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John Simkin

Phil Graham and the Department of Justice

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I am currently reading Deborah Davis's excellent book, Katharine the Great. Davis, who worked for Ramparts when it was being targeted by the CIA has some interesting stories to tell. One involves Phil Graham. Graham helped to get JFK elected in 1960 by using his friends involved in the CIA's Operation Mockingbird. In return, JFK appointed several of Graham's friends to his administration (Douglas Dillon, Arthur Schlesinger, David Bruce, etc.)

According to Davis' book (page 158) Graham also wanted a friend appointed as assistant to the attorney general. Davis does not name this man but says he was in his forties and had argued landmark cases before the Supreme Court. JFK agreed but did not clear it with RFK. Several weeks after starting the job the assistant attorney general was interviewed by RFK. For some reason he fired him and appointed Nicholas Katzenbach instead.

Does anyone know the name of this assistant attorney general? I suspect he was placed into this job in order to spy on RFK. He realized that and fired him. What I am intrigued by is why Davis does not name him.

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John Simkin Posted Today, 08:23 AM

  I am currently reading Deborah Davis's excellent book, Katharine the Great. Davis, who worked for Ramparts when it was being targeted by the CIA has some interesting stories to tell. One involves Phil Graham. Graham helped to get JFK elected in 1960 by using his friends involved in the CIA's Operation Mockingbird. In return, JFK appointed several of Graham's friends to his administration (Douglas Dillon, Arthur Schlesinger, David Bruce, etc.)

According to Davis' book (page 158) Graham also wanted a friend appointed as assistant to the attorney general. Davis does not name this man but says he was in his forties and had argued landmark cases before the Supreme Court. JFK agreed but did not clear it with RFK. Several weeks after starting the job the assistant attorney general was interviewed by RFK. For some reason he fired him and appointed Nicholas Katzenbach instead.

Does anyone know the name of this assistant attorney general? I suspect he was placed into this job in order to spy on RFK. He realized that and fired him. What I am intrigued by is why Davis does not name him.

Perhaps it could be Ramsey W. Clark, b. 1927. Only 32-33 as born in 1927, but he was one appointed as assistant attorney general by John F. Kennedy in 1961.

"Born to power - Clark's father was attorney general in the 1940s and later a Supreme Court justice - the University of Chicago Law School graduate was appointed assistant attorney general by John F. Kennedy in 1961 and went on to head that department as attorney general under Lyndon Johnson from 1967 to 1969. During his years in the Justice Department, Clark was a staunch supporter of the civil-rights movement. While in charge of government efforts to protect the protesters in Alabama, he witnessed firsthand "the enormous violence that was latent in our society toward unpopular people." He had a similar experience when he was sent to Los Angeles after the rioting in Watts and discovered abuses by the police and the National Guard."

The above in quotes from:

http://www.thesunmagazine.org/bully.html

Edited by Antti Hynonen

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Perhaps it could be Ramsey W. Clark, b. 1927. Only 32-33 as born in 1927, but he was one appointed as assistant attorney general by John F. Kennedy in 1961.

Could be but it does not point out he was sacked by RFK. The article gives the impression that remained in the administration. It is not clear when Nicholas Katzenbach actually took over from Graham's friend. However, it must have been before April 1962, when he was promoted to deputy attorney general.

However, Clark fits the Operation Mockingbird profile (liberal on civil rights but strongly anti-communist). Clark went on to support the Vietnam War under LBJ. For example he supervised the drafting and passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Act of 1968.

However, his later record is interesting. In 1976 Clark abandoned government service and set out to provide legal defense to victims of oppression.

According to the article on this website:

Clark is founder and chairperson of the International Action Center, the largest antiwar movement in the United States. A vocal critic of U.S. military actions around the globe, he calls government officials "international outlaws," accusing them of "killing innocent people because we don't like their leader." He has traveled to Iraq, North Vietnam, Serbia, and other embattled regions of the world to investigate the effects of American bombing and economic sanctions there. The sanctions, he says, are particularly inhumane: "They're like the neutron bomb, which is the most 'inspired' of all weapons, because it kills the people and preserves the property, the wealth. So you get the wealth and you don't have the baggage of the hungry, clamoring poor."

Maybe, like Graham, Clark began to question the activities of the CIA. However, I suspect he got himself a better lawyer than Edward Bennett Williams.

In the past I have suggested that LBJ might have been blackmailed into passing the 1965 Civil Rights Act. If so, maybe it was Clark who was doing this.

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John,

To continue, I will share this resource that I found. It's with the University of Massachusetts, Boston, JFK library pages (list of manuscripts).

This seems to list many people involved with and related to JFK. As far as I had time to analyse this, it seems to list the assistant attorney general's as well.

I have a few more assistant attorney general candidates for you to look at John:

Oberdorfer Louis F. born 1919 (seemed to serve for 4 years though).

Orrick William H. born 1915, Only served 1961-1962 as asst. atty. general.

here's the link:

http://www.cs.umb.edu/~serl/jfk/arcnms.htm

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I don't think William H. Orrick is the one I am looking for. Davis does not say he was moved to another division in the department. Also, Katzenbach became Deputy Attorney General in 1961. If Davis is right then the man held the position before Katzenbach.

ORRICK, WILLIAM H(orsley), 1915-

Papers, 1961-65.

Lawyer. Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division (1961-62), Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust Division (1963-65), Department of Justice; Deputy Under Secretary of State for Administration (1962-63). Correspondence, reports to the Attorney General, appointment records, judgeships and employment file, case files, and speeches. 7 feet. See also Oral History Interviews.

OBERDORFER, LOUIS F(alk), 1919-

Papers, 1961-75.

Lawyer. Assistant Attorney General, Tax Division, Department of Justice (1961-65). Personal and professional papers relating to his political and legal work; microfilm copy of his diary relating to the 1961 Cuban prisoner exchange. 12 feet, 1 roll of microfilm. Permission Required. See also Oral History Interviews.

KATZENBACH, NICHOLAS deB(elleville), 1922-

Papers, 1962-67.

Lawyer. Deputy Attorney General (1961-62); Attorney General of the United States (1965-66). Correspondence, speeches, appointment calendars, telephone logs, executive office file, civil rights file, subject file, personal file, and newsclippings. 21 feet.

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[

In the past I have suggested that LBJ might have been blackmailed into passing the 1965 Civil Rights Act. If so, maybe it was Clark who was doing this.

John, I think you're way-off in your appraisal of LBJ. While I agree with you that he is a likely conspirator in Kennedy's death, I disagree with your assumption that he was some kind of Bircher in disguise. LBJ was a political animal making all kinds of alliances and all kinds of deals in order to pass legislation and reward his constituents with fat government contracts. He played ball with the racists and the good ole boys. But, on another level, he idolized FDR and wanted to help the poor.

I think it's quite possible he knew Bobby Kennedy was gonna exploit the Bobby Baker situation in order to push him out as VP, and effectively end his career. I also think it's possible he cut a deal with Marcello (and/or Hoover) to kill JFK. But I also believe the involvement in such a thing would force LBJ to try to redeem himself and bring about some higher good, that it would push him to try and accomplish something that JFK could never have accomplished. This would allow his conscience to rationalize his involvement. I believe it's possible The Great Society was LBJ's attempt to eradicate his guilt and establish himself as a great man in history. Vietnam was a failed attempt to accomplish the same goal.

Connally's other buddy Nixon was quite similar to LBJ, in this essential drive towards greatness. His overture to China was his attempt; one would guess this would help him rationalize his secret deal with Thieu to extend the Vietnam War, in order to sabotage Humphrey and capture the Presidency.

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Re Supreme Court Justice Tom Clark, father of Ramsey, are you gentlemen aware that he was involved in a scandal re early parole for the persons convicted in the Hollywood extortion case, including Johnny Rosselli? The story goes that he got was promised his appointment to the Supreme Court (when he was AG) in exchange for agreeing to the early release of the mafioso. It is an interesting story, apparently true.

And of course you are aware of Ramsey Clark's involvement in the assassination case.

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Perhaps it could be Ramsey W. Clark, b. 1927. Only 32-33 as born in 1927, but he was one appointed as assistant attorney general by John F. Kennedy in 1961. (Antti Hynonen)

I have to agree with Antti that the man in question was Ramsey Clark.

FWIW

James

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The man was apparently Philip Elman, described in C. David Heymann's book RFK as a longtime veteran of the solicitor general's office who would wind up at the Federal Trade Commission. According to Heymann (pp. 193-194), RFK didn't fire Elman, he "was considering him" but didn't hire him for the job. The job interview went poorly, because RFK, according to Elman, didn't know how to conduct an interview and Elman found it demeaning and responded accordingly. Between long pauses RFK asked him things like where he went to law school (Harvard), what his grades were ("I don't remember"), and his rank in the class ("It was pretty high"). The interview "petered out" and the job went to Nicholas Katzenbach.

Ron

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Philip Elman?

Nice West Virginia name, Elman. I can just see Bobby Kennedy falling short in the executive interview protocols...Ramsay Clark served as Attorney general, and is really a prime source for us. He was an insider who grew very independent and vocal in his call for greater oversight, and his remarks should be carefully sifted for his ideas on Dallaas.

I have been reading Schiem's book 'Contract on America', and it is a pure Blakey style 1980 era limited HSAC hang out ... the fall back position vis a vis The Mob or the MAFIA angle hinges on the government widening the disclosures on JACK RUBY. That's it, in the 1970s they gave up the other obvious conspirator, Rubenstein and threw off on Marcello, Trafficante, Giancana and Roselli...

KATZENJAMMER?

Katzenbach came back to be Attorney General under NIXON and was approached at BURNING TREE COUNTRY CLUB by the breathless G GORDON LIDDY the weekend of the WATERGATE BURGLARY, Katzenbach knew everything and should have blown the whistle a million times.

{or was that Kleindienst? I get Karamessines, Kleindienst and Katzenbach mixed up}

Edited by Shanet Clark

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Just for the record,

these are the names of the John F. Kennedy

West Virginia Democratic Primary 1960

campaign organizers ( bagman , in the vulgate) :

A. J. Houvouras. A Sargent Shriver associate for Cyprus.

J. McOwen. Kennedy Attorney. Goodwin associate.

J. Tweel. Local Democratic machine, host, restauranteur.

D. Fox. Attorney

R. Myers. Businessman

RE:

OVID DEMARIS, SEYMOUR HERSH, JACK NEWFIELD, MANCHESTER, SCHLESINGER, etc. ad infinitum...

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In addition to the names mentioned by me in my earlier posts, the only other assistant attorney general, under RFK, I could find was Burke Marshall, b. 1922. Perhaps there were others who were appointed in 1961, but I could find no record of them on the internet.

According to the source I read yesterday, Orrick was placed into a different office in 1962, not the attorney general's office, I think it was something like Deputy Under Secretary of State something like that anyhow. Later he bounced back to the Attorney general's office though, and I think it was under RFK as well.

C David Heymann or actually Clemens Claude Heymann, seems to have a lot of inside information on RFK and his policies.

Edited by Antti Hynonen

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The man was apparently Philip Elman, described in C. David Heymann's book RFK as a longtime veteran of the solicitor general's office who would wind up at the Federal Trade Commission. According to Heymann (pp. 193-194), RFK didn't fire Elman, he "was considering him" but didn't hire him for the job. The job interview went poorly, because RFK, according to Elman, didn't know how to conduct an interview and Elman found it demeaning and responded accordingly. Between long pauses RFK asked him things like where he went to law school (Harvard), what his grades were ("I don't remember"), and his rank in the class ("It was pretty high"). The interview "petered out" and the job went to Nicholas Katzenbach.

That is definitely the man I am looking for:

Commissioner Elman graduated from the College of the City of New York and Harvard Law School. He clerked for Judge Calvert Magruder (1939-40) and Justice Felix Frankfurter (1941-43). His later positions included attorney, Federal Communications Commission (1940-41), Office of Foreign Economic Coordination, State Department (1943-44), the Solicitor General's Office, Department of Justice (1944-45), Legal Adviser to the Office of Military Government, Berlin, Germany (1945-46), and Assistant to the Solicitor General (1946-61). Elman was responsible for the Justice Department's amicus brief in Brown v. Board of Education.

Norman I. Silber has published a book on Elman: With All Deliberate Speed, University of Michigan Press, 2004. This is the blurb on the book jacket.

Philip Elman was responsible, in the Solicitor General's Office of the Department of Justice, for reviewing hundreds of cases involving civil rights, civil liberties and economic justice. He was a law clerk to Justice Frankfurter during the Second World War and then a lawyer in the Solicitor General's office for seventeen years, a principal draftsperson of the government's briefs in the Brown cases. He later served as Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission, where he played a major role in the rebirth of the consumer movement and in the antismoking movement. This book presents a first-hand account of legal education, clerkship and government lawyering over a fifty year period, especially an account of events within the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission; and a secondary historical interpretation of events.

The connection is Graham and Frankfurter were both members of Americans for Democratic Action (ADA):

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAada.htm

What puzzles me is why Deborah Davis does not name Elman. Could he have been her source on Operation Mockingbird? Elman would have known all about this via Graham.

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In addition to the names mentioned by me in my earlier posts, the only other assistant attorney general, under RFK, I could find was Burke Marshall, b. 1922. (Antti Hynonen)

Antti,

If I remember correctly, Marshall was AAG for the Civil Rights aspect of the Attorney General's office. He also had something to do with the restricting of the autopsy photos.

Maybe another forum member might have some more on this.

Burke Marshall below.

James

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Thanks James, your supply of photos seems unlimited.

:)

John,

There's more about that book you mentioned:

After Brown: Elman's Career Dreams Go Unfulfilled

After Brown, Elman recounts that he "needed to do something different. I was getting tired of writing, or rewriting, briefs." He became permanently embittered when, after a disastrous interview with Robert Kennedy in 1961, he did not become assistant attorney general as he had been led to believe he would.

Named instead to the FTC, he shook up a moribund agency through sheer force of intellect and stubbornness. He put truthfulness in advertising on the public agenda and led the agency to mandate health warning labels on cigarettes in 1964.

Elman wanted eventually to become a federal judge, which he did not tell Kennedy. By 1964, however, his most influential patrons could no longer help. In 1963, Elman's law school classmate and close friend, Washington Post publisher Philip Graham -- through whose entrée to John Kennedy Elman hoped he would be appointed to the bench -- died. In 1962, Frankfurter suffered a stroke and retired from the Court, and in 1965 he died too.

When the mourner's prayer was recited at the justice's funeral service, Elman wrote, "the dam burst, at least for me."

Philip Elman made more history than almost any other government lawyer in American history. Proud, arrogant, opinionated, abrasive, he would have appreciated this book, and for that we have Norman Silber to thank.

This can be found here:

http://writ.news.findlaw.com/scripts/print...521_newman.html

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