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David Lifton

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  1. Oswald’s Proficiency in the Russian Language

    Sorry for the delay. Have been involved in a time consuming move. We should probably talk about this on the phone. "To the best of my recollection" (as the saying goes), I think my source was Titovets, but--in any event--what I distinctly recollect is that the actual flash cards are (today) at the National Archives and part of the JFK Records Collection. So you might wish to check that out (and, if you confirm it, and if you order photocopies of any of those flashcards, please scan them and send me copies, either via email or by fax. I can provide a fax number. Just email me at dsl74@Cornell.edu. In general: people don't understand how talented Oswald was. He spoke English (of course, his first language); but also Russian; some Spanish, and was studying German. That's four languages. He really did have the seeds of a polymath. Too bad he didn't live long enough for all of that to flower. DSL, 10/16/2017; 2 a.m. PDT
  2. FBI Director Hoover may not have agreed with (or "bought", as you put it) the Single Bullet Theory, but he nevertheless supported the proposition of Oswald's sole guilt. As illogical as that may be, that's what the record shows. With one exception, I don't know of any statement --either orally or in writing--that Hoover made that he didn't agree with the proposition that Oswald was Kennedy's assassin. And the same goes for every Assistant Director of the FBI. Therefore, your fanciful notion that the FBI Director and all his top assistants "went along with" a coverup is ill-founded and without foundation. From my reading of the record, they all bought into it--they didn't "go along with" a coverup; they believed the Oswald-did-it story, and you're promulgating a falsehood to say otherwise. The one piece of evidence that strongly suggests that, months (or perhaps years) later, Hoover became aware of an entirely different reality was that conversation he had with a youngster, who questioned him about the assassination, and (as I recall) Hoover responded that he could not (and/or would not) tell the truth because it would be bad for the country. But that occurred many years later. The same for the anecdotal information that Adams offers in his book. If you restrict yourself to the time period from 11/22/63 through the issuance of the Warren Report in late September 1964, I think its an accurate statement to say that Hoover and all of his top people didn't just "go along with a coverup" but actually believed the Warren Report. And that remains true whether or not Hoover (et al) bought into the Single Bullet THeory. The point(s) you are making about the sequencing of the shots or the validity of the SBT was--to them--just a quibble. Their attitude (apparently) was to just shrug and say "So what?" I go back to my original statement: I don't know of any statement, written or oral, by Hoover or any of his top assistants who ever stated that they did not believe Oswald was Kennedy's assassin. And you can extend what I've just said to the top people who ran the investigation at the Dallas Field Office. For you, Jim DiEugenio, to be glibly spreading the idea that Hoover (et al) didn't believe the lone-assassin conclusion, is pure nonsense. You are propagating a false and incorrect conspiracy theory. The real problem in this case is that there was a strategic deception employed in connection with JFK's murder, Oswald "appeared to be" the assassin, and a whole slew of top people fell for it (imperfections and all). DSL, 10/16/2017 -1:45 a.m. PDT
  3. I disagree with this assessment. Completely. I've read all the detailed memos Hoover wrote on Friday afternoon, 11/22 (and beyond); and listened to most of the available taped conversations he had with Johnson. Where do you get this idea that Hoover "never subscribed to the LN angle." That's absurd. Yes, Hoover subscribed to it. In fact, he bought it hook, line and sinker (and if he had private thoughts to the contrary, that occurred later). But your broad generalizations are completely without merit. Furthermore, I sat down for a one-on-one multi-hour tape recorded conversation with Richard Rogge, the FBI Supervisor in charge of the Dallas Field Office investigation, at his home in Westlake Village, California, in 1984. Without question, Rogge believed that Oswald was the lone assassin. In 1989, I had an hour long filmed interview with FBI Agent Vince Drain, in Dallas. Another true believer. And still another with Doyle Williams, the FBI agent knocked to the floor by a SS agent at Parkland. No indication whatsoever that he didn't believe that Oswald was JFK's assassin. The notion that Hoover "didn't believe it" or "went along with it" is pure nonsense. Furthermore, Jim DiEugenio, I would hope that as a teacher you would know better. it is a very serious error to promulgate among new students of this case, because it misses the point that there was a powerful strategic deception that was deployed in connection with JFK's murder to create the false appearance that Oswald was JFK's assassin. (Or perhaps you don't believe that, either?) Yes, there were people who "knew better", but judged by what he wrote, and what he said, Hoover was not one of them. (And neither was Rogge or Drain, or Doyle Williams). DSL, 10/15/2017 6:35 p.m. PDT
  4. This project has gone on for much longer than originally intended (which was also, BTW, the case with Best Evidence). Rest assured that I'm involved 24/7 in bringing it to a conclusion. As soon as final arrangements are completed, an announcement will be made via the Internet and on Brent Holland's show. Stay tuned. DSL
  5. Judyth is a proven xxxx and fantast. She traffics in rubbish. I'm surprised you would be involved in spreading anything she says about me. Postscript: I was one of the very early researchers to speak with Judyth, at length. That conversation--the first (and only) conversation I ever had with her --was on March 4, 2000. The call was taped (because I believed, at the time, she was legitimate, and might have important information about LHO). Within minutes it became clear, from her mannerisms and her general defensiveness, that she was a very peculiar person of low credibility. It was during this conversation that she made the statement that she had had a telephone call with Lee, prior to JFK's assassination, and that they planned to meet at "a fine hotel in Cancun". Unfortunately, Cancun, as a resort, did not exist back in 1963, and when this was pointed out, by the late Robert Chapman (a close friend of mine) Judyth made numerous efforts to wriggle this way and that to get off the hook about her false statement. It may well be that my work will be published by a "fine publisher" but you can rest assured that Judyth and Lee never had a conversation about meeting at a "fine hotel" in Cancun.
  6. From Chapter 24 of Best Evidence, Chapter 24 ("House Select Committee: Public Hearings), p. 552 (either hardcover or Carroll & Graf). . . : this covers my experiences on 9/7/78, when I was a commentator for WETA, the Washsington PBS station covering the HSCA hearings. As soon as Dr. Humes finished testifying---with his contentious back and forth about the location of the rear entry in JFK's skull--he returned to his seat, and I exited the broadcast booth and ran down to where he was seated. Here's what I wrote: "When Humes left the stand, I went over and sat down beside him. The Committee had tried to impeach his testimony, which stood in the way of their analysis. He should have had legal representation. "Sitting next to him, I could see that Humes' hands were trembling." I asked him, "Dr. Humes, why don't you have a lawyer"" He replied: "I don't need a lawyer. I have nothing to hide." That's what I wrote--circa September 1978--and that's what I remember. I don't recall writing anything for "Clandestine America" and don't know what that is. DSL, 10/15/2017; 5:47 PDT
  7. Please note: Brent Holland's interview with me constitutes my report of the accounts of witnesses who I interviewed on camera in March 2015. I have attempted to faithfully convey their accounts (as told to me) of what they experienced on November 22, 1963. In reporting these accounts, pseudonyms were used so they will not be bothered or subject to pressure as the effort goes forward to find a national TV venue for their accounts. When that occurs, I will notify Brent Holland and that news will be posted on this thread. Thanks. DSL 10/15/2017; 12:50 a.m. PDT
  8. Oswald’s Proficiency in the Russian Language

    See Priscilla McMillan's handwritten notes. As for "all his time," I have a 1993 interview with someone who apparently had direct knowledge of Oswald's activities while at El Toro, and this witness reported (to me) Oswald's involvement with a tape recorder, in the colonel's office. Will have to check my records. But it became clear to me, at that time, that Oswald was either using a tape recorder, or had some "off-base" tutoring. But he was a very rapid learner. Want to know the "best evidence" for this? Just compare these two pieces of data: the military language test he took in January or Feb 1959 with his performance when he was dating Rosaleen Quinn, around June or July, 1959. Comparing those two pieces of data and you can see the rapid advance he made in the language (i.e., in his fluency in the language) between those two dates. That indicates (a) a tutor (or dialogue partner) and (b) a rapid learning curve. Bottom line: he was linguistically gifted, and then--when he "defected"--he hid his new found linguistic ability (and with good reason). As for "total immersion". . .by the time he returned from the USSR (June 1962), had had the benefit of 14 months of marriage to Marina, who spoke "beautiful Russian" (per Jeanne DeM and George, too, I think). DSL 9/30/2017 - 8 pm PDT Los Angeles, California
  9. Oswald’s Proficiency in the Russian Language

    I pursued this at some lengths some years back, with two persons with experience in teaching foreign languages. The conclusion I arrived at: Oswald was "linguistically gifted." I'll have more to say on this in the future, but the bottom line is that Oswald's "learning curve" --when it came to learning a language--was rather rapid. And this would hold true for any language. Place Oswald in a "linguistic environment" and he would "pick it up"--whether it was French, Russian, or Greek. Of course, this made him good material for a spy agency; but that's in a way besides the point. Here's what is more pertinent: Oswald would certainly not want to reveal how fluent he was when he first arrived in the USSR, because that would constitute circumstantial evidence that he had received professional training. I'm not saying he didn't receive (some) such training--in fact, I believe he did, in especially in the spring of 1959. What I am saying is that he could pick up the essentials of a language very rapidly, and the technical reasons for his having this ability were explained to me by two persons involved in linguistics, and what is called "professionally" - - "second language acquisition." Oswald spoke English (of course) plus Russian, plus some Spanish, and he was studying German. FYI: When he was studying German, he was using a deck of Russian flash cards. (!) FYI: I spoke with Priscilla McMillan about all this around 1995 (approx), and she assured me that during her meeting with Oswald, he spoke not a word of Russian. As far as I'm concerned, that's the result of deliberate concealment. Look at her notes and you will see reference to his having studied via the Berlitz method, but --if so--that implies he had a tutor of some sort. You cannot gain fluency in a language--any language--by reading a book, or just "studying vocabulary." One must have a dialogue partner. More another time. So. . .. total immersion? Sure. . but you could immerse me for 24/hrs a day, and I would never attain that level of fluency. My practical experience in all of this: I studied French for 4 years in high school, and one year in college. In the summer of 1961, I spent two months in France. . . yes, the "immersion" helped--for awhile I was even "dreaming in French"--but I do not consider myself "linguistically gifted" (as was Oswald) and my accent was a dead give away. As one teacher explained it to me: when someone has a perfect (or near perfect) accent, that's the tip-off that they are linguistically gifted. DSL 9/30/2017 8 p.m. PDT Los Angeles, California
  10. David, in the mid 80s my high school government teacher suggested your book Best Evidence and I read it way back then as a boy.   I have tried to keep amateurish track of you and the overall assassination discussion ever since then.  It's great work you've done and sometimes I think, "Why is there even any serious discussion about the existence of a conspiracy when Lifton documented the whole fiasco with the coffins so thoroughly?"  So thanks.  I am now middle aged and have reached a place in my career where I can take some time off from "real" work. I am a graduate student in the History Department at Arizona State.  I just finished a seminar on archiving - we organized and digitized papers related to Susan B Anthony from her namesake museum.   It was surprisingly fun, even though women's rights is not a particular passion for me.   Anyway, I'll cut it short and say I saw you post once or twice that you've got lots of files and need organizational help.   I need a project to work on in order to graduate.   I can afford to travel and have up to a year to do some work; I can also employ the university's resources if helpful.   Are you interested in free help?

  11. George: To the contrary, it makes plenty of sense--if you know, from the outset, that you are "controlling the body." This issue you have raised is dealt with, in considerable detail, in Chapter 14 of Best Evidence. Title: "Trajectory Reversal: Blueprint for Deception." I cannot afford to spend time "re-litigating" a matter so central to the issue of whether "body alteration" was "planned in advance"--that is, whether it was part of the original scheme (It was). Suffice it to say that all it takes is to punch a shallow hole in the body, and place a bullet either "inside" that defect, or on a stretcher (and then claim that it "fell out'). Surely you are aware that the original FBI reporting states exactly that; that the bullet "fell out". Another matter: its not possible to discuss this without dealing with another closely related issue: that the Dallas medical records--the nurses reports, the medical reports, etc.--make no mention of any back wound. None at all: not in the back, not in the neck, not in the head. The supposed "frontal entry" is not reported --at the Dallas end of the line--until the Dallas doctors were shown the Bethesda autopsy report on December 11, 1963. Further, and this is very important: the first report --from Dallas--that JFK was "shot in the back" was in a Dallas times Herald story--front page--published on Thursday, December 12th. It was written by the paper's science editor, Bill Burrus. In 1978, i hunted down the author--Bill Burrus--and spent several hours with him in New York City, in a taped interview. I'll be publishing this in Final Charade, and there you will learn, for the first time, the backstory of how this front page story --published on 12/12--came to be. Its an account that will curl your hair. Burrus gets a phone call very late on Wed night, from a mysterious high level VIP, who --supposedly--has the results of the Bethesda autopsy, which he wants published in the next day's newspaper. . and so that's how all of this begins--the first time any story is published, anywhere in the U.S., that the bullet entered "above" the shoulder blade. Skipping many intermediate details, let me cut to the chase. IMHO: (a) THe back wound is phony; and (b) a bullet was planted to "match" that wound. (And it didn't matter in which order these two events occurred 2 x 3 = 6; but so does 3 x 2 = 6. In math, one says that the two operations "commute." the same with the planting of that "nearly perfect" bullet, and the shallow wound. The sequence of planting and wound creation is really irrelevant. Again, see Chapter 14. Read it carefully, and understand that what I've laid out there, on the page, is the description of the algorithm--I repeat that word "algorithm"-- that was used to shoot the president,and then, immediately afterwards, alter the body. Of course, "they" are shooting at JFK's head, but the precise complicating details to which you are alluding are not a real problem as long as he is shot from the "opposite side" of the body than the phony sniper's nest. (Again, see ch 14). Yes, its the most "radical" part of Best Evidence, but rest assured, that's the key as to why "body alteration" could be "planned in advance." As a friend of mine used to say, President Kennedy wasn't just shot; he was shot "carefully." DSL 6/1/2017 - 12:30 a.m.PDT Los Angeles, California
  12. Yes, I would like that, too. Unfortunately, all my material (from that period) was recorded on hi 8, and was "pre-digital." So that: (a) I have to dig it out of storage; and. . (b) Do the conversion to digital. . and then. . (c ) Edit it properly, to focus on the relevant excerpt(s). I really do need assistance --financial and human--to embark on this project of how to deal with all my filmed interviews, which took place at a time when the technology was changing rapidly. Meanwhile, I've got to complete Final Charade. Sorry I don't "have a staff," or I'd simply assign the work to someone, and say "Do it." Stay tuned. . I'll try and do something. . DSL
  13. Helicopter at Bethesda

    Ty: Here's what we know about helicopters--or at least, here's what I think I "know" based on a very confusing record: 1. General Wehle, Lt. Lipsey (his assistant) and the casket team flew in a twin-rotor helicopter from Andrews to Bethesda, and landed (per the MDW Report) at (as I recall) 6:45 p.m. 2. Dennis David saw a chopper land (again, "as I recall") in my 1980 filmed interview (and possibly, also, in the 7/2/1979 initial phone interview). He not only saw a chopper land, I believe he said a casket was brought off that chapter. Again, going by recollection. 3. Paul O'Connor, who was inside the morgue (which is at the back of the hospit, on the "basement" level) heard the sound of chopper(s), one (at least) landed, and then the men brought the shipping casket into the morgue. So he (O'Connor) made the "connection" between the sounds he heard (of one or more choppers) and the appearance of the shipping casket, even though we mnow that the shipping casket came out of a black hearse. As far as a dead SS agent is concerned: I doubt very much that if there was such a body, that it would have been brought to Bethesda. First of all, if you're going to deny such a death (and I'm not saying this happened, but if it did), the last place you'd want to take the body would be to Bethesda (which was the focus of so much public attention); or even Walter Reed. lf such a body existed, and had to be disposed of, I'd think it would go to a private funeral home, and the family (assuming there was one) would be given some story about their loved one having "died a hero." Again, this is all speculation. My own conclusion(s): I think its clear, from the account of O'Connor (who was quite strong on what he heard) that one or more choppers landed at the rear of Bethesda, perhaps in the parking lot of the Officer's Club. Further, based on what Dennis David saw, he witnessed a chopper landing supposedly at the front, but I'd have to go back to the original footage to see whether he spelled that out, and whether or not he could e a landing at the rear. DSL 5/31/2017 - 4 p.m. Los Angeles, California
  14. FWIW: 1. Doyle Williams was the FBI agent who was physically attacked--by SS Agent Andrew Berger, I believe--and knocked down and sent sprawling to the floor. 2. I interviewed Doyle Williams, on camera--a fully professionally filmed interview--in June or July 1990. The interview lasted at least an hour. 3. Doyle Williams, imho, was a complete straight arrow. I cannot conceive of him being involved in a plot to harm Kennedy or to participate in a criminal scheme to falsify the facts of JFK's death. Based on the time I spent with him, I find it bizarre that anyone would suggest any such thing. 4. Going by my memory, here are other points I'd like to make: a. Williams went through the whole business of him being assaulted, and knocked to the floor. b. Williams was trained in karate, and made a deliberate decision not to fight back. He could have, and there could have been serious injuries. c. While he was lying on the floor, having just been knocked down by SS Agent Berger, SS Agent Kellerman came over, leaned down, and said to him, quietly, "Perhaps you'd better leave." The way Doyle related this incident to me was was quite graphic, and the impression I got --and has been reinforced by other data--is that Kellerman had ice water in his veins and was a cold blooded individual. The notion that an SS agent would lean down and tell an FBI agent, sprawled out on the floor, "Perhaps you'd better leave," made an indelible impression, and I find it outrageous. d. Everything I have described above is recorded on film. DSL 5/30/2016 - 8:55 PDT Los Angeles, California
  15. Tribute to Dennis David

    David Andrews: I have a slightly different opinion. Yes, Dennis David told me the same thing, back when I first spoke with him (on July 2, 1979). So. . what to make of such a bizarre statement, by one of those delivering the body? IMHO: I think that remark was made by a cynical (and clever) person who was in on the plot (and/or the coverup) and who knew very well what they --whomever "they" were--had done. The person who made that remark knew very well that they were delivering a "hijacked body" to the Bethesda morgue, and now, confronted by some innocent sailors, and asked "to explain," were using those same words to justify their possession of the President's body, and their involvement in delivering it to the morgue. That remark almost has the quality of a hollow joke, or sick black humor. Bottom line: I don't believe for a moment that those who were with the body, in that black hearse, were under the impression that they were "protecting" the body from being "hijacked." How could they? In normal circumstances, the President's body belonged in the Dallas coffin. The "hijacking"--if that's what one wishes to call it--had already occurred, back at Love Field. And that's why the coffin offloaded from Air Force One was empty, and why the naval ambulance--now en route to Bethesda Naval Hospital--was carrying an empty coffin. Remember what Commander Humes said, to avoid discussing any of this under oath when he testifed on March 16, 1964. When asked by Specter "tell us . . .in a general way [who] was present at the time the autopsy was conducted, in addition to you three doctors, please?". . . Humes replied: "This, I must preface by saying it will be somewhat incomplete. My particular interest was on the examination of the President and not of the (means "on the"--dsl) security measures of the other people who were present." N.B.: ". . of the other people who were present." Bottom line: IMHO: Humes was pawning off the peculiar logistic situation he was confronted with that night (e.g., multiple coffin arrivals, etc.) by hiding behind the phrase that there were "security measures of the other people who were present." (FYI: I pointed this out in Best Evidence, chapter 28, as I recall. But just to make sure, I retyped the above quote by consulting Humes' testimony, as it appears in Volume 2 of the 26 volumes). Humes was slick and deceptive, and Specter (I believe) was unsuspecting. One other factoid: Doug Horne, with whom I spoke extensively (almost dayto day, at the time of the ARRB depositions), told me that on a lunch break, or perhaps when his deposition was completed, Humes said words to the effect: "Well, I hope you guys can figure all this out." Yeah. . sure. Thanks so much, Dr. Humes. DSL 5/30/2017 - 2:20 p.m. PDT