Tag Archives: Kennedy assassination

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.

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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.

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When Oliver Stone Betrayed ‘JFK’

JFK is among the most important and historically accurate American feature films ever produced. Basing the screenplay on New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s book, On the Trail of the Assassins: One Man’s Quest to Solve the Murder of President Kennedy, and author Jim Marrs’ Crossfire: The Plot that Killed Kennedy, Oliver Stone’s masterpiece illustrates how deep state power mobilized to subvert Garrison’s investigation of Louisiana-based figures associated with the CIA and November 22, 1963 tragedy. This was a daring and heretofore unsurpassed effort in commercial filmmaking drawing broader historical and political attention to an event that remains obscure and misunderstood.

Yet in the lead up to the film’s release, criticism of Stone from the press and the director’s own Hollywood’s jet set intensified. Fearing continued attacks and potential excommunication from industry peers Stone eventually succumbed. He did so by claiming that JFK was not entirely factual but rather subjective and interpretive in nature–his personal “myth.”

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The Strange Fate of Those Who Saw JFK Shot

By William Penn Jones Jr. and True Publica
Via Global Research
(January 13, 2018)

William Penn Jones Jr. was an American journalist, the editor of the Midlothian Mirror and author. He was also one of the earliest John F. Kennedy assassination conspiracy theorists. Jones attended the University of Texas at Austin and was a classmate of Henry Wade and John Connally. Wade later become the District Attorney in Dallas while Connolly would later become the 39th Governor of Texas. Both men were figures in the assassination of JFK.

In 1946, Jones purchased the Midlothian Mirror for $4,000; he eventually sold the newspaper in 1974. In 1963, Penn received the Elijah Lovejoy Award for Courage in Journalism.

Jones was also known for being an early critic of the Warren Commission‘s report on the assassination of JFK. In 1967, he self-published Forgive My Grief, a four-volume work on the assassination of President Kennedy. In the 1980s, Jones co-edited The Continuing Inquiry newsletter with Gary Mack of the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.

On January 25, 1998, Jones died of Alzheimer’s disease in a Alvarado, Texas nursing home at the age of 83.

In January 1983 Rebel Magazine published an article written by Jones, which is republished in full, with no editing below (except images). The JFK assassination was one of the biggest events to have ever hit America and Jones assumes that the reader of the time would have known quite a bit about it. This article makes for fascinating reading whether you believe the official state narrative or alternative theories. Last October, Statista concluded from surveys that 61 percent of Americans believe JFK was not killed by Oswald alone and that others were involved.


Over 100 murders, suicides, mysterious deaths – the strange fate of those who saw Kennedy shot.

By Penn Jones Jr.

Rebel Magazine, 1983

Shortly after dark on Sunday night November 24, 1963, after Ruby had killed Lee Harvey Oswald, a meeting took place in Jack Ruby’s apartment in Oak Cliff, a suburb of Dallas, Texas. Five persons were present. George Senator and Attorney Tom Howard were present and having a drink in the apartment when two newsmen arrived. The newsmen were Bill Hunter of the Long Beach California Press Telegram, and Jim Koethe of the Dallas Times Herald. Attorney C.A. Droby of Dallas arranged the meeting for the two newsmen. Jim Martin, a close friend of George Senator’s, was also present at the apartment meeting.

This writer asked Martin if he thought it was unusual for Senator to forget the meeting while testifying in Washington on April 22, 1964, since Bill Hunter, who was a newsman present at the meeting, was shot to death that very night. Martin grinned and said: “Oh, you’re looking for a conspiracy.”
I nodded yes and he grinned and said, “You will never find it.”
I asked soberly, “Never find it, or not there?”
He added soberly, “Not there.”

Bill Hunter, a native of Dallas and an award winning newsman in Long Beach, was on duty and reading a book in the police station called “Public Safety Building.” Two policemen going off duty came into the press room, and one policeman shot Hunter through the heart at a range officially ruled to be “no more than three feet.” The policeman said he dropped his gun, and it fired as he picked it up, but the angle of the bullet caused him to change his story. He finally said he was playing a game of quick draw with his fellow officer. The other officer testified he had his back turned when the shooting took place.

Hunter, who covered the assassination for his paper, the Long Beach Press Telegram, had written:

“Within minutes of Ruby’s execution of Oswald, before the eyes of millions watching television, at least two Dallas attorneys appeared to talk with him.”

Hunter was quoting Tom Howard who died of a heart attack in Dallas a few months after Hunter’s own death. Lawyer Tom Howard was observed acting strangely to his friends two days before his death. Howard was taken to the hospital by a “friend” according to the newspapers. No autopsy was performed.

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