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James Norwood

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  1. Jim, This was a superb recap of the newspaper evidence. You've really taken Charles-Dunne to school on this one and everything else for that matter. Charles-Dunne is the one making unfounded assumptions. When we make assumptions, they are based on a body of evidence. James
  2. Jim, Yes, Robert Oswald is important for (a) what he stated prior to the assassination, (b) his Warren Commission testimony, and (c) for what he intentionally omitted in his book. I also believe that the newspaper accounts you have posted are important reminders that Oswald's attendance at Stripling was in the memories of eyewitnesses. There are simply too many references to Stripling at so many different times that make it impossible to dismiss Oswald's enrollment at that school. This work in pulling together the details was exactly what I had in mind in writing about the totality of evidence, as opposed to examining each piece in a vacuum. James
  3. Jeremy, Bobby Pitts' recollection is important because it corroborates Fran Schubert's recall of the academic year 1954-55 as the time when Lee Harvey Oswald was attending Stripling Junior High School. The fact that we have six eyewitnesses recalling a nondescript kid living across from the school at the time is compelling evidence. Pitts was not a student at Stripling at the time, but his testimony identifies Oswald as residing in a duplex across the street from the school, and the specific time frame was the 1954-55 school year. If a young boy is residing in that close proximity to the school, it is a fair assumption that he is enrolled at that institution. The flaw in the approach that you and your cohorts are taking to this topic is that you are attempting to discredit all of the eyewitnesses individually because he or she was not physically present with Oswald in a classroom at the school. In the JFK case, the evidence is so tainted that we have to rely on eyewitness testimony, and we have to rely on circumstantial evidence, in order to draw reasonable conclusions. This is true for any facet of the case, including ballistics, medical evidence at Parkland, medical evidence at Bethesda, and photographic and film evidence. We are all attempting to assemble a jigsaw puzzle with missing pieces. What is most important is the totality of the evidence. When the Stripling matter is examined as a whole, the two most important eyewitnesses are Frank Kudlaty and Fran Schubert. The other eyewitnesses corroborate portions of the recall of a school administrator who surrendered the school records to the FBI and a student who recalls Oswald's physical presence at the school in 1954-55. It is remarkable that we have as many as six eyewitnesses who have some recollection of Oswald attending the school and residing in the vicinity in 1954-55. Because you and the others have failed to discredit the eyewitnesses or to demonstrate why their testimony is inaccurate, I stand by what I have written about Stripling.
  4. In my letter of complaint to the administration of this forum, I noted that respondents like Robert Charles-Dunne inevitably resort to ad hominem name-calling once they have failed to refute the evidence. Here again, Charles-Dunne comes around to referring to me and Sandy Larson as "self-proclaimed publicists." What on earth does that statement mean??? There is no mystique about the question under discussion: did Oswald attend Stripling Junior High School in Fort Worth, or did he not? The question is answered by careful scrutiny of the evidence, which as been provided over and over on this thread by Jim Hargrove. The evidence overwhelmingly points to Oswald having attended the school and even resided across the street from the school. The administrator is now monitoring this thread, and I will continue to inform him of the ad hominem attacks in contravention of the site's ground rules.
  5. To Whom It May Concern: I have filed a complaint letter to administrator about the following users: Jeremy Bojczuk Mark Stevens W. Tracy Parnell Robert Charles-Dunne • The rules clearly stipulate that threads should not devolve into chaos. The writers above intentionally want this thread to be chaotic which is why they repeat ridiculous questions that do not even merit replies. • I posted a commentary in response to a post by Mark Stevens, and, in reply, Stevens implied that I was lying. This is in contravention of the forum ground rules. • Forum members are not entitled to cast "aspersions" on other members. Yet the participants above repeatedly engage in subtle ad hominem attacks. It is small wonder that other members curious about the Harvey & Lee topic are reluctant to participate. • Two of the users above have been posting essentially the same snarky comments about the Harvey and Lee topic on this website's threads for years. • On this forum, I recently had a debate with Bill Simpich. Prior to the debate, Bill and I agreed on what issues we wanted to debate and how the debate would proceed. It turned out that we agreed on some issues and disagreed on others. But the debate unfolded in a professional, civilized manner. The four writers above are not interested in a debate. They seem capable only of disrupting a conversation and engaging in harassment.
  6. Precisely. You have not raised one genuine question about this topic.
  7. Jim, I concur that it is a waste of time to try to respond to the critics on this thread. If there were genuine questions raised or a legitimate interest in debating the Stripling evidence, then I would be eager to participate. Instead, the critics wear their biases on their sleeves and seem incapable of weighing and synthesizing different kinds of evidence. The links the critics provide are to other biased, opinion-based blogs and forums. The questions raised are irrelevant and expose the deficiencies of minds incapable of clear thinking. The last resort of the critics is the use of ad hominem to deflect the conversation away from the evidence. Thanks to you and Sandy, the body of evidence about Stripling has been clearly presented above. The three key pieces of evidence are (1) Frank Kudlaty's recall of surrendering school records to the FBI, documenting that Lee Harvey Oswald (not Robert) attended Stripling; (2) Fran Schubert's confident recall of Oswald attending the school during the academic year 1954-55; and (3) the evidence suggesting that Oswald resided across the street from the school. The ball is in the critics' court to refute those three pieces of evidence, plus a substantial body of secondary evidence. And it will not be sufficient merely to write it all off by suggesting that the witnesses had faulty memories.
  8. Robert, Your commentary is not persuasive. In one stroke, you dismiss legitimate eyewitnesses due to the passing of time and their faulty memories. Then, typically of members on this site, you resort to ad hominem. There is nothing that Sandy wrote that is "condescending." He is only presenting evidence. Your post reads like a screed, as opposed to a well-reasoned argument.
  9. Mark, There has been no debate. Jim, Sandy, and I have provided evidence and articulated conclusions based on the evidence. The others are offering biased opinions and referring readers to other websites, as opposed to subjecting the evidence to close scrutiny. You need to look evidence with greater care and make up your own mind, as opposed to asking us to explain it all to you. 'Nuff said.
  10. Mark, I have studied the same documents as Jim Hargrove and Sandy Larsen, and I have come to the same conclusions as they have. In your critique above, you are not looking carefully enough at what the eyewitnesses stated in recalling the young Oswald (and not Robert) who was in attendance at Stripling. It is clear that we are missing key pieces of documentary evidence, especially in the disappearance of the school records. But that is the case for almost any aspect of the JFK case. In this instance, I believe the evidence supports two essential points: [1] Oswald attended Stripling Junior High School and [2] the time he was enrolled in the school was fall 1954. The inescapable conclusion is that this student was not the same Lee Harvey Oswald concurrently attending school in New Orleans for which we do have documentary evidence. Here is a summary of Stripling that I have written. Please let me know if you believe that I have misread or mistated any of the evidence. Robert Oswald told attorney Albert Jenner that “junior high school there was from the seventh to the ninth grades. And as soon as he was through with his sixth year, he started attending W. C. Stripling Junior High School.” Robert was confused about the timeline, apparently forgetting the period his younger brother had spent in the New York public school system and at Beauregard Junior High School in New Orleans. But other eyewitnesses have established beyond doubt that Robert was correct in identifying one of the schools attended by Harvey Oswald in Fort Worth in junior high school. In fall 1954, Harvey attended part of the ninth grade at Stripling at a time when Lee Oswald was a student at Beauregard Junior High School in New Orleans. Harvey’s enrollment at Stripling followed his completion of the eighth grade at Beauregard in New Orleans the previous spring, where he was remembered by his homeroom teacher Myra DaRouse. If the Warren Commission had carefully followed through in interviewing the Stripling students, Robert Oswald’s testimony could have potentially exposed the two Oswald boys who were attending two different schools in two different cities in fall 1954. In addition to the testimony of Robert Oswald, a total of six eyewitnesses (Frank Kudlaty, Fran Schubert, Richard Galindo, Mark Summers, Bobby Pitts, and Douglas Gann) clearly recalled Oswald attending Stripling Junior High School. In a videotaped interview, student Fran Schubert told John Armstrong that she recalled Oswald attending Stripling in fall 1954, and she noted that he resided with his mother across the street from the school. Shortly after the assassination, Stripling assistant principal Frank Kudlati was instructed by his supervisor, Weldon Lucas, to meet with two FBI agents, who requested the academic records for Oswald. Kudlati dutifully surrendered the transcripts after perusing them himself. The records collected by the FBI agents disappeared and were never seen by the Warren Commission or the American public. In the aftermath of the assassination, the FBI should have been investigating the murder of the thirty-fifth president of the United States. Instead, the valuable time of the FBI agents was being spent in rounding up Oswald’s employment and school records, which, at face value, had no bearing on either the guilt or innocence of a suspect who had been shot to death on live television. But it had everything to do with concealing for posterity the identities of the two Oswald boys. A testimonial on behalf of Kudlaty comes from historian James DiEugenio, who writes the following in the second edition of his book Destiny Betrayed: JFK, Cuba, and the Garrison Case: Kudlaty’s credentials are beyond reproach. After leaving Stripling, he became Superintendent of Schools in Waco, Texas. He stayed there until his retirement in 1987. When the State Department selected a group of school administrators to advise the Chinese government on education, he was one of those chosen to attend….One of the most disturbing aspects of Kudlaty’s testimony is that the FBI had to have known Oswald attended Stripling ten years previous. Or else how could they have called Weldon Lucas the morning after the assassination. [3] Robert Oswald also attended Stripling, but there was no way that he could have been confused with his much younger brother, given the brothers’ age difference and the fact that multiple witnesses attending the school in fall 1954 remembered Harvey Oswald long after Robert had graduated. NOTES: [1] Warren Commission Hearings, Vol. 1, 299. [2] Baylor University, Taped Interviews by John Armstrong Related to Lee Harvey Oswald, Francetta Schubert: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVxa1B2wJjA&t=30s [3] James DiEugenio, Destiny Betrayed: JFK, Cuba, and the Garrison Case, second edition (New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2012), 124.
  11. John, Many thanks for your post. I just want to clarify that I do not believe that Oswald was sent to help the Russians shoot down the U-2. But I do believe that the timing of the apparent defection in 1959 was intended to disrupt efforts in diplomacy during the period of the thaw. The matter of the U-2 is a complex one. It is possible that Powers' aircraft was sabotaged with the intent for the plane to crash, and the Soviets may not have even shot it down. Here is Fletcher Prouty's analysis: "When the plane did not restart, Powers was forced to let it continue to spiral toward the earth, and then at a safer altitude either bail out...or continue down to the ground. Actually some of the early pictures of the U-2 showed an aircraft that was relatively undamaged, when one considers that it was hit by a rocket in the air and then crashed into the ground." (L. Fletcher Prouty, The Secret Team: The CIA and its Allies in Control of the United States and the World (Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Political Review, 1973), 376. Oswald may have had no knowledge of Francis Gary Powers or his fateful U-2 flight that occurred on May 1, 1960. But his handlers may well have been using him as a pawn in the same way they used Powers. In earlier posts, Bill has discussed the shabby way that Oswald was treated by his superiors, and I agree that the treatment was abysmal. But if Fletcher Prouty is correct, then Powers wasn't treated any better if the intent was to sabotage his aircraft in the likelihood that he would either die in the crash or take a suicide capsule.
  12. The true measurements on the "yardstick" become apparent by placing the Oswald sojourn carefully in its historical context. The fact that a United States Marine would attempt to defect to the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War was a major event. At this time of the "thaw," there were delicate negotiations for détente in the Paris summit scheduled for the following May. Fletcher Prouty has made the case that the U-2 spy plane debacle was an intentional act of sabotage designed by Richard Bissell of CIA in order to scuttle the peace talks. The Oswald defection served the same purpose at a time when Eisenhower was genuinely seeking rapprochement. When examined in this historical context, the Oswald project was a significant event, and Oswald was a significant asset. There is an inherent limitation to focusing exclusively on the documents, Bill. We must examine the totality of the evidence as the basis for our accurate yardstick.
  13. Bill, In my thinking about this topic, I keep circling back to the main issue of the thread, namely, Oswald's ability to speak Russian. This was obviously his principal asset in the Russian sojourn, and indeed he used his time to quietly observe work in the factory, military maneuvers, and daily life, which he recorded in a detailed report upon his return. At the same time, I believe that you raise a valid point about the shabby treatment Oswald received upon his return. Is it possible that Oswald's handlers were outraged when they learned that he was bringing home a Russian wife and baby? It is difficult for me to believe that part of his assignment was to marry a Russian and bring her back to the United States. Is it plausible (given the preconditions of human nature) that Oswald did not use much discretion when it came to birth control, and, by not using birth control, he unintentionally forced himself into a shotgun wedding, Soviet style? I would be very interested in learning the views of other respondents as to how and why Oswald was led to the altar during his Soviet sojourn. Much of the discussion on this thread has dealt with espionage. But is it possible that a relevant motivation has more to do with the birds and bees and the phenomenon of an “accident” during the Russian sojourn?
  14. Jim, Thank you for posting the detailed background and analysis of the Russian language exam administered to Oswald. This helps to provide the context for understanding his degree of competency in speaking Russian on the eve of the Russian sojourn. In the Oswald biography, it seems inevitable at some point to come to terms with the question of how, when, and where he achieved an unusual level of proficiency in the Russian language at such a young age and with no evidence of formal classroom instruction. In my interchanges with Bill sprinkled through this thread, we have discussed many facets of the matter of the Russian sojourn, reaching agreement that Oswald was an asset of the United States government during the mission to the Soviet Union. He and I differ on the matter of emphasis. It is my position that Oswald was a major asset for one essential reason: his fluency in the Russian language. If universally accepted, this point alone would change the history books and the way we think about the JFK assassination.
  15. Bill, To be precise, my usage of the word “coaching” in counterintelligence of the mid-twentieth century is that Oswald had "handlers" who were training him and providing him with explicit instructions for his assignments, as well as manipulating him for purposes he may not have understood. One example of the coaching may be seen in how Oswald’s activities were directed in the summer of 1963. Jim Garrison discovered the address of 544 Camp Street stamped on one of Oswald's Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC) flyers, which led him to the address of Guy Banister's office in New Orleans. Garrison began to connect the dots between Oswald, Banister, Ferrie, and Shaw, concluding that Oswald was being "sheepdipped" by the CIA in such activities as distributing the flyers, engaging in a street scuffle, and appearing on the radio. And if the CIA was controlling Oswald in 1963, it is likely that the CIA was behind the phony defection of Oswald to the USSR in 1959. There is also evidence of Oswald being coached prior to his arrival in the USSR, and here are five examples: (1) There are moments when the young Oswald dramatically expresses his sympathy for communism at the height of the Cold War. In New Orleans, Oswald proudly showed off to a friend his copies of Marx's Das Kapital and The Communist Manifesto. He brazenly argued with the father of a friend, opposing democracy while singing the praises of communism. For this, he was booted out of the house of the friend. Oswald and a friend attended a special performance of Mussorgsky's opera Boris Godunov in New Orleans. How many kids in middle school would sit through a three-hour Russian opera? All of these experiences would leave vivid imprints on those who witnessed Oswald’s behavior, and their memories would be invaluable at the time of the phony defection. (2) Oswald was a high school dropout, not even completing his freshman year. Prior to that time, there are gaps in his elementary education that are worthy of study by JFK researchers. David Josephs has prepared a meticulous timeline of Oswald's life that is helpful in identifying the instances when Oswald was out of school and may have been receiving private tutoring and the opportunity to keep in practice with his Russian language skills. Researcher John Armstrong came across an eyewitness who recalled hearing young Oswald and a woman in an apartment conversing in a foreign language. John did not include that account in his book because he was unable to corroborate it with any other eyewitness. There are nonetheless tantalizing moments when apparent coaching experiences were occurring. Later, there are more gaps in the biographical record during the period of Oswald's Marine training. In one instance, there is evidence that he showed up on the campus of Antioch College in Ohio. What was he doing there? The gaps are well worth exploring by researchers. (3) The times when young Oswald moved around while growing up are a telltale sign that he and Marguerite were being shuffled around on a chessboard. In his book The Interloper, Peter Savodnik, who has, in my estimation, done nearly catastrophic damage in his interpretation of Oswald's stay in the Soviet Union, at least writes a useful opening to his book: "He [Oswald] was, in a way, homeless--without a stable backdrop of buildings or even people. By the age of seventeen, he had moved twenty times. Almost all of these moves happened because of his mother, Marguerite." (p. 3) A close study of Marguerite Oswald reveals that she too was being coached in the moves and the remuneration she likely received. As a widow, Marguerite had placed all three of her sons in orphanages at some point in time. But, by the mid-1940s, her fortunes inexplicably were reversed, and she was buying and selling properties in the Fort Worth area. A couple of the residences were in extremely remote areas. Her little boy kept changing schools, which was the whole idea to confuse the KGB in the event that the Soviets investigated Oswald's past during the Minsk years. (4) The shadowy figure of Edwin Ekdahl is a possible link to the long-term project of placing an American operative in the Soviet Union who was fluent in Russian. The short-lived marriage of Ekdahl and Marguerite has puzzled researchers. The Warren Commission concluded that Ekdahl bonded with the youngest son. But what was Ekdahl's line of work and what were the circumstances of his marriage to the much younger Marguerite? How deep were his ties to the East Coast Establishment? Did Ekdahl have any connection to American intelligence? I know that Greg Parker, who has an excellent knowledge of Oswald's life, has taken an interest in Ekdahl. Any discoveries made by Greg would be a significant contribution. (5) While stationed in Santa Ana, California as a Marine, Oswald blatantly called attention to himself as a Slavophile, playing records of Russian classical music, reading Russian publications, and earning the nickname of Oswaldovitch. This posturing was clearly the result of coaching at the critical moment when Oswald was about to leave the Marines and travel to the Soviet Union. Around this time, Oswald was administered an army examination in Russian language proficiency, answering over half the questions correctly. Why on earth would a nondescript Marine private be required to take a Russian language exam? I have written about the exam in my article. Oswald’s boosterism of everything Russian and the taking of the exam are clear indications of him being directed in ways far beyond the regular duties of a Marine. While the documentary record of Oswald's life was sanitized at the time the Warren Commission convened, the five examples above nonetheless offer evidence and raise questions about how, when, and where Oswald was being trained and directed in preparation for his "defection" to the USSR. Students of the JFK case will typically make a beeline for Dealey Plaza in Dallas to make sense of the assassination. But by shifting our focus to other areas, such as Fort Worth and New Orleans, new areas of investigation present themselves with great potential for learning more about Oswald’s ties to the American intelligence network.
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