Tuesday, July 28, 2009

How CBS Screwed Orville Nix

In 1967 CBS News ran a series of programs on the Kennedy assassination. Par to the script, they came to the conclusion as practically all TV investigations since have gone—that Oswald was guilty of the crime and there was no conspiracy in the death of John F. Kennedy just as the Warren Commission said.

One of the people interviewed was Orville Nix a man who filmed the assassination from across the street from Abraham Zapruder’s position. Nix worked for the General Service Administration as an air conditioning repairman in the Dallas Secret Service building. He sold his footage to UPI for $5000 in 1963.

When interviewed by CBS about what he witnessed, Nix stated he heard shots coming from the direction of the grassy knoll. They would then say to him “Cut!” each time he answered. Finally, they asked him what the Warren Commission said about the shots. Nix stated, the schoolbook depository building. When they edited the tape for broadcast Nix is saying he heard the shots coming from the schoolbook depository building. His original statement had been cut out! Nix always maintained he heard shots coming from the grassy knoll.

What CBS did here is completely unethical and outrageous. When there was only three networks this type of deception was a piece of cake. CBS producer Bernard Birnbaum, who worked on the documentary, denies any of this happened to Nix. As he said, "We never tried to put any words in anybody's mouth, absolutely not." I believe Birnbaum is a liar. After all, somebody edited the tape, right? If we could see the unedited version the lie would be exposed, thus modifying Nix’s original testimony as to what happened. Nix always maintained he heard shots coming from the knoll. His honesty in this is assured.

By CBS doing this they were going to great lengths to support the Government’s case. By why? What would be their interest in helping the government out? Was it because then president William Paley was a former OSS agent and entwined with the National Security State? If the government’s case is so firm then why resort to this trickery? What is in this for CBS?

There would be a replay of this in the early 1980’s when Jim Garrison was interviewed for Speak Up America TV program. Executive Producer George Schlatter made sure the tape was edited to have Garrison saying there were “32 shooters” in Dealey Plaza. Originally he had been asked how many people were involved in conspiracy. Garrison answered thirty-two. Supervising producer John Barbour (see his excellent documentary interviewing Jim Garrison HERE.) asked Schlatter why he did this and he replied, “Garrison is a nut.”

Where did George Schlatter learn his ethics from—Bernard Birnbaum? There were grounds for libel but Garrison declined to pursue it. As one can see these media insiders love to go for influencing public opinion rather than uncovering the truth. They have largely failed though.

However, there is a silver lining in this cloud. After all the government machinations, undying media support of the Warren Commission’s story, corrupt TV producers, and denigrating of witnesses like Orville Nix, the American People still don’t believe what they are being told.

Thank you American People for your common sense!

Mark Lane interviewing Orville Nix. Says frames of missing. Says shots came from fence.

Nix’s film:

John Barbour audio interview:

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Other Conspiracy

A real conspiracy that can be proven in the Kennedy assassin is how the assassination was going to be presented to the public. In the first executive session, held in secret on a cold night in January 22, 1963 the commission’s members mulled over what they knew about Lee Oswald. They had good reason to believe that at a minimum he was an FBI informant. It was feared that the public would not believe a lone gunman scenario if Oswald were found out to be a government agent. So after mulling it over they decided Oswald was guilty and the sole assassin of the president. No further investigation of his past was to be undertaken. All the CIA and FBI needed to do was issue pro forma affidavits that Lee Oswald never worked for them. All this done before the first witness was called. The rest of the “investigation” was a mop up operation of molding the facts to fit the theory. And this is basis of the controversy that has raged since.

So explosive was this meeting that it was determined at the time that all records of the gathering were to be destroyed. So how do we know what happened?? Some honest soul, a believer in the truth, or perhaps a Kennedy loyalist, did not destroy the stenographers tape. It somehow, made its way to the National Archives where a FOIA lawsuit by legendary assassination researcher Harold Weisberg finally dislodged it years later. And this is how we know that men trusted with finding out the truth had no such mission and resolved to bury the matter.

Lead counsel, Lee Rankin went so far as to author a memo of the execute session claiming they had decided to follow ”all leads” in Oswald’s background. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Apparently Rankin assumed he was going to have the final word with the official record thus sanitized. He was wrong. The stenographer’s tape lays bare the deceptive nature of these so-called honorable men.

But even before the January 22nd meeting there is the Asst. Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach memo to Bill Moyers on how they would like to precede with the situation. The Katzenbach memo is the classic piece of evidence for a predetermined conclusion in the Kennedy murder.

Two major points from the memo:

  1. The public must be satisfied that Oswald was the assassin; that he did not have confederates who are still at large; and that the evidence was such that he would have been convicted at trial.
  2. Speculation about Oswald's motivation ought to be cut off, and we should have some basis for rebutting thought that this was a Communist conspiracy or (as the Iron Curtain press is saying) a right-wing conspiracy to blame it on the Communists. Unfortunately the facts on Oswald seem about too pat—too obvious (Marxist, Cuba, Russian wife, etc.). The Dallas police have put out statements on the Communist conspiracy theory, and it was they who were in charge when he was shot and thus silenced.
As you can see, at no point is Katzenbach saying…”Let’s dig into this and find out what the truth is.” His statements are all political. They are concerned with nothing but the spin. He goes on to say: “We can scarcely let the world see us totally in the image of the Dallas Police when our President is murdered.” Ha! In other words—we can’t have the local yokels involved with this even if the crime was committed in their jurisdiction.

It’s all about PR control and eventually they got it. They succeeded in cutting off any other investigations from authorities that had a right legally, to investigate the crime. They are more concerned with spin than fining out the truth. Apparently so since they already decided that Oswald is guilty.

The lone nut crowd says the critics are taking the memo out of context. Hardly. Read it for yourself in full, HERE. The Katzenbach memo is the classic piece of evidence for a predetermined conclusion in the Kennedy murder. Notice there never is a reference to finding out what the truth is and presenting it honestly to the public. Of course the statements have to be political—there were other chieftains to deal with such as J. Edgar Hoover being the led husky. Brooding in his office full of blackmail file cabinets, having free rein now that his boss, Robert Kennedy, was wounded and out of action Hoover let it be known that he would not let anything be exposed to tarnish the reputation of the FBI, and hence himself. Hoover and the FBI were one and the same. So from early on, the FBI got in the driver’s seat and the rest unfortunately, is history.

But I always wonder. If there is a conspiracy then why is that something those in power do not want the public to know? What is so dangerous to our Republic about knowing that?

McKnight, Gerald, Breach of Trust; maryferrell.org; www.history-matters.com

Friday, July 24, 2009

Timeline of a Battle

The first rebuttal launched in the Kennedy assassination public trial was attorney Mark Lane’s book, Rush to Judgment. A book considered to dangerous that the second in command of the FBI appeared at his publisher’s door begging that they not publish the book. They held firm, published the book and it went on to be a huge best seller. Lane’s popular book was the launching point for the public’s mistrust of the Warren Commission’s official account, which has steadily grown over the passing decades. The seeds of doubt in the official story were planted in the public's mind about the Kennedy assassination and the elites in our government never got recovered from it.

If the government’s case is so strong then what are they afraid of? It got to the point where the CIA was issuing handbooks on how to combat critics through their allies in the mainstream press. It was really magnified during the Jim Garrison trial of Clay Shaw. The government just about had a nervous breakdown over that one. As Big Jim said, to disrupt a state trial by the Feds was like shooting fish in a barrel. Indeed it was and Garrison did not get a convection of Clay Shaw that could have broken the case wide open.

The ebb and flow of this debate is a fascinating thing to watch—almost as interesting as the case itself. Here is brief series of highlights that have occurred over the last 40 years:
  • The first public showing in 1975 of the Zapruder film on national TV. It graphically displayed the final moments of the President’s life and added more confirmation for public mistrust of the formal account.
  • Debate and suspicion culminate in the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Their final report in 1979 concluded, "The committee believes, on the basis of the evidence available to it, that President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. The committee is unable to identify the other gunman or the extent of the conspiracy."
  • 1991 sees the release of Oliver Stone’s JFK movie. Not an entirely accurate portrayal of events but kept the conspiracy alive in the public’s mind. As if it needed it.
  • As if to counter, Gerald Posner publishes Case Closed in 1993. His book seeks to defend the Warren Commission with the lone gunman thesis. Despite the book’s many flaws, he becomes the darling of the mainstream press. (Getting a coveted slot on the front US News and World Report on August 30, 1993.)
  • Oliver Stone’s movie prods the Congress to establish in 1992 the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) for compiling government documents related to the assassination. Active only from 1994 to 1998.
  • Hundreds of books, videos and web sites are published throughout the 1990’s and through the first decade of and the 21st century. Mostly all document a conspiracy in the JFK assassination.
  • The Men Who Killed Kennedy” was broadcast on the History Channel in 1998. It chronicles the theory suggesting Lyndon B. Johnson was behind was behind the assassination. It was never shown again after complaints from the Johnson family and must be bought used on DVD or seen on youtube.com.
  • At the 40th anniversary of the assassination in 2003 ABC ran a special hosted by the late Peter Jennings. Appearing to be an objective investigation, once again a network program sides with the government by doing what Vince Bugliosi does later—selective use of evidence and ignoring or debunking key witnesses that challenge the official story. Considered by researchers to be one of the worse TV programs produced on the assassination of JFK. To see a page critiques go HERE.
  • In 2007 Vince Bugliosi publishes Reclaiming History, a 5-pound, 1600-page book defending the Warren Commission and the lone gunman scenario. Bugliosi boasts that his mammoth tome is the “book of the ages” on the assassination. Once again, the establishment mainstream press has a love affair with a book filled with cherry picked evidence, straw man arguments, numerous goofy mistakes and distortions of facts and events.
  • James Douglass' book, JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters is released in In April of 2008. Touted as one of the best new books on the death of JFK from a conspiratorial standpoint. Douglass concentrates on the motive for Kennedy’s death.
As you can see, the punch and counter punch is never ending. Since a larger number of books and web sites supporting conspiracy, I wonder why the long gunman proponents still keep at it. The only place they rule with their viewpoint is TV, particularly the major networks and cable channels such as the History Channel or the Discovery Channel.

It is interesting to note that no television network has ever broadcast a show that challenges, contradicts, or points out flaws in the Warren Commission report. Oswald is always found to be the lone gunman and there is never a conspiracy, despite the multitude of Kennedy enemies or evidence to the contrary. At points in these various news specials disortion of witness testimony is common. Such as what was done by CBS in a series of reports they did in 1967 with the edited (and highly unethical) testimony of witness Orvile Nix.

In fact, it is nearly impossible to get any network to show a documentary featuring conspiracy in Kennedy’s death. (That would include the assassinations of RFK and MLK as well.) John Barbour encountered that with his documentary, The Garrison Tapes. It’s only available online at abovetopsecret.com. No TV network will air it. The closest we come to an alternative view is the aforementioned special on the History Channel suggesting Lyndon B. Johnson was behind a plot.

So what is in the future? More of the same. Vince Bugliosi has some TV specials in the works. Bloggers like myself will continue to investigate and publish our findings. More books will be published. Sites like JFK Lancer will continue to discuss the issues.

Olive Stone has a nice piece at the Huffington Post on James Douglass's book mentioned above. Check it out HERE.

For an excellent history of mainstream media reporting of the Kennedy assassination go HERE.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Passing of Walter Cronkite, 1916-2009

"The question of whether Oswald had any relationship with the FBI or the CIA is not frivolous. The agencies, of course, are silent. Although the Warren Commission had full power to conduct its own independent investigation, it permitted the FBI and the CIA to investigate themselves—and so cast a permanent shadow on the answers."
Walter Cronkite, 1967

Back when the anchorman was king, Walter Cronkite ruled over them all. With his reassuring baritone voice he gave us the news of the day and the public trusted him. Forever a part of the Kennedy assassination will be his emotional response to reporting the death of John Kennedy, his sorrow mirroring that of the nation.

In many ways his passing is a metaphor for the mainstream press in out country. With the rise of the Internet, the age the citizen journalist is upon us. Viewers of the flagship news programs with the need of an anchorman are quickly becoming irrelevant as people get their news from so many other sources.

Cronkite did as little investigating of the Warren Commission as most of the mainstream press did. But to his credit, did make an important point during a 1960’s CBS news special when he reported the simple fact that the FBI and the CIA were allowed to investigate themselves in regards to Lee Oswald being one of their agents. They of course exonerated themselves as well. That is as close as he would ever come to being a critic of the official government theory.

One surprising fact I learned recently about Walter Cronkite was an oral history interview Billy Graham once gave to the LBJ library. (Read it HERE) He mentioned while staying at Camp David to minister to Johnson he saw Walter Cronkite there. The leading light of the Fourth Estate was paling around with the head of government. In fact, the very man who formed the Warren Commission of which Cronkite had so little criticism of. Conflict of interest? But these big media types see nothing wrong with that, apparently thinking they can separate business from pleasure. You think in all of the accolades being given in the mainstream press to America’s Anchorman this will ever be mentioned? Of course not. And if it is, the practice will be defended as they all do it.

Conversely, Cronkite did shred the Government and the Pentagon for their useless war in Vietnam. As he stated on his CBS broadcast of February 27, 1968:

"For it seems now more certain than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate…To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe, in the face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past."

He basically said the Emperor had no clothes. Few in journalism will do that today, as most are shills for those in power. Too bad he didn’t turn that search for the truth towards the killers of John Kennedy.

Walter Cronkite was a Big Wheel that was kind to the little wheels. He’ll always have my respect for that.

Sources: http://www.lbjlib.utexas.edu/; youtube.com

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Garrison Tapes by John Barbour

Jim Garrison in his own words. An excellent documentary with a full set of interviews of Garrison by John Barbour, creator of Real People. He did a great job of allowing Garrison to tell his side of the story uncensored or made to look like a fool as the mainstream press tried to do. Great stuff for the historical record and a must see for all with an interest in the JFK assassination. Ten segments await you at Above Top Secret.


Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Grassy Knoll Shooter Does Have the Angle

In an earlier article I looked into one the legends of the Kennedy assassination—the grassy knoll. Like many aspects of the crime there lies an apparent contradiction between witness reports and what actually happened. After much examination I concluded in that piece that the shooter’s angle was off and would have passed through Kennedy’s head from ear to ear and not the lateral wound down the right side of the head as seen in the autopsy report, pathologist testimony, and photographs.

I have since changed my view of this. I thought at the time Vince Bugliosi in his book Reclaiming History, had the right analysis. I was always impressed with the witness accounts—it was the study of the topographical map of Dealey Plaza and Bugliosi’s cherry picking of the data that turned me on a new path.

The former prosecutor of Charley Manson is king of the misdirection in his arguments, which must have served him well in court. He is one of the major proponents of the lone gunman and does not believe anybody was shooting other than Oswald from behind, six floors up. He discounts all witnesses of the grassy knoll shots with a flourish and in some instances ignores them altogether.

Bugliosi resorts to inventing evidence to support his argument. In his map he places a black dot to be the position of a sniper from behind the fence, positioned near the corner behind a live oak. Suitably, any shooter there would not have the right angle. The bullet could have passed through Kennedy’s head and possibly struck his wife as well.

However, Bugliosi concocts the position. For example on my map, it’s apparent that a shooter on the grassy knoll, if further west, nearer the railroad overpass would have the right bearing for a frontal shot. Bugliosi has to make it all up. He can’t use witness testimony as he has dismissed them all.

So Bugliosi has the shooter not having the right angle because he has placed his gunman in the wrong place to begin with! And then presents this as further proof that shots from the front could not happen. This Bugliosi character is a slick one. He would make a good illusionist with the clever props he uses. It makes me wonder how much evidence he fabricated in court to win his many convictions.

In my example I am placing my red dot in play. Conversely, I am going on witness testimony. We have the following’:

  • Abraham Zapruder said he heard shots from his right as he filmed the assassination. That places a shooter on the knoll.
  • The Newman family seen on the grass covering their children because they heard shots coming behind them from the knoll.
  • Eight railroad workers on the overpass saw smoke from the knoll area.
  • Senator Yarbrough’s comments on smelling gun smoke from the knoll as they passed by.
  • Two of Kennedy’s top aides said they heard shots from the front.
  • Orville Nix who filmed the assassination from across Elm. Said the shots were from the knoll but in his CBS interview, much to his dismay, the tape was edited to have him saying it was from the School Book Depository Building.
  • The Philip Willis family, which includes his wife and two daughters. Daughter Rosemary is the girl in the red dress that can be seen running along Elm at the beginning of the Zapruder film.

This is just a small sampling of the witness accounts of shots being fired from the knoll area. There are many more. The final witness is the Zapruder film itself, documenting Kennedy’s backward head movement from an apparent frontal shot. Of course I am making the assumption that a shooter was there at my red dot, or at last near it. The purpose being, that the right shot can be achieved if there is a sniper present on the knoll and in the right place.

After all, who was standing behind the fence? Witnesses report being shooed away by men claiming to be Secret Service agents. Meanwhile, the Secret Service claims to have no agents in the area of the knoll. Shame, as they should have been there. It would have been quite a scene to have a real SS agent confront the phony one. I might add that following the assassination the Secret Service required all agents to turn in their ID badges. So the reports of counterfeit SS agents must have been taken seriously somewhere up the chain of command. If there is a conspiracy then that area behind the fence must be cleared.

I am convinced a shooter placed behind the fence near where it meets railroad overpass has the right position to produce Kennedy’s fatal head wounds. Bugliosi’s positioning near the corner of the fence is based on his intent to build a case for the lone nut scenario and nothing more.

For those interested in doing their own study of this issue, the overhead drawing of Dealey Plaza prepared for the Warren Commission is available HERE.

Buglosi, Vincent, Reclaiming History; Talbot, Michael, Brothers; Mars, Jim, Crossfire; YouTube.com, Zapruder film; maryferrell.org;