Archive for November 2012

JFK Memory: Those ringing bells

I was working for Visión, a Spanish-language newsmagazine patterned after Time. I was on my way to AP to get related photos, when as I passed within a short distance of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, its bells tolled the death of JFK. I can still hear them. Even now, after 49 years, a heaviness comes across my chest as I remember that day, and look at the photos.

Didn’t do it: More on the role of George H.W. Bush in the events of 1963

Russ Baker takes exception to our post of November 25, “Didn’t Do It: George H.W. Bush.” His comment is published in full beneath the post, but since his response has merit, I want to give it prominent treatment here as well.

Russ rightly objects to my linking his reporting about Bush and the JFK story with John Hankey’s video on the same subject. He says:

“To try and distract people from a TON of documented, footnoted evidence on HW Bush’s covert work in Dallas with CIA circa 11/22 by falsely suggesting that I–or anyone–is stupid enough to believe that Bush would be an actual triggerman, well, that’s just beyond the pale.”

My apologies. Russ’s views are clearly different Read more

A lawman’s view of JFK’s security–and his murder

Ed Martin, a Montana law enforcement officer in the 1960s and 1970s, had unique personal experience with security procedures around President Kennedy in 1963. His daughter, Deb Galatine, shares what her father’s perspective on the JFK story on Vince Palamara’s site about the Secret Service. Martin’s story provides Read more

Nov 29 1963: Warren Commission announced

Once President Johnson decided to back the idea of a Presidential Commission, he moved swiftly. By Friday, November 29, his selections had solidified, reluctant participants arm-wrestled into service, and the Commission was announced. It was to be headed by the most reluctant participant of all, Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren, and the story of how Johnson got him on board is revealing.

Warren Commission

First, the names had to be run by the all-powerful FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Johnson was coy, asking if Hoover was “familiar with this proposed group they’re trying to put together?”
Read more

‘The most exciting development so far…’

from a reader at Indiegogo:

“JFK Facts is the most exciting development so far in the crowded and often confusing rush to explain the Kennedy assassination as we near Year 50.”

Nov 28 1963: LBJ backs Commission to investigate the assassination

Three days earlier, President Johnson had resisted the idea of a Presidential Commission inquiry into President Kennedy’s assassination, telling Joe Alsop “we don’t send in a bunch of carpetbaggers” and “the President must not inject himself into, ah, local killings.” To which Alsop had replied “I agree with that, but in this case it does happen to be the killing of the President.” Read more

When JFK wooed Latinos

AP reported a genuinely new JFK story on Sunday. It turns out that JFK met informally with members of Mexican-American civil rights group in Houston the day before his death. It was the first time an American president had ever recognized Latinos as a voting bloc. First Lady Jackie Kennedy spoke Read more

JFK culture war brews in Dallas

Dallas is ground zero of the JFK assassination debate, and Russ Baker at WhoWhatWhy points out how plans for the commemoration of the 50th anniversary next year already seem weighted in favor of conclusions that vast majority of Americans people–and even most scholars–do not believe. The scene is set for a culture war in 2013.

Petition for JFK disclosure gains 2,000+ signatures

The fact that the CIA is still concealing at least 1,172 documents related to JFK’s assassination from the public is either absurd or sinister.  What can you do? Join the more than 2,000 people who are petitioning the Obama administration to do its job Read more

JFK memory: ‘Something really bad had happened to Mr. Kennedy’

I was two and half years old when Kennedy was killed. I was toddling around the house when the soap opera my mother was watching came to a halt. The news came on. I paid little attention, but knew something bad had happened, since all my family did for the next few days was watch television. Read more

Top Russian at JFK funeral: U.S. ‘does not want to involve us’

“Judging from everything, the U.S. government does not want to involve us in this matter, but neither does it want to get into a fight with the extreme rightists; it clearly prefers to consign the whole business to oblivion as soon as possible.”

- Soviet Deputy Premier Anastas Mikoyan, writing to his government after talks with U.S. officials at Kennedy’s funeral. The telegram was part of a collection of documents given by Russian President Boris Yeltsin to President Clinton in 1999.

At the funeral ceremony, Mikoyan approached Jacqueline Kennedy, who “clasped both his hands in hers and in a voice filled with deep emotion” said: “Please tell Mr. Chairman [Khrushchev] that I know he and my husband worked together for a peaceful world, and now he and you must carry on my husband’s work.” (Brothers, by David Talbot, p. 254)

Nov 24 1963: Ruby kills Oswald, and Washington scrambles to quell suspicion

On the Sunday morning following the assassination, Kennedy’s body lay in state at the Capitol rotunda, for mourning visitors to see.

Meanwhile in Dallas, a handcuffed Lee Harvey Oswald was led into the basement of the Dallas city jail for transfer to the county jail. Suddenly, on live national television, Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby emerged from the crowd of reporters and fired one fatal gunshot into Oswald’s abdomen.

This stunning deed shocked and baffled the nation–and eliminated a key witness to the events that led to JFK’s murder. Not known for his sense of humor, FBI Director Hoover informed the White House in a memo that began: “There is nothing further on the Oswald case except that he is dead.”
Read more

JFK memory: A boy learns that what is on television isn’t necessarily happening now

On November 22, 1963, I was 3 years old. The trauma was obvious. My mother and grandmother were on my parents’ bed upstairs watching the television about the assassination. They were crying. I was downstairs, where another television was on as well. On it I saw what was, in retrospect, obviously film of a speech JFK had given. On seeing it I ran upstairs to my parents’ room, where my mom and grandmother were watching the same channel. I pointed at the screen and yelled, “See! He’s alive!” They both looked at me, puzzled for a moment, and then started crying even harder. I didn’t entirely understand, but I knew enough to realize the fact he was there on the screen speaking didn’t mean he was still alive.

Nov 23 1963: The aftermath and a curious phone call

LBJ on the phoneIn the wee hours the day following JFK’s assassination, the confusion-clouded military autopsy of the slain president was concluded and the body delivered to the White House. In Dallas Lee Harvey Oswald remained in policy custody, undergoing interrogations of which no recordings were made. President Johnson began his first day as the new President.

In his first phone call with famed and feared FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, Johnson received some surprising news. As “curious history” noted on another post this morning, “Hoover clearly states that the man in Mexico didn’t look like Oswald nor did the voice match. He states that it is a “different man”.

“Curious history” asks: “What do you make of that? The transcript is part of the LBJ library and seems as a credible source.”

Indeed, it is a credible source. The transcript of the call contains the following exchange: Read more

Nov 22 1963: Deputy AG’s worries about Oswald’s connections

“…if it develops that Oswald is the man who did the assassination or was involved in it, then his pro-Cuban and pro-Soviet activities will come into mounting prominence.”

–from an FBI memo of Nov. 22, 1963, attributing this remark to Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach. The memo goes on to say: “…if Oswald is so identified, the State Department should be advised as there are definite foreign policy considerations and decisions here.”

See House Committee on Assassinations Report., Vol III pg. 665.