Bush’s bad faith

After more than forty comments, I remain thoroughly unimpressed with the claim that George H.W. Bush was somehow (it is still not specified how) had some role (what role?) in the assassination of JFK. More prudent readers say Bush covered up the truth during his one year tenure as CIA director in 1976-77.

The few factoids offered in rebuttal to my post would not sway the average interested citizen, much less a jury. But one is worth noting.

–Bush was in Dallas on November 22, 1963. So were a couple of hundred thousand other people;

–He was friends with Allen Dulles. So were many people not involved in JFK’s assassination;

–Twenty five years later, Bush was involved in Iran-Contra scandal. This shows his tolerance of extra-legal political action. It tells us nothing about the events of 1963.

Perhaps the most interesting fact introduced in this discussion is Bush’s eulogy for Gerald Ford on October 22, 2008 in which Bush cites the man’s tenure on the Warren Commission as the premier example of Ford’s public service.

“After a deluded gun man assassinated President Kennedy our nation turned to Gerald Ford and a select handful of others to make sense of that madness,” Bush said.

The video makes a big deal out Bush’s weirdly inappropriate grin but I think Bush’s words are more revealing. In Bush’s description, the Warren Commission was not as an investigatory body (which is what the public was told and which is how the Commission staff viewed itself) but was a “select” group whose job was to explain a foregone conclusion: that one man alone was responsible. This is accurate and telling.

So is the importance he  attaches to it. In Bush’s view, Ford’s defense of the official JFK story matters more than his role in lining up Republican votes for the Voting Rights and Civil Rights Act which transformed the country; more than his time as vice president during the Watergate scandal; more than assuming the presidency after Richard Nixon’s unprecedented resignation; more than presiding over the fall of Saigon; more than pardoning Nixon in the name of national headling. No, in Bush’s elulogy, the most important thing Ford did in public life was assure the public that the gunfire in Dallas did not need to be investigated. This is also telling.

It is not evidence of conspiracy. It is evidence of bad faith.

40 thoughts on “Bush’s bad faith”

  1. I’m reading about Karamessines’ role in the post-WWII Greek civil war, and how he collaborated with MI counterintelligence specialist Col. Joseph McChristian. McChristian was the son-in-law of Gen. James Van Fleet who defied military law by publicly challenging Kennedy’s handling of the Bay of Pigs. (NYTimes)

    The McChristians and Van Fleets of the day were functioning in the shadows and remain there, in spite of the impact they had on events leading to Kennedy’s assassination.

  2. JM: Would you comment on the possibility that Al Ulmer was at the very least aware of George Joannides’ presence in Miami in 1961-1963? (I stress the word “possibility.”)

    In an ongoing pursuit of evidence, wouldn’t that at least pique your curiosity? I know that you have mentioned that you’re not a big fisherman, but hopefully that doesn’t mean that you have lost your nose for the news. I believe that Ulmer had some roots in Jacksonville, FL. In fact, strangely enough there is an Ulmer Murchison law firm in the city but no proof of a relationship.

    Of course it may well be that Joannides and Ulmer never crossed paths, but it’s a stone in the road that’s worth turning? Have you made available the Joannides records that have been released?

    1. He might have. He might not have. We just don’t know.
      The most likely reason Joannides went to Miami in the spring of 1962 was the ascendance of Tom Karamessines, former Athens station chief and patron of many Greek-American CIA officers, to the position of Assistant Deputy Director of Plans (ADDP), under DDP Richard Helms. I have some basis for thinking that: the comments of retired CIA officer who told me that Karamessines was a mentor to Joannides.
      Absent any evidence to link Ulmer and Joannides, I really can’t say anything about their (non) relationship.
      It is would be self-defeating to base one’s factual account on speculative guesses. It would renders the account un-factual, ie fictional. I don’t do fiction.

      1. I’ve certainly read about Karamessines.

        “We just don’t know.” You have used this phrase at least once before. Do you consider others who do research, albeit uncompensated, as mere acolytes sitting at the feet of your Royal “We?” I find it condescending and offensive to be honest. And it prompts the question, who are your WE?

        That having been stated forthrightly, are you arguing that because I do not have the answer to this particular – and potentially explosive – line of inquiry, that I should not pursue the question? What kind of investigative reporting is that? I find your response to be perplexing, yet again.

        And I will ask once more, have you made available the released files on Joannides and if so, can they be accessed electronically?

        One of your readers recently posted the suggestion that you are perhaps being deliberately provocative and/or possibly fishing. I have resisted that suspicion until now.

        1. Leslie, when I said “we” I was referring to you and to me, no one one else. No I don’t think of anyone as my acolytes and, by the way, I don’t get paid for this either.

          I’ve never said you shouldn’t pursue research on your idea that Ulmer and Joannides might be connected. Go for it. The power of the Athens station on the CIA in the 1950s and 1960s is noteworthy.

          I haven’t made the Joannides material available online. Most of it is not relevant. What is relevant I’m saving for my book. When that’s done I’ll give everything to Rex for posting at MaryFerrell.org.

          I’m not trying to be provocative on this site. I am trying to be interesting.

  3. I still don’t see how any of your assertions tell us anything about what happened in Dallas on November 22, 1963. Your evidence is your conclusion. It has no persuasive power to anyone who isn’t already persuaded.

  4. JK: But would a couple who spent holidays in Kennebunkport look on a map, identify a thriving town in West Texas, and ask Prescott or Mallon if they could move to Midland-Odessa? The ocean would have been at least a day’s drive, and the nearest body of water is, well let’s just say, not that large. I know that they have written about the excitement of the adventure, but I do believe that it was orchestrated.

  5. Wasn’t Bank of Credit and Commerce alleged to have provided services to the Iran-Contra operation? Those allegations, exposed by the Christic Institute, have somewhat withstood the test of time. The tragedy is that the investigation was halted at convictions of mid-level employees of the Tampa branch and went no further, a lesson for anyone searching for the truth about Kennedy.

    If BCCCI was used, then the Iran-Contra involved civilians as well. Whether or not they were cognizant of their contribution I suppose could be debated. My belief is that BCCI was part and parcel of the illegal military/drug/weapons operation and provided a cloak of international ownership to conceal US responsibility.

    1. Leslie, get two of Rodney Stich’s seminal books:

      1) “Defrauding America: Encyclopedia of Secret Operations by the CIA, DEA, and Other Covert Agencies” (3rd edition) and

      2) “Drugging America: A Trojan Horse”. I have learned more from those 2 books about the reality of American politics than I have from 35 years of consuming the MSM and 4 years of Princeton.

      1) http://www.amazon.com/Defrauding-America-Encyclopedia-Operations-Agencies/dp/0932438091/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1364861621&sr=8-2&keywords=defrauding+america

      1. Princeton most likely avoids that particular history. I think that I’ve come across excerpts from both of these books over time, but thanks for the heads up. I’ll revisit them.

  6. “Twenty five years later, Bush was involved in Iran-Contra scandal. This shows his tolerance of extra-legal political action. It tells us nothing about the events of 1963.”

    The heart of Iran-Contra was a massive government/CIA drug smuggling operation that involved both the Bushes, the Clintons, CIA and Oliver North. Other criminal activities would include: money laundering, financial crime and and murdering people to keep a lid on Iran-Contra. Barry Seal was one such victim.

    Here is my blog on “Jeb Bush and the Murder of CIA Drug Smuggler Barry Seal in 1986” – scroll down and check out the bibliography at the end of the article.


    Just because GHW Bush was at the epicenter of Iran-Contra does not mean that he was involved in the JFK assassination. But in my view, it raises the percentages that he was. GHW Bush has been a part of the “Secret Team” for a very long time. Here is a quote from Bill Clinton to L.D. Brown after Brown had excoriated Clinton for setting him up with the CIA’s Barry Seal who had brought back a brick of cocaine after a roundtrip to Central America:

    “That’s [Dan] Lasater’s deal! That’s Lasater’s deal! And your buddy [VP George Herbert Walker] Bush knows about it!”

    Such a small quote, but it tells us so much about George Herbert Walker Bush.

  7. To suggest that the single incident – George Bush referring to Gerald Ford’s role on the Warren Commission – holds the only shred of interest in this discussion is indeed disturbing.

    Bush’s expressions are well worth studying because he has a tendency toward uncontrolled emotion, and they might be indicative of an overburdened conscience. But focus on this incident requires getting inside of George Bush’s head, which seems to me to be a long distance from determining fact. I doubt that it can be proven that his speech was intended to provoke or firmly establish his support of the commission’s findings.

    1. Eric Hollingsworth

      Incidentally, it was GHWB who gave Nixon his marching orders. I think Dick wasn’t as tractable as he was expected to be.

        1. Eric Hollingsworth

          As head of the RNC, Bush wrote a memo to Nixon urging him to resign. Nixon resigned the following day. I just thought that was interesting in the context of the discussion rather than proof that under his bumbling exterior, GHWB was an evil mastermind. Sorry, I should have been more clear.

      1. Please tell me….

        I’m most interested: what is your source for writing that GHWB gave Nixon his marching orders?

        As I recall, once it was clear the House was going to impeach, Nixon pulled his own plug.

        Reading transcripts of Nixon-Haldeman tapes from the period I get the distinct impression Nixon, although willing to use dirty tricks, isn’t a skilled street fighter.

        1. How many presidencies in recent years have been interrupted with all consuming scandals? At least all but Kennedy survived to tell the tales, or not.

  8. JM: Would you comment on the possibility that Al Ulmer was at the very least aware of George Joannides’ presence in Miami in 1961-1963? (I stress the word “possibility.”)

  9. Jeff,

    Your point about Bush eulogizing Ford is right on point.

    Bad faith for sure. But why? Covering for the agency or CYA?

  10. The facts you state are facts. It is a fact that George Bush was close to CIA officials and collaborated in CIA’s Bay of Pigs operation.

    The facts you present here are not the factoids that were mentioned in the previous posts about Bush’s alleged involvement in the assassination of JFK. The fact that I regard some of the points made in those comments as “factoids” does not mean that I regard all information provided by you as factoids. I don’t.

    To be clear, I wasn’t using “factoids” in the sense of made up information. I was using them in the sense of information briefly referred to and trivial. (ie. Bush’s presence in Dallas, his friendship with Dulles, and his involvement in Iran-Contra.) I describe these as factoids because their relevance to the causes of JFK’s assassination is hard to divine.

    I did report in “Our Man in Mexico” that Win Scott went into business with Al Ulmer. So the claim that I didn’t make even passing reference to him is inaccurate.

    I didn’t write about Ulmer’s possible connection to Joannides in Our Man in Mexico because I have no information indicating that there was a connection I didn’t write about Joannides’ Greek heritage in Our Man in Mexico because Win Scott didn’t know George Joannides. Neither he nor his Greek heritage was not relevant to Scott’s life story.

    It is odd to be accused of hiding information about Joannides when literally every single thing you know about him was first reported by me.

    1. JM: Precisely. Everything that most of the general public knows about Joannides originated with your reporting, and for that you are and should be highly respected.

      I worried that you might misread my comment suggesting “a passing reference.” What I said was: “. . . that fact – a long-term friendship between Ulmer and Bush which may have originated in Greece while Ulmer was with the CIA or may have been based on Tyler, TX connections – did not seem significant enough to warrant even a passing reference . . .”

      Obviously I know that you made one reference to Al Ulmer in relation to Winston Scott. I understand that the subject of your book was Scott, and you committed a significant portion of the work to his role in Mexico City leading up to the assassination; I also think that Scott’s post-CIA career was included as an equally significant period given that he was working on what may have been an expose of the CIA. Within that period he went into business with Al Ulmer, ex CIA.

      So it’s not illogical or implausible to expect that Ulmer be further researched, which he now has been: he was based in Greece at one time, he was a friend of George Bush when he was in Greece and when Bush operated Zapata, he was with Bush (at least) on November 20th in Tyler, and he went into business with Win Scott who was in Mexico City when Kennedy was assassinated. The fact that you didn’t research him or include him was your choice. I am suggesting that he is a person of interest, and that should not be disputed simply because you did not include him in your book.

      At issue as well is divining what is factoid and what is fact in your professional world. How can George Bush’s involvement in Iran-Contra be trivial for instance? If you mean to say that, strictly speaking in the context of inquiry into his possible direct relationship to those who ordered the murder of a sitting president, Iran-Contra is trivial, I can concede to that a bit – but not much. Trajectory is key to this investigation. The foundation of any criminal investigation is motive. Why was Kennedy assassinated? To interfere with his policies and predicted policies? Who was intent on imposing their own policies? And later, how did Bush assume power, and what did he do with that power? And beyond that, how did his son assume power, and what did he do with that power? Cui Bono.

    2. Al Ulmer was Athens Station Chief following Thomas Karamessines who left in 1952: evidently Ulmer spent some portion of 1952 with his family insurance/real estate firm in Jacksonville, FL before he took up his post in Athens in 1953 where he remained until 1955. Both Ulmer and Karamessines were working for Wisner.

      According to your 2002 piece “What Jane Roman Said,” Joannides was sent to the Athens station sometime between 1951 and 196?: It is entirely plausible that he reported directly to Ulmer. It is also possible that he arrived in Athens after Ulmer left in 1955. It would be useful to know whether or not Joannides’ files reflect specifics of his career during that decade.

      ” . . . The son of a well-known Greek-American newspaper columnist in New York City, he went to law school and joined the CIA in 1951. Joannides, fluent in Greek and French, was sent to the Athens station. By 1963, he was 40 years old, a rising protégé of Tom Karamessines. . . “

  11. Fact or Factoid?

    Quote from Barbara Bush’s “A Memoir,” published 1994:

    “Dear Family, Wednesday I took Doris Ulmer out for lunch. They were here from England and they had been so nice to George in Greece. That night we went to . . . ” (She then continues to describe their movements on Friday, November 22 as referenced in a previous post.)

    Doris is of course the wife of Al Ulmer, former OSS/CIA agent stationed in Athens in the 1950’s. If George Bush knew Ulmer prior to 1963, it can be assumed that he knew him in the late 1950’s, and as Barbara states, that he knew him in Greece. In the 1950’s, Bush was operating Zapata Oil, ergo he may have been in Greece on behalf of Zapata.

    A fact of keen interest that gets little play: on the board of Zapata were (Gulf Oil-related) investors J.H. and W.C. Liedtke, brothers from Oklahoma, one of whom was implicated in Watergate for carrying a check to Mexico during the Watergate clean up operation. E. Howard Hunt, who lead the Watergate break in, was an aide to Averill Harriman, partner in Brown Brothers Harriman which owned Dresser Industries when George Bush was sent to Midland, after the war. Explain to me how any of that information can be classified as factoid?

    Sometime after retiring from the CIA and joining Greek shipping magnate Stavros Niarchos to operate his London office, Al Ulmer went into business with Winston Scott, former CIA station chief in Mexico City, as reported in “Our Man In Mexico,” Jeff Morley, published in 2008.

    The information pertaining to an Al Ulmer friendship with George Bush was in the public domain as early as 1994. However in 2008, that fact – a long-term friendship between Ulmer and Bush which may have originated in Greece while Ulmer was with the CIA or may have been based on Tyler, TX connections** – did not seem significant enough to warrant even a passing reference in “Our Man In Mexico” subtitled: “Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA,” operative word in my view being HIDDEN.

    I find it unusual that fundamental curiosity would not lead someone to look into who Win Scott chose to do business with after his retirement and not long before his death.

    And I find it far more unusual to not consider the implications of George Joannides’ Greek heritage, particular in light of the Ulmer/CIA history in Greece and now the Bush friendship with Ulmer.

    According to one source, Joannides was with the Greek Embassy Information Service in 1949 and joined the CIA in 1951 thru which he was later involved with DRE. Who recruited Joannides into the CIA and might that recruitment have been related to his role with the Greek Embassy after the War? Would Al Ulmer have crossed his path a few years later?

    Furthermore, while not pertaining to culpability of anyone the following typifies the enmeshed nature of those highest profile power-brokers post-assassination: Averell Harriman (whom E. Howard Hunt aided at the end of the war), partner of Brown Brothers Harriman which bankrolled Dresser Industries and George H. W. Bush’s move to Midland, graciously provided his Georgetown townhouse to Jacqueline Kennedy and her children when they were compelled to leave the White House soon after the funeral. And not too many years later Jacqueline Kennedy married Aristotle Onassis, fellow Greek magnate of Stavros Niarchos, the former employer of Al Ulmer who was a friend of George Bush while in the CIA and with whom he was in Tyler on November 22, 1963, and George Bush was a lifetime beneficiary of Brown Brothers Harriman. I’m beginning to wonder if this particular line represents the clean up specialists, whether privy to the actual planning of the assassination or not. Bush at the CIA post family jewels; Liedtke/Zapata post E. Howard Hunt’s Watergate; Harriman/the widow post assassination.

    **Ulmer’s Tyler connections, thru Bush, would lead to Joe Zeppa with whom GHWB flew to Dallas on the 22nd, and who sat on a petroleum board with headquarters at 630 Fifth Ave. where Al Ulmer’s boss Allen Dulles had an office and where the US division of British Intelligence was housed. Recall that Ulmer and Scott were also involved with a former British Intel agent after retirement.

    1. Also on the board of directors of Lone Star Steel with Joe Zeppa was Robert H. Stewart, executive officer of FNB of Dallas who would hire George HW after his brief stint as DCIA for the recently formed InterFirst banking operation, specifically the newly opened branch in London.

      It was Bob Stewart who accompanied Dallas DA Wade and his Assistant DA Wm. Alexander to DC on January 23, 1964 to explain to Allen Dulles that the allegations that LHO held an FBI badge number had originated with Alexander.

      Dulles had been in direct contact with Stewart who apparently was acting as some sort of liaison for the Warren Commission, but Dulles described him as being outside of ‘the inner circle.’ He must have meant the inner-circle of those acting in an official capacity in the investigation, because Stewart was anything but an insignificant player in the running of the Dallas economy and politics. A former prosecutor in the Nuremberg Trials after which he returned to Dallas to become the Dean of SMU Law School for over a decade, Stewart was a 3rd generation financier who quietly influenced what happened in Dallas.

  12. Although this perhaps has nothing to do with JFK’s assassination, I had heard that G.H.W. Bush allowed his Zapata Oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico to be used to set up transmitters for broadcasts into Cuba by CIA and to jam Cuban radio and TV broadcasts. I had also heard that he was involved in helping right wing Cuban exiles with funding for a future invasion of their homeland. Can anyone verify these claims? Or are they just loose speculation?

    At this point, I don’t claim Bush was involved in the JFK assassination. He’s an interesting figure, nonetheless. Certainly worthy of some investigation, done under the radar and not out in the open, making unsubstantiated accusations in a witch hunting way. People have to remember how Joe McCarthy operated before they go making pot shot claims. Better to quietly research and report only what you know.

    1. Well, THIS is certainly interesting:

      This site details some of the strange CIA and FBI (!!) things going on related to G.H.W. Bush in the early sixties.

      I have cut and pasted this segment from the article, to see if anyone can make sense of it, and verify if any of it is true:

      // Zapata’s filing records with the U.S.Securities and Exchange Commission are intact for the years 1955ñ1959, and again from 1967 onwards. However, records for the years 1960ñ1966 are missing. The commission’s records officer stated that the records were inadvertently placed in a session file to be destroyed by a federal warehouse, and that a total of 1,000 boxes were pulped in this procedure. The destruction of records occurred either in October 1983 (according to the records officer), or in 1981 shortly after Bush became Vice President of the United States (according to, Wison Carpenter, a record analyst with the commission).

      Various writers have suggested that Zapata Off-Shore, and Bush in particular, cooperated with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), beginning in the late 1950s.

      The first memo, written by FBI Special Agent Graham Kitchel on November 22, 1963, names Zapata Off-Shore regarding the John F. Kennedy assassination at 12:30 pm CST that day. It begins: “At 1:45 pm Mr. GEORGE H. W. BUSH, President of the Zapata Off-Shore Drilling Company, Houston, Texas, residence 5525 Briar, Houston, telephonically furnished the following information to writer. .. BUSH stated that he wanted to be kept confidential. .. was proceeding to Dallas, Texas, would remain in the Sheraton-Dallas Hotel.”

      A second FBI memorandum, written by J. Edgar Hoover, identifies “George Bush” with the CIA. It is dated November 29, 1963 and refers to a briefing given to Bush on November 23. The FBI Director describes a briefing about JFK’s murder “orally furnished to Mr. George Bush of the Central Intelligence Agency. .. [by] this Bureau” on “December 20, 1963. When this second memorandum surfaced during the 1988 presidential campaign, Bush spokespersons (including Stephen Hart) said Hoover’s memo referred to another George Bush who worked for the CIA. CIA spokeswoman Sharron Basso suggested it was referring to a George William Bush. However, others described this G. William Bush as a “lowly researcher” and “coast and beach analyst” who worked only with documents and photos at the CIA in Virginia from September 1963 to February 1964, with a low rank of GS-5. Moreover, this G. William Bush swore an affidavit in federal court denying that Hoover’s memo referred to him:

      I have carefully reviewed the FBI memorandum to the Director, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Department of State dated November 29, 1963 which mentions a Mr. George Bush of the Central Intelligence Agency. … I do not recognize the contents of the memorandum as information furnished to me orally or otherwise during the time I was at the CIA. In fact, during my time at the CIA, I did not receive any oral communications from any government agency of any nature whatsoever. I did not receive any information relating to the Kennedy assassination during my time at the CIA from the FBI. Based on the above, it is my conclusion that I am not the Mr. George Bush of the Central Intelligence Agency referred to in the memorandum.(United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Civil Action 88ñ2600 GHR, Archives and Research Center v. Central Intelligence Agency, Affidavit of George William Bush, September 21, 1988.)

      US Army Brigadier General Russell Bowen wrote that there was a cover-up of Zapata’s CIA connections:

      Bush, in fact, did work directly with the anti-Castro Cuban groups in Miami before and after the Bay of Pigs invasion, using his company, Zapata Oil, as a corporate cover for his activities on behalf of the agency. Records at the University of Miami, where the operations were based for several years, show George Bush was present during this time.//

      1. factoid: 1: an invented fact believed to be true because it appears in print
        2: a briefly stated and usually trivial fact

        I for one do not see it as my responsibility to convince anyone, particularly anyone who positions themselves as judge and jury without a mandate, of my theories. My intention is to share research, offer an opinion, and let the facts fall where they may. If that is not appropriate or welcome here, please advise.

        My posts which enumerate facts (none of which have been invented, none of which are meaningless when viewed in context and as a whole, and all of which I have been in possession of for over a decade, well before Russ Baker went to print) can hardly be measured as trivial; also, I have not intended to imply that those facts serve as evidence that Bush killed Kennedy, but rather to expose how intertwined his personal life, business history and political career have been with those who have long been suspected as having determined that Kennedy must die. Beyond that, as those facts dovetail with events, surely one is compelled to search further. Bush is the perfect example of inter-generational involvement.

        However, If one is looking solely for who actually shot Kennedy, and from there who actually directed them to shoot him (vis a vis George Joannides?), then of course none of these facts are of direct or immediate value (although I predict that they may well be in the future).

        But if one is desirous of identifying the cabal that ordered the murder and cover up, then there is no better individual to begin with than GHW Bush and his father, Prescott. Had a president been murdered in a similar fashion when Prescott was George’s age, I suspect Prescott would have surfaced; in fact, I have researched him thoroughly because his history is central to understanding America during the Cold War. My pursuit of this line of research was prompted by my interest in and first hand knowledge of Dallas, the scene of the crime, not some allegation made by others.

        As stated once before, I personally do not think that the Bush family as defined by their surname had the power to determine whether or not Kennedy should live, nor the intellectual capacity to devise the scheme although they certainly were figureheads within the greater milieu. If one were to question my opinion of the Walker side of the family I would not make a similar assessment.

      2. JSA: I hope you catch my second lengthy post on this topic (see below) referencing Al Ulmer of the CIA, George Bush while operating Zapata, and George Joannides (who was with JM/Wave during the period in question) of DRE.

    2. JSA: To compare an investigation of a possible Bush-related involvement with the assassination to McCarthyism is illogical at best, and at worst, it is a red herring in the clearest meaning of the idiom. It misleads, distracts and attempts to lead to a false conclusion.

      1. Leslie,

        What I meant to say was that to charge someone with complicity in a murder without hard facts is irresponsible. But I guess I chose the wrong metaphor.

        I agree that looking into Bush’s past is entirely appropriate. I don’t think there’s enough hard proof of any kind to nail him directly to the JFK assassination, but there are some interesting leads that I posted, and that others, including yourself, have posted, that bear looking into.

        I’m trying to be neutral as a scientist would be, although ever since the court case I seem to have ticked off some people on this site. I think it should be obvious that I have absolutely no formal training in journalism or in journalistic ethics, and I tend to spout off sometimes. But I TRY to stick to the known facts whatever they are in this case.

        1. JSA: My apologies, and I did not mean to sound caustic. I respect what you are saying and agree that these are difficult conversations that require one to be responsible and accountable. I am struck by the level of civility because this can be a very contentious area of assassination discourse.

  13. Nathaniel Heidenheimer

    Jeff: I am agnostic as the H.W. involvement. I will simply say that I think Baker’s book was in the spirit of investigative journalism, and was whipped up by critics, AS IF Baker had written the last word. Baker was pretty clear, in Family of Secrets, that he was taking the first journalistic overview of the Bush and JFK possible connections.

    Most of us understand that you are walking a fine line hear between fact and centrally -mandated- professional- journalistic scorn. I bare this in mind when I read your JFK writings.

    I only wish that you applied the same degree of care when you type of RFK. There the evidence is, IMO, at least as sketchy and freighted with venom. Yet I do not detect the same degree of skepticism that you apply to allegations of H.W. Bush involvement.

    1. I don’t know what you mean by “centrally mandated professional journalistic scorn.” I’m a self-employed writer so I don’t take orders from anyone. I try to apply professional journalistic standards to the reporting task at hand.

      There’s nothing wrong with what Russ Baker’s inquiry into Bush’s actions as they concerned the JFK story. But to me he published his notes rather than a finished product. He engages in a lot heavy breathing about Bush in 1963 which I don’t think his evidence supports. I think he didn’t look hard enough at Bush’s tenure as CIA director and how he responded to the ongoing Congressional inquiries.

      If I sound scornful its because I think we should be trying to eliminate the unlikely and implausible and focus in on what we know for sure. We can safely eliminate George H.W. Bush as an intellectual author of JFK’s death.

      You last paragraph seems garbled to me. I don’t know what you mean “when you type of RFK …”

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