Your vote at risk: why you must care about HR 811
There’s a very important bill that will reach the floor of the House of Representatives soon. Its very importance may well be the reason you haven’t heard of it. The political and media forces that brought us an illegal, insupportable, and immoral war in Iraq can hardly be counted on to tell you how best to protect your vote.
HR 811, sponsored by Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ) and cosponsored by half the members of Congress, is a bill that protects the very essence of our democracy: the ability to verify that our votes are counted accurately.
Right now, in many states, we don’t have a way of verifying that our votes are counted accurately. In fact, there’s a great deal of evidence to suggest our vote has been compromised since the advent of computerized vote counting. In the past, we had punchcards and optical scan ballots – hard paper records indicating how we voted. Whether the contents of those ballots were reflected in the original count is anyone’s guess. But they were there, available for a recount.
Many states use Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) machines that do not produce any kind of paper record of the vote that a voter can verify. In other words, there’s no way to audit your vote, to know if the digital record accurately reflects your vote. HR 811 would require that all machines—no matter the system—use or produce a printed paper ballot that the voter can verify and that can be used to verify the accuracy of electronic vote counts. The bill says, explicitly:
The voting system shall require the use of or produce an individual, durable, voter-verified paper ballot of the voter's vote that shall be created by or made available for inspection and verification by the voter before the voter's vote is cast and counted.
That’s a huge step forward, and enables recounts based on something the user had the chance to verify.
But what if the vote was recorded incorrectly and no recount was requested? That’s where audits come in.
Most of us use ATM machines frequently. Why aren’t we afraid of trusting our money to computers? Because we can personally audit where our money goes and ensure that transactions appear correctly. Banks trust them because they can audit the records too.
So it’s not that we need to fear computer systems in the handling of our vote. We need to fear unaudited computer systems.
Holt’s bill, HR 811, provides for substantial audits. California is one of the few states with a mandatory audit on the books. But the audit rate, 1%, is not enough to catch small scale vote alteration. Holt’s bill provides for a minimum 3% audit and requires up to a 10% audit on a sliding scale, depending on how close the vote is. The closer the vote, the more records need to be audited.
Some electronic voting activists want the ballots to be counted by hand, on paper. But in the past, when elections were done in that manner, there was a different kind of vote fraud. Voting officials could add or remove paper records between the closing of the polls and the count to get the desired result. In that sense, a computer vote—if and only if backed up and double-checked by rigorous hand-counted audits—may actually make us safer.
So what is this audit, exactly?
Under Holt’s bill, in federal elections (e.g., races for Congress, for Senate seats, and for President), states would have to audit at least 3% of the precincts, chosen at random, in full. In other words, under the supervision of an independent State election auditor, election officials would be required to recount 100% of the paper records in a minimum of 3% of the precincts. In closer races, that percentage goes as high as 10%. Holt’s bill HR 811 makes it clear that the voter verified paper record, not the electronic record, will be considered the true and correct record of the voters vote in the case of discrepancies between the hand count and the electronic count.
In an earlier version of the bill, if one had demonstrated that a sufficient number of paper ballots had been compromised to change the result, one could challenge the primacy of the paper records. But the bill that will be sent to the floor for a vote now says that in that circumstance, the electronic tally cannot be the sole determining record in an audit. In other words, there is a huge incentive now for registrars to ensure that the paper ballots are carefully preserved and kept safe so as not to be compromised.
A version of the bill introduced in a prior Congress gave a body appointed by the president, the Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) power over certain aspects of the audits. The earlier version of the bill would have extended the EAC’s lifetime. Many activists are concerned that a body appointed by the president (even though the body has to be bipartisan and confirmed in the Senate) could spell disaster for elections. In the bill that is going to the floor for a vote, the authorization for the EAC is no longer extended, and its ability to influence election outcomes is dramatically reduced.
The bill assures that people with disabilities can cast a vote on equipment that allows them to hear or feel their vote ‘read’ back to them via an electronic device. In the original version of the bill, the money appropriated to support the inclusion of such machines across the country was $300 million. Many activists complained that that figure was too low. In the version of the bill going to the floor for a vote, the amount has been increased to $1 billion, enough to cover the additional expense.
Some activists groups have been split on this issue, with many supporting the bill, even in its earlier form, and some vehemently opposed. Bev Harris of Black Box Voting, Paul Lehto, and Nancy Tobi strongly oppose this bill because they don’t want computers controlling our elections. They’re idealists.
I’m a realist. If we don’t pass this bill by summer, we’re not going to be able to do anything in time for the 2008 election.
And if we don’t support this bill in its present, most robust form ever, it’s going to get weakened. Sadly, the activists named above and their supporters have banded together with secretaries of state and election supervisors to stop this bill from coming to a vote. HR 811 had been scheduled for a floor vote this week (the week of May 21) but is now awaiting a new place in the schedule.
If this bill goes back to committee, it may well suffer a death-blow for the cause of election reform. The first things to go will be the 2008 deadline and the audit provisions. Election officials do not want the time or expense of having to conduct the extensive but necessary audits required by HR 811. Our officials expect voters to trust the vendors and the privatized counts, instead of going the extra mile themselves.
Many election officials do not recognize that there is a problem. They want to keep paperless electronic voting machines that make audits and recounts meaningless. Election officials would rather we just trust the vendors and the privatized counts.
I don’t believe in faith-based voting. I believe in backing statements up with evidence. I believe if a computer says Candidate A won, that the paper ballots should be counted to back that up. HR 811 gives us that. Sinking HR 811 does not give us anything. In fact, those who think hand counted paper ballots are the only way to go should absolutely be supporting HR 811, because the audits will give them the hard data to strengthen their case.
Having read several versions of this bill, including its earlier incarnations in past sessions, I can say with great confidence this is the best Federal bill I’ve seen on this issue. It gives us maximum protection with a minimum of interference from the federal level. It provides enough money to get the protections in place, and enough time so that election officials in completely paperless jurisdiction can have the fundamental requirements of paper ballots and accessible ballot verification in place by November 2008, and jurisdictions that already produce or use paper ballots can have any necessary upgrades done by 2010.
If you don’t want to see a repeat of the 2000 election debacle, or a repeat of the concerns of whether the vote was conducted and counted honestly in Ohio and other swing states in the 2004 election, then you really must get behind this bill now.If this bill does not pass, the forces arrayed against us will take heart and grow even bolder.
They will continue to give us paperless elections, more appropriately deemed “faith-based voting.” They could be altering the votes at the machine level, and without the HR 811 provisions paper ballot and audit provisions, we would have no way of knowing if the votes had been manipulated.
Can you imagine what would happen in this country if we allow our vote to remain so vulnerable to error and fraud?
No other issue comes close in importance to this issue. If our vote is taken from us, our positions on other issues will mean nothing. Only when our vote is protected can we take on the powers that be and show them that the American people who vote rule the country. If our vote is gone, only those with the money to ‘buy’ elections will have their votes counted.
Please. This couldn’t possibly be more serious. The very foundation of our democracy is at stake. Nothing you do in your life may ever be as important as the actions you take this week. We need another American revolution and we need it right now. Would you rather pick up a pitchfork or the phone?
What You Can Do
1. Call or Fax your representative today.
Ask for their position on HR 811. If they are not in support, urge them to get behind it. If they are already in support, thank them for helping save our Democracy.
To find out who your representative is, and how to reach them by phone or fax, go to http://www.house.gov/
and follow the instructions to find your representative. You’ll be asked for your ZIP code, to start.
CALL or FAX. Do not use the email system, as they get so many mails there can be a several week lag before your message is read, and by then the vote will have come and gone. Don’t send a postcard. Mail is delayed by at least a week for security screening purposes.
2. Call or FAX your Secretary of State.
Ask the same question. If they are not in support, let them know how you feel. Secretaries of State are supposed to represent you, since you elected them.
Find your Secretary of State’s contact information here:http://www.nass.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=89&Itemid=166
3. Call or FAX the election official in your county.
If they are not in an elected position, find the elected official they report to and call or fax that person as well. Usually, a County Supervisor will be the one who approves budgets for elections and election equipment.
Find your local election official’s contact information here:http://www.nass.org/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=205
Thank you in advance for doing your part to save our Democracy.
Former computer programmer and statistics tutor
Lifelong activist and authorAdditional Resources:
The full CURRENT text of HR 811:http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=110_cong_bills&docid=f:h811rh.txt.pdf
Summary information about HR 811:http://holt.house.gov/HR_811.shtml
The status of the bill and cosponsors can be found here (make sure the last character in this link is a colon or it will not work – some readers will strip that out and you’ll have to type the colon into the browser manually):http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:H.R.811:
This document, while out of date in terms of the current legislation, summarizes the dangers posed by unverified electronic voting: Electronic Voting: America’s Vote At Riskhttp://www.realhistoryarchives.com/voterisk.pdfQuotes from HR 811
Regarding voting on paper, even when using DREs (touch screen machines):
"The voting system shall require the use of or produce an individual, durable, voter-verified paper ballot of the voter's vote that shall be created by or made available for inspection and verification by the voter before the voter's vote is cast and counted.
"For purposes of this subclause, examples of such a ballot include a paper ballot marked by the voter for the purpose of being counted by hand or read by an optical scanner or other similar device, a paper ballot prepared by the voter to be mailed to an election official (whether from a domestic or overseas location), a paper ballot created through the use of a ballot marking device or system, or a paper ballot produced by a touch screen or other electronic voting machine, so long as in each case the voter is permitted to verify the ballot in a paper form in accordance with this subparagraph.”
Regarding the primacy of the paper record over the electronic one:
“In the event of any inconsistencies or irregularities between any electronic vote tallies and the vote tallies determined by counting by hand the individual, durable, voter-verified paper ballots produced pursuant to [the section quoted above], the individual, durable, voter-verified paper ballots shall be the true and correct record of the votes cast.”
Regarding mandatory, hand counted audits in 3-10% of the voting districts, chosen on a surprise basis:
"...each State shall administer, without advance notice to the precincts selected, audits of the results of elections for Federal office held in the State (and, at the option of the State or jurisdiction involved, of elections for State and local office held at the same time as such election) consisting of random hand counts of the voter-verified paper ballots...."
"In the event that the unofficial count as described in section 323(a)(1) reveals that the margin of victory between the two candidates receiving the largest number of votes in the election is less than 1 percent of the total votes cast in that election, the hand counts of the voter-verified paper ballots shall occur in at least 10 percent of all precincts or equivalent locations (or alternative audit units used in accordance with the method provided for under sub section (b)) in the Congressional district involved (in the case of an election for the House of Representatives) or the State (in the case of any other election
for Federal office)."
The language repeats twice more with different numbers. If the difference between candidates or ballot issues is between 1-2%, then 5% of the districts will be audited.
If the difference between the two candidates or ballot issues is more than 2%, then the audit will be conducted in 3% of the districts.
"Scientists cast doubt on Kennedy bullet analysis" - WP today
A hat tip to chiggerbit at the RI board for coming up with this, from today's Washington Post
The "evidence used to rule out a second assassin is fundamentally flawed," concludes a new article in the Annals of Applied Statistics written by former FBI lab metallurgist William A. Tobin and Texas A&M University researchers Cliff Spiegelman and William D. James.
..."Given the significance and impact of the JFK assassination, it is scientifically desirable for the evidentiary fragments to be re-analyzed," the researchers said.
To be discussed at some future point.
Labels: conspiracy, fbi, jfk assassination, naa
Important info re your vote - act today, please!
Reclaiming history from Vince Bugliosi
UPDATE as of January 2010: Anyone who finds Bugliosi's book compelling is either ignorant of the facts or lying. There's a reason juries are required to listen to both sides in a case. People who think Bugliosi is doing anything other than a one-sided presentation have been bamboozled.
Jim DiEugenio has written an extensive series of rebuttals to Bugliosi's book over at the CTKA site. Start here to learn why Bugliosi's case doesn't hold water.
Original post begins below.
Vincent Bugliosi, the famed prosecutor of the Manson case, has stopped putting liars in jail and started putting them in print. In his Orwellian-named book, “Reclaiming History,” Bugliosi purports to answer all the questions and shut all the doors to conspiracy in the assassination of President Kennedy. Long before we get to the question of why he would waste the later years of his life on such an impossible task, the first question we need to ask is this:
Is this an honest presentation?
After just minutes in its pages, I was shocked at how easily I could answer that.
No. This is not an honest presentation of the case.
This is completely one-sided attempt to do the impossible, to wash away the conspiracy and pretend it never happened.
Now I was hoping to come and tell you that while I thought Bugliosi was an honest man, he was simply wrong. He subscribed to Probe magazine for several years. So I know he’s not ignorant of the facts. He’s just incredibly biased in many cases, and in some, he’s flat out dishonest.
He’s wrong too, but everyone can be wrong, now and then, and that is not a crime.
Deliberately misrepresenting history, however, is the highest possible crime to this Real History lover. So I’ll start the ball in motion. A lot of us will be reclaiming history from the death grip Mr. Bugliosi has tried, but spectacularly failed, to put on the JFK case over the next several months.
I turned right to the chapter that most interested me: his chapter on the CIA. After 15 years of research, serious on-the-ground research interviewing people and reading original documents that were never supposed to see the light of day, I’ve come to the firm conclusion that specific people in the CIA were involved in the crime. Of course I’m curious to see how Bugliosi is going to explain all the evidence away.
So how does he open? With a great big lie:
For years, conspiracy theorists have written books about the Central Intelligence Agency's involvement in the assassination of JFK. And as conspiracy theorist E . Martin Schotz, a mathematician and practicing psychiatrist, puts it, "I and other ordinary citizens know, know for a fact, that there was a conspiracy [to murder Kennedy] and that it was organized at the highest levels of the CIA ."' The fact that Schotz and his fellow conspiracy theorists haven't been able to come up with any evidence connecting the CIA to the assassination or Oswald has not troubled them in the least.
Let’s look at that last sentence closely.
“…not been able to come up with ANY EVIDENCE connecting the CIA to the assassination or Oswald…”
That’s a lie. And Bugliosi, as a prosecutor, knows full well the difference between evidence and proof. I’d be the first to concede that no one has yet proved the CIA was involved in the assassination. But there’s a world of evidence that paints direct ties between the CIA and the assassination.
Let’s start with some testimony from the HSCA, the House Select Committee on Assassinations, formed in the 70s to reinvestigate the crime due to the government’s acknowledgment that the CIA had withheld critical evidence from the Warren Commission during its investigation. The CIA assassination plots against Castro and other foreign leaders emerged, as did their breaking of the law domestically by wiretapping Americans on our own soil, in direct violation of their charter. (These, by the way, are the people whose side Bugliosi takes when faced with believing those liars or the people who gave up a good portion of their time to find the truth about what happened.)
Let’s start with some pretty dang interesting evidence. Former CIA finance officer James Wilcott, who said one of his colleagues told him he’d been drawing money for “Oswald” or the “Oswald project.” Bugliosi tries to shoot this down, noting even the HSCA report writers found Wilcott not credible. But ask yourself. If the CIA was behind the crime, do you think for a second they’d allow the truth to be written into the report? If the CIA is behind the assassination, this same episode, written by Bugliosi to make the case that Wilcott was not credible, can be turned around to make Wilcott ultimately credible. Bugliosi writes:
Wilcott 's credibility suffered even further when an intelligence analyst whom Wilcott said he discussed the Oswald allegation with at the post told the committee he wasn't in Tokyo at the time of the assassination, the committee verifying that he had been transferred back to the United States in 1962, the previous year. Finally, the committee interviewed many CIA personnel who had been stationed in Tokyo at the time, including the chief of the post and other personnel who surely would have known if Oswald had had any association with the agency in Tokyo, and all had no knowledge of such an association.
If the CIA was behind the crime, it makes perfect sense they’d launch other employees more loyal to the agency at the HSCA to discredit Wilcott’s account. People who work for abroad for the CIA have to lie every day about who they are and what they do. Richard Helms, a former CIA director, famously deemed his perjury charge a “badge of honor.”
And why would we expect CIA employees to suddenly tell the truth to a government they felt no subservience to, as evidenced by James Angleton’s famous retort when questioned under oath by the Church Committee in the Senate: “It is inconceivable that a secret intelligence arm of the government has to comply with all the overt orders of the government.” In other words, one of the top CIA officials deemed the CIA above the law. Numerous books on the agency show that opinion was widely held on the covert side of the Agency. In fact, that opinion was so widely held that President Kennedy had famously promised to shatter the Agency. He took the first step to following through on that threat when he created the DIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency. Kennedy wanted to move the rogue CIA covert operations, called “fun and games” by Agency insiders, to the DIA where it would be under the far more accountable military chain of command. Many in the CIA saw this as a direct attack on the Agency. Many of us have speculated that was a key reason Kennedy was killed. In any case, it’s not hard to imagine that when the Agency was under attack by Wilcott, the same knee jerk reaction followed -- protect the CIA at all costs.
Bugliosi, through naïveté or deception, doesn’t even entertain the possibility that Wilcott was telling the truth. But he ends with a lie, no matter how you slice it, by saying Wilcott’s story is not evidence. But of course it IS evidence. It is simply not proof.
In fact, there had been, at one point, so much evidence of the CIA’s involvement with Oswald that it warranted its own section of the HSCA report. In Probe Magazine, Vol. 4 No. 2, I wrote a long article called “Who’s Running the Country? How the Mexico City Report Informs us in 1996.” The “Mexico City Report” was a summary of Oswald’s trip to Mexico and attendant matters, written by Ed Lopez and Dan Hardway. In the article, I quoted Lopez on this point. When Jim DiEugenio had interviewed Lopez about the report, DiEugenio had asked, wasn’t there supposed to be a section about Oswald and the CIA? Lopez was surprised that it was gone, and can be heard flipping through the pages of the report on the tape of the interview. “It’s completely gone,” he said in obvious surprise, adding later, “They [the CIA] hated it -- that section. Totally. They just hated that section.” In other words, a whole piece of evidence our tax dollars paid for was removed. I’ll give you one guess as to who removed it.
How can you produce evidence if your suspect keeps hiding the ball? Bugliosi says if you can’t prove otherwise, there there’s no conspiracy. I say if we can’t prove otherwise, maybe it’s because we’re exactly right about the CIA’s role in the conspiracy.
And how’s this for evidence? In David Talbot’s book “Brothers,” Talbot writes about Ruben Carbajal, a friend of David Morales, a CIA bigwig from the notorious JM/WAVE station in Florida, the CIA’s largest station inside the US, and his information regarding the Kennedy assassination:
Carbajal does know who killed JFK -- it was the CIA, he said, without naming any individuals. Morales and his close CIA colleague Tony Sforza both told him the agency was behind the Dallas plot. The Kennedys got what was coming to them. Carbajal insisted: “[President] Kennedy screwed up, caused all those deaths at the Bay of Pigs, he pulls off the planes, the men get caught on the ground. You want me to respect a president like that? Or an asshole like his brother?”
Is that proof? No. But is that evidence? Heck yeah. If Bugliosi had someone saying that about Charlie Manson when he was looking for evidence to put him behind bars, do you think he would have walked by such a large allegation without investigating it thoroughly? That’s why researchers keep searching the Kennedy case. The evidence of the CIA’s involvement is plentiful. The proof, however, remains elusive, which would also make perfect sense since the CIA has funds that are not available for congressional scrutiny. They can do anything they want. They can lie with impunity. When caught by the House and Senate in separate investigation breaking numerous laws, what happened? Was anyone in the CIA prosecuted? No. The laws were changed to accommodate the Agency. So Bugliosi can spout about their innocence all he wants. But to this very serious, longtime researcher, his explanations ring hollow.
In this next example, you have to wonder whether Bugliosi is ignorant, deceptive, or simply criminally naïve! Imagine that Bugliosi had been prosecuting the OJ case. Let’s say OJ wanted to evaluate his own DNA evidence. The Bugliosi we think we know would have laughed him out of court, maybe even adding as OJ slunk out that such a suggestion was itself almost a tacit admission of guilt. But look what Bugliosi falls for here:
in 1996, the CIA released a study titled "Getting to Know the President, CIA Briefings of Presidential Candidates, 1952-1992," by the CIA deputy director for intelligence, John L . Helgerson. On a one-year assignment, Helgerson interviewed "former presidents, CIA directors, and numerous others involved" in the nine presidencies covered by the subject period to ascertain the CIA's relationship with the various presidents. On the issue so dear to conspiracy theorists—the CIA's alleged animosity for Kennedy, and hence, its motive to kill him—it is very noteworthy that Helgerson's study reported that "the [CIA's] relationship with Kennedy was not only a distinct improvement over the more formal relationship with Eisenhower, but would only rarely be matched in future administrations."
So a CIA deputy director declares, by implication, the CIA’s innocence in the killing of Kennedy. And Bugliosi falls for it! He does this throughout this book, by the way, falling for CIA-sponsored explanations while ignoring the fact that the CIA was the source for the rebuttal of its own guilt! How silly is that? Has he lost his marbles? Did he ever have them?
How can this be the vaunted prosecutor of the Manson days?
Or maybe, what we don’t know about the Manson case to this day would explain Bugliosi’s bizarre allegiance to the CIA.
After all, it was a Manson protégé that almost became another presidential assassin. Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme nearly managed to kill Gerald Ford. (Seventeen days later, Sarah Jane Moore, who had at one time been an FBI informant, would fail in a second attempt on Ford’s life, one that would finally have put a Rockefeller in the White House.) Dr. Louis Jolyon West, who had interviewed Jack Ruby after the JFK assassination and who was a leading force in the CIA’s MKULTRA research from his position at UCLA, was quick to offer his comments on Fromme to Time Magazine after her failed assassination attempt:
Trying to explain Fromme's fascination with violence, Dr. Louis Jolyon West, head of the psychiatry department at U.C.L.A., points out that she was part of a group whose members all were paranoid to varying degrees. "They all suffered from a group syndrome," he says. "There was a pattern of holding to false beliefs with even greater conviction and emotional commitment than a normal person's beliefs that are subject to the laws of evidence. They were being victimized by conspiracies and plots coming from very high levels of Government. This affirms the grandiosity of their self-image, and it justifies the violence with which they strike back."
Or maybe they had notions of conspiracies and plots because they were the product of them.
I’ve never had time to look into the Manson case, but I’ve often wondered about an MKULTRA link there. Manson was transferred to Vacaville prison in the late seventies. Vacaville had earlier been the site of CIA research on an MKULTRA subproject
named MKSEARCH. Manson had been in a variety of prisons most of his life, any of which might also have been sites for experimentation. I’m not suggesting anything here other than that there may be more to the Manson story than we ever know. Goodness knows Bugliosi’s hate-filled diatribe against the “kooks” and “nuts” who speak the obvious, that there was a conspiracy to assassinate Kennedy, calls into question all his earlier reporting, and makes me wonder what we might have learned had someone more honest taken up the Manson case.
Seriously, every page I’ve flipped to by searching or randomly browsing so far is fraught with lies, errors, and omissions -- the very things he accuses the research community of doing. Is he just an anti-conspiracy zealot, out to defend a world view he can’t afford to have shaken? Or is something more sinister at work? Maybe a look into his past would give us some answers.
I’ll point out other problems with Bugliosi’s book in future posts. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel, so it’s not particularly exciting work. But there aren’t a lot of us with a wealth of counter-information to share, and you all know how I feel about REAL history, and the responsibility I feel to the truth.
Before I leave you, I have to remind you that YOUR VOTE may disappear for good next week if you don’t get your butt in gear.
You must call your Congressperson and beg them to support HR 811. See this post below
for details. I’ll continue to post more information on this bill all this week. It’s much more important than the ongoing deceptions about the Kennedy assassination. The assassination story is about the past, and how it informs our present. But protecting our vote is ouronly hope for the future. Don’t let our vote disappear into the same murky chasm in which Bugliosi has tried to bury the JFK case.
Don’t let your vote become a historical relic. I’m quite serious. This issue couldn’t possibly be more important, and the bill is up for a vote as early as next Monday. Your future hangs in the balance. Pick up your phone now so you won’t have to pick up something more sinister later.
to find your Congressional Representative’s contact information and get busy.
Responding to disinformation - a quick template
As I said recently, disinformation season is upon us. The timing makes sense, as we are heading into the 40th and 45th anniversaries of JFK and RFK's assassination next year. Disinformation needs to be in place in advance so the chosen pundits can source and quote their crap from the likes of Posner, Ayton, and most recently, Vince Bugliosi, who wrote a 1600 page defense of the Warren Commission's verdict that Oswald acted alone. But as we all know, as a former prosecutor, Bugliosi is not about presenting both sides, but presenting only the facts that fit his case. WHY he felt the need to devote his later years to this effort remains an exceedingly interesting question.
At any rate, many glowing reviews are appearing in the media, which is really laughable, since I would bet hard money not one of the reviewers read all 1600 pages. Even the review copies have only just become available so that's quite a feat! And if they managed to read 1600 pages in that time, you can bet they had NO time to read any contradictory opinions to inform their coverage.
Roger Petersen, a longtime writer and activist on this case, with a keen eye for sound judgment as well as illogic, took on Edward Wyatt's "review
" (i.e., propaganda) and wrote this great response. I'm posting it here with Roger's permission.
"It's impossible for any reasonable, rational person to read this book with being satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Oswald killed Kennedy and acted alone," says Bugliosi.
I guess I should give up.
But then I know an MD who also holds a PhD in physics who has proven that the Bethesda X-rays were deliberately faked.
He gives me reasonable doubt.
And another physician looked at all the testimony of his colleagues in Dallas and Bethesda and showed how the Warren Report deliberately summarized that testimony in contradiction to what the physicians actually said.
Black and white.
What did they actually say?
That JFK was hit from the front.
And yet another physician examined the bone fragments and said it was obvious JFK's head was hit twice, almost simultaneously, once from the front and once from the back.
This all gives me reasonable doubt.
And then that claim that Oswald was a sad lone nut who decided to kill the president, and he was a crack shot, it's been said.
So why did he use a beat-up rifle that Italian soldiers said frequently malfunctioned and why didn't Oswald shoot when the limo was coming directly at him in the street below. Much easier shot, even with a bad rifle.
No, he waited instead to shoot through a blinding tree.
That gives me reasonable doubt about those Oswald claims. After all, all other presidential assassins were quick to admit they did it and were proud to say so.
Isn't that curious.
And then there's that other lone nut, Ruby, who felt so bad about Mrs. Kennedy having to testify.
So he decided to pull together some sudden moral outrage, put aside his sordid morality in Chicago and Dallas, and do Mrs... Kennedy the favor of taking out Oswald.
Of course, these two guys had nothing to do with each other, the WC [Warren Commission] said, but we still had to lock up all the information on them for 75 years.
That definitely gives me reasonable doubt.
Many witnesses who swore they saw smoke in front of the limo, and heard shots, were never interviewed by the I've met them; they are reasonable and rational people. I doubt such omissions of testimony were reasonable, if a thorough investigation was intended.
And we can't forget a bullet that has zigged and zagged its way into countless comedy routines, including Seinfeld.
Irrationality makes good comedy.
I can't help but have reasonable doubt about why the Dallas police did not stake out the building tops and have the windows closed, standard procedure elsewhere.
Mr. Wyatt, I do not deal in conspiracy theories.
I deal in facts, as researched and presented by physicians, forensic pathologists, engineers, and army intelligence people.
Anyone who dismisses the countless oddities of the government's investigation as mere coincidences can rightly be dismissed as a coincidence theorist.
Thank you, Roger. Thank you, all activists who seek the truth and will not suffer fools gladly, especially when their deceptions enslave us all in a false history, and reward liars and punish truth-tellers. No wonder our planet is in trouble, with that mindset in the media.
ACTION ALERT: Save our Vote before May 21st!
The battle for our vote is not going well.
According to one of my sources on Capitol Hill, registrars from around the country are waging a 24/7 fight to kill HR 811, Rush Holt’s bill requiring paper trails, audits, and other safeguards for our vote. And as tough as the battle is in the House, an even more difficult battle looms in the Senate.The bill should be on the House floor for a vote as early as May 21 – so it’s imperative that we act NOW.
If you believe, as I do, that the bill in its updated post-committee form is one of the most important pieces of legislation we can pass
at this critical juncture in our country’s history, then I’m asking—no, begging—you to help spread the word. Please do any or all of the following:
- Call your representative (whose contact info you can find at http://www.house.gov/) and ask them to support HR 811.
- Call your registrar and put them on notice that they should be supporting our right to a fair vote, not the systems that make their job easier. If the registrar is elected, assure them of your support if they support HR 811 and assure them of your opposition if he or she does not support the bill. Google your county or township’s name along with the word registrar to find their contact info.
- Post or comment on as many blogs as you have access to about the need for this legislation. Truly, with the lawlessness and reckless abandon the neocons have exhibited in taking away our rights, we should be VERY concerned re what they are trying to do to our vote.
- Consider the following points:
The bill may squeak out of the House, but it faces even greater opposition in the Senate, according to my source. Call your senators (whose contact info you can find at http://www.senate.gov/) and ask them to support HR 811 after is passes the House. (There is no Senate bill number yet – it will be assigned one if/when it passes the House.)Please ask all your friends to do the above as well, and encourage them to pass the information on to their circles of friends. The registrars are highly organized, as are the evoting vendors and others who wish to control our vote in a way that does not safeguard our Democracy.You are being called to do something very important.
- Holt’s bill provides that there must be a paper record for auditing and recount purposes. The bill insists that the paper records be audited by a greater percent than states currently have in place, and some states still have no audit provisions at all, so this is a hugely important step forward. The revised bill states that in the event the paper records are somehow compromised, an electronic tally alone cannot determine the outcome of the election. This is another huge step forward, and one that will make registrars try harder to ensure the paper ballots are not compromised.
- DREs (touch screen machines) are no worse than optical scan machines, since it’s the vote counting software, not the recording machine type, that determines whether our vote is counted accurately. Under this bill, DREs would be required to produce a paper record, and even if there’s a problem with the paper records, the electronic tally alone cannot be allowed to determine victory in the mandatory audit.
Please take a few moments this weekend and next week to do something to save our Democracy while there’s still time.
“This is the true joy in life, being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one. Being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as I live it is my privilege - my *privilege* to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I love. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me; it is a sort of splendid torch which I've got a hold of for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.” - George Bernard Shaw, Irish dramatist & socialist (1856 - 1950)
For further information about the bill, please visit the links on this page: http://holt.house.gov/HR_811.shtml
Thank you for helping protect what’s left of our Democracy while we’ve still got a shot. Feel free to contact me
if you have any questions or concerns, and I’ll do my best to find you answers.
Disinformation season is officially open on the JFK and RFK assassinations
As I predicted
, the disinformation campaign about the RFK assassination is kicking into high gear. How did I know this would happen? Because the 40th anniversary of the case is right around the corner. June 5 of this year marks the 39th anniversary. The same thing is happening in the JFK case, as next year will mark the 45th anniversary of that tragic event as well. In other words, the disinformation needs to be put in place THIS year so that specials can repeat and amplify it NEXT year. That's how it works. But of course, you
already understand that. That's why you read this blog.
I believe the CIA was the primary force behind the assassination of both Kennedy brothers. I believe they killed Bobby for two reasons: 1) he was even more progressive and peacemongering than his brother by that time, and 2) Bobby was quietly pursuing the trail of his brother's killers (and he too strongly suspected the CIA's hand. More on that in a later post.)
As I demonstrated a few days ago, the CIA sent an operational memorandum
to its vast media network (called the "Mighty Wurlitzer" because it could be played so dominantly when needed) and gave them talking points on the JFK assassination. If you haven't seen this particular 'playbook' memo before, it's worth a careful read. There were others. This was not the sole document of its kind. Because we've never had a high level investigation of the Robert Kennedy case, we don't know if similar memos were sent by the CIA regarding his particular case.
I also noted, in that same post
, how common it has been for CIA assets in the media to take up the cause of the lone assassination. As I wrote:
you can scratch the background of nearly every writer on this case who has claimed there was no conspiracy, and find a CIA link in their past or present. James Phelan, a respected Saturday Evening Post reporter who attacked Jim Garrison’s prosecution of Clay Shaw in the only trial ever brought on the Kennedy assassination conspiracy, turned out to be not only an FBI informant, but a close friend of the CIA’s point man on the anti-Castro plots. Hugh Aynesworth, responsible for nearly all the original Dallas coverage of the event, who later repeated his coverage for Newsweek, had applied to work for the CIA the month before the assassination. Reporter Hal Hendrix, called “the Spook” because of his intelligence agency connections, was the one who supplied Seth Kantor with background info on Oswald in record time right after the assassination. Hendrix was a close friend of David Atlee Phillips, the CIA man most often fingered as a conspirator due to the extensive documentary record, and the man whom all the Castro did it” stories that surfaced originally can be traced to.
Gerald Posner? He came to fame by writing a book that excused the CIA for its failure to find Mengele. He also wrote a fictional book which featured a Cold War CIA hero pitted against a newfangled government bureaucracy. Max Holland? He got his start at the Voice of America, long acknowledged as a propaganda outlet for the CIA abroad. And when “liberal” Holland couldn’t get his regular employer, The Nation, to run one of his lone-nut screeds, whom did he turn to? Why, the CIA, of course, which was more than happy to publish his work in their in-house publication “Studies in Intelligence.”
So along comes Mel Ayton. He appears to be cut from the prototypical mode of the people mentioned above. He's pompous, self-righteous, and wrong. He hasn't done his homework, or if he has, he's lying about what he found. He blames the victims. The people in the pantry were too traumatized by what they saw to report on it correctly, he asserts. It's a shop-worn tactic, which begs the question: whom or what does Mel Ayton really serve?
Over at the (misnamed) History News Network, Ayton takes up the case
of "the girl in the polka dot dress," the most intriguing unsolved mystery of the case. I have a very large file of witness statements of people who saw a girl in a white dress with dark polka dots (black or dark purple/navy by the vast majority of accounts) who was seen by a few witnesses with Sirhan literally just before he started shooting. They were talking, and she was almost holding him. Then she released him, and Sirhan stepped forward and starting shooting...something. I believe he was firing blanks, but that's a topic for another day.
So who was this mystery girl? Oh my, I've accumulated a lot of new information on her since I first wrote about her. But I'm saving that for the moment. Here's what I have written in the past, which I present her to show you how much Ayton did not tell you in his own piece:
One of the most intriguing figures in this case has been "The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress" who was seen with Sirhan immediately prior to the shooting, and who was subsequently witnessed running from the scene crying "We shot him! We shot him!" The LAPD tried to shut down this story by getting the two most public witnesses to retract their stories. But there were so many credible sightings of this girl that the police were forced to take a different tack. They identified first one, then a second woman as "the" girl, despite the fact that neither bore much of a resemblance to the girl described. Meanwhile, languishing unnoticed in the LAPD’s own files is the name of a far more likely candidate, someone who leads to a host of suspicious characters.
Over a dozen witnesses gave similar descriptions of a girl in a polka-dot dress who for varying reasons drew their attention. The two most famous of these were Vincent DiPierro, a waiter at the Ambassador Hotel, and Sandy Serrano, a Kennedy volunteer. DiPierro first noticed Sirhan in the pantry because of the woman he saw "following" him. The LAPD interviewed him the morning of the shooting (Kennedy was shot at 12:15 A.M. the morning of June 5th). During one interview, DiPierro gave the following information about the girl:
A (DiPierro): The only reason that he [Sirhan] was noticeable was because there was this good-looking girl in the crowd there.
Q: All right, was the girl with him?
A: It looked as though, yes.
Q: What makes you say that?
A: Well, she was following him.
Q: Where did she follow him from?
A: From--she was standing behind the tray stand because she was up next to him on--behind, and she was holding on to the other end of the tray table and she--like--—it looked as if she was almost holding him.
DiPierro reported that he saw Sirhan turn to her and say something, to which she didn’t reply, but smiled. He said Sirhan had a sickly smile, and said "When she first entered, she looked as though she was sick also." He described her as Caucasian and as about 20 or 21 years old, definitely no older than 24. She was "very shapely" and was wearing a "white dress with—it looked like either black or dark violet polka dots on it and kind of a [bib-like] collar." He said her hair color was "Brown. I would say brunette," "puffed up a little" and that it came to just above her shoulders. DiPierro told the FBI that she had a peculiar-looking nose.
That same morning, Sandy Serrano had described to the LAPD a "girl in a white dress, a Caucasian, dark brown hair, about five-six, medium height...Black polka dots on the dress" in the company of a man she later recognized as Sirhan and another man in a gold sweater. She had seen this trio walk up the back stairs to the Ambassador earlier in the night. Sometime later, the girl and the guy in the gold sweater came running down the back stairs. Serrano recalled to the LAPD this encounter:
She practically stepped on me, and she said "We’ve shot him. We’ve shot him." Then I said, "Who did you shoot?" And she said, "We shot Senator Kennedy."
She described the girl’s attitude in this manner:
"We finally did it," like "Good going."
Serrano thought the girl was between the ages of 23 and 27, with her hair not quite coming to her shoulders, done in a "bouffant" style, wearing a polka dot dress with a bib collar and ? length sleeves. She also recalled that the girl had a "funny" nose.
Ultimately, the LAPD pressured Serrano and DiPierro into backing down on these stories, getting each to admit they had first heard of the girl from the other, an impossibility the LAPD hoped would go unnoticed. Across page after page of witness testimony cover sheets Pena scrawled "Polka Dot Story Serrano Phoney", "Girl in Kitchen I.D. Settled", "Wit[ness] can offer nothing of further value" or "No further Int[erview]." But the interviews behind these sheets tell a different and compelling story.
Dr. Marcus McBroom was in the pantry behind Elizabeth Evans, one of the shooting victims. He exited the kitchen through the double doors at the West end and noticed a brunette woman aged 20-26, medium build, "wearing a white dress with silver dollar size polka dots, either black or dark blue in color." The report of his LAPD interview records what drew McBroom’s attention to the girl:
This young lady showed no signs of shock or disbelief in comparison to other persons in the room and she seemed intent only on one thing—to get out of the ballroom.
George Green was also in the pantry during the shooting, and reported seeing a girl in a polka dot dress (early 20s, blond hair) and a young, thin, taller male with dark hair. He saw this couple earlier in the night and after the shooting. Afterwards, Green stated, "They seemed to be the only ones who were trying to get out of the kitchen...Everyone else was trying to get in."37
Ronald Johnson Panda told the LAPD that a good-looking girl, about 5’6", in a polka dot dress ran by him in the Embassy room immediately after the shooting yelling "They shot him." He had seen her earlier that night carrying some drinks.
Eve Hansen had talked to a girl in a "white dress with black or navy blue polka dots approximately the size of a quarter" who had dark brown hair that hung just above the shoulders, who had a "turned-up nose." The girl gave Hansen money for a drink and Hansen ordered the drink. When she brought it back to her, the girl made a toast "To our next President" and shortly thereafter left the bar.
Earnest Ruiz reported something he thought was odd to the police. He had watched a man and a girl in a polka dot dress run out of the hotel, but said the man later came back as Sirhan was being removed and was the first to yell, "Let’s kill the bastard."
Darnell Johnson, another pantry witness, told the police the following:
While I was waiting [for Kennedy], I saw four guys and a girl about halfway between Kennedy and where I was standing. The girl had a white dress with black polka dots. During the time that a lady yelled, "Oh, my God," they walked out. All except the one...this is the guy they grabbed [Sirhan]. The others that walked out seemed unconcerned at the events which were taking place.
Johnson also told the police that he had received threatening phone calls and that his car brakes had been tampered with, causing a near-accident.
Roy Mills also observed a group of five people, one of which was female, standing outside the Embassy Room as Kennedy was speaking. He claimed that Sirhan was one of the four males in the group, remembering him distinctly for his baggy pants. He thought one of the other men was a hotel employee. He couldn’t remember anything about the girl except that she was wearing a press pass. Curiously, Conrad Seim—who, like Serrano, DiPierro and Hanson, had noticed the girl’s "funny nose"—reported being asked by a girl in a white dress with black or navy polka dots for his press pass. He refused her request, but she came back about 15 minutes later. "She was very persistent," he told the police. He thought the girl’s nose might have been broken at one time, and described her as Caucasian but with an olive complexion.
Bill White saw a female Latin and two male Latins near the door of the embassy room. Their dress looked out of place. He also noticed a busboy wearing a white button-down jacket in the Anchor Desk area sweeping up cigarette butts where there were no butts to be swept up. He wasn’t sure this was really a busboy.
Earnest Vallero was a job dispatcher for the Southern California Waiters Alliance. He reported that a man resembling Sirhan appeared at the union office two or three weeks prior to the assassination and requested placement as a waiter at the Ambassador Hotel. Vallero said the man got upset when he was refused, and flashed an Israeli passport.
A Hungarian refugee "with absolutely no credentials at all"38 named Gabor Kadar had been turned away from the Embassy Room during the night, but found a waiter’s uniform, and donned it. Kadar later involved himself directly in the struggle to wrest the gun from Sirhan.
Booker Griffin, another pantry witness who had reported seeing a woman in a polka dot dress,39 asked Richard Aubry, a friend of his who was also in the pantry during the shooting, "Did they get the other two guys?"40
At about 9pm the night of the 4th, Irene Gizzi noticed a group of three people who "just didn’t seem to be dressed properly for the occasion." Her LAPD interview report summarizes the events as follows:
[Gizzi] saw a group of people talking who did not seem to fit with the exuberant crowd. Observed the female to be wearing a white dress with black polka dots; approximately the girl was standing with a male, possible Latin, dark sun bleached hair gold colored shirt, and possible light colored pants, possibly jeans. Possibly with suspect [Sirhan] as a third party...."
A friend of Gizzi’s who was also present, Katherine Keir, gave a very similar description of this group, describing a male in a "gold colored sport shirt" and blue jeans, another man of medium build with a T-shirt and jeans, both with dark brown hair, and a girl in a black and white polka dot dress. Keir was standing at a stairway when the polka dot dress girl ran down yelling, "We shot Kennedy." The police were able to persuade Keir to consider that she had heard the girl say instead, "Someone shot Kennedy."
Jeanette Prudhomme also saw two men, one of which looked like Sirhan and the other of which was wearing a gold shirt, in the company of a woman who appeared to be 28-30, with brown, shoulder length hair, wearing a white dress with black polka dots.
A couple of people even recalled seeing this girl on the CBS broadcast. A Mr. Plumley, first name unrecorded, claimed he had seen a polka dot dress girl in the CBS broadcast the night of June 4th. Duncan Grant, a Canadian citizen, wrote the LAPD when he heard they were canceling their search for the polka dot dress girl, stating that he had seen her on the CBS broadcast. He wrote:
"We could hear two shots fired and then another burst of shots. At this moment someone shouted that the Senator had been shot. There was more confusion and at this moment a young lady burst in on the picture and she shouted We have shot Kennedy then shouted again We have shot Senator Kennedy. She was what I would call half-running and she crossed right in front of the camera from left to right and disappeared from view."
Sirhan himself remembered talking to a girl shortly before he blacked out that night. According to Kaiser, one of Sirhan’s last memories is of giving coffee to a girl of "Armenian" or "Spanish" descent in the pantry:
"This girl kept talking about coffee. She wanted cream. Spanish, Mexican, dark-skinned. When people talked about the girl in the polka-dot dress," he figured, "maybe they were thinking of the girl I was having coffee with."41
Sirhan had been at the Ambassador the Sunday before election night. A girl matching the description of the polka dot dress girl was also seen there Sunday. Karen Ross described her to the LAPD as having a nose that had been "maybe fixed", a white dress with black polka dots, ? length sleeves, dark blond hair worn in a "puff" and with a round face. Sirhan and a girl were also recorded as behaving suspiciously at a previous Robert Kennedy appearance in Pomona on May 20th.
One man may have spent the last day of Kennedy’s life with this girl. While his tale is extraordinary, it is eerily credible for the nuances and details which matched other evidence of which he could not possibly have been aware. Kaiser and Houghton referred to this man by the pseudonym of "Robert Duane." His real name is John Henry Fahey.42
June 4th with the Mystery Girl
At 9:15 A.M. on June 4th, Fahey entered the back of the Ambassador Hotel. He had planned to meet another salesman there 45 minutes earlier, but had left late and been held up in traffic. On his way up the back stairs, he noticed two men he thought looked Spanish. When they spoke, however, he realized it wasn’t Spanish because he knew Spanish. He presumed they were kitchen workers.
While in the lobby area, he spotted a pretty girl and made a flirtatious comment to her. She asked him where the Post Office was, and he couldn’t help her, and she left. About ten minutes later, she returned. He invited her to join him for breakfast in the coffee shop at the hotel. She spoke "very good English" but also had a "slight accent" that he couldn’t place. He asked her where she was from. She said she had only been there three days, and that she was from Virginia. Fahey had a relative in Virginia, and asked her if she knew Richmond, whereupon the girl said she really had come from New York, and before that a middle-eastern country ("Iran" or "Iraq", Fahey thought). She mentioned specifically Beirut. (Fahey had to ask his interviewer if there was a place named "Beirut".) She also mentioned "Akaba". When he asked her name, she gave him one, and soon another, and another. He didn’t know what her real name was. She, meanwhile, pumped him for as much information as she could get, asking his name, his occupation, and his business at the hotel. When he asked her about her own business, she said "I don’t want to get you involved...I don’t know if I can trust you to tell you the whole thing."
She told him that they were being watched, and indicated a man near the door of the coffee shop. Fahey saw a man he thought might be Spanish or Greek, resembling one of the men he had seen on the back stairs when entering the hotel. He thought the man resembled Sirhan, except that this man was taller and had sideburns. When later shown pictures of Sirhan’s family, Fahey said the man was not one of the Sirhan brothers.
The girl wanted Fahey to help her get a passport. Fahey said he had no idea how to do that, at which point she explained to him that you just find a deceased person, use their Social Security Number and write to the place where he was born to get a passport. He said she seemed shaken, and very nervous, with clammy hands, and that she seemed to be genuinely in some sort of trouble.
He described her as "Caucasian" but with an "Arab complexion, very light." He called her hair "dirty-blond" and guessed her age might be 27-28. He said her clothes, shoes and purse were all tan. In addition, he felt the purse and stockings looked foreign. He also said "Her nose was of—on the hooked fashion where you can realize that she was from the Arabic world." Asked if the nose was what one might call prominent, Fahey answered affirmatively.
Fahey had business calls to make in Oxnard, and invited the girl to come along for the ride with him, since she seemed so troubled. When they got up to leave, she wanted to pay the bill, and opened a purse where he saw a fistful of money in her wallet—"big stuff—50 dollar bills—hundred dollar bills."
They drove up the coastal route through Malibu. Two different tails followed them for part of the way. At one point, Fahey was so nervous he pulled off the road, thinking the tail would leave him. As he started to get out of the car, he noticed the girl eyeing his keys, and thinking she might run off with his car, decided not to get out after all. During the ride, she said the people tailing them were "out to get Mr. Kennedy tonight at the winning reception." He thought they should call the police to get rid of the tail but she insisted they should not call the police, and asked to be taken back to Los Angeles. In the end, although they drove to Oxnard, Fahey opted out of his sales calls and returned with the girl to the Ambassador Hotel. After driving and eating meals, they returned at around 7pm, where he dropped her off. She wanted him to come into the hotel with her. When he refused, she got angry.
Fahey might not have thought of this incident again had it not been for the assassination and the story of the strange woman who ran out into the dark afterwards. A frightened Fahey called the FBI and told them he thought he might have spent the day with that woman. After talking to the FBI, Fahey read a story by journalist Fernando Faura in the Valley Times about the polka dot girl. He called Faura and told him he might know something about the girl. Faura was hot on the trail of the mystery girl, and took Fahey’s detailed description of the girl to a police artist. Fahey tweaked the image with the artist until he saw a match.
Faura then showed the drawing to Vincent DiPierro. "That’s her," DiPierro responded. "She’s the girl in the polka-dot dress. The girl’s face is a little fuller than this sketch has it, but this is the girl."43 Faura then brought in Chris Gugas, a top Los Angeles polygraph operator, who put Fahey and his story through a lie detector. Faura told Fahey he passed the test "like a champion."44
Jordan Bonfante, the Los Angeles Bureau Chief of Life magazine, was interested in publishing Faura’s account. Hank Hernandez of SUS, however, was busy trying to crack Fahey under his own polygraph test. Under pressure from Hernandez, Fahey told an untruth, saying it was Faura who had persuaded him to connect the girl he was with to the polka dot girl. But Fahey had made the connection to the FBI long before he ever spoke with Faura. But this lie was pronounced "true" by Hank Hernandez, proving again that a polygraph’s value depends a great deal upon the integrity of the operator. Sgt. Phil Alexander tried to persuade Bonfante that Fahey was not credible, and that Life shouldn’t run the story on the girl. Kaiser amusingly recounts this incident:
"I don’t think you’ve really proved that [Fahey] was mistaken," said Bonfante. He was right. It was practically impossible to do so. But if the police didn’t do so, the implications were that there was a girl who knew something about the Kennedy assassination and that the police couldn’t find her. That was a black eye for the department.
To Bonfante, this sounded too much like Catch 22 to be true. He decided to discover how important this was to the LAPD and let Alexander talk. Six hours later, Alexander was still talking, and had not yet managed to persuaded Bonfante there was no "girl in the polka dot dress."45
[Note: to see the footnotes that correspond to the numbers in the text, refer to the original article here.]
(By the way, several commentators on this case, even Bill Turner, have dismissed Fahey as unreliable. But I have information on Fahey they did not that explains the seeming inconsistencies and adds important new information which I will reveal at another time.)
If you compare Ayton's account
to the above, you are in a better position to make up your own mind about the truth. I'm not in the least afraid to stand the accounts side by side because most people are very skilled at recognizing the truth when it's put up beside a lie. I am equally certain he dares not link to my evidence because he knows this to be true as well.
As I said - I wrote the section above years ago, and have almost doubled my knowledge relating to the girl in the polka dot dress. The new evidence continues to be entirely consistent on the major points (e.g., she was wearing a white dress with dark polka dots. Who cares if the dots were described as the size of a dime or a quarter? That kind of inconsistency is meaningless as people are not good judges of size, whereas they tend to be good judges of overall color. And again, the nuances of hair color do not matter -- I've been called a "dark blonde" and a "brunette" all my life. Is that an inconsistency? No. People just call the same hair color by different names. Hair color is more subject to interpretation than stark colors like white or black.)
As for Valerie Schulte, ah, so much more later. Even the police knew she wasn't the girl. If Mel Ayton read more he'd know exactly what I'm talking about. (Whether he'd be honest about that of course remains to be seen. But at this point I think it's a safe bet he has no idea what I am referring to here. But he will. In time.)
Ayton needs to go look at the record and stop his ridiculous theorizing. When the witnesses are that consistent, it's only appropriate to assume they were right, not wrong, and to deal with the consequences of that.
By the way. A while back, I wrote about Shane O'Sullivan's work
positing the presence of three CIA agents at the Ambassador hotel the night Kennedy was shot. I expressed extreme skepticism right away, and according to recent research conducted by David Talbot and Jeff Morley, it appears I was right. Talbot put some of that in his book "Brothers", about which I will have more to say later; I also understand Morley is seeking an outlet for recounting his part of that investigation as well.
Yes. Disinformation season is open. Mud is being mixed into the water to make the truth that much harder to find. It will take strong, educated, and courageous minds to resist the propaganda intensive and to stand up for what we know to be true. As most people learned in high school, the desire to be popular often outweighs the desire to be truthful. But the only path worth traveling, on all kinds of material and spiritual levels, is the one that comes from choosing the latter over the former.
Rest up, my friends. We have a long year ahead.
Labels: assassination, CIA, CIA and the media, Kennedy Assassination
Articles of Impeachment for Cheney
Someone asked in a previous post's comments what Cheney did that warranted impeachment. I thought you might want to see the articles of impeachment that Representative (and presidential candidate) Dennis Kucinich filed. Here is the full text
of House Resolution 333 as published at Thomas, the network for the Library of Congress:
Resolved, That Richard B. Cheney, Vice President of the United States, is impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, and that the following articles of impeachment be exhibited to... (Introduced in House)
HRES 333 IH
H. RES. 333
Impeaching Richard B. Cheney, Vice President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
April 24, 2007
Mr. KUCINICH submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
Impeaching Richard B. Cheney, Vice President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors.
Resolved, That Richard B. Cheney, Vice President of the United States, is impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, and that the following articles of impeachment be exhibited to the United States Senate:
Articles of impeachment exhibited by the House of Representatives of the United States of America in the name of itself and of the people of the United States of America, against Richard B. Cheney, Vice President of the United States of America, in maintenance and support of its impeachment against him for high crimes and misdemeanors.
In his conduct while Vice President of the United States, Richard B. Cheney, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of Vice President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has purposely manipulated the intelligence process to deceive the citizens and Congress of the United States by fabricating a threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction to justify the use of the United States Armed Forces against the nation of Iraq in a manner damaging to our national security interests, to wit:
(1) Despite all evidence to the contrary, the Vice President actively and systematically sought to deceive the citizens and Congress of the United States about an alleged threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction:
(A) `We know they have biological and chemical weapons.' March 17, 2002, Press Conference by Vice President Dick Cheney and His Highness Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince of Bahrain at Shaikh Hamad Palace.
(B) `. . . and we know they are pursuing nuclear weapons.' March 19, 2002, Press Briefing by Vice President Dick Cheney and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Jerusalem.
(C) `And he is actively pursuing nuclear weapons at this time . . .' March 24, 2002, CNN Late Edition interview with Vice President Cheney.
(D) `We know he's got chemicals and biological and we know he's working on nuclear.' May 19, 2002, NBC Meet the Press interview with Vice President Cheney.
(E) `But we now know that Saddam has resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons . . . Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt that he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.' August 26, 2002, Speech of Vice President Cheney at VFW 103rd National Convention.
(F) `Based on intelligence that's becoming available, some of it has been made public, more of it hopefully will be, that he has indeed stepped up his capacity to produce and deliver biological weapons, that he has reconstituted his nuclear program to develop a nuclear weapon, that there are efforts under way inside Iraq to significantly expand his capability.' September 8, 2002, NBC Meet the Press interview with Vice President Cheney.
(G) `He is, in fact, actively and aggressively seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.' September 8, 2002, NBC Meet the Press interview with Vice President Cheney.
(H) `And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.' March 16, 2003, NBC Meet the Press interview with Vice President Cheney.
(2) Preceding the March 2003 invasion of Iraq the Vice President was fully informed that no legitimate evidence existed of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The Vice President pressured the intelligence community to change their findings to enable the deception of the citizens and Congress of the United States.
(A) Vice President Cheney and his Chief of Staff, Lewis Libby, made multiple trips to the CIA in 2002 to question analysts studying Iraq's weapons programs and alleged links to al Qaeda, creating an environment in which analysts felt they were being pressured to make their assessments fit with the Bush administration's policy objectives accounts.
(B) Vice President Cheney sought out unverified and ultimately inaccurate raw intelligence to prove his preconceived beliefs. This strategy of cherry picking was employed to influence the interpretation of the intelligence.
(3) The Vice President's actions corrupted or attempted to corrupt the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate, an intelligence document issued on October 1, 2002, and carefully considered by Congress prior to the October 10, 2002, vote to authorize the use of force. The Vice President's actions prevented the necessary reconciliation of facts for the National Intelligence Estimate which resulted in a high number of dissenting opinions from technical experts in two Federal agencies.
(A) The State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research dissenting view in the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate stated `Lacking persuasive evidence that Baghdad has launched a coherent effort to reconstitute it's nuclear weapons program INR is unwilling to speculate that such an effort began soon after the departure of UN inspectors or to project a timeline for the completion of activities it does not now see happening. As a result INR is unable to predict that Iraq could acquire a nuclear device or weapon.'.
(B) The State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research dissenting view in the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate also stated that `Finally, the claims of Iraqi pursuit of natural uranium in Africa are, in INR's assessment, highly dubious.'.
(C) The State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research dissenting view in the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate references a Department of Energy opinion by stating that `INR accepts the judgment of technical experts at the US Department of Energy (DOE) who have concluded that the tubes Iraq seeks to acquire are poorly suited for use in gas centrifuges to be used for uranium enrichment and finds unpersuasive the arguments advanced by others to make the case that they are intended for that purpose.'.
The Vice President subverted the national security interests of the United States by setting the stage for the loss of more than 3300 United States service members; the loss of 650,000 Iraqi citizens since the United States invasion; the loss of approximately $500 billion in war costs which has increased our Federal debt; the loss of military readiness within the United States Armed Services due to overextension, lack of training and lack of equipment; the loss of United States credibility in world affairs; and the decades of likely blowback created by the invasion of Iraq.
In all of this, Vice President Richard B. Cheney has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as Vice President, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and the manifest injury of the people of the United States. Wherefore, Vice President Richard B. Cheney, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.
In his conduct while Vice President of the United States, Richard B. Cheney, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of Vice President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, purposely manipulated the intelligence process to deceive the citizens and Congress of the United States about an alleged relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda in order to justify the use of the United States Armed Forces against the nation of Iraq in a manner damaging to our national security interests, to wit:
(1) Despite all evidence to the contrary, the Vice President actively and systematically sought to deceive the citizens and the Congress of the United States about an alleged relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda:
(A) `His regime has had high-level contacts with Al Qaeda going back a decade and has provided training to Al Qaeda terrorists.' December 2, 2002, Speech of Vice President Cheney at the Air National Guard Senior Leadership Conference.
(B) `His regime aids and protects terrorists, including members of Al Qaeda. He could decide secretly to provide weapons of mass destruction to terrorists for use against us.' January 30, 2003, Speech of Vice President Cheney to 30th Political Action Conference in Arlington, Virginia.
(C) `We know he's out trying once again to produce nuclear weapons and we know that he has a long-standing relationship with various terrorist groups, including the Al Qaeda organization.' March 16, 2003, NBC Meet the Press interview with Vice President Cheney.
(D) `We learned more and more that there was a relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda that stretched back through most of the decade of the '90s, that it involved training, for example, on biological weapons and chemical weapons . . .' September 14, 2003, NBC Meet the Press interview with Vice President Cheney.
(E) `Al Qaeda had a base of operation there up in Northeastern Iraq where they ran a large poisons factory for attacks against Europeans and U.S. forces.' October 3, 2003, Speech of Vice President Cheney at Bush-Cheney '04 Fundraiser in Iowa.
(F) `He also had an established relationship with Al Qaeda providing training to Al Qaeda members in areas of poisons, gases, and conventional bombs.' October 10, 2003, Speech of Vice President Cheney to the Heritage Foundation.
(G) `Al Qaeda and the Iraqi intelligence services have worked together on a number of occasions.' January 9, 2004, Rocky Mountain News interview with Vice President Cheney.
(H) `I think there's overwhelming evidence that there was a connection between Al Qaeda and the Iraqi government.' January 22, 2004, NPR: Morning Edition interview with Vice President Cheney.
(I) `First of all, on the question of--of whether or not there was any kind of relationship, there clearly was a relationship. It's been testified to; the evidence is overwhelming.' June 17, 2004, CNBC: Capital Report interview with Vice President Cheney.
(2) Preceding the March 2003 invasion of Iraq the Vice President was fully informed that no credible evidence existed of a working relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda, a fact articulated in several official documents, including:
(A) A classified Presidential Daily Briefing ten days after the September 11, 2001, attacks indicating that the United States intelligence community had no evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the September 11th attacks and that there was `scant credible evidence that Iraq had any significant collaborative ties with Al Qaeda'.
(B) Defense Intelligence Terrorism Summary No. 044-02, issued in February 2002 by the United States Defense Intelligence Agency, which challenged the credibility of information gleaned from captured al Qaeda leader al-Libi. The DIA report also cast significant doubt on the possibility of a Saddam Hussein-al-Qaeda conspiracy: `Saddam's regime is intensely secular and is wary of Islamic revolutionary movements. Moreover, Baghdad is unlikely to provide assistance to a group it cannot control.'.
(C) A January 2003 British intelligence classified report on Iraq that concluded that `there are no current links between the Iraqi regime and the al-Qaeda network'.
The Vice President subverted the national security interests of the United States by setting the stage for the loss of more than 3,300 United States service members; the loss of 650,000 Iraqi citizens since the United States invasion; the loss of approximately $500 billion in war costs which has increased our Federal debt; the loss of military readiness within the United States Armed Services due to overextension, lack of training and lack of equipment; the loss of United States credibility in world affairs; and the decades of likely blowback created by the invasion of Iraq.
In all of this, Vice President Richard B. Cheney has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as Vice President, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and the manifest injury of the people of the United States.
Wherefore, Vice President Richard B. Cheney, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.
In his conduct while Vice President of the United States, Richard B. Cheney, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of Vice President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has openly threatened aggression against the Republic of Iran absent any real threat to the United States, and done so with the United States proven capability to carry out such threats, thus undermining the national security of the United States, to wit:
(1) Despite no evidence that Iran has the intention or the capability of attacking the United States and despite the turmoil created by United States invasion of Iraq, the Vice President has openly threatened aggression against Iran as evidenced by the following:
(A) `For our part, the United States is keeping all options on the table in addressing the irresponsible conduct of the regime. And we join other nations in sending that regime a clear message: We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.' March 7, 2006, Speech of Vice President Cheney to American Israel Public Affairs Committee 2006 Policy Conference.
(B) `But we've also made it clear that all options are on the table.' January 24, 2007, CNN Situation Room interview with Vice President Cheney.
(C) `When we--as the President did, for example, recently--deploy another aircraft carrier task force to the Gulf, that sends a very strong signal to everybody in the region that the United States is here to stay, that we clearly have significant capabilities, and that we are working with friends and allies as well as the international organizations to deal with the Iranian threat.' January 29, 2007, Newsweek interview with Vice President Cheney.
(D) `But I've also made the point and the President has made the point that all options are still on the table.' February 24, 2007, Vice President Cheney at Press Briefing with Australian Prime Minister in Sydney, Australia.
(2) The Vice President, who repeatedly and falsely claimed to have had specific, detailed knowledge of Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction capabilities, is no doubt fully aware of evidence that demonstrates Iran poses no real threat to the United States as evidenced by the following:
(A) `I know that what we see in Iran right now is not the industrial capacity you can [use to develop a] bomb.' Mohamed ElBaradei, Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency, February 19, 2007.
(B) Iran indicated its `full readiness and willingness to negotiate on the modality for the resolution of the outstanding issues with the IAEA, subject to the assurances for dealing with the issues in the framework of the Agency, without the interference of the United Nations Security Council'. IAEA Board Report, February 22, 2007.
(C) `. . . so whatever they have, what we have seen today, is not the kind of capacity that would enable them to make bombs.' Mohamed El Baradei, Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency, February 19, 2007.
(3) The Vice President is fully aware of the actions taken by the United States towards Iran that are further destabilizing the world as evidenced by the following:
(A) The United States has refused to engage in meaningful diplomatic relations with Iran since 2002, rebuffing both bilateral and multilateral offers to dialogue.
(B) The United States is currently engaged in a military buildup in the Middle East that includes the increased presence of the United States Navy in the waters near Iran, significant United States Armed Forces in two nations neighboring to Iran, and the installation of anti-missile technology in the region.
(C) News accounts have indicated that military planners have considered the B61-11, a tactical nuclear weapon, as one of the options to strike underground bunkers in Iran.
(D) The United States has been linked to anti-Iranian organizations that are attempting to destabilize the Iranian government, in particular the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK), even though the state department has branded it a terrorist organization.
(E) News accounts indicate that United States troops have been ordered into Iran to collect data and establish contact with anti-government groups.
(4) In the last three years the Vice President has repeatedly threatened Iran. However, the Vice President is legally bound by the U.S. Constitution's adherence to international law that prohibits threats of use of force.
(A) Article VI of the United States Constitution states, `This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land.' Any provision of an international treaty ratified by the United States becomes the law of the United States.
(B) The United States is a signatory to the United Nations Charter, a treaty among the nations of the world. Article II, Section 4 of the United Nations Charter states, `All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.' The threat of force is illegal.
(C) Article 51 lays out the only exception, `Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.' Iran has not attacked the United States; therefore any threat against Iran by the United States is illegal.
The Vice President's deception upon the citizens and Congress of the United States that enabled the failed United States invasion of Iraq forcibly altered the rules of diplomacy such that the Vice President's recent belligerent actions towards Iran are destabilizing and counterproductive to the national security of the United States.
In all of this, Vice President Richard B. Cheney has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as Vice President, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and the manifest injury of the people of the United States.
Wherefore Richard B. Cheney, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office.
I was incensed enough with a horrible attack on the research community that I sat down and fired this off to the editors of The Atlantic, a print magazine. I hope if you read the article and find yourself similarly incensed that you'll drop them a note
as well. Here is what I sent off, with minor punctuation and formatting changes:
Thomas Mallon’s recent article on the JFK assassination found its way to me accompanied by a subscription offer. Why did I not subscribe? Because you let a disinformationist pose as a book reviewer in your pages.
Not that I should be surprised. There's a precedent for this. At the New York Times, for years, whenever a new book on the JFK assassination came out, the review was often farmed out to Priscilla Johnson McMillan, herself the author of an anti-conspiracy book. Of course, we know now what the public was not told then: by her own admission, Priscilla Johnson McMillan was a "witting" asset of the CIA who, according to her superior, Donald Jameson, could “be encouraged to write pretty much the articles we want." (Source - CIA contact report signed by Jameson dated 11 December 1962.)
I say this to put Mallon's comments on the case and those who continue to research this case in context. Mallon is flat out wrong on several points. So why is he allowed to publish? Does no one fact check things any more? Or does he, like Priscilla, have special access because he is a favorite of the agency that still controls the media’s reporting on this topic, the CIA?
Let’s look at some specific examples of Mallon’s dishonesty or bias, whichever you wish to call it. Mallon calls Ruth Paine "virtuous Quaker woman who became, quite innocently, enmeshed in the assassination." He does not mention that during the Iran Contra war, her Quaker activities in Nicaragua got her shunned from her group because the peace activists believed her to be a CIA spy, documenting their every move. He does not mention that she had a big "x" in her calendar the day Oswald ostensibly bought the rifle (which provably, by the documentary record, Oswald didn't buy) and that even the Warren Commission expressed disbelief at her explanation that that X, the only X in her whole calendar, marked the start of one particular menstrual cycle. He does not mention that Ruth Paine's own daughter has suspicions about her mother's involvement in the JFK case, and that this caused a falling out between them. But then, if Mallon were a CIA apologist in the media, this would be expected.
Mallon also inaccurately states that the Kennedys believed in the Warren Report. As David Talbot's new book "Brothers" makes abundantly clear, Robert Kennedy’s first-day suspicion that the CIA was involved in his brother’s death continued until his own death. He had planned to reopen the investigation into his brother’s assassination and had been conducting his own very serious investigation. (The CIA, for their part, considered spying on Robert Kennedy equally important to spying on the Soviet Union, according to CIA documents revealed by the New York Times).
I’m particularly incensed that the Atlantic would stoop to allowing Mallon to smear a lot of really smart, good people who have spent years doing what the government failed to do: seriously investigate the Kennedy assassination on the basis of hard, documented evidence. Bugliosi has it right on that point, at least. The most serious researchers are indeed some of the most patriotic people I’ve ever met. When asked are if they are “real scholars, professors, [and] historians,” instead of giving the correct answer of yes, The Atlantic allows Mallon to make this completely untrue and ridiculously propagandistic smear:
I think it’s a truly dark, morbid fascination to them. Hmm. How inflammatory do I want to be here? On some level—subconscious in some, conscious in others—they find the assassination thrilling. And their preoccupation with it is, I would say, unhealthy. There are a few supposedly respectable academics who have gone way out there in conspiracy theory, but I would say that most of them are kind of gumshoes, amateurs, and people who probably were impacted by the assassination. Their emotions were impacted by it in what was originally a genuine way, but somehow the tissue around that impact has become infected, and it’s become something that they don’t want to let go of. The thing that they would hate most is for anything that they would have to regard as definitive proof to come along. I think we do have definitive proof that Oswald killed Kennedy, but if definitive proof of their own theories came along somehow, I think they’d be terribly bereft. They’d have to forfeit. They’d have a terrible, massive depression—and would go on to something else.
Let’s see. Here are a group of people who have seriously researched this case:
- Bobby Kennedy and John Kennedy, Jr., before their untimely deaths.
- Professors: John Newman (formerly an intelligence analyst), Phil Melanson, Gerald McKnight, David Wrone, and many others.
- MDs, JDs and PhDs: Cyril Wecht, Peter Dale Scott, Gary Aguilar, Michael Parenti, Mark Lane, Dawn Meredith, and many others.
- Journalists: David Talbot (founder and editor in chief of Salon.com); Jefferson Morley of the Washington Post, Anthony Summers (formerly with the BBC), Josiah Thompson (formerly with LIFE), Fred Cook (formerly with The Nation), and many others.
The reason we believe there was a conspiracy is simply because we’ve read the evidence. The evidence is so clear in this regard that only the terms ignoramus or liar apply to those who claim otherwise. One only needs to realize that the back wound did not penetrate all the way through Kennedy’s body to realize how big the lies surrounding this case have become. Hitler was right on that point. It’s easier to believe a big lie than a small one, because who among us is so bold as to make up such egregious lies?
If the back wound did not go through, no “single bullet theory” is possible, and therefore, there had to be a conspiracy, because a non-penetrating back wound would have required four shots, and the Zapruder film shows there was only time to get off three shots from a single location in the time permitted.
There was no exit wound until it became politically necessary to come up with one to validate a lone shooter scenario. And because there was no exit wound, the doctors spent a good amount of time looking for the bullet that had to be lodged in his wound. Here’s a sampling of statements from Kennedy’s doctors and other medical professionals at Parkland and Bethesda to make this point very clear:
[QUOTING from Warren Commission, HSCA and ARRB documents]
“According to BOSWELL, HUMES probed the neck wound with his little finger (indicating a point on the little finger which did not go past the first knuckle, less than one inch). He said HUMES also probed it with a metal probe. He said no one gave orders that they not probe that wound.”
From Boyers’ signed affidavit:
“Another wound was located near the right shoulder blade, more specifically just under the scapula and next to it. ... During the autopsy many X-rays and photographs were taken. The pathologists kept searching for the missile which entered the right shoulder, but could not locate it. ... I recall during the autopsy there was much use of metal probes trying to locate the passage of the bullet from the right shoulder entrance. I donot [sic] believe the actual passage was proven to have exited, at the site of the tracheotomy, i.e., by probing - due probably to deflection by bone structure. This was the reason for the whole body x-rays [sic] - in trying to ascertain if the missile was still present in the body.”
From Boyers’ handwritten notes:
“Many X-rays were taken trying to locate the bullet which entered the president's [sic] right shoulder area.”
Mr. Jenkins said he believes Dr. Humes attempted to probe the back wound. He said he didn't believe the doctor found the probe "...penetrated into the chest." Mr. Jenkins said he believed the organs had already been taken out. He said the body was "...repeatedly X-rayed because they felt there should be a bullet or something there."
“Mr. Jenkins recalls Humes trying to probe the wound with his finger which enabled him to reach the end of the wound.”
Jenkins recalls Humes discussing with someone the problem of finding the bullet. He said this discussion amounted to a "disturbance." Jenkins had the impression that everything "...seemed like it was predesignated...seemed they had an answer and wanted to prove it."
Jenkins said the back wound was "...very shallow...it didn't enter the peritoneal (chest) cavity."
Kellerman recalls Dr. Finck probing the wound about 4 - 5 inches as he was trying to "...get the probe to come out..." Kellerman said the doctors didn't probe the wound with his finger first, saying it was "not that big."
Lipsey says that he recalls the doctors discussing the third bullet which he believes entered low in the neck and was deflected down into the chest cavity. [This matches the account reported in the New York Times that first day.]
Lipsey said that the doctors were using the angle from the extrance [sic] in the rear of the head to the throat to look for the other bullet that entered high in the back. He said that both entrances looked the same. Lipsey mentioned that the doctors spent more time looking for the bullet that entered high in the back than anything else. He recalls that he said that the bullet could have gone anywhere. The doctors were also frimly [sic] convinced that this bullet did not exit in the front of the neck. Lipsey said the doctors followed the path of the bullet for a short distance until they lost the track at which point they removed the organs in an attempt to locate it.
One of the FBI agents present at the autopsy even speculated about the use of ice bullets because that would explain both the non-penetrating wound and the lack of a bullet.
I could go on and on. I’ve read this stuff. Clearly, the editors at The Atlantic haven’t. But that’s no excuse for allowing Mallon to so misrepresent not just the evidence, but the people who feel strongly that by allowing the lies about Kennedy’s death to go unchallenged, tragedies like the Iraq war -- a war built on official lies -- became possible. We pursue the truth because we think the truth matters. If the truth really will set us free, it follows that lies keep us imprisoned in a false history, from which no useful lessons can be determined.
My own introduction to the case started when I found a set of Warren Commission hearings (a 26-volume set) at a local library. I pulled off a volume at random and started reading. It was a passage where Arlen Specter was questioning Dr. Perry about Kennedy’s wound in the front of his neck. It was so obvious that Specter was not trying to elicit information, but to lead the witness to the desired answer, that I literally shuddered. It was so obvious. That was the first time I realized how utterly the media had failed us in this country. Anyone who seriously looks and is honest can find evidence of conspiracy rather quickly. Pinpointing the blame is a far more difficult exercise, but it doesn’t take anything near rocket science to prove conspiracy.
So I have to ask again. Does Mallon have friends at the CIA? Has he worked for them? Because you can scratch the background of nearly every writer on this case who has claimed there was no conspiracy, and find a CIA link in their past or present. James Phelan, a respected Saturday Evening Post reporter who attacked Jim Garrison’s prosecution of Clay Shaw in the only trial ever brought on the Kennedy assassination conspiracy, turned out to be not only an FBI informant, but a close friend of the CIA’s point man on the anti-Castro plots. Hugh Aynesworth, responsible for nearly all the original Dallas coverage of the event, who later repeated his coverage for Newsweek, had applied to work for the CIA the month before the assassination. Reporter Hal Hendrix, called “the Spook” because of his intelligence agency connections, was the one who supplied Seth Kantor with background info on Oswald in record time right after the assassination. Hendrix was a close friend of David Atlee Phillips, the CIA man most often fingered as a conspirator due to the extensive documentary record, and the man whom all the Castro did it” stories that surfaced originally can be traced to.
Gerald Posner? He came to fame by writing a book that excused the CIA for its failure to find Mengele. He also wrote a fictional book which featured a Cold War CIA hero pitted against a newfangled government bureaucracy. Max Holland? He got his start at the Voice of America, long acknowledged as a propaganda outlet for the CIA abroad. And when “liberal” Holland couldn’t get his regular employer, The Nation, to run one of his lone-nut screeds, whom did he turn to? Why, the CIA, of course, which was more than happy to publish his work in their in-house publication “Studies in Intelligence.”
Consider for just a moment. Why is it that everywhere you look in the media, the voices telling us that Oswald was a lone assassin (and therefore, the CIA didn’t do it) all seem to have ties to the CIA?
This was brought home yet again at a conference in DC a couple of years ago. One man got up to attempt to prove that famous “dictabelt” tape, recorded by a policeman whose microphone was stuck on, did not in fact capture shots in Dealey plaza. (Because if it did, it captured four shots, and hence, at least two shooters.) At the end of his presentation, I challenged his presentation, because he relied on science provided by a Nobel prize-winning scientist who also drew a paycheck from the CIA. The man then said sure, his source was CIA, but so what? “I am too,” he said. In other words, yet again, the people most actively pushing a lone nut scenario were directly connected to the CIA.
If The Atlantic wants to show journalistic credibility and independence, they need to publish a companion piece by David Talbot, Jefferson Morley, or someone equally suited to the task. Mallon’s work was outrageously biased and patently dishonest by omission. The truth should be allowed at least equal space in your pages as well. But I’m not holding my breath. I know that journalistic integrity belongs to an era that died sometime before the start of the Cold War. I fear I will never again see its like in any major publication in my lifetime.
I’ll leave you with these excerpts from a CIA memo that instructed its media assets how to discuss the CIA assassination. Perhaps some of you have seen it before?
This document caused quite a stir when it was discovered in 1977. Dated 4/1/67, and marked "DESTROY WHEN NO LONGER NEEDED", this document is a stunning testimony to how concerned the CIA was over investigations into the Kennedy assassination. Emphasis has been added to facilitate scanning.
This is CIA Document #1035-960, marked "PSYCH" for presumably Psychological Warfare Operations, in the division "CS", the Clandestine Services, sometimes known as the "dirty tricks" department.
RE: Concerning Criticism of the Warren Report
1. Our Concern. From the day of President Kennedy's assassination on, there has been speculation about the responsibility for his murder. Although this was stemmed for a time by the Warren Commission report, (which appeared at the end of September 1964), various writers have now had time to scan the Commission's published report and documents for new pretexts for questioning, and there has been a new wave of books and articles criticizing the Commission's findings. In most cases the critics have speculated as to the existence of some kind of conspiracy, and often they have implied that the Commission itself was involved. Presumably as a result of the increasing challenge to the Warren Commission's report, a public opinion poll recently indicated that 46% of the American public did not think that Oswald acted alone, while more than half of those polled thought that the Commission had left some questions unresolved. Doubtless polls abroad would show similar, or possibly more adverse results.
2. This trend of opinion is a matter of concern to the U.S. government, including our organization. The members of the Warren Commission were naturally chosen for their integrity, experience and prominence. They represented both major parties, and they and their staff were deliberately drawn from all sections of the country. Just because of the standing of the Commissioners, efforts to impugn their rectitude and wisdom tend to cast doubt on the whole leadership of American society. Moreover, there seems to be an increasing tendency to hint that President Johnson himself, as the one person who might be said to have benefited, was in some way responsible for the assassination. Innuendo of such seriousness affects not only the individual concerned, but also the whole reputation of the American government. Our organization itself is directly involved: among other facts, we contributed information to the investigation. Conspiracy theories have frequently thrown suspicion on our organization, for example by falsely alleging that Lee Harvey Oswald worked for us. The aim of this dispatch is to provide material countering and discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorists, so as to inhibit the circulation of such claims in other countries. Background information is supplied in a classified section and in a number of unclassified attachments.
3. Action. We do not recommend that discussion of the assassination question be initiated where it is not already taking place. Where discussion is active [business] addresses are requested:
a. To discuss the publicity problem with [?] and friendly elite contacts (especially politicians and editors), pointing out that the Warren Commission made as thorough an investigation as humanly possible, that the charges of the critics are without serious foundation, and that further speculative discussion only plays into the hands of the opposition. Point out also that parts of the conspiracy talk appear to be deliberately generated by Communist propagandists. Urge them to use their influence to discourage unfounded and irresponsible speculation.
b. To employ propaganda assets to [negate] and refute the attacks of the critics. Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose. The unclassified attachments to this guidance should provide useful background material for passing to assets. Our ploy 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. In the course of discussions of the whole phenomenon of criticism, a useful strategy may be to single out Epstein's theory for attack, using the attached Fletcher [?] article and Spectator piece for background. (Although Mark Lane's book is much less convincing that Epstein's and comes off badly where confronted by knowledgeable critics, it is also much more difficult to answer as a whole, as one becomes lost in a morass of unrelated details.)
4. In private to media discussions not directed at any particular writer, or in attacking publications which may be yet forthcoming, the following arguments should be useful:
a. No significant new evidence has emerged which the Commission did not consider. The assassination is sometimes compared (e.g., by Joachim Joesten and Bertrand Russell) with the Dreyfus case; however, unlike that case, the attack on the Warren Commission have produced no new evidence, no new culprits have been convincingly identified, and there is no agreement among the critics. (A better parallel, though an imperfect one, might be with the Reichstag fire of 1933, which some competent historians (Fritz Tobias, AJ.P. Taylor, D.C. Watt) now believe was set by Vander Lubbe on his own initiative, without acting for either Nazis or Communists; the Nazis tried to pin the blame on the Communists, but the latter have been more successful in convincing the world that the Nazis were to blame.)
b. Critics usually overvalue particular items and ignore others. They tend to place more emphasis on the recollections of individual witnesses (which are less reliable and more divergent--and hence offer more hand-holds for criticism) and less on ballistics, autopsy, and photographic evidence. A close examination of the Commission's records will usually show that the conflicting eyewitness accounts are quoted out of context, or were discarded by the Commission for good and sufficient reason.
c. Conspiracy on the large scale often suggested would be impossible to conceal in the United States, esp. since informants could expect to receive large royalties, etc. Note that Robert Kennedy, Attorney General at the time and John F. Kennedy's brother, would be the last man to overlook or conceal any conspiracy. And as one reviewer pointed out, Congressman Gerald R. Ford would hardly have held his tongue for the sake of the Democratic administration, and Senator Russell would have had every political interest in exposing any misdeeds on the part of Chief Justice Warren. A conspirator moreover would hardly choose a location for a shooting where so much depended on conditions beyond his control: the route, the speed of the cars, the moving target, the risk that the assassin would be discovered. A group of wealthy conspirators could have arranged much more secure conditions.
d. Critics have often been enticed by a form of intellectual pride: they light on some theory and fall in love with it; they also scoff at the Commission because it did not always answer every question with a flat decision one way or the other. Actually, the make-up of the Commission and its staff was an excellent safeguard against over-commitment to any one theory, or against the illicit transformation of probabilities into certainties.
e. Oswald would not have been any sensible person's choice for a co-conspirator. He was a "loner," mixed up, of questionable reliability and an unknown quantity to any professional intelligence service. [Archivist's note: This claim is demonstrably untrue with the latest file releases. The CIA had an operational interest in Oswald less than a month before the assassination. Source: Oswald and the CIA, John Newman and newly released files from the National Archives.]
f. As to charges that the Commission's report was a rush job, it emerged three months after the deadline originally set. But to the degree that the Commission tried to speed up its reporting, this was largely due to the pressure of irresponsible speculation already appearing, in some cases coming from the same critics who, refusing to admit their errors, are now putting out new criticisms.
g. Such vague accusations as that "more than ten people have died mysteriously" can always be explained in some natural way e.g.: the individuals concerned have for the most part died of natural causes; the Commission staff questioned 418 witnesses (the FBI interviewed far more people, conduction 25,000 interviews and re interviews), and in such a large group, a certain number of deaths are to be expected. (When Penn Jones, one of the originators of the "ten mysterious deaths" line, appeared on television, it emerged that two of the deaths on his list were from heart attacks, one from cancer, one was from a head-on collision on a bridge, and one occurred when a driver drifted into a bridge abutment.)
5. Where possible, counter speculation by encouraging reference to the Commission's Report itself. Open-minded foreign readers should still be impressed by the care, thoroughness, objectivity and speed with which the Commission worked. Reviewers of other books might be encouraged to add to their account the idea that, checking back with the report itself, they found it far superior to the work of its critics.
What’s sad is that, even when the CIA admits publicly
(they never denied this was their document when it first surfaced) that they’ve used book reviews to attempt to shape the debate in their favor, editors at a place like The Atlantic Monthly can still be played for suckers.
15+ year researcher on the Kennedy Assassination
Contributing author and co-editor of the book “The Assassinations: Probe Magazine on JFK, MLK, RFK and Malcolm X” (Los Angeles: Feral House, 2003)
Featured authority on the Discovery Channel show “Conspiracy Files” in the “CIA Mind Control” segment.
A patriotic American and a normal human being who does not have any “morbid fascination” with this case, does not find the thought of assassination “thrilling” in any regard, and has a solid reputation for honesty in this field.
Bcc’d to about a hundred serious researchers in this case, none of whom find this case morbidly thrilling either.
Labels: assassination, CIA and the media