Friday, December 31, 2010

2010, A Year End Review

2010 has proved to be an awesome year for me and this place I have for writing and pondering one of the monumental events in American history, the assassination President John F. Kennedy. I’m thankful for the internet and web sites such as that give me the chance to publish my thoughts. Thanks also to numerous sites that now link this blog. On Facebook I’ve met up with numerous fellow researchers to discuss ideas and that’s been great for debating the facts without the general rudeness ones finds on forums. And most of it all, all of you readers have made it all worthwhile, with a banner year for site traffic. The best year ever! Thank you! Most grateful.

Here, in the final winter days of 2010 we see the monumental forces that JFK was trying to wrestle power from, those “entrenched interests of enormous strength” as L. Fletcher Prouty wrote and which ultimately Kennedy lost to, come to fore with a steady erosion of our Constitutional rights. The rude and outrageous harassment of women and children to simply board a plane; the FCC under the guise of “Net Neutrality” attempts to fix something that is not broke so as to affix its talons into it for greater control; The DHS, not content with No Fly Lists is now working towards a No Work List as well, where a citizen has to pass through a security hoop so as not to be considered a threat to the Homeland; The HDS has also been granted the authority to shut down web sites that they suspect of committing copyright infringement, something that should be under the control of the FBI and in the past would need a judge to sign off of on; the government now says it can examine credit card transactions without a warrant–something that would be a felony if you or I did that; the TSA views all air passengers as criminals and inspects people as if they were cattle while placing critics on watch lists. The catalog of outrages and humiliations could go on for many pages. It is all just a lot of little steps towards one big tyranny. I view 2010 as the year of many lost liberties.

Our government, established on a Constitutional Republic, has now grown into a vast, criminal enterprise where the People are expected to serve it and not the other way around, as it grows in power and avarice. We now live in a National Security State where everybody, young and old, are considered a threat and have to be vetted. If John Kennedy had lived, or simply survived that ruinous day in Dealey Plaza, I think he could have thwarted a lot of what we are experiencing now. That was certainly where he was headed in his final days on earth. Certainly Vietnam would have turned out differently because after 1961 and the Bay of Pigs disaster he knew who and what he was up against. He was the last President to confront these unseen powers. And a sad note that is...

I hope we don’t became a people such as what Bruce Springsteen sang about in Jungleland. “The poets down here right nothin’ at all–they just stand back and let it all be.”

The Politics and Unexpected Things
It’s amazing sometimes what kind of things you can get into just simply trying to write about subject. I’ve had people contact me from well known writers and searchers, impostors, to people on the kooky fringe. One guy emailed me with the idea that the grassy knoll shooter was a diversion; the real kill shot came from Jackie. I don’t respond back to people with this sort of nonsense–how can you? I want nothing to do with them and certainly no email trail between us.

The big uptake in traffic has resulted in a large surge in attention from various agencies of the government, military, and those corporations that profit from them. The full litany of the military industrial complex that President Eisenhower has stopped by. It spoke to me how deep all of this runs even now, almost 50 years as the assassination of John F. Kennedy. This has also launched a host of commentary on various forums. As they say, you know you are getting somewhere when you start getting your character trashed on the Internet! They also say that any publicity is good publicity. Okay, not really, but at least people can come to my blog, read the articles, and see that I am trying to be reasonable and fair in dealing with the facts. They can decide for themselves what the truth is for them. Anyway, I am fully aware that this endeavor is not about me–it’s about finding the truth.

Another factor is the little things that happen along the way. For example, I only fly once a year and each time, since I started this blog, I’ve had my luggage searched by the TSA. Which means three times so far. It’s easy to tell–they leave their calling card in my bag. This is of course a violation of my 4th Amendment rights for undue search but under the Homeland Security mania anything goes. Note that I have no arrest or criminal record as a juvenile or adult, nor have I ever been a member of a any subversive group. So is it because I’m a government critic through my writing about JFK? I don’t know but it could be with other critics being placed on government lists (not that I fancy myself of any importance to be placed on one). Ironically, my Congressman John Mica, is one of the sponsors of the bill that launched the TSA. I’ll be sending him a written complaint with a host of questions in the coming year.

As usual, another good year for JFK conspiracy-oriented books. In fact, I know of no book supporting the lone gunman theory that was published in 2010. Of all that were published, Me and Lee by Judyth Vary Baker (see my review HERE) was the most informative and with much ground-breaking material not ever seen before. What makes it an important book is that it offers first-hand account of someone that knew Lee Oswald personally–to the point to being, according to her words, the lover of Oswald during the summer of 1963 in New Orleans. It’s a far more detailed narrative than Oswald’s widow Marina, ever told and it’s rich with the personalities of the period. It often reads like a who’s-who of JFK conspiracy characters and events. As I read it I thought, too bad that Jim Garrison didn’t have Judyth Baker as a witness! As she connects all the major figures together–Oswald, Ruby, Ferrie, Shaw and Banister into a cohesive group of which she claimed to have met and interacted with. Her story makes sense and I think overall, adds much to the history of the days leading up to the assassination. It’s a familiar story that reads fresh. The details of Lee Oswald’s personality and work in New Orleans in the summer of 1963 are fleshed out in such a way to fill in most of the mysterious areas of his life. You’ll never read or think about Oswald the same again. It’s a truly thought provoking read.

And one interesting aside. The TV show 60 Minutes launched a 14-month long investigation of Judyth Vary Baker’s allegations which unfortunately, and mysteriously, was never aired. They either found out her story was bogus or else they found it was true and knew they could never air it. Mostly likely the latter is the case. After all, the mainstream media (other than the History Channel one time) has never presented anything on the JFK assassination that was pro-conspiracy or for that matter, entreated the possibility of a conspiracy as being a legitimate area of inquiry.

A Look Ahead To 2011
I hope to eventually get a book published featuring the “best of” blog articles. I’ll be updating each article with the latest information or new discoveries along the way. Podcasting. I hope to get that started as there are few JFK podcasts out on the web. And of course, the writing and research continues.

As we move into a new year I leave you with these words from Fredrick Douglass:

“Those who profess to favor freedom, yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

Monday, December 27, 2010

John Wilkes Booth vs Lee Harvey Oswald

(Update from previous article.)

Over the years you all have most likely read the list of amazing coincidences between Abraham Lincoln and John Kennedy’s lives and deaths. Lincoln’s secretary was a Kennedy and Kennedy’s secretary was a Lincoln, and so on. However, after reading Michael Kauffman’s American Brutus I am convinced that there are more coincidences between their alleged killers, John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald than the Presidents themselves. American Brutus is an excellent book on the Lincoln assassination, focusing on the life of John Wilkes Booth and the resulting plot. I recommend it for students of the Kennedy assassination as well as it accurately plots how conspiracies operate and how to keep coconspirators quiet. While reading it I began to notice a trail of coincidences between the lives of Booth and Oswald that parallel one another to an amazing degree.

Coincidences like this are interesting to ponder but ultimately lead to nowhere. Maybe just mathematical flukes, or maybe the nature of reality is different than what we know. One can have the sense that these trivial deeds are signposts—markers—to history. The assassinations of Lincoln and Kennedy were pivotal in American History. But why are the events and deeds of Booth and Oswald so similar? Could assassins have a similar psychological makeup, allowing them to have similar life experiences? Quite possibly so. Maybe it all looks significant and really is not, just a way our brains organize data and patterns we discover in the world. It remains an interesting mystery, never the less.

Arrest records. Prior to their famous deeds, both Booth and Oswald were arrested and jailed for pity crimes. In early 1863 a provost marshal in St. Louis arrested Booth for making anti-government remarks, briefly detained, paid a fine and let go. In the summer of 1963, Oswald was arrested for a scuffle on the streets of New Orleans, briefly detained, posted bail, and let go.

Undelivered speeches. In Booth’s day the main debate was over slavery. Booth wrote a speech on the issue, a rough draft with spelling errors, which he never delivered. Oswald’s issue for his time was communism vs capitalism. He also wrote a speech about this subject. It was a rough draft, with spelling errors, which he also never gave.

Both men accidentally shot themselves. As Booth was examining his stage manager’s pistol, he noticed some rust on the barrel. When he went remove it with a pocketknife, the gun accidentally discharged wounding Booth in the thigh, narrowly missing an artery. He took weeks to recover. While in the Marines, Oswald accidentally shot himself in the upper left arm with an unauthorized .22 pistol. This resulted in the first of his two court-martials he would receive. (The second being an altercation he had with the sergeant that turned him in for the accidental shooting.)

Scars on necks. Booth had a tumor removed off his neck shortly before the assassination. Oswald had a mastoid operation as a child which left a three inch scar on the left side of his neck.

Both men used aliases. Booth used John Boyd while on the run after the assassination; Oswald used Alek Hidell and had a Hidell ID in his wallet at the time of his arrest.

Both men spent their last days living alone. And estranged from the women in their lives. Booth in a hotel away from his girlfriend; Oswald in a rooming house separated from his wife and children.

Booth and Oswald were both killed by a single gun shot. Booth by a rifle shot to the neck. Oswald by a pistol shot to the abdomen.

A "junior" in the family. Booth had a brother named Junius after their father. Oswald had a brother named Robert after their father. Both of them were older brothers.

Autopsy Photographs. Booth and Oswald’s bodies were autopsied; both were photographed. Booth’s autopsy photos have never been released.

Family member named June. Booth had brother named Junius but he was called in the family by his nickname, June. Oswald’s first daughter is named June.

Miscellaneous: Both men were southerners. Both have six letters in their middle names. Both have a total of 15 letters in their three names. Their middle names are derived from relatives. Both were mortally wounded before their trials. Both men were involved in assassinations of Presidents on a Friday. Both were survived by their mothers. Both were in their 20‘s. Both had their fathers die when they were young. Both were widely traveled.

Kauffman, Michael, American Brutus; Bugliosi, Vincent, Reclaiming History; Armstrong, John, Harvey and Lee; Baker, Judyth, Me and Lee, The Warren Report

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dale Myers Takes A Stab At Book Reviewing (And Conspiracy Theorist Bashing)

The first time I wrote about Dale K. Myers was in my piece, Dale Myers and Pat Speer Duke it Out. Researcher and critic Pat Speer has an online book on the Kennedy assassination that is an excellent research tool. As Speer said of Myers’ work, “...his depiction of the single-bullet theory is so incredibly misleading.” He took on Myers in a series of online debates regarding Myers’ computer simulations of the Kennedy murder that have been featured on various TV documentaries. He started out years ago using crash-test dummies before moving on to computerized simulations and he’s made a lot of variations on them. After a lot of exchanges between the two, Myers retired from the field of battle after getting his nose bloodied by Speer. You can read my piece HERE and for much greater detail on Pat Speer’s site HERE.

Dale Myers recently posted a review of a newly published book on the Tippit murder from Donald Byron Thomas called, Hear No Evil: Social Constructivism and the Forensic Evidence in the Kennedy Assassination. It’s quite a screed filled with insults towards the author and plenty of good ole’ fashion Bugliosi style conspiratorialist bashing calling Warren Commission critics, conspiracy nut-jobs and boobs. Oh, and throw in a little sarcasm as well to salt the wounds. In the process, Myers comes off as a jerk. But hey, whatever the government says is okay with people like this. After all, the Feds never lie do they?

Myers starts off by dissing the author, Donald Byron Thomas, a Ph.D Entomologist (study of insects–the doctorate degree is never mentioned in the review). Says Myers: “To say that Mr. Thomas, an entomologist by profession, is way out of his league pontificating on the Tippit case would be an understatement devoid of description.” Because he studies bugs? I guess Myers considers himself more immanently qualified to research the Kennedy assassination with his background as a computer geek animator. Amazing. The haughty Myers in a huff! As if producing digital recreations of the discredited Magic Bullet theory gives one total credibility in researching the JFK case. Perhaps he is envious of a book on this subject since he wrote one as well, With Malice: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Murder of Officer J.D. Tippit. A book that is out of print and priced at over a $100 used. (He links it to Amazon, but there is only one new copy there and it’s priced at $169.95! The current cheapest used price is $114.03 and if one has some cash to burn, the most expensive is $1,289.79 from some dude in Germany. Other used books sellers online also price it over $100 as well. While Myers constantly references his book but never alerts the reader of its hefty cost. Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #872,807. Oi!)

Early on, Myers’ opines about Hear No Evil: “Thomas’ take on the Tippit murder is the most outrageous, error-riddled, load of crap I’ve read in a long time. It’s hard to believe that anyone with an ounce of sense would believe such nonsense, but hey, if you don’t know what really happened I guess anything – even the kind of bull droppings that Thomas is hawking – can sound plausible.

He could have ended the review there, but no, no, no. The Emmy award winning animator is not done slinging insults by a long shot. The review is so long I placed it in Word at 12 point type and it stretched on for 38 pages! And that doesn’t include the pages of Errata and end notes. All this babbling for a book he says is a load of crap, filled with half-truths and outright fabrications. But Myers, the Warren Commission’s defender of Truth and Logic must soldier on refuting many of the facts mentioned in the Dr. Thomas’ book both major and petty. For example, he starts out with the initials “J. D.” and says Thomas can’t get the name right alleging that the initials meant nothing. However, researcher, Thomas H. Purvis, who has copy of a Tippet insurance form says he lists his full name as Jefferson Davis Tippit. Purvis also says it was common in the Tippit family to have names of noted leaders.

Myers takes to beating on Dr. Thomas even if he has to use a feather.

To be fair to Myers, he does appear to have found some serious flaws in the research as it’s presented in Hear No Evil. For example, Thomas’ claim that Tippet’s autopsy report had been suppressed or that Tippet suffered three wounds instead of four; the placement of a gas station at a corner where there was none; or that Tippet was shot with different types of bullets rather than different brands. Though I think he errs greatly on the issue of the wallets.

That Pesky Wallet
One of the mainstays of JFK assassination controversy has been the wallet found at the scene of the Tippet murder with Oswald’s ID cards in it. Myers touches on this issue for another opportunity to rip on Thomas and conspiracy theorists in general, but the fact of the matter is that the whole issue is revealed in the first place in FBI agent James Hosty’s 1966 (reprinted in 1996) book, Assignment: Oswald. Further adding credence to the episode is the wallet which is being examined by Dallas Police officers is being filmed. Not so easy to dismiss witness testimony this time around. Myers is reduced to a pitiful declaration, “...the pedigree of the wallet is unknown. It remains to this day, unknown.” Sure, sure...

This is a favorite subject of mine to explore and I wrote about it in The Tale Of The Two Wallets. The genesis of the story is when an unnamed witness hands a black wallet to a Sargent Calvin Owens who in turn brings it to the attention of Captain W. R. Westbrook of the Dallas Police. This examining of the wallet is captured on film (no audio) by Ron Reiland of WFAA-TV. Allegedly Lee Oswald’s ID and one for his alias, Alex Hidell were found in it. Along comes FBI SA Robert Barrett and Capt. Westbrook asks him if he knows the individuals on the IDs, as if Barrett would know, and he does not. Eventually the story of this incident makes it way into FBI agent James Hosty’s, Assignment Oswald, where agent Barrett relates the story to him for the book. (Attempts were made to interview officers Westbrook, Owens, and a third officer seen on film, Captain George Doughty, but were unsuccessful.)

The tricky part is that when Oswald is arrested at the movie theater, there is a wallet in his left pocket on him! So, two wallets in play and that makes a frame-up and hence, a conspiracy. In my view, this is why Myers leaves the wallet a mystery, without pedigree, because either the second wallet story is true, or somebody is lying here. Agent Hosty wrote that fellow agent Barrett told him that an Oswald wallet was found at the Tippit crime scene. Agent Barrett believed without a doubt the case against Oswald being Tippet’s murderer was a “slam-dunk” because the wallet with Oswald’s ID in it was found at the murder scene! Obviously, that is a lie if Barrett’s allegation is false. But why would he lie about such a thing? The lofty Myers has no say on that point.

After all, there can’t be a second wallet as that indicates a frame-up of Oswald for the Tippet murder.

According to Myers, “To date, the wallet’s origin and owner remain unknown.” Not to FBI agent Barrett! Or for that matter, three Dallas Policemen seen with it. Myers furiously typed, “But that doesn’t stop Thomas from turning the wallet episode into some half-baked conspiracy theory like all of his brethren before him.” Gosh, we are all in lock-step here? Does he know the source of this? Which is an FBI agent, right? And apparently Hosty believed it as he included the incident in his book.

What it comes down to is Myers doesn’t want to find out who it belongs to and concedes it is all a mystery. I am sure it would have been so much easier for him if the whole wallet scene had not been filmed! He inserts there is no proof it was Oswald’s yet can’t or won’t attribute it to Tippet–or anybody else. But it has to belong to somebody. Bugliosi had the same problem in Reclaiming History and sent the issue to his End Notes on disc where he finally concluded it was Tippet’s billfold that had fallen out of his trouser pocket. (At no point has anyone at the murder scene, police, FBI, or the ambulance crew said this was the case.) At least Bugliosi could make a decision on the issue unlike Myers, who would rather have it all go away.

Also of note: Neither SA Barrett or Capt. Westbrook, Sargent Owns, or Capt. Doughty wrote up the discovery of the wallet in their official reports. Captain Westbrook apparently never turns it over to the Homicide department. It vanishes. And if it’s a second wallet belonging to Oswald, then it has to, right?

Just Too Much Thinkin’ Goin’ On Here
Not be undone Dale Myers also has J.D. Tippet web site to refute critics. On it Myers heroically claims:

“As long as my health permits, I will continue to be alert for false and misleading information being publicized about the JFK assassination investigation. I will utilize whatever resources are available to refute such information. Future generations deserve to know the truth. During the past forty-one years there has been far too much fiction.”

He’s right. There has been too much fiction and it begins with the Warren Report! Oh well, nothing like being a guiding light of reason against those unruly, superstitious peasants that have the audacity not to believe what their “betters” tell them! Actually, it’s just defending the honor of the status quo since a large majority of the public doesn’t believe them, not matter how many shills they have in place; no matter the mainstream media’s blackout of JFK conspiracy related books, videos, magazines and web sites. After a while it’s just as much a political exercise as it was for the Warren Commission and the government sanctioned investigations that followed.

In Dale Myers’ Lone Nut world everybody tells the truth. Nothing is suspicious at all– it’s all random chance, coincidence, simple little errors that don’t mean anything. Any witness that has something controversial or even hints at conspiracy has to come under close scrutiny. Vince Bugliosi does the same thing in Reclaiming History, and in fact, Myers worked on part of it till they had a parting of ways. So one can see the modus operandi at work here, such as with lead witness Helen Markham with her scatter brained testimony being fully acceptable as opposed to Roger Craig, who defies all the main dogmas of the case and is in turn, treated like the bastard at the family reunion. (Another example is cab driver William Whaley that dropped Oswald off at certain street only to change the address numerous times over the years. But that is okay with these cherry pickers so long as Oswald comes out guilty every time.)

Unfortunately, Myers’ review sets a nasty tone. Laced with insults, sarcasm, condescension and slander, it’s hard to fathom where all the hate comes from. If author Donald Byron Thomas is wrong in his analysis of the facts then say so. It’s a noble enterprise to combat disinformation in the case but this screed ramps up the nastiness to John McAdams levels. Generally, it seems most of the vitriol comes from the Lone Nut believers. Most of their focus seems to be on the critics and not the original source of the controversy to begin with–the Warren Commission and its report. Why such a fevered drive to prove what the Commission was saying as opposed to breaking it all down and really finding something out?

Errata 12/22/10
The Amazon book prices have changed again. Now the latest used price for Dale Myers’ With Malice is $149.99. The latest new price is, incredibly, $1,289.78!

The Warren Report; Hosty Jr., James, Assignment: Oswald; McKnight, Gerald, Breach of Trust; Armstrong, John, Harvey and Lee; Mars, Jim, Crossfire; Bugliosi, Vince, Reclaiming History

Thomas H. Purvis

Dale Myers and Pat Speer Duke it Out

Pat Speer analysis of Myer’s animation

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Where The JFK Assassination Sent Us

"We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.”
Ayn Rand

“Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?”

Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

I think by now we all know that the death of John F. Kennedy changed America forever and was a pivotal event in American history of the twentieth century. It’s a long and winding road from Dealey Plaza to where we are now. When he died it showed us the true nature of our Republic. That while we cherish the Founders, and our rule of law, we are not ever far from the Night of the Long Knives. No matter what we think of ourselves, the Kennedy Administration was ended by bullets and not ballots. Checks and balances be damned–the fiefdoms that arose since the founding of the National Security State in 1947 came to the fore and made their play. Van Jones, in discussing his time in government service called them the “informal systems of power.” He could have been echoing Eisenhower’s final address to the American public.

Since then the increasing power of the Federal Government has been in its ascendency since 1963 and was accelerated as the result of the attacks on 9-11. Don’t think the Patriot Act was created as a result–the legislation has its genesis in the 1990’s. It was lying in wait for a major event to make it more palatable to the public.

Parallel to this has risen the other beast in the Secret Team, the CIA, NSA and numerous other three-letter agencies with their hidden cloak and dagger empires and its multi-billion dollar black budgets and hidden political and foreign policy agenda. It is probably more insidious than the Federal behemoth but its ways are mysterious and the fruit it bares is not known till afterward. Under the cloak of National Security it can cover up all of its deeds both good and bad.

It all happens gradually as the Germans experienced under Hitler. They took away just enough liberty each time, but not enough to fight about. Till finally, one morning they all woke up in a Fascist state. There was nothing left to do but submit. The population was conditioned to accept a totalitarian state. Just as we are today, being conditioned by being forced to take off our shoes to get on a commercial aircraft or have the most private areas of one’s body touched as if we are one large nation of criminal suspects, both young, old, and handicapped.

Now we now live in state of Security Mania. It’s not enough to treat the average person a potential criminal to board a commercial aircraft. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has started a “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign. Getting national retailer Walmart to play along, monitors are being set up in stores near cash registers to broadcast the government message to the public encouraging them to spy on their fellow citizens (and fellow shoppers) for the National Security State. Orwellian? You bet!

The Wikileaks document dump is another part of the roundabout. What the WikiLeaks-Assange leaks have shown is just what a vast, criminal enterprise the Federal government has become. It is such a great stretch to say the assassination of John Kennedy, let alone his brother and civil rights leader Martin Luther King, were killed by this cabal? Some have suggested it’s a 9-11 event against Internet free speech and the free dissimulation of information. Maybe so.

Paul Craig Roberts recently wrote that what the WikiLeaks document dump means:

“The media, not merely in the US but also throughout the English speaking world and Europe, has shown its hostility to WikiLeaks. The reason is obvious. WikiLeaks reveals truth, while the media covers up for the US government and its puppet states.”

Amen. And the truth is always the enemy of the totalitarian state. They hate the Internet with a passion as too much information is being discovered, spread, read, and published (republished) by the masses. (I’ve already published more facts on the JFK assassination from a conspiracy perspective than you’ll ever read in the mainstream corporate press. Yet they show up here to read it. Hear me CBS? NY Times? CBC? Tribune Corp?)

Contrary to what some might say, the leaks having nothing to do with National Security, but rather Nation Insecurity. All the documents do is embarrass and humiliate the ruling class. And more importantly, is shows how conspiratorial they all are. It shows what they were, and are, doing behind the people’s back and it’s a nasty business. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton is shown in a signed document, encouraging spying on UN bigwigs. Did this come from the top? Mrs. Clinton’s reputation for blackmail and digging up dirt on political opponents is well known. Yet the American media is so sidetracked it can’t deal with the how and why of this. She has since declared she will retire from public life. Was it because of Wikileaks? We shall see.

Everything Surveilled
In an excellent piece of independent investigative journalism, researcher Christopher Soghoian at his site,, describes a successful FOIA request that netted a ten page document related to DOJ spying of financial records particularly credit card transactions with just a simple subpoena. This can be viewed on his site. As he states:

“As the document makes clear, Federal law enforcement agencies do not limit their surveillance of US residents to phone calls, emails and geo-location information. They are also interested in calling cards, credit cards, rental cars and airline reservations, as well as retail shopping clubs.”

Notice the mention of geo-location. That is satellite technology to monitor the citizenry. Soghoian goes on to the salient part:

“The document also reveals that DOJ's preferred method of obtaining this information is via an administrative subpoena. The only role that courts play in this process is in issuing non-disclosure orders to the banks, preventing them from telling their customers that the government has spied on their financial transactions. No Fourth Amendment analysis is conducted by judges when issuing such non-disclosure orders.”

So there you have it. DOJ is going through your financial records without your knowledge or consent in violation of your 4th Amendment rights. This would normally be considered a felony but the government apparently has no need to obey its own laws anymore. Evidence of paranoid state apparatus that fears its citizens.

So Here We Are
In the last days of 2010 we faced a year of outrageous and unnecessary
treatment of air travelers-as-criminals, hints that the same maltreatment is headed for the bus and the train travel industry, more legislation that restricts our liberty, and a huge document dump that has a potential of restricting the public’s liberty online. A relentless pounding. It’s as if it’s all been fast-tracked. In 2011 watch for more of the same or more intense than what we just had. It can be prevented if we do what Solzhenitsyn suggested–simply, fight back. But the People seem to have no fight left in them. What will it take?

So in the final consideration–yes–John Kennedy’s death set us on the path we are on to a what amounts to a police state. Kennedy was in formal opposition to almost all of the “informal systems of power” behind the curtain. They have been in operation a long time and their power is unabated to this day. When full frontal tyranny comes it will be from them and hidden in the guise of security. What history, it’s always the same. John F. Kennedy was the last president to govern as if he was the main man in charge, the sole leader. But as he tragically found out, there is more than one King in Camelot.

Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr I., The Gulag Archipelago; Proudy, R. Fletcher, The Secret Team

Paul Craig Roberts:

Christopher Soghoian:

Web site: (if up)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Book Review: Me & Lee: How I Came To Know, Love and Lose Lee Harvey Oswald

“No one will ever know who or what Lee Harvey Oswald represented.”
Richard Helms, former CIA director

Here is how it all goes down. A cute, high school whiz kid Judyth Vary, gets interested in cancer research from the death of her grandmother and develops a series of science projects that quickly garners the attention of powerful people in science, the military, and politics. She gets publicity, supplies, and lab space do her ever expanding research. Not lacking in moxie, she later crashes an important scientific conference in Tampa and meets one of the prime movers in cancer research, Dr. Alton Ochsner, who flies down to personally meet her. Impressed with her work, he invites her to New Orleans to work on cancer research and continue her education at Tulane. Sounds like a fairy tale come true! A true Cinderella story for a 19 year old.

But things are not what they seem. It actuality she brought in not to work on a cure for cancer but a clandestine project to find and isolate a cancer causing virus for the purposes of assassinating American’s number one Cold War boogie man, Fidel Castro. In the process she comes into contact with every major figure of JFK assassination lore: David Ferrie, Jack Ruby, Clay Shaw, Guy Banister, Drs Ochsner and Sherman, and finally, Lee Oswald who becomes her lover. However, when they decide they want to test the cancer virus on human subjects, mental patients, Judyth balks and in the process sacrifices a promising career in medical research. She takes on the life of a wife and mother, lying low and eventually seeking political asylum in Europe where she now resides.

It’s an easy going narrative that quickly thrusts the reader into the hot, humid summer of 1963 New Orleans; a backdrop of Cold War intrigue and shadowy characters loaded with the sights, sounds, and smells of the era. Judyth puts the reader in the here and now. There is no, “I remember when...” It is a constant beat of events as if they are happening now, not nearly 50 years ago.

And probably the most surprising thing one can take away from this work is her account of Lee Oswald himself. In this portrayal, he is no longer a stranger in a strange land, the disgruntled ex-Marine living on the fringe of society unable to get along. Instead, we glimpse a warm, carrying and even compassionate man. A patriot that loves his country and willing to make any sacrifice to preserve the Republic. It takes a while for this to settle in. It’s like waking up from a dream or being told that Hitler or Stalin were really nice guys after all–just misunderstood. To say this book shows a completely different side of Lee Oswald is a major understatement. He is totally different!

It’s In The Details
Probably the most striking thing about the book is attention to detail. It’s both a blessing and a curse. The details of early 1960’s New Orleans are astoundingly revealing, but borders on being too much so. Apparently, this lady rarely throws anything away. There are photos of matchbook covers, trolly car tickets, newspaper clippings, letters, birth certificates, and check stubs. It is amazing what is retained. Everything is here but a love letter between the two, or a picture of them together. Even a fateful event, such as Judyth and Lee both getting employed at the Reily Coffee company has proof. She still has the original job wanted ad, with the jobs both of them got, circled. Who retains this kind of stuff? Perhaps she realized she was in over her head dealing with these spooky characters working on clandestine medical experiments and sought to protect herself in saving every scrap of paper associated with this world. And many of these events Judyth relates are so far-out that having those scraps of paper helps verify what she is saying.

Even more amazing is the attention to detail in the conversations. How anyone could retain this much dialogue from so long ago is hard to believe and my main uneasiness I have about her book. There are dozens of detailed exchanges recorded here. For example in her first meeting with Dr. Mary Sherman at her apartment (which included David Ferrie) the conversation flows on for seven and half pages as if there was a stenographer in the room to record it all. Obviously not–perhaps she was keeping a journal at the time to retain these discussions and that is hinted at with a photo of a typed diary page. I cannot say in good faith these numerous chats noted in the book (and there are dozens) are the result of literary invention. I simply don’t know and I find it troublesome.

What We Know Of Oswald
Studying what we know of Lee Oswald from a variety of sources and books, her account does not contradict what is known and overall, is quiet accurate. The other events surrounding the assassination are also well researched and presented. Judyth Vary Baker reveals herself as being well versed and knowledgeable on all subjects mentioned. I would endorse her as an expert on the case.

John Armstrong is the author of Harvey and Lee, the main book on the Oswald as doppelganger theory. Even if you don’t agree with Oswald being doubled by the CIA for clandestine service, its 900+ pages make a great source book for all things involving the Kennedy association. There are things in this one book you will not read elsewhere. A meticulous researcher, Armstrong lists hundreds of people that have came into contact with Lee Oswald throughout his life and especially the many people that encountered him in the summer of 1963 in New Orleans. Judyth Baker is not one of them; she is never mentioned once. Yet in Judyth’s account she and Lee were all over town, dining out often, hanging out in Ferrie’s apartment, having dinners with Jack Ruby, visiting Guy Banister’s office on Camp Street, among many other happenings of this nature. There is in effect, only one witness, Anna Lewis, that places her with Oswald in these other places outside of the Reily Coffee Company. There is no other researcher/author that has her with him outside of Reily Coffee either (there is Ed Haslam but he just repeats her story in Dr. Mary’s Monkey). Ultimately, it all lies in her version of the events. We have to trust her.

What Judyth Vary Baker succeeds at is making her amazing story ring true. She bluntly tells all including her own personal failings, such as cheating on her difficult, distant husband. She is as hard on herself as anyone else mentioned in the narrative. In regards to Lee Oswald her take is that he is a behind the scenes player, creating multiple false trails to cover his true identity, willing to do anything and sacrifice all for his country. Judyth also succeeds in filling in the missing bits of Oswald’s mysterious dealings in a logical sequence of events. The FPFC phase was nothing more than theater. Judyth tells us why, in a manner than makes sense with this and other phases, filing off the rough bits.

Of course love blinds. So her portrayal of Oswald in Me & Lee is sifted through those feelings of love, lust, and lost. It’s a romanticized vision. If the Oswald we experience here is totally different than the one we are accustomed to, it’s because he comes off as the noble hero out to slay the forces of evil as a warrior of the shadows, not the misfit alleged slayer of a famous man of power and prestige. Other than the admission of wife beating and forcing himself on Marina because she mocked his manhood, he has no obvious flaws in her description of him. (Ironically, these disgusting acts did not stop Judyth from falling madly in love with him either. But to her credit, she claims to have extracted a promise from Lee never to do this abuse again.)

Despite all that is written here about his character and the hundreds of words of conversations Judyth allegedly has with him I don’t really feel I know this version of Lee Oswald any better than the Warren Commission version. There is still much mystery in this man. But at least we have two full versions to think about.

Mission Improbable
I do think Judyth Vary Baker proves her early life as a science whiz, the attention she garnered, and the contacts she made that sent her to New Orleans. I think her evidence she provides frames this early period of her life truthfully. All events that we can double-check are well written and accurate which I think adds credibility to her story. Her meeting of Lee Oswald and her many moments spent with him, her interaction with all of the main characters and the behind the scenes skulduggery, one has to accept on face value or not. There are revelations here such as Jack Ruby telling her that he knew Lee Oswald from when he was a boy; Oswald receiving $200 a month in salary from the CIA; he maintains two apartments in New Orleans for use in operations; Lee states that his alias, Alek Hidell, was a “project name” used by other operatives. The list goes on and on and makes for fascinating reading but many of these disclosures are not documented, they are just what Judyth gleamed from conversations with others.

Probably the most striking thing about her book is that to the last page, it all makes sense. Despite so many improbable incidents, overall, her story has a ring of truth to it.

Perhaps Richard Helms was wrong. Perhaps we can know what Lee H. Oswald represented through this one book.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Unexplained Mysteries Of The JFK Assassination

Actually, the killing of John F. Kennedy is one long, drawn out mystery. Because something happened here that was so far out of normalcy. Every single thing involved with it is problematic; even the simple things like Oswald buying a money order to purchase a mail order rifle is rife has problems. Conspiracy can be debated forever, but one thing is for certain–the reasons regarding the death of President Kennedy were covered up by a multitude of government agencies both Federal and State, the military, and the media. But why? Either they did it, or else somebody else did and they never could find out what happened and couldn’t tell the public they couldn’t figure it out.

Never the less, there was a swift rush to judgement to the point where Lyndon Johnson was being told by Joint Chiefs on the flight back to Washington that there was no conspiracy and the lone gunman was in custody. Amazing! How could they have known that so quick just hours after the event? Before any investigation had taken place? The Dallas police were still in the process of collecting evidence. This appears to be standard operating practice as this modus operandi would be repeated many times later, most notably the September 11 terror attacks where within hours of the disaster the government was relaying through the cable news networks that the crime was perpetrated by Osama bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda organization. Once again, no investigation had started, nor any evidence collected from the smoldering crime scene to arrive at this conclusion. But somehow, they came forward with this no matter how strange this looks. Then years later, when they had the official government investigation, they issue a report arriving at the same conclusion they established on the day of the disaster, within hours of it happening. Nothing changed! The exact same thing occurs on November 22, 1963. Perhaps this nonsense is an easier sell within moments of a national tragedy than days or weeks later. However, it’s a recurring pattern that occurs over and over again.

This is just one of many mysteries of the JFK assassination. Although there are enough to fill, and have filled, many volumes of books, what follows are a few more to consider.

Oswald’s Money Order
As with all things Oswald, this one episode is fraught with trouble too. In my article, Who Bought The Guns?, I chronicle the strange ends and outs of obtaining his guns. The problem is the money order he used for ordering the Mannlicher-Carcano from Kline’s Sporting Goods of Chicago is missing important routing codes. The routing codes are important as they trace the instrument through the banking system, insuring that each institution is only paying once.
Only the endorsement stamp of Klein’s is visible. Missing are the stamps from the First National Bank of Chicago, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and finally, the Federal Postal Money Order Center in Kansas City where all good MO’s go for their final resting place. However, the money order was not found there in the but in the National Archives in Virginia.

Mystery: Why are the routing stamps missing? Where are Oswald’s fingerprints on the money order and the order form? Why was the money order purchased at one post office and then mailed from a different one miles away? How did Oswald’s MO arrive in the Federal Records Center in Alexandria, VA? Or for that matter, who thought to look for it in the National Archives in the first place?

The Otepka Incident
Otto Otepka, a successful security analyst for the Department of State’s Office of Security, had his career destroyed by Lee Harvey Oswald. Or rather, his interest in the man. One day in June of 1960, while viewing a routine security file on defectors to the Soviet Union, Otepka noticed that one of defectors was listed as a tourist. The man’s name was Lee Oswald. Curious, Otepka contacted both the CIA and the FBI requesting more information on the man. After all, it was odd to see a defector listed as a tourist. He also was interested in uncovering if this man was really a defector or possibly, someone working for intelligence.

This all sent ripples through the upper echelons of the government bureaucracy.
What Otto Otepka did was look too closely at an individual that was under a national security blanket. This resulted in John Francis Reilly being placed in charge of the Office of Security in 1962. He would later state under oath that Robert Kennedy had placed him there. In essence, Reilly was to keep an eye on Otepka who by then had started his own file on Oswald. By 1962 he had his office phone tapped. In June of 1963 Otepka’s office safe was broken into and guess what file got stolen? Of course, the Oswald file. In the same month he was removed from his job. By September he had ten criminal charges brought against him which he was eventually successful in fighting off.

However, this all has a genesis in Otto Otepka’s first and only meeting with Robert Kennedy which occurred in December of 1960. One of Otepka’s duties was issuing security clearances. There were several Kennedy appointees that he had denied. Bobby showed up late and agitated. Otepka calmly gave his reasons for denying the appointees and Bobby exploded. Otepka held his ground and Bobby, seeing this man was not easily rolled, left in a huff. For many years Otepka thought his troubles with Bobby began with the security clearances. Doing his own research years later he came to believe it was his curiosity in Lee Oswald that destroyed his career in government service. More powerful figures didn’t want him snooping around there and apparently, Robert Kennedy was one of them. By sending out inquires to other agencies Otepka inadvertently brought attention to himself–by those in the loop and those not in the loop. And he believed the Attorney General was behind it all.

Mystery: So what did Robert Kennedy know about Lee Oswald and when did he know it? As early as 1960-61? Certainly by 1962 to have sent his people in to keep an eye on Otepka. What is the basis of the interest in Oswald at this early date? And what brought this to Bobby’s attention? Who learned of Otepka’s Oswald file? Did Bobby not want Otepka researching Oswald? And to what end?

Multiple Oswalds
If you are a steady reader of this blog you will know I’ve done done a lot of writing on the Oswald as doppelganger theory. It’s an interregnal part of JFK assassination lore and possibility of Lee Oswald being impersonated runs deep. It is something that can be viewed as a fringe subject but a careful investigation of witness testimony and documents collected by the Warren Commission shows a wealth of loose ends and conflicts. There is a disparity in employment records, tax forms, school records, and medical records. Even his autopsy face sheet has conflicts. There are not a handful of people that interacted with Oswald when he should have been somewhere else. There are dozens of these encounters ranging from New Orleans to Montreal. Some of these loose fragments are tied up with having another Oswald in play but that by no means solves all the problems encountered here with this subject. Namely, who is running this and what happens to the other Oswald after the assassination?

As John Armstrong (Harvey and Lee) discovered through his research that if Lee Oswald is being impersonated the it starts as early as the age of 13. If he was impersonated that young, then his mother Marguerite must be impersonated as well. Suddenly things are greatly entangled–two moms and two sons. And both sets have to resemble each other, a seemingly impossible task. Add to that two more sons from previous marriages and a frightening path lies ahead for anybody wanting to develop this as an intelligence operation. And to what end? To be involved with an assassination somewhere down the road? Indeed, high strangeness is all over this. Indeed, I can see why many would dismiss this doppelganger legend outright.

However, the trail of this enigma does not start out with what Gerald Ford called “armchair investigators” but in the highest echelons of the government itself. J. Edgar Hoover sent a memo in 1960 to the State Dept. with a warning that a Lee Oswald was possibly being impersonated. In 1961 a State Dept. official sent a memo to another, warning that the next time Lee Oswald is issued a passport, make sure he gets it personally; that way the right Oswald gets the right passport as it was suspected he was being impersonated. The possibly of a second Oswald had apparently made the rounds. In September of 1963 Lee Oswald makes his fabled trip to Mexico City. CIA station chief Winston Scott believed that Oswald being impersonated after examining the tapes from the bugged Soviet and Cuban diplomatic compounds. Hoover had his agents, seven of them, review the tapes and they determined the man speaking on the telephone calls is not Oswald. Shortly after the assassination, Hoover related this information to Lyndon Johnson. The new President in turn, used this for the final arm twisting of Earl Warren to get him to serve on the Commission. Those in the loop knew Oswald was being impersonated from 1960 to 1963. And they kept this information to themselves. He was apparently more than just a malcontent with a delusions of grandeur. Other people were keeping track of him and his business for years.

Lee Oswald remains the biggest enigma of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. A mystery in life he as well in death as uncovered by Dr. Earl Rose when he did the autopsy. His report of the autopsy leaves out numerous scars which the body of the real Oswald should have had. Such as the three inch long mastoid scar on the left side of the neck, the two wounds in his left arm from the accidental shooting in the Marines, and his small pox vaccination scar. Later, mortician Paul Groody who prepared Oswald’s body for burial was contacted twice by the Secret Service in regards to Oswald’s left arm and twice he told them he did not see any scars just as Dr. Rose had not documented them either.

Mystery: If Lee Oswald is being impersonated then what happens to the other “Lee” after the assassination? Or for that matter, his other mother? Are they put in safe houses or executed? Did the other Lee do the shooting leaving the real Oswald to be the patsy? Is this one of the fundamental secrets of the assassination and hence, the cover up?

Classified Files
One thing all investigations into the JFK assassination have in common is not what they uncover, rather, what they cover. They all add to the classified evidence pile. From the Warren Commission through the Clark Panel, the Rockefeller Commission, and lastly the House Select Committee on Assassinations, they all take information and classify it so the general public can never see it. The Warren Commission supporters come along and say, “See? They did all these investigations and they uncovered nothing new. The Warren Report stands.” I hear you Mr. Bugliosi.

Not really. New information is uncovered, it’s just buried through classification. Every so often a researcher will obtain documents through a FOIA request and it’s apparent why the files were classified to begin with. Researcher Harold Weisberg uncovered such gems as the 1/22/63 closed-door meeting where the Commissioners decided not to pursue any leads on Oswald being a government informant/agent (despite what they said to the contrary) and the CIA’s National Photographic Intelligence Center report, #1641-450, that examined the Zapruder film to determine the timing between shots one and two, which they determined to be a period of 1.6 seconds, which are impossible to do on a bolt action rifle.

To fire off shots that fast would require a second shooter and hence, a conspiracy. So one can understand why these records are kept secret. Any evidence that leads away from the Lone Gunman is to be covered up by any means. And classification does that.

After all of this time files are still classified from the beginning. Marguerite Oswald's tax returns from 1956 to 1962 are still sealed. They are marked, "referred...postponed in full." Of course many files on Lee Oswald are still withheld. Oddly, there is a John and Minnie Smith from the same exact time period, 1956-62 that are also classified and nobody knows who they are! Michael and Ruth Paine’s returns from 1956 to 1958 are classified as well, at time in their lives when they were listed as being employed as a farmer ad a farmer's wife. Lee’s cousin Marilyn Murret had all 23 pages of her testimony to the HSCA in 1977 classified. The list of classified information could fill many volumes–and goes deep in the belly of the Beast.

But don’t be surprised. The government has yet to release the autopsy photos of John Wilkes Booth, held in storage for 145 years.

Mystery: What is being covered up here? Could the tax returns being still being withheld from the public show just who Lee Oswald was working for during the 1956-62 period? Such as maybe the FBI, ONI, or the CIA? He’s in the Marines from 1956-59. So why hide his income from that? Also, many tax and employee documents on Lee Oswald are missing or withheld for various reasons. Just want kind of threat to National Security is there if Marguerite Oswald’s tax returns were released?

Collins Radio
The connections to the Collins Radio corporation has threads that run throughout the JFK assassination. A major defense contractor, journalist William E. Kelly wrote the following about them:

“Collins Radio supplied and maintained the equipment used by the Voice of America, all manned NASA space flights, the Strategic Air Command (SAC), as well as all equipment used for the CIA’s Guatemalan and Cuban operations. Most significantly, Collins Radio was responsible for installing and maintaining all radio equipment aboard Air Force One, Air Force Two and the Cabinet’s plane."

Kelly further adds, “Collins Radio not only installed and maintained the radios aboard most military and executive branch planes, they also operated the station known as ‘Liberty’ at their Cedar Rapids, Iowa headquarters, which served as a relay station for all radio communications between the White House, the Pentagon, Air Force One, Air Force Two, the Cabinet plane and Andrews AFB in Washington.”

In one of the more stranger incidents recorded in the history of the assassination, mechanic T. F. White noticed a man sitting in 1958 two-tone Plymouth sedan. To White, he was acting suspiciously as the man watched a flurry of police cars speeding to the murder scene of Dallas police officer J.D. Tippit. White exchanged glances with the man, who drove off. White wrote down the license tag number: PP4537. Later, as Lee Oswald’s image was broadcast on TV, White recognized him at the man in the Plymouth. Later, authorities would trace down the tag to a car belonging to Collins Radio employee Carl Mather of Garland, Texas. When contacted, Mather’s wife responded that her husband was at work the day of the assassination. The important point to consider here is that T. F. White says he saw a man resembling Oswald occupying and driving off in Mather’s car. It should be added that Mather was a close friend of J.D. Tippit and later that afternoon drove to the Tippit residence to offer condolences.

Even more peculiar, the FBI interviewed mechanic T. F. White later for additional details about his sighting but but do not interview Carl Mather. Even stranger, years later, The House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) offered Mather immunity then never do question him under oath. It has since been uncovered through the JFK Records Act that investigators did talk to Carl Mather and discovered that he was responsible for installing the radio gear in Air Force Two, the Vice President’s aircraft. Nevertheless, this is basically a great lead that is never followed through on or adequately sussed out. Why? I think it is safe to assume that Mather possessed a high level security clearance for his work. I am not saying that Mather was a government informant but he does get the kind of coddling that an informant usually receives in an investigation.

Collins Radio’s involvement in Military-Industrial Complex and National Security State operations, runs deep. Everything from hiring Paper Clip Nazis to leasing a ship, the Rex, that was used to place assassins on the shores of Cuba to assassinate Fidel Castro. Lee Oswald, upon returning to America was introduced to a Collins Radio executive by Russian emigrant George de Mohrenschildt for possible employment. Though trivial, Oswald’s widow, Marina married a former Collins Radio employee, Kenneth Porter.

Mystery: What is the true Collins Radio link to the assassination, if any? Did T. F. White really see Lee Oswald in Carl Mather’s car? Did Mather know Oswald and loan him his car? The timeline is off–did White encounter an Oswald impostor? Why is Carl Mather treated so lightly to the point of being virtually ignored by investigators?

The Kennedy Family
One has the feeling at Kennedy family gatherings the death of John is the ghost in the room. Publicly, they support the Warren Commission’s conclusion. Privately, apparently not. David Talbot in Brothers, calls Robert Kennedy the first conspiracy theorist in the death of Presidential brother and told family confidants so. He did not believe in the Warren Report’s conclusion. In examining mysteries of the assassination I find nothing more mysterious than this large Irish-Catholic family’s silence on the issue. You would think somebody over time would break the hush. But so far, none have. It’s the job of the independent investigator to probe the depths of this thing. There is something deeply buried here that has insured their alliance to the myth. They won’t even speak up with John F. Kennedy is having his character trashed. Yes, Bobby okayed the wire taps on Martin Luther King. Yes, he was involved with the assassination plots on Fidel Castro. Bobby was very much involved with thwarting Garrison’s trial of Clay Shaw and had family henchman Walter Sheridan involved with all kinds of dirty business with that. One can only assume Bobby wanted to uncover the truth his way and on his timeline. Talbot in Brothers thinks it would be in another Kennedy administration in the oval office and hence Bobby’s fateful run.

In a way Ted Kennedy sort of strikes back by his involvement with the Freedom of Information Act legislation which resulted in a number of revealing files being released. And that is about all we’ll ever get out of the Kennedys. Perhaps that is enough since the FOIA could break the case open one day.

Mystery: What insures the Kennedy family silence to this day?

This is just a small sampling of mysteries in the Kennedy assassination. There simply is not enough space to list them all. I selected a few of my favorites. There are three main phases in the life of Lee Oswald: The Russian phase, the New Orleans phase, and the trip to Mexico City. Any one of these episodes have enough intrigue and weirdness to leave the mind wondering just what was this former Marine really up to? I think the intelligence angle is valid one and I return to it often in my research. Every single thing in the case gets more troublesome the deeper one delves in which makes it so difficult to decipher what is really going on here. No wonder, almost 50 years afterward, the search for the truth continues.

McKnight, Gerald, Breach of Trust; Proudy, R. Fletcher, The Secret Team; Armstrong, John, Harvey and Lee; Garrison, James, On the Trail of the Assassins; Mars, Jim, Crossfire; Bugliosi, Vince, Reclaiming History; Mellen, Joan, Farewell To Justice; Talbot, David, Brothers

Collins Radio Connections, by William E. Kelly

Monday, November 22, 2010

November 22 Once Again

I entered the 47th anniversary of John Kennedy’s assassination by not being able to sleep. Not because I was pondering the events that happened on that day that changed America forever, but instead a long night of waiting for sleep to come. So I got up, turned on the radio to the listen to the late night show, Coast To Coast AM as I knew Edward Haslam author of Dr. Mary’s Monkey was going to be on and would also feature a live interview with Judyth Vary Baker whose new book, Lee And Me, has been recently published and I’ve just started reading. She claims to have been Oswald’s lover for a few months in 1963 and so far, her story, while seemingly improbable is surprisingly well documented and filled with insights not documented before.

Judy’s voice are clear and familiar sounding. A bit feisty, but never rude, she recounted bits of her life as Lee Oswald’s lover and what it was like to see somebody she claims to have loved killed on live TV. She described Oswald as a patriot that loved his country and was knowingly set up to be the patsy and vilified afterward. To add to the intrigue she was calling from an undisclosed location in Europe and using something other than a phone (never defined). When asked by host George Knapp about the death threats she said she has gotten, she never gave a straight answer and laughed it off. I wish she had been more forthcoming on the threats and how they were delivered.

I think what stood out for me the most is when Judyth said that Lee knew what was going down and that he was going to be made the patsy. She says he stuck it out hoping to thwart the conspiracy. Well, that certainly is a new take on the assassination! I’ll have to study more on this and read more of her book before I can form a deeper opinion on that.

Also of note is that Edward Haslam spent a lot of time on the show last night discussing Judy and the assassination. Ed is a bit...out there. When a caller made some comments about the deadliness of the Mannlicher-Carcano, Haslam corrected him and said it was a Mauser that was fired and uncovered and the Mannlicher was not “discovered” until two days later. I was surprised he would say something that far off from the known facts. While there is an ongoing debate on numerous rifles discovered in the sixth floor it’s quite evident from police reports and numerous photographs and films that a Mannlicher-Carcano rifle was recovered within a few hours of the assassination. Frankly, I’m disappointed in Haslam for the inaccuracy here. I’m all for a divergence of thought on what happened but this is just plain wrong.

I’ll post a more detailed review of Me and Lee later. Judyth Vary Baker presents a unique take on the Kennedy assassination with more details then ever exposed before on who Lee Oswald was, who of course, remains the ultimate enigma of the case.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Lonesome Gunman Blues

As any SWAT Team or military sniper would say, good marksmanship requires constant practice. Oswald made many documented trips to the Sports Dome Rifle Range outside of Dallas in early November of 1963. Like all things Oswald it is bound in controversy as he is seen driving up when is supposed to have not known how to drive and should have been at Ruth Paine’s house at that time. Later, he’ll be seen arriving in the company of other men and doing annoying things such as shooting at other people’s targets. Whatever is going on here, he never practiced shooting at moving targets. Either in the Marines or in civilian life prior to the assassination. Any professional marksmen or even a deer hunter, will tell you that shooting at a moving target is the hardest thing to do. It requires fast tracking with little leeway for error.

I don’t claim to be a ballistics expert but I grew up around guns and my dad, grandfather, and uncles were gun collectors and hunters. I’ve personally shot various rifles, both bolt-action and semi-automatic with calibers ranging from 30.06, 7.62, 45.70 and .222. I have shot rifles with scopes on them and experienced a determining factor in firearms targeting–recoil. Or, how much the gun kicks once a round is fired. Recoil throws off the sighting of the target. This is extremely important as the target has to be acquired and in Oswald’s case, very quickly, within a fraction of a second. it’s hard enough with a static target let alone one that is moving. You have to sight by the naked eye first and then line up the scope in the general area. As we shall see, this is just one of many problems he faced in trying to accomplish his alleged mission.

Unbeknownst to us at the time, CIA Director McCone had the Zapruder film analyzed by the Agency’s National Photographic Intelligence Center (NPIC) in early 1964. The report was classified until legendary researcher Harold Weisberg obtained a copy of it through his 1982 FOIA suit. In the report (Labeled, 1641-450), the NPIC determines that at frame Z210 the first shot occurs. The second shot occurs at frame Z242. A time period of 1.6 seconds. Even if Ozzie was feeling lucky that day he would not have been able to shift the bolt on his junky Mannlicher-Carcano that fast. Experts take 2.4 seconds to cycle the weapon and that’s being generous. And as I just mentioned, recoil comes in to play, further adding to the time needed to reacquire the target, a target that has already moved out of position and has to be found through what amounts to be a peep-hole in a hotel room door. (Oddly, the scope is found later not to be properly sighted-in. It might have been thrown off since it had to be disassembled in order to get it into the building that morning.) At any rate, the only solution to this mystery is that there was another shooter. Something the Warren Commission would not ever consider. A second shooter is a conspiracy. And remember, we are told time and time again, there is no evidence for this! You can see why this report was buried for 18 years.

(As Gerald McKnight stated in Breach of Trust, relating this matter, it is unclear if the CIA ever mentioned anything from the NPIC report to the Warren Commission. I think it’s a good bet they never did. It would cause insurmountable problems for the Lone Gunman theory.)

A lot of factors affect a bullet’s flight. Cold produces drag on a bullet and will effect the trajectory. Wind and barometric pressure have their effects as well. Gravity produces a noticeable bullet drop even if the marksmen is lying flat on the ground and even more so if shooting from Oswald’s position 60 feet up. Combine all of these factors with a scope that is not properly sighted, and the task at hand is vexing. As Vietnam sniper Craig Roberts, who had an opportunity to look out the sixth floor window said that Oswald’s best angle was Houston street that lead directly to the shooter’s window. Roberts thinks Oswald could have shot up the car with a handgun, the limousine close and braking as it turned slowly on to Elm Street.

So could Oswald have made the shot? Sure, anything is possible. Never the less, it’s a curious thing–half of the evidence is there for a shooter being at the sixth floor window of the school book depository building and shooting. And the other half of the evidence refutes it. Yes, there was a sniper’s nest with stacked boxes, a discarded rifle, a paper bag, spent shells, and people seeing the gun barrel stuck out the window. No, the paraffin test proved negative for nitrates on Oswald’s cheek. (All who test fired the rifle tested positive I might add.) The bolt, trigger, scope, clip, and spent cartridges–none of these things had Oswald’s prints on them. Nobody sees him going down the flights of stairs to get to the first floor. When interrogated by authorities he is able to identify people that were on the first floor at the time of the shooting and even few moments afterwards. It’s like the table is set for dinner–but nobody is home.

I love how Vince Bugliosi in Reclaiming History relates that if Oswald is in a conspiracy why is he doing nothing related to a plot, such as having clandestine meetings with fellow conspirators and so on. As with all things Bugliosi, his arguments seem devastating till you take time to think about it. It’s a good point till one considers the opposite of the argument–what Oswald would have to do to be an assassin. Other than purchasing some guns (and that is problematic too. See my piece, Who Bought The Guns?) and a few trips to the firing range, what is he doing to be good at this? As any SWAT Team or military sniper would say, good marksmanship requires constant practice. Remember that he scored passing grades to qualify as a marksmen in the Marines. First time, pretty good; second time passable; third and last time, barely qualified. He did not belong to an elite sniper unit because his skills were not good enough. Before the assassination, he apparently never did any research, no development of skills, wind tests, shooting from a high elevation to test bullet drop, besides supplying himself with inferior equipment. He just showed up one day and sticks a gun out of the window and goes BANG, BANG, BANG! And the rest is history. Move along now.

So How Does A Loner Have A Wife And Two Kids?
One of the myths that came out of this was that if you are a lone gunman then you must be a loner. It is as if one has to associate with the other. Jim Garrison remarked, not only was Oswald not the lone gunman, he was never alone. Really, James Earl Ray fits the profile of a lone wolf on the outer fringes of society than Oswald ever could. The Warren Commission supporters have so pigeon-holed him as a loner that they have a hard time accepting that he associated with other people besides his wife and Ruth Paine. Just look at the many photos of the parties he attended in Russia. They all feature a content looking young man surrounded with lots of other people. He’s a regular social butterfly with pictures to prove it. When returning to the United States, he and his wife Marina were befriended by the White Russian community in Dallas. Lots of socializing went on there. He had friends in school and on most of the jobs he had, mingling with them outside of work.

I think another reason the Lone Nut crowd must have Oswald isolated from society is based on who he is known to have associated with. There are plenty of good witness accounts of Oswald in the company of everybody from CIA officer David Atlee Philips to the other lone gunman, Jack Ruby. Entertainers, from strippers to comedians, to customers of Ruby’s Carousel club recall seeing Oswald there in association with Ruby on many occasions. But it goes deeper as Oswald had associations with a lot of nefarious characters including
notorious spooks such as David Ferrie and Clay Shaw. Suspicious to say the least. Remember, Oswald is the loner–he’s not supposed to be this sociable. And hanging with this many government operatives? Oh man, so it ain’t so! This is a long and twisting road filled with mysteries and not for the faint of heart. Trying to make sense of it all can trouble the mind.

Actually, the only thing Lee Oswald is anti-social about his affiliation with other Marxist groups. He never does hook up with any of them. While being a Fair Play For Cuba pamphleteer, he was the only member of the New Orleans branch. And the pamphlets he was handing out either were addressed to the office of the staunch anti-communist Guy Banister (another Oswald contact which the LN crowd denies) or had phony addresses so that no one could contact him at all. The end result is that nobody could join him. It was all Cold War theater.

And the famous backyard photo of him with guns and Marxist newspapers show two divergent groups, one Stalinist and the other Trotskyite. Both are blood enemies of each other. You either belonged to one and not the other. He might as well be holding up a Bible and a Koran. What he was apparently doing was showing how disconnected he was from mainstream Communists in America at the time. In his things after the assassination was found a rough draft of a speech he never gave that was pro-capitalism. I sometimes wonder if the photograph was done for protection. To let everybody know what team he was playing for. That one image, FPCC literature, and the left behind speech contradict the legend of Oswald the commie.

Going It Alone
Could Lee Oswald have done it alone? Or for that matter, could anybody have assassinated John Kennedy alone? One would think the logistics for such an operation are too great for one man to handle if it was his desire to cut down a high profile figure such as a President. As has been pointed out in this piece, the CIA’s own photography analysis group determined the time between the first and second shot was too brief for Oswald to accomplish with a manually operated firearm. It begs for a second shooter. Military snipers operate in a team of one rifleman paired with a spotter. There should be in an operation such as this, besides a highly trained and experienced marksmen, intelligence gathering, operational knowledge of the intended target’s security detail, perhaps an inside man or two, and a backup plan among a myriad of other details. Can a lone individual complete all of these tasks? Not with Lee Oswald working 9 to 5 and visiting his wife and kids on the weekends. Maybe this is why we don’t see much in the way of targeted assassinations, at least in this country, since the 1960’s. Today, the Secret Service employs their own team of snipers on rooftops. An ironic turn of events.

McKnight, Gerald, Breach of Trust; Proudy, R. Fletcher, The Secret Team; Armstrong, John, Harvey and Lee; Garrison, James, On the Trail of the Assassins; The Warren Commission Report; Mars, Jim, Crossfire; Bugliosi, Vince, Reclaiming History for pictures of the President’s security detail.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Nested Conspiracies

The two words “conspiracy theory” are often seen together. However, conspiracy is not a theory, it’s a crime. A felony. Apparently so rampant that our legal system had to criminalize it as it is an integral part of any criminal enterprise.

Listening to the Rollye James Show (XM-158) the other night a caller made an excellent point about about conspiracy–that there is often more than one going on at the same time. He said several of his relatives had been involved in the Bay of Pigs operation and he described the outward and then behind the scenes workings around the event. It’s multi-layered. That is why it makes it hard to sort out why things happen as they do in major events like assassinations or terror attacks and why so many theories are spawned to try and explain them.

This in turn, reminded me of my web programming days and when we using nested style sheets. These were pages of code for often repeated things such as headers, footers, or graphics of the same style. It made coding easier and more organized for a web developer, particularly when a lot of pages were involved in a large corporate web site. However, for an event like an assassination, these multiple layers of plots can sometimes be operated by different players, or sometimes not. But they do qualify as being nested. A nested conspiracy makes nothing easy and in fact, often complicates the event. No wonder we still argue over how many shots were or were not fired in Dealey Plaza in November of 1963.

A nested conspiracy is an example of multiple operations in action. Since there are multiple theories on the assassination, many seem plausible; from LBJ being involved to the CIA or the Texas Oilmen. Everybody has something to hide and classify under the grounds of National Security. (Or should that be National Insecurity?) At any rate, these operations may be in tandem with each other or separate functions from various factions. Like it is widely suspected that the CIA in staging the coup in Chile had President Salvador Allende assassinated and made to look like a suicide. But William Buckley, a former CIA Beirut station chief who would one day be kidnapped, tortured, and killed by Hezbollah told a journalist that it wasn’t the Agency that did it. Somebody else killed Allende but they never found out who.

The Nested Conspiracy of Watergate
Another example of a nested conspiracy is Watergate. Much has been written about the greatest political scandal of 20th century, the seemingly obscure break-in of Democratic party headquarters in the Watergate Hotel that ultimately led to the downfall and the first ever, resignation of a sitting President, Richard Nixon. The official story on this scandal from the mainstream media was that Nixon was a big liar and a crook. The Washington Post concentrated on him to the exclusion of all else that was in orbit around the affair. But time reveals a lot of secrets.

But only one author Jim Hougan in his book, Secret Agenda, has written about the other side of the conspiracy–that which involves the CIA. At the time all the energy for the scandal revolves around Nixon and his aides and there was largely little focus on the five arrested burglars being active CIA agents (and all former active in the Bay of Pigs operation). Hougan suggests that the CIA’s involvement was not a take down of Nixon but more of a fishing expedition for blackmail material through the call girl ring operating out of the Watergate hotel. It was the CIA that offered technical help, the agents, safe houses for meetings, disguises, even the graphics that G. Gordon Liddy used for his famous Gemstone presentation to AG John Mitchell. Whatever the case, they did a great job at shielding themselves from being portrayed as participants in the affair–which according to Hougan they were.

Conversely, authors Lee Colodny and Robert Gettlin in Silent Coup head off in a different direction pinning most of the scandal on White House lawyer John Dean. The authors point out conclusively that Dean’s future wife’s name (Mo Biner) was found on a list of women that were part of the call girl ring operating out of the Watergate hotel. Dean then seeks to quash any information on this and is responsible for running his own clandestine intelligence operation behind Nixon’s back and then when it all blew up orchestrated the cover-up which Nixon took on and ran with. It is apparent that Dean was instrumental in setting Nixon up with his perjured testimony in front of Congress and in the many trials to follow. To be fair, Nixon had a proclivity towards intrigue to begin with which led him down his disastrous path. However, Colodny and Gettlin portray John Dean as the biggest liar in the whole affair, which may come as a shock to some people who lived through the Watergate scandal at the time.

So Watergate ends up with four forces at work here: The CIA on one hand digging for dirt and making sure their real aim is not revealed; the Washington Post and Woodard-Bernstein focused on Nixon to exclusion of all else; John Dean’s machinations behind the scenes as a one-man wrecking ball; and finally, Nixon and his aides doing cover-up for their crimes they so easily drifted into.

And maybe this is how it’s understood. But who can say for sure?

JFK and The Nested Conspiracy
How many nested conspiracies converge at Dealey Plaza? Author Philip F. Nelson in LBJ: The Mastermind of JFK's Assassination, provides a reasonable scenario for Lyndon Johnson setting up a conspiracy to have John Kennedy killed as outlandish as it might seem to our American sensibilities–our sense of American Exceptionalism–that we don’t do this sort of thing because of our special place in the world. In many ways it’s a hard thing to confront. It’s like reading about the Franklin child sex ring scandal. We know there is corruption in high places but it’s shocking to get a glimpse of how cold the evil really is. It sends chills down to the bone. Nevertheless, Johnson did all he could have done to set up a kill-zone for Kennedy. He was the architect behind the trip in the first place, a trip Kennedy didn’t want to take. His aides made sure the Secret Service were given detailed instructions on what JFK desired for his security whether it was true or not (it wasn’t). Kennedy never talks to the Secret Service because he is trusting them to protect him; conversely, the Secret Service never asks Kennedy what he wants as they are assuming Johnson and his aids are telling the truth. Afterwards the blaming starts from the Johnson camp to distance themselves from the disaster and deflect any inquiry. And it worked. The Warren Commission nor any investigative body that follows ever does a complete investigation into the security failures of the Secret Service. If they did, many of the roads would mostly likely lead to LBJ.

However, with the LBJ scenario seems to require a lot of helpers on the side. The CIA, always comes up as a culprit via guilt through association with numerous illegal and deadly clandestine affairs. Since one of their guys, Lee Oswald was mixed up in the affair it behoves them to play Cover One. (Not to mention that too much investigation would reveal too much about their operations.) We know there was a false defector program to the Soviet Union of which Oswald was most likely involved in. CIA documents feature an agent interviewing a former marine that re-defects back. Who seems very familiar to Oswald. The CIA opens a SIG 201 file on him in 1960, a file that is only opened on agents. Then you have the whole business of Oswald actions in New Orleans and later in Mexico City which bely a man conducting field theater, i.e., operations. The CIA has a lot to cover for here.

Cover Two is played by J. Edgar Hoover at the FBI. Hoover has to lie about what they knew about Oswald since the Bureau took notice of his defection in 1959 (memos on the defection were sent to all branches of the military and all major government agencies) and Hoover had been amassing weekly reports on Oswald from 1960 onwards. Plus, Hoover established the lone gunman theory within twenty-four hours of Oswald’s arrest which served to head off any inquiry into a conspiracy, along with Johnson’s aides pressuring every Texas law official into going along with the scheme. Then later, LBJ forms the Warren Commission to further head off any independent investigations that were brewing in Texas and in the Congress. Ultimately, Hoover leans on the Warren Commission enough along with LBJ (and the weak sister, Earl Warren) to direct it towards the true goal–lone gunman with no plot.

There were many other investigations to follow, each one never satisfying the public’s distrust of the official story. Each one ends up adding more levels of secrecy, with a never ending load of classified (concealed) evidence.

The Media Layer
And the mainstream press is there to add the final layer. Journalist Mike Golden has an excellent article, Assassination By Omission: Another Look At Serial Plagiarist Gerald Posner, where he describes how he ran head-on into it in 1998 when he scored the last interview with Dr. Martin Luther King’s alleged assassin, James Earl Ray in April of that year. He was preparing an article for Vibe magazine, a publication with a mainly black readership when the Editor-in-Chief Danyel Smith pulled the plug on the project without explanation. In fact, nobody in the media wanted anything to do with this. It was radioactive.

In Golden’s words:

“Every other mainstream publication I approached refused to even listen to the tape, much less read the transcript of the interview, for fear, I suppose, of possibly having to reveal information that could get them into deep trouble. With who and for what, I can’t tell you. After all this time, I still can’t put names behind who was calling the shots or what they were afraid of hearing come out of Ray’s mouth. But whoever they were, they were pretty high up the old totem pole, and they know more than you or I...”

Isn’t this a conspiracy going on here? Anyway, this is not unusual. John Barbour, creator of the popular Real People television show once had a popular radio program in the Los Angeles market. Just as he was getting ready to have Jim Garrison on for an live interview, his program was quickly pulled off-air. No explanation. He was finished in that radio market. Later he was doing a show, Speak Up America. He got in contact with Jim Garrison again and arranged for a three-hour taped interview. When it was broadcast it was edited to make Garrison look like a kook, with Garrison saying there were 32 shooters in Dealey Plaza when the unedited version he states there were three teams of two shooters per unit. A classic case of libel. The same thing was done to assassination witness Orville Nix (See my article, How CBS Screwed Orville Nix, HERE). John Barbour was appalled and complained to the producer. After that he was let go of Real People and the show went downhill from there.

Shades of Chuck Harder’s velvet hammer.

The Nested Conspiracy Forever
The Kennedy assassination is probably not the first nested conspiracy ever to be put into action but certainly is a good example of a modern one. All the ones that follow copy it to some degree. Just look at the controversy of the 9-11 attack. It’s the 21st Century version of the Kennedy assassination complete with bloodshed, never ending controversy, destruction of evidence, a resulting war, tons of new evidence to classify, a shoddy investigation with a shoddy report, and two camps of independent investigators slinging mud at each other.

In regards to the investigators, many can be highly educated, degreed people that make perfect sense in their arguments but then certain details don’t fit. Such as Dr. Steven Jones and his thermite research. When Dr. Judy Wood asked Jones where is thermite ever used to demolish a building he does not reply to her. Answer? It never is according to Dr. Wood (who is a proponent of an exotic technology being used instead of conventional explosives). Yet Dr. Jones’ research has a large following and his work has been peer reviewed. And the 9-11 research community is rife with this sort of goings on as are other research groups such as those in the Kennedy assassination crowd. There is disinformation going on here but from whom?

There are so many operations in effect there to even begin to write about it would probably cover many volumes. You start out with the Arab terrorists hijacking commercial airliners. Coinciding with the hijacking is a Pentagon simulation of a hijacking of said commercial airliners. Then you have Mossad agents filming the towers being attacked and falling down (their interrogation and film classified). Meanwhile, you have the destruction of large amounts of financial records that were stored in the buildings. The FBI is another player stating there were no black boxes found at Ground Zero, that is later contradicted by two firemen who say they found the recorders.

With so many players involved with so many controversial events, be they individuals and or government or corporate agencies, all serve to lead people astray. How can one sort any of this out with so many players involved? It’s extremely difficult if not impossible. Because it’s all nested. Everybody can write their books and post on their web pages in the hunt for an angle. And nobody is going to get close. Because it’s all nested.

Nelson, Philip, LBJ: The Mastermind of JFK’s Assassination; Hougan, Jim, Secret Agenda; Colodny, Lee and Gettlin, Robert, Silent Coup; Prouty, Fletcher, The Secret Team, McKnight, Gerald, Breach of Trust

John Barbour, Coast to Coast AM radio interview, 5/31/09.

Mike Golden

Dr. Judy Wood

Rollye James Show