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John Simkin

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  1. Latest details from here: http://politicalassassinations.com/2014/04/john-judge-has-passed-away/
  2. I think it probably relates to this thread. http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=20976
  3. As an old timer it hurts me when people post things on a blog about me and have no idea who or what they are talking about. Innuendos such as he is a fake, never heard of him, conspirator, etc. I am 76 years old and have quite a background. I was the Military Attaché to the US Secret Service during the JFK and Johnson Administrations. I NEVER said I was a Secret Service Agent! I NEVER said I was in Dallas at the time of the assassination. I have been in Public Service most of my life and when you are interviewed by the media what you say to them does not always appear correctly in print..I have learned over the years that they often write what they think they heard or what they wanted to hear.....they are journalists and reporters and so often it is reported incorrectly !! I have many Attorney friends who tell me...as long as they spell your name correctly let it go!...today's newspaper is tomorrow's fish wrapper......needless to say I am a very honest, open and moral individual. I have served my Country and Community for over 50 years....I have always been known to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth...so help me God. Please read my attachment (see below)and you will see more about me...I have spoken with Vince Palamara, John Backes and Bill Kelley....all very pleasant and meaningful conversations....so I cannot understand why all the negativity on myself still appears. Norman Katz Norman Katz, Graduate of Northeastern University, Boston MA 1961 College of Business Administration Norm Katz became a Commissioned Officer in the US Army Signal Corps through Northeastern's ROTC Program, receiving orders to go to the Republic of Korea in 1961, after Graduation from Northeastern. These orders were rescinded by the Department of the Army and new orders were issued that were quite clandestine that reassigned him to the Military District of Washington DC...In short, he was assigned to The White House and attached to the US Secret Service as Military Attaché for the Continuity of the US Government program. Norm was Assigned to the "Special Projects" department a highly classified area in US Government (USAICA) and reported directly to James Rowley, the Director of the US Secret Service during the early 1960's. The US Secret Service was under the Treasury Department until 2002 when The Secret Service changed to the Department of Homeland Security. His tenure at The White House during the JFK Administration brought him into direct activity with Key Players in the Cuban Missile Crisis and the standoff between the United States and Russia over the Russian Installation of Intercontinental Nuclear Missiles in the Country of Cuba only 90 miles off the United States Coast. Also, the eventual disaster and trauma of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the ongoing events surrounding it i.e. the swearing in of Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson as President, Funeral of JFK, the Transition in Office of The White House Principals for the continuity of the US Government and all other activities that are now a part of United States History. Norm was part of all the major actions and activities to make sure that the United States Government went on uninterrupted. The Federal Government in March of 2010 gave Norm clearance to tell his stories and relate his experiences during these traumatic times for the United States and the World. Not just History in the making, but classified history, accounts and reports that have never been heard before by someone who was physically present at the time. Norm has appeared on NBC, Channel 7 News, WHDH-TV Boston, MA and FOX NEWS, Channel 25 in Boston MA with Host Gene Lavanchy and also appeared on NBC, Channel 7 WHDH Boston, MA on the Program "Urban Update" hosted by TV Anchor, Byron Barnett . He also has been a Featured Speaker at several Massachusetts High Schools, Colleges and Universities, Charitable Organizations along with making Presentations at Private Corporations, Senior Life Communities such as EPOCH, Rotary Clubs, Chambers of Commerce and Men's and Women's Clubs throughout Massachusetts...speaking on the Cuban Missile Crisis and The Assassination of the 35th President of The United States, John F. Kennedy. He recently appeared with Radio Talk Show Hosts, Jim Callahan on March 29, 2014, The Fireside Radio Show and with Dan Rea, WBZ Radio on March 31 , 2014, Night Side - and Jordan Rich, WBZ Radio on May 4, 2014, The Jordan Rich Show. He will be making many Speaking Presentations within the next several months throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Flo Jonic, a Nationally known Icon of Journalism, TV and Radio News Reporting wrote on March 24, 2014....."Norman Katz is a national treasure whose story must be told. He had a unique perspective on some of the most important events of the 20th century because he was there. And he was only 24 years old. " Norm presently serves as Principal of Norman Katz Associates, a Professional Security Consulting Service and is also active and has been formerly active in other Business Enterprises and Banking where he served as Trustee and Corporator of Eastern Bank, Boston, MA. He has received numerous Awards and Honors over the years from both Civic and Private Organizations as well as from the Federal Government. He served as a Selectman and Police Commissioner for the Town of Sharon, MA for 32 years and was also considered for and offered the position of Undersecretary of Health and Human Services, Washington DC, under the term of Secretary and Congresswoman Margaret Heckler ( a Presidential Cabinet Position in the Reagan Administration). Norm has a long history of being involved in many Charitable and Civic Organizations where he Chaired many of them. He has Hosted his own Cable TV Show and appeared as a guest speaker on many Cable TV Shows in the Greater Boston area. He was also a speaker and lecturer at Northeastern University and many other Colleges and Universities in the New England area. He appears numerous time on "Google" if you search, Norman Katz JFK or Norman Katz Secret Service. Norm's Web Site is www.normankatzassociates.com. He has also served as an Advisor to the Massachusetts State Police on the Criminal Justice Training Council. Please note there are "blogs" which question Norm's existence, etc. As he was in a Highly Classified area of the United States Government his name will not appear unless you know exactly where to look in US History. However you can contact him at the information given above...and he has the Credentials to confirm and validate his past work in the United States Government. Norman Katz may be contacted at the Information provided on a need-to-know basis. His avocation has always been in the field of Government, Public Safety and Homeland Security. Norm also holds Certification from the United States Department Of State Protocol School and has held Security Classified Positions and Clearances i.e. : Top Secret, NATO, Crypto, Q , White House and Cosmic among others. He has completed and passed several Security Polygraph Testing procedures.
  4. Paul, no I didn't. I will check it out.
  5. We are currently redesigning the Spartacus website. We are trying to make it easier for students to use. I would be interested in your comments on the existing plans and any ideas you have on how it could be improved. You can see and example of this with the entry for Ted Shackley. http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKshackley.htm We have made several changes. To help visitors reach the information they are looking for by including a menu at the top of the page. Do you think that works effectively? Another innovation is the use of Twitter to post photographs that links with information that takes people to different parts of the website. We have also introduced a carousal box in the side-bar where we can show a series of photographs and cartoons that will take people to other parts of the website. This is to emphasis the scale of the content that we have to offer. I have tried to select images that will attract attention. The danger is that these images will upset some people. For example, is it acceptable to show a man being lynched or a monk setting fire to himself in protest of the Vietnam War? I would be interested in your views on this matter. We have also redesigned the home page. I like it because I have been involved in its development. However, that probably makes me blind to its faults. http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/ I am especially interested in any views that would make the website more useable by students.
  6. Presidents do not give orders like that (even if that is what they want). It is claimed that JFK was very upset when he heard what the CIA had done. Another example of the CIA running its own foreign policy.
  7. Another relevant quote from E. H. Carr: "If the historian necessarily looks at his period of history through the eyes of his own time, and studies the problems of the past as a key to those of the present, will he not fall into a purely pragmatic view of the facts, and maintain the criterion of a right interpretation is its suitability to some present purpose? On this hypothesis, the facts of history are nothing, interpretation is everything."
  8. Good quote from Trotsky. The inability to deal with evidence in an impartial way cost Trotsky his life. When Alexander Orlov defected to the West he sent a message to Trotsky outlining Stalin’s plan to kill him. Trotsky was aware that Orlov had been the man in the NKVD who had the responsibility of killing Trotsky supporters amongst the Republican forces. According to Edward Gazur, the author of Alexander Orlov: The FBI’s KGB General (2001): “Testimony in the 1955 Senate Subcommittee hearings revealed that Trotsky had considered Orlov’s warning letter to be a hoax perpetrated by the KGB and aimed at the destruction of Trotsky’s organisation.”
  9. I did not say he was? I was just making the point that he always looks for the weakness in the evidence that anybody puts forward.
  10. I have been a historian for over forty years. I have always been interested in subjects where there is a shortage of evidence. That there is a certain amount of mystery involved. Probably the first research I ever did was into the lives of working people in Britain at the end of the 18th century and the early part of the 19th century. I was drawn to this subject because we knew very little about the way this group saw the world. Most of them were unable to read and write and have left only a small amount of documentary evidence. During my research I read a book that I found disturbing. The book was by the historian, E. H. Carr. In What Is History? (1961) Carr addresses the problem of the politically motivated historian. He points out that the historian is likely to only write about subjects he/she cares about. In the words of another historian, W. H. B. Court: “History free of all values cannot be written. Indeed, it is a concept almost impossible to understand, for men will scarcely take the trouble to inquire laboriously into something which they set no value upon.” Carr argues that the historian starts off with a theory that needs to be tested by the evidence. The theory will reflect the political views of the historian. Carr makes the important point about the nature of the facts that the historian uses: "The facts are really not at all like fish on the fishmonger's slab. They are like fish swimming about in a vast and sometimes inaccessible ocean; and what the historian catches will depend, partly on chance, but mainly on what part of the ocean he chooses to fish in and what tackle he chooses to use – these two factors being, of course, determined by the kind of fish he wants to catch. By and large, the historian will get the kind of facts he wants. History means interpretation." After reading Carr's book I began asking myself some serious questions. When I was researching working class life was I being totally objective? Was I testing a theory that was highly subjective? Was I only looking for "facts" to support my theory and rejecting evidence that suggested other interpretations? As a historian you attempt to act in a completely objective way, but is it really achievable? For example, let us take one theory of the JFK assassination. In 1981 G. Robert Blakey (with Richard Billings) published The Plot to Kill the President (reissued in paperback in 1993 as Fatal Hour: The Assassination of President Kennedy by Organized Crime). Blakey was in a good position to write a book on the assassination as he served as chief counsel and staff director to the House Select Committee on Assassinations from 1977 to 1979. He was therefore in a good position to examine all the evidence available. Carl Oglesby summarized Blakey and Billings theory as follows: (i) Oswald alone did shoot and kill J.F.K., as the Warren Commission deduced. (ii) An unknown confederate of Oswald's, however, also shot at the President, firing from the celebrated "grassy knoll." This shot missed. (iii) Apart from the question of the number of assailants in the attack, Oswald acted as the tool of a much larger conspiracy. (iv) The conspiracy behind Oswald was rooted in organized crime and was specifically provoked by J.F.K.'s anti-crime program. Singly or in some combination, prime suspects are Carlos Marcello and Santos Trafficante, godfathers respectively of the New Orleans and Tampa Mafias, and Teamster racketeer James Hoffa. Each one had the motive, means, and opportunity to kill J.F.K. The book successfully accumulates the evidence that supports the theory that the Mafia was behind the assassination. Although there are other researchers who agree with Blakey, the vast majority of JFK research community either supports an alternative theory or rejects the whole idea that Lee Harvey Oswald was part of a conspiracy. These people will say that the evidence that Blakey provides is from “unreliable” sources. This is of course true of any theory of JFK's assassination. I happen to believe that the assassination was organized by CIA officers, David Morales and Carl Elmer Jenkins and carried out by a team led by Rafael (Chi Chi) Quintero. However, I am fully aware that people like John McAdams and Gary Mack will have little difficulty in questioning the reliability of the evidence I could produce. Some researchers believe the answer to the question of who killed John F. Kennedy will be found in the archives of the CIA and FBI. However, is it possible to imagine what kind of document will convince McAdams and Mack that he was murdered as part of a conspiracy? The same is also true of those who believe in the idea of a conspiracy. I recently became aware of this problem during an investigation into the political assassination of Sergi Kirov on 1st December, 1934. Leonid Nikolayev was immediately arrested and after being questioned by Genrikh Yagoda he signed a statement saying that Gregory Zinoviev and Lev Kamenev had been the leaders of the conspiracy to assassinate Kirov. Walter Duranty, the New York Times correspondent based in Moscow at the time, was willing to accept this story. "The details of Kirov's assassination at first pointed to a personal motive, which may indeed have existed, but investigation showed that, as commonly happens in such cases, the assassin Nikolaiev had been made the instrument of forces whose aims were treasonable and political. A widespread plot against the Kremlin was discovered, whose ramifications included not merely former oppositionists but agents of the Nazi Gestapo. As the investigation continued, the Kremlin's conviction deepened that Trotsky and his friends abroad had built up an anti-Stalinist organisation in close collaboration with their associates in Russia, who formed a nucleus or centre around which gradually rallied divers elements of discontent and disloyalty. The actual conspirators were comparatively few in number, but as the plot thickened they did not hesitate to seek the aid of foreign enemies in order to compensate for the lack of popular support at home." Nikolayev was executed after his trial but Zinoviev and Kamenev, two senior figures in the Soviet government, refused to confess. Ya S. Agranov, the deputy commissar of the secret police, reported to Stalin he was not able to prove that they had been directly involved in the assassination. Therefore in January 1935 they were tried and convicted only for "moral complicity" in the crime. "That is, their opposition had created a climate in which others were incited to violence." Zinoviev was sentenced to ten years hard labour, Kamenev to five. However, on 19th August 1936, a second trial began. This time they made a full confession. Kamenev said: "I Kamenev, together with Zinoviev and Trotsky, organised and guided this conspiracy. My motives? I had become convinced that the party's - Stalin's policy - was successful and victorious. We, the opposition, had banked on a split in the party; but this hope proved groundless. We could no longer count on any serious domestic difficulties to allow us to overthrow. Stalin's leadership we were actuated by boundless hatred and by lust of power." Zinoviev also confessed: "I would like to repeat that I am fully and utterly guilty. I am guilty of having been the organizer, second only to Trotsky, of that block whose chosen task was the killing of Stalin. I was the principal organizer of Kirov's assassination. The party saw where we were going, and warned us; Stalin warned as scores of times; but we did not heed these warnings. We entered into an alliance with Trotsky." Zinoviev and Kamenev were both executed. The Western media accepted that these two men had been guilty of this crime. An editorial in The Observer on 23rd August, 1936, commented: "It is futile to think the trial was staged and the charges trumped up. The government's case against the defendants (Zinoviev and Kamenev) is genuine." The New Statesman added: "Very likely there was a plot. We complain because, in the absence of independent witnesses, there is no way of knowing. It is their (Zinoviev and Kamenev) confession and decision to demand the death sentence for themselves that constitutes the mystery. If they had a hope of acquittal, why confess? If they were guilty of trying to murder Stalin and knew they would be shot in any case, why cringe and crawl instead of defiantly justifying their plot on revolutionary grounds? We would be glad to hear the explanation." The New Republic argued: "Some commentators, writing at a long distance from the scene, profess doubt that the executed men (Zinoviev and Kamenev) were guilty. It is suggested that they may have participated in a piece of stage play for the sake of friends or members of their families, held by the Soviet government as hostages and to be set free in exchange for this sacrifice. We see no reason to accept any of these laboured hypotheses, or to take the trial in other than its face value. Foreign correspondents present at the trial pointed out that the stories of these sixteen defendants, covering a series of complicated happenings over nearly five years, corroborated each other to an extent that would be quite impossible if they were not substantially true. The defendants gave no evidence of having been coached, parroting confessions painfully memorized in advance, or of being under any sort of duress." As far as the media was concerned, the case was closed. However, in the summer of 1937 forty NKVD agents serving abroad were summoned back to the Soviet Union. Three of these agents, Alexander Orlov, Walter Krivitsky and Ignaz Reiss received information, via a source at headquarters, that Joseph Stalin planned to have them all executed. The three men decided to defect to the West. Reiss was assassinated in Switzerland but Krivitsky and Orlov managed to get to the United States. Orlov and Krivitsky gave the FBI full details of how the confessions of Gregory Zinoviev and Lev Kamenev were obtained. Orlov pointed out. "Towards the end of their ordeal, Zinoviev became sick and exhausted. Yezhov took advantage of the situation in a desperate attempt to get a confession. Yezhov warned that Zinoviev must affirm at a public trial that he had plotted the assassination of Stalin and other members of the Politburo. Zinoviev declined the demand. Yezhov then relayed Stalin's offer; that if he co-operated at an open trial, his life would be spared; if he did not, he would be tried in a closed military court and executed, along with all of the opposition. Zinoviev vehemently rejected Stalin's offer. Yezhov then tried the same tactics on Kamenev and again was rebuffed." In July 1936 Nikolai Yezhov told Kamenev and Zinoviev that their children would be charged with being part of the conspiracy and would face execution if found guilty. The two men now agreed to co-operate at the trial if Stalin promised to spare their lives. At a meeting with Stalin, Kamenev told him that they would agree to co-operate on the condition that none of the old-line Bolsheviks who were considered the opposition and charged at the new trial would be executed, that their families would not be persecuted, and that in the future none of the former members of the opposition would be subjected to the death penalty. Stalin replied: "That goes without saying!" Walter Krivitsky published his account of the case in I Was Stalin's Agent (1939). He also visited London where he told MI5 details of the spy network set up by Theodore Maly and Arnold Deutsch, now both recalled to Moscow. This included information that should have enabled the authorities to catch Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean, Anthony Blunt, John Cairncross and Michael Straight. Walter Krivitsky was found dead in the Bellevue Hotel in Washington on 10th February, 1941. At first it was claimed that Krivitsky had committed suicide. However, others claimed his hiding place had been disclosed by a Soviet mole working for MI5 and had been murdered by Soviet agents. Whittaker Chambers definitely believed that he had been killed by the NKVD: "He had left a letter in which he gave his wife and children the unlikely advice that the Soviet Government and people were their best friends. Previously he had warned them that, if he were found dead, never under any circumstances to believe that he had committed suicide." Krivitsky once told Chambers: "Any fool can commit a murder, but it takes an artist to commit a good natural death." When Alexander Orlov defected he was concerned about his mother and mother-in-law, were still living in the from the Soviet Union. He sent a letter to Joseph Stalin (a copy was sent to Nikolai Yezhov, the head of the NKVD). He warned that an account of Stalin's crimes were lodged with his attorney and should he, or any member of his immediate family, be kidnapped or murdered by the NKVD, his attorney was under instruction to have the record of Stalin's crimes published immediately. Orlov kept his promise and his book, The Secret History of Stalin's Crimes, was not published until Stalin's death in 1953. Historians now accepted that Stalin had indeed ordered the assassination of Sergi Kirov. In 1956 Nikita Khrushchev made a speech on the rule of Joseph Stalin. He argued: "Stalin acted not through persuasion, explanation and patient co-operation with people, but by imposing his concepts and demanding absolute submission to his opinion. Whoever opposed this concept or tried to prove his viewpoint, and the correctness of his position, was doomed to removal from the leading collective and to subsequent moral and physical annihilation. This was especially true during the period following the 17th Party Congress, when many prominent Party leaders and rank-and-file Party workers, honest and dedicated to the cause of communism, fell victim to Stalin's despotism." Khrushchev condemned the Great Purge and accused Stalin of abusing his power. During the speech he suggested that Stalin had ordered the assassination of Kirov. In 1961 Khrushchev launched an investigation into the assassination of Kirov and other Stalin crimes. However, according to one insider, Feliks Chuev, the Shvernik Commission "found nothing against Stalin" but "Khrushchev refused to publish it - it was of no use to him." In 1985 Mikhail Gorbachev was appointed General Secretary of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union promising an era of political reform. One of his first moves was to launch a new official investigation into the assassination of Sergi Kirov. An inter-agency team re-examined the evidence but with all previous investigations, the commission failed to produce a report. As one historian pointed out: "Their efforts dissolved into mutual recriminations among the members that leaked into the press, as some pressed for a conclusion implicating Stalin while other members argued that the evidence pointed the other way." This is of course what will happen if the CIA and the FBI opened up their archives. The members of any such commission would be unable to agree about the Kennedy assassination. All the government files concerning the Kirov assassination have now been released. Over the last few years there have been two books published by American historians on the case: J. Arch Getty's The Road to Terror: Stalin and the Self-Destruction of the Bolsheviks, 1932-1939 (2010) and Matthew E. Lenoe's, The Kirov Murder and Soviet History (2010). Both men came to the same conclusion. The evidence does not exist to prove that Stalin ordered the assassination. They claim that the early evidence from Walter Krivitsky and Alexander Orlov, is unreliable as the information was secondhand and based on hearsay. John Archibald Getty makes the interesting point: "While it is true that most Leningrad police officials and party leaders were executed in the terror subsequent to the assassination, so were hundreds of thousands of others, and there is no compelling reason to believe that they were killed 'to cover the tracks' of the Kirov assassination, as Khrushchev put it. Moreover, they were left alive (and in some cases at liberty) and free to talk for three years following the crime. It has seemed to some unlikely that Stalin would have taken such a chance for so long with pawns used to arrange the killing." If historians cannot agree on the assassination of Kirov, how will they ever agree on the Kennedy assassination? It is possible that some researcher will come up with some new evidence over the next few years. Whatever, the quality of the evidence, the response is predictable. Some will use it to back up the theory they have been pushing in books, blogs and forums. However, the vast majority, will be able to ask difficult questions about this new evidence. These are questions that they would not ask about the evidence that they believe supports their own theory. As John Maynard Keynes once pointed out: "The difficulty lies not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones." http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/spartacus-blogURL26.html
  11. Larry, do you take a look at William Stephenson and the British Security Coordination (BSC) that was established in the United States in 1940? Amazingly FDR gave permission for British intelligence to establish its own unit in the US. Its main objective was to bring the US into the war. Stephenson worked closely with William Donovan, who later became the chief of the Office of Strategic Service (OSS). Allen Dulles was one of BSC agents. As soon as the Second World War ended President Truman ordered the OSS to be closed down. However, it provided a model for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) established in September 1947. According to Joseph C. Goulden several of the "old boys" who were around for the founding of the CIA like repeating a mantra, “The Brits taught us everything we know - but by no means did they teach us everything that they know.” http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SPYbsc.htm http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WWstephensonW.htm
  12. It is true that not many historians have written pro-conspiracy JFK books. However, I am not aware of any historians writing books on the subject supporting the conclusions of the Warren Commission. One notable pro-conspiracy book written by a historian is Gerald McKnights Breach of Trust (2005). Another is John Newmans Oswald and the CIA (2008). Of course we also have the well-respected, David Kaisers book, The Road to Dallas (2008). The recent biography of Kennedy by the highly rated historian in the UK, Peter Ling, takes a pro-conspiracy line over his death. In the past, most biographers have decided not to go into too much detail over the assassination. Maybe we are getting to the stage when this will change. The truth is that most pro and anti JFK conspiracy books have been written by journalists. They vary in standard but the vast majority to do not deal with evidence in the same way as an historian. Journalists also tend to start off with a theory and then search round for evidence to support the theory. At the same time they ignore the evidence that suggests a different theory. Lawyers writing about the case have the same failing. An historian, on the other hand, is usually more flexible and should adapt his theory during his research. He should also comment on evidence that appears to be relevant but does not fully support his theory.
  13. Larry, would you like to give a brief summary of the book?
  14. A friend has sent me this link: http://www.ringnebula.com/project-censored/1976-1992/1986/1986-story23.htm 23. CIA CORRUPTS ACADEMIC COMMUNITY ... AGAIN In 1976, the nation was shocked, and the religious and academic communities outraged, when the Church Committee revealed that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had surreptitiously hired clergymen and professors to do its dirty work. The Church Committee found that, prior to 1967, the CIA sponsored, subsidized, or produced over 1,000 books. It also reported that in 1967, the CIA was using "several hundred American academics (administrators, faculty, graduate students engaged in teaching) who in addition to providing leads and, on occasion, making introductions for intelligence purposes, occasionally write books and other material to be used for propaganda purposes abroad. ... These academics are located in over 100 American colleges, universities, and related institutes. At the majority of institutions, no one other than the individual concerned is aware of the CIA link. ..." When the dust settled, the CIA solemnly promised to stop such activities within the U.S. "We will, under no circumstances, publish books, magazines or newspapers in the U.S.," promised CIA Deputy Director for Plans, Desmond Fitzgerald. The CIA promise was good for just ten years (as far as we know). Last year, Harvard University discovered, and revealed, that its Professor Nadar Safran accepted $107,430 from the CIA to secretly underwrite his recently published book, SAUDI ARABIA: THE CEASELESS QUEST FOR SECURITY. It also was discovered that the CIA paid $45,700 to underwrite a symposium on Islamic fundamentalism organized by Safran. Neither Harvard nor the participants in the symposium were aware of the CIA involvement. Congressman Don Edwards (D-CA) charged that "This is serious misconduct by the CIA. So far the news accounts of this incident have focused on Harvard and Professor Safran, not on the CIA. Does this mean that the news media believe this practice is business as usual for the CIA or that we have all forgotten that ten years ago this behavior produced a major controversy? The public is entitled to know if these are isolated ventures or if we are back to the bad old days when one didn't know which book was a CIA plant. How many books, magazines, and newspapers are there in the U.S. that are in reality CIA propaganda? How many professors and clergymen are on its payroll? ... Already there are repercussions over the Harvard incidents. Islamic scholars, for example, are dismayed. Said one, 'People in the Middle East to whom we must have access would never trust us again.' As for college students, never wholly reverent towards their professors, are they beginning to wonder, as the professor lectures, 'is he real, or is he CIA?" SOURCE: RECON, Spring 1986, "Books, Professors, and the CIA," by Congressman Don Edwards (D-CA), p 3.
  15. In September 1962, Alexander Orlov became a Senior Research Fellow at the Law School of the University of Michigan. Orlov was a former NKVD officer who had defected to America in 1938. Orlov's book, A Handbook of Intelligence and Guerrilla Warfare, was published by the university in 1963. In December 1993, Alfred Slote, a freelance journalist, published an article in the Ann Arbor Observer, where he provided evidence that Orlov’s salary had been paid by the CIA. The agency had also supplied the money for the book to be published. This in itself is not very remarkable. Orlov had provided the CIA and the FBI with some valuable information over the years and it was a reasonable reward for the help he had given them. As Orlov had trained communist guerrillas during the Spanish Civil War, the information in his book was probably very useful, especially as America was about to get involved in a guerrilla war in Vietnam. However, it was another piece of information in the article that caught my eye. Slote had interviewed Professor Whitmore Gray while writing the article. Gray had been involved in accepting the CIA’s request to employ Orlov. Gray told Slote: "You have to remember that it was a different time. There might have been a hundred members of the University of Michigan faculty receiving CIA funds for research. Back then it was the patriotic thing to do. I can assure you no eyebrows were raised about a former NKVD general being here. No one thought it was unusual." I wonder how many other universities were receiving CIA money for “academic research”? Also, does it explain why so few historians have showed very much interest in the assassination of JFK.? http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SPorlov.htm
  16. People might be interested in this new JFK assassination forum set up by Greg Burnham. http://forum.assassinationofjfk.net/
  17. List of countries by life expectancy. I am surprised to find that the USA is now only in 35th place and the UK in 29th place. It is just another example of the great inequality that takes place in the two countries. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy
  18. Could this song be about the JFK Assassination? Rufus Wainwright - Going To A Town
  19. In fact there was a British plan to assassinate Stalin in 1918 but was rejected because at the time he was considered not important enough (that was only to change six years later). The important point I was making is that intelligence services have been planning political assassinations for a long time and they always make sure the documentation is always destroyed. Therefore, if the CIA and FBI were involved in the assassination, it is highly unlikely that they have allowed any documents that proove this to survive.
  20. A lot of energy is used by researchers to persuade the authorities to release classified documents concerning the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Is it possible that the CIA and the FBI hold documents that will provide evidence that will reveal the real killers of Kennedy? If they had existed, which I think is unlikely, would they not have been destroyed? I have recently been investigating a case where the British, French and American intelligence agencies joined together in a conspiracy to assassinate Lenin in August 1918. It is nearly 100 years ago that this event took place and although we know virtually the whole story now, it is not because of the release of official documents. In 1993 Gordon Brook-Shepherd decided that he would investigate the case. The former intelligence officer worked as a journalist for the Daily Telegraph and was in a good position to discover what had happened as he was trusted by the British establishment. After all, all the people concerned were long dead and the basic outline of the conspiracy had been revealed in 1931 when the wife of one of the agents involved in the conspiracy published an account based on the diaries of her husband, George Reilly, who had been executed in 1925 by the Russian Secret Police (Cheka) for his part in the assassination attempt. In the next couple of years, two other British agents involved in the plot, Robert Bruce Lockhart and George Alexander Hill, published their accounts of the conspiracy. However, the British government refused to release MI6 files that would have confirmed the story. Brook-Shepherd had a meeting with an unnamed government minister, who had been a close friend for many years. He later recalled that "over several lengthy sessions, I was briefed on everything that had survived in our closed archives on the subject I was dealing with". Eventually he was allowed to see the official documents held by the British intelligence services. He became suspicious when he could not find one reference to Ernest Boyce, the MI6 station chief in Moscow in the summer of 1918 when the conspiracy took place. Brook-Shepherd writes about finding a file headed "Anti-Bolshevik Activities in Russia" but when opened he found it to be completely empty. He eventually reached the conclusion that every document relating to the assassination plot had been destroyed. Brook-Shepherd had no more luck examining the French archives. All the Deuxieme Bureau archives, along with other special security and diplomatic files, were carted off to Berlin by the Germans after the fall of France in 1940. These archives were taken by the Red Army after they seized the German capital in May 1945 and transported to Moscow. After the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union high-level negotiations took place about these archives. An accord was duly signed between the French and Russian governments on 12th November 1992. The first delivery took place on December 1993 and over the next five months an estimated 140 tons of paper arrived in Paris. However, Brook-Shepherd could find no documents relating to the 1918 conspiracy to kill Lenin. According to the French authorities, the Russian government is still holding about 5% of their classified documents. The situation is even more difficult concerning the American involvement in the assassination plot. It is claimed that the Americans did not have an intelligence service in 1918. According to President Woodrow Wilson, the government was opposed to the whole idea of spies and intelligence agents. In a speech he made to Congress on 2nd April 1917, he claimed that in the past it had been used by monarchies and aristocracies to guard their privileged existence and had no place in the new democratic order where the people were entitled to know everything: "Self-governed nations do not fill their neighbour states with spies." Maybe he was unaware that the State Department had dispatched a series of spies and saboteurs into neighbouring Mexico on missions which included an attempt to assassinate the revolutionary leader Pancho Villa. President Wilson was also officially opposed to intervention against the Bolshevik government at the time of the plot. This was partly because he did not want to do anything that increased the power of the British and French empires. Secondly, as a democrat, he had no desire to help the return of the Russian monarchy. In March 1918 he sent a telegram to the Bolshevik government, via the American consulate in Moscow: "The whole heart of the people of the United States is with the people of Russia in the attempt to free themselves for ever from an autocratic government and to become the masters of their own fate." In reality, the Americans had a team of agents in Russia in 1918. The spymaster was Dewitt Clinton Poole, the Consul General in Moscow. America's main agent was Xenophon Kalamatiano, who was condemned to death by the Russian courts for his part in the conspiracy (if you do a Google search for these two men you will see what a great job the American authorities had done in trying to remove details of their involvement in this conspiracy). Despite the efforts of these intelligence services to keep the conspiracy secret we now have the full story. However, it was not until 2001 that all the details were published. The information came from Alexander Orlov, a senior figure in the Russian Secret Police. He was a figure close to Joseph Stalin and was responsible for obtaining the false confessions from Lev Kamenev and Gregory Zinoviev in 1936. During the Spanish Civil War Orlov had the task of eliminating the supporters of Leon Trotsky fighting for the Republican Army and the International Brigades. In July 1938 Orlov was ordered back to the Soviet Union by Stalin. Aware of the Great Purge that was going on and that several of his friends had been executed, Orlov fled to France with his wife and daughter before making his way to the United States. Orlov sent a letter to Nikolai Yezhov, the head of the NKVD, that he would reveal the organizations secrets if any action was taken against him or his family. Orlov was interviewed by the FBI when he arrived in America. He was of course was an excellent source of information on the Show Trials that had been taking place in the Soviet Union (you have to remember at the time the media was reporting that there was indeed a Trotsky inspired plot to overthrow Stalin). However, it was not only events in Russia in the 1930s that he knew about. In 1918 he had been a junior officer in Cheka and actually took part into the investigation of Xenophon Kalamatiano. Orlov was allowed to stay in America but he was told that he could not publish any information about his work in the Soviet Union without permission. After the death of Joseph Stalin he published The Secret History of Stalin's Crimes (1953). This did not include details of the plot to kill Lenin. He had written about it but was refused permission to publish it. Orlov died in Cleveland, Ohio, on 25th March 1973. One of the FBI agents who interviewed Orlov was a man named Edward P. Gazur. He befriended Orlov and he inherited his unpublished memoirs. He allowed this material to be seen by Gordon Brook-Shepherd, who used it to help him write Iron Maze: The Western Secret Services and the Bolsheviks (1998). The book reveals that the plot had been instigated by Colonel Eduard Berzin, a senior commander of the Lettish (Latvian) regiments that had been protecting the Bolshevik Government ever since the revolution. That was true but he was also an agent of Cheka. Berzin had his first meeting with Robert Bruce Lockhart, the Head of Special Mission to the Soviet Government with the rank of acting British Consul-General in Russia on 14th August, 1918. Lockhart, who described Berzin as "a tall powerfully-built man with clear-cut features and hard steely eyes" was impressed by Berzin. He told Lockhart that he was a senior commander of the Lettish (Latvian) regiments that had been protecting the Bolshevik Government ever since the revolution. Berzin insisted that these regiments had proved indispensable to Lenin, saving his regime from several attempted coups d'état. On 25th August 1918, Consul-General Dewitt Clinton Poole attended a meeting with French Consul-General Joseph Fernand Grenard where the plot was discussed. Poole arranged for 200,000 rubles to be contributed to the operation. Colonel Henri de Vertemont, the leading French intelligence agent in Russia also contributed money for the venture. Over the next week, Sidney Reilly, Ernest Boyce and George Alexander Hill had regular meetings with Colonel Belzin, where they planned the overthrow of the Bolshevik government. During this period they handed over 1,200,000 rubles. Unknown to MI6 this money was immediately handed over to Felix Dzerzhinsky, the head of Cheka. So also were the details of the conspiracy. Berzin told the conspirators that his troops had been to assigned to guard the theatre where the Soviet Central Executive Committee was to met. A plan was devised to arrest Lenin and Leon Trotsky at the meeting was to take place on 28th August, 1918. Robin Bruce Lockhart, the author of Reilly: Ace of Spies (1992) has argued: "Reilly's grand plan was to arrest all the Red leaders in one swoop on August 28th when a meeting of the Soviet Central Executive Committee was due to be held. Rather than execute them, Reilly intended to de-bag the Bolshevik hierarchy and with Lenin and Trotsky in front, to march them through the streets of Moscow bereft of trousers and underpants, shirt-tails flying in the breeze. They would then be imprisoned. Reilly maintained that it was better to destroy their power by ridicule than to make martyrs of the Bolshevik leaders by shooting them." Reilly's plan was eventually rejected and it was decided to execute the entire leadership of the Bolshevik Party. The British government selected the man who they wanted to be the head of the new Russian government. His name was Boris Savinkov. It was a controversial decision as Savinkov had a very dubious past. He was a member of the Socialist Revolutionary Party and had been involved in several acts of terrorism and had been involved in the assassination of Vyacheslav Plehve, the Minister of the Interior, in 1904. Savinkov had been a member of the Provisional Government in 1917 and had a deep hatred of the Bolsheviks. Winston Churchill, the Minister of War, was a passionate supporter of intervention, and on the advice of Sidney Reilly, had selected Savinkov was the best man to lead the government. Prime Minister David Lloyd George had doubts about trying to overthrow the Bolsheviks: "Savinkov is no doubt a man of the future but I need Russia at the present moment, even if it must be the Bolsheviks. Savinkov can do nothing at the moment, but I am sure he will be called on in time to come. There are not many Russians like him." The Foreign Office was unimpressed with Savinkov describing him as "most unreliable and crooked". Churchill replied that he thought that he "was a great man and a great Russian patriot, in spite of the terrible methods with which he has been associated". Churchill rejected the advice of his advisors on the grounds that "it is very difficult to judge the politics in any other country". At the last moment, the Soviet Central Executive Committee meeting on 28th August, 1918, was cancelled. Three days later Dora Kaplan attempted to assassinate Lenin. It was claimed that this was part of the British conspiracy to overthrow the Bolshevik government and orders were issued by Felix Dzerzhinsky, the head of Cheka, to round up the agents based in British Embassy in Petrograd. The naval attaché, Francis Cromie was killed resisting arrest. According to Robin Bruce Lockhart: "The gallant Cromie had resisted to the last; with a Browning in each hand he had killed a commissar and wounded several Cheka thugs, before falling himself riddled with Red bullets. Kicked and trampled on, his body was thrown out of the second floor window." Ernest Boyce and Robert Bruce Lockhart were both arrested but Sidney Reilly had a lucky escape. He arranged to meet Cromie that morning. He arrived at the British Embassy soon after Cromie had been killed: "The Embassy door had been battered off its hinges. The Embassy flag had been torn down. The Embassy had been carried by storm." Reilly now went into hiding and after paying 60,000 rubles to be smuggled out of Russia on board a Dutch freighter. George Alexander Hill also managed to escape. Consul-General Dewitt Clinton Poole, who was on a visit to Siberia at the time, managed to get to Finland when he heard of the other arrests. His main agent in Russia, Xenophon Kalamatiano, was not so lucky and was arrested. Alexander Orlov was there when Kalamatiano was interviewed. He refused to answer questions but one of the officers noticed that he never parted with the cane he held in his hands. The officer asked to see the cane and began to examine it closely. Orlov told the FBI: "Kalamatiano turned pale and lost his composure. The investigation soon discovered that the cane contained an inner tube and he extracted it. In it were hidden a secret cipher, spy reports, a coded list of thirty-two spies and money receipts from some of them." On 2nd October, 1918, the British government arranged for Robert Bruce Lockhart and Ernest Boyce to be exchanged for captive Soviet officials such as Maxim Litvinov. After his release the remaining plotters were put on trial. They were all found guilty and Xenophon Kalamatiano and Colonel Alexander V. Friede were condemned to death. The court also passed death sentences on Lockhart, Sidney Reilly , Joseph Fernand Grenard and Colonel Henri de Vertemont, noting that "they had all fled". They would all be shot if ever found on Soviet soil. Friede was executed on 14th December but Kalamatiano was sent to Lubyanka Prison. In the early weeks of his incarceration he was taken out several times into the courtyard for a mock execution. However, Felix Dzerzhinsky had decided that Kalamatiano was more use alive than dead. Negotiations for Kalamatiano release began straight away. The Bolshevik government told American officials that "Kalamatiano had committed the highest crime against the Soviet state, was properly tried according to Russian revolutionary law and is still considered dangerous to Soviet Russia." It was made clear that Kalamatiano would remain in custody as long as the American government gave support to the White Army in the ongoing Russian Civil War. On 19th November 1920 Kalamatiano managed to send out a message to the man who recruited him as an intelligence agent, Professor Samuel N. Harper: "Just a few words to tell you, and whichever of my friends you run across, that I am still very much alive - although skinny... Yesterday celebrated my 30th month of imprisonment in various institutions... However, as whatever happens outside finally is concentrated here I consider I have been given a box seat to watch the revolution and am not complaining of such an unusual opportunity. Several of your acquaintances have been here at various times. I trust sometime to tell you more about them all. At the present, names on paper are odious things... If I pull out alive, and I have every hope of doing so now - although at one time chances seemed to be rather on the undertaker's side - I hope we will have a chance of talking things over." In the summer of 1921 famine was raging in the country and over 25 million Russians were facing starvation. On 27th July, the American Secretary of State, Charles Evans Hughes, warned the Soviet Foreign Minister, Maxim Gorky, in writing: "It is manifestly impossible for the American authorities to countenance measures of relief for the distress in Russia while our citizens are detailed." Three days later, the Bolsheviks agreed to release their American prisoners in return for American Relief Administration emergency help. Kalamatiano and five other Americans were released on 10th August 1921. Kalamatiano was warned by Dewitt Clinton Poole that he must not tell anyone about his activities in Russia. He was dismissed from the State Department in December 1921 and given a job as a foreign language instructor at the Calver Military Academy. Despite official dissuasion, he did write his memoirs but no publisher was willing to accept his manuscript. Xenophon Kalamatiano was a keen hunter and after one expedition in the winter of 1922 he suffered a frozen foot. It turned poisonous and toes had to be amputated. "I am departing the world in particles" he wrote from hospital to his old mentor, Professor Samuel N. Harper. The poison continued to attack his body and eventually damaged his heart. He died on 9th November 1923 of a condition certified by the doctors as "sub-acute septic endocarditis". He was forty-one years old. The final part of the story was revealed in Alexander Orlov: The FBI's KGB General, a book published in 2001. FBI agent Edward P. Gazur, who interviewed Alexander Orlov, claims that Ernest Boyce the MI6 section head in Russia in 1918 was actually a double agent and in the pay of the Soviets. Nigel West has argued that "the reason why this hasn't come out until now is that Orlov, who was not debriefed by British intelligence, never told anybody but Edward Gazur." Orlov's The March of Time, Reminiscences, was not published until 2004. Gordon Brook-Shepherd, the author of Iron Maze: The Western Secret Services and the Bolsheviks (1998) has pointed out: "Entitled The March of Time, Reminiscences by Alexander Orlov, it is 655 pages long and deals in twenty-nine chapters with episodes in his career as a soldier and Soviet secret service man, from those first years of Bolshevik rule down to his own break with Stalin in 1939 and his adventurous flight from his final post in Spain to North America. Much of that Spanish story and his escape from Stalin's clutches had already appeared in print. This account of the earlier period had never been published or even circulated. It covered half the book, much of it on that first decade of Bolshevik power with which I was concerned. (The whole of Chapter Five, for example, gives the real story, over seventy-six pages, of the entrapment of Boris Savinkov, the 'great conspirator', and the most dangerous of all the Bolsheviks' Russian foes.) I have quoted extensively from both of these sections, not only because of the fascinating human detail they provide, but because I came to regard them, after frequent counter-checks, as totally reliable." John Scarlett, the Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, announced in the run up to its centenary that MI6 would "commission an independent and authoritative volume on the history of the Service's first forty years". Keith Jeffery, the Professor of British History at Queen's University, Belfast, was chosen to carry out the task and MI6: The History of the Secret Intelligence Service: 1909-1949 was published in 2010. The book includes some details of the activities of MI6 agents in Russia in 1918 but there is no mention of what is now known as the "Lockhart Plot". The book does have one reference to Ernest Boyce. It accuses Boyce of sending Sidney Reilly back into Russia in September 1925 to have secret meetings with the leaders of Monarchist Union of Central Russia. "Boyce had to take some of the blame for the tragedy. Back in London, as recalled by Harry Carr, his assistant in Helsinki" he was "carpeted by the Chief for the role he had played in this unfortunate affair." He does not add that the group had been set up by Felix Dzerzhinsky, the head of the Soviet Secret Police, in order to gain revenge for the plots against Lenin. Only a few months earlier, Boris Savinkov, the man who the British government wanted to become the new leader of the Russian government, after the assassination of the Bolshevik leaders, had been trapped in the same way. Savinkov died in police custody on 7th May, 1925, Reilly was executed on 5th November. The reasons why the intelligence services of Britain, France and United States covered up the Lockhart Plot was not so much because they were carrying out illegal acts such as the assassination of foreign leaders. The main concern was to hide the fact that they were so easily duped by Cheka and that one of their key officers was a double agent. Could this also true of the non-release of CIA and FBI files on the assassination of John F. Kennedy? Maybe they are just covering up their own incompetence. http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Dewitt_Clinton_Poole.htm http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Xenophon_Kalamatiano.htm http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SPorlov.htm http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/RUSlockhart.htm http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SSreilly.htm http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Ernest_Boyce.htm http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/George_Alexander_Hill.htm http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Francis_Cromie.htm http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Eduard_Berzin.htm
  21. Huber Matos, a long-time associate of Manuel Artime and one of the first anti-Castro plotters has died. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/03/huber-matos
  22. A very useful website. I see you are making good use of Google+ as it came high-up in my Google search for "assassination of JFK".
  23. Pete Seeger received some very complimentary obituaries in the American press this week. They only briefly mentioned his blacklisting and definitely did not say anything about their role in the destruction of his career in the early 1950s. Seeger's parents encouraged him to question authority at an early age. His father, Charles Louis Seeger, was a musicologist who taught at Berkeley University, lost his job when he opposed United States involvement in the First World War. Seeger told his dean that Germany and England were both imperialist powers, and as far as he was concerned, they could fight each other to a stalemate. Seeger's first concert performance was on 3rd March 1940. It was a benefit for California migrant workers. Other singers on the show included Josh White, Woody Guthrie, Burl Ives, Molly Jackson and Huddie Leadbelly. Six moths later joined together with Guthrie, Lee Hayes, Pete Hawes and Millard Lampell to form the Almanac Singers. They specialized in songs advocating an anti-war, anti-racism and pro-union philosophy. Not the sort of material that was liked by the mainstream press. On 7th December, 1941, Pearl Harbor was attacked and the United States entered the war. The Almanacs now concentrated on writing anti-Nazi songs. The most successful of these was The Sinking of Reuben James, the story of the ninety-five people drowned in the first American ship torpedoed in the Second World War. They were now hired by the United States Office of War Information to perform for troops as the government understood the value of songs in building morale. As David King Dunaway pointed out: "When the Almanacs had sung peace songs, critics had called it propaganda; now they sang war songs, the government styled it patriotic art." On 14th February, 1942, the Almanacs played for nearly thirty million radio listeners at the opening of a new series, This Is War. After the war Seeger went back to singing anti-establishment songs. He established People's Songs Incorporated (PSI). The organization published a weekly newsletter, People's Song Bulletin, with songs, articles, and announcements of future performances. After two months the PSI had over a thousand paid members in twenty states. However, he really upset the media when he supported Henry Wallace and the Progressive Party candidate in the presidential election of 1948. Wallace was dismissed as a dangerous radical for advocating civil rights and an end to Jim Crow laws in the South. The American public were not ready for Wallace and he got only 2.38 per cent of the total vote. After the election Seeger joined Ronnie Gilbert, Lee Hays and Fred Hellerman to form The Weavers. They signing a recording deal with Decca and on 4th May, 1950, the group recorded Goodnight Irene, a song written by Seeger's old friend, Huddie Leadbelly. For censorship reasons the chorus was changed from "I'll get you in my dreams" to "I'll see you in my dreams". The record was a massive hit. Seeger later commented: "I remember laughing when I walked down the street and heard my own voice coming out of a record store." They were offered a weekly national TV spot on NBC and were paid $2,250 a week to appear at the Beacon Theater on Broadway. The Weavers went on to have a number of hit songs including Wimoweh, The Roving Kind, On Top of Old Smoky, The Midnight Special, Pay Me My Money Down and Darling Corey. In their shows they sung left-wing songs such If I Had a Hammer, that their record company felt that the general public would not accept. On 6th June, 1950, Harvey Matusow sent a message to the FBI that they should keep a close watch on Seeger, as he was a member of the American Communist Party. This was untrue as Seeger had left the party soon after the war. In fact, the agency had been monitoring Seeger since 1940. J. Edgar Hoover now leaked this FBI file to Frederick Woltman, of the New York World Telegram. He published an article revealing that the Weavers were the first musicians in American history to be investigated for sedition. Roy Brewer, a member of the Motion Picture Industry Council, commissioned a booklet entitled Red Channels. Published on 22nd June, 1950, and written by Ted C. Kirkpatrick, a former FBI agent and Vincent Hartnett, a right-wing television producer, it listed the names of 151 writers, directors and performers who they claimed had been members of subversive organisations before the Second World War but had not so far been blacklisted. People listed included Pete Seeger, Larry Adler, Stella Adler, Leonard Bernstein, Marc Blitzstein, Joseph Bromberg, Lee J. Cobb, Aaron Copland, John Garfield, Howard Da Silva, Dashiell Hammett, E. Y. Harburg, Lillian Hellman, Burl Ives, Zero Mostel, Arthur Miller, Betsy Blair, Dorothy Parker, Philip Loeb, Joseph Losey, Anne Revere, Gale Sondergaard, Howard K. Smith, Louis Untermeyer and Josh White. Three days after the booklet was published the Korean War erupted. The list of entertainers were now seen as America's mortal enemies. NBC immediately cancelled its contract with the Weavers. Although the Weavers had sold over four million records, radio stations now stopped playing their music. They were also banned from appearing on national television. However, despite this attempt to take them out of circulation, in 1951 they still had hits with Kisses Sweeter than Wine and So Long It's Been Good to Know You. On 6th February, 1952, Harvey Matusow testified in front of the House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) that Seeger was a member of the American Communist Party. Matusow admitted in his autobiography, False Witness (1955) that this was untrue but Seeger said this ended the career of The Weavers: "Matusow's appearance burst like a bombshell... We had started off singing in some very flossy night-clubs... Then we went lower and lower as the blacklist crowded us in. Finally, we were down to places like Daffy's Bar and Grill on the outskirts of Cleveland." Those newspapers like the New York Times and the Washington Post that had such nice things to say about Seeger on his death did not come to his defence. In fact they did the opposite and in editorials praised Senator Joseph McCarthy, the leader of what became known as McCarthyism, for his patriotism. McCarthy only lost the support of the mainstream media when he began accusing America's newspapers of employing communists. In July 1954 one of McCarthy's henchmen made headlines with the claim that: "The Sunday section of the New York Times alone has 126 dues-paying Communists. On the editorial and research staffs of Time and Life magazines are 76 hard-core Reds. The New York Bureau of the Associated Press has 25." Pete Seeger was not called before the HUAC until 1955. Despite the downfall of McCarthy the persecution of left-wing figures such as Seeger continued with little complaint from the mainstream press. Frank Donner, a lawyer who defended several people who were called before the HUCA, wrote in The Un-Americans (1961): "He knows that the Committee demands his physical presence in the hearing room for no reason other than to make him a target of its hostility, to have him photographed, exhibited and branded... He knows that the vandalism, ostracism, insults, crank calls and hate letters that he and his family have already suffered are but the opening stages of a continuing ordeal... he is tormented by the awareness that he is being punished without valid cause, and deprived, by manipulated prejudice, of his fundamental rights as an American." Seeger's lawyer, Paul Ross, advised him to use the Fifth Amendment defence (the right against self-incrimination). In the year of Seeger's subpoena, the HUAC called 529 witnesses and 464 (88 per cent) remained silent. Seeger later recalled: "The expected move would have been to take the Fifth. That was the easiest thing, and the case would have been dismissed. On the other hand, everywhere I went, I would have to face 'Oh, you're one of those Fifth Amendment Communists...' I didn't want to run down my friends who did use the Fifth Amendment but I didn't choose to use it." Seeger had been struck by something that I.F. Stone had written in 1953: "Great faiths can only be preserved by men willing to live by them (HUAC's violation of the First Amendment) cannot be tested until someone dares invite prosecution for contempt." Seeger decided that he would accept Stone's challenge, and use the First Amendment defence (freedom of speech) even though he knew it would probably result in him being sent to prison. Seeger told Paul Ross : "I want to get up there and attack these guys for what they are, the worst of America". Ross warned him that each time the HUCA found him in contempt, he was liable to a year in jail. The first day of the new HUAC hearings took place on 15th August 1955. Most of the witnesses were excused after taking the Fifth Amendment. Seeger's friend, Lee Hays, also evoked the Fifth Amendment on the second day of the hearings and he was allowed to go unheeded. Seeger was expected to follow his example but instead he answered their questions. When asked for details of his occupation, Seeger replied: "I make my living as a banjo picker - sort of damning in some people's opinion." However, when Gordon Scherer, a sponsor of the John Birch Society, asked him if he had performed at concerts organized by the American Communist Party he refused to answer. Francis Walter, the chairman of the House of Un-American Activities Committee, told Seeger: "I direct you to answer". Seeger replied: "I am not going to answer any questions as to my association, my philosophical or religious beliefs or my political beliefs, or how I voted in any election or any of these private affairs. I think these are very improper questions for any American to be asked, especially under such compulsion as this." Seeger later recalled: "I realized that I was fitting into a necessary role... This particular time, there was a job that had to be done, I was there to do it. A soldier goes into training. You find yourself in battle and you know the role you're supposed to fulfill." The HUAC continued to ask questions of this nature. Pete Seeger pointed out: "I feel that in my whole life I have never done anything of any conspiratorial nature and I resent very much and very deeply the implication of being called before this Committee that in some way because my opinions may be different from yours, that I am any less of an American than anyone else. I am saying voluntarily that I have sung for almost every religious group in the country, from Jewish and Catholic, and Presbyterian and Holy Rollers and Revival Churches. I love my country very dearly, and I greatly resent the implication that some of the places that I have sung and some of the people that I have known, and some of my opinions, whether they are religious or philosophical, make me less of an American." As a result of Seeger's testimony, on 26th July, 1956, the House of Representatives voted 373 to 9 to cite Seeger, Arthur Miller, and six others for contempt. However, Seeger did not come to trial until March, 1961. Seeger defended himself with the words: "Some of my ancestors were religious dissenters who came to America over three hundred years ago. Others were abolitionists in New England in the eighteen forties and fifties. I believe that my choosing my present course I do no dishonor to them, or to those who may come after me." He was found guilty and sentenced to 12 months in prison. After worldwide protests, the Court of Appeals ruled that Seeger's indictment was faulty and dismissed the case. Seeger told Ruth Schultz in 1989: "Historically, I believe I was correct in refusing to answer their questions. Down through the centuries, this trick has been tried by various establishments throughout the world. They force people to get involved in the kind of examination that has only one aim and that is to stamp out dissent. One of the things I'm most proud of about my country is the fact that we did lick McCarthyism back in the fifties. Many Americans knew their lives and their souls were being struggled for, and they fought for it. And I felt I should carry on. Through the sixties I still had to occasionally free picket lines and bomb threats. But I simply went ahead, doing my thing, throughout the whole period. I fought for peace in the fifties. And in the sixties, during the Vietnam war, when anarchists and pacifists and socialists, Democrats and Republicans, decent-hearted Americans, all recoiled with horror at the bloodbath, we came together." His friend, Don McLean, explained how this case severely damaged his career: "Pete went underground. He started doing fifty dollar bookings, then twenty-five dollar dates in schoolhouses, auditoriums, and eventually college campuses. He definitely pioneered what we know today as the college circuit. He persevered and went out like Kilroy, sowing seeds at a grass-roots level for many, many years. The blacklist was the best thing that happened to him; it forced him into a situation of struggle, which he thrived on." Seeger's concerts were often picketed by the John Birch Society and other right-wing groups. He later recalled: “All those protests did was sell tickets and get me free publicity. The more they protested, the bigger the audiences became.” Although freed from prison, the blacklisting of Seeger continued. Seeger's songs written and performed during this period often reflected his left-wing views and included We Shall Overcome, Where Have All the Flowers Gone, If I Had a Hammer, Guantanamera, The Bells of Rhymney and Turn, Turn, Turn. Seeger's biographer, David King Dunaway, has argued: "Pete's best political songs evoked not the bitterness of repression but the glory of its solution, the potential beauty of a world remade. His music couldn't overthrow a government, he had come to realize, but the children he sang for might begin the process." Seeger remained active in the protest movement. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee adopted his song, We Shall Overcome, during the 1960 student sit-ins a restaurants which had a policy of not serving black people. The students were often physically assaulted, but following the teachings of Martin Luther King they did not hit back. This non-violent strategy was adopted by black students all over the Deep South. Within six months these sit-ins had ended restaurant and lunch-counter segregation in twenty-six southern cities. Student sit-ins were also successful against segregation in public parks, swimming pools, theaters, churches, libraries, museums and beaches. The SNCC also sung the song during the 1961 Freedom Rides. As well as the Civil Rights Movement Seeger was also involved in protests against the Vietnam War. As a result television stations refused to end the blacklisting of Seeger. Artists that had been inspired by the work of Seeger such as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Tom Paxton, and Harry Belafonte, protested against this decision. It was not until 1967 that the Smothers Brothers managed to negotiate a guest appearance for Seeger on their TV program, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. The Smothers Brothers themselves got the sack from CBS in 1969 because of their activism against the war. It seems in America that freedom of speech is only available to those who support the status quo.
  24. David King Dunaway on Pete Seeger: "Pete's best political songs evoked not the bitterness of repression but the glory of its solution, the potential beauty of a world remade. His music couldn't overthrow a government, he had come to realize, but the children he sang for might begin the process." http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAseeger.htm
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