Tag Archives: JFK

JFK and the Lost Prospects for Peace

JFK and the Lost Prospects for Peace” was originally published eight years ago today, on the 49th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. The piece must have hit the mark with at least a few readers. I was especially thrilled when author Jim Douglas, for example, sent me an autographed copy of his JFK and the Unspeakable shortly after “Lost Prospects” appeared. I believe this is more relevant today, as the United States stands once again at a major crossroads, than in 2012.JFT

James F. Tracy
MemoryHoleBlog

(Originally posted November 22, 2012)

Report From Iron Mountain: On The Possibility and Desirability of Peace is a uniquely important document worthy of careful reconsideration a half-century after JFK’s passing. It points to not only the rationales behind the military industrial complex and its overarching influence, but perhaps more importantly how a very real discussion concerning the nation’s priorities proceeded under Kennedy’s watch—a window of possibility that was violently shut on November 22, 1963.[1]

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Trump vs Deep State: From Midterm Defeat to COVID-19

By Nauman Sadiq

The US presidential contests are never smooth-sailing affairs. But this year’s presidential race has been far more unpredictable and tumultuous even by the American standards.

From the bombshell New York Times report [1] in May last year detailing Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden’s son Hunter’s murky dealings in Ukraine to the impeachment proceedings against President Trump lasting from September through February, and now the president and the first lady have tested positive for COVID-19 weeks before the election slated for November 3, making the presidential race all but over for the Republicans.

Clearly, the impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump were nothing more than a show trial. The Democrats initiated the impeachment inquiry against Trump in September 2019 as a diversionary tactic to cover up the sleazy dealings of Hunter Biden with Burisma Holdings of Ukraine, and consequent discrediting of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Although the Democrats had the requisite majority in the House of Representatives to impeach Donald Trump, the Senate was controlled by the Republicans. Besides, convicting a president of impeachment requires two-third majority in the Senate that the Democrats never had. Then what was the purpose of initiating the proceedings if not to distract public attention away from the media trial of Hunter Biden, which was bringing damning press coverage not only to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden but to the Democratic Party as a whole?

Such electoral stunts are expected in the run-up to the US presidential elections. On September 22, a Canadian woman was charged in the US federal court for allegedly posting a letter with deadly ricin poison to President Trump. The suspect may also have sent ricin to five addresses in Texas, including a jail and a sheriff’s office, according to the court documents.

Pascale Cecile Veronique Ferrier, 53, is a computer programmer who is originally from France, but became a Canadian citizen in 2015, according to Canadian media. Sources told BBC [2] she retained dual French-Canadian citizenship. She was living in the Canadian province of Quebec.

In March 2019, she was arrested in Texas for unlawfully carrying a weapon and using a fake driver’s license, according to jail records. She was deported to Canada after officials found she had overstayed her visa and committed a crime while in the US, according to the New York Times.

The letter she allegedly sent last week was discovered before it reached the White House. In it, she called on Trump to drop out of the US presidential race. The envelope contained ricin, a poison found naturally in castor beans, but can kill within days if processed to weapons grade.

“I found a new name for you: ‘The Ugly Tyrant Clown’,” she wrote in the letter to Trump, according to FBI charging documents filed ahead of her first court appearance in New York on September 22.

“I hope you like it. You ruin USA and lead them to disaster. I have US cousins, then I don’t want the next four years with you as president. Give up and remove your application for this election.”

The letter, which the FBI says had her fingerprints on it, referred to the poisoned note as “a special gift,” adding: “If it doesn’t work, I’ll find better recipe for another poison, or I might use my gun when I’ll be able to come.”

Senior US Customs and Border Protection official Mark Morgan said that Ms. Ferrier had told border officers “she was wanted by the FBI for mailing envelopes with ricin to the White House and other locations” when she approached the checkpoint at the US-Canada border. Officers found a gun, a knife and ammunition in her car at the time of her arrest.

Sending suspected packages containing poison or explosives has become a common occurrence in the run-up to the US elections. Her case closely resembles the parcel bombs sent to the residences of George Soros, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, several other leading Democratic Congressmen and The New York Times New York office by Cesar Sayoc in October, 2018, on the eve of the midterm elections in November.

Although the suspect turned out to be a mentally ill Trump supporter, he was likely instigated by shady hands in the American deep state, which is wary of the anti-establishment rhetoric and non-interventionist tendencies of the so-called “alt-right” administration.

The prank of sending explosive packages to Democratic Congressmen lasted from October 22, 2018, to November 1, days before the elections, clearly impacted the outcome of the midterm elections on November 6, as the Democrats got the sympathy vote following the news of suspicious packages sent to prominent Democrats made headlines.

Even though the Republicans retained their 51-seat majority in the Senate, the Democrats controlled the House of Representatives following midterms by gaining 39 additional seats and brought impeachment charges against Donald Trump, though he was acquitted by the Republican majority in the Senate in February.

That the accused had a history of mental illness [3], childhood sexual abuse, substance abuse, including anabolic steroids, cognitive difficulties, including dyslexia, and was apprehended by police several times for grand theft auto and shoplifting doesn’t come as a surprise because it’s always easy to manipulate and trap such gullible patsies into perpetrating heinous crimes.

In fact, the case of Cesar Sayoc can be compared to another iconic “patsy” in the American political history, Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin of John F. Kennedy, who was picked up as a scapegoat because he had visited Russia and Cuba before the hit-job in order to put the blame for the high-profile political assassination on the communists.

Not surprisingly, he was silenced by Jack Ruby before he could open his mouth and prove innocence in the courts of law. The cold-blooded murder of the only other non-interventionist president in American history besides Trump was obviously perpetrated by a professional sniper on the payroll of the deep state.

It was not a coincidence that Kennedy was killed in November 1963, and months later, the Gulf of Tonkin resolution authorized Lyndon B. Johnson to directly engage in the Vietnam conflict in August 1964 on the basis of a false flag naval engagement.

It’s obvious that the American deep state was the only beneficiary of the assassination of Kennedy. Most likely, the deep state turned against Kennedy after the October 1962 Cuban missile crisis and Kennedy’s pacifist rhetoric and conciliatory approach toward Washington’s arch-rival, the former Soviet Union, in the backdrop of the Cold War.

Similarly, JFK’s brother Robert was a leading Democratic candidate for presidency when he was shot by a Palestinian Christian Sirhan Sirhan in 1968. Being a pacifist himself, Bobby Kennedy opposed the US involvement in the Vietnam War and wrote a book on the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 in which he credited his brother JFK for showing restraint and amicably resolving the crisis.

As the former attorney general of JFK, Bobby probably had good leads on the masterminds of the JFK assassination, and wanted to avenge his brother’s shocking murder by exposing the assassins after being elected president. This was the only reason he, too, was silenced by the deep state.

Though serving a life sentence at a California penitentiary, Bobby Kennedy’s murderer Sirhan, now 76 years old, is a suspicious and deranged character, who frequently backtracked on his testimonies and confession during and after the trial, had no recollection of the murder and subsequent events, and his defense team had pleaded for a retrial several times but the request was summarily denied.

Shortly before the murder of Bobby Kennedy, Sirhan joined the occult organization Ancient Mystical Order of the Rose Cross, commonly known as the Rosicrucians in 1966. In fact, Sirhan’s esoteric faith closely resembles a medieval cult “Hashishin,” from which the English word “assassin” has been derived.

The Order of the Assassins was a Nizari Isma’ili sect which lived in the mountains of Persia and Syria between 1090 A.D. and 1275. During that time, they founded a clandestine organization that orchestrated the assassinations of leading figures in the Middle East that were considered enemies of their state.

The Nizari Isma’ili State was ruled by Hassan as-Sabbah from 1090 A.D. until his death in 1124. The Western world was introduced to the assassins by the works of Marco Polo who understood the name as deriving from the eponymous narcotic hashish, which indeed was used to put the assassins under a spell for political assassinations.

The more recent examples of such murderous cults are the Mujahideen-e-Khalq, a cultist political organization founded by the Rajavis of Iran that relocated first to Iraq and then to Albania, or the Fidayeen or suicide bombers of Islamic jihadist organizations who are promised paradise in return for mounting terrorist attacks against political adversaries.

Citations:

[1] Joe Biden faces conflict of interest questions, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/01/us/politics/biden-son-ukraine.html

[2] Pascale Ferrier: White House ricin package suspect in court, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-54255727

[3] The curious case of Cesar Sayoc, https://www.washingtonian.com/2020/08/13/inside-the-mind-of-the-maga-bomber-the-trump-superfan-who-tried-to-wreak-havoc-on-the-last-national-election/

About the author:

Nauman Sadiq is an Islamabad-based attorney, columnist and geopolitical analyst focused on the politics of Af-Pak and Middle East regions, neocolonialism and petro-imperialism.

Unspeakable Memories: The Day John Kennedy Died

Edward Curtin
LewRockewell.com

(November 22, 2019)

There is a vast literature on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, who died on a November 22nd Friday like this in 1963.  I have contributed my small share to such writing in an effort to tell the truth, honor him, and emphasize its profound importance in understanding the history of the last fifty-six years, but more importantly, what is happening in the U.S.A. today. In other words, to understand it in its most gut-wrenching reality: that the American national security state will obliterate any president that dares to buck its imperial war-making machine. It is a lesson not lost on all presidents since Kennedy.

Unless one is a government disinformation agent or is unaware of the enormous documentary evidence, one knows that it was the CIA that carried out JFK’s murder. Confirmation of this fact keeps arriving in easily accessible forms for anyone interested in the truth.  A case in point is James DiEugenio’s recent posting at his website, KennedysandKing, of James Wilcott’s affidavit and interrogation by the House Select Committee on Assassinations, declassified by the Assassinations Record Review Board in 1998.  In that document, Wilcott, who worked in the finance department for the CIA and was not questioned by the Warren Commission, discusses how he unwittingly paid Lee Harvey Oswald, the government’s alleged assassin, through a cryptonym and how it was widely known and celebrated at his CIA station in Tokyo that the CIA killed Kennedy and Oswald worked for the Agency, although he did not shoot JFK.  I highly recommend reading the document.

I do not here want to go into any further analysis or debate about the case.  I think the evidence is overwhelming that the President was murdered by the national security state. Why he was murdered, and the implications for today, are what concern me. And how and why we remember and forget public events whose consequences become unbearable to contemplate, and the fatal repercussions of that refusal.  In what I consider the best book ever written on the subject, JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters (2009), James W. Douglass explains this in detail, including the James Wilcott story.

More…

JFK, Mass Media, and the Origins of ‘Conspiracy Theory’

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


Introduction

“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.

(AP Photo/David Goldman)

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.

Continue reading JFK, Mass Media, and the Origins of ‘Conspiracy Theory’

The Kennedys Loved Joseph McCarthy

Editor’s Note: Revisionist historian Mike King’s provocative new title, Saint Joseph of Wisconsin: The Heroic True Story of Senator Joseph McCarthy that Fake News and Fake Historians Don’t Want You to Know, seeks to redeem trailblazing Irish Catholic Senator “Tailgunner Joe” McCarthy from the prison house of calumny to which he’s been condemned for the past seventy years. As demonstrated in his numerous works, King uses an engaging mix of facts, humor, and subtle diatribe to argue often unorthodox yet illuminating perspectives on Western political history long jettisoned by PC-infused academic orthodoxy.

While Saint Joseph of Wisconsin’s general thesis on McCarthy is not new (see, for example M. Stanton Evans’ Blacklisted By History: The Untold Story of Senator Joseph McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies, 2007), its presentation is certainly the most entertaining. King’s well-known title, The Bad War: The Real Story of World War II, received the noble distinction of banishment on Amazon.com in 2017.

By Mike King
TomatoBubble

To American liberals and Democrats, the Kennedy Dynasty is like American royalty. Though today’s descendants of the original Kennedy clan are generally as leftist as Karl Marx ever was; the Patriarch, Joseph Kennedy, hated Communists and also disliked what he once referred to as “those Jews around Roosevelt.” During his tumultuous time as U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain, Papa Kennedy fought with the State Department, as well as FDR. Actually, the only reason FDR had even appointed Kennedy was to win and maintain the Irish-Catholic vote.

Kennedy was dead-set against the Globalists’ drive to World War 2 in general, and U.S. involvement in particular. During the build-up years to the war, Ambassador Kennedy, on his own, directly communicated with the German ambassador to Great Britain for the purpose of arranging a meeting with Hitler himself. When FDR and the Reds at State learned of this, Kennedy was kept “out of the loop” for future policy discussions.

Continue reading The Kennedys Loved Joseph McCarthy

RFK Jr. Discusses Father’s Role in Aftermath of JFK Assassination

Tucker Carlson
FoxNews

(Unexpurgated interview segment available here.)

The final classified files on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy will now be withheld from the public until 2021. On June 6 Robert Kennedy Jr. appeared on Tucker Carlson’s primetime FoxNews program to explain that material released by the federal government thus far “tends to link the CIA to the assassination one way or another.”

Kennedy notes that following the assassination his father, who served as attorney general under JFK, was without power to investigate November 22, 1963 murder after Lyndon Johnson assumed power. “Bobby Kennedy was the best investigator of that era,” RFK Jr. explains.

He was like Mueller of that era. For ten years he had been investigating the unions–the Teamsters and the mob. So why wouldn’t he investigate [the JFK assassination]? But the truth is the day that his brother was killed he lost all of the investigative capacity at the Department of Justice. He had 30,000 FBI agents who worked for him. But he never talked to J. Edgar Hoover again, not a single time after my uncle Jack was killed. Hoover at that time began reporting directly to Johnson, and my father, who was ostensibly Hoover’s boss, really lost control of the FBI and the investigative capacity of the Department of Justice, and he resigned afterward.

The CIA and the Media: Historical Fact #97

Life magazine and its publisher, C.D. Jackson, played major roles in the coverup of President John F. Kennedy’s November 22, 1963 assassination. This began with the publication’s purchase and censoring of the amateur film of the assassination captured by Abraham Zapruder, and the wholesale manufacture of Marina Oswald’s story that eventually appeared in the pages of Life.

A longtime associate of the CIA and Dulles specifically, Jackson had arranged for CIA agents to use Time-Life reporter credentials as cover during the 1950s. Upon news of Kennedy’s assassination, Life sent Richard Billings “to coordinate the hyperactive Life team in Dallas that swiftly bought up the Zapruder film and the rights to Marina’s story,” observes longtime political researcher Peter Dale Scott. “A principal in both preemptive purchases (the Zapruder film was never publicly screened, as long as life had exclusive ownership of it) was Billing’s relative-in-law C.D. Jackson, a veteran of CIA propaganda activities with [Director of Central Intelligence] Dulles.”

Jackson also proved central “[i]n an arrangement covered up by Warren Commission testimony,” Scott notes.

Jackson and Life arranged, at the urging of Dulles, to have Marina’s story ghost-written for Life by Issac Don Levine, a veteran CIA publicist. In 1953, when Jackson was Eisenhower’s special assistant for psychological warfare, the Jackson-Dulles-Levine team had collaborated on the U.S.-CIA psychological warfare response to the death of Stalin.

Peter Dale Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993, 55, 117.

 

 

The CIA and the Media: Historical Fact #92

The CIA played a leading role in orchestrating propaganda efforts in the lead up to the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion of April 17, 1960, particularly via its broadcasting front organization, Radio Swan.

“Project officers … consulted with Voice of America and the United States Information Agency on propaganda operations,” Agency internal documents reveal.

“There were many discussions with the Federal Communications Commission on the licensing of Radio Swan and with the Defense Department concerning its cover. The State Department was regularly consulted on political matters.”

 

As the actual Cuban invasion approached “Radio Swan and other outlets were broadcasting 18 hours a day on medium-wave and 16 hours on short-wave. Immediately after D Day, these totals were increased to 55 hours and 26 hours, respectively. Fourteen frequencies were used. By the time of the invasion a total of 12,000,000 pounds of leaflets had been dropped on Cuba.”

Peter Kornbluh (ed.), The Secret CIA Report on the Invasion of Cuba, New York: New Press, 1998, 27, 28, 38.

The CIA and the Media: Historical Fact #91

Immediately following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy the CIA used its own disinformation conduits to link the event to Cuban President Fidel Castro. The Nov. 23, 1963, special edition of the magazine, Trinchera (in English: Trenches), was published by members of the Cuban Student Directorate (DRE), a CIA-funded organization operating out of Miami.

The CIA funneled leaders of the Directorate $51,000 per month in 1963 dollars ($389,000 per month in 2013 dollars), or about $4.8 million per year, according to Agency records. Trinchera’s publication was paid for by the CIA officer George Joannides, who was chief of psychological operations at the CIA’s station in Miami.

In August 1963, agents in Joannides’s organization provided the public backdrop for their November 23 Trinchera publication by counter-protesting Oswald’s one-man chapter of the pro-Castro “Fair Play for Cuba Committee.”  Trinchera’s November 23, 1963 special edition also highlighted comments Oswald made during an August 1963 debate on a New Orleans radio program with DRE Delegate Carlos Bringuier. Drawing on this, the DRE argued that Oswald and Castro were “the presumed assassins.”

Joseph Lazarro, “First JFK Assassination Conspiracy Theory Was Paid For By the CIA,” International Business Times, December 5, 2013.

The CIA and the Media: Historical Fact #89

The famous film of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination captured by amateur filmographer Abraham Zapruder was likely altered from its original with advanced technology in a CIA-owned laboratory within hours of the event. These are the observations of veteran JFK assassination researcher David S. Lifton.

“In 1971, I was permitted to study, in the L.A. offices of Time-Life, a 35mm print made from what Time-Life called the ‘camera original’ of the Zapruder film,” Lifton begins.

To my surprise, I found that those frames showed the large head wound situated toward the right front, not the rear of the head as reported by Dallas observers. The rear of the head gave the appearance of having been “blacked out”–or of having been in a deep shadow.

I also discovered splices on the film which had never been mentioned by Time-Life. I then began exploring the possibility that the Zapruder film itself had been altered sometime before it became Warren Commission evidence in 1964, perhaps even before it went to Life on November 23, 1963. (Life purchased the film on November 25, 1963 for $150,000.) But alteration of the film required a film laboratory with the sophisticated apparatus normally used by Hollywood to create “special effects.” Was the original Zapruder film at some point taken to such a laboratory? Officially, the film went only from Zapruder and Kodak in Dallas; then to Jamison Film Co. in Dallas, where three prints were made (two for the Secret Service, and one for Zapruder); then back to Zapruder, and then to the vault at Life. I suspected it had taken a secret detour, but I could find no directr evidence to prove that.

Then, in 1976, among records released by the CIA under the Freedom of Information Act, Paul Hoch found CIA item 450, a group of documents indicating the Zapruder film was at the CIA’s National Photo Interpretation Center (NPIC), possibly on Friday night, November 22, 1963, and certainly within days of the assassination. NPIC is one of the most sophisticated photo labs in the world.

The CIA documents indicate that the film, when at NPIC, was not yet numbered as it was later by the FBI laboratory. CIA tables and frame numbers arranged in a multiple-column format bearing such headings as “frames on which shots occur” and “seconds between shots” explores various three-shot interpretations of the film. One document refers to the existence of either a negative or master positive–and calls for the striking of four prints from that item: one “test print,” and a second group of three prints. the total job, it indicated, would take seven hours. the making of four prints is significant–that number is exactly what existed in Dallas: an original, and three prints made from that original.

In 1976, I interviewed Herbert Orth, the photo chief at Life. Orth believed the film never left his custody in 1963. Yet the CIA documents establish that it, or a copy, was worked on at the CIA’s film lab in Washington. Indeed, the figures used in the CIA documents to describe the time intervals between shots–“74 frames later” and “48 frames after that”–are identical with those used in the first Life article about the film (Life, 11/29/63, “End to Nagging Rumors: The Six Critical Seconds”). Was the CIA supplying Life with data? Or did the agency have the film later, and was it reading Life for its information?

In my view, previously unreported CIA possession of the Zapruder film compromised the film’s value as evidence: (1) the forward motion of Kennedy’s head, for one frame preceding frame 313, might be the result of an altered film, and if that was so, it made the theory of a forward high-angle shot completely unnecessary; (2) an altered film might also explain why the occipital area, where the Dallas doctors saw a wound, appears suspiciously dark, whereaas a large wound appears on the forward right-hand side of the head, where the Dallas doctors saw no wound at all. Dr. Paul Peters, one of the Dallas doctors quoted in this book, when ashown color blowups made from the Zapruder film frames depicting these wounds, wrote, “The wound which you marked … I never saw and I don’t htink there was such a wound. I think that was simply an artifact of copying Zapruder’s movie … The only wound I saw on President Kennedy’s head was in the occipitoparietal area on the right side.”

David S. Lifton, Best Evidence: Disguise and Deception in the Asssassination of John F. Kennedy, New York: MacMillan, 1980, 555-557f.

The CIA and the Media: Historical Fact #87

The CIA’s use of closely-affiliated executives overseeing top US journalistic outlets combined with its own media assets in newsrooms throughout the country strongly contributed to laying the groundwork for propelling the Warren Commission’s conspiracy theory of Lee Harvey Oswald acting as the “lone gunman”.

“The press could learn a good deal about the assassination, and about its own failure to pursue the story independently, by reviewing its own initial reporting out of Dallas,” argues Jerry Policoff. “Those early reports stand in stark contrast to what is officially alleged to have transpired. The infamous ‘grass knoll,’ for example, was no concoction of the Warren Commission critics. ‘The shots apparently came from a grassy knoll in the area,’ reported the Associated Press in its initial dispatches.”

News coverage throughout that afternoon preceded official enforcement of the government-sanctioned narrative comprised in the President Lyndon Johnson-endorsed study headed by Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren.

Words of shots from the front dominated early reports from the site (witnesses interviewed by the press seemed to be nearly unanimous on this point), but these reports were forgotten by the press within several hours, as Dallas authorities began to make it clear that a local “communist” by the name of Lee Harvey Oswald had fired all of the shots from a sniper’s nest constructed on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository to the rear of the presidential limousine. Leaked biographical data depicting the “erratic” nature of the “political malcontent” Oswald began to flood the media almost immediately.

“By the time Oswald himself was assassinated,” Policoff continues,  “all pretense had disappeared. The press had found Oswald guilty without the benefit of trial. ‘President’s Assassin Shot…,” proclaimed the New York Times. Life profiled the ‘Assassin: The Man Held–And Killed–For Murder.” Time’s combination biography/obituary was titled simply ‘The Man Who Killed Kennedy.'” The press’ fawning acceptance of the government’s storyline set the stage for its almost thoroughly uncritical acceptance and in certain instances ardent defense of the Warren Report’s “lone gunman” conclusion.

The Kennedy assassination cover-up has survived so long only because the press, confronted with the choice of believing what it was told or examining the facts independently, chose the former. Unless and until the press repudiates that choice, it is unlikely that we shall ever know the truth.

Jerry Policoff, “The Media and the Murder of John Kennedy,” in The Assassination: Dallas and Beyond: A Guide to Cover-Ups and Assassinations, Peter Dale Scott, Paul L. Hoch and Russell Stetler, eds., New York: Vintage Books, 1976, 263, 271.

The CIA and the Media: Historical Fact #75

Abetting the CIA’s efforts to subvert the only criminal investigation ever conducted on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, US news media gave defendant, OSS veteran and CIA asset Clay Shaw overwhelmingly positive coverage while pillorying Garrison at every turn. This included the marshaling of the country’s major television networks to produce programs targeting the Garrison inquiry.

As the district attorney explained in an address to the New Orleans Academy of Trial Lawyers several months after Shaw’s trial ended, “The news media have attacked me for what they consider improper methods and accused me of trying Shaw in the newspaper. They have done this in spite of the fact that since the day Shaw was charged I have consistently refused to mention his name publicly. On the other hand,” Garrison continued,

in their zeal to help the defendant, I have been personally attacked by every newspaper from the New York Times to the Nairobi Express. N.B.C. put an hour nationwide television show to criticize me and my investigation using prisoners that I convicted and sent to the Penitentiary. It’s really not hard to figure out why I am not the most popular man at the Angola State Penitentiary or the Parish Prison. Every charge that was raised on [NBC’s] program has been investigated and proven to be false.

William Davy, Let Justice Be Done: New Light on the Jim Garrison Investigation, Jordan Publishing, 1999.

The CIA and the Media: Historical Fact #66

In the mid-to-late 1960s the CIA initiated concerted efforts to defame independent researchers of the Kennedy assassination that contested the Warren Commission’s findings, seeking to suppress their message at every turn. By 1966 the most prominent of these researchers was New York-based attorney Mark Lane. “As part of the campaign to smear Warren Report critics,” writes historian David Talbot, former CIA Director Allen Dulles “compiled dirt on Mark Lane, whom he considered a particularly ‘terrible nuisance’ because of his growing media visibility and his influence overseas, where he was often invited to speak.” One of Dulles’ moles claimed to have located photos of Lane engaging in “’obscene acts’” with minors. “’He is supposedly Jewish,’” the informant wrote, “’but there are those who claim he is half Negro or at least has Negro blood. He is very dark complexioned, wears horn-rimmed glasses and he’s always in a hurry. My own personal opinion is that he’s deranged.’”

As Lane’s popularity developed the CIA “pressured TV and Radio programs to cancel interviews with him. When he traveled to foreign countries to speak about the Kennedy assassination, the agency sent bulletins to the U.S. embassies there announcing that Lane’s local appearances had been cancelled.”

David Talbot, The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government, New York: Harper Perennial, 2015, 594, 595.

The CIA and the Media: Historical Fact #58

Editor’s Note: In August 2015 MHB published, “The CIA and the Media: 50 Historical Facts The World Needs to Know.” The present series seeks to augment this initial article with several dozen additional facts and observations on the relationship between the US intelligence community, the mass media, and public opinion.

The conventional logic concerning the violent suicide of Washington Post publisher Philip Graham in August 1963 is that Graham’s manic depression and alcoholism figured centrally in his death. In fact, Graham’s tragic death is only hinted at in the 2017 film, The Post. Yet as author Deborah Davis suggests, Graham’s death was immediately preceded by his increasingly public criticism of the CIA’s involvement with news media. “’He had begun to talk, after his second breakdown, about the CIA’s manipulation of journalists,” Davis observes. “He said it disturbed him. He said it to the CIA.’” His fellow journalists practiced the unspoken code of “keep[ing] Phil’s insanity ‘out of the papers’ as he had kept stories ‘out of the papers’ for his friends; but now the word was that Phil Graham could not be trusted, and his friends began to see very little of him.”

In the early 1990s Davis claims, “she ‘got a call from a woman who claimed that she knew for a fact that [Phil’s death] was murder.’” Subsequent research by clinical psychologist and author Peter Janney suggests how there are several conflicting accounts of Phil’s supposed “suicide.” Already a loose cannon, Phil Graham died just three months prior to President Kennedy’s assassination. Mr. Graham would have likely been reluctant to cooperate with the CIA by turning a journalistic blind eye toward the President’s murder and, even worse, being compelled to publicly promote the Warren Commission’s cover-up of the assassination.

Peter Janney, Mary’s Mosaic: The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer, and Their Vision for World Peace, New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2013, 265-270; Deborah Davis, Katherine the Great: Katherine Graham and the Washington Post, Bethesda MD: National Press, 1987 (1979), 161.