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John Ritchson

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About John Ritchson

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  • Birthday 05/14/1952

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    Black Eagle, Montana USA
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    [Eclectic] Art, Science, Forensic Ballistics, JFK assassination Research, and the pursuit of my vices which delineate and define my life giving meaning and purpose to my existence.

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  1. John Ritchson

    Message From John Ritchson

    K.B. wrote:[snip]> Paul, you have any cites to back this up? I am not as knowledgeable as> you when it comes to ballistics etc, and I do not have an expert as> Sam does to call re information John has posted, but I do have a few> books and a bit of experience reloading and I have won my fair share of Turkey-shoots and as far as I have seen, John Ritchson is right on with everything he has posted that I have read. So who are your Carcano enthusiasts? Greetings, One of the areas Mr. Burke and the rest of the LNers are real short on is authoritive cites in the relevent areas being discussed. Rather, their agenda appears to be one of debasement and denegration as examplified by their references to me as a Faker, Fraud, Cowardly Dog, and Buffoon all in a sophmoric attempt to trivialize and obfuscate the importance of my and other researcher's work in this case. These sort of tactics represent the last resort of those who know in their hearts the essential weakness of their case and are thus reduced to ad hominum, having failed to produce any real rebutal. For the record, I am constantly garnering feed-back and opinions from qualified professionals in the field of firearms ballistics to absolutely minimise any possibility of error before I even post an article. I also make every effort to clearly separate qualified facts and opinions from speculation and/or guess-work. Occasionaly I will fail in this effort as is the norm, but the body of my work remains intact and presents a damning indictment to those who would perpetuate the LN myth. Looking at the LN contingent, one sees an impressive array of individuals with credentials and qualifications in every area but the field of firearms ballistics, joined at the hip with the spook crew who post from positions of anonymity. Together, they would have us believe they represent a united front espousing the truth of the JFK assassination when in fact they are nothing more than a collection of bags of mostly hot air with about as much substance as a fart inthe wind. Personally I think they know they have already failed to prevent the truth from coming out and are simply engaged in damage control by saturating this forum with BS in an ineffectual attempt to keep relevent discourse to a bare minimum, as well as using their under-handed tactics to create an unsavory atmosphere whereby new readers will be put off from joining in the discourse. Be that as it may, I'm resolved to undo that sort of mischief, at least as far as the ballistic evidence is concerned, by adding a relevent professional perspective to the JFK case. To that end, I've gained the support of a number of world-class people with impeccable credentials and unassailable reputations in their various fields of expertise. A list of those who have contributed to my work is as follows: Alan Horst, German action specialist and old world gunsmith who declares that one may spend over a thousand dollars reworking a M38 surplus Carcano and still be left with a hundred dollar gun. [Note:]For a varifiable professional alternative opinion of the WWII M38, Alan can be reached at 406-454-1831. Frank de Haas, who started out in this business as a hobbiest after -WWII and ultimately became a world renown authority on center-fire turnbolt action rifles with the publication of his book, Bolt Action Rifles, which is now an almost universally held reference manual on the subject. He is a contributing editor of The American Rifleman, and has his shop in Orange City, Iowa.[NOTE], Mr. de Haas is now deceased, however his son has taken over the family business. Richard Hobbs, concidered by many including Carcano historian, Alexander Eichener, as a world authority on the Carcano rifle who after examination of CE-139/C2766 concluded it was in fact, a Moschettieridel Duce Carcano of Mussolini's Gardia del Duce, and not a cheap surplus field rifle that would be sold in a Chicago sporting goods store. [Note:] I believe there is an address and Phone# for Richard posted on Alexander Eichener's Carcano web-site. Wolfgang Droege, founder of the Shiloh Rifle Manufacturing Co, Big Timber, Montana and creator of the Buffalo Rifle for Tom Selleck's movie, "Quigley Down Under" who also presented a custom 45-70 gold inlayed Creedmoor Rifle to former president Ronald Reagan.[Note:]Even though Wolfgang is not a Carcano expert per se he does make some of the world's most powerfull rifles and anyone who doubts the concept of knockdown power should see one of these rifles in action. Richard Casull, founder of Freedom Arms, Freedom Wyoming and creator of the world's most powerfull revolver, the .454 Casull Magnum and like Wolfgang Droege has forgotten more ballistics than most people will ever know.[Note:] Dick openly scoffs at the idea firearms lack knockdown power and is more than happy to give critics a taste of the power of his remarkable pistol which performs on par with many rifles. Wayne Leek, ballistician for the Remington Arms Company and creator of the Fireball XP-100.[Note:] even though Wayne is closed mouthed about the disposition of many of his proto-type XP-100s he is more than happy to expound upon the performance capabilities of one of the world's most powerfull and accurate varmit *HANDGUNS* which BTW, can be fired quite easily from a two-handed combat stance. Bert Waldron, Sniper(US Army) 113 confirmed kills with a varified cartridge expenditure of 1.3 cartridges per kill, as compared to the world infantry expenditure of 10,000 to 50,000 cartridges per kill.[Note:] Bert can be contacted through the editor of Guns Magazine. Also, he is a quiet and unassuming person and if asked about jet-effect and retro-recoil he will just shake his head and smile, but his eyes speak volumes. Craig Roberts, sniper(USMC) 26 year police veteran, specialist in sniper and counter-sniper tactics, author of the book, "Kill Zone" which is a professional sniper's perspective of the JFK assassination which blows the LN theory right out of the water.[Note:] I concider Craig a personal friend and collaborator on the JFK case, and I strongly recommend carefull study of his book. Craig can be reached via email at craig@ionet.net, if memory serves. Carlos(Gunny) Hathcock, sniper(USMC) the Marine Corp's premier sniper with 93 confirmed kills including history's longest single kill-shot of 2,500 meters, nominated for the congressional Medal of Honor for action in Vietnam, former chief instructor of the USMC Sniper's School, at Quantico, Virginia.[Note:] Gunny Hathcock proved the impossibility of the LN scenerio during tests he personally conducted at Quantico and although he is now suffering from MS he is still more than happy to poke holes in the LN scenerio. He can be reached through Craig Roberts.[NOTE], Since the writting of this article the Gunny has gone on his final patrol. God keep you Gunny!!! Dr. Joel Ham, professor of physics who wishes to keep his school out of the public debate but has proven by demonstratable scientific method the irrelevency of the jet-effect with respect to firearms ballistics. Dr. George E Miller, professor of physics and supervisor of the nuclear reactor facilities at UC Irvine who is assisting me with my NAA evaluation of the ballistic evidence. These are some of the people who I concider to be more or less in my corner, who roughly share my views on the subject of firearms ballistics and I urge the readers of this forum to carefully compare these qualified professionals with the collection of political scientists, piss doctors, jet mechanics, computer nerds, wannbes and nobodies that comprise the LN contingent and then ask yourself," Who then is best qualified to address the ballistic issues of the JFK case?" "Who then represents the more credible authority?" "Whose opinions possess the greater validity and are more deserving of serious concideration?" Finally, I want to add that all of the derision, the snide innuendo,the ad hominum lables, the feeble attempts at denegration, the smart-ass remarks and week-kneed mockery heaped upon myself and the other serious researchers on this NG by the LN collection of misfits will not detract me one iota from my agenda and goal of seeing justice done in the JFK case. Finally, with respect to my own qualifications: I come from an unbroken line of firearms and ballisticans going back to 1680 when my direct ancestor, Barnett Richardson established the Richardson foundry near Jamestown Virginia. I was literally raised working at my father's forge and machine shop. I have actually studied Newton, Julian Hatcher, John Thompson, Helson & Barnes, John Browning, Dave Emory of Hornady, Vernon Speer, Robert D. Hayden, Ted C. Almgren, Martin J. Hull, and Bill McDonald. As to my forensic qualifications, I encourage all readers to read my petition to reopen the JFK case as a murder investigation. Such should give the readers some idea as to my legal knowledge. As an avid independent, I quite simply refuse to join any trade organizations all of whom operate from one kind of agenda or another and I refuse to be locked into any such agenda, especially when it involves people like Fackler, Lattimer, Alverez, Oliver and the like. With Regard: John Ritchson(SSGT. 499th TC USATC HG US Army Class of 69) (Gunsmith/Ballistican, [black Eagle, Gunworks] (and survivor of the SE Asian Games 11Bravo7-Tet 1970) ****************************************************************** The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it) but"That's Funny..." Isaac Asimov ******************************************************************
  2. John Ritchson

    My RE: to Herbert Blenner

    [Herbert Wrote:] The Oak Ridge National Laboratory found barium and antimony on both surfaces of paraffin casts made from Oswald's right cheek. They correctly concluded that the barium and antimony found on the outer surface of the cheek cast that was not in contact with Oswald's skin came from an external source. Their finding of a greater amount of barium on the outer surface than the inner and nearly equal amounts of antimony on both sides were evidence that the barium and antimony on both sides of the cheek cast came from a common source of contamination. Furthermore the amounts of barium and antimony were consistent with firing a weapon and greater than expected by accidental contamination. These findings of incriminating evidence in the wrong places should have prompted a thorough and scientific investigation. Although common items contain barium and antimony compounds, these chemicals belong to unique mixtures that distinguish one contaminant from another. By identifying all the contaminants, the W.C. could have shown feasibility of contamination by accident. On the other hand, analysis of the contaminants had risks. For example finding reagent-grade barium and antimony would have proved Oswald tested positive for planted evidence. Herbert Greetings Herbert and Points Taken: The issues I have with this is that Lead easily alloys and amalgemates itself to a number of elements such as Antimony, Barium, Tin, Silver, and Mercury to name a few. It should be noted that in 1963, most printing was still being done with Lead typecasts using Lead based ink pressed on to nitrate treated paper. This is according to Ray Denning, owner and operator of the Western News newspaper and later Denning's Print Shop. Such Lead would have contained various amounts of these other elements in the form of contaminates as reagent grade Lead is difficult to produce and very expensive when compared to general grade Lead. Since LHO's job was handling such material he would normally have been covered with the stuff thus greatly increasing the probability of incurring a false positive with respect to him recently discharging a firearm. More importantly, performing a NAA test would have destroyed any hope of actually doing a comparison analysis on any unburned and partially burned gunpowder residue which according to the Helson & Barnes Empirical Study of Gunpowder Residue would have existed in concentrations on average of 15% which most certainly would have been deposited on LHO had he been firing any weapons that day. Such a test would have provided a direct forensic connection between LHO and the rifle and pistol he alledgedly fired, as well as the spent cartridges alledgedly found at the crime scenes. Also, unburned and partially burned particulate residue can actually be driven into the pores of the skin and since the powder grains are treated with a antihydroscopic compound they do not easily lend themselves to washing with water, generally requiring a powder solvent to remove. It should also be noted that elemental Lead possesses 4 isotopes, the distribution of which varies from region to region, and in the case of bullet lead from batch to batch, thus giving it a unique fingerprint which can be determined by the proper tests. This becomes important when one conciders that CE-399 was duly entered evidence as a Western Cartridge Corporation product produced under a military contract. As per military protocol, ammunition produced would have been headstamped with lot & batch numbers which could have thus been used to determine the isotopic ratio of the bullet lead and establish a forensic connection to CE-399 proving it was in fact a WCC product. If such examinations were in fact performed and not published, then I can only conclude that they were negative and shows that LHO did not recently fire any weapon otherwise, the investigative agencies would have paraded the results from Hell to High Heaven. Respectfully:
  3. John Ritchson

    From John Ritchson

    Greetings All: I wish to thank all of you that phoned, sent me cards, books, letters and emails during my convalescence. I'm getting better every day and can now negotiate the stairs to my workstation without assistance, although slowly. The show of support and the graciousness I recieved from the Assassination Research Community is a humbling experience to say the least. And more than ever, I concider it an honor and a privledge to be associated with this community. I will be posting this to all of the forums I'm associated with as well as emailing it to those researchers who seldom visit the discussion forums so if you happen to read the following article online and then recieve an email later...sorry about the redundancy. :wink: That said, I think it important to elucidate a bit on the many discrepancies and issues of the physical evidence just to put things in perspective as it were. The following are those discrepancies and issues that I personally would have no problem placing before a grand jury for a legal finding of fact: First and formost would have to be the Warren Commission official photo of the bullet designated WC CE-399 which clearly, and without ambiguity shows a projectile which had been fired from a weapon rifled with 6 lands and grooves and possessed with a 1 in 7.5" twist which no M91/38 Mannlicher Carcano possesses. Conversely, the House Select Committee on Assassinations official photo of the bullet designated, HSCA-399 just as clearly and without ambiguity shows a projectile which had been fired from a weapon rifled with 4 lands and grooves and possessed with a 1 in 8.5" twist while comparison analysis of the two bullets produces not a single point of matching comparison proving that they are in fact the same bullet fired from the same rifle. [ The entire Single Bullet Theory falls apart in the face of this simple fact.] In fact, to date and to my knowledge, no comparison bullets showing a forensic connection to either version of 399 or a forensic connection to the alledged murder weapon have ever been produced and made public. The SBT itself is a farce in so far as it alledges ballistic behavior which under any concievable set of conditions and circumstances with respect to a projectile of this type, is an abject impossibility...Jet Effect and Neuro-Muscle Spasms not withstanding. Dr. Guinn's Neutron Activation Analysis of the alledged bullet fragments and minus the necessary corraborative Mass Spectromony and Gaseous Chromotography tests to establish a forensic connection to the alledged murder weapon is hopelessly flawed and his conclusions dubious to say the least, if not outright false and misleading. Then, there is the presence of spent cartridges which when precisely measured show them to be 6.5x54mm Mannlicher Schoenauer cartridges which cannot be chambered in a Carcano rifle along with an unfired cartridge which is a 6.5x52mm Carcano cartridge but possesses the nickle/copper alloy jacket, counter-bored neck steps and odd sized Berdan Primer indicative of Italian G.I. ammunition and which would not have been produced in any American arsenal, added to the failure of the controling agency/s to produce and make public the Tool-Mark Analysis establishing a forensic connection of these cartridges to the alledged murder weapon tends to establish a case of outright falsification of material evidence coupled with the seperate crime of evidence tampering since the controling agency/s duly entered these cartridges into evidence as Winchester/Western 6.5x52mm Mannlicher Carcano cartridges. There are at least four different Carcano rifles which at one time or another has been entered into evidence as "The Murder Weapon" with the 1984 Mike O'Neal photo clearly showing a very rare cermonial rifle of Mussolini's Guard known as the Moschettieri del Duce Carcano stamped with the serial number C2766 which is completely different from the weapon currently in the National Archives that represents a rather poor forgery of the rifle depicted in the O'Neal Photo. [The other rifles all have features different from one another.] It should also be noted that whichever rifle was submitted to Edgewood Arsenal for ballistic tests was in so poor condition that it was deemed unfit to fire without extensive reworking by a gunsmith who also had to shim the scope before it could be sighted in. The spent cartridges found at the Tippet murder scene were positivily identified by the Dallas Sheriff's Dept. firearms expert as .38 Super-Auto cartridges which are rimless cartridges requiring two half-moon rimmed spacer clips in order to chamber in a revolver which normally chambers rimmed cartridges. [This issue becomes especially important when one goes into the ballistic data because the .38 Super-Auto is a hotter loaded cartridge performing on par with the .357 Magnum cartridge rather than the lighter loaded .38 Standard or .38 Special cartridge, and excessive breech pressure becomes a safety factor especially when coupled to an old WWII Victory Model .38 Revolver.] To my knowledge, no wax-cast was ever lifted off of Lee Oswald's face which would have not only shown he had recently fired a rifle but comparison analysis of the unburned and partially burned powder residue would have established a forensic connection between the man and the rifle. [such an event goes far beyond simple oversight or even negligence since it is inconcievable to me that any investigative agency would not have performed this simple and basic examination.] Finally, last but not least, the chain of custody with respect to the physical evidence is so hopelessly flawed and compromised that about any good attorney should have been able to have it quashed in a court of law thus the physical evidence against LHO would have been excluded and he could have gone free. Thus, I think it incombant upon the Assassination Research Community to somehow get the judicial notice necessary to force a reopening of the JFK case as a murder investigation and sit a grand jury to examine the above enumerated issues. Respectfully:
  4. John Ritchson

    Question to the Forum

    Greetings all: I am seeking any information on the whereabouts and activities of CWO Robert M. Powell who was JFK's personal attage'(sp) and carried the "FOOTBALL" chained to his left hand. For those of you needing clarification_the term, "FOOTBALL" is the codeword for the case which allows the president to conduct WWIII from anywhere on earth and thus would never under any circumstances would be very far from the president. What this man was doing before, during and after JFK's murder is of extream importance because the "FOOTBALL" is more important than even the president in terms of national security and its bearer is in actually the most powerfull individual on earth and in terms of loyality, integrity, and responsibility must be beyond reproach. What he knew, witnessed or surmised to my knowledge has never been explored by the assassination community and I can find no mention of him in any official document that I have examined. What I have seen however, is a letter of personal commendation written by JFK on an official Whitehouse stationary lettered in gold leaf and signed by JFK who called him my friend and companion. Please feel free to PM me with any info you may possess. Thanks and Best Regards:) John Ritchson(SSGT. 499th TC USATC HG US Army Class of 69)(GunSmith/Ballistican,Black Eagle Gun Works )(Survivor, SE Asian Games, 11BRAVO7,Tet 1970) ************************************************************ "It is not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled or how the doer of deeds might have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with sweat and dust and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, if he wins, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." ************************************************************
  5. John Ritchson

    THE MAGIC BULLET TRIALS

    The Magic Bullet Trials On Sunday the 22nd of May, the Learning channel aired a special program devoted to determining whether or not it would be possible to recreate the Warren Commission scenerio with respect to the ballistic behavior of CE-399. Experts from a number of different diciplines collaborated in this effort, using state of the art equipment such as a 6.5mm rifle which while unidentified appeared to be a model 91 Mannlicher Carcano long rifle with a state of the art over the bore mounted scope as opposed to a side mounted scope. Also, it appeared that at least the cartridge extractor was modified to allow for individual insertion of a single round which normally does not easily lend itself to such loading. A bucket lift was used to approximate to hight and angle of trajectory to the distance outlined in the Warren Report, and anatomically correct torsos were created out of ballistic geletin to represent the torsos of JFK and JBC. These torsos were placed in a vehicle but for the purpose of the test remained stationary. There was no attempt to recreate any other aspect of the assassination scenerio other than an attempt to recreate the Magic Bullet. The shooter loaded a single live cartridge and fired at the torso representing JFK with the impact point being just a few centimeters from the terminal impact point outlined in the autopsy report. The bullet passed through the torso representing JFK and through the torso representing JBC. However, when the projectile completed its terminal transit through the second torso it no longer had sufficient energy to penetrate the ballistic geletin representing JBC's wrist and simply bounced off the ballistic geletin and into the weeds. Upon location of the projectile it plainly showed evidence of major deformation, being nearly completely doubled over, with the ramifications being that even with state of the art equipment including high-speed photography equipment, the experts were unable to accurately reproduce the CE-399 scenerio. The experts then took the JFK autopsy report to a forensic pathologist for examination with all references to JFK removed from the report and replaced with a ficticous account and that pathologist made the determination that more than one shooter would have had to have made the shots that caused the wounding outlined in the WC Report. It should be noted that this observer having reviewed the test came away with the strong impresion that the experts conducted the test with the forgone conclusion that the CE-399 scenerio was accurate and demonstrated disappointment at the failure to recreate the magic bullet after the manner outlined in the WC Report, and tends to vindicate what I have asserted all along that such ballistic behavior as outlined is an abject impossibility. I encourage all readers to carefully view for themselves this test and form their own conclusions. Respectfully:
  6. Gretings All, I'm about 75% recovered and I would like to personally thank those of you who were kind enough to offer me support during less than "Good-Time" The following is a repost from some years ago on the old alt.conspiray.jfk NG. An interesting aspect of the term, "THEORY" in science is that unlike a hypothesis or guess, it can, like E=MC² be reproduced under laboratory conditions. The photo I possess of WC CE-399 plainly shows a bullet with 6 lands and 6 grooves; a fact backed up by chief LA forensic photographer, Bill Japport and also will eventually be reproduced in a series of micro-graphs of recovered 6.5mm round nosed bullets fired through both 4&6 grooved barrels using state of the art equipment in the ballistics laboratory at the Montana State Crime Laboratory, for comparitive examination with both WC CE-399 and HSCA CE-399 in terms of grooving. Feel free to call 406.728.4970 during normal business hours and ask for Allen who will varify the discussions taking place in this regards. Also you may email world class forensic examiner, Gaylen Warren at 4...@povn.com or call 509.447.2067, and who will varify such proceedures as outlined as being of sound scientific methodology and bona fide forensic process. Yes, Walt Cakebreads 6-groove "THEORY" is a theory which will lend itself to scientific reproducible results. In a court of law, and I'm certain attorney Doug Weldon will agree, such a "THEORY" could be adjudicated a "Legal-Fact", and if so adjudicated, would represent prima facie proof of falsification of evidence. Since the whole point of examining and developing the physical evidence in this case is for the eventuality that it will be presented to a grand or petit jury and examined in a court of law, it will be that forum and that forum alone which will determine the "Legal-Merit" of Walt's 6-groove theory and your opinion on the matter has no standing, except maybe among the LN crowd who themselves have no legal standing. With Regard, John Ritchson(SSGT. 499th TC USATC HG US Army Class of 69) (GunSmith/Ballistican,Black Eagle Gun Works ) (Survivor, SE Asian Games, 11BRAVO7,Tet 1970) ******************************­****************************** "It is not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled or how the doer of deeds might have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with sweat and dust and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, if he wins, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." ******************************­******************************
  7. John Ritchson

    Message From John Ritchson

    My name is Sherry Bach and I am Currently John's Personal caregiver and at his request I am posting this message. An attempt was recently made on John's Life. He was ran into a tree by a black SUV with darkened windows and forced off the road. He has suffered extensive injuries and will be 1 to 2 months recovering. Those of you who are his friends can send him get-well cards at his home address where he is recovering. 123 13th St. Black Eagle, Mt. USA 59414 Phone # (406) 727-5269 John hopes to be up and online again as soon as possible and gives you all his best regards. Sher
  8. John Ritchson

    The windshield holes

    Greetings Al: The shooter reported he made a 2 click left windage adjustment on his Redfield scope to account for for the angle of trajectory and the direction the US flag was moving close to the target. He also reported that he decided to take the shot when his spotter reported that it appeared the prisoner had started to cut the hostage's throat. Basically we found he had no choice but to attempt the shot which even he admitted he wouldn't have taken under any other circumstances. Still, it was a hell of a shot and a standing testament to his skill as a shooter. [bTW, this shooter retired from law enforcement right after the incident and entered into psychological treatment which should provide the readers with a good idea of just how killing another human being under extream circumstances can and will affect that person.] Also, I tend to agree with your assessment with respect to a south knoll kill-shot as opposed to a north knoll shot for the same reasons. But, that in of itself does not preclude a north knoll shooter. Respectfully:
  9. John Ritchson

    The Rifle

    Thanks Jack, For those readers who don't know Jack White, he is one of our premiere researchers and I strongly recommend any serious student of the JFK Assassination to carefully study his work. Respectfully:
  10. John Ritchson

    The windshield holes

    [snipped for Brevity] Howdy Lee, The best way I can address this issue is by way of an anecdote: I was once involved in the forensic aspects of a prison shooting in which a deranged prisoner took a nurse hostage and was using her as a human shield with a knife at her throat. The sniper who took him out was positioned in a 20 meter guntower and firing about 300 meters dowrange, using a 7.62mm/.308 cartridge with a 180 grain Speer Silvertip bullet. The prisoner behind his hostage was about 2 meters from the window when the sniper took his shot. The bullet, at that angle of trajectory, penetrated 12.7mm of steel impregnated tempered glass, knocked the nurse out cold from its supersonic shockwave and nearly blew the head off of the prisoner. The sniper had about a 50mm margin of error when he made that shot. So is the '06 scenario plausable? You Bet! Respectfully:
  11. John Ritchson

    John Heinz and John Tower

    Part18. Appendix The Secrecy Oath the Author signed after Robert Blakey took over the HSCA, and correspondence between the author and various committee members. Exhibit A ____________________________________________________________ Select Committee on Assassinations Nondisclosure Agreement [Richard E. Sprague] I, ____________________, in consideration for being employed by or engaged by contract or otherwise to perform services for or at the request of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, or any Member thereof, da hereby make the representations and accept the obligations set forth below as conditions precedent for my employment or engagement, or for my continuing employment or engagement, with the Select Com- mittee, the United States House of Representatives, or the United States Congress. 1. I have read the Rules of the Select Committee, and I hereby agree to be bound by them and by the Rules of the House of Representatives. 2. I hereby agree never to divulge, publish or reveal by words, conduct or otherwise, any testimony given before the Select Committee in executive session (including the name of any witness who appeared or was summoned to appear before the Select Committee in executive session), any classifiable and properly classified information (as defined in 5 U.S.C. Section 552((1)), or any information pertaining to intelligence sources or methods as designated by the Director of Central Intelligence, or any con- fidential information that is received by the Select Committee or that comes into my possession by virtue of my position with the Select Committee, to any person not a member of the Select Committee or its staff or the personal staff representative of a Committee Member unless authorized in writing by the Select Committee, or, after the Select Committee's termination, by such manner as the House of Representatives may determine or, in the absence of a determination by the House, in such manner as the Agency or Department from which the information origin- ated may determine. I further agree not to divulge, publish or reveal by words, conduct or otherwise, any other information which is received by the Select Committee or which comes into my possession by virtue of my position with the Select Committee, for the duration of the Select Committee's existence. 3. I hereby agree that any material that is based upon or may include information that I hereby pledge not to disclose, and that is contemplated for publication by me will, prior to discussing it with or showing it to any publishers, editors or literary agents, be submitted to the Select Committee to deter- mine whether said material contains any information that I hereby pledge not to disclose. The Chairman of the Select Com- mittee shall consult with the Director of Central Intelligence for the purpose of the Chairman's determination as to whether or not the material contains information that I pledge not to disclose. I further agree to take no steps toward publication until authorized in writing by the Select Committee, or after its termination, by such manner as the House of Representatives may determine, or in the absence of a determination by the House, in such manner as the Agency or Department from which the information originated may determine. 4. I hereby agree to familiarize myself with the Select Committee's security procedures, and provide at all times the required degree of protection against unauthorized disclosure for all information and materials that come into my possession by virtue of my position with the Select Committee. 5. I hereby agree to immediately notify the Select Com- mittee of any attempt by any person not a member of the Select Committee staff to solicit information from me that I pledge not to disclose. 6. I hereby agree to immediately notify the Select Committee if I am called upon to testify or provide information to the proper authorities that I pledge not to disclose. I will request that my obligation to respond is established by the Select Committee, or after its termination, by such manner as the House of Representatives may determine, before I do so. 7. I hereby agree to surrender to the Select Committee upon demand by the Chairman or upon my separation from the Select Committee staff, any material, including any classified information or information pertaining to intelligence sources or methods as designated by the Director of Central Intelligence, which comes into my possession by virtue of my position with the Select Committee. I hereby acknowledge that all documents acquired by me in the course of my employment are and remain the property of the United States. 8. I understand that any violation of the Select Committee Rules, security procedures or this agreement shall constitute grounds for dismissal from my current employment. 9. I hereby assign to the United States Government all rights, title and interest in any and all royalties, remunera- tions and emoluments that have resulted or may result from any divulgence, publication or revelation in violation of this agreement. 10. I understand and agree that the United States Government may choose to apply, prior to any unauthorized disclosure by me, for a court order prohibiting disclosure. Nothing in this agreement constitutes a waiver on the part of the United States of the right to prosecute for any statutory violation. Nothing in this agreement constitutes a waiver on my part of any defenses I may otherwise have in any civil or criminal proceedings. 11. I have read the provisions of the Espionage Laws, Sections 793, 794 and 798, Title 18, United States Code, and of Section 783, Title 50, United States Code, and I am aware that unauthorized disclosure of certain classified information may subject me to prosecution. I have read Section 1001, Title 18, United States Code, and I am aware that the making of a false statement herein is punishable as a felony. I have also read Executive Order 11652, and the implementing National Security Council directive of May 17, 1972, relating to the protection of classified information. 12. Unless released in writing from this agreement or any portion thereof by the Select Committee, I recognize that all the conditions and obligations imposed on me by this agreement apply during my Committee employment or engagement and continue to apply after the relationship is terminated. 13. No consultant shall indicate, divulge or acknowledge, without written permission of the Select Committee, the fact that the Select Committee has engaged him or her by contract as a consultant until after the Select Committee has terminated. 14. In addition to any rights for criminal prosecution or for injunctive relief the United States Government may have for violation of this agreement, the United States Government may file a civil suit in an appropriate court for damages as a consequence of a breach of this agreement. The costs of any civil suit brought by the United States for breach of this agreement, including court costs, investigative expenses, and reasonable attorney fees, shall be borne by any defendant who loses such suit. In any civil suit for damages successfully brought by the United States Government for breach of this agreement, actual damages may be recovered, or, in the event that such actual damages may be impossible to calculate, liquidated damages in an amount of $5,000 shall be awarded as a reasonable estimate for damages to the credibility and effectiveness of the investigation. 15. I hereby agree that in any suit by the United States Government for injunctive or monetary relief pursuant to the terms of this agreement, personal jurisdiction shall obtain and venue shall lie in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, or in any other appropriate United States District Court in which the United States may elect to bring suit. I further agree that the law of the District of Columbia shall govern the interpretation and construction of this agreement. 16. Each provision of this agreement is severable. If a court should find any part of this agreement to be unenforceable, all other provisions of this agreement shall remain in full force and effect. I make this agreement without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and I agree that it may be used by the Select Committee in carrying out its duty to protect the security of information provided to it. [July 19, 1977] [Richard E., Sprague] Date: _____________________ _________________________________ [ I am submitting a list of material and information which has already been _________________________________ given to the committee, LOUIS STOKES, Chariman or which I intend to Select Committee on Assassinations give to the committee in the near future. I intend to publish some of this information.] Exhibit B ____________________________________________________________ 193 Pinewood Road Hartsdale, NY 10530 February 10, 1978 Mr. Louis Stokes Chairman, Select Committee on Assassinations U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515 Dear Louis: As I am sure you know, I signed a non disclosure agreement for the Select Committee, given to me on July 19, 1977 by Robert Blakey. Not being a lawyer, I did not really appreciate some of the provisions of that agreemont at the time I signed it, even though some things in it seemed strange to me. In the last fow months I have gone over the agreement several times, with particular attention to those strange portions. The more I re- read the agreement, the more puzzled I have become. I was finally triggered into writing you this letter by a conversation I had with Richard A. Sprague. As you may recall I helped him and Bob Tanenbaum from November 1976 forward with the photographic evidence in the JFK case, and several other areas derived from my relationship with Jim Garrison and the Committee to Investigate Assassinations. I had no written agreement with the Committee at that time and did not ask for compensation for the work I had been doing. I had signed no non dis- closure agreement and such an agreement had never been mentioned. The first time I had any idea that the Committee would want to pay me for my assistance was some time after Dick Sprague resigned, when Mr. Blakey approached me about it through Bob Tanenbaum, shortly before Bob resigned. My recent meeting with Dick Sprague naturally led to discussion about my continuing work for the Committee. He raised the subject of the non disclosure agreement signed by each staff member, saying that he would never have enforced such a document while he was chief counsel because he believes it gives the CIA and other agencies too much power to control the activities of the Committee. It was because of that statement that I read the agreement again in the light of what he said. I know that you had a lot of faith in Richard A. Sprague and did not personally want him to resign. For that reason I'm writing to you rather than Mr. Blakey, seeking answers to my questions. Encloged is a copy of the agreement with my signature. I have circled on it the paragraphs in question, and underlined the key words. My questions, Mr. Stokes are as follows: 1. Are paragraphs 2, 3 and 7 inserted for the purpose of giving the CIA power over the Select Committee to investigate the CIA's role in the assassinations or the cover up crimes following the assassinations of President Kennedy or Dr. King? I believe those paragraphs could be so interpreted, especially if each committee member and each staff member signed a similar agreement. 2. If the purposes of paragraphs 2, 3 and 7 are not as questioned above, then how can the Select Committee, its staff or its con- sultants, *ever* discover whether the CIA was involved in the assassinations or whether the CIA, as I maintain, is *still* involved in covering up the conspiracies? For example, paragraph 3 states that you as chairman, shall con- sult with the Director of Central Intelligence--to determine whether or not the material I might receive contains information that I pledge not to disclose. Assuming that all committee staff people signed that paragraph, it would seem to me that you would really be hamstrung in investi- gating the CIA's possible role. Your staff could not be working with any documents or other materials pointing toward CIA agents' involvement in the assassinations, without you personally having to show those documents to the Director of Central Intelligence and to obtain his agreement to disclose the information to the public. The CIA Director has the power of judging what can be released. Obviously, anything incriminating to the CIA, especially higher level people who may have been involved, would be judged unreleas- able. None of this would take on the significance that it does, were it not for my belief that the CIA itself has continued to cover up the original conspiracy and that several CIA agents or contract employees carried out the murder. 3. Is paragraph 12 really logical, or even legal? Can an agreement with a body be extended ad infinitum after the body has dissolved? 4. Paragraph 14 bothers me. It seems to say that I agree to allow the government to sue me and to bear the expenses of such a suit. Is it really legal to ask me to agree to be sued as a condition of my consulting contract? Couldn't the government sue me and collect expenses anyway if I did something wrong, without such a clause? Paragraph 16 seems to anticipate that Paragraph 14 may not stand up in court. (Or some other paragraph.) I want to make it clear that my concerns in this matter are not related to any obligation I may have. Rather, I am concerned about the purposes of those clauses in the agreement, as they affect the investigations. I believe every staff member signed them. I would appreciate hearing directly from you on these questions Mr. Stokes, rather than referring this letter to Mr. Blakey. Yours sincerely, Richard E. Sprague Exhibit C ____________________________________________________________ LOUIS STOKES, OHIO, CHAIRMAN RICHARDSON PREYER, N.C. SAMUEL L. DEVINE, OHIO WALTER E. FAUNTROY, D.C. STEWART B. MCKINNEY, CONN. YVONNE BRATHWAITE BURKE, CALIF. CHARLES THONE, NEBR. CHRISTOPHER J. DODD, CONN. HAROLD S. SAWYER, MICH. HAROLD E. FORD, TENN. FLOYD J. FITHIAN, IND. ROBERT W. EDGAR, PA. ------------ (202) 225-4624 Select Committee on Assassinations U.S House of Representatives 3331 HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING, ANNEX 2 WASHINGTON, D.C. 20515 MAR 16 1978 Richard E. Sprague, Esq. 193 Pinewood Road Hartsdale, New York 10530 Dear Mr. Sprague: In response to your letter of February 10, 1978 concerning the non-disclosure agreement which you signed with the Committee, I wish to first remind you that the agreement was explicitly explained to you provision by provision by Mr. Blakey, and that you were given the opportunity to ask any questions that you desired prior to your signing the agreement. I want to assure you that the intent of the agreement is not to prevent information from ultimately being disclosed to the American public. The non-disclosure agreement only governs the timing of disclosure of information to the public. In response to your specific questions: I. Paragraphs 2, 3 and 7 obviously are not for the purpose of giving the CIA power over the Select Committee to investigate the CIA's role in the assassination. If you read these paragraphs carefully, they clearly provide that the Select Committee, during its existence, will be in full control and have access to all information. The paragraphs do prevent you from disclosing the information, without the authorization of the Select Committee. Paragraph 3 does state that I, as Chairman, will consult with the Director of Central Intelligence to determine whether or not material contains information which you pledge not to disclose. I, however, retain ultimate authority and I only consult with the Director of Central Intelligence - I am not bound by his opinion. II. Paragraphs 12 and 14 are indeed legal. Should you have any specific questions concerning the legality of any of the provisions, I suggest you consult your own attorney. I assure you that the very purpose of the non- disclosure agreement is to give the Select Committee full control over the conduct of the investigation, including the ultimate disclosure of information to the American public. In no manner should it be construed as the Committee being restricted in its investigation by the CIA or any other federal agency or department. In closing, I remind you of paragraph 13 of the non-disclosure agreement which provides that you may not "indicate, divulge or acknowledge" the fact that you have been retained as a consultant until after the Select Committee has been terminated. I have seen a press release concerning yourself issued by Mr. Altmans in conjunction with a new article in Gallery magazine. I note that while you technically did not violate the non-disclosure agreement which you signed, by carefully wording the release to describe the work you had done for the Committee in the past, this is the exact kind of exploitation of a consultant relationship that the Committee desires to avoid during its existence. If you have any other questions or comments on the non-disclosure agreement, they should be addressed to Mr. Blakey as Chief Counsel. Sincerely, [Louis Stokes] Louis Stokes Chairman LS:jwc Exhibit D ____________________________________________________________ 193 Pinewood Road Hartsdale, NY 10530 April 5, 1978 Representative Louis Stokes U.S. House of Representatives Raybur House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 Dear Louis, Thank you for your most reassuring letter of March 16, 1978. As you know I have great faith in your own personal integrity and your goals as discussed with you at lunch nearly a year ago. I understand the necessity for non disclosure and sensitive discretion in the way the Select Committee is pro- ceeding. I believe I understand it more than most researchers because of my close working relationship with the staff and the committee ever since it started. You can rest assured that it is my intention to continue to assist you and to support your efforts right up to the finish line. I want to avoid as much as you do any exploitation of my relationship to the committee that would cause problems for you or for me, especially with the media. There will be another article in the June 1978 issue using this same statement. I believe I mentioned the article to you several months ago. It is about the CIA weapon system developed by Charles Senseney at Fort Detrick, Maryland using rocket propelled flechettes carrying paralyzing poison launched by an umbrella. I described in the article the evidence pointing toward the use of this weapons system in Dealey Plaza. The article will appear on May 2 on the newsstands. I read your March 16 letter, on March 22, upon my return from a trip to Japan and a vacation. I contacted Gallery asking them to delete entirely the statement about me and the Select Committee. They told me it was too late, that the issue had already gone to press. However, they did agree to delete the statement from any [the remainder of this letter was missing from the copy of the edition used to make this on-line version. --Editor] Exhibit E ____________________________________________________________ LOUIS STOKES, OHIO, CHAIRMAN RICHARDSON PREYER, N.C. SAMUEL L. DEVINE, OHIO WALTER E. FAUNTROY, D.C. STEWART B. MCKINNEY, CONN. YVONNE BRATHWAITE BURKE, CALIF. CHARLES THONE, NEBR. CHRISTOPHER J. DODD, CONN. HAROLD S. SAWYER, MICH. HAROLD E. FORD, TENN. FLOYD J. FITHIAN, IND. ROBERT W. EDGAR, PA. ------------ (202) 225-4624 Select Committee on Assassinations U.S House of Representatives 3331 HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING, ANNEX 2 WASHINGTON, D.C. 20515 May 15, 1978 Mr. Richard Sprague 193 Pinewood Road Hartsdale, NY 10530 Dear Mr. Sprague: Thank you for your thoughtful letter of April 5 and I hope that you will excuse my delay in responding. I appreciate your expression of confidence in me and your reassurance of your continued support. With regard to the matter of the press release, I understand your situation and it was most thoughtful of you to advise me in advance about the article in the June issue of Gallery magazine. Your letter has been sent on to the Committee staff in order that they might share your recommendations about Richard Case Nagell. Thank you again for your continuing support. Sincerely, [Louis Stokes] LOUIS STOKES Chairman LS:thn Exhibit F ____________________________________________________________ 193 Pinewood Road Hartsdale, New York 10530 September 22, 1978 Representative Yvonne Burke U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515 Dear Mrs. Burke: I don't know whether you recall our meeting on July 21, 1977 when Jack White, Robert Groden and I made presentations to the J.F.K. subcommittee of the Select Committee on Assassinations. You may remember my showing a summary of photographic evidence of conspiracy in the Kennedy assassination. You asked some very pertinent questions which I answered about how to obtain films and photos from media organizations that were stonewalling at the time. I am truly sorry that you have missed the first three weeks of the J.F.K. hearings because I feel that your presence would have created at least a minority of one against the carefully orchestrated cover up that is now takinq place. I had great faith in the committee, especially after a luncheon meeting with Louis Stokes in 1977 and after the presentation to you. I want you personally to know that I have now lost all of that faith. The farce that is going on is really almost unbelievable to an honest researcher. All witnesses (except Cyril Wecht), all panels employed by the committee, the staff and the committee members doing the questioning, obviously made up their minds a long time ago that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin, that there was no conspiracy and that the Warren Commission was right. I cannot understand how this came about. As the most likely committee member to still keep an open mind, I would like to ask your opinion. How did the committee staff ignore all of the evidence of conspiracy. I am speaking not only about the photographic evidence, but about the information that Clifford Fenton and his team uncovered in New Orleans. I know you know about that from my conversations with Ted Gandolfo and Jim Garrison. Do you believe there was a conspiracy? If you do, will you say so when you return to Washington? Will you insist that the committee hear from the important New Orleans witnesses as well as the others I recommended long long ago. Specifically, will you insist that the committee call as witnesses: James Hosty, Warren du Bruys, Regis Kennedy, Richard Case Nagell, Harry Dean, Ronald Augustinovich, Mary Hope, Guy Gabaldin, Frenchy, William Seymour, Emilio Santana, Jack Lawrence, Jim Braden, E. Howard Hunt, Richard Helms and the others listed in the document I gave Louis Stokes in 1977. If you can't or won't, God help this country. Yours sincerely, Richard E. Sprague P.S. In the case of key witness Richard Case Nagell, Mr. Stokes assured me this spring that the committee would contact him. As of this date, he has never been contacted. He knows who killed President Kennedy. Exhibit G ____________________________________________________________ LOUIS STOKES, OHIO, CHAIRMAN RICHARDSON PREYER, N.C. SAMUEL L. DEVINE, OHIO WALTER E. FAUNTROY, D.C. STEWART B. MCKINNEY, CONN. YVONNE BRATHWAITE BURKE, CALIF. CHARLES THONE, NEBR. CHRISTOPHER J. DODD, CONN. HAROLD S. SAWYER, MICH. HAROLD E. FORD, TENN. FLOYD J. FITHIAN, IND. ROBERT W. EDGAR, PA. ------------ (202) 225-4624 Select Committee on Assassinations U.S House of Representatives 3331 HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING, ANNEX 2 WASHINGTON, D.C. 20515 October 10, 1978 Mr. Richard Sprague 193 Pinewood Road Hartsdale, New York 10530 Dear Mr. Sprague: I was greatly disturbed by your letter of September 23, 1978 in which you stated that, "I have one last hope that what we are witnessing in your hearings is a charade meant to fool the FBI and the CIA. If it is, you have fooled me. If it is not, your statements to me over the past year about getting at the truth were all meaningless. I have lost all faith in you and the committee." I must say that I deeply regret the fact that you have lost faith in the performance of my committee. We have attempted to do a thorough, competent and professional job which would be a source of pride for you and other concerned Americans. I should state here for the record, Mr. Sprague, that I find nothing inconsistent in my statements to you over the year indicating that the committee would be seeking the truth and nothing but the truth during the course of the investigation and the testimony that the committee has received during its public hearings. Perhaps you are confused because I did not explicitly state that the truth the committee is seeking is not your truth or my truth, but truth supported by the weight of the evidence. Thanks again for your past and current concerns. I assure you that the committee will make every effort to tell the whole story to the American people. Sincerely, [Louis Stokes] Chairman LS: icmj Exhibit H ____________________________________________________________ 193 Pinewood Road Hartsdale, NY 10530 October 30, 1978 Representative Louis Stokes Select Committee on Assassinations U.S. House of Representatives 3369 House Office Building, Annex 2 Washington, D.C. 20515 Dear Louis: I appreciate your responding to my September 23 letter. I am truly sorry to be so disturbing to you concerning the committee's hearings. I wish I could be more complimentary and positive about your work. I could not agree with you more that the "truth supported by the weight of the evidence" is what we are all after. I'm enclosing for your information one more copy of the document I gave to Henry Gonzalez, Richard A. Sprague, Bob Tannenbaum, and you in 1976 and 1977. Unless you call the witnesses listed on pages 4-6 of this document, Louis, you have not dealt with the most impor- tant evidence of all. How can you possibly claim to have unearthed anything approximating the truth, unless you and the rest of the committee interrogate with strength, the following important witnesses that you missed: Richard Case Nagell, James P. Hosty, Louis Ivon, Victor Marchetti, Gorden Novel, Ronald Augustinovich, Mary Hope, Manuel Garcia Gonzalez, William Seymour, Emilio Santana, Guy Gabaldin, Major L.M. Bloomfield, Harry Williams, Sylvia Odio and Jim Garrison. The document explains how each of these witnesses was involved in the assassination of investigations of it. It is based, not just on my research, but on painful hours of investigative efforts of many, many people, including Jim Garrison's professional staff, the Committee to Investigate Assassinations and others. I understand that James P. Hosty is finally ready to tell his real story, at the risk of physical harm to himself and his family. You have not called him. Richard Case Nagell has been ready to testify for a long time. Despite my requests to Dr. Blakey and to you, he has not been called and no effort has been made to locate him through the only person who knows where he is, Dick Russell. If you will pardon my saying so Louis, something about just those two failures stinks, not to mention all of the others. It is not too late to save your reputations. You can still call those witnesses in December. I hope you do. Yours Sincerely, Dick Sprague Exhibit I ____________________________________________________________ 193 Pinewood Road Hartsdale, NY 10530 November 24, 1978 Representative Louis Stokes Select Committee on Assassinations U.S. House of Representatives 3369 House Office Building, Annex 2 Washington, D.C. 20515 Dear Louis: I am still waiting for a reply to my letter of October 30, 1978. I thought I should write again to remind you that the witnesses you should call in December are not going to be around much longer. I'm afraid that Gorden Novel, Richard Case Nagell, James Hosty and Warren de Brueys, in particular may go the same way that Regis Kennedy, William Sullivan, and George de Mohrenschildt went. You really must call them before they die. Regis Kennedy reportedly died of natural causes the day before you were to talk with him. I do not believe that. How many more key witnesses have to die before you would be convinced? Kennedy, du Brueys and Hosty were Oswald's points of contact in the FBI, receiving his reports on the conspiratorial group planning JFK's assassination. I have known this since 1971 directly from Hosty's own lips via Carver Gaten and Jim Gochenaur. Regis Kennedy also knew why the FBI was searching for Clay Shaw under his alias Clay Bertrand in New Orleans, *before* Dean Andrews received that phone call from him about defending Oswald. Kennedy may also have been one of the three agents who took the Babushka lady's film away from her. At least she told me he was one of them from his photo. So Regis Kennedy had to die. So do Warren du Brueys and James Hosty. If they die of "natural causes" in the next month or two, don't say I didn't warn you. Nagell and Novel are in even greater danger. Nagell may now be safe. He fled the country recently. However, the CIA has tentacles everywhere, so he will not really be safe wherever he is. Novel could easily be killed, since he is in prison. That is one of the easiest places for the death squad to catch up with him. As I have had told you in previous letters, the reason you *must* call Novel is that there is a very strong possibility that he is the umbrella man. If you laugh at that and try to tell me that you found the umbrella man, Mr. Witt, I'll laugh right back at you and tell you that farce you put on for the American public didn't fool anyone with his eyes even half way open. In addition to the obviously planned sequence of events and the way in which Mr. Witt surfaced, his umbrella was certainly not the one used in Dealey Plaza. It was the wrong size, had the wrong number of ribs, and was missing the two round white bulbs on either end when folded up. No, Louis, Mr. Witt was either planted upon you or else your staff planted him. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt for the moment and assume that you do not know he was a plant. If you let it go as is, you and Mr. Preyer and the rest of the committee are going to look pretty silly. You absolutely must call as witnesses, Gorden Novel, and at the other end, Charles Sensenay and the CIA people asso- ciated with Fort Detrick, Maryland, where that umbrella launching system was made. Incidentally, two Bulgarian intelligence agents have recently been assassinated in England with an umbrella weapon using poison flechettes, very similar to the one used on JFK. I would appreciate a response to this letter telling me what you plan to do about those witnesses. Best regards, Dick Sprague Exhibit J ____________________________________________________________ LOUIS STOKES, OHIO, CHAIRMAN RICHARDSON PREYER, N.C. SAMUEL L. DEVINE, OHIO WALTER E. FAUNTROY, D.C. STEWART B. MCKINNEY, CONN. YVONNE BRATHWAITE BURKE, CALIF. CHARLES THONE, NEBR. CHRISTOPHER J. DODD, CONN. HAROLD S. SAWYER, MICH. HAROLD E. FORD, TENN. FLOYD J. FITHIAN, IND. ROBERT W. EDGAR, PA. ------------ (202) 225-4624 Select Committee on Assassinations U.S House of Representatives 3331 HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING, ANNEX 2 WASHINGTON, D.C. 20515 December 4, 1978 Mr. Dick Sprague 193 Pinewood Rqad Hartsdale, New York 10530 Dear Mr. Sprague: Thank you for your letter of November 24, 1978. I am aware of the amount of time you have spent analyzing the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and your interest in the work of the Select Committee on Assassinations since its inception. However, I regret that under our Rules, it is impossible for us to respond to your letter in a manner which would reveal the substance or procedure of our investigation, or the names of those persons who will be called to testify before the committee. The committee is, of course, grateful for your suggestions and those of the many other concerned citizens who have taken the time to write. Sincerely, [Louis Stokes] LOUIS STOKES Chairman LS:jl Exhibit K ____________________________________________________________ LOUIS STOKES, OHIO, CHAIRMAN RICHARDSON PREYER, N.C. SAMUEL L. DEVINE, OHIO WALTER E. FAUNTROY, D.C. STEWART B. MCKINNEY, CONN. YVONNE BRATHWAITE BURKE, CALIF. CHARLES THONE, NEBR. CHRISTOPHER J. DODD, CONN. HAROLD S. SAWYER, MICH. HAROLD E. FORD, TENN. FLOYD J. FITHIAN, IND. ROBERT W. EDGAR, PA. ------------ (202) 225-4624 Select Committee on Assassinations U.S House of Representatives 3331 HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING, ANNEX 2 WASHINGTON, D.C. 20515 JAN 16 1978 Richard E. Sprague, Esq. 193 Pinewood Road Hartsdale, New York 10530 Dear Mr. Sprague: In response to your letter of January 9, 1978, I have reviewed your proposed article "The CIA Weapon System Used in the Assassination of President Kennedy." It is my opinion that the article is derived from your own sources of information, and contains no information that has come into your possession by virtue of your consulting work with the Committee. Accordingly, your proposed publication of the article does not violate the terms of your non- disclosure agreement. As I am sure you can appreciate, further comment by myself upon the article or its proposed publication would be inappropriate, and consequently I decline to express any review or comment upon it. Thank you for your continuing cooperation with the Select Committee. Sincerely, [G. Robert Blakey] G. Robert Blakey GRB:jwc Exhibit L ____________________________________________________________ 193 Pinewood Road Hartsdale, NY 10530 August 3, 1978 Mr. Robert Blakey Select Committee on Assassinations U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515 Dear Bob: Following our telephone conversation on Tuesday August 1, I checked with Bob Cutler, my co-author on the Umbrella Weapon System article in Gallery June 1978. Bob told me he left with Mr. Preyer and with you, photographic material showing that The Umbrella Man (TUM) was quite probably J. Gordon Novel. Your news photo of him reinforces that belief for both of us. I did not have that portion of the Couch film from WFAA and so had never seen TUM's face as clearly as it appears there. The Bothun photo of him has a light reflection around his nose, as I'm sure you know. We have a 1962-3 photo of Novel taken from the same angle as the Couch, film of TUM and a photo comparison convinces us more than ever that Novel is TUM. Mr. Preyer no doubt told you back in April that Novel is in a jail in Georgia, framed for a crime he and Jim Garrison, his former lawyer, both claim he didn't commit. Best regards, Dick Sprague DS/mc P.S. I am still waiting for a response to my letters to Louis Stokes about attending the hearings beginning August 14. cc: L. Stokes R. Cutler End Part18.
  12. John Ritchson

    John Heinz and John Tower

    Part17. Chapter 17 THE FINAL COVER UP: How The CIA Controlled The House Select Committee On Assassinations Introduction The final report of the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), issued in 1979, concluded that a conspiracy existed in the assassination of President Kennedy. This news should have delighted hundreds of researchers who had disagreed with the no- conspiracy finding of the Warren Commission. The fact that it did not, is due to the HSCA conspiracy being a simple one, with Lee Harvey Oswald still firing all but one of the shots from the sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository Building. The existence of another shooter and another shot, from the grassy knoll, was "proved" by the HSCA, based primarily on acoustical evidence presented in the very last month of their public hearings. Dr. Robert Blakey and Richard Billings, chief counsel and report editor for the HSCA, co-authored, in 1981, a book, "The Plot to Kill the President," following the publication of the HSCA's final report. The book claimed that the other shooter and Oswald were part of a Mafia plot to kill JFK. To over simplify the current (1985) situation, most JFK researchers feel that the American public had been deceived once again. The HSCA reaffirmed all but one of the Warren Commission's findings, including even the famed single bullet theory. The simplified conspiracy finding is now subject to review by the Justice Department and the FBI because it is based on very questionable acoustical evidence. Justice commissioned the so- called Ramsey Panel[1] to review this evidence, in 1981, under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences. It found no evidence from the acoustics that a grassy knoll shot was fired. So, we are back to no-conspiracy and Oswald being the lone assassin. And even if there was a conspiracy, Blakey claims it involved the Mafia and not the CIA. The HSCA report and all of its volumes of evidence omitting any reference to CIA involvement, concluded that the CIA was not involved, and did not reveal any evidence that the HSCA staff had collected showing that CIA people murdered JFK, and that the CIA has been covering up that fact ever since. Any followers of CIA activities connected with the JFK assassination, since 1963, must ask the question, how did they do it? How did the CIA turn things completely around from the 1976 days when Henry Gonzalez, Thomas Downing, Richard A. Sprague, Robert Tanenbaum, Cliff Fenton and others were pursuing the truth about the assassination, to essentially the same status as when the Warren Commission finished its work? How did they produce the final cover-up? The answer is that the CIA controlled the HSCA and its investigation and findings from the early part of 1977, forward. The methods they used were as clever and devious as any they had used previously to control the Warren Commission, the Rockefeller Commission, the Garrison Investigation, the Schweiker/Hart Committee[2] and the efforts of independent researchers. The Situation in 1976 In 1976, Henry Gonzalez, member of the House from Texas, and Thomas Downing from Virginia, were both convinced there was a massive conspiracy in the JFK assassination. They introduced a joint bill in the House which resulted in the formation of the HSCA and an investigation of the JFK and King assassinations. Gonzalez believed there were at least four conspiracies in the assassinations of JFK, MLK, Robert Kennedy and in the attempted assassination of George Wallace. He introduced an original bill to have the House investigate all four and the cover-ups and links among them. Downing was primarily interested in the JFK case and his original bill dealt only with that conspiracy. Mark Lane and his committee members and supporters around the country joined forces with Coretta King and the Black Caucus in the House to pressure Congressmen and Tip O'Neill to investigate the King and John Kennedy assassinations. The net result was a merging of the Gonzalez and Downing bills into a Final HSCA bill dealing with only two of the cases. In the fall of 1976, with Downing as chairman, the HSCA selected Richard A. Sprague, from the Philadelphia District Attorney's office, to be chief counsel. Sprague hired four professional investigators and criminal lawyers from New York City. They were very good and completely independent of the CIA and FBI, having been trained by one of the best professionals in the business, D.A. Frank Hogan of New York. Sprague and his JFK team, headed by Bob Tanenbaum, attorney, and Cliff Fenton, chief detective, were going after the real assassins and their bosses, whether this led them to the CIA or FBI or anywhere else. Sprague had already made it clear to the HSCA that he would investigate CIA involvement, and subpoena CIA people, documents and other information, whether classified or not. He had also had meetings with several researchers, including the author, and made it known privately that he was going to use the talent and knowledge of every reliable researcher on a consulting basis. He had contacted Jim Garrison in New Orleans and informed him he would be following up on all of his information and leads. He had initiated an investigation of the CIA activities in Mexico City connected with the JFK assassination, including information supplied to Sprague by the author.[3] R.A. Sprague and Tanenbaum were aware of the CIA connections of the individuals involved in the JFK assassination in Dealey Plaza, in Mexico City, in New Orleans and in the Florida Keys. They had, in November 1976, exposed the entire HSCA staff to all of the photographic evidence showing these people in Dealey Plaza and elsewhere. They were aware of the assassination planning meetings held by CIA people in Mexico City and knew who the higher level conspirators were. They had initiated searches for the real assassins; Frenchy, William Seymour, Emilio Santana, Jack Lawrence, Fred Lee Crisman, Jim Braden, Jim Hicks, et al. They were planning to interview CIA contract agents, Richard Case Nagell, Harry Dean, Gordon Novel, Ronald Augustinovich, Mary Hope and Guy Gabaldin. Cliff Fenton had been appointed head of a team of investigators to follow up on the New Orleans part of the conspiracy which had included CIA agents and people; Clay Shaw, David Ferrie, Guy Banister, Manuel Garcia Gonzalez, Sergio Arcacha Smith, Gordon Novel and others. They were going to contact people who had attended assassination planning meetings in New Orleans. From the photographic evidence surrounding the sixth floor window, as well as the grassy knoll, Sprague, Tanenbaum and most of the staff knew Oswald had not fired any shots, knew no shots came from the sixth floor window, and knew there had been shots from the Dal Tex Building and the knoll. They knew the single bullet theory was not true, and knew there had been a well-planned crossfire in Dealey Plaza. They were not planning to waste a lot of time reviewing and rehashing the Dealey Plaza evidence, except as it might lead to the real assassins. They had set up an investigation in Florida and the Keys, of the evidence and leads developed in 1967 by Garrison. Gaeton Fonzi was in charge of that part of Sprague's team. They were going to check out the people in the CIA that had been running and funding the No Name Key group and other Anti-Castro groups. Seymour, Santana, Manuel Garcia Gonzalez, Jerry Patrick Hemming, Loran Hall, Lawrence Howard, Frenchy and Cubans Rolando Masferrer and Carlos Prio Socarras were to be found and interrogated. Tanenbaum and his research team had seen the photo collection of Dick Billings from "Life Magazine" which was, by 1976, deposited in the Georgetown University Library's JFK assassination collection. The No Name Key people and others showing up in Garrison's investigation appeared in these photos with high level CIA agents. In 1977, Henry Gonzalez, who was far more supportive of a CIA conspiracy idea than Tom Downing, was to become chairman of the HSCA. Downing did not run for re-election in 1976 and was retiring. At that point, December 1976, Gonzalez and Sprague were of the same mind and getting along fine. Researchers were very pleased with the way things were going and believed Sprague would expose the CIA's involvement in the JFK cover up. The CIA's problem Given this background of the HSCA status in late 1976, it can easily be seen that the CIA was up against much more serious opposition than it ever had been before in the JFK murder and cover-up. They had ruined Jim Garrison's reputation and curtailed his investigation by various dirty trick means. They had been in solid control of the Warren Commission by the simple expedient of having four of the Commissioners belonging to them; Dulles, Ford, McCloy and Russell. They were also able to kill enough people who knew the truth, to slow down any truth-seeking that might have taken place. They also hid documents, destroyed and altered evidence, lied about other evidence, and bald facedly (Dulles) admitted that they wouldn't tell the President or the Commission if Lee Harvey Oswald had been a CIA agent (which he had been). In the Rockefeller Commission situation they were in complete control of that attempt to reinforce the Warren Commission's findings. And in the Church Committee investigation, the Schweiker/Hart subcommittee on the JFK case was very limited and controlled in what they could do. But in the new situation, in Richard A. Sprague and his professionals with so much knowledge of the CIA's role in the murder and the cover-up, they faced a crisis. They knew they had to do several things to turn it around and to continue to keep the American public from realizing what was happening. Here is what they had to do: 1. Get rid of Richard A. Sprague. 2. Get rid of Henry Gonzalez. 3. Get rid of Sprague's key men or keep them away from CIA evidence or keep them quiet. 4. Install their own chief counsel to control the investigation. 5. Elect a new HSCA chairman who would go along, or who could be fooled. 6. Cut off all Sprague's investigations of CIA people. Make sure none of the people were found or bury any testimony that had already been found, or murder CIA people who might talk. 7. Keep the committee members from knowing what was happening and segregate the investigation from them. 8. Create a new investigative environment whose purpose would be to confirm all of the findings of the Warren Commission and divert attention away from the who-did- it-and-why approach. 9. Control the committee staff in such a way as to keep any of them from revealing what they already knew about CIA involvement. 10. Control committee consultants in the same way, and staff members who might leave or who might be fired. 11. Continue to control the media in such a way as to reinforce all of the above. 12. Continue to murder witnesses or assassins in emergency situations if necessary. The CIA successfully did all twelve of these things. The techniques they used were much more subtle and devious than those they had used before, although they did continue with murders of potential HSCA witnesses and with media control. How The CIA Did It The first step taken by the CIA was to use the media they control, along with some members of Congress they control, and two planted agents on the staff of and consulting for, Henry Gonzalez, to get rid of both Henry and Richard A. Sprague. In taking this step, they used the old Roman approach of divide and conquer. They made Gonzalez and his closest staff assistant, Gail Beagle, believe that Sprague was a CIA agent and that Gonzalez must get rid of him. They also made Gonzalez believe that some of his other associates, both in the HSCA and outside, were CIA agents. At the same time, they used the media to attack Sprague mercilessly. The key people in doing this attack on Sprague were three CIA reporters, George Lardner of the "Washington Post," Mr. Burnham of "The New York Times," and Jeremiah O'Leary of the "Washington Star." In all HSCA committee meetings and in Rules Committee and Finance Committee meetings, these three reporters sat next to each other, passed notes back and forth, and wrote articles continually attacking and undermining both Sprague and Gonzalez, as well as the entire committee. The CIA had the support of top management in all three news organizations in doing this. Gonzalez eventually tried to fire Sprague, was over-ruled by the committee, and then resigned from the committee. Sprague eventually resigned, because it became obvious that the CIA controlled members of the Finance and Rules Committees and other CIA allies in the House, were going to kill the committee unless he resigned. There are many more details to this story, which requires a book to describe. Suffice it to say, the CIA accomplished their first two goals by March 1977. The next steps were to install a CIA-controlled chief counsel and to get a chairman elected who could be fooled or coerced into appointing such a counsel. Lewis Stokes was a perfect choice for chairman. He was, and probably still is, a good and honest man. But he was completely bamboozled by what the CIA did and is still doing. The selection and implementation of a CIA man as chief counsel had to be done in an extremely subtle manner. It could not be obvious to anyone that he was a CIA man. Stokes and the other committee members had to be fooled into believing *they* had made the choice, and had picked a good man. Professor Robert Blakey, an apparently scientifically oriented, academic person, with a history of work against organized crime, was the perfect CIA choice. Once Dr. Blakey took over as chief counsel, he accomplished goals numbered 3, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 very nicely. The fourth and fifth goals having been achieved, Blakey set about the other parts of his assignment very rapidly after he arrived. For Goal 3, he fired Bob Tanenbaum, Bob Lehner, and Donovan Gay, three loyal Sprague supporters, quickly. The Nondisclosure Agreement The most important weapon used by the CIA and Blakey to pursue goals 9 and 10 was instituted within one week after Blakely arrived. It is by far the most subtle and far reaching technique used by the CIA to date. It is called the "Nondisclosure Agreement" and it was signed by all members of the committee, all staff members including Blakey, all consultants to the committee, and several independent researchers who met with Blakey in 1977. Signing the agreement was a condition for continued employment on the committee staff or for continuing consulting on a contract basis. The choice was, sign or get out. The author signed the agreement in July 1977, without realizing its implications at the time, in order to continue as a consultant. The agreement is reproduced in full in the Appendix and is labelled "Exhibit A." The author's consulting help was never sought after that and the obvious objective was to silence a consultant and not use his services. This CIA weapon has several parts. First, it binds the signer, if a consultant, to never reveal that he is working for the committee (see paragraph 13). Second, it prevents the signer from ever revealing to anyone in perpetuity, any information he has learned about the committee's work as a result of working for the committee (see paragraphs 2 and 12). Third, it gives the committee and the House, after the committee terminates, the power to take legal action against the signer, *in a court named by the committee* or the House, in case the committee believes the signer has violated the agreement. Fourth, the signer agrees to pay the court costs for such a suit in the event he loses the suit (see paragraphs 14 and 15). These four parts are enough to scare most researchers or staff members who signed it into silence forever about what they learned. The agreement is insidious in that the signer is, in effect, giving away his constitutional rights. Some lawyers who have seen the agreement, including Richard A. Sprague, have expressed the opinion it is an illegal agreement in violation of the Constitution and several Constitutional amendments. Whether it is illegal or not, most staff members and all consultants who signed it *have* remained silent, even after three and a half years beyond the life of the committee. There are only two exceptions, the author and Gaeton Fonzi, who published a lengthy article about the HSCA cover-up in the "Washingtonian" magazine in 1981. The most insidious parts of the agreement, however, are paragraphs 2, 3 and 7, which give the CIA very effective control over what the committee could and could not do with so-called "classified" information. The director of the CIA is given authority to determine, in effect, what information shall remain classified and therefore unavailable to nearly everyone. The signer of the agreement, and remember, this includes all of the Congressman and women who were members of the committee, agrees not to reveal or discuss any information that the CIA decides he should not. The chairman of the committee supposedly has the final say on what information is included, but in practice, even an intelligent and gutsy chairman would not be likely to override the CIA. Lewis Stokes did not attempt any final decisions. In fact, the CIA did not have to do very much under these clauses. The fact that Blakey was their man and kept nearly all of the CIA sensitive information, evidence, and witnesses away from the committee members was all that was necessary. Stokes never knew what he should have argued about with the CIA director. It is this document which proves beyond doubt that the CIA controlled the HSCA. The author attempted to point out to Stokes in a letter dated February 10, 1978, "Exhibit B," the type of control the agreement gives the CIA over the HSCA. Stokes replied in a March 16, 1978 letter, "Exhibit C," that he retained ultimate authority and was not bound by the opinion of the Central Intelligence Director. He also claimed that paragraphs 12 and 14, on extending the agreement in perpetuity and giving the government the right to file a civil suit in which the signer will pay all costs, were legal. He said in the letter that the purpose of the agreement was to give the HSCA control over the conduct of the investigation including *control over the ultimate disclosure of information to the American public*. That is a key admission about what has actually happened. The only question is, who is controlling the information in the heads of the staff investigators who discovered CIA involvement? Was Louis Stokes working for the public or for the CIA? Examples of CIA-Control Some specific examples will serve to illustrate how well the CIA techniques have worked and are still working. Garrison Evidence and Witnesses Example As mentioned earlier, when Blakey arrived, an investigating team headed by Cliff Fenton, reporting to Bob Tanenbaum, had already been hard at work tracking down leads to the CIA conspirators generated by Jim Garrison's investigation in New Orleans. This team eventually had four investigators, all professionals, and their work led them to believe that the CIA people in New Orleans had been involved in a large conspiracy to assassinate JFK. As Garrison told Ted Gandolfo, a New York City researcher, the Fenton team went much further than Garrison, in locating witnesses and other evidence of assassination planning meetings held in New Orleans, Mexico City and Dallas. In fact, they found a CIA man who attended those meetings, and who was willing to testify before the committee. The evidence was far more convincing than the testimony presented at the trial of Clay Shaw. In the Shaw Trial, CIA people were involved in meetings in addition to the one brought out in the trial. Clay Shaw, David Ferrie, William Seymour and others were involved. Fenton's team discovered a lot of other facts about how the CIA people planned and carried out the assassination. Their report about the conspiracy was solid and convincing and they were convinced. The CIA, through Robert Blakey, buried the Fenton report. Committee members were not told about the team's findings. The evidence was not included in the HSCA report, nor was it even referred to in the volumes. The witnesses in New Orleans were never called to testify. That included the CIA man at the meetings. Fenton and the other three members of his team, having signed the nondisclosure agreement, were legally sworn to secrecy, or at least they thought so. To this day they refuse to discuss anything with anybody. There may also have been threats of physical violence against them. There is no way to determine this. However, Fenton and the others are well aware of the witnesses that the CIA murdered just before they were about to testify before the HSCA. These included: William Sullivan, the FBI deputy under J. Edgar Hoover, who headed Division V, the domestic intelligence division; George de Mohrenschildt, Oswald's CIA contact in Dallas; John Roselli, the Mafia man involved in the CIA plots to assassinate Castro; Regis Kennedy, the FBI agent who knew a lot about Clay Shaw, alias Clay Bertrand, in New Orleans and who was one of Lee Harvey Oswald's FBI contacts; Rolando Masferrer, an anti-Castro Cuban murdered in Miami; and Carlos Prio Socarras, former Cuban premier, killed in his garage in Miami. With the knowledge of these murders, Fenton and his team would not have required any more than a gentle hint, to keep quiet. Frenchy Example The "tramp," Frenchy, who appears in seven photos taken in Dealey Plaza, is one of the most important CIA individuals in the JFK assassination. Researcher Bill Turner discovered that Frenchy had been in the Florida Keys working with CIA sponsored anti-Castro groups. Richard A. Sprague and Bob Tanenbaum knew about his role, and intended to go after him when the HSCA restored its subpoena power and obtained enough money. They were aware of the evidence that Frenchy fired the fatal shot from the grassy knoll. They had assigned a team of investigators to follow a lead to Frenchy provided by the author in the early part of 1977. Unfortunately, the CIA managed to keep both the subpoena power and the funds away from the committee until after they had forced the resignations of Gonzalez, Sprague and Tanenbaum. The power and funds were restored after Stokes was elected and after they installed their own man, Blakey. The investigative team remained, however, and they did search for and find Frenchy. But Blakey and the CIA suppressed that fact, and suppressed anything they may have learned from Frenchy. He is not mentioned in the report and was not called as a witness. The author dares not reveal the source of the above information because of the danger to staff people from the nondisclosure agreement. Nagell, Dean, Novel, and Augustinovich The Garrison investigation and a subsequent series of investigations by the author and other members of the Committee to Investigate Assassinations in 1967 to 1973, turned up several witnesses who were willing to talk privately about the CIA assassination team that murdered JFK. Harry Dean and Richard Case Nagell had been Lee Harvey Oswald's CIA contacts while he was in Mexico City and knew about assassination planning meetings held in Guy Gabaldin's apartment. Dean knew about William Seymour, CIA contract agent, attending those meetings and how Seymour had been pretending to be Oswald on many occasions. Gordon Novel knew how the CIA had covered up the truth about the assassination and how they went to extreme lengths to ruin Jim Garrison and his investigation. Novel had been employed by the CIA in this effort. Ronald Augustinovich and his friend, Mary Hope, had attended some of the Mexico City meetings. Richard Russell and the author tracked down all four of these witnesses prior to the arrival of Robert Blakey at the HSCA. Russell interviewed them and knew they would be willing to talk, given protection and some form of immunity. The author presented their names and their involvement to Richard A. Sprague, Henry Gonzalez, Lewis Stokes and Robert Tanenbaum in the fall of 1976. This was done as part of the author's consulting assignment for the HSCA. The names were in a memorandum to Sprague, which outlined the overall JFK conspiracy and the CIA's role, along with a recommendation of the sequence in which witnesses should be called. The idea was to base each witness interrogation on what had been established from interviewing prior witnesses, working slowly from cooperative witnesses, to non-cooperative witnesses, to actual assassins, to higher level CIA people.[4] The highest level people, E. Howard Hunt and Richard Helms, would be faced with accusers. As indicated earlier, Sprague and Tanenbaum could do nothing and did nothing up to the day they left. By early 1978 it became obvious that Blakey had done nothing about calling these CIA witnesses. The author initiated a series of letter exchanges with Blakey and Stokes, reminding them of these witnesses, and the possibility that their lives could be in danger prior to their being interviewed by HSCA. Dick Russell had obtained an agreement from Nagell to meet with the committee, but no contact had been made up to April 5, 1978, the date of the author's first letter to Stokes on this subject, "Exhibit D." Nagell was hiding in fear of his children's lives, not so much his own life. He was a real CIA agent and knew how they operated. Russell was the only person who knew where Nagell was. In the April 5th letter, a recommendation was given to Stokes that the committee contact Nagell through Russell, and contact the other witnesses on the original list. Stokes wrote on May 15, 1978, "Exhibit E," that the Nagell matter had been referred to Blakey for follow-up. Blakey never mentioned it by telephone or by letter. By September 1978, when the public hearings had begun, there was no indication that Blakey was going to call the CIA witnesses. Nagell was standing by but had not been contacted. The published, intended witness list did not contain any of these CIA names. The author wrote to Stokes and Representative Yvonne Burke on September 22 and 23, 1978, "Exhibits F," expressing dissatisfaction with the committee's failure to call the CIA witnesses, and suggesting that if they did not not, history would eventually catch up with them. The names were repeated in the letter to Burke, and specific mention made that the committee had never contacted Richard Case Nagell. Louis Stokes sent back a letter dated October 10, 1978, "Exhibit G." It is what one might call a non-answer, stating "that the committee will make every effort to tell the whole story to the American people." Seven years later (1985) it can be said that the committee did not make an effort to call the most important witnesses and therefore did not tell the whole story. Nor did their report even mention these witnesses or any of the evidence exposed earlier by the CTIA or Jim Garrison. Louis Stokes was either totally fooled or he is part of the CIA's cover-up. The author responded to Stokes' non-answer letter of October 10th with two more letters, dated October 30, 1978 and November 24, 1978, "Exhibits H & I." Stokes finally answered them on December 4, 1978 with another non-answer letter, "Exhibit J." He says the committee cannot reveal the procedure of the investigation or the names of those persons who will be called to testify before the committee. This implies they were planning to call more witnesses in December 1978. The committee's life ended on January 1, 1979. The CIA witnesses were never called nor ever mentioned right up to the very end and the report was silent about them. The Umbrella Man One last example illustrates the way the CIA and Blakey worked together to cancel-out any evidence linking the CIA people and/or techniques used in the JFK assassination. For may years, various researchers, including Josiah Thompson[5] and the author, had speculated about the role of a man appearing in the photographs in Dealey Plaza with an open umbrella. He became known as "The Umbrella Man," or TUM for short. Thompson speculated that TUM had been giving the various shooters in Dealey Plaza visual signals with the umbrella, and the author agreed this could have been true. In *1976*, the Church committee took the public testimony of Charles Senseney, a CIA contract weapons employee at the Army Chemical Center in Ft. Detrick, MD. Senseney described a system used by the CIA in Vietnam and elsewhere, for killing or paralyzing people with poisons carried in self-propelled Flechette darts. The darts were self-propelled like solid fuel rockets and launched silently and unobtrusively from a number of devices, including an umbrella. A CIA catalog of available secret weapons shows a photograph of the umbrella launching device and photos of the Flechettes which were self-propelled from one of the hollow spokes of the umbrella. They could even be launched through soda straws. Researcher Robert Cutler, former Air Force Liason officer, L. Fletcher Prouty, and the author did some additional research on the photographic evidence and the weapon system, especially research on the movements of JFK in the Zapruder film and various photos of TUM and a friend he had with him in Dealey Plaza. The friend had a two-way radio device. As a result of this research, an article was published in "Gallery" magazine in June, 1978. The article presented the hypothesis that TUM launched, from his umbrella, a poison Flechette at JFK, which struck him in the throat at Zapruder frame 189, causing complete paralysis of his upper body, hands, arms, shoulders and head, in less than two seconds. The photos show this paralysis and the timing matches the testimony given by Senseney about how fast the CIA poison works and what its paralyzing effects look like. Whether one agrees with this hypothesis or not is incidental to what Blakey and the HSCA did in reaction to it. Until the summer of 1977, official investigators for the HSCA, or any of its predecessors, had shown no more than passing curious interest in TUM. They just paid no attention and did not take the researcher's ideas seriously. On August 8, 1977, the author informed Robert Blakey, in a letter of that date, about the TUM hypothesis. The letter concerned a discussion the author and Blakey had on July 21, 1977, two days after the nondisclosure agreement had been signed. Blakey had said that if there was a conspiracy it would not have involved a very large number of people. He was probably already laying the foundation for a small, Mafia type, conspiracy involving Oswald and a Mafia friend, backed by a few Mafia Dons. The August 8th letter maintained that the CIA had been involved and that it had been a massive intelligence operation, rather than a conspiracy in the sense Blakey was using the term. The CIA Flechette, umbrella launching weapons system, if indeed it had been used by TUM, the letter pointed out, would be solid proof of high level CIA involvement, since that system would not have been available to lower level agents or contract people. Blakey did not respond right away to this letter and the author decided to make the TUM hypothesis public by publishing it with Cutler as co-author, in the spring of 1978, in "Gallery" magazine. Contact was also made with Senator Richard Schweiker who had been the member of the Church Committee responsible for interrogating Charles Senseney. Schweiker agreed to try and find out from Senseney what had happened to the umbrella launchers he had constructed for the CIA; that is, who in the CIA had had access to a launcher. The information to be published in "Gallery" had been generated by Bob Cutler and the author independently of any information obtained from the HSCA, but the safest approach seemed to be an application to them for permission to print the article under the terms of the nondisclosure agreement. So, on January 9, 1978, the author submitted a draft of the "Gallery" article to Blakey and, on January 16, 1978, he wrote back stating that publishing the article would not violate the terms of the nondisclosure agreement, "Exhibit K." The article was published in the June 1978 issue of "Gallery" which actually appeared in May 1978. Blakey knew in advance when it would appear. On August 3, 1978, the author wrote to Blakey stating that photographic evidence showed a high probability that TUM was actually Gordon Novel, the CIA contract agent from New Orleans, who had been hired to ruin the Garrison investigation, "Exhibit L." The reason that some new photo evidence was just then coming to light was that the committee had discovered a never-before seen film of TUM and had released a frame from this film to the press in July 1978. Shortly after the TUM photo was released by the HSCA, with an appeal to him to come forward, an unknown caller contacted Penn Jones in Texas to tell him he knew who TUM was. Penn visited Louis Witt, having been given his address, and upon seeing him, jumped to the conclusion that he *was* TUM. This led to Mr. Witt appearing before the committee in their televised hearings and making the claim he was TUM. He showed the umbrella on TV that he claimed he used. It was immediately obvious to Bob Cutler and the author that Witt was not TUM. He displayed the umbrella he said he had used in Dealey Plaza and *it contained the wrong number of spokes*. His height, weight and facial appearance did not match TUM's, and his description of his actions did not match at all the actions TUM took, as shown in the photos. On November 24, 1978, the author wrote to Stokes telling him he had been fooled by a CIA plant, or by his own staff, planting Mr. Witt, and that he should call Gordon Novel as a witness because it was likely that Novel was TUM. HSCA never did call Novel as a witness. Novel had visited the HSCA during the days Richard A. Sprague was still there, but he had not mentioned being in Dealey Plaza or that the CIA had hired him to ruin Garrison. Blakey and Stokes avoided contacting Novel. Now, the important thing to focus on, in this example, is the sequence of events. The HSCA had done nothing about TUM until they were faced with the possibility of a public article linking TUM to the CIA through a CIA weapons system and through Gordon Novel. They also found out that Senator Schweiker was looking into the CIA end of it. At about the time the "Gallery" article was being widely read, the HSCA suddenly released to the press a photo of TUM and asked that people identify him or that he come forward. The photo did not show his umbrella or where he was sitting in Dealey Plaza, nor did the release mention the umbrella or the theories about it. Just his photo. An earlier photo used by Cutler and the author to identify Novel as TUM was not released. In a surprisingly short time after the photo appeared, an unknown person calls a well-known researcher and leads him to Louis Witt. Witt in turn lies about who he was and where he was, by claiming to be TUM. Blakey and the committee put Witt on center stage as though it was a play, and eliminate the TUM problem by pulling off a charade. The fine hand of the CIA can be seen in this whole series of linked events. Blakey had to have known what was going on, and he knows today that Witt was not TUM and the high probability that TUM was Gordon Novel, CIA agent. The extreme lengths that the CIA and Blakey went to in this charade, made one believe that the umbrella probably *was* the Charles Senseney weapon. Otherwise, why bother with TUM? Goal Number Eight What has been presented so far in this article represents direct actions by the CIA to cover-up CIA involvement. Blakey played another important role and that was to achieve the eighth goal on the list, namely to change the public impression of HSCA's main effort. Researchers who concentrated on attacking the Warren Commission's Dealey Plaza or Tippit shooting findings had created a big problem. If Oswald had fired no shots, then he must have been framed. If Oswald was framed, the evidence against him was planted, and multiple gunmen were involved. All of this line of reasoning would point to a very well-organized and very well- planned conspiracy, which would in turn point to an intelligence style involvement. So, Blakey set out from the beginning to create an investigative environment and image that appeared to be based on a *highly scientific, objective study of the Dealey Plaza evidence*. The overall objective of this approach was to prove "scientifically" that the Warren Commission was right, and that Lee Harvey Oswald fired all the shots that had struck John Kennedy, Governor Connally and policeman Tippit. That required scientific proof of the single bullet theory, among other things. Blakey did just that. Right up to the moment when the acoustical evidence on the Dallas police tape reared its ugly head, only one month from the end of the life of the committee, Blakey managed to control and manipulate the Dealey Plaza evidence to back up the Warren Commission completely. The author described how Blakey did this in chapter 16. One of his "magical" methods was to split up the scientific work into subcommittees or panels of advisors, and various staff groups, and keep them all from communicating with each other. *Thus, even though the medical panel gave testimony showing an upward trajectory of the single bullet (399) shot*, the trajectory panel turned it into a downward trajectory. The photographic panel was so isolated they never did see the most important evidence of the sixth floor window, inside and outside. The photo panel had a number of government and military people on it, as did all of the other panels. Thus it was not surprising that they testified that the fake photos of Oswald holding a rifle were not fakes. Blakey rode roughshod over the evidence that these photos were fakes, presenting only one witness, Jack White, to show why they were fakes, and giving him a very rough time. Other researchers, like Fred Newcomb and the author, who had done a lot of work on the fake photos, were not called and not consulted by the photo panel or Blakey and his staff. There are many more examples of how Blakey managed this magic show on public TV, too numerous to describe here. One important result of this drastic change of investigative environment compared to that existing under Richard A. Sprague, was to draw the attention of the public during the hearings away from the evidence and the witnesses pointing to the real assassins, and to the fact that Oswald was framed and did not fire any shots. It thus provided an additional shield for the CIA and in effect, completed the cover-up. Summary Now, in the spring of 1985, the CIA appears to have under control the final cover-up engineered by Robert Blakey with the support of a few murders of key witnesses and the existence of the insidious, illegal, nondisclosure agreement silencing the HSCA staff, committee members, and consultants. The situation for the American public appears to be hopeless. The CIA effectively controlled all three branches of government when the chips were down, and have had no problems controlling the fourth estate, the media, or the independent researchers. By what means could the American public combat this awesome power? It is hard to see that there is any means available. And we have now reached and passed 1984. Would an election of Edward Kennedy to the presidency in 1988 change anything? If he lived through a presidency following an election campaign, it probably would. Most Americans react to that by saying, "he would be assassinated." Somehow they have received the messages about what has gone wrong with the United States. ____________________ [1] Chaired by Prof. Norman Ramsey of M.I.T. [2] Senators Richard Schweiker of Penn. and Gary Hart of Colo. formed a sub-committee of the Church Committee. [3] The author became an advisor to Richard A. Sprague as soon as he was appointed counsel to the HSCA. [4] The names of the witnesses in the memo were: Cooperative Witnesses: Louis Ivon (Jim Garrison's chief investigator), Richard Case Nagell, Harry Dean, James Hosty, Carver Gaten, Warren du Bruys, Regis Kennedy, Victor Marchetti, Gordon Novel, Manuel Garcia Gonzalez, Harry Williams, Jim Garrison, George de Mohrenschildt, Charles Senseney, Mary Hope and Jim Hicks. Non-Cooperative Witnesses or Assassins or Planners: Ronald Augustinovich, Guy Gabaldin, Frenchy, William Seymour, Emilio Santana, Jack Lawrence, Jim Braden, Sergio Arcacha Smith, Fred Lee Crisman, William Sullivan, Carlos Prio Socarras, Rolando Masferrer, Major L.M. Bloomfield, E. Howard Hunt, and Richard Helms. [5] In his book, "Six Seconds in Dallas," Thompson showed photos of TUM. * * * * * * * End Part17.
  13. John Ritchson

    John Heinz and John Tower

    Part16. 1979: The House Select Committee (1) Chapter 16 1984 Here We Come George Orwell undoubtedly did not realize how accurate his 1984 scenario would be by the year 1979. As 1978 drew to a close, events in America made Orwell's descriptions of such concepts as Newspeak and a supposedly open but actually closed society, very close to reality. By 1984, now only five short years away, Orwell's scenario will apparently be right on the nose. Any doubts about who is in charge of America and how effective they have become in creating our actual version of Newspeak, disappeared as the Carter administration, congress, the courts, and the media, all combined their coordinated efforts to cover up and distort our current history. The hopes of thousands of Americans that their only true representatives in government, the members of the House, would expose the fabric of lies about our recent history and the Power Control Group's activities were dashed to smithereens by the House of Representative's Select Committee on Assassinations. The hopes that Carter might be on our side, faded away in 1978 and the intentions of the executive branch were made quite clear by the new directors of the FBI and the CIA. The murder incorporated group within the Power Control Group continued to murder people in 1978, with efficiency and dispatch. The presidential race in 1980 has been foreclosed to Ted Kennedy for a long time, but the chances that any candidate, not willing to extend the assassination cover-ups, could be nominated and elected, are close to zero. The American people, by and large, do not understand or appreciate very much of this. The Select Committee teamed with the media and by holding public hearings with almost no live coverage they convinced the majority of Americans that there was no conspiracy in the JFK case and that James Earl Ray shot Martin Luther King although he might have had help from his brothers. The public has never heard of most of the eight men assassinated in 1977 and 1978 by the PCG, nor do they appreciate the fact that future assassinations will be carried off by the same bunch. How the hell did the PCG control Congress and the Select Committee? It wasn't easy and they very nearly didn't. There may also be another explanation about the committee's actions in which the word "control" is too strong. Influence, intimidation by throwing out implied warnings or threats, or just plain making it obvious that personal danger could be involved, might have been used. The process was very involved and it made use of a number of techniques and approaches, including some we can only guess at in 1979. However, a number of the PCG's methods are known and will be described herein. The executive branch control by the PCG was exposed even before Carter's election by those whose eyes were open wide enough to see it. This author frankly admits to partially closed eyes until 1978. The significance of the Bilderberg Society and the Trilateral Commission was not obvious until Carter had been in office for a couple of years. Now, it is very obvious that he is under the complete domination of the men who really run the U.S.A., and that he will never do anything to expose the truth about the political assassinations or their cover-ups. The latest indication of where the Carter administration stands was the testimony given by FBI director William H. Webster to the Select Committee on December 11, 1978. He said that the FBI would freeze the scene and take full immediate control of the investigation of any future presidential assassination or that of any other elected U.S. leader. In case anyone has any doubt about what he meant by "freeze the scene", Webster went on to say, "One purpose of the FBI investigation would be to lay to rest untrue conspiratorial questions that have a way of rising, and avoid the sort of mistakes that followed the assassination of President Kennedy."[1] In other words, the FBI will suppress or destroy any evidence of conspiracy even if they were not involved in the assassination itself. One such "mistake" in the Dallas murder surfaced in December 1978 when Earl Golz of the "Dallas Morning News" found a movie that the FBI failed to "freeze". It was taken by a man named Bronson and it shows two men, not one, in the sixth floor window of the TSBD just five minutes before the shots were fired. One of the men is wearing a red shirt. That filmed evidence matches the still photo taken by an unknown photographer earlier that morning, and developed at a Dallas photo lab by Ed Foley, the lab owner. The author found the photo and obtained a print of it in 1967. The Foley photo, as it became known, shows two men in the sixth floor window, one with a black shirt and one with a bright red shirt. Mr. red shirt matches the description of the man in the Bronson film. He is not Lee Harvey Oswald. Neither is the man in the black shirt. He was most probably Buel Wesley Frazier, the man who drove Oswald to work on November 22, 1963. The facial profile and black shirt match photos of Frazier and another man entitled to be on that sixth floor, were there around 10 AM and at 12:25, five minutes before the shots were fired. Mr. Webster has in mind rounding up all such evidence and destroying it right away in the next assassination. The evidence discussed in earlier chapters of this book, also not "frozen" by the FBI, proves that the "snipers nest" was no snipers nest at all, but just an area where workers on that floor were piling cartons to allow the floor laying crew at the west end of that floor to do their job. Webster would like the FBI to grab such evidence the next time, and destroy it before "conspiracy rumors" get started. The FBI came much closer to doing this in Memphis, but after all, they were involved directly in the planning and execution of the assassination of Dr. King. They had a much greater incentive for cover-up in that murder. William Sullivan's Division Five, at the behest of J. Edgar Hoover, carried out the King assassination using Raoul and Jack Youngblood plus others. Returning to the Select Committee, I must switch over to a more personal tone because of my direct involvement with the group from its inception. I helped Henry Gonzalez in the early days of 1975 and 1976 when the committee was just a wild dream for most people. I made a presentation to Thomas Downing's staff members who eventually became part of the Select Committee staff. Mark Lane arranged that in the summer of 1976. The photographic evidence of conspiracy in the JFK case was as overwhelming to them and to Henry as it was to anyone who has taken the five or six hours or so to look at it. I then became an advisor to Richard A. Sprague and Bob Tanenbaum when the committee was formed and spent the months from November 1976 to July 1977 helping them with the photographic evidence and with evidence collected by the Committee to Investigate Assassinations including Jim Garrison's evidence. If Henry Gonzalez or Richard A. Sprague, or Thomas Downing had stayed with the committee their work would not have been controlled. Sprague's loyal deputy counsels, Bob Tanenbaum, in charge of the JFK investigation and Bob Lehner in charge of the MLK investigation had already begun to get at the real evidence of the Power Control Group and the FBI and CIA's involvement in the two cases and in the cover-ups. The committee members were already becoming very suspicious of the two agencies. Walter Fauntroy, chairman of the MLK sub-committee, even dared to speak out about the CIA's influence. He was beaten into the ground by the PCG's members in the House. So Gonzalez, Sprague, Tanenbaum, Lehner and others who dared take on the intelligence portions of the PCG, had to go. They were forced out by one of the ancient techniques employed by the Romans known as divide and conquer. Once Henry Gonzalez became convinced that Richard A. Sprague was working for the CIA and the PCG, he attacked Sprague bitterly. Henry knew there was a PCG and he knew who had murdered John Kennedy and why. Henry had to go. He was made to look like a paranoid fool and forced out by the key PCG members of the House. Two PCG agents, Mr. Z and Harry Livingstone, helped convince him that Sprague was a CIA man. Mr. Z was brought in by Henry as a lawyer for his committee and worked on Henry's beliefs about Richard A. Sprague. Over some weeks he convinced Henry that Richard A. Sprague was a CIA operative. He was supported in this activity by Harry Livingstone (later author of "High Treason"). Harry Livingstone engaged in various plagiaristic activities and scams, and over quite a period of time he worked on Henry to convince him that Richard A. Sprague was a CIA operative. At the same time Henry was developing his beliefs with the help of Mr. Z and Mr. Livingstone, Richard A. Sprague and his staff were developing skepticism about Henry's integrity. The net result was both men resigned. In the next year, 1978, the author appeared with Richard A. Sprague on a cable television broadcast hosted by Ted Gandolfo in New York City, named "Assassionation USA," and the three of them had a detailed discussion about Sprague's reasons for resigning from the Committee. To some extent his thinking was influenced by his skepticism about Henry Gonzalez's integrity. Once Louis Stokes took over as chairman, Sprague's men were gradually calmed down, and the so-called search for the right chief counsel was underway. It is difficult to detect what was going on during that spring of 1977. Suffice it to say that the PCG was undoubtedly pulling out every stop to get their own chief counsel into the committee and to build up the case for getting rid of Tanenbaum, Lehner, Donovan Gaye, and others who knew too much or who had the gall to go up against the agencies. The result of all this hard work by the PCG was the installation in July 1977 of Dr. Robert Blakey as chief counsel. Tanenbaum resigned almost immediately, making Blakey's job a little easier, but Lehner and Gaye had to be fired by Blakey. Many others were also weeded out. We may never know exactly what they all knew or how they were forced out, because of the use of one of the PCG's cleverest techniques and one of the most insidious. Each committee staff member, each consultant and each committee member was required to sign, as a condition of continuing employment or membership on the committee, a nondisclosure agreement. Now, nondisclosure agreements are nothing new, especially in classified situations or in sensitive or patent or copyright situations. The committee's nondisclosure agreement was however, very unusual. Many well-known attorneys have pronounced it illegal. Richard A. Sprague saw it and said he would absolutely never have required the staff to sign anything like it. He said it was illegal and unenforcable in several of its clauses. The worst thing about it, or the best thing, from the viewpoint of the PCG, are the paragraphs giving control over the committee to the FBI and the CIA.[2] The committee, under Sprague, planned to investigate the FBI and the CIA in regard to both assassinations and the cover-ups. In fact, Sprague had put both agencies on notice to that effect. Subpoenas were being prepared for access to all of their withheld information. Investigations of the CIA's role in the Mexico City part of the assassination conspiracy, as well as Oswald's and Ruby's connections with both agencies were under way. The Blakey agreement automatically put a stop to all of that. Here is one excerpt from the agreement. "I (the staff member, committee member, or consultant) hereby agree never to divulge, publish or reveal by words, conduct or otherwise, . . . any information pertaining to intelligence sources or methods as designated by the Director of Central Intelligence, or any confidential information that is received by the Select Committee or that comes into my possession by virtue of my position with the Select Committee, to any person not a member of the Select Committee, or, after the Select Committee's termination, by such manner as the House of Representatives may determine or, in the absence of a determination by the House, in such manner as the Agency or Department from which the information originated may determine." In other words if the committee or an individual staff member, or a consultant discovered that the CIA or part of it, was involved in the assassination of John Kennedy, or that the FBI was in part or in whole responsible for the death of Martin Luther King, or that either agency was guilty of covering up the conspiracies in both cases, the CIA and the FBI would have the right to prevent these findings from being revealed to anyone outside the committee. Furthermore, those agencies are still in existence today while the Select Committee is not, so that the nondisclosure agreement which goes on in perpetuity, gives both the FBI and CIA continuing complete control over the individuals who signed it. Another excerpt reads as follows: "The Chairman of the Select Committee shall consult with the Director of Central Intelligence for the purpose of the Chairman's determination as to whether or not the material (any material obtained by the signer of the agreement) contains information that I pledge not to disclose." If that sounds like Catch-22, it is. The interpretation that could be placed on that clause is that the CIA has the right to decide what evidence in the JFK and MLK assassinations should be withheld on grounds that the CIA itself determines. How could the committee possibly have investigated the CIA under those terms and conditions? The answer is, they could not and did not. Can anyone doubt that the PCG prepared the agreement, implanted Blakey, and coerced or blackmailed or threatened the Chairman and the rest of the committee until they agreed to have everyone sign it! The most insidious part of the agreement is the clause that could be described as the threat, or blackmail clause. It is perhaps this clause that has closed the mouths and pens of all the ex-staff members who knew what was going on, but who signed the agreement. That clause reads as follows: "In addition to any rights for criminal prosecution or for injunctive relief the United Stated Government may have for violation of this agreement, the United States Government may file a civil suit in an appropriate court for damages as a consequence of a breach of this agreement. The costs of any civil suit brought by the United States for breach of this agreement, including court costs, investigative expenses, and reasonable attorney fees, shall be borne by any defendant who loses such suit." . . . "I hereby agree that in any suit by the United States Government for injunctive or monetary relief pursuant to the terms of this agreement, personal jurisdiction shall obtain and venue shall lie in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, or in any other appropriate United States District Court in which the United States may elect to bring suit. I further agree that the law of the District of Columbia shall govern the interpretation and construction of this agreement." Those readers who have followed the performance of the U.S. courts in the JFK and MLK cases through the years, will recognize the trap in those last two sentences. Any ex-staffer or consultant, or even a Congressman would have about as much chance against a CIA/FBI-directed suit in a court of their choice, as the man in the moon. The United States Government, in this clause, is not your government or mine. It is the Power Control Group. You can bet they would select a court already programmed for decision. The clause is incredible on the face of it. This was a mighty powerful weapon and the committee used it to a maximum extent in carrying out a masterful job of continuing the two cover-ups. It was masterful in the sense that they were not as bold and bald about it as the Warren Commission or the Rockefeller Commission or the Justice Department and the courts have been in the MLK case. Their conclusions are inconclusive; sort of. They say that to determine whether or not there really were conspiracies in the two cases was beyond their means and the time they had available. Nevertheless, the preponderant weight of the public testimony before the committee was toward no conspiracy in the JFK case and a, "Ray shot him, but might have been helped," conclusion in the King case. But the hold they exercised over the staff and consultants in directing their investigations away from conspiracy was very smoothly done, with the nondisclosure agreement always lurking in the background as a possible threat. The agreement was used as an excuse by the committee to avoid answering questions. For example, I wrote to Louis Stokes on April 5, October 30, and November 24, 1978 asking why the committee had not called several important witnesses in the JFK case, including Richard Case Nagell. Stokes had told me in a letter written on May 15, 1978, that the suggestion that Nagell be called was being followed and that the staff was being alerted about him. Blakey took no action and did not contact Nagell or Richard Russell, the only person who knew where Nagell was to be found.[3] Stokes sent me this reply to my inquiries about the witnesses on December 4,1978. "Dear Mr. Sprague: Thank you for your letter of November 24, 1978. I am aware of the amount of time you have spent analyzing the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and your interest in the work of the Select Committee on Assassinations since its inception. However, I regret that *under our Rules*, it is impossible for us to respond to your letter in a manner which would reveal the substance or procedure of our investigation, or the names of those persons who will be called to testify before the committee. The committee is, of course, grateful for your suggestions and those of the many other concerned citizens who have taken the time to write." (Underlining for emphasis is the author's) Sincerely, Louis Stokes Chairman "The Rules" Stokes refers to include the nondisclosure agreement. This letter implies that subsequent to December 4, 1978, the committee might be calling more JFK witnesses. Of course, that didn't happen. Except for some high level FBI, Secret Service and other government officials testifying about Presidential safety and future assassination investigations, the committee's show was already over, and Louis Stokes was well aware of that. I'm sure Louis Stokes had his own personal reasons, not necessarily sinister, for making that reply. The committee had no intention of risking the appearance of any of the more knowledgeable or involved witnesses whose names I had given them in October 1978 as well as in May 1978 and November 1978. A list of these names appears later in this chapter. The Warren Commission proved how easy it is to avoid finding a conspiracy if you don't look for one, even one that seems to jump up and smack you in the face. The Select Committee did this in spades. The procedure was orchestrated by Robert Blakey by various means. One of his methods was to split up the hard core Dealey Plaza evidence and investigations into sections. He formed an advisory panel of outside "experts", for each section; one on medical evidence, photographic evidence, ballistics evidence, trajectory evidence, etc. Then he made sure there was almost no coordination, cross talk, or feedback among the panels or even among the staff members assigned to each section, except at his level. There was a great amount of internal complaining about this, but to no avail. Again, the nondisclosure agreement worked wonders. An investigating team, in New Orleans and Dallas, headed by the JFK task force leader Cliff Fenton, was never allowed to surface either publicly or internally to other staff people or the committee. Their findings alone would have blown Dr. Blakey and his CIA/FBI friends right out of the water. They spent a lot of time with Jim Garrison, and with many of the witnesses and the assassination participants described in Chapter 5 of this book. The public does not even know who these staffers are, and undoubtedly will not hear or see what they discovered either in the committee's final report or in the public hearings. The separation of assignments worked wonders in explaining away much of the hard evidence of conspiracy. Some of it during the public hearings was like watching a magic show, for knowledgeable researchers. For example, the medical panel and staff members determined that the path of bullet 399 through JFK's body rear to front was slightly upward, given that he was sitting erect. But since the medical panel and the photographic panel were never permitted coordination, the medical panel never realized that JFK was sitting erect at the time bullet 399 supposedly struck. Neither panel was allowed to communicate with the trajectory panel, so that their representative Thomas Canning testified that bullet 399's trajectory backward from JFK's body, passed through the TSBD sixth floor window. That erudite gentleman, a government employee from NASA, was forced to make up his own medical evidence, which he proceeded to do. He merely moved the exit wound in JFK's throat down somewhat and the back of the neck wound up somewhat from where Dr. Baden of the medical panel had placed them. He then tilted JFK forward at about 17 or 18 degrees based on his personal observation of one photograph, rather than on the photographic panel's conclusions. Presto; the trajectory tilted upward and leftward enough to pass through the sixth floor window. Another bit of magic was presented by Canning to support the single bullet theory. He drew a straight line between governor Connally's back entry wound position and JFK's back entry wound position and found that the line also passed through the sixth floor window. To do this he moved Connally on the seat to his left and JFK to his right, and lifted JFK up a bit on the rear seat. Again he did this without consultation with the photographic panel. Some hard evidence was not dealt with at all and other hard evidence of conspiracy was presented without identifying it as such and then just left dangling. An example of the former is all of the photographic evidence cited earlier in this book and in my "Computers and Automation" magazine articles, showing that the sniper's nest was not a sniper's nest, that no one was in the window, and that no one could have fired shots from that position that day. I showed pictures of the nest from the inside and the window from the outside to the JFK sub-committee in July 1977 and I reviewed them at length for their evidenciary value with the JFK staff, notably Ken Klein, Cliff Fenton, Bob Tanenbaum, Jackie Hess, Donovan Gaye, Pat Orr, Chellie Mason, and Richard A. Sprague. So the Committee cannot claim they didn't know about these photos. They saw the Foley photo over a long period of time, and were no doubt quite embarrassed by the unexpected appearance of the Bronson film. Not one word about the sixth floor window, the cartons, the planted shells, the planted rifle, and the extra rifle found on the roof, the impossible shot, no one in the window when the shots were fired; not one word was mentioned in the public hearings about the photos and other evidence. Where was the photographic panel? Asleep? Frightened by the agreement they signed? An example of evidence of conspiracy left dangling was the testimony given by the photographic panel spokesman, Calvin S. McCamy. The panel examined all of the photos of JFK during the early part of the shot sequence, and took a vote on when the first shot struck the President. It came out as around Z189 to Z196. Perfect. That matches. But no one asked the trajectory panel or the ballistics spokesman how Oswald was able to fire bullet 399 right through the center of that big oak tree at Z189-Z196. Not even the Warren Commission would make that claim, preferring to put the timing at Z210 or later after JFK came out from behind the tree. There were some anxious moments for the Select Committee, even as well orchestrated as the whole farce was. Dr. Cyril Wecht was his usual grand self. He blasted the committee. They said he was part of the medical panel and therefore was asked to present a minority view. Cyril said they weren't planning to call him until he demanded to be allowed to testify. They tried to bamboozle him, to discredit him (a tough assignment), to attack him and to knock down his testimony. Lawyer Gary Cornwell was particularly obnoxious in his questioning of Dr. Wecht. Favorable witnesses testifying to no conspiracy were handled with kid gloves and treated politely or dragged through an obviously rehearsed series of questions. It was the Warren Commission revisited. Two witnesses they couldn't mistreat were Governor and Mrs. Connally. They politely and calmly presented believable testimony destroying the single bullet theory. That didn't bother the committee any more than it bothered the Warren Commission. They resurrected the theory a few days later when the trajectory panel testified. Dr. Barger of Bolt Baranek & Newman shook them up a little with his acoustical analysis of the police radio tape that reveals the sounds of four, not three, shots. If Dr. Barger had been given all of the facts initially, he probably could have helped prove where the shots came from. Except for the grassy knoll position behind the fence and the sixth floor TSBD window, he was not told about any other possible firing points. For example, he knew nothing about the Dal Tex building, the west end roof or high floor of the TSBD, or other positions on the grassy knoll. In fact, Barger did not know the location of the motorcycle where the microphone had been left open, picking up the sound of the shots. His assignment included a determination of where the motorcycle was, from the sounds on the tape and sounds made during a re-enactment of the firing in Dealey Plaza. The only test shots Barger had fired were from the TSBD sixth floor window and from behind the grassy knoll fence. The net result was that he decided the motorcycle was trailing the Presidential limousine by 120 feet. No one on the committee or the photographic panel ever showed Barger the Altgens photo, the Hughes film, the Martin, Nix, Couch, Weigman, Bell or Muchmore films or any other pictures showing there was no motorcycle anywhere near 120 feet behind the limousine.[4] Again, Blakey divided and conquered. Barger told me that if he had known about the motorcycle trailing the limousine by a few feet, driven by policeman D.L. Jackson, who disappeared completely after the assassination, he could have altered his analysis completely. The sounds of the last two shots may well have been from the knoll behind the wall, and from the TSBD roof or the Dal Tex second floor. Barger's analysis shows that the last shot sound, made by a rifle occurred just a faction of a second after the next to the last shot, possibly made by pistol. This would fit a pistol shot from behind the fence fired almost simultaneously with a rifle shot from either the TSBD west end or Dal Tex. The delay of the sound traveling from Dal Tex is about right so that the Dal Tex shot would strike at Z312 and the pistol or rifle shot from the right front would strike at Z313. Prof. Mark Weiss of Queens College and Barger were called into an executive session on December 20 after the hearings were finished. They testified that there were definitely four shots fired, at least one of which was from the knoll. This new analysis was conducted by Weiss independently from the one done by Bolt Baranek and Newman. Weiss said that his work proved to a 95% certainty that the third shot was a rifle shot from a position on the knoll. He said the data pinpointed the position to within two feet. The position was behind the fence, which eliminates man number two at the corner of the wall and also eliminates a pistol. However, the photos show man number two did make a puff of smoke, whether or not he fired a shot. Congressman Sawyer broke the news about Weiss' testimony during a radio broadcast in Michigan, his home state. A furor broke loose. The committee went into an executive session Friday December 22 to discuss what to do since there were only nine days left to the end of their existence. The radio tape and the Bronson film seemed to shake them up considerably. Or was it all rehearsed and planned this way by the committee. It seems incredible that the 12 members of the committee would be shaken by the sounds from a tape when they weren't bothered at all by photos of the Oswald window showing that no one was there when the shots were fired. The committee members could see those photos with their own eyes. They had to take the word of experts about the sounds on the tape, which cannot be heard because of the noise of the engine of the policeman's cycle where the microphone was stuck open.[4] This was the most blatantly dishonest stunt pulled by the Committee during the Blakey period. Yet, the research community cannot complain too much because it did produce a conspiracy conclusion. The committee's distortions and omission respecting the hard Dealey Plaza evidence is overshadowed by the key witnesses that the committee did not call. None of the players listed in Chapter 5 were called, nor ever mentioned. One key witness, James Hosty, insisted that he testify about Oswald's FBI involvement, but was turned down. Hosty told the "Dallas Morning News," "They don't want to hear what I have to say." He might have told them the same story he told the author, through an intermediary in 1971. Namely, that Oswald was reporting to Hosty on the assassination plans of the CIA group based in Mexico City. FBI agent witness, Regis Kennedy might have given private interview evidence, but he was killed the day before he was to meet with the committee. Gordon Novel, Ronald Augustinovich, Richard Case Nagell, Mary Hope, Guy Gabaldin, Manuel Garcia Gonzalez, William Seymour, Emilio Santana, Victor Marchetti, Jack Lawrence, Major L.M. Bloomfield, Frenchy, Sergio Arcacha Smith, Harry Williams, James Hicks, Sylvia Odio, Jim Braden, James Hosty, Warren Du Brueys, Louis Ivon, E. Howard Hunt and Jim Garrison were not called and no interest was shown in having them as witnesses. Some key witnesses who were called were not asked any important questions, or cross examined at all. Marina Oswald Porter was one of these. Another was Gerald Ford. Richard Helms told his standard lies, and no one asked him about Victor Marchetti's statement about Helms protecting Clay Shaw, or about E. Howard Hunt and Guy Gabaldin in Mexico City in October, 1963, or about Harry William's statement that he, Helms, Hunt, and Lyman Kirkpatrick were reconsidering another Cuban invasion at the moment JFK was shot, in a Washington, D.C., CIA location. With respect to the assassination of Dr. King, the committee also performed admirably for the PCG, in this case, the FBI wing. They failed to deal with the important evidence of conspiracy, failed to call the prime witnesses, and distorted or omitted evidence. They spent a great amount of time trying to prove, rather unsuccessfully except for media accounts, that James Earl Ray was guilty and that he had help from his family and was possibly financed by some wealthy sountherners. Briefly, here is the evidence they did not cover. The witnesses who saw a man in the rooming house--all of whom said it was not James Earl Ray--were not called. Charles Stephens, who was bribed and coerced by the FBI into identifying the man as Ray, but who was dead drunk, and saw nothing, was not put on the stand with his common law wife Grace and a cab driver who saw how drunk he was. Confronting his testimony by cross examination and by using counter witnesses should have been done. The three bar maids in Montreal and Atlanta who saw Ray and Raoul together were not called. William Bradford Huie found them and Ray knew where they were. The committee didn't look for them. Huie and Foreman were not put on the stand and asked all of the key questions about why Huie changed his entire approach toward Ray as soon as I showed him the Raoul-Frenchy photos. Foreman's role was never explored under fierce cross examination as it would be if Mark Lane were able to get a new trial for Ray. He should have been asked why he told Ray he got the Frenchy photos from the FBI when he actually got them from me! The Frenchy-Raoul sketch comparison, made by Bill Turner and I in the summer of 1968, should have been produced and shown to Foreman, Huie, Ray and other witnesses. The complete list of witnesses who saw Ray and Raoul together, as well as the complete list who saw Ray at the gasoline station a few blocks away from the crime at the time the shot was fired, were not called. The committee adopted the stance that it was up to Mark Lane and Ray to produce those witnesses, as though the investigation of the King killing was a trial instead. The committee, not Ray, had the responsibility of investigating and locating those witnesses. Bob Lehner wanted to do that, but he was fired. The evidence about the rooming house bathroom window as an impossible firing point, presented so well in Harold Weisberg's book "Frame-Up: The Martin Luther King/James Earl Ray Case," was either ignored or distorted. The evidence about the trajectory of the shot was completely distorted. The ballistics, medical and trajectory panels discussed the vertical angle of difference between the "grassy knoll" firing point and bathroom window firing point trajectories to the Lorraine Motel balcony. They stated that the differential angle between the two trajectories was too small to determine, from the medical evidence, whether the shot came from the window or the knoll. But, they failed to discuss the horizontal differential angle between the two trajectories which was much larger, large enough to determine the firing point. They also failed to present a number of witnesses who saw the actual assassin, Jack Youngblood, both before and after he fired from the knoll. Wayne Chastain should also have been called to testify about this evidence and those witnesses. The evidence concerning who Jack Youngblood and Frenchy-Raoul worked for, and their involvement, was not dealt with at all. The committee should have presented the photographic evidence showing Raoul was Frenchy, and should have asked Ray and the witnesses who saw Raoul to identify him from the Frenchy photos. Jeff Paley actually showed Frenchy's photo to witnesses in 1968 while Raoul's face was still fresh in their minds. They recognized the face. They certainly should have since the sketch of Raoul was made from their recollections. They should have called Frenchy as a witness in both JFK & MLK cases. I know from an inside source on the committee that they found Frenchy alive in 1978. They certainly knew about Jack Youngblood because they read Wayne Chastain's series of articles in "Computers and People." In summary, the Select Committee performed reasonably well on behalf of the PCG. There are no public outcrys over what they did because the media wouldn't air them. Mark Lane held a number of press conferences during the committee's life span, and no media organization reported on any of them. The media, of course, were quite willing servants of the PCG, as they always have been since 1963. The combination of the PCG, the CIA, the FBI, the Select Committee, the House spokesmen for the PCG and the cooperative media is really nearly unbeatable. Some researchers hoped against hope that the Select Committee, under Stokes, Blakey, Preyer and Fauntroy, would still unveil the truth, as the public hearings began in August. The hopes disappeared during the first week of hearings on the King case as the committee demonstrated quite clearly that they were going to continue the cover-ups and to get James Earl Ray and Mark Lane in the bargain. Still, the hopes would not quite die. The letters I wrote to Louis Stokes in the fall of 1978, expressed the last ditch thought that maybe they were conducting a charade designed to fool the FBI, CIA and the rest of the PCG into believing they were going to cover-up the truth. It turned out be for real, no charade. The eight people assassinated by the PCG in 1977-78 during the Select Committee's life span are probably the best proof of who is in charge of the U.S. and what their intentions are. The murders are all part of the cover-up efforts and were all successfully carried out, a la The Parallax View, with very few suspicions raised on the part of the American media or the public. They included William Sullivan, Regis Kennedy, George de Mohrenschildt, Sam Giancana,[5] John Roselli, Carlos Prio Socarras, Thomas Karamessines, Rolando Masferrer, and an attempt on the life of Larry Flynt. Each of these murders was carried out with great success and for varying reasons. One common thread connects them all. Each man knew too much about the assassinations of President Kennedy or Martin Luther King and the subsequent cover-up conspiracies. All but Flynt were witnesses to be called by the Select Committee or ones that had given some information and were scheduled to give more. Of the nine people including Flynt, the two most important were William Sullivan and Regis Kennedy. Regis Kennedy was one of two FBI agents in New Orleans assigned as contact men for Lee Harvey Oswald in his role as FBI informer. The other agent was Warren du Brueys. James Hosty was his contact agent in Dallas. Kennedy knew a lot, but was under strict orders from the FBI not to reveal any of it. He was called as a witness at the trial of Clay Shaw and asked by Jim Garrison whether he hadn't been searching for Clay Shaw under the name Clay Bertrand, before it was known that Clay Bertrand wanted to hire a lawyer for Lee Harvey Oswald. Kennedy took executive privilege, a popular dodge at that time with the Nixon administration. When the judge pressed him, he said he would have to check with the FBI and the attorney general, John Mitchell, in Washington, D.C. Word came through that he could answer that one question, so he said yes it was true. He went no further however. The significance is that the FBI knew all about Clay Shaw's involvement in the assassination because Oswald was reporting back to them as a paid infiltrator of Shaw's team. There is a distinct possibility that Kennedy was sent by Hoover and Sullivan to Dallas immediately after the assassination, to help coordinate the FBI/CIA cover-up. Beverly Oliver, the Babushka lady, whose film was confiscated by three government agents on Sunday November 24, 1963 at the Carousel Club owned by Jack Ruby, made a tentative identification of Regis Kennedy from his photograph as one of those three agents. The film has never surfaced. It should show the assassins on the grassy knoll quite clearly since Beverly was much closer than either Orville Nix or Marie Muchmore and had her camera trained on JFK all the way down Elm Street. Kennedy died of a supposed heart attack the day before he was to meet with the Select Committee staff. Heart attacks, as most Americans know by now from watching the Church Committee hearings, and seeing the Parallax View, are easily induced by a CIA-developed pill, which leaves no trace in the autopsy, if there is one. William Sullivan was eliminated by a clever, but simple technique. The PCG agents who killed him knew about his hunting haunts in New England. They also knew about a teenage son of a state policeman living near Sullivan's country place who liked to hunt in the same area. Two of them intercepted Sullivan early one morning as he set out for a walk in the woods. They shot him with a deer rifle and took his body to a spot in the woods where they knew the boy would be. They carried a decoy inflated to the shape resembling a deer and probably acted like one. The boy shot at him and thought he hit a deer. The agents dropped Sullivan's body at that spot and left. They accidentally left the pair of gloves one of them was wearing. The boy went over to the spot in the early morning semi-darkness, found Sullivan's body, and thought he had killed him by mistake. He still thinks so. There was no investigation and no questions asked. Why was Sullivan killed? As mentioned before, William Sullivan was J. Edgar Hoovers' right hand man in charge of Division Five, the FBI's clandestine domestic operation that included an assassination squad. Every likelihood exists that Hoover ordered Sullivan's division to kill King and that Sullivan used Frenchy/Raoul and Jack Youngblood to do the job. Sullivan was also due to meet with the Select Committee within a day or two after the day he was shot. Whether he would have talked or not probably makes little difference. The PCG couldn't take the chance. Thomas Karamessines died of an apparent heart attack at the age of 61 on September 4, 1978 at his vacation home in Grand Lake, Quebec. He headed the covert operations part of the CIA after Richard Helms was promoted from that position to head of the CIA. David Phillips, the CIA dirty tricks operative who is making public speeches supporting the Deputy Director of Plans (dirty tricks) function, worked for Karamessines. His knowledge of the JFK assassination and the CIA's cover-up role was undoubtedly complete since he inherited the whole thing from Helms. The other dead people were bumped off figuratively, on the very doorstep of the committee. Roselli was killed and dumped into Miami Bay. Giancana was shot full of holes in his Chicago residence. De Mohrenschildt was shot with a shotgun in his daughter's friends house in Florida. All three were scheduled to meet with the committee. Socarras was killed in a garage in Florida. Masferrer was blown up in his car in Florida. Flynt was shot on the street in Georgia. Florida. Why does it keep popping up in these cases? Bay of Pigs, No Name Key Group, anti-Castro forces, Mafia operations; it all fits together somehow. Jim Garrison's first real breakthrough came when he found Masferrer in Florida through Manuel Garcia Gonzalez. That led him and the District Attorney in Dade County, Florida, to William Seymour, Emilio Santana, Howard, Hall, Hemming and Frenchy, all part of Socarras' and Banister's Florida-based, No Name Key anti-Castro operations. It figured that some of them would die in their own backyard when the committee was getting too close. Gaeton Fonzi can personally vouch for that. He was the committee's Florida investigator. Why wouldn't men like Fonzi, Fenton, Fauntroy, Stokes, Preyer, and a woman like Yvonne Burke, tell us the truth. I spent a lot of time with all of them and got to know some of them very well. They all impressed me as being very honest and dedicated people. There may be another explanation, as I mentioned in the beginning of this last chapter. A committee, is, after all, made up of a bunch of individuals. So is a staff. Now, except for Cliff Fenton, Ed Evans (MLK investigator) and one or two others, these people were not professionals in the investigations and certainly none of them had been involved in the really big game of espionage and clandestine operations. They were, and still are, ordinary mortals, like you and me, with fears and cautionary attitudes toward personal safety and danger. They also have families. Not even Cliff Fenton had ever been involved with the kind of monstrous game played by the spooks of the world. It is a game for keeps, of life and death, mostly death. Let's look at it from the viewpoint of Louis Stokes, just to take an example. He took over the chairmanship of the committee with the following knowledge. He suspected there was a conspiracy in the JFK case and at least wanted to find out whether the CIA and FBI were involved in covering it up. He may not have known all of the details, but he was aware of the fact that many people had died. He knew that Henry Gonzalez had nearly been killed by a rifleman while driving through a Texas desert with his wife. This occurred just after Henry made public statements about all four political assassinations being related and the intelligence agencies possibly being involved. Stokes saw how the PCG swung their weight around in the Rules Committee and on the floor of the House when the Select Committee in January and February 1977, asked for a new budget and a reconstituted authority to subpoena records and continue the investigation. He also knew that something strange had happened to Henry Gonzalez. He told me so in a luncheon meeting on May 10, 1977. He said Henry had cut off all communications with him and other committee members just as he had with me. I told Louis that I believed Henry had purposefully been fed information by the PCG that I, Richard A. Sprague, and some of the committee members were working for the CIA. Otherwise, why would he have instructed the CIA and FBI to close access to their files to the committee staff, just after he had won the fight he fought so hard to get the subpoena power back. Stokes agreed it must have been something like that. Stokes also must have had a frightened reaction during 1977 and 1978 to these eight bodies dumped on his doorstep. As in the scene in "The Godfather", it only takes one horse's head in your bed to get the idea you should keep your mouth closed and play it cool. Given all of this, each committee member may have reached his or her decision that this game was not for congressmen. In April 1977 it is possible that all of those executive sessions the committee held were partially devoted to a discussion of the personal safety of each member, each staffer, and all of their families. They may have reached unanimous agreement that the only safe approach would be to avoid sensitive areas, and not to attack the CIA or FBI, and certainly to avoid going after any of the dangerous guys in both assassination cases. Yet, to keep an honest approach going they would have to listen to any credible hard evidence of conspiracy, comment on it, but refrain from taking a stronger course than just listening. As Dr. Blakey told me more than once, "I'm just going to let the facts speak for themselves." This is somewhat like the position the Warren Commission took when Richard Russell, Hale Boggs and John Sherman Cooper refused to sign the draft of the Warren Report until a qualifying statement was inserted. The statement read, "Because of the difficulty of proving negatives to a certainty the possibility of others being involved with either Oswald or Ruby cannot be established categorically but if there is any such evidence it has been beyond the reach of all the investigative agencies and resources of the United States and has not come to the attention of this Commission." The committee has, in its final report, taken a stronger position than that by saying, in effect, that new evidence of conspiracy has surfaced and that the Congress should turn the job of pursuing that evidence and a continuing investigation over to the executive branch. The recommendation is for the Justice Department to determine whether further investigations are warranted. Thus the Committee members would be off the hook and, more importantly, still alive and safe. They can claim that the funds they had and the time they had were not enough. Whose fault was that? Certainly not the committee's, they can claim. This scenario, if true, is really the only hope, though very slim, any of us have left. All other avenues have been closed. ____________________ [1] "New York Daily News" -- Tuesday, December 12, 1979. [2] See the letters in the Appendix for a copy of the nondisclosure agreement itself as well as correspondence between the author and Louis Stokes. [3] See copies of this correspondence in the Appendix. [4] Following the December 22 executive session a public hearing was held on December 29, the last weekday of the Committee's existence. Weiss and Barger presented the acoustical evidence proving four shots, one from the knoll, thereby causing the Committee to conclude there was a probable conspiracy. But, the fact that the Couch and Weigman films prove the acoustical analysis was incorrect because there is no motorcycle where there was supposed to be one, was completely covered-up by the Committee staff. Why? The answer obviously is that the Committee wanted to close shop with a conspiracy conclusion but one that wouldn't shake up the intelligence community and the PCG too much. If the correct acoustical analysis had been presented, with the motorcycle directly behind the presidential limousine, the net result would have been the elimination of that 6th floor window as the source of the shots. Eliminate that window and you eliminate Oswald and open up a can of worms with a completely different kind of conspiracy. One with a patsy and intelligence ramifications, written all over it. So Cornwell and Blakey, and perhaps the entire Committee decided to prove by implication that the motorcycle was 120 feet behind the JFK car at the time of the shot from the knoll. They showed publicly frames from the Hughes film which shows the motorcycle they fudged, somewhat more than 120 feet behind the limousine. But the Hughes film ends with the cycle on Houston Street. The cycle can be seen in the Hughes film trailing Couch's camera car. Couch took film all the way down Houston and around the turn onto Elm Street. The limo can be seen in all of this footage. The cycle can not. The cycle finally catches up to Couch and passes him after the limo is beyond the triple overpass. Couch is, at all times including the time of the knoll shot, more than 200 feet behind the limousine. Ergo, the cycle is more than 200 feet behind at the critical point. Cornwell presented the cop driving the Houston Street cycle and attempted to elicit testimony from him that it was his microphone that was open. [5] Giancana actually died in 1975 before testifying to the Schweicker JFK assassination subcommittee of the Church Committee. * * * * * * * End Part16.
  14. John Ritchson

    John Heinz and John Tower

    Part15. Chapter 15 The Select Committee on Assassinations, The Intelligence Community and the News Media Part I The Top Down vs. The Bottom Up Approach To Assassination Investigations Two vastly different views have been held by both assassination researchers and members of Congress during the last three years about the best way to arrive at the truth concerning political assassinations in the United States. The conservative view dictates we must build an investigative base from the ground upward, beginning with the JFK assassination, and use "hard" evidence in each assassination case. This view assumes that any grand, overall conspiracy to cover up the cover-ups would be detected and made public following exposure of the first layer of cover-ups. The less conservative view holds that the political processes underlying the original assassinations and the massive cover-up superstructure should be attacked and exposed simultaneously. The resolutions to establish a Select Committee to Investigate Assassinations, introduced by Thomas Downing and Henry Gonzalez in the House of Representatives in 1975, were somewhat related to both views. The conservative Downing resolution called for a sole investigation of the JFK case. Gonzalez's resolution called for the reopening of all four major cases--JFK, RFK, Dr. King and George Wallace--and more importantly, it called for an investigation of the possible links among all four. Gonzalez stated that he believed the country might be experiencing an assassination-controlled electoral process. His approach was clearly allied with the less conservative view. Research groups, such as Mark Lane's Citizen's Commission of Inquiry (CCI), Bud Fensterwald's Committee to Investigate Assassinations (CTIA), and Bob Katz's Assassination Information Bureau (AIB) were also divided in their views. CCI and CTIA took the bottom-up approach and tended to support Downing. AIB took the overview political approach and tended to support Gonzalez. The Black Caucus, Coretta King and others were primarily interested in a broad overview of the King assassination. The coalition formed by Downing, Gonzalez and the Black Caucus finally brought about the creation of the Select Committee on Assassinations in the House, which represents a mixture of these views and approaches. The work of the Select Committee will produce results if it is recognized that the bottom-up approach alone cannot be used successfully against the group of powerful individuals that currently controls the environment in which any investigation attempts are to be made. The best way the Select Committee can succeed against this group is to use what will be labelled the "top down" approach to investigating and exposing the truth as a supplement to the bottom up approach. The Power Control Group The earlier part of this book described a group of individuals in the United States and labelled them the "Power Control Group." The PCG is that group of individuals or organizations that knowingly participated in one or more of the assassination conspiracies or related murders or attempted murders, plus the individuals who knowingly participated or are still participating in the cover-ups of those conspiracies or murders. The PCG includes any people in the CIA, FBI, Justice Department, Secret Service, local police departments or sheriffs offices in Los Angeles, Memphis, Dallas, New Orleans or Florida, judges, district attorneys, state attorneys general, other federal government agencies, the House of Representatives, the Senate, the White House, the Congress, or the Department of Defense as well as any people in the media who are under the influence of any of the above, who participated or are participating in the cover-ups or the cover-ups of the cover-up. There are indications that people in every one of the above organizations or groups belong to the PCG. Hard Evidence of Conspiracy Anyone who has honestly and openly taken the time to examine a few pieces of hard evidence in any one of the four major cases has no trouble deciding there were individual conspiracies in each. In the face of this situation, the layman wonders why the Congress continually demands hard evidence of conspiracy. Statements continue to appear in the media to the effect that, "I've seen no evidence of conspiracy." Or, "We are not sure whether there were others involved in addition to Lee Harvey Oswald, Sirhan Sirhan, James Earl Ray or Arthur Bremer." These statements are made in spite of the fact that even the most casual analysis clearly shows that Oswald, Sirhan, and Ray did not fire any of the shots that struck JFK, RFK and MLK, and that they were all patsies. Bremer fired some of the shots in the Wallace case, but there is evidence that another gun was fired. The hard evidence is all old evidence. It goes back at least to 1967 and 1968 in the JFK case, and back to 1970 through 1972 in the RFK and MLK cases. The Wallace evidence is a little fresher, but nevertheless convincing. The people who demand new evidence are either members of the PCG, or they are brainwashed by the media members of the PCG into ignoring the old evidence. They do not choose to see or to hear the old evidence, even when it is literally placed before their very eyes and ears. Thus the words "hard evidence" are merely substitutes for the words "no conspiracy". The Bottom Up Approach The bottom up approach is doomed to failure no matter how the Select Committee tries and no matter how much effort any official body puts into attempts to offer that "bombshell" that Tip O'Neill and others look for to prove conspiracy in the JFK and MLK cases. The PCG is in complete control of the situation. It controls the media and the media controls the minds of most citizens and the Congress. The PCG is a living, dynamic body right now. They can eliminate an investigation or investigators right now. They can eliminate a member of the House or a member of the Select Committee right now. The bottom up approach will never get off the ground because the PCG will not allow it. As long as the PCG controls all the sources of evidence that might contain the hard evidence in the FBI, CIA and local police files, as long as it controls the courts, and as long as it controls the media, no one will be allowed to prove hard evidence before the House, the Senate, the President, or any one in the Executive Branch. The Events of 1976 and 1977 That the PCG's control exists is more clearly evident now than it has ever been before. The PCG is operating in an almost blatant fashion. Any observer who keeps his eyes wide open and assumes that such a group exists, can see it operate almost every day. The prime objectives of the PCG in 1976 and 1977 were: 1. To block and eliminate the Select Committee on Assassinations in the House of Representatives. 2. To firmly implant the idea that the JFK assassination was a Castro plot. 3. To block any Congressional attempts to investigate the four assassination cases. 4. To control the Carter Administration in such a way as to permit only an executive branch investigation that will conclude there was a Castro-based JFK conspiracy and no conspiracy in the other cases. The 1977 activities of the PCG lent themselves to a new approach, the "top down" approach to exposing the truth. Exposing the PCG The top down approach obviously begins with exposing the PCG's immediate, present activities. The following examples are illustrative. The Select Committee is certainly in a better position to know which individuals and actions taken by the PCG since the formation of the Committee in September, 1976 would be most easily attacked. The first example is the leaked Justice Department report on the King case. The Justice Department King Report The PCG members' actions were leaked in the February 2, 1977 King report and released a few weeks later. To review the list of PCG members involved in the cover-up of the King case: J. Edgar Hoover, the Memphis FBI, Phil Canale (Memphis D.A.), Fred Vinson (State Department), Judge Battle, Percy Foreman, William Bradford Huie, Gerald Frank (author), Frank Holloman and other members of the Memphis police and judges at the state and federal court levels. One of the judges who became a PCG member in later years was Judge McCrea. He heard James Earl Ray's plea for a new trial. Solid evidence of the conspiracy to frame Ray was introduced at that hearing. Everyone who read or heard the evidence, with the exception of Judge McCrea and his law clerk, reached the conclusion that Ray was framed and that his lawyer, Percy Foreman, deliberately mishandled the case. Nevertheless, McCrea decided that Ray would not get a new trial. The case was appealed all the way to the Supreme Court with no reversals of the decision. Leaking the Justice Department Report on the King Case Attorney General Levi some years later ordered a review by the Justice Department of the King assassination and the FBI's handling of its investigation. A report was prepared by Michael J. Shaheen, who did most of the Justice Department work. No public announcement was made in 1976 upon completion of the report. Suddenly, on the exact day that the House was debating whether to reconstitute the Select Committee (February 2, 1977), the King report was leaked to the Republican minority leader of the opposition, Representative Quillen of Tennessee. He announced he had a copy of the report. Representative Yvonne Burke from California, a member of the Select Committee and also a member of the House Committee responsible for oversight of the Justice Department, took strong issue with Quillen over the leak. She said she had unsuccessfully tried to obtain the report that day from the Justice Department. Quillen stated at first he did not have the report, but had an Associated Press release describing the report. About an hour later, he said he had received a copy of the report. Burke stated that was very strange; not even the proper committee of the House had received a copy. The report was quoted to say that the Justice Department had closed the King case and concluded James Earl Ray was the lone assassin. Placed in the hands of the opposition to the Select Committee, the statement was strategically useful. Quillen argued against continuing the Committee on the strength of the conclusions reached in the report. Releasing the Report On February 19, 1977, the King report was released by the Justice Department. Blaring headlines again emphasized no conspiracy and exonerated the FBI's conduct in their investigation. A showdown meeting was scheduled for February 21 between Henry Gonzalez and Tip O'Neill, to be followed the same day by a meeting of the Select Committee to determine whether they would continue with Richard A. Sprague as chief counsel. The absurd report was published in the "New York Times" on February 19, 1977. The PCG 's tactics became somewhat obvious on that date. Attorney General Griffin Bell, having inherited the report from Mr. Levi, let slip an important opinion on the CBS program, "Face the Nation" on the Sunday before the report was described as "still secret" by the UPI news release quoting Mr. Bell. Bell said he believed there were questions the report did not answer. Bell clarified his concerns after the February 19 release of the report by stating on the 24th that he might want to interview Ray to find out where Ray obtained all of the money he had before and after King was shot, and whether anyone helped him obtain false passports or make travel arrangements. Perhaps Bell was troubled by one of the report's conclusions--that one of Ray's motives in killing King was to make a "quick profit." This indicates that Mr. Bell, and presumably Mr. Carter, are not members of the PCG cover-up on the King case. It also seems obvious that Mr. Levi and the people preparing the report and conducting the review had become members of the PCG. The timed release and leaking of that report and the total whitewash of the King conspiracy are too patently obvious to be coincidental. This is one area in which the Select Committee has an excellent chance to expose a raw nerve of the PCG. Michael Shaheen -- PCG Member A key PCG member in the situation would appear to be Mr. Shaheen, Judge McCrea's law clerk mentioned earlier in the PCG cover-up in Memphis. Shaheen was deeply involved in the old cover-up as well as the new cover-up. He is from Memphis and part of that closed circle of people in Tennessee who know very well what happened to Martin Luther King and how Ray was framed. Mr. Shaheen is now planning to become a judge in Memphis with the help of all his co-conspirators and PCG members. Who called the shots in this Justice Department effort? Was it Levi? Was it the PCG members left over from the Nixon-Ford administration? Was it members of the PCG still in the FBI? Was it the Tennessee wing of the PCG that includes Judge McCrea, Phil Canale, Howard Baker, Mr. Quillen and Bernard Fensterwald, Jr.? The Select Committee should find out. The report itself is easily attacked. It quotes the fake Charlie Stevens testimony all over again, as if no one knew he had been bought off by Hoover to identify Ray. Stevens was dead drunk and saw nothing on the day of the King assassination. Ignoring or Suppressing Conspiracy and Framing Evidence Shaheen's review did not touch upon any of the evidence regarding the framing of Ray that was introduced at the hearing that Judge McCrea and Shaheen knew so very well. The witnesses who had seen Ray at a gas station several blocks from the assassination site when the shot was fired were ignored. Grace Walden Stevens saw Frenchy (Raoul) in the rooming house, identified Frenchy as the man she saw, and knew Charlie had seen nothing. She had to be ignored. The witnesses who saw Jack Youngblood move away from the bushes from which he had fired the shot had to be ignored. Hoover and Fred Vinson's use of Stevens's false testimony to extradite Ray from London had to be ignored. The FBI's role in Memphis, including its instructions to the witnesses who had seen Frenchy to keep quiet was to be kept a dark secret. The similarity between Frenchy's photograph and the sketch of Raoul and Ray's subsequent identification of Frenchy as Raoul had to be kept quiet. More ignored evidence was turned up by Huie. He found three witnesses who had seen Ray and Frenchy-Raoul together both in Atlanta and Montreal. They confirmed Ray's claim that he was framed. All of the evidence involving Youngblood and Frenchy, uncovered by Robert Livingston and Wayne Chastain and published in "Computers and People" in 1974, was omitted. Livingston was Ray's attorney in Tennessee. Chastain is a Memphis reporter. Livingston and Chastain's sighting of Frenchy- Raoul at the Detroit airport during a meeting between Livingston, Chastain, Bud Fensterwald and the intermediary representing Frenchy (in an attempt to obtain immunity for him in exchange for revealing the identity of the Tennesseans and Louisianians who had hired him) was ignored. Exposure of this segment of the PCG would have done more to bolster the 1977 efforts of the Select Committee than any presentation of conspiracy evidence in the King case itself. The PCG's Tactics With the Select Committee In the early days of the formation of the Committee in September 1976, the PCG might have taken the Committee very lightly. The PCG's efforts to stop an investigation from beginning in the spring of 1976 through its control of the Rules Committee had been successful. Downing and Gonzalez had given up. But when the three-way coalition suddenly brought about a reversal of their earlier Rules Committee vote, and the House quickly and overwhelmingly passed a resolution to set up the Committee, the PCG was forced to go back to the drawing boards for retaliation. Before the PCG had time to react, Downing and Gonzalez hired Dick Sprague as chief counsel. Sprague very rapidly hired the equivalent of his own FBI. He sensed from the start that he might be up against both the FBI and the CIA, so he carefully screened his investigators, lawyers, researchers and other personnel to prevent intelligence penetration of the staff. However, some personnel were "handed" to him by both Gonzalez and Downing. It goes almost without saying that the PCG would have tried to infiltrate the staff. What they learned by their early infiltration was that Sprague and his crack team were not only on the right track in both the JFK and MLK investigations, but also that the tactics used by the PCG in those weeks were making the staff and some of the committee members suspicious about the PCG itself. PCG Control of Prior Investigations It became imperative for the PCG to either eliminate the entire Committee or to gain control of it and to rid it of Dick Sprague and the senior staff people who were loyal to him. It was no longer possible to turn the investigations around and bury the information that had been gathered as the PCG had done with six prior Congressional investigations. In each of the prior investigations (five Senate investigations and one House investigation of the JFK assassination) the PCG had controlled the results, disbanded the staffs and buried the evidence. The six groups were: 1. 1968--A Senate subcommittee under Senator Ed Long of Missouri conducted a JFK investigation. Bernard Fensterwald, Jr., was in charge of a six-person team. 2. 1974--The Ervin Committee investigated the JFK case during the Watergate period. Samuel Dash headed a team of four that included Terry Lenzer, Barry Schochet and Wayne Bishop. 3. 1975--The Church Committee. A six-person team reported to FAO Schwartz III. It included Bob Kelley, Dan Dwyer, Ed Greissing, Paul Wallach, Pat Shea and David Aaron. 4. 1975--The Schweiker-Hart subcommittee under the Church Committee had a team headed by David Marston, that included Troy Gustafson, Gaeton Fonzi, and Elliott Maxwell. 5. 1975--Pike Committee in House. People unknown. 6. 1976--Senate Intelligence Committee under Daniel Inouye. In addition, both Howard Baker and Lowell Weicker conducted their own investigations of the JFK case during the Watergate period. Sprague and his senior staff people are professionals compared to the amateurs listed above. Wayne Bishop was the only professional investigator in all of the staff groups. It was easy for the PCG to cut off or alter the directions of the prior investigations. Thus, the one with the greatest hope, the Schweiker subcommittee, wound up not mentioning any of the important evidence uncovered in Florida and elsewhere in their final report. The Congress and the public were left with the impression that there might have been a Castro conspiracy to assassinate JFK. PCG Strategy Faced with the new committee and Sprague's staff, the PCG had devise a strategy that included: 1. Attacking Dick Sprague to discredit him with dirt and print it in the media. 2. Using the media to spread PCG propaganda and control the sources of all stories concerning the Select Committee. 3. Using PCG Congressmen to provide biased, distorted quotes to the media for its use. 4. Trying to discredit the entire committee by making it appear to be disorganized and unmanageable. 5. Controlling the voting and lobbying against the continuation of the committee in January and February. 6. Influencing members of the House to vote against the Committee through a massive letter and telegram campaign. 7. Exaggerating the emphasis placed on the size of the budget requested by Sprague without considering the need for such a budget. 8. Demanding that the committee justify its existence by producing new evidence. 9. Splitting the committee and attempting to create dissension; creating a battle between Henry Gonzalez and Richard Sprague and between Gonzalez and Downing. 10. Hamstringing the staff so they could not receive salaries, could not travel, did not have subpoena power, could not make long distance telephone calls; blocking access to the key files at the FBI, Justice Department, CIA and Secret Service. 11. Trying to insert their own man at the head of the staff. 12. Brainwashing Henry Gonzalez into believing that Sprague and others were agents. 13. Sacrificing Henry Gonzalez when it became obvious the PCG could not control him as their chairman. 14. Leaking stories that seemed to make the committee's efforts unnecessary. Media Control The primary technique used by the PCG is its nearly absolute control of the media. This is not as difficult to achieve as one might imagine. Since most of the stories about the committee originate in Washington under rather tightly-knit conditions, it is necessary to control only a small number of key reporters and their bosses. The rest of the media follow along like sheep. The PCG trotted out some of their old-timers in the media to initiate the public and congressional brainwashing program against the committee. They used the same tactic against Jim Garrison between 1967 and 1969. The old-timers included Jeremiah O'Leary, George Lardner, Jr., and David Burnham. Jeremiah O'Leary of the "Washington Star" was on the CIA's list of reporters exposed the year before. George Lardner Jr. had been in David Ferrie's apartment until 4 AM on the morning he was murdered. Lardner was a PCG member in 1967, while he worked as a reporter for the "Washington Post" (he is still with the "Post"). David Burnham at the "New York Times," one of the several reporters in Harrison Salisbury's and Harding Bancroft, Jr.'s stable of PCG workers, was called upon to carry the brunt of the "Times"' attack. There were, of course, others. As in 1967 and at other times during the first decade of media cover-ups, the major TV, radio, wire service, magazine and newspaper media acted as a cover-up unit. Ben Bradlee, the PCG chieftain at the "Washington Post," made sure that "Newsweek" did their hatchet jobs. Time, Inc., CBS (with Eric Sevaried, Dick Salant and Leslie Midgeley), NBC (with David Brinkley), and ABC (with Bob Clark and Howard K. Smith) all went on the attack. The overall theme was that the committee would soon die out. Media Tactics The tactics first used were to create the impression that the Committee was not going to find anything of importance. Then Dick Sprague became the chief target. One of the dirty tricks used against him portrayed him as arrogant, flamboyant, power-mad, and as a man who usurped the powers of the Committee. The writers and editors of the PCG are very good at this sort of thing. The "New York Times," with Burnham writing and Salisbury and Bancroft directing, did a real hatchet job on Sprague. These techniques convinced congressmen and much of the public. Sqrague was forced to stay very quiet and away from reporters and cameras. That did not deter the PCG people. Once an image of a man has been created by the media, it is not necessary for him to appear in public. He could even disappear for several weeks, but the flamboyant, noisy image would go on uninterrupted. This technique is much less obvious than murder, but it works nearly as well. When the time comes to destroy or eliminate the man, all the PCG has to do is create an image. The Vote to Continue The man chosen to eliminate Sprague was the new chairman of the Select Committee, Henry Gonzalez. Before setting up a classic "personality conflict" between Gonzalez and Sprague, the PCG used another tactic. It attempted to kill the Committee with a vote not to continue it in the 1977 Congress. The House and media PCG members overemphasized the large budget requested by Dick Sprague, the use of the polygraph, the use of the psychological stress evaluator and the telephone monitoring equipment. Rather than telling the truth about the budget, describing how the money would be spent, and describing why and how the equipment was going to be used, the media (aided and abetted by PCG members in the House itself) made it seem as though the budget was totally out of line and that citizen's rights would be violated by the use of such equipment. The PCG planted false information that led Don Edwards of California to play into their hands on the equipment issue. The year-end report of the Committee, which they and the staff hoped would make these subjects clear, countered the media attacks. *But*, of course, the PCG controls the media, and the report was completely blacked out. Most citizens do not even know it exists. Almost every U.S. citizen has heard and seen Dick Sprague called a rattlesnake and an unscrupulous character. However, the PCG lost the vote against continuing the Committee and used a new method to try to kill it. The New Tactic The PCG decided to use Gonzalez to control the Committee. The stage was set for the PCG to knock off Sprague and to install one of their own men. The plan was to do this by brainwashing Henry Gonzalez into distrusting Sprague and selected members of the Committee and the staff. The idea was to use Gonzalez in this way to install a PCG man (the fact that he was a PCG man was unknown to Gonzalez) as chief of staff. Gonzalez would fire Sprague and the key staff members, first blocking their access to important files and witnesses. The PCG would then have been in a position to either fold up the Committee by March 31, or to direct its efforts toward finding a Castro-did-it conspiracy in JFK's case and no conspiracy in the King case. Tactic Backfires The PCG did not forecast one important effect their tactics would have. By the time Henry Gonzalez became chairman, the other eleven members of the Committee and its staff had begun to smell a rat. They noted with curiosity all of the strange coincidences that occurred. During the floor debate on February 2, 1977 over continuing the Committee, Representatives Devine, Preyer, Burke and Fauntroy let the rest of the House know that they believed something peculiar was happening to them. The appearance of the Justice Department report on that same day disturbed them very much. The attacks on Sprague upset them also. The staff were even more disturbed. Most of them had assumed they were being asked to conduct a thorough and unbiased investigation of two homicides. The power of the PCG became obvious to them over a period of several weeks. The effect of this on both the Committee and its staff was to drive all eighty-four people (73 staff and 11 Committee members) into a solid block (the only exceptions were Gonzalez's people on the staff), more determined than ever to get at the truth. Some staffers began using their own money for travel. All of them took pay cuts. Many of them decided they would work for nothing if necessary to keep going. The PCG's strategy had backfired. The eighty-four loyal people were like one giant lion backed into a corner, spurred on to greater heights to fight back. For this reason, the PCG tactic to use a brainwashed Henry Gonzalez failed. The eighty-four people resisted that manuever by threatening to resign en masse. Tip O'Neill and others were forced to go against Gonzalez. Gonzalez resigned. The House voted by a large majority to accept his resignation and Tip O'Neill appointed Louis Stokes as the new chairman. At this point, the PCG decided to abandon Gonzalez and to try another tactic, signalled by an article in the "Washington Star" on March 3, 1977. Written by "Star" staff writer Lynn Rosellini, the article was entitled, "Gonzalez' Action Stuns Panel but Not the Home Folks." It was manufactured by the PCG to discredit Gonzalez and his final demise. (It was the first anti-Gonzalez article to appear.) The PCG had obviously decided to throw Gonzalez to the wolves. The significant quote was supposedly from a "source familiar with Gonzalez' career" that said "Henry focuses in on conspiracies, the weird angle of things. Once he gets involved in something, he shakes it by the throat until it's dead." That was a dead giveaway that the PCG no longer wanted Henry around. Next Tactic -- Death By Acclamation The PCG's next tactic was to convince a majority of the House that the Committee had had it because of the feuding as portrayed in the press. They hoped to either eliminate the Committee altogether or eliminate the JFK investigation or to force Sprague to resign. (After all, the King conspiracy can always be blamed on J. Edgar Hoover, if it comes down to that. There is no particular spillover from the King case into JFK, RFK or Wallace, provided Frenchy can be kept out of the limelight.) It might have been possible for the PCG Congressmen to propose dropping the JFK case or to propose postponing it in favor of continuing just the King case with a reduced budget. Prior to March 31, a House floor vote or a vote in the Rules Committee could have been proposed that might have limited the investigations and the authority of the Select Committee in this way. The rules under which the Select Committee would operate were not passed by the Committee due to the conflict between Henry Gonzalez and the rest of the members, so the proposal could have included restrictive rules. The PCG media could have boosted this idea with the PCG loyalists in the House. Jim Wright appeared to be the new leader of the opposition to kill the Select Committee. More ground was being laid every day for a negative vote on continuation. The hint was that the Committee must come up with a bombshell or that it will die. The Committee fought off this tactic by diverting the attention of the media through a series of very rapidly developing activities and a substantial reduction in the proposed budget, which plummeted to 2.8 million for the remainder of 1977. The House finally voted to continue the Committee by a very narrow margin, with a swing of 25 votes determining the result. The final weapon used to obtain a vote to continue the Committee on March 30 was the resignation of Dick Sprague. Exposing the PCG The best way to expose the PCG is to demonstrate that it has been influencing or controlling the media and attempting to control Congress. How can this be done? It will be necessary to show who the PCG members are in the House and the media and exactly what they have been doing while they are doing it. Getting this kind of information out to the public will be very difficult, since the entire media group seems to be controlled. Live TV is not easily controllable. If unannounced exposures of PCG members are made on live TV there would be no way for the PCG to stop it. About the only way to set up such a situation would be to hold public hearings with live TV coverage. Exposing the PCG to Congress might be accomplished on the floor of the House. Evidence of the clandestine activities of PCG members in the tactics described above could be introduced on the floor without media coverage. This happened to a minor extent on March 30 when some of the Committee members began to accuse the media of improper influence. Who Are The PCG Members The PCG members presently attempting to control the Select Committee must be clearly identified.[1] There are, no doubt, some media people and Representatives who sincerely believe that there were no conspiracies and who have been playing into the hands of the PCG without realizing it. Other Representatives, and media people by the definition of the term PCG, are purposefully controlling the situation. It may be difficult to distinguish between these two groups without tracing back some PCG connection of the culprits. Any CIA or FBI clandestine relationship or any direct connection with any of the assassination cases would be a tip. An example of this is George Lardner, Jr.'s direct connection with the JFK case ten years ago. (Lardner was in David Ferrie's apartment for four hours after the midnight time of death estimated by the New Orleans coroner. Ferrie was killed by a karate chop to the back of his neck.) Jim Garrison interrogated Lardner at some length, but he never received a satisfactory explanation of what he had been doing there. While it may be difficult to tell which congressmen are sincere and which are knowingly trying to extend the cover-ups, the Select Committee must turn its attention to any member of the House who throws up roadblocks or who speaks out strongly against the continuation of the investigations. On this basis, one must suspect every one of the Representatives cited below. Many questions should be asked of this group. For example, who encouraged Mr. Bauman during that autumn and on March 30, Mr. Sisk last spring and Mr. Quillen in February to suddenly become so vehement about stopping investigations of the assassinations? Their stated reasons were that the Kennedys were opposed, costs, the lack of new evidence, the Warren Commission, etc. But these reasons can no longer be their own true beliefs. On whose behalf were they acting? How did Trent Lott find out that the Committee staff made a telephone call to Cameroon, which he discussed on March 28 at the Rules meeting? Who talked Frank Thompson into a campaign to shut off the Select Committee's financial resources? (The Thompson efforts cannot be explained away by the ordinary controller's motivations.) Who convinced Jim Wright that the Committee was doomed and that he should personally intervene in the Gonzalez, Sprague and Committee members' battle? And, most importantly, who brainwashed both Henry Gonzalez and Gail Beagle into mistrusting the people they had always trusted? Answer these questions and publicize the answers, and the top-down approach to exposing the PCG and solving the assassination conspiracies will be well along the path to success. Part II "Hard" and "Soft" Propaganda in 1977 When the time approached for the Select Committee on Assassinations to ask the House of Representatives for its 1978 budget, it was interesting to once again examine the PCG's control over the American news media and the Congress. To those who observed the assassination scene with blinders removed, it was patently obvious that the December 1977 date for the Select Committee's budget approval was a target. The PCG attempted to defeat the Committee's efforts to get at the truth underlying the John Kennedy and Martin Luther King assassinations and the cover-up crimes associated with them. An all-out effort was mounted by the PCG to influence the thinking of citizens and the votes of the members of the House. This effort manifested itself in the major news media--over the three TV networks, the "New York Times," "Washington Post," "Newsweek," "Time," book publishers, book reviewers, TV talk shows, etc. This massive campaign is a useful test to prove the validity of contentions made by this author and others in 1976 and 1977 concerning the relationships between the Power Control Group and the American news media, as utilized in the continuing cover-ups of the domestic assassinations, and in the PCG's efforts to destroy the reputations of assassination researchers[2] and the two official investigations of the John Kennedy assassinations.[3] New evidence surfaced in 1977 to support these contentions: a CIA document released under the Freedom of Information Act and an article by a new potential ally for assassination truth seekers, Carl Bernstein. Both of these documents were provided to the author by Ted Gandolfo in New York, who now has his own weekly cable TV show on Friday nights on Manhattan TV entitled, "Assassination USA." Evidence of Media Control by the CIA Carl Bernstein wrote an article exposing the CIA's methods of controlling the news media.[4] The basic technique dictates planting a Secret Team member at the top of each major media organization, or obtaining tacit agreements from the top man to use reporters working for the CIA, and to use CIA people, stories, and policies on the inside of the organization. Bernstein named men above the level named by this author as CIA people in certain organizations. For example, the author's claim was that Harding Bancroft, Jr. has been the CIA control point at the "New York Times." Bernstein named Arthur Hays Sulzberger, the owner of the "Times" and Bancroft's boss, as the CIA's man at the "Times." At CBS, the author named Richard Salant. Bernstein names William C. Paley. At the "Washington Post" and "Newsweek" Bernstein names Philip Graham, Katherine Graham's husband, former owner of the "Post" and "Newsweek," and by inference, Mrs. Graham since her husband's death. The author named Ben Bradlee. But Bernstein's information confirms the author's contention that the CIA controls the 15 news media organizations in the U.S. The other CIA top level individuals named by Bernstein are as follows: "Louisville Courier Journal"--Barry Bingham, Sr. NBC--Richard Wald ABC--Sam Jaffe Time, Inc.--Henry Luce Copley News Service--James Copley Hearst--Seymour Freiden The PCG, through their prime intelligence members, are today still controlling what the media do and say about the subject of assassinations and the Select Committee on Assassinations.[5] They do this by influencing the heads of each organization who determine media editorial policies that are carried out by their subordinates. In some cases, however, lower level people are also planted as reporters, editors or producers to execute the policies, write the stories, produce the programs, review the books, or write or publish the books. The CIA also owns and controls many publishing houses, freelance writers or reviewers who can also be used in this massive campaign. However, the reader should not immediately jump to the conclusion that all of the media people knowingly continue to cover-up of the assassination conspiracies. It is only necessary that they actually believe the CIA's stories and positions against conspiracies. For example, Anthony Lewis at the "New York Times" participates in this entire fraud, actually believing that Oswald was the lone madman assassin. It is inconceivable, however, that men intelligent enough to rise to the top of CBS, NBC, ABC, the "New York Times et al." could actually believe that Oswald was the lone assassin. Some or most of them must be cooperating fully in the PCG cover-up efforts. Proof of CIA Efforts to Discredit Researchers A recently released CIA document[6] was a dispatch issued from CIA headquarters in April 1967 to certain bases and stations to mount a campaign through media contacts (called assets) against certain assassination researchers. The targets included Mark Lane, Joachim Joesten, Penn Jones, Edward Epstein and Bertrand Russell. The document describes an entire program to be used to discredit the "critics." Many of the exact expressions that were used by the CIA-controlled media to attack the researchers can be found in this document. One example is: "The CIA should use this argument in general. Conspiracy on the large scale often suggested (by critics) would be impossible to conceal in the United States, especially since informants could expect to receive large royalties, etc." Another argument suggested is: "Note that Robert Kennedy, Attorney General at the time and John F. Kennedy's brother, would be the last man to overlook or conceal any conspiracy." How many times did we hear that between 1967 and 1969? The document also suggests using an article by Fletcher Knebel to attack Ed Epstein's book and to attack it rather than Mark Lane's book because "Lane's book is much more difficult to answer as a whole, as one becomes lost in a morass of unrelated details." The timing of this document is particularly important. April 1, 1967 was approximately two months after Jim Garrison's investigation surfaced, and only shortly after Garrison found David Ferrie murdered in his own apartment and had Clay Shaw arrested. Since we now know that both men were contract agents for the CIA and that the CIA went to great lengths under Richard Helms' direction to protect Clay Shaw and to keep his true identity from being revealed, the chances are good that this document was triggered by Garrison's investigation. The names of the authors of the document have been blacked out of the copy that was released. Further research might reveal who actually wrote it and "pulled it together" (as a note in hand print at the top states). The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald The top level media control was demonstrated by the ABC-TV program, "The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald", whose co-director, Lawrence Schiller, had to have been selected at the suggestion of the PCG. Schiller, one of the worst people in the PCG's stable of freelancers, is best known for his book supporting the Warren Commission and attacking the researchers, called "The Scavengers."[7] Schiller is perhaps the biggest scavenger ever created. He supposedly obtained a "deathbed" statement from Jack Ruby by illegally and unethically sneaking a tape recorder into his hospital room. He then parlayed this into a wide-selling record with distasteful and untruthful propaganda. More recently he seized the opportunity to interview Gary Gilmore before his execution, practically holding a mike to his mouth while the commands were being given to the firing squad. How, the reader may ask, could Schiller become a co-producer of a major ABC television show? The answer is simple. He is available to attack and ridicule the assassination researchers and reinforce the no-conspiracy idea for the PCG. The ABC production crew had the full cooperation of the Dallas police in re-enacting the assassination event in Dealey Plaza. There is no way that could have happened without PCG influence. The Dallas police, quite guilty of cover-up in the case and having some individual members on the assassination team, would not permit anyone to film a reenactment of the assassination showing conspiracy or the truth. The PCG had to assure them that the program's editorial position would be anti-conspiracy. The "Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald" was given extensive publicity on TV, in magazines, in newspapers. In England, a special article about it appeared in the Sunday magazine section of a London newspaper complete with photographs from the shooting sequence as filmed.[8] The PCG spent an enormous amount of money on the program and a publicity campaign. There is no way ABC-TV could have done that on their own. More than 80% of the people believe there was a conspiracy: why wouldn't ABC go along with the 80% of their viewers and portray the truth? The answer again is simple: ABC is controlled from the very top, probably much higher than the Sam Jaffe level, by the PCG and the CIA. Other TV Shows Both NBC and CBS are planning major TV specials on the assassinations. CBS is planning a show on Ruby and Oswald. The theme will be that the Warren Commission was right and that both Oswald and Ruby were lone nuts. Mr. Paley and Mr. Salant are the PCG people calling the shots. NBC is planning a show on Martin Luther King which will have a section on the assassination. Even though Abbey Mann is directing the show and he would like to bring out some of the facts, it is certain that the PCG members of NBC, including Richard Wald, will not permit any conclusions about Ray's innocence or information about Frenchy-Raoul or Jack Youngblood (the real assassins) to be included. Priscilla McMillan--CIA Agent One of the more remarkable things about the massive 1977 campaign of the CIA and the PCG is their blatant use of freelance writers and news reporters who are well known CIA agents to nearly anyone who has taken the time to pay attention. Three agents are Priscilla McMillan and her husband, George McMillan, and Jeremiah O'Leary of the "Washington Star." Priscilla (in particular) is so obviously an agent that even Dick Cavett indirectly accused her of being one when she appeared on his show with Marina Oswald to plug her new book. The CIA decided the perfect time to publish McMillan's book[9], which had been completed for several years. A publisher under CIA control was selected, and the book was published in time for the December committee budget vote. The CIA arranged that Marina appear with Pat on several national TV shows. Priscilla had Marina well rehearsed for these shows--she even retold the old lies about Oswald shooting at General Walker. The commentators selected to interview both women, including Dick Cavett, David Hartmann (ABC), and Tom Snyder (NBC) had their orders to deal delicately with them and not to ask any embarrassing questions. Cavett came closest with his essentially accusatory question about whether Priscilla was a CIA agent. No one asked Marina the one embarrassing question she would have had the greatest difficulty answering regarding the picture of Oswald holding the rifle and the communist newspaper that Marina claimed she took of him: "How was it possible for you to have taken a photograph that since has been demonstrated to be a composite of three photographs, with your husband's head attached to someone else's body at the chin line?" (flashing on the screen Fred Newcomb's slide showing the chin level discontinuity). Cavett actually flashed the fake photograph on the screen at the beginning of his show, but he never mentioned it. This monumental PCG effort that involved controlling at least three TV networks, a CIA publisher, Marina Oswald, a CIA agent, Priscilla McMillan, an enormous amount of time and money, and a special book review by the "New York Times"[10] demonstrates how much power the PCG has. Some of those people who watched "Good Morning America" and the "Tomorrow Show" and the "Dick Cavett Show" (three different types of national viewing audiences) who believe the lone assassin theory and the Warren Commission had those beliefs reinforced by Priscilla McMillan and Marina Oswald. It is wise for researchers, the Select Committee on Assassinations and others who know what is really going on, not to underestimate this power of the PCG. Fensterwald's Book A book by Bud Fensterwald appeared in 1977 under the sponsorship of the PCG.[11] This clever effort on the part of one of the CIA's best agents was designed to throw people off the track who have a somewhat deeper interest in the JFK assassination. It was meant to divert attention away from the CIA by omitting at least twelve of the CIA conspirators who were in the files of the Committee to Investigate Assassinations (co-founded by Fensterwald and the author in 1968). No excuse can be given for leaving these key people out of the book, because the CIA had extensive files on most of them. Bud Fensterwald even had a personal correspondent relationship to the key informant of the group, Richard Case Nagell. The twelve are: William Seymour, Emilio Santana, Manuel Garcia Gonzalez, Guy Gabaldin, Mary Hope, Richard Case Nagell, Harry Dean, Ronald Augustinovich, Thomas Beckham, Fred Lee Crisman, Frenchy, and Jack Lawrence. All of them were included in a description of the details of the assassination team earlier in this book and in an article by the author.[12] Zebra Books, the publisher of Fensterwald's book, is a CIA- controlled organization that has also published another disinformation book, "Appointment in Dallas," by Hugh MacDonald.[13] In both cases, the PCG intended to misdirect attention away from the CIA participants while at the same time admitting conspiracy. There is no way the story in MacDonald's book can be true. It maintains that Oswald at least planned to fire from the sixth floor window of the TSBD Building. As all good researchers know, the photographs of the window, inside and outside, prove there was no one firing from that window that day. The de Mohrenschildt Murder The Murder Inc. branch of the PCG killed George de Mohrenschildt when he became too dangerous for them. The media branch of the PCG then undertook a campaign to discredit Willem Oltmans and NOS-TV (in Holland) who happened to be in possession of a series of video and audio tapes of de Mohrenschildt that will be very damaging for the PCG. The de Mohrenschildt murder has so far been concealed by the PCG with the help of the media and portrayed as the suicide of a man who had become insane. As Willem Oltmans' book clearly demonstrates[14] de Mohrenschildt was quite sane when he disappeared from Belgium. He was in the process of giving Ed Epstein a story about his involvement in the JFK assassination when he was murdered in Florida. Donald Donaldson's Disappearance General Donald Donaldson, alias Dimitri Dimitrov alias Jim Adams, was intimately acquainted with the CIA people who planned JFK's assassination. He was in Holland to tell his story to NOS-TV and Willem Oltmans. He told Oltmans that Allen Dulles was the key CIA man in planning JFK's assassination. (Donaldson had been brought to the U.S. as a double agent during World War II by Franklin Roosevelt.) He held back his knowledge of the assassination conspiracy until the Church Committee was formed. He then took his information to Church, who brought him to President Ford rather than having him questioned by the Church Committee or the Schweiker sub-committee. Ford, Church and Donaldson had a meeting in which Ford talked both of them into keeping Donaldson's information under wraps. When de Mohrenschildt was killed, Donaldson decided it was time to make his information public and to offer it to the Select Committee. He approached Oltmans, asked that his identity be kept secret, told NOS his story, and then remained in Holland while Oltmans attempted to tell the story to President Carter. Oltmans revealed Donaldson's identity on American TV and to the Select Committee when Carter refused to listen to the story. Donaldson then moved to England, and subsequently disappeared from a London hotel, leaving large unpaid bills at both his London and Amsterdam hotels. The possibility is very good that he has gone the same route as de Mohrenschildt, murdered by the PCG. Attacks on the Select Committee One of a series of attacks on the Select Committee in November and December, leading up to the December vote on the 1978 budget, took place in the form of an article by probable CIA agent George Lardner, Jr., one of the Select Committee's biggest enemies. He is one of the PCG's stable of reporters. Lardner wrote an article for the Sunday "Washington Post" on November 6, 1977, portraying the Committee as engaging in random, uncoordinated activity, interrogating witnesses from the Garrison investigation (which Lardner labelled, "the zany Garrison investigation", and "the fruitless investigation"). The "New York Times," "Washington Star" and other media can be expected to open up all barrels under PCG direction. The general theme will no doubt be that the Committee has done nothing at all and that Oswald acted alone.[15] If Council Blakey or Chairman Stokes, or JFK subcommittee Chairman Preyer try to respond to these attacks they will be ripped to shreds by the PCG's media people. As the author pointed out in part I of this chapter, the only chance the Committee and the House have to keep the investigation going is to expose the PCG and their media control, from the top down. Otherwise the Committee cannot win the battle. ____________________ [1] Power Control Group (PCG) defined in prior articles and one book by the author, as follows: The PCG includes all organizations and individuals who knowingly participated in any of the domestic political assassinations or attempted assassinations, or in any of the efforts to cover-up the truth about those assassinations. This includes a large number of murders of witnesses and participants. The assassinations involved include, but are not necessarily limited to the following: John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, George Wallace and Mary Jo Kopechne. The PCG is a much larger group than just the clandestine parts of the CIA and the FBI, or the Secret Team as defined by L. Fletcher Prouty. It would however, include all those members
  15. John Ritchson

    John Heinz and John Tower

    Part14. Chapter 14 Congress and the People The last hope of the people to take back their government from the PCG is through Congress. The executive branch is a captive of the PCG. The legislative branch has no power in the situation. Where courts or judges do have some small measure of power, as in the hearings and appeals for a new trial for James Earl Ray, they have been controlled by the PCG. The ruling of the judge in the Ray appeals case, for example, was obviously a decision made for him by someone higher up. He ruled that Ray could not have a new trial after hearing a vast amount of evidence of conspiracy and solid evidence that Percy Foreman had duped Ray into pleading guilty. Unless a people's revolution comes along, and that hardly seems likely, the only possibility left is to hope that Congress can do it. What are the odds? From what has been pointed out so far, it is obvious that if Congress is to expose the PCG, throw the rascals in jail, and wipe the slate clean to seize the country back for the people, a tremendous battle will be required. All of the forces of the PCG, including their friends in the House and Senate, will be focussed on preventing this from happening. A power base within both houses would have to be created that could not only do battle with the PCG but that would not be fooled by their myriad of fiendishly clever techniques, methods and stratagems. It would have to be a power base that protected itself from infiltration and usurpation of its own resources. It would have to somehow conquer the media control problem; otherwise, no American citizen would know what it was doing or what the battle was about. How would such a battle start and such a power base be constructed? An important step would be to purify the special committee created by either resolution and to purify the staff. Preventing infiltration of staff by the PCG is especially important. As mentioned in Chapter 12, the Church Committee staff and the Schweiker sub-committee staff were infiltrated by the PCG, and specifically the CIA. A leading assassination researcher and former intelligence officer in the Defense Intelligence Agency who knew many, many CIA agents discovered two of them in the Church Committee staff offices in the fall of 1975. The other staff members had not been aware that these two men were CIA agents because they were "deep cover" agents. This problem is rather complex because there is always great pressure from the House or Senate to create a balance on any appointed committee. Thus the Church committee was hamstrung by several of the Senators appointed to be on it: they were close friends and supporters of the CIA and FBI. Senators Goldwater and Tower, for example, fought very hard to block any efforts to have the entire committee investigate potential CIA or FBI involvement in domestic assassinations. This does not necessarily mean that Goldwater and Tower are members of the inner circle of the PCG. But it does mean that PCG members who know who killed John Kennedy and why can influence Goldwater and Tower to block such efforts. The first step in the House or Senate might be floor voting because of the tight control exercised by the PCG over the committee procedure on resolutions. In the House, for example, the Rules Committee is all-powerful in determining which resolutions are brought to the floor. Henry Gonzalez introduced his resolution HR204 in 1975 and sent it to the rules committee. Nearly a year passed. On March 18, 1976 Mr. Gonzalez, together with Mr. Downing, was tired of waiting for some action by Chairman Madden and they took the issue to the floor of the House for discussion.[1] By this time the two representatives had 125 co-sponsors for their two resolutions (an unusually large number). Gonzalez and Downing had taken over the floor of the House for two hours and had several supporting speakers. No one rose in opposition. Prior to that time, Representative Sisk from California and Representative Bolling from West Virginia had been vehemently outspoken in the Rules Committee against both resolutions. Madden, Sisk and Bolling all left the House before Downing and Gonzalez started speaking. As a result of Gonzalez's and Downing's efforts, Madden was forced by Speaker Albert and other members of the House and by some of his own constituents to hold a formal hearing on the two resolutions on March 31, 1976. The PCG controlled the hearing through Sisk, Bolling and Lott. The resolutions were tabled, subject to future recall by the chairman. The vote was nine to six. Representative Bolling was called into the hearing from the House floor to cast the ninth vote at the last minute. He heard none of the arguments. He didn't have to. The PCG had instructed him on how to vote. This event is described to illustrate how difficult it would be to overcome the control advantages on the side of the PCG. Only on the Senate or House floor might it be possible to equalize things. The two events, the two hour discussion on the House floor on March 18, reported by the "Congressional Record," and the hearing by the rules committee on March 31 illustrate another problem Congress has combatting the PCG. Not one of the major news media organizations reported either event. Two hours on the House floor is an incredibly long time for any subject. There were many reporters present from television, radio, newspapers and press services. Mark Lane saw to that. But nothing appeared on CBS, NBC, ABC, or in "Time," "Newsweek," or the "New York Times." Why? The answer is obvious. Very tight control over the news from the House is exercised by the PCG. The larger implication is there for all to see who want to open their eyes. Seeing it and believing it are two different things. For nearly all Congressmen who still have faith in America, the whole point of this book, and the existence of a Power Control Group which included Ford, Nixon, Kissinger, the CIA, the FBI, the fifteen major news media management level people, plus nearly anyone else of importance in the executive branch and many Congressmen, is too much to swallow. They would rather have the whole thing go quietly away than face up to something that gigantic. And that is the real source of the PCG's strength, the unbelievability of it all. Addendum to Chapter 14 Several truly historic and highly encouraging events occurred in the months of September and October, 1976 that could indicate a change in the tide and power and control described in earlier chapters. First, on September 15, a coalition of representatives from the Black Caucus, Henry Gonzalez and Thomas Downing managed to get Resolution H1540 through the House Rules Committee. Mark Lane, Coretta King and others were responsible for creating pressures that finally convinced Speaker Carl Albert, Chairman Tom Madden of the Rules Committee and others that this was necessary and desirable. The new resolution, made up of parts of the Downing and Gonzalez resolutions plus input from Representative Walter Fauntroy from the Black Caucus called for a special 12-person committee to reopen the JFK and Dr. King cases and any other deaths that the committee might decide to investigate. The Rules Committee voted nine to four in favor. Representative Bolling, who perhaps unknowingly had lent his support to the opposition in the earlier vote, was an important swing vote and actually introduced the resolution in the meeting. The position of the nine who voted for the resolution was more than vindicated two days later, when the House, by the extraordinary vote of 280 to 64, passed the resolution. History was made. On that day cheers should have gone up from several hundred dedicated researchers around the world, and the Power Control Group should have begun looking for rocks to crawl under. The real war was only beginning, however. The "New York Times" barely reported the event, did not mention the vote, and buried the story in the middle of another story with one-half inch in one column. The "Washington Star" and "Post" carried larger stories and the "White Plains Reporter Dispatch" made it a first page headline story. The PCG's media control slipped a bit. The next hurdle was for Downing, Gonzalez and Fauntroy to convince Albert that the chairman of the new committee for 1977 should be Mr. Gonzalez since Mr. Downing had announced his retirement. Because elections were being held in November, Mr. Albert named Mr. Downing as chairman for the balance of 1976, with Mr. Gonzalez as next in line. He also let it be known to the press that Mr. Gonzalez would be the best choice to head the committee next year. Mr. Albert then named ten other members of the committee for the 1976 period. Four of them, Fauntroy, Burke, Stokes and Ford, were members of the Black Caucus. Stewart McKinney, Representative from Connecticut, is a well known supporter of the truth. Those five, together with Downing and Gonzalez, could probably be counted on to try to arrive at the truth. The other five representatives--Dodd from Connecticut, Preyer from Tennessee, Devine from Ohio, Thone from Nebraska and Talcott from California--were unknown quantities. If the PCG theory holds up, at least one of them, and perhaps two, will turn out to be PCG representatives. The next event of significance occurred on October 4 when Mr. Downing named Richard A. Sprague, former district attorney from Philadelphia and fearless prosecutor of the Yablonski murderers, as executive director of the committee's staff. The main significance of this event was who was not named. Bernard Fensterwald, Jr., was in strong contention, but he was not selected because of suspicions that he might be a CIA agent and also because of conflicts of interests among his clientele. Fensterwald represented Otto Otepka, James McCord, James Earl Ray and Andrew St. George, among others. There is certainly a strong CIA flavor and PCG influence among his clients. Whether or not Bud Fensterwald himself works for the CIA or the PCG, his rejection as executive director was a healthy sign that the committee might be able to go through the purification process described as essential in Chapter 14. Richard A. Sprague had his hands full attempting to separate PCG applicants for staff positions from non-PCG members. The PCG, during the same time period (September and October) these historic events were taking place, was very active in spreading its second line of defense information. "Castro did it in revenge" stories began popping up everywhere. Jack Anderson was revived to back up the strategy by publishing another of his "Castro did it" columns. ____________________ [1] House Resolution 204 -- Henry Gonzalez House Resolution 498 -- Thomas Downing * * * * * * * End Part14.
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