Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Put A Quarter In...Get a Dollar Back

Immediately after the assassination of the John F. Kennedy, several remarkable events happened in quick succession that were long held secret.

It is common knowledge that aides to President Lyndon Johnson quickly brought pressure to bare on all Texas law enforcement officials to hand over everything they had on Oswald to the FBI. The President, allied with the FBI Director conspired to countermand Texas State authority over the crime investigation, the evidence, and the body itself, getting it transferred to a military hospital (Bethesda Naval) for the autopsy. This amounted to total Federal control of the incident. Apparently somewhere along the way they uncovered major issues with the evidence and sought to manipulate it so their story of a long gunman would hold up. It was a hurried and sloppy affair and they left lots of clues in their wake.

Largely unknown for years afterward was the ceremonial gifting of the evidence collected by the Dallas Police to the FBI on November 26, four days after the assassination. Notice the word “ceremonial.” Because this was not the first transfer of evidence to the FBI. It was actually the second. The first occurs within 24 hours after the assassination. This is admitted to by FBI document specialist James Cardigan in a deposition he gave to the Warren Commission, unpublished in their 26 volumes of evidence, but finally released to the National Archives in 1992.

Here is what Mr. Cardigan had to say:

“Initially, the first big batch of evidence was brought into the laboratory on November 23 and this consisted of many, many items...It was a very large quantity of evidence that was brought in.”

He added:

“Time was of the essence and this material, I believe, was returned to the Dallas Police within two or three days.”

However, this created a host of problems. All evidence obtained by the Dallas Police was initialized by the officer that discovered it. The makes an item traceable to that officer should there be any questions. This also is known as the chain of evidence. Incredibly, the Dallas Police got back more evidence than they sent off! The innovatory list grew from 5 pages to 21 pages. Which raises the question of, where did the FBI get all of this extra stuff? And so fast after assassination? Dallas was Oswald’s final place of action; Dallas is the vector. The FBI apparently added on to the inventory list with things from Washington, as all items belonging to Oswald and all items from the crime scene were in Dallas as gathered and documented by the Dallas Police. Since no initials from the FBI agents are used on the things they submitted, there is no way of sourcing where the new evidence came from. Normally, FBI agents use a series of forms, depending upon use, for collecting evidence such as a D-504a (Chain of Custody), or a FD-597 (Receipt for Property Received, Returned, Released, Seized). None of this documentation has ever been found. Most likely these forms were not issued because the FBI wanted to make it look as if all evidence originated from the Dallas Police. But as we see, it did not! So it must be stated then, that the only reliable evidence recovered is that found by the Dallas Police Department because it can be traced.

And what is the point of this? To erase any doubt that Lee Oswald was involved in a conspiracy. What other reason would there be? It makes no sense otherwise. We see some of this in action with the Minox spy camera. The FBI brought pressure on the Dallas detective that properly identified it as a camera, wanting him to rename it a “light meter.” What light meter has a lens and film in it? Since it’s a tool of the intelligence trade, and the FBI knew this, it had to be covered up so that Oswald would not appear to be more deeply involved, either with the government or a conspiracy. (Mind you, this is coming directly from Hoover.) The detective didn’t budge and the FBI renamed it anyway, only admitting years later that it was indeed, a camera and releasing photos made with it. This is probably a glimpse of what went on behind the scenes at the FBI crime lab in Washington as they were sorting through, adding and deleting the evidence in their possession. If there was a conspiracy, evidence of it was taken out of play at this point.

Even more problematic is that the Dallas Police photographed all the evidence they collected. On the first pass-back by the FBI, a large number of negatives were not returned. Police Chief Curry contacted the FBI about this and he got a direct response from Hoover himself, stating that the photographs, some 196, were destroyed because they exhibited “faulty technique” by the Dallas Police photographer. Which of course, is nonsense. If he were that bad a photographer he couldn’t have kept his job ruining that many frames. The 196 negatives that were destroyed represents over half the photographs taken of the evidence. With so much evidence tampering going on one can see the need to make sure these images disappear. No telling what sort of conflicts would have arisen.

John F. Kennedy’s body is barely cold and already elements in the government are tampering with material evidence and committing a huge obstruction of justice. This series of acts broke the chain of evidence in the case. These devious actions on the part of Hoover and the FBI, of squirreling away evidence and then staging a show for the public, hint at a larger, darker, behind the scenes machinations of the investigation. If Oswald had not been killed by Jack Ruby it would have been a heck of a trial! Think of the evidence that would have to have been tossed due to this hanky-panky.

The Convergence
The more one digs into this case, the nastier it becomes. One begins to see laid bare a dark undercurrent of malfeasance and treachery that resemble Roman court intrigues. Even though Hoover is dead and gone it is as if his spirit still resides in the Bureau. This came to light a few years ago when the FBI denied it had found any of the black boxes from flights American 11 and United 175 that crashed on 9-11. Since then, New York City firefighter Nicholas DeMasi and volunteer Mike Bellone, have come forward to claim they were responsible for finding three of the four Flight Data Recorders and were told to keep quiet about it. They only came forward when they heard the FBI’s claims that no black boxes were ever found.

Seem familiar? It should. There were plenty of witnesses to the assassination that were told to shut their mouths too. However, It is good that men like DeMasi and Bellone are still around. Men that honor truth and seek justice. I just hope they are not crushed by the Beast that emerged from the ashes of Dealey Plaza.

Sources: Armstrong, John, Harvey and Lee; Douglass, James, JFK and the Unspeakable; www.ctka.net (Probe Magazine article archive); www.history-matters.com; Horne, Douglas, Inside the Assassination Records Review Board

Monday, April 5, 2010

Gerry Ford Beats a Dead Horse

I recently found a used copy of Gerald Ford’s A Presidential Legacy And the Warren Commission. Published back in 2003 for the 40th anniversary of Kennedy’s death, this 2007 edition of the Warren Report has a new forward by Ford, touted on the front cover as his “final thoughts” on the issue. Actually, they could have been his first thoughts! Nothing has changed in his world despite the numerous investigations that followed and thousands of documents released under the JFK Act. It’s all more of a rebuttal to the critics whom he calls, “armchair investigators” of which I suppose I am one. Which of course, this made me wonder what he thought he did in this whole mess except to say yea and amen.

With his poker face and humble demeanor Ford always came off as a regular Joe, a real nice guy from the upper midwest. Known for his go-along-to-get-along approach to just about everything in life and politics, this is the man that can blithely write, “Our conclusions have yet to be proven wrong,” and who knows, maybe he actually believed that. Ford was capable of saying things that beggar common sense and do so with a straight, or shall we say, poker face. Just as he did when caught years later moving bullet holes around (his own handwriting, first draft) and when asked responded that he was just trying to be more specific. Uh-huh. Well yes, if you are writing a novel, but this is supposed to be a search for the truth, not history as you go. The changing of body wounds on the victim is a misrepresentation of evidence in a murder investigation and presented to the public as a fact. And he seems not to get what he has done. I’m flabbergasted, really. I guess these political types swim in different waters than the rest of us.

Gerald Ford was not immune from getting into trouble with his relationship with the Commission. Shortly after the Warren Report was issued Ford decided to write his own book on the issue as the critics were getting too close for comfort. His publisher saw an initial draft of Portrait of the Assassin and advised Ford to spruce it up and spruce it up and he did--with information from Warren Commission executive sessions which were still classified at the time. He first denied it committing perjury under oath, then admitted it and said he was sorry. Six months after becoming President he signed an order declassifying the aforementioned documents. There were several other embarrassing slip ups such as this over the years that all point to Ford being out of his element in the big leagues.

Gerald Ford was capable of saying some amazingly odd things about the Kennedy assassination. I’ve dubbed these comments Fordisms. I’ve already mentioned one with the bullet wounds. Sometimes Ford acted like his grasp on the truth was tenuous at best, favoring ideas that were devoid of common sense. There are quite a number that caught my eye in his forward and I’ll start on the minor ones first.

The first was when Ford wrote, “There were no preconceived opinions or sacred cows.” Well, yes there were. There were plenty. Here is an example. One sacred cow was conceived at their very first meeting, behind closed doors on January 22, 1964, when they discussed the possibility of Lee Oswald being a government agent. It was decided if they looked any further and found out that he was, then the public may not believe the lone gunman theory. So they decided not to look any further into the matter. So far reaching was this decision that they decided to destroy all records of the meeting. But somehow, the stenographer’s tape wasn’t and made its way into the National Archives where researcher Harold Weisberg got it released under a FOIA lawsuit. This is all documented in great detail in Gerald McKnight’s Breach of Trust. This proves the fix was in early on to disavow any hint of John Kennedy’s death being the result of a plot and designating Lee Oswald as the lone assassin. This follows in line with J. Edgar Hoover’s thinking that Oswald was the lone shooter, something he hatched within 24 hours of the slaying. This was bolstered by the now famous Asst. Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach memo to Bill Moyers shortly after the assassination (and before the 1/22/64 meeting) on how they would like to precede with the situation that stated:

“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.”

Talk To Everybody?
Another point that grabbed me was when Ford stated the following: “...we cross-examined everyone.” Not so fast! There is a huge number of witnesses that were not interviewed by the Commission and in many cases not by the FBI either. Of particular note are those people that gave testimony of more than one shooter. Such as the two FBI agents Jim Sibert and Frank O'Neill who were witnesses at the autopsy and saw that Kennedy’s back wound was not transiting, and hence, implicating another shot from the front and spoiling the lone gunman scenario. Arlen Specter made sure their report was buried in the National Archives and they were never called to testify. Two of the most glaring examples were the President’s personal physician, Admiral George Buckley and Newman family. Dr. Burkley is an important witness as he was in the motorcade when the shots were fired, was present at the Parkland Hospital trauma ward as the doctors there tried to resuscitate the dying President, signed the death certificate (described the throat injury as an entry wound), accompanied the body back on Air Force One to Bethesda Naval for the autopsy, witnessed it and signed the autopsy face sheet. His testimony was never taken by the Commission and it was a major oversight but his documenting the throat wound as an “entry wound” made him persona non grata.

Bill and Gayle Newman can be seen in many films and photographs made seconds after the shots rang out lying on the grass covering up their children. As Bill Newman has said in many interviews through the years, he told the FBI that he heard the third shot coming from behind them, from the grassy knoll. Their natural reaction was to hit the ground and cover their children. The Warren Commission did not take their testimony; as Bill said they didn’t want anything to do with us. Incredible, considering they were the closest witnesses to the exact moment the kill shot happened (besides the occupants of the limo). So no, Mr. Ford, you didn’t cross-examine everybody.

(Ironically in the forward, Ford mentions the Newmans as witnesses to hearing shots from the knoll; however, he says their testimony was misrepresented by conspiracy theorists. Unbelievable! That anyone touting expert knowledge of the case would ignore the numerous filmed interviews the Newmans gave over the years, including the first one given on live TV a few hours after the assassination, in their own words and unencumbered by anyone. A true Fordism! This is one of those Ford moments when he’s in an alternate universe where he has the right to wave a magic wand and make everything right again. Very well then, why didn’t you depose them to find out what they really heard and experienced first-hand? But that was not done.)

Alex Hidell’s Guns
For some reason or other in his forward, Gerald Ford has to delve into the Tippet murder and issue of Oswald’s rifle and pistol. Here he makes a series of goofs on the ownership of the guns. In Ford’s words: “The JFK assassination weapon was mailed to a P.O. Box and alias used by Oswald--the very same alias and P.O. Box used for the revolver...” This goof-up is huge because Ford is contradicting the Warren Report itself! (Appendix X, pages 411&414.) The only time Oswald used the Alex Hidell alias for a P.O. Box address was in New Orleans in the summer of 1963, long after the guns were ordered as stated in the report. The rifle order was placed under his alias for his P.O. Box address in Dallas in March of 1963, as clearly shown on the order form. And, as I pointed in detail in my article, Who Bought The Guns?, this box was authorized for Lee Oswald only; his application in the evidence volumes verifies this. So the rifle would not have even gotten to him and the package would be stamped “return to sender.” There are a host of other problems with the ordering of the guns on both sides of this from buyer (Oswald) to seller (Klein’s Sporting Goods). Please refer to my article linked above for more details on this problematic area.

In regards to the pistol--it wasn’t even sent to Oswald’s P.O. Box address as Ford states because it was sent COD to the Railway Express Agency in Dallas, where the gun was allegedly picked up and paid for. This is Ford’s second major goof. I release he was old at the time and his mind probably not as sharp, but don’t these big publishing houses hire fact checkers? Also, no receipts or shipping notices exist for this, nor the required “certificate of good character” that was required under Texas State law for a handgun purchased by mail order. The truth fogs on the gun purchases and has the appearance of someone else buying and handling the guns. It would have been interesting to see all of this sorted out in court at Lee Oswald’s trial but that of course, will never be.

The Last Commissioner
As the last serving member of the Warren Commission Gerald Ford must have felt a need (or was it the need of the status-quo?) to write some final words on the work of the Warren Commission. It appears another attempt at reviving some credibility for its legacy since its critics have given such an effective thrashing in the woodshed over the years. Mr. Ford does his best but he writes like man lost in a fog hoping it will all go away. He’s trying to set the record straight for the up-tenth time and in the pursuit of this goal, contradicts the very report he help to create. The truth is out there but he meanders around it like a man flash-blinded. Sometimes men bury the truth to protect a greater need. The former model and college sports star was in the end a Company Man. He was rewarded in a way, by a fellow Company Man, George Bush Sr., who leveled a spirited broadside against us armchair investigators at Ford’s memorial service. The former President’s words were harsh and angry as a King would be at a bunch of impudent peasants. Well, I’m sorry if we don’t believe you, but we don’t. You only told us part of the story and then locked the rest away for safe keeping as you always do.

I really do want to like Gerald Ford. I think ultimately he was an average man, of average intelligence, caught up in things far bigger than him. He seemed vastly unprepared to participate in all the intrigue he found himself in. There is always a need in politics for the weak sister and Ford was a man the Establishment knew would tow the line. And he did so unto death.

Ford, Gerald R., A Presidential Legacy And the Warren Commission; McKnight, Gerald, Breach of Trust; Armstrong, John, Harvey and Lee; www.history-matters.org

Bill and Gayle Newman interview.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Patterns, It’s All About Patterns

When Fox’s Fringe TV show first aired one of the plot themes involved looking for patterns. Since the first season they have seemed to have passed on that motif and moved on to other conspiracies involving alternate dimension themes. As with the Kennedy assassination, and for that matter other conspiracies, there are patterns flowing through them all. I’m currently reading American Conspiracies by Jesse Ventura with Dick Russell (author of excellent JFK book, The Man Who Knew Too Much). While Jesse deals with a smattering of his favorite conspiracies from JFK to Jonestown to 9-11, probably the most interesting thing to me are not the behind the scenes plots which he writes about but the patterns that can seen emerging in them.

It follows as thus: An attack, an assassination, or disaster like Waco happens. After the shock and outrage the government swoops in to investigate via a committee of political insiders often labeled as “Statesmen.” Actually, they are just a bunch of lawyers. From somewhere high up in the Establishment, the fix is already in. The Commission puts on a play called Investigation Theater and issues a report. The report will not differ from anything that was originally said 24 hours after the event occurred. Later, a well placed person in the mainstream press will issue a glowing article gushing over how well the Commission did its investigation. In the end there is no justice, the loose ends are never tied up, and the people are left in the dark. Any critics are dismissed as kooks and generally mocked by the very same shills in the press. Sometimes they end up with an untimely and suspicious demise.

You can see this pattern in every conspiracy that has ever gone down over the centuries. It really is amazing how little changes from the inception of the event, to the end results of the formal investigation. From the massacre of the MacDonald clan in Glencoe Scotland in 1692 to the devastating attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon in 2001 the first explanation remains the same. Just ask a member of the 9-11 Commission about one of the controversies in the case and he will give the same response a member of the Warren Commission would give: “We stand by our report.” Gerald R. Ford gave the same response over the years as did many other Warren Commission members. The basic heart of man never changes, especially the heart that conspires. It amounts to an endless cycle of history.

Most likely, the government has a connection to the event, hence the repeating of history which creates the pattern.

Another pattern over time is you find out the connections between the players. A lot more information is available in books and online for the average person sifting through the JFK assassination than the original investigators had. One thing you find out is a lot of the major players are not who they say they were. The political theater that is being played in the background is astonishing. Who knew, for example, that when Lee Oswald got into the altercation with the Cuban exiles on Canal street in the summer of 1963 that he was a player in cast of characters, all of whom were connected to government agencies? Of the three Cubans, two were FBI informants; the third had CIA connections. Oswald of course, as I have documented elsewhere here, did have linkage to the CIA and the FBI. Even the TV station photographer filming the incident was an FBI informant as well. Later, when Oswald is invited to a live radio debate with three others, they are all connected in one way or the other to the FBI and the CIA as well. Every team is represented and they all have players in action. What political theater this all represents! I long wonder how much more of this is still going on. Is everything we see going on around us like this? With secret goings on hidden from us? We’ll only know when the files are released, if ever.

So government agents seem to always be part of the pattern. They can often appear as average citizens, staff lawyers, or journalists. They all seem to fulfill the same role, to support whatever the government claims even if common sense dictates otherwise. It has been pointed out that most of the defenders of the Warren Report are in some way or other connected to the CIA. There is no evidence to support Arlen Specter being a government shill in the Warren Commission but he sure acts like it. I still don’t know who put him up to this or why he would care so in proving the government’s case. Maybe he felt it a part of the job. It should have been to find out the truth, but lawyers often do not settle for the truth--they settle for an answer that is politically acceptable to the powers that be, in other words, the Establishment. Specter starts out as a low level staff attorney and rises above the fray as a major player with his Magic Bullet tale. The lone bullet theory is now part of the lore and controversy of the case. One day, maybe a FOIA lawsuit will break something loose on him. All we can know is there are way too many lawyers involved and they are not truth seekers--their purpose is to take care of their clients--the government.

One alleged journalist that we know was allied with the government was Hugh Aynesworth. Starting out with the Dallas Morning News and later migrating over to Newsweek, he was instrumental in bedeviling Jim Garrison during the months of the Clay Shaw trial and grand jury investigation. Documents that have been released show him applying to the CIA although it is unclear if he was brought in as an agent. Never the less, he maintained strong contacts with them and the FBI and it is clear in his articles he had inside information into the inner workings of the Garrison investigation. Big Jim could not keep anything quiet with the huge amount of informants and spies infiltrating the investigation. This makes Aynesworth hardly an objective newsman but he was not the only one so tied in. Edward Epstein wrote a book mocking Garrison’s trial of Shaw called Counterplot. He later admitted to working closely with the CIA. In a well-known 1970’s article in Rolling Stone, Carl Bernstein reported that there were hundreds of journalists working with the CIA in order to further the federal government’s interests. No telling how many are there now.

It all about patterns. Keep an eye out. They are changing all the time.