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Sylvia Meagher and Clay Shaw vs Jim Garrison


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When I did my eulogy for Vince Salandria, I stubbled onto a related subject, that is the early critics and their interactions with Jim Garrison.  At that time, Harold Weisberg was working with the DA. The first critic to turn on Garrison was Sylvia Meagher--and did she ever.  To the point that she actually ended up helping Clay Shaw!  John Kelin's overlooked book, which started with VInce Salandria giving him two boxes of letters was a valuable source for this essay. 

But you will also learn a lot about the enigma of Ed Epstein and how VInce suspected him of being a plant from the beginning.  And how Sylvia tried to expose him through the NY Times, but guess what--they weren't interested. Because when they looked at the Warren Report for the second time, they discovered they had been snookered, and they did not want to admit that. So they took on Epstein to do their celebratory piece upon Shaw's acquittal.  But as you will see at the end, it was a false verdict.  Thanks to Doug Caddy for that one.

https://kennedysandking.com/john-f-kennedy-articles/sylvia-meagher-and-clay-shaw-vs-jim-garrison

Edited by James DiEugenio
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Jim,

     After reading your latest article, I'm puzzled.  Why would a WCR critic like Sylvia Meagher have been so hostile to Garrison, and so, apparently, sympathetic toward Clay Shaw?   There's something very odd about this, IMO.

     Meagher, obviously, realized by 1967 that the WCR was fraudulent.  Under the circumstances, it seems like she would have welcomed alternative evidence and theories about JFK's assassination, including many details that Garrison's investigation had unearthed.

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1 hour ago, W. Niederhut said:

Jim,

     After reading your latest article, I'm puzzled.  Why would a WCR critic like Sylvia Meagher have been so hostile to Garrison, and so, apparently, sympathetic toward Clay Shaw?   There's something very odd about this, IMO.

     Meagher, obviously, realized by 1967 that the WCR was fraudulent.  Under the circumstances, it seems like she would have welcomed alternative evidence and theories about JFK's assassination, including many details that Garrison's investigation had unearthed.

Same question here.

 

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2 hours ago, W. Niederhut said:

Why would a WCR critic like Sylvia Meagher have been so hostile to Garrison

The details are related in John Kelin's book. Meagher fell hook, line, and sinker for the official drivel when she concluded: “as the Garrison investigation continued to unfold, it gave cause for increasingly serious misgivings about the validity of his evidence, the credibility of his witnesses, and the scrupulousness of his methods” (pp. 456–457). Harold Weisberg actually claimed that Jim Garrison didn’t conduct any real investigating in New Orleans. And Anthony Summers, author of "Conspiracy," called the Garrison investigation “grotesque.” But even worse that all this is the way Meagher turned against her long-term friends and comrades simply because she didn’t agree with them on the point of Garrison. She really treated them brutally. Yet at the very end, when she was asked by the publisher to give a peer review of Garrison’s book, she ended up praising it.

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She did except for one thing Rob, the whole issue of the motorcade route.  ON that she trusted the Secret Service testimony in the WC.

And that was enough for Prentice Hall to back out of the deal. Garrison had to return his advance.

Through the work of others, mostly Vince P, we know that the motorcade was rerouted the day before, and we also know that the motorcycle escort was stripped back--by the same guy that Meagher relied up in her critique of Garrison, Sorrels. Finally we know that Lawton was taken off the back of the limo at the airport.

There were few people better than Sylvia on how bad the Warren Report was. But as I tried to show, once the case got beyond that, I simply think she was kind of lost.  To buy into the likes of James Phelan? And to actually cooperate, help send money to and advise Clay Shaw? 

Like I said, even her devotees, like Jerry Policoff, admitted she was irrational when it came to Garrison.

 

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3 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

Prentice Hall

Thanks for pointing this out; I completely forgot about that even though it's mentioned in the Kelin book. Just finished your essay - Besides being a great synopsis and analysis of the entire Meagher-Garrison affair, the concluding bits about Dyer read like the climactic scene in a  play in which everything shifts into a deeper and more resonant perspective. All with just a few lines of dialogue. I could just picture Shaw matter-of-factly saying that Oswald was a double agent; or Dyer saying "Would you have admitted knowing him?" Nice work.

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Thanks Rob.

BTW, I am kind of surprised that no one pointed out the stuff about Epstein.

In going through all of that, I now think VInce was probably correct about him.  I mean how does someone turn that fast?  Unless he was not for real to begin with.

And what the heck is "political truth" anyway? 

Edited by James DiEugenio
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I think you're right to conclude that he was not real to begin with. Think about it: From the very start just about all the early critics were having massive trouble getting published. They would get rejected from one publisher after another. After collecting a pile of rejection slips, some would eventually be promised book deals, then the deals would stall interminably until finally getting cancelled. But Epstein lands a deal on the very first try. And not only that, he gets unprecedented access to major players in the Warren Commission itself. He has money for a big research staff, and he instructs them to stay clear of research on the CIA. Then he arranges a debate and he fails miserably (on purpose? Sort of like Oswald's major debate fail?). Was the book constructed with holes in it on purpose? So that it would get all the major media attention and then be shot down, putting the whole issue of conspiracy to rest? Then Salandria has that encounter with him where Epstein comes right out and confesses he's become a turncoat. Salandria is not the kind of guy to lie about stuff like that. And I always thought it highly suspicious that de Mohrenschildt was killed after being interviewed by Epstein and right before Gaeton Fonzi could get to him. There's that haunting passage in Fonzi's book: "I would later learn that as I was talking to Alexandra de Mohrenschildt, her father was in a hotel room in Palm Beach being interviewed by ... Edward Epstien.... Epstein's increasing contacts with the CIA were considered suspicious by many of his fellow critics." De Mohrenschildt died four hours after he had been given Fonzi's card by Alexandra; remember how the card was found in his shirt pocket by the police, and so they called Fonzi? I mean that is some exquisite timing. I always wondered what de Mohrenschildt had told Epstein, and whom did Epstein relay that information to afterward? Whomever it was, somebody seems to have moved quickly and blocked Fonzi in the process. What do you make of that whole episode? Haunting, no? 

 

 

 

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Mark Lane wrote a very interesting article about that whole episode in Florida many years back. The local prosecutor was very interested in Epstein. He said that Epstein told the Baron he may have to return to Parkland for shock treatments.  Plus he was paying him into the four figures for the interviews.

But also recall, the CIA distributed his article about Garrison from The New Yorker.  

And also, after he has the conversation with VInce in Boston, Joe McGinnis does the smear article on Vince in the Philadelphia newspaper!  Just a coincidence?

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I didn't know about the Lane connection - thanks for that. Will check it out.

4 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

the smear article

I like the way you brought that to the forefront in your article. That is certainly suspicious - Epstein may have concluded "attack first, before getting attacked" after being issued that warning from Vince. Or someone (or some Agency) thinking on his behalf may have helped to arrange this. More and more I see Inquest as a sort of limited hang-out operation. It would be interesting if you and John Kelin had a talk after all your recent research on this.

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Jim and Rob, thanks so much for not just refreshing the very little bit I'd read before about Meagher and Garrison (Jim's previous posts in other threads), but expounding on that in depth.  

Regarding Lawton I stumbled across this from Vince.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=secret+service+agent+lawton+love+field&&view=detail&mid=E4A806B43BEAD051EA6AE4A806B43BEAD051EA6A&rvsmid=C5A1159F0AFBB58317ACC5A1159F0AFBB58317AC&FORM=VDQVAP

Looking for basically this, at Love Field.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=secret+service+agent+lawton+love+field&docid=608022186634248300&mid=38BE53314B1D31F1A4F338BE53314B1D31F1A4F3&view=detail&FORM=VIRE 

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Epstein's professor for some years at Harvard in the late 60's and very early 70's - when Epstein was writing the Ph.D that was eventually published as News from Nowhere: Television and the News - was Edward C. Banfield. Banfield, a friend of Leo Strauss when they were both at the University of Chicago, can glibly be described as the racist academic who was later celebrated by the American Enterprise Institute. Banfield later served as an advisor to Presidents Nixon, Ford and Reagan. Two of Banfield's other students, Christopher DeMuth and Bruce Kovner, later served at leading figures (president and chairman) at the AEI for decades. A 2007 Slate article talks about how much a central role Muth and his AEI members played in designing and selling the Iraq war.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2007/10/chris-demuth-hack-extraordinaire.html

And a similar article from the period discusses Kovner, with similar insights into his role with AEI.

https://nymag.com/nymetro/news/people/features/12353/

When the Iraq war started up in 2003, the original Team B group from the late 70's fell back into the news, along with discussion of their prior faulty intelligence assessments. The membership of Team B featured Strauss students, Harvard academics and AEI folk, and it was at this point in 2003 that Edward Jay Epstein posted a blog on his website defending Team B's work.

http://www.edwardjayepstein.com/2003question/teamb.htm

I take it that Epstein's association with ardent anti-communists and militarist folk rubbed off just a little, as a spooky fear of the Soviets is a recurring theme of his recent books on Kindle, including Epstein's 2014 publication James Jesus Angleton - Was He Right?

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1 hour ago, Anthony Thorne said:

Epstein's professor for some years at Harvard in the late 60's and very early 70's - when Epstein was writing the Ph.D that was eventually published as News from Nowhere: Television and the News - was Edward C. Banfield. Banfield, a friend of Leo Strauss when they were both at the University of Chicago, can glibly be described as the racist academic who was later celebrated by the American Enterprise Institute. Banfield later served as an advisor to Presidents Nixon, Ford and Reagan. Two of Banfield's other students, Christopher DeMuth and Bruce Kovner, later served at leading figures (president and chairman) at the AEI for decades. A 2007 Slate article talks about how much a central role Muth and his AEI members played in designing and selling the Iraq war.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2007/10/chris-demuth-hack-extraordinaire.html

And a similar article from the period discusses Kovner, with similar insights into his role with AEI.

https://nymag.com/nymetro/news/people/features/12353/

When the Iraq war started up in 2003, the original Team B group from the late 70's fell back into the news, along with discussion of their prior faulty intelligence assessments. The membership of Team B featured Strauss students, Harvard academics and AEI folk, and it was at this point in 2003 that Edward Jay Epstein posted a blog on his website defending Team B's work.

http://www.edwardjayepstein.com/2003question/teamb.htm

I take it that Epstein's association with ardent anti-communists and militarist folk rubbed off just a little, as a spooky fear of the Soviets is a recurring theme of his recent books on Kindle, including Epstein's 2014 publication James Jesus Angleton - Was He Right?

Interesting that you mention Leo Strauss, Anthony.  As I recall he was an erstwhile mentor and intellectual Godfather of the Neocon movement.

He studied Machiavelli, and his pupils-- including Paul Wolfowitz -- believed that the ignorant masses must be manipulated to achieve the political ends of the state.

Wolfowitz, et.al., certainly actualized that concept with the Bush-Cheney "War on Terror" after 9/11.

Epstein was, obviously, engaged in a similar process by helping the Deep State cover up the murder of JFK.

 

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1 hour ago, Anthony Thorne said:

Epstein's professor for some years at Harvard in the late 60's and very early 70's - when Epstein was writing the Ph.D that was eventually published as News from Nowhere: Television and the News - was Edward C. Banfield. Banfield, a friend of Leo Strauss when they were both at the University of Chicago, can glibly be described as the racist academic who was later celebrated by the American Enterprise Institute. Banfield later served as an advisor to Presidents Nixon, Ford and Reagan. Two of Banfield's other students, Christopher DeMuth and Bruce Kovner, later served at leading figures (president and chairman) at the AEI for decades. A 2007 Slate article talks about how much a central role Muth and his AEI members played in designing and selling the Iraq war.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2007/10/chris-demuth-hack-extraordinaire.html

And a similar article from the period discusses Kovner, with similar insights into his role with AEI.

https://nymag.com/nymetro/news/people/features/12353/

When the Iraq war started up in 2003, the original Team B group from the late 70's fell back into the news, along with discussion of their prior faulty intelligence assessments. The membership of Team B featured Strauss students, Harvard academics and AEI folk, and it was at this point in 2003 that Edward Jay Epstein posted a blog on his website defending Team B's work.

http://www.edwardjayepstein.com/2003question/teamb.htm

I take it that Epstein's association with ardent anti-communists and militarist folk rubbed off just a little, as a spooky fear of the Soviets is a recurring theme of his recent books on Kindle, including Epstein's 2014 publication James Jesus Angleton - Was He Right?

Damn Anthony, I think you've gone and doubled down on what Jim and Rob were getting at.  So Epstein's illusions from 1966 carry forward through 2003/2014 to today.  Wow.  

As an aside, I've got a copy of Inquest in very good condition from 1966 that I don't remember how I came about.  Yard sale?  But I do remember reading it around 40 years ago and it contributing to arousing further doubt in my mind at the time about the official story.   Strange he was so suspicious in 66, but now he wonders if Angleton was right about the Soviets, and JFK?

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13 hours ago, Anthony Thorne said:

A 2007 Slate article talks about how much a central role Muth and his AEI members played in designing and selling the Iraq war.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2007/10/chris-demuth-hack-extraordinaire.html

And a similar article from the period discusses Kovner, with similar insights into his role with AEI.

https://nymag.com/nymetro/news/people/features/12353/

When the Iraq war started up in 2003, the original Team B group from the late 70's fell back into the news, along with discussion of their prior faulty intelligence assessments. The membership of Team B featured Strauss students, Harvard academics and AEI folk, and it was at this point in 2003 that Edward Jay Epstein posted a blog on his website defending Team B's work.

http://www.edwardjayepstein.com/2003question/teamb.htm

 

Thanks for these links, Anthony.  Very useful apart from Epstein.

Edited by David Andrews
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