JFK Facts welcomes all points of view in its discussions about John F. Kennedy’s presidency and assassination. See our comments policy here.
In order to advance the site’s goal of decisively clarifying the JFK assassination story in 2014, I want to add a provision to the site’s comment policy. This addition is prompted by a reminder from a reader about the JFK views of former White House official Cass Sunstein.
As Sunstein wrote in a 2008 research paper (co-authored with Adrian Vermeule);
“Government agents (and their allies) might enter chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups and attempt to undermine percolating conspiracy theories by raising doubts about their factual premises, causal logic or implications for political action.”
In 2010, Sunstein served as head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs for the Obama administration.
Glenn Greenwald discusses Sunstein’s proposal here. You can read the Sunstein-Vermeule paper here.
I don’t have any reason to believe that any U.S. government employee or JFK Facts commenter is acting on Sunstein’s proposal. But given Sunstein’s role in U.S. government information policy, it would imprudent to dismiss the possibility.
So I want to make JFK Facts’ comment policy more explicit: Cass Sunstein and any U.S. government agents acting on his suggestion are welcome to comment at JFK Facts, as long as they identify themselves as such.
By “agent” I mean someone who is acting at the behest of person or persons employed by component of the U.S. government for the purpose of undermining JFK conspiracy theories.
Do you have a proposal for “How to Solve JFK in 2014?” Drop me a line.
Put the hash tag #HowtosolveJFKin2014″ in the subject line.
Using this subject line will be construed as permission to publish.
If you don’t know what a #hashtag is, read this.
If you can’t express your idea in 140 characters, it won’t be published.
241 thoughts on “#HowtoSolveJFKin2014: engage Cass Sunstein and ‘government agents’”
On occasion I have tracked the frequency of posts by some caustic advocates of the lone nut theory on You Tube. Three times I found that certain “individuals” posted every hour, of every day, of every week, going back for months.
I confronted one with his own record of posting and invited him to explain why he neither needed to work or sleep for months on end. There was no reply other than the “individual” ceasing to comment under that name. To coin a phrase, case closed.
I’ve been guilty of being sucked in. At times I feel it imperative that some of the statements and accusations of some who post should be clarified for the sake of History, if not for the importance of and purpose of FREEINGHTHEFILES.
Some of the topics not covered in the wide-ranging comments:
— the autopsy photos and x-rays: inconsistent
— Oswald’s movements and actions on 11-22-63: no reliable alleged facts
— Oswald’s arrest: how did the 15 armed DPD officers know LHO killed both Tippit and JFK 70 minutes after the assassination?
— Clint Hill vs. Zapruder: Clint’s actions on the limo
There are a lot more topics for discussion. I think, FWIW, the record as it stands is clear there were two or more shooters. I also think Oswald was part of some plot, which he kept secret until he died, in which he consciously played a role not realizing it was the role of patsy.
It’s interesting to me that Warren Report defenders embrace parts of the HSCA report, specifically the firearms and medical panels. Interesting because the HSCA savaged the methodology of the Warren Commission on the matter of conspiracy and of course determined, based on an acoustical study, that there probably was a conspiracy.
I’ve spent time with the firearms panel. It did a carefully worded retracing of what the FBI did in 1964; nothing new or different, except the HSCA panel made it seem clear the alleged murder weapon weapon and ammunition could have done the deed, while the FBI through J.Edgar Hoover and Robert Frazier cast grave doubt on that proposition.
The medical panel is a different kettle of fish. It weighed in on autopsy materials a court would never admit into evidence (no proper foundation, given John Stringer and Saundra Kay Spencer) and supposedly supported Humes in toto. The ARRB, however, found the HSCA suppressed the fact that the majority of Bethesda witnesses agreed with the majority of Parkland docs, that there was a fist-sized blowout to the back nidesof JFK’s head.
The elephant in the room when it comes to the HSCA is George Joannides. What an idiot the CIA chief was to name Joannides liaison to the HSCA. As if he would never be uncovered for the DRE case officer.
Recommendation: I recommend to JFK facts that whenever a commenter cites the HSCA report in support of a position he or she is advocating, the commenter be required to present independent corroborating facts from the historical record. After all, Robert Blakey came to such a position re the CIA; and the CIA appears to have had a heavy hand in the writing of the HSCA report.
The photographic panel was also pretty bad. And they believed Steven Witt’s story that he was the umbrella man.
The HSCA did do some good work on Jack Ruby’s background and concluded that he may have had help getting into the basement, and didn’t enter the way he claimed.
Here’s a look at our fine, dedicated public servants. Wonder why we don’t trust them?
“I would love to put a bullet in his head,” one Pentagon official, a former special forces officer, said bluntly. “I do not take pleasure in taking another human beings life, having to do it in uniform, but he is single-handedly the greatest traitor in American history.”
“His name is cursed every day over here,” a defense contractor told BuzzFeed, speaking from an overseas intelligence collections base. “Most everyone I talk to says he needs to be tried and hung, forget the trial and just hang him.”
One Army intelligence officer even offered BuzzFeed a chillingly detailed fantasy.
“I think if we had the chance, we would end it very quickly,” he said. “Just casually walking on the streets of Moscow, coming back from buying his groceries. Going back to his flat and he is casually poked by a passerby. He thinks nothing of it at the time starts to feel a little woozy and thinks it’s a parasite from the local water. He goes home very innocently and next thing you know he dies in the shower.”
Jeff has spoiled us the last few months. A new and virtually always relevant topic almost every day the. It has to be pretty time consuming. Maybe he’s taking a well deserved vacation or working on something else important (the FREETHEFILES case?). Hope he or his are not sick or hurt. Then maybe he wanted to see what would happen if he let things stagnate a few days.
Nice to see the POTUS say what he did. The immediate prior approval of the court bit sounds good. Some of the other stuff could face some strong opposition though.
John McAdams: The question regarding Tippit’s employment has come up before.
According to the representative of Texas Theater who holds a BA in History, Middlebury College (VT) the theater stands by the statements posted on their website.
When pressed if there is a paper trail to substantiate the claim, the rep indicated that they rely on a number of sources, some of whom surfaced in the year leading up to the 50th anniversary commemoration including at least four Dallas police officers still living: Jim Leavell, Jimmy Corson, Jack Davis, and Ray Hawkins. The rep. also referred to the testimony of Julia Postal.
Mrs. POSTAL: . . . well, that is when I first heard Officer Tippit had been shot because some officer came in the box office and used the phone, said, “I think we have got our man on both accounts.” “What two accounts?” And said, “Well, Officer Tippit’s,” shocked me, because Officer Tippit used to work part time for us years ago. I didn’t know him personally.
Mr. BALL. You mean he guarded the theatre?
Mrs. POSTAL. On Friday nights and Saturdays, canvass the theatre, you know, and that—-then they were bringing Oswald out the door over there and —-
Mr. BALL. Well, now, was this before they had gone into the theatre that this officer used the phone?
Questions …. Why was Mrs. Postal ‘shocked,’ and yet she didn’t know Tippit personally? Maybe he was a legend, or was she advised after the fact that Tippit had been a guard at the theater; but in that case, why would she have been “shocked” at the moment she heard his name?
Further, Mr. Ball’s questioning follows a pattern one can see throughout the Warren Commission. A witness offers a statement that would have caused an astute lawyer to pursue beyond one simple follow up question (in this instance “you mean he guarded the theatre?” and yet Ball moves on immediately.
correction: Jimmy Courson
John McAdams: Have you read Julia Postal’s testimony? If so, you would know that Tippit had at one time been employed by the theater. I recognize that Postal indicates Tippit’s employment as a security guard was “years ago,” but it still seems significant enough to wonder why you did not recognize the “factoid.”
Nobody has been censored. Sadly.
In fact, it would be beneficial if more people were denied a voice on this forum because, by assessing their performance, one can intuit that they obviously have nothing to say. All we ask is that the moderators apply their own published policy, which is:
“Only comments that the moderators think will advance the conversation and enhance the reader experience will be approved.”
All ad hominems should be deleted without further debate. This is not censorship, just housekeeping. After all, we can talk to our own childen at home.
Wow…who tied Jeff Morley up & hijacked his website? Photon has been banished. That’s good news. I got tired of skipping over his silly remarks anyway. President Obama took a stand against NSA spying on US citizens today. That’s a step towards removing the blockade against this country’s history as per the withheld JFK records, ‘don’t cha think (or am I being too optimistic)?
Photon has been censored.
I say, let Photon and everyone else here speak. We’re having a fight. Let Photon say whatever.
Photon has not been censored. He apparently had some comments in moderation. They are now visible. FWIW, I’ve one or two brief comments posted several days ago that are still in moderation, though visible to myself. Rather than claiming I’m being “censored,” I assume they’ve just missed the attention of whoever is doing the moderation.
We are not “having a fight”.
This is not Facebook, where you can while away a few hours before sitting down to dinner.
We are seeking the truth and not all voices are equal. Not all who speak have something to say. Some need to be a banished to the small room to play with dolls.
Csss Sunstein has to some degree been misrepresented. His proposals were intended to address only those “conspiracy theories” that were clearly erroneous, such as “Obama not a citizen” or “death panels in ACA” or “FEMA setting up concentraton camps.” I think Sunstein meant well, simply not aware that some “theories”, such as government involvement in the Kennedy cover-up, are not erroneous.
Cass Sunstein is no longer a member of the Obama admininstration. He left his position in the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and returned to academia.
There’s no “Reply” option to your response to my comment, so I’ll put one here. Your attempts to label Dr. Curtis as a mere dentist are as pathetic as they are disingenuous. He’s an oral surgeon and a specialist in oral & maxillofacial pathology. This is quite a few steps above the level of a dentist you visit twice a year. Anyone wishing to see whether or not you know what you’re talking about, or being honest about what you post, is invited to judge your performance in that thread. BTW, now you’re making a big deal about being “censored.” Well, that claim has the same validity as anything you post. Finally, as to your claim that an unnamed by you osteopath was Surgeon General of the Army back in the 1990s (don’t you ever think about posting names, might help your huge credibility problems), so what? Even if true, he wouldn’t have performed any hip replacement surgeries unless he was also an orthopedic surgeon. That was your mistake. I wouldn’t bother pointing that out, except you pose as an expert on so many subjects and are constantly accusing others of lacking the knowledge to discuss certain topics.
Americans really need to educate themselves about Gladio and the Strategy of Tension, the “Years of Lead” (Anni di piombo), the P2 Masonic lodge, the ties between Permindex, the OAS, organized crime, neo-fascists, the CIA, NATO, the Vatican, Operation Condor, Operation Paperclip, what happened to most of that gold looted by the Japanese and Germans in WWII and so much more.
This is real stuff, ladies and gentlemen, but certain people will tell you it is all a “conspiracy theory,” so please go back to watching American Idol.
TLR, this is a very good broad brushstroke of global affairs leading to 11.22.63. Any that deny these factors had some level of influence on the decision to assassinate the leader of the free world is in just that, denial. What is most important in your list is the trajectory … and the context … of operations during the Cold War; the slate was not cleared at some arbitrary moment, and a new one created. For instance, Operation Paperclip may have been discontinued (because it had completed its mission), but we were living with the aftermath; there was a continuity in each of the entities you have named, not to mention overlapping agendae and ideology, at the time of the assassination in Dallas.
I don’t think there is any dispute that operations like Gladio conducted by western intelligence (NATO) in the Cold War period at times used false flag bombings and other terror tactics to pressure or remove undesirable governments. Anyone interested in such matters should study these operations closely.
But to Sunstein and Vermeule’s point. If one knows that a conspiracy theory is false and if this theory is causing one harm and if this theory is impenetrable to evolution through an open social discourse, then doesn’t one have the right and perhaps duty to infiltrate and undermine this conspiracy theory? All of those premises must be true, be valid, have legitimacy in order to accept Sunstein’s conclusions.
Seems like their paper is intentionally very narrowly focused. They “bracket” out a great deal and they state they are doing so. They are threading a needle and I think this needs to be acknowledged in order to be fair. Questioning this move on their part might prove happy. Their move is a valid analytical move. I’m just wondering if the “analytical” approach exhausts all possible approaches?
(Really appreciate the link to this paper and the Greenwald response.)
Wondering if anyone would be interested in following Sunstein’s paper’s reference to Karl Popper on conspiracy theories here on this thread with me? I’m going to look that up and would like to have some contact outside of my own mind concerning it.
Although Greenwald seems to say it all, the abstract to Sunstain and Vermeule’s paper does in itself point to only a qualified acceptance of the democratic process. In short: Many millions hold to conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theorists suffer from a crippled epistemology. Therefore conspiracy theorists need to be infiltrated and undermined (not resolved within a democratic framework).
Sure, I’ll read Popper with you. Did you notice how he begins in the first paragraph comparing conspiracy theory to theism? Very interesting and I agree. Yet if an analytical approach divides only into true, false, harmful and harmless where would theism fall among these categories? Zooming in analytically yields a certain sight. Zooming out, synthetically yields another. Both have there uses. It’s hard to see the synthetic point of view in Sunstein and Vermeule’s paper which is not to say it doesn’t exist.
I liked your expression: “the synthetic point of view.” It makes me think of another expression: “worldview.” Greenwald uses this in his article in response to Sunstein. He also uses the clunky but accurate term: “mentality.” The synthetic point of view, worldview, mentality I think are all different terms that seek to express the same general thing. I think James W. Douglas is getting at the same thing in his Unspeakable when he talks about the need to understand our world systemically.
Interesting, theology as a category of conspiracy theory.
Reminds me of Life of Pi, Richard Parker, and the Japanese insurance adjusters.
And conspiracy theory as a category of theology. In the absence of direct empirical proof we assemble our experience as widely as we can and take a stand. I’ve got no problem with that.
Listening to MLKjr’s Beyond Vietnam speech right now. It seems to be a direct continuation and expansion of JFK’s AU speech, a revolution of values. Huge forces arrayed against this down to today.
Sunstein and Vermeule state that Popper’s explanation of CT is limited. They state the mistake CT people often make (contra Popper) is NOT to see intentionality where none exists but to misidentify intentionality.
Okay that helps, yet here’s a thing that nags at me throughout their paper even given all of the qualifications that make their thesis plausible. To fight harmful and false CT’s they never simply state that a Government should tell the truth.
They claim that people who support false and harmful CT’s are not effected by or are highly resistant to the truth. So then fight fire with fire; confuse and dissemble. Sounds like the tactical rational for a political campaign, a wrestling match of strength and skill among competing interests. There is a reality in that no denying. And for this approach to be legitimate one side must know, not simply believe, that the other side is in fact false and harmful.
But in all the other cases, that is most cases I think, what is false and harmful is exactly the point that is in contention. The Conspiracy Theorist or “true believer”, at least in the JFK question, seeks a breakthrough beyond the tactical wrestling match to what the situation is. We want the truth.
Tom, did you notice how fast the chairs of the Senate Intelligence Committee claimed today that Snowden could not possibly be acting alone, must be conspiring with …Russians?
Yes, I did notice that. They think Snowden is involved in a false and harmful conspiracy. Uh oh.
So another discussion gets hijacked and thrown off course.
Photon demands documented evidence the CIA wasn’t paying extraordinary attention to Oswald. John McAdams pooh poohs the notion of conspiracy in the murder of JFK and trashes a few straw men in the process.
Very good distractions. They make my point: Cass Sunstein should come here to learn pointers on how to disrupt a discussion of conspiracy.
Jonathan, hijackers are certainly roaming around, but if this were a ship at sea, could we ignore them? I think not. So I think the better approach may be to disarm them metaphorically, point by point. Perhaps a full on assault is in order, armed with facts and counter facts. It’s an exhausting process, and perhaps a risky tactic, but eventually I believe ‘they’ will be worn down, not vice versa. The aggressive language in this comment is deliberate and designed to match the forces these hijackers are defending.
The problem, Jonathan, is that you consider it a “disruption” to have to deal with people who don’t see the issue the way you do.
Have you ever considered how a discussion limited entirely to conspiracists (or any other group with homogeneous attitudes) so quickly becomes inbred and sterile?
Do you really think a healthy discussion ensues when nobody challenges anything?
And yes, I know it’s not fun to be challenged.
“And yes, I know it’s not fun to be challenged.”
I disagree. It’s good to be challenged. It sharpens one’s thinking and skills.
You believe Oswald Killed JFK and Tippet.
Challenge: If you were prosecuting Oswald for the murder of JFK and Tippit, how would you tie him, beyond a reasonable doubt, without speculation, to both murders?
Apologies for interrupting a direct exchange, but on the topic of JD Tippit, could you address the statement on the Texas Theater website that relates to Tippit’s role as an off duty security officer for the theater? I can’t seem to find substantiation of this claim; however, I find it compelling if indeed it is factual and not merely a marketing tool for the current enterprise. Thanks.
I’ve never heard of that. It’s well known that Tippit had such a part time job at Austin’s BBQ.
I just did a Mary Ferrell search, which turned up nothing but the Austin’s BBQ thing.
John McAdams: I appreciate your reply. A quick search reveals that the theater claims that Tippit was employed by them.
“On November 22, 1963 at approximately 1:45 p.m., nearly 15 Dallas police officers converged on the Texas Theatre in search of a man who had entered without paying. That man was Lee Harvey Oswald—murder suspect in the slaying of Officer J.D. Tippit and later President John F. Kennedy’s accused lone assassin. He ducked into the theatre during an in-progress showing of War Is Hell and sat near the back of the auditorium. John Brewer, the manager of the shoe store a few doors east of the theatre, had seen him loitering suspiciously outside his store and had noticed he matched the description being broadcast over the radio of the man who had shot local beat officer – AND OFF-DUTY TEXAS THEATER SECURITY GUARD – J. D. TIPPIT (my emphasis)…..”
I asked this same question of another person that comments on this site who is convinced that Lee Oswald was a lone assassin, and this is his response:
“Obviously he needed the money and worked a second job, logically one in a neighborhood he was familiar with and easy to reach after his day job. Was that unusual for patrolmen on the Dallas police force in 1963? Considering that after he was murdered his widow got virtually nothing in monetary support from the Dallas PD I doubt that his salary was substantial. Why, did Ruth Paine get him the job?
Now I’m wondering (given that you, John McAdams, hold a huge body of information on the assassination and indicate that you do not have any facts relating to Tippit’s alleged employment at the Texas Theater) from what source did this other commenter derive his information about Tippit and the Texas Theater? I know. I should ask him, … and I will.
I think you should press the Texas Theater to support their claim.
John McAdams: I’ll certainly make the initial call, but I think you are in a far better position, and bear a greater degree of responsibility to pursue whether or not there are records to support the claim that J.D. Tippit was an off-duty security guard for the Texas Theater.
I had hoped that you would be objective in your efforts, and that you would be curious enough to vigorously pursue the statement on the theater website.
If I do get verification, would you be interested? If I do not, would you be interested? Do you dismiss this as insignificant, and/or have you considered carefully the possible implications?
I searched Dallas maps today to review the path that Oswald took to the theater. The distance from 500 N. Beckley to 231 West Jefferson is .66 miles. Beckley runs parallel to North Zang, a highly trafficked and commercial boulevard. There are schools and churches and small business along the route. Serious research is required to determine precisely what was in place in November 1963, but I am going to guess that there were dozens of points along the way that would have provided cover for Oswald until nightfall.
I believe that he was en route to a rendezvous.
Both guns used to kill each man were sent to Oswald’s Post Office address.
He was carrying an ID with his picture identifying him as having the same name as the party that purchased the weapons.
Photon, John McAdams has stated that he has no information on Tippit’s employment at the Texas Theater as an off duty security guard. The only source of this claim that I have located is the statement on the website of the theater (see my comment above or google their site/history.)
On another thread, you responded to my question relating to whether or not it would hold any significance that Tippit had been employed by the theater with the following:
“Obviously he needed the money and worked a second job, logically one in a neighborhood he was familiar with and easy to reach after his day job. Was that unusual for patrolmen on the Dallas police force in 1963? Considering that after he was murdered his widow got virtually nothing in monetary support from the Dallas PD I doubt that his salary was substantial.
Why, did Ruth Paine get him the job?
Now I’m very curious as to your source that verifies that Tippit was indeed employed as an off-duty security guard at the theater. Are you relying on the theater’s website?
Oh, my! I don’t have time to write an entire essay. But just briefly, I would stress the hard physical evidence.
And also the fact that Oswald lied repeatedly under questioning. That would indicate “guilty knowledge.”
Yes, we’ve all heard that from Bugliosi.
David Atlee Phillips lied under oath to Congress. What does that say about the CIA and “guilty knowledge”?
“And also the fact that Oswald lied repeatedly under questioning. That would indicate “guilty knowledge.”
Lying repeatedly would also indicate CIA employment. CIA accountant James B. Wilcott swore under oath before the HSCA that he believed that Oswald was an employee” of the CIA:
“But just briefly, I would stress the hard physical evidence.”
“Let’s see some solid evidence…As far as Zelikow is concerned,”
Here is some hard physical evidence of a CIA coverup:
One of Hitler’s official historians of the Reich (Otto Winnacker) , was an author of the Warren Report. He might be Zelikow’s uncle 😉
Can you spell paperclip?
You need to post some evidence that Phillips “lied under oath.”
Failing to admit things that conspiracists believe (but which aren’t true) is not a lie.
It seems to me that Phillips won several libel suits concerning your claim, including monetary damages.
Care to document your claim? I’m sure that Mr. Phillips’ family would be interested in new evidence.
Phillips also lied in his sleep per his wife in The Last Investigation. If memory serves me right Fonzi thought they had enough for perjury but Blakey had an “arrangement” with the CIA. We’ve been down this road before some on this site.
All this relates to why Phillps file is one of the seven Most Wanted in Jeff’s suit to FREE THE FILES.
“And also the fact that Oswald lied repeatedly under questioning. That would indicate “guilty knowledge.”
John, I went through the officer’s counterintelligence course (MOS 8666) in 1971 at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. I had two good friends who went through the “collections course” (MOS 8668) at the same time.
I’ve just given you and everyone else here some information that was classified at the time.
I can further report this: In the C.I. course, we were trained to do non-coercive interrogations and to look for markers of deceit. In the “collections course,” officers were trained to withstand interrogations, by telling as little truth as possible and by withstanding grueling physical demands.
Basic message: As a case officer, your job is to lie. That is your WHOLE job. As an agent being handled by case officer, your main job is to maintain a cover story, which is a LIE.
Lying is the heart of intelligence work. That’s no secret. But I tell it to you as one trained in the work.
So Oswald lied. To me that means he knew exactly how to deal with security forces.
I’m afraid Fonzi’s opinion doesn’t count for very much.
I really was asking for hard evidence.
From Anthony Summers (The Kennedy Conspiracy):
“Congress’ Assassinations Committee had problems with the CIA evidence on Mexico City, and specifically with the testimony of David Phillips, who was in charge of Cuban operations in Mexico at the time Oswald’s name was used at the Cuban embassy. Richard Sprague, the Committee’s first chief counsel, said in 1980, “I did not feel we were being told the absolute truth on Mexico City by the CIA. Specifically, I felt that the narration on Mexico City by David Phillips, given under oath, would not bear thorough examination. It was contrary to that given by other sources, and to other facts.” The second chief counsel of the Committee, Professor Robert Blakey, observes that “Phillips testified about a variety of subjects, and the Committee was less than satisfied with his candor.”
I believe they both stated, diplomatically, that Phillips lied under oath.
Apparently Fonzi’s opinion doesn’t matter because the great John McAdams says so.
G Robert Blakey certainly agrees with Fonzi on the issue of CIA obstruction of the HSCA investigation.
I have read the McAdams site for criticism of Fonzi’s work, I believe there were two phoned in criticisms of a susbstantial book by a trained professional who had served on two Congressional investigations.
And that’s the LN strategy, phone in a couple of criticisms, avoid hundreds of pages.
You guys could do this forever, and most of your writing would still be irrelevant.
I don’t appreciate factoids either, I would rather see them shut down by a professional that intends to respond to the strongest evidence and argument as well.
In other words, not McAdams or Bugliosi – or the rather obsessed internet posters.
Jonathan, R.E. your post on 1/15 at 5:30 P.M.. Thank you for your service sir, and faith in the USA in protecting us all. Just as important, if not more, thank you for your post. The lies speak volumes about the truth.
John Mc Adams, if no one else will I’ll call you on the importance of Gaeton Fonzi’s opinion. He was one of the very few actual investigators in this case. He found knowledge no one else has. He was prevented from further investigating it, by the CIA. FREETHEFILES.
Agreed. Reading the work of the many dedicated researchers and authors who have mined bits of fact and truth from the obfuscation and disinformation sometimes makes me say excellent or brilliant or even just wow to myself. I’ve never read Thompson, Meagher(sp?) or Weisberg but would like to have time to and their books. Staring with Seth Kantor, then Davis and Scheim (yes I followed the mafia did it at the time, their is some relevant information important to the big picture there). Lifton was intriguing. Groden and Livingstone. Marrs Crossfire was a Revelation to me. The last 10-15 years have been very enlightening. Russell, Lane, Douglass, McKnight, Newman, Garrison, Prouty, DiEugenio, Pease, and yes, Morley among others have all made me think wow and more. I thank them all. The post’s of Paul and the man he calls Professor make me think of an old adage. If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance baffle them with B.S.
I don’t need B.S.
I have facts- even if you don’t like them.
Please post one example of a falsehood posted by me that can be proven false.
“There have been four extensive investigations” That is not a fact.
The WC had no investigative powers. They relied on the FBI and CIA who’s investigations were at best Very incomplete, or worse, quite sinister. The classic example of the fox investigating the hen house.
The fourth, the HSCA concluded Conspiracy, shot from the Grassy Knoll.
The other two were fluff.
on acoustic evidence no real expert supports. HCSA also concluded ALL shots that hit JFK were fired by Lee Oswald. Right.?
My mistake. The Church Committee was not fluff. The related Rockefeller Commission and the Clark pane were, just from what I’ve read.
Point was “extensive investigations”. None. CIA investigated itself. In all four cases. Why don’t we just FREETHEFILES and see what they say,
Ask and you shall receive:
“November 18, 2013 at 9:04 pm
“Jeff, get your facts straight. Dr. Curtis is not a physician. Your headline is misleading and is obviously an attempt to give more credence to a witness not based on his expertise, but on his perception of events. He couldn’t even get an IV in the President.”
Here is a link that will take you to the comment thread from which that Photon statement comes:
Some background: On November 18 of last year, Jeff posted a link to a story about a Dr. Don Curtis, an oral surgeon who was a resident at Parkland Hospital the day President Kennedy was murdered. He ended up in the emergency room to which JFK was taken and participated in the efforts to save his life. Please note especially Photon’s disparaging comments about this man’s expertise (starting with “He was a dentist”) and decide for yourself whether he’s a liar. Certainly the most favorable explanation would have to be that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Whatever the truth, it’s an all-too-typical Photon performance.
Don T. Curtis, D.D.S. Do you have any idea what the degree is ?
Do you have any idea what profession Oral Surgery is a specialty of?
He was by definition and state licensure a DENTIST whether you like it or not- certainly an impressive title and obviously an intelligent man, but NOT a medical doctor or physician. Actually I do know about the subject, having known several Oral Surgeons and receiving treatment from them. I frankly don’t understand what you are trying to claim- that Oral Surgeons are physicians? That the specialty is a branch of surgery like Orthopedics or Gynecology? That Dentristry doesn’t have post graduate training programs? You don’t seem to know much about this subject, nor much about medical care in the U.S.-as your Osteopath comments imply. In the 1990s the Surgeon General of the U.S. Army was an Osteopath.
Fearfaxer, I guess that you have won. Jeff will not even let me post a response; probably even this will be censored.
So this is how the conspiracy crowd deals with contradictory facts- ignore, obfuscate and in the end refuse even to allow them to be posted- perish the thought that someone might actually come to the reality of truth- even a Geraldo can be brought to the realization that logic trumps fantasy.
So that Photon of light in the darkness of ignorance, superstition and even paranoia has been extinguished . And no, I am not Paul May.
Photon, for what it’s worth, several of my responses to you have been held up, so we are at least afforded equal opportunity – or not.
You’ve repeatedly stated things like “there’s not a shred of evidence for ….” when there were in fact many such shreds. When I have pointed out examples of such shreds, you then changed the subject to why the evidence was wrong, conceding the point that there was evidence.
Photon, you keep saying you provide facts and evidence.
I don’t think those words mean what you think you mean.
How exactly do you define evidence? Even if you discuss things that would be evidence in court or another context (and truthfully 99% of your posts are meaningless opinion and assertions) blog posts are not a medium for evidence.
If you did pose contrary data that could be challenged, that would be useful and interesting. But you just attack people and change the subject, whatever it is.
How could I have omitted Geaeton Fonzi’s The Last Investigation?
Greenwald is incredible!
However, Sunstein and Vermeule categorize conspiracy theories. The categories seem helpful. There are true and false conspiracy theories and there are harmful and harmless ones. The paper states: “Our focus throughout is on false conspiracy theories – not true ones. … as a general rule true accounts should not be undermined.”
I agree that there are conspiracy theories that are true or false. One problem here is how and who tells the difference? Take for example the JFK conspiracy theory, the one that states the CIA was responsible for organizing the assassination. Into what category I wonder would Sunstein and Vermeule place it,
Yeah, that’s why the CIA and FBI completely ignored Lane and Garrison and let them hang themselves, playing no role in their discrediting of conspiracy theorizing. They knew their toothless allegations would go nowhere.
(BTW, John, all kidding aside, I respect your site and the work you do. I always go to your site to check conspiracy claims and make my own decision.)
We know how the CIA dealt with Garrison. We have the documents. They were very late trying to get a response together, and when they finally got a team working on it, they decided they had no good options.
Lane is a different matter. You need to explain what you mean about that.
Lane *mostly* discredited himself by his shoddy work. Arthur Schlesinger pointed that out in the 60s, and Neal Sheehan pointed out how shoddy his treatment of the “Winter Soldier” stuff was.
Then Lane got involved with the HSCA. They rebuked him in the following terms:
Many of the allegations of conspiracy the committee investigated were first raised by Mark Lane, the attorney who represented James Earl Ray at the committee’s public hearings. As has been noted, the facts were often at variance with Lane’s assertions. . . . In many instances, the committee found that Lane was willing to advocate conspiracy theories publicly without having checked the factual basis for them. In other instances, Lane proclaimed conspiracy based on little more than inference and innuendo. Lane’s conduct resulted in public misperception about the assassination of Dr. King and must be condemned. (House Select Committee Report, Page 424, footnote 16)
And thanks for the nice comments on my site.
Why would the CIA interfere with Garrison’s investigations if they were so confident of Oswald’s guilt? Why was Oswald never charged by the American authorities with treasonous actions? Why did George Johannides never reveal his role to the House Assassinations Committee? Why did CIA agents describe Oswald as “maturing?” Why were files by American intelligence destroyed if they were so confident about the lone gunman theory? Why did David Phillips walk out of the room when he was being questioned by the HSCA? Why did Jane Roman say in an interview with Jeff Morley that the CIA were taking a very lively interest in Oswald before the assassination, one that went to the highest levels of that agency, and on a need to know basis? Why is there no photographs of Oswald at the Cuban and Soviet embassies in Mexico City? Why was he impersonated there, given that the Warren Report said he was an insignificant person? Why did New Orleans police think Oswald’s clash with the anti-Castro’s was staged?
You are just throwing out a bunch of conspiracy talking points.
Just to take one: you failed to read the page at the link I posted. The CIA did not interfere with Garrison’s investigation.
Read the documents.
The Garrisonites claim that everybody who opposed Garrison was some sort of CIA stooge. But that’s nonsense. We know what the actual, real CIA was doing, and they were basically spinning their wheels.
” We know what the actual, real CIA was doing, and they were basically spinning their wheels.”
Was the real CIA spinning their wheels, as in looking for UFOs or spinning their wheels and employing propaganda assets to spew/spin their Warren Report:
“In 1997 the CIA came forward to admit its historical interest in UFOs.”
“According to a 1997 New York Times article, the CIA conducted a covert propaganda campaign to squelch criticism of the Warren Report. The CIA urged its field stations to use their “propaganda assets” to attack those who didn’t agree with the Warren Report. In a dispatch from CIA headquarters, the Agency instructed its stations around the world to:
1.counteract the “new wave of books and articles criticizing the [Warren] Commission’s findings…[and] conspiracy theories …[that] have frequently thrown suspicion on our organization”;
2. “discuss the publicity problem with liaison and friendly elite contacts, especially politicians and editors;” and
3.”employ propaganda assets to answer and refute the attacks of the critics. … Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose. … The aim of this dispatch is to provide material for countering and discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorists…”
We were talking about the Garrison investigation.
Of course the CIA was trying to counter communist propaganda abroad. You do know that the KGB was pushing conspiracy theories, right?
The issue is whether the CIA did anything to impede the Garrison “investigation,” or had any domestic “operation” against him.
If you refuse to read the documents, and just keep spouting conspiracy factoids, I can’t help you.
So read the documents.
“The issue is whether the CIA did anything to impede Garrison .. or had any operation” against him.”
Read NBC, the CIA and Jim Garrison:
“There is evidence that Walter Sheridan (who worked with the NSA and CIA) provided intelligence on the Garrison investigation to the CIA… On May 1, 1967,Herbert Miller who had worked closely with Sheridan, began offering intelligence on the Garrison investigation to the CIA”
“With this background in the intelligence communities Sheridan was now apparently qualified to work for NBC as a reporter, despite having no previous journalism experience…In a 1967 memo the CIA outlined several mass media approaches to counter Garrison’s charges. One of their recommendations was to make sure that CIA Director Helms assure that various media outlets “receive a coherent picture of Garrison’s ‘facts’ and motives.”
After the program aired, Garrison petitioned the FCC who agreed that the program was biased
Sheridan was also charged with four counts of public bribery and Richard Townley was charged with attempted bribery and intimidation of witnesses.
“Of course the CIA was trying to counter communist propaganda abroad. ”
Communists in 1997? We had moved on from the Indians and communists to muslims by then …Of course I wasn’t refering to CIA propaganda abroad. I referred to CIA_activities_in_the_United_States#1997
“You do know that the KGB was pushing conspiracy theories, right?”
Is this a conspiracy factoid or hard evidence?
Do you even know anything about Sheridan, other than what Garrisonites tell you?
Sheridan was a Kennedy family loyalist:
You really need to examine your logic. You are starting with the assumption that Garrison was a noble truth seeker. Thus anybody who opposed or turned against Garrison was scum, and if they had any connection with any intelligence agency, must have been working for that agency.
But you still haven’t read the CIA documents on their response to the Garrison “investigation,” have you?
John McAdams and factoids:
“McAdams borrowed the propagandistic pejorative “factoid” from a panel discussion in Washington D. C. after the film JFK came out. The late Fletcher Prouty was on that panel. When Prouty tried to bring in matters that did not directly tie into the Commission’s case against Oswald, the moderator said that these were “factoids”. Therefore, under this rubric, things like Kennedy’s intent to withdraw from Vietnam, his issuance of NSAM’s 55, 56 and 57 to limit the role of the CIA, and his editing of the McNamara-Taylor report in the fall of 1963 would be “factoids”, even though they are all facts.
Well, McAdams borrowed this deceptive term and he now applies it to everything that counters the case of the Warren Commission. For instance, in his debate with this author–a matter we will return to later–he labeled many of the evidentiary problems with the SIngle Bullet Theory as “factoids”. This would include the finding of the Magic Bullet on the wrong stretcher; the alleged exit wound for the Magic Bullet being smaller than the entrance wound; the fact that Kennedy’s cervical vertebrae are not cracked or broken, yet they would have to be if the Warren Commission trajectory for the Magic Bullet is correct; the fact that the probes inserted into Kennedy’s body that night at Bethesda did not match the proper trajectory either: the back wound was much too low to connect with the front wound, and almost every witness said the malleable probe could not find an exit; and the fact that Secret Service agent Elmer More was sent to Dallas to talk Malcolm Perry out of his story about the throat wound being an entrance wound. These are termed “factoids” by the professor, even thought they are all facts. He does this for the simple reason that he doesn’t like them because they are facts. And they torpedo the Commission’s case.”
“Sheridan was a Kennedy family loyalist…After the Garrison investigation broke, Bobby sent Sheridan down to New Orleans to find out whether Garrison had any actual evidence that a conspiracy killed his brother.”
You need to examine your logic. You are starting with the assumption that the Kennedys weren’t too trusting…
“But you still haven’t read the CIA documents have you?…So read the documents.”
Troll? Jim DiEugenio writed that your site is a wasteland of disinformation:
“John McAdams is the equivalent of a cheap magic act. He creates illusions for those who do not know where to look to see the trickery. And he then has the chutzpah to frame the argument as his critics being wrong. This is not what college professors are supposed to be about. Its not intellectual freedom. It is intellectual censorship and deception on a grand scale.”
“(In Part 2 we will examine McAdams’ relationship with Wikipedia, his ground rules for debates, his rightwing politics and activism, his upcoming PBS special, and his recruitment help for the CIA.)”
“But alas, if one looks at the sources for John McAdams’ site, one can fairly say that this insularity and circularity-let us call it buffery– is true of McAdams. A man he uses as both a source and an outlet is rabid Warren Commission defender Max Holland. Another source he uses is Dave Reitzes. Another author he employs is a man named Eric Paddon. These contributors all have one thing in common: they all share McAdams’ agenda. In other words, they are his kind of “buffs”. Paddon is there since he is a history professor who is anti-Kennedy. And therefore McAdams can use him to argue against the idea Oliver Stone used in his film, namely, that Kennedy was going to withdraw from Vietnam in his second term. In his very brief essay on the subject, he does something common on the site. He uses several misrepresentations. For instance, he writes that Kennedy increased the “troop number” in Vietnam. This is a distortion of the record. Since there were no American troops in Vietnam when Kennedy took office, and there were none when he was murdered. Kennedy increased the number of advisors, and as Thurston Clarke shows in his new book on President Kennedy, JFK’s Last Hundred Days, he was sure they remained only advisors.”
“The problem with McAdams and Paddon’s ideas on this particular concept, Kennedy’s intent to withdraw from Vietnam, is that the newly declassified record proves them thunderously wrong. The ARRB declassified very compelling documents about Kennedy and Vietnam in December of 1997. (Probe, Vol. 5 No. 3, p. 18) Among them were the records of the May 1963 Sec/Def meeting in Hawaii. These prove that Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara was implementing Kennedy’s orders for a withdrawal. As he had an in-country team from Saigon there to check on the withdrawal’s progress. These documents were so forceful that even the New York Times and Philadelphia Inquirer had to run stories about Kennedy’s plan to withdraw from Vietnam. These declassified records, which you will not find on McAdams’ site, enabled a series of authors to write fascinating books backing up Stone’s thesis, e.g. Gordon Goldstein’s Lessons in Disaster and James Blight’s Virtual JFK. Quite naturally, Paddon’s essay makes no reference to either these documents or these two books. If you can believe it, and you probably can, there is no specific reference in his essay to NSAM 263, Kennedy’s direct orders to withdraw a thousand advisors by Christmas 1963 and the rest by 1965. Incredibly, Paddon ends his essay on this subject with a quote from Thomas Reeves’ book A Question of Character. That book is one of the worst hatchet jobs on President Kennedy in recent times. To use someone like this shows that this site is not about the factual record. It is about smearing the factual record.”
Not only did Phillips “walk out of room,” he was caught in perjury as well as contempt of Congress.
But did anything happen to him as it would to you or I? Not a thing. And that incident led to a top homicide prosecutor like Tannenbaum to abandon the HSCA.
BTW, the line of questioning Tannenbaum was pursuing was from a little of piece of evidence Mark Lane wordlessly gave him in their first meeting. Something about tapes being erased in Mexico City but Hoover saying his agents heard them the day after interviewing Oswald.
Just with that single incident, I can’t see how anyone can claim this case was ever honestly investigated. What a massive disservice to our country.
You are going to need a cite for his “perjury as well as contempt of Congress.”
As for the “tapes in Dallas with a voice not Oswald’s” the HSCA debunked that.
It’s the battle of the links, John:
And Robert Tannenbaum, the NYC homicide prosecutor enlisted by the HSCA, said Phillips should’ve been charged with perjury and contempt of Congress when he walked out of his testimony after being confronted with evidence he was lying about the Oswald tapes.
The problem, bogman, is that Jeff is dealing with the question of whether any tapes in Mexico City survived, and my link deals with the question of whether any tapes were flown to Dallas from Mexico City on the night of the assassination.
Can you understand the difference?
“As for the ‘tapes in Dallas with a voice not Oswalds’ the HSCA debunked that.”
“If you refuse to read the documents, and just keep spouting conspiracy factoids, I can’t help you.”
Have you actually read Mr. Morley’s book? He furthers the argument that the tapes from Mexico City were heard by Warren Commissioners and Win Scott retained a copy.
This is not a factoid, there are interviews taken by trained professionals like Mr. Morley and Anthony Summers, as well as the transcript of the Hoover-Johnson conversation, the FBI memo, etc. Not to mention the absurdities of the content and context of the phone call itself.
The CIA may have just been on a fishing expedition, as David Kaiser has written.
The point is, we deserve to know. And, this conclusion is not based on “Factoids”.
So “the committee” did not charge Phillips with anything.
A crackpot staffer did.
Do you understand the difference?
Thanks for revealing your complete disingenuousness in this case, John.
Tanenbaum was second in command of the HSCA investigation as deputy counsel and was a top NYC homicide prosecutor with experience in Mob and other criminal conspiracies.
To call him a “crackpot staffer” is all I need to know about your approach to this case.
I saw some mention of Lane’s harassment by the FBI and CIA in his latest book, “The Last Word,” which was supported in the introduction by Robert Tannenbaum, the homicide prosecutor of HSCA fame.
Then I found that Lane actually wrote a book his harassment: A Citizen’s Dissent: The Alarming Account of the Vast Efforts of Our Government and the Establishment Media to suppress Mark Lane’s Investigation into the assassination of John F. Kennedy
So I guess the intel agencies had a little trouble with Mark’s quixotic campaign. They must have thought those windmills might be dragons, too.
As long as you and Paul are derailing the thread… I guess you don’t believe Antonio Veciana’s recent written statement to Mrs. Fonzi that Maurice Bishop was David Phillips?
Professor, you left out having most of the “experts” having no documented background of expertise in the fields they claim to be experts in.
They have the twists and turns of history on their side. It is often hard to deal with the uncertainties of historical variability ; imagine having to deal with that and then throw a layer of paranoia over that variability with twice the uncertainty. You don’t even have the tempering effects of logic for some of these theories.
Photon, eventually it will be incumbent upon you to define your own credentials that qualify you to sit in judgment of others who own credentials (not to suggest that they can sometimes be bought). Until then, I wish that moderators of this site would restrict your arguments to fact-based rather than attacks on serious researchers whom you disqualify because they do not meet your credentials standard. Trust me, where your standard rests, there are far greater expectations. I think I can speak in somewhat of a collective voice that we are here at jfkfacts, as citizens of the United States, to advocate for resolution of the Kennedy case; I think you should be admonished to declare your unique intentions.
Please post one example of me posting something that is not a fact.
” . . . restrict your arguments to fact-based rather than attacks on serious researchers whom you disqualify because they do not meet your credentials standard.”
My comment did not suggest you do not present facts; I asked that your attacks on individuals be curtailed, and that you stick to facts. But now that you mention it, I also wish that your facts were presented in context because many of them when placed in context have been refuted.
Such as? Many of my posts have been censored already. Some of those posts contained factual material that impeached the statements of individuals trying to counter my position; including yourself. I guess it comes with the territory.
I am sorry that I came to this blog with a heretical viewpoint.
But I am an educated skeptic and value truth over speculation- truth defined by facts. That truth includes verification from sources outside the echo chamber of conspiracy “research”. Look at the roster of “experts” at the Dusquesne conference. Aside from Dr. Wecht are ANY of them really experts in the fields that they commented on? Why is it that at virtually every conspiracy conference the presenters often know nothing about the real forensic and medical evidence of the case? Why is Dr. Wecht virtually the only forensic pathologist in this country who disagrees with the Warren conclusions?
Photon, Your comments might be viewed as heretical on this site, but I venture to guess they are hardly considered as heretical in the greater community; on the contrary, I think you tow the line quite well. It so happens that at jfkfacts you have chosen to engage in territory that in general does not support your hypothesis, that Oswald was the lone assailant of John Kennedy.
Again, it is not the facts you present that concern me, it is the lack of context in which they are presented. Recently I asked if you would comment on the Texas Theatre website that proclaims that JD Tippit was an off duty security guard at the theatre. You have yet to respond. I don’t know if the site is using Tippit (sadly if so) as a marketing tool, and/or if the owners have substantive proof that Tippit was on their payroll. If the latter is true, then that is context that begs to be considered when studying how Oswald left his boarding house, allegedly shot Tippit, and fled to the Texas Theater. One is compelled to wonder why Tippit was in the area, did Oswald recognize him from previous excursions to the theater, was Oswald on his way to the theater based on a pattern that might have involved Tippit?
I reject your hierarchical worldview and refuse to be drawn into your credential rant. Credentials are relative, we all know that.
I’ll take a shot, Photon.
“Professor, you left out having most of the “experts” having no documented background of expertise in the fields they claim to be experts in.
They have the twists and turns of history on their side. It is often hard to deal with the uncertainties of historical variability; imagine having to deal with that and then throw a layer of paranoia over that variability with twice the uncertainty. You don’t even have the tempering effects of logic for some of these theories.”
Lots of assertions; nothing concrete.
Another example. You write:
“And if he worked for the CIA, or the Mafia, or Cuban intelligence, or the military-industrial complex or Curtis LeMay he would not have been given a rifle such as the Carcano. But if he was a poor, misguided and virtually unemployable misfit who couldn’t afford anything else it was a perfect weapon.
The dented shell happened after it was ejected, not prior to shooting.”
Again assertions and no more.
You’re good at assertions Photon.
… but Sunstein might as well dismiss ‘conspiracy theory’ out of hand for all the attention he pays to it. Re-reading through the abstract to the paper:
“Many millions of people hold conspiracy theories. They believe that powerful people have worked together in order to withhold the truth about about some important practice or terrible event.
…. Those who subscribe to conspiracy theories may create serious risks, including risks of violence, and the existence of such theories raises significant challenges for policy and law.
… the first challenge is too understand how conspiracy theories are nourished. The second is to understand how conspiracy theories can be undermined.”
It’s a question of trust isn’t it? I am just not able to trust these words. These words do not gain my trust. Why? For one, they seem themselves to be a justification for what they ostensibly propose to undermine as not justifiable. In other words the abstract of this paper appears to propose a game of nested Russian Dolls as a strategy in order to undermine conspiracy theories. Whereas recognition that truth exists does not seem to appear as an answer in which to challenge conspiracy theories because conspiracy theorists are ‘epistemologically crippled’ therefore they must be conspiratorially undermined … and all in the service of maintaining policy and law?
In the spirit of James W. Douglass and JFK one attempts the effort to look for a truth in the thought of one’s “enemies.” Sunstein and Vermeule make this very difficult.
Cass Sunstein is an arrogant technocrat, like a large number of people in Washington these days, but he’s not really any good at crafting an anti-conspiracy strategy.
A really effective strategy would involve a lot of pro-conspiracy disinformation. Flood the field with bogus witnesses: you know, the Jean Hills, the Roger Craigs, the Richard Case Nagells, and so on.
Arrange for books to be written by people like Mark Lane — books that will wow the neophytes, but can easily seen to be biased and dishonest when serious people analyze them.
Arrange for wacky theories like Zapruder film alteration to be propounded. Even get some crazies to claim it was Oswald, and not Lovelady in the Altgens photo.
Arrange for maybe 12 or 15 people to “confess” to involvement in the assassination, and have each of them implicate different people and groups, knowing that some buffs will accept each of them.
Arrange for the most famous conspiracy advocate to be a dishonest and reckless District Attorney who will ruin the life of an innocent man. Make the fellow so bad that even most conspiracy researchers would decide that he was a fraud. But of course, a sizable contingent of the pro-conspiracy crowd will make a hero of him.
Flood the field with bogus claims that sound science will reject (SBT is impossible, autopsy photos are faked) knowing that a lot of people will be convinced, but that opinion leaders will eventually find out about the sound science and deride the conspiracists.
Yes, that’s the best strategy.
Of course, nobody in government is smart enough to do such things. But the private sector has.
And it hasn’t cost taxpayers one damn cent!
As a tax-paying American citizen with ancestors going back to the American cause in the Revolution, up through the Civil War (for the Union) and WW2, I’d like to see MY COUNTRY open up the 50-year old CIA files which WE PAID FOR related to Oswald, Joannides, and other JFK-assassination era data. Call me naive if you must, but I thought when my ancestors helped establish this country it was supposed to be free and democratic, of the people and for the people. Where do the CIA government bureaucrats get off squirrel stashing ancient files that belong to the taxpayers?
That’s what pisses this American off, John.
Though I don’t agree with many of your characterizations above, I agree that the out there conspiracy theories allow people like you to paint all people who believe there was a conspiracy as crazy people. This is an unfortunate by-product of the government abandoning the field and not investigating the case properly. It is difficult for a layperson to separate the wheat from the chaff in the literature without a major effort. Many in the community suspect that this is at least partially on by design. I suspect this as well, but certainly can’t prove it.
In my view, the best purpose of this site is to clarify what the solid case is for conspiracy. It has been somewhat successful at this, but could use a bit more focus.
There is a strong case to be made that there was a conspiracy and that the CIA was involved in some way. At a minimum, the CIA (and other US intel agencies) has(have) major explaining to do, as they clearly were affiliated with or at least were very closely monitoring Oswald for years. Major advances are being made in this area right now by people like Bill Simpich. I suspect that further document releases will help make the case stronger. A major need area is a Spanish speaking investigator to look into the Mexico connection and whether the DFS still has relevant files.
Jason, please give exactly one documented piece of evidence( not innuendo , not “witnesses”, not residence records, not unconfirmed “associations”) that proves that the CIA had any knowledge of LH Oswald beyond what would be expected for a returned defector.
You can’t- because there isn’t any. Isn’t that the whole purpose of Jeff’ s legal actions- trying to find support for unproven associations suspected but never documented?
Oswald was the antithesis of a valid CIA asset. He had no money. His job history was atrocious and he was on the edge of poverty. As such he would be a complete security risk, able to be bought for $20. It was one thing to have a poor agent working in a shipyard on the Black Sea, something entirely different with a warehouse employee with no skills.
Photon, this is a recognizable pattern in your arguments. You fail to address the numerous job interviews that Oswald had in the months leading to employment at the TSBD. If you study those interviews, and if you know anything about Dallas in the early ’60’s, you will recognize yet another pattern of fraternity. This young man was being passed around.
Exactly how many ” numerous ” job interviews did Oswald have? Considering that he was fired from jobs at least twice in 1963 having interviews for employment couldn’t have been suspicious to most people. Passed around? He took what ever job he could find- then like everything else in his life he would lose interest, feel unappreciated and quit- or get fired. It happened in school. It happened in the CAP. It happened in the Marine Corps. It happened in the Soviet Union. It happened at 2 jobs in 1963. It happened in his marriage.
What is your point?
The obvious, and most controversial is of course the one arranged by deMohrenschildt with Sam Ballen of NY headquartered Wertheimer investment group, and soon to be owner of the La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe, NM. deMohrenschildt most surely knew Oswald’s strengths and weaknesses as an employee, and yet he recommended that his friend Ballen consider Oswald to do what? in that investment firm? Mr. Ballen would be in Santa Fe the following year when Priscilla McMillan drove Marina there where they spent time with her family, the Davenports, also friends of Ballen. So in that dynamic alone, we have what appear to be a number of handlers functioning in the Oswald sphere, not just one or two. I won’t belabor the point about Ballen except to say that his closest friend was connected to the agency that handled the national travel for both the American Society of Petroleum Engineers, and Geologists, and that agency included the mother of Garry Weber, a founding member of the Sixth Floor Museum. It was a tight community in those years.
(In the event this response to Photon was overlooked, I am re-posting it):
Photon, The obvious, and most controversial is of course the one arranged by deMohrenschildt with Sam Ballen of NY headquartered Wertheimer investment group, and soon to be owner of the La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe, NM. deMohrenschildt most surely knew Oswald’s strengths and weaknesses as an employee, and yet he recommended that his friend Ballen consider Oswald to do what? in that investment firm? Mr. Ballen would be in Santa Fe the following year when Priscilla McMillan drove Marina there where they spent time with her family, the Davenports, also friends of Ballen. So in that dynamic alone, we have what appear to be a number of handlers functioning in the Oswald sphere, not just one or two. I won’t belabor the point about Ballen except to say that his closest friend was connected to the agency that handled the national travel for both the American Society of Petroleum Engineers, and Geologists, and that agency included the mother of Garry Weber, a founding member of the Sixth Floor Museum. It was a tight community in those years.
A job in the photographic- reproduction department of Electrical Log Services- that is right out of Ballen’s Warren testimony. Not a stretch as he had experience doing the same type of work. No mention of work as an investment associate anywhere. But Ballen’s didn’t even hire him for that menial job- he was too “hard-headed”. So exactly what is your point? You seem to have an obsession with possible associations of nearly every individual you mention. Heck, I know a dentist who treated Marina Oswald in Dallas- you should be able to figure out where (probably the result of a conspiracy, not coincidence ). Does that mean I am part of a conspiracy? Or that I have a large association of acquaintances ?
I know 2 people who were friends of Maria Shriver, but I have had no contact with her nor know anything about her outside of the media. But you would seem to think that I should. Why?
Feeding the troll, I know, but I have a question for you, Photon.
Tell me one instance of a lone, disturbed perp committing a senseless, random act of violence who has previously recorded print, radio and TV interviews that are distributed to media within hours of his arrest, all courtesy of a group FORMED, SPONSORED and DIRECTED by the CIA.
Oh, and those interviews just happen to brand the “lone nut” in a way that serves the fervent and long-held desire of the CIA and its minions for the U.S. to invade Castro’s Cuba.
Explain to me in some believable scenario how that is just pure coincidence and doesn’t demonstrate foreknowledge of the assassination.
Then we can talk how there is nothing but circumstantial evidence on both sides with the exception that the lone nutter’s evidence comes from a govt covering up any possible conspiratorial leads as fast as it can and attempting to, in its owns words, convince the public that there was one assassin.
It’s like having OJ also serving as the DA, i.e. the suspect gets to determine what the jury (the public in this case) does and doesn’t see. No wonder confusion reigns to this day.
WDSU was formed,sponsored and directed by the CIA? Because that station was responsible for putting out the Oswald -Fair Play for Cuba story. You do know that, right?
The reporter assigned to the story thought Oswald was a “nut” and said so- so how could anybody seriously think that the reports would help the CIA invade Cuba? Those reports were made public- and I don’t see any evidence of any planes to invade Cuba after Oct. 1962.
“Tell me one instance of a lone, disturbed perp committing a senseless, random act of violence who has previously recorded print, radio and TV interviews that are distributed to media within hours of his arrest, all courtesy of a group FORMED, SPONSORED and DIRECTED by the CIA.”
That’s not really a sensible question. I think the question you should be asking is: How do you explain Oswald’s contact and interactions with the DRE? That’s a good question.
“Oh, and those interviews just happen to brand the “lone nut” in a way that serves the fervent and long-held desire of the CIA and its minions for the U.S. to invade Castro’s Cuba.”
When you say “just happen” are you suggesting the CIA orchestrated those interviews? In which case why do the interviews on WDSU keep referring back to the FPCC? Anyone reading the interview transcripts could be forgiven for thinking the primary target, assuming malevolent intent on the part of the interviewers, is really the FPCC.
“Explain to me in some believable scenario how that is just pure coincidence and doesn’t demonstrate foreknowledge of the assassination.”
Are those the only two possibilities: coincidence or conspiracy? Either everything is just random chance or it’s an incredibly detailed inter-connected pre-planned conspiracy? That’s it, nothing else? That’s not a realistic position because what you’re saying is that either you’re correct, despite there not being any evidence of foreknowledge, or that this is all some kind of curious quirk of probability? Might there not be alternative explanations for parts of this story? Is it by necessity all inter-connected? Maybe, maybe not.
“It’s like having OJ also serving as the DA, i.e. the suspect gets to determine what the jury (the public in this case) does and doesn’t see. No wonder confusion reigns to this day.”
It’s not like that all, and this comparison doesn’t work, because it’s you who’s decided the CIA is the “suspect” in the assassination and unfortunately there’s not actually any evidence at this point in time to support that claim.
This is a very interesting and debatable question, I just think there’s a better way to approach it.
D. Olmens: “Are those the only two possibilities: coincidence or conspiracy? Either everything is just random chance or it’s an incredibly detailed inter-connected pre-planned conspiracy? That’s it, nothing else? That’s not a realistic position because what you’re saying is that either you’re correct, despite there not being any evidence of foreknowledge, or that this is all some kind of curious quirk of probability? Might there not be alternative explanations for parts of this story? Is it by necessity all inter-connected? Maybe, maybe not.”
I would be very interested in your expanding this thought. How do you discern the difference between random chance and incredibly detailed inter-connections?
“WDSU was formed,sponsored and directed by the CIA? Because that station was responsible for putting out the Oswald -Fair Play for Cuba story. You do know that, right?”
Uh, Photon, you do know Carlos Bringuier, head of propaganda for DRE/CIA in New Orleans, arranged the first debate on WDSU, right?
And here’s what William Stuckey, the radio host, had to say about Oswald in the Warren Report:
“Mr. Oswald handled himself very well.” Stuckey thought Oswald “appeared to be a very logical, intelligent fellow,” and “was arrested by his cleancutness.” He did not think Oswald looked like the “type” that he would have expected to find associating with a group such as the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. Stuckey thought that Oswald acted very much as would a young attorney.
Did Bringuier distribute those materials within hours of the assassination?
The DRE did immediately alert the national media to Oswald’s encounters with them in New Orleans and the subsequent broadcast and print interviews. And it’s my understanding that Ed Butler, the head of INCA and a CIA propaganda asset if there ever was one, also approached WDSU to get the radio and TV interviews of Oswald to national broadcast media ASAP.
In fact, Butler went straight to DC following the assassination and played the radio interview for Rep. Hale Boggs. Here’s what transpired according to Boggs:
“Just a few hours after President Kennedy’s death, I sat with Ed Butler in my office in the Capitol and listened to this recording. What I heard was one of
the things which prompted me to suggest and support the formation of a bipartisan
Presidential Commission to investigate the assassination. I later served on that
Commission. I believe this recording is a most significant historical document.”
It should be noted, too, that the DRE sent out a press release to national media soon after its dealings with Oswald that summer in New Orleans calling for a congressional investigation of this character.
With two national security agencies so closely involved (i.e. CIA and FBI) in the activities that summer, you think one might’ve noticed?
John McAdams —
Robert Tanenbaum, Deputy Chief Counsel of HSCA, has told this story in numerous publications so I’m surprised you’re not aware of it. He repeats it in his foreward to Mark Lane’s “The Last Word”:
“I had Phillips subpoenaed to appear before our committee in executive session. I asked him under oath where we could locate the tape of the so-called Oswald conversation of October 1, 1963, while inside the Russian embassy in Mexico City. Phillips stated that it was CIA policy at the time to recycle the tapes every six or seven days and it was no longer in existence after the first week in October 1963. I then handed him the Hoover memo which, according to the FBI director, clearly revealed that the tape was evidently available in Dallas on November 22 and 23, 1963. Phillips read the memo, then folded it, placed it in his jacket pocket, arose, and walked out of the meeting.”
“I immediately urged the committee to recall Phillips and advise him to obtain legal counsel so that he be given an opportunity to purge potential criminal charges of contempt and perjury. Also, there were many more questions that he needed to answer. I further advised the committee of the urgency of the matter and gave them legal options. They chose to do nothing.”
I know your position on the Oswald tapes but by his dramatic reaction to the memo, Phillips apparently didn’t share it.
Tanenbaum soon resigned the HSCA in disgust. Chief Counsel Richard Sprague, also a top prosecutor, also resigned the committee because of “CIA obstruction” of the investigation.
If you’d like to hear the story from Mr. Tanenbaum himself, go here: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/Tanen
“Jason, please give exactly one documented piece of evidence( not innuendo , not “witnesses”, not residence records, not unconfirmed “associations”) that proves that the CIA had any knowledge of LH Oswald beyond what would be expected for a returned defector.
You can’t- because there isn’t any”
You cannot possibly know what is in files you have not looked through. If the CIA were an open book, and they certainly weren’t to the HSCA, you could make that claim. Instead, as Robert Blakely has stated, they chose to obstruct his investigation.
And, yes, David Atlee Phillips was accused of perjury by that same committee. We think it is time to know why. There are no believable National Security issues at play. Unless you’re still worried that the public may find the addresses of some sweet 1960’s CIA safe houses, etc.
You’re trying too hard and going too far.
The CIA still officially denies that they even debriefed Oswald when he returned from the USSR. This was never believable, and the record we have now would indicate it was a lie.
Robert Tannenbaum claims that he saw a film that showed Oswald, Ferrie, Phillips, etc. all together at the LA training camp prior to the assassination. I don’t think he’s a liar, in fact, he’s one of the most credible conspiracy people out there.
There are a vast array of clues like this that arouse major suspicion. I doubt you’ll find a smoking gun in the files, but it seems at least possible that evidence of some kind of intelligence operation that was using Oswald might be found.
I’d like a cite on that. And *not* a cite to somebody like Fonzi. If “the Committee” accused him of perjury, that’s not the same as some staffers accusing him of perjury.
Some of the staffers were complete crackpots.
If I’d been Oswald, I would have carried more than four (or three, depending on what one believe) bullets to the TSBD. I wouldn’t have bothered to operate the bolt and load the last round after my final shot; but that’s just me.
Also I would have taken my shots the easiest way, not a difficult way. I wouldn’t have wanted to scrunch down so much to fire out the window; and I would have wanted to take my shots as JFK was approaching on Elm. I think I would.
And about the scope on my Carcano, and the bolt operating mechanism, I’d want them to be in good working order. And I’d probably chuck the Carcano altogether because its lands and grooves were so worn.
But Oswald had to get by with what he had. A lousy rifle and four bullets. One of the rounds he fired was from a dented cartridge. Amazing but true. He was one lucky or one very skilled marksman. I would have wanted far better odds on my side.
The thing that kills me about Oswald is how efficient he was. He nailed JFK and JBC with a single round. Blew off a chunk of JFK’s skull with another round. Injured poor James Tague with a third round. And that was it. Clean and efficient. Only on wasted shot. Only one bystander nicked. And most important of all, no wounding of Jackie. I say that’s more than just good luck. That’s amazing luck, or amazing skill.
Oh, and if I’d been Oswald, I wouldn’t have claimed to be a patsy. That just muddied the waters.
…approaching on Houston [NOT ELM]
@Jonathan: Just a couple of things. Oswald could not afford a better rifle.
Also, the Carcano dents hulls when they are ejected. Check the HSCA on that. Indeed, I’ve fired exactly three rounds from an MC, and one of the spent cartridges is dented.
I’m sure you’re aware of the Hoover-to-Rankin memo of June 2, 1964, in which J. Edgar Hoover sums up the FBI’s tests on the dented shell, C.E. 543 (FBI #C6). Hoover wrote in part:
“It is pointed out that the extractor and ejector marks on C6…did not possess sufficient characteristics for identifying the weapon which produced them. There are also three sets of marks on the base of this cartridge case which were not found on…any of the numerous tests obtained from the C14 rifle.” The C14 rifle, of course, is the alleged murder weapon.
This entire memo is quite enlightening. In it we learn the dented shell had been loaded into and ejected three times from a Mannlicher-Carcano; but only one of those times was from the alleged murder weapon, as determined by a mark made by the weapon’s magazine follower.
We also learn the magazine follower only marks the bottom round in a clip. Problem is, C.E. 543 couldn’t have been the bottom round in the clip, given that (a) it allegedly was found on the floor, and (b) there was an unfired round found in the alleged murder weapon.
In other words, Hoover tells Rankin the dented shell was a plant and had no role in the assassination.
June 2, 1964 must have been a bad day for J. Lee Rankin.
You really need to read
the HSCA firearms panel on this.
Reply to John McAdams.
From the HSCA Firearms Panel’s conclusions:
“(133) The panel found…three sets of striations on the head of the CE 543 cartridge case. The marks were not found on any of the other 6.5 millimeter caliber cartridge cases. The origin of the marks could not be established.”
The Firearms Panel agrees with Hoover’s 2 June 1964 memo to Rankin as far as the Panel goes with respect to CE 543 (the dented shell). The Panel just isn’t as blunt or as pointed or as detailed as Hoover.
So, yes. CE 543, allegedly found in the TSBD but in fact “found” by Will Fritz in his suit pocket; CE 543, as to which chain of custody is uncertain; CE 543 appears clearly to have been a plant.
Certainly at a trial, CE 543 would be excluded from evidence. The prosecution couldn’t lay a proper foundation for it. And a defense “Objection, your honor. Lack of proper foundation.” would prevail.
You have evaded the issue, Jonathan, which was the dent in the lip.
You have ignored that, and moved to something else.
So now, how about explaining how the three sets of striations suggests any conspiracy.
Were you shooting this MC from the Dal-Tex building to see how the assassination went down? I kid.
If I were a Sunsteinian Agent working the JFK beat, I would do as John McAdams does:
mention Mark Lane and Jim Garrison as much as possible and stay away from the more careful work of John Newman, Gaeton Fonzi, Jefferson Morley, Anthony Summer and David Talbot.
And if he worked for the CIA, or the Mafia, or Cuban intelligence, or the military-industrial complex or Curtis LeMay he would not have been given a rifle such as the Carcano. But if he was a poor, misguided and virtually unemployable misfit who couldn’t afford anything else it was a perfect weapon.
The dented shell happened after it was ejected, not prior to shooting.
His Marine firing range scores were the best from the sitting position, as he assumed in the TSBD.
If you were ever at the Sixth Floor Museum you would see how easy of a shot it really was; Oswald could have hit JFK with a snowball.
He hit his target ( JFK’s head) with one out of three shots – not all that remarkable or lucky for a U.S.M.C. Sharpshooter.
But to the point, why would you assume that any of what YOU would have done has any relevance to what Oswald would have done? He either made a conscious decision to kill JFK or he didn’t- his later murder of Tippit ( and despite some of the crackpot claims the evidence for that is overwhelming) reveals that he certainly had the capability to murder.
Let me understand this: Oswald could only afford a Carcano, which would not have been the ideal choice of a skilled sniper such as Oswald who you claim was capable of the shots that killed the president based on his military record – but the Carcano was all that he could afford (suggesting it was a poor quality rifle), but then, by chance it turned out to be the perfect rifle – guaranteed accuracy, consistency, and full of at least one magic bullet – to assassinate a president in what was a spontaneous act. Add to your hypothesis that Oswald was an expert marksman and with that highly respected “credential,” he most assuredly knew the risks he would be taking by using the Carcano, and yet he did not devise a perfect escape, but rather left his fate to the wind or the Carcano, whichever came first. Boggles the mind.
Again we have the inability to get past the idea that Oswald was the shooter. He was the decoy. The Carcano was almost certainly not used that day except as a prop to be seen in the window and found by police. It’s not hard to understand.
The same technique was used with James Earl Ray, as the 1999 civil trial and the 1993 mock TV trial revealed.
If this had happened in Greece or Italy or Chile, you’d have no trouble accepting it. It can and does happen here.
Or, in the alternative, you can arrange for tenured teachers who can use student slave labor to post remarks in a lot of “quotation marks” and use words like “wacky” and “crazies” and then attack an early, brave, author by saying “serious people” (like the poster?) find all sorts of problems (but list none) with what he had to say.
The “neophyte” who might be looking in, should know that the District Attorney, attacked in this dishonest & untruthfull way, has pretty much proven to have been on target.He had tremendous Federal forces set against him. His acquited defendant committed perjury. The CIA later admitted he was a “highly renumerated” worker for them (see Joan Mellon’s latest updates in “Farewell to Justice”). A Senate subcommittee wrote a damning report on the country’s intelligence agencies “work” about the JFK murder. Attacking people, suggesting a witness like Roger Craig has nothing worthwhile to say, is bad scholarship as well as bad advice, so maybe this post is part of a disinformation project. I guess disinformation comes in many packages.
After all of the research of the past 50 years, anyone who says there wasn’t a cover-up of the killing and that others were not involved, sounds like the moral equivalent of a Holocaust denier or a flatearther. Really, no sense in even engaging such a mindset. For the neophyte: Read, Study. The truth shall set you free.
The “highly paid” thing comes from an early 90s document put together by a harried bureaucrat working from the Russ Holmes work file. That assertion contradicts all the documents from the 50s and 60s.
As for Roger Craig: were you even aware that he changed his story about the “Mauser?”
Where you even aware that Mrs. Paine did not own a Rambler?
Guess that depends on who you believe. Been a while since I read about him in detail. I think Mr. Marr’s covered his story pretty well in Crossfire if not in great detail. I’ve thought of him as an American Hero for years for trying to tell the truth in spite of all that was done to shut him up.
Well, I posted a link above, and you apparently didn’t read it.
Here is is again:
Do you understand:
1. Craig changed his story about the Mauser?
2. Mrs. Paine did not own a Rambler?
Why don’t you look at my page, where you can see the primary source documents.
I read the attached link on this site and the review(s) on CTKA last year. That’s why I’m suspicious of anything on your website or that you post. So why waste my time?
I admit to distrusting the federal government and to being open to conspiracy theories. In my view, any informed unbiased citizen leans in the same direction. I said leans.
The JCS lied to Eisenhower and Kennedy by exaggerating Soviet nuclear capabilities. The FBI spread paranoia among the Left in the 1960s. The IRS has targeted individuals and groups for political reasons over the years. Presidents and their minions have lied over and again to the American people. No need to go on.
That the 800-odd-page Warren Report has been savaged by critics but embraced by the government and MSM is standard operating procedure.
In view of all this, I question the good faith of the provocateurs who come here to hijack and disrupt the discussion.
Earlier this year, I got inspired by reading “JFK and the Unspeakable” and a posted a 10-bullet point timeline on a popular liberal forum how a conspiracy likely took place complete with links to government documents.
After getting quite a bit of attention and comment, the next day I checked on my post and the word “hoax” had been put in my tags.
I didn’t put it there. I asked the site moderators but they never got back to me.
Ghosts in the machine possibly?
My personal experience has been that moderators are underpaid, if at all, and that the entire process is by nature purely subjective and oftentimes thankless. Until moderation methods evolve, we’re confronted with relying on the integrity of those who control any given site, and must further rely on the best intentions of those saddled with the minute to minute moderation. Hats off to the front line of this process at jfkfacts in spite of my frustration with what appears to me to be a fundamental flaw … a tolerance for infiltration by less than well-intentioned participants in the comments amphitheater.
” how did this eejit get such a high position in govt.?”
Is Supreme Court Justice Cass Sunstein high enough? See The horrible prospect of Supreme Court Justice Cass Sunstein:
“Sunstein insisted that Bush had the legal authority create military commissions without Congressional approval.”
“As a private citizen, Cass Sunstein may issue whatever statements he wishes without regard to EO 13470.”
That is the wonderful thing about the private/revolving door.
Also – his statement (paper) was part of a web site called America.gov run by the State Department.
These ideas of Sunsteins are not original….they have been used for a very long time – before the war (ww2) :
“Quite frankly I can’t see what possible interest the CIA, FBI, Secret Service or even the FDA would have in any JFK conspiracy website, let alone this one.”
Agreed. I just don’t get it. Surely they more pressing matters to attend to than a bunch of folks discussing an event that occurred 50 years ago?
D. Olmens, “Surely they more pressing matters to attend to than a bunch of folks discussing an event that occurred 50 years ago?”
Therein rests the disparity. I would venture to guess that 90% of those commenting on this site know that resolution of the issue of the withheld files, regardless of what they may hold, represents a watershed moment for our democracy. And to reduce the Kennedy assassination to “an event that occurred 50 years ago” in and of itself should probably disqualify anyone from interrupting the serious debate this site offers. If this is a parlor game for some, maybe there could be a separate section on the site, with perhaps some light classical music playing, a selection of fine single malts, rare Cuban cigars and maybe a direct line into think tanks that dismiss conspiracy concerns as a tragic pathology of our nation.
“Therein rests the disparity. I would venture to guess that 90% of those commenting on this site know that resolution of the issue of the withheld files, regardless of what they may hold, represents a watershed moment for our democracy.”
Until they’re actually released, which I really hope does happen, we can’t be sure what the files contain, so I think it’s a little premature to jump ahead and draw conclusions just yet. Even when they are released, I would imagine it will take quite some time for interested parties to review and analyse the files. If you think that the actual release is a moment of significance, then I’d agree with that in terms of improved transparency. Watershed though? I think that judgement could only be made looking back some time after the event.
“And to reduce the Kennedy assassination to “an event that occurred 50 years ago” in and of itself should probably disqualify anyone from interrupting the serious debate this site offers.”
If I had preceded or followed that statement with words to the effect of “and that’s all it is” then I think you’d have a case, but I didn’t actually say that.
“If this is a parlor game for some, maybe there could be a separate section on the site, with perhaps some light classical music playing, a selection of fine single malts, rare Cuban cigars and maybe a direct line into think tanks that dismiss conspiracy concerns as a tragic pathology of our nation.”
I must admit I’ve never had the luck to come across a parlor game quite like that, although in fairness I’m not fond of cigars, classical music or fine single malts. That seems to me to be a rather curious way to characterize anyone, or any group, except for the purpose of diminishing them.
Speaking only for myself, I certainly don’t see history as some kind of “parlor game”, nor have I ever suggested it is.
With all of the data released since Nov. 22, 1963 we still have nothing that contradicts the physical evidence that implicates LH Oswald as the sole murderer of JFK. Four investigations over several decades have not altered that.
To this day despite the speculation and claims there is no evidence whatsoever that the CIA or the FBI considered Oswald a threat to anybody, much less any direct contact with Oswald at all.
For all of the speculation about George Joannides there is no evidence at all that he even knew who Oswald was prior to Nov. 22, 1963.
What if everything is released and like previous document dumps NOTHING SUPPORTS CIA involvement?
I would predict that the next day nothing would change in the conspiracy community. Another bizarre excuse would come forth, because as most conspiracy believers know the CIA HAD TO BE INVOLVED- no matter what the evidence is.
“With all of the data released since Nov. 22, 1963 we still have nothing that contradicts the physical evidence that implicates LH Oswald as the sole murderer of JFK.”
The physical record makes clear the Warren Report conclusions are unfounded.
Kennedy’s suit coat and shirt contain a hole each about 5.75 inches below the top plane of his right shoulder. These were custom-made clothes. They did not ride up; and nothing in the extant Z-film shows his suit coat riding up. CONCLUSION: JFK was hit in the upper back, pretty much as depicted on Boswell’s face sheet; and not in “the back of the base of the neck” as Gerald Ford dishonestly had us believe. Given the downward trajectory of this bullet relative to the sniper’s nest, there’s no way the bullet exits JFK’s throat and becomes the magic bullet. So there goes the SBT. Score
Continuation: Score 1 against the Warren Commission. That’s an easy one now that the Z-film (or what we’re told is the camera-original Z-film) is available for all to see.
The alleged murder weapon is open to many challenges. Just an example: Jesse Curry said in his 1969 book that no one had been able to place that weapon in Oswald’s hands at 12:30 p.m. Dalllas time on the sixth floor of the TSBD on 11/22/63. Another example: There is no written record the rifle was delivered to Oswald or anyone else. Score another against the W.R.
Without having to go any further with the physical record, it’s clear the W.R. conclusions are flimsy, at best, and that the notion Oswald acting alone killed JFK fails the reasonable doubt standard.
Let’s take that accusatory coin Photon, and flip it over.
What if newly released documents (so far hidden by CIA — I wonder why?) DID show that Oswald’s record was lied about, that he was being used just prior to the assassination by intelligence agencies? And what if it turned out that Joannides WAS involved in covering up CIA’s involvement with the JFK assassination?
If new information came to light that showed CIA involvement or complicity, would YOU change your tune? Would YOU make an admission that you were wrong? For someone who comes on this blog with such a giant ego (claiming to know how forensics works, how doctors work in ERs, make claims that you are never wrong, etc.) I have to wonder…
Here’s what I would do if you are right and the released documents all come out someday and show that there is no link, no connection, no smoking gun linking CIA to the JFK assassination. I would pack up my investigation and let it rest. I would admit that CIA was either damned thorough in deleting files, or that they just showed sloppy negligence in helping LBJ and the Warren Commission handle the case. Either way, I’d have no real case, just speculation about pristine bullets, witness accounts, doctors’ impressions, etc. I’d move on. There are other important things to be concerned about, such as whether we as a species can survive global warming, and how we can find an energy system (breeder nuclear reactors combined with solar and better conservation techniques) to keep going while we try to limit the dangerously high levels of atmospheric warming, sea level rise and acidification of the oceans.
There’s always going to be corruption when power is given no questions asked to any one body, be it corporate, the state, an intelligence agency, a labor union. The trick is to CHECK the concentration of power, to not let one body have too much or we’re all screwed.
“Custom-made clothes” doesn’t mean “they don’t ride up.” JFK’s shirts were custom-made. They rode up:
The “low” location for the back wound is also corroborated by JFK’s death certificate, signed by Dr. Burkley, his personal physician. Burkley not coincidentally thought that there was a conspiracy.
Reply to Jean Davison:
The hole in the suit coat and the hole in the shirt were at the same height relative to the top plane of JFK’s right shoulder.
Second point: If you observe the Z-film, you see JFK’s right arm rise as his right hand moves toward his throat; this is after he emerges from behind the Stemmons sign. As his right arm rises, his right deltoid muscle flattens, causing the right shoulder pad of his suit coat to lift up away from his shoulder (or his shoulder to flatten down away from the shoulder pad). But even so, the suit coat does not ride up his back.
I wear custom-made Brooks Brothers suits. They adhere naturally to the body as it moves. That’s why I pay for good tailoring.
Good work, Jean.
But as you know, the buffs here are going to ignore that and keep spouting zombie factoids (a phrase I borrowed from you).
Why rely on anyone’s opinion or holes in clothing or marks on a piece of paper, when the autopsy photo and x-rays show the wound in JFK’s upper back?
Jean – why disregard the suit coat and shirt evidence? Despite the possibility that there could have been ride up, photos an instant before the back shot show that there was no such ride up.
More corroboration for the “low” back wound, in addition to the above and the Burkley death certificate comes from the Sibert and O’Neill report, which not only put the back wound low, it put the entrance hole at a 45 degree angle downward and the wound did not traverse the body. There’s plenty for reasonable doubt, at a bare minimum.
Your custom-made suit coats may never ride up, but JFK’s custom-made suit coats did:
Photos taken during the last seconds of the motorcade also show JFK’s jacket “bunched,” for instance, the Croft photo:
What difference does it make that the clothing holes were 5.75″ below the shoulder line if that’s not where the back wound was?
Am I really supposed to compare these two photos and conclude that the jacket hole shows where the wound was, NOT the autopsy photo of the back wound? Really?
Jean – looking at the photos of the back wound, it’s rather clear that the back wound was not in the neck, isn’t it? Whether it’s at the level of the 3rd thoracic vertebra, I can’t say, but it’s way too low for the SBT to work.
It’s a myth that the wound had to be in JFK’s neck for the SBT to work. It’s just the opposite.
The angle of the SBT trajectory was said to be about 18 degrees downward. A bullet entering the back of his neck and exiting below the Adam’s apple (as it did) would’ve had a much steeper angle, making the SBT impossible. Check the Croft photo, e.g.:
Using that photo, place a ruler from the back of his collar to the exit location at the tie knot. One end of the ruler will point lower than the wound near Connally’s armpit, while the other end points high in the air.
But try moving one end of the ruler down to the upper back and the SBT angle works just fine.
D. Olmens: We’ve established common ground, with the exception of light classical music; had I added Masonic robes as required attire in the metaphorical setting, might you have caught the humor as it was intended, rather than a diminishment?
I’m skeptical that there will be revelations in the withheld files leading to those directly responsible for the assassination, (WHY would anyone leave a paper trail?), but I disagree that the country would have to wait any length of time following the release to recognize the watershed in terms of transparency. For example, in spite of the disappointments many feel with the Obama Administration, his election was an instant watershed moment in our country. So too might be the moment that the files are released, regardless of what they contain. For that reason, I wholeheartedly support efforts toward that precedent.
As I think I mentioned in an earlier comment, humour often doesn’t translate well on the internet. If I misunderstood your intention in this case, I think it was probably the “parlor game” part that threw me, I offer an apology. At first glance I incorrectly assumed it was something of a put-down, albeit considerably more artfully expressed than most I’ve seen of late.
Regarding the point about a “watershed moment”, perhaps as you suggest, I’m being too circumspect in proposing that a period of time following the release would be required to make that assessment. I guess we’ll all find out when the moment arrives. Until then I’ll lean towards a more cautious assessment.
D. Olmens: it occurs to me that if you, as a person that appears to be studious, skeptical, and objective finds that subversion of pertinent information from the HSCA (i.e. that Joannides had a role with the CIA in the early 1960’s) to be highly suspect, then you are somewhat on the frontline of challenging our government for full transparency. Not intending to objectify you, but if you do not have a “dog in this fight” other than as a US citizens seeking answers do you not represent the perfect profile to advocate for transparency, and perhaps more actively than you have done thus far?
I’m not sure I entirely follow what you mean, but as I’ve said a number of times, and will say again in the interests of clarity, I am supportive of the efforts of Mr Morley and his associates to obtain the release of the remaining withheld documents. As far as being “active”, if the topic has arisen in discussion I’ve indicated I’m in favour of this taking place. I think the historical record, not to mention a number of discussions taking place here, will likely benefit from their disclosure. I hope that clarifies this point for you.
Of course, and thank you back. You have previously highlighted that subversion of information during the investigations by the various committees is grounds for concern, regardless of your doubt that the subversion was part of the cover up. I was suggesting that you and others that are at best highly skeptical of a conspiracy in the actual murder speak out more frequently in support of the release of the files in question, based on principle …. perhaps even establish a campaign of sorts along the lines “skeptics for full disclosure.”
Are you not aware that every member of Congress has at least one person on their staff surveying the material on sites like Daily Kos and Red State, and these people frequently post under multiple Sock Puppet IDs, trying to drive the discussion in a way that best suits their boss? Now that I’ve made you aware of that, what makes you think the various Alphabet Soup agencies would be any less interested in this site? Nothing is too obscure or arcane for them not to pay attention.
“Nothing is too obscure or arcane for them not to pay attention.”
There’s an old saying that a politician spends half their term doing things and the other half trying to get re-elected. Unfortunately I suspect the balance has shifted more towards the latter in recent times. In this context it comes as no surprise that politicians would try and leverage from social media in an attempt to shape the agenda and push talking points. So, what you say is not news to me.
However, I think I’d be a bit more circumspect regarding your claim in the context of the JFK assassination. For better or worse, I’m just not sure politicians (currently) see the assassination as a prominent issue in the day-to-day hustle of contemporary politics, or an issue which might affect their fortunes. No doubt they’re aware it’s an issue of interest for people, but an issue they’d devote resources to, as opposed to more current hot-button topics? I’m not sure.
To say “you missed the point” is stating the obvious.
See my reply to Photon above for an explanation of just how deeply interested the organs of state security are in the sayings and doing of ordinary citizens. The only difference between now and 50 years ago is that they can do electronically what used to be through human intel.
Not really, no. What you’ve done is referred to a historical case, taken a capability that existed then and was employed at that time, transposed it to the current day and claimed it’s taking place now without providing any evidence that this is actually happening. It’s a bit like saying NASA has had the capability to fly to the moon since 1969, they’ve only got better at it over the intervening years, therefore they’ve been doing it the whole time and continue to do so right now. The problem I have with this notion is that when people such as yourself speak about this it’s in very general broad-brush terms. You emphasise the capability, suggesting that in itself is enough to prove it’s happening, whilst at the same time offering no specific evidence. Nor have you demonstrated why the “organs” would be so “deeply interested”. Why are these “organs” (whoever they/it might be) so interested in discussions about the JFK assassination?
If definitive evidence is finally revealed that our govt played any kind of role in the assassination of a president, it would roil the waters of our republic and result in a top- to -bottom reform of our system, especially the security apparatus.
IMO, that was the key reason for the original cover-up and continued withholding of key documents. They have hoped that the citizenry would figure out the truth far enough in the future it would be like reading about the murder of Caesar – long ago history with no relation to modern times.
“If definitive evidence is finally revealed that our govt played any kind of role in the assassination of a president, it would roil the waters of our republic and result in a top- to -bottom reform of our system, especially the security apparatus.”
Maybe, maybe not. It’s not like the assassination happened yesterday, so I think that’s a very difficult question to answer. In the immediate aftermath or following years I think, yes, that would have been far more likely… if… definitive proof had emerged. But in 2014? With all the prominent personnel in these organisations at the time either deceased or long retired from active duty? The NSA has recently been revealed as having been engaged in a truly staggering array of eavesdropping activities and I don’t see a lot happening in the way of reform unfortunately.
D. Olmens: I think this is an accurate assessment of the reality behind resolution of the Kennedy assassination which is why the transparency case is so important; it is timely, it represents a challenge to the ongoing security/secrecy deep state, AND it relates to the violent removal of an elected president in our democracy. It’s a bit of the tail wagging the dog, but if it gets the attention of leading members of congress, then it is a meaningful exercise.
Sunstein does recognize in his co-written paper that valid conspiracy theories do exist. He does not dismiss conspiracy theories categorically out of hand.
It is a lot easier to believe that government agents are ” infiltrating” conspiracy websites rather than face the contradictions that tend to impeach many conspiracy claims and “facts”. I have tried to point out many of the fallacies that are the basis for what passes as research in the conspiracy community. Today I mentioned a particularly notorious slander against an innocent woman who has been accused of being part of a conspiracy to murder the President. If the conspiracy community thinks it is ok to attack a little old Quaker lady simply because they can’t deal wiith facts that implicate Oswald they should be ashamed of themselves.
Quite frankly I can’t see what possible interest the CIA, FBI, Secret Service or even the FDA would have in any JFK conspiracy website, let alone this one. While I will admit to being reimbursed by the Federal Government for services rendered, those services do not include stating my personal opinions on this blog. If I tend to have a more positive viewpoint toward the security services of this country than is usually expressed here it is because I actually know something about those services .The conspiracy “experts” on this subject tend to accept fantasy as fact-as if they get their information from comic books.
Your last post on another thread about this mentioned “no evidence.” It has a history in this case of disappearing, being ignored, altered and suppressed.
What happened to those files on the Cuban Activists in the garage?
Then there’s that pesky light bar. I mean little bitty Minox spy camera that was inventoried as a camera (Officer: “I know a camera when I see one”.) by the DPD. Oops, FBI evidence,what camera? Oh, you mean the light bar. Umm. Enter Robert Oswald and Michael Paine. Problem solved. Read it for yourself elsewhere.
I read Summers’ book recently. He mentioned that Oswald was interested in photography, and owned a Minox camera. Does anyone know what happened to Oswald’s photographs, and what they were of (I presume he took some)?
Oswald didn’t own a Minox camera. The camera belonged to Michael Paine.
There are reasons to doubt that (which I’m sure you’re aware of), but even if it belonged to Michael one has to ask: why did he own such a camera? Doesn’t it sort of increase the spookiness level of the Paines?
That Oswald didn’t own the Minox camera is conjecture, not proven fact. Michael Paine said he owned it but there were photos on it that were developed which he said he didn’t take. We also know now that the FBI tried to pressure the Dallas police (who first inventoried the camera) to take the camera off of their list. Paine lied when he later said that he had initially told police investigators about the camera but that they didn’t seem interested in it.
Here’s a link which refutes the McAdams link:
Question for John McAdams:
Do you still believe that global warming is not caused chiefly by man-made carbon emissions, contrary to what 97% of credentialed climate scientists say?
If Paine said he owned it, what evidence do you have that It was Oswald’s? Why not claim that the silverware in the house belonged to Oswald, or even the artwork? All of the pictures on the film obtained by the Dallas PD WERE taken by Paine.
What exactly does Professor McAdams opinion of anthropogenic global climate change have to do with this topic? What is your opinion on Flying Saucers? Vaccines and autism?
While I personally believe that human activities adversely affect the climate I don’t believe that a contrary opinion is a litmus test for rational thought, particularly for a totally unrelated topic. Particularly for a tenured member of the Marquette University faculty, a rather competitive and prestigious University.
Indeed, what is Mark Lane’s position on Jonestown have to do with his investigation into JFK’s assassination?
If you think it matters, you should be concerned about McAdams’ credibility when he takes a weird and unscientific stance on global warming.
The smear game is non-alligned, and doesn’t just apply to CT’ers.
JSA and TSA (I can’t find a reply button to your posts) you need to read the page at the link I posted.
Apparently, you did not.
The photographic evidence shows that the Dallas cops recovered a Minox case, and a Minox light meter. But no Minox camera.
You are just doubling down on conspiracy factoids, rather than looking at the evidence.
P.S. I want a cite for “Michael Paine said he didn’t take some of the photos.”
Yes, because the DPD did not send them a camera. It sent them a Minox light meter.
Look at the evidence photo!
And you know he lied how? Not every discrepancy in testimony means somebody is lying.
You mean after now 16 years of no warming? Of course. You haven’t begun to be just a bit skeptical?
BTW, the 97% figure is bogus.
Also, since you are so big on credentialed experts, do you believe the credentialed experts who say the Backyard Photos are genuine? That the autopsy photos and z-rays are genuine? That the trajectory for the Single Bullet Theory works just fine?
I just want to know whether you accept the credentialed experts.
The DPD found a Minox camera in Oswald’s seabag in the Paine garage on Saturday, November 22. Detective Gus Rose opened the camera and found a roll of film.
Gus Rose recorded in his inventory of items taken from the Paine Garage:
“1 – Small German Camera + Black case on chain + film”
Gus Rose testified to the HSCA that the FBI pressured him to change his story, to say he’d recovered a light meter. Rose testified he checked with Capt. Will Fritz, who advised him not to change his story if he believed he was correct. Rose never changed his story.
Oh my! I can’t fit all of my refutation to your post in this tight blog format, John, but here are some highlights:
The Kennedy assassination was POLITICAL. The reason why you and others bend the facts (or support the Warren Commission’s bending of the facts) is because of the POLITICAL DIMENSION. The science has been debated, facts have been destroyed, and the few remaining facts have been politicized. People like you who support the WC findings can’t bear to admit that the military and our intelligence agencies could have done something corrupt. To admit to such a thing, as Harry Truman was willing to do in December of 1963 when he wrote that OP/ED, runs against everything you stand for: a conservative status quo where the intelligence agencies have to have free rein to run unopposed, and big oil, big industry knows what is best. To admit that ANY PART of your world view could have cracks in it would be like J. Edgar Hoover coming out of the closet and publicly admitting that he was gay.
So while you do your best to try to fend off new ideas, the enlightenment, etc.—in the long run your ideas will die as new facts are revealed and as the scientific method yields new understanding.
Oh, and the 97%? That’s reference to peer-reviewed studies on climate change/global warming. A new study has just come out that looked at nearly 12,000 professional scientific journal papers about global warming, and found that—of the papers expressing a stance on global warming—97 percent endorse both the reality of global warming and the fact that humans are causing it.
Look, Jonathan, you are still refusing to look Michael Russ’ web page on the Minox, and just doubling down on the factoid.
PLEASE look at the page:
Particularly, look at the evidence photo that shows what the DPD recovered. It shows a Minox case, and a Minox light meter.
No Minox camers.
What you have posted is a political tirade.
While I discuss evidence, you issue political manifestos.
Trying to think of the assassination in a way that neatly fits your political views is simply not the way to go about it.
It makes no sense to blame people for killing Kennedy merely because you are politically hostile toward.
I have serious problems (as Photon does with Mark Lane) taking you seriously because of your ridiculous global warming denial, which I realize is in large part because of your fossil fuel ties via the Fartland Institute.
I don’t think saying that the JFK assassination was political is tirade-category. C’mon, Lyndon Johnson’s butt was in the investigative frier and he got out of it when JFK was assassinated. Then he used the bogus claim that the Soviets were possibly involved, so Congress couldn’t investigate as it could lead to WW3. Finally, to convince American voters not to vote for Goldwater, Colonel Cornpone worked his POLITICALLY-driven Warren Commission through in time for the elections in the fall. How is this all not political? Senator Dick Russell seemed to think it was.
A mistake many academics make is to focus just on the minute details and lose sight of the larger picture, the historical framework in which the event took place. If you look at Lyndon Johnson critically, and CIA in terms of what Harry Truman was critically spelling out in his OP/Ed, you can’t avoid the possibility that the assassination was a power grab.
I remember when academia got their knickers in a twist over Fawn Brodie’s book claiming that one of the South’s god-like figures, Thomas Jefferson, could have fathered a child with one of his slaves. The denialists were literally screaming that Brodie was way off base. Funny how that changed with DNA and some open-mindedness on the part of rational historians.
Reply to John McAdams.
Let’s talk law.
Gus Rose’s handwritten inventory of a minox camera get introduced into evidence, even now after 50 years. Reason: It’s hearsay. But it comes in under the business records exception to the hearsay rule. It was taken in the course of Rose’s work; and it was required to be taken. No question here.
The photo to which you refer is open to different interpretations; it’s ambiguous, at best. Consequently, even if it gets admitted as evidence, it’s of LESS WEIGHT than Rose’s inventory.
John, you are an expert in this case I’ll concede. But you have a weakness in that you do not know the law of evidence.
Reply to John McAdams:
Neither you nor I know how the dent was made. You have an assertion: it was made when the shell, having been fired, was ejected from the weapon. It could have been made by loading the empty cartridge into the Carcano and then ejecting it. So the dent is dead end to me. Except for this: We know from Hoover’s memo the dented shell once was loaded into the alleged murder weapon as the bottom round in a clip. We know this from the magazine follower mark on C.E. 543. We also know from Hoover’s memo that the one time C.E. 543 was loaded into the alleged murder weapon was not on 11/22/63.
As for the three striation marks, something made those marks. Hoover’s memo strongly suggests that something was a rifle. It just wasn’t the alleged murder weapon.
Did you go to Vietnam?
Once again, it bears repeating that almost everything you post on this website falls under the banner of ad hominem attacks, and comments that are either disinformation, mistakes of ignorance/outright lies. Given that that “little old Quaker lady” is the daughter of a man who ran a CIA front organization, and her sister was an CIA employee for many years (and not a clerical worker either), I’d say she has plenty of resources to defend herself without your efforts.
The total irrationality of guilt by association, without a shred of evidence. Was Avery Dulles a CIA operative? He certainly had the pedigree, so by your standards he was probably one of the grassy knoll shooters.
“The total irrationality of guilt by association, without a shred of evidence.”
The complete lack of ability to follow the rules of grammar.
In a normal murder investigation, when someone like “little old Quaker lady” has such intimate family connections to a group analogous to such a powerful group, it is routine to investigate whether this has any bearing on the case. This is exactly what was not done by the WC. We know from John Newman’s book “Oswald and the CIA” that CIA employees used family members to spy on their neighbors. Newman cites the case of a man who recruited his teenage son to spy on one of the boy’s classmates and his father, who were involved in some harmless form of “Hands Off Cuba” activism. If you’re unable to draw the logical conclusions about Little Old Quaker Lady And Her Unitarian Hubby, you deserve the police state you end up living in.
And I’ll add that further association of William Avery Hyde includes Ohio-based Nationwide Insurance, on whose board at the time was Adolf Berle, diplomatic expert on Latin America for numerous administrations. Included on that board was HP Isham whose Chicago business affiliations lead to Zapata Oil, the Liedtkes, and Gulf Oil. Is it a coincidence that Ruth Paines’ father was on sabbatical from Nationwide, serving USAID in Latin America?
“I have tried to point out many of the fallacies that are the basis for what passes as research in the conspiracy community.”
I have yet to see you successfully refute anything. You’ve done a lot of copy-and-paste of LNer talking points, but that is hardly sufficient.
And you’ve basically admitted that you have a vested interest in defending the “system,” even if you are doing it in your own free time. This is something that nearly all lone-nut advocates seem to have in common.
I believe that I have conclusively proven that studies published in reputable medical journals have demonstrated that ER interpretations of firearms wounds are fraught with error and are accurate in only about 50% of cases. I have referenced those studies.
Unfortunately, most conspiracy posters on this web have completely ignored those studies and continue to give more credibility to the rushed and incomplete perceptions of some of the Parkland physicians, even to the point of ignoring qualifying statements and clarifying comments. The persistent errors of non- medical individuals in believing that an 18 minute incomplete exam trumps the findings of a multiple-hour necropsy is at the heart of many conspiracy theories, which by necessity must account for the fact that pathological, radiographic and photographic evidence completely contradicts the claim that JFK had an exit wound at the back of the head.
That is one specific topic I have mentioned.Until you can prove that ER wound perceptions (particularly in a DOA patient that wasn’t even turned over) are superior to post-mortem examination the great posterior head wound narrative is nothing but a hoax.
Hoax?? If the autopsy had been done by Thomas Noguchi, Cyril Wecht or some other honest forensic pathologist instead of compromised military personnel, I would trust its findings.
Even lone-nut supporter Michael Baden has admitted, “Where bungled autopsies are concerned, President Kennedy’s is the exemplar.”
So we have no other choice but to rely on the numerous eyewitnesses who saw the “hoax” in the back of the head.
Except that 32 out of 33 nationally recognized board-certified forensic pathologists ( including Dr. Baden) have recognized the conclusions as valid.
Besides,a parallel RFK assassination industry has been created and fostered by the likes of Jim DiEugenio despite the autopsy performed by yes, Thomas NOGUCHI.
Photon: Yes, and the jury was never informed of the details of Noguchi’s autopsy of RFK, which indicate he was shot from point blank range behind and below him (the shots having a sharp upward trajectory), which is not consistent at all with where Sirhan was standing.
“I have conclusively proven that studies published in reputable medical journals have demonstrated that ER interpretations of firearms wounds are fraught with error and are accurate in only about 50% of cases. I have referenced those studies. . .”
Photon, how does your reference to studies of ER interpretations prove anything? While the statistics you cite might be introduced as substantive, they hardly prove anything.
The facts as they occurred in the ER at Parkland, the paper trail, combined with testimony of those present, are all that matters in a criminal case. You may wish to introduce studies to support your hypothesis, but those studies are hardly evidence. Repeating this argument ad nauseam will not make it so.
It’s 50% for any one doctor. There were many doctors and nurses in the room who reported the same thing, therefore that figure would balloon statistically to much higher and it is conjecture but I would say over 90% accuracy.
Thomas, apologies, but I don’t understand what you mean by “It’s 50% for any one doctor?”
Lesslie: “The facts as they occurred in the ER at Parkland, the paper trail, combined with testimony of those present, are all that matters in a criminal case. You may wish to introduce studies to support your hypothesis, but those studies are hardly evidence. Repeating this argument ad nauseam will not make it so.”
You’re “cherry picking” the evidence, and I don’t even think you realize it.
The studies previously cited by Photon are most assuredly legitimate EVIDENCE of HOW FREQUENTLY ER physicians erroneously evaluate gunshot wounds. That piece of evidence indicated by the studies is NOT DISPOSITIVE of such an error having occurred at Parkland Hospital on the day of the assassination, but the additional evidence of the gravity of the head wound and the scarcity of time in which such a traumatic wound could be effectively treated, along with the physician’s lack of knowledge of an additional wound in President Kennedy’s back that could have substantively affected their evaluation of the wounds which were otherwise visible from the front – all of these additional facts persuasively speak to precisely why ER physicians tend to make the diagnostic errors indicated by the studies. The existence of these additional items of evidence logically tend to increase rather than decrease the PROBABILITY that such an error DID occur at Parkland on 11/22/63, and any criminal juror would be most certainly acting responsibly in giving that probability his or her scrupulous attention.
“The facts as they occurred in the ER at Parkland” and the other items you mentioned are most assuredly NOT ALL that would matter in a criminal case. They are merely a small but important part of a wealth of other evidence you failed to mention. This would include any number of actions and statements occurring at the autopsy at Bethesda, examination of the Presidential limo by the Secret Service and the FBI, and a comprehensive review of the investigation and evidence collection of the Dallas Police Department.
And when it comes to the testimony of “those present” at Parkland, I can guarantee you that examination of that testimony would not focus exclusively on what nurses and doctors said on 11/22/63. It would focus on the entirety of their statements, sworn and otherwise, that would be relevant to the case.
Thus, when someone like doctor Malcolm Perry makes a public statement or gives a deposition which conflicts or contradicts with a statement he made earlier (like at the press conference in the afternoon shortly following JFK’s death), he would be questioned in some detail by both the prosecution and the defense to determine which contradictory statement(s) should be accepted as fact and why and how he created the contradiction.
I continue to be amazed at those who argue that Perry’s first statements MUST be controlling and deny the legitimacy of his later retractions and clarifications.
Additionally, witness testimony limited to a gaping head wound in the “back” of President Kennedy’s head does nothing to tell us whether or not the skull defect that witness observed was primarily of the occipital region (located entirely in the back of the head) or parietal region (major portions of which are located in the back, top, AND sides of the head).
The autopsy prosectors described the head wound location with far more precision, but many people choose to disbelieve them simply upon the existence of apparently contradictory testimony from Parkland physicians and even a few of those at the autopsy itself.
Credible resolution of such contradictions, however, could be accomplished upon consideration of such circumstances as the medical specialty of the witnesses and the overall circumstances (including length of time and meticulousness of examination) under which their observation took place rather than simply that there were more of “these witnesses” than there were of “those witnesses.”
Of course, there are many criminal cases in which contradicted testimony never gets resolved.
At minimum, however, I’m assuming you don’t wish to affiliate yourself with any group of people whose approach to evidence evaluation could be said to be myopic and/or biased by nonobjective considerations, correct?
If so, I think that a proper mindset toward the concept of evidence generally would be substantively different than that reflected in your previous response to Photon.
Leslie, thanks for asking, probably didn’t say it well. Photon continues to cite studies that “demonstrate that ER interpretations of firearms wounds are fraught with error and are accurate in only about 50% of cases.”
The conclusion he reaches based on these studies is incorrect when he applies it to the case of doctors at Parkland. The studies he cites are looking at one doctor or just a few doctors looking at one case. There may be only 50% accuracy in these situations, but if several doctors are looking at the same exact person and arrive at the same conclusions then the accuracy of the collective perception goes much higher than 50%.
This is the key: President Kennedy was observed by many trained professionals at Parkland Hospital. And to my knowledge there was consensus that the back of President Kennedy’s head was blown out and the observers (emphasis on plural) surmised as a result that he was shot from the front.
50% accuracy rating goes up in my estimation to at least 90% or higher due to several qualified medical personnel being present and reporting pretty much the same thing.
The other alternative was there was a mass hallucination at Parkland hospital on that day and this doesn’t make sense.
I hope my point is more clear.
If you’re more impressed with people who’ve actually worked with the security agencies, try reading the reviews of top Amazon non-fiction reviewer Robert David Steele, who is ex-CIA and Marine Corps Intelligence. He has a good understanding of how governments around the world actually work (the “deep state”), and how much they have been infiltrated by criminal networks and black operators.
What does being a Quaker have to do with anything? Are they incapable of wrongdoing? Nixon was a Quaker too.
It seems to me that the mods have not been applying the comments policy as it stood before today.
Among other things it says “Only comments that the moderators think will advance the conversation and enhance the reader experience will be approved”.
I would like to know how the mods decided that some of the plainly ad hominem comments that were recently posted could possibly “advance the conversation”.
Surely, comments that are directed at the character/bona fides of a poster and not at the content of his/her posts should be deleted by the mods and not published in the first place.
The term employed by Sunstein was “cognitive infiltration” of so-called “conspiracy” groups (JFK, 9/11, antiwar etc.) However, strong evidence exists this was not simply a proposal by a daft bureaucrat, but perhaps a hint of what was already in the pipeline, especially in the age of WikiLeaks.
In 2010, the US Air Force posted a solicitation on the FedBizOpps.Gov web site (cached here http://www.scribd.com/doc/127878875/US-Air-Force-Persona-Management-Software) for a “Persona Management Software” suite (Solicitation Number RTB220610). According to that notification, the “software will allow 10 personas per user, replete with background, history, supporting details, and cyber presences that are technically, culturally and geographacilly consistent.”
The Snowden revelations have demonstrated this is not the stuff of paranoid fantasies; rather, it is emblematic of ongoing programs by the US secret state to “influence” entire populations through gray, white or black propaganda; a brief once held exclusively by the CIA.
Reading further, we learn: “Individual applications will enable an operator to exercise a number of different online persons from the same workstation and without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries. Personas must be able to appear to originate in nearly any part of the world and can interact through conventional online services and social media platforms. The service includes a user friendly application environment to maximize the user’s situational awareness by displaying real-time local information.”
Call it trolldom on an industrial scale!
“…what the motivation and benefits for the government might be in attempting to undermine JFK conspiracy theories in 2014.”
I dunno. Maybe 1,100(+) still-withheld CIA files on the JFK assassination. Maybe still-secret FBI and Secret Service and Navy files on the assassination. Maybe the fact the CIA continues to fight Jeff Morley over the Joannides information Morley uncovered. Maybe the fact the MSM has its head in the sand over the facts of and surrounding the assassination. Just some guesses.
Geesus H. Christ, how did this eejit get such a high position in govt.?
I know, lets concoct a conspiracy to convince citizens there are no govt conspiracies.
Makes me think A LOT less of Obama.
Is it proposed that engaging Cass Sunstein and ‘government agents’ might help toSolve JFK in 2014?
Engaging Glenn Greenwald might be more productive – but his plate is full. Maybe Snowden can locate the CIA’s JFK files 😉
Engaging Cass Sunstein would like engaging Philip Shenon or Chomsky – an futile exercise in frustration.
WeAreChange does discreditable engagments with Cass Sunstein and other government agents here:
I absolutely accept that social media, blogs, etc. are a perfect and well-used means of sewing disinformation and disharmony, undermining cohesiveness and misdirecting emergent political activism. Perhaps for that reason I am reluctant to prematurely define, or accept suggested or imposed visions (or syntheses of shared visions) – even as may be expressed in articles/posts here at JFKfacts – regarding the civilly obedient Constitutional Assembly (for CIA/JFK records release) to occur July 4, 2014 on the public terraces of The Kennedy Center. Sharing perspectives is very useful, even essential to building enthusiasm towards any such an event. But an initiator must maintain awareness that even well intentioned efforts, such as “consensus building,” may be either unintentionally or deliberately employed to control, redirect or undermine an emergent idea/action. Maybe it’s the retired/former federal agent in me that is aware of and resists such tensions. It reminds me of the difference in investigative methodologies historically found in various federal agencies. In the (pre-Patriot Act) U.S. Customs Service, at least offices where I worked, case agents retained creative control over strategy, identification and pursuit of investigative leads. Another federal investigative agency I’m thinking of was historically known to only allow “case agent” pursuit of leads pre-approved by supervisors. The former process can result in sometimes surprising results of mixed quality to various extremes. The latter process facilitated accountability (real or imagined), yet also allowed the potential intrusion of agendas from a political/ management level and sometimes undermined enthusiasm at the case agent level. Suffice to say, my perspective in the launch of the “JFKvigil” isn’t of the variety Sunstein suggests attributing to some active/former government agents.
“Perhaps for that reason I am reluctant to prematurely define, or accept suggested or imposed visions (or syntheses of shared visions) – even as may be expressed in articles/posts here at JFKfacts – regarding the civilly obedient Constitutional Assembly (for CIA/JFK records release) to occur July 4, 2014 on the public terraces of The Kennedy Center. Sharing perspectives is very useful, even essential to building enthusiasm towards any such an event. But an initiator must maintain awareness that even well intentioned efforts, such as “consensus building,” may be either unintentionally or deliberately employed to control, redirect or undermine an emergent idea/action.”
Karl Golovin: This is reassuring to read, and I believe a wise position for you to take. I support your efforts to protect the integrity of this civilly obedient assembly while at the same time build momentum between now and July 4. It is a delicate balance, but not impossible to achieve. You have made an excellent start here. Hopefully, jfkfacts will do nothing to contribute, witting or not, to an undermining of the purity of these efforts even in its enthusiasm for consensus building.
From the outset, proposals to effect consensus building relating to the resolution of the Kennedy case have concerned me. I do not see how a criminal cold case can be solved or resolved by consensus. Our Democracy struggles to serve the greater good by consensus and admirably so, but I don’t recall being taught in civics class that the same spirit applies to our legal system.
better said as:
” . . . but I don’t recall being taught in civics class that the same spirit applies to our JUSTICE system.”
“Sunstein wrote in 2008 research paper”
This research paper was part of web site called America.gov run by the State Department:
“Overall, the site seems to employ several basic strategies of deception. It mixes items that aren’t true with ones that are, draws “evidence” from single sources (and not the most credible ones), provides evidence that proves nothing but is presented as if it does, and presents partial information that fails to tell the whole story. ”
Some suggest that Sunstein’s private parties that engage in counterspeech, are like the ’50 Cent Party’ commentators who are paid per comment by the Chinese communist party to sway public opinion, but I thing Sunstein’s Information Warfare and Perception Management is bigger and it dis-empowers the public through disinformation:
Sunstein’s long lost cousin, Philip Zelikow promoted the idea that KGB disinformation is at the root of most Americans’ current belief that the CIA was involved in the assassination. Oliver Stone pointed out that ,”one short article in an obscure left-wing weekly that routinely picked up stories from the international press does not seem like much of an accomplishment for a KGB disinformation operation. There is no evidence that the Guardian article was picked up anywhere else in the U.S…With the publication of a article attempting to link Jim Garrison to the KGB, the CIA continues to pursue this misguided strategy of smearing Garrison and other critics of the Warren Commission.”
Wikipedia has explained Zelikow’s idea of ‘public presumption’, “is akin to ‘public myth’ but without the negative implication sometimes invoked by the word ‘myth.’ Such presumptions are beliefs thought to be true (although not necessarily known to be true with certainty), and shared in common within the relevant political community… Zelikow helped found a research project to prepare and publish annotated transcripts of presidential recordings made secretly during the Kennedy administration ( WhiteHouseTapes.org) ”
Philip Zelikow was executive director of the 9/11 Commission and has co-written books such as The Kennedy Tapes and Why People Don’t Trust Government:
Obama is reportedly proposing Cass Sunstein as a member of a panel to review the surveillance (mal)practices of the NSA.
“Some suggest that Sunstein’s private parties that engage in counterspeech, are like the ’50 Cent Party’ commentators who are paid per comment by the Chinese communist party to sway public opinion, but I thing Sunstein’s Information Warfare and Perception Management is bigger and it dis-empowers the public through disinformation:”
So, you’re suggesting that Sunstein’s research paper actually went on to effectively become policy and some kind of widespread practice? What is your evidence for this claim? Have there been proven and documented cases where some kind of group or organisation is engaging in this behaviour?
Your evidence that Zelikow is some kind of disinformation agent, if I understand what you’re saying correctly, isn’t particularly convincing. I suspect that his involvement in the 911 Commission unfortunately makes him something of a magnet for conspiracy theorists.
I really don’t see what connection any of this has with the JFK assassination.
“went on to effectively become policy and some kind of widespread practice?”
Can you spell COINTELPRO ? Technology has changed – but the game has not changed. Here is evidence of widespread practice :
“I really don’t see what connection any of this has with the JFK assassination.”
Philip Zelikow promoted the idea that KGB is at the root of America’s
conspiracy theorists. Oliver Stone had the joy of engaging him:
Philip Zelikow promoted the idea that KGB disinformation is at the root of most Americans’ current belief that the CIA was involved in the assassination. Oliver Stone pointed out that ,”one short article in an obscure left-wing weekly that routinely picked up stories from the international press does not seem like much of an accomplishment for a KGB disinformation operation.
“Can you spell COINTELPRO ? Technology has changed – but the game has not changed. Here is evidence of widespread practice :”
Do you have anything a bit more recent? Or anything specific relating to Government agencies/officials frequenting websites, forums, etc. to engage with conspiracy theorists? To the best of my knowledge this has never actually been conclusively proven to have taken place.
This is classic conspiracy theorist thinking. Take an example from history, apply it to the current day and assume because an activity took place back in the day that it’s automatically happening now on a larger scale.
Apart from the lack of evidence you can’t even really attribute this hypothetical activity to anyone in particular. Simply saying “Oh, the CIA, FBI, etc.” doesn’t cut it. That’s not persuasive.
If you can’t prove it’s happening, can’t attribute it to anyone and the basis for your claim is a research paper from 2008… That’s not much of case.
Let’s see some solid evidence.
As far as Zelikow is concerned, you’re just repeating what you said earlier. If you’re going to claim Zelikow is some kind of disinformation agent, let’s see some proof. At a minimum: some other examples of his work to establish a broad case, and some idea of who he’s working for and why. Otherwise it’s just conspiracy theorist speculation.
I still don’t really see the connection with the JFK assassination either.
“Let’s see some solid evidence”
In 2010, Aaron Barr, CEO of HBGary , a defense contractor with ties to the NSA, and CIA, had a few emails leak. One of the HBGary emails, involves creating an army of sockpuppets, with sophisticated “persona management” software that allows a small team of only a few people to appear to be many…one persona can appear to be an entire Brooks Brothers riot online.
“assume because an activity took place back in the day that it’s automatically happening now on a larger scale.”
Is an army of sockpuppets large scale? Way back in the day – 2011, Hunton & Williams allegedly referred to BoA (by the DOJ) for advice on how to deal with the upcoming wikileaks dump of the bank’s internal documents. Hunton & Williams allegedly helped get Aaron Barr, CEO of HBGary, a defense contractor to come up with a response plan. The plan created a controversy for many reasons, including the allegation that it included suggestions to harm the career of a journalist and lawyer Glenn Greenwald.
17 members of the United States congress called for a congressional investigation for possible violation of federal law by Hunton & Williams
“As far as Zelikow is concerned…I still don’t really see the connection with the JFK assassination either.”
At the risk of repreating myself – Philip Zelikow promoted the idea that the belief that The CIA Was Involved In The Assassination of JFK was caused by KGB disinformation.
Have you accused Philip Zelikow of JFK conspiracy theorist speculation?
What you are so aptly recording is that there is evidence of a trajectory of methodology, and for anyone to suggest that methods employed in the 1970’s (or dare we mention the early 1960’s) are unrelated in real time to efforts by the likes of Hunton & Williams or HB Gary is naive at best. Anyone studying the histories of these entities knows how very deeply they interlock with decades of the subversion of democracy.
Unfortunately the link to read the Sunstein-Vermeule paper is broken.
However, just to add a bit of context, albeit from Wikipedia:
Rather than just mentioning one of their proposed approaches, in the interest of balance it’s worth adding a clarification as to the motivation behind the proposal. The paper was written in 2008 and the question I’d be asking is whether this ever got past the research paper stage.
“By “agent” I mean someone who is acting at the behest of person or persons employed by component of the U.S. government for the purpose of undermining JFK conspiracy theories.”
Are there any proven cases of anyone acting in this capacity in recent years?
I’m struggling a bit to see what the motivation and benefits for the government might be in attempting to undermine JFK conspiracy theories in 2014.
“Are there any proven cases….?” Plausabale deniability has been a intelligence concern for many years.
“motivation and benefits for the government” First, in genearal we are not talking about the government as a whole but primarly some of the intellegnce agencies. How about saving face, maintaining power and preventing public outrage?
““Are there any proven cases….?” Plausabale deniability has been a intelligence concern for many years.”
Using that kind of logic you could conclude the government is doing virtually anything imaginable to suit your own beliefs. Not logical.
““motivation and benefits for the government” First, in genearal we are not talking about the government as a whole but primarly some of the intellegnce agencies. How about saving face, maintaining power and preventing public outrage?”
Ok, so it’s the intelligence agencies: CIA, FBI, NSA, etc.? Any one of those in particular? Or are all they working together? Can we get a little more specific, is it a particular area or section within any of these organisations?
How much face do you think they would lose in 2014? Sure, in the 1960s, 1970s, way back when, it could have been catastrophic. But, now?
What kind of power are you talking about? How does discussing the JFK assassination threaten their power?
“preventing public outrage”
I like many others were appalled at the scale and nature of the NSA’s activities revealed by Snowden in recent months. I was equally shocked at the lack of public outrage. If the general public doesn’t get upset about their personal communications being hoovered up and stored in vast data centers, what do you think the level of outrage is likely to be?
Motivation and benefits? Anything that threatens the reputation and credibility of government institutions is always a focus of “debunking” efforts. Even if only a handful of people inside the government were involved in JFK’s assassination, such a revelation could wipe out entire agencies.
The “System” depends heavily on the appearance of legitimacy. It’s taken a lot of hits since the Vietnam war, Watergate, Iran-Contra, etc.
The main motivation for the Warren Commission was to shore up America’s reputation as “leader of the Free World” among our skeptical allies, most of whom smelled a plot after JFK was killed.
The infantile obsession with “American exceptionalism” today shows how many people still cling to the idea that our institutions are somehow different than all of the others throughout human history.
The idea that the truth would wipe out government agencies, and/or that Americans couldn’t handle the truth, is an argument that you hear with some regularity. My response would be: how do you know? Try it out on us. You might be surprised. I think that people are level headed enough to understand the truth about scandals and how they can happen in a relatively open society that empowers its government with great power. I think it’s more likely that the old saw about “protecting” society by covering up scandals has as much or more to do with government officials protecting their own backsides. A full and complete, honest investigation of JFK’s death would, I suspect,have turned up the guilty in fairly short order. I also believe that a thorough investigation would have turned up a cesspool of corruption, much of which might not have been directly related to the assassination.
I suspect Sunstein and his kind are after more than just talk about the Kennedy assassination. I think that it’s their way of sabotaging debate about unpopular and potentially unpopular government policies. My own opinion on Sunstein is that he shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near governmental authority.
I’m guilty of toying around with persons that present themselves on the internet as some sort of ‘agent’ in the JFK forums; I usually throw their propaganda back at them in the form of asking about Agency weapons today. They never answer me.
The bottom line with me is I’m quite capable of making my own decisions & thoughts in life, an internet troll won’t change my perceptions or questions. I’m just as curious today about what John Wilkes Booth wrote in the 17 pages missing from his diary as I am about what Lee Oswald was all about, especially the Mexico City saga. The two distinguished authors that were attacked a couple posts back haven’t lost me in the least. Adolescents playing around on their big sister’s computer behind her back do not impress me. Anyone desiring to thwart any aspect of this country’s history has a problem in life I can’t fix; maybe Dr. Phil might.
Attempts to derail discussion have been successful here.
Several days ago, a post about Jim DiEugenio and Phil Shenon drew around 90 responses. One respondent questioned DiEugenio’s education. Another asserted no one read DiEugenio’s books. The discussion devolved into a food fight over DiEugenio’s credentials. A clearly pointless contest, given Jim DiEugenio’s demonstrated scholarship in JFK arena.
One doesn’t have to be Cass Sunstein’s agent to be disruptive here. I believe the provocateurs are highly knowledgeable in the JFK case, are confident in their knowledge, and are skilled at derailing discussion of conspiracy. Sunstein might learn a thing or two about disrupting conspiracy theory discussions by spending time at JFK Facts.
I agree with this and wonder if the solution might be to limit the number of posts one can make in a day. Seeing a couple of trolls highjack the discussion of the journalists was disheartening
How can we help but be conspiracy theorists? Those of us who grew up in the Cold War were constantly taught about the “international Communist conspiracy,” lol. Now they want us to think that conspiracy theories are crazy (except for the approved conspiracy stories like 9/11).
Executive Order 12333, which governs U.S. intelligence activities, as amended, prohibits undisclosed participation of U.S. agents or their allies in activities of a U.S. organization without top level approval; and it prohibits U.S. agents or their allies from influencing or attempting to influence domestic public opinion. Thus what Cass Sunstein proposed in his 2008 whitepaper would be illegal if directed at a domestic organization. Further, any such participation on this website would be illegal under EO 12333, as amended.
The ban on domestic propaganda was overturned last year – The 2013 NDAA overturned a 64-year ban on the domestic dissemination of propaganda.
Wikipedia describes how George Bush, as the director of the CIA announced a new policy:
“Effective immediately, the CIA will NOT enter into any paid or contract relationship with any full-time or part-time news correspondent accredited by any U.S. news service, newspaper, periodical, radio or television network or station.” He added that the CIA would continue to “welcome” the voluntary, unpaid cooperation of journalists”…
Part 2.11 of Executive Order 12333 reiterates a proscription on assassination:
“No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination.”
EO 12333 as amended by EO 13470 contains its own prohibition on domestic propaganda as follows:
“2.13 Limitation on Covert Action. No covert action may be conducted which is intended to influence United States political processes, public opinion, policies, or media.”
This prohibition would not have been affected by the 2013 NDAA, and remains in force.
An EO is not a criminal statute. As a private citizen, Cass Sunstein may issue whatever statements he wishes without regard to EO 13470.
The Executive Order limits what the intelligence community can legally do. It is not a criminal statute, however it would be illegal for the intelligence community to engage in domestic propaganda. The Executive Order applies to government agents and assets, direct or indirect.