Archive for jeffmorley

Letterman defends O’Reilly

“Millionaire entertainers who help one another promote their shows look out for each other,” notes Erik Wemple, Washington Post media critic.

What were JFK’s two greatest speeches?


President Kennedy gave two speeches, on June 10 and June 11, 1963 that changed the course of American history, says  historian Andrew Cohen, author of “Two Days in June.” Cohen explained what JFK wrought in a recent interview with CBC TV host Andrew Mansbridge.

 

Philip Shenon on Oswald: ‘Perhaps the FBI or Congress or both should send investigators back to Mexico’

Philip Shenon’s 2013 book, A Cruel and Shocking Act, reconstructed the story of the assassination of President Kennedy with an unusual focus: not on the perennial question of conspiracy but rather on a narrower issue: the destruction of evidence that followed in the wake of JFK’s murder on November 22, 1963.

Students of the JFK story already know much of the dismal tale, and Shenon adds story-telling verve and amazing detail to the trail of destruction, some of it human.

The book opens with the unnerving untold story of Charles William Thomas, a State Department official in Mexico City. In the mid-1960s, Thomas picked up on information about Lee Harvey Oswald’s famous trip to the Mexican capital in October 1963, six weeks before the president was gunned down in Dallas. Thomas insisted his superiors re-investigate the story. They responded by destroying his career. Thomas went on to commit suicide. The government later admitted error and compensated the family without much explanation of what had actually happened.

You have to wonder: If Oswald was a lone maniac, why destroy the man’s career for calling for a second look? You don’t have to agree with Shenon’s position on the larger conspiracy question to be impressed by the detail he brings to this story.

Shenon’s latest piece in Politico revealed that David Slawson, a Warren Commission investigator — and defender — now says the commission was deceived by the CIA and FBI and that Oswald may have had accessories in Mexico City. Read more

Former HSCA counsel Al Lewis dies

A faithful reader passed along this obituary of Al Lewis, former general counsel of the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA): Lancaster attorney, who died Monday, took part in JFK investigation – LancasterOnline.

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A new JFK witness?

To say this story, now posted on Vimeo, is flimsy, would be unfair to Mr. Flim.

The problem with Politico’s JFK conspiracy theory

Phil Shenon

As the United States and Cuba seek to negotiate a new relationship, ancient history is intruding.

“What if the answers to the many, persistent questions surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy lie not in Dallas or Washington, D.C., but in the streets of a foreign capital that most Americans have never associated with the president’s murder? Mexico City.”

So begins Phil Shenon’s new piece in Politico, What Was Lee Harvey Oswald Doing in Mexico? Shenon is surely correct that the U.S. government’s response to Lee Oswald’s visit to  Mexico City in October 1963 is key to understanding the JFK assassination story.

And before Washington and Havana can reach any real rapprochement, renewed allegations that the Cuban government aided JFK’s accused assassin demand clarification.

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Hal Hendrix, journalist who collaborated with the CIA, dies at 92

Hal Hendrix

Hal Hendrix

Hal Hendrix was one of those respectable figures who hovered on the edge of the JFK assassination story. He was a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist whose service to the CIA is well-documented (though blandly denied in his recent Miami Herald obituary). He died Feb. 12 in Vero Beach, Florida. He was 92 years old.

Who was Hal Hendrix and what was his role in the JFK story?

One version comes from the Spartacus Educational Forum. John Simkin writes:

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From a 5-Star Amazon review of Our Man in Mexico

A reader’s take on Our Man in Mexico:

“What a pleasure to read a fact-based, well researched, and completely documented book that covers, not only the JFK assassination, but the early soldiers of the WW II – OSS. Many of these same OSS people became the CIA’s senior management team by 1963. Unlike most books on these subjects, Mr. Morley allows the reader to draw their own conclusion(s). There are no wild-eyed, self-perpetuated, illogical theories here – only substantiated and referenced facts.”

“I strongly recommend Our Man in Mexico to any serious OSS/CIA/JFK historian or researcher …”

Tell me more about Our Man in Mexico. 

Who was the only man to ever face legal charges for JFK’s assassination?

Clay Shaw, New Orleans businessman

His name was Clay Shaw. He was a wealthy, discreetly gay, businessman in New Orleans. He was indicted by District Attorney Jim Garrison for conspiring to kill JFK. When his case came to trial in 1969, Shaw was swiftly acquitted. He died in 1974. In Oliver Stone’s “JFK”, Shaw was played by Tommie Lee Jones.

In my view, there is no compelling evidence that Clay Shaw was involved in a conspiracy to kill the President Kennedy. Nonetheless, is is  true that a CIA official later described Shaw as “a highly paid contract source” for the agency in the 1950s — something the agency stoutly denied when Shaw was on trial.

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Another defense of Bill O’Reilly: ‘I have no explanation’

As far as I know I am the only blogger who was written in “In Defense of Bill O’Reilly” when it comes to one of his more egregious fibs. But now I am not alone.

Courtesy of Erik Wemple and the Washington Post:  a defender of O’Reilly stands up for the embattled Fox News host and denies that he told a JFK whopper — sort of.

Bill O’Reilly hides behind a colleague’s account

The Washington Post‘s Erik Wemple reports:

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O’Reilly’s JFK reporting was impossible, says reporter who was there

Newsweek contributor Edward Jay Epstein has refuted Bill O’Reilly’s JFK fib with a first-person account of George de Mohrenschildt’s suicide. Epstein actually was there. And he says O’Reilly was not.

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Norman Mailer on ‘Oswald’s Tale’

Truth, lies and mythmaking

“Slamming O’Reilly for O’Reilly-osity surely misses the point,” says Slate. Read more

In defense of Bill O’Reilly

O'Reilly on the grassy knoll

The intrepid young O’Reilly reports from the grassy knoll.

At Salon Joan Walsh asks if Bill O’Reilly’s JFK fib will “unravel” him? I doubt it. As Brian Stelter notes, O’Reilly’s ratings are up. Rachel Maddow is scornful but his friends are unfazed, and O’Reilly has moved on. His strategy is clear: Declare victory and get out.

Which leaves us where we were before David Corn first called attention to O’Reilly’s tall tales. Media Matters still wants to take him down because he’s a bad influence on American public discourse. CNN still has sound journalistic and commercial reasons for questioning his credibility

But from the narrower point of JFK Facts, I’m satisfied with O’Reilly’s response. The much-abused Fox News host does not contest the facts first reported in JFK Facts two years ago. That’s decent of him.

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