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Steven Hager: The Two Oswalds

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Jeremy,

The fact that you use John Armstrong's book as a source to dispute the Harvey & Lee theory tells me that the book does admit when the evidence isn't strong. That means that it leaves it up to the reader to decide for himself what to make of the evidence.

I have some reservations with parts of the theory, myself. But that doesn't mean the theory as a whole is completely wrong. There is a good deal of compelling evidence that supports the theory that I haven't seen explained away.

 

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2 hours ago, Sandy Larsen said:

Jeremy,

The fact that you use John Armstrong's book as a source to dispute the Harvey & Lee theory tells me that the book does admit when the evidence isn't strong. That means that it leaves it up to the reader to decide for himself what to make of the evidence.

I have some reservations with parts of the theory, myself. But that doesn't mean the theory as a whole is completely wrong. There is a good deal of compelling evidence that supports the theory that I haven't seen explained away.

 

Dear Sandy,

Are you comfortable with your "Harvey" and "Lee" (and the two Marguerites, as well) looking sufficiently alike at times (from the age of 10 or so, on) to be able to "fool" people into believing they were one and the same person, but at other times looked so different  as to make it easy for people like David Josephs and Jim Harwood to look at a few photos and say "Ah ha!  Look!  They are clearly different people!"?

--  Tommy :sun

Edited by Thomas Graves

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1 hour ago, Thomas Graves said:

Dear Sandy,

Are you comfortable with your "Harvey" and "Lee's" (and the two Marguerites, as well) looking sufficiently alike at times (from the age of 10 or so, on) to be able to "fool" people into believing they were one and the same person, but at other times looked so different  as to make it easy for people like David Josephs and Jim Harwood to look at "their" photos and say "Ah ha!  Look!  They are clearly different people!"?

--  Tommy :sun


Tommy,

I remember seeing a collage of LHO photographs before I'd heard about the Harvey & Lee theory and the Oswald Project. I was surprised that his looks seemed to alternate between what I thought he looked like and a tougher-looking Oswald without the pursed lips. And yet some photos looked like both.

It was later that I became aware of the allegation that there were two Oswalds and that the photos that looked liked both were composites of the two.

So I am not highly surprised by that. I don't think the two Oswalds look identical... they just share some similar features.

Could the the two Oswalds have been picked at a young age and still looked similar as adults? I don't know. I mean, of course it is possible... the question is whether it could have been reasonably expected to happen. I don't think it should have been. But then, again, I don't think the two look that much alike.

The two Marguerites look way different, in my opinion.

What bothers me more that this talk of looking alike, is the idea that one of the Oswalds would end up being a bad Oswald, a cold-blooded killer. (Oh wait... does the H&L book have Lee being a killer? Or just an accessory to murder? Either way, I find that hard to believe. Though not impossible.) I'm more inclined to believe that there were multiple Oswald lookalikes. That the Oswald leaving the back door of the theater was one of these, and not necessarily Lee of Harvey and Lee.

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Even though Jeremy Bojczuk has kindly posted a link to an article of mine, perhaps a quick review of the strongest evidence against the Harvey & Lee theory is in order considering there is at least some interest in this thread:

The most compelling evidence is the 1981 exhumation of Lee Harvey Oswald which was done to refute a similar conspiracy theory from author Michael Eddowes. According to Armstrong’s theory, “Harvey” is supposed to be buried in the Fort Worth grave while “Lee” may be “very much alive”. Unfortunately, “Harvey” has a mastoid operation from 1946 that “Lee” was supposed to have. A document (18 H 455) from “Harvey’s” medical treatment in the Soviet Union again shows he had the mastoid scar. Another document that mentions the scar is found in “Harvey’s” Marine Corps enlistment papers (WC Donabedian Exhibit No. 1). Oddly, although my articles on the exhumation were published in the late 1990s, Armstrong said nothing about it in 2003 his book and has ignored it to this day.

Another powerful argument for rebutting the Armstrong theory is made by the HSCA handwriting analysis. The HSCA panel examined 63 handwriting samples when conducting their study. I reasoned that, by classifying these samples as “Harvey” and “Lee”, I could check for any discrepancies. I found many such discrepancies and selected six samples (three of each man) as the basis for my article “Harvey & Lee: The Handwriting is on the Wall" which was published in the Kennedy Assassination Chronicles in 2001 and can be found at the following link:

Handwriting Article

Jim Hargrove has maintained that the HSCA study was flawed because some of the documents used were copies and that forensic document examiners prefer originals. While it is true that document examiners prefer to work with originals, it is a fact that most of the documents reviewed by the forensic panel were indeed originals. All the documents that I selected for my article were originals as well. The bottom line is that the handwriting experts found that the same individual wrote most of the samples that should be either “Harvey” or “Lee”.

A photo analysis, also by the HSCA, is another solid proof that the Armstrong theory is bogus. Unfortunately, most of the photos selected for analysis by the committee were of “Harvey” since their work was not done to specifically refute Armstrong of course. However, a December, 1956, photo which is supposed to be “Lee”, according to Armstrong, was compared with several photos of “Harvey” and the HSCA photo panel proved using morphological data that the photos were of the same individual.

Edited by W. Tracy Parnell
Typo

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Anyone who believes the HSCA conducted an honest investigation has no need to do much further research.  For the handwriting issue, see page 243 of Robert Groden's "The Search for Lee Harvey Oswald."  It's in the chapter entitled "Too Many Oswalds."  If those signatures are all from the same person, I'll eat Groden's entire book!

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THE BOLTON FORD INCIDENT

In a 2015 post on this forum, Steve Bochan described the Bolton Ford incident this way (presented verbatim except I’ve deleted five or six introductory paragraphs for the sake of brevity):

==================================================== BEGIN QUOTE ============================================


BOLTON FORD DEALERSHIP CLUES

by Steve Bochan

[ . . . . ]
 
As most students of the assassination know, a salesman named Oscar Deslatte of the Bolton Ford Dealership, New Orleans, was visited by two men who claimed to represent a group called Friends Of Democratic Cuba, on January 20, 1961. (1) These men wanted to buy ten trucks from Mr. Deslatte, and the man who did most of the talking identified himself as Joseph Moore. As price was discussed, Moore said that he thought they should get the trucks for "no profit" for his organization, since theirs was a worthy cause. (2) Mr. Deslatte told the FBI later that Moore did not specify whether the trucks would be used here in the United States or in Cuba. (3) When Mr. Deslatte checked with his Manager, Fred Sewell, it was decided to give the gentlemen a break on the price, and reduce the usual profit margin from $75 per truck to $50 per truck. (4)

As Deslatte was filling out the order for the ten trucks, he wrote in Joseph Moore's name as the buyer representing Friends Of Democratic Cuba. Seeing this, Moore told Deslatte to change the name on the bid from "Moore" to "Oswald." (5)

It was at this point that the second gentleman spoke up and said that "Oswald" was "his name and it should go on the form as he was the man with the money and would pay for the trucks, if they were purchased." (6)

The real Oswald - in January 1961 - was of course in the Soviet Union, so the question is why were these people representing the Friends Of Democratic Cuba impersonating Oswald in January 1961?

Who were the Friends Of Democratic Cuba?

Had the FBI sought this answer after the assassination by locating the Articles of Incorporation of the Friends Of Democratic Cuba (found in the New Orleans Court House where all public filings are located and available to the public), they would have discovered two things:

1). The Friends Of Democratic Cuba was formed on January 6, 1961, a mere two weeks prior to the Bolton Ford Dealership incident where not only the name "Oswald" was being used, but in fact Oswald was being impersonated, and,

2). W. Guy Banister, ex-FBI man who was once commendated by Hoover while he headed the Chicago FBI Office, was on the Board of Directors for this newly formed organization. (7)

Most researchers know this as does anyone who saw the film "JFK."

At any rate, the FBI didn't seem very interested in Deslatte's tale, especially since Deslatte could not identify a photograph of Lee Harvey Oswald they showed him on 11/25/63, nor, was he able to give a good description of either man to them. He told them that the reason he remembered the incident was because of the name of the organization represented, not by the name "Oswald." (8) Deslatte called the FBI after the President was assassinated and after conferring with Manager Fred Sewell about "those two guys who was in here from Cuba trying to get some buses cheap." (9)

Of course it makes perfect sense that Deslatte didn't think the photograph of Oswald was either "Joseph Moore" or the other man who said he was "Oswald" because the real Oswald was not in New Orleans in 1961.

Whoever identified himself as "Oswald" was not the real Oswald and even though Deslatte thought enough of the incident to contact the FBI after the assassination, they either dismissed or ignored the incident as it is not to be found in the Warren Report at all.

But the evidence was that an organization recently formed by ex-FBI Guy Banister, rabid anti-Communist, was trying to surreptitiously purchase ten trucks - probably in preparation for the Bay of Pigs invasion - and was also using the name and impersonating a defector to the Communists: "Oswald." But where did Banister's new organization get the name "Oswald"?

There are several possibilities. For example, it is speculated that since Banister and Ferrie were associated, Ferrie could have simply provided the name to Banister since he knew the real Oswald from his CAP days as a teen. Another speculation has Banister being aware of Oswald's defection through the newspaper reporting of the event on November 1, 1959, and thus, he could have simply used his newspaper clipping file to randomly pick the name "Oswald" to use for the purchase of the ten trucks.

But the strongest evidence indicates that at least one corporate officer of the Friends Of Democratic Cuba actually knew the real Lee Harvey Oswald.

That person is Gerard F. Tujague, and he is listed as Vice-President of the Friends Of Democratic Cuba in the articles of incorporation on record. (10) How did Tujague know the real Lee Harvey Oswald? It's part of that "gem" located in footnote #64 on page 143 of Volume X of the HSCA:

(64) Staff review of FBI files for Guy Banister, Oct. 28, 1978, pp. 1-2. (Note: Coincidentally, Gerard F. Tujague, owner of Gerard F. Tujague, Inc. Forwarding Co., who had employed Oswald as a messenger from November 1955 to January 1956, was also a member and officer (vice-president of Friends of Democratic Cuba (see FBI teletype, 62-109060-1668, Jan. 26, 1963, p.5.)

Although the FBI did interview Mr. Tujague on 11/26/63, and Mr. Tujague did provide Oswald's "employment release form" as well as various time punch cards, and the names of other employees who also worked there when Oswald did, nowhere does the report mention Tujague belonging to the Friends Of Democratic Cuba, his association with Guy Banister, or Oswald's name being used in 1961. (11)

A search of the Warren Report for a mention of Tujague reveals that there are the following two sentences in APPENDIX XIII apparently gleaned from Marguerite Oswald and the FBI report of 11/26/63:

"Between November 10 and January 14, he was a messenger boy for Gerard F. Tujague, Inc., a shipping company, where he earned $130 per month. His employer remembers him as a quiet, withdrawn person."

Years later, when the HSCA investigated, Tujague had already died, and Frank DiBenedetto of Gerard F. Tujague's, Inc. Forwarding Co. stated that his company had employed Lee Oswald during the period in question. DiBenedetto, who took over the business following Gerard Tujague's death, stated that he had been Oswald's http://harveyandlee.net/FBI/Friends Dem Cuba.jpgsupervisor and that Oswald had been employed as a messenger. He stated further that Oswald's work consisted largely of delivering company papers and messages to various steamship lines on the docks. (12)

What does all this mean? It means that at least one corporate officer of Guy Banister's newly formed organization in January of 1961, the "Friends Of Democratic Cuba," knew the real Lee Harvey Oswald before 1961 and thus probably supplied the name to the two buyers of the trucks for the surreptitious purchase. Since the Vice-President of Friends Of Democratic Cuba, Gerard F. Tujague, knew Oswald, chances are good that Banister also was aware the name "Oswald" was being used. (13)

The question is why? Why would a staunch anti-Communist and ex-FBI man like Guy Banister and an anti-Communist group like Friends Of Democratic Cuba, not only use the name of a recent defector - a "Marxist" - but impersonate him as well, for a surreptitious plan to purchase 10 trucks to aid Cuba 3 months prior to the Bay of Pigs operation?

With proof that Oswald was known personally to officers of a group that Banister was connected with for the purpose of aiding anti-Castro activities as early as 1961 at hand, it becomes fairly easy to see how this might have paved the way for later anti-Castro activities during the summer of 1963 in New Orleans with Banister and Oswald once again taking center stage.

 

FOOTNOTES & SOURCES

1. FBI report, 11/25/63, File NO 89-69, CD-75, SA McDonald and Danielson. (Return to Text)

2. Ibid. (Return to Text)

3. Ibid. (Return to Text)

4. Fred Sewell interview with James Alcock, NODA, 5/2/67. (Return to Text)

5. FBI report, 11/25/63, File NO 89-69, CD-75, SA McDonald and Danielson. (Return to Text)

6. Ibid. (Return to Text)

7. Articles of Incorporation, Friends of Democratic Cuba, HSCA Record Number: 1801007610242, Agency File Number: 009039. (Return to Text)

8. FBI report, 11/25/63, File NO 89-69, CD-75, SA McDonald and Danielson. (Return to Text)

9. Fred Sewell interview with James Alcock, NODA, 5/2/67. (Return to Text)

10. Articles of Incorporation, Friends of Democratic Cuba, HSCA Record Number: 1801007610242, Agency File Number: 009039. (Return to Text)

11. FBI report, 11/26/63, File NO 89-69, Record Number: 124-10238-10115, Agency File No. 89-69-688, SA James E. Schmidt. (Return to Text)

12. HSCA Volumes, Vol IX, pp. 101-102. (Return to Text)

13. Articles of Incorporation, Friends of Democratic Cuba, HSCA Record Number: 1801007610242, Agency File Number: 009039. ARTICLE IV specifies that: "The president, vice-president and secretary-treasurer shall be elected annually by the Board of Directors, and shall serve for terms of one year each or until their successors are duly elected and qualified," thus, Tujague serving at the pleasure of Banister who was a Director, probably advised and discussed with Banister the use of Oswald's name in the truck transaction.

 

========================================= END QUOTE =======================================

 

Viewed in isolation, the man who claimed he was “Oswald” could, of course, have been anyone legitimately or falsely claiming that surname.  But as Steve Bochan points out, the fact that the potential buyers said they represented Friends Of Democratic Cuba suggests this “Oswald” was much closer to our case.

Here is a portion of the proposal to purchase trucks for the Friends of Democratic Cuba represented by “Joseph Moore” and “Oswald.”

Bolton.gif


And here are two pages from the Articles of Incorporation of Friends of Democratic Cuba listing W. Guy Banister and Gerard F. Tujague as officers.

Friends%20Dem%20Cuba.jpg


Gerard F. Tujague was LEE Oswald’s employer in the Sanlin Building during parts of 1955 and 1956. Guy Banister, of course, the former head of the FBI office of Chicago, was infamously involved with Lee HARVEY Oswald in the summer of 1963 in New Orleans.

In January 1961, Lee HARVEY Oswald was living in Minsk in the Soviet Union.  He could not have been the man claiming to be “Oswald” who visited the Bolton Ford Co. in New Orleans.

The man who did visit the dealership with “Joseph Moore” was either another “Oswald” running in the same circles as Gerard Tujague and Guy Banister, or someone  falsely claiming to be.  If we are to believe it was the latter, at some point a researcher has to ask, How often must someone be impersonated before we begin to look for a different explanation?
 

Edited by Jim Hargrove

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8 hours ago, Sandy Larsen said:

Yes, I agree with Jeremy that people should read the supposed rebuttal he links to. Because you will quickly discover that there is no rebuttal at all... just a bunch of opinions. No evidence or detailed lines of reasoning are presented.

I've seen nothing here from Karl Kinaski, Tracy Parnell, or Jeremy Bojczuk that sways me from believing John Armstrong has a convincing case that there were two Oswalds.

If you guys want to convince people like me that Armstrong is wrong, why not engage in real debate? Quit  throwing around ad hominems and claiming that the Harvey & Lee theory has been debunked, when in fact it has not!

Sandy,

I have provided the evidence in a post on page 4 of this thread. One thing you will find is I don't engage in ad hominem attacks. I think Armstrong has done some good research and I have said that quite often. Jim Hargrove is a good guy and very articulate advocate for Armstrong.  I do maintain the theory has been debunked for the reasons I list on page 4. If someone wants to argue, for example, that a certain Oswald sighting is an impersonation that is one thing. But what you would have to believe to think there were two Oswalds taxes credulity IMO.

Just for starters, you would have to believe that the exhumation was somehow faked or that Harvey and Lee were given identical mastoid operations at the age of six since the physicians at the exhumation observed that the mastoid defect looked exactly like it would after several years time. You would have to believe that the HSCS handwriting and photo experts were either in on the plot or completely incompetent (they were among the best in the country at the time). You would have to believe that just about all of Oswald's family was in on the plot. You would have to believe that the Marguerite Oswald that testified before the WC was really a CIA employee even though she went around for years spouting the most ridiculous theories such as LHO's killing of JFK was a "mercy killing" since JFK was ill. And if she was really a CIA employee wouldn't she be trying to keep a low profile? She sought every bit of attention from the media that she could find and always charged money for it. Why would a true CIA employee do that? Somewhere there is a document by a Garrison staffer reporting on a lengthy phone conversation with Marguerite. They even concluded she was a nut. Besides the things I posted on page 4 the "short dumpy" Marguerite is the other best reason to disbelieve the theory IMO.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of the H&L theory I will be glad to do so. I can't explain every discrepancy in the record but I usually can offer another explanation.

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43 minutes ago, Jim Hargrove said:

Anyone who believes the HSCA conducted an honest investigation has no need to do much further research.  For the handwriting issue, see page 243 of Robert Groden's "The Search for Lee Harvey Oswald."  It's in the chapter entitled "Too Many Oswalds."  If those signatures are all from the same person, I'll eat Groden's entire book!

So Jim is claiming that some of the top experts in the country were in on the plot or incompetent. That is all he can do I suppose.

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7 hours ago, Jeremy Bojczuk said:

Mr Hargrove recommends that we study http://harveyandlee.net/Harvey Who/Harvey_who.htm . The article starts off ('Who Was Harvey?') badly, by begging the question. It assumes that which it needs to prove: that a character named 'Harvey Oswald', who spoke Russian, actually existed. The article is full of this, as is the 'Harvey and Lee' book. Mr Hargrove makes the same logical mistake; in one of his replies, for example, he writes that "Nor is it [the phone call] proof that Harvey Oswald had Hungarian roots. It is a possibility, though, which is all we ever suggest."

The existence of a Russian-speaking Oswald lookalike is absolutely fundamental to the 'Harvey and Lee' theory. But it is supported by next to evidence. All we have is one anonymous, unsolicited phone call, which claimed that Oswald's father and uncle were Hungarian. How exactly does this indicate that Oswald spoke Russian expertly, as the 'Harvey and Lee' doctrine requires? All the article gives us is: "It should be noted that Russian is an often-spoken second language in Hungary, and it would hardly be surprising that Hungarian immigrants could speak Russian fluently."

The article does admit that "an anonymous telephone tip can hardly be considered proof of anything", but that's as far as any reasonable scepticism goes. The article does not mention any corroboration for the anonymous phone call. It does not mention any efforts to look for such corroboration. It does not mention any efforts to identify the caller, in order to gauge her reliability. In the absence of any such supporting evidence, the phone call is as worthless as any other crank call. There is no reason to suppose that Oswald had any Hungarian relatives. And if Oswald had no Hungarian relatives, the most fundamental aspect of the 'Harvey and Lee' fantasy crumbles into dust. There was no 'Harvey Oswald'. He is a fictional character.

The article cites no evidence to support the hopeful opinion that Hungarian immigrants to the US might have spoken Russian fluently. Among which social groups and age groups of Hungarians was Russian a second language? Did these Hungarians speak Russian well enough to be mistaken for native speakers? Did they only speak it competently? Or did they know just enough to deal with the Soviet occupiers of their country? The fictional 'Harvey' was in New York by the age of 12, and had been in the US long enough to have learned to speak English fluently. He must have left Hungary several years earlier. Given that Hungarian and Russian are quite unrelated languages, how much Russian could the fictional 'Harvey' have learned in his first few years? None of these questions are answered in the article.

So much for the article cited by Mr Hargrove. What about the Holy Book? The phone call and its implications are dealt with on pages 66-67 of Harvey and Lee. Again, there is no mention of any effort to identify the caller or gauge her reliability, although Armstrong does admit that "I knew that the information provided by the unknown woman was tenuous and unverified" (p.67). It was indeed tenuous and unverified, but that isn't enough to stop it being used as the whole basis of the 'Harvey and Lee' theory.

I wonder if Mr Hargrove is able to provide us with answers to the following questions:

- What evidence is there that a Hungarian refugee to the US would have spoken Russian well enough to be mistaken for a native speaker?
- What efforts have been made to corroborate the anonymous phone call?
- What efforts have been made to identify the caller?
- In the absence of such efforts, how is it possible to give the phone call any credibility at all?

 

Excellent analysis Jeremy. Another instance of Armstrong taking a small anomaly and running with it is found in the case of Palmer McBride.

McBride holds a special place for Armstrong as it was his 1963 statement to the FBI that eventually launched the Harvey & Lee theory. Indeed, Armstrong explains all this beginning on page 3 of his book in a section titled "The Beginning of My Project." McBride recalled that he had worked and socialized with LHO in New Orleans in 1957 and 1958, a period when the Marine Corps records showed he was overseas. Instead of accepting the obvious, that McBride was mistaken, Armstrong uses his statement as the catalyst for his theory that McBride knew "Harvey" while "Lee" was in the service.

Armstrong asks a couple of questions in this section of his book which lay the groundwork for a rebuttal:

Quote

Why did the Commission ignore Palmer McBride's statement?

They didn't ignore it, they simply knew that documented facts are better than the recollections of a witness, no matter how well meaning and sincere that person may be.

Quote

Why was McBride never interviewed?

The Warren Commission was operating under a strict time frame imposed by Lyndon Johnson. McBride was on a list of people that the commission hoped to interview. Ultimately, it was probably decided that since other evidence showed McBride's assertions were incorrect, it was not necessary to call him as a witness. What Armstrong fails to realize is that had McBride testified before the commission, he almost certainly would have been confronted with the documentation that showed he was in error and would have retracted his statement. I say this because that is exactly what happened when researcher David Lifton interviewed McBride on camera in October of 1994. This is a short but relevant excerpt from that interview:

Quote

Lifton: OK. In this (FBI) statement, you also write, “during his first visit to my home, in late ’57 or early ’58. . . “

McBride: No, that’s not right. Its gotta be ’56. Its gotta be ’56. It can’t be ’57.” …

Lifton: I want you to go through this. Do you have any theory as to why you were confused, why you thought it was ’57 or ’58 back when you made the statement?

McBride: No. I can’t figure it out as to why I thought it was ’58. If he was already in the Marines in’56, he sure as hell wasn’t at Pfisterer.

When confronted with documentary evidence that LHO was overseas in 57-58, McBride admitted on camera in 1994 that he was simply mistaken. Later, Armstrong convinced McBride that he had been correct in his original statement after all. Apparently, Armstrong also convinced McBride that he was an important witness to a piece of the Harvey & Lee scenario and McBride later appeared at various conferences telling his story. But the documentary evidence and McBride's own 1994 statement, which predated Armstrong's indoctrination of him with the Harvey & Lee theory, show that McBride was simply mistaken in his original 1963 statement.

More powerful evidence that McBride was mistaken comes from researcher Greg Parker, who has done much good work debunking the Harvey & Lee theory. In McBride's statement to the FBI, he reported:

Quote

In April or May, 1958 Oswald stated he was moving to Ft Worth ... in about August 1958 I got a letter from him saying he had gotten mixed up in an anti-Negro or anti-Communist riot on high school grounds in Ft Worth, Texas.

But as Parker points out, Oswald and his mother moved to Fort Worth two years previously in 1956. And there are no reports of riots in Fort Worth in 1958, but there are indeed reports from 1956 and Parker provides a scan of a typical article from the period.

Why McBride Was Wrong

In conclusion, one of the key pillars of Armstrong's research is Palmer McBride. Unfortunately, McBride's assertions are demonstrably incorrect.

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Tracy,

I would be happy to read a debate between you and Jim Hargrove, if he's willing. But could you limit it to one topic at a time? And provide any background that is necessary for understanding the argument?

One more thing... please avoid debate topics that rely upon conclusions made by "the authorities."  I am sorry, but I just don't trust anything that comes from the government regarding the Kennedy assassination. A lot of what they say is true I'm sure, but a lot is false. The WCR was a farce. The HSCA wasn't much better. (They still declared Oswald a shooter, for example.) And I don't know anything about an exhumation, but I'm sure a government body was involved. I just don't trust the government. And I don't trust Marina.

We do plenty of debating here that doesn't depend upon what the government said. So I don't see why we can't do the same with the Harvey & Lee theory.

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1 hour ago, W. Tracy Parnell said:

So Jim is claiming that some of the top experts in the country were in on the plot or incompetent. That is all he can do I suppose.

Experts can only serve the court, and the HSCA became a shill for our Central Intelligence Agency soon after it was founded.  

When the HSCA was formed in September 1976, it’s chief counsel was Richard A Sprague.  Sprague got in trouble immediately for asking questions such as the following to his first witness (emphasis is mine):

Mr. Trafficante, have you at any time been an employee, a contract employee, or in any manner been in the service of the Central Intelligence Agency, or any other agency of the Federal Government of the United States?


Mr. Trafficante, did you know John Rosselli?


Mr. Trafficante, did you know Sam Giancana?


Mr. Trafficante, do you know Robert Maheu?


Mr. Trafficante, prior to November 22, 1963, did you have information that  President Kennedy was going to be assassinated?


Mr. Trafficante, prior to November 22, 1963, did you advise other people of the assassination of President Kennedy?


Mr. Trafficante, prior to November 22, 1963, did you know Jack Ruby?


Mr. Trafficante, have you ever met with representatives of the Central Intelligence Agency to discuss the assassination of various world leaders, including Fidel Castro?


Mr. Trafficante, is any agency of the U.S. Government giving you any immunity with regard to any plans to assassinate any world leaders?

Mr. Trafficante, did you ever discuss with any individual plans to assassinate President Kennedy prior to his assassination?


Mr. Trafficante, while you were in prison in Cuba, were you visited by Jack Ruby?


Mr. Trafficante, as a result of your appearance here today, have you been threatened by anyone, any group or agency? Has your life been threatened in any way?


Mr. Trafficante, have you been contacted by any agency in the executive branch, say the CIA or FBI, in connection with your possible testimony before or after you received formal subpoena to appear before this  committee?"

 

These sorts of questions didn’t sit well with HSCA chairman Henry Gonzales (D-Texas), who soon tried, but failed, to fire chief counsel Sprague. But both men were about to get crushed by The System.  Atty. Sprague soon found that his franking privileges had been revoked.  Whatever personal communications he wished to have on behalf of the HSCA would have to be paid for by him personally.  Nice, eh?

By 1977, when the HSCA hearings began in earnest, both Sprague and Gonzales had been ousted.  CIA-friendly Louis Stokes (D-Texas) and new chief counsel G. Robert Blakey (a Mafia expert) were now in charge.  The coup was complete, and the Central Intelligence Agency had dodged a high-powered bullet!  The CIA’s “Oswald Project” would not be exposed by the HSCA.

Relatively recently, Richard Sprague said that if he had it to do over again, he "would begin his investigation of the Kennedy assassination by probing 'Oswald's ties to the Central Intelligence Agency.'"  But, of course, he'll never get that chance.

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19 hours ago, Sandy Larsen said:

Jeremy,

The fact that you use John Armstrong's book as a source to dispute the Harvey & Lee theory tells me that the book does admit when the evidence isn't strong.
 

In the instance I quoted, the book does admit that the anonymous phone call "was tenuous and unverified". The problem is that the book then goes on, quite irrationally, to use this admittedly feeble piece of evidence as the main support for its theory: the existence of a Russian-speaking Oswald lookalike. It's like saying, "Yes, the phone call is almost certainly worthless as evidence. Nevertheless, it's all we have, so we're going to use it." The rational conclusion would be that because the phone call is worthless, we are left with no reason to suppose that a Russian-speaking Oswald lookalike actually existed.

It's not as though the phone call is a minor part of the story. It is the only specific evidence that someone named Oswald came from a family of Russian speakers. It is fundamental, and without it the 'Harvey and Lee' theory is just an invention.

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Jeremy,

You haven’t actually read the book, have you?  Evidence for a Russian-speaking “Oswald” is all over it’s roughly thousand pages, rarely referring to the anonymous phone call.  

This, we’re officially told, is how “Lee Harvey Oswald” wrote a note to Marina in the U.S.:

oswald.png?dl=0

In the Marine Corps, before even traveling to Moscow, Lee HARVEY Oswald continuously demonstrated his Russian-speaking ability to fellow Marines and to Rosaleen Quinn, the Russian-speaking airline stewardess he dated.  In the USMC, he subscribed to Russian newspapers, listened to Russian records, and was nicknamed "Oswaldovich" by fellow Marines at MACS 9 in California.

George DeMohrenschildt said “Oswald” preferred to speak in the Russian language and said, "Lee read his Russian books whenever he could and his friends kept providing him with new supplies of books and magazines." [HSCA XII, p. 134] DeMohrenschildt said he often discussed classical Russian literature with Oswald in the Russian language.

With any effort at all, you could find lots of other references in Harvey and Lee to Lee HARVEY Oswald’s Russian-speaking abilitities.

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14 hours ago, Sandy Larsen said:

Tracy,

I would be happy to read a debate between you and Jim Hargrove, if he's willing. But could you limit it to one topic at a time? And provide any background that is necessary for understanding the argument?

One more thing... please avoid debate topics that rely upon conclusions made by "the authorities."  I am sorry, but I just don't trust anything that comes from the government regarding the Kennedy assassination. A lot of what they say is true I'm sure, but a lot is false. The WCR was a farce. The HSCA wasn't much better. (They still declared Oswald a shooter, for example.) And I don't know anything about an exhumation, but I'm sure a government body was involved. I just don't trust the government. And I don't trust Marina.

We do plenty of debating here that doesn't depend upon what the government said. So I don't see why we can't do the same with the Harvey & Lee theory.

Sandy,

This reply is in the context of the Harvey and Lee debate as I limit my interest to Oswald and his life since I believe that is the key to everything. It is tough to respond to what you say if you don’t believe the government at all. I understand skepticism of the government, but I also believe in science and the various government entities used that very well in this case. For example, the HSCA hired three of the best handwriting experts in the country for their study of Oswald. As I mentioned, you must believe they were incompetent (which is really impossible) or in on the plot. And if they were in on it what is to stop other handwriting experts from reviewing their work in the ensuing years and repudiating it?

Regarding the exhumation, I would encourage you to read my article series:

http://jfkassassination.net/parnell/xindex.htm

Yes, government people were used in the exhumation (almost all forensics people work for government entities), but there were plenty of people who could have come forward (such as private security) to report on any funny business. Of course, Paul Groody, who embalmed Oswald, did come forward and his “remembrances” confused people for years until people like M. Duke Lane and Gary Mack became involved and helped to set the record straight. Mack was initially critical of the exhumation, but came around after studying the evidence. I interviewed someone who saw the video of the exhumation and he confirmed it happened the way the doctors said it did. BTW, this person was a conspiracy advocate (he asked to remain anonymous).

So, I am very confident that the exhumation disproves the Harvey & Lee theory and the Armstrong camp has never responded to my arguments. As I mentioned before, if someone wants to believe an Oswald impersonation happened that is one thing, but to swallow two Oswalds is another. As far as debating Jim, that is what we are doing on this forum I guess.

BTW, Vincent DiMaio, who was one of four physicians at the exhumation, has a new book called Morgue: A Life in Death that I highly recommend. It has a very detailed account of the exhumation from his point of view. 

Edited by W. Tracy Parnell

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Mr Hargrove writes:

Quote

You haven't actually read the book, have you? Evidence for a Russian-speaking "Oswald" is all over it's [sic] roughly thousand pages, rarely referring to the anonymous phone call.
 

Has anyone actually read the book from cover to cover? It's an unreadable mess. But that's beside the point.

You're confusing two things:

- The hypothetical existence of a Russian-speaking 12-year-old who later impersonated a similar-looking, English-speaking American as part of a dastardly secret plot.
- The existence of an American called Lee Harvey Oswald who learned Russian, who defected to the Soviet Union, and who was accused of shooting President Kennedy.

The first of these is central to the 'Harvey and Lee' theory, and depends fundamentally on the credibility of one anonymous phone call. As this thread has demonstrated, the phone call is worthless; there is essentially no evidence to support this concoction, and hardly anyone believes it.

The second of these is entirely uncontroversial. I'm not aware of any serious student of the case, whatever their opinion of who killed JFK, who does not accept the existence of a historical Oswald who spoke Russian.

It is an undisputed fact that Oswald spoke Russian, to some level at least, before his defection. But this has nothing whatever to do with the fantastical 'Harvey and Lee' nonsense.

Perhaps you would be good enough to deal with the following problems with the 'Harvey and Lee' theory:

- In the absence of the anonymous phone call, there is no reason to suppose that anyone called Oswald came from a Russian-speaking family. What evidence do you have that the phone call is credible?
- How do you explain the evidence of a mastoid operation on the body in Oswald's grave? According to 'Harvey and Lee' doctrine, the mastoid operation was carried out on 'Lee', while the body in the grave is that of 'Harvey'. Given that this evidence was published in a respectable scientific journal a mere 19 years before the 'Harvey and Lee' book came out, why do you think the book does not attempt to explain the contradiction?
- What arguments do you have to rebut the HSCA's handwriting and photographic analysis apart from suggesting that the relevant experts were all part of the plot?

 

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