Saturday, February 09, 2019

The Washington Post tells the truth about the RFK asssassination

Every now and then, someone steps up and becomes a media hero. Today, the hero is Washington Post report Tom Jackman. He's been on the True Crime beat for decades and has a Pulitzer Prize to his credit.

He is the only reporter who has dared to report on my work as the serious news event that it is, and for that I will be forever grateful. This isn't about me. This is about his work. He took the story and even furthered the record on the subject. The way he put this together, such a difficult story to condense, is masterful.

Please read it. So worthy.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2019/02/09/cia-may-have-used-contractor-who-inspired-mission-impossible-kill-rfk-new-book-alleges/?utm_term=.c488b8cded4e


Saturday, January 19, 2019

Kennedy and King Family Members and Advisors Call for Congress to Reopen Assassination Probes



On the occasion of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a group of over 60 prominent American citizens is calling upon Congress to reopen the investigations into the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Signers of the joint statement include Isaac Newton Farris Jr., nephew of Reverend King and past president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; Reverend James M. Lawson Jr., a close collaborator of Reverend King; and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, children of the late senator.

Other signatories include G. Robert Blakey, the chief counsel of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, which determined in 1979 that President Kennedy was the victim of a probable conspiracy; Dr. Robert McClelland, one of the surgeons at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas who tried to save President Kennedy’s life and saw clear evidence he had been struck by bullets from the front and the rear; Daniel Ellsberg, the Pentagon Papers whistleblower who served as a national security advisor to the Kennedy White House; Richard Falk, professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University and a leading global authority on human rights; Hollywood artists Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen, Rob Reiner and Oliver Stone; political satirist Mort Sahl; and musician David Crosby.

The declaration is also signed by numerous historians, journalists, lawyers and other experts on the four major assassinations.

The joint statement calls for Congress to establish firm oversight on the release of all government documents related to the Kennedy presidency and assassination, as mandated by the JFK Records Collection Act of 1992. This public transparency law has been routinely defied by the CIA and other federal agencies. The Trump White House has allowed the CIA to continue its defiance of the law, even though the JFK Records Act called for the full release of relevant documents in 2017.

The group statement also calls for a public inquest into “the four major  assassinations of the 1960s that together had a disastrous impact on the course of American history.” This tribunal -- which would hear testimony from living witnesses, legal experts, investigative journalists, historians and family members of the victims -- would be modeled on the Truth and Reconciliation hearings held in South Africa after the fall of apartheid. This American Truth and Reconciliation process is intended to encourage Congress or the Justice Department to reopen investigations into all four organized acts of political violence.

Signers of the joint statement, who call themselves the Truth and Reconciliation Committee, are also seeking to reopen the Robert F. Kennedy assassination case, stating that Sirhan Sirhan’s conviction was based on “a mockery of a trial.” The forensic evidence alone, observes the statement, demonstrates that Sirhan did not fire the fatal shot that killed Senator Kennedy -- a conclusion reached by, among others, Dr. Thomas Noguchi, the Los Angeles County Coroner who performed the official autopsy on RFK.

The joint statement -- which was co-written by Adam Walinsky, a speechwriter and top aide of Senator Kennedy -- declares that these “four major political murders traumatized American life in the 1960s and cast a shadow over the country for decades thereafter. John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were each in his own unique way attempting to turn the United States away from war toward disarmament and peace, away from domestic violence and division toward civil amity and justice. Their killings were together a savage, concerted assault on American democracy and the tragic consequences of these assassinations still haunt our nation.”

The Truth and Reconciliation Committee views its joint statement as the opening of a long campaign aimed at shining a light on dark national secrets. As the public transparency campaign proceeds, citizens across the country will be encouraged to add their names to the petition. The national effort seeks to confront the forces behind America’s democratic decline, a reign of secretive power that long precedes the recent rise of authoritarianism. “The organized killing of JFK, Malcolm, Martin, and RFK was a mortal attack on our democracy,” said historian James Douglass, author of JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters. “We've been walking in the valley of the dead ever since. Our campaign is all about recovering the truth embodied in the movement they led. Yes, the transforming, reconciling power of truth will indeed set us free."


***



The Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s Calls for Action:

1.     We call upon Congress to establish continuing oversight on the release of government documents related to the presidency and assassination of President John F. Kennedy, to ensure public transparency as mandated by the JFK Records Collection Act of 1992. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform should hold hearings on the Trump administration's failure to enforce the JFK Records Act.

2.     We call for a major public inquest on the four major assassinations of the 1960s that together had a disastrous impact on the course of American history: the murders of John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy. This public tribunal, shining a light on this dark chapter of our history, will be modeled on the Truth and Reconciliation process in post-apartheid South Africa. The inquest -- which will hear testimony from living witnesses, legal experts, investigative journalists, historians and family members of the victims -- is intended to show the need for Congress or the Justice Department to reopen investigations into all four assassinations.

3.     On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we call for a full investigation of Reverend King’s assassination. The conviction of James Earl Ray for the crime has steadily lost credibility over the years, with a 1999 civil trial brought by Reverend King’s family placing blame on government agencies and organized crime elements. Following the verdict, Coretta Scott King, the slain leader’s widow, stated: “There is abundant evidence of a major, high-level conspiracy in the assassination of my husband.” The jury in the Memphis trial determined that various federal, state and local agencies “were deeply involved in the assassination … Mr. Ray was set up to take the blame.” Reverend King’s assassination was the culmination of years of mounting surveillance and harassment directed at the human rights leader by J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI and other agencies.

4.       We call for a full investigation of the Robert F. Kennedy assassination case, the prosecution of which was a mockery of a trial that has been demolished by numerous eyewitnesses, investigators and experts -- including former Los Angeles County Coroner Dr. Thomas Noguchi, who performed the official autopsy on Senator Kennedy. The forensic evidence alone establishes that the shots fired by Sirhan Sirhan from in front of Senator Kennedy did not kill him; the fatal shot that struck RFK in the head was fired at point–blank range from the rear. Consequently, the case should be reopened for a new comprehensive investigation while there are still living witnesses -- as there are in all four assassination cases.


***
A Joint Statement on the Kennedy, King and Malcolm X Assassinations and Ongoing Cover-ups:


  1. As the House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded in 1979, President John F. Kennedy was probably killed as the result of a conspiracy.

  2. In the four decades since this Congressional finding, a massive amount of evidence compiled by journalists, historians and independent researchers confirms this conclusion. This growing body of evidence strongly indicates that the conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy was organized at high levels of the U.S. power structure, and was implemented by top elements of the U.S. national security apparatus using, among others, figures in the criminal underworld to help carry out the crime and cover-up.

  3. This stunning conclusion was also reached by the president’s own brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, who himself was assassinated in 1968 while running for president -- after telling close aides that he intended to reopen the investigation into his brother’s murder if he won the election.

  4. President Kennedy’s administration was badly fractured over his efforts to end the Cold War, including his back-channel peace feelers to the Soviet Union and Cuba and his plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Vietnam after the 1964 presidential election.

  5. President Kennedy has long been portrayed as a Cold War hawk, but this grossly inaccurate view has been strongly challenged over the years by revisionist historians and researchers, who have demonstrated that Kennedy was frequently at odds with his own generals and espionage officials. This revisionist interpretation of the Kennedy presidency is now widely embraced, even by mainstream Kennedy biographers.

  6. The official investigation into the JFK assassination immediately fell under the control of U.S. security agencies, ensuring a cover-up. The Warren Commission was dominated by former CIA director Allen Dulles and other officials with strong ties to the CIA and FBI.

  7. The corporate media, with its own myriad connections to the national security establishment, aided the cover-up with its rush to embrace the Warren Report and to scorn any journalists or researchers who raised questions about the official story.

  8. Despite the massive cover-up of the JFK assassination, polls have consistently shown that a majority of the American people believes Kennedy was the victim of a conspiracy -- leading to the deep erosion of confidence in the U.S. government and media.

  9. The CIA continues to obstruct evidence about the JFK assassination, routinely blocking legitimate Freedom of Information requests and defying the JFK Records Collection Act of 1992, preventing the release of thousands of government documents as required by the law.

  10. The JFK assassination was just one of four major political murders that traumatized American life in the 1960s and have cast a shadow over the country for decades thereafter. John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were each in his own unique way attempting to turn the United States away from war toward disarmament and peace, away from domestic violence and division toward civil amity and justice. Their killings were together a savage, concerted assault on American democracy and the tragic consequences of these assassinations still haunt our nation.

Dr. Gary Aguilar
Daniel Alcorn

Russ Baker
Alec Baldwin
G. Robert Blakey
Denise Faura Bohdan
Abraham Bolden
Rex Bradford
Douglas Caddy
Rodnell Collins
Debra Conway
David Crosby
Edward Curtin
Dr. Donald T. Curtis
Alan Dale
James DiEugenio
James Douglass
Laurie Dusek
Daniel Ellsberg
Karl Evanzz
Richard Falk
Isaac Newton Farris Jr.
Marie Fonzi
Libby Handros
Dan Hardway
Jacob Hornberger
Douglas Horne
Gayle Nix Jackson
Stephen Jaffe
James Jenkins
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Bill Kelly
Andrew Kreig
John Kirby
Rev. James M. Lawson Jr.
Jim Lesar
Edwin Lopez
David Mantik
Dr. Robert N. McClelland
Mark Crispin Miller
Jefferson Morley
John Newman
Len Osanic
Lisa Pease
William F. Pepper
Jerry Policoff
Rob Reiner
Abby Rockefeller
Dick Russell
Mort Sahl
Vincent Salandria
Martin Sheen
Lawrence P. Schnapf
E. Martin Schotz
Paul Schrade
Peter Dale Scott
John Simkin
Bill Simpich
Oliver Stone
Dan Storper
David Talbot
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
Adam Walinsky
Benjamin Wecht
Dr. Cyril H. Wecht
Betty Windsor

Biographies:

Gary L. Aguilar, MD, is a private practicing ophthalmologist in San Francisco, a clinical professor of ophthalmology at the University of California-San Francisco, and the vice chief of staff at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital. One of the few physicians outside the federal government who has ever been allowed to review President Kennedy's still-restricted autopsy photographs and X-rays, Aguilar has delivered lectures on JFK's autopsy evidence before numerous medical and legal conferences. With coauthor Cyril Wecht, MD, JD, Aguilar has published articles on the Kennedy case in journals such as The American Scholar and the Journal of the American Medical Association, and has contributed chapters to several anthologies exploring the JFK assassination. Dr. Aguilar’s writings on various aspects of the Kennedy case are available online, most notably a multipart essay that examines the five investigations of Kennedy's medical and autopsy evidence that have been conducted by the U.S. government.

Daniel Alcorn was a law partner of the late Bud Fensterwald, co-founder of the Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC). He has served on the AARC board since 1992, and was a founding director of the Coalition on Political Assassinations (COPA) on behalf of AARC, and served on COPA's board until the end of the Assassination Records Review Board process in 1998. Alcorn has represented requesters in precedent-setting Freedom of Information Act cases in the trial and appellate courts in Washington, D.C., including cases related to the JFK assassination, the Martin Luther King Jr. assassination, allegations of misconduct in the FBI crime laboratory, death squad activity in Central America, intelligence abuses, and PTSD, among other issues.

Russ Baker is the founder, editor-in-chief and CEO of WhoWhatWhy, a nonprofit news organization devoted to covering stories and angles ignored by the media. WhoWhatWhy has a special team poring over thousands of declassified JFK records. Baker is the author of Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America's Invisible Government, and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years.

Alec Baldwin has appeared in numerous productions onstage, in films and on television. He has received a Tony nomination (A Streetcar Named Desire, 1992), an Oscar nomination (The Cooler, 2004) and has won three Emmy awards, three Golden Globes and seven consecutive Screen Actors Guild Awards as Best Actor in a Comedy Series for his role on NBC-TV's 30 Rock. His films include The Hunt for Red October, Glengarry Glen Ross, Malice, Blue Jasmine, and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. He has authored three books: A Promise to Ourselves; his memoir, Nevertheless; and You Can’t Spell America Without Me, with Kurt Andersen. He serves on numerous boards related to the arts, the environment and progressive politics.

G. Robert Blakey is retired as the William J. & Dorothy K. O'Neill Professor of Law (now emeritus) at the Notre Dame Law School, where he taught criminal law, the law of terrorism, and jurisprudence. He also was a professor of law and the director of the Cornell Institute on Organized Crime, where he taught criminal law in the law school. Blakey also served as a special attorney in the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section of the United States Department of Justice. From 1977 to 1979, he was the chief counsel and staff director, United States House Select Committee on Assassinations.

Denise Faura Bohdan is a lawyer, film producer and the daughter of Fernando Faura, author of The Polka Dot File on the Robert F. Kennedy Killing: The Paris Peace Talks Connection, chronicling the search for an alleged conspirator in the assassination of RFK. Faura’s investigation in 1968 is regarded by most researchers as one of the most important, linking Sirhan Sirhan to co-conspirators. Ms. Bohdan is producing a film on his investigation to shine more light on the assassination and conspiracy. Her previous film work focuses on human rights abuses, freedom of speech and pursuit of justice.

Abraham Bolden was the first African-American assigned to the White House Secret Service Detail, at President Kennedy's personal request. When he later tried to testify to the Warren Commission about rampant misconduct in the Secret Service, he was punished for his courage by a trumped-up bribery charge that resulted in his imprisonment for over three years. He is the author of a 2008 memoir, The Echo From Dealey Plaza.

Rex Bradford pioneered the digital dissemination of declassified JFK assassination documents, over 1.5 million pages of which are available at www.maryferrell.org. He is president of the Mary Ferrell Foundation.

Douglas Caddy is a Houston-based attorney and the author of six books, most recently his memoir Being There: Eyewitness To History. In 1959, he published an article in the National Review that began a long friendship with founding publisher William F. Buckley as they worked together to help found what’s now known as the modern conservative movement. In 1960, Caddy was elected as the founding national director of Young Americans For Freedom. His conservative activism made him an early campaigner for 1964 Republican presidential nominee Barry Goldwater. Caddy then worked in Washington, DC, as an attorney involved in many high-profile cases. In one, he became the original defense attorney for the Watergate burglars. His legal work has included cutting-edge research and whistle-blowing on the JFK assassination, Koreagate, CIA influences and other justice-related issues.

Rodnell Collins, Malcolm X’s first cousin, is the founder of the Malcolm X, Ella L. Little Collins Family Foundation and curator of the childhood home that he and Malcolm shared in Duxbury, Massachusetts. Now a national historic landmark, Collins is working on turning it into a museum. Collins’s memoir, Seventh Child, tells Malcolm’s story from a family member’s point of view. Most recently Collins participated in the 50th anniversary commemoration of the famous Oxford Union debate, “The Night Malcolm Spoke Out.”

Debra Conway is the president of JFK Lancer Productions and Publications, a historical research company specializing in the administration and assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

David Crosby is a musician and songwriter. He has been speaking out about the JFK assassination since the 1960s, including onstage with the Byrds at the legendary Monterey Pop Festival in 1967.

Edward Curtin is a sociologist who teaches at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. He is a widely published essayist who has written extensively about the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Donald T. Curtis is a retired oral and maxillofacial surgeon who participated in the resuscitation attempt of President Kennedy at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.

Alan Dale is executive director of the Assassination Archives and Research Center. He is the host of JFKConversations.com.

James DiEugenio is the author of The JFK Assassination: The Evidence Today, and editor of Kennedysandking.com.

James Douglass is the author of JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters.

Laurie Dusek has served as legal counsel to Sirhan Sirhan in a pro bono capacity for the last 11 years.

Daniel Ellsberg was a national security consultant to the Kennedy White House. Later he leaked the Pentagon Papers. A senior fellow of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, he is the author of The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner and a memoir, Secrets, which became the subject of the Oscar-nominated documentary The Most Dangerous Man in America. He is also a key figure in Steven Spielberg's film about the Pentagon Papers, The Post.

Karl Evanzz is the author of six books, including two highly acclaimed studies of the Nation of Islam: The Judas Factor: The Plot to Kill Malcolm X (1992) and The Messenger: The Rise and Fall of Elijah Muhammad (1999). A literary and film consultant, Evanzz worked on Malcolm X: Make It Plain (Blackside Productions, 1994) and Ali (2001), starring Will Smith. Evanzz worked at the Washington Post for 32 years in its news department before retiring in 2008.

Richard Falk is professor of international law, emeritus, at Princeton University and author of Power Shift: On the New Global Order (2016).

Isaac Newton Farris Jr. is the nephew of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He has served as the president and CEO of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center and in 2011 was elected president and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the organization founded by Dr. King. Farris currently serves as senior fellow of the King Center where he not only continues to write, research and lecture on the life, philosophy, and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., but also on how Kingian nonviolence should guide American society as we confront the social, religious, economic and war issues of America and of the world today.

Marie Fonzi is the widow of Gaeton Fonzi, a top investigator on both the Senate and House Committees that probed the death of President Kennedy in the 1970s. Marie wrote the preface and afterword of the 2016 paperback edition of The Last Investigation, Fonzi's inside story of this fateful Congressional drama.

Libby Handros is an award-winning TV producer and documentary filmmaker. Since beginning her career on the PBS team that produced Inside Story, the first regularly scheduled examination of the American press ever to appear on television, she has gone on to develop and produce over one hundred hours of prime-time programming on a wide array of subjects. Along with director John Kirby, Handros produced the critically acclaimed documentary feature The American Ruling Class and Cape Spin: An American Power Struggle, among other films. Currently she is Kirby’s producing partner on Four Died Trying, a multi-part series on the political murders of John Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, which changed the course of history.

Dan Hardway, a graduate of Cornell Law School, has practiced law for the past 37 years. His firm, based in Cowen, West Virginia, focuses on representing nonprofit organizations, especially Christian churches and ministries, and Freedom of Information Act litigants. From 1977 to 1978, Hardway worked as a researcher for the House Select Committee on Assassinations, and assisted Ed Lopez in writing the section of the committee report titled, “Oswald, the CIA, and Mexico City.”

Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation, a libertarian nonprofit educational foundation, and the author of The Kennedy Autopsy.

Douglas Horne served for three years on the staff of the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB), from 1995-1998. He was hired by the ARRB as a senior analyst on the Military Records Team, and was later promoted to the position of chief analyst for Military Records; while on the ARRB staff, Mr. Horne ensured the release of historical records on Cuba and Vietnam policy; played a key role in the sworn depositions of ten JFK autopsy witnesses; and became the primary ARRB point-of-contact for all matters related to the Zapruder film. He is the author of the five-volume work Inside the Assassination Records Review Board (2009), and the e-book JFK's War with the National Security Establishment: Why Kennedy Was Assassinated (2014).

Gayle Nix Jackson is the granddaughter of Orville Nix, the man who took the film of the JFK assassination opposite from Abraham Zapruder. Following three decades of research on the background of the government's loss of this film, she has written two books, Orville Nix: The Missing JFK Assassination Film and Pieces of the Puzzle: An Anthology.

Stephen Jaffe was an investigator and photo-analyst for New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison 1967-68, testified before the Rockefeller Commission, was an associate producer/technical advisor for the film Executive Action, associate producer/technical adviser for documentaries The Garrison Tapes and the sequel by filmmaker John Barbour, and is the producer of the new documentary, A Rush to Judgment: Conspiracy in America, with Mark Lane. Jaffe was an investigator for the Lane Law Firm for the past 50 years and has written numerous articles on the assassination of President Kennedy.

James Jenkins was a medical corpsman assigned to work with pathologists on the autopsy of President Kennedy at the Bethesda Naval Hospital. He reports his eyewitness account in his book At the Cold Shoulder of History, co-written with William Matson Law.

William Klaber was the producer of The RFK Tapes, a 1993 public radio documentary on the murder of Senator Robert Kennedy. In 1997 he co-authored, with Philip Melanson, the book Shadow Play, which examined the evidence of police misconduct in the RFK murder investigation, evidence found in the LAPD’s own files that was finally made public in 1988.

Bill Kelly is a co-founder of the Committee for an Open Archives and the Coalition on Political Assassinations. He was the recipient of the 2013 Mary Ferrell Award for his work on the Air Force One radio transmission tapes. He is currently the coordinator of the research committee for Citizens Against Political Assassinations. His blog is http://JFKCountercoup.blogspot.com.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is the author of American Values: Lessons I Learned From My Family.

John Kirby made his directorial debut with the Tribeca Festival-award-winning film The American Ruling Class, made for the BBC and the Sundance Channel. He is currently directing and editing Four Died Trying, a multi-part documentary series on the extraordinary lives and calamitous deaths of John Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy.

Andrew Kreig is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit executive, attorney, author and commentator who edits the non-partisan Justice Integrity Project, which examines the performance of legal institutions. Its work includes publication of a multi-part “Readers Guide to the JFK Assassination” that highlights the topic’s leading books, films, archives, events and news developments.

The Reverend James M. Lawson Jr. was a long-time collaborator with Martin Luther King Jr. and, after the Reverend King, the major teacher in the non-violent struggles for desegregation and justice. Rep. John Lewis called him “the architect of the non-violent movement.”

Jim Lesar is president of the Assassination Archives and Research Center, a nonprofit organization whose goal is to disclose information on political assassinations to the public. During the past 49 years Lesar has litigated more than 200 Freedom of Information Act cases, resulting in the release of several hundred thousand pages of documents prior to the enactment of the JFK Records Act. He then testified before several House and Senate committees in favor of greatly expanded release of withheld government records pertaining to the assassination of President Kennedy. After the passage of the JFK Act, Lesar testified several times before the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) regarding the definition and scope of the term “JFK-assassinated-related” records. In 2006, in a suit in which he represented journalist and author Jefferson Morley, he won a significant precedent that subjected the CIA’s ultra-secret operational files to judicial review. This ultimately resulted in the disclosure of significant operational records, and in the process the CIA admitted under oath that it had hired a case officer linked to Lee Harvey Oswald’s pre-assassination activities to undermine the investigation of the House Select Committee on Assassinations.

Edwin Lopez is an attorney practicing in New York. He has served as the general counsel at the Rochester City School District and is currently on the faculty of the Yang Tan Employment and Disability Institute at the Industrial Labor Relations School at Cornell University. In 1977 and 1978 he was a researcher for the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), where he was involved, among other areas, in the research and investigation of anti-Castro Cuban groups, their possible involvement in the assassination of President Kennedy, possible Cuban government complicity in the assassination of President Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald’s activities in Mexico City and the performance of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in monitoring and reporting those activities. With the assistance of other staff members, he wrote the HSCA’s “Lopez Report.”

David Mantik holds an MD from the University of Michigan and a PhD in physics from the University of Wisconsin. He is former faculty member in the physics department at the University of Michigan and in the radiation oncology department at Loma Linda University. He is the author of JFK's Head Wounds (an e-book).

Dr. Robert N. McClelland is professor emeritus in the Department of Surgery at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, an adjunct professor of law at Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University, and a member of the attending staff at Zale Lipshy University Hospital. Previously, he served for 30 years as the UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Alvin W. Baldwin Chair in Surgery, where he had first come to work as an instructor in surgery in 1962. Two years prior to that, Dr. McClelland had begun his career on the senior attending staff at Parkland Memorial Hospital, where his duties would include the attempt to save the life of President Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963. While working on the mortally wounded JFK, Dr. McClelland saw clear evidence that the president had been struck by bullets from the front and rear, indicating more than one shooter was involved. The gruesome injury to the back of JFK’s head was caused by a bullet exiting the skull rather than entering it, McClelland determined, suggesting it was fired from the front of the presidential limousine, instead of from the rear, where Lee Harvey Oswald was allegedly shooting from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository building.

Mark Crispin Miller is a professor of media, culture and communication at New York University, and author of several books, including Fooled Again: The Real Case for Electoral Reform. As editor of Discovering America, a book series published by the University of Texas Press, he commissioned Lance DeHaven-Smith to write Conspiracy Theory in America, and his Forbidden Bookshelf series, published by Open Road Media, has revived dozens of essential books long out of print, and many of them killed at birth, including works by I.F. Stone, Peter Dale Scott, Christopher Simpson, Ralph McGehee and Gerald Colby.

Jefferson Morley is the founder of The Deep State, a news blog that illuminates the influence of secret intelligence agencies. He worked for 15 years as an editor and reporter at the Washington Post. He is the author of Ghost: The Secret Life of CIA Spymaster James Jesus Angleton and of Our Man in Mexico, a biography of the CIA’s Mexico City station chief Winston Scott.

Major John M. Newman, U.S. Army (retired), is adjunct professor of political science at James Madison University. He is the author of JFK and Vietnam, Oswald and the CIA and the multi-part series The Assassination of President Kennedy: Volume I, Where Angels Tread Lightly; Volume II, Countdown to Darkness, and Volume III, Into the Storm.

Len Osanic is host of Black Op Radio and producer of The Collected Works of Col. L. Fletcher Prouty.

Lisa Pease is the author of A Lie Too Big to Fail: The Real History of the Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. Based on more than two decades of investigative research, Pease’s recently published book has already been hailed as “the magnum opus of RFK assassination research” by acclaimed Kennedy biographer James Douglass.

Dr. William F. Pepper is an American lawyer, English barrister and best-selling author. His legal career has included representation of governments and heads of state, and teaching human rights law at Oxford University. A political activist, Pepper was a 1960s friend and supporter of Robert F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The King family asked his help to address their doubts about the guilt of accused assassin James Earl Ray. Pepper’s investigation concluded that Ray was a patsy. Representing both the imprisoned Ray before his 1998 death and the King family pro bono, Pepper then won a Memphis civil jury verdict in 1999 for the family concluding the murder was a conspiracy. Pepper authored three books on the evidence, most recently The Plot to Kill King (2016). In 2007, Pepper began representing pro bono Robert F. Kennedy’s accused assassin Sirhan Sirhan based on similar evidence that Sirhan did not fire any of the shots that struck RFK. Along with other RFK friends, Pepper has advocated for Sirhan to be released on parole and/or granted a first-ever hearing to examine the relevant scientific evidence.

Jerry Policoff has been a JFK assassination researcher since 1966, specializing in the role of the media. Widely published in magazines and book anthologies, Policoff covered the House Select Committee on Assassinations for New Times magazine, breaking many exclusives. He is the former executive director of the Assassination Archives and Research Center.

Rob Reiner is an actor and director best known for his role in the iconic TV show All in the Family and for his films A Few Good Men, When Harry Met Sally, and This Is Spinal Tap. His 2017 political thriller Shock and Awe was the first Hollywood movie to examine the tragic run-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Reiner is now developing a docudrama TV series on the Kennedy assassinations.

Abby Rockefeller has participated in the sponsoring and organizing of several conferences concerning the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Dick Russell is the author of three books on the assassination of President Kennedy: The Man Who Knew Too Much; On the Trail of the JFK Assassins; and They Killed Our President!, with Jesse Ventura.

Mort Sahl is an entertainer and political satirist. He helped write speeches for John F. Kennedy's presidential campaign, and later worked closely with New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison to solve the Kennedy assassination, even though doing so severely damaged his career.

Vincent J. Salandria is a Philadelphia attorney who began studying the Kennedy assassination on November 23, 1963. One of the original critics of the lone assassin concept, he is the author of False Mystery, an anthology of his essays incriminating the national security state for the murder of JFK.

Martin Sheen is an actor and activist.

Lawrence P. Schnapf is the principal attorney of Schnapf LLC and an adjunct professor at the New York Law School. He serves on the board of Citizens Against Political Assassinations.

E. Martin Schotz is the author of History Will Not Absolve Us: Orwellian Control, Public Denial and the Murder of President Kennedy.

Paul Schrade is a former United Auto Workers official who knew both of the Kennedy brothers and worked in their campaigns. He was wounded in the hail of gunfire that mortally wounded Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Schrade, who has spent decades researching the RFK assassination, believes that Sirhan Sirhan did not fire the shots that struck Kennedy and is working for his release from prison.

Peter Dale Scott is a professor emeritus of English at the University of California, Berkeley. His books include Deep Politics and the Death of JFK; Oswald, Mexico, and Deep Politics; The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11, and the Deep Politics of War; The American Deep State; and Poetry and Terror.

John Simkin established the Spartacus Educational website in 1999, an important section of which was devoted to the Kennedy assassination. He is the author of the e-book Assassination of John F. Kennedy Encyclopedia.

Bill Simpich, a civil rights attorney, is on the board of the Mary Ferrell Foundation. He is the author of the e-book State Secret.

Oliver Stone is an Academy Award–winning director and screenwriter best known for his movies Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July, Wall Street and JFK. His 1991 feature JFK provoked a nationwide uproar about the Kennedy assassination that led to Congressional passage of the 1992 JFK Records Collection Act and the release of thousands of important previously withheld government documents.

Dan Storper is the founder and CEO of the world music company Putumayo. He is writing a book about the political struggles of the 1960s.

David Talbot is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years and The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA and the Rise of America’s Secret Government. He is the founder and original editor-in-chief of Salon and a former senior editor of Mother Jones magazine.

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is the eldest of Robert F. and Ethel Kennedy’s children. She is the former lieutenant governor of Maryland. She has taught foreign policy at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Maryland and is currently a research professor at Georgetown University, where she founded the Center for Retirement Initiatives.

Adam Walinsky served in the United States Department of Justice in 1963-64. He joined Robert Kennedy’s campaign for U.S. Senate in 1964, and then served as counsel and speechwriter for the senator through the presidential campaign of 1968. He was one of the coordinators of the Vietnam Moratorium of 1969-70, and was the Democratic nominee for Attorney General of New York in 1970. He practiced law in New York City until 1994, serving as chairman of the New York State Investigations Commission in 1979-81. Walinsky created and led the Police Corps, a federal program that offered scholarships to college students who agreed in return to train intensively for six months, and then serve four years in a state or local police force. Police Corps programs were created in 30 states, and although funding ended in 2004, many of its graduates are still serving in law enforcement and other civic endeavors across the country. From 2008 to 2012, he led a complete retraining of the Police Department in Baltimore, Maryland. He served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve.

Benjamin Wecht is the administrator of Duquesne University's Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law, managing an internationally acclaimed center for professional and general education that presents public seminars on the assassination of President Kennedy and other urgent topics. He also serves as managing member of the Forensic Sciences and Law Education Group, a business dedicated to disseminating educational video products and online resources relating to topics at the interface of forensic investigation and historical inquiry.

Dr. Cyril H. Wecht is past president of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the American College of Legal Medicine. He is a clinical professor of pathology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and adjunct professor of law at Duquesne University. Dr. Wecht served as a consultant or expert witness on several major JFK inquests, including New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s prosecution of Clay Shaw, the Rockefeller Commission and the House Select Committee on Assassinations.

Betty Windsor was a close friend of Dallas Times-Herald journalist Jim Koethe, who was murdered in his home in 1964 while working to solve the JFK case. Since the reporter’s murder, she has worked to solve both the Koethe case and the JFK case. Many researchers consider her the most important source on the events in Dallas during that era.

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Please share this information with everyone you know. This is the first time in history members of the families of the four major leaders assassinated in the 1960s have come together saying these cases all need to be reinvestigated. This is historic and important. There will be ways you can contribute. Watch this page for information in the coming days and weeks. This is the start of a long campaign, not a one-time message. We're all very serious about this. #TogetherWeCanDoAnything #FreeSirhan #FreeOurHistory!!!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Preview of the cover of my new book, A Lie Too Big to Fail!

As many of you know, I've been researching the assassinations of the 1960s for more than 25 years now. I've had a particular interest in the assassination of Robert Kennedy. I started and stopped this book a couple of times over the last ten years, but got really serious about writing it over the last three and a half. Here is a preview of the cover. Jim DiEugenio was kind enough to write a wonderful introduction as well.

I can't wait to talk about what's in the book. But I'm sitting on mega secrets for now. Can't wait to knock your socks off though! The book will be out in September and should show up in Amazon.com and other outlets in April.


Thursday, October 26, 2017

HSCA investigator Dan Hardway discusses imminent release of JFK assassination files

Dan Hardway read many of the documents that are about to be released during his role as an investigator for the House Select Committee on Assassinations in the 1970s. As such, he can tell us a great deal more than the average person about what this release may prove. Here is his "for release" comment on these, "rush job - proofed only once".

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WHAT WERE THEY HIDING AND WHAT SHOULD WE LOOK FOR?

By Dan L. Hardway © October 26, 2017

                As we go into the hysteria of a massive JFK document dump, there is one remarkably surviving document that has already been released that we should keep in mind – especially when reading news coverage of the documents scheduled for release today. 

                On April 1, 1967, the Head of the Covert Action Staff of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) sent a dispatch to many of the CIA stations and bases around the world.[i]  That the document survived may be remarkable as it is clearly marked as “Destroy when no longer needed.”  Or, then again, maybe it is not remarkable that it has not been destroyed because the government and intelligence community’s efforts to silence those who question the official story about John Kennedy’s murder has never succeeded and, hence, the dispatch remains needful from their viewpoint.

                The dispatch lays out a plan for defending the lone nut theory first advanced as the major theme of the government cover-up of the assassination investigation.  The dispatch labels people who question the lone nut theory as “conspiracy theorists”.  It plainly states the purpose of the dispatch “is to provide material for countering and discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorists…. Our play should point out, as applicable, that the critics are (i) wedded to theories adopted before the evidence was in, (ii) politically interested, (iii) financially interested, (iv) hasty and inaccurate in their research, or (v) infatuated with their own theories.”  It goes on to suggest that critics be countered by advancing arguments such as they have produced no new evidence, that they overvalue some evidence while ignoring other evidence, that large scale conspiracies are “impossible to conceal in the United States,”  that Oswald would not have been any “sensible person’s choice for a co-conspirator”, and by pointing out the comprehensive work of the Warren Commission which was composed of men “chosen for their integrity, experience, and prominence.”    

                Many of the claims in the dispatch are ludicrous in hindsight, but are still parroted by main stream media sources.  We’ve seen them trotted out by lone nut theory defenders every time there has been a major breakthrough in the assassination investigation.  As I’ll discuss below, we are already seeing some of these “plays” (as the dispatch calls them) already before the JFK document release and I suspect we’ll see a lot more of them in the coming days. Let’s start by looking at the possible validity of the plays. 

                At this point in time, fifty-four years after the assassination and fifty-three years after the publication of the Warren Report, there are researchers, analysts, historians, attorneys and many others who have been researching this case for most of that time.  Many of them do not advance “theories” about what happened, but rather try to find and analyze the facts that have been hidden for so long and ask questions about what they mean.  They certainly are not wedded to theories that were adopted before the evidence was in.  And let’s think about that for a moment.  The cover-up of the assassination began on Air Force One as it flew back to D.C. from Dallas.  The seeds are there in the released transcripts of Lyndon Johnson’s telephone calls.  If the standard is waiting to see all the evidence, then the Warren Commission is totally discredited as it has now been shown beyond any reasonable argument or doubt that not only did they not have all the evidence in before issuing their report, the very investigating agencies upon whom they relied actively conspire to keep evidence from them – just as they have, and still do, actively conspired to keep the evidence from the American people.  Lone nut theorists appear to be the ones wedded to the theory adopted before the evidence is in and doing all they can to spin the evidence as it comes out to try to shore up support for their theories.

                To try to argue that the Warren Commission members, its supporters since, and those covering up the evidence and resisting release of documentation, were not politically or financially interested in the cover-up should be accepted as facially absurd at this point.  Indeed, even in 1967, the CIA dispatch openly admits to such interest, pointing out that opinion polls showing that more than half of the public was questioning the Warren Commission’s lone nut theory reflects a “trend of opinion [that] is a matter of concern to the U.S. Government, including our organization.”  Questioning the rectitude and wisdom of the members of the Warren Commission would “tend to cast doubt on the whole leadership of American society.”  An “increasing tendency to hint that President Johnson himself, as the one person who might be said to have benefited”[ii] could implicate him.  Such concerns “affects not only the individual concerned, but also the whole reputation of the American government.”[iii]   The Chief of Covert Action then acknowledges the Agency’s own interest: “Our organization itself is directly involved: among other facts, we contributed information to the investigation.”  Indeed, they also covered-up information, as they have now admitted.[iv]  The Agency’s concern, one that continues to this day, is plainly stated: the conspiracy theories expose them to “suspicion on our organization, for example by falsely alleging that Lee Harvey Oswald worked for us.”  The CIA’s main personal, if you will, stake in covering up and countering criticism has always been to deflect any possible focus on their relationship to the purported lone-nut assassin. 

                Hasty and inaccurate in their research?  How many documents are about to be released that have never been seen?  And who is it that is sure of their theory?  What can we say now about critics who for over fifty years have called for the release of all the information so that the American people can see and judge for themselves? 

                Arguing that there is no new evidence is like standing in front of a camel and insisting it is a horse.  New evidence has dribbled out now over the decades, in small manageable doses that can be dismissed as disconnected by the lone-nut theorists.  And the blatant hubris of the argument is astounding.  These are people who can suppress the evidence and taunt you because you don’t have it!  It’s like prosecuting attorneys in criminal cases who refuse to reveal exculpatory evidence while simultaneously shifting the burden of proof to the accused.  And as for the weighing all the evidence argument, how do you expect that to go if you control the evidence and only let the evidence out that supports your theory?  Convenient.  And if someone else does come up with a fact that contradicts your lone-nut theory, you can always deny it even though you know your suppressed evidence supports it.  No wonder there has been such resistance by the Agency to full disclosure.

                Conspiracy theories can’t be hidden in America?  Really?  That’s why J. Edgar Hoover was able to do all that he did to undermine American civil liberties for fifty years without exposure that wouldn’t have even come then had not there been a break-in at a small FBI field office in Media, Pennsylvania.[v]  MKULTRA wasn’t as successful.  It was only covered up for 25 years or so, as was the CIA programs to save and use ex-Nazi scientists and intelligence officers after the Second World War.  Actually, all that needs to be said in rebuttal is that for 50 years the CIA and our government vehemently denied that there was a conspiracy to keep information from the Warren Commission.  It is a prime tenet and support of the lone-nut theorists.  In spite of the denials, finally, three years ago, the Agency in their internal secret magazine, in an article written by their official historian, admitted there was such a conspiracy, although they called it benign[vi].  We’ll return to this in a bit.

                Next, we have a point I will concede: Oswald as a co-conspirator.  I agree, he’s hardly one that a rational person might choose.  But, is he one a rational person might choose as a patsy?  -- an entirely different question.  Remember, that being a patsy was Oswald’s claim in one of the few brief encounters he had with the press.  That claim would have been, presumably, a major theme developed by competent defense lawyers had he lived long enough to be tried.  But the lone-nut theorists dismiss that possibility out of hand.  Nothing to see here, folks, just move on.  There was no investigation of this in the hasty Warren Commission investigation that led to the establishment of the lone-nut theory.

                As far as the Warren Commission membership goes, I will concede their then-prominence, but I have to wonder, in light of the evidence that has come in since, about their integrity and experience as support for the integrity of their work.  Allen Dulles was the head of the CIA fired by President Kennedy.  His collusion with the CIA in the pendency of the Warren Commission is shown in documents that have been released in the last few years.  He passed out a book to Commission members at their first meeting taking the position that American assassins are always lone-nuts.  Earl Warren was coerced into serving against his will by Lyndon Johnson and the supposed threat of nuclear war.  Gerald Ford was in J. Edgar Hoover’s pocket.  John J. McCloy was steeped in the intelligence community and was almost single handedly responsible for the end of prosecution of Nazi war criminals and the early release of those who had already been convicted when he became the High Commissioner for post-war Germany.  Richard Russell, Jr., and Hale Boggs both privately rejected the Warren Commission’s lone nut theory, as did Lyndon Johnson, Robert F. Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy and many, many others.  But the conspiracy of silence took years to break, and when broken, the revelations came out piecemeal and were dismissed at the time as insignificant, old news – just conspiracy theorists.

                And, speaking of that title, “conspiracy theorist”, is designed to be pejorative.  If you can stick it to someone, then you don’t have to listen to what they say.  Even if they are reporting new evidence, they’re just wacky conspiracy theorists.  Just like those nuts who for years said J. Edgar Hoover was running a program to subvert dissidents illegally, or that the CIA was illegally surveilling U.S. citizens, or that the CIA had covered up information to keep it from other government entities that were investigating the Kennedy murder, right?  Even if the person only reported facts and asked questions, they were (and are) labelled a “conspiracy theorist” solely for the purpose of undermining their credibility and lessening any impact they might have on public opinion.  And when it comes to light that the answer to the question they raised, “is it possible there was a conspiracy?’ is, “Not only is it possible, there was indeed a conspiracy,” then even a blind bird occasionally finds a worm.  And the cover-up artists say this without shame even though they have known about the conspiracy from the get-go.  The next stage is to come up with a new spin such as, the cover-up was “benign”, or shifting suspicion where they want it to go.  What, exactly, was covered up in other words.        

As noted by Lance deHaven-Smith, a professor at Florida State University, the CIA in 1967 began a campaign to “popularize the term ‘conspiracy theory’ and make a conspiracy belief a target of ridicule and hostility.”  He notes that the campaign, “must be credited, unfortunately, with being one of the most successful propaganda initiatives in all time.”[vii]  He summarizes why the label has been used as a sword by those who resist the truth: “[T]he conspiracy-theory label, as it is applied in public discourse, does not disparage conspiratorial thinking or analysis in general, even though this is what the term suggests.  Rather the broad-brush ‘conspiracy theory’ disparages inquiry and questioning that challenge official accounts of troubling political events in which public officials themselves may have had a hand.  A conspiracy theory directs suspicion at officials who benefit from political crimes and tragedies.  The theories are considered dangerous not because they are obviously false, but because, viewed objectively and without deference to U.S. political officials and institutions, they are often quite plausible.[viii]

So, the first thing to remember going into the next few days is to stop when you see the label and ask, “Why is the writer of this story disparaging this idea?  Who is he trying to deflect suspicion from?  Why is he trying to direct my suspicion elsewhere? Can I reject the label and recover an objective view what this labeled individual has to say?”  Then do your best to find out what the idea being attacked really is rather than just rejecting it out of hand because of the labelling.  Remember, the term “conspiracy theory” gained prominence as a result of a CIA led propaganda initiative specifically addressed at protecting their own interests.

We see a blatant example of this dismissive labelling in CNN’s coverage of the upcoming document release.  Jeremy Diamond writes, “A decision to withhold even a sliver of the documents could give conspiracy theorists more fodder to propel their claims.”[ix]  So, what you are supposed to take away is that if anyone raises any questions about documents being withheld after the release date, they have to be a “conspiracy theorist” who isn’t worthy of your time or attention.  Consider, what is there to hide at this point?  If something is not released, why is it illegitimate to ask why, especially in view of our government’s relationship with the truth, or lack thereof, over the past six decades?  What purpose is served by Mr. Diamond’s advance labelling? 

The appeal to authority is also used in battling “conspiracy theories.”  It is seen in the CIA dispatch’s appeal to the apparent authority of the Warren Commission created by the then-reputations of its members and the superficially extensive investigation.  This technique appears again in Mr. Diamond’s article: “Historians who have closely studied the Kennedy assassination have said they do not expect the documents to … contradict the conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald was solely responsible for killing Kennedy.”[x]  Really, what historians?  Why are none named.  Why does he not give any consideration to people such as Dr. David R. Wrone, an emeritus professor of history at the University of Wisconsin, and Dr. John Newman, an adjunct professor of history at James Madison University, whose lifetime study of the subject has led them to the conclusion that Oswald could not have been solely responsible?[xi]  I haven’t spoken to them but I would venture to guess that neither Dr. Wrone nor Dr. Newman expect the documents to support Mr. Diamond’s lone-nut theory.

Then we have Phil Shenon’s return to the fray in The Guardian this morning.[xii] Even in the title of his article, “Files will shed light on a JFK shooting conspiracy – but not the one you think”, Mr. Shenon starts to try to divert attention in the direction he wants it to go.  He states plainly what he doesn’t want you to consider: first, a second assassin in Dealey Plaza even though his assertion that “most credible” evidence supports the lone-nut theory is patently not true.[xiii]  Second, about a mafia plot to kill Oswald he asks “What half-way competent Mob boss would choose a delusional blabbermouth like Ruby…?” echoing the CIA dispatch’s question about what rational person would ever choose Oswald as a co-conspirator?  Again, as with the CIA’s question, Shenon’s borrowed technique avoids the important questions and shuts off the possibility of objective investigation and consideration of other alternatives.  It’s a form of straw-man argument, but more slanderous and pernicious – you must be crazy if you don’t accept what I say.  For example, what about the possibility that Ruby was called on as an emergency stop gap measure only after an initial plan to dispose of the patsy failed?  I’m not saying that is what happened, but I am asking why it should be crazy, then or now, to consider the possibility and investigate it? Third, “a sprawling coup d’état involving everyone from President Johnson” on down the chain of command.  I, too, find that less credible than most.  But, then again, we have to consider that the evidence is now pretty much indisputable that President Johnson led the cover-up conspiracy and that his leadership and the conspiracy to cover-up anything that didn’t support the loan nut theory began immediately after the assassination.  I have to ask, “Doesn’t that raise questions in your mind that merit investigation and, if possible, answers?”  Why should we accept Mr. Shenon’s belittling dismissal of any questioning or review to see what’s actually in the evidence before we dismiss it? 

So, having told you what not to look for because even raising the questions can undermine proper deference to U.S. officials and institutions, he gives us the concession that we are now believed.  The CIA has admitted they participated in a benign cover-up of information during the Warren Commission investigation.[xiv]  Mr. Shenon acknowledges that the evidence is indisputable that both the CIA and the FBI had, at least, had Oswald under “aggressive surveillance in the months before the assassination.”[xv]  Mr. Shenon then advances the spin that the CIA and FBI embarrassment over not taking action to better protect the president in Dallas in light of what they knew is the reason for the benign cover-up: “ [I]mmediately after the assassination, panicked officials at both the CIA and FBI tried, desperately, to cover up evidence of the extent of their knowledge of Oswald, fearing their bungling of the intelligence about JFK’s assassin might be exposed – and that they would be blamed for the president’s murder.”  Yes sir, that certainly explains why the cover-up began immediately on Air Force One on the way back to D.C. on November 22, 1963.  As ridiculous as that idea is, it’s even more ridiculous to think that this embarrassment of two agencies would lead the whole government – from the president on down -- not just to cover up then, but to continue the cover-up and resist disclosure for more than fifty years of most of the documentary evidence, not to mention the massive destruction of evidence that has taken place.  When an offered concession is as implausible as this, what is the questions that the concede is trying to avoid being asked?  Could there have been other motivations for such a cover-up?

I am glad you asked.  Remember, in the 1967 dispatch the CIA acknowledged their basis of concern and, I believe, their motivation for participating in, if not leading, the cover-up of information for all these years.  Not just hiding information from the Warren Commission, but continuing to hide it and resist its disclosure even up to the present.  They acknowledged that the main CIA concern was that conspiracy theories might link them to the use of Oswald in intelligence operations.  This concern is still found in David Robarge’s article admitting CIA’s, or at least, Director McCone’s, participation in a conspiracy to hid information from the Warren Commission.  The article talks about the anti-Castro plots and the Nosenko information that was not shared with the Commission.[xvi]  This was used as an opportunity by Mr. Shenon to revive the kinda-like-maybe Castro did it theory, a theory was first raised on November 23rd in a Cuban exile publication sponsored and paid for by CIA .[xvii] 

But you have to read Mr. Robarge’s article carefully.  It is always wise to carefully parse CIA pronouncements to see what they are actually saying.  Mr. Robarge never specifically states that the CIA was mainly concerned in suppressing Kennedy murder information in preventing information about their attempts to murder Castro getting out.  Here’s what he actually says about the motivation for the cover-up: “Moreover, the DCI shared the [Johnson] administration’s interest in avoiding disclosures about covert actions that would circumstantially implicate CIA in conspiracy theories, and possibly lead to calls for a tough US response against the perpetrators of the assassination.  If the commission did not know to ask about covert operations against Cuba, he was not going to give them any suggestions where to look.”[xviii] Taken in toto, the statement would draw you to infer that the Castro assassination plots were what was being covered up.  But if that is the case, why has the resistance to disclosure remained so fierce even after those plots were disclosed in 1975?  And earlier in the article, Robarge clearly states that electronic intercepts had, within a few days, convinced the administration and the Agency that neither the USSR nor Cuba had any complicity in the assassination.[xix]  So who might the “perpetrators” be against whom “calls for a tough US response“ might be made if they already knew that neither Soviet Russia nor Cuba were complicit?  Notice the specific structure of Mr. Robarge’s statement: “avoiding disclosures about covert actions that would circumstantially implicate CIA in conspiracy theories.”  I submit to you that this is the same motivation that existed in 1967 as stated by the CIA Chief of Covert Action in the April 1 dispatch: “Conspiracy theories have frequently thrown suspicion on our organization, for example by falsely alleging that Lee Harvey Oswald worked for us.”[xx] 

The CIA has told us what they were trying to hide.  They have been trying to hide information that could implicate them as an organization participating in a conspiracy based on the fact that Oswald was not only under aggressive surveillance, but was also being utilized in some capacity by them in active intelligence operations shortly before the assassination.   Those operations were directed at Cuba.  The ones they didn’t want to be asked about, as Mr. Robarge states, were “covert operations against Cuba,” not covert Castro assassination plans.  Please note in his article that Robarge is careful to specify the Castro assassination plots when he is talking about them.  He is equally careful here to not reference them but, rather, more general “covert operations against Cuba.”  We should be looking for information on Oswald’s involvement in those operations in this document release.  They’ve told us where to look.[xxi]





[i]  Dispatch, Countering Criticism of the Warren Report, from Chief of CA Staff to Chiefs of Certain Stations and Bases, April 1, 1967, RIF 104-10009-10022.
[ii] Que bono?  Certainly not just Johnson, but the basic investigative question never seems to have even been raised, let alone considered, by the Warren Commission or the intelligence community in 1963-1964.
[iii] “L’Etat, c’est moi.” The Agency’s concern was well-founded.  The JFK murder cover-up was the beginning of the unravelling of government credibility in the United States and led directly to the growth of the secrecy culture that subsequently allowed the Vietnam war, Watergate, Iran-Contra, Iraqi WMD’s, etc., etc., etc.
[iv] David Robarge, “DCI John McCone and the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy,” Studies in Intelligence, (Vol. 57, No. 3, 09/2013), Approved for Release and declassified, 09/29/2014, available at http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB493/docs/intell_ebb_026.PDF.
[v] See, e.g., Betty Medsger, The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI, Knopf 2014.
[vi] One CIA officer is also on record calling Operation Phoenix in Vietnam that tortured and killed myriads of Vietnamese civilians “benign”.
[vii] Lance deHaven-Smith, Conspiracy Theory in America, University of Texas Press 2013, at p. 25.
[viii] Id., at 41.  Emphasis added.
[ix] Jeremy Diamond, JFK Files: Trump teases release as deadline arrives, CNN, 26 Oct 2017, available at https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2017/10/26/politics/jfk-assassination-files-classified-document-release-donald-trump/index.html
[x] Id.
[xi] See, e.g., David R. Wrone, Two Assassinations: Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, Lincoln Fellowship of Wisconsin, Meeting (37th: 1980 : Madison), Alfred Whital Stern Collection of Lincolniana (Library of Congress); http://aarclibrary.org/board-of-directors/ ; John Newman, Oswald and the CIA: The Documented Truth About the Unknown Relationship Between the U.S. Government and the Alleged Killer of JFK, Skyhouse 2008; John Newman, JFK and Vietnam: Deception, Intrigue, and the Struggle for Power, 2nd Ed., CreateSpace Independent Publishing 2016; John Newman, Countdown to Darkness: The Assassination of President Kennedy Volume II, CreateSpace Independent Publishing 2017.
[xii] Philip Shenon, Files will shed light on a JFK shooting conspiracy – but not the one your think, The Guardian, 26 Oct 2017, available at https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/26/john-f-kennedy-asssassination-documents-national-archives
[xiii] Most ear and eye witnesses on record from Dealey Plaza put a second shooter on the grassy knoll.  Any fair analysis of the Zapruder film supports a finding of a shot from the front.  The acoustics work of the HSCA showing a shooter on the knoll is also still supported by the best scientific evidence in spite of vigorous attempts to discredit it. 
[xiv] Technically, the Robarge article, see note iv above, did not concede CIA participation so much as to blame the JFK appointed Director of Central Intelligence, John McCone, of participating in a benign cover-up.  See, Dan Hardway, A Cruel and Shocking Misinterpretation, 2015, available at http://aarclibrary.org/a-cruel-and-shocking-misinterpretation/; Dan Hardway, Thank You, Phil Shenon, 2015, available at http://aarclibrary.org/thank-you-phil-shenon/
[xv] A more objective and careful review of CIA documentation shows that there is even more documentary evidence that the CIA was using Oswald as a witting or unwitting asset in at least one intelligence operation.  See, e.g., John Newman, Oswald and the CIA: The Documented Truth About the Unknown Relationship Between the U.S. Government and the Alleged Killer of JFK, Skyhouse 2008; John Newman, Countdown to Darkness: The Assassination of President Kennedy Volume II, CreateSpace Independent Publishing 2017; JFKFacts, Exclusive: JFK investigator on how CIA stonewalled Congress, http://jfkfacts.org/hardway-declaration-cia-stonewalled-jfk-investigation/; Declaration of Dan L. Hardway, Morley v. CIA, CA # 03-02545-RJL, D.C.D.C. 11 May 2016, Docket No. 156.
[xvi] Robarge above at n. 4.
[xvii] See, Phil Shenon, Phil Shenon, “Yes, the CIA Director was Part of the JFK Assassination Cover-Up,” Politico, 10/06/2015, available at http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/10/jfk-assassination-john-mccone-warren-commission-cia-213197; Dan Hardway, Thank You, Phil Shenon, 2015, available at http://aarclibrary.org/thank-you-phil-shenon/
[xviii]  Robarge, above, n. 4, at p. 9.
[xix] The National Security Agency has never released such intercepts. 
[xx]  Dispatch, above at n. 1.
[xxi] This article is going out quickly and will be reviewed and supplemented in the future.  One supplement will address the modus operandi of CIA cover-up and obstruction of investigations. Another will deal with what we know before the present document release about possible covert operations against Cuba that may have involved Oswald.