission, another committee was that people were unsatisfied with the Warren Commission, and various other, you mentioned the Church committee, and other things that people have been looking to, they were unsatisfied and they wanted to go in this direction of saying that we feel that there’s something wrong, will you please look into the idea that there was a conspiracy. And I thank you for speaking up for Robert becasue I want to hear your opinion.
Dan Hardway - Well, what I think he needed was another year. Until he had proof of a conspiracy he had no congressional support for going hard after tyring to investigate conspirators.
Len Osanic - And the other side of the coin is if they wanted that investigation they would have let Sprague in there.
Dan Hardway - Right.
Len Osanic - But there were certain powers that didn’t want that so that’s why Blakey is hired.
Dan Hardway - Yeah, very posssibly.
Len Osanic - Alright. Dan, thank you so much for sharing some time with me right now. It’s an infintely interesting topic, and you spent almost two years, was it?
Dan Hardway - Eighteen months.
Len Osanic - Eighteen months with Eddie Lopez.
Dan Hardway - Yeah.
Len Osanic - So I hope we can speak again sometime in the future, but for now this is I think this is a good eyeopener, and there are certain people, researchers now that don’t know some of these, the background to the Assassination Records Review Board, and the House Select Committee, and that’s what I’m trying to do, archive some of these interview with people who were there, and get their impressions and recollections of what went on there. I guess just as we wrap up is there something, a final recollection of your time there that you’d like to leave me with, and the listners...
Dan Hardway - No, we pretty much covered it
Len Osanic - Well, thank you so much for your time.
Dan Hardway - Certainly.
Len Osanic - And we’ll keep in touch via email.
Dan Hardway - Certainly.
Len Osanic - Alright, thank you again.