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John Simkin

Gerald D. McKnight: Breach of Trust

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It is a fact that very few historians have written books about the assassination of JFK. Do you know why this is?

Why professional historians avoid the JFK case like the vampire avoids holy water. I am sure there are a congeries of reasons for this neglect. My own experience tells me that young members of the professoriate-those who are just starting out and are focused on tenure-do not want to get into this subject because they fear being labelled as "not serious," "conspiratorialists, etc.by senior professionals. I think there has been a cloud over this subject in academia largely because the "Who Killed JFK" seems to attract all kinds of people who think that history is all conspiracy.

I don't subscribe to this view at all. I am convinced that, in time, professional historians, political scientists, and others with a serious interest in the history of this poor perishing republic will be forced one day to come to terms with Dallas. This is, to my mind, the beginning of America's slipping into the Dark Ages and if we want to make some sense about what brought about this decline and fall we will have to face up to the forces and motives responsible for the murder of JFK.

Another factor that must be given weight is the sheer volume of the documentation. The NARA in College Park holds 4 to 5 million pages of documents. Not all are directly relevant, of course, but still this is a daunting challenge for any single researcher. Then there is the stuff that has never been turned over and has either been commited to the "memory hole" or is hidden away in "not to be filed files."

I just reviewed a MS by Michael Kurtz that will be coming out this year under the University of Kansas Press label. His Introduction speaks to your question better than I have above and I recommend you keep your eye peeled for it.

Professor Mcknight, I was re-reading Post Mortem today to find a section on the paraffin tests. Sure enough, Weisberg mentions on page 437 that nitrate tests performed for "control" purposes showed that the cheeks of men who fired rifles tested positive seven out of seven times. Presumably, these were the NAA tests performed by the AEC. I don't recall seeing these tests, and this reference to the control group in any of Weisberg's books or online. Have you seen this reference to the seven control tests in Weisberg's papers? Are you aware of anywhere online where one can read these tests? I checked Breach of Trust. While you do mention the paraffin tests, and that the ERDA file can be found at the Weisberg Archive, I didn't see a specific reference to the results of these control groups. If they in fact show that seven out of seven times nitrates were found on the cheeks of men who'd fired rifles, but that no nitrates were found on Oswald, this would have to be considered significant. And that this was hidden from the public equally significant.

Your help appreciated.

As to the 2nd question about the negative paraffin tests on Oswald's right cheek and its exoneration of Oswald. I deal with this in "Breach" but did not cite the results your questioner did from Weisberg's P-M. I am preparing another ms on the Kennedy assassination and will deal with this in more detail. If you want to know where in Weisberg's Civil Action suit against the government this can be found might check David Wrone's recent (2004) book on the Zapruder film. Dave cites these same results but I am not sure if he cites PM or the government's own documents.

This is of interest to me so if you check out Wrone with out satisfaction I'd be glad to take this request from there and see if I can locate the documents.

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Professor Mcknight, I was re-reading Post Mortem today to find a section on the paraffin tests. Sure enough, Weisberg mentions on page 437 that nitrate tests performed for "control" purposes showed that the cheeks of men who fired rifles tested positive seven out of seven times. Presumably, these were the NAA tests performed by the AEC. I don't recall seeing these tests, and this reference to the control group in any of Weisberg's books or online. Have you seen this reference to the seven control tests in Weisberg's papers? Are you aware of anywhere online where one can read these tests? I checked Breach of Trust. While you do mention the paraffin tests, and that the ERDA file can be found at the Weisberg Archive, I didn't see a specific reference to the results of these control groups. If they in fact show that seven out of seven times nitrates were found on the cheeks of men who'd fired rifles, but that no nitrates were found on Oswald, this would have to be considered significant. And that this was hidden from the public equally significant.

Your help appreciated.

Concerning the Weisberg reference to the AEC test results back in 1964 on the Oswald rifle and the blowback that produced positive results on the cheeks of shooters in 10 out of ten test results. I did a little follow up on this and the results are in Weisberg's CA 78--1976 suit. He got results from ERDA in the 1970s. The problem is that ERDA dumped on his some 4 file drawers of documents. He have these at Hood but I will need to go through the entire collection to locate the requesite records.

I plan on doing this at my convenience. If you want to come to Frederick and spend a day looking you are welcome. Otherwise, have patience and when I locate them I'll let you know. It is possible that I can short circuit this by locating them in FBI files, but that is over "theory" at this point.

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Hello Mr. McKnight,

Congratulations for writing and publishing Breach of Trust. Much respect to you for your approach to documentation; you have a right to be proud of that. In my opinion, your efforts have culminated in a significant contribution to understanding the historical failings of the Warren Commission.

The way I see it, you have carried on in the tradition of Harold Weisberg..... he was a true patriot, a warrior for the truth, a genuine American hero, and a good and brave man. You took a subject that unfortunately was largely moribund and given it life, regardless of how well the book sells or the amount of national attention it receives. I wish Mr. Weisberg was still alive to read Breach of Trust. I'm sure he would admire what you have accomplished.

Breach of Trust is a compelling read, made all the more so by your excellent writing. I can't say it was an enjoyable read, I was haunted by the same strong feelings of anger and futility that I felt forty years ago when I read Whitewash and Accessories After the Fact. As I write this, I'm disgusted that Arlen Specter could become a Senator, Gerald Ford a President, and John McCloy continued to enjoy his servants and fine steaks.

The concluding sentence of your book reads: "The government did not want to delve into the heart of darkness of the Kennedy assassination because it feared what it would uncover: (emphasis mine) the brutal truth that Kennedy was a victim of deep divisions and visceral distrust over how to solve the "Castro problem," and that his assassination was carried out by powerful and irrational forces within his own government."

So it was fear that caused so many to go to such extraordinary means to cover up a crime of which they were not even guilty. I am reminded of your account of Darrell Tomlinson, "deeply agitated and probably more than a little scared," as you put it, under intense pressure from Arlen Specter and telling Specter, "I am not going to tell you something I can't lay down and sleep with either." Tomlinson overcame his fears. How did all these other bastards sleep at night? How did so many of them maintain such a fraudulent pose for all of their lives? Whatever sinister and powerful forces you referred to certainly intimidated Robert Kennedy, David Powers, and Kenny O'Donnell, and countless nameless, honest people within the ONI, CIA, FBI and the nation's Capital. that knew or suspected the truth.

I agree with you that absent a smoking gun, and the failure to uncover answers 40 years ago means that no seamless explanation as to the "who" and "why" of Dallas is possible. Although I have felt that way for what seems like a lifetime, the feeling of despair from not really knowing what happened has lingered like a bad taste in the mouth. Your book awoke feelings long suppressed, and made that awful taste as bitter as ever.

Please tell me this if you know, Mr. McKnight. So many people at so many levels were so instrumental in obsfucating the truth during this fraudulent investigation that you so aptly termed "little more than an improvised exercise in public relations." So precious few of them expressed their knowledge of a conspiracy privately, and virtually none publicly. As the years passed, and principal players continued to die, why didn't more of them come forward? Larry Hancock has indicated how some of the conspirators involved in President Kennedy's murder talked. I've always found it odd that almost to a man, the ones that apparently had first hand knowledge of the mechanics of the coverup remained silent.

Thanks for a truly great book. Are you at liberty to give us an indication as to what the manuscript you are working on will be about?

Mike Hogan

Edited by Michael Hogan

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Hello Mr. McKnight,

Congratulations for writing and publishing Breach of Trust. Much respect to you for your approach to documentation; you have a right to be proud of that. In my opinion, your efforts have culminated in a significant contribution to understanding the historical failings of the Warren Commission.

The way I see it, you have carried on in the tradition of Harold Weisberg..... he was a true patriot, a warrior for the truth, a genuine American hero, and a good and brave man. You took a subject that unfortunately was largely moribund and given it life, regardless of how well the book sells or the amount of national attention it receives. I wish Mr. Weisberg was still alive to read Breach of Trust. I'm sure he would admire what you have accomplished.

Breach of Trust is a compelling read, made all the more so by your excellent writing. I can't say it was an enjoyable read, I was haunted by the same strong feelings of anger and futility that I felt forty years ago when I read Whitewash and Accessories After the Fact. As I write this, I'm disgusted that Arlen Specter could become a Senator, Gerald Ford a President, and John McCloy continued to enjoy his servants and fine steaks.

The concluding sentence of your book reads: "The government did not want to delve into the heart of darkness of the Kennedy assassination because it feared what it would uncover: (emphasis mine) the brutal truth that Kennedy was a victim of deep divisions and visceral distrust over how to solve the "Castro problem," and that his assassination was carried out by powerful and irrational forces within his own government."

So it was fear that caused so many to go to such extraordinary means to cover up a crime of which they were not even guilty. I am reminded of your account of Darrell Tomlinson, "deeply agitated and probably more than a little scared," as you put it, under intense pressure from Arlen Specter and telling Specter, "I am not going to tell you something I can't lay down and sleep with either." Tomlinson overcame his fears. How did all these other bastards sleep at night? How did so many of them maintain such a fraudulent pose for all of their lives? Whatever sinister and powerful forces you referred to certainly intimidated Robert Kennedy, David Powers, and Kenny O'Donnell, and countless nameless, honest people within the ONI, CIA, FBI and the nation's Capital. that knew or suspected the truth.

I agree with you that absent a smoking gun, and the failure to uncover answers 40 years ago means that no seamless explanation as to the "who" and "why" of Dallas is possible. Although I have felt that way for what seems like a lifetime, the feeling of despair from not really knowing what happened has lingered like a bad taste in the mouth. Your book awoke feelings long suppressed, and made that awful taste as bitter as ever.

Please tell me this if you know, Mr. McKnight. So many people at so many levels were so instrumental in obsfucating the truth during this fraudulent investigation that you so aptly termed "little more than an improvised exercise in public relations." So precious few of them expressed their knowledge of a conspiracy privately, and virtually none publicly. As the years passed, and principal players continued to die, why didn't more of them come forward? Larry Hancock has indicated how some of the conspirators involved in President Kennedy's murder talked. I've always found it odd that almost to a man, the ones that apparently had first hand knowledge of the mechanics of the coverup remained silent.

Thanks for a truly great book. Are you at liberty to give us an indication as to what the manuscript you are working on will be about?

Mike Hogan

Thank you for your kind words and for the passion with which you expressed yourself.

"Breach" tells part of the story, but only part. It is most telling that most of the main stream newspapers and some of the top periodicals all received review copies of the book and as far as I am aware it was ignored by all of them. University of Kansas Press did all it could to try and get some attention from the top of the so-called "respectable" avenues of opinion but very little happened. Most of the reviews were in on-line sites and periodicals I have never heard. One way to kill a book is to ignore it to death. Although I have to say the response from serious people has been pretty good according to book sales.

I don't know if we will ever get the government to admit that the Commission Report was a counterfeit of our history. I think its still up for grabs. But the general willful ignorance of the American population about all political matters does not bode well. Have you read or heard of Morris Berman's stunning recent work titled "Dark Ages America." If not, let me recommend it to you.

On the brighter side (I hope) there are several books in the works by unknown authors. One of them will make a unbreakable argument that Oswald was on the steps in front of the Texas School Book Depository when tghe shooting took place. This was Oswald's own testimony, of course. He is the face in the doorway in Altgens' historical photo, taken at about the time after the 3rd shot. There were at least 3 more shots after this.

I am working on what I sort of call Part I to "Breach' s" Part II. In short, Iam looking at what was taking place at the heights of the government during the 3 weeks before there was a Warren Commission, showing how the case of Oswald's guilt was locked into cement before the Commission could plug in its xeroxes and coffee machines.

Never weary, never falter, never dispair. Take some satisfaction from the thought that the bastards did not fool you. I remember our asshole president who cracked wise once when he said "You can fool some of the people all of the time and those are the ones who get all our attention."

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(1) Could you explain the reasons why you decided to become an historian?

(2) Is there any real difference between the role of an investigative journalist and a historian?

(3) How do you decide about what to write about?

(4) Do you ever consider the possibility that your research will get you into trouble with those who have power and influence?

(5) Did you have any problems having The Last Crusade: Martin Luther King Jr., the FBI and the Poor People's Campaign (1998) and Breach of Trust: How the Warren Commission Failed the Nation (2005) published?

(6) You tend to write about controversial subjects. Do you think this has harmed your career in any way? Have you ever come under pressure to leave these subjects alone?

(7) The House Select Committee on Assassinations reported that the “committee believes, on the basis of the available evidence, that President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy”. However, very few historians have been willing to explore this area of American history. Lawrence E. Walsh’s Iran-Contra Report suggests that senior politicians were involved in, and covered-up, serious crimes. Yet very few historians have written about this case in any detail? Why do you think that historians and journalists appear to be so unwilling to investigate political conspiracies?

(8) What is your basic approach to writing about what I would call “secret history”? How do you decide what sources to believe? How do you manage to get hold of documents that prove that illegal behaviour has taken place?

(9) Why is it that most books written about political conspiracies: assassinations of JFK, MLK, RFK, Watergate, Iran-Contra, etc. are written by journalists rather than historians? Is it because of fear or is it something to do with the nature of being a historian?

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(1) Could you explain the reasons why you decided to become an historian?

I started college with the idea that I wanted to be a veterinarian. Then came the Korean War and I got caught up in "History." I spent some time in Korea and saw war up close. Enough said on that score. But it changed all my plans. When I got back to college I decided that I wanted to go into history. I had seen history close up and now I wanted to understand how things really work. Also, I'd have to say that during my last year in high school I feel in love with books.

(2) Is there any real difference between the role of an investigative journalist and a historian?

Investigating journalists are focused on breaking news, contemporary events, etc. Good investigating journalists (like Seymour Hersh and the late Izzy Stone) do rely on history for context and, in return, historians who are studying a topic by going back to the roots of the matter and carrying it forward can and do at times cite the works of a Hersh or a Stone. Sources for the Hersh's of this world in most cases are live and associated in some way with the object of his study. For historians most of their sources are from those who have passed on or from records and documents.

(3) How do you decide about what to write about?

I came to political consciousness during the 1960s. I believed then as I do now that the assassinations of JFK, MLK, RFK, and Malcolm X were defining events of that decade. That the beginning of the decline of the US to the current "Dark Ages" we find ourselves today had its roots in that decade. So I had an abiding interest in the Kennedy and King assassiantions and their impact on American politics.

(4) Do you ever consider the possibility that your research will get you into trouble with those who have power and influence?

No. I am just a college professor (emeritus) who happened to write a book or two that has attacted the attention of a few interested and well-informed readers. I am sure I am on some list held by the FBI because I have said unflattering things about the bureau. But considering the current status of our civil liberties in the last stages of America's empire I don't think I am any more vulnerable than any one else the government wants to hassle. Having said that, I do not take much comfort in the current state of things. We should worry.

No it never harmed my career. I taught at a small liberal arts women's college for more than 25 years. I never felt any pressure about my line of interests. On the contrary, I was supported by Hood College administration and by my colleagues. Now, had I been at one of our prestigious universities it is more than likely that my line of research interest would have been discouraged and if I persisted I would never have received tenure. I only say this on the basis of other peoples experience that I am aware.

(5) Did you have any problems having The Last Crusade: Martin Luther King Jr., the FBI and the Poor People's Campaign (1998) and Breach of Trust: How the Warren Commission Failed the Nation (2005) published?

I had no trouble getting "Last Crusade" Published. It was snapped up right away. It was supposed to go into paperback edition and be plugged as the kind of source useful for supplementary reading in upper level college courses. The publisher was bought up by a German source and I never heard any more about it.

As for "Breach" that was another story. It was turned down by half a dozen trade publishers. Generally the comments I got back from by agent was that the initial reader gave it a thumbs up but the collective board said no. I got the impression that all these idiots had read Posner and as far as they were concerned the case was closed.

University of Kansas Press snapped it up right away because the editor-in-chief was a guy with a social conscience and recognized that the JFK assassination was a valid subject for academic research and publication. He is a rare bird I am sad to say.

I think the way establishment thinkers or conventional thinkers best handle a work like "Breach" is basically to ignore it. Pretending it does not exist or is not worthy of a review in the mainstream press or even the self-proclaimed "progressive" journals or even the E-book circuit is to render it harmless and the author ineffectual. Nothing new in this.

(6) You tend to write about controversial subjects. Do you think this has harmed your career in any way? Have you ever come under pressure to leave these subjects alone?

No. My career was advanced by "The Last Crusade" and I wrote "Breach" after I had retired from college teaching. However, my college was a small liberal arts women's college and it had progressive leadership and my colleagues were almost all of the same political persuasion. I even taught courses in "The Politics of Assassination" for many years. Once again I was very fortunate in my 27 years at Hood.

(7) The House Select Committee on Assassinations reported that the “committee believes, on the basis of the available evidence, that President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy”. However, very few historians have been willing to explore this area of American history. Lawrence E. Walsh’s Iran-Contra Report suggests that senior politicians were involved in, and covered-up, serious crimes. Yet very few historians have written about this case in any detail? Why do you think that historians and journalists appear to be so unwilling to investigate political conspiracies?

I think they fear being labelled a "nut." The reality is, of course, that while not all history is a conspiracy there are conspiracies in history. It is a topic that has as much validity as say the politics of railroad building or migration patterns in Missouri. The JFK thing is largely verboten among the professoriate because it has attracted so many loose canons and dishonest elements. One wonders if the CIA didn't have a central casting and set loose a lot of these nut jobs just to poison the well, so to speak. Of course even that sounds paranoid. The other factor, and it is real, is that the available documentary body of material available is overwhelming. Consider that the holdings at National Archives 2 in College Park, Maryland, is in the area of 4 to 5 million pages. Not all of it is absolutely relevant but still. . . .it intimidates.

(8) What is your basic approach to writing about what I would call “secret history”? How do you decide what sources to believe? How do you manage to get hold of documents that prove that illegal behaviour has taken place?

First off I was lucky again. I lived but minutes away from Harold Weisberg. Weisberg, as far as I am concerned, knew more about the JFK assassination than any other living person. He forgot more than I will ever know. Moreover, his personal collection of JFK documents was available to me at any time. Now his archive is housed at Hood College and I am the on-site archivist and have ready access. All this made it almost a no-brainer to go ahead with the business of writing "Breach." Under any other circumstances I would probably never have undertaken this task. And now I am planning to write a second JFK book dealing with the first three weeks after the assassination before there was a Warren Commission.

(9) Why is it that most books written about political conspiracies: assassinations of JFK, MLK, RFK, Watergate, Iran-Contra, etc. are written by journalists rather than historians? Is it because of fear or is it something to do with the nature of being a historian?

Do you think this is basically true? Perhaps. My feeling is that unless the republic turns into a closed authoritarian state that there is going to be a strong reaction to the political radicalism of the current administration and a resurgence of interest in how we came to this state of affairs. Of course the fact is that basically what - only 5% of the population reads books. How the hell do we change this?

Edited by Gerald McKnight

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While it is true that the history profession has exhibited a thin diet where some conspiracies are concerned, yet I would have to say that American historians do more to write about the ugly and disgraceful aspects of our history then is true of any other historians fromm around the world.

For example, I thionk it is to our credit that some 60 plus years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki that American historians still write, agonize, and question the decision to lay these terrible weapons on the Japanese.

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I am on the last chapter of the book and have to say well done on all your hard work. Not knowing that much about the medical and technical evidence, I found the chapters on the autopsy and magic bullet excellent. It's one of the most thorough and well researched books I have read on the case.I wanted to ask you , you refer a lot to the FBI report of the assassination, CD 1, was it ever released to the public and is it available to read anywhere?

Thanks

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I am on the last chapter of the book and have to say well done on all your hard work. Not knowing that much about the medical and technical evidence, I found the chapters on the autopsy and magic bullet excellent. It's one of the most thorough and well researched books I have read on the case.I wanted to ask you , you refer a lot to the FBI report of the assassination, CD 1, was it ever released to the public and is it available to read anywhere?

As to CD 1. To clarify there were in effect 2 FBI CD 1s. The one I refer to in "Breach" and a supplementary that came out well after the first appeared.

Both are in the public domain. They should be avilable at NARA. We also have them at the Weisberg Archive. The CD 1 I refer to is about 90 pages of text and several volumes of exhibits. My take on the whole enterprise is that it is mostly a diatribe against Oswald. Which, of course, is wholly consistent with the conspiracy to foist on the public a counterfeit explanation of Dallas.

A fair indication of the scandalous ineptitude of the FBI Report (which Katzenbach called "sensational") is the description of the shooting in which the report fails to describe all of JFK's wounds and does not even mention Connally. CD 1 should have been in the 26 volumes but because the FBI insisted that there were three shots and three hits the Commission deep sixed it because it contradicted the so-called "single-bullet" theory. . . .On and on it never stops. . . . .This snub infuriated Hoover. It was one of the reasons he launched a secret defamation campaign against the Commission after it published its report. I didn't have this in "Breach" but I hope to include it in the next one I have in the works.

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Many thanks for the information. I wasn't aware of there being a supplementary FBI report. Hopefully someday someone can upload the report so it is available to view online, which makes it easier for people like me who are outside the US!

I still find it absolutely astounding that the WC said that it was not essential to their findings to determine which shot hit Governor Connally!

That is the crux of the case! If Connally was hit by a separate shot then that means a second gunmen and by definition a conspiracy.

I look forward to your next book, do you have any idea of a release date yet?

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Many thanks for the information. I wasn't aware of there being a supplementary FBI report. Hopefully someday someone can upload the report so it is available to view online, which makes it easier for people like me who are outside the US!

I still find it absolutely astounding that the WC said that it was not essential to their findings to determine which shot hit Governor Connally!

That is the crux of the case! If Connally was hit by a separate shot then that means a second gunmen and by definition a conspiracy.

I look forward to your next book, do you have any idea of a release date yet?

Francesca, fellow Forum member Rex Bradford has put hundreds of thousands of pages online, including CD1, at the Mary Ferrell website, here: http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...o?docSetId=1008

Mary Ferrell Foundation.

It's quite an asset.

As Professor McKnight said, the FBI Report of December 9 was a rush job. The FBI refused to even read the autopsy report. The report functioned largely as a prosecutorial brief against Oswald. I have recently reviewed the report's conclusions and compared them against the evidence available at the time. Shockingly, the FBI concluded there were three shots and that Oswald fired all the shots from his bolt-action rifle BEFORE they had even interviewed anyone in the Presidential limousine, any of the motorcycle officers closest to the President, and anyone in the Secret Service follow-up car. They decided that there were three shots and that the first hit Kennedy, the second hit Connally, and the third Kennedy because that was the only way they could explain the shots...they had almost NO eyewitness support for this scenario. Connally had described this scenario on TV, but he was not interviewed by the FBI un til the report had been completed, and after they'd already told Johnson and the Warren Commission that Oswald acted alone..

You may find a section of my presentation of interest. The first slides of the Examining the Examinations section are on the Warren Commission, and give a brief timeline of the many screw-ups by the FBI and the press in the days and weeks after the assassination. http://homepage.mac.com/bkohley/Menu18.html

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Francesca, fellow Forum member Rex Bradford has put hundreds of thousands of pages online, including CD1, at the Mary Ferrell website, here: http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...o?docSetId=1008

Mary Ferrell Foundation.

It's quite an asset.

As Professor McKnight said, the FBI Report of December 9 was a rush job. The FBI refused to even read the autopsy report. The report functioned largely as a prosecutorial brief against Oswald. I have recently reviewed the report's conclusions and compared them against the evidence available at the time. Shockingly, the FBI concluded there were three shots and that Oswald fired all the shots from his bolt-action rifle BEFORE they had even interviewed anyone in the Presidential limousine, any of the motorcycle officers closest to the President, and anyone in the Secret Service follow-up car. They decided that there were three shots and that the first hit Kennedy, the second hit Connally, and the third Kennedy because that was the only way they could explain the shots...they had almost NO eyewitness support for this scenario. Connally had described this scenario on TV, but he was not interviewed by the FBI un til the report had been completed, and after they'd already told Johnson and the Warren Commission that Oswald acted alone..

You may find a section of my presentation of interest. The first slides of the Examining the Examinations section are on the Warren Commission, and give a brief timeline of the many screw-ups by the FBI and the press in the days and weeks after the assassination. http://homepage.mac.com/bkohley/Menu18.html

Hi Pat,

many thanks for the links! I wasn't aware CD 1 was on the Mary Ferrell site, that's great. I also look forward to reading your presentation which looks good, especially since it's been done on a mac :)

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Professor Mcknight, I was re-reading Post Mortem today to find a section on the paraffin tests. Sure enough, Weisberg mentions on page 437 that nitrate tests performed for "control" purposes showed that the cheeks of men who fired rifles tested positive seven out of seven times. Presumably, these were the NAA tests performed by the AEC. I don't recall seeing these tests, and this reference to the control group in any of Weisberg's books or online. Have you seen this reference to the seven control tests in Weisberg's papers? Are you aware of anywhere online where one can read these tests? I checked Breach of Trust. While you do mention the paraffin tests, and that the ERDA file can be found at the Weisberg Archive, I didn't see a specific reference to the results of these control groups. If they in fact show that seven out of seven times nitrates were found on the cheeks of men who'd fired rifles, but that no nitrates were found on Oswald, this would have to be considered significant. And that this was hidden from the public equally significant.

Your help appreciated.

Concerning the Weisberg reference to the AEC test results back in 1964 on the Oswald rifle and the blowback that produced positive results on the cheeks of shooters in 10 out of ten test results. I did a little follow up on this and the results are in Weisberg's CA 78--1976 suit. He got results from ERDA in the 1970s. The problem is that ERDA dumped on his some 4 file drawers of documents. He have these at Hood but I will need to go through the entire collection to locate the requesite records.

I plan on doing this at my convenience. If you want to come to Frederick and spend a day looking you are welcome. Otherwise, have patience and when I locate them I'll let you know. It is possible that I can short circuit this by locating them in FBI files, but that is over "theory" at this point.

Professor McKnight, I have just had an exchange with Professor McAdams on the alt.assassination.JFK newsgroup. He said he doesn't trust Weisberg re the controls Weisberg acquired. If you have been able to locate them and/or can help me figure out how to locate them, it would be most appreciated.

(Note: in September 2007 I acquired the Weisberg material from the Hood College Archives. I write about this in chapter 4c at patspeer.com.)

Edited by Pat Speer

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When you were researching Breach of Trust did you find any evidence that LBJ selected the membership of the Warren Commission because he had information that would enable him to blackmail them into producing the report he wanted? There is definitely evidence that LBJ and Hoover were involved in swapping information at this time to apply pressure on potential witnesses. For example, the New York Times exposed LBJ of using information from FBI secret files to apply pressure on Don B. Reynolds.

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