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Dr. Gregg Wager

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About Dr. Gregg Wager

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  • Birthday 09/16/1958

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    I am a guest professor of music composition at the Korean National University of the Arts in Seoul. I am also a composer, author, and critic.

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  1. You will find it in Mark Lane's Plausible Denial: Was the CIA Involved in the Assassination of JFK (1991) pages 335-360. Thanks. Actually, for the record, I did read Plausible Denial years ago, about the E. Howard Hunt libel case that Lane litigated. I must have skimmed over the Brief too quickly. Also, glad to see Jim DiEugenio participating here.
  2. A superb start to an incredibly massive but important explanation behind the second half of the 20th-century. Never forget that Mark Lane was hired by Oswald's mother to be his posthumous attorney. The "Brief" Lane finally published would probably have been the court document officially submitted as Oswald's defense attorney (although I admit I haven't read it--I'll be looking for it now). Lane was allowed to "testify" for the Warren Commission and audit the proceedings, but his request to cross-examine witnesses was denied. The references to Frances Stoner Saunders are also extremely important, as this book has certainly opened up a brand new category in my field--musicology. The de-Nazification of West Germany included very successful efforts (especially by the Rockefellers) to make New York City the art center of the world. Nelson Rockefeller's hold on South America (where the OSS was not allowed to go during World War II) helped with recruiting many of America's first classical music stars. Also never forget that Tom Braden represented the "left" in an American television show during the 1980s called "Crossfire," which was a completely manipulative reframing of the political issues during those days. The "right" was represented by usually Robert Novak or Pat Buchanan. Talk about managing the NCL! I'd also like to add that I recently read David Harris's memoir "Dreams Die Hard," mostly for the information there on Allard Lowenstein, who was the 1960s version of an NCL. I even got Harris (a famous 1960s campus radical and the former husband of Joan Baez) to answer an email regarding the way Lowenstein (who used to publically debate William F. Buckley in a left-v.-right format) used to kibbitz Vietnam protesters and those college students participating in the Mississippi vote drives and civil rights programs in the South. Lowenstein was constantly recruiting suitable youngsters for a CIA-run organization called the National Student Association and eventually was by and large responsible for getting rid of Lyndon Johnson by promoting primarily Eugene McCarthy for President in 1968, but also Robert Kennedy. Interesting to think of these efforts in 1968 as a way to divide the Democratic Party, instead of simply to end the Vietnam War. Harris did not believe that Lowenstein could have been knowingly working for the CIA as a sort of manager for the left, even though he famously gave speeches during the Mississippi gatherings denouncing Communism. Lowenstein was confronted many times about his possible involvement with the CIA, but he always denied it. Nonetheless, Lowenstein was also assassinated in 1980 by a lone crazed schizophrenic who had been a former protege, Dennis Sweeney (who is still alive, I believe).
  3. I hope that anyone investigating Churchill will consider carefully this anecdote by Fletcher Prouty: http://www.prouty.org/coment11.html Keep in mind, Prouty is simply relating what Stalin (who was probably not reliable) told Roosevelt's son. Prouty has been unfairly maligned. He is a careful scholar and an important eyewitness to many of these events. Good luck with investigating airplane crashes. I hope insight into the recent crashes in America of Mel Carnahan (in 2000) and Paul Wellstone (in 2002) will be of relevance. Best, Dr. Gregg Wager http://www.angelfire.com/music2/greggwager
  4. An interview with Joseph Trento

    A lot of JFK researchers might know Joseph Trento’s name from Mark Lane’s PLAUSIBLE DENIAL. I am very glad that I recently decided to sit down and read Trento’s THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE CIA from cover to cover. Perhaps Trento is great example of how to expose secrets while writing history since he has painstakingly put what might otherwise be insignificant, albeit strange, facts into focus, even though I strongly disagree with at least one of his conclusions. Trento discusses at length his interviews with the mysterious historical figure James Jesus Angleton, perhaps even getting too close to this beguiling and sneaky head of CIA counterintelligence. Trento gives us in depth and intelligent insights into the lives of certain important spies, whose lives and influence had been by and large invisible to the general public: there’s Soviet spy Igor Orlov (whose real name was Alexandr Kopatzky) who ran a art framing shop outside Washington DC; Yakterina Fursetseva, who Trento believes “handled” Lee Harvey Oswald for the KGB; the morbid imprisonment and torture on American soil of Yuri Nosenko; and finally CIA man George Weisz, whose mysterious murder in 1980s remains unsolved. Accounts of these bizarre lives are must-reading for any student of Cold War spying. The great flaw I believe Trento made in the book was getting too close to Angleton, and taking undo stock into Angleton’s version of the JFK assassination: that Oswald was a KGB agent. In Trento’s epilogue, he writes that Angleton’s onetime close friend, Soviet spy Kim Philby, was responsible for spreading rumors on behalf of the KGB that the CIA killed JFK. On page 477, Trento writes: “Angleton was convinced that Philby was behind the propaganda campaign, now confirmed in the Mitrokhin materials, in which the KGB leaked stories that the CIA was behind the [John F.] Kennedy murder.” The “Mitrokhin materials” Trento refers to are papers former KGB employee Vasili Mitrokhin claims are copies of top secret files, which he turned over to British intelligence agents and were published as THE SWORD AND THE SHIELD (Basic Books, 1999). The trouble is, there is no mention in this book whatsoever of such false rumors by Philby, let alone a “confirmation,” let alone anything, that would link the KGB to the JFK assassination. It appears as if Angleton, ever the clever spook, fooled Trento into turning suspicions about the JFK assassination away from the CIA (where such suspicions belong). Perhaps Trento’s otherwise excellent research proves one thing: we all must familiarize ourselves with history and make our own versions and conclusions. He is an important writer.
  5. An Interview with Jim Marrs

    I have read both Jim Marrs’s CROSSFIRE and RULE BY SECRECY. In fact, I finished the latter recently and even remember sending Marrs a message about it. Marrs is an extraordinary writer and his books have a grassroots quality to them, which are stylistically a wonderful change of pace from typical journalistic or history books. I sometimes find his mind is more open than mine about certain things, especially in his RULE BY SECRECY book. I wrote my doctoral dissertation about composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, a topic which required that I study and evaluate UFO theories and the theories of Erich van Däniken. No one can deny the mysteries presented by such things, but it is quite a leap to say that either camps of thinking are proof of extraterrestrial visitations. Marrs’s study of the Priory of Sion is especially worthwhile, not to mention timely now that his movie THE DA VINCI CODE is out. Whether you believe the Priory of Sion theories or not, it is one of the worst atrocities a historian can commit to omit such things from history, even if they are untrue. I personally believe that the Priory of Sion was a viscous hoax by right-wing minded Europeans trying to restore the French monarchy by proving the Merovingian Dynasty was directly descended from Jesus Christ. That may discredit its historical validity per se, but not the historical validity of how such a hoax changed people’s minds and influenced their politics. There is a danger that mixing UFO and Erich van Däniken theories with the theories of JFK’s assassination contaminates that which has been proven scientifically or are downright immutable facts (such as coroner Cyril Wecht’s conclusions about the “pristine bullet”; or even the entire premise of this forum, as stated eloquently by John Simkin, that the HSCA investigation revealed that there probably was a conspiracy in the JFK assassination, which should have trumped once and for all the conclusions of the Warren Commission, and which continues to be ignored by the mainstream press). Nonetheless, it is important to take note of people’s suspicions and how they motivate certain things in history.