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Did the Dallas Radical Right kill JFK?

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Posted (edited)

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/apr/22/jfk-documents-could-show-the-truth-about-a-diplomats-death-47-years-ago

JFK documents could show the truth about a diplomat's death 47 years ago

Family of Charles Thomas are pleading with Trump to release papers they say show his 1971 suicide stemmed from officials wanting to shut down effort to reopen JFK investigation

Philip Shenon, Sun 22 Apr 2018 07.00 EDT Last modified on Sun 22 Apr 2018 07.23 EDT

Charles Thomas was a rising star at the state department in the early 1960s, a career diplomat who had served across Latin America and Africa. His colleagues were convinced he would earn the rank of ambassador. They agreed that the tall, jut-jawed, preppy, handsome Thomas – described by colleagues as “the diplomat from central casting” – adored his wife Cynthia and two young daughters.

But then something went horribly wrong. In 1971, at the age of 48, Thomas killed himself.

The death certificate showed that on Monday 12 April, at about 4pm and in the second-floor bathroom of his family’s rented home on the banks of the Potomac river in Washington, Thomas lifted a gun to his head. Cynthia, downstairs, thought the boiler had exploded.

The reasons for the suicide were not a complete mystery. Thomas had been despondent after he had been denied a promotion two years earlier and forced out of the state department. In the 1960s, the department had an up-or-out policy – diplomats were either promoted or they were “selected out”, to use the department’s Orwellian term.

For Cynthia and the rest of the family, the nightmare was compounded months later by a terrible discovery – Thomas had been “selected out” in error. A clerical mistake had apparently cost him his cherished, 18-year career.

According to the department, Thomas was denied a promotion because part of his personnel records, including a glowing job evaluation from the embassy in Mexico, had been accidentally misfiled. The family received a formal written apology, signed by Gerald Ford. Congressional outrage led the state department to overhaul its promotion system.

But now, four decades later, Thomas’s widow and others say they are convinced they are still being denied the full truth about what put Thomas on a path to killing himself. In that cause, they are pleading with Donald Trump to release classified documents from the National Archives.

The documents are long-secret government files about – of all things – the assassination of John F Kennedy.

The Thomas family acknowledges that their’s is a bizarre and complicated story. But they are convinced – with good reason, given what they have discovered – that if Thomas’s personnel records were misfiled it was intentional, and that it was never the real reason for his firing.

They are certain that Thomas lost his career – and ultimately his will to live – because senior officials were determined to shut down his persistent, unwelcome and ultimately fruitless effort to reopen an investigation of JFK’s murder.

There is a long paper trail. Documents released to the public show that during a posting in Mexico in the mid-1960s, Thomas came across evidence that showed Lee Harvey Oswald – who visited Mexico City in September 1963, weeks before killing Kennedy – had been in contact there with Cuban diplomats and spies who wanted JFK dead and might have offered help and encouragement.

In internal memos not made public until years after his death, Thomas told supervisors such information from Mexico could undermine the findings of the presidential panel that determined in 1964 that Oswald acted alone. In one memo, Thomas warned that the Mexico information “threatened to reopen the debate about the true nature of the Kennedy assassination and damage the credibility of the Warren Report”.

For historians, Oswald’s trip to Mexico has never been adequately explained. Available records shows that the CIA and FBI knew much more about it – and the threat Oswald posed – than they ever shared with the Warren Commission. The agencies appear to have withheld evidence out of fear they might be blamed for bungling intelligence that could have saved Kennedy’s life.

Oswald, a Marine Corps veteran and self-declared Marxist who had once tried to defect to the Soviet Union, met in Mexico with Cuban and Soviet diplomats and spies and, according to a long-secret FBI report, talked openly about his plan to kill Kennedy.

Given Trump’s deadline next week – a deadline he set himself – to release thousands of still-classified documents related to the assassination held by the National Archives, the Thomas family says questions about their family tragedy are urgent once again.

Many of those documents are known to have come out of the files of the CIA station in Mexico at about the time of Oswald’s visit, which suggests they could bolster Thomas’s suspicions about what happened there.

In an interview, Thomas’s youngest daughter, Zelda Thomas-Curti, a Minneapolis business consultant who was born in Mexico, described her father as “one of America’s most important – if mostly unrecognized – 20th-century government whistleblowers”.

On behalf of her family, including her own three children, Thomas-Curti said she had written to Trump, to ask him to do justice to her father’s memory by releasing all remaining JFK files.

“Washington overpowered my father like a steam shovel, tossing him into a heap like discarded dirt,” she wrote. “But he was a hero who was out there fighting for the truth.” She told Trump that she wanted “my three children to know that their grandfather was a real-life hero”.

Thomas’s widow, Cynthia, who went on to her own career in the state department and now lives in Minnesota, said the family deserved to see all the JFK documents. “My grandchildren are entitled to know the truth about Charles,” she said.

In 1992, Congress passed the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act. Lawmakers hoped it would damp down raging conspiracy theories created by the release of Oliver Stone’s conspiracy-laden film, JFK, the year before.

The law called for release of all assassination-related documents. As a result, millions of pages were made public in the 1990s. Several thousand other documents, initially held back because of national security concerns, were supposed to have been released last October, the 25th anniversary of the law’s passage.

But Trump delayed the release for another six months, citing security concerns raised by the CIA and FBI. The new deadline is 26 April.

The White House has given no clue about whether the president will now allow the full library of documents to be made public. But Trump, who is no stranger to conspiracy theories, including about the Kennedy assassination, has vowed transparency. “The American public expects – and deserves – its government to provide as much access as possible” to the JFK records, he said last year.

The exact number of assassination-related documents still held is in question, since there is no definitive public inventory. A research group, the Mary Ferrell Foundation, said last month its tally showed more than 21,890 documents were still being withheld in full or in part.

The National Archives has produced a bare-bones index, which shows that many of the documents are drawn from the CIA station in Mexico City. For Thomas’s family, as well as for many JFK historians, that suggests those documents may refer to surveillance of Oswald and his contacts in Mexico.

Previously declassified files show that CIA officers in Mexico conducted close surveillance of Oswald as he apparently sought a visa to defect to Havana. The files show that he visited both the Cuban and Soviet embassies and that he may have had a brief affair with a Mexican woman who worked in the Cuban consulate.

In a once-classified 2013 internal CIA report, the agency’s chief historian concluded that the CIA had conducted a “benign cover-up” to withhold “incendiary” information. The cover-up, the report said, was intended to keep the commission focused on “what the Agency believed at the time was the ‘best truth’ – that Lee Harvey Oswald, for as yet undetermined motives, had acted alone in killing John Kennedy”.

In a memo written in 1969, in his final days at the department, Thomas made a last plea that someone go back to Mexico. Though he made no allegation that Fidel Castro had any personal role in any plot to kill Kennedy, Thomas wanted the US to investigate whether the Warren Commission had missed evidence of a conspiracy in JFK’s death between Oswald and Cubans loyal to the Castro regime.

“Since I was the embassy officer who acquired this intelligence information,” Thomas wrote, “I feel a responsibility for seeing it through to its final evaluation.”

The memo outlined a story that Thomas first heard in 1965 from a friend – Elena Garro de Paz, a prominent Mexican writer whose husband, Octavio Paz, later won the Nobel Prize for literature. Garro said she had encountered Oswald at a family dance party in Mexico City in the fall of 1963 that was attended by Cuban diplomats and Mexican leftists who supported the Castro revolution. According to Garro, people at the party had spoken openly of their hope that Kennedy would be killed.

According to Garro, who died in 1998, Oswald was invited to the party by her cousin Silvia Duran, a vivacious young woman who worked at the Cuban consulate. Garro told Thomas she was certain Oswald and Duran had a brief affair.

In the years since Thomas’s paperwork was made public, Duran, who is still alive, has insisted that she did not have an affair with Oswald and only met him inside the Cuban consulate. But other Mexicans, including members of Duran’s extended family, have disputed her account. A Mexican journalist recalled seeing Oswald at a separate reception, at the Cuban embassy

Edited by Ernie Lazar

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New Group of JFK Assassination Documents Available to the Public
Press Release ·Thursday, April 26, 2018

WASHINGTON —

In accordance with President Trump’s direction on October 26, 2017, the National Archives today posted 19,045 documents subject to the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 (JFK Act).   Released documents are available for download.  The versions released today were processed by agencies in accordance with the President’s direction that agency heads be extremely circumspect in recommending any further postponement.  

The John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection, established by the National Archives in November 1992, consists of approximately five million pages.  The vast majority of the collection has been publicly available without any restrictions since the late 1990s.  As permitted by the JFK Act, agencies appealed to the President to continue postponement of certain information beyond October 26, 2017.  The President provided agencies with a temporary certification until April 26, 2018 to allow for a re-review of all documents withheld in full or in part under section 5 of the JFK Act and directed agencies to “identify as much as possible that may be publicly disclosed” and to be “extremely circumspect in recommending any further postponement.”

Based on reviews conducted by agencies in accordance with the President’s direction, the National Archives released 3,539 documents on Dec. 15, 10,744 documents on Nov. 17, 13,213 documents on Nov. 9, and 676 documents on Nov. 3 of last year.  The 19,045 documents released today represent the final release of documents in accordance with the President’s direction on October 26, 2017.

All documents subject to section 5 of the JFK Act have been released in full or in part.  No documents subject to section 5 of the JFK Act remain withheld in full.  The President has determined that all information that remains withheld under section 5 must be reviewed again before October 26, 2021 to determine whether continued withholding from disclosure is necessary. 

 

Online Resources:
The President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection
Documenting the Death of a President
JFK Assassination Records Review Board
The work of the Kennedy Assassination Records Collection
JFK Assassination Records FAQs
Warren Commission Report

 

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(1)  NEW BOOK ON RADICAL RIGHT IN UNITED STATES FROM FDR TO TRUMP

https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781442276512/Enemies-of-the-State-The-Radical-Right-in-America-from-FDR-to-Trump#

Enemies of the State: The Radical Right in America from FDR to Trump

DARREN J. MULLOY

 
The rise of the alt-right alongside Donald Trump’s candidacy may be seem unprecedented events in the history of the United States, but D. J. Mulloy shows us that the radical right has been a long and active part of American politics during the twentieth century. From the German-American Bund to the modern militia movement, D. J. Mulloy provides a guide for anyone interested in examining the roots of the radical right in the U.S.—in all its many varied forms—going back to the days of the Great Depression, the New Deal and the extraordinary political achievements of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Enemies of the State offers an informative and highly readable introduction to some of the key developments and events of recent American history including: the fear of the Communist subversion of American society in the aftermath of the Second World War; the rise of the civil rights movement and the “white backlash” this elicited; the apparent decline of liberalism and the ascendancy of conservatism during the economic malaise of the 1970s; Ronald Reagan’s triumphant presidential victory in 1980; and the Great Recession of 2007-08 and subsequent election of President Obama

(2)  NEW DATABASE ON POLITICAL EXTREMISM AVAILABLE FROM GALE

https://www.gale.com/c/political-extremism-and-radicalism-in-the-twentieth-century?utm_source=prnewswire&utm_medium=pr&utm_campaign=

Political Extremism & Radicalism in the Twentieth Century: Far-Right and Left Political Groups in the U.S., Europe, and Australia combines content on far-right and fascist movements, alongside significant coverage of radical left groups, allowing researchers to access material from both sides, and providing points for comparison.  By providing primary source material from both sides in one comprehensive, meticulously indexed resource, Gale makes it possible for researchers to make connections not previously discoverable. Researchers in contemporary topics will also find value in the content, allowing them to explore the origins and development of present-day issues, including the resurgence of right-wing politics, evolution of various civil rights movements and the nature of extreme or radical political thought.

EXPLORE THE DEVELOPMENT, ACTIONS AND IDEOLOGIES BEHIND TWENTIETH CENTURY EXTREMISM AND RADICALISM

As one of the first digital archives on far-right and far-left political groups, Political Extremism & Radicalism in the Twentieth Century: Far-Right and Left Political Groups in the U.S., Europe, and Australiacontains over 600,000 pages of content and 42 oral histories making it the most extensive resource of its kind.  Political Extremism & Radicalism in the Twentieth Century: Far-Right and Left Political Groups in the U.S., Europe, and Australia offers researchers a diverse range of content, including campaign materials, propaganda, government records, and various ephemera that when combined with the Gale Primary Sources technology, enable researchers to explore extremism and radicalism in new and innovative ways. 

A deeper look at the sub-collections:

Since 1970, the American Radicalism Collection at Michigan State University has been collecting ephemera on radical political groups, across a range of extremist movements including those involved in religion, race, gender, the environment, and equal rights. The collection covers four general categories , each with a different focus: leftist politics and anti-war movements; religion and the radical right; race, gender and equal rights; and social, economic and environmental movements. The collection also includes materials on such topics as survivalism, Holocaust denial, creationism, and anti-Catholicism from groups like John Birch Society and the Black Panther Party. 

The Hall-Hoag Collection of Dissenting and Extremist Printed Propaganda, from Brown University, includes printed propaganda from US anti-integrationist, anti-Semitic and racist groups from the post-World War II period to the present. The collection began when Gordon Hall, a young veteran of the Pacific Theatre during the war, first encountered the printed propaganda issued by domestic hate-your-neighbor organizations/groups in the late 1940's. Includes publications of Anti-Abortion organizations; Anti-Integrationist organizations; Anti-Semitic and Racist political parties; Christian Identity organizations; Communist organizations;  Congressional investigating committees; Cults and Alternative religions; Extreme Left-Wing publishers; Ku Klux Klan organizations; LaRouche organizations; Militant Anti-Communist organizations; Militant Populist organizations; Neo-Nazi organizations; Pacifist organizations; Racial and Ethnic Consciousness organizations; Right-Wing Christian religious organizations; and Right-Wing publishers. 

The Searchlight Archive, held at the University of Northampton in the UK, consists of documents from Searchlight Associates, an information service founded in 1967 that aimed to expose racist and fascist groups. In 1975 it launched a magazine, Searchlight, intended to promote intelligence on the far-right from around the world. This archive includes oral histories from activists who acted as undercover informants on far-right organisations or members of anti-fascist groups.  The interviews are available within the platform both as audio recordings as well as searchable transcripts. This archive also includes various ephemera including booklets, leaflets and posters.

Working with the National Archives in the UK, Gale has digitized government documents relating to inter- and post-war British extremist movements. These include Security Service personal files on right-wing extremists, suspected communists and terrorists as well as Home Office papers on detainees, such as Oswald Mosley, who were related to far-right groups including the British Union of Fascists, British National Party, Imperial Fascist League, the Nordic League and The Link.

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SOME MORE BAD NEWS FOR PAUL TREJO:

In January 2018, NARA released a new summary of all the remaining JFK documents that had not (up to that time) been fully released. (However, many were previously released with some redactions and others were released this week).

That January summary totals 791 pages.

The portion which summarizes FBI documents is 229 pages.  Each remaining FBI file number and each serial number is shown along with the total number of pages in each document.

I spent several hours looking up the most commonly-referenced FBI file numbers on the NARA summary and I can now report that:

(1)  There are no documents pertaining to Edwin Walker, Harry Dean, or the John Birch Society.  Nor are there any documents about the primary "plot" characters discussed by Dr. Caufield in his book.  [I searched every applicable FBI HQ and field office file number that might have produced some kind of hit.]

(2)  Many of the remaining documents are in the 92-series of FBI files.  The 92-series refers to "racketeering enterprise investigations".  Apparently, these docs are predominantly about Mob-connected individuals.  For example, one series of documents pertained to John Roselli.

(3)   I focused my attention upon the FBI file numbers which had the most listings -- and, often, they had the most pages too.  The subject of every one of the 104 FBI file numbers I researched was identifiable by searching it online.  Most of the time, the Mary Ferrell website produced a "hit" which identified each file subject.  In other cases, I saw a PDF copy of a document which NARA uploaded during the past year.

BOTTOM-LINE

IT IS time for Paul to admit there is nothing to substantiate his (or Harry Dean's) "JBS plot" supposition.

 

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Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, Ernie Lazar said:

There are no documents pertaining to Edwin Walker, Harry Dean, or the John Birch Society.

Why would there be?

The NARA has been trained by a CIA-centric conspiracy community to concentrate on Cubans, the mafia, and the CIA.   Walker and the radical right are mostly off their radar because the thundering roar of the herd is demanding evidence to support their CIA theory as posited by Garrison 50+ years ago.

The NARA releases are only what the government itself has designated as Kennedy-related.  So, thanks to prominent CT theories, we get a boatload of stuff about the mafia, irrelevant Cubans, and other CIA adventures - most everything else is still hidden or worse - destroyed.

{BTW - your point is not quite true.  There are documents in the new releases discussing the Minutemen and Edwin Walker.}

 

Jason

Edited by Jason Ward

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33 minutes ago, Ernie Lazar said:

(1)  There are no documents pertaining to Edwin Walker, Harry Dean, or the John Birch Society. 

Edwin Walker is the leader of the Dallas Minutemen, and this is one of several references in the new release from CIs who assert they were involved in the assassination:

Mmen_dallas_in_assassination.png

180-10078-10074

 

 

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I wonder if Jason Ward could substantiate his claim that the lack of documents on Dallas radical right, Walker, Minutemen, JBS etc is the fault of the assassination researchers who ‘train’ NARA as to what they want to see. I don’t know anyone researching JFK who is not interested in ALL relevant material. 

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2 hours ago, Jason Ward said:

Why would there be?

The NARA has been trained by a CIA-centric conspiracy community to concentrate on Cubans, the mafia, and the CIA.   Walker and the radical right are mostly off their radar because the thundering roar of the herd is demanding evidence to support their CIA theory as posited by Garrison 50+ years ago.

The NARA releases are only what the government itself has designated as Kennedy-related.  So, thanks to prominent CT theories, we get a boatload of stuff about the mafia, irrelevant Cubans, and other CIA adventures - most everything else is still hidden or worse - destroyed.

{BTW - your point is not quite true.  There are documents in the new releases discussing the Minutemen and Edwin Walker.}

 

Jason

The short answer to your question is simply that Paul Trejo has declared for years that there were FBI documents which would confirm Paul's "theory" about a "JBS plot" and those documents would be released by NARA during 2017 or 2018.

Your statement seems to be:  The absence of evidence amounts to "proof" of whatever "conspiracy" you might wish to allege.

I have predicted for at least two years that the ultimate argument by Paul Trejo (and his allies) would be precisely what you now claim, i.e. that the incriminating documentary evidence will be hidden, destroyed, or withheld.  That is ALWAYS the intellectual escape hatch used by conspiracy adherents--rather than acknowledge fundamental error.  That is also why conspiracy arguments are impossible to falsify -- because normal rules of evidence and logic are cheerfully discarded!

With respect to MM and Walker documents --- they do NOT provide evidence about any "JBS plot" -- which has always been the essence of Paul Trejo's and Harry Dean's argument.  Of course there are JFK-related documents which include references to MM and/or Walker.  They have been publicly available for decades.  I have many of them in my copy of the FBI HQ main file on the assassination, (i.e. HQ 62-109060) and most of those documents are online on Mary Ferrell's website.

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10 minutes ago, Ernie Lazar said:

 

Your statement seems to be:  The absence of evidence amounts to "proof" of whatever "conspiracy" you might wish to allege.

 

I remember now why I had you blocked.  You're rude and putting words into my mouth I never said.  I have never tried to sell anyone a CT.  Goodbye.

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2 hours ago, Jason Ward said:

Edwin Walker is the leader of the Dallas Minutemen, and this is one of several references in the new release from CIs who assert they were involved in the assassination:

Mmen_dallas_in_assassination.png

180-10078-10074

 

 

Well, Jason, the problem with your "example" is epistemological i.e. what methods do we use to discover, recognize, and interpret factual evidence and give it proper weight and how do we separate fact from fiction?  Not all data we confront has equal value or credibility.

There are HUNDREDS of examples of JFK-related assertions and beliefs which FBI documents memorialize but when those assertions and beliefs were investigated, they evaporated into the ether and amounted to nothing more than hearsay, gossip, rumor, or wild exaggerations or mis-interpretations.

Nobody involved in this discussion has ever disputed that there are numerous documents which mention what somebody "felt" or what somebody "thought" or what somebody "claimed" or what somebody "believed".   If I had $1 for every JFK-related bit of information summarized in FBI documents that turned out to be utterly false, I would be a very wealthy person.  

But those things are not (and can never be) equal to clear and convincing evidence or proof.

 

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5 minutes ago, Jason Ward said:

I remember now why I had you blocked.  You're rude and putting words into my mouth I never said.  I have never tried to sell anyone a CT.  Goodbye.

Seemed like an obvious conclusion from what you wrote.  How, otherwise, could ANYBODY reach an acceptable conclusion if someone can always claim that there is some kind of evidence which is being withheld or suppressed because (as you put it) "...most everything else is still hidden or worse - destroyed." ??

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Figured Jason wouldn't answer my question. Must have me blocked too. Many here seem to like this blocking mechanism. I think it's ridiculous. 

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3 hours ago, Paul Brancato said:

I wonder if Jason Ward could substantiate his claim that the lack of documents on Dallas radical right, Walker, Minutemen, JBS etc is the fault of the assassination researchers who ‘train’ NARA as to what they want to see. I don’t know anyone researching JFK who is not interested in ALL relevant material. 

Most political conspiracy theories are constructed to be non-falsifiable -- which means that they are not really theories. 

In a way, this is reminiscent of how registrars in southern states determined which African Americans would be eligible to vote.  Normally, those registrars required black citizens to answer questions which 99.999% of white Americans could not answer. 

Example:  in Alabama, there was a list of 68 potential questions used by registrars.   Here are three of them:

(1) Of the original 13 states, the one with the largest representation in the first Congress was___________?

(2) The Constitution limits the size of the District of Columbia to___________?

(3)  The only laws which can be passed to apply to an area in a federal arsenal are those passed by _______ provided consent for the purchase of the land is made by ________?

So....when registrars rejected African-Americans, they could claim that they were not eligible voters because they could not pass the required test.  As these examples show (however) the test was constructed to make it impossible to be successful !

Similarly, conspiracy theories are constructed to prevent anybody from ever successfully falsifying them.

It is indisputable (in my opinion) that scholars and investigative journalists have not spent as much time researching the history of the radical right in our country as that subject warrants.  But there are some obvious reasons for that deficiency.  To cite merely one example:  many radical right organizations (such as the Birch Society) do NOT allow outside independent researchers to have access to their archives for historical research.

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