Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Full Circle: the Boston Bombing, the Illuminati, JFK & RFK

Several interesting news items from the past few weeks caught my eye, but I'd like to take a look at one that brings a couple of things we've talked about full circle:

The Boston Globe has a lengthy piece on the Tsarneav brothers

Of note here is the fact that -- like Aaron Alexis -- Tamerlan Tsarneav claimed to have heard voices.  Specifically the article states:

“He believed in majestic mind control, which is a way of breaking down a person and creating an alternative personality with which they must coexist,” explained Larking. “You can give a signal, a phrase or a gesture, and bring out the alternate personality and make them do things. Tamerlan thought someone might have done that to him.”

The "majestic mind control" Mr. Larking refers to is most likely what's known in conspiracy lore as "Monarch mind control."  Monarch mind control first appeared in conspiracy literature in the 1980s & 1990s, exclusively through the work of Fritz Springmeier, Cathy O'Brien, and Brice Taylor.  The trio form a mobius-strip of reference: each using the other as support for the validity of their own claims. 

Proponents of the Monarch mind control theory place it as a sub-project of the verified CIA program known as MKULTRA.  There were a number of sub-projects under MKULTRA, the overall goal of each being the control of a person's mind to varying degrees.  Much of what we know about MKULTRA comes from the revelations of the Rockefeller Commission and the Church Committee but -- by the CIA's own admission -- much of the data regarding MKULTRA was destroyed on order of DCI Richard Helms. 

It has been alleged by some that MKULTRA was merely the tip of a larger iceberg.  It is a plausible theory, but it should be noted that no one has been able to provide any evidence of the existence of a Project Monarch within MKULTRA or any other CIA endeavor.  The now copious amounts of information regarding Monarch mind control on the Internet all ultimately rely on the Springmeier-O'Brien-Taylor claims, which are spurious, at best.  The S-O-T books are engaging reads, filled with innuendo about the famous and powerful, bizarre claims about shadowy cults, and pornographic details about the experiences of the victims.  They are also filled with factual, grammatical, and logical errors.  O'Brien claims she was used as a "human recorder" yet cannot provide a single date for any of her claims, nor can she provide the name of anyone involved except for well-known celebrities and politicians.  An excellent summation of how to take such books can be found here at PopCultureKeys, but the final word on the Monarch theories goes to the late, great Jim Keith, who puts a finer point on it in his seminal Mind Control World Control:

"The answer to the O'Brien-Phillips-Wheeler-Springmeier school of conspiracy research is, of course, compiling evidence, not just hashing together allegations, fantasies, innuendos, and things once heard at a revival meeting.  But that would seemingly ruin the fun.  The worst thing about these sorts of researchers is that their false reports and delusory connections muddy the water for anyone trying to get to the truth about mind control."

But wait, it gets weirder.

Monarch mind control wasn't the only conspiracy theory that Tamerlan Tsarnaev believed.  According to reports, he was a veritable disciple of disinformation; believing in the litany of the outer fringes of conspiracism.  According to the AP story on him, Tsarnaev's views on 9/11 were culled from the Conspiracy Cinema film Zeitgeist, which, in addition to being filled with inaccuracies, was a thinly-veiled recruiting film for Jacque Fresco's Venus Project, a planned technocratic utopia. Furthermore, Tsarnaev allegedly was influenced by the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the now-century old and decisively debunked anti-Semitic text. 

Tamerlan seems to have been influenced by the person who gave the quote above, a Mr. Donald Larking, a 67-year old disabled man who was cared for by Tamerlan's mother.  The influence went both ways, as Tsarnaev converted Larking (a life-long Catholic) to Islam, and Larking's contribution to Tamerlan's life was introducing him to a very particular strain of right-wing conspiracism.  Larking is credited with getting Tamerlan a subscription to the American Free Press.  American Free Press is a conspiracy-themed alternative news outlet with a white supremacist bent.  A quick scan of their website's homepage reveals that they aren't shy about their anti-Semitic views and even have a news category labelled "Israel/International Jewry/Zionism."

The AFP is the relaunch of the now-defunct Spotlight published by the also defunct Liberty Lobby.  The Liberty Lobby was the most successful venture of  white supremacist Willis Carto.  Carto's Lobby was at odds with the John Birch Society, which Carto's group considered too liberal.  However, like the JBS, Liberty Lobby and Carto were rife with ties to domestic intelligence agencies.  Liberty Lobby worked with former CIA/OSS agents Victor Marchetti, Mitch WerBell III, and others, and despite their public feuding with the JBS, tended to share many of the same associates.  LL also shared the JBS' penchant for railing against the CIA while regularly doing business with them.

Like the John Birch Society, Liberty Lobby is intimately tied to the JFK assassination, albeit after the fact.  Watergate Plumber E Howard Hunt sued Liberty Lobby in 1978 for alleging he was involved in the Kennedy assassination.  He lost.  Liberty Lobby was represented by JFK conspiracy theorist Mark Lane, who despite being Jewish himself defended the country's largest publisher of Holocaust denial literature.  It bears noting that Lane was a former military intelligence officer and had been the personal attorney of Jim Jones and was present at Jonestown until minutes before the suicides.  Lane is the primary proponent of the "Grassy Knoll" theory to the exclusion of all others and is largely responsible for the strain of conspiracism that is content to ascribe events to persons unknown rather than attempting to bring actual perpetrators to justice. 

The ultra-conservative elements of American politics have historically taken a deep interest in conspiracy theories and particularly into guiding those theories in directions beneficial to them.  In 1967, Birch Society member John Steinbacher released It Comes Up Murder, which is the modern genesis point for the Illuminati conspiracy theory favored by Springmeier, et al, countless Internet denizens, and, apparently, Tamerlan Tsarnaev.  It Comes Up Murder was a rehash of the Birchers' beliefs, with "Illuminati" substituted for "Communists," just as "Communists" had previously taken the place of "the Jews."  Steinbacher and fellow Bircher and conspiracy theorist par excellance Anthony J. Hilder showed up in Los Angeles on June 5 1968, just a few hours after the assassination of RFK to hold a press conference to blame an Illuminati-Communist conspiracy for the killing.  Timing is everything, huh?

Researchers Bill Turner and Jonn Christian dug into the Hilder-Steinbacher union and found that their return address for their Illuminati pamphlets was the same as the "Eugene Bradley Defense Fund."  Eugene Bradley was sought by Jim Garrison in the JFK assassination, but then-governor of California Ronald Reagan blocked his extradition.  Bradley (aka Braden) was arrested in the Dal-Tex Building on 11/22/63 and was released because he gave police a different name than the one he had an extensive criminal record under.  Bradley was also picked up by LAPD for questioning after the RFK assassination. 

[Just to make these coincidences even more bizarre: Hilder's claim to fame in conspiracy circles is a 1967 record album he made of a speech on his Illuminati conspiracy theory.  The record was made by Ed Butler, the same CIA-front man that released recorded Oswald's "Self-Portrait in Red."]

Undoubtedly, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was first exposed to the idea of Monarch mind control via the Internet.  Unbeknowst to him, however, when his friend Larking introduced him to the murky world of right-wing conspiracy theories, he was coming full circle to where these ideas originated. 

Perhaps it is just a coincidence that Tamerlan found a friend to guide him directly toward the same strain of conservative conspiracism that has plagued the discipline for over fifty years now.  Perhaps its not just a coincidence. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The assassination of John Lennon

John Lennon was murdered in front of the Dakota on December 8, 1980.  After the murder, assassin Mark David Chapman sat calmly on the sidewalk and began reading his copy of JD Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye.  Lennon had been slowly re-emerging as a public figure after his self-imposed exile as a "house husband" from 1975-1979 (the period between Rock 'n' Roll and Double Fantasy).  By contrast, Chapman was very, very busy during this period, embarking on the bizarre, twisting road that would lead him to the Dakota on that cold Monday night.

Like John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King Jr., John Lennon was a beloved public figure.  And like those men, Lennon's politics ran counter to those in power.  He was anti-war, pro-freedom, and anti-establishment.  Lennon found himself in the sights of Republican leadership as early in 1972, when a proposed concert (that never occurred) at the Republican National Convention put him near the top of Nixon's "enemies list."  Strom Thurmond brought up the suggestion to deport Lennon (but not Yoko Ono, who was previously married to an American and a naturalized citizen) to Nixon, and the INS began legal proceedings to deport Lennon that would last until 1975.   During this time -- and starting even earlier -- the FBI amassed a 281-page dossier on Lennon that revealed the government was watching his every move and had informants within Lennon's circle of friends. 

[One additional reason that surveillance of Lennon escalated in 1972 was the fact that Lennon & Ono paid to have the August, 1972 edition of The Realist published, which featured the articles "Why Was Martha Mitchell Kidnapped" and "How Nixon Actually Got into Power" by Mae Brussell.]

Mark David Chapman was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1955.  The son of an Air Force officer, Chapman moved around frequently during his youth, finally settling in southern Georgia.  In 1971, Chapman become a volunteer counselor at the South Dekalb County YMCA.  Previously a loner, the young man had finally found his niche, becoming well-loved by his peers and rising quickly through the administrative ranks of the organization. 

In 1975, Chapman applied for an international outreach program through the YMCA.  Chapman requested to either be sent to the Soviet Union or Beirut, Lebanon.  Chapman was sent to Lebanon, ostensibly because he was unable to speak Russian, but he could not speak Arabic either. 

1975 saw the beginnings of the Lebanese Civil War, and Chapman's time in Lebanon was cut short.  It bears noting at this point that Chapman's involvement with an international student organization similar to the Peace Corps is suggestive of an intelligence background.  As revealed by Ramparts magazine in 1967, the CIA routinely used the Peace Corps and other student organizations for intelligence purposes.  The Church Committee Hearings further revealed the CIA's involvement with academia, a short resume of which can be found at CIA-on-Campus.  Furthermore, it was learned in 1981 (UPI 3/31/81) that Beirut had been and continued to be an international paramilitary training center for groups ranging from Hezbollah to the IRA. 

Chapman's involvement with intelligence and military groups didn't end with his return.  He began working at the National Guard base in  Ft. Chaffee, Arkansas, at the time being used as a home for Vietnamese refugees.  These refugees weren't alone, and they brought with them the first of many "mysterious characters" that would enter into his life: David C. Moore.  Moore was a fellow YMCA staffer who had been sent to Saigon in April 1975.  The timing of Moore's deployment to Saigon is again suggestive of something more than simply a charity mission.  April '75 was the start of Operation Frequent Wind/Talon Vise, the final evacuation of American citizens and selected Vietnamese (like the ones in Ft. Chafee) from Vietnam.  It strains credulity to image that the YMCA, however noble their intentions, would have sent anyone to Saigon under these circumstances without an ulterior motive. 

By the end 1975, the Ft. Chaffee program ended and Chapman returned to Dekalb County, Georgia.  There he became close with a police officer, alternately called by the pseudonyms "Dana" or "Gene" in biographies of Chapman.  Regardless, the man taught Chapman to use a gun and got him a job as a security guard at a hospital, the first of several such jobs.  Chapman, now 20 years old, was briefly engaged and moved to Lookout Mnt, TN to attend Covenant College.  The engagement broke off and Chapman sold his few possessions moved to Honolulu, Hawaii in January 1977.

Although he has been the subject of much scrutiny over the years, not a great deal is know about Chapman from 1977-1980.  What details are known about this period are controversial as to their true meaning.  Within the first six months of 1977, Chapman returned at least once to Georgia to attempt to reconcile with his former fiancee.  Having failed that, he returned to Honolulu and attempted suicide via carbon monoxide asphyxiation in June.  His suicide attempt was unsuccessful and he was committed to the psychiatric ward of Castle Memorial Hospital in Kailua for two weeks.  Chapman remained in Kailua, getting an apartment, a Hawaiian Driver's License, and, in August, a job at Castle Memorial. 

In July 1978, Chapman embarked on an international tour for six weeks staying in YMCA hostels.  In order, Chapman visited: Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Thailand, India, Nepal, Israel, Iran, Switzerland, England, France, Ireland, then stopping in Georgia en route to Hawaii.  I'll leave it to you to research the various histories of these nations between July and August of 1978, but suffice it to say that Chapman's tour put him in some interesting and occasionally volatile situations.  He was in Iran a short time before the Iranian Revolution.  He was one of the first Americans to travel to China, arriving in Hong Kong the same week the country opened to tourism.  In England he attended one of the final public concerts John Lennon would give before his exile period.  And in Switzerland he met up with David C. Moore again (Chapman had been using a letter of introduction from Moore to gain access to YMCA facilities in these countries).  It bears noting that it is unknown how Chapman was paying for all of this, as his known sources of income were $1000 "Christmas money" from his parents, a small loan from the hospital credit union, and whatever he had saved from his ten months of employment as a maintenance man. 

Upon his return, Chapman began dating and would eventually marry his Japanese-born travel agent, Gloria Abe. He had been corresponding with the older Abe during his travels, and after she converted to Christianity, they were married.  Chapman's marriage in June, 1979 could be considered the last "normal" event in his life, as his behavior became increasingly bizarre up until his assassination of John Lennon.

Like Lee Harvey Oswald, Sirhan Sirhan, Arthur Bremer, and John Hinckley Jr., Mark David Chapman lived an exceptional and unusual life.  And like those assassins before and after him, the period immediately before his date with destiny is the most bizarre.  The newly married Chapman forced his wife to quit her job at the travel agency her family owned to take a job at Castle Memorial where he worked.  He then moved to the opposite side of Oahu, sold their car, and began taking out loans and borrowing money from family to finance his new hobby: art.  Chapman, who had no formal art training and had previously never exhibited an interest in art, was successful at buying and selling artwork (specifically lithographs) and managed to repay his loans and make a profit as well.  At one point, Chapman owned an original Norman Rockwell lithograph valued at $7500, a considerable sum for a man making little more than minimum wage and living in an expensive area.  Art is a frequently used method for concealing intelligence funding, as works appreciate in value quickly and prices are wholly subjective.  It is also a common method of money laundering for drug cartels.

By December 1979, Chapman's foray into the world of art ended as quickly as it began, he quit his job at the hospital, and took a job as security guard for an apartment building.  According to his biographers, Chapman passed the time by making harassing phone calls to a Scientology headquarters across the street from his work.

Less information is known about Chapman's activities in 1980.  Chapman quits the security guard job and takes odd jobs.  His wife continues to work, but money is tight as evidenced by Chapman's attempts to sell blood for money.  He gains weight, begins spending time at the library, and begins reading and re-reading Catcher in the Rye, autographing his copy as "Holden Caulfield."  Although he and his wife are struggling financially, Chapman begins another "tour" in October:

10/24/80: Chapman leaves his job and has no intention of returning.  The claim that he signed out as "John Lennon" is never verified and likely untrue.
10/27/80: Chapman purchases a Charter Arms .38 in Honolulu.  He does not purchase ammunition. 
10/29/80 - 11/5/80: Chapman -- without a source of income -- flies to New York City and checks into the Waldorf Astoria.  He would change hotels a total of four times, and divides his time between standing in front of the Dakota and attending Broadway shows and visiting tourist sites.  He tries to buy bullets for the .38 but is denied because he does not have a NY gun permit.  He contacts Dana/Gene in Georgia, who agrees to provide him with ammunition.
11/5/80: Chapman flies first class to Atlanta.  While in Georgia, he is given hollow point bullets and fires 150 rounds at a practice range. 
11/7 or 11/8/80 - 11/12/80: Chapman returns to New York City.  He phones his wife to tell her he thought about killing John Lennon but decided against it.  He returns to Hawaii on 11/12/80.

Airline security is significantly tighter post-9/11, but baggage and passenger screenings were made mandatory nationwide in 1973.  It is unknown how Chapman was able to board a minimum of four flights while carrying a gun either on his person or in his luggage undetected. 

On December 2nd, Chapman left Hawaii for the mainland again.  According to biographer Bresler, Chapman purchased a round trip ticket from Hawaii to Chicago, where he stayed for three days.  While in Chicago, he purchased a ticket for NYC.  Reports vary about what he did during those three days, but it is known that Chapman's friend David C. Moore was stationed in Chicago at the time. 

Chapman arrived in New York on 12/6.  On 12/7, he spends most of the day having a cab driver drop him off at various private residences.  There is no record of Chapman knowing anyone in New York.  On 12/8/80, Mark David Chapman shot John Lennon.  At the time of his arrest, the "broke" Chapman was carrying $2000 in cash and had multiple valid credit cards. He had spent the previous night in an expensive downtown Manhattan Sheridan hotel.  He did not attempt to escape or resist arrest.  Chapman would later plead guilty, preventing a full courtroom investigation of the crime.

No researcher has been able to conclusively link Mark David Chapman to a conspiracy to assassinate John Lennon.  There is, however, a substantial amount of circumstantial evidence:
  1. Chapman had unknown sources of income, allowing him to travel extensively, purchase expensive artwork, and stay in four-star hotels.  Arthur Bremer had been employed as a dishwasher prior to spending several months traveling the US staying in $200-a-night hotels (in 1971-72 dollars) on his way to shoot George Wallace.  While on the run from authorities, James Earl Ray stayed at a luxury resort in Canada, and flew to London (twice) and Portugal. 
  2. Chapman underwent a personality change after a hospitalization.  Lee Harvey Oswald was hospitalized in the Soviet Union after a suicide attempt as Chapman had been.  Sirhan Sirhan was hospitalized briefly after suffering an accident and became withdrawn and heavily involved in the occult afterwards. 
  3. Chapman had doubles.  Initial reports of the Lennon murder stated that Chapman had an arrest record in Florida.  Indeed, a man named "Mark David Chapman" with the general physical characteristics and birthday had a record in Florida, but authorities later stated this was a computer glitch.  Chapman's Hawaiian Driver's License -- on him at the time of arrest -- listed a specific address and apartment number at which he had never officially lived.  The owner of the apartment building stated a "Mark David Chapman" lived there with four women, but he could not identify Lennon's killer as the same man.
  4. Chapman's involvement with the YMCA is highly suspicious.  Christian and college organizations are routinely used as cover for intelligence work.  The Ft. Chaffee refugee camp was run by World Vision USA.  At the time, World Vision's president was John Hinckley, Sr., father of Reagan's attempted assassin John Hinckley, Jr. and close friend of George HW Bush. 

Having just passed the 50th anniversary of the John Kennedy assassination, Lennon's murder is an important reminder that if JFK was killed by a conspiracy, he was most likely not its last victim.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Web: Serial Killers, Mexico, Alabama, Larry Flynt, & JFK50

Both the mainstream and alternative media are currently abuzz with the JFK50 anniversary.  There is another story that has piqued my interest, however, and it has some curious synchronicities with other November events and my own life.

Judge orders stay in the execution of Joseph Paul Franklin.
Joseph Paul Franklin executed after delay.

Serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin was on death row in Missouri for a 1977 shooting outside of a Missouri synagogue.  Franklin was best known for his attempted assassination of Hustler publisher Larry Flynt in 1978 and the attempted assassination of civil rights activist and future Clinton associate Vernon Jordan Jr.  It is important to note that Franklin confessed to both crimes after having been convicted and sentenced to death.  Franklin confessed to over 20 murders in the late seventies, all committed in accordance with his White Supremacist views.  Franklin targeted African-Americans and Jews in his crimes, particularly focusing on interracial couples.  Born James Clayton Vaughn, Jr. in 1950, Franklin has the distinction of being one of the only serial killers from my home state, Alabama.

The stay in Franklin's execution was due a controversy surrounding what drugs may or may not be used for lethal injection, but his reprieve, brief though it may was, immediately reminded me of the pardoning of serial killer Henry Lee Lucas.  Lucas, like Franklin, racked up most of his body count behind bars, confessing to a myriad of unsolved crimes across the nation.  Lucas confessed to over 600 murders, although this is disputed, and had the distinction of being the first person pardoned in the state of Texas since the re-institution of the death penalty in 1982 and the only person pardoned by governor George W. Bush.  The full, bizarre story of Lucas is best summarized by Dave McGowan in his essay "There's Something about Henry."

Lucas' most controversial claim was that he was a member of "The Hand of Death," a satanic paramilitary organization.  It was Lucas' assertion that this group operated out of Florida, Texas, and Mexico, and he was responsible for performing hits and child abductions for the group.  Lucas' Hand of Death has been dismissed by law enforcement as a fantasy, but it is important to note that it hasn't been disproven and, to date, no one has fully investigated his claims.  One specific claim made by Lucas was that he delivered the poison to Jonestown, Guyana for the mass suicide, the 35 anniversary of which was earlier this week.  This claim is most likely specious, since it is documented that Jonestown already had a large supply of drugs and that most of the deceased had not committed suicide but been murdered.

Was there really a "Hand of Death?"  Journalist Maury Terry uncovered the existence of a nation-wide organization responsible for the Son of Sam murders in his book, The Ultimate Evil.  Like the Hand of Death, this group was loosely satanic and performed hits related to organized crime.  The original edition of Ed Sanders' The Family connected the Manson slayings to organized crime and other, loosely satanic groups.  Communion author Whitley Streiber states in his book, The Secret School, that as a boy he was taken to a "secret school" in Mexico where he believes his later alien visitations were implanted in his memory.  Lastly, when Florida police detained two men on suspicion of child abduction (the "Finders" case), the children told the authorities they were on their way to "special school in Mexico." 

Oswald's trip to Mexico:
Lee Harvey Oswald traveled to Mexico via bus in September 1963.  This fact isn't disputed by anyone; however, almost every other detail of this trip is controversial.  "Lee Harvey Oswald" was seen in various places around Texas while he was alleged to have been on this trip and, as I've gone over in an earlier post, the "Lee Harvey Oswald" that visited the Soviet and Cuban embassies was clearly another person. 

The Mexico trip is an important event for many conspiracy researchers, and there are several well-written books solely on the topic.  It was also important enough for the FBI and the Warren Commission to spend considerable man hours finding out every detail they could.  I'd like to focus on a singular aspect of this event today.  Specifically the man seated next to Oswald on the bus from New Orleans to Mexico and referred to by other passengers as "the Englishman": John Howard Bowen aka Albert Osborne.

Much of the FBI's energies regarding the Mexico trip were devoted to finding and interviewing Mr. Bowen, an itinerant Baptist preacher who was eventually found in (again) Alabama.  The Birmingham field office first interviewed Bowen on 02/08/64, which is in CE2443, Vol XXV, Page 571.  Bowen gives what amounts to his life history and he makes three important statements: 1) that he could not positively identify the man seated next to him as Oswald, 2) that he was American by birth, and 3) that he knew "Albert Osborne from Canada" and agreed that he resembled the man.  Bowen claimed that Osborne, too, was an itinerant Baptist minister working in the same area, and mix-up about their identities was due to Bowen using Osborne's identification papers once after his were lost.  Bowen even offered up photos of "Osborne" that he (Bowen) had taken. 

All of these things were lies.

In CE2195, the Dallas field office summarizes the Bowen/Osborne enigma.  The same man had been interviewed by different offices under both names: as Osborne in January and as Bowen in February.  Each claimed not to be the other man but over the course of CE2195, the FBI lays out the evidence proving that Bowen and Osborne were one and the same.  Dozens of people were interviewed, all of whom either knew the man as Bowen or Osborne but the story was the same: he was a traveling preacher.

Through the Garrison investigation, much more was learned about Osborne.  His missionary work was actually a cover: Osborne was an espionage agent who had used a variety of aliases.  More specifically, Osborne ran an assassination school in Mexico.  Osborne, whose pro-Nazi views drew the attention of the FBI in 1942, was reportedly a career spy who offered training in clandestine murder to American and foreign intelligence agencies. 

The bizarre story of Osborne/Bowen sheds light on many things:
  1. The involvement of extreme right-wing/fascist elements in the Kennedy assassination.
  2. Intelligence agency involvement with Oswald prior to the assassination.
  3. The existence of a nefarious "secret school" in Mexico.
Franklin & Flynt
Fast-forward to 1977.  Joseph Paul Franklin, inspired by his white supramicist beliefs and what he believes to be "the will of God," begins his campaign of violence against minorities. On March 6, 1978, Larry Flynt was shot with a .44 caliber rifle in Lawrenceville, GA.  Franklin would later confess to the crime, stating he did it because Flynt's Hustler had recently printed a pictorial featuring an interracial couple. 

Is that really the case?  Was there another reason to shoot Larry Flynt?

One possible reason emerges from a little-known incident in Flynt's history; one not talked about much by his supporters, his detractors, or in The People vs Larry Flynt.  In December 1977, Flynt purchased the LA Free Press, an alternative California newspaper.  Flynt wasted little time putting his own spin on the magazine but perhaps not in the way you might think:

The entire issue -- published two weeks before he was shot --  was dedicated to evidence that the CIA was behind the JFK assassination.  On the back cover was Flynt's offer of $1 million dollars to anyone with new evidence in the case:
The ad and the offer would be reprinted in mainstream newspapers where Flynt had paid for advertisement. 
The close timing between Flynt's sudden interest in conspiracy theories and his shooting lead many to question the motives.  The observant among you will notice that Flynt was shot in Lawrenceville, GA, which was the home district of Congressman Larry McDonald, who was also head of the ultra-right wing John Birch Society.  As we've seen in previous posts, the JBS is near the top of the list of suspects in the Kennedy assassination and has intelligence ties. 
It bears noting that Flynt didn't learn his lesson.  Conspiracy researcher Mae Brussell contacted Flynt in 1983 to inform him of the links between the recently-deceased Larry McDonald and his shooting.  Flynt dove into Brussell's research with both feet and quickly started The Rebel, a conspiracy themed magazine featuring Brusell's seminal article, The Nazi Connections to the John F. Kennedy AssassinationSoon after the magazine's publication, Flynt found himself surrounded by a host of characters with intelligence ties: Watergate figure G. Gordon Liddy, intelligence agent and possible "Second Oswald" Gordon Novel, and OSS-man and mercenary Mitchell WerBell II.  [Just to bring everything full circle: WerBell actually did run a well-known assassination school in southern Georgia and testified in the trial of the murder of producer Roy Radin, which Maury Terry alleges was committed by the same satanic cult behind the Son of Sam murders.]  This tumultuous period in Flynt's life ended with him in a sanitarium, fighting for the company he had built himself.  His interest in conspiracies ended after he re-emerged. 
It was while Flynt was tucked away in an asylum that Franklin confessed to shooting him.  Franklin was never a suspect, and the source of most of his 20+ body count is Franklin himself.  While in prison he has busied himself confessing to all sorts of crimes, most of which he was never charged with because he was unable to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the crime to convince authorities he was responsible. 
Franklin was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic by Dr. Dorothy Lewis, who felt that he was unfit to stand trial.  However little time has been spent investigating whether or not he actually committed these crimes or was simply taking the rap for someone else.  For what it's worth, Don Black stated on his white supremacist website this week that he had met Franklin in the late-sixties/early-seventies and that the white supremacist groups (the KKK, the Nazi Party) disassociated themselves with him then because of his erratic behavior.  Interesting tidbit: Black (also from Alabama) was part of Operation Red Dog, a plot to overthrow the island of Dominica and establish an all-white nation.  I shouldn't even have to say this at this point, but Operation Red Dog had ties to American intelligence agencies and the mercenary circles that Mitch WerBell ran in. 
Did Franklin really shoot Flynt?  It's possible.  The shooting was similar to the crimes Franklin was known to have committed.  His motive is questionable (Flynt had published interracial couples before) and the timing of Flynt's JFK ad is too curious to immediately dismiss, especially given future events. 
Franklin's reign of (alleged) terror ended in August, 1980.  Just a few short months later, another aimless drifter who was a member of the American Nazi Party would rise to national attention after shooting a public figure: John Hinckley, Jr.
More on that later.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

News Updates and JFK50 part 4: the Chicago Plot

Not to be outdone by the BBC article I discussed in an earlier post, the New York Times wants to know "Why Rational People Buy Into Conspiracy Theories."  They're off to a good start with the title, which points out that conspiracy theories and rational thought don't go together.  The author waits a full four sentences before using the "C" word, which is a remarkable show of restraint.  WhoWhatWhy does an excellent job taking apart the article, which never bothers to mention the any of the conspiracies that have turned out to be true.  It mentions the Tuskegee syphilis study in passing, only to say African-Americans are wrong to think that the government would ever experiment on them without their knowledge.  It's exactly this type of doublespeak that fills any reporting on conspiracy theories: "Here's a hundred reasons not to trust the government, but you're crazy if you don't."

Hastings death:
Michael Hastings' brother Jonathan speaks out against conspiracy theories.
Just as it was odd that his widow acted chipper and cheerful on CNN only a few days after his death, it seems odd that the other Mr. Hastings would be so concerned regarding what people think about his brother's death.  Quote: "There were a lot of journalists-in-quotes who didn’t seem to have read it [the police report] very carefully or were, irresponsibly I think, taking things out of context." J. Hastings is referring to the police report I mentioned back in August, the one that said drugs did not play a role in his death.  What's interesting about J. Hastings' interview is that he seems to position himself as the prime suspect to be the "unnamed male" who informed the police about Hastings' drug use in the report. 

Oh and then there's this: Radio beam device can disable car and boat engines from 50 meters.  It's even small enough to fit in a pickup truck bed.  The article states there are plans to mount versions of the device on helicopters, which is pretty much an admission that they've already done it.

Barrett Brown:
Barrett Brown is still in prison and facing a 100 year sentence for posting a link.  No, this news update isn't to tell you he got out, but that his mom got 6 months probation for helping him hide laptops from the FBI.  The government is certainly going out of their way to make an example out of Brown, probably because they can't get their hands on Edward Snowden.

Police State:
Motorola has patented a pill that turns your body into a password.  If that's not creepy enough, they also want to give you a neck tattoo that turns your body into a cell-receiver.  I'll bet you that's how they'll market it, but it will also "capture vibrations, or sound, directly from a user's throat," thus making it possible for the NSA -- who already listens to everything you do on your cellphone -- to hear everything you say.  But wait it gets worse: it also measures "galvanic skin response" which is a fancy way of saying it is a lie-detector too. 

Secretary of State John Kerry has "serious doubts that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone."

But he thinks the Warren Commission didn't look enough into Cuba and Russia.  Because of course he does.  Articles on the interview go into the fact that the Warren Commission didn't delve into the Cuban and Russian aspects of the investigation, but fails to mention that there weren't any to go into.  These articles also fail to mention that Sec. Kerry is just carrying on a family tradition: He's directly related to Michael and Ruth Paine, who housed Marina during the period around the assassination.    The Paines provided most of the evidence against Oswald, most of it conforming to the "Communist sympathizer" theory that was so weak that the Warren Commission choose to largely ignore it.  The Paines' garage was searched on 11/22 (1, 2) and again on 11/23 (1).  It would be during the second search that they found a copy of the Communist newspaper The Worker and the infamous photo of Oswald holding the rifle.  Why they didn't find them in the first search is unknown as it seems odd that three police detectives would miss a blue suitcase.  During his interrogation, Oswald directed them on multiple occasions to search the Paines' garage. 

It isn't too presumptuous to assume that the police didn't find these things on Friday because they weren't there.  Between Friday night and Saturday morning, the Paines and the Oswalds weren't the only people at the house on 5th Street in Irving.  Sometime after 9PM, two reporters from Life Magazine arrived (Vol III, pg 83).  The two men returned the following morning, and took Marina and Marguerite Oswald into Dallas.  According to Marguerite Oswald, Marina's interpreter would "whisper to Life Magazine," but not tell Marguerite what was being said. 

It is important to note that Time/Life Magazine plays a very important role in the Kennedy Assassination.  As I've noted before, they are the ones who published the Oswald rifle photograph and admitted to making changes to it.  They also purchased the Zapruder Film on Saturday morning, later publishing the frames out of order.  Time/Life Magazine is a "gatekeeper" of information on assassinations.  Case in point: Time reporter Robert Kaiser was allowed to spend over 200 hours with Sirhan Sirhan, including being present when he was interviewed by psychatrists and put under hypnosis.  This is considerably more time than his attorneys or family was allowed to see him, and the fact that a reporter was allowed to sit in on psychiatric evaluations was and is unprecedented. Kaiser was working as an "assistant" to Sirhan's defense team, who -- like Kaiser -- readily assumed Sirhan's guilt.  Kaiser's book  RFK Must Die! is the bedrock of the "mind controlled assassin" theory, which is a distraction to the wealth of physical evidence that RFK was killed from behind instead of in front where Sirhan was standing. 

The Chicago Plot:
There is evidence that JFK was to be assassinated in Chicago on 11/2/63 while attending the Army-Navy college football game.  The FBI alerted the Secret Service about the plot and the trip was cancelled.  This incident was curiously never brought up during the Warren Commission hearings, but not because no one wanted to talk about it.  Abraham Bolden, the first African-American Secret Service agent charged with guarding the President, most certainly did want to talk about it, but was jailed for accepting bribes after he contacted Commission attorneys about testifying.  Bolden was eventually freed after the convicted criminal who testified against him admitted to perjury after being instructed to lie by the prosecution.  Don't tell the New York Times, but that kinda sounds like a conspiracy to me.

The details of the Chicago Plot are eerily reminiscent of Dallas:

  1. Thomas Arthur Vallee (shown above) was arrested and charged with plotting to kill Kennedy.  Vallee was a right-wing extremist with a sizable cache of weapons.
  2. Vallee and Oswald were extremely similar to one another: both were former Marines, both had been stationed at bases from which the U-2 planes were tested, and both had been involved in training anti-Castro Cubans. 
  3. There is some evidence that Vallee was a "patsy" of sorts; the original tip to the FBI stated it was a four-man plot.  Vallee would be the only arrest.
  4. The man who arrested Vallee, Dan Groth, was a Chicago Police Officer with alleged intellegence ties.  On 12/4/69, black activist and Black Panther Fred Hampton was assassinated by the Chicago PD working in conjunction with the FBI as part of their COINTELPRO program.   That this was an assassination is a fact, not conspiracy theory, because the US Circuit Court of Appeals awarded Hampton's family $1.85M in damages, some of which Groth was responsible for paying.
  5. Just to make things sufficiently weird: the plot was foiled by an anonymous tipster named "Lee."
Vallee would later tell investigators that he was just a convenient distraction because his anti-Kennedy views made it believable that he would threaten the president.  He admitted to owning a rifle and several thousand rounds of ammunition, but denied making any direct threats against Kennedy.  The Chicago plot and later ones in New Orleans (11/17) and Tampa (11/18) were all "foiled" by combinations of the FBI, Secret Service, or local police, but it bears noting that there seemed to be no such efforts made in Dallas. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Welcome Mr. Kennedy to Dallas... (JFK50 part 3)

On November 22, 1963, the ad shown above ran in the Dallas Morning News.  The ad consists of a list of questions for the president on his foreign policy decisions, and the opening blurb states that Kennedy has "largely ignored" the Constitution.  I won't go into a lengthy digression on international relations in the early sixties, but the not-so-subtle implication of the ad was that Kennedy's foreign policy was harmful to American and, in the opinions of the authors, showed Communist leanings.

The ad was purchased by "The American Fact-Finding Committee," a group that didn't actually exist.  The man listed as chairman, Bernard Weissman, wasn't the chairman of anything, much less a fictional committee.  Mr. Weissman does play an important role in the story of the Kennedy assassination, however, and it is one that is largely overlooked today as it was by the Warren Commission. 

Dallas in 1963:

To say that Dallas was far-far-right in 1963 is such an understatement that it almost qualifies as a lie.  Dallas was the top destination for the ultra-conservatives, the neo-fascists, and actual, honest-to-goodness former Nazis.  To give you an idea of the political climate: UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson was heckled and physically assaulted in Dallas approximately one month before the Kennedy assassination.  The John Birch Society played a role in the incident, and was perhaps stronger in Dallas than anywhere else in the US at the time.  Read this article concerning a 1961 JBS meeting in Dallas and note that the crowd wasn't a politically ignorant rabble, but "the mink-and-ermine crowd."  Scroll down from the linked article to see a piece on General Edwin Walker getting in trouble for distributing JBS literature abroad.  General Walker would continue to butt heads with the Kennedy administration until he was ultimately dismissed, just in time to come home to Dallas and organize the attack on Stevenson via a coalition of the JBS, the Minutemen, and the National Indignation Convention, the latter having been formed by conservatives who felt the JBS was too liberal.

It is with the National Indignation Convention (NIC) that Bernard Weissman comes back into the story.  Weissman's testimony before the Warren Commission begins in Vol V, page 487 and is worth reading in its entirety.  Weissman was a former soldier under the aforementioned General Walker in Munich, where, along with a few of his fellow soldiers, he had formed a group known as Conservatism USA, or CUSA.  Weissman was a low man on the totem pole of the group, and "Bernie" just took orders from Larrie Schmidt.  Schmidt had moved to Dallas after his discharge, and he had big plans for himself and CUSA.  Larrie's plan is detailed by Weissman starting on page 497, but the short version is that CUSA (via Schmidt) was to infiltrate all right-wing political groups, rising up in the ranks, and eventually merging them with CUSA, making it the dominant organization.  Schmidt started with NIC, and was successful.  Schmidt's letters to Weissman detail his progress, and can be found in Vol XVIII beginning on page 836.  Here are some choice exerpts:

"Arrangements are being made for me to meet the heads of the Dallas John Birch, General Walker, and H.L. Hunt, Texas oil millionaire."
"I have already met the top editors of the Dallas Morning News, the country's most conservative newspaper."
"The meeting was at the home of Dr. Robert Morris, President of the Defenders of American Liberty...Present were Mr. George Ward, Detective for Dallas City Police, Mr. Ken Thompson, editorial writer for the Dallas Morning News, Mr. Clyde Moore, former PR man for H.L. Hunt, former UPI writer. (Eight others)."

It was in the meeting detailed above -- attended by members of Dallas' ultra-right and ultra-rich -- that it was suggested that CUSA merge with CIA Agent William F Buckley's Young Americans for Freedom.  Schmidt did exactly that, and instructed Bernie to change all their documentation from CUSA to YAF.

Weissman eventually joined Schmidt in Dallas.  The first order of business for the pair and their cohorts was the placement of the infamous "Welcome Mr. Kennedy" ad.  Hale Boggs asked Weissman who paid for the ad, to which Weissman replied that he knew who he picked the money up from (the John Birch Society), but he was unsure who had actually put up the $1,462, a hefty sum in 1963.  Warren Commission lawyers choose not to delve too deeply into the subject, but Weissman eventually relents to the point that the ad was composed and paid for entirely by the JBS, specifically the oil-rich backers of the JBS.  A few well-known names are thrown around, but as soon as Weissman begins to speculate, one of the two remaining Commission members decides to leave the room.  After the fact, "Bernie" finally realized that his name was placed on the ad because he was Jewish, thus drawing attention away from the notoriously anti-Semitic John Birch Society. 

In fact, the entire incident appears to be a giant misdirection play.  The FBI spent considerable man hours tracking Weissman and his fictional commission down, and there was a strong belief in the initial days after the assassination that the "American Fact-Finding Committee" played some role in JFK's murder. 


By the time Weissman and Schmidt arrived on the scene and began mingling in the world of anti-Communists and oil men, Lee Harvey Oswald was already firmly entrenched in it.  Oswald's reported "best friend" after returning to Dallas/Fort Worth was George de Mohrenschildt, a White Russian petroleum engineer who travelled in the same lofty circles of wealthy oilmen that Larrie Schmidt was worming his way into.  De Mohrenschildt introduced the Oswalds to the tightly-knit White Russian community in Dallas.  Lee, who had defected to Communist Russia less than a decade ago and was allegedly still a Communist, had no problems fitting in with what was one of the most stridently anti-Communist groups in the US.  De Mohrenschildt had been previously investigated by the FBI under suspicion of being a Nazi spy during WWII and had been rejected by the OSS for this reason. De Mohrenschildt gives the longest testimony to the Warren Commission in Vol IX, but no members of the actual Warren Commission itself bothered to attend. 

If Oswald's friendship with the wealthy and worldly de Mohrenshildt wasn't strange enough, consider his relationship with the Paines.  Marina Oswald lived with Michael and Ruth Paine during the period before the assassination, and it was in the Paine's garage that most of the physical evidence against Oswald was obtained -- without a warrant, it should be noted.  The Paines were a part of the ultra-wealthy Cabot-Forbes (as in the magazine) family from the northeast.  Michael was a third-generation Harvard alum, and both he and Ruth were related to members of the OSS and CIA.  This fact goes a long way to explaining their treatment during their respective testimonies -- former OSS/CIA director Allen Dulles made sure to steer the questions away from anything that would reveal the truth about either.  Michael Paine worked at Bell Aerospace working on Department of Defense contracts with a top security clearance.  Bell Aerospace became a major defense contractor after one of Ruth Paine's relatives, Arthur Young, invented the first commercial helicopter.  Paine's boss was former Nazi general and war criminal Walter Dornberger, brought to the States as part of Project Paperclip

So to recap: Oswald was associated with two groups when he returns to Dallas from New Orleans.  On one hand you have George de Mohrenschildt, the White Russians, and the Texas oilmen.  On the other, you have the blue-blood Paines, their ties to intelligence and defense agencies, and former Nazis.  In the middle is Oswald, who we are supposed to believe is a disaffected loner with Communist sympathies.  None of these groups seemed to care about Oswald's alleged Communism, and the fact that an engineer working on Top Secret Dept of Defense contracts was renting a room to a treasonous defector didn't raise any eyebrows either.

Overlapping threads:
  • Project Paperclip Nazis were spared from the trails at Nuremberg and elsewhere by Warren Commission member John J. McCloy in his role as High Commissioner of Germany.  Those not freed by McCloy were freed by Senator Joseph McCarthy.  McCarthy's right-hand man was Robert J. Morris, who lived in Dallas at the time of the assassination and was the host to Larrie Schmidt.
  • In 1956, George de Mohrenschildt was employed by Pantapec Oil Company, owned by William F. Buckley Sr., father of Jr., founder of the YAF.  At the time, the younger Buckley was working under E Howard Hunt in Mexico.
  • Robert J. Morris was on the board of the YAF, along with Senator John Tower.  It would be Tower who would personally waive the immigration restrictions for Marina Oswald to come to America.
  • One of Larrie Schmidt's first recruits to the CUSA cause was Warren Carroll, a former CIA agent.  Carroll was employed by George de Mohrenschildt's friend HL Hunt to write right-wing magazines, radio shows, and TV broadcasts.  There were copies of Carroll's magazines in Jack Ruby's car at the time of his arrest.
  • Bernard Weissman claims to have never met Jack Ruby, but he and Larrie Schmidt's plan involved purchasing a night club as a front for CUSA.  During conspiracy theorist Mark Lane's testimony (Vol II & V), Lane tells of second-hand information he received that Weissman had met with Jack Ruby, Officer JD Tippitt, and "an oil man" prior to the assassination.  This claim is repeated in How Kennedy Was Killed
  • Bernard Weissman lived on Beckley Street, the same one as Oswald at the time of the assassination. 
  • One of the men pointed to as being the backer behind the "Welcome to Dallas" ad was Nelson Bunker Hunt, friend of George de Mohrenschildt and son of HL Hunt.  Nelson Hunt's brother was Lamar Hunt, who met with Jack Ruby on 11/20/63.  Also meeting Lamar Hunt that day was ex-con Eugene Hale Brading/Braden, believed to have shot JFK from the Dal-Tex Building.  Brading (then going by Braden) was questioned by Dallas PD but released because they were unaware of his criminal past due to the name change. 
The War Council:
One of the most hotly-debated aspects of the Kennedy assassination is the party alleged to have taken place on November 21st at the home of Clint Murchison, Jr.  Murchison was the owner of the Dallas Cowboys and his father, Murchison Sr., had bank-rolled Senator Joseph McCarthy and was close friends with J. Edgar Hoover and HL Hunt.  The Murchisons and the Hunts were only one degree removed from Oswald through their relationship with de Mohrenshildt. 

Alleged to be in attendance at this party were Murchison, HL Hunt, J. Edgar Hoover, Hoover's partner Clyde Tolson, John J. McCloy, George Brown (of Brown and Root), Jack Ruby, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon (Nixon was in Dallas during the week of the assassination).  The topic of discussion was the assassination of Kennedy and Hoover, as the leader of the plot, gave the go ahead to proceed as planned.

The source of this story is Madeline Duncan Brown, LBJ's mistress.  Mrs. Brown's credibility has been attacked on several points, but it is seldom mentioned that she wasn't the first person to claim this meeting took place.  Researcher Penn Jones Jr. provides all of the same details that Brown would decades later in his Forgive My Grief Vol III, published in 1969. 

It's worth noting that a similar meeting took place in Texas in 1972 at the home of John Connolly.  Within the following months, the death of J. Edgar Hoover, the attempted assassination of Governor George Wallace, and the Watergate break-in all took place.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Out Come the Wolves: Modern Propaganda

News flash everyone!

It turns out that rampant corruption, corporate greed, endless war, and constant surveillance are not having any harmful effects on democracy!  It's us conspiracy theorists that are ruining it.  Or so says the BBC and Cambridge University professor "Sir" Richard Evans.  The BBC piece asks the hard-hitting question "Are conspiracy theories ruining democracy," the answer to which is "What are you, stupid or something?"  The author and Evans never offer up anything even remotely close to a justification for their statements, and they use the end of the article to make an argument AGAINST the government being open with its citizens.  Evans refers to conspiracy theorists as people who are "on the whole paranoid and crazy," which is the closest thing to a point that he makes: i.e. conspiracy theories are BAD because BAD people believe them.  I'm guessing that Sir Evans doesn't teach logic or Latin, because he seems ignorant of what ad hominem means. 

But all this is nothing new.  As I pointed out in my articles on Operation Mockingbird and the discussion of the upcoming JFK anniversary, the western media is as guilty as any conspirator, either through willful obfuscation of the truth or outright lying.  Take a look at CIA Document #1035-960 which was produced just after the Warren Commission Report was released.  The document is a guide for all CIA offices to help sell the official version of the assassination, with a list of talking points at the end.  I'll draw your attention to item 3b:

To employ propaganda assets to negate and refute the attacks of the critics. Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose. The unclassified attachments to this guidance should provide useful background material for passing to assets. Our ploy should point out, as applicable, that the critics are (I) wedded to theories adopted before the evidence was in, (II) politically interested, (III) financially interested, (IV) hasty and inaccurate in their research, or (V) infatuated with their own theories.

This has been the formula since 1964 and it is still in use today.  Actually, the CIA plan is a little bit nicer than the approach taken by many modern "journalists" who can't resist slipping in some variation of the word crazy into any article on someone who commits the unforgivable sin of not believing the government.

While I was writing this article, the shooting at LAX took place.  The gunman has been identified as 23-year-old Paul Anthony Ciancia, who reportedly has a history of mental problems and had threatened suicide as recently as earlier in the week.  By some bizarre coincidence, LAPD was actually at Ciancia's residence while the shooting took place.  They were doing a "welfare check" on him because they received word from his parents (via the NJ PD) that he may be suicidal.  Not much is known about the shooting/shooter at this early stage, but one wonders if the chief gives the plot away during this news conference. The looks on the faces of the men behind him give that impression.

Ciancia's mental instability is buried several paragraphs deep in any article on the subject, however.  The headlines regarding Mr. Ciancia are reporting that he wanted to kill "pigs and the TSA" and that he was "anti-government." It is now (at the time of this writing) surfacing that the note found on the shooter mentioned the NWO, or the New World Order.  The linked article states that the pamphlet also made reference to "racial minorities."  This makes the prime suspects the John Birch Society, or whatever neo-Conservative group has taken their place. 

As I mentioned in Stop Me if You've Heard This One Before, the JBS is one massive intelligence operation by the far right.  VISUP is doing a good series on the neo-fascists and the alleged Patriot Movement that you should read, but the short version of all this is that JBS/Posse Comitatus/The Tea Party/et al. are essentially the same "NWO" that they are trying to warn everyone about.  It only takes a small amount of digging to discover that they don't really mind big government or violations of Constitutional rights as long as they are the ones doing it. 

Other articles have made reference to Ciancia having "libertarian" views, so while we're on the topic, the Libertarians are a fascist intelligence front-group as well.  Since libertarianism is a hugely popular sub-group of Internet users, I'm sure half of my readers just stopped reading, but I'll go into more detail for the rest of you.  The US Libertarian Party was founded by David Nolan, who was a member of the Young Americans for Freedom in the 1960s.  The YAF was founded by William F. Buckley Jr., who was a CIA Agent.  Buckley is well-known as an arch-conservative, and was critical of both Nixon and Reagan for being "too liberal."  Buckley's National Review is a cornerstone of CIA propaganda and has long supplied the talking points for the far-far-right.  Buckley hasn't been too forthcoming about his CIA days, but his superior was E. Howard Hunt, Watergate plumber and the man who confessed to orchestrating the murder of JFK.  Hunt's specialty was overthrowing governments (Guatemala, the Bay of Pigs) so it isn't much of a stretch to assume that Buckley -- and by extension the YAF -- learned a thing or two from him. 

We'll come back to that issue later, but first back to the Libertarians: Even Libertarian Lew Rockwell admits that many of the people that shaped the views of Libertarianism were CIA employees.  A major plank in the Libertarian platform is getting rid of the CIA and FBI, but what they don't publicly state is that they still want these agencies, just privatized versions of them.  For people who hate the CIA so much, the Libertarians can't seem to get away from them.  Their 2008 Presidential candidate Bob Barr was a former CIA analyst

I'll pick up of the story of the YAF next time in the next chapter of JFK50.

Other News:
The NSA was apparently trying to steal whatever information they couldn't collect. 
This included trying to "hack" into Google and Yahoo to get their hands on their caches of user information.  This is over and above the information that the NSA "legally compels" the companies to turn over, and amounts to the most blatant violation of US law yet.  According to the article, Google is rushing to encrypt this data, which probably will slow the NSA down for a few hours, tops.

This article, like others, acts as if this is somehow a "new" thing, and that the NSA hasn't been spying on everyone since they were founded.  The Church Committee Report dedicated several hundred pages of Vol III to explaining how the government has intercepted almost all electronic communications (without a warrant) since the early 1940s.  So, like the other so-called revelations of the existence of Area 51 and the CIA's involvement in coups, this is old news.  Any reasonably well-informed person knew everything Edward Snowden has to say four decades ago, and the only thing I'm suspicious about is why this is being told now and for what purpose.   

Just as further proof that sometimes the gang gets up to their old tricks: We Are Change's Luke Rudowski was the victim of a "sneek & peek" job.  This is the second or third time this has happened to him.  Check the video out and see for yourself.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Grenada: a "lovely little war" that ruined America

October 25th marked the thirtieth anniversary of the US invasion of Grenada.  Unlike the 30th anniversary of the KAL 007 disaster, this particular incident was given no mention in the media, mainstream or alternative.  The KAL 007 disaster was a suspicious event fraught with political and para-political implications, yet it pales in comparison to the invasion of Grenada.  The invasion was perhaps the key event of Ronald Reagan's first term and, as we'll see, an event with lasting ramifications for the remainder of the 20th century and beyond.

Few people give the event much attention these days and unfortunately few people gave it much attention when it occurred.  Here is the back story:

In 1974, Sir Eric Gairy became the first Prime Minister of Grenada after the country gained its independence from Great Britain.  Gairy's party, the Grenada United Labour Party, won 1976 elections but the results were disputed by the opposition, who began preparations for a coup.  Gairy was opposed because he ruled the tiny (under 200 sq. miles) nation with an iron fist, and used his colorfully named mercenary army, the Mongoose Gang, to harass and murder his opponents. 

One of the opponents harassed by Gairy and the Mongoose Gang was Maurice Bishop, a talented lawyer and Black Power advocate and leader of the New Joint Endeavor for Welfare, Education, and Liberation, or the New JEWEL Movement.  Bishop and the NJM were Marxist-Leninists but not Communists, as they acknowledged that Grenada wasn't advanced enough for communism since its primary industries were tourism and small-scale agriculture.  Sir Eric Gairy travelled to the US in 1979 to give a speech before the UN (about the Bermuda Triangle and UFOs, oddly enough) and the NJM seized the opportunity to depose him and take control of Grenada.  From a democratic standpoint, Bishop and NJM were just a new form of dictatorship, but he did place a greater emphasis on racial equality, women's rights, and universal education.  It was a case of taking the good with the bad; Grenada under Bishop was one of the first nations in the Western hemisphere to have equal pay for women codified into law, but they had no free press or elections. 

Bishop reached out to the United States for aid in 1980-81, but newly elected President Reagan refused to meet with him.  So Bishop turned to Cuba, and with their help, began construction of an international airport to aid their tourism industry.

In early 1983, the Reagan administration began accusing Grenada of building the airport to serve as a satellite base for the Soviet Union, despite all the evidence to the contrary and the fact that American companies were working on the construction.  In October, there were disputes among the leadership of the NJM.  Bishop was deposed, arrested, released, and then executed all before October 19th.  As to be expected, there are rumors that Bishop's predicament was orchestrated by the CIA, since there is evidence that the US had already drawn up plans for invasion prior to his death (New York Times, 10/29/83). To make things nice and quasi-legal, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States requested that the US intervene. 

October 25, 1983: Operation "Urgent Fury" took place; a copious display of US military might that the United Nations called a "flagrant violation of international law."  Grenada was "freed" from the evil Communists and some American kids studying in one of those mythical "Caribbean medical schools" were rescued.  In case some Grenadians didn't believe that the US military was saving them from those horrible commies, the CIA made this mind-bending propaganda comic book to help sell their story

Reagan used the victory, small though it was, to puff up the American military and begin beating the war drums again.  It is a logical assumption that the massive force was sent to the tiny island in hopes of goading Cuba or the Soviet Union into an armed conflict, but thankfully for the rest of the world they didn't take the bait.  The Grenada formula of overthrowing Central and South American leaders to set up a US puppet-state would be repeated again and again throughout the 1980s.  The invasion of Grenada is perhaps most important because of the role the media played in it, or rather didn't play in it. 

The government denied journalists access to Grenada during the invasion and for 48 hours afterward.  The reason cited was "safety," but the real reason was so that coverage of the event could be completely managed by the Armed Forces.  Journalists allowed on the island were hand-picked and, as you'd expect, extremely supportive of the invasion.  And, by and large, the American public and the media were okay with this.  The public supported the media blackout by an almost 2-to-1 ratio, and only those excluded from the island were critical of the invasion, so their attacks had an air of sour grapes.  The American government had learned a lesson from Vietnam and that lesson was that a free press is harmful to American militarism.  All future conflicts would be stage managed in such a manner, and the real legacy of Grenada has been the death of accurate, unbiased journalism when it comes to the military.  Some excellent (if highly academic) writings on the invasion's impact on First Amendment rights can be found all over the net.  Here's one

The death of objective war journalism was just one side-effect of the Grenada invasion.  Reagan's decision to invade without asking or even informing Congress was a clear violation of the War Powers Clause.  Eleven members of Congress sued the President, but the government had the case dismissed, citing the fact that Congress had "other remedies" available to them.  The court was specifically referring to impeachment, but Congressional Democrats never attempted to get impeachment proceedings off the ground.  Reagan was sued four more times during his Presidency for War Powers violations, and the fact that he was allowed to get away with it each and every time is why there was no legal basis to impeach Bush over Iraq and Afghanistan and why Obama didn't even have to ask Congress for permission to intervene in Syria. 

Thirty years later, questions regarding the Grenada invasion remain.  Specifically:

What was going on in Grenada that the US wanted to keep a secret?

The most obvious reason journalists were kept out for 48 hours is because the on-the-ground scene was vastly different than the tale the Reagan administration had spun about the country being a hot-bed of godless Commies.  This fact is confirmed by government officials, who, after reviewing the over 18 TONS of documents seized during the invasion, wrote that there was no conclusive evidence of Soviet involvement. 

Short digression: You'll note that the above link comes from The Daily Beast, an allegedly liberal-leaning news site.  You'll also note that the article is written by Michael Ledeen of all people. Ladeen is one of the biggest "bad guys" of the 1980s, a far right conservative propaganadist who was a key figure in the international mayhem wrought by the right wing for the past 50 years.  He's responsible for the Bush Doctrine, brokered the Iran-Contra deals, and tried to pin the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II on the communists, when it was really the ultra-right wing.  He may have actually had a hand in setting that last one up too, since he was the US contact for Italy's military intelligence agency SISMI, and thus responsible for Operation: Gladio which wreaked havoc throughout Europe for a couple of decades.    So there's your liberal media, folks. 

Back on topic, 18 tons is quite a large amount of information to take from a tiny island.  According to files released under FOIA, the government was even interested in what type of ink the Soviets might be using to sign documents.  If we allow them one ton just for ink-checking, that still leaves 17 tons of paper, a good deal of which is still classified.  Why?

Jonestown, mind control, and the invasion of Grenada

Expect a much longer analysis of Jonestown in the future, but one little known fact about the People's Temple is that their first choice wasn't Guyana, but GrenadaJones deposited $200,000 of Temple money in their national bank after meeting with Sir Eric Gairy, some of which was still there at the time of the tragedy.  Jones opted for Guyana, but the People's Temple's relationship with Grenada didn't end there.  Four survivors moved to Grenada after the tragedy to set up a business to fund "the work of the original Temple." They weren't the only survivors, as most of Jones' top team left prior to the mass suicide.  During the massacre, Jones can be heard saying "Get Dwyer out of here."  The Dwyer to which he was referring was Richard Dwyer, the CIA agent stationed at the American embassy.  Dwyer "got out of there" and went straight to Grenada

The only structure bombed during the invasion of Grenada was the free hospital at St. George's University.  The hospital was run by Dr. Peter Bourne, formerly drug czar under President Carter (the Carter administration had interceded on Jones' behalf to acquire the land in Guyana).  He resigned in 1979 after prescribing Quaaludes to Carter staffers.  Bourne was a psychologist linked to England's Tavistock Institute, which kept the British end up in regards to the mind control game.  Jonestown had copious links to mind control experimentation and the CIA, and Bourne's father had first worked at the Grenada med school in 1977, just after the People's Temple moved to Guyana.  The elder Bourne worked for Emory's Yerkes Primate Center and brought Peter in there as well.  The Bournes were working on "effects of drugs, sensory deprivation, behavioral modification on apes."  Peter Bourne had previously worked in Vietnam as part of the Phoenix Program of mind control and assassination. Bourne had done his psychatric residency in the free clinic in Haight-Ashbury, a MK-ULTRA front run by Gregory Bateson, an OSS/CIA agent (Albarelli, H.P. Jr., A Terrible Mistake, The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA’s Secret Cold War Experiments, Trine Day, Walterville, OR (2009)). 

Maurice Bishop had accused Bourne and the med school of being a CIA front.  The 7/23/78 edition of the Chicago Sun-Times implies that there could be some truth to this, since Bourne was providing debriefing statements to the CIA after his travels abroad.  Just in case that's not enough, Bourne's wife Mary King was deputy director over the Peace Corps during the Carter administration.  The Peace Corps is regularly used as a front for CIA spying

Just to recap:  In 1983, you had the following in Grenada:
  • Former high-ranking members of the People's Temple raising money to continue Jim Jones' "mission."
  • Jones' CIA handler Richard Dwyer.
  • Dr. Peter Bourne, a man with just as many links to the CIA and mind control experiments as Jim Jones himself.
Is it becoming clearer now why the only thing destroyed was the hospital?  And why the US came home with 18 tons of documents, most of which (like the documents concerning Jonestown) is still classified? 

It isn't much of a stretch to hypothesize that there was something sinister going on at the medical school in Grenada.  Peter Bourne was awash in connections to the CIA and mind control and it would be odd if someone of his stature was in Grenada just to give out free vaccinations and teach med school dropouts.  Why did it need to be destroyed then?  One possibility is that Bishop's increasingly friendly relationship with Cuba and the Soviet Union worried the US, who opted to destroy the hospital rather than have the information fall into communist hands.  With no American journalists on the ground, the Armed Forces had two full days to destroy all evidence and load up 18 tons of paper unnoticed. 

I'll return to the topic of Grenada in the future in posts on Jonestown and because it ties into the Banco Ambrosiano/P2 scandal since the island was home to many fictional financial institutions used for intelligence and mafia money laundering. 

Provided there's no major news events, I'll be back soon with the continuation of the JFK50 series.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

JFK50 Part 2: Magic Bullets and Vanishing Brains

A slow news weekend means this is an all-JFK post.  First up, news:

New book posits that RFK stole Kennedy's brain.
Allegedly, RFK took his brother's brain so that it wouldn't be known how advanced his Addison's Disease was.  The article makes it seem as if Addison's is an always-fatal condition, but it isn't, and there is evidence that JFK's case wasn't as severe since he was able to survive major surgery.  Of the many bizarre conspiracy theories that have been floated around over the years, one of the strangest has been that Kennedy organized the assassination himself because he knew he would die soon. 

There is a lot of confusion regarding Kennedy's brain, which is alleged to have gone missing from the National Archives in the mid-60s.  Only the Kennedy family had access to the JFK materials at that time (a fact few people know these days) and therefore the Kennedys or another high-ranking government official are our only choices for suspects.  There is also some controversy about what exactly there would have been left of Kennedy's brain to steal.  Most of the Parkland doctors and those present for the official autopsy in Bethesda stated that there was very little brain matter left.  That's a good bit different from the largely-intact brain viewed in photos by the Warren Commission and the House Select Committee.  This mystery was solved in 1998, albeit very quietly:

Archive photos are not Kennedy's brain.

If you read the article fully, you'll see that there were multiple examinations on multiple brains performed as part of the Kennedy autopsy.  Furthermore, there is a strong contention from several people close to the Kennedy family that they insisted the brain be interred with the body, so it is very likely that RFK wouldn't have even thought that there was a brain in the archives to steal.

JFK50 answers part 2:

Continuing this series with a few more points and responses.

Point 9:  Not ONE SPECK of any bullets/bullet fragments/bullet shells OTHER THAN OSWALD'S 6.5 MM MANNLICHER-CARCANO were discovered anywhere in Dealey Plaza, the limousine, the TSBD, Parkland Hospital, or in the victims. This one, to me, is simply impossible for conspiracy advocates to overcome, IF there had been (as some claim) up to 3 firing teams and
4 to 10 shots fired in DP on Nov. 22nd.

Response: Now we're getting somewhere.  Bullet evidence was the cornerstone of the Warren Commission's assertion that Oswald was the lone assassination.  Everyone by now is familiar with the "Magic Bullet" theory and the holes in it, so there is no need to rehash those arguments here.  The debunker is right, however, there is no evidence of other bullets or fragments from a gun other than the M-C.

But let's get into that for a while, shall we?  There is only ONE piece of bullet evidence in the Kennedy assassination: the so-called Magic Bullet, Commission Exhibit 399 (CE399, page 49, Vol XVII). 
This bullet allegedly went through both men and was found in this condition on a stretcher in Parkland Hospital. 

If one assumes that such a feat is possible and this an authentic bullet, forensic evidence does support the claim that this bullet is materially similar to fragments removed from Gov. John Connally's wrist.

It is, however, the only piece of forensic evidence.  Why? Here's a couple of reasons:
  • The car Kennedy was riding in was sent to Deerborn, MI, immediately after the assassination, disassembled and reassembled, and given to LBJ to be his Presidential limo.  There is no record of the car being reviewed for evidence or bullet fragments, nor is there any evidence that the Dallas Police or the FBI even looked at the car.
  • Governor John Connally's suit couldn't yield any forensic evidence, because someone sent it to the dry cleaners before it could be examined.  The suit was turned over to LBJ and a group of Texas Congressmen, and was later found in the closet of Rep. Henry Gonzalez.  It too was never examined and never in the possession of the Dallas Police Department or FBI. It's now on display in Austin, without any mention of its curious history.  
  • James Thomas Tague, interviewed in Vol VII, was struck by a richocheting bullet that struck the curb.  A thorough analysis of this can be found here, and no efforts were made to locate the bullet that struck the curb and then Tague, and the curb was repaired before it was examined in 1964.  The Warren Commission eventually decided that a fragment of a bullet that struck Kennedy and/or Connally had enough energy to travel an additional 200 yards, strike the curb and then wound Tague.
  • The Forgive My Grief series by Penn Jones, Jr. is a must-have for any serious researcher.  The cover of volume III is the oddly framed photograph shown below.  It depicts a FBI agent pocketing an extra bullet found in Dealey Plaza that day; one that was never entered into evidence.  This incident is related in Officer Walther's testimony in Vol VII. 

Point 10: The majority of Dealey Plaza witnesses said shots came from behind the President, in the direction of the School Book Depository Building.
Response:  The answer to this is simple.  See below:
That's the Doppler Effect.  It applies to gunshots because bullets can approach and pass the speed of sound, meaning that witnesses will hear something different depending on their relative position to the projectile when it breaks the sound barrier.  One horrific anecdote seldom mentioned is the number of soldiers in Vietnam who ran towards a sniper because the bullet missed them and broke the sound barrier after it passed.  They simply heard the "pop" in the wrong direction and ran headlong towards oncoming fire.  If gunmen were firing from in front of the President and missed, it is entirely possible that the witnesses would have heard the "pop" in the direction of the TSBD.

Point 11 is more dithering about curtain rods and Ruth Paine's testimony.  I won't spoil the fun for you -- read up on Ruth and Michael Paine on your own.  Find out specifically where Michael worked and for whom, and to whom the Paine's were related.  Then piece together their relationship to Lee and Marina and see if anything stands out to you.

Point 12: Oswald left behind, presumably for wife Marina, his wedding ring, wallet, and just about every dime he had to his name ($170), on the morning of 11/22. Logic dictates that he felt he may not return.
Response: Logic would only dictate this if it was different from his usual routine.  Since this is just an opinion, I'll offer one of my own: It would be strange if Oswald had carried "every dime he had" to work with him on a random morning in late November.  Furthermore, Oswald didn't know how to drive, so carrying a wallet and driver's license wouldn't have been necessary. Marina Oswald contradicts herself in her testimony regarding Lee's wedding ring.  She admits he often took it off during work since it was too wide for his small hands.  Former employers stated to the FBI that Lee never wore a wedding ring at work.

Oswald did, however, have identification on him.  Specifically, he had two identification cards, one for A. Hidell and one for Lee Oswald.  This is according to Officer Guy "Gus" Rose in Volume VII page 228.  Per Rose, Oswald initially identified himself as Hidell and was carrying a wallet at the time of his arrest

Point 13: Oswald was the only Depository employee known to have been INSIDE the Depository Building at the time of the assassination to leave work prematurely on 11/22.
Response: Yes, Oswald left the TSBD after the Kennedy assassination.  This much is true.  He wasn't in too much of a hurry for a man that had just committed the crime of the century, however.  Within minutes of the assassination -- in fact, in about 90 seconds after the final shots -- Oswald was spotted on the second floor of the building buying a Coke by Officer Marrion Baker and building superintendant Roy Truly.  Both Baker and Truly testified to this fact in Vol III but neither of them remembered Oswald having a Coke.  Baker's initial report to the FBI on Saturday the 23rd did mention the Coke, and Volume XI contains Oswald's version of the story which matches Truly's and Baker's but adds in the Coke. 

Point 14 & 15 deal again with the Tippit shooting which, as we saw in the last entry, is contentious enough to not be taken as definitive proof of Oswald's guilt.  Not to mention that killing Tippit doesn't mean that Oswald killed Kennedy. 

Coming next time: The General Walker shooting and the Zapruder film.  Future installments will branch out into to the arguments involving Ruby, Oswald's motives, and the official positions of the Warren Commission and the House Select Committee on Assassinations.