Judge John Tunheim
Posted 07 December 2012 - 08:29 PM
In Chicago Tuesday morning, Ventura called on the government to release more documents to reveal what he calls the truth about JFK’s killing in 1963.
“My goal is to exonerate Lee Oswald, and also to get justice for John Kennedy,” said author Judyth Baker.
Ventura joined Baker who claims to have been Lee Harvey Oswald’s former girlfriend, and who has written a book to prove Oswald didn’t kill JFK. She says she was Oswald’s 19-year-old lover in the summer of 1963 and spoke to him just before the killing.
Baker and Ventura say the government is withholding documents that would reveal the purported truth about the assassination.
“If the government were telling the truth, there would be no reason to lock up anything from the people of this country. Clearly they are not, because here we are 50 years later, and they are still withholding documents from us,” said Ventura.
But a prominent federal judge says all the evidence is out there and the verdict is in. In fact, assassination experts say virtually every known document is public.
Minnesota Federal District Judge Jack Tunheim led an independent fact-finding commission in Washington in the 1990s to review, and declassify, millions of pages of documents related to the Kennedy assassination.
Tunheim says all but a few of those documents are now public.
“Is there a cache of records someplace? I don’t think so. We looked as far and as wide as we possibly could,” said Tunheim. “It would have been a violation of law to not turn over records to us for our decision making. I just don’t think there was much left.”
Tunheim says after many years of seeing all the available evidence — from Oswald’s rifle and bullets to Kennedy’s autopsy photos to FBI and CIA documents — he has not seen any direct evidence of any kind to change the verdict, which is that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.
Posted 07 December 2012 - 08:32 PM
JFKcountercoup: Open Letter to Judge John Tunheim
To: Judge John Tunheim
Former Chairman of the Assassinations Records Review Boad
From: William Kelly
Co-Founder of Committee for an Open Archives and COPA.
Re: Statements to the CBS local and as published and posted:
It was with deep regret and some indignation that I read your comments regarding the JFK Assassination records that remain withheld, their numbers and the lack of any other cache of records someplace.
The article reports: “But a prominent federal judge says all the evidence is out there and the verdict is in. In fact, assassination experts say virtually every known document is public. Minnesota Federal District Judge Jack Tunheim led an independent fact-finding commission in Washington in the 1990s to review, and declassify, millions of pages of documents related to the Kennedy assassination. Tunheim says all but a few of those documents are now public.”
In fact, there are many thousands of records, especially CIA documents that are still being withheld, so many in fact that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) can’t say exactly how many. They estimate there are over 50,000 such documents sill being withheld for reasons of national security.
The article quotes you saying: “Is there a cache of records someplace? I don’t think so. We looked as far and as wide as we possibly could. It would have been a violation of law to not turn over records to us for our decision making. I just don’t think there was much left.’”
As you know, the ARRB, which you led, was unable to obtain many assassination records, especially those from the office of the Director of Naval Intelligence (ONI), the White House Communications Agency (WHCA) and former chief council to the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) Richard Sprague.
The failure of the ARRB to obtain and secure there records became apparent when some of them surfaced in private hands, including an edited but longer version of the Air Force One radio transmission from the effects of the President’s military aide Gen. Chester Clifton. Other records, including some from the director of ONI Rufus Taylor have also been located even though the ARRB could not get any records whatsoever from that office. And I am personally in possession of some original assassination records, copies of which were given to Richard Sprague when he was counsel to the HSCA, copies he kept after being forced to leave his post and records that are sill not among the JFK Assassination Records Collection at the NARA.
So, off the top of my head – there are three “caches of records” that are someplace other than where they should be – the JFK Collection, and there are more that I will continue to list until they are obtained and properly secured. I’ve started The Great JFK Assassination Records Scavanger Hunt to try to locate them.
I was especially dismayed to read your remark - “Tunheim says after many years of seeing all the available evidence — from Oswald’s rifle and bullets to Kennedy’s autopsy photos to FBI and CIA documents — he has not seen any direct evidence of any kind to change the verdict, which is that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.”
As you know there never was a verdict, there was no trial, Oswald was executed while in the custody of the law and you have not seen all of the available evidence, certainly not the documents still being withheld until 2017 or the “caches” that have been kept out of the JFK Collection, so you are not in a position to determine a verdict.
As you certainly know, your job and the responsibility of the ARRB was not to investigate or even find “facts,” but to locate, secure and release to the public the government records on the assassination, a job that remains unfinished now over twenty years after Congress passed the JFK Act of 1992.
It has been over fifteen years since Congress conducted the mandated oversight hearings on the JFK Act, which when it happens, should document for the record all of the JFK Assassination records that were destroyed, are missing or remain withheld.
The next time you are questioned by reporters about the JFK assassination records, I suggest that you don’t speculate as to the guilt or innocence of Oswald or the accuracy of the Warren Report conclusions, but instead call on the NARA to determine the exact number of documents that remain withheld, to include the JFK records in the 2013 National Declassification review and for Congress to conduct oversight hearings on the JFK Act so the work of the ARRB can be properly evaluated.
Twenty years after, you should be the one asking the questions.
How many assassination records were destroyed?
How many JFK Assassination records remain withheld?
How many of the ARRB recommendations have been enacted?
Where are the assassination record “caches” that are not part of the JFK Collection?
Why won’t Congress or NARA properly oversee the JFK Act?
If you could get answers to these questions then you will have completed the job you began over two decades ago and remains unfinished.
William E. Kelly, Jr.
Edited by William Kelly, 07 December 2012 - 08:34 PM.
Posted 07 December 2012 - 08:51 PM
Below is the text of a letter that Marina Porter wrote to the ARRD in April of 1996. I am sure she must have had assistance in writing the letter. Anyone know who (if anyone) was working with her on this?
Marina Oswald Porter's Letter, April 1996
Mr. John Tunheim, Chairman
JFK Assassination Records Review Board
600 E Street, NW, Second Floor
Washington, DC 20530
Dear Mr. Tunheim:
I am writing to you regarding the release of still classified documents related to the assassination of President Kennedy, and to my former husband, Lee Harvey Oswald. Specifically, I am writing to ask about documents I have learned of from a recent book and from a story in the Washington Post by the authors of the same book (as well as other documents they have described to me). The book reviews Dallas police, FBI, and CIA files released since 1992, and places them in the context of previously known information. I would like to know what the Review Board is doing to obtain the following:
1. The Dallas field office and headquarters FBI reports on the arrests of Donnell D. Whitter and Lawrence R. Miller in Dallas on November 18, 1963 with a carload of stolen U.S. army weapons. I believe that Lee Oswald was the FBI informant who made these arrests possible. I would also like to know what your board has done to obtain the reports of t he U.S. Marshal and the U.S. Army on the same arrests, and the burglary these men were suspected of.
2. the records of the FBI interrogations of John Franklin Elrod, John Forrester Gedney and Harold Doyle (the latter men were previously known as two of the "three tramps") in the Dallas jail November 22-24, 1963. All of these men have stated that they were interrogated during that time by the FBI.
3. The official explanation of why the arrest records for Mr. Elrod, Mr. Gedney, and Mr. Doyle, as well as for Daniel Wayne Douglas and Gus Abrams were placed "under federal seal" in the Dallas Police Records Division for 26 years as described by Dallas City Archives supervisor Laura McGhee to the FBI in 1992.
4. The FULL records of the interrogation of Lee Harvey Oswald, including his interrogation in the presence of John Franklin Elrod as described by Elrod in an FBI report dated August 11, 1964.
5. The reports of army intelligence agent Ed J. Coyle on his investigation of Captain George Nonte, John Thomas Masen, Donnell D. Whitter, Lawrence R. Miller, and/or Jack Ruby. I am also requesting that you obtain agent Coyle's reports as army liaison for presidential protection on November 22, 1963 (as described by Coyle's commanding officer Col. Robert Jones in sworn testimony to the House Select Committee on Assassinations). If the army does not immediately produce these documents, they should be required to produce agent Coyle to explain what happened to his reports.
6. Secret Service reports and tapes of that agency's investigation of Father Walter Machann and Silvia Odio in 1963-64.
7. Reports of the FBI investigation of Cuban exiles in Dallas, to include known but still classified documents on Fermin de Goicochea Sanchez, Father Walter Machann and the Dallas Catholic Cuban Relocation Committee. These would include informant files for Father Machann and/or reports of interviews of Father Machann by Dallas FBI agent W.Heitman.
8. The full particulars and original of the teletype received by Mr. William Walter in the New Orleans FBI office on the morn-ing of November 17, 1963, warning of a possible assassination attempt on President Kennedy in Dallas. I now believe that my former husband met with the Dallas FBI on November 16, 1963, and provided informant information on which this teletype was based.
9. A full report of Lee Harvey Oswald's visit to the Dallas FBI office on November 16, 1963.
10. A full account of FBI agent James P. Hosty's claim (in his recent book, ASSIGNMENT: OSWALD) that Lee Harvey Oswald knew of a planned "paramilitary invasion of Cuba" by "a group of right wing Cuban exiles in outlying areas of New Orleans.' We now know that such an invasion was indeed planned by a Cuban group operating on CIA payroll in Miami, New Orleans, and Dallas--the same group infiltrated by Lee Oswald. We know this information ONLY from documents released since 1992, as described in the book I have mentioned. On what basis did agent Hosty believe Lee "had learned" of these plans, unless Lee himself told him this? I am therefore specifically requesting the release of the informant report that Lee Oswald provided to agent Hosty and/or other FBI personnel on this intelligence information.
The time for the Review Board to obtain and release the most important documents related to the assassination of President Kennedy is running out. At the time of the assassination of this great president whom I loved, I was misled by the "evidence" presented to me by government authorities and I assisted in the conviction of Lee Harvey Oswald as the assassin. From the new information now available, I am now convinced that he was an FBI informant and believe that he did not kill President Kennedy. it is time for Americans to know their full history. On this day when I and all Americans are grieving for the victims of Oklahoma City, I am also thinking of my children and grandchildren, and of all American children, when I insist that your board give the highest priority to the release of the documents I have listed. this is the duty you were charged with by law. Anything else is unacceptable--not just to me, but to all patriotic Americans.<
Please be advised that this is an open letter, and I intend to make it available to anyone who wishes to see it. The time for secrecy in government is over. I ask that you respond to me in writing within two weeks, and will take no further action until then.
Thank you for your attention to my requests.
/s/ Marina Porter
Could be anyone...but I would guess the late Mary Ferrell.
Posted 01 June 2013 - 11:05 PM
Thanks for that Mike. Wow, time for a new letter from Bill.
That is really discouraging by Tunheim. I mean he fell for those three shells at the sixth floor window? And Oswald was a real defector?
I mean, Horne's book was a decidedly mixed bag. But the section he did profiling the ARRB seems right on today. I really wish he had made it longer, like twice the length.
Bernice that letter by Marina has always troubled me. I mean this is based upon that LaFontaine book right? Which we now know today was probably wrong since there it so much evidence that Oswald was not in a cell with anyone else. I mean, Marina could have so much influence on this case, but she does stuff like that. And consents to be interviewed by Bugliosi, and then will only appear on Ventura's show off screen?
The LaFontaine book was interesting at first, but didn't hold under scrutiny.
I myself was disappointed with the LaFontaine treatment of Silvia Odio. Just as the LaFontaine's accepted the account of John Elrod, they seem also ot have accepted the romantic confessions of Marianne Sullivan (Kennedy Ripples, 1994) which made Silvia Odio seem to be a conspirator with Lee Harvey Oswald, who fainted on 22 November 1963 out of panic that she might be found out.
Yet Sullivan's account is biased, insofar as she blamed Siliva Odio for stealing her prospective second husband (a parish priest) from her. There was plenty of scandal in the book, but too much idle guesswork to be very useful to researchers, IMHO.
Edited by Paul Trejo, 01 June 2013 - 11:06 PM.
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