MintPress has published an excellent three-part series by journalist Whitney Webb on the history of Jeffrey Epstein that seeks to document his ties to organized crime and intelligence networks . This brief interview provides an overview of Webb’s findings.
Prefatory Note on Censorship in Academe
This study was written in 2013-14 as part of my academic research as Associate Professor of Media Studies at Florida Atlantic University. I have had numerous papers addressing news coverage of historical events published in academic journals over the past two decades. However, this was the first attempt to offer a scholarly treatment of a research object related to a conspiracy–how the news media “framed” New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s JFK assassination inquiry.
When I presented the paper at the Association For Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Montreal Conference in 2014 the panel respondent congratulated me on what he deemed to be a very well-researched and written manuscript. He further remarked that it was at most a draft or two away from submission for editorial review at a scholarly journal. I was also confident the study would eventually achieve publication.
The paper was subsequently rejected by five journals out-of-hand. The editors refused to even send the paper out for review, which never occurred to me before. Notably, each editor provided a different reason for not wanting to give it further consideration. What is more, three of the venues had published my work in previous years. The paper nevertheless offers a timely contribution to understanding the historical origins of the term “conspiracy theory” and its development from perhaps the most momentous event in 20th century American politics.
This helped me to further realize how despite celebrated notions of unbridled inquiry and academic freedom, certain subjects so historically central to the nation’s history in fact remain taboo among academics–those entrusted by society to research such matters–vis-á-vis their counterparts in professional journalism, with both camps still proceeding in tacit agreement to police the boundaries of permissible discourse and thought. -JFT
“It appears that certain elements of the mass media have an active interest in preventing this case from ever coming to trial at all and find it necessary to employ against me every smear device in the book.” –Jim Garrison (Playboy 1967)
The news media’s failure to interrogate and question the “the lone assassin” theory by the 1964 Presidents Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, otherwise known as the Warren Commission, should be recognized as one of the greatest episodes of journalistic misconduct in US history. The mass media have played a pivotal role in the coverup of the Kennedy (JFK) assassination that they unabashedly practice to this day. New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s investigation of the November 22, 1963 event was the first substantial challenge to the official narrative. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) countered Garrison’s efforts by calling upon its media assets to directly attack, defame, even sabotage the inquiry.
From this episode the CIA developed one of its most potent psychological weapons against political dissent: the “conspiracy theory” label. Over its 50-year lifespan the label has time and again demonstrated its effectiveness in policing the public sphere by calling into question the credibility and even the sanity of journalists, academics, or any other public figure that dares question authorized myths for the masses.
The SCOTUS Senate Hearings are not about which witness is telling the truth, argues George Webb, but rather a classic “divide and conquer” CIA ploy to distract public opinion from the issue of illegal government spying (which Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh vigorously defends) and against Trump’s “Red Wave” in the run up to the 2018 Midterm Election.
H/t Prof. Darrell Hamamoto
Editor’s Note: Today marks the 25th anniversary of American voting rights activist and Fullbright scholar Amy Biehl’s violent death in South Africa. With South Africa already in the news over the past week a recent retrospectives have been issued by Biehl’s alma mater, Stanford University, and weeks earlier in the Los Angeles Times, the latter of which played a major role in publicizing Biehl’s apparent August 25, 1993 demise. The Biehl murder event took place at a decisive moment, as African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela’s presidential bid turned on his portrayal as a “peace candidate.”
Amy Biehl was a young Fulbright scholar in South Africa in 1993. She was murdered 25 years ago, two days before her planned return to the U.S. Four of her killers were found guilty of murder, and then granted amnesty. And her family forgave them. https://t.co/W3D4SfQucv
— Adeel Hassan (@adeelnyt) August 24, 2018
Author and attorney Alison Maynard, a longtime reader and supporter of MHB, examines the unusual circumstances surrounding the death and establishes a case that it was likely a publicity stunt carried out by transnational forces seeking to maneuver the troubled country’s political trajectory toward certain desired ends.-JFT
By Alison Maynard
Saturday, August 25, 2018, will mark the 25thanniversary of the violent murder of American voting rights activist and Fulbright scholar Amy Biehl in South Africa. Amy was a blond, blue-eyed Stanford graduate aged 26 when she was pulled from her car in Guguletu Township outside Cape Town on August 25, 1993. While a mob of 300 black students shouted, “One settler, one bullet!” and “Kill the settler!” hoodlums pulled her from her car, stabbed her in the heart, and bludgeoned her head with a brick. One day after her death, a professor of Amy’s at Stanford, Larry Diamond, pinned blame for the murder on the Pan Africanist Congress, “a relatively small, extremely militant political fringe group in the black community in South Africa … that has been more inclined to commit violence against whites.”
The Los Angeles Times on Sept. 2, 1993, recounted the heart-wrenching personal visit Melanie Jacobs, Amy’s best friend and roommate in South Africa, made on Sept. 1, 1993, to Newport Beach, California, to bring Amy’s ashes to her parents. Melanie was accompanied by her 14-year-old daughter, Solange. It was Melanie who identified Amy’s body after the murder. According to the L.A. Times, Amy—amazingly–climbed into a police vehicle after being mortally injured, and was driven not to the hospital, but to the police station, where she died on the floor. Melanie, summoned to identify the body, recognized Amy by the “clunky black shoes sticking out from under the pink blanket.” She could not bear to look at the face. Melanie herself died tragically from a fall from a balcony in 1998.Amy’s parents, Peter and Linda Biehl, went on after Amy’s murder to form the Amy Biehl Foundation Trust, a charitable organization committed to providing skills training, such as bread-baking and knitting, to impoverished black Africans in South Africa.
CIA whistleblower Kevin Shipp says the next revelation that will come to light will be that Bruce Ohr, who was the fourth highest ranking official in the Obama Justice Department (DOJ), wrote the now infamous phony Trump Dossier which was used to apply for fraudulent federal wiretaps (with the FISA Court) to spy on Trump. Shipp, who is a former CIA Officer with a high security clearance, explains, “It all started from the fake dossier which led eventually to the appointment of Robert Mueller (Special Prosecutor) and the entire foundation is based on a falsity. . . . I understand the next revocation of security clearance is probably going to be Bruce Ohr because he crafted the fake dossier with Christopher Steele, and he may even have written the thing. . . . After the FBI supposedly fired Christopher Steele, Bruce Ohr had at least 70 communications (with Steele) back and forth talking about the ‘firewall’ is still there to protect us. Recent accounts show that Bruce Ohr either wrote the dossier with Christopher Steele or he wrote it himself in communication with Christopher Steele.”
So, the only piece of so-called evidence to frame Donald Trump came from the Department of Justice? Shipp contends, “Yes. Oh, they coordinated it for sure. There are 70 emails back and forth between Ohr and Steele crafting the dossier. So, the FBI and Department of Justice were intimately involved with the creation and publication of that dossier.”
Shipp goes on to say, “They even went further than that. The FBI and CIA counter-intelligence even placed an agent inside the Trump campaign.”
In 1959 New York Times publisher Arthur Hays Sulzberger allowed for then-Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles to place 12 CIA agents at the Times where they secretively functioned on the newspaper’s editorial or reportorial staffs. According to author and attorney William Pepper “those 12 slots have probably been rotated right to the present day. They are agents who will deal with the most sensitive matters.”
Pepper was a personal friend of of Martin Luther King Jr. and in 1999 represented his family in posthumous court proceedings concerning his assassination that ultimately exonerated James Earl Ray, who according to the US government and corporate media narrative was King’s assassin, and identified US government agencies as the principal operatives in the April 4, 1968 murder.
Mass media are central to perpetuating such “lone gunman” myths. “When we had the trial, the media was present when Coretta King took the stand, or any member of the King family took the stand,” Pepper recalls. “But then they were absent for the evidence. They walked out under instructions.”
One cannot dispute the fact that since the 1950s major US news media outlets have seldom wavered from advocating official explanations of complex events while suppressing the countervailing arguments and evidence of independent researchers.
It’s not only those critical assassinations … of King, or [John] Kennedy or Malcolm [X] or Robert Kennedy in the 1960s. But it’s anything that will shake the core or credibility in the institutions and agencies of the American government and how they actually function.
Pepper states that the 1999 King trial was of particular significance, and that while the Court TV was set to televise the event, the cable channel pulled out at the last minute.
(Discussion begins at 41:45)
“I have been blacklisted by the New York Times forever,” Pepper concludes.
They won’t use my name [and] they didn’t use my name in virtually anything. I think they slipped once in one report of the 1999 trial they had to do. They quoted a witness, and the witness said, “Well, Mr. Pepper showed us …” They were quoting him and they put that in. But other than that I may be recognized as “the attorney for the King family” but never named, and I am not to be named in that newspaper. It’s as simple as that. I’ve had to live with this, as have many other progressive journalists in areas of very delicate strategic issues. They don’t want this out, and they won’t allow it out. That’s the basis of corporate control over the media.
Dr. William Pepper and Andrew Kreig
(June 6, 2018)
Robert Kennedy was shot on June 5 and died June 6, 1968, fifty years ago today. A new examination of evidence is forcing human rights organizations — including the OAS— to consider probing the case.
Recent news about Robert F. Kennedy’s fatal shooting sharpens the challenge for human rights organizations in how to address the shocking justice issues raised by the continued imprisonment of RFK’s convicted slayer Sirhan Sirhan.
Reporters and researchers have recently shown the disturbing pattern of suppressed evidence and other legal irregularities that led to Sirhan’s 1969 murder conviction after his scanty defense at trial.
On Sunday, May 26, The Washington Post published a front-page story by Tom Jackman headlined Who killed Bobby Kennedy? His son RFK Jr. doesn’t believe it was Sirhan Sirhan.
The report constituted a breakthrough for a mainstream news organization, particularly because the article extensively examined scientific and other evidence supporting Sirhan’s innocence.
The official story is that Sirhan was a Kennedy-hating killer who acted alone to kill the senator at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles following RFK’s speech thanking his supporters for victory in the 1968 California Democratic presidential primary.
More than any other mainstream media journalist, the Post’s Jackman delved in depth into the evidence in both that first story and in a follow up on June 4, Was Sirhan Hypnotically Programmed to Assassinate RFK? Jackman, while presenting diverse views in a professional manner, clearly showed anyone with an open mind that important evidence has been withheld and that Sirhan may well have been a victim of CIA MK Ultra mind control efforts with the goal of setting Sirhan up to be a patsy through the use of hypnosis and chemicals.
Many other researchers such as filmmaker, author and professor Shane O’Sullivan have shown that Sirhan’s role was to perform a distraction so that the real assassin could do his work and put three bullets into RFK’s body at much closer range while Sirhan was always three to five feet in from of the senator, according to eye witnesses.
It is now up to human rights organizations to step up to the challenge of confronting evidence that the United States and its vaunted legal system may have wrongfully convicted on murder charges and kept imprisoned in near solitary confinement a defendant in one of the most notorious U.S. murders in modern times.