The JFK Lawyers' Conspiracy





Mr. Holland is the author of The Kennedy Assassination Tapes.


During forty-two years of controversy over the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the legal profession has played an instrumental role. All seven members of the Warren Commission, which investigated the 1963 assassination, were lawyers. There were twenty-seven people on the commission's staff (including Norman Redlich, a Nation contributor since 1951), twenty-two of whom were aspiring or practicing attorneys. The combined efforts of these lawyers produced an imperfect report in September 1964, although its fundamental findings have never been seriously impeached.

But what the legal profession giveth, less scrupulous members of the bar taketh away. Since 1964 four other lawyers have been chiefly responsible for putting the Warren Report into undeserved disrepute. During a conference in November sponsored primarily by the Washington-based Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC)--headed, not coincidentally, by a lawyer--three of these four lawyers made rare public appearances or were otherwise represented in spirit.

The paterfamilias of disingenuousness, Mark Lane, was noticeably absent. An obscure New York attorney at the time of the assassination, Lane single-handedly set the standard for dishonest criticism. In 1964 he spread innuendo about an ostensibly sinister delay in the Warren Commission's investigation as he went barnstorming around the country giving what was then known as The Speech. Two years later Lane published a book titled Rush to Judgment, having conveniently forgotten his earlier accusation. Carey McWilliams, editor of The Nation during those years, steadfastly refused, to his everlasting credit, to propagate Lane's basic allegation that the government was indifferent to the truth. Little did McWilliams (or anyone else) know then that the KGB was finding Lane's work so useful that it was secretly underwriting his"research" and travel in the amount of $12,500 (in 2005 dollars).

The Soviet intelligence service was engaged in a scheme to implicate the CIA, the FBI and the far right in the assassination and the subsequent murder of the accused assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, but had little to show for its efforts until New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison inserted himself into the case in 1967. Owing to a clever piece of disinformation implanted in a left-wing Roman newspaper, Paese Sera, in March 1967, Garrison became consumed by the notion that Clay Shaw, a prominent businessman he had charged with participating in an alleged conspiracy that killed JFK, was actually"an employee of the CIA...an agency man in Rome trying to bring Fascism back to Italy," as he put it in his 1988 memoir. Within a matter of months Garrison had succeeded in making the KGB's wildest fantasy come true: An elected public official in America was propagating Moscow's line. Not even Lane had dared suggest that official Washington was complicit in the assassination itself.

Garrison, having died in 1992, did not attend the AARC conference, but he was represented in spirit by Joan Mellen, a Temple University English professor who has just published a hagiography of the DA, whom Oliver Stone tried to rehabilitate in his 1991 film JFK. Mellen's reception was decidedly tepid, for Garrison, like Joe McCarthy, has always represented a fault line. Just as McCarthy was disavowed by many anticommunists because of his beyond-the-pale tactics, conspiracy"buffs," as Calvin Trillin memorably labeled them in a 1967 New Yorker article, have always been hopelessly divided over Garrison. Even buffs inclined to believe the DA's grand theory of a military-industrial-intelligence complex find it hard to square that with his persecution of Clay Shaw. The most vociferous critics among the buffs have never forgiven Garrison for setting back the movement almost irreparably. A jury declared Shaw not guilty in 1969 after a mere fifty-four minutes of deliberation, and if Shaw hadn't died prematurely in 1974 at the age of 62, Garrison would likely have found himself at the wrong end of an impressive civil judgment for misuse and abuse of his prosecutorial powers.

The fallow years following the collapse of Garrison's legal farce ended once Watergate proved that conspiracies and cover-ups could exist in high places. During Washington's season of inquiry in the mid-1970s, unresolved questions about the 1963 assassination resurfaced. Some of them richly deserved to be asked, and answered--such as the nature of the cooperation (or lack thereof) between the Warren Commission and the two agencies critical to its inquiry, namely, the FBI and the CIA. Led by Senator Frank Church, Democrats on the Select Committee on Intelligence dived into this issue with a vengeance--until the answers they started coming up with contradicted the still- prevalent view that once there had been a Camelot.

Then-Senator Gary Hart was more responsible than most of his committee colleagues for twisting unpalatable truths into the logical equivalent of pretzels and milking the tragedy for political gain. The only genuine conspiracy Hart and his colleagues established was the Kennedy Administration's attempts to kill Fidel Castro, and the subsequent efforts to keep that secret from one and all, including the Warren Commission. These days Hart--a lawyer before he entered politics--seldom talks about the Church Committee. Nonetheless, he made a rare appearance at the AARC conference to speak about the"still unanswered questions" raised by his three-and-a-half-month inquiry.

Listening to Hart was an exercise in time travel. The perspective gained after thirty years, not to mention information available from tens of thousands of recently declassified documents, was airbrushed out of existence. Hart forthrightly admitted that he has"not followed the research" but acted as if his conclusions were as fresh and relevant as when first issued in 1976. He remains a"total agnostic" on who killed Kennedy, and overly proud of his role in revealing that two groups were ostensibly motivated to kill the President: anti-Castro exiles and the Mafia. Those who testified before Hart have a somewhat different recollection of the former senator's probity. He was"only interested in [testimony] proving what he wanted proven," James Hosty, a retired FBI agent who testified before Hart in 1975, recently recalled.

When one young man in the audience had the temerity to ask why the Church Committee had not endeavored to answer questions instead of just raising them, Hart became testy, if not bitter. Had he been elected President in the 1980s, Hart averred, he would have reopened the federal investigation into the assassination (for the third time). The clear implication was that the American people will never know because Hart's bid for the presidency was unfortunately aborted.

Notwithstanding Hart's rare discussion--which included his hilarious impression of William Harvey, the CIA officer who negotiated the Mafia's participation in the plots to kill Castro--the centerpiece of the AARC conference was a banquet address by G. Robert Blakey, who was a professor at Cornell Law School when he became chief counsel and staff director of the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) in 1977. It is due to Blakey that the federal government speaks (at least superficially) with a forked tongue about the assassination. In 1964 the Warren Commission unanimously found that"on the basis of the evidence before [it]...Oswald acted alone." In 1979 the HSCA infamously concluded that JFK"was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy," but the committee was"unable to identify the other gunman or the extent of the conspiracy."

The pregnant construction of the HSCA's hedged conclusion hinged entirely on so-called acoustic evidence rammed through the committee at the eleventh hour by Blakey. Now a law professor at Notre Dame and a nationally recognized expert on the RICO statute, Blakey invariably fails to mention that three HSCA members dissented in 1979 because they found the uncorroborated acoustic evidence unbelievable. And their reservations soon proved correct: A National Research Council panel (aided by an Ohio rock drummer named Steve Barber) established in 1982 that the"shots" allegedly recorded on a police Dictabelt began approximately one minute after the President was mortally wounded and en route to Parkland Hospital (a finding that is reaffirmed in the current issue of Science & Justice, a British forensic journal). In point of fact, 99.99 percent of HSCA's report improved upon or underscored the accuracy of the Warren Report's key findings. But one would be hard-pressed to know that after listening to Blakey. The exploitation of the assassination by the likes of Mark Lane, Jim Garrison and Gary Hart, for whatever reasons, was bad enough. But someday a historian looking back will likely declare Blakey the most irresponsible of them all. Blakey was given a position of great responsibility in the mistaken belief that he would seek the truth.

Writing about the prominent role of lawyers in American society, Alexis de Tocqueville once opined that legal training imparted"a kind of instinctive regard for the regular connection of ideas," which tended to make lawyers informed, detached and trustworthy. It is hard to square that assessment with the overall performance of the bar since that day in November.


Reprinted with permission from the Nation. For subscription information call 1-800-333-8536. Portions of each week's Nation magazine can be accessed at http://www.thenation.com.



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Patrick Joseph Speer - 3/26/2006

Come on, Mel. The character attacks on Lane have to stop at some point. What did he do but present a defense of Oswald? Yes, he nit-picked. Yes, he grand-standed in order to get attention. But how was this wrong? If Gerald Ford and Arlen Specter can benefit from their prosecution of Oswald, why couldn't Lane benefit from providing a defense? If anyone can show us any reason to believe that Mark Lane believed Oswald was guilty, but wrote Rush to Judgment anyhow, then his character can be questioned. But until that point, what's the point? Except smearing a man whose viewpoint you disagree with...


Mel Ayton - 3/21/2006

Did you know that the House Assassinations Committee (HSCA) characterized Mark Lane as someone not to be believed?Which planet does Mr Warriner live on?


Mitchell Ryan Warriner - 3/16/2006

I was very much troubled by the Max Holland article entitled "The JFK Lawyers' Conspiracy" featured in the February 20th edition of "The Nation." First and foremost, I have studied the assassination of President Kennedy for many years, and my main area of expertise includes the investigation of New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, whom of course is the only public official to have charged someone in a plot to kill President Kennedy. In this article, Holland attacked authors Mark Lane and Joan Mellen, both of whom have written impeccable accounts on the assassination. I find it odd for Holland to say that the Warren Commission's "fundamental findings have never been seriously impeached." What planet did he come from? After decades of research by numerous individuals, I believe (and much of the American public will agree with me) that the Warren Report has been literally ripped apart, and most of all, by its own evidence published in the twenty-six volumes printed by the U.S. Government. Needless to say, Holland stated Mark Lane "single-handedly set the standard for dishonest criticism." What about Harold Weisberg, Edward Jay Epstein, Sylvia Meagher? All of these authors wrote early accounts critical of the assassination printed the same year as Lane's masterpiece "Rush to Judgment." And again, I don't understand Max's obsession with the KGB. I am not sure, but I think he might have lost his mind, or else he is working on a disinformation front for the federal government. I am really not quite sure where Holland came to believe that Jim Garrison believed Clay Shaw was an employee of the CIA just because of an article in Paese Sera. The papers of Jim Garrison at the National Archives proves otherwise. Do you your research Mr. Holland. And how dare you compare Garrison to Joe McCarthy of all people. Where did you get an idea like that? Garrison was a patriot, a man who served his country in both the US Army and the FBI. And now we find ourselves indulging in what Holland calls "the persecution of Clay Shaw." Since that 1969 trial, much evidence has come to light by the federal agencies own documents proving that Shaw had lied under oath, specifically his denial that he worked for the CIA. People who are interested in this area should read Bill Davy's "Let Justice Be Done," and Joan Mellen's new book "A Farewell to Justice." these books do a very good job at proving that Shaw was linked to the assassination and in fact had been employed with the Central Intelligence Agency. In the final analysis, your right Mr. Holland, there has been a lawyers' conspiracy, and it comes from the many attorneys that served on the Warren Commission with honorable men or "sacred cows" (Garrison's phrase) heading off the panel. I think it might be useful to do your homework before you begin attacking excellent researchers such as Mark Lane, Joan Mellen, and most of all, Jim Garrison.


Patrick Joseph Speer - 3/12/2006

I believe it's time for men like Holland to step back from their claims that men like Lane and Garrison were self-serving and/or communist dupes. He should be ashamed of himself. He has no idea what these men were thinking, or how they viewed their country. I also believe it's time for those who disagree with Holland, or McAdams, or Posner, to stop referring to these men as CIA defenders of propagandists. If I've learned anything from my years of studying the Kennedy assassination, it's that truth is a large gem with many facets; consequently, the surest way to avoid the truth is to assume that those looking at the gem from a different angle are lying.

I looked at the assassination with the assumption that the evidence was not altered and that the witnesses told the truth as they saw it. I believe it still indicates a conspiracy.

http://homepage.mac.com/bkohley/Menu18.html


Wim J Dankbaar - 3/11/2006


http://jfkmurdersolved.com/haslam1.htm

http://jfkmurdersolved.com/lewis.htm

http://jfkmurdersolved.com/judyth.htm


Wim J Dankbaar - 3/11/2006

http://jfkmurdersolved.com/posada.htm


Gary L. Aguilar - 3/10/2006

HOLLAND REPLIES

Washington, DC

Apparently, a word needs to be said about the article I wrote for Studies in Intelligence, a journal published by the CIA. The first iteration of this story, which exposed the impact of Soviet disinformation on Jim Garrison's persecution of Clay Shaw, actually appeared in the Spring 2001 Wilson Quarterly. However, the Quarterly, like The Nation, does not run footnoted articles, and I wanted a fully documented version to appear, since I had conducted extensive interviews and research in Italy, and into CIA documents at the National Archives. There are only four English-language journals that print scholarly articles on intelligence (and if one is so inclined, it is a snap to "prove" they are all CIA-connected). Studies is the oldest, and I went there first. That's the whole story, except that, yes, the article (available online) then also won an award.

Now to some brass tacks in the space I have available. Both Joan Mellen and Mark Lane make much of a CIA document that sounds very sinister--until you actually read it and put it into context. The document was written in April 1967, the height of the bout of madness otherwise known as the Garrison investigation. As one of the government agencies now being accused of complicity in the assassination, the CIA was very concerned about having such allegations gain widespread acceptance abroad in the midst of the cold war. "Innuendo of such seriousness affects...the whole reputation of the American government," observed the CIA. So the agency launched a campaign, using its media assets abroad, to counter criticism of the Warren Report by the likes of Mellen, Lane and others. Is that really shocking?

Joan Mellen's penchant for accuracy can be summed up in the fact that she cannot even bother to spell correctly (here or in her book) the names of Gianfranco Corsini and Edo Parpaglioni. Ordinarily, this would be nit-picking, but in this instance her elementary sloppiness is as good a window as any into the miasma of bald lies, misrepresentations and truthiness that she calls a book.

The claim that Paese Sera's lies about Shaw were the fortuitous result of a "six-month investigation" is a belated fiction embraced by Mellen and other Garrison acolytes. The co-author of the articles in question, Angelo Aver, claimed no such thing when interviewed in 2000, nor did any Paese Sera editors I contacted (including Corsini).

I find it illuminating that Lane has taken no legal action (not even in Britain!) against the authors (Christopher Andrew and KGB archivist-turned-defector Vasili Mitrokhin) and publishers of the 1999 volume that revealed "the [KGB's] New York residency sent [Lane initially] 1,500 dollars to help finance his research" through an intermediary. That doesn't necessarily mean it came in a lump sum. And neither Andrew/Mitrokhin nor I alleges that Lane was a witting recipient, just a useful one.

All the reliable forensic and scientific evidence developed around the JFK case either positively supports or does not negate the findings of the Warren Report. An explanation of the so-called acoustic evidence can be found at mcadams.posc.mu.edu/odell.

Jim Lesar has often attempted to impede The Nation's coverage of AARC conferences when I have been designated to cover them. On this go-round he hinted (before backing off) that a press credential would not be forthcoming unless The Nation guaranteed there would be an article. After the conference, impressed as I was by AARC's ability to attract the likes of Dr. Richard Garwin, former Senator Hart and Professor Blakey, I wanted to assure Lesar that I would do my best to submit an article that the editors would deem worthwhile, even though it's harder than ever to get into the magazine when writing about a largely historical subject. That didn't mean, however, that I had checked my brains at the door.

MAX HOLLAND


Gary L. Aguilar - 3/10/2006

Vallejo, Calif.

Max Holland has engaged for years in propagating disinformation on behalf of the CIA concerning the investigation of its role in the official execution of John F. Kennedy. Holland's Nation article expatiates upon his fabricated thesis that Jim Garrison's evidence of the CIA's role in the Kennedy murder derived from a series of articles in Paese Sera in 1967.

I sent those articles to Jim Garrison in my capacity as director of the Who Killed Kennedy? committee in London, whose members and supporters included Bertrand Russell, Hugh Trevor-Roper, Arnold Toynbee, Field Marshall Sir Claude Auchinleck and Lord Boyd Orr. The Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, of which I was then executive director, had conducted an extended investigation of the role of the CIA in fomenting and coordinating brutal repression, disappearances and assassinations, which culminated in a military putsch in Greece. Our Save Greece Now Committee unearthed concrete data regarding the role of the CIA and the Greek colonels that helped mobilize the movement for which Deputy Grigoris Lambrakis paid with his life. In the aftermath, our committee and its Greek leader, Michael Peristerakis, led a demonstration of more than 1 million that brought down the regime.

CIA activity across Europe led Paese Sera to undertake a six-month investigation into the role in Italy of the CIA, with its plans for a military coup. The CIA colonels' coup in Greece unfolded shortly after Paese Sera's prescient series. Prominent writers and intellectuals, including Rossana Rossanda, K.S. Karol, Lelio Basso, Bertrand Russell, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, supported Paese Sera.

This investigation was entirely unrelated to events in the United States or the assassination of John F. Kennedy. It was fortuitous that the CIA front organizations in Italy that emerged from CIA plans to overthrow the Italian government included Centro Mondiale Commerciale and Permindex, of which Clay Shaw was a director in New Orleans.

Jim Garrison was well on the trail of Shaw and his role as a CIA handler of Lee Harvey Oswald before Paese Sera published its series of articles. When I sent them to Garrison, he had already charged Shaw in relation to the murder of Kennedy. Jim found the Paese Sera series confirmatory and important, but the articles were not admissible as evidence in court.

Holland has written repeatedly that Paese Sera was a "communist" paper and a conduit for KGB disinformation. In fact, Paese Sera was not unlike The Nation before Holland's infiltration of it as a contributing editor (except Paese Sera was less inclined to defend the leaders of the Soviet Union than was The Nation during the decades since the 1930s). The Paese Sera fiction is real intelligence disinformation arising not from the KGB but from an April 7, 1967, directive by Helms to CIA media assets, "How To Respond to Critics of the Warren Report."

What emerged from the investigative work of the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation and Paese Sera was the full evidence of the forty-year campaign of the CIA in Italy, now known as Operation Gladio, a campaign of terror that included the kidnapping and murder of Prime Minister Aldo Moro and the bombing of the Bologna railway station.

I worked with Jim Garrison for twenty years and sent him many documents, e.g., Secret Service Report 767, which cites the disclosure by Alan Sweat, chief of the criminal division of the Dallas Sheriff's Office, of Lee Harvey Oswald's FBI Informant Number S172 and Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade's citation of Oswald's CIA number 110669.

Finally, Philip Zelikow, national security adviser to both Bush administrations and appointed by George W. Bush to his Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board immediately after the 9/11 attacks, has endorsed Holland's specious charges in Foreign Affairs, even as he and Holland were colleagues at the Miller Institute. Zelikow, as head of the 9/11 Commission, has been a point man in covering up the role of US intelligence in the planning and implementation of the events of September 11.

It is fitting that the very individuals who protect the treason at the top that defines the official assassination of President Kennedy are performing that role in relation to the events of 9/11--a precise correlative to Operation Gladio, first exposed by the investigative work of Paese Sera, which linked the CIA murder apparatus in Italy to the one that murdered the head of state in America.

Holland seeks to present the investigators into official murder in America not as people of principle and daring but as disinformation tools of an intelligence service. When it comes to being a pimp for the imperium, Mr. Holland, Physician, heal thyself!

RALPH SCHOENMAN

Kirtland, NM

I commend The Nation for publishing Max Holland's insightful article. In 1963 I worked in New Orleans as a cameraman for WDSU TV, and I met and talked with Lee Harvey Oswald on three occasions. I also knew Jim Garrison, and I knew the Cuban refugee Carlos Bringuier, who scuffled with Oswald on Canal Street on August 9, 1963. Three days later I photographed Oswald and Bringuier coming out of court after their "disturbing the peace" trial, and on August 16, I photographed Oswald handing out pro-Castro leaflets in front of the International Trade Mart on Camp Street.

In 1968 Garrison phoned me in San Francisco, where I was living, and asked if I would sell him a copy of my Oswald Trade Mart footage. I told him I'd gladly give him a copy. Then he went on to tell me a wild story about how the FBI was keeping WDSU and NBC News from providing him with a copy of the film because the bureau had had secret spies or agents with Oswald at the Trade Mart, directing his activities as part of a government "conspiracy." Garrison said the Feds didn't want him to see my film, since he might identify the government spooks with Oswald.

I was so shocked by that story that a day or so later I called a supervisor at the San Francisco FBI office and asked if he would call an appropriate person at the Washington headquarters to see if they would not want me to release the film to Garrison. I indicated that I might not release it if it involved "national security." My objective was twofold: to find out if Garrison was wrong about the FBI trying to cover up my film, and to find out if he was right. If he was right, that was indeed a big story. But the supervisor called me back a day or two later and said that the guys in Washington didn't care whether or not I gave Garrison the film. So I sent it to him, and after several months of studying it, the net result was that neither Garrison nor any of his investigators was able to turn up any FBI or other spooks with Oswald in the footage.

I worked and talked with Garrison many times when I was a news cameraman, and I always thought of him as an intelligent and sensible man. But after he began working on the JFK case and trying to invent bizarre government conspiracies about it, I came to realize the guy was going a bit bonkers and was apparently in the process of having a long, slow nervous breakdown.

Thirty-seven years after his phone call to me, a retired history professor found in some archives a copy of an FBI memo about my 1968 telephone call to the San Francisco FBI supervisor, and the professor fraudulently referred to it in his JFK conspiracy book as "documentation" that I had worked as an "FBI informant" in New Orleans in 1963!

Of course I had not, and the memo does not suggest in any way that I did. The professor's story was simply fabricated, like hundreds of other phony JFK "conspiracy" stories. I was a young liberal/leftist in 1963, and I didn't have any feelings of ill will toward Oswald at that time, nor did I have any contacts in the FBI. I thought Oswald was a little goofy and something of a crackpot to be handing out pro-Castro leaflets in a conservative Southern city just ten months after the Cuban missile crisis. But I learned in the news business long ago that crackpots do what crackpots think they need to do to modify the world in some way, and Oswald did what he thought he needed to do.

As I have carefully studied the JFK case myself, I've come to the conclusion that Oswald did act alone, and that President Kennedy might still be alive today if he had never made that trip to Dallas, or if Oswald had still lived in New Orleans on November 22, 1963. But the chance event of President Kennedy riding in an open limousine slowly down a street right in front of a building where a crackpot worked, especially a crackpot who owned a rifle with a telescopic sight, was just too much of an opportunity for the crackpot to pass up.

I've also come to realize that so many of these stupid, inaccurate and idiotic "conspiracy" stories are a waste of time and a distortion of history. Every minute wasted on pursuing a 1963 "conspiracy" while ignoring current important ongoing conspiracies is a minute lost.

And the conspiracy buffs who condemn honest, hard-working journalists like Holland remind me of the old 1950s film clips of Senator Joe McCarthy. I would hate to think that truth in historical reporting might be adversely influenced today by the use of such McCarthyite tactics against journalists like Holland who stick their necks out to report the truth about the JFK case and Jim Garrison's ridiculous investigation of it.

J.W. RUSH

HOLLAND REPLIES

Washington, DC

Apparently, a word needs to be said about the article I wrote for Studies in Intelligence, a journal published by the CIA. The first iteration of this story, which exposed the impact of Soviet disinformation on Jim Garrison's persecution of Clay Shaw, actually appeared in the Spring 2001 Wilson Quarterly. However, the Quarterly, like The Nation, does not run footnoted articles, and I wanted a fully documented version to appear, since I had conducted extensive interviews and research in Italy, and into CIA documents at the National Archives. There are only four English-language journals that print scholarly articles on intelligence (and if one is so inclined, it is a snap to "prove" they are all CIA-connected). Studies is the oldest, and I went there first. That's the whole story, except that, yes, the article (available online) then also won an award.

Now to some brass tacks in the space I have available. Both Joan Mellen and Mark Lane make much of a CIA document that sounds very sinister--until you actually read it and put it into context. The document was written in April 1967, the height of the bout of madness otherwise known as the Garrison investigation. As one of the government agencies now being accused of complicity in the assassination, the CIA was very concerned about having such allegations gain widespread acceptance abroad in the midst of the cold war. "Innuendo of such seriousness affects...the whole reputation of the American government," observed the CIA. So the agency launched a campaign, using its media assets abroad, to counter criticism of the Warren Report by the likes of Mellen, Lane and others. Is that really shocking?

Joan Mellen's penchant for accuracy can be summed up in the fact that she cannot even bother to spell correctly (here or in her book) the names of Gianfranco Corsini and Edo Parpaglioni. Ordinarily, this would be nit-picking, but in this instance her elementary sloppiness is as good a window as any into the miasma of bald lies, misrepresentations and truthiness that she calls a book.

The claim that Paese Sera's lies about Shaw were the fortuitous result of a "six-month investigation" is a belated fiction embraced by Mellen and other Garrison acolytes. The co-author of the articles in question, Angelo Aver, claimed no such thing when interviewed in 2000, nor did any Paese Sera editors I contacted (including Corsini).

I find it illuminating that Lane has taken no legal action (not even in Britain!) against the authors (Christopher Andrew and KGB archivist-turned-defector Vasili Mitrokhin) and publishers of the 1999 volume that revealed "the [KGB's] New York residency sent [Lane initially] 1,500 dollars to help finance his research" through an intermediary. That doesn't necessarily mean it came in a lump sum. And neither Andrew/Mitrokhin nor I alleges that Lane was a witting recipient, just a useful one.

All the reliable forensic and scientific evidence developed around the JFK case either positively supports or does not negate the findings of the Warren Report. An explanation of the so-called acoustic evidence can be found at mcadams.posc.mu.edu/odell.

Jim Lesar has often attempted to impede The Nation's coverage of AARC conferences when I have been designated to cover them. On this go-round he hinted (before backing off) that a press credential would not be forthcoming unless The Nation guaranteed there would be an article. After the conference, impressed as I was by AARC's ability to attract the likes of Dr. Richard Garwin, former Senator Hart and Professor Blakey, I wanted to assure Lesar that I would do my best to submit an article that the editors would deem worthwhile, even though it's harder than ever to get into the magazine when writing about a largely historical subject. That didn't mean, however, that I had checked my brains at the door.

MAX HOLLAND Vallejo, Calif.

Max Holland has engaged for years in propagating disinformation on behalf of the CIA concerning the investigation of its role in the official execution of John F. Kennedy. Holland's Nation article expatiates upon his fabricated thesis that Jim Garrison's evidence of the CIA's role in the Kennedy murder derived from a series of articles in Paese Sera in 1967.

I sent those articles to Jim Garrison in my capacity as director of the Who Killed Kennedy? committee in London, whose members and supporters included Bertrand Russell, Hugh Trevor-Roper, Arnold Toynbee, Field Marshall Sir Claude Auchinleck and Lord Boyd Orr. The Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, of which I was then executive director, had conducted an extended investigation of the role of the CIA in fomenting and coordinating brutal repression, disappearances and assassinations, which culminated in a military putsch in Greece. Our Save Greece Now Committee unearthed concrete data regarding the role of the CIA and the Greek colonels that helped mobilize the movement for which Deputy Grigoris Lambrakis paid with his life. In the aftermath, our committee and its Greek leader, Michael Peristerakis, led a demonstration of more than 1 million that brought down the regime.

CIA activity across Europe led Paese Sera to undertake a six-month investigation into the role in Italy of the CIA, with its plans for a military coup. The CIA colonels' coup in Greece unfolded shortly after Paese Sera's prescient series. Prominent writers and intellectuals, including Rossana Rossanda, K.S. Karol, Lelio Basso, Bertrand Russell, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, supported Paese Sera.

This investigation was entirely unrelated to events in the United States or the assassination of John F. Kennedy. It was fortuitous that the CIA front organizations in Italy that emerged from CIA plans to overthrow the Italian government included Centro Mondiale Commerciale and Permindex, of which Clay Shaw was a director in New Orleans.

Jim Garrison was well on the trail of Shaw and his role as a CIA handler of Lee Harvey Oswald before Paese Sera published its series of articles. When I sent them to Garrison, he had already charged Shaw in relation to the murder of Kennedy. Jim found the Paese Sera series confirmatory and important, but the articles were not admissible as evidence in court.

Holland has written repeatedly that Paese Sera was a "communist" paper and a conduit for KGB disinformation. In fact, Paese Sera was not unlike The Nation before Holland's infiltration of it as a contributing editor (except Paese Sera was less inclined to defend the leaders of the Soviet Union than was The Nation during the decades since the 1930s). The Paese Sera fiction is real intelligence disinformation arising not from the KGB but from an April 7, 1967, directive by Helms to CIA media assets, "How To Respond to Critics of the Warren Report."

What emerged from the investigative work of the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation and Paese Sera was the full evidence of the forty-year campaign of the CIA in Italy, now known as Operation Gladio, a campaign of terror that included the kidnapping and murder of Prime Minister Aldo Moro and the bombing of the Bologna railway station.

I worked with Jim Garrison for twenty years and sent him many documents, e.g., Secret Service Report 767, which cites the disclosure by Alan Sweat, chief of the criminal division of the Dallas Sheriff's Office, of Lee Harvey Oswald's FBI Informant Number S172 and Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade's citation of Oswald's CIA number 110669.

Finally, Philip Zelikow, national security adviser to both Bush administrations and appointed by George W. Bush to his Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board immediately after the 9/11 attacks, has endorsed Holland's specious charges in Foreign Affairs, even as he and Holland were colleagues at the Miller Institute. Zelikow, as head of the 9/11 Commission, has been a point man in covering up the role of US intelligence in the planning and implementation of the events of September 11.

It is fitting that the very individuals who protect the treason at the top that defines the official assassination of President Kennedy are performing that role in relation to the events of 9/11--a precise correlative to Operation Gladio, first exposed by the investigative work of Paese Sera, which linked the CIA murder apparatus in Italy to the one that murdered the head of state in America.

Holland seeks to present the investigators into official murder in America not as people of principle and daring but as disinformation tools of an intelligence service. When it comes to being a pimp for the imperium, Mr. Holland, Physician, heal thyself!

RALPH SCHOENMAN

Kirtland, NM

I commend The Nation for publishing Max Holland's insightful article. In 1963 I worked in New Orleans as a cameraman for WDSU TV, and I met and talked with Lee Harvey Oswald on three occasions. I also knew Jim Garrison, and I knew the Cuban refugee Carlos Bringuier, who scuffled with Oswald on Canal Street on August 9, 1963. Three days later I photographed Oswald and Bringuier coming out of court after their "disturbing the peace" trial, and on August 16, I photographed Oswald handing out pro-Castro leaflets in front of the International Trade Mart on Camp Street.

In 1968 Garrison phoned me in San Francisco, where I was living, and asked if I would sell him a copy of my Oswald Trade Mart footage. I told him I'd gladly give him a copy. Then he went on to tell me a wild story about how the FBI was keeping WDSU and NBC News from providing him with a copy of the film because the bureau had had secret spies or agents with Oswald at the Trade Mart, directing his activities as part of a government "conspiracy." Garrison said the Feds didn't want him to see my film, since he might identify the government spooks with Oswald.

I was so shocked by that story that a day or so later I called a supervisor at the San Francisco FBI office and asked if he would call an appropriate person at the Washington headquarters to see if they would not want me to release the film to Garrison. I indicated that I might not release it if it involved "national security." My objective was twofold: to find out if Garrison was wrong about the FBI trying to cover up my film, and to find out if he was right. If he was right, that was indeed a big story. But the supervisor called me back a day or two later and said that the guys in Washington didn't care whether or not I gave Garrison the film. So I sent it to him, and after several months of studying it, the net result was that neither Garrison nor any of his investigators was able to turn up any FBI or other spooks with Oswald in the footage.

I worked and talked with Garrison many times when I was a news cameraman, and I always thought of him as an intelligent and sensible man. But after he began working on the JFK case and trying to invent bizarre government conspiracies about it, I came to realize the guy was going a bit bonkers and was apparently in the process of having a long, slow nervous breakdown.

Thirty-seven years after his phone call to me, a retired history professor found in some archives a copy of an FBI memo about my 1968 telephone call to the San Francisco FBI supervisor, and the professor fraudulently referred to it in his JFK conspiracy book as "documentation" that I had worked as an "FBI informant" in New Orleans in 1963!

Of course I had not, and the memo does not suggest in any way that I did. The professor's story was simply fabricated, like hundreds of other phony JFK "conspiracy" stories. I was a young liberal/leftist in 1963, and I didn't have any feelings of ill will toward Oswald at that time, nor did I have any contacts in the FBI. I thought Oswald was a little goofy and something of a crackpot to be handing out pro-Castro leaflets in a conservative Southern city just ten months after the Cuban missile crisis. But I learned in the news business long ago that crackpots do what crackpots think they need to do to modify the world in some way, and Oswald did what he thought he needed to do.

As I have carefully studied the JFK case myself, I've come to the conclusion that Oswald did act alone, and that President Kennedy might still be alive today if he had never made that trip to Dallas, or if Oswald had still lived in New Orleans on November 22, 1963. But the chance event of President Kennedy riding in an open limousine slowly down a street right in front of a building where a crackpot worked, especially a crackpot who owned a rifle with a telescopic sight, was just too much of an opportunity for the crackpot to pass up.

I've also come to realize that so many of these stupid, inaccurate and idiotic "conspiracy" stories are a waste of time and a distortion of history. Every minute wasted on pursuing a 1963 "conspiracy" while ignoring current important ongoing conspiracies is a minute lost.

And the conspiracy buffs who condemn honest, hard-working journalists like Holland remind me of the old 1950s film clips of Senator Joe McCarthy. I would hate to think that truth in historical reporting might be adversely influenced today by the use of such McCarthyite tactics against journalists like Holland who stick their necks out to report the truth about the JFK case and Jim Garrison's ridiculous investigation of it.

J.W. RUSH


Gary L. Aguilar - 3/10/2006

Vallejo, Calif.

Max Holland has engaged for years in propagating disinformation on behalf of the CIA concerning the investigation of its role in the official execution of John F. Kennedy. Holland's Nation article expatiates upon his fabricated thesis that Jim Garrison's evidence of the CIA's role in the Kennedy murder derived from a series of articles in Paese Sera in 1967.

I sent those articles to Jim Garrison in my capacity as director of the Who Killed Kennedy? committee in London, whose members and supporters included Bertrand Russell, Hugh Trevor-Roper, Arnold Toynbee, Field Marshall Sir Claude Auchinleck and Lord Boyd Orr. The Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, of which I was then executive director, had conducted an extended investigation of the role of the CIA in fomenting and coordinating brutal repression, disappearances and assassinations, which culminated in a military putsch in Greece. Our Save Greece Now Committee unearthed concrete data regarding the role of the CIA and the Greek colonels that helped mobilize the movement for which Deputy Grigoris Lambrakis paid with his life. In the aftermath, our committee and its Greek leader, Michael Peristerakis, led a demonstration of more than 1 million that brought down the regime.

CIA activity across Europe led Paese Sera to undertake a six-month investigation into the role in Italy of the CIA, with its plans for a military coup. The CIA colonels' coup in Greece unfolded shortly after Paese Sera's prescient series. Prominent writers and intellectuals, including Rossana Rossanda, K.S. Karol, Lelio Basso, Bertrand Russell, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, supported Paese Sera.

This investigation was entirely unrelated to events in the United States or the assassination of John F. Kennedy. It was fortuitous that the CIA front organizations in Italy that emerged from CIA plans to overthrow the Italian government included Centro Mondiale Commerciale and Permindex, of which Clay Shaw was a director in New Orleans.

Jim Garrison was well on the trail of Shaw and his role as a CIA handler of Lee Harvey Oswald before Paese Sera published its series of articles. When I sent them to Garrison, he had already charged Shaw in relation to the murder of Kennedy. Jim found the Paese Sera series confirmatory and important, but the articles were not admissible as evidence in court.

Holland has written repeatedly that Paese Sera was a "communist" paper and a conduit for KGB disinformation. In fact, Paese Sera was not unlike The Nation before Holland's infiltration of it as a contributing editor (except Paese Sera was less inclined to defend the leaders of the Soviet Union than was The Nation during the decades since the 1930s). The Paese Sera fiction is real intelligence disinformation arising not from the KGB but from an April 7, 1967, directive by Helms to CIA media assets, "How To Respond to Critics of the Warren Report."

What emerged from the investigative work of the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation and Paese Sera was the full evidence of the forty-year campaign of the CIA in Italy, now known as Operation Gladio, a campaign of terror that included the kidnapping and murder of Prime Minister Aldo Moro and the bombing of the Bologna railway station.

I worked with Jim Garrison for twenty years and sent him many documents, e.g., Secret Service Report 767, which cites the disclosure by Alan Sweat, chief of the criminal division of the Dallas Sheriff's Office, of Lee Harvey Oswald's FBI Informant Number S172 and Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade's citation of Oswald's CIA number 110669.

Finally, Philip Zelikow, national security adviser to both Bush administrations and appointed by George W. Bush to his Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board immediately after the 9/11 attacks, has endorsed Holland's specious charges in Foreign Affairs, even as he and Holland were colleagues at the Miller Institute. Zelikow, as head of the 9/11 Commission, has been a point man in covering up the role of US intelligence in the planning and implementation of the events of September 11.

It is fitting that the very individuals who protect the treason at the top that defines the official assassination of President Kennedy are performing that role in relation to the events of 9/11--a precise correlative to Operation Gladio, first exposed by the investigative work of Paese Sera, which linked the CIA murder apparatus in Italy to the one that murdered the head of state in America.

Holland seeks to present the investigators into official murder in America not as people of principle and daring but as disinformation tools of an intelligence service. When it comes to being a pimp for the imperium, Mr. Holland, Physician, heal thyself!

RALPH SCHOENMAN


Gary L. Aguilar - 3/10/2006


Washington, DC

While many thought the 1979 report of the House Select Committee on Assassinations was the final word on President Kennedy's murder, it wasn't. In 1992 Congress passed the JFK Act. As a result, a huge volume of new materials are available for study.

One significant revelation is the extent to which the CIA was a focus of the committee's probe. Another is the discovery by Jefferson Morley, a columnist for WashingtonPost.com, that the CIA corrupted the committee's probe. The CIA brought former case officer George Joannides out of retirement to handle the committee's inquiries about the relationship between Lee Harvey Oswald and DRE, a CIA-funded Cuban exile organization. The CIA never told the committee that Joannides was DRE's case officer when Oswald and DRE were in contact. Joannides then thwarted committee efforts to obtain CIA records about the DRE-Oswald relationship. Thus, the last official word on the assassination is that of a Congressional committee that was subverted by an agency that itself was a focus of the investigation.

These facts raise serious issues. The CIA's conduct undermined democratic accountability and compromised the integrity of Congressional oversight on a matter of national security. Shouldn't Congress now investigate to determine why the CIA sabotaged the probe? Was it because, as some former committee staffers have said, an element of the CIA was involved in the plot? Or is there some other explanation?

In 2004 and 2005 the Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC) held conferences to discuss the JFK assassination. On the issue of conspiracy, two scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory discredited the last remaining basis for the single bullet theory (SBT), which theorized that both Kennedy and John Connally were hit by the same bullet, fired from Oswald's Mannlicher-Carcano rifle--the sine qua non for the lone assassin theory. These eminent scientists said that due to scientific advances not only can the SBT not be substantiated but the fragments tested could have come from one--or as many as five--bullets, including a Remington or some other rifle. Holland mentions none of this.

Holland denounces the acoustics evidence proving there was a conspiracy. He misrepresents acoustics as being the only evidence the committee had of a conspiracy and mistakenly says that it is uncorroborated. In fact, the first acoustics panel was corroborated by the second. Both were further corroborated and strengthened by Donald Thomas's study. Holland doesn't mention Thomas, but does obliquely refer to the work of Richard Garwin.Thomas debated Garwin at the AARC conference. But as Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter George Lardner reported, Thomas "upstaged" Garwin, showing "how the noises coincided precisely with frames from the Zapruder film and echoes off buildings in Dealey Plaza reflecting the gunfire." Lardner also noted that Garwin said he "had not studied the echoes." Again, none of this is in Holland's account.

Holland, winner of a CIA award for Studies in Intelligence, has been working on a book since 1993 defending the Warren Commission. In applying for an Anthony Lukas work-in-progress award in 2001, he said that as a result of his study "the Commission can emerge in a new light: battered somewhat but with its probity and the accuracy of its findings intact." He also stressed that he had spent a full year researching "the remarkable effort of KGB disinformation on Garrison's probe." Holland debated this thesis with Gary Aguilar at the 2004 AARC conference. In my view, Holland lost hands down (a DVD of the conference is available through aarclibrary.org). In advancing his thesis, Holland relies on dubious materials, including the word of former CIA director Richard Helms, who was charged with perjury but copped a plea of withholding information from Congress.

Holland now uses the AARC's 2005 conference to theorize that a vast conspiracy of lawyers "less scrupulous" than those at the Warren Commission spread KGB disinformation and convinced Congress and the American people that the Warren Report was wrong. This is a McCarthyite tactic for discrediting the AARC conferences and Warren Commission critics generally. It seems no one ever saw the Zapruder film showing JFK thrown violently to the left rear, no one ever looked at the Magic Bullet and concluded it was so undeformed it could not have done all the damage alleged. No, it was them bloody KGB disinformation lawyers that brainwashed them.

In 1967 the CIA directed its stations to tamp growing criticism of the Warren Report by discussing it with "liaison and friendly elite contacts (especially politicians and editors)" and "point out that parts of the conspiracy talk appear to be deliberately generated by Communist propagandists." The dispatch further instructs that stations "employ propaganda assets to answer and refute the attacks of the critics," saying that "book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose."

Holland's piece on our conference looks as if it were written to specification. While I had not expected favorable coverage from Holland when I overrode the advice of friends and associates and honored The Nation's request that he be given journalistic privileges and courtesies, I hadn't expected an attack of this character. The general opinion of attendees, repeatedly expressed to me personally, was that the 2005 conference was the best ever on the subject. Max Holland echoed this in an e-mail to me: "Having Garwin, Hart and Blakey give presentations made the conference superior to any I've attended. I'll do my best to get an article in."

JIM LESAR, president, AARC


Gary L. Aguilar - 3/10/2006


Charlottesville, Va.

It began with a CIA document classified Top Secret. How do I know that? A decade after the assassination of President Kennedy, with the assistance of the ACLU, I won a precedent-setting lawsuit in the US District Court in Washington, DC, brought pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act. The court ordered the police and spy organizations to provide to me many long-suppressed documents.

The CIA document stated that it was deeply troubled by my work in questioning the conclusions of the Warren Commission. The CIA had concluded that my book Rush to Judgment was difficult to answer; indeed, after a careful and thorough analysis of that work by CIA experts, the CIA was unable to find and cite a single error in the book. The CIA complained that almost half of the American people agreed with me and that "Doubtless polls abroad would show similar, or possibly more adverse, results." This "trend of opinion," the CIA stated, "is a matter of concern" to "our organization." Therefore, the CIA concluded, steps must be taken.

The CIA directed that methods of attacking me should be discussed with "liaison and friendly elite contacts (especially politicians and editors)," instructing them that "further speculative discussion only plays into the hands of the opposition." The CIA stressed that their assets in the media should "point out also that parts of the conspiracy talk appear to be deliberately generated by Communist propagandists." Further, their media contacts should "use their influence to discourage" what the CIA referred to as "unfounded and irresponsible speculation." Rush to Judgment, then the New York Times number-one bestselling book, contained no speculation.

The CIA in its report instructed book reviewers and magazines that contained feature articles how to deal with me and others who raised doubts about the validity of the Warren Report. Magazines should, the CIA stated, "employ propaganda assets to answer and refute the attacks of the critics," adding that "feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose." The CIA instructed its media assets that "because of the standing of the members of the Warren Commission, efforts to impugn their rectitude and wisdom tend to cast doubt on the whole leadership of American society." The CIA was referring to such distinguished gentlemen as Allen Dulles, the former director of the CIA; President Kennedy had fired Dulles from that position for having lied to him about the Bay of Pigs tragedy. Dulles was then appointed by Lyndon Johnson to the Warren Commission to tell the American people the truth about the assassination.

The purpose of the CIA was not in doubt. The CIA stated: "The aim of this dispatch is to provide material for countering and discrediting the claims" of those who doubted the Warren Report. The CIA stated that "background information" about me and others "is supplied in a classified section and in a number of unclassified attachments."

With this background we now turn to Max Holland's Nation article, which states that there was a "JFK Lawyers' Conspiracy" among four lawyers: former Senator Gary Hart; Professor Robert Blakey; Jim Garrison, the former District Attorney of New Orleans and later a state judge in Louisiana; and me.

Before I wrote Rush to Judgment I had never met any of the other three "co-conspirators." I still have not had the pleasure of meeting Senator Hart, and I know of no work that he has done in this area. I met Professor Blakey only once; he had been appointed chief counsel for the House Select Committee on Assassinations, and at that meeting I told him that I was disappointed in his approach and methods. Not much of a lawyers' conspiracy.

Each of the other statements as to alleged fact are false and defamatory. Holland states that I am not scrupulous, that I am dishonest and that I spread innuendo about the sinister delay in the Warren Commission investigation, an assertion not made by me but fabricated in its entirety by Holland. As a silent echo of his CIA associates Holland does not point to one assertion as to fact, of the thousands I have made about the facts surrounding the death of our President, that he claims is inaccurate.

Finally, Holland strikes pay dirt. He uncovers, are you ready for this, the fact that I had asserted that "the government was indifferent to the truth." I confess. Is that now a crime under the Patriot Act? Isn't that what The Nation is supposed to be asserting and proving?

Holland states that the KGB was secretly funding my work with a payment of "$12,500 (in 2005 dollars)." It was a secret all right. It never happened. Holland's statement is an outright lie. Neither the KGB nor any person or organization associated with it ever made any contribution to my work. No one ever made a sizable contribution, with the exception of Corliss Lamont, who contributed enough for me to fly one time from New York to Dallas to interview eyewitnesses. The second-largest contribution was $50 given to me by Woody Allen. Have Corliss and Woody now joined Holland's fanciful conspiracy?

Funds for the work of the Citizens Committee of Inquiry were raised by me. I lectured each night for more than a year in a Manhattan theater. The Times referred to the very well attended talks as one of the longest-running performances off Broadway. That was not a secret. I am surprised that Holland never came across that information, especially since he refers to what he calls "The Speech" in his diatribe.

Apparently, Holland did not fabricate the KGB story; his associates at the CIA did. There is proof for that assertion, but I fear that I have taken too much space already. For that information, contact me at mlane777@cs.com.

Am I being unfair when I suggest a connection between Holland and the CIA? Here is the CIA game plan: Fabricate a disinformation story. Hand it to a reporter with liberal credentials; for example, a Nation contributing editor. If the reporter cannot find a publication then have the CIA carry it on its own website under the byline of the reporter. Then the CIA can quote the reporter and state, " according to..."

Holland writes regularly for the official CIA website. He publishes information there that he has been given by the CIA. The CIA, on its official website, then states, "According to Holland..." If you would like to look into this matter of disinformation laundering, enter into your computer "CIA.gov + Max Holland." You will find on the first page alone numerous articles by Holland supporting and defending the CIA and attacking those who dare to disagree, as well as CIA statements attributing the information to Holland.

A question for The Nation. When Holland writes an article for you defending the CIA and attacking its critics, why do you describe him only as "a Nation contributing editor" and author? Is it not relevant to inform your readers that he also is a contributor to the official CIA website and then is quoted by the CIA regarding information that the agency gave him?

An old associate of mine, Adlai Stevenson, once stated to his political opponent, a man known as a stranger to the truth--if you stop telling lies about me I will stop telling the truth about you. I was prepared to adopt that attitude here. But I cannot. Your publication has defamed a good friend, Jim Garrison, after he died and could not defend himself against demonstrably false charges.

You have not served your readers by refusing to disclose Holland's CIA association. The Nation and Holland have engaged in the type of attack journalism that recalls the bad old days. If I fought McCarthyism in the 1950s as a young lawyer, how can I avoid it now when it appears in a magazine that has sullied its own history? The article is filled with ad hominem attacks, name calling and fabrications, and it has done much mischief. I will hold you and Holland accountable for your misconduct. I can honorably adopt no other course.

To mitigate damages I require that you repudiate the article and apologize for publishing it. That you publish this letter as an unedited article in your next issue. That you do not publish a reply by Holland in which he adds to the defamation and the damage he has done, a method you have employed in the past. That you provide to me the mailing addresses of your contributing editors and members of your editorial board so that I may send this letter to them. I am confident that Gore Vidal and Bob Borosage, Tom Hayden and Marcus Raskin, all of whom I know, and many others such as Molly Ivins, John Leonard and Lani Guinier, who I do not know but who I respect and admire, would be interested in the practices of The Nation. In addition, I suggest that ethical journalism requires that in the future you fully identify your writers so that your readers may make an informed judgment about their potential bias.

If you have a genuine interest in the facts regarding the assassination you should know that the House Select Committee on Assassinations (the United States Congress) concluded that probably a conspiracy was responsible for the murder and that, therefore, the Warren Report that Holland defends so aggressively is probably wrong. In addition, the only jury to consider this question decided in a trial held in the US District Court in a defamation case that the newspaper did not defame E. Howard Hunt when it suggested that Hunt and the CIA had killed the President. The forewoman of the jury stated that the evidence proved that the CIA had been responsible for the assassination.

I have earned many friends in this long effort. Those who have supported my work include Lord Bertrand Russell, Arnold Toynbee, Professor Hugh Trevor-Roper, Dr. Linus Pauling, Senator Richard Schweicker, Paul McCartney, Norman Mailer, Richard Sprague, Robert Tannenbaum and also members of the House of Representatives, including Don Edwards, Henry Gonzales, Andrew Young, Bella Abzug, Richardson Preyer, Christopher Dodd, Herman Badillo, Mervyn Dymally, Mario Biaggi and, above all, according to every national poll, the overwhelming majority of the American people. I have apparently earned a few adversaries along the way. Too bad that they operate from the shadows; that tends to remove the possibility of an open debate.

MARK LANE


Gary L. Aguilar - 3/10/2006

November 22, 1963: You Are There

by OUR READERS & MAX HOLLAND

[from the March 20, 2006 issue]

Pennington, NJ

I'm the author of A Farewell to Justice: Jim Garrison, JFK's Assassination and the Case That Should Have Changed History, my seventeenth book, whose credibility is attacked by Max Holland. Nation readers might give pause to Holland's five-year campaign of outright falsehoods about the investigation into the Kennedy assassination by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison that have appeared in a range of publications from The Wilson Quarterly, The Atlantic, New Orleans and the Washington Post to, now, The Nation.

Garrison focused on the clandestine service of the CIA as sponsor of the Kennedy assassination as a result of facts he discovered about Lee Harvey Oswald, specifically Oswald's role as an FBI informant and low-level CIA agent sent to the Soviet Union by the CIA's Chief of Counterintelligence, James Angleton, as part of a false defector program. What Garrison had not yet discovered was that Oswald also worked for the US Customs Service in New Orleans.

Contrary to Holland's assertions of the innocence of Clay Shaw, the man Garrison indicted for participation in the murder of President Kennedy was indeed part of the implementation of the murder and was guilty of conspiracy. That Shaw was acquitted does not exonerate him for history. New documents indicate overwhelmingly that Shaw did favors for the CIA. On his deathbed he admitted as much. Shaw's repeated appearances in Louisiana in the company of Oswald demonstrate that Shaw was part of the framing of Oswald for Kennedy's murder. Shaw took Oswald to the East Louisiana State Hospital in an attempt to secure him a job there, one event among many never investigated by the Warren Commission or the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA).

Holland's assertion that Garrison based his conclusion that the CIA sponsored the assassination on a series of articles in an Italian newspaper is also incorrect. Garrison had focused on the CIA long before he learned that Shaw was on the board of directors of a CIA-funded phony trade front called Centro Mondiale Commerciale (CMC), based in Rome. Indeed, the newspaper Paese Sera broke the story of Shaw's involvement after a six-month investigation into CIA interference in European electoral politics, only to discover that Garrison had indicted Shaw a few days before the first article was to appear. Moreover, the new documents reveal that CMC and its parent outfit, Permindex, were indeed CIA fronts.

The 1992 Assassinations Records and Review Act has disgorged dozens of documents showing that Shaw was a CIA operative. This is directly contrary to what Holland suggests--that Garrison was a willing victim of "the KGB's wildest fantasy." To cite one example, Shaw was cleared for a project dubbed QKENCHANT, which permitted him to recruit outsiders for CIA projects. Shaw was no mere businessman debriefed by the CIA. One document reveals that among those Shaw recruited in New Orleans was Guy Banister, former FBI Chicago Special Agent in Charge running an ersatz New Orleans detective agency whose side-door address (544 Camp Street) Oswald used on a set of his pro-Castro leaflets, until Banister stopped him.

The former editors of the now-defunct Paese Sera, whom I interviewed, from Jean-Franco Corsini to Edo Parpalione, insisted adamantly that neither the Italian Communist Party, nor the Soviet Communist Party, nor the KGB had any influence on the paper's editorial policy. Outraged by Holland's accusations, Corsini said that he despised the KGB and the CIA equally.

The roots of Holland's charge that Garrison was a dupe of KGB propaganda may be traced to an April 4, 1967, CIA document titled "Countering Criticism of the Warren Report." In it the CIA suggests to its media assets that they accuse critics of the Warren Report of "Communist sympathies." In April 1967 Garrison was at the height of his investigation: He is clearly the critic the CIA had in mind.

In 1961 Richard Helms had already developed the charge that Paese Sera was an outlet for the KGB and for Soviet propaganda. Helms was indignant, but the truth had appeared in Paese Sera: The attempted putsch against Charles de Gaulle by four Algerian-based generals had indeed been supported by the CIA. Holland has merely picked up where Helms, later to become a convicted perjurer, left off--repeating a scenario developed for him by Helms, with the addition of making the accusation of Soviet influence on Garrison.

My book is hardly a "hagiography of the DA," as Holland states. I present a flawed man who exhibited great courage in facing down both the FBI and the CIA in his attempt to investigate the murder of the President. Indeed, Garrison family members were dismayed that I did not present him in a more idealized form. I depicted him as an ordinary man who rose to distinction because of his single-minded commitment to the investigation.

Among the many errors in Holland's latest diatribe is that Shaw died "prematurely," as if somehow Garrison's prosecution hastened his end. In fact, Shaw was a lifelong chain smoker and died of lung cancer. Holland attacks Robert Blakey, chief counsel for the HSCA, for using acoustic evidence to suggest that there was a conspiracy in the Kennedy murder. In fact, the acoustic evidence of at least four shots being fired has been established scientifically by Donald Thomas in the British forensic journal Science and Justice (see also Thomas's well-documented paper, available online, "Hear No Evil: The Acoustical Evidence in the Kennedy Assassination," delivered November 17, 2001).

Blakey certainly can be criticized for his close relationship with the CIA throughout his HSCA investigation. His letters of agreement with the CIA are at the National Archives. The CIA decided how key witnesses were to be deposed, and Blakey acquiesced in all CIA demands and intrusions upon the investigation.

Before Blakey was hired, former Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg considered accepting the job as counsel. Knowing that the CIA had at the least covered up the facts of the assassination and at worst been involved, Goldberg telephoned CIA director Stansfield Turner and asked him whether, should he take the job, he would have full CIA cooperation. Silence emanated over the wires. Goldberg, naïve perhaps, asked Turner if he had heard the question. "I thought my silence was my answer," Turner said. Goldberg declined the job. Blakey took it. It is no surprise that Holland, who has consistently defended the CIA, does not raise the issue of Blakey's cooperation with the CIA during his HSCA tenure but focuses instead on Blakey's conclusion, forced by the irrefutable acoustic evidence, that there was a conspiracy.

It is one thing for Holland to spread his disinformation in the CIA's Studies in Intelligence. It is quite another for The Nation to allow him continued access without debate to its pages to obfuscate, slander authors like myself and deny evidence fully established--in particular about Jim Garrison and how the new documents establish his credibility and reveal how close he came to the truth, and in general about the Kennedy assassination's sponsors and accessories.

JOAN MELLEN


Gary L. Aguilar - 3/10/2006

Few Nation readers know that Max Holland appeared as a featured speaker at a Washington, D.C. JFK conference held the year before the one he recently reported on to debate me on a daring conspiracy theory he he’s been peddling for the past five years, most recently in The Nation. [1,2] The published title of our debate – “Was Garrison Duped by the KGB?” – was taken directly from a New Orleans Magazine article he wrote detailing the notion. [3]

Via “a clever piece of disinformation implanted in a left-wing Roman newspaper, Paese Sera,”[4] Holland claims that the KGB successfully conspired to dupe the D.A. into believing Clay Shaw was CIA and the Dallas operation The Company’s. But when Holland ascended the podium to make his case, he dodged the question entirely, arguing instead (and irrelevantly) that Garrison had not merely forgotten, but that he had purposely lied in his 1988 book that he’d not heard of the articles until after Shaw’s trial, 21 years before.

Among the many problems with Holland’s conspiracy theory is that it is isn’t his, something he’s consistently neglected to mention when writing about it, whether in The Nation, in his CIA-published essay,[5] in the Wilson Quarterly,[6] or even in New Orleans Magazine. Much to his embarrassment, during our debate I projected a slide of the 1983 Steve Dorril Lobster Magazine article that first proposed the theory.
[7] Faced with direct evidence, Holland gamely admitted he should have credited Steve Dorril, but then ignored his own advice when writing in The Nation.

Besides it’s problematic parentage, another problem with “Holland’s” hypothesis is that it doesn’t make any sense. If Garrison’s principal reasons for tying the CIA to Dallas were rooted in the KGB disinfo from Italy, he was remarkably tight-lipped about it at the time. For example, well before the trial began Garrison ticked off many, good reasons to suspect the CIA - in a 26-page Playboy interview that is available on-line [8] and in the introduction to Harold Weisberg’s 1967 book – “Oswald in New Orleans--Case of Conspiracy with the CIA”[9] – and never once did he invoke the articles or the information in them. Nor did he use any of information from Italy during the trial.

At trial it was not Garrison, but Shaw’s own attorney, who asked, “Have you ever worked for the Central Intelligence Agency?” “No,” lied Shaw, “I have not.” [10] Even Holland acknowledges that Shaw had fetched for the CIA for at least eight years, sending it information on 33 separate occasions that the Agency invariably graded as “of value” and “reliable.” [11] But Holland has never acknowledged what Joan Mellen found in the files: Shaw had also been cleared for project QKENCHANT, and so was authorized not just to pass along useful tidbits from his travels, but also to recruit civilians for CIA operations.

It’s scarcely a surprise when Holland withholds inconvenient facts. But it is a surprise when the The Nation promotes his touting of the Warren Commission’s FBI and CIA investigators to an astute readership that has learned to be skeptical of those agencies from myriad reports in, where else?, The Nation! [12]

Gary Aguilar, San Francisco

Notes:
1. Max Holland, The Lie That Linked CIA to the Kennedy Assassination. Available at the CIA’s website, “Studies in Intelligence,” at http://www.cia.gov/csi/studies/fall_winter_2001/article02.html.

2. Max Holland. The Demon in Jim Garrison. Wilson Quarterly, Spring, 2001.

3. “Was Garrison duped by the KGB?”, the published title of our debate, was named after his article in the February 2002 issue of New Orleans Magazine, “Was Jim Garrison Duped by the KGB?” The debate was held during a conference hosted by the Assassination Archives and Research Center in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, September 18, 2004 at the Marriot Wardman Park Hotel. A copy of the published program with Max Holland’s name listed alongside mine and the title of the debate is available on-line at: http://www.aarclibrary.org/notices/WarrenReportConference.htm
It can still be viewed by clicking the pdf file at: http://www.aarclibrary.org/notices/WarrenReportConferenceAgenda.pdf

4. Max Holland. The JFK Lawyers’ Conspiracy. The Nation. February 20, 2006.

5. Max Holland, The Lie That Linked CIA to the Kennedy Assassination. Published by the CIA in its journal, “Studies in Intelligence.” On-line It appears at: http://www.cia.gov/csi/studies/fall_winter_2001/article02.html

6. Max Holland. The Demon in Jim Garrison. Wilson Quarterly, Spring, 2001, p. 10.

7. Nowhere in print has Holland credited the article by Steve Dorril: "Permindex: The International Trade in Disinformation." Lobster: the journal of parapolitics, intelligence and State Research, #3, 1983. On-line at: http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/lobster.htm

The next discussion of Dorril’s thesis I was able to find occurred in 1991 in an essay by Paul Hoch in an issue of his newsletter, Echoes of Conspiracy, Volume 13, Number 1. It is available on-line at: www.jfk-online.com/eoc1301exc.html+Hoch,+dorril,+Garrison&">http://72.14.207.104/search?q=cache:jTbnxwL4HF0J:www.jfk-online.com/eoc1301exc.html+Hoch,+dorril,+Garrison&;hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=1&client=firefox-a

After Hoch, the next use of Dorril’s theory I was able to find occurred in a 1999 newsgroup post by John McAdams, on-line at: http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/siss.txt


* Note that Steve Dorril himself apparently chastised Holland in an Intelforum newsgroup posting on 3/16/02 for misinterpreting what he originally wrote and for not crediting Dorril’s Lobster piece. See: http://72.14.207.104/search?q=cache:OuNOX596NC4J:archives.his.com/intelforum/2002-March/msg00049.html+Hoch,+dorril,+Garrison&;hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=6&client=firefox-a

8. Garrison’s October 1967 Playboy interview is available on-line at: http://www.jfklancer.com/Garrison2.html


In addition, Edward Epstein also pointed out that during this twenty-six-page interview, Garrison’s most comprehensive review of his position that year, the D.A. ticked off eight reasons to suspect the CIA, none of which included anything that was in Il Paese Sera. In: The Assassination Chronicles--Inquest, Counterplot, and Legend by Edward J. Epstein. New York: Carroll & Graf, 1992, p. 250--263.

9. Harold Weisberg. Oswald in New Orleans--Case of Conspiracy with the C.I.A. New York: Canyon Books, 1967, p. 7--14.

10. Testimony reproduced in: Max Holland. The Lie that Linked the CIA to the Kennedy Assassination. Available at: www.odci.gov/csi/studies/fall_winter_2001/article02.html.

11. Max Holland. The Lie that Linked the CIA to the Kennedy Assassination. Available at: www.odci.gov/csi/studies/fall_winter_2001/article02.html. Reference here is made to “Memo to Director, DCS [Domestic Contact Service], from Chief, New Orleans Office, re Clay Shaw, 3 March 1967, JFK-M-04 (F3), Box 1, CIA Series; Memorandum re Garrison Investigation: Queries from Justice Department, 28 September 1967, Box 6 Russell Holmes Papers; various Information Reports, JFK-M-04 (F2), Box 1, CIA Series--all JFK NARA.”

12. It is not as well known as it deserves to be that the Warren Commission did not conduct the investigation. As outlined below, the Commission mostly relied on the FBI’s work and, to a lesser extent, on the CIA’s and the Secret Service’s. The Church Committee and the House Select Committee weighed in on the quality of the murder investigation conducted by the FBI and CIA. Independently, both groups described the 1964 inquiry in similarly scathing terms. What follows are some of the more telling conclusions from both investigations.

The Church Committee concluded that, “although the [Warren] Commission had to rely on the FBI to conduct the primary investigation of the President’s death … the Commission was perceived as an adversary by both Hoover and senior FBI officials … such a relationship,” as the Committee dryly put it, “was not conductive to the cooperation necessary for a thorough and exhaustive investigation.” [Final Report of the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations, Book V, p 47, on-line at: http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/church/reports/book5/html/ChurchVol5_0027a.htm]

The Church Committee also discovered that Hoover had deployed one of his favorite dirty tricks to deal with the Warren Commission he much resented. It wrote, “[D]erogatory information pertaining to both Commission members and staff was brought to Mr. Hoover’s attention.” In: Final Report of the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations, Book V, p. 47, on-line at: http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/church/reports/book5/html/ChurchVol5_0027a.htm.]

The HSCA gave a compelling explanation for how the case was so swiftly solved: “It must be said that the FBI generally exhausted its resources in confirming its case against Oswald as the lone assassin, a case that Director J. Edgar Hoover, at least, seemed determined to make within 24 hours of the of the assassination.” [The Final Assassinations Report--Report of the Select Committee on Assassinations, U.S. House of Representatives. Washington, D.C., Government Printing Office, 01979, p. 128. On-line at: http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/jfk/hsca/report/html/HSCA_Report_0079b.htm]

The House Select Committee on Assassinations’ chief counsel, Robert Blakey, an experienced criminal investigator and prosecutor himself, was impressed with neither the Commission’s vigor nor its independence. “What was significant,” Blakey wrote, “was the ability of the FBI to intimidate the Commission, in light of the bureau’s predisposition on the questions of Oswald’s guilt and whether there had been a conspiracy. At a January 27 [1964] Commission meeting, there was another dialogue [among Warren Commissioners]:
John McCloy: … the time is almost overdue for us to have a better perspective of the FBI investigation than we now have … We are so dependent on them for our facts … .
Commission counsel J. Lee Rankin: Part of our difficulty in regard to it is that they have no problem. They have decided that no one else is involved … .
Senator Richard Russell: They have tried the case and reached a verdict on every aspect.
Senator Hale Boggs: You have put your finger on it. (Closed Warren Commission meeting.)”[52] [In: R. Blakey and R. Billings. Fatal Hour--The Assassination of President Kennedy by Organized Crime. New York, Berkley Books, 1992, p. 29. This testimony was also published in: Mark North. Act of Treason. New York, 1991, Carroll and Graf, p. 515--516.]


Mel Ayton - 2/21/2006

Readers should be aware of Patricia Lambert's excellent review of Mellen's book in contrast to Aguilar's - Lambert's review is a victory of reason over paranoia.
http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/mellen.htm


Patrick Joseph Speer - 2/14/2006

I don't have any evidence that Ferrie had anything to do with the murder, outside his suspicious behavior. I just don't believe Garrison was as irresponsible as you want to believe him to be. Consider: there is a man he knows, Dean Andrews, who claimed he was hired by a Clay Bertrand to defend Oswald; Dean Andrews later changes his story and says that he was delirious when he made this claim; another man, Jack Martin, claimed that David Ferrie knew Oswald. Now, Garrison is under obligation to investigate this, but the FBI steps in and the whole thing blows over. Several years later, Senator Russell Long tells Garrison that the Warren Commission was a sham. Garrison decides to read the report for himself, along with assassination literature of Mark Lane, Weisberg, etc, and comes to a similar conclusion. He decides to re-investigate the case. Well, he finds out that Ferrie, who supposedly knew Oswald, had been an associate of Guy Bannister, who Garrison knew had been an anti-communist crusader. (Garrison also quietly overlooks that both Ferrie and Bannister had been working for local crime boss Carlos Marcello.) This ought to have aroused the suspicion in anyone. When he looks further he finds all sorts of people who remember seeing Oswald with Ferrie and/or Bannister. These include Martin, who worked with Bannister, and Bannister's secretary. He then decides to find out just who this "Bertrand" is, and eventually concludes it was Clay Shaw, a leading citizen and a guiding light of the local gay community. Garrison figures out that Shaw has CIA ties, which Shaw LIES about. (Why, if it was so innocent?) Enter Perry Russo, who tells Garrison what he wants to hear--that Shaw, Ferrie and Oswald hung out together. Enter the Clinton witnesses, who remember seeing Oswald with Ferrie and a second man, possibly Shaw or Bannister. Now Garrison has to do something with this, doesn't he? Or else risk losing his reputation as a stern independent pursuer of truth? If he doesn't do anything with this, isn't he part of the problem (in his mind) instead of being part of the solution? Meanwhile, Ferrie dies, which Garrison fails to believe was an accident. In fact, it turns out Ferrie dies within 24 hours of one of his anti-Castro accomplices (del Valle). This makes Garrison suspicious that there is something more involved. I mean, why is the Federal governement impeding a local investigation? Why are the governors of other states REFUSING to extradite his witnesses? Garrison develops a paranoid personality, which is now known to have been NOT so paranoid. It is an absolute historical fact that men like Phelan and Billings endeared themselves to Garrison and then turned around and used info they gained from him against him. It is also interesting that Billings and Life Magazine turned against Garrison around the time he stopped blaming Castro and that Phelan was working with CIA spook/Hughes right hand Robert Maheu during his incursion. Were these men working for the CIA? Garrison was not crazy to think so.
Finally, if you look at the timing, you'll see that Ramsey Clark told LBJ that Garrison considered him a suspect in early 67 and that Clark had heard this from Hale Boggs. Ferrie, Garrison's main suspect(and potential witness?) died within a few days, just before he was to officially be charged. A coincidence?

If someone looks at the Garrison investigation and comes away convinced there was NOTHING to it, then they
should wonder why the Government was so concerned about Garrison's case, and went so far out of its way to shut it down.


Steve Broce - 2/14/2006

Patrick, Clay Shaw was contacted by the Domestic Contacts Division a reported 34 times between 1948 and 1956. As were tens of thousands of other Americans. This apparently was a routine program of debriefing of Americans who traveled abroad by the CIA. There is no evidence that I’m aware of that Shaw was ever remunerated for his services.

I also believe that your statement that Shaw was considered for a project called QK/ENCHANT is an overstatement. First, according to my reading of the information, it was not Shaw, but rather an acquaintance, J Monroe Sullivan, who was considered for QK/ENCHANT, and even that was on an unwitting basis. Second, since no one appears to be able to describe exactly what QK/ENCHANT is or was, it is rank speculation for you to conclude that even if Shaw had some involvement (a proposition that I don’t believe there is any evidence of), that made his testimony perjurious.

Finally, I don’t believe that Shaw testified that he “had no involvement “with the CIA, as your post states, but rather that he had never worked for the CIA. I believe that “worked for the CIA” is understood by most people as having been employed by the CIA. No evidence that I’m aware of contradicts Shaw’s testimony.

As for Garrison’s belief that “he had to” prosecute Shaw because a Grand Jury had indicted him, I say “nonsense”. As Webster Hubbell famously observed, Grand Juries are lead by the nose by prosecutors and will indict a ham sandwich if requested. Prosecutors are perfectly able to dismiss indictments if they feel the underlying case is weak and, in fact, have an ethical duty to do that very thing.

I’m not surprised that your source for the belief that the jury was “completely convinced that Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy..”is Garrison, himself. It is completely self-serving and apparently contradicted by James Kirkwood, who interviewed the jurors for his book “American Grotesque”. According to Kirkwood, the jurors believed that Garrison’s entire case rested on the testimony of one witness, Perry Russo, and that Russo’s testimony didn’t prove a thing.

By the way, you should read the trial testimony about Shaw’s supposed admission that he was Bertrand. The only evidence that Shaw made such an admission came from the booking officer who claimed that Shaw listed Clay Bertrand as an alias at the time of booking. This officer’s testimony was impeached by members of his own department and was not admitted because the Judge believed it was false.

Russo apparently told NBC producer that his testimony was a combination of truth, lies and fantasy. I'm not sure it’s accurate to say that he “stuck to his testimony”.

As for Ferrie (who died of an aneurism) and Del Valle’s death-what evidence do you have that Del Valle had anything what so ever to do with the assassination or Ferrie?
Ferrie died with in 24 hours of a lot of people-so what?

I’m also not convinced that Oswald and Ferrie did know each other. They apparently were both in the same CAP unit, but Oswald was 15 years old at the time and there is no other documented connection between the two. Besides, since you already admit you don’t believe Russo, what evidence do you have that Ferrie had anything to do with the assassination?


Patrick Joseph Speer - 2/14/2006

I hope I don't shock you by agreeing with you. I don't believe the photos were altered. I don't believe the Zapruder film was altered either. I agree that the Dallas doctors incorrectly described the wounds when they said the head exit wound was on the back of the head and the throat wound was probably an entrance. I did a lot of reading on memory research and facial recognition before coming to this conclusion. Needless to say, I've taken a lot of heat from the conspiracy community on my views. I mean, how could a doctor trying to save someone's life, who takes no notes, possibly remember the location of the man's fatal wounds incorrectly, particularly when the man is laying flat on his back the whole time? The key is in the last line. It turns out human beings are incredibly bad at facial recognition when the face is laying flat.


Patrick Joseph Speer - 2/14/2006

You make some good points, Steve. While it is now known that Shaw was in regular contact with the CIA's Domestic Contact Division, and that he was considered for a project called QKENCHANT, and that he lied about having any involvement with the CIA, it's unclear whether his lie was in fact perjury. I would have to find his testimony and find the exact question asked and the exact words spoken.

As far as Garrison's bringing Shaw to trial even though he had a weak case, he felt he had to, once the Grand Jury indicted Shaw. This statement and my statements about the response of the jury are admittedly based upon Garrison's book On The Trail of the Assassins. The jury was reportedly swayed by the back-and-to-the-left motion in the Zapruder film and by the crazy testimony of Dr. Pierre Finck on the medical evidence to belive there was a conspiracy. I've read a number of articles which attack Garrison and the movie JFK point by point and I don't remember any of them arguing with the fact that the jury came to believe that Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy. Garrison says that the loss of David Ferrie, his inability to use Shaw's admission that he was Clay Bertrand, and his usage of a man who was obviously mentally ill cost him the case. I doubt he could have won a case against Shaw even with those elements in place. He needed the cooperation of the man who first reported Bertrand's involvement, Dean Andrews, and Andrews refused to cooperate, which resulted in a perjury conviction.

As far as your saying that Garrison suborned perjury, of whom do you speak? Perry Russo stuck to his testimony until his death. While Garrison's use of hypnosis is questionable, in the context of the sixties it was less so. FWIW I don't believe Russo either, only that Garrison believed Russo. In short, I believe that Garrison mishandled the case, but that there was something there. Or do you believe that David Ferrie's dying within 24 hours of Eladio Del Valle's being murdered was just a coincidence? Do you believe it was just a coincidence as well that Shaw lied about having contact with the CIA and that Ferrie lied about knowing Oswald?

I also agree that Garrison screwed up by changing theories every week. He should have kept his mouth shut until he nailed things down.


Gary L. Aguilar - 2/13/2006

And the following article responding to Mel Ayton's review of Mellen's book may be of interest to readers trying to decide whether to trust Ayton or Holland.

Ayton's review of "A Farewell to Justice" (#72180)
by Gary L. Aguilar on December 8, 2005 at 1:36 AM
Who Better to Defend the CIA than the CIA?

Gary Aguilar, San Francisco

Among myriad ironies in Mel Ayton’s review of “A Farewell to Justice,” perhaps the greatest is Mel Ayton’s offering author Max Holland’s CIA-published work as an answer to Joan Mellen’s exhaustive elucidation of the myriad CIA ties to the Kennedy case.

For example, Ayton trots out Holland’s remarkable discovery that the sole reason Jim Garrison had for suspecting the CIA in the events in Dallas was because he’d been duped by fiendishly clever KGB dezinformatsiya planted in a Rome daily, Il Paese Sera. Ayton apparently has more faith in the theory than even its supposed author does. For Holland refused to defend it in a public debate with me last September in Washington, D.C. before a live audience and rolling C-SPAN cameras. [1] On why he might have chosen not to, one scarcely knows where to begin.

But perhaps it’s worth starting with the fact that Holland’s famous breakthrough isn’t Holland’s, something he has never disclosed (apparently even to Ayton), but was forced to admit when I confronted him during our debate. Steve Dorril was the first one to make “Holland’s” argument in an article published by Lobster Magazine in 1983, something Ayton could have easily found in a simple search of the web. [2] “Holland’s” discovery apparently next surfaced when Warren Commission defender, John McAdams, ran it in a 1999 newsgroup post, [3] two years before Holland presented it for the first time.

The “proof” Dorril, McAdams and Holland offered that Il Paese Sera was a communist conduit consisted mostly of testimony the CIA’s Richard Helms delivered during a 1961 Senate appearance. [3] As this author has shown, Helms’s sworn assertions during this 1961 Senate appearance are no more credible than the testimony he gave during another Senate hearing that led to his conviction and the page 1 New York Times headline, “Helms Is Fined $2,000 and Given Two-Year Suspended Prison Term--U.S. Judge Rebukes Ex-C.I.A. Head for Misleading (Senate) Panel.” [4]

Without offering a shred of proof, Ayton recycles Holland’s dubious claim that, “the (Il Paese Sera) articles were NOT (sic) already in the works long before Shaw’s arrest, as Mellen claims … It was Shaw’s arrest that prompted [Il Paese Sera to write] those stories.” How Ayton knows that the articles “were NOT already in the works long before Shaw’s arrest,” he does not say. But had Ayton (or Holland) bothered to contact Il Paese Sera’s editors, they would probably have told him what they have told others: that the six-part series had nothing to do with (and said nothing about) the KGB or the JFK assassination; that they had never heard of Jim Garrison when they assigned the story six months before [which was also six months before Garrison had charged Shaw]; and that they were astonished to see that Shaw might have any connection to the assassination.

Finally, echoing Holland, Ayton claims that the Italian articles were Garrison’s sole reason for suspecting the Agency. If they really were the sole source of his seduction, one would have expected some contemporaneous evidence of it. But there is none.

As Edward Epstein has pointed out, during his twenty-six-page interview in Playboy Magazine’s October 1967 issue, Garrison’s most comprehensive review of his case that year, the D.A. ticked off eight reasons to suspect the CIA. None of them included Il Paese Sera or the subject of the articles, the still-mysterious Rome World Trade Center, Centro Mondiale Commerciale (CMC). [5] Nor did he even mention Clay Shaw, although perhaps because of the pending legal wrangle. [6] Moreover, Garrison wrote the foreword to Harold Weisberg’s 1967-published book, entitled “Oswald in New Orleans--Case of Conspiracy with the CIA.” (my emphasis) Despite the perfect opportunity, as with Playboy, Garrison again uttered not a word about Il Paese Sera, Shaw or the CMC. [7]

Finally, it is unhelpful for the central role Holland and Ayton have the Rome daily playing that Garrison never once cited or referred to those reports during the Shaw trial. Nor did he even use them as a basis for questioning Shaw. He never asked Shaw, for example, whether he had worked for CMC or for the CIA, both of which were the focus of all six stories. [8]

Ayton next rallied to the defense of a former Miami Herald reporter, Donald Bohning, who Mellen had described as “CIA linked.” In response, Ayton quoted from a complaining email from the man: “(I) never took a cent from the CIA,” Bohning apparently wrote, “and was outraged by the implication – along with the terms ‘writer asset’ and ‘utilized’ … Top editors at the [Miami] Herald were well aware – and approved – of my contacts with the CIA during the 1960s.”

Tellingly, Ayton omits the most damning portion of Mellen’s account. Even if money never changed hands, and Mellen nowhere suggests it did, Bohning’s relationship with The Agency was far from the routine and casual relationship reporters have with government insiders. As Mellen points out, Bohning was apparently so useful to The Agency it gave him his own, unique cryptonym, “AMCARBON-3.” Bohning “had received his Provisional Covert Security Approval as a CIA confidential informant on 8/21/67,” Mellen wrote, “then Covert Security Approval itself on 11/14/67.” And no less than the CIA’s Deputy Director of Plans himself “approved the use of Bohning in the CIA’s Cuban operations.” [9]

For those who have forgotten Carl Bernstein’s cautionary tale about the corrosive effect such relationships can have on credible and honest journalism [10], or the New York Times’s Christmas week 1977 mea culpa for having compromised itself and its readers by engaging in similar unhealthy relationships with the CIA, a recent scandal is worth mention.

Judy Miller, the recently disgraced New York Times reporter, was such a darling of the Bush Administration and the military that she was granted a security clearance not unlike Bohning’s. [11] Her bogus, prewar scare stories about the imminence of the Iraqi threat that the “leftist” New York Times published on the front page were a boon to the Neocons in the Bush Administration bent on manufacturing consent for war.

That Bohning’s higher-ups at the Miami Herald knew and approved of his cozy relationship only compounds the impropriety. At least The New York Times’ “top editors” publicly donned hair shirts and apologized to readers for betraying their trust. And not without reason. Bernstein documented that the problem wasn’t the occasional tainting tie between the rare, lowly stringer and the CIA. It was the myriad, compromising arrangements between The Agency and the higher-ups in outfits such as CBS, NBC, ABC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The L. A. Times, etc. that really took the bark out of our press watchdogs. This is not to say Bohning was corrupt, but that Mellen’s concern is well founded.

Ayton puts Holland in service of downplaying the links Mellen details between Clay Shaw and The Agency. “In reality, Clay Shaw had simply been one of thousands of businessmen who had once been a source for the CIA through its Domestic Contact Service … Shaw was a Kennedy supporter (and a) decorated war veteran.”

Here, flag-waving is substituted for dealing with Mellen’s great spadework on this interesting question. Ayton does not dispute that, as Mellen reported, Shaw had been cleared by the Agency for project “QKENCHAT (which) authorized trusted CIA personnel for clearance to recruit or enlist ‘civilians,’ people not officially with the Agency, to discuss ‘projects, activities and possible relationships.’” [p. 133]

If Ayton is right that Shaw’s arrangement was unexceptional, and that “thousands” of other American businessmen had similarly been empowered by the CIA to “recruit or enlist ‘civilians,’” there is no record of it. Moreover, the CIA called QKENCHANT an “operational project,” not an intelligence-gathering project. And Shaw’s records were kept in The Agency’s “operational files,” not with the “innocent” Domestic Contact files that housed the routine debriefings of ‘simple’ returning American businessmen.

Ironically, Ayton ignores what even Max Holland has acknowledged: Shaw lied under oath in denying his association with the CIA. “Have you ever worked for the Central Intelligence Agency?” Shaw’s own defense attorney F. Irvin Dymond asked him. “No, I have not,” replied Shaw.” [11] Against the interests of his own Agency, CIA director, Richard Helms, put the lie to that. Holland relates that Shaw had had an [at least] eight-year relationship with the CIA, sending The Agency information on 33 separate occasions that the CIA invariably graded as “of value” and “reliable.” [12]

One might have expected that, if only for political reasons, a Warren Commission loyalist bent on diverting suspicion from the CIA and focusing it instead on Garrison would have avoided citing Holland’s essay, “The Lie That Linked the CIA to the Kennedy Assassination.” For that poorly conceived, anti-Garrison tirade was published by the CIA itself after his fellows at The Nation Magazine, where Holland works as a contributing editor, rejected the paper from their magazine. [13]

To undermine the important revelations of Thomas Edward Beckham, a House Select Committee witness Mellen features, Ayton describes him as a “semi-literate,” implying that the memory of a poor reader could be safely ignored. During a visit to New Orleans, Mellen interviewed former House Select Committee investigator, L. J. Delsa, a murder investigator with more than 30 years experience working variously as a federal, state or local official. In an interview on December 7, 2005, Delsa opined that, on the basis of his personal knowledge, he believed that Beckham was a credible witness.

Similar problems mar the rest of Ayton’s review. But at the end of the day, still standing are Mellen’s demolitions of the myths that the CIA played no part in JFK’s demise and that Oswald was a loner. And she has established quite convincingly that Clay Shaw’s International Trade Mart in New Orleans was a hornet’s nest of activity undoubtedly related to The Agency in ways known only to those with access to still-sealed files.

With what we’ve already learned from declassified files, it’s no mystery why the government has remained so passionate about maintaining secrecy concerning JFK’s demise. For it is information that has been painfully extracted from once-secret files over the past 41 years that has steadily eroded the fables upon which the Warren Commission built its case. Mellen’s book has completed a demolition that Ayton’s valiant efforts can’t hope to stave off.

It’s past time he understood that. For when keepers of the flickering flame have to resort to Agency-abetted disquisitions to defend The Agency’s innocence, the gig is up and it’s time to sent up a white flag.

Gary L. Aguilar, San Francisco


[1] The proposition, “Was Garrison Duped by the KGB?” was the subject of our debate held during a conference hosted by the Assassination Archives and Research Center in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, September 18, 2004 at the Marriot Wardman Park Hotel. Holland was to have defended that proposition but did not. He chose instead to argue that Jim Garrison had “lied” when he said in his book, “On the Trail of the Assassins,” that he’d not heard of the Il Paese Sera articles until after the Clay Shaw trial. While Holland established that Garrison had indeed seen the Il Paese Sera articles before trial, he was less convincing that Garrison’s inaccurate statement was really a lie rather than a mistake. As noted in the text, Garrison never used any of the material in the articles during the trial, and his book was published 21 years after he’d seen them.


[2] Steve Dorril, Permindex: The International Trade in Disinformation. Lobster: the journal of parapolitics, intelligence and State Research, #3, 1983. On-line at: http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/lobster.htm [Had Ayton but google-searched the obvious words, “Il Paese Sera, CMC,” the second “hit” would have taken him directly to this article.]


[3] See: http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/siss.txt

In its entirety, John McAdams’s newsgroup post read as follows:

From - Fri Oct 15 12:22:19 1999
From: 6489mcadamsj@vms.csd.mu.edu (John McAdams)
Newsgroups: alt.assassination.jfk
Approved: jmcadams@execpc.com
Subject: IL PAESE SERA and Communist disinformation
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 1999 17:19:56 GMT
Message-ID: <38075e84.4563189@mcadams.posc.mu.edu>
X-Newsreader: Forte Free Agent 1.11/32.235
NNTP-Posting-Host: 134.48.30.18
Lines: 79
Path: mcadams.posc.mu.edu!134.48.30.18


From "Communist Forgeries," a Senate Internal Security
Sub-Committee hearing on 2 June 61, testimony of Richard Helms, pp.
2-4:

<Quote on>

In recent days we have seen an excellent example of how the
Communists use the false news story. In late April rumors began to
circulate in Europe, rumors charging that the Algerian-based generals
who had plotted the overthrow of President De Gaulle had enjoyed
support from NATO, the Pentagon, or CIA. Although this fable could
have been started by supporters of General Challe, it bears all the
earmarks of having been invented within the bloc.
In Western Europe this lie was first printed on the 23rd of
April by a Rome daily called Il Paese.

Senator KEATING: Is Il Paese a Communist paper?

Mr. HELMS: It is not a Communist paper, as such. We believe
it to be a crypto-Communist paper but it is not like Unita, the large
Communist daily in Rome. It purports to be an independent newspaper,
but obviously it serves Communist ends.
The story charged --

"It is not by chance that some people in Paris are accusing
the American secret service headed by Allen Dulles of having
participated in the plot of the four 'ultra' generals * * * Franco,
Salazar, Allen Dulles are the figures who hide themselves behind the
pronunciamentos of the 'ultras'; they are the pillars of an
international conspiracy that, basing itself on the Iberian
dictatorships, on the residue of the most fierce and blind
colonialism, on the intrigues of the C.I.A. * * * reacts furiously to
the advance of progress and democracy * * *."

We found it interesting that Il Paese was the starting point
for a lie that the Soviets spread around the world. This paper and
its evening edition, Paese Sera, belong to a small group of journals
published in the free world but used as outlets for disguised Soviet
propaganda. These newspapers consistently release and replay
anti-American, anti-Western, pro-Soviet bloc stories, distorted or
wholly false. Mario Malloni, director of both Il Paese and Paese
Sera, has been a member of the World Peace Council since 1958. The
World Peace Council is a bloc-directed Communist front.

On the next day Pravda published in Moscow a long article
about the generals' revolt.

Senator KEATING: May I interrupt there? Did Pravda pick it
up as purportedly from Il Paese? Did they quote the other paper, the
Italian paper, as the source of that information?

Mr. HELMS: Pravda did not cite Il Paese. But instead of
having this originate in Moscow, where everybody would pinpoint it,
they planted the story first in Italy and picked it up from Italy and
this is the way it actually went out in point of time [sic].

<Quote off>

This is important context for understanding the PAESE SERA articles
that linked Clay Shaw (correctly) to CMC/Permindex, and connected
CMC/Permindex (falsely) to support for the OAS attempts against De
Gaulle, various fascist and Nazi forces, etc. The PAESE SERA stories
were quickly picked up and repeated by leftist journals in France,
Moscow, and Canada.

This by no means proves that the CMC/PERMINDEX stuff was a KGB
disinformation operation. The left-wing journalists at the paper
would have been happy to smear what they considered to be the "forces
of capitalist imperialism" without any direct orders from Moscow.
Indeed, Helms is only *inferring* that the earlier story about anti-De
Gaulle generals was a KGB operation.

But this episode does put the 1967 articles on Shaw/Permindex into
context. The articles were, in one way or another, motivated by a
communist ideological agenda.

.John


[4] * Anthony Marro. Helms Is Fined $2,000 and Given Two-Year Suspended Prison Term--U.S. Judge Rebukes Ex-C.I.A. Head for Misleading Panel. New York Times, 11/5/77, p.1.
* See also: Gary Aguilar. Max Holland Rescues the Warren Commission and The Nation. Probe Magazine, Sept-Oct. 2000 (vol. 7 No.6)
On-line at: http://www.webcom.com/ctka/pr900-holland.html#_edn151
* See also Richard Helms’ obituary, on-line at: www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/10/23/national/main526654.shtml+Helms+Is+Fined+">www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/10/23/national/main526654.shtml+Helms+Is+Fined+">http://64.233.179.104/search?q=cache:VPzZ_xFFRh4J:www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/10/23/national/main526654.shtml+Helms+Is+Fined+%242,000+and+Given+Two-Year+Suspended+Prison+Term&hl=en&client=firefox-a


[5] In: The Assassination Chronicles--Inquest, Counterplot, and Legend by Edward J. Epstein. New York: Carroll & Graf, 1992, p. 250--263.

[6] Playboy interview of Jim Garrison is on-line at: http://www.jfklancer.com/Garrison2.html, ff

[7] Harold Weisberg. Oswald in New Orleans--Case of Conspiracy with the C.I.A. New York: Canyon Books, 1967, p. 7--14.]

[8] See the text supported by footnotes 138 to 146 in the essay, “Max Holland Rescues the Warren Commission and the Nation” by Gary L. Aguilar. Probe Magazine, Sept-Oct. 2000 (vol. 7 No.6)
On-line at: http://www.webcom.com/ctka/pr900-holland.html#_edn151


[9] Joan Mellen. A Farewell to Justice. Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books, 2005, p. 253.

[10] Carl Bernstein. The CIA and the Media. Rolling Stone Magazine, 10/20/77. Excerpts available on line at: http://www.webcom.com/~lpease/media/ciamedia.htm

[11] William E. Jackson, Jr.. The Mystery of Judy Miller's 'Security Clearance' Deepens. Editor & Publisher, 10/26/05.
On-line at: http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/columns/shoptalk_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1001390654

[12] Max Holland. The Lie that Linked the CIA to the Kennedy Assassination. On-line at the CIA’s website at: http://www.cia.gov/csi/studies/fall_winter_2001/article02.html

[13] On condition I not disclose his identity, a former editor at The Nation told me that Holland’s CIA-published article had been rejected by Holland’s fellow editors. I asked Holland about the rejection in person at a Washington, D.C. JFK conference on November 19 2005. “Politics,” he said, explained the rejection.


Mel Ayton - 2/13/2006

This article may be of interest to those who still believe Garrison and his defenders were purveyers of the truth.
http://paulmitchinson.com/archives/107


Steve Broce - 2/12/2006

I have also purchased a used copy of "Amrican Grotesque", which deals with Garrison's shameful prosecution of Clay Shaw. I look forward to reading it.


Mel Ayton - 2/12/2006

Once again, reason rules with Max Holland's article and Steve Broce's rational and persuasive defense.
on the other hand, I believe that any defense of Jim Garrison by critics renders their overall arguments redundant. Garrison was an irresponsible charlatan and a demagogue who used his political office to further his own interests and, in the process, destroyed lives.
A reading of Patricia Lambert's book 'False Witness' will leave no one in doubt as to these simple facts.


Steve Broce - 2/11/2006

Look, Patrick, I don’t know anything about you or your theories. Before I scrap all that has been established about the single bullet theory, I would want to.

Whether the ER doctors described the locations of the wounds as they appear in the autopsy photos or not is beside the point. Four of the ER Docs examined the photos subsequently and all of them stated that the autopsy photos comport with their “vivid” memories.

Frankly, Patrick, anyone who espouses the likes of Garrison or his theories goes way down on my scale of believability. I remember his crackpot theories while he was spouting them. It was a theory-a-day with him.

When a jury acquits a defendant in 54 minutes, that’s known in law enforcement not as a WEAK case but rather as NO case. I’ve never heard Garrisons supposed statement that the jury was right to acquit Shaw, but if he made it then it shows him to be all the more despicable in my book. ANY prosecutor that takes a case to a jury with the belief that the jury should acquit that defendant is in violation of the ethical standards of his office. There is ample evidence that Garrison suborned perjured testimony in his case-in- chief and the trial judge made it clear that he believed that some of the prosecution witnesses were not believable.

As for your statement that the jury was “completely convinced that Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy,” I would like to see your evidence. I would also like to know if the jury came to the jury box with that belief or developed it as a result of the trial testimony.

I would also like to know your factual basis for your statement that “Shaw undoubtedly lied about his now-acknowledged CIA involvement. It's hard to feel too much sympathy for a proven perjurer”. The only “proven involvement” that Shaw had with the CIA that I’m aware of is as a contactee of the Domestic Contact Unit. I would like to see the line for line testimony that you allege amounts to perjury.

I briefly examined the information you linked to. It’s voluminous so I haven’t had time to review it thoroughly. I look forward to doing just that.


Steve Broce - 2/10/2006

"As far as the back wound and entrance wound on the back of the head, none of the doctors were in a position to confirm these wounds as none of them saw them on November 22, 1963."

Actually, that is correct. The 4 ER doctors did state that they had not carefully examined the wounds as they were totally involved in trying to save the Presidents life.

They DID say , however, that the autopsy photos that they looked at comported with their "vivid memories" of what they had seen while treating Kennedy in the Parkland ER. I offered those statements as refutation to Fed's assertion that the autopsy phatos were fakes.

Further, the autopsy photos clearly show no massive exit wound that Fred claims to see on the Zapruder film.


Steve Broce - 2/10/2006

Points well made


Steve Broce - 2/10/2006

First off, Fred (I now note that I never ASKED your permission to call you Fred) I couldn’t care less whether you believe that I have 25 years of Law Enforcement experience or not. Just as I really don’t know (or care) whether you actually “were in combat for two years” and have actually shot someone in the head before.

I DO have 25 years of LE experience, but I really don’t care to get into the mud with you on side issues. Besides, I notice your specialty in refutation is to avoid the issues that you are challenged on and attack the person doing the challenging.

Insofar as your example of a misquote, I did not put the

Fred: I’ve read Garrison’s book and the jury was wrong.

In quotes and did not imply that it was a direct quote.

However, in an earlier posting, I pointed out that Garrison had presented his crackpot theories to a jury and they quickly acquitted Shaw. You replied (and I do quote you, now) “I have read Garrison's book, and the trial summaries. Have you, or do you just blow hard on cue?” Clearly, you are offering your reading of Garrison’s book as refutation for my citation of the Jury’s acquittal of Shaw.

Or are you now claiming that Garrison’s book somehow endorses the Jury’s findings?

I believe that my summary of your argument as ‘I’ve read Garrison’s book and the Jury is wrong’ is a fair summary and is certainly not a misquote (or any other type of quote, for that matter.)

As for Crenshaw’s credentials,

Fred, 2/9/2006: “This is the most impressive, best educated, and most senior of the DOCTORS who actually touched and treated JFK, who declared him dead,”

Fred, 2/10/2006: “Crenshaw: born 1930, Phd physiology 1957, MD, 1960 from Baylor. At the time of Kennedy's murder he was the best educated MD and most experienced RESIDENT..”

( the caps are mine to highlight the change you made)

You’re fudging again, Fred. You’re trying to gloss over your puffery by changing your original quote from “Doctor” to “Resident”, without acknowledging that the resident physician is a junior position in the hospital. The fact of the matter is that a neurosurgeon, the head of ER medicine at Parkland and a number of physicians with far more seniority and experience than Crenshaw actually treated Kennedy. Many of them don’t even remember Crenshaw in the room. There is no evidence that he played any MAJOR role in treating Kennedy. I stand by my statement that every assertion in your original puffed up description of Dr. Crenshaw’s credentials was false.


Andrew D. Todd - 2/10/2006

Ah, that should be "ref: Robert Sherrill, etc."


Andrew D. Todd - 2/10/2006

Well, this discussion seems rather convoluted. I think people are missing the larger point. Oswald seems to have bought the cheapest possible rifle he could get, a notoriously defective rifle using a nonstandard caliber (making it harder to get expanding bullets). His Manlicher-Carcano cost him twenty-one dollars, inclusive of accessories and shipping, which at the time was about twenty hours of minimum wage labor, say a hundred and ten dollars in modern money. If someone had wanted to help him, the simplest thing they could have done would have been to slip him an extra fifty dollars, so that he could buy a good rifle, such as an army-surplus M-1 Carbine. Full automatic conversions, while illegal, were readily available for a hundred dollars or less.

The larger point is that the notion of "the bubble" did not exist in 1963. Kennedy was required, almost as a condition of office, and by way of proving that he was no tyrant, to make himself available to any kook with a grievance. One might almost say that, following the severe etiquette of the Duel of Honor, Kennedy made allowances for the Manlicher-Carcano's shortcomings, and adjusted his conduct accordingly so that Oswald might have a fair shot at him.

Robert Sherrill, The Saturday Night Special, 1973, pp. 61-62, 88, 165-66 (penguin pbk. ed.)


Frederick Thomas - 2/10/2006


Mr. Broce:

Crenshaw: born 1930, Phd physiology 1957, MD, 1960 from Baylor. At the time of Kennedy's murder he was the best educated MD and most experienced resident. You seem to unquestioningly accept the garbage in the NY Times hit piece on him, as opposed to actually finding out what you are talking about.

Misquote Example:

"Fred: I’ve read Garrison’s book and the jury was wrong."

Connecting the reading of this book and opinions on the jury is not something I ever did. But you did.

That is a deliberate misquote, something a real "law enforcement officer" would have been trained not to do, as such nonsense is thrown out od court as fast as it is spoken.

I do not think you were ever in "law enforcement," sir, except perhaps as a groupie. You are too unprofessional.

Further, I did not give you permission to call me "Fred."


Steve Broce - 2/10/2006

“..is as puffed up as you falsely say Dr Crenshaw's is.”

Look, Fred, you got caught puffing up Crenshaw’s credentials-accept it.


“given all that, that you still feel that an assassination of a US president is just impossible.”

Are you just plain bananas, pal. I never claimed “that an assassination of a US president is just impossible”. Obviously Kennedy WAS assassinated. I certainly don’t claim otherwise.

That being said, it is the province of people like you, conspiracy nuts, who can’t accept that Presidents CAN BE and ARE sometimes killed by lone gunmen.

In my own hometown of Sacramento, President Ford was nearly killed by lone wackadoo Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme. A few weeks later, an even bigger lone nut, Sara Jane Moore actually got a shot off at Ford. Finally, a semi-conscious wing nut, John Hinckley actually shot and nearly killed Reagan. No credible evidence that any of these attempts involved a conspiracy has ever surfaced.

For some reason, though, conspiracy nuts can’t accept that an ex-marine who was certainly functioning at an ability level much higher than Fromme, Moore or Hinckley might actually succeed. There MUST have been a conspiracy.

By the way, Fred, I invite you to cite any time that I ever misquoted you.


Frederick Thomas - 2/10/2006


Mr. Broce,

It is pathetic to see you misquote me, then argue with the misquotation to prove your point-one dumb logical fallacy after another.

Have you ever studied rules of evidence, courtroom procedure, or even rhetoric? You make me feel that your law enforcement background is as puffed up as you falsely say Dr Crenshaw's is.

It does surprise me that, given that assassination has been a very common way to remove inconvenient leaders from King Tut to various Roman Emperors to middle ages Popes to Patice Lumumba, to Allende, to recently the prime minister of Lebanon, given all that, that you still feel that an assassination of a US president is just impossible.

Credulous? Unquestionably.


Patrick Joseph Speer - 2/10/2006

Steve, your contention that the wrist fragments matched CE 399 is untrue. Guinn testified to this, against every lick of common sense. I debunk Guinn's analysis in the Single-Bullet Theory section of my presentation. http://homepage.mac.com/bkohley/Menu18.html

The FBi has stopped performing bullet-lead analysis, by the way, and the HSCA's Robert Blakey has divorced himself from Guinn's conclusions. A team of metallurgists are double-checking Guinn's work for the HSCA and will almost certainly denounce his results sometime this year.


Patrick Joseph Speer - 2/10/2006

Steve, as stated, I agree with you about the wounds. I don't believe anythng was changed. But the evidence, taken at face value, still suggests conspiracy. It is undoubtedly confusing that the Dallas doctors intially described the wound as being on the back of Kennedy's head, only to change their minds years later. As far as the back wound and entrance wound on the back of the head, none of the doctors were in a position to confirm these wounds as none of them saw them on November 22, 1963.


Patrick Joseph Speer - 2/10/2006

Steve, you're right and you're wrong. You're right that most conspiracists don't know what they're talking about. You're wrong if you think there's nothing to their suspicions. I've spent two years working on a presentation, http://homepage.mac.com/bkohley/Menu18.html
that demonstrates beyond ANY doubt that the government's experts have misrepresented the evidence since day one.

P.S. You said that the Dallas doctors said there was a wound on the right front part of Kennedy's head. This proves you don't know what you're talking about. Not one doctor in Dallas described the head wound in the location it is in the autopsy photos. I have taken a lot of heat in the research community because I believe there may be an innocent explanation for this. (I've been reading about facial recognition and the inversion effect). Anyhow, you're also out of line on Garrison. Garrison delayed bringing Shaw to trial because he knew the case was weak. He admitted afterwards that the jurors did the right thing by acquitting Shaw. The jurors, for their part, came away from the trial completely convinced that Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy, just not convinced beyond a doubt that Shaw was a part of that conspiracy. Shaw undoubtedly lied about his now-acknowledged CIA involvement. It's hard to feel too much sympathy for a proven perjurer. Still, it's clear that Shaw paid a heavy price for his friendship with the CIA.


Steve Broce - 2/10/2006

Incidentally, Fred, Neutron Activation Analysis done on bits of lead recovered from Connally and compared to the single bullet recovered from Connally’s gurney ( you know, the one that all the conspiracy buffs say was planted). They were an exact match.

This means that the single bullet (you know, the one all the conspiracy buffs say couldn’t have wounded Connally) almost certainly was the one that wounded Connally


Steve Broce - 2/10/2006

Try this link


http://www.tamu-commerce.edu/thepride/winter2002/page10.html


Steve Broce - 2/10/2006

Fred, you really need to acquaint yourself with the facts of the assassination. NO ONE posits that the "magic" bullet went through Kennedy's head.

The single bullet theory posits that the second shot fired by Oswald entered Kennedy's back, exited just below Kennedy's throat, without ever striking bone, then entering Connally's upper back, taking out 4.5cm's of one of his ribs, exiting them hitting his wrist and finally stopping in Connally’s thigh.

But in answer to your question, Failure Analysis Associates used a cadaver, not ballistic gelatin.

As to why I believe jacketed rounds were used, those are the rounds that Oswald is documented to have purchased and were recovered. There is NO evidence that any soft point rounds were fired in Dealey Plaza (not that I expect that to stop you from insisting there were such rounds fired).


Steve Broce - 2/10/2006

Fred, you’re just like every other conspiracy nut—when the truth isn’t good enough, you just make up facts:

You claim that Crenshaw was the (and I quote you now) “The most impressive, best educated, and most senior of the doctors who actually touched and treated JFK, who declared him dead,”

As this link clearly shows (http://www.tamucommerce.edu/thepride/winter2002/page10.html), Crenshaw was a RESIDENT in the Emergency Room-basically a fifth year medical student. So your description of him is false.

The facts: Dr. Kemp Clark, the only neuro surgeon in the ER, declared Kennedy dead

Dr. Crenshaw wrote his book after suffering a stroke that was so debilitating that he could no longer perform surgery.

Most of the physicians who actually worked on Kennedy do not remember Crenshaw even being in the ER.

Every assertion that you made about Crenshaw was false. Typical.

In point of fact, four REAL emergency room doctors (not junior residents) who actually treated JFK examined the autopsy photos on NOVA, the PBS documentary series. ALL of them agreed that the photos, which depict a single entry wound to the rear of Kennedy’s skull and a single exit wound from the right front of Kennedy’s skull, were accurate with respect to what they saw in the ER on 11/22/63. They also said that the photos depicting a single entry wound to Kennedy’s upper back and a single exit wound below his throat were accurate.



Steve Broce - 2/10/2006

Fred, you’re just like every other conspiracy nut—when the truth isn’t good enough, you just make up facts:

You claim that Crenshaw was (and I quote you now) “The most impressive, best educated, and most senior of the doctors who actually touched and treated JFK, who declared him dead,”

As this link clearly shows (http://www.tamucommerce.edu/thepride/winter2002/page10.html), Crenshaw was a RESIDENT in the Emergency Room-basically a fifth year medical student. So your description of him is false.

The facts: Dr. Kemp Clark, the only neuro surgeon in the ER, declared Kennedy dead

Dr. Crenshaw wrote his book after suffering a stroke that was so debilitating that he could no longer perform surgery.

Most of the physicians who actually worked on Kennedy do not remember Crenshaw even being in the ER.

Every assertion that you made about Crenshaw was false. Typical.

In point of fact, four REAL emergency room doctors (not junior residents) who actually treated JFK, examined the autopsy photos on NOVA, the PBS documentary series. ALL of them agreed that the photos, which depict a single entry wound to the rear of Kennedy’s skull and a single exit wound from the right front of Kennedy’s skull, were accurate with respect to what they saw in the ER on 11/22/63. They also said that the photos depicting a single entry wound to Kennedy’s upper back and a single exit wound below his throat were accurate.


Steve Broce - 2/9/2006

“Your contempt for the people of this country,…”

I don’t have contempt for the people of this country. I recognize that conspiracy nuts like you have so muddied the water surrounding the JFK assassination that most Americans are massively uninformed. That is cause for pity, not contempt.

But here’s the real issue, Fred, and there’s no getting around it. Your argument that “80% of the American public believes that a conspiracy exists, therefore a conspiracy must exist” is a silly notion. Cite evidence or make some logical argument, but don’t quote some meaningless poll. Truth isn’t found by taking a vote.

Fred, you’re starting to sound desperate. I point out that Vanunu was 9 at the time of the assassination, making it unlikely that he has any first hand knowledge of any “Israeli assassination plot’ and you cite his age at the time of his arrest (23 years after the assassination) and then quote his unsupported allegation as if that were evidence. I ask you again, Fred, how would Vanunu know of such a plot? What “near certain indications” does Vanunu have knowledge of?

Fred, you’re just like every other arm chair detective out there that concludes that because someone COULD have done something they MUST HAVE done it. More silliness. Hey, pal, your mother could have done it, but that doesn’t mean she did it.

But you really betray yourself with your “It works better than….” Those are the words of a conspiracy nut who really doesn’t care what the truth is. You are obsessed with anything that “works”. That is why you can argue that the Israeli’s assassinated JFK out of one side of your mouth, while simultaneously arguing that Garrison had it right and it was a CIA/Military plot out of the other side.

Any evidence that contravenes any of your ever changing conspiracy theories is simply dismissed as “a red herring”.

The autopsy photos show two wounds, both shot from Kennedy’s rear

Fred: They are faked


Four ER doctors who worked on Kennedy in the Parkland ER confirmed that there was a single entry wound at the back of Kennedy’s skull and a massive exit wound on the right front of his skull.

Fred: The exit wound was actually an entry wound and all four doctors are part of the conspiracy.

Garrison tried Clay Shaw for the conspiracy and Shaw was acquitted in 54 minutes by a jury who heard all the evidence.

Fred: I’ve read Garrison’s book and the jury was wrong.


A mock trial was held in which a real prosecutor, defense attorney, judge and jury were used. The actual witnesses were called and examined and cross-examined. They found Oswald guilty.

Fred: They were not given the facts and were SUPPOSED to convict Oswald. (I guess Vincent Bugliosi, Gerry Spence as well as the judge and jury are in on the conspiracy)

Etc., etc., etc.

The problem with your theories, Fred is they are akin to a chain letter. Taken to their logical end, eventually everyone has to be in on the conspiracy.


Frederick Thomas - 2/9/2006


Mr. Broce:

From Dallas Morning News, 2001:

"Dr. Charles Andrew Crenshaw, one of several who treated President John F. Kennedy's gunshot wounds nearly 38 years ago, went to his grave insisting Lee Harvey Oswald was not the lone gunman...

Dr. Crenshaw, an emergency room doctor at Parkland Memorial Hospital on the days Kennedy and Oswald died in November 1963, wrote about his experience in the 1992 book 'JFK: Conspiracy of Silence.'

In it, Dr. Crenshaw detailed his contention that Kennedy had been shot twice from the front, contradicting the findings of the Warren Commission that Oswald was the lone assassin, firing from behind the president."

This is the most impressive, best educated, and most senior of the doctors who actually touched and treated JFK, who declared him dead, and who later contradicted the hokey Pravda style photos you rely upon. Too bad the original investigators did not have computer equipment. They could have made much better fakes than those published.

Dr. Crenshaw was disappointed but understanding, that some of his fellows were apparently afraid to come forward. Fear is a great motivator.


Frederick Thomas - 2/9/2006

Mr. Broce, your entire position is repitition of tired red herrings. For whom do you work, Mr. Law Enforcement?

Your contempt for the people of this country, and their ability to understand when they are being lied to, has the ring of an elitist.

You also despise the congress, Zapruder, etc. with nothing but air behind you. Want to know why the mock trial ended up as it did? It was supposed to: the jurors had no access to the contary evidence.

Regarding Vannunu, who was 32 when he was arrested by Shimon Peres for letting out the "secret" of Dimona, he said recently:

"...according to near-certain indications, Kennedy was assassinated due to pressure he exerted on ... David Ben-Gurion to shed light on Dimona's nuclear reactor."

Don't like it? Well, it works better than all the other tired garbage you reiterate. It has plausibility, motive, exceptional capability, and lots of opportunity. BG reportedly screamed "you are playing with the future of Israel!" at JFK, a few months before the assassination. Sound plausible?

Ben Gurion (real name "Gryn") was the head of Irgun, which murdered 100,000 unarmed Palestinians and Brits over 1947-48, according to the UN commission for refugees. He was a very serious mass-murderer. Would someone like that stop at a US president? The fact that it is not being investigated is interesting.

The way you spool out the numerous red herrings originally posited as disinformation by the press (mafia! cubans! soviets!) is also interesting. Why do you take it upon yourself to carry on this fight, which no one but the chorus believes, least of all those responsible?

I do not "grasp at any theory." I simply detect that the party line is obvious insulting garbage, and investigate as much as I can, waiting for this pile of steaming garbage to blow up.


Frederick Thomas - 2/9/2006


Mr. Broce:

Are you saying that Failure Associates shot someone in the head to "recreate" the shot, or that they instead shot a gelatine block, as is the normal "test" method? And what kind of round did they use?

Why do you presume jacketed military rounds. The presumption of all who smell rats here is that an expanding round was used by a pro to maximize damage and insure death, which was indeed massive-JFKs cranial cavity was almost completely emptied. The jacketed round was intended to make war more humane, and minimize damage, but that is hardly what an assassin would use.

I believe your bullet comparison and this test show nothing.


Steve Broce - 2/9/2006

People who mock the “single bullet theory” always describe the bullet recovered from Connally’s gurney as “pristine” or “unblemished”. It was neither. A “butt end” view of the bullet shows considerable bulging and distortion

Here’s a link to a “butt end” view of the bullet:
http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/ce399.gif

Not very pristine.

Here’s the punch line, Ed: Failure Analysis Associates recreated the shot and the bullet recovered from the recreation was in BETTER shape than the original bullet recovered from Connally’s gurney.

Guess we’ll have to add that firm to the ever expanding list of conspirators.


Edmund D. Tobin - 2/9/2006

The Warren Commission cover-up asserted that one magic bullet wounded both Kennedy and Connally, striking several bones and turning up unblemished in the hospital.

And the sun rises in the west.


Steve Broce - 2/9/2006

Fred, while it’s true that I have never shot anyone, I have been present at a number of autopsies and have seen the result of gunshot wounds. While I don’t claim to be a forensic expert, I don’t think your claim to have actually shot someone in the head makes you one, either.

That being said, I guess everyone sees in the Zapruder film what they want too see. I can’t agree with your characterization of the right front ejecta as “superficial”. What I see is clearly a devastating exit wound from a shot from behind. Dr. Michael Baden, the famous pathologist, and advisor to The House Select Committee on Assassinations advises that Kennedy’s head movement was caused by a violent neuro muscular reaction to being shot.

I have seen the autopsy photos and they clearly show a small entry wound in the back of Kennedy’s skull and a much larger exit wound in the right front of Kennedy’s skull. I also saw a PBS documentary where four of the ER doctors who worked on Kennedy at Parkland examined the autopsy photos and agreed that they correctly represented what they had seen back in 1963. All of the doctors stressed that they had been totally involved in trying to save Kennedy’s life and had not examined the wounds carefully.


One of the ER doctors said something else of note. He said that if all the people who claimed to have treated Kennedy that day actually had, there wouldn’t have been enough room in the treatment room

So whatever some doctor is saying now, at one time, FOUR doctors who actually treated Kennedy in Dallas agreed that there was one entry wound in back and one large exit wound in the right front of Kennedy’s skull.

That you “like Ed’s concept better” is no surprise to me.


Steve Broce - 2/9/2006

Fred, let me make this simple. What 80% of the American public believes about the JFK assassination is of little import, because 95% of the American public knows nothing of the evidence. What they do know is based mostly upon watching movies and reading accounts of the assassination written by conspiracy nuts who badly mangle the facts. So what a largely uninformed American public believes is largely irrelevant.

Let me put this in mathematical terms for you, Fred:

Uniformed Population = Uninformed Beliefs

Your argument basically boils down to “there must have been a conspiracy because a lot of people think so.” Most unpersuasive.

Now then, you claim that these uninformed Americans are the ones who sit on juries. That is technically correct. However, before juries decide on the guilt or innocence of a suspect, they go through a process called a trial. During this process, they are informed.

There has been only one trial that bore directly on the JFK assassination. It was held in New Orleans in 1969 and was prosecuted by that prosecutorial giant that you have so much faith in, Jim Garrison. The result: an acquittal in a record 54 minutes. While I haven’t read the trial transcripts, the jury was subject to the entire sorry mess and apparently had no trouble finding that Garrison had no case.

By the way, Fred, there was a mock trial held in 1986. Vincent Bugliosi, the famous Manson prosecutor prosecuted and Gerry Spence, the famous defense attorney defended Oswald. A real judge presided and a jury was seated. The actual witnesses were called and evidence was presented. The testimony was unscripted and there were no actors. The result: Lee Harvey Oswald was convicted.

You can believe that a “gang of arrogant thugs” murdered Kennedy if you wish. It’s a free country. But without any real evidence, what makes you any different than the nuts who think the moon landings were faked or that the Government has alien corpses in a hangar in Nevada?

As for Modechai Vanunu’s unsupported accusations, all I can say is, ahh, now it’s the Jews who killed Kennedy. But tell me something, Fred, if the Jews killed Kennedy, what does that say about Garrison’s theory that it was the Military and CIA? Or all the other conspiracy theories that blame the Kennedy assassination on everyone from the Mafia to the Martians? Give me a break. You can’t extol the virtues of Garrison’s theory in one paragraph and then claim it was really the Israeli’s who killed Kennedy in the next. Not if you expect to have any credibility.

One other thing about Vanunu, Fred. Vanunu was born in October of 1954. He had just turned 9 when Kennedy was assassinated. Do you suggest that at the tender age of 9 he was enlisted into the Israeli conspiracy? Do you argue that he has some first hand knowledge of the assassination? How would Mordechai Vanunu possibly know if there had been an Israeli plot? Perhaps Vanunu’s hatred of Israel explains his accusations.

This is your problem, Fred. You desperately want to believe there was a conspiracy. You’ll grasp at any conspiracy theory that comes along, even if it conflicts with some other theory that just moments before you were propagating.


Frederick Thomas - 2/8/2006


Mr. Broce:

Is it not true that over 99% of law enforcement never see anyone shot, and also are not in any sense forensics experts in gunshot wounds? Could you be one of those?

I come to this from the standpoint of one who has been in combat for two years, against and using military firearms, and has seem a number of head wounds actually happen, including one from my weapon, which I witnessed very closely (as I had an unfortunate young sapper in my sights) which struck his right forehead, and snapped his head backward, as did the shot in question here.

I have seen Zapruder, and what I see in it, following a throat shot of indeterminate source is a clear right frontal shot with superficial ejecta to the front and a larger ejecta spray to the rear, including skull fragments, which snapped JFKs head rearward and leftward, as one would expect from a frontal shot.

Does it not trouble you that the autopsy results were either classified, tampered with, or lost to the committee? Are you not concerned that the surgeon who first treated Kennedy and identified one and possibly two of the wounds as frontal was never asked to testify, and was forced to relinquish the body before the required autopsy, at gunpoint, by Secret service types? Does all this smell like "credibility" to someone with "25 years in law enforcement?"

I'd say it stinks, sir, and that I like Ed's concept better.


Frederick Thomas - 2/8/2006


Mr. Broce:

As any quick internet poll scan will tell you, my 80% figure is correct overall. That's not 80% "don't know," but 80% "believe in a conspiracy."

You may not like this, and it may be inconvenient to your faction, but these polled Americans are the same guys who sit on juries, vote, and read newspapers, such as they are. For these Americans, as for me, a gang of arrogant thugs killed my president, and I do not take that as lightly as do you.

For you to believe Oswald was alone responsible is the height of credulousness.

I have read Garrison's book, and the trial summaries. Have you, or do you just blow hard on cue? I bet you read only WC apologists' books. Right? Or perhaps just talking points.

Or perhaps you are concerned that the latest reports directly implicate the government of Israel, accusations made by Israeli dissident physicist Mordechai Vanunu, inplicating David Ben Gurion, who was embarrased by JFK over the Demona nukes, and you are an Israel ueber alles kind of guy. Is that it?

There are things which, no matter how suppressed, which eventually come out. This one will too.







Steve Broce - 2/8/2006

Ed, I don’t know what your qualifications are to pronounce “the single bullet theory a physical impossibility”. I have over 25 years of law enforcement experience, am a shooter and reloader and can tell you that bullets can do some pretty amazing things.
That is particularly true of high power, center-fire full metal jacket bullets like Oswald was firing. That one such bullet could wound two different individuals is not an impossibility, but is in fact quite common.

As for the Zapruder film, what I saw on the film was clearly an exit wound caused a bullet coming out of the right front region of Kennedy’s head. Any shooter will tell you that a high power rifle round makes a small entrance wound and a large exit wound (“goes in like a nickel and comes out like a dinner plate”). What is depicted on the Zapruder film is clearly an exit wound


Edmund D. Tobin - 2/8/2006

Lawyers may have covered up, or tried to uncover, the truth behind Kennedy's murder in Dallas.

But who cares about that?

The fact is that the single-bullet theory is physically impossible, given the wounds to Kennedy and Connally this magic bullet notionally caused.

Then there's the Zapruder film that clearly shows Kennedy being killed by a shot from the front-right.

Try as he might, Holland cannot overcome the facts on the ground and on film -- whovever killed Kennedy got away with it.

And our country has not been right since.


Steve Broce - 2/8/2006

1.“Let's see: about 80% of Americans think Warren Report is rubbish..”

About 80% of Americans can’t name there own congressman. Am I really supposed to be persuaded by what 80% of Americans believe.

Most Americans haven’t looked at the evidence or are informed about the JFK assassination by watching the Oliver Stone movie.


2. “the key witness was shot by organized criminal Jack Ruby to prevent his testimony,”

“Key witness”? Are you serious? Don’t you mean chief suspect? Or do you argue that Oswald had no part in the assassiantion?


3. “..a thousand independent investigators find real flaws all the time, but cannot break through the wall of secrecy.”

This is the most investigated crime of all time. Maybe they “can’t break through the wall of secrecy”, because for all its flaws, the Warren Commission got it right.


4. “The House Assassinations Committee found:”

What difference does it make what the HSCA concluded? As Holland pointed out, the HSCA’s conclusions with respect to the second gunman were TOTALLY repudiated and were based on deeply flawed acoustical analysis.


5. “Mr. Holland, you slam Garrison, a prosecutor, who came to the same conclusions that the House committee did.”

What I recall clearly about the late sixties was the low regard most people had for Jim Garrison and his constantly changing theories. One day it was Cubans firing from manholes in Dealy Plaza, the next it was a “homosexual thrill killing” and finally a CIA plot. Garrison was widely regarded as a crackpot at the time and no evidence has surfaced to ameliorate that judgement. Garrison was kicked out of the National Guard on a Section 8 and apparently never recovered.

The fact of the mattter is that Garrison persecuted Clay Shaw with a witness that Garrison knew to be a perjurer and the Jury quickly acquitted Shaw.

As for the HSCA coming to the same conclusions that Garrison did, that mistatement is belied by your own posting. Garrison argued that the assassination was carried out by the CIA and military, something that your posting says the HSCA clearly rejected.

Are you familiar in even a casual way with Garrison’s theories?



Patrick Joseph Speer - 2/6/2006

Since I don't see an edit button, let me clarify two of my points in this second post.

At the end of the first paragraph I meant to write "Whether or no by design, they came to think of Johnson and the American establishment as their client, and people like Mark Lane as their enemy."

In the third paragraph "the murder conviction of a President" should have read "the conviction of a President's murderer".

I'll be more careful in the future.


Patrick Joseph Speer - 2/6/2006

In Stephen White's defense of the Warren Commission "Should We Now Believe The Warren Report?" he makes the astute observation that the selection of lawyers to work on the Warren Commission was a grievous error. Lawyers are trained to be adversarial--to pick a side and stick with it--and are not trained to seek the truth. The more recent writings of Stanford professor Barbara Tversky echo this contention; she cites studies that have proven that people asked to take a position come to actually believe their position and forget the evidenc for the other side of the argument. Such was the tragedy of the Warren Commission. Whether or not by design, they came to think of Johnson and the American establishment, and people like Mark Lane as the enemy. Max Holland seems to be walking in their footsteps.

A more compelling article on lawyers and the assassination would have discussed Warren's suppression of the autopsy evidence. He claimed that in a court of law this evidence would have been suppressed because it would be prejudicial against Oswald. This showed that he refused to consider the possibility that the evidence might suggest a second shooter, and would help Oswald's contention he was a patsy. Warren's determination of this came, moreover, from his looking at the photos by himself, with no input from a doctor. He had therefore appointed himself an "expert" on medical evidence in order to make this judgement, without any basis for considering himself an "expert". If he'd done this in a court of law, Oswald's attorney could have appealed and had his convinction overturned.

If it had went all the way to the Supreme Court, Warren would have to have sat aside while his colleagues overturned the murder conviction of a President, due to a gross legal error made by the Chief Justice.

This scenario is the type of thing Holland could have written about. Sadly, he decided to use The Nation's space to write another attack on Garrison, and another attack on Mark Lane, whose greatest sin seems to be that he tried to represent Oswald's interests when no one else would--especially Chief Justice Warren.


Frederick Thomas - 2/6/2006


Mr. Holland asserts:

"The combined efforts of these lawyers produced an imperfect (Warren)report in September 1964, although its fundamental findings have never been seriously impeached."

Not seriously impeached?

Let's see: about 80% of Americans think Warren Report is rubbish, the key witness was shot by organized criminal Jack Ruby to prevent his testimony, a thousand independent investigators find real flaws all the time, but cannot break through the wall of secrecy. Mr. Warren was the same criminal who interned Japanese Anericans unconstitutionally then wrecked our legal system, which casts anything he does in a very dim light.

The House Assassinations Committee found:

- 2 gunmen actually fired, NOT one

- It WAS the result of conspiracy

- conspiracy did NOT include:

- Soviets
- Castro
- Anti Castro
- Org Crime
- Secret service
- FBI
- CIA

This, Mr. Holland, is very serious impeachment, and I assume you know the meaning of the word. The Warren Report was a cover-up concocted by "single-bullet" Specter, "internment" Warren, "spook" Dulles, and "Duh" Ford. Doesn't give me a warm feeling.

Mr. Holland, you slam Garrison, a prosecutor, who came to the same conclusions that the House committee did. Want to rethink that? You accuse others of exploiting JFK for money, so why are you doing it?



James W Loewen - 2/6/2006

This Nation piece blurs opinion and fact and adds little to the debate about these two murders. Holland's use of adverbs is a giveaway: the Church Committee "infamously concluded," he writes, for example. Why not "judiciously concluded?" Certainly "infamous" is opinion, not fact; since most Americans don't recall its conclusions at all, or even its existence, and since a majority of those who do probably agree. Or how about "concluded?" That would be factual. And how about Oswald's murder? Just Jack Ruby acting alone, on his own? Just like Oswald? Perhaps, but also, perhaps not. Which is a reason why the controversy lingers -- not just owing to the duplicity of lawyers.

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