Meet Joan Mellen, a prolific provocateur of American history

There is no JFK author more provocative, more entertaining, more knowledgeable, more infuriating, and more fun than Joan Mellen.

joan mellen
Joan Mellen

A prodigious scholar of both the cinema and American history, Mellen is the envy of her fellow scribes. having published a mere twenty two books in her lifetime, the latest one about Lyndon Johnson. Joan writes a book about as often as I write a check.

It’s true that I often disagree with her–sometimes violently–but I can’t say she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. In the JFK debates, she is our leading a Garrisonian, a persistent defender of the New Orleans District Attorney who discerned (but could not prove)  conspiratorial CIA machinations in the Crescent City. She knows everything about the man, maybe too much.

I highly recommend, Our Man in Haiti, her book on George de Mohrenschildt, the itinerant engineer and bon vivant who did favors for the CIA–including keeping an eye on a volatile chap named Lee Oswald. Mellen renders the man whole, not a stock figure in a conspiracy theory, but a complex adventurer who ranged across the landscape of the 1960s and wound up playing a tragic role in the events that led to JFK’s assassination.

I always dismissed the idea that George de Mohrenschildt was murdered. Then I read Our Man in Haiti and I had to reconsider. I’m not saying she changed my mind. She made me think twice. That’s Joan Mellen.

Here she is in conversation with JFKLancer’s Alan Dale. 







28 thoughts on “Meet Joan Mellen, a prolific provocateur of American history”

  1. For Jack Anderson’s view of Jim Garrison and his case see

    Anderson, who broke the story on the CIA Mafia plots to kill Castro, interviewed Garrison at length and reported back to the FBI that he was on to something.

    I personally don’t believe that something was the assassination of JFK since the Dealey Plaza operation was too sophisticated for Shaw/Bannister/Ferris Bozos to put together or pull off.

  2. What I find so fascinating about the above discussion is how little is has to do with the actual physical evidence related to the events in Dealey Plaza on Nov. 22, 1963.
    Instead of a “War and Peace” narrative why not accept the simple explanation-Garrison had no case, he knew he had no case, the interrelated white political and social Establishment knew he had no case. But Garrison was an unscrupulous ,politically ambitious publicity seeker who thought that he could prove that JFK’s murder was a homosexual thrill crime. Once that scenario became untenable he proceeded to tie in vague connections to the CIA that several of the cast of characters had in the remote past to a totally different CIA-driven conspiracy, one much more attractive to the Conspiracy theorists of the time. Many if not most of the prominent conspiracy authors at the time saw Garrison as the publicity-seeking charlatan that he was.The recent disclosures by Tom S. simply point out to me the bohemian nature of the New Orleans social and political scene.

    1. Mainly because Garrison opened a path so wide that you could drive a tank division through….Not T-62s either….

  3. Very interesting interview but at parts it reminded me of the well-known quote that an expert knows more and more about less and less until he (she) knows everything about nothing. So much detail but very little on the big picture. It is unclear to me where Joan stands on the question of who did it and why, was Oswald involved, etc.

  4. “We have been stove by a whale.”~’Heart of the Sea’

    Norman Mailer once likened the Warren Report to a dead whale decomposing on a beach.

    But before that whale beached itself, it took down the legitimate ship of state and installed usurpers, a cabal of psychopaths that remain in power.

    Isn’t this the reason we need to understand what the assassination of JFK was all about?

  5. George Simmons

    Was Oliver Stone misled by Garrison, or not?
    I must confess that my first reaction to this question was, does it matter?
    The movie, JFK, brought the assassination into the consciousness of an entire new generation of people around the globe ( such as myself, from England)
    It led to the JFK records act and the release of records.
    If it wasn’t for Garrisons investigation and Oliver Stones film, would we know that the DRE were CIA assets and that George Joannides was their handler, exposing the shocking level of deception by the CIA to the HSCA?
    What kind of man was Garrison? I have absolutely no idea. But I do believe he had stumbled on to something important in New Orleans, even if he did not know exactly what it was.

    1. Agreed. Garrison’s heart and investigative direction was in the right place, but he went a little mad with the spook meddling, misdirection and “wilderness of mirrors.”

      I think he would’ve felt vindicated by the DRE/Joannides revelations.

      1. Bogman, how could Garrison go “a little mad with the spook meddling?”
        The point I attempted to make comparing Joan Mellen’s version….”these were the CIA people,”
        and Garrison only describing Stephen B Lemann in his complaint to the FCC, (June, 1967) as
        counsel to WDSU who is “known in the past to have distributed Central Intelligence Agency funds,”
        and Garrison worked several year under former NODA Leon Hubert, Jr. with David Baldwin’s brother,
        Edward, another first cousin of Garrison’s wife.

        Where is Garrison’s mention of Stephen B Lemann’s hiring
        of Father Machann out of the Catholic priesthood and into
        a job as a NOLA mental health field coordinator?
        Garrison said what now appears suspiciously on anything specific about any of the activities of his wife’s family members and their in-laws.

        Edward’s law partner wrote a letter to CIA’s Helms requesting to be put on “the list.”
        Between them, Stephen B. Lemann and Edward Baldwin were the principle CIA lawyers Garrison
        was accusing of tampering with his witnesses, making promises to protect them from Garrison.

        If the CIA interference angle was overdone, now we know it was because Garrison had an undisclosed
        connection to the “CIA lawyers” and to the closest CIA link to Clay Shaw, David Baldwin, and Shaw
        knew all this from late in the first week of his arrest.

        The problem I observe is the refusal to carefully consider what actually happened, without the strong influences
        of Joan Mellen, Zachary Sklar, Oliver Stone, and Garrison himself.

        None of them actually provided any clearer picture of what was going than Clay Shaw or Nicholas
        Lemann have, and that is the basis for my criticism.

        I’m happy George can be confident the American people would not have been better informed before
        1979 if Garrison had never opened his mouth or made an arrest. I cannot know that, so I’m glad for
        George that he can assert that, here.

        Why is it not a consideration that Garrison and Shaw simply put on a performance, as they were instructed to? You may not like it but it is a plausible explanation for Garrison’s connections to his purported antagnoists never coming to light. I find it hard to believe Mellen and Sklar were in
        on Garrison and his ex-wife’s non-disclosure. The evidence is there that Garrison played Mellen, Sklar, and as a result, also Stone.

        In one sentence, all of the names that stand out, Stephen B Lemann, Edward Baldwin, Lemann’s nephew,
        Nicholas, and in the background, Shaw’s friend and ex-covert CIA agent David Baldwin, described by Joan Mellen as the CIA people, were actually close relatives of Garrison’s wife, or their in-laws.

        Examine your indifference to these connections being hidden, until presented without comment in 2014
        in Donald H Carpenter’s book. I think the true reason there is no reaction or denial is that people
        have too much invested in the JFK the movie narrative, and the people who got closest to Garrison and wrote books and made a movie are left with egg on their faces.

        1. this comment is dedicated to “annie”.

          “I think the true reason there is no reaction or denial is that people
          have too much invested in the JFK the movie narrative, and the people who got closest to Garrison and wrote books and made a movie are left with egg on their faces.” — TomS

          Tom, I argue that the egg has not yet been administered on any faces as there is still a respectable amount of time for Sklar, Stone, Mellen and/or yes diEugenio to step up and say “we had no idea Jim Garrison’s wife was related to – not to mention the goddaughter of – individuals who were as closely associated if not more so to the Central Intelligence Agency as Clay Shaw.”

          Why is no one asking, “why didn’t Jim Garrison indict David Baldwin or Stephen Lemann” if he knew their CIA connections? Did he know that Stephen Lemann – along with his law partners the Monroes – was attorney of record in New Orleans for the Whitney Bank enterprise whose interests in Freeport Sulphur and the Rockefeller / Vanderbilt dynasties are well established?

          Yes indeed, T>H>E CIA and T>H>E Federal Government.

        2. Tom —

          I will try to make the time to study your hypotheses in more detail. I admit to getting lost in the connections but understand you’re a thorough and honest researcher, and I admire your dedication.

          I will make one sweeping observation, though. Garrison lost quite a bit in that investigation and trial – his political future, his reputation and his wife. Not sure a man would give all that up for a plot to protect the CIA with smoke and mirrors.

          1. Bogman,
            Thank you, but I am not saying Garrison had a choice. As the late Tom Purvis posted on the Ed Forum, there
            were people in NOLA as in every other city, people who determined who would be supported in campaigns for political office. Garrison had no option other than to do what he was told if he wished to be reelected or
            aspire to higher office. How accurate is it to as much as say that the Garrison investigation ruined his
            personal and political life? He had a steady mistress long before his divorce, married her soon after divorcing David and Edward Baldwin’s first cousin Leigh aka Lee Elizabeth Ziegler, and ended up with her again near the last months of his life. His unfaithfulness can reasonably be blamed for his personal life
            fallout. He won reelection soon after the Shaw acquittal, his next campaign was thwarted by the federal prosecution, which he beat. If there was an Op….a sham assassination investigation and prosecution of Shaw, it can reasonably be assumed the DOJ was not read in by the local powers that be and their allied individuals in CIA and or MIC, IOW, the people behind the assassination who decided a sham investigation limited hang out was the next scene in the script….and Garrison ended up a well respected judge.
            The majority of lawyers in NOLA or in most cities would have been willing to live his life, given the choice, taking the good with the bad, even without the book deal and the attention of Oliver Stone and his

            I found something that Donald H Carpenter happened upon just before I did, and included it but buried it in
            his book. It does not mesh with the two decades long, anti-Garrison campaign of Nicholas B Lemann, nor with Stone’s movie, and it was Joan Mellen who named Garrison’s wife’s cousins, one of which was Mrs. Garrison’s godfather, and declared to Rex Bradford, “these are the CIA people.” Ms. Mellen left at that. DiEugenio has been informed and has buried his head in the sand. Shaw was told about Garrison’s conflict from the godfather/cousin himself, David Baldwin who Shaw hired fresh from his dismissal from CIA in India where he was serving as a covert agent. Shaw never raised this as an issue, and neither did Garrison.

            Ironically, Garrison and Ms. Mellen’s “CIA people” appear to have had the ability to settle their differences after a family Thanksgiving gathering, if they actually did have differences and were not all following instructions to perform a limited hangout.

            I think every fair appraiser of what I am laying out should attempt to explain it all away, but attempt
            to cover all we now know, including the non-disclosure of Shaw through his lawyers to the court, and Garrison to his book editor Zachary Sklar, coscreenplay writer of the movie script. How did Nicholas B Lemann know from 1974 that he could repeatedly attack and ridicule Garrison with no reaction?

            No one likes it, but the best explanation that covers all the bases and considers that Garrison wrecked his
            own marriage independently of the investigation and the appearances of its toll on him and his family, and
            did not suffer the loss of his career, he went on to even higher office than NODA, and also accounts for his
            deceiving Mellen, Sklar, Stone, and possibly Davy and DiEugenio, is that Garrison and Shaw were following
            directives they decided they could not refuse, issued by those with the most to lose in late 1966 if an investigation by federal politicians had garnered enough support. It is reasonable to say that the Garrison investigation and prosectuion of Shaw delayed the start of a congressional committee investigation by five or more years and Nicholas B Lemann was just one of several who made the idea of the need or stature of the HSCA investigation look almost as absurd as Garrison’s was presented as.

            Bogman, Joan Mellen stated that she interviewed at least 1200 people related to the effort to assemble
            her book, and the question is did she have an advantage in knowing Garrison quite well since just after the
            Shaw trial verdict. In my experience and opinion, the current body of knowledge, and my point about how she described David Baldwin and his brother Edward to Rex Bradford, the answer is no. Her long relationship with Garrison seems to have kept her from discovering what I found that goes deeper than her assessment of the Baldwin brothers, in just a few week’s time, without leaving me house or interviewing anyone. DiEugenio went to NOLA and interviewed Shaw’s trial defense lawyer, Dymond, I think it was.

            I discern what has happened by what those who seem the most thorough publish or present. I compare the details sourced from them to what I find on my own. I’m not in bed with this story. I viewed Stone’s movie
            for the first time, last fall. I was looking into the background of Ed Butler in January, noticed Jesse Core, and it went from there. I think I’ve examined and appraised what actually happened, influenced little
            by Stone, Prouty, Garrison, Mellen, Davy, or DiEugenio. My only formal exposure is a recent viewing of Stone’s film and skimming through DiEugenio’s revised version of Destiny Betrayed in late 2013.

            I didn’t have to revise or rethink much because I was close to arm’s length from the Garrison legend.

      2. Bogman what is spook meddling? Confronting their presence in Garrison’s office? The DRE, Oswald and Joannaides?
        Concern about and support for Shaw/Bertram’s legal team?
        I find your posts informative.
        Look forward to a reply.

        1. First, as Bogman asserts George Simmons above is spot on above, read if you have not.
          Second, Our man in Haiti and Farewell to Justice are both deep and important books.
          I watched a show with Ms. Mellen on it a few years back in which she tried to dominate the conversation, she seemed to have a I know more/better than you attitude.
          It diminished my impression of her personally.
          It should not influence the breadth and depth of her work. Tom, what you make note of is Very Important. But the rest of her work should not be dismissed because of it.
          Even someone with a PhD. can make a mistake or miss something.

          1. Ronnie, thank you, and I’ll leave it to you to decide if Joan Mellen just missed the real “meat” of this
            story. I would not have known about it except for my own discovery of Devine’s connection with Dryer, Jr.’s
            brother, Peter, and because of what I found independently, I knew what to ask Ms. Mellen. She replied with a
            rapid, direct answer.

            I am sorry there is so much detail in my Jan., 2016 comment.

            I also found that Tom Devine’s grandmother (see- ) was a first cousin of John D Rockefeller III’s (brother of Nelson, Laurence, Winthrop, and David) father-in-law, Elon H Hooker. The Rockefeller brothers sister’s (Abby “Babs” Rockefeller Mauzé ) son, George D. O’Neill, Jr. (see- & ) just happened to be named a director of Bell Helicopter on the same day Walter Dornberger was promoted to V.P. of that firm, and O’Neill, Jr. then went to work for the same firm employing Tom Devine, “Train, Cabot”. See-,%20L.L.C.

            I consider two things, I am just some guy who has been blogging and posting about JFK Assassination related matters since the latter part of 2008. I’ve published no book and I certainly am no instructor with experience at even the high school level. So how come I read in Ms. Mellen’s “Our Man In Haiti,” that Joseph F Dryer, Jr. had a tip from a CIA contact that DeMohrenschildt and Clemard Charles were accompanied on their meeting itinerary in the U.S. with a secretary reporting to CIA, and Dryer, Jr. and Tom Devine were holding separate meetings with the two men on April 25, 1963 in NYC, just fifteen days after the alleged attempt to shoot Edwin Walker, but I am the one who looks deeper and discovers and shares that Tom Devine and Dryer, Jr. and his brother Peter were close friends from Rochester?

            Ms. Mellen, according to her book, interviewed Dryer, Jr. extensively and attribute him frequently in her book. Here is his obit from 2015, one of the most unusual I’ve ever read.:

            Remarkably, Dryer, Jr. came to be testifying in 1977 about DeMohrenschildt because of a tip the HSCA received from James Kelsey Cogswell, III. Among the unusual things about Cogswell was that he was asked
            by the HSCA if a photo of D.A. Phillips was the man he knew as “Bishop,” Cogswell’s cousin, daughter
            of his father’s sister, Bianca married Harry Hull during WWII, a guy DeMohrenschildt had roomed with in
            D.C. at the home of then US Navy Captain Paul Joaquin, Cogswell lived a mile from Harold Ober’s house in
            Scarsdale and Ober was F. Scott Fitzgerald’s only literary agent, and Cogswell in 1943 married Fitzgerald’s close friend, Cornelius Van Ness’s daughter, Nancy, and Ober’s son, CIA agent and Angelton asst. Richard Ober, Cogswell and Katzenbach all attended Phillips Exeter Academy at exactly the same time.
            For more info, see.:

            Cogswell’s best man (1953 wedding to Joan Farish), George O. Walbridge II, is pictured with his boss Lem Billings in Havana in !955, with Carlos Prio’s former PR
            flack. Both men worked for Francis McAdoo, brother of DeMohrenschildt’s aunt by marriage, Nona McAdoo.
            Pardon me, but I’ve got a knack for detail and someone should be doing this.

          2. So did Cogswell ever answer the question of Bishop being Phillips? Did I miss that part?

          3. Ronnie,
            Post #17 for some background:

            From first post at top of page. William Davy writes this same description in his book.:

            ….Perhaps because of the following account, David Atlee Phillips was questioned by the HSCA about his possible relationship with both Freeport Sulphur and Moa Bay Mining Company. While working for the HSCA, Fonzi interviewed James Cogswell III, in his home in Palm Beach, Florida. Cogswell presented Fonzi with various leads he felt were important to the case, one of which was the following:

            Cogswell says the Bishop sketch resembles the former president of a Moa Bay subsidiary, Freeport Sulphur of New Orleans. Cogswell doesn’t remember name of that officer, but says he knew he had very powerful connections and came from Texas.

            When Phillips, who came from Texas, was asked about Freeport, the HSCA staffer noted this response:

            Phillips had memory failure, re: Cogswell:

            The CIA description to the HSCA was that Cogswell happened to run into stocbroker Dryer, Jr. in West Palm
            in 1976, Dryer mentioned DeMohrenschildt, Cogswell passed the details along to his aunt, a secretary retired
            from CIA in 1954 who passed it to the CIA who then contacted Cogswell. Closer to the truth is that Cogswell
            and Dryer, Jr. had their own extensive past dealings wit CIA.

            In my last comment I mentioned Francis McAdoo, head of Emerson Drug and boss of Lem Billings who was
            boss of Cogswell’s close friend George O Walbridge II. McAdoo’s sister, Nona, was DeMohrenschildt’s aunt,
            and Warren Commissioner John Sherman Cooper, Yale Bonesman who had Bill Macomber as his US Senate staffer before Cooper was named ambassador to India, married the widow of Francis and Nona McAdoo’s brother.

            In 1973, Bill Macomber, aka William B Macomber, Jr., who had been best man in the 1946 wedding
            of Nancy Bush and Alexander Ellis, was best man in the Jupiter Island wedding of Tom Devine.

          1. 20 September 1967


            SUBJECT: Garrison Group Meeting No. 1 – 20 September 1967

            PRESENT: Executive Director, General Counsel, Inspector General, DD/P, DD/S, Mr. Raymond Rocca of CI Staff, Director of Security, and Mr. Goodwin.

            1. Executive Director said that the Director had asked him to convene a group to consider the possible implications for the Agency emanating from New Orleans before, during, and after the trial of Clay Shaw.

            2. General Counsel discussed his dealings with Justice and the desire of Shaw’s lawyers to make contact with the Agency.

            3. Rocca felt that Garrison would indeed obtain a conviction of Shaw for conspiring to assassinate President Kennedy.

            4. Executive Director said the group should level on two objectives: (a) what kind of action, if any, is available to the Agency, and (b) what actions should be taken inside the Agency to reassure the Director that we have the problem in focus. The possibility of Agency action should be examined from the timing of what can be done before the trial and what might be feasible during and after the trial. It was agreed that OGC and Rocca would make a detailed study of all the facts and consult with Justice as appropriate prior to the next group meeting.


            F. W. M. Janney
            . . . . . . . .


  6. Although I am credited as a contributor to Ms. Mellen’s book, “Our Man in Haiti,” my entire body of research results influence me to share an opinion that the description of Joan Mellen in this article is overdone….

    She first met Jim Garrison just months after the Clay Shaw trial in 1969 and described interviewing more than 1200 people before publishing her book on Jim Garrison, “Farewell to Justice.”

    More than 30 years after she first met Jim Garrison and in addition to much other research and interviewing 1200 people, this was the crux and the emphasis of Joan Mellen’s presentation on the best supported CIA influences/interference on Garrison’s investigation and his prosecution of Clay Shaw.
    Unredacted Episode 1: Transcript of Interview with Joan Mellen
    Joan Mellen is the author of A Farewell to Justice: Jim Garrison, JFK’s Assassination, and the Case That Should Have Changed History. This interview was conducted on 22 Feb 2006. Tyler Weaver provided the introduction, and the interview was conducted by Rex Bradford.
    REX: I – I think –

    JOAN: – when Baldwin was present, he was a CIA asset, his brother worked for the International Trade Mart and Clay Shaw, David Baldwin, and these, these are CIA people….

    Using only internet resources and in the course of a couple of weeks of part time research I shared in comments on this website, (see- )
    I found these details, not published or mentioned, ever, by Joan Mellen.

    In the course of attempting to determine if my new fact checked research details were actually original, I found identical details, by author of a biography of Clay Shaw,
    Donald H Carpenter.

    From Joan Mellen’s book :

    The best face I can put on this is that Garrison misled and failed to disclose to his friend, Joan Mellen, and editor of his own book, the co-writer of the JFK the movie screenplay, Zachary Sklar.

    The most troubling thing I’ve learned is that almost no one seems to appreciate being exposed to this new information. They already knew what they knew and indicate a preference of not having to consider Garrison’s actual proximity to those even he described as CIA sponsored adversaries.

    Garrison’s silence on this also provided an opening (unanswered by Garrison) for the belligerent nephew of Stepen B. Lemann who is also the step-nephew of wife of Lee Garrison’s first cousin and godfather David Baldwin.:


    1. While I agree that this information casts an uncomfortable light on the Garrison prosecution, I believe that Garrison was on the right track in the direction his prosecution took.

      In fact, surprisingly so given what is known today.

      Did he intentionally limit his investigation of the Shaw-Permindex-CMC-CIA links and apparatus…?

      Was it constructed as a limited hangout…?

      I’d argue no to the latter question, as it simply reveals too much about how the CIA goes about its affairs.

      As far as the former question, I am not prepared to make that determination…

    2. ….continued from my last comment

      The Rise and Fall of Big Jim G. | News | The Harvard Crimson
      The Harvard Crimson
      Feb 6, 1974 – By Nicholas Lemann, ……
      20 Years After Dallas
      By Nicholas Lemann – November 20, 1983

      …These were, I remember vividly, giddy and gleeful: in general because children raised on television see death by gunfire as exciting and without consequence, and in particular because in my part of the country, Louisiana, at that moment Kennedy was a much-hated man….
      …..In other words, I missed all of the rise of the Kennedy reputation, became aware of it just when it was at its peak and was able to see all of its drift downward through the years.

      …..By an accident of location, I was more often confronted with the facts of the Kennedy assassination than most people. In 1967, our young, reform-minded district attorney in New Orleans, Jim Garrison, announced that he was investigating the question of who really had murdered Kennedy. There followed a terrible stretch of years during which Garrison, who was either crazy or very cynical, possibly both, was the dominant figure in the public life of my hometown…..
      Russo v. Conde Nast Publications, 806 F. Supp. 603 (E.D. La. 1992)
      U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana – 806 F. Supp. 603 (E.D. La. 1992)
      November 17, 1992
      In its January, 1992 issue, GQ Magazine published an article entitled “The Case Against Jim Garrison” (hereafter the “GQ article”). The GQ article was written by Nicholas B. Lemann, a New Orleans native and winner of numerous awards for his books and articles. The GQ article was a personal memoir[1] of Lemann’s recollections of growing up in New Orleans during District Attorney Jim Garrison’s prosecution of Clay Shaw for allegedly conspiring to assassinate JFK.

      The 1991 movie release, JFK ….. The film was purportedly based on Garrison’s book, On the Trail of Assassins, and sympathetically portrayed Garrison.….

      So the question almost nobody indicates any interest in the answer to is, who’s zoomin’ who?
      (IOW, were Garrison and Clay Shaw actually on opposing “sides”?)
      Jim DiEugenio, author of Destiny Betrayed said he doesn’t understand (what seems obvious.):
      03-17-2016, 08:03 AM
      Originally Posted by Jim DiEugenio

      I stand by what I said.

      I thought the first part of your post was interesting, about Lemman etc Steve and Monte.

      I have no idea what you were talking about later on. I don’t buy Carpenter’s book, and I have explained why here. I talked to Wallace Milam about Carpenter. So I know what he was up to…..

      Tom Scully replied:
      I am extremely disappointed in your defensive reaction, Jim. I’m one of your paid readers. I purchased your book. I’m sharing what I find, with you.
      You’ve had a choice. Instead of a discussion, you lecture me and lash out at Carpenter. “Haven’t you read my book?” is not an adequate response to what I’ve presented to you, especially considering;…

      Oliver Stone spent $41 million on the production and distribution of
      JFK the movie. Was he misled by Garrison, or not?

      1. In light of what we now know about the Garrison familial relationship to Baldwin and Lemann, I think it’s reasonable to consider that T>H>E CIA has served as a patsy all these years, and that the Garrison case against Clay Shaw may have been a steam valve. How could a professional investigator get their head around accusing an entire agency as suspect and present sufficient evidence to a prosecutor to bring charges? It’s illogical. Garrison honed in on an individual he could credibly charge with being an “agent” more or less of the Central Intelligence Agency – grandstanding to the degree that ‘The Agency’ itself became the real suspect. However he failed to identify openly that he was related to others with history in the Agency. Then his case fell apart and no one, no entity since has been brought to trial. The public was satisfied with Stone’s movie: “now we have something large enough to balance a murder in broad daylight of our president”; similar to George deMohrenschildt, “now we have someone eccentric and intriguing enough – with ties to Russia no less – to satisfy the public that Oswald had a handler; similar to Lee Oswald, “now we have a defector, an unstable ex-Marine” to prosecute posthumously. Patsies abound during these last five decades.

        Clearly it required delicate maneuvering by Garrrison and Lemann but only those in a small circle in NOLA knew about the family ties. Shaw knew, and Nicholas Lemann knew all along, even as he came of age and penned his impassioned essay on his hometown that he was related to Jim Garrison’s wife. Did Sklar know, did Stone know about Garrison’s conflict of interest? Did the judges know? Now that those details have surfaced, have Sklar and Stone reacted? For that matter, why hasn’t Joan Mellen reacted?

        And who gets by with murder in the scenario using T>H>E CIA as the patsy? Individuals who had the power and influence and shared ideological and financial allegiances to manipulate the Baldwins, the Lemanns and their associates, and convert those credentials with the CIA to private advantage, knowing they would point the finger at the entire government intelligence apparatus. Why does the research community think that Dulles was loyal to the agency he led when in fact evidence proves his loyalty was to industry and his own twisted version of “democracy”. No jury in the land would buy a completely illogical argument that T>H>E Agency en toto was behind the conspiracy, yet popular opinion among many convinced that there was no ‘lone nut’ seem to accept it without reservation, content that THE entire CIA was responsible for assassinating their commander in chief; just as content as are those with Oswald as the lone assassin. This is a sensational juxtaposition between a vast agency and a sad, disgruntled ex-Marine defector – both serving in their unique way as ‘the perfect patsy’.

        A third wave of research might do well to consider the possibility that the employment of patsies continues to this day.

        1. T>H>E CIA, T>H>E Military Industrial Complex, T>H>E “government’, are all patsies…???

          Since when does one who takes a systemic approach to investigation assume that T>H>E WHOLE of any organization is responsible?

          Do we not understand these are hierarchical structures? That most ’employees’ are merely following orders and set routines?

          I have to admit that I find both Leslie and Tom’s theories that Garrison was somehow involved in some undetermined plot with his in-laws to be utterly preposterous.

          All of the facts that have emerged, even in Tom’s own research proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Shaw was guilty as charged, that CIA was guilty as charged, and that the Federal government itself destroyed Garrison’s prosecution.

          1. ” . . . even in Tom’s own research proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Shaw was guilty as charged, that CIA was guilty as charged, and that the Federal government itself destroyed Garrison’s prosecution.” — Willy Whitten

            Did Garrison ever successfully argue precisely how Shaw managed the murder, let alone that he authorized and covered up the hit in Dealey Plaza? Yet he charged him with the crime. Was that not careless? And still, he introduced ‘THE’ CIA. But did Garrison ever establish who Shaw was reporting to within the agency? Was it Stephen Lemann, the alleged paymaster of the CIA in New Orleans? Why didn’t Garrison make that connection? Was it because his wife was related to Baldwin and Lemann? And where was the proof that thru Clay Shaw “THE” CIA is guilty, let alone his clear definition of who THE CIA was? Might not those using CIA credentials have been serving a different master? The reality is the evidence simply was not there. I’m not arguing Shaw was not in the mix, but I believe it is now reasonable to posit that an impediment of Garrison’s case was that he failed to disclose let alone pursue his family connection to characters with a history at the Central Intelligence Agency.

            Why would anyone discount the possibility that maybe T>H>E Federal Government was not even in the loop in NOLA post the Garrison case, but that a private power structure with deep tentacles within the intelligence apparatus and military contractors – flashing government credentials – were the ones exacting pressure in the shadows. But you’e asking us to buy into “the government’ was destroying the Garrison case?

            The powers that be at NBC included locally the Sterns whose wealth was built on the success of Sears Roebuck whose CEO at the time was Ret. Gen. Robert Woods, a founder of the private, virulent anti-communist American Security Council where we see the influence of Patrick Frawley – the deep pockets for Ed Butler’s INCA. The NBC board included retired military brass and military contractors who were engaged in what can reasonably be deemed as an unelected shadow government that was running our country, some of whom dovetail with the Baldwin family, the Lemann family thru the Whitney, Vanderbilt Rockefeller dynasties.

            I’m curious precisely where anyone challenging TomS’ research might position Stephen Lemann and David Baldwin in the matrix of the Garrison case against Shaw? Were they merely walk-on actors? Why is Clay Shaw sufficient to an understanding of the plot to assassinate Kennedy? Who ties it all together? “T>H>E Federal Government, T>H>E CIA”? Or Baldwin and Lemann?

            The deeper question is who scampered out the back door with the silver?

          2. “Did Garrison ever successfully argue precisely how Shaw managed the murder, let alone that he authorized and covered up the hit in Dealey Plaza?”~Leslie Sharp

            I don’t think that was what Garrison was prosecuting Shaw for. Garrison was merely prosecuting Shaw for involvement in the assassination. Shaw had an involvement with the assassination, an involvement with CIA, and some of those involved with CIA were in-laws to Garrison.

            Garrison was not related to Clay Shaw by blood or marriage. Garrison was not prosecuting any of his in-laws. That they might be implicated by further investigation is up to discovery. I cannot find anything improper in Garrison’s indictment and prosecution of Shaw, neither legally nor ethically.

            Garrison was clearly cognizant enough to realize that it was a systemic hit, a coup d’etat. He surely understood that Shaw could not accomplish a cover-up. he could not influence the Warren Commission.

            Don’t forget it was Garrison’s study of the 26 volumes of the Warren Commission report that set him on the trail of the assassins. He realized he had proper venue when he began investigating David Ferrie. When Ferrie died,or was murdered, Garrison let the case simmer. It was only after a conversation with Dean Andrews about his connection with Shaw that set Garrison back on the tracks. Shaw was a citizen within Garrison’s New Orleans district.

            I think that further revelations have proven that Garrison’s case against Shaw was far from frivolous. I don’t think that Shaw was the end of where he was going, it was to prove that the military industrial complex was the perpetrator of a coup d’etat. THAT is a systemic view that Garrison clearly maintained.

            That is my opinion of this situation at hand here. Anyone can take it or leave it.

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